By Nat Herz and Curtis Gilbert
Alaska Public Media and American Public Media 

Dunleavy's family policy adviser said rape 'pretty low on totem pole' of immorality

Employee resigned from $110,000-a-year state job after news media inquiries

 


Republican Gov. Mike Dunleavy’s adviser on “pro-family” policies resigned May 30 after revelations that he made incendiary and offensive statements on a podcast.

A review of more than 100 hours of recordings found that Jeremy Cubas defended some of Adolf Hitler’s views, boasted that he uses a vile racial slur “on a daily basis” and said people should “get violent” in response to aggressive transgender activists.

He also said it’s not possible for a man to rape his wife. “When you signed the contract, you have already consented,” Cubas said recently.

Cubas aired those and other extreme views on the podcast he co-hosts, “Contra Gentiles,” whose Latin title translates to “against the non-believers.”

The program, which has been published for the past three years, was available for anyone to hear on Apple Podcasts, Spotify and YouTube when Dunleavy, in April, promoted Cubas to a $110,000-a-year job as his policy adviser on “pro-family” issues.

Cubas resigned after Alaska Public Media and American Public Media asked Dunleavy’s office about Cubas’ comments, according to Jeff Turner, a spokesman for the governor.

“Gov. Dunleavy sincerely believes that the differences between people are what makes all of us stronger,” Turner said in a prepared statement. “Derogatory statements about individuals and groups within our society do not in any way reflect the values of Gov. Dunleavy or his administration and will not be tolerated.”

Cubas declined to comment after his resignation. But in a 50-minute interview the morning before his resignation was announced, he stood by his views.

“The podcast is made for people who are more philosophically inclined,” Cubas said. “So if somebody is not looking at it that way, but is just looking to get outraged, there’s nothing I can do about that.”

In an interview in April, Dunleavy said Cubas’ primary responsibility was assembling a pro-family website. He said he chose Cubas for the role because of his experience with web development, and because he’d already served as his staff photographer for more than a year.

Dunleavy and his staff have not said whether they vetted the podcast prior to Cubas’ hiring.

Cubas said he submitted to a background check and provided access to his social media accounts as part of the hiring process, and he assumes someone checked them. “They didn’t really ask me specifically about things.”

His promotion to the governor pro-family adviser job also coincided with Dunleavy’s push to appeal to social conservatives during his second term as governor.

The podcast was available online for more than a year when Cubas first started working in the governor’s office in March 2022.

The name, “Contra Gentiles,” references a landmark religious text written in the 13th century by a Catholic priest and saint, Thomas Aquinas, and Cubas said the show draws on ideas that have been dominant in Western culture.

“I have not said anything in the podcast that has not been held for the majority of our civilization — including in the United States, at least in its early forms,” he said in the May 30 interview.

Episodes typically run about two hours, with some stretching on for more than four. The discussions are freewheeling and range from dialogue about Catholic philosophy to banter about sex. But Cubas also shares extreme takes on social issues and sometimes expresses racist views.

In March, Cubas spoke at length in his podcast about his belief that modern society has exaggerated the seriousness of rape.

“Rape, in the end, is pretty low on the totem pole of grave immoral actions,” Cubas said. “Because in the end, I mean, if you produce a child through rape, you’ve ontologically fulfilled the act to a pretty good capacity.”

Cubas said that’s why he believes that “an act like divorce is worse than rape.” While he also argued that rape can be sinful if it involves sex outside of wedlock, he said it’s fine for a man to force himself on his wife.

“I don’t think it’s possible to rape your wife. I think that that’s an impossible act,” he said. “When you signed the contract, you have already consented. You’re consenting until the end of time, until you’re dead.”

In another episode from 2021, Cubas said that “guys have been told that anything they do is rape,” and as a result have become too cautious around women. “Women,” he said, “want to be taken by a man.”

In the interview, Cubas defended his statements on rape. “This has been the view of the Western world for the majority of its history,” he said. “It’s only been in the last 80 to 100 years in which that has changed at all.”

In the discussion on rape and marriage on the podcast, Cubas also says that “sometimes a woman needs to be slapped,” and added “I don’t think there’s any sin there.”

Cubas’ comments directly conflict with Dunleavy’s political platform. While Cubas legitimized unwanted sex on his podcast, Dunleavy has prioritized prevention of domestic violence and sexual assault.

In addition to his extreme views on rape, Cubas repeatedly defended Adolf Hitler. He sometimes jokingly celebrated Hitler’s birthday, downplayed his role in the slaughter of 6 million Jews and spoke favorably about his views on keeping people of different racial backgrounds apart.

“He wasn’t just a lunatic who wanted to kill Jews. I think he was somebody who recognized the virtues of living homogeneously,” Cubas said in January — a few months before he was promoted in his state job. He added: “I think some of the principles are worth talking about.”

He also argued that Hitler accomplished much more than Martin Luther King Jr., who he called a “loser” who “accomplished nothing.”

On the same episode, Cubas argued that “anti-semitism is not a real thing,” saying that Hitler targeted Jews not because of their race but because they were “homeless people just taking over the country.”

“He wanted the races in their respective areas to remain pure, so Europe remains Europe,” Cubas added.

While Cubas frequently notes that his parents are from Peru and that his maternal grandmother was Black, he’s also called himself a “white Latino” and a “race realist.” And he invoked ugly racial stereotypes about minority groups. In several episodes Cubas also casually used the N-word.

“I say it on a daily basis,” Cubas said on an episode in 2021 where he used the racial epithet. “The more they tell me not to say it, the more I want to say it.”

In a March episode called “Satanic Gender Demons” Cubas also called for violence in response to transgender activists who are “yelling at people’s faces” and “forcing you to comply to their demands.”

“Just get violent on them,” he said. “If somebody yells at your face, there’s no reason to yell back any more. You just take your fist and you start beating them.”

Andrew Gray, the first openly gay man elected to the Alaska Legislature, said that Cubas’ comments are “absurd” and “beyond imagination.”

“If it were a movie, you wouldn’t believe it,” Gray, an Anchorage Democratic state House member, said in an interview May 29. “You would not believe that somebody working for the governor would record this in any sort of public forum — or any sort of private forum.”

Cubas, 40, has nine dependent children, according to a financial disclosure he filed with the state, and he owns an Anchorage photography business called MadMen Studios.

Between 2017 and 2021, he taught philosophy classes at the University of Alaska Anchorage Mat-Su campus, and he also did graduate work in philosophy at a Catholic research university in Belgium.

Cubas attends Wasilla’s Sacred Heart Church with Dunleavy, and his undergraduate degree came from the same Catholic university as the governor: Misericordia University, two hours north of Philadelphia.

As Dunleavy’s photographer, Cubas cut a low profile; he initially took pictures at events and helped set up audiovisual equipment for news conferences. His promotion in April came amid Dunleavy’s renewed emphasis on social issues during his second term.

This story was produced by Alaska Public Media and APM Reports as part of the Public Media Accountability Initiative, which supports investigative reporting at local media outlets around the country.

 

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