Marrying Medusa: The Critics

I gave a presentation to a live audience on the experience of and a few of the lessons learned from (sort of) marrying a female psychopath. This was followed up by publishing it to over 100,000 men on the internet.

Needless to say, this has gotten some praise, as well as some criticism. Almost everyone has an opinion to share. The few that don’t or don’t care to share are busy being entertained from the sidelines, if interested at all.

Some of the most interesting feedback I get however is from 21C speakers. This includes long time/highly involved alumni, and speakers less heavily invested in the platform alike. This shouldn’t come as a surprise, as a huge chunk of 21C is focused on male/female relationships. In the simplest terms possible, Medusa and I were a couple as man and woman… that relationship ended, and here we are.

Almost everyone who regularly deals with those dynamics on a purposeful, thoughtful, and often professional level, has input. How much of it is applicable… is a separate, relevant, and important question to ask – one that most are very reluctant to ask in the first place for multiple reasons, the least of which is that such a fundamental question is not normally asked after such an event.

Another one of those reasons is the level of innocent ignorance it could reveal, and consequent, unintended context dropping. While this deserves a stand alone post, essentially there were crucial variables at play that change the fundamentals we must grasp to judge properly the events that unfolded and have followed.

By treating my relationship with Medusa as a “bad breakup”, “horrible relationship”, or anything synonymous, we tear and isolate what happened from the wider, full context necessary to arrive at reality focused action and advice.

In other words, when a severe mental pathology enters the picture in any relationship, it categorically changes how we should evaluate and advise the abuse target. It doesn’t help that nearly every man in recent history who has gotten divorce or child custody raped, and every woman who has gotten a black eye, has said something to the effect of “My ex is crazzzzyyyyyyy!” or even better “My ex is a psychoooooo!”.

Essentially, they cry wolf, and it desensitizes the rest of the population to the existence, manipulations, and chaos delivered by such dangerous, and disordered personalities.

With that said, I am going to anonymously post some criticism from a 21C speaker and respond after each item. His criticisms are not isolated, in strong agreement, vehement disagreement, and positions in between the two. Therefore they are useful for this post topic.

My teachings helped you meet her, but then you ignored my other teachings about not marrying your first GF or the first few relationships you get into with Pick Up.

Legally, technically, and in experience, this is not factually accurate. There were 2 women before Medusa who would identify as ex girlfriends, and did briefly have the title. In addition, I maintained a series of fuck buddies in college. Two of these were for quite some time. One five months continuously, the other almost two years in an on/off fashion.

While these were not committed relationships, they were far from insubstantial. These also co-occurred alongside a string of same night lays, various and hilarious shenanigans across the world with women, and purposefully approaching over 6,000 women/groups of women. This puts me squarely in the top 20% of the population in terms of lifetime partner count (at a very young age), and top 1% in terms of broad strokes experience.

Most men go their entire lives without a single same night lay, and no more than a handful of sexual partners. This is easy to forget when you are no longer a part of that demographic. Distantly characterizing me then as something not far from an Amish virgin is misguided and inaccurate.

Legally of course, I never married Medusa, never would have, nor marry any other woman. I have been firmly criticized in person (including from alumni 21C speakers) and on the internet in married communities for never even being married in the first place. These people call her a “glorified girlfriend”. Legally speaking, they are correct.

Private marriage then was a double edged sword that both protected me from the risk of divorce rape and other machinations of government involvement in intimate relationships, but also increased my risk tolerance in other relationship risk categories. Like a seesaw, it shifted the risk into another category. At no point did it occur to me that that category could or would tangibly include an individual with nuclear-level toxicity.

While I had awareness of this shift, I was blissfully unaware of what the extreme ranges of this could realistically entail given my life situation at the time, which included regularly surrounding myself and her with individuals that are keen observers of human social behavior and themselves possessing a high level of social intelligence and experience.

Her dozens of interviews on The 21 Report epitomize this. This one with Socrates is merely among the most insightful and iconic to watch.

This was a support system and defense network that I really did not anticipate a professional hooker sneaking by.

