By: April O’ Neil
New York, New York
My name is April O’ Neil and I’ve spent the past 31 years investigating a polygamous, underground cult. As my career in journalism comes to a close, it’s time to hang up my yellow jumpsuit and bring the evidence I’ve collected out of the sewers and into the light. A half man/half rat has been keeping 4 teenage boys under his control. Master Splinter kidnapped the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and forced them to live in his underground sewer dungeon and become his brotherwives. Early on the boys were assigned roles in the polygamous unit: Leonardo leads, Donatello does machines, Raphael is cool but rude, Michelangelo’s a party dude. The kidnapped turtles are victims of 31 years of sewer life, brainwashing, and physical and verbal assault.
Much like a splinter, this rat-man has lodged himself into the minds and hearts of these impressionable turtle children. Splinter will have you believe he’s dedicated his life to caring for the anthropomorphic turtles, but in reality, he’s a revenge-crazed cult leader who has imprisoned these amphibians—permanently stunting their mental and social development. The turtles identify themselves as teenagers even though they are currently 46 years old.
I’ve often been in Splinter’s underground lair. He wears only a tattered old bathrobe which barely covers his dangly, hairy, rat balls. Splinter carries a wooden staff which he swings at the brothers. I have captured said abuse on film, which you can view here. He beats them for the smallest transgressions: eating a slice of pizza before he gets one, improperly executing a Ninjutsu move, or carelessly exclaiming “Cowabunga.” He makes the turtles cover their faces with matching fabric—each brother being assigned and identified by a color: red, blue, purple, orange.
Splinter indoctrinated the boys with disturbing teachings such as, “You concentrate too much on your mind, and not on your body.” These four amphibian brethren have tried to escape their “Master” for 31 years. Splinter convinced them that they’re mutants and unworthy of love or interaction with above-ground beings.
Over the years the turtles have often repeated to me that they are “Heroes in a half shell, turtle power!” It took me far too long, but I finally understood—this chant was not source of pride, but in fact a call for help. The boys were crying out, speaking in a code as if to say, “Help us April. We are half of what we could one day be. Splinter had turned us into shells of ourselves.”
I know many of you will be quick to defend this 81 year old rat-man. You’ll think things like, “But he seemed nice to me. He was strange, sure, but he was a genius,” and, “Well I am still a fan of his and really think that he’s a master of his craft.” But I beg of you: save these turtles. When they say, “He’s a radical rat,” listen to them. Don’t victim blame them. Believe them. Give them back their turtle power.