Talk:Joseph W. Tkach

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Featured article Joseph W. Tkach is a featured article; it (or a previous version of it) has been identified as one of the best articles produced by the Wikipedia community. Even so, if you can update or improve it, please do so.
Main Page trophy This article appeared on Wikipedia's Main Page as Today's featured article on March 16, 2014.
          This article is of interest to the following WikiProjects:
WikiProject Biography (Rated FA-class)
WikiProject icon This article is within the scope of WikiProject Biography, a collaborative effort to create, develop and organize Wikipedia's articles about people. All interested editors are invited to join the project and contribute to the discussion. For instructions on how to use this banner, please refer to the documentation.
Featured article FA  This article has been rated as FA-Class on the project's quality scale.
 
Note icon
This article has had a peer review which is now archived.

This article has comments here.

WikiProject California / Southern California (Rated FA-class, Low-importance)
WikiProject icon This article is within the scope of WikiProject California, a collaborative effort to improve the coverage of the U.S. state of California on Wikipedia. If you would like to participate, please visit the project page, where you can join the discussion and see a list of open tasks.
Featured article FA  This article has been rated as FA-Class on the project's quality scale.
 Low  This article has been rated as Low-importance on the project's importance scale.
Taskforce icon
This article is supported by the Southern California task force (marked as Low-importance).
 

This article has comments here.

WikiProject Chicago (Rated FA-class, Low-importance)
WikiProject icon This article is within the scope of WikiProject Chicago, which aims to improve all articles or pages related to Chicago or the Chicago metropolitan area.
Featured article FA  This article has been rated as FA-Class on the project's quality scale.
 Low  This article has been rated as Low-importance on the project's importance scale.
 

This article has comments here.

WikiProject Christianity (Rated FA-class, Mid-importance)
WikiProject icon This article is within the scope of WikiProject Christianity, a collaborative effort to improve the coverage of Christianity on Wikipedia. If you would like to participate, please visit the project page, where you can join the discussion and see a list of open tasks.
Featured article FA  This article has been rated as FA-Class on the project's quality scale.
 Mid  This article has been rated as Mid-importance on the project's importance scale.
 

This article has comments here.

WikiProject Illinois (Rated FA-class, High-importance)
WikiProject icon This article is within the scope of WikiProject Illinois, a collaborative effort to improve the coverage of Illinois on Wikipedia. If you would like to participate, please visit the project page, where you can join the discussion and see a list of open tasks.
Featured article FA  This article has been rated as FA-Class on the project's quality scale.
 High  This article has been rated as High-importance on the project's importance scale.
 
This article has an assessment summary page.

Changes made April 2006[edit]

I've made a few changes, trying to remove POV.

  • We should provide a source for the bit about what Tkach said at Armstrong's funeral.
  • I took out the astonishing bit that equated Evangelicals with liberal Protestants.
  • An encyclopedia should not say that some doctrine or practice "is Biblical", only that it "is considered Biblical by (name of person or group)" or something similar. I changed "Biblical doctrines" to "unconventional doctrines". (An earlier version of the article had "unique doctrines".)

Please WP:BOLDly improve on my work. I'd especially appreciate a better word than "unconventional".
Chris Chittleborough 05:11, 17 April 2006 (UTC)

New submission[edit]

I took the original stub and created a whole article. There is very little info available on this person and I hope new editions will add to it.

I should note that there are a lot of what I suspect are WCG splinter group members who try to damage material. Hence one sees their results: the bizarre equivalence of evangelical Christianity with "liberals".

RelHistBuff 09:02, 26 April 2006 (UTC)

Thanks for that. The new version seems excellent to me ... but then I had never heard of Joseph Tkach until I stumbled across the article a few weeks ago and noticed some things that need fixing. I see no need for any further edits. Nice writing, too. Cheers, CWC(talk) 10:53, 26 April 2006 (UTC)

Okay, correction noted. Not all Evangelicals are Liberal Protestants.

I just received the DVD of Herbert Armstrong's funeral complete with Tkach's pretended intention to "walk in his footsteps". Will provide documentation soon.--Afsscorp 20:22, 13 May 2006 (UTC)

Ok. This article is difficult as Tkach had a quite controversial tenure as leader of the WCG. In past versions, people just thrashed him and did not make anything encyclopedic. I think it is possible to include criticisms of him (for example, if he made hypocritical statements) and stay NPOV. On the other hand, there should be no gloating from the mainstream side as well. RelHistBuff 09:36, 17 May 2006 (UTC)

Many thanks to anonymous editor, 65.25.61.94, who corrected some and added new material. I recommend that you get a wiki account and join in! I have taken the liberty to make some minor changes to the changes. I just noted that only some in the mainstream community have hailed Tkach’s changes because I have seen some mainstream websites that are still quite critical of the WCG and its current leader Joseph Tkach, Jr.. Also, I think that there is a place to mention that celebrating Christmas, Easter, and other traditional holidays was allowed, but I wanted to check the timeline first. RelHistBuff 09:36, 17 May 2006 (UTC)

