Legal victories over serial harasser/defamer Nicole Prause: She’s the perpetrator, not the victim!
This page is for journalists and other investigators who may have read assertions that Dr. Prause is a victim. Mere claims, no matter how vivid or how many of one’s friends echo them, are not evidence. True evidence is based on facts that can be verified. Much “evidence” that is published on social media is not admissible in legal proceedings because it is hear-say, irrelevant, conclusory, or otherwise not fact-based.
In situations where facts matter, Dr. Prause’s claims have not fared well. This page collects some of the legal victories over Nicole Prause. What works on her Twitter fans doesn’t cut it in a court of law.
In 2013, former academic Dr. Prause began openly harassing, libeling and cyberstalking Gary Wilson (for critiquing her flawed EEG study). Within a short time she also began targeting others, including researchers, medical doctors, therapists, psychologists, a former UCLA colleague, a UK charity, men in recovery, a TIME magazine editor, several professors, IITAP, SASH, Fight The New Drug, Exodus Cry, TraffickingHub, NoFap.com, RebootNation, YourBrainRebalanced, the academic journal Behavioral Sciences, its parent company MDPI, US Navy medical doctors, the head of the academic journal CUREUS, and the journal Sexual Addiction & Compulsivity. To counter her obsessive harassment and false claims, YBOP was compelled to document some of Dr. Prause’s activities on these extensive pages: Page 1, Page 2, Page 3, Page 4, Page 5, Page 6.
While harassing and defaming others, Dr. Prause has cleverly cultivated – with zero verifiable evidence – a myth that she is “the victim” of most anyone who dares to disagree with her assertions surrounding porn’s effects or the current state of porn research. (See: Nicole Prause’s fabrications of victimhood exposed as groundless.) In the wake of her mounting legal entanglements and losses, her fabricated claims of victimhood have grown exponentially. Is she attempting to divert attention from her relentless harassment/defamation of her targets?
Are more legal loses in the offing for Prause? Three of her victims filed defamation suits against because she attempted to destroy their careers and ruin their reputations (Prause’s attacks on all 3 continue unabated):
- Donald L. Hilton, Jr. v. Nicole Prause, et al., United States District Court for the Western District of Texas San Antonio Division, Case No. 5: 19-CV-00755-OLG
- Alexander Rhodes v. Nicole Prause, et al., United States District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania, Case No. 2:19-cv-01366
- Aaron M. Minc, Esq v. Melissa A. Farmer and Nicole R. Prause, Case No: CV-20-937026 in Cuyahoga County, Ohio.
Why haven’t Prause’s many other defamation victims filed lawsuits against her? No matter how egregious a false accusation, a defamation suit is not a practical remedy because legal fees can run hundreds of thousands of dollars for her victims yet cost zero dollars for Prause. This is because, so far, her unlucky insurance company has covered her defense costs in such suits. This is why Prause brazenly continues to defame me and many others (including the two who have filed defamation suits against her, Don Hilton and Alex Rhodes). She doesn’t have to pay a dime while bleeding her victims dry. Even if I or others were victorious, collecting damages and attorney fees is problematic. Only the lawyers come out ahead in such suits.
Nevertheless, some of her attacks have provoked legal action (and the expenditure of hundreds of thousands of dollars in attorney hours). These proceedings have had definitive outcomes – unfavorable to Prause. The legal victories below are listed from most recent to earliest.
1) Gary Wilson (Your Brain on Porn) Wins Second Legal Victory Against Sexologist Nicole Prause
Activist porn researcher owes penalty plus court costs after her defamation suit fails
ASHLAND, OREGON: January 28, 2021: Best-selling author and public health advocate Gary Wilson has won another legal victory against sexologist and vocal porn-industry proponent Nicole Prause.
Last year, Prause sought a frivolous restraining order against Wilson in California. The Court dismissed it and granted Wilson’s anti-SLAPP motion, leaving Prause obligated to pay his attorney fees.
Prause filed a second frivolous proceeding against Wilson in December, 2020 for alleged defamation. At a hearing on January 22, 2021 an Oregon court ruled in Wilson’s favor and charged Prause with costs and an additional penalty.
In the past 18 months Prause has publicly threatened (or filed) a dozen lawsuits intended to bully others into silence. She targets those who publicly reveal her close ties to the porn industry and her malicious conduct, or who have made sworn statements in the 3 defamation suits currently active against her.*
Wilson’s latest legal victory comes on the heels of Prause’s failed multi-pronged attempt to censor Wilson’s website with the help of fellow mental health professionals. Her hostile campaign began almost 2 years ago when Prause applied for his site’s well established trademarks, including the exclusive legal right to control Wilson’s actual URL (“YourBrainOnPorn.com”). The trademark grab failed, and the marks were registered in Wilson’s name in 2020.
Meanwhile, in March 2019, Prause’s confederate Daniel A. Burgess registered a trademark-infringing domain name “RealYourBrainOnPorn.com,” which engaged in various transparent ploys to divert YourBrainOnPorn.com traffic to the impostor website. After many attorney hours, in January, 2021 Wilson obtained the RealYourBrainOnPorn.com domain name as settlement of allegations of trademark infringement. Earlier, in October, 2020, the impostor site’s associated Twitter account @BrainOnPorn was permanently suspended for harassment.
