Celebrities

Has Andrew Tate even seen The Matrix? Breaking down right-wing obsession with hit movie

Related video: Labour MP says Andrew Tate's influence on young boys provokes 'incel culture'

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In the world of controversial online influencer and once self-described “misogynist” Andrew Tate, the hit sci-fi franchise The Matrix, takes on a whole new meaning – but what is the conspiracy theory which has even received support from YouTuber Logan Paul and Twitter owner Elon Musk?

Well, if you haven’t seen the hugely successful movies starring Keanu Reeves, then it follows hacker Neo (Reeves) learning that the life he thought he knew is actually a simulation, created by machines who are actually using human being as an energy source.

As you can imagine, the belief that the world we’re currently living in isn’t real and that there’s another reality out there starts to get a bit weird the more you think about it.

In the case of Andrew Tate, the internet personality explained to YouTuber Rob Moore last year: “In the movie The Matrix, your body heat is being salvaged, and to keep your mind occupied, you’re living inside a false reality, computer generated.

“The reason I think we live in a matrix now is because I think the same thing is happening. Perhaps it’s not our body heat - perhaps it’s our work, our ideas – but they are being salvaged, and the reality they’ve given us to occupy our brains is false.

“We don’t live in the real world. We are living in a reality where we’re told stories and narratives that aren’t true, where they try very hard to distract us with garbage.”

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He also claimed the powers that be “delete the opposite side” of the story to “create a false version of reality”, and that they “damage the human psyche” to the extent that humans are “completely empty and open for all forms of slave programming”.

“They convince you to look at somebody and not be sure what gender they are, or to look around you and pretend you’re in a pandemic when everything is fine.

“They convince you that your own brain is the enemy and that you must just only consume what you are told because once they do that, they can convince you to do something as crazy as ignore your own eyes.

“Then they can simply slot in any USB stick of slave programming at random, whatever they want you to currently believe,” he said.

Needless to say, depression is very much real – as is the pandemic, which has tragically killed hundreds and thousands of people – and transgender people exist and are valid. It’s easy to see how such a mindset can soon give way to harmful right-wing rhetoric.

Tate’s also spouted the absurd view that there are “three strikes” in the system, progressing from trying to “shut you up and discredit you”, to trying to “put you in jail for no reason”, and then finally they “kill you”.

Weirdly, the aforementioned interview with Rob Moore came out in October, before the former kickboxer was arrested in Romania on human trafficking and rape charges in December – charges which he denies.

Then, amid reports either him or his brother had been hospitalised while in custody, Tate took to Twitter to claim “The Matrix has attacked me”.

“But they misunderstand, you cannot kill an idea. Hard to Kill,” he said.

The coincidental matching up to the three-strike system outlined by Tate might convince some people that the so-called Matrix is real, but full details of the hospitalisation have not been made clear.

Also, with “narratives” of concern mentioned by Tate including the coronavirus pandemic and trans rights, we have to wonder whether “The Matrix” is merely a synonym for progressive politics and factual institutions.

There’s also a contradiction in Tate telling people what to think by telling them there are other people out there telling them what to think.

Make it make sense – or don’t, because it doesn’t.

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