Talk:Bare-faced Messiah

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Non factual opinions[edit]

Prioryman: The Background and synopsis says "an internal letter in which he suggests that Scientology should pursue religious status for business reasons" ok this is taken from a reference, but that's a Washington Post review of a legal judgement. The actual passage in the book, is quite different from this person's opinion of what they want it to read. BFM page 179 quotes from a letter which does talk about business, yes, if you read the book it was just after several organisations had become insolvent, but then LRH says "I await your reaction on the religion angle.. In my opinion, we couldn't get worse public opinion than we have had or have less customers with what we have to sell" Note this does not suggest that becoming a religion would be good for business, it says things would be no worse than they are.

To get a little technical here, in Germany "the Federal Supreme Administrative Court decided that an association does not maintain a commercial business operation, if it offers services to its members in the realization of its idealistic purpose" Mission Neue Bruecke Stuttgart vs State of Baden-Wuerttemberg http://www.cesnur.org/testi/stuttgart_en.htm

You want to use original source as much as possible, therefore the book takes priority over opinions about the book three times removed from it in the Washington Post. And what better than the source, LRH, what he actually said in the letter referred to.

The comment about "his daughter" doesn't clarify the relationship, so I put that in. Its not opinion from me, its from the book.

Clearly the sources are all disaffected Scientologists so that bias is in the book and there is a passage where he quotes two sources about the same event and they said diametrically different things about LRH at the time.

BFM is quite an interesting book to a Scientologist who has sufficient grounding in the subject. Of course LRH was a man and had frailities. But the book puts in gratuitous vicious caracatures and in places is plainly wrong - example, he says LRH said he was Cecil Rhodes in a previous life but he didn't know Cecil Rhodes was a homosexual. Fact, I checked that out and the only known facts are that Rhodes did not marry. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cecil_Rhodes#Sexuality This is an example of the hatchet job that Miller does from time to time through the book.Drg55 (talk) 10:17, 14 June 2013 (UTC)

Permission of author to reproduce book on the Internet[edit]

According to:

Bare-Faced Messiah is out of print now, but this argument remains no less strong. That is why I have reproduced the book on the Web, with Mr Miller's permission; not because I have any desire to damage the Church of Scientology but because I believe strongly that it is in the public interest to make his well-researched book available to a wider audience. Here for the first time, then, is an electronic version of Bare-Faced Messiah.

Cirt (talk) 05:41, 15 December 2008 (UTC)

Funny, as this book is by far no well-researched book at all. It is that alone by statement and claim. This can be verified in various ways. Check up on the actual referencing supplied in the back of the book. Many are from interviews, which accounts for subjective and in essence unverified information. You also find very many entries that are in fact not referenced at all! Just do your own research on this. Today various can easily and quickly get confirmed via a simple Internet search, which was not possible at such time that the book was published back in mid-1987. The times-they're-a-changing', yes indeed. --Olberon (talk) 19:18, 12 January 2011 (UTC)
The last time that this played out, a compromise was arrived at where links to an identical copy of BFM at a site like Marburg or similar were substituted for xenu.net. As long as it's the same online version and it matches my hard cover copy, I don't care that much which site it goes to. AndroidCat (talk) 06:04, 15 December 2008 (UTC)

GA Review[edit]

This review is transcluded from Talk:Bare-faced Messiah/GA1. The edit link for this section can be used to add comments to the review.

Reviewer: Mark Arsten (talk · contribs) 16:30, 27 May 2012 (UTC)

