I had two choices: go bankrupt and completely lose everything and it all. Behind the scenes, there’s a lot of good conversations happening, but in public, we’re all peacock in. For men who are in the thick of it, who are drowning, that need support right now, this is so common. This is much more common than I thought. My wife said this the other day. She’s like, What is happening to you? At the end of the day, none of it matters if God isn’t included in it.
Well, John Moore, thanks for coming to my studio today. Thanks for meeting with me. I first heard of you from the event that we did. We had this Men Who Love God public event, and all these almost like 30 guys showed up. It was awesome. One of the guys kept talking about this Here, Brotherhood. I don’t know what this is, but he said how great it was. This brotherhood, there’s some app and people were checking in and keeping each other accountable. This sounds awesome. Is they looked into what it was. I followed you, you followed me. I can’t remember. We followed each other on Instagram. I said, Will you come on the podcast? And you graciously said yes. So I would love for you, let’s start there. Let’s start with the Here, Brotherhood, and then we’ll get into your personal story. What is the Hear, Brotherhood and how do you spell it?
Yeah. The Hear, Brotherhood, that’s a good place to start. The spelling is H-E-A-R-E. The reason we came up with it that way is I was once talking to a friend about it and we were talking about what we wanted out of the Hear, Brotherhood, which is a place for men to be able to listen to each other, to be heard, but also to hear. We thought, okay, if I’m here- Physically. Here physically, I’m here for you, but I’m also hearing you. We’re like, Oh, what’s the better spelling? What’s the better meaning? We’re like, They both are perfect. They’re both exactly what we’re trying to do is. We thought, Okay, what if I’m here to hear? We combined the spellings. We decided we wanted to create something for those that felt like they weren’t being heard, which.
Is- Which is most men.
I would argue. -which I would argue the same that it is most men. I think there’s a million things we could talk about as to why that is.
Well, let’s specify. This is the thing. In this world, men can say, they can talk, but it’s the real talk. The things that we… Yeah, we can say what we want, but it’s the stuff that’s like, potentially embarrassing, things that you wouldn’t want to say to maybe someone close to you, fear for embarrassment or reprisal or something. You’re saying it’s a place where men could just speak their hearts, speak.
Everything without judgment. But no judgment. Part of it came from my journey, and I’m sure we’ll get into that, but just this feeling like I didn’t have that space. That doesn’t say that I didn’t have people that supported me. I have lots of support. I have an abundance of support from family, from friends. But I think part of the shame that I put on myself was the reason why I didn’t feel like I could open up to anybody because I felt like I had to be strong. I felt like I was going to let people down if I started sharing things. But what I did is I started sharing that story of just some of my mental health struggles and just feeling worthless and feeling all kinds of things. From that moment, you post something online and it’s so scary the first time you say anything vulnerable. All of a sudden, you’re just met with this flood of support and you’re like, Hey. This is so common. This is much more common than I thought. That’s where it started was I want to raise awareness. I want to start talking about this and changing stigmas surrounding men’s mental health and wellness and just make it this normal thing.
Behind the scenes, there’s a lot of good conversations happening, but in public, it’s like we’re all peacock. We’re all- Posturing. -posturing. We’re all saying that everything’s great all the time, and we need to stop. I’m all about positivity and optimism, but I do think that it can be harmful for us to not talk about these things publicly. I always love when guys come and they say, Hey, I just want you guys to know. My wife said this the other day. She’s like, What is happening to you? Or, just things, posts like that where they come and they notice the difference that is happening in their life just from having a place and a brotherhood to come and share things that they can’t share with other people, which we very much underestimate that as a society in having those kinds of spaces. And so it’s cool to see men coming and sharing those things as well as I have some messages, some screenshots of certain posts or people that have said certain things, including the fact that many of them have said that they were going to take their own lives. One of them specifically said, I had two choices.
He said, I had two choices. One to go bankrupt and to completely lose everything. The other choice was to just end it all. He said he was at the brink of that. He said, But then I remembered I didn’t want to let down my Hear, Brotherhood because I knew that they would be able to support me. For me, that was a moment of I just lost it when he sent me that message. Just because how cool, how cool that he felt like there was no hope. Then the second he realized that there actually was, that he had made a commitment to his brotherhood and to that he was going to stay for us, not for us, but because he didn’t want to let us down and he knew that that was not what was the right answer. I appreciate those kinds of stories so much because it just proves the concept of what we’re trying to do to help people and men to not feel alone, to know that there’s a place that they can go.
In my own life, this podcast came after a pretty hard part. The inspiration for this podcast came after a difficult time in my life, probably the hardest time in my life, which is usually when God strips you of pride and humbles you and says, All right, you’re going to listen now. Or you’re ready to listen.
