The Intellectual Dark Web

The Intellectual Dark Web (IDW) is a loose alliance of people which has been described as a “gateway to the far right.” Members typically get money and attention by claiming to be oppressed or silenced by the minorities and progressive movements they criticize. This group includes many of the most strident critics of the 21st century transgender rights movement.

The term was proposed by American mathematician Eric Weinstein and popularized by American journalist Bari Weiss in 2018. A number of websites emerged profiling members, like the examples below.

Members and “friends of the program”

Evolutionary psychologist Steven Pinker is the member that ties the IDW to last century’s Human Biodiversity Institute, a group created by Steve Sailer which promoted similar ideologies.

Alice Dreger, Steven Pinker, and other IDW members. Source:

Intellectual Dark Web members by redditor AnotherDayDream (June 2018).
“Members of the Intellectual Dark Web that have appeared together (so far)” source: IntellectualDarkWeb subreddit (June 1, 2018)

Numerous lists of IDW members and “friends of the program” have been created that include some or all of the following people:

  • Ayaan Hirsi Ali
  • Carl Benjamin
  • Owen Benjamin
  • Dan Carlin
  • Mike Cernovich
  • Nicholas Christakis
  • Matt Christiansen
  • Steven Crowder
  • James Damore
  • Alice Dreger
  • Tim Ferriss
  • Seth Godin
  • Jonathan Haidt
  • Sam Harris
  • Heather Heying
  • Heterodox Academy
  • Stephen Hicks
  • Coleman Hughes
  • Alex Jones
  • Claire Lehmann
  • Glenn Loury
  • John McWorther
  • Stefan Molyneux
  • Douglas Murray
  • Elon Musk
  • Adam Narkiewicz
  • Maajid Nawaz
  • Candace Owens
  • Camille Paglia
  • Jordan Peterson
  • Steven Pinker
  • Tim Pool
  • Quillette Magazine
  • Rebel Wisdom
  • Joe Rogan
  • Dave Rubin
  • Ben Shapiro
  • Lindsay Shepherd
  • Michael Shermer
  • Gad Saad
  • Debra Soh
  • Carl Benjamin
  • Christina Hoff Sommers
  • Peter Thiel
  • Bret Weinstein
  • Eric Weinstein
  • Bari Weiss
  • Milo Yiannopoulos

IDW member Alice Dreger in 2018. Source:

alice dreger as shown on
Alice Dreger listing on

Alice Dreger is a historian, bioethicist, author, and former professor of clinical medical humanities and bioethics at the Feinberg School of Medicine, Northwestern University in Chicago, Illinois. Dreger is widely known for her academic work and activism in support of individuals born with atypical sex characteristics (or disorders of sex development) and individuals born as conjoined twins. She challenges the perception that those with physical differences are somehow “broken” and need to be “fixed”. She has opposed the use of “corrective” surgery on babies whose genitalia are considered “ambiguous”. She has criticized the failure to follow such patients in later life, and reported longer-term medical and psychological difficulties experienced by some of the people whose sex is arbitrarily assigned. Dreger received her Ph.D. in History and Philosophy of Science from Indiana University Bloomington in 1995. Dreger has taught at both Michigan State University, where she received a Teacher-Scholar Award in 2000, and at Northwestern University (2005-2015).



The Intellectual Dark Web (

Intellectual Dark Web (

School of Peterson (

The Intellectual Dark Web (

San Diego Public Library (