Category Archives: terrorism

Paul Elam of A Voice for Men: In His Own Words

Paul Elam on 20/20

Paul Elam in a web-only clip from the 20/20 segment that never ran on television.

Paul Elam, the founder and primary animating force behind the website A Voice for Men, is probably, for better or worse, the most influential figure in the Men’s Rights movement (or, as he prefers to call it, the Men’s Human Rights Movement).

Elam is also a fierce misogynist with a penchant for angry, violent rhetoric full of only-slightly veiled threats. But don’t take my word for it. Perhaps the best way to get to know Mr. Elam is through his own words.

So here are some of Elam’s thoughts on a variety of issues, taken from postings on his own website.  I have linked each quote back to its source on A Voice for Men.

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TyphonBlue: “Aside from the minor … physical effects of abortion surgery, how is forced abortion different for men or women?”

Men suffer from all those stupid lady afflictions too.

Men suffer from all those stupid lady afflictions too.

You may recall that post a couple of days back in which I talked about Dean Esmay of A Voice for Men — the alleged “Men’s Human Rights” site that hosts an open call to firebomb courthouses and police stations in its “activism” section — suggesting that unnamed Man Boobz “minions” might stoop to impersonating female MRAs in an attempt to make the Men’s Rights movement look bad.

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How bad ideas get started: The “Apex Fallacy,” the “Frontman Fallacy,” and the murderer Marc Lepine

Would blabla

Would MRAs still be into the Apex Fallacy if boards of directors looked like this?

So some Men’s Rightsers are up in arms because the powers that be at Wikipedia just deleted a page devoted to a phony “logical fallacy” invented by a friend of Paul Elam. According to the now-deleted Wikipedia page, “the apex fallacy refers to judging groups primarily by the success or failure at those at the top rungs (the apex, such as the 1%) of society, rather than collective success of a group.”

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A 12-Step program to help A Voice for Men cure its addiction to hate

I'm pretty sure these guys thought they were a human rights movement too.

I’m pretty sure these guys thought they were some sort of  human rights movement too.

Asha James – otherwise known as TyphonBlue – has taken issue with something I wrote about A Voice for Men, the hate site she has chosen to affiliate herself with. In my post detailing the hundreds of horrendous and disgusting threats and abusive comments one Canadian feminist has received after she appeared in a YouTube video that was heavily promoted on A Voice for Men and other Men’s Rights sites, I wrote that AVFM had only distanced itself in a “superficial way from some of the harassment it has played a central role in unleashing.”

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With courthouse violence on the rise, Men’s Rights activists continue to lionize the author of a terrorist manifesto urging men to burn down courthouses

Poster at a memorial for Tom Ball, an MRA who advocated burning down courthouses and police stations.

Poster at a memorial event for Tom Ball, an MRA who advocated burning down courthouses and police stations.

EDIT 6/15/13: Tom Ball’s manifesto is no longer posted on A Voice for Men, though it isn’t clear if this is a website glitch or a change in policy on AVFM’s part;  no announcement about taking it down has been made.

EDITED TO ADD: In the wake of the Boston Marathon bombing, it seems even more important to reinterate that influential Men’s Rights website A Voice for Men continues to host, in its “activism” section no less, a terrorist manifesto literally calling for the firebombing of courthouses and police stations. Until and unless that manifesto is removed, and A Voice for Men apologizes for hosting it, I will be linking to this post every time I mention A Voice for Men.

There has been another courthouse shooting. On Monday morning, the father of a man due in court for a child support hearing pulled out a semiautomatic handgun and shot his son’s ex wife and a friend of hers as they entered the lobby of the New Castle County Courthouse in Wilmington Delaware. After an exchange of gunfire with police that left two officers wounded, 68-year old Thomas Matusiewicz took his own life. The two women Matusiewcz shot were pronounced dead on arrival at a local hospital.

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A Voice for Men publishes a post by racist blogger Pamela Geller, whose Islamophobic writings helped to inspire Norwegian terrorist Anders Breivik [UPDATE]

Some of Pamela Geller’s other work.

NOTE: Man Boobz Pledge Week Continues! Big  thanks to everyone who has donated!

If you haven’t yet, and want to, here’s the button you’re looking for:

UPDATE: AVFM has taken the post down.

