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a voice for men drama drama kings gross incompetence MRA paul elam

Drama! Another A Voice for Men staffer jumps overboard amid mutual recriminations

Paddle, paddle, paddle
Paddle, paddle, paddle

Another rat has deserted the sinking ship that is A Voice for Men.

Attila Vinczer, the site’s former “Activity Director,” has now joined the swelling ranks of former allies on the outs with AVFM cult leader Paul Elam.

The last couple of departures from AVFM – Dean Esmay, the site’s former “managing editor,” and Dan Perrins, the skinny Canadian with the giant beard – left the Cult of Elam without much in the way of public explanation.

Vinczer, a more melodramatic sort than even those two, announced his departure by sending “every MRA I know” a bitter 8-page “Dear Paul” letter full of accusations and invective and enough self-pity to fill a conference hall. “I am no longer willing to remain silent,” he wrote,

particularly with the incredulously wanton threats made against me, by those who at a time, I thought were my friends and allies.

Incredulously? Incredulously. Vinczer has a fondness for using long words he doesn’t actually know how to use.

I have been accused of being a cheat, a liar, a thief, a con artist, dishonest in addition to being called a scum bag and coerced into doing things I was unable to do. Moreover, I have been threatened by a number of people to be publicly shamed, humiliated and thus excommunicated from the MRM for ever. This added stress has had a profoundly negative effect on my health, which deeply cruel, after I made it clear, that I was not well back in April.

Oh, he’s not done yet.

To call me a con artist and to embark on a path to knowingly, and willingly cause me, my family and particularly my children harm by cyber attacking me is criminally malicious. Those who still think I am a liar and dishonest should know, everything I have said, remarked and my entire interaction with AVFM has been digitally recorded. In my defence, I will not hesitate to make that public should the need arise to do so. Remember before you hit the publish button, in a battle both parties are injured.

That last bit, presumably aimed at Elam, backfired. Elam “hit the publish button” on a post attacking Vinczer on Sunday. “Boy, did you ever pick the wrong person to threaten,” Elam wrote.

I am itching to hit the publish button, complete with my opinion that my experience with you has left me with the certainty that you are a liar, a con artist and a dishonest scoundrel that has ripped off people over three countries and two continents.

Our risk mitigation is simple. Let you ride out of here on your exposed ass and make sure that your letter and this, the official AVFM response stays on the record. Protect other advocates from your thievery. Let you sit and rot in the filth of your own creation and never have anything to do with you again.

Yep, this is turning into one of the messiest MRA D-I-V-O-R-C-E-S I’ve ever seen; luckily for Elam, he’s got plenty of experience with divorce to fall back on,

So what drove these former allies into this online pissing match? Money money money.

Vinczer is accusing Elam of leaving him to hold the bag after a financially disastrous fundraising effort and an apparently even more financially disastrous series of Domestic Violence conferences.

Elam is accusing Vinczer of leaving behind “dozens of broken promises [and] unpaid bills,” as well as

manipulating people into covering your expenses knowing full well that if you did not make the money back that you could not reimburse.

So who’s in the wrong here? As far as I can tell from the admittedly self-serving stories of Vinczer and Elam, they both are.

Vinczer’s story seems to be a mixture of hubris and incompetence.

His attempt to raise money for AVFM by selling ridiculous-looking “commemorative coins” was evidently a giant bust; after borrowing $3400 from current AVFM “Chief Security Officer” Al Martin to cover the cost of silver for 100 coins, Vinczer explains that he was only able to sell 23 of them.

Vinczer’s  2015 TorontoDV Symposium was apparently an even bigger disaster. Vinczer flew an assortment of AVFM-friendly domestic violence experts from around the world to speak to a mostly empty room; Elam, who attended at least part of the Symposium, says there were only 8 or so in attendance, and it’s not clear how many of them actually bought $120 tickets for the event.

According to Elam, many of the “experts” and AVFMers who attended the event were stuck paying their own expenses instead of having them reimbursed.

But Elam and his pals are no angels themselves. If Vinczer’s account of their behavior is accurate, Elam and at least one of the “experts” brought to the event made diva-ish demands that drastically increased the expenses they expected Vinczer to reimburse. As Vinczer tells it,

Dr. Tanveer Ahmed agreed to be the keynote speaker at the 2015 TorontoDV Symposium. I secured his flight at a cost of $1,500.00, economy fair. He asked me if he could book the flight on Qantas where he enjoys certain perks for frequent flying.

Ethics!

This elevated the cost to $3,500.00, but I felt his presence would easily draw a sound audience covering the added cost.

No such luck.

This was a gross error as his presence did not sell a single ticket nor did the MSM publish any of his articles. The cost of his hotel bill was at $600.00. I picked him up at the airport on Thursday and dropped him off at the hotel. He got himself checked in. I had planned to pay him $3,500 on Friday and the $600.00 hotel bill. Tanveer has been paid $3,600.00. There has been some banking issue with my recent $3,000.00 payment that will be cleared up. Given his actual threats against me, I have been forced to deal with him in manner that will protect me against harm. More importantly the harm it would inflict against my children.

