Youtube is becoming more well known for the figures of scandal it keeps churning out of the video machine.
Before James Charles, Trisha Paytas and other high profile YouTube celebrities who choose to live their lives mostly in front of the lens of a camera for the world to watch, there was a pale faced, mop-haired, awkward twenty-something who used the name Onision. Without question he was among the first wave of web-stars to come off the platform, having joined 2006.
By 2010, he was named by TubeFilter as one of “5 YouTubers On Their Way Up” alongside such platform icons like Shane Dawson, but by 2012 had been banned by VidCon for problematic statements, specifically about his ex-girlfriend who he claimed “Had sex with more than 20 people” thus was incapable of being raped. Justifiably, people complained.
In the years since, Onision, now in his mid-30’s, has accrued both wealth and a significant fanbase, boasting over 2 billion video views and as many subscribers across multiple channels who consume his content, featuring his daily life and those in it, under a revealing microscope. It sounds like the typical vlogger dream-come-true, I suppose. Turn on a camera, get famous, earn ridiculous sums of money and thus, you win the internet.
Except, Onision’s story took a very dark, disturbing turn. Dating back to his earliest days, Onision, also known as Gregory Jackson, began uploading more and more intimate and extreme content, some of which allegedly showcased him filming a young woman having a health crisis in the shower. Rather than seek help for the woman, splayed on the floor of the shower, he films and then he edits…
… And then he uploads.
In this era where everyone is bidding for fame, many YouTube celebrity hopefuls are notorious for faking breakups, pranks, pregnancies and illnesses for the views. In more radical cases, we’ve seen parents charged with child neglect for forcing their children to act or perform for subscribers and another famous Youtuber uploaded a video which showed a dead body, an apparent victim of suicide. The efforts to make a grab for views on monetized videos has become increasingly desperate, thus warranting a watch with a more critical eye. Staging events for videos has become commonplace. Whether or not the video featuring the young lady in despair were real or scripted remains a debate- although wikipedia states; “ The clips were scripted, but were presented in a manner many fans interpreted as authentic.”
No one can say for sure if the events portrayed in Onision’s videos are authentic- because who would watch a young girl lay on the cold floor of a shower, trembling, speaking incoherently and unable to recognize her surroundings and do nothing about it? Who would exploit a young woman in such a vulnerable state by uploading a video of them in a state of crisis?
Her name was Shiloh. She would be just one of a large cast featuring many women in his orbit who would go public in the aftermath of their relationships with Onision to allege they were the victims of emotional and psychological abuse at his hand.
Some of the stories have common threads; Girls claiming Onision and, later, even his husband (A female to male transgender man with whom he has children) formally known as Lainey, now named Kai, would solicit them via social media- sometimes while they were underage. The origin of his relationship with is now husband is also worthy of a cringe- In a video released by Onision himself, he admitted that Kai was a minor when their relationship began and disclosed that he drove to another state where the age of consent was beneath 18 and he could legally engage in a sexual act with Kai. In that video he boasts that Kai’s Grandmother attempted to have him thrown in jail, but he was cleared by the police having done nothing illegal in that state. He was 24 at the time. Kai was 17.
Worse, however, was the case of Sarah, a fan, who claims she began exchanging online messages with Onision and Kai at the age of 13- according to Sarah, these missives became more adult orientated just a year later. Sarah was dealing with a troubled home life and by 16 years old, she had moved in with the couple with Kai becoming her power of attorney. Sarah maintains that no explicit sexual activity took place, just “romantic talks,” until four days after her 18th birthday.
There was also a young woman named Billie- Billie alleges that she engaged in a relationship with Onision and Kai simultaneously and that Onision pressured his wife (Now husband) to take her into their relationship. Billie says Onision outlined a series of controlling punishments for her after she confessed she had, against his wishes, smoked marijuana. In communication she shared on twitter that are allegedly from Onision, he provides a list of punishments for her disobedience, some that include she be chained in the basement, get a tattoo that says “I’m a liar” among others.
Dear Onision https://t.co/u6rpUnextP
Billie claims that Onision “Likes to destroy people’s lives.”
Across YouTube, there are hundreds upon hundreds of videos discussing the allegations of ongoing abuse and even grooming of young girls that he invites into his relationship with Kai. Most videos uploaded by the girls who have made the allegation have been deleted in the years since they were uploaded, but have been republished by third parties, such as the one above.
It was just a week ago, however, that a twitter user posted a series of incredibly disturbing and damning accusations against the Youtube star. It is important to note, however, these tweets are coming from a new account and does not contain identifying information.
