Talk:Charismatic authority

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Early talk[edit]

Is this confined to politics only? Why not to e.g. religion? Andries 19:47, 9 Mar 2004 (UTC)

Good point. The origin of this idea in sociology is largely via Max Weber, who generalised the idea of charismatic authority in religion to other domains such as politics. I should put in a brief statement to this effect. BrendanH 09:09, Apr 30, 2004 (UTC)

I have removed Stalin who came to power via tricks in the Communist party, not because he was so popular, and was more a bureaucrat and reigned by fear and was obeyed. Later he created a personality cult but that doesn't make him a charismatic leader. Lenin would be a better example. Andries 18:39, 17 Jul 2004 (UTC)

I guess it can be argued this way. I will leave it to others to decide if this is so, I am concerned more with Weber then Stalin. I can expand the entry on Weber's def of charismatic authority - and please not that ATM there are no entries at all on the traditional authority nor legal authority.--Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus 18:48, 17 Jul 2004 (UTC)

==Charismatic authority in religion==

If we have Charismatic authority in politics section, why not have religious? Lots of prophets fit into charismatic authority type (if not all), right? --Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus 23:22, 18 Jul 2004 (UTC) == Heading text ==

Nice job with religious leader selection Andries. I have now started Traditional authority and Rational-legal authority to expand on Max Weber theme. --Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus 21:56, 20 Jul 2004 (UTC)
I question the claim that prophets are good examples of charismatic authority, at least when we refer to Jesus and pre christian jew prophets. Nor Jesus, nor these prophets actually had many power as Weber define it, even if we can define them as charismatic characters. The weberian charisma isn't essentially a personal trait, but the social confidence on and sanctification of real or supposed special traits. These prophets were normally marginal characters in his societies, and lack commonly power ("probability to make others make his will"). Mahoma, by other hand, it's a good example of charismatic authority; in fact he had power in his time as Weber define it. So, I propose to remove the picture of Jesus and the general comments who make a direct relation between the prophet stereotype and charismatic authority.IsmaelPR 18:03, 13 March 2007 (UTC)
Ismael, in Wikipedia articles we do not assert our opinions. We simply describe what reliable published sources have said about a subject. You may want to read our policy of Attribution that together with the policy of neutral point of view comprise our core content policies. ≈ jossi ≈ (talk) 18:27, 13 March 2007 (UTC)
Hi Jossi. In concur with you about Wikipedia, but if we're making an article about a Weberian concept, we should keep attached to his definitions. Isn't just a problem of opinions. There are many interpretators of Weber, many of them have consciously modified weberian concepts in different efforts to develop sociology; many of them will concur with the definition of Jesus as a charismatic authority example, many will certainly not. I just think the only picture of the articule shouldn't be a controversial application (very best if is a character who Weber signal as charismatic leader, like Julius Caesar) and the link between prophet/charismatic authority should be heavily relativized.IsmaelPR 18:34, 13 March 2007 (UTC)

Charasmatic leaders are only charismatic because of their context[edit]

I read somewhere that charismatic leasers only happen to be charismatic because of special social and historical circumstances. Not always in the first place because of their personal traits. I do not have an English referenced source for this but if somebody can find a reference then I would appreciate it if this included in the article because I believe it to be true. E.g. Hitler was charismatic only because of very special circumstances i.e. humiliating, unexpected defeat in WWI, period of hyperinflation that ruined people's savings, Versailles treaty etc. Not only because he was eloquent. Andries 22:35, 27 Nov 2004 (UTC)

Edits by Zappaz[edit]

Including such persons such as Jim Jones and the saint Sai Baba nicely illustrates the diversity of the charismatic leaders. Andries 10:02, 1 Dec 2004 (UTC)

  • Jim Jones is notable, at least notorious. I mean how can you seriously deny that? Andries 10:02, 1 Dec 2004 (UTC)
  • Sai Baba is notable too. Ask user:Lordsuryaofhrophire. I find 51,000 google hits for this guy. See also Sai_Baba#An_overview Andries 10:02, 1 Dec 2004 (UTC)
  • I think you are right that what I originally wrote about Barker may have been too strong worded but now you make it too weak, I think. She was strong worded about it, if I remember it well. Do you have the original quote? Thanks Andries 10:02, 1 Dec 2004 (UTC)
You can add these, but not under the same category with of Jesus, Buddha, Muhammad. I mean, that is obvious isnt' it? And for your information, charisma is not a vituperative. --Zappaz 14:59, 1 Dec 2004 (UTC)
Hmm, why obvious? I am far from experts on them, but they are all charismatic religous leaders, right? Sure, some are world famous and some are not, but that does not disqualify them from our section, I think. --Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus 15:32, 1 Dec 2004 (UTC)

