My name is Thomas Apostle. I have been posing as a mole for cancel culture journalists for the past nine months. My journey took me to the ground floor of cancel culture hit pieces for multiple news agencies, got me involved in a comedy fest in Idaho, and sued by a SFWA funded lawsuit while also being their secret informant.
My story starts with journalist Seth Simons. Seth had previously gotten Shane Gillis fired from SNL and was actively looking for his next target. He did so via Twitter and constantly seemed to find himself in petty fights and locking down his twitter over sexual misconduct. Eventually he found himself talking about OnAForums.net on Twitter, and was promptly doxxed by user SpaceEdge. His mother’s dietary website was also openly mocked because of its hypnotherapy diet and pseudo scientific content. Worst of all, Seth Simons had openly drawn the ire of Legendary Comic Norm Macdonald for getting Shane Gillis in trouble.
I approached Seth about the recent problems he had with SpaceEdge and offered inside information about several other well-known users. I identified SpaceEdge as Canyon Boykin, a former police officer that shot a black man, was acquitted of murder and then sued the state and won. I also identified site owner Quasi101 as an Indian man named “Rahul Kumar,” a career tech guru working at a call center. Finally, I identified user “ToxicCisWhiteMaleFat” as owner of the NYC comedy club The Stand, Cris Italia.The following are real emails between me (the mole) and Seth, beginning in November 2020:
I wrote (from [email protected]):Hey seth i have followed your newsletter for a while now. I noticed a while back that louis gomez was encouraging onaforums to harass you. I actually know the real identity of spaceedge, quasi101 and a few others because they were on the same discord before the trolls took down the original radio show reddit.I can help you get them to leave you alone, so you can actually focus on doing good for the comedy scene.They seem to be planning something big involving your dads place of work.. I dont know how often you read their stupid forums.ToxicCisWhiteMaleFat seems to legit be some sort of talent booker. I don’t know anything about the guy other than why I have his real name: He bragged on the forums that he wrote this article about you: https://cris-italia.medium.com/seth-simons-is-not-a-journalist-71ec06bdafe2
I informed a group of OnAForums users what was going on, as I would need them for what came next. Seth made an account on OnAForums, which I quickly identified as locke87. He started archiving parts of the forums, unaware that many were watching him do so and making fake posts.As the emails continued, Seth wanted some answers on how the mole was able to identify these people. I went with a forum drama angle and told Seth I learned of this because of infighting.
Seth wrote (from [email protected]):I’m a little skeptical because in that one post he calls himself a booker who left NY, whereas Cris is a club owner who still lives there, but I suppose it could be some half-hearted attempt at opsec? And I guess if people are calling him Cris then that’s corroborating too.Are you able to divulge at all how you connected SpaceEdge and Quasi to their identities?
I wrote: SpaceEdge’s name leaked when he hooked up with a girl user there named CarolMaxenheine. I guess he was getting too lovey with another user named RobertMewler, Carol got pissed and leaked his xbox gamertag. The gamertag was his twitter,insta and email. It’s all gone/deleted now this was about 3 months agoQuasi does IT work and was actually dumb enough to do side jobs on the forum, people were sending him laptops to fix. it leaked.I told Seth that I had access to parts of the website that he didn’t. I started by reporting on SpaceEdge’s activities, and before long I found that he had contacted Seth’s father, David P Huenemoerder. I informed Seth that his place of work had been posted. Seth ended up having many of his dad’s work contacts removed. That must have been a weird conversation.I continued with ToxicCisWhiteMaleFat’s identity as Cris Italia. Using Cris’s understandable concern about further lockdowns in NYC, I sent this fake conversation over.
It was pure coincidence that Seth dug out an old tweet Cris Italia wrote expressing his enjoyment of the movie Chef, featuring this in his article for The New Republic. (A lot of people have seen the movie Chef, Seth.)Further discussing Italia with Seth, I asked about his snooping at The Stand.
Seth wrote:Yeah, I’ve interacted with him on Twitter a whole lot, and then of course there’s that whole article he wrote about me. I’ve never been to the Stand, but he has tweeted before that I showed up there to get the scoop on Shane Gillis’s first show after getting fired from SNL — a very weird thing for him to say because that was (I believe) an NYPost reporter who didn’t hide their identity.It’s very funny — after months of calling me “Surface Seth” and saying I’m a lazy journalist, he went and wrote that whole long article extrapolating my background and inner psyche (my dad’s rich and I hate him and he subsidizes my life, I’ve lived in a bunch of cities because I keep flaming out, etc), based on some cursory Googling and superficial readings of poems I wrote.Here’s what I’m thinking: tomorrow I call him and ask directly if he’s ToxicCisWhiteMaleFat.He’ll deny it, I’ll quote a couple of these posts, and he’ll deny it again. Then you can let me know if he does/says anything on the private threads that indicates I’m into him?
