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Thread: Incels/Inceldom

  1. #331
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    U.S. Military Issues Warning to Troops About Incel Violence at Joker Screenings

    The U.S. military has warned service members about the potential for a mass shooter at screenings of the Warner Bros. film Joker, which has sparked wide concerns from, among others, the families of those killed during the 2012 mass shooting in Aurora, Colorado.

    The U.S. Army confirmed on Tuesday that the warning was widely distributed after social media posts related to extremists classified as “incels,” were uncovered by intelligence officials at the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

    In a September 18th email, service members were instructed to remain aware of their surroundings and “identify two escape routes” when entering theaters. In the event of a shooting, they were instructed to “run, hide, fight.”

    “Run if you can,” the safety notice said. “If you’re stuck, hide (also known as ‘sheltering in place’), and stay quiet. If a shooter finds you, fight with whatever you can.”


    The Army said it became aware of potential threats after receiving a bulletin from the FBI, but that it was unaware of any specific plots or suspects. The notice, which was marked “For Official Use Only,” was relayed purely as a precautionary measure, it said.

    A separate memo, issued on Monday by senior officials in the U.S. Army’s criminal investigation division, stated that the Army had obtained “credible” intelligence from Texas law enforcement officials pertaining to “disturbing and very specific chatter” on the dark web “regarding the targeting of an unknown movie theater during the release.”

    “We do this routinely because the safety and security of our workforce is paramount,” an Army spokesperson said of the widely distributed warning. “We want our workforce to be prepared and diligent on personal safety both inside the workplace and out.”

    Incel is a term that was adopted in the ‘90s by an online subgroup of self-professed “involuntary celibate” men. Over time, some radicalized members of the incel community have formed an ideology that promotes violence. Elliot Rodger self-identified as an incel before he killed six people near the campus of the University of California, Santa Barbara in 2014. And James Holmes, the man who opened fire in a crowded movie theater in 2012 has become a bit of a hero to the incel community. It’s often been repeated that Holmes was inspired by the Joker, a claim that primarily rests on statements the killer reportedly made to police after the fact in which he said he “was the Joker.” Speaking with the Hollywood Reporter, Daniel Oates, Aurora’s chief of police at the time, said that “there is no evidence” the shooter ever said that.

    In the alert emailed to service members, Army officials claimed that incels “also idolize the Joker character, the violent clown from the Batman series, admiring his depiction as a man who must pretend to be happy, but eventually fights back against bullies.”

    “While our standard practice is to not comment on specific intelligence products, the FBI is in touch with our law enforcement and private sector partners about the online posts,” an FBI spokesperson said. “As always, we encourage the public to remain vigilant and to promptly report suspicious activity to law enforcement.”

    In an age of frequent mass shootings by predominately white American men—at least some of whom have referenced in writing their frustrations with sex—the film has sparked controversy over its desire to compel its audience (at least in its first half) to empathize with a mentally unbalanced and unloved “loser” who inevitably resorts to mass murder.

    The gritty film, starring Joaquin Phoenix as the Joker, reportedly makes strides to depict its titular character in a far more realistic fashion than his comics counterpart. Rather than being transformed into the “Joker” after falling into a vat of acid—as the villain so often does in depictions of his DC Comics origin—a harsh life compounded by constant mockery and an inability to “get the girl” is what ultimately leads to his rise as the infamously batty executioner of comic book lore.

    The Hollywood Reporter reported Tuesday that families who lost relatives in the Aurora shooting, which claimed the lives of 12 moviegoers in 2012 during a screening of the Batman film The Dark Knight Rises, signed a letter this week to Warner Bros. sharing concerns about the Joker film. With the film set to open on October 4th, the families asked the legendary film studio to donate to groups that aid victims of gun violence.

    “We are calling on you to be a part of the growing chorus of corporate leaders who understand that they have a social responsibility to keep us all safe,” the letter reportedly says. The film will not be shown in the Colorado theater where the shooting occurred.

