Friday, August 22, 2008

Offline, IRL Troll

Pastor Michael Guglielmucci spun gospel of lies
Duped Christians want their money back

Short story (shocking for this site, we know):

"{Pastor} Michael Guglielmucci, who inspired hundreds of thousands of young Christians with his terminal cancer 'battle', has been exposed as a fraud."

"Earlier this year, Mr Guglielmucci released a hit song, Healer , which was featured on Sydney church Hillsong's latest album.

The song debuted at No. 2 on the ARIA charts.

It since has become an anthem of faith for believers, many of whom are suffering their own illness and were praying for a miracle for Mr Guglielmucci, who has claimed for two years to be terminally ill."

He went so far as to deceive his own wife and family for those two years, convincing them he was dying as well.

He is purportedly getting medical assistance for his mental ailments.

The videos are gone off of YouTube, and his Facebook and MySpace pages are gone too, but you can still find mp3s of "Healer" around the 'net.


We have been informed that the money has been returned to the people who donated to PayPal. It was sent by Gina to Paul, who credited the money through the donor's PayPal accounts. If you have not received a refund, please let us know. If you sent Gina gifts or donations privately, you might want to contact her personally about returning those.

On another note, when the CF community was told their donations were going to be returned, many asked that the money be donated to other CF causes. They said they had intended the money to be a donation, and they maintained they still felt that way.

We do not know anyone with CF, but can imagine the monumental cost of the health care associated with it, especially when a transplant is involved. We assume that young adults with CF hit their insurance benefit maximums fairly quickly.

And yet, despite everything, from the cost of their own care to the events that have unraveled this week, they continue to donate money to others.

What a fantastic group of people.

**Edited to add:**

If you would like to make a donation yourself, we have attached a link to the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation's donation page. If anyone knows of any other non-personal CF organizations that need or accept donations, please let us know by email or comments, and we will add it here as well.

Cystic Fibrosis Foundation
Cystic Fibrosis Research, Inc
University of Minnesota - Fairview
Cystic Fibrosis Trust (UK)
Live Life Then Give Life (UK)

Wednesday, August 20, 2008


remorse (n) - "deep and painful regret for wrongdoing; compunction."


Anti-social personality - Also called a psychopath, or a sociopath, this person is superficially charming and a habitual liar, has no regard for others, shows no remorse after hurting them, has no shame for behaving in an outrageously objectionable manner, and is unable to form relationships and take responsibility.
Dept. Social Services, Missouri


"Many authors have also underscored the co-occurrence (or causal role?) of some pathological personality traits and/or disorders.

In this vein the acceptance and even search of "heavy" diagnostic and therapeutic procedures was related to masochistic traits.

Identity disturbance, unstable interpersonal relationships and recurrent suicidal or self-mutilating behaviors are similar to those encountered in borderline personality disorder.

Deceitfulness, lack of remorse, reckless disregard for safety of self, repeated failure to sustain constant work behavior and failure to conform social norms are common features of factitious disorder and antisocial personality disorder."


"Pathological lying was originally defined as complex lies which are internally consistent, that may drag on for years and-- and this is the key point-- do not have an obvious purpose or gain. They are not lies told to self-aggrandize, or minimize guilt. They're not trying to con you into or out of anything. They're just making crap up."


"Most definitions of lying refer to the deliberate communication of information believed to be false and intended to deceive (although terms such as "the whole truth" and being "economical with the truth" suggest that the inclusion of false information is not necessary to the concept of lying in its wider aspects). Thus, patients who communicate false information in the context of a range of psychiatric states, such as when they are confabulating, have delusional memory, or are demented, are not lying because they are not deliberately misleading us."

In a previous post, we commented on a lack of remorse from Gina for those people hurt by "Pepe". Originally, this angered everyone here at DWT very much. It appears now that this might be part of Munchausen Syndrome, according to one common theory. Other theories discuss the connection between Munchausen and antisocial personality disorder.

Non-experts refer to Munchausen as the pathological liar's medically-diagnosed mental illness defense.

Regardless of what you call it, the outcome is bleak. There aren't medications/legal actions/therapies alone/magic words that will cure or stop this behavior. The only person who can stop it is Gina herself, with or without the help of what all the experts agree is "intense psychotherapy."

We received an email from a real-life friend of Gina's, letting us know that if Gina committed suicide because of our "witch hunt", she would hold us personally responsible. We were going to reply to her privately, but decided we needed to share our thoughts with anyone interested.

We find death threats, as well as suicide threats, unreasonable and childish, as we stated before.

With that laid out, we would like to point out we have not outed a private person. Gina, as Pepe, put her story out there for everyone to read. She approached other people, and she, through her own admission, went to Paul and others as "Blake" about raising funds to send "Pepe" a Wii while she was in the hospital.

