Redding Woman Tackles Cyber Giant

Update: I’m removing names of businesses that were in the testimonials for Ruben because one of the businesses said they never wrote that testimonial – that Ruben created it. My apology for the error, and for any confusion.

Note: This is the first in a series of stories about North State citizens’  dealings with Ruben James-Porras, a local Facebook administrator who’s elevated himself to public-figure status by controlling scores of social media accounts that reach more than 30,000 people on his various websites and pages. Stay tuned for other related stories.

Also, to protect the identity of the woman who filed a restraining order against James-Porras, she’s identified in this story as Erika Wright.

Ruben James Porras, center, in promotional material

Erika Wright, a 32-year-old Redding business owner, now rues the day she invited Ruben James-Porras into her store. But in retrospect, the blond, blue-eyed woman with the wide smile remembers exactly what it was that enticed her to contact James-Porras – a prolific social media personality –  in the spring of 2010. She liked his witty writing style, and the fact that his posts were everywhere.

“I first learned of Ruben by following his Yelp reviews,” Wright said. “He was funny and entertaining. It became evident to me that if I received a positive review from him for my original business, that it would be read by many people due to his large fan base.”

As someone struggling to hoist her sagging retail business off the ground in a ruthless economy, Wright hoped that the ebony-haired, tech-savvy James-Porras –  aka Modesto Famous – could peruse her shop, write an online shout-out and maybe catapult her Redding business onto shoppers’ cybermaps. Perhaps, she thought, Modesto Famous could even help make her business – well – famous.

With that in mind, Wright contacted James-Porras and asked if he could swing by her place the next time he was in Redding (unaware he actually lived in Redding). She was delighted when he soon replied that yes, he would come by.

Her encounter with James-Porras was the beginning of the end of Wright’s peaceful life as she’d known it. Little could she know that by the next year, she’d have endured a living cyberhell that would eventually lead her to file a restraining order against Ruben James-Porras – the man she once so admired.

First Impressions

Wrights’ initial excitement about meeting James-Porras waned almost from the moment he strode into her shop. He brought with him a laptop, paperwork and an aggressive sales pitch that outlined precisely how she’d pay him for reviews and posts about her business.

Pay? For reviews? That caught her by surprise.

“I had no idea this was what he thought the meeting was about,” she said.

Even so, she listened as James-Porras explained the incredible benefits from using social media to promote one’s business. As a demonstration, in just a few seconds the 37-year-old James-Porras typed out and posted a Yelp review about her business. Presto. Just like that. Then he explained that because of what he’d just posted, thousands of people who didn’t know her even business existed would now know all about her.

As pleased as she was by that thought, she felt some lingering reservations.

“I told him I’d like to think about it and I’d get back to him.”

A few days later James-Porras called Wright to see if she’d made a decision, but she told him she was still unsure. As weeks turned into months, James-Porras continued to email Wright about whether she’d decided to hire him or not. One day, after she logged onto Yelp, she noticed that James-Porras’ review of her business was gone. When she emailed James-Porras and asked about the missing post, he said she was aware of the price of a Yelp review, because he’d left that information with her that day.

His reply rubbed her the wrong way.

“I was annoyed by the unprofessionalism and didn’t contact him again,” she said. “End of story. I thought.”

Soon after that email exchange she discovered that James-Porras had written a Facebook message that described Wright and her husband as “scam artists.”

“I was outraged,” she said. “That post was seen by thousands of people before he took our name out of it, at my husband’s demand.”

The Nightmare Begins

For Wright, that message from James-Porras began an 18-month-long conflict between James-Porras and Wright, primarily via Facebook posts.

However, it didn’t take long for Wright and her husband to realize that they were engaged in a losing, imbalanced battle of  cyber words with James-Porras and his mammoth online presence, the biggest chunk of which came from his administration of the Redding, California (public places) Facebook page. By sheer volume James-Porras seemingly “won” every time because his Redding, California Facebook page positioned him as the master of a massive social media audience.

To compound matters, James-Porras was able to censor Wright, her husband, family and friends on the very site upon which he sometimes published damning posts about them.

Wright found herself seriously out of her league on a madly uneven playing field where James-Porras’ page contained then-9,000 fans, while hers had just a few hundred. (As of this publication, the Redding, California Facebook page is 11,832 strong. Hers is in the 300-range.)

She asked James-Porras to leave her alone. But he continued sending emails that rattled her.

Finally, after messages to Wright in which James-Porras “mentioned” such things as skeletons in closets, personal money issues, and her husband and children, Wright sought help from the Redding Police Department. She said they were sympathetic, but she learned that the police had no jurisdiction over online disputes. Besides, no formal complaint had been filed against James-Porras, something that surprised her, because by then she’d met other women who’d disclosed similar problems with James-Porras, and who’d also gone to the police.

When James-Porras’ unwanted emails continued, Wright took her first steps to file a restraining order against James-Porras. She wanted him banned  from contacting her in any way, or writing about her, her husband, children or family on any social media sites.

On  Sept. 14, she was granted the restraining order from Shasta County Superior Court. Her emotionally charged ordeal with James-Porras had included seeking legal counsel, and attending two court hearings and one non-jury trial.

However, Wright’s victory that day was sweet and fleeting, because within minutes of when Wright was granted the restraining order, James-Porras was out of the courtroom and back to writing comments about the court case on his Facebook posts. There, he characterized the hearings as his fight for free speech.

By then he was routinely blasting anyone he anticipated as a potential threat.

Case in point was his Sept. 14 Facebook post: “Before you hear it from local gossip reporter, Doni Greenburg (sic), a restraining order was granted against me today based on peaceful emails that I sent to protect myself and this page. I apparently violated a law by speaking up for myself. That is fine. I have not seen the person that filed this in over 18 months and I don’t intend to. This page will always be here for you and will remain positive. Let’s fight for Redding!”

That particular  post was “liked” by 58 people, and commented on by another 48, who said things like Art C., who wrote, “Keep up the excellent work. I look forward to reading your articles every day. Thanks!!” to which James-Porras replied, “I took a hit for you folks. I feel great about standing up for our community. Thanks for the support.”

James-Porras’ Facebook posts failed to mention crucial elements about the court hearings, such as how Shasta County Superior Court Commissioner Gary Gibson granted Wright the restraining order she’d requested to keep James-Porras away from her, because Wright had met the legal burden of proof to convince the court that James-Porras had, in fact, harassed Wright.

Likewise, James-Porras failed to mention in his Facebook posts that the woman who was granted the restraining order against him won that legal battle despite the fact that she was not allowed to ask her witnesses – all Redding businesswomen – about their first-hand stories of alleged harassment, intimidation and cyber-bullying.

Commissioner Gibson told Wright that the women’s testimonies needed to stick with information about Wright and James-Porras. Gibson said that the Sept. 14 trial was to determine if James-Porras had harassed just her, not to demonstrate a pattern that showed James-Porras harassed others.

Gibson was right, of course.

However, many of the people interviewed for this story reported seeing or experiencing patterns of harassment, intimidation and cyber bullying by James-Porras. Excerpts from some of the supporting statements submitted with Wright’s restraining order by several business women offer a sample of complaints against James-Porras that contain a common thread.

• “I have been selected, targeted and repeatedly harassed by Ruben (James) Porras … I have never met Mr. (James) Porras; I have never had business dealings with him; I have no idea how he chose me to publicly make disparaging remarks … Mr. (James) Porras emailed me and taunted me for calling the police and reporting him. He ended his email with, ‘see you soon’ words which I felt he intended to threaten and intimidate me.”

• “Ruben (James) Porras has not only threatened my business, but also left threatening messages on my voicemail. He has screamed at me on the phone with my children in ears (sic) distance because I decided to go through another person for advertising.”

