‘Nobody Made This Up’

Re: “Deep Web” (Currents, March 12): I am writing because I believe I am one of the few people who knows the truth about all this. I have been aware of the facebook profiles Tim created since December of 2012. I was concerned about them because after he created the, he had them “friend” many of his friends, which I personally found to be deceptive. Perhaps it was done innocently, but after reading many of these “women’s” posts, I could see a definite possibility for entrapment if someone was to contact one of these women through a private message, when actually Tim was the only person who would be seeing those messages.

I know Tim and I have always thought he was a nice man. As a woman, I am offended by many of the sexist posts he puts on Facebook through the sock puppets he has created. And more so, by fact that he has used these creations so deceptively. Though I am not politically active, I agree with him politically on most issues. I believe he has a very nice family. I’m sorry that they will be hurt and embarrassed by this. But it is Tim’s actions and Tim’s subsequent reactions to being found out, that are hurtful—not the fact that he has been found out. Don’t kill the messenger.

I want to write about what I have known for over a year because I am fed up with Tim right now. He has many wonderful people supporting him in this difficult time, and he owes it to the people who believe in him to be honest with them. He is being very careless with their trust. They deserve better.

I would like to write what I know. It is all true. If I give my opinion, I will identify it as such:
In mid-December, 2012, I noticed a very attractive profile picture with a comment to one of my Facebook friend’s posts. I thought it looked like a stylist at the salon I go to, so I clicked on the picture and was surprised to find it was taken from a photographer’s Internet website (probably not that unusual and could have still been real). I was curious then, so I started looking more carefully at the womanís profile and timeline and could not help but notice how many of her friends were beautiful, with pictures which were often slightly blurry or looking like they were taken from lingerie catalogs. Then I started to notice the watermarks (TMZ) on some pictures that were of wild-looking parties, and became intrigued with the possibility that something wasn’t right with this group.

At first I thought that this group of women who all posted so often on each others’ walls, and on Tim’s wall, and commented on and shared so many of Tim’s posts, might somehow be part of an organized group or possibly be being paid. But after an hour or two of researching them, it became obvious to me that they were each created by Tim Goncharoff, and that he was the one posting using their phony identities. Solana Gregory and Hana Hanaloa were both created on July 15, 2009, and immediately friended by Tim. Jennifer Mondragon was created and immediately friended by Tim on July 17, 2009. The same for Elisa Verde on July 18, 2009; for Elana Terranovias and Natalya Zhuvanskaya on July 20, 2009; and Jasmine Guadeloupe on September 25, 2009.
Dennis Finch-Hatton was created and friended by many of the “girls” on April 26, 2010. I’m not sure, but I don’t believe that Tim friended him until a month or two later (possibly June 25, according to my notes). Andrea Rivera was created and friended immediately by Tim on July 2, 2012. I have screen shots of this as well as several others, showing Tim friending them as soon as they were created (joined Facebook). Maryellen Guido was created and friended by Tim on August 29, 2012. Same for Dina Patel on July 30, 2012 (her 18th “birthday”), and Ashleigh Ketchum was “still 17” when she “joined Facebook” and was friended by Tim on November 13, 2012.

I didn’t realize it at the time, but I believe that Dan Gardener, who joined facebook on July 16, 2009, and Jason Trent, who joined facebook on January 19, 2012, may also have been created by Tim (Jason, along with Tim and Dennis Finch-Hatton, were to be the judges at the Save the Tatas party). Tim also created two phony events (Save the Tatas party and Shades of Grey party) which he invited friends to and posted phony pictures of afterwards.

The reason that I took notes and screen shots was that as I read what these “women” wrote and also became aware that many of my friends, both in real life and on Facebook, had been friended by these “women”, I became concerned that they could look foolish or be taken advantage of if they corresponded with them on Facebook or through private messages. I told a few good friends about the situation in confidence. I did not want to embarrass Tim, but I was troubled by what he was doing, especially when he would write things such as Hana asking “if any men were available tonight — (that she was) feeling frisky”, or Jennifer’s survey for men: “would you rather have me 1) slowly and lightly drag my fingernails across your chest or 2) gently lick and nibble on your earlobe.” It was obvious to me from reading what many real people were posting to the fake pages that many people admired these made-up women, and the possibility that they were receiving private messages was very real.

I was personally creeped out by the whole thing. In my opinion, most of what he writes and how he writes it is cliché and sexist. And how he wrote Elisa Verde’s comment on his profile picture [“As my Mama would say that is one fiiiine man. Mmhm!”] could also be considered borderline racist; someone might talk like that, but nobody writes like that. The conversation among them all about waxing would be bad enough if it was an actual group of women writing it on facebook, but it’s really disturbing when you realize that it is one man, sitting at a keyboard, with multiple screen windows open making up and typing comments from women every few minutes. It also appears that many of these online “interactions” take place during weekday work hours.
Beyond the whole thing being creepy, dishonest, and in my opinion, not appropriate behavior for a man who is asking us to trust him to lead us, I am mostly upset by, and moved to write this, because of Tim’s reaction when he was found out. For him to continue to deceive his friends and supporters—good trusting people—and let them lash out at the press or at imagined enemies of Tim, is indefensible. He has he never friended these women. There is proof (screenshots taken in 2012) that he not only friended them, but friended each one immediately after the profile was created. He has lied and denied ever friending them and unfriended them all immediately after being questioned about it. For years he also often joined in the conversations he created for them. His comments didnít disappear when he unfriended them.

Nobody made this up. Tim created a bunch of fake identities on facebook. He had them friend his friends. He used them to support his causes and also to carry on inappropriate banter, often pulling others into their conversations, and often wrote suggestive things which could possibly have invited private messages which is entrapment. When confronted and given a chance to apologize and come clean, he went on the offense, lied, and invited his supporters to be further betrayed. The whole thing is rife with deceit.

I think what started out as a bizarre, pathetic situation has become very hurtful and needlessly divisive. I hope that Tim will take responsibility and do what he can to make amends.

Name Withheld by Request

Santa Cruz

Bad Karma

Re: “Big Empty” (Cover, March 5): I appreciated your well-researched article in the March 5 issue about Louie Rittenhouse’s “Big Empty” building downtown. Am I the only one, or do others share my belief that Louie’s intransigence with those who wanted to acquire his vacant lot and turn it into a public open space some years after the earthquake, has now earned him his “white elephant” bad karma downtown? He seems to have made a series of poor choices, beginning with leaving his rubble-filled, weedy lot as an eyesore far longer than other landowners downtown (even while he was a City Councilman), then refusing to allow it to be purchased as a downtown plaza (a much better use, I believe) and finally building the behemoth, Wall Street-like building it has been for five years now, sitting empty. Let’s hope that the tortured tale of downtown’s lonely Rittenhouse Building will soon have a happier ending that involves a major anchor tenant.

Niels Sundermeyer

Santa Cruz