Finally, it is worth clarifying that I maintained my private, non-legal marriage position in public, and in the face of cultural, social, and familial pressures; as well as in the manipulative presence of an individual who exceeds the diagnostic criteria for psychopathy and otherwise presents strongly as a disordered combination personality.

You volunteered to be the victim in this.

I don’t currently believe I was a victim, and do not see myself as one consciously or (so far as I can discern) subconsciously. I see myself as the target of covert, narcissistic, psychopathic, pathological abuse by an individual with a continuous yet hidden pattern of doing so, and a history of perfecting her skill over many years to engage in this abuse with increasing levels of success.

Medusa’s 43 pages of hand typed notes on the show Criminal Minds that I discovered after our separation are a testament to her dedication. She was thoroughly engaged in purposeful, detailed, counter intelligence ops for years before I arrived.

The policy I maintained during the relationship with full consistency was one of zero-tolerance for overt abuse. This was so deeply internalized and normalized for me, it did not occur to me as unusual in modern culture. An alumni attendee actually had to point out its rarity at the Under 21 Convention 2016 to me.

Whenever I encountered a dispute that was above and beyond my current knowledge and experience level, I did not hesitate to contact and ask for the input and advice of men older and wiser than myself in various categories. I rarely hesitated to apply the given advice in a “Thank you, I’ll give it a shot right away.” fashion.

Unfortunately such hard line intolerance for overt abuse simply shifted her strategies into her pre-existing skill for covert behavior, again the seesaw effect. While I believe her preference is to engage in both, she tested the waters and retreated into deeper covert behavior as she learned more and more about my boundaries, and how quickly I would (and eventually did) cut ties.

At our wedding, much to the chagrin and discomfort of the audience, I stated in my vows “…until death, or life, do us part”. These are the words and vow of an individual safe guarding themselves against unknown variables, unknown unknowns, and recognizing my own free will and capacity to make mistakes against her. E.g. I seriously doubted I would ever cheat on her, but knew full well that I could someday, with minimal effort, regardless of the strength of my philosophic convictions.

These are hardly the vows of a victim. These are the vows of someone rationally protecting themselves, recognizing their own potential to err, and putting a very real burden of performance on the woman for good behavior – a practice almost entirely extinct in western civilization and family formation today, culturally dominated by gynocentrism and the pussy-pass phenomenon.

Of some relevance to this victim/volunteer/target issue is my brief response to Dr. David Tian, an alumni 21C speaker, on the topic of why I was selected and ultimately maintained as a target. Words in brackets have been added by me for this post.

David Tien the answer is multi-factorial. I am also not the predator who chose her prey. Part of your answer resides in her. Which is rarely addressed by anyone.

Off the top of my head, she physically fit what I was seeking. I have a thing for red heads, pale skin, and nice tits on a slender body. Combing that with a genuine enthusiasm for Ayn Rand (among other shared [core] values) was a dangerous cocktail for the young Anthony Johnson.

Steve Mayeda has commented that I have very high empathy. If true, this is [continuous] blood in the water for a shark.

The man who married us also commented immediately that my unwavering sense of morality also attracted her above all else. She seemed to enjoy living vicariously through my moral perfection with her and more widely in my life.

My attraction and arousal and seriousness displayed towards her probably fed her narcissism through the roof. Combine that with a very high libido, she was on covert narcissist cloud 9 with a 90% chance of cum shower.

I was someone extremely repulsed by and therefore internally ignorant of how to lie. Being this judgmental kept baby vamps away. Had the opposite effect on her. Oops.

Grew up in a violent household. My older sister and I agree our sense of normalcy is significantly different than the average person. My strategy then is water off a ducks back, stay away from the person until they cool down – rather than probe deeper for long range manipulation. The abuse i was used to observing is simple and straightforward, not secretive and planned. A pathological liar of this magnitude was well off my radar.

Nathaniel Branden’s book had me mighty excited about this renewed concept/thing called romantic love, months before meeting Medusa. This was one of the main keys in making me a prime target, rather than just keeping her in fuck buddy mode as I had done my entire life to that point. She was all too ready to jump at this opportunity.

