The Other McCain

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A Drawer Full of Sockpuppets: Another Neal Rauhauser ‘Persona’ Exposed

Posted on | July 2, 2012 | 44 Comments

Neal Rauhauser was a speaker at the 2010 Netroots Nation conference

“Soliciting assistance in his plots — recruiting a gang of followers — functions psychologically as a means for Rauhauser to validate his grandiose narcissistic conception of himself as a heroic leader.”
Robert Stacy McCain, June 15

One of the most persistent characteristics of Neal Rauhauser is his use of online aliases. He’s a sort of sockpuppet factory and once wrote that he had created more than 100 Twitter accounts. Some of those accounts were apparently created for Democrat politicians who had hired Rauhauser’s Progressive PST consulting firm. However, it is known that Rauhauser has also operated a number of intentionally deceptive online aliases, the protection of which was the subject of a very interesting treatise Rauhauser wrote on “persona management.”

Did I say “very interesting”? Why would Rauhauser be so obsessively concerned with “IP address concealment,” offering advice on how to protect a “persona” on a laptop with such elaborate measures that these secrets would be secure even “if you’re arrested and questioned”?

What criminal online behavior, conducted under a secret identity, requires that kind of protection? We can only speculate on possible answers to that question, and let’s just stick to the known facts: Rauhauser habitually uses online personas, such as the “Gaped Crusader” alias with which he cyberstalked and harassed Patrick “Patterico” Frey.

So today, while researching some background on the Progressive PST consulting firm that Rauhuaser co-founded with Beth Becker in 2009, I stumbled onto a Daily Kos diary from March 2010:

I had a back channel discussion with a member of [Georgia Democrat Rep. Hank Johnson’s] staff, and Congressman Johnson gave us a truly amazing thirty minutes of his time on Monday, answering questions about health care reform, his job as the southeast regional whip, and giving us some insight into what Congress will do next … and how we can help.
Present for the interview were Sandi Behrns, Karoli Kuns, Jesse LaGreca, Beth Becker, and Neal Rauhauser.

Hmmmm. Becker and Rauhauser are both mentioned, along with Sandi Behnns, who subsequently joined Progressive PST in 2010. This item about the Hank Johnson interview was the last DKos diary posted under the account called simply “twitter,” and it aroused my curiosity.

The “twitter” DKos account was created in October 2009 and posted 10 diaries and 68 comments before becoming inactive after March 23, 2010. What sort of subject matter did “twitter” write about? One was the “Kossack Twitter Mojo Report,” which showed that Neal Rauhauser’s account (“Stranded Wind”) was one of the top 10 Daily Kos contributors, according to Klout rankings. Although Rauhauser had only 1,056 followers on Twitter as of March 19, 2010, his Klout ranking was nearly as high as DKos founder Markos Moulitsas, who had 11,541 followers.

The first time the “twitter” account ranked Kossacks by their “mojo” (on Feb. 26, 2010) Rauhauser actually ranked second and “twitter” wrote:

[T]he ranking system we use, @Klout, can determine how many of those followers are actually paying attention. This is important — remember those automated processes? Twitter is infested with salesbots and they breed. If you get one and you don’t promptly squish it the next day it’ll have a dozen of its species follow you and it’ll spiral out of control from there. @StrandedWind does the programming for this stuff and he blocks five accounts for every four real people he gets.
What about the ones without any True Reach at all? Well, to get the full picture on an account they have to sign up for a @Klout account. We can get them to rank lists for us, but digging through followers requires that they have Oauth access, a safe way to share details about your account with their service.
We like Klout for rankings but it changes slowly, just like a real world poll. You definitely need an account there to fully participate, but for day to day exploration @Twitalyzer does similar things and it has lots of fun ways to look at your position on Twitter, find others who are interested in the same things you are, and so forth. If you’re brand new and looking for good people to connect with you should take some of the more active people on this list and put them into @Followerwonk.
If you want to get on [Twitter] and get hooked up right away Followerwonk is an immense help. One of the very best places to start is checking into the friends that are shared by @StrandedWind and @Sandibehrns, two of the top rated Progressive activists on Twitter.

You see? The “twitter” account was actually Rauhauser, using a third-person sockpuppet voice that would proclaim to the progressive community at Daily Kos — the top blog on the Left — that Neal Rauhauser was really a super-savvy social-networking guy.

