Danforth Grayson (born January 4, 1967 in Dallas, Roman America) is a former defence attorney and civil rights activist who gained notoriety for being the founder of The Virus. He has been an outspoken critic of worldwide police systems, claiming that the police often "work for themselves" and not for the people they are supposed to protect. He was inspired to become a lawyer after his parents were framed for narcotics trafficking and worked to gain their freedom, while also using this time to create The Virus as a means for people for whom the police have failed them to "take justice into their own hands".
A relative coup on the original website for The Virus forced Grayson out of his leadership role there (augmented by a criminal conviction for assault and breaking and entering), and, since then, Grayson has been an outspoken critic of the movement. He was released from his sentence on October 18, 2014 after serving just six months, a move Grayson asserts was done by FBII Director Lucius Black to get the new leaders of The Virus "sent after him". Since he release from jail Grayson has been in hiding, only occasionally communicating with the outside world through postings on social media.
In 2020, Grayson- and several of his associates- were arrested and convicted of Virus-related crimes. The news came as a relief to the worldwide law enforcement community since they believed The Virus would now be stunted, but some experts- led by Jason Parys- worry Grayson's arrest would only be "the calm before the real storm" as the conditions that led to The Virus' creation still exist.
- 1 Early life
- 2 The Virus (first iteration) and legal career
- 3 Spread of The Virus in North America
- 4 The Night of Anarchy
- 5 The New War
- 6 2020 arrest and conviction
- 7 The Mysterious Symbol
- 8 See also
Grayson was born on January 4, 1967 in Dallas to Martin and Joni Grayson (nee Rivers), the first of three children the Graysons would have. Martin worked in the oil industry and, when Grayson was five years old, moved the family to Tulsa, Oklahoma to work on an oil refinery there. Grayson spent his formative years in Oklahoma, graduating from Mark Sanchez Memorial High School at the top of his class in 1985. After taking a year off to work, Grayson studied undergraduate law at the University of Arkansas, graduating in 1990, before attending law school at the University of Florida and graduating in 1993, again at the top of his class.
Grayson trafficking case
Grayson asserts he was inspired to become a lawyer after his family was investigated for narcotics trafficking by the FBII's forerunners, the FBI, starting in 1984. The FBI contended that the Graysons' home acted as a "supply depot" for the Tulsa drug trade, and, after executing a search warrant, found the Graysons' basement was "filled with drugs". Danforth Grayson proved that the warrant was illegal, and the drugs that were actually found was stacks of medicinal marijuana that Martin used as part of his treatment for clinical depression, marijuana that was legally obtained as part of the trade deal between the United States of America and Rome allowed for a case-by-case exemption for medicinal marijuana to be imported, of which Martin had.
Despite this, Martin and Jodi were arrested for their part of the drug trade and went to trial in 1992, getting convicted at the end of the year. Their trial was panned in the media for being a "show trial" that routinely dismissed evidence, with the elder Graysons, pillars in the Tulsa community, held as "examples" for the American government in a futile attempt to quell nationwide rioting at the time.
The younger Grayson worked to secure his parents' release after founding his law office in 1995 in Denver, Colorado with a branch opened in Oklahoma City. Studying the FBI's evidence, he uncovered numerous irregularities involving their investigation and formally lodged an appeal on his parents' behalf on June 1, 1996. After numerous delays, on July 17, 2000 Grayson finally secured his parents' release, along with a formal apology by the FBII.
The Virus (first iteration) and legal career
For more information, see The Virus.
Origins of The Virus
Grayson contends he founded The Virus sometime in 1990, during his final year as an undergraduate at Arkansas. His group was an activist group that routinely protested miscarriages of justice by law enforcement officials, and, by the time he graduated, his group caused the resignation of Fayetteville Police Chief Mike Wilkinson after Grayson proved that Wilkinson's department wrongly convicted ten people for spurious gang-related charges.
Grayson would later move his activities to Florida, and kept up his activism following the opening of his law offices. Part of his group's activities was providing information to its members on how to commit crimes while evading capture, information that Grayson says was done "on a lark" and wasn't at first taken seriously. After a leak of the information to the Tulsa World via an article that appeared on October 9, 1994, Grayson asserted that the information was solely meant as a tool for those whom "the justice system had failed" in order for them to obtain justice under their own terms. Many of Grayson's associates repeated this claim, contending that Grayson had enacted a strict code telling group members that the crimes they commit cannot harm "innocents".
