Julien Blanc, a self-described pickup artist, will unlikely be able to enter Korea as it is becoming evident that his sexually abusive and racist tricks go against the country’s “morals and customs,” an immigration official said Thursday.
“If by any chance he arrives in Korea, we will take an action,” the official told The Korea Observer on the condition of anonymity.
“Of course, we will deny his entry if he were to enter Korea with such an intent.”
Julien Blanc is a Switzerland-born American affiliated with the Real Social Dynamics, a group of pickup artists who sell “how to get laid” DVDs and charge men up to $3,000 for their secret dating tricks.
The 25-year-old has become one of the most hated men in the world after a video of him choking random women on the street hit the headlines.
His techniques, which include grabbing women’s heads and pulling them into his crotch, have caused widespread outrage.
Border Control Division of the Korea Immigration Service has yet to receive or review any official complaint regarding Julien Blanc’s visit but it is keeping a close eye on him, the official said.
“As we learned about him through news and our information is limited. I cannot give a definite answer for now,” he said, adding that his team will need to examine his alleged misdeeds before reaching a decision
“Generally, we start our investigation once the head of a government body seeks a ban of a foreigner.”
Article 11 of the Immigration Control Act stipulates that the justice minister has authority to prohibit the entry of a foreigner if the person is “deemed likely to commit any act detrimental to good morals and customs.”
The minister may also ban a foreigner who is “deemed likely to commit any act detrimental to national interests of Korea or public safety.
In just a day after an online petition was launched Wednesday to bar his entry to Korea, it attracted more than 20,000 signatures.
Julien Blanc was scheduled to hold seminars in Korea in early December this year, but he apparently withdrew his plans in the face of mounting pressure.
He had his visa cancelled last week by Australian Immigration Minister Scott Morrison because of growing concerns over the sexist and misogynistic content of his seminars.
Morrison told Sky News that Blanc “was putting forward abuse (toward women),” and that “those are values are abhorred in this country.”
Julien Blanc will also likely be barred from entering Canada where he was scheduled to hold seminars on how to “Make Girls BEG To Sleep With You After SHORT-CIRCUITING Their Emotional And Logical Mind.”
Canada’s Immigration Minister Chris Alexander said Monday that Blanc’s seminars “completely counter to Canadian values and common decency,” suggesting that the government is considering options to bar his entry into Canada.
Britain is also considering a ban on the pickup artist.
Some, however, have expressed concerns over the ongoing move to stop Julien Blanc from entering another country.
Andy Semotiuk, a U.S. and Canadian immigration lawyer, argued that the basic principles of free speech are at stake in his contributing article to Forbes.
“But simply put, there is no such evidence in Blanc’s case,” he said.
“Blanc’s views are repugnant and vile, his motivations are barbaric, but in our democracy nobody should be denied entry to Canada simply based on their views.”
Roger Fusselman, English instructor at Sookmyung Women’s University’s Lingua Express, is also opposed to petitions that call for imposing a ban on Julien Blanc.
“We cannot simply petition to bar someone from entry. That’s mob rule, not law,” he said.
“That could have negative implications to the freedom of a country if this were allowed.”
Nevertheless, Rydia Kim, who launched the petition to ban Blanc’s visit to Korea, countered criticism from people who claim the method she chose to block him was anti-democratic and ineffective.
“We firmly believe preventing people like him to come into Korea to cause further crimes of violence against women is crucial,” she said.
“This isn’t an issue of free speech. It is an issue of hate speech that he and his organization spread around the world.”
Rydia Kim, Varyd owner and co-leader of Disruptive Voices, argued that the launch of an online petition was the best fit for Blanc’s case as it was precedent in other countries like Canada, Australia, Japan and Britain.