Talk:La Luz del Mundo

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RfC: Should the undue weight tag be removed from the Discrimination section?[edit]

In this edit editor Fordx12 added an {{undue-section}} tag to the "Silver Wolf Ranch" section, which was originally written by editor RidjalA. In response (see this edit) RidjalA placed the same tag on the "Discrimination" section, which had been written by Fordx12. RidjalA's edit summary reads "This section reads too much like a person's vent rather than an academic/research based finding." After some reverting back and forth, only the Discrimination section remained with the tag.

Should the tag be removed from the Discrimination section? If not, how can that section be improved? Ajaxfiore (talk) 03:27, 26 August 2013 (UTC)

  • Yes The tag should be removed. I think the tag is unsubstantiated as sources show that church members suffer discrimination due to their distinctive dress code, strict moral conduct, and different theology. Ajaxfiore (talk) 03:31, 26 August 2013 (UTC)
  • No I don't think the tag should be removed yet. While it's established that the group has suffered discrimination, the whole section is very one-sided, making it seem as though everyone around them is discriminating all of the time. There is no balancing mention of cases where people have spoken or acted against the discrimination, or been supportive in other ways, or communities where church members have been accepted. Also, the word sect, meaning "a religious group which has separated from a larger group", is not particularly derogatory. —Anne Delong (talk) 01:41, 20 September 2013 (UTC)
    Note: The word "secta" in Spanish can either mean "sect" or "cult" depending on the context. In this context, the word is used in the pejorative sense, i.e. cult. In English, the world sect has a pejorative connotations when used in Christian groups, as the group is assumed to have heretical beliefs. Ajax F¡oretalk 16:52, 11 October 2013 (UTC)
    Comment: Thanks Anne Delong. Regarding the one-sidedness, I have been able to find that generally church members have a reputation of been hard workers, having high moral standards, and defending religious freedom. Should some of this be included in the discrimination section, or in a different part of the article. The Hermosa Provincia section mentions that the church was awarded a white flag for eradicating illiteracy. The Allegations of potential for mass suicide section does have academics standing up for it. How can all of this be used to improve the section? Ajax F¡oretalk 16:52, 11 October 2013 (UTC)
Well it seems to me that the problem is with the title of the section. How can you have a neutrally written section called "discrimination"? If the section had a more neutral title, maybe "Interactions with non-church members" or "Involvement in wider society" (well, that's probably not right, I don't know the topic well enough), then information about both bad and good interaction could both be in the section: Incidences of discrimination, cases where neighbours cooperated, good and bad press editorials, friction with particular religious groups, whatever comes up in the reliable sources. —Anne Delong (talk) 20:54, 11 October 2013 (UTC)
Anne Delong (sorry to tag you, I don't know if you are watching this page). Sections titled "Interactions with non-church members" or "Involvement in wider society" would probably become too big because they would have to include the Controversy section and whatever future information can be dumped there. Would "Opposition" be a better title? Ajax F¡oretalk 21:27, 11 October 2013 (UTC)
Just a question to help clear up what you mean. Persecution is used as a title for the persecution of Jehovah's Witnesses Persecution of Jehovah's Witnesses, how would this case be different? Persecution is also part of the name of the section in the main Jehovah's Witnesses article (rated GA). Fordx12 (talk) 22:23, 11 October 2013 (UTC)
Yes, I see what you mean about my suggested topic being to all-encompassing. I'm not sure that "Opposition" covers it. I can be opposed to something without engaging in discriminatory acts. What about "Discrimination and tolerance" or "Discrimination vs acceptance". You mention above certain reputations that the church members have. If you have examples of people speaking in a nasty way against church members, you can balance that by including examples where people spoke well of them (attributing those qualities). If you keep the "discrimination" title, and the section talks about discriminatory acts, to create a balance you would need to mention acts of nondiscrimination in that section. For example, if they are considered hard workers, are they being hired on that basis in some location? If in one area the church members are ostracized, in another location do their neighbours work with them? I am sorry if I am not making sense; while I think I have a good handle on "neutral point of view", I am not familiar enough with this specific situation to know if my suggestions are practical. Sorry, I will not be available for comment any more today - have some commitments. (sorry again, this was an edit conflict with the previous comment and I have no time now to rewrite) —Anne Delong (talk) 22:51, 11 October 2013 (UTC)
Thanks, that is a much more clear explanation. If what you propose is done, then the title would have to be changed to reflect the new information. Fordx12 (talk) 01:22, 12 October 2013 (UTC)
Thanks for your help Anne. I don't have much time either, perhaps Fordx12 does. Another way to deal with this would be to move some parts of the Discrimination section to other sections of the article. The beating and imprisonment of the founder could be moved to the History part of the article; the events of 1997 could be moved to the Controversy section; and the discrimination of women could be moved to the section on Women. The rest is more or less balanced, and could be renamed Religious Freedom/Tolerance and could include how the church has asked for religious freedom and how society and the government have responded. Ajax F¡oretalk 02:31, 12 October 2013 (UTC)

Reliability of El abuso sexual como rito religioso[edit]

An anonymous editor keeps adding the following sentences to the article:

" Gender Psychologist and Anthropologist Sylvia Marcos, however, performed her own research and published that the women had indeed been raped by Samuel Joaquin Flores in ritualistic contexts."

"Gender Psychologist and Anthropologist Sylvia Marcos, however, performed her own research and published that the women's allegations of rape by Samuel Joaquin Flores were legitimate and that they happened in ritualistic contexts."

