Elliot Rodger

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Name: Elliot Rodger
Date of Birth: July 24th, 1991
Occupation: Student
Ethnicity: Eurasian (Han Chinese mother and father of Scottish, English, German & French descent)

Elliot Rodger (alias: The Supreme Gentleman), or ER, was a HAPA incel of Chinese and British descent, who is most notable for being the perpetrator of the 2014 Isla Vista massacre. Rodger's life story and personal views have been prominently cited by the media as an example of an "incel hero"[1] who preceded what they seek to portray as a coherent "incel movement".[2]

In the course of his short life, Rodger claimed to have suffered from a general lack of attention from women (partially, but not entirely, ascribed to his shyness), sexual frustration, and bullying and mistreatment from his peers. He was shy around women and, according to My Twisted World, his autobiography and "manifesto" he did not seem to seriously romantic approach one in person. He claims to have been mostly "ignored" by women throughout his life,[3] and he noted that he was bullied by other boys in high school for being shy around women.[4] The principal at his former high school described Rodger as "shy, socially awkward and very bright [...] Everything about him was soft-spoken, polite, a gentleman, very courteous. Just everything about him.”[5]

Together with what he portrayed as the injustices of society, his sexual frustrations were stated by him to be the primary factor that made him carry out his suicidal rampage attack in the affluent California suburb of Isla Vista, which resulted in 7 deaths (including his own suicide). This massacre was preceded by a rampage attack perpetrated by another autistic individual who was also the son of a Hollywood director thirteen years prior in the same area.[6] It is not known if this last massacre inspired Rodger. On the other hand, he was likely inspired by the actions of George Sodini, one of the first self-identified incel rampage killers in the modern age.

His actions received widespread (sensationalist) media coverage. At the time, there were frequent attempts to politicize it and blame it on the manosphere (which was much more influential in 2014 than it is now), especially due to the rhetoric Rodger used in his pre-massacre video, where he claimed to be the "true alpha male". This widespread media interest in the attack, together with Rodger's pre-massacre Youtube videos showcasing his extreme narcissism (with many of his boasts becoming internet memes, in particular, his claim to be "the supreme gentleman"), have combined to make Rodger probably the most notorious self-described incel in history to date.

Rodger himself was never an active member of any self-identified incel community. However, Rodger did self-identify as an incel (which had no sub-cultural connotations at the time) in a few posts on the (now defunct) Puahate website. His father (Peter Rodger, a small-time director) was a white British national. His mother (Ong Li Chin) was a Malaysian Chinese. He lived with his father and his Moroccan step-mother (who he despised) after his parent's divorce. In the time leading up to his rampage, he wrote the lengthy manifesto/autobiography My Twisted World. He e-mailed this document to his family members, former acquaintances, and therapists before the attack.

Internet activity[edit | edit source]

Main article: Elliot Rodger's online posts

Elliot was an unhappy member of PUAhate, which was not a self-identified incel forum. The forum was originally started to “expose” members of the (then-burgeoning) pick-up artist industry. A particular focus was put on mocking and trolling PUA artists and posts from supposed “insiders” of the industry that were exposing the fraudulent business practices of many prominent PUAs, as well as claims that these pick-up artists were nowhere near as sexually successful (without paying for whores) as they claimed to be. Due to this anti-PUA focus and the debunking of the (often ludicrous) claims of PUAs regarding the application of “game,” the forum soon attracted sexually frustrated men for whom conventional dating advice wasn’t working. Many of these men were incels, and indeed, much of the lingo and theories one reads on certain modern incel forums originated on Puahate. The forum was split between those who advocated looks theory, a precursor to the blackpill, and those who adopted certain beliefs of the PUAs, in particular, the redpill, while generally disputing the effectiveness of “game.” Much of the theories espoused on the forum were tongue-in-cheek, and the forum had a general “anything goes” censorship policy as it pertained to the popular “shitty advice” forum, which led to the forum becoming a base for internet trolling.

Elliot originally seemed to sense a certain affinity to the users of the forum, describing it in his manifesto as “a forum full of men who are starved of sex, just like me.” [7] While on the forum, it appears Rodger was subjected to bullying by certain other members of the forum. This, together with his probable realization that many of the forum users weren’t as sexually frustrated as they claimed to be, apparently led him to sour on the forum. Rodger ultimately condemned the site and its userbase.

His last post there (and anywhere on the internet) read: “Puahate is full of stupid, disgusting, mentally ill degenerates who take pleasure in putting down others.” [8] His shooting resulted in PUAhate’s closing, soon replaced by the site “Sluthate,” which had a significant overlap in users.