Men’s Rights Activists have had a serious hate-on for the Southern Poverty Law Center ever since the hate-group-monitoring watchdog wrote about the misogyny in the Men’s Rights movement last spring.

Since the SPLC devotes its time to ferreting out bigots and exposing them to the world, this has put SPLC-hating MRAs in some interesting company. While not everyone who’s criticized the SPLC is a bigot – both Harper’s magazine and the Nation have been critical of the group and its fundraising methods – many of the most virulent critics of the SPLC are far-right racists. On Reddit, for example, the anti-SPLC subreddit, called simply SPLC, is dominated by white nationalists; indeed, at the moment, one of the top links on its front page is titled “Interest for White Student Union grows.”

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Appeals court upholds conviction of a man who threatened to kill a family court judge — in a song on YouTube

Jeffries in his YouTube video.

Yesterday, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit in Cincinnati upheld the conviction of a divorced Tennessee dad with the unlikely name of Franklin Delano Jeffries II who, in the midst of a custody battle, decided to post a YouTube video of himself singing a song with the sweet title “Daughter’s Love.”

The problem was that only a small portion of the song was actually about daughters and love; the rest was about Mr. Jeffries’ apparent desire to kill the judge overseeing the custody hearings, and possibly others.

As the appeals court judge put it:

The song contains sweet passages about relationships between fathers and daughters and the importance of spending time together. The rest boils into an assortment of the banal (complaints about his ex-wife), the ranting (gripes about lawyers and the legal system) and the menacing (threats to kill the judge if he doesn’t “do the right thing” at an upcoming custody hearing). Jeffries set the words to music and created a video of himself performing the song on a guitar painted with an American flag on it. The style is part country, part rap, sometimes on key, and surely therapeutic. 

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Men’s Rights Redditor: “I advocate the removal of judges, politicians, and other government agents who violate the Constitution by any means necessary.” [UPDATED]

Men’s Rights subreddit regular Demonspawn (remember him?) is back again with some deliberately vague but definitely threatening talk about judges and politicians:

Not a lot of “plausible deniability” here, though I am sure various MRAs will try to excuse this as not being what it obviously is: a threat of violence against judges, politicians and others who work for the government.

He’s done this before; I wrote about it here.

And while we’re on the topic of Demonspawn, here’s a little followup comment of his from the thread we discussed the other day. It’s a giant wall of text, I know, but it contains gems like: “When women mouth off to men and get their faces bashed in, they’ll know equality.” At least this comment of his got as many downvotes as upvotes.

I’m banned from the Men’s Rights subreddit, of course, but Demonspawn, despite repeatedly violating the subreddit’s rules about posting comments advocating violence, continues to post away. See his comment history for more lovely thoughts on, among other things, why women are parasites who don’t deserve the vote.

Update: Norwegian Men’s Rights blogger Eivind Berge will be held for four more weeks due to the “risk of recurrence of new criminal offenses.”

Just a quick update on Eivind Berge: According to this news account, the Norwegian Men’s Rights blogger is considered enough of a threat to police officers that his two-week detention has been extended by four more weeks. According to the prosecutor, the “risk of recurrence of new criminal offenses” makes releasing him dangerous.

See my posts here and here for more on his arrest.

Spinning the Eivind Berge arrest: Reddit vs. The Spearhead

Berge: Too provocative for his own good?

The spinning of Norwegian Men’s Rights blogger Eivind Berge’s arrest for threatening police officers has begun.

Over on Reddit, the leading hangout for the Men’s Rights movement’s  “moderates,” most MRAs seem to want to have nothing to do with Berge’s extremism (which is good), to the extent that many of them are declaring him not an MRA at all (which is ridiculous).

Sorry, guys. Berge may literally be the world’s worst MRA, and one that most MRAs have been content to ignore, but he’s still an MRA. He’s described himself as such many times (e.g., here); he has many of the same views and obsessions as “mainstream” MRAs; and he’s even got a few outspoken MRA fans.  And while some Reddit Men’s Rightsers were distancing themselves from Berge in the wake of his arrest, others were respectfully discussing a blog post from Berge’s girlfriend Emma the Emo (who shares many of his views) taking aim at what she called “American pedophile hysteria.”