After his latest court victory Wilson said, “I am astounded by the calculated abuse directed at people who dare to speak publicly about porn’s harms.” He added, “The malicious censorship tactics of the porn industry and its sexology allies curb scientific and public debate. Just as Big Tobacco once did, they distract the public from the well-documented risks of porn’s harm to both users and those it exploits.”
Wilson hosts www.YourBrainOnPorn.com, a clearinghouse for the latest research, media, and self-reports on pornography’s effects and harms. Some years ago, he presented the immensely popular TEDx talk “The Great Porn Experiment” (~14 million views). Wilson has long critiqued questionable published research and public statements about pornography use. He is also the author of Amazon best seller Your Brain On Porn: Internet Pornography and the Emerging Science of Addiction. It is available in multiple languages, and one edition has already been praised as one of the top non-fiction books of the last decade.
* Donald L. Hilton, Jr. v. Nicole Prause, et al., United States District Court for the Western District of Texas San Antonio Division, Case No. 5: 19-CV-00755-OLG; Alexander Rhodes v. Nicole Prause, et al., United States District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania, Case No. 2:19-cv-01366, and Aaron M. Minc, Esq v. Melissa A. Farmer and Nicole R. Prause, Case No: CV-20-937026 in Cuyahoga County, Ohio. In each case, numerous men and women have come forward with sworn statements that Prause has also targeted them: affidavit #1, affidavit #2, affidavit #3, affidavit #4, affidavit #5, affidavit #6, affidavit #7, affidavit #8, affidavit #9, affidavit #10, affidavit #11, affidavit #12, affidavit #13, affidavit #14, affidavit #15, affidavit #16.
Declaration of Gary Wilson
Below is the declaration I supplied to the court (I also supplied over 100 pages of supporting materials).
I, Gary Wilson, declare and state as follows:
This case is the second SLAPP suit Plaintiff has brought against me. The first was decided in my favor following a hearing on August 6, 2020 by the California Superior Court (Prause v. Wilson Case No. 20TRO01022). The judge granted my anti-SLAPP motion and dismissed Plaintiff’s legal action against me. He ruled that she had wrongfully attempted to silence my right speak out on a matter of public interest and stated that her legal proceeding lacked minimal merit.
A week before that hearing, Plaintiff’s own attorney attempted to resign from her case because Plaintiff had threatened him with litigation unless he did something her attorney regarded as “not warranted under existing law and [which] cannot be supported by good faith argument.” (From the Declaration of Brett A. Berman, Esq., dated July 31, 2020.) From earlier pleadings it appeared that she was demanding that he file a large quantity of inadmissible evidence. The judge refused to accept her attorney’s resignation. In addition, at the hearing a few days later, the judge ruled most of Plaintiff’s sworn statement to be inadmissible as hearsay, irrelevant, conclusory, etc.
Plaintiff is also the defendant in 3 defamation suits pending in United States Federal District Courts: Donald L. Hilton Jr v. Nicole Prause and Liberos LLC, Case No: SA: 19-CV-00755-OLG; Alexander Rhodes v. Nicole Prause and Liberos LLC, Case No. 2:19-CV-01366-MPK; and Aaron M. Minc, Esq v. Melissa A. Farmer and Nicole R. Prause, Case No: CV-20-937026. In the first two cases, numerous men and women, including myself, have come forward with sworn statements that Plaintiff has also targeted them.
Plaintiff has an extensive history of engaging in both malicious use of process and filing baseless administrative complaints against multiple targets. In the past few years, Plaintiff has filed more than 40 malicious complaints/reports with professional boards, law enforcement, employers, and oversight agencies/tribunals (against at least 28 different people and organizations). There are undoubtedly more such complaints/reports, as some boards and agencies do not disclose whistleblowers’ identities. For example, I believe she was also behind a complaint against me filed with the Oregon Psychology Board (for practicing psychology without a license). I only learned of it after it had been summarily dismissed. I have never held myself out as a psychologist, or as anything but an author, a former anatomy, physiology and pathology instructor at vocational schools, and a former adjunct instructor at Southern Oregon University.
In the past year or so Plaintiff has filed at least 4 small claims suits (in addition to a baseless restraining order request), and has publicly threatened several more. Plaintiff often directs her malicious reporting and malicious use of process toward those of us who have supplied sworn statements in the above defamation cases. Is she attempting to intimidate and discredit us as witnesses?
Last year, Plaintiff filed a USPTO trademark application for my well established common law trademarks, including an application for my decade-old website’s actual URL. This required months and hundreds of hours of attorney time to register and protect my trademarks, and to stop the illicit trademark squatting and infringement that she and her colleagues pursued in the interim. She has also threatened and misled my webhost endeavoring (unsuccessfully) to have my website shuttered, among other hostile actions too numerous to list here.
Plaintiff, a former academic, is a researcher and public commentator on matters relating to sexuality, including purported benefits of pornography use. I am an author, advocate, and public commentator whose work focuses on the negative physical and mental health effects of digital pornography use. I host a popular website called YourBrainOnPorn.com. Amazon’s top selling book in the pornography studies category is my book Your Brain On Porn: Internet Pornography and the Emerging Science of Addiction. It is already being translated into some seven languages. My evidence-based TEDx talk “The Great Porn Experiment” has been viewed more than 13 million times.
