I am not Ken Bradley.
I am someone who found it necessary to acquire and collate facts about Ken
Bradley. It was necessary because Ken Barry Bradley himself made it necessary.
It was in the course of ordinary business that I first encountered Ken Bradley,
in Chelan, Washington in December of 2008. Mr. Bradley became a factor in my
efforts to be of service to two clients who, coincidentally, had sought my help
at about the same time with their computer systems and with their businesses'
online presence. Until that time I was virtually unconscious of his existence.
His name was unknown to me. I had paid only fleeting attention to the websites
he maintained that centered on the Lake Chelan area. (Nor could I have known,
since he has never attributed his own name to those websites.)
The (Apparent) Scenario
Both clients' business-related websites and email were hosted by Ken Bradley.
Both clients had learned, from others and from me, that they could have better
control of their websites at lower cost than Bradley offered; and so they asked
me to facilitate the moves.
Having no way to know just what lay in store, I assured them that the process
should be straightforward and minimally disruptive.
Ken Bradley had administrative control of both domains, and they were under his
management by way of his own domain registry account. The rightful owners had
no access and no control over their domains. One was held in the name of the
owner/client. Bradley had inexplicably registered the other under his own
business name, Branting International.
Hence, moving those domains to new hosting required Ken Bradley's involvement
I had his involvement.
I was, in some measure, forewarned. Both clients told me they'd had some
conflicts with Bradley. Both feared he might be uncooperative, or at least
resentful of losing their patronage. Both were due soon to pay for the next
year's service (at a surprisingly high rate, considering all factors), and
I surmised Bradley might be unhappy to lose the income unexpectedly.
But the disagreements were unrelated. I had never had any problem with similar
circumstances. I resolved to approach it in a mannerly fashion, distance myself
from the conflicts, and let nothing disturb my composure.
I emailed Bradley with the news on the 16th of December. I'd been retained to
move the hosting of those domains and would place their respective owners in
control as administrative contacts. Would he please acknowledge promptly, and I
would follow his response with domain transfer requests. It was, as it happens,
one day after Bradley's billing due date for the next year's services.
Bradley instantly terminated all hosting services. Which not only took both
websites offline, but also instantly destroyed all the email accounts in use by
both clients. But I didn't know this yet.
Bradley (I assumed it was he, though the emails were unsigned and from a
different account than I'd addressed) then sent me emails, requiring that I
submit via snail-mail to his PO box, signed letters from both entities
authorizing the domain transfers. The demand seemed unnecessary, but rational
enough. (I know now that Bradley had known all persons involved for many years
-- one of them literally for decades -- and could have visited both on his way
to the grocery store, they lived so near. A couple of phone calls would have
sufficed.) He also required a $35 payment from one of them, for having just
renewed their domain registration.
I acknowledged, and said essentially that I'd see to it.
It wasn't until the next day that I discovered the destruction of the email
services, hence the clients knew nothing yet of Bradley's demands.
In light of the abrupt and total takedowns, the demand for signed
authorizations seemed far less sensible. I had to wonder: Why take such action
if he had, thus far, chosen to proceed on the basis that I may not be legit?
Surely it was not his practice to terminate hosting utterly -- to the point of
total removal of all services, files, emails and even DNS -- one DAY after the
payment due date?
It made much more sense that one of the involved individuals had been justified
in her fears that Bradley would respond vindictively.
I visited the clients. I set them up with Gmail accounts. I asked questions.
I learned a bit more about Bradley, though in retrospect it wasn't nearly
I decided yet again not to involve myself in the conflicts. People have their
problems. Set them aside. Treat others as professionals and they'll act as
I sent Bradley a new email. I questioned the takedowns. I pointed out the
conflict between that, and his "seemingly thoughtful offers to help minimize
downtime". I let him know that I knew it would have cost him nothing to
maintain hosting while the transfers were underway. I detailed some of the
wasted time, inconvenience and potential losses to the clients that his choice
had caused -- all without rancor. I urged him to proceed quickly with the
domain transfers, now that his own actions had made a speedy transfer much more
necessary than before.
The response astonished me. All blame was placed squarely on the customer for
non-payment. Service had already been scheduled for termination upon failure
to pay. His selflessness for renewing the expiring domain was emphasized.
