Sandy Hook Lighthouse has come into possession of two private messages (PMs) sent by the Sandy Hook shooter in 2010, under his “Smiggles” moniker (see this article for a review the evidence establishing that this profile was in fact Adam Lanza.)
Copies of these messages were obtained through a source with direct access to former members of the original Columbine RPG Discussion forum. The recipients of these messages have made it clear that they did not, at any time, have any awareness that “Smiggles” was planning a crime of any sort, nor did they know of the real identity of that user until it became public knowledge in 2014.
Both messages are lengthy, and grant insight into the shooter’s beliefs and mental state at the time they were written (October and November of 2010, just over two years before the Sandy Hook shooting.)
The first PM discusses horror films, aversion to sunlight, and the shooter’s description of episodes of paranoia and hallucinations. The shooter makes reference to a scene from a film “Terror House” as a visual analogue for what he “sees” in his visions, which he calls simply “the images.” For reference, this snippet of the film can be viewed below (while this is a from a horror film and may be jarring, the content is not particularly graphic or violent. The “faces” start about 1/3rd of the way in):
A screen shot of the first private message is below. For readability, a transcript of the message will be repeated immediately after:
Posted: Sun Oct 03, 2010 3:56am
I don’t have the persistent sense of fear that you described, but around once every couple months when I’ve gotten arbitrarily fatigued and it’s around 12:00-5:00 in the morning, I have images of distorted faces flashing through my mind. They’re sort of similar to the ones toward the end of the movie Terror House, at about 75:00. When I first saw the scene, I mentally flinched for a moment because of its similarity to what I have imagined in the past.
http://www.zshare.net/video/7072064402072186/ [NOTE: dead link]
On a tangent, this is probably among my favorite movies (although its ending was disappointing). I searched for it after reading an IMDB review, and I eventually found this link. The review said that it was similar to Children Shouldn’t Play With Dead Things and Don’t Look In The Basement, both of which have aspects which I enjoyed. I first knew from about 5:00 to 5:30 that I was going to love the movie for its style of atmosphere. I wouldn’t expect most people to enjoy this movie nearly as much as I do, but I’m surprised that it has received so little attention. The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (which I haven’t seen; I’m not interested in that sort of movie) has a similar plot scenario, but this one preceded it by a few years.
About the images- they’re not exactly like the ones in that movie, but that’s the best I can do to display an example of them. It’s not the normal screamer type of pop-up for me; the faces are fairly mundane, and they sporadically rapidly appear without any context and then disappear.
When it happens and I get slightly paranoid over them , I usually go straight to my bedroom and try to sleep; I don’t even bother to brush my teeth first because the bathroom’s window only has partial drapes and I don’t like being around exposed windows during it. It sounds pathetic, but when I get into my bedroom after it happens, I search it to determine that there’s no one in there with me, and then feel better knowing that the only route someone could take is through the closed door. I’ve occasionally felt uncomfortable about looking at the gap between the windows and their synthetic drapes.
On another tangent, what do you think about sunlight? Those drapes haven’t been opened in the last five years, and the drapes in the room I’m in right now have actually been taped shut (to block the gaps from allowing sunlight through) for the same amount of time. I absolutely hate sunlight, along with any artificial light which resembles it.
The few times I see an extremely bleak, dark, and dreary day outside during the morning or afternoon with thick gray clouds covering the entire sky, I get into a good mood and think about how wonderfully beautiful it is outside. Bright, sunny, “cheerful” days are depressing. Nearly every afternoon is miserable for me. Beyond just the normal animosity I have for sunlight, I get exhausted between noon and and sunset when I’m in a room which allows the slightest amount of afternoon light in.
I hate having my skin exposed to sunlight, so I always wear a hooded sweatshirt and full-length pants, even in the hottest weather. The sunglasses I wear are gigantic and almost completely prevent me from seeing any direct sunlight when I’m looking in any direction. I would also wear a full balaclava if it wouldn’t get me profiled as a criminal. They need to make a fashion come-back…
I check this website often:
I intend on eventually living in northwest Washington (probably Seattle.) It’s among the most consistently overcast regions in the mainland US ( http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/oa/climate/online/ccd/cldy.html ). I always get disappointed when I check the UV index for the day and see how low it is compared to my state’s level.