Not only is Seth not giving Cris a real chance to deny anything, he’s calling and harassing him for no real reason. I sent Seth another screenshot of the forums, taking advantage of his issue of “sneaking into places.”
Seth replied:Okay great, this is pretty convincing. I’m gonna take a bit to store some of the public threads in the Internet Archive and then I’ll give him a call. I’ll play a little dumb so he doesn’t know quite how much I know — we want him to think he can go back to the secret threads and mention it without me finding out. Which then you can let me know if he does.Out of curiosity, do you recall anyone ever saying anything about me using my mom’s last name? I thought this attack https://twitter.com/CrisItalia/status/1321192023777374209?s=20 by Cris was unusual even for his standards, but looking back it makes perfect sense as Forum Logic. (So does everything else about him, honestly.)
I wrote:Yeah ive seen it several times. I cant spell the other last name, humorder or something? Ive seen spaceedge claim you dont use it because it has german jewish orgin and youre ashamed (that dude is legit insane) and others have said it too.I’ve seen the toxic handle use the phrase “silver spooned sex pest” quite a few times, maybe i can find a more public post as an example but idk. Spaceedge also says that you harvest the organs of children to sell on the black market and you have a dungeon full of infants being kept alive by machines.Again, totally insane.
The mole and Seth Simons agree — it could be dangerous to mess with a guy like SpaceEdge.
Seth wrote:Goooodd to know, thanks. Yeah, my brother got my dad’s last name (Huenemoerder) and I got my mom’s… ironically they’ve got the Jewish origins reversed, but what can you expect from anti-Semites. Honestly I’m kind of scared of going after SpaceEdge, at least until I can, I don’t know, go stay in an Airbnb for a few days.Hopefully this Cris thing will put some fear in their hearts if it pans out.Still archiving old Toxic posts, I’ll let you know when I’ve called him…
I replied:Oh I dont blame you, that guy could be a real problem.Seth continued to harass Cris Italia by calling and emailing him over the next few weeks. He spent days going over details of fake troll accounts until eventually he found an “explosive” detail about Cris, which was actually just a decoy account.
Seth wrote:Incredible. Okay. I want to twist the screw a little more — I just emailed him saying I will ask him a direct question once I get a little more info. Since he’s very stupid, hopefully he’ll take this to mean I don’t have anything solid, and say something to that effect. Once we have whatever the fruits of that are, I’ll call him again and ask directly.This is going to be explosive — going through his old posts I found his alt twitter account, ApeVonTarskin, which is gone now but corresponds with a Reddit account with loooottts of material.
I wrote:That name apevontarskin is an opie and anthony joke. Well, an anthony joke. You can always tell who was an opie fan and who was an anthony fan by the racism. Opie was never down with that.
Seth wrote:Ahhh, of course.I’ve been gradually catching on to a lot of those little things as I read the forums — “child,” “fawkin,” etc. Gotta say I admire how far you’ve gotten, I feel totally obliterated after a few days of this. Are you able to share any more of the activity in the private chats? I’m gonna need to provide my readers as much context as possible for every little step of the play here.
The mole continued to provide Seth screenshots of the secret forums:
Seth replied:I cannot believe how readily he is erasing every possible angle that would give himself plausible deniability, lol. Going back and forth with him on email now, just told him I have the posts he doesn’t think I have.(Still trying to lure him onto the phone.) Brace yourself.
At this point it was becoming more known that Seth was trying to mess with Italia.
Seth’s presence on OnAForums was now on the front page; the article was now ready to write. In Seth’s mind, Italia getting annoyed was proof he was guilty. The mole informed Seth that Italia had “gotten scared” and started deleting his comments.
