To few, the name Paul Loebe might ring a bell. A veteran of the U.S. Marines, he was for the most part an unknown blogger on the website Patheos during 2013 and 2014, usually arguing for atheism and religious freedom. But in January of 2014, our lives intersected, causing a chain of events that would shatter poor Paul’s psyche and nearly destroy him.
I can’t take credit for that, nor was that my intent. I had written in the past about a woman named Jan Vrotsos, who became the target of cyber bullying and terrorism after being framed for a vitriolic Facebook comment she never made. This event took off in late December of 2013, and I found myself on the Facebook front lines doing what I do best; running my mouth.
A woman named Megan Hurwitt, friend of Loebe’s and a blogger on Patheos as well, stumbled across the online drama surrounding Jan Vrotsos, and decided it would make for a great story. She began to reach out to people involved in the online scuffle for interviews and to piece together the timeline of events. Loebe didn’t take part in any of this, acting mostly as just a silent supporter of Hurwitt.
About a month or so later, her blog went up, and I was not impressed. It was convoluted, messy and confusing. I told her so, and she blocked me. Pshh….Broads.
Worried that she, too, would become a target of the hundreds of rabid right wingers who did not hesitate to post your personal information and send death threats, Loebe’s name took the place of hers as author, publicly assuming credit. Ah, chivalry.
About 5 months later, Paul Loebe would find himself named in a defamation lawsuit because of this crappy blog. The plaintiff, Brian Kolfage, had no idea who Megan Hurwitt was, and naturally credited Loebe. The lawsuit was named “Kolfage V. Caponecchia,” placing me in the starring role as Ahabs Whale. Loebe, as well as 5 other defendants, were listed as my taint barnacles.
Well, my “recruits.” Yes, I had “recruited” minions to do my bidding, according to the lawsuit, and the Patheos blog I deemed useless and unreadable was executed per my orders.
Regarding the offenses of Paul Loebe, aside from the blanket allegation of “civil conspiracy,” the lawsuit alleged that the Patheos article was defamatory, and that Loebe had “impersonated” Brian Kolfage to defame him.
Because a major issue regarding the Vrotsos incident was that she was not responsible for the Facebook comment, the Patheos blog suggested she could have easily been “cloned.” As in, a Facebook profile was created to use her name and mimic her profile. To demonstrate the ease one could clone another on Facebook, Loebe created a profile named “Brian Kolfage,” and posted a comment to his own Facebook page, screencapped it, and presented it at the end of the blog to make this point.
In the context of the blog, with the purpose of the screencap explained, no reasonable person would assume Paul Loebe was attempting to impersonate Brian Kolfage with the sinister goal of convincing the general public he had ever posted such a comment. However, the lawsuit saw things differently:
As it turned out, the Jan Vrotsos comment was not the product of a cloned account. As my article details, it was actually a photoshop. The comment was never posted to Brian Kolfage’s Facebook page, at the time named “Senior Airman Brian Kolfage.” And the backlash that ensued due to the propagation that she did post this comment resulted in her personal information being posted to Kolfages page, and shared over 12,000 times across social media, rallying a violent mob of bloodthirsty vengeful conservatives, who proceeded to call, stalk, threaten and harass Vrotsos into hiding within a few days.
So, lets review. Paul Loebe was being sued for a blog he didn’t write. The blog in question laid most blame on other parties, not Brian Kolfage exclusively. It was mostly critical of Kolfage and his fans leaping to a conclusion and permanently altering the life of a 61 year old woman for the worst, by not only perpetuating the claim she had left the comment, but sharing her personal info across the internet for the purpose of intimidation and harassment.
In court, Paul Loebe could have revealed the fact he did not author the blog, and the plaintiffs attorney, Logan Elia, had not done his due diligence nor vetted his own client.
Secondly, Loebe was being held liable for a picture from the blog popping up in a Google image search, that was purposely being taken out of context to add weight to the allegations against him in the lawsuit.
