A week or so ago, I was honored with a request of some folks from SOCNET for our help in assisting them in a legal battle they’re having with a stolen valor thief turned bully who happens to be a lawyer. John Giduck was discharged from the Army after a lengthy career of 58 days and proceeded to build another career based on lies about his military experience – you know because all of that Drill & Ceremony gives him a distinct advantage in the world of private security. Well, the folks at SOCNET outed him as a phony and started damaging his business, so like some of the phonies we’ve had here, he struck back. I’ll let the folks from SOCNET explain the whole story;
I am a member of the U.S. Special Operations Website known as SOCNET.COM. It is, since 1996, a place for military, law enforcement and special operations personnel to “hang out” and commiserate. It is open to the public at large and often serves as a sounding board to verify someone’s bonafides in the aforementioned careers; as well as discuss various other topics.
In 2007, a member asked about an individual named John Giduck who made claims, in writing, that he was a former US Army Special Forces Soldier, Ranger, tactical parachute instructor, etc. Mr. Giduck specializes in lectures and seminars given to law enforcement and military organizations about active shooters in schools. He based his work on a book he published (Mar 2005) about the Beslan School Siege in Russia (1 Sep 2004). As usual, several of us contacted former associates to establish Mr Giduck’s credentials. Within a few days we learned that Mr. Giduck had never served in the Army nor ever been a sworn police officer. Needless to say, it put a severe ‘dent’ in his credibility and ability to critique tactics, techniques and procedures. Several of us reported our findings on SOCNET and let it go. Lots of posers, but not a lot of time to deal with them..
His company, Archangel, immediately went on the offensive and posted very long diatribes about his expertise, duty, loyalty, etc. The usual fluff one expects from individuals with direct financial ties to posers: Attack the people who question them, but not directly address facts associated with their fraudulent background. One Archangel employee, Anderson, went as far as to physically threaten a SOCNET member. The post was archived so as not to inflame the situation any further. Anderson owns a gun store in Colorado, so the threat had some degree of credibility.
After three months of harangue, Archangel and Mr. Giduck’s proxies gave up and SOCNET ignored them as well. In November 2011, another associate of Archangel and Mr. Giduck re-opened the controversy by resurrecting the old thread from 2007. This associate, Mason, is former SEAL who defrauded the Navy of $110,000 and turned on his commander Richard Marcinko (“Rougue Warrior”) in exchange for a lighter sentence. The irony of a known poser using a convicted felon to defend his ‘honor’ was not lost on us…
Mason essentially warned SOCNET as a whole that if we did not apologize to Mr. Giduck, there would be trouble ahead. We did some research and discovered three things: Whenever someone used Google and searched used “John Giduck”, SOCNET was the number one search result. Second, fewer law enforcement organizations were contacting him for speaking engagements. Many of us believe they didn’t call him back because he really didn’t provide any real value-added to their policies or training. Third, he just published another book on how a person can “Bring Out the Green Beret in You”. He co-wrote the book with Anderson. The free publicity on SOCNET apparently harmed his book sales.
Mr. Giduck stepped up his campaign along two lines: First, he promised to reveal Personal Identifying Information (PII) of every member of SOCNET he could find. Many of the members of SOCNET are on active duty or serve in sensitive duty positions. His first revelation was of an active-duty Army Special Forces Soldier. We later found out that Mr. Giduck used the Special Operations Association and the Special Forces Association to find the Soldier and publicly release his information. This Soldier is a Silver Star recipient (from Afghanistan) and serves as a Team Sergeant in a Special Forces Group.
Ron McCan, a former president of the Special Forces Association and an employee working at the Special Forces School, used his access to sensitive records and Army Knowledge Online to provide Mr. Giduck everything he needed to place the Soldier’s life in danger as well as his family. Ironically, this Soldier was the first to back away from the controversy surrounding Mr. Giduck when the President of the Special Operations Association, ‘Tilt’ Meyer, informed the Soldier that Mr. Giduck was in fact an ‘Honorary’ Lifetime Member of the SOA as well as legal counsel for the SOA. In other words, this Soldier had nothing to do with challenging the credibility of Mr. Giduck.
You can view the results of his efforts to reveal the PII of SOCNET membership at his web site [Editor Note: I removed the link to protect TAH readers from a dangerous script at the website mentioned]:
Second, Mr. Giduck mailed a ‘pseudo’ lawsuit (early 2012) directly to the Soldier demanding $200,000 from him; as well as contacting the Army directly to investigate the Soldier. The US Army cleared him of all wrong-doing.
Since March 2012 several of us on our own time began open-source research into Mr. Giduck’s past and post our findings. Among the things we discovered:
Mr. Giduck was a practicing attorney in Colorado. One of his last clients was Donna Yaklich, a woman accused (later convicted) of murdering her husband, a Pueblo PD Police Officer. He had an public affair with her after the husband’s death and flew to the Caribbean with her when the Pueblo PD issued a warrant for her arrest. She later returned, turned herself in and retained better counsel…
Mr. Giduck said he never served in the military. We found he enlisted in the Army and failed out of basic training after 58 days.
Mr. Giduck went to Russia and publicly claimed he trained with the Russian SOF, Spetsnaz, as well as consorting with the FSB. The FSB is the successor to the KGB from the Soviet era. This item set off alarm bells with those still in government service. The reason being is we are duty, morally and ethically bound to report these instances to our security and counter-intelligence. There is no “wiggle room” on that process either.
