AVFM Retraction


It is expected in publishing news stories that you are occasionally going to get something wrong. In that case, a retraction is a necessary and responsible follow-up.

That is the case now with my coverage of the story on Georgetown University and a woman who allegedly worked in the admissions office and who self-disclosed on a blog that she had disposed of applications based on sex and race.

In hindsight it is apparent that I was too fast on the trigger in establishing a connection between the blogger who claimed to have sabotaged the applications and that of a former student at Georgetown. While there is circumstantial evidence that does connect the two, and many unanswered questions, there is nothing that makes that connection a verifiable certainty.

It was a mistake on my part for which I apologize to the woman in question, and to any readers who felt they were misled. The original article naming her has been updated with a link to this retraction and her name has been redacted from the article. I am also removing all comments to the article and closing them to make sure no references to her are made.

I also want to make it clear that this retraction does not mean that AVFM is abandoning its investigation into the validity of the claims made about trashing university applications based on sex and race. Additionally, we are not done with concerns about the university itself, whose unusual and somewhat cryptic manner of responding to this story leaves more questions than answers.

In fact, while this story had already been posted to several high traffic areas of the internet, we did not take an interest in it until it became apparent that Georgetown University was moving, without explanation, to remove all references to her from their websites. That sparked interest here because they did so without any attempt to refute the claims of the internet story.

More updates on this will be provided as they become available.

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  • onca747

    Thanks, Paul. But I don’t think I’m alone when I say I still smell a huge, stinking rat in all this.

    • Chris Deslone (aka @mensrightsrdt)

      A year and some months ago, someone started the “spermjacker” troll effort in /mensrights reddit. I’ve suspected that this was a similar elaborate troll. Thanks, Paul, for the retraction and for using my addendum when you had it. We’re not alone: people have been ridiculing cnn for their hasty press release about the identity one of the Boston bombing suspects.

  • August Løvenskiolds

    I’m proud of you, Paul. Good call, and thank you.

  • http://www.hermitparkclinic.com.au Greg Canning

    The Mainstream media gets it wrong a far greater amount of the time then we do here at AVFM, and are far less likely to retract.

    Meanwhile manboobz is making a fuss about this as a “false allegation” and of course tying it into false rape allegations.

    Thing is an investigative news story is not a formal allegation/ complaint to the police or a statutory authority, further it was made in good faith with the motivation of protecting boys and men, not as a malicious lie to cause harm to an individual, and of course DF will use this rare instance of error as a broad brush to try and discredit MRA’s/ AVFM, more the fool he is.

  • http://www.deanesmay.com Dean Esmay

    I won’t lie, something smelled weird about the story to me from the start, but something still smells weird about it.

    In any case, I’ve been in publishing many years and had to retract more than I’d care to say. It fucking happens. What matters is that you’re honest about it.

    We just don’t know what the truth is here. Maybe we’ll never know, if Georgetown doesn’t get more forthcoming. But it’s a lesson learned: don’t publish shit you can’t verify (not that that’s ever stopped the likes of many of our critics, but hey, we hold ourselves to a higher standard around here).

  • MGTOW-man

    I am not convinced. When you smell a rat, there is a rat.

    We do know that the woman was bragging about doing this emotion-based, loser-attitude cheating of people she didn’t even know but who she erroneously thought to be “privileged”.

    The thing is, she should look in the mirror to see privilege.

    Another thing, we have enough commonsense to know that this sort of thing is going on by mean and oblivious feminists who think (feel) they are right.

    If not the woman at Georgetown, then why the hiding of her files? It would greatly help if Georgetown would cooperate here, but not likely going to happen because they must be hiding something. And undoubtedly, they despise the natural truth we speak, so they will not help get to the bottom of this—which they should be just as concerned as we are, if they operate from a position of honesty.

    I have searched for an old article that dealt with who in the public is most dishonest when it comes to lying and abusing powers. Politicians came up but female grad students topped the list. Is there anyone out there who is familiar with this article and can lead me to it again? It was research-based and used numerous substantiations to make such a claim that it proved.

