Some of you know GABRIEL KOERNER from his work on fan films like Star Trek Continues and BSG: Second Coming. Some know him as “That kid from the Trekkies documentary.” And of course, he currently does CGI for the Fox TV series The Orville along with an impressive list of other Hollywood projects on his IMDb page.
Of course, he’s also a well-known AXANAR detractor, posting frequent comments to social media and even to this blog disparaging ALEC PETERS and the Axanar production. In fact, just this past Monday, Gabe referenced Alec (without naming him directly) in this comment to Fan Film Factor. The blog title read “Is TREK crowd-funding in TROUBLE?” Gabe answered: “Yes. Thanks to the actions of ONE careless, unethical, reckless irresponsible individual’s actions.”
Ironic that Gabe would use the words “unethical,” “reckless,” and “irresponsible” as, just a few hours later, a video would be posted that included recordings of nearly a dozen harassing voicemail messages left by Gabe on the answering machine of BARNEY CORNETT of West Virginia. In the video, Barney says that these are just a small sample of nearly 100 harassing calls that he and his family have received over the course of the past five months.
Here is that video…
There’s no need to ask whether I’ve confirmed the veracity of this video. Gabe has since admitted to making these calls in this public post to the Axamonitor group on Facebook:
An now, my own apology for the length of the rest of this blog, but I want to share a series of increasingly disturbing e-mail exchanges I’ve had with Gabe since Monday night. (Since none of this was off the record, I feel I can share the exchange here.) I’ll explain my reasons for deciding to do this after we get through all of the e-mails, keeping my comments minimal until the end.
I should mention, however, that this first e-mail from Gabe preceded the above public apology and admission that he made these calls…
Hi, polite request, Barney Cornett is publishing videos that contain the phone number I use on my portfolio for work purposes telling some kind of bogus story on your FFF FB. Not keen on having my # in the wild on a page wackos like Jeff Craig frequent. If he’s got a beef he’s welcome to talk to me, not put my phone number on weird videos. You’re welcome to remove his post, thanks.
– LLAP! Gabe
Gabe, you crank-called the guy 100 times since November! You called him 15 times in 20 minutes! Personally, I think he’s 100% justified in outing you.
I watched the video. That’s your voice, Gabe. I recognized it on the third or fourth-to-last message.
What the hell were you thinking???? The guy’s got a wife and kid who are terrified. I don’t know what he did to you on Facebook, but nothing could justify your behavior.
I think if you want Barney to take the video down, you are going to need to publicly apologize to him and promise to never call his number again. Barney decides on whether or not to take down the video. I’m not going to intercede for you.
I did NOT call him “100 times” or “15 times in 20 minutes”. That’s an exaj on his part…
I’m not so sure. Did you listen to the time-stamps on the last five calls? Sunday 7:05pn, 7:08pm, 7:10pm, 7:11pm, and 7:13pm. That’s 5 calls in 8 minutes. I don’t find 15 calls in 20 minutes (as the video says) to be all that unbelievable.
Gabe, you’re lying like Trump to me tonight. First you call the video a “bogus story” (which was a lie, since I’ve now read your apology), and now you’re trying to minimize the amount of times you called him. “A few”? A “botched attempt at comedy”? Dude, do you really believe any of that? Because the rest of us totally don’t.
You’re in deep shit at the moment, dude. You really need to put down the shovel.
Seeing as you’re not going to intercede on my behalf, I’m going to expect you not to escalate it either. I got work to worry about, and I wouldn’t fuck with your job if you had one.
So I won’t pull any more childish pranks on anyone, and I’m also gonna go ahead and not be an 8 page blog piece for ya either. Do we have that understanding, sir?
I haven’t decided yet. The fact that you’ve talked to Barney’s niece (seriously????) and are trying to trash-talk him to me makes me think I actually might need to write a blog—not about the video itself (although it would be included)—but about your reactions to it…including the lies to me and attempt to bash the victim.
There is also my still-in-process interview with Barney about how this all started…”Ranch.”
So no…no “understanding” at the moment. However, I do promise not to send anything directly to anyone in Fox legal. That’s as far as I will go at the moment.
