Categories
a voice for men drama drama kings gross incompetence MRA paul elam

Drama! Another A Voice for Men staffer jumps overboard amid mutual recriminations

Paddle, paddle, paddle
Paddle, paddle, paddle

Another rat has deserted the sinking ship that is A Voice for Men.

Attila Vinczer, the site’s former “Activity Director,” has now joined the swelling ranks of former allies on the outs with AVFM cult leader Paul Elam.

The last couple of departures from AVFM – Dean Esmay, the site’s former “managing editor,” and Dan Perrins, the skinny Canadian with the giant beard – left the Cult of Elam without much in the way of public explanation.

Vinczer, a more melodramatic sort than even those two, announced his departure by sending “every MRA I know” a bitter 8-page “Dear Paul” letter full of accusations and invective and enough self-pity to fill a conference hall. “I am no longer willing to remain silent,” he wrote,

particularly with the incredulously wanton threats made against me, by those who at a time, I thought were my friends and allies.

Incredulously? Incredulously. Vinczer has a fondness for using long words he doesn’t actually know how to use.

I have been accused of being a cheat, a liar, a thief, a con artist, dishonest in addition to being called a scum bag and coerced into doing things I was unable to do. Moreover, I have been threatened by a number of people to be publicly shamed, humiliated and thus excommunicated from the MRM for ever. This added stress has had a profoundly negative effect on my health, which deeply cruel, after I made it clear, that I was not well back in April.

Oh, he’s not done yet.

To call me a con artist and to embark on a path to knowingly, and willingly cause me, my family and particularly my children harm by cyber attacking me is criminally malicious. Those who still think I am a liar and dishonest should know, everything I have said, remarked and my entire interaction with AVFM has been digitally recorded. In my defence, I will not hesitate to make that public should the need arise to do so. Remember before you hit the publish button, in a battle both parties are injured.

That last bit, presumably aimed at Elam, backfired. Elam “hit the publish button” on a post attacking Vinczer on Sunday. “Boy, did you ever pick the wrong person to threaten,” Elam wrote.

I am itching to hit the publish button, complete with my opinion that my experience with you has left me with the certainty that you are a liar, a con artist and a dishonest scoundrel that has ripped off people over three countries and two continents.

Our risk mitigation is simple. Let you ride out of here on your exposed ass and make sure that your letter and this, the official AVFM response stays on the record. Protect other advocates from your thievery. Let you sit and rot in the filth of your own creation and never have anything to do with you again.

Yep, this is turning into one of the messiest MRA D-I-V-O-R-C-E-S I’ve ever seen; luckily for Elam, he’s got plenty of experience with divorce to fall back on,

So what drove these former allies into this online pissing match? Money money money.

Vinczer is accusing Elam of leaving him to hold the bag after a financially disastrous fundraising effort and an apparently even more financially disastrous series of Domestic Violence conferences.

Elam is accusing Vinczer of leaving behind “dozens of broken promises [and] unpaid bills,” as well as

manipulating people into covering your expenses knowing full well that if you did not make the money back that you could not reimburse.

So who’s in the wrong here? As far as I can tell from the admittedly self-serving stories of Vinczer and Elam, they both are.

Vinczer’s story seems to be a mixture of hubris and incompetence.

His attempt to raise money for AVFM by selling ridiculous-looking “commemorative coins” was evidently a giant bust; after borrowing $3400 from current AVFM “Chief Security Officer” Al Martin to cover the cost of silver for 100 coins, Vinczer explains that he was only able to sell 23 of them.

Vinczer’s  2015 TorontoDV Symposium was apparently an even bigger disaster. Vinczer flew an assortment of AVFM-friendly domestic violence experts from around the world to speak to a mostly empty room; Elam, who attended at least part of the Symposium, says there were only 8 or so in attendance, and it’s not clear how many of them actually bought $120 tickets for the event.

According to Elam, many of the “experts” and AVFMers who attended the event were stuck paying their own expenses instead of having them reimbursed.