Nevertheless, the revelations caught the attention of the police, who put Grayson and his activities under constant surveillance shortly afterward. In response, Grayson moved to Colorado, where surveillance activities would be difficult due to the mountainous geography and the poor control of the government beyond the Denver city limits. In doing so, Grayson managed to evade arrest for his activities while still being able to be a prominent political and social activist, with his activities soon attracting interest nationwide and around the globe.
Online presence and growth of his legal career
In 1999, a website for The Virus was founded, increasing its reach worldwide. A well-traveled online forum soon emerged as part of the site, with many protesters seeing the website as a valuable resource, not just for information but for recruitment. Many law enforcement officials contended many crimes originated from the website, but no evidence was ever produced proving their case.
In 2002, one of Grayson's most famous cases as a lawyer began when he defended Congressman Marcus Radford (U-Conifer, CO) after Radford was charged in the murder of his brother. Grayson- and many within The Virus community- contended that Radford was targeted by the police because he was up for re-election the following year and thus the Federalist Party paid the police to bring up spurious charges to win the seat from the Unionists. Despite numerous eyewitness accounts of the daylight attack, a note purported to have been written by Radford detailing the plan to kill his brother, a psychological assessment that asserted Radford's competence and intellect, and a seemingly airtight confession, Grayson won Radford's acquittal, just in time for him to regain his seat in Congress during the 2003 election.
Following the Radford case, Grayson expanded his legal practices across the Union, representing numerous high profile clients, including eventual NAU President Joseph Reddick on trial for embezzlement in 2007. Despite never losing a trial, Grayson contends that a few times during the late 2000s he took on cases he wasn't sure he had a shot at winning, and said he was "lucky" his pride didn't cost him his career. "I let my winnings get to my head," said Grayson in an interview with the Chicago Tribune in 2013, "and I kept on taking a lot of longshots...I got lucky that I won several of them, but, looking back, I'm not proud that it was arrogance that drove my case selection at this time."
2013 and 2014 trials
Grayson got in more legal trouble in early 2013, when he was charged as an accessory to over 100 different crimes and subsequently brought to trial. The trial generated lots of press attention in North America and even in Rome, with many believing that the trial would ultimately "prove" what many pundits believed all along- that The Virus inspired the committal of actual crimes. However, despite lots of evidence, Grayson, representing himself, was able to win his own acquittal, as he successfully showed that the evidence the government collected was superficial at best. He was released on December 2, 2013, but that was not the end of his troubles.
In March 2014, Grayson became entangled in the case of Amelia Fox, defending her against allegations that she killed her friend, Melissa Jackson in November 2013. Despite the presence of FBII agents also working to secure Fox's acquittal, Grayson, out of mistrust, refused to work with them, resulting in him attempting to take justice into his own hands. He concluded that Fox was framed by Toronto Detective Jeff Briar and his associates, and broke into Briar's house to confront him about his actions, assaulting his daughter, Sarah, in the process. The FBII would later arrest him for his actions, but Grayson's skills again assured his acquittal. Despite this, the Romans- led by chief investigator Galla Claudia- continued to investigate Grayson and The Virus, hoping to find a charge that would stick.
Spread of The Virus in North America
The Virus gained worldwide attention in 2015, when their activities came into clear view. In February 2015, the Siege of Louisville occurred after a tip local law enforcement received about Viral activity in the city. The ensuing investigation revealed that Virus members staged a hostage crisis as a way of deterring the Soldiers of the Lord- operating clandestinely as a fake Catholic organization known as the Order of St. Maria Goetti run by rogue members of the Aramean Army- from executing a planned human trafficking raid. The move exposed the Soldiers' activities on a global scale, making it impossible for the Bireans to continue to deny their existence, although the Bireans' ultimate association- as well as Virtue's- with the Soldiers is still debated in law enforcement circles.
In September 2016, the Milner Report, written by Mike Milner, came out, asserting that police forces across North America had a "hero mentality" which caused the police to only pursue cases that promised fame and glory and were not too difficult to solve. Milner, a former detective and prosecutor in Savannah, wrote his report after investigating the case of Hayden Myers, who asserted she suffered for years at the hands of Ted Bundy at his Inland Empire, California ranch while the police did nothing about it. Milner concluded that, despite the fact that the police had known about Bundy's activities, they did nothing about it because Bundy was "too difficult to catch". In 2016, after her arrest, Myers confessed to killing Bundy, concluding it was the only way she could end her trauma after the police consistently ignored her pleas to investigate.
