Category Archives: threats
Reddit Ugly: MRAs and others argue that a man allegedly wronged in divorce court should turn to murder
A couple of days ago, you see, a Redditor with a nine-day-old account posted a story to r/menrights detailing the alleged ill-treatment he’d gotten at the hands of a vengeful ex-wife and an unsympathetic family court system. The story was filled with literally unbelievable details – among other things, he claimed to have been rendered homeless by the demands of the court, forced to pay $1000 a month in spousal support to his ex though she had a $60,000 a year job. Some commenters challenged the veracity of the tale – while the OP gave a case number in his post, no one has been able to find evidence that a case with that number actually exists. (The OP has not responded to the skeptics.)
But most of the respondents assumed the story was true. And why not? It seemed to reinforce every paranoid MRA fantasy of evil women and courts out of control. Despite its fishiness, the post got more than 700 net upvotes.
And that’s where the ugliness began. Not content to merely offer the man sympathy and advice, many commenters started talking murder, and some of the most violent comments got dozens of upvotes.
Appeals court upholds conviction of a man who threatened to kill a family court judge — in a song on YouTube
Yesterday, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit in Cincinnati upheld the conviction of a divorced Tennessee dad with the unlikely name of Franklin Delano Jeffries II who, in the midst of a custody battle, decided to post a YouTube video of himself singing a song with the sweet title “Daughter’s Love.”
The problem was that only a small portion of the song was actually about daughters and love; the rest was about Mr. Jeffries’ apparent desire to kill the judge overseeing the custody hearings, and possibly others.
As the appeals court judge put it:
The song contains sweet passages about relationships between fathers and daughters and the importance of spending time together. The rest boils into an assortment of the banal (complaints about his ex-wife), the ranting (gripes about lawyers and the legal system) and the menacing (threats to kill the judge if he doesn’t “do the right thing” at an upcoming custody hearing). Jeffries set the words to music and created a video of himself performing the song on a guitar painted with an American flag on it. The style is part country, part rap, sometimes on key, and surely therapeutic.
Men’s Rights Redditor: “I advocate the removal of judges, politicians, and other government agents who violate the Constitution by any means necessary.” [UPDATED]
Not a lot of “plausible deniability” here, though I am sure various MRAs will try to excuse this as not being what it obviously is: a threat of violence against judges, politicians and others who work for the government.
He’s done this before; I wrote about it here.
And while we’re on the topic of Demonspawn, here’s a little followup comment of his from the thread we discussed the other day. It’s a giant wall of text, I know, but it contains gems like: “When women mouth off to men and get their faces bashed in, they’ll know equality.” At least this comment of his got as many downvotes as upvotes.
I’m banned from the Men’s Rights subreddit, of course, but Demonspawn, despite repeatedly violating the subreddit’s rules about posting comments advocating violence, continues to post away. See his comment history for more lovely thoughts on, among other things, why women are parasites who don’t deserve the vote.
Norwegian Men’s Rights blogger Eivind Berge released from jail. Court rules that threats on the internet do not count as incitement
Eivind Berge, the Norwegian Men’s Rights blogger who was arrested after making repeated death threats against police on his blog, has been released from jail. The country’s Supreme Court has ruled that his comments – in which, among other things, he talked about how killing police was on his “bucket list” – are not illegal. His property will be returned to him and he is evidently entitled to compensation for his time in jail.
As far as I can figure it from the Google-translated articles I’ve read, the Supreme Court has ruled that statements on the internet are not “public” and therefore his threats don’t count as “incitement” under the law. Here’s what one article says:
Supreme Court’s Appeals Committee believes statements Berge has made on his blog are not covered by the Freedom of the definition in the Penal Code. incitement to violence and murder of police officers are therefore not presented publicly in the legal sense and therefore is not criminal, says the Supreme Court.
Apparently the issue was a fairly narrow legal one. According to the same article, the law under which he was prosecuted (written long before the birth of the Internet) “operates with a public safety and publishing concept that … do not take account of electronic publishing on the Internet.” The majority on the Supreme Court, the article goes on to say, felt that “the indictment includes actions that are clearly worthy of punishment,” but that existing law does not allow punishment for statements made on the Internet.
If anyone here knows Norwegian, let me know if this is correct. Here and here are several more articles in Norwegian, translated by Google. Here’s an article in English, written before the Supreme Court rendered its judgment, that spells out the issues a little more clearly.
On his blog, Berge celebrates his victory in the courts:
My blog is legal after all. The police had no lawful basis for pursuing criminal charges against me. This means the case has collapsed for the prosecution and I will be entitled to compensation for the three weeks I spent in prison. I was arrested and jailed for speech which the Supreme Court has ruled is legal, so obviously the entire prosecution was utterly baseless.
He considers his release a giant victory for Men’s Rights:
Being a political prisoner provided a welcome boost to my activism. … The entire process has been tremendously empowering for the Men’s Rights Movement. This spectacular prosecution of an MRA sparked debate and demonstrated to the horror of the feminist establishment that there are more antifeminists out there than they knew. I am not some kind of extremist easily dismissed, even though some of my writings may appear somewhat ungenteel. While my kind of violent rhetoric is legal, it is no longer needed. We are strong enough to fight feminism in more elegant and subtle ways now.
I will highlight some of Berge’s “ungenteel” opinions in future posts.
Manosphere blogger blames Obama, Jesse Jackson, and feminists for the Aurora theater shootings. Yes, really.
We’ve already seen some unusual perspectives on the Aurora theater tragedy courtesy of The Spearhead and the Men’s Rights subreddit. Over on whiskeysplace, the manosphere blogger (and sometime Spearhead contributor) who calls himself Whiskey throws some racism into the mix.