    However, while I would greatly appreciate finding it again, I do not need to rely on such an article because my commonsense tells me that with all the lies thrusting forth thus far by feminist graduate students and women’s (anger-at-men) studies that they use to generate militant feminists who hate men and boys, it is very likely that many in that crowd will stoop to whatever it takes to silence the truth that they hate so much because it does not say what they feel/want it to say.

    • Near Earth Object

      “The thing is, she should look in the mirror to see privilege.”

      It would not surprise me in the least to learn that she does. And then she puts her other hat on and goes out into the world (and you know how their tune goes).

    • Fredrik

      “Is there anyone out there who is familiar with this article and can lead me to it again?”

      Nope, but instead I found a totally irrelevant (yet utterly fascinating) article on disciplinary lying vs. introductory lying.

  • JFinn

    I’d be shocked if the writer of that blog isn’t the writer of the essay. The similarities are so numerous and, more importantly, incredibly unique.

  • Nightwing1029

    Paul, this is what keeps me coming back to read here.

    You keep it honest.

    Proud to see you standing by your ethical stance.

    Keep up the great work, brother.

    • Near Earth Object

      Rather than merely doing the up-vote on what Nightwing has written…I’m going to 2nd it.

      I made a less than stellar call in recent days—no names—just being honest and putting that out there.

      • Nightwing1029

        As human beings, we are not perfect.
        But, what makes us great, is learning from the mistakes we make.

        Someone once said “The only true mistake, is not learning from the mistakes we make”.

        Don’t gotta be perfect. Just be yourself.

        And as far as I am concerned, we’re cool.

      • Near Earth Object

        Off topic, but…
        I wish that I could post this comic-like picture; I don’t know how; so I am going to describe it as best I can.

        Two women passing one another on the sidewalk.
        The blond woman on the left is scantily clad in a bikini and wearing sunglasses and pumps.
        The fully clad woman on the right is wearing a burka.

        As they are passing one another, they are both looking over their shoulder at the other.

        The bikini woman is thinking:
        Everything Covered But Her Eyes. What A Cruel Male-Dominated Culture.

        The burka woman is thinking:
        Nothing Covered But Her Eyes. What A Cruel Male-Dominated Culture
        * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
        WE live in a sea of misandry!

  • lancelot

    It’s good to see that you practice what you preach about journalistic integrity. Very admirable.

  • Coldfire

    I find it hard to believe that there is no fire at all behind the huge amount of smoke that Georgetown University created over this. They STILL haven’t bothered answering the question they were asked on twitter about why they hastily deleted all that information from their website, and at this point it looks like they have no intention of answering.

    The claim supposedly made by someone who directs the Justice and Peace Program that the information was removed to protect her from white supremacists doesn’t hold water as they also removed her thesis which doesn’t contain her picture or any other information that could be used to harass her. I also haven’t seen one iota of evidence of any harassment.

    There is good reason to believe that she is involved in some kind of foul play and this investigation should not end until we get to the bottom of it. I, for one, am happy to help with the investigation in any way I can.

    • TigerMan

      Daily Dot publishes story with the following headline:-

      MRAs dox feminist, bombard her with death threats—and it’s the wrong woman

      This is not only inflammatory it is not true either. How do I know this? By reading the very article that that headline advertises.
      In the article Mark Lance is quoted who is allegedly in charge of Ms [redacted] academic program said:

      This story was first picked up by Stormfront.org and the white supremacists [from that website] have been harassing and threatening her, including posting her home address, picture, etc.

      To say it is disingenuous to lump MRA’s (esp. those @ AVFM) in with white supremacists is a bloody understatement!

      • https://www.facebook.com/pages/A-Voice-for-Men/102001393188684 Paul Elam

        I love it. In their desire to express outrage over an editorial mistake, they commit every manner of obfuscation and lies imaginable at their disposal.

        How typical for the crowd.