    An Air Force officer at Robbins Air Force Base in Georgia—granted anonymity to discuss the Defense Department’s warning freely—said that such notices are occasionally circulated by security managers, but only when deemed “credible.” The officer said that in some cases, commanders may issue an advisory in response; however, one was not issued in this case.

    “Frankly, beyond the email, I’ve heard little about it,” the officer said. “A few folks said they’d avoid opening night, or passed it on to their family members for consideration, but I haven’t heard much else in conversation beyond that.”

    Warner Bros. did not respond to a request for comment.

    In a statement broadly addressing the controversy over the film, Warner Bros. called gun violence a “critical issue” and said that in recent weeks it has called on policymakers to enact legislation to address what it called an “epidemic” of violence. Regardless, the purpose of storytelling, it said, was to “provoke difficult conversations around complex issues.” The company went on to make clear that the film does not endorse real-world violence and said that “it is not the intention of the film, the filmmakers or the studio to hold this character up as a hero.”

    You can read the email that was circulated by the military in full below:

    Team,

    Posts on social media have made reference to involuntary celibate (“incel”) extremists replicating the 2012 theater shooting in Aurora, Colorado, at screenings of the Joker movie at nationwide theaters. This presents a potential risk to DOD personnel and family members, though there are no known specific credible threats to the opening of the Joker on 4 October.

    Incels are individuals who express frustration from perceived disadvantages to starting intimate relationships. Incel extremists idolize violent individuals like the Aurora movie theater shooter. They also idolize the Joker character, the violent clown from the Batman series, admiring his depiction as a man who must pretend to be happy, but eventually fights back against his bullies.

    When entering theaters, identify two escape routes, remain aware of your surroundings, and remember the phrase “run, hide, fight.” Run if you can. If you’re stuck, hide (also referred to as “sheltering in place”), and stay quiet. If a shooter finds you, fight with whatever you can.

    ** this is a condensed version of an HQ Army Materiel Command, G-3, Protection Division Security message **
    https://io9.gizmodo.com/u-s-military...iol-1838412331

  2. #332
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    Toronto van attack suspect says he was 'radicalized' online by 'incels'

    Alek Minassian said after his arrest he drew inspiration from men who used violence as retribution for ‘being unable to get laid’

    The man accused of killing 10 people by ploughing his van onto a crowded Toronto sidewalk has admitted that he was a violent misogynist who was radicalized online, in a video that was made public on Friday.

    Alek Minassian is accused of driving a rental van into a crowd on one of Toronto’s busiest streets, killing 10 pedestrians and injuring 16, in the deadliest act of mass murder in the city’s history.

    The attack traumatized Canada’s largest city, and cast a spotlight on the so-called “incel” online subculture of men united by sexual frustration and a hatred of women.

    In a nearly four-hour interview after his arrest, Minassian told police officers that he was virgin who had never had a girlfriend, admitted to using the van as a weapon and said he wanted to inspire more attacks.

    Asked how he felt about the death of 10 people, he replied: “I feel like I accomplished my mission.”

    Minassian will be tried in February on 10 charges of first-degree murder, as well as 16 counts of attempted murder. The video, and transcripts of the interview, were made public on Friday after an Ontario judge lifted a publication ban. Families of the victims were shown the video before it was released to the public.

    During the meandering discussion with Detective Rob Thomas, Minassian said he belonged to an online subculture of sexually frustated men, and described his path towards radicalization, saying he drew inspiration from other men who used violence as a form of retribution for “being unable to get laid”.

    “I know of several other guys over the internet who feel the same way,” he said, adding they are “too cowardly to act on their anger”.

    Clad in a white prison jumpsuit, Minassian told police that his interactions with women left him embarrassed and angry. He described a Halloween party in 2013, where he tried to speak with young women, but was often ignored or laughed at.

    “I consider myself a supreme gentleman,” he said, adding: “I was angry that they would give their love and affection to obnoxious brutes.”

    A friend at Toronto’s Seneca College, where Minassian studied software development, first directed him to online message boards for men who identify as “involuntary celibates” or “incels”.

