The Two Faces of the Redding, California Facebook Page

Major update 9/23/11, 10 a.m.: As of this morning, administration of the Redding, California Facebook page has been returned to Shawn Thompson, the original creator of the page. In an ironic twist of events, Ruben James Porras lost his admin rights when Scott Leak, James-Porras' recent co-admin partner, removed James-Porras from that position. Check out the Redding, California FB page and see for yourself. (James-Porras had blocked scores of people - myself included - from commenting, and Thompson is trying to unblock people as quickly as he can.)


When 37-year-old Ruben James-Porras talks about the Redding, California Facebook page -- including when under oath during a Sept. 14 restraining-order trial at Shasta County Superior Court -- James-Porras refers to the page as “his” and claims he created it.

That word - "created" - is a step up from James-Porras' earlier explanations of how he came to acquire the Redding, California (public places) Facebook page. He told a reporter and others, that "someone gave" the page to him.

Shawn Thompson begs to differ. He's the 37-year-old former Tracy resident who says he was the actual creator of Redding's first Facebook page in July of 2009, five years after Facebook came into existence.

“I didn’t give it to Ruben,” Thompson said of the Redding, California Facebook page. “Ruben stole it. ”

At first, during this reporter's interview with James-Porras in May, he disagreed with Thompson’s characterization, and said Thompson "gave" the site to James Porras. Then he said Thompson granted James-Porras co-administrator status back in December of 2009 when the site had 1,700 fans, and that James-Porras was the reason the site quickly grew to 7,400 fans.

James-Porras said he took control of the site for two primary reasons. First, he said he believed fans' and friends' comments could be better moderated for maximum revenue potential. As someone who then touted himself as a local media reporter and social marketing professional, he’d already received “a couple of bucks” and food for positive posts on his various sites, including the Redding CA Facebook page, he said.

Ruben James Porras, Redding, California Facebook page administrator

“The bottom line was simple,” James-Porras said of many of the comments he deleted, “I wouldn’t let them advertise or put their rantings on the page ... they didn’t want to pay for the advertising. They wanted something for free on my site.”

The second reason James-Porras cited for taking sole control of the Redding, California Facebook page was he was suspicious of Thompson’s Bethel Church connections. He said he believed the site would be taken over by Bethel.

“At that time I had every right in the world to remove him,” James-Porras said. “He made me an admin, so yes, it was mine, according the (Facebook) admin rules.”

Thompson said while it’s true that initially many of his “friends” on the Redding, California Facebook page were from Bethel Church, that’s because as a newcomer who’d traveled to Redding specifically to attend Bethel classes, they were Thompson’s first acquaintances. But he said that over the following weeks and months the Redding site grew to the point where Bethel fans were in the minority.

The birth of the Redding, California (Public Places, Redding, California) Facebook page

Thompson said that soon after arriving in Redding in the summer of 2009 to attend school at Bethel Church, he went online to learn more about his new home. That's when he made a different kind of discovery.

"I noticed all these Facebook fan pages from other cities, but realized that Redding didn't have one," he said. "So I created one."

As the page's administrator, Thompson said he envisioned the Redding, California Facebook site as a community-oriented online place where people could post positive information about all kinds of things.

"My main idea was to promote local businesses and events for free," Thompson said.

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

Heading into fall, and then the winter of 2009, Thompson’s Redding, California page had rapidly gained many new friends, "likes" and commentors, all of which far exceeded Thompson's early expectations.

"I was new, and I had no idea what I was doing, but I was having fun having a great place for local businesses to post things," Thompson said.

Around that time, Thompson said he noticed a particularly frequent and prolific online commenter, Ruben James-Porras, posting as “Modesto Famous” - which led Thompson to believe that the man lived in Modesto.

"I didn't know Ruben was living in Redding, or that he was from Redding, or for that matter, that that he was a marketeer, until later," he said.

Thompson said that at first he was extremely impressed with James-Porras' writing ability and marketing savvy. But what completely won Thompson over about James-Porras was what he read about the man's personal life, which included a video created by James-Porras in which the former Modesto resident earnestly described how he'd beaten cancer and cheated death after his liver transplant. Thompson said he was so moved that he wept tears of empathy for James-Porras.

“He got me with his YouTube videos,” Thompson said. “And I saw he was obviously a good PR guy, and I said, 'This guy is awesome!' I started corresponding with him to get a feel for his heart.”

In December of 2009, five months after Thompson created the Redding, California Facebook page, he added Ruben James Porras as a co-administrator.

"I asked Ruben if he'd help me watch over the site and make sure people weren't posting bad language or racist comments or anything," Thompson said.

Gradually, Thompson regretted that decision, as he said James-Porras began to take the site in a different direction.

“I thought we’d agreed to only do so many posts a day, because you don’t want to flood people’s pages,” Thompson said. “Ruben was posting way more posts than what we’d agreed. Also, he was starting to make comments on the site about Bethel, and showing his negative attitude about Bethel, and the thing is, when he was doing that, he was indirectly talking about me, because I go to Bethel. Then he was talking about things like fat people, and in general, the page wasn't lining up with what I thought it should be.”

Even so, by the time January and February rolled around, Thompson and James-Porras still hadn’t met in person. Finally, on Feb. 6, 2010, Thompson decided to meet his co-administrator at a Super Bowl event that James-Porras had been heavily promoting on the Redding, California Facebook page.

Thompson said he sensed immediate tension between himself and James-Porras. “I was getting this feeling that something was going to happen,” Thompson said.

As Thompson drove home from the meeting, he made a decision.

“That night I had a feeling that I should take him off the site as admin the next morning,” Thompson said. “I’d seen his true colors. I felt uncomfortable with what I saw; a bitter man who was only interested in money.”

But Thompson was too late, because by the following day, James-Porras had already deleted Thompson from the site as administrator.

“He removed me from admin, he unfriended me on his accounts and even blocked me from the Redding Facebook fan page,” Thompson said.

