Tiffanie Rushton’s Plagiarism Not an Isolated Incident


Last week, I shared with you the the background on Rachel Ann Nunes and her fight against plagiarism.

As mentioned in that article, Rachel’s court filings mention at least one other incident of plagiarism by the defendant, Tiffanie Rushton, a Utah elementary school teacher. Sharp-eyed readers went hunting for those violations, and what they found is so much more heinous than anything I expected.

In addition to the book she copied from Rachel, Tiffanie Rushton claims to be the author of Hold You Again and Hasty Resolution (both under the pen name Sam Taylor Mullens). The main character in Hasty Resolution is a U.S. Marine suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

When Rushton sought to publish her book about a character with PTSD, she decided to take a shortcut… by plagiarizing the words and ideas of a combat veteran.

Sgt. Chase Weston is a veteran of the war in Iraq, and like many who served his country, he bears the scars of those conflicts inside and out. Chase survived an IED attack in 2005 which left him with a broken back, a traumatic brain injury, and devastating PTSD. In 2009, he wrote an intense first-hand account of his experiences, “Terror in a Cloud of Dust”, for the Veterans Workshop.

It’s a compelling read filled with the raw truth of Chase’s experience.

When Tiffanie Rushton stole his words and experiences for the prologue of Hasty Resolution, she didn’t just commit a despicable act of plagiarism. She cheapened this man’s deeply personal story to make a quick buck, and in the process, dishonored a courageous veteran’s service and sacrifice.

Facebook, September 02, 2014

Below are samples of the original work compared to Rushton’s:

“Terror in a Cloud of Dust,” Sgt. Chase Weston

Hasty Resolution, Sam Taylor Mullens

Leaving FOB McKenzie, we stop at the firing pit to squeeze off a few rounds and check our weapons to make sure the .50-cal guns on the trucks are set right.
The other men stop at a firing pit to squeeze off a few rounds before they make sure the .50-cal guns on the truck are set right.
Coming to the middle of town I see two elderly men sitting in front of a small sandal shop.
Two elderly men sit in front of a sandal shop, smoking cigarettes.
We roll through the town and continue north. The turnoff to the shortcut is next to an old poultry farm that looks like a chicken’s Auschwitz.
Our convoy rolls through the rest of the town and veers to the north past a foul-smelling chicken farm. We cannot pass the stench quick enough.
The dust starts billowing; it looks like the worst sand storm I have ever seen. I tie my bandana on to cover my nose and mouth. It doesn’t help much, but it gives me the feeling that I’m not eating dust. The sand cakes everything a light shade of tan, and it’s as sticky as the Georgia mud. It’s as if you’d just got a new paint job on everything.
The desert dust starts billowing from a sandstorm. I cover my nose and my mouth with my bandana so I do not inhale and choke on dust. Sand cakes the convoy trucks and paints them a light shade of tan from the sand.
We drive off-road for an hour or so before we come to the road that leads us to FOB Wilson.
We drive off-road for an hour before we arrive at a police checkpoint.
The commander leads the way around the T-barrier, and the convoy begins to follow.
I lead the way around the T-barrier and the convoy follows my lead.
Suddenly, there is a blast. I can taste it, smell it, and feel it.
Suddenly, there is a blast from a car bomb. I can taste it and I can smell it.
He is hesitant, on guard.
I am hesitant and on guard as I stay vigilant for any sign of blonde hair.
The first sergeant talks the rattled men out of the truck and onto safe ground, and then walks them to our truck so they can calm down.
I talk the rattled men down off their vehicles to the safety of the ground.
It’s the driver of the truck that just got hit. He’s sitting as still as a man lying in a casket. All but his hands. They are shaking so violently that he cannot even remove the cap from a water bottle.
The driver of the truck is sitting, unmovable in his seat. His hands shake violently, so much that he cannot remove the cap to his water bottle.
When he looks up he cannot speak. He just nods yes, and appears to look right through me. I want to tell him to snap out of it, to put his weapon to his shoulder and pull some security.
When he looks out the window, he cannot speak. He just looks right through me. “Snap out of it!” I shout. “Get your weapon and go pull security!” I bark furiously.
The EOD team is putting away their robot and taking off their bomb suits while a ten-ton wrecker backs into position to hook up the bombed truck. EOD starts walking over to check out the vehicle and snap some photos for records.
When we exit the building, the Explosive Ordinance Disposal Team is putting away their robot and taking off their bomb suits while a ten-ton wrecker backs into position to hook up the bomb truck. EOD men walk over to inspect the vehicle. One snaps photos for records.
His knees buckle, and he tries to keep his balance.
My legs shake. My knees buckle. I am confused temporarily as I regain my balance.
“Two KIA, two KIA! Fucking EOD just stepped on the secondary!” I shout.
“Two killed in action! Two KIA! The EOD personnel stepped on the secondary IED!”
Before I can completely finish, I see one of the EOD guys crawling under a black cloud of dust to the T-barrier. I still have my mic on.
Before the soldier completely finishes his sentence, one of the EOD men crawls on his hands and knees under a black cloud of dust from the T-barrier cursing with rage.
Words cannot explain what is going through my head. Two men who I thought were dead and in pieces are alive and, barely, still moving.
I cannot explain the chaos going through my mind […] Two men, who everyone thought were blown to pieces, are now alive, but barely moving.
My mic still on, I cry over the net at the top of my lungs, “They are both alive! Two WIA — I repeat, two WIA! Medic! We need to get a medic in there to assist those men!”
“They are both alive!” a man cries over the net at the top his lungs. “Two wounded in action! We need to get a medic in here to assist these men!” the soldier yells.
At the Bradley fighting vehicle to my north, two infantry soldiers about to go in after the wounded give each other a bone-chilling glance.
At the Bradley Fighting Vehicle, two infantry soldiers go in for the wounded.
The soldiers grab the EOD men by the handles on the backs of their bulletproof vests and drag them out of the danger zone to the Bradley.
The soldiers grab the wounded men by the handles on the back of their bulletproof vests and drag them out of the danger zone to the Bradley.