    The group views their inability to meet women as punishment for their status as “beta-males” and direct their anger at the people with active sex lives who they derisively call “Chad” and “Stacey”.

    Minassian claimed to have been in contact with Elliot Rodger, who killed six people and himself in a 2014 the campus at the University of California, Santa Barbara, in 2014. Rodger was a self-described incel who posted deeply misogynist videos and a sprawling online manifesto calling for an “overthrow” of what he said was feminist domination.

    Minassian told police he was “radicalized” at around the time of Rodger’s attack – and began to fantasize about starting his own “rebellion”.

    “I was thinking that I would inspire future masses to join me in my uprising as well,” he said.

    He told police that he decided that a 10ft delivery van “was the perfect medium size to use as … my weapon”.

    While he hadn’t initially chosen Yonge Street as his target – one of the busiest thoroughfares in Toronto – he decided it was “time to go for it” after seeing all of the pedestrians milling about the shops lining the street.

    “I’m thinking that this is it – this is the day of retribution,” he told Thomas.

    The video also revealed how the attack was stopped.

    “Someone’s drink got splashed on my windshield, and I was worried that I would crash the van anyways,” said Minassian, explaining why he stopped the vehicle and got out.

    He then sought out a police officer, hoping to provoke a “suicide by cop”. But Ken Lam, a constable, resisted opening fire on Minassian, even though he repeatedly pretended to draw a weapon.

    “Unfortunately, he didn’t react,” said Minassian.

    Minassian’s trial, which will begin in February 2020, will be overseen by only a judge alone. Minassian has admitted to driving the van but has not yet entered a plea. The judge overseeing the case has said that Minassian’s state of mind will be an important part of the trial.
    https://www.theguardian.com/world/20...terview-incels

  3. #333
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    Involuntarily celibate men are trying to leave ‘toxic’ online spaces but don’t know how to escape

    Involuntarily celibate men who vent online about their frustrations with women for denying them sex are now trying to leave such ‘toxic’ communities. Dubbed ‘incels’, they are often ridiculed and memed for their participation in what are regarded as misogynist forums — some of which have more than 100,000 followers. Members consider the platforms a ‘haven’. But many are desperately trying to wean themselves off the ‘manosphere’ – online male communities such as on Reddit and 4chan. Within them, contributors are mocked and bullied in the midst of support, leaving them conflicted as to whether they should stay. Anton*, who has been a part of the community for some time, tells us: ‘This place was a heaven for me in the first few months, but then it slowly became an inescapable hell’. He started going into these forums because he felt undesirable as a short black man (height is an issue which comes up time and again among incel forums). According to incels, at the top of society are Chads and Staceys – conventionally attractive men and women. Then you have incels belonging to subgroups such as ‘ricecells’ (east Asian incels), ‘currycells’ (Indian) and black incels, who sit at the bottom of the hierarchy. Members constantly remind themselves and each other that they are unworthy of female attention because ‘women just prefer Chads’, meaning they’re all in the same boat. Anton tells Metro.co.uk he is tired of the pseudo camaraderie which he feels doesn’t translate to real life. He says: ‘I’m trying to wean myself off of inceldom communities but it’s so hard when you’ve basically conditioned yourself to think that you’re a part of a community, even when over half of that community is basically an alt-right haven that would try to shoot you in the event of a mass shooting.’ Since chatting to us, Anton has deleted his Reddit profile and left an incel subreddit. He explained that his departure was because of the constant self-deprecation present: ‘It’s a pretty toxic community, like all online communities, if you stay in long enough. ‘I don’t have much in common with other incels in these communities because I’m black, progressive and short. ‘The cycle of self-deprecation, self-loathing and hate towards women is draining and counterproductive to one’s personal wellbeing.’ Like others, Anton entered men’s rights spaces because he hadn’t been successful with women. Incels generally foster hateful views on those who deny them sex. The community provides these men with easy explanations of why they are being rejected, positioning women as the enemy to uphold a ‘we’re all in this together’ attitude. Incel communities are a place where men who are rejected finally feel like they belong.