This article needs serious NPOV work[edit]

  1. The charismatic religious leaders section is not pretty. What is the criteria used to judge those in that list?
  1. The political charismatic leaders section, includes text such as "the beautiful wife of" and "revolutionary turned dictator" and "enigmatic philosopher". etc. Hardy encyclopedic.
  1. Including Sai Baba and Jim Jones as "less famous leaders" is indeed strange. I have removed it.

Basically, I object to this arbitrary taxonomy. These lists need to either go away or be seriously cleaned up. --Zappaz 05:00, 10 Dec 2004 (UTC)

  • I object to removing them, I think they are fairly good. Of course, feel free to clean them up as you see this should be done. --Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus 14:38, 10 Dec 2004 (UTC)
We could rename it as examples. I think it is important to show the diversity of the phenomenon so that is why I think it is important that people like Jim Jones are included. I oppose the inclusion of Vivekananda because his authority was partially based on his lineage with Ramakrishna i.e. not a pure form of charismatic authority. I do not see a good reason for your removals of Sai Baba and Jesus Jim Jones who had both pure forms of charismatic authority. Andries 06:06, 10 Dec 2004 (UTC)
As I don't feel I am competent in those examples, I'd abstain from voicing any opinion on who should be and who shouldn't be here. I did create the 'less famous' list to solve similar problem earlier, hopefully you can tweak it so it works for you. --Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus 14:38, 10 Dec 2004 (UTC)
This taxonomy, as I said, is totaly arbitray. As I said, tis article needs serious work. I am pretty busy now with other articles, but I will visit this one soon to NPOV it and clean up if nobody else does ist. I will add the cleanup tag in the meantime, --Zappaz 15:25, 10 Dec 2004 (UTC)
I can not say that I often agree with Zappaz but when giving examples one should state to what extent they have the other two authorities e.g. Hitler first had only charismatic auth. but became chancellor and then also had rational-legal auth. This should be stated. There are some pure charismatic types such as Sai Baba, Jim Jones, and Sathya Sai Baba. Andries 17:41, 10 Dec 2004 (UTC)
Weber noted in his research that it is nearly impossible to find a historical example on any pure dominance/authority, as they always exist in some mixed combinations. The charismatic type is just a theoretical ideal type. A theory - as are the traditional and rational-legal types. So any examples we give are obviously given under assumption that they are only partialy charismatic and partialy sth else. I guess we can imagine lists like 'mostly charismatic/minor charismatic' here or create a separate article with examples, linked from all three authority articles? I think we have to ask ourselves if we want just a simple list with few non-controversial charismatic examples, or a complicated list dicussing how charismatic, traditional and r-l any of our examples are? --Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus 18:41, 10 Dec 2004 (UTC)
Piotr, personally I would prefer a complicated list. Please note that the founders of religions and NRMs are often the ideal type. With regards to the religious figuresm, Vivekananda, Jim Jones, and Hendrik the eighth, Martin Luther and Calvin were not ideal types. The rest is, I think, please correct me if I am wrong. I know all of them quite well except for Hendrik the eigth. Andries 19:11, 10 Dec 2004 (UTC)
May be a short, complicated list in this article would be the best idea. Not a separate article for example. Andries 19:15, 10 Dec 2004 (UTC)
I'd be happy to see the results of your work then. Just a word of advice: my wiki experience shows that when a list gets long (half of the article or more) it is generally a good idea to move it to an entirely new article. --Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus 19:31, 10 Dec 2004 (UTC)


This was referred to my Desk, and so I've started to edit it. I felt that the text was sufficiently disorganized enough to warrant a major re-write, but I would love opinions. I just finished the first version, and I'm going to go over the examples list and tune that up as well, next. Cheers! Khamsin 01:09, 1 May 2005 (UTC)