None of that was astonishing. The astonishing part was the last sentence:
"We will pass on your concern to Mr. Bradley."
Is This the Party to Whom I am Speaking?
I replied only with: "I'm confused. If you're not Mr. Bradley, then who are
you?" To this point, I had believed I was taking to the sole operator of a
one-man business. Nothing I had seen, nothing anyone had said to me, had
comprised any evidence of anything more.
The following morning, seeing no response, I sent another email. I patiently
took the view that I was dealing with a somewhat clueless employee; although I
knew it might be Bradley himself.
I pointed out the wisdom of good treatment of a departing client; and the folly
of sending them off with bad tales they'll surely tell others. I said payment
problems were nothing new in this or any business. That good relations were the
more important concern.
I took the attitude that this employee needed help with the niceties of his or
her job. I conveyed that I was unable to compensate for the fact that the
clients were now -- quite justifiably -- irritated.
I re-iterated my clear understanding of the terms on which Bradley's hosting
business operates. He pays for bandwidth and disk space. How many domains he
hosts and what he does with them has absolutely no impact on his costs unless he
exceeds the limits of his 'reseller' package plan. The message: if there's no
cost whatsoever to keeping people happy, by all means, keep them happy!
I intoned the obvious fact that the domain renewal had been their duty, not a
favor. In short, I rejected all arguments as to why it was okay to brutalize
their former client. What had been done was a mistake, and not a small one.
Finally, I added: "Please put me in contact with Mr. Bradley right away."
And, "Mr. Bradley, if you're seeing this, CALL ME."
That afternoon, Mr. Bradley called me.
It was this phone call from Mr. Bradley that first set me on the path that has
ultimately produced the website you now visit.
(Shortly after the phone conversation, I sent an email to all the parties
concerned, including, at one client's request, an attorney. What follows is
substantially that email, with a few omissions for privacy purposes, with
[parenthetical additions] and with other changes for clarity and because I'm
my own most merciless editor.)
I've just had a lengthy telephone conversation with Ken Bradley. He called in
response to an email I sent this morning, in which I asked that he call me.
[Bradley's introduction was to upbraid me for "lecturing" his employee. He
began to say that his employees' training was his to do and his alone, but I cut
him off with a friendly comment to the effect that it merely appeared to me the
employee may have acted, however innocently, against his interests and that I
had only sought to help. He dropped it.]
The real problem at hand, I then summarized to Mr. Bradley, is that he has
prematurely cut off all services to the domains [in question] while initial
negotiations for transfer of the domains were under way.
Mr. Bradley went to some lengths to explain that he and the parties who own
those domains had ongoing disagreements and that their complaint about the
hosting matter was based in those disagreements. He took pains to describe his
"numerous" prior warnings about cutoff of service in the context of billing
notices they'd received over the past "45 days." He said payment had been due
from both parties by the 10th of December, and that his only communication from
them had been my email notification of intended transfers which was sent on the
16th. [In fact he had sent two billings, both containing dire warnings of
potential loss of service, both prior to the due date, and with a due date of
15 December, not 10 December. I knew all this at the time but chose not to
He described his business as primarily involved in import and export on an
international scale. He said his efforts to promote local businesses were
entirely an act of goodwill, which he was performing at net expense to himself.
He explained that he had, solely in their own interests, persuaded [one client]
to create their business, had written a business plan for them and had wholly
"set them up in business". [I now know he had done no such thing. He had,
utterly to the contrary, only been a substantial cost and impediment to them.]
He said that he could live anywhere in the world [he named Paris and London as
examples], but lives in the Chelan area only because he wished to provide his
children an environment where they could enjoy a small community.
I questioned Mr. Bradley's copyrights on the pages he hosted for these clients.
We engaged in a lengthy discussion of this question, in which he asserted
ownership of all images in particular. I asked what he thought I should do
when the clients asked me to replicate the sites' former content? He said he
did not regard the verbiage of the sites -- descriptions of properties and
such -- to be at issue. I replied, "So the images then are the matter of
concern, nothing else?" He acknowledged that, but suggested other elements
might be of concern -- scripting and HTML code, I presume, though he wasn't
Bradley said that the emails I had been receiving from
"Webmaster@LakeChelanOnline.com" had originated in Germany from one of his
numerous "webmasters" [I believe he said 'more than a dozen'] who work for him
there. That his people work on the Chelan projects purely as a sideline in
spare time, as a contribution to the community in his behalf.
