Daniel Thompson has spent the last few weeks in what he describes as “hell,” where he’s been accused of crimes that he did not commit and surrounded in a web of deceit from those who wished to bring down the “I am Gary Johnson” documentary by whatever means necessary.
Luke Henderson of the Libertarian Vindicator had a conversation with the Executive Producer to get to the bottom of the situation and find out what’s really been going on among all the rumors.
HENDERSON: This is Luke Henderson with the Libertarian Vindicator, I’ve got Daniel Thompson here one of the producers of the “I Am Gary Johnson” documentary, Daniel how are you doing?
THOMPSON: I’m alright, how about you?
HENDERSON: Doing fine. So, let’s just jump right in. So, you’ve been kind of the topic of controversy lately because there supposedly is a Daniel Dean Thompson, who about 10 years was charged with paying under aged girls for sexual favors in Utah and somehow you got mixed up into this. Could you tell us a little bit more about how all of this happened?
THOMPSON: Sure. Well, first I want to be clear on my position with the film. I’m the one who financed “I Am Gary Johnson.” Brandon Wright is the producer and Brando Eaton is the director. There’s been a miscommunication about that as well as other things.
In short, 10 years ago I was charged with battery with grabbing a girl’s butt and that was the extent of it. At the time though, the media had made out this big huge ordeal for a person that worked for me and I was dragged in the middle of this nightmare of being accused of doing so many things that weren’t true. So, the media had a field day with that. The charges that were originally talked about or the accusations that were made in the news 10 years ago were all dropped. And then again, what resulted was a class A misdemeanor of battery and then that was it.
So, 10 years goes by, I establish many different, successful companies and productions and then a week ago this article, not even an article, it was a free WordPress site popped up that accused me of not only rehashing what the news media had made out which ended up being dropped to begin with 10 years ago, but everything you can imagine on top of that because they have linked every Daniel Thompson to me. Every Daniel Thompson in the state of Utah, every Daniel Thompson in the country they have listed on this free WordPress site to me.
So, for example there’s a Daniel Thompson who was charged and convicted of child rape; they’re saying that’s me. And again, nobody seems to look any further than the WordPress site or even referring to the original article 10 years ago. No one actually looks further than that to know that the Daniel Thompsons that they’re accusing me of being have different birthdays or that the guy, for example, that’s charged with child rape is black. So, again, they’ve looped me in and brought all these things that are not me and they’ve embellished significantly on what the situation was to begin with all in trying to damage the credibility of a film I funded. I’m not quite sure how it all came to this, I’m still trying to discover that.
That’s basically in a nutshell all of what’s happened this last week and it’s been absolute hell by the way.
HENDERSON: Yeah, I definitely know what you mean and in doing my own research for this interview, Daniel Thompson is a pretty common name, just typing in Daniel Thompson on Wikipedia I found that Daniel Thompson is apparently the inventor of bagel machine, he’s a poet and a bassist so, but they don’t…
THOMPSON: There’s also another Daniel Thompson who is an actor who was in Airplane Repo reality show. Just in case anybody wanted to know.
HENDERSON: So, see, another example of it being an exceedingly common name, no offense of course.
THOMPSON: None taken at all. Especially considering the week.
HENDERSON: Ok. So, while you’re doing all of this fundraising in this for the “I Am Gary Johnson” film, though, when exactly did all of this stuff begin to surface again, people who are claiming you’re all of these Daniel Dean Thompsons or even just Daniel Thompsons who have done all of these things.
THOMPSON: They’re not even using middle name. I’m actually looking at the sheet right now that Angela Fisher Owens put out and it says disorderly conduct, Daniel Thompson disorderly conduct, charged in January of 2011. That’s not me. Assault July 7, 2014, intoxication January 26, 2011, January 26, 2011 possession of drug paraphernalia, October 4, 2010 distribution of a controlled substance. Again, these are things that a person in an LP leadership role and board member of the Feldman Foundation have put in an open discussion that isn’t me.
But, to really answer your question, I haven’t fundraised for the documentary other than we put together- the film was already funded. It was 110 grand that I funded, we started the process back in October of last year. So, the crowdfunding campaign, the Indiegogo campaign, was solely set up in order to get people access to the limited theatrical distribution where people could posters and memorabilia and Gary signed posters and things like that, but it was primarily just for the theatrical release because the film was already funded.
And that was launched a month ago and I think $2300 in total was raised and again, anyone who looks at that knows the film couldn’t be funded for that anyway and we’d been working on this for almost a year and half.
To answer your question in short, these things popped up again one and a half weeks ago right before we had a first look at the Sundance Film Festival, which is just incredible timing because it was a mess and what has been said was super destructive for myself obviously, but also the film which I feel horrible about because its dragged down multiple people who have nothing to do with anything, nothing to do with anything that I’ve ever done let alone being accused of complicity just by being known or being associated with me.
HENDERSON: Yeah, I remember hearing that people like Larry Sharpe and all of that had basically disinvited themselves from that premiere because of this. Anyone else notable who just didn’t want to around this because of these accusations.
THOMPSON: Fortunately, there were only two people who backed out.
