Freedom freedom freedom

Julien Blanc has been forced to leave Australia after his visa was withdrawn. His visa was withdrawn because the government took heed of protests pointing out that Blanc gives lectures on how to assault women.

Controversial US “pick-up artist” Julien Blanc has cut short his Australian tour after having his visa cancelled in the wake of protests against his seminars, which promote dangerous and abusive behaviour towards women.

“We can confirm Julien Blanc left Australia overnight,” Victorian police said on Twitter. “His assistant is also due to leave shortly.” The pair had planned to stay until December.

The immigration minister, Scott Morrison, said Blanc’s visa was cancelled Thursday night.

There are cries of free speech and anti-sex. No really, there are.

Helen Razer @HelenRazer ·10 hours ago
Call me old-fashioned. But anything that Scott Morrison and the anti-sex league of Collective Shout endorse make me less than utilitarian.

That’s feminism for you, she adds.

Not the first time feminist interests have coincided with those of the moral right, though.

So Helen Razer considers it “sex” – as in, mutual consensual pleasurable sex between two or more people – to grab strangers in the street or a bar and shove their heads into one’s crotch? That’s “sex”? I say that’s not sex, it’s assault. I say it’s weirdly anti-sexual to call assault “sex”.

The Guardian continues:

Australians were outraged after discovering Blanc, a so-called “date coach”, was holding seminars to teach men how to “pick up” women using physical force and emotional abuse.

Venues in Melbourne refused to host his events after protesters highlighted his videos, Twitter feeds and photos promoting violence against women and abuse as a means of attracting them.

Of “attracting” them? No. As a means of having “sex” with them – as a means of penetrating them genitally or orally.

Blanc’s assistant then attempted to hold a seminar on a boat on Melbourne’s Yarra river on Thursday night, which a handful of men paid to attend.

Protesters rallied along the river and also trailed the pair by boat, and Melbourne River Cruises cancelled the event as soon as they were told what was happening. In the end police escorted the men off the vessel.

But free speech!

Yes, free speech, but not free instructions in how to commit violent crimes against people.

Neither Blanc nor his company [has] responded to requests for comment. According to his tour schedule, he is due to appear next in Japan.

He has a history in Japan, as we know. It will be interesting to see how that goes.


  1. Blanche Quizno says

    Let us not forget that thwarted mass killer Elliot Rodger was a devotee of Julien Blanc’s “Pick Up Artist” conceptual methodology – I went into a bit of detail on this related B&W post here:

    It seems poor Elliot Rodger was always thwarted. He just didn’t get it, and that’s a shame. Perhaps his unfortunate choice of happening upon and then adopting Blanc’s “Pick Up Artist” methodology was his undoing. He believed Blanc’s “sell”, his promotional pitch and promotional materials. Rodger bought the book and swallowed the videos whole – he didn’t stop to think the videos had been cherrypicked to only show the scenarios that suited Blanc’s sales pitch and fit Blanc’s worldview.

    The fact that Blanc’s “product” was a key contributing factor in a mass shooting should give every potential Blanc-host pause.

  2. spacejunkie says

    So Scott Morrison takes a break from sending refugees back to their torturers to do something right for once. Colour me surprised. Perhaps he isn’t the totally heartless monster I thought he was.

  3. Matt Penfold says

    I see once again there are people who think freedom of speech means freedom from the consequences of speech.

  4. Eric MacDonald says

    Australia is widely known as a “man’s world” and anti-feminist. This shows that that’s not the whole truth. Good for Oz! Time that Julien Blanc was blanked!

  5. Lofty says

    Blanc may well have got away with his evil seminars had he picked a redneck sports club in some outer suburbs. Trying to hold it in the centre of one of Australia’s two biggest cities shows how much he misread the demographics in the same way he misreads the greater part of the population. Mind you, the internet has a wide reach and may have smoked him out even then. Most Australians are against violence, even against their precious wimmen.

    The change org petition that followed him around.

  6. Brian E says

    Australia is widely known as a “man’s world” and anti-feminist. This shows that that’s not the whole truth. Good for Oz! Time that Julien Blanc was blanked!

    It’s true that there’s a misogynistic streak a mile-wide in oz culture. Though I think from tv and personal experience that most ‘western’ cultures have ample proportions of such streaks. However, I’d say all countries also have folks who are trying to make the world fairer. The nay-sayers will just say it was inner-city, lefty, tree-hugging, latte drinking hippies who denied freeze-peach. As if there was something wrong with latte! I’m outer-suburban, but did live inner city…

    As for Helen Razor, her schtick in Crikey is to be contrarian for it’s own sake. I too feel a tinge of worry about agreeing with Morrisson, only because he will use a government power and say ‘hay, see! you can trust me, these powers are only for doing good’ then go back to using it against us and sending children to hell-holes like Nauru. We seriously need a bill of rights over this way. Then again, the bill of rights doesn’t seem to have stopped Obama from his mass-surveilance state.

    This blanc is inciting people to assault. That seems reason enough to say bye. What would a proponent of free speech argue? He’s not directly inciting someone to immediate violence? That might not wash, as the dude-bros are learning how to go out and grab a girl and jam her head crotch wise. That we should here all voices, so that terrible arguments come to light, and we don’t create a martyr? Well, I heard of him via Ophelia before I heard he was in country. Internet lets voices be heard I guess. I don’t know. I haven’t sorted out the balancing act of free speech in my head, I think everybody should have a microphone, but it seems that it’s only large corporations and government who do (proportionally) speaking, so free speech is meaningless it seems.

