Leaving The Real World: How I Escaped Andrew Tate’s Get Rich Quick “Cult”

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This time last year, Karim Mahmoud, a 25-year-old engineering student from Cairo, Egypt, was among the hundreds of thousands of young men around the world who counted themselves diehard fans of Andrew Tate.

He swallowed Tate’s hyper-capitalist, misogynistic ideology wholesale, and was convinced of his innocence on the human trafficking charges he faced in Romania. At one stage, he even sent a DM to his hero telling him he was willing to fight for him.

“The message I sent him said, like, ‘If you want to go to war, I’m going to be one of your army.’ You know, it was very cringe,” laughs Mahmoud with embarrassment. “That’s how bad I was.”

Initially drawn to the controversial influencer, manosphere guru and accused human trafficker through his ubiquitous social media videos, Mahmoud soon became a paid-up subscriber of Tate’s new online business academy, The Real World, which was launched in November 2022 as a revamped version of his “Hustlers University.”

The centrepiece of Tate’s business empire, the site bills itself as “the world’s most advanced financial education platform” and promises to equip young men with the entrepreneurial skills to allow them to “escape ‘the Matrix’” – Tate’s disparaging term for mainstream society – and avoid an otherwise inevitable future as a “brokie”. Mahmoud was convinced it would make him rich.

Before long, he was completely immersed in Tate’s universe. Isolating himself from friends and family, Mahmoud would regularly spend 10-12 hours a day – sometimes as many as 16 – at his computer, editing and publishing social media videos promoting Tate daily as part of the required coursework. He had become a cog in the same sophisticated PR machine that had initially drawn him into the influencer’s web.

Today, Mahmoud doesn’t recognise the person he was then. He no longer idealises the man he once looked up to as the “Top G,” having had his illusions shattered after one day stumbling across details online from the indictment against the Tate brothers’ for allegedly grooming women into sex work as camgirls.

“I don’t think he’s an honourable man. I don’t think he’s a real man in any regard,” says Mahmoud. No longer a member of The Real World, he now views himself as having escaped a cult.

Content retrieved from: https://www.vice.com/en/article/pkaw7k/andrew-tate-the-real-world-cult.

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