Keystone Crusaders: More Than Meets the Eye

Originally posted:
Aired July 16, 2011 – 06:00   ET
T.J. HOLMES, CNN ANCHOR: Good morning. Good morning, everybody. Nice shot there from WPVI this morning.
I want to take you to something else as we look to the song, “Help Somebody.” we are talking about superheroes this morning who are cleaning up the streets of Pennsylvania. They are doing this literally. Take a look here at the Keystone Crusaders. That is what they call themselves. They are dressed up, yes. You don’t know their identities, but these are not vigilantes, or out there fighting crime. No, of course, they don’t have super powers, but they are doing something that some will tell you is pretty super special.
These crusaders are here with me this morning. Let me bring in, Commonwealth, that is him on the left. That is Vigil, sitting in the back. She is not miked up. We won’t be hearing from here, but she still there in support. Then there is Armistice on the right.
Thank you all for being here. And Commonwealth, I will let you start this off. A lot of people are looking at the screen and thinking what in the world are they doing? First of all, tell me the whole idea. What is the point of the Crusaders?
COMMONWEALTH, KEYSTONE CRUSADERS: Well, the point of the Keystone Crusaders is pretty much to inspire goodness out of others by going around and doing good things, like picking up garbage and giving food and water to homeless. Random acts of kindness. Helping anybody out in any way they need it.
HOLMES: Armistice, helping people out? You talk about picking up garbage and handing out food and water. And doing these acts, but also this includes sometimes, maybe just dropping money into a parking meter of somebody whose parking meter has expired?
ARMISTICE, KEYSTONE CRUSADERS: Yes, of course. Commonwealth carries around a roll a big roll of quarters. If we can save someone a $15 ticket with a quarter, then that is a very good thing we can do. That could be rent money or their food money for that week.
HOLMES: Now, Commonwealth, you all could have done this by walking around the streets and doing it in plain clothes. What is with the superhero get up? Why go that route?
COMMONWEALTH: Well, you know, the superhero idea really comes about when a person sees a superhero, they see more than a person. They see an idea. They see something that may inspire them, that in the future, go out and do something good themselves. Not necessarily in a superhero costume, but just to be good people. Children see Spiderman and they know that is initially good. The idea of being a superhero is we can inspire goodness in others.
HOLMES: Now, Armistice, I have to say, and tell our viewers, you all take this quite seriously, at least the part about keeping your identity hidden. There is no way I can get you to lift up that mask this morning, is there?
COMMONWEALTH: It is not that we feel any real need to, it is more on principle. If you see someone that you don’t know who they are doing this, it could be anyone. If it could be anyone, there is no reason why it couldn’t be you.
HOLMES: What is the-Commonwealth-I guess, what is the idea here? It sounds like you are trying to inspire children with some of the get up and what they see. And you say, like Armistice just said. If you don’t know who it is, it could be anybody. That could be you. How far do you want to take this thing and keep it going?
COMMONWEALTH: You know, believe me, one day I would love to retire the helmet and cape. But as long as the city needs us; as long as the people feel like they need somebody out there to help them. That is how long we want to keep going. As I say, until our legs give out. This is something we feel our City of Harrisburg needs, and-just the people, itself, they need it. You can see it in their faces. Since from when we began to now, their attitudes have completely changed.
HOLMES: Armistice, it is important to note here, and people might be wondering, when do you do this? You all do have day jobs.
ARMISTICE: We do it whenever we find free time that we can put together. The Commonwealth is a retail manager. I work in retail. We always just have to organize our schedules together.
HOLMES: Are you recruiting?
ARMISTICE: Anyone who really wants to help out. Vigil, here, has only been out with us twice now. She is the latest person to join. There are some more people are getting ready. Anyone who wants to join us, why not? You do not need to be wearing a costume to be a good person, is that what you want to do?
HOLMES: And the last thing here to you, Commonwealth. You went through some struggles of your own. You are out helping the homeless now and doing what you can. You had struggles of your own. You probably wished a superhero would come along and help you out?
COMMONWEALTH: You know what I had my own personal superheroes; people in my life that just gave very generously without asking anything in return. They did not wear costumes, they were just genuinely good people. They are part of the inspiration for this. Their amount of generosity for no reason at all, they gained no benefit from helping me. You know, through their help, I was able to get out of what I was in, and find myself-you know, now I’m a superhero. I’m going out and paying it forward.
HOLMES: Guys, thank you so much for being here. This story got a lot of our attention. At first, when we see the outfits and people jump to a conclusion. But once you dig into it and hear the story and hear why you are doing it. It really is a cool thing you are doing. Maybe, really, it will inspire some folks whether they are in superhero costumes or not. Thank you all so much for taking the time. Keep doing what you are doing. We will see you down the road.
ARMISTICE: Thank you.
HOLMES: All right. We are getting up on the top of the hour here. I’m going to run and put on my superhero outfit. I’ll have that for you right after the break.