I feel it’s important to dispel any question of whether Rushton’s plagiarism might have been coincidence or accident. This was not a dimly remembered story that she unconsciously repeated. Line after line, phrase after phrase has been methodically stolen from Sgt. Weston’s article and used to line Tiffanie Rushton’s pockets.

This can only be a deliberate act of stomach-turning callousness, and the courts need to apply swift and severe punishment to deter this serial offender from victimizing others. I sincerely hope that Sgt. Weston takes legal action against Tiffanie Rushton for her theft.

Now, pause for a moment. Deep breath.

I want to be extremely clear that this post is not a call for vigilante action. Rushton’s actions are infuriating; I get that. But I will firmly reiterate my previous plea for restraint. The lawsuit is in the hands of the Federal judge who will hear the case, and it is inappropriate for anyone to confront Rushton directly. Doing so only provides her with misplaced sympathy. Please let the attorneys handle this.

However, you can take a direct part in bringing Tiffanie Rushton to justice in three ways:

  1. Share Rachel’s story.
  2. Donate to and share Rachel’s fundraiser.
  3. Purchase the Unseen: United! speculative fiction box set.

The proceeds from the fundraiser and the sale of the box set will be used towards Rachel’s substantial legal bills. By supporting Rachel’s lawsuit, we help ensure that plagiarists will think twice before stealing from authors and veterans.

Thank you for your calm and compassion.

Q: Where do you get your book plot ideas from? What/Who is your inspiration?
A: Real-life experiences.
Interview with Tiffanie Rushton, writing as Sam Taylor Mullens

Permission is granted to reprint this article in part or whole, with attribution to the author, John Doppler.

UPDATE 9/12/2014: Lilah Weston, the wife of Sgt. Chase Weston, has written an open letter to Tiffanie Rushton describing the impact of her heartless actions.

On the same day, a parent at the school where Rushton works has pointed out that many of the aliases used in the plagiarism and sockpuppet scandal were actually the names of Rushton’s 8-year old students.

Related Articles

Prose and Cons: A Plagiarist Faces the Judge
Open Letter to Tiffanie Rushton

This article and its comments originally appeared on The John Doppler Effect.

About John Doppler

Author, cruciverbalist, serial hobbyist... John Doppler blends science, art, and humor into a delicious smoothie of chaotic evil.
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  1. Great article John. I’m baffled by the brazenness of this lady. I can’t believe she would steal a story from a war veteran. Did she even consider how he would feel when he found out. It sounds like he’s had a pretty rough time and had some pretty serious injuries. My husband is a Marine and I’d be furious if he experienced something like Mr. Weston and then had some crook steal his story and put it in a smutty novel. I agree with you, I hope he also seeks legal action against her. I hope people help spread the word to help prevent her from doing this to anyone else.

    • I couldn’t believe it either. I’ll wager she won’t be trying to bully Sgt. Weston if he speaks out against her plagiarism, though.

  2. Pingback: Plagiarism Sucks Ass: Update on Plagiarist Sam Taylor Mullens aka Tiffanie Rushton and the Plagiarism of Sgt. Chase Weston | books, life, & wine

  3. The changes she did make to the original text make it weaker, more generic, and less compelling.

    • I agree. One was from the heart, and one is a pale imitation. It shows in the writing.

      The sad thing is, had she spent half the time she’s wasted on sockpuppets and stolen glory, she might have been able to develop her own writing skills and a genuine career, without the need for fraud and deception.

  4. Argh. It just makes me so mad. No matter how much you want to publish there is no excuse for this kind of thing. And then we trust this person to teach our children and, hopefully, help reinforce lessons of being honest and moral people. I hope the court case is swift and the judge throws the figurative book at her.

