Gonzalez isn't the only one doing this. In 2012, Taryn Wright's Facebook feed was inundated with the sad story of Dana Dirr, a gifted surgeon who died in a car crash right after giving birth to her 11th child ... on Mother's Day. Also, one of her sons, nine-year-old "Warrior" Eli, was fighting his fourth battle with cancer. Sure seems like a lot of tragedy for one family outside of a soap opera, but come on, the Dirrs had a long, dramatic history stretching back to the early 2000s. It couldn't all be fake, right?
As Wright soon determined, it could! Family photos had been stolen from a South African blog, and there was no record of Dana Dirr in the hospital where she "worked." Wright set up the Warrior Eli Hoax blog to out the 22-year-old medical student who had been faking the Dirr saga since she was a preteen, because it's really hard to get people to read your fanfiction, guys. Since then, Wright has exposed many other shameless scammers ... and befriended them out of serious concern for their mental health, because she's a way better person than us.
Related: 6 Nobodies Who Turned Into Action Heroes Without Warning
The Beach Bum Who Can't Get Out Of Bed Without Taking Down An Evil Cult
Paul Morantz was a self-described LA "beach bum" who'd studied law as a fallback but really wanted to become a professional writer. That didn't work out, because Morantz was apparently cursed to fight injustice wherever he went. In 1974, he stumbled upon the case of Golden State Manor, a nursing home that was basically abducting homeless people and keeping them doped up while making big bucks billing the government for their "care."
Having nothing better to do, Morantz spent two years building and winning a case against Golden State and the "dog-catchers" who fed hapless bums to them. He returned to focusing on his writing career, and even sold a TV movie of the week ... but then an old acquaintance came back to pull him right into the stakes-raising sequel.
Morantz was asked to help a girl held prisoner by a group called Synanon, a drug treatment program that gradually transitioned into a truly terrifying cult. They brutally assaulted anyone who opposed them, forced members into having abortions, and built a heavily armed "security force" known as the Imperial Marines. Not satisfied with merely getting the girl out, Morantz dedicated himself to taking Synanon down. The cult hated him so much that they put a live rattlesnake in his letter box, which is something we had no idea happened outside of kung fu movies.
Via Paul MorantzLittle did they know he would be treated with an IV drip of concentrated vengeance.
Morantz survived, barely, but Synanon's founder was found guilty of conspiracy to commit murder and the cult collapsed, so it was all worth it. The snakebite left him with lifelong medical problems (he's currently housebound, and says his death will set a record for the longest murder). But if anything, this only gave Morantz more of a hate-boner against cults.
He ran the class-action lawsuit that put the sickening Center for Feeling Therapy out of business, organized the campaign that stopped the LAPD from being trained by the bizarre group known as est, and even fought early cases against Scientology. That's numerous major cults and a hobo-kidnapping conspiracy, all foiled by a guy who really only wanted to write and surf. By contrast, when we set out to write and surf, we barely manage to write, and certainly don't manage to surf. How does one just stumble onto justice?
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