recaps of the top 'ask me anything' interviews from reddit and more...
I am responsible for the Gettysburg flag-burning hoax. AMA.

Hi. I'm Adam Rahuba. According to The Washington Post, I'm "The Troll."

https://www.washingtonpost.com/investigations/2020/07/17/gettysburg-antifa-flag-burning-troll/

For years, I've been fucking with pedophiles, right-wingers, and other undesirables on the internet. My most recent hoax was a fake Facebook invent - a flag-burning in protest of police brutality at Gettysburg National Cemetery.

The event was very obviously fake. Details included, "Antifa face painting" and "small flags for the kids."

https://www.washingtonpost.com/investigations/hundreds-of-armed-men-went-to-gettysburg-to-defend-it-from-a-phantom-antifa-flag-burner-created-on-social-media/2020/07/04/206ee4da-bb05-11ea-86d5-3b9b3863273b_story.html

It's been a wild week. Most of my friends and family have been supportive.

Proof: https://twitter.com/adam_rahuba/status/1285331322412638208?s=20

In addition to fucking with conservatives, I don't have much going on. I'm a DJ. I deliver for Postmates with a friend's car that I borrow. I'm broke and stay with a friend. I spend a fuckton of time in treatment for a laundry list of mental illnesses and trying to be less shitty.

EDIT: The Gettysburg Prank had a special phone number for people to call and ask questions. You could guess the kinds of calls I received... but you don't have to. I saved all of them. I uploaded a batch to YouTube and have PLENTY MORE (like 10,000+) to go through. TW: (bleeped) racism/homophobia:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HLC90C3mTSQ&lc=UgxpzxJ9QEmQZtJxWaJ4AaABAg


39
questions
172
score
July 20th 2020
interview date
mwthecool

What's the deal with the GoFundMe thing? You posted that you needed the money to put your life back together, under a pseudonym, and then WP says that you actually used it for stock footage. What was the impetus behind that choice?


AdamRahuba

Fair question, that WaPo didn't cover my entire answer to.

The stock site that I use costs like $30/month. The rest was used to get myself into a position where I could start delivering for Postmates (I fixed a friend's broken car and I'm paying her to use it).

That's gotten me into a slightly better position. I have a bedroom and an air mattress on the floor. I'm still broke as fuck, but I did upgrade some, and I'm making enough to give my roommate a few dollars every month.

dazedan_confused

Was a billionaire running for president another of your hoaxes? If so, when do you intend to stop?


AdamRahuba

Just wait until November 2028 when the general election is Don Jr. vs. Elon Musk.

Oof.

Vandechoz

How much of your success do you attribute to the news media being tools of sensationalism instead of journalism?


AdamRahuba

95%... maybe a little bit more.

bombayblue

What do you actually hope to accomplish? How does trolling extremists help the general political discourse in America?


AdamRahuba

I don't want to help political discourse in America.

I want to point out the obvious: that discourse with the far-right is absolutely pointless.

totalynottedcruz

Do you plan to continue doing these sorts of things even though your identity has been made public?


AdamRahuba

Probably. I have a few ideas.

I also think it'd be sort of interesting to see that if I did get caught during the early stages if people would still manage to fall for it.

The Gettysburg thing was a hoax to anyone with a brain. The local police put out a statement that it's a hoax. My accounts were pulled two weeks before the event and I couldn't "promote" it.

500 dupes still showed up ready to shoot.

c4virus

Do you think conservatives are more dupe-able than left-wingers? If so, why?


AdamRahuba

I think so - for two reasons:

  1. Conservative brains are predisposed to fear and anxiety relating to politics. Turns out the people who call everyone "snowflake" are pretty fragile.

  2. I've tried trolling Democrats repeatedly (from the left). Instead of taking the bait, they'll usually accuse me of being Russian, call me pro-Trump, etc.

1decentusername

Do you have a steady place to stay now? Has being "outed" helped or hindered your life?


AdamRahuba

I'm still staying with a friend, though a roommate recently left and I upgraded to a room of my own. I'd like to get into my own place in the next few months, once my therapist and I agree that I'm good.

I'd say it's been a 50/50 mix. My friends and family have been super supportive/amused. My resume is now a perma-nightmare, though... I have picked up a couple of freelance design jobs.

DICKTracey

What do you think about the idea of you organising something like this and then a whole lot of people getting hurt because it escalated? Would you feel responsible? Given that none of the events would have transpired if it wasn't for your initial invitation? This feels like you're playing with fire, but you are not the most likely to get burned


AdamRahuba

If you're dumb enough to show up to an "Antifa face painting" with guns then maybe you're the one to blame.

mayormcskeeze

How did this "fuck with conservatives?"


