In The Company of SHADOWBOXers

Thomas Schoenberger

Thomas Schoenberger is billed on  his website as a polymath, composer, historian, entrepreneur event designer, inventor and writer. In addition, in  2017 he started Shadowbox Strategies as a reputation defense business, with Manuel Chavez III aka Defango.

Over time, problems arose between these two men, which have since become a public online conflict noticed by other YouTubers involved in the online puzzle world of Cicada 3301 and Q, and crypto-currency platforms such as Steemit.

On June 22, 2019, Schoenberger aka Parody Lives published an unlisted YouTube video called Proof Defango is Lying.

This 4.25 minute video is Part I of a VII-part series.  In today’s article, Tracking the Leopard Meroz will be reviewing this video and comparing the narrative with some documents shown on Defango TV.  I do not favor either Schoenberger or Manuel Chavez and consider that each man is responsible for his own credibility.  I am viewing this video simply to evaluate it for its effectiveness as a stand alone production of an expose.

The title “Proof Defango is Lying” immediately raises the bar of expectation high, because we will be looking for proof, and asking if evidence and facts are presented to  justify the creator’s conclusion that “Defango is lying”.  It hardly matters if the video creator believes this statement to be true, if an objective outside observer is not persuaded by the narrative provided.

Thomas Schoenberger is known for his wonderful music compositions, and thus it is not surprising that throughout the video we hear Bach as the background music. This entire video is composed of written words, supplemented by a few photographs and two short segments of non-sourced videos.

[My commentary below is shown in maroon.]


Parody Lives begins with a speculative conclusion that Defango aka Manuel Chavez the 3rd is a criminal scam artist who is tied to DNC operatives and David Brock. [No background information is provided for Brock, so I will link the Wikipedia article here.]

One of the problems with starting an argument with conclusions, especially those based on opinion and not on a firm foundation of fact, is that the viewer or reader is not drawn into the narrative.  If we are to be kept outside of the loop of the prejudices of the narrator, why should we care about the conflict between Schoenberger and Defango?

IMAGES 2,3, & 4:

Video Image #2

Image #3 shows a photo with the caption:   Ed Butowsky and close friend Debbie Wasserman Schultz

Image #4 shows a photo of the parents of Seth Rich, sitting together and jointly holding a photo of their son.

Parody Lives says Defango is tied to Ed Butowsky, and he goes on to note Butowksy’s connections to others in the same sentence.  This serves to imply a subtle guilt by association that may have no basis in reality as it concerns Defango.  What is not also promoted is the truth that by doing business with Butowsky, Parody Lives aka Thomas Schoenberger is also TIED to Butowsky and possibly his connections, as well.

On March 26, 2018, Aaron Rich, brother of the deceased Seth Rich, filed a lawsuit in the United States District Court for the District of Columbia against Edward Butowsky, Matthew Couch, America First Media and the Washington Times. See redacted Document 3 here.

Introduction Document 3 Aaron Rich federal civil court Complaint filed 3/26/2018

As seen in the screen shot above, Ed Butowsky and his co-defendants have had serious defamation allegations leveled at them by Aaron Rich.

Just this past week, Defango  published a YouTube video  displaying some of the documents which he is providing to Aaron Rich’s counsel, as part of the Discovery process.  That video called, Subpoena Compliance-Aaron Rich lawsuit was published on June 22, 2019, the same day that Parody Lives published part I of his 7 part series on Proof Defango is Lying.

IMAGES 5, 6 & 7

Image # 6“A man named Trevor Fitzgibbon was also a partner.  Trevor had done PR work for Wikileaks.”

Image # 7“Trevor Introduced us to Ed.  Ed hired us through Trevor.”

In Image # 2, Parody Lives emphasizes the point that Defango is tied to Ed Butowsky.    But then, in images # 6-7, that allegation is modified by stating that it was through Trevor Fitzgibbon, a partner in Thomas Schoenberger’s company, Shadowbox Strategies, that Ed Butowsky showed up as a high-paying CLIENT.

It is not explained how Schoenberger and Defango were introduced to Fitzgibbon, whereby a partnership was formed between rank amateurs and a seasoned media man. For Influence Watch’s commentary on Fitzgibbon Media, see article here.

Like many others, I was straining to read the small print on the documents which Defango displayed in his June 22, 2019, “subpoena compliance” video.  However, I was able to screenshot a few on the Shadowbox company so that I could provide documented content for my commentary.


One interesting email from Th Stg to Defango which appears to be dated March 11, 2018, has Thomas Schoenberger aka Th Stg aka Parody Lives declaring, “I am not going to put CEO.  It’s power structure bullshit Manny, You are right.  I will put partner.”

