But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.
—Revelation 21:8, KJV
There’s no question District 4 Supervisor Patrick Henry Jones is Shasta County’s prevaricator par excellence. In recent months, as documented by ANC, Jones has blatantly and maliciously lied about political opponents past and present.
The Red, White and Blueprint docuseries and podcasts, the propaganda vehicles for the anti-vaccination, anti-mask death cult that’s attempting to recall three Republican Shasta County supervisors, has dutifully broadcast Jones’s untruths to tens of thousands of internet viewers.
Now, at long last, someone besides yours truly has publicly called Jones out on his fabulism. District 2 Supervisor Leonard Moty, one of the recall’s primary targets, filed legal action for alleged defamation against the RW&B late last month, requesting retractions and corrections for multiple demonstrably false statements made by Jones, and one by docuseries co-producer Carlos Zapata in RW&B podcasts 6 and 9, and episode 5 of the docuseries.
In response to Moty’s legal action last week, Jones doubled down on his deceptions, hiring a polygraph examiner to prove he’s telling the truth about an alleged secret Redding City Council meeting in 2007 where Moty, then Redding Police Chief, was supposedly fired by a 5-0 vote.
The meeting never happened.
Nevertheless, Jones insists Moty, former Redding city manager Kurt Starman and former Redding City Council members Mary Stegall, Rick Bosetti, and Ken Murray, all of whom were there at the time and emphatically claim no such meeting ever took place, are all lying.
I emailed Jones and asked him to send me any shred of evidence proving the veracity of his claim. He replied:
“RV your (sic) just so full of shit that I can’t work with you. Ask yourself why did no council member at that time take the ploy (sic, he means polygraph) test that I would pay for today. You just can’t accept that they all lied. You should look for a different line of work because you are no good at this one.”
That’s right, Mr. Jones. I just can’t accept that the five of them all lied and you’re the only one who’s telling the truth. I’m not a paranoid conspiracy theorist such as yourself.
It’s Not Lying If You Believe It
Jones’s polygraph stunt is a classic appeal to ignorance, always useful when playing the rubes, his political base. Here’s how it works: Jones passes a polygraph test. His opponents won’t take one. Therefore, they’re all liars.
The truth is, Jones’s polygraph test, taken in the friendly confines of the RW&B studio and administered by a polygraph examiner paid for by Jones, doesn’t prove anything. Given the many shortcomings of polygraph tests, Jone’s latest stunt only exists to provide fodder for the next RW&B episode.
With a studio light flickering as if he was undergoing an actual interrogation instead of being surrounded by his right-wing buddies, Jones could simply be play acting. After all, the polygraph test will feature big in the next always-desperate-for-content RW&B episode due out Oct. 1.
Somehow, venerable KRCR news channel 7 anchor Mike Mangas managed to keep a straight face reporting on Jones’s dog-and-polygraph show. Mangas presented recall opponent Shasta Forward’s full rebuttal to Jones’s hokum, but still took polygraph examiner Kevin Legg’s claim that the tests are 93 percent to 96 percent accurate at face value.
That’s what the obviously biased National Polygraph Association would ask you to believe, but a thorough National Academy of Sciences report in 2003 found that the accuracy of polygraphs based on the relatively few scientific studies available ranged from above 50 percent to below 90 percent:
“Notwithstanding the limitations of the quality of the empirical research and the limited ability to generalize to real-world settings, we conclude that in populations of examinees such as those represented in the polygraph research literature, untrained in countermeasures, specific-incident polygraph tests can discriminate lying from truth telling at rates well above chance, though well below perfection.”
As for countermeasures, Doug Williams, a former Oklahoma police officer turned polygraph whistleblower after he realized how inaccurate the tests are, explains just how simple it is to defeat an examination in his book “How to Sting the Polygraph,” which is available free online.
“The polygraph is not a lie detector, and it is not a truth verifier, it is simply a crude reaction recorder, and the reactions it records can be indicative of just about anything except deception,” Williams writes. “I can even teach you how to duplicate this reaction by a simple breathing and muscle exercise. In fact, when you finish reading this manual, you will be able to control every tracing on the polygraph chart at will.”
It’s highly likely that Jones, who was raised in a gun store and goes target shooting regularly, is already familiar with such breathing and muscle exercises.