  • Looks interesting, this should be fun to review. Comments to follow in the next couple days. I'm a fairly slow reviewer, so this could take a while, sorry for any delay. Mark Arsten (talk) 16:30, 27 May 2012 (UTC)
  • Alright, I've read through it and it looks great. Very interesting and well written. Only a few comments/copyedits needed, nothing major:
  • Did you want to use the serial comma? The usage is inconsistent.
  • Can you give me an example? Prioryman (talk) 22:40, 29 May 2012 (UTC)
  • I checked again, and it was only being used once. You might want to check that sentence though, not sure if it reads well without the comma.
  • "The Church strenuously denied this accusation and a private investigator involved in the campaign denied that the Church was his client.[2][3] The Church" A little repetition here, is there a good way to avoid starting consecutive sentences with "The Church..."
  • I've reworded this, see what you think. Prioryman (talk) 22:40, 29 May 2012 (UTC)
  • I've made some copyedits, feel free to revert if you disagree.
  • You repeat "United States" and "United Kingdom" a few times in the article, might want to abbreviate some later mentions as US and UK. Also, make sure it's standardized to "U.S." or "US".
  • Complete sentences in image captions should end in a period.
  • There's a little repetition in the second paragraph of "Background and synopsis", particularly "such as" and "covers".
  • I've made some changes which should fix this. Prioryman (talk) 22:40, 29 May 2012 (UTC)
  • I'd suggest "Reaction from Hubbard's followers" rather than "Reaction from followers of Hubbard", not a big deal though.
  • "His family was approached by private detectives" Whose family is this?
  • I think the MOS frowns on wikilinks inside of quotations, so I'd advise against it, although some people do it.
  • Not sure about this to be honest, I'll look into it. Prioryman (talk) 22:40, 29 May 2012 (UTC)
  • Yeah, a lot of people leave them in, even at FAC.
  • "adopting a strategy that has been described as" Might want to note who described it this way.
  • "Much of the dispute centred on the plaintiffs' argument that the actions of former Scientology archivist Gerry Armstrong in providing Miller with unpublished materials (whether directly or indirectly) was a breach of his duty of confidence to the Church" Is "was" correct here or should "were" be used?
  • "Were"; I've changed it. Prioryman (talk) 22:40, 29 May 2012 (UTC)
  • "It also claimed that copyright had been violated through the unauthorised excerpting of unpublished materials and books written by Hubbard, and that it would interfere with New Era's own plans to publish an "authorised" biography based on the same unpublished materials." There's some repetition of "unpublished materials" here.
  • There's not much about the suits in South Africa and Australia, not a big deal for GA, but if you're going for FA someone might bring it up.
  • That's for the simple reason that I have no info about either. Prioryman (talk) 22:40, 29 May 2012 (UTC)
  • Not a big deal then.
  • Might want to briefly note who Arthur M. Schlesinger, Jr. is, ditto for Martin Gardner.
  • "The Church of Scientology, predictably, was" Not sure if you need "predictably" here.
  • "Writing in Kingdom of the Cults" Might want to note what this is, a book? a journal?
  • I added an explanatory gloss. Prioryman (talk) 22:40, 29 May 2012 (UTC)
  • "bizarre career." Check for logical punctuation here.
  • Not sure what you mean, can you clarify? Prioryman (talk) 22:40, 29 May 2012 (UTC)
  • I mean I think it should be "Bizarre career"., with the period after the quote mark.
  • To be honest, I think it works better the way it currently is... Prioryman (talk) 22:40, 29 May 2012 (UTC)
  • Sure, that's fine, just a preference issue on my part I guess. Mark Arsten (talk) 01:46, 30 May 2012 (UTC)

I wrote an early version of this article, which was quite good. No, let me not pretend to be modest. It was astoundingly good. My opinion of the current version is that it is too prolix. It's okay, though. Thanks for the hard work, everybody. --TS 02:11, 30 May 2012 (UTC)

  • LOL, thanks for weighing in. I hope the recent changes didn't damage the article too much--prolixity is rampant around here :) Alright, excellent work. Interesting, well-written article here, glad I signed up for the review. Article passes GA. Mark Arsten (talk) 02:14, 30 May 2012 (UTC)
  • Well, I can't deny that Tony's version contains all the key facts; mine is just fluffier. ;-) Thanks very much for your time and assistance, Mark. Prioryman (talk) 06:09, 30 May 2012 (UTC)

Complaints by User:Drg55[edit]

User:Drg55 has started a discussion on my Talk page about this book. I don't think that's the proper place for this discussion, so I am copy-and-pasting that user's points here, and also copying part of my reply.

Hi Martin, I wonder if you can help me? We are I suppose on opposite sides, I'm a Scientologist since 1974 and worked in PR to boot. However I have read Bare Faced Messiah and want to make some improvements to the Wikipedia page. I believe that you liked this book. I think I have been given a very hard time, I made an edit concerning the reference: " Among the private papers quoted in the book are a letter written by Hubbard to the FBI denouncing his wife as a Soviet spy, another in which he tells his daughter he is not really her father and an internal letter in which he suggests that Scientology should pursue religious status for business reasons.[12" in Background and synopsis. This is a lousy synopsis and its the opinion of a lawyer in a losing case in the US reported in the Washington Post. If you check you can see my edits of 14 June and 18 June which were arbitrarily deleted by Prioryman and Andrewman327. With regard to the first my point was that was not what was in the book. And the second, I don't see that saying that sources include "embittered Scientologists" is any different to saying that sources include FoI and stolen personal documents. It is fact not opinion. I made a few edits to the page in response to demonstrate how I felt I was being treated and have been accused by Prioryman of "disruptive editing" "June 2013" on my talk page.Drg55 (talk) 07:42, 19 June 2013 (UTC)

OK, from my point of view the book was quite interesting, but

1. He seemed to get all the interesting FoI material that I recall was so hard to get, looks like a set up and the Church claims Hubbard's military record was doctored to remove his intelligence roles. We had a witness Fletcher Prouty. Heres a reference on that http://scientologymyths.com/hubbardww2.htm

2. The fact that the media backed the book looks like black propaganda ref http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_SAUborWbPw Scientology continues to be against the abuse of psychiatric drugs which is worth billions internationally.