        • TigerMan

          They have been desperate to pin a pro violence stance on MRA’s even those who follow AVFM so they use the wedge provided by an admitted error and try and pile on top of it every iniquity they think they might get away with.
          Once more the wisdom of your policy of having zero tolerance for any kind of violent activism even if only conjectured pays off.
          Anyone coming here to check out this so called “violent hate group” is going to have cognitive dissonance so bad they could well end up swallowing the red pill before they have even realised it! 😉

          • Near Earth Object

            “Anyone coming here to check out this so called “violent hate group” is going to have cognitive dissonance so bad they could well end up swallowing the red pill before they have even realised it!”

            I hear a tiger purring?

            Anyone else?


      • http://www.genderratic.com Typhonblue (Asha James)

        Why are they going after MRAs instead of fucking racists?


        • Kimski

          Because that would include going after the holy cows of feminism, and expose their particular brand of racist hypocrisy.

          “_White_ privileged males”, remember?

          No matter what they choose to call it, it continues to be racism, no matter which colour you put in front.

        • Feuillet

          Because feminist (and elites) need nutcases like white supremist to validate their self righteousness. Just like how they need rape.

        • MGTOW-man

          They go after MHRA’s as part of their plot to shut out truth messages we espouse. The truth is their number one enemy, 2nd to masculinity?

          Sure, they will probably go after racists too. But they can’t resist the chance to try and censor men and women who are senisble about gender dynamics, who have a truth-based message (as opposed to feelings-based) that directly confronts and exposes feminists’ exaggerations and manipulations.

          Truth to them is like water on the wicked witch. When you can stop the water….

      • Chris Deslone (aka @mensrightsrdt)

        “To say it is disingenuous to lump MRA’s (esp. those @ AVFM) in with white supremacists is a bloody understatement!”

        when I modded /r/mensrights I had to put a link in the FAQ and the sidebar specifically denouncing certain racist reddits that claimed affiliation.



        http://www.reddit.com/r/MensRights/comments/fw03a/mensrights_faq/ (see faq 17 and 17b)

        If someone can “prove” you’re racist, they can prove you’re not worth listening to.

  • 86

    This is a swift and very upfront retraction, probably the best way to do that.

    Learn from the original mistake, move on, and use this retraction as a model should it become necessary :( in the future….

  • http://vilo13.blogspot.com/ Lucian Vâlsan

    Well, unlike the feminist circles, we do tend to question our own publications and apply the same standard of critical thinking to us as we apply to them. In other words, we have better standards and hats off to Paul being honest about some of the mistakes that were made.

    That being said, however, I actually bought the original story – and the reason I bought it is because I live in Europe, trapped in the European Union, which is an area in which it is legally allowed AND recommended to do anything humanly possible to have as few white men as possible in ANY demographic – particularly in universities and other places owned by the State.

  • Mr. Sinatra

    It’s a sign of intellectual honesty, and journalistic integrity to admit when you’re wrong, or if you’ve jumped the gun a bit.
    I commend your honesty in this situation, and I also commend your continued determination to follow up on this story until the record is set straight.

  • jaelme

    My son just happened to apply for admission to Georgetown this year. He applied for a science/math major, had an outstanding interview and resume, and just happened to be denied. I think all white, male applicants should be reconsidered. This really troubles me.

    • gemjunior

      Mine is applying next year and I am also worried. He has a chemistry tutor one year older who applied to Notre Dame, where he’s wanted to go since he was a kid. He had a 2300 on the SAT, he’s into sports, afterschool groups etc. and is just such a great kid. He had his heart broken when Notre Dame, (called Notre Flame in some circles in honor of the supergay seminarians) REJECTED HIM! It’s so scary if you have boys growing into men who are white – what do you do? Tell them to get gold teeth, slouchy pants and hair braids like Coolio? This country has gone mad.

  • ComradePrescott

    I know a lot of people who would really be disappointed in you for “flip flopping” and would respect you more for “sticking to your guns”.

