Tim Squirrell is a PhD candidate in Science and Technology Studies at the University of Edinburgh. His research focusses on construction and negotiation of authority and expertise on the internet, with a focus on fitness and nutrition communities.

A definitive guide to Incels part one: Incelocalypse

This post contains mention of rape and child sex abuse.

Part Two: the A-Z Incel Dictionary is now out here!

Screen Shot 2018-05-30 at 09.27.15.png

Today, a website named Incelocalypse was taken offline. It was an offshoot of the much larger, more active forum, incels.me. It had the tagline, "the day we make the jailbaits our rapeslaves". On it, you could find active incitement to rape, including threads entitled "Even if you could get pussy from a willing female, you should still want to rape girls". You could also find apologia for paedophilia, as well as (allegedly) actual child pornography, or at least descriptions of it.

 The original post in incels.me by the owner of Incelocalypse.

The original post in incels.me by the owner of Incelocalypse.

If you check out the thread about the takedown of the forum on incels.me, you'll note that very little of the discussion centres on whether it's legitimate to be pro-rape or pro-paedophilia. Instead, various members say that the forum was a honeypot (an FBI operation to try to catch paedophiles), or a false flag (a fake site constructed by r/IncelTears, a community dedicated to calling out the misogyny on display in Incel communities).

 incels.me member says Incelocalypse was populated by r/IncelTears members trying to make the incels look bad.

incels.me member says Incelocalypse was populated by r/IncelTears members trying to make the incels look bad.

 Incelocalypse creator counters that his site was becoming too powerful, and it had to be taken down.

Incelocalypse creator counters that his site was becoming too powerful, and it had to be taken down.

Some users are upset that the site has been taken offline because they "didn't get to spend enough time" on the paedophilia subforum.

 incels.me members upset that they were unable to spend enough time on a pedophilia subforum of incelocalypse.

incels.me members upset that they were unable to spend enough time on a pedophilia subforum of incelocalypse.

The thread quickly devolves into personal accusations against the forum creator, whom they say is a "fakecel" (not a real incel) because he is married and has a daughter. The creator fights back with a non-sequitur, clarifying that the "pedocels" subforum was private so that those who didn't want to read paedophilic content didn't have to. He muses that he may name his next forum "Volcelocalypse", because "if you don't rape you're kinda volcel" (volcel means "voluntarily celibate", in contrast with incel which stands for "involuntarily celibate").

 Incels.me member accuses OP of being a "fakecel"

Incels.me member accuses OP of being a "fakecel"

 Incelocalypse creator clarifying that the "pedocels" subforum was hidden for the convenience of those who "hated pedos".

Incelocalypse creator clarifying that the "pedocels" subforum was hidden for the convenience of those who "hated pedos".

The above might seem quite graphic, and some (probably many) people may find it deeply disturbing. There was content on Incelocalypse that was far worse, including descriptions of children performing sex acts, which can be found in a Twitter thread by Kathryn Brightbill, an activist who messaged the hosting service DreamHost to ask them why they were allowing this kind of content on a site that they hosted. 

The point here isn't just to display some of the violence going on in publicly accessible forums. Rather, I want to use it as a means of showing the kind of community that the incel ideology is facilitating the creation of. In the r/IncelTears thread celebrating the takedown of Incelocalypse, one user speculates that the creator of Incelocalypse was not an incel, but found the community welcoming because it was one of the only places on the internet where being a child molester was not a "non-starter". It was, they say, probably a great recruiting ground.

That user is probably correct in their assumption that the Incelocalypse host, who allegedly has prior convictions as well as a wife and a daughter (who is thankfully out of his custody), is a paedophile looking for people who might be sympathetic to his cause. They are also correct that incels.me was a good recruiting ground for those people, who were willing to post (anonymously) on a publicly accessible forum attesting their disappointment that they were no longer able to access a forum devoted to child pornography.

Incelocalypse was a particularly violent instantiation of an intrinsically violent ideology: the blackpill. It may be the first time that the Incel community has spawned a pro-paedophilia subgroup. It won't be the last. Moreover, it may be that Incelocalypse was more vociferously pro-rape than the incel community at large, but it's certainly not alone in leaning towards advocacy for rape. As we get deeper into the ideology and behaviour of the Incel community, we'll start to see that a disregard for consent and a feeling of entitlement to female bodies (and sometimes also female affections) are ingrained in the incel mindset and belief system.

In this series of blog posts, I'm going on a deep dive into the incel community. It's a relatively small number of people: even the biggest forum, incels.me, has only 6000 or so members. However, it's an incredibly active community: those same 6000 have written over 800,000 posts since November 2017. It's also a community which has so far given birth to at least two massacres that we know of, in the form of Elliot Rodger (whom they call "Saint Elliot") and Alek Minassian. I am utterly certain they will not be the last acts of misogynist terrorism we see coming out of this community.

We're going to look at a number of things. We'll be trying to understand the ways in which the "blackpill" ideology differs from the "redpill" ideology of the Men's Rights Activists and Pick-Up Artists. We'll delve into the evolutionary psychology that incels attempt to use to justify their worldview. We'll be thinking about the appropriation of scientific evidence and the language of the scientific method that they use to try to "prove" that the blackpill is the correct way of looking at the world. We'll see how close they get to a structural critique of patriarchy, whilst simultaneously managing to almost completely miss the point. We'll examine the deep paranoia in which they live, constantly accusing one another of being "fakecels" and worrying that their community is being compromised; in particular, we'll be looking at the tensions they experience in trying to recruit more members to their cause whilst simultaneously trying to protect themselves. We'll also look at the internal struggles over authenticity, engaging in ever more vicious battles over how pure an incel has to be in order to qualify.

This is the beginning of the definitive guide to incels. Stay tuned for more. As they say on YouTube, don't forget to subscribe.

This website is pretty expensive to keep going, hence the adverts you might have noticed. If you haven't noticed them because you're using an AdBlocker, shame! If you have literally two seconds, give a few of them a click. It really helps me keep this thing up. Alternatively, you can donate directly to help me keep up with running costs. Any help would be gratefully received.

A definitive guide to Incels part two: the A-Z incel dictionary

A definitive guide to Incels part two: the A-Z incel dictionary

New article at The Independent: why Incels are more (and more violent) than just Men's Rights Activists

0