In Which I Am Threatened With Litigation Including Lengthy "Dispositions"

Back in 2010, I wrote a post about a frivolous lawsuit filed by The Global Wildlife Center of Folsom, Louisiana against the satirical web site Hammond Action News in retaliation for an obviously satirical post about killer giraffes. Global Wildlife Center lost, and the case got some attention from blogs concerned with online free speech.

Today, I received a legal threat purporting to be from Ken Matherne, owner of the Global Wildlife Center. Using people smarter than I (a large set), I confirmed the email came from the Global Wildlife domain. In the email, Mr. Matherne threatens me with litigation and attempts to insult me. It has to be read to be believed.

OK – your fun was enough – since your cute story, you have hurt my Foundation, I am divorced over this thing that you think was funny. The dad that OD.

The University that I supported used state university equipment – this will be a test of how the justice system will work. I gave the same people $150K+ to support your liberal views at least that year. And yes I am a conservative, because I am paying all the taxes!

I gave you the last one. But, you are still playing with my foundation , so you give me no choice You are fucking with my daughter and I will not put up with that – I will not support the Universities and scholarships I give every year. I have given more than 52 percent to democrats over 10 years – don’t care how liberal your group is or have much dope you smoke & drugs you do – nor witch one of you is screwing who – if y’all are all boyfriends on the side – matters not to me.

You just gave me a new mission in life – to bring the real truth out!

And this is not a threat , this is a promise – I will spend the rest of my life investigating you and your partners and associates that slander people and companies, even non- profits . I am hiring a team now to work on you and your team. I want to know how your guys can be so sick to do things like this to children.

My last case to decide the Apple vs Microsoft case. I am not joking – you can send this email to the judge and soon as I file suit. I will ask you as I asked that kid to take it down, if you think your malice to to our Foundation is free speech – let’s get real lawyers and hosted judges to find out! It scared teachers, parents and the general public. They were canceling trips, it was malicious, and the evidence given to court was a fraud. I did not say anything at the time. But, I think he would get dis-board by the falsified documents he presented to the judge. His father was a friend or I would have had he dis-board.

Everyone will see the truth of you and your boyfriends. You can print this – You do not have a clue what you did to damage my foundation I created for my daughter. And when you wake up in the morning – hoping you have kids- I want you to think about what you have done. Your site has done more damage than the issue and my guys think your damages will be worse the any free speech issue. And we are ready!

We are going to dp this all legal – get ready – I will have one of your partners, associates , friends , spouses, in dispositions for the at least the next 6 – 12 months. Minimum – 1 lawsuit lasted 12.7 years, the next only 6 . I have the means – so write me back or get ready. This again is no threat. Simply a promise. It is no longer about what the kid did – it is about what your company did! And I promise you we will win = you have damaged my daughters trust for at least 50 years. You are about to meet the best attorneys on the planet. Best, Ken

Again, I will only ask one time, politely, to take that shit down or I will see in court every day for at least one year. I have nothing to lose – you damaged us~!

I wrote back to Mr. Matherne:

I assume you are writing me in connection with this post:

Do you content that the post includes any false statements of fact, as opposed to statements of opinion? If you believe that it does, please feel free to specify them and provide me with what evidence supports your contention, and I will be happy to review your submission and make adjustments to the post if appropriate.

I will not use this opportunity to discuss the various obvious defenses I would have to any frivolous and malicious suit. Suffice it to say there are many.

Very truly yours,

Ken White

He has just responded:

Take it down or believe I will do everything for my daughter that you would do for your children !

Best, , Ken

Sent from my iPhone

I love my children very much, and I would do everything for them. Among the things I will do is this: I will resist deranged bullies and thugs who want to dictate how Americans can express themselves, online or elsewhere. Mr. Matherne's email above displays classic vexatious-litigant thuggery: the threat to abuse the legal system and leverage its flaws and weaknesses to harm opponents through cost and delay. Such threats work because people don't stand up to them. We all owe our children defiance of such threats, or their rights will be diminished as such threats thrive. I will happily cockroach-stomp such people whenever I can.

I have forwarded the threat to the email list of the First Amendment Lawyers Association, of which I am a member. I'll have no trouble whatsoever finding counsel. The defenses to the overtly frivolous harassment suit described in the email are legion. Among them: Louisiana has no personal jurisdiction over me, my post included only opinion and commentary absolutely protected by the First Amendment and no false statements of fact, and the statute of limitations has passed.

Murum aries attigit.

Edited to add: He sent a follow-up threat.

Just send me you attorney of record – you will not hurt my daughter – I do not care what it cost ! Ken It was a BS move – and I appreciate that you do that for the best of people – but you always know our kids are first – and I don't care how many $ it takes – my daughter will not live with this – so I will ask you one more time to pull this down – as a gentleman – or I will come to you! My airplane is only 10k an hour – have more cash & Gold in the bank than you can imagine – but if you hurt my daughter through this – my executives has all authority to go until all is done – I only have 1 daughter and it breaks her heart to see this! I would not do this to you or your family!

Sent from my iPhone

Another update: My response, and his:

Mr. Matherne:

I take it that you are refusing to specify what part of my post you believe to be factually inaccurate, or that you are unable to do so.

I have already published your threats and forwarded them to the email list of the First Amendment Lawyers Association, of which I am a member. They will be evidence in any proceeding you bring.

If you have an attorney representing you in this matter, feel free to have him contact me.

Ken White

And from him:

Game on!

Yet another update:

He just sent another email:

Just send me your attorneys info: let’s go – I asked you to do the gentleman thing for our kids – maybe you don’t have children or don’t care about children – so let’s see how much you care about pot hate or whatever the name is! Send State Attorney General , your Attorney Firm and address – I will have something ready for next week! Best, Ken

And I will find you, your attorney – I asked you once – now I will not ask again! You have never seen anyone that will protect my daughter from anything in the world! Get your check book out – and unless you can buy every judge to the State Supreme Court – you will pay damages = not about freedom of speech –
Oh, And I will follow up with everything I said I would do. Ken White, You better have an attorney or get one .

Cannot wait to meet you – You are and I can “quote again” a piece of shit! You do a disservice to mankind. I hope the judge we come before understands what a parasite you are and does not want his kids or grandchildren to be exposed to someone like you!

And I do not care about are inaccuracies about was said or texted. You are wrong and you are libel. Again, I do not lose lawsuits, and I do not think to can pay off the judges!

My response:

Dear Mr. Matherne,

If you have your attorney contact me, I will put him or her in contact with my attorney.

Unless you would like to specify how you believe my post was factually incorrect — in which case I will be happy to examine your claims — I think the productivity of our dialogue has reached an end.

Best wishes,

Ken White

Last 5 posts by Ken White


  1. Caudex says

    Based on his writing style, he is either a madman or very very angry. I'm going to go with angry. We lunatics have standards, ya know.

  2. says

    two things: 1), my 2-year old daughter can write better than than with the free chalk they have in the play area at my local mall, and 2) you should have responded with ponies.

  3. says

    Ken, I must say I'm impressed at the sheer quality of the fruitcakes you attract. I'll have to take your word for it that he was reacting to your 2010 post; as far as I can tell the only clue in his whole rant was the name at the end.

    Consider me duly gobsmacked.

  4. Mike says

    I need some sort of popcorn subscription or bulk discount if I want to continue reading Popehat.

  5. says

    The only motivation I can see for this is an attempt to hide his previous unsuccessful censorious asshattery. However, unlike speech, the logical answer really doesn't seem to be "even more censorious asshattery" in the public arena.

  6. Roho says

    Did something precipitate this reaction almost 3 years to the day after the original article? Or was it just 3 years of simmer finally boiling over?

    …Or is your guess as good as mine on this one?

  7. says

    Oh, and using Google, all of that didn't seem to pollute the results when you search for "Global Wildlife Center". No real harm done there it seems.

    On the other hand, when you Google "Ken Matherne" the third result is "And The Zookeeper Is Very Fond of Dumb." So, yeah, I think we have the motivation pinned down.

  8. says

    Pride cometh before a fall.

    I'm experiencing a similar scenario in my own life right now. Some people just can't accept defeat, or rather, can't live with the fact that they're not in control of a situation, and most importantly, they can't just "let go" and move on. This leads to only one outcome, complete and utter destruction.

    If he's so concerned about his daughter, he needs to realized that what he's doing is ultimately going to ruin her life more than if he just walked away.

  9. Waldo says

    If he's having problems with his daughter, my money is on it being because he's f****n' nuts rather than your blog post.

