Elliot Rodger used to post on a forum called PUAHate. Don’t look for it, it’s gone now. Uneasy lies the head that wears the crown, and also the head that runs a website implicated in mass murder. It is safe to say that the PUAHate webmaster is currently looking at travel brochures to Ibiza and shitting himself every time he hears a knock at the door.
I was a member there for a couple of years, and I can speak with some authority on what the culture was like. Many feminist websites are running hit pieces, calling PUAHate a one-purpose training ground for serial killers. This is wrong. PUAHate was a nuanced and complex training ground for serial killers.
It started out as a project by a disgruntled former PUA (Pick-Up Artist) called Nicholas. At first it was a place for people to expose scams and cons in the PUA industry…and lots of exposing happened, like when a former Venusian Arts student revealed that after he fell behind on payments, the VA CEO extorted him with threats of door to door debt collection.
Occasionally you’d get celebrity PUAs (oxymoron?) like Ross Jeffries and Mystery making a big entrance on the forum, perhaps under the impression that they could win PUAHate over (and use them as an army against their business competition). All such attempts failed. Two types of people were not tolerated on PUAhate: women, and PUAs. Anyone belonging to either group was trolled and ridiculed until they left the site.
But Nicholaus also had a section called “Shitty Advice”, where people could get dating advice outside the traditional PUA framework. Thus, a monster was born.
Shitty Advice rapidly became the most active part of the site, until eventually the rest of PUAHate became all but redundant. The tone at the start was one of comic negativity. People would go on “performance rage” style tirades about how women will only date male models, and how you will remain a virgin forever if you do not have a perfectly proportionate midface.
From time to time, people would get banned, and come back under awesome, self-pitying names like “EveryGirlTurnsMeDown”, “fatchicksrejectme”, “wankingandcrying”, and “BaldingCorpse”. But they always came back…Nobody was able to stay away for long. It became a running joke that Shitty Advice was almost impossible to quit. You had people literally begging the mods to IP ban them, so that they could get their free time back.
PUAHate was home to a frankly hilarious cast of characters. There was Chinpoko, inventor of LMS theory (ie, the idea that men need a trifecta of looks + money + status to succeed with women), who once spoke the Zen utterance “It is better to have a male model face and cancer than a 6/10 face and no cancer”. Then there was Pokerface, a terminally depressed poker pro who had tabled the WSOP a few times. Then there was jankinoff, a licensed therapist who dated an insane girlfriend who was apparently given to shitting herself. My favourite poster was aexexx, who may have been an actual comedic genius. He was given to entering random threads and recommending either 1) creative methods of suicide, or 2), that the poster perform DIY plastic surgery with nearby household tools.
But do you know the trouble with telling a joke? Eventually, you run into someone who thinks the joke is real.
Starting from around early 2013, a tide change began to occur at PUAHate. A new generation of posters started to appear who didn’t get the joke, and who thought it was all serious. I found this bizarre at first, and assumed they were playing along. I guess we now have proof at at least one of them wasn’t.
The tone went from mock tragicomic, to plain tragicomic, to tragic. The ideas and theories that had been suggested as idle mental masturbation were now being taken seriously. This was driven home one day when I posted a ridiculous troll thread about how parents should be legally required to mix Propecia in their son’s breast milk. For the most part…I got straight replies, giving me honest and well-thought critiques and refinements on my theory. This was disturbing.
I stopped posting by the end. The forum was getting too big and unwieldly. it was impossible to have a conversation. You’d start a thread, and within the hour that thread would be on the second page. The same topic would be posted at least ten times a week, the wheel laboriously re-invented each time.
I don’t think I ever talked to Elliot Rodgers, but I likely would have seen his screen-name a few times. I wonder what the nu-school PUAhaters would have thought of his actions? Maybe a few of them would have found them brave.
I don’t find killing unarmed people with a gun brave. Even by the standards of mass murderers, Elliot Rodgers was a coward. He shot himself at the end. What bigger act of cowardice could there be? A truly brave mass murderer would leave himself alive at the end to face the music.