(Note: I read the earlier discussion on the example lists, and I've opted to remove extraneous text from the list; my feeling is that the article provides a way to evaluate how the cited example leader is charismatic, and if we have to spend so much time explaining why they're charismatic in the list, then something is wrong in the article itself.) Khamsin 01:13, 1 May 2005 (UTC)
I think I'm pretty much done now; it's not perfect, but I think it's good enough. Cheers! Khamsin 05:48, 3 May 2005 (UTC)

Pythagoras and plato[edit]

Are pythagoras and plato really charismatic religious leaders? I have my doubts. Andries 18:46, 2 October 2005 (UTC)

Category:charismatic religious leaders[edit]

I created a category category:charismatic religious leaders for two reasons. First there is no category religious founders because there is always controversy who created the religion: the messiah or one of his prominent followers, as the case of Jesus and Paul illustrates. For this reason the category religious founder had been deleted. The second reason was because the category:new religious movements was becoming too large and messy. Andries 18:46, 2 October 2005 (UTC)

That category , for obvious reasons is up for deletion. Vote here. ≈ jossi ≈ 16:11, 3 October 2005 (UTC)

Weber and new religions?[edit]

Weber died in 1920, how come the article reads as if speaks of "cults' and new religions? ≈ jossi ≈ 16:17, 3 October 2005 (UTC)

Max Weber is a founding father of sociology and introduced the concept that is now used by many others. He could never have spoke of cults because there is no equivalent of that word in German language. He spoke of Mormonism that was new at that time. Andries 17:19, 3 October 2005 (UTC)
I am then deleting the text on that section. ≈ jossi fresco ≈ 20:32, 6 October 2005 (UTC)
I do not exactly what you want to delete, but as I said, keep in mind that the concept is not unique for Weber and is extensively used in the study of cults and new religious movements e.g. by Eileen Barker and this article should reflect that. Andries 20:44, 6 October 2005 (UTC)
The text I have deleted makes an unwarranted statement aboyt cults in connection to Weber. That is not right. ≈ jossi fresco ≈ 20:49, 6 October 2005 (UTC)
Also removed "charismatic religious leaders" section. The fact that one single person (Schnabel) makes that assessment (e.g. person X is a "charismatoc religious leader") is not a basis for inclusion. ≈ jossi fresco ≈ 20:39, 6 October 2005 (UTC)
I do not agree with your removal of notable attributed sources (Schnabel's Phd dissertation about new religious movements). I will revert. Andries 20:44, 6 October 2005 (UTC)
Jossi, you have the right to ask for references and remove contents if they can't be provided, but you have no right to remove contents that is referenced from notable, scholarly sources. It becomes a different matter, of course, when you find a scholar who contradicts Schnabel. Andries 20:52, 6 October 2005 (UTC)
You and I know the reasons for you inclusion of Prem Rawat in this article. Let's leave it at that. Nevertheless, check the good work you are doing for Schnabel [1]. As for notability, Schabel was not notable, until you started prompting hs dissertation in WP that is. :) You can try the same search on Haan and van der Lans. ;-)≈ jossi fresco ≈ 21:05, 6 October 2005 (UTC)
The reason why I included Rawat in this article was because I did not agree with your deletions of the whole list and these two (Rajneesh and Rawat) were the only ones for which I had good references so I could insert them, without having to fear that they would be deleted. I admit that I was angry about what I consider your excessive scepticism of other people's edits. Note that I had done the same for Hitler, providing references. And to say that Schnabel is not notable is simply untrue. He is one of the highest ranking civil servants who do social research in the Netherlands. Andries 21:18, 6 October 2005 (UTC)
Being angry does not solve anything and is also bad for your health. Cheer up. ≈ jossi fresco ≈ 21:22, 6 October 2005 (UTC)

Unreferenced material[edit]

There is a lot of material in this article that is unreferrenced. If it is from Weber's writings, it needs to be stated. If it is by someone else, it needs to be stated. I have added a cleanup tag. ≈ jossi fresco ≈ 21:21, 6 October 2005 (UTC)

I do not oppose to this clean up tag, but this article is better referenced than most Wikipedia articles and clearly the clean up tag has everything to do with the fact that this subject is related to cults and new religious movements. Just an observation that I think is funny, without any sarcasm or implicit criticism. Andries 21:51, 15 October 2005 (UTC)
Can we now remove the clean up tag? This article is now very well referenced for Wikipedia's standards. Andries 19:48, 12 November 2005 (UTC)

