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Beach Grit

Surf Writer’s Fake Cancer Scam!

Rory Parker

by Rory Parker

BeachGrit bamboozled in theatrical fake cancer stunt!

Well, this is embarrassing. Very embarassing. Like one of those dreams where you’re back in seventh grade and you’re butt naked and all the kids are calling you “shrimp dick.” Only you’re not gonna wake up and feel a terrible sense of relief, because it’s not a fucking dream.

Remember Michael Kocher, the guy wrote a few pieces for your beloved BG somewhere around a year ago?

He talked about being a marine, quitting surfing to sell heroin and his struggle with terminal cancer. 

We linked to his GoFundMe account and some of you donated cash to help him with bills. I didn’t, couldn’t see the point of helping a dying man avoid debt. Hardly a problem, is it?

So, anyway, yeah, it was all bullshit.

Kocher is a cunning junkie, used everyone’s inherent decency to play the “I’m dying” card, and soaked people for some cash he could spend on his habit.

I called Kocher, currently hiding out in a hotel somewhere in Colorado, to ask him just exactly what the fuck he was thinking. Fun conversation, for all his supposed contrition it was just more narcissistic bobbing and weaving. Always trying to deflect blame, reframe the narrative.

You can listen to the half hour plus of audio HERE (The first few minutes of audio are kind of garbled, but it clears up.)

As far as BeachGrit’s culpability in the whole affair, man, I don’t even know what to say. We helped him spread his bullshit, he linked to our site on his GoFundMe page. I always suspected he was lying, didn’t say anything because I didn’t want to be the guy who calls a cancer patient a liar. But I should have. When his stories didn’t add up. When I had a million reasons to doubt his line, I kept quiet. And in doing so became party to his scam.

Which is what bothers me most about the affair. I rarely hesitate to call people out, but I didn’t this time because it might’ve made me look bad. Which was a fucking pussy move. One of which I’m a bit ashamed. Not in a rend-my-clothes-and-slit-my-wrists-way, but it’s a hard lesson learned.

As far as everyone else, people who donated, don’t feel bad. Being compassionate, wanting to help a person in need, that’s a good thing. Sure, there are predators out there who will take advantage, but not many. Which is what makes it so easy for them.

Seriously, who the fuck lies about having cancer?