Plaintiff’s views and my views about pornography use and its effects frequently differ. I do not “hate” her research, but I have publicly critiqued a couple of Plaintiff’s papers and some of her public statements concerning her conclusions. Plaintiff appears to be cozy with the pornography industry. I say this based on her public online acceptance of an offer of help from the primary lobbying arm of the industry, photos of her attending industry events, her consistent backing of the industry’s interests on social media, and her attacking and defaming on social media, and via malicious reports, any who raise awareness of the potential risks of online pornography use.
From 2013 through present day, Plaintiff has made repeated false, public, defamatory statements about me in the press and via social media. Plaintiff has falsely and publicly stated, among other defamatory assertions, that I am a “stalker” of women; that I have made “death threats” against her and encouraged others do so the same; that I have engaged in illegal computer intrusion; that I have misrepresented my credentials; that I have engaged in fraud; that I am a white supremacist and a member of hate groups; and that I have threatened scientists.
Plaintiff has made similar defamatory statements about dozens of others who share my views about the potential risks of digital pornography use. As noted, several of them have already sued her, in part because she continues to make public, defamatory statements notwithstanding the pending defamation cases.
The goal of the special motion to strike procedure in ORS § 31.150 is to weed out meritless claims meant to harass or intimidate so as to prevent the exercise of constitutional free speech rights. Courts broadly apply it to all statements made “in a place open to the public or a public forum in connection with any issue of public interest,” that arises out of: (1) any conduct; (2) in furtherance of the exercise of the constitutional right of free speech; and (3) in connection with a public issue or an issue of public interest. “Public issue” and “issue of public interest” have themselves been broadly construed. An online search reveals that small claims courts around the country have granted anti-SLAPP motions when appropriate.
This lawsuit arises from my protected speech in connection with an issue of public interest: the potential effects of digital pornography use and the claims and activities of pornography researchers/spokespersons, including Plaintiff. Expert researchers in the field, other than those aligned with Plaintiff, often express views similar to mine.
My website YourBrainOnPorn.com receives an average of 15,000 unique visitors each day. It is a clearinghouse for research on the effects of pornography and other items of interest to visitors. A small percentage of my site’s 12,000+ pages are devoted to commentary on various scientists’ research and press statements. Some of my commentary is critical of methodology and claims made; some of it addresses the apparent bias and questionable behavior of researchers/spokespersons; and some of it documents Plaintiff’s hostile activities and defamatory material produced by Plaintiff and others.
It is evident from the widespread interest in my website, book and TEDx talk, that the public is interested in the subject of pornography’s effects and the work/behavior of researchers in this field. Thus, I believe the “public interest” test of ORS § 31.150 has been met.
According to Oregon’s anti-SLAPP statute, once the “public interest” test has been met the court will grant the motion to strike unless the plaintiff can introduce substantial evidence of a probability of prevailing on the claim. ORS § 31.150(3). Plaintiff cannot show a probability of prevailing on her claims.
In her earlier SLAPP suit Plaintiff sought a meritless restraining order based on numerous fabrications. In this suit she has listed multiple causes of action, but the only evidence she offers are statements, allegedly written by me, which she apparently considers to be defamatory. I indeed made all of the statements except for the last one. The last one was made by journalist Megan Fox in an article entitled, “’No Fap’ Porn Addiction Support Group Founder Sues Obsessed Pro-Porn Sexologist for Defamation.” (Plaintiff is the sexologist mentioned in the title.)
Plaintiff is a public figure who is very vocal on social media and in the press, which means that others can be expected to speak about her and her activities. The statements Plaintiff alleges I made do not rise to the threshold of defamation of anyone, let alone a public figure. Although not all of them were made by me, those I did make expressed publicly my good faith opinions and observations about Plaintiff’s potential biases, publicly exposed her malicious behavior, or publicly defended myself and others against Plaintiff’s unfounded claims. My statements constitute protected speech related to issues of public interest.
All my comments were based upon publicly available information or behavior I have personally observed in Plaintiff’s thousands of social media posts or in her sworn statements in legal proceedings. In the course of commenting on Plaintiff’s actions and her work I have never invaded her privacy, interfered with her business, or knowingly contributed to her losing any research contract. I have never threatened her or encouraged others to threaten her, and never posted her confidential information or anything that would place her safety at risk.
Plaintiff implies that my alleged comments were all made recently, but all of the statements I made, like similar observations I had previously expressed, were initially stated prior to the last 12 months. Defamation claims must be made within one year. (ORS § 12.120)
For all of the above reasons, there is no probability of Plaintiff prevailing in this action.
In conclusion, Plaintiff’s complaint is yet another transparent attempt to silence me through an unconstitutional and intolerable prior restraint on my right to free speech. I respectfully request that the court take notice of the recent anti-SLAPP motion granted by the California Superior Court based on Plaintiff’s similarly empty claims, and grant my motion to strike pursuant to ORS § 31.150 plus my court costs.
I declare under penalty of perjury under the laws of the State of Oregon that the foregoing is true and correct of my own personal knowledge. Executed this 15th day of December 2020 at Ashland, Oregon.
