Talk:The Fellowship (Christian organization)

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NOPV[edit]

This page sounds like a group of Leftist conspiracy theories rather than a trusted source. Rockules318 (talk) 21:32, 30 July 2009 (UTC)

I think an article about a fringe or cult group will sound odd (for lack of a better word) when the group is odd. What specifically are you claiming to be "NOPV" (sic) or "conspiracy theories"? Шизомби (talk) 23:23, 30 July 2009 (UTC)
I haven't examined the content of the article, but a cursory review suggests that it is in violation of WP:NPOV#Impartial tone. Extended section-heading lists of past scandals and affiliated organizations suggests that the WP:STRUCTURE of those parts of the article may need to be reconsidered as well. --Philosopher Let us reason together. 23:24, 31 July 2009 (UTC)
There is an extended list of scandals because this organization has been involved in many scandals. By your logic, Wikipedia should not list all the scandals of an organization that has been involved in many scandals. That would be inaccurate and would not reflect a NPOV. I believe until you can substantiate your charge with more than what you say was a "cursory review" and identify specifically what does not constitute a NPOV, the piece should not be labelled for not having a NPOV. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Likesausages (talkcontribs) 12:30, 1 August 2009 (UTC)
I meant two things - first, it appears that there is undue weight being given to the scandals. Second, the current use of headers in the article is clearly a violation of the Manual of Style, which is linked to in NPOV section I linked to with WP:STRUCTURE - please read the links I provided in my statement before further replying, so you understand what I'm trying to say. Finally, please sign your posts using ~~~~. --Philosopher Let us reason together. 14:00, 2 August 2009 (UTC)
Points well taken. Thank you for explaining. I made significant edits to reduce the number of section headings, remove the controversies section and integrate its content into the article, and remove or tone down negative statements where unsubstantiated or unbalanced.Likesausages (talk) 03:30, 3 August 2009 (UTC)

Any objections, then, to removing the tags? If so, kindly cite specific passages that offend, along with suggestions for improvement. PRRfan (talk) 18:13, 5 August 2009 (UTC)

I've removed the headings tag. I'm going to leave the neutrality tag in place - the article is still generating complaints (see below) and still does have a negative tone (it even managed to violate Godwin's law in the lede - I just removed the offending statement.). --Philosopher Let us reason together. 04:52, 9 August 2009 (UTC)
I've reworked the top; still see anything to justify the tag? Kindly be specific. PRRfan (talk) 21:56, 13 August 2009 (UTC)
I object to removing the NPOV tag, but being new, I must ask for some help about a particular wikipedia policy: Wikipedia:Reliable_sources#News_organizations, specifically referring to the difference between opinion pieces and news pieces. There it says "News reporting is distinct from opinion pieces. An opinion piece is reliable only as to the opinion of its author, not as a statement of fact, and should be attributed in-text." This article invokes Rachel Maddow, which strikes me as the equivalent of citing rushlimbaugh.com on an article about someone/thing other than Rush himself, would wikipedia smile on that? I'd appreciate some more experienced users to help me understand the use of op-ed materials for citing information about a topic other than the op-ed itself or its author.
I question citing to the Huffington post to bolster a claim. Would we cite to the Drudge Report for proof of a claim? Further the cite to the Huffington post is to bolster a claim about what went on on the Rachel Maddow show, and appears to be a thinly veiled attempt at making the group look bad by piling on accusations. Use of the sentinal's quote (under Secrecy) seems entirely appropriate. The discussion of Maddow "repeating the quote", which she did not quote verbatim, and then noting that Zach Wamp complained to Maddow but not to the Sentinel is a dishonest use of the already questionable sourcing. The sources, however reliable, say that Maddow described residents of the house as being "sworn to secrecy". The Sentinel quote describes a pact between house members with no indication of forced compliance, just an agreement. This type of treatment and seeming effort in the article to magnify notions of scandal where cited material doesn't support magnification justifies questioning about the sources used here, including Mr. Sharlet, who may well have been interviewed about his book, but an interview does not a reliable source make (as noted by someone else here). Lots of conspiracy theorists have been interviewed, but that doesn't make their theories reliable.
On a more serious note, multiple citations to the democraticunderground (on a subject other than DU itself)? In linking to the youtube video of maddow's show, someone thought a democraticunderground thread is better than linking to the video itself? And using a DU member's independent research is... mindblowing, whether it is accurate or not. Could anyone possibly object to taking those cites down?
There are in my opinion, more NPOV problems with this article. I'll continue coming back with more objections as I have more time. And I am, of course open to some schooling on Wikipedia's reliable source policies. --Ur4evr (talk) 15:53, 20 August 2009 (UTC)
Rachel Maddow != Rush Limbaugh && Drudge != Huffington Post. I'm gobsmacked to hear that suggested. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 207.112.19.76 (talk) 14:41, 3 September 2009 (UTC)
Rachel Maddow is a far left partisan commentator, Rush is a far right partisan commentator. The differences between Drudge and Huffington are more profound than simply format, gender and name, but the important aspect of the comparison is that the left looks at drudge like the right looks at huffington. They are both far from being appropriate wikipedia sources for anything other than their own wikidpedia entries. --Ur4evr (talk) 14:53, 18 September 2009 (UTC)

"Bush was apparently unaware of one of the nation's oldest laws, the Logan Act, which forbids private citizens to influence foreign governments lest foreign policy slip out of democratic control." -- definitely POV, implies GB is stupid. He is, but the article's tone can't imply it! —Preceding unsigned comment added by 68.63.143.159 (talk) 03:30, 18 August 2009 (UTC)

The Family's "concealment" of affairs. "The organization has drawn criticism for ... its concealment of associates' secrets, including the extramarital affairs of several U.S. elected officials;[10]" (final sentence before the contents box)

The article cited makes no reference to the organization concealing extramarital affairs of several US elected officials. It notes that residents of the c street house knew of Ensign's affair and tried to persuade him to knock it off, but I don't think knowing about someone's personal life and not immediately calling a press conference to announce it to the world is "concealment". I'm making no edit at this moment, but unless someone can provide another source for that last clause ("including extramarital affairs...) or point out to me where in the cited article an allegation of the organization (not bunk mates) concealing (not failing to hold a press conference) the affair, I'm taking it down.--Ur4evr (talk) 15:54, 20 August 2009 (UTC)

These are useful pointers to things to work on; thanks. PRRfan (talk) 20:56, 20 August 2009 (UTC)
I've removed the offending phrase, as there was no objection or clarification on sourcing. Hopefully there won't be a knee-jerk re-addition without fixing the sourcing problem or altering the wording -- I seem to recall seeing some of that in this article's history, which isn't surprising considering the depth of bias in this article even after a number of wikipedians have been working to clean it up. Since I took the time to complain about NPOV, I'll attempt to make some helpful changes and maybe this can become a less shameful corner of wikipedia. --Ur4evr (talk) 14:53, 18 September 2009 (UTC)

Article appears to be in violation of policy WP:COAT, a major clean up should be done or maybe this article should be nominated for deletion. --RightCowLeftCoast (talk) 10:46, 24 August 2009 (UTC)

This isnt a coatrack article in any sense, it's a sober distillation of the properties of a known entity. Nothing veiled. Ciations are reasonable. Suggesting this top be deleted is wholly without basis.