Whether you have a.
Choice or not, no. Yeah, not in anger, very loving. Very -darlingly. For you to get to that point where you wanted to create this, your heart was probably hurting or what brought you to that point?
I have a hard time answering this question because looking back, there’s 500 different routes that led to this perfect alignment of all of these things happening. But what was the catalyst was for me, this moment of my darkest, deepest moment where I just felt completely worthless. It was about six months after being laid off from a job, and I felt like I was excelling, like killing it. I didn’t realize how much until later how much that had affected me. But it was also after a long winter, we had had a kid and our fourth kid and I was really tired. There were just so many things at play that led to this perfect storm of a moment. I was in a job that I had taken that wasn’t the right choice. I don’t say that in a shameful way. I say it in a way looking back. I think I was desperate, but I ended up not. I took the job, was there for about four months and it was all in this perfect storm of like, I’m not in the right place, I’m tired. There was a lot going on. That’s when I started to really feel this darkness just settling in.
This was around March of 2022. At that time, I think there were people that started to notice, my wife included, who I say that they conspired behind my back, my wife and a few other people, but I say it in a grateful way. But they really tried to get me to go to the gym just to start taking care of myself because I wasn’t. I wasn’t taking care of myself spiritually, physically, mentally, just in no way was I taking care of myself. Out. They finally convinced me to go to the gym. I went to a CrossFit gym once I got past some of those stigmas surrounding CrossFit. The wads. Yeah, which I now just love and appreciate, and I’m so grateful for CrossFit for just getting me back into that. There was that. I finally booked my first therapy appointment, and I swallowed my pride there. I had some friends who who bugged me for months to come do a cold plunge, and I’m like, Absolutely not. This is for psychopaths, which I still believe- I do it.
Twice a week and it is for psychopaths. Yes, it is. I do it in the morning when it’s cold and dark.
Yes. But I ended up going to the Provo River on April first and did that as well. It was just all of a sudden, that moment that you’re talking about where God takes you, allows you to get to this point because he knows what’s going to happen. He knows better than us what’s going to happen. He’s like, I really think he looks to us and says, I’m so sorry it has to be this way, but it just does. It’s just the natural law of things and I had to get there. It had to happen in order for me to rise up. I took advantage of all these things.
Were you just feeling so crappy that you’re like, I don’t care. I’ll just do this stuff? Or did you fight going to the gym.
And cold plunges? I fought it.
For- Because some people are in such ruts. I’ve been there where it’s like, No, I’m not doing any of that stuff. Why were you humble enough to be okay? Were you that low? You’re like, I don’t care anymore?
Yeah, I was that low where I had this realization and this was all part of me just realizing I wasn’t taking care of myself, which was why I was having all of these problems. I just needed to face certain things, including the fact that I had been laid off and the fact that all these things that I had pushed away. I started seeing how important it was for me to open up and to start facing these things. That was through this coaching, through therapy, through a few different things where I just realized I needed to face it.
I love this. I’m sorry to keep stopping you, but I’m very curious about these points. When did you open up to someone as your therapist? When you started like, That’s awesome. Are you a fan of therapy?
I am a fan of therapy.
However- Yeah, okay.
I will say, and this is straight out of the mouth of one of my close friends who is a therapist, and she said, John, not everybody can benefit from therapy, but not everybody needs therapy in the traditional sense. Everybody needs some type of therapy in order to deal with trauma, but that can look like different things. That can look like kickboxing. That can look like horseback riding. These are all legit therapies that are used. So not everybody needs the same type of therapy. But I do think everybody could benefit from it from having a listening ear. But I do think there’s research that has come out recently about there’s never been more opportunities for therapy. There’s never been more men who are attending therapy. Yet the suicide statistics are through the roof for men. Still. Almost four times more likely men are four times more likely to die by suicide than women, which is just mind boggling to think that it’s so bad.
But you also get it, right? Yeah. I get it.
Totally. There’s people that speculate on why that is, and we’ll never know. But in my opinion, from what I’ve seen as I’ve been in this men’s work, it’s that we don’t… It’s the lack of outlets, the lack of accessibility to these certain tools to… You’re like, Great, I would love to go to therapy. I just can’t afford $150 per session. Or I would love to go to this weekend retreat, but I can’t afford $5,000 to do that. That’s actually part of my story. That’s one of the many routes that have brought me to this place, which are I kept looking for these types of things and I wasn’t in a place to afford them. It was like I would get all hyped up when I’d see something and then all of a sudden I’m like, Oh, okay. Darn it. I guess I can’t do this.