2) YBOP acquires www.RealYourBrainOnPorn.com in trademark infringement settlement (January 2021)
The www.RealYourBrainOnPorn.com URL has been granted to YBOP after its former owner(s), in apparent collaboration with Nicole R. Prause, registered and maintained the URL as part of a campaign to de-platform YBOP.
Specifically, Gary Wilson obtained the RealYourBrainOnPorn.com (RealYBOP) domain name as settlement of allegations of infringement upon his trademarks. The rest of this page documents the hostile campaign of Prause and her cronies, which began with an attempt to de-platform YBOP, followed by efforts to confuse its visitors, and finally used YBOP’s own trademarks to disparage it. (THE FULL STORY)
While Daniel A. Burgess registered www.RealYourBrainOnPorn.com, Prause’s numerous victims believe she orchestrated the content on RealYBOP and operated its social media accounts. Prause may deny involvement, but simple observation, RealYBOP experts’ correspondence, WIPO’s report, and considerable evidence point to her management of the social media accounts and realyourbrainonporn.com (evidence here).
The RealYBOP site was also used to prop up an associated Twitter account named “Real Your Brain On Porn” (@BrainOnPorn). Its manager (presumably Prause) publicly insisted that the Twitter account reflected the views of all of the “experts” in the line-up on the now shuttered RealYBOP website.
Exercising its supposed “collective” voice, the @BrainOnPorn Twitter account tweeted more than 1,000 defamatory and malicious statements about anyone with whom Nicole Prause disagreed (i.e., anyone who dared to counter the preferred narrative of the sex/porn industry). In October, 2020 the account was permanently suspended for violating Twitter rules (Prause’s original Twitter account was also permanently suspended for harassment). For much more see these extensive pages:
- RealYourBrainOnPorn (@BrainOnPorn) tweets: Daniel Burgess, Nicole Prause & pro-porn allies collaborate on a biased website and social media accounts to support the porn industry agenda (beginning in April, 2019)
- RealYourBrainOnPorn (@BrainOnPorn) tweets, page 2: Daniel Burgess, Nicole Prause & pro-porn allies collaborate on a twitter account to support the porn industry and to harass & defame anyone who speaks about porn’s negative effects
- Realyourbrainonporn (Daniel Burgess, Nicole Prause) defamation/harassment of Gary Wilson: They “discover” fake porn URLs in the Internet Wayback Archive (August, 2019)
- Porn Science Deniers Alliance (AKA: “RealYourBrainOnPorn.com” and “ScienceOfArousal.com”)
- RealYourBrainOnPorn (@BrainOnPorn) tweets DIRECTLY supporting the porn industry, especially Pornhub
3) Gary Wilson (Your Brain on Porn) Wins Legal Victory Against Sexologist Nicole Prause’s Efforts to Silence Him
Vocal porn researcher’s attempted restraining order denied as frivolous; must pay substantial attorney fees in a SLAPP ruling.
ASHLAND, OREGON: August 16, 2020: Best-selling author and public health advocate Gary Wilson has won a legal victory against sexology researcher and pornography proponent Nicole Prause. On August 6, the Los Angeles County Superior Court ruled that Prause’s attempt to obtain a restraining order against Wilson constituted a frivolous and illegal “strategic lawsuit against public participation” (commonly called a “SLAPP suit”). In essence, the Court found that Prause abused the restraining order process to bully Wilson into silence and undercut his rights to free speech. By law, the SLAPP ruling obligates Prause to pay Wilson’s attorney fees.
Wilson is the author of the best selling book Your Brain On Porn: Internet Pornography and the Emerging Science of Addiction, presenter of the immensely popular TEDx talk “The Great Porn Experiment,” (13+ million views) and host of the website www.YourBrainOnPorn.com, a clearinghouse for the latest research, media, and self-reports on pornography’s effects and harms. Wilson has long critiqued Prause’s published research and public statements about pornography use.
“It is ironic that the porn industry cloaks itself in First Amendment protections while porn proponents like Nicole Prause attempt to limit and silence criticism about the well-documented risks of porn’s harm to its users and to the public,” Wilson said after the Court ruling. “This is another important victory over the defamation and harassment endured by advocates who dare to speak publicly about porn’s harms.“
I believe her restraining order attempt was also an attempt to discredit me as a witness in the two defamation suits others have filed against Prause. It failed, and has now further discredited her instead, exposing her as lying for years that I was “stalking” her.
Important to note the initial judge denied Prause a temporary restraining order in February, 2020, when she filed it without notice to me. This was a loud signal to her that she had a weak case. Denial of the TRO meant that Prause had to inform me about the restraining order, and it was set for an initial hearing (which led to a second hearing, as Prause still had not served me properly).
For the next 3 months, Prause could have dropped the fraudulent restraining order with no repercussions to herself, and I would have been stuck with my attorney fees without much recourse. In June, partly to avoid being in Prause’s presence at the hearing scheduled for July, and partly in response to being unjustly accused of having threatened by her in order to suppress my voice, I filed an anti-SLAPP motion to have the restraining order dropped. At that point, she could only go forward. Court documents filed in my anti-SLAPP motion:
- Gary Wilson’s Anti-SLAPP – Notice of Motion to Strike Restraining Order (May 14, 2020)
- Staci Sprout declaration for Gary Wilson
- Alex Rhodes declaration for Gary Wilson
I filed my motion in part because Prause had begun slapping baseless small claims court ‘defamation’ suits on people, which require defendants to be served in CA. I was confident that she would serve me with one of her nuisance small claims court suits if I came to CA to testify for the restraining order hearing.
