AVFM’s Paul Elam posts attack on the Doubletree Fort Shelby Hotel, suggests that the alleged threats to the hotel were phony

The fur and accusations are flying!

The fur and accusations are flying!

A Voice for Men’s grandly titled First International Conference on Men’s Issues wound down a week ago. But the drama continues.

Today, in a post on AVFM, maximum leader Paul Elam set forth a series of accusations against the Doubletree Fort Shelby Hotel (where the conference was originally going to be held); against an unnamed security contracting company in Houston; and even against some hypothetical “privileged little college girls” who might have had the conference booted from the Doubletree by simply making a couple of irate phone calls, because, at least in Elam’s imagination, “privileged little college girls” have that power.

But the bulk of Elam’s complaints lie with the Doubletree, as the typically understated title of his post makes clear:


While acknowledging that “ there are still some questions that remain unanswered” (a bit of an understatement, that), Elam spells out what he thinks – or what he wants us to think that he thinks – happened. He presents what he calls “ the two most likely scenarios based on what evidence we have.”

In the first scenario, the Doubletree got actual threats and handled them very, very badly:

One is that the Hilton got serious and “escalating” death threats against their employees, guests, ICMI speakers and attendees, prompting them to go into emergency mode and invoke the security clause of our contract with them. Their demands forced us to raise tens of thousands of additional dollars to literally blanket the event with Detroit Police, just to make sure no one wound up dead.

I believe by “literally” Mr. Elam actually means “figuratively,” but let’s continue:

That would be the same police that they had not even bothered to call at that point. It is the same police that did not even know about any supposed threats when we called them to inquire; the same police which Doubletree used to attempt to shake us down, but neglected to even call till after they engaged in an attempt to force us to spend our way out of having our conference.

The second scenario is the one involving “college girls.”

The other possible scenario is that what Doubletree Downtown Hilton got was a couple of irate phone calls from privileged little college girls who don’t want men and women to talk without their permission, and, with the help of a sympathetic general manager in the middle of labor problems with the hotel’s union, decided to use those decidedly nonthreatening contacts to breach their contract with us and keep protesters away from their hotel.

Either possibility leaves Doubletree Downtown Hilton Detroit looking scummy, and for damned good reasons.

Elam also insinuates that the Doubletree sabotaged his good-faith efforts to hire Detroit police to provide security for the conference. For some unknown reason this involved “a contract company that happened to be located in the Houston area.” Elam writes:

We finally did locate the company we had to do business with, and a very nice lady there was preparing a quote for us, when lo and behold, in the middle of that process, she informed us that her boss had instructed her not to do business with us. Yes, we have that on a recorded phone call, which will be the subject of another (of many) future articles on our dealings with the Doubletree Downtown Hilton in Detroit, Michigan.

So, as it turns out, while in the middle of meeting the security demands of Hilton, someone stepped in to sabotage that, making it literally impossible for us to comply, giving Hilton the excuse to pull the plug.

Gee, wonder who was behind that?

Elam has decided to break an agreement he had with the Doubletree and to go ahead and post what he says are two letters he received from them, and a letter from his lawyer to the Doubletree. One of these letters is the original letter that AVFM posted about the alleged threats. Only now the name of the Doubletree letter-writer has been un-redacted.

Happily for Elam and his fans, the Doubletree staffer who wrote the letter is a woman. AVFM does prefer its villains to be female.

In the comments, longtime AVFM fan AndyBob writes sneeringly of this new woman to hate (I’ve redacted her name):

[Name redacted] may have even enjoyed her role in undermining the patriarchy and taking it to the cleaners. I’ve never encountered a feminist who doesn’t fantasize about playing a role in accomplishing this goal. Thanks to Paul Elam’s steely resolve, it is very likely that we are going to find out if [name redacted]  is one of them.

I suspect that [name redacted] had better start packing for her sideways promotion to a Doubletree branch located in some far-flung hell-hole. Bon Voyage, [name redacted], it was an experience doing business with you.

Dr Elam, please keep doing what you’re doing in exactly the same way you’ve always done it – the survival of the MHRM depends on it.

Note: Dr. Elam is not a doctor.

I checked to see if anyone in the comments was calling [name redacted] a “whore,” but much to my surprise the only reference to whores came in a comment from Dean Esmay, directed at MSNBC’s Adam Serwer (not a woman).

Yes, we’ll be doing a profile piece on ideological whore Adam Serwer, whose behavior at the conference was so unprofessional, rage-filled, and contemptuous of all the women and men present that even other journalists who were there remarked upon it. The contemptible liar and whore Adam Serwer was an embarrassment even to his fellow reporters. One of the questions we expect him not to answer in our followup emails to him and his corporate managerses will be how much money he was paid to spit venom at the conference attendees while pretending to act like a reporter, and whether being a paid whore instead of a real journalist is something he enjoys. Look for more on him soon. He and two other whores who pretended to be journalists will also be receiving special coverage.

I think we can expect a lot more drama to come.

