Tate’s Toxic Ponzi Scheme

By Owen Andersen

“Masculine life is war. If you’re a man who doesn’t live life as war, you’re going to lose.”

Gaining traction online, Andrew Tate fostered a media empire preying on the base impulses and insecurities of adolescent boys. By the end of 2022, the former kickboxer and Big Brother contestant became the 8th most searched individual on the planet (Google Trends). Posturing a confidence–man facade, Tate preached a misogynistic gospel of regressive traditionalism, condemning feminism and homosexuality. However, Tate does not promote his values purely on principle. In reality, Tate employs his rampant misogyny as a marketing strategy for his services.

Initially, Tate’s podcast pulls in impressionable teenage boys, appealing to their insecurities regarding women and success. Responding to those fears, Tate presents a more appetizing narrative, nullifying the fear of rejection and failure—you don’t have to grow as a person, you’re an alpha. You don’t have to work hard for success, you just have to do as I say; therein lies the swindle. 

On his podcast, Tate consistently promotes Hustler’s University, his subscription service, as a magic money making method. Tate sells Hustler’s University as the “uncensored” version of his podcast content, promising the more “advanced” discussion and mentorship upon subscribing. Currently, Tate markets “Hustler’s University 4.0” as the pinnacle of e-commerce training, positing “Access to multi-millionaires” who are “hyper successful experts in their field.” The official Hustler’s University website states the subscription boasts a limited time offer: $49.99 monthly, of $600 yearly, instead of the usual $147 a month, $1764 yearly. (Official Hustler’s University). But, according to Charles Float, Buzzfeed, and Tate’s official shop, Hustler’s University 2.0 and 3.0 were both sold for $49.99 (1.0 lessons currently selling for $85 on Top G Club Shop). Essentially, Tate falsely markets his service with a sense of urgency as a means of boosting sales. 

With the introduction of Hustler’s University 4.0, the program upgraded platforms: out with Discord, in with The Real World, a “Custom built online learning platform” (Chris Starkhagen, a blogger adopting Tate’s talking points and marketing model). Yet, the first three versions of the program, costing $49.999 monthly, were simply a Discord server. Reportedly, during lessons Tate rapidly moved away from money-making, transitioning into, “how the system is skewed against you,” says Jussi Hyvarinen, an HU Alumni, further stating, “Anyone looking for legitimate business ventures would be disappointed…” Littered with misogynist messaging, Tate continues cultivating a mindset of superiority within his pupils, promoting an us versus them mentality. 

One of Tate’s most infamous talking points regards “The Matrix,” a concept ripped straight from the movie trilogy of the same name. Tate plays up ideas of a societal suppression of masculine qualities, citing women’s and LGBTQ+ rights movements of the past decade as the death of manhood. Consequently, Tate’s propaganda alienates alternate sources as “blue pilled,” (accepting mainstream narratives) while idolizing himself as the Morpheus (mentor archetype) of our reality, making his marketing all the more effective. 

Ultimately, Hustler’s University serves as a preliminary for Tates less famous service: the War Room, a “Global network in which exemplars of individualism work to free the modern man from socially induced incarceration” (Cobratate.com). The War Room costs $7,979. Once again, Tate weaponizes feelings of social rejection and isolation, scapegoating society as the primary cause while selling self-validating messaging that proves far more corrosive than helpful—he’s selling toxic masculinity. 

Alexander Graves, a former War Room member, states Tate supplies members with ‘‘Life changing documents’ about mindset, women, actionable real-life skills.” Gervais further recalls that the service possesses less economic teachings, and more potential networking, stating the War Room only really serves “Greed driven men ” and ultimately that he can’t recommend the service (SelfConquering).In rough estimation, Hustler’s University possesses 100,000 members; the War Room, 4,000. Consistently, Tate makes at least $5 million a month off his services (Archie Blade, SportsRush). As his acolytes repost his podcast clips en masse, Tate continues poisoning the minds of young adolescent boys, establishing a false sense of strength and supremacy as a remedy for insecurity and exclusion. He vows liberation from a supposedly crushing, anti-man, social hierarchy by presenting a new crushing, anti-women, social hierarchy. In reality, Tate invented both; they’re marketing pitches, he has the supply and he’s created the demand. Tate’s titular theories prove successful because they supply a simple, comforting high horse. Moreover, like all messaging involving toxic masculinity, Tate conceptually removes the toxic by emphasizing the masculinity, displaying his finest marketing point: himself. Tate’s physically fit, incredibly affluent, and supposedly very successful with women; the theoretical gold standard of masculinity. Tate understands and lords his success over his audience. After all, how can he be wrong when he’s that triumphant? At the end of the day, Tate can never be an alpha, because alpha’s aren’t real, none of what he said ever was. The act was just a coping mechanism with a price tag.