By Ann Barnhardt
I have been watching out of the corner of my eye a con-man named Paul Lemmen who has been operating and insinuating himself into the Christian-right and secular-right blogging community since January of this year. I even took the extraordinary step (for me) of sending out an email early in 2012 to the bloggers this con-man was playing and targeting, warning them that they were being lied to and manipulated by an incredibly dangerous sociopath. Most did not heed my warning and fell for the latest iteration of this career con-man’s “game”. The “game” has now escalated to a point where tremendous damage is possible as Lemmen is insinuating himself into the monumentally serious “SWATting” story, and I have been asked by several people to write up a post in the hopes that I can finally snap people out of the trance that this con-man Lemmen has them under, and nip his con-game in the bud before it does irreversible damage.
The SWATting tactic being deployed by the hard-left is textbook terrorism, and it is truly a miracle that no one (either civilian victims or duped law enforcement responders) has yet been injured or killed. However, it is just a matter of time before one of these SWATtings ends in a terrible tragedy. The other thing the SWATting terrorism tactic will do if not aggressively ended right now is effectively destroy the 911 emergency response system itself. If the 911 system is inundated by fake distress calls, emergency response systems will have to be modified in order to somehow vet and confirm the legitimacy of incoming calls. That call vetting will take time, and in a serious situation every second counts. Every second could be the difference between someone being killed or raped or injured or kidnapped, or those attempted crimes being thwarted. The 911 system relies on trusting the population that it serves to never, ever abuse it, and coming down hard on those that do abuse it. Eric Holder has given the far-left the de facto green-light to go ahead and use SWATting as a terror tactic, and the media is backing the regime by not reporting in any way on the SWATting incidences. That means that people of good will are on their own and must coordinate with local law enforcement to educate them and their fellow citizens about this tactic, and to ensure the continued integrity of the 911 system itself from the local, grassroots level. There will be no Federal “top-down” assistance.
Now to Paul Lemmen. His latest online persona popped up in early January of 2012. His blog is called “An Ex-Con’s View” and is built around his alleged “repentance” from his life of crime and fraud. His latest “angle” is very clever, and is the ultimate prize for a con-man. Remember that the term “con-man” is an abbreviation of the term “confidence man.” While these criminals certainly have as an objective the stealing of people’s money, that is only half of it. The other half of their motivation is simply to manipulate other human beings. The greater the manipulation, the more false confidence they can engender in others, the bigger their rush, or high, which is the primordial driver. Any monies acquired from their victims are merely a derivative and tangible reminder of the root driver, which is the addiction to manipulation and fraud psychological rush.
So what is this “ultimate con?” It is to tell the victims out front that he is a convicted con artist. He lays out his lifetime of crime, claims that he is a changed man, claims that he is now a devout Christian looking to repent and make good and then asks people to TRUST him. If he can do this, if he can tell a person “to their face”, so to speak, that he is a con-man and then still rope them into his web, well, that’s the Olympic Gold Medal for con-men. That is the ultimate high. That is a sociopath like Lemmen sitting back and telling himself, “I’m so damn brilliant and charming that I can literally tell people that I’m conning them, and they will still let me do it.” Additionally, it provides a built-in hedge for Lemmen. If anyone calls Lemmen on his lies or very recent criminal history, he can simply fall back to the defense that, “I’ve already told you that I am a con-man. But I’m reformed now, and if you’re a Christian, you have to forgive and forget all of that.” He has essentially taken what should be a massive liability to him, namely his life of sociopathic fraud, wrapped it in a sheath of faux-Christianity, and now uses it as a weapon psychologically bludgeon and coerce people into being his willing victims and enablers.
Paul Lemmen is going for the gold as we speak.
Paul Howard Lemmen is a salesman and IT consultant with zero military experience who is a career criminal going back nearly thirty years to 1985 with multiple counts over the years of grand theft and writing bad checks, and he is a military imposter, still attempting to pass himself off as a retired Brigadier General as recently as the spring of 2011, and an embezzler.
