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> Who is Essjay?, Probably he's Ryan Jordan
Daniel Brandt
post Wed 26th July 2006, 4:35pm
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Who is Essjay? I would love to ID this guy. I think he's notable enough for his own biography.

He says that his username derives from his initials, S.J. That would suggest that his first and middle name, or first and surname, start with S and J. But it hasn't helped my search.

He's between 30 and 45, and teaches theology to undergrads and grads. He's a tenured professor. He says that he teaches at a private university in the northeastern U.S., but I have my doubts about this also.

He says he has these degrees: Bachelor of Arts in Religious Studies (B.A.), Master of Arts in Religion (M.A.R.), Doctorate of Philosophy in Theology (Ph.D.), Doctorate in Canon Law (JCD)

I've searched on his degrees, and I've looked at religion-department faculty lists in the northeast by using this resource. No clues.

He keeps to himself, and has been a Wikipedian only since February, 2005. Previous email addresses are essjay-wiki AT hotmail.com and essjay AT pacbell.net (some doubt about the latter).

He specializes in Roman Catholicism, but is a liberal non-Catholic. He's an elder in the Disciples of Christ, a liberal Protestant denomination. He's probably had essays on social issues published in obscure, liberal religious publications within the past ten years.

He is gay, and his live-in partner is a lawyer named Robbie (username Robbie31). Essjay owns and operates http://countervandalism.org/wiki/VCN but the service provider registered the domain for him and I don't see any clues there.

He and his partner have a cat named Mia and a lab retriever named Ami. Years ago, Essjay was a cantor at the Cathedral of the Assumption in Louisville, Kentucky.

He keeps to himself. The recent New Yorker article mentions him. He had a wikiaddiction to the tune of 14 hours a day, and sometimes he brings his laptop to class so that he can play Wikipedia while his students are taking a quiz. He will not be going to Wikimania, and he told the reporter that he has never met another Wikipedian.

If I could get even an IP address for Essjay or Robbie31, it would narrow the search to perhaps several universities instead of dozens. That would be a big help.

Essjay is probably more powerful than SlimVirgin, because he doesn't piss off too many people, and he appears to have some technical chops that come in handy for vandal-fighting through the use of bots. But I think he needs to be outed -- he spends too much time on Wikipedia and I'm sure it's bad for his health and warps his mind.

Can anyone help?
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Daniel Brandt
post Thu 11th January 2007, 7:48pm
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This Essjay user page is worth quoting, before it gets modified. Please humor me and click and verify -- it could disappear faster than you can say "phantom administrator."
QUOTE
"Essjay" is the spelled-out form of my initials, S.J.; it is an old nickname I picked up. Others sometimes confuse me with Sj, but we are not the same person!
...
I get a lot of requests for personal information about me; however, in these days of internet stalking, anonymity has become more and more important. Here are some details I'm willing to share:

Alias: Justin Stewart

Me: I am male, past 30 but not yet 40, gay and in a long-term relationship with my partner, Robbie, an attorney. We live in the Northeastern United States.

Career: I teach theology at a university in the eastern United States. My area of expertise is Roman Catholicism, though I rarely contribute to theology articles anymore.

I am not Catholic, a priest, or a Jesuit; my interest in Catholicism is purely academic. I am a member of the Christian Church, and serve as an Elder.

This information used to be on his main Wikipedia user page. Now it's gone from there. The most recent trace is in this copy of his user page from November 23. Notice above the big box on the bottom, where it says "User:Essjay/Personal" in red. This means that he had already deleted the subdirectory, but forgot to fix the main page reference as of this date, which is red because it points to a nonexistent page. This page still exists at meta.wikimedia.org

I believe that Essjay was a fraud from the beginning. It's a bad sign that Wikia CEO Gil Penchina is allowing this sort of bullshit to get infiltrated into Wikia. Seems to me that when you're talking $14 million in venture funding ($4 million start-up and another $10 million from Amazon), that you should have real people who are really verifiable on your staff.
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nobs
post Thu 11th January 2007, 8:20pm
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What is the point of all this? Essjay could be a committe.
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Daniel Brandt
post Thu 11th January 2007, 8:40pm
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QUOTE(nobs @ Thu 11th January 2007, 2:20pm) *

What is the point of all this? Essjay could be a committe.

All we know for sure is that Essjay is not Nobs. Essjay knows how to spell.
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nobs
post Fri 12th January 2007, 2:36am
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QUOTE(Daniel Brandt @ Thu 11th January 2007, 1:40pm) *
QUOTE(nobs @ Thu 11th January 2007, 2:20pm) *
What is the point of all this? Essjay could be a committe.
All we know for sure is that Essjay is not Nobs. Essjay knows how to spell.
Pardon my Franklish. Essjay could be a comité.
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Somey
post Fri 12th January 2007, 5:39am
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QUOTE(nobs @ Thu 11th January 2007, 8:36pm) *
Pardon my Franklish. Essjay could be a comité.

