The pickup-artist community has been steadily gaining more and more visibility since Neil Strauss published The Game in 2005: Its adherents swear by its seduction techniques, while others point to the inherent misogyny of the movement. A new, in-depth piece at the Daily Beast tells of a case that links members of the community to one rape — though they may be connected to untold others.
San Diego residents Alex Smith and Jonas Dick were reportedly members of the pickup-artist forum Real Social Dynamics (RSD). Smith and Dick took Jason Berlin under their wing, charging him $300 a night for “boot camp” (BC) training. They even went so far as having him rent out a $2,000-per-month apartment near clubs and bars where Smith and Dick would live and Berlin would stay on weekends for “lessons” on how to pick up women.
It was at that apartment where Claire, 31, was raped in October 2013. After a night out drinking with her friend (whom the Daily Beast refers to as “Laura”), the two went back there with Dick and Smith. Laura and Dick went to another room, while Claire found herself on a mattress, coming in and out of conscious. When Laura came out to find Claire, she was “lying facedown in a pool of her own vomit,” while Smith laughed and said “we just tag-teamed your friend,” referring to himself and Berlin. Though Claire reported her rape, the investigation didn’t go forward, until she Googled “Jonas Dick” and found posts on a site called Efficient Pickup* — specifically, a post dated the night of her rape full of lurid details of the incident. It was titled “Run a train with bootcamp student,” and read as follows:
Jonas [Dick] and I are both teaching BC [boot camp] tonight…We run into each other at pull o clock [bar closing]. He asks me to Wing for him. I do; within a couple minutes I’m fingering my girl right outside of the bar in public. Pull back to the spot. 0 LMR. [Last-minute resistance]