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Brutal The Cult Fascist: Establishing Cultic Behavior in Proud Boys and Incels

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The Cult Fascist: Establishing Cultic Behavior in Proud Boys and Incels
AJ Ashland Portland State University


Abstract

Is the Alt-Right a cult? Certainly, we can see religious fervor intertwine with politics as we see in the far-right, with artwork of Trump being crucified like Jesus, pierced in his side by Nancy Pelosi analogous to Longinus (Cole, 2020), or in the golden statue of Trump at CPAC (Beauchamp, 2021). But, do we see similar, potentially cultic, behavior within Alt-Right groups? It turns out we do see this behavior. Within this study, I determine via the Advanced Bonewits’ Cult Danger Evaluation Frame what level of cultic behavior exists within Incels and Proud Boys. In doing so, I intend to hopefully expand our tools and methodology when extremist groups explode into violence.

Keywords: cult, fascism, Alt-Right, Incels, Proud Boys


Introduction

As someone who was raised in rural Oregon amongst a far-right, fundamentalist community and having spent much of my adolescence online gaming, thus surrounded by proponents of GamerGate, I am in the unique position to see fascist behaviors evolve, in real-time, into the Alt-Right. Similarly, I have spent most of my life within strict, evangelical Baptist and Pentecoastal churches, adjacent to members of the Quiverfull movement, and have been immersed - to the point of nearly becoming a youth leader - in increasingly patriarchal, apocalyptic, and controlling dogma. I wasn’t within a cult, I have witnessed abuses of power, cover ups of abuse, victim blaming of the abused and the ill, political-based oustings of pastors and members of the congregation, and have even known a church leader who annihilated his wife and children in a murder-suicide.

With all of these experiences, I witnessed a common theme amongst my friends and family within evangelical Christianity and those in the AltRight as the latter exploded onto the scene. They exhibited a strong, dogmatic belief in their self-fiction that fed off cynicism to their lives and society that actively provided soothing and protection for their psyche.

This common theme is similar to Hannah Arendt’s description of hierarchical structure of totalitarian movements; it “...could be described in terms of a curiously varying mixture of gullibility and cynicism with which each member, depending upon his rank and standing in the movement, is expected to react to the changing lying statements of the leaders and the central unchanging ideological fiction of the movement.” (Arendt, 1958, p.382) It becomes a mental shift from perceiving their inability to fit into society to instead viewing society as being unwilling to fit to them.

This is distinct from a belief that society should accommodate them, for this is a belief that society needs to be violently reshaped or destroyed, by them or another, with themselves as its leaders. It is perhaps best established through Elliot Rodger - a member and “Saint” of the Incels who killed 7 and injured 14 in his 2014 spree-killing - and his manifesto. “Humanity has never accepted me among them, and now I know why. I am more than human. I am superior to them all. I am Elliot Rodger… Magnificent, glorious, supreme, eminent… Divine! I am the closest thing there is to a living god.” (Rodger, 2014, p.135)

All of this, of course, mirrors infamous cults in history. For example, Charles Manson’s apocalyptic Helter Skelter - which predicted the Manson family as the survivors and leaders of a world, post-cataclysmic race war, where they would lead the surviving black people - and Aum Shinrikyo’s leader, Shoko Asahara, believing he was appointed by the god Shiva to build the Kingdom of Shambhala after a devastating nuclear war between the United States and Japan. Simply, my observations of the Alt-Right mirror 6 beliefs by some of the most dangerous of cults: the world is wicked and flawed, and it needs to be destroyed or restructured in our enlightened way.

Within this paper, I apply the Advanced Bonewits Cult Danger Evaluation Frame to analyze two Alt-Right groups: Incels and Proud Boys. What I found was that cultic behaviors are endemic within the greater AltRight; at the least within Proud Boys and Incels. As the Alt-Right is a wide, decentralized movement, I focus on these two separate groups as they are emblematic of the greater Alt-Right yet represent distinct manifestations of beliefs and goals. Incels and Proud Boys also exhibit sizable, representative portions of the Alt-Right with 119 official Proud Boy chapters in 46 states (Anti-Defamation League, n.d.) and 40,000 members of the subreddit r/incels before being banned in 2017 (Hoffman et al., 2020).

In addressing whether the Alt-Right is a cult, I analyze qualitative data in the form of direct quotes from Incels and Proud Boys. Be it leaders, social media personalities, lowly members, or sainted mass shooters such as Alek Minassian, the Alt-Right are remarkably open about their beliefs once you sift through layers of irony. Due to this, I examine posts on Incels.is - the largest Incel forum I have located - and several Telegram channels connected to or outright owned by Proud Boys in order to provide evidence and context. This evidence (all 638 files) is available for public usage via figshare (Ashland, 2022).

Advanced Bonewits’ Cult Danger Evaluation Frame by Isaac Bonewits
  1. Internal Control: Amount of internal political and social power exercised by leader(s) over members; lack of clearly defined organizational rights for members.
  2. External Control: Amount of external political and social influence desired or obtained; emphasis on directing members’ external political and social behavior.
  3. Wisdom/Knowledge Claimed by leader(s): amount of infallibility declared or implied about decisions or doctrinal/scriptural interpretations; number and degree of unverified and/or unverifiable credentials claimed.
  4. Wisdom/Knowledge Credited to leader(s) by members: amount of trust in decisions or doctrinal/scriptural interpretations made by leader(s); amount of hostility by members towards internal or external critics and/or towards verification efforts.
  5. Dogma: Rigidity of reality concepts taught; amount of doctrinal inflexibility or "fundamentalism"; hostility towards relativism and situationalism.
  6. Recruiting: Emphasis put on attracting new members; amount of proselytizing; requirement for all members to bring in new ones.
  7. Front Groups: Number of subsidiary groups using different names from that of main group, especially when connections are hidden.
  8. Wealth: Amount of money and/or property desired or obtained by group; emphasis on members’ donations; economic lifestyle of leader(s) compared to ordinary members.
  9. Sexual Manipulation of members by leader(s) of non-tantric groups: amount of control exercised over sexuality of members in terms of sexual orientation, behavior, and/or choice of partners.
  10. . Sexual Favoritism: Advancement or preferential treatment dependent upon sexual activity with the leader(s) of non-tantric groups.
  11. Censorship: Amount of control over members’ access to outside opinions on group, its doctrines or leader(s).
  12. . Isolation: Amount of effort to keep members from communicating with nonmembers, including family, friends and lovers.
  13. Dropout Control: Intensity of efforts directed at preventing or returning dropouts.
  14. Violence: Amount of approval when used by or for the group, its doctrines or leader(s).
  15. Paranoia: Amount of fear concerning real or imagined enemies; exaggeration of perceived power of opponents; prevalence of conspiracy theories.
  16. Grimness: Amount of disapproval concerning jokes about the group, its doctrines or its leader(s).
  17. Surrender of Will: Amount of emphasis on members not having to be responsible for personal decisions; degree of individual disempowerment created by the group, its doctrines or its leader(s).
  18. Hypocrisy: amount of approval for actions which the group officially considers immoral or unethical, when done by or for the group, its doctrines or leader(s); willingness to violate the group’s declared principles for political, psychological, social, economic, military, or other gain.


Analysis via Bonewits’ Framework
1. Internal Control

Amount of internal political and social power exercised by leader(s) over members; lack of clearly defined organizational rights for members.

For Incels, there is more internal control of its members. On the main Incel forum, Incels.is, there is a requirement of no bluepilled content, meaning conflicting opinions are not allowed unless they support Blackpill ideology; no discussion of “personal romantic or sexual experiences, even if they happened long ago”; no humble-bragging “such as by subtly praising your own features”; and no “gay or LGBT content, unless you’re criticising it.”

There are allowances to discuss other subjects than Inceldom, but these rules of no conflicting opinions and experiences reinforces the echo chamber mentality of it. Further, in later posts by admins of an update to the site’s rules, they exhibit a deflective, noncommittal stance when asked for exacting definition, except in the most extreme of cases. Tasking the moderators to retain this echo chamber, internal control is ascertained via the ability to shape narrative and determine on a whim whether group membership is allowed or not.

For organizational rights for members, there are only two meaningful ranks: moderator and member. There may be designated moderators who police and delete content, but these are less prophets who detail Incel ideology but rather guardians of said ideology from outside forces. Still, these moderators do show a willingness to ban members from their forum.

Albeit, I have not witnessed an explicit banning occurrence, but - since many banned members’ posts still remain - sifting through their forum is guaranteed to find you a few banned members throughout thus showing a propensity towards guarding Incel ideology from internal forces, too.

Thus, despite ranks being clear, the level of internal control exhibited by moderators and their willingness to be vague exceeds what one might consider minor. As such, definitive features of this cultic behavior exist.

2. External Control
Amount of external political and social influence desired or obtained; emphasis on directing members’ external political and social behavior.

With Incels, there is a similar emphasis on appearing less extreme than they are, but I argue this is instead couched in a history of their subreddits and web forums being banned or removed from internet hosts due to illicit and extreme behavior, such as subreddits r/incels, r/braincels, r/Shortcels, and r/IncelsWithoutHate as well as the migration from a Montenegro-based web domain, Incels.me, to the current Icelandic based web domain, Incels.is (Murphy, 2018).

Still, their views haven’t changed but rather are couched in irony and the thinnest veneer of plausible denial. Discussions of going ER [committing an Elliot Rodger style mass killing], the justification (or admission) of rape, and spitting on people of color are occasionally suffixed with “(in video games)”, “(in Minecraft)”, or “(in GTA)”, implying they are talking about these actions being in video games. It should be noted: rape and spitting aren’t available in either of those specific games.

However, there are limits to any unified attempts in presenting as lawabiding. Some members have argued that attempts at corralling pedophilic posts are akin to being a “woke Reddit forum”, despite one moderator specifying that it is still allowed to discuss 14-year-old girls as “14 year olds are within the age of consent in various jurisdictions”.

The aforementioned discussion on the sentience of women; why pedophilia is “less degenerate than homosexuality”; and arguments on why attractive people should be sent to concentration camps are still prominent as well. Furthermore, in performing this research, I have come across cartoon pornography of Ralph Wiggum and Lisa Simpson, both as prepubescent children, posted 3 months before screenshot by a popular member of the forum.

Despite explicitly stating “Do not sexualize pre-pubescent minors in any way, shape, or form”, images such as that and comments expressing envy for Ralph remain. All of this paints an extreme picture of a group that is deeply laissez-faire about speech unless it can get the forum in legal trouble.

Important to consider is that you don’t need an account to access these posts. They clearly aren’t afraid to express or hide their most extreme beliefs online, even when they know they’re being monitored. This specific fact expresses the fact that moderators and members don’t much care about external condemnation.

In fact, with some of them, it would almost appear they relish it. This lack of care for external critique is why they show moderate features - rather than definitive features - of this cultic behavior.

3. Wisdom/Knowledge Claimed by leader(s)
amount of infallibility declared or implied about decisions or doctrinal/scriptural interpretations; number and degree of unverified and/or unverifiable credentials claimed.

Incels, of course, don’t have a conventional leader. They have moderators, not prophets. Thus, the doctrine and scriptural interpretations are generated via interactions within the community, typically in threads with the designator of “Blackpill” or “Theory” in their title.

These contributions are then commented on by forum members where some say “very based [correct/accurate]”;“high iq post”; or others may deride the contribution. Very much so a marketplace of ideas, the proverbial facts and definition of Incels and the Blackpill change when contacting others, with other Incels’ worldviews changing as well.

As stated before, these beliefs act like a virus. Still, despite the potential for drastic change, there are constants in this metaphysical, viral Blackpill: Incels are sexually (and thus societally) unwanted, this is biologically determined, and women are responsible.

With these ideas forming the skeletal ribcage of the philosophy, the Blackpill molds and adapts itself to any blow or critique it encounters. Like nailing Jell-O to a wall, the Blackpill isn’t destroyed if one theory is dismembered from the source; it manifests a new appendageal-theory to continue its manipulation.

Similarly, an adulterated facsimile of science exists to provide justification of the beliefs. Driven by the need to prove their ‘superiority’ to ‘emotional’ women, they intellectualize their intuited beliefs and feelings of despair and cherry pick studies or outright fabricate data to prove their points.

Case in point, Incels discussed in one thread “Why killing gay ‘people’ should be legal” by stating with “A gay person is an organism that spreads diseases such as HIV”; “Their mechanism of spreading HIV is anal sex”; and “gays who turn themselves in however, should have their balls removed”.

Tangentially, this also implies a perception that women cannot be gay when taking into account rampant transphobia in the community and their belief in biological determinism driving women to copulate with “Chads”. Discussions of how to deal with gay people revolve around their perceived dirtiness and pest control services, thus verminizing a group of people.

Later comments add that “it’s pretty much impossible to get AIDS without participating in a degenerate act” and that gay men “have an average sex partner count of 500, 25% of them are over 1000”, are supported by no citations, likely because it’s wrong. It doesn’t matter to them that their ideas are built upon otherworldly stereotypes; this role-playing of science provides a legitimizing insulation from criticism that could erode their own belief.

As such, because of this propagation of an infallible, self-sealing worldview known as the Blackpill, they portray definitive features of this cultic behavior.

4. Wisdom/Knowledge Credited to leader(s) by members
amount of trust in decisions or doctrinal/scriptural interpretations made by leader(s); amount of hostility by members towards internal or external critics and/or towards verification efforts.

For Incels, I have briefly mentioned the paragons, the Incel saints, who embody Inceldom. Typically these are people who have gone on mass killings due to Incel or proto-Incel beliefs, such as Seung-Hui Cho (Virginia Tech killings), Elliot Rodger (Isla Vista killings), and Alek Minassian (Toronto killings) who himself was inspired by Rodger and deemed him the “founding forefather” of Incels (Cottee, 2021, p.93).

Some even include the Columbine shooters, Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold. Still, not all Incel saints are murderers but rather are people whose image became a symbol of the Incel condition, such as St. Blackops2cel (Moonshot, 2020). Blackops2cel, named due to wearing a fan-shirt of the video game Call of Duty: Black Ops 2, was not connected to Incels prior to the appropriation of his selfie (Know Your Meme, n.d.), but those in the Incel community beatified due to him being proof that taking a shower and getting a haircut won’t make you sexually desirable.

To Incels, he represents this biological determinism that is sisyphean to negate. Particularly appealing to blackpilled Incels, he is commonly drawn like Jesus Christ, wearing a crown of thorns around his head. Other renditions include him dropping atomic blackpill bombs out of an airplane with AWALT [All Women Are Like That] painted on its nose. In addition, one painting is of him looming over a warrior amongst a desolate landscape, stork to the right of him, and a massive noose with a golden light shining through it beckoning the warrior forward.

Still, not all Incels agree on who should be called a saint or whether their saints are bluepilled or not, and when there is disagreement between Incels on saints, or blackpill ideology, intense hostility abounds. Typically these disagreements include ableist slurs or descriptions of statements as “autistic”, and some may argue that the original poster is “pushing normie values” which vaguely threatens a violation of the no bluepilled content rule.

Incels are most unified, however, when facing criticism from outside groups. A prime example of this is one “RageFuel” post about how Isla Vista killings’ wikipedia page lists “I.N.C.E.L. iDeOlogY [sic]” as one of Elliot Rodger’s motives. It’s claimed that the page looks “as if it was vandalized by soys [low-testosterone men]”, and claims of Elliot Rodger being fueled by misogyny are further mocked. Several responses to this are declarations that it was “based terrorism”; “everything he did was 100% justified”; and that incel ideology and an incel movement are non-existent things.

While Incels aren’t unified on their saints, this deep inclination towards hostility - inwards and outwards - vastly outweighs any limiting factor said division may bring for this category. Thus, I would argue that they exhibit definitive features of this cultic behavior.

5. Dogma
Rigidity of reality concepts taught; amount of doctrinal inflexibility or "fundamentalism"; hostility towards relativism and situationalism.

As I’ve mentioned with Incels, the Blackpill is an amorphous, flexible belief that is anchored in the fundamentals of Incels being sexually unwanted, life being biologically determined, and women are responsible for the injustice of Incels’ sexless lives. Thus, any flexibility that appears is utilized to justify the core, unchanging beliefs of the Blackpill. Any attempt at changing these beliefs is met with hostility.

You could make the argument to an Incel that their behavior is what confines them to involuntary celibacy, but these arguments are quickly derided and ignored as whitewashing of their mental pain or useless platitudes. In one post on “Why Therapy is (Usually) a Cope [going into denial to avoid the harsh truth of the Blackpill] for Incels”, the poster argues the uselessness or even danger of therapy, “The personality isn’t why he is khhv, as he was khhv before and after taking the blackpill”; “The therapist gives him bluepilled platitudes aka copes such as ‘just work on your personality’ or ‘get some friends who are girls’”; and how “therapy only changes the way you perceive the reality around you, which is the textbook definition of a cope.”

The poster concedes that therapy can be useful “for one thing and one thing only; developing social skills”, but otherwise declares that mental health treatment - something desperately needed by many Incels - is useless or even a danger. As one person puts it, in their mind, “People who say ‘just go to therapy’ is PC way of saying ‘just kill yourself already I don’t give a fuck about you. . . . .We’re already rotting in loneliness, depressed, and rejected by society yet they act like we’ve done something horribly wrong to them.”

Further evidence to them lies in their belief in the 80/20 rule; “that 80% of women desire just 20% of men” (Anti-Defamation League, 2019) so you should just LDAR (lie down and rot). This inability to accept that, perhaps, their behavior is to blame for their sexual frustrations and absolutist language display an intensely antithetical approach to relative situations. As one comment expressed on a post made about visiting a “foids house [sic]”: “gtfo faker”. Rather than acknowledging the panoply of gray shades in the world, potential “ascensions” from Inceldom are treated as unreal and impossible. This 21st century rendition of Plato’s allegory of the cave suggests that there are definite features of this cultic behavior.

6. Recruiting
Emphasis put on attracting new members; amount of proselytizing; requirement for all members to bring in new ones.

As with Proud Boys, there is relatively little to no emphasis on attracting new members within the Incel community. There are calls for inspiring Incel rebellions by committing a mass killing, such as Alek Minassian who had

“hope[d] that they might perhaps trigger a chain reaction leading to society’s recognition of either the alleged excesses of feminism (with a return to the golden age of monogamy and patriarchy) or the Incel predicament (with policies designed to force women to fulfill all men’s alleged sexual entitlement)” (Baele et al., 2021, p.1683).
Despite this, I still see miniscule emphasis on recruitment. I’m personally inclined to believe that this is a result of yearning to be considered special due to the exclusionary nature of irreversible “pill taking”, for being one of the few knowers of truth is no longer possible when everyone believes it. Either way, there is very little in the way of active recruitment of members and thus little to no features of this cultic behavior.

7. Front Groups
Number of subsidiary groups using different names from that of main group, especially when connections are hidden.

While the Alt-Right don’t commonly have subsidiary groups to mask connections to themselves, they often scrupulously attempt to manipulate public appearances in an attempt to subtly shift societal morality towards their own beliefs (Harkinson, 2016) or - as mentioned before - take legal action when defined as a hate group (Kennedy, 2019). However, with Proud Boys and Incels, there is little to no evidence of front groups.

There are separate groups that fall under both communities, but they are not designed as a smoke screen nor based on false representations of their beliefs. The closest the Incels have is the wiki named, quite plainly, Incel Wiki, which adopts an apologist tone for their publicly-edited articles. Thus, I would argue there are little to no features of this cultic behavior for either Proud Boys or Incels.

8. Wealth
Amount of money and/or property desired or obtained by group; emphasis on members’ donations; economic lifestyle of leader(s) compared to ordinary members.

For Incels, there is very little in this aspect. You don’t see people buying shirts or stickers celebrating Inceldom, there is very little in the way of emphasizing donations by members, and the fundamentally decentralized nature of the Incel movement leaves little to define as a leader.

Further, because of all the controversy associated with them, advertisement on their websites is non-existent. There is the concept of wealthmaxxing within their community, which is earning money to maximize their chances of “ascending”, but they don’t place people with wealth on a pedestal above other Incels. Therefore, there are little to no features of this cultic behavior.

9. Sexual Manipulation of members by leader(s) of non-tantric groups
amount of control exercised over sexuality of members in terms of sexual orientation, behavior, and/or choice of partners.

With Incels, this is the defining characteristic of the group due to their overt focus and preoccupation on sex. There is no physically coercive funneling towards ‘correct’ sexuality, but what control exercised on sexuality we see is via a normative process that labels those who deviate from the norms as degenerate subhumans.

There’s a certain irony in viewing the Incel-defined deviants as subhuman when they themselves state similar things of their own physical bodies. After all, these are the same people who will label themselves Incels due to very specific features of their body, such as shortcel (short height); wristcel (small, feminine wrists); birdcel (weak chin and big nosed); baldcel (bald or balding); skullcel (too small and thus feminine of skulls); the list goes on.

The difference, in their view, between their subhumaness and Others’ degenerate subhumans is that their selfperceived subhumanity is part of this belief in biological determinism. In their minds, their looks-designated place in the “sexual marketplace” is set in stone by normal mutations occurring during their conception (Incels Wiki, n.d.).

Thus, they cannot procreate because they are “naturally less attractive” and - because of “degenerate influences” that corrupt the natural order - they can’t get a partner like how it was done in the (fantasized) past. In a world where the strong can’t take what they want and law shackles this will to power, they are left impotent - “cucked”.

Long past are days of vikings kidnapping women on raids or of mandated polygamy due to men being in short supply due to tribal warfare. All they have left to have sex - in their mind - is their looks. This is a large reason for why we see largely facetious, ironic, joking-unless-you’re-in-to-it posts about jihadmaxxing or arguments about “Why an Islamic Caliphate is the cure for inceldom”.

As one poster said, “foids should not have a say in who they are married off to”; “men shouldn’t have to perform a series of idiotic rituals to land a foid in bed”; and “...if you weren’t able to successfully climb the bs social latter [sic] or weren’t born with sufficient good looks to attract a foid in the west” then “fight[ing] for the Caliphate and you could have all the sex you want.”

In the same vein of “natural order”, there is the blatant undercurrent of pedophilia within a sizable portion of Incels. Ostensibly, the sexualization of minors is prohibited on Incels.is as on March 3rd, 2022, a 6-0 vote by moderators made the rule “Do not sexualize minors in any way, shape, or form.” On March 5th, 2022, they changed the rule to “better reflect what we were going for” to “Do not sexualize pre-pubescent [original emphasis] minors in any way, shape, or form.

” May 1st, 2022, the moderators expanded the rules further by banning arguments “that attraction to prepubescent minors is normal or even desirable”, proclaiming that you find prepubescent minors attractive, arguing that “prepubescent minors enjoy sexual activity with adults”, or saying that “pedophiles will one day be liberated in a utopian society that accommodates their desires.

” This rulechange led to a deluge of arguments. Comments on this new ruling were arguing over the definition of pubescence; its application to prepubescent anime characters; how “IT [r/IncelTear] spies” proclaim to be pedophiles to make Incels look worse; how pedophiles are gay because “it’s pedO, not pedEphile, o = male and e = female whenever it’s brought over from greek to english”; statements that the “preceding definition (ie the one I am repopularizing)” for pedophilia was “describing homosexual men’s lust for small boys”; asking “What’s the youngest minor we can sexualize? Just asking”; arguing that “woketards” (politically left people) are usually the only people sexualizing prepubescent minors; and that the forum has turned into “woke reddit”.

This isn’t an aberrant occurrence. For example, an aforementioned, reposted argument on “Why pedophilia (korephilia technically) is less degenerate than homosexuality” argued that having sex with a prepubescent girl makes it more likely that you’ll end up having sex with a girl in early puberty and thus procreate, thus being less-degenerate than homosexuality because it could lead to reproduction. Further, there is an argument by one now-banned Incel - bearing a profile picture of Josef Mengele - who had over 10k posts that “As an incel, there is literally no reason to be against pedophilia”.

Finally, we have a post by another prolific member of the forum about how “we should ban Ralph Wiggum from this forum” because he had sex, as evidenced by a cartoon image of Lisa Simpson having sex with Ralph Wiggum. Whether joking, wanting to shock, or intentionally sexualizing minors, there is a disturbing normalization of sexualizing behavior towards minors amongst the Incels.

This behavior is further enforced via a concept known as “The Wall”. As Incels conceive it, “The Wall” is the age when women reach their “sexpiration date” and become less attractive and fertile (Incels Wiki, n.d.), which eventually leads to women drastically losing sexual value after age 25. This conception of women becoming unattractive and less fertile in their mid-twenties drive Incels - regardless of their own age - to become more attracted to younger women due to their heightened “sexual value” and ability to remain sexually valuable over time.

Further, in going after young women, they believe they can limit the chance of a girl being a “roastie”, which is a reference to a woman who has had sex with many different men, resulting in her genitals resembling roast beef (Moonshot, 2020). Naturally, this belief that sex changes the genitals only extends towards women and doesn’t explain a “roastie” who has only had one sexual partner or none at all.

This elevation of the young, unsoured woman - or femoid as they may call her - is reminiscent of purity culture within the American culture where teens are taught to abstain from sex before marriage. In much the same vein, the argument is made that if you have sex outside of marriage - a perceived sin amongst many evangelicals - you become damaged, defiled, unappetizing.

There is a certain cognitive dissonance that goes on within Incels that emerges in the most cursory of study. They put women on a precarious pedestal, spotlight for faults, and then pulverize when they don’t follow their impossible ideals. They gnash over a world that doesn’t fit their impossible standards, yet they themselves don’t believe they need to change. This belief in the degradation of women (through feminism and many other Others) is most visible in Elliot Rodger’s manifesto.

He finishes this manifesto in an epilogue that details his fantasy of creating a vast concentration camp to quarantine and starve the vast majority of women in the world, with him at the center with “an enormous tower built just for myself, where I can oversee the entire concentration camp and gleefully watch them all die. If I can’t have them, no one will [original emphasis]” (Rodger, 2014, p.136).

This norming of an extreme mentality with an impossible ideal placed upon the world suggests a strong, unspoken belief amongst Incels: sexuality fits our views. If it doesn’t, it is a degenerate violation of the natural order.

Yet, even the chance of connecting with the Impossible Woman - one who loves and cares about them even with their perceived flaws - won’t let them leave this pit of despair. As evidenced by Kat Tenbarge’s inability to find an Incel to date (Tenbarge, 2018); the belief in 2D>3D where 2D girlfriends (such as chatbots and anime/video game characters) are considered to be better partners than real-life girlfriends (Moonshot, 2020); and the countless cries for companionship by their less hardened, dedicated members, they want companionship from their idea of a woman - not a woman.

Nonexistent is the gentle language of love and admiration; all that’s left is a dogmatic loathing masked in appeals to nature that fuels this normative mantra of desperate hate. Because of this inability to accept sexual attraction outside of Blackpill philosophy and the self-sealing, selfharming nature of these beliefs, Incels show definite features of this cultic behavior.

10. Sexual Favoritism
Advancement or preferential treatment dependent upon sexual activity with the leader(s) of non-tantric groups.

In regards to sexual favoritism, we don’t see much or any of this within Incels or Proud Boys. In the years I have kept an ear out and the last few months of research, I have not witnessed a single event of sexual abuse by Proud Boys or Incels towards their male members. In regards to women in adjacent groups, there have been accusations of sexual impropriety by far-right figures (and lower ranked members), such as Gavin McInnes, towards prominent Alt-Right activist Lauren Southern (Lombroso, 2020).

Still, this has largely been relegated to outside Incel and Proud Boy circles. It does suggest to me that that sexual favoritism may perhaps be a larger factor in the greater Alt-Right, but in men-exclusive, homophobic groups - such as those studied here - there is little to none in terms of sexual favoritism.

11. Censorship
Amount of control over members’ access to outside opinions on group, its doctrines or leader(s).

In Incels, we see vastly different levels of censorship as they explicitly state “no bluepilled content of any kind” unless disproving it and no “Women and LGBT Individuals” or “non-incels” allowed.

As mentioned before, banned Incel member posts are also prevalent. Considering many of these users have thousands of posts (such as the 10,399 posts of one banned user with a Charles Manson profile picture) yet are banned, this suggests a quick and methodical team of moderators that are willing to ban users despite the time and effort put into it.

Through this willingness to ban, prohibition of blackpillcurious individuals, and a blanket restriction on beliefs and opinions perceived to be antithetical to the blackpill, Incels exhibit definite features of this cultic behavior.

12. Isolation
Amount of effort to keep members from communicating with non-members, including family, friends and lovers.

As usual, Incels show more extreme behavior. They too don’t prohibit outsiders from interacting with their members (they almost certainly couldn’t enforce it either way), but they exhibit extreme beliefs and behaviors in regards to interacting with society.

Emphasis is placed on not interacting with the outside world by portraying discussed incidents - such as being friends with a woman - as outright fake, near-impossible, embarrassing, or an example of the Incel being “cucked”.

Further normative behavior lies in Incels designating themselves as NEET (“Not in Education, Employment, or Training”) or as hikikomoris (Japanese for “pulling inward, being confined”) with the main difference being that hikikomoris rarely even leave their domicile (Incels Wiki, n.d.).

This behavior or label is occasionally praised as being superior to “wagies” - people who work - due to the fact that this allows the NEET Incel the ability to do what they want. As one poem says, “Wagie trapped and wagie dies, NEET eats tendies, sauce and fries”.

This isolation from the outside world isn’t necessarily a good thing as there is generous evidence to suggest that many Incels deeply submerse themselves into Inceldom. While being logged doesn’t mean actively engaging, some members can reach astronomic levels of interaction.