  5. People pour themselves into their stories. It’s not okay to steal them.

  6. She is quite simply a thief and deserves prosecution for the theft of intellectual property.

  7. Thank you so much for the Rushton updates. I honestly didn’t think she could get any lower, but she did. She needs to be stopped.

    • It really seems like she has all the conscience of a bedbug. She has never admitted or apologized for her theft, and if she’s that unrepentant, that amoral, then she’s not going to stop on her own. It will be up to the court to prevent her from doing it again.

  8. Pathological in the extreme.

  9. John, you’re doing great work!

    • Thanks again, Pete! Just to be clear, although I’m the sole blogger here, there are a number of people working quietly behind the scenes to gather evidence. That part is a team effort.

  10. Does he know, John, that his work has been stolen?

    • Hi Melinda,
      It’s my understanding that the publisher, New American Media, is contacting Sgt. Weston to let him know about the infringement.

  11. My jaw just freaking dropped. Just when I thought this woman could sink no lower, I find that her first book was stolen from a veteran. A veteran, of all people! My brother served in Iraq, and to imagine someone calously stealing any of his stories for a quick buck sickens me. I dearly hope that Sgt. Weston presses charges.

    While I would love to let this woman know what I think, I agree with you about restraint. The courts need to take care of things, and any vigilante action would not help Rachel’s cause, or Sgt. Westons, should he choose to hold the plagiarist accountable for what she’s done. Again, I truly hope he does.

  12. I thought it funny that she posted saying her works weren’t plagiarizing. The fact that they are is blatantly obvious. The only question here is who the author truly is, which will be proved in court, not if it was plagiarizing or not… This lady needs to get a grip on reality and realize that she’s just digging her hole deeper. She is in for a world of hurt, and she’s only done it to herself. She will most definitely have to pay for damages to all the authors she stole work from, she’ll probably have to pay the publishing houses back the money that she basically stole, and she will probably even lose her teaching license. She’s ruined her reputation over what? A few extra bucks and a semi-cool penname. Not worth it in my book.

  13. She stole her own students’ names to use as sock puppets. The words disgusted, repulsed and furious do not begin to describe how I feel about that. What lows will she stoop to next?

  14. Lord, can this get any worse? Why hasn’t her school district done anything? Have they even been notified?

    • Up until this point, all the school’s administrators know is that one of their teachers is involved in a civil suit. She hasn’t been convicted of a crime (yet), and they may not have felt that they had grounds to dismiss her.

      I suspect that will change quickly when they learn that she’s been stealing the identities of her students to engage in online fraud and abuse.

      Evidence will be shared with the principal, vice principal, and other authorities by Monday.I trust that they will take prompt, appropriate action to protect the students — at the minimum, removing Rushton from contact with the students and placing her on administrative leave until the evidence can be verified.

  15. And as an interesting side note, this is the book “Sam” has on her linkedin page.

  16. And it hasn’t been removed from goodreads, either.

  17. Donna Weaver’s latest blog post says Rushton has been put on administrative leave. I’m not sure what her source is, but I really hope it’s true. I can’t imagine the parents not informing the school as soon as they found out Rushton was using their kids’ names. No way could the school keep her around after that little tidbit came to light, though I wish they’d straight up fire her. Regardless of the outcome of the lawsuit, using the names of students should be more than enough to fire her.

  18. Please keep in mind with your harsh criticism that this is a human being. The Mrs. Rushton I know is a good person. She was an excellent and kind teacher to my daughter. I guess people can be complex. Not condoning what she did. She did a bad thing, but she is not a bad person.

    • It’s difficult to reconcile the image of the kind teacher you describe with the plagiaristic, lying, exploitative, bullying individual she became when she thought no one was looking. She not only abused multiple authors, but used her position as a teacher to victimize her own students, using their identities to cover and defend her fraudulent acts.

      That criticism may be stark, but it’s not inaccurate. As of this date, she hasn’t shown a hint of remorse for her actions. She continues to refuse responsibility for what she’s done.

      However, you are correct, it’s not for us to judge who’s a good person or a bad person (even though, in your very next breath, you make your own judgment by declaring that Tiffanie Rushton is “not a bad person.”)

      That’s not what this is about. This isn’t about judging her character, her soul, her personality.

      This is about the violations she committed against her victims, and it’s about ensuring that her abusive behavior is stopped.

      We owe it to her victims not to downplay that behavior or dismiss it as “complex” because she once presented a smiling facade to the world. To do so would be putting our personal opinions of her ahead of the facts.

      • Wow. The Tiffanie Rushton I know was a fantastic and very kind individual. You are making her out to be a complete monster. People make mistakes, maybe she didn’t understand to the fullest extent of what she was doing. Get a grip. There are much worse things going on in the world. Find someone else to pick on.

        • Apparently, you missed the fact that a few hours ago on this blog, Tiffanie was impersonating the parent of one a student she had earlier victimized.


