It’s safe to say that A Voice for Men founder Paul Elam is not really a great judge of character.
Some years ago, Elam hailed the eccentric and obviously unhinged attorney Roy Den Hollander as a Men’s Rights hero, declaring that “as much as I loathe the idea of anyone claiming authority on what a “real” man is, if I had to venture a guess, it would be men like Hollander.” The founder of the Men’s Rights hate site also published an article by Den Hollander calling on MRAs to literally take up arms for the cause.
In 2020, Den Hollander shot three men — the husband and the son of a Federal Judge he had tangled with as well as a rival Men’s Rights attorney — before turning the gun on himself. Only the husband survived.
Before he became (in)famous as the “crying Nazi” after Charlottesville, the volatile white nationalist Christopher Cantwell published a number of articles on A Voice for Men. When informed that Cantwell was harassing people online, Elam defended him (and, while he was at it, suggested to me that I kill myself).
Cantwell is currently serving time in prison for threats and extortion.
Now the man whom Elam tapped as the “Chief of Staff” for AVFM’s somewhat pretentiously named Judicial Accountability Committee has been arrested in Scotland — where he reportedly fled to avoid fraud and sexual assault charges after faking his own death.
Let me repeat that: Where he reportedly fled to avoid fraud and sexual assault charges after faking his own death.
Interpol — the international police agency, not the band — was able to locate the man variously known as Nicholas Rossi, Nicholas Alahverdian, Arthur Knight and numerous other monikers after he was hospitalized with COVID. He had been hiding in plain sight in Glasgow, disguised as a dandyish academic from Bristol, in the south of England, complete with dyed blond hair and a fake “posh” British accent that somehow fooled the Scots.
I assure you I’m not making any of this up. You can read more about the strange case here, here, and here , or just do a Google news search for “Alahverdian.”
The man then known as Nicholas Alahverdian impressed Elam greatly when he came to A Voice for Men in 2013 with his tale of woe — promoting himself as an abuse-survivor-turned-child-welfare-activist whose promising career had been derailed by false sexual assault charges that put him on the sex offenders list for 15 years. In a post introducing Alahverdian to AVFM’s readers, Elam wrote
By all reasonable standards it is fair to assume that he was on his way to being a powerful and effective advocate on behalf of children everywhere, perhaps on a scale much larger than the State of Rhode Island. …
That plan was working till he crossed paths with [name redacted by DF]i … a woman who would file a sexual assault complaint that would all but destroy Alahverdian’s life …
[I]t is the considered opinion of this writer and a team of activists at A Voice for Men that he has not only been unjustly convicted of a crime, but that he is in fact innocent.
This seems just a tiny bit unlikely — especially now that multiple women in multiple states have accused him of sexual assault or other abusive behavior.
Elam, in 2013, concluded with a veritable call to arms:
Nicholas Alahverdian is a fighter, coming by that trait on the honest but unfortunately harsh path of his abusive upbringing.
We aim to stand by his side and fight with him.
In the comments below that post, future AVFM editor Peter Wright declared that
the floodlights [are] all connected up, ready to shine on [names redacted by DF]
These characters may have succeeded in heaping injustice against a demonstrably innocent man, and they may have succeeded in placing Nicholas Alahverdian on an offenders registery that will unjustly taint his reputation for years. However we can return the favour by making your names [names redacted by DF] more infamous than any person you have wrongly accused. Welcome to trial by media.
AVFM social media attack dog Suzanne McCarley added:
Uh, what were those names again? Let’s see [names redacted by DF] three of apparently several people who need to become “famous.”
Deal me in. Some Shit needs to be Fucked Up.
Here comes the cavalry from hell; we have your back Mr. Alahverdian.
That was then. Now the powers that be at AVFM have scrubbed the site of all mentions of Alahverdian. Down the memory hole, as Orwell would have put it.
More on this story as it develops.
H/T — Thanks to Twitter’s @TakedownMRAs for alerting me to this story, and to Wikipediocracy for posting links to self-incriminating AVFM posts.
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Ahhh I love Larry. I bet he diligently reports back to Bastet all the goings on he sees.
Fingers crossed! He seems to be in terminal decline, and someone is trying very hard to destroy him (his tactic of “lie until everyone forgets” has been used against him here, every time the news cycle moves on a new email/photo gets leaked) BUT no one else seems to want the job.
