In this week’s Success Newsletter, I would like to reveal the 6 lessons from the rise and downfall of Milo Yiannopolous.
First a quick update:
Snake Oil Salesman – Personality VS Character
Do you know the origins of snake oil salesman and how that relates to the difference between personality and character? Character is much more critical to success and happy relationships than personality.
Milo Yiannopolous “Dangerous Faggot” Resigns
Milo Yiannopoulos resigns from Breitbart News the day after being dropped from CPAC and losing a book deal following the release of a video where Milo Yiannopoulos promotes sex between adult men and underage boys. Watch the video where I reveal that Milo Yiannopoulos is acting and doesn’t believe most of what he says.
Now, let’s talk about the 6 lessons from the rise and downfall of Milo Yiannopolous.
Milo Yiannopolous is a Greek/British National who became famous in the US by becoming a “fabulous internet super villain” and a senior editor at the US ultra-conservative website “Breitbart.com.”
With a British accent and a slew of outrageous costumes and identities, openly gay, Milo Yiannopolous referred to himself as a “Dangerous Faggot”, naming his speaking tour at US college campuses as “The Dangerous Faggot Tour.”
Milo used the show business elements of glitz, glamour and misdirection to create a huge following. Milo was sufficiently smart to realize that Americans love entertainment and show business and they will give a platform and legitimacy to whomever puts on the best show, makes the most amount of noise and succeeds the most at provoking people, particularly if it is a group of people they don’t like.
Accordingly, Conservatives and Republicans embraced Milo with open arms because he shouted loudly about free speech, attacked the Left and Political Correctness and championed many conservative issues even though he is openly gay and took the Right’s issues to the extreme.
Milo prided himself on openly attacking Jews, Muslims, women, lesbians, transgender people, feminists, fat people, certain individuals, Liberals and progressives, and the Liberal victimhood culture. Milo claimed that rape culture at campuses is a fantasy, men who grope women at college shouldn’t be thrown out, women will be happy only if we “un-invent” the birth control pill and the washing machine, and “I went gay so that I didn’t have to deal with nutty broads” (women.)
Adeptly manipulating even the conservative college campuses, Milo put on big shows such as his speaking event at Louisiana State University where he put on a production by showing up dressed as a Drag Queen with a huge blonde wig, carrying an oversized Bible and then immediately, as a British citizen with a US work visa, he began to sing the US National Anthem in drag. The audience had no choice but to stand up, sing and applaud him.
And the audiences generally supported his extreme views – such as claiming that feminism is a disease and is worse than cancer. As Milo’s audience and fan base grew and the Left became more outraged by his extreme views (labeled as “hate speech”), Milo approached CPAC, the largest conservative conference and was accepted as a keynote speaker.
However, within 24 hours of that invitation, a conservative blog site uncovered a video recording of an interview Milo gave in 2016 where he was promoting sex with underage, post-pubescent boys. Milo even boasted about having had sex at age 14 with a Catholic priest and learning from him his skills in giving oral sex to men.
“We get hung up on this sort of child abuse stuff”, Milo Yiannopolous says in the video.
In another interview with Joe Rogan, Milo claimed he had attended various Hollywood parties where underage children were being drugged and raped, and yet, he did nothing about it.
And with this video, Milo Yiannopolous’ career quickly descended: CPAC withdraw the invitation to speak, Milo’s book deal was cancelled and after a dozen staffers at Breitbart News threatened to walk out if Milo wasn’t fired, Milo resigned from Breitbart.
Articles and commentary by Milo Yiannopolous: “Birth control makes women unattractive and crazy”; “Trannies are gay”; “No, JCPenney, fat people should absolutely hate themselves”; “Sorry, girls! But the smartest people in the world are all men,” and “I’m worried not enough teenagers are self-harming.”
In his press conference announcing his resignation, Milo did some of the things he condemned: he apologized for his use of words (he had previously said that he never apologizes for anything) and he claimed he was a victim – “I’m a gay man and victim of abuse” – he had previously said “Nobody should be playing the victim.”)
Suddenly with the release of that video, even the conservatives turned on him; after all, Milo was now demonstrating what conservatives fear about Liberals – that they are gay perverts and pedophiles who want to molest little children.
So what lessons can be learned from Milo’s story?
Lesson 1: Beware of shiny objects & show business
It’s the story of the carnival barker – the snake oil salesman: someone who puts on a great entertaining display of showmanship with an ulterior motive. In other words, does the entertainer believe in what he says and does or does he do it simply for the fame and fortune? Is there substance to what he says and does? Is he congruent?
The same principle applies in every area of your life – beware of people who are highly persuasive, entertaining and emotional and yet lack substance or sincerity; put character first – above glitz and personality.
Lesson 2: Stick to your principles
Christian Conservatives were willing to ignore their own religious beliefs about homosexuality and so they welcomed an openly gay man who propositioned a Former. Republican Rep. Jack Kingston on the Bill Maher show; Milo stated that they would be great together in bed. If Milo was willing to do that on national television, why would anyone be surprised that he might lack morals in other areas or that his morality might not fit in with Christian values?
Lesson 3: Beware of the extremes
One of the reasons Milo Yiannopolous became so famous was because of the pendulum effect. Liberals had pushed things like political correctness, victimhood and tolerance to an extreme with no limits. Thus, the pendulum had to swing the other way and along came Milo who screamed loudly about free speech, anti-political correctness and anti-victim culture. However, he too, pushed it to an extreme and turned it into extreme hatred.
The same principle applies in every area of your life – beware of taking things to an extreme. Although, extremes might seem attractive at first, they never work out well in the end.
Lesson 4: Beware of seeking fame & fortune over everything else
Milo put fame and fortune first. He was willing to say and do anything as long as it got him more mass media attention. He cared not about whom he hurt, attacked or singled out. When we put money and fame above everything else, we destroy our own values, beliefs, principles and morality. I sincerely believe that when we live with hatred, we will attract more hatred to us.
Lesson 5: Free speech comes with a price
The US Constitution guarantees free speech; it is free because it is unfettered. However, it is not free of all consequences. You can say whatever you like (good or bad) about any group of people, your boss, parent, sibling or partner and there will be a reaction and a consequence. There is a limit to what people will accept from you in both behavior and words.
Lesson 6: It’s okay to judge
Liberals promote tolerance and acceptance; Christians teach ‘judge not lest ye be judged.’ However, you cannot live according to your principles unless you are willing to be discerning and make a judgment about what and whom you will and won’t accept in your life. You need to make a judgment about what is right and wrong and what the limits are, and then you need to be willing to stand up for your principles and say, “No.”
Finally, while Milo Yiannopolous might very well be a victim of sexual abuse, it in no way justifies the hatred and abuse that he has chosen to express towards so many various groups of people.
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I wish you the best and remind you “Believe in yourself -You deserve the best!”
Patrick Wanis Ph.D.
Celebrity Life Coach, Human Behavior & Relationship Expert & SRTT Therapist