By | May 20, 2012 13 Comments

Yet another military fake

Brian Khan of Harrisburg claimed to be a Marine who served in Afghanistan. He had everyone fooled, including a documentary filmmaker and his own kids.

Read Harrisburg man who faked being a Marine even fooled his family, brother says, on

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This is exactly why I LOVE this site. It covers stories like this that highlight the deceptive nature of a sociopath, instead of just the violent side that popular culture focuses on exclusively.

This is a true con(if a con can be true). He even fooled some real soldiers. The sad part is, this stuff happens ALL OF THE TIME. Watchdog groups are doing great spotting these fools, but more people just keep pretending.

I live in a military town now, and this is a pretty big issue here. The guys that pull these cons are just pretenders, though. They are truly cowards who couldn’t last a minute as a true soldier.

No honor.

No discipline.

No Bravery.

All that is left is a spineless, imaginary man.

Ox Drover

“QUOTE from article: “But when a man believed to be a veteran comes to you and says he is suffering from PTSD, the last thing you want to do is question his legitimacy, Rubio said. You want to help him.”

We are the same way here on LF and so sometimes TROLLS come here disguised as victims, but when they first come here we must accept them for what they SAY they are. But like this man they usually out themselves.

QUOTE: Rubio said that within hours of his posting the video on YouTube, the alarms started going off from watchdog groups whose members troll the Internet exposing fakers who pass themselves off as veterans or current members of the military.

“We got fooled,” Rubio said. “PTSD takes the lives of 18 veterans every day. It’s like somebody faking cancer to get the sympathy and money. It’s disgusting.”

Anyone can be FOOLED. so we should not bash ourselves for being fooled by a psychopath.

QUOTE: Retired Navy SEAL Don Shipley of Chesapeake, Va., is one of the watchdogs who expose military fakers. In 2011, Shipley outed the Rev. Jim Moats after Moats claimed in a Patriot-News story that he was a former SEAL.

Moats acknowledged the deception, and remains pastor of Christian Bible Fellowship Church in Newville, Cumberland County, according to the church’s website. He did not return a phone call seeking comment for this story.

WHAT THE HECK? this guy is still a minister of a church?


Thanks, Donna, for this article. At first, I thought it was about my eldest son until I read the article.

Eldest son has claimed that he is a decorated combat veteran, was a member of the 82nd Airborne Division, saw combat in Kabul and witnessed the death of his superior (even gave a name), and so and and so forth ad nauseum.

People BELIEVE my eldest son because the alternative is too vile to even contemplate. That someone (ANYone) would impersonate a decorated combat veteran is just too much for most people to process. Why would anyone LIE about something like that?

Money. Status. Prestige. EXCUSES for their violent outbursts (PSTD? Really?).



I am looking for opinions from the wise counsel of this board.

I have written a little already about my spath experience and the current dilemma but here is a brief recap.

Basically, he moved out of state around the time that I discovered cheating and lying and this was topped with already troubling drinking by him. We had a pretty high drama breakup when he visited (ostensibly to see his children but really to attend court for a DUI). He took most of things when he moved away and he took almost everything else during the break-up horror but there are a few things still here, in the basement. In the fall, after we broke up but before I understood that I was dealing with a sociopath, I told him I have some things of his that I wanted to return.

He owed me money after we broke up and with wise advice from here, I let go of being repaid after he had only paid me 1/4 of the debt. I decided it was worth it not to have more contact with him and that he would inevitably use this to try to manipulate and abuse me. The last contact we had was when he sent me a check that I received on Christmas Day, with a short, rather nasty note. I acknowledged the check and said Happy New Year and have made not contact since then. I still had connections on social media but I severed those connections a few weeks ago. I had his information blocked but I just wanted to fade away like a little grey rock in the dusk. I did learn that he married his next victim from FB. The way he played this out convinced me once and for all that he is a poisonous person so it was good information for me.

