Profoundly Deaf

How To Handle Being Profoundly Deaf In The Tumult Of The Dark World

In Knowledge Base, Level I by Ivan Throne1 Comment

A deaf reader reaches out to Ivan Throne with questions.

Longtime readers of DARK TRIAD MAN® are well aware that I am profoundly deaf.

It is a gravely disabling and permanent condition of disability. Yet it is not a barrier to success in the world of business, in the world of everyday living, and certainly has not inhibited me from reaching levels of performance as an author and public speaker that few are able to attain.

What is the secret to this singularly powerful momentum, and what is it that enables me to pivot on the challenges it presents and bring my life forward where I choose? How did I overcome the loss of so many things at a very young age, and yet rise to achieve the success I have now?

A reader named Doug reached out to me the other day, referred by Hunter Drew at The Family Alpha.

Doug is also profoundly deaf, and had several questions for me.

It is a pleasure to answer in some detail.

A quick primer can be useful to understand terminology respective to different categories and cultures of the deaf. For the purposes of this post, I will not delve into them. Suffice it to say that for profoundly deaf individuals who do not sign or live within Deaf culture – but depend on lipreading in the hearing world – there are certain challenges that present.

Let us begin.


Background from Doug on his situation.

Here is the opening of Doug’s email:

Hello Ivan,

Thanks for allowing me to email you and taking the time to chat with me.

As I mentioned in my email I’m profoundly deaf and grew up in a world (similar to your story with your father) where my parents didn’t want me to learn sign and threw me into the lion’s den to survive. Survive I did, graduated school and colleges without services – learned the “game” and mastered it.

However, while I learned how to survive as a deaf man, I did not learn to thrive. Most of my life I tried to find others like me – deaf, oral, lip-reader, etc. I’ve never met one. And of the deaf people I’ve met (I learned sign at 25 years old) they either collect disability checks or are just really good a being a big fish in a puddle of water (the deaf world). So, I’ve never had a model to learn from or  meet a deaf person who is truly thriving – until I stumbled across you (reading red-pill twitter/reddit blogs/tweets/comments).

I can confirm Doug’s experience.

It is an unusual position, being caught between the hearing and the deaf worlds.

Personally speaking, I do not have any deaf friends or acquaintances. There are those who are hearing impaired or who have some loss of auditory faculties, but in my day to day work they are a sufficiently uncommon presence so as to make the social impact negligible.

Consequently, conversations of “how it works” to be profoundly deaf in everyday Western culture are not present either.

But it is indeed an interesting circumstance. For while it is not something I discuss, there is certainly an inescapable basal reality that accompanies the circumstance, impacts capabilities and customs, and requires adaptation in order to achieve personal success.

Check out these Twitter threads from earlier today and you will see what I experience.

“Call us for customer support.”

No, I’m not going to call you for customer support:

There are other barriers that make life somewhat more interesting.

If I am at a location that requires intercom access such as an off-hours facility, an apartment building, or a restricted area – it’s an annoying roadblock to deal with. I can’t hear the intercom, and typically one finds that low level employees do not engage in critical thinking.

There is also the immense humor that is an integral part to relying upon lipreading for communication, with all the inevitable misinterpretations and nonsensical sentence compositions that the brain produces:

In addition, one discovers very early that repetitive experience is the rule rather than the exception, and one learns concomitant preparation for interactions with other human beings:

With this said, let us review Doug’s questions and I will provide my answers, from experience and practice, to his questions on the momentum and trajectory of success I embody in the dark world.


You must keep going with fluid continuity.

His first inquiry has to do with handling stutter of presentation, flow and audience interaction:

Given that you do public speaking, training of groups, generally put yourself out there: what is your mindset in all of this? For me, I do all of the above at my place work, but on a small scale, mostly because of deep insecurity and fear of misunderstand that ONE person who fucks up my flow. So, what’s your mindset when you enter these sort of arenas?

There are crucial aspects of mindset that relate to this extended question.

The first has to do with practiced skill at handling interruptions and stutters in momentum, flow and presentation.

There will always be someone who fucks up your flow.

It is your job as a speaker and presenter to handle that appropriately and successfully. It is not a question of talent, it is not a question of avoiding challenge by a member of the audience or the public. It is a question of competence, driven into success through having done it over and over.

If you wish to be skilled at it, do it a lot.

Tony Robbins gives a superb demonstration of this in his documentary “I Am Not Your Guru“.

He talks about how statistically, he knows that a certain number of people in the audience are suicidal. He draws them out, asks for their stories.

You expect to hear stories of bad breakups, of failed businesses, of serious illness, the usual litany of reasons and circumstances that drive people into temporary despair.

Then a young woman stood up, and told a story of being serially raped over and over by the cult leaders and members that raised her, and it was beyond shocking to hear a story with such devastating and hideous impact.

I watched that, transfixed, waiting to see how Tony Robbins would handle that apocalyptic derailing of the convention energy.

The “oh, shit” in his eyes was visible, as was his awareness that he absolutely had to rise to the challenge.

He did, and superbly, and while I could sense the awkwardness at moments I gave him a solid B+ for smooth and competent handling of it.

If that were his first time being shocked, it’s unlikely he could have responded with such acumen, poise, and compassionate skill.

You have to do it a lot.

You have to do the hard stuff a lot.

You have to make it a habit of doing the hard stuff all the damn time, brother.

That is how competence is built.

Insecurity gets in the way.

Insecurity is a waste of time.

Fuck your insecurity.

You think you’re not going to die?