The anon acknowledged that the first one was a violation of BLP and "Changed wording to comply with BLP".[1] However, both sentences, in sum and substance, say the same thing and are a violation of BLP. The word "however" serves to discredit the previous sentence while giving undue credibility to this sentence.

The sentence contains an assertion of culpability while Wikipedia policies state that "a person accused of a crime is presumed innocent until proven guilty and convicted by a court of law." Sylvia Marcos is not a court of law and cannot be used to declare a person guilty of a crime.

The other problem with the source is its reliability. The article was supposedly written by Sylvia Marcos. I say supposedly because Marcos does not list it in either of the two curricula vitae she has on her blog.[2][3] The article begins by labeling La Luz del Mundo a "destructive sect" and its director a "cultic leader". The basic assumption of the article is that Joaquín is guilty. This assumption is neither questioned nor supported because it is assumed to be true by the author. The article does not attempt to determine the "legitimacy" of the accusations, it merely accepts them as fact. The article claims that the parents think the leader "does them a favor by choosing their children for his intimate service", but never interviews any of the parents. The article does not include point of view of any church members. The article was published in 2000, and claims that Joaquín "has so far refused to give explanations to the Mexican society". Here we see the same tactics employed by Erdely: accuse and judge in the media instead of resorting to the pertinent authorities. Yet in that same website we find a 1997 letter by Joaquín in which he denies the accusations and condemns sexual abuse.[4] I think it is clear that the article is not a reliable source, especially not for assertions of culpability. Ajax F¡oretalk 23:27, 6 October 2013 (UTC)

