The YouTube community has seen its share of drama since its inception in 2005. But thanks to the efforts of many content creators, one of the original “celebrities” of the platform has recently been exposed as having a disturbing history which users are finding out had unfolded in plain view.
Greg Jackson, more commonly known by his screen name Onision, has been on the YouTube platform since 2006 and has amassed over 336 million views on his collective videos.
Jackson’s YouTube history is tenuous at best, with his initial controversies surrounding the cruel and unusual nature of some of his videos. At one time, he took to his platform to mock a dangerously thin young woman with an eating disorder, Eugenia Cooney, teetering between tones to monetize off of the attention her condition could generate him.
At other times, Jackson would utilize both his website and YouTube channel to encourage his mostly underaged, mostly female fanbase to submit photos of their faces and scantily clad bodies to him for him to “rate.”
However, in 2019, Jackson’s controversies would take a turn for the decidedly darker and off-screen. Jackson was banned from funding platform Patreon for posting the personal address and contact information for a young woman who claimed he had harassed and groomed her when she was underage. Billie Dawn Webb, a former fan of Jackson’s work on YouTube, had been one of the first to come forward with her story of abuse in 2017.
Webb says she had been engaged in a relationship with Jackson, and had received disturbing messages from him after she had confessed to smoking marijuana against “his wishes.” Jackson is seen in the text messages suggesting “punishments” such as forcing her to get tattoos, sleeping in the basements, or preventing her from speaking to her family for an extended period of time.
The return of Webb’s story to the surface, as well as Jackson’s subsequent breakdowns following the deletion of his main source of income, would prompt the return of unprecedented interest in Jackson’s history.
Some of Jackson’s victims were as young as 13 at the time of their alleged abuses. Like Billie Webb, Sarah Smith (last name changed for privacy) was also a fan of Jackson on YouTube and was just 13 when their communications started. By 16, Smith had moved in with Jackson and his wife to escape a troubled home life, with Jackson’s wife taking legal guardianship of her.
According to reports by the victim, the couple would routinely demonstrate inappropriate behaviours towards the younger girl, such as Jackson mocking Smith for being a virgin. Smith would receive lewd photos from Kai, Jackson’s spouse, and be encouraged to have phone sex with the adult. When she came of age, Jackson engaged in sexual contact with Smith.
Perhaps most disturbingly, Canadian recording artist Shiloh Hoganson detailed the extent of her abuse at the hands of Jackson on Chris Hansen’s web series Have a Seat. Noting that she was underage at the time of their sexual relationship, Hoganson detailed how she was treated like a sexual slave to Jackson from 2010 to 2011, and that the emotional and sexual trauma she endured was so severe she began to experience seizures.
To Hansen, Hoganson explains that after she experienced an emotional and psychological break, Jackson recorded her ordeal and uploaded it to YouTube.
The stories of Webb, Smith, and Hoganson are just three of countless others that have come to the surface. Victim narratives have similar threads revolving around control, abuse, and what has been described as a “cult-like” environment.
Reaching out to Jackson for comment on the controversy, he stated “People get rejected, get over it. You should not be punished for kicking people out of your life. All of you need to get lives and stop obsessing over fake drama.”
When asked for clarification on what about the controversies was “fake,” or whether Jackson had any evidence to demonstrate his case, he instead issued a thinly-veiled legal threat, writing “when people want to attack others/ruin their public image, they talk to you. When people have a legal issue, they talk to a lawyer.” Jackson then demanded no further inquiries.