• “… He has posted my actual name on the Internet using slanderous words and trying to incite his fan base of over (at that time 9,000 people), stating, ‘My health is beginning to fail and I need all of you to stand up for me.’ ”

• “As a woman in business in Redding, California, for nearly 10 years, I have personally witnessed both verbal and written attacks by Ruben James Porras … I personally have received numerous private emails from other women in business too terrified to speak out based on his threats to their businesses in front of an audience he boasts to be 1½ million views per month on Facebook alone!”

Fawning Fan Base

By then, Wright was far from alone in her mistrust of James-Porras. Dozens of citizens – primarily business owners – complained about James-Porras to anyone who’d listen: law enforcement, media and even friends and families’ less-populated social media sites.

Meanwhile, scores of others joined thousands who “liked” James-Porras’ Redding, California Facebook page, seemingly oblivious to the mounting undercurrent of frustration and dissatisfaction that centered around the behavior of Ruben James Porras.

All the while, James-Porras’ online fan base grew along with testimonials from satisfied customers that he showed to prospective advertisers.

[Note: I’ve removed the names of the businesses in the “testimonials” I  quoted from Ruben James Porras’ marketing materials. I’d included them to give some balance to this story – getting more and more difficult – and to show that many businesses are happy with him. That was before I received an email from one of the business owners today who said he had NOT written that testimonial, and had NOT endorsed Ruben’s services. My apology for not fact- checking on the list of Ruben’s testimonials.]

“Awesome! We can’t thank you enough! Sir, you are a genius with a great eye and amazing words. If anyone is looking for a cost-effective and creative way to advertise their business, they would be crazy not to work for you!”

• “Keep posting kind words on behalf of the businesses that you love. Every bit helps and you would be amazed at the power you have!”

And when this reporter sent out a Facebook message a few months ago asking for responses from people who’d paid for social media reviews and posts, a few people replied with positive comments, specifically about James-Porras.

“Just wanted to respond to your query about paying for exposure on this FB page and Twitter stuff,” wrote Redding businesswoman Ann Webber in this excerpted message: “A while back when Jeanette and I had Infinite Designs and she was too busy to tend to all the online stuff, we did use Ruben’s services. It was a load off of her day and he did a great job promoting us …”

The fact is, as much as a business might appreciate increased exposure and revenue following an online review, it’s against many social media sites’ user agreements for someone to accept compensation in exchange for posts and/or reviews. That’s true for Facebook and Yelp, both of which James-Porras has posted reviews for which he was paid with either money or food or services.

Consequently, although Yelp disabled James-Porras’ account for violating its rules, Facebook has pretty much left James-Porras alone, something that continues to confound many of James-Porras’ most strident accusers.

“We joke that there must be a big shredder at Facebook headquarters where all incoming emailed complaints go,” said one Shasta County resident who’s reported James-Porras to Facebook for what he described as user violations.

Soon, some social media professionals joined the James-Porras debate, saying they’ve been targeted by him because he felt threatened by them as possible competition.

Exasperation became a nearly daily state of mind for not just Wright and her husband, but many individuals who’d grown weary of what appeared a losing virtual battle with James-Porras’ “anti-social” social media tactics. That led some business people to employ a fight-fire-with-fire strategy. They created a blitz of Redding-California-related Facebook fan pages in an attempt to simultaneously neutralize and perhaps dilute the power of James Porras’ Redding, California Facebook page.

The result is a rather impressive collection of Redding-themed pages.

Yet another group started gathering and sharing every bit of unflattering information they could find about James-Porras, which even included such unexpected second- and third-hand sources as James-Porras’ own parents,  sister, former friends, classmates and acquaintances.

But perhaps the most elaborate defensive move of all against James-Porras was lobbed by another tech-savvy man, someone so angered by what he described as a completely unwarranted attack by James-Porras on the man’s colleagues, that the man created a webpage that chronicled some of the most unsavory details about James-Porras. Basically, the site was all bad about Ruben James-Porras, all the time.

Although that site has since been closed down after being reported for being abusive, the man explained his rationale for creating the page in the first place.

“I started to see a pattern of people being hurt by him, and of him deleting any sign of his damage,” he said of James-Porras. “He would then blame others for ‘attacking’ him. I started seeing more and more people that were pushed around by his network. He has a large network of people that have not even seen the other side to what he is doing because he deletes and hides. People are willing to believe what he says without a doubt.”

He said he created the page about James-Porras for two reasons: to expose what James-Porras had been doing, and to give a voice to those he’d hurt, without being silenced.

“I could understand it if this (Redding, California Facebook page) was Ruben’s personal network, but since what he does affects so many people and carries the name of Redding, then he needs to be honest and open about what he does.”

The irony of that statement was not lost on the man, who’d agreed to share information, but requested he not be named in the story.

“I can understand the absurdity of remaining anonymous, but I care about the company I work for and do not want them involved in any drama,” he said. “Nobody has wanted to stand up against him (James-Porras) because of the network he holds.”

Actually, a few people did try to stand up to James-Porras by contacting local media – including this reporter, as far back as February. They asked for someone to investigate the “self-dubbed marketing guru” and administrator of the Redding, California Facebook page.

“The businesses I know of that have been dealt a blow by him are scared and nervous to say anything publicly (though some have on Facebook), due to his likelihood of retaliation,” wrote a Redding business owner. She added that although she could admit that James-Porras was doing some good by promoting some local businesses and charities, she also expressed her belief that he was intimidating some local businesses, too.

As one business owner put it, “The economy is so bad I cannot afford to lose one customer. Ruben has power in the numbers of people on his pages, and he controls what they say.  I can‘t afford to go up against someone like that.“

In addition to contacting the media and law enforcement, some business people complained to Redding City Manager Kurt Starman that James-Porras was representing himself as the face of the city’s “official” Facebook page. They accused James-Porras as sometimes making false, potentially damaging statements about citizens on a page that was viewed by many as the city of Redding’s Facebook page.

In May, Starman addressed the topic in an email to this reporter.

Starman said that James-Porras had every right to create and maintain a Facebook page, just like anyone else. However, Starman added that the city had made it clear to James-Porras that his Redding, California Facebook page was not the city’s official Facebook page, and that James-Porras was not affiliated with the city.

Fearless and Unflappable

In May, when a KRCR reporter followed up on some of the complaints about James-Porras for a story, she interviewed and quoted James-Porras, as well as some of his accusers, in her broadcast. And although the story ended up being more about social media in general and less about James-Porras, from then on James-Porras has routinely blasted KRCR in his posts.

Furthermore, following complaints by some businesswomen to the Redding Police Department that they felt threatened and bullied by James-Porras, RPD officers arrested him on old DUI charges, but later released him. Since then, James-Porras openly ridicules RPD on his social media sites.

Finally, last month, after Wright filed paperwork for a temporary restraining order, James-Porras taunted the woman in an email that said, “Print this email. Show the cops. Show whoever you think will read it and pat yourself on the back for being a master sleuth …”

This communication stunned the woman, as well as those in whom she’d confided.

“Here’s a guy who repeatedly makes fun of a local TV station after they do a story that barely mentions him, and then he mocks the police with impunity after they arrested him and for talking to him,” said one business person.

“It’s as if Ruben thinks he’s above the law. And if it’s true – that he is above the law, and he can do and say anything he wants, then who can stop him? Who can compete against a guy who has thousands of people who believe him, only because he doesn’t allow the truth on his pages? I sure can’t.”

Who’s the victim?

When asked in May for an explanation of why so many people were unhappy with him, James-Porras remained steadfast in his assertion that not only is he innocent, but he’s the true victim of undeserved persecution.

Ruben James Porras, Redding, California Facebook page administrator

“You would not believe the stuff I’ve put up with from these people,” James-Porras said. “They’re trying to destroy me. My page got big and they got jealous … these people are diabolical, they’re crazy, they’ve ruined my life and want me to move out of the city.”

