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."

http://cf2chat.com/e107/e107_plugins/forum/forum_viewtopic.php?5544.last

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.

196 comments:

Anonymous said...

I'm glad you posted this as a post! I just posted this as a comment on the previous post in hopes that this site would see what was written.

May the FOP website involved "Rest in Peace".

Anonymous said...

I am just curious - how exactly did Gina make this scheme work all on her own? Who was communicating with Paul while Gina was, supposedly, intubated? Who was giving updates on the surgery as it progressed? If Gina was vented, who called Paul to tell him?

I'm sorry, but I remain unconvinced that this was 100% Gina's doing. That simply doesn't make sense.

Anonymous said...

Great question, anon. I was wondering the very same thing. This still doesn't add up.

Still don't believe it... said...

I absolutely agree with anon 7:54. Something still doesn't add up. I vaguely recall from one of post-TX posts FOP wrote about speaking with Blake about how good Pepe looked.

Something is still off. It's not easy to fake post-TX pain/suffering.

It's easy to excuse yourself and put it off upon someone else. I still say she's a delusional sociopath and he's entangled in her web of lies.

Anonymous said...

I do hope that Paul will work with you and the authorities to get Gina the help she needs to stop her illness of seeking such attention.

This confession of Paul's still leaves some open questions of did Gina get the Wii?? / Why would Paul comment on a blog about Pepe asking for a supposed website the HE created??

http://tinyurl.com/5zkod6

That URL will show the post about Pepe and her journey, but read the 1st comment where Clamshellmuni apparently acts like he doesn't know her and wants the web addy....ODD since if you click on HIS name HE IS THE OWNER OF FOP!

There are still too many unanswered questions that don't fit the entire puzzle. I do hope that Down with the Trolls will continue to seek the FULL truth.

Aspiemom said...

I was one of the people duped into donating money for the Wii. (Ironically, we are trying to save up money for one for my son this year.) I have CF. We certainly do not have spare money around here and it was a sacrifice to send what little I did. Now my husband tells me I'm not to donate to anyone else, which kind of makes me sad, but I understand.

One of my concerns is that people will not be as trustful when honest CFers are involved in fundraising for CFF.
Aspiemom

Anonymous said...

I posted this on another thread but thought it would be better here..

My thought about the updates is that perhaps Gina had someone call Paul about changes of events who then gave details so that he could write them, someone posing as "Blake" perhaps...
My guess is that Gina isn't alone in this (excluding Q)....

I have known Q for quite some time, before FOP even existed and can tell you that he and I have exchanged emails with him stating that he was reserving his energy for Gina, even though he was going through a very complicated recovery post Transplant himself.
The only reason he opened this blog was to raise funds for a Wii for Gina...as he believed that it would help her endure those long days in the ICU with something to do. I seriously doubt that he had any financial gain with this endeavor. He operated his own blog which again was created long before FOP with auctions and selling t-shirts , which I proudly bought to help a friend.
I believe who he is and what he has been through...

As for posting on other sites asking for the addy, perhaps he was trying to advertise the site...who knows. That is all I can think of.

Now that the truth is known about the blog, we need to move on as hard as it is going to be. I will pray for her as well, to get the help she needs

Rick Lawrenson said...

Wow. Sad stuff, esp. for the CF community.

DownWiththeTrolls said...

In a schizophrenic turn-of-events, we think that Gina communicated through "Blake", whom she made up as well. This would be that perfect third-person alibi that sat by her bed, holding her hand, and shooting FOP updates, as he stated in the blog.

Unfortunately, Paul set up the PayPal account, as well as the Web site, and we have contacted the FBI in his jurisdiction for those reasons. He's going to have to jump through many hoops to clear his name and pass this burden on to Gina, where it appears it belongs.

As for the URL, we think it has been misinterpreted. It seems FOP was asking her to link to that post in the comments section, to drive people to the post from the FOP site.

We don't know Paul, obviously, but the actions in the last 24 hours had suggested to us that Gina was fooling more than the masses on her site.

Of course our minds are open, and we will keep you abreast if we get wind of any discrepancies in these stories.

Anonymous said...

I am still confused about all of this. I can't believe that one person created this mess. There are still too many unanswered questions.

I may be wrong but from my understanding i was under the assumption that these three people have met before. Paul, Pepe/Gina and Blake. And I was becoming skeptical when Blake and Pepe were together during TX. What about the cross contamination. I think that would have been strictly inforced as sick as Gina/Pepe was.

I just wonder now if Paul is coming forward to cover his A$$ in this. Why would he take all of his sites down too if he had nothing to do with this.

I would be defending myself right off the bat. Not waiting until everyone made comments. Why didnt he come forward sooner.

These are just my opinions and thoughts.

I hope we can get to the bottom of this soon. I was one of the ones donating and was really caught up in praying for Pepe/Gina. And of all the people to prey on other cf'ers, care givers, parents etc. those of us that share that Cf bond

I hope these people who created all of this fraud can live with themselves.

Or is this just another good story for the writer to write about. And hopefully sell this to offset medical bills. If so its a crappy way to do it.

DownWiththeTrolls said...

We agree, Rick. And as readers who found the blog via Nate's site, we'd like to add that we don't hold him accountable in the least, as he suggested in his post.

He was duped, just like the rest of us. Nate has the best of character traits, which allows him to trust people until proven otherwise. We are impressed he's been able to hold onto that given the adversity he has faced on his own site.

Unfortunately, this time there was an otherwise.

MilePost13 said...

Thanks.

Anonymous said...

As far as Q taking down the sites, Gina requested that he take down FOP due to increasing numbers of flaming posts questioning her character and whether she was actually sick. She then claimed that she was being stalked so Q took it down by request. He took his site down because his character was also being judged being that he was the messenger in this mess. That is the story behind the blogs (I was up late last night watching all of this unfold right before my eyes)

As for the three of them meeting, not once did Q mention meeting Gina, at least to me he didn't, it was online or via a phone from what I gather. I am sure those who had more frequent contact with him can elaborate...

Blake is Gina, Gina is Blake...they are the one and same. It has to be...how else would such detailed updates come about? It had to be Gina, people are able to change their voices even accents to disguise themselves so it isn't far fetched...

Anonymous said...

i was on the cf chat site when this was posted, then I checked in here.

could it be that paul is also the
keeper of this page ??

pepe is blake who is mia ?

Jenna said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

Who is Mia??

Anonymous said...

This was a post on CF2Chat explaining what happened to the FOP blog...

Fri Aug 15 2008, 09:29AM
I guess my earlier post wasn't clear enough. Pepe has asked that the blog be discontinued. "Invite" was only a way of saving the content for a while, not of excluding her genuine readers. Sorry for the confusion.

As for Nate, I assume he maintains his site in view of the best interests of his family. In this case, Pepe knew it was in her best interest to cease. She spent the night nauseated and shaking, worried that people would come to hurt her. That's when it's time to end a blog.

DownWiththeTrolls said...

HA! I like that X-Files-ish twist. No one here is Paul, I assure you. We have not spoken to him.

We are readers who happened to be on FOP the seconds before it shut down, and expertly raced across the net, gathering evidence to piece together the truth that has unfolded in this blog before Gina could remove it all.

Also, we'd like to point out that Paul has NOT taken down his sites, just his blog. Everything else is still up and has been all day, which we think speaks for his case, not against it.

Mia is an innocent bystander who had this misfortune of having a friend use her pictures in this terrible scheme.

Patti said...

Having CF, having double lung and liver Tx, and being through everything that I have....I thought that some things were wrong but I did not dare to question because that's just not what I do. Now, maybe I should! Thank you for all of your investigating and bringing this troll out. Justice now needs to be served.

Can I have the Wii? I need to exercise my new lungs! LOL....just kidding!

Anonymous said...

Mia is supposedly Gina's friend..she is seen on her facebook. Her photo was used, not Gina's and probably without her knowledge. Gina's pic is by her horse, she could also be seen jumping with her horse before the YouTube videos were taken down (which I got to see and they were definitely her)

Anonymous said...

I'd like to know what hospital the Pepsi stuff was supposedly sent to? There are still a LOT of things that just don't seem right.

Anonymous said...

That's a good question...I wonder if it was sent to a residence to be delivered to the hospital, perhaps Gina's home? I know that when I am in the hospital, people send cards to my home and then my mother brings them to me...that way they don't get lost.

Maybe something like that?

Anonymous said...

I dunno, I dont buy it....

I have email conversations where Q was living with both CF's. Gina "pepe" as well as blake...So he can't say he didn't know!

shrugs...

It still dont add up

Anonymous said...

I think, in order to make sense of this, we'd need to go through post by post looking for the inconsistencies and then pick apart the details.

How did she contact Paul?

Has anyone met her?

Did Pepsi really send stuff?

How did she get on chat/drink Sierra Mist/get her hair washed while intubated/etc./etc./etc.?

I doubt we'll ever figure out the truth. It's just too bad so many spent hours praying, crying, thinking about her only to find out the woman is a fake.

I'd like to believe Paul is innocent. But I have this nagging feeling...

Anonymous said...

Hmmm...weird...he actually said that he stayed with them?

Anonymous said...

Earlier there were some photos of Paul on a site "Gina/Pepe" maintained. How did she get a hold of those? It was titled "he he". Is that some sort of joke? Was she putting them up there to build her story? She said that he is/was her boyfriend.

Aaaarg! This is getting to be too much!

Anonymous said...

Those email communications should be sent to this owner of this blog to be used as evidence.

Anonymous said...

I wonder if Pepsi would be so kind as to disclose where they sent the package if they did indeed send one...that would help part of the mystery behind this.

I am thinking that Gina and Q crossed paths in a chatroom long ago and things went from there. Not sure though, just speculating.

The chat thing is interesting (as she is being intubated etc..)...its gotta make you think.

Blessings From Above said...

I hope nobody is actually believing that Paul was innocent in all this??? He was the one initially collecting the money for "Gina". Where was he sending it and her Wii.

I have been praying for "Gina" since the day I first heard of the FOP blog and I will continue to do so. Only now I am asking the Lord to save her soul as opposed to her lungs.

Both Gina AND Paul need to be held accountable for the fraud they have committed.

Anonymous said...

A few things:

Paul has gone thru the tx process himself and has CF himself, right? So wouldn't he know what goes on in a hospital? If he spent hours and hours on the phone wiht "Pepe" staying up with her all night etc, wouldn't he ever wonder a few things such as:
Why she could talk on the phone when venteD? Why was there even a phone in ICU, and wouldn't the nurses tell her to get some rest if she was so sick?
WOuldn't he ever wonder at the lack of beeping and chaotic noise, not to mention crowds of people in the ICU? I've been in an ICU ward and it's *noisy*! Or when she was being suctioned, how could she talk on the phone/do internet chatting?
If Paul wasn't in on this from the get go he would have seen thru it and all of the inconsistencies. He's a smart guy obviously. I think he's just trying to backpaddle now, out of desperation.

