Being Vegan Without Being Self Righteous
December 19, 2011
What I Think Of 2012 (And Other End Of The World Scares)
December 27, 2011

About Steve Pavlina Taking His Forums Down

I have two articles written and ready to post, but I don’t want to post them yet. There’s something that’s more time-sensitive I want to post about. Even though this post won’t really go stale, I feel like talking about it now when it’s still fresh on people’s minds. That is, the whole thing about Steve Pavlina recently deciding to close his forums.

I was really into the forums. A large part of my readers came from them. I liked it that way. It felt good to connect with people and write stuff that could be valuable for them and just naturally get people clicking through from my signature link into my blog. Asides other things, it got me traffic that was especially primed to be interested in the topics I like to write about.

So there’s a pretty good chance you’re a forumer yourself if you’re reading this. If not, you may have a lesser or greater idea about who this Steve Pavlina fellow is and so on. I’ve written about him a few times; he’s been an influential guy in my life. Actually, I could name him *the* most influential person in terms of my life path. I don’t know where I’d be today if I hadn’t found his blog.

The forums were good for me. I met a lot of great people, including one person who I went and met and then convinced to come and live in Barcelona with me. Another person I fell in love with. Several others who I met, and a lot of people who either helped me greatly, or I helped greatly, or both. Those were some pretty meaningful exchanges just there.

I’m sad all this has to be cut short. At the same time I feel oddly accepting about it. I was a little in shock the first day. A little in denial, almost. For a while I was wondering if those feelings were going to develop into resentment towards Steve. A lot of people have been pretty pissed at him. Worse than pissed, livid. But – and this isn’t to try and make myself out to be more enlightened than other people – I just haven’t been feeling that. I went so far as to direct him a message regarding my confusion and found his answer, while vague, oddly calming. I can’t feel a great deal of hurt towards him. I don’t know why this is exactly but I have to wonder if it’s because he actually knows what he’s doing.

His track record so far has been of doing (writing) exactly what I needed in an almost magical way, even when I really didn’t get him at the time. So he could have lost it this time but I remain peaceably optimistic.

I didn’t like the disrespectful way Steve seemed to have done things. For those who didn’t know he banned quite a few people from the forum because of a particular incident and decided to close the forum down shortly after. It seemed too direct, too rude. The issues for which he banned people were a bit ridiculous to have created such a large reaction, as well. That said, he did say something about there being a hidden purpose behind that in a recent post on the forum. He could just be saying that, but I’m inclined to at least give him a chance. Most of all, I’m inclined not to get fixated on any of his (perceived) faults and just let the guy be.

I do think Steve has a way of coming across as invulnerable and deflecting anything that would mess his image up. I think he’s a bit narcissistic. But I don’t say this in a particularly judging way. I think that’s what he’s like, possibly something he could work on, if he wanted to.

It actually rubbed me the wrong way at the start, years back. To start with, I kind of disliked him while at the same time being inexplicably fascinated by what he wrote. I disliked his sense of invulnerability, always have disliked guys like that. I disliked his seeming insecurity, that sense I got that he was seeking approval from others with the persona he projected through his writing.

Nowadays I just don’t make a big deal about his faults or percieved faults. He just is. He’s not God, he has his “stuff”, but then so does everybody, and most importantly he does a kick ass job at what he’s good at. More than kick ass. We need a new adjective. His work is absolutely life-changing, world-shakingly good. It is. His desire to help is authentic, his wisdom is real, and he gets his job done. Any issues I have with him will have to be considered in that light.

Steve’s not God. Let’s not expect him to be God. Let’s not swing the other way and make him the Devil either. He made a big decision. A lot of us wish it was a different decision. He’s got the power to make big decisions. Let’s appreciate the responsibility that he’s chosen to take on and not turn him into a bogeyman just because his actions have the power to affect others.

No-one hates you, maybe, but you’ve never changed or saved a person’s life. (Addressing myself to an imaginary average reader). Would you rather be unhated or inconsequential?

I feel like I’m defending Steve just because there haven’t been that many voices doing so. At least not so loudly. I’m one of the major posters on his forum so I’m probably among those who you’d expect to be pissed.

So here I am, defending Steve. Or maybe I just want to defend everyone. I kind of see all sides of the argument but I don’t feel like we need to make such a big deal of it. Steve’s human, you’re human. Steve has faults, you have faults. Live with it. 🙂

Oh and Merry Christmas! I want to be nonconformist and say “Happy Yule” or something but you know, what the heck. Christ wasn’t such a bad guy after all. Just go easy on the turkeys okay! Love ya!

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Leave a Reply


  1. Cado says:

    This is your turf so I won’t post any counterarguments or grievances with Steve here because I don’t think you’d want that, and you have every right to your opinion. I’ve made myself loud and clear in so many ways and so many places that doing so here would be overkill, to say the least.