In her own words, I was 1-2 points “hotter” than her. Combined with a big dick, this partly satisfied her raging, off the charts hypergamy. Psychopath as she is, still biologically female.

I could go on. The list continues. And is yet to be completed.

Understanding pathological abuse and target selection is a topic of ongoing interest to me, both personally (where was I vulnerable, how was it exploited and expanded, and what can I do to resolve these issues), and in the cultural environment around me. Da search continues.

You ignore or shift/spin every point. E.g. Bringing up how cool your private marriage was.

Private marriage was a simple solution to a complex and dangerous problem. Feminism and cultural marxism have leveraged government to fundamentally destroy marriage in the west for men (legally and otherwise). Legal marriage has become 100% risk for men/0% risk for women. Awareness of this issue is increasing, slowly. Of those that become aware, many rationally conclude, never get married – at least not in our lifetime, as there is much work to be done to save the west and restore sanity to a collapsing sexual marketplace.

I don’t dispute that this is a GOOD choice to make for your life as a man right now. However I came up with a third option. This was a result of my own original, creative thinking. That a 24 year old did this is remarkable and highly unusual. Dozens of men have explicitly praised me for avoiding the soul sucking death trap of a marriage license in specific, and wished they had done the same years ago.

While simple as shit – remove the government as much as humanly possible – it took more than common sense to develop this idea from scratch, hence, it is so uncommon to see, even in the wake of decades of injustice and divorce rape. Hell, even the advent of “gay” marriage has hardly made marriage privatization a blip on anyone’s radar. Homosexuals seem quite excited to go lose half their shit or more. Good luck…

Yes, I believe I deserve some credit for thinking of this and carrying it through to action in a culture intensely hostile to men, masculinity, and male leadership. This is a “cool” if imperfect (and clearly, not risk free) option while we – men – spend decades mending the damage marxist feminism has done to marriage, family, culture, and the SMP.

Private marriage is a major component of what happened more widely with Medusa. She was not given an alternative, and was told to get with the program or GTFO. She got with the program, and openly supported it right here on this blog. To her credit, she brought it up as ammunition all of one time (that I recall) in the two years we were privately married. To context drop or trivialize private marriage is a mistake in my judgement.

Bottom line is you are writing and saying things that are wrong. Because you organized the 21 convention, guys listen to you. A lot of this stuff is fucking them up and speakers can’t support it or appear to endorse it. Including me.

Similar to the Vince Kelvin meltdown. At least it appears so.

It would be one thing if you leveled and got to a point where you were good enough to teach and then created an event to have speakers.

But since you got into the stage the way you did, I don’t think you learned the lessons all of us have.

This is an old criticism that never dies. I’ve been getting it since I was 17, and have privately joked that it will never end, regardless of my actions. 11 years later it continues, and I anticipate it will still be levied 11 years from now, and 11 years after that.

The speakers word choices are insightful I think. I didn’t simply organize The 21 Convention, I built it from scratch with my own blood and sweat, now having poured some ~25,000 hours into it.

I sincerely doubt this was meant as a slight against my efforts, but it reveals how he thinks about the convention. It is not simply an event that is organized, it is a media platform with millions of views, over 100 speakers/contributors, hundreds of hours of content, 100,000+ fans, and it’s own history and inertia. Properly trained, I could die and someone else could take over as CEO. The leadership and tone would change – as is to be expected – but the platform could continue just fine.

The speaker again refers to T21C as “the stage”. This is an indefinite address of a stage I personally founded, created, and built over my entire adult life to date. I had some help along the way – speakers being among the highest order of that help – and yet few, if anyone, would question that I am primarily responsible for it’s existence by a wide margin.

I’ve also surpassed various speakers in secondary fields of expertise, i.e. things they have a firm opinion on, have even studied to some degree, but get completely wrong. Take Dr. Ellington Darden for example. Brilliant in exercise, but knows little about nutrition. Our nutrition focused speakers walk circles around him in their respective fields. These men are hand picked by me and correspond to my best understanding of that part of human life.

