Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Steve Christensen, the Birther "Genealogist"

Birthers love their experts. Specifically, they love anonymous experts. People who produce pseudo-academic work supporting the Birther cause while claiming to possess expert credentials, but who don't produce such things as their real names or any evidence of the expert credentials they claim they have.

TechDude was the original forensic expert darling of the Birther crowd, claiming to have extensive forensic credentials, but keeping his identity secret. He was eventually exposed as a fraud. After that, Ron Polarik took to creating an expert resume for himself, and for a year was the Birthers' new favorite expert, all while keeping his true identity secret and refusing to produce proof of any forensic credentials. Then he was exposed as a fraud too.

In the last four months, after Polarik was exposed, the Birthers have found themselves yet another document expert: "Steve Cee," a supposed genealogist. And, for a perfect strikeout, the Birthers seem to have fallen for a third fake expert.

Phil at 'The Right Side of Life' recently wrote:
"[Facebook's employees] may be very well credentialed in their chosen fields, but it hardly seems fitting that individuals who are not trained in the science of document forensics — like four otherwise credentialed examiners have been -"

Phil's link goes to Parker "Beckwith" Shannon's TheObamaFile, where the four "credentialed examiners" who are "trained in the science of document forensics" that Phil mentions are: "Dr. Ron Polarik," Sandra Ramsey Lines, "a genealogist," and "MissTickly -- aka TerriK.

Note that three out of four of Phil and Parker's "credentialed examiners" don't even have real names. TechDude thankfully isn't listed, but Shannon still falsely claims that Polarik/Polland "specializes in computer graphics," which everyone but Shannon has known to be flatly untrue for months.

One of these "credentialed examiners" isn't even listed with his fake name. Of the "genealogist," Shannon writes:
A third investigator, a genealogist, says The FactCheck.org Certificates of Live Birth (COLB) have been an issue since they were posted...

This genealogist concludes the COLBs are forgeries, plain and simple.

Forgery #1 - The COLB posted on 'Fight the Smears' - No Stamp, No Seal, evidence of tampering and forgery. Sandra Ramsey Lines, Ron Polirak, and myself, among others.

Forgery #2 - FactCheck - Two different COLB's one with a SEAL, however NOT an Official State of Hawaii Department of Health SEAL

Forgery #3 - FactCheck - COLB without a SEAL, image of COLB being held up. High resolution and NO indicating of a SEAL.

This post isn't about the "genealogist's" "research." But I do want to point out that his theory here is that Obama's people gave the FactCheck employees two different birth certificates during their visit, and that the FactCheck employees were either in on the scam or were too utterly incompetent to notice that they were given one document with a seal, which was then taken away, and then they were given a second document without a seal.

The "genealogist" behind this absurdity went by "Steve Cee". On July 28, 2009, The Steady Drip shared this material and wrote "This information was provided by Steve Cee, a genealogist, who has also authored this new analysis...Steve's contribution adds to Dr. Ron Polarik's extensive forensic examination." As it happened, the very next day "Dr. Ron Polarik" was revealed to possess precisely ZERO forensic credentials. "Steve Cee's" work is admittedly on par with that.

Where did The Steady Drip get the "genealogist" label? Two days earlier he'd written "Steve Cee decided to confirm if Klein's statement were factual and sent a series of emails to the State of Hawaii...Identifying himself as a genealogist, Steve specifically asked..." Steve is identified as a "genealogist" because when he'd called e-mailed and harassed some folks in Hawaii, that's what he called himself on the phone in the e-mail.

Enough backstory, let's get on with the real story. Who is the "genealogist" that Parker Shannon considers an expert and who RSoL Phil deems a "credentialed examiner" with forensic training?

He is Steve Christensen of Boise, Idaho. You may know him as "ch22240" or as "syc1959," the latter being the handle that he uses to post at RSoL itself, and the name he used to sign his "research". He runs Nobarack08 and he posts Birther YouTube videos. And at 50 years old, he's in the same age demographic that so many vocal Birthers seem to be.*

Is Steve a credentialed examiner, like Phil claimed and like Steve wants you to believe? No. Does he have forensic experience, like Phil claimed and like Steve wants you to believe? No more than Polarik does. He is yet another in a line of anonymous pseudo-experts that the Birthers keep putting their uncritical faith in.

Two months ago, I confronted Steve with this, and asked for his credentials. Here is how the conversation went down:
Me: "Everyone who cites your paper online offers only "genealogist" as your expertise. Now I rather enjoy genealogy, but what in your genealogy past gives you experience in digital image examination?"