One member, with a profile picture of Josef Mengele, had over 10k posts as well as 135 days, 23 hours logged online from June 24th, 2020 to May 2nd, 2022. Another, hosting a profile picture of Elliot Rodger, had 13,204 posts and 12 days, 7 hours (rounded up) of time logged in from April 3rd, 2022 to May 2nd, 2022.

That is 455.3 posts a day over the 29 days it lasted. This wasn’t a spam account; this user was witnessed engaging with the forum.

To take from Mark Twain, “Broad, wholesome, charitable views of men and things cannot be acquired by vegetating in one little corner of the earth all one’s lifetime” (Twain, 2004).

Finally, compounding these feelings of isolation is a generalized enmity towards bluepilled people, e.g. normies. As evidenced by one member - profile picture being an image of serial rapist and killer Edmund Kemper - who argued that misanthropy needs to be emphasized more so than misogyny. This user, having 273 days logged in, argues that the forum needs to be “reformed” to include the focus on misanthropy as “We must hate men just as much as women for harming other men to get liad [sic] or excluding us or bullying us…”

A proverbial blackhole of nihilistic despair, this thread was responded to with comments such as “I hate women and men equally. Not nearly as much as I hate myself”; “I hate all men and women especially tallfags”; and arguing in all capital letters that they need to slut shame Chads as Chad’s power is “a result of redpill cucks who value laycount and degeneracy over everything.” These feelings of betrayal, bullying, and misanthropy are further highlighted by the wide variety of profile pictures featuring shots from the 2019 film Joker.

This is likely due to a feeling of kinship with the eponymous Joker who feels unable to enter or thrive in society until eventually exploding into nihilistic, vengeful violence. In the Joker, they see themselves as the dejected, abused outsider who is tormented in every attempt at integrating with society, and - judging by the panoply of violent comments and justifications for violence - they see something inspiring in him. At the very least, they see someone they can relate to.

Thus, in these normative, approving statements and contributions to Blackpill philosophy, it can be stated that there are definite features of this cultic behavior in Incels.

13. Dropout Control
Intensity of efforts directed at preventing or returning dropouts.

In large, the Proud Boys and Incels show little to none in dropout control. For Proud Boys, the majority of it appears to be a denouncement after the fact, such as claiming the member was kicked out rather than left (Brunswick et al., 2020).

While with Incels if a member no longer logs on, it’s often assumed that said member “roped himself [died by sucide]” and effort isn’t made to check on them. If a prior member disparages Incels or disproves the blackpill, anger is, of course, expressed in response to critique, but effort may even be made to paint this former member as a “fakecel” (Carkudo, 2021).

What this suggests in the end is what levels of dropout control expressed by Proud Boys and Incels occurs post the departure of members. This makes sense as these aren’t groups that typically have requirements to live on compounds or in barracks; members are free to walk away at any point.

When you aren’t reliant on the group for food and shelter, the primary danger you face is from reprisal for leaving. As I’m unable to find any evidence of ex-members of either groups being threatened or attacked after leaving, it would appear that the primary method of dropout control are No True Scotsman fallacy arguments stating that the departed member was never a true comrade, cutting off social support from the group, or attempts at smearing their social standing.

With the lack of credibility amongst mainstream society, I’m inclined to believe that mudslinging by an extremist group holds much less threat than those respected in accepted society. Thus, this would suggest little to no features of this cultic behavior in either group.

14. Violence
Amount of approval when used by or for the group, its doctrines or leader(s).

As with the Proud Boys, Incels show a disturbing approval of violence. As three of the mainstream Incel Saints are mass-killers - Rodger, Minassian, and Lepine (Baele et al., 2021) - they glorify the act of violence to a near-spiritual level.

Further discussed by Baele et al., Incel killers and rank-and-file Incels frequently evoke the need of an uprising, with Alek Minassian even posting on Facebook, before his attack, “Private (Recruit) Minassian Infantry 00010, wishing to speak to Sgt 4chan please. C23249161. The Incel Rebellion has already begun! We will overthrow the Chads and Stacys! All hail the Supreme Gentleman Elliot Rodger!” (Moonshot, 2020, p.10).

This near-spiritual obsession with violent saints even extends to one person posting Elliot Rodger’s full autopsy report within the forums, acting similar to a memento mori relic of a dead saint.

Calls to violence are guaranteed to be witnessed by a cursory look at their forums. This can be seen in fantasizing comments such as “Imagine a world that a foid is executed for not being virgin before marriage”; approval directed towards a Chinese news video about a “Normie man” who “kidnaps, repeatedly rapes and chains woman in shed”; and aforementioned arguments that justify killing gay people.

Further evidence lies in usernames being named after famous, misogynistic serial killers and profile pictures of mass shooters - such as Elliot Rodger, Seung-Hui Cho, and Dylann Roof - and other members of history linked to violence, such as Charles Manson, Adolf Hitler, and Josef Mengele.

Not limiting themselves to praising mass murder, Incels show a disturbing inclination to downplaying, justifying, and even extoling rape and threats of sexual violence.

Discussions of envy towards the prior mentioned “Normie man”; protesting the total ban of sexualizing minors by arguing “we’re entitled to 10/10 giga-stacy [best described as “prime”] pussy bro”, and one member discussing how “It’s funny when you follow the foids at night and they get scared af and keep looking behind to see whether you’re following them or not.” This last example was followed up with the original poster saying he plans next to scream at lolis [minors] at night.

Finally, Incels exhibit a strong approval of self-violence. Statements about no hope existing for Incels and how the pain of Inceldom only ends at death are not only tolerated but seemingly encouraged. Their biological determinism - treated as all-encompassing and omnipotent - deems them to have already “lost” and been demoted to Inceldom. If you can’t accept that this is how the world works, you seek out “copes” in order to survive, lest you “rope yourself” - i.e. complete suicide (Incel Wiki, n.d.). As one Incel put it:

“I hate the whole reality, I hate nature, I hate killing or being killed, I hate the law that prevails in the universe, the law of the strongest is a tragedy, death is my only consolation, knowing that one day I will die It’s the only thing that motivates me to stay alive, one day with death everything will end.”
This obsession with violence, both inwards and outwards, is an allencompassing feature within Incel forums. With nearly 50 fatalities from 2014 to 2020 linked to Incels (Hoffman et al., 2020) - this fixation on violence is necessary to understand when trying to comprehend Incels. Thus, Incels show definite features of this cultic behavior.

15. Paranoia
Amount of fear concerning real or imagined enemies; exaggeration of perceived power of opponents; prevalence of conspiracy theories.

Similarly with Incels, their conception of throngs of foes that conspire against them is hyper-inflated. Due to their Alt-Right membership, Jews are unsurprisingly often placed among their powerful-yet-inferior enemies. References to Jewish conspiracies are rampant with images comparing unflattering photos of famous Jewish people in history to anti-semitic propaganda from the 20th century.

Though, this could be generously described as attempts at edgy humor. Peculiarly, self-identified Jewish Incels will even engage in this propaganda even when antithetical to their position, such as one user responding to a comment of “...thank god my great grandpa killed you [sic] race in ww2” with “you didn’t do shit the holocaust never happened and we know it, goy”.

Naturally, the response to this was that “Holohoax never happened” but some Jews were “vanished by my own heritage”. In the same vein, another argues that taking the blackpill

“helps you see how the world really works and who’s in charge pulling the strings. It’s not just that foids are whores for Chad and it all boils down to bone genetics – it’s also that the jews have rigged the system and have enslaved everyone using capitalism and politics. Foids are whores. The jews need to burn in ovens. These are unavoidable truths.”
Finally, evidence of an endorsement of anti-semitism is the proliferation of profile pictures of prominent Nazis amongst Incels with at least three moderators having profile pictures of Heydrich, Himmler, and Hitler.

As they believe women are to blame for all of their issues, they similarly proscribe a tremendous amount of power to an entire gender while hypocritically believing they have the upper hand with their analysis and true-sight through the red and blackpill. An almost eldritch, hive-minded consciousness, women are responsible for much of the world’s inequalities and are the source of all Inceldom’s woes, according to Incels.

Their conception of the “pussy cartel” is indicative of this all-encompassing power that women supposedly have. Believing that sex is necessary for men to thrive, it is believed that women artificially inflate the price of sex. Asexual and non-heterosexual men apparently do not exist in this rationale. As Incel Wiki puts it:

“Sex is worth maybe $5 of women’s time and effort. But women know men will go insane without sex, so they collectively deny it to men. They force most men to invest hundreds if not thousands of hours into resource security, job security, free drinks, free transportation, free housing etc just for the possibility [original emphasis] that they will get sex” (Incels Wiki, n.d.).
How this supposed control manifests is such: I want to attract a girlfriend, so I am going to wealthmaxx and make money. I cannot make money because I am unable to focus my efforts while being sex deprived and thus can’t develop my own income.

I can’t get a girlfriend because women artificially inflate the value of companionship and sex and thus limit oppressed groups such as me from producing enough wealth to pay for their established value. Further evidence of these beliefs are arguments that women are the most privileged in society.

“We obviously don’t envy having half a brain, or not having hobbies, but we envy their privilege of being on the throne of the social hierarchy.” The same user goes on to say that “[w]e’re rotting in complete social isolation” and that “it’s like a black person hating whites in the 1800’s, or the poor farmers hating the rich, it’s only natural to dislike them.”

Similarly, as mentioned prior, there is paranoia towards mental health practitioners which actively reinforces Incels’ resolve in their beliefs. Actively perceiving therapy as a form of brainwashing (accurate enough if one conceives it like cleaning a wound) or indoctrination, it is believed that therapists will undermine your belief and install mere coping mechanisms but never solve the key issue in your life - your inability to have sex. So it’s just a way of leeching money off of Incels and further “cucking” them by deriving them of resources.

It’s unfortunate as these are people who desperately need mental health treatment. With constant suicidal ideation, allusions to suicide, and declarations of despair, Incels’ deeply unhealthy behavioral patterns will continue to ravage their community and spill into modern society.

Finally, like Proud Boys, Incels seem to think that federal law enforcement is everywhere. Again, this is largely justified as their forums are completely open to anyone who isn’t a member, there have been several high-profile bursts of violence from the Incel community, and there is a history of being monitored by r/IncelTear to the point that people who screenshot and share their content are called ITcucks (Moonshot, 2020).

It’s rather common within the Incels to reference r/IncelTear when speaking into the proverbial abyss of the internet because they know that their more extreme statements will be screenshotted and shared outside of their forum. Still, justified or not, their overarching beliefs in a multitude of powerful enemies and their attribution of all of life’s agony to them exhibits definite features of this cultic behavior.

16. Grimness
Amount of disapproval concerning jokes about the group, its doctrines or its leader(s).

Incels, in contrast, do not have anything like this. This was one of the most taxing issues with sifting through their posts as there is very little expression of care or cherishment towards one another. They don’t so much make jokes about one another but rather tear each other down.

There’s no ribbing, and there’s no fondness to be found in their dynamic. All that exists is a spiteful loathing that uses wounding language to lacerate the soul. Their group interactions further implies that they barely even rise above loathing one another.

When they joke, they can barely be called jokes but rather are just allusions to beliefs about the inferiority of an out-group. In modern society, a joke might be a pun, a clearly nonsensical statement or action, be sarcastic/ironic, or cleverness, but a typical Incel “joke” is devoid of any clever wordplay.

It's just “women have small brains unlike us” or “if I was God I would extinguish all life on Earth” along with laughing Pepe emojis. Without these laughing Pepe emojis, there would be no way to determine whether attempts at comedy were made or not. There’s no punchline to any of their jokes; there is only the punch.

Still, they save the worst of these “jokes” for when others criticize their beliefs. As mentioned, r/IncelTear is a constant focus of ire for them. Simultaneously saying they care little about r/IncelTear, they express beliefs in how sociopathic ‘IT cucks’ are for mocking or being shocked by their warped, bigoted beliefs.

Occasions where Incels are criticized is perhaps one of the rare times where they don’t attempt to tear each other down as they have a target that isn’t a strawman to direct their ire at. Thus, while I would argue that grimness includes this inherent lack of tenderness within the group, this fomentation of hate towards those who criticize or even joke about Incels is enough to declare this as a definitive feature.

17. Surrender of Will
Amount of emphasis on members not having to be responsible for personal decisions; degree of individual disempowerment created by the group, its doctrines or its leader(s).

Within Incels, surrender of will is one of the defining features of their ideology. If everything is biologically determined - with women damming the proverbial river of men to only allow a trickle of it to progress to the land of happiness and success - they don’t have to believe that they are the reason they are stagnating.

They don’t have to believe that their actions and beliefs are unjustified. Instead, this determinism justifies Incels to believe as Elliot Rodger did prior to his mass killing.

“All while I was suffering this lonely existence, other boys my age lived their happy lives of pleasure and sex. I can never forgive such an injustice, and it was my bid to overcompensate for it in the future. I had to make up for all the years I lost in loneliness and isolation, through no fault of my own! It was society’s fault for rejecting me. It was women’s fault for refusing to have sex with me.” (Rodger, 2014)
As I’ve mentioned prior, almost ad-nauseum, this self-defeating behavior is enforced by their own community. In exhibiting a crab-bucket mentality, any attempt to “ascend” out of this pit of despair is met by other Incels dragging them back in. Even if “ascension” is achieved, they will attempt to drag them back into the self-fulfilling crab bucket they call a community.

For if the Blackpill is incorrect - if not everything is biologically determined and women aren’t to blame for every injustice - all there is left to understand is their own shirkment of self-work that can bring them happiness. Sure, some have faced trauma, bullying, and ridicule that implanted the seed of misogyny. But, their absolutist language and philosophy serves as an absolution of responsibility for their own guilt. Thus, there are definite features of this cultic behavior within the Incels.

18. Hypocrisy
amount of approval for actions which the group officially considers immoral or unethical, when done by or for the group, its doctrines or leader(s); willingness to violate the group’s declared principles for political, psychological, social, economic, military, or other gain.

With Incels, hypocrisy is similarly complicated. The most obvious conception of this complicated hypocrisy is their disapproval or attempts at proving an Incel’s ascension was actually meaningless. As discussed regarding how Incels tear each other down and denigrate achievements, if an Incel claims to have ascended or made a step towards ascension, this inspires other Incels to clamp down that belief, belittle its merit, and/or argue that it’s not a ‘true ascension’.

This may seem hypocritical, for they are obsessed with their sex-less status to the point that any form of unpurchased, heterosexual sex should be seen as an improvement. But, this defensive anger towards those who ascend by determining the act as meaningless is par for the course in their belief. An Incel ascending violates one of the core tenets of the blackpill: sex is biologically determined.

To ascend - something Incels determine to be impossible or near-impossible - is to disprove this notion of determinacy. If you ascend, your success implies they could succeed as well, which could shatter their whole belief in the blackpill. So, while one might expect joy and aplomb in a group dedicated to men who feel cut-off from sex, their angry response is not hypocritical as this is a core belief that is then threatened.

But this is not to say that hypocrisy doesn’t exist within Incels. Aforementioned within sexual manipulation, attraction to minors is a place where hypocrisy lies. As a part of the far-right, discussions of how farleft/leftists/”liberals” are the real pedophiles occurs in their posts.

Despite being surrounded by other users’ comments asking about whether they’d be banned or punished for being attracted to girls going through puberty because “Some foids go through puberty at 9”, one moderator argues “In fact it’s the woke tards that are gradually now pushing for the normalization of pedophilia” while a regular member states “Woketards tend to be MAP’s [minor-attracted persons] though, I don’t see MAP’s coming out of any other political camp.

” To argue that it’s not your group while other Incels are normalizing pedophilia in the same thread displays a remarkable lack of selfawareness and hypocrisy.

Finally, we get to pseudoscience within Incels. As mentioned before, Incels attempt to justify everything scientifically.

They will cite scientific studies to prove blackpill philosophy, such as “Beauty is objective and measurable in the brain”, “High fWHR [facial width-to-height ratio] men express greater psychopathy, aggression, cheating, and exploitative behavior”, “62% of women have fantasies about rape and other forced sex acts”, and so on and so forth (Incel Wiki, n.d.).

They cite studies on these, as shown in the Incel Wiki “Scientific Blackpill” article, but these merely provide a veneer of legitimacy. Lee Williams put it best in their dissertation.

“Within Incel discourse, there is a determination to prove that the theories and worldviews found in the Incelosphere, such as their views on women, race and biases against men, are true and based on facts and science. To accomplish this, there is a strong emphasis on genetics and biology as a means to understand and validate Incel worldviews. However, rather than engaging in a scientific approach, which strives to prove a claim by seeking evidence which may prove said claim false, a pseudoscientific approach, seeking out evidence to support a specific claim, is used. This pseudoscientific approach is evident in the discourse of Incels.Co, as any reports, studies or data that go against their worldviews are disregarded, labelled feminist propaganda or as somehow being influenced by women or others they consider to be their ‘enemies’. Data that aligns with Incel worldviews can be taken out of context” (Williams, 2020).
If Incel beliefs were justifiable, they would have scientifically proven it by now, as evidenced by their unhealthy hyperfixation with its factuality. But, they can only prove the blackpill to be true if they - consciously or unconsciously - ignore the evidence that proves it isn’t. Suffice to say, this is hypocritical behavior on Incels’ part as they place emphasis on being coldly logical, unlike “foids” and “normies”. For, this isn’t being coldly logical; this is cosplaying as a scientist.

Since scientifically proving biological determinism contributes deeply to their sense of identity, this hypocritical contradiction is an important element in determining their level of hypocrisy. Thus, with this and their hypocrisy around pedophilia, this suggests there are definite features of the cultic behavior of hypocrisy.


Conclusion


Proud Boys​
Incels​
Internal Control​
0​
2​
External Control​
2​
1​
Wisdom/Knowledge Claimed by leader(s)​
2​
2​
Wisdom/Knowledge Credited to leader(s) by members​
2​
2​
Dogma​
2​
2​
Recruiting​
0​
0​
Front Groups​
0​
0​
Wealth​
1​
0​
Sexual Manipulation of members by leader(s)​
2​
2​
Sexual Favoritism​
0​
0​
Censorship​
0​
2​
Isolation​
0​
2​
Dropout Control​
0​
0​
Violence​
2​
2​
Paranoia​
2​
2​
Grimness​
0​
2​
Surrender of Will​
0​
2​
Hypocrisy​
1​
2​
Total:
16/36​
25/36​
Average (rounded to the third notation):
0.889​
1.389​

As evidenced above, Incels show 25% (0.5 points) more cultic behavior than Proud Boys. Meanwhile, Proud Boys operate just below a moderate level of cultic behavior, with an average 0.889, suggesting that they are not a cult. Rather, despite exhibiting extremist behaviors that are dangerous, their behavior lies below the threshold of a cult and its resulting pseudo-religious zeal. This isn’t to suggest they are not dangerous, of course, but it does explain a bit why we haven’t seen a Proud Boy massshooter - mostly just violence committed when the group decides.

Incels, on the other hand, are definitely a cult. At the risk of hyperbole, I argue that conceptualizing them as a death cult - due to this hyperfixation on death and the indignant nihilism that fuels their rage - is necessary to understand their violence. They don’t have the political power to change the world to cater to them. All they have is violence. Violence against themselves and violence against others, their ideology justifies both as it leaves no perceivable chance of meaningful change.
 
Of course it is a cult, if it happens in USA.
Anything over there, including the hollywood star system, multilevel marketing and the elections, has a religious nuance.
 
“Academic” writing about incels should just be ignored at this point. Most of it is just low iq drivel designed to push pre-designed narratives they already have without ever having to engage the substance of our arguments or of the blackpill (which they won’t ever do because the blackpill is just lookism science). These people should all kill themselves for being such worthless lowlife scum.
 
>Aj Ashland fell for the university meme
 
This criteria just tells me that leftism is a cult
 
These incels are a crazy cult. Excuse me while I write an 80 page dissertation on this obscure internet group so my university will give me sustainance :foidSoy:
 

beavis-and-butt-head-headbang-yodnowhnlw50u0ja.gif
 
I'm not reading all of that shit.
 
The Cult Fascist: Establishing Cultic Behavior in Proud Boys and Incels
AJ Ashland Portland State University


Abstract

Is the Alt-Right a cult? Certainly, we can see religious fervor intertwine with politics as we see in the far-right, with artwork of Trump being crucified like Jesus, pierced in his side by Nancy Pelosi analogous to Longinus (Cole, 2020), or in the golden statue of Trump at CPAC (Beauchamp, 2021). But, do we see similar, potentially cultic, behavior within Alt-Right groups? It turns out we do see this behavior. Within this study, I determine via the Advanced Bonewits’ Cult Danger Evaluation Frame what level of cultic behavior exists within Incels and Proud Boys. In doing so, I intend to hopefully expand our tools and methodology when extremist groups explode into violence.

Keywords: cult, fascism, Alt-Right, Incels, Proud Boys


Introduction

As someone who was raised in rural Oregon amongst a far-right, fundamentalist community and having spent much of my adolescence online gaming, thus surrounded by proponents of GamerGate, I am in the unique position to see fascist behaviors evolve, in real-time, into the Alt-Right. Similarly, I have spent most of my life within strict, evangelical Baptist and Pentecoastal churches, adjacent to members of the Quiverfull movement, and have been immersed - to the point of nearly becoming a youth leader - in increasingly patriarchal, apocalyptic, and controlling dogma. I wasn’t within a cult, I have witnessed abuses of power, cover ups of abuse, victim blaming of the abused and the ill, political-based oustings of pastors and members of the congregation, and have even known a church leader who annihilated his wife and children in a murder-suicide.

With all of these experiences, I witnessed a common theme amongst my friends and family within evangelical Christianity and those in the AltRight as the latter exploded onto the scene. They exhibited a strong, dogmatic belief in their self-fiction that fed off cynicism to their lives and society that actively provided soothing and protection for their psyche.



Advanced Bonewits’ Cult Danger Evaluation Frame by Isaac Bonewits
  1. Internal Control: Amount of internal political and social power exercised by leader(s) over members; lack of clearly defined organizational rights for members.
  2. External Control: Amount of external political and social influence desired or obtained; emphasis on directing members’ external political and social behavior.
  3. Wisdom/Knowledge Claimed by leader(s): amount of infallibility declared or implied about decisions or doctrinal/scriptural interpretations; number and degree of unverified and/or unverifiable credentials claimed.
  4. Wisdom/Knowledge Credited to leader(s) by members: amount of trust in decisions or doctrinal/scriptural interpretations made by leader(s); amount of hostility by members towards internal or external critics and/or towards verification efforts.
  5. Dogma: Rigidity of reality concepts taught; amount of doctrinal inflexibility or "fundamentalism"; hostility towards relativism and situationalism.
  6. Recruiting: Emphasis put on attracting new members; amount of proselytizing; requirement for all members to bring in new ones.
  7. Front Groups: Number of subsidiary groups using different names from that of main group, especially when connections are hidden.
  8. Wealth: Amount of money and/or property desired or obtained by group; emphasis on members’ donations; economic lifestyle of leader(s) compared to ordinary members.
  9. Sexual Manipulation of members by leader(s) of non-tantric groups: amount of control exercised over sexuality of members in terms of sexual orientation, behavior, and/or choice of partners.
  10. . Sexual Favoritism: Advancement or preferential treatment dependent upon sexual activity with the leader(s) of non-tantric groups.
  11. Censorship: Amount of control over members’ access to outside opinions on group, its doctrines or leader(s).
  12. . Isolation: Amount of effort to keep members from communicating with nonmembers, including family, friends and lovers.
  13. Dropout Control: Intensity of efforts directed at preventing or returning dropouts.
  14. Violence: Amount of approval when used by or for the group, its doctrines or leader(s).
  15. Paranoia: Amount of fear concerning real or imagined enemies; exaggeration of perceived power of opponents; prevalence of conspiracy theories.
  16. Grimness: Amount of disapproval concerning jokes about the group, its doctrines or its leader(s).
  17. Surrender of Will: Amount of emphasis on members not having to be responsible for personal decisions; degree of individual disempowerment created by the group, its doctrines or its leader(s).
  18. Hypocrisy: amount of approval for actions which the group officially considers immoral or unethical, when done by or for the group, its doctrines or leader(s); willingness to violate the group’s declared principles for political, psychological, social, economic, military, or other gain.


Analysis via Bonewits’ Framework
1. Internal Control

Amount of internal political and social power exercised by leader(s) over members; lack of clearly defined organizational rights for members.

For Incels, there is more internal control of its members. On the main Incel forum, Incels.is, there is a requirement of no bluepilled content, meaning conflicting opinions are not allowed unless they support Blackpill ideology; no discussion of “personal romantic or sexual experiences, even if they happened long ago”; no humble-bragging “such as by subtly praising your own features”; and no “gay or LGBT content, unless you’re criticising it.”

There are allowances to discuss other subjects than Inceldom, but these rules of no conflicting opinions and experiences reinforces the echo chamber mentality of it. Further, in later posts by admins of an update to the site’s rules, they exhibit a deflective, noncommittal stance when asked for exacting definition, except in the most extreme of cases. Tasking the moderators to retain this echo chamber, internal control is ascertained via the ability to shape narrative and determine on a whim whether group membership is allowed or not.

For organizational rights for members, there are only two meaningful ranks: moderator and member. There may be designated moderators who police and delete content, but these are less prophets who detail Incel ideology but rather guardians of said ideology from outside forces. Still, these moderators do show a willingness to ban members from their forum.

Albeit, I have not witnessed an explicit banning occurrence, but - since many banned members’ posts still remain - sifting through their forum is guaranteed to find you a few banned members throughout thus showing a propensity towards guarding Incel ideology from internal forces, too.

Thus, despite ranks being clear, the level of internal control exhibited by moderators and their willingness to be vague exceeds what one might consider minor. As such, definitive features of this cultic behavior exist.

2. External Control
Amount of external political and social influence desired or obtained; emphasis on directing members’ external political and social behavior.

With Incels, there is a similar emphasis on appearing less extreme than they are, but I argue this is instead couched in a history of their subreddits and web forums being banned or removed from internet hosts due to illicit and extreme behavior, such as subreddits r/incels, r/braincels, r/Shortcels, and r/IncelsWithoutHate as well as the migration from a Montenegro-based web domain, Incels.me, to the current Icelandic based web domain, Incels.is (Murphy, 2018).

Still, their views haven’t changed but rather are couched in irony and the thinnest veneer of plausible denial. Discussions of going ER [committing an Elliot Rodger style mass killing], the justification (or admission) of rape, and spitting on people of color are occasionally suffixed with “(in video games)”, “(in Minecraft)”, or “(in GTA)”, implying they are talking about these actions being in video games. It should be noted: rape and spitting aren’t available in either of those specific games.

However, there are limits to any unified attempts in presenting as lawabiding. Some members have argued that attempts at corralling pedophilic posts are akin to being a “woke Reddit forum”, despite one moderator specifying that it is still allowed to discuss 14-year-old girls as “14 year olds are within the age of consent in various jurisdictions”.

The aforementioned discussion on the sentience of women; why pedophilia is “less degenerate than homosexuality”; and arguments on why attractive people should be sent to concentration camps are still prominent as well. Furthermore, in performing this research, I have come across cartoon pornography of Ralph Wiggum and Lisa Simpson, both as prepubescent children, posted 3 months before screenshot by a popular member of the forum.

Despite explicitly stating “Do not sexualize pre-pubescent minors in any way, shape, or form”, images such as that and comments expressing envy for Ralph remain. All of this paints an extreme picture of a group that is deeply laissez-faire about speech unless it can get the forum in legal trouble.

Important to consider is that you don’t need an account to access these posts. They clearly aren’t afraid to express or hide their most extreme beliefs online, even when they know they’re being monitored. This specific fact expresses the fact that moderators and members don’t much care about external condemnation.

In fact, with some of them, it would almost appear they relish it. This lack of care for external critique is why they show moderate features - rather than definitive features - of this cultic behavior.

3. Wisdom/Knowledge Claimed by leader(s)
amount of infallibility declared or implied about decisions or doctrinal/scriptural interpretations; number and degree of unverified and/or unverifiable credentials claimed.

Incels, of course, don’t have a conventional leader. They have moderators, not prophets. Thus, the doctrine and scriptural interpretations are generated via interactions within the community, typically in threads with the designator of “Blackpill” or “Theory” in their title.

These contributions are then commented on by forum members where some say “very based [correct/accurate]”;“high iq post”; or others may deride the contribution. Very much so a marketplace of ideas, the proverbial facts and definition of Incels and the Blackpill change when contacting others, with other Incels’ worldviews changing as well.

As stated before, these beliefs act like a virus. Still, despite the potential for drastic change, there are constants in this metaphysical, viral Blackpill: Incels are sexually (and thus societally) unwanted, this is biologically determined, and women are responsible.

With these ideas forming the skeletal ribcage of the philosophy, the Blackpill molds and adapts itself to any blow or critique it encounters. Like nailing Jell-O to a wall, the Blackpill isn’t destroyed if one theory is dismembered from the source; it manifests a new appendageal-theory to continue its manipulation.

Similarly, an adulterated facsimile of science exists to provide justification of the beliefs. Driven by the need to prove their ‘superiority’ to ‘emotional’ women, they intellectualize their intuited beliefs and feelings of despair and cherry pick studies or outright fabricate data to prove their points.

Case in point, Incels discussed in one thread “Why killing gay ‘people’ should be legal” by stating with “A gay person is an organism that spreads diseases such as HIV”; “Their mechanism of spreading HIV is anal sex”; and “gays who turn themselves in however, should have their balls removed”.