  10. bill. says

    The second & third paragraphs — about universities and taxes and being a conservative but giving money to liberals — what the hell is that and what the fuck does it have to do with anything else? is "the dad that OD" the key to decoding all this?

  11. Nate says

    If he has so much cash & gold (diamonds, censorious!Ken, you forgot Diamonds) that he'll hop in his only-10k-an-hour airplane, then the article didn't hurt them that much, obviously!

    Also, I'm cringing at that writing. All that's missing is capslock RAGE!!!11eleventy!1

    I totes fail to see what any of it has to do with his daughter…unless his daughter has just learnt how to use the googles and has discovered what a censorious douchecanoe her pops is. "Daddy, what's a censorious douche?" I hate to think what he actually thinks that means. The childishness of the writing in the emails would have me thinking that it might have been his daughter that sent them, except that he's already proven himself to be utterly stupid with that previous lawsuit.

    I…just…why now? 3 years later?


  12. cb says

    He claims to give more than 52% to democrats, but it looks Republican down the line. Maybe he gave a lot of small donations to democrats? Or maybe he is unhinged

  13. naught_for_naught says

    I am hiring a team now to work on you and your team.

    A little team-on-team action, sweet, but this whole thing could have been easily avoided if he had a breathalyzer app on his phone.

  14. Andrew S. says

    I'd be careful, Ken. You don't want to end up being dis-board. Though I guess if that happened you'd have more time to keep up with the lengthy dispositions.

  15. Tali McPike says

    Damnit Ken! I'm trying to cut back on my popcorn intake. First Carreon, then Brittain, then Shane, now this. I'm never going to loose weight. Oh well, I might as well buy stock in Orville Redenbacher.

    You could make so much money if you started offering mail order popcorn subscriptions for your readers. I'd venture enough for your own 10k an hour jet

  16. Nate says

    Dear Ken!Popehat, does Mrs Popehat know about all your boyfriends?

    I'm looking forward to the team on team action. Is this Pay-per-view?

    Methinks he's after Carreon's title. This shit is gonna run & run. Dammit I need popcorn over here.

  17. ZK says

    I'm perhaps more sympathetic to this nut that most; I'd really want him to explain how a three-year-old post about an obvious satire is causing him so much grief….

    Is it at all possible that people actually didn't understand it was satire?

    I'd also hope, Ken, that you have the means to deal with it should he fly to you with his $10k/hour airplane, whatever that is.

  18. Colin says

    All I can think about while reading his letters is the character of Dogberry from "Much Ado About Nothing".

  19. says

    Ken, you are the consumate professional.

    Though there is a distinct lack of declarations regarding requests for taint snorting in this article…

  20. Joe Pullen says

    I have nothing to lose

    Well he's at least right about that statement because he has clearly lost his mind.

    I find it interesting he mentions contributing $150K to a campaign and a $10K an hour plane (that he either presumably owns or leases). When it does not appear he has the income to support those statements. He's involved in three businesses. Global Wildlife which grosses $1.93M a year but only nets profit of about $118.68K annually and two other businesses, a beauty shop that grosses about $28K annually so nets far less than that and an LLC that purports to gross about 40K a year. All public info via Hoovers online.

    I am assuming he has had some recent difficulties and is casting about wildly for everyone he thinks has "done him wrong" and is huffing and puffing about going after them. I hope he gets some mental help.

  21. says

    I think you're right Joe, sadly, a lot of what he said/claims is probably "puffering" which is just fancy-talk for "lying to sound impressive".

  22. Black Bellamy says

    This man sounds absolutely deranged. Daughter! At first I though oh yeah, he's just drunk. Daughter! But after reading it again I am convinced the man is completely unhinged. Daughter! Maybe one of his exotic animals gave him a brain virus or something. Daughter!

  23. says

    You're sure this is both from Ken Matherne, and in regards to the "Zookeeper is fond of dumb" post? Because I honestly can't see anything in those emails to confirm either point. And I'm really, really confused by the repeated references to "hurting" his daughter. Accepting for the sake of argument that the wildlife center is his "foundation", I still don't see what that has to do with his daughter at all. The whole thing is just blitheringly incoherent.

    Color me puzzled…

  24. says

    @Michael Mock: The IP on the emails shows it was sent from Global Wildlife. And I cited the post back to him in my first email to him. And I've written nothing else about Global Wildlife.

  25. Valerie says

    Wow. Is this for real? I mean is there any possibility that this isn't actually a really real person? Because the level of batshit present in those emails really does put even Chaz Carreon to shame (although Mrs. Carreon remains the defending champ of batshittery – that level of crazy has yet to be equalled in the known universe)…

  26. Nicholas Weaver says

    PLEASE let this whak job file Pro Se: It so ups the amusing level of Da Crazy when they do so.

    Hint: He needs to one-up Crystal Cox's ONE HUNDRED BILLION DOLLAR demand level…

  27. Joe Pullen says

    Unfortunately unless someone has hacked Mr. Matherne's email account or has access to it, this is indeed coming from Mr. Matherne.

  28. says

    Maybe we need to update the lyrics of an old Jim Croce song:

    You don't tug on Superman's cape,
    You don't spit into the wind,
    You don't pull the mask off the ol' Lone Ranger,
    And you don't send frivolous legal threats to Ken!

    Doesn't scan, but who cares? It's the truth. :-)

  29. Greg says

    I'm just going to throw this out there. What does any of this have to do with Matherne's daughter.

    The previous story was prior to my time reading Popehat, and so it new to me. Some of the links are inactive now, but I didn't catch any reference to any family member of Matherne in any of what I could read. As such, I'm scratching my head about why he is so vociferously defending his daughters name that isn't attached to a story from three years ago that no one is likely to remember…

  30. Blah says

    Holy crap. I've seen a few drunken madmen in my day, and I believe it's that fine specimen that we've encountered here.

  31. says

    Game on!

    Wow. I keep wanting to ask if you're just making this up to cover a slow day at the office.

    I like how this is being framed entirely about hurting his daughter, as if him behaving like a boob in public was somehow happening in secret… or perhaps only happened that one time. (How likely is that?)

    I hope she isn't becoming a self-entitled twit like him, as that would probably cause her the most harm in the long term.

  32. says

    Nice try, Ken, but it's March 1st, not April 1st. You published this obvious prank a month early. Trolling for comments by posting such satire is beneath you.

    My 7 year old son wrote a spambot program that issues vague threats more coherently than the actual one you posted. Be careful here; you're clearly dealing with someone deranged and unstable.

  33. Nicholas Weaver says

    And how is continued dialog not productive. After all, you do want your shares in ConAgra (which owns Orville Redenbacher and Jiffy Pop) to go up…

  34. Tali McPike says

    Perhaps Shaun Shane should hire your son, as his current ones are as incoherent as this fellow.

  35. says

    I should clarify my last comment:

    You know, except that oen time that I did lose.


    I should have left out the part about paying off judges for clarity >_<

  36. says

    -sigh- I'm jealous. My pony article spam wasn't nearly so funny.

    So what's this about you, your boyfriends, and his daughter? That, and "dad that OD", are probably going to be key clues during Matherne's therapy.

  37. tsrblke says


    Do you think he realizes you're an attorney? I recognize that you can't practice in Louisiana, but he keeps referencing "real attorneys."
    I mean clearly you're going to have (by default) a better understanding of the relevant laws here than him (just due to training.) Stack on his obvious confusion about "libel" not needing factual error and it only gets worse.

    I doubt you want to reveal legal strategy, but I'm assuming you can't shut him down with some California Ant-SLAPP jujitsu can you :(.

  38. naught_for_naught says

    The only way to make sense out of this, is to approach it like a compost pile. On the surface it looks like an undifferentiated mountain of shit, but as you fork through it, you can see some recognizable bits that account for the pile's origin. This is a fantastic opportunity do the whole Ingrid Bergman – Gregory Peck thing.

  39. Nicholas Weaver says

    Kilroy: The initial mail clearly did come from the Global Wildlife Center: IPs, DNS, whois, MX entries, etc all confirm it.

    So it is either Mr Matherne or someone hacked Mr Matherne's computer specifically for the purpose of trolling Ken.

    Which is more likely?

  40. goober says

    Did he just indicate that he was planning to "pay off" judges if this went to court? It is kind of hard to tell, what with the rambling, babbling incoherent lunacy that this guy puts to paper in an attempt at cogent thought.

    If so, I am really having trouble deciding if this is C, S, or T.

    And how is this hurting his daughter again? I can't quite logic that claim out to its crazy assed conclusion.

  41. Kilroy says

    quick google search shows that the guy has oil money from a while ago. Facebook has him in his 10K/hr jet. Think you might be in trouble, Ken.