Wait just a minute here!  In the REAL WORLD of business it matters how a business is structured, because that structure determines how day to day operations function, how legal liability is apportioned, etc. So to dismiss the importance of power structure, as Schoenberger did in his email, causes me, as a former bank auditor, to ask if Shadowbox is a false corporate front to legitimize some other activity.

There is a legal difference between a corporation and for example an LLC, which is commonly used for tax purposes involving partnerships. Schoenberger does not display any corporate papers to allow his viewers to understand whether or not this company was registered as a corporation, LLC, or sole proprietorship…or how partners or employees were paid, what kind of tax return was prepared for 2017, who was the treasurer and comptroller.. there are lots of unanswered questions in Schoenberger’s narrative.  These questions are critical because of the accusations which have publicly been made between these partners regarding the legal problems of their client, Ed Butowsky.

Thomas Schoenberger claims in his Parody Lives video that “I started a company named Shadowbox strategies with Defango in 2017.”  Yet Defango has stated that his name was not on the documents that set up the company.  So what document exists that legally establishes that Manual Chavez was an actual partner in this firm, and not just an employee/agent?  Did Chavez put up any capital for Shadowbox?  If so, what percentage?  Were the partners equal, or did one person have a controlling interest?  I find it peculiar that Thomas Schoenberger at first regarded himself as CEO, and then later bowed to a partnership concept, while at the same time disregarding the important issue of where authority and responsibility for the company lay.

What documents establish the partnership basis for Trevor Fitzgibbon? 

All of these details are essential in establishing the legal accountability of each of these so-called principals of Shadowbox.  Parody Lives does not show any documents relating to his company; it is Defango that displays actual documents which provide insight into Shadowbox’s stated mission.

Defango is turning over whatever Shadowbox paperwork he has, to a federal civil court proceeding wherein Shadowbox’s client Ed Butowsky is being sued for defamation. The fact that some of those documents can be viewed, however imperfectly, at Defango TV,  upholds Defango’s credibility.  If Thomas Schoenberger, as former CEO of Shadowbox at its inception,  wants to be believed, he should offer at the very minimum the same level of documentation as Defango does.

At the 2.06 mark of Defango’s subpoena compliance video, a letter is shown which has the Shadowbox logo alongside the heading, Your Silent Partner in Business, Go Viral, Be Secure, 669-666-1378.

The first paragraph of this letter reads, Shadowbox is an elite team of online specialties that can respond to a variety of client situations and needs based on real-time events.  We use a combination of tactics and strategies to effectively promote your content, operation or services to create viral marketing campaigns that effectively target organic growth systems.  We take targeted marketing to a new level of access by identifying positive and negative promoters to prudently manage social online presence and engagement in real time which translates to sales, or higher visibility.  We can also help mitigate militia-like tactics used in targeted harassment campaigns to effectively thwart and vanquish internet threats, character assassination attempts, deleterious media, embarrassingly or potentially damaging links on google.  We act as your silent partner and protection in the vast online world and offer you cutting edge tactics ….”

Our backgrounds range from covert reputation strategists to technical specialists and PR experts with global influence caliber contacts. We specialize in uncovering unique intelligence and social business interaction methodologies and apply them to ensure rapid deployment virality across the media spectrum. Our researchers uncover what others cannot use cutting-edge intelligence mapping systems, private detective networks, ex-intelligence agents and officers….”.

At one point in his video, Defango reads a glib written on his skills saying: “Manual Chavez, our tech guru, and You Tube personality will build out three fundraising platforms for Ed, including Steemit, GoFundMe, etc. We will have our “man in the street” campaign starting immediately with Manual Chavez doing ‘New York Minute’….”.

Hahahahahahaha………!!! The New York Minute!!!  That’s great!  Just like Jason Goodman!


At the 1.55 mark of Defango’s video, a Shadowbox document is displayed, which appears to be an example of promotional work. [As usual, I have bolded some phrases below, which were not in the original document.]

“You’ve been attacked.  Your reputation, your family, your clients and livelihood, you feel like the earth is moving under your feet.  You are in jeopardy.  You didn’t pick this fight.  But you can’t afford to lose it.


Shadowbox is your army.  We solve your problems and expose truth.  We unleash a multifaceted, strategic battle plan through integrated research earned media, legal and digital chaos.

