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The latest on Jeremiah True, accused groper, “MRA God” and self-proclaimed “most powerful man in the Free World.”

Jeremiah True, seated on floor, protests his exclusion from a class discussion section
Jeremiah True, seated on floor, protests his exclusion from a class discussion section

The story of Jeremiah True — the Reed College student who made headlines last month as a self-proclaimed free speech martyr, and who was arrested last week for harassment and sexual abuse — only seems to get stranger the more I look into it.

The latest development: On Friday, True pled not guilty to charges that he groped two young women on a high-school Rugby team who were practicing in a Portland park; he remains in custody.

We now have some more details on what he’s charged with. The Oregonian newspaper has reported that

According to a probable cause affidavit filed in Multnomah County Circuit Court, True walked up to and caressed the hair and arm of a female who was among a team of students practicing at Normandale Park …

True walked off, talking to himself, but returned to the park about 30 minutes later and approached a 17-year-old female and touched her breast with his open hand, and make a remark about her chest, the affidavit said.

Several witnesses restrained True until police arrived.

Portland police Officer E. Lamonte Johnson said True’s pupils were constricted and he was responding irrationally to questions and appeared to be under the influence of a controlled substance… .

This is not the first instance of disturbing behavior from True since his story originally hit the headlines. In late March, he engaged in a bizarre series of protests against Pancho Savery, the Reed College professor who had banned him from class discussion sections for his disruptive behavior. These protests got him booted from campus.

Then last week, he posted a bizarre 114-page manifesto online in which, among other things, he declared himself “the most powerful man in the Free World.”

First, the protests. On March 30th, according to a detailed account in the Reed College Quest,

True sat on the floor at the front of Vollum Lecture Hall during Hum 110 lecture under the chalkboard which read: “Restore Jeremiah True to their Conference” and “Your hypocrisy is showing Dr. Savery.” True remained on the floor wearing earbuds and removed his shoes while Professor of English & Humanities Laura Liebman proceeded to lecture on Virgil’s Aeneid. At the end of the lecture, True yelled out “Cowards!” to the general audience.

Just before 10 a.m. that same day, True stood outside of Professor Savery’s Humanities 110 conference on the third floor of the Performing Arts Building. When Professor Savery and the Humanities students began class, True approached the glass windows of the class, looking at the class and staring into the room. According to Professor Savery, the students were “upset and disrupted” by his presence, and the class proceeded to lower the blinds.

True persisted, walking back and forth along the length of the glass wall, occasionally peering through the cracks in the blinds and into the classroom. Professor Savery says, “I think people [in the conference] made the decision to ignore him, so as to not let him take class away from them because they thought that had happened too many times. We tried to have a normal class and ignore his presence.”

True showed up outside Savery’s next class as well. One student told the paper that

“[True] was stalking back and forth by the floor-to-ceiling glass windows, aping and mimicking Pancho’s [the professor’s] gestures, glaring at Pancho, flapping his arms, and making strange theatrical movements. It was one of the worst conferences we had, and everyone was extremely quiet,” Garriss says, “If he was protesting, I don’t know who his audience was.”

School officials were called to the scene and asked True to leave; he did, only to return five minutes later. The next day, he was banned from campus pending the result of an investigation.

Last Wednesday, a day before his arrest, True posted a bizarre document that he described as “The Senior Thesis of Jeremiah True ‘18.” (True is a Freshman.) In it, he declared, among other things, that “[m]y controversial actions both online and offline have partly been a sociological experiment and partly been performance art.”

He described Prof. Savery as a “Clever Devil” and claimed that

Within this document, I will claim that Pancho ghost-wrote much of what I was saying, and I believe this to be true. While he did not directly aid me in writing any of this document or previous documents, I have adopted his philosophy on life so entirely that I fully consider myself to be the disciple of Pancho Savery and would bow down and worship him if he would let me. After I met Pancho Savery, I became a completely different person, and I don’t know how to explain it. I love Pancho like I love my family. He has put more faith in me than anyone in my life ever has. It has been by his power alone that I learned what it means to be a father, to be a teacher, to be a Reedie, to be a Black man, and to be a Philosopher-King.

After admitting that he had gone “too far with my protest of Pancho’s conferences,” he went on to say that

The actions that I performed outside of Pancho’s classes were, to me, tame. When I was warned that I was being disruptive, I was completely incredulous, as I had not been loud or naked, nor had I attempted to forcefully gain access to the classroom. I did not realize how low the bar was set at Reed for what constitutes disruption, and what constitutes threatening behavior, especially since I have observed White DMABs perform aggressive behavior without consequence.

DMAB stands for “designated male at birth.” I can only assume he is using the term sarcastically.

He claims that his disruptive behavior was a part of a deliberate if indirect plan intended to open a debate about free speech.

Rather than challenge a noteworthy scholar of the First Amendment [ie, Prof. Savery] , I instead chose to play upon the nation’s perception of Black men in order to foster the belief that I was disruptive in class. This was further reinforced by Dr. Savery’s insistence that I was disruptive in class and my numerous instances where I engaged in using profanity.

So far I’ve only read portions of the entire 114-page document, but what I have read veers wildly between lucid arguments and bizarre assertions; his thinking (as has been the case in his previous statements) appears highly disordered and grandiose.