3. It lacked critical evaluation of the material. By definition the testimonies are from disaffected people as no Scientologist in good standing would have cooperated. In one passage two conflicting versions of events are given by different people.

4. The book overlooks Hubbard's tremendous output of lectures and books, around 100,000 pages and more, which many people have found tremendously valuable. Instead it just gives the embittered person's manufactured resentments at a time he was making tremendous production (bit like a biography of Mozart with no music and just whining about unpaid tailor's bills. http://books.google.com.au/books?id=GnXy0TPigw4C&pg=PA408&lpg=PA408&dq=mozart+unpaid+tailors+bills&source=bl&ots=1rrufveT-J&sig=n_wtyF_kkGEV--h7u-Docz3UUJY&hl=en&sa=X&ei=nefCUcPaEMTQiAfbqIGwBA&ved=0CCwQ6AEwAA#v=onepage&q=mozart%20unpaid%20tailors%20bills&f=false

5. The stolen diaries etc have been edited to sensational reasons leaving out many positive things to be found in the Church's recently released 16 volume biography.

6. Miller throws in the odd invented insult. He mentions for instance that LRH said he was Cecil Rhodes in a former life, and then that Rhodes was homosexual. Checking this I found no evidence beyond Rhodes never married.

7. Miller is clearly biased and caricatures Hubbard viciously. He shows no understanding of our religion, and only seeks to make light of it. The material I am reading currently is from 1953 and I looked up what he was talking about, it was drawn from Neoplatonism. Other material from 1952 was based on 2000 year old gnostic beliefs. Scientology is very well grounded as a religion which is why most scholars of New Religions recognise us as acknowledged even by our enemies. And while the UK has not recognised us this is in part because of the Church of England, a state religion and using that to compare what is religious.

8. Much emphasis was made on money, yet when Hubbard left the ship on one occasion he ate fish fingers and watched TV all day. There's no real evidence in the book of abuse of funds. And at the end of the book it acknowledges that the majority of his money went to the Church. It may be with good reason from past experience that he didn't trust people to safeguard our reserves.Drg55 (talk) 11:34, 20 June 2013 (UTC)

Why are you discussing this here? Please have this discussion in the Talk page of the article. For what it's worth, these points, and your or my subjective reactions to the book in general, are not suitable matter for the Wikipedia article about the book. If we write about what certain facts "look like" to you, or to me, then we're not writing an encyclopedia. That Hubbard's devoted followers wrote a 16 volume biography with many positive statements about him is not at all surprising, nor is it in any way a significant fact about the independently-written Bare-Faced Messiah. Many of your points seem to be non sequiturs. MartinPoulter(talk) 11:50, 20 June 2013 (UTC)
Further points: if you are thinking in terms of "sides" then that's the wrong approach for Wikipedia, and suggests why you are having such friction with other editors. You and I both have limitless opportunities online to voice our own opinions about this topic: Wikipedia does not exist for that purpose. You are welcome to criticise the book on any of the many sites that allow you to freely publish your thoughts and reactions. If "being backed by the media" looks like "a set up" then pretty much all investigative journalism looks like a set up. That would mean that plenty of reliable sources can't be used, and yet you want your unsourced opinions about the book to affect the Wikipedia article about the book. MartinPoulter (talk) 12:00, 20 June 2013 (UTC)

