Transcript of Elliot Rodger’s “Balcony Vlog, reminiscing about childhood” video:
“Hey, Elliot Rodger here. Today it’s April 7th, 2014, just admiring the view from my father’s house right now, and boy, what a lovely day it is. Not a cloud in the sky. I can hear some kids playing down there. When I hear those sounds it reminds me of the days of my childhood. Those were the best times of my life. I wish I could be a kid again. Those were the happy years. If I could just live my life without realizing how cruel the world really is. Life is so much fairer when you’re a kid. I mean, when you’re a kid you don’t have to worry about things like being attractive or how many girls like you. No one has unfair advantages. And then, when you hit puberty, your life either becomes heaven on earth or a living hell. It all depends on how many girls like you or if girls like you at all. My life turned into a living hell. No girls liked me. And I hate them all for it.”
Elliot Rodger was born on July 24, 1991 and died on May 23, 2014 on the day of his killing spree where he killed 6 people other than himself. The purpose of his killing spree, his “Day of Retribution” as he called it, was to punish the world and the women he most desired in particular (blond white women as typified by the Alpha Phi sorority which he specifically attacked). At the end of his manifesto (My Twisted World), explaining and justifying his decision to go on his killing spree, he writes:
“All I ever wanted was to love women, and in turn to be loved by them back. Their behavior towards me has only earned my hatred, and rightfully so! I am the true victim in all of this. I am the good guy. Humanity struck at me first by condemning me to experience so much suffering. I didn’t ask for this. I didn’t want this. I didn’t start this war… I wasn’t the one who struck first… But I will finish it by striking back. I will punish everyone. And it will be beautiful. Finally, at long last, I can show the world my true worth.”
There are many things interesting and disturbing about this man, Elliot Rodger, who decided to end his life in a blaze of glory and infamy. He is a kind of InCel (involuntarily celibate) revolutionary fighting against the “injustice” as he often called it of living a life devoid of female affection and approval. It is rather amazing that “incels” even exist as a social identity some men loudly and openly embrace. Elliot Rodger very clearly self-identified as an “incel,” indeed it became his central identity, the defining identity of his life. It is supposed to be very embarrassing and humiliating to admit in public that women don’t like you or that women are not attracted to you; it is supposed to be something that you hide and not let people know about. Elliot Rodger however defined his rejection by women as a great injustice and crime perpetuated against him that he didn’t deserve and as something he was not going to passively accept quietly but was instead going to “fight back” against. Elliot did not accept that his rejection by women meant there was something wrong or lacking in him, it instead meant there was something wrong with women as a whole; that women in general were attracted to the wrong kind of man, were attracted to men who were inferior to him.
Perhaps the most disturbing thing about Elliot Rodger is that he is the least socially isolated mass shooter that I know of. He was socially accepted as a commenter at the largely incel site PUAHate and his views echo many of the themes bandied about among MRAs (Men’s Rights Activists) in general. The idea that women are attracted to the “wrong kind of man” is very common among MRAs; that women are attracted to “bad boys” or men with “Dark Triad” characteristics. Also women are widely accused of being abusive or manipulative in their romantic behaviors by MRAs; the “hypergamy” idea of women always wanting to “trade up” when they have the chance and having exaggerated selfish expectations of what men owe them or what men should give them. Also the slogan that what women are after is “Alpha f—ks and beta bucks.” The idea that women need to be “punished” for their supposed myriad misdeeds is very common and popular among MRAs. Also the idea that women need to be “controlled” in their sexual behavior and romantic choices or else they will ruin society is very common among MRAs; “hypergamy run amok” ruining relations between men and women being a common theme. MRAs often condemn “male on male competition” where more than one man competes for the same woman enabling the woman to “choose the better deal.” MRAs instead wish for “unity” suggesting men should not get into bidding wars with each other to offer women the best deal.
