On Friday, the FBI arrested Matthew Jordan Lindner, 38, of Comfort, Texas, and charged him with one count of transmitting interstate threats. Lindner allegedly threatened a Boston doctor who provided care to members of the transgender community.
According to a statement from the U.S. Attorney’s Office, District of Massachusetts:
“….in August 2022, inaccurate information spread online regarding procedures at Boston Children’s Hospital (BCH) for the transgender community. It is alleged that on Aug. 31, 2022, Lindner called the Boston-based National LGBTQIA+ Health Education Center and left a threatening voicemail targeting one of the Center’s affiliated doctors. In that voicemail, Lindner allegedly said: “You sick motherf*****s, you’re all gonna burn. There’s a group of people on their way to handle [victim]. You signed your own warrant, [victim]. Castrating our children. You’ve woken up enough people. And upset enough of us. And you signed your own ticket. Sleep well, you f******, c***.”
U.S. Attorney Rachael Rollins made clear the following:
“Death threats instill fear and terror in their targeted audiences. The conduct alleged here is not protected free speech. The words used here do not amount to someone simply expressing their discontent or engaging in a heated debate. Mr. Lindner’s alleged conduct – a death threat – is based on falsehoods and amounts to an act of workplace violence. The victim, a Doctor caring for gender nonconforming and transgendered patients, should be able to engage in this meaningful and necessary work without fear of physical harm or death. And although the Doctor is clearly a victim, Mr. Lindner’s threat is rooted in a hatred of the LGBTQIA+ community and the families, friends and people that love and support them. They are victims too.
There used to be a respite and safe haven from harm or attack in our schools, churches, hospitals and courthouses. We used to extend that decency and respect to even our fiercest adversaries. Sadly, those days appear to be gone. The Department of Justice has pledged to protect the rights of the gender nonconforming and transgendered community, which includes the health care providers who render care and support. This office will vigorously investigate and prosecute individuals who engaged in hate crimes, including threats. Today’s charges show that we will scour the country to ensure the safety and wellbeing of people in Massachusetts. Hate has no place here.”
Lindner is not the only person the FBI has arrested and charged. In October, Catherine Leavy, 37, of Westfield, allegedly said there was a bomb on the way and “you better evacuate everybody, you sickos,” according to a criminal complaint in her case. She has pleaded not guilty.
Boston’s Children Hospital is home to the Gender Multispecialty Service, which provides care to transgender and gender-diverse adolescents. When it launched in 2007 it was the first major program in the country to do so, it says. It does not provide genital surgeries to people under the age of 18.
Several children’s hospitals, most notably Boston Children’s, were targeted by a far-right harassment campaign, led by led by anti-trans influencers with millions of collective followers.
The FBI in court documents called it a sustained campaign that falsely alleged pedophilia or “grooming” against Boston Children’s Hospital, and there have been death threats and threats of mass casualty attacks.