Some people just need outlets, and some people just need drama, and mauybe that's why they both did all this. Sad, and sick. I pity them both/all.

RIP "Pepe"

Anonymous said...

Good point. Where did the money for the Wii go? It was Paul's paypal acct. right? What did he do with it?

He really needs to explain some stuff.

Anonymous said...

As for phones in the ICU, I am hospitalized in the ICU every time I am in due to severe respiratory issues and they give me a phone every time. It is noisy as hell though...it sounds like an arcade parlor with all of the alarms and beeps. It also sounds like a bunch of chickens cackling outside my room due to attendings and their rounds with students. Anyone who talks to me on the phone can clearly hear all of the various noises in the background.

As far as being able to talk on a vent, she wouldn't be able to if she had the standard endotracheal tube. The cuff rests below the vocal chords preventing air from resonating them thus no sound.

Maybe she talked to Q after the supposed intubation to buy credibility with him. The way I read it on the blog as far as updates, sometimes they were a few days apart after an episode of being vented (looking at the cached entries). Maybe she stayed out of sight for a few days until she "came off of the vent" and then she miraculously resurfaced on chat.

I know there were issues surrounding her being in chat and supposedly being vented..that puzzles me.

Anonymous said...

How did he know when she was in surgery? And when there were all of those terrible, emergent complications at the beginning?

If he wasn't in on it, she would have had to have kept contacting him throughout those first few days to keep him 'up to date'.

Still question who all was involved...

Anonymous said...

I think that Gina posed as Blake when she was giving updates...changing her voice, etc...At least that is one way to do it...

Anonymous said...

I just want to clarify that when Q emailed me about the wii for Gina "pepe" it was not his idea, he was just setting it up " Apparently"

Again I got no idea what to believe...

The first donation is in, but this gift isn't from me. It was Blake and Perky's generous idea, and it is to be from all who support Pepe. I'm just doing the busywork tonight. So let's show Pepe the love.

Q

fr3ak

Anonymous said...

This girl must have had a substantial amount of medical knowledge to be able to pull this off without having the help of someone who has been there/done that.

Anonymous said...

Paul's 'the truth' isn't. There's no way I will ever believe he was 'duped' like the rest of us. Come on. Fool us once? Well, yeah, you did. Fool us again? No frickin' way. You are both sociopaths who feed off the attention - I hope you both get counseling, after serving time for fraud. It makes me wish we could all, individually, file some kind of claim against you both for intentional infliction of emotional distress. I prayed for her, everynight. Begged God to help her. And cried when I thought she was dying.

I'm so disgusted at you both. Shame on you. What you have done - the trust you have destroyed in people wanting to care and help their fellow humans - is unbelievable to me. I feel like I've been physically attacked - sick, nauseous. Shame on you both. You can apologize all you want, Paul - you are a liar. And so is Gina.

Anonymous said...

Amen anon @ 9:24.

Anonymous said...

For those guys on the cf.com boards, how long was pepe on there before her blog got started? Did she learn about cf from there?

I agree with downwiththetrolls because Paul needs our prayers for a recovery whether he's guilty or not. Stress is worse for you than anything else and he's already so weak.

Anonymous said...

Gina joined quite some time agp, I don't know how long exactly maybe someone else can give specific dates. I have been part of that board since 2005 and remember her shortly thereafter. I do know that "Blake" joined in 2/2006. The FOP blog didn't go up until around Christmastime this past year.

ygtbkm said...

For the record, Paul (clamshellmuni) did write about "Pepe" in his own blog (clamshellmuni.org) last year, months before FOP was created.

He wrote that he had known "Pepe" for a long time and she opened up to him in recent months (2007). She had been hospitalized for months (Fairview-U of Minnesota) and couldn't do anything physically, basically just lying there all day, but he admired her, she's zen-like, etc.

My guess is that "Pepe/Gina" and "Blake" on cf.com (her BFF who supposedly was at the hospital with Pepe during her "transplant") are the same person, and Paul (Q/clamshellmuni) was duped like the rest of us.

Think about it...

Paul (clamshellmuni) has his own website, eBay store, fundraisers in Chicago (for his transplant), and good friends on cf.com. He's real easy to track down! So, why jeopardize all this... and for what??

Anonymous said...

when paul came into cf chat tonight

most people greeted him with open arms,believing he was played like everyone else.
I don't buy his story, I just think he is scared now that maybe there
maybe some legal issues to face now.

I feel sorry for all who were involved. You all need help.

Anonymous said...

I think the complete truth may not yet be known.

Anonymous said...

I think what you are saying, anon above me, makes the most sense. I was also online last night watching everything unfold when the FOP site disappeared.

I can see why people question Paul--he is the one, after all, who wrote all this stuff--his name was signed at the bottom of every post "clamshellmuni." And he is a gifted writer. But that kind of proves his case--like you said, he is very visible and has people who know him--unlikely to have anything to gain from this.

the picture of "Pepe" on the FOP page shows a pretty woman. I thought she looked very vulnerable too, and so young, and just thought of the very very cruel nature of CF to destroy this youth and beauty. Paul knows first hand how horrible CF is. He got lungs; he may have felt mixed emotions, gratitude to be alive but maybe some anxiety too. The CF community clearly is supportive of each other. People helped Paul; now he could help this girl. It's what CFers do.

I also agree that Gina probably made up "Blake" or whoever who relayed news to Paul when Gina couldn't speak etc. Paul is in Chicago; Gina is in Minnesota. he was not able to go to her "hospital."

Just like we thought, he probably never would have dreamed that someone would EVER make stuff like that up. It's too insane, and too cruel, and for what gain? It is just not the action of a sane person. She is just a sociopath.

As an earlier post said, she is now on an Asperger support group. And she has evidently done it in the past, 4-5 years ago. So it's just something she does. She has never been stopped before--but now thanks to DWTT and all of us, she will be.

I truly believe Paul is a victim and i want him to know that I have enormous sympathy for him and wish him only the best.

Yet, there is still a tiny part of me that says, I don't trust. . . .

ygtbkm said...

That said, Paul and "Pepe/Gina" do sound a lot alike, but perhaps she called him and he wrote it up or something.

From FOP:

Tuesday, December 25, 2007
Christmas Day, From Pepe
Dear Friends,

Words cannot describe the way I felt when I found this. I still cannot describe it; the gratefulness I feel to have such amazing friends is surreal. I cried. Not just for the gift, but the act of giving, the generosity and loyalty. Until last night, I had felt that my luck had run out and nothing could ever happen that would make me happy again. I mean, this extreme-happy. There are bursts of happiness, obviously, but they always seemed short-lived and soon forgotten. Believe me, what you did here will never be forgotten. I have told several people today about this, and while they smile and say "cool," they cannot begin to imagine the magnitude that this is.

This morning (Christmas morning) I woke up and wondered if last night could have happened at all. If a group of strangers could or would do such a thing. Other gifts have also been pouring in from people these last couple weeks, as well as sweet messages, well wishes, even someone just catching up on yahoo or IM or chat. It all means so much.

So, thank you, my friends, from the bottom of my heart. Those two words "thank you" do not even seem to be enough to cover this occasion.

Love you all,

Gina
Posted by Clamshellmuni at 11:41 PM 4 comments

Anonymous said...

From the cached 1/8/08 post:

"Her family remains close by, as does Most Valuable Cystic and AP Cystic of the Year Blakey, who reports that Gina's morale is vastly improved now that her discomfort is being managed with the titular remedies."

The word "blakey" is linked to this: http://www.youtube.com
/watch?v=PVIyqyzhdA4

(take out the spaces to watch it)

Just thought that was interesting and wanted to share...

Anonymous said...

I agree one would have thought that Q would have called the hospital and spoke to "pepe" directly...

I know 2 days after my transplant a very good friend from the states called me to hear my voice so he know that I was indeed ok.. (he was also CF)

I find it hard to believe you can be "duped" for months without ever calling the hospital, considering she has lived in ICU now for a year or more...

I for one and hurt beyond one would think humanly possible!

fr3ak CF/dltx 2002

Anonymous said...

I wholeheartedly agree with anon
9:24.

ygtbkm said...

Re cf.com...

"Pepe" joined in 8/06, "Blake" in 2/06.

Anonymous said...

the "blakey" on youtube has already been "removed by this user"

what did it show?

Anonymous said...

Damn... The removal of that YouTube video was coincidentally freaky fast.

It wasn't anything much... Just a girl (thinner than the alleged Gina) riding a horse during what appears to be some show.

Called "The Nick of Time" posted by Dfff or something like that.

I had JUST watched it before I posted the comment here. Suspicious.

Anonymous said...

Something else I just thought of...

All of the links on the FOP blog were from sites that haven't been updated in a long while. The only one that had any recent update was Paul's.

Does anyone else find it strange that she had no friends who updated their sites more frequently?

Anonymous said...

Ive read that Gina aka Pepe lives with her parents . . . Id like to know how they could be oblivious to this scheme going on in their home when she was recieveing all these gifts and such. Maybe that explains her need to create this false life to feel loved and cared for. She needed a family.

Anonymous said...

Amazing that things still need to be shut down so amazingly fast....

I'm seriously wondering now about this site too!

This would really be a twisted sick thing for this site to dupe us all again.

Shame on you the first time, Shame on US the 2nd time. I think we all the need the WHOLE TRUTH!

Anonymous said...

Anonymous at 9:24 said it perfectly.

Anonymous said...

So...you post the blakey link and it immediatelly disappears. Hmmm....I WONDER who is lurking on this site?

You there, Gina devil?

Anonymous said...

I was wrong about the other sites not being updated. A couple are. A couple aren't. My bad.

Anon. at 10:24 pm

Anonymous said...

Someone had mentioned knowing of "Blake" on the cf boards for at least 5 years or more. Maybe under a different screen name. Then made her "Blake" screen name in 2/2006.

"ChippedAway" screen name 5/2005 (assuming this horse lady is her also, someone called her "Gina")

Does anyone know any other previous screen names she used?

Anonymous said...

I guess I'm done. This is just too much for my fragile heart. I just don't feel that the entire truth will ever come out.

I "sort" of understand the anonymity behind the owners of this site, but seriously if the FBI is involved already, I'm thinking it would be nice for some kind of proof that this is REAL, too??

Just a little too skeptical. I am just dumb funded at how quickly sites get shut down.

Can anyone vouch for the "owner" or evidence that has been turned over to the FBI...a certain department, etc???

Anonymous said...

I feel more sad fofr her now than I did when she was suposedly so sick, atleast she had a support system and people caring for her, atleast I thought so . . . now shes is just a disturbed lady with no friends at all. I pray that she gets the help she so despratly needs asap because being cought in this lie surley has put her, an already mentally disturbed person, closer to the edge. I fear what she is capable of doing to herself or others. Lets not forget all the tragic things that people that are so desprate for affection have done, such as the young man in Omaha not even a year ago that took so many innocent lives at the mall in a desprate plea for attention. I wish I knew Gena personaly so I could hug her and make sure that professional help is being given or I fear this story is not over.