“I was like, ‘Are you kidding me? Are you joking?' I created another page called weloveReddingCalifornia fan page, but it didn’t do very well. And I tried to get on other pages to tell people what happened, but then Ruben threatened me, my wife and my friends with legal action when we tried to post the truth. He’s very smart about marketing, and he's an intelligent man. Every time someone would try to tell the truth about what happened, he’d remove and block them. He’d threaten slander and libel stuff, and that scared people.”

Thompson said he tried to talk with James-Porras, but to no avail.

“He said he did all this research of Facebook rules and stuff on how he had the right to do this. He said he was going to take me to court,” he said. “I felt really hurt. I’d liked the guy, trusted him, thought we’d be a good team, and at first I felt a connection with him. Then he stabbed me in the back.”

Thompson said that the thousands of "fans" (currently nearly 12,000 strong) on the Redding, California Facebook page continue to be “duped and deceived” because they’re only exposed to Ruben’s version - of everything.

“Anytime anyone posts anything negative about him, he deletes it, and then he portrays himself as a victim, sending messages to his friends and fans and building an army of people who are fooled by him, based only upon what they read upon that page. Nobody's looking at the people he’s hurt. People were afraid of his threats.”

These days, Thompson says, he’s moved on, beyond Ruben James-Porras and the Redding, California Facebook page.

“I’m a family man trying to educate myself,” he said. “In my opinion, Ruben was on a power trip that pushed him over the edge. What he did may have been legal 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 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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116 Responses

  1. bnsyntht says:

    Wow..what a scam artist. This is a outrage. Thank you for writing about this Doni. I have read a recent post that he says he wants to" stir the pot about Bethel" on his page. This guy is out of control. A bully who needs to be dealt with not only by running him out of town but the by the legal system.

    • Gonealot says:

      He is being "dealt" with. Public exposure is the best way to deal with someone like this. Mr. Thompson is correct when he says Facebook rules allow this, so be carefull who you allow to be part of the operation of your page.

      I tried last night as did a few other people to post a link to this story on the web site with a request for a comment. The only comment was to have the link and request removed, much like facebook itself handles complaints.

      People on the site are getting only Mr. Porras's one sided propaganda which distorts everything to sound like Mr. Porras is both the inventor/creator and great electronic hope of Redding all rolled into one.

      Gee, isn't that kind of like what Hitler and a few of our own politicians (McCarthy and Bush come to mind) have done.

      • bnsyntht says:

        I did notice that on his page he changed the phone number this morning. I saw on here that he told people to give him a call. I guess he changed his mind on that to no surprise. I am sure most people who called or spoke out were blocked that is how he does it.

  2. Ms. doright says:

    tisk, tisk, tisk….another person fooled and lied to.

    Must feel good for Mr. Thompson to receive some acknowledgment. Again, I think it's so sad that so many people are fooled every day on his page. DON'T DRINK THE KOOLAID people!!!

  3. bnsyntht says:

    I am sorry I just can't understand how he has legally gotten away with this all. Why has FB not done something? I know I have reported the page several times. I am sure others have done the same. If he is not legally dealt with he will just keep moving forward this way.

  4. barbara harrison says:

    Thank you Doni. This def. needed to be shared with us all.

  5. Steve says:

    Ruben will get what is coming his way. Karma is a bitch. Keep spreading the word. People will start coming around.

  6. Yes, I went there. says:

    He didn't JUST have cancer, he killed his liver in other ways. He's an active drug user and alcoholic. He has a recent DUI and drug conviction on his record. Yeah, THAT'S representing our community.

  7. kat says:

    If all this is true which Im not saying it is why was I reciecved threating messages along with my daughter if we continued to follow the redding page? just wondering maybe more then 1 side to the story..' way to much ego going on here. andno offence Doni but you lost your job for reasons unstated. so who knows you only know what you've been told.

    • TheBellJar says:

      Let me guess, you received a message telling you what was really going on with the page, and you view it as a threat because "your master" said it was. LOL. Really, going after Doni, really? That is really sad. Well sounds like you and Jim Jones deserve each other. On a side note, you may want to ask him how to form a sentence, I almost can't understand your comment among the fragments.

      • bnsyntht says:

        @ TheBellJar..I can completely understand your frustration and need for justice. And I have no doubt this guy is guilty as charged. And I respect your desire for this to be about Ruben and him getting what he deserves. Just please keep your guard up with the individual you ask me to not speak about. I know from personal experience with these two. And with that I will not mention others here in this forum. Just please beware. @kat there is more than one side of this story..there are many sides. There are many,many people who have been hurt and threatened by Ruben. Sorry you condone this type of thing for yourself .

        • TheBellJar says:

          @bnsyntht: Thank You:)

        • kat says:

          And how dare you, I was the one that did nothing and recieved threating emails from someone I never heard of also my daughter also recieved the samr emails and messages and yes they were threats . just for liking the redding page so whatever issues you all have for petes sake keep it to yourselves, So It's not a matter of condoning this sort of thing it's the fact I haven't seen anything but someone pointing out places to enjoy in Redding……. So leave me out of it , as far as the threats I got have been turned over to the proper authorties.

          • TheBellJar says:

            I am sorry that you received those threats, there is no excuse for that. However how does that justify your stab at Doni?

          • TheBellJar says:

            What was the threat? If you don't mind, I am very curious now.

          • alwaysknewthetruth says:

            The threats were probably coming from Ruben James himself. I know it doesn't make sense to us "normies" but, it's a fact that he has done this before. I had to deal with him for a really long time and this is what he does. It's part of his M.O. He's a sick "boy" who needs mental health to step in and help.

    • Thinker says:

      If you present Ruben with a statement and he wants you to believe his way, he has the power to make certain people believe his way of thinking. What happened is this situation is that Ruben met his match with people who were educated and able to challenge his thinking. He had no where else to go except to gather a flock of who he considers weaker than him and guide their direction. Ruben is self educated-No degree or higher education completion. This is not an absolute in life but if you want to play in the big leagues and you want to do it on the up and up, you had better be able to do more that dazzle them with BS. Eventually that will run out! Especially when you have dark motives. Once again Ruben……. Surrender, get help become the happy man God intended you to be.

