Breaking the Drywall: Co-worker Alvin Remembers Aaron Smith-Levin

Aaron Smith-Levin’s former colleague Alvin remembers him as loud, aggressive and violent—even when someone was doing him a favor.


Aaron is, unlike other—was unlike other staff. Generally for the staff member working for the Church, you’re usually very polite, you’re easy to talk to. You’re usually very helpful.

Aaron is not someone who would have that polite demeanor like that is innate to the individual staff member.

So in the beginning, when you first meet him, he can be a bit charismatic and, you know, talk to someone and it’s very nice and it’s very polite, until you get right past that into anything that you disagree about or something that he doesn’t want to do or something like that and then, there you go. That’s the way this guy deals with problems, he just attacks you. He yells at you, he screams at you, he gets in your face, he tries to be big and overbearing.

My colleague was correcting him—Aaron on something. Aaron didn’t like that and Aaron grabbed him and shoved him and slammed him into the wall. My colleague weighed maybe 130 pounds soaking wet, Aaron was probably somewhere around 180–190, something like that, and he actually broke the drywall.

One particular instance that I think of—just along with the story of my colleague—is he had left his car running in the garage that we have.

So I took his keys out, thought I was doing him a favor, because the vehicle was unlocked, it was running with the keys in the car. He came back and he flipped his lid. He lost his shit. Like, he started yelling and screaming as to why would I take his car? Why would I take his car keys?

Whereas normally the response I would expect would be like, “Oh, thanks a lot, I really appreciate it.” Or, you know, “Thank you,” or something like that.

His was just immediate—and that’s Aaron—just immediate backblast of, “No, this shouldn’t be this way” or “I disagree,” or just something leading into a personal attack against you.

And, while those couple individual instances stick out in my mind, in general, in dealing with, the most noticeable or the first thing I think about him when somebody says that, is an extremely red-faced Aaron yelling at somebody.