Take a long look at Stanley Thornton, Jr., the 30-year-old man who lives his life as an "adult baby:"
Regular viewers of the National Geographic Channel are probably familiar with Thornton, who appeared on the NatGeo show "Taboo" two weeks ago. Guess who else is getting familiar with Thornton? Sen. Tom Coburn (R-OK).
The Washington Times reports that Coburn has just called for an investigation of Thornton and his finances. Specifically, Coburn is suspicious that Thornton receives government disability checks while appearing quite capable to hold down a job.
“Given that Mr. Thornton is able to determine what is appropriate attire and actions in public, drive himself to complete errands, design and custom-make baby furniture to support a 350-pound adult and run an Internet support group, it is possible that he has been improperly collecting disability benefits for a period of time,” Coburn wrote in a letter Monday to Inspector General Patrick P. O'Carroll Jr., the Times reports. It adds:
Mr. Coburn said Mr. Thornton “is cognizant that his choice to live as an adult baby violates social norms,” though, and through both his projects and the adult baby support website he runs, www.bedwettingabdl.com, he appears to have the skills to hold down a job. That, the lawmaker said, should make him ineligible for disability payments.
Mr. Coburn also questions why [Thornton's caretaker] Miss Dias, as a former nurse, collects SSI benefits, “since she is able to provide childcare” to Mr. Thornton.
But wait, the story is about to take a dramatic turn. When reached by the Times for comment, Thornton threatened to kill himself if his Social Security benefits were taken away.
“You wanna test how damn serious I am about leaving this world, screw with my check that pays for this apartment and food. Try it. See how serious I am. I don’t care,” the California man said. “I have no problem killing myself. Take away the last thing keeping me here, and see what happens. Next time you see me on the news, it will be me in a body bag.”
His response might make sense considering the disability he claims. In a biography on his web page, Thornton says he used to work as a security guard but trauma resulting from childhood abuse, as well as other mental problems, made it impossible for him to hold down the job. He has been receiving disability (SSI) payments for most of the last 10 years.
You can watch Thornton's NatGeo appearance below:
Read the full Times report here.