There’s an audio clip doing the rounds on TikTok that’s unsettling at face value, but so much worse when you learn about the history behind it.
Molly Dare, who works as a producer and podcaster, posted a clip of her reacting to voicemail audio that was left by a man calling himself Dimitri.
In the video, you can hear Dimitri saying a range of creepy things to an ‘elegant’ woman he seemingly met on the street.
His opener is: ‘I left you a message several days ago. I don’t like leaving second messages, but I like you – you’re a very elegant woman, you’re very attractive. But I don’t play that game. So, this is how it’s going to work.
‘If I do not receive a phone call back from you by 3 o’clock Thursday afternoon, I’m no longer interested.
‘I’m very intelligent, I’m great in bed, I make great money. Believe it or not, I’m a complete catch.
‘As a matter of fact, I am one of few men in the city that has nothing wrong with him.’
If you didn’t already see those red flags waving high, he goes on to suggest that maybe mental health problems are what’s held her back from getting in touch with him.
He says: ‘Now, I understand if you’ve got other issues. Maybe you were abused in childhood? Maybe you’re just somebody who’s extremely frightened and has an anxiety disorder? Maybe you’re on some medication for that?
‘I don’t know. There could be another issue.’
As he talks, you can see Molly making shocked and dismayed faces by way of response.
The clip has gone viral with 1.5 million views and the single mum has since made it clear that the audio is old and the messages weren’t actually left for her – she is, in fact, using an old clip from Dimitri, which re-emerges on social media every few years.
Evidently not the ‘complete catch’ he described himself as, what Dimitri said is being rinsed on the platform in other videos, too.
But his story of sexual misconduct and neo-Nazism is far from funny.
‘Dimitri the Lover’ is an alias used by a former physician who served as a medical officer in the Canadian Armed Forces. According to Wikipedia, he was born Dimitrious Sarafopoulos in Canada, but also goes by James Sears.
James, 58, had his medical licence taken away in 1992 by the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario after he was found guilty of professional misconduct that included engaging in ‘sexual impropriety with patients.’
Dimitri the Lover was what he went by during his stint as a pick-up artist in and around the 00s, with a Jezebel article from 2008 referencing his ‘red flag’ voicemail.
The Torontoist reported the same year that the voicemails were originally meant for a woman called Olga, but it seems that the first viral clip sharing them with the world on YouTube has been made private. In spite of that, versions of it wind up recirculating on the internet every now and again.
So where is James now?
Well, he became the editor of what Vice called ‘Canada’s Most Racist Paper’, Your Ward News, and was sentenced to spend a year in jail in 2019 for willful promotion of hatred against identifiable groups – those groups being Jewish Canadians and women.
James claimed the content, which depicted women as inferior to men and portrayed Jewish people with horns drinking the blood of children, was satire – and that the case against him was politically motivated.
In the sentencing, Judge Richard Blouin said James – along with his 77-year-old publisher LeRoy St. Germaine (who was also charged and found guilty of hate crimes) – ‘undeniably’ glorified Hitler.
Judge Blouin wrote: ‘Any position communicated that essentially denies that an entire half of the world’s population are human beings is so outrageously reprehensible that the word “hate” is starkly inadequate.’
He also said he would have handed down a stronger sentence if the law had allowed it.
In February of this year, the Toronto Star reported that James had been arrested for allegedly violating his parole ‘due to hate speech.’
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