lemme tell ya about stupid…even at my age.

lemme tell ya about stupid….even at my age. So we had a Kick ass Shoulder & Triceps & put a good pump on all of it. Then clever me I decided we should do this insane sprint work out that a Football player gave us because we have a high level of cardio anyway with all the cross fit & Bag we hit lately anyway. It’s about 17 sets of sprints from 10 yards to a 100 and my training partner even said “Don’t do it, it’s 100 F*&^ing degrees out.” & he was the professional sprinter & I’m the Knuckle drager. I pushed it like a R-Tard anyway & finished the whole damn thing. Then nearly collapsed in the shower, had to call off work, and am sitting at home dizzy off my big blue ass trying to rehydrate & not puke. 100 degrees at noon? do your cardio indoors. especially after weights. On the bright side of things before the fiasco started Greg The hammer Valentine was there!


You Can Be a Real-Life Superhero

Originally posted:
By John Tesh
Who’s slower than a speeding bullet, less powerful than a locomotive, unable to leap tall buildings in a single bound, yet still doing whatever they can to save the world? According to CNN, a growing number of regular citizens are volunteering their time these days to become real-life superheroes. Some dress up in elaborate costumes, while others work anonymously. Some have fancy names – like Mr. Xtreme, Civitron or the Dark Guardian! Most real-life superheroes go by less colorful names – like Direction Man, Camera Man, and The Cleanser. While none of these people have any real super powers, they’re all finding small ways to help make their community better.
For example: Direction Man walks around the streets of New York, offering help to complete strangers who look lost. Meanwhile, The Cleanser scours city sidewalks and parks, picking up trash. Others use their superhero alter egos to help raise money for the homeless, to feed needy children, or to hand out fliers in high-crime neighborhoods. This new superhero movement began several years ago, when a handful of comic book fans bonded with each other on MySpace. Today, there are nearly 300 real-life superheroes working around the world, and the worse the economy gets, the more people want to help.
That’s the word from Ben Goldman, a self-proclaimed “superhero historian” who keeps track of all these crusaders through his website: He says there’s been a growing interest in becoming a real-life superhero during the economic downturn, as people start to put more value in what they can do for others, rather than in how many possessions they have. That’s very good news to Stan Lee. He’s the comic book legend who created many fictional superheroes – like Spider-Man and the X-Men. Lee says the urge to do good deeds has always been the #1 calling card for superheroes. So when all is said and done, you don’t need to fly through the air, bend steel, or have x-ray vision to make a difference. Anyone who volunteers their time to help others in their own unique way deserves to be called a super-hero.

