Relationship courses misguiding men to be love rats

Photo: Reuters

Some online organizations in China have reportedly turned courses originally intended to help men capture the hearts of their love interests into guileful tutorials encouraging trainees to be love rats.

Recently, after pretending to attend such a class, a reporter from the Beijing News gave a detailed account of the dark side of the so-called pickup artist courses in a report, describing the tutors as "vicious sorcerers" designing dirty tricks for trainees to lure girls.

The pickup artist courses, which relationship experts say should have been based on psychological knowledge and scientific tactics, is divided by the online organization called "Girls Sharing Legion" into 16 parts, with one even touting the methods of inducing girls to commit suicides for "love", according to the report.

During the stay in one of the online communities established by "Girls Sharing Legion", where over 300 male members attended the courses and shared experiences in seducing girls they called "preys", the reporter received more than 900 photos related to delicacies, limousines, valuable pets, luxurious sports and upscale parties from the tutors, and was told to post them on the social media platforms such as WeChat and Sina Weibo as the first step to draw attention from girls of interest.

The trainees were also taught to fabricate professions and titles in order to show a higher social status, said the report.

The upper levels of the courses offer mind control training. In order to convince trainees of the power of mind control, the tutors showed many photos of luxurious gifts that they received from target girls by using the technique in the online community. Ignominiously, the tutors seemed very proud of being able to hypnotize a target girl to commit suicide for him.

In a separate report by the Beijing Times, Chen Qi (pseudonym) recalled her bad memories with her "boyfriend" Luo Lei, for whom she tried to kill herself. Like many other men attending the pickup artist training, Luo had at least three "girlfriends" at the time, a number that tutors said could help enhance the success rate of harvesting "love", said Chen.

"He said sweet words to me, brainwashed me and dragged me into the abysm of love. I cannot restart a new love relationship with a man, because I think men are all evil," said Chen.

Among those online organizations selling pickup artist courses, is the best-known one, which is widely considered as the cradle of the pickup culture in China. The operation of the website was suspended after Yang Bingyang, its chief relationship adviser, came under fire for making inappropriate comments on Chinese "comfort women" on her Sina Weibo account.

A staff from told the Beijing News that a service package offered by Yang was priced at tens of thousands of yuan.

Psychologists say that the effects of the pickup artist courses are overstated by these online organizations to attract more customers, but admit that in some cases such courses could play a role in effectively attracting people's attention.

But the online organizations which teach "skills" of swindling money from or having sex with women under the cloak of the pickup artist courses should be brought to justice, say lawyers.

"The 'Girls Sharing Legion' is suspected of committing crimes of inducing people to self-mutilate, engaging in fraudulent behavior and invading people's privacy," said Zhang Xinnian, a Beijing-based lawyer.

People who induce others to commit suicide can be sentenced to death under the Chinese criminal law, said the lawyer.

In order to prevent people from being harmed by the illegal pickup artist courses, Kong Weiwei established a non-profit organization named "Little Red Hat" two years ago. Since June last year, Kong has exposed the malfeasances of "Girl Sharing Legion" on the organization's Sina Weibo account. But Kong's efforts have failed to draw close attention of the authorities.

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