Liz sits down with Warrior Poet Society Founder and author of “The Warrior Poet Way,” John Lovell, to discuss the topic of masculinity and the harmful influence of figures like Andrew Tate. Lovell criticizes the extreme views on masculinity, both the idea that it is inherently toxic and the notion that men should be overly aggressive. He introduces the concept of the “Warrior Poet Way,” which he believes represents a balanced and healthy definition of masculinity.
Lovell argues that masculinity should encompass qualities such as strength, accountability, and self-autonomy, while also emphasizing the importance of humility, deep relationships, and love. He criticizes Andrew Tate for promoting a skewed view of masculinity that focuses on strength without acknowledging the need for genuine relationships and personal growth.
Lovell urges young men not to fall for Tate’s seductive message, which he believes is laced with a toxic worldview. He highlights the significance of claiming one’s space as a man by embodying both the warrior and poet aspects, combining strength and love, protection and vulnerability. Lovell draws inspiration from the biblical figure King David and presents Jesus Christ as the ultimate warrior poet, embodying strength, sacrificial love, and humility.
The conversation touches on the dangers of poisonous ideologies and the need to go on the offensive by offering a better alternative. Lovell suggests that young men should prioritize relationships and causes greater than themselves, understanding the importance of facing death and reordering their lives accordingly. He shares his personal experiences in the military, highlighting the range of emotions and thoughts that arise when facing mortality.
The passage concludes by mentioning Lovell’s book, “The Warrior Poet Way,” which outlines ten basic principles for living a balanced and fulfilling life as a warrior poet. Lovell’s perspective on masculinity aims to counter the extremes and offer a more holistic approach that combines strength, love, humility, and the pursuit of meaningful relationships.
This transcript was generated automatically and may contain typos, mistakes, and/or incomplete information.
All right with me now is a man who perhaps is going to answer this question about what the true definition of masculinity is. He’s the author of a new book called The Warrior Poet Way, which I think we can all agree is a pretty cool title for a book. It is John Lovell. John, good to see you. Thanks for joining me.
Thanks for having me on.
Okay, John. We live in this society right now where masculinity is under attack. Men are told that they’re very being as men as to as toxic. I think James Cameron, director of Titanic said that he views testosterone as an actual toxin. this is incredibly destructive to our young men who don’t know what to do if they aren’t properly ordering their desire to protect and to provide and to procreate. men are feminized, and as a result, our society is on the verge of crumbling. And we have, as a response to this attack on masculinity, we have what I call the you bros. People like Andrew Tate who come along saying, listen, men should be men. And it sounds good on the surface. A lot of young men find the message of Andrew Tate or others like him to be very seductive. The way that I’ve always categorized Andrew Tate as his, his diagnosis of the problem is correct. Men are under attack. They’re told not to be men, but his prescription for the problem is poison. So very, very dangerous for young men to to fall prey to someone’s narrative, someone a narrative from someone like Andrew Tate. But I wanna ask you, I mean, what, how do you define masculinity? I feel like a lot of young men don’t even know the answer to that question these days.
I define masculinity diametrically different than that of James Cameron, who comment on testosterone just belies that he is a little beta boy. Yeah, he can crush it and making some movie magic and stuff. But yeah, this is not a strong virtued. you know, man, a also the pendulum swing, as you already alluded to with Andrew Tate, also shows something that I don’t like at all. Andrew Tate, I took him to task on a couple things on Twitter and immediately blocked me. So apparently they did strike chord obviously, but I want to resist both pendulum swings in our day in age beside from these different pendulum swings of talking about what masculinity is. It’s either eradicating everything strong and bold and valuable about masculinity, about manhood, either that’s washed away to make us so weak and defeat and defend declawed so that no harm to the potential ruling betters of globalists.
