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Is A Voice for Men using phony death threats as an excuse to smear feminists and raise a quick $25k? Here’s what we DON’T know so far. [UPDATE: Hotel still not talking]

Adjusted for inflation, those 5 cent fears are now worth $25,000
Adjusted for inflation, those 5 cent fears are now worth $25,000

Is A Voice for Men using phony “death threats” allegedly directed at those planning to attend its upcoming “Men’s Issues” conference in Detroit, as well as upon employees and guests of the hotel where it’s scheduled to be held, as an excuse to smear feminists and raise a quick $25,000 in donations from readers and possibly even from a handful of gullible feminists?

As incredible as that sounds, that’s what some people I respect are saying. Despite AVFM’s history of lying about alleged feminist threats – you may recall John Hembling’s infamous confrontation with an imaginary mob of 20-30 feminists brandishing boxcutters – I’m not willing to go that far.

But there’s a lot about the story that makes no sense, and some big questions that need convincing answers.

1) The Doubletree Fort Shelby hotel has not confirmed that the letter Paul Elam posted on his site several days ago, and which he has now removed, actually came from them. The letter is, so far, the only evidence that there were any threats.

Hotel management needs to confirm whether or not they sent this letter to Elam.

2) Both the Detroit News and the Detroit Free Press spoke to Detroit Police spokesman Adam Madera, who told them that the police had not received any reports of death threats from the hotel. He told both papers that hotel staff had asked about hiring off-duty officers for security but hadn’t specified why.

Hotel management needs to confirm either that 1) they got death threats and didn’t report them or 2) that they got no such threats. They should also confirm whether their calls about off-duty police officers were related to the “Men’s Issues” conference.

There are a few other clues that support the “hoax” theory, though they’re far from definitive:

Several people who have allegedly contacted the hotel to ask about the threat say that the managers they spoke to knew nothing about the threats. Even if these reports are true, this may not be significant; managers may not have been told about threats related to a conference many weeks off.

The Detroit News also spoke to the owner of the hotel, and he said he was unaware of any threats. That may not be significant either; he may simply be out of the loop.

Essentially, we’re waiting for the Doubletree Fort Shelby management to answer these questions. If you look at the news coverage so far you’ll notice that the hotel staffers who can answer these questions don’t seem to be answering their phones or returning calls. I left a message for them today as well. No reply yet.

The other bits of evidence we’re waiting for? Well, the letter Elam claims he got from hotel management says that he and the other conference organizers need to send the hotel proof that they’ve hired the required number of Detroit police officers to handle security, as well as proof that they have also paid for at least $2 million in liability insurance. They have to have this done by the 6th.

In light of all the questions still swirling around, I think people are going to want to see this proof too.

It may be that the hotel comes forward and confirms that the letter was real, that the threats were real, and that indeed A Voice for Men does have to shell out $25,000 for extra security. It may even be the case that it was a feminist or a group of feminists making the threats. But we don’t know. And right now the people who do know are either not talking — or they have pretty much no credibility. Let’s hope the silence ends soon, because there’s no way the not-so-good folks at AVFM are suddenly going to turn credible overnight.

EDIT: I toned down some of the language, which I think was detracting from my main points, and added a new final paragraph.

EDIT 2:  Removed some speculation. We’ll know some of the answers soon enough; no need to speculate.

UPDATE: DOUBLETREE STATEMENT

So I’ve heard back from Atiya Frederick, the PR Manager for Embassy Suites Hotels & DoubleTree, and she’s made clear that the hotel won’t be answering specific questions about any of this just yet. Here’s what she sent me.

At this time we are confining our comments on this matter to the below statement …

Hilton Worldwide strives to operate meeting places for people from all walks of life, regardless of beliefs, race, color, national origin, religion or sexual orientation. The views of our guests do not reflect the sentiment of Hilton Worldwide. As places of public accommodation, our hotels do not discriminate against any individual or group. Our goal is to provide quality accommodations and a pleasant environment for our guests, employees and members of our community . We would like to emphasize that we strive to be an inclusive company and regret if this policy has unintentionally offended any individual or organization. 