Tangentially, this also implies a perception that women cannot be gay when taking into account rampant transphobia in the community and their belief in biological determinism driving women to copulate with “Chads”. Discussions of how to deal with gay people revolve around their perceived dirtiness and pest control services, thus verminizing a group of people.

Later comments add that “it’s pretty much impossible to get AIDS without participating in a degenerate act” and that gay men “have an average sex partner count of 500, 25% of them are over 1000”, are supported by no citations, likely because it’s wrong. It doesn’t matter to them that their ideas are built upon otherworldly stereotypes; this role-playing of science provides a legitimizing insulation from criticism that could erode their own belief.

As such, because of this propagation of an infallible, self-sealing worldview known as the Blackpill, they portray definitive features of this cultic behavior.

4. Wisdom/Knowledge Credited to leader(s) by members
amount of trust in decisions or doctrinal/scriptural interpretations made by leader(s); amount of hostility by members towards internal or external critics and/or towards verification efforts.

For Incels, I have briefly mentioned the paragons, the Incel saints, who embody Inceldom. Typically these are people who have gone on mass killings due to Incel or proto-Incel beliefs, such as Seung-Hui Cho (Virginia Tech killings), Elliot Rodger (Isla Vista killings), and Alek Minassian (Toronto killings) who himself was inspired by Rodger and deemed him the “founding forefather” of Incels (Cottee, 2021, p.93).

Some even include the Columbine shooters, Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold. Still, not all Incel saints are murderers but rather are people whose image became a symbol of the Incel condition, such as St. Blackops2cel (Moonshot, 2020). Blackops2cel, named due to wearing a fan-shirt of the video game Call of Duty: Black Ops 2, was not connected to Incels prior to the appropriation of his selfie (Know Your Meme, n.d.), but those in the Incel community beatified due to him being proof that taking a shower and getting a haircut won’t make you sexually desirable.

To Incels, he represents this biological determinism that is sisyphean to negate. Particularly appealing to blackpilled Incels, he is commonly drawn like Jesus Christ, wearing a crown of thorns around his head. Other renditions include him dropping atomic blackpill bombs out of an airplane with AWALT [All Women Are Like That] painted on its nose. In addition, one painting is of him looming over a warrior amongst a desolate landscape, stork to the right of him, and a massive noose with a golden light shining through it beckoning the warrior forward.

Still, not all Incels agree on who should be called a saint or whether their saints are bluepilled or not, and when there is disagreement between Incels on saints, or blackpill ideology, intense hostility abounds. Typically these disagreements include ableist slurs or descriptions of statements as “autistic”, and some may argue that the original poster is “pushing normie values” which vaguely threatens a violation of the no bluepilled content rule.

Incels are most unified, however, when facing criticism from outside groups. A prime example of this is one “RageFuel” post about how Isla Vista killings’ wikipedia page lists “I.N.C.E.L. iDeOlogY [sic]” as one of Elliot Rodger’s motives. It’s claimed that the page looks “as if it was vandalized by soys [low-testosterone men]”, and claims of Elliot Rodger being fueled by misogyny are further mocked. Several responses to this are declarations that it was “based terrorism”; “everything he did was 100% justified”; and that incel ideology and an incel movement are non-existent things.

While Incels aren’t unified on their saints, this deep inclination towards hostility - inwards and outwards - vastly outweighs any limiting factor said division may bring for this category. Thus, I would argue that they exhibit definitive features of this cultic behavior.

5. Dogma
Rigidity of reality concepts taught; amount of doctrinal inflexibility or "fundamentalism"; hostility towards relativism and situationalism.

As I’ve mentioned with Incels, the Blackpill is an amorphous, flexible belief that is anchored in the fundamentals of Incels being sexually unwanted, life being biologically determined, and women are responsible for the injustice of Incels’ sexless lives. Thus, any flexibility that appears is utilized to justify the core, unchanging beliefs of the Blackpill. Any attempt at changing these beliefs is met with hostility.

You could make the argument to an Incel that their behavior is what confines them to involuntary celibacy, but these arguments are quickly derided and ignored as whitewashing of their mental pain or useless platitudes. In one post on “Why Therapy is (Usually) a Cope [going into denial to avoid the harsh truth of the Blackpill] for Incels”, the poster argues the uselessness or even danger of therapy, “The personality isn’t why he is khhv, as he was khhv before and after taking the blackpill”; “The therapist gives him bluepilled platitudes aka copes such as ‘just work on your personality’ or ‘get some friends who are girls’”; and how “therapy only changes the way you perceive the reality around you, which is the textbook definition of a cope.”

The poster concedes that therapy can be useful “for one thing and one thing only; developing social skills”, but otherwise declares that mental health treatment - something desperately needed by many Incels - is useless or even a danger. As one person puts it, in their mind, “People who say ‘just go to therapy’ is PC way of saying ‘just kill yourself already I don’t give a fuck about you. . . . .We’re already rotting in loneliness, depressed, and rejected by society yet they act like we’ve done something horribly wrong to them.”

Further evidence to them lies in their belief in the 80/20 rule; “that 80% of women desire just 20% of men” (Anti-Defamation League, 2019) so you should just LDAR (lie down and rot). This inability to accept that, perhaps, their behavior is to blame for their sexual frustrations and absolutist language display an intensely antithetical approach to relative situations. As one comment expressed on a post made about visiting a “foids house [sic]”: “gtfo faker”. Rather than acknowledging the panoply of gray shades in the world, potential “ascensions” from Inceldom are treated as unreal and impossible. This 21st century rendition of Plato’s allegory of the cave suggests that there are definite features of this cultic behavior.

6. Recruiting
Emphasis put on attracting new members; amount of proselytizing; requirement for all members to bring in new ones.

As with Proud Boys, there is relatively little to no emphasis on attracting new members within the Incel community. There are calls for inspiring Incel rebellions by committing a mass killing, such as Alek Minassian who had

“hope[d] that they might perhaps trigger a chain reaction leading to society’s recognition of either the alleged excesses of feminism (with a return to the golden age of monogamy and patriarchy) or the Incel predicament (with policies designed to force women to fulfill all men’s alleged sexual entitlement)” (Baele et al., 2021, p.1683).
Despite this, I still see miniscule emphasis on recruitment. I’m personally inclined to believe that this is a result of yearning to be considered special due to the exclusionary nature of irreversible “pill taking”, for being one of the few knowers of truth is no longer possible when everyone believes it. Either way, there is very little in the way of active recruitment of members and thus little to no features of this cultic behavior.

7. Front Groups
Number of subsidiary groups using different names from that of main group, especially when connections are hidden.

While the Alt-Right don’t commonly have subsidiary groups to mask connections to themselves, they often scrupulously attempt to manipulate public appearances in an attempt to subtly shift societal morality towards their own beliefs (Harkinson, 2016) or - as mentioned before - take legal action when defined as a hate group (Kennedy, 2019). However, with Proud Boys and Incels, there is little to no evidence of front groups.

There are separate groups that fall under both communities, but they are not designed as a smoke screen nor based on false representations of their beliefs. The closest the Incels have is the wiki named, quite plainly, Incel Wiki, which adopts an apologist tone for their publicly-edited articles. Thus, I would argue there are little to no features of this cultic behavior for either Proud Boys or Incels.

8. Wealth
Amount of money and/or property desired or obtained by group; emphasis on members’ donations; economic lifestyle of leader(s) compared to ordinary members.

For Incels, there is very little in this aspect. You don’t see people buying shirts or stickers celebrating Inceldom, there is very little in the way of emphasizing donations by members, and the fundamentally decentralized nature of the Incel movement leaves little to define as a leader.

Further, because of all the controversy associated with them, advertisement on their websites is non-existent. There is the concept of wealthmaxxing within their community, which is earning money to maximize their chances of “ascending”, but they don’t place people with wealth on a pedestal above other Incels. Therefore, there are little to no features of this cultic behavior.

9. Sexual Manipulation of members by leader(s) of non-tantric groups
amount of control exercised over sexuality of members in terms of sexual orientation, behavior, and/or choice of partners.

With Incels, this is the defining characteristic of the group due to their overt focus and preoccupation on sex. There is no physically coercive funneling towards ‘correct’ sexuality, but what control exercised on sexuality we see is via a normative process that labels those who deviate from the norms as degenerate subhumans.

There’s a certain irony in viewing the Incel-defined deviants as subhuman when they themselves state similar things of their own physical bodies. After all, these are the same people who will label themselves Incels due to very specific features of their body, such as shortcel (short height); wristcel (small, feminine wrists); birdcel (weak chin and big nosed); baldcel (bald or balding); skullcel (too small and thus feminine of skulls); the list goes on.

The difference, in their view, between their subhumaness and Others’ degenerate subhumans is that their selfperceived subhumanity is part of this belief in biological determinism. In their minds, their looks-designated place in the “sexual marketplace” is set in stone by normal mutations occurring during their conception (Incels Wiki, n.d.).

Thus, they cannot procreate because they are “naturally less attractive” and - because of “degenerate influences” that corrupt the natural order - they can’t get a partner like how it was done in the (fantasized) past. In a world where the strong can’t take what they want and law shackles this will to power, they are left impotent - “cucked”.

Long past are days of vikings kidnapping women on raids or of mandated polygamy due to men being in short supply due to tribal warfare. All they have left to have sex - in their mind - is their looks. This is a large reason for why we see largely facetious, ironic, joking-unless-you’re-in-to-it posts about jihadmaxxing or arguments about “Why an Islamic Caliphate is the cure for inceldom”.

As one poster said, “foids should not have a say in who they are married off to”; “men shouldn’t have to perform a series of idiotic rituals to land a foid in bed”; and “...if you weren’t able to successfully climb the bs social latter [sic] or weren’t born with sufficient good looks to attract a foid in the west” then “fight[ing] for the Caliphate and you could have all the sex you want.”

In the same vein of “natural order”, there is the blatant undercurrent of pedophilia within a sizable portion of Incels. Ostensibly, the sexualization of minors is prohibited on Incels.is as on March 3rd, 2022, a 6-0 vote by moderators made the rule “Do not sexualize minors in any way, shape, or form.” On March 5th, 2022, they changed the rule to “better reflect what we were going for” to “Do not sexualize pre-pubescent [original emphasis] minors in any way, shape, or form.

” May 1st, 2022, the moderators expanded the rules further by banning arguments “that attraction to prepubescent minors is normal or even desirable”, proclaiming that you find prepubescent minors attractive, arguing that “prepubescent minors enjoy sexual activity with adults”, or saying that “pedophiles will one day be liberated in a utopian society that accommodates their desires.

” This rulechange led to a deluge of arguments. Comments on this new ruling were arguing over the definition of pubescence; its application to prepubescent anime characters; how “IT [r/IncelTear] spies” proclaim to be pedophiles to make Incels look worse; how pedophiles are gay because “it’s pedO, not pedEphile, o = male and e = female whenever it’s brought over from greek to english”; statements that the “preceding definition (ie the one I am repopularizing)” for pedophilia was “describing homosexual men’s lust for small boys”; asking “What’s the youngest minor we can sexualize? Just asking”; arguing that “woketards” (politically left people) are usually the only people sexualizing prepubescent minors; and that the forum has turned into “woke reddit”.

This isn’t an aberrant occurrence. For example, an aforementioned, reposted argument on “Why pedophilia (korephilia technically) is less degenerate than homosexuality” argued that having sex with a prepubescent girl makes it more likely that you’ll end up having sex with a girl in early puberty and thus procreate, thus being less-degenerate than homosexuality because it could lead to reproduction. Further, there is an argument by one now-banned Incel - bearing a profile picture of Josef Mengele - who had over 10k posts that “As an incel, there is literally no reason to be against pedophilia”.

Finally, we have a post by another prolific member of the forum about how “we should ban Ralph Wiggum from this forum” because he had sex, as evidenced by a cartoon image of Lisa Simpson having sex with Ralph Wiggum. Whether joking, wanting to shock, or intentionally sexualizing minors, there is a disturbing normalization of sexualizing behavior towards minors amongst the Incels.



10. Sexual Favoritism
Advancement or preferential treatment dependent upon sexual activity with the leader(s) of non-tantric groups.

In regards to sexual favoritism, we don’t see much or any of this within Incels or Proud Boys. In the years I have kept an ear out and the last few months of research, I have not witnessed a single event of sexual abuse by Proud Boys or Incels towards their male members. In regards to women in adjacent groups, there have been accusations of sexual impropriety by far-right figures (and lower ranked members), such as Gavin McInnes, towards prominent Alt-Right activist Lauren Southern (Lombroso, 2020).

Still, this has largely been relegated to outside Incel and Proud Boy circles. It does suggest to me that that sexual favoritism may perhaps be a larger factor in the greater Alt-Right, but in men-exclusive, homophobic groups - such as those studied here - there is little to none in terms of sexual favoritism.

11. Censorship
Amount of control over members’ access to outside opinions on group, its doctrines or leader(s).

In Incels, we see vastly different levels of censorship as they explicitly state “no bluepilled content of any kind” unless disproving it and no “Women and LGBT Individuals” or “non-incels” allowed.

As mentioned before, banned Incel member posts are also prevalent. Considering many of these users have thousands of posts (such as the 10,399 posts of one banned user with a Charles Manson profile picture) yet are banned, this suggests a quick and methodical team of moderators that are willing to ban users despite the time and effort put into it.

Through this willingness to ban, prohibition of blackpillcurious individuals, and a blanket restriction on beliefs and opinions perceived to be antithetical to the blackpill, Incels exhibit definite features of this cultic behavior.

12. Isolation
Amount of effort to keep members from communicating with non-members, including family, friends and lovers.

As usual, Incels show more extreme behavior. They too don’t prohibit outsiders from interacting with their members (they almost certainly couldn’t enforce it either way), but they exhibit extreme beliefs and behaviors in regards to interacting with society.

Emphasis is placed on not interacting with the outside world by portraying discussed incidents - such as being friends with a woman - as outright fake, near-impossible, embarrassing, or an example of the Incel being “cucked”.

Further normative behavior lies in Incels designating themselves as NEET (“Not in Education, Employment, or Training”) or as hikikomoris (Japanese for “pulling inward, being confined”) with the main difference being that hikikomoris rarely even leave their domicile (Incels Wiki, n.d.).

This behavior or label is occasionally praised as being superior to “wagies” - people who work - due to the fact that this allows the NEET Incel the ability to do what they want. As one poem says, “Wagie trapped and wagie dies, NEET eats tendies, sauce and fries”.

This isolation from the outside world isn’t necessarily a good thing as there is generous evidence to suggest that many Incels deeply submerse themselves into Inceldom. While being logged doesn’t mean actively engaging, some members can reach astronomic levels of interaction.

One member, with a profile picture of Josef Mengele, had over 10k posts as well as 135 days, 23 hours logged online from June 24th, 2020 to May 2nd, 2022. Another, hosting a profile picture of Elliot Rodger, had 13,204 posts and 12 days, 7 hours (rounded up) of time logged in from April 3rd, 2022 to May 2nd, 2022.

That is 455.3 posts a day over the 29 days it lasted. This wasn’t a spam account; this user was witnessed engaging with the forum.

To take from Mark Twain, “Broad, wholesome, charitable views of men and things cannot be acquired by vegetating in one little corner of the earth all one’s lifetime” (Twain, 2004).

Finally, compounding these feelings of isolation is a generalized enmity towards bluepilled people, e.g. normies. As evidenced by one member - profile picture being an image of serial rapist and killer Edmund Kemper - who argued that misanthropy needs to be emphasized more so than misogyny. This user, having 273 days logged in, argues that the forum needs to be “reformed” to include the focus on misanthropy as “We must hate men just as much as women for harming other men to get liad [sic] or excluding us or bullying us…”

A proverbial blackhole of nihilistic despair, this thread was responded to with comments such as “I hate women and men equally. Not nearly as much as I hate myself”; “I hate all men and women especially tallfags”; and arguing in all capital letters that they need to slut shame Chads as Chad’s power is “a result of redpill cucks who value laycount and degeneracy over everything.” These feelings of betrayal, bullying, and misanthropy are further highlighted by the wide variety of profile pictures featuring shots from the 2019 film Joker.

This is likely due to a feeling of kinship with the eponymous Joker who feels unable to enter or thrive in society until eventually exploding into nihilistic, vengeful violence. In the Joker, they see themselves as the dejected, abused outsider who is tormented in every attempt at integrating with society, and - judging by the panoply of violent comments and justifications for violence - they see something inspiring in him. At the very least, they see someone they can relate to.

Thus, in these normative, approving statements and contributions to Blackpill philosophy, it can be stated that there are definite features of this cultic behavior in Incels.

13. Dropout Control
Intensity of efforts directed at preventing or returning dropouts.

In large, the Proud Boys and Incels show little to none in dropout control. For Proud Boys, the majority of it appears to be a denouncement after the fact, such as claiming the member was kicked out rather than left (Brunswick et al., 2020).

While with Incels if a member no longer logs on, it’s often assumed that said member “roped himself [died by sucide]” and effort isn’t made to check on them. If a prior member disparages Incels or disproves the blackpill, anger is, of course, expressed in response to critique, but effort may even be made to paint this former member as a “fakecel” (Carkudo, 2021).

What this suggests in the end is what levels of dropout control expressed by Proud Boys and Incels occurs post the departure of members. This makes sense as these aren’t groups that typically have requirements to live on compounds or in barracks; members are free to walk away at any point.

When you aren’t reliant on the group for food and shelter, the primary danger you face is from reprisal for leaving. As I’m unable to find any evidence of ex-members of either groups being threatened or attacked after leaving, it would appear that the primary method of dropout control are No True Scotsman fallacy arguments stating that the departed member was never a true comrade, cutting off social support from the group, or attempts at smearing their social standing.

With the lack of credibility amongst mainstream society, I’m inclined to believe that mudslinging by an extremist group holds much less threat than those respected in accepted society. Thus, this would suggest little to no features of this cultic behavior in either group.

14. Violence
Amount of approval when used by or for the group, its doctrines or leader(s).

As with the Proud Boys, Incels show a disturbing approval of violence. As three of the mainstream Incel Saints are mass-killers - Rodger, Minassian, and Lepine (Baele et al., 2021) - they glorify the act of violence to a near-spiritual level.

Further discussed by Baele et al., Incel killers and rank-and-file Incels frequently evoke the need of an uprising, with Alek Minassian even posting on Facebook, before his attack, “Private (Recruit) Minassian Infantry 00010, wishing to speak to Sgt 4chan please. C23249161. The Incel Rebellion has already begun! We will overthrow the Chads and Stacys! All hail the Supreme Gentleman Elliot Rodger!” (Moonshot, 2020, p.10).

This near-spiritual obsession with violent saints even extends to one person posting Elliot Rodger’s full autopsy report within the forums, acting similar to a memento mori relic of a dead saint.

Calls to violence are guaranteed to be witnessed by a cursory look at their forums. This can be seen in fantasizing comments such as “Imagine a world that a foid is executed for not being virgin before marriage”; approval directed towards a Chinese news video about a “Normie man” who “kidnaps, repeatedly rapes and chains woman in shed”; and aforementioned arguments that justify killing gay people.

Further evidence lies in usernames being named after famous, misogynistic serial killers and profile pictures of mass shooters - such as Elliot Rodger, Seung-Hui Cho, and Dylann Roof - and other members of history linked to violence, such as Charles Manson, Adolf Hitler, and Josef Mengele.

Not limiting themselves to praising mass murder, Incels show a disturbing inclination to downplaying, justifying, and even extoling rape and threats of sexual violence.

Discussions of envy towards the prior mentioned “Normie man”; protesting the total ban of sexualizing minors by arguing “we’re entitled to 10/10 giga-stacy [best described as “prime”] pussy bro”, and one member discussing how “It’s funny when you follow the foids at night and they get scared af and keep looking behind to see whether you’re following them or not.” This last example was followed up with the original poster saying he plans next to scream at lolis [minors] at night.

Finally, Incels exhibit a strong approval of self-violence. Statements about no hope existing for Incels and how the pain of Inceldom only ends at death are not only tolerated but seemingly encouraged. Their biological determinism - treated as all-encompassing and omnipotent - deems them to have already “lost” and been demoted to Inceldom. If you can’t accept that this is how the world works, you seek out “copes” in order to survive, lest you “rope yourself” - i.e. complete suicide (Incel Wiki, n.d.). As one Incel put it:

“I hate the whole reality, I hate nature, I hate killing or being killed, I hate the law that prevails in the universe, the law of the strongest is a tragedy, death is my only consolation, knowing that one day I will die It’s the only thing that motivates me to stay alive, one day with death everything will end.”
This obsession with violence, both inwards and outwards, is an allencompassing feature within Incel forums. With nearly 50 fatalities from 2014 to 2020 linked to Incels (Hoffman et al., 2020) - this fixation on violence is necessary to understand when trying to comprehend Incels. Thus, Incels show definite features of this cultic behavior.

15. Paranoia
Amount of fear concerning real or imagined enemies; exaggeration of perceived power of opponents; prevalence of conspiracy theories.

Similarly with Incels, their conception of throngs of foes that conspire against them is hyper-inflated. Due to their Alt-Right membership, Jews are unsurprisingly often placed among their powerful-yet-inferior enemies. References to Jewish conspiracies are rampant with images comparing unflattering photos of famous Jewish people in history to anti-semitic propaganda from the 20th century.

Though, this could be generously described as attempts at edgy humor. Peculiarly, self-identified Jewish Incels will even engage in this propaganda even when antithetical to their position, such as one user responding to a comment of “...thank god my great grandpa killed you [sic] race in ww2” with “you didn’t do shit the holocaust never happened and we know it, goy”.

Naturally, the response to this was that “Holohoax never happened” but some Jews were “vanished by my own heritage”. In the same vein, another argues that taking the blackpill

“helps you see how the world really works and who’s in charge pulling the strings. It’s not just that foids are whores for Chad and it all boils down to bone genetics – it’s also that the jews have rigged the system and have enslaved everyone using capitalism and politics. Foids are whores. The jews need to burn in ovens. These are unavoidable truths.”
Finally, evidence of an endorsement of anti-semitism is the proliferation of profile pictures of prominent Nazis amongst Incels with at least three moderators having profile pictures of Heydrich, Himmler, and Hitler.

As they believe women are to blame for all of their issues, they similarly proscribe a tremendous amount of power to an entire gender while hypocritically believing they have the upper hand with their analysis and true-sight through the red and blackpill. An almost eldritch, hive-minded consciousness, women are responsible for much of the world’s inequalities and are the source of all Inceldom’s woes, according to Incels.

Their conception of the “pussy cartel” is indicative of this all-encompassing power that women supposedly have. Believing that sex is necessary for men to thrive, it is believed that women artificially inflate the price of sex. Asexual and non-heterosexual men apparently do not exist in this rationale. As Incel Wiki puts it:

“Sex is worth maybe $5 of women’s time and effort. But women know men will go insane without sex, so they collectively deny it to men. They force most men to invest hundreds if not thousands of hours into resource security, job security, free drinks, free transportation, free housing etc just for the possibility [original emphasis] that they will get sex” (Incels Wiki, n.d.).
How this supposed control manifests is such: I want to attract a girlfriend, so I am going to wealthmaxx and make money. I cannot make money because I am unable to focus my efforts while being sex deprived and thus can’t develop my own income.

I can’t get a girlfriend because women artificially inflate the value of companionship and sex and thus limit oppressed groups such as me from producing enough wealth to pay for their established value. Further evidence of these beliefs are arguments that women are the most privileged in society.

“We obviously don’t envy having half a brain, or not having hobbies, but we envy their privilege of being on the throne of the social hierarchy.” The same user goes on to say that “[w]e’re rotting in complete social isolation” and that “it’s like a black person hating whites in the 1800’s, or the poor farmers hating the rich, it’s only natural to dislike them.”

Similarly, as mentioned prior, there is paranoia towards mental health practitioners which actively reinforces Incels’ resolve in their beliefs. Actively perceiving therapy as a form of brainwashing (accurate enough if one conceives it like cleaning a wound) or indoctrination, it is believed that therapists will undermine your belief and install mere coping mechanisms but never solve the key issue in your life - your inability to have sex. So it’s just a way of leeching money off of Incels and further “cucking” them by deriving them of resources.

It’s unfortunate as these are people who desperately need mental health treatment. With constant suicidal ideation, allusions to suicide, and declarations of despair, Incels’ deeply unhealthy behavioral patterns will continue to ravage their community and spill into modern society.

Finally, like Proud Boys, Incels seem to think that federal law enforcement is everywhere. Again, this is largely justified as their forums are completely open to anyone who isn’t a member, there have been several high-profile bursts of violence from the Incel community, and there is a history of being monitored by r/IncelTear to the point that people who screenshot and share their content are called ITcucks (Moonshot, 2020).

It’s rather common within the Incels to reference r/IncelTear when speaking into the proverbial abyss of the internet because they know that their more extreme statements will be screenshotted and shared outside of their forum. Still, justified or not, their overarching beliefs in a multitude of powerful enemies and their attribution of all of life’s agony to them exhibits definite features of this cultic behavior.

16. Grimness
Amount of disapproval concerning jokes about the group, its doctrines or its leader(s).

Incels, in contrast, do not have anything like this. This was one of the most taxing issues with sifting through their posts as there is very little expression of care or cherishment towards one another. They don’t so much make jokes about one another but rather tear each other down.

There’s no ribbing, and there’s no fondness to be found in their dynamic. All that exists is a spiteful loathing that uses wounding language to lacerate the soul. Their group interactions further implies that they barely even rise above loathing one another.

When they joke, they can barely be called jokes but rather are just allusions to beliefs about the inferiority of an out-group. In modern society, a joke might be a pun, a clearly nonsensical statement or action, be sarcastic/ironic, or cleverness, but a typical Incel “joke” is devoid of any clever wordplay.

It's just “women have small brains unlike us” or “if I was God I would extinguish all life on Earth” along with laughing Pepe emojis. Without these laughing Pepe emojis, there would be no way to determine whether attempts at comedy were made or not. There’s no punchline to any of their jokes; there is only the punch.

Still, they save the worst of these “jokes” for when others criticize their beliefs. As mentioned, r/IncelTear is a constant focus of ire for them. Simultaneously saying they care little about r/IncelTear, they express beliefs in how sociopathic ‘IT cucks’ are for mocking or being shocked by their warped, bigoted beliefs.

Occasions where Incels are criticized is perhaps one of the rare times where they don’t attempt to tear each other down as they have a target that isn’t a strawman to direct their ire at. Thus, while I would argue that grimness includes this inherent lack of tenderness within the group, this fomentation of hate towards those who criticize or even joke about Incels is enough to declare this as a definitive feature.

17. Surrender of Will
Amount of emphasis on members not having to be responsible for personal decisions; degree of individual disempowerment created by the group, its doctrines or its leader(s).

Within Incels, surrender of will is one of the defining features of their ideology. If everything is biologically determined - with women damming the proverbial river of men to only allow a trickle of it to progress to the land of happiness and success - they don’t have to believe that they are the reason they are stagnating.

They don’t have to believe that their actions and beliefs are unjustified. Instead, this determinism justifies Incels to believe as Elliot Rodger did prior to his mass killing.

“All while I was suffering this lonely existence, other boys my age lived their happy lives of pleasure and sex. I can never forgive such an injustice, and it was my bid to overcompensate for it in the future. I had to make up for all the years I lost in loneliness and isolation, through no fault of my own! It was society’s fault for rejecting me. It was women’s fault for refusing to have sex with me.” (Rodger, 2014)
As I’ve mentioned prior, almost ad-nauseum, this self-defeating behavior is enforced by their own community. In exhibiting a crab-bucket mentality, any attempt to “ascend” out of this pit of despair is met by other Incels dragging them back in. Even if “ascension” is achieved, they will attempt to drag them back into the self-fulfilling crab bucket they call a community.

For if the Blackpill is incorrect - if not everything is biologically determined and women aren’t to blame for every injustice - all there is left to understand is their own shirkment of self-work that can bring them happiness. Sure, some have faced trauma, bullying, and ridicule that implanted the seed of misogyny. But, their absolutist language and philosophy serves as an absolution of responsibility for their own guilt. Thus, there are definite features of this cultic behavior within the Incels.

18. Hypocrisy
amount of approval for actions which the group officially considers immoral or unethical, when done by or for the group, its doctrines or leader(s); willingness to violate the group’s declared principles for political, psychological, social, economic, military, or other gain.

With Incels, hypocrisy is similarly complicated. The most obvious conception of this complicated hypocrisy is their disapproval or attempts at proving an Incel’s ascension was actually meaningless. As discussed regarding how Incels tear each other down and denigrate achievements, if an Incel claims to have ascended or made a step towards ascension, this inspires other Incels to clamp down that belief, belittle its merit, and/or argue that it’s not a ‘true ascension’.

This may seem hypocritical, for they are obsessed with their sex-less status to the point that any form of unpurchased, heterosexual sex should be seen as an improvement. But, this defensive anger towards those who ascend by determining the act as meaningless is par for the course in their belief. An Incel ascending violates one of the core tenets of the blackpill: sex is biologically determined.

To ascend - something Incels determine to be impossible or near-impossible - is to disprove this notion of determinacy. If you ascend, your success implies they could succeed as well, which could shatter their whole belief in the blackpill. So, while one might expect joy and aplomb in a group dedicated to men who feel cut-off from sex, their angry response is not hypocritical as this is a core belief that is then threatened.