A quote to help the cleanup[edit]

Weber defined charisma as "an exceptional quality in an individual who, through appearing to possess supernatural, providential, or extraordinary powers succeeds in gathering disciples about him" Weber The sociology of religion Boston Beacon Press 1963, cited in Charisma: A psychoanalytic look at mass society Irvine Schiffer (New York Free Press 1973), 3 and in Madelein Landau Tobia and Janja Lalich Captive Hears captive minds:freedom and recovery from cults and abusive relationships. Publishers group West 1993 Andries 21:41, 6 October 2005 (UTC)

Proposed mergers[edit]

For discussion of the proposed merge with Max Weber, please see Talk:Max Weber#Mergers by User:Jossifresco.

Prem Rawat and Schabel[edit]

Please note that Schnabel was not making an assertion about Elan Vital or the current situation. He was only writing about Rawat's leadership of the DLM at that time. I had some e-mail correspondence with him about his dissertation and he emphasized that his dissertation should be seen in the context of 1982. Andries 10:15, 14 October 2005 (UTC)

Translation of Schnabel as per the new guidelines at Wikipedia:verifiability

Dutch original "De meest zuivere voorbeelden van charismatisch leiderschap zijn op dit moment wel Bhagwan en Maharaj Ji. Daaruit blijkt meteen al hoe persoonlijke kwaliteiten alleen onvoldoende zijn voor de erkenning van het charismatisch leiderschap. De intelligente, steeds wisselende en dagelijks optredende Bhagwan is niet meer een charismatisch leider dan de verwende materialistische en intellectueel weinig opmerkelijke Maharaj Ji. Als charismatisch leider hebben beiden overigens wel een eigen publiek en een eigen functie." page 101-102 "Tegelijkertijd betekent dit echter charismatisch leiderschap als zodanig tot op zekere hoogte ensceneerbaar is. Maharaj Ji is daar een voorbeeld van. In zekere zin gaat het hier om geroutinizeerd charisma (erfopvolging), maar voor de volgelingen in Amerika en Europa geldt dat toch nauwelijk: zij waren bereid juist in hem te geloven en er was rond Maharaj Ji een hele organisatie die dat geloof voedde en versterkte."
English translation by Babelfish and corrected by user:andries "The purest examples of charismatic leadership are at this moment, still, Bhagwan and Maharaj Ji. This shows directly that personal qualities alone are insufficient for the recognition of the charismatic leadership. The intelligent, ever-changing Bhagwan who gives daily performances is not more a charismatic leader than the spoiled materialistic and intellectually unremarkable Maharaj Ji. As charismatic leaders, they, by the way, both have their own public and their own function." page 101-102 "At the same time, this means however that charismatic leadership, as such, can be staged to a certain degree. Maharaj Ji is an example of this. From one perspective, it concerns here routinized charisma (succession), but to the followers in America and Europe this applies that nevertheless hardly: they were prepared to have faith exactly in him and around Maharaj Ji a complete organisation existed which fed and reinforced that faith."

Andries 21:27, 15 October 2005 (UTC)

Another quote to help the clean-up[edit]

Help with the translation of this German quote is appreciated

"Die charismatisch Autorität ruht auf den "Glauben" an den Propheten, der Anerkennung, die der charismatische ... Held ... persönlich, und fällt mit ihm dahin. Gleichwohl leitet sie ihre Autorität nicht etwa aus dieser Anerkennung durch die Beherrschten ab. Sondern umgekehrt: Glaube und Anerkennung gelten als Pflicht, deren Erfüllung der charismatisch Legitimierte für sich forder." (Weber 1973 (1922), 483) Die drei reine Typen der legitimen Herrschaft(Three pure types of legitimate rule) in: Gesammelte Aufsätze zur Wirtschaftslehre Andries 22:24, 15 October 2005 (UTC)

Sory, Andries but the grammar on this translation does not make sense: The purest examples of charismatic leadership are at this moment, still, Bhagwan and Maharaj Ji." page 101-102 "At the same time, this means however that charismatic leadership, as such, can be staged to a certain degree. Maharaj Ji is an example of this. From one perspective, it concerns here routinized charisma (succession), but to the followers in America and Europe this applies nevertheless hardly: they were prepared to have faith exactly in him and around Maharaj Ji a complete organisation existed which fed and reinforced that faith.. Can you please post the Dutch version and let someone translate properly? It does not make sense as is. Thanks. ≈ jossi fresco ≈ t@ 22:35, 15 October 2005 (UTC)

