'Pick Up Artists' Not So Artistically Raped Some Ladies, Bragged About It Online
Just in case you are not feeling ragey enough about shit today, check out this story in The Daily Beast about some self-described "pick-up-artists" who somehow confused "picking up" women with raping them.
Alex Smith and Jonas Dick were 27-year-old douchebags working for a company called "Efficient Pickup," which was started by a super gross motherfucker named John Mulvehill, who has also been in trouble with the law for locking a woman in his car and masturbating on her. He previously worked for a pick-up training company called Real Social Dynamics, which is the one that gross motherfucker Julien Blanc (the one who is banned from all the countries) also worked for. So like, gross people all around. Everyone here is terrible. Basically they taught stupid seminars claiming they knew how to pick up women and have sex with them, and basically the lesson they taught was "find a woman who is falling-down drunk and try to get her to go home with you." So, you know, it's kind of like charm school.
One night, Smith and Dick and a protegé of theirs named Jason Berlin went to a bar and met a woman whom The Daily Beast is referring to as Claire. Claire was super fucking drunk, and so was her friend "Laura." The three convinced the girls to come back to their place for more drinks. Claire does not remember what happened after drinking some kind of clear liquid (on top of one million drinks at the bars), and believes she passed out.
Laura was in another room chatting with Jonas Dick, but Claire was in the bedroom with Smith and Berlin. She doesn't remember most of what happened that night.
As she testified in court, she can feel the bed beneath her, coming to for a moment, and vomiting on the floor. She hears one—or is it two?—male voices, mumbling like the adults in “Charlie Brown” before it all fades away again.
When Laura realized something fucked up was going on, she went into the bedroom and saw Claire lying in a pool of her own vomit. Smith bragged that they had just "tag-teamed" her, and Laura got her the fuck out of there -- actually, the men picked her up and tossed her out "like throwing laundry out the door," and that's as described by one of the dudes -- and down to a hospital to get a rape kit.
Naturally, the police didn't do jack shit, didn't get a warrant to search the apartment, didn't do anything. However, when Claire googled "Jonas Dick" later -- like the police should have done -- she came across all of his pick-up artist bullshit online. She then found Smith's bragging account of that night, as well as Berlin's, in which he professed his admiration for Dick's ability to continue screwing a woman while she was vomiting.
Dick and Berlin pleaded guilty last year. Although Dick didn't rape Claire, he admitted to knowing what Smith had planned for her and helping him out. It was later discovered during the investigation that Dick had raped a 16-year-old girl and has pleaded guilty for that as well. He's now serving eight years in prison.
Jonas Berlin's mother sent a letter to the court asking them to be nice to her darling boy, which read in part:
“He was overwhelmed with the pretty girls, beautiful beaches, outstanding weather, and all that is associated with California.”
Alex Smith, who still claims he is innocent and that the sex was consensual, went to trial last week. His attorney -- a woman -- told the jury "This case is about Claire being embarrassed, not rape." You know, because there is nothing embarrassing about going through a rape trial! No! That's just loads of fun, and something anyone would look forward to. Who wouldn't want to have a bunch of strangers hear all about how two men raped you while you puked into your hair?
When describing the "difficulties" of the case, an investigating officer said something similar:
“There are challenges, but we do our best to investigate these cases from beginning to end,” Lt. Phillips said. “The biggest challenge is the victim’s memory about what has taken place. Was the victim so intoxicated that they couldn’t give consent? Were they unconscious? And I’m not trying to minimize reports, but could it have been more about regret?”
I would just like to be very clear about a thing here! NO, IT WAS PROBABLY NOT ABOUT "REGRET." Probably everyone on the planet has had sex with someone where later they were like "Oh god, what was I thinking with that one?" And we all know the difference between that and rape. This whole "OH, she's just sad because he didn't send her flowers the next day" thing is ridiculous. Who sends flowers after banging someone anyway? Is that even a thing people do? You seriously think anyone is going to go through the trauma and embarrassment of a rape trial because they are sad that the guy didn't send them flowers? Really? Because that's such a pleasant experience?
Shockingly, it actually gets worse! Because the property manager of the building Dick and Smith lived in found footage of the incident -- and then later, found more footage of women entering their apartment drunk, and leaving looking traumatized as hell. She's given that footage to police, who have yet to identify any of the women.
The scary thing about all this shit, really, is that this is what these men are learning from these PUA classes and message boards. They tell each other to do this shit, to not listen to women when they resist them, to go after women who are so wasted they can barely walk -- and then they brag about it. By spending enough time in this subculture, they come to think there's nothing wrong with doing that. That they are somehow just getting what is owed to them.
So, yeah, if you've ever wondered "Oh man, why does Robyn draw attention to these misogynistic douchebag nothings? Are they not best left off in the dark corners of the internet?" No, they're not. Because this is what happens when they are.
Robyn Pennacchia is a brilliant, fabulously talented and visually stunning angel of a human being, who shrugged off what she is pretty sure would have been a Tony Award-winning career in musical theater in order to write about stuff on the internet. In addition to her work at Wonkette, she also has a biweekly column at Dame. Follow her on Twitter at @RobynElyse