By Kent Clark
A Ryerson student was attacked and hospitalized an hour after uploading a video that appears to show Prime Minister Stephen Harper inserting AAA batteries into his abdomen. Although some experts believe the video is authentic, the student now says it was faked to influence the upcoming federal election.
“I don’t remember anything about my attack,” said second-year RTA student Mitch Johnson. “I just know my video was a hoax.”
Johnson shared the video on Twitter Tuesday night. An hour later, police found Johnson lying in an alleyway near Church and Gould streets. Investigators say his head was surgically cut open then resealed by a source of extreme heat.
“I’ve never seen anything like it,” said Detective Batman Jones. “The cuts look machine-made. Whatever attacked Johnson knew what it was doing.”
People who were in the area report hearing laser beams, metallic thuds, and the sound of an engine.
“I think Johnson’s video actually shows the Prime Minister using batteries to fuel himself,” said Conrad Venient, a Ryerson professor who studies the authenticity of videos.
“This raises a lot of ethical questions,” Venient said. “Can we trust a leader who may be a robot?”
Johnson said the video, which has since been taken down, is actually a recording of a hologram.
“My film deliberately misrepresented Steve Harper as some sort of robot who runs on batteries,” Johnson said. “This is untrue. He is not an evil robot. He is in fact the best Prime Minister Canada has ever had and an excellent job creator.”
Tory Plum, spokesperson for the Conservative party, said Harper forgives Johnson and is glad he sees “all the places he went wrong in life.”
Johnson’s friends and family say he identified as a progressive voter before his attack, but now says he is a staunch conservative.
Plum said Harper wants Canadians to know he is not an evil robot bent on destroying the Charter of Rights and Freedom.
Harper responded to an email request for comment saying he needs “time to relax and recharge” and will not talk to the press.
Canadian political party leaders said Johnson’s video and subsequent injuries are suspicious.
Tom Mulcair, leader of the NDP, smiled, spoke slowly and said he believes “the truth is not known,” at a press conference in Whitby yesterday.
When asked what he meant, he replied that he did not want to alienate any possible voters by taking a clear stance.
Liberal leader Justin Trudeau said the Johnson incident shows middle-class Canadians are ready for real change.
Green Party leader Elizabeth May was not asked to discuss Johnson’s video, so she tweeted about it.
“My Blackberry and I believe the Johnson video was authentic,” she tweeted. “Clearly Mr. Harper is an evil robot. When he discovered Johnson’s video, he opened Johnson’s skull, altered his brain and resealed Johnson’s head using heat vision. That’s why Johnson now denies everything.”
A Forum Research poll conducted immediately after May tweeted found that most Canadians believe she is right but will not vote for her. The Poll is accurate plus or minus 1 percentage point, 20 times out of 20.
Johnson is expected to make a full recovery and remain in hospital overnight. He said he regrets sharing the video.
“I wrongly tried to fool old-stock Canadians. Not unlike the niqab, my video was designed to offend Canadian values and cast my un-robotic leader Stephen Harper in a negative light,” said Johnson.
“I was radicalized by socialism and foreign interests. I thought I knew facts, but was too inexperienced to know the truth, just like Justin Trudeau. I also want to add that trickle-down economics work, and that the Charter only applies to white men.”
With files from Justin Chandler