The “Superhero” Soluton

Capt.-Black-Headshot.I promote the “superhero” solution to persistent problems like crime, hunger and hopelessness.
Please purge capes and cowls from fiction out of your minds. That’s not necessarily what I’m talking about.
By “superhero” I also don’t exclusively mean the real life superhero ( RLSH ) Movement’s activists and crime fighters. This term easily incorporates epic figures like Paul Robeson, Teddy Roosevelt and others from history.
Recent additions include Welsey Autrey, New York’s Subway Hero; Duane ” Action ” Jackson and Lance Orton, the vigilant vendors who foiled this years Time Square bombing attempt.
People famous and anonymous can impact others in phenomenal ways. The “superhero” solution advocates phenomenal impact as a way of life. A public that exercises such imagination is a safer, more compassionate one.
The more lives you touch positively the more likely you are to continue in this vein. This solution becomes ingrained behavior and eventually accepted cultural practice.
We’ve accepted virtual reality on the internet. It’s high time everyday reality was seen as susceptible to good intention and consistency. Especially with an oppressive economy and spreading despair we have to increasingly use the “superhero” solution or risk becoming overwhelmed. Benevolence and effort are what drive this solution by creating good where there may have been none.
It starts with understanding you’re bigger than apathy or problems before you. inspiration can be found in fact and fiction. Religious texts also serve this purpose. Whatever the source, understanding you’re superior to negatives around you is step one.
The next step is acting on this realization on a regular basis. The “superhero” solution isn’t a one-time quick fix. It’s a lifelong approach limited by imagination and effort.
We can imagine ourselves weak and powerless. We can also imagine ourselves strong and powerful. Too many entomb themselves in limited thoughts and misery. Our goal is to take the special few not doing so and turn them into the majority in society.
That’s the essence of the “superhero” solution.
Sources of “superhero” inspiration are: major network; talk show and publication home pages ( CNN and Parade Magazine come to mind ) and organization websites including: the Congressional Medal of Honor Society and the Carnegie Hero Commission.
This is not an exhaustive list and can stretch to infinity. Just like our ability to use the “superhero” solution.
NADRA ENZI AKA CAPT. BLACK promotes crime prevention and self-development.

Real-life, Crime-fighting Superheroes

One of the lesser known but irresistibly fascinating trends that has arisen in the wake of the economic crisis is the growing number of superheroes. Not superheroes in a metaphorical sense, but actual, real-life superheroes, who hide their identities behind brightly colored costumes and have names like Mr. Ravenblade, Mr. Xtreme, and Dark Guardian. According to this CNN article, these superheroes are usually not vigilantes who have read too many comic books, they respect the law, and their activities include various good deeds like helping homeless people or patrolling rough, high-crime areas.
There is an organization, Superheroes Anonymous, with the stated aim of “bringing superheroes together in the real world to affect [sic] positive change”. They organize public-relations-friendly events and group activities for superheroes and help to promote the positive work done by real-life superheroes. Most interestingly, the web site is also involved with an ongoing documentary about chronicling the real-life superheroes phenomenon, check out clip after the jump of a superheroes confrontation with a drug dealer:
Superheroes Anonymous – Dark Guardian confronts a drug dealer from beginnorth on Vimeo.

Real Life Heroes Don Costumes Across the U.S.

By Tony Rutherford Entertainment Editor
Huntington, WV (HNN) – Faster, flying, looking, chasing… in the fantasy worlds of Gotham City and Metropolis, individuals with super powers take on the bad guys missed by law enforcement. Believe it or not, costumed (and non-costumed) heroes have emerged in various global locations performing community service, indirectly assisting the police, and helping homeless.

CNN recently featured a piece on heroes helping in hard times. Some go by comic book-like names (Mr. Ravenblade, Dark Guardian, Warrior Girl or Captain Safety ) and may wear a costume. Others may be a regular Joe or Jane. ( )