Doing that time after time, you just think, Well, where are my options? For the peasants like me? Where are my options? That’s part of what we’re trying to solve at here, is provide these types of resources and these types of brotherhoods at a way more affordable and approachable and accessible rate.
Love this. There’s no other way to say it other than.
Society just has not offered these resources to those that need it the most, in my opinion. I don’t know what that looks like yet, but I do think there are solutions and we’re trying to find some of those.
Yeah. I think about this often because many of us listening and myself, I go to church. You would think in church, that would be a place for healing. It is to many degrees, it truly is. We go to a men’s class or a men’s gathering, the women go to their gathering. So there’s this really good opportunity to talk, but we never get there. I mean, sometimes people can get vulnerable a little bit. If you were in charge, what could we do as, I’m going to say the church as all churches. What could we do as a church? What would your advice be to help men utilize this gathering? I mean, we’re going weekly. That’s like people go to therapy once a week or once a month. We’re already going somewhere once a week. What can we do? Because it’s got to start with the people. The leaders can’t just say, All right, be vulnerable, open up. You know what I’m saying? Yeah. So what do we do?
This has been racking my brain because I’m one of the teachers of our men’s group at my church. A couple of times a month, I have an opportunity to be in a circle with them. I try to provide those spaces, but there’s so many that don’t respond. There’s always those select, those handful of men that are always talking, they’re always having great insights. But what about the guys that are on their phones, the guys that are this? They’re going through the motions? This question has racked my brain. What it’s come down to, for me, is focusing on the one-on-one interactions. Because that’s one of the many answers, I think. But we have to look at things, I think, the way that Jesus did, which is a very one-on-one approach.
Give me an example of an interaction you’re talking about.
Yeah. I’m not sure yet. I know that just taking care of those that were in charge of ministering to those that are in need that we’re looking at, that we’re seeing every day, looking for those opportunities to minister to them, to our neighbors, to those that we go to church with. But on the flip side, I believe in the power of groups of men coming together to do hard things. That’s why I think I see a lot of churches, I see a lot of groups going towards that approach of doing hard things together, whether it’s going on hikes, going on cold plunges, going on whatever it may be, but creating these spaces. I read it once somewhere that typically women are face-to-face and they bond that way face-to-face, eye-to-eye, whereas men are side-to-side, meaning shoulder-to-the shoulder. The shoulder-to-shoulder in motion, whether it’s fishing, these intimate relations and these intimate conversations can happen when you’re driving together, fishing together, hiking together, biking together. That’s how men, as adults, bond for the most part. I’m not saying that there’s not a place for sitting around the campfire or sitting in a circle and doing those things, but I think most men, in general, in order to get them to that place, there has to be motion because for some reason, we’re just wired that way.
I don’t know why.
I know you’re right. I go biking with a buddy once a week, and then another friend I go running with a week. I work out with a friend in the mornings, and we’re not looking into each other’s eyes, sitting down. We do bond because we’re just like running together. What you’re saying is absolutely true. I see it every day, every week in my life. That is so important to go out and move your body with a brother and you just start talking. You just need an activity. That’s what you need.
One of the things that I have noticed that I think is lacking in a lot of these men’s groups, in a lot of these men’s movements that I see is there’s not a very, and I don’t mean to speak against anybody else. I think they’re doing great work. I honor them and value what they’re doing. But I think in order for us to have a full picture of the godly masculine, we need to bring more of the arts in. We need to try and go through as many avenues as we can to reach as many men as possible. Whether that’s through this kick boxing or whether it’s through these retreats for breath work or doing yoga. One of my partners, he does yoga and breath work. We need to have more well-rounded approaches to helping men to come and to be with us. I don’t see that as much in a lot of these men’s movements where it’s very focused on the physical appearance and fitness, which is important. But I’d say it’s a quarter of the equation. When we’re looking at the importance of spirituality, physical fitness, we’re looking at mental and intellectual and social.
If we’re neglecting those, they.
All suffer. Yeah, dude, I totally agree. That is, I guess, a criticism I’ve seen as well with so many man groups online. It’s dominated by physicality, workout, and that will teach you discipline, which is essential. It’s literally changed my life. But I love that you’re integrating the spiritual, intellectual, social, emotional. I think you’re on the right track.