And state elites recognize if you can neuter the men, you can rule the roost. And so I wanna avoid being declawed and defanged, but also I recognize that we’re given strength as men, as Andrew Tate would readily realize, Hey, men should be strong and have some type of accountability and self autonomy. You should make yourself strong and unapologetically and speak for truth as you see it without AP apology. And all that stuff is gold. I love a lot of stuff that Tate has said. and I have not really delved into all the stuff Tate’s done. I’ve really just seen pop shots, but over a long enough period of time that I can I can absolutely speak against it. And the problem with someone like Tate is he’s saying enough that’s really good that he could be a light to a lot of young men out there that are growing and developing, and they don’t realize that this very attractive thing is laced with an insidious poison that’s going to be the death of them.
It’s as if I’m serving you up this beautiful dinner. It’s like filet mignon. You got some mashed potatoes done right with the, like garlic stuff and you got the asparagus where it’s just the right amount of crisp. Liz, are you tracking with me right now? I’m so hungry. Oh, it’s so good. But what you don’t know is there’s a little bit of arsenic laced in this meal, and so of like, oh, but it tastes good. Yeah, it’s good for you, but there’s a deadly arsenic that’s going to destroy you. That’s Andrew Tate. He’s saying some good stuff and he’s doing some good stuff, but there is a deadly worldview poison that’s going to destroy all the relationships that matter the most. You’ll notice Andrew Tate is never gonna find happily ever after in a wife, unless he diametrically changes his ideology to something antithetical.
The one that he’s currently running. He’s going to sabotage all the relationships around him that matter the most. He’ll never even know what he’s missing. As far as I’m concerned. I’m 16 years in to a marriage with my best friend, my bride and we are closer than we have ever been. And my boys, my nine and 11 year old boys that were spending so much time together, he’ll never know the fullness of joy that is infinitely better than your stupid Bugatti Earthly riches are filled with so much poverty, and young men need to know that what’s far better than fame or vocational success or having a large bank account is being able to have dear deep relationships on your deathbed. That’s all you’ll pine for. As those deep relationships, not your 401K portfolio, it is not worth living and dying for. And so what Tate misses hardcore, he’s leading all kinds of young men astray with false promises of a hollow and weakened masculinity.
A masculinity that is strong and enough to be good at warrior stuff, but not good enough to be at poet stuff. You’re never going to flourish and nourish relationships that matter. You will never have God-fearing humility so that you, right. When you look at Tate, he is all flash and pomp. He is arrogance personified. It is loathsome to me how small that would make a man. As I realized the center of Christian morality, the center of all morality for me is humility. And as as I can tell, Tate has zero. Now, I’m sorry I’m not even letting you answer any more questions cuz you sped me up. So this is your fault, Liz, cuz I got all excited about this, but I’ll recognize, hey, he does some stuff good. Look at all the money he gives to charity. I’m like, I realize that even Bill Gates gives massive amounts to charity as it is economically good to do so for even a tax write-off. So I don’t know his heart, but I do know that you can do charitable donations which are beneficial for tax benefits to be able to use that as a shield to justify untold amounts of depravity. Oh, I objectify dozens of women who are my live in concubines, but I give to charity. So now I am morally above reproach and you cannot say anything against me. And so I think that sucks as well.
It does. And it’s interesting. So often in our culture, this is true politically and also non-politically, just in our society, in our communities, we play defense against poisonous ideas and insidious ideologies. And we forget to go on offense. We forget that we can’t just put up a shield towards something off that we actually have to claim that space because if we don’t claim it, there’s no neutral playing field. The other side will claim it. It is this battle of good versus evil. So what do you say to these young men who may be somewhat seduced by what Andrew Tate says, because he is throwing up that shield of defense against the idea that masculinity is inherently toxic. But what do you say to them about, okay, that part might be fine, but how you then play offense and claim your claim, your space as a man is what?
