You probably think that pickups as a thing are dead. You may think they’re dated, maybe even anachronistic, and sexist and misogynist to boot. There’s a good chance you even cringe at the concept, not to mention the horde of gurus who’ll be happy to sell you their best “lines” for a price.
Or maybe you’re into Erik von Markovik, the Canadian pickup artist who carved a career out of this kind of thing. Back in the day he was the king of pickup, going by the name of “Mystery,” and formed a group of guys to chat up women in nightclubs.
He’s made thousands of dollars “teaching” men how to pick up and date attractive women. The pickup artist (PUA) was the focal point of a 2005 book called “The Game” by Neil Strauss that became a New York Times bestseller. He also featured on a VH1 show called The Pickup Artist. Markovik is now trying to get back into the spotlight to tell everyone that he’s all grown up now, and that he’s here to introduce version 2.0 of “The Game”.
In 2004, he set up a company called the Mystery Method Corporation, and two years later he started a new one called Venusian Arts. The updated version is called “3 Second Rule,” and it’s based on the idea that men engaging in the game need to make eye contact with a potential target within three seconds of meeting them.
It’s an interesting venture for sure given the backdrop of the #MeToo era, especially since part of the credo was summarized by a fellow PUA as “push, push, push.” Markovik has repackaged all of this to make himself seem sweet and charming rather than pushy and predatory.
Now 51, Markovik has returned to Toronto, and is living with his brother Rolf. He claims he’s waiting for a visa so he can return to Hollywood and hit the big-time again. He’s currently running online bootcamps on his website askmystery.com and hosts in-person bootcamps with Beckster.
He did go big when it comes to his overall net worth, which is estimated to be around $1.5 million. Mystery is definitely a mystery when it comes to his personal life. It is unknown if Mystery is married but he does have two kids, a daughter and a son.
The image of a sadly aging Lothario comes to mind, but it’s a free country, assuming he makes it to America, so he’s certainly within his rights to his hand at a new and improved version of his old act. It’s a different era now, and while the gimmick could work again, it seems likely that Markovik could be in for some very rude surprises.