Privacy & Freedom Lessons from Andrew Tate

You may listen to the podcast version of this essay here.

Andrew Tate is a multimillionaire adventurer (approaching a billion according to himself) who has set up a life of maximal freedom. He blew up on social media in August of 2022 in large part because of a concerted and very impressive effort by his network to replicate and spread his videos across all of social media. And because he is very articulate, controversial, and has lived a life of intrigue. He claims to at one point have been the most searched person on the Internet; I don’t doubt it.

Andrew Tate stands for a lot of things and thus is hated by many. For example he stands for traditional masculinity, and thus believes in traditional femininity. Which of course today makes him a “misogynist.” He also talks about avoiding taxes, the decline of the West, the weakness of the Christian church today. He’s very anti-political correctness. He goes off on very eloquent rants about how depression isn’t real, about the scam of central banking and fiat currencies, about the decline of masculinity and its correlation to the death of society. Suffice it to say, he’s had a target on his back from Day 1. It’s not surprising then that just a couple of weeks ago, in December of 2022, after mocking climate activist Greta Thunberg and also after calling out the seemingly pedophilic advertising of the Spanish fashion company Balenciaga, Tate was arrested at his home in Bucharest, Romania. His mansion was raided, the raid video was published, and those who have translated the Romanian arrest statement have found that, in addition to clearly ridiculous accusations of sex trafficking, there was a suggestion of pressure from the UK and the American governments to make it happen. That’s one way to shut someone up.

Tate is someone I’ve followed very closely. I first heard from him a couple years ago on a podcast from my colleague Joshua Sheats of Radical Personal Finance. On that show Tate talked about driving around the world with multiple licenses in case he had one taken away while speeding, about acquiring multiple passports, about setting up an online empire, and about using wealth to stay ahead of the world’s oppressors. He had some clever tips and irreverent ideas. I was hooked. I’ve since then watched most of the videos that he, his brother, and cousin have put together, and I thought I would extract a few lessons from them in honor of a bold man who is now sitting in jail and who has clearly figured out quite a few things pertaining to freedom and privacy.

1) You will get the attention you deserve

The first lesson to learn from Andrew Tate is to be careful in emulating him. As if you could.

Obviously I’m not going to blame Andrew Tate for the immense attention he has brought to himself that did lead to his takedown. He wanted this attention, he planned for it, and he enjoys it. But it has reached the point where it is threatening to destroy him. He’s talked in the last few months about his fear of assassination, of the danger of meeting new people now, and of traveling with armed guards and in bulletproof vehicles. He now makes many of his videos on his channel TateSpeech on Rumble from a gated suburb of Dubai, which is one of the safest cities on earth and fairly exempt from Western interference. Only here can he seem to find some kind of peace. And I suspect once he gets out of jail in Romania he will move back to Dubai very quickly as he plans out his next move.

All of this is a good reminder that there are two versions of any famous person: one where they disappear into the sunset with their money; another where they become ostentatious and are targeted by taxing agencies, by governments, by police, by fans and haters, by would-be SWATers and doxxers, and by a class of people with power who do not like you and what you represent.

What’s the advice here? If you do gain any conspicuous amount of wealth or fame you should seriously consider disappearing into the ether. Even having luxury goods can make things difficult for you. Andrew Tate says that after buying a 5 million dollar Bugatti car he was encouraged to take kidnapping classes. Remember that it only takes earning around $400,000 to be in the world’s richest 1%. I in my book talk about the importance of being cautiously wealthy if you make it to that point. For example, of getting the least conspicuous car possible: both model and color. Of living modestly and putting your money into things that don’t signal wealth. Anything else is inviting at the very minimum petty theft, especially these days. People might follow you home to see where a person who can afford a Mercedes Benz lives. This is infinitely more true of Tate, who flashes dozens of super cars wherever he goes. The masses are drawn to such displays like moth to a flame. There’s even a video of Tate’s brother Tristan punching a guy who was messing around with their car while it was parked at night. You will get the attention you deserve.

In his own words Tate has hundreds of millions in wealth. Like anyone with such resources, he could have purchased a private island, or traveled endlessly on a boat or from hotel to hotel, or found some country off of people’s radar and built an elaborate underground complex, sworn the architect to secrecy, and brought in strategic waves of workers so none of them would have a sense of the whole. That’s not the path Tate took—he wants to be a widely-viewed figure in world thinking—but it is the path that you might take if you ever find yourself in a high position.

Still, Andrew Tate is not stupid and he takes the necessary precautions of a famous person. He has private security wherever he goes. A great idea if you can afford it. He’s aware of EXIF data—the geolocation data that is attached by default to photos and which can thus be backtracked to find you. I’m sure he and his team use handy websites like VerExif.com to erase this tracking data. When he’s meeting with friends or women Tate often will take their phones so that no one can post where they are at the moment to social media. And his series TateConfidential that documents his life is purposeful to post episodes weeks or even months after they have left those areas. Of course he can defend himself; he is a capable fighter, shooter, and is highly perspicacious of his surroundings. This is all around good advice to follow.

2) Pursue money first

Andrew Tate’s message is most commonly about making money. He says that “trying to say money doesn’t matter is a coping mechanism. It’s a coping mechanism so that poor people don’t shoot themselves in the head.” Fair enough. Money makes life work much smoother, it brings enjoyment, and makes freedom and privacy much easier.

With money you have options. And Andrew Tate as a freedom seeker is all about options. For one, money means you don’t have to have a job. And if you don’t have a job, you don’t have to live in a single place and become a tax slave to a particular country.

Tate is correct that your primary goal in life, even before privacy, should be looking for money opportunities that can free you up from time slavery. And Tate gives plenty of advice about this. He actually gives good advice about entrepreneurship and he has a community called Hustler’s University which is a Discord server where young men help each other gain money through e-commerce and other such opportunities. A summary of Tate’s entrepreneurial advice is to “Decide a field, become credible in that field, attract attention to yourself, and sell people something online.” It’s a winnable template for sure, and one that any of you can model. Selling things online obviously frees you from needing to be in any particular place and allows you to establish a freedom and privacy lifestyle.

When you do have money, you’ll find that you’re not playing by the same rules anymore. At the most basic level, you don’t have to be at a particular place at a particular time to clock in and hand over chunks of personal information for the privilege. The company that gives you a 9-5 job is probably going to want to know your address, your national ID number, and might demand you to start up social media accounts like LinkedIn. Your photo will be plastered on their website. You’ll be part of various government databases. By contrast, let’s say you decide to sell Andrew Tate sunglasses online via a Shopify website. From your laptop in Buenos Aires you can have them ordered from Alibaba, sent to a warehouse in Seattle, and have someone else package and ship them out to your online customers. You’ll have to have a few accounts to arrange this, but it’s not going to be nearly as invasive as being a day job employee.

At a higher level of wealth things get more interesting. Your private plane doesn’t require you to be strip searched, wear a mask, and you are less likely to be grilled by immigration upon arriving. When you’re rich you can have lawyers and third parties who do things in your name. You can hire vehicles and boats and disappear on a whim. You can pay people to cover your tracks, hire private investigators to test your defenses, and live in secure compounds separated from the masses and which are owned by shell corporations that don’t trace back to you. You hire other people to run your business and collect the profits in the name of a trust. You get special privileges all around and you can can move from place to place continuously. Such are the privacy advantages of being wealthy. As regards the owners of the world, make sure you are one of them.

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