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$MONEY$ a voice for men lying liars MRA paul elam

Paul Elam: All Your Donations Are Belong to Me

Paul Elam, in his hovel.

Heh. I’m on my annual semi-vacation this week, and was planning on keeping my postings here fairly light. But the news waits for no one. And by “news” I mean the daily parade of ridiculousness coming from the Men’s “Human Rights” camp. So here’s a quick report on the latest bit of high irony involving A Voice for Men.

Well, I was wrong. I’ve often noted that the Men’s Rights movement in general, and A Voice for Men in particular, doesn’t actually provide any real help for any real men. Sure, as far as I can tell, precisely zero of the hundreds of thousands of dollars A Voice for Men has raised from donors over the years has gone into providing actual services for men — say, funding a hotline for troubled men or some other practical program that doesn’t primarily involve yelling at women online. But never let it be said that none of this money gods to help men.

Because, it turns out, that money has been going to help men. Or at least that subset of men that consists of one Paul Elam of Houston Texas.

After being pressed for details about A Voice for Men’s finances by anonymous commenters on Reddit, a certain Twitterer named @DavidFutrelle and a journalist from MSNBC, Elam has finally fessed up and admitted that all the money donated to his website goes directly to him. But don’t take my word for it. Here’s what Elam had to say in a post from yesterday:

Every dollar donated goes right into my pocket. I spend that money on this website and on activist efforts at my own discretion, considering the opinions of the AVFM management team that volunteers to help run this place. … I depend on the site for my living, and to do as much FTSU as possible while I am at it.

In the past, of course, Elam was a bit more, well, elusive about where the money was going, talking about the costs of paying for web hosting and stock images rather than, say, the costs of paying the mortgage of one Paul Elam. Maybe “elusive” isn’t the correct word. “Deceptive” might be more like it.

You may also recall this pitch he once made for donations (I’ve put the best parts in bold):

I am tired of seeing a comparative handful of men and women cough up the lion’s share of financial assistance when most, even some who come here every day to read and cheer on FTSU, won’t cough up five fucking dollars to help us out; who are just fine as long as none of the burden, even a trivial part of it, is on them. …

[T]he longer I am at this, the less patience I have with dead weight, those who think AVFM is a fucking source of entertainment, or a life preserver for when the tables finally, inevitably turn against them.

In a way, I feel even worse now for most of the men who will make contact with AVfM looking for that lifeline. Unless their story is one that has the potential for me to exploit and gain media attention to THE CAUSE, then all I will have for them is a link to this article.

Well, and perhaps this piece of advice.

If the system has ruined your life, join the club. You are now in the ranks of men you have ignored your whole life. My advice to you is simple. Take your fucking quietly and with grace. Expect the same compassion you have always extended to those men who wore the shoes you are now wearing.

If you want things to change, then stock up on Ramen, get cozy in your studio apartment and join us in the fight to fix this shit. Don’t ask us to help you, but rather give your life the only meaning it may have left, as someone ready and willing to turn your meager existence into helping others who have been similarly screwed over.

In other words, Elam told troubled men turning to his site for help that they should stock up on Ramen noodles — and pay his bills. Oh, and on several occasions he’s boasted about taking donations from people taking the money from their unemployment checks.

As for the other people who put in so much time and energy at his site? As far as I can figure it from Elam’s evasive post yesterday, they earn nothing but a “thanks.”

At the end of each day, even with the incredible levels of help I get from people like Dean Esmay, David King, Al Martin and every one of the incredible people who work at AVFM, I am still target number one. I am a target for feminists posing as concerned MHRAs, yellow hacks like David Futrelle, and a target for many in the media who would love nothing better than to publish my personal financial information after putting their disgusting spin on it.

As you might have gathered from that quote, Elam remains indignant that anyone would even ask where the money goes.