    What I do want to remark on is how I find it funny that I find myself in a position with you where my respect has been restored and we’ve buried the hatchet but now I’ve lost respect for Steve. That’s never a scenario I expected to play out but I’m not at all upset that it did, I’m just a bit surprised.

    In light of that, I wanted to wish you a good holiday and New Year. I don’t know what or if you’ll be celebrating anything (or if you already have, depending on the time difference) but it’s almost Christmas here and I figure you’ve got something planned.

  2. Andrew Gubb says:

    Thanks bro. Me and my parents do christmas even though we’re all not christians. Which I think is good because it wasn’t a christian thing to start with until the bastards changed the name and pretended that it was Jesus’ birthday X). So thanks and I wish you a happy whatever-it-is-you-do-observe-or-don’t-observe. You’ve been through some rough times recently, I’m just glad both of you guys are okay. Lots of love to you both.

    I’m glad we’re on good terms now too. Especially because you and Joy are now a package deal. It would have been awkward if we were on the same terms as before. I have to admit some “protective older brother” came out of me at the beginning but now I’m convinced you’re the best thing that could have happened to her and I can only wish you both happiness.

    Oh, and though I agree it’s probably not a good place to get into an exchange about the Steve situation I have to say that the post which Steve directed at you was completely out-of-line. I don’t know what he’s been saying to other people but that seemed particularly unfair. So I do feel for you.

    Happy holidays bro. <3


  3. Cado says:

    I am a vocal proponent of replacing Christmas with Weasel Stomping Day:

    Thanks for the kind words. 🙂

    As for what Steve said, I consider it a badge of honor. I showed up on his radar. That’s a pretty high compliment. In a way, it’s an indication of how far I’ve come from the meek wallflower I used to be. It’ll be interesting to see how things develop from here.

  4. zephra says:

    Hi Andrew, I have been on Steve’s Site for a few years, a large part of that, just reading. What I saw happening after the initial bomb was he banned people who said, “Well Steve will probably ban me for this”, and then he banned them. I found this so interesting, Ask and it is Given. I have seen this pattern in my own life. He left many other people who disagreed with him on the site. This is just my observation.

    Merry Christmas. Zephra

  5. Cado says:

    @Zephra: Most of the people who’ve voiced any strong dissent have been banned. Sometimes it doesn’t say banned beneath their names and their posts are still there but more often than not they’ve been “troll banned”-that is, put into a user group where they’re still active members but the site is impossible to use.

    Steve has full control over the forums now and he has deleted things which don’t fit into his narrative, like a thread from Criseyde explaining the “troll bans” I mentioned above. You can’t trust your eyes; it’s very likely he’s going to shape the archives in the way that shines the best light on him and that means leaving some of the dissenting posts alone. After all, a good politician doesn’t completely silence his opposition, he lets them say enough that he can interject, put his own spin on things, and make it look fair.

    That got a little deeper into Steve’s character, or how I perceive it, than I wanted to here, but I think it’s important to make it known-what’s there is not the truth. Not all of it, at least.

  6. Liamona says:

    I just found out the forum closed today! I was busy with the holidays and didn’t check in. I’m totally stunned, although I understand the reasons for the closing. I’m going to miss you guys! 🙁

  7. Dave says:

    Thanks for your comments about Steve and his decision to close the PD forum. I’ve read a lot of comments this evening – across the whole spectrum of emotion – expressing concerns, disbelief and anger.

    I understand why many feel and think the way they do – but it’s not the end of the world is it? If we feel lonely, isolated or vulnerable – other forums are available. We all need help and support from time to time – I wonder how we managed before internet? Life goes on … and so does personal development … in the physical world, as well as on line …

    Ne Cede Malis

  8. Steve says:

    I just discovered the shutdown today when I went for my periodic visit to the forums. I’m really surprised as I always admired the success of his forums and that so many great people had come together there. I certainly welcome any of you to join my forums at and let me know if there is something I can do to make it better.

  9. Hey, Andrew.. haven’t talked to you in a while.. probably not since my banning thread.. 😀 😛 lol

    BTW.. I gave you a reply.. 😛


    To your post here..

    Anyway just saying “hi” noticing all the karma or reaction to the implosion of steve’s forum.. I seem to notice that in some ways you guys are feeling what it was like to be banned.. but communities fall and rise from the ashes everyday.. I hope your rising as well..

    If your not aware.. I’m told most people are hanging out at now and I also decided to create a facebook group to bring some people together “Steve Pavlina Forum Members”

  10. Garentee says:

    Excellent post. WHile I thought the end was rather childish at best, I can see how it was extremely timely for me…Anyways.. I always did enjoy your posts..Good luck to you sir…

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