During James-Porras’ testimony in September, he told the judge that with one keyboard stroke, he could reach more than 30,000 people. When he mentioned the Redding, California Facebook page, he said he created it.

Shawn L. Thompson, creator of the Redding CA Facebook page

In fact, the truth is that the most-liked Redding CA Facebook page was created by Shawn Thompson in July of 2009, someone who’d allowed James-Porras to join Thompson as co-administrator. By February 2010, James-Porras had stripped Thompson’s administration rights and assumed the page for himself.

Also during his court testimony, James-Porras blamed Wright and her husband for getting him “fired” from his jobs at the Redding Record Searchlight and Enjoy magazine.

In fact, Silas Lyons, editor of the Record Searchlight, later set the record straight when asked by this reporter for a clarification about James-Porras’ employment status.

“If Ruben Porras claimed to have been ‘fired’ from the RS, that would be impossible,” wrote Lyons in his emailed reply. “We bought some of his freelance work on a piece-by-piece basis, but he’s never held a position here that he could be fired from. We did stop using his work some months ago, but it wasn’t because of any particular person’s complaints. I explained to him at the time that we were primarily concerned that his marketing enterprise, connected to his Facebook page, created the appearance of a conflict of interest.”

Likewise, Ronda Ball, managing editor of Enjoy magazine, provided a similar response to my request for clarification.

“All our writers are freelance, none are hired employees,” Ball wrote. “Ruben was never hired. Ruben wrote one story but when we received it, it wasn’t a good fit for the magazine so we didn’t run it. We paid him a kill fee for the story, which we do when we ask a writer for a story that doesn’t run. That has been the extent of our relationship.”

His mischaracterizations continue unchallenged before an equivalent one-third of Redding’s population.

Many of his fans/friends and followers believe James-Porras’ posts, and offer messages of support. And why not? There’s nothing on his pages that allows a different version. Writers who do attempt to share an alternate viewpoint find their comments deleted, and sometimes they’re blocked entirely.

However, sometimes James-Porras will allow a question, such as this by commenter Lori C., who asked, “I don’t get it … who is taking you to court, and why?”

And someone named Casey posted his thoughts about James-Porras’ description of the court case when he wrote, “I just don’t understand what their complaint is. They think you should not have a Redding page because they had a Redding page already? They are arguing about content, about name, about what? It just baffles me that this kind of suit would be allowed to move forward.”

Despite questions like those, James-Porras still casts himself as the underdog when discussing the court hearings and trial.

He never shared with his tens of thousands of fans the fact he was wrong when he said the lawsuit was to stop James-Porras from having a Facebook site.

Most of all, James-Porras failed to share with readers the fact that the restraining order had nothing to do at all with “protecting” his website.

He failed to disclosed that the hearings and trial had everything to do with a 32-year-old woman’s fear of James-Porras, and her unwillingness to be intimidated by him, even after he continued to contact her five times after she’d told him to leave her alone.

As Commissioner Gibson commented on the afternoon he granted Wright’s request for a restraining order, this time, James-Porras may have messed with the wrong person.

Seconds after Gibson’s exit from the bench, as Wright celebrated her win by hugging her husband and friends, a grinning James-Porras got the last word as he delivered a light smack against his girlfriend’s behind as they left the courtroom.

“It’s only the beginning,” he said.

Independent online journalist Doni Chamberlain founded what’s now known as in 2007 with her son, Joe Domke of the Czech Republic. Prior to 2007 Greenberg was an award-winning newspaper opinion columnist, feature and food writer recognized by the Associated Press, the California Newspaper Publishers Association and E.W. Scripps. She lives in Redding, CA.

A News Cafe, founded in Shasta County by Redding, CA journalist Doni Greenberg, is the place for people craving local Northern California news, commentary, food, arts and entertainment. Views and opinions expressed here are not necessarily those of

Doni Chamberlain
Independent online journalist Doni Chamberlain founded what’s now known as in 2007 with her son, Joe Domke of the Czech Republic. Chamberlain is an award-winning newspaper opinion columnist, feature and food writer recognized by the Associated Press, the California Newspaper Publishers Association and E.W. Scripps. She lives in Redding, California.
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127 Responses

  1. OK, no name-calling, please. One can't tell a book by a cover, right?

    • David bingo says:

      Ruben Porras had to move from his last resident for much the same reasons im having him move. i was brought up telling the truth and never in my life had i or my wife of 22yrs experienced such horrible living arrangements. and we have helped many people off the streets, woman refuge ect…and still would trust them more. He also Blocked my wife and i for a fb response that didnt make him look good over Amy Weinhouses death, if spelled rite, lol. i comment read people rich poor or homeless can easily take an over dose of the life there living. and boom! even though we took Ruben in, he soon became paranoid things stared missing my iphone4 was gone after a dinner with Ruben and when i txt a reward he called and told me it was sitting in a pot of dirt in front of his old roommates apt…Wow all info was gotten into as if there was thought to be a conspiracy and somehow the answer would be found in my iphone. Well my E.mail fb david VBingo, fb me we'll chat just chat. btw when Ruben first met me, i thought it was strange he would only visit cause of bad reviews or what not. alls i know Glory and peace will upheld once again oct 3rd by 10am, thx for reading~David Bingo

    • tilsdale says:

      go get'm-girl. i know some people that have been approched by 'the volture'. this type of cyber terrorism must stop. and those of you who have stood up to this bullying, GOOD JOB!!!!!

    • Hal Johnson says:

      Hm. Doni, I was sitting behind you during the hearing, and I was slightly closer to Ruben as I joined his girlfriend. I realize that there is room for interpretation regarding facial expressions, but that sure as heck didn't look like a grin to me. To me, Ruben's expression spoke of a profoundly unhappy man.

      • Hal Johnson says:

        Oops. As HE joined as girlfriend. Dang thumbs.

        • TheBellJar says:

          That's funny, "Hal", if what you are saying is true, you were the older guy who I heard snuck in the courtroom at the end of the hearing? Hmmm. Ruben's girlfriend was actually sitting next to my friend and I because of how cruel he was to her when she was on the stand. Ruben never sat down next to her after that point. I was right there with Doni right across. I never even saw you……………

          • says:

            Well, "Mr. BellJar," that's an interesting characterization: I "snuck" into the courtroom. (Ah, what passes for thrills in middle age.) But yeah, that was me, sitting about three rows behind Doni. By the way, my name is in fact Hal Johnson. Would you prefer that I call you "Mr. BellJar," or do you go by "The"?

          • TheBellJar says:

            Hal Johnson, I wanted to apologize for saying you "snuck" into the courtroom. I meant that I didn't see you, but it did not come off that way. I am sorry for that. Oh, and Ms. BellJar will be fine.:)

          • Hal Johnson says:

            No apology needed, Ms. BellJar. If anything, I should apologize for getting defensive. Heck, I have to admit I enjoyed my limited time as the mysterious older guy in the back of the courtroom.

        • "Erika" says:

          Hello Hal,

          I also wondered who you were once I turned around. I'm curious, are you saying he didn't "grin" (at any point) at the end of the hearing? I would say so as I sat by him and stood up a few feet from him afterwards. The grin was, I believe, more of a smirk in my opinion. I agree there was nothing happy about it, just an arrogant smirk.

      • Oh, Hal! I didn't recognize you in the courtroom. I wondered who else was taking notes. (Well, 'grin' may not have been the right word … you're right.)

        • says:

          Didn't recognize you until you stood up, Doni. I thought about rushing to catch up, but in a courtroom, that could have resulted in getting tackled by the bailiff. Heck, I guess I'm lucky he didn't tackle me after I "snuck" into the courtroom.

  2. Joyce C. says:

    I thought it was just me! He blocked me a few months back after deleting my comments! It's his opinion or none – he shouldn't be representing "Redding" on Facebook!

