Rep. Robert Fisher on the hot seat after being ID’d as Red Pill founder

By MICHAEL KITCH, LACONIA DAILY SUN

LACONIA — The Daily Beast reported on Tuesday that Robert Fisher, a Republican member of the New Hampshire House of Representatives who represents the city of Laconia and town of Belmont, founded and contributes to "The Red Pill," a popular online forum extolling men's rights and denigrating feminism in blatantly misogynistic terms.

Before the day was out, officials of the New Hampshire Democratic Party were calling on Fisher to resign his seat in the House. In a prepared statement, Rep. Amelia Keane, executive director of the Young Democrats, said that "Representative Fisher's behavior is nothing short of repulsive. He should be deeply ashamed of himself. There is no excuse for the type of hateful and ignorant rhetoric anywhere in our state, nonetheless from someone elected to our State House to serve the men and women in his community. If Rep. Fisher has any semblance of decency or shame left, he will resign his seat." She described Fisher's behavior as "predatory and misogynistic" and charged he promoted a culture of "disrespect and abuse."

Beyond insisting that he has no intention of resigning his seat, Fisher declined to comment on the report. Instead, he provided a lengthy written statement explaining that he "lived through a nightmare" in his early 20s and "said some injudicious things about the opposite sex following a bad breakup." He said he would not comb the internet to find the source and context of remarks attributed to him, but let those who question him "judge if that sounds like something I believe." He said that conclusions drawn from these remarks "border on slanderous."

According to the report, written by Bonnie Bacarisse, an investigation following a labyrinthine trail of online aliases and posts linked Fisher to the username Pk_atheist, the creator of The Red Pill, a cyber community with some 193,000 subscribers touting itself as a "discussion of sexual strategy in a culture increasingly lacking a positive identity for men."

Starting from a post by Pk_atheist advertising Dating American, a blog, the investigation traced the author "Desmond" to two other blogs, one written under the alias "Interested," which linked the author to Dating American, the precursor of "The Red Pill." At the same time, the user's bio touted a an album by an indie-electronic band — "The Five Nines" — of which Fisher is the sole member.

Bacarisse reported that, when contacted, Fisher denied all knowledge of "The Red Pill," but, after he was sent a summary of the threads tying him to it, usernames were wiped and blogs either deleted or made private.

"The Red Pill" comes from a scene in the film "The Matrix," where with the blue pill the story ends, you wake up and believe what you want and the red pill leads to the depths of "the rabbit hole," which among advocates of men's rights refers to feminism. Many of the remarks attributed to Fisher express a belief that feminism has ignited a struggle for power that has displaced traditional relations between sexes once deemed beneficial to both with a "feminine imperative," rendering men victims and women supreme.

Fisher is reported to have written of "divorce rape" as women entrapping men into marriage then leaving them while taking advantage of the laws bearing on child support and alimony to enrich themselves at men's expense. Elsewhere he referred to the "sub-par intelligence" of women, whose personalities he found "lackluster and boring, serving little purpose in day-to-day life." In one Reddit forum he wrote that "It is literally the body that makes enduring these things worth it."

Other posts express a fear of being accused of rape. Allegedly, following the bitter end of one relationship, Fisher said the woman threatened to accuse him of rape and later confessed to installing cameras to tape his sexual encounters as well as employing other tactics to protect himself against accusations.

"Statistically I'm overdue for a false rape accusation," he is said to have written. "You can't have sex with this many women without getting one."

In 2008, Fisher reportedly questioned the notion that "rape is bad," writing "I'm going to say it — Rape isn't an absolute bad, because the rapist I think probably likes it a lot. I think he'd say it's quite good, really." In his statement Fisher described this remark as a "gross misquote," taken out of the context of a "debate about the failings of moral relativism" nearly a decade ago."

"I'm disappointed that this sort of attack has replaced real news," Fisher wrote in his statement, "but it strengthens my position and resolve that fighting for equal rights is more important today than ever. Here's my message to the public," he continued, "I will continue to stand strong for men's rights and the rights of all."

Fisher works at Same Day Computer, which is solely owned by Josh Youssef, who himself has been active in the men's right movement following a contentious divorce. Youssef made an unsuccessful bid for a seat in the New Hampshire Senate in 2012 and in 2016 was a member of Donald Trump's New Hampshire leadership team.

(This story has been updated to correct the ownership of Same Day Computer.)

