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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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yutolia
yutolia
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.

Something tells me he’ll find a way out of this if it ever even happens. He’ll either blame the feminist government for stealing his hard-earned money (and he will see no irony in this and possibly neither will many of his followers) or TRIGGER WARNING MAYBE he’ll resort to violence against the IRS/government (ala Andrew Stack).

Tigerbos
Tigerbos
6 years ago

Yet if you read the comments on his page in reference to this article, his followers are taking up for him and actually saying how they plan to send him more money. I love to see sheep get stripped of their money so willingly…and they think feminists are dumb? Right.

Luzbelitx
6 years ago

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

I think caipirinha might be the best shot at comforting your friend.

You can also tell them there’s still a chance for Argentina to win the cup, thus keeping it within Latin American countries, and just next door to Brazil.

But don’t expect them to shrug and say “well, close enough” 😛

Sir Bodsworth Ruggleby III
Sir Bodsworth Ruggleby III
6 years ago

Wood-y! Woodywoodywoodywoody Wood-y! Here boy! C’mon! Here boy!

Puddleglum
6 years ago

I too have a sads that Woody is away from his computer. Up until now he’s been so reliable! Maybe his owner had to take him to the vet for a check up.

Yoyo
Yoyo
6 years ago

Hi peep, back after a long hiatus, I’m not at all surprised this revolting creep is in it for the money. Most of the ultra right wing sites in the us seem to be focused on the $ they can get from rubes. Let’s not forget Tammy Baker and her hubby and their religious fraud.

contrapangloss
6 years ago

Sir Bodsworth,

No. It’s not like we don’t know what will be said:

Woody (to spare him the effort): “But Paul Elam is noble and an upright person, and I trust him to put my money to honorable causes. Stop saying he’s a con man! Whine!”

Rest of us: “Shut up, Woody.”

Sir Bodsworth Rugglesby III
Sir Bodsworth Rugglesby III
6 years ago

@ contrapangloss — hey, you could have put up a spoiler warning!

magnesium
magnesium
6 years ago

Canadian … Cock.org? Really? But really, though? That sounds like the name of a parody MRA group. Do they sell merchandise that says Canadian COCK with silly penis pun mottos? No, I’m not going to believe a serious organization named themselves Canadian COCK. God, if you’re going to pretend to give a shit about victims of domestic violence, you should at least pretend to take yourselves seriously.

magnesium
magnesium
6 years ago

Oh my god, I just noticed that their tag line is “COCK, is it in you?” Is this even real? It’s too stupid to be real.

brooked
brooked
6 years ago

Someone posting as Mens Rights Sydney is one of several Elam defenders who made sweet love to false equivalency by bringing up noted fake game girl and feminist sucubus Anita Saaarkeeeeesiaaaan. ::boo! hiss! more boos! even more hiss!::

Considering Anita Sarkeesian raised over $160K for a handful of videos full of copy lifted straight from Wikipedia & game footage stolen from Let’s Play, without attracting criticism from the looney squad, their criticism of you for using the meagre leftovers from AVFM donations to cover your personal (some of) your personal living costs just smacks of hypocrisy.

Feminists being hypocritical? How unusual!

I know MRAs traditionally distance themselves from self-awareness, but even factoring in their tone deafness I’m still almost amazed that they aren’t going to let this go. While references to Sarkeesian and Big Red are dog whistles to a hardcore group of dolts on the internet, most people outside that bubble have no idea what there talking about or see how ridiculous their feminist villian mythology is. Throw in Pizzey’s not murdered dog to form a unholy trinity of meaningless non-controversies. They really need to come to terms with the fact that they can’t come up with a feminist of note who’s as shitty a person as Elam yet remains a revered figurehead.

WatermelonSugar
WatermelonSugar
6 years ago

To be fair, AVFM -did- donate $2000 to the VFW venue where they held the conference.

So let’s see. $80,000 yearly donation income plus ~$30,000 “security” fundraising, plus “250” attendees paying about $200 a pop for another $50,000…that is $160,000 total for yearly income plus conference income…

Paul has donated a whopping 1.25% of AVFM income to a cause other than his own pocket/website/ego.