I asked why his workers did not identify themselves when sending emails, and
asked that he have them do so. He said they wouldn't do that. Asked why, he
explained that any number of persons might reply to an email; and that they
represented the company, not themselves as individuals.
I described to Mr. Bradley the inconvenience that had been caused to me and
others by his cutoff of service to those domains. That it had terminated the
very email accounts that were in use to implement the domain transfers. That
my time had been consumed in setting up alternate email accounts on their
computers, and communicating his own demands (for written authorization and
payments) to those persons. That it caused the parties to be upset with him
personally, and to attribute the act to his own antagonism towards them. I
pointed out that this was at odds with his stated purpose to create goodwill in
the community and to "help people do successful business here."
He asserted that he was not acting differently with these clients than he would
with any others; that it was all a matter of "procedure." That his people were
only carrying out their normal jobs.
He said [one client's principals] were in conflict with one another, had
"problems of their own" and were therefore lashing out at others. He said
similar was true of [the other client].
He went on with unfavorable references toward the persons involved but with few
specifics. He made clear that he had done them considerable service at no cost
to them, at great cost to himself. He appeared to imply by these statements
that they were ungrateful or had taken advantage of him in some cynical way. He
made no explanation for why they'd regard him so poorly.
I pointed out that I need have no involvement in anyone's personal affairs and
that my own duty is to see that the domain transfers and the website needs of
both clients are met. In this matter, I urged him to be sure and move forward
with the domain transfers without undue delays. He said he would do that.
I also said that for his own sake he really should do whatever possible to
restore goodwill, as his own repute was at stake.
Bradley repeated that he had warned them in his billings about interruption of
service. He volunteered that most of his clients were late-pay or no-pay and
that he had some who'd not paid for a year.
I pointed out that these clients were late by only days, at most. Normally,
service interruption warnings would follow non-payment, not precede it; and that
if others had not paid for a year without consequence, why would he cut these
off after only days?
I described what I knew of his hosting costs. That continued services to both
domains was utterly without any cost to him, and that removing those services
required time and effort, whereas leaving them in place required NONE. He
didn't deny it. He had virtually ceased to speak at this point.
I openly, flatly rejected his attempt to argue that he was not treating these
I said again that I saw only conflict in his portrayals of the facts. If his
was a multinational corporation, why was he personally concerned with non-
payment of a couple of customers, whom he described besides as charity cases?
If he was acting out of goodwill and at his own expense, if money was not a
concern overall, but rather the "good of the community"; and meanwhile he had a
huge enterprise to run; why involve himself? I repeated: If he'd let another
client go unpaid for a year, why issue these two dire warnings prior to a due
date and then cut them off after only days?
I said "these things don't add up. Nothing adds up," and "You aren't being
honest with me." I told him I was convinced that he had, precisely as I had
been told by the victims of his decisions, acted out of animosity towards them.
I told him he was acting unprofessionally.
In closing, I said I would require that his people identify themselves in their
communications with me. And hung up.
Upon inspection I found that the emails had originated NOT from Germany but from
a Verizon Wireless IP address in this region and by way of an Earthlink mail
server. Note that the 'helo' identifier is identical. Mr. Bradley is presumaby
accessing the Net from his home in the Chelan area by way of Verizon Wireless
and is sending the emails himself:
Received: from [126.96.36.199] (helo=KBB55E5F9E3D2)
by elasmtp-dupuy.atl.sa.earthlink.net with esmtpa (Exim 4.67)
for firstname.lastname@example.org; Wed, 17 Dec 2008 04:19:27 -0500
Received: from [188.8.131.52] (helo=KBB55E5F9E3D2)
by elasmtp-scoter.atl.sa.earthlink.net with esmtpa (Exim 4.67)
for email@example.com; Wed, 17 Dec 2008 04:21:07 -0500
Received: from [184.108.40.206] (helo=KBB55E5F9E3D2)
by elasmtp-junco.atl.sa.earthlink.net with esmtpa (Exim 4.67)
for firstname.lastname@example.org; Thu, 18 Dec 2008 05:31:36 -0500
I was, quite frankly, ANGRY that Ken Bradley had lied so outrageously.