Yeah, well, you have to give them another option, don’t you? So they see the extremes and they’re like, how do I land? I’m like, guys, there’s a better way. We call it the warrior poet way. And that means to be fully warrior and fully poet simultaneously. It’s not a 60 40 split. It’s a hundred percent and a hundred percent. That means the Taliban might fear me, but my children do don’t. It means I am a lover and a fighter, not one or the other. I am fully lying and fully lamb. And to be less is to be deficient as a man and deficient as a human. You say warrior, well, why do you even war? All the good stuff is in the poet category of like, I I wanna protect my family. Why? Why do you protect? It’s because I’m a lover of people. That’s, that’s what fuels the warrior. A poet who doesn’t protect Oh, no, no, no. Love protects. And so anybody that loves deeply wants to be able to protect people as well. And so one flows into the other, be lovers and fighters. That way after we have won our freedom with the Second Amendment, we might enjoy it in the first.
And I think that this is something that the mask you bros completely neglect. And I don’t know whether this is spiritual deficiency on their part, whether they’ve been led astray, whether they have nefarious motives, whether they’re cloaking themselves almost as the antichrist would with some elements of truth in order to seduce people and lead them astray. your Warrior poet, I like this, I like this combination. The Warrior poet, it reminds me of King David in the Bible. Perhaps that’s where you got it from. your new book, the Warrior Poet Way shows young men how to live this life. You have 10 basic principles. What are these? What does this look like?
Yeah, so the Warrior Poet Society is really more of a secular movement. It’s a pretty wide net. And so all kinds of different ideologies can come under that umbrella. I happen to be a Christian. And so some people in our movement, they aren’t, some people are unbelievers, some people are Buddhist or Hindus or Muslims or whatever. And so the big idea behind Warrior Poet is I wanted to make it really broad because it is really an ancient brotherhood that really stretches far back. However, I am a Christian, and I believe that’s the correct worldview. I believe God really did become a man to rescue us from our own sin when we were dead in our sinful nature. And so Jesus made us alive and he serves as the ultimate warrior poet. The beautiful dichotomy embodied of the consummate warrior as he’s called in Revelation 19, the commander of the Lord’s army who’d throw Satan headlong from the heavens upon sin and who’s be ready to strike down the nations with a rod of furio, rule them with a double-edged sword of he is a commander, he’s a king.
And somebody who doesn’t realize that about Jesus, just doesn’t know their Bible. however, Jesus also being a lamb, a a poet took armor and set it aside to be able to come on a rescue mission on earth, enemy controlled terrain to rescue us and die for us. And so he is the consummate warrior poet, somebody who lives a life of sacrificial love and who has immense power and strength, but only uses it when it is necessary. So you see strength and love and humility all crushed into the consummate warrior, poet Jesus Christ.
And some of the chapters of your book, I was looking through your book right before we, we sat down here because I find it very interesting. I find the cultural phenomenon of Andrew Tate and these other mass you bros to be almost more dangerous than, than people that preach immorality because an element of truth does speak to people’s hearts. We inherently right desire the truth. And when, when someone is giving you just a little bit of the truth packaged with the poison, it’s more dangerous, I think, than selling outright, outright evil, cloaked in evil. you say that one of the things that young men need to do in order to be a warrior poet is to face death before you die. What do you mean by that?
Sure. So it’s very common to hear of a life just utterly wasted on a deathbed. Somebody’s not ready. They’re clinging to, to life and trying everything they can to be able to put off this inevitable march of time toward death. But oftentimes, we become old and gray with failing health before we really realize what matters isn’t killing yourself to be able to get a slightly larger house or a nicer car. what really matters most are the things that you see right before you die at the very end. What are the things that you call for? What are the memories that you cherish? And what you’ll find is it’s always about relationship. It’s about for living for causes greater than yourself. And as somebody who has faced their own death many different times when I have faced death, it really brought to the forefront what is really worth living for.