  42. Anglave says

    After reading his emails, and being at a loss to understand what he might think you've done to hurt his daughter, an idea occurred to me.

    He's obviously not thinking clearly.

    What if his daughter is one of the victims of the IsAnyoneDown site or its operators? Might he somehow be confused about Popehat's role in that conflict?

    I could see a father getting this rage-crazy if his daughter were victimized by something like that. Maybe even crazy enough to just start threatening anyone involved.

    Perhaps his demands that you "take it down" aren't in relation to the zookeeper-dumb issue at all?

    Heck, maybe his daughter was groped by the TSA and he's offended by the recent "For the Children" post.

  43. tsrblke says


    As I read the emails I'm thinking he's trying to use the daughter as a sort of human shield.
    The idea being "I started this business for my daughter, you've hurt it, so you've hurt my daughter" in an attempt to gin up sympathy and hope Ken just takes the post down.
    That to me seems far more likely than anything else honestly.

  44. says

    Did all these emails, from the initial one to the most recent, all come in during the length of time someone could be drunk? Perhaps unmedicated?

  45. Nicholas Weaver says

    The updates have been in real time, so even adjusting for timezone differences, if the sender is drunk he got started pretty early in the morning.

  46. Anglave says

    In any case, my vote is for C and S.

    I would also believe a very gifted T, but I'm going to stick with CS for the time being.

  47. says

    Further towards the question of whether this is a "hacker": Woopra shows a visitor coming here from the Global Wildlife domain based on a search for Global Wildlife, one of the searches coming within 5 minutes of the time of the initial threat.

  48. says

    Maybe his daughter's friends found the Popehat post through Google and it's resulted in some teasing at school? He did mention her being hurt financially, but how much trust fund money could you make from an animal preserve? Don't try to pull an ounce of sense from this ton of crazy.

  49. tsrblke says


    So the dude went 4 deep in the google results just to yell at people who criticize him?
    Weird. Have any other bloggers who covered this gotten threats? Or are you just special?

  50. Nate says


    That would definitely make sense with the pot reference, but how stupid would a person have to be to mistake one of the good guys for one of the bad guys in this? Um, well, I think the email speaks for itself on that one. However, what doesn't make sense there is that Ken's first email response asked if it was in reference to the 2010 post (though if he really is drunk/raging I guess he could miss that).

    I dunno, it's just all very…odd. That first email makes so little sense that I'm inclined to think that what censorious!Ken thinks is happen isn't what is happen in actual reality.

  51. tsrblke says

    (I should clarify four pages deep into the google results. I don't even look that hard when I'm busy doing actual research for "must find information" topics, much less checking a reputation.)

  52. Anglave says

    Just read the most recent update (as of this post).

    He's giving us more clues.

    What does "let’s see how much you care about pot hate or whatever the name is" mean?

    What does "You are and I can 'quote again' a piece of shit!" mean?

    And I suggest that by "I do not think to can pay off the judges!" he meant, "I do not think two can pay off the judges!"

    Indicating that he intends to buy more judges than Popehat can afford to compete with.

    My latest theory is that he's not trolling Popehat. Someone is trolling him, antagonizing him and claiming to be Popehat Ken.

  53. Tali McPike says

    It is possible that the "to" in "I don't think to can pay off the judges" might be "you" I mean the T is right next to the Y on the keyboard, and with all of the other typos I wouldn't put it past him to accidentally drop the U. Then again, that might be a stretch and I'm giving the guy too much credit

  54. RogerX says

    Ohhhh you're laughing now. I think he has a great case against you on the charge of Class 1-triple-A super-felony "Butthurt in the First Degree." What judge could not be moved by his argument that your reporting on his questionable public actions and speech caused his divorce and is physically harming his daughter?!?

    "Game on!"

  55. Nicholas Weaver says

    "christina cooper global wildlife" (no quotes) has popehat as a low page 1 hit.

  56. Nicholas Weaver says

    Hey, maybe he should call Charles Carreon or David Blade III to represent him!

  57. Tali McPike says

    So is it possible that Christina Cooper is the person behind the incoherent emails?
    And is she at all related to Mr Matherne (aside from being an employee, of course)

  58. Grifter says


    I think Tali's right on the typo being "you" and not "two"; at least one of those was done on an iPhone, with the dreaded autocorrect function, so even if he typed "tou" it might have corrected it to "to", rather than "you".

  59. says

    Man, I kinda love his writing. It's like weird beat poetry. Not quite as good as Mrs. Carreon's, but I could read it all day.

    "I would have had he dis-board." I'm going to be saying that for hours.

  60. Nate says

    It appears that Christina Cooper is co-owner of Global Wildlife Center (and, at least at one time, his wife – whether she still is, perhaps that's the problem here?).

    From "During Christina Cooper’s final year of animal science studies at Louisiana State University, she was assigned to a lab class that took place at the Global Wildlife Center. She fell in love with everything at the free-roaming wildlife preserve: the animals, the landscape and, eventually, its owner, Ken Matherne. The two have been together now for ten years—married for five—and work side by side at the center."

  61. Tali McPike says

    So it is possible that it is either of them. Although it begs the question why she would be impersonating her husband (which if that's the case, she could find herself in a whole hell of a mess)

  62. nlp says

    A number of years ago many of the homes for the mentally bewildered were closed and the patients were sent home (or, in many cases, to live on the street). I had always assumed that this action was undertaken in order to save money. It had not occurred to me until today that the aim was to offer endless amusement.

    I wonder if Mr. Matherne has ever heard of the Streisand Effect. If not, he is in even more trouble than he thinks.

  63. says

    Posts like this are my #1 reason for reading Popehat. I've got a shitload of work to do today, and I've already resigned to that fact that I'll be following this thread instead.

    Plus, the Louisiana connection gives me an excuse to listen to cajun music all day long.

  64. SassQueen says


    Pardon me, stewardess, but I speak Crazy

    >What does "let’s see how much you care about pot hate or whatever the name is" mean?

    I thought at first this was in reference to the blogger that got TRO'd and then won, but on further reflection I think he is referencing Popehat (pot – pope, hate – hat).

    >What does "You are and I can 'quote again' a piece of shit!" mean?

    You are, and I quote, "a piece of shit." Except he's only quoting himself, so whatevs.

  65. says

    Oh, and is Marc Randazza licensed to practice in Louisiana? Because, well…. because Marc Fucking Randazza, that's why.

  66. Kimberly says

    I'm pretty sure the "pot hate"he's referring to is Popehat. I think.

    Decipher the loony. Fun game!

  67. nlp says

    In running a Google search on Mr. Matherne's name, I came across a police report that included the arrest of a Ken Matherne for Armed Robbery a year or so ago.
    Now, if this is indeed the same Ken Matherne who is writing emails to Ken, we may need to start a fund to buy Ken-at-Popehat a bodyguard. If it is NOT the same person, then I am surprised that Mr. Matherne is not suing him for libel.

  68. says

    I don't think there is any basis to think that's the same Ken Matherne, nlp. It's very hard to conduct armed robbery from a $10,000 per hour private plane.

  69. Andrew says

    I shouldn't be this way, but I really hope this guy files a civil suit (any jurisdiction will do, as the suit's chance of success appears equal in all jurisdictions) pro se, because I really want to see what kind of "legal writing" this guy can pull off. I like laughing.

  70. Toddsler says

    Amazing. I often wonder if you secretly solicit the crazies to send you material of this quality.

  71. Kevin says

    I really can't decide which I like better, "dis-board" or "you are libel"…. they're both just so….. perfect. They need to be new memes here at popehat.

  72. Shawn says

    It's too bad this guy is such a nutball, the Global Wildlife Center is a really fun place to spend an afternoon.

  73. Burk says

    Obviously, the giraffes are behind this.

    We already know they're killers. And it stands to reason that they'd be poor typists, what with the hooves and everything. The only question is how a giraffe can fit into a $10K/hour airplane.

  74. says

    See, there's genuinely certifiably crazy and there's the far more common and mundane censorious asshat crazy. I hope I'm wrong but I'm afraid based on the evidence this guy is the former.

  75. Luke says

    @Kilroy – I noticed that too, a daughter in her early 20's is a little old for that type of reaction, but I think the first paragraph in the opening email is the kicker: "I am divorced over this thing…"

    Speculation: Sounds like he obsessed over the lawsuit and satire of it and ruined relationships with people he loved and now, instead of looking in the mirror, he is lashing out at the people he thinks "did this to him".