Seth wrote:Okay, I’ll start writing. I’m also gonna run the story by a few editors I know — probably a long shot given the niche nature of the thing and my lengthy backstory with him, but might as well try to see if I can land it anywhere bigger than my newsletter. They’re liable to ask for as much context as I can give, which means I need to ask a few more things from you:-Are you able to share the entirety of any of the threads you’ve sent screenshots from so far? The ones containing “If it isnt a mole, then why did he ask me?” and his links to the Medium essay would be especially helpful, even if those individual posts are gone now. If it’s easier to save the pages to pdf than to take a bunch of screenshots, I can redact whatever information you want me to.-When he purges his comments, does it leave”[post has been deleted]” messages or anything like that? Can you take screenshots of some of those?-Are there any more posts referencing those lockdown measures the other day that you could safely capture?Thanks! Oh man, and he changed his avi to a picture of Luis Gomez. Wild.
That day, December 6, 2020, the forums had an unrelated site issue and went down for a while. It had absolutely nothing to do with Seth, but the timing was perfect and allowed for it to appear something big had happened. The mole used this to convince Seth that site admin Quasi101 had deleted a bunch of content, corrupted the database and caused the site to crash. The screenshots that were sent was now “all that was left” of the secret forums that Seth didn’t have access to.I informed Seth that they were talking about developments and sent over new screenshots, the users pretended to be scared of Seth.
Seth would use these screenshots in his article about Italia, and in his pitches to both VICE news and Slate news.
Seth wrote:Wow. I’m kind of still shocked this all worked. But I guess it’s true what they say about bullies being cowards.
Seth was convinced that OnAForums was cowering in fear. The mole sent more screenshots of the “infighting” Seth had caused:
I convinced Seth that user GarbageMan2244 was heavily connected to podcast Legion of Skanks, and that Luis J. Gomez was rumored to have helped SpaceEdge dox Seth’s Parents. This would come into play later. Seth and I continued to have a discussion for the upcoming article, where Seth asked about the mole’s background. What had driven him to go to the forums and leak all this? The mole laid out where he had came from.
I wrote:I was an oNa fan back in the day, but that was the show and it ended in 2014. I don’t know how much you know the show, but Opie was the one running everything. Anthony got to be such a problem that opie actually started playing a game live on air and ignored Anthony’s ranting. It’s called the “candy crush episode” and it’s the best way to explain what happened next. Anthony got fired after a black hooker beat his ass at like 3am in the middle of worksite (scaffolding, ect) and went on twitter and called people “niggers” and said “they’re not people”.Opie had the power to get his job back, but admitted later he didn’t even try because of how bad Anthony had gotten. So the show ends. Anthony starts compound media. Opie goes a few more years on XM, then starts his own podcast. Both hosts hate eachother, yet share the same fanbase of one of the biggest radio shows ever. Not everyone was a racist woman beater like Anthony, you see? There were a lot of Opie fans. Opie is a good man with a beautiful family. He isn’t having sex with Sue Lightening in a hotel room like Anthony. He isn’t a racist, he actually started a show with a cuban and a black guy right after Anthony left and the new time slot started. Nobody anywhere is a fan of Jim Norton so I left him out.Myself, I was never much of a member past then. I got into other podcasts and media as entertainment.. that’s what normal people do when a show ends, but not these people. I knew enough lore to fit in because I knew the show. I didn’t troll or harass anyone (not actually, I registered a fake account to make it look like I did) but mostly I just did harmless things like help archive a few pages. Now i’m verified up to a point.. I think there is 1 level above where I am. There are only a handful of people that high.. so really i’m just about as high as you can get.
While many things were made up for Seth, everything you see here about Anthony Cumia is true. Anthony even got outed by his own brother on Reddit as being in possession of child pornography and masturbating to it.Seth continued to ask questions about my background.
He wrote:Appreciate the info, thanks. I’ll admit that the Cris stuff all seems too good to be true, and I can’t help but entertain the notion that it’s an elaborate hoax to get me to discredit myself. Though that hoax would also require me to discredit someone these people would ostensibly like… and would require them to have really studied Cris’s speech patterns and mannerisms… and doesn’t seem like their MO at all anyway… but, you know, it’s my job to be skeptical. If you don’t mind me asking: why now? I gather you were flattering me when you said you’ve read my newsletter for a while, or you’d probably have known who Cris is and that I have a history with him. Was there something about this current round of harassment, as opposed to the Patrick/Niki stuff, that inspired you to reach out?
