My name is Topher Mackenzie, and for the last six months, like many others, I have contributed to the Facebook group 100,000 strong to ban Nathan Kotylak from the Canada Olympic team.
Regretfully, after watching what the group has become, I feel it is my duty to inform you about some of the disgusting behaviour of the creator and administrator of this Facebook group, Jeromie Williams (Twitter, Face Book, LinkedIn), who has also been blogging about the group for the Examiner.com under false pretenses (as an observer, rather than creator/administrator).
His articles claim that the group was created by Shelly Comeon; however, no such person exists. She is just one Jeromie’s many fake online profiles, which he is even now using to threaten and harass many of the original contributors to the group. Yes, I can prove it. More on this later. First, please allow me to correct the record.
1. There is no deal to let Nathan Kotylak escape charges.
Jeromie published an Examiner article on December 22, 2011, which claims that based on information provided by “Officer Tony” at USCIS, Nathan Kotylak has made a plea deal with the VPD, and will not face any charges. As actual journalists like Shane Woodford at CKNW and Peter Meiszner at Global BC have confirmed, THIS STORY IS FALSE. The YCJA in Canada forbids publication of information on young offenders, but I invite you, gentle reader, to connect the dots for yourself. No one is escaping charges.
So, where did the story come from? Simple: IT WAS FABRICATED BY JEROMIE WILLIAMS, in order to generate traffic to his (pay-per-visit) Examiner articles, collect more accolades like this, and to con his way back onto Ezra Levant’s show on the Sun News Network (now featured prominently on Jeromie’s CV on his site). In fact, for months Jeromie has been using the page to try to swindle money from honest people (compare this to this). But again, more on that later.
2. Jeromie’s “Update” is just a feeble attempt at a coverup.
As you can see, Jeromie has posted an “update” to his story, furiously backpedalling, and blaming Kim Johnston for the “unintentional” “misunderstanding” and “confusion.” Sorry, but there was no misunderstanding. I invite you to compare Jeromie’s original story, available for now in the Google cache, with the new, doctored story (here). As you can see, in the original, Jeromie claims to have received his information from Officer Tony at USCIS, but the new version names an “informant,” Kim Johnston (see this side-by-side comparison). Note that his “update” does not state that the original story has been modified in any way.
In reality, Officer Tony helped Kim with a personal immigration issue (a green card). USCIS, as those with even the most basic knowledge of the American system know, oversees immigration to the US; it does not deal with temporary visas, including student (F-1) visas, which are handled by other DHS agencies. Thus, Officer Tony had no knowledge about Nathan Kotylak’s visa situation, and provided no information to Jeromie (with whom he has had no direct contact whatsoever at any time). Nor did he provide any information on Nathan Kotylak to Kim Johnston. Nor, forged screenshots aside, did she provide any information to the contrary to Jeromie.
The “update” “clarifies” the situation as follows: “at no time did the Canada Headlines Examiner column have any contact with this officer” in US law enforcement. However, gentle reader, I invite you to watch Jeromie claim ON VIDEO that yes, indeed, he was personally in contact with US immigration authorities (@ 6:12). You may also notice that:
- Jeromie concocted a false story to get back onto Ezra Levant’s show on November 2, 2011, namely, that Nathan Kotylak had been charged, but only with participating in a riot, not with more serious charges like arson. On the show, he attributed this to (I’m quoting) “other sources.” THIS IS FALSE. The first round of charge recommendations was announced on October 31, but no charges were approved until one month later. JEROMIE COULD NOT HAVE KNOWN ABOUT CHARGES ON NOVEMBER 2 BECAUSE THERE WERE NONE. But, he wanted back on TV.
- I was suspicious about who Jeromie’s “other sources” were, so I asked him on the Facebook page (though, since I’ve been banished, my question is no longer there). His response? CTV and Global. Now, once again, THIS IS FALSE. He was simply lying.
- There is a vast gap between Jeromie’s attitude towards Nathan Kotylak’s 70 hours of community service on Ezra Levant’s show versus his latest Examiner article. On TV, Jeromie notes the community service was done voluntarily in the summer, at places of Kotylak’s own choosing. His story changes in his article: suddenly the 70 hours is part of a secret deal to allow Nathan to escape charges. But of course… THIS IS FALSE. There were no charges approved in the summer, and there was no deal in the summer.
By his own admission, Jeromie has deceived his readers by pretending to have received confidential information about Nathan Kotylak directly from an Officer in the USCIS, with whom he was never in contact. Subsequently, he has deceived his readers by doctoring his article to make it appear as though his source was always “an informant” (Kim
Johnston) rather than “Officer Tony” directly. However, Jeromie’s malfeasance goes far, far deeper than this.
3. Jeromie has been harassing Kim Johnston for months.
The truth is, for many months, Jeromie has engaged in a campaign of CYBERSTALKING AND HARASSMENT AGAINST KIM JOHNSTON, including literally thousands of messages, begging her for, among other things:
- Money for his website, money for a rally in Ottawa (to get back onto Ezra Levant’s show on the Sun News Network), money to save a dog (“He DIES TODAY unless immediately Adopted!”), money for artwork, money FOR THE CHILDREN… even money for Jeromie’s mushroom company (remember that, as it’s important below).