Is there a link to the alleged document itself, or is it perhaps listed as being published somewhere where the material could be reviewed? John Carter (talk) 23:34, 6 October 2013 (UTC)
I forgot I reverted the anon, the document in question can be found here. Ajax F¡oretalk 23:38, 6 October 2013 (UTC)
OK, I can't read that, unfortunately, but it seems to be a subpage of, another page I can't read because it isn't in English. I guess the question might become whether that site, and, apparently, journal(?) it might relate to, qualifies as reliable. If I could read it, maybe I could say something. Otherwise, maybe WP:RSN might be a place to go. I do not necessarily disagree with you, but I can't read it one way or another to know. Unfortunately. I could see, maybe, in some cases, an academic choosing not to include such a brief article in their c.v, particularly if maybe they have later chosen to change their opinions, or maybe, like has happened in a few other cases, maybe relied upon or used student work, which later might have been found faulty or fraudulent. I certainly would not at this point think that it necessarily meets WP:WEIGHT for this article, but that is a different matter than whether it meets WP:RS. John Carter (talk) 23:50, 6 October 2013 (UTC)
I see. I haven't gone through the whole website, and there might as well be good stuff in there. I rather focus on this specific article. The website is essentially dead though, it's fifth volume was never published.[5] As stated elsewhere in this talk page, it is perhaps because one of its editors, César Mascareñas de los Santos, was arrested in connection with the Casitas del Sur case[6]. Another editor, Jorge Erdely Graham, is wanted on similar charges.[7] Ajax F¡oretalk 00:42, 7 October 2013 (UTC)
Um, that recitation of warrants and arrests sounds kinda familiar to me. This site has maybe been discussed before, or those individuals? Under the circumstances, that material makes the article possibly even less likely to meet WEIGHT requirements, and for all I know might even call into question whether the author actually wrote the article. I dunno, but I don't think felony fugitives and arrestees are necessarily counted as being completely above-the-board editors, y'know? Barring some serious discussion of this source elsewhere, I really can't see it included in the main article as it stands now. John Carter (talk) 00:50, 7 October 2013 (UTC)
The website, and more specifically the individuals have in fact been extensively discussed in this talk page. Should I still proceed to WP:RSN? Ajax F¡oretalk 00:56, 7 October 2013 (UTC)
For this article, the matter under discussion is whether it is a reliable source for material of sufficient weight that it should be included in this article. In general, the site might contain several reliable sources, and the article itself might be sufficiently important for a subarticle or related article, but at this point I honestly can't see any reason to believe it is of such significance that it should be included in this article as per WEIGHT, whether it meets RS or not. John Carter (talk) 01:01, 7 October 2013 (UTC)
Okay. I'll wait and see what the anonymous editor says. Ajax F¡oretalk 01:10, 7 October 2013 (UTC)
Here are my two cents: Ajaxfiore’s suspicions about the authenticity of Dr. Sylvia Marco’s article about sexual abuse are unfounded. I found a newspaper article in respected Mexican newspaper La Jornada with a previous version (1997) of the same article, signed by her. The name isSilenciada violacion ritual: la sombria luz del poder religioso. What appeared in Revista Academica para el Estudio de las Religiones ( RAER ) in 2001 was obviously an expanded, scholarly version of the newspaper article. Sylvia Marcos RAER article has been cited as reference in sociology books. Here is one published by CLACSO.See page 107. There is no reason to suspect its authenticity.
As far as the source itself goes,this is what I found: RAER is a peer-reviewed journal indexed in Sociological Abstracts and in the scientific database of Mexico’s main university, UNAM, Latindex. All volumes of RAER are in Oxford, Cambridge, Harvard University and University of California library catalogues. I assume librarians would know how to qualify bona fide academic journals before acquiring them, especially if they are periodicals. These ares typically used for reference and research.
The journal is obviously a reliable source of information regardless of allegations against one or two members of the Editorial Board. The board is composed of five scholars, not two, plus the allegations are unrelated to their work as editors. In any case, allegations are many years after the Sylvia Marcos article was published in RAER so I cannot see how her work would be tainted. The author's viewpoint in the article is echoed by other respected anthropologists like Paloma Escalante, Elio Masferrer and other reliable sources that have published on the matter. (talk) 10:50, 9 October 2013 (UTC)
If you can produce those other sources, please do so. Otherwise, I believe my own concerns, particularly regarding WP:WEIGHT, would still be relevant, and, unfortunately, I have seen nothing yet which to my eyes clearly indicates that the material would necessarily meet that standard. John Carter (talk) 16:35, 10 October 2013 (UTC)
If the source in question was originally published in a newspaper it is definitely not a research paper, because newspapers are for opinion pieces and news. The difference between the original and the version at RAER, is that the version at RAER has sources that the original did not have. I am not comfortable using an opinion piece that has been slightly modified to make it look like a research paper. That would perhaps explain why Marcos did not include it in her CV. The article still does not satisfy WEIGHT to be include here.
Regarding the reliability of RAER, I would need buckets of salt to believe material published and edited by Mascareñas, a man accused of falsifying doctor's notes to justify the absence of abducted children. The name of the journal in English is "Academic Journal for the Study of Religion", yet Mascareñas is not a "respected anthropologist" but a medical doctor.[8] We have a similar situation with Erdely, who is also accused of being involved in the Casitas del Sur case, and whose doctorate in philosophy is from an unaccredited, online institution. Elio Masferrer seems to be the most reputable of the editors, but he received his PhD in anthropology in 2002,[9] while publication of RAER began in 1997. Moreover, RAER's publisher 'Publicaciones para el Estudio Científico de las Religiones' was also founded in 1997. All the works by this publisher are either authored, or co-authored by Erdely. The only exception to this is a very short collection of texts Joaquín García Icazbalceta which is hosted at Erdely's ICM website.[10] I find it strange that a publisher is essentially centered around Erdely. It lacks a website and its email address is[11] Here we must note that Erdely had his own publishing house 'Ministerios Bíblicos de Restauración A.C.' which vanished right around the time 'Publicaciones para el Estudio Científico de las Religiones' came around. As for Lourdes Argüelles, I have not been able to find publications relating to Christian denominations or in Spanish by her prior to getting involved with RAER in 2002.[12] Her only publications to RAER have been co-authored with Erdely.[13] Argüelles, Erdely, and Mascareñas are all involved in Erdely's anticult group Instituto Cristiano de Mexico ICM. Argüelles lists ICM as Centro de Informacion sobre Sectas, Religiones, y Nuevos Movimientos Religiosos, but the link is to ICM's website[14] Ajax F¡oretalk 17:11, 10 October 2013 (UTC)
I have mentioned this before, looking at the source html for, one finds words such as the following in its keywords attribute: "britney spears", "tv", "google", "youtube", "gol". These false keywords seem to have been unscrupulously placed there in order to draw people to the website which says a lot about their honesty and professionalism. Ajax F¡oretalk 17:22, 10 October 2013 (UTC)
Yeah, when I think of britney spears, google, youtube, gol and tv, the first thing that comes to mind is, of course, the academic study of religion. Riiight. ;) Heaven's Gate (religious group) was I think noted for google bombing of that type, and it does raise serious questions whether the source is one that can really be called "academic", or might just be, like a lot of other websites, a page (and/or print journal) created for some other purpose. John Carter (talk) 17:29, 10 October 2013 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────I read the article and the newspaper version. The article is just the newspaper version with footnotes. Not very economic. Apparently Sylvia Marcos also made "paper" on Islamic connections to the idea of an "Apostle." Funny, I didn't know Gender Anthropologists knew so much about religious history. The editorial board seems more like a board for a medical journal, not on that deals in social sciences (which is lacking in Phd's in the social sciences). What's even more bothersome is the use of the word "Cult" (Secta in Spanish) by so called anthropologists when in fact, the anthropological community has disowned such claims as a profession. While Mexicans may consider Masfarer as a "TV expert" I honestly can't say that I have run into many papers or books written by him when compared to other anthropologists. Then again, my field is history, not anthropology. He is barely ever quoted or referenced in papers done by other Social "Scientists" (Anthropologists, Historians, Sociologists) regarding La Luz del Mundo. His bias, is in fact, pointed out by another anthropologist and his writings ignored by one of the very few historians who have written about the Church. Just my thoughts. Fordx12 (talk) 00:58, 11 October 2013 (UTC)