DownWiththeTrolls said...

No duping here. That would be ironic, wouldn't it?

The whole point of setting this up was so the guilty parties could NOT take it down. They have no control.

We have contacted the FBI in Chicago on two different levels. However, since it was a Friday afternoon, we're assuming we won't hear from them until Monday. But we'll stick with it, and make sure they have everything they need that we, and the readers here, of course, can provide them.

Also, we'd like to add that while we have had a lot of lurkers watching the site all day long, Gina and Paul have not made any attempts to contact us.

Anonymous said...

Anon at 10:32,
I definitely understand how you feel. What Gina/Pepe did is sick. But let's not let her win and take away our sense of trust and community.

I think the reason sites get gone so quickly is that Gina is reading each and every post and when she sees a reference to a site she is on, she hurries up and removes it. It's the only explanation.

I am NOT the owner of this blog--and I have also, independently, contacted the media in Saint Michael, Minnesota. A person named Ben Warfield is supposed to contact me, hopefully in a day or two. So there is absolutely action being started, on at least two fronts. Police/FBI

DownWiththeTrolls said...

We'll add that we have been contacted by a local news channel in Chicago as well.

We would like to talk to authorities first, though, before we let the media take hold.

Anonymous said...

Is this Gina in a picture posted on Paul's (or at least a friend's) FLICKR site? Looks like the picture of Gina that you posted on this site where she's on the horse.

A picture of Pepe is on there as well if you look around through his photos.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/10831338@N02/100768

Anonymous said...

I've spoken to Q for my own personal reasons, I needed to hear it from him...

I have got the clarification I need to know that he was simply an innocent pawn in this story...

He needs to gather the shattered pieces of his emotions and slowly put them back in place...

Enuff Said

Fr3ak CF/dltx 2002

Anonymous said...

http://www.flickr.com/photos/10831338@N02/

Anonymous said...

I just wanted to bump a comment that someone left earlier on another post.

"That IS bizarre the comment he leaves on http://katelynharlow.blogspot.com/2008/04/gina.html

It gives much LESS credibility to the supposed "email" he sent to someone above. He said:
"Very thoughtful note about an amazing girl. Could you post the link to Gina's page? "

YET - he is the OWNER of "Friends of Pepe"

August 15, 2008 8:33 AM"

What does everyone think of this? Doesn't make sense. I'm not so sure about Paul. Seems like he makes a point of NOT smiling in pictures.

My father was a con man and quite good at it. You'd be amazed what people will say and do just for the heck of it. He ended up in prison. Hope it doesn't have to go that far here. Get some help.

Anonymous said...

Fr3ak CF/dltx 2002:

I SO wish that Paul would post on this site. It seems that most of the people on here have sympahty for him. Do youthink he would come on this site? Does he know we exist over here? He posted to the cf chat, but we FOP readers really need to hear from him too.

Anonymous said...

That photo is gone now as well. Within seconds literally unless it had been a while since anyone looked at it. I feel pretty humbled. I am one of those that emails people back telling them to check with Snopes because their email was a hoax and can usually spot a fake. Someone (or more than one) sure was a professional liar and really, they do need to be called on the carpet for their own sake (or sakes) so they can hopefully get some help.

Anonymous said...

Fr3ak at 10:58 - you're right. FOP readers deserve to hear from Paul.

Anonymous said...

Well if that picture really did disappear that fast, he's on the site right now isn't he? Because that was HIS flickr account so only he could take the picture down?

It makes you wonder how innocent he is if he's just watching us all and trying to remove all evidence.

Anonymous said...

This is the site I am referring to. On the main page there is a picture of Pepe. Under the Pittsburgh section there is a group picture where the girl on the far right looks like the picture of the girl on the horse that is posted on THIS site.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/10831338@N02/

Anonymous said...

Anon 2:59
What was in the photo? The only photo I had seen in his flickr was the one with the 4 people, sitting on the ground...the heavyset girl on the right sort of looks like the real Gina. That photo is still there, though.

Anonymous said...

Well, IDK--this picture on the right hand side, under "Pittsburg," SAYS it was taken on January 1, 1980 which it obviously was not TAKEN then because that is not the clothing you wear in January in Pittsburg, nor do you have a picnic--who knows.

Anonymous said...

Hi again, The first link (on this blog posting) to the photo of Gina goes to a page that says "this photo has been deleted" so I don't know what that was. But the other links do show up and there is a photo of a girl that does bear a resemblance to the girl on the horse, but without close ups, no way of knowing.

Anonymous said...

ok. but that picture hasn't been deleted like others said it had. it's still very much there. it does sort of look like gina that's been shown as the real gina. as for the date...no, obviously it wasn't taken in January. But many people, when they buy cameras, don't set the date/time, so it's possible that's why a weird date shows with the photo.

Anonymous said...

To anonymous at 10:56
When I read the posting you mention, my thought was that he/Paul was commenting on the note and then asking for a link so other people could link to the site, not necessarily so he could link to it. It could be taken either way. So, even though I have many doubts and questions, this particular comment of Paul's doesn't really convince me of anything. It could have just been a quick comment and a request for someone to add a link for her benefit. Not defending him here, just saying that's the way I took it.

Anonymous said...

A post from ChippedAway on a board for ppl with allergies

Re: my baby dog!

I have a dog, two cats, and two horses, all of which I'm allergic to.

Obviously the horses don't sleep in bed with me But the dog wants to and the cats are dying to (one cat wants to sleep on my HEAD). I made a new rule of no pets in the bedroom. My door remains closed and they are not allowed in anymore. It was hard, but my allergies/asthma depended on it.

http://www.healthboards.com/boards/showthread.php?p=2140213#post2140213

So far, she has had CF, allergies, Asperger's...what else have we found?

Anonymous said...

from Wikipedia:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Munchausen_syndrome

Munchausen syndrome is a psychiatric disorder in which those affected fake disease, illness, or psychological trauma in order to draw attention or sympathy to themselves. It is in a class of disorders known as factitious disorders which involve "illnesses" whose symptoms are either self-induced or falsified by the patient. It is also sometimes known as hospital addiction syndrome.
In Munchausen syndrome, the affected person exaggerates or creates symptoms of illnesses in themselves in order to gain investigation, treatment, attention, sympathy, and comfort from medical personnel. In some extremes, people suffering from Munchausen's Syndrome are highly knowledgeable about the practice of medicine, and are able to produce symptoms that result in multiple unnecessary operations. For example, they may inject a vein with infected material, causing widespread infection of unknown origin, and as a result cause lengthy and costly medical analyses and prolonged hospital stay. The role of "patient" is a familiar and comforting one, and it fills a psychological need in people with Munchausen's. It is distinct from hypochondria in that patients with Munchausen syndrome are aware that they are exaggerating, while sufferers of hypochondria actually believe they have a disease.

In many cases, a similar behavior called Munchausen syndrome by proxy has been documented in the parent or guardian of a child. The adult ensures that his or her child will experience some medical affliction, therefore compelling the child to suffer treatment for a significant portion of their youth in hospitals. Furthermore, a disease may actually be initiated in the child by the parent or guardian. Regardless of the mental health of the adult, this is a serious form of child abuse. Munchausen syndrome by proxy is considered distinct from Munchausen syndrome, see Munchausen syndrome by proxy.





Sound like anyone we know?

Anonymous said...

http://www.selfhelpmagazine.com/articles/chronic/faking.html


this's one accurate, too. muchausen via internet

Sararrt1980 said...

I'm real upset about this, just like many of you. I found the FOP site from another blog, and I checked this site daily. I wanted to know what was going on, and how Pepe was doing. I am so angry that 1) I fell for this and 2) anyone would do this to someone.

I'm not sure I believe that Paul is innocent. Seriously. I'm real confused about a lot of things.
I'm also mad because of the transplant. On the FOP site, it listed an 18 year old donor from WI. I was CONVINCED it was a boy I knew who had died hours before Pepe got her trasplant. He was 18, and from Wisconsin. It just worked. I hope that those involved get help, and appologize to all they have left in agony.

Anonymous said...

this is what is in the article that anon at 11:59 posted:

Based on experience with two dozen cases of Munchausen by Internet, I have arrived at a list of clues to the detection of factititous Internet claims. The most important follow:

the posts consistently duplicate material in other posts, in books, or on health-related websites;

the characteristics of the supposed illness emerge as caricatures;

near-fatal bouts of illness alternate with miraculous recoveries;

claims are fantastic, contradicted by subsequent posts, or flatly disproved;

there are continual dramatic events in the person's life, especially when other group members have become the focus of attention;

there is feigned blitheness about crises (e.g., going into septic shock) that will predictably attract immediate attention;

others apparently posting on behalf of the individual (e.g., family members, friends) have identical patterns of writing.

WOW I AM STUNNED!!!

Anonymous said...

LOL! fear of vomiting?
http://www.healthboards.com/boards/showthread.php?p=2388951#post2388951.
should that be added to the list of problems?

Anonymous said...

thanks anonymous at 11:59

emotional rape

(some) individuals may choose to mislead others by pretending to have illnesses they do not. They divert the attention of the group toward their feigned battles with cancer, multiple sclerosis, anorexia nervosa, or other ailments. The eventual discovery of the deceptions can be devastating.

One group member called it "emotional rape" to have cared so deeply about a person who lied to her and others from his first post on.

Anonymous said...

Posted by chipngrace on 8/6/2008

Hi, I joined Spark People today, my name is Gina and I am 25 years old with Asperger's Syndrome (diagnosed last year). Nice to meet you all!

http://www.sparkpeople.com/myspark/team_messageboard_thread.asp?board=-1x12045x17413940

Anonymous said...

My infant daughter had a bilateral lung transplant in March. It was through this community, and not CF, that I came across "Pepe." I told my family about Gina's story and current troubles. I faithfully checked in each day and waited, with a knot in my stomach, for each new post. Wow. Do I feel violated!

In hindsight, though, I should have known better. There were just too many pieces of the story that seemed unrealistic. It all feels like the ending of an M. Night Shyamalan movie now--where you piece all of the flashbacks together in your mind. It explains why, despite living on the verge of death for 30 plus days, Pepe was in good spirits, making astute/comical observations in between hallucinations, drawing said hallucinations, chatting online, drinking Sierra Mist, and eating potato chips. I wondered why they weren't doing more than suctioning for her flash pulmonary edema episodes (there's usually a bigger reason for that--like when one of my daughter's pulmonary veins occluded two days after transplant). I often wondered how Paul had such detailed accounts of each day, down to the numbers, even when Gina was intubated or in great pain. Yeah, in retrospect I was a dummy to fall for it all.

And as much as I don't want to say it, and as much as I adored reading his articulate writing, I think Paul was more than just Gina's faithful scribe . . .