I reviewed the sources and it seems that several doctrinal and infrastructure-related events occurred when Joseph Tkach, Jr. took office. These include the Christmas/Easter celebration being permitted, the closing of Ambassador University, and the spinoff of The Plain Truth. These occurred around 1996 shortly after Tkach, Sr. died. However, the events are probably linked to his tenure so some mention of these events should stay in this article. But the bulk of the description of the events should be in the article on Tkach, Jr.. I may try writing a new article on Tkach, Jr. someday, but in the meantime, I leave things as they are. Others are welcome to give it a try first. RelHistBuff 11:54, 17 May 2006 (UTC)

GA nomination[edit]

I believe this satisfies GA criteria. The amount of source material is small, but as I mentioned above, unfortunately there is not much good material. It's surprising for a notable and controversial character (see history where previously there were lots of POV-ridden versions). I can provide detailed inline citations which I prefer to do anyway, but seeing this is a short article, I left it as it is for the moment. RelHistBuff 13:47, 15 August 2006 (UTC)

I withdrew the nomination in order to obtain a peer review first. RelHistBuff 08:44, 16 August 2006 (UTC)

After input from the Biography peer review, I am nominating it again. RelHistBuff 10:12, 23 August 2006 (UTC)

Biography project[edit]

To get input, I am asking for a peer review from members of the Biography project. RelHistBuff 11:38, 16 August 2006 (UTC)


Russian origin?[edit]

"Tkach" does not necessairly have to be a name of Russian origin. Spelled Tkacz it is a Polish word for "weaver" and it is a moderately popular Polish surname. For what I know, the Russian word for "weaver" has the same pronunciation (spelled ткач), so it might also be a Russian name, but such assertion require a good reference IMHO (being Russian Orthodox is not a clear indication given the history of Poland and Russia). What I wanted to point out is the absolute lack of references in the first four paragraphs of the "background" section. There also several other paragraphs that go unreferenced. I believe this should all be rectified before it would be considered for GA. Regards, Bravada, talk - 14:21, 28 August 2006 (UTC)

I can supply the references for the Russian origin claim as well as references for all other portions (I have not supplied anything that was not from the references). Tell me what you feel needs a citation and I will put it in.RelHistBuff 17:01, 28 August 2006 (UTC)
In general I believe that there should be a reference for every paragraph, perhaps save for the summary, which usually consists of information that can be found elsewhere in the article. In case there is more than one source for a given paragraph, try to place the references by the sentences/parts of sentences they are taken from, unless it would become rather unpractical - e.g. when the information from both sources are interspersed throughout the text, just leave two references at the end, in case a specific piece of information is from another source, place the "general" reference at the end of the paragraph and the "specific" one by the piece of information it pertains to. But did I say anything you did not know before? Bravada, talk - 17:07, 28 August 2006 (UTC)
PS. While we are at it, I think it does not look too good when a section consists of paragraphs that are just one to three lines. I would try to recompose the text so that the paragraph are between five to eight lines - perhaps it is not as important as referencing, but makes the article look much more "complete" and read better.
OK thanks. I'll work on this over the next couple of days. RelHistBuff 17:12, 28 August 2006 (UTC)
I found an interesting result concerning the Russian origin claim. The first source (Report issue 41) did mention the Russian connection (Tkach himself supposedly claimed he was of Russian descent). However, the second source (Report issue 44) gave more details about his heritage (Carpatho-Russians or Rusyns) and the grouping may or may not be distinct from Russians/Ukrainians. However, it seems he did grow up in the Russian Orthodox faith (Tkach, Jr. source). RelHistBuff 08:57, 29 August 2006 (UTC)
By the way, thanks for pointing this out. The history of Slavic origins is quite fascinating. I guess most Americans (as Tkach himself did) tend to lump various groupings together, while the distinctions are rather important for most non-Americans. RelHistBuff 09:14, 29 August 2006 (UTC)
Scary, ain't it? I find it really fascinating that people in Poletown eat pączki on Tuesday! Bravada, talk - 10:33, 29 August 2006 (UTC)
PS. The citations look OK now bar a few sentences - are there any problems with them? I guess I can't give you a full GA review, though I'd love to, as I don't know nothing about the subject, so I can't say whether the article is complete and the subject dealt with appropriately :(

GA Passed[edit]

Congratulations! The article passed. It is nicely written and suprisingly neutral considering the controversial nature of the subject. Moving toward the future, I'd suggest that the article use fewer passives. You may want to take the article to peer review next. --CTSWyneken(talk) 16:03, 5 September 2006 (UTC)

Neutrality and quality sources[edit]

I have moved the post that was originally in another subsection to this subsection at the bottom in order to bring this into chronological order as in standard practise. I have copied and pasted the post below. RelHistBuff 13:18, 31 October 2006 (UTC)