Where your enemies have lied to paint you as the bad guy, we sow the seeds of doubt and present the counter-narrative that they are, in fact, the villains, and you have been unjustly accused.  We do this through sophisticated use of internet technology, meme creation, PR, and cyber-guerrilla tactics that stop the bleeding and begin to sway public opinion and the media in your favor.


Shadowbox designs crisis management/ counterinsurgencies to debunk and hit back at malicious and defamatory online and media attacks on our clients…..Our operations unit effectively routs adversaries away from you, sending them to chase phantoms and rendering them exhausted and perplexed.…”  etc. etc.

IMAGES 8, 9 10, 11 & 12

Image #8:  “In a meeting in Sept 2017, in which 8 people were present, including myself, Defango, Matt Couch, Ed Butowsky, Malia Zimmerman and others, Ed laid out a plot to surveil the Seth Rich family.”

Image #9:  same photo of Seth Rich’s parents as shown in image #4

Image #10:  “I refused, Defango agreed to Ed’s plans and met privately with Ed after the meeting.  Defango later told me he was helping Ed work on the computers needed to wire tap the Rich family in Omaha, Nebraska.”

Image #11:  “Even though I refused, I did agree to work with Ed and when he offered to provide a hotel suite to me and Defango in Feb. 2018, I flew out and roomed with Defango for roughly 60 days.”

Image #12:  Ed was gracious at times and then very weird at others.  He wanted Shadowbox to be his militia.”

For Only $40,000 for the first month, you can command your own private army!

The Shadowbox advertisement I noted earlier under “This is War” says, “Shadowbox is your army.”  So why would anyone be surprised that Ed Butowsky should interpret that to mean he is paying for his own private militia?    In the letter below which appears to be an April 4, 2017 draft of an agreement between Shadowbox and their client Ed Butowsky, it states in the 3rd paragraph, “For this work, Shadowbox will charge a fee of $40,000, for the first month with additional months to be negotiated in advance on client needs, plus expenses.”

IMAGES 13, 14,15,16 and 17

Image #13:  Ed hated an attorney named Stuart Blaugrund. The video you are about to see is a zoom capture of a meeting Ed had with Defango, Trevor and me in October 2017.  You can witness Ed baiting us to mess with Stuart.

Image #14:  Here is Ed asking Defango, me and Trevor to do something nasty to Stuart.  Does this sound like a request for reputation defense, as Defango alleges?

Image #15:

Ed Butowsky in an undated video clip, which would not be considered evidence in a court because it has not been Authenticated.

The music which plays at the same time as the video monologue makes it difficult to understand the soft spoken and demure Ed Botowsky.  Looking at this video, and not knowing his background, one wonders that Thomas Schoenberg found him intimidating.  I cannot understand what executive or professional skills Schoenberg provided Shadowbox, given that he is a musician whose past business reputation is tarnished by online allegations.  If Ed Butowsky in this video has already paid $40,000 for the first month of Shadowbox services, he certainly seems rather placid in this videotaped request, which Schoenberger regards as evidence of “soliciting gang stalking and doxxing”.

Ed Botowsky says, “Hi. It’s Ed Butowsky.  So, I need some help. umm.  There’s a guy named Stuart Blaugrund and I’m not really sure how to deal with this so I’m asking for some help.  If you know what I mean. So I’m not really sure what to do.  I mean.  I could go like on Facebook, let everybody know his phone number _____, or his email _____, and show his picture and then tell everyone hey look at all of his activities and his relationships and maybe express your feelings towards him directly of any kind…I could do that (Schoenberger’s background music covers over Butowsky’s monologue).  So if you have any suggestions, how you would handle a situation like this, umm, please let me know.” (1.35 – 2.51)

Image # 16:  Ed later asked me to set Stuart up with anonymous accusations of rape.  I again refused.

Image # 17:  Ed now claims I tried to extort $300,000 from him.  I challenge Ed to produce any evidence to support that allegation.

In Images # 16 and 17, Schoenberger does not provide proof that Ed Butowsky has made the statements he attributes to him. In business settings, people ask for all sorts of things–some are serious requests and some are said in jest.  Just say no, and leave it at that.  The tail should not be wagging the dog.

In Image #14, we find out finally what the title of this video meant when it asserted that Defango was lying about who-knows what.  The center point of contention seems to be that Defango was alleging that Ed Butowsky was merely asking for reputation defense and not illegal retribution

The statements made by Parody Lives concerning both Ed Butowsky and Defango are unconvincing in that the only documentation provided is weak.  It would be helpful for Parody Lives to have at minimum provided links to the original source of the full videos, which he excerpts short clips from.