  8. Sherri Batie says:

    Outrageous behavior. Glad you confronted him, Doni!

  9. Viki says:

    Great articles Doni – I am seen what havoc this man can create – 3 friends and an acquaintance were all duped and then threatened by this man. His ego is just absolutely off the charts and it's obvious he can't keep his "lies" straight.

    So glad to see that the truth is finally coming out.

  10. Viki says:

    Oops – should have been "have seen" – Not enough caffeine yet this morning.

  11. Ty Doni, Your courage is only matched by your integrity!

    Everyone can feel free to come support the Redding California Fans FREE and Uncensored FaceBook page here:

    Come support 'All' of Redding's business owners 🙂

  12. daniel b says:

    thats the marketing business for you. lies, stories and yellow journalism. thats the way its always been and it will never change.

  13. Jeff Daily says:

    Everyone needs to go report the page. If it gets enough reports it will be taken down!

    • Thinker says:

      I have seen Jeff Daily's Redding Scam Page before- Never trusted it- never will. I believe it is Ruben James Porras himself attempting to traffic all the complaints back to himself. There is no other explanation for the lack of follow through when previous stories and violations of others were posted, censored and/or disappeared from that site. BEWARE! Doni…… Can you follow up on this one?

      • HatesLiars says:

        I got a nasty message from the Jeff Daily page just a week before I blocked Ruben. It was an anti "Ruben pages" type message. At that time I was still talking to Ruben so I asked him who that was and how he might have gotten my name. He asked what was said and I did tell him.

        I do wonder about your theory on that. Maybe he was trying to see if I was a follower or not? So many things about our time of "fake" friendship just do not add up. Which is why I blocked him and his girlfriend and hit that UNLIKE on that Redding, California page.

        • Jeff Daily says:


          I apologize that the message seemed rude but I made the mistake of posting with the same intensity that I had coming against me. At that point, when I went against Ruben, I had so many people send me hate messages. In order to get a response from people I had to make it seem urgent. Again, like I said. My only intention was to bring visibility to Rubens malicious behavior, not many people were willing to take a definite stand at that point.

          • Thinker says:

            No thanks- more deception- More secrets. Obviously you were not needed to get to the truth and you have no explanation for that either. I stand on my theory. Why was the wedding story cut short? Why were the other stories censored? Why was there no action or community back lash with his deviant acts of manipulation and violation towards others. Hum?

          • Jeff Daily says:


            I did not cut stories short. I posted what was given to me. As far as I know. There was no more to the wedding story unless you have information that I am not apprised of. I encourage you to share the details if you have more! Obviously I am not needed to get "to the truth", but as one who also witnessed Rubens idiocy first hand, I wanted to stand against it. I wanted to try and create the "community backlash" that you speak of.

      • Jeff Daily says:

        @ Thinker. I'm sorry you think I am Ruben. I assure you, if you took time to look, you would realize that error. It would be me akin to saying you are Ruben because you don't like my scam page. If you look at the scam page then you will notice that I never once give any affection towards Mr. Porras. Also, I haven't taken down any information. If you would like more information or have a bone to pick with my email me at

        • Amy says:

          I have to say, I'm not convinced that you aren't this Ruben fella. Your writing is quite similar, and according to many people, regardless of which side of the fence they're on, state that Ruben is an intelligent and talented marketer. Your echos of "yeah, get him" could easily be a ploy to mislead people.

          "I never once give any affection towards Mr. Porras." Who talks like that?

  14. excellent as always Doni– thanks for opening an interesting can of worms. It seems to me that the city should actually "own" the administration of the page, and then these gents and others could post to it…?

    • Well, the city of Redding folks could create a FB page any time. The only city FB page is the Parks and Rec page. I must say, I'm always surprised in this Internet age when a city doesn't have a FB page. It's curious. (IMHO)

      • Gonealot says:

        Doni, I'll have to agree with you on the need for a city created web site. The problem being, there is no way you're gonna get the council to agree on anything and get up off their personal projects in order to support the entire area. The other problem is that several members of the council have no idea what the web, let alone facebook is. I suspect a few are wondering what a computer is for.

  15. hush says:

    Makes me wonder if these people would follow like at Wacco? Yes I was one who he had temperarily convinced he would make my business better. Yes I had called him my friend. Yes kicking my own butt. Yes call me stupid I admit it. But my business is hurting and I am trying to find a way to get the word out.

  16. I was prepared for the backlash from reporting about Ruben, and he's right on schedule this a.m. The best way to deal with him is to shine a spotlight on him, so I'm sharing the email he's sent to all's advertisers. PLEASE thank and express appreciation to's advertisers. Their support keeps local journalism alive. OK, here's Ruben's email:


    To whom this may concern,I wanted to make you aware of what Is happening on a website that you advertise on called Apparently, Doni Greenberg feels threatened that I have developed a positive audience in Redding and is currently doing what she can to turn that audience against me. The article that she wrote is full of half-truths, misguided hatred and malicious gossip. The comments that she has published bring my relationship with my children into focus, call for my death by hanging and they suggest that my past health issues were brought on by alcohol and drug abuse. That is not true at all. I had Cancer in my neck and a very rare bile duct condition called Primary Sclerosing Cholangitis.I am writing you because you advertise with Greenberg and based on that, you are supporting her irresponsible actions in regard to publishing this piece of tabloid news. I used to respect Greenberg for writing real news. She wrote this because my efforts in Redding receive over two million views per month and hers simply do not. She feels upstaged and will do anything to get herself back into the limelight.I would rather keep Redding in a positive light and help businesses grow if they choose to do that with a positive focus on protecting our city. Even if any of this was remotely true, I would not want my business associated with it. The amount of business that you could lose could not be worth the price of an Internet ad.If you have not viewed my efforts in Redding, take a look at and view my Twitter feeds @reddingfamous, @reddingjobs and @reddingnews. I would have never been able to build such a large, thriving and positive audience if I was really such a bad guy.Read between the lines of Greenberg’s work please. I have published my phone number on her site and not a single person has called me to inquire about the truth. They would rather feed on the hatred. That is sad to me. I love Redding and will always fight for it.Do what you feel is right in regard to protecting your name and your business in regard to this matter. Supporting hatred and controversy does not put anyone in a positive light.Sincerely,Ruben Porras530-638-3897

    • HatesLiars says:

      Wow…. just a bit full of himself there isn't he?