The same of course is true in reverse. The exercise focused speakers regularly walk circles around the nutrition focused speakers in the field of exercise, even if said speakers have strong opinions about exercise.

My central judgement among these speakers results in the orchestra of The 21 Convention, and to make that judgement, I had to meaningfully approach their level of expertise to make a responsible judgement on their primary expertise with a high level of certainty. This results in me personally surpassing various speakers in any number of non-primary fields, from 1 to 10 or whatever else (and the same can and will hold true in reverse depending on the circumstance).

It is an odd place to be in then, when I do not directly teach anyone, but am criticized for being unqualified to teach something, while simultaneously having better quality knowledge in some particular field of life than each speaker, by definition of how the platform operates.

Regarding endorsements, the platform is significantly bigger than my own presence at this point, by an order of 10 to 1 or greater. When Steve Jobs said LSD was one of the most important experiences of his life, I sincerely doubt anyone translated this to mean that all of his employees support taking hard drugs, or for that matter, a third party like the CEO of Intel (a closer analogy to a speaker of The 21 Convention).

Speakers are free to disagree with me, and vice versa, including publicly. I care about the truth, not holding hands in public.

Vince Kelvin became a drug addict and was giving public speeches while high on cocaine, to the furthest extent of my knowledge. He once emailed me telling me he was a TIGER and was going to pounce on me – or something to that effect.

This is beyond a stretch in comparison.

To be fair however, I took the red pill in July of 2016, haven’t talked about it publicly much, am already a polarizing and intense individual, have been purposefully trolling extra hard in recent weeks, AND am still recovering from narcissistic and psychopathic abuse. This is a hell of a cocktail.

Most dating coaches with a PUA background are varying shades of purple pill. That some would get annoyed with red pill truths laced with too much dark humor is far from surprising. I should have taken the time first to elaborate on a shift in thinking, and not taking the time to do so was a mistake. This is something I’m dedicating a stand alone post to.

Like I said. Hope you learn from this. But from these responses. Esp saying I’ll come around to some of the stuff you are saying= is making my gut tell me you won’t.

I can empathize with the position that as an experienced coach, it must sound preposterous when someone younger and less experienced than you says that your extensive experience in a topically similar area of life does not automatically apply to the fall out of truly (clinically) pathological relationships, and indeed can serve as a liability that will produce damaging advice.

For that matter, many psychologists are completely unequipped to work with clients exiting a cluster B or other ultra-toxic relationship. And this is ignoring their potential hostility to conventional masculinity in the first place, which is wide spread in my understanding.

For almost any dating coach of any experience or skill level to see my point of view (and anyone else in my position), they would have to admit ignorance of some depth, and that only portions of their advice would apply. Other parts may be entirely useless or even counterproductive.

This also requires explicit recognition that the fundamental dynamics are different due to a mental illness, and that such mental illness exists in the first place. Alumni speaker Dr. David Tian spent significant time, effort, and treasure validating his conclusion with professionals that he also was formerly in a relationship with a psychopath. In my understanding, he was routinely dismissed out of hand in a over relaxed “Let’s focus on YOU David…”, but to his credit, persisted anyway.

Again, this is the result of so much ignorance surrounding dangerous personalities, and so many men and women crying wolf or otherwise undermining the real meaning of the words “crazy” and “psychopath” (via the slang psycho).

To make matters more complicated, the more mentally damaged the abuser is, the less standard advice will necessarily apply. Further, almost everyone has dated “some crazy bitches“, and often, some dramatic cluster B taste testing in the form of BPD either directly or through a friend.

To make matters even MORE complicated, dating coaches have confirmation bias for dealing with men overreacting to the sharp end of the hypergamy stick, other functions of AWALT, and the nuclear fall out of multiple generations of feminism, such as divorce and child support/custody rape (that come with serious consequences like suicide risk and debtors prison).

For their own sanity, I can see why they auto-downplay all of the HOLY SHIT delivered at their door step. They have to as a matter of practice. And usually, they’re right to do so.