The POV tag was added with such a nonsense dismissal? Has the poster read the cited works? The Tag should be removed post-haste. 207.112.19.76 (talk) 14:33, 3 September 2009 (UTC)

I am concerned that the section in question appears to have been removed. It was not a coatrack article. The Fellowship reportedly interjected itself into the Ensign affair. According to Doug Hampton, the Fellowship recruited Senator Coburn to mediate. After at first denying his involvement, Senator Coburn then admitted it. Hampton says that Coburn made offers on behalf of Ensign. Multiple reports have Coburn and other representatives of the Fellowship making Ensign write a letter to Ms. Hampton breaking off the affair and then chaperoning Ensign from the Fellowship's C Street facility where Ensign lived to the post office to watch him mail the letter (Ensign then reportedly called his mistress to tell her to ignore the letter). Doug Hampton claims that the Fellowship took sides with Ensign to protect Ensign and the Fellowship.

As for Governor Sanford, although his connection is less well known, he admitted that he sought counseling at C Street before his affair became public - Sanford was long connected to the group from his time as a Representative of S.C.

Rep. Pickering forms another piece worth mentioning in a pattern - he allegedly conducted his adulterous affair while living at C Street. Pickering's entry was quite small.

The Fellowship espouses religious values. Some of its most influential residents have acted in a manner that is antithetical to those values. That fact and the reaction of C Street to defend those individuals rather than eject them is newsworthy. I note that the repeated attempts to delete material, categories, etc. from this piece consistently would place the Fellowship in a better light - a coincidence I am sure.

Rather than starting an edit war, I request that this issue of whether to restore the section on the involvement of the Fellowship in its resident's scandals be resolved by a process within Wikipedia. Relatively new to Wikipedia, I am uncertain as how to proceed and any advice would be appreciated. Thank you for any info or help you can offer in that regard.Likesausages (talk) —Preceding undated comment added 23:45, 23 December 2009 (UTC).

Conspiracy Theory?[edit]

I have just read this article for the first time. It has the feeling of an expose of an ugly conspiracy rather than presenting a neutral point of view. It does not belong on Wikipedia according the standards that have been set. It seems oriented toward creating an emotional response. I also question the use of some quotes, which seem to be taken out of context specifically to create a negative impression. Not only that but it is a rambling mess. In short, I think that article needs to be ditched and someone with writing skill and a neutral position should start over. Anyone else agree? —Preceding unsigned comment added by 65.37.88.140 (talk) 16:30, 5 August 2009 (UTC)

Welcome to Wikipedia, where articles are not "ditched." You are more than welcome, however, to make or suggest edits to the existing article. Bear in mind that citing reliable sources is the best way to convince other editors of the value of your edits. Registering a username, signing your posts (use four tildes), and leaving edit summaries will also help. PRRfan (talk) 17:29, 5 August 2009 (UTC)
If by "ditch" you mean "significantly re-write to fix problems" or "remove potential WP:BLP issues", feel free. Otherwise, we generally prefer to rehabilitate articles which merit inclusion but which have issues. --Philosopher Let us reason together. 04:46, 9 August 2009 (UTC)
This is most definitely a conspiracy theory. Literally, this is a theory about the conspiratorial Christian political organization. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 99.232.49.164 (talk) 00:28, 21 August 2009 (UTC)
I see absolutely no reason whatsoever to put categorize this as a Conspiracy Theory. If you would like to categorize it as such, I would like to ask for your definition of a Conspiracy Theory, and how facts about this group in particular constitute one. Kelseypedia (talk) 16:30, 28 December 2009 (UTC)

Are you sure this group exists?[edit]

Are you sure this group exists? It sounds like an awfully sensationalized story to me, like Majestic-12 or the Illuminati. Could it really hold a breakfast that every President since Eisenhower has been to and be associated with "cores of Senators and members of Congress, executive branch officials, military officers, including several Chairmen of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, corporate executives, the heads of religious and humanitarian aid organizations, foreign leaders and ambassadors. According to David Kuo, former Special Assistant to President George W. Bush and Deputy Director of the White House Office of Faith Based and Community Initiatives" and still remain such a secret? Where's the evidence besides other people's word? Web wonder (talk) 16:19, 13 August 2009 (UTC)

Which of the 115 cited sources do you take issue with? Kindly be specific. PRRfan (talk) 16:22, 13 August 2009 (UTC)
This page is insanely sensationalized, you're right. If you would like to help fix the tone, you're more than welcome to. However, the group does clearly exist and is no secret - if anything in the article suggested that, you may consider fixing that as well - you may be interested in seeing National Prayer Breakfast, the article about the breakfast itself. It's in the news every year like clockwork. --Philosopher Let us reason together. 00:54, 16 August 2009 (UTC)
I agree that the tone of the article still needs work and that because of the charges of impartiality any facts without citations should be noted as requiring a citation or in some cases removed. I do not believe, however, that the imperfect tone rises to the level of "insanely sensationalized." The members of this organization and its activities touch on many of America's highest elected officials. Some of the "tone problem" is not a problem, but a reflection of this group's involvement with our government coupled with its secrecy, the fact that it is a religious organization which as a church is supposed to be separate from our state, the advocacy it has conducted on behalf of leaders of despotic regimes, and the inflammatory statements of Fellowship leaders as publicized by Andrea Mitchell among others.Likesausages (talk) 04:20, 16 August 2009 (UTC)
Agree with Likesausages. Philosopher, what do you find "insanely sensationalized"? Kindly be specific. Better yet, you are more than welcome to edit stuff that you believe violated NPOV policy. PRRfan (talk) 15:43, 17 August 2009 (UTC)

The evidence is in my heavily footnoted book, published by a reputable publisher, HarperCollins, and reviewed favorably by the preeminent academic journal for American historians, The Journal of American History. This book includes my work for several national, fact-checked publications, including Harper's, Rolling Stone, Mother Jones, and the New Republic. The book itself was featured in an investigative piece by NBC Nightly News. There is also evidence in the August 20, 2009 cover story of World, a Christian Right magazine, titled "All in the Family." Lisa Getter, in the LA Times (cited above, I believe), wrote extensively about the organization. The papers of the movement are stored in Collection 459 of the Billy Graham Center Archives. Those papers were deposited by the Fellowship Foundation, but they include documents from several different nonprofit entities under the umbrella usage of the Family. JeffSharlet (talk) 04:35, 24 October 2009 (UTC)