This statement seems to be their standard response when they host a conference by a controversial group.

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contrapangloss
7 years ago

Also, bad people == loons. It’s mean to both loons and aneurotypicals, who are mostly harmless.

…unless they are a super secret spy loon.

LBT (with an open writeathon!)

RE: auggziliary

Jesus had a headache.

By the end of it, so did hubby. (He’s Christian, but all the queer-affirming churches had to march BEHIND these chucklefucks. Fucking parade organizers.)

titianblue
titianblue
7 years ago

@Howard, I voted for Margaret Thatcher (or, anyway for the conservative candidate which meant the same thing). The alternative was Michael Foot but even so …

LBT (with an open writeathon!)

Yeah, we’ve all done fucked-up things at some point. In my case, I was a pro-life rape survivor because I saw it as a perfectly reasonable punishment to raise a child at sixteen because I was raped.

I mean, why not? I felt so shitty already, why SHOULDN’T I be a teenage single parent on top of it? I felt like I deserved it, and the hypothetical child didn’t. Also, by that age, I was already used to being treated as a mini-adult who was solely responsible for everything; why wouldn’t I be responsible for a kid too?

Then I realized that it was bullshit and nobody should be forced to raise a child for any reason at all. Happy ending!

Viscaria
Viscaria
7 years ago

I don’t think I know any Tea Partiers, but I do know some Alberta Wild Rose supporters (very similar party) and they’re the worst. Greedy, entitled racists who will throw children’s education under the bus in favour of parents having total control over their kids lives. Every single one of them. I will speak badly of them all day long, because they’re bad people.

ncc1707d
ncc1707d
7 years ago

The Teabaggers and their ilk both confuse the hell out of me, and make me really, really glad to be Canadian.

Wow, LBT, I’m really glad you were able to get your head together over all that! Survivor hugs, where appropriate.

I’m going through my head for the stupidest, most fucked up thing I’ve done… That fireplay performance that I did on myself was poorly thought out, in retrospect. But vitamin E works wonders, and there isn’t even any scarring left! 😀

Lea
Lea
7 years ago

LBT,
If only the now us’es could go back and help the then us’es, right?

Bless her heart, that girl got me here and I appreciate that, but then me was a very confused person.

katz
7 years ago

Jesus had a headache.

Like so.

LBT (with an open writeathon!)

RE: Winter Walker and Lea

It’s okay; it was a long time ago. It’s just way easier to end up in those places than a lot of folks think. At least I mostly had my head on straight by the time I could drink! Yech.

And Lea, I actually have this ancient old letter, written from the mythical original girl back before I existed. She asked a bunch of questions about how we were doing, and it was very satisfying to write her back, even though I know she can never read the letter. I think Tiny Us would’ve been absolutely boggled to know where we are now.

Anarchonist
Anarchonist
7 years ago

I was a fundamental Christian in my teens. I believed the Earth to be less than 10,000 years old. I thought the world was run by evil satan-worshipping atheists who oppressed Christians and wanted to destroy traditional marriage. I believed in a “gay agenda”, for crying out loud. I was so self-absorbed, ignorant and irrational that looking back makes me cringe.

I think the only aspect of the asshole that was teen me that made me remotely sympathetic was the fact that I hated myself the most, and took out all my anger on myself, never on anyone else. If the tea bagger types were doing that instead of being zits on the face of human decency, they would have my sympathies.

pallygirl
pallygirl
7 years ago

My deepest secret that I keep hidden from people who know me because I’m so ashamed: I was also a fundamentalist Christian in my teenage years, same as Anarchonist, along with the whole the pope is the anti-Christ stuff as well. I came of voting age when the law was being changed to legalise homosexuality, and my church had petitions against it. I took one and got my tertiary studies class to sign it.

I cognitively know I was indoctrinated at the time, but my whole being feels like I should have known that this was morally wrong. And I still mentally beat myself up about it.

sarah
sarah
7 years ago

I think most atheists go through a mega douche phase.

Its part if the process.