          I find it hard to believe that she hasn’t grasped the extent of the damage of her ongoing abuse and criminal behavior now that she’s a defendant in a federal lawsuit and is on administrative leave for her misconduct.

          I find it even harder to believe that you would make excuses for her conduct.

        • By the way, are you another of Tiffanie’s relatives? Full disclosure of your ties to Tiffanie would be appropriate here.

          • No its not appropriate here John. You are taking this too far!

          • I disagree, Loralee. It’s perfectly reasonable to inquire whether someone has an ulterior motive for defending criminal behavior, especially when the subject of the discussion has a history of using sockpuppets and stolen identities to defend herself.

            Let’s weed out the shills from the legitimate comments, shall we?

          • I don’t agree with what you are doing to here. It’s not productive. People deserve privacy and your blog is open to comments…any comments. If your plan was to weed out comments then you shouldn’t have an open blog.

          • Sorry, but there’s no place on this blog — or in any discussion — for fake comments from fake people. Nonetheless, I have permitted these comments to remain on the blog so far, identified as Tiffanie’s, as an example of the kind of fraudulent behavior that this post was meant to spotlight.

            I understand that you disagree with exposing Tiffanie’s ongoing misconduct, despite the fact that she just attempted to impersonate the parent of one of her victims.

            It’s certainly your right to disagree, but I would suggest that your relationship with Tiffanie makes you a less-than-impartial arbiter of what’s “productive”.

    • Really? Would a good person steal another’s work and pass it off as their own? Would a good person steal the extremely personal story from a wounded war veteran and put it into a smutty novel? Did she even stop to think how that would affect him? Did she take the time to find out all the things he has had to overcome and still struggles with? Would a good person use the identities of eight-year-old children to review and promote pornography?? All those things make me sick, but its the use of hiding behind children to review porn that is really disgusting. I am shocked that you as a parent are not more upset about that. If she used these kids names for that, what else did she use their names for? Despite all the evidence against her, she still denies any wrong doing. Is that the action of a good person? Wouldn’t a good person feel shame for what they’ve done? Wouldn’t a good person want to make amends and try and right the many wrongs they have done? Tiffanie has shown no remorse, she has instead shown an intend to continue her criminal behavior. She has done nothing to show me she is a good person.

    • Tiffanie is not the victim here–Rachel, a war vet, children, and who knows who else are the victims. But who will help them? The parents? It doesn’t look like it. Did she do this to your child? Do you even care that these children’s names were smeared on pornographic sites and had smut written all over those pages?
      Rachel cannot fight this alone. If she does not have public support against this then this crime will disappear and crimes like this will continue happening again and again unless action is taken. That is how you destroy a society–by letting bad things happen without shedding light on them.
      Do you know how much a court case like this costs? People will not support Rachel’s GoFund me or her anthologies unless they are made aware of the wrongs that have been committed against her. Should the victim be abused even further by draining her funds completely in a court case and have no public opinion to back her up so that she feels all alone?
      It’s important to remember that Tiffanie did this. No one forced her. It was not an accident. The deceit spanned months if not years. The truth is harsh. And yes, Tiffanie has denied her guilt over and over. Yes, she should accept what she’s done and take responsibility, especially with such damning evidence, but she won’t. Just a week ago, she denied it again–unbelievably. That doesn’t sound like someone willing to give up her double life.
      And so we fight and try to make the public aware so that we can change the system and help others who would’ve been taken in. Even without support.

  19. John Doppler, I am not an author or a wordsmith so please forgive my poor grammar and lack of fluency in my comment.
    I have silently followed your comments as you have brought forth new allegations against Tiffanie. Not just on your blog but as you have commented on other authors blogs. Your commenst here as well as on AndRea Pearson’s blog( specifically)have weighed heavy on my heart. Your comment today has made it so I can’t stay silent any longer.

    When I look at your Facebook profile and read your writing blog I can make some pretty quick judgements. You are a single guy or divorced. You have a degree but can’t make any money off it so you work at an insurance office during the day to make the bills. You share an apartment with 2 other Sci-fi geeks. You eat left over pizza for breakfast and are fat. But you keep shaven because it’s expected of you for your day job. At nigth you’re a vigilanty who trolls the Internet just to prove dumb people wrong. But really you are just a troubled writer who wishes he was a super hero in real life. You drive a dumpy car and you spend your weekends playing online gaming and your best friends only have dungeon and dragons screen names. Is that about right? PROBABLY NOT HUH? That’s because I really don’t know you. You really can’t know anyone without being with them face to face.