I think one sentence may be incomprensible. (I find writing in English directly easier than translating)I did write the Dutch version here. Here is the improved sentence "From a certain point of view, Maharaj Ji's leadership can be seen as routinized charisma (succession), but to the followers in America and Europe this hardly applies: they were prepared to have faith exactly in him. A whole organisation existed that fed and reinforced that faith. " Better now? Andries
There is no need to have the text twice (one on the aticle and once on the ref). Just provide the reference. If you wish, you can add the original Dutch to the ref as per the verifiability guidelines. Thanks ≈ jossi fresco ≈ t@ 02:44, 17 October 2005 (UTC)

Weber cite fm 1978?[edit]

Weber died in 1920. The cite added is labeled "Weber, 1978, p.241". If you use the notation (year) on the body of an article, you need to provide the date in which Weber first published that specific assertion. It would also be useful to have the name and published of the book you are citing from. Thank you. ≈ jossi fresco ≈ t@ 22:35, 24 October 2005 (UTC)

Citations from Weber are often from the date of English language translations. I have observed this often and I first wondered about this. Andries 22:37, 24 October 2005 (UTC)
No worries. I found the cite on the 1978 edition of Weber's "Economy and Society". Added ref. ≈ jossi fresco ≈ t@ 22:47, 24 October 2005 (UTC)

Steve Jobs[edit]

What about him and other CEO's who use charisma. Cite iCon and other books.

"People assiocated with religion"[edit]

"People associate with religion" is very vague and unnecessarily so. what dictionary says that figurehead is a pejorative word? Andries 20:18, 1 January 2006 (UTC)

I consider the word figurehead important because there is no way of knowing whether a religious leader who is presented as a leader is the de facto leader. For example, the religious scholar Reender Kranenborg wrote that the mother of Prem Rawat was the real leader of the DLM before the family split. Another example, there are rumors that Sathya Sai Baba has lost all power to the Sathya Sai Central Trust. Another reason is, that I do not know a synonym for the word figurehead. Andries 14:35, 7 January 2006 (UTC)
  1. people associated with religion and new religious movements is not vague
  2. figurehead is a pejorative when you do not differentiate to whom you apply that charcterization

≈ jossi ≈ t@ 05:12, 8 January 2006 (UTC)

The word "associated" is as vague as can be. I am associated with religion and NRMs too. The word "linked" meaning the same as "associated" is evena word to avoid. 99% of the people is linked to NRMs and religion. Again, find a good synonym or find a dictionary that says that figurehead is pejorative. Andries 10:56, 8 January 2006 (UTC)
There is absolutely nothing problematic with the term "associated". But when you say "figureheads" as a generic attribution for a list of people which some are obviously not, you are bypassing WP:NPOV and WP:V. If some people in the list are figureheads as decribed by a reputable source, please add that to the list member and not to the heading for all list members. Otherwise, what you are really saying that Mohammad, Jesus, Buddha, etc. may have been figureheads. ≈ jossi ≈ t@ 17:14, 8 January 2006 (UTC)
There is very much wrong with the word "associated" because it is very vague and in this encyclopedia we try to be as specific as possible. Please stop violating the Wikipedia style guideline Wikipedia:words to avoid that mentions the word "associated". I will try to avoid "figurehead". Andries 17:36, 8 January 2006 (UTC)
Read the guideline. It is related to dubious application of the term: These words can imply a connection without stating the nature of the connection or discussing the evidence for and against it. This does not apply here as people in the list as well as the section title imply exactly that: people associated with religions or new religious movements. We could use "related", if you wish. ≈ jossi ≈ t@ 18:08, 8 January 2006 (UTC)

The word "inspirator" sounded a bit strange to me too, but is really an English word. (I had checked it.) merriam webster Andries 21:01, 8 January 2006 (UTC)

It may be at MB, but it fails all my spell checkers. I have never seen it use it this way and indeed sounds very strange. Do we really need that attribute, anyway? ≈ jossi ≈ t@ 21:25, 8 January 2006 (UTC)