AdamRahuba

500+ of them wasted their holiday, and made their "cause" look stupid as fuck in 100 degree heat over an obviously farcical event.

doubleflusher

How do we know this ama isn't just some set up for one of your bits?


AdamRahuba

Honestly, you don't?

It isn't really though. Right now would be a really difficult time to pull once considering the media scrutiny.

Vandechoz

“For over a year now, I’ve been unable to work due to intensive therapy after a suicide attempt,” he wrote. He said he needed money for a new car to help rebuild his life. Donors gave him $560.

Rahuba told The Post that most of the money was used to license graphics from a stock website for use on his next hoax in Gettysburg.

Any plans to reverse this, and start a "troll the nazis" donation collection, but give it all to a mental illness charity of some kind?


AdamRahuba

Maybe if I can ever land on my feet, yes.

zipzap21

Are you looking for your "big break"?


AdamRahuba

Absolutely. I think that by trolling Nazis and pedophiles that I'm going to be buying a yacht and 1/3 of the Portland Trailblazers in a few months.

I don't know. I'm some asshole who fucks with less savory assholes and got outed by the Washington Post. If people are interested, cool.

swampcholla

Given the armed morons that sowed up, and the potential for encounters with people that don't think like them, as well as people that may have left the park because they didn't feel comfortable around a bunch of armed rednecks (some of those perhaps having a vacation ruined as a result), do you feel any responsibility for putting people unnecessarily in harms way?


AdamRahuba

Avoiding the COVID-why-the-fuck-are-you-on-vacation of it all.

I didn't put people in harms way. I created an event that you'd have to be braindead to believe. Braindead idiots with guns put people in harms way.

holdthedoor444

Are you worried that you'll be targeted by crazies now that your name is out there?


AdamRahuba

Not particularly.

Though I'm sure a bunch of boomers are going to tweet pictures of guns, Punisher logos, and "MOLON LABE" stuff at me.

chikenjoe17

As a couch surfing 38 year old with mental issues, do you think this is the best thing you can do with your time?

Also do you think this is helping the political divide of this country, or could it just be making things worse?


AdamRahuba

The best thing? Not at all. Considering that 12 months ago, I couldn't get out of bed without smoking a blunt and was casually trying meth, it's a hell of an upgrade.

And I don't want to help the political divide. I want to get this shit over with. There is no unity to be had with the far-right.

QuayleSpotting

I actually was at Gettysburg on the 4th, but not for any political reason. Wife and I were driving home to DC from Harrisburg and had a few hours to kill, so we decided to just pull in and drive around the battlefield. We had no idea what was going on, but were shocked by how many hard core Trumpers were there with guns. My wife is very liberal, I'm fairly middle of the road, and I got worried that she would eventually say something too loud and get us in a fight. Do you think there is a risk to random bystanders who happen to end up in extremely tense situations you help to create, and how would you cope if something did happen to hurt someone in that situation?


AdamRahuba

If someone attacks another person, the attacker is 100% to blame.

We didn't blame the people who built Columbine High School for the massacare just because they built the building.

schmoob

Can you please keep fucking with Doug Mastriano and the FB group ALL About Hanover? Thanks.


AdamRahuba

I need to figure out how to get back onto Facebook. I think they've figured out how to keep me out (without having to jump through VPN/fake phone number hoops).

I just need some inspiration.

phoenixtart

As a troll, how do you feel about The Satanic Temple?


AdamRahuba

An absolute inspiration.

chillinois309

Are you spooked that all these crazies know your name now?


AdamRahuba

Not really, no. I kind of think the death threats are funny.

FatCommuter

How much did George Soros pay you?


AdamRahuba

Liberals: This guy is obviously paid by Putin. Conservatives: This guy is obviously paid by Soros. My Bank Account: This guy needs to get paid.

IronSkywalker

Do you think people can be right leaning and not braindead idiots?

What is your opinion on left-wing extremism?


AdamRahuba

It's getting harder not to paint the entire right with a broad brush, considering that this November there will DEFINITELY be QAnon'ers in Congress.

My opinion of left-wing extremism is that it's often in response to systemic oppression and aggression. Left-wing violence is almost always in direct response to state violence or capitalist violence, thus just.

Only4DNDandCigars

What are some of your favorite threats/hate mail/etc you received?


