Friday, September 4, 2015

When feminists attack their own: The story of Gregory Alan Elliott

I briefly mentioned in a previous blog post about a man who was sued by feminists for the simple reason that the man had criticized those feminists for their doxxing tactics.

I stumbled across a much more detailed description of that story posted by Karen Straughan on a YouTube comment. Because this excellent writing on the case cannot be found anywhere else, and would otherwise be simply buried under the literally billions of other YouTube comments, I decided to quote it here:
A feminist in Toronto named Steph Guthrie, who founded a non-profit called Women in Toronto Politics, put out a call on Twitter a year or three ago for artists willing to donate their work to her organization. A man named Gregory Allen Elliot, a father of four and a graphic/web designer, volunteered to provide her with free art work for her campaigns.

They connected over Twitter, met up in person, and arranged for Elliot to provide her with some art.

Then, BAM! A dude named Ben Spurr, who was incensed over Anita Sarkeesian's propagandist take on video games and her huge windfall on Kickstarter, made a video game app called "Beat up Anita", wherein the first several screens of the app indicated the game was a political protest against feminist hypocrisy. The preamble stated, amongst other things, that 99% of the objectified casualties in video games are male, yet somehow, video games, as a whole, are deemed misogynistic in their objectification of women. The game endeavored to treat a woman, Anita Sarkeesian, exactly like a man would be treated. Right or wrong, agree or don't, the intent of the game app was not misogyny. It was, essentially, saying, "let's treat Anita the way we treated Jack Thompson, since Anita is a feminist who is all about equality."

Anyway, Steph Guthrie and some of her feminist friends dug up Ben Spurr's information--his name, address, place of work, etc (he lived in a city not far from Toronto, incidentally). Over Twitter, they organized a campaign to "hold him accountable" for his misogyny. In a subsequent TEDx talk, Guthrie claimed that she "sicced the internet" on Spurr, and the audience applauded her. She and her friends released his details, and encouraged their followers to call his employer, to contact other potential employers in the area, and punish him for his misogyny. The even began talking about making a trip to his home town to poster it with evidence of his horribleness.

Mr. Elliot protested their tactics. He told them, over Twitter, that they had moved beyond justice and into vengeance. He tweeted at them that they were ruining a man's life over one perfectly legal "crime" that offended them. After they blocked him, he kept tweeting about it, and their friends retweeted his tweets, which made his tweets (which would have been invisible to them) visible to the feminists in their feeds.

Keep in mind, Mr. Elliot had been a big enough supporter of feminism and Ms. Guthrie's efforts to empower women politically in Toronto to volunteer his professional services to her for no charge. Having read all the Twitter logs, I could see nothing in his tweets that even disagreed with their position that Mr. Spurr's game was misogynistic -- his only objection was that these three women were prepared to completely annihilate a man socially and economically for the dire sin of offending them.

A very interesting thing happened in the logs, however, after the three women blocked Mr. Elliot. They began making plans to meet in person, to discuss things that could not be discussed over social media. A day or two after that, each of the three women tweeted at Mr. Elliot to stop directing his tweets at them (something he could not do, as he was blocked, but which the women's friends WERE doing every time they retweeted Mr. Elliot).

And then, what do you know? Mr. Elliot was arrested for criminal harassment of Steph Guthrie and her two feminist friends. The irony of this is, his harassment consisted of objecting to their own online and real life campaign of blacklisting and harassment against another person. Mr. Elliot had dared to criticize not their beliefs, cause or ideas, but their behavior and actions. One of the requisite elements of a criminal harassment charge is that the victim(s) must demonstrate that they have endured distress or fear for their safety as a result of the communications. It was alleged by Ms. Guthrie and her co-complainants that they were in fear for their safety because of Mr. Elliot's tweets.

As a condition of his bail, Mr. Elliot was barred from using the internet. This means that this father of four could not work in his trade as a graphic/web designer--he has been unemployed since his arrest. The trial has dragged on for two+ years since his arrest.

And in an odd twist, a few months ago, a private citizen violated judicial protocol to write directly to the judge in the case. This person (I will use "he", for simplicity) claimed in the letter that he was present at this in-person meeting between the three feminist complainants. He observed them conspiring to set Mr. Elliot up and make an example of him. He claimed at the conclusion of the meeting, every person had a set of instructions and a role to play in engineering Mr. Elliot's arrest.

Despite the egregiousness of this breach of judicial protocol, the judge ordered a stay of proceedings and instructed the police to investigate the allegations in the letter, as, if true, the allegations were of a serious nature: criminal conspiracy, perverting the course of justice, filing a false police report, perpetrating a fraud on the court, and perjury.

It has been my opinion that these women were never in fear for their safety. I read the Twitter logs long before the letter to the judge was made public, and it was clear to me from the conversations that these three women were planning on meeting in person to figure out how to fuck over Mr. Elliot but good. The fact that almost immediately after this meeting, they tweeted to him to leave them alone (despite him being blocked) seemed to me to be the feint in a complex combination of moves.

I've been watching this case rather closely, as given the nature of what I discuss online, and the fact that a finding of guilt against Mr. Elliot would set a precedent, I have serious concerns as to the potential implications on my own free expression. One of the most horrifying things is how certain unscrupulous people can manipulate a system that is weaponized and vulnerable to their exploitation, "because misogyny". For someone like me, a guilty verdict would make every comment I reply to through Disqus or Livefyre a potential criminal offence.

When the mainstream is paying any attention at all, they will condemn the harassment, doxxing, trolling of the one side, while completely ignoring even more egregious behavior on the part of the other. And I'm sorry, but as far as I'm concerned, sending poorly spelled, grammatically incorrect and completely non-credible threats to someone, or even "siccing the internet" on them, is not even remotely on par with having them charged with a felony for having the temerity to criticize you.

This is what the SJWs and feminists seem willing to do to people who don't agree with them. It's terrifying.

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