Is Jack Murphy’s The Liminal Order a Dangerous Cult?

While Jack Murphy is not as relevant today as he was a year ago, he does sometimes still come up as a prime example of a grifter. In light of this, I’ve decided that it might be fun to hold his little club, The Liminal Order, under a microscope to determine whether it is a cult.

The answer to this endeavor seems obvious, when you consider that Jack employs imagery that indicates that he’s doing absolutely nothing to run from the image of a cult leader. However, when his organization is examined, Jack Murphy’s peepee club is not merely the pillow fort that it might appear to be.

Before diving into the evidence, I’d first like to share the general criteria that I use to help determine whether an organization is a dangerous cult. Keep in mind that organizations don’t need to have a religious or spiritual element to classify as a cult. Also, please note that this list is non-exhaustive.

Here we go:

  • A cult tends to try to convince prospective members that they have a problem, then present themselves as the solution to that problem,
  • Cults tend to have an adversarial relationship with its host society, appeals to tribalism, or has a tendency to split the world in two,
  • There is particular esteem placed on leadership, which is usually not held accountable,
  • Membership can appear exclusive, with attention in marketing placed on prominent members,
  • There is an obvious mechanism with which to extract value.

Cults are dangerous because they tend to be exploitative, and they tend to employ deceptive or manipulative practices, such as control of information, to create or maintain a following. However, these practices tend to not be as obvious as what’s listed above. The above list works well at raising flags from the perspective of being on the outside looking in, when exploitation isn’t immediately evident.

Also, to answer those who may raise the suspicion that I’m presenting the worst of The Liminal Order in order to render an unfair verdict, please know that the information mainly compared against the points above will be what The Liminal Order says about itself, as revealed on its own website.

Now, let’s get started.

  • A cult tends to try to convince prospective members that they have a problem, then present themselves as the solution to that problem,

This is Marketing 101. And, to be fair, pretty much every organization exists towards the end of solving some problem. Cults tend to place a particular emphasis on self-improvement or living up to one’s own potential, and are sometimes strong in an insistence that that self-realization can only be achieved through them, or that it’s at least hard to come by.

Here is what The Liminal Order claims to offer on their site:

We are men who seek to improve ourselves so we may better serve our family, community, and the Nation.

We know that strong men make strong countries and we have committed ourselves to a collective action that emphasizes accountability, personal choice, and leadership.

The Liminal Order, Who We Are

The Liminal Order places a heavy emphasis on self-improvement, focusing on young to middle-aged men, to help them to develop leadership qualities and become societal difference-makers. To this end, online sessions are held, with Jack Murphy usually being involved, which often involves brainstorming and coaching.

Basically an expensive chat room where the economy revolves around Jack Murphy’s time.

  • Cults tend to have an adversarial relationship with its host society, appeals to tribalism, or has a tendency to split the world in two,

Tribalism tends to be a powerful motivator, and cult leaders exploit this by convincing prospectives to take a side. Or, they may point out all that’s wrong with society, and paint the group as being one of the few “fighting the good fight”. Or, more cynically, they may point to the existence of “enemies” in an effort to stir up fanaticism.

What path does The Liminal Order take?

In this postmodern, post-Truth era, people in your proximity may be your literal enemy. Today they frown at your public display of patriotism. Tomorrow they may turn you in to the re-education camps.

Your coworkers might blast your religion on social media and call for your church to be burned to the ground. If you’re a police officer, you’ve got to watch your back. Even while you’re mowing your lawn. Because anyone can find out where you live.

The Liminal Order, What We Are

That escalated quick. It would seem like Jack Murphy is going down the paranoid delusion route in inspiring his members. Whether he believes what he’s writing, or sees something to gain in inspiring schizophrenics to action, it’s not a good look.

When a cult is convinced that they have literal enemies who are literally out to kill them, they tend towards extremes, quickly. Based on what we read above, I wouldn’t be surprised if a member of The Liminal Order made the news, for a very bad reason.

  • There is particular esteem placed on leadership, which is usually not held accountable,

Just about everything about The Liminal Order revolves around the character of Jack Murphy, who presents himself as an example of manliness to aspire to. Like many such people, he eventually became a disappointment. More on him later.

Jack Murphy
  • Membership can appear exclusive, with attention in marketing placed on prominent members,

Jack Murphy vets his prospective members through an interview process, which places an appearance of value on membership. Those who make it in are less likely to take their membership for granted. Because acquiring a membership requires an investment of time and finances, and not everyone overcomes the vetting process, it’s to be expected that members would avoid the risk of losing their membership, and perhaps even tend towards extremes in an effort to demonstrate their loyalty.