Many biography aspects are clear and uncontroversial. There is still a very strong emphasis in several areas on only the controversial issues. The fact that the biography focuses on 90% on the last 10 years of this man's life is not surprising given the significance of those last 10 years. However, more empasis could be put on the formative years. In addition, once source (The Ambassador Report) is used for 70-100% of the citations in this and related articles. While The Ambassador Report cannot be entirely excluded as a source (and, arguably, it has provided a useful role in documenting certain factual data such as dates, personalities involved etc.) it is a heavily biased 'publication' (in the UK, it would be called a scandal sheet). There are many issues (including the receivership of the WCG) which are very well documented in the conventional media and I think we (myself included) can work a little harder to use those other sources to produce a well-rounded piece (both in terms of the various periods of this man's life and the various points of view as to his achievements/controversies). In my view, this biography is a long way from that point (not that more volume needs to be written). I note that there are several sincere contributors working on reaching that point. == Anon == — Preceding unsigned comment added by 213.140.6.103 (talk) 12:40, 31 October 2006

In response, additional input would be welcome especially in regards to Tkach's role during the receivership years. If you have the sources, please cite them. As for the use of Ambassador Report, please note that I used them only as sources for getting factual data and I was very careful not to include the biased commentary. And although AR is biased against the WCG, note that I also used several sources that are biased for the new WCG. The important point is that the article remains neutral, but the sources where the information is from must be cited as per Wikipedia citation policy. In discussing on these talk pages, please sign your post as per Wikipedia guideline. It makes it easier to keep track of the discussion. RelHistBuff 13:26, 31 October 2006 (UTC)
(I'll read the Wiki protocol). Your comments on your use of the Ambassador Report are well taken. However, much of the data is available from pro or neutral sources. A quick google yields some interesting things. Using a scandal sheet as a source, however, seriously undermines the well intentioned work done to date. If I wanted to write a critique of George Bush, I would produce a highly more credible article if I quoted from US News than if I quoted from the National Enquirer (if you take my point). Clearly this entry and related entries cannot be owned by any one individual. Let's work together to produce some quality sources. Quoting from a highly biased publication to satisfy source criteria (no matter how carefully selected) is not ideal research practice. [[User:]] 13:26, 31 October 2006 (UTC)
If there is another more neutral source that supports a statement, then that would be a helpful addition. I would contest, however, your comparison of AR to the National Enquirer. The bias of AR is clear, but there are plenty of examples of polemical literature that can be cited as being reliable. They just have to be treated with plenty of caution. Rather than doing a blanket deletion of the AR citations, could you point out what is the problem with a specific AR citation and we can work from there? RelHistBuff 14:01, 31 October 2006 (UTC)

I'm ignorant on the quality of the AR, but if it is used to source non-controversial data then it can be used. However, if the data can be sourced from other, more neutral, sources, then please feel free to do so. Standard practice is to bring issues of citation problems to the Talk page and work through them, rather than delete the citations. The only time WP:3RR does not apply is if the information is in violation of WP:BLP (negative and unsourced material in a biography of a living person). This doesn't appear to apply here, and it looks like the sources were removed in most cases, rather than the information. If there is any information which you believe to not be true, you may remove it and paste it here and ask for a citation. Information that you know is true but just isn't attributed yet, or poorly attributed, (unless it violates BLP) is generally not removed but rather hashed through on the Talk page. It seems like both parties above are keeping cool and are willing to work together on the Talk page and am assuming the anonymous user was not aware of WP:3RR. You both have raised good points and am confident you can work together to resolve this :-) --plange 15:16, 31 October 2006 (UTC)

I think you can see from my comments that I am attempting to be neutral and/or engage in debate(and forgive me but discovering the Wiki protocol as I go). The removal of AR as a source was for good reason and, you will note, was not 100%. The AR (a simple newsletter) exists only as a critic of the WCG and its personalities (and has now expanded this to its offspring groups). The AR goes beyond polemical literature and a review of articles particularly during the 70s and 80s reveals its bias not only in the topics chosen, but also in the wording used (journalistic slant would be a gracious description). I would return the sporting challenge to YOU to find more appropriate sources. Using the AR is not ideal. Using the AR in large quantity is even less ideal. I don't think the Wiki protocol envisions selective copying from one source (not my intention to be sarcastic here). I will, however, take your suggestion and also produce some other sources. Obviously autobiographical and biographical commentary from sources close to the subject, tempered or countered with contrary views are academically more correct than working in the other direction (e.g., he claimed to have....although others held the view that...). User:213... 13:26, 31 October 2006 (UTC)

I counted the citations and I would submit that AR is not used in large quantities. There are 51 citations (several are multiple citations of the same source). If one counts only the Trechak articles as possibly biased sources, there are only 15. There are 6 additional AR citations that are quotes of other publications (such as Worldwide News). So the impact of AR is not that great. But I would be glad to see other sources (such as WN). By the way, I should point out that that the other sources used in the citations (the WCG sources, Tkach Jr.'s and Feazell's books, Tucker's article, the NAE press release, PCoG and UCoG documents) are, in my opinion, equally if not more biased than Trechak's AR articles (just biased in other directions). What counts is the careful use of those sources (picking only factual data) despite their biases. RelHistBuff 16:15, 31 October 2006 (UTC)