As it turns out, the judge combined the two matters, and both Prause and I were able to participate remotely (due to Covid 19). This spared me from going anywhere near her, thankfully. Perhaps its evident that, far from physically threatening her, I’ve been assiduously avoiding her presence. My August 5th, court filings responding to Prause’s July 29 declaration:
- Gary Wilson’s declaration (August 5, 2020)
- Gary Wilson’s point by point reply to Nicole Prause (August 5, 2020)
- Gary Wilson’s evidentiary objections: almost all were sustained (August 5, 2020)
- Declaration to be Relieved as Nicole Prause’s Counsel (her lawyer said Prause was trying to force him to engage in unethical behavior)
Shortly before the August 6 hearing, her own attorney tried unsuccessfully to withdraw from representing her. One of his reasons, according to his Declaration, was that she was attempting to force him to behave unethically, that is, to do something he could not do in good faith. We know from his filed document seeking a continuance that she had tried to make him submit a lot of inadmissible “evidence” (likely in the form of letters from her friends, and unsupported accusations), so we suspect he was referring to this.
Her attorney also asked to withdraw because she was apparently threatening him with suit because he wouldn’t do her bidding. He stated that communications with Prause had irretrievably broken down. This occurred after he filed her reply to my anti-SLAPP motion (and there was no further legal work to be done short of the hearing itself).
The judge decided not to delay the hearing, and Prause was represented by the firm’s of-counsel attorney, who did an excellent job on her behalf – although he had little to work with by the time all the evidentiary objections were dealt with.
Prause lied throughout her declaration. One demonstrable example is Prause falsely stating that “as a result of Gary Wilson’s actions, I have relocated many times”.
In tweets, interviews, articles, and court documents, Prause has repeatedly claimed that she constantly moves due to numerous stalkers breathing down her neck (mainly me). In her August, 2019 filing, Prause claimed to have moved on July 1, 2019 “out of fear of Wilson’s stalking” (note the date):
As with the Hilton court filings, Prause’s request for a restraining order contained no evidence that she had ever relocated her residence, let alone moved because of me. It would be very easy to provide receipts or leases, yet Prause failed to do so. Prause revealed the truth in her August, 2020 bankruptcy petition. She filed it to escape liability for 3 yet-to-be-tried defamation suits (Hilton, Rhodes, Minc), and avoid paying me the attorney-fee debt she had incurred (Prause was not actually insolvent, as she reported ~$270,000 in savings). This screenshot of her bankruptcy filing reveals Prause has not moved in the last 3 years!
Why is Prause finally disclosing the truth in her bankruptcy filings that she hasn’t, in fact, been moving her residence or business due to stalking? Well, in the filings she must provide all sorts of verifiable financial and personal documents to the bankruptcy court. If her fairytale of constantly moving didn’t match her documents, she could be charged with perjury. In contrast, there was no system in place to fact-check Prause in the Hilton suit or in my anti-SLAPP suit, so she was able to lie with impunity.
My legal victory comes on the heels of a complaint against UK-based SCRAM Media for publishing a story falsely claiming that Prause had received “death threats” as the consequence of a crowdfunding campaign by NoFap host, Alex Rhodes. According to a UK press release, the SCRAM story falsely stated that NoFap and Rhodes affiliated themselves with right-wing extremists (including anti-Semites); incited extremists to harass Prause; conducted a crowdfund that led to Prause being stalked; and filed a frivolous lawsuit in US Federal Court in order to stymie Prause’s academic research. When presented with evidence disproving those claims, SCRAM retracted the article, paid Rhodes substantial damages and legal costs, and apologized publicly, before shutting down entirely. (More below)
Prause is being sued in 3 unrelated federal civil lawsuits accusing her of making knowingly false and damaging statements about people who have raised concerns about internet porn. (See above.) In those cases, the plaintiffs allege Prause made untrue, defamatory statements accusing them of stalking, sexual harassment, and antisemitism, and claiming they were under investigation by law enforcement and professional licensing bodies. In each case, numerous men and women have come forward with sworn statements that Prause has also targeted them.
4) Beware! Spreading defamation can create legal liability
SCRAM Media relied on Prause for misinformation about Alexander Rhodes and NoFap. The outlet printed her lies. SCRAM had to apologize and pay substantial damages to Rhodes and NoFap. As a consequence, SCRAM unfortunately went out of business. Similarly, Prause persuaded colleague Melissa Farmer to spread defamation about US attorney Aaron Minc. Both the colleague and Prause have been sued for defamation. (See section below this one.)
Here is SCRAM’s public apology:
An apology to Alexander Rhodes and NoFap LLC
May 21, 2020
By Scram Media, Sam Bright and Kate Plummer
On 20 January 2020 we published an article on scramnews.com entitled “Academic receives “death threats” from far-right after crowdfunding campaign to sue her.”The article contained numerous false and defamatory statements concerning NoFap LLC (‘NoFap’) and its founder Alexander Rhodes. In particular, the article wrongly suggested that NoFap and Mr Rhodes were affiliated with extremists (including anti-Semites); that they had brought a frivolous and vexatious defamation claim in order to stymie legitimate academic research; that they had incited extremists to harass and threaten the defendant in those proceedings (a Dr Nicole Prause); and that they had published misleading information about the campaign in order to secure crowdfunding.