But this is not to say that hypocrisy doesn’t exist within Incels. Aforementioned within sexual manipulation, attraction to minors is a place where hypocrisy lies. As a part of the far-right, discussions of how farleft/leftists/”liberals” are the real pedophiles occurs in their posts.

Despite being surrounded by other users’ comments asking about whether they’d be banned or punished for being attracted to girls going through puberty because “Some foids go through puberty at 9”, one moderator argues “In fact it’s the woke tards that are gradually now pushing for the normalization of pedophilia” while a regular member states “Woketards tend to be MAP’s [minor-attracted persons] though, I don’t see MAP’s coming out of any other political camp.

” To argue that it’s not your group while other Incels are normalizing pedophilia in the same thread displays a remarkable lack of selfawareness and hypocrisy.

Finally, we get to pseudoscience within Incels. As mentioned before, Incels attempt to justify everything scientifically.

They will cite scientific studies to prove blackpill philosophy, such as “Beauty is objective and measurable in the brain”, “High fWHR [facial width-to-height ratio] men express greater psychopathy, aggression, cheating, and exploitative behavior”, “62% of women have fantasies about rape and other forced sex acts”, and so on and so forth (Incel Wiki, n.d.).

They cite studies on these, as shown in the Incel Wiki “Scientific Blackpill” article, but these merely provide a veneer of legitimacy. Lee Williams put it best in their dissertation.

“Within Incel discourse, there is a determination to prove that the theories and worldviews found in the Incelosphere, such as their views on women, race and biases against men, are true and based on facts and science. To accomplish this, there is a strong emphasis on genetics and biology as a means to understand and validate Incel worldviews. However, rather than engaging in a scientific approach, which strives to prove a claim by seeking evidence which may prove said claim false, a pseudoscientific approach, seeking out evidence to support a specific claim, is used. This pseudoscientific approach is evident in the discourse of Incels.Co, as any reports, studies or data that go against their worldviews are disregarded, labelled feminist propaganda or as somehow being influenced by women or others they consider to be their ‘enemies’. Data that aligns with Incel worldviews can be taken out of context” (Williams, 2020).
If Incel beliefs were justifiable, they would have scientifically proven it by now, as evidenced by their unhealthy hyperfixation with its factuality. But, they can only prove the blackpill to be true if they - consciously or unconsciously - ignore the evidence that proves it isn’t. Suffice to say, this is hypocritical behavior on Incels’ part as they place emphasis on being coldly logical, unlike “foids” and “normies”. For, this isn’t being coldly logical; this is cosplaying as a scientist.

Since scientifically proving biological determinism contributes deeply to their sense of identity, this hypocritical contradiction is an important element in determining their level of hypocrisy. Thus, with this and their hypocrisy around pedophilia, this suggests there are definite features of the cultic behavior of hypocrisy.


Conclusion


Proud Boys​
Incels​
Internal Control​
0​
2​
External Control​
2​
1​
Wisdom/Knowledge Claimed by leader(s)​
2​
2​
Wisdom/Knowledge Credited to leader(s) by members​
2​
2​
Dogma​
2​
2​
Recruiting​
0​
0​
Front Groups​
0​
0​
Wealth​
1​
0​
Sexual Manipulation of members by leader(s)​
2​
2​
Sexual Favoritism​
0​
0​
Censorship​
0​
2​
Isolation​
0​
2​
Dropout Control​
0​
0​
Violence​
2​
2​
Paranoia​
2​
2​
Grimness​
0​
2​
Surrender of Will​
0​
2​
Hypocrisy​
1​
2​
Total:
16/36​
25/36​
Average (rounded to the third notation):
0.889​
1.389​

As evidenced above, Incels show 25% (0.5 points) more cultic behavior than Proud Boys. Meanwhile, Proud Boys operate just below a moderate level of cultic behavior, with an average 0.889, suggesting that they are not a cult. Rather, despite exhibiting extremist behaviors that are dangerous, their behavior lies below the threshold of a cult and its resulting pseudo-religious zeal. This isn’t to suggest they are not dangerous, of course, but it does explain a bit why we haven’t seen a Proud Boy massshooter - mostly just violence committed when the group decides.

Incels, on the other hand, are definitely a cult. At the risk of hyperbole, I argue that conceptualizing them as a death cult - due to this hyperfixation on death and the indignant nihilism that fuels their rage - is necessary to understand their violence. They don’t have the political power to change the world to cater to them. All they have is violence. Violence against themselves and violence against others, their ideology justifies both as it leaves no perceivable chance of meaningful change.
TLDRATALL
 
“Academic” writing about incels should just be ignored at this point. Most of it is just low iq drivel designed to push pre-designed narratives they already have without ever having to engage the substance of our arguments or of the blackpill (which they won’t ever do because the blackpill is just lookism science). These people should all kill themselves for being such worthless lowlife scum.
:bigbrain:
 
“Academic” writing about incels should just be ignored at this point. Most of it is just low iq drivel designed to push pre-designed narratives
:yes: :yes: :yes: Why do these leftoid low IQ trash try so hard?
 
:yes: :yes: :yes: Why do these leftoid low IQ trash try so hard?
They want to push a narrative, so anything that falls outside their worldview must be done so by misconceptualizing it into their own framework as bad guys.
 
:feelskek::feelskek::feelskek::feelskek::feelshaha::feelshaha::feelshaha::feelshaha::feelshaha::feelshaha::feelshaha::feelshaha::feelshaha::feelshaha::feelshaha: Sounds like the typical ramblings of a psuedo-intellectualist who thinks too highly of their own intellect and worldly knowledge. :feelshaha::feelshaha::feelshaha::smonk::smonk::smonk::smonk:
 
Quite an interesting read, though I have to disagree with most of the points. The author claims that "Woketards" is a catch-all term for left-wing people but being left-wing ≠ being woke, Woketards actually have specific believes that set them apart from other leftists (like myself) like "race consciousness", the belief in "privilege + power", and the religious ritualism surrounding pronouns and viewing any form of hierarchy as oppressive.

Their main arguement that we're a cult is in "the ideology" of the Blackpill, but Blackpill isn't an ideology, it's literally a catch-all term regarding scientifically backed observations of human interactions, especially intersexual relations.

I actually do agree that this forum shouldn't shun ascended incels, but I have yet to see anyone "debunk" the Blackpill.

Also note in the presentation that "core incel beliefs" are just cherry-picked examples of a few extreme posts that are rarely met with universal praise here and taking in-jokes seriously. Like those in-jokes this "study" cannot be taken at face value either and can be dismissed based on its bad methodology (namely the cherry-picking, misrepresentation of what the BP is, and obscuring what the actual intent of this forum is as opposed to what they perceive it as).
 
Also, the author of the text clearly doesn't understand biological determinism, biological determinism doesn't state that it's "impossible to ascend" it merely points out that when confronted with physically unattractive men toilets will behave in a certain way, especially during cold approaches. An incel ascending doesn't disprove the Blackpill either, he doesn't get treated like a Chad by his gf, he gets treated like a pet.

Plus the author completely misses the sociological arguments for the Blackpill (male replaceability through dating apps and orbiting friendzoned individuals, exposure to Chad's on Tinder, cultural misandry, Etc.), It baffles me that someone can spend so much time on this forum and still be so ignorant of the actual causes of inceldom. :feelsclown: :feelsclown: :feelsclown:
 
Quite an interesting read, though I have to disagree with most of the points. The author claims that "Woketards" is a catch-all term for left-wing people but being left-wing ≠ being woke, Woketards actually have specific believes that set them apart from other leftists (like myself) like "race consciousness", the belief in "privilege + power", and the religious ritualism surrounding pronouns and viewing any form of hierarchy as oppressive.

Their main arguement that we're a cult is in "the ideology" of the Blackpill, but Blackpill isn't an ideology, it's literally a catch-all term regarding scientifically backed observations of human interactions, especially intersexual relations.

I actually do agree that this forum shouldn't shun ascended incels, but I have yet to see anyone "debunk" the Blackpill.

Also note in the presentation that "core incel beliefs" are just cherry-picked examples of a few extreme posts that are rarely met with universal praise here and taking in-jokes seriously. Like those in-jokes this "study" cannot be taken at face value either and can be dismissed based on its bad methodology (namely the cherry-picking, misrepresentation of what the BP is, and obscuring what the actual intent of this forum is as opposed to what they perceive it as).
high iq
tired of the left using a few extremists to slander the whole community
 
Quite an interesting read, though I have to disagree with most of the points. The author claims that "Woketards" is a catch-all term for left-wing people but being left-wing ≠ being woke, Woketards actually have specific believes that set them apart from other leftists (like myself) like "race consciousness", the belief in "privilege + power", and the religious ritualism surrounding pronouns and viewing any form of hierarchy as oppressive.

Their main arguement that we're a cult is in "the ideology" of the Blackpill, but Blackpill isn't an ideology, it's literally a catch-all term regarding scientifically backed observations of human interactions, especially intersexual relations.

I actually do agree that this forum shouldn't shun ascended incels, but I have yet to see anyone "debunk" the Blackpill.

Also note in the presentation that "core incel beliefs" are just cherry-picked examples of a few extreme posts that are rarely met with universal praise here and taking in-jokes seriously. Like those in-jokes this "study" cannot be taken at face value either and can be dismissed based on its bad methodology (namely the cherry-picking, misrepresentation of what the BP is, and obscuring what the actual intent of this forum is as opposed to what they perceive it as).
What are ur beliefs that make u a leftist ,
 
Their main arguement that we're a cult is in "the ideology" of the Blackpill, but Blackpill isn't an ideology, it's literally a catch-all term regarding scientifically backed observations of human interactions, especially intersexual relations.
There are clues and tells that a written piece, whether it's a thesis, article, or blog post, that the author is clueless about the material and/or they're intentionally misrepresenting it i.e., pushing a narrative. One of the biggest clues are the phrases "incel ideology" or "black pill ideology."

I actually do agree that this forum shouldn't shun ascended incels, but I have yet to see anyone "debunk" the Blackpill.
Ascension is an unattainable concept, hence, cope.

It depends on your definition and criteria, though. I have a strict criteria for what's considered ascension, mainly raw, primal attraction, which isn't possible if you don't have the genetics for it.

Also note in the presentation that "core incel beliefs" are just cherry-picked examples of a few extreme posts that are rarely met with universal praise here and taking in-jokes seriously. Like those in-jokes this "study" cannot be taken at face value either and can be dismissed based on its bad methodology (namely the cherry-picking, misrepresentation of what the BP is, and obscuring what the actual intent of this forum is as opposed to what they perceive it as).
You know the methodology is a joke when it consists primarily of lurking the forum. Even then you have to ensure that you lurked long enough, read enough of the black pill theory and understood it, and recognized and ignored the sea of garbage posts that are prevalent here, like in the sewers. Much of ID is also full of trash threads.
 
A friendly reminder that Gavin McInnes used successfully to push a large butt-plug into his rectum live on television.
(Don't take it as homophobic, butt-plugs are not inherently gay, but that particular deed certainly is.)
 
The Cult Fascist: Establishing Cultic Behavior in Proud Boys and Incels
AJ Ashland Portland State University


Abstract

Is the Alt-Right a cult? Certainly, we can see religious fervor intertwine with politics as we see in the far-right, with artwork of Trump being crucified like Jesus, pierced in his side by Nancy Pelosi analogous to Longinus (Cole, 2020), or in the golden statue of Trump at CPAC (Beauchamp, 2021). But, do we see similar, potentially cultic, behavior within Alt-Right groups? It turns out we do see this behavior. Within this study, I determine via the Advanced Bonewits’ Cult Danger Evaluation Frame what level of cultic behavior exists within Incels and Proud Boys. In doing so, I intend to hopefully expand our tools and methodology when extremist groups explode into violence.

Keywords: cult, fascism, Alt-Right, Incels, Proud Boys


Introduction

As someone who was raised in rural Oregon amongst a far-right, fundamentalist community and having spent much of my adolescence online gaming, thus surrounded by proponents of GamerGate, I am in the unique position to see fascist behaviors evolve, in real-time, into the Alt-Right. Similarly, I have spent most of my life within strict, evangelical Baptist and Pentecoastal churches, adjacent to members of the Quiverfull movement, and have been immersed - to the point of nearly becoming a youth leader - in increasingly patriarchal, apocalyptic, and controlling dogma. I wasn’t within a cult, I have witnessed abuses of power, cover ups of abuse, victim blaming of the abused and the ill, political-based oustings of pastors and members of the congregation, and have even known a church leader who annihilated his wife and children in a murder-suicide.

With all of these experiences, I witnessed a common theme amongst my friends and family within evangelical Christianity and those in the AltRight as the latter exploded onto the scene. They exhibited a strong, dogmatic belief in their self-fiction that fed off cynicism to their lives and society that actively provided soothing and protection for their psyche.



Advanced Bonewits’ Cult Danger Evaluation Frame by Isaac Bonewits
  1. Internal Control: Amount of internal political and social power exercised by leader(s) over members; lack of clearly defined organizational rights for members.
  2. External Control: Amount of external political and social influence desired or obtained; emphasis on directing members’ external political and social behavior.
  3. Wisdom/Knowledge Claimed by leader(s): amount of infallibility declared or implied about decisions or doctrinal/scriptural interpretations; number and degree of unverified and/or unverifiable credentials claimed.
  4. Wisdom/Knowledge Credited to leader(s) by members: amount of trust in decisions or doctrinal/scriptural interpretations made by leader(s); amount of hostility by members towards internal or external critics and/or towards verification efforts.
  5. Dogma: Rigidity of reality concepts taught; amount of doctrinal inflexibility or "fundamentalism"; hostility towards relativism and situationalism.
  6. Recruiting: Emphasis put on attracting new members; amount of proselytizing; requirement for all members to bring in new ones.
  7. Front Groups: Number of subsidiary groups using different names from that of main group, especially when connections are hidden.
  8. Wealth: Amount of money and/or property desired or obtained by group; emphasis on members’ donations; economic lifestyle of leader(s) compared to ordinary members.
  9. Sexual Manipulation of members by leader(s) of non-tantric groups: amount of control exercised over sexuality of members in terms of sexual orientation, behavior, and/or choice of partners.
  10. . Sexual Favoritism: Advancement or preferential treatment dependent upon sexual activity with the leader(s) of non-tantric groups.
  11. Censorship: Amount of control over members’ access to outside opinions on group, its doctrines or leader(s).
  12. . Isolation: Amount of effort to keep members from communicating with nonmembers, including family, friends and lovers.
  13. Dropout Control: Intensity of efforts directed at preventing or returning dropouts.
  14. Violence: Amount of approval when used by or for the group, its doctrines or leader(s).
  15. Paranoia: Amount of fear concerning real or imagined enemies; exaggeration of perceived power of opponents; prevalence of conspiracy theories.
  16. Grimness: Amount of disapproval concerning jokes about the group, its doctrines or its leader(s).
  17. Surrender of Will: Amount of emphasis on members not having to be responsible for personal decisions; degree of individual disempowerment created by the group, its doctrines or its leader(s).
  18. Hypocrisy: amount of approval for actions which the group officially considers immoral or unethical, when done by or for the group, its doctrines or leader(s); willingness to violate the group’s declared principles for political, psychological, social, economic, military, or other gain.


Analysis via Bonewits’ Framework
1. Internal Control

Amount of internal political and social power exercised by leader(s) over members; lack of clearly defined organizational rights for members.

For Incels, there is more internal control of its members. On the main Incel forum, Incels.is, there is a requirement of no bluepilled content, meaning conflicting opinions are not allowed unless they support Blackpill ideology; no discussion of “personal romantic or sexual experiences, even if they happened long ago”; no humble-bragging “such as by subtly praising your own features”; and no “gay or LGBT content, unless you’re criticising it.”

There are allowances to discuss other subjects than Inceldom, but these rules of no conflicting opinions and experiences reinforces the echo chamber mentality of it. Further, in later posts by admins of an update to the site’s rules, they exhibit a deflective, noncommittal stance when asked for exacting definition, except in the most extreme of cases. Tasking the moderators to retain this echo chamber, internal control is ascertained via the ability to shape narrative and determine on a whim whether group membership is allowed or not.

For organizational rights for members, there are only two meaningful ranks: moderator and member. There may be designated moderators who police and delete content, but these are less prophets who detail Incel ideology but rather guardians of said ideology from outside forces. Still, these moderators do show a willingness to ban members from their forum.

Albeit, I have not witnessed an explicit banning occurrence, but - since many banned members’ posts still remain - sifting through their forum is guaranteed to find you a few banned members throughout thus showing a propensity towards guarding Incel ideology from internal forces, too.

Thus, despite ranks being clear, the level of internal control exhibited by moderators and their willingness to be vague exceeds what one might consider minor. As such, definitive features of this cultic behavior exist.

2. External Control
Amount of external political and social influence desired or obtained; emphasis on directing members’ external political and social behavior.

With Incels, there is a similar emphasis on appearing less extreme than they are, but I argue this is instead couched in a history of their subreddits and web forums being banned or removed from internet hosts due to illicit and extreme behavior, such as subreddits r/incels, r/braincels, r/Shortcels, and r/IncelsWithoutHate as well as the migration from a Montenegro-based web domain, Incels.me, to the current Icelandic based web domain, Incels.is (Murphy, 2018).

Still, their views haven’t changed but rather are couched in irony and the thinnest veneer of plausible denial. Discussions of going ER [committing an Elliot Rodger style mass killing], the justification (or admission) of rape, and spitting on people of color are occasionally suffixed with “(in video games)”, “(in Minecraft)”, or “(in GTA)”, implying they are talking about these actions being in video games. It should be noted: rape and spitting aren’t available in either of those specific games.

However, there are limits to any unified attempts in presenting as lawabiding. Some members have argued that attempts at corralling pedophilic posts are akin to being a “woke Reddit forum”, despite one moderator specifying that it is still allowed to discuss 14-year-old girls as “14 year olds are within the age of consent in various jurisdictions”.

The aforementioned discussion on the sentience of women; why pedophilia is “less degenerate than homosexuality”; and arguments on why attractive people should be sent to concentration camps are still prominent as well. Furthermore, in performing this research, I have come across cartoon pornography of Ralph Wiggum and Lisa Simpson, both as prepubescent children, posted 3 months before screenshot by a popular member of the forum.

Despite explicitly stating “Do not sexualize pre-pubescent minors in any way, shape, or form”, images such as that and comments expressing envy for Ralph remain. All of this paints an extreme picture of a group that is deeply laissez-faire about speech unless it can get the forum in legal trouble.

Important to consider is that you don’t need an account to access these posts. They clearly aren’t afraid to express or hide their most extreme beliefs online, even when they know they’re being monitored. This specific fact expresses the fact that moderators and members don’t much care about external condemnation.

In fact, with some of them, it would almost appear they relish it. This lack of care for external critique is why they show moderate features - rather than definitive features - of this cultic behavior.

3. Wisdom/Knowledge Claimed by leader(s)
amount of infallibility declared or implied about decisions or doctrinal/scriptural interpretations; number and degree of unverified and/or unverifiable credentials claimed.

Incels, of course, don’t have a conventional leader. They have moderators, not prophets. Thus, the doctrine and scriptural interpretations are generated via interactions within the community, typically in threads with the designator of “Blackpill” or “Theory” in their title.

These contributions are then commented on by forum members where some say “very based [correct/accurate]”;“high iq post”; or others may deride the contribution. Very much so a marketplace of ideas, the proverbial facts and definition of Incels and the Blackpill change when contacting others, with other Incels’ worldviews changing as well.

As stated before, these beliefs act like a virus. Still, despite the potential for drastic change, there are constants in this metaphysical, viral Blackpill: Incels are sexually (and thus societally) unwanted, this is biologically determined, and women are responsible.

With these ideas forming the skeletal ribcage of the philosophy, the Blackpill molds and adapts itself to any blow or critique it encounters. Like nailing Jell-O to a wall, the Blackpill isn’t destroyed if one theory is dismembered from the source; it manifests a new appendageal-theory to continue its manipulation.

Similarly, an adulterated facsimile of science exists to provide justification of the beliefs. Driven by the need to prove their ‘superiority’ to ‘emotional’ women, they intellectualize their intuited beliefs and feelings of despair and cherry pick studies or outright fabricate data to prove their points.

Case in point, Incels discussed in one thread “Why killing gay ‘people’ should be legal” by stating with “A gay person is an organism that spreads diseases such as HIV”; “Their mechanism of spreading HIV is anal sex”; and “gays who turn themselves in however, should have their balls removed”.

Tangentially, this also implies a perception that women cannot be gay when taking into account rampant transphobia in the community and their belief in biological determinism driving women to copulate with “Chads”. Discussions of how to deal with gay people revolve around their perceived dirtiness and pest control services, thus verminizing a group of people.

Later comments add that “it’s pretty much impossible to get AIDS without participating in a degenerate act” and that gay men “have an average sex partner count of 500, 25% of them are over 1000”, are supported by no citations, likely because it’s wrong. It doesn’t matter to them that their ideas are built upon otherworldly stereotypes; this role-playing of science provides a legitimizing insulation from criticism that could erode their own belief.

As such, because of this propagation of an infallible, self-sealing worldview known as the Blackpill, they portray definitive features of this cultic behavior.

4. Wisdom/Knowledge Credited to leader(s) by members
amount of trust in decisions or doctrinal/scriptural interpretations made by leader(s); amount of hostility by members towards internal or external critics and/or towards verification efforts.

For Incels, I have briefly mentioned the paragons, the Incel saints, who embody Inceldom. Typically these are people who have gone on mass killings due to Incel or proto-Incel beliefs, such as Seung-Hui Cho (Virginia Tech killings), Elliot Rodger (Isla Vista killings), and Alek Minassian (Toronto killings) who himself was inspired by Rodger and deemed him the “founding forefather” of Incels (Cottee, 2021, p.93).

Some even include the Columbine shooters, Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold. Still, not all Incel saints are murderers but rather are people whose image became a symbol of the Incel condition, such as St. Blackops2cel (Moonshot, 2020). Blackops2cel, named due to wearing a fan-shirt of the video game Call of Duty: Black Ops 2, was not connected to Incels prior to the appropriation of his selfie (Know Your Meme, n.d.), but those in the Incel community beatified due to him being proof that taking a shower and getting a haircut won’t make you sexually desirable.

To Incels, he represents this biological determinism that is sisyphean to negate. Particularly appealing to blackpilled Incels, he is commonly drawn like Jesus Christ, wearing a crown of thorns around his head. Other renditions include him dropping atomic blackpill bombs out of an airplane with AWALT [All Women Are Like That] painted on its nose. In addition, one painting is of him looming over a warrior amongst a desolate landscape, stork to the right of him, and a massive noose with a golden light shining through it beckoning the warrior forward.

Still, not all Incels agree on who should be called a saint or whether their saints are bluepilled or not, and when there is disagreement between Incels on saints, or blackpill ideology, intense hostility abounds. Typically these disagreements include ableist slurs or descriptions of statements as “autistic”, and some may argue that the original poster is “pushing normie values” which vaguely threatens a violation of the no bluepilled content rule.

Incels are most unified, however, when facing criticism from outside groups. A prime example of this is one “RageFuel” post about how Isla Vista killings’ wikipedia page lists “I.N.C.E.L. iDeOlogY [sic]” as one of Elliot Rodger’s motives. It’s claimed that the page looks “as if it was vandalized by soys [low-testosterone men]”, and claims of Elliot Rodger being fueled by misogyny are further mocked. Several responses to this are declarations that it was “based terrorism”; “everything he did was 100% justified”; and that incel ideology and an incel movement are non-existent things.

While Incels aren’t unified on their saints, this deep inclination towards hostility - inwards and outwards - vastly outweighs any limiting factor said division may bring for this category. Thus, I would argue that they exhibit definitive features of this cultic behavior.

5. Dogma
Rigidity of reality concepts taught; amount of doctrinal inflexibility or "fundamentalism"; hostility towards relativism and situationalism.

As I’ve mentioned with Incels, the Blackpill is an amorphous, flexible belief that is anchored in the fundamentals of Incels being sexually unwanted, life being biologically determined, and women are responsible for the injustice of Incels’ sexless lives. Thus, any flexibility that appears is utilized to justify the core, unchanging beliefs of the Blackpill. Any attempt at changing these beliefs is met with hostility.

You could make the argument to an Incel that their behavior is what confines them to involuntary celibacy, but these arguments are quickly derided and ignored as whitewashing of their mental pain or useless platitudes. In one post on “Why Therapy is (Usually) a Cope [going into denial to avoid the harsh truth of the Blackpill] for Incels”, the poster argues the uselessness or even danger of therapy, “The personality isn’t why he is khhv, as he was khhv before and after taking the blackpill”; “The therapist gives him bluepilled platitudes aka copes such as ‘just work on your personality’ or ‘get some friends who are girls’”; and how “therapy only changes the way you perceive the reality around you, which is the textbook definition of a cope.”

The poster concedes that therapy can be useful “for one thing and one thing only; developing social skills”, but otherwise declares that mental health treatment - something desperately needed by many Incels - is useless or even a danger. As one person puts it, in their mind, “People who say ‘just go to therapy’ is PC way of saying ‘just kill yourself already I don’t give a fuck about you. . . . .We’re already rotting in loneliness, depressed, and rejected by society yet they act like we’ve done something horribly wrong to them.”

Further evidence to them lies in their belief in the 80/20 rule; “that 80% of women desire just 20% of men” (Anti-Defamation League, 2019) so you should just LDAR (lie down and rot). This inability to accept that, perhaps, their behavior is to blame for their sexual frustrations and absolutist language display an intensely antithetical approach to relative situations. As one comment expressed on a post made about visiting a “foids house [sic]”: “gtfo faker”. Rather than acknowledging the panoply of gray shades in the world, potential “ascensions” from Inceldom are treated as unreal and impossible. This 21st century rendition of Plato’s allegory of the cave suggests that there are definite features of this cultic behavior.

6. Recruiting
Emphasis put on attracting new members; amount of proselytizing; requirement for all members to bring in new ones.

As with Proud Boys, there is relatively little to no emphasis on attracting new members within the Incel community. There are calls for inspiring Incel rebellions by committing a mass killing, such as Alek Minassian who had

“hope[d] that they might perhaps trigger a chain reaction leading to society’s recognition of either the alleged excesses of feminism (with a return to the golden age of monogamy and patriarchy) or the Incel predicament (with policies designed to force women to fulfill all men’s alleged sexual entitlement)” (Baele et al., 2021, p.1683).
Despite this, I still see miniscule emphasis on recruitment. I’m personally inclined to believe that this is a result of yearning to be considered special due to the exclusionary nature of irreversible “pill taking”, for being one of the few knowers of truth is no longer possible when everyone believes it. Either way, there is very little in the way of active recruitment of members and thus little to no features of this cultic behavior.

7. Front Groups
Number of subsidiary groups using different names from that of main group, especially when connections are hidden.

While the Alt-Right don’t commonly have subsidiary groups to mask connections to themselves, they often scrupulously attempt to manipulate public appearances in an attempt to subtly shift societal morality towards their own beliefs (Harkinson, 2016) or - as mentioned before - take legal action when defined as a hate group (Kennedy, 2019). However, with Proud Boys and Incels, there is little to no evidence of front groups.

There are separate groups that fall under both communities, but they are not designed as a smoke screen nor based on false representations of their beliefs. The closest the Incels have is the wiki named, quite plainly, Incel Wiki, which adopts an apologist tone for their publicly-edited articles. Thus, I would argue there are little to no features of this cultic behavior for either Proud Boys or Incels.

8. Wealth
Amount of money and/or property desired or obtained by group; emphasis on members’ donations; economic lifestyle of leader(s) compared to ordinary members.

For Incels, there is very little in this aspect. You don’t see people buying shirts or stickers celebrating Inceldom, there is very little in the way of emphasizing donations by members, and the fundamentally decentralized nature of the Incel movement leaves little to define as a leader.

Further, because of all the controversy associated with them, advertisement on their websites is non-existent. There is the concept of wealthmaxxing within their community, which is earning money to maximize their chances of “ascending”, but they don’t place people with wealth on a pedestal above other Incels. Therefore, there are little to no features of this cultic behavior.

9. Sexual Manipulation of members by leader(s) of non-tantric groups
amount of control exercised over sexuality of members in terms of sexual orientation, behavior, and/or choice of partners.

With Incels, this is the defining characteristic of the group due to their overt focus and preoccupation on sex. There is no physically coercive funneling towards ‘correct’ sexuality, but what control exercised on sexuality we see is via a normative process that labels those who deviate from the norms as degenerate subhumans.

There’s a certain irony in viewing the Incel-defined deviants as subhuman when they themselves state similar things of their own physical bodies. After all, these are the same people who will label themselves Incels due to very specific features of their body, such as shortcel (short height); wristcel (small, feminine wrists); birdcel (weak chin and big nosed); baldcel (bald or balding); skullcel (too small and thus feminine of skulls); the list goes on.

The difference, in their view, between their subhumaness and Others’ degenerate subhumans is that their selfperceived subhumanity is part of this belief in biological determinism. In their minds, their looks-designated place in the “sexual marketplace” is set in stone by normal mutations occurring during their conception (Incels Wiki, n.d.).

Thus, they cannot procreate because they are “naturally less attractive” and - because of “degenerate influences” that corrupt the natural order - they can’t get a partner like how it was done in the (fantasized) past. In a world where the strong can’t take what they want and law shackles this will to power, they are left impotent - “cucked”.

