The Other McCain

"One should either write ruthlessly what one believes to be the truth, or else shut up." — Arthur Koestler

Journalist @CalebHannan Exposes Sociopath and Is Accused of Transphobia

Posted on | January 19, 2014 | 46 Comments

On Oct. 18, 2013, MIT-trained aeronautical physicist Dr. Essay Anne Vanderbilt — a former Pentagon contractor who had worked on the Stealth bomber project — committed suicide, which must have been difficult: It’s hard to kill a person you invented.

Known as “Dr. V” in the world of golf, the person who died of an overdose last fall in Gilbert, Arizona, had won fame as the reclusive inventor of an innovative putter, the Yar Oracle GX1. What made the putter an overnight sensation in 2012 was its claim to scientific superiority on the basis of Dr. V’s advanced knowledge of physics.

Except “Dr. V” had no such knowledge and was not a Ph.D.

Never attended MIT. Apparently had no college degree at all.

As reporter Caleb Hannan learned, Essay Anne Vanderbilt was a Pennsylvania native whose birth name was Stephen Krol, a former auto mechanic who had been married and divorced twice before deciding, at about age 50, that he was a woman trapped in a man’s body.

Seven years ago, now living in Arizona, “Dr. Vanderbilt”  met Gerri Jordan, a retired Bank of America senior analyst, who became both Vanderbilt’s girlfriend and president of Yar Golf:

In 2008, [Vanderbilt] tried to kill herself with an overdose of prescription drugs and carbon monoxide poisoning from closing herself in a garage with her car running. A police report offered some explanations for why she might have tried to take her own life — Yar’s business was slow and Dr. V’s romantic relationship was on the ropes. She had recently fought with her girlfriend, Gerri Jordan, president of Yar Golf. Jordan told police that she and Dr. V were in a monogamous relationship and that they had gotten into an argument two days before. She had found Dr. V in the passenger seat of her car after the suicide attempt and tried to keep her awake. Jordan had also presumably been the first person to read the suicide note Dr. V had taped to the window of the car door, which read in part, “Tell Gorgeous Gerri that I love her.”

Narcissistic sociopaths have trouble coping with failure, and there can be little doubt that “Dr. Vanderbilt” was in fact a con man person, as Caleb Hannan discovered:

I heard from a mysterious “silent investor” whom both Jordan and Dr. V had alluded to in our previous talks. His name was Phil Kinney. He was a retiree from Pittsburgh and he said he wasn’t the only one who had put money into the company. He had invested $60,000 — money that he believed he’d never see again. . . .
Dr. V had told him that she was a $1,000-an-hour consultant. She said she was one of the original designers of Bluetooth technology. She even suggested that her status as a Vanderbilt provided access to some exclusive company who could help Yar’s business. Kinney said Dr. V told him she was good friends with the Hilton family, and that the relationship would pay off in the form of putters sold at their hotels. Kinney also recalled a trip he had taken to Arizona where, in Dr. V’s house, she had shown him a computer that she said mirrored the one in Phoenix’s airport traffic control tower.

This shameless liar had evidently conned the old man out of tens of thousands of dollars, and was hiding another busted scam:

I also found a lawsuit filed against the town of Gilbert, Arizona, in July 2007. The plaintiff’s name: Essay Vanderbilt, who had accused the town and three of its employees of sexual discrimination. The suit alleged that the previous year Vanderbilt was working as a “vehicle service writer” in Gilbert’s Fleet Management Division. In other words, at the same time that Dr. V claimed to have been working on top-secret government projects in D.C., she was actually coordinating car repairs for a Phoenix suburb. Vanderbilt didn’t win her case. . . .

The claim of sexual discrimination failed not merely because it was untrue, but also because Vanderbilt had lied her way into the job, making up jobs she never had and schools she never attended. Her entire existence was an enormous lie and, like all sociopaths, she feared nothing so much as exposure of the truth.

Once you know someone is a liar, it is impossible ever to trust them again, and the sociopath’s exploitation of credulity therefore depends on concealment of their deceptions.

Caleb Hannan is a reporter who followed the old newsroom maxim, “If your mother says she loves you, check it out.” And if someone tells you they are an MIT-trained physicist — especially if that claim is basic to their story — this is the kind of biographical fact a diligent reporter must verify. So when Caleb Hannan attempted to verify the facts about “Dr. Vanderbilt,” he quickly discovered that her story didn’t check out.