The phone conversation set me into immediate motion. I began seeking out all
the information I could find about Ken Bradley.
By this I do not mean I solicited gossip. I went looking for hard, cold facts
from sources I was already familiar with: public information resources.
Business licensing. Corporations. State and county government. Property and
tax records. Marriage licenses. Court records.
I sought out Bradley's websites. Looked up domain records. Queried archives.
Correlated what I found, and used new data to seek out still more information.
Within hours I knew where he lived (which fact he reportedly seeks almost
fanatically to keep secret). I had identified his business entities. I already
knew about how many domains he owned and hosted, but I found still more details.
I had a rough idea where he'd lived in recent years and what he may have done
for a living.
I knew I was dealing with just ONE person. I knew he had at least some history
of financial impropriety and was soon to discover much more. I knew he was
absolutely nothing he claimed to be.
Angered though I was, I didn't do all this investigation out of sheer rage. I
did it because Bradley had lied spectacularly and transparently when the truth
MATTERED, when trust was critically important not just to me but to people
whose livelihoods were involved and for whom I felt responsible. He did this
when the simple truth would have perfectly served all his own supposed purposes.
He had furthermore acted to damage these others even when that act was to his
own detriment. This was someone who doesn't "mean well" and who is not entirely
Put another way, The guy was a major wildcard in the deck and I had a job to do.
I needed to know what the hell I was dealing with. And learn I did.
I quizzed my clients, and some other people I sought out. This, expressed very
briefly and incompletely, is the picture I assembled. To be fair, it is based
upon much hearsay and emerges from a climate of conflict among persons. None of
it conflicts with any of my own direct observations and much of it is supported
by Bradley's own online materials. Give it a grain of salt, if you wish:
- Ken presents himself as a tycoon, a wealthy international businessman, a
professional manager and promoter, who seeks "for the sake of the community,"
"to give back," etc., to help and promote other people's businesses.
- He characterizes Branting International as a large shipping/import/export
company which services numerous other large companies on a global scale.
- He claims variously to have hundreds, "twelve hundred," thousands, of
employees worldwide, among whom are a dozen or more "webmasters" based in
- Ken often does not sign his own emails. When they are attributed, emails
have borne the names of various persons, including Brad Snow, Brenda Snow,
Andrea Lamers, Terry Schmautz.
- He asserts that "his people" handle virtually all his communications, pay his
bills, etc., and when confronted with an unpaid obligation he may attribute
the matter to his German staff and to such things as the difficulties of
international money transfers.
- He characterizes his "World Cultural Foundation" as a non-profit charitable
organization with 501(c)3 status. He describes the related "Pen Friends"
service as a huge organization with millions of members worldwide.
- Ken says he personally created various major businesses, including the Pony
Express local-delivery service.
- He tells broad tales of his adventuresome past, including military service
in Intelligence, all very hush-hush. Naturally his official military
record reflects none of the secret truth. He boasts that he cannot be
traced because he has "fixed" records of his own past.
- He never discloses his address, he says, because of the risk to his children,
who, because of his wealth, are potential targets for kidnappers. His phone
number is rarely given out.
- He claims he met his wife when he sought dance instruction in preparation for
a formal ball where he would dance with former First Lady Nancy Reagan.
- He is a photographer, rarely seen without his camera, and a large camera bag
with a prominently displayed "PRESS" tag attached.
In counterpoint to all that, I can offer these observations:
- Ken Bradley is not a tycoon. He owns (or is buying) a largely undeveloped
10-acre parcel on a hillside above the highway that runs along the south
shore of Lake Chelan, which had an assessed value of about $75,000 at the
time of purchase. There, alongside a large warehouse or shed type building,
he keeps three older vehicles and a 25-foot travel trailer in which he
apparently houses his family. Before he acquired this property, he has
sometimes relied upon others to provide housing to himself and his family,
at no cost to himself.
