I'm amazed at how many people can't wrap their heads around the fact that manipulating people is immoral.
People manipulate each other all the time, with varying degrees of awareness and conscious control. There's nothing wrong in learning about the process and refining it. Manipulating people to benefit yourself at their expense is immoral, obviously.
As someone said, the PUA shtick might be "a support group" of sorts. Not everyone is well-adjusted, many people have crippling habits, some kind of mental illness, bad experiences from childhood/adolescence etc. that prevent them from being naturally social. Are the motivations sleazy? There's nothing sleazy about wanting sex. If someone's creepy, learning to pick up girls will only bring that inner creepiness out, and - through exposure - gradually give that person a healthier outlook.
Another method, one among many alternate choices, is to actually step outside your own head for ten minutes and try some basic empathy.
It's hard to teach a hungry tiger empathy for their prey.
Empathy comes from a place of having one's basic needs satisfied. Jump on 4chan and tell the "forever alone" permavirgins to empathize with the women, which - in their worldview - deny them love and sex and make them miserable. The rampant misogyny does not come from nowhere. If someone is greatly disturbed by sexual frustration, feeling unloved, unaccepted and worthless, he needs to find a bit of peace before he can meaningfully connect with other human beings.
From what you're writing, I assume you're a woman. Our instincts work a bit differently - you might not realize the extent to which frustrated male libido can, over time, warp a mind. The high incidence of sex-related serial killings are not an accident.
This is forcing social interactions out of other human beings who never asked for them
falls solidly into the spectrum of male privilege and misogyny
I can go talk to anyone I damn well please, and anyone can talk to me. If I find them annoying I'll blow them off. No privilege there whatsoever.
And don't even get into social norms making this difficult, if someone is so bound in social norms they sacrifice their own happiness for conformity, they have far more problems than some guy trying to start a conversation.
and throwing them down with blindsiding passive-aggression
See, this is the thing. Passive aggression, of any kind, is completely counterproductive. All worthwhile PUA sources will tell you the same. You can succeed despite it, but it makes things harder, and you need to get rid of it when possible.
There is a lot of passive aggression on the PUA forums and in the community in general, but as said - these people had to learn this stuff for a reason, and many are quite bitter about it. If anything, success with women should make them less bitter.
That is not your fault as an individual, but if you have enough brainpower to read these words, then you are perceptive enough understand that it is a social reality you need to be aware of, and act to change it rather than make it worse.
There's plenty of things wrong with reality, but I'm not quite sure what are you aiming this sentence at. And let's not drag feminist "male privilege" theories into this discussion, as that will derail the thread completely.
Overall, I agree with most of your points - the PUA approach is not optimal, and one's love life should not be reduced to a game played for sex. But it's a stepping stone, one that serves people far better than the cultural "be nice, buy flowers and you'll live happily ever after" meme.