And that goes for the money he recently raised that was supposedly earmarked to pay the security costs of AVFM’s conference. About that, he says only:

we hired four police officials (three officers and one supervisor) for coverage of the entire event and also hired a local attorney, paying his retainer in advance.  We also had to engage our regular attorney, and have not yet been billed for their services.

In effect, we spent the money raised on precisely what we said we would spend it on, and have set aside what little remained for the next conference.

Really? According to costhelper.com, off-duty police officers generally cost $40-60 an hour; this Sheriff’s department puts the costs at $27-$31 an hour for each of its officers, including administrative fees. Even assuming that AVFM paid at the top of this range — $60 an hour — it would have cost them only $7200 to pay for four officers working ten hours each of the three days of the conference.

The amount that AVFM might have paid for legal fees depends on how much their lawyers charge per hour, and how many hours they worked. Assuming each lawyer charged $200 per hour and worked thirty hours over the three days of the conference — which I highly doubt — the cost for their legal assistance would have added up to $12,000. If AVFM actually paid even half that for legal fees I will eat my cats.

Even with these extremely generous assumptions, AVFM would have paid out only a little over $19,000 for security and legal fees. AVFM raised more than $30,000 for “security.”

In the interest of full disclosure, I should note that I also ask readers for donations. But I’ve always made clear that aside from donations specifically earmarked for other things the money goes to me. (And the cats.) And I don’t demand that donors pay me $20,000 per quarter — $80,000 a year — on top of whatever donations come in between the quarterly fundraisers, not to mention special “security” fundraisers.

I’m very grateful to those who donate to me — and indeed to everyone who’s contributed time and effort and knowledge and artistic skills to help the site — but I take in only a fraction of what Elam evidently takes in. And I don’t ask for money from those who are themselves broke.

In the comments on AVFM, the regulars are of course rallying around Elam. Then again, I can’t imagine anyone critical of what he does with the money would remain unbanned there for long.

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littlemousling
6 years ago

Raise your hand if you’re surprised he’s keeping the cash. Anyone? Bueller?

That said, I *am* a bit surprised he actually admitted it.

Falconer
6 years ago

What a grifter. It must have physically pained him to have to lay out any money on the front end of his darling conference.

taitaisanchez
6 years ago

You’re also not telling people to live off ramen and fork over a part of their unemployment checks to pay your rent. Quite frankly, I’d rather see you spend the money on things that can help offset the crazy and stupid horse shit you deal with from working on the site.

Anarchonist
Anarchonist
6 years ago

I’m shocked. Shocked, I tell you!

Disclaimer: I’m not actually shocked. Well, except at the part where Elam straight up admits that he doesn’t use the donation money towards helping people outside of his very, very, very exclusive social circle.

Not that this confession matters to the Elam fanboys, mind. Where’s Woody, anyway? I’m in the mood for some “Paulie would nevah evah do something like that!”

damselindetech
6 years ago

So, who’s rolling in the bon bons now, Elam?

Ally S
6 years ago

If you want things to change, then stock up on Ramen, get cozy in your studio apartment and join us in the fight to fix this shit. Don’t ask us to help you, but rather give your life the only meaning it may have left, as someone ready and willing to turn your meager existence into helping others who have been similarly screwed over.

Advocating collective financial self-abnegation for the sake of men? That’s not very libertarian of you, Elam. It is, however, blatantly abusive.

Ally S
6 years ago

And I say it’s abusive because all of the fucking money goes to Elam and he doesn’t advocate sacrifice as an unfortunate necessity but rather as a moral obligation. He’s disgusting.

magnesium
magnesium
6 years ago

MRA personalities are the crooked Televangelists of the Internet. Only instead of ripping off the elderly, they are apparently aiming for depressed and unemployed men.

It is disheartening that so many people chose to waste their money on a hate website. On the other hand, there is a Kickstarter campaign that has almost raised $40k to make a potato salad. https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/324283889/potato-salad There are far too many people with too much money on their hands and poor decision making skills.

zoon echon logon
zoon echon logon
6 years ago

But never let it be said that none of this money gods to help men.