You think in a thousand years anyone will care?

Do you doubt that a thousand years will pass by?

Seize your moment and make the most of it.

If you fail, so what?

Is someone going to stalk out of the audience and put a bullet in your face like this guy?

Insecurity survives because of attachment to it.

Let go of the comfort of insecurity, the feeling that tells you “it’s okay not to try” and “you’re safer risking only small failures”.

Insecurity is the source of many horrible regrets.

Don’t build horrible regrets.

Build victory and laugh.


Dominating your environment with strength.

Doug’s second question is more concrete and focuses on practical matters with respect to logistics and stagecraft where public speaking is concerned, and how to appropriately posture oneself to work around the disability:

How do you set up your environment (public speaking, training, workshops) to play toward your strengths and not your weakness?

The first is to know your strengths, and focus on those.

I am imposing as a physical presence thanks to my height, my body language, my voice, my appearance, and my facial features:

Confidence, command presence, acknowledgment of theater and pageantry, the ability to pull and lead disparate and dissonant emotions and perspectives in the crowd – these are my strengths.

Therefore I lead with experience and skill, provide pageantry and theater, and take direct hold of the hearts of the crowd and the unspoken yearnings it feels.

This is the way of the orator.

This is playing to strengths.

What are my weaknesses?

Those should be obvious.

Question and answer sessions are virtually impossible. At the 21 Convention at the end of my presentation, the normal question and answer session was handled by audience members writing down their questions, and those notes brought to me by an assistant who had to walk over and hand them to me.

Was that ideal? No. Did it risk interruption of the closing mood, the concluding resonance of my work that day?


So those risks were dealt with appropriately.

Sharper answers, more direct engagement, more expansive body language, more humor, bigger smiles, fiercer attitude.

I enthralled them into waiting anxiously for the next question so they could see that sudden blaze of performance again.

Then the run of the man with the note, from the center of the crowd to the edge of the stage, was enticing.

It was exciting!

It made them anticipate the next sharp detonation of Ivan Throne!

They were riding in my high performance vehicle, not waiting for me to catch up to the light in a dented, battered sedan.

Do you see how weakness is turned into strength?

Do you see how risk of sloughed energy is funneled, and squeezed out upon the existing success as delightful flavor upon the whole experience?

Learn to take advantage of what your disability presents.

“Differently abled” is a social justice warrior’s screed.

On the surface, it is a pitiable, weak and useless term.

Tumble and turn!

Find the strength in weakness!

I may not be able to hear a public speaker, but the Secret Service will bring me within ten feet of the President of the United States because I know how to use my differentiated abilities in a manner profitable to my intentions.

I may not be able to listen to an interview, but the body language of a man or woman is sharply clear and revealing to me because I have paid severe attention to it for over forty years and I do not stint in my repeated assessment and practice.

Thus the Way is made clear:

Know your strengths. Bluntly work your weaknesses.

Tumble and turn strength and weakness, confidence and capacity, purpose and practice.

Within that process the steps of the Way unfold with as much certainty as you can muster.

Do it over and over and over.

And you will learn.


Preparation, planning and performance.

Doug’s last question has to do with interviews:

When being interviewed, when you don’t understand someone… no matter how much they repeat themselves, do you get flustered or do you give a shit at all?

I used to get very flustered. But that didn’t last long.

If Ivan Throne gets flustered on national television, Ivan Throne won’t be asked back for interviews.

That’s just good business practice by the media. And in return, it’s my good business practice to make sure their business practice is successful.

Take, for example, my interview on InfoWars with Owen Shroyer.

You’ll see men surrounding me, backs to the camera, facing outwards.

Those are Ground Dominance personnel with the Safe Streets Project.

They don’t just act as dignitary protection staff. They watch for media. They identify and speak with media. They know how to prep the media to speak with me, they qualify the media as worth or not worth speaking to, and they ensure there aren’t distractions while I am interviewed.

That is preparation.

We arrived at the Austin site early. The media was of course already setting up, looking for individuals and actions of interest.

Can I make their job easier? If I speak with them, can I eliminate – as much as possible – attempting to lipread a new face for the first time on national television?

How about preparing them to repeat the question using different words if I don’t hear it twice, so that it’s not repetitive to the viewers?

Do I explain to the media that these preparatory steps are explicity to make their show better, smoother, and with more exciting flow for their audience?

You’re damn right I do.

Do they appreciate it?

You’re damn right they do.

Do they come back to me because they know I’ll put aside political and ideological footing, to ensure that as professionals we can collaborate on making THEIR work shine?

You’re damn right they do.

You have to put out if you want to get action.

You have to do the work.

You have to do it first.

You have to do it early.

You have to work harder and smarter and with less self-pity than the next guy.

It’s a dark world, brothers.

It doesn’t do pity and neither should you.

I don’t.


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I tell you that there is always someone who has overcome more challenge, more pain, more sorrow, more harsh and agonizing devastation than you have and yet has risen like a triumphant Caesar of old on the ashes of his prior defeat.

This is where I teach men how to survive.

This is where I teach men how to live.

This is where I teach men how to win.

Survival. Momentum. Triumph.

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Kill your anxiety and do it.

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Ivan Throne

Ivan Throne

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IVAN THRONE, bestselling author of The Nine Laws, is an international speaker and teacher. His vivid lessons and ruthless mentoring for the hard and often cruel demands of our pitiless high performance world have helped millions of people across social media deeply connect with radical, authentic success to the joys of partners, lovers, colleagues and clients.