They are ‘officially’ anonymous, but they left a clue about who at least one of them is. If he is who I think he is, I would remain anonymous too…maybe.
The CBs’ Web site is a collection of Adobe PDF files. When you click on a link to any one of these PDFs, the document will open in your Internet browser (that is, if you have the Adobe reader installed on your machine). This lets you see the content of the document, but it doesn’t let you see the internal properties of the document, such as the PDF “Author.” To see these properties, you have to save the PDF to your local machine and open it in the standalone Adobe Reader. A document’s properties are reached in the Reader by pressing Ctrl-D.
At the time of this writing, the CBs’ Web site offers us 19 PDF documents. Some of these PDFs are actually from other Web sites (like LSM’s) and are quite positive (in my view). Each of these PDFs has an “Author.” Now, we shouldn’t confuse the PDF author with the document author. Those who wrote these documents are apparently not the ones who made the PDFs. Let us simply call them accessories to the fact. At any rate, as of today when I last downloaded them, 12 of these PDFs have “smsong” as the PDF “Author.”
I found this out a few days ago, and with the help of a brother I located a brother among us whose email address begins with “smsong@….” (I won’t reproduce the email address here but will give only the part of it that is available from the PDFs on the CBs’ Web site.) Certainly, this is not completely determinative; there may be someone else out there who has his or her installation of Adobe Acrobat populated with “smsong” in the PDF “Author” field, some S-M Song, or some S M S Ong, or some S M So Ng, or other. I’ll let you be the judge of certainty here. But it did seem uncanny to me that we could find an online posting of one of the local churches in which “smsong@…” was offered as a contact email address.
Ever the curious one, I immediately sent an email to the address we found online, even though I did not expect an answer. (Who would openly admit to having anything to do with these works of darkness?!) Here is my email to him, the first name replaced with what is public knowledge from the PDFs:
Dear Brother [smsong],
I have been reading with interest the material posted on http://concernedbrothers.com. Are you involved in this site at all? I have some interest in the issues addressed there.
I am not holding my breath for a response. If the CBs will not say who they are on their Web site, I doubt that any one of them would let on to the likes of me who he is. If I were doing this kind of surreptitious online posting, I don’t think I would want to be found out. It would be embarrassing to my peers as well as to me. So, perhaps I understand the anonymity…but not completely.
Well, there is nothing surreptitious in what I have done. Probably anyone can trace my steps and find out all the same information. If you do, perhaps you should email him and ask him what I did–just don’t do it anonymously; that’s not good form.