Self-promotion was one of the original purposes of Rauhauser’s deceptive sockpuppetry. This “twitter” account is at least the third DKos identity Rauhauser is known to have used, along with “Stranded Wind” and “Iowa Boy” (the latter of which transmitted ugly gossip about Rauhauser’s ex-wife). Rauhauser is obsessed with online secrecy and deception, and has used his various aliases to manipulate both his enemies and allies.

Go read Patrick Read’s 2010 TwitterGate follow-up, “Democrat Cyber Stealth Revealed: Neal Rauhauser & Radical Thugs,” and contemplate how Rauhauser acquired the influence that he used for such purposes.

Study Rauhauser’s history long enough, and you understand that his progressive friends were exploited by Rauhauser for purposes that had very little to do with advancing any legitimate political or policy goals, but had a great deal to do with Rauhauser’s self-aggrandizing effort to make himself a sort of kingpin/hero of the Left.

Rauhauser is ultimately his own worst enemy.

He is rather like the fellow who imagines himself a shrewd poker player but who has a number of “tells” that enable other players to know when he’s bluffing. His habits are deeply engrained and predictable, and his inevitable blunders make Rauhauser perhaps even more dangerous to his allies than he is to his enemies.

In recent days, Rauhauser has committed new blunders, and when his latest errors are revealed, his friends will suffer new embarassments.

— Robert Stacy McCain, Whereabouts Unknown

Update (Smitty): welcome, Instapundit readers. Check out Saturday’s Stephen Kruiser video.







44 Responses to “A Drawer Full of Sockpuppets: Another Neal Rauhauser ‘Persona’ Exposed”

  1. richard mcenroe
    July 2nd, 2012 @ 2:53 pm

    Does anybody atually exist on the left side of the cloud besides Kimberlin and Rauhauser’s crew?

    Has anyone asked Congressdrone Johnson what he was doing meeting with an admitted wife-beater with that many outstanding warrants?

  2. Finrod Felagund
    July 2nd, 2012 @ 3:13 pm

    Be aware, there’s another kind of SWATting going around, where someone hijacks your wifi and uses it to make ‘anonymous’ threats against police, knowing it’ll get traced back to your house:

    If you haven’t already, lock down your local wifi connection; that’s your best defense against this kind of crap.

    In other news, Eric Alterman is a jackass that thinks conservatives can’t be journalists or academics–  oh wait that’s not news:

  3. Rose
    July 2nd, 2012 @ 3:16 pm

    It’s a complicated story, and those are hard to tell, and harder to grasp, but it has to be done. Keep it up. It matters. We’re paying attention, many, many of us.

  4. Stogie Chomper
    July 2nd, 2012 @ 3:30 pm

    Last week I had someone with a private Twitter account start following me on Twitter.  The account name was odd too, a Mexican name and the last name was a Spanish swear word.  I immediately thought to myself:  is this Neal Rauhauser in yet another guise?  

  5. Dianna Deeley
    July 2nd, 2012 @ 4:06 pm

     Finrod, it’s from the Nation, which sort of begs the question of why you would expect him to think anything else?

  6. Dianna Deeley
    July 2nd, 2012 @ 4:07 pm

    I wait – with bated breath (because I like being one of the few people I run across who uses the right “bated”) – for the revelation of Rauhauser’s mistakes. I suspect they’re going to be howlers. 

  7. Dave Mears
    July 2nd, 2012 @ 4:08 pm

    For a second there  I read that as “that would proclaim to the progressive communists at Daily Kos” 

  8. Finrod Felagund
    July 2nd, 2012 @ 4:50 pm

    And the overall meaning changed not a whit.

  9. rjacobse
    July 2nd, 2012 @ 5:12 pm

    Wait: Alterman actually thinks?

    Who knew?

  10. robertstacymccain
    July 2nd, 2012 @ 5:22 pm

    It’s so crazy I swear sometimes I think Neal’s trying to set up an insanity defense.

  11. robertstacymccain
    July 2nd, 2012 @ 5:23 pm

    Thanks. This is what the tip-jar hitters are paying me to do. I haven’t sent many thank-you e-mails, because I figure they’d rather me just keep on reporting.