    • You're correct, Joyce. In fact, I tried a little experiment a few minutes ago. I tried to post this story on the Redding CA Facebook page. Twice it was deleted, which makes my point exactly, thank you.

      • David bingo says:

        Cant hide the truth in this small town Doni, ~

        • bnsyntht says:

          You are right about that David. Why are you on here lying yourself. You know you and Ruben are partners in crime.

          • HatesLiars says:

            Why? Just because he opened his home to this guy? We all make mistakes. Some mistakes take time to reverse.

          • Mike says:

            I have been blocked from a few facebook pages that he is an admin on(including some local businesses that I frequent, and yes, even his Redding, California page), for no reason at all.

            And @bnsyntht- Seriously?? David is not in any way, shape, or form "partners in crime" with Mr. James Porras. Please leave David out of your comments.

          • Green Traditions says:

            Ooooh your soooo right B

      • Brenda H says:

        He asked about things to do in Redding over the last weekend & I commented on two different posts about the Make-a-Wish Fundraiser on Saturday. Both of my posts were deleted because of a falling out he had with an owner of one of the businesses involved with the fundraiser. If this page is really for Redding, my comments should not have been removed.

        • Tim says:

          This comment disgusts me. Ruban, who is a cancer survivor, removes a comment that almost 12000 people would have seen and could have supported Make-a-wish because he has a grudge with the owner of Shamrock Cafe… disgusting. The Redding page shouldn't be about lining one mans pockets, it should be to promote things such as the Make-a-wish fundraiser last Saturday.

          • Hal Johnson says:

            Hm. Tim, I'm sitting in the Shamrock Cafe, talking to the owner, Mark. I read your comment to him and his reply was, "Never happened. I've never had a problem with Ruben."

            I've only met Ruben once. I have no view into his heart and soul. That said, I don't believe he's pure as driven snow, but neither do I believe he deserves to be compared to Richard Ramirez or Charles Manson via photographs. Yes, I'm talking to you, Dan. No matter what you say, I won't believe your dog can type.

          • TheBellJar says:

            I just called Mark at the Shamrock. He said he never said that to you, Hal. You asked if he and Mr. James Porras got into an argument about the Make a Wish. He said "No", that Mr. James Porras called him to tell him he was not posting because no one in Redding would be interested, and then to slander a friend of his to him on the phone.

          • Hal Johnson says:

            Mr. BellJar, I stand by my account.

  3. Darbagnome says:

    I've heard some negative things about the man from people that have interacted with him socially. Not connected with FB at all.

    He actually sounds a bit scary.

  4. whynot says:

    Thank you for this article, Doni. Exposing the erratic behavior of Mr. Porras will undoubtedly allow people to be aware of his true character and to be cautious when dealing with him. After my own bizarre encounter with Mr. Porras, I started hearing bits and pieces of this story. I also caught him in a lie and decided to un-friend him on facebook and un-like his Redding page. Hopefully more people will do the same.

  5. Donna D. says:


  6. Susanne Thompson says:

    Actually, the Redding Facebook Page was created by my husband. Ruben came a long and wanted to help him out with the page. Originally it was created to promote the positives aspects about Redding, it's events and a place for people who love Redding to connect.

    My husband met Ruben and Ruben expressed interest in "helping" with the page and they could work on it together. So, Ruben was made an Admin to the page. After only 3 months, Ruben removed my husband as an admin from the page, which prevented him from having access to the page HE created! Then my husband was blocked from Redding Page as well as Ruben's personal page and he refused to answer any phone calls.

    Just a little history on how the page was actually created and who is now runing it.

    This page represents Redding… It's very sad.

  7. Freshie Kardashian says:

    I think you are sooo naughty Mr.Porras !

  8. Ms. doright says:

    Shame on Mr. Porras (Ruben James) for lying to so many about what his page is about. Charging for posts? Harassing people? Saying it's only "positive" and yet slamming many people, including Ms. Chamberlain (Greenberg) to 1000's of people. Wow, you've fooled so many. Such a shame. Thank goodness someone shared the truth and you cant delete it. Wonder if the city plans on taking any further action? Yuk! Im out.

  9. Jacky Heard says:

    I had my own encounter with Ruben after commenting on his facebook post, in regards to his slanderous comments towards the enlightened reporter that wrote this article. In a sept. 17th comment I wrote:

    Seriously? I'm surprised by how easily influenced all of you are, Doni Greenburg is an awesome and admirable woman who has built a solid reputation in this area, I'm dismayed that you would try to portray her as anything but. Shame on you Ruben for publishing this hypocritical propaganda, in which you claim others are trying to sabotage and slander you. How misguided and lost you are. I hope eventually people inform themselves and find out the real cause behind all your pot-stirring and hatred. I am not even privy to any of the stuff going on, but anyone can look up court records to see that you're more than "twisting" the truth when you claim to be defending your page. And by the way, I've never seen a restraining order granted against someone for "defending" a Facebook page, any judge would have to see legitimate cause of fear, intimidation, or threat of harm. I was born and raised here sir, and I am embarrassed that you portray yourself as representing redding and it's interests, while also pushing your own agenda. You are not in any way a representation of the redding I know and love. Good day sir.


    I was promptly emailed by Ruben himself with the following exchange:

    Hello Jacky,

    Thanks for the comment. It would benefit you to do a bit of research before exposing yourself to such a large audience. Greenberg should have done the same. I do what I can to protect my work and portray Redding in a positive light. The public is clearly on my side. I am now getting right about three million views every month. That makes me happy and it keeps the community informed. I help people. That will not stop. The harassment needs to. Good day to you.

    Ruben Porras


    Sent to Ruben:

    I'm simply repulsed by what you put out there. I've yet to see anything written by doni, but it will be interesting to see what her research reveals. I'm not saying all your work is bad, but it's unfortunate that you preach "public forum and free speech" yet don't allow others the same regard.

    Ruben Porras:We all have opinions. Her "research" will be tainted, biased and totally discredited by the community. My work will continue to benefit the community. That is my focus. I am proud to have a voice and I will use it as I see fit. No further contact is necessary.

    ~*~I know that was a little long-winded, but I had to share especially as it was relevant to this article and the reporter. If I've ever met anyone with a God-complex I believe it would be Ruben, he seems to feel that because he has facebook followers, that he can discredit or destroy people, and I hope that is not the case. To me, it's a little disheartening to see him attempting to destroy these hard-working business owners, who most likely put their blood, sweat and tears into their businesses, while he's only created a social media presence. He probably has no idea what its like to own a business in this economy, or try to support a family.

    Needless to say, my comment was deleted from the Redding, California page and I was blocked from his personal page as well. Good riddance!!


    • David bingo says:

      Again, all responses are n should be recognized by community as everything they have, especially now. People are trying to survive in there Businesses, blood, sweat and now tears for those who's life's and businesses are being tore up~

    • BLESSED! says:

      Thank you for walking in our shoes for a moment! Your response is greatly appreciated! Even I am sometimes shocked & dismayed by the continuing things brought to my attention on a daily basis! Bless you!

  10. Elizabeth says:

    It's about time. Ruben has been terrorizing this community with his abuse and lies for far too long. Clearly he has a skill, but abuse is abuse. If he abuses one woman he abuses the whole community. I hope that the community stops supporting him and that we can take our community back!

  11. Ms. doright says:

    Not true. You misrepresented the Redding page you admin as the official page on MULTIPLE occasions? If you didn't why would the city have told you to stop insinuating and even stating you run the city's official page? Shall we post instances where you claimed to be? You just can't tell the truth even now. Yikes.

