Chapter 2: How Fake News Becomes Fake Litigation

  • Seth hooks the mole up with a senior VICE journalist, and provides Patrick’s lawyers with fake doxxes
  • The New Republic publishes Seth’s big article
  • Patrick and Seth begin to leverage the power of a fake news story into a lawsuit

Backstory: Patrick Tomlinson has been in an ongoing feud with OnAForums since September 11, 2018. Patrick had a habit of going out of his way to get into an argument that eventually drew enough ire that he was showcased on the OnA Subreddit with his Norm Macdonald tweet:

It was quickly discovered in Patrick’s blog that he had been cuckolded by a guy (pictured below) who then stole his wife, unborn child and dogs, and kicked him out of the house.Not long after, pictures emerged that showed Patrick’s wife being stolen right in front of him:

In 2018–2019, Patrick filed hundreds of false DMCA reports in an attempt to get r/opieandanthony taken down, but failed. The sub r/opieandanthony2 and many subs after were banned, but the original had been locked down by its own moderator months prior because he was caught stealing on video at Danny’s Vapes. After months of trying, Reddit was unable to ban the users of r/opieandanthony and had to make changes to the website in an attempt to make the bans stick.

Reddit’s second attempt failed too and they were never able to successfully remove the users. Finally, the subreddit set up its own website and put its main content offsite.Patrick tried to send complaints to the web hosts, but this too failed. So, on Jan. 26 of this year, Patrick filed a lawsuit against and Kiwifarms.

I reached out to Seth to inform him of the news on January 27:

Patrick Tomlinson filed a john doe lawsuit against onaforums in a wisconsin court yesterday. The identifying information I sent you just became a very valuable playing piece. It may be a way to do far more damage to them than I ever thought possible

Seth replied:I saw, very interesting development,Curious to read the actual complaint whenever it’s available. I think I’ll still hold off on reaching out until the piece is published, so there’s no risk of him thinking I’m not legit. Been meaning to ask — are you positive on that contact info for Quasi/Rahul you sent me early on? Since it’s a decently common name and all.I should probably reach out to him/his lawyer in advance of the article so they can get a head start on archiving everything, since I imagine Quasi is liable to take everything offline once it’s published. I can’t envision an outcome where they don’t ask me to put them in touch with you — have you given any thought to reaching out again? I can give them a heads up so they know you’re legit.The information sent over to Patrick was then sent directly to his attorney Brinton Resto. This included the previous doxes of three forum members: Quasi101, SpaceEdge, and ToxicCisWhiteMaleFat. Seth would offer to coordinate with Patrick to take down OnAForums together, with the help of the mole (me). Seth had just asked the mole if he would be willing to contact Patrick.

I replied:Oh yeah, i didn’t do my real name. I’m not 100% against it, but it would have to be a stable dialogue first and not the stalker stuff. I dont need him posting my information as if I’m a ona forums troll

Seth wrote:Got it, yeah, I don’t know how wide a net they’re casting with this lawsuit but I don’t want you to end up on the wrong end of it! I’ll let you know what I hear from his attorney.They want to run the piece tomorrow, I’m reaching out to Italia tonight with a final request for comment. Keep your eyes out for action.

On February 8, 2021 Seth Simons published the infamous New Republic article using my fake information.

This article used my emails and screenshots word for word. Seth used what he thought would be stunning revelations (Killer Cop harassed me!) to leverage an attack on his enemies in the comedy industry.Seth and Patrick promptly began to conspire to use the credentials of the New Republic in a lawsuit that would seek to overturn Krinksy Vs Doe 6 and Section 230 protections. Essentially nobody could run a website anonymously anymore as a consequence of Brinton Resto and Patrick Tomlinson’s lawsuit based on a fake article. It goes even further than this, it would mean that you could no longer be anonymous on the internet. All someone would have to do to get your identity is to claim that you know the identity of another user. Example: Mary101 tells Tommy202 “Hey, thanks for the email” Mary101 could now be doxxed because she “has identifying information” about the poster. It can get even worse than this, since what defines “identifying information” is so broad and ill-defined under Brinton Resto’s argument, one could conceivably find many ways to turn ordinary conversations into something that qualifies for the courts to order your personal information exposed.This is a horrendous violation of free speech being carried out just to bolster the ego of Seth and Patrick.