We wish to unequivocally retract the allegations contained within the article and apologise for the damage and distress caused to NoFap and Mr Rhodes by the publication.
We acknowledge that what we published was wholly misleading and an inaccurate representation, both of the work undertaken by NoFap and Mr Rhodes, and of the defamation claim brought by Mr Rhodes against Dr Prause, and that neither Mr. Rhodes or NoFap have incited members of extremist hate groups to harass or threaten Dr Prause.
Mr Rhodes’ defamation claim against Dr Prause does not concern her research, but rather alleged defamatory attacks on Mr Rhodes and NoFap. The formal copy of the legal Complaint in that claim (issued in the US Federal Court) can be found here. We acknowledge that there was, and is, nothing misleading about the crowdfunding campaign associated with this litigation.
NoFap is a pornography recovery online platform which enables users to connect with a supportive community of individuals determined to reduce or eliminate pornography use and free themselves from compulsive sexual behaviours. Unlike many initiatives that have traditionally criticised pornography, Mr Rhodes’ website prides itself on being secular, apolitical, sex-positive, and science-based. We understand that it is used by men and women from all over the world, from a wide variety of backgrounds, religious and spiritual beliefs (or non-belief), sexual orientations and identities, ages, nationalities, ethnicities, and other characteristics.
We wish to apologise to Mr Rhodes, NoFap and our readers. and we have agreed to pay substantial damages to NoFap and Mr Rhodes together with legal costs in respect of the damage/distress caused by the article.
Scram Media Limited
The press release: NoFap LLC and Alexander Rhodes secure substantial libel damages and apology from Scram News (22.05.20)
Scram Media Limited and two of its contributors have apologised and agreed to pay defamation damages to US-based NoFap LLC and its founder Alexander Rhodes after publishing an article on ScramNews.com titled “Academic receives “death threats” from far-right after crowdfunding campaign to sue her.”
NoFap runs an online pornography recovery platform that enables users to connect with a supportive community of individuals determined to reduce or eliminate pornography use and free themselves from compulsive sexual behaviours. It receives millions of visitors every month and has been covered by a wide variety of outlets, including CNN, The New York Times, BBC, Business Insider, Time Magazine, MTV, The Washington Post, and Showtime.
The Scram News article contained numerous false and defamatory statements concerning NoFap and Mr Rhodes. In particular, the article wrongly suggested that NoFap and Mr Rhodes were affiliated with extremists (including anti-Semites); that they had brought a frivolous and vexatious defamation claim in the US Federal Court in order to stymie legitimate academic research; that they had incited extremists to harass and threaten the defendant in those proceedings; that a crowdfunding campaign for the litigation had resulted in a defendant being stalked and their address being posted online; and that they had published misleading information about the case by wrongly suggesting that the defendants have ties to the pornography industry in order to secure funding.
Scram has now published a full retraction and apology which can be found here. This acknowledges that the publication was wholly misleading of the work undertaken by NoFap and Mr Rhodes, of the defamation claim brought by Mr Rhodes and the crowdfunding campaign, and that neither Mr Rhodes or NoFap have incited members of such extremist hate groups to harass or threaten the defendant. Mr Rhodes’ defamation claim does not concern the defendants’ research, but rather alleged defamatory attacks on Mr Rhodes and NoFap. The legal Complaint in that claim can be found here.
Scram Media Limited has agreed to pay Mr Rhodes substantial damages and his legal costs. It has undertaken not to republish similar false allegations.
Unlike many initiatives that have traditionally raised concerns about pornography, NoFap LLC prides itself on being secular, apolitical, sex-positive, and science-based. It is used by men and women from all over the world, from a wide variety of backgrounds, religious and spiritual beliefs (or non-belief), sexual orientations and identities, ages, nationalities, ethnicities, and other characteristics.
Commenting on the settlement, Mr Rhodes said:
“Our success in raising awareness about pornography addiction has resulted in us being the subject of a prolonged smear campaign orchestrated by elements who have close ties with the pornography industry, who have sought to falsely portray us as being affiliated to religious groups, hate groups, and extremists in an attempt to discredit us. Our website unites people from all walks of life to overcome porn addiction together. These elements appear to want to falsely controversialize the issue and misrepresent us to distract people from our actual views, the facts, and the emerging body of scientific research. Despite their ongoing defamation and disinformation campaign, we will continue to provide resources for recovering porn addicts.”
NoFap LLC and Alexander Rhodes were represented in the UK claim by Iain Wilson and Elisabeth Mason.
5) Melissa Farmer PhD sued and retracts, after re-tweeting Prause-generated lies
In July 2020, Prause apparently persuaded colleague Melissa Farmer PhD to help spread her defamation about attorney Aaron Minc. Minc’s firm was representing Alexander Rhodes in his defamation lawsuit against Prause, although another attorney actually represented Rhodes (not Minc). However, only Minc had a Twitter account. This seems to be the reason Prause publicly targeted Minc with wild, unsupported tweets claiming that Minc had sent Prause’s private information to “people that have been threatening to kill [her] for years.”