But Elam and his pals are no angels themselves. If Vinczer’s account of their behavior is accurate, Elam and at least one of the “experts” brought to the event made diva-ish demands that drastically increased the expenses they expected Vinczer to reimburse. As Vinczer tells it,

Dr. Tanveer Ahmed agreed to be the keynote speaker at the 2015 TorontoDV Symposium. I secured his flight at a cost of $1,500.00, economy fair. He asked me if he could book the flight on Qantas where he enjoys certain perks for frequent flying.

Ethics!

This elevated the cost to $3,500.00, but I felt his presence would easily draw a sound audience covering the added cost.

No such luck.

This was a gross error as his presence did not sell a single ticket nor did the MSM publish any of his articles. The cost of his hotel bill was at $600.00. I picked him up at the airport on Thursday and dropped him off at the hotel. He got himself checked in. I had planned to pay him $3,500 on Friday and the $600.00 hotel bill. Tanveer has been paid $3,600.00. There has been some banking issue with my recent $3,000.00 payment that will be cleared up. Given his actual threats against me, I have been forced to deal with him in manner that will protect me against harm. More importantly the harm it would inflict against my children.

I’m not even going to guess how exactly Vinczer thinks his financial dispute with Ahmed might inflict harm on his kids.

Meanwhile, Elam insisted on his own travel upgrade:

The cost of flying Paul Elam to Toronto was $800.00, but he asked me to fly him business class as he does not do well in small seating due to his frame. The only option next to economy is firstclass on domestic continental flights between Toronto and Houston. The cost of that ticket was instead $1,378.26.

And Elam apparently also refused to share a hotel room with his unpaid “managing editor” Dean Esmay.

I also asked Dean, Suzy and Paul if Paul and Dean could share a room to save on costs. It turned out that Paul got his own room while Dean and Suzy shared a room.

Vinczer, ever the optimist, had hoped that “ticket sales would ignite once we announced Paul would be speaking at Ryerson.” Nope.

Not only that, but Elam and his unpaid “staffers” ultimately skipped out of the event early.

Saturday morning I woke up after falling asleep in my chair the night before. I felt well enough to head down to the Saturday venue and press on with the event. I had the cash in my pocket ready to give it to Suzy. However to my further shock, I was informed by third party that Paul, Suzy and Dean had left Toronto. I called the hotel and they told me they had checked out and they used the credit of Paul’s room to cover what was owing on Suzy and Dean’s room. I managed to have hotel staff reach Suzy, but she told me I should not speak with Paul and did not explain exactly why. Nobody bothered to offer any help instead drove to Detroit incurring a $300.00 cost to change flight from Toronto to Detroit.

Though Elam claims that Vinczer’s letter is “basically full of lies and poor me victim chanting,” he acknowledges that he left the event early, writing that

sitting around in a hotel with a group of people who are wondering if it is actually, really paid for, and who are making the same stack of complaints as the last people unfortunate enough to do business with Attila Vinczer will make that happen. Indeed, I made a decision to leave and urged Dean and Suze to come with me. That choice was actually a second best to what I should have done, which was decide not to come in the first place.

That raises a bit of a question: why did Elam (and his cronies) agree to go to the event when it was clear that almost no tickets had been sold? Why didn’t they try to convince Vinczer to just cancel the event? And why didn’t they try to stop Vinczer from embarking on the folly that was the commemorative coin fundraiser?

Ah well, it’s a bit too late for all that. Vinczer is now on the outs with Elam, and, as Elam put it in a comment to his own post “my wallet tells me he will not be missed.”

Vinczer, for his part, has declared that

I will never return to the MRM or the cult that has without thought or consideration thrown me under the wheels of the bus.

My not-so-bold prediction is that he will not be the last to abandon the Cult of Elam.

 

Subscribe
Notify of
guest

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

109 Comments
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
owlschroeder
5 years ago

Rats everywhere (Rattus rattus, Rattus norvegicus, et al) are insulted to be compared to these AVFM types.

