Dead Planet Earth

Scorched Earth

Scorched Earth is an expression descriptive of a style of military campaign in which all the assets and resources of a territory or a nation are targeted, regardless of partisanship or civilian status. It is generally prohibited by international conventions of warfare, although it is still practiced in some cases of modern warfare. The ignition of oil wells in Kuwait during the retreat during the Kuwait war of the 1990’s by the former Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussain is an example of the tactic in modern application.

Outside the context of armed conflict, the term Scorched Earth refers to the tactics of some political or religious organizations of slander, black-listing, whispering campaigns, harassment, and the use of fraudulent criminal accusations to destroy the lives, families and careers of political opponents. The cult of Scientology became infamous in the 1980s for routine use of scorched earth tactics against the critics of that cult.

The pseudo-religious cult of hyper-victimhood-feminism emerging from the online communities of Free Thought Blogs and Atheism Plus is also a fertile ground for the use of scorched earth tactics against the lives, careers and families of critics of the interconnected cultures of a popular blogging site run by an American college instructor and it’s associated online community, whose members self identify as Atheism Plus.

The members of these associated groups appear to be unaware of their growing public fame as a malevolent and semi-criminal culture metastasizing from within a formerly humanist and secular scientific community of intellectuals and religious skeptics.

One prominent member and public speaker in this pseudo-cult regularly opens her hour long lectures by bragging about how she and her followers harassed and slander a critic out of jobs and career. Such stories are told without apparent recognition that normalizing such conduct is antithetical to an open society. From the outside, it appears that in the community where these tactics are practiced and then broadcast, that at no point has anyone stood up and said “ wait a minute, this is not morally acceptable conduct”. Or, “why are we acting like a collection of sociopaths with no visible limits on civilized behavior?”

It was the public’s notice of and reaction to the “fair game” policy practiced by the church of scientology which drove public reform of some such behavior within the cult, and informed the criminalization of the organization in some nations, including Germany.

At what point does the public wake up in recognition of a cult of hate engaging in such practice? One of the individuals apparently taking pride in such conduct enjoys a continued public speaking career, based almost entirely on her status as the “victim” of being uncomfortably invited, during an elevator trip between floors of a hotel for late night coffee by a socially awkward conference attendee. That invitation, which now appears to have been invented by the “victim” in service of her narrative.

But victimhood, or the cultivated perception of it is at the core of the scorched earth approach to silencing criticism for the collection of middle-class, privileged but uninspired victims at the center of an anti-social cult apparently unaware and uninterested in the relationship between actions and their wider consequences.

Several months ago, I addressed an article to a victimhood-obsessed pseudonymous sociopath. In that piece, I wrote:

“I am entirely unwilling to entertain or to lend support to a fantasy making human beings into enemies, into “others,” into categories of /good people and bad people based a facet of their biology.

It might be that a world of paranoia, fear, and hatred, with the arbiters of who is good and who is bad being childish, self-selected victims is not a world […] I want to entertain, or to indulge you in realizing.”

However, it seems obvious that such a landscape is where we will all be living if the normalization of the conduct discussed here is not actively rejected by more than just a handful of so-called Men’s Rights Activists. Just a little further down the present path is a society in which disagreement over whether basic human rights should apply to this group or that based on ethnicity or religion, or even sex is settled by an armed mob in the street.

Conform to whatever populist group-think of the moment grips public imagination, or face the vigilante justice of an angry mob.

Of course for the difficult-of-thinking this discussion might appear hypocritical. In fact, a substantial handful of voices, allegedly within the MRM, have already claimed that the public identification of promoters of violence, hatred and censorship by the board of directors of AVFM constitutes exactly the scorched earth policy being denounced in this article.

Addressing those criticisms directly, such comparisons are moronic. The individuals so far identified are not the subject of whispering campaigns, nor false accusations, not subject to any threat of violence. The statements being attached to their names are their own utterances, taken in as much of the original context as possible, and were attached to their own public personas on various social media websites prior to re-publication by this site and elsewhere.

In fact, a culture in which, for a certain subset, violence, promotion of hate, criminal libel, false accusation and other violent and pathological behavior is regularly given a pass or excused – that society will become one in which such social pathology becomes common.

Does somebody imagine this will be good for anybody, even for the group on the apparent top of such a pile?

We can steer our culture away from this trend, or we can watch as the world gets more pathological, antisocial and violent. I trust it’s not necessary to explain, as to an idiot, which of these possibilities I prefer and am working for.

The organized, purposeful and indeed gleeful attacks on the livelihood, careers, family and lives of individuals based on disagreement of political opinion can’t be tolerated in a society still pretending to enlightenment. The promotion of violence by a subset of a society, without consequence, indeed, with an attendant narrative of justification – that’s a recipe for a violent, closed and regressive culture.

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  • Roger O Thornhill

    Great article JTO,

    I think the greatest fear of feminists is that they think the MRM is like feminism. They fear that we will do to them what they have done to men and boys.

