Furry con staffer James Lovell Thompson accused of degree fraud, defends with fake diploma
by Patch O'Furr
James Lovell Thompson, AKA Keanu the Red Panda, was formerly known for representing the Anthro Southeast furry convention before a series of disgraces. In March 2020, Keanu spread bogus health info about the Covid-19 pandemic. He was accused of doing it with claims of a PhD. degree he doesn’t have.
Degree fraud (pretending to have credentials and authority) is often seen with professional cheating, lying on resumes, gaining licenses without merit, medical quack scams, identity theft, and other crime. It’s like stolen valor for academics. It damages trust and safety for victims, organizations and communities.
In response to the accusation, Keanu dropped out of social media activity for months, only to re-emerge with an elaborate defense. Keanu put out a video that repeats his PhD. claim while he shows off a diploma that is not genuine. Proof is in this Google doc, newly shared after months of seeking evidence.
Keanu Red Panda’s “Microbiology PhD.” — 8 reasons the diploma is fake.
This is a record correction story that’s already known to many witnesses in the background, including powerful voices in the furry fandom. Along with their input, witnesses from outside the fandom reached out on their own to dispute Keanu’s story of earning a PhD. (He also claimed to be on a school board of directors or trustees, which no school has supported.) Employees were consulted at schools that he named. There is confidentiality for many sources, but the most powerful case against Keanu comes from his own response.
Keanu’s defense video decorates the fake diploma with a lot of emotional storytelling and counter-accusations. That’s a lot of effort to fool the public and grab sympathy. However, buying a fake diploma takes no effort at all.
Using a fursona name is a good courtesy for reporting furry news. So is keeping confidentiality for sources. However, when a fursona gets used to hide cheating, including with identity itself, then good reporting can’t assist the misuse of privacy. If furries want to be trusted as harmless role-players with nothing to hide, then anyone who enjoys using a fursona can ask James Lovell Thompson to correct the deceptive claims he made as Keanu.
While showing a fake diploma, Keanu has blocked or attacked people who tried to get responses. Outreach by Dogpatch Press went unanswered. He should make an updated statement about his repeated efforts to get away with deception. Until he does, can anyone trust ANYTHING he says?
1) @AnthroSouthEast, alert about a triple disaster caused by the con vice-chair @Keanu_Red_Panda. There's public safety risk of misinforming about coronavirus, misusing authority for it, and even apparent fraud claim of pretending to be a PhD. UNREAL!! (Thanks @BarleyBorks) pic.twitter.com/WEkbdk2stu
— Con Staff Watch (@ConStaffWatch) March 15, 2020
Degree fraud by a leader makes distrust in what they represent, and cheats ones with real credentials. What if @Keanu_Red_Panda lies about con security? @Unclekage@DuncanDaHusky what does the FCLR think?
PhD claim: https://t.co/tfwmjpspzc
Cost of fraud: https://t.co/aTvRWJRGJk
— Con Staff Watch (@ConStaffWatch) March 16, 2020
(2/2) The remaining chairs, Daiba (Head Chair) and Tigsy (Vice Chair), want to make it clear that we and ASE do not share his views or condone what he has said. We're always working hard on improving our con and want to make it a safe and welcoming place for all of our attendees
— Anthro SouthEast (@AnthroSouthEast) June 18, 2020
UPDATE: While previous outreach to Keanu got no response here, he has falsely claimed to have a lawyer sending messages to others. Keanu is welcome to contact here, but unless you see an update about it, it hasn’t happened.
He even claims to had a lawyer send me a letter, which is yet another lie. He should come out and tell the truth instead of spinning a web of lies which people easily prove incorrect.
— Connor Goodwolf 🎻 (@CGoodwolf) September 12, 2020
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As of April 2021, there is a Bankruptcy Court filing in Tennessee for a “James Lovell Thompson”:
– “Anthro SouthEast LLC” is mentioned in the filing, so this is likely the right person.
– $9 K assets
– Over $100 K debt (about $30K are student loans)
– As of filing, his current job was “Roadside XRA Agent” for the last 9 months.
– The letters “PhD” are not present in either document.