The last time we saw pickup artist-cum-neomasculinist cult leader Roosh Valizadeh, he was giving a baffling press conference to a handful of journalists following the cancellation of his international meetup. In a recent video, a noticeably scruffy-looking Roosh pondered the nature of free speech from the safety of “an undisclosed location in eastern Europe.”
“The first thing I want to share about free speech is that if you’re not paying dearly for it, you’re probably not exercising it,” he told his viewers. “If your ideas match what the establishment wants you to think, in terms of what you’ve learned through the media, through universities, through entertainment and Hollywood, you are only stating what ideas they put into your mind — the ideas that are safe for you to believe. So when you speak those ideas it’s not really free speech, it’s controlled speech.”
However, as soon as you begin expressing views that are outside the mainstream (such as the promotion of rape and xenophobia), that, Roosh insisted, is when “the attacks come,” and these attacks are “expensive.” Indeed, Roosh claimed that the controversy over his proposed Return of Kings meetup ended up costing him some $30,000 in the past year. Of course, Roosh’s website also claimed that their childish boycott of Star Wars: The Force Awakens cost Lucasfilm millions of dollars, so who knows if Roosh’s math adds up?
Roosh continued with the martyr shtick, warning his audience that, at any point, “some crazy, blue-haired feminist” could call a person’s employer and get him fired with “a few calls” that contain “lies.” Or, he continued, “if someone in school falsely accuses you of rape, and doesn’t even go to the police, that can screw you too.” The bottom line? Make sure you’re “financially resilient” if you want to express an opinion, and prepare to “move to southeast Asia or South America.”
“Until then you kind of have to hide, you have to hide what you truly think, you have to be an actor, you can’t be authentic,” he complained.