In doing so, she has made herself a public figure - a celebrity of sorts. We are still debating whether she could be labeled a "general purpose" or "limited purpose" public figure. Since nothing we have said here is untrue or knowingly false, we haven't done anything wrong.

How you feel about us listing all facts in one convenient place, and allowing people to comment on them depends on who you are and how you learned about this - as a friend of Gina Fiorentino, or as a friend of "Pepe". The information in this blog is evidence-supported facts, and the facts are not nice, for either group involved.

Next, we would like to point out that Gina first appeared on the Internet as a girl with CF in 1997. Another person who knows Gina says that the police were involved, and the ACMEpet boards were permanently shut down because of this, which our research has confirmed. However, Gina was a minor, and nothing came from it.

Since then, we have three other known times that Gina was "outed" for her lies. But still, two years ago, Gina resurfaced as "Blake", then "Pepe", on the most current boards.

This is not a first-time offender. And this time, she pursued money and gifts. Obviously, were Gina going to get help on her own, she would have done it before "Pepe". We have no doubts that had "Friends of Pepe" successfully disappeared, Gina would have been on to her next victims. She was already found in the Tuberculosis rooms, as well as Asperger's rooms.

We were accused of contacting the people in Gina's life, her employers and whatnot, and of giving out her contact information. We assure you, we did no such thing. We supplied readers with her name, usernames, and the city she lived in. What they did with that information is beyond our control.

The people we contacted are listed in this blog - those personally affected by, or directly doing business with, Gina Fiorentino.

Gina is the only person capable of breaking the vicious cycles she has been building for the past decade. Will she? Who knows. At 25, we maintain that she is still young, and getting help now is a blessing in disguise.

We are all given one chance to live, and since Gina has been blessed with a perfectly healthy body, she has the opportunity to turn her life around and start living a full life she (and her family and friends) can be proud of when her time to leave does come.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008


Several readers have asked today about the hospital "Pepe" was allegedly staying at - Fairview at the University of Minnesota. We weren't aware it had been mentioned, but looking at caches shows it was. The hospital was not only used, but greatly abused, and readers were asking if there was a possibility for a defamation suit. There were many instances where the care there was questioned, even by FOP.

Monday, June 2, 2008

It has been another trying week for Pepe. For three days, she was vented but not making much progress. At the time of the intubation, her PaCO2 was well into the 90s, a record for her and nearly impossible to bear. Her O2 sat was 82, her fever 103. She resisted the vent as always, but numbers like these and the suffering they cause eventually have their way. By the second day, her PaCO2 was still in the 70s, and she became concerned that she wasn't bouncing back as usual. Then she reminded herself that she had much more ground to cover this time, having let the CO2 levels rise so high, and toward the end of the third day, her values began to look encouraging. The next day the doctors pulled the vent. So Pepe is nearly tube-free now -- sans chest or breathing hoses -- but her respiration remains labored and her fevers high, sometimes over 104. Yesterday, one fever spike prompted a grand mal seizure, an obviously frightening event, though one Pepe doesn't remember. In addition, she discovered her PICC line was infected, possibly leading to more sepsis. Lab cultures are growing. Today she met with her CF doctor to demand more answers, more aggression, and more ideas. Why are her sensitivities three weeks old while she's spiking 104.5 fevers? What, if any, is Pepe's pathway out of this mess? Through whose OR? Wednesday she meets with the transplant team to discuss what it actually takes to get new lungs at Fairview. None of this badgering is Pepe's style, especially when she feels like hell, but this is the Week of Truth. Let's send her the strength and confidence to be able to get the answers she needs.
Sunday, June 29, 2008

Pepe was vented at 3 this morning after her doctors let her choke on her own lungs for over three hours, listening to all her monitors screech, refusing to help. It was an awful night, very nearly the final night -- too sad even to detail here. Too sad and too screwed-up for words. Sorry.


Sunday, July 27, 2008
Day Twenty-five

Sorry to report no improvement tonight. Pepe is in a great deal of pain, the worst thus far. For some reason, the weekend staff is skeptical of her complaints, contending that she is experiencing morphine withdrawal rather than legitimate pain. This far out, they say, such discomfort is abnormal. But Pepe did not have a normal transplant, which alone would be liable to cause substantial pain three weeks out. Instead, she was cracked open four times, the last time not long ago. She has had eight chest tubes -- over a small being's surface area -- and still retains three. And of course, she has incisions she has yet even to see or know the nature of. We can tell from experience, from the accuracy of Pepe's descriptions, and from the brute reality of what her body has endured over twenty five days that her pain is real, unembellished, and that she is on the edge of sanity for that single, entirely understandable reason. She is neither weak nor a drug-seeker. We've witnessed this over many months, when Pepe's moribund cystic lungs disallowed her from taking even sedatives during invasive procedures, let alone pain meds. She has proven her mettle. This is still your tough little nut, and she is resisting bravely as always. But she is miserable. She is suffering.