Then weird things started happening, things which might surprise people who haven’t had any experience dealing with sociopaths. “Dr. Vanderbilt” and her girlfriend Gerri Jordan claimed victimhood:

The last time I heard from Dr. V she warned me that I was about to commit a hate crime. But before that, I received a voice mail from Jordan.
Neither of them had contacted me in months, since I had sent an email trying to confirm what I had discovered, and Jordan wrote back to deny everything. “Your attack tale should be published in the National Enquirer,” Jordan wrote, “right next to the article on Martians … If I am to believe your diatribe, what you are telling golfers is that the most scientifically advanced Near Zero MOI putter, and the science of the Inertia Matrix was invented by a lesbian auto mechanic.”

Jordan and “Dr. Vanderbilt” threatened Caleb Hannan and accused him of crimes and you can real the whole thing.

Predictably — that is, if you’ve been paying attention to these things — the sociopath’s posthumous enablers ganged up on Caleb Hannan, accusing him of transphobia and breaches of ethics:

Dr. V Is Dead, Caleb Hannan Is
Celebrated: Why We Can’t Accept
Lazy, Transmisogynistic Journalism

Audrey Zee, Autostraddle

Careless, Cruel, and Unaccountable
Melissa McEwan, Shakesville

Caleb Hannan, Gender Identity
and Journalistic Ethics

Jonathan McLeod, The League of Ordinary Gentlemen

Digging Too Deep
Grantland’s exposé of a trans con artist
privileged fact-finding over compassion

Josh Levin, Slate

All of this is preposterous hysterical bullshit. Caleb Hannan spent months working on that story, and didn’t publish it until three months after “Dr. Vanderbilt” committed suicide. His attackers — mimicking the tactics of “Dr. Vanderbilt” — are trying to make the story about Caleb Hannan, but he is merely the storyteller.

Josh Levin’s claim about “moral dilemmas” involved in the story is insulting. The villain in this story is the phony “Dr. Vanderbilt,” who was responsible for initiating a chain of events that Caleb Hannan merely describes. Remember the old “Schoolhouse Rock” jingle?

Mr. Morton is the subject of the sentence
And what the predicate says, he does.

The same is true of Caleb Hannan’s story: “Dr. Vanderbilt” was the subject of the sentence and the predicate was “lied.”

Professor Donald Douglas called my attention to this story because he was himself targeted by this “Accuse the Accusers” tactic:

This is the problem with sociopaths who claim victimhood: Invariably, the con man will succeed in deceiving some people who, buying into the clever victimhood narrative, will attack those who tell the truth. If you arrive late to the story, it is easy to become confused by the claims made on behalf of the sociopath by defenders who hurl accusations of mala fides at the truth-tellers. “Dr. Vanderbilt” has acquired a mob of defenders who insist that this is a story about “transmisogynistic journalism,” when in fact it is the story of a dishonest creep who committed suicide rather than cope with exposure of the truth.

If those who are attacking Caleb Hannan genuinely want to rectify an injustice, perhaps they could ask a few questions about the still unsolved murder of Julia Scyphers. Somehow, I doubt they will.




46 Responses to “Journalist @CalebHannan Exposes Sociopath and Is Accused of Transphobia”

  1. The Mad Jewess
    January 19th, 2014 @ 12:37 pm

    Sarah wants equality for everyone but conservative peeps.

  2. robertstacymccain
    January 19th, 2014 @ 12:40 pm

    Actually, Hannan is apparently a liberal.

  3. Katie Scarlet
    January 19th, 2014 @ 1:04 pm

    This is the craziest story and these folks going after Caleb Hannan are all too predictable. Clearly a playbook on these tactics has been issued.

  4. rrpjr
    January 19th, 2014 @ 1:26 pm

    >>”…privileged fact-finding over compassion.”

    There you have it — the essence of Progressive pop culture tyranny. One gets to define and glorify self-serving “compassion” over truth. (And is “privileged” a verb?)