And so in facing death, it helps you reorder your life according to good, healthy priorities. Because if we’re not careful, the tyranny of the urgent, all the little things that you think are so important end up not being really important. If you found out, God forbid, Liz, that you had a terminal diagnosis and you only had a month or two to live, I would dare say, you know, most of the stuff that you and I do would all of a sudden it seemed so important before diagnosis and afterwards, they weren’t really that important. And it doesn’t mean to shrug off all the little things that we gotta do, you know, it’s like, well, I’m not doing laundry. I’m not gonna live past. No, no, it’s not to that extent. It just means you’re living with a better balanced idea of how to structure your life and to really redeem your time so that you’re living wisely and well balanced.
So this is not informed just philosophically for you, this is something that you experienced when you were in the United States military. When, when you face death, if you don’t mind my asking, what do you think about,
What did you think about? yeah, well, a lot of stuff, some, sometimes you get mad of like, how dare you shoot it? Remember, I’m gonna shoot you back. You know? So sometimes you just get ticked. It turns out it’s not fun to have people shoot you or rig the ground in front of you with the IEDs or shoot out your vehicle tires with RPGs. And it’s not fun to get ambushed. It’s not fun to get shot at inside rooms or rocket attacks while you’re sleeping. And so sometimes it’s just absolute stark terror and you gotta muster up some type of courage to press on and get through that. Other times get real mad as sometimes it’s just in your better moments, you’re able to just focus in and cold hard math go to work and just do the right thing and make the right decisions.
what I’ve noticed in those moments is whenever someone has some certain sticky points in their philosophy and their theology, it can really keep them from being able to do what they need to do. So for instance, you are all of a sudden face-to-face with possibly your imminent demise. You think, oh my God, I’m about to die. I’m about to die. And then all of a sudden what happens is unresolved conflict can literally creep up the back of your spine and occupy your thoughts of like, oh, I wish I could have lived to have done such and such, or I should have told my dad that I’m sorry, or my mom that I loved her. Or I should have you know, asked the girl to marry me. Or I should have all the unresolved conflict of, I really should have made that relationship right, or I really wanted to do such and such with my life.
Or maybe it’s a theological consideration of like, you’re, you’re not ready to die. you know, or, or you’re not really sure what is worth killing for. What happens when you die? You know, is there a God, oh my God, there might be a God I should, how do I get right with God? And so what you’ll find, there’s an old pithy adage that there’s no atheists in foxholes. Now, that’s not true. There are atheists in foxholes, but the kernel right there the thrust of that, what is important is what I noticed overseas in my five different combat tours to Afghanistan and Iraq, is whenever my fellow rangers felt like we were about to get in a sticky situation, or maybe we just came out of one, whenever people were faced with their death, the Bible studies, I would lead overseas in the desert, would swell like packed house.
And when things were going really well, it was me and like three dudes, you know, hanging out. People get real spiritual toward the end. And so you really need to sort out the harder philosophical and theological questions you need to order your life in terms of relationships. And in doing so, you’re able to die well. And here’s the thing, you can’t possibly die well if you didn’t live well. And so it turns out, guys, you’re going to die exactly like you lived, and that’ll either be well or poorly and you get to decide right now how you’ll die and you’ll die just like you live. So the subtitle of the Warrior Poet Way, the book is a Guide to Living Free and Dying Well. So that’s what I titled the book.
Did you ever make any big changes in your life personally, not just observing your friends and fellow military members? Did you ever make any big changes in your life based on these near-death experiences?
Yeah, it completely reordered. It’s not like I made a change. It’s like everything kind of shifted for me, how I saw the world. you know, I was ready to get married once I got in the military, I have enough scrapes with death and I’m kinda like, I wanna, I wanna find something pretty and soft and snuggle up next to her until death do us part. And so, yeah. Yeah, I was like, I was on the prowl. My dad had said something before I even went in the military. He’s like, son, there’s something about putting on a uniform that makes a guy wanna settle down and get married. And I’m like, ha, get off me Boomer. And then he was exactly right, you know,. So but yeah, there, there was that I was a bad student in college before the military and after the military. I was an in, I was an incredible student and college was quite easy. I was a grownup. Now, not, not a you know, a young man before who was basically extending adolescences to play a lot more with just alcohol or whatever, you know fraternity could offer. I was a grown man. I wasn’t playing around anymore. And so my entire view of life and how I balanced it and my priorities and the sincerity that I brought to the fight of our lives that we live in each day completely changed.