Didn't I spend my 18th birthday at the Sandman next to the airport so you could fly me out the next morning without needing my mother's written consent to take me to your house in Tacoma? @Onision https://t.co/KcUo81hsyF
We talked for around 8 months everyday on Skype for almost 8-10 hours of the day. Skye was normally online shopping in the background whilst Greg was editing videos and on Skype with me. I was just a fan turned friend at the time.
December, 2010 while I was 17 I received a call from @onision on Skype showing me the divorce papers (or whatever bogus contract he wrote up) that he had made Skye sign earlier that night. This was the first time he told he loved me.
Do you remember checking the state laws before coming to PA a few days after telling me you were leaving Skye for me to make sure you could have sex with a 17 year old? (16 was the consenting age) @Onision
When you hit a deer with your car and wrecked it on your way to PA you bought a plane ticket instead. You showed up at my hotel room, and you slept with me within 5 min. "I can't wait to get you pregnant" - the first words I heard you say in person.
My mother notified the hotel that you were there and the police arrived, we were asked to leave because of the camera equipment in the room, your computer was searched for child pornography. I was sent home, you flew back to Tacoma. You started to alienate me from my mother.
Shortly after the PA incident you rented an apartment in my city for a few months while you waited for me to turn 18. In this time you manipulated me into cutting off both of my parents from my life. I lived in that apartment with you until you flew me to Tacoma on my birthday.
You convinced me to get your name tattooed on me to show you I loved you, you told me you would do the same. I came home with "Gregory" tattooed on me as a surprise. You got "Remember Love" in return. I was still 17!!!!!!!
Remember when I left you while we were living in that apartment because I found Skyes sisters boudoir photos on your computer and you admitted to me that you googled them yourself, got off to them, and then showed me all the other porn you were watching behind my back?
Remember how you also pathetically collapsed at my feet and begged me to stay, then chased 17 year old me down the street in your socks in the rain? https://t.co/qDlHBJQXfZ
Was it 1 week or 2 weeks after I moved in that you started locking me out of the editing room to masturbate to porn while I cried and begged you not to? @Onision
When you weren't on top of me (8 times a day most days), you were masturbating to jailbait hentai, when you weren't doing that you were recording/editing videos. You had me sleep next to your chair in the office so I could wake up and service you if you needed it.
I shaved half my head on my own accord because I wanted to be skrillex, YOU shaved my whole head in the middle sex because you wanted to degrade me! @Onision
no bras (unless unpadded & sport) -no makeup (unless for videos) -no contact with friends/family (unless you want problems) -all boys clothes from target/walmart/wholesale -no accounts without him having the password -no intoxicating substances of any kind -no meat
June, 2011 after having seizures in my sleep unknowingly from the stress you finished your daily "routine" with me and after in the shower told me I was "clinically obese" and you couldn't pick me up so I had to lose weight.
You continued to confess that you preferred much skinnier specifically Asian descent or looking girls. I had my first grand mal seizure after you left me in the shower to cry and hyperventilate, this caused 3 years of memory loss. You filmed the results! https://t.co/AFH5JXzhky
July, 2011 you wanted me to stay living in the house as your friend and broke up with me. That night you wouldn't let me sleep in the bedroom and like many nights tried to lock me out of it because I was crying while you were trying to sleep.
I tried to push my way into the door, I had enough. Ripped of my feminine , alone, & 18. I would not leave you alone and I was manic with trying to make you understand & stop. You called the police on me for the first time - You filmed the breakdown that followed.
The police took me to a mental care facility because when Greg did not let me call my mother to come get me from Tacoma I had threatened suicide while he was on the phone with police. They put me in a white concrete room with no windows, no bed & no inside door handle.
One nurse came to take my information down and I told her everything, she allowed me to call my mother and removed me from care & to the main office to wait. I was picked up by family hours later. This is off topic, but I wish I could thank her for giving me a voice that day.
This was the first breakup. https://t.co/Hqr4wT82nU
After a few weeks we spoke, you pushed yourself at me and I pushed back. When I wasn't coming home right away you flew out to another state to have sex with Adrienne. I found out over facebook you had a new girlfriend. During this time I smoked weed, got drunk & bought a sex toy.
September, 2011 You lured me back in 🤦🏻♀️ you flew me to LA and a few days in took me to pick out my own engagement ring. We filmed the video announcing my return that night.