  5. concern00
    January 19th, 2014 @ 1:28 pm

    It is also apparent that the ‘T’ lifestyle is a great opportunity for identity fraud. And the lunatics on the left are more concerned with promoting sexual perversion and mental illness than the truth, which is, of course, the central policy of the left.

  6. Zohydro
    January 19th, 2014 @ 1:41 pm

    “She may have been a con artist in her business and academic life, but being trans is not a con.”

    I read this in the link to the autostraddle piece… Damn near soiled myself!

  7. robertstacymccain
    January 19th, 2014 @ 1:42 pm

    Clearly a playbook on these tactics has been issued.

    The playbook? You can buy it at Amazon.

  8. robertstacymccain
    January 19th, 2014 @ 1:49 pm

    No liberal can permit us to conjecture a connection between these two phenomena.

  9. RS
    January 19th, 2014 @ 1:53 pm

    Unless I missed it, Hannan’s piece made no negative generalizations about “trans” people. The story was about a grifter attempting to make money off of every mediocre golfer in the country. The sales pitch relied upon consumers accepting the inventor’s credentials. Those were a lie. Only the “trans” community assumes s/he committed suicide because of the possibility of being “outed” as a transsexual and not as a fraud.

  10. robertstacymccain
    January 19th, 2014 @ 1:55 pm

    And is “privileged” a verb?

    You disgusting verbophobe!

  11. robertstacymccain
    January 19th, 2014 @ 1:58 pm

    As I say, narcissistic sociopaths do not cope well with failure, and when they go to great lengths to create a false persona, the exposure of truth is to them a devastating humiliation.

  12. rmnixondeceased
    January 19th, 2014 @ 2:07 pm

    Phenomena? Nope. Consequences of a sinful and fallen life, yes.

  13. Zohydro
    January 19th, 2014 @ 2:25 pm

    That piece also mentions one “Lucy Meadows” — a British teacher who walked into the light apparently after some ruckus with the parents of [3rd person possessive pronoun] students. Might be a story there…

  14. rmnixondeceased
    January 19th, 2014 @ 2:28 pm

    Exposure of the truth is a devastating thing. It destroys self-delusion and forces acceptance of one’s dishonesty and fantasy world. It forces one to accept self responsibility of their own actions. One can accept responsibility and re-evaluate their life and begin healing and start their redemption or evade all responsibility altogether and persist in self-delusion or escape permanently by suicide. It’s a tough road, daunting in many respects and one not easily walked but rewarding in the end.
    BTW, thank you to everyone who has helped (and continue to help) me on this path.

  15. robertstacymccain
    January 19th, 2014 @ 2:38 pm

    Yeah, whatever. I’m sure it’s a fascinating story, but they only reason they bring it up is because it contains two elements — transsexualism and suicide — which they wish to exploit to foster the political victimhood narrative.

  16. Wombat_socho
    January 19th, 2014 @ 3:07 pm

    “Privilege” is the new RAAAAACISM.

  17. concern00
    January 19th, 2014 @ 3:14 pm

    There’s a pretty obvious link between mental illness and suicide and I think we’d all agree that transsexualism is mental illness incarnate, therefore…

  18. Sunday Linkfest, Big Bang Theory Edition | Blackmailers Don't Shoot
    January 19th, 2014 @ 3:36 pm

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  19. Mm
    January 19th, 2014 @ 4:05 pm

    Hanan’s piece was well written, well researched, and not “transphobic” in the least. The people who are currently having a cow, like Sarah Lennox, do not want “safety” and “equality” for trans people – they want special rights. News flash:
    1) lying about your curriculum vitae is not protected by a right to privacy
    2). Changing your name using the public court system is a public action subject to public scrutiny
    3). Running a con is fraud and is not protected by a right to privacy

    As for this right to privacy, which provides the underpinning for society’s acceptance of abortion, etc. – does it even exist any more? When I am paying for your birth control pills, abortions, and sex change operations, isn’t your sex life no longer a private matter?

  20. Kirby McCain
    January 19th, 2014 @ 4:12 pm

    It’s an old play book, Killing the Messenger.

  21. Mm
    January 19th, 2014 @ 4:17 pm

    Good grief, I’m seeing tweets defending Dr. V claiming that no major crimes or national security were involved. So, bilking an old man out of $60,000 isn’t a big deal? These people are evil – hurt feelings and fantastical notions about privacy rights are worthy of drawing and quartering, but conning an old retiree is brushed off.