Despite Minc’s public denial on Twitter, Farmer, one of Prause’s duped followers, directly shared Prause’s defamatory tweets about Minc with the Ohio State Bar Association, Cleveland Metropolitan Bar Association, and the Ohio Supreme Court’s Twitter accounts! As part of her the smear campaign, Farmer falsely claimed that Minc had engaged in an ethics violation. For added effect, Farmer attached a screenshot image of the Ohio Rules of Professional Conduct 4.4 taken from the Ohio Supreme Court website. (Prause regularly cites irrelevant statutes and regulations to bolster her smear campaigns, so we suspect she supplied Farmer with the image.)
On September 9, 2020 Aaron Minc, JD filed a defamation suit against Melissa Farmer, promising to add Prause as a co-defendant to the Farmer defamation suit if and when the Prause’s bankruptcy judge allowed it (“Relief from Stay”). See – September, 2020: Aaron Minc, JD announces his defamation lawsuit against Nicole Prause (Minc owns the law firm representing Alex Rhodes). Prause was duly added. The three filings by Aaron Minc:
- Aaron Minc vs Melissa Farmer (September 9, 2020)
- Motion for relief from stay adding Prause to complaint (in Prause’s bankruptcy) November 10, 2020
- Background facts regarding this dispute (April 23, 2021)
Meanwhile, the judge denied Farmer’s Motion To Dismiss, and the case was set for trial. It appears that Farmer’s insurance company recognized that its client was unlikely to prevail, and we speculate that she came to a financial arrangement with Minc. In April, 2021 Farmer filed a settlement with Minc, which the judge signed off on. As part of this settlement Farmer filed a sworn affidavit stating, among other things, that,
5. At the time I published the tweet, I had no evidence that Aaron Minc had engaged in conduct that violates Ohio’s Rules of Professional Conduct, nor did I have any personal knowledge that Aaron Mine directly sent Nicole R. Prause’s home and work address to a group of people that have been threatening to kill her for years. I fully regret publishing the tweet and I realize it was a mistake to publish the tweet. I have no evidence that the allegations against Mr. Mine are true. I have no evidence that the claims made by Nicole R. Prause are true. I apologize to Mr. Minc for any distress caused by my actions. (emphasis supplied)
In short, it appears that Melissa Farmer and her lawyers could offer no justification to defend her (Prause’s) libelous statements about Minc. Farmer admitted this, accepted her defeat, and got out. This leaves Prause to face the repercussions of her misconduct alone. But Farmer suffered the stress, embarrassment and professional repercussions of a lawsuit thanks to being drawn into Prause’s malicious smear campaign.
Once again, it is evident that spreading Prause’s lies can have grave repercussions for those duped.
From the April 14, 2021 – STIPULATED MOTION FOR ENTRY OF FINAL JUDGMENT:
PAGE #3, naming Prause:
PAGE #6 – Farmer’s retraction disavowing Prause’s claims:
6) Malicious trademark squatting fails
In January 2019, Nicole Prause applied for YBOP’s well established trademarks, including the exclusive right to use Wilson’s actual URL (“YourBrainOnPorn.com”), with a view to displacing YBOP with her own version of his site. This was an outright censorship attempt by Prause, who has been obsessively harassing and defaming Wilson for over 8 years. Not only that, she lied on her sworn application that she knew of no one who had rights in the marks she was applying for…even though one of the marks was my URL that had been in use (and under attack by Prause) for nearly a decade! Perjury.
Her attempted trademark-grab was also illicit. To file it, she (falsely) claimed that no one but Prause had the right to use my URL, which I had been using for almost a decade, and which she had publicly been disparaging for years. She also had to declare that if she used the mark it was unlikely “to cause confusion or mistake, or to deceive.” Note that such a willful and false statement is punishable by fine or imprisonment, or both, under 18 USC 1001.
Prause’s trademark application forced me (Wilson) into expensive legal battles with her (8-page cease & desist letter to Nicole Prause – May 1, 2019). Only when it was time to proceed in Federal court did she abandon her dishonest trademark application (October, 2019).
After her application failed, the trademarks were registered in Wilson’s name in 2020.
In a startling “coincidence,” Prause’s legal counsel for the trademark disputes was Wayne B. Giampietro, one of the primary lawyers defending Backpage.com. Backpage was shut down by the federal government “for its willful facilitation of human trafficking and prostitution.” (See this USA Today article: 93-count indictment on sex trafficking charges revealed against Backpage founders).
The indictment charged Backpage.com owners, along with others, of conspiring to knowingly facilitate prostitution offenses through the Backpage.com website. Authorities contended some of the trafficked people included teenage girls. For details on Giampietro’s involvement see: https://dockets.justia.com/docket/illinois/ilndce/1:2017cv05081/341956. Backpage.com assets were seized by Arizona, with Wayne B. Giampietro LLC listed as forfeiting $100,000.
What’s going on with Nicole Prause?