I didn’t reach out to that niece person, that person contacted me after finding one of my comments amusing.
Jonathan I was hoping for reconciliation despite differences at some point. I wouldn’t dream of threatening you. I wouldn’t want that fight, and you share a house with a Legal Fortress even if I did.
If you write up a big long hit piece with my name slathered all over it, there’s 0 chance. 0 chance ever. I will be very, very, very upset.
My adamant recommendation is de-escalation. Thank you. 🙂
Sorry, everyone, I know I there’d be minimal commentary during the exchanges, but I feel I need to remind folks of what Gabe posted publicly just a few weeks ago…
So Gabe doesn’t seem too interested in a reconciliation. And to be honest, I’m not all that motivated either. He’s said some very nasty and hurtful things both about me and (as you’re about to see) to me…
I’m not entirely sure what that means. 0 chance of what? Of a reconciliation? Gabe, you’ve burned our bridges so many times, the canyon is full of ashes. I have no desire to reconcile. You are toxic both physically and emotionally. I don’t need that in my life.
If you really want this not to be blogged about, the apology needs to be much more accurate to what you actually did. Your current apology makes what you did sound minimal. It wasn’t. It was huge. You didn’t “bother” Barney’s wife, you terrified her. His son completely freaked out. He cried. He couldn’t fall asleep. No one knew if you were capable of or willing to come to West Virginia to find them and do something to any or all of them.
Unless you write something that honestly, truly, sincerely, and in a heartfelt way acknowledges what you really did to these people, the use of a sock-puppet account to try to gain Barney’s trust, the attempts to convince him that you weren’t Gabe when you were, and that there were, in fact, nearly 100 calls over the course of 5 months and that you didn’t just get a little drunk one time but had a pattern of behavior over nearly half a year that was, at best, creepy, and more likely pathological…unless you write something acknowledging all of the above and post it in multiple public forums, someone else may decide to do it for you.
The people whose lives I positively benefit would find the Toxicity factor debatable. Remember, its called “bi-polar” because I have a distinctly GOOD side…
I genuinely feel bad that family members were upset. I’m content to do some public soul searching. Be patient, that kind of thing takes a couple days to proliferate.
And if you decide to do a hit piece anyways? Welp, guess the fuck what? There’s nothing I can do to stop you…
I went to sleep after that, and woke up to this e-mail in the morning…
I attempted to augment my post in Axamonitor but as I am on a 30 day ban I am not allowed to. You are welcome to suggest forums in which I can do the penance.
How about on Fan Film Forum? After all, you are trying to reach Barney, not the Axamonitor group. Barney is on FFF (and a couple of Axanar groups). You could post there, too, if you’re a member. You could ask Carlos to publish your apology on Axamonitor.com. To quote Sam Kinison, “Move where the food is.”
That said, I make no promises. Self-serving apologies aren’t apologies. Making excuses isn’t an apology. Posting an apology in a place where the victim likely won’t read it isn’t an apology.
The blog is half-written right now.
Believe it or not I feel genuine remorse that someone’s family suffered great distress.
I don’t have access to the FFF fb page. Did you mean on the website?
Are you a member of TRTAA Facebook group?
But sure, you can post to the Fan Film Factor FB page and I’ll forward it around.
I am not a member of that page, no.
Spoiler Alert: I’ve been trying to do life ‘au naturale’ without bi polar meds the last few months and it has some aberrations.
Toss mental illness shaming into your blog and have a good ol time with it.
Believe it or not I have real life things today like visits to the gastro enterologist and shrink so I may not be able to compose anything meaningful until afternoon.
Can you hold back that long or are you that imnediately eager to see me as raw meat in the hunger games?
“I give…two minutes for you and your gallant crew.”
But seriously, I’m still writing the blog for tomorrow, and Samuel Cockings just took over the news for today. So you’ve got till tonight, kid.
That said, don’t try to get sympathy from the whole “off my meds” thing. This went on for five months, and that’s more than enough time to realize that going off your meds isn’t the best idea.