Thanks for the reply, I'm just clarifying where I see things, raising directions that might be realised, you can judge me by the fact that my edits were quite simple. I tried to put an actual quote from the book into the BFM article which was not what was said by the attorney on the losing side of the case in the USA and is quoted as though its truth. I also just added in a couple of words about the disaffected sources which was cut out although its a fair summary of the book when put with the FoI data and stolen diaries. I think I also clarified about the daughter - again the book gives data which is different to this bad reference. These are mild edits and I'm researching good sources at the same time for future edits. I would like to deal reasonably with people, I know that Martin Poulter has a website where he boast that he is source for many wikipedia articles on Scientology (including BFM) and gives talks against Scientology around the UK http://infobomb.org/ also you are in with the Skeptics, which is a definite bias. However you will find that I am not a doctrinaire Scientologist. You are perhaps similar to Saint Paul when he was persecuting Christians, maybe one day you'll fall off your donkey and become one of us, then we'll really have a problem on our hands. Jokes aside I did psychology and Freud, neo Freudianism at university, (one of my lecturers I later found out selected over 300 people for lobotomies) I've worked with top professors QC's and the like. In fact a former psychologist on the advisory board of CCHR later became head of our national psychological society. I'm glad you want to improve the Scientology articles, so do I.Drg55 (talk) 14:13, 20 June 2013 (UTC)

Let's deal with this:
1) Prouty was a notorious conspiracy theorist and an unreliable source for anything.
2) Unsubstantiated conspiracy theory.
3) Unsubstantiated personal opinion.
4) Irrelevant. Please word-clear the meanings of biography and bibliography. They may have similar spellings but they're quite different things
5) Personal opinion, and irrelevant anyway - this article isn't a biography of Hubbard, it's about a biography of Hubbard.
6) I don't think you've looked very hard, as 10 seconds of Googling found this among other sources which say similar things: "Whether Rhodes was a practicing homosexual is a matter of debate among historians, but he did have a pattern of strong fondness for young men, which, at the very least, suggested powerful homosexual inclinations" [1]
7) Unsubstantiated personal opinion, and wrong anyway; the CoS's lack of recognition in England is nothing to do with the Church of England.
8) Unsubstantiated personal opinion.
In short, everything you've said above is either irrelevant, unsubstantiated or wrong. Your objections seem to have more to do with the contents of the book, not the article. You're welcome to your own opinions of the book's worth and accuracy, but this isn't the place to register your disagreement with its contents. Prioryman (talk)
I don't propose to cover all issues here, those are main flaws I can point to in the book and its reception. I'm raising this here as part of a process of focus on what this book is and then how we can better represent it in Wikipedia. That will be an evolving process and I might be working on this for some months. But to give you more substance on one, in relation to the UK here is a legal discussion from the Australian Government about our legal win here and its use (as it doesn't just apply to us, we set the definition that others will be judged by) Its not too long a document,

"The judges in the Scientology case, in describing religion, went beyond saying that an organisation would only be a religion if it centred on a belief in a Supreme Being. Mason ACJ and Brennan J concluded that what was required was a belief in a `supernatural Being, Thing or Principle'. This marked a move from the trend to that date and the trend still in Britain in favour of theism. Picarda notes that `the theistic theme has always been well to the fore in definitions of religion in American cases. And it has constituted the essence of modern pronouncements on religion in the English courts.'" http://www.cdi.gov.au/report/cdi_chap20.htm

Where theism is used as the standard, guess which book they look to as the standard. In fact I have been reading up quite a bit on Christianity which I also studied at University and scholarship has moved on quite a bit since then. There are probably 4 or 5 different religions in the Old Testament (Northern Israel, Judah, Priest, Prophet, post exile) and as far as the New Testament we have forged books not by Paul, Gospels banned in theological wars (although intriguingly fragments of them survive within the surviving text) and a rump created by a Roman Emperor as suitable to enforce on his people. That's the standard, with no offence to the faithful, what a laugh. Anyhow broadly there's not much more understanding about Christianity than they teach in Sunday School. My little post in Ego Vs God ended with reference to Gnostic non dual ideas and a link to the article Monism Really the ancient Greeks knew a lot and we are still in the dark ages. Skeptics won't get this, no offence guys, a bit of Scientology auditing can help recover real religious experience. What about you Prioryman, does your tag indicate a religious interest?Drg55 (talk) 08:44, 21 June 2013 (UTC)
The theistic requirement is nothing to do with the Church of England - see R. v Registrar General ex parte Segerdal. As for my username, that's more to do with football (or soccer) than religion! Prioryman (talk) 11:59, 21 June 2013 (UTC)

Thanks for the reference, it proves my point because the law is based upon the Church of England, all that is regarded as religion is obviously primarily what they are used to and it is inevitable whether consciously or unconsciously that they are influenced by it. Just as there is an essential fascist nature to the religions of the book found in the commandment that you shall have no other gods before me see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ten_Commandments#Critical_historical_analysis -see the bit about Hittite treaties. I reorganised this section and wrote part of it, and had quite a battle with the other editors for some time as they refused to include archaeological evidence (from Israeli archaeologists) because there are political reasons for these myths. Now myths are important and I'm not knocking them, but they are usually not true. Whether Garden of Eden or Aboriginal Australian, they are cultural, moral dreamlike stories and should be seen in that way (and respected for those reasons). And by the way I have admiration for many parts of the Bible, and how do we say, its quite Theta in places.