- Branting International is a sole proprietorship, that is to say, it IS
(legally speaking) Ken Bradley. Despite his claims, I can identify no
employees. No one I can find has physically seen or met any Branting
employee, ever. No reference to the assets, employees, operations,
principals, contracts, related entities, or any form of activity or
function of Branting International can be found anywhere on the World Wide
Web except at the one-page website of brantinginternational.com.
- Thus far, every email I have examined from any entity or person associated
with Ken Bradley shows evidence in its headers of having come from Ken
- The names found in Bradley's emails, in his corporate papers and on the Web
in connection with Bradley are all either former associates or show no
evidence whatsoever of being real individuals who are actually working with
or involved with Bradley or his apparent business entities.
- World Cultural Foundation does exist and is a non-profit corporation. It
does not have 501(c)3 status which is a specific type of tax-exempt status.
All 501(c)3 organizations are listed online by the IRS. Neither World
Cultural Foundation (WCF) nor its trade names (International Pen Friends and
International Contact Bureau) are listed there, and I can find no evidence
that they ever were. WCF has never filed IRS Form 990, which is subject to
public disclosure and is required of exempt nonprofits anytime gross yearly
receipts exceed $25,000. Yet his "Penfriends" service -- which operates
under WCF -- claims 7 million members. Penfriends charges $10 to $20 for
membership, and may charge more for additional services. Do the math.
- Bradley has engaged in fund-raising for businesses and events in which he was
involved. He has consistently taken control of the funds, claiming they
should fall under the umbrella of his nonprofit "501(c)3" corporation. At
no time that I can discover has he ever provided a proper accounting for
such funds, publicly or otherwise.
- Although Bradley, with a partner, appears to have run a business named Mercer
Island Pony Express from 1993 to 1995, there is nothing anywhere to suggest
this was anything but a franchise of the now-defunct Pony Express service.
- One person who has known Ken Bradley personally for nearly 30 years and was
once his employer, says Bradley was in the army, was stationed in Germany,
and was an MP (Military Policeman) there; but his military career was short
and unexceptional. If this is a misunderstanding, perhaps Ken would be
willing to share the documented facts.
- Given the facts of his living circumstances and their disparity with his
claims of wealth and power, it is perhaps understandable that Bradley
prefers not to advertise his address. However, he is also the subject of
numerous judgments and collection actions, which may provide a much more
pressing need to conceal his locaton.
- Strangely, Bradley consistently objects to any effort to photograph himself,
and has sought to have one online photo removed by a local news outlet. He
leaves his own name completely off all the websites he owns and controls.
He uses a false Mercer Island address for his domain registrations and in
practically any case that he's required to provide a physical address. He
also has used the street address of the Chelan Post Office. He has, so far
as I can determine, NEVER willingly disclosed his own true address to anyone,
official or unofficial, at any time in recent years. His current true
address is publicly disclosed only in an unavoidable public record of the
deed to his current property which had to be filed under his real name and
must by its nature disclose the property and its location in detail.
- Numerous anecdotes reveal a consistent pattern of vindictive behavior: when
things go sour with a business or individual, or when he is questioned,
Bradley throws a dramatic tantrum and proceeds to (usually falsely) malign
the ungrateful wretches eternally after. For a minor perceived slight at a
grocery store, he sought to have a clerk, and then her manager, fired. He
persisted in this effort for months at least, while claiming he had friends
at the Safeway corporate headquarters. No one was fired.
- Bradley is known to have repeatedly failed to pay for services and for
housing. According to online public court resources, he has at least 5
judgments against him in the State of Washington, perhaps as many as 8.
Notably, as a rule, individuals and small businesses do not sue unless the
sums are so substantial as to compel such expensive and troublesome action.
Generally only larger concerns and collection agencies seeking large sums
will attempt court action to collect.
- I can find no evidence whatsoever that Bradley ever met Nancy Reagan. She is
chronicled online in hundreds of thousands of texts and in tens of thousands
of images. Virtually everything notable that she has ever done has been
written about and photograped. Online searches find Ken Bradley absolutely
nowhere among those materials.
