Mr. Magic’s website photo evinced the brooding essence of a young alpha-male — chiseled, manly and handsome. Beneath it appeared a heart-rending autobiographical missive I recognized as a standard tool of the modern-day dating coach.

Mr. Magic described his struggles in the world of dating — so futile were his attempts, he said, and so great his despondency, that suicide seemed the only recourse. He hung on, however, to devote himself full-time to mastering the ways of the pickup artist. In just two years, he dramatically turned his dating life around, to such a degree that he is now…