THE suspect at the centre of the Toronto van attack is thought to have been furious at young women for making him an “involuntary celibate” and praised murderer Elliot Rodger.
Alek Minassian, 25, also warned on Facebook of an incel rebellion. Here’s everything you need to know about involuntary celibacy, the incel rebellion, Alek Minassian and Elliot Rodger.
What does involuntary celibacy mean?
Involuntary celibacy, often shortened to incel, is a term used to describe a person who can’t have sex despite wanting to, according to incels.me.
The term also extends to people who believe they have no possibility of finding a partner to get love, validation or acceptance from.
The community is predominately male and the forum incels.me suggests women have readily available access to sex as do gay men.
However, the movement was initially started by a Canadian woman known as Alana.
Some people who identify as incels blame attractive men and women for their perceived state – a belief that has lead to several mass killings in the US.
The group dub people who are able to have normal sexual relationships as “normies” and have divisions within their community as to when someone can be classified as an incel.
Incels and involuntary celibacy first came to mainstream attention when reddit banned their community in 2017 following a number of spree shootings by self-proclaimed involuntary celibates or people sharing a similar ideology.
However, the term has been around since the late 1990s and has even had research papers published about its causes – including one that found many incels believed it stemmed from a lack of sexual experiences at key transitional points in teenage years.
What are the terms used by incels?
- Incel – refers to anyone who is not in a relationship nor had sex in a significant amount of time, despite multiple attempts
- Truecel – a person who has never had sex or been in a relationship despite numerous attempts
- Mentalcel – someone whose reason for failure in a relationship or sex is related to mental illness or major insecurities
- Volcel – a person who is abstinent and does not engage in sex for various reasons
- Fakecel – someone who claims to be an incel but has recently had sex or been in a relationship
- Chads/Stacys – used to refer to men who are physically attractive and women who choose them over incels
What is the incel rebellion?
In a Facebook post Alek Minassian declared “The Incel Rebellion has already begun! We will overthrow all the Chads and Stacys!” but what does he mean?
Forum user BlkPillPress described incel rebellion as a way to “punish normies in some way, they need to be in constant fear for every aspect of their life”.
The post suggests the rebellion does not need to be violent and could include things such as poking holes in condoms stored in vending machines.
The rebellion is a way for incels to take revenge on people who have been able to enjoy sex and romantic relationships while they have not.
What did Alek Minassian say about the incel rebellion?
The 25-year-old accused of the Toronto van attack on Monday, April 23, 2018, is thought to be a self-proclaimed incel according to Facebook post cited by CNN.
In the post believed to have been written by Minassian he says: “Private (Recruit) Minassian Infantry 00010, wishing to speak to Sgt 4chan please. C23249161. The Incel Rebellion has already begun! We will overthrow all the Chads and Stacys! All hail the Supreme Gentleman Elliot Rodger!”
The post has since been verified by Facebook but has since been deleted from Minassian’s Facebook page.
Minassian is due to stand trial in 2020 for the murder of ten people and injuring 15 when he “deliberately” drove a van on a pavement in Toronto, Canada.
His lawyer Boris Bytensky wants to put Minassian’s statement to police under a publication ban until the trial is complete.
The Superior Court judge in the case, Justice Anne Molly, is expected to make her decision on the request on August 16, 2019.
What did Elliot Rodger say about the incel rebellion?
Elliot Rodger killed six people and injured 13 in a rampage he dubbed “a day of retribution” on May 23, 2014, in Isla Vista, California.
He stabbed three men to death in his apartment before driving and shooting three female students from his car, killing two.
After killing Veronika Weiss, 19, and Katie Cooper, 22, he shot dead Christopher Martinez, 20.
Rodger, who later killed himself in his car, also left 13 people injured.
He attributed his actions to girls refusing to have sex with him in a 140 page “manifesto” called My Twisted World he left behind.
Although the teen killer never cites the incel rebellion, his manifesto My Twisted World detailed his hatred of women – viewing them as the reason he was isolated, lonely and unable to have sex.
His writings detailed the only time he ever saw a girl naked was when he took baths with a childhood friend.
And he goes on to talk about his rage at seeing pal Maddy Humphreys with a boyfriend.
It also discusses how he was sent into a frenzy when his 18-year-old sister lost her virginity to a half-Mexican boyfriend.
The views expressed in the manifesto and his desire for a day of retribution fit with the chat room discussions and views on the incel rebellion.
Some radical incel chat rooms revere Rodger as part of the incel rebellion despite him never explicitly referencing it and Alek Minassian appears to praise him in a post before carrying out his own attack.
BBC documentary Inside the Secret World of Incels
BBC Three documentary, Inside the Secret World of Incels, explores how the killer is hailed as a “hero” by many online who refer to Elliot Rodger as “Saint Elliot” and “ER’”
The BBC documentary spoke with an incel who uses the name Catfish online.
He has gained notoriety in the community for posing as a male model on dating sites and then filming his disturbing encounters with women.
Catfish also speaks openly about beating up an ex-girlfriend and being slapped with a restraining order after their relationship ended.
He says he has been rejected by more than 100 women and now is intent on exposing “how females really are.”
The incel has created a fake dating profile to trick women into meeting him.
He then films himself shouting at the ladies who decide to leave when they realise he is not the hunky man he claimed to be online.
What are Chads and Stacies?
- The incel community has its own distinct lingo which helps define their warped world view.
- According to member Jack Peterson, a Chad is a “male who is genetically superior, who has a strong jaw line, is tall with a low square hair line and has nice teeth.”
- A Stacey is a female with an “hour-glass figure with big breasts” who is attracted to Chads.
- He says these archetypes are re-inforced in “nearly all Hollywood movies.”
- Black pill: This refers to incels believing the “true nature of reality” is that they are destined to be bottom of the genetic pile.
- Normies: Incels refer to people who are able to maintain normal sexual relationships as ‘normies’
Arguably his most chilling revelation is that he tricks women into sending him intimate pictures and videos.
He says he adores the adulation he receives from fellow incels for his sick actions.
Catfish told the BBC: “People calling me a hero is better than sex.
“I confront them and tell them they are a horrible person. If they saw me on the street, they would ignore me.
“I’m just exposing who they are as individuals. I respect people but when it comes to females, I don’t care.
“Women aren’t people and I’m spreading awareness of how these females are.”
However, there is another side to the community and not all incels are violent or blame others for their misfortune.
The filmmakers spoke with a man in County Down, Northern Ireland, who has battled mental health issues for years and has never held the hand of a woman romantically before.
He spent much of his adult life isolated from the wider world and has battled against suicidal thoughts.
But the unnamed man is working hard to improve his self-esteem and after using YouTube to document his struggles, he has found love online.
He said: “I would close myself off from the world and just lie down.
“Last Valentine’s Day I thought if I don’t have a girlfriend I will kill myself.”
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However, his videos online have put him in touch with a woman who has also never had sex or been kissed.
The pair have now started a burgeoning romance.
He said: “You need someone to step in and show you the light because as incels we can be lost in darkness.”
The documentary will be available on the BBC iPlayer from 10am on Sunday, July 14.