He got an IT job with a company called “Blue Iraq”, and beginning in 2005 traveled to the Middle East and promptly started wearing the uniform of an Air Force Brigadier General both on base and off, claiming that he was promoted to that rank in 2003. Lemmen negotiated “business deals”, which were million-dollar embezzlement scams, while fraudulently in uniform, and also claimed to be the CEO of Blue Iraq. He additionally claimed to have been involved in IED attacks while in Iraq. In November 2005, having picked up enough lingo to sound credible, and having fabricated a detailed military back-story, Lemmen insinuated himself into the Special Forces community in Iraq. Lemmen was so far insinuated into the Special Forces that he was able to attend the funeral of Master Sergeant Tony Yost at Arlington National Cemetery in full uniform, posing still as a Brigadier General. Lemmen, unmoved by even the fallen MSGT Yost and his grieving family, continued to use people as mere fodder to feed his ever-more audacious and unquenchable addiction to manipulating others.
In an interview Lemmen gave to Kevin Maurer of the Fayetteville Observer in November 2006, Lemmen told Maurer that the U.S. government had, conveniently enough for Lemmen, disowned him and his past had been wiped from all record because Lemmen had told no less than SECDEF Donald Rumsfeld that he would no longer “spy for him.” Here we see the pattern of Lemmen’s esacalating audaciousness in his claims as he was forced to cover his own lies.
In January 2006 he was arrested by the US Army Criminal Investigation Division and shipped home to the U.S. Lemmen was convicted in U.S. District Court in Nashville on March 21, 2007 and was released from prison on March 1, 2010. Lemmen claimed in a telephone interview just one week ago on 6/11/2012 that despite having heart disease, diabetes, being heavily medicated, having a double bypass and no less than five stents, that he was made to perform hard labor, namely “swinging a sledgehammer, breaking up concrete all day.” There is no forced hard labor in U.S. prisons today – the image of men smashing concrete with sledgehammers in “Camp Cupcake” U.S. prisons is laughable, much less the forced hard labor of the grievously ill, as Lemmen claims he was and is. Either way, the sewage of lies is thick and deep out of the “reformed” Lemmen just one short week ago. Here is the link to the podcast. The audacious lies about being gravely ill and being put to hard labor begins at the 6:00 mark. The money quote is at 7:00. I warn you, you’re going to have the uncontrollable desire to bathe in Clorox after listening to this guy. “Oily” is the only descriptor that comes even close:
On March 21, 2007, US Magistrate Judge Joe Brown ordered Lemmen held without bail, and Judge Brown’s order ended with this priceless quote:
“The Magistrate Judge is firmly convinced that if this individual were released, he would be attempting to perpetrate a fraud on someone before the sun set that same day. The Defendant would also flee at the first opportunity. He has done so repeatedly in the past and undoubtedly would do so again.”
This information is all known and can be found at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paul_H._Lemmen
The Fayette Observer piece, while no longer cached by the Fayette Observer website, can be found cached in full at http://www.arrse.co.uk/multinational-hq/27194-foreign-walts-2.html at comment #19
Now, some more background that I don’t think the blogging community is fully aware of – at least I hope they are not aware of it.
In the spring of 2011, just over a year ago, blogger “Sard”, founder of the blog TheRightPlanet.com, was contacted through the FoxNation blog by a commenter handled “lemmen.” As an aside, I have spoken with “Sard” and originally wrote this piece using his real first and last name. He requested that I use only his handle, as he fears being targeted by the career criminal and sociopath Lemmen, as well as the far-left SWATters. The commenter “lemmen” claimed to be a retired flag officer who served in Iraq. When Sard replied, Lemmen sent Sard a photograph of himself in Iraq in USAF uniform, claiming the rank of Brigadier General. Sard then Googled Lemmen’s name, and promptly discovered his criminal past, saw that Lemmen was again picking up his old scam of impersonating a USAF Brigadier General, notified FoxNation, and Lemmen’s profile was promptly removed.
Soon after, in the summer of 2011, a new commenter handled “PoisonToLibs” appeared on the FoxNation blog. Sard noticed the “PoisonToLibs” posts as they were well-written, and “PoisonToLibs” claimed to be a black, conservative, multi-millionaire physician. “PoisonToLibs” gave Sard his email address and requested that they start a blog together. “PoisonToLibs” revealed his name to Sard as Willem Van Bever. “Willem Van Bever”, despite claiming to be a retired physician, aged 66, was proficient in web design and IT, and the blog TheRightPlanet.com was launched, and experienced a successful, brisk build-up in traffic.