It is likely that Rodger edited Wikipedia under the handle “ElliotR1”, which is a handle he used on other sites.[9] “ElliotR1” was banned from Wikipedia for vandalizing pages relating to pop star Justin Bieber (then a sex symbol to young women), sexual activities such as the entries for “footjob” and “fellatio”, and the article on his grandfather, British photojournalist George Rodger. The influence that browsing bodybuilding.com and PUAhate had on Rodger’s mentality may also be indicated by the ElliotR1 user’s vandalism of the pages for the male model Simon Nessman and the short-lived bodybuilder and internet meme Aziz Shavershian (zyzz). Zyzz was worshipped on bodybuilding.com’s misc subforum as a man who possessed the ideal ‘aesthetic’ physique and Nessman was commonly portrayed as an archetypal ‘Chad’ by certain users on the PUAhate forum and its successor Sluthate. These edits, if indeed put through by Rodger as seems to be the case, offer a potential further indicator of the envious rage he directed towards sexually successful and handsome men.

Rodger’s manifesto never mentioned the word “incel” directly, though he spoke at length of his envy of other men’s sexual success and his sexual frustration. He only used the term “incel” a couple of times to self-identify in his internet posting career on PUAhate. He spent some of this forum time in the anti-pick-up artist culture and websites tangentially related to dating, such as bodybuilding.com and PUAhate, where he vented his sexual frustrations. He also likely posted on an online looks rating and social media forum, “Teenspot”, under his “ElliotR1” alias. In his posts on the forum, he requested users rate his attractiveness and asked them what their perceptions of his ethnicity were. “ElliotR1” was enraged by the response by the forum’s users to his thread, as some stated that he looked “Mexican” and was a “5.5/10”. Other users mocked his overly rigid body posture (associated with autism), comparing him to the Star Trek character Spock. Rodger was accused of creating several alt accounts to flame users and give himself false ratings. However, some accounts purporting to be female, seemingly established users on the website, did give him high ratings.[10] Some users opined that his narcissism and sensitivity to criticism, as displayed by him using sockpuppet accounts to rate himself high and his verbal lashing out towards women who gave him mediocre attractiveness ratings, was the reason he couldn’t get a girlfriend.

There is no proof of him spending any time at all in the actual incel forums around at the time (such as incelsupport or love-shy.com).

Massacre[edit | edit source]

He began his massacre by viciously stabbing his three Chinese male roommates (one of which he had quarreled with previously due to the roommate’s alleged theft of his candles). Rodger’s murderous rage and hatred of his roommates were made clearly evident by the fact that in the course of their murders, he stabbed one of them a total of 94 times.[11] In his auto-biography/manifesto he described them as such: "These were the biggest nerds I had ever seen, and they were both very ugly with annoying voices."

Rodger had the intent of luring people to his dormitory and using it as a torture chamber, fantasizing in his manifesto about torturing attractive and sexually successful individuals in such over-the-top ways as flaying them alive and pouring boiling water on them. He abandoned this plan due to the unexpected resistance that was put up by his roommates, who foiled his attempt at killing them stealthily, resulting in the walls and floor of the dorm being soiled with their blood. After failing in his second and primary objective of conducting a “war on women” by killing all the members of a sorority (due to being blocked by the locked front door of the sorority house), he then proceeded to drive through the streets of Isla Vista, shooting people at random, mowing down pedestrians, and engaging in several gun battles with the police, killing three more people and receiving a gunshot to the hip after engaging in a final gun battle with three sheriff’s deputies.[12] After mowing down a cyclist, he brought his murderous spree to its ultimate conclusion via a self-administered gunshot wound to the head.

The attacks were opportunistically seized upon by some members of the media, and feminists to demonize men in general, and also to attack the manosphere and incelosphere, indicting them for inciting the attack.[13] While Rodger was arguably someone who visited a small part of the manosphere, he was not part of the incelosphere as such.

Inceldom[edit | edit source]

In the incelosphere, it is a common debate to what extent Elliot Rodger experienced inceldom as a life circumstance, given his apparent exclusive focus on attractive white women as the object of his desire. Thus, many incels accuse him of having excessive standards. As he apparently never romantically approached women or used dating websites, it seems one of his major issues was that he suffered from extreme shyness. However, his shyness also appears to have been induced by the evident lack of attraction and warmth women frequently displayed towards him. His tentative attempts at approaching women didn't go well.