    See, that’s the problem with living behind a computer screen. You forget that their are real people in this world! People who make poor decisions everyday. Tiffanie made poor decisions according to the evidence you show here and what Ms. Nunes has on her blog. But, remember they are all allegations until proven in court otherwise. You can’t condemn her in the court of John Dopp. But it seems to me that is what you are tryng to do here. You started off with evidence, I’ll give you that, but moved on to character execution and campaigning for Tiffanie to lose her job. How is that helpful in bringing more awareness to plagiarism? And when did plagiarism need more awareness? It’s not a new story. I just question whether you are trying to bring to light awareness of the new forms of plagiarism or if like your Facebook page says,are you just trying to confront evildoers in the dark alleys of the Internet….as a “cruciverbalist” is this just a hobby to find everything you can about Tiffanie? Why can’t you just leave this at evidence and let it play out in the courts. Ms. Nunes has done that. She thanks everyone for support, she showed what she was going through, and now she is letting the courts work things out. Why can’t you?
    Believe it or not, people are actually different in their lives than they are on the Internet. I would assume the same about you or any other person. Maybe even more so for authors who delve into the fantasy world often on the making of their books. Tiffanie is not the monster you are portraying her to be here. For a parent to say that they loved her as their child’s teacher is not an uncommon response.

    You say that until this day she has not shown an ounce of remorse. My question is does she owe that to you? Does she owe that to the writing community? Or does she owe that to the people she wronged. I say that it’s only the people she wronged. But from some of your comments I have a suspicion that you feel you are owed remorse. I don’t know why but your comments like as the comment you made on AndRea Pearson’s blog ( in response to another comment) leads me to question your motivation. You quoted the Bible ( which you didn’t accurately quote but I’ll give you the benefit of the doubt that you weren’t using the KJB -but I’ll quote it accurately here)Luke 17 verse 3 Take heed to yourselves: If thy brother trespass against thee, rebuke him; and if he repent, forgive him. You continued to write that Tiffanie hasn’t shown to be repentant so you felt justified I’m rebuking her. Did I get that right. Will you feel only satisfied when Tiffanie is destroyed and completely repentant. Then will you be able to move on?
    Since you’re a Bible quoting man, you won’t mind me quoting another part of the Bible not too far off from where you were. It’s the story of the lost sheep. Luke 15 Then he drew near unto him all the publicans and sinners for to hear him. And the Pharisees and scribes murmured, saying, This man receiveth sinners, and eateth with them. ( Jesus didn’t rebuke the sinner, he sat with them and taught them. He continues on to tell the story of the lost sheep and the worth of souls) vs. 6 And when he cometh home, he calleth together his friends and neighbours, saying unto them, Rejoice with me; for I have found my sheep which was lost. 7. I say unto you, that likewise joy shall be in heaven over one sinner that repenteth, more than over ninety and nine just persons, which need no repentance. (He continues on with the parables of the woman having lost her silver) 10. There is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner that repenteth. ( then he tells the parable of the prodigal son) vs. 24 For this my son was dead and is alive again; he was lost, and is found. And they began to be merry. ( his brother didn’t understand why they would celebrate the life of a sinner. He didn’t ever sin yet he was never celebrated)
    The see parables are for us. Are we the Pharisees that mock others for standing behind the sinner ( NOT THE SIN BUT THE SINNER)? Yes. Are we without sin ourselves? No. Are we the ninety and nine just persons? Only by self proclamation maybe. Can we sit with a sinner and not judge. Yes. Can we know the intentionsnof anothers heart just bybtheir actions? No.

    People make bad choices. Give Tiffanie a chance to make right of hers. Stop campaigning parents to get Tiffanie fired. She’s submerged herself, we all know that. Now let her take a deep breath and make right of her wrongs. Let the court decide what is to be repented of and let God do the judging of her soul. Not you, or anyone else. PLEASE let this comment thread stop here!

    Loralee Baxter

    • Ms. Baxter, there’s a great deal to respond to in your post.

      I have no doubt that your comments are entirely motivated by your desire to shield your relative from the consequences of her actions, and I understand the desire to protect family.

      Nonetheless, Tiffanie’s actions were not an isolated “mistake”. They are part of a campaign of deliberate, vicious behavior which she is now being held accountable for in court and in the school board’s disciplinary system.

      Had bloggers like myself, Andrea, Crystal, and others not stepped forward to call out that behavior, Tiffanie’s exploitation of her students might have gone undetected until something much worse happened.

      Let’s not forget that just one short week ago, she was *still* aggressively denying any culpability for her actions. Tiffanie Rushton has never apologized for her actions, or even accepted responsibility for them. Not once. I have no doubt that she would still be stealing manuscripts and impersonating her students today if her schemes had not been exposed.

      So let’s get one thing straight right away: this is not about “rebuking” Tiffanie. It’s about stopping her abusive behavior and preventing others from becoming victims.

      Does Tiffanie owe me an apology? That’s not a consideration here, but yes, she does. Thanks to her deceit, the names of nearly 20 children were published on this blog and exposed to the world. Tiffanie used her students’ names on those fake accounts to hide her wrongdoing. She knew that anyone investigating those names individually would find only minor children. She used her students as scapegoats, as human shields.

      As a parent, I am *outraged* by this. I am furious that I became an incidental victim of her deception, and in the process, exposed the identities of innocent children to the internet.