In one of his most grandiose moments, he declares himself

the most powerful man in the Free World. Stop me. …

I am the God of MRA’s, Anti-feminists, Anti-Marxists, Libertarians, and White, heternormative men and women everywhere. I also claim that I am the God of Reed, as I have called forth miracles and created earthquakes in the student body. Kanye has nothing on my ego. Eminem thinks I’M his Rap God. … I am a misogynist and a misandrist, a racist, and a feminist.

Despite the jokes, he seems to take himself very seriously indeed, and to believe a good deal of his own hype.

I may return with more thoughts on his case once I’ve read some more of it.

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7 years ago

Every time I hear one of these asshats have a long manifesto, I irrationally hope that they didn’t write it for NaNoWriMo, because the idea that such a screed would win anything is abhorrent.

Austin Dahl
7 years ago

“The actions that I performed outside of Pancho’s classes were, to me, tame.”

In my experience (I’ve dealt with extremists far more than I would have preffered), this is the most irritating and disturbing aspect of extremists in general. No matter what they say or do, they see their own statements and actions as moderate and reasonable. There is no reasoning with such a worldview.

7 years ago

What? Disturbance? Oh, no. I disagree. I wasn’t even naked.

Paradoxical Intention
7 years ago

Yeah, it’s disturbing in it’s own right that he felt he was “tame” in his actions in “protesting” the class and felt that banging on and on about rape and rape statistics when it wasn’t on topic and made people uncomfortable enough to get him barred from the discussion portion of the class was an appropriate thing to do.

Some people are scary.

7 years ago

Now if only I could sing!

7 years ago

Hey, fellow Mikado fans! Allow me to join you in that corner.

7 years ago

“…I had not been loud or naked, nor had I attempted to forcefully gain access to the classroom.”

Tame? Reasonable?

Surely this is a revised, but just as annoying, version of the 11 year old kid with the not-quite-poking finger crowing “I’m not touching you. I’m not touching you.” And making everyone’s life an absolute misery.

7 years ago

He also openly talks about “messing with people” just to mess with them, and of course, everyone with which *he* disagrees (or, more usually, who disagrees with him) is, in his opinion, mentally ill. Meta-textually, it is also a very sad thing to read, because his intelligence and passion come thru very clearly, but just as clearly his total lack of comprehension, both of the texts he’s trying to engage with, and the people (especially his professor) that he so desperately wants to like and understand him.

If “messing with people” just to mess with them is his way of getting them to like him, he’s doin it rong. Like the guys who used to harass me in middle and high school. Maybe they wanted attention, and maybe they got it, but what kind of attention did they get? Me, going out of my way to avoid them, and hating their guts, and wishing they would leave me the fuck alone because their shit wasn’t funny and I wasn’t interested in being the punchline to their so-called “jokes”. Which were, no doubt, some kind of wonky-ass dominance display on their part. They were, after all, at or near the top of the pecking order, and I was either at or near the bottom. I don’t care if they “liked” me, I DISliked them. Immensely. And all for doing what they did. And if it was some kind of dominance display to get positive attention (from where? and from whom?), they did it wrong, because it just made them all look like jackasses and bullies.

Same thing applies to this dude.

7 years ago

And if it was some kind of dominance display to get positive attention (from where? and from whom?), they did it wrong, because it just made them all look like jackasses and bullies.

It’s an in-group thing. They want positive feedback from their own circle, and harming or humiliating outsiders is how they do it. By ostensibly not caring how outsiders view their circle, they free themselves to use such degrading methods to establish their internal pecking order. Meanwhile, it prevents them from turning on one another, which would weaken their ability to dominate as a group.

The better you are at bullying, the more revered you are within the community of bullies. It’s grade-school logic, and shitlords like this guy carry that social order with them into adulthood.

7 years ago

Glad he’s in custody. He’s got, “Future Elliot Rodgers” written all over him!

7 years ago

This guy doesn’t sound well. I hope he gets the help he needs. Reading that manifesto–he needs a lot of help.

7 years ago

TBH, the vibe I get from True is a bored 6-year-old trying to see what the baby-sitter will let him get away with.

Obviously, the “authorities” need to consider mental illness, and one hopes he will be evaluated by a competent professional — though given how screwed up our mental health system is, I don’t have much faith. But I don’t see much opportunity for constructive speculation about his mental condition here on WHTM. We can, however, talk about how his ideas are based on common misogynistic themes.

Recently I purchased a camera on eBay, which turned out to have a memory card it wasn’t supposed to have. On this card were some pictures of some unknown person’s cats. I am forced to conclude that this was all a Furrinati plot to provide brain bleach on WHTM, so here goes:

Hambeast, Social Justice Hoo-Ha Glitterer
Hambeast, Social Justice Hoo-Ha Glitterer
7 years ago

(the mention of not being naked while protesting is in reference to an administrator of some sort saying he could protest on campus as long as he didn’t disrobe)

Didn’t expect that to get cleared up, but thanks! It just seemed so random and out-of-left-field.

7 years ago

From the manifesto directly:

Some Characteristics of a Good College, Fucking Shit Up & Beyond Fucking Shit Up

He just wants to fuck your shit up. Wonder where I’ve heard that before….

I was intensely surprised to learn what, exactly, constitutes disruption at an illiberally feminist college.

Second verse, same as the first…

7 years ago

Those kittens are fucking amazing and really, really threatening.

Flying Mouse
Flying Mouse
7 years ago

Those kittens are fucking amazing and really, really threatening.

Yeah, I’m wondering what really happened to the camera’s former owner…

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