AdamRahuba

I posted about 10 of the voicemails on YouTube (and they're some of my favorites):

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HLC90C3mTSQ&lc=UgxpzxJ9QEmQZtJxWaJ4AaABAg

Now that I'm "outed," I expect some creative ones.

[deleted]

[deleted]


AdamRahuba

I'm not sure exactly how my therapists take it personally. From a clinical standpoint, I'm just asked if I think what I'm doing is constructive. And I do.

Then we move on to talk about how the only memories I have from before 8 years old involved my mom's overdoses, my best friend getting blown up in Iraq, or (if it's a good day) my own history of suicidal ideations and attempts.

mrsuns10

Why are you contributing to the further division of our country? You realize if people from the other side showed up, it could have led to an ugly incident right?


AdamRahuba

I'm going to answer your question with one of my own:

Why do you think that there can be unity with the types of people who show up armed to protect kids from Antifa face-painting?

Divisive with white supremacists? Good. Divisive with Confederate sympathizers? Good. Divisive with science deniers? Good.

Notice that no one from the other side DID show up? Because the event was so obviously fake that only the dullest bulbs took the bait.

Punisher_2080

When someone gets killed because you find ways to get these idiots out of their houses with loaded weapons, will you feel any guilt or will it be a LUL I TOLD YOU SO situation?


AdamRahuba

Conservatives have been telling me for years that it's the fault of the person who pulls the trigger...

PhatJohny

There's enough hate in the world. Why do you feel the need to create fake hate?


AdamRahuba

You know, /u/PhatJohny, I think that inciting hatred against Nazis is just fine.

Koma79

Do you see this as an artistic endeavor ? being that some art (at least) is holding up a mirror to society.

stay safe !


AdamRahuba

Maybe? I've called it a form of "performance art" in the past, but that feels super pretentious.

My goal is to make them look absurd. I don't know, maybe it's akin to comedy writing with a very niche audience?

tehngand

What's the next hoax? You got my support


AdamRahuba

All I can say is that it can be REALLY good, and is unlike anything I've done before.

itzroachie

What would happen if you set-up one of these fake protests where people actually show up and someones shot and killed?


AdamRahuba

I would hope that the shooter is tried and put in prison - as they're the one committing a crime.


AdamRahuba

I think it's goddamned hilarious.

JoeMorgan76

Do you think there are more famous personalities doing the same thing for cash?


AdamRahuba

Sasha Baron-Cohen is obviously the best... but I'm sure there are plenty.


AdamRahuba

I was bored. I made a fake Facebook event that trolled a few hundred psychopaths into showing up. The Washington Post covered it and put it on the front page of their site. It was weird. I don't know.

Chuck_E_Trees

What kind of music do you play out as a DJ?


AdamRahuba

I have an emo/pop punk night that I do monthly (when the world isn't a diseased mess).

We did a couple of "house party" editions, but it didn't feel right and people (me included) are shitty at social distancing while drinking.

stehmansmith5

When I read articles about this, I assumed the "face painting" and "handing out flags for kids" was intended to make it so when people showed up and saw benign Gettysburg Independence day stuff going on, they'd assume it was part of the antifa rally. So they wouldn't just show up and leave; they'd feel like their motives were justified when they saw random kids doing normal July 4 stuff and stay.

Was this your intent or was it just a byproduct of a random idea?


AdamRahuba

My intent was to create an event that was so over-the-top that only the stupidest would believe it.

jjjiiiomn

Adam - what do you want to be remembered for?


AdamRahuba

Honestly? I don't care. Life is temporary, and you have no say over who tells your story.

Edit: Yes, I'm listening to Hamilton.

NDakotaFarmer

Do you understand that most people think you’re a jerk and a troll, from all sides of the political spectrum? I hope you get banned from the internet?


AdamRahuba

Yes. I do understand that. I also don't much care.

PLS-SEND-UR-NIPS

Would you rather fight one duck sized horse or 100 horse sized ducks?


AdamRahuba

The duck-sized horse, hands down.

100 horse-sized ducks is absurd. Those fuckers can be mean. And it's not cool to bribe them with bread. I'd team up with them to fight 10000 incel-sized MAGAs though.

Scoundrelic

Do you watch Jimmy Dore?


AdamRahuba

I haven't.

the-old-baker-man

I’m surprised didn’t have anything planned for Sturgis. Or did you?


AdamRahuba

I tend to work in locations that I can get to physically... and that was a trip.

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AdamRahuba