Conspiracy: Peter Thiel, Hulk Hogan, Gawker, and the Anatomy of Intrigue, by Ryan Holiday (Nicole Schlinger Book Review)

Nicole Schlinger
Sep 16, 2018 · 2 min read

If you ever wondered about black helicopters, the moon landing, who killed Kennedy … then this book is for you! While this is one amazing adventure story, the moral is simple. If Peter Thiel cannot successfully pull off a conspiracy without revealing himself, it’s unlikely any large bureacratic organization could.

First, let’s talk about the adventure. Gawker Media outs Peter Thiel as gay. Peter Thiel vows to ruin Gawker founder and CEO Nick Denton. Giving new life to the phrase “revenge is a dish best served cold,” Thiel waits and works, quietly and patiently, for over a decade for the opportunity to effectively ruin Denton. The opportunity arises when private tapes of Hulk Hogan are leaked to Gawker under questionable circumstances, and finally Thiel has someone willing and able to go the distance with Denton in court.

The fact that this book includes Hulkamania, yes, the very same Hulk Hogan who bodyslammed Andre the Giant at Wrestlemania 3 in the Pontiac Silverdome is just the icing on an already delicious cake. Frankly, I’d never really thought about Hulk Hogan as a real human being with feelings and shortcomings until now.

I don’t remember seeing or hearing much about this story in the news as it unfolded. But I was surprised by the overwhelmingly negative reaction against Peter Thiel. All he wanted was to be left alone. He is the one whose rights were violated and whose privacy was breached. Denton’s crew used questionable tactics at best in publishing the Hulk Hogan sex tapes, as evidenced by the fact that no other news site did so at the time. So why is Thiel the villain?

In full disclosure, I’m a huge fan of Ryan Holiday. He was Robert Greene’s intern when writing 48 Laws of Power. His first book, “Trust me I’m lying” was the first time many of us learned about the connections between solo bloggers and sites like Gawker. And his works on Stoicism are a must for remaining sane in today’s insane world (although Ryan would remind you it was just as insane for the Romans.)

You can buy the book here …

Here’s Hulk Hogan body slamming Andre the Giant. Check out Andre’s feet … they hardly leave the ground.

Oh, and here’s a picture Trevor Dodds from the CHQ team made of me (Nicole Schlinger) with Hulk Hogan’s body.

Nicole Schlinger with Hulk Hogan’s body. Hilarious!

Nicole Schlinger

Written by

Nicole Schlinger is a business owner, book lover, and dog owner.

More From Medium

Also tagged Gawker

Also tagged Gawker

Also tagged Gawker

Deadspin and Revolt


Welcome to a place where words matter. On Medium, smart voices and original ideas take center stage - with no ads in sight. Watch
Follow all the topics you care about, and we’ll deliver the best stories for you to your homepage and inbox. Explore
Get unlimited access to the best stories on Medium — and support writers while you’re at it. Just $5/month. Upgrade