Over on the Spearhead, the more reactionary W.F. Price has a rather different spin on Berge, as encapsulated by the title of his blog post on the subject: “Eivind Berge Arrested for Provocative Rhetoric.”

Evidently, threatening to stab a police officer (and announcing the day on which you plan to do so) is merely a sort of rhetorical flourish.

It’s a strange and often incoherent post, in which Price seems to argue that Berge’s threats don’t count as real threats because … he made them publicly? Here, you make sense of it:

Eivind Berge has been posting some pretty provocative stuff for quite a while now, including his desire to kill police for enforcing misandric laws. I agree with his girlfriend that it was a bunch of hot air, but he got arrested for it anyway. Despite his support for Anders Breivik, who decimated the youth wing of the Marxist/Islamist Norwegian left in a solo Knights Templar crusade last year, I seriously doubt Eivind would have carried out any violent acts. Breivik, who really meant business, kept his plans to himself.

The truth is that people who manage to pull off spectacular terrorist attacks are almost always those who don’t say anything about them beforehand. Think Mohammed Atta vs. James Ujaama.

Yeah, it’s not like Osama bin Laden ever made threats about attacking the US. Or that abusers who threaten their exes ever actually harm them. Or any of a million other examples in which someone who issues a threat carries out said threat.

The lesson here is that if you want to be political, there’s a sort of tortoise/hare dynamic at work. The impetuous, fast hare tends to run out of steam (or run into trouble with the law) fairly quickly. The slow-and-steady tortoise, on the other hand, keeps trudging on and wins the race. …

[T]hreatening to kill people openly and loudly is essentially worthless.

Is Price really equating terrorists who plot their attacks secretly with the slow-and-steady tortoise who wins the race?

Who the hell knows. But he is clearly offering an apologia for making violent threats on the dubious grounds that those who threaten their enemies openly are somehow therefore not dangerous.

Later Price offers this completely clear cut and definitive repudiation of violence.*

We shouldn’t fool ourselves into thinking that violent action will do us any good. Of course violence does work, but the power of the state is so overwhelming today that individual acts are almost certain to fail. Furthermore, those who are willing to unleash violence on others must be prepared to die themselves, and must lead by example. Somehow, I don’t think many of us have reached that point. It’s a long road to get there, and I hold out the hope that it will never go that far.

[T]he point is that anyone who condones violent action loudly and publicly, but doesn’t back it up, can’t be taken seriously.

In the comments, Eric complains that men who commit violence for putatively political reasons may suffer the indignity of being called bad names:

As we have all seen repeatedly, violence against men is socially and politically sanctioned violence. A man committing violence in defense of his rights is labelled a ‘terrorist’ or an ‘extremist’. The case of Thomas Ball is a perfect example. …

The feminist elites are bullies who are aware of their power and our inability to ‘push back’ in any way that will cause them deserved pain (at least for now). But like all bullies, they are also rabid egomaniacs and fear anyone who doesn’t bow slavishly to their power. The more men who are informed as to their true nature and who are taught to despise them, the weaker these bullies become because their fear of exposure and losing their power is a mania.

I guess Eric’s main beef is with the English language. I’m pretty sure that using violence to cause “deserved pain” in an attempt to intimidate your political enemies is basically the dictionary definition of “terrorism.”

Further down in the comments, Eric sets forth a curious little conspiracy theory involving, well, me. In one comment, he suggests that the attention I’ve given to the Berge arrest

illustrates that the anti-MRM forces are primed and ready for a ‘false flag’ or provocateur-instigated ‘incident’. … The feminist elites have noticably shifted from typical ridicule to painting the MRM as a dangerous extremist movement.”

In a followup comment, he elaborates on this peculiar logic:

Futrelle … does seem unusally worked up. …

I have the feeling that something ominous is in the wind.

This kind of language out of the Mangina League; the SPLC’s attention; the spate of troll and provocateur attacks and hacking on mens’ blogs; this crap going on in Scandanavia—there’s definately a pole-shift among our enemies and it stinks of orchestration.

I’m pretty sure I didn’t make up many years worth of threatening comments from Eivind “killing at least one cop is on my bucket list” Berge. So does this mean that Berge is some sort of deep-cover feminist operative? What does that make Paul “fucking your shit up gives me an erection” Elam?

*

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