Talk:Bruderhof Communities

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Attribution and Verifiability[edit]

Hello all. First, I've moved this discussion to the top of the talk page so that new editors coming to this page don't miss it.

This article can certainly be improved and anyone is welcome to help. However, editors should bear in mind that Wikipedia is not a place to promote your group or disparage others. Wikipedia articles should contain verifiable facts attributable to a reliable, published source.

The following passage from the official Wikipedia policy page on verifiability applies here:

The burden of evidence lies with the editor who adds or restores material. Material that is challenged or likely to be challenged needs a reliable source, which should be cited in the article. Quotations should also be attributed. If an article topic has no reliable, third-party sources, Wikipedia should not have an article on it.\

Changes and discussion 2016[edit]

Hi, I am making some changes to try to improve the article, as some parts are quite outdated, and others parts are poorly cited. I don't have much time but will try to work on it bit by bit. I can see that there are been quite a few battles over neutrality in the past (common to many Wikipedia pages!) so I will be attempting to make this neutral and encyclopedic. Happy to discuss any changes! Grec man (talk) 10:11, 19 November 2016 (UTC)

I hope people like the photos I added. I thought it would help readers visualize the content a bit better. Grec man (talk) 12:46, 24 November 2016 (UTC)

Just noticed that the page has a links section. This is not really necessary, and goes against Wikipedia policy. So I will delete it. If someone feels really strongly against that, do say, but I don't think it really adds. I also deleted the bibliography. I don't think having lists of books improves the article. The Bruderhof has hundreds of books it has published, and there are many others - it will get exhausting to list them all. If someone disagrees, go ahead and restore it. I can't find a specific guidance on bibliographies, but most pages don't have them. Books should rather be listed on an author page. Grec man (talk) 12:55, 24 November 2016 (UTC)

I see the links section was reintroduced, but with less links. Fine I guess, but hopefully it doesn't grow into another link directory. --Grec man (talk) 11:21, 25 November 2016 (UTC)

Trimming it down was good, in my opinion, but a link to the official website of the subject of the article is well within the guidelines of Wikipedia, and (in my opinion) very worthwhile.Mikeatnip (talk) 13:30, 25 November 2016 (UTC)
Great - agreed! --Grec man (talk) 13:32, 25 November 2016 (UTC)
In that case the link section should be kept as a reference to the official website. LarryRJones (talk) 08:35, 7 December 2016 (UTC)

The hyperlinks to the various locations have been removed again, which I don't feel strongly about, but I don't understand why the links are against the MOS. Can someone explain? Just trying to learn... Also, when the links were removed, parts of the community names were removed as well, so I had to restore them.--Grec man (talk) 15:16, 25 November 2016 (UTC)

They're inline external links and should not be present. They are only acceptable in the external links sections. Walter Görlitz (talk) 06:20, 26 November 2016 (UTC)
OK, I have found that part in the MOS now - completely my fault. Grec man (talk) 07:48, 26 November 2016 (UTC)
The arcane rules and guidelines can be daunting at first. I'm glad you're contributing and learning them as you go. Walter Görlitz (talk) 16:42, 26 November 2016 (UTC)

External links and criticism section[edit]

See the Wikipedia policy on external links. Here's a relevant quote "Except for a link to an official page of the article's subject, one should generally avoid providing external links to...chat or discussion forums/groups (such as Yahoo! Groups)...Blogs, personal web pages and most fansites...Websites of organizations mentioned in an article". I have limited the external links to sites meeting these criteria.

If you wish to add links, please note that " Disputed links should normally be excluded by default unless and until there is a consensus to include them." LarryRJones (talk) 09:14, 8 December 2016 (UTC)