Getting back to the subject of paranoia- those images were the worst “hallucinations” I had experienced until a couple of weeks ago late one night when I was getting very tired. The incident was so surreal that I only a remember a small amount of the details. Basically, I began to “see” many different things. Although I knew that none of it was actually real, it came as close to being real as it could for me without it being physically tangible. I heard screaming around me, and I had an overwhelming sense that there was someone dead behind me. I kept seeing silhouettes of flickering people everywhere. I felt like I had to cry. The entire ordeal persisted for about fifteen minutes and sort of faded away. Prior to it happening, I had never had that sort of delusional hysteria before. It was possibly the strangest thing I’ve ever experienced.
(end quoted text)
Notes about this message
1. The first link, which is no longer active, at one time led to a full copy of the film Terror House. This can be verified by performing a web search of the URL.
2. “Terror House” was released under several different names, including “The Folks at Red Wolf Inn”, which is what Smiggles listed the movie as in his “top 25 list” on the same form the following year.
3. Smiggles notes that he sought out “Terror House” after reading an IMDB review that “said that it was similar to Children Shouldn’t Play With Dead Things and Don’t Look In The Basement.” Presumably, this is the review he is referring to, from 2005:
Three of the four other movies mentioned in this review (“Children Shouldn’t Play With Dead Things,” “Don’t Look in the Basement,” and “the Baby”) appear on Smiggles’s 25 favorite films list:
4. “Smiggles” describes the room in which he was writing the message at the time:
Those drapes haven’t been opened in the last five years, and the drapes in the room I’m in right now have actually been taped shut (to block the gaps from allowing sunlight through) for the same amount of time.
This is at least worth noting because of the two rooms in question (one with drapes, one with tape) the one that appeared to be the shooter’s “computer room” was in fact the one with drapes on the windows, not tape:
However, this message was sent two years before the shooting, and at any rate, the police noted the abundance of computer equipment in the bedroom closet, so at that time there may well have been a computer in each room, or some other setup:
5. The shooter describes the sunglasses he wears, emphasizing how they “are gigantic and almost completely prevent me from seeing any direct sunlight when I’m looking in any direction.”
A few witnesses at Sandy Hook Elementary School claim that the shooter was wearing sunglasses. However, more do not mention any sunglasses, and just as many witnesses falsely recall seeing the shooter wearing a mask as do recall sunglasses. The Medical Examiner’s description of the shooter’s body does not mention any sunglasses at all, and so the most likely conclusion is that he was in fact not wearing sunglasses during the shooting.
However, police did find a pair of sunglasses in the shooter’s car, parked out front:
“Cocoon” brand sunglasses are over-sized, with the intention that they are worn over a pair of normal prescription glasses. Wearing them by themselves would indeed make them “gigantic” sunglasses. The company’s marketing copy describes their design toward blocking out sunlight:
6. “Smiggles” describes the window in his bathroom as having “partial drapes” that do not sufficiently block out sunlight. This was the bathroom next to the Sandy Hook shooter’s bedroom, with drapes visible:
7. Lanza’s descriptions of “hallucinations” and “delusional hysteria” in this message are very significant, in that there has never been any record that he experienced any such hallucinations, despite wide speculation that he may have been schizophrenic or otherwise detached from reality. This private correspondence is, so far, the only known instance where he confirmed (or at least claimed) being delusional or seeing things that were not there.
Second message: the essay
The second private message sent by the Sandy Hook shooter is longer, and focuses entirely on the subject of pedophilia. At the conclusion of the message, the shooter states clearly “I’m pretty confused when it comes to my sexuality, but I’m certain that I’m not a pedophile.”
This message was sent on 12 November, 2010. The context, evident over the course of the message, is that Smiggles is referring to a post he had left almost two weeks earlier, in the thread “Do you vote?” where another user had mentioned Tyler Clementi. Clementi was a young man who had committed suicide after his roommate surreptitiously filmed him engaging in a sexual encounter with another man, and then posted the footage online. Smiggles’s comment at that time hinted at a larger post he had decided not to share:
I’ve been considering posting a topic sort of indirectly pertaining to the subject of gay bullying ever since Tyler Clementi killed himself, but I’ve been a bit hesitant because it will probably make me appear deranged.