Steve: "You’d be surprised at my past and experience."

Me: "So surprise me."

Steve: "You will be!"

Steve then promptly disappeared from FreeRepublic for two months, starting that very day. No credentials have been proffered in the eight weeks since. After Phil stated that Steve is a "credentialed expert" the other day, Steve made several dozen posts in the comments thread without even hinting that he was one of Phil's supposed forensic experts.

Finally, Steve was asked again for these alleged credentials. His response? "All in good time. When the time is right." He then promptly started talking about Perkins Coie and citizen grand juries and criminal conspiracies and Obama's poll numbers and Bill Richardson quotes and Obama's birth certificate from the 1970s and how complaints aren't being dismissed on the merits...all in the same post. When confronted with his months of deception, his response was not only to change the subject, but to attempt to change it to as many different subjects as possible.

When given one more chance to say whether he actually has any background in forensics, Steve wrote only: "I will not divulge this." Steve is apparently content with Phil describing him as a "credentialed examiner" with training in forensics, but adamantly refuses to provide so much as a scintilla of actual credentials to anyone to support this description.

When Steve has felt prompted to cite his credentials under other circumstances, unprompted by skeptics such as myself, what has he offered up? Only that he is a former service member (though he doesn't state which branch, or when or how long he served), and that he joined Oath Keepers earlier this year. That's quite a resume, isn't it?

As for his status as a "genealogist," there is no Steve Christiansen who is a member of the Association of Professional Genealogists, and he has actually described his own expertise as follows: "I've done some genealogy research myself." In other words, he's as much of a genealogist as I am.

So there you have it. Steve Christensen is a man who doesn't want you to know what credentials he may or may not possess, but who wants you and everyone else to believe that he really does have secret awesome credentials that totally validate his wild conspiracy theories. He's Polarik 2.0, and until he produces proof of expertise that support his claims of expertise, he is no more an "expert" than the next anonymous hack.


*In case you've never noticed, your most vocal and proactive Birthers were almost universally born before the passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Leo Donofrio is practically the baby of the group, and he's 44.

+ Edited for spelling.


  1. Another outstanding expose', Loren.

    I noticed Steve claims to have a "BS in Design." Perhaps he meant he's full of BS when it comes to BC Design.


  2. I'm assuming this is the Steve Christiansen you've outed?

    (scroll bio)

  3. Loren, a moderator at FR has deleted all of your 12/1 posts. It appears you might be banned finally, for battling the nutcases.

  4. I hope you people don't seriously think that Obama's COLB is an actual document. It is a forgery. Accept the truth it will set you free.

  5. Funny that the birthers' so-called "experts" Polarik, Steve Cee and MissTickcy seem neither to be certified by the Forensic Specialties Accreditation Board nor are they members of the Association of Forensic Document Examiners. However would they expect to survive the Daubert challengem -- assuming one of the birther clown-lawyers could get a case past dismissal?

  6. I don't understand why anyone needs credentials to doubt whether Obama was born in the US. It is written, plain and simple, in the Hawaii Department of Health guidelines (check out their website) that the Certificate of Live Birth can be issued to children born abroad. Isn't it also common sense that someone doesn't spend $100 fighting the release of an actual birth certificate that would show a hospital name, doctor's name, and signature? Much less, $10,000, or $100,000, or OVER $1 MILLION that is reported that Obama spent.

  7. Matt - Ignoring the fact that the law you cite was passed in the 80's, well after Obama was born, it also mandates that the correct birthplace of the person be on the certificate. So someone born outside of the US would have that info on said birth certificate.

    As for the "OVER $1 MILLION" claimed, I keep seeing this cited, but I have yet to see any proof. Do you have any proof of this amount? (for the record, the vast majority of the lawsuits have been against state and federal officials, NOT against Obama directly, and as such defense rests on the taxpayers and not Obama.)

    Bob Strauss - So far I have yet to see any credible or verifible evidence of forgery, simply the claims of faceless, nameless internet "experts". What proof do you offer?

    Because quite frankly there's more proof as to Obama being born in Hawaii than there is of any of the training or credentials that "Polarik", "TechDude" or "Steve Cee" claim to have.

  8. Yep, looks like you scored a hit with "Steve Cee".

    http://nobarack08.wordpress.com/2009/12/03 ... reaks-law-–-fbi-bar-and-local-authorities-contacted/

    I'm curious how he can claim "unethical behaviour" when all you did was put the dots together with publically-available info.

  9. LOLOL

    I can't help but laugh when nutcase fakes are outed for the lying liars they are.

    Good job again, Loren!