Catherine Reed (@Radiojane1)
Catherine Reed (@Radiojane1)
5 years ago

“the incredulously wanton threats made against me”

The incredulous use of “incredulously” is bad enough, but I was stumbling over the use of “wanton” in front of “threats”. What the heck is a “wanton threat”?

kirbywarp
kirbywarp
5 years ago

The movement that’s supposedly steadly growing and will definitely be the foundation of a male revolution, everybody. Tearing each other apart over expenses when they can barely put any of their followers in seats.

opium4themasses
5 years ago

@Catherine Reed A wanton threat is any threat an MRA receives. Just ask them about those dangerous SJWs!

Judas Peckerwood
Judas Peckerwood
5 years ago

Quickly becoming A Voice for (One) Man.

anemonerosie
5 years ago

What!? What airlines are these people flying on!? I can get in and out of Toronto for much less than that – and Pearson airport (the main Toronto airport) has the highest airport taxes on the continent.

Also, how the hell did these people manage to talk at Ryerson? I’d have thought U of T would be more appropriate since U of T has an MRA group and has had for years now. Ryerson is almost as left-leaning as York.

Finally, I’m not sure what they were expecting… we regularly comment on the heartlessness that these folks embody.

anemonerosie
5 years ago

@Radiojane1 it’s when your food might poison you.

David Rutten
5 years ago

Just about to turn in for the night, I’ll sleep all the better for this. Thanks David!

AnAndrejaPejicBlog (@A_Pejic_Blog)

A wanton threat is a a threat that is known to act sluttishly. OBVIOUSLY

Scented Fucking Hard Chairs
Scented Fucking Hard Chairs
5 years ago

@anenomerosie

Tanveer Ahmed lives in Australia (ugh), so $3500 sounds about right. Though I have to laugh at the idea of a thoroughly-shamed dipshit who was fired from one job for “Writing” an article blaming feminism for DV then fired from another job for plagiarising that article being their big-name keynote.

saitonexus
5 years ago

@ anemonerosie: You know, I was thinking the exact same thing – in between the bouts of laughter over yet another instance of these toxic asshats being toxic asshats to each other (this is one of the best things they can do, because normally, they’re “hilarious but also really disturbing and repugnant”. When they’re having an internal spat, the “hilarious” part asserts itself much more strongly).

ANYWAY yes, I was thinking the same thing because I myself booked a flight to Toronto from the SF Bay Area (so, a distance involving crossing a large portion of North America, longitudinally speaking), with less than two months between the date of booking and the date of travel, AND, I used Air Canada – by far not the cheapest option available at the time, but I dislike flying and they were the only airline offering a non-stop flight on our vacation dates. I paid about $600 USD one-way… for TWO people! So I don’t know how in the hell they could pay $800 one way for economy class if the flight was coming from within the US.

Of course, it’s entirely possible that the number was being inflated to make his side of the story seem worse, but I kind of like the “they’re so inept that they somehow found a way to accidentally pay nearly double what any airline would actually charge them for the flight” interpretation. It seems fitting.

gabrielletpatterson
5 years ago

This guy has kids?

zoon echon logon
zoon echon logon
5 years ago

So, who’s left at AVFM other than Paul? Suzy and JB? Pretty much every other name I’ve heard over there has now left.

ljy2008
5 years ago

Man these little pricks run like deer when they are faced with any kind of attack. They wouldn’t last 10 seconds as a feminist, which requires frequently sticking ones neck out to be abused and threatened from hoards of hate in any manner of public (and private) forums.

They are only strong when they swarm to protect one another, when they are cast out on their own the fear and paranoia crank up to preposterous levels and they scamper for cover like a puppy in a hail storm.

These guys truly are cowards of the highest order; scared little boys who fear the loss of the ‘brotherhood’ that provides them with the power and strength they so desperately lack as individuals.

…and as I’ve always said “any ‘movement’ (and I use that term very loosely), based on hate will eventually self destruct, it simply isn’t sustainable”.