Long past are days of vikings kidnapping women on raids or of mandated polygamy due to men being in short supply due to tribal warfare. All they have left to have sex - in their mind - is their looks. This is a large reason for why we see largely facetious, ironic, joking-unless-you’re-in-to-it posts about jihadmaxxing or arguments about “Why an Islamic Caliphate is the cure for inceldom”.

As one poster said, “foids should not have a say in who they are married off to”; “men shouldn’t have to perform a series of idiotic rituals to land a foid in bed”; and “...if you weren’t able to successfully climb the bs social latter [sic] or weren’t born with sufficient good looks to attract a foid in the west” then “fight[ing] for the Caliphate and you could have all the sex you want.”

In the same vein of “natural order”, there is the blatant undercurrent of pedophilia within a sizable portion of Incels. Ostensibly, the sexualization of minors is prohibited on Incels.is as on March 3rd, 2022, a 6-0 vote by moderators made the rule “Do not sexualize minors in any way, shape, or form.” On March 5th, 2022, they changed the rule to “better reflect what we were going for” to “Do not sexualize pre-pubescent [original emphasis] minors in any way, shape, or form.

” May 1st, 2022, the moderators expanded the rules further by banning arguments “that attraction to prepubescent minors is normal or even desirable”, proclaiming that you find prepubescent minors attractive, arguing that “prepubescent minors enjoy sexual activity with adults”, or saying that “pedophiles will one day be liberated in a utopian society that accommodates their desires.

” This rulechange led to a deluge of arguments. Comments on this new ruling were arguing over the definition of pubescence; its application to prepubescent anime characters; how “IT [r/IncelTear] spies” proclaim to be pedophiles to make Incels look worse; how pedophiles are gay because “it’s pedO, not pedEphile, o = male and e = female whenever it’s brought over from greek to english”; statements that the “preceding definition (ie the one I am repopularizing)” for pedophilia was “describing homosexual men’s lust for small boys”; asking “What’s the youngest minor we can sexualize? Just asking”; arguing that “woketards” (politically left people) are usually the only people sexualizing prepubescent minors; and that the forum has turned into “woke reddit”.

This isn’t an aberrant occurrence. For example, an aforementioned, reposted argument on “Why pedophilia (korephilia technically) is less degenerate than homosexuality” argued that having sex with a prepubescent girl makes it more likely that you’ll end up having sex with a girl in early puberty and thus procreate, thus being less-degenerate than homosexuality because it could lead to reproduction. Further, there is an argument by one now-banned Incel - bearing a profile picture of Josef Mengele - who had over 10k posts that “As an incel, there is literally no reason to be against pedophilia”.

Finally, we have a post by another prolific member of the forum about how “we should ban Ralph Wiggum from this forum” because he had sex, as evidenced by a cartoon image of Lisa Simpson having sex with Ralph Wiggum. Whether joking, wanting to shock, or intentionally sexualizing minors, there is a disturbing normalization of sexualizing behavior towards minors amongst the Incels.



10. Sexual Favoritism
Advancement or preferential treatment dependent upon sexual activity with the leader(s) of non-tantric groups.

In regards to sexual favoritism, we don’t see much or any of this within Incels or Proud Boys. In the years I have kept an ear out and the last few months of research, I have not witnessed a single event of sexual abuse by Proud Boys or Incels towards their male members. In regards to women in adjacent groups, there have been accusations of sexual impropriety by far-right figures (and lower ranked members), such as Gavin McInnes, towards prominent Alt-Right activist Lauren Southern (Lombroso, 2020).

Still, this has largely been relegated to outside Incel and Proud Boy circles. It does suggest to me that that sexual favoritism may perhaps be a larger factor in the greater Alt-Right, but in men-exclusive, homophobic groups - such as those studied here - there is little to none in terms of sexual favoritism.

11. Censorship
Amount of control over members’ access to outside opinions on group, its doctrines or leader(s).

In Incels, we see vastly different levels of censorship as they explicitly state “no bluepilled content of any kind” unless disproving it and no “Women and LGBT Individuals” or “non-incels” allowed.

As mentioned before, banned Incel member posts are also prevalent. Considering many of these users have thousands of posts (such as the 10,399 posts of one banned user with a Charles Manson profile picture) yet are banned, this suggests a quick and methodical team of moderators that are willing to ban users despite the time and effort put into it.

Through this willingness to ban, prohibition of blackpillcurious individuals, and a blanket restriction on beliefs and opinions perceived to be antithetical to the blackpill, Incels exhibit definite features of this cultic behavior.

12. Isolation
Amount of effort to keep members from communicating with non-members, including family, friends and lovers.

As usual, Incels show more extreme behavior. They too don’t prohibit outsiders from interacting with their members (they almost certainly couldn’t enforce it either way), but they exhibit extreme beliefs and behaviors in regards to interacting with society.

Emphasis is placed on not interacting with the outside world by portraying discussed incidents - such as being friends with a woman - as outright fake, near-impossible, embarrassing, or an example of the Incel being “cucked”.

Further normative behavior lies in Incels designating themselves as NEET (“Not in Education, Employment, or Training”) or as hikikomoris (Japanese for “pulling inward, being confined”) with the main difference being that hikikomoris rarely even leave their domicile (Incels Wiki, n.d.).

This behavior or label is occasionally praised as being superior to “wagies” - people who work - due to the fact that this allows the NEET Incel the ability to do what they want. As one poem says, “Wagie trapped and wagie dies, NEET eats tendies, sauce and fries”.

This isolation from the outside world isn’t necessarily a good thing as there is generous evidence to suggest that many Incels deeply submerse themselves into Inceldom. While being logged doesn’t mean actively engaging, some members can reach astronomic levels of interaction.

One member, with a profile picture of Josef Mengele, had over 10k posts as well as 135 days, 23 hours logged online from June 24th, 2020 to May 2nd, 2022. Another, hosting a profile picture of Elliot Rodger, had 13,204 posts and 12 days, 7 hours (rounded up) of time logged in from April 3rd, 2022 to May 2nd, 2022.

That is 455.3 posts a day over the 29 days it lasted. This wasn’t a spam account; this user was witnessed engaging with the forum.

To take from Mark Twain, “Broad, wholesome, charitable views of men and things cannot be acquired by vegetating in one little corner of the earth all one’s lifetime” (Twain, 2004).

Finally, compounding these feelings of isolation is a generalized enmity towards bluepilled people, e.g. normies. As evidenced by one member - profile picture being an image of serial rapist and killer Edmund Kemper - who argued that misanthropy needs to be emphasized more so than misogyny. This user, having 273 days logged in, argues that the forum needs to be “reformed” to include the focus on misanthropy as “We must hate men just as much as women for harming other men to get liad [sic] or excluding us or bullying us…”

A proverbial blackhole of nihilistic despair, this thread was responded to with comments such as “I hate women and men equally. Not nearly as much as I hate myself”; “I hate all men and women especially tallfags”; and arguing in all capital letters that they need to slut shame Chads as Chad’s power is “a result of redpill cucks who value laycount and degeneracy over everything.” These feelings of betrayal, bullying, and misanthropy are further highlighted by the wide variety of profile pictures featuring shots from the 2019 film Joker.

This is likely due to a feeling of kinship with the eponymous Joker who feels unable to enter or thrive in society until eventually exploding into nihilistic, vengeful violence. In the Joker, they see themselves as the dejected, abused outsider who is tormented in every attempt at integrating with society, and - judging by the panoply of violent comments and justifications for violence - they see something inspiring in him. At the very least, they see someone they can relate to.

Thus, in these normative, approving statements and contributions to Blackpill philosophy, it can be stated that there are definite features of this cultic behavior in Incels.

13. Dropout Control
Intensity of efforts directed at preventing or returning dropouts.

In large, the Proud Boys and Incels show little to none in dropout control. For Proud Boys, the majority of it appears to be a denouncement after the fact, such as claiming the member was kicked out rather than left (Brunswick et al., 2020).

While with Incels if a member no longer logs on, it’s often assumed that said member “roped himself [died by sucide]” and effort isn’t made to check on them. If a prior member disparages Incels or disproves the blackpill, anger is, of course, expressed in response to critique, but effort may even be made to paint this former member as a “fakecel” (Carkudo, 2021).

What this suggests in the end is what levels of dropout control expressed by Proud Boys and Incels occurs post the departure of members. This makes sense as these aren’t groups that typically have requirements to live on compounds or in barracks; members are free to walk away at any point.

When you aren’t reliant on the group for food and shelter, the primary danger you face is from reprisal for leaving. As I’m unable to find any evidence of ex-members of either groups being threatened or attacked after leaving, it would appear that the primary method of dropout control are No True Scotsman fallacy arguments stating that the departed member was never a true comrade, cutting off social support from the group, or attempts at smearing their social standing.

With the lack of credibility amongst mainstream society, I’m inclined to believe that mudslinging by an extremist group holds much less threat than those respected in accepted society. Thus, this would suggest little to no features of this cultic behavior in either group.

14. Violence
Amount of approval when used by or for the group, its doctrines or leader(s).

As with the Proud Boys, Incels show a disturbing approval of violence. As three of the mainstream Incel Saints are mass-killers - Rodger, Minassian, and Lepine (Baele et al., 2021) - they glorify the act of violence to a near-spiritual level.

Further discussed by Baele et al., Incel killers and rank-and-file Incels frequently evoke the need of an uprising, with Alek Minassian even posting on Facebook, before his attack, “Private (Recruit) Minassian Infantry 00010, wishing to speak to Sgt 4chan please. C23249161. The Incel Rebellion has already begun! We will overthrow the Chads and Stacys! All hail the Supreme Gentleman Elliot Rodger!” (Moonshot, 2020, p.10).

This near-spiritual obsession with violent saints even extends to one person posting Elliot Rodger’s full autopsy report within the forums, acting similar to a memento mori relic of a dead saint.

Calls to violence are guaranteed to be witnessed by a cursory look at their forums. This can be seen in fantasizing comments such as “Imagine a world that a foid is executed for not being virgin before marriage”; approval directed towards a Chinese news video about a “Normie man” who “kidnaps, repeatedly rapes and chains woman in shed”; and aforementioned arguments that justify killing gay people.

Further evidence lies in usernames being named after famous, misogynistic serial killers and profile pictures of mass shooters - such as Elliot Rodger, Seung-Hui Cho, and Dylann Roof - and other members of history linked to violence, such as Charles Manson, Adolf Hitler, and Josef Mengele.

Not limiting themselves to praising mass murder, Incels show a disturbing inclination to downplaying, justifying, and even extoling rape and threats of sexual violence.

Discussions of envy towards the prior mentioned “Normie man”; protesting the total ban of sexualizing minors by arguing “we’re entitled to 10/10 giga-stacy [best described as “prime”] pussy bro”, and one member discussing how “It’s funny when you follow the foids at night and they get scared af and keep looking behind to see whether you’re following them or not.” This last example was followed up with the original poster saying he plans next to scream at lolis [minors] at night.

Finally, Incels exhibit a strong approval of self-violence. Statements about no hope existing for Incels and how the pain of Inceldom only ends at death are not only tolerated but seemingly encouraged. Their biological determinism - treated as all-encompassing and omnipotent - deems them to have already “lost” and been demoted to Inceldom. If you can’t accept that this is how the world works, you seek out “copes” in order to survive, lest you “rope yourself” - i.e. complete suicide (Incel Wiki, n.d.). As one Incel put it:

“I hate the whole reality, I hate nature, I hate killing or being killed, I hate the law that prevails in the universe, the law of the strongest is a tragedy, death is my only consolation, knowing that one day I will die It’s the only thing that motivates me to stay alive, one day with death everything will end.”
This obsession with violence, both inwards and outwards, is an allencompassing feature within Incel forums. With nearly 50 fatalities from 2014 to 2020 linked to Incels (Hoffman et al., 2020) - this fixation on violence is necessary to understand when trying to comprehend Incels. Thus, Incels show definite features of this cultic behavior.

15. Paranoia
Amount of fear concerning real or imagined enemies; exaggeration of perceived power of opponents; prevalence of conspiracy theories.

Similarly with Incels, their conception of throngs of foes that conspire against them is hyper-inflated. Due to their Alt-Right membership, Jews are unsurprisingly often placed among their powerful-yet-inferior enemies. References to Jewish conspiracies are rampant with images comparing unflattering photos of famous Jewish people in history to anti-semitic propaganda from the 20th century.

Though, this could be generously described as attempts at edgy humor. Peculiarly, self-identified Jewish Incels will even engage in this propaganda even when antithetical to their position, such as one user responding to a comment of “...thank god my great grandpa killed you [sic] race in ww2” with “you didn’t do shit the holocaust never happened and we know it, goy”.

Naturally, the response to this was that “Holohoax never happened” but some Jews were “vanished by my own heritage”. In the same vein, another argues that taking the blackpill

“helps you see how the world really works and who’s in charge pulling the strings. It’s not just that foids are whores for Chad and it all boils down to bone genetics – it’s also that the jews have rigged the system and have enslaved everyone using capitalism and politics. Foids are whores. The jews need to burn in ovens. These are unavoidable truths.”
Finally, evidence of an endorsement of anti-semitism is the proliferation of profile pictures of prominent Nazis amongst Incels with at least three moderators having profile pictures of Heydrich, Himmler, and Hitler.

As they believe women are to blame for all of their issues, they similarly proscribe a tremendous amount of power to an entire gender while hypocritically believing they have the upper hand with their analysis and true-sight through the red and blackpill. An almost eldritch, hive-minded consciousness, women are responsible for much of the world’s inequalities and are the source of all Inceldom’s woes, according to Incels.

Their conception of the “pussy cartel” is indicative of this all-encompassing power that women supposedly have. Believing that sex is necessary for men to thrive, it is believed that women artificially inflate the price of sex. Asexual and non-heterosexual men apparently do not exist in this rationale. As Incel Wiki puts it:

“Sex is worth maybe $5 of women’s time and effort. But women know men will go insane without sex, so they collectively deny it to men. They force most men to invest hundreds if not thousands of hours into resource security, job security, free drinks, free transportation, free housing etc just for the possibility [original emphasis] that they will get sex” (Incels Wiki, n.d.).
How this supposed control manifests is such: I want to attract a girlfriend, so I am going to wealthmaxx and make money. I cannot make money because I am unable to focus my efforts while being sex deprived and thus can’t develop my own income.

I can’t get a girlfriend because women artificially inflate the value of companionship and sex and thus limit oppressed groups such as me from producing enough wealth to pay for their established value. Further evidence of these beliefs are arguments that women are the most privileged in society.

“We obviously don’t envy having half a brain, or not having hobbies, but we envy their privilege of being on the throne of the social hierarchy.” The same user goes on to say that “[w]e’re rotting in complete social isolation” and that “it’s like a black person hating whites in the 1800’s, or the poor farmers hating the rich, it’s only natural to dislike them.”

Similarly, as mentioned prior, there is paranoia towards mental health practitioners which actively reinforces Incels’ resolve in their beliefs. Actively perceiving therapy as a form of brainwashing (accurate enough if one conceives it like cleaning a wound) or indoctrination, it is believed that therapists will undermine your belief and install mere coping mechanisms but never solve the key issue in your life - your inability to have sex. So it’s just a way of leeching money off of Incels and further “cucking” them by deriving them of resources.

It’s unfortunate as these are people who desperately need mental health treatment. With constant suicidal ideation, allusions to suicide, and declarations of despair, Incels’ deeply unhealthy behavioral patterns will continue to ravage their community and spill into modern society.

Finally, like Proud Boys, Incels seem to think that federal law enforcement is everywhere. Again, this is largely justified as their forums are completely open to anyone who isn’t a member, there have been several high-profile bursts of violence from the Incel community, and there is a history of being monitored by r/IncelTear to the point that people who screenshot and share their content are called ITcucks (Moonshot, 2020).

It’s rather common within the Incels to reference r/IncelTear when speaking into the proverbial abyss of the internet because they know that their more extreme statements will be screenshotted and shared outside of their forum. Still, justified or not, their overarching beliefs in a multitude of powerful enemies and their attribution of all of life’s agony to them exhibits definite features of this cultic behavior.

16. Grimness
Amount of disapproval concerning jokes about the group, its doctrines or its leader(s).

Incels, in contrast, do not have anything like this. This was one of the most taxing issues with sifting through their posts as there is very little expression of care or cherishment towards one another. They don’t so much make jokes about one another but rather tear each other down.

There’s no ribbing, and there’s no fondness to be found in their dynamic. All that exists is a spiteful loathing that uses wounding language to lacerate the soul. Their group interactions further implies that they barely even rise above loathing one another.

When they joke, they can barely be called jokes but rather are just allusions to beliefs about the inferiority of an out-group. In modern society, a joke might be a pun, a clearly nonsensical statement or action, be sarcastic/ironic, or cleverness, but a typical Incel “joke” is devoid of any clever wordplay.

It's just “women have small brains unlike us” or “if I was God I would extinguish all life on Earth” along with laughing Pepe emojis. Without these laughing Pepe emojis, there would be no way to determine whether attempts at comedy were made or not. There’s no punchline to any of their jokes; there is only the punch.

Still, they save the worst of these “jokes” for when others criticize their beliefs. As mentioned, r/IncelTear is a constant focus of ire for them. Simultaneously saying they care little about r/IncelTear, they express beliefs in how sociopathic ‘IT cucks’ are for mocking or being shocked by their warped, bigoted beliefs.

Occasions where Incels are criticized is perhaps one of the rare times where they don’t attempt to tear each other down as they have a target that isn’t a strawman to direct their ire at. Thus, while I would argue that grimness includes this inherent lack of tenderness within the group, this fomentation of hate towards those who criticize or even joke about Incels is enough to declare this as a definitive feature.

17. Surrender of Will
Amount of emphasis on members not having to be responsible for personal decisions; degree of individual disempowerment created by the group, its doctrines or its leader(s).

Within Incels, surrender of will is one of the defining features of their ideology. If everything is biologically determined - with women damming the proverbial river of men to only allow a trickle of it to progress to the land of happiness and success - they don’t have to believe that they are the reason they are stagnating.

They don’t have to believe that their actions and beliefs are unjustified. Instead, this determinism justifies Incels to believe as Elliot Rodger did prior to his mass killing.

“All while I was suffering this lonely existence, other boys my age lived their happy lives of pleasure and sex. I can never forgive such an injustice, and it was my bid to overcompensate for it in the future. I had to make up for all the years I lost in loneliness and isolation, through no fault of my own! It was society’s fault for rejecting me. It was women’s fault for refusing to have sex with me.” (Rodger, 2014)
As I’ve mentioned prior, almost ad-nauseum, this self-defeating behavior is enforced by their own community. In exhibiting a crab-bucket mentality, any attempt to “ascend” out of this pit of despair is met by other Incels dragging them back in. Even if “ascension” is achieved, they will attempt to drag them back into the self-fulfilling crab bucket they call a community.

For if the Blackpill is incorrect - if not everything is biologically determined and women aren’t to blame for every injustice - all there is left to understand is their own shirkment of self-work that can bring them happiness. Sure, some have faced trauma, bullying, and ridicule that implanted the seed of misogyny. But, their absolutist language and philosophy serves as an absolution of responsibility for their own guilt. Thus, there are definite features of this cultic behavior within the Incels.

18. Hypocrisy
amount of approval for actions which the group officially considers immoral or unethical, when done by or for the group, its doctrines or leader(s); willingness to violate the group’s declared principles for political, psychological, social, economic, military, or other gain.

With Incels, hypocrisy is similarly complicated. The most obvious conception of this complicated hypocrisy is their disapproval or attempts at proving an Incel’s ascension was actually meaningless. As discussed regarding how Incels tear each other down and denigrate achievements, if an Incel claims to have ascended or made a step towards ascension, this inspires other Incels to clamp down that belief, belittle its merit, and/or argue that it’s not a ‘true ascension’.

This may seem hypocritical, for they are obsessed with their sex-less status to the point that any form of unpurchased, heterosexual sex should be seen as an improvement. But, this defensive anger towards those who ascend by determining the act as meaningless is par for the course in their belief. An Incel ascending violates one of the core tenets of the blackpill: sex is biologically determined.

To ascend - something Incels determine to be impossible or near-impossible - is to disprove this notion of determinacy. If you ascend, your success implies they could succeed as well, which could shatter their whole belief in the blackpill. So, while one might expect joy and aplomb in a group dedicated to men who feel cut-off from sex, their angry response is not hypocritical as this is a core belief that is then threatened.

But this is not to say that hypocrisy doesn’t exist within Incels. Aforementioned within sexual manipulation, attraction to minors is a place where hypocrisy lies. As a part of the far-right, discussions of how farleft/leftists/”liberals” are the real pedophiles occurs in their posts.

Despite being surrounded by other users’ comments asking about whether they’d be banned or punished for being attracted to girls going through puberty because “Some foids go through puberty at 9”, one moderator argues “In fact it’s the woke tards that are gradually now pushing for the normalization of pedophilia” while a regular member states “Woketards tend to be MAP’s [minor-attracted persons] though, I don’t see MAP’s coming out of any other political camp.

” To argue that it’s not your group while other Incels are normalizing pedophilia in the same thread displays a remarkable lack of selfawareness and hypocrisy.

Finally, we get to pseudoscience within Incels. As mentioned before, Incels attempt to justify everything scientifically.

They will cite scientific studies to prove blackpill philosophy, such as “Beauty is objective and measurable in the brain”, “High fWHR [facial width-to-height ratio] men express greater psychopathy, aggression, cheating, and exploitative behavior”, “62% of women have fantasies about rape and other forced sex acts”, and so on and so forth (Incel Wiki, n.d.).

They cite studies on these, as shown in the Incel Wiki “Scientific Blackpill” article, but these merely provide a veneer of legitimacy. Lee Williams put it best in their dissertation.

“Within Incel discourse, there is a determination to prove that the theories and worldviews found in the Incelosphere, such as their views on women, race and biases against men, are true and based on facts and science. To accomplish this, there is a strong emphasis on genetics and biology as a means to understand and validate Incel worldviews. However, rather than engaging in a scientific approach, which strives to prove a claim by seeking evidence which may prove said claim false, a pseudoscientific approach, seeking out evidence to support a specific claim, is used. This pseudoscientific approach is evident in the discourse of Incels.Co, as any reports, studies or data that go against their worldviews are disregarded, labelled feminist propaganda or as somehow being influenced by women or others they consider to be their ‘enemies’. Data that aligns with Incel worldviews can be taken out of context” (Williams, 2020).
If Incel beliefs were justifiable, they would have scientifically proven it by now, as evidenced by their unhealthy hyperfixation with its factuality. But, they can only prove the blackpill to be true if they - consciously or unconsciously - ignore the evidence that proves it isn’t. Suffice to say, this is hypocritical behavior on Incels’ part as they place emphasis on being coldly logical, unlike “foids” and “normies”. For, this isn’t being coldly logical; this is cosplaying as a scientist.

Since scientifically proving biological determinism contributes deeply to their sense of identity, this hypocritical contradiction is an important element in determining their level of hypocrisy. Thus, with this and their hypocrisy around pedophilia, this suggests there are definite features of the cultic behavior of hypocrisy.


Conclusion


Proud Boys​
Incels​
Internal Control​
0​
2​
External Control​
2​
1​
Wisdom/Knowledge Claimed by leader(s)​
2​
2​
Wisdom/Knowledge Credited to leader(s) by members​
2​
2​
Dogma​
2​
2​
Recruiting​
0​
0​
Front Groups​
0​
0​
Wealth​
1​
0​
Sexual Manipulation of members by leader(s)​
2​
2​
Sexual Favoritism​
0​
0​
Censorship​
0​
2​
Isolation​
0​
2​
Dropout Control​
0​
0​
Violence​
2​
2​
Paranoia​
2​
2​
Grimness​
0​
2​
Surrender of Will​
0​
2​
Hypocrisy​
1​
2​
Total:
16/36​
25/36​
Average (rounded to the third notation):
0.889​
1.389​

As evidenced above, Incels show 25% (0.5 points) more cultic behavior than Proud Boys. Meanwhile, Proud Boys operate just below a moderate level of cultic behavior, with an average 0.889, suggesting that they are not a cult. Rather, despite exhibiting extremist behaviors that are dangerous, their behavior lies below the threshold of a cult and its resulting pseudo-religious zeal. This isn’t to suggest they are not dangerous, of course, but it does explain a bit why we haven’t seen a Proud Boy massshooter - mostly just violence committed when the group decides.

Incels, on the other hand, are definitely a cult. At the risk of hyperbole, I argue that conceptualizing them as a death cult - due to this hyperfixation on death and the indignant nihilism that fuels their rage - is necessary to understand their violence. They don’t have the political power to change the world to cater to them. All they have is violence. Violence against themselves and violence against others, their ideology justifies both as it leaves no perceivable chance of meaningful change.
There are clues and tells that a written piece, whether it's a thesis, article, or blog post, that the author is clueless about the material and/or they're intentionally misrepresenting it i.e., pushing a narrative. One of the biggest clues are the phrases "incel ideology" or "black pill ideology."


Ascension is an unattainable concept, hence, cope.

It depends on your definition and criteria, though. I have a strict criteria for what's considered ascension, mainly raw, primal attraction, which isn't possible if you don't have the genetics for it.


You know the methodology is a joke when it consists primarily of lurking the forum. Even then you have to ensure that you lurked long enough, read enough of the black pill theory and understood it, and recognized and ignored the sea of garbage posts that are prevalent here, like in the sewers. Much of ID is also full of trash threads.
I read enough to get the gist. What's interesting to note is the sort of sliding dichotomy that turns into a full "flip" in background and political stance at some point later on in a person's life. i.e. - Those who were "forced" or thought they had no choice, invested themselves into "progressive liberalism" (many Indian Americans, for example). And more recently many of those same people have moved (at least in some part) towards embracing more conservative lines of Western thought and behavior. Likewise, guys like this author at Portland State University "AJ Ashland" has done the same. He is now dancing around like a woke academic who demands to be read because he has "intimate knowledge" of Right-Winger secrets LMAO.

He isn't completely wrong in his use of the words "cult" or "religion" to describe the "Alt-Rights" surface level behaviors. But I wonder if he would use the words "Religion & Cult" to describe the Leftist? It's even more in your face and obvious. Yes conservative normies are cucks, so it's easy to gain credit and validity from middle of the road "decent types" by trashing low smv males. I'm just not sure how he can sleep at night knowing or thinking the same exact features of "Cult & Religion" apply strongly to the Left wingers also.

I mean come on, they are now constructing deity-like half animal half goddess statues of Ruth B. Ginsburg and Ilhan Omar (plans are underway I believe) all over the place !
 
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notice how fast this retarded unifag tries to portray us as "evil bigoted chudnazis" when 40-50% of the people on here are ethnics. Ma'am, i know just because you exist in the realm of hollywood diversity quotas and constant praise from your peers you cannot understand the solitude and pain an incel feels, but its very difficult emotionally. Humor is inherently transgressive, that's why jokes on here are so edgy. women literally do not work a fucking day in their lives and are guaranteed at least a house if they can merely have sex with a guy consistently, they do not even need to be attractive, just literally be a woman and men will bend over backwards to provide, meanwhile society ignores us and treats us like abominations for not being genetic perfections, and are told to "just work harder bro" when we come forward with our issues. If you ever read this, stop fucking bothering us and let us have our own space to discuss these things, you filthy whore. Privileged assholes like you who never deserved what you have make me sick.
 
notice how fast this retarded unifag tries to portray us as "evil bigoted chudnazis" when 40-50% of the people on here are ethnics. Ma'am, i know just because you exist in the realm of hollywood diversity quotas and constant praise from your peers you cannot understand the solitude and pain an incel feels, but its very difficult emotionally. Humor is inherently transgressive, that's why jokes on here are so edgy. women literally do not work a fucking day in their lives and are guaranteed at least a house if they can merely have sex with a guy consistently, they do not even need to be attractive, just literally be a woman and men will bend over backwards to provide, meanwhile society ignores us and treats us like abominations for not being genetic perfections, and are told to "just work harder bro" when we come forward with our issues. If you ever read this, stop fucking bothering us and let us have our own space to discuss these things, you filthy whore. Privileged assholes like you who never deserved what you have make me sick.
thank you brocel you got it.
 
:feelskek::feelskek::feelskek::feelskek::feelshaha::feelshaha::feelshaha::feelshaha::feelshaha::feelshaha::feelshaha::feelshaha::feelshaha::feelshaha::feelshaha: Sounds like the typical ramblings of a psuedo-intellectualist who thinks too highly of their own intellect and worldly knowledge. :feelshaha::feelshaha::feelshaha::smonk::smonk::smonk::smonk:
It's Dunning Krugar effect. Confusing definitions with morality and then arguing semantics while sucking on the tit of the mainstream media.

There are clues and tells that a written piece, whether it's a thesis, article, or blog post, that the author is clueless about the material and/or they're intentionally misrepresenting it i.e., pushing a narrative. One of the biggest clues are the phrases "incel ideology" or "black pill ideology."
1658450122735

Here's the writer of this. Unemployed "Freelancer" according to linkedIn. There's so many clues to pseudo intellectuals. If they start talking about philosophy that's a massive red flag, or confuse definitions for reality and start arguing semantics, or use any leftist language; "Gender assigned at birth" for example, can't interpet studies, don't understand statistics, straw-man their "opponent".
 
It's Dunning Krugar effect. Confusing definitions with morality and then arguing semantics while sucking on the tit of the mainstream media.


1658450122735
Looks like what you'd expect. Yes, I'm aware of how lookist I'm being, but truly, the leftist, soy, reddit archetypes are accurate.

