On the outside, Rich Lee is a simple father of two living in a quiet town in Utah.
However, his day job as a warehouse manager has nothing to do with his career aspirations.
Lee is obsessed with “biohacking” – which can be described as exploring one's biologic limits.
Basically, Lee experiments on his own body through “do-it-yourself” surgical procedures like implanting magnets in his ears to serve as permanent ear buds, and embedding tubes underneath his skin, atop his shin bones, to serve as constant shin guards.
You can hear him talking about it here:
He believes that “biohacking” is the future and thinks the human body can be “hacked” to be improved.
But his ex-wife doesn't see it as simply an endeavor to improve the human body.
Rather, she sees it as the behavior of an “unfit parent” and a dangerous example for their two children.
Although the couple filed for divorce last November, Lee's ex-wife reportedly sought full custody of the children just last month.
According to Fusion, she listed “biohacking” as her main drive for custody, stating: [emphasis added]
“I stopped sharing joint physical custody because
Rich has chosen to expose our children to his disturbing behavior of do-it-yourself surgeries and bio-hacking.”
And she insists it's extremely hazardous to the children:
“I am disturbed by Rich’s self-destructive behavior and believe it has a negative impact on our children.”
Lee discovered the “hobby” while flipping through magazines after his grandmother passed away in 2008.
Apparently, he was upset that medicine and science hadn't progressed enough, and decided to take matters into his own hands, literally.
One of his first experiments was adding a magnet into the tip of his finger.
But procedures have gotten consistently more serious, and his ex-wife believes he's jeopardizing his life along with his children's.
On top of fighting for custody, she's also asking to legally ban Lee from certain behaviors like:
"Involving the children in or exposing the children to his bio-hacking/trans-human/grinder lifestyle and activities.”
But Lee is not going down without a fight.
He's started a GoFundMe page called “help cyborg Dad regain custody" to raise money for his own private attorney.
He believes his kids are proud of him and what he's trying to do for the human body, writing:
“I strongly believe that one’s body is theirs to do what they want with. I choose to customize mine through various technological interventions.
That does not make me an unfit parent and shouldn’t make my kids love me less.
I fear that the courts system in my small conservative town will not understand that parents being into body modification and biohacking ARE NOT FORMS OF CHILD ABUSE.”
And he's addressing the implications of the lawsuit, telling Fusion:
“I believe in a person’s right to augment their body however they want. If one parent is trans or gets a tattoo or whatever, it doesn’t change their ability to love a kid.”
However, a lot of people view adjusting the human body for the “better” can lead someone down an extremely dangerous path.
Fusion also reported that his most recent project under development is the “Lovetron 9000,” which will turn his genitals into a “bionic vibrating penis.”
Lee has now raised upwards of $6,000 in the hopes to continue raising his children and altering his body in peace.