Or even a termite!

Or, perhaps he's concomitant with the commisariat of the complementary Communist commercial comb-over conspiracy...

Anyway, let's put this whole issue of how to spell the word "committee" aside for a moment. The question now is whether or not Essjay is, or was, or ever was, a Professor of Theology, or for that matter, even a teaching assistant in Theology or any other religious studies-like program. While this is of only marginal importance, and mostly of interest to people on WP who were led to believe that he was an authority on the subject, it would at least indicate that Essjay had been, at best, disingenuous in representing himself within the WP community. (Not that such things are unusual!)

He doesn't look older than 27 in the photo, maybe 30 tops, but it might be an old photo. And there's no reason not to believe that he really is/was a religion professor, except for the fact that nobody named "Ryan Jordan" can be found on sites like ratemyprofessors.com (which in itself is a subject I'd like to discuss one of these days), teaching in a religion department in an East Coast college or university. There's one who teaches History at UC San Diego, but I doubt that's him.

Still, by all accounts he's a reasonably decent sort, and there's probably no need to make a big deal out of it... It is rather curious, though!
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everyking
post Fri 12th January 2007, 8:57am
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QUOTE(Somey @ Fri 12th January 2007, 6:39am) *

QUOTE(nobs @ Thu 11th January 2007, 8:36pm) *
Pardon my Franklish. Essjay could be a comité.

Or even a termite!

Or, perhaps he's concomitant with the commisariat of the complementary Communist commercial comb-over conspiracy...

Anyway, let's put this whole issue of how to spell the word "committee" aside for a moment. The question now is whether or not Essjay is, or was, or ever was, a Professor of Theology, or for that matter, even a teaching assistant in Theology or any other religious studies-like program. While this is of only marginal importance, and mostly of interest to people on WP who were led to believe that he was an authority on the subject, it would at least indicate that Essjay had been, at best, disingenuous in representing himself within the WP community. (Not that such things are unusual!)

He doesn't look older than 27 in the photo, maybe 30 tops, but it might be an old photo. And there's no reason not to believe that he really is/was a religion professor, except for the fact that nobody named "Ryan Jordan" can be found on sites like ratemyprofessors.com (which in itself is a subject I'd like to discuss one of these days), teaching in a religion department in an East Coast college or university. There's one who teaches History at UC San Diego, but I doubt that's him.

Still, by all accounts he's a reasonably decent sort, and there's probably no need to make a big deal out of it... It is rather curious, though!


My very brief account is that he isn't a reasonably decent sort at all.
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Poetlister
post Fri 12th January 2007, 12:50pm
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QUOTE(everyking @ Fri 12th January 2007, 8:57am) *

My very brief account is that he isn't a reasonably decent sort at all.

He welcomed me when I first started on WP and was most helpful when I first had a real problem. I still wonder what would have happened had I gone to him rather than Jayjg over a subsequent problem.
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everyking
post Sat 13th January 2007, 9:07am
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QUOTE(Poetlister @ Fri 12th January 2007, 1:50pm) *

QUOTE(everyking @ Fri 12th January 2007, 8:57am) *

My very brief account is that he isn't a reasonably decent sort at all.

He welcomed me when I first started on WP and was most helpful when I first had a real problem. I still wonder what would have happened had I gone to him rather than Jayjg over a subsequent problem.