      But I’m at the end of a long line of apologies due. Before she apologizes to me, she owes an apology to the children she took advantage of and the parents and administrators whose trust she betrayed. She owes an apology to her family for inflicting this ordeal on them. She owes an apology to the indie author community whose reputation she tarnished. She owes an apology to the authors she plagiarized, including Sgt. Weston. She owes an apology to the bloggers she harassed, abused, and libeled. And above all, she owes an apology to Rachel Ann Nunes for stealing her work and for months of vicious, unconscionable harassment.

      Although it would be nice to see Tiffanie accept responsibility for her behavior, apologies and reparations pale into insignificance compared to the urgency of ensuring that Tiffanie does no more harm to the people around her. It is my fervent belief that someone who uses their authority as a teacher to exploit and victimize their students is a predator who must be removed from that position immediately. That supersedes the concerns about her plagiarism and cyberbullying.

      Tiffanie may have been a good teacher once. That doesn’t matter. It became irrelevant the moment she betrayed the students and parents of her school by using those childrens as pawns in a criminal activity. The good will she might have accrued in the past does not excuse or mitigate her actions, any more than we would excuse a child molester because he used to be a beloved Little League coach. The trust that individual obtained only makes their crime that much more abhorrent.

      I don’t have the legal authority to prevent Tiffanie from harming others, but at least I can spread awareness of her conduct to ensure that they don’t fall victim to her destructive behavior.

      I will continue to report on this case as it develops. It is my hope that the next article I post will be reporting Tiffanie’s fervent apologies to everyone she’s wronged… but I’m not holding my breath.

      • Oh, and for the record… I live in an apartment with *three* sci-fi geeks: my amazing wife and two brilliant sons. And I love pizza for breakfast. Guilty as charged.

      • I just read an update from David Farland. Tiffanie is still up to her old tricks and has now been posing as parents of her former students and threatening Rachel Anne Nunes with legal action if she doesn’t take down her blog. Apparently, investigation showed these irate and threatening posts came from Tiffanie Rushton’s computer. Will this woman ever learn? It appears she continues to dig a deeper hole for herself. And by the way, as an aspiring author, I appreciate you and other bloggers bringing this whole mess to light. I too, hope Sgt. Weston takes legal action.

      • As an aside, am I the only one wondering if Loralee is Tiffanie?

        • It’s a reasonable suspicion given Tiffanie’s behavior, but no, Ms. Baxter is a real person: she’s one of Tiffanie’s relatives.

          • You’re going too far. I didn’t know full disclosure was necessary to make comments on your blog. I personally feel violated. Seriously, I didn’t do anything to have my privacy violated.

        • I wondered the same thing myself; it honestly spooked me especially when one of her sock puppets was already similar to my real name. “Lucy Evans”, one of the few fake names that didn’t have the last name removed on the list of Rushton’s sock puppets (so it wasn’t one of her students’ names) has the same last name and the same first initial as my real name. If she’s stealing the names of her students, and now impersonating these students’ parents, I wouldn’t put it past her to borrow pieces of the names of Rachel’s supporters. And then to see my name on here, making comments I knew I didn’t make really scared me! However, John is right that Rushton does have a relative by that name.

          • Excuse me. But who is violating whose privacy now?

          • Your privacy has not been violated by me, LB.

            You provided your name voluntarily. Your maiden name is publicly available information, as is your relationship to Tiffanie. No other information about you has been disclosed, other than the fact that you’re a real human being with an ulterior motive for defending Tiffanie’s actions.

          • I provided my name because I don’t hide behind false names. I have nothing to hide. You are the one who exposed me as a relative. My name isn’t associated with Tiffanie, I’ve looked. If you found out who I was online, you searched deep. And how is that not a violation of privacy. If I wanted to to disclose who I am…I WOULD HAVE DONE IT!!!!

          • And I didnt give you my maiden name!

          • Not once did I defend Tiffanie’s actions! I pleaded for kindness for someone I care about. What would the ulterior motive in that be?

        • Not at all, Lori. I have personally corresponded with a number of Tiffanie’s Facebook sock-puppets, and I am wondering the same. The sock-puppet responses are shockingly similar to Loralee’s responses. I liken it to talking to a brick wall.

          Good people do not do the type of things Tiffanie is accused of doing, and forgiveness can only be given when it is sought. If Tiffanie felt an ounce of remorse, she would not have continued to harass Rachel AFTER the suit was filed.

          I had hoped Tiffanie would be smart enough to stop with the false identities, but at this point, I have my doubts she can stop. My personal opinion is that she is a narcissist with sociopathic tendencies, or she is just clueless with a serious case of denial. Either way, she needs to have a few court injunctions filed against her so she cannot victimize anyone else.

          My heart goes out to her family, and anyone who believes she is a “good” person.

          • Candace, I love what you said “… forgiveness can only be given when it is sought.” This woman’s continued actions certainly indicate that she feels no remorse for what she has done and in fact, continues with the same bizarre behavior. Has she not learned that she will continue to be caught? Whatever the professional diagnosis would be, she clearly needs serious help.

