As we've reported, Daryush Valizadeh, aka Roosh V, announced the cancellations of Saturday, February 6 meetups in Denver, Boulder and more than 100 other cities for followers of his Return of Kings group, which is best known for its alleged advocacy for legalizing rape — an attempt at satire, Roosh stresses, although plenty of folks don't believe him
Yet the language in Roosh's announcement — particularly the clause "While I can’t stop men who want to continue meeting in private groups" — has plenty of folks incensed by the ROK message suspecting that the gatherings will still be happening, albeit in stealth fashion.
Meanwhile, Roosh and company are in full damage control mode in the face of attacks from strange bedfellows, including the group Anonymous, which he accuses of publishing his Silver Springs, Maryland home address, and the global media, which has reported, among other things, that Valizadeh lives in his mother's basement.
The root of the rumors regarding the possibility of meetups taking place on Saturday appears to be a page on the Return of Kings website offering "Protocol To Attend Meetups That Now Have Hidden Meeting Locations." Instructions include calling on interested parties to leave a comment on an ROK forum thread with the city meetup each person wants to attend and then "grab the permanent link to your comment by clicking the number next to it."
Granted, this item and another one detailing attendance guidelines were published prior to the cancellation notice. But that hasn't stopped social media speculation that the cancellation was merely a ruse to throw off those who planned to disrupt the proceedings — including a women's boxing club in New York — and Return of Kings loyalists will be rendezvousing anyhow.
Meanwhile, Roosh has published a piece headlined "Everything You Wanted to Know About Roosh but Were Afraid to Ask," in which he attempts to deescalate the attacks on him.
Here's an excerpt from the offering, which is presented Q&A-style.
Q: “Are you a rapist?”
No. I’ve never been accused or charged with rape by a single woman. My macho sex writing has been grossly taken out of context by feminists and SJWs. I may be a chauvinist, but I’m not a rapist. See: The Accusation That I’m A Rapist Is A Malicious Lie.
Q: “Why do you want to legalize rape?”
I don’t. Legalizing rape is a notion so insanely absurd I never imagined that people would take it 100% seriously, including politicians. I don’t believe any form of physical violence against men or women should be legalized. I’ve said that “How To Stop Rape” was a satirical thought experiment so many times that it’s clear to me current misinterpretation of it by the media is deliberate.
Q: “Why do you want to teach guys how to rape?”
I teach guys how to be sexually attractive. This includes being confident and masculine, traits that women say they don’t love, but respond favorably to anyway. There is not a single known case of one of my supporters being involved in a crime that has been linked to my writing. If there was, the media would certainly report on it.
Q: “I still hate your fucking guts.”
Instead of focusing your anger on real problems in your neighborhood, city, and country, the media has made you emotional against a man who poses absolutely no threat to anyone. I’m being used as a target so that you can expend your rage on me instead of other entities that are genuinely hurting your standard of living.
Roosh also took on Anonymous' alleged disclosure of his home address in this tweet:
Anonymous doxxed my family's address. Whatever I've done in life, they don't deserve to be harassed or harmed. pic.twitter.com/H2vmgvSqAV— Roosh (@rooshv) February 5, 2016
Rather than making Roosh an object of sympathy, the address' publication emboldened the likes of the U.K. Daily Mail, which shared shots of Valizadeh at the home under a typically bombastic headline: "EXCLUSIVE: Pictured, the pick-up artist at center of storm over 'pro-rape' blog - in sweat-stained T-shirt at the door of his mother's home (where he lives in the BASEMENT!)"
Also included: a screen capture from one of Roosh's more notorious past tweets.
Today, ROK scribe Davis M.J. Aurini is striking back via a post that tries to explain "Why International Meetup Day Was Cancelled."
"A tactical retreat was the only sane option," Aurini writes. "However our enemies revealed quite a bit about themselves in this process, and we learned a little something about ourselves as well. With that in mind, it is worth considering what lessons can be taken from all of this."
The following passage represents reflection on the controversy.
Through organizing and battling against their propaganda over the past week, we have been forced to address questions about ourselves. What are our motives? What do we hope to achieve? What is the end-state that we seek after beyond immediate material and ego satisfaction? We are men who believe in the cardinal virtues of justice, wisdom, courage, and temperance, and we pursue patriarchy, lawfulness, and freedom. We accept the responsibilities of masculinity; we accept the necessity of law and order; and we accept the bracing cold wind of working without a net.
That and $2 will buy you a cup of coffee.
Patriarchy, lawfulness, and freedom are respectively the products of charity, love, and hope; the theological virtues. Man on his own is incapable of achieving these for one simple reason: people respond to incentives — even us.
What were the upsides of this meetup? Making new friends, networking with men who work in other industries, and starting the process of building a community, something sorely lacking in this atomized age. The only substantive difference between this and a MeetUp.com hiking group would have been a greater degree of philosophical coherence and commitment (and even then – the sort of people who will leave their homes to go hiking are the sort who agree with us on most topics already).
What were the downsides? Assault, doxing, online smear campaigns, trumped up charges leading to arrest, and even death at the hands of on unstable lunatic. As great as the happy hour would have been, it wasn’t worth the potential cost.
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But will the meetups happen anyhow? That's a question both fans and detractors of Roosh V continue to ask.