Tomorrow, she will take up the issue with her primary doctors and hopefully get some relief. Often it's a simple matter of exchanging one narcotic for another or adjusting doses. In the meantime, Pepe must get through the night. Her fever is way up, 103, probably an indication of the stress her pain is causing. Her O2 and PaCO2 are unchanged, 90 and 53 respectively. She is on ten liters via cannula, though she is having some trouble breathing through her nose. There was no X-ray today, so we'll learn the status of her pneumonia tomorrow, hoping for some improvement from the new drug cocktail. But for now, there are hours to overcome, a new narcotic dose at 2 am, and with luck, some sleep afterward. This is an incredibly tough process. It almost has to be experienced to be believed. Maybe that's one of the problems this weekend. But Pepe is -- entirely of her own volition -- committed to seeing this through with poise and dignity, despite whatever disbelief she encounters. For this, we stand in admiration. But we wish her more comfort and rest tonight.

We have not contacted the hospital, and don't know anything about the requirements for a defamation suit, or if they would pursue one. One reader did contact Fairview, though, and asked us to share their email as a post:

I simply wish to alert the medical staff of an online scam. For many months now, a girl who went by the name of "Gina" and her friend, Paul have been blogging about Gina's health crisis with cystic fibrosis. Many readers believed her to be in the care of the University of Minnesota. The posts were painfully descriptive, detailing the struggles of a girl seemingly on her deathbed. The site has since been shut down, but it was and entries can be recovered as the operator of the site, Paul, did not secure the postings.

"Gina" relayed information to Paul that made the medical staff seem incompetent at times. So far it doesn't appear anyone has turned down a transplant because of her scheme, but people have been thinking twice about the level of care offered at your facility and I think you have a right to know. Please forward this along to whomever it may concern.

The Google spiders are finally hitting the Friends of Pepe site, and pages are beginning to disappear. Before they do, we pulled down the second picture on the Friends of Pepe site, and are asking for anyone who might know her to identify her. We're not sure this is the same person as in the head shot used on the site:

From Pepsi

Dear Down With Trolls,

Your e-mail has been forwarded to my attention.

Thank you for taking the time to contact us at Pepsi-Cola and sharing the information with us about Gina Johnson.
You can be certain that we will pass your e-mail along to the appropriate people here at headquarters.

Again, thanks for your message and for sharing your thoughts.

Robin Harris
Senior Consumer Relations Representative

Monday, August 18, 2008


"It is obvious Gina has no idea how many people she has affected, nor to the extent. She seems mainly concerned that she will no longer be able to have that dream relationship with Paul now that she has been found out."

"I know last night a friend of mine was speaking to her and described it as "odd". It seems that she has no remorse and just makes excuses for her actions. ("I have Asperger's", "I did it so Paul would love me"... etc.)"

S: why when you knew the truth was coming out
S: why didn't you come clean?
JedisDreamAPHA: i didnt want it to end with paul, i have never loved anyone the way i love him
S: Gina do you plan to ever come and tell all of us your sorry?
JedisDreamAPHA: yes, just not yet
JedisDreamAPHA: i'm just grieving right now
S: grieving for what?
JedisDreamAPHA: i love paul, i know i have lost him, and these people are out to get him and it's all my fault, so yeah, i'm grieving
JedisDreamAPHA: i spent over 6,000, yes six thousand, minutes on the phone with him every month

Just some of the things sent to us by friends of Gina. Other readers have found her on Pet Loss boards, Tuberculosis communities, Asperger's communities, other CF groups, and so on.

Gina has made her way around.

As we stated, we have contacted the authorities. We have given the evidence we have, and looked into Munchausen by Internet and Asperger's. We have disgusted both people who knew "Pepe", and didn't know her, in what we have found. And many people who know Gina in person have confronted her.

But there is no remorse.

This was from Gina herself, about the comments in "Shape-Shifting," while the picture of the young woman who died from CF was still posted:

"The Wii money has been paypal'd back to Paul so he can repay the donators. Also, I did research Marc Feldman online, we spoke via email briefly, I ordered a book of his online and he sent me a list of psychiatrists near me, a couple of which I have contacted."

Not a word of remorse, even for the young woman, or her family and friends.

We have done what we set out to do - we have exposed Pepe as a fake, and set a community free of her hold. We have exposed Gina as a troll in many locations, and Paul is now responsible financially for "Friends of Pepe."

There are still many things we don't know, the one weighing on our minds the most being how a person can act the way Gina has and not feel any remorse.