Thank you all for the feedback. We have moved from a previous suspicious of forgery to corroborating that the Sylvia Marcos article on La Luz del Mundo is authentic. That’s an improvement. The discussion now is WEIGHT. I will address Carter’s reply first. Other comments like Fordx12 will take me a bit of reading because they assert things but provide no sources. It won’t take me long, tough. John Carter asks if I can produce the articles. Yes. Here is a link to anthropologist Paloma Escalante 1997-1998 research on the narratives of six persons (six women and one man) who affirm that they were raped and sexually abused by the leader as kids while they belonged to the church La Luz del Mundo: El abuso sexual y el uso del concepto simbolico del Padre. The analysis explores the themes of discourse, incest, patriarchal structures and sexual abuse, both in La Luz del Mundo and a Catholic Order called Los Legionarios de Cristo (The Legionaries of Christ). Paloma Escalante is a doctor of anthropology and has written entries about Mexican religions for encyclopaedias. She is Editor in Chief of a reputed university anthropological journal. See here. Given that Sylvia Marcos is a university professor at Claremont Graduate University and Paloma Escalante agrees in many points with Marcos, I think that a text should be included in the article saying that both anthropologists studied the allegations of sexual abuse and believed them to be authentic. They are reporting their findings and giving reasons for their conclusions. Links provided to both articles will allow the readers to make up their own mind about what happened and how it may have happened historically (not legally). The insertion of the comment I propose would balance out other commentaries and sources inserted in the current form of the article that suggest that the sexual abuse claims were bogus, conspiratorial or media hype. Balance and fair representation of all important points of view are important. (talk) 12:43, 11 October 2013 (UTC)
Argentinian anthropologist Masferrer agrees with Escalante and Sylvia Marcos. He is Director of ALER, the Latin American chapter of the International Association for the History of Religion, which depends from UNESCO. His credentials and credibility are strong. On page 79 of his study on the controversy of the sexual accusations, Elio Masferrer reports that “in controversial topics such as these, verification procedures must be very careful, but we (anthropologists) give a lot of weight to the consistency of independent and diversified alternative sources. These have been very convincing in this case.” (My own translation. Emphasis added.) The original in Spanish says: “en temas tan controvertidos los procedimientos de verificación deben ser muy cuidadosos, pero damos mucha importancia a la concordancia de fuentes alternas, independientes y diversificadas, cosas que han sido contundentes en este caso” (talk) 12:43, 11 October 2013 (UTC)
You previously said Paloma Escalante was a "respected anthropologist". Her "research" that you provided was published in 1997, at that time she only had a bachelor's degree in social anthropology.[15] She was still writing her doctoral thesis in 2012.[16] Regarding Masferrer, he is the director of Asociación Latinoamericana para el Estudio de las Religiones (ALER or Latin American Association for the Study of Religion). However, you failed to mention that Masferrer is also the founder of this ALER organization,[17] i.e. he is director not because of his merits, but because he founded it. Ajax F¡oretalk 13:24, 11 October 2013 (UTC)
I will continue to try to address pending concerns. Fordx12 vague assertion that Dr. Sylvia Marcos wrote a paper about Islamic connections to The Apostles does not appear to be accurate. Could you provide proof or a link? I could not find any reference on the Web or on her CV. Even if it existed, we would need to read it before evaluating the quality of its content. The fact is that Sylvia Marcos is a professor of Gender and Mesoamerican Religions at Claremont Graduate University She is obviously qualified. Why wouldn’t she know about a Mexico (situated in “Mesoamerica”) religion like La Luz del Mundo or any other she would chose to study and publish about? Marcos has published entries on sex, belief and customs in the Encyclopaedia of Women and World Religion ( New York: MacMillan, 2000) and many other topics. I see newspaper articles quoted as sources in the La Luz del Mundo Wikipedia entry. I don’t see why Marcos newspaper investigative report should be treated differently. Mexican newspaper La Jornada meets the requirement of a secondary source with a reputation for fact checking.
Regarding Elio Masferrers, his CV is here and speaks for itself. His are strong academic credentials. Masferrer has published many books and is quoted all over in other anthropologist’s books and journals. Whether he is seen as media expert or not is immaterial to this discussion. Elio Masferrer's reliability is not validated by my opinion or invalidated by other people's personal opinion. The prestigious International Association for the History of Religion (IAHR) validates him. He is an Officer and voting member of IAHR representing Latin America. His research on La Luz del Mundo concluded that the women who made the allegations were believable sources according to anthropological standards. That is relevant. He agrees with Sylvia Marcos and Paloma Escalante on the same point. There are other scholars who agree with them but three university professors and their respective published articles (two of them have contributed to encyclopedia entries) seem enough to establish a position and it should be fairly represented in the article. (talk) 11:36, 14 October 2013 (UTC)
I misread one of your links regarding the paper on Islam. The point I made is did sylvia write those papers? We already established, in the past in archived section that I linked in the DRN thread, that Erdely has been established as not notable enough nor reliable to make controversial claims. Several issues exist with the sources in his website "Revista Academica." We are dealing with WP:BLPCRIME here, which means that according to Wikipedia, no one is guilty until a court of law says so. So no, we can't include items where anthropologists or journalists say that there is guilt or not. Contentious sources can't be included either. I don't doubt Masfarrer's credentials, I doubt if he has the correct expertise. An Anthropologist does not specialize in saying if X or Y happened or if it is possible that they happened. That is not his expertise. His expertise is exploring culture. And at most, those crimes are possible in any religious organization, and that's what he may have intended to mean. Whether or not he personally believes there is guilt, is irrelevant as per Wikipedia standards unless the Mexican government made him a one man Judge and Jury. Any sources that are added are severely limited by the BLP policy. As far as wiki policy goes, those crimes never happened.Fordx12 (talk) 01:20, 15 October 2013 (UTC)
I am very surprised by Fordx12 saying that Elio Masferrer is not qualified to research on the practices, beliefs and history of an organization because he is an anthropologist. Why, then, is anthropologist Patricia Fortuny quoted dozens of times in the Wikipedia LLDM article? All her quotes, incidentally, reflect very positively on aspects of La Luz del Mundo. I don’t see you objecting to or editing those. Fortuny makes good contributions and provides balance but she is only an anthropologist, and as accomplished as Masferrer. See her CV here.
Masferrer is well qualified to publish research on historical matters. He heads the Latin American chapter of the International Association for the History of Religion, funded by UNESCO. Read his CV here. He is a university professor on Etnohistory. You are assuming that he is a cultural anthropologist but all indicates that he is a social anthropologist. I have mentioned twice already that Masferrer’s article does not pass judgment on legal issues or guilt. But it is not a “personal opinion”, either. He is writing as an anthropologist on the data about the sexual abuse accusations against La Luz del Mundo leader and finds the sources of information –the women alleging rape– to be quality sources. In its current form, the Wikipedia article already has sources insinuating that the women were not believable or that it was a conspiracy of lies. Let’s balance the information and fairly represent all positions.
If Fordx12 is so adamantly opposed to Revista Academica as a source, I found that Elio Masferrer published an expanded version of the same article on his doctoral dissertation. How does that sound? Dissertations are peer-reviewed. Not good enough yet? That information was also published in 2004 as a book on Mexican contemporary religions, co-edited by the UNAM –Mexico’s most notable public university. See the chapter “Religión, poder y sexualidad. El cuestionamiento de líderes religiosos en 1997” pages 151-177. How is that for an editorial compromise on the source of Masferrer’s article and including his position? Let me know your answer. (talk) 11:50, 16 October 2013 (UTC)