    I think those people are stupid. An intellectually honest man admits when he is wrong because he’s not pushing an agenda; he’s honestly trying to find what’s right.

    Thank you, Mr. Elam.

    • TigerMan

      Yes I echo those sentiments exactly. Most mainstream newspapers do not put their corrections and retractions on the front even when the story they got badly wrong was headlined there. I have had always had utter contempt for such publications – thats why my monthly newspaper bill is precisely zero .
      I know the usual suspects are all having near orgasms over this but in their obscene glee nearly all (including Manboobz) are plastering the woman’s name all over the place.
      Make a mistake – admit the error publicly and move on.
      That is a template Manboobz would do well to copy but then it would never do much moving if it did! 😉

      • http://shiningpearlsofsomething.blogspot.com Suzanne McCarley

        If Boobzie retracted all of his “mistakes,” he’d have to re-name his blog “Kute Kittenz,” and delete most of it.

        • Kimski

          “Günther Von Kittentrup’s Rantz” would be more appropriate, and in line with the general meme.

          “Ze mizogyny, I zhall möck itz.”

        • Roger O Thornhill (George Kaplan)

          What about the recipes section and health tips?

          • http://shiningpearlsofsomething.blogspot.com Suzanne McCarley

            I don’t know whether to laugh or cry at that!

        • TigerMan

          True – but his website already looks like a comic. Lets face it when you land on his blog the first thing that comes to mind is not “Hmmm this looks like a serious credible blog” but more like HYPERBOLE UNCHAINED in words and pictures!

  • http://shiningpearlsofsomething.blogspot.com Suzanne McCarley

    While this retraction is probably appropriate, I’m glad you published the original article. Discrimination against men in colleges is real, and it is long past time for us to explore the means by which it is accomplished. Maybe this incident will get the conversation started.

    • Bewildered

      ” Discrimination against men in colleges is real..”

      This is the truth that the feminists desperately want to suppress.There’s a dire need for complete transparency in the admissions to government funded colleges to begin with. A watchdog body consisting of parents and other lay people overseeing these admissions may not be a bad idea.Absolute power corrupts absolutely and if you are stupid enough to give an ideologue absolute power you have signed you have asked for a mega disaster.

  • Anti Idiocy

    Good job, Paul. Way to stand tall.

  • Andy Bob

    I remember Christina Hoff Sommers lamenting the fact that feminists never admit or correct their mistakes, no matter how thoroughly debunked they are.

    How typical that feminists like David Futrelle fail to understand that Dr Elam’s retraction is a reflection of his integrity and committment to the truth.

    Much respect, sir.

  • Never Blue Again

    This is one of the area where MHRM is way above Feminism.

    Accepting own fault , apologize and try to do better next time.

    I’m glad Dr. Elam did it as soon as possible.

  • Bewildered

    Honesty is indeed the best policy. But sadly this will be harped on as ‘evidence’ that AVFM is a woman hating,white supremacist site.
    Like others I feel there’s something fishy going on there.
    Wish AVFM ultimately succeeds in revealing the truth.

    • https://www.facebook.com/pages/A-Voice-for-Men/102001393188684 Paul Elam

      “But sadly this will be harped on as ‘evidence’ that AVFM is a woman hating,white supremacist site.”

      That is the disadvantage of hyperbole and lies being their preferred, their only weapons. Saying those things about AVFM is just the same repetitious bullshit they have been spouting for years.

      And just like every other time, thousands more people will come to the site, and the ones with a brain and an open mind will see that all those things are not true.

      This has always been our main path to growth. The morons have locked themselves into expanding our readership for us in just this way. They are hopelessly mired in crying wolf.

      It has always worked for us. And even now, in the midst of a mistake, it will work for us again.

      They are not only fucked. They are doing it to themselves.

      Personally, I love it that way.