Back to the psychology of Elliot Rodger, I find his condemnation of his father interesting. He says about his father in his manifesto:
“Page 59 of 141
My misery became harder and harder to bear, and none of my parents understood my plight. My father thought that all was well with me. How could he be so blind? He was so caught up in his failing work that he didn’t care about how my life was turning out. I cursed him for it. My father never made any effort to prepare me for facing such a cruel world. He never taught me how to attract girls. He never warned me that if I didn’t attract girls at an early age, my life would fall into a miserable pit of despair! Again… How could he be so blind? I asked myself constantly.
Page 62 of 141
Soumaya returned from Morocco, and she was very angry with me due to the way I acted while I was there. She effectively kicked me out of father’s house, and because I was eighteen, she was allowed to. Father didn’t do anything to stop her, being the weak man that he is. This is how it has always been. Father has always given Soumaya free reign to impose her rules on the household. He gave her all the power.
This act officially ended the one week-one week arrangement, and mother’s house became my permanent living place.
Not only did she kick me out of father’s house, but she forbade me to go there even for a short visit. And still, father didn’t do anything about it. Father kept saying that the house is her house as much as his, and that she has the right to kick me out. No! I am the eldest son! The house should be MY house before hers! This caused any respect I still had for my father to fade away completely. It was such a betrayal, to put his second wife before his eldest son. What kind of father would do that? The bitch must be really good to him in bed, I figured. What a weak man.
Page 73 of 141
My father effectively abandoned me at one of my most crucial points in my life. Though in fact, he was never really present in my life to abandon me in the first place. When I think about it, he was always absent from my life. When my whole world took a downward spiral into darkness after I hit puberty, he never made any effort to save me. He just didn’t care.”
Eliot Rodger’s parents divorced when he was 7 so the main adult figures in Elliot’s life are father, Soumaya, and mother. There were also nannies thrown into the mix, some he was close to and some he was indifferent to. Describing his parents’ divorce Elliot relates:
“Page 10 of 141:
Very shortly after my seventh birthday, the news came. I believe it was my mother who told me that she and my father were getting a divorce; my mother, who only a few months before told me that such a thing will never happen. I was absolutely shocked, outraged, and above all, overwhelmed. This was a huge life-changing event.
My father was to stay at the round house, and my mother would move to another smaller house in Topanga. It was arranged that me and my sister will mostly be living with our mother, and we would go to father’s house on the weekends. My father was required to pay child support to my mother so that she can look after us.
My life would change forever after this. The family I grew up with has split in half, and from then on I would grow up in two different households. I remember crying. All the happy times I spent with my mother and father as a family were gone, only to remain in memory. It was a very sad day. Just like the move to the U.S., it would be like starting a whole new life with a new routine.”
Elliot was the first born; his sister Georgia was born when he was 4 and his half-brother Jazz (same father, different mothers) was born when he was 13. Very little information is given as to why Elliot’s father and mother divorced except them getting into a lot of arguments and not “getting along.” During Eliot’s first 5 years of life he took several foreign vacations with his parents, as he “boasts” in his manifesto “At the age of 4, I, Elliot Rodger, had already been to six different countries. Who can claim that, eh? The United Kingdom, France, Spain, Greece, Malaysia, and the United States.” Also Elliot states regarding his first 5 years “My father was a professional photographer at the time, just in the stage of becoming a director. My mother gave up her nursing career to stay at home and look after me. My grandma on my mother’s side, who I would call Ah Mah, moved in with us to help out my mother. I would spend a lot of time with Ah Mah during these years.” At the age of 5 Elliot moved from England to the United States; to Woodland Hills, California; to help his father’s career. As Elliot states, referring to the time shortly after the move to the United States, ”My father’s new directing career was taking off quite well too, and he would go away a lot to direct commercials for prestigious companies, leaving my mother and the nanny to look after me. The only downside of this was my father’s absence from my life. Despite this, I always looked up to him as a powerful and successful man.”