In court, this specific allegation would have easily been disregarded with the inclusion of context. And once again, Attorney Logan Elia could have been sanctioned for presenting an allegation he knew was false and misleading.
Thirdly, the lawsuit alleged that Loebe’s claims of Kolfage “doxing” Jan Vrotsos were false. As URL’s and multiple screencaps would have proven, this is just not true. Regarding the innocence of Jan Vrotsos, over a month prior to the filing of the lawsuit, Brian Kolfage himself cleared Vrotsos of all wrong doing, as well as admitted later in court he did in fact dox Vrotsos.
It would appear that the purpose of Loebe’s name on the lawsuit was to simply bully down the one and only piece on the internet defending Jan Vrotsos and challenging the claims made on Kolfage’s Facebook page. The actions of doxing Vrotsos, an innocent senior citizen, over a comment that never existed was not good PR for conservative celebrity and public figure Brian Kolfage. Kolfage had also tried to reach an agreement prior to filing his lawsuit. In exchange for clearing Jan Vrotsos, he had expected Loebe to remove the Patheos article. Loebe refused.
Paul Loebe was in the position to kick his feet up and laugh. Not only would the plaintiff be unable to provide substantial evidence to back up the claims made in the lawsuit, but Paul Loebe could have filed a Motion to Dismiss Due to Lack of Evidence, upon the closing of the discovery phase, and walked away without ever stepping foot in court.
Furthermore, the likelihood any aspect of the lawsuit would have passed review before proceeding to a trial was zilch. So I spoke with Paul and the other defendants, and we all decided to present a wall of solidarity at a Settlement Conference in February of 2014.
You see, most civil court cases urge the parties to at least try and attempt settlement, in the hopes of avoiding a trial at the tax payers expense, over what could be a petty grievance or squabble. I, viewing the lawsuit as a free speech battle, decided no such settlement should be reached. Certainly not monetarily, and especially under no court enforced gag or agreement binding the defendants to silence, or forcing down the blogs and other pieces detailing the online battle of 2014.
Two other defendants, John Prager and Nathaniel Downes, were both writers for Addicting Info. Prager had been named for writing two pieces on Kolfage, and Nathaniel Downes was simply blamed for various “troll accounts” that posted “mean things,” of which Kolfage was unable to prove. So on a lawsuit with 7 defendants, 3 of which were online writers, 4 of which were military veterans, and none of which had to worry, the best response was a no brainer…
…Do nothing. Don’t settle. Kick back and wait for the close of discovery in December of 2015, with a dismissal immediately following. Simple.
Paul Loebe fumble-fucked big time.
While my “recruits” reassured me they had no intent on settling, they all decided to settle anyways on vague “non-disparagement agreements.” By the end of the conference, the loud mouth star of the lawsuit (yours truly), of which the vast majority of the allegations were aimed at, dared the opposition to go forward and prove their claims.
The three wannabe “journalists” instead opted for self preservation, chucking principles to the wind, and risking a lawsuit with no substance becoming one that could in fact set precedent and severely alter what we recognize as a free press and freedom of speech.
John Prager and Nathaniel Downes went a step further, attempting to sell me out and grovel for mercy. Audio of their backstabbing leaked, much to my surprise and to their panic and embarrassment. Until that moment, Prager and Downes routinely assured me they had my back. Upon reflection, these were most likely the actions of a guilty conscience.
Loebe’s list of mistakes were only just beginning. He agreed to a settlement under these terms:
Now, kids…this is important. Pay attention.
1.) The agreement is to reach a COMPLETE PEACE of the lawsuit. Kolfage and Loebe agreed to absorb their own costs. Loebe never had an attorney, so costs were minimal.
2.) ANY CLAIM that could have been brought up in the lawsuit…that is, by both Loebe AND Kolfage, are dismissed. Considered settled. Dead to every court in the land. After all, what would be the point of settling a lawsuit, if either party intended on rehashing a grievance?