Here's the writer of this. Unemployed "Freelancer" according to linkedIn. There's so many clues to pseudo intellectuals. If they start talking about philosophy that's a massive red flag, or confuse definitions for reality and start arguing semantics, or use any leftist language; "Gender assigned at birth" for example, can't interpet studies, don't understand statistics, straw-man their "opponent".
Tbf, not understanding statistics and straw manning are all too common among everyone, regardless of their politics or ideology.
 
Looks like what you'd expect. Yes, I'm aware of how lookist I'm being, but truly, the leftist, soy, reddit archetypes are accurate.
Most people are stereotypes. I thought the same thing.
Tbf, not understanding statistics and straw manning are all too common among everyone, regardless of their politics or ideology.
Yah. 99.9% of people contribute nothing and can be safely ignored. Sometimes there's some pinned thread or comment or something that rises to the top on the internet that's useful, but it's mostly a trash can.
 
Of course it is a cult, if it happens in USA.
Anything over there, including the hollywood star system, multilevel marketing and the elections, has a religious nuance.
The Cult Fascist: Establishing Cultic Behavior in Proud Boys and Incels
AJ Ashland Portland State University


Abstract

Is the Alt-Right a cult? Certainly, we can see religious fervor intertwine with politics as we see in the far-right, with artwork of Trump being crucified like Jesus, pierced in his side by Nancy Pelosi analogous to Longinus (Cole, 2020), or in the golden statue of Trump at CPAC (Beauchamp, 2021). But, do we see similar, potentially cultic, behavior within Alt-Right groups? It turns out we do see this behavior. Within this study, I determine via the Advanced Bonewits’ Cult Danger Evaluation Frame what level of cultic behavior exists within Incels and Proud Boys. In doing so, I intend to hopefully expand our tools and methodology when extremist groups explode into violence.

Keywords: cult, fascism, Alt-Right, Incels, Proud Boys


Introduction

As someone who was raised in rural Oregon amongst a far-right, fundamentalist community and having spent much of my adolescence online gaming, thus surrounded by proponents of GamerGate, I am in the unique position to see fascist behaviors evolve, in real-time, into the Alt-Right. Similarly, I have spent most of my life within strict, evangelical Baptist and Pentecoastal churches, adjacent to members of the Quiverfull movement, and have been immersed - to the point of nearly becoming a youth leader - in increasingly patriarchal, apocalyptic, and controlling dogma. I wasn’t within a cult, I have witnessed abuses of power, cover ups of abuse, victim blaming of the abused and the ill, political-based oustings of pastors and members of the congregation, and have even known a church leader who annihilated his wife and children in a murder-suicide.

With all of these experiences, I witnessed a common theme amongst my friends and family within evangelical Christianity and those in the AltRight as the latter exploded onto the scene. They exhibited a strong, dogmatic belief in their self-fiction that fed off cynicism to their lives and society that actively provided soothing and protection for their psyche.



Advanced Bonewits’ Cult Danger Evaluation Frame by Isaac Bonewits
  1. Internal Control: Amount of internal political and social power exercised by leader(s) over members; lack of clearly defined organizational rights for members.
  2. External Control: Amount of external political and social influence desired or obtained; emphasis on directing members’ external political and social behavior.
  3. Wisdom/Knowledge Claimed by leader(s): amount of infallibility declared or implied about decisions or doctrinal/scriptural interpretations; number and degree of unverified and/or unverifiable credentials claimed.
  4. Wisdom/Knowledge Credited to leader(s) by members: amount of trust in decisions or doctrinal/scriptural interpretations made by leader(s); amount of hostility by members towards internal or external critics and/or towards verification efforts.
  5. Dogma: Rigidity of reality concepts taught; amount of doctrinal inflexibility or "fundamentalism"; hostility towards relativism and situationalism.
  6. Recruiting: Emphasis put on attracting new members; amount of proselytizing; requirement for all members to bring in new ones.
  7. Front Groups: Number of subsidiary groups using different names from that of main group, especially when connections are hidden.
  8. Wealth: Amount of money and/or property desired or obtained by group; emphasis on members’ donations; economic lifestyle of leader(s) compared to ordinary members.
  9. Sexual Manipulation of members by leader(s) of non-tantric groups: amount of control exercised over sexuality of members in terms of sexual orientation, behavior, and/or choice of partners.
  10. . Sexual Favoritism: Advancement or preferential treatment dependent upon sexual activity with the leader(s) of non-tantric groups.
  11. Censorship: Amount of control over members’ access to outside opinions on group, its doctrines or leader(s).
  12. . Isolation: Amount of effort to keep members from communicating with nonmembers, including family, friends and lovers.
  13. Dropout Control: Intensity of efforts directed at preventing or returning dropouts.
  14. Violence: Amount of approval when used by or for the group, its doctrines or leader(s).
  15. Paranoia: Amount of fear concerning real or imagined enemies; exaggeration of perceived power of opponents; prevalence of conspiracy theories.
  16. Grimness: Amount of disapproval concerning jokes about the group, its doctrines or its leader(s).
  17. Surrender of Will: Amount of emphasis on members not having to be responsible for personal decisions; degree of individual disempowerment created by the group, its doctrines or its leader(s).
  18. Hypocrisy: amount of approval for actions which the group officially considers immoral or unethical, when done by or for the group, its doctrines or leader(s); willingness to violate the group’s declared principles for political, psychological, social, economic, military, or other gain.


Analysis via Bonewits’ Framework
1. Internal Control

Amount of internal political and social power exercised by leader(s) over members; lack of clearly defined organizational rights for members.

For Incels, there is more internal control of its members. On the main Incel forum, Incels.is, there is a requirement of no bluepilled content, meaning conflicting opinions are not allowed unless they support Blackpill ideology; no discussion of “personal romantic or sexual experiences, even if they happened long ago”; no humble-bragging “such as by subtly praising your own features”; and no “gay or LGBT content, unless you’re criticising it.”

There are allowances to discuss other subjects than Inceldom, but these rules of no conflicting opinions and experiences reinforces the echo chamber mentality of it. Further, in later posts by admins of an update to the site’s rules, they exhibit a deflective, noncommittal stance when asked for exacting definition, except in the most extreme of cases. Tasking the moderators to retain this echo chamber, internal control is ascertained via the ability to shape narrative and determine on a whim whether group membership is allowed or not.

For organizational rights for members, there are only two meaningful ranks: moderator and member. There may be designated moderators who police and delete content, but these are less prophets who detail Incel ideology but rather guardians of said ideology from outside forces. Still, these moderators do show a willingness to ban members from their forum.

Albeit, I have not witnessed an explicit banning occurrence, but - since many banned members’ posts still remain - sifting through their forum is guaranteed to find you a few banned members throughout thus showing a propensity towards guarding Incel ideology from internal forces, too.

Thus, despite ranks being clear, the level of internal control exhibited by moderators and their willingness to be vague exceeds what one might consider minor. As such, definitive features of this cultic behavior exist.

2. External Control
Amount of external political and social influence desired or obtained; emphasis on directing members’ external political and social behavior.

With Incels, there is a similar emphasis on appearing less extreme than they are, but I argue this is instead couched in a history of their subreddits and web forums being banned or removed from internet hosts due to illicit and extreme behavior, such as subreddits r/incels, r/braincels, r/Shortcels, and r/IncelsWithoutHate as well as the migration from a Montenegro-based web domain, Incels.me, to the current Icelandic based web domain, Incels.is (Murphy, 2018).

Still, their views haven’t changed but rather are couched in irony and the thinnest veneer of plausible denial. Discussions of going ER [committing an Elliot Rodger style mass killing], the justification (or admission) of rape, and spitting on people of color are occasionally suffixed with “(in video games)”, “(in Minecraft)”, or “(in GTA)”, implying they are talking about these actions being in video games. It should be noted: rape and spitting aren’t available in either of those specific games.

However, there are limits to any unified attempts in presenting as lawabiding. Some members have argued that attempts at corralling pedophilic posts are akin to being a “woke Reddit forum”, despite one moderator specifying that it is still allowed to discuss 14-year-old girls as “14 year olds are within the age of consent in various jurisdictions”.

The aforementioned discussion on the sentience of women; why pedophilia is “less degenerate than homosexuality”; and arguments on why attractive people should be sent to concentration camps are still prominent as well. Furthermore, in performing this research, I have come across cartoon pornography of Ralph Wiggum and Lisa Simpson, both as prepubescent children, posted 3 months before screenshot by a popular member of the forum.

Despite explicitly stating “Do not sexualize pre-pubescent minors in any way, shape, or form”, images such as that and comments expressing envy for Ralph remain. All of this paints an extreme picture of a group that is deeply laissez-faire about speech unless it can get the forum in legal trouble.

Important to consider is that you don’t need an account to access these posts. They clearly aren’t afraid to express or hide their most extreme beliefs online, even when they know they’re being monitored. This specific fact expresses the fact that moderators and members don’t much care about external condemnation.

In fact, with some of them, it would almost appear they relish it. This lack of care for external critique is why they show moderate features - rather than definitive features - of this cultic behavior.

3. Wisdom/Knowledge Claimed by leader(s)
amount of infallibility declared or implied about decisions or doctrinal/scriptural interpretations; number and degree of unverified and/or unverifiable credentials claimed.

Incels, of course, don’t have a conventional leader. They have moderators, not prophets. Thus, the doctrine and scriptural interpretations are generated via interactions within the community, typically in threads with the designator of “Blackpill” or “Theory” in their title.

These contributions are then commented on by forum members where some say “very based [correct/accurate]”;“high iq post”; or others may deride the contribution. Very much so a marketplace of ideas, the proverbial facts and definition of Incels and the Blackpill change when contacting others, with other Incels’ worldviews changing as well.

As stated before, these beliefs act like a virus. Still, despite the potential for drastic change, there are constants in this metaphysical, viral Blackpill: Incels are sexually (and thus societally) unwanted, this is biologically determined, and women are responsible.

With these ideas forming the skeletal ribcage of the philosophy, the Blackpill molds and adapts itself to any blow or critique it encounters. Like nailing Jell-O to a wall, the Blackpill isn’t destroyed if one theory is dismembered from the source; it manifests a new appendageal-theory to continue its manipulation.

Similarly, an adulterated facsimile of science exists to provide justification of the beliefs. Driven by the need to prove their ‘superiority’ to ‘emotional’ women, they intellectualize their intuited beliefs and feelings of despair and cherry pick studies or outright fabricate data to prove their points.

Case in point, Incels discussed in one thread “Why killing gay ‘people’ should be legal” by stating with “A gay person is an organism that spreads diseases such as HIV”; “Their mechanism of spreading HIV is anal sex”; and “gays who turn themselves in however, should have their balls removed”.

Tangentially, this also implies a perception that women cannot be gay when taking into account rampant transphobia in the community and their belief in biological determinism driving women to copulate with “Chads”. Discussions of how to deal with gay people revolve around their perceived dirtiness and pest control services, thus verminizing a group of people.

Later comments add that “it’s pretty much impossible to get AIDS without participating in a degenerate act” and that gay men “have an average sex partner count of 500, 25% of them are over 1000”, are supported by no citations, likely because it’s wrong. It doesn’t matter to them that their ideas are built upon otherworldly stereotypes; this role-playing of science provides a legitimizing insulation from criticism that could erode their own belief.

As such, because of this propagation of an infallible, self-sealing worldview known as the Blackpill, they portray definitive features of this cultic behavior.

4. Wisdom/Knowledge Credited to leader(s) by members
amount of trust in decisions or doctrinal/scriptural interpretations made by leader(s); amount of hostility by members towards internal or external critics and/or towards verification efforts.

For Incels, I have briefly mentioned the paragons, the Incel saints, who embody Inceldom. Typically these are people who have gone on mass killings due to Incel or proto-Incel beliefs, such as Seung-Hui Cho (Virginia Tech killings), Elliot Rodger (Isla Vista killings), and Alek Minassian (Toronto killings) who himself was inspired by Rodger and deemed him the “founding forefather” of Incels (Cottee, 2021, p.93).

Some even include the Columbine shooters, Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold. Still, not all Incel saints are murderers but rather are people whose image became a symbol of the Incel condition, such as St. Blackops2cel (Moonshot, 2020). Blackops2cel, named due to wearing a fan-shirt of the video game Call of Duty: Black Ops 2, was not connected to Incels prior to the appropriation of his selfie (Know Your Meme, n.d.), but those in the Incel community beatified due to him being proof that taking a shower and getting a haircut won’t make you sexually desirable.

To Incels, he represents this biological determinism that is sisyphean to negate. Particularly appealing to blackpilled Incels, he is commonly drawn like Jesus Christ, wearing a crown of thorns around his head. Other renditions include him dropping atomic blackpill bombs out of an airplane with AWALT [All Women Are Like That] painted on its nose. In addition, one painting is of him looming over a warrior amongst a desolate landscape, stork to the right of him, and a massive noose with a golden light shining through it beckoning the warrior forward.

Still, not all Incels agree on who should be called a saint or whether their saints are bluepilled or not, and when there is disagreement between Incels on saints, or blackpill ideology, intense hostility abounds. Typically these disagreements include ableist slurs or descriptions of statements as “autistic”, and some may argue that the original poster is “pushing normie values” which vaguely threatens a violation of the no bluepilled content rule.

Incels are most unified, however, when facing criticism from outside groups. A prime example of this is one “RageFuel” post about how Isla Vista killings’ wikipedia page lists “I.N.C.E.L. iDeOlogY [sic]” as one of Elliot Rodger’s motives. It’s claimed that the page looks “as if it was vandalized by soys [low-testosterone men]”, and claims of Elliot Rodger being fueled by misogyny are further mocked. Several responses to this are declarations that it was “based terrorism”; “everything he did was 100% justified”; and that incel ideology and an incel movement are non-existent things.

While Incels aren’t unified on their saints, this deep inclination towards hostility - inwards and outwards - vastly outweighs any limiting factor said division may bring for this category. Thus, I would argue that they exhibit definitive features of this cultic behavior.

5. Dogma
Rigidity of reality concepts taught; amount of doctrinal inflexibility or "fundamentalism"; hostility towards relativism and situationalism.

As I’ve mentioned with Incels, the Blackpill is an amorphous, flexible belief that is anchored in the fundamentals of Incels being sexually unwanted, life being biologically determined, and women are responsible for the injustice of Incels’ sexless lives. Thus, any flexibility that appears is utilized to justify the core, unchanging beliefs of the Blackpill. Any attempt at changing these beliefs is met with hostility.

You could make the argument to an Incel that their behavior is what confines them to involuntary celibacy, but these arguments are quickly derided and ignored as whitewashing of their mental pain or useless platitudes. In one post on “Why Therapy is (Usually) a Cope [going into denial to avoid the harsh truth of the Blackpill] for Incels”, the poster argues the uselessness or even danger of therapy, “The personality isn’t why he is khhv, as he was khhv before and after taking the blackpill”; “The therapist gives him bluepilled platitudes aka copes such as ‘just work on your personality’ or ‘get some friends who are girls’”; and how “therapy only changes the way you perceive the reality around you, which is the textbook definition of a cope.”

The poster concedes that therapy can be useful “for one thing and one thing only; developing social skills”, but otherwise declares that mental health treatment - something desperately needed by many Incels - is useless or even a danger. As one person puts it, in their mind, “People who say ‘just go to therapy’ is PC way of saying ‘just kill yourself already I don’t give a fuck about you. . . . .We’re already rotting in loneliness, depressed, and rejected by society yet they act like we’ve done something horribly wrong to them.”

Further evidence to them lies in their belief in the 80/20 rule; “that 80% of women desire just 20% of men” (Anti-Defamation League, 2019) so you should just LDAR (lie down and rot). This inability to accept that, perhaps, their behavior is to blame for their sexual frustrations and absolutist language display an intensely antithetical approach to relative situations. As one comment expressed on a post made about visiting a “foids house [sic]”: “gtfo faker”. Rather than acknowledging the panoply of gray shades in the world, potential “ascensions” from Inceldom are treated as unreal and impossible. This 21st century rendition of Plato’s allegory of the cave suggests that there are definite features of this cultic behavior.

6. Recruiting
Emphasis put on attracting new members; amount of proselytizing; requirement for all members to bring in new ones.

As with Proud Boys, there is relatively little to no emphasis on attracting new members within the Incel community. There are calls for inspiring Incel rebellions by committing a mass killing, such as Alek Minassian who had

“hope[d] that they might perhaps trigger a chain reaction leading to society’s recognition of either the alleged excesses of feminism (with a return to the golden age of monogamy and patriarchy) or the Incel predicament (with policies designed to force women to fulfill all men’s alleged sexual entitlement)” (Baele et al., 2021, p.1683).
Despite this, I still see miniscule emphasis on recruitment. I’m personally inclined to believe that this is a result of yearning to be considered special due to the exclusionary nature of irreversible “pill taking”, for being one of the few knowers of truth is no longer possible when everyone believes it. Either way, there is very little in the way of active recruitment of members and thus little to no features of this cultic behavior.

7. Front Groups
Number of subsidiary groups using different names from that of main group, especially when connections are hidden.

While the Alt-Right don’t commonly have subsidiary groups to mask connections to themselves, they often scrupulously attempt to manipulate public appearances in an attempt to subtly shift societal morality towards their own beliefs (Harkinson, 2016) or - as mentioned before - take legal action when defined as a hate group (Kennedy, 2019). However, with Proud Boys and Incels, there is little to no evidence of front groups.

There are separate groups that fall under both communities, but they are not designed as a smoke screen nor based on false representations of their beliefs. The closest the Incels have is the wiki named, quite plainly, Incel Wiki, which adopts an apologist tone for their publicly-edited articles. Thus, I would argue there are little to no features of this cultic behavior for either Proud Boys or Incels.

8. Wealth
Amount of money and/or property desired or obtained by group; emphasis on members’ donations; economic lifestyle of leader(s) compared to ordinary members.

For Incels, there is very little in this aspect. You don’t see people buying shirts or stickers celebrating Inceldom, there is very little in the way of emphasizing donations by members, and the fundamentally decentralized nature of the Incel movement leaves little to define as a leader.

Further, because of all the controversy associated with them, advertisement on their websites is non-existent. There is the concept of wealthmaxxing within their community, which is earning money to maximize their chances of “ascending”, but they don’t place people with wealth on a pedestal above other Incels. Therefore, there are little to no features of this cultic behavior.

9. Sexual Manipulation of members by leader(s) of non-tantric groups
amount of control exercised over sexuality of members in terms of sexual orientation, behavior, and/or choice of partners.

With Incels, this is the defining characteristic of the group due to their overt focus and preoccupation on sex. There is no physically coercive funneling towards ‘correct’ sexuality, but what control exercised on sexuality we see is via a normative process that labels those who deviate from the norms as degenerate subhumans.

There’s a certain irony in viewing the Incel-defined deviants as subhuman when they themselves state similar things of their own physical bodies. After all, these are the same people who will label themselves Incels due to very specific features of their body, such as shortcel (short height); wristcel (small, feminine wrists); birdcel (weak chin and big nosed); baldcel (bald or balding); skullcel (too small and thus feminine of skulls); the list goes on.

The difference, in their view, between their subhumaness and Others’ degenerate subhumans is that their selfperceived subhumanity is part of this belief in biological determinism. In their minds, their looks-designated place in the “sexual marketplace” is set in stone by normal mutations occurring during their conception (Incels Wiki, n.d.).

Thus, they cannot procreate because they are “naturally less attractive” and - because of “degenerate influences” that corrupt the natural order - they can’t get a partner like how it was done in the (fantasized) past. In a world where the strong can’t take what they want and law shackles this will to power, they are left impotent - “cucked”.

Long past are days of vikings kidnapping women on raids or of mandated polygamy due to men being in short supply due to tribal warfare. All they have left to have sex - in their mind - is their looks. This is a large reason for why we see largely facetious, ironic, joking-unless-you’re-in-to-it posts about jihadmaxxing or arguments about “Why an Islamic Caliphate is the cure for inceldom”.

As one poster said, “foids should not have a say in who they are married off to”; “men shouldn’t have to perform a series of idiotic rituals to land a foid in bed”; and “...if you weren’t able to successfully climb the bs social latter [sic] or weren’t born with sufficient good looks to attract a foid in the west” then “fight[ing] for the Caliphate and you could have all the sex you want.”

In the same vein of “natural order”, there is the blatant undercurrent of pedophilia within a sizable portion of Incels. Ostensibly, the sexualization of minors is prohibited on Incels.is as on March 3rd, 2022, a 6-0 vote by moderators made the rule “Do not sexualize minors in any way, shape, or form.” On March 5th, 2022, they changed the rule to “better reflect what we were going for” to “Do not sexualize pre-pubescent [original emphasis] minors in any way, shape, or form.

” May 1st, 2022, the moderators expanded the rules further by banning arguments “that attraction to prepubescent minors is normal or even desirable”, proclaiming that you find prepubescent minors attractive, arguing that “prepubescent minors enjoy sexual activity with adults”, or saying that “pedophiles will one day be liberated in a utopian society that accommodates their desires.

” This rulechange led to a deluge of arguments. Comments on this new ruling were arguing over the definition of pubescence; its application to prepubescent anime characters; how “IT [r/IncelTear] spies” proclaim to be pedophiles to make Incels look worse; how pedophiles are gay because “it’s pedO, not pedEphile, o = male and e = female whenever it’s brought over from greek to english”; statements that the “preceding definition (ie the one I am repopularizing)” for pedophilia was “describing homosexual men’s lust for small boys”; asking “What’s the youngest minor we can sexualize? Just asking”; arguing that “woketards” (politically left people) are usually the only people sexualizing prepubescent minors; and that the forum has turned into “woke reddit”.

This isn’t an aberrant occurrence. For example, an aforementioned, reposted argument on “Why pedophilia (korephilia technically) is less degenerate than homosexuality” argued that having sex with a prepubescent girl makes it more likely that you’ll end up having sex with a girl in early puberty and thus procreate, thus being less-degenerate than homosexuality because it could lead to reproduction. Further, there is an argument by one now-banned Incel - bearing a profile picture of Josef Mengele - who had over 10k posts that “As an incel, there is literally no reason to be against pedophilia”.

Finally, we have a post by another prolific member of the forum about how “we should ban Ralph Wiggum from this forum” because he had sex, as evidenced by a cartoon image of Lisa Simpson having sex with Ralph Wiggum. Whether joking, wanting to shock, or intentionally sexualizing minors, there is a disturbing normalization of sexualizing behavior towards minors amongst the Incels.



10. Sexual Favoritism
Advancement or preferential treatment dependent upon sexual activity with the leader(s) of non-tantric groups.

In regards to sexual favoritism, we don’t see much or any of this within Incels or Proud Boys. In the years I have kept an ear out and the last few months of research, I have not witnessed a single event of sexual abuse by Proud Boys or Incels towards their male members. In regards to women in adjacent groups, there have been accusations of sexual impropriety by far-right figures (and lower ranked members), such as Gavin McInnes, towards prominent Alt-Right activist Lauren Southern (Lombroso, 2020).

Still, this has largely been relegated to outside Incel and Proud Boy circles. It does suggest to me that that sexual favoritism may perhaps be a larger factor in the greater Alt-Right, but in men-exclusive, homophobic groups - such as those studied here - there is little to none in terms of sexual favoritism.

11. Censorship
Amount of control over members’ access to outside opinions on group, its doctrines or leader(s).

In Incels, we see vastly different levels of censorship as they explicitly state “no bluepilled content of any kind” unless disproving it and no “Women and LGBT Individuals” or “non-incels” allowed.

As mentioned before, banned Incel member posts are also prevalent. Considering many of these users have thousands of posts (such as the 10,399 posts of one banned user with a Charles Manson profile picture) yet are banned, this suggests a quick and methodical team of moderators that are willing to ban users despite the time and effort put into it.

Through this willingness to ban, prohibition of blackpillcurious individuals, and a blanket restriction on beliefs and opinions perceived to be antithetical to the blackpill, Incels exhibit definite features of this cultic behavior.

12. Isolation
Amount of effort to keep members from communicating with non-members, including family, friends and lovers.

As usual, Incels show more extreme behavior. They too don’t prohibit outsiders from interacting with their members (they almost certainly couldn’t enforce it either way), but they exhibit extreme beliefs and behaviors in regards to interacting with society.

Emphasis is placed on not interacting with the outside world by portraying discussed incidents - such as being friends with a woman - as outright fake, near-impossible, embarrassing, or an example of the Incel being “cucked”.

Further normative behavior lies in Incels designating themselves as NEET (“Not in Education, Employment, or Training”) or as hikikomoris (Japanese for “pulling inward, being confined”) with the main difference being that hikikomoris rarely even leave their domicile (Incels Wiki, n.d.).

This behavior or label is occasionally praised as being superior to “wagies” - people who work - due to the fact that this allows the NEET Incel the ability to do what they want. As one poem says, “Wagie trapped and wagie dies, NEET eats tendies, sauce and fries”.

This isolation from the outside world isn’t necessarily a good thing as there is generous evidence to suggest that many Incels deeply submerse themselves into Inceldom. While being logged doesn’t mean actively engaging, some members can reach astronomic levels of interaction.

One member, with a profile picture of Josef Mengele, had over 10k posts as well as 135 days, 23 hours logged online from June 24th, 2020 to May 2nd, 2022. Another, hosting a profile picture of Elliot Rodger, had 13,204 posts and 12 days, 7 hours (rounded up) of time logged in from April 3rd, 2022 to May 2nd, 2022.

That is 455.3 posts a day over the 29 days it lasted. This wasn’t a spam account; this user was witnessed engaging with the forum.

To take from Mark Twain, “Broad, wholesome, charitable views of men and things cannot be acquired by vegetating in one little corner of the earth all one’s lifetime” (Twain, 2004).

Finally, compounding these feelings of isolation is a generalized enmity towards bluepilled people, e.g. normies. As evidenced by one member - profile picture being an image of serial rapist and killer Edmund Kemper - who argued that misanthropy needs to be emphasized more so than misogyny. This user, having 273 days logged in, argues that the forum needs to be “reformed” to include the focus on misanthropy as “We must hate men just as much as women for harming other men to get liad [sic] or excluding us or bullying us…”

A proverbial blackhole of nihilistic despair, this thread was responded to with comments such as “I hate women and men equally. Not nearly as much as I hate myself”; “I hate all men and women especially tallfags”; and arguing in all capital letters that they need to slut shame Chads as Chad’s power is “a result of redpill cucks who value laycount and degeneracy over everything.” These feelings of betrayal, bullying, and misanthropy are further highlighted by the wide variety of profile pictures featuring shots from the 2019 film Joker.

This is likely due to a feeling of kinship with the eponymous Joker who feels unable to enter or thrive in society until eventually exploding into nihilistic, vengeful violence. In the Joker, they see themselves as the dejected, abused outsider who is tormented in every attempt at integrating with society, and - judging by the panoply of violent comments and justifications for violence - they see something inspiring in him. At the very least, they see someone they can relate to.

Thus, in these normative, approving statements and contributions to Blackpill philosophy, it can be stated that there are definite features of this cultic behavior in Incels.

13. Dropout Control
Intensity of efforts directed at preventing or returning dropouts.

In large, the Proud Boys and Incels show little to none in dropout control. For Proud Boys, the majority of it appears to be a denouncement after the fact, such as claiming the member was kicked out rather than left (Brunswick et al., 2020).

While with Incels if a member no longer logs on, it’s often assumed that said member “roped himself [died by sucide]” and effort isn’t made to check on them. If a prior member disparages Incels or disproves the blackpill, anger is, of course, expressed in response to critique, but effort may even be made to paint this former member as a “fakecel” (Carkudo, 2021).

What this suggests in the end is what levels of dropout control expressed by Proud Boys and Incels occurs post the departure of members. This makes sense as these aren’t groups that typically have requirements to live on compounds or in barracks; members are free to walk away at any point.

When you aren’t reliant on the group for food and shelter, the primary danger you face is from reprisal for leaving. As I’m unable to find any evidence of ex-members of either groups being threatened or attacked after leaving, it would appear that the primary method of dropout control are No True Scotsman fallacy arguments stating that the departed member was never a true comrade, cutting off social support from the group, or attempts at smearing their social standing.

With the lack of credibility amongst mainstream society, I’m inclined to believe that mudslinging by an extremist group holds much less threat than those respected in accepted society. Thus, this would suggest little to no features of this cultic behavior in either group.

14. Violence
Amount of approval when used by or for the group, its doctrines or leader(s).

As with the Proud Boys, Incels show a disturbing approval of violence. As three of the mainstream Incel Saints are mass-killers - Rodger, Minassian, and Lepine (Baele et al., 2021) - they glorify the act of violence to a near-spiritual level.

Further discussed by Baele et al., Incel killers and rank-and-file Incels frequently evoke the need of an uprising, with Alek Minassian even posting on Facebook, before his attack, “Private (Recruit) Minassian Infantry 00010, wishing to speak to Sgt 4chan please. C23249161. The Incel Rebellion has already begun! We will overthrow the Chads and Stacys! All hail the Supreme Gentleman Elliot Rodger!” (Moonshot, 2020, p.10).

This near-spiritual obsession with violent saints even extends to one person posting Elliot Rodger’s full autopsy report within the forums, acting similar to a memento mori relic of a dead saint.

Calls to violence are guaranteed to be witnessed by a cursory look at their forums. This can be seen in fantasizing comments such as “Imagine a world that a foid is executed for not being virgin before marriage”; approval directed towards a Chinese news video about a “Normie man” who “kidnaps, repeatedly rapes and chains woman in shed”; and aforementioned arguments that justify killing gay people.