Reading Elliot’s manifesto the first danger signs of vulnerability in Elliot’s life emerge when he is 9 years old when he states:
“Page 17 of 141
When I became aware of this common social structure at my school, I also started to examine myself and compare myself to these “cool kids”. I realized, with some horror, that I wasn’t “cool” at all. I had a dorky hairstyle, I wore plain and uncool clothing, and I was shy and unpopular. I was always described as the shy boy in the past, but I never really thought my shyness would affect me in a negative way, until this point.”
Age 13 is when Elliot’s problems first become serious. This is when he is first exposed to the challenge of his attraction towards girls and his interest in sex. It is also when his previous support from friendships with other boys disappears. Elliot’s sharp descent at age 13 seems triggered by his mother’s move into a new apartment. As Elliot relates:
“Page 40 of 141
My mother’s new apartment was not walking distance from Planet Cyber, and I was a bit embarrassed to show that I lived in an apartment, so I stopped seeing any friends. Elijah was the last person in the group who I saw. I was at Planet Cyber and he tapped me on the shoulder. It was a random meeting. The two of us talked for a bit about the new Halo 2 game, and I showed him my WoW character. That was the last time I saw him.
Eventually, I lost all contact with Charlie, John Jo, and Elijah. The friends I had such a good times with for the last two years were no longer my friends. They were lost to me. I also stopped seeing Philip and Jeffrey… they simply just forgot about me, I assumed. The only friend who remained to me was James Ellis.
The upside of moving to the apartment was that my mother acquired high speed internet. I was able to play World of Warcraft on her computer, along with Halo 2 on Xbox Live.
This was the point when my social life ended completely. I would never have a satisfying social life ever again. It was the beginning of a very lonely period of my life, in which my only social interactions would be online through video games, with the sole exception being my friendship with James. The ability to play video games with people online temporarily filled in the social void. I got caught up in it, and I was too young and naïve to realize the severity of how far I had fallen. I was too scared to accept it. This loss of a social life, coupled with the advent of puberty, caused me to die a little inside. It was too much for me to handle, and I stopped caring about my life and my future. I even stopped caring about what people thought of me. I hid myself away in the online World of Warcraft, a place where I felt comfortable and secure.”
As far as Elloit’s social life at school and his feelings towards girls at this time:
“Page 41 of 141
Now that I was able to play World of Warcraft at my mother’s house with no limitations, aside from school and homework, I became very addicted to the game and my character in it. It was all I cared about.
I was so immersed in the game that I no longer cared about what people thought of me. I only saw school as something that took time away from WoW. I became very bored at school, mainly due to the fact that I was still the invisible quiet kid. To alleviate this boredom, I started to act weird and annoying to people just to gain attention.
I became known as the “weird kid” at Pinecrest, and people started to make fun of me, but I didn’t care. I had my online games to distract me from the harsh realities of life that I was too scared to face. The only time I did care was when a group of popular Seventh Grade girls started teasing me, which hurt a lot. One of these girls was Monette Moio, a pretty blonde girl who was Ashton’s younger sister. She must have thought I was an ultimate loser. I hated her so much, and I will never forget her. I started to hate all girls because of this. I saw them as mean, cruel, and heartless creatures that took pleasure from my suffering.”
Age 17 is when Elliot started to develop an ideology of revenge and “justice” against his “enemies;” his enemies being the women he wanted but could not get and the men these women chose over him. This is probably when he first started to self-identify as an “incel” as a mark of martyrdom and persecution that was not due to his faults but was instead due to the depravity of women and the depravity of the human species. As Elliot states:
“Page 57 of 141
I formed an ideology in my head of how the world should work. I was fueled both by my desire to destroy all of the injustices of the world, and to exact revenge on everyone I envy and hate. I decided that my destiny in life is to rise to power so I can impose my ideology on the world and set everything right. I was only seventeen, I have plenty of time. I thought to myself. I spent all of my time studying in my room, reading books about history, politics, and sociology, trying to learn as much as I can.
I became a new person, furiously driven by a goal. My torment would continue, but I had something to live for. I felt empowered.”
The time from age 17 to age 22 in Elliot’s life was basically him making feeble attempts to gain approval and love from women which never gained much traction and him falling into greater rage and greater despair after every failed attempt to attract women with his “back up plan” of his “Day of Retribution” becoming ever more justified in his mind with each additional rejection and failure with women.
