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Good news. You can now join Claire’s Cabal for free.

The paid membership model never worked very well. Except in one way. It was great at keeping the Cabal discussion forums troll-free and populated by bright, simpatico freedomistas. A friendly environment for all Cabalistas is still the goal. To that end, prospective members are now asked to answer 10 easy questions to introduce themselves and to agree to the Cabalista Code of Honor.

When I say simpatico freedomistas, I mean the Cabal is for any person of goodwill who loves individual liberty and is either traveling the path toward it or fighting the good fight against its destruction.

I don’t want the Cabal ever to become a place where anarchocapitalists try to drive out “impure” minarchists or minarchists attempt to purge “impractical” anarchists. Debate, fine. Brutal faction fights, never. Currently, members range from “fallen off the political spectrum” to “staunch constitutional conservative.” And what do you know, we live in peace with each other. That’s as it should be. We are all in this together against ruthless and implacable forces of tyranny.


New memberships are for six months. At the end of that time, we’ll extend free membership for all active, productive forum posters.

If you’ve never been a member, I hope you’ll join — and join in.

If you’re a formerly active member who wants to renew an expired membership, you can skip the 10 questions. Just send an email to the admin address given at the “Join Us” link.

See you there!


  1. AG
    AG July 24, 2017 11:59 am

    I regret that I’m not able to be there much these days. Hopefully that will change as life allows.

    But how will this change differentiate it from the old forum you had a few years back?

    I’ll promote this change elsewhere.

  2. Claire
    Claire July 24, 2017 12:49 pm

    “But how will this change differentiate it from the old forum you had a few years back?”

    I’ll be glad when you can return, AG. As to how this will be different: screening. The Cabal is still intended to be a small, private forum. Time will tell, but we hope the screening questionnaire will weed out most trolls and most people who’d rather fight than share and enjoy each others company and ideas.

  3. Alchemist
    Alchemist July 25, 2017 8:40 am

    Well, I was going to join, but I don’t want to give away an email address by sending the answers to the questionnaire.

    Best regards to all,


  4. Claire
    Claire July 25, 2017 9:53 am

    That’s okay, Alchemist. If you don’t want to or don’t know how to get yourself a burner email addy, you might not be a good fit for the Cabal, anyhow.

  5. Alchemist
    Alchemist July 25, 2017 10:26 am

    You may be right. Or you may just be feeling a bit snippy today, as am I. I will get over it, and hope you do, too. I was willing to give this place a look, but not if rejoinders such as yours are to be expected. Here’s to hoping that things work out better than the TMM forums.
    Good luck.

  6. Felinenation
    Felinenation July 25, 2017 1:43 pm

    A comment. First, I understand the Cabal is Claire’s property, to manage as she wishes. But, why is it hidden, except to members, except for the Let’s Talk section, for read-only access?

    I can understand limiting or screening for posting access, to avoid trolls. But to me, it seems strange that there is this repository of brilliant libertarian thought that is hidden from the world.

    IMO, public education and outreach is a necessary component of every cause or movement. What harm is there in allowing people who are not members to read what’s on the forum? In my view, there can only be positives.

    If you are worried about gov/Big Brother, I am sure they have ways to access the forum no matter what you do to try to prevent it.

    Or maybe it’s like a marketing strategy: Let’s Talk is teaser copy to get people to pay for memberships. But, as you stated, the paid membership model didn’t work very well.

    Maybe it’s just me, but I would like to see more of the forum before i would be able to decide whether I wanted to join.

    But, hey, it’s Claire’s forum, so run it as you wish.

  7. Comrade X
    Comrade X July 25, 2017 2:00 pm

    I’ve enjoyed Claire’s Cabal and am headed there right now.

  8. R. L. Wurdack
    R. L. Wurdack July 25, 2017 2:18 pm

    I believe the advantages of a ‘members-only’ forum mIght be a good discussion topic for a ‘members- only’ forum.

  9. Sotted Owl
    Sotted Owl July 26, 2017 8:27 am

    Good points, Felinenation. Is there any reason to keep the forum and articles closed for lurkers? Since there’s no paywall?
    Make everything read-only, posting privileges only for members who pass the screening. If they like what they see, they might join and contribute.

  10. Claire
    Claire July 26, 2017 9:42 am

    ” Is there any reason to keep the forum and articles closed for lurkers? Since there’s no paywall?”