I don't fully agree. However, if you have written the bulk of this bio and have no prior knowledge of the history, I will admit you have done a good job. I do think that Feazell's and Tkach Jr's accounts used as primary source and cross-checked against other sources are the best starting point. They are essentially the "scribes" preserving the history of an institution and of a previous leader with whom they agreed. Then, obviously, the views from outside merit other sources. I have made some edits, being careful not to upset any direct quotes. There are large bodies of information (e.g., Christmas Sermon) where the words of the speaker himself are available. Also, it is possible that someone has access to LA Times archives, for example, regarding receivership period. One of the reasons HWA felt Tkach was a worthy successor is because he saw him as a defender of the Church. PCoG (certainly) and UCoG (more tempered in its literature) are, without doubt, biased sources by definition. One thing I would like to see is a little more about the man himself. Clearly his last 10 years were important, but this bio is still currently more about WCG than about Joe Tkach (not to devalue to the excellent contribution you have made so far). User:213... 18:50, 31 October 2006 (UTC)
I wanted to know more about Tkach and unfortunately there are not many sources of info. Wikipedia had only a tiny stub. So I took whatever sources I could find and wrote the whole article myself. I agree that Feazell and Tkach Jr. are probably the best sources as they are the only ones that contain "insider" information. However, there is a conflict of interest as they are currently leading the WCG. Reading Tkach Jr. book, I get the impression that the description of Tkach Sr. is close to hagiographic, perhaps not surprisingly. A book by a neutral biographer-historian would be the best source in my opinion. In the absence of such research work, I took all sources, pro- and con- Tkach. Concerning your edits, many thanks, they definitely improved the article. Tkach Jr.'s book does provide some details of Tkach Sr.'s role in defending the WCG during the receivership period so I will add some text on that. Concerning the coverage of the article, I think we are limited by the sources we have which mainly covers his tenure leading the WCG. Trechak does provide additional details of his early years, but it is difficult to separate commentary/hearsay from fact. So I chose not to include those details for the moment. RelHistBuff 09:13, 1 November 2006 (UTC)
Bravo! User:213... 11:50, 1 November 2006 (UTC)

From Jebbrady to Realhistbuff[edit]

I am aware of a book that has just come out called Raising the Ruins by Stephen Flurry. It purports to document in detail the transformation of the Worldwide Church of God under Joseph Tkach, basing its narrative solely on court documents--depositions, WCG internal memos and emails, testimonies, etc.. and all other documents gathered through discovery during the court trial between the Worldwide Church of God under Joseph Tkach Jr. and the Philadelphia Church of God (PCG). It is extensively footnoted.

Apparently the lawyers for the Worldwide under Tkach Jr. tried to keep these documents from being made public. They did this by intially offering to sell to the PCG the copyrights of Armstrong's books and booklets only on the condition that the PCG surrender these documents. Amazingly, Gerald Flurry, the head of the PCG, immediately informed them that that demand was a deal breaker, and to prepare for further litigation, even though Tkach and the WCG had already won their appeal on the Mystery of the Ages case with the subsequent PCG request to be heard by the Supreme Court being initially denied. Even more amazing, within hours the WCG relented and sold the copyrights anyway.

Are you aware of this book and what implication does this body of tremendous, fabulous source material have for this article?

I'm kind of surprised that this is not being discussed at all on this page. It should be discussed out in the open, and if it isn't, something is wrong.

69.115.161.123Jebbrady

—Preceding unsigned comment added by 69.115.161.123 (talkcontribs) 06:26, 21 December 2006

Must Provide Legitimate Citation or Delete[edit]

Gentlemen, you have an unequivocal, extremely broad statement that Herbert W. Armstrong was receiving regular "medical treatments" without citation or specifics (He had ruled that certain types of non-medicinal care like setting of broken bones was not the same as seeking medical treatment).

You also make a similarly unequivocal statement that Armstrong, on his deathbed, said the healing doctrine needed revision. Some might say this statement, especially appearing in an encyclopedia, "fails to pass the laugh test". In any case, this assertion was not cited, but presumably came from Tkach's book, Transformed by Truth. See the court case documents listed in Raising the Ruins in order to assess his credibility as a source for an encyclopedia article. Even without that, simple common sense dictates that such a statement is totally unfit for an encyclopedia article.

Be advised that the medical treatment statement will remain deleted until it is brought into NPOV in the manner I alluded to. The "deathbed doctrinal change" statement, which came from a self serving, unproveable myth concocted and espoused by the WCG leadership to justify doctrnal changes, will remain deleted. 67.80.157.45 21:10, 1 January 2007 (UTC)Jebbrady

Pronunciation[edit]

Can someone please add the phonetic pronunciation of Tkach's name? I doubt that an uninformed reader (like myself) would be able to pronounce his name from the spelling alone! Wikipeterproject 07:32, 3 January 2007 (UTC)

Not sure of the phonetic conventions but here goes... tuh-kotch or t'kotch was how it was always said when I attended WCG. I knoow i should register as a user, or at least use tildas at the end of my message but I can't find them on the keyboard...therefore (MESSAGE ENDS)

Should it really be an /ɒ/? Now most American accents merge /ɒ/ and /ɑ(ː)/, but which would be the proper pronunciation in an accent without this merger? 1700-talet (talk) 12:54, 16 March 2014 (UTC)

