Professor Coerces Students to Engage in Ritual Hook-Hanging

Jeff William Justice resigned his post at professor of political science at Tarleton University after a student filed a report against him saying Justice had been contacting him on social media, “He would bribed bribe me by saying he had some fresh scotch that I could drink and we could watch sports.” Justice had also been messaging some of the student’s friends and they decided to relent and go to Justice’s home in hopes that he would leave them alone finally.

Once they were there Justice began complaining about pains in his chest from a Sundance ritual the previous week. The Sundance ritual is an American Indian ceremony that involves piercing your chest with hooks and either being hung by a tree or dancing around a pole you are connected to by the hooks. Justice was interested in the former, and explained that he did it to “pray to the sun god, who is the ultimate god.”

Justice convinced them to assist him in a Sundance ritual. Justice said he had been doing the Sundance ritual since he was 13 and wanted the boys to help him.

“I stood there in disbelief and speechless about what was happening. I at first thought it was really weird, but kind of cool and selfless that he was sacrificing his body like that for God. My feelings toward it quickly changed though, because he started asking us how blown away were [sic] we and how cool did we think it was.”

They left and Justice continued messaging them. Afraid of what effect ignoring him might have on their grades, the student would respond sometimes but didn’t go back to Justice’s house until Justice’s grandfather felt ill and the student wanted to offer support.

“I got a guilty conscience and decided I would go over there just to pray with him and let him know I was there for him.…He said not to worry, that we wouldn’t be doing the Sundance again, but asked if I wanted to do it yet.”

“When I got there he was sitting on the front porch with his shirt unbuttoned all the way down. That right away made me feel uneasy.”

Once Justice made it clear that he did intend to do the ritual again, and that this time he wanted the student to put the hooks in his chest for him, the student made an excuse and left.

Weeks later, Justice sent the student a message asking

“After you get done shepherding kids about campus, would you care to watch some [redacted] and moan and groan a bit?”

The student reported the incident to Human Resources and he and his father went to the police. Justice hadn’t broken any laws except offering alcohol to minors, so he was not arrested, but he did resign as professor.

(Ed. note: See more on the ritual in the video below)

(Image: YouTube screenshot)

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