What’s more, Jack touts the positions of influence held by members of his club:

Some of our members are:

– Former Military Officers
– Hedge Fund Operators
– Tech Entrepreneurs
– Medical Doctors
– PhD Academics
– Lawyers
– Government Officials
– Media Publishers and Personalities
– Authors
– Artists
– Truckers
– Riggers
– Tech Specialists
– and recent graduates finding their way.

The Liminal Order, Who We Are

I find amusement in that entries such as “PhD Academics” and “Lawyers” are mentioned in the plural sense, as though any lawyer or doctor would consider it a good idea to associate with Jack Murphy. But, as I’m well aware, there are many different kinds.

The obvious draw to listing all these different professions is to create the impression that, if you were to join Jack Murphy’s cult, you’d get to bump elbows with some highly influential people. Of course, that all these heavily-educated and influential people would see someone like Jack Murphy as someone to look up to requires quite a suspension of disbelief.

Because to me, he seems like a guy with a fetish.

  • There is an obvious mechanism with which to extract value.

Jack’s little chat room costs $99/month to access. Of course, there are other pricing tiers for those willing to commit to Jack Murphy’s brand of manliness. Last I heard, Jack Murphy has been raking in about $200,000/year, so he’s doing pretty well for himself with his little grift.

Now that we’ve analyzed his little group, let’s move on to the main feature of Jack Murphy’s cult: the man himself. For this analysis, we’ll be sticking to the public aspects of Jack Murphy’s character, as this is most relevant to his cult. It would seem that Jack himself would prefer this, considering that “Jack Murphy” is a pen name.

Jack Murphy was a lesser-known left-wing influencer who rose to prominence as part of the “walk away movement”, which saw left-wing personalities turn away from the left, and identify as conservative (or, at least, decide to vote for Trump after having previously voted for Obama). Jack Murphy even authored a book on the matter, titled, “Democrat to Deplorable”. During the height of Jack Murphy’s influence, he was a guest on various podcasts, including the one hosted by Tim Pool.

However, Jack Murphy’s past would come back to haunt him. In the year 2015, he had penned a blog post touting cuckolding, explaining an experience in which he allowed his own girlfriend to get intimately involved with a man the two met through Tinder.

Obviously, to act on a fetish for being cuckolded is not befitting a man who is prominent in the manosphere. Or for a man who would claim to coach other men on manliness. Or any man, for that matter. The reason why the term “cuck” is considered derogatory is because it implies that a man lacks the strength or confidence to protect or keep for himself what most men would be expected to.

Jack’s article, titled “Cultivating Erotic Energy From a Surprising Source”, was brought up during a podcast with a streamer named Sydney Watson. During the stream, host Sydney Watson read a superchat asking Jack to explain his article about cuckolding. Jack responded by lashing out at the host, in a manner which was disproportionate and uncalled for.

The following is a video from Sydney Watson, offering her take on the matter:

That was the moment in which Jack Murphy’s career began to collapse.

As men began to withdraw from The Liminal Order, Jack set out to attempt to fight back against his critics. In so doing, he made himself look worse. He set out to scrub his own article from the internet, even going as far as having it removed from The Wayback Machine.

Not that you’d have much trouble finding it if you were to go looking for it. After all, once something is on the internet, it’s on the internet forever.

He was so desperate to save face, that he even tried recruiting from his own super-expensive The Liminal Order chat room to create his own personal war room.

If you’re wondering why the photograph, Jack Murphy has measures to attempt to disable screengrab attempts in his chatroom, and notify him when screengrab attempts are made.

I wonder how many of his loyal followers experienced a moment of clarity and decided to nope out at that point. There’s something about spending $99/month for the dubious honor of doing damage control for a fetishist that merits a hard pass.

It is entirely possible for a person to recover from an embarrassing past. However, this usually takes handling the matter a certain way. Jack Murphy failed to do so spectacularly, and in so doing, became another victim of what’s called “the Streisand Effect”, where an attempt to hide something results in more attention for what one is attempting to hide.

If someone is presenting themselves as a pinnacle of manliness, odds are, they’re a narcissist. And if he’s trying to sell you his self-improvement plan, he’s likely running a cult. For a cult to be successful, it doesn’t need to convince the majority of people, it would only need to convince just enough to make the cult leader rich.

Is The Liminal Order a cult? Yes, I believe that The Liminal Order is undoubtedly a cult. But even if not, it’s apparent that Jack Murphy is selling a faulty product. And Jack Murphy himself is that product.


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