I wrote:I’ve followed it, but I can’t follow all of it due to time/paywall. I didn’t know about his relation to you exactly, just how much he posted about you. I only half read his article that led to me finding him to be honest.. it just came across as boring. It’s not the reason I found you. I picked up on what you were doing when you wrote about the proud boys, they were founded on Compound Media. Anthony is why i’m actually paying attention. Like I said, I have no love for Anthony. He beat and bit his live in prostitute, he bragged about taking his girlfriend to the hospital and having to go to a kid’s ward.. I mean the list goes on and on. Did you know that he got caught watching child porn by his ex-gf melissa settin? that the reddit forum actually had pictures of him in a hotel room with a young transexual boy? Looked like a 13 year old boy… i could go on for way too long about how much I hate anthony.Whenever you wrote that article about proud boys, dave smith and stuff, that got shared and I have checked in here and there since that. That was like..october? maybe? I don’t know anything you have written older than that. 3 months or so. I think. I don’t think I ever actually saw cris come up.. what exactly did you write about him? can you give me a link to your post?Anyway, in the big scheme of things it’s probably not all that surprising to you that a guy that hounded you on twitter had something to do with the harassment you were getting.As far as them hoaxing it goes, they wouldn’t have had much of a chance, they were still scrambling to figure out where the screenshots came from.. plus all the sitewide changes quasi made probably took hours and hours to fix up.And yes, there is a diference and a reason I want to help you out. It’s because you’re going after Anthony. You’re one of the only ones going after Anthony. Did you know there is footage of Anthony grabbing his AUNT and bringing her on his lap and telling her he wants to fuck her? There is also footage of Anthony beating a mentally handicapped man with a roll of paper towel and spraying windex in his eyes. What these people are thinking attacking you and not helping you is beyond me, but it’s short sighted as fuck.Did you know Anthony’s brother, Joe Cumia, actually went on reddit and defended his brother watching child porn? He said “KP” is not illegal, so it’s fine that anthony “jerks to it”For the record, I did try and help Patrick and Niki. I used the email and the number they posted to contact him, trying to tell him they were about to dox his extended family. He called me a stalker and told me I was going to jail.
Seth wrote:I emailed Cris something a bit ago that I’m hoping will provoke a response on the forum. Lemme know if anything’s going down tonight? Sorry Pat and Niki responded like that. I get the impulse — harassment makes you paranoid like that — but I’m glad I didn’t give into it this time. You’ve been an incredible help.Seth continued to discuss Italia with me, noting that Italia is an “antivaxxer” and that the Legion Of Skanks violated the NYC covid rules by recording inside.
Seth continued asking for updates, some days getting activity and some days not. In this period he would fight with Luis J. Gomez and Cris Italia on Twitter, their responses further cementing in the idea that they were involved at OnAForums.
Seth wrote:Not too surprising I guess — I’d sent him some more screenshots asking for comment, and he said it’s clearly someone impersonating him. So I acted sympathetic and said okay, I know who some of the other users’ identities are, maybe they’ll be able to shed light.Figured he was likely to deal with it in the higher bracket (or off-forum), but thought it was worth a shot given his recklessness in the past.Is “Thomas the Apostle” an O&A expression or just a SpaceEdge thing? I’ve come across a Reddit account called “ThomasApostleThief” that moderates an O&A sub and a Legion of Skanks sub, curious if we might be dealing with the same guy.
I replied:Thomas Apostle is an o&a moderator. It very well could be the same guy, but I don’t really know. LOS crosses over with opie and anthony, they even used to work for cumia at one point. So does Cumtown, nick mullen is a member of the forums. I don’t know who, though. He has talked about it on cumtown, but I don’t listen to it.Seth assured me that publication would happen soon. He came up with the idea to reach out to Patrick S. Tomlinson to help intimidate Italia.
Seth wrote:Yeah, I’m working on a piece for the New Republic, wrapping the Cris/OnA stuff into a larger take on how the New York standup scene germinated the far right / became a home for these sorts of people. Truly didn’t realize until a couple weeks ago how Cris and the other owners of his club have spent almost 20 years trying to bring Cumia-types into the mainstream. It’s gonna take a week or so to write (lots of stuff to condense into ~2000 words) but hopefully should run by the end of Jan, I’ll keep you posted.I’m considering reaching out to Patrick about it and seeing if we can maybe redo the same play — have him email Cris out of the blue and see if they panic about it. But I think we probably have enough evidence that it’s not worth the trouble, at least not right now.
I wrote:You’re probably right about not right now. He posts some pretty far off stuff and it may not help the article.Maybe after?
Seth wrote:Yeeahhh, I’ve been thinking about it and feel like it might also just be unethical to engage in that sort of subterfuge now thatI’m actually writing this for a legit publication.ProbablyI’ll send it to him afterward and ask if he wants to chat — maybe we can make something happen with SpaceEdge or Quasi down the line.