… no one in the city fooled.
Everyone knows Claude Dorman is a lying, unemployed sicko who sits at a computer all day libeling folks. Truly in need of therapy. Get a job, Dorman! Get a real life!
Take a look at excerpts from WoMag article on Claude Dorman and his Worcester Wonderland blog:
– R. T.
written by Jeremy Shulkin
At first, writes Jeremy, Claude Dorman, 38 Sever Street, “post[ed] content under the pseudonym “Will W.W.” The initial posts discussed some local activism, the pitfalls of Red Sox fandom, a call to liberate Bancroft Tower and some shout outs to favorite local businesses.
“By 2008 it had turned personal, the writer focusing on other bloggers, politicians and those both in the public and not-so-public realm. The blogger’s bio summed up the tone of many of his postings: “This is a blog about being amused and bemused with a city of 181,042 boring people with an exaggerated sense of self-worth. It’s really too bad they don’t have a sense of humor, it would make life bearable here.”
” “I’ve just never encountered anybody who has that much interest in me,” says Paul Collyer, who found his personal life and business ventures – particularly his NOLA Festival – often the target of Will W.W.’s blog posts.
“It wasn’t just the content that riled up his targets (to the point where some, including Collyer, put out a “bounty” to unmask Will W.W.’s identity in 2011), but the anonymity of
“Not content with writing about others on his own page, Will W.W. began posting insulting comments on other blogs.
” “Worcester blogging circa 2006-2008 used to be a great place to exchange ideas, meet new people and also get a chance to ‘scoop’ some news stories before they were actually news,” writes Harry Tembenis over email, “until late in 2008,” he adds.
Tembenis, who frequently commented on Worcester-centric blog posts under his real name, says Will W.W.’s tone changed once other blogs were sick of policing his comments.
” “This infuriated Wonderland,” Tembenis continues. “Blogger upon blogger upon blogger would tell him to keep his comments to himself on his own blog. That’s when Wonderland would start to vent his anger at the other Worcester bloggers. All of a sudden, it was business and personal with him.”
” These were more than disagreements over community or politics. It often got personal – too personal for Will W.W.’s targets.
“Tembenis, for instance, still smolders over an insulting Worcester Wonderland post that used images from an article about a Rutland horseback riding trail named in honor of his son, Elias, who died at seven years old. The post generated 22 comments, mostly derogatory towards Tembenis, and including this from Will W.W.: “Thankfully Mother Nature had the wisdom to prevent his kind from propagating.”
” “That in essence shows how deranged this individual is. He posts outright lies about people and also slanders and libels, too, all in the name of being able to do so ‘anonymously,’” Tembenis adds.
… “Throughout the four and a half years of this, Will W.W. took the protection of his identity a step further than a fake name: he also scrambled his computer’s IP address – the line of numbers that can identify a computer’s location and Internet provider – making it difficult for even the most tech-savvy sleuths to figure out who or where he was.
“But four and half years is enough time to find someone in hiding, particularly when that person is a frequent blogger with a lengthy list of targets all searching to figure him out.
They collected IP addresses left on Will W.W.’s blog comments, sorting carefully enough to find recurring ones, Googling those to find Wikipedia edits to articles about beer, Germany and Becker College. … Those who “outed” him are confident of it. …
“Dorman … changed his phone number after his ties to Worcester Wonderland came out …
“Dorman has a history of targeting others anonymously, even appearing in a Worcester Magazine article in 2007 for ousting a rival member of a neighborhood association, Robert Bourassa, by using pseudonymous online threats and postings to attack his business and personal reputation (“Neighbor to Neighbor Disfavor: A grudge sparks a change of leadership in the Elm Park Association,” May 17, 2007).
““The malicious, unwarranted and slanderous attacks on my business and personal reputation by Claude Dorman under the guise of various identities and the lies he has spread have devastated my contracting business, forcing me to close and putting me in a severe financial hardship,” Bourassa wrote in a letter to members of the Lincoln Estates – Elm Park Neighborhood Association before his final meeting. “As such, I can no longer afford to remain where I live.”
“Before stepping down, however, Bourassa filed a lawsuit against Dorman and his wife, Kunigunde Cigan, in February 2008, citing criminal harassment, stalking, attempted extortion, false use of names or organizations and violations of right to peace and privacy, among others.
“Defendants have engaged in a now twenty month long campaign of harassment of Plaintiff and Plaintiff’s businesses,” read the complaint. “There is no question the course of action, no doubt the intent, no question the harm.”
“Elsewhere in the complaint, Bourassa provided claims that Dorman used various IP addresses to flag Bourassa’s web design and contractor business advertisements on Craigslist – 673 times for 164 ads – causing them all to be removed. He also charged Dorman for creating the elmparkneighbors.net website (to closely mimic the neighborhood association’s elmparkneighbors.org), where he posted Bourassa’s financial and personal information – some of it obtained, Bourassa charged, by intercepting his mail. Dorman used fake names to send harassing and threatening emails to Bourassa through the websites he managed and posted poor reviews of his businesses on websites and online forums.
“Bourassa appealed for $50,000 in damages, plus an unspecified amount for civil penalties and court fees. In April 2008, a week before the suit would go before a judge, Bourassa waived the case despite continued harassment from Dorman and their failure to respond to the suit, which would’ve led to a default judgment.
“It’s a sad, sad story,” says [former District 4 City Councilor Barbara] Haller, who got to know Dorman through neighborhood work, even spending time in his house. … “I don’t know what precipitated [the attacks] but it was brutal. Just brutal,” she says. “He drove Bob out of town, which was a huge tragedy. … It’s one thing to disclose bad behavior about people, but in this case he was lying.”
… “That is a big issue – anonymity in libel cases,” writes David Hudson, a spokesman for the First Amendment Center over email. “There is a First Amendment right to engage in anonymous expression. The Court has traced this back to the Federalist Papers (which were written under pen names) and other similar pamphlets during the Founding era.”
But, Hudson says, there’s a clear line. “That would not impact the case as such. It would depend on whether this blogger wrote false statements of fact about individuals that harmed their reputations.”
For Will W.W.’s victims, this is the case.