Minor typo. Pointing these out makes me feel both like a helpful contributor and an anal jerk.

cloudiah
6 years ago

Paulie should also be aware that most people know when something really isn’t satire.

emilygoddess - MOD
emilygoddess - MOD
6 years ago

You’re on vacation? Kittehs and I will have to do extra misandering to make up for your absence.

And I say it’s abusive because all of the fucking money goes to Elam and he doesn’t advocate sacrifice as an unfortunate necessity but rather as a moral obligation. He’s disgusting.

And he’s not willing to do anything remotely similar. He demands that is followers live in poverty so he can rake in $80,000 a year and make his videos from a really nice-looking home. And people give him the money anyway! *smh*

cloudiah
6 years ago

Also, my union didn’t spend $12K on lawyers during a week-long statewide strike. Because while lawyers are expensive, you generally don’t hire teams of them for hours at a time. You have them take, say, 30 minutes to draft a letter, or 1 hour to review an unfair labor practice charge, or maybe 2 hours to write one. Or you call them for advice, but you keep it short because that time is billable. Or you negotiate a relationship where you pay them a monthly fee and all work is included, unless you go over a large number of billable hours.

We weren’t even paying them $12K/month, most months, though there were a few exceptions. And this was a large union, with a lot of legal issues.

ladyrainicorn517
ladyrainicorn517
6 years ago

Lol, I was watching this shitshow go down yesterday at the Men’s Rights subreddit, where the man himself commented several times (to tell everyone to fuck off). It was truly incredible to behold. A handful of guys castigating themselves at his feet that they would even ask such a question as “So what’d you do with my money?” Elam’s answer was, literally, “If you can prove you actually donated, I’ll PM you with exactly the same information that’s already public.”

weirwoodtreehugger
6 years ago

Such a great human rights movement! Have none of the regulars at AVFM questioned why Elam himself is not living on ramen in a studio apartment?

Woody? Are you reading this? Can you explain why Elam won’t live up to the ridiculously high standards he expects his followers to live up to?

Auntie Alias
Auntie Alias
6 years ago

Someone made the mistake of advising Elam on organizational integrity. His charming response:

Fuck you. And your mother. And the donkey she does a sideshow with in Tijuana.
[…]
Now, I have an instruction for you. If anyone told you that this comment section was a place that you could come to tell me what I “better” do or not do, or how I am supposed to behave, they lied to you.

In fact, I am going to shitcan you from the site right now, because I can. And you know what, someone will kick in another 10 for that.

It may sound cocky, but it is true. My attitude is thus. I win. I always win. Every time they open their sewer holes, I raise money, get more traffic and fuck their shit up.

In other words, the jackals who inhabit that place reward Elam for dishing out abuse. He’s bragging that the article has generated another 1K in donations. This is human rights activism!

Luzbelitx
6 years ago

My feminist spy network has just provided me with live images of Paul Elam doing activism:

daintydougal
daintydougal
6 years ago

His spittle rage really spoils the taste of his mantears. HOW AM I TO MAKE MY SOUP!

daintydougal
daintydougal
6 years ago

Ally S
6 years ago

[CN: bestiality, misogyny, racism]

Fuck you. And your mother. And the donkey she does a sideshow with in Tijuana.

Wow, the bigotry here is at once disturbing and very subtle. The sideshow he is alluding to is a creepy USian urban legend about Tijuana’s “donkey shows”, wherein men watch a woman engage in bestiality with a donkey. This urban legend seems that it was born of racist tropes about Mexico.

So yeah. Racist, extraordinarily creepy, and misogynistic. Elam is really shaping up to be a champion of civil rights.