However, the “Willem Van Bever” posts soon became increasingly suspicious. Bizarrely, Van Bever claimed to have invented the over-the-counter medication Imodium, which was really developed by Janssen Pharmaceutica in Belgium in 1969. Given “Van Bever’s” stated age of 66 in 2011, that would have made Van Bever 24 years old and in his second year of med school at most when he invented the drug Loperamide – in Belgium. He also claimed that he had been called a “nigger” by a parishioner after daily Mass. Remember this, as we’ll come back to making false accusations in a moment. “Van Bever” also provided a reader from Atlanta with a meticulously detailed backstory of his childhood in the Cabbagetown area of Atlanta, complete with a story of witnessing at age 13 the castration and lynching of his 15 year-old cousin as he cowered underneath his grandmother’s porch.
With Lemmen, it is all about the details. He researches his victims and his cons meticulously, and wins people’s confidence largely by dropping key words, phrases and details in order to appear credible. He researches and learns whatever jargon he needs, and then wields it to engender trust from his victims. This is how he infiltrated the U.S. Military in Iraq. This is how he was able to pass himself off as black retired physician “Willem Van Bever” on TheRightPlanet.com And, as we will see, this is how he is now attempting to pass himself off as a devout and pious Catholic, and also as a conservative patriot.
Finally, in the fall of 2011 “Van Bever” claimed to be dying of stage IV pancreatic cancer. Some RightPlanet readers, crestfallen at the news of “Van Bever’s” illness, began sending him gifts, which “Van Bever” happily accepted. Suspicious, Sard now vetted “Willem Van Bever”, albeit belatedly. He could find no record of anyone named Willem Van Bever anywhere in Florida, much less in Van Bever’s claimed residence of St. Petersburg.
Days later on November 24, 2011, TheRightPlanet.com received a $5 donation via PayPal from a “Paul Lemmen” of St. Petersburg. Sard called “Willem Van Bever” and told him that Paul Lemmen, the notorious fraudster, had just made a donation to TheRightPlanet. At this, “Van Bever”, who was Lemmen, once again trying to cover and simultaneously escalate the audacity of his latest con, told Sard that Lemmen was his ex-brother-in-law. Van Bever/Lemmen then told Sard that it was simply one of those “six degrees of separation things.”
Beginning to put two and two together, Sard contacted one of his regular readers who had sent gifts to the “dying” “Willem Van Bever.” Sure enough, the gifts were sent, at “Van Bever’s” instructions, “to Will, care of B. Lemmen”, at Lemmen’s address as shown on the PayPal donation profile form. The initial “B” stands for Lemmen’s purported wife, Barbara. Horrified, Sard immediately began eliminating and blocking Lemmen from TheRightPlanet.com. This purging of Lemmen, alias “Willem Van Bever” happened roughly around Christmas of 2011.
Approximately two weeks later in early January 2012, Lemmen’s latest persona iteration, “An Ex-Cons View” was born.
Apparently, Lemmen expects the world to believe that in the two weeks between being discovered as a fraud and ejected from TheRightPlanet.com blog and launching “An Ex-Con’s View” that he “came to Jesus” and is now a contrite, repentant, straight arrow who is now being targeted by SWATters, oh, and is also descending into renal failure, but is conveniently “improving a little bit in some areas.” That’s always how it is with the con-artist playing the “I’m dying” ruse. They have one foot in the grave, but are “doing better”, which is a narrative that allows them to string the con out for an indefinite period of time.
Oh, but there is more. Here is the little nugget that, in my estimation, is the working definition of “hoisting yourself with your own petard.”