  76. says

    Okay, here's my best guess:

    This actually is Mr. Maltherne. He established his "foundation" – the wildlife center – as some sort of favor or gift for his daughter. He believes, rightly or wrongly, that the post on Hammond Action News scared people away from the wildlife center, thus damaging its reputation, income, and/or viability as an institution. He further believes that Popehat, and particularly Ken, contributed and/or continues to contribute to that damage by including the text of the HAN article in the "zookeeper is very fond of dumb" post. Which means, since the wildlife center is associated in Mr. Maltherne's mind with his daughter, that Ken is damaging his daughter.

    Oh and but also, he blames the nebulous "damage" caused by the article for his divorce.

    …Which is asinine, and blithely overlooks the role of his own conduct in damaging the facility's reputation, and at a guess isn't even remotely prosecutable (Is "prosecutable" a word?) but never mind that. I think that's what he's so angry about.

  77. Dan Weber says

    The first letter doesn't feel very personalized. Part of me suspects he sent this to a whole bunch of people on his crazy list.

  78. Reader says

    1) It appears from his writing style that he went to kollege.
    2) Have you ever seen those ads on Craigslist that go something like "straight guy, looking for another straight guy just to hang out and wrestle naked. I AM NOT GAY"? Uh, huh. Okey, dokey. Every time he talks about what a great dad he is, I think about those ads, because it seems like he is the best dad in the world. REALLY.

  79. Reader says

    Oh, and his timing is impeccable. Isn't this the 10th anniversary of the Streisand Effect?

  80. Andrew says

    If homeboy intends to take this to the next level instead of crawling back into his giraffe's nest (for the sake of this post, they nest), his family — that is, those who have yet to alienate him — should seriously consider putting him on suicide watch. If he is this ragefaced over a pretty subdued article, by Popehat standards, then the public humiliation he is sure to face over going toe-to-toe with Ken will surely push him over the edge.

    Ken Matherne. Day drinking. #YOLO

  81. Matthew says

    Okay, here's my best guess:

    This actually is Mr. Maltherne. He established his "foundation" – the wildlife center – as some sort of favor or gift for his daughter.

    If she's in her early twenties then she'd have been born at around the time he started it:

    The center was the brainchild of Ken Matherne, who inherited the land from his father and began collecting exotic animals in 1989.

    Matherne opened the gates to the public in 1991, and it is now considered the largest center of its kind in the United States. Matherne and his wife live and work on the grounds of the nonprofit facility.

    The fact that he mentions divorce and the search that led him to Popehat includes his (presumably) ex-wife's name suggests that's the main reason for all this.

    I think maybe the daughter thing is an attempt at self-justification.

  82. Dictatortot says

    If it isn't some weird trolling attempt, then this poor bastard appears to have suffered some kind of mental break. There's "Internet crazy person," and then there's sad, old-fashioned, this-fellow's-family-should-probably-contact-an-institution-and-do-something crazy. I'm no shrink, but am detecting a strong whiff of the latter here.

    This whole thing might well come to nothing: to successfully obtain counsel & file a lawsuit, it helps to be at least functional enough to not think the room is full of purple flying elephants, and I'm not sure that Mr. Matherne meets that criterion of togetherness.

  83. Krissa says

    "You have never seen anyone that will protect my daughter from anything in the world!"

    This much, at least, is true.

  84. says

    This is like a mashup of Charles Carreon, Crystal Cox, and Monty Python's Hungarian Phrasebook sketch.

  85. htom says

    His daughter applied for a job, wasn't hired, and she, he, or a friend suspects the employer-to-be googled her and found the stories?

  86. Joe Pullen says

    There is a "Kenneth P." Matherne in LA – approx. 76 yrs old – old enough to be the father of Ken Matherne under discussion. Given that our esteemed Ken from Popehat has the same first name and middle initial I'm beginning to wonder, even more, if there is a crazy person trying to make some cryptic connection.

  87. says

    Are you sure he wasn't just drunk, and will get over it when he sobers up? I mean, his first email is at times almost so jumbled as to make no sense. At other times, it just doesn't make sense.

  88. says

    Matherne says getting revenge on Ken is his "a new mission in life."

    Say what you will, I think Ken is clearly upgrading the quality of his arch-nemesis from the paste eating guy.

  89. Valerie says

    Ken, I think your formula needs to up the crazy quotient. I think its more like a mashup of Tara Carreon, Crystal Meth, and Money Python's Spanish Inquisition (because really, nobody expects the Spanish Inquisition, especially 2 years after writing about the Spanish Inquisition).

  90. JimBob says

    This guy just threatened to use legal thuggery against Ken White?

    Popehat Ken White?

    Buddies-with-Marc-Randazza, famous-for-making-censorial-thugs-look-like-the-childish-idiots-they-are, extensive-federal-law-experience Ken White?

    How much are front row tickets, and where do I order?

  91. urbantravels says

    Aw, real psychotic breaks aren't all that funny. Although I'm sure this is always an unsafe assumption to make, the guy seems too floridly insane to be capable of taking legal action, or even understand what kind of legal action he wants to take. Being very drunk or on serious drugs is an alternate explanation, but I dunno – the detachment from reality seems really severe and pervasive in this messages.

  92. Robert says

    This kind of crazy is why I started reading popehat.

    Ken, I missed your writing the last several months. Nice to see you back these last couple weeks.
    No offence to your guest writers, but your articles are far more entertaining.

  93. tabstop says

    Well, if he's to be believed, we've got somewhere between 6 and 12.7 years to watch this happen, so I guess we've definitely got to make the popcorn last.

    I'm still trying to work on how Apple v Microsoft is related to … whatever exactly this is about.

  94. MattS says


    "This is like a mashup of Charles Carreon, Crystal Cox, and Monty Python's Hungarian Phrasebook sketch."

    It reminds me more of the King Arthur vs the Black Knight scene from Monty Python and the Search for the Holy Grail. With of course you as King Arthur and Ken Matherne as the Black Knight.

    Come back here you coward and I'll bite your ankles off. :)

  95. Dan Weber says

    Yeah, it's like watching the new bully in school pick a fight with the local black belt.

  96. Jo says


    It's very hard to conduct armed robbery from a $10,000 per hour private plane.

    A lot of armed robberies are conducted from such places. Cf. Woody Guthrie:

    Yes, as through this world I've wandered
    I've seen lots of funny men;
    Some will rob you with a six-gun,
    And some with a fountain pen.

  97. Caleb says

    I'm not sure his first missive can be accurately categorized as a "threat." That term implies a degree of coherency which I find severely lacking.

  98. Elle says

    I read "The dad that OD" as a reference to suicide, as in "This cost me my marriage and my daughter is going to be left without a father." That's kind of an extreme though, and might be a bit of a stretch with all of his other typos. Still, I'm going to guess this guy is having a breakdown.

  99. Joe Pullen says

    It's very hard to conduct armed robbery from a $10,000 per hour private plane.

    That is unless you're a WallStreet Banker.

  100. Oomph says

    Watch out guys, Facebook says he studied Business Administration, Finance and *CONTRACT LAW* at Baton Rouge, Louisiana. I think Ken's in trouble. His cover image also includes a deadly giraffe, perhaps as a threat?

  101. George William Herbert says

    I understand why Ken posted this, and support that (and to the extent that he's taking it seriously by copying the internet lawyers etc). But…

    Regardless of how he comes off, this appears to be a person who has just had a fairly significantly negative thing happen in his life (divorce) and whose family may (possibly) be having internet infamy by association problems – which are legitimately unfair to everyone who is tarred merely by association – and who appears on first impression to be angry and possibly intoxicated, though that last is just a supposition.

    This is silly and unfortunate, but it's self-parodying enough that there's no need to go rub it in that badly. There's a nonzero chance he'll turn out to be serious, but most likely this will disappear again as soon as he sobers up, never to be seen again.

    Kicking an apparently drunk guy who's legitimately down over stuff seems uncouth.

  102. says

    @George William Herbert – I respectfully disagree.

    Mocking censorious thugs, regardless of the circumstances is always called for.

    If he did stupid things, and lost his wife, that's his fault, no one else. If we back off and allow him the benefit, then it's practically condoning his actions and his mindset. Even worse if he's intoxicated. If there are no repercussions (however uncouth) then society breaks down.

    If people don't call "shenanigans", then "shenanigans" become acceptable.


  103. Shay says

    Threatening this morning over a post from three years ago. My congratulations on your cat-like reflexes, Mr. Matherne.

  104. JR says

    Ok. I'm sure I had it right that time. Don't know what's happening. The first word, Vicarious, was supposed to be the link followed by the rest as normal text. My apologies for taking up so many spaces.