    They’re all spoilt little brats who don’t want to think about anyone but themselves. Spoilt brats grow up to be very unhappy adults.

    Keep up the good work! :-)

    • yinyangbalance

      Thats a very interesting observation. One of the biggest issues I have with Feminism is their two faced hypocrisy. They claim over and over that the Feminism is the solution for all Gender and Sex equality issues including equality and rights for men. But thats far from the truth. What I have found is that Feminists and many other people influenced by Feminism especially women, believe that women’s rights is contingent on men not having rights. That is, women’s opportunities are non-existant in the face of opportunities for men. This logic is at the core of Misandry, and it is the driving force behind “Gay by choice” activism.

      Freedom of speech, freedom to be sexually straight, freedom to be fathers, freedom to have equal pay to high paid women being paid more for the same work as men, just FREEDOM all around for men is a major threat to women’s freedom. That goes for opportunities for men as well, opportunities for men mean the opposite for women. This logical fallacy needs to be actively addressed and dismantled by those that claim to be Feminists. But its not.

      The latest buzz around Title IX for STEM (Science Tech Engineering Math) shows the Feminist logical fallacy; to restrict male opportunities in STEM and to punish programs that have more men than they should. This was the single reason why I voted against Obama in 2012 because he was pushing for the new Title IX reform, even though I am a die hard liberal, pro-labor etc. It is wrong! and it is Sexist and unfair!

      • Steve_85

        Did you see that Obama is also pushing for adding an ‘A’ into the term STEM? He wants to make it STEAM, Science, Technology, Engineering, *ART* and Mathematics…

        There is nothing wrong with Art, but it is not a hard science, and I’m wondering why he wants it included? Ideas anyone?

    • Roger O Thornhill

      One other thing that occurred to me is that, this ideology is written by psychopaths for psychopaths. No wonder they all flock to it like flies to a fresh stool!

      • Augen

        both of your comments here, about their fear that we are just like them and for psychopaths by psychopaths … those are the kinds of really brief missives that connect with a huge larger truth.

        A big party of my own political education and development was the realization that most marxists and socialists have not read Marx, Engels or Lenin; most capitalists have not read Smith or Ricardo; most liberatians have not read Hayek, Mises or Freidman; and most objectivists HAVE read Atlas Shrugged, and that’s the only thing they’ve ever read.

        So the exercise ourselves of self-education isn’t wasted so long as we are working on the federalist papers. But the work of POLITICS is an entirely different exercise.

        People are this way for banal reasons. Sometimes nefarious and banal like when they experience projection, and they do experience projection as does an enormous mass of the human race, … or banal and stupid, or banal and ignorant, or banal and sentimental.

        Good successful politics kisses the babies and gets through to the banal. How do we reach the folks in the office, blue pillers, with very little stake in the game, but operate on banal autopilot?

  • Kimski

    I think we’re witnessing this trend on a increasing political scale already.

    A number of men have already been slandered with false rape accusations by their political opponents, and Strauss-Kahn and Julian Assange are just recent examples of this.The fact that it is done by proxy, does nothing to hide what is really going on.

    Only in a world permeated with feminism would a false rape accusation become the ultimate political tool. Even when the accusation is proven wrong these men are dead meat, politically and socially.

    • JJ

      Yeah, it is true that history repeats itself. I really like that the crew here at AVFM recognize that institutionalizing hatred is a horrible idea both in the short term, and long term projections.

      I’m not going to be foolish and say we need to be nice to these people! Public Shaming for these imbeciles has its place. However, since I have stated history repeats itself; I hope our movement continues to exemplify this maxim of not inculcating hatred.

      Every movement has a natural progression of moral decay. Unions did it, feminism has done it, obviously governments do it; ultimately, I have to assume the Men’s Rights Movement will do it as well eventually.

      Right now we have the moral and intellectual high ground. Eventually though our movement will reach a social critical mass; and we will be left with a choice!

      A. Institutionalize our movement like feminists did; convincing ourselves that power won’t change us.

      B. Doing what men do, and defeat our opponent, and leave things to rebuild as they are enjoying a renewed sense of family richly deserved.

      A is the natural choice of those who fear where they come from and I understand.

      B is more difficult as it takes one to trust that life is a cycle which we have little to no real control; and those after us are responsible for taking control and wielding what we gave them ethically. If they don’t, they don’t. If we are still alive we can chastise them; but we ultimately know that those who grew up sheltered lead the life of sheltered snobs eventually.

      For example; historians claim that there was a point in ancient Rome where citizens were ruthlessly honest; and the city was anything but a mob. However, once the power of empire ran its course; they did not have the moral fortitude to stand against ever increasing waves of “barbarians” who destroyed them.

      What happened to us is terrible, but as another saying goes; “hurt people hurt people.” Eventually I feel we will have to come to terms with our pain and realize those responsible have gotten away with it. We can only rebuild what they destroyed.