Anonymous said...

I too have to say it seemed odd that very specific details were always given. Also, when he would quote Pepe he would describe the sound of her voice..."weak, raspy, scared", etc. Very story like.

Also, I believe in one of the posts her said she was moaning, gasping for breath and confused. Then I'd see a reader post how they were glad to talk with her during online chat that night.

This person needs some serious help and prayer.

Anonymous said...

When I first started reading the FOP blog, I promise I took the laptop up to my bedside table with the latest update on the screen and it would be so much on my mind that I woke up several times per night, and I would hit the refresh button, waiting for the update. I didn't even realize until now how much sleep I have missed because of this. Well, it is 4 am now, so I am still doing it.

But no more sleepless nights!

Anonymous said...

I too spent many sleepless nights worried about, praying for, and feeling sick for Pepe/her situation. Unbelievable. (and tonight will likely be sleepless because I'm angry/in disbelief)

Anonymous said...

anon 1:00 a.m.


I did the exact same thing.

For some reason I'm not angry. This person is incredibly disturbed.

Pepe/Gina/Paul, If you're reading this know that what you did is not funny at all. It's a crime in a multitude of ways. You should feel very concerned about your behavior.

Anonymous said...

I think everybody that believes Paul needs to ask themselves, how anybody other than a cystic, could possibly have all of that knowledge(other than an actual doctor-sometimes I don't know how much they actually know)? You would have to be very close to somebody that has had those experiences to be able to pull all of that off.These two r definately closer than just internet friends. Seems odvious that they were both in on it, just hard to swallow.

Anonymous said...

To me Gina must have a mental disorder. The "Munchausen by Internet" sounds pretty right on. The only reason I say that is because why would she use her real name and the same name in all these different situations about the asp./Cf/allergies etc...

I mean if you were for fraud wouldn't you create different alias'... more than just a picture of someone else too [in the specific case of FOP]

Anonymous said...

well if horse girl is gina, she definitely doesn't look too bright. . . . .

Anonymous said...

To the owner of this site--thank you for doing this--it has vindicated my theory that Blake and Gina were the same people--only I had just started wondering
about Gina being a fraud this last week, and had not even known what was going on in her FOP blog...I hope you will allow me a vent...
-----------------------------------
This so sad, it caused a gigantic rift in our site, and turned people against each other, as loyalties were strained...I was flamed for trying to tip people off to a possible scam...http://mutantrevolution.blogspot.com/2008/07/ginas-thread-as-it-was-originally.html

I started to suspect Blake when she attacked me in chat one night. I then found out that she had another user name as "chippedaway".

Anyone with any medical knowledge, (and I have worked in the medical field for 30 yrs), would have been alerted to something off-balanced by the fact that here was a girl that had been weakened by fighting for A WHOLE YEAR, in the hospital, had actually had to be on life-support, endured a 15 hr ordeal of surgery for tx of both lungs. then suffered various complication afterward. This same girl was able to post on the site and go into chat...several days afterwards, even though she was supposedly repeatedly place back on the vent...

And when the owner of our site innocently tried to make a hospital category, (thinking it would facilitate looking for updates on Gina and other members)and moved the thread about Gina being in the hospital to that place--it started a massive war of words between valued members...Tempers flared and it tore up our site. Members turned on each other...

I WAS sad, but now I'm furious...and just this once, I have to say...
I TOLD YOU SO, and I was right! (Now I got THAT outof my system...)

Terri (kayleesgrandma)

Anonymous said...

Anon 1:18am

The internet is a powerful tool and you can research any illness you want in great detail...

Many post transplant people have online blogs, sharing our own experiences, I myself have pictures and blogs about my transplant...

It wouldn't be that hard to take snipits from various places and create your own illness.

Who knows how long she has been creating her illness, just waiting for someone to take the bait....

Elaborate? yes... Impossible? No

fr3ak cf/dltx 2002

Anonymous said...

You GO girl! : )

ygtbkm said...

This happens more often than you think.

Years ago, a poster in a popular fan forum (The X-Files) faked her own death.

First she posted that she was sick, then she became really, really ill and was hospitalized, then her "husband" started posting daily updates (like FOP).

Prayers were offered, people cried for her because she was so young and just had twins (!), then her "husband" posted that she'd passed away.

Well, a couple posters (one of them worked for a newspaper) thought it was strange that there were no death notices, and that this woman and her "husband" have very similar writing styles. She was busted.

She (and her "husband") never asked for money, so it's just for fun, apparently. (She was a fan fiction writer.)

Mind you this woman was a long time member, a frequent poster who had exchanged numerous phone calls and gifts with other members...

So, just because you've chatted with someone on line or on the phone doesn't mean you "know" him or her.

ygtbkm said...

Question:

If Paul (clamshellmuni) was duped just like the rest of us... and has nothing to hide, why did he take down his own blog (Transplantland)? And delete photos on his flickr site?

Is he trying to protect "Pepe/Gina?"

Anonymous said...

There are a lot of things about Paul's confession that doesn't ring true. The day before his confession, he was defiant, saying there were no inconsistancies in Gina's story, when of course, even if were innocent he knew there were many inconsistencies.

Second, when I was reading the blogs, I kept think they were written as though a doctor had written them. So in the miidle of a girl nearly dying, she or her friends were giving a doctor's versions of her condition? Didn't make sense...but a person who went through a lung transplant would know all these details and how to concoct a story.

Oh, wait, Paul had a lung transplant.

And as other people have said: who would have communicated all this info to Paul? And if he were innocent, why take down his own blog? To obviously hide from the authorities.

Every one seems to think he is a great guy. But he probably has a lot of medical bills and desperate people do desperate things no matter how nice they seem.

Can you imagine how much money must be involved if 275,000 people were viewing this blog and many were donating?

Anonymous said...

I'm not convinced he is completely innocent...but for the sake of accuracy...he has not taken down his whole site, he just set the blog to private. And, on Flickr, he has 64 photos. There have been 64 photos all day, he's not removed any photos, or the ones that reference Pepe or her drawings. that link earlier, that went to "photo removed" was a bad/wrong link. Everything is still on Paul's flickr site.

Anonymous said...

I don't get this. To the people that support Q. Do you think that there is really a pepe? Do you think that a intelligent man(as he seems to be)honestly was so close to somebody that he started a site dedicated just to one person in his name w/o ever actually meeting this person? Which isn't true, because there were statements of them actually being in a relationship. Him and Gina that is. So anyways, he did all of this w/o ever contacting the hospital himself once thru all of these updates, never onced called himself to check on a dear friend, so close to death. Just waited for these updates from her-while on the vent or so recently off. Her first instinct off the vent after hallucinating and having a sierra mist while drawing crazy pictures, was to call him. Doesn't that seem questionable? I would question someone calling me to report all of these numbers,while being so sick. I have been really sick, and that would have been the last thing I would have done, update a person I only knew thru a computer, while clinging to life. U guys r crazy to support him.

Anonymous said...

ygtbkm,

"because ppl keep flaming it with threats"

It doesn't matter what Q says here there will always be "someone" to twist and contort it...

99% of the people posting here are anonymous, as are the people that were flaming his site...

How hard is it to sign your name, I sure as hell aint ashamed of who I am, or my opinion....

As for anon 2.17am

It doesn't take genius to understand medical terminology...

As for money involved, the donatation side of things was terminated after the money was raised for the Wii which was like $500, there was no option after that to donate....

and for anon 2.21am

When you disable the blog it sets it to private/log in, it's just how blogspot works

fr3ak cf/dltx 2002

Anonymous said...

Wait, I'm still confused. Is Paul in a relationship with Gina or not???

Anonymous said...

Not sure if they are together now, but there was plenty of proof that they were at one point. He has pictures of her(had) on a site that was linked to him. And there was a post by her on her myspace, saying that she was in a relationship with a 42 year old cystic named paul that had just had a transplant. HMMMM.

Anonymous said...

Ok let me get this right, we have a pathalogical liar, who faked a disease, who faked a transplant, who faked god knows what else to gain god knows what...

Yet you're going to believe in a made up fantasy with a person whom she befriended and conned just because SHE said so?

God forbid she lied about that too!

fr3ak CF/dltx 2002

Anonymous said...

Thanks for that. So if Paul (aka Q, aka clamshellmuni, who has had a tx) is or has been in a relationship with Gina Fiorentino (aka Pepe, aka lots of others) then how is Paul innocent in all of this????

You know what, I don't even think it matters. Yes, there was financial fraud and that should be investigated by the authorities.

But perhaps this raises bigger questions for us, the readers, who have felt such hurt and betrayal and who have been following Pepe's story so avidly and with such concern?

Is there a message for us here to become less involved with internet lives and look to instead alleviate suffering in our own REAL LIFE communities??

Just a thought.....

Anonymous said...

I will not let "one bad apple spoil the whole barrel"--I still believe in the basic goodness of people. I will still give myself to others (for what it's worth), but I will trust in my "6th sense" more now...

Anonymous said...

Anon 2.32 and 2.47:

I've been suspicious of the whole relationship thing and how Paul can be so innocent etc but looking at it all it seems as though it was only Gina who ever said she was in a relationship with him (or a persona resembling his circumstances). I can't see any comment or reference he has ever made suggesting he is in a relationship with Gina/Pepe/Blake/anyone else.

ygtbkm said...

Anon @ 2:21

Yes, that's what I said. I realized that Paul (clamshellmuni) has not taken down his domain, clamshellmuni.org, the main site, index page, etc.

I said that he has taken down his BLOG, "Transplantland," meaning we can't access it without his permission.

His blog contains intimate, private information about his life - which he chose to make PUBLIC - until now, as well as references to "Pepe."

And you're wrong. Paul had 65 - not 64 - photos on flickr ("piomuni"). Some of us have been checking his sites for a while now.

The photo deleted had one comment from a pepe-something, presumably a flickr account set up by the fake "pepe" (using M**'s photos). It was deleted 8/14.

This is Google's cache of http://www.flickr.com/photos/10831338@N02/.
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(65 items)

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said:

"Is there a message for us here to become less involved with internet lives and look to instead alleviate suffering in our own REAL LIFE communities??"

I would so like to be less involved with the internet and more with my local community.

However, I am very ill and on the whole pretty much housebound. I use the internet as a way of keeping intouch with the world and other people.

Your comment and this whole saga has struck a chord though, and I am really going to try and move away from the internet. It's sadly too unsafe.

All the best to all affected by this.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said:

"Is there a message for us here to become less involved with internet lives and look to instead alleviate suffering in our own REAL LIFE communities??"

I would so like to be less involved with the internet and more with my local community.

However, I am very ill and on the whole pretty much housebound. I use the internet as a way of keeping intouch with the world and other people.

Your comment and this whole saga has struck a chord though, and I am really going to try and move away from the internet. It's sadly too unsafe.

All the best to all affected by this.

ygtbkm said...

Anon @ 2:56

I don't know if Paul (clamshellmuni) was duped... but anything's possible.