Somehow, in the RW&B episodes, Jones is able to fabricate false facts effortlessly on camera. I’m no psychiatrist and this isn’t a diagnosis, but he presents many of the same traits found in pathological liars, as described in this medicinenet.com article:
“Some of the symptoms of a pathological liar are: they lie to gain something, they exaggerate things, they keep on changing their stories, and they live in a false sense of ‘reality.’ If confronted, they act defensive and never admit that they are liars. Lastly, they hold no value for truth.”
Sound familiar? Is it possible that Jones actually believes his own bullshit?
A Closer Look at the Supposedly Secret City Council Meeting
I first became truly aware of Jones’s affinity for fibbing in RW&B Episode 3, in which he falsely alleges his former colleague on the Redding City Council and current Redding Colt 45s manager Rick Bosetti received a secret $1 million donation back in 2013.
“He wanted Tiger Field, he owns Tiger Field today,” Jones says in Episode 3. “He wanted the concessions for Tiger Field, he has concessions for Tiger Field. He wanted improvements to Tiger Field, an anonymous $1 million came in to fix up Tiger Field.”
As I reported in ANC, multiple sources from that that time period confirmed that the anonymous $1 million donation is pure fiction. It never happened.
Jones’s claim that RPD Chief Leonard Moty was fired in a secret city council meeting in 2007 is of similar construct, in that it’s a complete figment of Jones’s imagination.
“In a closed session, we take a vote to whether we keep Leonard Moty or not,” Jones claimed on RB&W podcast 6 on June 11. “And when you take a vote and it’s final, it’s supposed to come back out and get reported, but it did not. That vote did not come out to the public, it should have. They repressed the vote. I can tell you the vote was unanimous. And that vote said Leonard Moty, you are fired. Because I know I was in that room and that vote should have come out and the public should have been aware of that, but they weren’t.”
In episode 5 of the RW&B docuseries on Aug. 9, Jones lodged a similar accusation:
“The Redding City Council voted 5-0 to let Leonard go in 2007. The following day I get an email that our city manager Kurt Starman has given Leonard Moty the assistant Manager position that paid fourteen percent more. Kind of like stuff we’ve seen around here with Eric Magrini.”
Carlos Zapata parroted Jones on Aug. 23 in RW&B podcast 9, falsely alleging that Moty had been “5-O’d” by the city council 14 years ago.
Like all Big Lies, there’s a kernel of truth in Jones’s allegation. In 2007 Moty did serve as RPD chief and assistant city manager, filling in for six months until a replacement could be hired. He was paid extra for working two jobs, 12 hours a day, but according to former city manager Kurt Starman, that extra salary was not used to spike Moty’s pension, as claimed by Jones in podcast 6.
Jones also claimed Moty, who has an undergraduate degree in business management from the University of Notre Dame and a master’s degree in business administration from USC, was unqualified to be assistant city manager.
All of this information is in Moty’s bio on the Shasta County Board of Supervisors’ website and could have easily been checked by RW&B’s producers, had they actually been interested in checking facts.
No record of the alleged secret meeting exists in the Redding city council records files online, nor has Jones offered any evidence that it occurred besides his bogus polygraph stunt.
What Secret Meeting?
All of the surviving public officials who would have been present at such an alleged secret city council meeting agree that Jones is talking through his hat.
“It was my privilege to serve as the City Manager of the City of Redding for approximately 11 years—from May 2006 to May 2017,” Kurt Starman said in a written declaration. “During that time, the Redding City Council never met in closed session to consider terminating Leonard Moty’s employment as the Chief of Police of the City of Redding.”
Former Redding City Council member Mary Stegall concurred:
“First of all, the city council has no authority regarding the hiring or firing of the police chief,” Stegall said in a written statement. “That’s the prerogative of the city manager. At the time this supposedly happened, I served as the council liaison to the police department. I met regularly with Chief Moty. I had no reason to vote to fire him.”
“Secondly, those who know me, know that I would not have participated in this kind of behind-the-scenes skullduggery,” she stated. “I do not appreciate Mr. Jones, by association, suggesting I did.”
Thirdly, Stegall questions why Jones, who seems to be so concerned now, didn’t bring the issue up 14 years ago.
Former Redding City Council member Ken Murray, who served from 1994 to 1998 and again from 2004 to 2008, is adamant: Jones’s fabled secret meeting never happened.
“I can categorically deny that the council ever voted in closed session to terminate the employment of Leonard Moty,” he said in a written statement. “It would be inappropriate for the council to vote to terminate any employee other than the city manager or the city attorney. … This fabrication is typical of Patrick Henry Jones and his campaign committee.”