  12. Afternoon Snark | Darth Chipmunk
    July 2nd, 2012 @ 5:55 pm

    […] Scary People Being Crazy and Scary: Rauhauser and Sockpuppets Share this: This entry was posted in News and Links. Bookmark the permalink. ← Gun […]

  13. Dianna Deeley
    July 2nd, 2012 @ 6:03 pm

     He’d probably be terribly offended if that were proposed. Seriously, reading what he’s written, it’s pretty obvious he thinks he’s a genius, and the bee’s-knees of Open Source Intelligence.

  14. Dianna Deeley
    July 2nd, 2012 @ 6:17 pm

     At the risk of being identified with those generous people, yeah! Keep writing!

  15. crosspatch
    July 2nd, 2012 @ 6:23 pm

    We get that these people have a bazillion sockpuppets.  Exposing one here or another there is going to cause people’s eyes to glaze over.

    We already understand that the “progressive activists” are a group of deceptive, duplicitous, despicable liars.  They have been since day one.  Deception has been their M.O. ever since the Alar scare on apples back in the 1980’s.  Yes, they lie, it’s just what they do, we get that.    We don’t expect anything different from them.  Unfortunately, unethical political behavior is an American tradition. 

    What is needed out of this story is not something that is going to cause the conservative choir to cheer, but something that will cause a considerable number of the other side to see exactly how they have been led down the garden path and spoon fed a big steaming pile of hooey.

  16. Democrat Candidate for Congress Worked With Brett Kimberlin Associate Neal Rauhauser | The Lonely Conservative
    July 2nd, 2012 @ 6:50 pm

    […] Kimberlin, aka Speedway Bomber, saga, you’re aware of his close associate Neal Rauhauser. Stacy has another piece up today about Rauhauser’s use of “sockpuppets” and his skill at hiding his online […]

  17. The #BrettKimberlin Report D+38: The Madness Of King Sockpuppet « The Camp Of The Saints
    July 2nd, 2012 @ 9:05 pm

    […] day, another sockpuppet of His Berserk Majesty, King Rauhauser The Unhinged, exposed, this time by Stacy McCain: FROM AN UNDISCLOSED […]

  18. Sic Semper Ignoramus | hogewash
    July 2nd, 2012 @ 9:42 pm

    […] Semper Ignoramus Posted on 2 July, 2012 by wjjhoge Stacy McCain has more on the further misadventures of Neal Rauhauser and his various sockpuppet secret […]

  19. robertstacymccain
    July 2nd, 2012 @ 10:31 pm

    Like I said, Neal has committed new blunders, which I am not yet at liberty to discuss. But to address your point: The further demonstration that Rauhauser is a dangerous liability to his friends (which seems to me quite evident already) will serve the purpose of making people think twice before associating with him.

  20. robertstacymccain
    July 2nd, 2012 @ 10:32 pm

    His whole Internet Super-Spy act is tedious. It only impresses people who are easily impressed.

  21. Adjoran
    July 2nd, 2012 @ 11:47 pm

     You can’t pick and choose who you meet with to prevent Guam from tipping over, man! 

    Besides, if you listen to Johnson for a couple of minutes, you will realize he’s a prime customer for what Kimberlin used to import, IYKWIMAITTYD.

  22. Adjoran
    July 2nd, 2012 @ 11:52 pm

     Sometimes a cigar is just a cigar, and sometimes a lunatic is just bat-shi’ite crazy.

    This guy actually believes, and launched an all-out no-holds-bar internet crusade (leading into at least very coincidentally the Stack and Patterico attacks) based on the idea that Weiner’s weiner wasn’t Weiner’s, even after Weiner confessed to it.

    That takes a pure kind of crazy.  It can’t be manufactured.

  23. Adjoran
    July 2nd, 2012 @ 11:59 pm

     Stories don’t necessarily lead to what is needed from them.  They lead where they go.  Part of the reason these characters have been able to get away with their misdeeds as long as they have is that rational people find it hard to believe that anyone would expend the kind of effort they do to pursue the zaniest conspiracy theories or seek vengeance for a passing slight.

    That, and that there was very little or no attention being paid to them when they did surface from their angry mob of sock puppets to make a threat.  The more the spotlight turns on them, the more nervous they get.  The more mistakes they make.

    It needs to be reported.