In Whiskey’s view, the whole thing just shows … just how badly treated white men are in America today. And, he suggests, unless we change our evil white-man-hating ways we should expect even worse massacres to come. His basic thesis:
[T]hat an (admittedly crazy) 24 year old White guy with an extremely high IQ would paint his hair red, carefully position his beat up old pickup truck against one emergency exit door, enter through the pre-arranged opened other door, and kill (again as of this writing) 12 people while wounding 58, many seriously, shows how out of hand Obama’s America has become. …
Who is at fault? In no particular order, Obama, the entire Affirmative Action establishment, Jessie Jackson, feminists, the media, and the American people for taking the easy way out and not removing the former from public life through a hard, brutal political struggle that costs time and effort and more.
Update: Norwegian Men’s Rights blogger Eivind Berge will be held for four more weeks due to the “risk of recurrence of new criminal offenses.”
Just a quick update on Eivind Berge: According to this news account, the Norwegian Men’s Rights blogger is considered enough of a threat to police officers that his two-week detention has been extended by four more weeks. According to the prosecutor, the “risk of recurrence of new criminal offenses” makes releasing him dangerous.
Poor Paul Elam. Here he is, the self-annointed leader of the world’s greatest 21st century human rights movement, and for some strange reason people keep mistaking him for some sort of two-bit hatemonger.
In his latest post on A Voice for Men, Mr. Elam laments the evil way one Australian news site took AVFM’s rallying cry – “Fuck Their Shit Up” — and made it seem kind of mean. Also, they added an “ing” to “fuck.” Elam writes:
[Journalist Tory] Shepherd (or her editors) gave a subheading to her piece which read:
Hate site’s motto is ‘F***king their s**t up
Misuse of the transitive verb aside, and ignoring the fact that even when properly quoted it is not the sites motto (which is “Take the Red Pill”), the use of that phrase in the sub-header was calculated to make AVfM appear to be a hate site.
How unfair to tag a website with the slogan it uses constantly! And, really, how could anyone see “fuck their shit up” as anything but a spirited call for peacefulness, understanding, and love?
Men’s Rights Redditor: “Men … need to start putting … government agents who violate their rights in the dirt.” [+54 upvotes]
Today, in the Men’s Rights subreddit, we find Demonspawn, a long-time fixture in Reddit’s MRA circles, getting dozens of upvotes for a comment in which he advocates murdering family court judges and other government officials:
Demonspawn is responding to a post from Robert Franklin on Fathers and Families about Dan Brewington, “[a]n Indiana man fac[ing] five years in prison because he criticized the judge and the custody evaluator in his divorce and custody case.”
Or at least that’s how Franklin wants to frame the issue. While conceding that Brewington “often used intemperate language” on his blog, Franklin downplays what seems to have been a relentless four-year harassment campaign from the troubled father. According to a report on the case on the Eagle Country Online website:
[P]rosecutors argued that Brewington took his postings beyond being critical of the court system. They became personal against anybody who became involved with his case.
“This was sick revenge dragging my wife and kids into the matter,” Humphrey said during his testimony. “I don’t know of many cases where a subject has more clearly expressed his intent to do harm.” …
Brewington … called [custody evaluator Edward] Connor a child molester and prostitute in his “Internet rampage,” contacted the Children’s Home of Northern Kentucky where Conner is involved as a board member, and sending mass e-mails to Connor’s colleagues and legal professional around the area. …
Connor’s wife, Dr. Sara Jones-Connor, reaffirmed what her husband shared with the judge.
“For over four years we have dealt with his attacks on a daily basis,” Jones-Conner said.
And Franklin leaves out the most serious of the accusations against Brewington: that he threatened to murder the judge.
Brewington’s cellmate at the Dearborn County Law Enforcement Center for two-and-a-half months, Joseph McCaleb, had sent a letter to jail officials on September 25 after being concerned with what he heard from Brewington.
“He talked about following (Judge Humphrey) home, shooting him, and dumping him in the river,” McCaleb said of Brewington’s alleged “detailed and thought out” plan.
I should note that after testifying that Brewington’s threats seemed serious, McCaleb later concluded that they weren’t; and Judge Brian Hill did not take his testimony into consideration when sentencing Brewington.
Was Brewington’s sentence fair? I don’t know. But Franklin’s posting was misleading, to say the least, if not dishonest. And while a few people raised questions about it, no one on the Men’s Rights subreddit bothered to spend the two minutes on Google that would have turned up the story I’ve been quoting from, instead relying entirely on Franklin’s, er, incomplete account.
Whether or not Brewington’s threats were sincere, Franklin’s post had Demonspawn and many others on the Men’s Rights subreddit thinking violent thoughts themselves. Here are some more selections from the discussion there. Note that every single violent comment I quote below got upvotes from the regulars.
Here, Boss_Money invokes the memory of Tom Ball, who killed himself in hopes that his dramatic suicide would encourage other MRAs to start firebombing courthouses and police stations:
Later in that same thread, coldacid suggests that suicide is a much less effective strategy than murder:
Anxdiety, meanwhile, shares his fantasies of violent “retribution.”
Boss_Monkey returns with a miniature manifesto for armed revolution:
And whats_up_doc suggests that violence may be the only solution:
The Men’s Rights subreddit is by and large the most “moderate” of all the major Men’s Rights forums online. But this is the language, and the thinking, of a hate movement. Anyone who really cares about improving life for men needs to call this kind of thing out, and make clear that it is completely unacceptable in any rights movement worthy of the name.