FAC To-do list[edit]

It would be great to get this article to Featured Article status, or at least Good Article status. I have created a To-do list of what I believe needs to be done to improve the article:

  1. Copy editing
    1. A request has been placed at Guild of Copyeditors
  2. Peer-review
    1. A request has been placed at WP:PR
  3. Incorporate sources from "Further Reading" section into the article
    1. Note: All of the info in De la Torre's works in the Further Reading section is repeated in her book, thus no incorporation is needed
  4. Address neutrality concerns in the Discrimination section, see the relevant discussion
    1. My proposal is to move some parts of this section into the rest of the article, and create a new section with what is left
  5. Use shortened footnotes, see Help:Shortened footnotes
    1. I have been doing this using the {{Sfn}} template
  6. Summary style, mainly in Controversy section
    1. It was decided that the Controversy section should be shrunk down while incorporating all points of view:
      1. Erdely and ICM
      2. La Luz del Mundo and sympathizers
      3. Academics asking for religious tolerance
    2. I also suggest renaming the section to something like LLDM vs ICM, since most of the section deals with LLDM's battle with ICM in the Mexican media. The ICM website itself lists the controversy as "La Luz del Mundo vs. Erdely and the ICM".[18]
    1. I am not sure whether the quotes used in the article are necessary, since most are easily found online
  8. Linking
    1. More links could be added for better integration with the Wikipedia project
  9. Perhaps add/replace images
    1. More images can be found at Commons:Category:La Luz del Mundo Church
    2. I was unable to find images of either of La Luz del Mundo's two leaders
  10. More information
    1. Perhaps some current events or main holidays/celebrations

Would anyone like to add anything to this list? Any comments or objections? Ajax F¡oretalk 23:39, 14 October 2013 (UTC)

I like the proyect Ajaxfiore. Good work. I have only one objection and one contribution. The outline on point 6.2 does not seem representative enough and it could be misleading. We have found now that in 1997-1998 scholars Dr. Sylvia Marcos, Dr. Paloma Escalante and Dr. Elio Masferrer did research on the sexual abuse accusations against Samuel Joaquin Flores and validated the quality of the primary sources. They published articles on the subject from that time onwards to 2004 in books, doctoral dissertations and peer-reviewed, indexed journals. They also raised concerns about human rights conditions in La Luz del Mundo, especially for women. Papers were presented also at the American Academy of Religion Annual Meeting. I have found at least three more scholars, which would put the number at six. I think that three is already significant. I am waiting to finish reading their articles to comment on their pertinence but the more I look into it, the less it looks like this controversy was restricted to Erdely or the ICM. I suggest the following changes to point 6.2 outline.
  1. Erdely and ICM
  2. La Luz del Mundo and sympathizers
  3. La Luz del Mundo and critical scholars
  4. Academics asking for religious tolerance
  5. Academics asking for investigations on Human Rights abuses in LLDM (talk) 11:50, 16 October 2013 (UTC)
There is a discussion regarding this matter at Talk:La_Luz_del_Mundo#Reliability_of_El_abuso_sexual_como_rito_religioso; let's keep the discussion there. The consensus is that those sources do not meet weight and reliability requirements for inclusion. Ajax F¡oretalk 16:02, 16 October 2013 (UTC)

Removed text[edit]

  • From "Bible"; sentence fragment:

    In light of the letters and talks made by the Apostle of God.[1]

  • From "Role of Women"; off-topic for this section:

    These prayers are seen as a religious activity equal to all other activities.[2]

  • From Hermosa Provincia Temple: off-topic waffle per WP:COATRACK:

The area around the temple is known as La Hermosa Provincia (the beautiful province) and is inhabited almost exclusively by church members. In several other communities in Mexico the congregants strive to live close to each other and around the temple, leading to small neighborhoods of church members.[3]

  • From Sexual abuse accusations against leader; seems to be mostly off-topic and doesn't seem to belong in this article; maybe it should go in Instituto Cristiano de México:

Religion specialist Bernardo Barranco said the controversy between La Luz del Mundo and Erdely's Instituto Cristiano de México seemed like a religious war "that was very well exploited by the media in their fierce struggle for ratings."[4] According to Barranco, there were many doubts about the sexual accusations and the academic character of Erdely's group.[5] Due to a lack of information and a rigorous treatment of the case, it was the media that judged the permissibility of the religious organization. This, according to Barranco, "creates a precedent that is downright dangerous, because the media are the least qualified to do it."[6]

Catholic prelate Girolamo Prigione demanded that truth be sought without making false accusations since "it is very easy to falsely accuse, slander, or defame", which Prigione believes is also a crime.[7]

Journalist Gastón Pardo said that the Instituto Cristiano de México is a sect that in 1997 launched a smear campaign in the media against various religious leaders, trying to discredit them with the systematic use of defamation and slander.[8]