I had spent a considerable amount of time editing this piece last summer. It has changed dramatically. I am afraid that someone wrote out the NPOV in a misguided attempt to suck the controversy out of a highly controversial organization. It's as if you never wrote your book or uncovered all the facts about this organization.
So many of the facts are gone. The ties to the Watergate gang are gone. The involvement with third world dictators is minimized. The organization's startling emphasis on secrecy in view of its efforts to influence our government is not even mentioned in the now glowing intro. The awkward public statements of its politician members trying to defend the organization's secrecy are gone too. The references to Andrea Mitchell's and Rachel Maddow's reports on the organization each are relegated to a footnote, with a link to just one of Maddow's many stories. Worse yet, the article repeatedly cites a relatively uncomprehensive Newsweek piece by Lisa Miller which defends the Fellowship as if that story were representative of the media coverage the organization has received; in fact as you well know Jeff much of the news coverage of this organization, yours and other mainstream media coverage, has been critical or at a minimum suspicious of C Street. The political junkets sponsored by the Fellowship are gone, as is that Senator from the 1980s who holed up there after his sex scandal. The fact that this "trust" organization long has hid scandals involving its politician members until they blow up is deemphasized. The reference from well over a decade ago to Hillary Clinton as supporting the organization is misleading because in her campaign last year she clearly backed away from her affiliation with C Street (this used to be noted). Also gone is the fact that questions have been raised about the tax status of the organization and its building which at least border on involving improper political purposes. References to the past Supreme Court Justice participants, including Justice Thomas, former Chief Justice Rehnquist, and former Justice O'Connor, are gone. Outrageous quotes from leadership of the organization and other related organizations have been pared down, explained away or in many cases removed entirely.
I have not done a thorough review of this piece since I last worked on it. These are just a few of the changes that jumped out at me after a quick read. Perhaps one or two of these changes can be justified because there was a lack of sufficient source material, in which case I would have expected the facts and sites to be replaced in the normal Wikipedia couse with other of the copious important controversial facts about this organization. There is no way, however, that all of these changes pointing towards a defense of this organization are justified.
This Wikipedia piece now reflects an apparent zeal to create a balanced tone that does not reflect the reality of this organization - at its core a highly secretive, tax exempt (i.e. supposedly apolitical) religious organization composed of and connected to dozens of present and former Senators, Representatives, high ranking Administration officials, Supreme Court Justices and Presidents, among others, whose well placed purpose is to secretly influence in the name of Jesus Christ what is supposed to be an open and transparent United States government that does not favor the establishment of any particular religion. I am disappointed in Wikipedia. Unless I receive some assurances that there will be balance in ongoing editing, as opposed to marginalizing the unflattering facts about this organization, I for one am not going to waste time reediting this piece to include now omitted key facts.
You have noted how Eric L has stricken facts sourced to your book without having read your book or having a sufficient basis to declare it an unreliable source. I also think it would be interesting for you Jeff or someone else in the media to do a more thorough review, using the history/track changes feature, of the recent evolution of this Wikipedia piece on the Family. Until this summer, the Wikipedia entry on the Fellowship was an unbalanced glossover. You will see how when the Family received more sunlight this summer because several scandals involving C Street broke, the article was modified to reflect the reporting and facts of this organization. Crude efforts of unsophisticated C Street boosters to make the piece more Family friendly were rebuffed. To avoid such "drive by" edits, editors of the site were limited to more established Wikipedians. Then apparently this fall, without making further intentional NPOV accusations, the neutrality of the piece fell away again. I believe that there are other eye raising pro-Republican changes to other Wikipedia sites, such as Sarah Palin's entry just before her nomination to run as VP. For whatever it's worth, in my view mainstream reporting should cover with greater scrutiny use of Wikipedia to reflect political ideology, not just by Republicans but by both sides. Likesausages (talk) 01:50, 8 November 2009 (UTC)
In another illustration of the NPOV problem, this piece now fails to include that the controversial tax status of this organization has been revoked due to the members of Congress living there at below market rent. Prior to the revocation, the deletion of reference by pro-Fellowship Wikipedians to the controversial tax status of this supposedly tax exempt institution, which was raised as questionable by news organizations such as the Washington Post, resulted in a serious omission. The fact that now no one has updated the piece to include this important widely reported news, more than a few days old, showing that this organization's ties to the influential members living there had an improper and illegal component just makes me shake my head. I do not have the time to check this site constantly to make sure pro-Fellowship posters do not improperly wipe out important factual edits again, so I am not going to waste time adding edits that will be deleted or spun.Likesausages (talk) 03:37, 23 November 2009 (UTC)
The piece on the Fellowship been restored. Facts are put back in. Jeff Sharlet - in my view your book is employed and cited appropriately. The piece is more balanced. A big thanks to Gamaliel for apparently taking action in response to my request for help. My own personal faith - in Wikipedia - also is restored ;) I will begin to contribute to the piece again over the upcoming weeks. Likesausages (talk) 13:20, 5 December 2009 (UTC)

A Pattern[edit]

I've noticed a pattern here. The veracity of sources of unflattering material is challenged repeatedly. The challengers DO NOT attempt to place verifiable material which would refute the unflattering material. This is rhetorical technique. My POV: propaganda. The attempt to rename the article, when 'The Family' is the organizations common appelation, lends credit to the propaganda thesis.

The organization's advocates can post whatever verifiable material is available whenever they wish.

POV: the warnings @ the top seem unnecessary and of a piece with my propaganda thesis. Let's get them removed.

Tapered (talk) 22:30, 24 November 2009 (UTC)

*Agree completely. And agree re remove warnings. The current warning is that (i) the article may be too long and (ii) that it should be split apart into sub articles.
First, the article is not too long. David Kuo and the LA Times piece, as well as Jeff Sharlet's book and articles, among others, describe the extensive influence of this secretive religious organization over our government, which is supposed to be transparent and separated from religious organizations. Many of our nation's highest elected officials are associated with this group. The Fellowship clearly merits attention in a full length article.
Second, the comment that the article should be split into sub articles or sections is interesting. This summer another comment read that the article contained too many many subsections. I labored to consolidate subsections in response. This sounds like another arbitrary excuse to throw a warning atop the article that will appear as FUD to a casual web surfer looking for information on the Fellowship.
This is not to mention the obvious right-biased editing in which Jeff Sharlet's book was exorcised, numerous unflattering facts were removed, and an atypically unharsh but poorly researched and unthorough article by Newsweek was given undue weight.
Most recently, all reference to the Fellowship's significant involvement in the high profile scandals of its most senior members was deleted improperly. I will reinsert a version of this that makes more clear the Fellowship's connections to the scandals.
This is not to say the Fellowship is bad - only that it merits a balanced and thorough factual analysis. I have added references to the fact that the Fellowship helped damp down a threatened civil war in South Africa in response to Mandela's rise to power and that Fellowship dollars have gone to an orphanage in India, a program in Uganda that provides schooling, and a development group in Peru. I was the first to add that President Obama appeared at the Fellowship's National Prayer Breakfast right after taking office. Unfortunately, the truth is there are other facts out there that also are important and less flattering.98.14.195.86 (talk) 02:50, 29 December 2009 (UTC)

Buletts from lede[edit]

Other names by which the Fellowship has been known include: *'''The Family'''<ref name=AllInFamily /><ref name=SecretReach> {{cite web |first=Terry |last=Gross |title=The Secret Political Reach Of 'The Family' |url=http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=120746516 |publisher=[[NPR]] |date=August 29, 2009 |accessdate=November 24, 2009}}</ref> *'''International Foundation'''<ref name=SecretReach /> *'''Fellowship Foundation'''<ref name=SecretReach /> *'''National Leadership Council'''<ref name=SecretReach /> *'''International Christian Leadership'''<ref name=SecretReach /> *'''National Committee for Christian Leadership'''<ref name=SecretReach /> *'''C Street House'''<ref name=SecretReach /> *'''Fellowship House''' *'''Washington Fellowship''' *'''Fellowship Ministry''' {{Citation needed|date=August 2009}}