Anonymouslazycat
Anonymouslazycat
7 years ago

I never really had what I would call a fundie phase, but I did have a sanctimonious, I’m-better-than-you-because-I’m-atheist phase. It was made even worse by the fact that my big sister was going through a sanctimonious, I’m-better-than-you-because-I’m-a-Christian phase. But we grew out of them- at least I hope we did. And I also grew out of my overly-judgy anti-drug phase, which is good. I was pretty annoying and cringeworthy at that age. I still am, actually, but in different ways.

leftwingfox
7 years ago

ncc1701d: I know what you mean. I grew up in Alberta, and considered myself a moderate. Moved to the US in 2000, started paying attention to politics after 9/11. I started to wonder if all conservatives had been this bad. Moved back to Canada, and realized no… the US Republican Party is a special brand of terrible.

Still, the Conservatives up here are getting worse. The provincial PC candidate here in Ontario is promising a million jobs by cutting taxes, firing public sector employees, and calling a halt to wind power development, the same failed reactionary policies we see in the US.

They’re just nicer about it here. 😛

Lids
7 years ago

I’m lucky, the only phases I really went through that were truly cringeworthy were my “holier-than-thou” atheist phase (I’m actually agnostic now), my “look at me im better man material cuz i don’t do makeup and i don’t like to shop or gossip perfect girlfriend xD” phase, my “using gay as an insult phase”, and my slut shaming phase. Luckily those were all in middle school for the most part.

girlseule
7 years ago

If you are going to ask people to hand over $25,000 you are going to need some real proof that you aren’t just trying to scam people.

Delphi Ote
Delphi Ote
7 years ago

Also a former evangelical. Actually spoke in tongues. Believed the rapture was coming any day.

Don’t beat yourself up about things you believed as a child. You don’t beat yourself up for believing in Santa, right? Or for watching cartoons? We grow up and become different people.

Anonymouslazycat
Anonymouslazycat
7 years ago

@Delphi Ote

“…Or for watching cartoons?”

Pfft, cartoons are great.

malcolm johnston (@malcolmingabout)

I don’t know why the manboobzer cult believes that anyone owes them proof of anything.
However, as someone who has saved up a few pennies to go to the conference, I do appreciate all this attention, I’m beginning to feel like a superstar. I can hardly wait to hear what Senator Anne Cools (Canada’s longest serving senator and the first black Canadian ever appointed to the upper house) has to say during her address to the conference. She’s been a hero of mine for years and I’m finally going to get to meet her. 🙂

Fibinachi
7 years ago

Still watch them.

Why yes, I am a taxpaying, apartment owning, working adult. Why do you ask?

Lea
Lea
7 years ago

When Delphi wrote dangerous loons, did anyone else imagine a common loon in a trench coat, with a spy arsenal?

Mine just had a switchblade and an attitude, but yes.

J. Raven's Star
7 years ago

People really love accusing feminists of being violent and making death threats whenever they get the chance. But no one ever seems to be able to come up with any evidence to this end aside from a tiny spike in girls smacking each other in school, online arguing, abortion (if you call that violence – I don’t), and Valerie Solanas, who shot Andy Warhol (without killing him) over 40 years ago now. So that’s one non-fatal shooting in over a century of feminism vs…. how many?

hrovitnir
hrovitnir
7 years ago

Meh, the douchy atheist phase is probably much more common when few people are raised atheist and there is more pushback against it.

I was raised atheist and it wasn’t really an issue except when I was forced to go along with Christian things, in which case it was hard not to be angry at Christianity for it. My Muslim friends never pushed anything on me – I went to a tiny primary school with quite a few Somalian kids so the atheists and Muslims would hang out in the library during the bible class. We still had to sing Christian songs and go to the Easter play unless your parent could pick you up, and I was not impressed. 😛

Guest
Guest
7 years ago

I guess it’s nice to know that if Neo-Nazi’s or the Klan want to hold a conference, the Doubletree Detroit won’t discriminate against them.

scarlettpipstrelle
7 years ago

From the Spearhead, Price damns with faint praise, “Although I’ve had my differences with Paul Elam in the past, he is not that dishonest,…” Only somewhat dishonest? Huh?