What a coincidence he found a way to file a case against 230

Sure enough, the author Patrick is retweeting is Jason Sanford, who has also written a hit piece on onaforums:

Jason Sanford is a SFWA member.

Vice also linked to Seth’s article. OnAForums was now paying attention to Seth and the mole was now big news alongside the developing court case. I made up reports of mass deletions and paranoia to show Seth his article had an effect.

Seth wrote: Spoke to Pat earlier as well as a Vice investigative reporter (a good one) who’s working on a story about the forums — they’d both like very much to connect with you.

I wrote:They are purging again and got one of my lesser accounts taken off. Im still there and verified with other accounts, ill try and see what i can collect today. Much may be wiped and i may be waiting for a new chat thread im not sure Ill have to use a different email for pat, this one that i made to protect me from a potential leak, he may not understand. Can you ask Patrick if i can email his gmail and ill introduce myself? Vice it shouldn’t matter i suppose

Seth wrote:Yep, I’ll ask. I gotta imagine his lawyers will eventually want to know your real identity, but I think he’ll understand that you want to establish a relationship first. Re: the Vice reporter, Anna Merlan, I might recommend you use that other email too: I believe she knows Niki by this point, so this one might just unnecessarily set off alarm bells.

I wrote: I went ahead and emailed Patrick this morning, i told him you can confirm who I am if needed. I can email vice or they can email me, [email protected]

I was now emailing with three people: Seth, Anna Merlan and Patrick. I turned my attention to Merlan, a senior reporter at VICE News:

Anna emailed: Hi there, I got your info from Seth Simons — I’m a journalist at Vice News and part of a small team looking into the ONA forums, specifically their obsession with Patrick Tomlinson and anyone around him. I’d love to jump on the phone if you have a moment sometime in the next week.Best, AnnaAfter discussing some safety concerns over my identity, Anna assured me that I would be kept safe. I agreed to a phone interview. Unknown to Anna, in my place was fellow freelance journalist Josiah Munoz. You can hear the interview here. After the interview, I sent over the mentioned “list.”

I emailed Anna:I have some of a list like we discussed of other targets. I may have others I’ll think of but it’s a whole lot of people.Amy schumer: they created the videos that circulated about her joke theft. Most, if not all of Amy’s problems started on the forum. She used to be a guest on the radio show.Anthony weiner: they were the ones that got his penis pictures that was headline news a few years ago.Patton Oswalt: started rumor he killed his wife, got circulated very far. Made picture of him doping his wife with pills. Mc serch: (be sure to watch final clip at the end)Jay Mohr and Logan Lynn: what we discussed Kelsey cook: made fun of harshly for years, their favorite joke is “wow her tits are hilarious”There is also the more disgusting side, the reason the fanbase turned on Anthony. Its because they pretty well proved he was a real life pedo Anthony cumia: catfished him as an underage girl, got video of him beating up a retarded man and bragging about having sex with his niece, ex producer danny ross claimed to have filed a police report saying he saw anthony cumia finger an underage girl Joe cumia: got him to go on peoples court, got him to publicly defend kiddie porn on reddit, cancelled a ton of his musical gigsThe clear differences between the cumias and the other people is what I was talking about when I said it’s random people now and I don’t support it.We can elaborate person to person, I can get links and proof of things as needed, but I wanted to get at least some list over to you

Anna didn’t reply for some time, but there were other concerns to attend to: First contact had been made with Patrick Tomlinson.

I emailed Patrick: Hello Mr. Tomlinson, I am one of Seth Simons’s main sources for his recent article.Seth reached out to me and asked if I was willing to talk to you, I am willing. You can verify my identity with seth if needed, I understand you have already spoken.Let me start off by giving you my condolences, having this pack of insanely resourceful trolls on your back couldn’t have been easy. Explaining such a story must be next to impossible. I have a collection of information on these people that Seth could not put in the article and I’m willing to answer your questions.