    Several good reasons. One: The Cabal has a “what happens at the Cabal stays at the Cabal” rule. I won’t betray members by changing that after the fact. Two: the Cabal is for do-ers, not lookiloos.

    Even now that the paywall is down, my intention is still and always for the Cabal to remain a small, relatively intimate group.

    Both honest lurkers and freeloading do-nothings have a whole Internet full of info at their disposal. It may be true that showing more of the Cabal would bring in greater numbers. But that’s not what we’re looking for. I’d rather have interested people come in and then recommend the place to others they like and trust. People who will add to the discussion and to whatever value there is to be had at the Cabal.

  11. Sick of People
    Sick of People July 28, 2017 6:21 am

    There’s a strange phenomenon that occurs whenever someone says that “a thing you once had to pay for is now free.” It happened with food, and medical care, and other benefits. In fact, much to the chagrin of the people who still believe humanity is ‘basically good,’ it happens with pretty much everything. That nasty sense of entitlement and high-minded nastiness. Instead of “thank you,” it’s “this isn’t how I like it, I want more.”

    People should, upon learning that Claire’s Cabal is now free to join, be saying something like, “Wow, this person has taken something that she herself pays to provide, something she has helped shape and mold and contribute to from her own vast stores of knowledge, and opened it up for free — resulting in a net loss for her. I really appreciate that, and I’m excited to contribute to that community in a positive way.”

    Of course, such an attitude might seem foreign, and the above comment out of place. That would be because some people are, quite frankly, ingrates, and incapable of simply appreciating a thing.

    Oh, sure, they’ll hide it behind ‘constructive criticism’ or ‘just a question’ or a hundred other things that telegraph their perceived superiority. They’ll blame Claire for what, how, when, and why she does things. They’ll snidely snipe as though they are the arbiters of all things good and decent on the internet. Do this and that, they’ll say. Why can’t you…? Why wouldn’t you…?

    Yet, where is their community? Where is their contribution? Where is something they can point to and say, “I did this,” or “Here is my contribution to the greater cause of Liberty?” They always love to grouse about the contributions of others, and judging by the tone in this thread, they all expect to be seen as venerated elders or bright young innovators. Either way, they expect to be heeded and listened to, even though their only contribution is a mouth flap that seems to operate far more often than their ears.

    Most liberty folks claim to care about freedom and liberty and self-determination but in practice what they seem to want is a world where they can be a dick to people without consequences. Claire owes none of you anything, and she certainly doesn’t owe the world her knowledge. Try asking how you can help, and what you can offer that will make a positive difference, instead of acting like some prima donna who should be ‘served.’

    If me saying that made you all bristly and inclined to stomp off, then it hit home.

    By the way, if someone really is too lazy/ignorant to go to any one of the number of sites and how-to articles showing the 15 second process required to set up a throwaway email, then Claire’s right. The Cabal isn’t the place for you. Here:

  12. Claire
    Claire July 28, 2017 6:26 am

    OMG, thank you, SoP, whoever you may be.

    This thread is only the tip of the iceberg of entitlement and spite I’ve been experiencing all week.

  13. Comrade X
    Comrade X July 28, 2017 8:17 am

    SoP; +1

  14. Felinenation
    Felinenation July 29, 2017 12:10 pm

    I, too, am sick of people. What I am really sick and tired of are people who assume evil motives where none actually exist.

    It’s sad that we can’t post a comment or ask a question here without being trolled and accused of being horrible, worthless, selfish ingrates.

    I thought I made my motivation clear. If not, I’ll spell it out. I’ve been fighting the system for most of my life (I’m over 60, so it’s been a long time). To say it’s been an uphill battle is a massive understatement. The reason is there are not enough people who believe in liberty. We are vastly outnumbered by the sheeple. The only way that will change is through education. I was thinking, maybe there is something on the Cabal that might change the mind of someone who is, say, anti-gun or pro-government schools. If the content is hidden, it can’t change anyone’s mind. It’s just preaching to the choir.

    That was my motive, pure and simple. There was no other agenda. I was not trying to be a jerk. My intention was helping the cause of freedom.

    (Note, I respect Claire’s decision to keep the Cabal private. If that is her vision of advancing freedom, great. I simply had another suggestion.)

    Ironically, I was about to answer the 10 questions. But if this attitude is indicative of what’s on the Cabal, I won’t bother.

    Looks like another case of meet the new boss, same as the old boss. To attack people for expressing a different opinion is anti-freedom.

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