Mr. Giduck consistently provided background information to various organizations throughout the USA alluding to his military experience in SOF. This information is on the internet in cached files or the actual web sites.
Mr. Giduck used the ‘legend’ he created to segue himself into sensitive facilities as well as a national-level Tier One Counter-Terrorism organization. Mr. Giduck does not have a security clearance granted by the DoD or the US Government in general.
There are several other instances of his claims not matching actual experience. SOCNET has a compendium at these URLs:
Mr. Giduck has a ‘spot’ on the Poser’s “Wall of Shame” at the POW Network web site.
This article was written in March/April 2011, but the seminar Mr Giduck spoke at was January 2010; almost two years BEFORE the Giduck Issue was resurrected by Giduck’s employees on SOCNET.
The second URL above is especially damning because it’s written by a retired Intelligence Analyst from the CIA. Mr Cariens, the analyst, started reporting on John Giduck’s so-called research on the VA-Tech Shooting in 2008 (three years before Giduck’s employees resurrected issue):
Mr. Giduck finally revealed two weeks ago what his real intention with collecting and publishing PII: He filed a civil lawsuit against 21 members of SOCNET and 30 unnamed “John Does”. Case Number 12CV128, Park County Courthouse, Colorado. Rather than elaborating on the lawsuit, I’ll summarize: It’s childish, very poorly written and is a textbook example of SLAPP (Strategic Lawsuit Against Public Participation). Coincidentally, Colorado does not have anti-SLAPP regulations as do many other states. It also comes on the heels of the SCOTUS overturning the “Stolen Valor” Act as an infringement of First Amendment rights. Mr. Giduck’s lawsuit will be the first of many more suits filed by posers to defend their ‘legends’; particularly on the internet.
No doubt you’re asking why I’m writing to you regarding this situation. In short, I’m asking for your web site’s help in publicizing this vendetta Mr. Giduck has against anyone who challenges his credibility.
Below is a letter from another member of SOCNET that best sums up the situation:
“If Giduck is allowed to win this fight it will open the door for every military poser busted on this and other websites to file suit. This suit is about money. It has been from the beginning. That was apparent from the first e-mail that slipped out of his control where Giduck states that he is looking for some deep pockets to sue and win a summary judgement.
This isn’t just about SOCNET. It’s about all of us. If he wins, we will have lost our right to have a free-speech-based opinion about those who would steal what cost us so much to earn. For years this man has posed as a Ranger and a Special Forces Soldier to sell his snake oil to LE and military personnel all over the country, and he has profited greatly. His profits are now in danger due to the truth coming out and him being exposed as the poser that he is. He has infiltrated the Special Operations Association as well as the Special Forces Association and has used them against us.
The first person he attacked, MSG XXXX, is a life member of both associations. MSG XXXX is a Silver Star recipient and an active duty E-8. Giduck attempted to extort $200K from MSG XXXX through threat of a lawsuit. MSG XXXX was served this legal document after his personal information was handed over to Giduck by the SOA. Later, the President of the SFA also used his official access as a contractor at SWC to obtain further personal information about MSG XXXX which was also handed over to Giduck. Neither association lifted a finger to stand behind our brother, MSG XXXX. MSG XXXX crime? He asked the SOA President how John Giduck could be a life member of SOA,(as per Giduck’s promotional materials) when he only served less than two months in the Army. Turns out Giduck was an “Honorary” life member. A fact that Giduck didn’t bother to mention. Giduck obtained his honorary membership in SOA by cash donations and providing free legal representation. Giduck was also the “Registered Agent” for the SOA, meaning that he had legal control of the association.
This is not an indictment of the entire SOA. They are mostly of a different generation that shy away from the internet. Most of them probably weren’t aware of any of this. The SFA is basically in the same boat. Cash donations bought influence and access. I will let others speak about the SFA if they so choose, as that is out of my lane.
Bottom line is, we, and what we stand for, are under attack. Our brothers are victims of this frivolous lawsuit filed by this impostor. We need your help. We talk about our brotherhood a lot and how we will always stand together. Well, that time has come. This website is a powerful force as we have seen many times. I’m asking you to get actively involved in this situation and stand beside us. If he is allowed to win, the consequences are dire. Not only for our brothers who are being sued and whose families, homes, careers and financial well being is at stake, but for the future of SOCNET and others like it.”
A small group of us on SOCNET are trying to get the word out publicly of Mr. Giduck’s actions. We are asking your assistance, and asking your readership to spread the word about Mr. Giduck. Mr. Giduck is fast becoming a serial litigator and will use the litigations as a source of revenue to supplement his income as a speaker. Jonathan Keith Idema did the same thing as does the Westboro Baptist Church.
I apologize for the long diatribe, but I felt you needed some situation awareness regarding Mr. Giduck’s actions.
We could really use your help. We’re not backing down from this and those of us named in the current lawsuit have no choice. We’re in it to win it.
I’ve seen where Giduck has even fooled author Brad Thor, whose novels I’ve stopped reading because of his relationship with Giduck. I don’t tolerate bullies very well, and TSO and I have been the subject of a few recently. I don’t blame these guys for not backing down. Since the Supreme Court put it all on our shoulders to enforce the standards of our veteran community, none of us can surrender an inch to these childish little thugs.
So now you know the Giduck story. Share this link to get the word out and move us up the search engine results for John Giduck