      Having a male version of an gender relations office in the FBI is nothing we strive for. I love that about this movement. It is not “hey government please give me something; anything.” It is “STFU and go away; make sure to take the bulk of your taxes with you!”

      May it never change.

  • Gamerp4

    Very nicely written.

    I suspect RW will put this as a threat from JTO and AVFM, Don’t worry she has a list of 1004 rape threats.

    • John the Other

      the very worst thing about rude elevator bitch is not her self obsession and self defined victimhood, its that she’s boring. She keeps getting bookings at various conferences – but she’s a terrible speaker, unfunny, uninteresting and unoriginal, and not a bit entertaining to listen to. Ive sat through a lecture of hers, it was the most boring and tedious hour I’ll never get back

  • JinnBottle

    YinYang…You sound new to Commenting here, and, assuming that’s true, I just wanted to give you your first upvote. If you *are* new, welcome; if you aren’t, glad you’re here, anyway!

  • hypergamic

    I think your response to the violent disturbance that provoked this series of articles was appropriate. You have warned the public that niches of extreme hatred exsist around the internet, something I suspect we all know. In addition you pointed out some very real sympathetic looking faces associated with the hatred. As I read through each of these articles I always suspected that had someone from the event stepped forward and asked for a cooling off and denounced their actions, words and former group affiliations you would have at the least stopped.

    I’m only saddened that not one of them seems to have been introspective enough to even consider they might be behaving poorly.
    My only concern I suppose is the example made of this group won’t be enough to deter future events, their reactions don’t lead me to believe that it was effective enough.
    I sense lots of ”poor baby the bad patriarchy men beat on you. Why don’t you write a book while you hide here in a comfortable social service job.”

  • harrywoodape

    Great article John. I agree with it.

  • bowspearer

    The other issue I can see (and what happened on another thread is an example of this) is that in terms of victimhood, so many MRAs still haven’t taken the red pill.

    Sure we’re savvy to feminist “victim playing” but so many MRAs still fall into the trap of social policing of anything deemed “unmanly” – be it things like crying or especially things like male victimhood, no matter how legitimate that victimhood might be.

    Sure, we might understand it on an intellectual level, but at an emotional level, the emotional conditioning kicks in and guys go into “Beta mode” by enforcing socially accepted masculine norms along the lines of “stop playing the victim”, “calm down” or “man up”.

    The fact is that the more feminism disintegrates, the more it’s going to become apparent that by regarding feminism as the enemy rather than accurately as the real enemy’s easily duped lackey and by fighting feminist tactics with no regard for how our tactics might merely reinforce pre-feminist male oppression; many MRAs have yet to fully take the red pill or fully realise how deep the rabbit hole goes.

  • Kosh

    Off topic, but sadly necessary: John, are you ever going to answer my questions that I’ve been sending you about the Register Her web site? I’ve e-mailed them to you 8 times since March 31st (6 times directly, twice through Paul) and posted them publicly once to the Matt Forney article. Can you PLEASE answer them so that I can FINALLY get my submissions sent to you? Thanks in advance.

  • TheMoralGodless

    Here’s the difference. Saddam Hussein was a really bad guy. Scientology was founded by a weird guy followed by other weird guys. It’s easy for people to identify authoritarian tactics in that case.

    Not so much when it comes from women. Because everybody knows that all the bad things in the world come from men anyway, right? So those men must deserve whatever those women are doing to them.

    “If you want a vision of the future, imagine a high-heeled shoe stamping on a male face forever.”
    -inspired by George Orwell

    • Bev

      What I find more insidious is proxy violence or the practice of dismissing the level of violence against men by arguing.
      Men may be suffering more violence but this is perpertrated by men.
      So that is perfectly OK nothing to worry about. Totally dismissing the fact that these men are victims.

  • TheUnknown

    I’d never heard of that kind of tactic called Scorched Earth. If I were to draw my own parallel, spreading defamation against a movement leader would be espionage, while scorched earth would be giving into such defamation (or other acts of chance) and turning on your own to save face. The clearest recent example I can think of are those Australian DJs being fired and branded after something that radio hosts do all the time backfired tragically and the public turned against them. I think the tactics you describe are most well-known in a different phrase you use here, fair game. The analogy to that cult practice is very appropriate IMO.

  • HieronymusBraintree

    As a frustrated liberal I’ve seen this picture before. Liberals, though espousing generally effective policy, have always had a vocal segment of pious intellectual snots running around abusing people with an exaggerated sense of moral and intellectual superiority. (Before Watergate Nixon made a rather successful political career by using them as foils.) Then the Reagan revolution happened and liberals suddenly found themselves in the political desert.

    Sen. Patrick Moynihan, a liberal who had been vilified as a racist for suggesting, based on his own experience as a fatherless child, that the explosive growth in black babies being raised by single mothers might not be a good thing for the black community was asked why liberals had managed to become so surprisingly unpopular replied, “Keep excommunicating people and the next thing you know you’re surrounded by protestants.”

    Sounds familiar, doesn’t it?