Activism!

brooked
brooked
6 years ago

John Hembling aka John the Otter is a shit bag and noted fabulist, so I’m going to go ahead and assume he doesn’t really put a lot of effort and funds into selflessly helping other men. It would be nice if this hotline wasn’t bullshit, but if you take a look at the articles on this site about him it’s pretty clear he’s a egocentric charlatan. Hell, even the reddit MRAs don’t take that asshat seriously anymore.

cloudiah
6 years ago

Has anyone tried calling that COCKline number to see if it even still exists and is staffed by anyone? I wouldn’t recommend keeping them occupied with a long call, just in case it (a) is real and (b) actually has any callers, but it might be interesting to check it out.

On the other hand, I definitely wouldn’t want to expose my cell phone number to these notorious doxxers.so maybe that isn’t the greatest idea…

canuck_with_pluck
canuck_with_pluck
6 years ago

@cloudiah: if I lived in that area, I totally would.

piratejennie
6 years ago

@contrapangloss

You forgot that Woody & Paul (and Dean and so on) are on a first name basis. Woody would be so offended that you implied he’d have to use Elam’s surname since they’re so very close.

No wait, they’re not close, that’s a little mangina-y. They’re tight. /s

Flying Mouse
Flying Mouse
6 years ago

My husband asked why I’m at my computer snickering, so I tried to explain the whole tangled ball of yarn. The situation is even more ludicrous when you say it out loud.

Sir Bodsworth Rugglesby III
Sir Bodsworth Rugglesby III
6 years ago

Honestly, I don’t think that Elam’s followers are going to be too worried. Perhaps there are a naive few who donate because they genuine think it helps someone. But for most, the deal is they give Elam money, he tells them that it’s okay for them to act like total arseholes.

What the IRS thinks about this on the other hand…

piratejennie
6 years ago

C/N: Horrible puns & gross sexual innuendo

The susbscription to their email mailing list service is called “C.O.C.K. in Your In-Box”

Community Organized Compassion and Kindness mailing list, where you can keep your C.O.C.K. up (to date).

Are you too busy, ( or forgetful ) to keep coming back to find out whose business C.O.C.K. is getting inside of lately?

Every month, we’ll email you a selection of our biggest, hardest and hottest articles – directly to your in box.

piratejennie
6 years ago

email mailing list service?

Go home PJ, you’re drunk.

MrFancyPants
MrFancyPants
6 years ago

Ah HA! The dark secret is out: money donated to wehuntedthemammoth.com is directly making the global scourge of excess cat fur WORSE!

brooked
brooked
6 years ago

Elam freaking out over a few questions from a MSNBC reporter.

So here is the rub, folks. 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.

You know someone who isn’t a rage-filled paranoid crank would see questions about AVfM’s budget and how many paid staffers it has as a pretty run of the mill journalistic inquiry. Does he really think Adam Serwer is trying bring him down? Style points for publishing Serwer’s email with the reporter’s phone number not redacted. Stay classy Paul.

http://www.donotlink.com/framed?55456

kittehserf MOD
kittehserf MOD
6 years ago

Ah HA! The dark secret is out: money donated to wehuntedthemammoth.com is directly making the global scourge of excess cat fur WORSE!

YES!

And the real mission of the mods is to smother trolls by sending cat furs into teh interwebs.

wordsp1nner
wordsp1nner
6 years ago

May I send some excess cat fur to the mods? Jade has turned into a shedmonster since the temperature went up.

Doug Spoonwood
Doug Spoonwood
6 years ago

@Viscaria “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 don’t know, but that’s not all that AVfM does. Futrelle only covers a fraction of it.

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

Seriously, go read Tara Palmatier’s series that I referenced above. Also, AVfM has done a series called “going mental” which you can read about here http://www.shrink4men.com/2014/03/19/going-mental-with-dr-tara-palmatier-and-paul-elam-abusive-women-smart-men-bad-choices/

@sparky

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

No, it’s not that simple.

Futrelle said ” 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.””

The hotline constituted an *example* of how men could get helped. One could also mention the Vladek Filler case or the ongoing Nicholas Alahverdian case where certain men have tried to get helped by AVfM in the Alahverdian case or have actually gotten helped in the case of Vladek Filler.

“Are you seriously saying Elam doesn’t actually pocket the donations when he said he did?”