But Price has bought a ticket on the fantasy roller coaster too, “I think this calls for an investigation. I’m not sure we can convince the feds to do it, but it’s about time this intimidation and extortion gets a hard look from authorities, even if we have to shame them into it. I’d like to see how the feminists react when one of their own is hauled off in leg irons for making terroristic threats or committing criminal extortion.” [comments section] http://www.the-spearhead.com/2014/06/04/feminists-resort-to-accusing-avfm-of-wire-fraud/

Catalpa
Catalpa
7 years ago

Loons are not dangerous. Canadian geese though, those things will fuck you up.

cloudiah
7 years ago

I don’t know why the manboobzer cult believes that anyone owes them proof of anything.
However, as someone who has saved up a few pennies to go to the conference, I do appreciate all this attention, I’m beginning to feel like a superstar.

That’s okay, we’re used to MRAs basking in attention they haven’t earned and taking credit for accomplishments (building civilization! hunting mammoths!) they had no part in. Rock on with your bad self, Malcolm.

weirwoodtreehugger
7 years ago

I don’t know why the manboobzer cult believes that anyone owes them proof of anything.

Elam is accusing the feminist hivemind of participating and asking us to donate money. If he wants his claims to be taken seriously he has to provide evidence for his claims.

However, as someone who has saved up a few pennies to go to the conference, I do appreciate all this attention, I’m beginning to feel like a superstar.

LOL. This comment is the first time I’ve hear of your sorry ass. How does our usual mockery of Elam make you a superstar?

Lea
Lea
7 years ago

I’d like to see how the feminists react when one of their own is hauled off in leg irons for making terroristic threats or committing criminal extortion.

By being happy another horrible person has been brought to justice?
WTF?
How else would we feel about a guilty person getting caught making threats?

These folks do project, don’t they?

I’m beginning to feel like a superstar.

Don’t let it go to your head. People talk about beg bugs, fleas, whip worms and other annoying vermin too, when they are plagued by them.

Shoobie11
7 years ago

Has the possibility been considered that the Doubletree may have insisted they hire off duty officers out of concern for the safety of the hotel’s employees and other guests, and perhaps this death threat rumor is to save face and convince attendees that the officers are present to protect them rather than protect the people around FROM them?…

damselindetech
7 years ago

From scarlettpipstrelle’s recap of Spearhead comments:

“…I’d like to see how the feminists react when one of their own is hauled off in leg irons for making terroristic threats or committing criminal extortion”

Welp, speaking as one singular feminist (sorry the Hivemind hasn’t gotten back to me with permission to speak for All Of Us), I’d be glad they were arrested because threatening and extorting folks is illegal and fucked up. Operating towards the same or similar end-goals doesn’t give one free license to be harmful and oppressive. That’s pretty much the idea behind call-out culture (that’s the thing we’re calling that now, right?), where if one of us fucks up we point it out so that we can do better.

Ally S
7 years ago

I don’t know why the manboobzer cult believes that anyone owes them proof of anything.

You’re right, you folks don’t owe us proof. But perhaps there is a problem with your beloved activist group making shit up for the sake of their reactionary agenda. I’m just saying!

kittehserf
7 years ago

mmhm, enough with the gratuitous political potshots. People who bash Tea Partiers don’t know any. None of this was about politics til you went off on your little rant.

The fuck? Tea Partiers’ toxic, hateful shit is all over the internet. People who criticise/point and laugh at them have the TPs’ very own words to go from, y’know.

Ally S
7 years ago

Oh, and you think we’re a cult? Try saying that to victims of actual cults, jackass.

Lea
Lea
7 years ago

Remember the “WHERE YOU AT!?!?!?!” guy from the “American Spring” protest?
I predict a similar meltdown showing up online if the first ever MRA convention ever manages to happen at all.

I also predict that, like the “American Spring” protesters, they’ll make excuses, lie about their numbers and get busted immediately.

If it happens.
I seriously doubt it will.
These jerks couldn’t organize a third grade picnic.

Lea
Lea
7 years ago

I don’t know why the manboobzer cult believes that anyone owes them proof of anything.