    • Jeff Daily says:

      Wow, This guy is sad. Anybody with half a brain would realize that he promoting and encouraging the "irresponsibility" that he claims is going on here.

      Keep up the great work Doni. It will be nice when Rubens harmful behavior is stopped. Thank you for making the community aware.

  17. Mary Grossman-Freerk says:

    This guy is a con artist! Plain and simple…..He is vendictive,hurtful and shouldnt be running a site such as this.

  18. Barbara Rice Barbara Rice says:

    Keep typing, Ruben. You've shot yourself in the foot so many times there can't be much left….

  19. Truth B. Told says:

    Do 'nice guys' have restraining orders against them? Not in my world. And, 'numbers' of followers make you good? Hmmmm…..Hitler? Not saying you are hitler…but definetly making a point. There is so much manipulation in your words. True success isn't in the number of people you have gained honestly, or otherwise..true success is gained by how blameless you are at the end of the day.

    Thats all. The end.

    • EJ says:

      Seriously? Comparing the guy to Hitler? Look up Godwin's Law, your point is lost, and I beg to to gain some realistic perspective.

      I have no stake in either side and found this article tremendously biased in one direction. This is fine were it an opinion article, but presenting this article as news is a poor reflection of

      • wordygirl says:

        Hmmm. Not sure the point is lost given that several people keep making references about it all over Facebook today…(just to mention).

        The story wouldn't be one-sided if Mr. Porras would share it and allow it to be shared on his page with explanations. He wont. Try it, you'll get deleted and blocked.

        The facts were delivered regarding the restraining order, the posts that were made by Mr. Porras on a public page regarding the RO and the the origination of the page What part is one sided?

        • Thinker says:

          The fact is that Ruben James Porras is a liar. Constitutionally incapable of being honest. He proved that…. even in a court of law!

      • Gonealot says:

        @>EJ: EJ do you make it a habit of reading more into a comment or statement than was said. "Truth" did not compare Ruben to Hitler, he said Hitler also claimed several followers. The same can be said for a few other people throughout history, but this is not saying they and Ruben are alike in thought, action or deed, mearly that they and Ruben claim to have several followers.

  20. Mee says:

    Thanks Doni for taking a stand for TRUTH and exposing the lies.

    I know Shawn T personally. He is a great guy!

    Ruben is all about power, control and greed.

    He clearly conned Shawn into getting access to his page and stole it from him!

    Something needs to be done about this!

  21. Ross says:

    The guy is a tool …saw that in him awhile ago …don't give him the satisfaction of any publicity ..positive or negative …just un-friend anything you have associated with him .. then ignore him …

    just my thoughts and what I did …

  22. Seriously?!? says:

    Wow, this is seriously newsworthy??? IT'S FACEBOOK. Anyone who believes everything they read, see, and hear (including this article), should consider getting their head examined. If you don't automatically challenge issues with your own independent thought and questions, then you deserve your own ignorance. Here's a newsflash for those of you who may not know……. Facebook is a PUBLIC web site, where ANYONE can write ANYTHING about WHATEVER they want. I don't know any of the people involved in this childish fight and I personally don't care to, especially now. Keep spreading the hate from BOTH sides people, because THAT represents Redding well (please note the sarcasm in that statement). I truly wish everyone well and hope that we all find more productive things to do with our time. The best things we all can do to help our community are get involved, volunteer, help those deserving, support local, and spread positivity. There are enough haters out there, don't be one of them. GOT LOVE???

    • Thinker says:

      You have the right idea and I like it and adhere to it in my own life but in this case it goes beyond that. Why? Because one man took it upon himself to control the actions of others and manipulate and bully others. There are people in society not as strong in their convictions as you and are easily preyed upon by the likes of Ruben James Porras. He controlled the administrative buttons of his FB page that stopped the truth from being told and blocked and deleted the "FREE SPEECH" rights of others! He was the only one allowed to speak freely unless it was in his best interest. It's too bad your rant could not have come about one year earlier! Be well.

    • Seriously? Too says:

      Couldn't agree with you more. This type of repartee is so typical of the small town mentality that so many in Redding possess. Their idea of conflict resolution is to continuely bash the other party. Precisely, one of the reasons I left that town, in the first place. Bearing dirty laundry for everyone to see, is not my idea of a great little town.

      • Thinker says:

        Wow! I think you missed my point entirely and I don't think it matters. Looks like you must be a Ruben James groupie with no mind of your own. So sad.. short life ahead unless you get a grip and grow some! Erika is not the only woman who has had to obtain a restraining order against him. Again…… public record also available in other counties.

    • JD says:

      You're missing the point Ruben. This isn't a column complaining about what you hava posted on Facebook. This is a column exposing how you hava threatened and blackmailed people using Facebook as your tool for your own personal gain. You did all this by pretending to represent Redding and using that to manipulate people.

      • Mike says:

        Ya I noticed that too…. Seriously and Seriously Too may, in fact, just be Mr. James Porras. They both match his style of writing and badmouthing the town he says he loves(even tho he once said, "I won't go back there because the bridges that I didn't burn are bridges that I don't want to cross.") Not wanting to promote him, but here's the source-
        Also, funny how the (530) number he posted(and changed on his Redding page) isn't his usual Modesto number with a (209) area code(that used to be posted on his Redding page) hmmmmmm….

    • HatesLiars says:

      Seriously though when the virtual world clashes with the real world with threats to people who won't use his services? Then it's not just a petty little childish fight. It's wrong and it needs to stop!