    One 23-year-old man tells Metro.co.uk: ‘Honestly, this group saved me from the brink of insanity. As the only virgin, relationshipless guy I know in real life I began to feel completely alienated. ‘Then I found a group which I could relate to – funny memes, actual scientific research into what matters in sexual attraction and friendly support when someone gets rejected or treated poorly by a girl or group of girls. ‘However, I do see the reason that some incels would want to or feel like they have to leave. It’s not because anything incels do or say is wrong or radical or even untrue.’ Another self-identifying incel tells us: ‘It gives us a place and identity to speak with other like-minded people and share experiences, ideas, possible solutions. ‘As an incel, there tend to be very few people around you that relate. Everyone I know has been in many relationships. ‘It feels extremely lonely, and being part of the community makes me feel not alone in my struggles.’

    Josh, also in his 20s, tells us: ‘There are no pros to being incel. Like there are no pros to having DNA destined for cancer.’ And Rob says: ‘The community can be too much — too abusive, too self-deprecating. Just too much.’ When incel groups cause more harm than healing, it can be difficult for these men to simply log out and go about their lives. Many feel that inceldom has been bestowed upon them and is an inescapable part of who they are. Dev says: ‘Nobody wants to be an incel, it’s not like we can choose.’ Some of these men can’t help look past the ‘involuntary’ aspect of being an incel, believing that at their very core, they are incels and there is no room for mobility. The space is marred with conflicting sentiments: some of it is masochistic — poking fun at themselves and their own shortcomings — and the other aspect is vilifying conventionally attractive people, so-called ‘Chads’ and ‘Staceys’. Posts floating around one of the incel subreddit reads: ‘Nothing will ever change, you’ll be here, alone in your room and no one will ever care for you or your struggles because you are worthless.’ A major obstacle to men getting off these sites is that those who embrace the concept of incels will sometimes sabotage their own chances with women, all while other incels egg them on. One post reads: ‘A girl from a 12th-grade school project texted me three years later. ‘This is literally the first time ANY girl has sent me a text for personal issues and definitely the first time a girl has at least cared about me a bit. Maybe she’s faking it though.’ This sentiment is reflected in many other posts, with women’s motives for showing interest often met with suspicion and questioned by other members of the group. It makes sense that these spaces that once felt like home begin to feel like prisons, trapping incels in a perpetual cycle of rejection, self-loathing, and hatred for those outside the community. But is there a way out?

    Research Fellow from the Centre on Radicalisation and Terrorism Dr Rakib Ehsan says hateful incels who turn to the manosphere can be de-radicalised much in the same way as religious extremists. He tells us: ‘The dark incel subculture on the web tells a general story of young men who are socially isolated and consumed by an overwhelming feeling of rejection — particularly in a romantic sense. ‘A starting point would be providing such young men with a greater sense of “real-life” belonging and encouraging them to adopt a more optimistic and hopeful mindset which is based on personal responsibility and economic self-sufficiency. ‘And, in a way, that actually makes them more “marketable” in a dating sense. ‘Physical exercise can help positive wellbeing but can also have a positive impact on appearance self-perceptions.’ This sentiment chimes with the views of psychologist and author Jonathan Hoban, who thinks help needs to come from government level in the form of funding arts to help wean men off the manosphere and ‘channel’ their ‘frustrations’ more constructively.

    He says: ‘They feel lost, angry and unwanted by society, and overall let down. Millions of pounds that were used to fund youth clubs, mentorships, schemes and positive environments/communities have pretty much all gone. ‘It was here that we used to be able to capture, train and channel in a positive way any frustrations, anger and difficult emotions into something worthwhile and positive like sport, cooking, music etc.’ Former incels say they managed to wean themselves off the groups by involving themselves in activities ranging from socialising in real life to talking it out. Just as the internet is home to hateful groups promoting abuse, there are helpful sites encouraging followers to seek help. Other suggestions include going to a therapist, starting a new hobby and arranging to meet up with those in a similar position. A good start might be to simply press the ‘leave’ button.

    *Names have been changed.
    https://metro.co.uk/2019/09/11/invol...cape-10677202/

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