  105. George William Herbert says

    John Ammon writes:
    Mocking censorious thugs, regardless of the circumstances is always called for.

    Sure. But what we actually have here – evidently – is a guy who apparently has legitimately had a bunch of depressing and unfortunate events happen to him, who has not popped up on people's radar as censorious or thuggish or anything else for some years, and who appears drunk. He has not filed a proper demand letter, hired an attorney, filed suit on Ken. He's sending – again, apparently – drunk emails upset about his life circumstances.

    Someone who was sober, hired an attorney, and went after Ken in real life for the same events? I would be bringing popcorn and marshmallows to the roast.

    He could turn out to be Type 2, an actual censorius thug, tomorrow (or even later today, or next week, or whatever). But so far? You're mocking an apparently upset drunk.


  106. says

    Wait, what's your reasoning for not mocking someone for doing something stupid when they're drunk?

    I still haven't heard a good reason. Heckling drunk people is fun. They got drunk, they're doing stupid things, saying stupid things, that's a really good reason to mock them.

  107. Debra says

    @George William Herbert

    It begs the question, should you ever be immune from the consequences of your actions? I would think not, as that is a slippery slope.

  108. says

    Thank you Debra, you said what I was trying to say, but in a much better way.

    If a person takes an action, regardless of their state, they are held accountable and are fair game for scrutiny.

    If you're drunk and you piss on a cop's shoes, does the cop shrug it off because "he's just drunk". No, they'll arrest you and throw you in the drunk tank, as well they should.

  109. says

    Bear in mind, in your evaluation, that this is somebody who actually has filed a frivolous suit against satire before, in addition to trying to get law enforcement involved with it.

  110. Lucy says

    Yes, a mashup of Carreon etc… I would only add Charlie Sheen. Seems like he is suffering a breakdown of his own making and now has nothing to lose in his mind. Ken is his new reason for living.

    If he didn't have unlimited financial resources, I'd be tempted to feel sorry for the guy on account of insanity. If he claims all that disposable money, what exactly is being done to his poor suffering daughter?

    Ken must be using Jedi mind tricks again.

  111. says

    The general quality of the utterances remind me of the sort of stream-of-marginal-consciousness crap you hear being shouted by drunks outside a bar.

  112. Debra says

    So even if he went on a bender very early and has maintained that level of intoxication throughout the day, he's unlikely to wake up and have an epiphany on what a douche bag he was while drunk.

  113. says

    If it were me, I'd have gone all "Fierce Creatures" and used the satire to drum up business. "SEE! The DEADLIEST giraffe in the world! Management will do all it can to ensure your safety, but we are not responsible if this vicious man eater breaks loose and devours you!"

  114. says

    But so far? You're mocking an apparently upset drunk.


    You say that as if it's a bad thing.

    I realize this is going to stir up a hornet's next, but I honestly don't get these armchair excuses on behalf of censorious thuggery.

    "He's drunk!"

    "He's crazy!"

    Who gives a fuck?

    People who get drunk and piss their pants or get their asses kicked by bouncers twice their size end up getting mocked by their friends; "Hey Joe, remember that time you pissed your pants and told that 300-pound bouncer that you were a pro MMA fighter? You're such a dipshit when you're drunk!"

    What's the difference between that, and "Hey Matherne, remember that time you got drunk and sent a poorly-written legal threat to a widely respected First Amendment lawyer? You know, the lawyer who has other First Amendment lawyers willing to represent him pro bono? You're such a dipshit when you're drunk!"

    Not being a Drug & Alcoholism counselor — or a psychiatrist — I'm in no position to diagnose Mr. Matherne's state of sobriety or his mental health, and quite frankly, I'm a bit surprised that others are completely willing to do so on the basis of a few emails.

    We may be mocking a drunk person. We may be mocking a crazy person. We are most certainly mocking an asshat with a previously established record of censorious asshattery who thought it would be a good idea to send a poorly-written legal threat to Ken White.

  115. George William Herbert says

    Ken – and yet, despite the previous history, has not ( that I see ) engaged an attorney today. And you are apparently not taking it seriously enough to (seriously) engage an attorney preventively and send him their contact info.

    Debra et al –

    I don't believe him being impaired (if that's what's going on) is some sort of shield. But there is a social contract of appropriate and disproportionate responses. Getting drunk and hurtling drunken threats is certainly bad, but is a personal faux pas. Not the sort of thing which is worthy of a long internet thread, barring the person being a celebrity. There is no lesson about the law here; there is no lesson about interference with free speech here. The only lesson here is "Don't type after the second beer."

    Which is self evident, and given the legal bluster context and the target context entirely explains why it was posted here in the first place. But does not rise to the level of justifying an intensive community response a la Carreon or the other special people we've all seen and enjoyed here.

    It's fine that we're all amused or bemused or confused about the antics. A bunch of people are getting mean, and frankly, that's far more asshat behavior than getting drunk and ranting, which is evidently all he's done so far here.

    Do you pick on drunks on the street in real life?

  116. says

    And you are apparently not taking it seriously enough to (seriously) engage an attorney preventively and send him their contact info.

    I wouldn't send him an attorney's contact information because I don't want him to harass an attorney, which seems likely.

    The assumption that I have not secured an attorney who will represent me, perhaps from the attorneys I know who practice in this area, is an assumption.

    I'm not buying that he's drunk, instead of bullying and stupid.

  117. says

    @George – So you'd like us to censor ourselves in this instance? Who are you to finger-wag at us? Must me awfully hard to see us from so high up on your horse.

    I am disappoint. ಠ_ಠ

  118. Debra says

    I will say, this part in particular confuses me.

    It is no longer about what the kid did – it is about what your company did! And I promise you we will win = you have damaged my daughters trust for at least 50 years.

    This doesn't seem to have anything at all to do with the post from 2010.

  119. says

    @John, I think George is making a perfectly colorable point about mercy.

    I just disagree with its application to an established evildoer.

  120. Debra says

    @John – I think he's arguing "pick on someone your own size" either in mental ability or sobriety. I don't know if Matherne necessarily deserves the consideration, but it's a valid argument to make.

  121. says

    @George William Herbert: "Do you pick on drunks on the street in real life?"

    No. Nor do I, in real life, ignore drunks with a history of abusing people who decide to offer me abuse.

    Is/was Matherne drunk or crazy when he wrote those emails? Who knows? It doesn't matter. He has a history of frivolous legal pursuits and just threatened more. Why shouldn't Ken (and everyone else here) be expecting more of the same?

    Tell me, George; if someone you knew had a habit of threatening to punch people for no reason and then punching them came up to you and threatened to punch you, wouldn't you be preparing to defend yourself? If you also knew the idjit perp was a clumsy SOB liable to swing, miss, and hit himself, mightn't you be a little tempted to tell him, "Bring it on, bubba"? Would it matter that he only did it every freaking time he got drunk, which was pretty much every day? (Although Matherne's past history suggests he doesn't exactly limit his frivolous illegal pursuits to when he's drunk. Crazy, maybe, but not apparently drunk.)

    Welcome to the First Amendment Free Speech version of baseless threats and attacks — Internet style.

    Of course, if you are into letting people beat you up… Could you leave your estate to me in your will? I could use the money.

  122. Lucy says

    On the subject of morality regarding picking apart drunkards on a blog comment thread, drunk shouldn't factor in any way accountability for ones behavior.

    Popehat brand popcorn. I would buy some.

  123. George William Herbert says

    I wouldn't send him an attorney's contact information because I don't want him to harass an attorney, which seems likely.

    Under the circumstances, wise.

    The assumption that I have not secured an attorney who will represent me, perhaps from the attorneys I know who practice in this area, is an assumption.

    True. If you've gone to the extent of adding a new attorney on retainer, I would be surprised, but it's up to you to respond and prepare if you think he's more serious than I think he is.

    I'm not buying that he's drunk, instead of bullying and stupid.

    There are particular patterns of writing that can be identified (not forensically reliably, but for editorial purposes) for drunk emailing, incoherently angry emailing, certain drugs emailing, and certain mental illnesses emailing, in addition to bullying stupid emailing.

    I don't do that for a living, but have been around long enough that I play it on TV. It didn't seem to match bullying stupid but not otherwise impaired behavior in my experience; nor mental illnesses. There are both syntax and logic breakdowns that suggest impairment and not just anger, but not disordered thought patterns like mental illness. It seems to match alcohol like impairment plus anger. Upper drugs are with enough experience very evident, and don't seem to match this. Downers tend to discourage participation, so you see less examples of them, and this wouldn't match what little I have seen.

    I could be wrong. As I said, I just play it on TV. But I've been watching internet communications long enough now to have seen a lot of this.