No, I’m not. Paul Elam takes the money and *then* he decides what to do with it. Just because he first takes the money doesn’t mean that it stays in his pocket.

“Why would he lie about that and make himself look bad?”

I’m pretty sure you’ve excluded the case of him using money that he has pocketed in ways later on to help men. My position here is not that he’s doing as much as he should, but it doesn’t really come as defensible to say that Paul Elam has done absolutely nothing for no one besides himself.

“Why doesn’t Elam take at least some of the donations and help find a domestic violence shelter for men?”

Do you know what Paul Elam does with the money once he has it? Because he may well have some sort of investment in someone trying to set up such a shelter. I know that Dean Esmay donated money to Kristina Hansen when she was *claiming* that she would set up such a shelter. No, that doesn’t mean he is doing such with the money, but you simply don’t know that he’s not doing such, nor doesn’t have such plans to do so in the future.

“If Hembling and Davison are running a hotline, why not throw some money their way?”

Maybe Paul Elam is doing such. Again, do you know what Paul Elam does with the money once it’s in his pocket?

@Ugh

“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.”

I don’t think about such things. I don’t have any idea.

“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.”

I didn’t make any claims about what sort of help *that particular* article of Paul Elam is making.

@katz

“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?)”

No, I’m not paying him such. I actually do find him talking and writing about men’s issues MUCH of the time.

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

Sure you can ask. That doesn’t mean you’ll get an answer for the simple reason that I don’t know.

@grumpycatisagirl

“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.”

I don’t believe Diana and John claimed that most of their articles were written in such a way to specifically help male abuse victims. I’m pretty sure that’s what the hotline is for.

Auntie Alias
Auntie Alias
6 years ago

Seriously, go read Tara Palmatier’s series that I referenced above. Also, AVfM has done a series called “going mental” which you can read about here

That’s not ableist at all. o_O

katz
6 years ago

Doug, honey, you realize your argument boils down to “I don’t know what they’re doing, so it’s probably something good?”

contrapangloss
6 years ago

Did Woody change his name to Doug when I wasn’t looking?

Flying Mouse
Flying Mouse
6 years ago

Doug, honey, you realize your argument boils down to “I don’t know what they’re doing, so it’s probably something good?”

Wait… is Doug Spoonwood really Woody? Is this a diabolically clever attempt to spread his message of “Yay, Paul!” through new and exciting means?

Flying Mouse
Flying Mouse
6 years ago

Ninja’d by contrapangloss!

sparky
sparky
6 years ago

No, I’m not. Paul Elam takes the money and *then* he decides what to do with it. Just because he first takes the money doesn’t mean that it stays in his pocket.

I’m pretty sure you’ve excluded the case of him using money that he has pocketed in ways later on to help men. My position here is not that he’s doing as much as he should, but it doesn’t really come as defensible to say that Paul Elam has done absolutely nothing for no one besides himself.

Sure, Doug. You keep telling yourself that, buddy.

magnesium
magnesium
6 years ago

Oh Doug, sweety. Look, we’ve all been there, okay. You bought a product you thought wouldn’t suck, you donated to an organization that you thought was being straight with you, you lent some money to that “friend” who will totally pay you back any day now, etc. And you know, you feel bad, because you got tricked or lied to or conned, and we live in a society that likes to blame people when they get screwed over, and so to defend yourself from accusations of being a “rube”, you’ve got to defend the initial expenditure. But, the thing is, you’re not fooling anybody. We can smell the confirmation bias from here. And it’s sad, man. Real sad. It’s okay to be angry when somebody takes your money under false pretences. You didn’t know. It’s not your fault, man.

Nitram
6 years ago

This really, really upsets me. I think it might be because all his quotes and responses and his general temper tantrums at the most benign requests for accountability remind me of my dealings with my narcissistic sister.

