James Cook on the unsettling online antics of Gregory Jackson, who goes by the name of Onision on YouTube.
They say that absolute fame corrupts absolutely. While that may well be true, in the case of the turbulent life of internet star Gregory “Onision” Jackson, 28, fame has merely served to amplify his existing faults. Since he began to broadcast his life on YouTube in 2006, Onision has attracted millions of fans and generated enormous controversy. Here’s why.
Onision began with zany comedy sketches that attracted the attention of legions of young girls on YouTube. But in pursuit of hits to earn advertising revenue, his antics quickly became bizarre and disturbing. Of particular note is his alter-ego Chibi, who is Onision dressed in a wig and bright red shirt. Chibi’s cinnamon challenge video sees the YouTube star laughing and giggling as he vomits up chunks of powder, tears streaming from his eyes. “Thanks for watching, remember to subscribe,” he says, as more clumps of cinnamon pour out of his mouth.
Another of Onision’s videos sees him dressed as his “banana” alter ego, singing a song about being a banana. To date, “Banana Song (I’m a Banana)” has over 35 million views.
As a teenager, Onision created a cult-like organisation called “Sicesca.” The archived Sicesca website promises members of the organisation that they will discover the answers to human existence in the group’s literature. Friends of Onision claim that he still practices the set of beliefs he created as a child, and that he once tried to legally change his name to “Sicesca.”
Since his former life as the leader of a religious cult was uncovered, Onision has sought to hide references to it from the internet, going so far as to pursue legal action against other YouTuber users and banning members of his official forum. These days he says:
I’m not sure how a reasonable person could consider it a cult as it has no leader nor requires any financial/other contributions.
Like attracts like
Having divorced his previous young wife, Onision proudly unveiled his new girlfriend to the world in 2011. Shiloh Hoganson started out as a devoted fan of Onision, although their relationship progressed when he initiated sexually explicit Skype conversations with her.
Onision traveled with the 17-year-old to states where it was legal for them to have sex, allegedly paying her travel costs as a way of saying thank you.
Despite rumours that Shiloh was a “hermaphrodite,” her relationship with Onision continued. But it began to break down after the couple pretended that she was suffering sudden bouts of amnesia and mental breakdowns. A video posted by Onision claimed to show his girlfriend regressing back multiple years.
The video was later deleted, but mirrored versions have sprung up.
Shiloh quickly fell pregnant with Onision’s child—at least, that’s what they claimed. The pregnancy ruse continued for months, until they abruptly claimed that she had suffered a miscarriage. The photo they published of their dead baby, “Rogue,” was found to be of someone else’s child.
This troubled relationship ended when Hoganson caught Onision masturbating to hentai porn. After a heated confrontation, she claimed to have injured her crotch while engaging in a sex act with his dog so he sent her back to Canada.
As well as his main YouTube channel, Onision also maintains accounts including Onision Speaks, a place for him to publish rants and more personal videos. Perhaps the most notorious of these is “Me and My Zits,” which sees a shirtless Onision flexing his muscles and screaming to silence his haters.
This is my FUCKING BODY! You see it? This is my vegetarian BODY! HARGH! THIS. IS. MY. BODY.
Obsessed with death
Another sad victim of Onision is his turtle, Reptar. Onision killed Reptar when the YouTube star kept it trapped in an upturned plastic box on a hot summer’s day.
It is unclear whether Onision killed his pet on purpose.
Despite the controversy that follows him, Onision appears to have settled down and found happiness with yet another young, obsessed fan.
Seventeen-year-old Taylor Anderson, like Onision’s previous girlfriends, barraged Onision with sexual tweets and forum posts. Their relationship progressed quickly, with Onision moving to New Mexico and renting a house to stay with her until she graduated.
Anderson has now fallen pregnant with her lover’s child and has been seen sporting an engagement ring identical to the metal bands that Onision fitted his previous wife and Shiloh with.
Which would make for a happier ending to this strange life, were it not for the fact that Onision’s videos continue to plumb new depths of shock and attention-seeking.
To leave you with one final example: this is a spoof video posted on his main YouTube channel, in which he pretends that their baby has already arrived but is accidentally killed.
Onision, covered in the blood of his newborn baby, flees out of the backyard at the end of the video.