Not In The Past

Looking forward from 30

Remnants of Wikipedia articles

Just out of curiosity, I decided to check whether any remnants of a long-deleted Wikipedia biography for an in-joke from my university days still existed online.   The following is the text that article:

James Edward Ceb (born SkowheganMaineUSA March 6th, 1964, died MonctonNew BrunswickCanada, October 23rd, 1999), more widely known as simply Jimmy Ceb or Jim E. Ceb, was a controversial religious figure and a cunning linguist, who operated throughout Canada’s Atlantic provinces in the late nineties. Once believed by many to be possessed of healing powers, Ceb was subsequently outed as a troubled fraud shortly before his death in a skydiving accident in 1999. Many people, including David Gormang of the Halifax Chronicle-Herald, assumed Ceb’s death had been pre-planned. Already facing media scrutiny, Ceb announced that he would jump onto a field just outside Moncton and then give one of his typical fire-and-brimstone orations. His parachute failed to open and Gormang speculates Ceb did not even try to release it. At that point, he had ceased to draw crowds, and so only Gormang and a few student reporters witnessed the accident.

Ceb attended public schools across northern Maine, dropping out at sixteen. He worked in an electrical instruments plant in Aroostook, Maine until 1994, when he apparently began having visions. Acquaintances and colleagues at the plant have generally reported that Ceb’s visions were drug-induced, mostly by way of magic mushrooms.

In 1995, Ceb left Maine for New Brunswick, where his father had been born. He had great immediate success in the southwest part of the province, succeeding in his project to amalgamate Pentecostal churches across the region. Building what became in effect New Brunswick’s first ‘super-church,’ he alledgedly amassed a small fortune in embezzled donations. Ceb also fell under the suspicious eye of both the provincial and federal governments for his alleged promise of tax credits for those who donated. Ceb, meanwhile, shrugged off any investigation and kept preaching. By 1997, up to ten thousand people visited his church every Sunday. Ceb would often give five or six services on those days. He also commissioned a camp around the church that at one point housed up to one thousand pilgrims. Most of these people ended up working for Ceb in some capacity, mostly making phone calls or sending out pamphlets. By this point, Gormang had already referred to him as “the next Henry Alline.” This proclamation would not come to full fruition. Ceb’s claims that he could heal through the laying-on of hands were perhaps unsurprisingly a result of actors-for-hire. Furthermore, Ceb was indicted by the New Brunswick government in 1998 and shut down his ministry shortly thereafter. He is rumoured to have returned to frequent drug-use. Ceb is buried in Sussex, New Brunswick.

I also remember that someone made a number of edits to articles that identified a friend of mine as a harp player for Coldplay, the oboist for The Verve, a participant in the O.J. Simpson Ford Bronco chase, and a chocolatier that invented the Mr. Big chocolate bar.  I’m surprised there wasn’t an attempt to create an article for a baseball player from a non-MLBPA licenced video game with the surname of a roller coaster designer…

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