It is common for people to claim that Elliot Rodger was "good-looking." However, his relatively diminutive stature and small frame likely did put him at a distinct disadvantage in the environment he was competing in, as it seems that bulkiness and physical dominance is a large predictor of men's mating success in such contexts (college fraternities and the like).[14] Rodger was aware of this to some extent, as he called such men "obnoxious brutes." An acquaintance of his, Gavin, did confirm that "the girls in Isla Vista prefer tall, muscular, rowdy jock-type men."

Another point that people often make in contention of Rodger's incel status was that he was apparently wealthy, wearing expensive designer clothes and driving a flashy BMW. However, Rodger's family was reasonably asset-rich but lacked liquid assets and cash, and Isla Vista is a reasonably affluent area. Male wealth also seems less important to young women,[15] with said women possibly placing more emphasis on physical attractiveness and behavioral traits that they are attracted to. To the extent they care about wealth, it is likely reducible to sugar daddy relationships or gift-giving, and Rodger could not provide this experience to women as he had a relatively modest allowance. Young women also probably care more about future earning potential than actual wealth at such ages, and there was no real sign Rodger was on a life track that would lead him to success. To leverage his (actually mediocre) wealth, Rodger would likely have to move to a less wealthy part of the United States or even travel to a third-world country to get sex from it.

Rodger did mention seeing many "low-class trash" men with attractive women, which infuriated him. However, he eventually decided that as women clearly didn't find him attractive (as they seemingly ignored him completely), his only hope of sexual success was to earn wealth become a provider or a sugar-daddy for a woman. Given this realization of his, it is understandable to question why Rodger didn't simply pay for a prostitute, though this was likely countermanded by his narcissism. In his manifesto, Rodger heavily implies he essentially desired validation from women most of all and the social proof and acceptance that having a girlfriend would provide him, which a prostitute couldn't provide.

Finally, Rodger was autistic, and this fact was obviously reflected in his behavior and demeanor. Autism (particularly in males) seems quite strongly associated with lifelong inceldom and low sexual success.[16] In his "manifesto," Rodger often spoke of feeling invisible and being passed over by both men and women, saying they treated him like a "mouse." He was also frequently bullied by others who perceived him as being different from them. This pattern of dismissive or contemptuous treatment from his peers infuriated Rodger, who was very vain, likely another contributing factor to his eventual course of action.

In sum, a confluence of factors were clearly militating against Rodger's sexual success, and this, combined with his excessive (but fragile) self-worth, it seems fair to classify him as an incel in the broad sense of the term.

Interests[edit | edit source]

He apparently enjoyed "swimming, hiking, reading, writing, going to the library and playing video games." His favorite video game was World of Warcraft; Elliot stated in his manifesto that at one time: "World of Warcraft was the only thing I had left to live for." Rodger also enjoyed playing other videos games series such as Halo and Call of Duty. He apparently made an effort to improve his physical appearance prior to the massacre, engaging in calisthenics as a form of bodybuilding and purchasing expensive designer clothing and sunglasses. In his private diary, he also mentions that he once affected an upper-class British accent (that he had as a child, and later lost) as another method of attracting women.

He seems to have become more and more desperate in terms of the coping mechanisms he employed prior to the massacre, attempting 'no fap' prior to the attack. It appears his final cope was the idea that becoming wealthy would make him more attractive to women, as he attempted to use the "law of attraction" to win the lottery, spending thousands of dollars on lottery tickets. When he failed to win the $100 million dollar jackpot in the Californian Mega millions lottery, his decision to carry out the massacre was sealed, writing: "Without the prospect of becoming wealthy at a young age, I had nothing to live for now. [...] I was going to be a virgin outcast forever. I realized that I had to start planning and preparing for the Day of Retribution, even though I hadn't yet had any idea of what day that would be."

He also is said to have enjoyed fantasy films and television shows. His favorite films included Star Wars and Lord of the Rings. He also enjoyed solitary walks and observing the sunset at scenic locations in Isla Vista prior to the massacre, though his enjoyment of this was marred by the strong sense of envy he felt when observing romantic couples enjoying the same sunsets. The sheriff's report written after the incident also records that he made a number of internet searches that indicated a strong interest in the Nazi Party and its leadership, such as the German dictator Adolf Hitler, the German propaganda Minister Joseph Goebbels (who he seemingly suspected of being Jewish) and the Reichsführer-SS, Heinrich Himmler, the day of Retribution was in fact plan to be the day of the death of Heinrich Himmler, May 23. He himself stated that he hid his political beliefs from others as they "disturbed most people".