Cult?
Uh-huh…right.

Anyway, no one owes anyone evidence of their claims. I can say the moon is a rubber ball if I like. No one has to believe my claim either. Nor do we owe them trust or charity. They poisoned that well themselves. It is a known fact that Elam is a lying sack of shit and that the MRA spreads nothing but hateful bullshit in their quest to set civilization back as many centuries as it can. We’re incredulous of claims made by this bunch, because they’ve yet to be caught telling the truth about anything.

Ally S
7 years ago

AVFM says it’s going to provide the proof when they hire the police/get the insurance

How convenient.

tealily
tealily
7 years ago

I used to be a skeptic of the theory of projection, but I’m a true believer now. I’ve seen people twist things around and project the shitty things they do on to others before, but these clowns take the cake.

As far as seeing “one of our own” hauled off in leg irons, what the fuck does that have to do with us? Unlike MRAs, we don’t take credit for things other feminists do, boys, good or bad. If your narrow little minds can comprehend the concept of “not all men”, surely, you can understand that about other groups you don’t belong to. If you haven’t advanced to that concept yet, try.

It’s amazing that needs to be explained to them.

tealily
tealily
7 years ago

I don’t know why the manboobzer cult believes that anyone owes them proof of anything.
However, as someone who has saved up a few pennies to go to the conference, I do appreciate all this attention, I’m beginning to feel like a superstar.

That’s okay, we’re used to MRAs basking in attention they haven’t earned and taking credit for accomplishments (building civilization! hunting mammoths!) they had no part in. Rock on with your bad self, Malcolm.

Lmao. Perfect.

pecunium
7 years ago

I don’t know why the manboobzer cult believes that anyone owes them proof of anything.

Because he’s telling us we need to pony up money so he can abuse us.

That’s some chutzpah. If he thinks I’m going to cough up just because he says there were death threats… he’s wrong. Yeah, I’m opposed to death threats, and I figure the MRM is as entitled as any other group to have a wank-fest, but I’m not obliged to pay for it.

And anyone who tells me I am, better have some compelling evidence to support the petition.

Since Elam, et al., have a history of making shit up… absence of evidence implies evidence of absence.

pallygirl
pallygirl
7 years ago

Where is the fund raising by AVfM to help victims of its doxxing campaigns?

LBT (with an open writeathon!)

RE: malcolm johnston

I don’t know why the manboobzer cult believes that anyone owes them proof of anything.

Dude, I don’t just hand money over to any Paypal button. I consider that healthy.

RE: J. Raven’s Star

So that’s one non-fatal shooting in over a century of feminism vs…. how many?

Well, be fair, Emma Goldman was feministish(?), and she and her boyfriend tried to kill a President. It was for class reasons, not gender though. (Also they totally failed.)

Ally S
7 years ago

I’m getting bored with jules. Here’s some good 70s disco I heard on the radio recently:

<3 her voice

Ally S
7 years ago

Wrong thread. Damn it. X_X

Argenti Aertheri
Argenti Aertheri
7 years ago

Pecunium — if you do decide to donate to him, your least favorite wedding gift came from Target. Though I’d be a little sad if you returned it, my gag gifts are usually, uh, not G rated.

On topic — yeeeeah, if he wants donations, he can either prove he needs them, or ask for general donations. His track record regarding blaming feminists is impressive…ly bad.

Oh and he’s over 30k anyways, so now he doesn’t need any more money and can end the fundraiser. Right?

LBT (with an open writeathon!)

Enh, I figure it’s a good dose of self-hatred crossed with, “but I’m not like THOSE women!”

Alex
7 years ago

“but I’m not like THOSE women!”

I’d been calling that “Special Snowflake Syndrome”, but I’ve been wondering if “syndrome” makes it sound ableist. Maybe Special Snowflakeism would be better.

pallygirl
pallygirl
7 years ago

Special Snowflake Status would appear to be non-ableist and gives you your third S back. I like the 3 S’s. 🙂

Alex
7 years ago

Oo, I like that! Special Snowflake Status, it is!