Moved from lede to here for discussion on proper placement. Paranormal Skeptic (talk) 05:14, 28 November 2009 (UTC)

The Family and Uganda[edit]

The Ugandan government is currently attempting to pass a law that would make homosexuality punishable by execution, imprison parents who do not turn in their gay children, and imprison anyone who speaks in favor of gay rights. And The Family is funneling the Ugandan government money, making their claim to be a Christian organization illegitimate. I move for a removal of their title of being a Christian organization given their support of what amounts to terrorism and crimes against humanity.

http://gayrights.change.org/blog/view/meet_the_us_politicians_who_want_to_see_gay_people_dead_in_uganda —Preceding unsigned comment added by AuthorNeubius (talkcontribs) 13:54, 2 December 2009 (UTC)

It's not really up to us to decide what constitutes 'real' Christianity. Standard useage and reliable sources refer to people as Christians even if they steal, murder or rape; therefore we, as a tertiary source, do so as well. Additionally it's not up to us to decide what constitutes crimes against humanity. As a private citizen and a human being I agree with you that the proposed law is utterly disgusting, but as encyclopedia writers we can't let that affect our coverage. Olaf Davis (talk) 15:42, 2 December 2009 (UTC)

Source statements being misrepresented in the article[edit]

Under the "Members" subsection, at least one source is being misrepresented quite badly. The article lists several members of Congress as "members" of this organization, however at least one of the sources used to name them as such, this one does not support that. It says that certain members of the house are reportedly residents of a building known to be used for Fellowship activities. If the source can only say they are "reportedly" residents of this house, how is it that this article can claim they are actual members of the organization. Likewise, the article claims that other Reps and Sens "reportedly... attend house gatherings" and bible studies. How is it that the statement that these people have only reportedly attended meetings, and yet someone has taken these statements to mean that they are unambiguously members of this organization. Per WP:BLP, we need more scrupulous references than ones that say someone maybe attends meetings before we say they are a member. The entire membership list reads like a morass of similar problems. Do we have any better confirmation than this? If not, I am inclined to remove the whole section until actual, positive confirmation of actual memberships can be made, not "allegations" and "reportedlies" --Jayron32 01:23, 5 December 2009 (UTC)

I have waited a week for objections to my proposal above. Seeing none, I will enact it. The membership section will be removed until we have confirmation that people are actual members, and not "alleged" or "reported" to be members. --Jayron32 20:39, 14 December 2009 (UTC)

Please Express Your Views on Mention of Membership in the Family on WIkipedia[edit]

It would be beneficial if people chimed in asap at Wikipedia:Categories_for_discussion/Log/2009_December_4#Category:Members_of_the_Family_also_known_as_the_Fellowship, which discusses the possible deletion of the valid (IMO) category Category:Members of the Family also known as the Fellowship. Zerschmettert die Schändliche (talk) 14:39, 6 December 2009 (UTC)

African-American civil rights[edit]

Do secondary sources state that Thurmond's, Talmadge's and Stennis' (listed under "Historical members") opposition to African-American civil rights is connected to their membership in The Fellowship? Andjam (talk) 10:36, 10 December 2009 (UTC)

Category:International Christian Leadership[edit]

Hi everyone,

If the name of this page has settled down, I suggest changing the name of the related category to match it.

--Kevinkor2 (talk) 18:15, 14 December 2009 (UTC)

The result of this discussion was delete, but we had the good idea of replacing the category with a Navbox template.
Please comment, use, and watch the template {{The Fellowship Navbox}}.
Thank you, --Kevinkor2 (talk) 05:09, 30 December 2009 (UTC)Smiley.svg

Sources[edit]

The vast majority of sources used on this page are from Jeff Sharlet's book, interviews with Mr. Sharlet, and reviews of his book. Shouldn't we try to find more independent sources for the "secretive" society than just the book and word of one man, especially when he makes accusations which are some damning? Rockules318 (talk) 20:10, 14 December 2009 (UTC)

Does this editor believe he knows better than this reliable source? This would imply that because Sharlet's work was published by not only by HarperCollins, but also by Harper's, Rolling Stone, The New Republic, and Mother Jones—all fact-checked national magazines in which Sharlet originally published his work—then Rockules318 also believes that he knows better than HarperCollins, Harper's, Rolling Stone, The New Republic, and Mother Jones and their bevy of fact checkers. WP:RS says it all—on what basis do you challenge this WP:RS, calling it a "conspiracy theory", as you do here? Zerschmettert die Schändliche (talk) 17:42, 16 December 2009 (UTC)
The thing is, near as I can tell, Sharlet's book is carefully worded to say things like "so and so reported that..." or "it is alleged that..." The problem becomes taking the statements in Sharlet's book and eliminating the context. There is a difference between saying "It is a fact that someone said that John Doe is a member of The Fellowship" or "It is a fact that someone said that John Doe attended meetings of The Fellowship" to actually state "It is a fact that John Doe is a member of the Fellowship" From the quotes I have read of Sharlet's book, he doesn't say anything like the latter statement, only the former. The problem then becomes that this article has confused the two concepts. Where Sharlet said "It is true that someone made the claim XXXX", this article states "XXXX is true". You cannot say that is true. I can say "The moon is made of green cheese" and someone can report "Some have reported that the moon is made of green cheese". That would be a true statement. However, if based on THAT statement, you changed the article on The Moon to say "The moon is made of green cheese", you would NOT be right in doing so. That is exactly what is happening here... --Jayron32 17:49, 16 December 2009 (UTC)
There are two problems here. The first is the issue raised by Rockules318, of the number of intellectually independent sources. If other sources are simply reporting Sharlet's conclusions, then they aren't intellectually independent.
The second problem is Jayron32's concerns about how those sources are used. In the CfD debate, I expressed exactly the same concern about misrepresenting the sources by ignoring the very careful formulations which Sharlet repeatedly uses to describe people's associations with the Fellowship. Jayron32 is quite right to point to this again, and it's worrying to see that ZAS shows no sign of understanding the difference between Sharlet reporting "A says X did Y" and Sharlet saying "X did Y".
I have no dogs in this race, other than a concern for neutrality and accuracy. Covering a topic like this is challenging for wikipedia, because on one hand there is plenty of well-referenced evidence that the Fellowship is a very significant force in Washington, but on the other hand its secrecy makes it very hard to pin down the details of exactly how deeply any particular individual is involved with The Fellowship. But the bottom line is that wikipedia is a tertiary project which exists to collect and summarise what the secondary sources say, and not to use any original research. That means using the sources carefully and accurately, and not attributing to them a greater degree of certainty than they actually claim. --BrownHairedGirl (talk) • (contribs) 23:24, 16 December 2009 (UTC)
The other issue is that neither Sharlet, nor any source that I have seen, actually has any first-hand knowledge of actual membership in the organization. Only two methods should ever be used to say "John Doe is a member of XXXX". 1) John Doe himself states "I am a member of XXXX" or 2) Organization XXXX has an official membership list, and John Doe's name is on it. If we had access to EITHER of these sources, we'd be fine. Even if we had clear evidence that Sharlet, or any other author or journalist for that matter, had access to such sources, that would probably be good too. The truth remains that neither of these is true. We have zero confirmational statements from either the organization or the supposed members confirming that they are members, and we have no evidence that anyone else has had access to that information. So what is left to do? --Jayron32 03:00, 17 December 2009 (UTC)
On the narrow issue of membership, a third method to determine member is apparently residence in the "Fellowship House". If our article is correct, it is for members. However if we're going to list the residence address of members of Congress or other officials we'd better have very good sources for that.   Will Beback  talk  09:35, 17 December 2009 (UTC)
But not alleged residence or reported residence... --Jayron32 20:25, 17 December 2009 (UTC)
I'm not sure I understand your point. Other than reported facts, what kind of facts are there?   Will Beback  talk  22:31, 17 December 2009 (UTC)
See my explanation above. If David Jones tells reporter Jane Smith "John Doe lives in the C Street House", then Jane Smith can write "It is alleged (or reported, or supposed, or whatever" that John Doe lives at the C Street House." At Wikipedia, we cannot then say "John Doe lives at the C Street House." Because the sources doesn't say that. The source says "John Doe is reported to live at the C Street House" Jane Smith never said that John Doe lives in the C Street House, so Wikipedia cannot either. --Jayron32 02:54, 18 December 2009 (UTC)
But Wikipedia can repeat the formulation used in the book, if it's a reliable source. So we can say, "According to Smith, Doe reportedly lives at C Street."   Will Beback  talk  03:35, 18 December 2009 (UTC)
True. Wikipedia can repeat the formulation used in the book, so we can say, (from page 19 and 395), "Mike McIntyre (D-SC) is spoken of as a member by Ivanwalders and senior men in the Family".--Kevinkor2 (talk) 15:25, 18 December 2009 (UTC)