Is the Heading "Tkach's Reforms" Religious Discrimination?[edit]

The heading "Tkach's Reforms" is not NPOV, and at the very least puts forth the strong appearance of religious discrimination, especially when the word, "changes" is available and is obviously far more neutral. And Of course, some people wouldn't characterize the changes as "reforms" at all. More importantly for the reputation of Wikipedia is the avoidance of the appearance of religion bashing or religious bigotry. This heading will not return. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 67.80.157.45 (talk) 17:52, 3 January 2007

The use of "reform" or "reformation" is NPOV. In the context of organisational change, the implementation of new strategy or direction and certainly in changes in doctrine and direction of a religious movement, "reform" is the common language. The Wiktionary definition of reformation includes an intended improvement. I don't know anything at all about Tkach's changes, but I am guessing that they were at least intended as improvements. I think reform can stay in the heading. Wikipeterproject 23:54, 3 January 2007 (UTC)

I'll start by pointing out that the common usage of "reform" to describe change within a religious organization has always been a flawed term, and the pointing out of the common banality of a flawed device is no argument for it's retention.

That the term "reform" means that it simply was "intended" and that therefore justifies using the term, must mean that it wouldn't be an outrage in your estimation to say that the inquisition was an attempt to "reform" the relgious landscape of Europe (after all that was the intention from the Popes' perspective), or that the Nazis were reforming the ethnic make-up of Europe via the Holocaust.

Second, to bring up the common usage of "reform" in describing changes in doctrine or direction of a religious movement or organizational as a justification for the terms usage in this article is specious: We are talking about a contemporary, sensitive religious issue (especially in this case) not changes relagated to the distant, misty ruins of time and place, where the "reforms" made have since reached virtual universal agreement as to their necessity or quality; rather, we are talking about a recent event with people on all sides still living, and changes involving what some believe was the tyranical "betrayal" of a cherished set of religious beliefs.

Overall, whether or not "reform" is common usage in organizational change or in religion is immaterial as far as upholding the credibility of Wikipedia is concerned.

To say that "reforms" is an appropriate description because the changes to those beliefs could be "intended improvements", as you say, is nevertheless insulting to many, and, more importantly, smacks of religious bigotry on any level you care to debate. Perhaps most importantly, it is totally unnessary, when one considers the NPOV perfection of "Doctrinal Changes Under Tkach". If you think the latter heading is so unpalatable, it begins to appear that you personanlly think the changes were "reforms".

The stakes are higher for Wkipedia's credibility, especially in light of the fact that some of the editiors of this article have been involved in edits elswhere that have taken on a strong appearance of religious bigotry.

If you have a problem with that and wish to obstruct the replacement of "reforms" with "changes", I'll be happy to explain to the proper staff members at Wikipedia the problems with the appearance of flagrant religious bigotry that has been developing in this article and others associated with the "Churches of God." From 07:12, 4 January 2007 (UTC)Jebbrady — Preceding unsigned comment added by 67.80.157.45 (talk) 07:12, 4 January 2007

I get your point. I had absolutely no idea who Tkach was (or that the Worldwide Churches of God existed) until I read the article a few days ago (result of a Random Article). My point is that reform/reformation is common usage in organisational/doctrinal change. It isn't common usage for changes in society. Hence the Reformation (religious) vs the Renaissance or Revolution (society/cultural). Wiktionary supports this.
As far as the POV flavour of the site, I agree that it is anything but neutral. I also note that the word "reform" is scattered throughout the document, including the section we are talking about. Some of the statements in which the word is used are very POV and these should be changed, so that the article highlights the nature and intent of the reform (or change!) and gives a balanced analysis of their impact and outcome. Doing that makes the use of the word reform or change less critical, because the article will explain the outcome of the action and readers can make their own judgement, in accordance with their personal worldview.
In summary, I don't think the word reform is incorrectly used. I do think the article needs work to remove POV, so that the 'reforms' are explained and analysed in a NPOV manner.
Having said all that, I'm happy to leave the wording as it stands. Would encourage you - or someone else with knowledge about the changes to consider rewording the article to give a balanced explanation and analysis of them. Wikipeterproject 11:22, 4 January 2007 (UTC)

I appreciate your agreeable spirit.

One final note: You pointed out a couple times the "technical correctness" (my words) of the usage of the term "reform". Please realize that I've been reasoning with you as one who possesses a degree in history and has always had an interest in the history of religion in Europe. We both know that "Reformation" includes infinitely more than some doctrinal changes: it is a term that means the wholesale altering or bringing into a new "form" (hence "reformation") of the religious (and subsequently the political) landscape of Europe. To the common man who reads wikipedia of which I consider myself one, the term "reformation' means something different than "reform". But even the standard, esoteric usage of "reform" among historians and intellectuals which you also alluded to, which to them may imply any "change", or "change that was intended to be reform", doesn't change the fact that THE APPARENT MEANING of the word "reform" to the average person who reads Wikipedia--or who will use it to find out what happened to the church in question--causes them to automatically think that something was WRONG that needed to be changed.