  124. says

    I don't think he's drunk. I think there's a good chance he's an actual madman. (Maybe it takes one to know one.) Nascent insanity that is now full-blown could explain his earlier folly. If he really is crazy, though, what's written here probably won't hurt his feelings. If anything, my purpose in raising the possibility upfront was not for his or mercy's sake but to suggest appropriate caution.

  125. George William Herbert says

    I just disagree with its application to an established evildoer.

    Evildoers are still human and subject to the same justice and humane treatment standards.

    If they've paid their debt to society, I'm not going to get more ruffled about them getting drunk and ranting.

  126. Lucy says

    Yes alleged. Thank you. Whether alcohol or drugs or lack of or poorly prescribed medications is playing any part in his behavior or not, we may never know. Drawing from his history, he should be understood to mean everything he saying, however discombobulated it is coming across in his current rageful mad state.

    As I type that, I realize we can only allege any state he may be experiencing while composing his comunications.

    Maniacal laughter comes to mind, peppered with screams and sobbing.

  127. nlp says

    George William Herbert, regarding this part of your post, If you've gone to the extent of adding a new attorney on retainer, I would be surprised, but it's up to you to respond and prepare if you think he's more serious than I think he is.
    I doubt that Ken has hired a new attorney and paid him a retainer. I suspect that Ken gets enough of these threats that he is in regular contact with a First Amendment attorney who is willing to represent him in court.
    I'm not certain that alcohol is the problem. Drugs, possibly, but not alcohol.

  128. George William Herbert says

    John Kindley:
    I don't think he's drunk. I think there's a good chance he's an actual madman. (Maybe it takes one to know one.) Nascent insanity that is now full-blown could explain his earlier folly. If he really is crazy, though, what's written here probably won't hurt his feelings. If anything, my purpose in raising the possibility upfront was not for his or mercy's sake but to suggest appropriate caution.

    As I said to Ken a bit earlier –

    I've been around a lot of internet communications from people with actual mental disorders. Bipolar, schizophrenic, psychotic, delusional, etc. Actual diagnosed conditions.

    Bipolar on a high swing is manic, which is distinctly and evidently hyper writing, and everyone pretty much spots this on first impression and gets it right. Some upper drugs have similar effects.

    Schizophrenic has a distinctive language pattern called word salad. This is not that.

    Psychotics aren't that coherent. As incoherent as that was, the communications had a easily understood point and were structured to communicate it. There are logic gaps in psychotic communications that are clear and evident. This guy made some leaps, but we have discerned apparent explanations (apparent divorce, apparent child of age, etc). With psychotics there's usually no explanation to discern.

  129. says

    @Debra, are you implying he is threatening me without wearing pants? YOU ARE SLANDER. HE ARE DISPOSING YOU.

  130. Jess says

    Well it seems Mr. Matherne is a proponent of the triangular argument, the logic which works out to be something along the line of (1) you wrote a blog commenting about me, (2) three years later my life sucks, so therefore (3) you are responsible. The mental gymnastics needed to get from point A to point C seem to be the result of someone (1) whose mind is separated from reality due to mental issues, or (2) the result of a chemical influence of the alcoholic or non-alcoholic persuasion, or (3) some petulant over indulged grown up who never actually grew up and learned you don’t always get what you want. I’d have some real sympathy for #1, less for #2, and absolute zero for #3. Considering this is not his first time at bat down the road of petulant asshattery, I’m voting it’s most likely #3. Only time will truly tell.

  131. BNT says

    I'm 100% in favor in mocking people, including me, for stupid things done when drunk. If he isn't, though–

    If he isn't, this guy makes Tara Carreon and Crystal Cox look functional in comparison. I just don't have the heart to mock someone who's truly mentally impaired. And I can't quite put my finger on it, but something about these missives makes me suspect he's gone beyond "emotionally unstable and incompetent" and is into seek-psychiatric-help-now territory.

    I hope I'm wrong.

  132. leo marvin says

    Meh. Maybe he's a censorious thug. Maybe he's just an addled fool. Maybe he's both. If he follows through, there will be ample time to evaluate the censoriousness of his claims when, with any luck, they're articulated by somebody capable of stringing together a coherent thought and using a spell check. Until then ISTM you're debasing the significance of censorious thuggishness. If this clown's a censorious thug on this thin evidence, what's Brett Kimberlin?

    As for him being an "established evildoer," I don't see how that's established. His lawsuit was undoubtedly censorious, but what do you know about his mental state, including especially his grasp of the law, to be sure his purposes weren't noble by the lights within his comprehension. If a sophisticated plaintiff like Carreon or Kimberlin brings that lawsuit I'm fine with calling it evil and declaring them thuggish for doing so. But somebody I have no reason to believe understands any more about defamation than what his lawyer tells him? Frankly, it wouldn't even shock me if he sincerely believed the giraffe parody was meant as a statement of fact. Remember, half the population have IQs<100, some of them have a lot of money, and irony is a relatively high level concept.

    Look, maybe he knew exactly what he was doing. Maybe he knows it now. It just seems to me that when using a label that implies culpability, one should be pretty sure they've eliminated the innocent alternatives.

  133. Nicholas Weaver says

    GWH: Ken in general shows far too much mercy: letting off bad actors such as marketing scum.

    This particular censorous clown not only has a history of filing frivolous censorous suits, but Ken gave him a private chance to back down first, as well as take care to verify the identity of the sender.

  134. Tali McPike says

    As was pointed out earlier, I think some of the incoherence could be blamed on Iphone autocorrect. Now that doesn't excuse a lot of incoherence, but it does explain some of it (particularly if he isn't bothered to go back and correct it. My dad is guilty of that).
    I think it is not fair to judge him as "crazy" or "drunk," with the exception of the "he's stupid for doing something as insane as sending legal threats to a lawyer who is particularly interested in free speech" sort of "he's crazy"
    Its just as likely that he has full control of his faculties (sane and sober) and simply wrote a not well thought out rage fueled letter, and he didn't bother to go back and reread it for content and coherency.

  135. Tali McPike says

    also, he might not realize that the post is from that long ago. It is still a 1st page result on google for the search term he used (See Ken's comment earlier about that). Perhaps he just read it and didn't bother to check the date.

  136. says

    I don't think it's accurate to say that Ken Matherne is the "owner" of the Global Wildlife Center. According to public records, the Global Wildlife Center is a non-profit corporation and a public charity – 501(c)(3) in good standing with the IRS.

    That's why he keeps calling it a "foundation."

    You can see its Louisiana registration here.

    You can see its Guidestar page here.

    As a public charity, its tax returns are public information. With a free Guidestar account you can download the past three years, and with a paid account you can go back even further. I haven't gone through them in detail yet.

  137. Pete says

    I'm surprised that so many people are leaping to conclusions about alcohol, drugs or mental illness. I suspect that this is simply a person with very poor writing skills, both in terms of grammar and formally structuring his thoughts. Having been born wealthy and raised to run his father's oil business, perhaps traditional academic pursuits weren't a high priority for him. Add a big ego and an emotional crisis, and we're seeing the resultant rant in the form of an unfiltered stream of consciousness. He probably would have chosen not to write anything at all if he could have figured out how to use the Google thing to find Ken's phone number.

  138. George William Herbert says

    Pete –

    I'm leaping to that conclusion because the writing matches the types of writing I've seen otherwise coherent people make when drunk and angry, in overall tone and in detail (overall and locally coherent in the understandable and traceable sense, but with logic gaps and jumps; syntax and grammar and spelling errors, flow). I've been doing this for literally 25 years now.

    That's not proof, but it's very consistent with the patterns I see in drunk keyboarding.

    Nick –

    I have no problems with Ken's conduct here. The only response I have to the "chance to back down privately" is that, if this an angry drunk email rampage, there will be no meaningful opportunity for the sender to reconsider and back down until sobriety sinks in with the fullness of time.

    Again, if sobriety is the problem. Which I am assuming from the details, but do not know for a fact.

  139. says

    @Tali: "Its just as likely that he has full control of his faculties (sane and sober) and simply wrote a not well thought out rage fueled letter, and he didn't bother to go back and reread it for content and coherency."

    If it was just one email, I'd go along with that. This was multiple, apparently over a few hours.

    "I think some of the incoherence could be blamed on Iphone autocorrect."

    I… don't know if I should hope it is, or hope it isn't. If AI is that bad, then I doubt we really need to worry about SkyNet. Or, if it's that good, I suppose it could be a clever plot by the machines to get us humans to kill each other off without it firing a shot. [grin]

    "Perhaps he just read it and didn't bother to check the date."