In 2013 former UCLA researcher Nicole Prause began openly harassing, libeling and cyberstalking Gary Wilson. (Prause has not been employed by an academic institution since January, 2015.) Within a short time she also began targeting others, including researchers, medical doctors, therapists, psychologists, a former UCLA colleague, a UK charity, men in recovery, a TIME magazine editor, several professors, IITAP, SASH, Fight The New Drug, Exodus Cry, NoFap.com, RebootNation, YourBrainRebalanced, the academic journal Behavioral Sciences, its parent company MDPI, US Navy medical doctors, the head of the academic journal CUREUS, and the journal Sexual Addiction & Compulsivity (See – Numerous Victims of Nicole Prause’s Malicious Reporting and Malicious Use of Process).
While spending her waking hours harassing others, Prause cleverly cultivated – with zero verifiable evidence – a myth that she was “the victim” of most anyone who dared to disagree with her assertions surrounding porn’s effects or the current state of porn research (See: Nicole Prause’s fabrications of victim-hood exposed as groundless: she is the perpetrator, not the victim). To counter the ongoing harassment and false claims, YBOP was compelled to document some of Prause’s activities. Consider the following pages. (Additional incidents have occurred that we are not at liberty to divulge – as Prause’s victims fear further retribution.)
- Nicole Prause’s Unethical Harassment and Defamation of Gary Wilson & Others
- Nicole Prause’s Unethical Harassment and Defamation of Gary Wilson & Others (Page 2)
- Nicole Prause’s Unethical Harassment and Defamation of Gary Wilson & Others (Page 3)
- Nicole Prause’s Unethical Harassment and Defamation of Gary Wilson & Others (Page 4)
- Nicole Prause’s Unethical Harassment and Defamation of Gary Wilson & Others (Page 5)
- Nicole Prause’s Unethical Harassment and Defamation of Gary Wilson & Others (Page 6)
In the beginning Prause employed dozens of fake usernames to post on porn recovery forums, Quora, Wikipedia, and in the comment sections under articles. Prause rarely used her real name or her own social media accounts. That all changed after UCLA chose not to renew Prause’s contract (around January, 2015).
Freed from any oversight and now self-employed, Prause added two media managers/promoters from Media 2×3 to her company’s tiny stable of “Collaborators.” (Media 2×3 president Jess Ponce describes himself as a Hollywood media coach and personal branding expert.) Their job is to place articles in the press featuring Prause, and find her speaking engagements in pro-porn and mainstream venues. Odd tactics for a supposedly impartial scientist.
Prause began to put her name to falsehoods, openly cyber-harassing multiple individuals and organizations on social media and elsewhere. Since Prause’s primary target was Gary Wilson (hundreds of social media comments along with behind the scenes email campaigns), it became necessary to monitor and document Prause’s tweets and posts. This was done for her victims’ protection, and crucial for any future legal actions.
It soon became apparent that Prause’s tweets and comments were rarely about sex research, neuroscience, or any other subject related to her claimed expertise. In fact, the vast majority of Prause’s posts could be divided into two overlapping categories:
- Indirect support of the porn industry: Defamatory & ad hominem comments targeting individuals and organizations that she labeled as “anti-porn activists” (often claiming to be a victim of these individuals and organizations). Documented here: Page 1, Page 2, Page 3, Page 4, Page 5.
- Direct support of the porn industry:
- direct support of the FSC (Free Speech Coalition), AVN (Adult Video News), porn producers, performers, and their agendas
- countless misrepresentations of the state of pornography research and attacks on porn studies or porn researchers.
This page contains a sampling of tweets and comments related to #2 – her vigorous support of the porn industry and its chosen positions: Is Nicole Prause Influenced by the Porn Industry? The page is divided into 4 main sections:
- SECTION 1: Nicole Prause & the porn industry:
- Falsely accusing others of saying the porn industry funds some of her research (but no one said that)
- In 2015 the Free Speech Coalition offers Prause assistance: she accepts and immediately attacks Prop 60 (condoms in porn)
- The Free Speech Coalition allegedly provided subjects for a Prause study that she claims will “debunk” porn addiction
- Prause’s direct support for porn & sex industry (FSC, AVN, XBIZ, xHamster, PornHub, BackPage.com, etc.)
- Prause’s intimate relationships with porn industry performers, directors, producers, etc.
- Evidence that Nicole Prause attends porn industry awards (XRCO, AVN)
- SECTION 2: Was Nicole Prause “PornHelps”? (PornHelps website, @pornhelps on Twitter, comments under articles). All accounts deleted once Prause was outed as “PornHelps.”
- SECTION 3: Examples of Nicole Prause supporting porn industry interests via misrepresentation of the research & attacking studies/researchers.
- SECTION 4: “RealYBOP”: Prause, Daniel Burgess and associates create a biased website and social media accounts to support a pro-porn industry agenda, and to harass & defame those who say anything negative about porn.
After years of sitting on the evidence, YBOP is of the view that Prause’s unilateral aggression has escalated to such frequent and reckless defamation (falsely accusing her many victims of “physically stalking her,” “misogyny,” “encouraging others to rape her,” and “being neo-Nazis“), that we are compelled to examine her possible motives.
Please note: There is unequivocal evidence that the porn industry funded the sexology profession for decades. Sexology’s agenda still appears to serve the porn industry. Thus, the evidence on this page should be viewed in a larger context. See Hugh Hefner, the International Academy of Sex Research, and Its Founding President to understand how porn-industry friendly sexologists influenced the Kinsey Institute. Prause is a Kinsey grad.
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