Sam De Brito once praised Julien Blanc's school of picking up women

Julien Blanc in Sydney, earlier this week.

Julien Blanc in Sydney, earlier this week. Photo: Twitter, @RSD Julien

With the news that pick up artist and all ‘round bad dude Julien Blanc has quietly exited Australia, stage right, Australians with a sense of common human decency breathed a sigh of relief. The #TakeDownJulienBlanc campaign reached a crescendo yesterday as protesters stymied a river cruise Blanc had planned, and once he slunk away, Victoria Police were only too happy to slam the door after him:

It’s not been a banner day for noted male feminist Sam De Brito, however, whose rosy write up of a Real Social Dynamics “event” back in 2005 has heaved itself from the internet’s compost heap to remind us all that De Brito once thought RSD’s commitment to pick up artistry training was nothing short of a humanitarian effort when it came to changing the lives of blokes cursed with the inability to chat up women.

Julien Blanc.

Julien Blanc.

In the article, written for the Sunday Telegraph (uncovered by blogger John Band, and still proudly displayed on RSD’s own website here), De Brito reported on the transformative properties of RSD’s three-day workshop for love-shy nerdlingers: “It's rubbing off on Steve. The guy who had struck me as awkward 72 hours earlier is now scanning nightclub crowds like a gunslinging Clint Eastwood.”

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In light of De Brito’s recent commitment to gender equality - even if it mostly sticks to the Sheryl Sandberg model - the lingering stench of RSD is unfortunate, to say the least.

For his part, De Brito addressed the revelations via Crikey, writing, “The piece you quote was written a decade ago when Julien Blanc was 14 and in no way associated with RSD. It was then a small operation run by completely different people. I in no way support the methods espoused by Julien Blanc.”

He also spent some time explaining himself on Twitter:

That may well be true, but the core values of the PUA community and RSD were present and accounted for even back in 2005; it’s true, there are many subtle layers of awfulness in pick up artistry, but it doesn’t take much to jump from RSD’s comparatively tame classes of a decade ago to the dangerous drivel espoused by Blanc today.

However, unless RSD’s staff is overpopulated with Australian guys named Tim who were working for the company back around 2005, it seems the “respectful” dude that De Brito spent time with is still cut from the same cloth as his more outwardly sinister peers.

As this RSD-sponsored hagiography puts it, Tim’s trademark skills include, “How to escalate to physical levels twice as fast by pushing her away!”, “How to EXPRESS your dominance and OWN any interaction”, and “Dynamic ways to use YOUR words and body to trigger ‘autopilot’ responses in a woman that biologically FORCE her to feel attraction for you”. It’s positively heartwarming.

Whichever way you look at it, even the most charitable slant on De Brito’s big-ups of Real Social Dynamics seems unfortunate in light of both that organisation’s recent activities as well as De Brito’s own self-professed feminist leanings.

Still, it pays to be sympathetic to De Brito’s plight; as any of us who’ve spent enough time online will realise, the internet never forgets.