- A “big boy job” writing press releases at her company, where he failed spectacularly, according to Kim.
- “Freebies” (namely, free “Dirty Boy” facewash products) from her company, which he now disparages on Twitter, which he wanted to use as party treats for a party he was organizing on or around December 15, 2011.
- And, last but not least, information about Nathan Kotylak from Kim’s USCIS contacts, including Officer Tony, who (she mentioned) helped her with an immigration (green card) issue.
However, though she may have asked general questions about criminals and F-1 visas, as I noted above, at no point did Kim ever discuss Nathan Kotylak’s case specifically with Officer Tony, or anyone else at USCIS. Nor did she claim otherwise to Jeromie. When she could not provide further information and refused to send him money or free products for his parties, he became increasingly hostile. In spite of his constant exhortations to “keep it classy” on the page, Jeromie began sending Kim messages about how she was disappointing him.
Namecalling soon followed. Kim was called a “greedy bitch” and worse. Jeromie Williams, a longtime recipient of “government support,” even called Kim a “broke has been” in posts that Facebook administrators removed. And then, on December 22, the false Examiner story followed, which Jeromie attributed to Kim’s USCIS officer, and, subsequently, to her directly. But I have determined that this is nothing more than a malicious lie. After Kim objected, Jeromie warned me, and other members of the group, out of the blue, not to listen to her, as she is “fragile,” has gone “off the deep end,” and “off her meds.”
Then, after calling her a “bitch” on her own wall for failing to give him free facewash products for his party, Jeromie explained on the group’s wall that he was “concerned” about her, and that he hopes she gets the “medical attention she needs”:
Continuing along on that theme, another fake profile threatened Kim’s business and even her son’s immigration status. Kim was warned that Jeromie would go to the US consulate and press charges against her (based on what, I cannot guess). Jeromie would give her IP address to the Canadian and Australian consulates, and they will track her down, to her “general location”! She might even be exposed for selling some expired beauty products on eBay! (Kim was selling products before they expired, not selling expired products; Jeromie, as usual, took her statements out of context, no doubt in part because she wouldn’t send the products to him for free.) And this “whole business might even be placed on your sons immigration papers.”
Well, I do not need an IP address to trace messages like this directly to their source. And I would only add: Jeromie, if you have any shred of decency in you, stop sending these threatening messages to Kim. Whatever you decide, know that we are not buying your disguises, or your threats, which are frankly emptier than most of your ChipIn accounts.
The evidence of his harassment of Kim, much of which I have personally seen, is both extensive and incontrovertible, and it is being shared with the appropriate authorities. Note that I do not know Kim Johnston personally, nor have I talked with her before outside the context of the Nathan Kotylak Facebook group. However, I was drawn into this dispute when Jeromie banned me from the group, along with several other longstanding contributors (including Kim), for raising questions about his false Examiner article.
Sadly this is not the end of what I have discovered. It gets worse.
4. Jeromie has been covering his own false personas at the Examiner.com.
Let’s start at the beginning. As I mentioned above, Jeromie’s articles claim that the Facebook group was created by Shelly Comeon (Twitter, WordPress). As you can see, readers of “Shelly”‘s WordPress blog are directed to mail their riot photos to email@example.com. As it turns out, this address is the same as the one used by Jeromie’s mushroom company, Klooé Kombucha (yes, the same one he was begging Kim to invest in). Note, gentle reader, that, like Jeromie himself, his mushrooms also like Rachel Maddow.
Not to mention that Shelly Comeon is described in various media as “a former Vancouver resident who now lives in Montreal.” Recall, gentle reader, that Jeromie describes himself as “a native Vancouverite living in Montreal.”
I think we all know what’s going on here.
But there’s more: Neither I, nor any of the other longstanding contributors to the group I know, remember “Shelly Comeon” ever contributing anything to the group. Ever. In fact, ten days after the riot, on June 25, we were informed that “Shelly” was turning over the administration of the group to “our friend at Examiner.com, Jeromie.” No doubt “Shelly” and Jeromie are on very friendly terms together. This may explain why “she” has recently resurfaced to send threatening messages to Kim Johnston as well. I’m not sure, but I’ll let the appropriate authorities deal with that.
Moreover, based on a brief examination of Jeromie’s history at Examiner.com, and Facebook, I believe that this is not the first time he has acted this way. His articles often involve events that never happened, people who don’t exist, and even supposed witnesses to serious crimes who do not exist, at least not outside of the imagination of Jeromie Williams.
I have some small insight into the pain and suffering Jeromie’s fabrications have caused in the lives of real people, not to mention the trouble caused for the Vancouver Police Department and Crown prosecutors in British Columbia, who have been stuck chasing phantom witnesses, and trying to discredit fake reports of plea bargains that were never made, and all in the case of a young offender who is still nominally protected by the YCJA’s publication ban. Believe me, the damage done by the fake reporting of this individual is considerable.