  24. Neo
    July 3rd, 2012 @ 1:06 am

    So exactly what is the Stranded Wind Initiative ?

    Contact Name:
    Neal Rauhauser

    Contact Email:
    neal [at]

  25. crosspatch
    July 3rd, 2012 @ 1:19 am

     Yes, it does, and that probably read worse than I meant it.  I guess I meant that he probably has or has had hundreds of fake personae out there, it’s what he does.

  26. FOAF
    July 3rd, 2012 @ 1:30 am

    Kos has a big tent, they accommodate progressive communists *and* reactionary communists!

  27. FOAF
    July 3rd, 2012 @ 1:32 am

    I think it is closely related to Rauhauser’s Broken Wind initiative.

  28. GiveMeARaise
    July 3rd, 2012 @ 1:50 am

    How dare you offend such committed grassroots supporters as “Doodad Pro.”

  29. Neo
    July 3rd, 2012 @ 2:03 am

    Then there is Layer 3 Arts

  30. Neo
    July 3rd, 2012 @ 2:05 am

     Stranded Wind Initiative has a DC phone number

  31. Neo
    July 3rd, 2012 @ 2:18 am
  32. Jake
    July 3rd, 2012 @ 2:21 am

    There’s the pedosmile again….

  33. crosspatch
    July 3rd, 2012 @ 4:04 am

     He’s a network engineer.  Layer 3 probably refers to the routing of packets in a network, Layer 3 of the OSI model.

  34. Neo
    July 3rd, 2012 @ 7:53 am

     The address of Layer 3 Arts is a UPS Store

  35. Bob Belvedere
    July 3rd, 2012 @ 8:01 am

    Or one of his ‘fans’, as it were.  Lenin knew he could always could on some of his followers to commit acts independently in emulation of his ones.

  36. Bob Belvedere
    July 3rd, 2012 @ 8:03 am

    The key thing for this 21st Century Schizoid Man – and this is all that matters to him – he’s impressing himself.

  37. Bob Belvedere
    July 3rd, 2012 @ 8:05 am

    Weiner’s weiner was so bare
    Weiner’s weiner had no hair
    Weiner’s weiner wasn’t big, was it?

  38. Bob Belvedere
    July 3rd, 2012 @ 8:11 am

    I believe it was Stacy who reported on this, but, as I recall, SWI has something to do with energy.  However, it may be a scam set-up to launder money or it’s just one of the many projects developed in Neal’s mind during one of his manic phases that he actually sought to carry out.

  39. Brett Kimberlin and George Zimmerman
    July 3rd, 2012 @ 9:38 am

    […] Let's just dive in, beginning with this round up by Tai Chi Policy. The Lonely Conservative relays the information from Screed of Momus that Dem House candidate Darcy Burner has been availing herself of Neal Rauhauser's peculiar services. Bob Belvedere mentions us in a gathering of posts advocating that we stop the infighting, including Momus, again, and Liberty Chick. Stacy revisits and elaborates on the sockpuppeting of real boy wannabe Neal Rauhauser. […]

  40. Freedom Is Under Attack: Help the National Bloggers Club Fight Back : The Other McCain
    July 3rd, 2012 @ 10:02 am

    […] me — the Club is preparing to counterattack.At the end of a post yesterday, I gave you a tiny hint of what’s coming, and will soon be able to tell you more. For now, I urge you to contribute […]

  41. crosspatch
    July 3rd, 2012 @ 12:13 pm

     Not all that unusual for network engineers.  Many people who do networking  stuff will do work on the side.  My guess is that this would be a consulting practice he set up or attempted to start for the purpose of doing project work. 

    For example, some little company can’t justify having a network engineer on full-time staff so they consult with an outside contractor as needed.  That isn’t unusual in that line of work.

  42. Doug Jones
    July 3rd, 2012 @ 1:05 pm

     I get baited breath when I go out for sushi. Yum!

  43. Nancy Nogg
    July 3rd, 2012 @ 1:09 pm

    My poor kids…they googled their father. It is so hard to explain mental illness and abandonment.  But would you want him in your child’s life?

  44. The Files (Short and Long) On Convicted Felon Brett Kimberlin « Lawrence Person's BattleSwarm Blog
    July 16th, 2012 @ 11:00 am

    […] Neal Rauhauser sock puppet […]