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Essjay is a 24-year-old shady motherfucker. He claims that his username is derived from his initials S.J. but elsewhere Essjay says his name is Ryan Jordan. Ah well, he's probably lying about that, too. His tall-tales make him a man of mystery—but like all TOW contributors he is a nobody who just wants attention. Essjay's main claims to fame are lying to The New Yorker and getting trolled by Daniel Brandt.

Professional Qualifications

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I am a tenured professor of theology at a private university in the eastern United States; I teach both undergraduate and graduate theology. My Academic 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)


— Essjay

He also is from the future, was born in Antarctica, has been abducted by aliens, and toured their home world to make friends with their leader. Like most dual-PhD-millionaire-theologist-lawyer-saint-technophiles, he spends 16 hours a day editing TOW. Of course editing under the dual-PhD account was not enough; after some time he started spamming various academics, proselytizing the greatness of Wikipedia.

On the Internet, nobody knows you're a 24-year-old with no advanced degrees—hell, you might not even be that.

Caught! The Great Essjay Drama of 2007

After claim his fake credentials for two years, Essjay was hired by Wikia in early January 2007. He provided a new profile page at Wikia and told a rather different story. He claimed that his real name was Ryan Jordan and that he was 24. He also claimed a much more modest resume, but even that turned out to be somewhat fluffed up. This discrepancy was noticed by some because of the inordinate amount of technical privileges and elevated social authority that Essjay had wielded relative to the credentials that he claimed as this later date.

Thanks to countless hours of e-detective work by Daniel Brandt, Essjay was finally exposed as the fraud he truly is. On January 20, 2007, Brandt published the email he sent to Stacy Schiff to an online forum called The Wikipedia Review. After a number of follow-up posts claiming that Schiff and The New Yorker were dodging him, Brandt posted a response he received from the magazine’s Deputy Editor on February 26. In that response, the magazine’s Deputy Editor informed Brandt that an editor’s note would be published in the March 5 issue.

Unsurprisingly, and perhaps like your average Wikipedia Admin, he is 24 years old and possesses absolutely no PhDs.

Essjay claimed two PhDs and a tenured faculty position on his Wikipedia user page. This was repeated in The New Yorker. It was all bogus.



After he was caught lying about his credentials and publicly mbarrassing TOW, Essjay stated that he viewed his actions without regret or remorse. It was all an elaborate ruse to confuse stalkers and vandals. Glad that really worked. Oh, wait he got his shit ruined by Brandt. Curiously enough Essjay chose to be an overeducated professor with several degrees instead of a mailman, truck driver or other stalker-proof job, i.e. chose to claim to have something that takes years of hard work and thousands of dollars to earn. Gullible Wikipedia editors naively believed that nobody would go so low as to state "This is a text I often require for my students, and I would hang my own Ph.D. on it's credibility" in defense of the book, "Catholicism for Dummies." Maybe it had something to do with enhancing his e-penis.

Now with nothing left to lose and no longer afraid of stalkers, Essjay posted the next bunch of lies on his userpage, claiming that "Before joining Wikia, I was an account manager with a Fortune 20 company. Prior to that, I was a paralegal for five years, including a three-month special position with a United States Trustee and nearly two years freelance, handling special projects." Yeah right, you lying scum, disproven by math you don't need a PhD for.

Essjay says his "Ryan Jordan" persona is 24. 24 minus 5 is 19. 19 minus two is 17. So at 17 years old he is working as a freelancer handling "special projects" for a United States trustee (whatever one of those is). Essjay could even be claiming that this was the case at age 15 or 16, depending on how long he's trying to claim that he worked as an account manager. Even if those two years were simultaneous with part of the five, Essjay would've only been 19.

Totally without credibility. What wonders did he achieve aged 12?

Irony anyone?

His local paper, the Louisville Courier-Journal, found out that the whole story was a crock of turds; the US Trustees have no recollection of "Ryan." Worse yet, they found out that he's a repeat dropout who has never graduated from anything more than (possibly) high school. Somebody in Kentucky does remember him, though: the lawyer who hired Essjay to be his secretary for 6 months.

J. Fox DeMoisey, a lawyer who represents doctors in licensure cases, said Jordan had worked in his office for about six months as a secretary and receptionist.

