5 things we learned from the BBC's Andrew Tate documentary

5 things we learned from the BBC's Andrew Tate documentary
Andrew Tate makes statement after end of house arrest

Over the past few years, Andrew Tate has become one of the most controversial and polarising figures on the internet.

The former kickboxing champion has gained a reputation for his extremely harmful misogynistic views about women and is currently awaiting trial on charges of human trafficking, rape and forming an organised crime group.

In a new BBC documentary, “Andrew Tate: The Man Who Groomed the World?”, documentary filmmaker Matt Shea explores how 12,000 pages of leaked encrypted Telegram messages sent by members of Tate’s “War Room” reveal the extent of Tate’s influence and a reveal a number of potential victims.

Here are five things we learned from the documentary:

Tate’s “War Room”

At a cost of $8,000 (£6,300) a year, Tate recruits people to learn from a network of “powerful” men. According to documents obtained by the BBC, leaked messages show the War Room members are taught through the “PhD” ( “Pimpin’ Hoes Degree”) course, taught by Tate, how to groom women into becoming sex workers.

Through the “generals” leading the course, including a man using the alias Iggy Semmelweiss, members are taught to form relationships with women, before intentionally isolating them from their family and friends in order to gain control and lure them into becoming “cam girls”.

Number of members of the War Room

The BBC’s investigations revealed that as of August 2022, there were 434 members of The War Room around the world.

Stories from alleged grooming victims of some War Room members suggest they are being taught and are implementing the same tactics.

Using the so-called “loverboy” method, victims are made to believe they are in a romantic relationship with the perpetrator before slowly being coerced into working for them. Women are tested on their loyalty by being told to get the perpetrator's name tattooed on them.

One War Room “general” is a retired US Air Force pilot and current Delta pilot

A woman claims she was exploited by a War Room general Jonathan Bowe, who goes by the nickname, The Money Pilot.

The woman said she was 21 when she began chatting with Bowe on Tinder for a couple of months. The pair met up after months of talking and the alleged groomer told her to bring a specific kind of chocolate on the date as a loyalty test. Following their date, Bowe asked her to become a cam girl. She said no.

She claimed Bowe repeatedly told her he had a solution to her money problems and continually pressured her into becoming a cam girl. He also gave her “missions” to complete with rewards in order to gain control over her, in what the leaked messages from the War Room Telegram describe as “Pavlovian conditioning”.

When she was coerced into being a cam girl, the woman claims she gave 80 per cent of the earnings, totalling $95,000, away to War Room generals.

A former insider confirmed the War Room targets men’s insecurities

A whistleblower named Eli says he spent two years on the inside of Tate’s organisation, which Eli labelled a “cult”, as the head of sales and marketing.

He explained: “The War Room is all about you getting women that serve you in your life.”

He says he was “brainwashed” into joining the organisation in September 2020 and suggested that he was one of many vulnerable men whose insecurities have been intentionally played on by showing Tate with supercars and winning kickboxing championships in order to get women in their lives.

Men in the War Room are also encouraged to “kill [their] parents” symbolically and cut family and friends out of their lives because they will “impede” them.

Iggy Semmelweiss is “at the top”

According to the whistleblower, Semmelweiss, who also goes by the name Shi Yan Hui, is “at the top” of the organisation. Eli claimed that Semmelweiss had an agenda and was extremely manipulative.

According to the BBC, Semmelweiss’s real name is Miles Sonkin. He was born in Chicago, Illinois, in 1961 and is alleged to have been a member of two alleged former cults.

It is believed Sonkin and Tate met in 2018, not long before Tate began selling his own courses and the War Room was started in 2019.

A statement from a representative for Andrew and Tristan Tate said: “The documentary represents another brazen attempt to present one sided, unverified allegation against Andrew Tate. The claims put forward not only present false accusations, but insults the massive community that considers Andrew Tate a life changing positive force."

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