    Also, does anyone else think the claims of “lesbian” trans “women” are just a tad odd? Let’s see, you’re still anatomically a guy and you want to have sex with women? Still? How is this even remotely lesbianism? Sounds heterosexual to me, but what do I know, I was just a science major.

  22. Kirby McCain
    January 19th, 2014 @ 4:35 pm

    Put the lotion on its skin.

  23. DonaldDouglas
    January 19th, 2014 @ 4:41 pm

    Ding! Ding!

  24. Mm
    January 19th, 2014 @ 4:49 pm

    Another odd phrase that keeps popping up: “outing her gender identity.” We have officially entered Looneyville if the biological fact that you’re a man or a women is a State Secret. We are all SNL’s “Pat” now.

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  26. Zohydro
    January 19th, 2014 @ 5:20 pm

    One wonders if/how this kerfluffle is related to the recent Ninth Circuit Court’s ruling on free speech for bloggers…

  27. McGehee
    January 19th, 2014 @ 7:04 pm

    He dropped a veracity bomb, the mad veracity-bombing patriarchialist!!!

  28. Rob Crawford
    January 19th, 2014 @ 7:13 pm

    “privileged fact-finding over compassion”

    Um, the truth is ALWAYS privileged over a comfortable lie, particularly when the facts expose lies and fraud.

  29. Rob Crawford
    January 19th, 2014 @ 7:15 pm

    Ask them and they’ll tell you how the lunatics are somehow “wiser” than the rest of us.

  30. Rob Crawford
    January 19th, 2014 @ 7:17 pm

    When you’re a tribalist, an accusation against one is taken to be against all, and the innocence of one is taken to prove the innocence of all.

  31. robertstacymccain
    January 19th, 2014 @ 7:27 pm

    Yes, the “invasion of privacy” angle: The con artist perpetrating a fraud has the right to do so without journalistic scrutiny because … privacy!

  32. WarEagle82
    January 19th, 2014 @ 9:26 pm

    Once again, a man pays someone to mutilate his genitalia, implant breasts, and take hormones so he can be with a woman and con everyone he can con!

    But the problem is the reporter figured it out. And wrote the truth.

    Would certain vexatious litigants get off the hook by getting his genitalia removed, or is chasing underage Ukrainian girls enough of a perversion?

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  34. concern00
    January 19th, 2014 @ 11:23 pm

    Hey that’s not fair…what did you do to deserve a down vote?

  35. The Daley Gator | Journalist’s as Transphobic Bastards!
    January 20th, 2014 @ 12:27 am

    […] One such journalist being Caleb Hannan, who made the mistake of pursuing a story according to Stacy McCain […]

  36. Evi L. Bloggerlady
    January 20th, 2014 @ 1:54 am

    You are such a H8-E H8er. You use facts and logic.

  37. Käthe
    January 20th, 2014 @ 5:14 am

    “Stacie Laughton” aka Barry Laughton also used transgender name and document changes to commit fraud, no? Seems like an attractive option for a truly desperate and/or shameless con man.

  38. bet0001970
    January 20th, 2014 @ 7:24 am

    I found his piece to be a fascinating and sad story. Hannan is good writer.

  39. rmnixondeceased
    January 20th, 2014 @ 9:13 am
  40. rmnixondeceased
    January 20th, 2014 @ 9:16 am

    Heh. Privacy be damned, all criminals need to be exposed and brought to an accounting.

  41. Melody Warbington
    January 20th, 2014 @ 11:04 am

    Being a predator > alleged victimhood. Just like Kaitlyn Hunt.

  42. cmdr358
    January 20th, 2014 @ 10:15 pm

    All I want to know is which tee’s he/she played from?

  43. Evi L. Bloggerlady
    January 20th, 2014 @ 11:07 pm

    Hannan’s story reads like a New Yorker piece. And the New Yorker prides itself on fact checking. It would have made the editorial cut five years ago, but now the truth is evil (even when it is not).

  44. LookAtThisIdiot
    January 21st, 2014 @ 3:04 am

    Nice to see conservatives can never stoop too low. You jackals just keep finding deeper holes to slither into.

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