This apology can’t be self-serving in any way, Gabe. I’m serious. Being bi-polar isn’t an excuse. I have other bi-polar friends. They can be difficult at times, but they’ve never pulled the kind of shit that you have.
You’ve done stuff to Alec and Crysstal, to me, to other Axanar supporters…all while calling Alec “careless, unethical, reckless, and irresponsible.” Do you see the irony here?
I’ve never been a legit “danger” to anybody. A cursory analysis of my physique and resources would yield that I’m not capable of very much “danger” to anyone or anything.
And then, about four minutes later, this started to happen…
This is fun for you, isn’t it…
To be a non working, non contributing person wanting to prevent a working, contributing person from doing so. And enjoy it.
That’s as gross as anything I’ve done.
And what the fuck did you mean “emotionally and PHYSICALLY toxic”?
Like my uniforms stink like cigarettes?
Or are you going with the oft-repeated-but-not-actually-true narrative that I’m into narcotics?
Your blog is half written, so I’m not going to be delighted if I see supposition in your finished piece.
Because I know you are gonna fuck me over anyways even if I do a massive amount of Genuinely Motivated Soul Dumping. Because its fun for you.
Don’t quote Sam Kinnison to me until you’ve had any kind of unsheltered, unprotected life experience. You never have. You are the Ultimate White Guy’s White Guy.
Just to be clear, you’re trying to talk me OUT of publishing the blog, right?
Two steps backward.
This is fascinating to watch. You are actually trying to sabotage yourself right in front of both of our eyes.
I recommend you take a full record of our e-mails back and forth from last night and today to your therapist. Regardless of what I publish or don’t, you really should look at why you’d try to sabotage your chances of convincing me not to publish the blog tomorrow.
I need to get my real life errands done. Later today, I will express soul searching. If it is insufficient for you, you can publish whatever you want about me. I can be Upset til the cows come home but you live in a Legal Fortress so there is nothing I could do but Be Upset. Do I have a realistic assessment?
Not really. You couldn’t sue me even if my wife weren’t a lawyer. What I’m posting is only truth, not conjecture. I won’t say “Gabe is bipolar” or “Gabe does drugs” (although truth is a defense against libel charges).
And I promise you I will NOT be going to your bosses at Fox to try to get you fired…and I do know exactly whom to go to.
I doubt Carlos would even consider waiting, let alone not publishing, such a juicy blog if it were Alec Peters who was making the harassing phone calls. But I’m giving you a chance. Am I enjoying “watching you squirm”? Not really, although I do want you to realize the significance of this. You’ve gotten yourself into some serious trouble here, your reputation in fandom is likely permanently damaged, and your pronouncements about Alec Peters are now easily parried with “Well, at least Alec never crank called anyone for five months.”
In that way, much of the damage is already done. My blog won’t change it much or make things much worse than they already are for you. As it is, I know that various Axanar supporters are already trying to figure out whom at Fox to send Barney’s video to. Some want to post it to Seth M’s Twitter feed. Others are trying to figure out who your boss is. Again, I am NOT telling anyone whom at Fox to contact. Personally, I’d like to see you continue to work on Orville because that’s one of the things about you that I think is the most positive: your talent/creativity.
But you really do need to take a good, long look at yourself, Gabe. Ten months ago, you publicly announced that you would step back from slinging any more mud at Alec Peters. That lasted about seven weeks, as I recall. Now you’re promising no more crank phone calls. Can we believe you this time?
In my heart, Gabe, I really do want you to succeed…to clean up your act, get your shit together, whatever you want to call it. But right now, you’re at the end of act two of your movie. You’re hitting one of your lowest points. You’re scared, angry, all sorts of emotions. You need to go through all of those to make a breakthrough…a real breakthrough. I hope you can do it.
But just understand that every insult and harsh thing you say about me loses you some of my sympathy.
And I *literally just said that*. You live in a Legal Fortress. You can publish whatever you want about me and all I could do is be pissed off and have no other recourse. I acknowledged this.
Why the fuck did you reiterate it? Type 2 diabeetus doesn’t fuck with eyesight, only type 1.