Smiggles also makes reference to another topic on the forum (which he would later post a comment to,) that being from the thread “‘Pedophile’s Guide’ pulled from Amazon” which discussed this CNN news story about how an author’s controversial guide to luring children was pulled from the retailer amazon.com’s catalog. The story was posted on 12 Nov, 2010, the same day this message was sent.
The private message below, then, was intended as a forum post, and is thus clearly written for an audience, but was just never shared before (hence the writer’s references to fielding replies, and addressing a group.) It also appears that “Smiggles” is copying from, or perhaps paraphrasing, an essay that was found on the USB drive in Adam Lanza’s closet:
Connecticut’s Office of the Child Advocate, in their report on Sandy Hook last November, went into greater detail in describing this text:
Essay Regarding Pedophilia
At some point, AL crafted an undated and lengthy essay, which he identified as a college admission application text, outlining a position that pedophilia should not be considered abhorrent or illegal. His essay, academic in tone, references varying cultural norms across the span of time to support a premise that our modern day attitudes about pedophilia are arbitrarily constructed. Authors are careful to note that there are no other writings that speak to a preoccupation he may or may not have had with pedophilia. There are no records and there is no evidence that he had pedophiliac tendencies. Authors note that there is evidence that he was in possession of video pornography, but that the contents of the pornography was not pedophiliac in nature. It is possible that the essay he drafted constituted an academic exercise that was not submitted for review by any educational professional. As with the “Big Book of Granny”, it was obsessive in both length and tone, 34 pages long even though he stated that the “requirement” was 500 words.
-Report of the Office of the Child Advocate, pg 101
Given the difference in length, this piece of writing cannot possibly contain all of what was in that essay. However, the parallels in content and structure will be immediately obvious.
Sandy Hook Lighthouse is releasing this text unedited, not to grant a platform where the killer’s views can be spread, but with the same goal in mind that has been behind every article posted here: to provide the most detailed understanding of the killer’s psyche and the events leading up to the shooting, with the hope that similar events can be prevented someday. That the killer’s arguments will be heard is an unfortunate, but worthwhile consequence of working toward this goal, as this piece of writing is very revealing in regards to the shooter’s beliefs and mental development.
Once again, a full copy of the text will follow these saved images. The writing is not graphic, but simply given the subject matter and the writer, it may well be offensive or disturbing to some readers.
Fri Nov 12, 2010 8:25pm
Basically, I take the belief that everyone should have equal rights and apply it consistently. I’ve had these thoughts for years and haven’t spoken to anyone about them. I’d like to be able to discuss this in a topic, but it will probably be too offensive. I’m going to keep it to myself for now.
And now that I think about it, this might sound a bit satirical, but it’s not. Anyway, this is what I would have posted:
Ever since I was 14, the entire subject of gay rights which is so pervasive in this society has frustrated me. It’s not owing to any malice I have toward homosexuals, but instead is caused by the absurdity of the overwhelming fervor against the discrimination of homosexuals while there is another class of people who genuinely suffer from persecution for their lifestyle. While many people celebrate homosexual relationships, sexual relationships between adults and children are universally condemned and vilified. Every adult who is known to have been involved in one is automatically branded for life as a violent and dangerous rapist. Anyone who is unfortunate enough to be subjected to this societal corruption endures the effects of it for the rest of their lives: their personal information is widely divulged to their neighbors as if public castigation is encouraged; they are denied employment; their location must be reported to their oppressive government; whether or not an adult engages in a sexual relationship with a child, they must forever hide their mere sexuality or else be stigmatized infinitely beyond anything homosexuals endure. If any of this applied to homosexuals, the public would be appalled, yet no one cares when it applies to pedophiles.
It seemed as if the entire country was outraged when Tyler Clementi killed himself a couple months ago. From what I know, the catalyst for his suicide was the way that he had been mocked after being recorded by a hidden camera while he was engaging in sexual activity with another male. Yet To Catch A Predator, a television program which was based on the manipulation of hundreds of adults into being recorded by hidden cameras after desiring sexual activity with children, has never received anywhere near this level of outrage. The audience is supposed to find entertainment value in the humiliation of ephebophiles were afterward violently subdued by police and impounded, having the rest of their lives impacted significantly greater than anything Tyler Clementi had experienced. There was scarcely any criticism when one of the ephebophiles was forced into shooting himself in the head as police were surrounding him.