Scientology is about being, not so much as a set of ideas. The early Christian Church was anarchical as described by Paul, it only took about 100 years to get in a structure of bishops and deacons and we end up with "Trust and obey". In practice we use processes which when correctly applied bring about realisations and a release of theta. In this sense theta is spiritual energy. You might call it life essence, but that only describes the genetic entity.In the UK case we probably didn't put our position as well as could have been, and I don't think the Charities Commission has the intellectual credibility for an issue like this.

But getting back to BFM, what is missing is the experience of Scientologists which we call theta, which is comparable to Gnostic ideas of the one ultimate source of all things. And it is questionable how under UK law Buddhism would be received. And it is a historical fact that religious refugees left the UK and Europe to go to America leaving unresolved in those societies the social repression, and we are not the only American originated faiths to have trouble in the old world today. We may have to get the law changed to get recognition, its clearly discriminatory and a violation of the UK's obligations under UN human rights conventions.

But while the idea of theta - which one gets a deeper understanding of as one goes up the Bridge may be absent from BFM there is plenty of "en theta" which is enturbulated theta. For me to add three words to the sources "disaffected former Scientologists" would be a statement of fact, self evident from the book. Recently Rupert Murdoch divorced and various comments were made about the marriage from sources described by a spokesman for Murdoch as "disgruntled former staff" http://www.smh.com.au/business/rupert-murdoch-to-divorce-wendi-deng-20130614-2o7lq.html If someone is disgruntled they may describe actual events but they tend to colour and interpret them in the negative.

OK if you are not religious I might have to call you "a priori man". Are you a skeptic like Martin?Drg55 (talk) 05:38, 23 June 2013 (UTC)

This article is one of Wikipedia's Good articles, meaning it has no major problems. Anyone is free to edit it, but with an article of this caliber, you have to be especially careful only to include relevant material from reliable sources. That's all that really matters here. A quick JSTOR search shows the book has been mentioned in many scholarly journals, including Sociological Analysis, The Journal of Legal Studies, Columbia Law Review, and Stanford Law Review. It is unusual for a book to get so much attention, so sources are easy to find. Andrew327 20:47, 23 June 2013 (UTC)
Responding to the comments above about me personally: yes, I am completely open about who I am and about my activities outside Wikipedia. They do not relate to what we're discussing here, which is whether Wikipedia's reliable source policy should be ignored in the case of the article about the book Bare-Faced Messiah (that seems to be what you want, Drg55). My being "in with the Skeptics" is something I'm proud of: it means I promote critical thinking. I don't know what you think "the Skeptics" are and anyway it's irrelevant since this page is for discussing improvements to this article. Most of what you're posting above is way off topic: there are many places other than Wikipedia for you to vent your personal opinions about Scientology, Rupert Murdoch or anything else. MartinPoulter (talk) 12:25, 24 June 2013 (UTC)

Thanks Martin for being open about your activities. Being a Skeptic does give you a vested interest, and particularly your active campaigning against Scientology. That hardly fits with the neutral position that editors are required to adopt in Wikipedia. Skeptics believe that the world is material while the key beliefs of Scientologists are that it is spiritual (theta) and that theta is senior to Matter Energy Space and Time. Theta creates MEST in present time. Some skeptics are running a campaign to diminish religion in society. I would argue that there are not just one but many Gods. All I ask is that Wikipedia is fair and does not run propaganda. I have looked at some of your pages and they could be worse. They could also be a little better. I am of course researching some good sources and will be working on this for some time. I began this discussion with a personal appeal to you to intervene on what I perceived as capricious deletions of my edits. I believe in beginning any process of dispute with a reasonable approach. In particular could we restore my edit of 14 June. According to http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Church_of_Scientology_editing_on_Wikipedia#Project_Chanology "A war between internet collective Anonymous and the Church of Scientology" had been "fought out largely on the battlefields of YouTube, Wikipedia and other websites" While edits from the church were easily identified the amorphous anonymous was less easily identified. Now in the spirit of openness, would the other Skeptics, Humanists or even Anonymous members please declare themselves.Drg55 (talk) 07:17, 26 June 2013 (UTC)