      • Max Cade

        Yes they sure are Paul! One of my favourite Radiohead lyrics:


        Can’t get the stink off He’s been hanging round for days Comes like a comet Suckered you but not your friends One day he’ll get to you And teach you how to be a holy cow

        You do it to yourself, you do And that’s what really hurts Is that you do it to yourself Just you and no one else You do it to yourself You do it to yourself

        Don’t get my sympathy Hanging out the 15th floor You’ve changed the locks three times He still comes reeling through the door One day I’ll get you And teach you how to get to purest hell

        You do it to yourself, you do And that’s what really hurts Is that you do it to yourself Just you, you and no one else You do it to yourself You do it to yourself

        You do it to yourself, you do And that’s what really hurts Is that you do it to yourself Just you, you and no one else You do it to yourself You do it to yourself.. yourself.. yourself..

        Excuse my phone, it’s removed the line breaks

      • Max Cade

        Ps Paul! It’s after 3am in Texas! Do you ever sleep?

      • Max Cade

        Speaking of crying wolf, I note that on Twitter, if the fragrant Cathy Brennan encounters disagreement, such as Rhys Morgan’s assertion that transwomen are women, she starts yelling ‘rapist’! And ‘rape supporter!’

        Just as in the fable, one day the whole world will see through feminist lies.

      • Cumbria

        If what they say were true, I would not be here. I support this cause and AVfM completely because it is the opposite of what they say. They are only hurting themselves with their lies and their hate. How many of them have actually spent time reading these articles to even know what this is about? I am so sick and tired of their constant whining!! If they weren’t so stupid and closed-minded, they would see this is the answer. This is all about equality. Isn’t that what they want? What a twisted lot!

        • Near Earth Object

          Reading your reply was reminiscent of visiting thoughts in my own mind.

          “How many of them have actually spent time reading these articles to even know what this is about?”

          From what I have witnessed in my short time at AVfM, many feminists word-mine, quote-mine and even article-mine (I am beginning to wonder if some of our articles appear on some Women’s Studies reading lists). More often than not, the bigger picture just seems to elude them. Some of it, I speculate, is a consequence of their indoctrination, at the hands of so many prevaricators throughout their lives. And some of it, I believe to captured in this quote by George Bernard Shaw—The liar’s punishment is not in the least that he is not believed, but that he cannot believe anyone else.

    • Ken

      ……and no doubt that “harping” will be backed up with editorial lies and conjecture that are based outside of reality.

  • Murray Pearson

    Oh, Paul, you responsible journalist, you!

  • Cumbria

    Even the very best and most respected newspapers have to make retractions. It’s often difficult to confirm without a shadow of a doubt the information received from numerous sources. It seems the right thing to do until the information is confirmed.

  • TPH

    We all fuck up every now and then. Admitting the fuck up builds credibility. I’d rather deal with people who fuck up occasionally and admit it rather than deal with people who fuck up and cast blame on others. My Grandpa had a saying: “Make a mistake, learn from it and then move on otherwise you’ll make the same mistake again”.

  • http://www.youtube.com/user/DannyboyCdnMRA Dan Perrins

    We did the right thing by issuing a retraction.
    Something feminists never seem to do.

  • Mr.Zeph

    +1 for integrity.

  • http://patricestanton.com/ Patrice Stanton

    I just checked my Web-History to verify dates/web addresses given below:

    I had already read about the incident when I saw the original post (that this retraction refers to) so I did not bother to read Paul’s accounting. But when I did read that first one (morning of 18 apr 2013,here: crimesagainstfathers.com) I was CERTAIN it was fake…

    April 18th I found the young woman (initials A.P.) on Facebook, then at 2 WordPress blogs – she’s in the Peace Corps in Africa, Madagascari.wordpress.com – and was posting a sort of online journal. I read 2 or 3 entries. Pretty mundane, but I see now it’s suddenly “private” as I just tried to go there.

    From FB she had links to both sites. The other site (feminist.conservative.wordpress) is where the post in question was (& still is as of just now 23 apr: http://feministconservative.wordpress.com/2012/06/08/my-first-week-of-work/).

