Re: "But, in general it seems Vegan Gains has no will to live."
This is my honest assessment: I think he has just lived a very childish life…
…and it is easy for most people to think, "Doing childish things will make me happy, because they made me happy when I was a child".
Part of the tragedy of adult life is that those things can't make you happy anymore: I can't play Sonic the Hedgehog all day and be happy. I can't play the board game Monopoly and be happy. I can't read comic books and be happy. I can't.
Richard remains mystified that doing these things to make himself happy "doesn't work" —and if you include illegal drugs (mushrooms, etc.) he now has quite a long track record of trying to "cure" what's "wrong" with himself, when these things that are supposed to make him happy leave him feeling empty / miserable.
Re: "When he repeatedly claims he hates children and people…"
Honestly, I don't even believe that's true of him, although he insists that he's a misanthrope himself: I think he loves people and wants to be loved by them. Even his narcissism and grandiosity are attempts at being loved (demands to be loved) whether it's by his faceless audience or by particular people.
What would you say if you knew a dog that only wanted to cuddle with baby goats, but hated and feared puppies, i.e., babies of its own species? Richard cuddles with dogs, cats, rabbits, etc., treating them AS IF they are human babies, while insisting that he has this violent hatred of babies and raising children: he treats his pets as children that never grow up.
(And yes, by the way, I philosophize about this issue in the book: Future of an Illusion.)
So, even in this respect, I do not think he knows himself. He doesn't know what would make him happy.
Re: "I was hoping there was some way for you and him to reconcile, because I do believe you can be a positive influence in his life. Helping to bring a better message to the world about veganism and the future of effective political activism."
Thank you for saying that.
For several years, I tried to be a positive influence in Richard's life, and in Ask Yourself's life, and in the lives of many other flawed and immoral people (e.g., Vegan Cheetah!).
But ultimately you have to come back to the same refrain: don't make excuses for people who make excuses.
Richard really is addicted to his excuses.
And, yes, in terms of my own values and biases in this situation…
…the "little" lies he tells (such as the story that Avi defeated me in a debate about anti-depressants) are —from my perspective— extremely damning indictments of the man.
Remembering things that didn't happen when it's convenient for you, forgetting things when it's convenient for you, and presenting stories to your audience (as fact) that you've made up out of thin air… I know that psychiatrists do not treat these as major signs of mental illness, BUT I DO. I think these are very telling indications of someone being self-centered, delusional and frankly dangerous.
The truth doesn't exist as an end in itself, but a man's relationship to the truth does indeed reveal a great deal about the man.