On anonymity

Received this in my email:

Hey man, Just a heads up that, as your online presence currently stands, it is super easy to connect the dots and learn who Moose Norseman is, at least for those who know/knew you IRL. If you’re looking to keep your anonymity, I would suggest removing [suggestions redacted] That might make me sound like a stalker, but honestly it took reading two of “moose’s” blog posts, a sneaking suspicion that I already knew “moose”, and one Google search to unearth.

This all makes me wonder why? Why go to the trouble of double identities if you, your true self, believe what you write is right? Are there particular people who you believe would attack you personally if they knew? (I happen to not agree with many of your ideas but I would never see that as reason to attack you. Some, I suppose, are not as reasonable.) And is the pseudonym actually helping or hindering your cause? By those who already know Moose’s true identity, the pseudonym could be seen as undermining the call to manliness. Consider this alongside the goal you have for your blog of being a resource/influence for your two brothers.

So, my blog has started to be discovered by people that know me in real life. Honestly, it’s a little sooner than I expected, but I’m not at all surprised that someone who knows me in real life would recognize my writing. So why the nom de plume? Am I scared to own up to my beliefs, opinions, and writing? Am I scared of what mortal man can do to me? Does writing under a different name hurt my cause in some way?

These are legitimate questions. Questions I’ve asked myself.

Thankfully, this letter’s very existence actually answers a number of those questions. By stating how easy it was to recognize my writing as emanating from me, the letter-writer confirmed that my writing is true to how I talk and live in real life. Thus, the reason for the pseudonym is not a fear of owning my beliefs, as it is my adherence to and promotion of these beliefs in real life that enabled the letter-writer to identify me.

So why the pseudonym? And does it hurt my cause?

Simply put, I write anonymously because it doesn’t matter who I am. I’m either right or wrong, and who I am has no impact on that. A Bible verse presented by someone whom you know is no more inspired, applicable, or binding than a Bible verse shared by an anonymous internet writer. I prefer to let what I write be judged solely on its content.

A name is just a name. One is as good as another.

Moose Norseman is a temporary name. But then, my given name is temporary too. I’m waiting for a new name.

He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To the one who conquers I will give some of the hidden manna, and I will give him a white stone, with a new name written on the stone that no one knows except the one who receives it.’–Rev 2:17 (ESV)

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