Maybe my impression of him isn't a fair one--my experience with him is limited to one unfortunate instance when he quite abusively blocked me.
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Posts in this topic
Daniel Brandt   Who is Essjay?   Wed 26th July 2006, 4:35pm
Somey   Interesting -- earlier today he desysopped almost ...   Wed 26th July 2006, 8:33pm
Sceptre   Interesting -- earlier today he desysopped almost...   Thu 27th July 2006, 12:37pm
Poetlister   I personally have nothing but praise for Essjay. ...   Thu 27th July 2006, 9:45am
Somey   I don't see much of anything wrong with him ei...   Thu 27th July 2006, 6:39pm
Daniel Brandt   If I was incompetent, and in charge of propaganda ...   Thu 27th July 2006, 10:51pm
Somey   Essjay is too slick to be true. I say he's a c...   Fri 28th July 2006, 3:41am
MARMOTFACE   If I could get even an IP address for Essgay or ...   Mon 21st August 2006, 7:38pm
Somey   Beg and thou shalt receive. O great MARMOTFACE, we...   Mon 21st August 2006, 7:51pm
IronDuke   You know, as he was obviously interviewed for the ...   Mon 21st August 2006, 9:05pm
Backfire   Hmm. S.J. Could this be a Jesuit reference inste...   Sun 27th August 2006, 2:23pm
Daniel Brandt   From someone's talk page: He says "secul...   Sun 27th August 2006, 9:41pm
karmafist   Daniel, i'd slightly disagree with you on Essj...   Mon 28th August 2006, 2:18pm
Daniel Brandt   It's possible that he has made up all of his b...   Mon 28th August 2006, 3:57pm
karmafist   Yes, his hissy fit at the end of November was r...   Mon 28th August 2006, 6:30pm
Somey   Apparently the mystery may have been solved for us...   Thu 11th January 2007, 3:48pm
Poetlister   I think that we should always ignore skin colour, ...   Thu 11th January 2007, 4:43pm
Nathan   I always thought I was a bit pale, myself. Since ...   Mon 15th January 2007, 2:21am
everyking   I always thought I was a bit pale, myself. Since...   Tue 16th January 2007, 8:02am
Daniel Brandt   I'm not convinced that the mystery is solved. ...   Thu 11th January 2007, 5:12pm
Somey   ...Ryan Jordan, tenured professor of theology at a...   Thu 11th January 2007, 7:01pm
Jonny Cache   I thought SJ meant Society of Jesus, that is, the ...   Thu 11th January 2007, 6:03pm
nobs   What is the point of all this? Essjay could be a ...   Thu 11th January 2007, 8:20pm
nobs   What is the point of all this? Essjay could be a ...   Fri 12th January 2007, 2:36am
Somey   Pardon my Franklish. Essjay could be a comité. O...   Fri 12th January 2007, 5:39am
a view from the hive   Pardon my Franklish. Essjay could be a comité. ...   Fri 12th January 2007, 7:32am
Somey   True - he could be a whole religion, nationality, ...   Thu 11th January 2007, 8:34pm
Jonny Cache   I still think that the Limonata and the Ordure are...   Fri 12th January 2007, 12:47pm
gomi   I still think that the Limonata and the Ordure ar...   Fri 12th January 2007, 6:14pm
Nathan   Ah, missed that, sorry. It happens. I suppose I c...   Tue 16th January 2007, 6:22pm
Somey   There have been some additions to Essjay's Wik...   Fri 19th January 2007, 7:52pm
Daniel Brandt   You're forgetting that he once claimed on his ...   Sat 20th January 2007, 5:40pm
Daniel Brandt   Dear Ms. Stacy Schiff: The purpose of this email ...   Sat 20th January 2007, 11:54pm
anon1234   Dear Ms. Stacy Schiff: The purpose of this email...   Sun 21st January 2007, 12:14am
Nathan   I could'n't have done better myself, and W...   Sun 21st January 2007, 12:37am
Daniel Brandt   Look at the bottom of this screen shot, where I as...   Sun 21st January 2007, 6:20am
Jonny Cache   Yeah, I keep wondering how long it will take the e...   Sun 21st January 2007, 1:54pm
Daniel Brandt   The two emails I found for Stacy Schiff both bounc...   Sun 21st January 2007, 2:19pm
anon1234   The two emails I found for Stacy Schiff both boun...   Sun 21st January 2007, 6:11pm
Daniel Brandt   Your inquiry to the New Yorker, if worded proper...   Fri 26th January 2007, 5:58pm
Alex   Today I added Essjay to http://www.wikipedia-watc...   Fri 26th January 2007, 6:16pm
anon1234   [quote name='Daniel Brandt' post='21523' date='Fr...   Fri 26th January 2007, 6:28pm
Somey   This is someone one needs to follow up on. A webp...   Fri 26th January 2007, 6:47pm
anon1234   This is someone one needs to follow up on. A web...   Fri 26th January 2007, 7:32pm
guy   What I found odd is that on Essjay's user pag...   Fri 26th January 2007, 8:00pm
Alex   [quote name='Alex' post='21526' date='Fri 26th Ja...   Fri 26th January 2007, 8:16pm
Daniel Brandt   I don't think he's making everything up t...   Fri 26th January 2007, 8:33pm