Cheers, Baffle gab1978 (talk) 23:57, 23 October 2013 (UTC)

  1. ^ Ávila Meléndez 2008, p. 179.
  2. ^ Fortuny 2001, p. 139.
  3. ^ Nutini 2000, pp. 39–54.
  4. ^ Barranco, Bernardo (29 December 1997). "Balance religioso en 1997". La Jornada. Retrieved 12 January 2013. "La polémica, nacida a raíz del suicidio colectivo de la secta La Puerta del Cielo, tiene tintes de guerra religiosa muy bien aprovechada por los medios en su voraz lucha por el rating." 
  5. ^ Barranco, Bernardo (29 December 1997). "Balance religioso en 1997". La Jornada. Retrieved 12 January 2013. 
  6. ^ Barranco, Bernardo (29 December 1997). "Balance religioso en 1997". La Jornada. Retrieved 12 January 2013. "Lamentablemente el diferendo se ha prolongado y se ha dejado, y a falta de información y de tratamiento riguroso del caso, han sido los medios los que juzguen, en los hechos, la permisibilidad de la asociación religiosa. Esto crea un precedente francamente peligroso, pues los medios son los menos calificados para hacerlo." 
  7. ^ Guerrero Chiprés, Salvador (20 May 1997). "Prigione: en Guadalajara, el blanco "quizás era yo, no Posadas"". La Jornada. Retrieved 12 January 2013. "Que se busque la verdad, sin acusar falsamente; es muy fácil acusar falsamente o calumniar o difamar; creo que es un crimen también." 
  8. ^ Pardo, Gastón (13 August 2005). "Los responsables están avalados por el gobierno". Voltaire Network. Retrieved 12 January 2013. "A lo largo de 1997, una secta denominada Instituto Cristiano de México lanzó ataques en los medios informativos en contra de líderes religiosos, a quienes intentó desacreditar con el empleo sistemático de difamaciones y calumnias." 

The First Name of This Church's Apostle and Current Director is Missing in Key Sentences[edit]

Spanish naming customs place the first or given name(s) first, followed by the paternal family name and the maternal family name at last.

The church's current Director is Samuel Joaquín Flores. Samuel is his first name, Joaquín is the paternal last name and Flores is the maternal last name.

In many parts, the article omits his first name (Samuel), and identifies him only as "Joaquín Flores". That happens even in key sentences like this:

"The head of the church is Joaquín Flores, who holds both the spiritual authority as Apostle and Servant of God and the organizational authority as General Director of the Church."

If read as a separate section, it can easily be interpreted that the Director is a person named Joaquin with a paternal last name Flores. It is confusing.

Joaquin is a very common first name in Spanish. Much more common than used as a last name.

The editors of the article can improve it by using the full legal name "Samuel Joaquín Flores", that includes the first name, and using very sparingly, if at all, the shortened and awkward construction "Joaquín Flores". — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 10:01, 2 December 2013 (UTC)

MOS:NAMES does support that usage when a last name would clash with a title or the like. The examples given there were Lord and Moses. Do other editors feel that the last name is misinterpretable? —C.Fred (talk) 17:27, 2 December 2013 (UTC)
I have tried to address the problem by using only the maternal surnames and adding a note a the top of the article for clarification. Further input is welcome. Ajaxfioretalk 01:36, 31 December 2013 (UTC)

GA Review[edit]


for dead URLs

This review is transcluded from Talk:La Luz del Mundo/GA1. The edit link for this section can be used to add comments to the review.

Reviewer: ComputerJA (talk · contribs) 18:13, 30 December 2013 (UTC)


Hello. I'll gladly take this article. I'll take about 1-4 days to finish my review and will give you a week after I'm done to finish up my concerns. Thanks in advance for your work on this one. ¡Felices fiestas! ComputerJA () 18:13, 30 December 2013 (UTC)

The article is well-written, comprehensive, and well-sourced. All major aspects seem to be covered in the article, and there are not any signs of neutrality violations. Below are some of my concerns before the article passes. This is my first part of the review; I will be reviewing sources individually and checking for copyright violations/accuracy, so stay tuned for more! Thanks. ComputerJA () 22:47, 30 December 2013 (UTC)

