PETA Uncovers SeaWorld Employee Pretending to Be an Animal Activist

To PETA, he is Thomas Jones.

To SeaWorld, he Paul McComb.

In a story that’s full of strange discoveries, a SeaWorld employee has been suspended for infiltrating the animal rights group.

McComb has worked at SeaWorld since 2008; his current position is in human resources. Since 2012, he’s allegedly been attending PETA meetings and protests targeting SeaWorld as “Thomas Jones.” He even created social media sites for his Jones persona. In these posts, he wrote anti-SeaWorld messages, urging his followers to drain the company’s tanks and saying he wanted to “burn SeaWorld to the ground.” He also used these profiles to contact other animal activists on information about upcoming protests and encourage PETA members to carry out acts that go against PETA’s principles.

Suspicions arose among PETA members after ‘Jones’ was arrested in 2014 during a protest of SeaWorld’s Rose Bowl float. Mysteriously, neither one of his names appeared on Pasadena arrest sheets. As a result, PETA recently filed a lawsuit with the Pasadena Police Department for not providing the arrest records for Jones. In another mysterious turn, Jones was also released separately from the other protesters who were arrested that day, which drew more suspicion from fellow PETA members.

Because of these suspicions, concerned PETA members wrote down his license plate number after one protest. That’s when they discovered Thomas Jones is actually Paul McComb.

PETA took that information, which led them down a Paul McComb rabbit hole, contributing to the eventual connection between Thomas Jones and SeaWorld.

PETA’s discovery goes back to when he signed up for PETA’s Action Team as ‘Thomas Jones’ in 2012. In his application, he provided two addresses, neither of them belonged to him. One of those addresses doesn’t exist. The other is a P.O. Box that belongs to SeaWorld’s director of security, which PETA was able to discover through his LinkedIn profile.

Using jobing.com, PETA was able to bring up McComb’s resume, which showed that he worked at SeaWorld from 2008 until the present.

Members also looked up social media sites under “Paul McComb” and compared the photos on them to ones on Thomas Jones’ social media accounts. Since the story broke, McComb’s wife had taken down her Facebook page, where PETA discovered some of the incriminating photos. Thomas Jones’ profile is still active, but all photos of him were removed from the website.

SeaWorld refused to confirm or deny that McComb and Jones are the same person.

“SeaWorld knows that the public is rejecting its cruel orca prisons and is so desperate that it created a corporate espionage campaign,” says PETA senior vice president Lisa Lange in a press release. “Instead of creating a dirty tricks department, SeaWorld should put its resources into releasing the orcas into coastal sanctuaries.”

Joel Manby, CEO of SeaWorld Entertainment Inc. responded to the story in a written statement. His full statement on the matter is below:

“The allegations made yesterday against a SeaWorld employee are very concerning. These allegations, if true, are not consistent with the values of the SeaWorld organization and will not be tolerated. The SeaWorld Board of Directors and I have initiated an investigation into this matter which will be led by independent outside counsel, Ron Olson of Munger, Tolles & Olson, whose firm will have full access to our organization and people. In addition, we have placed the employee in question on paid administrative leave pending the findings of the investigation. We will take all appropriate actions based on the results of the investigation to ensure that the integrity and values of the SeaWorld organization are upheld.”

Photo Credit: Christian Benseler

201 comments

Phoebe B.
Phoebe B2 years ago

Thank you, PETA!
The disinformation campaigns by Berman & Co against PETA and everyone else trying to end animal abuse is insidious & immoral. Read about "berman" at Sourcewatch.

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Siyus Copetallus
Siyus C2 years ago

Thank you for sharing.

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Jennifer H.
Jennifer H2 years ago

I guess they wanted advanced insight so they would know what type of commercials to make next. Sad that it resorted to this. I wonder how PETA was able to do a plate check on him?

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Nikki Davey
Nikki D3 years ago

Thanks for keeping us informed

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federico bortoletto
federico b3 years ago

Grazie.

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Yvonne Pl no forwards
Yvonne W3 years ago

Thank you for sharing this interesting information with us I hope there will be a follow up article to this one.?

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Muriel Servaege
Muriel S3 years ago

Thank you for sharing this!

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Georgia a.
Georgia a3 years ago

So rather than making an effort to correct the problems with these poor creatures, underhand tactics have been resorted to. Why does that NOT surprise, only saddens me.

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Janis K.
Janis K3 years ago

Thanks for sharing.

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Georgina Elizab McAlliste
.3 years ago

tyfs

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