Well, here it is 2017 and this mess is still up here. I would love to take it down and totally ignore Jim Wagner, but I leave it up because of a commitment, a promises, a series of promises I've made with former and active Costa Mesa SWAT police officers, an agent from the DEA, a former federal investigator, HSS owners and numerous former Wagner students. They all express the need for this information to be up somewhere on the net and be available to the public. I am stuck with this message.
THIS...is Jim Wagner's "Reality-Based...Past."
"...so what if it is all a lie, the materials are what attracts people not
the claims..." Jim Wagner to Robb Hamic, 2010.
Jim Wagner is, or should I say now -was- a public figure, was a magazine writer for Black Belt magazine. For many years he has cultivated an image a seasoned Army vet, veteran cop and SWAT team vet, and even a "Post 9-11 Government Counter-Terrorism expert who performed 140 counter-terrorism missions," as the ads say. His cultivated image is that of a tactical genius sought after by the most elite units in the world. He has even called himself the inventor of, and even using the term, “Founding Father of reality fighting systems," etc. Until Jim Wagner, either in 1998 or 1999, or 2002 or 2003, (depends upon what Wagner bio you read) there apparently was no one on the planet teaching or doing “real world training.” But, his actual, real background has been debated publicly for years now by many.
A big glitch for Jim Wagner arrived in the summer of 2008 when proof surfaced on the POW Network that Jim Wagner only did 8 months in the US Army as a radio operator, and begged his congressman to get him out og the Army. What? Not a Sergeant in a combat infantry unit, as he told people in seminars? This seemed to steamroll right into his demise.
I was next somehow accused by Wagner of initiating this POW investigation. I did not have anything to do with it. Nothing.
I was also accused of lying about Jim Wagner’s past in his own postings - this Army topic -and his words had reached as far away as Australia. Wagner deemed me “ a jealous, lying business competitor.”
BUT! As a side result of these Jim Wagner accusations about me in 2008, I'd also innocently became some kind of internet hero for "calling him out." I did not do it! Still, Wagner had used my name and since 2008, I had unwillingly become a reluctant repository of a large volume of disparaging emails, letters, complaints, signed affidavits and statements against Jim Wagner, mostly from police co-workers and from ex-instructors and police - foreign, federal, state, city. They cheered me on! One California, co-worker cop who knew Wagner personally for years actually told me I was “doing God’s work” for exposing Jim Wagner as a fraud. That was pretty strong (I have it, and everything, still in writing.)
Strong anti-Wagner talk. And I had nothing to do with any of it! With all this new info, and him waving my name around, I next posted here the Jim Wagner 13 questions to clear up the mess and give Wagner a chance to rebuke all these bad claims. We corresponded. Except for the simple qualifier question or two I sneaked in there, like “Do you know Chuck Habermehl?” - just to get the pace and tone of Wagner’s honest answers for comparison - like a polygraph qualifier question - the rest of the questions were important.
In winter, 2008, Jim Wagner contacted me as I asked. He first wanted to answer these questions his way and sent me a short list of answers, a collection of some short, terse dodges and obvious lies. I immediately saw they were transparent dodges and lies and could easily be investigated to be cover-ups. I know Jim Wagner feared that the true answers, once published, would be torn apart by his detractors. I told him so. Then Jim Wagner decided not to print them at the last minute. I agreed, and we did not print his answers as he requested. The answers were more desperate and confusing dodges that did not match the truth. They were transparently bad. But, you can still read all of his lies right on his webpage, anyway.
Then, Jim Wagner ordered me to remove his name completely from this Talk Forum or else! Or else...what? Sue? Jim Wagner can’t sue anyone because the actual truth would then be easily subpoenaed into the public domain and it would utterly, completely ruin him. Anyway, I figured I was done with this. That was 2008. Now move to 2010. I had peacefully co-existed with this knucklehead for years before 2008, ignoring him and I assumed that would be my easy fate once again. I could easily ignore Jim Wagner.
In February, 2010, an ex-cop named Robb Hamic became fed up with his Krav Maga instructors, discovering they were frauds. Hamic started a webpage on this subject. Robb discovered that Jim Wagner was influential in forming and advising some of these Krav frauds (Moni Izik for one) on what-to-say and how-to-advertise. Wagner fell into Hamics’ radar. Ex-cop, Robb went after Jim Wagner like he would go after a criminal. It was serious.
Then, Jim Wagner began sending Robb emails with blind copies to “his people”....and ME! Me? Somehow, I started to receive these blind copies too because they were messages not just to Hamic, but to me and about me also.
At first, Wagner thought it was me using an alias. I told him no. (I have no problem talking with Wagner.) Once that was proven wrong, then in these 2010 emails, Jim Wagner accused Hamic of acting as my agent, my proxy. No again. In fact, I have never met Robb Hamic. I know almost nothing about him, except what he said on his Krav-Fraud webpage. Robb never was and is not my "partner, agent or my proxy." I have never even spoken with him on the phone. I have never met him. He apparently is an ex-cop who smells a few rats.
