Exposing the Exposé

Aaron Ochs
5 min readJul 19, 2019

When “Defamers” was published in February, I anticipated some sort of salvo from CalCoastNews. First they lose the defamation lawsuit filed against them. Then they lose their appeal. Then they lose the lawsuits they filed against anyone and everyone they feel wronged them. When my book was published, there was silence. That’s unusual, I thought. Recently, I figured out what they were up to all this time.

On July 18, CalCoastNews revealed a trailer for “Lying in Trash,” a documentary produced by an unnamed production company out of Southern California. The documentary, which anonymous users on CalCoastNews have occasionally alluded to the past few months, features several associates involved with the website that question the legitimacy of the $1.1 million defamation suit they lost and attempts to “shutter” the website. Naturally, the anonymous filmmaker(s) point the finger at District 3 Supervisor Adam Hill as being the ringleader.

In 2014, CalCoastNews essentially accused Hill of playing a substantial role of co-founder Karen Velie’s grandchildren allegedly being “kidnapped” by Child Welfare Services. At the time, the website created so much of an uproar that a rally was organized outside the SLO County Board of Supervisors chambers. The rally ultimately poured inside one of the BOS meetings with public comment speakers demanding Hill release Velie’s grandchildren. The website never offered any evidence he was involved, but Hill was the subject of anonymous documentary-style videos spread across YouTube on multiple anonymous accounts.

That same year, an anonymous account named “Longarm” announced the release of a video touting the “kidnapping” conspiracy theory on CalCoastNews.

“Kidnapper Adam Hill and his girlfriends […] are under investigation by the Knights Templar,” wrote “Longarm.” “YouTube search ‘Adam Hill slo’ to see the first of 100 YT videos, articles, a documentary, fliers and posters all over California, and the making of a 1000 person protest in SLO.”

The video contained personal information about Velie’s Child Welfare Services case that was never before made public. The video cycled through a series of people the filmmaker accused as being part of the conspiracy, including a…

Aaron Ochs

Author, artist, advocate and entrepreneur from Morro Bay, California.