If I were a 40-something CFer, and this pretty, delicate, young woman who's half my age, a fellow CFer, came to me for help/advice/support, I'd believe her, too... Wouldn't you?

Anonymous said...

Response to "Why is Paul jeopardizing himself/everything?"

Answer: Because his transplant is not working out. He is dying. What do you have to lose if you already know your days are severely numbered? He probably figures that if he does get caught that he'll never go to jail because inevitably he'll die first.

I'm not buying the "truth" from Paul. They're both liars.

Anonymous said...

I am saddened, sickened & infuriated about about EVERYTHING that has unfolded. Given what I "assume" I know about Paul, this would be THE thing to push him over the edge if he is innocent.

On the otherhand, its difficult for me to swallow that such a wise man would miss what seems so obvious to others. If he was in love then love can not make only be blind, but deaf & mute also.

As to prosecution of any sorts. YES I feel its justified. Even if Gina/Pepe does have a condition that would "drive" her to do such horrific scams like this.....I dont really give a crap.

I have no patience for such antics!

Even with a possible FBI/Legal investigation, I dont know if we will ever really know ALL the ins/outs of what has transpired.

It does bring to mind another member (who is no longer around) that was ?? & the person doing the questioning was ripped apart.

What a tangled web we weave........

Hugs to all those who are right next to be trying to wrap their brains around this news!

Mel a/k/a JazzysMom & JustWant2Breathe

Anonymous said...

If that were the case, then he would have not disabled the donate button...Like others have said, once the total hit $500 or so, he took the donate button down and donated whatever was left over to the CFF (which would be easily tracked if the authorities so disire)

If he truly wanted to take advantage of us all, he would have kept the donations coming...just a thought for you to consider.

Jenn

Anonymous said...

I want to know one thing...If you look at the photo taken with Gina and the girl from the FOP page site...The photo is dated Aug 4, 2007,(photo as seen on Flickr.com) yet Gina has been in the hospital for over a year now. She looks great and healthy in that photo...yet this is only Aug 16, 2008. Also, If she loved her horses so much How come the photo on the FOP Blog is of her holding a dog and not one of her horse. ALso, What the hell if they both have CF and in bad health why are they in a park together that close. We all know the 3 foot rule.
I believe Paul is in on it. Sick or not you screwed with alot of people that take CF very seriously. We have lost loved ones to this desease and we need to fund raise for a cure and you just screwed that up also. This has caused pain for Terri and Jeanne at CF.com...You have destroyed a whole community that people were and still are torn apart by all of this. I hope the FBI nailes all of them. A good writer always checks his facts and sources

Anonymous said...

I have to admit that I had my doubts as to the extreme nature of Gina's condition after following the blog for awhile. I had followed the blog from its initiation, as complication after complication set in...I began to scratch my head. The nurse in me said no way could someone survive all of this or even be listed in the first place for several reasons. But because I had "met" Gina prior to all of this before FOP on the boards and got to "know" her, I brushed it off and gave her the benefit of the doubt as she was a "fellow CF'er" who needed support. The interesting thing is, there was a member that joined the CF group under different names repeatedly who was a poser of sorts (remember her you guys?) and was very obvious about it. Anyways, Gina or Pepe rather, was one of many posters outing this girl and here all along, SHE was as well and the worst offender of them all! This just kills me on so many levels.

One thing that caught my attention was the severe malnutrition for one and being listed....I didn't get that. On one entry, it was reported that Gina had lost her feeding tube long ago so she was not getting anything but some crackers and Sierra Mist. That did not sit with me, I wondered why she was not getting TPN or feedings through a nasogastric tube. Another thing, sepsis. I know that is an absolute contraindication. Yes they have transplanted people with localized infection to the lungs but not sepsis..so that was weird to me as well. The ECMO thing was way too far fetched as well...she was already very septic with about 6% of her lung function (according to the blog), would doctors really put someone on ECMO who had really no hopes of recovery at that stage?

I think what really made me doubt Gina was her being relisted. I remember reading the updates a few days before all of this unfolded with her announcing that the docs wanted to relist her when I expected to hear the opposite, that she was probably going to succumb to her massive infections. No way would anyone give someone new lungs in the state Gina was in. But, I continued to pray for her as did thousands.

With all said and done, I feel very violated. I spent many nights wondering how she was and praying for her suffering to end, for miracles, anything for a fellow CF'er. In the CF community, we suffer together when a friend is ill or not doing well. Gina belonged to the CF board for years, duping us all in the end. I will never understand how someone can play on our emotions and hearts like she did. Emotional rape is a good description of what she did. I hope that she does get the help that she needs, but most likely, she will probably play victim and move on doing this again and again even if she is punished for her crime, which I hope she is.

I hope to the high heavens that the entire truth comes out of this in the end and those responsible for such a heinous act are punished to the maximum...that much is owed to us.

Sararrt1980 said...

Question for all: Will someone look up Asbergers'? She has joined the Asbergers' support group on Sparkpeople.com, and it has been mentioned throughout. I know a little about it, but I'm headin to bed.

Could this be something to do with that? Or is this another scheme? I'm really torn about this. Any info would be great! All you anons out there have great references!

Anonymous said...

Munchausen syndrome

I think there is a woman on both cf sites who has this.

her health just gets really and bad then
really good in a matter of days..

as a cfer, I know no one heals that fast or to that degree.

Anonymous said...

Paul is an Aspie (he referenced to this often in his blog), I am betting that she copied this illness as well...along with CF.

Asperger's is defined as this:
http://www.aspergers.com/

Anonymous said...

Paul has CF and Paul has Aspergers. Why do we keep talking about "Gina" duping everyone? She has neither. Doesn't it seem like all these Gina sightings probably are um...PAUL?

Anonymous said...

Hi, my son suffers from aspergers (hes only 11yrs old) and it affects social skills and interaction with other people, it certainly dosnt make you dream up sad sick schemes like this women/these people have. So pretty sure that is just another of her storys (how many more alias does she go under!)
I also have gone through the tranplant process with my younger brother (31yrs) who has cf and had a double lung transplant just over a year ago. And know the incredible emotional rollercoaster that it involves and those emotions that never leave you as you read other peoples struggles.
I along with everyone else have been sickened by this and following and trying to understand it, being a loyal reader and supporter of FOP since checking out the fop site from confessions of a cf husband.
I dont think she has the slightest concept of the hurt and betrayal she has dealt to complete stangers who really care about others going through the same pain as that pain is still there from their own suffering.
And also now the feeling of doubt when in the future (because we all still will) read other peoples blog and have a feeling of doubt when the incredible happens, and when fellow genuine suffers desperately need the support of people that have gone through the same.
I dont think she has a clue what she has done by playing her stupid games for whatever reasons they may be. And sincerely hope she gets what she deserves!!

Anonymous said...

No, Paul is not Gina...I have been to chat with both Pepe and Q in the rooms, so they are different people.

I used to work with a girl who would "copy" every illness that people had. If I had a migraine, so did she. If I had a run of SVT, amazingly a few days later she would also report having them too. She liked the attention..she did this with her other colleagues as well.She was constantly going to the ER with vague complaints..

I am thinking that Gina is much like this girl. It is known that she visits many forums where the specifics of that disorder are spilled out. A person with Munchausen's will study these facts learning the jargon that is associated with the disorder(s) that they claim to have. They can be convincing, but after awhile, inconsistencies come out which is what happened here. Everything just got so unbelievable.

Anonymous said...

I would like to leave a response to those who call into question whether or not Paul was duped. There is no doubt in my mind that he was, we all were! I'm a nurse, worked for 10 years in an acute hospital setting in Boston and I never questioned the medical validity of what was written. Paul also has extensive medical knowledge from his own health problems, but I can assure you all, he was merely reporting the information that was given to him. I have spoken to "Gina" by phone while Paul was incommunicado during his own transplant. Believe me, she had me going as well. Why would anyone have doubted her story? Sure, we had never met, but because of the spreadable nature of CF bacteria people form close online relationships but are encouraged not to meet face to face. Paul spent many hours on the phone with Gina, and the background noises were real. This woman deserves an Oscar for her accurate portrayal of an acutely ill cystic. As for those of you who don't believe because of her ability to talk several days after transplant: amazing things happen in medicine. There are norms and exceptions to the norm, and it wouldn't be unheard of in my experience for someone to be lucid and coherent only a few days after surgery, even one as extensive as a double lung transplant. Obviously, people will believe what they want, but I'm here to tell you that her story was completely plausible. And who among us would want to think that a dear friend would do this to them??? I know Paul very well and his pain regarding this situation is real. He has been betrayed by someone he loves and has spent more hours than he can count trying to help. Imagine that hurt. I hope that the anger people feel towards Pepe can be directed towards something constructive: not at Paul, and hopefully not at this sick woman who so clearly needs some intensive psychotherapeutic help. Let's not blame Paul, who is the biggest victim of all in this sad, sickening and heartbreaking situation.

kbn

Anonymous said...

This is so sad. It's been a couple of days since I've checked any blogs, so I've been completely shocked by learning all of this so suddenly. I feel kind of sick that someone manipulated my emotions, and obviously the emotions of many other people. Just awful.

Anonymous said...

Terri (KayleesGrandma)

I think you are the only one that feels "vindicated" with this whole thing. Once again it is all about you. When you questioned Pepe's posting so soon after transplant on cf.com you were insinuating that Blake posted it for her to make trouble on the site. It had nothing to do with you knowing the truth. You have constantly fanned the fire at any opportunity and YOU are a huge part of the reason anyone was banned. Get over yourself, the cf.com site would be so much better without you.

Anonymous said...

Like I said, those with Munchausen's can be very convincing. I took care of one such person...she had the doctors convinced that something was horribly wrong with her and a multitude of tests, many invasive, were done to her. She would have these unexplained abscesses on her body.
She also played on the hearts of the staff and was the "perfect patient". She was engaging, overly friendly actually. She was found out eventually when a nurse found contaminated syringes on the bathroom floor. She apparently was injecting herself with toilet water to produce her infections. We all wondered why she was growing out E. coli from her wounds, now we had an explanation. She of course was confronted and became very hostile and left AMA, probably to another facility. We later found out that she had visited over 8 different hospitals with the same complaints.

Being that Paul's relationship with Gina was via the phone, I can see how someone like her could pull it off and be very convincing. Especially because it was via the phone...Paul did not see her face to face so it was probably quite easy for her to portray a very sick person easily with great skill.

Anonymous said...

Just wanted to mention that if Paul has Asperger's, that could help explain why he was unable to "read" Gina and tell that she was lying to him.

Anonymous said...

