It’s weird to realize that the Penn Mommy mess covered less than six weeks of time from the beginning of Penn Mommy’s blog to Chris being outed as Penn Mommy. I jokingly call this the Penn Mommy Rosetta Stone because I hope to have all the relevant Penn Mommy information in one entry so that anyone who stumbles across this can have all they need to make an informed decision about who was behind this fraud. Once you have all the data in one place, I believe there is no question that Chris was Penn Mommy. But we all have to make our own decisions in life and hopefully just having all of this information in one place will help.
Ground Rules for This Post
The Gosselin family’s antics (Kate’s a shrew, Jon’s a bum, the kids are neglected, Kate’s a saint, Jon’s a pushover, etc.) are not the topic of this entry. Please, for my sanity, only discuss the Gosselin family in reference to Penn Mommy/Chris’ antics.
Reading the internecine warfare that took place between some of the Gosselin sites made me question my belief in man as an intelligent, creative force on this planet. We can discuss the warfare in terms of how it permitted the Penn Mommy fraud to play out. We can discuss the warfare as a thing that happened. But if the warfare spills over into this entry, wherein people discuss how site A was cool and site B was filled with idiots, or arguments erupt between site fans, I will ban everyone involved, track them down on Google maps and sow their yards with salt. The desire of people who did not even know the Gosselins to harm others who had a different opinion about the family was unpleasant to read through and I won’t abide it on this site.
Cast of Characters
Penn Mommy: Chris posing as a woman named Corrine/Corrinne/Corinne Haas who lived in Pennsylvania. She was a stewardess/stay-at-home-mom, a distant relative to Chris Izer-B*, and had three sons. She could not settle on a spelling for her first name and she had a hard time remembering her own back story. She created the site In Support of the Real Truth to reveal what she had seen behind the scenes with the Gosselin family.
Jonah/Jonas Haas: Penn Mommy’s oldest son. He was at Cornell law school and his name was not spelled the same way consistently.
William Haas: Chris posing as Penn Mommy’s middle son. He was the one who reported to various Gosselin websites all of the medical maladies that befell his brother. His writing style seems very much like his mother’s.
Jason Haas: Penn Mommy’s youngest son. He was attending his first semester at USC and fell ill with appendicitis. He died from complications of a stroke after surgery. His college of choice and illness ostensibly explain why it was his mother was in California when she claimed she lived in Pennsylvania.
Becky Haas: A sock that posted about how wonderful Penn Mommy was. Despite having the same last name, Becky never revealed any sort of family connection to Penn Mommy’s family.
Aunt Jodi: Kate Gosselin’s sister-in-law, married to Kate Gosselin’s brother. She is a real person but Chris or someone else posed as her at one point because she never had a blog. Depending on the Gosselin site you read, Aunt Jodi is a saint who was a force of kindness and stability in the Gosselin kids’ lives or she is a grasping money-grubber who tried to horn in on the Gosselin fame.
Julie Brown: Jodi’s sister. She is a real person and maintains a blog called Truth Breeds Hatred. This is an anti-Kate Gosselin blog and from all appearances, it is a real blog, or real in that she is not a Chris Izer-B* sock puppet. Julie outright vouched for Penn Mommy’s authenticity despite never setting eyes on her.
Ricksgirlfriday: Suspected sock. I cannot prove that this is Chris but at the same time, Ricksgirlfriday claims she met Penn Mommy in the flesh and that she looks nothing like Chris. Since Chris is Penn Mommy, I concluded it was Chris pretending yet again.
Bethanna, MrsBananabethanna, Bananabethanna: I will be discussing this name more in depth later because these identities are tied to a person who Chris knew in real life. This is a “hermit crab” identity (commenter Ariel describes Chris like a hermit crab, assuming the names of people around her as her sock puppets, similar to the way a hermit crab will abandon its shell and go in search of a shell that belonged to another crab). The real Bethann never left a single comment on any of these sites. The Bethanna socks have a close tie to Possummomma/Chris Izer-B in other places online. They will definitely be coming up again outside of Penn Mommy.
