According to a report published by the BBC, influencer Andrew Tate and his “War Room” group discussed techniques for grooming women into online sex work using violence and isolation from their friends and families as shown by leaked messages obtained by the publication. But details from the encrypted Telegram messages sent between March 2019 and April 2020 that suggest the trafficking operation was led not by Tate, but a Chicago right-wing extremist called Miles Sonkin.
As reported by multiple news outlets, Tate was charged in Romania with rape and human trafficking, and the BBC published details from the encrypted Telegram messages sent between March 2019 and April 2020 that suggest the trafficking operation was led not by the 36-year-old former kickboxer, but a Chicago native called Miles Sonkin.
“Then we ‘punish’ her for a transgression — real or imagined — by having her get our name tattooed on her,” read a post allegedly sent by Sonkin, who uses the alias “Iggy Semmelweiss,” according to The Daily Beast. “Leaving her’s family’s home/apartment/town/country, WebCamming/stripping/walking the track for us, getting us girls, escalate, escalate, escalate,” the message added.
Two days later, Sonkin allegedly wrote that “isolating her from her family, friends, past, is the KINDEST thing you can do for her IF you are taking RESPONSIBILITY for having SOLE AUTHORITY over her.”
According to the report, Sonkin is a right-wing extremist and professed supporter of former president Donald Trump. The BBC noted that Sonkin has been involved with at least two groups suspected of being cults since the early 2000s.
According to Tate, the War Room gives members, who pay $8,000 a year, “access to thousands of professionals from around the world who encourage personal responsibility and accountability, [emphasizing] the importance of taking ownership of your choices and actions.”
The shadowy group reportedly had 434 members worldwide as of August 2022, and the chats show another member with the pseudonym “Joe Lampton” claims he violently responded to a complaint by a woman working for him.
“I took her keyboard and hit her in the head with it. She went into the room and worked 7 hours without any break,” he wrote.
Tate has denied all wrongdoing. A spokeswoman for the 36-year-old former kickboxer called reporting on the War Room chats “another brazen attempt to present one-sided, unverified” claims that are “not only present false accusations, but insult the massive community that considers Andrew Tate a life changing positive force.”