Can Stolen Valor Cause a War? The Curious Case of Pryam Farll.
By Ragnar Musashi
In my travels through social media, I may have—by complete accident—stumbled upon one of the greatest cases of Stolen Valor I’ve ever seen. I found this guy in the comment threads of a fairly prominent history professor and author, making some rather outlandish claims about not just himself but the geopolitical landscape as a whole.
“Pryam Farll,” the name he uses (he used to go by “Arcangelo”), claims to have the highest of high security clearances and, get this, is a Lieutenant General (who is getting his third star just before retirement) in the United States Marine Corps. His Facebook posts are usually from “NATO HQ” in Brussels and filled with talks of simulated wargames with Russia because, true story, World War III is just around the corner.
Sounds obviously fake, right? So why even bother to write this up?
One, the guy isn’t stupid. I have seen enough of his writings to realize he’s a sharp dude who has fairly extensive knowledge of the military. This leads me to question whether or not he’s actually in uniform and maybe an assistant to a real General Officer—something that could cause some major issues (more on this at the end, as it goes back to the title of the article).
Two, making this information public allows the magic of crowd-sourcing to happen. Someone in the military community may realize who this is and uncover a bigger problem (also more on this at the end).
So let’s go through his most repeated claims and what my research has shown, then I’ll offer a conclusion as to why this is important.
-to be a 2 star general officer in the Marine Corps who personally knows GEN James Mattis “like a brother” (and served with Mattis in Vietnam—despite my inability to find record of GEN Mattis serving in Vietnam).
-to speak and read several languages at a high level of fluency (to include Russian).
-to read the emails of high-level Russian officials (including Putin).
-to regularly hang out with the King of Belgium, Pope Emeritus Benedict (Cardinal Ratzinger), and the Patriarch of Constantinople.
-to have multiple PhDs (plus is a graduate of seminary).
-to be 6’ 5” tall, an undergraduate of University of Colorado, and is currently 65 years old (as of 30 December 2016).
All of these are “facts” (among others) that he has dropped during numerous conversations on social media while continuing his largest claims that World War III is just around the corner—something he says he knows because he regularly reads the emails of Russian officials—and that it will involve collusion between Russians and Chinese forces. In a comment thread he mentioned that China was one of the top issues facing the United States. When asked why, he responded, “Because they’ve decided with Russia on WW3…. which is why Mattis got this job [of SECDEF]. I read their mail. Every day.”
When asked why he was saying this on Facebook and whether or not it was classified, he responded by saying that “it isn’t classified to say it’s classified,” and added:
“They know we watch them. Not just intercepts. I get daily photo recon from NRO, detailed Intel on their military production and construction, naval deployments, air force movements, training details, and much more. They can’t hide their intentions any more than could Germany and Japan between 1937 and 1941. Their intentions are widely discussed in western military academia (war colleges, etc). Bottom line: They know we know what they’re up to.”
“And, as stated, I’m the one who gives future guidance to the JS and NATO re what’s coming. Trump is clueless about geopolitics and military affairs… I’ve been at the heart of both for 44 years… including NSC staff with Reagan and both Bushes. Trump doesn’t get to decide the geopolitical future. That decision has already been made in Moscow and Beijing. Period.”
“I do have a stratospheric, all-source security clearance, 3 phd’s, and 40 yrs experience doing this job however. And I read their mail. Every day.”
From December 30, 2016, upon being asked about languages spoken:
“From age zero to the present. I’m 65. I learned English, Dutch, Danish, and Norwegian as a toddler. French and German as a child. Italian and Latin at Eton. Greek in seminary and from friends. Russian and Serb-Croatian from college and the DLI. I’m also generally proficient in Spanish and Polish. I’m learning Estonian.”
After numerous searches, I cannot find a single Marine Corps General Officer on Active Duty who has a PhD (let alone multiple) or a DPhil, nor one who has graduated from seminary (except for the Chaplain of The Marine Corps). It’s important to note that General Officers are public figures who essentially hold a public office. Their basic backgrounds are not “secret,” so Googling “Marine Corps General Officer PhD” should yield a result if there is one.
According to 10 U.S. Code § 636: Mandates retirement for O8s after 35 years of active commissioned service or 5 years in grade, whichever is later; after 38 years of active commissioned service for O9s; and after 40 years of active commissioned service for O10s.
According to 10 U.S. Code § 1253: Mandatory retirement age for general and flag officers is age 64. Officers in O9 and O10 positions may have retirement deferred until age 66 by the SECDEF or until age 68 by the President.
This means he should have retired at least one year ago, if not two, and that his career being extended would be very much public record. And when people with careers that long retire, it’s a big deal. So if he’s retiring this month…
Or am I missing something?
Conclusion—and the point of writing this:
I think it’s obvious he’s not a General Officer for a multitude of reasons. But what if—and hear me out here—he’s working for someone in a very prominent position? What if all his posts that are coming from NATO HQ are actually coming from NATO HQ?
Or what if he is part of another concerted information campaign of some sort? Who would benefit of disinformation of this sort?
My point in asking these questions in relation to the title of the article is simply this: if a guy working for someone in a prominent position in the military is on social media spreading massive disinformation, what else is he doing? The people on his friends’ list on Facebook are not nobodies—point of fact, he has friends who served in the Reagan administration (as well as other prominent government positions), academics, and some fairly successful entrepreneurs (823 friends on his Facebook the last time I checked).
If he fools these people into believing Russia and China are going to attack us, what kind of ramifications could that have? If people with important connections start believing something, at what point does it matter if it isn’t true?
Perhaps this is crazy speculation, but I’ve followed this guy long enough to realize that 1) he has a lot of people convinced that he is who he says he is, and 2) he’s not stupid.
So what are the possible ramifications of this? And who the fuck is this guy??
Editor’s note: the opinions expressed by Rhino Den writers are not necessarily those of Ranger Up.