    • While I can certainly understand your desire to protect your relative, those of us who are very close to this case and the people involved can simply find no evidence of what you claim. Instead of being remorseful, instead of repenting and confessing, your relative continued to lie, harass and manipulate. She repeatedly and relentlessly threatened the reputations of very good people (good people who use their actual names on the Internet, and were not hiding behind sock puppets named after her third graders).

      This process happened over and over again. Not once did Rushton own up to what she had done. Not once did she apologize to any of the people she has hurt – Nunes, Weston or the kids and their families. She tried to quiet and threaten people into silence. She kept saying this should be handled only by the lawyers, as I’m sure she was desperate to avoid a trial of public opinion. She wanted her dark and secretive acts to be kept just that – dark and secretive. She wanted to live her life while committing multiple criminal acts.

      That she has to suffer the consequences is nobody’s fault but her own. No one asked her to plagiarize Weston’s very personal and very difficult memoir of his time at war. No one asked her to steal Nunes’s ENTIRE BOOK. No one asked her to create dozens of sock puppets and to use her third graders’ names to do so, forever linking those kids’ names with erotica and smut reviews. No one asked her to harass and spread lies about bloggers and authors who revealed what she had done. If she’s in a deep hole right now, it is entirely of her own making.

      I’m not judging her. I’m calling a spade a spade. I don’t have to wait for the courts to decide whether or not she did it, because I can just look at John’s blog posts and see, with my very own eyes, that she did everything she’s accused of. There is no question here. There is no misunderstanding or mistake. There is a deliberate, calculated and repeated breaking of the law and abuse of others.

      I think the writing community as a whole will feel “satisfied” when Rushton publicly admits to all the thefts, pays damages for the theft she’s committed, and apologizes to all the parties she hurt.

  20. Loralee,
    I have followed this case closely and Tiffanie has had numerous chances to make this right, she has chosen not to do so. Tiffanie didn’t just make “poor decisions” she made criminal ones. Over and over again. And yes, she does owe everyone an apology. Especially Rachel Nunes, Chase Weston and all the children whose names she blatantly stole. (Does it not scare you that she was using young children’s identity’s to promote pornography??)

    Since you brought scripture into this I suggest you study up on what the good book says about lying and stealing. The scriptures also teach that you can know someone by their “fruits”. People are complex, I’m sure Tiffanie is able to put on a nice show in front of her friends, family and students. However, her “fruits” are exposed as thievery, deceit, bullying and other criminal acts.

    Another scripture for you to ponder is found in the Doctrine and Covenants 134:8 “We believe that the commission of crime should be punished according to the nature of the offense; that murder, treason, robbery, theft, and the breach of the general peace, in all respects, should be punished according to their criminality and their tendency to evil among men, by the laws of that government in which the offense is committed; and for the public peace and tranquility all men should step forward and use their ability in bringing offenders against good laws to punishment.”

    Would you stand by and watch a women being carjacked and not call the police? Or would you think “hmm, maybe this guy is just misunderstood. Maybe he is a really good guy and is just making a poor choice. I better wait and let the courts decide if he is guilty.” But wait, if YOU don’t call the police, who will? If you don’t stop him, who will? Tiffanie is carjacking Rachel, Chase and her students. Thankfully, someone did stand up against her and brought her multiple crimes to light. Tiffanie is now facing the consequences of HER choices. She chose to break the law, repeatedly. She may not like the consequences, but she should have thought about that BEFORE she ventured down the criminal path SHE chose.

    You’re mistaken if you think God would want us to stand by and let people like Tiffanie victimize others. There is enough evidence to prove she has done these crimes. There is enough evidence to show she would do them again. Criminals thrive in secrecy. That is why it is so important to shine light on criminal behavior. It is important to stand for the true victims and to help prevent someone else from being victimized.

    Tiffanie was fortunately found out, her many crimes are continually coming to light. Her case is now being handled in federal court. I believe she will get a fair trial and hopefully a fair punishment. There are many people who were affected by this and I am glad that John has brought awareness to the issue. Maybe Tiffanie can serve as an example to other would-be plagiarizers and identity thiefs, that they will be found out and will be held accountable. It’s important this story is told, so that it will hopefully not happen again. If we stay silent, then Tiffanie wins. And after all the horrible things she has done, that would be wrong.

  21. Kathy, I think you missed my point and frankly it was for John not a point of argument.

    You for sure lost my attention for anything you had to say when you quoted one of most well known plagiarized books.

    • If it was meant only for John, why did you post it on his open page? Wouldn’t you have sent him a private message? Like Tiffanie, you need to realize when you do something publicly you will lose the option of discussing it privately.

    • 1 Nephi 16:2 And it came to pass that I said unto them that I knew that I had spoken hard things against the wicked, according to the truth; and the righteous have I justified, and testified that they should be lifted up at the last day; wherefore, the guilty taketh the truth to be hard, for it cutteth them to the very center.