Former Redding City Council member Rick Bosetti isn’t surprised that Jones is still making stuff up.
“Mr. Jones fancies himself as an arbiter of truth and transparency when in fact he is pathologically unable to speak the truth,” Bosetti said in a written statement. “None of these statements are true, this supposed secret meeting did not happen, nor could the events [have happened].”
“All of these statements by Mr. Jones show how intellectually challenged he is,” Bosetti concluded. “After spending two terms in city council he still does not know how city government works.”
Republican Shasta County Supervisors Joe Chimenti, Leonard Moty and Mary Rickert have been targeted for recall.
High Threshold for Defamation Cases
The producers of RW&B have 20 days from the time they were first served notice by Moty’s attorney to make the requested retractions and public corrections.
“If you do not broadcast these corrections, Mr. Moty will pursue all available remedies to your defamatory broadcast including special, general and punitive damages,” reads the legal notice written by one of Moty’s attorneys. “I look forward to your prompt correction of these false statements.”
If not, see you in court. Of course, Moty, as a public official, has a higher threshold to meet in order to succeed with a defamation case. The great oracle, Wikipedia, speaks:
“In the context of defamation actions (libel and slander) as well as invasion of privacy, a public figure cannot succeed in a lawsuit on incorrect harmful statements in the United State unless there is proof that the writer or publisher acted with actual malice by knowing the falsity or by reckless disregard for the truth. The legal burden of proof in defamation actions is thus higher in the case of a public figure than in the case of an ordinary person.”
But just because the threshold is high for public officials doesn’t mean it can’t be crossed. In 2012, Iowa State Senator Rick Bertrand, a Republican, was awarded $231,000 in a defamation suit files after his Democratic opponent falsely claimed he worked as a salesman for a company that sold a dangerous sleeping drug to children in a political advertisement.
“The law does not allow limitless protection for false statements made with knowledge of falsity or reckless disregard for the truth,” said Bertrand’s attorney. “As a result, political candidates should begin to think twice about creating ads that contain lies.”
Red, White and Blueprint likes to claim its podcasts and docuseries aren’t political advertisements, even though they fit the California Fair Political Practice’s definition of one:
“An ‘advertisement’ is a communication that is authorized and paid for by a committee for the purpose of supporting or opposing a candidate or ballot measure. Advertisements include mass mailings (including blast e-mails), paid telephone calls, radio and television ads, billboards, yard signs, and electronic media ads.”
The majority of the content in RW&B’s podcasts and its docuseries clearly supports the removal of Supervisors Joe Chimenti, Moty and Mary Rickert via recall ballot measure. The podcasts and the docuseries are long-form political propaganda. The lies told by Jones are provably false and maliciously designed to damage Moty’s reputation. It’s a winnable case.
RW&B, along with Recall Shasta and the Shasta County General Purpose Committee, is currently being investigated by the FPPC. I contacted FPPC communications director Jay Wierenga and asked if there’s anything that can be done to expedite the investigations, given the urgency of the current political situation in Shasta County.
“All I can say is the enforcement process takes place the same for all, in order to ensure fairness to all involved,” he explained.
Translation: the cavalry isn’t coming to save Shasta County from the right-wing death cult that’s attempting to take control of the board of supervisors anytime soon.
I requested comment from all of the RW&B co-producers named in Moty’s legal action and received no replies.
However, I ran into RW&B docuseries co-director Jeremy Edwardson while covering the Zapata trial last week during a break in the proceeding. I asked him if he was going to retract Jones’s lies and he said he’d let me know later—perhaps the polygraph ploy is his answer.
Edwardson, a musician and producer who’s made bank recording various Bethel Music artists, good naturedly complained that I called him a “choirboy” in a recent article.
“Well, you’re religious, right?” I smiled. He nodded. “You’re aware that bearing false witness is a sin?” I asked.
Little beads of sweat were on his forehead. He looked worried, but he may have been perspiring because he was mandated to wear a face mask like everyone else in the courthouse.
Does Edwardson have anything to worry about? We’re about to find that out in the coming days if RW&B fails to retract Patrick Jones and Carlos Zapata’s demonstrably false and malicious statements.
It won’t matter if Jones believes his own bullshit and therefore can’t be held accountable for his lies. It’s Edwardson and the RW&B co-producers who could be held financially accountable.
In the meantime, all we can do is continue to counter the right-wing death cult’s lies. As I’ve discovered, it’s a full-time job.