I’m not even going to guess how exactly Vinczer thinks his financial dispute with Ahmed might inflict harm on his kids.

Meanwhile, Elam insisted on his own travel upgrade:

The cost of flying Paul Elam to Toronto was $800.00, but he asked me to fly him business class as he does not do well in small seating due to his frame. The only option next to economy is firstclass on domestic continental flights between Toronto and Houston. The cost of that ticket was instead $1,378.26.

And Elam apparently also refused to share a hotel room with his unpaid “managing editor” Dean Esmay.

I also asked Dean, Suzy and Paul if Paul and Dean could share a room to save on costs. It turned out that Paul got his own room while Dean and Suzy shared a room.

Vinczer, ever the optimist, had hoped that “ticket sales would ignite once we announced Paul would be speaking at Ryerson.” Nope.

Not only that, but Elam and his unpaid “staffers” ultimately skipped out of the event early.

Saturday morning I woke up after falling asleep in my chair the night before. I felt well enough to head down to the Saturday venue and press on with the event. I had the cash in my pocket ready to give it to Suzy. However to my further shock, I was informed by third party that Paul, Suzy and Dean had left Toronto. I called the hotel and they told me they had checked out and they used the credit of Paul’s room to cover what was owing on Suzy and Dean’s room. I managed to have hotel staff reach Suzy, but she told me I should not speak with Paul and did not explain exactly why. Nobody bothered to offer any help instead drove to Detroit incurring a $300.00 cost to change flight from Toronto to Detroit.

Though Elam claims that Vinczer’s letter is “basically full of lies and poor me victim chanting,” he acknowledges that he left the event early, writing that

sitting around in a hotel with a group of people who are wondering if it is actually, really paid for, and who are making the same stack of complaints as the last people unfortunate enough to do business with Attila Vinczer will make that happen. Indeed, I made a decision to leave and urged Dean and Suze to come with me. That choice was actually a second best to what I should have done, which was decide not to come in the first place.

That raises a bit of a question: why did Elam (and his cronies) agree to go to the event when it was clear that almost no tickets had been sold? Why didn’t they try to convince Vinczer to just cancel the event? And why didn’t they try to stop Vinczer from embarking on the folly that was the commemorative coin fundraiser?

Ah well, it’s a bit too late for all that. Vinczer is now on the outs with Elam, and, as Elam put it in a comment to his own post “my wallet tells me he will not be missed.”

Vinczer, for his part, has declared that

I will never return to the MRM or the cult that has without thought or consideration thrown me under the wheels of the bus.

My not-so-bold prediction is that he will not be the last to abandon the Cult of Elam.

 

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sn0rkmaiden
6 years ago

@Rugbyyogi,

likewise *hugs* if you want them.

The fact that your son spends time with him will probably work in your favour over time, it means he’ll see his father for who he is. It means your ex can’t play the victim and say you’re keeping them apart, or accuse you of ‘parental alienation syndrome’, a phrase that the MRAs do love to throw around.

Misha
Misha
6 years ago

@rugbyyogi
Your ex is an MRA/MRA-sympathetic?

I do not have enough hugs. But they are there if you want them, alongside this brainbleach of a fact I learned today – that baby platypus are unofficially called ‘puggles’.

(I hope this doesn’t embed to fuck.)

http://t3.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcTO9Xxl7TAihkoSVDd1q9qHdATyZxxJkbjxmYqWwlbOkhtgsrc31QiNo3g

Ellesar
Ellesar
6 years ago

Objectively I feel sorry for Vinczer as he just had the piss taken out of him big time. Then I remember what kind of person he must be to have got in bed with the rest of them in the first place, and what I have read here about him, and I absolutely cannot give a shit.

The best outcome could be that Vinczer realises that MRA activism should be about working for men and boys who are abused/ marginalised, and goes and gets on with that, instead of AVFM style virulent misogyny, but seeing how other ex AVFMers have behaved I won’t hold my breath for THAT result.

Misha
Misha
6 years ago

Aw, it did. Oh well. The other image would have taken up the entire blog.

Latte Cat
Latte Cat
6 years ago

Meanwhile, MRAs everywhere claim their movement is one that will spark a revolution and change the world.
As you can see, they’re doing a great job of it.

Matt
Matt
6 years ago

“I have been accused of being a cheat, a liar, a thief, a con artist, dishonest in addition to being called a scum bag and coerced into doing things I was unable to do. Moreover, I have been threatened by a number of people to be publicly shamed, humiliated ”

I mean, I can’t IMAGINE how he could have seen this coming – other than looking at how his fellow travelers treat *everybody*…

Chie Satonaka
Chie Satonaka
6 years ago

Aw, I missed the coins the first time around. What is that graphic supposed to be? Looks like God’s hand from The Creation of Adam, but what is in the center? The Flying Spaghetti Monster? A clam? A vagina?

Shocking they didn’t sell.

sn0rkmaiden
6 years ago

I remember the coins, they’re a joke. It looks like a sloppy composition of mismatched stock images. The most charitable interpretation I can see is that it represents a hand dropping a pebble into the water and causing ripples, my least charitable one is that it looks like a tiny hand administering a large suppository into a small anus.

