UK law enforcement recently began an investigation into Carl Benjamin (also known as “Sargon of Akkad”), a highly controversial YouTuber turned UKIP MEP candidate, who has been accused of privately requesting child pornography over Twitter. In a report published by The Daily Mail, a source within UKIP presented Wiltshire police with a dossier containing the screenshot messages, which Benjamin has contested as being fake smear attacks for several years.
The candidate, notorious for politically incorrect tweets like the so-called “anti-rape threat” made against a female MP and sexual assault survivor, is now being accused of far more serious accusations from his somewhat questionable apologetics for underage sex to these unverified child porn requests. The dossier cites screenshots of these requests and several streams between fellow YouTubers Amos Yee (a pedophile advocate) and Justicar (who baited older men into having sex with him when he was underage) where Benjamin’s views on the age of consent were taken out of context, though contain some alarming elements that can’t simply be dismissed.
The Daily Mail does smear Benjamin by conflating these streams into a single bite-sized, stitched-together comment which doesn’t exist: “I can be quoted as saying you can fuck young boys. It’s actually not as controversial as you think. Depends on the child, doesn’t it? The ancient Greeks were pederasts. It was considered to be normal. It was mentoring.”
If this comment were genuine, the media alarm bells would be warranted and child protective services would be best to hold the line. In reality, the first stream shows Benjamin explaining Yee’s position while the second shows the candidate tepidly conceding to Justicar’s views.
“The ancient Greeks were pederasts,” Benjamin told Yee. “It was considered to be normal, where younger boys would have relationships with older men. They weren’t exploitative relationships. They were sexual, but it was more so a pair-bounding, a mentoring relationship.” Benjamin immediately clarifies this is not his position: “It was very strange and I don’t agree with any of this. Someone is going to misrepresent your position as being my position… I think the age of consent now at 16 is just fine. I think we should keep them like that.”
Several years before, however, when in his live stream Justicar claims he always gave informed consent when he began having sex at age eleven, Benjamin temporarily concedes ground to the view there should be multiple legal statutes surrounding child molestation. “I think it depends on the child, doesn’t it? It should really be a case by case basis, but I can see why…” Benjamin’s words begin to trail off, as though a mental hook yanked his mind from the microphone. “It’s not something I’ve really put much thought into.” The conversation then turns into jokes about the men Justicar lured into sex with him and doesn’t address public policy again.
Although the source and the contents of the dossier weren’t released publicly, leaving readers without this necessary context, the source claims they tried to handle the matter privately through UKIP’s ruling National Executive Council when Benjamin was being considered as a candidate last autumn, but no action was taken. The source, who has reportedly been interviewed by the police about the material, told The Daily Mail: “The party leadership were fully aware of this as long ago as September, and not only did nothing about it but actually allowed Benjamin to join the party and become a lead candidate. I will swear an affidavit to that effect.”
The reason for certain inaction could be Benjamin’s brief and tepid views on underage sex are clearly separate from his consistent policy position. From the first scandal, there’s no smoking gun confirming The Daily Mail’s headline of Benjamin believing “it’s OK to sexually abuse boys,” however, in-context there is reason to believe Benjamin would be open to legal exceptions when certain molestation cases are taken to court. This is a possible danger enabled by the fact there’s no universal age of consent line across the globe.
Without the legal consistency, Pakistan can make their exceptions at 12 while the U.S. varies from 18 to 16 depending on the state. Without philosophical care, these exemptions could quickly get out of hand. These lines require more care than a couple of shitposters on YouTube could ever offer. The question is which careless troll is telling the truth: Benjamin or his political enemies?
The exchange originated from an anonymous sock account who previously went by the names “Jon Crumb”, “@MiloMolestedMe”, and “@RacistGoku”, an admitted troll who was repeatedly banned from the platform. In 2017, the user began releasing screenshots of an unverified conversation, claiming Benjamin sought his help in spreading child pornography for the sake of “trolling” his online enemies. Benjamin, in what appears to be his first ever message to Crumb, is shown saying: “Hey there, I saw you talking about how I triggered those alt-righters. But I need something to really trigger them. Do you have any underage porn or child porn? I will delete it fast so nobody gets in trouble.”
The screenshots can be viewed in Benjamin’s response below:
Sending porn as a form of “triggering” isn’t new for Benjamin. The dossier itself cites how the candidate repeatedly sent graphic interracial gay porn to members of the alt-right, which Twitter’s own Trust and Safety executive Vijaya Gadde confirmed contributed towards his removal from the platform based on harassment grounds. Child pornography, however, is an obvious step-up into outright criminality. In the video, however, we’re presented with HTML footage from David Sherrat, a leftist political commentator who dislikes Benjamin’s politics, on how easily Crumb could have doctored his screenshots and footage to smear his rival.
Besides this, how do we know it’s fake? Well, it was also investigated by Twitter themselves! When Benjamin’s account was permanently suspended for this offense, he reported the incident to the company, who used their technology to search through users’ direct messages (never mind the unethical privacy concerns here) and found the conversation didn’t exist. Shortly after, Crumb was once again banned for abusing the platform. The incident was fully resolved and Benjamin was free to use his account as his heart desired until he actually violated Twitter’s policies a year or so later.
UKIP leader Gerard Batten released a statement in response to the slander: “This is part of the MSM smear campaign,” he wrote on Twitter “These were fabricated tweets & it was proved at the time four years ago. Either the Mail doesn’t care or they didn’t check. Carl will be suing the Mail. The MSM must be worried about UKIP.” Benjamin joined in on Facebook by reposting another left-wing journalist relaying the exact same information seen here. “It is a high mark of integrity when even those who disagree with my politics call out the lies against me,” he writes. “Thank you Tabloid Corrections, please keep up the good work while I sue the shit out of these liars.”
“The Sun has twisted comments he seemingly made in an online discussion about pedophilia and the age of consent,” the publication wrote. “He made a couple of controversial comments — some may feel he’s brought this press shit-storm on himself by doing so — but he didn’t say anything along the lines of “it’s OK to rape young boys”, which is what this sensationalist Sun headline reports. I don’t like this guy and I disagree with pretty much everything he says, but to paint him as some kind of pedophile who condones rape is out of order.”
Speaking for myself, the feeling is mutual.
Readers don’t have to like Benjamin’s brand of right-wing politics to see defamatory statements and unverified evidence for what they are. As a former fan of Benjamin's, growing increasingly unimpressed with his partisan tactics, unethical behaviour and uninformed views, it’s sad the media tabloids stoop lower than him in order to criticize him. You can also say what you want about Twitter’s unaccountability, as we’ve discussed on our publication before. Benjamin would only be a liability if the platform allowed his requesting illegal child pornography — the administrators found no such threat.
The Wiltshire police, if given the freedom to investigate, will likely find similar results. There is a reason why an outright-bastard-troll-turned-politician can simply call journalists “dirty, dirty smear merchants” — a known racist meme used among the alt-right trolls on 4Chan — where the outrage only resonates among the media establishment. It’s based on the lies demonstrated above. When you add fuel to the fire of dishonest populism, you’re no hero.