What prompted the real-life superhero movement?
Ben Goldman, a real-life superhero historian, who runs Superheroes Anonymous ( , stated to CNN: “A lot of them go through an existential crisis and have to discover who they are.” He continued, as people put more value on what they can do rather than the “stuff” in the house, “they realize that money is fleeting.”
Actually, the article suggests that the oddity grew past such efforts as the Guardian Angel citizen patrols (of the 80s). Admittedly, some of those adopting such a persona have to contend and balance communication , contact, and conduct with local law enforcement officers. Some of the real people have been shot at, arrested, and rebuked. Some have been called vigilantes. Others have won respect from short handed officers who welcome extra eyes and ears.
A press release at Real Life Superheroes explains the grassroots movement of people create a “superhero identity and work in a fun, exciting and inspirational fashion to make the world a better place. They are making an impact by doing civic activities, public safety patrols, crime fighting, charity work, school talks, hospital visits, helping the needy, and more acts to serve society. They are breaking the comic book barrier and bringing the ideals of superheroes into the real world. Real Life Superheroes create living positive role models which our children are in need of. The concept of a superhero, an individual who aspires to a higher moral code which benefits society, has a psychological impact on children, both appealing to their sense of fun as well as teach them important values.”
A woman known as Terrifica patrols the New York bar scene looking out for women who had too much to drink or may be in danger of male predators. According to the ABC TV report, “I protect the single girl living in the big city,” stated the now 35-year-old single woman clad in a blond Brunnhilde wig, golden mask and Valkyrie bra.
Actually, the web contains “tutorials” for heroes including first responder basics, self defense tips, legal considerations, and an article on “arrest proofing.” and a social network,
Not all of the would-be heroes perform community service. Some have been the stars of fan-produced films, but others have gained semi-official endorsement from states, such as Breathe Easy Man who in Chicago educates citizens about reducing pollution and cleaning the air. And, Captain Clean (Maidstone, England) became a familiar face with the approval of council managers to clean up litter hot spots, passing out leaflets, and picking up abandoned vehicles, cleaning streets and hauling bulky refuse.
More and more real-life heroes use their costumes to take on social issues. For instance, Femme Fiscale and Golden Boy (from Manitoba, Canada) ventured to the legislature to advocate for the province’s most vulnerable citizens.
One a web site, the feisty Femme argued that “tax cuts are not free. I am concerned about how this will impact people who rely on government services.” When the budget contained no funds for low income housing, she lobbied the legislature on behalf of affordable low income housing.
You can check out some of the other national and international heroes at such sites as: (for which we credit use of the photos);; (a New Orleans character known as the Black Ghost who inspires non-violent conflict resolution, which is © by I.C.E. Productions); (a national network of heroes who perform acts of community service or charity work, such as Dragonheart and Monkey Woman); (which shows active heroes, costume suppliers, and news stories)
EDITOR’S NOTE: Photos courtesy of individual “hero” or “heroine” unless otherwise stated.
Who are Huntington’s Hero Helpers?
My first choice for a “hero helpers” label happens to be a young woman who uses a camera and editing equipment to better the community. Francesca Karle decided to make a movie about the homeless living on the riverbank for a Girl Scout Project. “On the River’s Edge” contained stories of the lives of people living in a shack or tent. The film was premiered at the Keith Albee and attracted national attention. In addition, Ms. Karle produced “Back to the Bottle,” a 35-minute documentary on alcohol addiction. ( )
We’d like you to nominate your own, but I’ll get the non-costumed party started by adding a couple more such as:
Anonymous Attorneys: You know who you are. You have devoted countless hours to “arming” those battered and bruised in the legal system with a weapon — you have helped teach “them” procedures, methods, and shown proper forms, headings and research methods for fighting for truth, justice and the American Way. The case may not have been financially worth litigating, but you transformed their frustrated bitterness into “pro se” jurisprudence.
Rev. Bob Bondurant: With his able “sidekick”/wife, Beth, Bob has prowled the halls of Marshall University, the Campus Christian Center, beach locations, and football fields dispensing the love of God. That meant loaning students a few dollars for their date, holding a hand during illness, stressing the similarities of various denominations and religions to encourage diversity (not condemnation) , and holding a mini-service for in-town PROWLers during non-university in session periods.
Now, it’s your turn. We’d like to run a continuing series of profiles of individuals worthy of a helper or hero title, be they “on the job” or “freelancing.”
Send your two paragraph nomination (with your e-mail address) to: [email protected] For that matter, check out our forum and start a sub –head posting.

Shadow Hare Wins Over Queen City

CINCINNATI — Cincinnati’s newest superhero has become an Internet sensation.

Since News 5 did a story on him, 21-year-old so-called hero Shadow Hare said that hundreds of people have applauded him and his cause via the Internet.
He said he wants to be the face, or better yet, the mask people trust on the streets of Cincinnati.
Shadow Hare soaked up the attention at Party in the Park on Wednesday night.
His story has already been viewed by more than 300,000 people on It was also picked up nationally by CNN and, among others.
The Milford man is part of a national network of real-life superheroes. He leads a team of local masked citizen crime fighters called the Allegiance of Heroes.
The group carries handcuffs, pepper spray, Tasers and other tools of the craft to keep people safe.
“If I have to save someone else in an alley way or if there is someone right now who needed my help, I will rush in and give my life and lay it down on the line,” Shadow Hare said.
The masked marvel said he once dislocated his shoulder protecting a woman who was being attacked by a homeless man.
Even though he’s been at if for four years, his story is just now coming to light. However, he said his newfound celebrity doesn’t phase him.
“I’m not doing this for publicity. I’m doing this for justice — a justice long since forgotten,” Shadow Hare said.
Since the first story aired, Shadow Hare said he has gotten hundreds of messages on his Myspace Web page from people who support what he is doing and some who even want to pick up their capes and help.
Police officials said that his citizen’s arrests are legal in Ohio. However, he runs a risk of being sued if he falsely accuses someone.
Copyright 2009 by All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