5. Jeromie Williams is a Fraud.
As I mentioned above, Jeromie has cultivated quite a vast network of social media identities, many of them false, and many of them calculated attempts to swindle money from honest people. To take one more example, consider his campaign to stop the seal hunt: it comes complete with a WordPress blog (compare to this and this), a Facebook group, and, most importantly, a way to send money to Jeromie. Whether you are an animal lover, or an Ann Coulter hater (more on this below), send your cash to this self-described “hustler” for “pennies”, and he will solve all your problems!
Even a cursory review of Jeromie’s past activities reveals an incredible number of exaggerations and embellishments. As Kim noted, Jeromie’s CV alone contains several:
- Jack Layton served him a cheeseburger once, so he “Cooked cheeseburgers with Jack Layton.”
- He filled out a form, so he’s a “Medal of Bravery Nominee.”
- He saw some lightning once, presumably, and “Survived being hit by lightning.”
You get the idea.
Speaking of Jeromie’s CV, I invite you to compare it to this “wanted poster” for Nathan Kotylak, which Jeromie attempted to spread around the San Jose-area college that Nathan attended in the fall. Among other things you may notice that Jeromie’s poster is a fairly explicit attempt to stir up the kind of vigilantism that we should all condemn, and that it
suggests Nathan Kotylak “escaped” or “fled” the country illegally, when, as despicable as his actions were on June 15, 2011, and as much as I want him held accountable and punished for his actions that day, Nathan Kotylak is not responsible for the fact it has taken over six months for charges against him to be approved.
6. A Special Note on Ezra Levant’s show.
I must admit a certain grudging admiration for Jeromie’s ability to con his way onto Ezra Levant’s show. As an Alberta-hating NDP supporter, who was deeply involved in the campaign to have Ann Coulter banned from Canada, who predicted the “Rise of the Orange [NDP] Phoenix” after Jack Layton’s death, and who has repeatedly libeled the Prime Minister of Canada (describing him as guilty of crimes for campaigning on election day, which is entirely legal), Jeromie is a rather odd guest to see on Ezra’s show.
Months ago, when I learned Jeromie was to appear on Ezra’s show, I suggested he share an article about Vancouver rioters who were fired from their jobs potentially making human rights complaints, alleging illegal workplace discrimination on the basis of their criminal records. I thought, this was outrageous, and given Ezra’s interest in both the Vancouver rioters, and his excellent book on the abuses of so-called human rights commissions, he would surely be interested. But I never heard anything more. Little did I know at the time that Jeromie was one of the abusers. He advocated, and may well have participated, in the filing of human rights complaints to try to silence Ann Coulter, whom Ezra had invited to speak in Canada.
It’s a small world, I guess.
No doubt Ezra would also be surprised to learn that Jeromie also opposed the creation of Sun TV in the first place, complaining that its hosts would be “venomous bobble heads” who would “[flood] the airwaves with corporate sponsored conservative bullshit.” Presumably, that does not apply whenever Jeromie appears as a guest on Sun TV. Particularly on the show of Ezra Levant, an article about whom prompted Jeromie, not so long ago, to describe Alberta as “our red neck province.”
Jeromie’s capacity for brazen hypocrisy is limitless. A one-time anti-pornography crusader, Jeromie recently started working as a “Social Media Specialist” at Playboy Plus Entertainment Inc., according to his LinkedIn page. So, Jeromie Williams, who once complained about inappropriate images showing up on Facebook walls and news feeds in his Examiner articles now has a new job where he posts those very same inappropriate images to Facebook [WARNING: Last link NSFW].
You literally couldn’t make this stuff up. No one would believe it. But those are the facts.
Allow me to gently suggest that Ezra, whom I like, might benefit from more thorough background checks on potential guests. Leaving Jeromie aside for a moment, I have had great respect for Ezra’s reporting on this issue ever since his original commentary. It is indeed a shame that so many months passed after the riot without charges being laid. Adding to the shame, sadly we all let a charlatan by the name of Jeromie Williams step into this void and exploit it for his own self-serving purposes. I blame myself for this as much as, or more than, anyone else. Think of this letter, setting the record straight, as
To conclude, I would like to thank you for reading, and to simply warn you, once more, to take care if you have the misfortune of having to deal with Jeromie Williams. I am not sure I could say, in retrospect, that I have ever met a more vile, or more dishonest, person who professes to follow any kind of journalistic standards or ethics. Jayson Blair and Johann Hari have nothing on Jeromie Williams.
P.S. Thank you to Kim Johnston for allowing me to post this letter on her blog.
UPDATE: Well, that didn’t take long. “Alisha Wicklund” has responded to me on Jeromie’s page. I’ll let you read it for yourself. Among other things, “Alisha” asks that if “You don’t believe me that I am not [Jeromie], ask the my parents, ask the people I’ve gone to school with…”
Suppose you decide to try that. You will soon find that she graduated from Hogwarts in 1910, after making potions with Severus. Then she graduated again from Hogwarts in 1923, with an advanced degree in potions, Quidditch, and herbology. For someone over 100, she looks amazingly young, doesn’t she? It must be all those potions! But good luck finding any of her classmates to chat with. Maybe you could ask around in her Church, the “Church of Anonymous.” Let me know when you find it. And give Harry Potter my regards.