People often ask how I can be anonymous using my real name online, but the real question is why.
For a long time, I said it's because I'm a whistleblower, and that's just one of the perks. I made a series of unique decisions in 2011. While working with Anons like @OperationLeaks blowing the whistle on Bank of America, creating the term Force-Placed Insurance online and in the media, and inspiring Occupy through #BlackMonday and Operation Empire State Rebellion , I submitted depositions to all 50 State Attorneys General, consulted with the NY Dept of Financial Services, and trained financial journalists in major media outlets on the inner workings of my shadowy corner of Mortgage Street and Insurance Boulevard.
I reached a status of real-life hero, and if you're familiar with Marvel's Civil War story arc, you'll understand the value of being a po folk's Iron Man. Unlike Tony Stark, I don't want a war with Captain America. I come in peace.
The experience inspired numerous nervous breakdowns, and I detached from my surroundings in order to cope with the trauma. My brain worked in overdrive micromanaging the annals of history on so many fronts that the power of my digital and online presence overtook my physical realm. The various drugs I experimented with in my lifetime trained my consciousness to travel to various perspectives on life and human history as I read and experienced them throughout my existence. I realized I was changing the world, and I was moving too fast to enjoy it. March 13, 2011 is nearly two years in the past, and, although regulators are just barely learning the tip of the iceberg I built, I moved on a long time ago.
I went on a spiritual journey and realized devoting my present to a moment in the past is unhealthy. There are too many problems continuing in the world at large, much less the world around me. I'm too powerful to stand still waiting on the world to change. I lost almost everything and everyone I loved through whistleblowing. I'm completely alone with my work most nights. I need that work to progress. I need to feel free. I need to constantly evolve and learn or I feel stagnant. My only passion was my work with Anonymous and my online presence. It was all I thought I had for a long time... but now my passion is for myself.
My yoga practice with Ally Ford and everyone at White Orchid is grounding me. I can focus on what's important again: my breath. This is a story to you, but it's my 24/7-all-the-time life. There's nothing more important to me than my own survival and freedom. My story doesn't end until I say so, and I'll have a growing presence online until well after my final breath. Ally helps me see that. The collective wisdom, philosophy, and nurturing energy at my studio recharges my batteries so I can keep firing on all cylinders fighting for the freedom of the general public from the machine.
Because the reality is, I'm a ghost. I live in a van and blend into the crowd. I only exist online or in my immediate presence. I have no ties or long-term obligations. I'm a drifter... a vagabond... a gypsy. I walk the streets of the city and interact with people whom I share mutual love and respect. My communities embrace my lifestyle and choices. I do them no harm, and they understand the point of what I do. I'm very much a hippy, although you may not notice depending on where you see me. Corporate America was as much a part of my young adult life as the Army was to my childhood. As an adult, I know how to blend in to any crowd, and I have the suits, uniforms, and awareness to do it.
Brian Penny. Versability. However you know me, I am Legend... I am Anon... and I do it for the lulz.
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On March 9, 2013, I'll be at White Orchid's Yoga Stops Traffick event in Clearwater contributing the important step of raising awareness to human trafficking by raising funds for Odanadi and our Pinellas County Human Trafficking Task Force. Along with other yoga students, I'm dedicating 108 sun salutations to the collective consciousness. If you'd like to contribute to the energy or maybe just want to bring a donation to watch bendy broads in tight yoga pants, you're free to join us wherever you are in the world to help contribute to another person's equal freedom. Namaste.
Brian Penny is a former business analyst at Bank of America turned whistleblower who spent the last two years helping regulators and attorneys uncover the largest bank and insurance fraud in history. He documents his experiences van dwelling, working with Anonymous, and fighting the banks on his blog. He's currently in the Tampa Bay area attending school, assisting homeowners and attorneys, and practicing yoga with the guidance Ally Ford.