    Should I ever make multiple threats to sue a lawyer (who kinda specializes in the first amendment) for libel, I hope I'll remember to do better preliminary fact checking than that. But that brings us back to the drunk/drugged/crazy debate. [grin]

  140. Nicholas Weaver says

    If it IS a drunk on a tear, he's was a drunk at 9:30 in the morning new orleans time…

  141. says

    One would hope he would do some preliminary fact checking, however, no matter what the reason for his behavior is (simple rage as I suggested, or alcohol/insanity as others have) not bothering to do something as simple as checking the date on the post seems to be consistent with the rest of his behavior.

  142. George William Herbert says

    Nick –

    If someone recently got divorced and/or their daughter just got spillover tarring-by-association from their earlier … hijinks … I can see them potentially being drunk at 9:30am in New Orleans.

    It's unfortunately a pretty standard response to situational depression.

  143. says

    @Nicholas Weaver
    While to a normal person that would be suspect, if he is an alcoholic (and I'm not saying he is), or drinking because he's emotionally compromised (as others have posited) that is not out of the realm of possibility.
    That being said, I still think he was sober

  144. James Pollock says

    "If AI is that bad, then I doubt we really need to worry about SkyNet"
    Maybe that's why SkyNet can't be reasoned with. You tell it "please stop killing us!" and it hears "Present slope filling USA", can't figure out what you wanted, and proceeds to dispense more hot plasma.

  145. George William Herbert says

    One thing would certainly disambiguate the situation, and that would be an attorney for the person in question contacting Ken on Monday or later.

    Not to be hoped for, but who knows. Never a boring moment…

  146. AlphaCentauri says

    I don't buy that the guy is in control of his faculties. This is more than just the result of typos and autocorrect, and I think it's more than poor literacy skills. George and I could argue over the details of what the actual cause might be, but he's simply not able to communicate and he doesn't grasp the fact. He's got a thought disorder. He couldn't function in normal society like that, let alone marry and run a nonprofit for 20 years, so something is different now.

    He assumes that three years after the giraffe gaffe, Ken automatically would know what he's talking about and what "shit" he wants taken down. He skips around from topic to topic without ever explaining what any of them have to do with anything else. I would be thinking about mania or paranoid schizophrenia. Drunks love to talk about themselves, so I tend to see them rambling on explaining things ad nauseum. This guy assumes Ken already knows what he's talking about. It's like he thinks Ken has been amusing himself the last three years by keeping the old post on his site just to "fuck with his daughter." I have no doubt the rest of his life really is falling apart.

    Yes, it's consistent with his previous legal douchebaggery. But when people go nuts, they don't become completely different people. They tend to become exaggerated versions of themselves. (Though if he was in the early stages of a chronically progressive disorder, it would explain his inability to understand that the giraffe story was a joke.)

  147. says

    I'm still not certain that he is aware that the post is 3 years old. If he isn't good at teh googles he might think only recent stuff shows up in search results, thus thinking Ken has just recently written a post about something from 3 years ago. In which case him assuming Ken knows what he is talking about is a reasonable assumption.
    When people are angry (or otherwise compromised emotionally, particularly if there are multiple compromises, such as anger fueled by hurt, as would be the case if he has indeed recently divorced) they don't necessarily think completely coherently while under the influence of the emotions (like discovering a less than flattering blog post about himself, then getting a response other than "yes sir, right away sir" to his demanding email) but that doesn't mean he's not in control of his faculties. I have a writing based degree, but my off the cuff emotional writing is night and day different from my normal writing, particularly when I'm upset. There are times where I've gone back and read things I wrote while emotionally compromised and thought "wow…that barely makes any sense, what the hell was I thinking?"
    So I don't think its beyond the realm of possibility that the incoherence is a mixture of emotional compromise and crappy autocorrect

  148. says

    GWH: "That's not proof, but it's very consistent with the patterns I see in drunk keyboarding."

    You see, this is the problem with society today. Nobody takes the time to proofread their drunken ramblings. Where's the pride? Where's the sense of elation that one has when one wakes up the next morning, reads what one wrote while trashed, and realizes it was actually pretty coherent?

    One should aspire to be a Bukowski or a Hitchens, not a [Mel] Gibson or a Matherne.

  149. Rich Rostrom says

    nlp • Mar 1, 2013 @12:36 pm: In running a Google search on Mr. Matherne's name, I came across a police report that included the arrest of a Ken Matherne for Armed Robbery a year or so ago.

    Yabbut I find several other Kenneth Mathernes in a Google search, including this 17 -years-old-in-2008 son of a drug dealer ("booked with possession of marijuana, possession of drug paraphernalia, possession of a firearm while in the possession of a controlled dangerous substance and battery of a police officer"; father, mother, and older brother also arrested at that time).

    One site claims to list six Kenneth Mathernes.

    "Matherne" seems to be fairly common name in Louisiana.

  150. Kevin says

    The fact that this thread has elicited quotes from both Monty Python AND Tool fills my heart with joy. This is why Popehat is in my "daily reading" RSS feed.

    I have to disagree though with the general consensus that drunkenness played a part in this incident. Alcohol reduces inhibitions, but it doesn't actually turn otherwise intelligent people into idiots. Hell, I'm drunk right now, yet I'm still perfectly capable of writing coherently. I'm still voting for "stupid" in this round of "crazy/stupid/troll".

    @Ken, I think you're leaving some serious money on the table if you don't start printing up t-shirts with this shit. I know that I for one would pay good money for a shirt with "I Am Libel" and a Popehat logo.

  151. Anony Mouse says

    This is so confusing. I mean, aside from the 3rd grade writing level he's operating on.

    Your post damaged his foundation, which damaged his daughter? I can only assume he means through lost revenue. So he's going to make up for lost revenue by flying around in a $10k/hour private jet and spending untold thousands on a decade-long lawsuit?

  152. JR says

    I think these emails were written while eyeballing vodka in between bouts of beating a transgender prostitute with a trout and shouting about how Richard Parker killed his daughter after reading Ken's post.

  153. Nate says

    If the woman on twitter (with the right name & age, and based in NOLA – keep in mind that it's obviously not a unique name) that I found is his daughter, then she doesn't seem to be suffering any ill effects from the previous blog post (indeed, she seems to be doing quite well). Regardless, damaging the foundation shouldn't damage her in the slightest since it's a non-profit the money it brings in is irrelevant to her. Obviously, I'm not publishing her name, but it's out there to find in public domain.

    From the googling I did he and his brother inherited the oil business & land (that the wildlife centre is on) from their father (who died at age 41). Ken apparently retired in his 30s in order to run the foundation. I'm unsure if he met his future wife before or upon setting the wildlife centre up.

    Interestingly, he donated a fair amount to political campaigns in 07/08, but doesn't appear to have donated anything in the following years.

    This whole thing still makes no sense to me. I'm obviously too far off this guy's wavelength.

  154. Oomph says

    @Troutwaxer – "You are libel! You should be shame!

    I want this on a T-Shirt. Preferably with a giraffe.

    Wearing a popehat." – Like this? (Note that the image is almost certainly copyrighted and I'm not suggesting that anyone actually buys this.)

  155. Lucy says

    He has to know the post is years old. Isn't that what part of the suing was about before?

    He could have just been stewing all this time, and there could have been a straw that landed on his back recently.

    Looking forward to continued updates to the process, and if there are any explanations for his behavior.

  156. Lucy says

    Courts might be less crowded if we all had to wait to be given attorney contact info before filing against their clients.

  157. Joe Pullen says

    @Nate – I saw that also. Additionally his profile on LinkedIn, etc. do not show any education beyond high school. I'd agree with Tali's assessment – likely a combo of anger, poor writing skills/limited education, and writing emails on an iPhone. Even if he inherited a good bit of money (which might account for the arrogance and petulant foot stamping) it doesn't mean he still has much of it left. It's highly possible business has not been going well recently and he's looking to see who he can "blame" for it.

  158. says

    @Oomph: In re your comment on copyright, IMHO a perfect resolution would be for Matherne to file suit and our own noble Ken gets the right to a photo of one of Ken's giraffes for his use on such t-shirts.

    Maybe there should be a line of fine print under the image saying "Photo rights obtained as payment from someone dumb enough to sue"

  159. Anglave says

    I would be proud to support Popehat through the purchase of a t-shirt.

    May I request a small cartoon giraffe wearing the popehat, placed in the traditional left-chest logo position.

    We could have a slogan competition.

  160. Kat says

    Those are literally painful to read.

    I get the feeling somebody got hijacked yesterday morning, and I would guess that social engineering was at work. It just has that feel to it to me.

