About Richard Nikoley and FreeTheAnimal.com

“The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed—and hence clamorous to be led to safety—by menacing it with an endless series of hobgoblins, all of them imaginary.” — H.L. Mencken

Money is worthless in a shitty life.

I started writing FreeTheAnimal.com in 2003 as just a little thing to try. Twenty years later, and it turns out that I’ve written over 5,500 posts. And counting. Daily.

If there’s any theme to gather in those 5 million words, it’s that I celebrate the audacity and hubris to live by my own exclusive authority and take my own chances.

I write about all of it in a wide-scope and all-encompassing way, to demonstrate to others what genuine courage to think and do for yourself—on your own terms—looks like.

I invite anyone to see for themselves.

… To see what it looks like for real…beyond all the slogans, the staged influencer “dream life,” and “The 10 Things…” canned tripe and bunkum we’re all flooded with every day.

Especially for those of us who want more money, and who doesn’t? Wanting more money is the familiar territory. Gaining more money, keeping it, and growing it is the ever-changing and challenging terrain that’s always in your way. Mine too.

But you’re never going to get the truth about that. Not a single marketing piece ever written gives you the truth about that and stands by it.

That’s because truth never sells anything. The truth is mundane and banal. The truth is always a body at rest. It requires nothing from you or anyone else to keep being the truth.

Lies are exciting and tantalizing, and because they’re lies, they come with a built-in and all-inclusive maintenance program at no extra charge.

“But wait…you also get…”

Lies require constant maintenance, attention, activity, the new and improved. Lie 2.0, then 3.0. It never stops being a lie because it’s not the truth and the truth is the ultimate party pooper, kill joy, and disappointment.

Too many people go out of their way to avoid the truth because it promises them nothing. It just is. Lies promise everything, and they guarantee it’ll be easy once they just buy the secrets.

In the end, you’ll always have spent more time, more money, and expended more energy and effort on lies, than the truth would or could ever require of you.

Free the Animal really means to free yourself to discover and acknowledge truth, to reach your ideal potential, learn additional and greater truths from your mistakes and your successes, and then apply those truths to your never-ending forward progress and improvement.

You’re in for a bumpy ride. It shouldn’t be that way. But it is. It’s the terrain.

Some other things about me.

I authored Free the Animal: How to lose weight & fat on the paleo diet. For an overview of how I think, how the human animal fits into it, and the things I blog about, see The Manifesto. See the unique set of Member Testimonials that may be the oddest collection of testimony you’ll have ever read, where some members go back as readers more than a decade.

Given the state of Western Civilization, so-called, I’ve found it necessary to issue a Statement of Values that I’m set on.

I’m set in my values, but not in my ways. I continually seek out new contexts in which to experience and enjoy the values I hold. I write about those experiences and I tell stories.

If you’re into the drama of social media, hit & runs, that sort of thing, I do participate on Twitter quite regularly now that it’s in the hands of the notorious Elon Musk and where, as of this editing, Tucker Carlson has just staked his claim.

I have a YouTube channel I enjoy making videos for, but not to monetize or make money. I make videos when I think it might be fun for me to make a video.

The obligatory biography.

I was born & raised in Reno, Nevada, the son of a German immigrant. I attended a private, church-run high school. Went on to attend a first year of college at the fundamentalist Baptist Tennessee Temple University in Chattanooga for my first year.

I transferred, then graduated from Oregon State University in 1984 with a bachelor of science in Business Administration, and two minor courses of study: mathematics / computer science, and naval science. I was a member of the NROTC unit.

I was commissioned in the U.S. Navy as a Surface Warfare Officer (SWO) immediately upon graduation from OSU. After some 8 months attending various schools in San Diego, CA, I traveled off to Yokosuka, Japan to join my first ship, the USS REEVES (CG-24), where I served from 1984-1987 as the Assistant Missiles Officer, First Lieutenant, and then finally, Electrical Officer.

After those first three years in Japan, I crossed the pier for another two years, joining the U.S. SEVENTH FLEET embarked aboard USS BLUE RIDGE (LCC-19). From 1988-1989, I was both the Assistant Fleet Scheduling Officer and the Assistant Logistics Officer. I managed a fuel budget of $180 million (a lot of money in 1988).

I left Japan after those two tours over five years and headed to Monterey, California, where I studied immersion French at the Defense Language Institute for the latter half of 1989. Upon successful completion of the course, I headed to Toulon, France, where from 1989 to 1992, I took up duties as an exchange officer to the French Navy: first aboard the FNS COLBERT (C 611), and later, the FNS DUQUESNE (D 603), both as the Navigator.

I left the US Navy in 1992 and returned to the U.S., San Francisco Bay Area. After a few false starts in entrepreneurial endeavors, I started a company in my bedroom in the summer of 1993 that evolved into lots of employees, good money, and a 20-year run.

I was also married for much of that time, but since 2019 we’re just buddies and text-pals and have gone our separate lifestyle ways.

And what about now?

I’ve been an unintended expat in Thailand since January 2020. I intended to be digital and nomadic. Covid came along, and I decided to sit it out and jump through the hoops to obtain a more permanent status under a visa program. I built a house in a rural province during the last half of Covid year #1.

Being the writer, blogger, and truth warrior I am, I wrote and published 98 posts about Covid, masks, the lockdowns, and the global drug trial. I’m well-informed by many readers and passers-by that I was right about all of it—not the first time that’s happened, and that’s what an undying loyalty to the truth promises and affords you: an uncanny ability to “predict the future.” Think about it.

Now I tend to a couple of income streams; I imagine and contemplate; I write; I make videos; I take long walks (sometimes making videos); I swim and snorkel in the tropical ocean (sometimes making videos); I do audacious things; I ride a motorcycle without a helmet (sometimes making videos); I cook and eat amazing food (sometimes making videos).

I’m a gym junkie. Perhaps an honorary Bro.

I write and am told I write well and cleverly…