Pat replied:Todd,Thank you for your email. My first question is how long have you been involved with the OnA cyberstalking group and what was (or is) your handle there? Would I recognize you?Second question, how much and what kind of personal information do you have on the other core members like Quasi101, SpaceEdge, Summerville Dan, etc, and how confident are you in its accuracy?Third and final question for now. Why are you now helping targets like Seth and myself?

I replied:Well actually im not part of that group, but I am an OnA fan.The group you have problems with isn’t the whole fanbase, its the warped faction that Anthony Cumia, Italia and others have created. I was embedded with that group for just under a year collecting information. I still am. It’s important that you understand Opie and Anthony was where people like Amy Schumer, Louis Black and Bill Burr cut their teeth. There is still a show called “ jim and sam” with a sub called “ r/ jimandsam” and Opie does podcasts.There is an entire legitimate fanbase that wants nothing to do with As far as my handle goes, there is another article in the works at a major publication and I cannot share that yet. Seth can confirm this
article, it’s big. I suppose you want to know if I harassed you, the answer is no.
I have the real name, location and even numbers of both quasi and spaceedge.. And others. Im working on one right now that’s a main power user. Im close.My information is 100% and is good enough that it will be published a second time soon. As I’ve explained above, im not a “troll turned good”, This
entire thing was done to expose these people. I’ve been helping seth for
months now, I think I can significantly help you too. Seth seems to think so too.

Patrick replied: Todd, Seth shared Quasi and SpeceEdge’s information with me. I guess what I’m trying to figure out is if you’re not part of the obsessive campaign to ruin my life, how exactly did you get into the good graces of the core group and be allowed into the “Secret forum” in the first place. They seem too paranoid and distrustful of each other to admit anyone who hasn’t already incriminated themselves, but maybe that’s just my cynical read from the outside and general sense of hesitation after being impersonated more than 100 times.Anyway, I too have a piece being worked on for a major publication about his campaign. The journalist in question is currently interviewing victims of and corroborating my story through other avenues. They may be interested in speaking with you as well, if you’re open to it. I could give them this email address and have them contact you. I’d be very interested in any other possible IDs you have, because as you probably know, we’re very close to imposing actual, real world consequences on these people. The last hurdle is unmasking them.

I wrote:Getting in wasn’t easy. It took months. I did little things like find an archive page, submitted some code that downloads the old radio show. This along with just plain talking to people eventually got me into a “staging area” for newer members, in a few weeks I was allowed into the secret forum. At that point I was acting as an informant for seth.You’re correct that they are paranoid, but they are still humans that need people with certain skillsets to form the collective trolling machine they have built. They have users that act as recruiters, but they are mostly part of seth’s side like LOS and cumtown.

I was now feeding information to Seth and Patrick at the same time, who were in turn both feeding information to Wine Attorney Brinton Resto. To help gain Patrick’s trust, more conversations and fake “attacks” were fabricated.

I wrote to Patrick:They are planning to attack maggie schill and her husband ryan today.Would you like shots of the conversation?

Patrick replied:Yes please.

I also made up information that Patrick’s longtime rival Jon Del Arroz was on the forums.

I wrote:You know a guy named Jon Delarroz? SpaceEdge claims to have made contact with him over twitter last night. He says that jon told him you harassed him at worldcon and tried to “film him at the event, probably wanted to follow me into the bathroom to film”. He says it was sparked by him calling out “patricks incredibly low book sales” spaceedge claims that jon is giving him information on maggie schill and answering questions about the SFWA. He says there are multiple users with Jon but the only other name I got was “bookwyrm” This seems different because I dont think these are forum users, they are people from twitter

Patrick replied:Yeah none of that happened. Jon has never even attended WorldCon and I’ve never met him. In reality, he was banned from WC for threatening to film people without their consent. He’s a complete tool. I doubt SpaceEdge has spoken a word to him.I continued to give Patrick more false information about people the forum was “attacking,” eventually coming to one of Patrick’s friends.