Lea
Lea
6 years ago

So AVfM is a for profit org that does no charitable work or actual advocacy on behalf of any men or boys. I hope Elam reports and pays taxes on all of the money he makes by calling women whores and c*nts, blaming victims, rape apology and encouraging men to hit women. If he does not then the IRS is going to come a knock’n and he won’t be able to threaten or bully his way out of his comeuppance with them. They will hold him accountable and from what I’ve seen, he won’t handle it well.

daintydougal
daintydougal
6 years ago

Is it registered as a business? From the way he was talking on reddit he considers it to be nothing more than a personal website. HA! I say. HA!

magnesium
magnesium
6 years ago

It may sound cocky, but it is true. My attitude is thus. I win. I always win. Every time they open their sewer holes, I raise money, get more traffic and fuck their shit up.

He could be talking about Feminists or his own fan base here. In fact, more so his fans, because Feminism is just stuck dealing with another abusive shitheel (a drop in the bucket, really,when you consider how many abusive shitheels there are out there), but MHRHAHA’s are losing actual money to the next extension on Paul’s house.

sparky
sparky
6 years ago

I’m feeling a little bit of pity for these guys getting scammed out of their money.

Then I think, if they weren’t so blinded by their hatred, Elam wouldn’t be able to continue to scam them like this.

I’m hesitant to call AVFM a cult, but all this undeserved hero-worship of Elam is perplexing. I mean, the man is pretty much saying, “I want you to give me all your money and live in poverty.”

Doug Spoonwood
Doug Spoonwood
6 years ago

” Sure, as far as I can tell, precisely zero of the hundreds of thousands of dollars A Voice for Men has raised from donors over the years has gone into providing actual services for men — say, funding a hotline for troubled men or some other practical program that doesn’t primarily involve yelling at women online.”

It’s not that simple.

In October of 2013 AVfM ran a series of articles about men in abused relationships… http://www.avoiceformen.com/mens-rights/activism/domestic-violence-awareness-month-the-invisible-victims/

Also, two prominent writers on AVfM Diana Davison and John Hembling actually do currently run a hotline for men: http://www.canadiancock.org/mens-help-line/

Viscaria
Viscaria
6 years ago

@Ally

Wow, the bigotry here is at once disturbing and very subtle. The sideshow he is alluding to is a creepy USian urban legend about Tijuana’s “donkey shows”, wherein men watch a woman engage in bestiality with a donkey. This urban legend seems that it was born of racist tropes about Mexico.

I found that quote pretty effin amazing too. Wow, Paul, I didn’t ask for any racism and whorephobia with my misogyny.

It’s like he’s trying to get his bigotry/word ratio up.

Viscaria
Viscaria
6 years ago

Touché, Doug. So how many tens of thousands of dollars do you think it has cost AVfM (by which I mean, personal accounts of Paul Elam) to run a series of articles 9 months ago and to run a hotline?

I’m granting you, for the sake of argument, that either of these has actually been helpful to anyone — which I sincerely doubt.

sebhai
sebhai
6 years ago

Maybe the hotline do provide some help for abused men,but the question is does the hotline actually funded by the donation?
Or is it most of the money actually goes to Paul Elam?

BritterSweet
6 years ago

@ Ally I never knew about that specific urban legend. I just thought it was plain old “DOHOHO Hispanic alien burritos” bigotry. This makes it even worse!

sparky
sparky
6 years ago

Actually, Doug Spoonwood, it is that simple. Unless you’re calling Paul Elam a liar:

Every dollar donated goes right into my pocket. I spend that money on this website and on activist efforts at my own discretion, considering the opinions of the AVFM management team that volunteers to help run this place. … I depend on the site for my living, and to do as much FTSU as possible while I am at it.

Are you seriously saying Elam doesn’t actually pocket the donations when he said he did? Why would he lie about that and make himself look bad?

Why doesn’t Elam take at least some of the donations and help find a domestic violence shelter for men? If Hembling and Davison are running a hotline, why not throw some money their way?

