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How Elliot Rodger Became the Archetypal ‘Incel’ Rampage Killer

May 23, 2018 36 comments

As some of you might know, today (May 23rd) is the fourth anniversary of Elliot Rodger’s killing spree in Isla Vista. Elliot was the inspiration for Alek Minassian’s recent infamous drive through Toronto- something I have written about recently (link 1, link 2). Those of you who frequent 4chan, 8chan and certain other parts of the internet must also be aware that Elliot Rodger has a pretty large and still growing name recognition in those regions- which is odd considering he killed himself immediately after committing that rampage killing. So how does a guy whose final body count did not even touch double digits become such a major cultural icon after his death? To make matters more interesting, Elliot Rodger was hardly the only ‘incel’ rampage killer in USA within the last decade.

As I have pointed out in a previous post, the majority of men who go on killing sprees in USA are either completely or functionally incel. And yes, I know about the few prominent exceptions such as Stephen Paddock and Omar Mateen. The vast majority of rampage killers in USA such as Seung-Hui Cho, Adam Lanza, Nikolas Cruz, James Holmes, Jared Loughner and Dimitrios Pagourtzis had abysmal luck with finding female companionship for years prior to their rampage. In fact, with the possible exception of men who went on killing rampages for religious reasons, almost every one had a history of sexual rejection from women. Yet for some reason, Elliot Rodger has had a far bigger cultural impact than men with many times his body count. But why?

Part of answer to that mystery is alluded to in the picture posted above. To refresh your memory, it is a screen shot from one of the YouTube videos he uploaded before his rampage in which he talks about the many reasons he was angry with women of his age and wanted to kill them. To make a long story short, he was a half-white/half-asian who was born into a rich family who was extremely unlucky with women through a combination of his shyness, his perceived non-white status and a family that pretty much ignored his emotional needs. But those videos were only a small part of what assured his posthumous and still growing fame.

The single biggest factor which has made Elliot Rodger famous, and the archetype for ‘incel’ rampage killer, was his long and very well written manifesto. In it, he describes in great detail the conditions and circumstances of his upbringing and environment that led him to do what he finally did. Do read it, if you have not done so already. It is that manifesto, more than any other thing, which made Elliot Rodger the cultural icon he has become since his death. And one more thing.. Elliot Rodger was perhaps the first rampage killer to methodically and explicitly make the connection between being consistently rejected by women and forced to be incel with his actions.

Elliot Rodger was the first self-identified incel rampage killer in our era, though Marc Lepine sorta said something similar in 1989. Of course, Marc Lepine suicide statement was much shorter than Elliot Rodger’s one hundred and eight thousand word production and the public internet did not exist in 1989. Furthermore, incel-dom was far less common in North America in 1989 than in 2014 or 2018. To put it another way, Elliot Rodger’ cultural impact is a combination of what he did and when he did it. And yes, I have written a few posts about him in the past (link 3, link 4, link 5). Curiously, most normies dismissed his manifesto at that time. The course of events, however, had other plans and his manifesto quickly became a staple of internet culture.

And that is the short version of how Elliot Rodger became a cultural icon of our era. You can try to mock him, ignore him, defame him.. and it won’t matter. The fact of the matter is that he has become far more famous and influential in death than he was in life. If it sounds like something one might say about a saint or religious figure, you are half-right because Elliot Rodger has sorta become the patron saint of incels. And just like other religious figures and martyrs from the past, those who have read his manifesto harbor a very different image of him from those who have not done so. To be clear, I am not suggesting that we will see a church of Elliot Rodger anytime soon, but the magnitude of cultural effect he has had is equally undeniable.

What do you think? Comments?