Of course, Essjay initially refused to resign from any of his positions (which include admin/checkuser/oversight/bureaucrat/arbitrator/creep/overseeing the cleaning of Jimbo's ass) despite the demands of thousands of editors. In a miracle of the wikipedoes, various people are still being banned for criticizing the bastard.

Beyond contempt.

The sum total of Essjay's knowledge

He would then claim that the Pulitzer Prize winning journalist that interviewed him offered him money for his interview.[1]

Essjay, as a tenured professor and Wikipedia editor (or is that Wikipedia professor and tenured editor?), had no time for people who claimed dubious credentials. Back in 2005, Essjay initiated an ArbCom case against Rainbowwarrior1977 [2] and complained that Rainbow was falsely claiming to be a lawyer with a law degree from NYU. The ArbComm duly ruled that "All good-faith contributors, even anonymous ones, are welcome to edit and become involved in the community. However, all users are expected not to misrepresent themselves or their edits, especially as they pertain to claiming to have qualifications that one does not have. Passed 5-0."[3] A strange feeling must have overcome Essjay when he read that, a twinge of conscious guilt that he the accuser was really no better than the accused, just a despicable fraud, a fake ... nah, Essjay read that, felt smug about shafting another poor bugger and laughed maniacally at his own hubris.

The Essjay Drama cannot be stopped

Quite lol.

The editor, known as Essjay, had described himself as a professor of religion at a private university.

But he was in fact Ryan Jordan, 24, an occasional college student from Kentucky who used texts such as Catholicism for Dummies to help him work.


As part of his protective cloak, Essjay claimed to be not only a Catholic academic, but a male homosexual Catholic academic, figuring that this would trump any and all critics by smearing them as fascist mother-fucking haters! So, he created this sock puppet to be his bottom, or vice versa. The puppetry was absolutely transparent; the only real contribution made by "Robbie31" was to vote for Essjay to be a ToW bureaucrat.

Essjay puts something up his arse, pretends it's some shitty award, and faps over his imaginary gaaay lover, Robbie31

Talk about single-purpose accounts! Apparently "Ryan" has admitted that the account was a puppet, and the fact is well-known on ToW, but considered to be still "deniable."

Jimbo's original stance

I regard it as a pseudonym and I don’t really have a problem with it.

... and

EssJay has always been, and still is, a fantastic editor and trusted member of the community. He apologized to me and to the community for any harm caused. Trolls are claiming that he "bragged" about it: this is bullshit. He has been thoughtful and contrite about the entire matter and I consider it settled.[4]

Jimbo Doubles back

Jimbo, Essjay's erstwhile patron, gleefully realizes the boy's got to go.

I have been for several days in a remote part of India with little or no Internet access. I only learned this morning that EssJay used his false credentials in content disputes. I understood this to be primarily the matter of a pseudonymous identity (something very mild and completely understandable given the personal dangers possible on the Internet) and not a matter of violation of people's trust. I want to make it perfectly clear that my past support of EssJay in this matter was fully based on a lack of knowledge about what has been going on. Even now, I have not been able to check diffs, etc.

I have asked EssJay to resign his positions of trust within the community. In terms of the full parameters of what happens next, I advise (as usual) that we take a calm, loving, and reasonable approach. From the moment this whole thing became known, EssJay has been contrite and apologetic. People who characterize him as being "proud" of it or "bragging" are badly mistaken.

On a personal level, EssJay has apologized to me, and I have accepted his apology on a personal level, and I think this is the right thing to do. If anyone else feels that they need or want a personal apology, please ask him for it. And if you find it to be sincere, then I hope you will accept it too, but each person must make their own judgments. Despite my personal forgiveness, I hope that he will accept my resignation request, because forgiveness or not, these positions are not appropriate for him now.

I still have limited net access... for a couple of hours here I will be online, and then I am offline until I am in Japan tomorrow morning. I beleive I will have a fast and stable Internet connection at that time, and I will deal with this further at that time.

Wikipedia is built on (among other things) twin pillars of trust and tolerance. The integrity of the project depends on the core community being passionate about quality and integrity, so that we can trust each other. The harmony of our work depends on human understanding and forgiveness of errors.