We're certain people will continue to find many other trollish activities Gina has been involved in, and by all means, please keep posting them, but other than filling you in on what authorities tell us, we can't do anything else for Gina.

She is lacking a component that makes her truly human.

If any other details come out regarding anything else about "Friends of Pepe," we'll be happy to share them. But unless we come across something about Gina in regards to her using another person's likeness, or other monetary scams, we think this post, and the below, should suffice in exposing the kind of person she is.

Sunday, August 17, 2008


We were sent this photo of Gina, aka JedisDreamAPHA, that she sent to members of an AOL chat in November, 2007. We compared this to pictures we have of her from 2007, and it appears she has changed forms again.


People who knew "SS" are crushed about this latest development, and we feel it's warranted to pull down her picture, and not cause anymore pain to those who lost her.

Our goal was to identify her, and we have done that. As for her friend on the right, we will email the picture to friends of Gina's and ask if she is Gina. We will also wait for a response from someone who knew SS and can verify that the young woman in the picture IS from Florida and still resides there.

We are doing this out of respect for SS's family and friends. Hopefully everyone can understand that.

Here's the text that was with the picture:

"a few weeks ago at ~78 pounds, so a little heavier than i am now, and quite stoned looking lol"

Can anyone help us identify this sweet girl? She is obviously not well, and we're fairly certain she did not give Gina permission to use her likeness.

An Update

We have not received another email from Paul. We are giving him an opportunity to address you himself.

We have yet to locate the Wii.

We have the contact information for the Pepsi representative, but it's a weekend, so we don't expect to talk to them until Monday.

We have been contacted by a local news channel, but are debating waiting to talk to them until after we talk to officials.

Evidence has not surfaced that Gina and Paul knew each other in real life.

We turned anonymous comments off after a flurry of unrelated comments came in bashing another blog. Please stick to the topic at hand.

If there is anything/anyone who would like to contribute anything to our growing file, please let us know. If you would rather not share with us, and want to give it directly to officials, email us, and we'll give them your contact information.

And with that, you have the most boring post in the history of blogs. We'll update again tomorrow, but tonight it's bed time.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

From Gina

(no subject)

This is Gina.

Paul is completely 100% innocent and has not done a thing wrong here, but try to help a friend. He knew nothing about my lies until just this Friday morning, after this blog was started and my story came to question. I knew I was discovered and admitted everything. I made the entire thing up.

So, no, Paul did not mastermind anything. Everything he wrote on FOP is was based on information I gave him, either as myself or posing as "Blake". Please stop all accusations towards him, he has done nothing wrong. In fact, he went above and beyond to do the right things, all the time.

I am really sorry for the pain I've caused to everyone. I am paying back those I owe. I am seeking professional help. I got a referral from Dr. Marc F**** to some psychiatrists here, I have contacted them and should hear back from them the next business day. Again, I am really sorry for lying and causing such emotional pain and mistrust, and for making people question others in the future, and the transplant process. I never set out to hurt anybody, and I ended up hurting those I cared about the most.

I'm asking for forgiveness, not that I deserve it. I really am seeking the professional help I need and am going to give it my all.


Thank you, Gina. As we replied to her, this is no doubt one of the hardest things she has been confronted with, and while she may hate us right now, hopefully she will come to be thankful that someone (a whole SITE of someones, thank you Troll Busters!!) held her accountable, and made her clean up her life.

We know the true skeptics may doubt the validity of this email, but there's not a lot we can do for them at this point. We have an email from Paul as well. Updates to come.

Proof Paul isn't Gina F.

Here's our findings, and the proof we have that Gina F is real, and involved with this scheme. This post is solely about Gina. We have stated we haven't found a link to Paul knowing this person in person, and are still asking for viable proof he did know her. Until that time, we work with what we've got and can tangibly prove. We would also like to add that the original goal was to prove that Pepe did not exist, so yes, more time has been vested in Gina than Paul.

We were very careful to triple check everything we had, and even gave the evidence to other people for review before posting the first blog about "Friends of Pepe" to make sure that we had our ducks in a row:

Gina Fiorentino, identified in many pictures across horse riding sites, as well as competitions/shows and photos by professional photographers, owns two horses, registered to her, by the names of Gracie and Chipotle, and her email address for shows is listed as This same person is identified across the horse riding forums as chipngrace. Her email address with those accounts is This same email address is connected to her YouTube account, which displays videos of her riding as late as July 31.

This same email address and username are registered to Gina's fotki account, and her MySpace account, where she is friends with a woman whose images were used as "Pepe" on the "Friends of Pepe" site. We have found no connection to this person to Paul or anything else and believe this person is not involved. As of yesterday afternoon, she was still fiercely protecting her friend, and cursing us.

