- Renato Floris
2013 - Surviving and Documenting the Onslaught
Updated: Jul 30, 2022
The images used in the following narrative are extracts from screenshots captured from various social media sites run by David Bret and Tracy Terhune in 2013
By the beginning of 2013, the daily hit posts from the “team” became almost impossible to keep track of and address. The triggering element made it traumatic to find them, read them and catalog them.
From Bret's blog to his Twitter account, from Terhune's Valentino Wept and The Fraud Files to the devastating use by Terhune of my old blog under my book's title, they did not cease for one day. Renato and I dealt with it the best we could.
Renato captured the screenshots and filled endless files on our hard drives. I wrote and wrote; fighting back with quantity. I knew if I did not keep posting a great deal, mathematically they took over my Google search. Most days, most months they did have top ranking.
I did not want to be on camera filming those videos we began making in 2012, being an insecure person by nature. Renato encouraged me and I did my best. I was furious and had no other way to keep the smallest amount of truth about me alive and prove I was the one saying it.
Terhune has and still does mistake my fury in those videos for hate. How ludicrous to think I could generate much good will towards two people, Tracy Terhune and David Bret, who were doing what they were to me in 2013.
Bret had so many blogs and social media venues set up targeting me, it was a challenge to keep track of them:
Tracy Terhune headed into new territory in 2013, with his threatening and weaponizing of religious images on his Affairs Valentino blog.
Those disturbing images were not posted under the title of Affairs Valentino just to provoke me, but to also provoke a reaction from anyone in the world who Googled Affairs Valentino; a book I had just spent ten years of my life researching and writing.
Terhune has vowed he has never criticized Affairs Valentino, only my first edition introduction. But this is false as the mere existence of his obviously malicious, Affairs Valentino blog and the years of evidence prove.
Opening a blog under someone else's book's title, only to load that blog with defamatory, personal and salacious lies about the author and the content, is inherently a threatening and frightening act. Prompted by the aggressive nature of Terhune's Affairs Valentino blog and Bret's death laden posts and reports of our location, Renato and I began to live in hiding. During 2013, no one but our immediate family knew where we lived. We were mocked mercilessly by Terhune and Bret for that, accused of doing so only to promote our books. I contend that anyone in our situation would and should do the same. We were forced into that reality.
In 2013, I again contacted the police in David Bret's city of residence. They visited him a couple of times, he mocked the visit as a cordial cup of tea and nothing came of it. He did tell the police that he made no direct death threat posts about me and considered them only, “witty death wishes”.
He alleged in his blog posts he had a “protector” in the local police. I suspected this might be a reason for their inaction and insinuations that I should just ignore what he was posting. This prompted me to file a report with a police oversight organization. It was a great deal of work to complete that request but I was informed my request for an oversight review had been turned over to the police department I was reporting for “review”. The very people I was filing the complaint against, not surprisingly dismissed my case, so that was that.
In 2013, I began working with Michael Morris on his Madam Valentino Addendum, and Renato published The Affairs Valentino Second Edition, and The Affairs Valentino Companion Guide; a book of documents and court records I used as sources. I did so because the allegation we falsified these records was being spread by Terhune and Bret, specifically with their repeated and headline statement Affairs Valentino was “pure fiction”.
We also made plans to publish the S. George Ullman Memoir with the sole purpose to have it also serve as proof as a source for Affairs Valentino. This book was sanctioned by George Ullman's two children. Terhune and Bret continued to refer to Affairs Valentino as, “fan fiction”, “conspiracy theories” and stated many times I invented dialogue when what I referenced was sworn and documented court testimony. In 2013, I embarked on a quest to share all my sources to prove them wrong.
Every video we recorded to respond, was met with ridicule and heaved into Terhune and Bret's gaslighting fires.
They were preaching from their cyber pulpits to people Googling my book's title, telling them I had an agenda of hate, leaving shocking images with claims I was homophobic, a criminal with no integrity out to cheat people, a dishonest and deceitful bully. My prospective readers looking for their first information about me and my work would read I was arrested in a cocaine bust and was running from the law with a person even worse than I was... the publisher of my book. All of this was false.
Throughout, Terhune and Bret ensured the integration of Ms. Pickford's life and problems with mine as if we were one collaborating unit; which we certainly were not as we disagreed on how to handle the bullying situation. With so much at stake in both our lives because of it, things became too difficult and heated between us and there were long periods of estrangement. In reality we not only had little to do with each other, we were not speaking for most of 2013.
Terhune pounded out his manifestos about how evil and hateful I was for daring to not to be silenced and forever, publishing them as an advertisement for his effort to bully me and my book into non-existence. I was devastated.
Bret continued to pound away taunting me about Father Micheal Morris' mentorship of my work and his help with Affairs Valentino. He called Father Morris, “Padre Liberace”; a gay slur.
On October 3, 2013, Bret posted some dubious news that someone shot a gun through his living room window. At the time he was heavily invested in the online drama of the missing McCann child and accused some of his many critics/victims from that realm for the shooting. I did not know of the other people, but it was then he included me on his short list of attempted murderers.
At times in 2013, I had no idea what Bret was referring to as he posted many complete lies about me and began to create what seemed to be a small army of supporters in his cause to destroy me. I was sure they were all actually him commenting from alias accounts, and this was an insidious development. Bret conducted conversations defaming me with himself.
By October 2013, I was wrought and sought help to deal with the stress of this nightmare with a psychologist. It was then I was diagnosed with Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome due to , as the diagnosis read, “repeated attacks”. I was nervous, anxious about even leaving the house and took to working in bed.
A constant theme was then being posted by Bret; he repeated I was soon to die and best I should kill myself. He often wrote as if I was already dead. My desperation devolved to hopelessness as I felt it would all never stop.
Meanwhile, Terhune worked his tandem effort to Bret on Valentino Wept and The Fraud Files. He also began allowing David Bret to post comments on his posts and launching the accusation I was “not of sound mind”.
The end of 2013, Renato and I saw a lawyer and began to organize the lawsuit against David Bret. Organizing the evidence for the lawsuit required I sort through and read every single post made by Terhune and Bret. The screenshots I chose were sent for official translation into Italian.
The lawsuit was organized as a result of my compiling five binders of screenshots and depositions. I petitioned the court to forbid Bret from publishing and selling online his “Valentino Spoofs” as he called them, I asked the court to find him guilty of defaming me and we asked for damages.
None of this activity instilled hope in me for Affairs Valentino. As much I was determined not to have all my work be destroyed and as much as I was determined to have my truth be known and my book read, by the end of 2013, I felt defeated.