Friday 28 November 2014

US dating coach Julien Blanc will not be allowed into Singapore: MHA

'Pick-up artist' barred from entering Singapore
By Jalelah Abu Baker, The Straits Times, 27 Nov 2014

SELF-PROCLAIMED "pick-up artist" Julien Blanc will not be allowed into Singapore.

The United States-based "dating coach" has come under fire around the world after material from his courses revealed that his tactics include the use of physical violence, intimidation and emotional abuse against women to persuade them to have sex.

An online petition was launched here on Nov 14 by Singaporean Charis Mah, calling for him to be banned from the country.

Britain, Brazil and Australia have already refused him entry.

Ms Mah updated the petition site yesterday, saying that the petition had been successful.

In a statement to the media, the Immigration and Checkpoints Authority (ICA) and Ministry of Social and Family Development confirmed that Mr Blanc will not be allowed into Singapore.

In an interview with American news network CNN, Mr Blanc denied teaching these methods and claimed that they were taken "out of context" and were a "horrible, horrible attempt at humour".

Ms Mah e-mailed the ministry on Nov 19 when the petition had more than 7,500 signatures.

Although she had set the petition to end on Nov 20, she has opened it again "for the sake of those who want to continue to show their support".

It had garnered close to 8,500 supporters as of yesterday afternoon.

She told The Straits Times that when she first heard about Mr Blanc, she was "aghast" at his behaviour. Ms Mah, who does not want her age or occupation revealed, set up the petition upon discovering he was planning to visit Singapore.

Mr Blanc's company, Real Social Dynamics, said on its website that he was planning to come here this month to hold a seminar but the post was later removed.

Ms Mah said that the response to her petition was "heartwarming", adding: "As a citizen, I am glad that Singapore has taken an official stand against such seminars and messages. It makes me feel proud to be part of this country."

Ms Valerie Toh, 27, who is between jobs, said she is glad that the Government responded to the petition.

"You don't have to be a feminist to know that the things he advocates against women are not right," she said.

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