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Mayor Chris Swanson Sexually Assaulted 5-Year Old Children… Or He Didn’t

For Two Harbors, Minnesota and all associated with it, it’s time to Nut Up or Shut Up. Personal opinions by Sean Kelly.  #JusticeForMarksDrive

(UnhappyFranchisee.Com)  The mayor of Two Harbors, Minnesota either sexually assaulted 5- and 6-year old children… or he didn’t.

Two Harbors MNIF HE DIDN’T: He’s being unfairly attacked and his reputation is being destroyed by people who should be held accountable for a vicious and baseless smear campaign.

IF HE DID IT & DENIES IT:   In my humble opinion, he should not only be removed from office, he should be carried from office and pilloried in the town square until he repents to Jesus Christ Our Lord & Savior, admits to ALL he’s done (in his teens and all years hence), begs forgiveness from each victim and their families, and dedicates the rest of his life to atoning for and the preventing sexual violence against children.

But the purpose of this post is not to express our opinion as to the validity of these accusations.  We are inviting Mayor Chris Swanson to publicly address what’s been an open secret in Silver Bay and Two Harbors, MN… posted on Facebook for 6 years.  And we are asking Two Harbors MN, its residents and businesses what national reputation they are choosing from this day forward.

Hey Two Harbors:  It’s Judgement Day!

Mayor Chris SwansonCity Council, local officials, local businesses (PureDriven, Garage Starts, Castle Danger Brewing, Other Swanson-involved & other businesses), churches, local media (Duluth News Tribune), citizens and voters need to decide if their reputations (and souls) and their town’s image are worth saving.

For every Two Harbors City Council member, every city official, every municipal employee, every Two Harbors resident, parent and voter, every friend, supporter, fellow churchgoer, pastor, business associate, customer or employee of any Chris Swanson-related venture…

It’s Judgement Day.

You each have a decision to make.

After this month,  Two Harbors, MN (pop. 3,507) will no longer be known as the quaint little town with the picturesque lighthouse.

After June, 2022, it’s likely Two Harbors, MN will be long-remembered as either:

A) the town that allowed a wacky but well-intentioned mayor to be unfairly accused of horrific crimes he never committed, with a City Council that never conducted a serious, impartial investigation that showed Christopher Swanson to be the fine, upstanding Christian man he professed to be, or

B)  a quaint town hiding a dark & terrible secret, a town of seemingly pious, church-going citizens who twice elected a sexual predator of 5-year old girls to represent them, a town that continued to support him as he tormented his victims well into their thirties with public, perhaps intentionally sadistic, displays of self-righteous fake Christianity.

Two Harbors is Harboring a Dirty Little Secret, Isn’t It?

With a population of less than 4,000, Two Harbors is a small, small town.

Its neighbor to the north, Silver Bay, is even smaller.

It’s inconceivable that a single City Council member hasn’t heard the allegations of their mayor’s past sexual violence, or doesn’t understand the significance of the #JusticeForMarksDrive online rallying cry.

Hell, I’m 1000 miles away in Pennsylvania and I knew of the allegations within two days of first hearing the name Two Harbors.

In fact, there are publicly viewable Facebook posts made before the mayor was elected 6 years ago – statements from alleged victims, their family members, friends and neighbors – alleging that teenage Chris Swanson and his older brother Marty lured neighborhood children in their house at 40 Nelson Drive, Silver Bay, MN and molested and raped them.

“Chris Swanson… raped and brutalized children…” – Facebook Post(s)

40 Nelson Drive Silver Bay MNThe Facebook posts allege that Swanson’s attacks on innocent children was common knowledge to many residents of the neighborhood now referred to as “Marks Drive.”

Back in 2016, one former Marks Drive resident wrote:

Of all of us kids who grew up on that block together, we all know this happened and most of us know that [redacted] was not the only victim. It seemed it was happening at the same time with other families, but no one knew at that time that they weren’t the only ones.

Other comments from 2016 include:

Growing up in Silver Bay, I remember this! I remember hearing about the devastation it caused to your family.

…I remember when this happened, I had young girls at the time also and it sickened me.

…I remember that clearly!