Thats a very valid comment that maybe Paul couldnt 'read' Gina. My son (who has aspergers) dosnt read people very well at all and once has been told something he feels is true, will adamantly stand by that and it is almost impossible to get him to change his opinion, you have to go through all the facts slowly and very clearly.
He also struggles with friendships and as a result is quite obsessional if he makes a friend and will stand by anything they say and accepts anything they do do without question. It simply dosnt occur to him someone could actually be lying to him.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous 8/16/08 7:01 sure reads and sound like "paul" to me. Be careful guys

Anonymous said...

This may mean nothing, but Paul has 58 photos on his FLICKR account.

He is an incredible writer, so maybe he just enjoys writing stories.


My son has Asperger's. It is part of the Autism spectrum. These people are very intelligent, but have social delays. Studies show that it is almost impossible for Autistic people to lie, for they usually take things quite literally.

Wow, Gina has really covered her tracks. She couldn't possibly be lying for she has Asperger's.

Very, very good.

Anonymous said...

Do you really think the FBI has the time/resources to pursue the theft, if that's even what it was, of $600? Come on, people. Yes, we were all duped, and yes, it sucks, but this is the internet, and it happens. There's not going to be an FBI crackdown, so you may as well get to work on getting over this.

Anonymous said...

I assure you kbn is very real and does indeed know Paul...I know both from the CF community.

Jenn

Anonymous said...

So just because Paul said he spent many hours on the phone with Gina, with real background noises, means it really happened?

AND...

Just because people spoke with them in chat at the same time doesn't mean those were two different people. You can open two accounts and two windows to chat.

I'll have to admit, that must have been quite humorous to pretend to be two people at once.

Anonymous said...

Knowing someone online is not the same as knowing them in person.

Patti said...

Here's an idea....why don't we stop speculating what user names Gina might be using and just watch for what ones disappear after she is thrown in jail?

It would be so much easier! LOL

Anonymous said...

I have been trying to leave this behind, but i just can't as some of these posts simply infuriate me.

For all of us who supported "gina" (who is Blake - they are the same), perhaps, like me, you thought certain things seemed weird or strange but you ignored that feeling because you believed in her and the situation - hindsight of course shows us we should have followed our gut - but at the time we did not question.

Now imagine this same scenario, but it is with a person you've grown to trust and even love, and you all should know that you too could have been duped.

It's hard to read all these opinions and comments from "anonymous" people who don't know Paul or anything about CF. Gina was a sick girl and a mastermind at deception. She loved Paul and in her own unhealthy way allowed that love to create the deception that she did. I am not justifying this or saying it makes sense, but surely it is deserving of some compassion. She needs help, we all know this. and what she did was wrong and emotionally destructive to the very man she claimed to love. Yet you all sit in judgement now despite having only periphreal knowledge of what transpired.

Only 25 people donated for that Wii, I am one of them. Yet you all act as if you were personally scammed. I understand it is frightening to realize that we've been had, that someone can be so incredibly deceptive and that this goes larger than my couple of dollars; I relize it is the integrity of the internet, of Cf, of fundraising - of humanity - in question, and honestly I appreciate that someone took the time to bring the truth to light - I still can't wait to find out who you are.

Meanwhile, my friend Paul has been used and abused beyond what is imaginable snd i can't sit back and let you all continue to slander his character without stepping forward to say that I think all of your who continue to question his role in this are wrong.

And for the person/people who claimed they were in chat last night while we all opened our arms to Paul - of course we did - those that know him believe in him - you who were too coward to say what you really felt should be ashamed of yourself....you just go on posting here anonymously, in the safety of the shadows.


--wanderlost

Anonymous said...

or maybe "he and she" go to jail"

Anonymous said...

Well "supposedly" as he believed in her, you wanderlost believe in him. Be careful who you run to the defense of. Yes we were all scammed. Money or not, you seem to think that you were more conned because of money. My thoughts and emotions r worth, much more than the money all put together. Be careful.

Anonymous said...

How do you know only 25 people gave money ? How?


You're right is all very sad. I'm not angry, just concerned.

I mentioned in another post that my father was a con man. Think "Catch Me if You Can". No, it doesn't mean everyone is, but do know that they are good. They twist things and become experts at everything. People loved my father and couldn't imagine him doing any wrong. He was a fantastic writer as well and even "wrote" movies and books.



I do have to say that I see how Paul may have been duped. I also can possibly understand him taking down his blog if he didn't want to be connected to Gina in any way. Plus, it must be embarrassing to have fallen for her story. If that is true, my prayers go out to Paul.

If it's not true, then catch him if you can.

Anonymous said...

Ha, anon 727, you are so brave not posting your name. If, in your own little world, you want to believe I think it is all about me--go for it. You have been blind all along, so why stop now.

This sounds like those statements that were so defensive when this DWT site was created...Thank God this site unraveled the whole tangled ball of yarn--sorry you are left holding the end of it.

When I posted about Blake being Gina--it was to warn you all that something wasn't right, as I also told you that I was worried that Blake was becoming so emotionaly fragile that I feared for her mental health. At the time I never imagined there wasn't a Gina, just that she was being used by Blake. And--you seem to forget--BLAKE attacked me first, leading me to start questioning her sanity and motives...

And for the record, I'm not sure what I think about Q's involvement in this whole thing, I will wait and see what the legal implications reveal.

I am not the only one who thought something was wrong with the whole "GINA" picture--I voiced it because the others were to intimidated by you all. (You should have seen the pm's I was getting.)

I'm sorry she didn't turn out to be the long-suffering saint you all thought she was.

PS to the anon who thinks it is Paul--my bet is on the initials L.V.--but they are all interchangable--it could be any one of them.

Anonymous said...

The crazy thing is that there's no way to prove that Paul actually wrote that, anyone could have. It sounds like there is very little "proof" other than sites being taken down, which could be done for a number of reasons.

I agree with what you are doing, but with the internet being what it is, finding proof is a difficult thing.

Anonymous said...

I think paul, gina and blake are
all the same person>PAUL....

Anybody can get as many yahoo address as they want and log into any
site using different names.
Not really a hard thing to do.
The Police do it all the time
( hint hint ) .....

We were all mislead and the sad thing is that A lot of people
still trust paul.
Sorry Bud, Your Caught!!

{ ' )

Anonymous said...

Anon 8.14am / wanderlost
says only 25 people donated to the FOP Wii collection. It would appear that this information is inaccurate and that far more people donated enabling "Pepe" to be given a Wii and $250 in gift vouchers.

FOP entry on Dec 24th 2007:
"Thanks to the contributions of 40 or more generous donors, Pepe this week will receive her Nintendo Wii console as well as Best Buy gift certificates totaling $250"

Anonymous said...

PAUL'S STORY IS ITSELF A LIE. He is a WRITER, and as such, WROTE INTO BEING this "character" that is Pepe, as well as peripheral characters, like "Blake" and "Frankenpony." His "apology" is nothing an a sad (and, sadly, believed) effort to cover himself.

- In PAUL's blog (conveniently removed) he alludes to meeting "Pepe" in the hospital, and actually, empirically, observing first-hand how close to death she is.

- He alludes to personally KNOWING Blake and Pepe -- not just over the phone, or online, but in PERSON.

- His descriptions are of such precision that it would take a CFer to have written them.

- The man is (supposedly) a former college professor. I teach college as well, and let me tell you, there is no profession in the world in which people are less easily duped; once you deal with college kids, you can see through any story.

- His own blog was similarly dramatic, down to the very complications he suffered post-tx (i.e., ruptured pulmonary artery, etc.). It seems that when Paul's story settled down, attentions toward him started to subside, and he INVENTED Gina.

PEPE is a manifestation of PAUL HIMSELF -- there is no physical, extrinisic "Pepe." When he speaks of self-delusion, it's a coy double entendre; he IS Pepe. Pepe IS Paul. he wasn't 'fooled' by a second party. Pepe is his CHARACTER, a literary creation. written into being by himself. . .

Anonymous said...

PAUL'S STORY IS ITSELF A LIE. He is a WRITER, and as such, WROTE INTO BEING this "character" that is Pepe, as well as peripheral characters, like "Blake" and "Frankenpony." His "apology" is nothing an a sad (and, sadly, believed) effort to cover himself.

- In PAUL's blog (conveniently removed) he alludes to meeting "Pepe" in the hospital, and actually, empirically, observing first-hand how close to death she is.

- He alludes to personally KNOWING Blake and Pepe -- not just over the phone, or online, but in PERSON.

- His descriptions are of such precision that it would take a CFer to have written them.

- The man is (supposedly) a former college professor. I teach college as well, and let me tell you, there is no profession in the world in which people are less easily duped; once you deal with college kids, you can see through any story.

- His own blog was similarly dramatic, down to the very complications he suffered post-tx (i.e., ruptured pulmonary artery, etc.). It seems that when Paul's story settled down, attentions toward him started to subside, and he INVENTED Gina.

PEPE is a manifestation of PAUL HIMSELF -- there is no physical, extrinisic "Pepe." When he speaks of self-delusion, it's a coy double entendre; he IS Pepe. Pepe IS Paul. he wasn't 'fooled' by a second party. Pepe is his CHARACTER, a literary creation. written into being by himself. . .

Anonymous said...

Those who donated to the Wii fund were listed on the FOP site, 25 people to be exact. That is where that number comes from...

Anonymous said...

FINALLY.Somebody sees is for what it is. Amen to 8:46

Anonymous said...

to annon at 8.46

if there is no person to be "Pepe" then who is the chick on the horse?

Anonymous said...

40 donors, not 25 as some are claiming. From FOP Dec 20 2007 post:

Friends of Pepe
Blake, Minnesota
Brandon, Idaho
Paul, Pennsylvania
Donor Q, Tennessee
Kim, Massachusetts
Joe, Massachusetts
Wilson, Massachusetts
Kylie, Western Australia
Paula, Ohio
Melissa, New York
Darby, Missouri
Laura, Montana

Jacqueline, Pennsylvania
Vikki, California
Mandy, Texas
Betsy, Florida
Victoria, Virginia
Tara, California
Rockingdog, California
Bonnie, New Jersey

Lauren, California
Chaggie, California
Risa, Florida
Nicole, Michigan
Jim, Georgia
Debbi, Georgia
Tracy (aka Fr3ak), Queensland, Australia
Lisa, Washington
David, Arizona
Luke, West Virginia
Laura, North Carolina
Emily, Connecticut
Emma, Australian Capital Territory
CowTown, California
Jessi, Washington

Jenn, New York
Margaret, Virginia
Nathan, Virginia
Shannon, Indiana
Amy, Pennsylvania

Amount Raised: $586.24

Anonymous said...

R U kidding me 8:52? A fat chick named gina is on the horse

Anonymous said...

I think that it is so easy to point fingers and accuse people when you are posting anon. I do anon because google won't recognize my password, and I am tired of jumping thru hoops to get it back. But I ALWAYS post my name. Hats off to the few that have also done so...

If you have the courage of your convictions, post who you are--you would be doing it on the site.

Paul is being made guilty by association, but he is also like the person driving the get-away car in a robbery.--how could he not know. I thought I was sure, but there is an element of doubt. My tust has been violated...we truly don't know the whole story.