    • "Erika" says:

      This is to original poster "Seriously?!?". Your post is astounding. Considering I received multiple unwanted emails (some of which were extremely unsettling and scary) mentioning my children and also telling me to "Call the cops", after I told him to leave me alone, I take your post as a huge slap in my face. If it were only about Facebook he should have left me alone when I blocked him. Instead he continued to contact me through other ways, attempted to intimidate me by mentioning he knew about my "skeletons" and simply put, HARASSED me. He lied about me to his huge audience and I was granted my order in a court of law because I was able to prove his harassment. If standing up to a bully isn't "productive" I don't know what is.

    • enough already enough already says:

      Seriously… did you even bother to read the whole story? This was NOT about Facebook it was about a man who was extorting money out of vulnerable women trying to get their business going in Redding. Then when they would not pay him he would threaten them…. Have you ever heard of something called the Mafia? They behave a lot like this. DONI exposed this weasle and we all need to take a stand against this malicious behavior in our community! You totally missed the whole point! Please re-read before making such a silly comment about such a serious crime!

  23. Lee says:

    It sounds like extortion when someone has to pay off a person or suffer the consequences; such as in this case unfounded bad rating of a restaurant or other service for not wanting to advertise on the Redding Face Book Site supposedly owned by Ruben James Porras . The FBI should at least look at this as a RICO Act violation.

  24. Janis says:

    Oh please, we all know and respect Doni's integrity. No phone call will be needed, you can go away now.


  25. Budd Hodges says:

    Give it up Ruben, you mental incompetent ass. Everyone knows you'll accomplish nothing by your behavior.

    You've made yourself look like your true self of a true con man, a cheat and a super lier. I've known ilk like you in the past and they're soon found out and exposed as a phony, self-centered egotist who accomplish absolutly nothing but hate and discontent.

    So, let me get this straight, you represent the city of Redding with your little face book posting. Are you the chamber of commerce or are you Redding City Government. What authority do you have to represent this city in your little tin horn posting? Why don't you put up a real web page that would represent your con of trying to misrepresent you and everyone who buys into your scam?

    Get this straight Porras…keep it up and you'll find yourself in deep trouble wishing you'd never started your lame little Facebook page. What a laugher you are!

  26. raven says:

    a couple years ago in a town I lived in we had a simular problem. They put together a facebook flash mob to complain about this so called town page and they removed and banned the person right away. Really makes me wonder if this would work to get this person out of all our lives and get the drama to stop.

  27. wow says:

    This was just posted to rubens page. Makes me believe he is trying to get more simpathy

    Hey Dude,

    I have a compromise for you. Maybe a way to make all of this get better.

    Here is the deal. Obviously you have been keeping up Doni Greenburgs articles. There are so many more people who are coming out of the woodworks who have been hurt or have been shut up by your twisted view of "free speech". I have some friends at CNN and Yahoo News that are sounding interested in releasing this story on national channels. I'm not totally sure if they will run but it is looking promising. If that happens then chances are you will be inundated with bad press. The goal is to get Facebook to recognize what is going on and get you shut down.

    Along with that, we (me and a few others) are going to file an official complaint to the FCC and FTC. This means that everything from your online presence to your bank accounts will be investigated.

    My compromise is that some of this may be avoided if you either 1: turn the page over to a small group of admins or 2: close the page. 3 Keep the page but allowed for uncensored messages even if they are against you.

    I know that my requests will fall on deaf ears and we both know that you are not willing to compromise but I thought I would just make the offer.

    you should just take responsibility for what is going on bro. You are just digging yourself into a deeper hole that will only end with you buried. I speak for a large part of the community that is gather against you and if you want to not get burned in the end, I recommend you have a heart for the people you hurt and talk to us.



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  28. Jessica says:


    I worked at Record Searchlight with you about 5 years ago…you always told me my hair reminded you of mint chocolate chip ice cream 😛

    Anyways, I am friends with this page currently and I've been reading about how he's "been blackmailed" and how he is being bashed. I have been wondering why for so many months and this kinda brings it all to light. Ladies and gentlemen, if someone speaks about Doni the way he does, you KNOW he's gotta be full of sh*t! I mean seriously, Doni?!

    I do find it somewhat suspicious how he even has money to eat at all these local business' considering how much is published on the Redding, CA page. That may be a stupid observation as he could be on some sort of pay due to his illnesses. But, a thought nonetheless. I do find it a bit petty that these boys can't work it out, afterall it is just Facebook. And FYI you cannot take the internet with you when you leave this world. This isn't Doni's fault or personal downfall, she is just doing something she loves. And if it is a personal opinion, I think there would be some sort o anger or outraged traced back in her wording. I don't sense that, and it seems pretty neutral to me. Just saying a side of a STORY. Believe what you want, no one is shoving anything down your throat. If someone threatens you, report it to the police, don't whine about it on the internet. Case closed. It's the internet. Move on. Find something else to project your anger on to.

    • Hi, Jessica. (I can't remember your hair …:)

      One point I'd like to make about the FB situation. Yeah, it's "just" Facebook. Yes, Shawn Thompson created the page, and Ruben took it, and it's easy to see that as, "Hey guys, go figure it out and leave us out of it." It's easy to see this as a couple of guys bickering over a FB page.

      This story is about so much more than that.

      What's important to know is that because the fan numbers are so high (11,700-something — and dropping, I might add), Ruben was able to entice businesses to pay him to post reviews on FB because there are lots of eyeballs there. (Of course, it's againts FB rules to do that, but Lord only knows why FB is asleep at the wheel with this case

      Also – and this is the really damaging, scary part – he would sometimes post lies about people – businesses, often – which would go out to those 11,000+ strangers. Imagine if someone posted something about you – something untrue and unflattering – on a site with thousands of "fans/friends". And then, imagine if, when you tried to defend yourself – "NO! That's not true!" your comment was immediately removed – but the original lies remained for all to see? That's what scores of people have dealt with for nearly two years because of Ruben James Porras. Some people lost jobs. Other people's reputations were damaged. Yet other people lost customers and friends. Finally, lots of people were frightened — so frightened that they wouldn't even go on the record to tell what happened.

      In all my years of being a journalist, I've never encountered a story where so many people refused to go on the record. That says a lot. OK, I'll step away from the computer now. Carry on. Thanks for reading.