  161. George William Herbert says

    Brad wrote:
    One should aspire to be a Bukowski or a Hitchens, not a [Mel] Gibson or a Matherne.

    Hitch had an absolutely first-class mind and five decades of practice…

  162. Chris says

    I'm hoping this guy is just drunk. If he is really this crazy then I think you might need to think about moving to a place that allows you to be armed all the time.

  163. John says

    Wait. Wait wait wait.

    1) "You just gave me a new mission in life – to bring the real truth out!"
    2) He refuses to point out the inaccuracies.


    Maybe they really DO have killer giraffes.

  164. Kat says

    Also, I wouldn't call myself a mental health professional (I only have a lower-level psychology degree and some peer counseling experience), but I wouldn't try to evaluate someone's mental health based on the evidence given. It's really not enough for a solid opinion to be formed.


  165. says


    I like it. I was actually thinking of an illustration, but the photograph of the giraffe with it's tongue out is perfect. Also, there are creative commons pictures of giraffes available online. I don't know how good they might be. (I replied to your comment earlier, but I think that one get stuck in moderation.)

  166. darius404 says


    Bingo. Even mental health professionals aren't supposed to try and "diagnose" people they've had no personal contact with. Trying to figure out someone's mental health through correspondence or the media is about as accurate as reading a horoscope.

  167. Shannon says

    @kat I do Social Engineering awareness for InfoSec companies and I don't see why someone would bother with this. It's not Social Engineering if he was hacked andnthey just sent out petulant e-mails… a Social Engineer would go for personal info and data useful to them… at best it would be a hacker troll (and I don't think that's the case… too much passion? or just seemingly vested interest), I don't know why a Social Engineer would bother. On the flip side I'm from N.O. and have Matherne's in my family; although no rich ones… just folk.

  168. davidly says

    Jesus, you guys! What a failure of the imagination that you would limit it to either "it's really him" to "his mail was hacked".

    Did you ever consider that it might be his daughter looking to "protect him" after having stumbled across your post while trolling the Net? It is precisely such an adolescent mindset that would dream up such a thing.

    And, technically, logging in to your father's email account does not necessarily require hacking.

  169. davidly says

    The irony regarding the original lawsuit in question is that if the person writing these emails were to start a newspaper, it would read just like Hammond Action News minus a copy editor.

  170. says

    Is this the same davidly who used to comment on the much-missed Who is IOZ? blog? I mean, how many davidlys can there be in the world? If so, small world, and strange to see you on this much different blog. What happened to IOZ? And my apologies if this comment is not on point, though my excuse is I think everybody forgot the point long ago.

  171. Josh C says

    It's also easy, when trying to edit text on the iPhone, to accidentally delete a single line. The combination of fat-fingering, autocorrect (DYAC!), and various sections potentially being excised accounts for most or all of the incoherence.

    At a guess, the wildlife foundation is somehow 'for his daughter,' and is not doing well. At the same time, his daughter has reached the age where she has nothing but scorn for him. Looking online for reviews of it, he found Ken's repost of the original article, and sent a rambling request for it to come down, ham-handedly comprising:
    1) 'I may be a republican, but I get jiggy with you filthy hippies and your horrible ways. You can tell this because I was shaken down by Democrats marginally more often than by Republicans.'
    2) 'C'mon, man! I have a daughter who is rebellious now! You're making it hard for me to buy her love!'
    3) 'I'm kind of a Big Deal, you don't wanna cross me, boy.'

    Please, please, please, offer him a right of reply in settlement! Please let him write you a post to rebut your original post!

  172. AlphaCentauri says

    I don't think people are trying to diagnose anything so much as raise the possibility that the guy has an organic mental condition not under his control and that if we or one of our family members were in the same position, we would hope people would cut him a break.

  173. Lago says

    Drunk, stupid, or genuinely crazy, there is no excuse for Internet Explorer.

    lol THAT went over the line.

  174. Chris R. says

    Well if someone walks up to you on the street and slaps you with a glove and demands you duel, you'll know it all has to do with an article about killer giraffes.

  175. Nate says

    @Davidly & Josh C, his daughter should be abt 22-23 now (I've found no mention of another daughter). So (should be) past the age of scorn.

    I'm still unsure why it was the (ex)wife's name that was searched for on the site. There doesn't seem to have been any development since Friday, which is hinting to me that he may well have been drunk in the end.

  176. davidly says

    I have to confess to being poorly versed in legalese, so I don't know what "past the age of scorn" means, but I guess the father should also be past said age.

    All I am saying is that the emails read more like those of a twenty-something daughter protecting her father than they do the reverse.

    But, yeah, there is the whole rip-roaring drunk angle to consider. At any rate, I hope Ken never hears from Folsom again.

  177. AlphaCentauri says

    "At any rate, I hope Ken never hears from Folsom again."

    … until he tries to buy a gun and this post comes up on the background check ;)

  178. bw1 says

    My impression of his communications is that this may all go away when he sobers up and is horrified by the content of his Sent folder. That sort of incoherent stream of disjointed crap is the typical communication style of someone who's hammered.

  179. TM says

    My vote is for hacked email / domain. Guy doesn't sound drunk or crazy to me, he sounds like a nigerian scammer. If you're fortunate enough to have never received one of their solicitations, you can check for some samples, but that's how it sounds to me. The same just barely readable grammar and same incoherent rambling with out of date references to his prowess. The only hole in my theory (and it's a big one) is that I can't figure out how the scammer figures on getting away with anything? Maybe if you ask how to "make this all go away" he tells you to western union a "settlement" to him?

  180. says

    What were people saying about "psychoanalyzing" or diagnosing Matherne based on his emails?

    How 'bout diagnosing him centuries after the fact based on plays and "historian consensus"?
    "University of Leicester psychologists have made an analysis of Richard III's character – aiming to get to the man behind the bones. Professor Mark Lansdale, Head of the University's School of Psychology, and forensic psychologist Dr Julian Boon have put together a psychological analysis of Richard III based on the consensus among historians relating to Richard's experiences and actions."

  181. Nick says

    I'd actually argue the guy's a genius. He was able to turn a portmanteau into a contraction: "You are liable for libel" became "You are liable for libel." Of course, it's punctuated incorrectly (it should be, "You are li'bel."), but I'll give him credit anyway.

  182. says

    Someone from the Louisiana Department of Justice is now visiting, having Googled Ken Matherne Folsom Louisiana. They, too, are using Internet Explorer.

  183. Kevin says

    @Nick Hmmmm… pursuing that theory, perhaps "dis-board" is a contraction of "disbarred" and "waterboarded".

  184. Nilsson says

    Stroke is not at all uncommon. It may affect various parts of cognition. Best addressed immediately for possible recuperation of faculties. After four days … considerably less chance. Maybe this guy used to possess more gold than marbles to begin with.

    Perhaps someone in the loop could tweet the alleged daughter with a potential health alert? I mean, it's all fun 'til someone dies.

    Anyway, what do I know.

  185. perlhaqr says

    Wow. Just wow.

    Someone has clearly pulled out that man's pins, because he is unhinged.

  186. says

    You know if he'd just put out a press release that the killer giraffe was really five-hundred hedgehogs in fancy dress, and that their "garden slugs of murder" exhibit was experiencing too high a body count to remain open…

    Well, it would have been great publicity.

    Just google "SPD centaur cosplay" for an example of how it's done.

    Some people don't know how to business.

  187. Alan Bleiweiss says

    I love how the top photos for Mr. Matherne include a giraffe photo. It kind of wraps the whole multi-year fiasco into one neat little bow. Seriously – protecting one's online reputation by this particular route is kind of sad.

    First, the original PopeHat article is already on the 1st page of results for the guy's name. Now, yeah, the 1st page is just going to get more crowded with related follow-up insanity. Maybe one day the guy will call me on the phone and ask for an online reputation audit. :-)

  188. Patrick says

    Thank you (once again) for getting me through hump Wednesday with a smile. I'll follow this with glee.

  189. Biggie says

    I must also say thanks. I normally just breeze through this site from time to time and this time I had to pull up a seat and wallow in the nuttiness of it all. Wow – freaking – wee! The flesh eating giraffe's are belong to him.

    Carry on,


  190. Ken Mencher says

    Wow…and I was at popehat just to read Ken's notes regarding the deposition for Prenda Law…

    Now I'm going to have to follow this site, because this is entertaining…

  191. Ken Mencher says

    @Ken White

    BTW, I'm still reading this blog…the cray cray is entertaining…

    Curious if there's any follow-up on this (I know, the wheels grind slowly)