Further evidence lies in usernames being named after famous, misogynistic serial killers and profile pictures of mass shooters - such as Elliot Rodger, Seung-Hui Cho, and Dylann Roof - and other members of history linked to violence, such as Charles Manson, Adolf Hitler, and Josef Mengele.

Not limiting themselves to praising mass murder, Incels show a disturbing inclination to downplaying, justifying, and even extoling rape and threats of sexual violence.

Discussions of envy towards the prior mentioned “Normie man”; protesting the total ban of sexualizing minors by arguing “we’re entitled to 10/10 giga-stacy [best described as “prime”] pussy bro”, and one member discussing how “It’s funny when you follow the foids at night and they get scared af and keep looking behind to see whether you’re following them or not.” This last example was followed up with the original poster saying he plans next to scream at lolis [minors] at night.

Finally, Incels exhibit a strong approval of self-violence. Statements about no hope existing for Incels and how the pain of Inceldom only ends at death are not only tolerated but seemingly encouraged. Their biological determinism - treated as all-encompassing and omnipotent - deems them to have already “lost” and been demoted to Inceldom. If you can’t accept that this is how the world works, you seek out “copes” in order to survive, lest you “rope yourself” - i.e. complete suicide (Incel Wiki, n.d.). As one Incel put it:

“I hate the whole reality, I hate nature, I hate killing or being killed, I hate the law that prevails in the universe, the law of the strongest is a tragedy, death is my only consolation, knowing that one day I will die It’s the only thing that motivates me to stay alive, one day with death everything will end.”
This obsession with violence, both inwards and outwards, is an allencompassing feature within Incel forums. With nearly 50 fatalities from 2014 to 2020 linked to Incels (Hoffman et al., 2020) - this fixation on violence is necessary to understand when trying to comprehend Incels. Thus, Incels show definite features of this cultic behavior.

15. Paranoia
Amount of fear concerning real or imagined enemies; exaggeration of perceived power of opponents; prevalence of conspiracy theories.

Similarly with Incels, their conception of throngs of foes that conspire against them is hyper-inflated. Due to their Alt-Right membership, Jews are unsurprisingly often placed among their powerful-yet-inferior enemies. References to Jewish conspiracies are rampant with images comparing unflattering photos of famous Jewish people in history to anti-semitic propaganda from the 20th century.

Though, this could be generously described as attempts at edgy humor. Peculiarly, self-identified Jewish Incels will even engage in this propaganda even when antithetical to their position, such as one user responding to a comment of “...thank god my great grandpa killed you [sic] race in ww2” with “you didn’t do shit the holocaust never happened and we know it, goy”.

Naturally, the response to this was that “Holohoax never happened” but some Jews were “vanished by my own heritage”. In the same vein, another argues that taking the blackpill

“helps you see how the world really works and who’s in charge pulling the strings. It’s not just that foids are whores for Chad and it all boils down to bone genetics – it’s also that the jews have rigged the system and have enslaved everyone using capitalism and politics. Foids are whores. The jews need to burn in ovens. These are unavoidable truths.”
Finally, evidence of an endorsement of anti-semitism is the proliferation of profile pictures of prominent Nazis amongst Incels with at least three moderators having profile pictures of Heydrich, Himmler, and Hitler.

As they believe women are to blame for all of their issues, they similarly proscribe a tremendous amount of power to an entire gender while hypocritically believing they have the upper hand with their analysis and true-sight through the red and blackpill. An almost eldritch, hive-minded consciousness, women are responsible for much of the world’s inequalities and are the source of all Inceldom’s woes, according to Incels.

Their conception of the “pussy cartel” is indicative of this all-encompassing power that women supposedly have. Believing that sex is necessary for men to thrive, it is believed that women artificially inflate the price of sex. Asexual and non-heterosexual men apparently do not exist in this rationale. As Incel Wiki puts it:

“Sex is worth maybe $5 of women’s time and effort. But women know men will go insane without sex, so they collectively deny it to men. They force most men to invest hundreds if not thousands of hours into resource security, job security, free drinks, free transportation, free housing etc just for the possibility [original emphasis] that they will get sex” (Incels Wiki, n.d.).
How this supposed control manifests is such: I want to attract a girlfriend, so I am going to wealthmaxx and make money. I cannot make money because I am unable to focus my efforts while being sex deprived and thus can’t develop my own income.

I can’t get a girlfriend because women artificially inflate the value of companionship and sex and thus limit oppressed groups such as me from producing enough wealth to pay for their established value. Further evidence of these beliefs are arguments that women are the most privileged in society.

“We obviously don’t envy having half a brain, or not having hobbies, but we envy their privilege of being on the throne of the social hierarchy.” The same user goes on to say that “[w]e’re rotting in complete social isolation” and that “it’s like a black person hating whites in the 1800’s, or the poor farmers hating the rich, it’s only natural to dislike them.”

Similarly, as mentioned prior, there is paranoia towards mental health practitioners which actively reinforces Incels’ resolve in their beliefs. Actively perceiving therapy as a form of brainwashing (accurate enough if one conceives it like cleaning a wound) or indoctrination, it is believed that therapists will undermine your belief and install mere coping mechanisms but never solve the key issue in your life - your inability to have sex. So it’s just a way of leeching money off of Incels and further “cucking” them by deriving them of resources.

It’s unfortunate as these are people who desperately need mental health treatment. With constant suicidal ideation, allusions to suicide, and declarations of despair, Incels’ deeply unhealthy behavioral patterns will continue to ravage their community and spill into modern society.

Finally, like Proud Boys, Incels seem to think that federal law enforcement is everywhere. Again, this is largely justified as their forums are completely open to anyone who isn’t a member, there have been several high-profile bursts of violence from the Incel community, and there is a history of being monitored by r/IncelTear to the point that people who screenshot and share their content are called ITcucks (Moonshot, 2020).

It’s rather common within the Incels to reference r/IncelTear when speaking into the proverbial abyss of the internet because they know that their more extreme statements will be screenshotted and shared outside of their forum. Still, justified or not, their overarching beliefs in a multitude of powerful enemies and their attribution of all of life’s agony to them exhibits definite features of this cultic behavior.

16. Grimness
Amount of disapproval concerning jokes about the group, its doctrines or its leader(s).

Incels, in contrast, do not have anything like this. This was one of the most taxing issues with sifting through their posts as there is very little expression of care or cherishment towards one another. They don’t so much make jokes about one another but rather tear each other down.

There’s no ribbing, and there’s no fondness to be found in their dynamic. All that exists is a spiteful loathing that uses wounding language to lacerate the soul. Their group interactions further implies that they barely even rise above loathing one another.

When they joke, they can barely be called jokes but rather are just allusions to beliefs about the inferiority of an out-group. In modern society, a joke might be a pun, a clearly nonsensical statement or action, be sarcastic/ironic, or cleverness, but a typical Incel “joke” is devoid of any clever wordplay.

It's just “women have small brains unlike us” or “if I was God I would extinguish all life on Earth” along with laughing Pepe emojis. Without these laughing Pepe emojis, there would be no way to determine whether attempts at comedy were made or not. There’s no punchline to any of their jokes; there is only the punch.

Still, they save the worst of these “jokes” for when others criticize their beliefs. As mentioned, r/IncelTear is a constant focus of ire for them. Simultaneously saying they care little about r/IncelTear, they express beliefs in how sociopathic ‘IT cucks’ are for mocking or being shocked by their warped, bigoted beliefs.

Occasions where Incels are criticized is perhaps one of the rare times where they don’t attempt to tear each other down as they have a target that isn’t a strawman to direct their ire at. Thus, while I would argue that grimness includes this inherent lack of tenderness within the group, this fomentation of hate towards those who criticize or even joke about Incels is enough to declare this as a definitive feature.

17. Surrender of Will
Amount of emphasis on members not having to be responsible for personal decisions; degree of individual disempowerment created by the group, its doctrines or its leader(s).

Within Incels, surrender of will is one of the defining features of their ideology. If everything is biologically determined - with women damming the proverbial river of men to only allow a trickle of it to progress to the land of happiness and success - they don’t have to believe that they are the reason they are stagnating.

They don’t have to believe that their actions and beliefs are unjustified. Instead, this determinism justifies Incels to believe as Elliot Rodger did prior to his mass killing.

“All while I was suffering this lonely existence, other boys my age lived their happy lives of pleasure and sex. I can never forgive such an injustice, and it was my bid to overcompensate for it in the future. I had to make up for all the years I lost in loneliness and isolation, through no fault of my own! It was society’s fault for rejecting me. It was women’s fault for refusing to have sex with me.” (Rodger, 2014)
As I’ve mentioned prior, almost ad-nauseum, this self-defeating behavior is enforced by their own community. In exhibiting a crab-bucket mentality, any attempt to “ascend” out of this pit of despair is met by other Incels dragging them back in. Even if “ascension” is achieved, they will attempt to drag them back into the self-fulfilling crab bucket they call a community.

For if the Blackpill is incorrect - if not everything is biologically determined and women aren’t to blame for every injustice - all there is left to understand is their own shirkment of self-work that can bring them happiness. Sure, some have faced trauma, bullying, and ridicule that implanted the seed of misogyny. But, their absolutist language and philosophy serves as an absolution of responsibility for their own guilt. Thus, there are definite features of this cultic behavior within the Incels.

18. Hypocrisy
amount of approval for actions which the group officially considers immoral or unethical, when done by or for the group, its doctrines or leader(s); willingness to violate the group’s declared principles for political, psychological, social, economic, military, or other gain.

With Incels, hypocrisy is similarly complicated. The most obvious conception of this complicated hypocrisy is their disapproval or attempts at proving an Incel’s ascension was actually meaningless. As discussed regarding how Incels tear each other down and denigrate achievements, if an Incel claims to have ascended or made a step towards ascension, this inspires other Incels to clamp down that belief, belittle its merit, and/or argue that it’s not a ‘true ascension’.

This may seem hypocritical, for they are obsessed with their sex-less status to the point that any form of unpurchased, heterosexual sex should be seen as an improvement. But, this defensive anger towards those who ascend by determining the act as meaningless is par for the course in their belief. An Incel ascending violates one of the core tenets of the blackpill: sex is biologically determined.

To ascend - something Incels determine to be impossible or near-impossible - is to disprove this notion of determinacy. If you ascend, your success implies they could succeed as well, which could shatter their whole belief in the blackpill. So, while one might expect joy and aplomb in a group dedicated to men who feel cut-off from sex, their angry response is not hypocritical as this is a core belief that is then threatened.

But this is not to say that hypocrisy doesn’t exist within Incels. Aforementioned within sexual manipulation, attraction to minors is a place where hypocrisy lies. As a part of the far-right, discussions of how farleft/leftists/”liberals” are the real pedophiles occurs in their posts.

Despite being surrounded by other users’ comments asking about whether they’d be banned or punished for being attracted to girls going through puberty because “Some foids go through puberty at 9”, one moderator argues “In fact it’s the woke tards that are gradually now pushing for the normalization of pedophilia” while a regular member states “Woketards tend to be MAP’s [minor-attracted persons] though, I don’t see MAP’s coming out of any other political camp.

” To argue that it’s not your group while other Incels are normalizing pedophilia in the same thread displays a remarkable lack of selfawareness and hypocrisy.

Finally, we get to pseudoscience within Incels. As mentioned before, Incels attempt to justify everything scientifically.

They will cite scientific studies to prove blackpill philosophy, such as “Beauty is objective and measurable in the brain”, “High fWHR [facial width-to-height ratio] men express greater psychopathy, aggression, cheating, and exploitative behavior”, “62% of women have fantasies about rape and other forced sex acts”, and so on and so forth (Incel Wiki, n.d.).

They cite studies on these, as shown in the Incel Wiki “Scientific Blackpill” article, but these merely provide a veneer of legitimacy. Lee Williams put it best in their dissertation.

“Within Incel discourse, there is a determination to prove that the theories and worldviews found in the Incelosphere, such as their views on women, race and biases against men, are true and based on facts and science. To accomplish this, there is a strong emphasis on genetics and biology as a means to understand and validate Incel worldviews. However, rather than engaging in a scientific approach, which strives to prove a claim by seeking evidence which may prove said claim false, a pseudoscientific approach, seeking out evidence to support a specific claim, is used. This pseudoscientific approach is evident in the discourse of Incels.Co, as any reports, studies or data that go against their worldviews are disregarded, labelled feminist propaganda or as somehow being influenced by women or others they consider to be their ‘enemies’. Data that aligns with Incel worldviews can be taken out of context” (Williams, 2020).
If Incel beliefs were justifiable, they would have scientifically proven it by now, as evidenced by their unhealthy hyperfixation with its factuality. But, they can only prove the blackpill to be true if they - consciously or unconsciously - ignore the evidence that proves it isn’t. Suffice to say, this is hypocritical behavior on Incels’ part as they place emphasis on being coldly logical, unlike “foids” and “normies”. For, this isn’t being coldly logical; this is cosplaying as a scientist.

Since scientifically proving biological determinism contributes deeply to their sense of identity, this hypocritical contradiction is an important element in determining their level of hypocrisy. Thus, with this and their hypocrisy around pedophilia, this suggests there are definite features of the cultic behavior of hypocrisy.


Conclusion


Proud Boys​
Incels​
Internal Control​
0​
2​
External Control​
2​
1​
Wisdom/Knowledge Claimed by leader(s)​
2​
2​
Wisdom/Knowledge Credited to leader(s) by members​
2​
2​
Dogma​
2​
2​
Recruiting​
0​
0​
Front Groups​
0​
0​
Wealth​
1​
0​
Sexual Manipulation of members by leader(s)​
2​
2​
Sexual Favoritism​
0​
0​
Censorship​
0​
2​
Isolation​
0​
2​
Dropout Control​
0​
0​
Violence​
2​
2​
Paranoia​
2​
2​
Grimness​
0​
2​
Surrender of Will​
0​
2​
Hypocrisy​
1​
2​
Total:
16/36​
25/36​
Average (rounded to the third notation):
0.889​
1.389​

As evidenced above, Incels show 25% (0.5 points) more cultic behavior than Proud Boys. Meanwhile, Proud Boys operate just below a moderate level of cultic behavior, with an average 0.889, suggesting that they are not a cult. Rather, despite exhibiting extremist behaviors that are dangerous, their behavior lies below the threshold of a cult and its resulting pseudo-religious zeal. This isn’t to suggest they are not dangerous, of course, but it does explain a bit why we haven’t seen a Proud Boy massshooter - mostly just violence committed when the group decides.

Incels, on the other hand, are definitely a cult. At the risk of hyperbole, I argue that conceptualizing them as a death cult - due to this hyperfixation on death and the indignant nihilism that fuels their rage - is necessary to understand their violence. They don’t have the political power to change the world to cater to them. All they have is violence. Violence against themselves and violence against others, their ideology justifies both as it leaves no perceivable chance of meaningful change.
White nationalist faggots are the biggest simps in the world, "white" culture worships pussy. I'd rather shank a traditionalist than a feminist. Better to jack off than be a simp.
 
The Cult Fascist: Establishing Cultic Behavior in Proud Boys and Incels
AJ Ashland Portland State University


Abstract

Is the Alt-Right a cult? Certainly, we can see religious fervor intertwine with politics as we see in the far-right, with artwork of Trump being crucified like Jesus, pierced in his side by Nancy Pelosi analogous to Longinus (Cole, 2020), or in the golden statue of Trump at CPAC (Beauchamp, 2021). But, do we see similar, potentially cultic, behavior within Alt-Right groups? It turns out we do see this behavior. Within this study, I determine via the Advanced Bonewits’ Cult Danger Evaluation Frame what level of cultic behavior exists within Incels and Proud Boys. In doing so, I intend to hopefully expand our tools and methodology when extremist groups explode into violence.

Keywords: cult, fascism, Alt-Right, Incels, Proud Boys


Introduction

As someone who was raised in rural Oregon amongst a far-right, fundamentalist community and having spent much of my adolescence online gaming, thus surrounded by proponents of GamerGate, I am in the unique position to see fascist behaviors evolve, in real-time, into the Alt-Right. Similarly, I have spent most of my life within strict, evangelical Baptist and Pentecoastal churches, adjacent to members of the Quiverfull movement, and have been immersed - to the point of nearly becoming a youth leader - in increasingly patriarchal, apocalyptic, and controlling dogma. I wasn’t within a cult, I have witnessed abuses of power, cover ups of abuse, victim blaming of the abused and the ill, political-based oustings of pastors and members of the congregation, and have even known a church leader who annihilated his wife and children in a murder-suicide.

With all of these experiences, I witnessed a common theme amongst my friends and family within evangelical Christianity and those in the AltRight as the latter exploded onto the scene. They exhibited a strong, dogmatic belief in their self-fiction that fed off cynicism to their lives and society that actively provided soothing and protection for their psyche.



Advanced Bonewits’ Cult Danger Evaluation Frame by Isaac Bonewits
  1. Internal Control: Amount of internal political and social power exercised by leader(s) over members; lack of clearly defined organizational rights for members.
  2. External Control: Amount of external political and social influence desired or obtained; emphasis on directing members’ external political and social behavior.
  3. Wisdom/Knowledge Claimed by leader(s): amount of infallibility declared or implied about decisions or doctrinal/scriptural interpretations; number and degree of unverified and/or unverifiable credentials claimed.
  4. Wisdom/Knowledge Credited to leader(s) by members: amount of trust in decisions or doctrinal/scriptural interpretations made by leader(s); amount of hostility by members towards internal or external critics and/or towards verification efforts.
  5. Dogma: Rigidity of reality concepts taught; amount of doctrinal inflexibility or "fundamentalism"; hostility towards relativism and situationalism.
  6. Recruiting: Emphasis put on attracting new members; amount of proselytizing; requirement for all members to bring in new ones.
  7. Front Groups: Number of subsidiary groups using different names from that of main group, especially when connections are hidden.
  8. Wealth: Amount of money and/or property desired or obtained by group; emphasis on members’ donations; economic lifestyle of leader(s) compared to ordinary members.
  9. Sexual Manipulation of members by leader(s) of non-tantric groups: amount of control exercised over sexuality of members in terms of sexual orientation, behavior, and/or choice of partners.
  10. . Sexual Favoritism: Advancement or preferential treatment dependent upon sexual activity with the leader(s) of non-tantric groups.
  11. Censorship: Amount of control over members’ access to outside opinions on group, its doctrines or leader(s).
  12. . Isolation: Amount of effort to keep members from communicating with nonmembers, including family, friends and lovers.
  13. Dropout Control: Intensity of efforts directed at preventing or returning dropouts.
  14. Violence: Amount of approval when used by or for the group, its doctrines or leader(s).
  15. Paranoia: Amount of fear concerning real or imagined enemies; exaggeration of perceived power of opponents; prevalence of conspiracy theories.
  16. Grimness: Amount of disapproval concerning jokes about the group, its doctrines or its leader(s).
  17. Surrender of Will: Amount of emphasis on members not having to be responsible for personal decisions; degree of individual disempowerment created by the group, its doctrines or its leader(s).
  18. Hypocrisy: amount of approval for actions which the group officially considers immoral or unethical, when done by or for the group, its doctrines or leader(s); willingness to violate the group’s declared principles for political, psychological, social, economic, military, or other gain.


Analysis via Bonewits’ Framework
1. Internal Control

Amount of internal political and social power exercised by leader(s) over members; lack of clearly defined organizational rights for members.

For Incels, there is more internal control of its members. On the main Incel forum, Incels.is, there is a requirement of no bluepilled content, meaning conflicting opinions are not allowed unless they support Blackpill ideology; no discussion of “personal romantic or sexual experiences, even if they happened long ago”; no humble-bragging “such as by subtly praising your own features”; and no “gay or LGBT content, unless you’re criticising it.”

There are allowances to discuss other subjects than Inceldom, but these rules of no conflicting opinions and experiences reinforces the echo chamber mentality of it. Further, in later posts by admins of an update to the site’s rules, they exhibit a deflective, noncommittal stance when asked for exacting definition, except in the most extreme of cases. Tasking the moderators to retain this echo chamber, internal control is ascertained via the ability to shape narrative and determine on a whim whether group membership is allowed or not.

For organizational rights for members, there are only two meaningful ranks: moderator and member. There may be designated moderators who police and delete content, but these are less prophets who detail Incel ideology but rather guardians of said ideology from outside forces. Still, these moderators do show a willingness to ban members from their forum.

Albeit, I have not witnessed an explicit banning occurrence, but - since many banned members’ posts still remain - sifting through their forum is guaranteed to find you a few banned members throughout thus showing a propensity towards guarding Incel ideology from internal forces, too.

Thus, despite ranks being clear, the level of internal control exhibited by moderators and their willingness to be vague exceeds what one might consider minor. As such, definitive features of this cultic behavior exist.

2. External Control
Amount of external political and social influence desired or obtained; emphasis on directing members’ external political and social behavior.

With Incels, there is a similar emphasis on appearing less extreme than they are, but I argue this is instead couched in a history of their subreddits and web forums being banned or removed from internet hosts due to illicit and extreme behavior, such as subreddits r/incels, r/braincels, r/Shortcels, and r/IncelsWithoutHate as well as the migration from a Montenegro-based web domain, Incels.me, to the current Icelandic based web domain, Incels.is (Murphy, 2018).

Still, their views haven’t changed but rather are couched in irony and the thinnest veneer of plausible denial. Discussions of going ER [committing an Elliot Rodger style mass killing], the justification (or admission) of rape, and spitting on people of color are occasionally suffixed with “(in video games)”, “(in Minecraft)”, or “(in GTA)”, implying they are talking about these actions being in video games. It should be noted: rape and spitting aren’t available in either of those specific games.

However, there are limits to any unified attempts in presenting as lawabiding. Some members have argued that attempts at corralling pedophilic posts are akin to being a “woke Reddit forum”, despite one moderator specifying that it is still allowed to discuss 14-year-old girls as “14 year olds are within the age of consent in various jurisdictions”.

The aforementioned discussion on the sentience of women; why pedophilia is “less degenerate than homosexuality”; and arguments on why attractive people should be sent to concentration camps are still prominent as well. Furthermore, in performing this research, I have come across cartoon pornography of Ralph Wiggum and Lisa Simpson, both as prepubescent children, posted 3 months before screenshot by a popular member of the forum.

Despite explicitly stating “Do not sexualize pre-pubescent minors in any way, shape, or form”, images such as that and comments expressing envy for Ralph remain. All of this paints an extreme picture of a group that is deeply laissez-faire about speech unless it can get the forum in legal trouble.

Important to consider is that you don’t need an account to access these posts. They clearly aren’t afraid to express or hide their most extreme beliefs online, even when they know they’re being monitored. This specific fact expresses the fact that moderators and members don’t much care about external condemnation.

In fact, with some of them, it would almost appear they relish it. This lack of care for external critique is why they show moderate features - rather than definitive features - of this cultic behavior.

3. Wisdom/Knowledge Claimed by leader(s)
amount of infallibility declared or implied about decisions or doctrinal/scriptural interpretations; number and degree of unverified and/or unverifiable credentials claimed.

Incels, of course, don’t have a conventional leader. They have moderators, not prophets. Thus, the doctrine and scriptural interpretations are generated via interactions within the community, typically in threads with the designator of “Blackpill” or “Theory” in their title.

These contributions are then commented on by forum members where some say “very based [correct/accurate]”;“high iq post”; or others may deride the contribution. Very much so a marketplace of ideas, the proverbial facts and definition of Incels and the Blackpill change when contacting others, with other Incels’ worldviews changing as well.

As stated before, these beliefs act like a virus. Still, despite the potential for drastic change, there are constants in this metaphysical, viral Blackpill: Incels are sexually (and thus societally) unwanted, this is biologically determined, and women are responsible.

With these ideas forming the skeletal ribcage of the philosophy, the Blackpill molds and adapts itself to any blow or critique it encounters. Like nailing Jell-O to a wall, the Blackpill isn’t destroyed if one theory is dismembered from the source; it manifests a new appendageal-theory to continue its manipulation.

Similarly, an adulterated facsimile of science exists to provide justification of the beliefs. Driven by the need to prove their ‘superiority’ to ‘emotional’ women, they intellectualize their intuited beliefs and feelings of despair and cherry pick studies or outright fabricate data to prove their points.

Case in point, Incels discussed in one thread “Why killing gay ‘people’ should be legal” by stating with “A gay person is an organism that spreads diseases such as HIV”; “Their mechanism of spreading HIV is anal sex”; and “gays who turn themselves in however, should have their balls removed”.

Tangentially, this also implies a perception that women cannot be gay when taking into account rampant transphobia in the community and their belief in biological determinism driving women to copulate with “Chads”. Discussions of how to deal with gay people revolve around their perceived dirtiness and pest control services, thus verminizing a group of people.

Later comments add that “it’s pretty much impossible to get AIDS without participating in a degenerate act” and that gay men “have an average sex partner count of 500, 25% of them are over 1000”, are supported by no citations, likely because it’s wrong. It doesn’t matter to them that their ideas are built upon otherworldly stereotypes; this role-playing of science provides a legitimizing insulation from criticism that could erode their own belief.

As such, because of this propagation of an infallible, self-sealing worldview known as the Blackpill, they portray definitive features of this cultic behavior.

4. Wisdom/Knowledge Credited to leader(s) by members
amount of trust in decisions or doctrinal/scriptural interpretations made by leader(s); amount of hostility by members towards internal or external critics and/or towards verification efforts.

For Incels, I have briefly mentioned the paragons, the Incel saints, who embody Inceldom. Typically these are people who have gone on mass killings due to Incel or proto-Incel beliefs, such as Seung-Hui Cho (Virginia Tech killings), Elliot Rodger (Isla Vista killings), and Alek Minassian (Toronto killings) who himself was inspired by Rodger and deemed him the “founding forefather” of Incels (Cottee, 2021, p.93).

Some even include the Columbine shooters, Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold. Still, not all Incel saints are murderers but rather are people whose image became a symbol of the Incel condition, such as St. Blackops2cel (Moonshot, 2020). Blackops2cel, named due to wearing a fan-shirt of the video game Call of Duty: Black Ops 2, was not connected to Incels prior to the appropriation of his selfie (Know Your Meme, n.d.), but those in the Incel community beatified due to him being proof that taking a shower and getting a haircut won’t make you sexually desirable.

To Incels, he represents this biological determinism that is sisyphean to negate. Particularly appealing to blackpilled Incels, he is commonly drawn like Jesus Christ, wearing a crown of thorns around his head. Other renditions include him dropping atomic blackpill bombs out of an airplane with AWALT [All Women Are Like That] painted on its nose. In addition, one painting is of him looming over a warrior amongst a desolate landscape, stork to the right of him, and a massive noose with a golden light shining through it beckoning the warrior forward.

Still, not all Incels agree on who should be called a saint or whether their saints are bluepilled or not, and when there is disagreement between Incels on saints, or blackpill ideology, intense hostility abounds. Typically these disagreements include ableist slurs or descriptions of statements as “autistic”, and some may argue that the original poster is “pushing normie values” which vaguely threatens a violation of the no bluepilled content rule.

Incels are most unified, however, when facing criticism from outside groups. A prime example of this is one “RageFuel” post about how Isla Vista killings’ wikipedia page lists “I.N.C.E.L. iDeOlogY [sic]” as one of Elliot Rodger’s motives. It’s claimed that the page looks “as if it was vandalized by soys [low-testosterone men]”, and claims of Elliot Rodger being fueled by misogyny are further mocked. Several responses to this are declarations that it was “based terrorism”; “everything he did was 100% justified”; and that incel ideology and an incel movement are non-existent things.

While Incels aren’t unified on their saints, this deep inclination towards hostility - inwards and outwards - vastly outweighs any limiting factor said division may bring for this category. Thus, I would argue that they exhibit definitive features of this cultic behavior.

5. Dogma
Rigidity of reality concepts taught; amount of doctrinal inflexibility or "fundamentalism"; hostility towards relativism and situationalism.

As I’ve mentioned with Incels, the Blackpill is an amorphous, flexible belief that is anchored in the fundamentals of Incels being sexually unwanted, life being biologically determined, and women are responsible for the injustice of Incels’ sexless lives. Thus, any flexibility that appears is utilized to justify the core, unchanging beliefs of the Blackpill. Any attempt at changing these beliefs is met with hostility.

You could make the argument to an Incel that their behavior is what confines them to involuntary celibacy, but these arguments are quickly derided and ignored as whitewashing of their mental pain or useless platitudes. In one post on “Why Therapy is (Usually) a Cope [going into denial to avoid the harsh truth of the Blackpill] for Incels”, the poster argues the uselessness or even danger of therapy, “The personality isn’t why he is khhv, as he was khhv before and after taking the blackpill”; “The therapist gives him bluepilled platitudes aka copes such as ‘just work on your personality’ or ‘get some friends who are girls’”; and how “therapy only changes the way you perceive the reality around you, which is the textbook definition of a cope.”

The poster concedes that therapy can be useful “for one thing and one thing only; developing social skills”, but otherwise declares that mental health treatment - something desperately needed by many Incels - is useless or even a danger. As one person puts it, in their mind, “People who say ‘just go to therapy’ is PC way of saying ‘just kill yourself already I don’t give a fuck about you. . . . .We’re already rotting in loneliness, depressed, and rejected by society yet they act like we’ve done something horribly wrong to them.”