    • Gonealot says:

      Somebody pulled somebodys plug!

      "This content is currently unavailable.

      The page you requested cannot be displayed right now. It may be temporarily unavailable, the link you clicked on may have expired, or you may not have permission to view this page."

  29. CAN'T DELETE ME says:




  30. eyes open says:

    so when we got involved with Ruben he charge us $60 a week and only received 2 posts about our business. My husband was for lack of a better word pissed. As for his post about food I experienced how he works he posts the picture and shows how many people comment to the post and ensures business to the owners and then gets their meals free and then says hey $60 a week and I can get you a bunch of business. I have to say bullsh*t we did not receive one single ounce of business from any of his posts.

  31. carissabeee says:

    Well it seems as if everyones personal lives are becoming famous online. I can agree he is a little off. But I enjoy the consistent updates of happening events in redding. Although he's bickering of personal crap is annoying, simply not encouraging it solves the problem. I strongly believe there are always two sides to a story. If we cant see it for ourselves then we can be feed anything from anyone. So believe what you will. (:

    • JD says:

      I guess you're right, there are two sides, however his side was recently decided in court where the court ruled against him. His very few supporters' only defense is that there are two sides. Why does he delete any post that does not make him look like a saint?(I truly have to believe that a lot of the positive comments towards him on his websites are actually from him using his numerous fake profiles.) He was a master of deception and it came around to bite him in the ass. Smoke screens only linger for a little while.

    • J.D. Peters says:

      From my viewpoint if looks like a duck, quacks like a duck, and SMELLS like a duck, it's a DUCK.

      As I shared with the news 7 TV reporter, everyone is welcome to say anything on the internet, if the person is a public figure and it is factual (and your willing to risk litigation). And anyone is welcome to charge whatever they want for exposure and marking on a WEB SITE or newspaper. However when the "Sales Pitch" includes an element of fear for those declining..that is a different matter.

      In big cities gang members offer "Security and Protection" services for small business people for a monthly fee. This "fee" improves the bottom line for most owners. Less shoplifting, fewer broken windows, freedom from assault. The difference between "Marketing" and "Extortion" is what happens when you say "NO THANKS".

      How would you feel if declining a subscription, advertising package, or refusing to "comp" a meal to the Newspaper advertising rep., put your small business at risk of a seriously negative review to THOUSANDS of people ? At one time it was common..100 years ago.

      These fears are still real for small business people whether you live in New York, Oakland or Redding. In the big city you have gangs, in small towns the local paper, Yelper, or unscrupulous Blogger/Face Book adminstrator.

      KUDOS Doni for tackling this prickly issue.

  32. MeShe says:

    I was recently approched by Ruben Porras in a local store due to my coupon use. He was interested in learning how to coupon due to the exposure of TLC's Extreme couponing show. I explained it was extremely time consuming, handed him my card and told him I would send him the first of my 3 prewritten emails. I stated that because I receive so many emails, personal contact nor requests, are not an option. He offered to promote my business on his facebook page, stating that he controlled the local online media traffic and asked if I would be willing to have a story in the local newspaper where he was a staff reporter. He also stated he could manipulate google and any other online search engine into his links being the only searches that would come up on the front page, saying that people are sheep who won't go beyond the first page. I declined stating that I had already been contacted for local interviews and by TLC, both of which I declined. I told him I was uncomfortable with more attention and thought our contact was over.

    After returning home from my shopping trip, I had emails from Ruben, where I sent the first installment, logged into my Facebook and found he wanted to be my friend. I of course reseach all my potential friends and found that while he was a prolific online writer, there was also a darker side to him. The name was stuck in my head, so more research was warrented. Then it clicked; I KNEW of the guy.

    I was a guest at a wedding where Ruben Porras was hired as the photographer (for proof you can see pictures of him NOT taking pictures on my photos). During the course of the evening, Ruben Porras rifled though purses, coats, diaper bags and billfolds stealing cash and other valuables. His own mother stated that he didn't have any money that day, but was able to go out to dinner and cocktails after the wedding where he was paid by personal check after 8 pm on a Sunday night. His mother took him to the bank the next day to cash the check. He admitted to stealing money from a billfold in 2009 from a minor and has since admitted to the wedding theft, with no compensation or compassion to the victims.

    I have seen Ruben threaten a local business woman, extortion is the closest I can describe the situation. He was demanding money for a positive review he had given on Yelp. He literally had her backed against the wall, a typical bullying technique.

    I should have been more alert when he approched me, but I truthfully didn't recognize him. When I emailed the friend who's wedding I attended, I questioned his gender, using he/she(?) due to his physical anomalies and nongender specific voice. I told her I thought he was a preop transgender, unsure of which direction he was going. I am glad that his tactics are coming out so more people will be aware of how dangerous he can be if he doesn't get what he feels he deserves.

  33. MsMTpP says:

    My favorite comment yet from Ruben…. "called for me to be hung…." it's hanged, you moron…….

    • Gonealot says:

      I didn't call for him to be hanged. It was in reply to someone saying he need his 15 minuets of fame, I remarked, was it the same 15 minuets while standing on top of the scaffold waiting for the trap to be opened.

      Not asking for him to be strung up, just wondering about his fame wish.

  34. Seeninaction says:

    I have seen Porras in action. This last year, close to St. Patrick's day there was a gathering at the Shamrock Ice Cream Shop over by Orchard Nutrition. The owner was very nice, and there was a band there, but Porras showed up. He started talking to people, and when we started talking to him, it seemed like he was trying to get us to enroll in his facebook page. I looked at the page but I did not give him any of our info, which I am usually not like that. I am glad we do not have a business for him to try and hurt. I hope he is held responsible for his actions.