There are two points I'll make about your edit of 14 June. First, I simply don't see the point of it - the Washington Post review simply summarises the letter. This isn't an article about a Washington Post review or the letter, for that matter. Second, it's original research on your part to say that it's "inaccurate". Adding a contrasting statement to the article is for the purpose of invalidating one statement with another is classic original research, as it's presenting a conclusion - that the WaPo's statement is inaccurate - that rests entirely on your personal opinion. Prioryman (talk) 07:32, 26 June 2013 (UTC)
It is hardly original research to point out an unreliable source, with a blatant false statement. Yes thats why I just deleted the whole thing on 18 June. That lawyer lost the case and is not a reliable source. Newspapers are not particularly reliable in general. Another question for you, are you like Martin Poulter an unreconstructed neo fascist participant from alt.religion.scientology?
While skeptics may find BFM delivers all their prejudices about religion, factually Scientology has an extremely rational and detailed structure which the majority of members find delivers for them. The purpose of this book was to undermine Scientology by invalidating the founder however the first is not possible and the second, while any individual may have flaws and I am aware of one or two, when descriptions are drawn from people who are disaffected they are unreliable. An advantage to us, if you can call it that, has been that our critics are generally insane and go completely overboard.
Skeptics are not new, I was just reading up on Justin Martyr http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Justin_Martyr#Life he was executed at the behest of a cynic. I personally exposed quite a few attackers of Scientology with weapon of truth, and truth does defeat lies.Drg55 (talk) 04:55, 2 July 2013 (UTC)

Miller does not cite a source for this statement[edit]

{{user|Kage Acheron}, I disagree with this revert. In-line commentary from other sources is a frequent feature on Wikipedia for many works and subjects. Would you like me to dig up some examples? Grammar's Little Helper (talk) 01:00, 27 May 2015 (UTC)

Please don't bother. Melton and Frenschkowski's credentials are as religious experts, not military historians. The statement that they "confirmed most of Hubbard's claims about his military career" is far too vague, and is outside of their fields. They could be described as having refuted some Miller's claims, but even that would be undue weight in this instance. Including this statement emphasizes the very few sources outside of Scientology that supports Hubbard's inflated claims, which appears to be promoting a WP:FRINGE theory outside of its larger prominence. Grayfell (talk) 01:54, 27 May 2015 (UTC)
Sorry, Grayfell, but pleading that those scholars are "outside their field" is much more picky than the WP:RS requires. As scholars, those men surely know what is and is not within the scope of what they can say is true, and they have both staked their truth on this subject. Miller is neither a military nor a religion expert, so by your standard he is not a reliable source on any of it -- and he cites NO sources on Hubbard's military record. Meanwhile Frenschkowski has all the confirming documents in his files and vouches for them, and Melton has a plausible explanation for Miller's deficiencies. Hubbard's military record is not a "fringe theory" -- it happens to be history, one way or the other. You have no personal knowledge of whether Hubbard's claims are "inflated," nor do I. We have only the historical records. Let's not go overboard in discrediting all the voices on one side while featuring all the voices on the other. The best we can do is provide both, side by side. WP:NPOV still holds, regardless of the topic. Grammar's Little Helper (talk) 05:29, 27 May 2015 (UTC)
I agree entirely with Kage Acheron and Grayfell's comments on this. Hubbard's military record is also covered (and cited) in substantial detail in Jon Atack's A Piece of Blue Sky, Janet Reitman's Inside Scientology: The Story of America's Most Secretive Religion and Lawrence Wright's Going Clear: Scientology, Hollywood, and the Prison of Belief, all of whom had their own independent set of Hubbard's military records to work from (I know from personal experience, as I collaborated with all three of them). Their accounts corroborate Miller's. While none of them are military historians, they are biographers and in Atack's case a historian of Scientology, which neither Melton nor Frenschkowski are, so they are operating well within their fields of expertise. As I also know from personal experience, neither Melton nor Frenschkowski have ever elaborated on their comments about Hubbard's military record, nor do they appear willing to discuss it (neither I nor others who have asked them have had any response). The Church of Scientology's version of Hubbard's military record depends entirely on this document, which they have handed out to various enquirers. Unfortunately for them, the document is a trivially obvious forgery, listing ships that didn't exist, medals that didn't exist and were never awarded, and is signed by an officer who never existed. This was confirmed by the US National Archives when The New Yorker reported on it back in 2011.[2].
But this is all rather beside the point. Kage Acheron is absolutely right when he says "this debate about the authenticity of the claim is outside the scope on a page about Miller's book, and belongs in Military career of L. Ron Hubbard" (where it is already covered). Sfarney's statement that Melton and Frenschkowski "have confirmed most of Hubbard's claims about his military career" is quite simply untrue. Prioryman (talk) 07:43, 27 May 2015 (UTC)
By adding Frenschkowski and Melton's viewpoints as the final word, this introduces a distinct bias, and would violate WP:NPOV without the presence of counter-arguments from the sources that refute those claims. Of course, adding this debate about the validity of Hubbard's record would be outside the scope of this article about Miller's book, and there is already detailed analysis and arguments covering this ground in Military career of L. Ron Hubbard, which is linked in this article. Kage Acheron (talk) 16:09, 27 May 2015 (UTC)
If they were only "viewpoints," you would have an argument. But Wikipedia is required to view those statements as facts because of WP:RS. Do you have another or more recent source with better credentials than Melton and Frenschkowski, who are inaruguably independent, even handed scholars? Grammar's Little Helper (talk) 06:18, 28 May 2015 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── "Wikipedia is required to view those statements as facts" Say What?! Where did you get that idea? When sources conflict, we don't choose a couple and give them prominence just because they're claim they're right, that's nonsense. The added content was implying that these experts had the ability to fully confirm many complicated details of Hubbard's military history. To flatly say that Miller was wrong based on two obscure sources is non-neutral and undue. It's just way, way too vague a statement, and smacks of spin.