Jhawksgirl1: A proven sock puppet of Chris Izer-B*.
etown mom: A sock used to float improbable Gosselin stories on GDNNOP.
Bohemian Moon: A real person with a real blog. Many think she was a sock puppet but she wasn’t. She supported Penn Mommy in the beginning.
Karen: Again, this is Chris. In this comment, Jhawksgirl1 outs herself as Karen. Karen and variations of the name (Corinna, Corrine, Korinne, etc) are hallmarks of Chris’ sock puppets. And because Jhawksgirl1 is Chris, that means Chris is Karen.
*Serena: She sets off my alarm bells but I have never been able to determine if she is a real person. So I suspect her but can prove nothing.
FIONA: She’s got some intense opinions but she is a real person who just got caught up in this whole mess. I mention her because her name shows up all the time in these accounts. But she is not a sock. And the extremity of her opinions made her a convenient scapegoat for Chris’ inevitable accusations of stalking
David: Another hermit crab sock for Chris Izer-B*. David exists in real life and is friends with Chris – his name is David Cameron Sylvester – but he never posted on any of Chris’ sites (or at least I hope he didn’t because otherwise he has a lot of explaining to do). He will show up again, much like the Bethann socks will. He is important because this sock posted an explanation of how it was Chris could not be behind the Penn Mommy fraud.
Peppermint Patty: A known Chris Izer-B* sock, and a mod on GWoP. She is not mentioned much but she is a lynch pin, of sorts. She is how it is that Chris got enough information to pass herself off as a Gosselin insider. ETA: I misinterpreted the information I was given about Chris. Chris/Peppermint Patty wasn’t a mod but had access to insider information through her usual way of cozying up to other people who did have crucial information.
*Peri: She created a parody site of GDNNOP and some people claimed she was Chris. This one fizzled out and I don’t know one way or the other but I tend to think this was not Chris.
GDNNOP: Website called Gosselins Do Not Need Our Pity. This was the site that revealed Chris was behind Penn Mommy. The mods on the site were subjected to a lot of unpleasant behavior online, including accusations of stalking and harassing a family whose son had just died.
GWoP: A heavily anti-Kate Gosselin snark site that came about when TWoP (Television Without Pity) cracked down on and eventually banned all commenting on the Jon & Kate Plus Eight show’s page on the forum. GWoP believed and supported Penn Mommy. Some from the site still support Penn Mommy to this day. For a while, the site had up an “In Memoriam” statement for the fictional Jason Haas.
GWoP Without Pity: Inception level-stuff here. GWoPWoP was created to snark the people who created a site so they could snark the Gosselins. Make sense? Lots of bad information came from the entries on this site – this is where the rumor that Chris had been on a Half-Ton Mom show came about. But this site also backed up Google Reader copies of information that later got deleted from the relevant sites.
P3: The moniker Chris gave her own daughter on her site, Atheist in a Minivan. P3, interestingly, had an attack of appendicitis right around the time Jason Haas died from appendicitis. However, and this is interesting, Jason’s fatal brush with appendicitis came before P3′s appendix removal. Was P3 exhibiting signs of appendicitis before Chris invoked Jason Haas dying, or was it just a bizarre coincidence that Chris’ actual child developed the ailment that killed Penn Mommy’s fictional child? No one will ever know because I doubt Chris will ever discuss this with me.
*these names are not mentioned in this entry but they came up so often that I felt I needed to mention them.
The Short Version
Once upon a time there was a television show devoted to the Gosselin family. They had a set of twins and then a set of sextuplets and their life became a circus on TV and online. Joel McHale made fun of them, people snarked them and they inspired much criticism and consternation. Because the threads on TWoP were evidently more than the mods there wanted to deal with, the thread got shut down and those who found they still had a lot to say about the Gosselin family reassembled on Gosselins Without Pity. GWoP quickly became a place where Kate Gosselin was not well liked. Chris was a mod on GWoP under the name Peppermint Patty. (ETA: I misinterpreted the information I was given about Chris. Chris/Peppermint Patty wasn’t a mod but had access to insider information through her usual way of cozying up to other people who did have crucial information.) Continue reading