3.) Kolfage nor Loebe can speak or write insults, disparaging remarks or allegations after settlement. Again…what would the point of settling be, if both parties simply returned to screaming and accusing? Essentially, the settlement demands Loebe and Brian go to separate corners of the sandbox, forever.
4.) And finally…This part of the settlement agreement, backed by a federal court order, demands that Loebe remove his Patheos article. Loebe, taking credit for the blog to earn White Knight points, must have decided it wasn’t worth the hassle.
In public, Loebe was promoting himself as a free speech warrior, a principled writer, and an underdog taking on a well oiled conservative machine in the name of truth, justice and a free press. Privately, behind closed doors, Loebe had curled into a ball and cried Uncle.
But oh…this is where shit goes wacky.
Three months after the settlement conference, the presiding judge officially ruled on the settlement agreements, dismissing the defendants. Paul Loebe took the standard dismissal….as a declaration of victory.
He rushed to social media to declare himself the Ultimate Internet Badass, and threw in some choice words for Brian Kolfage. It was as if, somehow, Loebe had forgotten every aspect of the settlement he agreed upon.
In other words, within minutes of Loebe’s Dismissal and the enforcement of his settlement agreement, he immediately violated it by disparaging Kolfage on social media. You see, when you reach settlement, you are dismissed with prejudice…because you settled. The grievance has been resolved, and the court will not have you back, plaintiff or defendant.
Paul Loebe began reposting the Patheos blog on Facebook and Twitter…the blog he agreed to remove as per the settlement. Loebe was basking in celebratory praise from his public and friends. By this date, almost a year and a half after the Patheos article first went up and his name hit Kolfage’s lips, Loebe had made some new connections.
Via Prager and Downes, Loebe had secured a job as a writer for “Reverb Press” and “If You Only News.” To flaunt and parade around his dismissal as a victory was good marketing for his fledgling career and the elite status he hoped to achieve as a writer.
The Dismissal, he flaunted…not the Settlement Agreement.
The fact his victory was fictitious did not matter. After all, you can’t get adoration from a public with “You shoulda been there! I walked right up to him and said: I’ll sign anything! You can have it all!” As if violating #1, #3 and #4 of his settlement agreement weren’t bad enough, Loebe was preparing to go Full Retard…
When I saw that Brian Kolfage was threatening to drag Loebe back in court for violation of their settlement…a settlement I did not know even existed…I decided to look at the court dockets myself. It was at that moment I realized Brian Kolfage and I finally agreed on something.
In response to Kolfage’s legal threats, Loebe took to Patheos once more, and wrote a self aggrandizing blog called “The Marine Versus The Airman.” In his retelling of events, Loebe had elevated his role from “recruit”… to central target of the lawsuit, casting himself as the hero.
But it was within his article that revealed a clue as to what was fueling his bizarre behavior. Co-Defendant Darren Remington, a FedEx employee and self appointed “legal expert” (who I secretly nicknamed Matlock, in the same way one might call a 6’7” biker ‘Tiny’, as an insult due to his pretentious revisionist legalese), had been feeding Loebe some very, very bad legal advice.
According to Remington, “disparagement” just meant lies. So Loebe had every right to contact Brian on Twitter and call him a “shitbag disgrace to the uniform,” Remington assured him. Remington’s interpretations had convinced Loebe they had really “put one over” on Brian Kolfage. After all, if disparagement just meant “egregious lies,” then Loebe has every right to keep his blogs up, taunt Kolfage, and boast.
Upon my first reading of The Marine vs The Airman, I noticed my name was no where to be found. On a lawsuit named after me, I appeared to not exist, according to Loebe’s retelling of events. I was also the remaining defendant, now completely on my own. Within a few days of their dismissal, Loebe and the other former defendants began to intentionally drift away and limit communication with me.