Well, thank you. That’s where I think if we can continue to do these types of events that feel well rounded, I think we’ll be able to reach more men. That’s really what we want is our official mission statement is to forge a global brotherhood of support and growth. With that comes a lot of meaning and every word is intentional. But there’s the support aspect, which is for men who are in the thick of it, who are drowning, that need support right now. Then there’s the growth aspect. It’s not just like this is a place for only those that struggle with mental health. We want to offer both because both are necessary in order to be on the right path, in order to continue to grow and to become all that I believe God intends for us to be. We need to have moments of support, supporting and being supported, as well as growing ourselves and helping others to grow. It’s this give and take of both of those things.
I totally agree. When we did our event, I would say probably half the guys there really needed help. They were drowning and their problems were awful. But what was so cool is all the problems were very unique. They weren’t unique is what I’m saying. We all struggle with those things at one time or another. The other half of the guys were the ones lifting down to reach up. It was so cool to have both of those. I love that because some people need, they’re already doing well. They need to grow and them reaching down blesses them and the people they’re helping and then the people who are drowning need that space. I’m really excited to dive into the app and see this. If a new guy was coming to the app, what is your hope for this guy? Because sometimes we join an app and it’s very impersonal at first. What does the founder, John Moore, hope for that guy? What is he.
Going to find? I hope that they come and they find a place of refuge, a place where they have lifelong brothers, if they are giving as well. I hope that they know that they can come and find that place, that there’s a place at the table, that they have a group that they know will support and love them and hear them, that they will be heard, that they will be seen, that they will be loved. That’s what we want these men to feel. That’s what we want all men to feel is come as you are. We don’t care what you’ve been through. Come exactly as you are. Tell us all about it. Don’t expect to stay that way forever, but come as you are and we will love you exactly how you are. We have an anonymous question section and people will submit anonymous questions and the answers are not anonymous, which I like.
That is cool.
And somebody recently came onto the app and they said, Hey, I don’t feel like I don’t know if I’m going to be welcomed here because I’m gay. And they went on about how they feel like they wouldn’t be accepted here. That has been our most popular post by far on the whole app because there were dozens and dozens of men who the whole range of masculinity, you’ve got these super jacked guys who you wouldn’t expect. You’ve got every type of man in their 60s, their 30s, 20s, 40s, and they’re all coming in saying, brother, you’re here. We love you. We don’t care what you’ve done in the past. We don’t care about those kinds of things. Are you a man and do you want to improve in your life? And do you want to be supported and support? Then you’re welcome here. You’re loved here and just the responses is that were on that question were just so heartwarming to me and just a good sign that this community is on the right track, that we’re getting the right types of people that aren’t going to bully or make anybody feel dumb for certain things.
But it’s are you a man and do you want to become a better man then you’re in the right place and you’re going to get that support here.
I love that. That gets me amped. I’m excited for that. One of my favorite is the body of Christ and there’s all different parts. Yes. Everyone is a different part and everyone is needed. That’s such a beautiful doctrine, such a beautiful idea. It’s so cool to see that it’s reflected in your group as well.
It really is.
Is there anything else that you want to tell us about the Hear brotherhood for someone who might be hesitant to just get over these hurdles to get them to just come and bask and all these guys that are open and ready to help each other? Yeah.
I’d say for anybody that’s questioning it, if you want to have that type of a community where you feel loved, seen, heard, come and participate. It’s not just come and bask in or just be a lurker. We have lots of lurkers, which is fine when they’re ready to open up. That’s in their timing. But come and participate. Come and support until you’re ready to open up. We don’t want to pressure anybody. We just want to provide the space. And so anybody doubting, just come and join us. You can come and lurk if you want to. Come and check it out and see if it’s a place that you’re wanting to open up because that’s been the case a lot of times. Very cool. They’re not sure. And then they see what’s going on and they say, Okay, this is a safe space. Very, very cool.
I can’t wait to check it out. I’m going to give you the final word. What’s your final advice to our brothers out there listening who are struggling that might want to? What would you share with them?
Despite all of the resources out there, despite all of the amazing communities that are out there at the end of the day, none of it matters if God isn’t included in it. I think the most important resource that I have used is God, and it is the only way that I’ve been able to have any success in my life, in my relationships. It’s because of those times when I slow down and when I have an opportunity to commune with God and to talk with Him and to have him talk back. Therapy can be wonderful, coaching, cold plunges, meditation, all those things are wonderful within the context of the true source of healing, which I believe is Jesus Christ. And so all of the tools that are available, let’s use them to bring us to the real source of healing, which is Jesus Christ. I guess that would be my final word there.
Well, my second, third, and fourth thought, dude. John, thank you so much. I’m so excited to get involved with the Here, Brotherhood. I’m lucky that we’re so close, so it’s easy for me to do. Yes. Yeah, thanks for coming and sharing that. I think this will help a lot of guys.
Thank you. Thanks for having me on.