Given the current discussion concerning the Library and some of Stephan Huller’s comments, I would like to post the entirety of my response which he refers to as “[carefully worded]” as I believe it may prove illuminating:
Let me completely assuage all concerns that Joel may have anything to do with how I’m cataloging and classifying any of the Blogs on the Library: Joel is not part of the process in any way. He’s not a member of the Biblioblog Top 50 “staff,” and he’s not involved with The Biblioblog Reference Library in any capacity (the BRL is pretty much my project, alone).
I will be completely honest with you. The biggest hurdle you have to overcome is that the bulk of your theories have one foot lightly in the margin and the other foot firmly planted in the fringe. Your work does not fall within mainstream academia, but despite that (perhaps even because of that) stemming from you I sense a strong thirst to prove and validate both yourself and your work on the academic stage. How I see you going about and doing so is not a merit to your position either, as you have an online history of being belligerent towards and not working well with others.
That’s the long and the short of it. No other variables have been or need be taken into account.
Unless the subject matter of your blog takes a turn towards more “mainstream” academics and methodology (even if it’s a matter of working with controversies within academic theories) it’s probably going to be categorized under Related Blogs under a subcategory of “Marginal Studies” or “Other” (but since I have not developed a rubric for Related Blog subcategories yet, that is still a bit up in the air), and when that happens your blog can certainly take part in the Related Blog rankings, unhindered.
With highest respect,
Steve Caruso, MLIS
“The Reference Librarian”
For some explanation behind my opinion of Huller’s work, I will refer to two documents that he, himself referred to me:
The first is “The Rediscovery of the Original Episcopal Throne of the Alexandrian See of St. Mark” published in the Journal of Coptic Studies, which can be found here. It is listed without an abstract, and I am in the midst of obtaining a copy to read.
The second, which appears to be its ‘companion’ by other claims is “The Real Messiah: The Throne of St. Mark and the True Origins of Christianity” published by Watkins Publishing (an imprint of Duncan Baird Publishers) who on their About page claims:
Among our unillustrated titles, publishing highlights over the years have included important books on Nostradamus by bestselling novelist Mario Reading, by Osho on aspects of Buddhism, and by Christopher Knight and Alan Butler on the secret wisdom of antiquity.
Our landmark illustrated titles include Tara Fraser’s bestselling Yoga for You, numerous books by David Fontana on symbolism, dreams and meditation, and The Essential Guide to Crystals by Simon and Sue Lilly.
Additionally, Huller shared with me that he is currently “contracted to produce a documentary for National Geographic for 2012 on the Mar Saba letter.” I am currently in the midst of contacting National Geographic to confirm the breadth and scope of Huller’s involvement with the project and have yet to hear back from them.
Never satisfied with simply being told about one’s achievements, a quick search of the Internet turns up the following links:
- http://therealmessiahbook.blogspot.com/ – The tag line reads “A bestseller on Christian Origins and Soon To Be One Hour Cable Documentary Begins Shooting in November!”
- A sidenote: Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #986,550 in Books as of Jul 13 2011.
- Also note the reviews, which are very thorough and outline large facets of Huller’s claims that fall very far from currently accepted academic theories.
- http://josephusisfullofshit.blogspot.com/ – Note the subdomain.
- http://stephanhuller.blogspot.com/2009/08/love-letter-from-evangelicals.html – Huller criticizes an individual who was critical of his book on Amazon.
- A sidenote: In this article Huller is quite critical, himself, of the Fox network, however National Geographic — the channel that he claims is hosting his documentary — is owned by Fox with a 75% share.
- An entire thread on Theology Web, where a bit rough-and-tumble, has some archives of Huller’s spamming and book promos.
- And of course, Stephan Huller’s Observations, where the latest discussions are going on.
- A sidenote: Huller tends to claim he has “articles” in academic “journals,” but his only peer-reviewed publication appears to be that one article in the Journal of Coptic Studies. If further citations are provided I shall update this.
- Another sidenote: Huller occasionally has deleted content entirely that did not seem favorable to his position after the fact, rather than retracting and redacting it publicly. His original post that discussed “The Bastards at the Biblioblog Top 50” is now completely missing.
Finally, I would also like to share the following information about the Reference Library that, in my opinion, has been misrepresented by Huller’s comments:
- There are no creedal requirements to be on the “List of Biblioblogs.”
- The difference between a “Biblioblog” and a “Related Blog” in the new system of categories is primarily the demonstrated use of academic framework in addition relevant focus.
- Credentials, publications, and press coverage are additional criteria, not core criteria, and are weighed on a case-by-case basis.
- No one is being “kept” from the ranking system. All individuals who were on the main Biblioblogs list (~300 blogs) are now on the new system. Once they are categorized, I will be moving on to the original Related Blogs list (some additional ~300 blogs) which will be imported in bulk and then categorized like the first list.
- Because the BRL is a volunteer project, this may take some time.
With all of this in mind, I would like to (mis-)quote the musings of C. H. Barbossa:
So yes Stephan, Joel and Tom are arguing with you and things got a little heated. However as I see it, it was you who provoked them. As such, by all accounts, as you were the individual who was uncivil first, there is no platform in this case to demand anyone’s excommunication.
I am going to be firm about my current decisions. As it stands, “Stephan Huller’s Observations” does not qualify as a “Biblioblog” for the purposes of the BRL as it fails either the spirit or the letter of all three Core Criteria and is getting dangerously close to disqualification.
The power to change that, however, is firmly in your hands.
Will you (as I sincerely hope) take this opportunity as a stepping stone towards that goal? Or will you chance tossing that stone around in a glass house?
— The Reference Librarian