  12. David bingo says:

    Doni, My name is David Bingo, feel free to call me hes living with me and as i wright this he's knocking on my bed room door and harassing us in our own home! im a kindey disease surviver with many other health problems and thinking if he doesnt stop ill have the Marshals remove him for he at one point got my blood pressure up to 200/160 thats heart attack high, had to be rushed to ER from drs appointment. again feel free to email me , thx im really glad you outed Shawn tompson who deserves all credit for the page which was Redding ca Face Book page in my opinion i have met Shwan and is great,great kid~thx David Bingo~

    • TheBellJar says:

      I would like to say that as someone who has been living this nightmare along with "Erika", I would like to ask the David Bingo bashing to stop. You are just taking the focus away from Ruben. David has never been a problem for us and has been very supportive. Whatever your issue is with him, this is not the forum. I am thrilled the truth is coming out about Ruben James, and I want him to get his 15 minutes of fame. After all he deserves it.

  13. Jacky Heard says:

    I cannot wait to read more.

  14. Freshie Kardashian says:

    Sorry to late Ruben…;)

    <iframe width="300" height="233" src="; frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>

  15. Brandon says:

    Four Easy Steps to Fix What's Broken:

    Step 1: Block this person from your Facebook Page (I just did!).

    Step 2: Unfriend yourself from the Redding, CA Facebook Page.

    Step 3: Remember the name, the face and avoid this person in daily life.

    Step 4: Remember that your actions define who you are; and you must take personal responsibility for your actions. Personal responsibility means taking ownership for your faults and mistakes and making amends to those you've wronged.

    Love, Brandon. 🙂

    • David bingo says:

      Great Brandon!!!! : )

      • Brandon says:

        Here's the Redding page that you can "unfriend"

        • BLESSED! says:

          Things have changed drastically here in the past 24+ hours! The page has been returned to it's rightful owner via the courage of Scott Leak from Sleakphotography (a brilliant photographer by the way)! What "goes around comes around" for certain in this long lasting drama! What RJ did to Shawn T. has now been done to him and he no longer controls, edits, deletes, decides or manipulates the voice of Redding! While the numbers plummeted after Doni's brilliant account of the TRUTH, the number's are now again climbing due to hundreds who had been blocked from the page at Porras' " 1 click of a button." (his quote) Not one person in her story ever cared about "taking" away "the" page from him. Going to court had nothing to do with the page! It had to do with harassment, fear, defamation of character & more. What everyone cared about was what was right! Please check out the newly improved Redding, California page as it displays the beauty of this great City! Thanks for reading.

    • Wendy J says:

      Unfortunately, Ruben James Porras, Jr. is a sick, twisted man who chooses to personify evil and hurt those who trust him. He received a life saving liver transplant and with a total lack of gratitude for his 2nd chance at life he has dedicated his life to self-promotion at the expense of others. He is not to be trusted. If you let him he will destroy you. Pray for him and stay away from him.

  16. Hes-A-Racket says:

    What a racket!

    He told me he would only charge my business $299+ every month to promote us.

    He also said in his pitch that he got permission from the City of Redding to host the site.

    Redding, California FANS: time to be enlightened about all this dark and deleted info,

    and push the "Report Page" button.

    Then push the "Unlike" button.

    Who can create a "free", "unified", and "for the greatest good" "Redding, California" page?

    It's obvious we need one!

  17. Brandon says:

    Oh one more step:

    Share Doni's article with all of your friends on Facebook! I just did! Copy the link below and paste it into your FB page:

    Easy as pie.


  18. Brandon says:

    In defense of Ms Greenberg, I believe her to be one of the most talented and upstanding members of this community. Just the fact that you would single her out as "washed out" and "desperate" leads to the conclusion that you have no understanding of what it takes to be a honest and upright community leader. Your actions define your persona, and I believe you'll find that the face in the mirror can tell no lies. Go take a look.

  19. D says:

    Everyone personally harmed by James-Porras go file a complaint with the FTC….

    One thing the FTC can get him on is the fact that unless he prominently states on his web sites and on Facebook that he gets paid to write recommendations or reviews he could have to pay heavy fines. If the FTC investigate him they'll depose him and his clients, dig into his emails and his bank account. Computers and records will be seized. I know people who have been investigated by the FTC. It is very unpleasant.

    • JimG says:

      Good point. And it might be valuable for advertisers (and those who might consider advertising), to consider their own legal exposure. From FTC's Final Guides Governing Endorsements:

      …the revised Guides reflect Commission case law and clearly state that both advertisers and endorsers may be liable for false or unsubstantiated claims made in an endorsement – or for failure to disclose material connections between the advertiser and endorsers.

  20. nowinthenow says:

    two comments:

    where there's smoke generally there's fire…


    my granma used to tell me – fool's names are like their faces, always seen in public places!

  21. Rick Saunders says:

    I have to laugh when Ruben calls Doni a 'gossip reporter' and insinuates that she couldn't cut it at the Searchlight…

    Maybe if Ruben hadn't been so busy treating his freshly transplanted liver to a few too many drinks (before driving), he would have known Doni and the RS parted ways precisely because she refused to engage in 'gossip reporter' -type muck-raking…

  22. katzenmutter (a craz says:

    I think 20/20 needs to check this out. This could be the tip of a well used kitty litter pile. I'm glad to see more off us are saying enough , it's time for a new bag of ( Tidey Cat)

  23. imho says:

    I just have to say a few things to Mr. Ruben James Porras: It is about time for you to take your miserable self back to Modesto where you can live out your fantasy life and get lost in the crowd and smog. Redding doesn't need your type here. You have forever said how much you hate Redding, so maybe it's time to just go. Your lies are uncovered and your destiny here is sealed. You have led your double life far too long and it is time to go. Tuck your tail between your legs and wimper away like the nasty dog that you are.

  24. Bridgette Brick-Well says:

    In all fairness to Mr. Porras, I posted a link to this article on the Redding CA Facebook page and asked him to share his side of the story.

    But my post and question were deleted 🙁

  25. Clueless, CA says:

    Wow! Great Job Doni! I have followed you for years and have always found your writing to be top notch, incisive, and extremely well written. I want to thank you on behalf of all the women out there that have had any dealings with this individual. The man is a pig and not only targets small business's but particularly ones that are owned by women. I feel that if a facebook page had to give the administrators identity a lot of people would abandon his multiple pages. I would not friend or like any page that he was the admin. for if I knew it was his. This has caused me to become quite leery of any page that is similar to this one as it might also be his. I work in the community dealing with business people everyday and I run into his victims almost daily, most of which are women. Too bad "Tar and Feathers" and "Being Run Out of Town on a Rail" are no longer being employed to rid a town of garbage such as Mr. Porras!

  26. MeShe says:

    This is addressed directly to Ruben Porras. I have personally seen him threaten a local business owner due to a "review" he gave on Yelp. The business owner and Ruben Porras had no contract for advertising and Yelp's TOS specifically state that compensation is not allowed. He was profane, physically intimidating and threatening in a mafia-style manner which ceased once he saw there was a witness. I believe Ruben Porras is a danger to our community, he freely states that he controls the Redding area online advertising and uses his "freelance reporter" status for the Record Searchlight as a form of credibility.

  27. Joanne Lobeski Snyde says:

    I am totally impressed and awed! Great work Doni. Can I drag out some old sayings? "Talk is Cheap" and "Actions speak louder than words." The written and the spoken word are so powerful. Part of education has to be the ability to hone a BS meter. Disinformation is successfully delivered by sincere and charismatic voices, and writers who sound educated and rational. By the way….what is a FB administrator? I am so hoping that someone locally is not making FB decisions.

    • MsMTpP says:


      When a person creates a Facebook page, or even an event, they can authorize "friends" to be administrators or that page or event. An example is my bunco group, there are 12 members, I created the group and gave all 12 people administrative rights so they could reach us all at once, create events, or post information.