Initial internet reaction[edit | edit source]

As news of the story broke, one of the first online reactions was from the so-called mental health support community, Social Anxiety Support, which spontaneously erupted in multiple threads expressing sympathy for Elliot Rodger and his actions, exclusively from male users. The female users of Social Anxiety Support then started flaming the threads in their disgust at this reaction.

On the Puahate forum that he posted on occasionally, most of the initial reaction to the attack was comprised of the site's userbase arguing over the implications of Rodger's massacre on the future of the forum, due to Rodger's potential prior use of the forum (he used his real name as his handle on the site as well as several alt accounts that may have been his judging by the writing style), which was later confirmed by his mention of Puahate in his manifesto.

The users of the forum differed in their opinion as to what traits made Rodger incel, but generally concurred in their impression of (in their view) his effeminate mannerisms and general social awkwardness as being the most likely cause of his involuntary celibacy. One user wrote of Rodger (likely facetiously):

He’s not "ugly" in layman's terms, but he has no sex appeal. Short lower third and gay midface, with zero brow ridge. We must dig deeper [...] He should have gotten a hair-cut, acquired neck tattoos and gone over the top with the sociopathic act, that would have gotten him hotties. Unfortunately, like most on this site, he's too aspie to realise it. Lock him up and throw away the key.[17]

In the manosphere, particularly among pick-up artists, there was generally an attempt to distance themselves from Rodger in response to attempts by feminists and the media to link Rodger to what was then the foremost faction of the manosphere. The consensus among them was that Rodger was a "game denialist", owing to his use of the anti-PUA forum Puahate. They argued that learning PUA and deploying "game" would have helped Rodger get laid, thereby averting the massacre.[18]

Several (then nascent) alt-right figures seemingly attempted to distance their 'movement' from the incident by claiming Elliot Rodger's British father, Peter, was ethnically Jewish.[19] There is little evidence for this assertion, and it likely stems from a "Peter Rodger' being listed on a British Jewish film site.[20] Peter Rodger's father was the British photojournalist George Rodger (of predominately Scottish descent[21]), who was famous for being the first to photograph the liberation of the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp by British troops in April 1945.[22] Peter Rodger's mother is the American Journalist Lois "Jinx" Rodger (née Witherspoon, an Anglo-Scottish [from the border regions of the former Kind of Strathclyde] surname[23]). There is no strong evidence Lois Rodger is of Jewish descent, with all reporting on her invariably describing her as a generic "American".[24] In 2008 Lois Rodger was interviewed by the Jewish Chronicle, which further did not mention any Jewish ancestry on behalf of her or her (then late) husband George.[25]

Vlogs[edit | edit source]

Rodger posted several videos, which generally took the form of monologues of him talking about his loneliness and (perceived, since he didn't seem to have explicitly asked women out for dates as such) rejection by women on Youtube with titles such as "Why Don't Girls Like Me?" Other videos on his channel took the form of random vlogs depicting him driving around the streets of Isla Vista while playing 80s music (a possible incel trait) and soaking in the scenery in various locales in and around the suburb. The disturbing content of these videos, which included open violent and suicidal ideation, led to someone (likely his mother) informing police of them, and they subsequently paid him a visit prior to the massacre. The deputies who visited him later described him as "shy, timid and polite." After this visit, they left him alone, as they had no legal reason to detain him. Rodger wrote in his manifesto that after this visit, he slept with one of his pistols under his pillow so he could at least get a few kills before being detained/killed by the police in the event of them attempting to avert his plans.

In his final video, he spoke at length of his feelings of sexual rejection and loneliness. He ranted at length detailing his intense envy towards sexually successful men and his hatred of women in general, and spoke of his extreme misanthropy, stating: "I hate all of you. Humanity is a disgusting, wretched, depraved species. If I had it in my power, I would stop at nothing (points finger at camera) to reduce every single one of you to mountains of skulls and rivers of blood. And rightfully so."

Finally, he promised, "On the day of retribution, I am going to enter the hottest sorority house at UCSB and I will slaughter every single spoiled, stuck-up, blond slut I see inside there" and then "take to the streets of Isla Vista and slay every single person I see there."[26] The videos were taken down by YouTube as violations of their policy against violent threats; then undeleted; and then deleted again in 2018, after the Toronto van attack perpetuated by Alek Minassian, who authorities state praised Rodger in a forum post prior to the attack.[27]

Narcissism[edit | edit source]

Elliot Rodger's personal story is disproportionately cited by media because he exhibited narcissistic traits and an unlikable personality, and this fit with their narrative. It has been claimed that Rodger's frustrated narcissism was a significant factor in his decision to undertake his murderous rampage, with this likely being a greater factor in contributing to the massacre than his autism,[28] and that frustrated narcissism was also a factor in several other mass killings, as part of a theorized "path to intended violence" model, wherein narcissists seek violent revenge for the alleged insults they suffer in contravention to their elevated self-image, a purported example of such being the terrorist attacks committed by Anders Brevik, who was also diagnosed with autism. This essentially ties in with the common narrative that Rodger's massacre was motivated by sexual entitlement, and it's indeed hard for any reasonable person to deny that Rodger was likely motivated nearly exclusively by sexual frustration (though a desire for high status also seems to have played a role, with status being conferred by women's approval in his eyes), as he lucidly elaborated in his manifesto.

