Writer, Entrepreneur and Owner of E2.
"Jay? He's just one of the guys" - alex
¹ is well-known to users of the website Everything2, both as a writing contributor, editing administrator and owner of the Everything2 business
. A long-time member of the site, his personal life has nonetheless been shrouded in mystery for years. Just a handful of people claim to have met him. This intrepid reporter underwent the trial of locating the reclusive Bonci to interview him for the purpose of writing his official biography. Here is that report.
"I always thought of myself as a normal sort of fellow."
Jay was born Jason Breckinridge in April 1973 to Bogomila Boreva, a second-generation Bulgarian clothing designer living "somewhere in New York". The whereabouts of his father are unknown, and whilst Jay has never met him, believes that he's Italian, from his mother's description.
Jay had a good traditional upbringing in the household of his loving mother, and graduated in 1989 from the Hewitt School before attending MIT. It was here that he met his life partner Josephine, a wrestling groupie with whom he felt instant rapport, and after romping through his Master's degree in Computational Linguistics he took up teaching maths at his old school.
It was not long, however, before his computer-related skills came to change his life forever. During his work for a local charity, he began to refurbish discarded computers for distribution to local non-profit agencies (a typically selfless act, I might add). A local nightclub manager approached him with some older models for donation, and somehow Jay impressed the man, who got into conversation with him. It quickly became apparent that his computing skills went well beyond replacing components and installing operating systems, and a job offer was soon forthcoming. Jay waved goodbye to teaching and went into database management and computing security.
A New Beginning
"Moving in those circles was a real eye-opener, a sort of scary delight. I met many powerful people."
All went well for about three years, as he was working in clubs and high-end bars and restaurants to install and maintain secure computer and monitoring systems. This changed when his new boss approached him to develop a secure system to monitor and record transactions for an off-track betting operation.
"It was a fun time, a kaleidoscope of activity". he told me, "I was working in the lap of luxury, let alone living in it. But I got too deep, just too deep."
Jay soon realised that he was about to make his bones in a big way. "It was apparent that this 'family business' involved a bigger Family", he told me. Nonetheless, he continued to develop systems for them, culminating in the launch of a highly sophisticated, secure worldwide network, written in Malbolge code, generated by a Lisp front-end.
This work of genius was, however, a part of his undoing. FBI raids in 1998 culminated in his arrest on charges related to Mob activity. Following some careful legal wrangling, he managed to negotiate his release on the condition that he decipher the code to allow agents to gain access to the stored data. He further gained underground notoriety by giving evidence against many of the players, for which he was granted a new identity under the Witness Protection Program.
A New Hope
"I'm honestly just a simple man, who simply loves this place."
Under the terms of the program, he was initially relocated to Springfield, Nevada, from whence he moved to the town where he now lives in relative seclusion with his wife and two children. He works as a retained consultant for the FBI, and still receives a monthly envelope stuffed with cash, mailed from Las Vegas, as he has done since his eighteenth birthday. "I think that's from Dad", he tells me with a smile. "Occasionally there's a little note inside, too."
It was close to Springfield that I met him at a roadside diner, the first noder ever to actually knowingly meet him in person. "I know that several people claim to have met me, but the person they really met was one of my bodyguards. I was the one tagging along as a 'non-noder friend'".
In March of 2000, a few days before his twenty-fifth birthday, he stumbled across the website known as Everything2, became instantly enamoured of it and stayed, becoming a site administrator. Ultimately, he became the owner of the site, in January of 2012 and now manages it from his semi-retirement. We talked a little about his plans for the site, what the future might hold. He confirmed that he does have some plans, though he admits to not having a firm timeline for big changes.
Chatterbox scuttlebutt has all sorts of changes in view, from rewriting the site in another language to moving to a full Web 2.0 platform. He didn't offer to elaborate further, and I didn't ask. "But there's no truth in the rumour that I'm using it as a front", he said, "I'm a legitmate businessman, is all".
I asked him about the tales that he is a focal point for insects seeking...something. He simply laughed and waved his hand vaguely. "Just another odd Internet rumour. I'm not really a bug attractant."
On a personal note, Jay is a gentle and polite man, unassuming even in his camo body armour. When he's not messing with code, he reads (in English and Bulgarian), walks his dogs in the ▒▒▒▒▒▒▒▒ Hills and practices his gun drills.²
¹ Obviously, not his Real Name™
² Honestly, not written for LieQuest 2013