It’s been widely reported that followers of Daryush Valizadeh, the anti-feminist, homophobic and misogynistic writer behind Return of Kings—who has also advocated for the legalization of rape on private property—would be gathering in secret locations around the globe for a series of meetups. On Wednesday, however, Valizadeh, also known as Roosh V or Roosh Vorek, announced on the Return of Kings website that the meetings had been cancelled because he could “no longer guarantee the safety or privacy of the men who want to attend.”
While I can’t stop men who want to continue meeting in private groups, there will be no official Return Of Kings meetups. The listing page has been scrubbed of all locations. I apologize to all the supporters who are let down by my decision.
A total of 165 meetings were planned in 43 countries for the night of Feb. 6. Only heterosexual men were allowed to meet at the specified location between 8:00-8:20 PM, and anyone who arrived even one minute late would miss the gathering.
Valizadeh even came up with a code to identify fellow “tribesmen.” “Do you know where I can find a pet shop?” The answer, “Yes, it’s right here,” would ensure that they had found another attendee.
The FAQ for the February events included questions about what to do if “crazy feminists” showed up, or if the meeting was infiltrated by a “secret feminist agent.” Roosh V told his audience to record them with a camera and email the footage to him so “we can tear them up.”
He also wrote, “If you remain anxious or fearful of green-haired female activists or male feminists, simply don’t give out your last name or company name during the meetup.”
Roosh V is an American author and pickup artist known for his controversial writings on seduction and antifeminism. He is the author of Bang: The Pick Up Bible, Bang Iceland: How to Sleep With Icelandic Women in Iceland and other horrific how-to guides on taking advantage of women in any country.
According to its website, the Return Of Kings movement “aims to usher the return of the masculine man in a world where masculinity is being increasingly punished and shamed in favor of an androgynous and politically correct society that allows women to assert superiority and control over men.”
The group’s principles have been denounced by many, and the gatherings were condemned by local officials in many cities where they were planned. Ottawa Mayor Jim Watson took to Twitter to publicly tell Return of Kings supporters that their “pro-rape, misogynistic, homophobic garbage is not welcome in Ottawa.”
Mayor Gregor Robertson of Vancouver expressed a similar feeling:
Vancouver is known throughout the world for our steadfast commitment to inclusion, equality and freedom from discrimination and hatred. We strive for all residents to feel safe regardless of their gender, sexuality, faith, or ethnicity—and the violent and hateful positions spread by this organization are about as far apart from Vancouver values as I can imagine.
Natalie Pestana, an Australian activist who recently helped lead a campaign opposing the visit of U.S. “dating coach” company Real Social Dynamics, had organized a protest of the Return of Kings during their meetups in Melbourne and Sydney.
“We have plans to freely assemble to counteract that group or those individuals who believe in such abhorrent views towards women,” she said in an interview with Australian newspaper The Age.
Activists and community members on Twitter rejected the group using the hashtag #TurnAwayReturnOfKings. Oppose these “pickup artists” by adding your voice!
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