Like Al Pacino says, "just when I think i am out, they pull me back in." As for me as it was in 2008 and now in 2010, I don't quite know how to rectify me being called a jealous liar AGAIN internationally by a skunk like Jim Wagner - who also had a very large, international voice in Black Belt magazine. A voice as far and as wide as from USA to Australia? And, I do not know how extensive these April, 2010 blind-copies emails he sent out were? To whom? Maybe the entire email list of Black Belt Magazine? I was becoming Wagner's boogey-man yet again. A scarecrow distraction to his reality-based-past. So, in my potential defense, I decided to pro-actively look deeper into the mysteries of Jim Wagner. It was easy since so many people had contacted me in 2008. I had their recollections stored away. This time, I actively contacted them beginning in 2010 with my own questions.
I do know this much now. I will never believe a single word Jim Wagner says or a word he writes. There are even trick stories behind the pictures he uses. I don't think he can be trusted. He confabulates, exaggerates, lies, twists and deceives as a way of doing business. Worse, I have an opinion he is a bit pathological in that he has become to believe his viewpoints to some extent. His webpage has covered many tall stories, even lies. Once caught, he takes them down himself, and then, replaces with new sets of lies. Oddly at times the same lies.
You've met people like this. And all to perpetrate his myth and trick customers. So, its been about for years now, and I know what he says and I know what the facts are:
* Despite his early ads, lectures and claims, Wagner did only 8 months in the Army as a
radio operator. He begged a congressman to get him out. He told people early on, (we
have their names, that he was an Army Sergeant. Many years later he joined the
California Militia and actually became a SGT. He likes to confuse people about
* Wagner was forced out of the Costa Mesa Police. CMPD officers say he wormed
himself into a volunteer, unpaid, reserve position first, and then into a deal with then
Chief Snowden, then he left without public disgrace.
* Wagner worked for and with a group of vets in the 1990s called HSS International, who
actually got the training gigs that he claims he alone got. These courses were actually
taught by these vets. He attended or helped out. He deceives customers by using
these HSS group photos for all his advertising of HIS teaching the “world’s elite.”
Wagner was fired from HSS for a series of criminal thefts and scams. A judge in a California
court confirmed this.
* Wagner was a smaller town jailer, then cop, then DARE officer and shopping mall cop
when he worked with and met the military and police vets of HSS International. At one
time HSS employed 100 instructors. Wagner was eventually fired from HSS for double-
billing expenses and stealing a variety of things (to include the HSS name while keeping
the money). In his advertising, Wagner uses all these HSS acquired gigs AS HIS
ALONE! Wagner uses the HSS photos all over his webpage, manipulating them as
though he alone taught these groups. This misinformation and deception constitutes
the basis of his ad campaign. Think about this - NONE of these special, military or
police groups would hire a small town jailer, DARE officer and MALL cop to teach them.
HSS got those gigs. They fired Wagner for theft. A California judge agreed with HSS in
* Wagner was never on any SWAT team as an "front-line" operator, just as office,
support help in Costa Mesa police - slickly called a SWAT “Command Post.” Wagner
failed the SWAT PT test.
He admitted this for a while, then changed that story and
suddenly in April, 2010, Jim Wagner claimed he passed another test, a second test, and now lies that he was
a full-fledged SWAT team member. I now have documents from Costa Mesa P.D. officers
that declare he was not, as well as a memo from HIM where he complained about his
surprise/sudden firing from this support job. Further, how he complained about being replaced
by a totally untrained, unarmed park ranger. Wagner has never attended the
California State Peace Officer Standards and Training SWAT school, a requirement
for a SWAT operator. Attorney Sam Browning has signed statements about this and
I have been told by numerous prior SWAT officers about this. I have conversed with
CMPD SWAT and Wagner was called by them a "house mouse" and NOT on the SWAT team. Wagner's nickname was "House-Mouse."
* Wagner was forced to leave the Orange County SO unpaid, volunteer reserves for a
series of indiscretions, mistakes and false claims about being the Sheriff's bodyguard,
etc, Then there were even more problems...
* Wagner did about 8 months as an Air Marshal and that includes his schooling! He was
forced to leave over a forgery investigation, causing a hurry-up resignation letter after
8 months employment in a deal. He'd committed a crime. (I have these documents -
to include a Congressman Christopher Cox letter) Wagner has already lied about
this publicly, numerous times.
* From these air marshal flights that he first called uneventful, he later advertised them
as a mysterious “140 counter-terrorism missions.” Wagner used this short, "rookie"
background through Black Belt Magazine ads to be called a "post, 9-11 counter
terrorism, government expert." He was actually forced out after 8 months.
* Wagner uses the “I resigned” cover story to conceal his lifelong professional mistakes
at Costa Mesa, Orange County and the Federal Air Marshals. All these agencies were
used to con customers into thinking he was a seasoned, experienced, unblemished vet
and expert. He just "resigned" form his Black Belt magazine column.
* Wagner is currently a California state reservist, one of the few branches that will
NEVER go to war (odd choice for a super hero of the world's tactical elite!). But, he
was quick to play dress up in the uniform and get on the cover of Black Belt Magazine
in his "dramatic combat uniform"...and "the black beret" (his actual public words on
the web.) He got into trouble for doing this.
* Probably Wagner's biggest and most self-revealing lie is when he claimed that US
President George Bush summoned him to is Oval Office to thank him for his war effort.
See Question 11.
Jim Wagner is in effect, a house of cards, with another house of cards built on top. So, I will answer the original Jim Wagner questions based upon collected information from his and other statements, interviews and documents. I have changed the order of the original 13 questions so they appear in some kind of chronological order.