Therefore this term's usage as a heading is intended to preemptively introduce prejudice into the mind of the reader, prepping them for the reading of the actual details of the text beneath--you of course mentioned the heavy POV of the article. What am I implying? I'll go one step beyond simple POV problems and add this: I have been amazed at the lack of discussion on this page concerning the new book Raising the Ruins, out for three months now, which uses court documents obtained through discovery in the WCG vs PCG legal battle ( over fair use of H. W. Armstrong’s work's). I put up a post over two weeks ago challenging the editors to discuss this book in the open, and still no response. I've combed this discussion page up and down, and not a single reference to it besides mine. The citations in that book of internal WCG memos and emails, along with court testimony from WCG employees, forms a crystal clear picture of a group of leaders who simply hijacked a religious organization, "...destroyed (its) work, sold the Church's assets, and hoarded the money (see back jacket of Raising the Ruins)." The WCG leadership evidently tried to keep those documents from being made public, even using the copyright deal they struck as leverage (it appears that ultimately the PCG refused to surrender their right to use the documents, so then the WCG decided to sell the copyrights to HWA's works to the PCG anyway, taking the money and running--3 million dollars.)

One gets the distinct, unsavory impression that the editors of this page are using Wikipedia as a platform to spin their own self-serving version of events--perhaps because they were involved in those events--to manipulate public opinion and the rank and file of their own membership. After all, the WCG certainly would even now have a PR department. (Incidentally, some in the leadership of the WCG are famous for their "scholarly" approach to things, and this forum suits their abilities to a tee)

The use of "reform" really amounts to the editors taking advantage of the flawed, quirkiness of the English language and combining that with esoteric historiography to justify it, for the purpose of, by all appearances--especially given the bigotry displayed by some of the same editors in other articles--self-serving manipulation of public opinion. It becomes a subtle form of brainwashing, or psychological manipulation, and I intend to do my very best to thwart it.

I hope you agree and will join in, and perhaps even read Raising the Ruins. From 67.80.157.45 19:37, 4 January 2007 (UTC)Jebrady

If what you say is right, they were quite some reforms - hijacking, destruction, mismanagement! :-) Perhaps they can be added to http://www.dailykos.com/story/2006/9/5/165051/5891 .
In the 1950's China's Mao Tse Tung introduced reforms:
His first act on coming to power was to seize the land from the landlords and give it to the peasants. One and a half million landlords were killed in the early 1950s in Mao's "land reforms". Campaigns followed against the "Rightists" or intellectuals whom Mao feared would oppose him. Hundreds of thousands of teachers, lecturers and professionals died. In the "Great Leap Forward" Mao mobilised the entire population to kill sparrows because they ate grain and to build furnaces to manufacture home-made steel. Both campaigns failed and, because peasant labour had been diverted from agriculture, the harvests failed too. 43 million Chinese died of starvation as a result of Mao's disastrous policies in the late 50s and early 60s. (http://www.teleimages.com/program.php?id=7&pt=The%25Secret%25Life%25of%25Chairman%25Mao).
Certainly some crazy and/or self-centred "reformers" out there!
Good luck with your efforts in getting this article balanced and NPOV.
Wikipeterproject 01:59, 6 January 2007 (UTC)

Thanks for your comments overall, including the Mao passage, and for having an open mind, being so flexible within our dialogue. Take care, and thanks also for the well-wishes. 67.80.157.45 07:55, 9 January 2007 (UTC)From Jebbrady

Likewise! Nothing wrong with some robust debate, is there! Cheers, Wikipeterproject 11:00, 9 January 2007 (UTC)

Cheers! 67.80.157.45 00:26, 20 January 2007 (UTC)jebbrady

Hi, after the changes in the WCG had occurred, some of the leadership were calling it the second reformation. If you research about the 5 year plan that took place in 1988/89 timeframe you may find that there was an intent to change the teachings of the church since actually prior to that time. Cheers. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 172.190.143.112 (talk) 07:00, 25 January 2007

Yes, that thoroughly establisehd and verified by the outstanding source material cited in Raising th eRuins. The seeds of change were germinating before H.W. Armstrong died, and continued on into the 1980's, i.e. even after HWA's "housecleaning" and expulsions of the late 70's. From 67.80.157.45 18:53, 5 February 2007 (UTC)Jebbrady

Raising the Ruins Increases Its Visibility[edit]

I've become aware that Raising the Ruins is now being given prominent open face displays in major book stores like Barnes and Noble, and is now getting into the airport shops. This development has come much sooner than anticipated, so we are going to have to really scramble to get this article up to date. This book, as mentioned above, uses internal WCG memos and emails obtained through discovery, along with courtroom testimony of WCG officials----by far the best source material this article has ever had at it's disposal--to catalogue the transformation of the Worldwide Church of God.

Again, this has all developed so rapidly--the book has only been in print for about 2 1/2 months, and already it's being given "open face" display, and is already appearing at airport Barnes and Nobles. We are going to have to really scramble to get this article up to date.

Any ideas or comments are welcome and encouraged.