Jimbo Changes His Story Again

I did not give Mr. Jordan a free pass, I fired him. I did not illustrate any refusal to admit mistakes, I did exactly the opposite.[5]

Essjay Quits (or Gets His Sorry Ass Fired)

Wikipedia Edition

My comments here will be short and to the point: I'm no longer taking part here. I have received an astounding amount of support, especially by email, but it's time to go. I tried to walk away in August, and managed to do so for quite a while, but I eventually came back, because of the many requests I received urging me to return. Many of you have written to ask me to not leave, to not give up what I have here, but I'm afraid it's time to make a clean break.

I ask that the first steward to see this message please remove my various flags from this wiki, as well as from Meta, Commons, and Wikiquote, and remove the bot flags from my bots, which of course will no longer be running. My tools will be taken down shortly. I had planned to delete my user-space myself, but I don't want anyone to think I was going on a rampage, so instead, I ask that one or more administrators who are friends please delete the 288 pages that form my userspace (leaving only my userpage and this talk page).

I've enjoyed my time here, and done much good work; my time, however, is over, and leaving is the best thing for me and for Wikipedia. I walk away happy to be free to go about other things. I hope others will refocus the energy they have spent the past few days in defending and denouncing me to make something here at Wikipedia better.

With love to all who have been my friends here, Essjay (Talk) 03:17, 4 March 2007 (UTC)

Done much good work? What a two-faced fuckup. Damn how much of an ego does he have to try and pull some stupid shit like that? And in an astonishingly clear display of the hivemind at work, nearly all the comments that survived edit warring on Essjay's talk page were of the form "noooo! please don't go!!!1" and "you'll be feeling better soon" (wtf?) and various barnstars. What remained of Essjay's talk page before it was blanked and protected carried an eerie similarity to the comment pages of MySpace killers.

One of Wikipedia's most valuable contributors... brought down at the height of his achievements and success. Ruthlessly. After uncoutable tens of thousands of hours of work.

I'm still in complete and utter shock. This is a travesty of unparalleled proportions.

Essjay was a good guy who did unmeasurable good work here for a period of years. He really didn't deserve this. Many of us severely overreacted, and it's costing us now.

Dwell on that, people. Essjay is gone, and I highly doubt he'll be coming back.


Lantoka (talk) 07:13, 4 March 2007 (UTC)

Uh, yeah. That's kind of the point, am i rite?

Should you ever feel better again, I strongly urge you to rejoin us, using an alternate identity if you must. :'(


Scobell302 04:29, 4 March 2007 (UTC)

Wikiquote Edition

Essjay throws an E-tantrum—this one was late last year!

Wikia Edition

OMFG, Essjay has now also finally been forced (tears, plz) to quit his highly paid position on Wikia. For a moment, this page retained the story before his tragic wikicide there—as explained above, also transparently a pack of lies. Angela Beastly wiped this one out. No tragic suicide speech from the lying fucker this time.

Ever since, the Bureaucratic Fucks have been running around making evidence and corpses of false identities disappear as if they were in a Mafia movie.


Further resume shadiness (see his old Wikia page in the gallery): When adding up his occupations and subtracting the total years from his posted age of 24, Essjay has been working for large corporations since he was 14? Note how he claims he went directly from doing "freelance special projects for several firms", which is bullshit-speak for being a fucking temp, to managing a staff which did half a billion dollars in annual sales. In other words, he expects us to believe that a Fortune-20 company hired a paralegal (who couldn't even hold down a steady job) to oversee a huge chunk of its annual revenue, while he was simultaneously editing Wikipedia for like 60 hours a week. Citation needed, bitch.

Wikipedia article

On March 2, just when the drama really started producing good lulz, a sockpuppet called QuiTacetConsentiret started a TOW article about Essjay which sent the lulz over nine thousand. The article was page moved a bunch of times before briefly coming to rest at the overly self-important title Wikipedia:Essjay scandal, is currently at Wikipedia:Essjay controversy, and will no doubt be moved a few more times in the next day or so. The article was also immediately nominated for baleetion by PTO. The enormous ensuing debate between Essjay's sycophantic band of cockfags and everyone else on TOW is replete with faggotry and lulz.

Essjay: female-to-male transexual.


The moral of the story is: never trust a faggot.

See also

External links


Wikipedia Watch


In The News


Scholarly studies

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