Further evidence to them lies in their belief in the 80/20 rule; “that 80% of women desire just 20% of men” (Anti-Defamation League, 2019) so you should just LDAR (lie down and rot). This inability to accept that, perhaps, their behavior is to blame for their sexual frustrations and absolutist language display an intensely antithetical approach to relative situations. As one comment expressed on a post made about visiting a “foids house [sic]”: “gtfo faker”. Rather than acknowledging the panoply of gray shades in the world, potential “ascensions” from Inceldom are treated as unreal and impossible. This 21st century rendition of Plato’s allegory of the cave suggests that there are definite features of this cultic behavior.

6. Recruiting
Emphasis put on attracting new members; amount of proselytizing; requirement for all members to bring in new ones.

As with Proud Boys, there is relatively little to no emphasis on attracting new members within the Incel community. There are calls for inspiring Incel rebellions by committing a mass killing, such as Alek Minassian who had

“hope[d] that they might perhaps trigger a chain reaction leading to society’s recognition of either the alleged excesses of feminism (with a return to the golden age of monogamy and patriarchy) or the Incel predicament (with policies designed to force women to fulfill all men’s alleged sexual entitlement)” (Baele et al., 2021, p.1683).
Despite this, I still see miniscule emphasis on recruitment. I’m personally inclined to believe that this is a result of yearning to be considered special due to the exclusionary nature of irreversible “pill taking”, for being one of the few knowers of truth is no longer possible when everyone believes it. Either way, there is very little in the way of active recruitment of members and thus little to no features of this cultic behavior.

7. Front Groups
Number of subsidiary groups using different names from that of main group, especially when connections are hidden.

While the Alt-Right don’t commonly have subsidiary groups to mask connections to themselves, they often scrupulously attempt to manipulate public appearances in an attempt to subtly shift societal morality towards their own beliefs (Harkinson, 2016) or - as mentioned before - take legal action when defined as a hate group (Kennedy, 2019). However, with Proud Boys and Incels, there is little to no evidence of front groups.

There are separate groups that fall under both communities, but they are not designed as a smoke screen nor based on false representations of their beliefs. The closest the Incels have is the wiki named, quite plainly, Incel Wiki, which adopts an apologist tone for their publicly-edited articles. Thus, I would argue there are little to no features of this cultic behavior for either Proud Boys or Incels.

8. Wealth
Amount of money and/or property desired or obtained by group; emphasis on members’ donations; economic lifestyle of leader(s) compared to ordinary members.

For Incels, there is very little in this aspect. You don’t see people buying shirts or stickers celebrating Inceldom, there is very little in the way of emphasizing donations by members, and the fundamentally decentralized nature of the Incel movement leaves little to define as a leader.

Further, because of all the controversy associated with them, advertisement on their websites is non-existent. There is the concept of wealthmaxxing within their community, which is earning money to maximize their chances of “ascending”, but they don’t place people with wealth on a pedestal above other Incels. Therefore, there are little to no features of this cultic behavior.

9. Sexual Manipulation of members by leader(s) of non-tantric groups
amount of control exercised over sexuality of members in terms of sexual orientation, behavior, and/or choice of partners.

With Incels, this is the defining characteristic of the group due to their overt focus and preoccupation on sex. There is no physically coercive funneling towards ‘correct’ sexuality, but what control exercised on sexuality we see is via a normative process that labels those who deviate from the norms as degenerate subhumans.

There’s a certain irony in viewing the Incel-defined deviants as subhuman when they themselves state similar things of their own physical bodies. After all, these are the same people who will label themselves Incels due to very specific features of their body, such as shortcel (short height); wristcel (small, feminine wrists); birdcel (weak chin and big nosed); baldcel (bald or balding); skullcel (too small and thus feminine of skulls); the list goes on.

The difference, in their view, between their subhumaness and Others’ degenerate subhumans is that their selfperceived subhumanity is part of this belief in biological determinism. In their minds, their looks-designated place in the “sexual marketplace” is set in stone by normal mutations occurring during their conception (Incels Wiki, n.d.).

Thus, they cannot procreate because they are “naturally less attractive” and - because of “degenerate influences” that corrupt the natural order - they can’t get a partner like how it was done in the (fantasized) past. In a world where the strong can’t take what they want and law shackles this will to power, they are left impotent - “cucked”.

Long past are days of vikings kidnapping women on raids or of mandated polygamy due to men being in short supply due to tribal warfare. All they have left to have sex - in their mind - is their looks. This is a large reason for why we see largely facetious, ironic, joking-unless-you’re-in-to-it posts about jihadmaxxing or arguments about “Why an Islamic Caliphate is the cure for inceldom”.

As one poster said, “foids should not have a say in who they are married off to”; “men shouldn’t have to perform a series of idiotic rituals to land a foid in bed”; and “...if you weren’t able to successfully climb the bs social latter [sic] or weren’t born with sufficient good looks to attract a foid in the west” then “fight[ing] for the Caliphate and you could have all the sex you want.”

In the same vein of “natural order”, there is the blatant undercurrent of pedophilia within a sizable portion of Incels. Ostensibly, the sexualization of minors is prohibited on Incels.is as on March 3rd, 2022, a 6-0 vote by moderators made the rule “Do not sexualize minors in any way, shape, or form.” On March 5th, 2022, they changed the rule to “better reflect what we were going for” to “Do not sexualize pre-pubescent [original emphasis] minors in any way, shape, or form.

” May 1st, 2022, the moderators expanded the rules further by banning arguments “that attraction to prepubescent minors is normal or even desirable”, proclaiming that you find prepubescent minors attractive, arguing that “prepubescent minors enjoy sexual activity with adults”, or saying that “pedophiles will one day be liberated in a utopian society that accommodates their desires.

” This rulechange led to a deluge of arguments. Comments on this new ruling were arguing over the definition of pubescence; its application to prepubescent anime characters; how “IT [r/IncelTear] spies” proclaim to be pedophiles to make Incels look worse; how pedophiles are gay because “it’s pedO, not pedEphile, o = male and e = female whenever it’s brought over from greek to english”; statements that the “preceding definition (ie the one I am repopularizing)” for pedophilia was “describing homosexual men’s lust for small boys”; asking “What’s the youngest minor we can sexualize? Just asking”; arguing that “woketards” (politically left people) are usually the only people sexualizing prepubescent minors; and that the forum has turned into “woke reddit”.

This isn’t an aberrant occurrence. For example, an aforementioned, reposted argument on “Why pedophilia (korephilia technically) is less degenerate than homosexuality” argued that having sex with a prepubescent girl makes it more likely that you’ll end up having sex with a girl in early puberty and thus procreate, thus being less-degenerate than homosexuality because it could lead to reproduction. Further, there is an argument by one now-banned Incel - bearing a profile picture of Josef Mengele - who had over 10k posts that “As an incel, there is literally no reason to be against pedophilia”.

Finally, we have a post by another prolific member of the forum about how “we should ban Ralph Wiggum from this forum” because he had sex, as evidenced by a cartoon image of Lisa Simpson having sex with Ralph Wiggum. Whether joking, wanting to shock, or intentionally sexualizing minors, there is a disturbing normalization of sexualizing behavior towards minors amongst the Incels.



10. Sexual Favoritism
Advancement or preferential treatment dependent upon sexual activity with the leader(s) of non-tantric groups.

In regards to sexual favoritism, we don’t see much or any of this within Incels or Proud Boys. In the years I have kept an ear out and the last few months of research, I have not witnessed a single event of sexual abuse by Proud Boys or Incels towards their male members. In regards to women in adjacent groups, there have been accusations of sexual impropriety by far-right figures (and lower ranked members), such as Gavin McInnes, towards prominent Alt-Right activist Lauren Southern (Lombroso, 2020).

Still, this has largely been relegated to outside Incel and Proud Boy circles. It does suggest to me that that sexual favoritism may perhaps be a larger factor in the greater Alt-Right, but in men-exclusive, homophobic groups - such as those studied here - there is little to none in terms of sexual favoritism.

11. Censorship
Amount of control over members’ access to outside opinions on group, its doctrines or leader(s).

In Incels, we see vastly different levels of censorship as they explicitly state “no bluepilled content of any kind” unless disproving it and no “Women and LGBT Individuals” or “non-incels” allowed.

As mentioned before, banned Incel member posts are also prevalent. Considering many of these users have thousands of posts (such as the 10,399 posts of one banned user with a Charles Manson profile picture) yet are banned, this suggests a quick and methodical team of moderators that are willing to ban users despite the time and effort put into it.

Through this willingness to ban, prohibition of blackpillcurious individuals, and a blanket restriction on beliefs and opinions perceived to be antithetical to the blackpill, Incels exhibit definite features of this cultic behavior.

12. Isolation
Amount of effort to keep members from communicating with non-members, including family, friends and lovers.

As usual, Incels show more extreme behavior. They too don’t prohibit outsiders from interacting with their members (they almost certainly couldn’t enforce it either way), but they exhibit extreme beliefs and behaviors in regards to interacting with society.

Emphasis is placed on not interacting with the outside world by portraying discussed incidents - such as being friends with a woman - as outright fake, near-impossible, embarrassing, or an example of the Incel being “cucked”.

Further normative behavior lies in Incels designating themselves as NEET (“Not in Education, Employment, or Training”) or as hikikomoris (Japanese for “pulling inward, being confined”) with the main difference being that hikikomoris rarely even leave their domicile (Incels Wiki, n.d.).

This behavior or label is occasionally praised as being superior to “wagies” - people who work - due to the fact that this allows the NEET Incel the ability to do what they want. As one poem says, “Wagie trapped and wagie dies, NEET eats tendies, sauce and fries”.

This isolation from the outside world isn’t necessarily a good thing as there is generous evidence to suggest that many Incels deeply submerse themselves into Inceldom. While being logged doesn’t mean actively engaging, some members can reach astronomic levels of interaction.

One member, with a profile picture of Josef Mengele, had over 10k posts as well as 135 days, 23 hours logged online from June 24th, 2020 to May 2nd, 2022. Another, hosting a profile picture of Elliot Rodger, had 13,204 posts and 12 days, 7 hours (rounded up) of time logged in from April 3rd, 2022 to May 2nd, 2022.

That is 455.3 posts a day over the 29 days it lasted. This wasn’t a spam account; this user was witnessed engaging with the forum.

To take from Mark Twain, “Broad, wholesome, charitable views of men and things cannot be acquired by vegetating in one little corner of the earth all one’s lifetime” (Twain, 2004).

Finally, compounding these feelings of isolation is a generalized enmity towards bluepilled people, e.g. normies. As evidenced by one member - profile picture being an image of serial rapist and killer Edmund Kemper - who argued that misanthropy needs to be emphasized more so than misogyny. This user, having 273 days logged in, argues that the forum needs to be “reformed” to include the focus on misanthropy as “We must hate men just as much as women for harming other men to get liad [sic] or excluding us or bullying us…”

A proverbial blackhole of nihilistic despair, this thread was responded to with comments such as “I hate women and men equally. Not nearly as much as I hate myself”; “I hate all men and women especially tallfags”; and arguing in all capital letters that they need to slut shame Chads as Chad’s power is “a result of redpill cucks who value laycount and degeneracy over everything.” These feelings of betrayal, bullying, and misanthropy are further highlighted by the wide variety of profile pictures featuring shots from the 2019 film Joker.

This is likely due to a feeling of kinship with the eponymous Joker who feels unable to enter or thrive in society until eventually exploding into nihilistic, vengeful violence. In the Joker, they see themselves as the dejected, abused outsider who is tormented in every attempt at integrating with society, and - judging by the panoply of violent comments and justifications for violence - they see something inspiring in him. At the very least, they see someone they can relate to.

Thus, in these normative, approving statements and contributions to Blackpill philosophy, it can be stated that there are definite features of this cultic behavior in Incels.

13. Dropout Control
Intensity of efforts directed at preventing or returning dropouts.

In large, the Proud Boys and Incels show little to none in dropout control. For Proud Boys, the majority of it appears to be a denouncement after the fact, such as claiming the member was kicked out rather than left (Brunswick et al., 2020).

While with Incels if a member no longer logs on, it’s often assumed that said member “roped himself [died by sucide]” and effort isn’t made to check on them. If a prior member disparages Incels or disproves the blackpill, anger is, of course, expressed in response to critique, but effort may even be made to paint this former member as a “fakecel” (Carkudo, 2021).

What this suggests in the end is what levels of dropout control expressed by Proud Boys and Incels occurs post the departure of members. This makes sense as these aren’t groups that typically have requirements to live on compounds or in barracks; members are free to walk away at any point.

When you aren’t reliant on the group for food and shelter, the primary danger you face is from reprisal for leaving. As I’m unable to find any evidence of ex-members of either groups being threatened or attacked after leaving, it would appear that the primary method of dropout control are No True Scotsman fallacy arguments stating that the departed member was never a true comrade, cutting off social support from the group, or attempts at smearing their social standing.

With the lack of credibility amongst mainstream society, I’m inclined to believe that mudslinging by an extremist group holds much less threat than those respected in accepted society. Thus, this would suggest little to no features of this cultic behavior in either group.

14. Violence
Amount of approval when used by or for the group, its doctrines or leader(s).

As with the Proud Boys, Incels show a disturbing approval of violence. As three of the mainstream Incel Saints are mass-killers - Rodger, Minassian, and Lepine (Baele et al., 2021) - they glorify the act of violence to a near-spiritual level.

Further discussed by Baele et al., Incel killers and rank-and-file Incels frequently evoke the need of an uprising, with Alek Minassian even posting on Facebook, before his attack, “Private (Recruit) Minassian Infantry 00010, wishing to speak to Sgt 4chan please. C23249161. The Incel Rebellion has already begun! We will overthrow the Chads and Stacys! All hail the Supreme Gentleman Elliot Rodger!” (Moonshot, 2020, p.10).

This near-spiritual obsession with violent saints even extends to one person posting Elliot Rodger’s full autopsy report within the forums, acting similar to a memento mori relic of a dead saint.

Calls to violence are guaranteed to be witnessed by a cursory look at their forums. This can be seen in fantasizing comments such as “Imagine a world that a foid is executed for not being virgin before marriage”; approval directed towards a Chinese news video about a “Normie man” who “kidnaps, repeatedly rapes and chains woman in shed”; and aforementioned arguments that justify killing gay people.

Further evidence lies in usernames being named after famous, misogynistic serial killers and profile pictures of mass shooters - such as Elliot Rodger, Seung-Hui Cho, and Dylann Roof - and other members of history linked to violence, such as Charles Manson, Adolf Hitler, and Josef Mengele.

Not limiting themselves to praising mass murder, Incels show a disturbing inclination to downplaying, justifying, and even extoling rape and threats of sexual violence.

Discussions of envy towards the prior mentioned “Normie man”; protesting the total ban of sexualizing minors by arguing “we’re entitled to 10/10 giga-stacy [best described as “prime”] pussy bro”, and one member discussing how “It’s funny when you follow the foids at night and they get scared af and keep looking behind to see whether you’re following them or not.” This last example was followed up with the original poster saying he plans next to scream at lolis [minors] at night.

Finally, Incels exhibit a strong approval of self-violence. Statements about no hope existing for Incels and how the pain of Inceldom only ends at death are not only tolerated but seemingly encouraged. Their biological determinism - treated as all-encompassing and omnipotent - deems them to have already “lost” and been demoted to Inceldom. If you can’t accept that this is how the world works, you seek out “copes” in order to survive, lest you “rope yourself” - i.e. complete suicide (Incel Wiki, n.d.). As one Incel put it:

“I hate the whole reality, I hate nature, I hate killing or being killed, I hate the law that prevails in the universe, the law of the strongest is a tragedy, death is my only consolation, knowing that one day I will die It’s the only thing that motivates me to stay alive, one day with death everything will end.”
This obsession with violence, both inwards and outwards, is an allencompassing feature within Incel forums. With nearly 50 fatalities from 2014 to 2020 linked to Incels (Hoffman et al., 2020) - this fixation on violence is necessary to understand when trying to comprehend Incels. Thus, Incels show definite features of this cultic behavior.

15. Paranoia
Amount of fear concerning real or imagined enemies; exaggeration of perceived power of opponents; prevalence of conspiracy theories.

Similarly with Incels, their conception of throngs of foes that conspire against them is hyper-inflated. Due to their Alt-Right membership, Jews are unsurprisingly often placed among their powerful-yet-inferior enemies. References to Jewish conspiracies are rampant with images comparing unflattering photos of famous Jewish people in history to anti-semitic propaganda from the 20th century.

Though, this could be generously described as attempts at edgy humor. Peculiarly, self-identified Jewish Incels will even engage in this propaganda even when antithetical to their position, such as one user responding to a comment of “...thank god my great grandpa killed you [sic] race in ww2” with “you didn’t do shit the holocaust never happened and we know it, goy”.

Naturally, the response to this was that “Holohoax never happened” but some Jews were “vanished by my own heritage”. In the same vein, another argues that taking the blackpill

“helps you see how the world really works and who’s in charge pulling the strings. It’s not just that foids are whores for Chad and it all boils down to bone genetics – it’s also that the jews have rigged the system and have enslaved everyone using capitalism and politics. Foids are whores. The jews need to burn in ovens. These are unavoidable truths.”
Finally, evidence of an endorsement of anti-semitism is the proliferation of profile pictures of prominent Nazis amongst Incels with at least three moderators having profile pictures of Heydrich, Himmler, and Hitler.

As they believe women are to blame for all of their issues, they similarly proscribe a tremendous amount of power to an entire gender while hypocritically believing they have the upper hand with their analysis and true-sight through the red and blackpill. An almost eldritch, hive-minded consciousness, women are responsible for much of the world’s inequalities and are the source of all Inceldom’s woes, according to Incels.

Their conception of the “pussy cartel” is indicative of this all-encompassing power that women supposedly have. Believing that sex is necessary for men to thrive, it is believed that women artificially inflate the price of sex. Asexual and non-heterosexual men apparently do not exist in this rationale. As Incel Wiki puts it:

“Sex is worth maybe $5 of women’s time and effort. But women know men will go insane without sex, so they collectively deny it to men. They force most men to invest hundreds if not thousands of hours into resource security, job security, free drinks, free transportation, free housing etc just for the possibility [original emphasis] that they will get sex” (Incels Wiki, n.d.).
How this supposed control manifests is such: I want to attract a girlfriend, so I am going to wealthmaxx and make money. I cannot make money because I am unable to focus my efforts while being sex deprived and thus can’t develop my own income.

I can’t get a girlfriend because women artificially inflate the value of companionship and sex and thus limit oppressed groups such as me from producing enough wealth to pay for their established value. Further evidence of these beliefs are arguments that women are the most privileged in society.

“We obviously don’t envy having half a brain, or not having hobbies, but we envy their privilege of being on the throne of the social hierarchy.” The same user goes on to say that “[w]e’re rotting in complete social isolation” and that “it’s like a black person hating whites in the 1800’s, or the poor farmers hating the rich, it’s only natural to dislike them.”

Similarly, as mentioned prior, there is paranoia towards mental health practitioners which actively reinforces Incels’ resolve in their beliefs. Actively perceiving therapy as a form of brainwashing (accurate enough if one conceives it like cleaning a wound) or indoctrination, it is believed that therapists will undermine your belief and install mere coping mechanisms but never solve the key issue in your life - your inability to have sex. So it’s just a way of leeching money off of Incels and further “cucking” them by deriving them of resources.

It’s unfortunate as these are people who desperately need mental health treatment. With constant suicidal ideation, allusions to suicide, and declarations of despair, Incels’ deeply unhealthy behavioral patterns will continue to ravage their community and spill into modern society.

Finally, like Proud Boys, Incels seem to think that federal law enforcement is everywhere. Again, this is largely justified as their forums are completely open to anyone who isn’t a member, there have been several high-profile bursts of violence from the Incel community, and there is a history of being monitored by r/IncelTear to the point that people who screenshot and share their content are called ITcucks (Moonshot, 2020).

It’s rather common within the Incels to reference r/IncelTear when speaking into the proverbial abyss of the internet because they know that their more extreme statements will be screenshotted and shared outside of their forum. Still, justified or not, their overarching beliefs in a multitude of powerful enemies and their attribution of all of life’s agony to them exhibits definite features of this cultic behavior.

16. Grimness
Amount of disapproval concerning jokes about the group, its doctrines or its leader(s).

Incels, in contrast, do not have anything like this. This was one of the most taxing issues with sifting through their posts as there is very little expression of care or cherishment towards one another. They don’t so much make jokes about one another but rather tear each other down.

There’s no ribbing, and there’s no fondness to be found in their dynamic. All that exists is a spiteful loathing that uses wounding language to lacerate the soul. Their group interactions further implies that they barely even rise above loathing one another.

When they joke, they can barely be called jokes but rather are just allusions to beliefs about the inferiority of an out-group. In modern society, a joke might be a pun, a clearly nonsensical statement or action, be sarcastic/ironic, or cleverness, but a typical Incel “joke” is devoid of any clever wordplay.

It's just “women have small brains unlike us” or “if I was God I would extinguish all life on Earth” along with laughing Pepe emojis. Without these laughing Pepe emojis, there would be no way to determine whether attempts at comedy were made or not. There’s no punchline to any of their jokes; there is only the punch.

Still, they save the worst of these “jokes” for when others criticize their beliefs. As mentioned, r/IncelTear is a constant focus of ire for them. Simultaneously saying they care little about r/IncelTear, they express beliefs in how sociopathic ‘IT cucks’ are for mocking or being shocked by their warped, bigoted beliefs.

Occasions where Incels are criticized is perhaps one of the rare times where they don’t attempt to tear each other down as they have a target that isn’t a strawman to direct their ire at. Thus, while I would argue that grimness includes this inherent lack of tenderness within the group, this fomentation of hate towards those who criticize or even joke about Incels is enough to declare this as a definitive feature.

17. Surrender of Will
Amount of emphasis on members not having to be responsible for personal decisions; degree of individual disempowerment created by the group, its doctrines or its leader(s).

Within Incels, surrender of will is one of the defining features of their ideology. If everything is biologically determined - with women damming the proverbial river of men to only allow a trickle of it to progress to the land of happiness and success - they don’t have to believe that they are the reason they are stagnating.

They don’t have to believe that their actions and beliefs are unjustified. Instead, this determinism justifies Incels to believe as Elliot Rodger did prior to his mass killing.

“All while I was suffering this lonely existence, other boys my age lived their happy lives of pleasure and sex. I can never forgive such an injustice, and it was my bid to overcompensate for it in the future. I had to make up for all the years I lost in loneliness and isolation, through no fault of my own! It was society’s fault for rejecting me. It was women’s fault for refusing to have sex with me.” (Rodger, 2014)
As I’ve mentioned prior, almost ad-nauseum, this self-defeating behavior is enforced by their own community. In exhibiting a crab-bucket mentality, any attempt to “ascend” out of this pit of despair is met by other Incels dragging them back in. Even if “ascension” is achieved, they will attempt to drag them back into the self-fulfilling crab bucket they call a community.

For if the Blackpill is incorrect - if not everything is biologically determined and women aren’t to blame for every injustice - all there is left to understand is their own shirkment of self-work that can bring them happiness. Sure, some have faced trauma, bullying, and ridicule that implanted the seed of misogyny. But, their absolutist language and philosophy serves as an absolution of responsibility for their own guilt. Thus, there are definite features of this cultic behavior within the Incels.

18. Hypocrisy
amount of approval for actions which the group officially considers immoral or unethical, when done by or for the group, its doctrines or leader(s); willingness to violate the group’s declared principles for political, psychological, social, economic, military, or other gain.

With Incels, hypocrisy is similarly complicated. The most obvious conception of this complicated hypocrisy is their disapproval or attempts at proving an Incel’s ascension was actually meaningless. As discussed regarding how Incels tear each other down and denigrate achievements, if an Incel claims to have ascended or made a step towards ascension, this inspires other Incels to clamp down that belief, belittle its merit, and/or argue that it’s not a ‘true ascension’.

This may seem hypocritical, for they are obsessed with their sex-less status to the point that any form of unpurchased, heterosexual sex should be seen as an improvement. But, this defensive anger towards those who ascend by determining the act as meaningless is par for the course in their belief. An Incel ascending violates one of the core tenets of the blackpill: sex is biologically determined.

To ascend - something Incels determine to be impossible or near-impossible - is to disprove this notion of determinacy. If you ascend, your success implies they could succeed as well, which could shatter their whole belief in the blackpill. So, while one might expect joy and aplomb in a group dedicated to men who feel cut-off from sex, their angry response is not hypocritical as this is a core belief that is then threatened.

But this is not to say that hypocrisy doesn’t exist within Incels. Aforementioned within sexual manipulation, attraction to minors is a place where hypocrisy lies. As a part of the far-right, discussions of how farleft/leftists/”liberals” are the real pedophiles occurs in their posts.

Despite being surrounded by other users’ comments asking about whether they’d be banned or punished for being attracted to girls going through puberty because “Some foids go through puberty at 9”, one moderator argues “In fact it’s the woke tards that are gradually now pushing for the normalization of pedophilia” while a regular member states “Woketards tend to be MAP’s [minor-attracted persons] though, I don’t see MAP’s coming out of any other political camp.

” To argue that it’s not your group while other Incels are normalizing pedophilia in the same thread displays a remarkable lack of selfawareness and hypocrisy.

Finally, we get to pseudoscience within Incels. As mentioned before, Incels attempt to justify everything scientifically.

They will cite scientific studies to prove blackpill philosophy, such as “Beauty is objective and measurable in the brain”, “High fWHR [facial width-to-height ratio] men express greater psychopathy, aggression, cheating, and exploitative behavior”, “62% of women have fantasies about rape and other forced sex acts”, and so on and so forth (Incel Wiki, n.d.).

They cite studies on these, as shown in the Incel Wiki “Scientific Blackpill” article, but these merely provide a veneer of legitimacy. Lee Williams put it best in their dissertation.

“Within Incel discourse, there is a determination to prove that the theories and worldviews found in the Incelosphere, such as their views on women, race and biases against men, are true and based on facts and science. To accomplish this, there is a strong emphasis on genetics and biology as a means to understand and validate Incel worldviews. However, rather than engaging in a scientific approach, which strives to prove a claim by seeking evidence which may prove said claim false, a pseudoscientific approach, seeking out evidence to support a specific claim, is used. This pseudoscientific approach is evident in the discourse of Incels.Co, as any reports, studies or data that go against their worldviews are disregarded, labelled feminist propaganda or as somehow being influenced by women or others they consider to be their ‘enemies’. Data that aligns with Incel worldviews can be taken out of context” (Williams, 2020).
If Incel beliefs were justifiable, they would have scientifically proven it by now, as evidenced by their unhealthy hyperfixation with its factuality. But, they can only prove the blackpill to be true if they - consciously or unconsciously - ignore the evidence that proves it isn’t. Suffice to say, this is hypocritical behavior on Incels’ part as they place emphasis on being coldly logical, unlike “foids” and “normies”. For, this isn’t being coldly logical; this is cosplaying as a scientist.

Since scientifically proving biological determinism contributes deeply to their sense of identity, this hypocritical contradiction is an important element in determining their level of hypocrisy. Thus, with this and their hypocrisy around pedophilia, this suggests there are definite features of the cultic behavior of hypocrisy.


Conclusion


Proud Boys​
Incels​
Internal Control​
0​
2​
External Control​
2​
1​
Wisdom/Knowledge Claimed by leader(s)​
2​
2​
Wisdom/Knowledge Credited to leader(s) by members​
2​
2​
Dogma​
2​
2​
Recruiting​
0​
0​
Front Groups​
0​
0​
Wealth​
1​
0​
Sexual Manipulation of members by leader(s)​
2​
2​
Sexual Favoritism​
0​
0​
Censorship​
0​
2​
Isolation​
0​
2​
Dropout Control​
0​
0​
Violence​
2​
2​
Paranoia​
2​
2​
Grimness​
0​
2​
Surrender of Will​
0​
2​
Hypocrisy​
1​
2​
Total:
16/36​
25/36​
Average (rounded to the third notation):
0.889​
1.389​

As evidenced above, Incels show 25% (0.5 points) more cultic behavior than Proud Boys. Meanwhile, Proud Boys operate just below a moderate level of cultic behavior, with an average 0.889, suggesting that they are not a cult. Rather, despite exhibiting extremist behaviors that are dangerous, their behavior lies below the threshold of a cult and its resulting pseudo-religious zeal. This isn’t to suggest they are not dangerous, of course, but it does explain a bit why we haven’t seen a Proud Boy massshooter - mostly just violence committed when the group decides.

Incels, on the other hand, are definitely a cult. At the risk of hyperbole, I argue that conceptualizing them as a death cult - due to this hyperfixation on death and the indignant nihilism that fuels their rage - is necessary to understand their violence. They don’t have the political power to change the world to cater to them. All they have is violence. Violence against themselves and violence against others, their ideology justifies both as it leaves no perceivable chance of meaningful change.
If the alt right is a cult then the modern left is definitely a cult as well. The difference being they’re a cult that’s gained tremendous amounts of institutional power and media control.
 
politics is a cancer
 
If the alt right is a cult then the modern left is definitely a cult as well. The difference being they’re a cult that’s gained tremendous amounts of institutional power and media control.
Government is a cult
 
If the alt right is a cult then the modern left is definitely a cult as well. The difference being they’re a cult that’s gained tremendous amounts of institutional power and media control.
 
She is correct about he alt right being a cult. Proud boys, patriot front, other groups definitely have cult type personalities and behaviors.


I've always assumed incels were more decentralized than anything else. Have you heard someone ever threaten to retaliate for leaving an incel community?
 

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