Lemmen, trying to pick up lingo and jargon and become passable in conversation about Christianity, and specifically Catholicism, in order to con Christians into his scam, has begun lurking and commenting on Fr. John Zuhlsdorf’s excellent blog, WDTPRS.com . As an example, Lemmen has picked up Fr. Z.’s oft-used phrase “Nota Bene”, which is Latin and Italian for “Note well, “ or “pay attention.” Is that a sin? No, it isn’t. We all pick up words and phrases that we like and integrate them into our daily vernacular. But, most of us aren’t sociopathic con artists, either. Lemmen’s posts on WDTPRS.com are utterly transparent in their attempts to sound bona fide, but are utterly textbookish. I love how he claimed to have started praying the Breviary, which is quite time-consuming, “a few years ago”, er while he was in prison working at hard labor while morbidly ill? And, presumably he was likewise devoutly praying the Breviary all the while he was impersonating a black doctor dying of stage IV pancreatic cancer over on TheRightPlanet.com just last year? Apparently it wasn’t sinking in very well. Here is a link to that specific comment:
While doing Google searches to pick up key words and phrases to use in blog posts isn’t a sin in and of itself, what is a sin is telling big, steaming lies – bearing false witness about who you are and what your motives are. And, I believe Lemmen has done just that more than once on the WDTPRS.com blog. Get ready for this: On April 1, April 5 and April 16, 2012, Paul Lemmen stated on WDTPRS.com that he was an ordained Orthodox Bishop. Here are links to those three comments:
You know, it’s funny, but I can’t find anything regarding an Orthodox bishop of any stripe, anywhere, at any time, named Paul Lemmen. Being a bishop is a big job in the Orthodox church. I wonder when, exactly, Paul Lemmen had the time to be an Orthodox bishop? Was it while he was bouncing checks in Florida, or while he was working as an IT guy for all of those years? Was he defrocked before he got the job with Blue Iraq? Surely he must have some pictures from the old days, in his robes and skufia? Given that Lemmen is all about “going big” and being as audacious as possible in his cons, and seeing that he clearly likes wearing uniforms and claiming the highest rank he possibly can, it is no surprise that Lemmen is going big and audacious in his latest con – claiming to be a defrocked, illicitly ordained Orthodox deacon, priest and BISHOP! Brigadier General, Bishop, all that is left for Lemmen now is claiming to be hereditary royalty. Archduke of Lichtenstein, perhaps?
Lemmen has clearly identified Christians as the “perfect targets” for his grandest and most audacious con yet. As I laid out earlier, to prove to himself that he is the “slickest, most brilliant S.O.B. on the face of the earth,” he has decided to see if he can con the Body of Christ itself – or as close as he can get to it – using Christian doctrine as his primary weapon. He has laid out all of his past history of fraud and deceit, effectively handicapping himself from the get-go merely as a personal challenge to make the “game” more difficult, and now is telling Christians that if they do not accept him, believe everything he says and embrace him fully that they are “bad Christians” who do not “forgive those who trespass against us.” Lemmen thinks that if he can scam a bunch of Christians even after handicapping his own starting position, using their own doctrine against them, that he will be, in effect, conning God Himself. Behold the sociopath’s Olympic Gold Medal.
If Paul Lemmen experienced a Pauline-level conversion in the two weeks between being discovered and kicked off of TheRightPlanet.com and launching “An Ex-Con’s View”, then I’m Sidney Greenstreet.
Now to the reason why I saw fit to go ahead and write this all up at the behest of some terribly distraught bloggers. Lemmen appears to be setting up a very big and very audacious escalation. Lemmen is spinning a yarn that people are photographing him and that he is being threatened in association with his writing about Brett Kimberlin and the SWATting terrorism story. The fear that many people have is that Lemmen is going to claim or stage a SWATting event or some other dangerous escalation (perhaps arson), paint himself as a victim, perhaps then start begging for money, be exposed as a liar who SWATted himself or was otherwise responsible for whatever escalation event he has in mind, and then poison the well of public opinion and make impossible the gaining of any traction on the issue. Beyond that, he will hand the leftist-terrorist movement a massive propaganda coup. Look! This crazy conservative wingnut SWATted himself! They’re all a bunch of liars and con-artists!
As we have seen, Lemmen has a history of concocting wild victimization stories. He claimed under the “Willem Van Bever retired black doctor from Atlanta dying of stage IV pancreatic cancer” persona last year to have been called a “nigger” at daily Mass, and told a reader of witnessing the lynching of his cousin as a child. He previously accused Donald Rumsfeld of wiping his identity and his past in retaliation for “refusing to spy” for Rumsfeld. This, of course, was a cover story while he was trying to talk his way out of his crimes in Iraq. While in Iraq impersonating a General, Lemmen claimed to have been in three IED attacks. Guys, the “Van Bever” lies were just a few months ago. Come on. Lemmen’s act of inserting himself into the SWATting story is fully congruent with his past history of escalating and increasing the audacity of his cons while trying to cast himself as a victim.
Our Lord told us that we must be wise as serpents as we negotiate this world. Gullibility is not a virtue. Naiveté is not a virtue. Getting rolled by con-artists doesn’t make you a good Christian or prove any theological point about redemption. It makes you dumb, and it makes the con-artist happy. Justice is a virtue. Prudence is a virtue. The Holy Spirit gifts us with Wisdom, Understanding and Right Judgment. We all need to apply those virtues and gifts right now and nip this Paul Lemmen nonsense in the bud, and not be put on some guilt trip when we do it. You people who are linking to this guy are being played like concertinas, and I can promise you that if Lemmen continues to be linked, supported, praised and enabled, this mess is going to escalate and end very, very badly. I suspect that Lemmen’s motives are slightly more about asserting his sociopathic, narcissistic manipulations on other people just to prove to himself that he can, and to feed his ego, than they are about money, but I wouldn’t put anything past him. And if our suspicions are correct, this guy could ultimately put lives at risk by sending the whole movement to stop the terror tactic of SWATting butt-over-teakettle.
