Alana was a University student in Canada.
She wanted to be in a sexual relationship like other students, but she was terribly shy.
So, in 1993, she created a website to discuss it with others with the same problem.
She called it “Alana’s Involuntary Celibacy Project”.
On the website, anyone could discuss their situation, anonymously if they wished.
It was popular, a lot of people had the same problem.
She described it as “anybody of any gender who was lonely, had never had sex or who hadn’t had a relationship in a long time”.
In 1997, she started a mailing list called Invcel, short for Involuntarily Celibate.
When she left college, she didn’t want to keep running the site so she gave it away.
In 2003, it became the message board: love-shy.com, for “people who were perpetually rejected or extremely shy of potential partners, to discuss their situations”.
The name Invcel was shortened to INCEL, and the people writing to the site began to change.
They became young men who were sexually frustrated and angry.
They blamed attractive young women who refused to have sex with them.
Their language became abusive and violent and full of threats.
A movement grew up calling itself INCELS.
They sneeringly referred to attractive young men and women as ‘Staceys’ and ‘Chads’, and everyone else as ‘Normies’.
But they didn’t even get on most people’s radar.
Right up until 2009, when George Sodini killed three and wounded nine others in an aerobics class at a fitness centre in Pittsburgh.
He had posted about his frustrations online: “I am not ugly or too weird. No sex since 1990. Girls and women don’t give me second look. There are 30 million desirable women in the US and I cannot find one.”
Next, in 2014, at the University of California – Santa Barbara, Elliot Rodger killed six people and wounded fourteen others.
In a video he made before the killings he said: “Girls gave their affection, and sex and love to other men but never to me. I’m twenty-two years old and still a virgin, I’ve never even kissed a girl. You girls have never been attracted to me, I don’t know why you girls aren’t attracted to me, but I will punish you all for it.”
Then, in 2016, Sheldon Bentley, a security guard in Edmonton, Canada, kicked an unconscious man to death.
His defence in court was that he was “Involuntarily celibate”.
Then, in 2018, Alex Minassian killed ten and injured sixteen in Toronto, Canada.
He left a facebook post: “The Incel rebellion has already begun. We will overthrow all Chads and Staceys”.
In 2017, Reddit closed the site, but by then it had forty thousand members.
INCEL had become a movement amongst angry young men.
Members call themselves male-supremacists and believe in Sexual Marxism.
That the law should force women to have sex with all young men who want it or need it.
(Under communism, sex would be distributed evenly just like wealth.)
Meanwhile Alana, has seen her original vision of a sexual version of a lonely-hearts website corrupted beyond anything she could have imagined.
As she says: “It feels like being the scientist who figured out nuclear fission and then discovered it’s being used as a weapon of war”.
Isn’t it shocking, what can happen to your idea when it gets hijacked?
When our idea stops being our idea.