And he throws excellent parties!
For any Terry Pratchett and/or Jack Monroe fans out there.
GNU Pterry. I bet he’d be ever so pleased that his Vimes Boots Theory is getting noticed like this.
There’s an irony for me that, when it does to the partygate thing, I’m very much “Yeah, he should resign! How dare anyone mislead parliament? It’s an outrage. How can anyone defend that!”
Yet in regards to this story…
…I’m just copy and pasting comments from the partygate defenders saying:
“Oh come on leave the bloke alone, there are more important things for the media to be focussing on, this is no big deal…”
@BTD – is anyone else reporting these issues? Because I’m wondering if your browser is playing into the problem?
(I’m stuck on a Mac and very, very tired of learning how many sites don’t bother optimizing for – or even testing on – Safari)
That one does kind of fall under ‘there were no good options, only less bad ones’ category. And while there’s definitely a debate that could be had on whether or not he actually chose the less bad option, it seems pretty clear that there’s more of an issue over the fact that Johnson lied about what he did than about what he actually did.
But yes, other people have been pointing out that the timing of each new scandal being just after the old one starts to fade, thus keeping this in the news cycle constantly and preventing Johnson from using his usual ‘blither until it goes away’ tactics, indicates that somebody has a serious axe to grind and is actively targeting him. Though it’s not like there’s any shortage of suspects for that…
Back to the original article, I agree with some of the other comments here; it’s unlikely that the accent fooled very many people in Glasgow, but they’re probably used to people pretending to be posh, and the go-to interpretation would more likely be ‘Limey tosser who thinks he’s better than us’ rather than ‘American criminal on the lam’, because I suspect the former is significantly more common than the latter.
On the other hand, the American criminal in question certainly lives up to the AVFM standard of ‘complaining that it is so unfair that I’m actually being held accountable for what I did’. Consequences are for other people!
“… indicates that somebody has a serious axe to grind and is actively targeting him. Though it’s not like there’s any shortage of suspects for that…”
Dominic is a very, very smart man. Not a nice one, or a particularly human one, but he is smart.
@Alan: the caption on Larry’s photo is indeed brilliant.
The Vimes Boots Index is also great, good to see it trending. I was at the grocery store today, and many things were either not there, or cost notably more than they did just a few months ago. Being on a fixed income, the VBI is quite applicable.
@ gss ex-noob
More than just trending apparently. Jack has got HMGovt to officially adopt it!
Tpower of Pterry I guess.
(It’s great that No 10 is just giving anything people want to divert from Partygate. I wonder what else we should ask for?)
Calling it the Vimes Boots Index (with such a lovely comment from Rhianna Pratchett too, about how chuffed her dad would have been) is a stroke of genius. Helps to make the concept relatable and the initiative memorable to huge numbers of people who would otherwise have ignored the news or skimmed over and quickly forgotten it.
I’m quite fond of “it doesn’t matter if people believe your cover story, as long as their theory of what your hiding is Wrong,” and would like to see it used more often in fiction. Give me a scene of Gotham residents wondering why Bruce Wayne doesn’t just come out of the closet, it’s the 21st century after all; or the gossips of Smallville trying to figure out Clark’s parentage, because there’s no way John and Martha just up and adopted a kid one day without warning, obviously they agreed to help some local girl who had An Accident (of course there’s no need to embarrass the Kents or the kid about it, so they all agree they’ll accept the explanation).
If his latest identity was a “native British” person in order to hide the connection to previous identities in the US, that’d explain the need to develop a non-American accent.
Oooh. You know, I actually have a story ongoing where that sort of idea could actually work quite well… (student at a fine arts college ends up discovering magic, and can’t admit that to anybody who doesn’t know magic exists, and is now dealing with a double courseload of her magic studies and animation work)
But yes, ‘implying a lesser scandal so people stop looking into it and don’t see the greater scandal’ is certainly something that has been done in the real world. I’m not sure whether you were talking about Johnson or Alahverdian there (both could kind of fit); Alahverdian at least may have been clever enough to try for that. Johnson seems to do that sort of thing naturally; I’m not sure he even thinks about it. He’s just found over the years that acting like ‘that bloke down at the pub’ lets him get away with things, and if it ever was an act, it’s become so second-nature to him now that it’s not really an act anymore.
