UPDATE: The CBC has confirmed with Facebook that Minassian’s post declaring himself an incel and hailing Elliot Rodger is real.
By David Futrelle
As I write this, it’s still not completely clear if Alek Minassian, the alleged driver of the van that killed ten pedestrians in Toronto yesterday in what appeared to be a very deliberate attack, is in fact a self-identified “involuntary celibate” trying to take revenge against the “Chads” and “Stacies” and other “normies” he blames for ruining his life — or if these reports are simply some sort of 4chan-style hoax.
But on the Incels.me forum, one of the more egregious hangouts for incels online, many are already hailing the alleged mass murderer as one of their own.
In an assortment of threads that popped up after the news media began to report on a supposed Facebook post from Minassian announcing that “the Incel Rebellion has … begun,” some of the Incels.me regulars are celebrating the killings and the alleged killer as “life fuel” for them and their nihilistic, misogynistic, misanthropic “movement.” (Click on the pics below to see the comments in context on Incels.me.)
Naturally, it didn’t take long for one of the regular commenters to adopt a picture of Minassian as his avatar.
But no one was quite so enthusiastic about the killings as the commenter calling himself BlkPillPres, who wondered if the killer had taken the advice he had given in a previous thread to use something other than guns in his “ER” — that is, Elliot Rodger-style — attack.
Many in the media and in politics are unwilling to label attacks driven by misogynistic ideology as terrorism — often declaring them to be simply the result of “mental illness,” as many did in the case of Elliot Rodger’s murders (ignoring his hundred page manifesto), and as the authorities are already doing in the Toronto attacks.
But misogyny is not mental illness; it’s hate. And what BlkPillPres is talking about here is essentially the dictionary definition of terrorism — “[t]he unlawful use of violence and intimidation, especially against civilians, in the pursuit of political aims.” The tactics he suggests are an explicit attempt to subject “normies” to “constant fear” — that is, terror — in all areas of their lives, in order to advance BlkPillPres’ goal of “black pilling” the world and intimidating those who criticize incels into silence.
Following his link back to the older thread, one quickly discovers that it is even more disturbing. In it, BlkPillPres sets out what he sees as the virtues of various terroristic strategies, from acid attacks to mass rape to vehicle attacks like the one we saw yesterday. (If you are feeling at all fragile you may wish to stop reading this post right here.)
Others in the thread suggests that this all sounds great to them, with one aiming some of his ire at the IncelTears subreddit, which is devoted to criticizing Incels on Reddit and elsewhere.
Other commenters offer their own even more horrifying ideas.
Like Ub2w, BlkPillPres is especially taken with the acid-in-the-face tactic.
Sadly, as someone who has been writing about incels for several years now, none of this is surprising. Disturbing, yes, but not surprising. Incel is a hate movement, and it is long past time for it to be treated as such.
NOTE: The reaction amongst Reddit incels has been more measured; I may delve into that in a future post.