the end of gurus

The End of Internet Gurus

Be careful who you listen to.

I don't want you to take me seriously either - you don't know enough of me.

In Finland we have a term "blue-eyed" for a person who trusts without verifying and believe it or not, most Finnish people fall in this category. Most of us are honest and "fake it till you make it" isn't a thing here.

When I first lived abroad (China / 2014), I met hundreds of nationalities from all over the world.

In China I was smart enough to avoid the obvious scams but I couldn't really expect that people could be frauds themselves. There were people who were literally full of shit. 

All fake, all lies and all pretense. I couldn't believe it and in the beginning I fell for many tricks. They would say anything and I would believe them.

For the first time I met people who were as poisonous as snakes and whose every word was something toxic.

It's fundamentally easy to spot the poisonous snakes and weasels in real life. On internet it's a whole different story.

Young men and women have killed themselves because they have been manipulated by bad people. Similar to this has happened since the ancient times and internet has only made it easier.

Don't Believe Everything You See on Internet.

I remember some old university professors saying this.

"Of course", I thought to myself because I was so smart that I wouldn't fall for the smokes and mirrors.

But I did and did it over and over again.

It doesn't matter how smart you are or how good your bullshit-detector is. You simply don't have enough data to make the good decision because all the data have been manufactured and given to you by the seller.

On internet it's laughably easy to manufacture your image. You can choose to show whatever you want to show.

On YouTube there was this popular fitness guy who made his audience think he was some sort of a mercenary with an amazing background. It was all fake and it turned out that the person was mentally ill.

Obviously there needs to be something real behind the persona for people to trust him, but the person can hide the bad parts, magnify the good parts and create fake ones.

The bad parts are always hidden, good parts have been elevated and the truth has been morphed into something else.

You see what they want you to see and as a result it's impossible to see the full picture and know the full story.

Only when you are at the person's level or above, you will see what is bullshit and what is exaggerated. Only when you see the individual in person you'll see if the person is honest. And even this can be difficult.

The best ones are able to manufacture evidence and answers to possible arguments before the audience even manages to accuse the person of anything. Nothing is more convincing than to acknowledge the accusations beforehand.

If the person is not using his real name and not showing his face, how can you trust him? And even if he did do this, you still don't know enough of the person.

You don't know anything for certain. If you actually knew the person like a real friend, you would know the reality of that person. Then you would be able to fully trust him.

On internet, you don't know if everything is all one big act. Everything sounds convincing and waterproof but that is the whole point of the act.

You don't know the truth about the person's social life, his family relationships, his past and background or how the person actually is in real life.

You are taking everything at face value. There aren't many people who are 100% truthful with their audience.

There is always plenty of truth in it and a great deal of the advice can be helpful, which makes the bullshit hard to spot. The fundamental problem is the misleading and false marketing. 

If the person is an American, there is a bigger chance you are being sold and the person is trying to "fake it till you make it" at your expense. 

There are good Americans, but the worst probably live in cities like Los Angeles. LA isn't called "the Land of the Snakes" or "Lalaland" for no reason.

Money corrupts and does it easily. There are plenty of people who do honest business, but there also many who shape the truth to increase their sales.

If the person is making money out of his fake persona, it often gets worse because the person's livelihood relies on how well the audience can be convinced of the person's greatness. 

That said, I don't want you to put any pedestializations on me. I am a nobody. Do not trust me.

You need to think for yourself. There is simply not enough information for you to trust me.

Fake People are Selling Fake Shit

Internet started with a wave of bullshit. It's not just fake news but fake people selling fake shit.

The old Tim Ferriss (the guy who has produced nothing original in his entire life) tactic of quickly learning something and then creating a product about it contaminated the stream.

Ferris' The 4-Hour Workweek embodies this entire problem. The book was bragging from the title to the finish and all about selling a false image of a paradise. It had real practical tips and truth in it but everything was exaggerated.

Back then everyone knew he was a marketer though. Now the marketers have merely gotten better and more sophisticated. I actually like Tai Lopez the most these days, because it is obvious what he does.

When you brand yourself as the "real" or the "empathic", people will automatically take your word for everything because real and emphatic people wouldn't manufacture or exaggerate.

