Disclaimer: This article reflects the opinion of the author and is not necessarily indicative of the official stance of the Grand Republic or this publication.
Pseudonyms are a widespread facet of micronationalism. These alternative names are used by many micronationalists, often in the interest of personal privacy, anonymity, and self-aggrandizement. I do not condemn the use of pseudonyms, as I have previously been accused of doing. In fact, I am writing this article to reveal that I use an alternative name as well. My birth name is not David Sarkozy, but Jordan Brizendine. Here I will explain my reasons for attempting to conceal my name, debunk some myths that this article may accrue, and make a statement about why I am revealing my name and what I hope to accomplish by it. Please read the article in full before you respond.
Allow me to begin by specifying exactly when the change occurred. I used my birth name in micronational affairs until the weeks immediately preceding Delvera’s entry into the MicroWiki community in early 2015. Because Delvera and its predecessor, Lavrasia, had only a limited online presence that was almost entirely controlled by me, I was able to implement the change back to a point in time. I chose the beginning of the Commonwealth Era in July 2011 as the end of “Jordan” and the beginning of “David”. I mentioned little of the interaction between these two supposedly separate persons, except to say that they were “friends” and power transferred from the former to the latter in 2011. While this was somewhat deceptive, nowhere did I make a statement that was blatantly false. An example of this can be found in an interaction with the Kingdom of Gotzborg, Delvera’s first intermicronational contact. Initially, when I befriended them on their forum in 2013, I used my real name as my username. When I implemented the change, I created a new account, then asked the admin to transfer posting authority to David Sarkozy, as he was the First Consul (note that I did not say “new” or otherwise blatantly disconnect the two).
As far as motivations, a large part of my reasoning involved privacy, not only for myself, but the people around me. In my previous nations, I had mentioned others among my citizenry by their birth names. When I edited out my own name, I did the same for them. Currently, many Delverans in the Heartland (that is, the original part of Delvera, which now comprises the Province of Lavrasia, its territories, and the Protectorate) continue to use pseudonyms created during the change. These became their legal Delveran names, which are used to refer to those individuals in official documents. At the time, I believed that association with micronationalism could be detrimental to potential employment pursuits, and I did not wish to jeopardize this for myself and my friends and family. As justification for this, I pointed out influential micronationalists who used pseudonyms, such as Alexander Reinhardt. Another reason is, frankly, my pseudonym is much easier to remember and pronounce than my birth name.
Before proceeding to my reasons for writing this article, I will dispel some negative assumptions that are likely to be voiced on this topic. Firstly, I did not change my name in order to cover up my past. Though I did some things as leader of Salania that I would come to regret, such as getting involved in a few wars and pointless arguments, as well as making up stories of wars that I passed off as true, I would have changed my name all the way back to the beginning if that would have been possible. However, since I was a somewhat controversial figure at the time of my participation in the community as Emperor of the Holy Salanian Empire (c. July 2010 – May 2011), I was mentioned on various websites other than those I owned or the wiki, including the OAM forum and the news outlets of A1 and St.Charlie, so I believed that changing my name back that far would be too difficult and highly suspicious. Secondly, I was not forced to write this article by the “expose” published in the Knowledge Warrior. That glorified reddit page publishes enough nonsense that it could be easily dismissed as utterly false. I had planned to write this article for the last month and a half, largely on my own initiative. Delays in the form of personal commitments continued to impede me from doing so until today. Thirdly, this has absolutely nothing to do with Markus or New Israel or any of that. I would have written this article regardless of the outcome of that debacle, and planned to do so before any of it began. There is also no hypocrisy here. As I said, I have falsified no history (in fact, when I changed my name I corrected some false history that I wrote many years ago). My own birth name would have been easy enough to find if anyone had done any research on the matter, and I would have responded to any messages asking about my pseudonym. Finally, this does not in any way mean that anything currently on this site or the wiki/forum/etc. is dishonest. The only thing that has ever been altered or falsified since the founding of the Grand Republic of Salania in May 2011 is my name, and those of some of my citizens (each of which was given the choice to use a pseudonym or not). We have significant bodies of evidence, including pictures, videos, and original documents and forum posts to attest to this.
So why am I clearing all of this up? I have three reasons. The first is that my desire for privacy, motivated by the fear that I would be “discovered” as a micronationalist, is now moot. My nation is old and stable enough, and I am comfortable enough with the concept of micronationalism that I could confidently address any concerns presented by an outsider about my activities, as much as I could about any other interest or pursuit of mine. I will not force others who use pseudonyms in my nation to reveal themselves, but neither will I prevent them from doing so. My second reason is a push for complete transparency and honesty in Delvera in the interest of legitimacy. As I said before, nothing in Delvera has been falsified, but if it was “discovered” that I used a pseudonym without my outright admittance to it, other aspects of my nation would be called into question. I do not wish to appear dishonest or to tarnish the reputation of the Grand Republic by failing to make this information known. The third and final reason is the idea that I could be a role model for younger micronationalists. I believe that I am a better example for new people if my somewhat checkered past is prominently displayed than if I begin my career narrative with the point when I became totally honest. It is a beacon of hope for those who have started controversies or been exposed for lying when they know that an important figure in a (dare I say) prominent micronation in this community started off much as they did. All it takes is a little humility and honesty, as well as a lot of hard work to take your nation from a laughingstock to a powerhouse and symbol of legitimacy. I can now proudly say that I know this from experience, and I can use my knowledge to help others along the path.
Now, for the real question. What will change? Well, not much, really. I’ll continue to use my legal Delveran name, largely because it is in so many places that it would be annoying to have to change it, and also because it is still easier than my birth name. However, I will edit the appropriate articles on the wiki to make it clear that I was the leader of Salania, and I will combine the “Jordan I of Salania” article with the “David Sarkozy” article. Business in Delvera will proceed as usual.
Please feel free to comment on this matter, so long as you have read what I have actually said here.
Author: Jordan Brizendine