The other one was Nick Sarwark, who was the LP chair, who I just interviewed for the documentary about 25 days ago. Again, it wasn’t, coming to the event and speaking in a panel wasn’t anything in support of me, it was literally for the LP. It was for the Libertarian Party just to benefit them. We didn’t do it for profit.
We had the opportunity to do something at Sundance because I, myself, have been a part of Sundance for 8 years. Again, this is the kind of thing I’ve been trying to point this out to people like Angela, or Merissa Hamilton or Charlynn Patterson, whatever her name is, is that I’ve had a very successful lounge event during the Sundance Film Festival, which if anyone knows anything about Sundance, it’s very difficult to have any type of establishment there, let alone for 8 years, and again, they weren’t interested in hearing anything like that because it didn’t fit their narrative.
So again, long answer to your question, Nick Sarwark and Larry were the only two people who dropped.
HENDERSON: Ok, and beyond that though, you said that there was some defamation of names or what not of people who were involved in this film. So, what other damage happened? Was the attendance lower than anticipated because of all of this or anything like that?
THOMPSON: Actually, surprisingly, the attendance was up. So, I don’t know if because of the controversy people wanted to see what we had because of all the effort that’s been made to try to shut it down and again, the particular narrative this particular group has stuck was kind of stuck to is that “oh, there’s not going to be an event” or “these people aren’t going to show up to the event”, which they told people the event was canceled, but that didn’t last very long, so then the narrative changed to “oh, the event is not canceled, but Daniel isn’t going to show up, he’s so embarrassed.”
Well, I was there, so then they changed the narrative to, “oh, well Larry Sharpe said he was going to be there and Larry’s not there.” I said well the collateral damage in this particular case has been, again, Facebook, social media wise, letters to anyone they could get a hold of, they said Larry Sharpe goes to this event, he is a pedophile. How in the world does that correlate and how is that ok? So that’s what and they said the same thing to Nick Sarwark.
Nick and I had a discussion and I had a discussion with his campaign manager and I said you know what, I would never want to complicate anybody’s life, I would never want anything bad to happen to you or the campaign or your chances because of your association or being a part of something at all. If you feel you can’t be there, I totally understand and Nick, the situation was complicated and I guess, the heat of because of these accusations that aren’t true, he wanted to avoid any complexity. And I understand that, specifically because one of these ladies is apparently a candidate for governor of Arizona, Merissa Hamilton.
HENDERSON: Wow, that’s certainly a lot to go through to try and make a film not as successful as it can be. So, one thing I want to touch upon is, I think the first time many people heard about you and heard about this controversy was through Adam Kokesh’s letter from prison, so we’ve been talking about all of these other people, but how did Adam Kokesh get mixed up in all of this because he’s the first one I personally saw accusing you of being a pedophile and accusing anyone attending this film being pro-pedophilia
THOMPSON: So, that’s kind of a crazy story. Angela Fisher Owens works for Adam Kokesh, she runs his campaign. So that’s that connection. Merissa Hamilton is best friends or somewhat partners with Angela Fisher Owens so that’s how that came into play.
The fact that something happened 10 years ago, the fact that I never tried to hide that particular thing and that there were two people who tried to open up a competing lounge during Sundance, again Sundance is very difficult to get into. The fact that these two people made a fake WordPress site that, again, list all of these Daniel Thompsons of being me, which is not true, and then they use that as the official reference as going after me.
Again, my position in the film is that somehow the accusation or thought has been made that I was somehow hired by the Weld campaign or I was hired by Bill Weld directly I’m not sure what it was, I’m going off of these Facebook posts that I’ve seen from Angela and a bunch of her aliases. But, they thought that by attacking me, they wanted to prop up Adam Kokesh and bring down Bill Weld was the intention I’m assuming, at least from what I’ve gathered from their Facebook posts.
So, Adam, accusing me of something from prison, which came from Angela to begin, and then he championed the cause and tried to discredit Weld, which, again, I’m not sure why people believe that at all because I’ve never been hired by anybody, I funded this myself. But, that’s how Adam got involved was because of Angela Fisher.
HENDERSON: Yeah, and sadly I think that narrative, unfortunately, has worked because everyone I have spoken to about this notes you as the producer of the film which you’ve already stated is not true and I said fundraiser earlier and you weren’t even really the fundraiser, so it sounds like you didn’t really quite as big a role in the film as people are making it out to be, is that a correct thing to say?
THOMPSON: No, I am the executive producer, so I’ve put up all of the money. Every dollar that the film has cost came from me, so my role in it is significant, but it’s not in the role that people are making it out to be as in I’m a part of the day to day thing, it’s actually Brandon Wright who produces it and he’s the one there for most of the interviews.
So, again, people are trying to attach me to being a role within the film that I’m not, which is fine, but in this case, it is damaging.
HENDERSON: Most definitely, well I think we got everything that we needed and that clarifies a lot of things that have been happening over the last couple of weeks, so thank you Daniel for you time ad I look forward to hearing from you in the future.
THOMPSON: You bet, I’ll keep you posted on what we’re doing over here because, again, I’m not going to let this sit and be ok. This situation has sucked. So, I’ll keep you updated with that.
The WordPress site that Daniel Thompson references can be found here.