Since then, I feel like I am healing well and in recent weeks have achieved frequent moments of the Nirvana of Indifference about him.

Early last week, I received an email from him, stating that he had used me for a reference for military clearance for his job. He did not ask me but told me after the fact. He then said he was sending me a check. The whole thing smacked of manipulation and I posted a little here about it.

A few days later, I received the check from him. In the little note, he says, among other things, that he is planning to visit my state over the summer to see his children and perhaps he can come get his stuff that he “forgot.” He also asked me about my cat and said he missed me and my cat.

Then the next day, I got three forms in the mail, requesting information about him. The forms are from the US Office of Personnel Management. Nothing on them indicates that I am required to fill these forms out. The questions ask about adverse information and I would have to check every box and explain in another box what my information is.

I do not want to get pulled into this situation that has many red flags for me. The best solution I can think of is to cash the check and otherwise do nothing.

Please, if anyone has any thoughts or advice, I welcome them. I really feel a little scared of doing the wrong thing here.


The whole thing reeks of manipulation to me….He sends you a check in return you fill out the papers he needs.

Lots of red flags. Slippery slopes.

My humble opinion is to do nothing with the papers. Change your email so that he can’t email you anymore. You don’t want to be available to him to contact you in any way to come and get his stuff when he visits.

If at all possible it would be wise to throw away his stuff. And then he wouldn’t have any need to come and pick up something that isn’t there any more.


Sparklehorse, what is he sending you a check for? Spousal support? Rent arrears? Loan payment? Storage fees for your keeping his “stuff” safe and secure? If it has NO legal connotation in the memo line, SEND IT BACK.

If he needed the things that he left behind, he should have taken them when he left – it’s been entirely TOO long and I agree with Witty that these belongings have been abandoned and should be discarded, immediately.

Red flags? These “flags” are on fire – he should have NO access to security and he must be insane to name you as a personal reference. If it were me, I would discard the papers or return them to the Personnel office without any references, notations, signature, NOTHING….just blank.

I also agree that any open door of communication with him is very, very dangerous – it is just one more means to maintain contact with you and impede your healing.

Brightest blessings


sparkle – just send that check to me and i will take care of it for you.

Divorced from Gaslighter

Truthspeak, I think that Sparklehorse loaned her ex some money, and he s-l-o-w-l-y repays it in tiny amounts, while wanting to spend endless time talking to her about repaying the money.

Sparklehorse: Cash the check. When it clears, call the phone number of the place that will receive the paperwork, and ask them if the information that you turn in will be available to your ex or not. If you are SURE that the information you give will NOT be released, and that the military will NOT tell the ex that the information given was unfavorable, then I would fill in the forms very cautiously and carefully. Give him the benefit of the doubt on anything and everything that you can, but be truthful about the faults and failings that you have ACTUALLY WITNESSED. Use “don’t know” and “does not apply” whenever appropriate. After you fill out the forms, wait a few days and check them over — if you are certain that everything on the forms is the absolute unembellished truth, then mail them in.

If you are NOT certain that your ex will not be able to learn what you wrote on the forms, then do NOT fill them out. Tell your ex that you would not be able to give him a very favorable recommendation, and that he would be better off having somebody else fill out the paperwork.

If your ex is able to find out what you wrote, he will be blaming YOU for his unemployment, etc. This is really a no-win situation for you.

Personally, although I would be tempted to anonymously bash my ex, I am now older and wiser, and know that the safest way to handle this situation is to politely decline. I would NOT trust the military not to indicate to my ex that he had received an unfavorable evaluation from me.

Your ex must be a real piece of work if you are one of the three or so people he is asking to recommend him!

agreed with DfromG, about everything, except the very last sentence.

He doesn’t care what you write about him, he just wants to test you. For all you know these papers are going elsewhere.

That’s why I also agree about calling and checking and double checking the validity of these papers.