  7. qwints says

    Yes, free speech, but not free instructions in how to commit violent crimes against people.

    FWIW, “Instructions in how to commit violent crimes against people” are probably still protected speech under the American free speech regime, though that obviously has no impact on Australia’s ability to revoke someone’s visa. See Brandenburg v. Ohio, 395 U.S. 444 447 (1969) (“the constitutional guarantees of free speech and free press do not permit a State to forbid or proscribe advocacy of the use of force or of law violation except where such advocacy is directed to inciting or producing imminent lawless action and is likely to incite or produce such action.”) but see Rice v. Paladin Enterprises 128 F.3d 233 (4th Cir. 1997) (holding that a publisher could be held liable for a murder committed by a reader of a book containing instructions)

  8. photondancer says

    Lofty – indulging in a bit of Westie-bashing there? ‘redneck’ and ‘sports club’ aren’t Aussie terms, which makes me wonder where you’re from and why you think it’s okay to claim a swathe of Aussie men would have been okay with Blanc’s message. I’m a westie chick and I can’t imagine the men I grew up with having a bar of it.

    Morrison surprised me with this decision, which just goes to show that I too had fallen into the trap of painting the current government as irredeemable. That appears to be the angle Razer was coming from. You have no idea how much Abbot’s government is loathed by many Australians, to the point where anything they do is viewed with suspicion. Also, as Brian E points out, she’s what we call a ratbag.

  9. Lofty says

    Photondancer, I have lived in Adelaide for over 50 years and some of these unrepentant sexist jerks are my customers. I’d love to be wealthy enough to tell them to politely get lost but it ain’t gonna happen. The kitties as well as my family need food and shelter.

  10. blondeintokyo says

    I posted this over in the other thread about Blanc, but I hope you don’t mind if I post it here too as this thread is on top and getting more traffic.

    We are organizing here in Japan to alert immigration and the police of his illegal activities, namely, assault and visa violations. He doesn’t seem to have the right kind of visa to do business here, and if it’s confirmed he’s entering Japan with the intention of making money, he will be denied entry. There’s also a petition in Japanese; if you guys are so inclined, head over to and find and sign it. (I’d post a link but unfortunately don’t know how to do that without posting a huge long string of letters and numbers. Sorry!)

    If he does manage to enter Japan, we’re going to stage protests similar to the ones in Australia.

  11. Sea Monster says

    Westies are inhabitants of Sydney’s outer western suburbs for anyone who’s wondering. They are allegedly uncouth and a few years behind the times in terms of ideas and fashion. The term can be used as an insult or term of endearment. As the event took place in Melbourne the generic ‘Bogan’ might have been more accurate.

    As a frequenter of outer suburb Rugby League clubs (and proud Westie) Lofty’s comment got my back up too. I felt it a bit prejudiced. I’ve seen just as much misogyny from inner city types as anyone else.

  12. miranda31 says

    Lurker, popping up since this is in my backyard. Lofty may have been thinking about Geert Wilders’ appearance in Liverpool (NSW) which is about 30 minutes southeast of me. And yes, the protest crowds were apparently relatively diminished.,5020

    Regarding Helen Razer, she’s part contrarian, part agitator with a beef against an individualistic feminism engaging with individualistic opponents. I like her when I don’t loathe her. She makes me think. Although in this case there was also a conversation with Wendy Harmer, comedian:

    I’m glad they kicked him out, but I’m worried about the grounds for doing so. Dangerous precedent as some have said. I don’t think the Minister’s office gave a proper statement on the matter, which should have drawn far more explicit attention to the harm threatened or claimed to have been done by this man. But then, along with Razer and Harmer, I think the Minister’s a dangerous fool.

  13. =8)-DX says

    Brian E:

    I haven’t sorted out the balancing act of free speech in my head, I think everybody should have a microphone

    What about the seven billion who don’t have a microphone? Furthermore what’s the point of amplifying every voice at once, the resulting cacophony leaves no one better off. What I think is a better way to phrase it is that everyone should have a voice. And everyone should have equal opportunity to try and express that voice. Also those who have managed to acquire a microphone have the responsibility to also try to speak for those unable to be heard.

  14. Brian E says

    What about the seven billion who don’t have a microphone?

    Did you only read that sentence and not the following or did you deliberately misrepresent my comment?
    Yes, platform, microphone, or voice are interchangeable in this sense. I don’t believe you really thought I meant we give everybody a real microphone, with Led-Zepplin’s PA system turned up to 11.
    Here’s the bit immediately following what you quoted that says everybody doesn’t have an equal opportunity, so the claim of free speech seems meaningless.

    but it seems that it’s only large corporations and government who do (proportionally) speaking, so free speech is meaningless it seems.

  15. johnthedrunkard says

    Bravo Oz!
    I shudder to think of Eliot Rodger ‘succeeding’ via Blanc’s instructions. Would his rage have been abated a single jot? Or would he have avenged his damaged ego on scores of women for decades to come.

    The most horrible reflection about Pick Up ‘culture’ is how close it is to ‘normal.’ A kind of brutal funhouse mirror view of what is expected and accepted in Real Life.

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