It was known by the Silver Bay police who investigated the crimes and those involved with the court hearings that took place when he Swanson was 16.

And, in recent years, its abundantly clear that nearly all the local media were aware of Swanson’s alleged crimes and alleged confessions, and about the fact that the Swanson family moved away from Silver Bay shortly after the court proceedings and court-required programs were completed.

And yet the media (especially the now-defunct Lake County News Chronicle) failed to inform the voters of Two Harbors about the allegations prior to his first mayoral election… and the media (especially the Duluth News Tribune) continues to withhold critical information from voters during a Re-sign or Recall Drive.

Dozens of online comments, some claiming to be first hand accounts, show that Two Harbors/Silver Bay’s secret has been widely available for any with the fortitude to read them.

Here are a few:

“Chris Swanson is someone who raped and brutalized children who were between 5 and 8 at the time, when he was [15]… I had been in their house many times, as he lured kids into the house to buy candy… His victims were the young girls living in the houses next to and across from me.”

“Chris Swanson has a dark past in which he has preyed upon children…some have written off as hearsay or rumors. But no. It’s true… and happened on Marks Drive in Silver Bay. Perhaps all is forgiven now because he is a man of god.   Well not in my book until some accountability is taken. Accountability that we deserve and need.   I also was victimized by Chris Swanson at the age of 8… however I do not view myself as a victim but more as an advocate for accountability.”

“I know for a fact that Chris [Swanson] victimized several girls on our block in Silver Bay. I know because his brother Marty raped me at the age of 6. There’s nothing to hide anymore… I seek only peace for other victims. There has been no justice and nothing but more power given to this predator.”

While this writer cannot say with certainty (much less prove) whether these allegations are 100% true or 100% false, many in Silver Bay and Two Harbors can.

Especially Mayor Christopher Swanson.  Mr. Mayor…?

 “Which Side Are You On, Folks? Which Side Are You On?” 

There are times when staying neutral or uninvolved is not an option.

For the people of Two Harbors and supporters of Chris Swanson, this is one of those times.

No one can claim that it’s not their issue, as the reputation of their town is being determined.

No one can say they don’t have enough information to decide, as there’s no excuse for not getting that information.

And no parent can claim it’s not their business, as protecting our children and being there for the abuse survivors in our community is everyone’s business.

And if the allegations are true, those who write it off as being ancient history or that he was a different person should remember:

The crimes may have been committed long ago, but the lies and abuse have continued to the present day…

by further traumatizing victims by becoming a local mayor…

by including his teenage candy business as part of his entrepreneurial origin story…

by standing up at a press conference and declaring that he’s never been found guilty of illegal conduct…

And if the house at the corner of Nelson and Marks Drive was a warm and friendly daycare and not a house of horrors that continues to haunt survivors’ dreams, then standing up for an innocent man wrongly accused should not be an option, either.

In the words of the banjo-wielding philosopher Tallahassee in the classic film (s) Zombieland:  “It’s time to nut up or shut-up.”

And when it comes to the sexual assault of children, shutting up is not an option.

[When neutrality or silence is not an option, Pete Seeger Asks Which Side Are You On?]

In the End, Two Harbors, This Controversy is About YOU

It’s time for Two Harbors City Council members and other officials to cut the crap and tell America where you stand.

Are you allowing a known sex offender to continue to represent your city without demanding that he respond to these allegations?

PureDriven digital marketingOr are you helping to destroy the reputation of an innocent man who did more for Two Harbors in 5 years than was accomplished in the previous 20?

What say you

  • Miles Woodruff?
  • Ben Redden?
  • Cathy Erickson?
  • Derrick Passe?
  • Robin Glaser?
  • Jackie Renwald?

Which is it?

Which side are you on?

Your silence is deafening.

And what of the employees and associates of Chris Swanson-associated ventures?

PureDriven?  Garage Starts?  What Say You?

What of the PureDriven employees who lied that Chris Swanson had been kicked out of the company when, in fact, he remained owner?

Do you, Jason Sunday and Joel Schultz,  stand with and defend an innocent Chris Swanson?

Or do you believe the allegations but are fine with getting a paycheck from and lying for a sexual predator?

