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“Better hope there is [sic] no skeletons in your closet,” Paul Elam warns those who allegedly lie about MRAs. “Playtime is over.”

That guy looks familiar
That guy looks familiar

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So earlier today, A Voice for Men’s head honcho, the neither lovely nor talented Paul Elam, threatened “yellow journalists” who allegedly lie about his so-called Men’s Human Rights Movement with, well, something pretty dire-sounding. I just can’t tell you exactly what.

[UPDATE: An archived version of Elam’s deleted post has been found; see here for a post on what it contains.] 

In an angry and ungrammatical tweet (archived here), Elam warned:

Paul Elam ‏@AVoiceForMen To all yellow journalists and publication execs who libel MHRAs. Better hope there is no skeletons in your closet. Playtime is over.

Elam spelled out what he had in mind in a “bulletin” on his site with the ominous title “The cost of libeling MHRAs is about to go up.”

But whatever was in this post was evidently so extreme (and possibly unethical) that even some of Elam’s followers were a bit concerned by it.

Elam thought better of the post himself, taking it down and issuing a rare apology. In the place where the post originally appeared, one now finds this:

What you are reading here now is not what was posted under this title earlier. What was here was a mistake on my part.

Afer several years of being attacked, quite unfairly, by media ideologues the most recent incident was published in my home town. After working all night, as I sometimes do, I was tired and obviously not at my best. I lost my cool and posted and tweeted something that was inconsistant with my own values, with the ethics we adhere to at this website and damaging to the efforts we undertake to serve men and boys.

Presumably the “incident … published in my home town” that Elam has in mind is a recent piece in the Houston Press that put Elam in tenth place on a list of “The 10 Most Embarrassing Houstonians.”

Elam responded to the piece a few days ago with a post of his own, declaring it a pack of lies and mocking the author for dressing up as Dr. Frank-N-Furter from The Rocky Horror Show. But apparently it was still eating at him. Maybe one of his neighbors said something to him about it.

Elam also seems to have been set off by a little Twitter battle with radio host Nicole Sandler, who at some point had GQ writer and Dartmouth professor Jeff Sharlet on her show. Elam has been gunning for Sharlet ever since he wrote an absolutely devastating account of AVFM’s first-and-probably-only conference last summer. Earlier today, Elam Tweeted:

https://twitter.com/AVoiceForMen/status/635418614275792896

(Here’s an archived version of the entire exchange.)

So what exactly did Elam threaten to do to those he thinks have “libelled” him?

The Tweets of some of his concerned followers may give us a few clues. Here’s one highly suggestive Twitter conversation (archived here). It starts with former AVFMer Dean Esmay, apparently an enthusiastic supporter of whatever it was Elam had proposed.

Dean Esmay ‏@deanesmay They are our Mandarin class. They aren't used to being called what they are: bigoted elitists. But the times are changing. @AVoiceForMen RETWEETS 2 FAVORITES 2 SwarupSarkarPaul ElamFeminism exposed 5:58 AM - 23 Aug 2015  Reply  Retweet  Favorite  More Spinosaurus Kin ‏@spinosauruskin · 6h6 hours ago @deanesmay @AVoiceForMen I don't like this idea. This could easily backfire, and for what? A few cheap shots? Too much on the line. 0 retweets 2 favorites  Reply  Retweet  Favorite 2  More Paul Elam ‏@AVoiceForMen · 6h6 hours ago @spinosauruskin @deanesmay Walk a mile in my shoes, then tell me about it. 1 retweet 1 favorite  Reply  Retweet 1  Favorite 1  More Spinosaurus Kin ‏@spinosauruskin · 6h6 hours ago @AVoiceForMen @deanesmay experience is irrelevant. It's not ethical. This will very likely backfire. 0 retweets 1 favorite  Reply  Retweet  Favorite 1  More View other replies Paul Elam ‏@AVoiceForMen · 5h5 hours ago @spinosauruskin @deanesmay inexperience is less relevant. Do u think this has not been considered at length by those with skin in this game? 0 retweets 0 favorites  Reply  Retweet  Favorite  More Spinosaurus Kin ‏@spinosauruskin · 5h5 hours ago @AVoiceForMen @deanesmay I'm not interested in personal attacks. I'm interested in legitimate ones. This is handing them straw. 0 retweets 0 favorites  Reply  Retweet  Favorite  More View other replies Dean Esmay ‏@deanesmay · 5h5 hours ago @spinosauruskin @AVoiceForMen Wait and watch, then make your criticisms. 0 retweets 0 favorites  Reply  Retweet  Favorite  More Spinosaurus Kin ‏@spinosauruskin · 5h5 hours ago @deanesmay @AVoiceForMen maybe you're right. Either way it's not like I can stop it. 0 retweets 0 favorites  Reply  Retweet  Favorite  More View other replies Dean Esmay ‏@deanesmay · 5h5 hours ago .@spinosauruskin @AVoiceForMen You may be right. Wait & see. But if you don't teach bullies that you'll hit back, they will keep hitting. 1 retweet 2 favorites  Reply  Retweet 1  Favorite 2  More TheMen'sFront ‏@TheMensFront · 6h6 hours ago @deanesmay @AVoiceForMen I don't know, are you sure you want to play their game? Wouldn't court action for slander be better? 0 retweets 1 favorite  Reply  Retweet  Favorite 1  More View other replies Paul Elam ‏@AVoiceForMen · 6h6 hours ago @TheMensFront @deanesmay Pursuing libel cases is prohibitively expensive and very hard to win, that is how they get away with this. 0 retweets 0 favorites  Reply  Retweet  Favorite  More View other replies Dean Esmay ‏@deanesmay · 6h6 hours ago .@AVoiceForMen @TheMensFront Yep. Only rich people and rich corporations can afford to sue, and these Mandarins know it very well.

In another Tweet, TheMen’sFront compared Elam’s proposed strategy to Register-Her.com, AVFM’s notorious fake “offenders registry” that posted profiles of feminists alongside those of convicted murderers and pedophiles and suggested that they too deserved to be jailed.

eselamreghertwit

If anyone has a screenshot or otherwise archived version of Elam’s original post, please send it along to me.

Even though he’s taken the offending post offline, it’s clear he was planning something sketchy enough to make even some of his followers worry. Given that Elam and his cultish followers already libel and harass AVFM’s assorted enemies with abandon, while claiming to be warriors of Truth, it seems clear to me that whatever he had in mind was fairly dire.

I don’t think Elam fully recognizes what a giant gift he has just given anyone who ever decides to sue him for libel.

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Alan Robertshaw
Alan Robertshaw
5 years ago

Yeah, in England Mandarin is used by those who subscribe to the Whitehall as opposed to Westminster theory of government.

It has connotations of anonymous powers behind the throne sort of thing.

laughnwitch
laughnwitch
5 years ago

Spinosauruskin is only 15 years old (he may be 16 now) but he seems to have better sense than Elam and his ilk

painteyelash
painteyelash
5 years ago

I was wondering..should we email the journalists, like Jeff Sharlet about all of this? Are they even aware of this post from AVFM?

Paradoxical Intention
5 years ago

laughnwitch | August 24, 2015 at 9:07 pm
Spinosauruskin is only 15 years old (he may be 16 now) but he seems to have better sense than Elam and his ilk

Let’s hope that sense eventually leads him away from Elam as well.

(Also, hi I missed you.)

Bina
Bina
5 years ago

I guess I should be thankful that Deano hasn’t heard of panjandrums, eh?