The internet was being told the lawsuit was over, the defendants were victorious, and to move along. While I wanted every defendant to achieve victory, I realized my loyalty and solidarity would not be reciprocated. I was not only on my own, I was being blackballed and silenced by my “allies.” My “recruits.”
Paul Loebe, fueled by confidence over Remington’s schizophrenic legal advice, was blindsided by the first of several Kolfage smack downs that initiated his mental decline. Kolfage contacted Patheos, showed them the court order, and informed them the blogs were in violation of their settlement. Loebe began to plead with Patheos, claiming Kolfage was lying and misinterpreting the settlement agreement. He tried to appease Patheos by adding a disclaimer and changing some words on his article.
Patheos was not convinced, and both the Jan Vrotsos and Marine v. Airman articles were deleted by management (Today, only preserved in the Wayback Machine). Kolfage also complained to the court, filing a notice that Loebe had violated the settlement agreement numerous times. Kolfage was not being petty, and I found myself having no choice but to agree with him.
Loebe, under the direction of Darren Remington, filed a motion holding Kolfage in Contempt of Court. He claimed Kolfage’s interference with Patheos was in violation of the settlement agreement, and even more bizarre, tried to claim Kolfage’s signature was “forged,” thus nullifying the settlement.
You would be right to think these claims are strange. Brian Kolfage, a triple amputee veteran with a blown off right hand was being accused of not officially signing the settlement agreement…because it didn’t match his signature from before his hand was blown off. Whether it was Kolfage’s lefty signature, or a representative signed the agreement for him, it was irrelevant. A District Court recognized the settlement as official.
It’s not as if Kolfage could pop up months later and say “Neener, neener, it doesn’t count! My dog signed it, not me!” While the process in court is slow, the decision to side with Brian Kolfage on every point and throw Loebe’s motion in the trash was an expected inevitability to even the most simple minded Village Idiot. But not to Loebe or Remington.
Loebe’s return to the Arizona District Court to nitpick and redefine the settlement agreement was only the beginning. On June 9th, 2015, Loebe filed a lawsuit against Brian Kolfage, his wife, his father, a conservative blogger named Scott Kuhnen, and Logan Elia, Kolfage’s attorney in Arizona, claiming $600,000 in damages.
Let’s Review: On May 29th, 2015, the settlement agreements were officially enforced and filed. This is where the story of Paul Loebe should have ended. Instead, Loebe immediately and publicly disparages Kolfage on Twitter and Facebook.
In a few more days, Loebe writes an article declaring victory and attacking Kolfage even more. Recognizing blatant violations of the settlement Loebe willingly agreed to, Kolfage retaliates through the court system. Loebe reacts by accusing Kolfage of being in Contempt and faking his signature.
Before the court can even address his Contempt motion, Loebe, taking legal advice from a FedEx employee, files a lawsuit in his home state of Indiana….in direct violation of the settlement agreement he signed. Remember way up above, when I posted the points of agreement?
1.) Settlement to reach a Complete Peace. Each side bearing it’s own costs and fees.
2.) ANY CLAIM that could have been brought up in the lawsuit…that is, by BOTH Loebe and Kolfage, are DISMISSED.
It gets nuttier. Lets look at Loebes Indiana complaint:
Oh yea. Loebe filed a lawsuit, claiming that Brian Kolfage, a triple amputee, is lying about the extent of his injuries. Despite what the U.S. Airforce itself had determined, that Brian Kolfage is in fact the most severely wounded airman, Paul Loebe is calling Shenanigans.
He attempts to justify the claim with a Korean war veteran named Clarence “Red” Mosley, stating that Mosley is the most wounded Airman, because he is a quadruple amputee. Now, Mosley really is a quadruple amputee. He lost both hands and both feet, at the wrists and ankles respectively. But Brian Kolfage lost both legs above the knees, and half his right arm.
