Papa: PUA Creates New Business, New Tactics

This article is an excerpt from the Shortform summary of "The Game" by Neil Strauss. Shortform has the world's best summaries of books you should be reading.

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Who was Papa the PUA? Who was he within the pickup artist community, and how did he know Neil Strauss?

As a PUA, Papa initially took Mystery’s workshops. Eventually, Papa developed his own PUA strategies and began to take over Mystery’s followers. Here’s how Papa’s PUA strategy worked.

Papa: PUA That Trained the Next Generation

Style wasn’t the only one who’d undergone a transformation—just about every student who took a workshop with Mystery started dressing better and carrying himself with more confidence. 

The seduction game was based on the premise that everything standing between you and picking up a woman was within your control. Mystery and Style felt that they could help men reach their full potential. 

The workshops made such a profound impact because Style and Mystery were brutally honest. Being successful with women had nothing to do with good looks or innate ability—men simply had to correct bad habits and learn new ones, from their posture to their clothes. 

Typically, their workshop students fell into one of three categories: 

  1. Regular guys with average social skills who simply wanted to improve their ability to pick up women
  2. Men who studied the information and techniques, but who were so uptight that they seldom implemented any of it 
  3. Men who were socially awkward but who were fast learners. These men improved quickly, but they failed to internalize the principles and the confidence behind the lines, and thus they struggled if they had to go off-script. 

Papa—a PUA and college student who paid Mystery $1,500 for a private workshop, instead of the standard $600 fee for a group lesson—was the third type. When he first met Style and Mystery, he asked to record their conversation so that he could study the information later. 

Papa the PUA was an excellent student, immediately correcting every error and applying the lesson to his next pickup. Style was impressed at Papa’s progress throughout the three-day workshop, and he reflected on the transformational effect that just a handful of scripted lines could have.

However, Mystery and Style didn’t realize that there were some drawbacks to teaching the same lines and routines to student after student: 

  1. The scripted routines substituted genuine connection, which made every pickup and every woman less meaningful. 
  2. Mystery and Style were inadvertently creating clones of themselves, instead of coaching men to be their best selves and helping them develop an inner confidence.

Later, Style would discover the full consequences of training an army of pickup clones—and Papa would be a leader of the clones. 

The Community’s Downturn

Mystery wasn’t the only one in the community floundering. Many of the men had become addicted to picking up women, constantly determined to improve their game. 

Their obsession was more potent because most of the men had struggled to pick up women all their lives, which was what drew them to the seduction community in the first place. Not only were they enjoying unprecedented success, but they had a built-in community they could brag to. Some men had left their jobs and quit school in order to spend more time sarging. 

Papa the pickup artist told Style that he’d become consumed in the game. He was failing school and his father was worried about him. 

Style was no exception: He’d all but stopped taking writing assignments, and he was neglecting his family and friends outside of the community. 

Style, Papa, and several other members of the community decided to take a step back from seduction and regain control of their lives—but it wouldn’t last long.

Papa and Tyler Durden: New Top PUAs

Tyler Durden was a 22-year-old college student who dove head-first into the seduction community, reading thousands of pages of archived posts on the message boards and relentlessly emailing Style for tips. 

Nonetheless, Tyler’s brazenness and constant presence on the seduction message boards helped him become well-known within the community, and soon he became Papa’s wing.

Tyler Durden and Papa Go Rogue

As green as Tyler Durden was, the seduction message boards were full of impressive reviews of Tyler’s work in Mystery’s workshops. In fact, students were so enthusiastic about the workshops that there was a demand for more. 

After teaching his workshops in England and Amsterdam, Mystery flew home and left Tyler Durden and Papa behind to run a few more workshops to meet the demand. Papa and Tyler were supposed to simply continue teaching the Mystery Method, but, one night, they went off-script and invented AMOGing. 