Complete inability to have empathy for anyone but yourself…check

When challenged, you feel attacked and go for the jugular…check

Assume the motives of others without ever really asking what those motives are…check

Bathe in the ecstasy of imagined victimhood, martyrdom. Imagining that those you are hurting, are actually hurting you…check

Unintentionally revealing your crushing insecurity while self aggrandizing your importance…check

Ok, I have a very unhealthy relationship with my sister. I recently placed a “boundary” on our relationship (which she predictably took as an attack) that she has to acknowledge and apologize for the horrible things she’s said and done to and about me. I’ve already gotten the non apology. (Sorry you feel that way). Since then, I’ve been painted as the cruel meany pants sister who “abandoned” her in her time of need. (Which is always, btw. I don’t have times of need apparently). So I’ve been missing her. It’s been nearly a year. And then I read this shit. So, so triggering. I so fucking loathe abusers. I just can’t wrap my head around it. Which maybe is a good thing.

kittehserf MOD
kittehserf MOD
6 years ago

May I send some excess cat fur to the mods? Jade has turned into a shedmonster since the temperature went up.

Please do! We accept donations through Purrpal.

Doug Spoonwood, use blockquotes. It isn’t fucking difficult.

Jenny (@dontgiveah00t)

It’s really creepy when he tells the people he’s suckered that they deserve none of the compassion and help he’s been swearing that they’ll only get from him and his ilk, and that if he can’t ‘exploit’ (his exact word) their stories they are essentially useless to him unless they live in physical deprivation in order to donate money to him.

Does Elam live in a ‘cozy’ studio apartment? By the looks of the books and things behind him, almost certainly no (and if it is a studio apartment, it’s quite a large and nicely maintained one). Does he live on ramen? I thoroughly doubt it. But he expects it of others. Charming.

Nitram
6 years ago

Oh, I almost forgot the most important narcissistic trait: a big fat epice biting the hand that feeds you syndrome. That’s what encapsulates all this. I can’t even count how many times I’ve “loaned” her money, and her gratitude almost immediately wears off and it’s back to the “my world, my rules, my conditions”. Ok, I’ll stop projecting.

Flying Mouse
Flying Mouse
6 years ago

@Nitram – So many hugs if you want them. My mom’s side of the family is chockablock full of narcissistic jerks, too. 🙁 She’s by far the least toxic and purposefully mean, but she still shares a lot of personality traits with your sister. It’s hard when you love somebody who sees you as mostly a prop for their ego.

Argenti Aertheri
6 years ago

“You have them take, say, 30 minutes to draft a letter,”

So, the law firm I worked for? That’d be 15 min lawyer time, 15 min Argenti time — and I was $80 an hour (and making more like $10, but let’s not go there) — so that letter? About $75. Not 12k.

And besides some research, which you get $100-$150 an hour law clerk to do, idk wtf he’d need in advance of the conference besides contract review, and again, that’d be $500 max, if it were 2 hours of complex.

Jenny (@dontgiveah00t)

kittehserf – I feel foolish, but could you explain to me what the format is for using blockquotes? I’m fairly new to this.

piratejennie
6 years ago

@kittehs

May I offer you a basket of fresh muffins (or scones or other baked comestibles) kept warm under a linen cloth topped with chubby kittens for your devotion on the subject of at least attempting block quotes? With an accompanying cup of tea, natch. Or a shot. Or both.

Argenti Aertheri
6 years ago

Ok, caught up. Let’s see, building the Borg, had I charged for it…*things* flat rate for a project that ended up involving a whole new sort of PHP silliness…a grand maybe?

The couple articles I did that required research on par with college research papers? Even at $20 an hour (which is an absurd rate for a web site author, who tend to get paid flat rates and cheap ones) — works out to maybe $100.

Toss in another couple hours a month making sure the thing isn’t broken, the author’s aren’t borking WP (all too easy), and doing security shit and in 8 months I’ve put, say, $320 into editing and such (again, at $20 an hour).

So, high end, my work on the Borg, to date, would be maybe $1.5k — know what I’ve charged for it? Badgering people to write for it, that’s it. Because I’m doing it as a labor of love, not to make money! (*hint, hint* write things people! Nobody wrote shit for June. Nada, zip, zilch)

Argenti Aertheri
6 years ago

<blockquote>

I’m a blockquote!

</blockquote>

kittehserf MOD
kittehserf MOD
6 years ago

Jenny – see Argenti’s answer above! 🙂

Now all I need to do is remember the code for writing blockquote instead of actually making one.

piratejennie, thank you! ::nom nom nom::

Jenny (@dontgiveah00t)

Thank you Argenti!

piratejennie
6 years ago

Just to jump in as someone who was also clumsy with HTML starting out there are plenty of user friendly sites for basics like blockquotes, strikethroughs, bold type, italicizing, etc.