As an aside, while it has been claimed that Rodger had Asperger's syndrome, he was never diagnosed with this, instead of being diagnosed with PPNOS (Pervasive Developmental Disorder not Otherwise Specified), another Autism Spectrum disorder.

In his Youtube videos, Rodgers attempted to adopt a very distinctive, vaudeville villain type persona. This form of exaggerated self-presentation can be compared to the previous incel murderer George Sodini (who Rodger mentioned in some of his online postings), who had no mental disorders and was (for most of his life) apparently pretty modest, polite, hard-working, normal-seeming, and generally self-effacing (which women may have indeed considered "boring").

Similarly, Alek Minassian's personal story is generally glossed over in media stories pertaining to his massacre (instead generally focusing on his final internet post), as he was a horribly bullied autistic special needs student, talking about his story honestly and in detail would perhaps generate too much empathy.

Memes[edit | edit source]

In the incelosphere, the expression "go ER" is a meme used ironically to say "go commit a killing spree and die in the process, as Rodger did".


External links[edit | edit source]

See also[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

  1. https://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-43892189
  2. https://www.vice.com/en/article/bvnw3d/incels-elliot-rodger-misogyny-far-right
  3. https://incels.wiki/w/Elliot_Rodger's_online_posts#bodybuilding.com
  4. https://archive.org/details/MyTwistedWorld/page/n45/mode/2up?q=faggot
  5. https://www.dailynews.com/2014/05/25/santa-barbara-shooting-suspect-was-soft-spoken-polite-a-gentleman-ex-principal-says/
  6. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2001_Isla_Vista_killings
  7. https://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/may/30/elliot-rodger-puahate-forever-alone-reddit-forumsM/
  8. https://www.independent.com/2015/02/20/elliot-rodger-report-details-long-struggle-mental-illness/
  9. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Talk%3A2014_Isla_Vista_killings%2FArchive_1
  10. https://archive.vn/MOZwv
  11. https://web.archive.org/web/20150220034256/http://www.sbsheriff.us/documents/ISLAVISTAINVESTIGATIVESUMMARY.pdf
  12. https://web.archive.org/web/20150220034256/http://www.sbsheriff.us/documents/ISLAVISTAINVESTIGATIVESUMMARY.pdf
  13. https://nypost.com/2014/05/26/killers-links-to-the-mens-rights-activist-movement/
  14. https://incels.wiki/w/Scientific_Blackpill#Among_male_university_students.2C_only_cues_of_physical_dominance_over_other_men_predicted_their_mating_success
  15. https://incels.wiki/w/File:Okcupidincomepill.png
  16. https://incels.wiki/w/Asperger%27s_Syndrome#Autism_and_sexual_success
  17. https://www.businessinsider.com.au/ucsb-shooting-forum-associated-with-elliot-rodger-reacts-2014-5?r=US&IR=T
  18. https://wehuntedthemammoth.com/2014/05/24/pickup-artists-argue-that-game-is-the-solution-to-elliot-rodger-style-rampages-heres-why-theyre-wrong/
  19. https://twitter.com/ramzpaul/status/961419526331076608?lang=en
  20. https://ukjewishfilm.org/people/peter-rodger/
  21. https://www.amateurphotographer.co.uk/iconic-images/george-rodger-1908-1995-iconic-photographer-15402
  22. https://ejlw.eu/article/download/36907/34435/46236
  23. https://www.houseofnames.com/witherspoon-family-crest
  24. https://www.nytimes.com/1994/10/14/opinion/IHT-more-to-the-picture-letters-to-the-editor.html
  25. https://www.thejc.com/news/news/images-a-war-photographer-could-not-bear-to-look-at-1.6145
  26. Transcript of the disturbing video 'Elliot Rodger's Retribution'
  27. Elliot Rodger's Youtube channel has been deleted after the latest incel terrorist. How do hapas feel about this?, r/hapas
  28. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1359178916301744M