I feel like I am in Bizzaro World (for you Superman fans...)

Anonymous said...

I've been reading FOP for a couple of months now and I'm not completely familiar with everyone involved beyond Paul and Gina. I was looking at his Flickr site and noticed not only "Pepe", another girl who looks like the real Gina, and a pumpkin with a "Q" carved in it. Is "Q" Paul?

Anonymous said...

Well at this point, I don't think we can take anything that "the website says" as fact.

Anonymous said...

Hmm...if you believe that Paul is Gina then how do you explain all of the jedisdream videos on Youtube with her riding her horses being taken down within hours of uncovering this deception? Those videos clearly show the same woman over and over riding her horses Gracie and Chip. These videos were over quite a time span as well, years to be exact.

Anonymous said...

considering how technical the blog was, don't you think it had to be authored by someone who has EXTENSIVE knowledge of cf and tx?

Anonymous said...

@8:55: yes, "Q" is Paul.

@8:54: "fat chick?" Really? Nice. Same to all of you who've made nasty fat comments. Have some class, people.

Ashley Dumas said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
DownWiththeTrolls said...

That almost read like a match.com ad. :-)

Anonymous said...

Ok - I have to say something. Many people have commented saying that Gina was in a relationship with Paul (in some form). So how can Paul be innocent in this whole thing if he knew what she looked like and posted a picture of her friend posing as "gina" on the blog?? And if he had never seen her in real life, how can he be in a relationship with her?? And, if he hasn't seen her, hasn't had maybe more than a few phone calls with her (many of whom were probably her posing as Blake to give "updates") how does this make Paul any more closer to "gina" than the rest of us thought we were?? There is no way, if I never talked to her, never saw her, never knew the girl - that I would make a blog for her, pouring my heart out and attracting thousands to her story. I would feel SO guilty raising any money for her cause to anything other than the CF foundation. It's just crazy that he basically doesn't know her (from all the evidence and the innocence he's trying to percieve), yet he sets up a paypal account in her name, has pictures with her on his websites (yet posts a picture of another girl on the pepe blog????). Makes no sense.
It makes me sick because I have prayed so hard for this girl...running to the internet in the morning while my little girls are eating breakfast just to make sure she made it through one more day.
It makes a mockery out of what Nate/Tricia has been through - how much they have endured...almost a slap in the face that people can make this horrible scenario up and get so much support..while Nate, with all of his weight on his shoulders, is taking time to ask his thousands of readers to pray for Gina.
She should be put in prison.

DownWiththeTrolls said...

Paul's email said he spent 6,000 minutes a month talking to Gina.

Since he didn't get around much, maybe it was an Internet relationship? We've been looking into Gina's posts, which reveal a LOT, to see if she ever says whether she meets him or not.

We doubt she'll get prison time for such a small amount of money, but if we can find any precedented cases for emotional fraud, then that is a different story entirely.

Emotionally frauding 275,000 people should be substantial enough!

Anonymous said...

Another component in Ausberger's is lack of empathy for others. Not everyone with Ausberger's has this trait IF this Gina chick really has Ausberger's it could explain how whe would not feel badly about getting all this attention for herself while messing with all of us who took the time to read and care.
Regardless, she is an emotional terrorist. I do hope she is busted by the authorities. Part of her punishment should be that she is not allowed to have a computer or any sort of internet access. She should not be allowed or enabled to be on a public forum like the internet messing with people's emotions and lives.
I started reading FOP at the point of the tx so I didn't know all the back story (emphasis on story). I spent many days and nights praying for her, putting her above myself and others who really suffer with real diseases. Gina disgusts me. If Paul was really duped, I am even more disgusted with her. What kind of selfish, narssist takes advantage of someone like Paul who has suffered so much in his own life and continues to battle post tx issues?
I feel sorry for her next set of victims on the next internet support group she preys on. All the more reason she should have her computer taken away. I hope she gets psych treatment and jail time.
Thank you DWT for doing so much investigative work so fast. I look foward to you sharing Paul's sentiments when you can.
Paula

Anonymous said...

Another component in Ausberger's is lack of empathy for others. Not everyone with Ausberger's has this trait IF this Gina chick really has Ausberger's it could explain how whe would not feel badly about getting all this attention for herself while messing with all of us who took the time to read and care.
Regardless, she is an emotional terrorist. I do hope she is busted by the authorities. Part of her punishment should be that she is not allowed to have a computer or any sort of internet access. She should not be allowed or enabled to be on a public forum like the internet messing with people's emotions and lives.
I started reading FOP at the point of the tx so I didn't know all the back story (emphasis on story). I spent many days and nights praying for her, putting her above myself and others who really suffer with real diseases. Gina disgusts me. If Paul was really duped, I am even more disgusted with her. What kind of selfish, narssist takes advantage of someone like Paul who has suffered so much in his own life and continues to battle post tx issues?
I feel sorry for her next set of victims on the next internet support group she preys on. All the more reason she should have her computer taken away. I hope she gets psych treatment and jail time.
Thank you DWT for doing so much investigative work so fast. I look foward to you sharing Paul's sentiments when you can.
Paula

Anonymous said...

From DWTT: We doubt she'll get prison time for such a small amount of money, but if we can find any precedented cases for emotional fraud, then that is a different story entirely.

Emotionally frauding 275,000 people should be substantial enough!


I'm curious as to why you think the authorities should spend resources tracking down the theft of $600 (a pittance, in the grand scheme of theft), or, even less believably, trying to somehow compensate the FOP readers for "emotional fraud?"

This. is. a. risk. of. the. internet. This is going to come off rude, and I don't mean it as such, but are you new to the internet? This kind of stuff, while shocking and heartrending, is not at all uncommon, and if the FBI/police spent time tracking down small-time internet-based "emotional frauds," they wouldn't have time for piddling about with Al Qaeda, etc.

I think some perspective is needed. Yes, she did a terrible thing. But nothing's going to come of it, and I think realizing that and trying to start to move on would be prudent.

What do you really want? Honestly, do you think she'd ever get jail time? Is she mentally fit to be charged? Do you want her locked up in a mental hospital? Would that satisfy you? Do you want an apology? Would that make you whole?

As far as I can see, the contributors to the Wii fund lost about $15 each, and had their trust shaken. What I don't understand is why this is so uncommon as to warrant pipe-dream intervention from the feds and S.W.A.T. teams breaking down Gina's door and shaking the Wii out of her.

Yes, it's terrible to be betrayed, but you need to be realistic about the scope. Gina, though ingenious, and having done a terrible thing, is not unique, and neither are you. Would you be okay with a sizable increase in your taxes to provide the budget for the FBI to be taking on "emotional fraud" and issues as objectively minor as this?

Anonymous said...

Paul was quite sick and did not get around much, so it sounds plausible that this was an internet relationship. He had terrible lung functions and was sucking on oxygen 24/7 waiting for a transplant. Doesn't sound like the traveling type to me...

Anonymous said...

Regarding scope. If Paul was duped and if, God forbid, the trauma of Gina's deception causes his health to take a dive, there would much more serious legal and criminal consequences for Gina.
Con artists cons only get bigger and more brazen with time. Wouldn't you like to see her stopped now instead of waiting until something worse happened which would be much more costly to authorities and tax payers?
Paula

Anonymous said...

While I agree with the fact that the FBI's resources are better spent on bigger fish, I do feel this is a seriously troubled person/persons and the truth needs to come out so that those responsible can be held accountable. I have checked Pepes bog everyday for months now and do feel emotionally rapped. I am more concerned about what those responsible will do next. They are in need of some attention and that need is not going to end when this is over. These are the kind of people you hear about on the 5 o'clock news after they have shot up a mall or a church service. And everybody always says "I should have know this was coming" Well 275,000 people are going to be saying that if these people don't get the help they so desperately need. If you who are responsible are reading this, please reach out to someone, I am praying for you.

Anonymous said...

Answer this if Paul was so sick why was he in a park in Pittsburgh with Gina and her friend and by his photos he had his lung transplant that same year Oct 2007.
Photo in park is date August 2007.
Are we missing something hear. Also, on Chippedaway post she said her name is Gina and she was'nt diagnosed until the fall of 2006. She also stated all her problems were GI related. That was one hell of a nose dive if you ask me. Did I maybe miss something.

Anonymous said...

Question...do we know "Paul" to be a true person? If so, do we know that Paul really had his transplant in 2007? Anyone know the dates?

It seems like if someone wanted to take the time they could look for posts from Gina/Pepe/Blake during the dates that Paul was having his transplant and recovering afterwards. If Gina/Pepe/Blake was a regular poster and there were all of a sudden no posts while Paul was being transplanted, would that not help to prove/disprove whether or not Paul is the one behind all of this?

Just a thought from an outsider looking in...

Anonymous said...

it is so obvious that paul is not innocent...so obvious...you are being fooled again people...you are being fooled again!

Anonymous said...

@11:26: where are you getting this "275,000 people" number? I suspect it's been taken from FOP's blog traffic stats, which typically track something called "unique visitors." This doesn't mean what I suspect many think it means. Unique visitors is a misleading term, distinguished from page loads or clicks. I, personally, am probably responsible for over a hundred of those "unique visits."

Can someone (DWTT?) clear this up? I think 275,000 is WAY overblown, and if people are going to be gnashing their teeth about a number, I'd like to know whether it's anywhere close to correct.

Anonymous said...

Also @11:26: could you (and everyone else) think carefully about the term "raped" before using it again?

Anonymous said...

I just wanted to point out that in the list of "40 donors" that was posted here, one of them was "Donor Q, Tennessee."

In Paul's blog, "Donor Q" was the name he used for the deceased man who provided his new lungs. He also stated in his blog that man was from Tennessee.

So I doubt that "Donor Q" was among those who chipped in money for "Pepe's" Wii.

Anonymous said...

Wow, anon 12:14, excellent observation.

Anonymous said...

The reason Paul was in Pittsburgh is because that is where he had to stay to wait for "the call" for his lungs...he had his tx there. When people get transplants, they have to be within a certain distance prior and afterwards as well for rehab, follow up etc...Since he lived in Chicago, he had to relocate which is a common enough occurrence for those waiting for transplants.
I do know of a few people who have met him, can't say the same about meeting Gina except that if there were any contact, it was via a phone as it was thought that she was in an ICU in the hospital.

DownWiththeTrolls said...

The 275,000 is the number from the last cache of the "Friends of Pepe" site. This represents an overall first-click number of visitors to the site, not unique visitors/IPs, or page views. I would expect page views to be three times this number, and unique visitors is anyone's guess, but certainly less than that 275,000, with the majority being in June and July.

To the person asking for official contact information, as soon as I have a name to officially give you, I will pass it on. This was sent to authorities Friday afternoon, so we expect to hear back with more details Monday.

We have a flurry of emails from people with evidence about Gina posing as Blake as long as 4-5 years ago, but so far nothing linking Paul and Gina/Pepe physically. Thank you for all who have sent information.