Jeff Sharlet here: Quoted sources contained within Lisa Miller's Newsweek opinion column are legitimate, but factual assertions based on Miller's opinion column are not. Here's my December 3 correspondence with Miller, whom I knew a bit before this (this correspondence was via Facebook. Miller will verify it.):

Lisa -- with respect for your admirable effort to be fair to all, there are a few factual errors and misrepresentations in this piece. The Fellowship -- known to many insiders as "the Family" since Doug Coe settled on that as an informal umbrella term in the early 1970s, as documented in the archives of the Fellowship Foundation -- began in 1935 in Seattle, not in the 1940s in Washington. Ike didn't attend a prayer cell, as the small group meetings were then called. As documented in the archives, Billy Graham's account, and the papers of Senator Frank Carlson, founder Abraham Vereide lobbied him. He declined. Carlson, who had more weight as one of Ike's lieutenants in the Senate, lobbied him. He declined. Finally, Billy stepped in -- and since Billy had just made a historic switch to the GOP, and carried some votes with him, Eisenhower felt obliged. He attended the inaugural National Prayer Breakfast -- then known as the Presidential Prayer Breakfast -- with the ambivalence that marked most of his responses to sectarian religion. He worried it would become a tradition, which it did.

I'm more troubled by your misrepresentation of my book. The factual errors above suggest you didn't make it far past the first chapter, which is the only one that in any way fits your description. The bulk of the book is historical. None of it is conspiracy-mongering; nor is particularly "secular," regardless of how readers see it. I'm not sure how I could have made this any clearer than my statement on page seven that "this so-called underground [Chuck Colson's word for it in his memoir, Born Again] is not a conspiracy." That's a point I make throughout the book, in which I argue that the Family -- and the Fellowship Foundation that's a part of it -- represent an elite strand of Christian conservatism. My friend David Kuo, the subject of my final chapter (in which I take liberal secularism to task for its own mythmaking and blind spots) is scoring no points against me when he draws a distinction between the Fellowship/Family and populist fundamentalist groups such as Focus on the Family. That distinction, not secrecy -- or "privacy," if you prefer -- is central to my argument.

What's puzzling is your exclusive focus on the Family's relationship to publicity. There's not a word here about what they actually believe, or what the 200 ministries you mention have actually done, or the relationships to foreign governments documented not only by me but also by the LA Times and in a recent cover story in the Christian Right World magazine, hardly a bastion of leftist secularism. The Family/Fellowship’s activities in Somalia, Indonesia, and Brazil alone ought to be enough to indicate tough questions. You make that point at the end, but seem to limit them to matters of style rather than substance. I’m sure you have had your email filled with missives from reasonable people in Washington. The fact is, have they done their research? Have you? Most Family/Fellowship types I talk to are completely unaware of the group’s history. Many more former members – mostly evangelical, many of them conservative – have, like World magazine, begun to ask the tough questions you didn’t. You seem to be reporting on my tv interviews and your own unquestioning acceptance of the good word of Tony Hall. I've been a fan of your work for some time, so I'm puzzled by this approach. I'm certain you were trying to be fair, and I'm glad for that. But this just seems, I don't know, a little sloppy.

To which Lisa Miller responded: My intention was never to write an investigative story. It was an opinion piece, focusing mostly on the fallout of the C Street story, and in my opinion, readers out there -- especially in this instance secular left readers and viewers -- need to separate out their instinctive distaste and mistrust of conservative religious groups from the facts. There was a tone at the time, I hope you'll agree, of conspiracy mongering, which I don't think leads to productive conversations between right and left about the appropriate intersections between religious activities and government. What is legal? What is illegal? What is ethical? What is unethical? This is not the conversation we as a culture were having at the time. (Or, really, ever have.) Despite your having written an exhaustive history of the Fellowship, all the interviews focused on the sordid, right-wing-Christians-having-sex-in-a-Christian-house thing, which seemed to me titillating but not actually wrong, except on a personal level. On one of the shows (Bill Maher?) the interviewer said, "so there /is/ a christian conspiracy to take over the world."

The fact is, the Fellowship does lots of good things (which you do say in your book, but which didn't really come out in the coverage), lots of its members are very devoted to its ministries, and its theology, while oddball, isn't in and of itself dangerous.