  28. katzenmutter (a craz says:

    We as the so called (mature adults) must take this as a lesson. We at times let our guard down, unfortunately we are taken advantage of and bullied. Take this lesson and share with your children , not all that shines is gold!

  29. Jeanette says:

    There is a little X in the upper right corner of almost every post, if you click it there is a "report as spam" option.

  30. Gosh…

    From the sounds of it, I am just happy as heck that this guy didn't get a chance to pass the Koolaid around!

    I feel so sorry for all the apparent victims in this tale, how awful for them. This story must have taken a LOT of sleuthing and vetting to become as powerful as it is. With so many Charlatans in our midst, our community can only benefit from true investigative journalism like this – and there is plenty more truths yet to be revealed. It has been a very LONG time since I have seen the caliber and cut of an expose like this – usually only found in much larger markets.

    Expertly & bravely done, Doni!

  31. OK, Ruben. Enough. You're out of here.

    • Josh Domke says:

      While I appreciate you trying to maintain a higher standard on here, I really wish you wouldn't block him. I was starting to enjoy watching him squirm.

  32. Josh Domke says:

    You can keep throwing your stats out there, but they don't seem to be impressing anyone. The fact that you delete anything people have to say about you does not shed you in a very good light. Apparently when you keep saying your pages "remain positive" that only pertains to the comments about you. You sound desperate.

    • Josh Domke says:

      The previous comment was a reply to a comment by poorass, once he was removed from the sight it lost it's direction. Just to clarify, my previous comment was directed at poorass.

    • Josh Domke says:

      Ruben is fluffing his site. Every time I posted a comment he deleted it immediately. Now I'm blocked completely from the Redding site. Coward.

  33. Gonealot says:

    I would doubt that Ruben remembers me, but to refresh your memory sir. I called you a lying, greedy little idiot and told you, to your face, that you needed a quick trip out'a town on a rail. I remember you laughed and said you "owned the town." Well guess what bunky, your cover is blown.

    I haven't always agreed with Donnie and sometimes felt she was a little "Polly Anna" always seeing the big bright picture, but she's always printed the truth. No lies and no BS from Donnie, so for you to attack her shows more of what you are than anything this story or Donnie could say. I believe that's called, Hoist by your own petard.

    Don't worry, we won't have any trouble finding a rail in your size.

  34. katzenmutter (a craz says:

    dear josh, we'll call it (Days of Our Lies)

  35. HatesLiars says:

    "Feel free to call me and identify yourself or simply hide behind the lies. Your call."

    "Doni failed to mention that I run 110 FB pages "

    You are such a hypocrite. Once I got a message from you and it wasn't nice and you said it was someone else using your personal page with your permission. You refused to tell me who that was.

    I've asked you repeatedly what your other pages are that you run and you refuse to divulge that information as well.

    I do not want to have any of your pages in my LIKE section but because you insist on HIDING BEHIND YOUR OWN LIES I'll never know.

  36. Steve says:

    Hey Ruben,

    How's it going cancer boy? Still got the punk rock wannabee look? I had trouble taking you seriously when you approached me.

    How's that failed scooter business in Anderson going. Opps Gone.

    You're are an epic failure. Not everyone is afraid of you and plenty of us know how to work the internet to our advantage as well. It's a shame the guy in the article took down his site. I would gladly start another and host it myself, which means I set the terms of service. Free speech goes both ways.

  37. Mike says:

    I'm gonna third The Bell Jar's request. Being very close to both sides of the matter, I can 100% vouch for David. David is a good person with a heart of gold. Mr. James Porras, on the other hand, isn't. It's very sad to me to see someone who says how much he loves this community in one breath and in the next breath says how much he hates it. Or how he went to court "to take one for the community" when he publicly bashes the very community he's promoting, and people lap it up.

  38. Brett says:


    I am glad to see that you are still the person I loved working with years ago; still the person I always respected. I was not aware of this situation until a friend sent this to me. I haven't lived in Redding for about 5 years but was raised there and lived most of my life in that wonderful city. It saddens me that somebody would get their head so filled with "God-like" status on a social-networking site. Keep up the great work Doni. We love you!

  39. avid facebook user avid facebook user says:

    If everyone who reads this informative article (and can see the damage this one troubled person is causing) will simply report his page as a scam or abusive (however you see it) it will get some attention by FB. They shut other people down for much less trouble.

    Sadly this is most likely giving him a bit of a thrill… he is no doubt a narcissist and loves having all this attention, albeit negative attention. So lets cut him off quickly so he is just GONE and we can get back to our meaningful lives.

  40. Cynthia Frigo says:

    When I called him on his anti-social behavior in a social media, Porras blocked me and harassed me online, then deleted his posts. Because I didn't want to be a further victim and I was fearful of Porras going off the deep end, I went incommunicado and kicked back to watch it unfold in safety.

    When I refused to respond to anything to do with Porras, I was messaged by Lori, the one that owned the thrift store on Park Marina. SHE WAS SO RUDE AND MEAN TO ME. Accused me of taking his side because she had messaged me and asked me to archive and report information from his site. Wow. She may be a victim, but she is also judgmental and unbalanced when she doesn't get her way.

    • Ms. doright says:

      Um, sounds like people who hid in safety is the problem. Not responding is also a problem. Methinks of the poem,

      "First they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out – because I was not a Jew.

      Then they came for the communists

      and I did not speak out – because I was not a communist….."

      You get the idea. Perhaps the woman your mad at (was she in the story?) was frustrated by people that merely "watched it unfold in safety" while it sounds like others were getting treated pretty poorly.

      • TheBellJar says:

        Ms. doright, Wonderfully put! She wasn't the main person in this story, but she was threatened and harassed privately and publicly.

    • TheBellJar says:

      Oh Cynthia! Wow. I have personally seen the emails you have wrote Lori on your own just so you could be a part of the drama. You wrote how awful he was and what he did to you and then turned around and cheered him on. Good for her if she called you on it! Again however, nice try on taking the heat off your friend, but this is Ruben James' swansong.

  41. Sal says:

    Good job Doni! Knowing the might of the "pen" and using it for good.

  42. Anna Barnes says:

    Ty Doni,

    For those of you who still want to support Redding businesses in an honest and positive manner!.As we do.Inlight of the probable removal of his Redding Ca. page. We have created a 'NEW' Redding California page.Open to 'All' comments and FREE promoting! Come join us 🙂

    Click the link below.We look forward to meeting you 🙂
    The Admins of the page are listed on the Redding California FaceBook Business Fans Page and here:

    Admin 1 Anna Barnes

    Admin 2 Steve Barnes

    Hoping Mr.Porras has learned from this experience. I know we have!

    Anna Barnes

  43. Karmachameleon says:


    I don't think you beat cancer, dear sir, I think you became it, taking on it's most vile characteristics. Like a spreading poison that needs to be cut out, and stopped in it's tracks.

    Scamming people, targeting women and business owners, harassing and attempting to silence anyone who steps in your path. All these testimonies can't be wrong, quit playing the victim, you deserve everything that comes your way. Though I'm sure many would love to see actual physical harm done to you, discrediting you, tarnishing your reputation and revealing to your followers what you really are, is probably to best justice.

    Even your responses, excuses and pathetic attempts to damage control this story only makes it gain momentum. I hope it's passed on and shared all over redding an beyond. When this is over, I hope you're ashamed to show your face.

    Also, has anyone thought to contact the chamber of commerce to maybe warn it's business members against being scammed by this diabolical man? Like in one of their newsletters? Just a thought!!

  44. voodoo says:

    this guy is a spaz. his responses crack me up.

  45. Jeff Daily says:

    Awesome article Doni!

    @ Steve. Every attempt at creating a FB page was marked as "spam" by his network and automatically taken down by FB. I created a website dedicated to posting different stories. I haven't maintained it in a while because of work but you can check it out here:

    Donni, you did such a good job!