  • The church was founded in Guadalajara in 1926. – In my opinion, more should be explained about this period. The Cristero War and the administration of Plutarco Elías Calles are pivotal during this time. Mention the role of the Church in this decade.
  • Reply: I don't quite understand what is being asked. The Church did not really play a "role" during this time, it was merely trying to survive antagonism from the anti-clerical government and Catholic rebels. Ajaxfiore (talk) 18:16, 31 December 2013 (UTC)
Sorry for not being clearer. In other words, my suggestion was only for you to consider summarizing a bit more on the intro regarding the Cristero War, the Calles' administration, and on the political/religious climate of that time. ComputerJA () 18:21, 31 December 2013 (UTC)
Thanks for the clarification. I will need some time to refresh my memory and will now take a break. Ajaxfiore (talk) 18:26, 31 December 2013 (UTC)
  • Done.
  • Great, all the updates look good. My only (small) concern is that the update about Flaviano Amatulli Valente's observation in the intro is not found anywhere else in the article, and thereby violates the requirements of WP:LEAD. All the information on the intro has to be a summary of the article and has to be cited elsewhere. Aside from that, everything looks good to go. ComputerJA () 03:28, 2 January 2014 (UTC)
  • Done. Sentence removed. Ajaxfiore (talk) 13:20, 2 January 2014 (UTC)
  • In the final paragraphs, you should probably add its possible number of adherents and presence in the world.
  • Done. Added sentence stating lower and upper bounds. Ajaxfiore (talk) 15:54, 31 December 2013 (UTC)
  • the Church said that God changed Joaquín González's name from Eusebio to Aarón via a vision – This sentence implies that God had a vision. Please rephrase to indicate that the Church had a vision that God decided to change the preacher's name.
  • Done. Reworded.
Aarón Joaquín González early ministry
  • During these early years – When?
  • Done. Late 1920s per source. Ajaxfiore (talk) 03:29, 31 December 2013 (UTC)
  • Later he charged the first minister to take care of 14 congregations in Ameca, Jalisco. – I would suggest changing take care to oversee.
  • In 1934, a temple was acquired – Was built?
  • Done. Temple was built. Ajaxfiore (talk) 04:14, 31 December 2013 (UTC)
  • Joaquín González claimed to have received word from God – Simplify to God's word.
  • In 1939, it moved to a new meeting place at the 12 de Octubre colony – Should 12 de Octubre colony be linked? If you think an article can be created about that, I guess its fine to leave it as a redlink. But I have my doubts. You know more than me, though, so I will leave it up to you.
  • Done. Link has been removed. 12 de Octubre is a street in the San Antonio neighborhood of southeast Guadalajara (Sector Reforma). Ajaxfiore (talk) 04:04, 31 December 2013 (UTC)
Schism of 1942
  • Some of the accusations were aimed at close down a temple that LLDM used with government permission – At → to.
  • This schism was followed by a new baptism – Do you have any information on what this means?
  • Done. Added info on baptisms.
Hermosa Provincia
  • The land was then sold at reduced prices to members – to its members.
  • Roger S. Greenway says that Hermosa Provincia – Who is that guy?
  • Done. Theologian, earliest source on the church. His name was removed as there is no need for direct attribution. Ajaxfiore (talk) 15:41, 31 December 2013 (UTC)
  • Question: Was it referred to as La Hermosa Provincia or la Hermosa Provincia?
  • Reply: Most sources refer to it as colonia Hermosa Provincia. Ajaxfiore (talk) 04:04, 31 December 2013 (UTC)
Samuel Joaquín Flores' ministry
  • There needs to be consistency on either La Hermosa Provincia or Hermosa Provincia.
  • Done. Hermosa Provincia is used. Ajaxfiore (talk) 04:04, 31 December 2013 (UTC)
  • Patricia Fortuny says that the church's growth – Who is she?
  • Done. Anthropologist and leading expert on the Church. Ajaxfiore (talk) 15:41, 31 December 2013 (UTC)
  • the church's growth can be attributed to factors including its social benefits – Factors → several factors, including its social benefits …
  • women must cover their heads during services – Does the source specify with what? Perhaps a veil.
  • Done.
  • worship feature no images, saints, crosses or anything else that it considers objects of worship – If you want, you can change considers objects of worship to considers idolatry, or maybe linking considers objects of worship.
  • Done. Reworded.
  • The church has three daily prayer meetings throughout the world – Has → holds.
  • both sexes recite from the bible or sing hymns – Bible should be capitalized per other usages in the same paragraph.
  • recited and voluntary offerings and given – And → are.
  • The 9:00 a.m. prayer was started by Joaquín González's wife, Elisa Flores – Was → was originally started.
  • Ministers believe it is their duty to take care that talks do not deviate – Though appropriate, take care does not really sound right here. Perhaps you might consider changing it to something different.
  • Done. Source corrected. Reworded.
  • La Luz del Mundo teaches that there was no salvation on earth – Earth is capitalized.
  • Other sources say La Luz del Mundo is nontrinitarian[60][61] – Period needed before sources.
Role of women
  • Patricia Fortuny said, concerning the 9 a.m. prayer – Who is she?
  • Done. Anthropologist and leading expert on the Church. Ajaxfiore (talk) 15:41, 31 December 2013 (UTC)
  • and because the Bible states that men and women should not dress the same – This is an incomplete sentence. Consider merging it with the one before it.
  • Done. Sentence fragment was removed.
  • A Deaconess can help Pastors and Deacons – They should not be capitalized.
Potential mass suicide
  • Jorge Erdely Graham accused the church of being a "destructive sect" – Who is he?
  • Done. Mentioned at the top. Anti-cult activist and leader of the Instituto Cristiano de Mexico. Ajaxfiore (talk) 15:41, 31 December 2013 (UTC)
  • According to Gordon Melton and David Bromley – Likewise. See above.
  • Done. Religious scholars specializing in New Religious Movements. Ajaxfiore (talk) 15:47, 31 December 2013 (UTC)
Sexual abuses against leader
  • According to the L.A. Times, days after his accusations – It should be Los Angeles Times
Wildlife refuge
  • Vapsi Coronado – Who is this person?
  • Done. Changed to ranch foreman. Ajaxfiore (talk) 15:09, 31 December 2013 (UTC)
Comments for the entire article
  • When you're talking about La Luz del Mundo, the pronouns should be capitalized when calling it "the Church". As far as I know, "the church" refers to the building, while "the Church" refers to the congregation or religion as a whole.
  • Done. Now "temple" refers to the building, "the Church" to the organization as a whole. Ajaxfiore (talk) 15:27, 31 December 2013 (UTC)
  • In the article, "Joaquín González" should be cut to "González" and "Samuel Flores" to "Flores", since we already know you are referring to.
  • Done. Also added hatnote on Spanish naming customs so unfamiliar readers don't assume Joaquín is the middle name. Ajaxfiore (talk) 03:29, 31 December 2013 (UTC)
  • Article passes! Congratulations for the great job and for sticking through the process. ComputerJA () 02:34, 3 January 2014 (UTC)