  35. Mee says:

    Wow! I can't believe all of this…

    It seems his only defense is to say that there are two sides to every story, and that HE is the victim in all this… Well, apparently in this case, there are hundreds of sides to THIS story! And they ALL point to one thing: Porras is a power hungry, con-artist, an extortionist, a thief, a liar and a bully. Is THIS who we want to represent the city of Redding on Facebook? I'm sorry, I don't care how "great" his posts or information are. He wouldn't even have this page if he didn't STEAL it from Shawn Thompson! There are 12000 fans on that page ("his sheep" as he calls them) that have no clue. They need to know the truth!

    He has pulled the wool over people's eyes for too long. It is about time he is exposed for who he really is! Porras – You can only PLAY THE VICTIM for so long! Your gig is up! The truth about your tactics is coming out! There is NO REASON all these people would make up all these unrelated stories about you. You're not that special…

    Only now, under duress, is he "claiming" to add more admins to the page. He says he has planned to do this for a long time… Yeah right! He will never give up control, because he is all about power and control. We don't believe your lies. No more games! We can't just unsubscribe from his page and hope this will all go away. We need to do something!

    Shawn is a friend of mine and he is a great guy with a good heart. The Redding page belongs to him. Let's petition Facebook to restore this page to it's rightful owner and stop this madness! Click the link, like the page:

  36. Kim Hanagan says:

    To me the point of the story was "be careful if you manage a facebook page w/someone else". It had leanings of "this guy is a good guy and that other guy is a bad guy" which I do not understand why it had to have that tone. stick to the facts. But then again there wouldn't be so many people so happy to jump on the slandering bandwagon on this comment page when they really know nothing about these people. And even if they did is that the best use of the on-line commenting forum, to take personal jabs at people?

  37. OK, a very strange thing has happened, and I've not been able to confirm it, but it appears that Ruben James Porras is no longer the administrator of the Redding California Facebook page. If my information is correct (again, checking) someone who had admin duties on the page with Ruben has taken over the page and has asked Shawn to come and get the page back.

    I've contacted Shawn, and he's aware, but he's still blocked from posting on that page (me, too). So, Shawn, can you comment here and tell us what you know? Or, would the person who took control of the page comment and fill us in?

    Wow. I didn't see this coming.

    Stay tuned.

    • OK, you will not believe this:

      I just spoke with Scott Leak, who's had admin powers for a short while with Ruben on the Redding California FB page. (Scott's a photographer … you may have noticed his photos on the Redding page.)

      Scott said he decided after reading the all the stories here on ANC, and all the FB posts, and talking with many people, he decided to remove Ruben as an admin … and give the page back to Shawn.

      As of minutes ago, Scott just put Shawn back on the page as admin.

      Scott said he realizes the irony that he's done the same thing to Ruben that Ruben did to Shawn, but Scott believes that this was the right thing to do, to restore admin rights to the page's original creator.

      "I'm not a hostile-take-over kind of guy," he said via a phone call just seconds ago. "I did a lot of soul-searching before I did this. I'm not doing this for any personal gain, and already Ruben is threatening me … I've not picked up his calls or texts …. but I believe this was the right thing to do. I've personally seen all the hurt that Ruben has done, and I'd rather delete this page entirely than to see him continue. I couldn't be part of standing by while he hurt any more people. I know a lot of people are upset at me, and think I'm being unfair to Ruben. There will be some pain with this, but I'm hoping that before long, there will be some healing and this page will be there for the community, and beyond Shasta County."

      OK, this is amazing. Wow. What a world. I'll keep you posted.

  38. Scott says:

    Thank you for the support Doni and exposing this story to our community. This has not been easy for me…. I have received threats already this morning as you can imagine, but hold on to my faith that darkness must yield to light, it has no power. I wish Shawn all the best in running HIS page and all that he does. Keep up the good work Doni….this one paid off!! :D))


    • Thank you, Scott.

      Wow. OK, I'm speechless. (It'll be temporary, I'm sure.)

      • Barbara Rice Barbara Rice says:

        A toast to you, Doni.

        • Thanks, Barbara, but it's only because I had a place to investigate and report the truth about what people had been dealing with regarding not just the FB page, but the subsequent abuse of power and resulting fear and intimidation that followed it.

          It's a pretty incredible story we've seen unfold in our city. What a difference a couple of days can make, huh?

          Hats off to advertisers and readers for making this possible.

    • BLESSED! says:

      When justice prevails through the hearts of good people, it boosts the Community in its entirety! Thank you for your courage to do the right thing!

  39. Hal Johnson says:

    An Open Letter to Facebook Personality Kaiser Von Hindlick

    Dear Kaiser: If I could ask a favor, I'd like you to pass on an apology from me to your dad. I was more of an outsider looking in as the RP drama onfolded, and I was initially outraged at some of the photos posted on your Facebook wall. I thought they were way over the top. But, after some digging (heh), and especially after talking with two women I know and trust about their dealings with RP, I've come to believe that those photos aren't quite so over the top. I called your dad out a bit in a comment in anewscafe, and I want to say I'm sorry. As for you, Kaiser, please know that I love dogs, and I'll never again call your typing abilities into question.

    Hal Johnson

  40. Joanne Lobeski Snyde says:

    Shawn Thomson sounds credible to me. He described a scenario that was, because of his honest nature, a bad shock. His is just the first part of this story. Superb article Doni.

  41. Joe says:

    I just stumbled into this story and I find it amazing. Ruben Porras scammed $400 out of my sister just a few months ago. He promised her Facebook, Yelp, and Twitter reviews, and a lot of foot traffic into her business, for $400 per month. She believed him and paid the fee.

    After the first month he returned for more money, and when she told him her sales were actually down from the previous month, he called her a liar and told her he would ruin her business if she didn't pay. She hasn't heard back from him, which is a good thing, but I am glad this loser was unmasked. He seems to prey on women, and that says a lot about him.

    Congratulations on your great investigative reporting Doni.


    • BLESSED! says:

      Joe! So sorry for your Sister's loss! She is just one of NUMEROUS women who were held hostage by his behavior! It's "his" way or disaster! The women (and men) who were too afraid to stand up to him are too numerous to mention (and won't be mentioned due to continuing fear)! This account of the TRUTH must be shared around the globe so no one can ever do this again to anyone!