What say you

  • Jason Sunday?*
  • Joel M. Schultz?
  • Jordan Seidel?
  • Kristin Cpin?
  • Angela Russeth?

* Jason Sunday: is blocking me on LinkedIn and refusing to address my questions the best way to “Build trust in an industry built on lies”?

Castle Danger Brewery:  Remaining Silent is Dangerous, Too

At the risk of alienating what would likely be my favorite establishment in Two Harbors, Castle Danger Brewery (CDB) provides an excellent example of the danger in remaining silent.

Castle Danger BrewingMayor Chris Swanson has openly promoted Castle Danger Brewing in podcasts and on Twitter.

He took credit for helping to pass the extremely important (really?) growler bill (signed into law by the Democratic Governor) in order to help CDB.

Castle Danger Brewery claims that it does not tolerate bullying.  It dedicates an entire page of its website to its bold inclusive philosophy and invites the public to report any incidences of bullying by or of its employees, customers or associates:

We have a zero-tolerance standard for bullying or harassing… CDB encourages reporting of all perceived incidents of discrimination, harassment, or retaliation, regardless of the offender’s identity or position.   Each of us plays an important role in maintaining an environment… of dignity and respect for all.

Castle Danger Brewery states “If you see something… Say something.”

Yet when a customer inquired about CDB’s stance on Mayor Swanson, the response was not so bold and righteous:

We cannot comment on anything that may have political affiliation as there may be serious business ramifications for us.

By no means do we approve of or have any tolerance for sexual assault.

It’s just that in this specific situation, and at this point in time, we are not ready to make any statement…

Castle Danger Brewery is either standing by silently while their public advocate, Mayor Swanson, is being unfairly harassed and bullied… Or they believe the allegations and only exercise their moral code when it’s in their financial best interest.

One wonders, how many growler fills does it take for Castle Danger Brewery stay silent regarding sexual assault?

Shouldn’t they have to add a disclaimer to their ethics statement that it’s just marketing puffery?

What say you:

Clint MacFarlane?

Jamie MacFarlane?

Mandy Larson? 

Lon Larson?

Maddy Stewart?

Baylee Johnson?
Jared Kuenstler?
Jordan Cox?
Cynde Holbeck?
Max Pittman?
Jerry White?
Chris Pundsack?
Donna Wood?

What Duluth News Tribune’s Lawyers Aren’t Telling Them

Nut Up or Shut UpAttorneys are great at warning you about legal risk, but often neglect to warn about business risks… such as becoming obsolete.

Or being perceived as having no backbone or journalistic integrity.

Or suspected of intentionally burying #metoo stories of possible sexual predation for political or business reasons.

Or becoming known as the villainous newspaper that further traumatized a sexual assault victim and her family by gaining their trust, conducting agonizing interviews and subjecting them to a review process, making false promises and then refusing to publish unless certain impossible demands were met.

Why Newspapers Fail:  Back in 2016, the Lake County News Chronicle interviewed alleged victims of Chris Swanson and had the means to inform voters.

Unlike great papers of the past which felt a responsibility to stand up for the truth, Lake County News Chronicle likely listened to its lawyers and refused to publish it. Lake County News Chronicle folded in 2020 after some 40+ years.

Rumor has it that the Duluth News Tribune has an 1837-word story researched and written by Jimmy Lovrien, but has refused to run it unless it receives a copy of private court records the family had stated, up-front, it doesn’t wish to (or can’t) disclose.

So rather than honor the trust of the alleged victim’s family, or meet their responsibility to the public, the Duluth News Tribune is sitting on this vital and important story.

Meanwhile, this professional and powerful news organization is getting scooped by two bloggers.

One of those bloggers is a thousand miles away in Amish country… pecking on a five-year old laptop with free WordPress software (but NOT in a basement).

I wonder if Duluth News Tribune is listening to the same attorneys that counseled the Lake County News Tribune into insolvency?

Did their attorney explain the near-impossible standard it takes for a public official to win a defamation suit against a newspaper?

Did their attorney explain that aggressive legal bullying of the type Swanson & Tupa are waging reeks of a desperate need to keep the truth private… and the private information Swanson would likely need to disclose  during the Discovery process would be a strong deterrent to suing?