Why does Oakes book a reference to "phsychology of charismatic leaders". Oakes book Prophetic Charisma: The Psychology of Revolutionary Religious Personalities is abook in which he explores the psychology of charisma and proposes his own theory on the development ofeligious prophets: the messianic and charismatic. This selective citation is, IMO unsuitable and misleading. ≈ jossi ≈ t@ 00:30, 8 January 2006 (UTC)

Sorry, I do not understand your objection. What is wrong with citing Oakes? I am aware that he proposes a contestable theory about the difference between messianic and charismatic prophets, but he writes about many, many things in that book, not just that contestable theory of his. Andries 00:32, 8 January 2006 (UTC)
How can a citation from a book here be anything but selective? We cannot break copyrights and have limited space here. Andries 00:34, 8 January 2006 (UTC)
Oakes is not the only person who wrote that charismatic persons are narcistic. The psychiatry professor Anthony Storr wrote more or less the same in his book Feet of clay: a study of gurus. Andries 00:37, 8 January 2006 (UTC)
You know exactly what I am talking about. Have you even read the book? Following your logic I can quote this from Oakes' book: charimsmatic leaders display an extraordinary amount of energy, accompanied by an inner clarity unhindered by the anxieties and guilt that afflict more ordinary people. But that is not the point I am making. You have placed that cite as a generic cite for "phsychology of charismatic leaders". ≈ jossi ≈ t@ 05:18, 8 January 2006 (UTC)
You also refer to Heinz Kohut. Have you ever read him? I tried reading some of his articles and found them incomprehensible. ≈ jossi ≈ t@ 05:41, 8 January 2006 (UTC)
Yes, I have read Oakes' book. No, I have not read Kohut and Oakes called Kohut's work breathtakingly difficult to read. Andries 10:52, 8 January 2006 (UTC)
I will make a note in the article about Kohut because I do not want other peole to waste their time reading incomprehensible literature. Andries 11:12, 8 January 2006 (UTC)

Jim Jones[edit]

The article lists:

  • Jim Jones According to Mary McCormick Maaga, Jim Jones authority was charismatic. [8]

That is incorrect. Mary McCormick Maaga call Jones "charismatic" but that is it. This article discusses Charismatic authority as per Webber's definition (and as specified in the intro to this article), and not Charisma that is a different definition. ≈ jossi ≈ t@ 21:33, 8 January 2006 (UTC)

McCormick Maaga called him a "charismatic leader" (page 18) that redirects to this article. That should suffice. If this is not enough then I will try to find another reference but I am not going to cite the whole book in the article or here on the talk page. If you have any doubts just read the book. Andries 22:49, 9 January 2006 (UTC)
This article is not abouth charismatic leaders, it is about Charismatic authority as defined by Weber. ≈ jossi ≈ t@ 00:46, 15 January 2006 (UTC)
Have you read the book? I have read most of it. McCormick Maaga extensively treats charismatic authority on pages 69-70. Andries 00:52, 15 January 2006 (UTC)

Same applies to

  • Sathya Sai Baba was considered a charismatic leader by Donald Taylor in a 1987 article.

Unless you find a reference tha describes this person as a charismatic authority, I will remove it as well. ≈ jossi ≈ t@ 00:49, 15 January 2006 (UTC)

It is in the title! According to Donald Taylor in his 1987 article "CHARISMATIC AUTHORITY in the Sathya Sai Baba movement" in "Hinduism in Great Britain", SSB made extraordinary declarations to be God to keep his authority at the center of the movement and he made his claim to get .. etc. Andries 01:03, 15 January 2006 (UTC)

Lists of people in article[edit]

Thanks, Andries. My feeling is the sections with names of people is not compliant with NPOV. If you recall, WP:NPOV declares that we have to describe competing views without asserting any one in particular and that minority points of view should not be presented as if they were the majority point of view. For this reason, inserting the name of a person on this section because one book refers them as having "charimastic authority", is presenting only that POV as if it was the consensus opinion. For this reason I am placing an NPOV warning on that section. My proposal is to delete all entries from that section unless:

  • There are references to support their inclusion
  • The references represent a consensus opinion by a majority of scholars on such persons fitting the characteristics of a charismatic leader.