This matter of the KIT Critics link section has been discussed at length these last many years. I thought it had been resolved many years ago and that those links are to remain. The links themselves are not disputed. It is the fact of the criticism that causes a problem. The Bruderhof are famously adverse to criticism and especially from KIT sources. The links are properly placed in the External Links section and should remain. The critics section adds the counter view to the Bruderhof comprising the reflections and arguments of the hundreds of people who have left/been expelled from the Bruderhof for various but fervent reasons. It is a witness to the darker side of this "cult" like organisation and should be maintained. It completes the factual balance of the Wikipedia entry by including a counter view to the encyclopaedic entry for the Bruderhof. Readers who are searching can thus be lead to the counter view and come to their own conclusions. Raphaelbm (talk) 10:37, 8 December 2016 (UTC)
I now propose leaving the page without the critics section to allow a discussion to take place again and in particular because of LarryRJones insistence on removing the links for strict Wikipedia guidelines reasons. I hope this matter can be agreed in a month when I propose to replace the Critics section. We do not need to get in to the wasteful habit of just reverting a change again and again. Let me hear what your real objection is. Raphaelbm (talk) 10:37, 8 December 2016 (UTC)
I probably started this by removing the external links section, because Wikipedia is not meant to be a link farm, and there are hundreds of sites that could be added. I think the page is fine without any external links, since Google is the correct tool for bringing up websites on a certain topic. However, if people insist on having a section, so be it. Raphaelbm (talk) said that he proposes to replace the critics section. I have rather added the link to the main critic website back as a footnote in the criticism section. But if other uses want a link farm, then go ahead. It will just get really long and tiresome to maintain. Grec man (talk) 10:55, 8 December 2016 (UTC)
No one is questioning a well-referenced section on criticism in the article. Links to websites which are collections of opinion on the topic or related organizations like Plough Publishing House are superfluous. Recent changes to this page have made it much more encyclopedic and less promotional of personal viewpoints. Thank you to everyone who has contributed to this process. LarryRJones (talk) 12:01, 8 December 2016 (UTC)
As I understand Wikipedia guidelines for external links, only highly valuable links that are beyond personal opinions are to be used. Obviously this would allow a link to an official website. I would say that Plough Publishing, as the official publishing arm of the Bruderhof, could be in that category as well. But whether we like it or not, a Yahoo Group, critical or supportive, is not really considered a valuable link because it is too often personal, unverifiable opinions that are often one-sided (for example, someone was kicked out of an organization, and they have an axe to grind. But they only tell the bad part of how they were treated, and skip over how their own attitudes and actions led to their expulsion). Every major religious, political, and business group will have detractors. For example, Ford Motor Company probably has an anti-Ford group[s] out there, either disgruntled employees who think they deserve a raise, people who have had bad experiences with a Ford product (when the vast majority are good), or just have a negative attitude for no real reason than besides the fact they just decided they don't like a Ford). Because of the highly subjective opinions, such groups do not provide solid facts. Thus they are to be avoided. A critics section within the article could be useful in some cases, but we need to remember that the article is about the topic, not about the anti-topic, and should not dominate the article. In the case of this particular article, a sentence or two mentioning that the Bruderhof have critics could be admissible, with a link in a footnote. The article is not about whether the subject of the article is right or wrong, good or bad, but rather what the topic is about. I want to say here that I am just laying out my understanding of Wikipedia guidelines, and stand to be corrected if shown better. Thanks!Mikeatnip (talk) 12:52, 8 December 2016 (UTC)
Thanks for starting the discussion. I'm not opposed to removing the various ELs, but I have a problem when the edit summary says that there was a discussion about it and there wasn't.
A criticism section is not appropriate and valid criticism should be incorporated into the sections that are criticized. That idea is expanded at Wikipedia:Criticism. Walter Görlitz (talk) 14:29, 8 December 2016 (UTC)
Interesting point Walter. I think it is clear that the external links section shouldn't link to discussion forums etc, and shouldn't have a separate critics section. I am more reluctant to remove the whole "Criticism" section in the main article, even though you are right about that according to Wikipedia:Criticism. It seems that a inherent part of religious groups is criticism, so maybe it is appropriate here? Grec man (talk) 14:41, 8 December 2016 (UTC)
Actually, I am rethinking the criticism section. Most of the criticism about the Bruderhof appears to come from a specific time in their history (around 1960). Perhaps I will try to expand that section, research more about the cause of the problems, then move the criticism to the relevant history section. Other bits of criticism can easily go in the appropriate place. I will have a go at this, but it might take a few weeks. Grec man (talk) 15:17, 8 December 2016 (UTC)
Thanks, Walter, for that link. I wasn't aware of that page. Concerning the "Critics" section of the Bruderhof, I have felt for a long time that it was overweighted, and that KIT link was not a valid Wikipedia link because of it being a discussion board type of thing. As I understand Wikipedia:Criticism, the KIT group mainly critical of the Bruderhof should only be referred to in the article if other independent sources reference the event/group as having relevance. I have not specifically researched this personally, but my somewhat limited knowledge of the history of the Bruderhof tells me that the KIT group is not exactly a significant event/spinoff that would merit mention in the article. My understanding of that KIT is that is composed of former disgruntled individuals who left or were put out of the Bruderhof for various reasons, of which every religious and political entity will have some. I stand to be corrected on this, but would like to see some sources indicating that the critical "group" consists of more than some individuals, o whom third party historians would hardly give weight. Mikeatnip (talk) 15:57, 10 December 2016 (UTC)
OK, based on the feedback above, I have integrated the criticism into the main page, mostly into the history section. It is quite hard to explain the history in a concise way. I have made sure to mention that there is a group of ex-members still whose stories make up Rubin's book. That way, those interested can buy the book.Grec man (talk) 09:35, 12 December 2016 (UTC)
Based on the comments by Mikeatnip and Walter Görlitz, I have been doing some reading, and it is notable that pages like Mormon and Church of England have very little about their critics. Or course, both groups have thousands of critics for many different reasons, but they don't get much mention. We should probably aim to move in that direction here, making it more "What is the Bruderhof" as opposed to "What do some people think about the Bruderhof". Hopefully my history edit covers that, but perhaps I have given it too much focus.Grec man (talk) 16:06, 12 December 2016 (UTC)