Many can even have a nice income but claim to be super rich. That's the fundamental problem with the fake till you make it tactic. Once you achieve the first fake lie, you create a new bigger one. 

Incompetent people are acting as authorities and selling low level bullshit to others. People are claiming to be authorities without any championship level experience. 

The reality is that it takes time to become an authority in anything. Even when you think you have "mastered" something, you still have a long way to go.

There are lots of salesmen out there where selling has taken over the substance (their product or what they are selling). They are purely focused on making more sales than actually improving their craft (the substance).

They adjust their substance to increase their sales, and this will always lead to a watered down version if they even have the capacity to make a good product. 

It's all smokes and mirrors and no substance. Their lives are empty shells and so are their products.

If you want to do it truthfully, the marketing has to match the substance. 

You can't sell your fitness product as something different when the product is 99% the same as any cookie cutter training program out there. 

The fitness world has experienced scandals after another. I have no idea why the fitness world attracts so many snakes and fakes, but the scene can be very superficial. 

This doesn't mean you cannot offer your expertise and make something out of yourself, but you have to have humility ​and be honest.

Authority comes with responsibility

Right now there are people giving financial advice and you don't even know their real name. And the worst part is that people like this are taken seriously. 

There are people giving professional relationship advice who personally don't have good relationships with the opposite sex. This is mind-boggling. 

Only when you actually reach their level, you will see their practices and what they actually do. When you look up, you see what they choose to show you. 

You may listen to people and think they are the shit but behind the scenes they may be miserable fucks with miserable lives.

Authority comes with responsibility. If you have expertise and act as an authority, people will listen to you and take your advice seriously.

These internet authorities don't get it. They act as authorities without taking any responsibility for what they do.

Public figures are promoting Bitcoin and other crypto-assets not because they actually believe in the technology, but because it's booming right now and they can make money by convincing you to trust them.

I hope they even say "I'm sorry" once people lose their money, but they won't because they are not your friends. They are not willing to take ownership of your results.

That's what a true leader does: he takes ownership of the results. When the disciple fails, the leader fails. This is the responsibility of an authority which internet gurus know nothing about.

The more you become an authority in anything, the more transparent and open you need to become.

You can offer piano lessons and there will be no need to be transparent because your skills should be obvious. The more you sell your lifestyle, the more truthful you have to become. 

You can't just magnify shit, hide things and fake things, and think that it's OK. If you use that to sell something, it's a warped form of stealing and scamming.

Broken People Are Leading Broken People 

Rich Piana, a successful bodybuilder recently passed away because of his drug addict lifestyle. People considered him a mentor and an authority.

The second problem with following internet gurus is that even if you did know a lot about them, you still shouldn't follow them.

When you are a broken person, you are inclined to follow people who are also broken but have managed to make their lives "successful", like Rich Piana.

They are "the real talkers" and you think they are so real because they tell you the truth. You can finally relate to someone who has it together and now you think you have hope.

Truth is not what you think it is and just because someone says the obvious or real things, doesn't mean they are completely true and worth listening to.

Truth has layers and although the lowest level of truth is also true, it's not good for the soul unless you want to become a bottom feeder or the scammer who feeds off the bottom feeders.

Many of my worst mistakes in life came from listening to sick and broken authorities. I hindered my progress in many aspects of my life and damaged my body.

Martin Berkhan's snarky "Fuckarounditis" article was one of the most damaging pieces of fitness information I ever read and it took a long time to fix the damage that had occured because of it.

Louie Simmons is also some sort of a legend and the guy is as crazy as they come. A functional drug addict (on steroids for decades and what else) who makes no apologies for it. 

He may be refreshing to hear after seeing so many fake snakes, but only naive people who aren't happy with themselves would take him seriously. 

"He does whatever it takes!" - yeah, when he is on drugs. 

Discipline is the easiest thing to possess when you are on drugs. Doing whatever it takes is easy to do when you focus on something that doesn't actually matter. 

It's all mentally ill, looney tooney shit and the only reason why people gravitate towards broken people is because they are broken themselves. I have been guilty for this.

Toxic people will eat your soul

Most authorities on internet consist of two kinds of people: 1. Broken real talkers and 2. broken snakes with false images.

I don't know which one is worse, but both of these are bad kinds of people and have the potential to hurt your life. 