My spath had friends in homeland security playing tricks on me. Yes, they actually DO work for hs, but they were illegally acting under the color of law. Legal abuse is THE most disgusting thing a person can encounter.

If you don’t want to fill them out, just shred them and if he calls say you didn’t get them. Then next time say you lost them, then next time say the dog ate it etc… use a backspath, never react like he would expect. Why should we? They don’t.

Divorced from Gaslighter

Skylar: I wouldn’t be surprised if the guy really thinks that Sparklehorse will write a good recommendation because she knows that he will stop making payments on the loan if she tells the truth. The S/P thought process here is that HE would write whatever was asked of him in order to keep a flow of money coming, so surely Sparklehorse will do the same. “Nobody’s asking you to sign under penalty of perjury, so what’s the big deal???”

The S/P pattern is to use people up and then dump them, with their social circle always being in a state of flux. When asked by a potential employer to come up with the names of three non-relatives who have known him for more than five years and can vouch for his character, the S/P often has great difficulty finding anyone to help him with this task, because everyone who met him five years ago dislikes him.

Sparklehorse: Box up his stuff and send him a registered letter telling him he has 30 days to pick it up, and if he doesn’t, you are going to give it to the Salvation Army. Keep a copy. Or have it delivered if you live nearby. I would NOT throw his stuff away.

Divorced from Gaslighter

A pastor of a large church told me that he was on a hiring committee for an additional pastor at a church one time, and the committee had narrowed down the list of candidates over a period of time, and finally picked the guy that they wanted to hire.

Somebody came up with the idea of running a background check on The Reverend, and it was a real eye opener. The private detective interviewed all of the man’s previous neighbors, and nobody said anything positive about him. He had borrowed tools and never returned them, there was a “neighborhood standard” on how often the grass should be cut, and this guy made no effort to keep his lawn maintained, etc. etc.

My ex-husband would not make the slightest effort to get along with anybody who wasn’t IMMEDIATELY useful to him in some way. He gave the appearance of being a successful businessman, but he could not see far enough into the future to realize that the neighbors, or their friends and relatives, might be a source of future business.

Sparklehorse’s husband may actually be dumb enough to think that she will help him get a job so that he will be in a better position to repay the money he owes her.


Thank you all for your replies. I greatly appreciate them all.

Truthspeak, you asked about the check he sent. While we were together, I ended up lending him money and letting him move in with me. It started off with me paying for medication at the pharmacy. He is diabetic and soon after the start of the new year, he was unable to pay for necessary insulin. During this period, he was actively interviewing for jobs and at the time of the first small loan, he had an oral offer for work that was rescinded. Then his lease came up and he couldn’t afford his apartment so he asked to move in with me. Then when the day came for his move, he told me he needed money to pay the balance with the movers. Once he was living with me, the slope got more slippery. I ended up paying for his airplane ticket to start his new job out of state. Then I paid for his ticket to come back here. It all added up to around $4000, not including all of his other expenses that I covered during the time we were together. It was like having a bratty child in some ways. As an example, when he came back from the new job to move away, we went to the grocery store and he just put toothpaste and soap and other toiletries that he needed in the cart and I paid for them. He never said thank you for such things. He did do a lot of cooking, a few little home repairs and drove me a lot of places and things like that.

About a week after we broke up, I emailed him to ask him what he thought he owed me and what a reasonable repayment plan was. In a fairly adult manner, we hashed this out and he promised to pay me back in monthly installments starting the next month. He paid an installment the following month after a fair amount of upset. Then he had excuses for the next month and then he paid a payment in December and was pretty nasty about it all. It was around this time that my friend’s comment that his lies were sociopathic sank in and I found this site and other information. I started No Contact and worked on letting go of the injustice and starting to heal.

