A California man and political conservative was allegedly so mad at the dictionary definitions for “Boy,” “Girl,” “Female,” and “Trans Woman” that he threatened extreme violence against Merriam-Webster and forced that company’s offices to be closed for nearly a week.
Jeremy David Hanson, 34, of Rossmoor, Calif., was charged by federal authorities in Boston with one count of interstate communication of threats to commit violence early this month. Court documents in the case were unsealed by a federal judge earlier this week after the defendant was arrested on April 19, 2022.
According to an affidavit in support of the criminal complaint, Hanson submitted “various threatening communications” through Merriam-Webster’s “Contact Us” page and via the comments section for the online dictionary’s entries for “Girl” and “Woman” in October 2021.
For seven days, federal authorities allege, the defendant “expressed hostility toward different gender identities” and “threatened bodily harm to people” by way of his user account, @anonYmous.
“It is absolutely sickening that Merriam-Webster now tells blatant lies and promotes anti-science propaganda,” Hanson allegedly wrote in response to a definition of “Female” which encompasses several different ideas, including some traditional and some more recent. “There is no such thing as ‘gender identity.’ The imbecile who wrote this entry should be hunted down and shot.”
Similar rhetoric was allegedly employed against the definition for “Girl“:
The moron who created this fake definition should be hunted down and shot. I am sick and tired of these cultural Marxists denying science and destroying the English Language. Merriam-Webster headquarters should be shot up and bombed. Boys aren’t girls.
During the same seven-day period last October, Merriam-Webster said it received two direct threats against its offices from an anti-Marxist email account. Federal authorities attributed those threats to Hanson.
The first threat reads as follows, according to the court papers:
You [sic] headquarters should be shot up and bombed. It is sickening that you have caved to the cultural Marxist, anti-science tranny agenda and altered the definition of “female” as part of the Left’s efforts to corrupt and degrade the English language and deny reality. You evil Marxists should all be killed. It would be poetic justice to have someone storm your offices and shoot up the place, leaving none of you commies alive.
“I am going to shoot up and bomb your offices for lying and creating fake definitions in order to pander to the tranny mafia,” the second threatening email allegedly reads. “Boys aren’t girls, and girls aren’t boys. The only good Marxist is a dead Marxist. I will assassinate your top editor. You sickening, vile tranny freaks.”
Hanson has allegedly admitted to, and expressed “remorse” for, making threatening statements online in the past. The affidavit states that in July 2015, the defendant was interviewed by the FBI and told agents that he “uses various websites that provide anonymous IP addresses” and that “he promised to refrain from sending any threatening remarks via social media or online in the future.”
According to his mother, the defendant “suffers from developmental disorders, including autism, and is unable to reason through the consequences of making statements that could be construed as threats” and he was likely recently triggered by the “stresses of the coronavirus, and recent changes to medication.”
Some of those threats targeted DC Comics for that company’s decision to make its latest iteration of the popular Superman character bisexual — and a pop culture website that simply reported on the news.
“I am going to shoot up and bomb your headquarters for discriminating against conservatives and silencing conservative speech,” one such message posted on the website IGN read. “The only good Democrat is a dead Democrat. I will kill you all for discriminating against and silencing me for criticizing the radical homosexual agenda.”
Another such comment reads:
Of course someone like you (read: radical Democrat anti-American traitor) doesn’t have a problem with innocent children being corrupted by degenerate filth in the form of a villain being disguised as a “superhero” IGN is obviously a far-left extremist, cultural Marxist propaganda site that discriminates against conservatives and hates free speech. I will have to keep posting my comment, and if IGN keeps deleting it, I will shoot up their offices. The radical left needs to pay for silencing and oppressing conservatives.
Additional comments attributed to the defendant include various anti-gay slurs.
“I am going to fucking kill you,” a Facebook account associated with Hanson messaged one DC Comics writer. “I am going to rape your wife and decapitate her then blow up DC Comics headquarters.”
A similar threat was reiterated in an email sent to multiple DC Comics email addresses in January 2021.
“First, you turn him into a faggot,” the email says. “Now, you make him anti-American. You fucking Marxist pieces of shit. I will make you pay. I will kill [Comic Publisher 1] and rape and murder his wife.”
In a subsequent FBI interview, Hanson allegedly admitted to making the comments about the new Superman’s sexual orientation to DC Comics and IGN. The defendant told agents he suffers from “obsessive-compulsive disorder, Aspergers, anxiety, and depression” as well as “impulse control.”
Myriad additional threats are recounted in the affidavit–including against the American Civil Liberties Union, Amnesty International, the dairy company Land O’ Lakes, the toy company Hasbro, the President of the University of North Texas, two professors at Loyola Marymount University, and a rabbi in New York City.
[image via Joanne K. Watson/Merriam-Webster via Getty Images]
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