Wise up, people. End the Paul Lemmen con once and for all. Stop drinking the Lemmen-ade.
Note from BigFurHat:
Sard and TheRightPlanet contributors and readers were severely damaged by Paul Lemmen in many ways, and are continuing to try and repair their rightful good name. As a champion of the young site I corresponded via e-mail with Poison To Libs often. When I got word of his diagnosis of stage 4 pancreatic cancer it hit me unusually hard. Sometimes these internet acquaintances effect you more deeply because we tend to fill in the missing parts with bits and pieces of known characters in our lives.
When I learned that it was all a hoax I became even more cynical and misanthropic. This is what Paul Lemmen leaves in his wake.
To date, Paul Lemmen has never contacted Sard to apologize, explain, redeem or make amends.
Ironically, I was an early champion of an Ex-Con’s View, linking often. When it was revealed to me that this site was actually run by the man who led me to believe he was dying of pancreatic cancer I e-mailed Lemmen and explained exactly why he was being cut off from iOwnTheWorld. Specifically, it was because redemption takes time.
This is a portion of an e-mail I sent to Paul Lemmen last night –
Frankly, I think you are probably the last person that should be recruited for intel gathering considering that the right is trying to make the case that Kimberlin is an ex-con that has been foolishly embraced by the left establishment and hasn’t displayed enough repentance to be trusted.
And if you’ve done this entirely on your own it’s not really helping things because you add another dozen or so layers to an already difficult story to sort out, and it opens the right up to a similar charge that we are leveling at the left – that cozying up to operatives with baggage is not exactly draining the swamp.
At the very least it muddies the swamp.
To be fair, the Ali (Akbar) revelation was distressing in that all of that info should have been aired openly when he was vetted and cleared by the powerbrokers. Having the left seemingly break the story can only help the Kimberlin cabal. But, honestly, it was strange to hear you asking him to step down for the good of appearance. “Step-off” is something that could be asked of you without be too far afoul.
Whatever shakes out for you I hope it doesn’t cause you distress if you are truly repentant.
But I advised you way back when, in so many words, to move slowly. You’re going way too fast here considering where you have been no more than a year ago, and the particular circumstances and current events you’ve seized upon is the perfect storm to make things more complicated for you at a time when you should be thinking about your ills, your wife’s health and your road to redemption.
Just my two cents. You once said you respected me as a blogger. I hope you respect this opinion as well.
From TRP: Yesterday, I was honored and privileged to speak to none other than Ann Barnhardt and BigFurHat of IOwnTheWorld.com on the phone. The topic of conversation was regarding a certain individual that can only be described as despicable–Paul H. Lemmen–a lying, stolen-valor military imposter, con man and felon.
Unfortunately, I have had the displeasure of encountering Paul H. Lemmen. And, yes, he even duped me for a bit. This guy is not your run-of-the-mill con man. He actually made his way onto a military base in Iraq masquerading as an Army Major in 2005. It wasn’t just any base in Iraq, either; it was special operations group he infiltrated. He was eventually arrested, but the fact he ever set foot on the base in the first place is about as audacious as it gets. And that is Lemmen’s mode of operation: audacity, audacity, audacity!
Astonishingly, even after being exposed numerous times for being a fraud, fake vet, phony Christian and unrepentant liar, Lemmen continues to raise the ante. What I heard on the Dana Loesch Show this past Thursday (June 14, 2012) maybe me about drive off the road: Dana took a call from none other than Paul H. Lemmen! He had been communicated with Loesch on Twitter. He is injecting himself into the Brett Kimberlin affair and the very serious issue of SWATing. He even used my own research on Hegelian Dialectics to make a point regarding the Left’s narrative! He plugged his blog on-air and claimed he was an ex-con who is in the process of “redeeming himself.” NONSENSE! He’s doing what he has always done–con! My advice: disengage with this lying, stolen valor felon ASAP!
I would like to express my eternal gratitude to Ann Barnhardt and BigFurHat for their support and excellent work in helping to expose this fraud.