I completely agree (and I said so at the time) that the Fellowship's activities abroad -- now, most recently, with the proposed Uganda legislation (and by the way I loved your interview on Terry Gross) -- trigger tough questions , but I have not yet seen any hard evidence that what they are doing is illegal. (This includes the stuff in your book about Suharto. I wanted to find a smoking gun...) Thus my call for transparency. If they say they aren't breaking the law, then show us your books, please. Tell us who's in charge of what. Who's paying for what trips? Miller immediately wrote a follow-up note: I'm going to rephrase something I said: I have not yet been convinced that the oddball theology is in itself dangerous. obviously, certain members of the fellowship are turning a blind eye to things that are completely corrupt, violations of human rights, wrong, etc. To which I responded: As for whether the Family is "dangerous": dangerous to what? That's kind of a presumptuous question, isn't it? It supposes that our concept of American political life is the correct one, doesn't it? A better question: Is it anti-democratic? Explicitly so at the core and implicitly on its margins through its confusion of fellowship and democracy. They're not the same thing. Is it illegal? I'll leave that to the lawyers. It's never been of interest to me. But the very question, to me, illustrates what's wrong with so much reporting on both politics and religion. Not just on the left, but within establishmentarian media as well. Questions about legality, hypocrisy, and even ethics, necessary as they may be, distract us from matters of meaning. That was the subject of my book and the hundreds of interviews I gave about it. In the vast majority of them I went out of my way to remind people that this isn't a conspiracy, that the First Amendment protects the Family as well as everyone else, that the issues are not of the sort that can be reformed into submission through ethics laws, not issues at all, in fact -- rather questions about what democracy is.JeffSharlet (talk) 16:49, 24 December 2009 (UTC) Jeff Sharlet

How much should we believe in Mr. Sharlet's book now after he recanted his accusations about the Family's link to the Uganda legislation? http://wthrockmorton.com/2009/12/16/the-fellowship-aka-the-family-opposes-uganda%E2%80%99s-anti-homosexuality-bill-guest-post-by-jeff-sharlet/
If he exaggerated this, who says he hasn't exaggerated more to sell books? (although he claims he has not made anything from the book). I think we should reevaluate the entire article in light of this.

98.66.79.144 (talk) 17:16, 26 December 2009 (UTC)

Hi. Could you stop incessantly spamming this page with links to your blog? Thanks.—goethean 20:21, 26 December 2009 (UTC)
Hi Goethean, I don't believe that wthrockmorton.com is 98.66.79.144's blog, because 98.66.79.144 is critical of Jeff Sharlet, and the owner of the blog supports Jeff Sharlet (enough so that he allowed Jeff Sharlet to write a guest blog entry). --Kevinkor2 (talk) 07:24, 28 December 2009 (UTC)

More BLP concerns[edit]

I have commented out the section on extramarital affairs, it seems at once hopelessly "gossipy" and well beyond the scope of this article. There is a serios WP:SYNTHESIS problem in that, including the section in the article advances a position or give the impression that such affairs are significant to understanding the main topic. The section had been tagged as a WP:COATRACK for some time, and given the BLP concerns, I have commented it out for now. --Jayron32 17:10, 23 December 2009 (UTC)

Your concern strikes me as misplaced. The Fellowship came into the mainstream press as a result of a string of highly publicized affairs of Fellowship members. Coverage of the affairs are essential to the notability of the organization. It is more neutral for the article to portray events in a way which is in line with mainstream coverage than to deny them.—goethean 18:11, 23 December 2009 (UTC)
Google News search resultsgoethean 18:16, 23 December 2009 (UTC)
Many groups have highly publicized affairs of its members. Shall the page on the Republican Party have a special section listing the affairs of its members like Larry Craig and David Vitter? Shall the page on the Republican Party have a special section listing the affairs of its members like Bill Clinton and John Edwards? How about the PGA and Tiger Woods? How about the affairs in the VFW? Most organizations have members who have had affairs that have made the mainstream press because of it. SarahJaneSmith (talk) 20:37, 23 December 2009 (UTC)
Unlike the Fellowship, the Republican Party did not come into prominence in the American media due to the scandalous extra-marital affairs of its members. Thus listing the affairs on that article would be inappropriate.—goethean 23:55, 23 December 2009 (UTC)
I never knew what the PGA was until Tiger Woods's text messages came out. I think I should add a section on PGA affairs to that page. 69.2.65.44 (talk) 14:34, 24 December 2009 (UTC)
I'm not sure you can say that either. The group has been running the National Prayer Breakfast since the 1950's. I can't say that a few recent TMZ-worthy reports of the peccadillo's of some of its reported members (we don't have any confirmation that anyone is ACTUALLY a member of this group) merits reporting in a serious encyclopedia article. --Jayron32 00:52, 24 December 2009 (UTC)
...a few recent TMZ-worthy reports...
What? Coverage of the scandals has been ongoing in every major news outlet. There have been hundreds of news articles written on them.—goethean 17:00, 24 December 2009 (UTC)
Then place the reports in the articles about the people they involve. Placing them in this article serves little purpose, except to advance an idea about this organization (look! Their hippocrits! Christians with extramarital affairs!) which is salacious and not suitible to an encyclopedia article. Collecting a series of unrelated extramarital affairs into this article advances a position that is unsupported by any reliable source. That multiple people coincidentally involved in this organization have had such affairs isn't an important concept to understanding the organization. It has nothing to do with the organization. --Jayron32 18:28, 24 December 2009 (UTC)
Placing them in this article serves little purpose, except to advance an idea about this organization which is salacious and not suitible to an encyclopedia article.
It's not a synth because it is in the news articles. "Salacious" does not violate any Wikipedia policy, probably because it is an opinion rather than a fact.—goethean 16:03, 25 December 2009 (UTC)
See WP:NOTNEWS. Wikipedia does not exist solely to regurgitate what appears in news articles. Being referenced in a reliable source is a necessary but not sufficient condition to include some random factoid in an article. The information should also be relevent to the article in question. The issue here is one of relevence. --Jayron32 05:27, 26 December 2009 (UTC)
The issue here is one of relevence.
Are you sure this time? The issue is clearly a moving target, as a quick read of this conversation will tell you. The issue is Synthesis, the issue is coatrack, the issue is the sources, the issue is salaciousness, the issue is notnews. Your issues change every time you make a comment.—goethean 17:39, 26 December 2009 (UTC)

If the sexual affairs are publicly documented, there are no WP:BLP concerns. There may be SYN issues if Wikipedia editors are making the claims that the affairs of the members brought public attention to the Fellowship and there may be COATRACK issues, but verifiable content from well respected sources about affairs removes WP:BLP as an issue. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 4.158.222.153 (talk) 16:27, 26 December 2009 (UTC)

This article clearly ties the publicity of the affairs to notice being brought to the Fellowship's C-street house, removing WP:SYN. All that remains is to tighten the content to be focused on subject of the article. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 207.69.139.137 (talk) 21:18, 27 December 2009 (UTC)

International Foundation=The Fellowship/Family?[edit]

I saw this: "The Fellowship has funded the travel expenses of members of Congress to various hot spots throughout the globe, including Rep. Robert Aderholt (R-Al.) to Darfur,[53] Sen. Tom Coburn (R-Ok.) to Lebanon,[54] Rep. Aderholt to The Balkans,[55][56] and Reps John Carter (R-Tex.) and Joseph Pitts (R.-Pa.) to Belarus[57][58]."