A couple of points:

First, if Elam’s account of AVFM’s dealings with the Doubletree is accurate, this means that his previous claim that AVFM moved the conference to the VFW simply because it had larger facilities was bullshit. But we already knew that, given all those empty chairs we saw in so many of the photos of AVFM’s conference. The letter from AVFM’s lawyer alleges that the Doubletree misrepresented the seating capacity of its event space, but it’s clearly a secondary concern.

Second, and a bit more important: It’s clear from the letter sent by AVFM’s lawyer that Elam didn’t believe the hotel had gotten credible threats. Indeed, the letter states that:

Mr. Elam and AVfM believe that the Hotel has simply decided that it does not want to host the Event and manufactured a reason not to.

That’s not what they were saying publicly at the time.

So evidently, AVFM’s dramatic posturing about threats from feminists was little more than an act. Nonetheless, AVFMers tried to pin the blame for the alleged threats their lawyer described as “manufactured security issues” on a real Detroit schoolteacher.

AVFM also seems to have reported threats to the Detroit Police, at least two. But we have no idea how credible they were. Were I a cynic I might find myself wondering if they reported these threats to the police just so that the police would finally be able to tell journalists that there had been threats, thus buttressing AVFM’s persecution narrative.

As for the threats AVFMers claim were made against the VFW, well, we should note that one of the St. Clair Shores officers working security for the event told AnimalNewYork that no specific threats had been made.

Among the questions that remain unanswered: what happened to all that money AVFM raised for security they didn’t need? Did they somehow manage to spend it all hiring a few St. Claire Shores cops? Or did they end up with a surplus? If the latter, why did AVFM need to launch a second fundraiser only a few days after the conference’s end? How much money does Elam need, anyway?

Why are [name redacted’s] signatures on the two documents AVFM has posted completely different from one another?

Also, is Esmay retiring “hatemongering bigot” as his epithet of choice in favor of “whore?” I thought that calling people whores was Janet Bloomfield’s job?

Questions, questions, so many questions.

About David Futrelle

I run the blog We Hunted the Mammoth, which tracks (and mocks) online misogyny. My writing has appeared in a wide variety of places, including Salon, Time.com, the Washington Post, the New York Times Book Review and Money magazine. I like cats.

Posted on July 6, 2014, in $MONEY$, a new woman to hate, a voice for men, a woman is always to blame, citation needed, conspiracy theory, drama, drama kings, misogyny, MRA, paul elam, threats and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 176 Comments.

  1. cassandrakitty

    (Let’s not do coffee or I’m going to end up like Tweak from South Park.)

  2. A sip of the sports drink of your choice? Keep those electrolytes balanced?

  3. cassandrakitty

    I dunno, those things have a lot of sugar in them, I think we’d all end up running around like toddlers who just got into the 2 liter bottle of Coke.

  4. Damn, the potential dangers of making “Shut up, Woody” as drinking game are abundant. I guess we’ll just have to find joy in just telling him to shut up — unless of course the Blue Fairy comes along and makes him a Real Boy.

  5. cassandrakitty

    I think the Blue Fairy will leave him at the bottom of the ocean and come drinking with us instead.

  6. I would that we were better strangers.

    This is now my favorite thing.

    Also, shut up Woody.

  7. kittehserf MOD

    There was a drinking game on Pandagon the other day with the birth-control idiot trolls.

    People were seeing double in no time.

  8. GrumpyOldNurse

    Pooping is very important! If you don’t poop, you will die. Srsly, I studied this in school. A lot! I can even draw diagrams!

  9. Throwaway: They didn’t have an “agreement”, they had a contract. When the contract was broken any such agreement was also broken.

    You know this, you are just a shitty person and a terrible hack.

    Ever run an event? I have. The DoubleTree didn’t break the contract. What they did was exercise one of the clauses in it (and it’s a standard clause). Elam, apparently, failed to account for that possibility, and then failed/refused to fulfill his contractual obligations (to provide proof of a non-cancellable contract to provide security).

    At which point the DoubleTree, as was their right, cancelled the contract for non-fulfillment.

    But Elam has admitted they wanted out of the contract before that. The Cynic in me thinks it was because he negotiated a poor contract, and wanted to skim a little more money off the top.

    His angry flailing about how he doesn’t owe anyone any explanation about where the money is going managed to do something I’d not thought possible, i.e. lower my opinion of him.

  10. kittehserf MOD

    Now that would be a great troll challenge – draw poop!

  11. Argenti: I recall Throwaway’s last appearance, someday I may say the same with pleasure in it’s verity.

  12. I view what they type here as abstract, anscii poop.

  13. You can always do a drinking game like this: \~/

  14. Ooo, oooo just thought up another idea. Have some type of algorithm that randomly picks various words from a troll post and replaces them with poop and its synonyms.

  15. Fuck, my G+ feeds are now starting to fill with anti-poor (one privileged white male) and pro-AVfM conference posts (one also white male, not sure of privilege).

    At least I am now unfollowing rather than following and my history shouldn’t fill up so fast.