The fourth pargraph after the (new) heading "Tkach's doctrinal Changes" must now be totally rewritten or deleted. A discussion on this must begin immediately. In the meantime, I will be working on an up to date, well-cited improvment to that passage, with the aim of inserting it by the middle of January.

67.80.157.45 18:36, 3 January 2007 (UTC)Jebbrady

We Have No Choice: Obsolete Passage Must Be Immediately Deleted, and Rebuilt From Scratch[edit]

In light of chapters five (http://www.thetrumpet.com/index.php?page=article&id=2852 ) and six of Raising the Ruins, courtesy of court documents from WCG vs PCG, the last two paragraphs of the section "Doctrinal Changes Under Tkach" are obsolete at best and, at worse, pretty embarrassing. Theses passages unequivically argue that the changes were not planned and germinated before Armstrongs death, but that "in fact, the reforms were initially driven by a reexamination of church literature that was mainly spurred by questions posed by church ministers and members."

This is now indisputably in direct oppostion to documented fact, based on the best sources a historian could ever dream of: Internal WCG memos and emails obtained through discovery, and employee testimonies, coupled with a simple edtorial history of deletions of key passages in literature written by Armstrong even while he was still alive, but virtually blind and busy with writing Mystery of the Ages.

Please everyone, purchase the book and read the two chapters, and start an open dialogue on this page as to how to rebuild the section without POV veering one way or the other. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 67.80.157.45 (talk) 05:36, 5 January 2007

Still No Dialogue on Raising the Ruins[edit]

This book has been out since early November and there is still no discussion anywhere on this page from the regular editors on what it means for this article and how to incorporate this fabulous new source material into the article. The book is selling for less than $15, and is available through Amazon.com, as well as Borders, Ingram, and Barnes and Noble, so there is no reason for the editors of this page to not be eating it up as a source. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 67.80.157.45 (talk) 08:36, 5 January 2007

Hard to follow the Talk page[edit]

I have wathced this artilce for a few months now from the time a peer review was requested. It is still on my watchlist and I visit the page occassionally. I noticed a bit of dialogue on the Talk page but in my opinion the dialogue is getting very difficult to follow. Apparently a new book has come out (Raising the Ruins) and may be a source of information. Can we expect that based on the title of this book the book itself will not be biased? I did not know anything about Tkach before seeing this article a few months ago but I was familiar with Armstrong, Worldwide Church of God, the publication The Plain Truth', had heard some of the radio broadcasts a few years ago, etc. In fact it was interesting to read what had happened because some of these things had dissappeared from view and I had wondered where they went. In any case the talk page now has me confused and I do not understand what are the current issues? Is the discussion regarding the article NPOV or is it about How and whether information from the recently published book might be used? Mfields1 01:23, 6 January 2007 (UTC)

Thanks for your interest. Both issues, the POV and the new information form Raising the Ruins, are critically important. As for the potential bias of any book, the encyclopedia article writer/ editor (and hopefully most historians) always have a hierarchy of the kinds of sources they uses to build from and cite. Primary sources are the best source for the author, and there is a heirarchy within that even. In terms hierarchy of sources and this article on TKach, I don't think anyone can think of a type of primary source material better than that used and cited exaustively throughout the book Raising the Ruins: That is, Tkach's WCG employees' testimony in a court of law--under penalty of perjury, and internal WCG memos and emails and minutes obtained through the legal discovery process of the court trial (click on that link for a good, succinct Wikipedia definition of "discovery"). Raising the Ruins cost me less that $13 and is available everywhere, so check out whether or not it presents "the facts" in a fair or convincing way (it is a fascinating, riveting read by the way--mixed with some humor, and well written). You'll see, through common sense, that internal WCG memos and emails and court testimony, and a simple editng history of the doctrinal changes to books and booklets all cannot lie or spin, and no amount of emotional and intellectual investment on one side of the debate by the author will take away from the value of such fabulous source material. One final note, study carefully the source material used thus far in this article (mentioned at times on this discussion page by the editors), and you'll see that it is making extensive use of the writings (versions of events) of the people who apparently have the MOST TO HIDE, including a book written by Joseph Tkach Jr. on the subject of the transformation. These books of course are their personal accounts--hearsay--not based on courtroom testimony and documents obtained through the discovery process. As you will see, there is a clash between their version of events, and what eventually came out in the court trial--things they probably hoped would never see the light of day--or perhaps, unfortuanately, were to brazen to care as long as they were able to hoard the church's financial assets.