  42. Sense says:

    Doni, I applaud you for getting the truth out in this manner!

    There is not a doubt in my mind that this story is not true. However, seeing the way some of the "other party" handle their attacks on Ruben was a turn off. VERY IMMATURE and CHILDISH. The little jokes and calling him "cancer boy" was ridiculous.

    I am Happy that you have been informing the public about this man through well written articles, it makes us see his true colors!

  43. realeyes says:

    I REALLY hope the new admin does not turn the Redding, CA Facebook page into some god faring website!

    I despise this Ruben character for all he's done and everyone he's hurt. One thing though, is that he kept the politics and religion off of the page so EVERYONE could enjoy it.

    Hate the guy, will miss his style of writing.

  44. gonja says:


    Shawn, leave the politics and religion out of it and you will keep this page going 🙂

    I was one of those who didn't know anything. I just simply enjoyed the page! I am happy to see that it has been turned back to its rightful owner. Best of luck to ya.

    • OK, I've been trying to stay out of the comments, but I need to clarify a couple of things. First, to "sense" … I have to say that I agree with you about some of the personal attacks – including the cancer boy comment. You'll notice the very first comment out of the gate on this previous story was about Ruben's appearance, and I weighed and discouraged that kind of conversation. (I don't give two figs what Ruben looks like. That's not the story.) Yes, I'd rather the comments remained civilized and respectful and I'd rather commenters used their real names, but I also know the level of anger that many people have felt, and the current sense of vindication and jubilation they're feeling now that Ruben's been exposed. To those who say to the victims, "Get a life, this is about Facebook," know that there are people in our community who've suffered damage to their jobs, finances, relationships and reputations because of their dealings with this guy. I'm not condoning their behavior, but I get it.

      Second, for those of you who've made comments about Bethel Church and not wanting a religious influence on the Redding, California page that's currently under Shawn Thompson and Scott Leaks administration … I ask you to carefully consider what made you even suggest that. I submit that the seed of those comments came from Ruben, who's a master at finding a statement or position – truth doesn't have to have anything to do with it – and he keeps repeating it over and over and over and reposting and reposting it. Pretty soon, it's a message that's out there – "Gosh, I heard somewhere that the site is going to be controlled by Bethel," or, "Gosh, I heard the reason Doni did this story is she was jealous of Ruben," … and presto, you've got yourself a damning message that's gone ape-shit viral and nobody even knows the origins.

      I've spoken with both Scott and Shawn, and they maintain they want a community-friendly page. Look at the page. Let the page speak for itself.

      OK, I'm going back to writing. I'm wrapping up the series this week. Stay tuned.

      • The Bell Jar says:

        I was thinking the same thing, Doni. Think about it. Has he done that with the page? No? Then your fears are not only unfounded, but could be construed as harmful gossip. Most of the time these typesDribbles of rumors are started to do just what us happening here. Just an observation. I could be totally wrong.

  45. David R Quinn says:

    Ruben has been to my house..I have children around a a wonderful wife. Ruben trashed my wife in one of his comments on Facebook. I read him the riot act. He then sent the Redding PD to my house for "cussing him out".

    I also went to the Police Dept and to The Elder Abuse center here in Redding..I have followed their advice to the letter. I was also informed I have the right to defend my family against the "wacko".

    I am 61 yrs old a combat vet I do not have any kind of business in Redding..I have daughters and sons..he is not the kind of "man" a decent dad wants around his kids.

    Because I served in combat this is called by Ruben a mental health issue some degree he is correct..Henry Kissinger called war mans greatest insanity.

    To be "put down..insulted and demeaned by Ruben for serving this country has a tendency to really make me angry. His comments to my face is a good way to push my buttons..and yes I got big time angry..My friends died there and all over this country men are women die in service to this country. He by his cracks and comment made to my face insults this sacrifice…some are not here to defend the service they have given I step in to defend their sacrifice,

    This is a side of Ruben some of you may not have experienced.

    For the Vets..and those who know vets or serving family…Vets are part of your family

    For the Dads and Moms..keep this guy away from your will get nasty.

    I can not go into say the gets into some kind of legal thing where he has the right to say as he pleases and I just have to "eat it"

    • Yes, I went there. says:

      He beat himself up one time and called the cops, told them his ex wife's new boyfriend/husband did it, AND THEY ARRESTED THE POOR GUY. Ruben will stop at NOTHING to play the "victim" card. I suggest any time he comes over, have your video camera ready.

  46. David R Quinn says:

    One more comment..then I will "button my lip"

    In the military we had a thing called the "Kiss Principle"

    Keep it simple stupid.

    So to apply the Kiss principle here…Ruben..Go away!

  47. J.D. Peters says:

    A number of new victims have appeared onsite. I would suggest ALL victims and past customers simply file a 1099 "B" Misc. with the State and Federal Gov. Allow the federal and State government to ask Mr Porras about how he can collect SSI and other benefits while collecting business reciepts. He can polish his story telling with them.

  48. Mike says:

    Please be careful when speaking to Mr. James Porras. He has started recording anything anyone says to him, with or without permission from the other party.

  49. Maggi Middleton says:

    I am the very unlucky person who provided a room in my Modesto home to Ruben Porras when he fled Redding. And to be sure everyone is clear, I am not one of his lady friends. You find out A LOT about a person when they are in your home. I asked him to leave last Saturday. He is the biggest fake I have ever encountered. I would absolutely welcome a communication from this reporter regarding my experience with Ruben. I have a lot of information to share.

    • still fascinated says:

      Hi Maggi,

      You can email the author Doni through one of the links on her site home page. I looked for you on Facebook to write you but couldn't find you. I hope your situation has improved now that he is gone.

  1. September 26, 2011

    […] 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 claimed Porras used his myriad social media platforms to damage their personal […]

  2. September 26, 2011

    […] can bring to a business and a community.Click here to read Part 1: Redding Woman Tackles Cyber GiantClick here to read Part 2: The Two Faces of Redding, California's Facebook PageClick here to read Part 3: Fight Cyberbullies with Offensive and Defensive Strategies  Leave […]

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