Witness exhibit ‘A’ ladies and gentlemen…and everyone in between 😉

weirwoodtreehugger
5 years ago

Oh, goodie! I’ve been waiting for this post.

incredulously wanton

Can anyone else picture a trendy Asian fusion restaurant called The Incredulous Wonton?

coerced into doing things I was unable to do.

Yes, Attila. Coercing people into doing things is wrong. Something you and your MRA buds hate having pointed out when we talk about how coercing people into sex is rape. Is it too much to hope that you’ll learn from the experience? Probably.

To call me a con artist and to embark on a path to knowingly, and willingly cause me, my family and particularly my children harm by cyber attacking me is criminally malicious.

You lie down with dogs, you wake up with fleas. You can’t be okay with the MRAs and other anti-feminists harassing feminists and then whine when they turn on you.

numerobis
numerobis
5 years ago

So it turns out that the MRM is big on hiring incompetent dreamers to run things? Shocking.

ljy2008
5 years ago

saitonexus, the most expensive flights would have been from Australia; Dr. Tanveer Ahmed is Australian.

“they’re so inept that they somehow found a way to accidentally pay nearly double what any airline would actually charge them for the flight” interpretation. It seems fitting.

I think another issue is that these people are incredibly narcissistic and manipulative. That’s their whole game. They would have seen this guy coming a mile away and seen it as a free (all-expenses-paid) vacation.

That’s what these guys ultimately are, manipulative narcissists and probably sociopaths to some degree.

The whole ‘movement’ is about manipulation and control.

In Elam’s case, he is so narcissistic that he would have thought “I deserve this”. I also assume that his reasoning for skipping out on the Symposium was because it was a dismal failure and he didn’t want to be associated with it. It would be too bruising to his massive ego. It would also shed light on just how weak his ‘movement’ really is, and it would have the potential to expose him for the fraud and cheat that he really is.

Make no mistake, the only thing motivating Elam is self-preservation.

Nop
Nop
5 years ago

“What the heck is a “wanton threat”?”
A food fight at a dim sum place, perhaps?

Viscaria
Viscaria
5 years ago

Vinczer’s writing style is definitely unique.

everything I have said, remarked and my entire interaction with AVFM has been digitally recorded.

Everything you’ve said AND everything you’ve remarked? Wow.

Mewens
Mewens
5 years ago

Cripes. How do you tell when an MRA is angry?

He’s breathing.
Or he’s overwriting. But I repeat myself.

Thanks, I’ll be here all week. Try the veal.

deniseeliza
deniseeliza
5 years ago

I paid about $600 USD one-way… for TWO people! So I don’t know how in the hell they could pay $800 one way for economy class if the flight was coming from within the US.

Most people don’t buy or pay one way fares. I’m assuming those prices were round trip. $1300 for a domestic first class flight sounds about right to me.

Orion
5 years ago

Are these round-trip prices? When they talk about changing the various flights, I tend to assume one way (changing the flights individually) but these numbers make no sense to me unless it’s round trip.

peep
peep
5 years ago

“The cost of flying Paul Elam to Toronto was $800.00, but he asked me to fly him business class as he does not do well in small seating due to his frame.”

Paul Elam is a manspreader!

ljy2008
5 years ago

“Can anyone else picture a trendy Asian fusion restaurant called The Incredulous Wonton?”

Gold!

Orion
5 years ago

ljy,

We don’t like throwing around psychiatric terms around here. Also, I don’t think that you can be a sociopath “to a degree.” The whole idea is that it’s a cluster of closely related traits based on a fundamental difference in emotional experience.

People do talk about “sociopathic” behavior, but that’s an analogy, kind of. It means “behavior that would be expected of a sociopath.” Acting like a sociopath half the time doesn’t mean you’re “half sociopath.” It doesn’t work that way.

Boost
Boost
5 years ago

It’s wrong to giggle at such sad broken failures of people. But I can’t help myself. It’s too incredulously wanton.

cupisnique
cupisnique
5 years ago

I don’t even understand why Atilla is paying for things and reimbursing people at all, shouldn’t this be coming out of AVFM’s funds in the first place?