a view from the hive   [quote name='Alex' post='21535' date='Fri 26th Ja...   Sat 27th January 2007, 3:58am
Somey   Personally, I think he really just owns a hamster ...   Sat 27th January 2007, 6:35pm
Daniel Brandt   Essjay has officially outed himself on Wikipedia, ...   Tue 6th February 2007, 10:57am
Alex   Essjay has officially outed himself on Wikipedia,...   Tue 6th February 2007, 3:07pm
Jonny Cache   Perhaps he made up the stuff to throw off vandals...   Tue 6th February 2007, 3:22pm
Somey   Perhaps he made up the stuff to throw off vandals ...   Tue 6th February 2007, 5:24pm
Daniel Brandt   Essjay has elaborated a bit on his deception over ...   Wed 7th February 2007, 9:13pm
Somey   My God, what utter bullshit! What stalkers? ...   Wed 7th February 2007, 10:23pm
gomi   Some journalist needs to write about "The Ess...   Wed 7th February 2007, 10:25pm
nobs   at the age of 24 -- to have been working (full-ti...   Thu 8th February 2007, 1:15am
Daniel Brandt   Occasionally I read about some CEO of some corpora...   Wed 7th February 2007, 11:09pm
Daniel Brandt   Hmmm. I sent a fax to Stacy Schiff's literary ...   Thu 8th February 2007, 1:20am
Daniel Brandt   Essjay's recent comments about his Grand Decep...   Thu 8th February 2007, 5:15am
Somey   The first thing you see on Essjay's user page ...   Thu 8th February 2007, 7:57am
Daniel Brandt   He's still making stuff up. I don't belie...   Thu 8th February 2007, 10:25am
guy   He's still making stuff up. I don't beli...   Thu 8th February 2007, 10:43am
anon1234   He's still making stuff up. I don't bel...   Thu 8th February 2007, 5:57pm
Nathan   I'm in the process of writing something myself...   Thu 8th February 2007, 6:06pm
nobs   Essjay said, Jimbo, Angela, Datrio, Michael Davi...   Thu 8th February 2007, 6:24pm
Somey   And since when was he ever "upfront about usi...   Thu 8th February 2007, 7:58pm
Alex   It's sad to see all of this. I had a lot of re...   Thu 8th February 2007, 10:01pm
Daniel Brandt   I'm starting to get a bad feeling about this. ...   Thu 8th February 2007, 10:53pm
nobs   I'm starting to get a bad feeling about this....   Thu 8th February 2007, 11:09pm
Poetlister   But let's assume momentarily that having dinn...   Thu 8th February 2007, 11:21pm
Somey   But if evidence continues to mount that he needs h...   Thu 8th February 2007, 11:46pm
Daniel Brandt   I can hardly see Mr. Jordan as a depressive perso...   Fri 9th February 2007, 12:21am
Jonny Cache   I associate "delusional" much more with...   Fri 9th February 2007, 2:28am
Jonny Cache   Once again, focussing on individuals brings us to ...   Thu 8th February 2007, 11:00pm
Daniel Brandt   RE: Who is Essjay?   Sat 10th February 2007, 12:44pm
Daniel Brandt   Update: nothing much to report. No response from ...   Sat 17th February 2007, 6:36pm
anon1234   Update: nothing much to report. To the contrary...   Sat 17th February 2007, 7:30pm
Elara   There was some argument on Essjay's talk page...   Sun 18th February 2007, 5:06am
Somey   I would seriously ask a question (mostly because I...   Sun 18th February 2007, 5:35pm
Unrepentant Vandal   I had a bit of time to waste earlier today, so jus...   Thu 22nd February 2007, 3:41pm
a view from the hive   Update: nothing much to report. No response from...   Tue 27th February 2007, 8:09am
Daniel Brandt   Based on what I know, which is little, I recommend...   Sun 18th February 2007, 5:36am
Somey   Waaah! You're gonna get us all in big trou...   Thu 22nd February 2007, 4:12pm
Unrepentant Vandal   Waaah! You're gonna get us all in big tro...   Thu 22nd February 2007, 5:16pm
Somey   Any further plans, please PM me, as I don't wa...   Thu 22nd February 2007, 5:23pm
Daniel Brandt   I guess it can't hurt to alter the biographi...   Thu 22nd February 2007, 5:56pm
guy   Great - start with Cardinal Martini. (Yes, he rea...   Thu 22nd February 2007, 5:00pm
Somey   [b]Sneakin' One in Under the Radar Dept.: Che...   Fri 23rd February 2007, 10:45pm
Daniel Brandt   I guess it's Archbishop Essjay now, not just B...   Sat 24th February 2007, 12:21am
Unrepentant Vandal   I guess it's Archbishop Essjay now, not just ...   Sat 24th February 2007, 12:29am
Daniel Brandt   > Date: Mon, 26 Feb 2007 08:53:50 -0500 > Su...   Mon 26th February 2007, 4:57pm
anon1234   > Date: Mon, 26 Feb 2007 08:53:50 -0500 > S...   Mon 26th February 2007, 5:53pm
Daniel Brandt   RE: Who is Essjay?   Mon 26th February 2007, 9:46pm
coriaceous   I remember coming across a thing which referred to...   Tue 27th February 2007, 5:43am
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