I mean, I feel like I’m sitting here taking count of my priorities, especially making like in my own mind, like, wow is my spiritual house in order just listening to your story, let alone living these experiences. If there are young men listening to this who kind of feel that little like out of body experience just by having their eyes opened, where does, where does someone who doesn’t know where to start start,
You gotta go skydiving and make sure you have a really crappy parachute. And so you don’t know whether you’re gonna die or not. kidding, kidding. I got jokes. Don’t do that. You don’t have to go out and all almost die. It’s kind of knowing as half the battle. I do walk through that a bit in my book of exactly how you start and where you go from that. And I don’t really want to give it away because I build a case there, but you’ll have to buy the book for that. Some people will be like, oh, come on man. Hey bro. Go, go help, help your brother.
Hashtag out, hashtag shameless plug, hashtag shameless, shameless plug. You get one on the show.
Liz, I have a great prescription. People will read it and think it is awesome, but I’m holding that back, guys. Go buy the book if you don’t like that. I don’t really care.
No, you should buy this book. It’s very interesting because you say that in, in the book, you say that there, what, how do I phrase this? You don’t say that every man is a coward, but you do say that every man feels fear and you, you have a prescription for how men who, if their eyes are opened to the fact that masculinity is not toxic. And to be a real man requires you to be virtuous and cre and creative and to protect and to provide, which there is some element of risk that comes with that right, that you have to battle your inner cowardly. Explain that to me. I think that’s a, that’s a big difference between men and women right there.
So there’s a million different ways where you are kind of like the I, oh, my inner coward, and there’s also I’ll call some my little lawyer and then basically it’s my mind that pops up and to rationalize what’s happening so that I can be able to get out of something I know I should hold a line on. I have a buddy he’s in here in the room with me. He just went through this really difficult physical challenge thing, and I’m real proud of him. He’s fantastic. He’s shocked, I’m talking about him right now. But he went through this really immense proving ground. It, it was a challenge of physicality and also grit. And I think some 36 dude started, and I think he was only one of seven that graduated. And it was interesting this morning he was sharing about that, and he says, you know, guys would find a rationale to quit.
It’s like they found a way to finagle. And I’m like, oh, I’m holding the group back. And so if I’m, I quit, then they’ll be all the better. So really I’m doing this for them, you know? And so people will find all kinds of rationalizations for s quitting something early so you don’t have to go through the pain or to play the part of the coward and so that you can end up justifying your behavior and saying, no, no, this is the right thing to do. And so people will justify all kinds of stuff that they knew was wrong before, but now they talk themselves into it. That’s one way that we battled the inner coward is, is to recognize those inner voices that would steal our grit and resolve and rob us of some of the greatest milestones and accomplishments that were meant to be these wonderful breadcrumbs along the path that grow you in to a great force of nature.
A catalyst, an agent for change in the lives of your wife and your kids and your neighbors and your coworkers. and so you wanna be able to battle that. And there’s the book is filled with all kinds of practical ways of identifying places of fear in your life, which can come like socially or financially or physically. There’s all kinds of ways that fear can manifest itself in how you can practically go at that of running toward fear. And so I tried to be real low shelf to make it accessible so it’s not just, here’s some war stories, be more like the soldier that’s not really helpful to somebody. And so that that’s really what I went into.