You either stay the fuck away from them or eventually become one of them doing the same thing as they are doing, like a pedophile priest. 

People are contagious and even when you don't know it, you will slowly become like the people you listen to. 

The more you listen to their advice, the more your reality shifts towards their reality and the worst part is that their reality might be the complete opposite of what you actually think it is. 

You are not even getting the thing you have been sold and this is part of the problem. You cannot make an informed decision, because all of the datum is false or cherry-picked.

The hard part is that when you are broken, you avoid the good people and cling to other broken people.

Nowadays I avoid broken people as much as I can no matter how good their advice may sound. I try to surround myself with better people because I know there is no other path to Heaven.

Broken people regardless of their success will remain broken and won't be able to give you peace. Broken people with any life, no matter how good it may seem, will lead you to a broken life.

Broken people will remain broken regardless of their circumstances. It's fundamentally about their character and not about the context of their lives.

The healthy thing to do is to avoid broken people and surround yourself with good people.

Eero Westerberg is actually a good person and a much better person than I am. I am lucky to have him as a friend and a business partner.

The false paradises that are manufactured by the broken people do not exist. The paradise does not exist. Nothing will fundamentally make you happy - money, success or girls. 

Modern rap is part of this toxic paradise shit. I have been listening to rap music since I was 10 and I can't take it anymore. It's all fake and manufactured. 

Monkey, success, girls - it's all fake and will only make you distracted. They are snakes who have learned to manipulate your dopamine receptors and give you a false image of a paradise.

If you want to be a guru, be an actual guru. Take responsibility and ownership of other people's mistakes like they were your own. This is very hard to do at scale.

The good people are found in real life in real life interactions. 

Think for yourself.

  • Anthony M T says:

    Great article Samuli, I have followed your great mind and I can see the mental progression you’ve made since zendevil.

    There’s a very popular blogger/guru who’s initials are ‘VP’ and eventually I seen right through his bullshit. Needless to say he had some great articles (some of his older stuff is golden) but that’s it.

    With so much guru information at our fingertips there also comes a great deal of info exposing them too.

    Thanks for making this article.

    Peace.

    • Samuli says:

      Thank you Anthony. I want to detach myself from the old and start a new chapter of my life. Arrogance and ego really are immature cycles of human development.

  • Matt says:

    I’m with you 100% – I have been a self-help addict for years thankfully but it cost me a lot of money and energy and I got sold in a bad way many times along the path.

    Fake it til you make it means something else in English, at least in American, but it’s thought-provoking for me to see it this way.

    I am trying to figure out if you are a guru – what is it that you are target marketing – where is your product – are you awaiting a roll out at some point? This is my problem – if you’re not from India and are calling yourself a guru – what is your service other than the Vahva stuff going to be?

    I’d love to find something good that I could latch onto again like a program 30-90 days life overhaul / makeover or something, I am doing this now myself cleansing and starting over from zero – at 45 years old πŸ™‚ thanks Samuli ttys

    Matthew J Cutillo
    Amityville, NY

    • Samuli says:

      Hi Matthew. I am not planning to sell anything. This blog is first and foremost for myself to get my thoughts in order and I’m happy if others find my insights helpful or interesting.

      Life advice shouldn’t be sold in a generic form for the many reasons I laid out in this blog post. One of the points of this blog post was to point out that majority of the life advice you hear on internet is bullshit because these people’s livelihood depends on their ability to sell their advice. I would only mentor a handful of people with 100% real life interactions and at the moment I don’t have time or or enough competence to do this.

      I haven’t been religious but this year I’ve decided to follow my church’s fasting calendar for the first time. 16th of February starts a 40-day fast which is basically a vegan diet until Eastern. That’s a cleanse for me.

  • Abel B. Andolong says:

    Been a victim of many snakes and fakes myself but my instincts have been sharpen by time, yes you were right on your assessment about internet flooded with so many fake shits. But am no longer blue eyed. And yes., am following you and Were. When it comes to health and exercises and other perspective –I follow Eero because I see results and he is the result.

    • Samuli says:

      You indeed get better overtime, but everyone is subject to being played because at the time you are being played you don’t know you are being played.

  • Roberto says:

    Great post Samuli. I like your articles very much.

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