Within an hour of the "Friends of Pepe" site coming down, all sites registered to Gina's email address came down. Now, unless Paul has broken into her AOL account or is really the woman on the horses below, Gina exists and was quickly covering her tracks.

Gifts and money were sent to "Gina Johnson" at her parents' residence (whose last name is not Johnson, but Fiorentino) in Minnesota by CFers in the last few months. Her parents' residence and last name has been verified again today as the same address "Gina Johnson/Pepe" gave as her address to these people.

This same user, chipngrace, has made comments about her CF boyfriend (below), and referenced Paul on her MySpace account. One commenter noted that Gina made Pepe up because she had fallen in love with Paul, and she didn't believe he would love her back. It would be interesting to know if Paul knew she was parading around as her girlfriend.

We have more, but hopefully that clears up any doubts.

We have seen comments and received emails about CFers actually debating whether or not to go through with a transplant after reading Pepe's story, and it infuriates us to think that that could have been a consequence of that damn blog. Thank God no one has come forward to say they turned down a transplant because of Pepe.

A few commenters have mentioned that they know someone Gina F. confessed to in person, and we're glad to hear it. It's a step in the right direction for her. If you know of her getting help, we would like to hear about that as well.

Other commenters cannot believe the malice of the DWT blog itself and its commenters. We have some thoughts. First, we are playing the "Friends of Pepe" hoaxers at their own game. We have taken them on in their home court. They chose to expose themselves, and so we exposed the troll.

Second, we did draw a line. Gina is an adult, and we treated her as one, who was caught in this horrendous lie. We contacted the sites where her username was being used with a general comment to the effects of her being a troll, and a link to this site. We contacted the young woman we visually know as Pepe, because she had a right to know Gina was using her pictures, and we contacted a few bloggers who had asked what happened to the "Friends of Pepe" site. We did not contact her family or her workplace, or reveal her contact information. If they have been informed or that information has been used, it came from another source. But again, playing at her own game. Pepe's story spread, just as Gina's has.

We are glad the malice is here. Be angry, let it out. We are a blog that was started in anger, literally having to "walk it off" because hands were shaking, and used this blog to expose a very well-composed lie.

We would rather people take their anger out here than on the CF community, or on other CF bloggers. We have received a few emails from other people who have had trolls on their sites, stealing content, even pictures of their babies, and some are truly bitter. Their troll was never exposed. And just like Gina, who was quietly exposed years ago on another board as "Blake" for the same game, their trolls have moved on to someone else.

Knowing that those people are out there lessens our Internet communities and faith in people, and makes us sick. It's time we take these punks on at their own game.

What we need

A lot of people want proof that Paul didn't know Gina. It's easy to say no, he didn't, but much harder to find evidence he did. If it exists, you can help us.

We have had people searching for two days now to find anything that states whether or not Gina and Paul have met in person, and we haven't found anything yet. We don't think the picture of the larger woman from Paul's flickr account was Gina, because the faces were different. Gina's gallery had pictures of Paul, but none of them together. Paul's flickr account had no pictures of Gina, just of her friend we knew visually as "Pepe."

If ANYONE has an email, or post from Paul/Pepe/Blake/Gina that states they were together, please send it on. If you have pictures of Paul and the pictured young lady we knew as "Pepe" together, please send it on.

And if anyone can have the boards re-instate Gina's posts on their board, that would be infinitely helpful.

For just one user name, Gina had almost 700 posts on one board. We know now she had many user names, on many forums. In fact some of the most damming evidence against Gina came from her posts on these forums, some of which people sent to us. If you find anything that connects these two by something other than phone or email, please send it.

The boards have agreed to help us by keeping all content that is currently there up, but if you find something, PLEASE screen shot or download it as well. There are no guarantees it will stay that way.

Cease Fire

Good morning Troll Squashers,

We hope you all were able to get more sleep last night, and have started the process of putting Pepe behind you. Like most diligent readers have commented, Pepe's was one of the first blogs we read in the morning, and always the last one we checked before bed. After 36 hours of "detective work" yesterday, a good night of sleep was appreciated here!

We received an email from Paul, the contents of which are not available for posting at this time, but we feel we will be able to share with you his sentiments very soon. Until then, we ask the readers of DWT to please cease and desist on the death threats aimed at Paul. Regardless of how knowledgeable you think him to be about Gina, he is still a weak man, whose constitution could do without being attacked by so many.

We do not share these sentiments in regards to Gina.

As we lack the ability to read minds, we aren't sure what the FBI and media will do with this story. Yes, it is purportedly a small amount of money, but even a small amount makes this a case of fraud, and worthy of an investigation. And that says nothing to any other aspect of the fraud readers of FOP were confronted with. We'll do some more digging and see what we can find in precedented cases.