Could there be other reasons the Duluth News Tribune has for violating the trust of a suffering family and refusing to inform its readers?

What say you, Duluth News Tribune?

If you’re scared, send me your story… I’ll take the risk and publish it.

Two Harbors:  It’s Time to Do Your Jobs

As far as I can see, there are only three groups in an around Two Harbors doing their jobs.

The first is the badass group of Marks Drive survivors and their supporters, sporting the hashtag #JusticeForMarksDrive.

This is a strong, resolute and committed sisterhood not to be trifled with.

The second is the Re-sign & Recall Group and its supporters who haven’t given up despite being bullied and sued for the crimes of participating in government, performing their civic duties and voicing their opinions.

The third group is a group of one:  John Ramos, publisher of the Duluth Monitor.  Ramos has stood up to bullies and their bogus lawsuit in order to discover and print the truth that the mainstream media hasn’t.  (Kudos to his wife of 18 years who has stood by and supported his efforts despite the strain – which MY wife knows all too well.)

Two Harbors:  Your Dateline Episode is Coming

Citizens of Two Harbors, your silence is dooming your town to a negative Netflix documentary (Think Waco) and/or Dateline NBC episode narrated by Keith Morrison using his creepiest voice.

You have one chance to either stand up for your unfairly targeted Mayor Swanson if you believe he is innocent…

And if you don’t, I’d suggest you start building the stocks in the town square.

Either way, Two Harbors, the spotlight is on you.

More on Chris Swanson:

NEW!  The Wreck of the Hotel Chris Swanson (Parody Song & Video)

NEW! Mix108 Interview Sean Kelly on Wreck of the Hotel Chris Swanson parody

PureDriven Owner Two Harbors Mayor Chris Swanson Sues to Silence Citizen Journalist

PureDriven Struggles (Poorly) to Build Trust Despite Owner’s Controversies

PUREDRIVEN Claims Mayor Swanson No Longer CEO, No Longer Involved

SLAPP-HAPPY Does Droel Law in Minneapolis Have Ethical Standards? Does It Enforce Them?

Attorney Brendan Tupa No Longer With Droel Law


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These are my personal opinions and statements made by others.  Any one could be incorrect – even mine.  Do your own research – Make up your own mind.

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TAGS:  Christopher Swanson, Chris Swanson, Mayor Chris Swanson, Two Harbors MN, Sexual Assault, Two Harbors Mayor, Two Harbors City Council, #JusticeforMarksDrive, PureDriven, PureDriven Marketing, Castle Danger Brewing, Garage Starts, Lou’s Fish House, Duluth News Tribune, Jimmy Lovrien, Jason Sunday, Joel Schultz, Brendan Tupa

17 thoughts on “Mayor Chris Swanson Sexually Assaulted 5-Year Old Children… Or He Didn’t

  • I am done watching him lie through his teeth about this.I don’t support him knowing the truth myself.

  • I am done watching him lie through his teeth about this.I don’t support him knowing the truth myself.

  • Katherine Nelson

    I’m from Finland but have long known one of the families whose daughter was abused by Swanson when she was 5 and he was 15. While I don’t know the exact circumstances, I do know that the victim’s older sister, a longtime childhood friend of my daughter’s, was absolutely beside herself when she learned he was running for mayor. I remember her calling me, asking me if I thought she should write to the Duluth News Tribune. I think I told her she needed to do what she felt was right. My question is this, why would a young woman be so completely abhorred about Swanson running for mayor if the allegations about the molestation of her sister were not true? Why would she, like several others now, be willing to face public scrutiny, to share such deeply personal traumas if their stories weren’t true? The very fact that Swanson ran for mayor in the first place suggests that he either doesn’t care about the life-changing devastation he wreaked upon his victims or he simply does not understand the gravity of his actions. We have to live with the choices we make and sometimes those choices mean we shouldn’t hold public office.