This is also a very forgiving group who appreciate the effort and understand the voracious nature of the blockquote mammoth, devourer of all attempts to make sense.

kittehserf MOD
kittehserf MOD
6 years ago

PS Jenny, don’t feel foolish for not knowing how to blockquote – I learned it on this site, too – it’s people who’re posting walls of text and ignoring repeated requests-mit-explanations to use them who’re annoying me.

kittehserf MOD
kittehserf MOD
6 years ago

Huzzah! 🙂

piratejennie, you’re not wrong about the voracious blockquote mammoth. Did you see my epic fail that resulted in the longest unreadable string ever?

deniseeliza
deniseeliza
6 years ago

You know, I have absolutely no problem whatsoever with people running community websites as a job, with the payment coming from donations or fees from community members. No problem whatsoever. There are a lot of activists who do this work as their job and solicit donations and sell products from their websites and that is totally fine.

But you shouldn’t be squirrelly about what you’re doing. You shouldn’t act as if you are asking on behalf of some group, and not on behalf of yourself. If you believe in yourself and your work, and your community believes in it, they will be okay with donating to you and not some organization.

But you should say what’s going on. You should let yourself be held accountable. You should say something like, “I spend X hours every day creating this community you love and organizing events for you. This website costs X a month to maintain, and various expenses above and beyond that to make it a better place for you. And like anyone else, I need money to pay the mortgage/rent, car payments, etc., as organizing this space for you is my full time job, and I depend on your donations to allow me to continue the important work I do. With that in mind, I’m asking for blah blah blah”.

That is TOTALLY FINE.

But that’s not what Paul is doing. His current solicitation is vague, and asking on behalf of some undefined “we”, which reads to me as if he is talking about a group in an official capacity, like a non-profit or a corporation or something other than an individual human’s personal checking account.

Argenti Aertheri
6 years ago

You’re welcome!

Kitteh — &lt;blockquote&gt; … &lt;blockquote&gt;

So, I got bored.

Single charismatic leader. — charisma is arguable

People always seeming constantly happy and enthusiastic. Especially if you discover that they have been told to act that way for the potential new recruits.

Instant friends. — sorta, the enemy of my enemy is my friend

If you are told who you can or cannot talk to or associate with.

They hide what they teach. — eh, not before, but since Elam tried sanitizing AVfM idk

Say they are the only true group, or the best so why go anywhere else.

Hyped meetings, get you to meetings rather than share with you. — I think the conference fits?

Experiential rather than logical. — *dies laughing* dear gods yes

Asking for money for the next level. (Eh? Not CoS, but they are always after money “for the cause”)

Some cults travel door to door during times when women are home alone. They, and this is rather sexist, think that women are easier to recruit and once they have the woman then it will be easier to snare the husband or partner.

Saying that they have to make people pay for it because otherwise they will not appreciate it. This is of course a very silly reason, plenty of people are able to appreciate things which they did not pay for.

They do not allow their teachings or practices to be questioned. If you question, then automatically the group assumes that something is wrong with you. It can never be the case that anything is wrong with the group’s practices or teachings. Often they will try to shut you down by accusing you of having a “bad attitude”. — See above OP

They will push you to obey by using guilt. They will demand complete “submission” to the group, its leaders and its teachings. They will do this by making you feel absolutely rotten about yourself. They will ridicule you and attack any weakness you might have (or invent weaknesses you might have if they can’t find any). Their goal is to break your will by causing you mental anguish. — this is their whole deal, taking the red pill will make you see all these horrid things and you’ll be angry, or are you some kind of mangina?

From here — http://www.cultwatch.com/cultic-warning-signs.html — ones that, imo, apply to Elam are in italics.

So um, yeah, he’s certainly ringing all the alarm bells, though being ‘net based does probably make him less dangerous.

piratejennie
6 years ago

@kittehs

No, I missed that 🙂

My biggest gaffe so far was bold typing 3/4 of a post when I meant to only emphasize a single word. Made me seem very emphatic about some pretty neutral statements.