This money and the stuff he left behind are effectively the only reasons to have any contact at all. Because of how things have played out, I have given him pretty much only silence since I realized what he is. In his mind though, it seems nothing has changed. I think he thinks he can still appeal to my compassion and the fact that I was his only cheerleader and supporter during his period of unemployment. Before I understood what he is, and when I rejected his “friends with benefits” overture, I softened the blow by saying that I will always love him and wish the best for him. I believe he is also banking on this statement.

Finally, I believe his expectation was that the US government would not contact me about this reference. He said that in his email last week. I also imagine that he didn’t know that the forms would ask specific questions about his character. I think he thought it would just be confirming that he lived in his prior apartment, lived with me, and then moved to where he (presumably) still lives.

The forms that I received do not have any specific contact person. They are forms that would be at least partly machine-read, with ovals that one has to fill in with a black pen. The form states, in part, “The information you provide, including your identity, will be disclosed to the person being investigated and other federal agencies, at this person’s request.” It also states, in the following paragraph, that “The person we are investigating has given written consent for this investigative inquiry…If…you would like to keep your identity confidential, please indicate this requirement in writing on the reverse.”

The loaded questions on the reverse are: “Do you have any reason to question this person’s honesty or trustworthiness?” and “Do you have any adverse information about this person’s employment, residence, or activities concerning: violations of the law, financial integrity, abuse of alcohol and/or drugs, mental or emotional stability, general behavior or conduct.” As I posted previously, if I were to respond, I would have to check all of these boxes. If you check these boxes, you have to provide specific information. There is also a box I could check that says “I wish to discuss the adverse information I have.”

I don’t want to help him but I also don’t want to hurt him. He hurts himself far more than I have the stomach for. As for why he asked me, I believe he thinks that no one else could confirm the period when he lived with me. He didn’t tell his children and ex-wife. At first, it was because he wanted to have time to catch up on child support and didn’t want his ex to ask for more money. Around this time, she reported him to the state and he had to start paying through the state. That’s all a whole other story.

Skylar, I do believe that this is a legitimate security clearance check. I visited him in his new place before we broke up and I met the recruiter who placed him in the job. We also spent the afternoon with the guy who is the HR officer for the company where he works. They do contract work for the Army and most of the people who work there are retired Army.

I have asked a few of my friends for advice too. My closest friend’s daughter had to get security clearance last summer to work in the Department of the Defense for an internship. Apparently, she was able to get her clearance without all her references replying. This friend recommended that I do nothing with the forms. I also asked another friend who works for a company that does DoD work and he has security clearance. His first response was that I should tell the truth and torpedo my ex. He felt it was my duty to be sure this guy doesn’t get security clearance. Because of my own professional status as an attorney, he said I would be “crucified” if I perjured myself at all, although that’s never been something I’ve considered doing. He also doesn’t really understand the spath component, even though I’ve told him a bit about it. When I told him I was scared of what my ex might do to retaliate, he got very upset and then said maybe I should just ignore the forms. He was going to make some other inquiries about the process for me but I haven’t heard that he learned anything more.

DfG, thank you for all of your comments, here and on the previous thread where I posted about this. I never married him, thank God, although strangely enough, he proposed in the middle of Devalue and Discard. I think he did love me in his own twisted spath way and is banking on the knowledge that I loved him. He doesn’t know how much I know about his behavior and what it means.

Regarding his stuff, I am only worried about this transaction if something with the security clearance backfires. Otherwise, my plan is to tell him it will be on the porch and he can come pick it up when he’s in town or else I will discard the things. I think he will behave if there isn’t some new level of rage being projected on me. I viewed the comment about missing me and my cat through Skylar’s 180 lens and remembering her stories about her spath, it scared me a little. He was never violent with me but again, following the 180 rule, he told me numerous times that he would never hit a woman, and that concerns me now.

At this point, my best plan is to cash the check and otherwise ignore him and the forms. I will be like Bartleby the Scrivener and prefer not to do anything. As I indicated above, I just want to be sure that I am not missing one mine in the minefield while I am busy stepping over some others.

Sorry for the long post but the devil is in the details!

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