If you’re going to cobble together stock images you should at least bother to find ones which are to scale.

Alan Robertshaw
6 years ago

@ Argenti

Funnily enough I know 3 people who started as receptionists at a lawyers and then went on to qualify whilst they were working there. You pick up a lot just by osmosis.

As to the fraud thing, it’s tricky. We have no idea what their business relationship is. There could be a breach of contract if promises were made that weren’t kept and possibly a fraud if you could prove there was never an intention to deliver, but realistically if one person made it clear they had an unfettered discretion on how they ran things and people knew that there’s little they can do.

Moggie
Moggie
6 years ago

The cost of flying Paul Elam to Toronto was $800.00, but he asked me to fly him business class as he does not do well in small seating due to his frame.

Well, you gotta maintain frame.

Tracy
Tracy
6 years ago

This group can not organize an event to save their lives. It’s astounding. And it sounds like expenses are coming out of ‘staff’ pockets, and not organizational funds?

ONLINE SUMMITS, people! Much, much cheaper! Gah. Though they don’t feed the ego as much as flying somewhere like you’re super-duper important does, so.

Merus
Merus
6 years ago

I wonder if any of these bright sparks will notice that the strategy of heaping barely relevant invectives on people they fall out with is pretty similar to how they describe feminists.

Luzbelitx
6 years ago

Lots of hugs if you want them, rugbyyogi!

My daughter’s father became more and more MRAish with time (in a sort of brogressive way).

I kinda hope he’s just resentful because I sued for child support (and 2 years later he still never actually sticked to any agreement nor judge order resulting of it), and not interested in raising a submissive daughter, which so far doesn’t look like it.

Also, he became a much uglier person along the way. My take on this is raise my child to be aware of liars and manipulators, and she’ll figure outwhether those apply to her father or not on her own.

*more hugs*

dhag85
dhag85
6 years ago

Literally squirted milk out my nose when reading the part about Paulie making Suzy and Dean share a hotel room.

freemage
freemage
6 years ago

regbyyogi, you have all my sympathy, and any net-hugs you desire. The best thing you can do is find positive role models–regardless of gender–and expose your son to them as much as possible. Depending on his age, talk to him about the characters in his favorite fiction, and try to steer him towards the stuff that gets the right messages across.

*******

As for the clusterfuck that is AVfM…. Heeheeeheee…. This is totally guilt-free schadenfreude, here.

I have been accused of being a cheat, a liar, a thief, a con artist, dishonest in addition to being called a scum bag

Well, you were involved in the business side of AVfM, so those things are pretty much a given; it’s just unusual to have Paul be the one to admit that he employs scum bags.

AnAndrejaPejicBlog (@A_Pejic_Blog)

Oh, lovely:

“An Idaho school was placed on lockdown after a student threatened to “kill all the girls” because none of them would send him nude photos.”

http://www.rawstory.com/2015/10/idaho-teen-threatened-to-kill-all-the-girls-because-cheerleaders-wouldnt-send-him-any-freaking-nudes/

ColeYote
ColeYote
6 years ago

I feel like there’s becoming a bit of a trend of MRAs overestimating their level of support in Canada. Which is nice.

ColeYote
ColeYote
6 years ago

And, for fun, I just had a look at some Houston-to-Toronto flight listings. Apparently $1378 is pretty normal for business class, but $800 for economy is absurd, I’m getting listings at $450 for TOMORROW.

msexceptiontotherule
msexceptiontotherule
6 years ago

Soooooooo….Elam is running an organization, does he pay any staff? How does he make any money himself? There can’t be that many people desperate to get their hands on his books or do a consultation for a fee with him! There are a handful of people commenting over there, must be pretty hard to keep the lights on at AVFM – though it would be more pleasant for others if they took a header down a flight of stairs because they were feeling their way in the dark.

i also noticed that the spearhead no longer exists! Or I’m somehow missing vital in my attempts to search it out.

weirwoodtreehugger
6 years ago

Andreapejicblog,
That’s horrible. At least he was caught beforehand. I’m sure people will somehow argue that it’s not motivated by misogyny and not an attempted hate crime. 🙁

maghavan
maghavan
6 years ago
Lolaphilologist
Lolaphilologist
6 years ago

A mixture of hubris and incompetence, you say? Isn’t this kind of their thing?

I mean, these are people who take credit for hunting the mammoth. Last time I checked, half their ancestors were men and half women, just like mine, and mammoths have been extinct for a long time.

promisedlandpastor
6 years ago

This gives me hope that maybe this while movement is having it’s last hurrah before burning out. However history tells me hatred never dies, ago I’m not holding my breath.

Tabby Lavalamp
Tabby Lavalamp
6 years ago

cyber attacking me is criminally malicious.

Well then, at least we know he’s not a real MRA because as far as I know from them nobody is ever cyber attacked, they are merely “criticized”. Unless it’s evil SJWs responding to that mere criticism with the most vicious of attacks.

spacelawn
6 years ago

Exciting times.

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