Tyler Gleason: The Messianic Facebook Manifesto of the Man Who Allegedly Left His Baby in the Sun on FM 1960
Along with his wife, Tonya Gleason, Houstonian homeless advocate Tyler Gleason was arrested yesterday and charged with child endangerment.
Harris County Sheriffs Office Tyler Gleason: The unshakable smile of a true zealot.
Harris County Sheriff's deputies say that the couple left their five-month-old son in a car-seat in the median of FM 1960 near Kuykendahl while they solicited funds from motorists, ostensibly for an ambitious homeless shelter they hope to build.
When a deputy arrived a little after 7 p.m., the temperature was still 96 degrees. An HCSO spokesman told KHOU that the infant's clothing was soaked through with sweat and he had a body temperature of more than 101 degrees. The child, described as "lethargic" and "in distress," was whisked to an air-conditioned patrol car to await paramedics. While the child did not need a hospital trip, Child Protective Services took custody, and his parents were charged with child endangerment, a third-degree felony.
Gleason, 36, apparently was attempting to raise funds for Nation of Hope, an East End homeless-run shelter whose guiding principles are taken from the life cycle of butterflies. (Residents would progress from "eggs" through "chrysalis" and "caterpillar" phases before fluttering away.)
In epic detail on his personal Facebook page, and with the same messianic zeal you see in his mugshot, Gleason uncorks a manifesto spelling out how he came to have this dream, how his childhood and early adulthood in a cult, his disastrous military career and various other bad decisions led him to homelessness in the streets of Houston by 2011 and now this big idea.
Which, apparently, he is ruthlessly attempting to fund by posting up a baby in the middle of an exhaust-choked highway on one of the hottest days in Houston history...
"I do my best to keep it extremely real, and I'm very open about my life," he begins. "I've done only a few things that I regret. I've paid my debt to society, and I stay open about my experiences because I think it's the only way to end a lot of the discrimination in our world."
He goes on to say that "the vast majority of folks I meet like me. If you've got discriminating enough tastes to be a select member of the tiny group who find me unpalatable, keep the following in mind. It took me many glasses of Australian Shiraz before I could see what all the fuss was about. However, it is my current favorite, as I have now learned to appreciate it's subtler notes."
Next he describes his upstate New York hometown as a poverty-stricken shithole where the inhabitants did little besides hunt, fish, smoke (cigs and weed), drink and watch TV. Then, Gleason says, right after his birth, his mom joined a cult that was into "child abuse, male privilege, brainwashing, obsessive Bible study, their own lingo among insiders, very controlling leaders, discouraging relationships with 'unbelievers,' and going door to door 'witnessing' to increase membership."
After resisting for years, Gleason says he finally submitted to this life, only to get molested by a male babysitter at age seven.
"It's relevant in telling you about me, because combined with the cult, I developed a growing sense that I wasn't 'normal,'" Gleason writes. "Later, I had a secret boyfriend when I was 12 and I was in such denial over it that I never said he was my boyfriend until I was 35."
On to his academic career...He was an underachiever. School was a drag and of no value to the real world, where he worked alongside his dad as a contractor. He graduated from high school but instead of going to college, he headed off on a mission trip for his "cult." Wandering years followed...He evangelized in Des Moines, Spanish Harlem, Omaha and Atlanta, while working part-time and handing over a quarter of his earnings to the "cult."
At 23 he joined the Marines. He believes now it was a subconscious rebellion against the "cult," which kicked him out for not consulting them about that decision first. Since he had no friends outside the cult, and they no longer wanted him around, he says he was friendless.