- Ken Bradley actually is a photographer and has occasionally done a creditable
job of it. His images are found throughout his websites and on those of
Looking Back - for the Sake of Looking Forward
As I write this, Bradley has continued to present problems to me and to my
clients. He has wasted not merely hours but many days of my time. He has
caused anguish and loss to people who've done nothing at all to deserve such
treatment but to extend their trust to Ken Bradley. He has lied for no better
reason than to cause damage to those who have questioned him. His victims are
mortified that they trusted him, and they fear, with excellent reason, that
their own repute has suffered by their association with him, and will suffer
hereafter from his ongoing defamations.
I don't pretend to understand Bradley's motives. He seems to have followed
patterns. His false self-aggrandizement, for one, and his maltreatment of
financial obligations, for another. But I can't say why, nor do I know what
Ken Bradley will do in the future.
I now know that the list of Ken B. Bradley's victims must be very long indeed.
I find more almost anytime I look. They're certainly more numerous than his
German "webmasters!" How many people have granted trust, and credit -- monetary
and otherwise -- and credibility to Ken Bradley, only to have that trust abused,
credit turned to discredit and loss, credibility turned to incredulity? More
important, how many more will there be?
Each new victim is like a drunk-driving death. Totally preventable.
I have told only a tiny slice of the Bradley story (as I know it) here;
described only a few of the things I have thus far observed directly, and only
a sketch of what others have told me. I believe their stories completely, but
hearsay is hearsay.
My purpose here is to give decent, trusting people a chance to defend
themselves against someone I believe will attempt to exploit those very
traits of those good people to their detriment. However clumsily he may do it,
Bradley has been successful enough at involving others in his schemes, and
consistent enough in their pursuit that I'm convinced this defense is necessary.
The primary facts about Bradley, which together comprise a sketchy narrative
spanning many years, are laid out in the Timeline. That's where I recommend you
begin. More pages will be added to illuminate specific subjects. Many links
will proceed from the Timeline, and may be added to the page-top menus as
It may surprise the reader, in view of what I've published here, that I'm a
strong advocate of just about every initiative there is to enhance privacy
rights, online and off. I advise my clientele tirelessly of the implications to
their privacy of online activity and take pains to convey the nature and
mechanisms of the many intrusions, commercial and otherwise, the Internet has
Virtually every document I provide here is available to the public by law, for
various good reasons. Contracts, property records, legal unions, business
entities, court proceedings... all are public record for practical and
principled purposes; including the right of the public to know others' history.
Still, its publication in aggregate is nonetheless a rude intrusion, and could
at worst constitute something akin to harassment. I am not without sympathy for
Bradley, nor for the rest of us. None of us is exempt. None of us wants his
'dirty laundry' aired, especially not in the absence of explanations of
circumstance, and citations of our constructive behavior to balance the
The problem with Bradley is his habit of absolutely outrageous, enormous,
colossal LIES. This man will tell you, without blinking an eye, utterly
convincingly, that he represents a wealthy international company. That he's
received a substantial "private grant" that requires him to donate time and
resources to the community. That he lives on a 50-acre estate in a palatial
The truth is that he doesn't. And he hasn't. And so on. The truth is that
these lies are his means of establishing a relationship of trust which he then
exploits for his own gain. Imagine that. Lies as a basis for trust.
I could publish nothing but my own claims to the contrary, without proof, and
leave it to you (and every other potential victim) to seek out the hard facts.
I could provide only a few scraps of documentation, out of concern for Bradley's
feelings or those of his family. I considered that.
But in the final analysis, nothing but EVERYTHING can do the job properly.
Public information can never tell all of the story; hence you need as much of it
as possible. You have a RIGHT to know when you're being lied to. The hard-
earned funds and repuations of good people are at stake, at very least, if the
past is any lesson. For some, the cost has verged on catastrophe.
I welcome emails from anyone. If you have relevant facts, particularly hard,
on-paper, corroborated facts that can be shared publicly, I welcome those most
enthusiastically. I intend to maintain this site indefinitely. I will remain
interested in Ken Bradley to the exact degree that he continues to abuse others'
So far, amazingly, his lies continue essentially unchanged despite the
existence of this website.
(Last updated 21 Feb 2009)