Lea
Lea
6 years ago

Accountability is misandry!
He doesn’t want to help men in need. He wants to use their vulnerability to control them through bullying and threats of excommunication. He wants to “win” by telling lies, calling names and making money off of his shills. Like any shyster he has no respect for his marks. They are a heard to be milked and he knows how to get them to produce. He’s banning the people asking reasonable questions to weed out any uppity followers. He stomps his feet, yells some slurs about women (including the mother’s of his followers should they dare to step out of line), has a tantrum and the money comes rolling in because the pathetic manbabies that admire him love a good tantrum. He pretends he’s banning the shills who start asking inconvenient questions to show them he can put Baby in the corner if he wants to, being such an internet tough guy and all, but it’s really to quarantine them. He can’t have this insubordination catching, can he? It’s like he’s reading right out of the abusers handbook. He can’t have people who question or stand up for themselves around. He only wants people who bow and scrape and never once have the spine to stand up for eachother in his little group. They’ll give him money, take their lumps, hate who he tells them to hate and they’ll damn well say “Please” and “Thank you, Sir” while they do it or they are out of the club house.

Check out his rant posted above about men’s suffering only being good for him to exploit, the way he tells them he is all they have and that they deserve to be shamed and are useless if they don’t do as he says. It’s right out of the abuser’s handbook.

tiko72
tiko72
6 years ago

At the end of each day, even with the incredible levels of help I get from people like Dean Esmay, David King, Al Martin and every one of the incredible people who work at AVFM, I am still target number one. I am a target for feminists posing as concerned MHRAs, yellow hacks like David Futrelle, and a target for many in the media who would love nothing better than to publish my personal financial information after putting their disgusting spin on it.

Mr Elam. When people quote your hate filled rages word for word,including how you respond to your own commenter’s when they dare to ask questions,that’s not putting a disgusting spin on it.I mean come on, when you’ve just admitted to pocketing the money yourself ** and previously stated that your readers cough up no matter how hard up they are,there’s no need for any spin.

**

Every dollar donated goes right into my pocket. I spend that money on this website and on activist efforts at my own discretion,

Ok, minus the above but I doubt rage writing on the internet costs much and there’s not a lot of activism going on.

Ugh
Ugh
6 years ago

I’m truly curious about how much time and money Doug thinks it takes to post an article you didn’t write on your webpage.

Or how much help an article that is entirely whining about the lack of support, while providing no links to free resources, actually is for DV victims.

Auntie Alias
Auntie Alias
6 years ago

I’m too busy at the moment to read all the comments but Elam is shitting over the comments on this new article: http://rhrealitycheck.org/article/2014/07/08/mens-rights-conference-host-says-women-drink-dance-begging-rape/
Methinks he doth protest too much.

@Ally

Yes, that was the impression I had from that terrible donkey comment.

canuck_with_pluck
canuck_with_pluck
6 years ago

He reminds me of the Walrus in “The Walrus and the Carpenter”. Both in looks and attitude.

opium4themasses
opium4themasses
6 years ago

A help line for men from a site named Canadian Cock.
Uhh. What sort of help are we talking about here? Late night TV ad help? Lonely singles?

Lea
Lea
6 years ago

The comparison to a cult seems more and more accurate to me.

scheibere
scheibere
6 years ago

“I am still target number one. I am a target for feminists…”

See, it’s all the fault of teh wimminz!!

dlouwe
dlouwe
6 years ago

A help line for men from a site named Canadian Cock.
Uhh. What sort of help are we talking about here? Late night TV ad help? Lonely singles?

Looks like they point to the Vancouver men’s help line which I can’t really find any information about. Also it’s framed in a super heterocentric manner, since obviously only women perpetrate dv against men.

katz
6 years ago

It’s not that simple.

In October of 2013 AVfM ran a series of articles about men in abused relationships… http://www.avoiceformen.com/mens-rights/activism/domestic-violence-awareness-month-the-invisible-victims/

Also, two prominent writers on AVfM Diana Davison and John Hembling actually do currently run a hotline for men: http://www.canadiancock.org/mens-help-line/

Oh boy, you’re paying him $80,000 a year to spend one month posting about men’s issues on a blog. (Isn’t he supposed to be posting about men’s issues all the time?)