My headcanon for Bat-things includes that anybody who suspects a connection between Bruce Wayne and Batman just assumes that Bruce funds Batman’s fight against crime. Which is true in its own way.
Also, they assume that Bruce’s playboy persona is to fool people into thinking he’s not a savvy businessman.
Of course, fooling people into thinking he’s not a savvy businessman is also true in its own way.
One ‘mage’-style superhero character I wrote up at one point is, in her secret identity, also a well-known author of paranormal romances. Being a famous author, people expect her to disappear from the public eye at times while she’s writing the next book; and writing what she does, her walking into a library’s rare book collection and wanting to look at some mysterious ancient text also raises very few eyebrows.
(As one of my friends pointed out, ‘It’s for a book I’m writing’ was also part of the schtick for Richard Castle on the Castle TV series.)
Absolutely! Even Batman fanon should have layers to it.
I like your superhero character!
I suspect the people this guy encountered in Glasgow spent very little time thinking about him at all, and if they did, the word “bawbag” summed it up. And possibly “wanker”.
So, the opposite of #45 then, who has made a career out of fooling people into thinking he is a savvy businessman.
@ Surplus to Requirements
I was thinking something similar. Trump has made it pretty clear how easy it would be for Bruce to play a clueless rich guy.
Bruce wanye has like 8 children at this point. He could have taken the single dad root and that’s a so much better cover then dumbass rich guy
“what happened to your ribs Bruce?”
“my 9-year-old decide to jump into bed with me feet first, right on my ribs”
bat signal comes up
“i have to go, I just got a call from the baby sitter, my youngest isn’t feeling well and needs me at home right now”
getting harassed by a reporter for a interview
“I’m sorry, I really can’t stop to talk. my sick child is home with his older brother and I need to get home to them”
“since when do you speak arabic and Chinese Bruce?”
“well you see, my youngest is middle eastern and Chinese decent and was raised with his mother for the first 10 years of his life. I like to bond with him and him knowing his roots is very important to me”
“why do you look like shit Bruce?”
“middle child has the flu and we keep giving it back to each other. Haven’t slept in days, keep getting up ever few hours to check on him. poor guy doesn’t have a spleen, makes me worried”
@ Elaine The Witch
I love that. It would be awesome.
I mean once he took in Dick Grayson, he had the opportunity, and he blew it.
That’s not a bad idea, though obviously his life as a superhero would make being a single dad a bit difficult. Or did you mean he should fake he has a kid? And yeah, good point, you actually found a good excuse for him to have Robin around.*
(*I never really liked the idea of Batman bringing kids into his crime-fighting, he would know better. But I did like the BTAS version of Dick Grayson where he’s a college student and used sparingly.)
She might not even need that much cover. She could straight up tell people she practices magic and they’ll just say “Sure, uh-huh.” and figure she’s some hippie New Ager, Neo Pagan/Wiccan, or obsessed fan of wizard fantasies.
@queen of harpies
Damian Wayne is Batman biological child. Jason todd, Tim drake, and Cassandra cane, are also children Bruce Wayne has legally adopted. And to be fair, Batman doesn’t like having a child crime freighter either. He didn’t want dick grayson to be robin but the kid manage to sneak out and find the man who murder his parents all on his own.
Jason Todd finds out about robin and wants to help because robin is the symbol of hope for all the other kids that live in crime alley just like him.
Tim drake… That kid just straight up blackmail himself to be robin. He shows up pn Bruce’s door steps and is like… Hey I know Jason Todd just got murdered by the joker. I know he was robin and that your Batman. Here’s all my proof
By tje way I’m your neighbor. If you don’t make me robin I’m taking what I have to the police and exposing you to the news.
And then damian Wayne punk ass shows up later
“Hello father! I thought you be taller! Im here to claim my birth right to be robin and them some day batmam! You no longer need drake! I am the blood son!” And then straight up tried to murder Tim to get the title of being robin.
Cassandra cane was never robin. She’s what’s call orphan and then black bat. Because well her parents were assassins that tried to make her the ultimate assassin. Going as far as to removing her vocal cords so she could never make a sound. When Batman found her she didn’t know anything but violence and death. She didn’t even know how to read or write.
Bruce Wayne doesn’t want any of his kids in the life. None of them let him choose that though.