“But he lost four and Brian only lost three!” is not exactly the sane and rational argument here. Maybe you are also asking yourself why this bizarre allegation is made in Loebe’s defamation suit. I honestly don’t know. Except that it happens to be one of many crazed lunatic conspiracy theories Darren Remington was notorious for spouting.
Loebe explains why the inclusion of Attorney Logan Elia:
Look…I thought Logan Elia was a Grade A Cunt, and I enjoyed spanking him whenever I could. But this is pointless. As per the settlement agreement, whether you believed Kolfage and/or Elia filed a nuisance suit as a means to harass and intimidate, Loebe gave up his right to complain. PEACE. CLOSURE. FIN.
Loebe asserts the Kolfage lawsuit was dismissed with prejudice “for” Loebe, “against” plaintiffs. Once again, under Darren Remington’s revisionist legalese, Loebe was led to believe he had achieved a victory over Kolfage. Both Remington and Loebe could not grasp the formality of “Dismissed with Prejudice,” a dismissal entirely based off of a SETTLEMENT AGREEMENT.
As I discussed, though at the time the Arizona court had not yet ruled on Loebe’s motion of Contempt, the removal of his articles were in accordance with the settlement agreement. Loebe would have to wait until October to get the final word, but I knew immediately upon reading his Indiana complaint, he was in for a rude awakening.
The rest of his suit alleges “Malicious Prosecution”, defamatory posts online, and “severe emotional distress.” All of these things, once again, are NULLIFIED by Loebe’s settlement agreement. Furthermore, only 8 days after parading himself around the internet and boasting a victory, he suddenly has severe emotional distress?
During May and June of 2015, Loebe co-founded Vets for Bernie, an organization to support Bernie Sanders for president. One of Loebe’s comments about Senator Sanders was quoted throughout dozens of articles across the country. Salon, Democratic Underground, DailyKos, Huffington Post…
Aside from the writing gigs, he was getting some attention for his involvement with Vets for Bernie, even being featured in a meme that was getting thousands of shares. Though Loebe is actually not a “lifelong registered Republican,” and had voted for President Obama twice, a slight twist of the truth guaranteed more circulation. And why not? Loebe had certainly practiced tweaking the truth for personal gain and recognition only a few weeks prior!
A “victory” in court, two websites to write for, and a political organization to manage! Who was this man? A rising star!
Then it all began to go down the pisser. On July 29th 2015, Paul Loebe posted his last article on If You Only News. September 16th 2015 was his last post on Reverb Press.
Two days later, On September 18th, Paul Loebe was being sued in North Carolina.
The defendant named in Loebe’s Indiana lawsuit, Scott Kuhnen, decided to retaliate. On top of Malicious Prosecution, Kuhnen, a conservative blogger, alleged his First and Fourteenth Amendments were being violated, as Loebe’s litigation was designed to shut Kuhnen up and shut him down.
Oh, the irony.
He also alleged that Darren Remington was illegally practicing law, drafting Loebe’s motions and his Indiana lawsuit in its entirety. Paul Loebe, like Icarus, had flown too close to the sun.
After spending a year fighting one legal battle in Arizona, under bad advice he entered into another in Indiana, which prompted a third in North Carolina, placing Loebe in a familiar role as a defendant. And things were not going well for Loebe’s Indiana lawsuit.
By early September, the Arizona lawsuit had officially come to a close. Brian Kolfage was done with it. He reached out to me, and I stated court was a place for me to prove my innocence…that’s it. I’d accept a full dismissal, no court agreement, and Kolfage obliged. I was free. I was the only defendant who walked away, principles intact.
My former co-defendants scowled at me and grew vicious, accusing me of some insidious plot. “He must have sold out! He simply couldn’t end up the only defendant not bound by court enforced agreements! Not Louie! He’s an idiot!” It was as if my alleged allies had all along been rooting for my destruction or failure.
Why should I be surprised?
You see, I could have helped Paul. When I reached out to him in May of 2015, his exact words were “I don’t give a shit! You’re on your own!” Well, Paul…you wound up eating those words, didn’t you?