AMOGs—the alpha males of the group—are obstacles to PUAs. While most PUAs were nerds and outcasts in high school, most AMOGs were popular jocks. When a PUA tried picking up a girl in a group, the AMOG usually cut him down with insults. Tyler and Papa created the tactic they called AMOGing in order to deflate AMOGs who stood in their way. 

Tyler Durden and Papa Create Their Own PUA Company

Tyler Durden and Papa didn’t stop at inventing the AMOG strategy—they built a company around it. Their company was called Real Social Dynamics, and it offered a website and in-field workshops. 

For Mystery, this was adding insult to injury: Not only did Tyler and Papa use his workshops as a platform to develop and promote AMOGing, but the name of their competing business was one word off from the name of Mystery’s seminars, Social Dynamics. 

In addition, the format of Real Social Dynamics workshops mirrored Mystery’s setup: 

  • They were three nights
  • They started and ended at the same times
  • They cost the same

The primary difference between the two workshops—besides the techniques—was that Mystery only allowed six students per workshop, while Tyler and Papa the PUA had dozens. The pair was making money hand over fist. 

Tyler and Papa’s company set off a spark of entrepreneurship in the community. Other sargers and PUAs realized that they could just as easily start their own seduction business, because: 

  1. If these two young rookies could run workshops, anyone could.
  2. There was an insatiable demand for pickup strategies.

Throughout the community, men were offering workshops, creating websites, marketing products, selling DVDs, and writing e-books about seduction. Many of the entrepreneurs were far from experts: Several of the men were fairly new to the community, and one had lost his virginity just a month before offering workshops.

Papa Manages Project Hollywood 

Two main factors made Papa the pickup artist the first choice to put his name on the lease for Project Hollywood: 

  1. His dad was rich, and he had access to his dad’s wealth. 
  2. He’d recently moved to LA to study business at Loyola Marymount.

As soon as Papa the PUA came on board, he also became a self-appointed manager. Papa had been a neurotic seduction student at Mystery’s workshop, recording Mystery’s and Style’s advice, taking notes, and robotically applying corrections to his technique. He’d taken the same approach to running Real Social Dynamics with Tyler Durden. 

Papa the pickup artist wasn’t just going to be a name on the lease—he was also bringing his networking and business skills to Project Hollywood. 

First, Papa convinced a real estate agent to help them find a mansion to rent in exchange for teaching him the game. They ended up leasing the former home of Dean Martin, where the Rat Pack had hung out. The home boasted: 

  • Close proximity to Hollywood clubs
  • A living room large enough to host a few hundred people, with a 30-foot ceiling and large bar
  • A multilevel backyard, with a hot tub, a pool, and a view overlooking Hollywood

To add to the party atmosphere, Papa bid on eBay for pool tables, movie projectors, tanning beds, and stripper poles. He had ambitions of renting the mansion out for movie premieres, after-parties, and corporate events. 

Now, instead of using his game to pick up women, Papa began using PUA tactics and the house to make connections with celebrities and promoters who could use Project Hollywood as a venue. 

Papa the PUA was one of founders of Project Hollywood. Along with Tyler Durden, Papa established himself as one of the top PUA gurus.

Papa: PUA Creates New Business, New Tactics

———End of Preview———

Like what you just read? Read the rest of the world's best summary of Neil Strauss's "The Game" at Shortform.

Here's what you'll find in our full The Game summary:

  • The secrets of the Pickup Artist community in seducing women
  • How key Pickup Artist leaders fought with each other and split the group apart
  • What author Neil Strauss took away about women from his years of training

Carrie Cabral

Carrie has been reading and writing for as long as she can remember, and has always been open to reading anything put in front of her. She wrote her first short story at the age of six, about a lost dog who meets animal friends on his journey home. Surprisingly, it was never picked up by any major publishers, but did spark her passion for books. Carrie worked in book publishing for several years before getting an MFA in Creative Writing. She especially loves literary fiction, historical fiction, and social, cultural, and historical nonfiction that gets into the weeds of daily life.

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