Just so you know, I never loved you. I was a victim of your manipulation, and the thought of you not only never crosses my mind, but it NEVER effects my life/day/mood. You're powerless, and you have BEEN powerless for years. How does it feel @Onision
After a very short time living with Cyr in LA we drove back to Tacoma in your Prius, when we arrived the fridge was full of rotten food from when you fled the scene after calling the police on me - Again you filmed the results. https://t.co/DAnVW1ONHu
Do you remember turning over to me while watching a cut scene in Mortal Kombat and confessing how you masturbated to the idea of one of the characters. "I mean look at her, could you imagine what she'd do to me?
Sexual encounters were always aggressive (keep in mind I was only 18). You liked to call me a b*tch/sl*t/wh*re during. I got UTI infections frequently. You used to pull my hair back so hard my windpipe would be compressed to the point I couldn't make noise.
This was my first sexual relationship, I became conditioned to think this was normal for my age. https://t.co/6fLd1esjkA
I remember one night sleeping on the floor while Greg edited a video, I was nudging his hand with my head to get his attention for a long time while he ignored me. After a while he leaned down and said "I love how you love me, it's so pure, like a puppy..
October, 2011. Now its time to address this @Onision you lying sack of waste. YOU. GOT. ME. PREGNANT.
The pregnancy was confirmed with a blood test & an ultrasound. https://t.co/2f6uVDYpbS
16 weeks into pregnancy on a follow up ultrasound, no heartbeat was found. The baby had died, and not yet "passed". A urine sample was taken. The midwife sent us home and informed me she would follow up with me over the phone. https://t.co/nX8mnJLNho
The midwife called me informing me that the baby had died between 5-7 weeks gestation, and that I was at risk for going septic if the baby did not pass. I had seen no blood, no "passing", no nothing & so 18 year old me GOOGLED "GOING SEPTIC". https://t.co/5uEXnizPjD
You refused to pay for the healthcare required, I had no other choice but to fly back to Canada. You released a video entitled "Shiloh Has Sepsis". The night I landed in Canada, you broke up with me. - You then posted the video "Goodbye Shiloh", and after framed me as a liar.
December, 2011. I am taken to emergency for severe pain in my abdomen with no vaginal bleeding. I am given Pitocin and spend the next 10 hours with 3 min contractions/ 1 min apart. The baby had been gone for 10 weeks and had not passed. I had gone septic.
I received an emergency DNC. My mind was still so bent that when I came to from anesthesia I asked for Greg. My mother took my passport from my purse. This was the LAST breakup. https://t.co/y9I1vbhuVY
January, 2012. You wanted me back. You sent me $1,100 via Western Union to get a new passport.
FACTS! - i never ordered a new passport - i spent that $1,100 - i pawned the engagement ring for an xbox - i slept with someone else - i had his baby - I GOT AWAY FROM YOU
The previous tweets have been circulating widely across social media, a terrifying story which builds upon other allegations made by other young women.
At the height of Onision’s web-fame, voyeurs and drama-lovers alike would watch to see the tumultuous back and forth disputes between Onision and some of these girls, who were often dubbed as liars, as they attempted to defend themselves or worse- tell their story.
A little dive down the rabbit hole reveals a shocking and infuriating history of a man who, if all of this is true, has managed to evade accountability. Many commentators on the platform who discuss the life of Onision like an open secret state that, even if true, none of the allegations are against the law.
And they’re right, to tragic effect. Even two adults manipulating their way into obtaining custody of a minor that they later engage in a polyamorous sexual relationship with after she is a adult — is completely legal, even if indisputably a pox on one’s quality of character.
After all these years and so many sensational accusations, one must ask what weight they carry if Onision is still operating his channels, a Patreon fetching him a comfortable monthly stipend thanks to donors and a fan base that is mostly comprised of young or underage girls?
With movements like #MeToo and #TimesUp having brought violence, intimidation and predatory behavior against women to global attention, how does Onision suffer only the scrutiny of an angry community anxious to expose him and exterminate him from their space?
Few women who have gone public with their stories, many who have done interviews with high profile hosts on youtube, left their situation with only that. Their stories. The viewer watches to devour the shock, the outrage and the drama, which minimizes the horrific experiences of these women- as survivors of the abuse they collectively allege they endured.
The voices of victims are important. As the noise from outside the walls of these events often eclipses the voices of those trying to speak, it makes it more challenging to find a thread of coherence in a decade long timeline that is centralized on social media, although some have tried.
Throughout each video posted by those dissecting Onision, they emphasis that all citations of abuse are allegations- before playing voicemails of him threatening and intimidating his accusers.
Onision and Kai deny all accusations publicly made against them and maintain their innocence.
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