A youth group claimed Wednesday that some of its members have received death and sexual threats from troll accounts after the organization lashed out at the online dating firm Pick-Up Artists (PUA) Academy for alleged "misogynistic" content in its web page.
"Since we exposed the issue, marami na po kaming natanggap na threats, 'yung individual members. Meron pong iba na mga sexual by nature, 'yung sex eh, na parang sinasabi nila na 'Andami niyong ipinaglalaban, sana ma-rape kayo,' marami pong iba eh," Alex Castro, Founder and Convener of the Youth Against Sexual Harassment (YASH) told "Dobol B sa News TV."
"'Yung iba pa po more on death and legal threats na parang hahabulin po kami, sasampahan ng kung ano... Marami na po kaming individual members na nakatanggap," Castro added.
On Monday, YASH said that PUA Academy was like a school with teachers, coaches, seminars and tutorial videos that were "really heavy on how to get laid," and members have to pay a certain amount for step-by-step dating techniques.
According to YASH, the academy calls the women as "sets," and uses the word "game" to refer to the whole process –from getting a woman’s attention to bringing her to bed.
YASH said PUA members are asked to post a "lay report" on the PUA Academy's Facebook page, which has over 21,000 followers. A few nude photos and sex videos of unsuspecting women have been purportedly uploaded by its members.
"Actually, 'yung naging issue naman talaga in the first place is that based doon sa materials and the 'lay report' of the members is that apparently, hindi po nila tinuturo 'yung konsepto ng consent or no," Castro said.
"'Yun po 'yung problematic because of course, we don't have anything against teaching men how to be confident or how to talk to women pero once you start forcing the woman into submission or once you start thinking even na 'bibigay ito,' you just have to apply the right technique or right strategy tapos bibigay din 'yan, ['yun ang mahirap]. "
Castro criticized anew a lay report teaching the "wash, rinse, repeat" technique, where a member has to stop initiating sex for a few minutes if the woman initially said "no," then he has to repeat the process until she finally gives her consent.
YASH said a number of women have already filed their complaints against some of the PUA members.
"Meron na pong naka-file na individual cases sa NBI. We coordinated it with the victims tapos sila po nag-file na ng cases against certain PUA members sa NBI. Meron na po ngayon mga nag-iisip na rin po na mag-file ng criminal cases against the members."
YASH on Monday claimed the academy is possibly "breeding sexual predators."
In defense, PUA's CEO Sein Meneses said that he will close his company if critics could prove that posting nude photos and videos were taught by the academy.
"'Yung mga nakikita nila which is nakita ko rin naman po 'yung mga na-post nila, may mga um-attend ng free tour. Which is unang-una po, choice na nila kung gagawa sila ng kalokohan o hindi. Ngayon, kung 'yung YASH ay maipapakita na may nakausap na isang tao at sabihin niya na ito 'yung tinuro ko or ito 'yung tinuro namin na mag-post ng kahalayan, isasarado ko po ang company. Mali po eh. Kaya po ako nandito ngayon dahil alam ko pong may tama sa ginagawa namin," he said in a separate Dobol B sa News TV interview .
Meneses clarified that his company teaches respect for women.
"Unang-una po, hindi naman po magtatagal ng ganiyan ang company kung hindi respeto ang [itinuturo]... Ang gusto ko pong malaman niyo, unang-una po ang itinuturo namin is respect."
"Sa approach pa lang po... Bawal 'yung sasabihin mong "Ang sexy mo, ang ganda mo. Puwede ba?' Bawal po 'yun eh. Hindi po namin tinuturo 'yon. Kabastusan po 'yon. Kasi po 'pag bastos ang tinuturo namin, hindi po magwo-work, hindi po magre-result. Hindi po magke-create ng student na magkakaroon ng asawa. Karamihan po ng students namin may asawa na, may mga anak na," he said.
Regarding the clip where Meneses allegedly lectured men to "force" women to have sex so they will not feel the guilt, he said it was taken out of context.
"'Yung video po na ipinalabas nila, sabi nga 'One statement can change everything.' Kung papakinggan niyo po ang sentence na sinabi ko, mali talaga. Pero iba po ang ibig sabihin nu'n kung papakinggan niyo 'yung buong seminar," Meneses said.
"I suggest, mas maganda sa tao kung buong seminar 'yung papakinggan nila para at least, hindi mali 'yung ibig sabihin niya."
Meneses clarified he was not teaching men to force women into bed.
"Aaminin po natin sa lahat-lahat, may mga girls po kasi, based on my experience, may mga babae po kasi, na kahit paano, gusto nila 'yung may konting force. Pero, hindi ko po sinasabi na kapag 'Ayaw ko! Ayaw ko!' eh ipo-force. Hindi po ganu'n. Iba po 'yung sinasabi ko du'n na 'Hindi!' na hindi, talagang hindi po iyan. Kasi mali po talaga 'yun eh. Rape na po 'yon eh."
In his defense, Castro said some of their female members revealed they also want a little bit of "force."
"May times po na, halimbawa sa seminars namin, may mga nag-a-attend din na mga babae na sinasabi rin 'yung side nila. Sasabihin nila, 'Minsan gusto din namin ng konting push,'" he said.
"Lahat po ng tinuturo namin ay 'yung tama na hindi maaargabiyado ang isang babae."
The PUA Academy CEO said they will have stricter regulations in their forums.
"Magiging istrikto po kami sa forum kasi nga du'n po nagsimula ang lahat. Hinahayaan lang po namin mag-post 'yung iba, which is naba-block po namin 'yung sa forum. Kasi marami pong mga loko-loko na nagpo-post ng naked which is number one rule po ru'n na bawal."
He said it has been their policy to remove members who post obscene materials, and clarified that the academy is against those who are doing it.
"I want to clarify or clear my name, kasi ang nangyayari, kami po ang lumalabas na nagpo-post ng ganu'n. Hindi naman po kami 'yun eh. Talagang vigilante po kami. Marami po eh, 21,000 is sobrang dami."
With its roots from the US, Meneses said the company has been running for about 10 years, and their members are professionals.
"Karamihan po ng mga tinuturuan namin mga professionals, doctors, lawyers, mga babae, celebrities na mahiyain, walang confidence sa sarili na makipag-usap sa babae. Hindi naman po mag-a-attend ang mga taong ito nang paulit-ulit para matutunan ang sexual harassment or anything na hindi maganda." —LBG, GMA News