    • Wow, Loralee. You went there? I guess now the anti-Mormon sentiments Rushton made as Mercedes make sense.
      However, I’m glad that Rushton has a support system in a time like this. It won’t stop the consequences of her actions, but it might help in her rehabilitation.

  22. John,
    I can appreciate your point of view. I also appreciate that it was in a kinder tone than it has been before. I do not wish to shield Tiffanie. But I do wish to help her move forward in making things right. I echo your wish that she apologizes to the people she wronged. And because I know her, I know she will. You don’t have to hold your breath 🙂

    I wish you well,

    • I have been waiting for Tiffanie to make it right. She has admitted to using my work in an email she wrote me pretending to be a “friend” of the plagiarist, but denied everything in her legal response. After your comments here, she posted fake parent comments extolling her own virtues. I don’t see how that is accepting responsibility. I would like to put this all in the past and go on with my life. The last three months have been a living nightmare.

  23. Define anti mormon. I just made a factual statement. Nothing personal. Just don’t assume everyone shares your same beliefs. I only knew John believed in the Bible because he quoted it…

    • It’s not a factual statement. Its your opinion that the book in question was plagiarized. Whatever “facts” you think you know about it are probably provided by anti-Mormons. There are many that would disagree with them. As for the Bible, there are many that believe that to be simply a work of fiction, they probably have their own “facts” to back that up. Do you believe them as well? But, this isn’t a religious debate and you can believe whatever you want about the book and its teachings. Makes no difference to me.

    • Risky assumptions, Loralee. I am neither religious nor a believer in Biblical authority; I quoted the Bible in response to someone who had done likewise. I do, however, have an interest in the rich history and culture of all religions, and I have a bookshelf containing works from the Old Testament to the Book of Mormon to the Upanishads.

    • A factual statement? You’re comparing Mormon scripture to plagiarism? And that’s not meant to be personal to Mormons?
      Anyway, I read what you wrote to John, and even though I might disagree with you on some issues, I’m still glad that your goal is to help Tiffanie move forward. I hope you all the best.

  24. And to answer your question. I don’t know how to send a personal message to John. Maybe on FB? I didn’t even think about it. I’m not really great with blogs. But more than that. I didn’t quote scripture to get into a who knows more about the bible than who. I meant it more as a plea. I think John got that. At least I hope so. It’s hard to express tone in writing! We all can’t be authors… 🙂

    • Loralee, I understood the message you were trying to get across. I think you want people to be kind when talking about Tiffanie and I understand if she is a part of your family you would want to defend her, even when she is clearly in the wrong. I think what Tiffanie has done and continues to do is heartbreaking. It goes way beyond a simple “mistake” her actions seem calculated and premeditated, not something that I would classify as a mistake. I just re-read the letter from one of her victims and its hard to understand how Tiffanie can continue to show no remorse for her actions when she has hurt so many people.


  25. My mistake John. Sorry.

    • No harm, no foul. =) Anyone is welcome to contact me privately through the “Speak!” link at the top of the page, through my social media accounts, or via email to “johndopp” at this domain, johndopp.com.

  26. Just for the record, the Loralee who has made the recent comments is not me. Frankly, it’s a little spooky. Especially since one of Tiffanie Rushton’s sock puppets had a name uncomfortably close to mine already, and I honestly don’t know if it was one of her students, or one she came up with. “Loralee” is not a super common name. If the poster’s name really is Loralee Baxter, then that’s what it is, and I apologize for being spooked. Everything you’ve said John, I agree with and support.

  27. Loralee Evans,
    I don’t know the ” sock puppet” name that you keep referring to. Could you tell me?

  28. I am reading this and just shaking my head. Will the lies never end? Is the “relative” even the relative, or just another example of serial sock exchange? And where does the plagiarism end? Why would a teacher in their right mind ever think that it was okay to use their students’ names? This is just crazy behavior stacked upon crazy behavior. I cannot understand what would make someone continue to fight and obfuscate even after having been caught like this. Unless there were still something else with more personal importance at stake. Makes you wonder if her Masters works should be examined for plagiarism.

  29. I heard from a parent whose children attended the school where Tiffany taught, that not only did she use their names, but also their school emails. The parent said Tiffani only used students names and emails from students who had transferred to a charter school, but how she thought this was all right to do is beyond me.

  30. The news of this plagiarism is new to me. Chase and I were friends, both wounded in action, on rear detachment at Ft. Benning. I was wounded while serving in Iraq at FOB Wilson. I was shaking after I read the comparison of Chase’s story to hers. She has no concept of how these events effect soldiers who live through them. She has no concept of how Chase was effected by those events. That story was written as a way to vent his emotions, and she used it for personal gain. Did she even stop to think that other survivors of that event could have, inadvertently, been forced to relive that event if that book had been published? Shame on her.

What are your thoughts?