    • Thinker says:

      Sorry …….. Mr Daily or whoever you are. You have never been a credible man. Way too many secrets! Sound familiar???????? BEWARE!!!!!!!

      • Jeff Daily says:

        I choose to keep my identity secret. I'm not seeing you posting your name. I would like to know how I am not a "credible man". All I have written on the website are things that are from people who have been hurt.

        I have had first-hand dealings with Ruben and I chose to expose what he has done. I am not labeling myself as a "community crusader" but I have been trying to bring some amount of voice to those who have felt alone in their fight against Ruben.

        I would love to have a discussion on what has made me "not credible". Will you elaborate?

  46. Rick Bonetti says:

    Doni – Great reporting!

    Important correction though – the Facebook page you are referring to in this article is actually: Redding, California (public places) NOT Redding, CA (society/culture).

    I am the administrator of the Redding, CA Facebook page and we have no association with Ruben Porras, whom I only became aware of about one month ago. Redding, CA Facebook page currently has only 235 fans.

    We are new residents in Redding and I also blog at from a progressive and spiritual point of view. We are not involved in promoting individual businesses.

    Keep up the great work at My wife and I are fans.

  47. Jeff Daily says:

    Everyone needs to report his facebook page. If FB gets enough reports then it will be removed.

  48. katzenmutter says:

    Dear Cynthia Frigo: Speaking as a Katzenmutter(cat mom) , I have met Lori(another crazy cat mom). Most people do not realize that moms come in all shapes ,sizes and at times our children do not look anything like us! Some of us care for children and somtimes we care for (what you may call pets) , some of us feel that these four legged,fined,scaley or winged, are part of our family. Just as in the wild or at the mall you do not threaten our family, we will protect to our last breath. So if some one may have been rude or crazy, you might want to ask youself is or was anyone threatening her family? Ask yourself wouldn't you be suscpuis of almost everyone ,if you were dealing with this sort of thing?

  49. Lauren Fugate says:

    I can say with all confidence I believe Ms. Greenberg over Mr. Porras. I have been a longtime reader of Doni's articles and had the pleasure of occasionally working with their dog Emma as a groomer, and I have known Mr. Porras and his family for several years as well, with them also being clients of mine. After a bartering agreement was arranged between myself and Ruben for the grooming of his parents' dogs, he failed to deliver on his end, although I had already provided my services. It took me 6 months to get him to follow through, and although he supplied me with the agreed upon product, it was of poor quality and not worth the agreed upon price for the services I provided, and not without much duress in the process. I had contacted him through private messages on several different sites, but it wasn't until I posted publicly that he owed me goods or money that he blocked me and then made negative comments and statements about me. His parents are thoroughly embarrassed of him and want nothing to do with him, and I believe he uses his cancer battle and transplant as a sort of bait for people to trust him.

  50. Yes, I went there says:

    Ruben also collects social security (disability), meanwhile he's getting money under the table from his websites, and scams. This means your tax dollars are supporting this man while he makes money on the side and doesn't report it. I urge EVERYONE to report him to SSI and the IRS for tax evasion.

  51. maizey says:

    I have known RJ for over 25 years…..please take these posts seriously! He comes from a remarkable family, who are very involved with helping others, and very supportive of our community. I feel so sad that RJ has dissed his family. A Mother and Father who stood by him 24/7 while battling his cancer. Took him into their home and nursed him back to health, only to be taken advantage of. Ruben really needs to get some help….

  52. Yes, I went there. says:

    I bet "Thinker" is Ruben himself, or his mother. They seem to know a bit too much about him and the stories posted on Daily's page.

  53. ambercita says:

    This is creepy. Reaaly creepy actually. You've come well…not very far from your Baskin Robbins days Ruben. Good job!

  54. Wow. Call it karma or justice or just extreme irony, but just moments ago the photographer who'd had admin rights with Ruben on the Redding, California page took control of the page, blocked Ruben and then restored Shawn Thompson, the page's original creator, as the admin person.

    I spoke with the photographer, Scott Leak, just a few minutes ago. He said it was a really tough decision, made after a lot of soul-searching, but he felt it was the right thing to do. He knows a lot of people will defend Ruben, and say that this was a hostile take-over, but Scott also said that he hopes with some time, the pain and angst will subside and healing will begin. Comments are now flowing on the Redding California page … (I've not been unblocked yet … there were many of us blocked, so it could take time before we can go there. In the meantime, check it out.!/reddingcalifornia)
    Wow. I didn't see this coming.

  55. David bingo says:

    Ruben J porras knocked on my bed room door this AM and announced he gave the redding ca page back to the original owner, Mr Shawn L. Thompson. I just hope Porass has maybe come to his senses that hes not God. BUT, beware people most of the time have another plan in place b4 they move there pawns~congratulations Shawn hope to see you on fb soon, btw we met the same nite you when Ruben first met you i was wondering why he confided in me how he disliked you at time of first encounter with someone given a great chance to help the community positively ~ feel free to add me David VBingo spelt like that~

  56. Yes, I went there. says:

    Doni, I hope that you'll continue to run your series on him as you planned, and not leave it alone because Ruben "gave" (what a liar) the facebook page back. This community needs to be aware of his douchery.

    • The Bell Jar says:

      Yes, please continue with your piece.

    • The series continues Monday. (We had too many time-sensitive articles to run (North State Symphony; free day in the parks, Mistress of the Mix, Jennifer Jewell's in a North State Garden) going into the weekend. The series resumes Monday.

      The story doesn't change because of Shawn Thompson has admin rights to the Redding Facebook page.

      It's just another part of the story. Stay tuned. See you online.

  57. The Bell Jar says:

    Rubens mother is an amazing, courageous woman. He is a crazy fool.

  58. David R Quinn says:

    I am dad to Ruben's girlfriend. I made it clear that I do not now nor will I ever support his being with my daughter. I am a retired combat vet. I know men I have worked with some of the best men this country has produced. Ruben is why a lot of men become Peace officers. To protect against his ilk.

    For the most part the people he"bothers" the most are women in the community.

    As a dad and a decent man..I find his actions despicable. From that I despise the man.

    I kicked him out.

    Soon after the Redding PD arrived at my door. After hearing about his BS..they left shaking their heads.

    This is not about business.. this is really about how he hurts people.

    There is a word in our language called extortion…look it up.

    When twoof the little kids that live in my house came home from school in tears over this BS..I did get involved..Leave the kids out of your crap I told him.

    Things have really gotten ugly since then…

    To all you dads and husbands..please speak up on behalf of your family and the crap this man is handing to our Fine women in this community.

    • TheBellJar says:


      Thank you for reminding everyone this is not just about a facebook page being returned. That is, too me, secondary. It's about his harm to local businesses. Erika lost her business due to his online antics and lies about her. Others received a negative yelp review when they didn't want to purchase his advertising. It's about threatening phone calls, voicemails, emails, and other forms of harassment. To people who are outsiders this seems too great to be true, I know. This man is a sociopath. This man has affected friendships, businesses, peoples health and families. And whether you believe it or not, think it's a big deal or no, please remember some of us have truly been hurt by this man and his soap opera antics. Thanks you.

      • sadtruth says:

        I to have encountered problems with Ruben. Im 17 and was 16 when all the problems happened. I posted to the redding California page to promote some la side job(keeping it anonymous so it doesn't happen again) and he removed my post then wrote me giving me a list of things I had to do to be able to post to the page. And a set fee of $10 a post. Confused and frustrated a told him to let me think about it. 2 weeks later a got a page long response asking me to meet him so we can arrange a meeting and told me that I already owed him money because the 5 minutes my post was up 2people commented. So when I told him no. He told me he would sue me and in the end said "see you soon"

        Just those words gave me the chills. Im not very big, and barely stand 5'2 to being threatened by a grown adult is scary.