Image # 18:  “After two months, Defango left and threatened to dox my friend and me.  He threatened that we would beocme (sp) “suicides:  Defango even made threats as late as Dec 16th 2018 against her and her small children.”

Image #19:

video clip from undated Defango YouTube upload, which unfortunately shows him in his car high after taking LSD

This clip shows Manuel Chavez III saying, “If you give him that trademark, I’m going to stop at nothing in the entire world to ruin your life, your family’s life, your husband’s life and anyone that’s ever been known to you…like I said, if you ever EVER think about it, even attempt it -to give that thing to him-it’s all over.  And that’s it.” (3.13-3.48)

Image #20:  “Both Ed and Defango use the exact same tactics, doxxing, false allegations, reputation tarnishing, and urging others to attack.”

Although Defango’s intelligence shows clearly in his video productions, his profanity,  and threatening speech are also frequently on display, as well.  Defango is 33 years old, and accountable for his words and actions, including this inexcusable drug induced threat directed to a person in a vulnerable position.  It is not surprising that there are constant online exchanges between Defango and Thomas Schoenberger, as well as others.

However, it needs to be noted that in the Shadowbox enterprise, the other partners were at least 20 years older than Defango, and they could have reined his immaturity in.  Where is there any leadership displayed in the Shadowbox business set-up?  Why set up a flimsy business model when the first month fees charged were $40,000?  This is big money, and if the services described were not delivered IN THE FIRST MONTH, it is a red flag for a money-laundering front in the eyes of the IRS and the FBI.  One can be sure that the attorneys for Aaron Rich will be asking the same questions which are noted here.

IMAGES 21, 22,23, 24, 25 & 26

Image # 21  “I responded by telling Defango I would make public his little black op with Ed.”

Image # 22:  “Defango now has an army of people to try and stop me from telling the truth.”

Image #23:  “Including but not limited to:  @powerful primes, @Tafoyovsky, @youngatlas, Bobby Sauerwalk, an ex con, and Diane Nordstrom of Jamestown NY Diane is known as “Nutbag” Nordstrom”

Image #24:  “Jared T – Swift Real name James Lefeber, Mason and Satanist”

Image #25:  “I am exposing everything, since these satanic demons need to be exposed and then sent to prison.”

Image # 26:  Stay Tuned

Defango responded to the Parody Lives’ video in detail on June 23, 2019.  That video can be seen here: #Checkmate Merlin Defango vs. Demonitization.

I look forward to viewing Parts II-VII of the Parody Lives expose, and hope that future episodes will provide courtroom ready documentation to support all allegations.  In reviewing both videos discussed in this article, thus far it is Parody Lives– zero points; and Defango-one point.





2 thoughts on “In The Company of SHADOWBOXers

  1. Thank you for a well written article. Granted, I need to provide more facts to prove what I allege.
    Let me start now

  2. My only connection to Thomas Schoenberger is we were online friends for 3 mos, as I result if my being a fan of his music channel. When I saw him attacking others on Twitter and on You Tube, and refused to delete my comments in a victim’s video questioning his self-proclaimed honesty and hypocrisy, he immediately started sending me dozens of threatening emails, harassment phone calls, slandering me on Twitter, accusing me of somehow being romantically obsessed with and stalking him online. I never met him, he lives 2,600 miles away and he led me to believe he was involved with his former business partner from the first time he initiating direct messaging me.

    I know nothing about his past business except what is online. The last week of our friendship, he told me his former business partner was obsessed with and stalking him as well and be was going to due her, even though I possess an email where he threatened and blackmailed her to extort $600 from her last June. Several people affirmed she was never “his girlfriend” but he was willing to claim this falsehood to her husband in an attempt to intimidate her. She put up all the money for their company. She envisioned it as a company to help people legally fight online bullies. He continues to harass her.

    He has threatened to sue me and has tried to blackmail a large agency, for whom I used to work, into firing me or he and his “friends” would report them to the state. He posted a RipOff Report about me, and Bobby Sauerwald, as he did to his Mother, 10 days after her death, accusing her and his brother of fraud because she cut him out if her will.

    He doxxed my former HR Administrator’s personal cell number he somehow acquired on Twitter. He claims I stalk his 19 yr old son because I once asked Thomas if he ever worried about what kind of example he was setting for his son, with his death threats to me and others.

    I am now online friends with many of the people he has slandered, harassed, maligned and threatened. They ALL reached out to me, concerned for my well-being, when they saw the horrible things he was saying about me online. Those he mentioned, then some, are among the kindest, most considerate, decent people I have known. I can back up with documentation everything I have stated. We all just want Mr. Schoenberger to leave us alone.

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