Watch this video objectively and imagine that they are speaking about homosexuals like Tyler Clementi:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ISzUkjTqvTQ&fmt=18 [note: dead link]
There is an inordinate amount of innately fallacious arguments against pedophilia, most of which are also directed toward homosexuality. I’m not going to address any of them to begin with because I assume everyone here already understands that arguments such as “The DSM recognizes pedophilia as a mental illness” or “pedophilia is unnatural” are ludicrously invalid. For this first post, I’m only going to address arguments which are remotely coherent. If anyone invokes more ignorant ones, I will address them later in this topic. I’m not sure how well I’ll be able to do this preemptively, though, because I don’t entirely understand the mindset of people who disparage pedophilia as a sexuality. From my perspective, it’s like trying to argue against someone who believes that females are inferior to males. It’s a patently absurd notion, and I find it to be sort of comical that I even have to make this argument.
To begin with, you must understand that pedophiles are not the only victims of this virulent persecution. The children who choose to engage in sexual relationships with adults are invariably severed from their loving relationships and are indoctrinated into believing that they have been abused, being labeled as “victims” and being subjected to the genuinely abusive will of psychiatrists (the most immoral profession I can imagine) who “treat” (coerce) them into believing that they can overcome their “abuse”. I don’t understand how this can be perceived as being fundamentally any different from the nature of the mental abuse which is used to indoctrinate political dissidents.
Children would not be “scarred” by their voluntary sexual experiences any more than adults in typical sexual relationships would be “scarred” unless their society shamed them into believing that they should feel guilty. The reason why a child would be mentally damaged after having consented to sexual activity is because they are socially conditioned into believing that what they did is in some ill-defined way deleterious. This is no different than submitting to oppressive religious beliefs that premarital sexual activity should be viewed negatively, and that anyone who engages in it should feel shame and remorse for having committed their sins. I assume everyone here understands that there is nothing innately pernicious about the nature of sexual relationships between adults, and that there is nothing innately immoral about sexuality in general, yet somehow sexual activity inexplicably becomes a pestilence once children engage in it. This argument is the equivalent of saying that the sexual activity of unmarried couples is harmful, yet the sexual activity of married couples is neutral, or even virtuous. It’s completely nonsensical. The morality of the sexuality of children should not be evaluated any differently than the morality of the sexuality of adults.
The specious propaganda which is primarily disseminated against the legitimacy of sexual relationships between adults and children is that a child is incapable of consenting to sexual activity, so any occurrence of it is inherently rape. This is an arbitrary assumption which oppresses children and is an indication of the abusive mentality which is inflicted upon them daily in this society, dehumanizing them and relegating them to the status of slaves.
Why is sexual activity considered to be incomprehensible to a child? What is so fundamentally challenging about the concept that there is not a single child who could possibly fathom it?
It’s absurd for to claim that sexuality is something which requires significant mental capabilities and thus must be violently controlled by governments, because there is no restriction against imbeciles being sexual. Children are innately incapable of comprehending it, yet once someone attains a certain age (which varies extremely depending on the time period and location, thus demonstrating that it’s absolutely meaningless), everyone is suddenly capable of it? If the nature of sexuality is fundamentally a concept to understand for all children, then it is not reasonable to assume that even a small minority of people are capable of comprehending its perplexity at 18. If an adult may engage in sexual activity because they are demonstratively capable of employing prudent rationality, then why may a child not enjoy the same right? Professing that a child is incapable of understanding the concept of consent because of the belief that adults are universally “more rational” than they are, and thus children do not deserve to control their bodies, is equivalent to claiming that females do not deserve to control their bodies because males are “more judicious in personal affairs” in relation to them, or some other such inane fatuity. It’s a senseless and morally reproachful position to hold.
There is the argument that the “power disparity” in the relationship between an adult and a child renders any sexuality between them to be inherently abusive. This notion can be applied against females, arguing that they cannot be in a sexual relationship because many of them explicitly desire one with a male who is in a higher position of societal “power”, thus none of them are capable of giving consent. No none believes that a pretentious “power disparity” argument applies to the legitimacy of sexual relationships between adults, yet it arbitrarily applies to children? It is also outright fallacious because the child has all of the control over the relationship. The adult would have to be extremely careful around the child because virtually everyone would accuse the adult of raping the child without consideration as to whether or not s/he gave consent.
