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Secrets, Suppression and Authoritarianism

July 22 at 7:30 pm - 10:30 pm BST

 Secrets, Suppression and Authoritarianism 

 with Andrew Gold and Winston Marshall

Monday 22nd July, 7.30pm

Lola’s Bar, Lower Ground Floor, The Hippodrome, Main Entrance, London WC2H 7JH

Although our culture is one in which authenticity is apparently highly prized, where we are encouraged to ‘speak our truth’ and ‘bring our whole selves to work’, we all know that things are not as they seem. While those who hold views that align with the new codes and conventions feel free to express themselves, those of a more questioning disposition have become used to sharing their views only with extreme caution. Dissenters have become used to secret meetings, anonymous forums and negotiating the risk of being ‘outed’. Stories about words becoming taboo overnight and new ones being imposed upon us are reported every day and in workplaces and civic life, people are having to work out when to comply and when to stand their ground. 


Thankfully, there does still seem to be space for heretics who hold to unfashionable truths, but what are the consequences for the rest of us of failing to speak our minds, of keeping our true opinions a secret and of suppressing our consciences? What happens in a society where speaking your mind becomes ever more risky? What is the effect of this culture of secrecy and cognitive dissonance?  


We have two fantastic speakers to help us explore the significance of secrets, suppression and authoritarianism: Andrew Gold and Winston Marshall. 


Andrew Gold is a journalist and YouTuber whose new book, The Psychology of Secrets: My Adventures with Murderers, Cults & Influencers, takes a deep dive into the significance of secrets as a social phenomenon. Drawing on psychology, history, social science, philosophy and personal interviews, the book spans every aspect of secret-keeping from religious and cult leaders retaining mystique by keeping secrets from their followers to the psychology of confessing secrets to friends and strangers. The relationship between secrecy and power is explored from all directions, in a fascinating read that sparks all kinds of insights into our contemporary predicament. Andrew has made documentaries around the world about extreme ideologies for the BBC & HBO and his YouTube channel, Heretics, has over 140,000 subscribers. 


Winston Marshall is host of The Winston Marshall Show and co-founder of the Dissident Dialogues festival of ideas which took place recently in New York. Previously, he was best known for his musical career, in particular as co-founder of folk-rock band Mumford & Sons. In their fourteen years together, the band won two Grammy Awards, two Brit Awards, an Ivor Novello and performed with the likes of Bob Dylan, Bruce Springsteen, Neil Young, Willie Nelson and Elton John. Winston has direct experience of the darkness of cancel culture. He left Mumford & Sons in 2021 when a tweet he posted complimenting journalist Andy Ngo’s book Unmasked, an investigation into the workings of so-called ‘anti-fascist’ movement antifa, resulted in a decidedly fascist-like campaign to cancel him. Since then, Winston’s written work has been published by The Free Press, The Jewish Chronicle, The Spectator, The Daily Mail. In 2021 he co-founded Hong Kong Link Up, a not-for-profit organisation helping Hongkonger asylum seekers settle and assimilate in the UK. 

There will, of course, be plenty of time for audience Q and A.

There will be a book-signing and social after the formal part of the evening.

In-person tickets:

£10 for FSU members

£15 for members of the public

Pre-order The Psychology of Secrets: My adventures with murderers, cults and influencers by Andrew Gold for only £14 at check-out, for collection and signing on the night.

Online tickets

If you can’t make it to London, you can join online for £5. (FSU members can join free of charge, using links provided in FSU emails). Order the book online, for UK delivery only, for £18.


The Hippodrome invites you to enjoy a meal before or after the event at one of its restaurants. Show your confirmation email to staff to receive a 25% discount at Chop Chop or the Heliot Steakhouse. Both are rated ‘exceptional’ on Opentable, with Heliot considered one of London’s very best steakhouses and Chop Chop by Four Seasons already hailed as one of the West End’s best Chinese restaurants only a year after launch. Please book here for Chop Chop or here for Heliot then show your confirmation email when you arrive at the restaurant. (Offer eligible only on Monday 22nd July 2024.)

Frequently asked questions
Do I need to print my ticket?

No, we will have a registration list on the door, including details of all pre-ordered books.
Can under-18s come?

No, the venue is strictly for over-18s only and you are advised to bring physical ID, regardless of your age.
Is the venue accessible?

Yes, there is entrance via a lift. Please see here for details: https://www.hippodromecasino.com/accessibility/
How can I get a copy of Andrew Gold’s book?

If you pre-order the book when you buy your in-person ticket, you will pay only £14 for the book. Alternatively, you can order a copy for £18 and have it posted to a UK address.
Can I get my book signed on the night?

Yes, Andrew will be signing books from 9pm.
Can I eat at the venue?

Yes, the Hippodrome invites you to enjoy a meal before or after the event at one of its restaurants. Show your confirmation email to staff to receive a 25% discount at Chop Chop or the Heliot Steakhouse. (Offer eligible only on Monday 22nd July 2024.)


July 22
7:30 pm - 10:30 pm BST


The Free Speech Union
020 3920 7865
View Organiser Website


Hippodrome, London
Little Newport Street
London, WC2H 7JH United Kingdom
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