The Night of Anarchy
In 2016, the Romans' already frayed relationship with the Arameans- owing to the Siege of Louisville- became severed after the Arameans conspired with Virtue to prevent Anatu from coming to power in the Asia Minor Confederation despite being the overwhelming popular favourite. The move led to the Televised Riots, which the Arameans brutally suppressed although it failed to end anti-government movements in that country.
Coupled with the findings of the Milner Report that fall, many pledged members of The Virus vowed to strike back at their local government, especially after Grayson released a video on social media that told its audience that "every government acts just like the Arameans did". This led to escalating protests through the winter and into the spring of 2017, as protesters and police clashed in many countries worldwide.
On July 11, 2017, the protests reached a crescendo, as literally billions clashed with police and government forces across the world, demanding the overthrow of corrupt governments. Some 134 countries were affected in some way, with thousands of governments- many of them local, but several were provincial or even national- toppled literally overnight. Grayson released a video the next day admiring the carnage, stating that "the night of anarchy" (giving the phenomenon its name) was a reminder to world governments about the "true power of the people". Grayson's own involvement in the protests is disputed, as no evidence has emerged that he was a participant, although many law enforcement officials believe he was involved in some way.
The Night of Anarchy sent shockwaves worldwide, so much so that Rome and Virtue set aside their differences and signed the Treaty of Buffalo just over a month later. The centrepiece of the Treaty- aside from a vow towards friendship- was the creation of a worldwide police, the Mundiali Imperium or simply the "Mundiali" to deal with The Virus. Upon hearing the news of the Treaty, Grayson ominously predicted that the Roman-Virtual relationship would fail, since the two implacable foes had too many differences to reconcile, and political pundits have since noted the uneasy relationship and concluded that Grayson was right. Grayson also took the opportunity to "declare victory" since his movement forced so much global change, but he also stressed that "The Virus' work was just getting started".
The New War
On September 18, 2018, Grayson released a video through The Virus' social media channels openly declaring war on the world's governments. In the video he denounced all forms of government as weak and ineffectual, stating that governments "work only for themselves and never for you". The video drew comparisons to Thomas Rotler, who used many of the same arguments to denounce the Weimar Republic, but Grayson's supporters vehemently denied the comparison, saying "Grayson actually does work for others".
2020 arrest and conviction
On April 7, 2020, it was announced by the Mundiali that Grayson and many of his associates had been arrested for several Virus-related offences. Convictions were later secured, as Grayson surprisingly agreed to plead guilty for his crimes.
While many in the law enforcement community rejoiced over the news, some- led by criminologist Jason Parys- were skeptical that Grayson's arrest would be meaningful in any way. Parys points out that The Virus is more of an "idea" than an actual organization, and as long what fueled The Virus remains, The Virus itself remains. Parys also questioned why Grayson capitulated so quickly, considering his track record as a criminal defence attorney, leading him to think Grayson is trying to "martyr" himself to lift the spirits of his movement. Few details have been released regarding Grayson's criminal case, leading Parys to wonder what else about Grayson and The Virus the Mundiali is not telling.
The Mysterious Symbol
In late 2020 and early 2021, a number of criminals- seemingly disconnected- arose bearing a strange tattoo on their chest, right over the person's heart. This tattoo is a simple figure of a circle on top of a line on top of a triangle, all coloured royal blue. The representation varies little from person to person, with the only variance being those of mistakes made by the tattoo artist in copying a version of the tattoo. To the naked eye, they are all practically the same.
The symbol itself became even more notable when it was revealed that Grayson himself had the same tattoo emblazoned on his chest. Grayson himself has stayed silent on the issue and refuses to discuss it, simply stating he got the tattoo because he "liked the design". He also denies any association with the other criminals who bear the same tattoo, although he does note the "coincidence" of so many criminals also sporting the same tattoo.
What the symbol represents is a matter of speculation, although the prevailing theory is that it represents the Sign of Tanit, a prominent symbol in Carthaginian and Phoenician culture. One of the criminals convicted who bore the sign, Coryender "Cory" Hamilcar, has stated in interviews that the mysterious symbol is indeed the Sign of Tanit and she states she gave Grayson the tattoo "on a lark" sometime in 2010. Grayson has denied her story, and little evidence has emerged to corroborate her story.