You went thru a horrible relationship. We all have.

One of our most celebrated speakers once told me, most men do not escape their 20s without a truly horrible and traumatic relationship. He then paused and said “…but rarely do they experience one as toxic and bizarre as your’s.”

Similarly, I have asked multiple speakers “Have you ever dated a woman as toxic/crazy as Medusa?”.

After a pause and some thinking out loud, the answer is always “No”. Dr. Tian is a likely exception to this dynamic. But how do you measure two gorgons?…

Finally on this point, I made a dedicated slide and discussion during my speech, Marrying Medusa of this issue (that this was more complex and fundamentally different than a “bad breakup”, with logical consequences to this conclusion). I anticipated that some would be open to it, some varying degrees of reluctant but eventually open, and some permanently closed to the idea. I believe these individuals fail to grasp how different human predators are, and how deep that rabbit hole goes in degree.

In my judgement, the more disordered an individual on the cluster B set someone is, the more reptilian and less mammalian their entire existence is – not just in their social interactions but entire psychology. This makes them toxic, dangerous, and increasingly difficult to spot in proportion to their level of disorder.

These individuals slither by you on a near daily basis your entire life. Rarely if ever do you become explicitly aware of what they are. With experience, study, and application you get better – but no one is bulletproof.

The difference is we bounced back from them. Leveled up. Learned from it. Improved. And made our lives better. You are just bitter and angry about still. Like a Hillary supporter. What is more likely, that myself and other guys have pointed things out where you are wrong. Or alllllll of us are wrong?

Neither answer is precisely correct. And technically, from the observed position of many speakers, their advice is correct, at least in that they are acting rationally on the total sum of their knowledge and understanding.

See above for horrible relationships vs. pathological ones and related issues.

Also, a big chunk of what we are seeing are sharp disagreements between purple pill and red pill ideas. It’s easy to point the finger at Medusa for my shift in thinking that has come with a fair bit of inflammation. It’s more difficult to assign disagreements to genuine intellectual debate that will persist after Medusa is even further back in the history books.

For example, most people – speakers and otherwise – are extremely reluctant to derive any significant insight of general, female nature from Medusa’s behavior. This is blue pill conditioning/femperative at it’s most basic, wide spread level. While I fully recognize that most women are not psychopathic hookers, I also see the value in an up close confrontation with the extreme range of feminine behavior.

The level of manipulation and covert abuse I got to interact with is close to the worst of what is possible to women. That I escaped with zero physical or financial damages is remarkable and a testament to my character, philosophy, and deliberately maintained support network.

There is a lot to learn about women from the depths of Medusa’s lair, and almost all of society would like to cover up that much of her behavior was distinctly feminine – the personality disorders just greatly amplifying the worst of what already existed.

Rest assure, I am and will always pursue the truth.

My commitment sticks including when there is great push back from people I trust. This isn’t to say I don’t value other people’s respect, thoughts, and effort – it is to say that the truth is always of the absolute highest importance to me. If I believe I’m on to something, I will pursue with relentless conviction unless and until someone provides a better, logical argument.

If you really want to see the truth. Put up a post. “Hey guys, I want you to be honest with me. Since everything I preach and study is about growth. I’m trying to see if I need to grow right now. What are your thoughts on all my posts about “medusa” and women? What advice do you think I need to hear? Please be 100% open and honest. I can handle it.” I am 100% sure the results will be exactly what I’m saying. This is the stuff I’m considered an expert in. No one call you one in this field.

While I agree with what the results would be, I find opinion polling for the truth retarded to the point of comedy. Doing so with 2,000 people who know very little about the issues at hand just makes it more ridiculous.

I also find the word “growth” nebulous. It can mean too many things, and side steps reasoned debate about a traumatic event with complex variables at play, as if human psychology wasn’t already complex enough to begin with and still in it’s infancy academically.

To the contrary, it took a lot of courage to comprehend and accept just how much danger my life and future were in for the 4.5 years I was with Medusa, how dangerous my mistakes were as amplified by her peak SMP toxicity, and how truly alone I was as a human being in the spider’s den for most of that duration.