From Academia To Zetamania

When WW called Zetaman on Dec. 23, he was walking a mile to work through the snow, with TriMet buses paralyzed and his 1998 Ford minivan broken down at home.
Tough day for the local superhero, who gained a measure of fame after going public this year to reveal his identity in a WW cover story.
Illya King, 30, of Beaverton isn’t blessed with superpowers. But patrolling Portland twice a month to help the homeless—and hyping his exploits online —he’s part of a growing trend of real-life superheroes living out their comic-book fantasies on the street and on the Web.
Life since the WW cover story, Zetaman says, has been a “bizarre, bizarre ride.” He says the public rarely recognizes him in costume or out. But the coverage brought notoriety in the media—local television station KATU and even CNN picked up the story. That, in turn, brought strings of negative comments from anonymous writers online at and elsewhere, calling Zetaman an “attention whore” and a “jackass.”
But Zetaman persevered, continuing to spend his nights in costume handing out food and clothing to the homeless. After headlining a fundraiser for the Portland Rescue Mission at Someday Lounge on April 9 with local folk bands, he followed up a couple weeks ago by raising $1,000 in cash and toys for foster kids at a Dec. 13 benefit concert in Kirkland, Wash.
He’s also ramped up his superhero outreach, heading to California and Washington to patrol with fellow superheroes.
His night in Anaheim on April 30 with costumed avenger Ragensi, who dresses in a black ninja suit, was uneventful. That’s surprising given Ragensi’s more hardcore image and his previous violent run-in with a costumed villain, as reported in WW’s cover story.
“He, like, looks scary, but he’s the biggest sweetheart,” Zetaman says.
His July 4 evening patrolling Seattle with Black Knight was also quiet. But even without action-packed adventure, Zetaman continued his efforts to unite his superhero friends under one banner.
There are two reasons. First is what Zetaman calls continued bad behavior by some other superheroes—including his archenemy, a New Jersey avenger named Tothian, who has tangled with Zetaman in online chatrooms and still picks on other superheroes, Zetaman says.
Second is negative publicity from Rolling Stone, which ran a Dec. 12 story on superheroes that profiled Florida hero Master Legend as a slob living in a run-down shack who uses his alter ego to escape reality.
Now Zetaman and others have vetted people they consider to be examples of true real-life superheroes from around the world. They’re assembled in a new online collective Zetaman helped design at
“We’re trying to get more of a positive message out there that we’re not a bunch of drunks,” Zetaman says. “Or guys just living in our basement and stuff.” —James Pitkin