You realize none of this is off the record. It all goes onto the blog tomorrow.
You might want to quit while you’re behind, Gabe.
Later on during the day, Gabe sent me the following apology and asked for feedback/suggestions…
I am deeply sorry to Barney Cornett, his wife, and son, for whom I intended no distress but I acknowledge.
It was a repeated pattern of behavior over many months that no adult mature human should ever have the impulse to do.
I am utterly wrong. The hippocracy I’ve accused of the Axanar production has been done by me so I forfeit any feigned sense of “morality” to speak on the topic.
These were greatly mistaken, very miscalculated actions done by me that I accept full responsibility for and apologize to Mr. Cornett and his family.
I wrote up a modified version that I thought might be a little more heartfelt and invited Gabe to incorporate some of those changes if he wanted to…or not. His choice.
At about 10pm, he sent me this response…
You can run with your modified version.
I don’t have time, I have to be up late completing work obligations because I’m not an Affluent person and I have to claw tooth and nail for every second of every centimeter of ground I have.
You have a Magic Lady that does everything. And have to occasionally drive to soccar.
Do you see the comparison?
And NOW I am going to comment…
Up until that last dig about my wife working and me being a stay-at-home father (or, in Gabe’s words, “You have a Magic Lady that does everything. And have to occasionally drive to soccar”), I was actually going to NOT publish this blog.
Then I realized that Gabe has really learned nothing from all of this. His bad judgement with Barney Cornett has, quite possibly, brought him to the brink of losing his job. It has certainly lost him nearly any remaining respect and credibility he might have had left with fandom.
And now the one guy he really needed a favor from (me), he was now using as a punching bag. If Barney could stand up for himself, why wasn’t I? And Gabe insults me like that quite often. He doesn’t respect (probably doesn’t understand) the decision that my wife and I made back in 2010 when we adopted our son. When Jayden was 3 months old, I turned down a $100K/year job offer in Torrance after a long and serious discussion with Wendy. We decided that, after 3-1/2 emotionally-wrenching years in the adoption process and tens of thousands of dollars spent during that time, this precious child that we had worked for and waited for for so long would not be raised by nannies and daycare workers.
I well understand that not every family has the luxury to give their child(ren) a stay-at-home parent, but we do. Jayden is my job, and I take it and him very seriously. I’m sorry that Gabe doesn’t have the same luxury or flexibility in his life, but that’s hardly my fault. And it certainly doesn’t justify his continued animosity and resentment toward me…just as nothing justifies his 100 harassing calls to Barney Cornett.
But Gabe gets away with a lot. He’s insulted me like this for years. He’s insulted my wife and my son Jayden. He’s harassed and cyber-bullied numerous people online. He’s stalked and harassed both Alec Peters and Cysstal Hubbard in person at multiple Star Trek events. And up until this latest incident and the above video, many Axanar detractors have cheered on Gabe. Even now, Gabe’s “punishment” from the detractors is just a 30-day suspension from the Axamonitor group (big deal, huh?). Gabe Koerner seldom has to deal with true consequences from his choices and actions.
So as I read that final e-mail and the the snarky dig at me and my family, I asked myself: Why am I helping Gabe? What message am I sending to him by taking all these venomous insults in stride and then turning around and giving him what he wants? (“Thank you, sir, may I have another?”) What kind of a pushover sap does that make me?
Perhaps someday, if and/or when Gabe is in a better place in his life, he’ll take a look at this record of our 26-hour e-mail exchange and try to figure out why it was that he suddenly turned cruel and spiteful to this guy he was looking to for a favor.
You see, believe it or not, Gabe was correct in his comment about being bi-polar. Underneath the “mean drunk asshole” Gabe Koerner is actually a pretty decent guy—smart, talented, funny, and even (on occasion) a good friend. But that Gabe has become lost in a forest, and I haven’t seen him in a long while. I’ve even tried to look for him more than a few times—as recently as yesterday, in fact.
But I can’t look forever. I just don’t have the energy or, at this point, much motivation left. Ultimately, the real Gabe Koerner is going to have to come out of that forest on his own.