We'll be responding/sifting through this content shortly, but for now, lunch break!!

Anonymous said...

My question about Paul's involvement is this: How did he get updates from Gina when she was supposedly vented and sedated and all that?? It seems like he would have had to be involved since she couldn't have called him vented and sedated. Or perhaps there was there an accomplice passing on the fake info to Paul?

Anonymous said...

12:59

NEWS FLASH

She wasn't vented or sleeping. The whole deal that we are talking about is that she was faking. As in she was sitting at her computer and pretending to be sick. Whether or not Paul knew that she was pretending is debatable.

This is the story. Gina who signed in sometimes as Pepe/gina and others as Blake sent emails and called Paul to give him the updates. She was NEVER in the hospital. THe sick PEPE never existed ok. Gina was pretending to be sick .

Gina logs on as 'Blake' - "Oh Paul , Pepe is vented again"

the next day ...

Gina logs on as 'Pepe/gina' - "Oh Paul , I am off the vent now."

Ok does that help you.

Danny 31 CF 11 months post TX said...

I hope she relises what damage she has to in reguards to people not wanting to hear about Cf and our struggles . We get no government help with helping cure this disease and now because of this hoax less people will tend to believe that our hardships are real.The road to and from TX is hell , and she made a complete mockery of us all good job asshole.She has sacred the hell out of folks who need a TX and thinking about one , the death of any one scared off by her assholeism should be looked into by the cops . Maybe she should give all that money to CF that she got instead of indulging her narsisistic tendencies with STOLEN money. I could honestly care less about her "mental condition" she is a horrid person . I truly hope she is happy that thousands of others CFer's will be looked at under a microscope just so she could get her F'n jollies and the attention she wanted . I really wanted to say much more but this pisses me off so badly that it would all look like this %&&# . i hope she gets charged criminally and learns what hell is .

Danny 31 CF 11 months post TX ( im not bullshitting you )

Anonymous said...

I don't even believe that Paul has CF or had a transplant. Before his blog was removed all lot of his friends said they had no idea, and why doesn't he answer them.

Anonymous said...

I have sent all this info to every major news outlet. I suggest you all do the same. This is to save the CF Research donations that are now in jeopardy. Dateline or 20/20 will get to the bottom of this and hopefully they will include Nate, Tricia and Gwenneth and the CF research organization will be able to recover from the lost donations that are surely in jeopardy from this scam.

Anonymous said...

Paul Mooney aka... clamshellmuni, aka... FOP, I do not believe for one minute that you are innocent.

Anonymous said...

I'm sorry but I was reading the FOP blog then stopped for awhile, but what brought the suspicion on? I am just curious.

Anonymous said...

lol. whoever said we are all delusional for thinking a "swat team will beat down gina's door" is delusional themselves. Seriously. You watch too much TV. #1 I doubt anyone here thinks that will happen and #2 Each state has a local FBI branch. They prosecute all sorts of minor, yet federal, crimes. They're not working on Al Qaeda 24/7. And yes, they pursue internet fraud.

This is all so much to sort through, but I think:
-Gina is a real person, who invented Pepe to Paul, b/c she has a mental disorder.
-Gina invented Blake, disguised her voice, or got a friend to act as Blake
-Gina is all those various online identities, jedisdreams, blake, pepe, chippedaway, etc.
-Gina "believed" she was in a relationship with Paul, but they probably never met in real life.
-Paul probably met her on the internet, believed her, and had an internet relationship with her.
-Paul does seem legit in that he does seem to have CF. And I think others have said they met him in person, so that seems weird to question that.

But....here's what keeps me doubtful:
-why didn't Paul see thru this?
-why didn't Paul ever research all those various identities of hers? and come across all the discrepancies...what backstory did she tell Paul...and why did he never google anything about her horses, life, etc., if she gave him so many details about how she "showed horses"? he would have come across her videos.
-who delivered the wii?
-why did his blog allude to meeting her?
-the devil's lake photo....it is a place in Minnesota. so did he meet her?!

I think the story seems soooooo plausible that he met her on internet, developed relationship, and didn't know all about her online identities. but there are just those nagging questions that haven't been logically explained, yet. So I'm not 100% convinced of anything, except of Gina's role in all this. She likely does have the Munchausen issue.

I really wish people would post the flickr foto that has been removed, that supposedly has a comment from Gina on it. Also, do people really believe the photo in the park is Gina? I'm undecided.

And, while I'm not part of CF world, only came across this site originally from Nate's blog, I've read the other issues and, seriously, a huge fight on CF.com because a folder was moved? geez. Seems like that Terri person was right on in her suspicions.

Also, for those who criticize Nate...he was duped as well. It's stupid to criticize his credibility. He didn't vouge for her...he just came across her blog and let people know about it.

Lastly, for those saying it's not a big deal, I think it's a big deal for seriously ill people, and not ill people, for that matter, to have donated ANY amount of money, and invested all that emotion in a fraud...not to mention, as others have stated, how scared her situation made other CF's. For all you know, even just one CF person may have made a medical decision based on what they had read on that fraud of a blog.

--CB

Magoon Family said...

I am disgusted that someone would create such a scam and that I wasted time praying for someone who was not in need...let me take that back...this person IS in need of prayer. Whoever is behind this needs help!!!! To scam so many people and to take up everyones time with lies is inexcusable and sad!

Anonymous said...

I think we all have too much time on our hands.

sb

Anonymous said...

I just read through every comment attached to this post and I have a theory...

Paul and Gina are one and the same. "Down with the Trolls" is the creation of Paul himself in order to stay in the loop with the gossip.

Sad. Very Sad.

April said...

who was calling Paul with the updates? is there a third party involved? Does Paul even know Gina IRL? this is shear crazyness! I think karma will bite some butt here. I wondered how someone so sick could withstand another transplant! Then I thought maybe Gina died. ugh! shame on the scammer(s)! sadly, I highly doubt the FBI is going to give a hoot about some scammer on the internet. I just feel bad for everyone who was duped (Including me) I check Gina's blog every morning. ugh. sorry to all the CFers who are hurt over this. (((hugs)))

amanda said...

Dude, seriously...this is some ass backwards stuff. Either Paul and gina are the same people. Or Paul and Gina are in it together.

No one lives through several flash pulmonary edemas a day. Pulmonary edema is NO JOKE...it kills people, especially when they have 20% pfts and raging infection.

No one pops on and off the vent here and there. You are vented, or not. It isn't like a nasal canula that you take on and off. The vent breaths for you.

While the blog writer had enough knowledge to fool many people and sound all technical, he/she/it didn't have enough knowledge to know when they were going over board. The story stunk of lies.

Remember the movie with Ricard Gere and Edward Norton...Primal Fear? Norton played a bang up con artist that had everyone fooled. Sounds like someone is a fan of those types of movies!

Gina/Pepe/Paul/Blake...whatever you are, you are sad and need some serious help. Start a blog about bi-polar disorder or multiple personality disorder, that is much more up your ally. Seriously, get some help.

Shame on you for acting like such an ass.

Millicent said...

Thank you for exposing this scam. I was following Pepe's story and even started a candle prayer page for her in the days before the site was taken down. I found the site via Nate's blog. I should be angry, but instead am very sad for Nate, Tricia and the whole CF community.

Nate's site helped open my eye's to CF and organ donation. I am forever grateful to have come across his site. I do not think for a second he should get any flack for this. He is a wonderful guy who was just trying to help a CFer he believed needed prayers. To think he has to weather the storm from all this, just for being kind, sickens me. So any of those people critising him, please think carefully before you post. I think he is feeling badly enough as it is.

For those duped like me, I am incredibly sorry. DWT, thank you for exposing this scam, even though it seems you got a lot of flack for trying to. It has helped bring some closure for me, and it is nice to know a little of what has happened. Going to the FOP blog and seeing it closed down was such a shock after praying so hard and following the story so closely.

DownWiththeTrolls said...

Millicent - you are very welcome. People like you are the reason we did this, and for the reasons you stated.

Amanda - no one here has a ton of medical background experience, but looking back we (well I in particular) wondered about her infection. The fevers raised a red flag for me, as did the MRSA. It was "convenient."

Julie said...

Paul. Blake. Gina. Pepe.

Are we sure these aren't Sybil's new personalities? Because it sure sounds like they are all the same person to me.

Sad soap opera of a story, especially when it hurts people who are truly dealing with CF and TX issues such as our beloved Tricia and Nate.

Holladay Family said...

My nephew had stage 4 liver and lung cancer. He received chemo which killed the cancer in his lungs and gratefully he received a donor liver. He barely survived. When the local newspaper did a story on him (he was only 2 years old at the time-he is now 4), a scam artist woman took notice. My brother and sister-in-law had set up a bank account to help others donate for medical expenses. This woman set up a bank account at the EXACT same bank under the EXACT same name so when people donated it went to her account instead of his. She also went on his carepage site and copied all of his experiences. Then she created her own "fake" child and gave him the same experiences. Many people mailed her checks for this child that didn't exist. The word sad comes to mind. My nephew was SO CLOSE TO DEATH and yet someone out there used his name and pain to make money. People can really show their evil. Thankfully, MOST PEOPLE ARE HONEST AND GOOD. I believe most people want to help others and do what is right. If only "Pepe" could see how much damage she has done.

Kate said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
amanda said...

I see from your post that you as well as Nathan from "Confessions of a CF Husband" are in part blaming yourselves, which I think is normal for human beings to do. But you are a victim of this betrayal as are all others, including the person who betrayed(I'm not sure if it's Paul, Pepe?) are a victim of themselves. Obviously this person has a serious problem and needs some serious help, and hopefully this will lead to that because not only has this marred the CF blog community, but other blogging communities as well.

Debi said...

WONDER HOW LONG MY POST WILL ACTUALLY STAY UP HERE PAUL.

I HAVE HARD PROOF THAT PAUL KNEW ABOUT THE WHOLE SCAM. EMAIL ME FOR THE INFO AND I WILL WAIT 24 HOURS TO START ANSWERING EVERYONE. I JUST DON'T KNOW IF I COULD POST IT HERE AND IT WOULDN'T GO POOF!!

I CAN SAY (I THINK, I HAVE SAVED THE ONES I COULD ACCESS) IF YOU LEFT COMMENTS ON FOP GOOGLE YOUR EMAIL ADDY AND YOU CAN READ THE PAGES OF FOP. THE PAGES THEMSELVES ARE WHAT I WILL POINT YOU TO THAT WILL PROVE PAUL IS NOT INNOCENT. I CANNOT CHANGE THEM. THEY ARE WHAT THEY ARE.

KANDI ANN

(born Deborah Ann)

THE ASPIE WHO WAS FOOLED. NEVER AGAIN. I SWEAR THE MOMENT I SAID I AM AN ASPIE SHE TOOK THAT ILLNESS ON TOO.