I find it so weird that they expect to be treated like royalty and have their expenses paid for. Isn’t this supposed to be your cause, you know fighting for men and boys or whatever? I mean even if you made the argument that you need the money to cover your expenses so you can support the cause, I think unnecessarily upping the costs kind of exposes how much you actually care about the cause rather than putting that money towards something useful.

epitome of incomprehensibility

Of MRA-ish folks and malapropisms:

When I was working at a summer camp, one of the junior counsellors (a 17-year-old boy) called a teenage a camper “slut” during a staff meeting. The director rightly called him out for it, but instead of saying that it was really creepy and inappropriate to talk about a camper that way, he just told the guy to express himself differently.

“I just meant,” the counsellor said, “that she is a young lady of uncertain moral turpitude.”

(Incredulously wanton uncertain moral turpitude, I’m sure.)

epitome of incomprehensibility

Okay, so I’m not without error: e.g., I see a misplaced “a” in the post above. And, speaking of malapropisms, I used the word “remiss” the wrong way yesterday (I thought it meant “out of place” rather than “neglecting something”) but MRAs seem to use big words without even CARING about their meaning. Has anyone else noticed this?

Kat
Kat
5 years ago

If laughing at this MRA s***storm is wrong, I don’t wanna be right.

Auntie Alias
Auntie Alias
5 years ago

Dan Perrins is out, too?!?!? Wow. Outcasts Attila, Dan, John Hembling, and Diana Davis are all Canadians. Now they’ll have more time to stir shit up here in Canada. On the bright side, maybe Elam will stay on his side of the border from now on.

Many of the comments on Paul Elam’s rebuttal article express sadness over Attila’s departure. He worked hard; I’ll give him that.

gabrielletpatterson | October 7, 2015 at 7:02 pm
This guy has kids?

Two boys, I believe. It’s not a good situation.

Robert
Robert
5 years ago

A book I’m reading used “two scorpions in a bottle” as a metaphor for a fight in which neither combatant actually wins. I have a new appreciation for that image.

It’s hard to keep a cult of personality going when all the personalities involved are toxic.

Argenti Aertheri
Argenti Aertheri
5 years ago

At least they aren’t girls? Better odds of boys growing up to not be assholes than girls he’s spent their entire lives telling are useless, etc, growing up healthy? One can hope??

“I don’t even understand why Atilla is paying for things and reimbursing people at all, shouldn’t this be coming out of AVFM’s funds in the first place?”

Yes. Even if the hope was to make up the cost in attendance, the initial output should come from the group’s funds. And if they can’t sort that out? Fuck if I know. But Elam, AVFM head, expecting to be paid to attend an AVFM event? That… I was gonna say reeks of bullshit, but really, what it reeks of is fraud.

People donate to AVFM, let’s take that as a given despite the logical issue, Elam pockets all of it, doling it out “as he sees fit”, doesn’t pay his staffers but rather expects them to pay for AVFM events (technically fine I guess, fishy, but not too much if he was transparent about it), and then expects them to pay him to show up?! Either they need a contracts lawyer, or someone who’s donated expecting the money to be used for paying staff and such should sue, I’d wager on the later.

Argenti Aertheri
Argenti Aertheri
5 years ago

Alan, you around? I spent a year working reception for a litigator, but that’s the limit to my legal knowledge, I assume to have standing to sue for fraud you’d have to have donated money (or time I guess?) with a reasonable expectation it be used for a thing, when the person/group it went to knowingly lied to obtain the money? So Elam’s “everyone knows I use it as I see fit” covers his ass?

Shadow
Shadow
5 years ago

Lolololll!! Paulie said “con artist” without being self-referential!!

Olive O'Sudden
Olive O'Sudden
5 years ago

@anemonerosie
Also, how the hell did these people manage to talk at Ryerson? I’d have thought U of T would be more appropriate since U of T has an MRA group and has had for years now. Ryerson is almost as left-leaning as York.