The citations state that the trips were sponsored by the "International Foundation." Is there some other place in the article saying that the International Foundation and the family are the same or linking the two groups? If not, this should be removed. Rockules318 (talk) 18:10, 27 December 2009 (UTC)

Yes. "The Fellowship Foundation, Inc. does most of its business as The International Foundation,[13] which is listed as its DBA name on IRS tax forms.[15]"Likesausages (talk) 04:23, 29 December 2009 (UTC)

Edits from the U.S. House of Representatives[edit]

Keep an eye on edits from User:143.231.249.141. It's someone at the U.S. House of Representatives and they're apparently trying to remove negative information about The Fellowship from this article.[1] Kaldari (talk) 18:59, 13 February 2010 (UTC)

Thank you for the notice, Kaldari. I've taken a look at edits from 143.231.249.141 throughout Wikipedia. Most of them on and after January 2010 are constructive. I've added a notice (also [2]) to Talk:Colleen Hanabusa.--Kevinkor2 (talk) 13:53, 14 February 2010 (UTC)
Oops. I forgot to mention the long slew of vandalism warnings on User talk:143.231.249.141. An IP address to keep an eye on, for sure.--Kevinkor2 (talk) 13:57, 14 February 2010 (UTC)

Comparison to German Wiki[edit]

Hi, to everybody. As I read in the German Wikipedia, World Vision is there connected to the Family in a historical context. "World Vision ist in seinen historischen Wurzeln verknüpft mit dem evangelikalen Netzwerk The Family." English translation: “World Vision is historically connected to the evangelical net “the Family”. This sentence is part of the introduction. Is this just a misunderstanding in Germany? Maybe somebody could help. Thanks. Xraybeachy (talk) 22:43, 17 February 2010 (UTC)

Here is the relevant sentence from German language's World Vision article:

World Vision ist in seinen historischen Wurzeln verknüpft mit dem evangelikalen Netzwerk The Family.

It has a reference to page 209 of The Family: The Secret Fundamentalism at the Heart of American Power. The relevant part of that page is the following:

In later years, Halverson would help build up one of the world's largest relief agencies, World Vision, a Christian outfit that supplies food for the starving and medicine for the wounded and gospel tracts only to those who ask. Although it has long been plagued by accusations of serving as a CIA front, World Vision's verifiable record is admirable--the sort of Christian effort to which Abram paid lip service and nothing more.

I suggest that from these sentences, the link between World Vision and the Family is tenuous. They share one person in common. Also, they state that the Family's founder, Abram, only paid lip service to the type of Christian effort that World Vision does.--Kevinkor2 (talk) 06:17, 18 February 2010 (UTC)

Ugandan AIDS rate[edit]

Estimated adult (15-49) HIV prevalence, Uganda, 1990-2007
Estimated adult (15-49) HIV prevalence in Uganda, 1990-2007. UNAIDS/WHO Epidemiological Fact Sheets on HIV and AIDS, 2008 Update

Hi everyone,

About the following sentence in the article:

Following the American intervention, the Ugandan AIDS rate, once dropping, nearly doubled.

This comes directly from Jeff Sharlet's book, The Family: The Secret Fundamentalism at the Heart of American Power, page 328:

Following implementation of one of the continent's only successful anti-AIDS program, President Yoweri Museveni, the Family's key man in Africa, came under pressure from the United States to emphasize abstinence instead of condoms. Congressman Pitts wrote that pressure into law, redirecting millions of dollars from effective sex-ed programs to projects such as Unruh's. This pressure achieved to desired result: an evangelical revival in Uganda, and a stigmatization of condoms and those who use them so severe that some college campuses held condom bonfires. Meanwhile, Ugandan souls may be more "pure," but their bodies are suffering; following the American intervention, the Ugandan AIDS rate, once dropping, nearly doubled. This fact goes unmentioned by activists such was Unruh and politicians such as Pitts, who continue to promote Uganda as an abstinence success story.

We have already established that Jeff Sharlet's book is a reliable source.

The sentence is an accurate summary of material in the book. And it isn't quoted out of context.

My issue with the sentence is that it talks about "AIDS rate". I raised the issue in Talk:AIDS#Terminology for rates: There are three possible meanings for this term:

  • HIV/AIDS prevalence rate:- fraction who have HIV circulating in their blood stream
  • AIDS mortality rate:- fraction who die from AIDS or opportunistic diseases
  • HIV/AIDS transmission rate:- fraction of new cases of HIV infections

The graph clearly shows that the HIV/AIDS prevalence rate hasn't doubled.

I am now trying to find substantiations that HIV/AIDS transmission rate doubled.

Here is what I've found so far:

Bush and God: Crucifiying Africa's AIDS Single Success Story
http://www.pej.org/html/modules.php?op=modload&name=News&file=article&sid=4939&mode=thread&order=0&thold=0
American Prospect - Esther Kaplan - Even in an administration famous for its contempt for science, President Bush's tortured case for abstinence stands out. He committed $1 billion to abstinence-only programs abroad without a shred of scientific evidence that they prevent disease. Casting about for justification, he and the virginity advocates who surround him latched on to one of the developing world's rare AIDS success stories: Uganda. In their fertile imaginations, the East African nation was a fairy-tale place where Christian morality had turned the epidemic around.
But their castle in the sky came crashing down in May, on the eve of a United Nations meeting on AIDS, when Uganda's AIDS commissioner announced that after years of decline, new HIV infections had almost doubled from 70,000 in 2003 to 130,000 in 2005. Devastating news.
Found a direct source for this article: http://www.prospect.org/cs/articles?article=fairytale_failure. --Kevinkor2 (talk) 21:12, 11 March 2010 (UTC)
Found a direct source for the numbers: http://74.125.95.132/search?q=cache:xuhfctRi84YJ:www.aidsuganda.org/HIVug.htm+site:www.aidsuganda.org&cd=5&hl=en&ct=clnk&gl=ca
In 2005, 132,500 new infections
In 2002, new infections were estimated at 70,170 cases
Still looking for statistics from other years: Is this a statistical blip? What are the margin of error for other estimates?
--Kevinkor2 (talk) 21:55, 11 March 2010 (UTC)

It would be useful to find a graph for this.

--Kevinkor2 (talk) 21:07, 11 March 2010 (UTC)


This issue is back again.

With this edit, the IP user, 70.130.140.6, once again removed the claim about the AIDS incidence in Uganda increasing since it comes from non-authoritative sources and conflicts with AIDS in Uganda.

On my user page, User:Kevinkor2/AIDs in Uganda (raw figures) (sorry about the capitalization mistake with AIDS), I have compiled a list of authoritative sources for incidence of AIDS in Uganda over the years. Soon, I'll find a way to make this into a concise sentence.

--Kevinkor2 (talk) 20:30, 13 June 2010 (UTC)

FDR and Presidents Kennedy and Johnson[edit]

Where is the support for these Presidents' recently added affiliations with the Fellowship? According to NPR "Founded in 1935 in opposition to FDR's New Deal, the evangelical group's views on religion and politics are so singular that some other Christian-right organizations consider them heretical." NPR. Unless someone cites support for the contention that FDR supported a group founded to oppose him, I am going to remove this reference. Also, I would be interested in seeing support for Presidents Kennedy and Johnson being affiliated - this should consist of something more than giving a Presidential address at the NPB. Likesausages (talk) 03:55, 22 April 2010 (UTC)

Request for consensus on first sentence[edit]

Ivananderson has recently changed (here & here) the article's first sentence from this:

The Fellowship, also known as the Family, is a U.S.-based religious and political organization founded in April, 1935.

To this:

The Fellowship, also known as the prayer breakfast movement, and known as a fellowship of believers in Christ and seekers of Faith is a global outreach ministry of personal Spiritual encouragement.