  16. kittehserf MOD

    pallygirl, love that algorithm idea.

    Lessee … poop, caca, shit, shite, the runs, turds, horse apples … okay, who’s got more?

  17. faeces, diarrhoea, stool

  18. marinerachel

    Green apple splatters.

  19. kittehserf MOD

    Ewwww I hadn’t heard that one, marinerachel! Don’t know whether to laugh my head off or try not to puke. XD

  20. marinerachel

    The squirts.

  21. kittehserf MOD

    Fribbie has those regularly – you can hear her power squirts from another room. :/

  22. kittehserf MOD

    Come to think of it, “the squirts” describes the drive-by trolls we get here. The tedious wall-o-text ones are like gastro.

  23. We call ’em the squits, in Norfolk. Do no give Witchy Kitten milk! Ever!

  24. kittehserf MOD

    Squits, I like it.

    Kitties and milk, eek! I can imagine.

  25. Buffalo chips! Prairie oysters! Loaf! The Misters don’t have enough love in their souls between ’em to deal with one dirty diaper.

    Thanks, everyone, about the “better strangers” line — but, as usual when I post a good turn of phrase, it’s Shakespeare’s.

    I dunno, those things have a lot of sugar in them, I think we’d all end up running around like toddlers who just got into the 2 liter bottle of Coke.

    They’re bad enough hepped up on an apple’s worth of fructose. I dread the day mine discover sodas.

  26. They’re bad enough hepped up on an apple’s worth of fructose. I dread the day mine discover sodas.

    Every tooth in my son’s head is a sweet tooth. Grandma was the one who gave him a sip of her Coke one day. I may nurse this grudge until the day I die.

    I saw a picture of a root beer float the other day when I was browsing Pinterest, and I literally made the crossed-fingers sign against evil at my screen. Ice cream AND soda? My son’s deep interest in vegetables will die the day he encounters that concoction, for he will desire nothing else in the world. A root beer float will truly, in his eyes, be the perfect food.

  27. My babies can put away watermelon at a rate that impresses even the day care workers, but that will all change when they discover glucose.

    It is awfully endearing how they try to pronounce “watermelon” (or “strawberry”) while lacking important phonemes….

  28. There were five armed security officers on the premises from Thurs thru to the end to the conference. We’re talking armed with guns here, not just nightsticks or mace.

    Big deal. Most security guards in the US carry a gun.

    Also, if the money was truly spent on security, why won’t Elam provide evidence of that to the people who feel duped?

  29. Agentorange, interestingly enough I’ve had to hire police for events. Since Elam won’t discuss his numbers, ours have an hourly rate of $35/officer. Using that figure, 35*5 officers*24 hours*3 days= $12,600. Didn’t AVFM raise over $30k? You are very naive if you think it all went to security.

  30. See my latest post for estimates of how much it would cost to hire the 4 police officers Elam says he hired for the conference. (Note: It’s a lot less than $30k.)

  31. Cops in the USA armed with guns! Who woulda think it!

    Poop synonyms:

    Hershey kisses/squirts, code brown, sharts, rabbit pellets, a dump, a load, a smear, waste, droppings, doo-doo, filth, excrement, night soil, crap, scat, number 2.

    Um, so, assessing, treating and cleaning up after patients bowel functions is actually a pretty big part of my work….

  32. My babies can put away watermelon at a rate that impresses even the day care workers, but that will all change when they discover glucose.

    My son knows the joys of refined sugar, but he’s still retained his love of watermelon. I was peeling the rinds for pickling the other day, and he kept sneaking bits of the chopped melon while I was working. The melon got crushed and juiced so that I could boil it down for soda syrup. I think I would have gotten about a third more yield if I’d managed to keep him out of the raw materials. :)

  33. emilygoddess - MOD

    Um, pickled melon rind sounds amazing, and a good way to use op parts that are normally thrown away.

    Making syrup from actual fruit is also a good idea.

    I wish I had the energy for all this cookery stuff. I often dream of making all my own tasty foodstuffs, but I’m so tired these days.

    My goal for the summer is to experiment with drinking vinegars, if I can convince my partner to tolerate the smell (apparently the early steps make your whole house smell of, well, vinegar).

  34. My goal for the summer is to experiment with drinking vinegars, if I can convince my partner to tolerate the smell (apparently the early steps make your whole house smell of, well, vinegar).

    I love the smell of vinegar. And the taste. Sometimes I just eat pasta with balsamic vinegar. Because I like it, and because that’s about how sophisticated my cooking gets on the average day.

  35. Ooh, shrubs! I’ve been intrigued by those, too. I might get crackin’ on one after Mr. FM leaves for his next trip. He’s not a fan of vinegar smells, either. He came home early on pickling day and immediately went around opening all the windows and doors. I guess pickles are the olfactory version of sausage – if you want to keep eating them, you don’t want to smell them getting made.

    I love the smell of vinegar. And the taste. Sometimes I just eat pasta with balsamic vinegar.

    I like this idea. I must try it soon.

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