Some of you may say that children would never consent to sexual activity, and that if they engage in it, an adult must have forced them into it. Apply this argument to females once again and it immediately evinces why this is a meaningless assertion. It is equivalent to asserting that violent persecution is justified toward any female and her associate who engages in premarital sexual activity because no females would ever desire it owing to some arbitrary criterion. It’s a presumptuous way to justify discriminatory coercion and is not based on any logical argument. Personally, I don’t understand why children in general would want to be sexual, but I also don’t understand why adults in this society are so sexual. If I was ever going to engage in any sexual activity, I would be certain that it would be meaningful, but adults everywhere engage in it as if it doesn’t matter. Adults seem to invariably claim that it is “making love” or some other haphazard justification of their licentious behavior. In that case, how can you define what is and is not a legitimate expression of love? If you believe that adults “making love” can be described as positively as I constantly hear it is, then the sexual activity of children is equally positive.
Why is this society so adamantly opposed to pedophilia? Children deserve all of the rights and respects that an adult should receive, yet this is not the case to any extent. The inexorable battery of children (“spanking”) is fully legal in the United States. Children’s free will is suppressed and annihilated in every conceivable manner within families. Beyond having their associations, location, and every action subject to their parents’ wills, they are denied their own thoughts, opinions, values, and religion, and instead are coerced into adopting their parents’. Within the rest of society, children are denied property (their parents instantly legally siphon it from their children’s domain regardless of how the child obtained it), employment, and are denied the right to have even an token impact on the government which innately subjugates them through its very existence (although I’ll spare you from my anarchistic rhetoric in this post). Children are not even allowed to control their own bodies: if an adult wants to force any medical procedures or treatments onto a child, the child does not have any choice in the matter.
This is why children are forced into being ashamed of their sexuality and why adults are violently persecuted for loving children. If pedophilic relationships were condoned, then it would be a recognition that children have human rights, which this egregious society is not capable of accepting. Children deserve all of the rights and respects that adults should receive, yet they do not because this morally reprehensible society implicitly enjoys the abusive subjugation of them as sub-human property instead of as people who have their own legitimate thoughts and desires. If you support civil rights, such as through being a feminist or a LGBTQIA activist, you should oppose the violent persecution of pedophilic relationships and the subjugation of children. The right of children to have sexual relationships is a small step toward liberating them from the oppression of adults which they currently endure.
I wasn’t intending on posting anything about this topic because I don’t think that anyone would consider an alternative perspective (about which I still have very little faith), but the recent removal of that book from Amazon has irritated me. I’ve barely read any information about the book or its removal, so I don’t know anything about its contents, but it was probably completely benign. It doesn’t matter either way, though, because it would have been removed under any circumstance merely because of the nature of its subject.
While it seems like nearly everyone wants the and anything like it to not be available through Amazon’s website, the motive of the very few people who oppose its removal is nothing other harrowing. According to them, it’s inappropriate for Amazon to not support the free speech of authors. These people use the same mentality and reasoning for the justification of the availability of material pertaining to nuisances such as racial supremacy, as if pedophilia is something that is equivalently morally repugnant; as if the existence of information pertaining to it should merely be grudgingly tolerated rather than supported as something which can be positive. I don’t have an moral opposition to a book which directs adults on how they can safely have a relationship with children: I condone its availability. Information like that needs to be available because any beauty which could potentially be present in such relationships is currently violently suppressed. I support anyone, child or adult, who believe that their love is important enough to be in a relationship together and risk the current consequences, because I believe that nothing is more important than love. Those who seek the application of violence to suppress these relationships are the depraved profligates, not the individuals who seek to express their love regardless of age.
I know that I will be accused of desiring sexual contact with children, and there might possibly be accusations that I have already had it, but neither case is true. I also have not seen any degree of child pornography (nor intentionally seen any adult pornography). All of the sexuality which is rampant in this society in general is as disgusting to me as pedophilia is, but that isn’t sufficient reason for me to desire the violent persecution of anyone over it because of personal perspective. I’m pretty confused when it comes to my sexuality, but I’m certain that I’m not a pedophile.