I never said I was an expert (on whatever that is referring to, which is interesting in itself). What I am an expert in is finding experts in specific fields and bringing them together to the same platform even when they vehemently disagree on various subjects (that they usually aren’t speaking on).

By being that meta-expert, I’ve built the most popular men’s conference on earth, and millions of people have benefited from my hard work.

You really sound like a stubborn as shit student, who is arguing/counter pointing everything I say right now. I’ve dealt with this so many times in the past.

Confirmation bias after dealing with (literally) thousands of people like that. You find what you are looking for, and work as a dating coach attracts it in the first place. I believe this is a common weakness among dating coaches.


That’s all I have for now. This is a rich topic that I may revisit with YouTube comments on the speech in the future.

About Anthony Dream Johnson

CEO, founder, and architect of The 21 Convention, Anthony Dream Johnson is the leading force behind the world's first and only "panorama event for life on earth". He has been featured on WGN Chicago, and in the NY Times #1 best seller The Four Hour Work Week.    His stated purpose for the work he does is "the actualization of the ideal man", a purpose that has led him to found and host The 21 Convention across 3 continents and for 6 years in a row. Anthony blogs vigorously at and

3 Responses to Marrying Medusa: The Critics

  1. Brian February 10, 2017 at 3:27 am #

    Dream how do you reconcile red pill ideology with blue pill pick up gimmicks that your convention is based on ?

    How can you support speakers who peddle techniques for chasing sluts to men with no SMV and are invisible to the women they are applying said techniques on ?

    Being funny, being confident, having good body language, text game, etc do you think these things actually help raise the SMV of an unknown stranger in a cold approach setting ?

    • Anthony Dream Johnson February 12, 2017 at 8:34 pm #

      The 21 Convention is not based on “blue pill gimmicks”. It sounds like you watched a small sample of videos and jumped to a quick opinion.

      The Red Pill fits nicely with T21C. Our focus is the truth, reason, and reality in the context of male self-improvement. Red Pill is directionally accurate in this category of life, regardless of how uncomfortable it makes people.

      There is only gain, and no harm, in understanding the mechanics of game and social settings.

      Yes, demonstrating competence is a good thing in a social setting.

      – ADJ

  2. Brian February 15, 2017 at 12:03 am #

    I think you are fantastic by the way Dream on many ideas, including the idea of a private marriage. I don’t know why it is not talked about by everyone in the manosphere.

    But in regards to pick up and game, I think you have not seen the light yet. Perhaps it doesn’t draw as many youtube views, but I believe in your heart of hearts you know the answer that game is 0 to negligible in regards to cold approach pickup outside of escalation and logistics.

    LooksMoneyStatus is what matters for 99% of cold approach and online, and the idea of peddling techniques such as text game, how to approach, what to say is the definition of blue pill. This might be why, no PUA ever has banged a girl who wasn’t immediately into him from the start. Also might be why, thousands of tinder studies testing subjects looks and pua text game showed no difference whatsoever.

    These techniques of “how to get” and impress a girl at your convention are what you yourself is on record as not believing based on some Brent Smith posts I saw. And as far as Brent goes, that is just another example of not seeing the true causation. You think low LMS (SMV) men will make a girl more “attracted” by not chasing her ? please. Low SMV men (80 % of the population based on 80/20 theory) is invisible. Same with cold approach techniques. She doesn’t notice how alpha your acting because you don’t even exist to her and all she has to go by is your LMS in such environment.

    I don’t think game is truly evil. In fact I think it has some merits, however, it is taught in a confusing manner and also with no context. Game must be taught in correlation to your LMS , and propinquity level. Without doing so is harming young men.

    low LMS men game simply will not work for them in cold approach. But in school, work, etc it will have more effect.

    Cold approach pickup should be about practicing social skills to build other areas of one’s life to attract women than attracting women in of itself.

    I hope that your convention will address these issues and also teach pickup down to a more simplified philosophy of what actually matters.

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