Also, as his article hints at, J. Gordon Melton is very, very far from being uncontroversial himself, and his opinion should be treated with caution. Melton's opinion might possibly be usable in this article, but probably cannot be regarded as entirely neutral here, and needs to be contextualized.

As for Frenschowski, his brief, largely vague comments about the book in the source strongly suggest that he's going by the completely unverified Navel records that were put forth by the CoS, and match no known officially released records. In the cited source, he specifically says there were made public after the publication of the book. Maybe he has some other records that were made public? If so, he hasn't explained what they are, or shared them, or even commented on them beyond a couple of sentences, so it's very misleading bordering on deceptive to simple say that "Miller was wrong end-of-story." Providing "both, side by side" is false balance. Viewpoints are presented according to weight, not according to contrast, and these two sources are far too light-weight to meet DUE. Grayfell (talk) 07:30, 28 May 2015 (UTC)

I agree entirely. I also find it curious that Sfarney has chosen to title this section "Miller does not cite a source for this statement" when neither Melton nor Frenschkowski cite any sources for their statements either - though Miller's account is corroborated (with sources provided) by Atack, Reitman and Wright while nobody has corroborated Melton or Frenschkowski's views. Double standards much? I know of no party other than, ironically, the Church of Scientology, which has cited any verifiable sources to support Hubbard's war record - and as noted above, the church's main source has been shown to be a crude forgery. Prioryman (talk) 12:48, 28 May 2015 (UTC)
Melton says his source is "both the original notice of separation" and "expert evidence by military specialists explaining [that] discrepancies may occur for a number of reasons between an original notice of separation and the copy kept by the United States Department of Veterans Affairs|Veteran's Administration." Frenschkowski claims to have all the original documents in his own files. Nothing vague about that, and no implication that the documents in his files are, or even might be, a "crude forgery." Those statements stand up pretty well against Miller's no-source statement, as though he heard it in a pub. You have to wonder why, if Miller does have a quotable source, why he doesn't name it in a footnote. And let's respect the rules on the personal remarks, eh? Grammar's Little Helper (talk) 15:22, 28 May 2015 (UTC)
Sfarney, I'm guessing you don't know what Melton is referring to by "expert evidence by military specialists". Back in the 1980s, the Church of Scientology hired the conspiracy theorist and former US Air Force officer L. Fletcher Prouty as a consultant to bolster its claims about Hubbard's war record. Prouty wrote several articles for the church's Freedom magazine and wrote this letter to Miller's publishers in 1987 setting out the case against Miller's findings. Quite apart from the fact that he was a loon associated with the Holocaust-denying Institute for Historical Review, Prouty was a completely incompetent commentator on Hubbard's war record. He contrived a cock-and-bull story (for which there is no independent evidence) that Hubbard's war record had been "sheep-dipped" (i.e. falsified) by the government, and he managed to write a defence of Hubbard based on the forged war record circulated by the church without noticing that it listed medals being awarded to Hubbard that didn't exist and could never have been issued. Note that Melton doesn't say what the "expert evidence" is or who the "military specialists" are. If he'd said he was citing a JFK conspiracy theorist's conspiracy theory about Hubbard, you can bet his own credibility would have taken a hit. This kind of weaselling from Melton is why he needs to be treated very carefully as a source.
I note that you've also ignored my point above that Miller has not written in isolation; Atack, Reitman and Wright have all corroborated Miller's account, and have cited all the relevant sources. As it happens, I also have a complete copy of Hubbard's war record, which I was able to obtain with the help of ex-Senator John Warner. Nothing in it contradicts anything Miller said (and more has come to light since Miller wrote which has provided further corroboration, as Wright has noted). By contrast, neither Melton nor Frenschkowski cite any sources or any specifics for their claim. Their unsourced, unspecific claims stand in contrast to the sourced, specific facts published by Atack, Reitman and Wright, as well as the records themselves. Prioryman (talk) 16:00, 28 May 2015 (UTC)
Miller was writing in isolation at the time he was writing. Others wrote at different times. I appreciate that you have independently researched the question, but your original research cannot be used on the page unless you publish in a peer-reviewed journal. Frenschkowski, however, is a respected scholar and his research does not agree with yours. His work is peer-reviewed. He says (1) he has the documents; (2) implicity, the documents are credible to Frenschkowski and not just "crude forgeries" (3) the truth is closer to Hubbard's statement than to Miller's. I don't know about Fletcher Prouty -- he is not within my scope. He may or may not have been the expert cited by Melton -- we have no source on that, and Melton's statement does not mesh with your paraphrase of Prouty, so it is probably not the same source. I do know that suggesting a Kennedy Assassination conspiracy does not automatically bring discredit on the speaker like it once did -- that stigma seems to have died off with the pro-military heavyweights of the day. But I am no expert on the subject, and that also is out of scope.
Most of the sources citing Hubbard's abbreviated war record are apostates of Scientology. There is among some scholars a serious argument for healthy skepticism when dealing with the apostate of any religion:

I am convinced by reason of my own professional training and scholarly research that the apostate should not be accepted uncritically by the mass media, the scholarly community, the legal system, or governmental agencies as a reliable source of information about new religious movements. The apostate must always be regarded as an individual who is predisposed to render a biased account of the religious beliefs and practices of his or her former religious associations and activities.[3] --Lonnie D. Kliever, Ph.D., Professor of Religious Studies, Southern Methodist University, Dallas, Texas, U.S.A.

One point down: that attestation is found on a Scientology web site. But five points up: Kliever is from a Christian university, where we might expect the least sympathy for Scientology. I have also scanned Lewis' compendium, Scientology, and not found anything on Hubbard's military record. This is a remarkable omission, since the apostates base so much on the statement; if they were correct, it would be an important issue for such a volume. And Lewis and his contributors are highly secular and not at all pro-Scientology.
Since the two scholarly sources we have on the subject support the full record, I think our mandate requires us to go with that. Publishing a book does not automatically elevate the author to the rank of scholar. But scholarly credentials do. Grammar's Little Helper (talk) 17:37, 28 May 2015 (UTC)
You seem to be missing the point that this entire debate about the claims about Hubbard's military record is out of scope of an article about Miller's book, and adding so would be WP:COATRACK. You also seem to miss the point that this subject is covered in extensive detail on the good article Military career of L. Ron Hubbard, with many more sources than the few that are being brought up in this discussion. I see Frenschkowski is cited in that article already; any other references to Melton's claims belong there as well. Kage Acheron (talk) 18:06, 28 May 2015 (UTC)
Uh, not exactly. If Miller makes false claims or does clumsy research and others have debunked him, noting the fact is not coat-racking. Failing to note the fact would be a disservice to the reader and deliberate WP:POV. But I had no idea an entire page is dedicated to the subject, so I cannot have missed a point if it is only now being made. :-) The fix is easy then, as I have done. Thanks! Grammar's Little Helper (talk) 07:11, 29 May 2015 (UTC)
Technically, that's an WP:OVERLINK, since it's already linked earlier in the section. Some sort of Template:see also might be usable, but it may be overkill, and it would be inappropriate to imply that the book is primarily about his military career instead of a general biography. The sentence could be rewritten to make the link more clear, since it really is relevant and useful, and the link's generic enough to be a bit of an WP:EGG right now. Grayfell (talk) 07:20, 29 May 2015 (UTC)
Well I did bring up the point once in the original edit summary, and twice here on the talk page, along with Priorman bringing it up on his first post. But anyways the edit you made linking the other page looks good, though I agree with Grayfell that the links to the other articles need to be more clear. Just didn't want the entire debate to spill over to this page. Kage Acheron (talk) 07:23, 29 May 2015 (UTC)

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