I wrote:Next is Erik Scott de Bie, though none of this is private. Its all over the front page. You may already know.

Patrick replied:Erik and his wife have already spoken to the police. How confident are you in the ID of SpaceEdge?

I assured Patrick my information was solid while sending him on a wild goose chase, so attention turned back to Seth. It was coming out that there would be a comedy festival in Idaho to spite Seth, and I had found out that OnAForums members would be “attending” the festival. Anthony Jeselnik also retweeted Seth’s New Republic article, leading to Anthony being widely criticized. A user on OnAForums said, “This is his biggest career mistake since he dated Amy Schumer,” and shared text messages that had been sent to Jeselnik, including statements like, “Is it true that Amy Shumer once at ane entire can of mayonnaise out of your fridge?” I sent over what was happening with Jeselnik to Seth.

Seth replied:Christ. He told me a couple months ago that he’s gone through something like this before so hopefully it’s not too hard on his end. But maybe I’ll let him know about the lawsuit. Jeselnik would later do an interview about this article, where he would act all vague about the article like it was just something he ran across. That doesn’t seem to be the case at all here, as Jeselnik seems to have a pre-existing relationship with Seth.

The Idaho Comedy Fest was now being shared regularly on Twitter, much to Seth’s dismay. I sent Seth more fake screenshots about it.

I wrote to Seth:not much for a few days on the secret forum, I managed to send some content to Patrick but he didn’t really say if he was able to do anything with it. what they’re saying about the “idaho comedy fest” is mostly public, but here is what I found that wasn’t. (IMAGES BELOW)i’ve got a few comments on that

-if the opie thing is real, i’ve never seen it. his podcasts are listed on his twitter.-what spaceedge is talking about would involve submitting a records request and paying a fee, you have to show identification.This may be proof he is somehow using police access to dox people. If it isn’t, you may be able to find out who pulled your records. here’s the latest of cris’s locked tweets I see posted. They are a few days old, nothing after that.

I can’t see how Dani Zoldan doesn’t know what he is doing. Seems to be obviously encouraging all this.

Seth replied:Jesus, these maniacs. Luckily I do not have a car for them to dispatch someone to vandalize, but, wow. I’ll look into tracking down those DMV records requests if they exist, thanks.

Seth also went on a terrible podcast called “Industrial Posters of the World.” The two hosts Lauren Lavin and Richard Paulas were politely asked to allow OnAForums to comment, but they declined.

Seth wrote:Ugh, yeah, heard about it from rick and lauren this morning. thankfully they didn’t get too much attention (knock on wood). hmm — is this TokenX-user-since-February-2021 character active in the secret forum at all? Curious who Cris is now.

I emailed screenshots to Seth and Fat about a promising lead on user CarolMaxheinie:

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is cc07aaa40c478e614e26ba6a0c765c9d3e6a8ac3.jpg

Patrick replied first, revealing that he had followed user CarolMaxheinie for quite some time.

Pat wrote:Strange. They’ve only been bragging about meeting Elon Musk since I had a twitter thread debunking his whole million boots on Mars by 2050 nonsense. I think they’re completely full of shit.

I replied:Possibly, I’ve got no real way to confirm the elon musk stuff. I do know this user isn’t someone who works at a mcdonalds, they were known on reddit for giving $6000 to Jim Norton’s Chip Chipperson patreon, claimed to be willing to partner and finance the project before it fell through. Not sure if you know what that was. Joe Cumia also tried to directly contact them for his Patreon, but they wouldn’t do it. I think that project died.

Seth also replied:Oh shit did he respond to the person who asked for his instagram in that last screenshot?Copy that. I’ve identified the half-dozen men over 40 who ran the Louisiana half-marathon[;perpage:100 this past weekend; none exactly fit the description of clean energy business owner in/near Mobile, but there is this guy[] who’s an “environmental specialist” at a civil engineering firm in Jasper AL who I think may be a contender. Gonna see what Pat thinks about the options.

Leave a Comment