A 34-year-old from Rossmoor, California, is facing five years in prison or a $250,000 fine after pleading guilty to bombing Merriam-Webster offices over LGBTQ definitions. Jeremy David Hanson told a federal court in Massachusetts that he threatened people and corporate organizations because he didn’t agree with their definitions of certain words related to the LGBTQ community.
According to the US Attorney’s Office for the District of Massachusetts, Hanson wrote to Merriam-Webster, the Walt Disney Company, the mayor of New York City, the president of the University of North Texas, the governor of California, professors at Loyola Marymount University in California, a rabbi, DC Comics, Hasbro, and Land O’Lakes among others, threatening to harm them.
“It is absolutely sickening that Merriam-Webster now tells blatant lies and promotes anti-science propaganda,” Hanson wrote to Merriam-Webster through the Contact Us page on its website. “There is no such thing as ‘gender identity.’ The imbecile who wrote this entry should be hunted down and shot.”
He also fired off several emails correcting them on proper word definitions and threatening to deal with them over their incompetence.
“I am going to shoot up and bomb your offices for lying and creating fake definitions in order to pander to the tyranny mafia,” he wrote. “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 tyranny freaks.”
Based on these threats, Merriam-Webster shut down its offices in Springfield, Massachusetts, and New York City for nearly one week. In recent times, the dictionary has modified its definitions of certain words to reflect current usage. For instance, the girl is now defined as “a female child from birth to adulthood” and as “a person whose gender identity is female.” The dictionary also defines a female as “having a gender identity that is the opposite of male.”
“Jeremy Hanson is now a convicted felon after admitting to making hate-fueled threats of violence related to the LGBTQ+ community,” said Joseph Bonavolonta, a special FBI agent in Boston. “If you believe you are a victim or a witness to similar conduct, we encourage you to report it to the FBI, so we can hold the perpetrators behind these crimes accountable for their actions like we did in this case.”
Hanson told FBI agents that he is suffering from psychological disorders which make him unable to control his fury. His mother said he is always worried about transgender issues, but cannot carry out his many threats since he is reclusive, under supervision, and with no access to weapons. She added, however, that her son is prone to “verbal hyperbole” when very enraged.