To many, Bill Pulte is a hero. He has torn down blighted houses in Pontiac and St. Louis, he’s given away a lot of money on Twitter, and he claims to have even bigger things in mind. Bill Pulte says he plans to lead a philanthropy revolution on the back of the outgrowth of social media.
Chris Santos is also valued as a hero. He’s built a successful business from scratch, he has served and continues to serve our country in the military, and he has set up and directs a non-profit organization for autism in honor of his son.
Like everyone reading this, Chris is active on Twitter, and like most of us, Chris uses a pen name for his tweeting, NothingButTruths. True to his name, in his timeline you can see that Chris is a seeker of truth. He has his opinions, of course, but mostly if he doesn’t know the facts, he asks questions. When he finds irregularities, he calls them out, like he did here, with this so-called veteran’s organization:
Nothing controversial in his tweeting this—Chris was pointing out that money raised by BOTG4VETS, an account with links to Bill Pulte, was going to a group of drone consultants. That same day, October 7, Chris posted this tweet, pointing out that Pulte had blocked the Twitter account of Unique Spectrum, the account of Chris’ autism organization:
It’s also hard to see how this tweet might be controversial. It’s certainly factual, there’s no beating around the bush—Pulte blocked Unique Spectrum on Twitter. It’s there for all to see.
But to Bill Pulte, NothingButTruths (he wasn’t Chris to anyone in the Twittersphere at that point) went too far. Maybe it was this tweet, maybe it was another, or maybe the “Inventor of Twitter Philanthropy” was just having a bad day. Whatever it was, early on the morning of October 15 Pulte went on the attack, tweeting this: https://twitter.com/messages/media/1186026498039435268
Let’s break this tweet down, there’s a lot packed into a small space. First, Pulte doxed him. There are lots of reasons that people use a Twitter pen name, as we all know. Some of them are really good reasons. Chris had one of those good ones, and I won’t call attention to it here. No matter—Pulte outed him, snap, just like that.
Second, Pulte charged Chris with falsely accusing him of something, without ever mentioning what that was. There’s no legal reason not to back up his claim. Tweets are public, and if Pulte had screen grabbed whatever it was that Chris had allegedly done, it would have been game, set, and match. But Pulte never presented any evidence—he gave no reason whatsoever. Chris just “accused” him, of something.
And third, with the click of his mouse Pulte unleashed 900,000 followers eager to shake the Pulte money tree by hunting for some kind of dirt on Chris Santos. What’s the problem, you might say, if Chris has nothing to hide? Oh, it’s a problem–it’s a threat. Imagine if 900,000 motivated people were to pour over your every tweet, looking for just one an ambulance-chasing lawyer could turn into hay. There are lots of games lawyers can play, and even if any eventual charges were completely without merit, it would be expensive and time-consuming to fight.
But Pulte wasn’t done yet, not by a longshot.
Minutes later he doubled down on his original tweet, and upped the ante.
Pulte added an organization that Chris is a part of, and accused Chris of lying about the organization’s intent, as if the organization were some sort of hit squad. He also threw in “malicious intent,” a legalese term designed to make it sound like a criminal indictment were just hours away. This is a clear, direct legal threat.
For good measure, Pulte threw out more legal jargon to let Chris know he was looking for any opening, any reason whatsoever, to sue him.
He asked all of his followers to preserve all records, as if he were collecting evidence for a murder trial. But Pulte still wasn’t done. He didn’t stop at just doxing Chris, he doxed the entire board of Chris’ organization.
Imagine doxing the names of three innocent people—their names, titles, and photos—to a group of 900,000 followers of completely unknown backgrounds, tendencies, criminal records, all eager to get a handout.
But hard as it is to believe, Pulte wasn’t finished. He went on to publish this:
Pulte went all-in. Chris not only “falsely accused” Pulte of something he wouldn’t disclose. Now Chris was guilty of “repeated stalking and harassment” of “victims.” For good measure, Pulte dragged one of his followers into the mix, as if she had the slightest clue as to what was going on. Over the course of 24 hours, Pulte’s beef with Chris morphed from a false accusation to repeated stalking and harassment of victims, all without any sort of evidence.
The next day, he had the gall to tweet this:
If this all seems very one-sided to you, that’s because it is. Pulte isn’t interested in answering questions or debating, he wants to destroy. If he can destroy more thoroughly by taking down three board members of a non-profit with his intended target, all the better.
And if just one of his 900,000 followers becomes violent, so be it. Pulte has to exact a price for challenging some of his business practices.
One of his faithful created an account for the express purpose of adding to the doxing pile. Note his zero following and zero followers, and the helpful little emoji to show his intent. Not much solitude and comfort there. Thankfully, the phone number is invalid.
Pulte had blocked Chris long ago, so there was no possibility of any sort of dialogue. Chris defended himself on Twitter, once he figured out it was going on.
Throughout Pulte’s attack, Chris tried to get Pulte to dialogue directly with him, rather than Pulte tweeting out to his followers, but predictably, Pulte never responded.
Chris then took to the airwaves to set the record straight, and his 17-minute Periscope broadcast lays out Chris’ position better than any article could. It’s direct and to the point.
In order to bring the incident to a close, Chris invited Pulte to discuss and debate him, live on Periscope, but Pulte has yet to respond. Chris even offered to give money to the charity of Pulte’s choice, and supporters of Chris have joined in, upping the amount to over $500, but to date Pulte remains mute.
Let’s take stock here. Several weeks ago a vet posted a tweet that accidentally contained the publicly available mobile phone number of Bill Pulte. Even though the vet apologized, Pulte accused him of doxing him (a crime), and went on to accuse two people who came to the vet’s defense, Gretchen Smith of COV and Mindy Robinson, of stalking him (also a crime).
When Gretchen’s son posted a video defending his mom, Pulte accused her son of stalking him, too. For good measure, Pulte called Mindy a porn star.
Pulte squeezed out every drop of sympathy from his followers, saying he and his wife were traumatized—when all he had to do was block whoever it was from texting him at his public phone number. His phone was well out of range of his wife in the first place. It was much ado about nothing.
Now, out of the blue, Pulte attacks an active member of our military, solicits his followers to help him in his attack, doxes him, exposes the board of his non-profit, while never even bothering to show why he was doing it. Why?
It’s impossible to follow this story and not ask why. Why does Pulte block people for asking questions? Why does he attack those who keep asking questions? Why does he threaten legal Armageddon on people with questions who don’t roll over and slink away? What is it that Pulte is so eager to hide? I’d bet on Chris to find out. One man is a hero, the other is a trust fund coward.
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