As we’ve seen a number of times already, deniers gave gotten a lot of mileage out of not understanding how the Internet works. The net result of this ignorance is usually a claim that a website memorializing one (if not all) of the Sandy Hook victims appeared either before or too soon after December 14th, 2012. An ugly variation of this claim incorrectly states that The Avielle Richman Foundation – named for one of the child victims and established by her parents – was founded on the day of the shooting. It makes an appearance in “Nobody Died At Sandy Hook”, courtesy of the very anti-Semitic Nick Kollerstrom in Appendix B:

“There is evidence of false identity. Sandy Hook appears to have been a virtual-reality event, which set up huge revenue streams of income for certain Newtown residents. Thus ‘Avielle Rose Richman’, for example, seems to have been Lenie Urbina, whose parents Curtis and Richmond Urbina are both directly associated with the Newtown area synagogue. They seem to have loaned their daughter—or at least a picture of her—for this event: the alleged-parents Jeremy Richman and Jennifer Hensel were thereby able to establish the ‘Avielle Foundation’ and its smart website on 14 December 2012, the very day of the ‘shooting.’ This aimed to raise $5m in the first year.” pg. 242

This dude has seriously lost his damn mind. But he’s not the only one as the accusation has also appeared on Maria Hsia Chang’s wretched “Fellowship of the Minds”:

As seen in the screenshot above, this bit of misinformation comes from The Avielle Foundation’s Facebook page, which lists its “Start Date” as December 14th, 2012. That’s it. That’s their proof. This is, as one should expect when dealing with this group, incomprehensibly poor “research”. For starters, if you willing to spend just a few minutes clicking and scrolling, you’ll see that their very first post is from March 11th, 2013:

If they were founded on December 14th, 2012 (and they weren’t), this would mean that it took them nearly three months to make a single change to their Facebook page. Certainly not impossible, though highly unlikely. But what about their website? A quick and easy WHOIS shows that their domain – aviellefoundation.org – was not purchased until on January 16th, 2013:

Domain Name: AVIELLEFOUNDATION.ORG
Domain ID: D167614163-LROR
WHOIS Server:
Referral URL: http://www.godaddy.com
Updated Date: 2015-03-12T16:24:53Z
Creation Date: 2013-01-16T23:10:42Z

And the earliest it was crawled by James Fetzer’s beloved Archive.org was February 19th, 2013.

Finally, the Avielle Foundation was not granted 501(c)(3) tax exempt status until June, 2013. Certainly quite a ways away from December 14th.

So where did the Facebook “Start Date” of December 14th, 2012 even come from, anyway? As is often the case, there’s actually a very simple explanation: Facebook allows anyone with a page to change this date to literally anything they want. I’ll demonstrate how this is done, using the Crisis Actors Guild Facebook page:

1) From your “Page” tab, click on “About”:

2) Click on “Enter your start date”:

3) Your options for start date include “Unspecified”, “Born”, “Founded”, “Started”, “Opened”, “Created”, and “Launched”. Choose an option and then select the date:

Save your changes and you’re done. Maria Hsia Chang of all people should know better since she did the exact same thing on her Facebook page:

2 Thoughts on “Fact Checking The Claim That The Avielle Richman Foundation Was Founded On December 14th, 2012

  1. On Jeremy’s personal Facebook page, he posted on Dec 17th, 2012 that he was Starting a new job at The Avielle Foundation. That is also where people might get the idea that this was a staged event. Can you imagine your precious little 6 year old daughter getting slaughtered at school and you having the idea to start a Foundation for her 3 days later. I guess he didnt have a job that he had to quite or anything like that.

    • Shill Murray on February 27, 2018 at 12:10 am said:

      On Jeremy’s personal Facebook page, he posted on Dec 17th, 2012 that he was Starting a new job at The Avielle Foundation.

      So this is a very different claim than the one being addressed in this entry. But since y’all would rather move the goalposts than admit that you’re propagating nonsense, and I don’t have anything all that important going on right now, let’s discuss…

      The post in question was actually made a year later, on December 14th, 2013. There’s a clock icon to the right of the date on that post (and any other Facebook post made after the fact), and if you were to hover over it, you’d see the date on which it was actually posted. I’ve included a screenshot demonstrating this, but I’d also strongly encourage you to try it for yourself:

      Jeremy Richman obviously did not become the CEO of the Avielle Foundation on December 17th, 2012. The foundation did not become incorporated until January of 2013. Hell, they didn’t even register their domain name until over a month after the shooting, on January 16th, 2013. Do you really think he became CEO before they spent the $3 it takes to purchase a .org? Come on. Get real.

      Anyone with 10-15 minutes of available free time and an honest desire to learn the truth will likely realize that, based on the available information, it was simply the idea for the Avielle Foundation that was created on the 17th. From this article in the Times Free Press:

      Richman and his wife, Jennifer, were barely functional. And yet as they gathered with friends who offered support, an idea emerged on the day of 6-year-old Avielle’s funeral for a way to channel their grief and try to prevent other such tragedies – a foundation to support research into the brain pathologies behind violence.

      There’s also this bit from an episode of Anderson Cooper 360, which aired on December 11th, 2013:

      COOPER: With their friends gathered around them, Jennifer and Jeremy grieved and began to plan.

      ROBINSON: It was over the course of a couple of days where we started talking about, how would they want to honor Avie’s legacy?

      COOPER: Those discussions quickly led to the creation of the Avielle Foundation, the goal of the foundation, prevent violence with science and education. To accomplish that, Avielle’s parents want her organization to fund long-term brain research that looks for the biological root of violence.

      This stuff was not difficult for me to find, so why didn’t you bother to look for it yourself? If you have questions, find the answers.

      That is also where people might get the idea that this was a staged event.

      Why? Because you personally believe that a father’s thoughts turned to activism too soon after his daughter’s preventable death? Thankfully, nobody really gives a shit what knuckleheads like you think. But please, feel free to find me an actual, licensed grief therapist, psychologist, or counselor willing to go on record as saying that this kind of behavior is at all abnormal or suspect.

      Can you imagine your precious little 6 year old daughter getting slaughtered at school and you having the idea to start a Foundation for her 3 days later.

      Done. Imagined. What now?

      I guess he didnt have a job that he had to quite or anything like that.

      I have to assume you meant “quit”, and no, he didn’t quit anything. Again, a few minutes worth of Googling and I was able to find that Dr. Richman returned to his job at a pharmaceutical company a month and a half after the shooting. After the formation of the Avielle Foundation. From The State-Journal Register:

      For the Richmans, the chores of applying for the appropriate tax status and setting up a website for the Avielle Foundation became welcome distractions. Eventually, on Feb. 1, Richman returned to his research job at a pharmaceutical company. He still wasn’t in a good place, but he had bills to pay.

      And he was still at this job a year later. From a December 10, 2013 article in The San Diego Union Tribune:

      The father of a 6-year-old girl killed in the shooting, Richman and his wife, Jennifer Hensel, have been trying to rebuild their lives without their only child, Avielle, as they juggle their jobs and a foundation they started in their daughter’s memory. The Avielle Foundation is dedicated to preventing violence through a better understanding of brain health.

      So you guessed wrong. What a shock.

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