According to the "Friends of Pepe" site, there were 40 donations made to the Wii cause in December, and a handful of people have commented that they donated afterwards as well. We know from the blog that some of this money went to the CFRI as a donation in Gina's name.

As a result, we need to know what the donors want to do. We personally do not think it fair to ask for a refund from the CFRI. But we do believe every penny that went to Gina would/should be reimbursed to the readers who donated. Since we can not differentiate whose money went where, would the donors of FOP be open to sending the funds as a second donation to the CFRI? And if so, who do you want it to be from/for?

The CF community has suffered this week, and believe they will suffer more in the name of "Pepe" when it comes to donations and support. Making a donation to the CFRI, to the authorities who will dispense it within an organization of people who do need it feels, to us here at DWT, like a way for those who were used by ONE person to still show their support for the many who are suffering as Pepe depicted she was.

Thank you for your continued support in our decision to keep this blog running. We have questioned the need for it now that the truth is out, but feel we should publicly see this through to the "end." Who knows, maybe we, and our handy detective Troll Exposers can make this a place where we continue to do justice for other communities victimized by trolls.

**Edited to add - we posted this in the comments but thought it worthy of adding here:

We're not one-sided, just lacking evidence in any other accusation.

We have worked very hard to post only what we have evidence to support.

And we support not making death threats to a physically ill man, as extreme stress can be excessively destructive.

Gina is not physically ill, which there is evidence to support, so we do not share the same sentiments in regards to her. **We would also like to add that death threats to anyone are childish, uncalled for, and we think illegal. What we were trying to convey is we here at DWT think Gina's healthy physical constitution is more capable of handling your anger and the stress that accompanies it. Sorry for the misinterpretation.**

No one here is a member of the CF community, but after reading the hundreds of comments and emails from "cystics", their plight and concern over what this has done/is doing to their community has tugged at our heartstrings.

If good can come from this for these innocent bystanders, then we fully support that.

Friday, August 15, 2008

From Paul - The Truth

"This must be the hardest thing I've ever had to write. I am posting it here because this community is the one that supported me so ardently during my struggle and that stood up for Pepe at the expense of many bannings. It is a trusting community for the most part, willing to welcome and support other cystics for no other reason than that they are cystics and share a painful bond that is almost like no other. That trust sometimes gets tested, but it remains the key to sustaining a community where people can seldom meet but often discuss some of their most guarded secrets. As you have written in the past, it is a risky intimacy, given the nature of the Internet. But it is a necessary one in a world in which cystics' cultures are screened before they are admitted even to research conferences.

Today, my trust was breached in a way I can hardly convey. The consequence is that yours was violated as well. Pepe confessed to me after much prodding that she has been propagating a series of lies, that no transplant ever occurred, that no transplant was even in question, that Blake does not exist, and that Pepe has in fact been at home most of this year rather than in ICU as I described in FOP. This makes a moron of me, of course, and a farce of FOP, which 275,000 visitors took at face value for many months. It mocks the hardship I have personally faced, having actually been at 12 percent, as well as the battles many of you wage on a daily basis. It mocks the readers who wept literal tears over her drama, who worried, and who placed their full trust in what was, admittedly, a compelling story. But the story was not true.

The critics will claim I was the mastermind all along. Let them indulge in their troublemaking, which seems to be their main motive. But please know that no one has shed more tears over Pepe's fictional saga or suffered more from this betrayal than I have. As you know, I spent this year in a dual role: trying to help Pepe make it to "transplant," staying up till all hours with her, while simultaneously trying to recover from my own. Some of you know how well this turned out. But worse than the loss of lung function, I feel the loss of a great friend, at least in the capacity I enjoyed previously. Pepe is not a bad person but is certainly a severely troubled one and admits as much. She deeply regrets what happened. But she knows she has no one to blame but herself and that she has hurt many people, including those closest to her. Perhaps this will be the beginning of her liberation from self-deception and the terrible unhappiness that causes it.

I wish for healing: healing in this community, and healing for Pepe, who must learn to accept herself with the same kind of trust and openness with which this group accepts new cystics. To the extent that I enabled her delusions, I apologize to everyone involved. But the delusions were elaborate and well-executed, down to writing a blog against herself from "Blake," and so I never suspected a thing. To those who continue to attack her (and me) for this, perhaps your anger is justified. But I urge you to let it pass, as all anger must. I, for one, am filled with only sadness."

It is sad that something like this blog was necessary to force a fraud to conceed, but we are relieved that the truth has surfaced and healing, as Paul said, can begin.

This does not change our path forward with authorities, as we feel a "slap on the wrist" is not what Gina needs at this juncture, as an adult who has done this before and who obviously needs help. The financial aspect aside, it would also be nice to set a precedent for others who devalue people as Gina has in this virtual world of ours.

And Paul, we here at DWT will be praying for your healing most of all.