Renting a room or other venue space on a university campus is fairly easy, especially if you or your subject matter isn’t very controversial. Given the low media and political profile of AVfM, I doubt any red flags went up for the meeting room coordinator when she booked Elam & The Gang for their little symposium on domestic violence.

marinerachel
marinerachel
5 years ago

These guys are in full-on eat their own mode. It’s delightful.

I wouldn’t be willing to a share a room with Dean either though. I bet his hair gets everywhere. I leave enough of my hair laying around as is.

Auntie Alias
Auntie Alias
5 years ago

It’s downright weird that Paul insisted on his own hotel room, leaving Dean and Suzanne to stay together even though Dean is a married man.

@Argenti Aertheri

One boy has been in trouble at school a couple of times for assaulting another boy and for inappropriately kissing (I think?) a girl. He was around 12 at the time. Attila was highly indignant about these obvious lies *cough* and tried to sue everyone and their dog who were involved. At one point he mentioned having 25 lolsuits on the go! No wonder money was tight. 😛

katz
5 years ago

A book I’m reading used “two scorpions in a bottle” as a metaphor for a fight in which neither combatant actually wins.

Are you reading The Scorpion Rules?

Kat
Kat
5 years ago

@Auntie Alias

It’s downright weird that Paul insisted on his own hotel room, leaving Dean and Suzanne to stay together even though Dean is a married man.

To me, the situation is weird no matter what either person’s marital status is.

On the other hand, I know of an organization that (to save money) assigned two conference organizers–one male and one female–to the same hotel room. I thought that was completely weird and could lead to all sorts of problems.

Has anyone else ever heard of this practice? (I’m not talking about a situation in which a woman and a man request the same room; I’m talking about an organization assigning the same room to both a woman and a man.)

Selt
Selt
5 years ago

When I read that post of Vinczer’s, one phrase kept playing over and over again in my mind.

“I can’t write for shit and I know it, but I wouldn’t be caught dead mutilating something that is ostensibly my native language like this”

marinerachel
marinerachel
5 years ago

And, I admit, I imagine Deano eating a lot of Mexican take-out and being farty.

marinerachel
marinerachel
5 years ago

Which may be why he changed from pants to shorts at that event.

Catalpa
Catalpa
5 years ago

Well, this shitstorm certainly couldn’t have happened to a nicer bunch of people.

rugbyyogi
5 years ago

Makes sense they’d cut loose their Activity Director, given that, y’know, there’s so little activity.

And while it’s fun to laugh at these guys eating their own – people like me still have to live with the fallout of their toxic doctrine – dealing with an ex who believes this shit and partly is an ex because he tried to live in this fashion.

I have a son. Who spends time with his dad. I don’t know how to counteract this bullshit.

Anyway, I’m having a rough go of it lately. I should laugh at this shit, but I’m not really finding it funny right now.

katz
5 years ago

He’s the Activity Director rather than the Activities Director because they know they’ll never have more than one activity going at a time.

Kat
Kat
5 years ago

Sorry to hear you’re feeling down, rugbyyogi. I hope the situation improves soon.

Jenny (@dontgiveah00t)

I’m honestly wondering how many more people Paul can afford to alienate, especially if it keeps going like this? Doesn’t he basically fund everything he does through this ever-shrinking group?

EJ (The Other One)
EJ (The Other One)
5 years ago

Hugs, rugbyyogi. I wish you and your son the very best.

As long as your son has enough exposure to the rest of humanity to develop a people sense, he’ll hopefully be okay. Toxic people do most of their harm when they prey on closeted or overly trusting people. The best disinfectant is, as ever, sunlight.

Jo
Jo
5 years ago

@rugbyyogi
Really sorry to hear that, it sounds like an awful situation. I don’t think people here are laughing because they fall to recognise the very real damage AVFM and its ilk do. Rather, it’s a chance to enjoy internet drama with no lingering feelings of guilt because the dramatis personæ are entirely unsympathetic.

Of course, even if every single Elam ally deserted him right now, misogyny would not vanish. This is, however, another blow to the self-image of AVFM fans and that’s enough to raise a chuckle for me. I totally understand that you’re in no laughing mood, though.

1 2 3