It’s also not your entire message, like you’re, what we’re talking about right now is cultivating, I guess the warrior side of this double-edged sword because that’s the part in our society that’s under attack, the masculinity, the strength, the toughness, the perseverance. But I mean, your entire brand is warrior poet. So you have this advice in your book as well. I mean, you say a warrior needs a muse and a warrior needs to learn to dance and to to raise little poets expound on this to me, because this sounds like family and family like masculinity is also under attack in our culture,
Right? And it doesn’t have to just be family, it is family. It is certainly faith. It’s higher purpose. whether that’s patriotism or whatever you wanna put on that, I don’t fill in the blank for everyone recognizing not everyone sees the world exactly like I do, but I do speak biographically through my lens unapologetically here and there. But I did try to write something a little bit broader so it’d be more beneficial to everyone. You’re right, those last chapter of raising kids and, and finding that muse is absolutely quintessential to masculinity. women were given beauty to attract us, and men were given strength to pursue them. And I know today, so woke and whatnot, but of like, hey, that is generally, that’s a very good generalization. Now my wife has all kinds of strengths and hey, here’s a million qualifiers to say I’m a complimentarian and I believe that my wife is amazing, and so are women.
You’re just not strong in the exact same things we are. Women can be protectors, but you minor on what I major on, right? I should be a nurturer, but I’m not as good at it as my wife. she’s, my job is to take, make my boys strong so that they can carry their own burdens and then one day carry the burdens of other people. And if they’re really strong, they can carry the burdens of a whole lot of people. My wife, the nurturer they’re supposed, she’s supposed to keep my sons alive long enough so that they can make it to manhood and bear the strength that I’m putting on him. And that’s tongue in cheek kind of a joke, but I’ll say this. There’s warrior and poet and every, every dude seems to kind of naturally be more predisposed to one. Which one are you?
Are you a little bit more lamb and you gotta become more lion? Or are you more li more lion and need to become lamb in war in times of peace? Lamb is really the way you have a successful life in times of war. It’s the lions that win. I’ve got too many military buddies that were really loud, roaring, awesome fighting lions, and they went to war to protect the ones they loved in the country. They loved, they were amazing at war, but when they came home, they lost that which they were fighting for because they sucked at life, good at war, bad at life. It is the poet aspect that allows the warrior to actually keep the relationships that are the most valuable. And so that’s the encouragement that I have for folks. And you know, if somebody asked me recently, well, which one’s more important, warrior or poet?
And now I’m more predisposed to warrior, but I have to say, I think the poet is the more important aspect. If I could liken it to the first and second Amendment, the founders settled the same question in the First Amendment you have the right to freedom of speech, you know, these distilled freedoms, freedom of the press, freedom of religion, all this stuff that, that gives life meaning. And then the second amendment is the stuff that protects the first. Now the bodyguard is protecting the more important person, right? The bodyguard’s ready to lay his life down for the subject, the principle that they’re protecting, right? The second amendment is the means to an end. The means is protection, but the freedom and the enjoyment thereof is in, in, in and of itself. And so similarly, the poet is filled with the most important precious pieces of life. And it’s the warrior that safeguards that stuff. So I say poets become poets,
Ugh. And I say young men, Andrew Tate, and get the Warrior poet way. The book is out next week. You can go to Amazon and anywhere books are sold to get the Warrior poet way by John Love. is there anywhere else that people can find you? I wanna give you a full opportunity. I know people are gonna wanna subscribe to your show and visit your website. Tell ’em where they can find you.
Sure. The book is warrior poet way.com and you can choose from there where you wanna go and descriptor and stuff like that. So warrior poet way.com whatever your platform is John Level Show is on podcast, all the places that you wanna look at, podcast, our websites, warrior poet society.com. the book page will also take you to our website. we’re on YouTube. Good luck finding us because of Censorious big tech that is illegally discriminating against all i antithetical ideologies. So we’re there, we’re on Twitter at John level 2 75. Anyway, look for us, find us. It used to be easy. Now it’s not. They hate us.
Well, listen, that’s why I wanna give everybody the opportunity to find you and go buy his book. There’s also, by the way, on a show dad jokes, so that everyone’s gonna love to hear that you’re, you’re both serious, but also humorous, which is what I like about you. John, thanks for being on the show. I appreciate
It. Thanks for having me, Liz. See you.