Still here

There have been some interesting theories floating around. One that Paul used Gina without her knowledge, which we're not buying since she was quick to shut down her YouTube, MySpace, and picture gallery.

There's another that Gina used Paul. We might be able to buy this a bit more.

But again, it's all speculation. Regardless, we know that Gina, whether it was alone or with an accomplice, used us.

We have added our email address on the right, and welcome any information you would want to pass on that would shed light on this story, or help investigators later on.

We're reading all comments that come in, and we'll give you more information as we get it.

Just to be clear

Wow. We hit the sack for an hour or so and the site is ambushed by "Anonymous." He's one busy guy.

A few comments:

Will the person who knows Gina, and states she has done this before, please provide us with more information?

Gina and Paul have both been to this site already (obviously). They have no way to disprove anything we have said, otherwise they would have. If anyone could have disproved this with a recent photo of Pepe, or a comment from someone who had sat with Pepe, wouldn't they have done so already?

A few answers from the comments section:

We did not make any leaps in information. Everything was verifiable when "Friends of Pepe" first came down yesterday, and we took screen shots at that time. Since Gina Fiurentino/Fiorentino (the large woman on the horse) and Paul were pulling things down as fast as we could put the pieces together, we decided to open this blog. They cannot take it down, and therefore they cannot escape their con work.

We have no doubts that Paul suffers from CF, and had a double-lung transplant. If he's managed to fool our analyzation on that point, then he's damn good.

Pepe, the sweet CF double-lung transplant patient, does not exist. She is a figment of Gina Fiurentino/Fiorentino's imagination, and she used the pictures of one of Gina's best friends as our "Pepe." AS OF NOW, we would like to say this is a two-man job, and the best friend was just a pawn in their schemes. We will let you know if that train of thought changes.

Paul (aka Q/clamshellmuni) is, by admittance of Gina Fiurentino/Fiorentino, in a relationship with Gina, who is the owner of Gracie and Chipotle, and was riding them as recently as July 31. We have this in several posts and videos across different sites.

Why are we anonymous? Why are you anonymous? We have just publicly "outed" someone guilty of online fraud who has, even worse, toyed with the hearts and prayers of over 275,000 readers. You think they might be a little angry? Maybe when they are charged, we'll let you know who we are. Until then, we're protecting ourselves and our families.

There is nothing we found that someone else didn't find first (and post on the "Friends of Pepe" blog), or send to us, or find in conjunction with when we found it. We just put the pieces together and decided to share what we found with the people who cared about Pepe. Additionally, there is nothing we haven't said we can't back up with screen shots, email addresses, blog posts.

We are in the process of turning this all over to the FBI in Chicago, since Paul is the mastermind behind the FOP site and was in Chicago. This is a Federal issue, as it crosses many state lines (Gina is in MN, Paul is not, and donors came from everywhere), and we'll let you know if they decide lawyers should get involved as well.

We have the original list of contributors to the "Friends of Pepe" cause, and will be turning that list over to the FBI as well.

Lastly, why did we do this? Because people like this, trolls, make the Internet and the world less human and less trustworthy. We lost a relative and friend to a different genetic, fatal disease, and the thought of someone taking advantage of our loved one when he was ill, wasting his strength and prayers on scum who prey on the accepting, makes us want to bash heads against sharp, pointy objects. "Friends of Pepe" has robbed a precious group of people of something very sacred to them - their community, and robbed the rest of us of love and money.

Why should a person, or two persons, like that be allowed to skiphop away happy and free? They put themselves on display, making themselves "public figures." Therefore they are open to any and all invasions of privacy. We have not done so with malice, nor have we stated any known falsehoods. Therefore, they have brought this on themselves, legally and morally.

We stand by our decision to keep this blog up.

Due Diligence

It appears we're not the only ones up early this morning surfing the Web!! Gina, and most likely Paul, have been hard at work emailing the boards involved to have all remnants of "Pepe" and this story removed.

Kudos to our anonymous Troll Annihilator who put in the hours this morning spreading the word as "chipngraceisafake". Job well done.

We are currently researching online fraud lawyers in the Minnesota and greater Chicago areas. When an acceptable candidate is found, we will release their information, so those who suffered monetary fraud can pursue reimbursement.

It's a shame there's no compensation for emotional fraud.

Gina will never be "in the clear," no matter how many crocodile tears she sheds, or times she succeeds in covering her tracks. Her name is branded here. Her story will live on this site, as will the truth of "Friends of Pepe."

When future employers Google her name, they will see this. Old classmates, childhood friends, church members, parents, grandparents? They will find her name, their shame, here. Unless proven innocent.

Please spread the word, and link, and keep this blog traveling. Pepe had many admirers, and the more ears we reach, the better.