In one of Elliot’s more hopeful moments when he was 18 years old he expressed a hope for happy times and some happy experiences with women.
“Page 68 of 141
In the days leading up to my first day at Moorpark, I felt a renewed sense of hope. A new college provided a new start, and this college looked perfect in every way. I had the hope that I could make it there; that I could make friends, meet some girls, and eventually find a pretty girl to be my girlfriend. I pictured her in my mind all the time; her cascading blonde hair, her beautiful face, her sensual body… Everything. I imagined us walking hand in hand through the college, looking at the magnificent view of the mountains in the distance as the sun sets behind them. That would be heaven. That was what I wanted in life. Every single hate-fueled ideal, world-view, and philosophy I created in the past was a result of not being able to do that.”
Elliot Rodgers never did achieve his dream of finding a woman who loved him that he could spend romantic time with together, that proved beyond his capabilities as a man. Instead Elliot Rodgers got his revenge against the world for depriving him of his chance at happiness and a normal life; revenge was something he was capable of and so that was the route he took, so that became the source of Elliot’s sense of purpose and sense of value as a human being.
In certain ways I have been an incel myself in the past and being universally unattractive to women is indeed a terrible fate. It is indeed an injustice to be shut out from affection or relationships with women but the source of the injustice is whatever it is in your past or in your environment that is suppressing your attractiveness to women. The injustice is not women rejecting you but is instead whatever it is that is causing women to reject you; the injustice is the source of your unattractiveness, not the reaction to your unattractiveness. Parental neglect weakening ones social skills, lots of changes and disruptions in ones social environment making it hard to form lasting bonds and secure attachments, a dominant mother with a weak father, cultural messages to boys that they should not be assertive with women; these are the kinds of things that kill off men’s attractiveness to women. It is these factors in Elliot Rodger’s life that was the great injustice against him. These are the things that killed off his ability to appeal to women leading to the wall of rejection from women that Elliot couldn’t escape from or overcome.
Elliot Rodger should have been able to see that his interests and women’s interests are actually aligned with each other; that unattractive men not only hurts men but it hurts women to. You endlessly hear women complaining that there are not enough attractive or “good” men around. It needs to be kept in mind; a man deprived of a girlfriend is also a woman deprived of a boyfriend. If Elliot understood that not only did he want to be attractive as a man but that the woman of Elliot’s dreams also desperately needed him to be attractive as a man so that she could form a happy and positive relationship with him; maybe if Elliot saw things this way he could have avoided the self-defeating trap of hating women.
Also, I wish Elliot could have formed a self-identity not dependent upon women’s approval or women’s affirmation. First Elliot becomes a successful person and develops personal achievements and a sense of purpose and success through some mechanism, then Elliot pursues women at his leisure knowing he has many years ahead of him to find a good woman and develop his status higher and higher. Elliot seemed totally emotionally dependent on getting a woman RIGHT NOW as if his life was completely ruined and worthless unless he had a woman on his arm RIGHT NOW.
I have had a difficult time being attractive to women in my life, sometimes a very difficult time, but I have always found women to be a source of pleasure in my life and I have always wanted to be “on her side” in life’s journey. My identity is not based on women’s approval of me; it is instead based on whether or not I am treating women right. My honor belongs to me, it is a kind of personal possession of mine that a woman cannot give to me and cannot take away from me.
The question for a man to answer is not whether or not women love you; it is instead whether or not you love women. You are not responsible for how women feel towards you; you are instead responsible for how you feel towards women. As long as you as a man love women you will do OK in life, you will find a way to make a positive contribution to life and the women you love in one way or another. It doesn’t really matter whether or not women love you back; that is her problem, not yours. A man can always love women regardless; the man’s choice to love and serve women belongs to him alone. Women do not have the power to make you hate them, if you choose to go down the dark path of hating women that is your sin and your choice alone.
Recommended Reading: A message for nice guys