The World Needs Heroes

By Citizen Prime
From Ration Reality
Today, the world needs heroes more than ever. In 1945, being a good man meant standing up for your neighbor as well as your country. It meant doing the right thing, and everyone knew what the right thing was. World War II was, arguably, our hour of greatest need and it bred men of amazing conviction and character as they fought against Hitler and what was called the Axis Powers. Today we are being attacked by a modern day axis of evil that threatens all freedom loving people.
The axis of disillusionment, fear and greed. These three powers have taken our culture by storm, infiltrating into every TV, radio and internet browser. And on the other side of this war lie the people of heroic character. They still exist. Yet, when heroes are mentioned, people are as likely to laugh as be combative. The tales of heroes, like our current war heroes, seem an exaggerated mythos to those who cannot conceive of the conviction it takes to do the right thing. And it is conviction at the heart of the matter. Yet, heroes do exist today and they exist all around us. Need proof? Zach Petkewicz’s quick thinking during the Virginia Tech shooting spree saved lives. Debra Boyd saved two people — a mother and her daughter — when a tornado hit the school where she worked. A store clerk talks with CNN’s John Roberts uncovers a plot to attack Fort Dix. See for more about this brave souls. And these people are the merest tip of the iceberg. The honest truth is the hero is you, if given the right opportunity and you make the right choices.
So, how do you react when faced with those choices? Do you risk and possibly sacrifice your own well being to help someone in greater need? Imagine what it would be like if we all felt such kinship. Even today’s career criminals are not entirely immune to this concept of camaraderie. The genesis of gangs was an effort to protect and serve one’s own. That noble origin might be a far cry from gang activity today. As disillusionment in society, fear of harm or death and greed to get whatever one could sets in, the concept is entirely lost to decadence. But ironically, their roots were about family. What if we could all broaden that sense of protection for what we perceive as “our own” until we literally had no outsiders left?
What if we could learn the values of tolerance, understanding and treat everyone as we do our inner circle? Imagine the future we could offer our children. And I don’t know anyone who doesn’t want a better life for their children.When Sen. Barack Obama asked his daughter what we are here on earth for, she replied, “To help each other get through this.” As children, we have that natural sense of community. Somewhere along the way, we get disillusioned about that communal instinct. Convinced that we can’t flourish with such “naive” standards as universal acceptance and brotherhood. So, we come to the adult stance of “might makes right” and “if they want something, they take it.” Whether verbal, social or physical, it all amounts to the same – bullying. In a way, that’s okay.
We have to find the bullies. We can’t discuss the issue unless we know who to discuss it with. Only then can we have a meaningful dialogue with them about what it really means to protect themselves and protect their families. We could start with a question: When did you lose that natural sense of brotherhood and sisterhood? What straw broke your back? Was it the constant fear of growing up in a bad neighborhood? Was it the disillusionment of friendship lost due to hard choices growing up? Was it a friend who turned his back to us for a payday? Whatever it was, it was not any one thing or person. It was those negative values we live with in this era of free thinking. Fear, greed and disillusionment. The current Axis of Evil.And the one thing that has been around, since World War II – since forever – is the inspiration of heroes that are larger than life to illuminate values we want to emulate in our lives. Whether it was Zeus, Superman, or Captain America, its easy to see why we find the myths compelling. They live above the moral spaghetti bowl we deal with and cut wide swaths through their problems with unbridled powers and clear conscience decisions.
And the question of the day, of our day, is do we want to focus on the fear, greed and disillusionment that surrounds us? Do we want to add to it by attacking and belittling each other? Or, possibly, do we want to emulate those traits of heroes past and present, real and fictional, that stand up for what is right? Do we want to have the moral fiber to stand against a bullying onslaught and respond with rational kindness and strength of character? The answer is in our actions and it is those actions that define us as hero or not. Regardless of your choice, throughout human history, one thing has remained constant. We all absolutely need to have heroes. Today, the world is in short supply. One exists inside everyone. Bring it out. Be the hero in your own life and I assure you, you’ll soon find you are a hero to many.

Mexico’s ‘SuperBarrio’ offers to rescue U.S. elections

Article no longer exist on CNN
November 16, 2000 Web posted at: 7:54 PM EST (0054 GMT) 
MEXICO CITY, Mexico (AP) — With his red cape flying behind him, he has swooped into poor neighborhoods in the time of need, fighting for housing and setting up soup kitchens.
Now Mexico’s “SuperBarrio,” a social activist in red mask and wrestler’s tights, has offered to rescue the U.S. elections.
“Election crisis? Call us and we’ll fix it in 15 minutes,” read a placard at the front of a march of 40 people Thursday led by SuperBarrio that stopped outside the U.S. embassy.
He certainly has had experience with electoral dilemmas being that he is from a country which has had its share of races tainted with charges of coercion to outright fraud, and where a single party has ruled for 71 years.
But the Mexican superhero’s assistance in resolving the race between U.S. candidates George W. Bush and Al Gore isn’t without its price. In exchange, the embassy must give visas to thousands of Mexicans wanting to go to the United States, he said.
“If in this moment the embassy authorized visas for us, we would get results for the U.S. presidential elections today,” he said.
SuperBarrio,” or Neighborhood Superhero, has been crusading for the poor since the serious Mexico City earthquake in 1985. Always masked, he wrestles in televised matches when he isn’t organizing soup kitchens and other charity projects.