Thanks again for your interest. I encourage you to read the book and help clean up this article! 67.80.157.45 08:50, 9 January 2007 (UTC)Jebbrady

The Historian's Hierarchy of Source Material[edit]

When it comes to the potential bias of any book as a secondary source, the encyclopedia article writer/ editor (and hopefully most historians) always have a hierarchy of the kinds of sources they uses to build from and cite. Primary sources are the best source for the author, and there is a heirarchy within that even. In terms hierarchy of sources and this article on TKach, I don't think anyone can think of a type of primary source material better than that used and cited exaustively throughout the book Raising the Ruins: That is, Tkach's WCG employees' testimony in a court of law--under penalty of perjury, and internal WCG memos and emails and minutes obtained through the legal discovery process of the court trial (click on that link for a good, succinct Wikipedia definition of "discovery"). Raising the Ruins cost me less that $13 and is available everywhere, so check out whether or not it presents "the facts" in a fair or convincing way (it is a fascinating, riveting read by the way--mixed with some humor, and well written). You'll see, through common sense, that internal WCG memos and emails and court testimony, and a simple editng history of the doctrinal changes to books and booklets all cannot lie or spin, and no amount of emotional and intellectual investment on one side of the debate by the author will take away from the value of such fabulous source material. One final note, study carefully the source material used thus far in this article (mentioned at times on this discussion page by the editors), and you'll see that it is making extensive use of the writings (versions of events) of the people who apparently have the MOST TO HIDE, including a book written by Joseph Tkach Jr. on the subject of the transformation. These books of course are their personal accounts--hearsay--not based on courtroom testimony and documents obtained through the discovery process. As you will see, there is a clash between their version of events, and what eventually came out in the court trial--things they probably hoped would never see the light of day--or perhaps, unfortuanately, were to brazen to care as long as they were able to hoard the church's financial assets.

If someone wants to take the time to get photocopies of the actual court documents for the Philadelphia Church of God, we could cite them directly. We may be able to do that anyway by using the endnores of raisinfg the Ruins--I'll havr to check inot that (As a history major, I was able to do that if I remember right). Regardless, the citations in Raising the Ruins are by FAR the best thing that has ever happened to the accuracy of this article. 67.80.157.45 09:05, 9 January 2007 (UTC)Jebbrady

Chaptor Five of Raising the Ruins Available Online[edit]

Raising the Ruins has apparently been serialized on a website called thetrumpet.com, with Chaptor Five newly available for the next month or so. This chaptor was recently cited by me as making a major rewrite of the section "Doctrinal Changes Under Tkach" an imperitative. http://www.thetrumpet.com/index.php?page=article&id=2852 A fascinating reas for anyone interested in the history and tranformation of the Old WCG — Preceding unsigned comment added by 67.80.157.45 (talk) 02:44, 13 January 2007

Fair use rationale for Image:Tkach3bHWA.gif[edit]

Nuvola apps important.svg

Image:Tkach3bHWA.gif is being used on this article. I notice the image page specifies that the image is being used under fair use but there is no explanation or rationale as to why its use in this Wikipedia article constitutes fair use. In addition to the boilerplate fair use template, you must also write out on the image description page a specific explanation or rationale for why using this image in each article is consistent with fair use.

Please go to the image description page and edit it to include a fair use rationale. Using one of the templates at Wikipedia:Fair use rationale guideline is an easy way to insure that your image is in compliance with Wikipedia policy, but remember that you must complete the template. Do not simply insert a blank template on an image page.

If there is other fair use media, consider checking that you have specified the fair use rationale on the other images used on this page. Note that any fair use images lacking such an explanation can be deleted one week after being tagged, as described on criteria for speedy deletion. If you have any questions please ask them at the Media copyright questions page. Thank you.

BetacommandBot (talk) 02:31, 12 February 2008 (UTC)

Fair use rationale for Image:Tkach5preaching.gif[edit]

Nuvola apps important.svg

Image:Tkach5preaching.gif is being used on this article. I notice the image page specifies that the image is being used under fair use but there is no explanation or rationale as to why its use in this Wikipedia article constitutes fair use. In addition to the boilerplate fair use template, you must also write out on the image description page a specific explanation or rationale for why using this image in each article is consistent with fair use.

Please go to the image description page and edit it to include a fair use rationale. Using one of the templates at Wikipedia:Fair use rationale guideline is an easy way to insure that your image is in compliance with Wikipedia policy, but remember that you must complete the template. Do not simply insert a blank template on an image page.

If there is other fair use media, consider checking that you have specified the fair use rationale on the other images used on this page. Note that any fair use images lacking such an explanation can be deleted one week after being tagged, as described on criteria for speedy deletion. If you have any questions please ask them at the Media copyright questions page. Thank you.

BetacommandBot (talk) 02:31, 12 February 2008 (UTC)

Fair use rationale for Image:Tkachw1.gif[edit]

Nuvola apps important.svg

Image:Tkachw1.gif is being used on this article. I notice the image page specifies that the image is being used under fair use but there is no explanation or rationale as to why its use in this Wikipedia article constitutes fair use. In addition to the boilerplate fair use template, you must also write out on the image description page a specific explanation or rationale for why using this image in each article is consistent with fair use.

Please go to the image description page and edit it to include a fair use rationale. Using one of the templates at Wikipedia:Fair use rationale guideline is an easy way to insure that your image is in compliance with Wikipedia policy, but remember that you must complete the template. Do not simply insert a blank template on an image page.

If there is other fair use media, consider checking that you have specified the fair use rationale on the other images used on this page. Note that any fair use images lacking such an explanation can be deleted one week after being tagged, as described on criteria for speedy deletion. If you have any questions please ask them at the Media copyright questions page. Thank you.

BetacommandBot (talk) 02:32, 12 February 2008 (UTC)