It’s the only card he has left to play. Even then, it’s not a good one, since he’ll have to claim decades of mental illness.

This would be Emory law school professor Michael J. Broyde, object of multiple in-depth accounts – here – of his very odd behavior. Emory is already reviewing him for having made up internet identities whose function appears to be flacking his own work and excoriating that of competitors (à la the so-far more famous Orlando Figes). This is, to be sure, puerile and malicious of Broyde, and it seems to have put an end to his other career as a religious bigwig.

But there’s more, and with it we enter Woody Allen territory.

Apparently Broyde created another online identity, this one with the purpose of providing historical evidence for various of his theological arguments.

The second identity, claiming to be an 80-something Ivy League graduate and Talmud scholar in 2010, alleged he’d had conversations with now long-dead sages in the late 1940s or early 1950s. The alleged conversations were used to produce a manufactured history of statements from long-dead scholars that buttressed an argument that Broyde had made in a highly-touted article published in a peer-reviewed scholarly journal. Broyde, in a later publication, subsequently quoted this second identity’s alleged findings as further proof of his original argument.

To puerile and malicious, add – if true – academic fraud.

This man was reportedly a finalist for grand rabbi of London.

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UD thanks Tzvee.

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5 Responses to “Get ready for the guy to claim a mental illness.”

  1. adam Says:

    Looks like a slam dunk diagnosis of fictive personality disorder. Quick! Let’s put it in DSM-5.

  2. Margaret Soltan Says:

    Lots of good advice for him here:

    http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/growing-friendships/201301/imaginary-friends

  3. Chas Says:

    No, he is just challenging the primacy of the narrator . . . of the narrative . . . oh, you know, something transgressive.

  4. janet gool Says:

    Hell Margaret!
    The guy has a great imagination. He should be writing fiction. (Well, I guess that’s exactly what he did!)
    For some reason, this story doesn’t get me upset at all. I think it’s the funniest thing I’ve seen in the news in a long time.

  5. University Diaries » Hope for Michael Broyde. Says:

    […] Diederik Stapel just got a long write-up in the New York Times, complete with color photo of the man in jeans plus bummed-I-got-caught look on his face. He’s sorry, he’s mentally ill, he’s written a book. Go to it. […]

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