  • Laura Oslin

    At one of the more recent council meetings, Mayor Swanson suggested using the services of a woman who offered to mediate discussion for conflict resolution. I thought that was a fabulous idea. Perhaps hold a series of three Q & A discussions with the mayor and members of the community. No one would want a person wrongly vilified, and no one would want someone in a position of power if these things were true. It’s a brilliant idea to want to hold these discussions. That is likely a vision everyone can get behind. I think we should support the mayor in this endeavor.

  • Teresa Judkins

    Perhaps the mediator should not be chosen by Chris Swanson.

  • Adelia Kindstrand-Clark

    Thank you.

    Also, worth noting is that an officer with professional knowledge of the charges in Silver Bay, (who was a Two Harbors council member when Swanson ran for Mayor), with permission of the family publicly affirmed the accusations.

    Thank you for bringing light to this.

  • Thank you for your comment, Lindsey. He has read this post and will be contacted again and again until he responds.

    You aren’t alone in this fight.

  • Thank you for your comment, Katherine

  • Thank you for your comment, Laura

  • Absolutely not!

  • Adelia:
    Thanks for your comment.
    I have spoken to the man I believe you are referring to.
    He’s very credible and not afraid to affirm that there was an investigation and that this happened.

  • One of his victims is my close relative. It’s all true. His actions have ruined lives in my family, and I’m sure others. I went to daycare at his house briefly but was older than the victims…grateful to come out of it unscathed but it was an unsettling place. I was forced to read bible verses before I was allowed to have lunch, even though I was not raised with any religious affiliation at home. Just a general uneasiness while there. He needs to go.

  • I posted a similar comment anonymously at first but whatever.

    One of his victims is my relative. It happened. He and his family have ruined lives. I was babysat at his house briefly, but was a bit older than the victims…grateful to come out of it unscathed but it was a strange place – religion was forced upon me if I wanted to eat (had to listen to bible verses read aloud, kept being told over and over that Jesus loves me… as a kid who grew up in an agnostic family this was creepy to my child brain, and definitely is looking back on it today).

  • Deb Halsted

    I have been reading about Mayor Swanson, a few years ago I heard of the allegations against him.
    I believe the women who have come forward .
    I am certain since Swanson was not considered an adult at the time his records were protected .

    Sexual abuse is sadly an offense we all would like to hide , the fact I find very scary is that years later this man believes he can run for a public office. To me this shows significant defects in his thought processes and an utter lack of humility or accountability.

    I shuddered when I read these young kids were forced to pray and read Bible verses .

    The people of Two Harbors need to demand the truth, if he is the predator, I think he is , this needs to be brought forth, we owe it to the children he molested. His actions as mayor have been appalling , what he did to Brian Entzion speaks loudly of his character.

    If a person wants to really build something valuable , they do not step on the backs of others to do it, like he did Brian’s .We need to find the truth and bring in forward, abuse of any kind will only continue if there is no accountability!

    This is my belief system, I own it! If I was a voter in Two Harbors I would be a part of this group demanding accountability.

  • Jodie Swenson

    It makes me sick when I think about all the lives that have been altered and thrown off course because of this monster. As an adolescent he raped several young (ages 5-8) children. It’s disturbing to think about his college career, his own children and the children he coached soccer with. I have a feeling more survivors will step forward.

  • I’m not sure why this article asks “Did he or didn’t he”. It is well known, he was arrested, there are several victims coming forth to say he did it.
    What more do you need? Are women voices worth less than one man’s voice?

  • Lee:

    There are a few reasons why it is written in this way.

    The main reason is to communicate that no one in Two Harbors – or Silver Bay – has an excuse for not speaking out. It is really about the silence.

    There may be those who think he is innocent. There may be those who think he did SOMETHING but not as heinous as the Christenson’s allege. If so, why don’t they speak out in his defense? Are they silent despite their belief that an innocent man is being destroyed?

    And as to you point, how does anyone who BELIEVES the victims on Marks Drive (and I see no reason they shouldn’t) stay silent and not voice their outrage that this Mayor further insults and abuses the victims with his silence.

    I believe that he must think he has a chance – perhaps if Tall ships is a big success (or he can claim it to be) – that two Harbors might not vote him out of office.

    And who knows? With this hear-no-evil-see-no-evil culture they’ve got going, he might be right!

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