Review: Part 2[edit]

  • Source 9 needs to say it's a Spanish-language source. Add the | language = Spanish | portion to the source template.
  • Source 28 seems to be incomplete. Does it lack the exact page in the encyclopedia?
  • Reply: Membership figures are taken from the World Christian Database. I have added the url to the search results. Note that a subscription is needed to access the data.
  • The colony became a standard model for the church which has replicated it in many cities in Mexico and other countries.[citation needed] – There is a citation needed template.
  • Done. Source added.
  • There is no dancing or clapping – Not found in the source. Might have misread it but I could not find it.
  • Done. Source added. Ajaxfiore (talk) 16:36, 31 December 2013 (UTC)
  • Source 52 should have the Spanish language indication as mentioned above (i.e. | language = Spanish | )
  • Likewise for source 6, 55, 56, 62, 79, 80, 84, 88, 89, 90, 91, 92, 93, 98, 101, 102, 104, 108, 110, 111, 112, 113, 115, 116, 118, 119, 126, 127, 130, 131, 132,
  • For the references and further readings, please add the Spanish-language templates too.
  • women in the church are considered equal to men in social spheres and have equal capacities for obtaining higher education, social careers, and other goals that may interest them.[citation needed] – Citation needed template needs to be addressed.
  • … The lowest rank within the ministerial hierarchy is that of "Worker", which confers responsibility for assisting everyone above them in the hierarchy with menial tasks.[citation needed] – Citation needed template needs to be addressed.
  • The ranch was divided into two; one part was private and the other was nonprofit. The nonprofit part operates as an animal and wildlife refuge – The provided is only a balance sheet. I did not find any indication that the ranch was divided into two.
  • Done. This is mentioned in the Bensman article. Added the source.


RidjalA has tried putting a negative spin on the controversy section. I would like to discuss RidjalA's recent edits.[19]

Use of the word Victims

RidjalA claims that

  • "The source refers to them as "victims", not dissidents."
  • "The source (LA TIMES) states that there were "several attacks", and refers to the victims as "victims". To call them dissidents would be hypothetical, since the accusers might have still belonged to the Church at the time of their accusations."

In every occasion the source refers to them as "former members". The word "victims" is only used twice in the three page article, and in both cases the word is used within indirect quotations. If we are to follow the source, we should use "former members", or "dissidents" to paraphrase. Moreover, the word "victims" would violate BLP as it would indicate the accused is guilty, while policies state that a person accused of a crime is "presumed innocent until proven guilty and convicted by a court of law". I should note that RidjalA itself used the word "dissidents" as opposed to "victims" in this edit.[20]


The controversies mentioned in the article all began in the late 1990s, yet RidjalA prefers to use an unnecessarily pithy title saying simply "Controversy". It would be best to include a time-frame for the controversial events.


The recent edits tacitly imply that the Joaquin family has been amassing wealth from church members, while the article states that it is all funded at private expense. The article should not be concerned with how the family chooses to live and spend their private earnings.


The sources RidjalA keeps introducing were kept out by consensus. Ajaxfiore (talk) 17:36, 5 March 2014 (UTC)


Please lets be civil; this is about the LLDM page, and not about me. So please lets proceed to discuss the content while keeping the mentioning of any editors' names to a minimum.

Use of the word "Victim"
  • "Authorities are investigating the attack and several others that have been reported. But judicial authorities say the victims haven't been fully cooperative." LA Times

I don't disagree that the term "Dissidents" was used earlier in the source. What I am saying is that the source uses "victim" only for those people who were attacked. It is not used in any way on Wikipedia to lay blame on anyone. It is used to make the distinction from those who were simply dissidents, to those were attacked. The source makes no mention that these victims were dissidents. It would be hypothetical in fact if we were to say that those whom were attacked were dissidents, since the attacked may have still belonged to the church (how are we sure that they weren't just relatives of dissidents?). So I would suggest that the safest way to go about it is to keep things as they are sourced.

  • "Federal tax records show the nonprofit has accumulated upwards of $1 million since 2004. Much of this money comes from church collections taken weekly and annually from the faithful in Texas, Castillo said." Todd Bensman

Your argument is false. The source talks precisely about how the Joaquin Flores family lives in luxury as a result of the money collected from his followers, and that is grounds for it being in the controversy section.


If we intend to turn this into a fully comprehensive page about LLDM, then brushing the controversies surrounding this sect under the carpet would be a grave disservice to readers. As with the Catholic Church controversies, if the media reports them and independent case studies corroborate with those reports, then there is no valid reason to discredit their work. The same applies to LLDM (especially Jorge Erdely and Lourdes Arguelles' work). ~Best, RidjalA (talk) — Preceding undated comment added 20:57, 5 March 2014 (UTC)

Again, the word victim lays blame on the accused violating BLP. You are identifying the victims prematurely, for all we know the Joaquins could be victims of a defamation campaign. I have replaced "dissidents" with "former members" per LA Times.
Read the sentence again and note the word nonprofit. As the article clearly states, the property was divided into a nonprofit and a private section. The article also states that the family does not live there.
The controversy section is already comprehensive and makes up a substantial portion of the article. Wikipedia is not an indiscriminate collection of every minute controversy surrounding a religious group. If you want to include a source that was deemed unreliable by consensus, the burden of proof falls on you. Ajaxfiore (talk) 22:48, 5 March 2014 (UTC)