Remember that motion to hold Kolfage in Contempt Loebe had filed in June? On October 14th, Loebe’s motion to hold Kolfage in Contempt was rejected, forever sealing the doors on Arizona. The settlement agreement was even more binding and powerful, favoring Kolfage over Loebe. It also served to undermine his entire Indiana lawsuit.
I decided this was an opportune time for me to pop in and say “I told ya so!” Loebe responded with a smarmy and overly confident “Wait for it…I’m a bit smarter than you think.”
As you know, Marines are not known for their smarts, so I didn’t hold my breath. But had I done so, I would have been fine. The very next day, I learned that Loebe’s Indiana lawsuit was referred to a magistrate for determination…not a good sign.
Eventually, the magistrate in Indiana did make a referral to the court that Brian Kolfage and Scott Kuhnen should be dismissed, due to a lack of jurisdiction. At this point, Loebe withdrew from everyone.
Disillusioned, flabbergasted, and overwhelmed…. It wasn’t supposed to turn out this way! It was as if he was being fed really bad legal advice by a FedEx employee with a BDSM Fetish Dungeon in his basement…instead of by a sane person with a license to practice law.
His public Facebook group, Veterans for Bernie, abruptly stopped approving posts and comments, forcing all activity to a grinding halt. It is unknown at what point he withdrew from the actual Vets for Bernie organization altogether. Once carrying the title “Co-Founder,” his name and picture no longer grace the “Who We Are” section of the website.
But we haven’t reached the low point yet, if you could believe that. Paul Loebe lost his articles. He lost his drive to write anything at all, and was let go from If You Only News and Reverb Press for ceasing to contribute. He lost control of his ability to remain productive within the political organization he had co-founded himself.
He may have even began to realize the truth…he lost Arizona. The victory had all been a fantasy. A delusion he had convinced himself existed, to cope with the blinding shame, guilt and self loathing that plagued him after he sold his soul.
Loebe decided not to drag out his own lawsuit any longer. Finally recognizing the inevitable, he reached out to Brian Kolfage, fell to his knees in defeat, and slobbed on Brian’s battle-scarred ballsack. He wasn’t going to bother fighting the Magistrate’s recommendation to dismiss.
Loebe’s lawsuit was still in diapers when reality decided to hold it face down in a tub. It didn’t kick and struggle. It let its lungs fill with water and patiently waited for eternal slumber.
Last on the billet: Scott Kuhnen’s North Carolina lawsuit. Paul Loebe, a shell of a man, provided Scott Kuhnen with every email he had ever had with Darren Remington, solidifying Kuhnen’s case against Remington, but persuading Kuhnen to show Loebe mercy in exchange.
“Yes… Loebe’s lawsuit is completely over with and yes…he admitted that Remington wrote his lawsuit and the motions associated with it. Yes… Loebe sold out Remington. He hasn’t been accepting anything from Tennessee and has gone AWOL. He might be still involved with the bunch of nitwits, but for the most part he is officially done.”—(Anonymous but reliable source)
Paul Loebe has become the very thing his fellow Marines despise. A coward. A rat. A creature that will do anything to get by. In his damaged psyche, one can speculate a few outcomes. Suicide. Mass shooting. Or perhaps reverting back into a childlike state.
Enter the present, where Paul Loebe seems fixated on Star Wars and Dungeons & Dragons. He excitedly announces his intentions to have a Dungeons & Dragons podcast.
At least in fantasy, Paul Loebe can be the warrior he always dreamed of. Because in fantasy, no one gets hurt. No one gets dumped. No one gets sued. And in Loebe’s current state…no one gets laid, either. What in Gods name did you do to him, Brian Kolfage?
It appears Paul Loebe went off the deep end. Divorced, became an alcoholic, and decided to write off politics and activism for good. As I predicted, he never had the sands to actually be the person he claimed he was.