And dare I ask how much Paul/AVFM paid Diana Davison and John Hembling to run that hotline?

cloudiah
6 years ago

So, can I go off topic here and ask if anyone’s watching the World Cup?

Germany is up 5-0 over Brazil, and my best friend is Brazilian.

How should I comfort him?

creepycupcake
creepycupcake
6 years ago

Why does this not surprise me? Paul Elam is a bully and he’s drunk with power. He’s expecting unemployed people to live on a poor diet with hardly any quality of life so that he can avoid finding a real job for himself. I have known all along that many leaders of the MRA movement are shills.

grumpycatisagirl
6 years ago

I think I’d not want to turn for help to a hotline run by Mr. “”I Don’t Give a @$%# About Rape!”

Actually now that you’ve brought this to my attention and I’ve looked at the Web site I have an even lower opinion of them, Doug. This kind of thing is the OPPOSITE of help for male abuse victims. Really awful stuff.

At least it sounds like Paul Elam’s money isn’t paying for it.

Isabelle
Isabelle
6 years ago

Just thought it would be worth post this snippet from the hotline website:

“June 4, 2014 at 6:58 pm

Register-her is being rebuilt. It’s not open for public input as we don’t have the manpower to watch for vandalism. It’s being rebuilt slowly because we don’t have the manpower to create a whole wiki while doing our other activism. If you have a list of names and links please leave them here and we will build a list.

I asked for some names and links on the AVfM forum and got zero response.

Thanks for your interest. We don’t know how long it will take to get to the false rape accusers but they’ll only be listed if they were convicted with a link to prove it.
Reply ”

http://www.canadiancock.org/2014/04/12/what-the-fuck-is-infanticide/#comment-363

Puddleglum
6 years ago

re: the men’s help line, I tried googling it, and while I didn’t find anything actually, you know, related to it, I did find a *tonne* of men’s resources for western Canada. West Coast Men’s Support Society, Men’s Trauma Centre (it’s in Victoria, BC), BC Society For Male Survivors Of Sexual Abuse (Vancouver), & several others. I could keep going, there were more, but since I was looking for the crisis line specifically mentioned by Doug, I’ll stop there.

Strangely enough, a quick review of these sites didn’t show that women were the singular cause of the world’s problems. They’re probably full of misandry, I guess?

Puddleglum
6 years ago

I should clarify – I meant outside of the site that hosts it, I found nothing mentioning or being related to it. Funny, considering the amount of other men’s resources I found. You’d think they’d link, if it was, you know, useful.

contrapangloss
6 years ago

Cloudiah,

Does your Brazillian friend love soccer, and believe that Brazil is the epitome of football excellence?

If so, comfort is required. However, DON’T bring a soccer ball, or a flag, or offer him delicious German food, like hot potato salad or the tasty german chocolate cake.

Hugs are good. Other than that… I dunno. What things usually make said friend happy?

If they don’t actually adore Brazilian football, than you’re probably in the clear.

cloudiah
6 years ago

Said Brazilian friend took the day off of work and is with a bunch of other Brazilians in a bar in the valley, and they’re all weepy.

Oh dog, Germany just scored again. This is brutal.

Maybe I’ll make him a caipirinha. I think I even have some cachaça left from the last time I made those.

Puddleglum
6 years ago

@cloudiah – It’s good your friend has others to weep with. Very therapeutic.

I vote for the drink – it sounds delicious!

Auntie Alias
Auntie Alias
6 years ago

we don’t have the manpower to create a whole wiki while doing our other activism.

*snort*

contrapangloss
6 years ago

I briefly skimmed the comments. The ones that stuck out to me were the ones where Dean+Dudebros whined that the writer shouldn’t just read the links David points out.

My thought, not posted, because I lack a disqus account:

“Well, maybe if you didn’t say so very many awful things for David to link to, you wouldn’t have this problem…”

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