Robert Fisher

Robert Fisher

LHS to lose principal

David Bartlett leaving for Concord middle school

By RICK GREEN, LACONIA DAILY SUN

LACONIA — After just one year as principal of Laconia High School, David Bartlett is stepping down to become assistant principal at Rundlett Middle School in Concord.

In an email to the staff at the school, Bartlett said the move came after much thought and consideration.

"I have greatly appreciated the work we have done together over the last four years," he said in the short email. "Laconia High School and the members of this community have and will continue to have a special place in my heart."

At Rundlett Middle School, Bartlett will be working under Jim McCollum, a former principal at Laconia High School. Bartlett became principal at Laconia after McCollum resigned last June. Bartlett had been an assistant principal at the high school since 2013.

Bartlett and McCollum did not return calls for comment on Monday.

Laconia School District Superintendent Brendan Minnihan said Bartlett notified him of his resignation on Friday. June 30 will be Bartlett's last day as principal. Minnihan said the departure is not a reflection of the school.

"I think it was for a lot of different reasons," Minnihan said. "It's not about Laconia, the kids or the staff. He felt it was the right choice for him."

Minnihan said the school district will advertise for candidates for the post, which pays between $100,000 and $110,000 per year. Candidates from inside and outside the district will be considered.

Minnihan said it would be good if the next principal at Laconia High School is able to stay for a long term.

"Stability is always a good thing," he said. "Hopefully, the person we get to come on has the right skill set and the right interest to stay for a long time."

He said turnover among principals is a known issue throughout the educational profession.

"Being a high school principal in general is a very difficult job no matter where you are," Minnihan said. "The expectations in terms of the number of nights out to attend events and that sort of thing is very high.

"There are a lot of demands on high school principals. Throughout New Hampshire and throughout the country, it's getting harder and harder to hire and then retain high school principals."

In an interview on March 30, Bartlett said faculty members should strive to have a close-enough connection with students so that they can understand and provide assistance when teens go through a time of crisis. An exercise was held among staff members to facilitate this goal.

"Earlier this year, we took pictures of every single kid, put it on a big sticky note paper at a faculty meeting and every teacher had to go around and put initials under a kid they had a relationship with," he said.

A native of Warner, Bartlett earned his bachelor's degree in communication from the University of New Hampshire and his master's degree in education from Plymouth State University. After working in information technology he has spent the last 13 years in the public school system, starting in 2002 at Laconia High School, where he was an alternative education teacher while managing the study hall program. Three years later, Bartlett went to work in the Gilford School District, teaching special education students for three years and eighth-grade mathematics for four years.

When Bartlett returned to Laconia High School as assistant principal, he played a major role in introducing the Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports, or PBIS, program. PBIS rests on the notion that appropriate behavior can be taught just like core subjects of the academic curriculum by setting positive expectations for students rather than telling them what not to do. The program aims to maximize the time students spend learning by reducing the number referrals to the office for inappropriate behavior, which take both the student and the teacher out of the classroom.

David Bartlett

David Bartlett

 

Police seek suspect in city beating/robbery

LACONIA — Police are looking for a suspect in the Friday morning beating of a man at 272 Elm St. in an apparent robbery-assault.

The incident was reported to Laconia Police at 9:57 a.m. Friday by a neighbor who said that a possible robbery/assault was taking place in a downstairs apartment.

The same neighbor also reported that shortly after the banging within the apartment had stopped a person was seen leaving the area and was described as wearing a blue sweatshirt, mask and possibly carrying some type of object like a baton.
When the police arrived on scene at the apartment building they quickly discovered that someone had forced their way into the downstairs apartment and assaulted a male with a baton type object. The police searched the area for the suspect with the above description with negative results. A State Police K9 unit was also used to track the person which also had negative results.

The victim who was found within the apartment had injuries to his head along with other minor injuries. He was transported to the Lakes Region General Hospital and treated for his injuries. He was later released from the hospital.
The police is seeking the help of the community in locating a vehicle of interest that was seen leaving the area shortly after the incident had occurred. The vehicle is described as being a Honda Civic, four-door, color; maroon, unknown year. The rims on the vehicle are painted silver.

Anyone with any information regarding this incident should call Officer Marquis
at the Laconia Police Department at 603-524-5252.

04 -24 suspects car 1

Laconia Police are looking for the driver of a maroon, four-door Honda Civic who is a suspect in a beating and robbery incident which took place Friday morning on Elm Street in Lakeport. (Photo courtesy of Laconia Police)

 

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