A Connection Made

From Gina, as chipngrace, on one of the horse forums:

"I just wanted to emphasize the financial situations for those in need of lung transplants. My SO is 42 and has cystic fibrosis and had a double lung transplant in October. He is a college professor with good insurance that paid for it, however, there are SO many costs not covered by insurance, he's been forced to do fundraising as well. Even post tx, he has several lab and clinic appointments each week with co-pays. He had to move into a hotel in a city 1000 miles from home which he lived in from last August until today. He's finally HOME today!

Anyway, he'll be forever in debt financially. Too many bills that just never will get paid, he's on disability now (required at least a year after), and his check barely covers rent, let alone starting to pay off bills. He can't get a car, because of his bad credit/med bills piled up. His parents bought him one in their name to drive home, but they'll be coming to get it since he'll be driving in Chicago/Minneapolis and it is insured in Mass. At least he lives in walking distance of the L in Chicago, but that means he's stuck there. Also, he is still weak and just over 100 lbs at 5'11" so he can't carry much, so if he goes shopping for food or whatever, he can only get what he can carry.

It's a blessing, though, and it saved his life. His lung function was 12% weeks before the transplant, it is now around 108%. He has spent the last few weeks walking up hills, going door to door canvasing for a democratic candidate. It's worth it, and every single person who has helped, has been appreciated and not gone unnoticed."

Posted on May 7, 2008. Thank you to another Troll Squasher for the find. Perhaps this will be helpful if those kind hearts that donated to Pepe decide to pursue legal action...

Please keep the CFers who loved and prayed for Pepe close to your hearts, because they have lost someone dear to them this morning.

Pictures identified...

It is with a heavy heart that we announce we have found the lovely young woman in the pictures that many had come to know as "Pepe."

She appears to have been a very good friend of Gina's, which makes this blogger all the more saddened by this turn of events.

Since she is more a victim in this than most, we are protecting her identity, and ask our readers to do the same. She has been notified, and could probably use your prayers as she comes to term with everything before her.

Some diligent Troll Squashers have identified other aliases used by Gina/Pepe: GraciePaint, Jedi's Dream, and Gracie n Chip.

She has also admitted on one site to being "in a relationship" with Paul. More information on Paul as it is tracked down...

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Pepe was a fake....

About a month ago, I, like so many others, was pulled into the story of Pepe, a young woman with CF waiting for her double lung transplant. I discovered her blog via another CF blog, run by a respectable guy who obviously didn't know he was being duped.

The original purpose of the blog was for friends and CF supporters to get together and send Pepe/Gina a Wii while she was in the hospital via a PayPal account. Her supporters raised almost $600 in December of '07 alone. As the blog progressed, Pepe/Gina's condition deteriorated. At this point, hundreds, if not thousands, of people were praying and commenting on the "Friends of Pepe" blog, only to find out she doesn't exist.

Or, rather, she DOES exist, but as a troll.

Once exposed, the authors took the site down, and readers were left feeling cheated in so many ways.

Not anymore. Consider this the first of many trolls to be publicly exposed and scorned for their actions.

After some digging, here's what we know:

Pepe's real name was Gina, which we knew from the blog. She's friends with Paul, from this site/blog (which is now down).

Paul has a Flickr account, which includes this picture:

The same picture that shows up under a commenter's mentioned troll name, jedisdream.

Jedisdream has a photo album here:

and YouTube videos here:

Of course, we expect both of these to come down ASAP, so here's some more information about the Gina/jedisdream behind Pepe.

She's 25, from Minnesota, and rides a horse named Gracie. She has a second horse named Chipotle. Both were mentioned several times on the "Friends of Pepe" blog.

Gracie and Gina have ridden at Dillman Training Center and Trott Brook Farms, and Gina posts under "chipngrace" on

You can also find Gina here:

The photo above is of "Gracie", and was on her fotki page, as well as on the message boards.

Her name is not Pepe. Gina does not have CF, nor has she had a double lung transplant. She has, however, stolen money, and misrepresented herself to thousands of people. Gina has an accomplice in Paul, in some form or other. And she has misrepresented herself as the young woman above, and third from the left (who is believed to be a friend and completely unaware):

The woman below is the real Pepe/Gina, and her name is Gina Marie Fiorentino of Saint Michael, Minnesota. She has been publicly identified as a troll.

Down with the Trolls!

After investing tears and love in a complete stranger, I, along with hundreds and hundreds of others, have discovered the person is a fake. A phony. A troll.

And I am pissed.

This may be the anonymous world of the Internet, but this behavior is vicious, cruel and sick. And it will no longer be tolerated. So bloggers and blog lovers of the world unite.

Let's bring down the trolls, expose them in the minute, and help them to understand that the real people behind the trolls need to answer for their behavior.