To forestall yet another edit war, can we come to a consensus about what the first sentence should say—in particular, what AKA name(s) it should mention?

The vast majority of the article's references call it either the Fellowship or the Family; sometimes both (as here). It seems to be know as the prayer breakfast movement mainly among Fellowship members and apologists, as in the references given. Davemck (talk) 20:50, 1 May 2010 (UTC)

I've reverted his edits again. There's a wider problem with Ivananderson's edits (this is also a problem with his edits to other articles). He writes as an apologist and the result is that he transforms encyclopedia articles into flowery pieces of glorification. Pichpich (talk) 12:54, 3 May 2010 (UTC)

Removal of list of associated people[edit]

I have removed the list of associated people, per WP:BLP, since contentious material about living people should be removed unless properly source. The only source listed for the information was this one: [3], which doesn't actually list any of the names noted in the article. Until such time as a sources where a person themselves admits to being a member of The Fellowship, OR a source which is published by the Fellowship claims people as members, we should not have specific names of people. --Jayron32 03:23, 4 May 2010 (UTC)

By the way, with this edit, I removed a list of names that had been commented out earlier.--Kevinkor2 (talk) 04:18, 4 May 2010 (UTC)
Thanks. I commented that list out about a year ago as well. See way above on the talk page. People have been given ample time to provide sources for these names, and have not. If sources materialize, anyone directly named could, of course, be added back. But as yet, no source has shown up. --Jayron32 04:19, 4 May 2010 (UTC)

Did you try to verify any of the names, or did you just remove them without checking to see if, beyond the incorrect source? -- some of these names should be included. I know there are many press reports that name any number of the people you have now deleted from this article. Rather than just removing the good-faith work of other editors, why not try to check out some or all the names and provide appropriate references, or put a tag on the section that it needs additional citations. By removing these names, you discourage people to develop the article. I think the list of names should stand and it should be simply tagged as needing additional citations. Calicocat (talk) 05:05, 4 May 2010 (UTC)

Please read WP:BURDEN and WP:BLP. "The burden of evidence lies with the editor who adds or restores material" and "Contentious material about living persons that is unsourced or poorly sourced—whether the material is negative, positive, neutral, or just questionable—should be removed immediately and without waiting for discussion". If you want the information in the article, feel free to provide sources to put it back in. It isn't my responsibility to find sources for infortmation you think belongs. You want to say "John Doe" is a member of the organization, find a reliable source which positively and unambiguously confirms that he is. That someone worked very hard to place the list in the article is irrelevent. Wikipedia has a responsibility towards living persons to get it right when we publish information about them. Slapping someone's name on a list of members/associates/whatever of an organization, without evidence that they are, is clearly not up to the highest possible standards of referencing required by WP:BLP. It says nothing about the good faith of the people who added the names. They may very well have had the best of intentions when adding the names to the list. But meaning well is not enough to satisfy the standards necessary. --Jayron32 05:26, 4 May 2010 (UTC)
Agree strongly with Calicocat. Originally the article referred to members. In response to people's objections the descriptor was changed to people who have publicly acknowledged working with the Fellowship or are documented as having done so. These people are public figures, including mostly politicians. There is no problem disclosing their connection to an organization if it is properly sourced. The issue is a citation issue, not whether the portion of the work must be deleted.
There are lots of people listed in this piece as being connected to this organization. The only difference between that and having a centralized list is that the current format is less convenient and complete. If the issue were whether people can be listed as being connected to this organization then this article and all others about secretive organizations that do not publish their membership could not exist.
Many public figures are well documented as being connected to this organization, including the vast majority of the people who used to be on the list. In fact, in an older list there used to be a comprehensive list of citations next to each name, but somehow that got dropped.
So where does this leave us? The objection was poor sourcing but instead of noting that, the editors in question deleted the entire list. Time to rebuild the sandcastle. Yes, it is demoralizing.Likesausages (talk) 11:33, 4 May 2010 (UTC)
The issue with the previous list was the poor nature of the sourcing, the ambiguous manner in which people were connected to the organization. "So-and-so is rumored to be part of the organization" or "It is reported that so-and-so has ties to the group". No source has been found which connects any name to the group in an unambiguous manner. Its all hearsay and second hand reporting. If its secretive, and there are no official links between the names of people and the organization, that isn't our problem. We should not post idle speculation about who is, or is not, affiliated with an organization nor should we repeat other people's idle speculation. I am sorry that WP:BLP makes it inconvenient for you; it is not a policy designed for convenience. It was a policy designed to respect the rights of living people not to have falsehoods spread about them. I am not saying that the list itself was a complete fabrication, but we need to leave information of this nature out of the article until reliable unambiguous sources are found. WP:BLP is clear on that. Its not hard. If someone is definately a member, and you know that to be true, then such evidence should exist. --Jayron32 15:15, 4 May 2010 (UTC)
You are incorrect. Reliable sources cite many politicians and other public figures for their work with the Fellowship or their admitted connections. Many of these people already are cited in the article for their involvement with C Street. The list is convenient and adds a few more names. One of these days I will reconstruct it. Each person will have a reliable source describing their involvement, as it did originally. If you object to a particular source, I will discuss. Deleting the whole list again because you disagree with the idea or dismiss all potential sources out of hand as unreliable, however, will not be a permissible option.Likesausages (talk) 01:51, 23 May 2010 (UTC)

Having found a reliable source that lists a bunch of names of people associated with the F, I've created a section. Roscelese (talkcontribs) 04:20, 30 January 2011 (UTC)

Jeff Sharlet, The Family, Uganda[edit]

Hi everyone,

There is a entry on William Throckmorton's blog:

The Fellowship (aka The Family) Opposes Uganda’s Anti-Homosexuality Bill: Guest post by Jeff Sharlet
http://wthrockmorton.com/2009/12/16/the-fellowship-aka-the-family-opposes-uganda%E2%80%99s-anti-homosexuality-bill-guest-post-by-jeff-sharlet/
Posted on December 16th, 2009
The Fellowship prefers to avoid the limelight; Bob has forsaken that to make clear his position and that of his American associates: The Fellowship, AKA the Family, opposes the Ugandan Anti-Homosexuality Bill.

--Kevinkor2 (talk) 11:24, 1 February 2011 (UTC)

Lisa Miller[edit]

Just changed the wording which described Miller's article. Here article describes the Fellowship's denial of "Christian" identity in ironic terms, implying that their self-description is spin to obscure their Christian identity. The wording I've edited was written to describe Miller's words as straight reporting of 'facts.' Not so. It's fixed. Tapered (talk) 03:31, 14 July 2011 (UTC)

"storey" in "C street center" section[edit]

I happened to notice in this article the building is mentioned as "three-storey" and if you follow the link to the main article it says "three story". Should one or the other be changed to be consistent? Kap 7 (talk) 14:17, 28 March 2013 (UTC)

Done  "three-story" Davemck (talk) 22:52, 29 March 2013 (UTC)

thanks Kap 7 (talk) 03:30, 30 March 2013 (UTC)

C Street Center Section refs[edit]

I have no interest for or against this church but 6 refs for the opening sentence?

see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Citation_clutter

Kap 7 (talk) 03:52, 30 March 2013 (UTC)