        Well a few months later I saw him at some ice cream shop and he was receiving some free food and right when he saw me the just kept glaring at me and my boyfriend.

        I know karamas a b#!ch and in the end he will get what he deserves.

        Doni I love you page(:

    • Mike says:

      Mr. Quinn,

      I'm curious as to how they told you the story of how they met. Did he tell you they met when he was dressed as a Unicorn or a Leprechaun or something like that? Or did he tell you the real story?

  59. BLESSED! says:

    I have respectfully refrained from commenting on this entire thread for several days now as it seems many have tried to gain 5 seconds of "fame" through the hard work of Doni Chamberlain & at the expense of the numerous businesses that have suffered at the hands of one man. I, too, have taken a personal hit against my business first by RJ & secondly by one woman who considered me to be rude when I merely wrote to her, "What's up Missy? It seems you have switched sides…No harm, no foul, whatever makes you feel good within yourself. God bless YOU!" The "private" emails to follow I will not publish on this page as it does not belong to me, & well, they were written to me "privately." However, the tone of the response attacking me left me confused, hurt, & yes angry. I was approached privately by this person wanting to share her awful experience & story just as I had been contacted by dozens of other's too afraid to speak publicly but desperately looking for assistance & retribution! What follows in all of this must now be clear to most of you! The past 7 months have been very uncomfortable! I made a promise to myself, my colleagues, my friends, & my family that this behavior would not be allowed & I would pursue whatever legal means necessary to stop it! I had no idea what I had promised! I wrote sometimes relentlessly on my own fb page about this topic, to the point of other people that I respect & admire asking me to "stop picking on Ruben." It's NOT "my" promise that exposed this story to the public. It was the courage & conviction of 1 lovely woman named "Erika" & the courage & conviction of 1 diligent Reporter who followed this through to the very end! Two of the now most admired women in my life! This story as reported by Doni first of all is NOT a story! It is the TRUTH of living hell for numerous WOMEN in our community! The "quotes," the "facts," the "reality" is exactly that, REALITY! It is 100% undeniable, indisputable TRUTH as presented by 1 courageous

    Reporter, Publisher, & Owner of ANEWSCAFE.COM & dozens upon dozens of (mostly women) who have been "slandered," "defamed," "extorted" from, & TERRIFIED for endless months! This is NOT about someone who said or didn't say, did or didn't do, who was or wasn't affected by this story! This is FACT! As a result of Doni's courage & a very small group of women who banded together without knowing each other prior to this saying & believing "ENOUGH IS AN ENOUGH! This is about people who have suffered tremendously, people who lost their businesses, & people who's businesses were affected horribly & negatively BECAUSE of one self described "ReddingFamous" man. THESE ARE THE REAL FACTS FOLKS! I am proud to be among the women who stood up and said "NO!" "Not in our town!" I wish so very much I could actually share there names with you as they are remarkable LADIES indeed! Still there safety remains first & foremost in my mind & heart! I pray their lives, their businesses, & so much more will be blessed beyond comprehension & they will continue to be supported by you! Thank you for reading my thoughts! God bless you! ~Blessed~

  60. wondering in Redding says:

    I'm still wondering when the local businesses that so eagerly used and endorsed his "services" are going to recant their support and/or endorsement? Other women owned and operated businesses continued to support him and pay him despite warnings from other women business owners? Boheme' Salon is one that comes to mind….

    Whats the deal with that? Do they not believe the information? Or do they just not care? How about Dunsmuir Brewery Works? These are just a few that openly supported him and supported his behavior by paying him to continually post about their businesses.

  61. Doni,

    Thank you so much for writing this piece. I have been running a social media based business in Redding since March 2011 and have had to apologize many times for the picture of social media that Ruben Porras has painted in the minds of so many. Now I have an awesome piece to reference if his name ever comes up again.



  62. kristin says:

    The thing is, honey, you complain, but….. you should have known better. Life experience at your age should be at it's height. Ha Ha. You see some punk come into your store and you have complete confidence in his abilities when he's tatoo'd up and have piercings everywhere? Really? You should first do an evaluation of how he looks v.s. his abilities. 90% of the time your diss- satissfied. Not only does he have issues, but he has no respect for anything, non the less himself. Go back to the old-fashioned way of thinking, it can do you no wrong, and yes, i'm a 30 yr old mother that knows different.

    • s5411 says:

      you know its not right to judge people by the way they look based on tattoos etc. have you ever heard of the phrase don't judge a book by its cover, and yes in this situation it was correct by judging him by his looks but not everyone is a ungrateful disrespectful person that's just out to destroy other people. I have tattoos…are you going to stand there and honestly tell me what kind of person i am when you don't even know me??? there is still a unannounced percentage of people who have tattoos that are still warm hearted,kind,and grateful to help others. I'm not saying you judging him was wrong but don't let that sad excuse for a man discourage your judgment..for the good people who have tattoos etc.

  63. Laladex says:

    This is so scary, sounds like extortion to me and I'm wondering if it could be classified as "Online Extortion"? There is a division of the FBI that deals with Internet Crimes and there is a site for reporting them (online extortion, online fraud, etc). October happens to be "National Cyber Security Awareness Month" and the site for complaints is the Internet Crime Complaint Center at

    My heart goes out to those who have suffered through this ordeal. My hope is that the spreading of this story (and many other even scarier stories from social media encounters) will help bring awareness to anyone considering participating in online social networks.

    Everyday there are new people who decide to broaden their horizons by joining FB or other sites and many are too trusting (even students are too trusting!) and don't have a clue what they may be exposing themselves and their families to. Unfortunately, as the internet makes our world smaller it also presents an opening to opportunistic parasites to make their way into our lives. I let my guard down and learned a hard lesson, please be careful about who you let into your world and call "Friend"!

    Thank you, Doni, for this and many other great articles. I have a friend who is a city Councilwoman in Shasta County and I'm definitely going to make sure she knows about this so that she can warn business owners.

  64. Shasta Connect says:

    This was a great article, I'm glad people have stood up, and a lot have recognized what was really going on here with Ruben, I'm sorry to say but, Ruben was a friend of mine (I thought) and I told him MY idea about how I wanted to help promote LOCALLY OWNED AND OPERATED business in Shasta County. He took it, and created a completely different, selfish aspect from that idea. He was supposed to do content writing for me, as I'm not all that talented (obviously). He then told me he what he was planning, and that I could help him… Not what I was interested in. So, I left it as a mistake to disclose my idea, and moved on. He then got involved in the Redding, CA page. Which blew up completely.. I was discouraged by what had happened, but decided I would press on with my idea anyhow. Redding and the surrounding area does have this page available to them, there is no charge to post about events, or specials that are going on.. Feel free to post as you please, I don't wish to be involved in any negativity or drama. I have a family, and my son is the reason I actually wanted to make a change, there needs to be more awareness about keeping our money local, as a community.

    Anyhow, the page is
    It isn't as big of a page as the Redding, CA page, which I think is doing great now. There are friends of about 1,500. But they are all local, here in Shasta County, the page is not intended for tourism, simply as letting our neighbors know what options they have to shop locally.

  1. September 22, 2011

    […] under Facebook rules, but under moral rules, he's stolen something that didn't belong to him.”Click here to read the first story about James-Ruben.MIndependent online journalist Doni Chamberlain founded what’s now known as in 2007 […]

  2. September 26, 2011

    […] lives on the East Coast, near Ocean City, Md. How did I find him?, why, via the Internet, of course.In the story about Ruben Porras, and the follow-up about the birth of the Redding, California, Facebook page, some businesspeople […]

  3. September 26, 2011

    […] has received recently from North State business men and women who claim to have been victims of Ruben James Porras.  I am addressing this as a both marketing professional and as a victim. Professionally I […]

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