    I guess the claim could be made it’s all FICTION. I sure can’t find an actual “author ID” anywhere, and I don’t have a screen capture to prove both blogs were listed under her (AP’s) name on FB.

    • Coldfire

      Wait, there was a direct link from her Facebook page to the feministconservative blog? Did you screenshot or archive this?

      • http://patricestanton.com/ Patrice Stanton

        No. Like I said, didn’t take a screenshot. It’s weird to me though that “she’d” make Private hr Madagascari “journal” blog but NOT the one with the Post-in-question.

        • Coldfire

          I must have been half asleep when I wrote the above. What I meant to ask was did anyone here screenshot or archive this? That’s the smoking gun we need to link her.

          As for why she would make one private and not the other, it would be kind of stupid to make both private at the same time if her goal is to avoid having the two linked.

  • Don Boosioni

    I’m sure it’s already been said multiple times but good on you for publishing a retraction. I doubt there are too many out there that would do the same.

  • Clarence

    Publishing a retraction was the right thing to do, and I’m proud of AVFM for doing it.

  • BenJames

    Well done Paul… but if we are to have a quck look in the mirror, there are alot of people on here other than Paul that were far too fast to pass judgement..and not just judgement, but aggressive judgement. It was a little ugly to be honest.

    Im not saying there isnt something under all this that stinks (I believe there is).. but looking back, there was a bit of self-rightious glee groupthink going on that overode basic princaples of innocent till proven guilty, and basic firm evidence.

    As a movement we need to be more mature/disciplined otherwise we will end up with a underserved reputation as the boy who cries wolf and the dog who barks at shadows. A reputation is a very fragile thing, hard to build (and look at how its been built in the last 2 years!), but easy to lose (stuff like this could do it overnight).

    Please dont interpret this as any kind of apology for the potential wrong doing at GU or any plead to go easy on those who are demonstrated to be in the wrong.. no no no,.. just a shared thought that almost all of us who participated in the 200+ comments on that original article did not strike a balance and very few stood up and said ‘wait a minute’… I think we were guilty of groupthink a bit.

    • Near Earth Object

      I have read your reply close to a half dozen times across this afternoon.

      It is a carefully crafted and gentle invitation for introspection.

      Thank you for having the intestinal fortitude to put it out there, Ben James.

  • dg54321

    This is why AVFM is a site worth reading. Not because I happen to agree with what is posted here (almost always), but because there is journalistic integrity. Try getting NBC to go as far as Paul did with a retraction…..not damned likely. Not because there’s an echo chamber for me to boost my ego with, but because I know I’m reading something that wasn’t pulled out of someone’s ass. Agree or disagree, that what I’m reading I can be fairly confident has been backed up with evidence and fact. And when that evidence has been found to be false or misleading, that the person that wrote it is going to own up to their mistake and apologize for it. This is being an adult; something our opponents so often refuse to be.

  • Elusive Wapiti

    Thanks Mr. Elam for pointing out that a great many of us got fished in. I’ve followed your lead by striking the alleged authoress’ name from my post on this subject and will strive to be less credulous next time around.

  • http://slackiance.wordpress.com Reed

    I am a friend of the woman in question, and I can tell you that the countless death threats and hate-mail she and her parents have received, which led her to make her blog private as well as the University to remove her information from their website, as well as the stigma that will follow her whenever her name is Googled in the future, are in no way whatsoever being mollified by this retraction. The time for reflection is before you ruin someone’s life, not after.

    Congratulations on your “ethical act”.

    • https://www.facebook.com/pages/A-Voice-for-Men/102001393188684 Paul Elam

      For the record, this woman’s name was already spread over the internet before it was posted here. That is in part how we found it. I take responsibility for my mistakes, and correct them as I can, but I won’t be saddled with what was already happening before we got to the story.

      • http://slackiance.wordpress.com Reed

        So you “won’t be saddled with” the countless kooks and nutjobs who learned of this through your website first, then proceeded to harass this young woman and her family? Truly an exemplar of integrity.

        Sorry doesn’t fix some things. This is one of them.