IMO, the best place to present competing views about these persons, is in their own articles . ≈ jossi ≈ t@ 01:24, 15 January 2006 (UTC)

There are reference and as far as I know there is nobody who denies that they held charismatic authority. Where are the competing views? There are none. Andries 01:28, 15 January 2006 (UTC)
I do not agree with the neutrality warning because there are no contradicting views. Andries 01:30, 15 January 2006 (UTC)
I can understand the neutrality warning because of missing references for e.g. Jesus but I disagree with a neutrality warning in case notable references have been provided that are not contradicted by notable sources. Andries 01:33, 15 January 2006 (UTC)
If there are 100 scholars that have studied Bhagwan and only one asserts that he is an example of charismatc authority as defined by Weber, that is a minority opinion. As a minority opinion it cannot be presented here as the majority (or only) position without breaking WP:NPOV. Now, if we find that there is consensus among the scholars that what study Bhagwan that he indeed fits the categorization, that would be OK. ≈ jossi ≈ t@ 01:33, 15 January 2006 (UTC)
It would be a minority opinion if there are 99 that disagree with this one scholar. Each scholar studies different aspects of a person. Andries 01:36, 15 January 2006 (UTC)
You are setting the bar for inclusion impossibly and unreasonably high and next time and in general please state in advance that even providing references will not suffice for an edit. That would save me a lot of time. Andries 01:40, 15 January 2006 (UTC)
Is there another way to keep the list and at the same time comply with WP:NPOV. Let's explore these. ≈ jossi ≈ t@ 01:43, 15 January 2006 (UTC)
If there are no notable opposing voices or if these voices are mentioned then the list fits fully Wikipedia:NPOV. Andries 01:46, 15 January 2006 (UTC)
I disagree. By adding a name to a list based on one reference, you are de facto stating a minority opinion as it was the consensus opinion. I would suggest that you re-read WP:NPOV. A weay to resolve this would be to discuss the charismatic authority aspects of these persons in their own articles and not here. This way we can preserve WP:NPOV. ≈ jossi ≈ t@ 02:09, 15 January 2006 (UTC)
But if there is nobody who has objected then it is the majority. Where is the indication that this attribution for certain people has been opposed by sociologists. If there is none then it this is a clear indication that this is a majority opionion. Andries 02:23, 15 January 2006 (UTC)
That would be a 'very dangerous precedent in Wikipedia. For example: An opponent of George W. Bush, can find a reference (and believe me when I say that there are such references) about Bush being a totalitarian dictator and use your logic to assert the insertion of George W,. Bush into List of dictators. With your logic, the fact that no other reputable sources name Bush not to be a dictator is insufficient to prove that it is the minority viewpoint. Indeed dangerous interpretation of WP:NPOV, very dangerous. ≈ jossi ≈ t@ 02:35, 15 January 2006 (UTC)
The comparison for calling George Bush is wrong because 1. the characterization of dictator is not a neutral one, unlike charismatic authority and 2. common sense says that there are dissenting voices. None of those two objections are applicable for the list here. Andries 03:02, 15 January 2006 (UTC)
Characterization of a person as a dictator is indeed neutral, as there is a clear definition of what a dictator is (see criteria in List of dictators). Nevertheless, that was just an extreme example to demonstrate the weakness in your argument. You can find hundreds of examples yourself were this will be applicable. If you are incapable of finding these examples on your own, let me know and I will provide you with a few more. ≈ jossi ≈ t@ 03:15, 15 January 2006 (UTC)
I really do not understand the problems that you have with the a well sourced list from notable source without indication of dissenting voices. I consider your objections unjustified and excessively skeptical, but I may overlook something. Andries 03:35, 15 January 2006 (UTC)
May be you can organize a poll under notable sociologist with a list of people mentioned here and ask them to tag to what extent these people fit the characteristic of charismatic authority. I think that would solve the problem for some time. Andries 02:27, 15 January 2006 (UTC)
We cannot do that. That would be original research. ≈ jossi ≈ t@ 02:35, 15 January 2006 (UTC)
What I meant to say with my sarcastical proposal is that the list is NPOV unless there is some indication that the opinion about a certain person is rejected by some sociologists. If there is no such indication then it is reasonable to assume that inclusion in the list of a certain person represents a majority POV. Andries 02:56, 15 January 2006 (UTC)
Sorry, Andries, but your argument is unsustainable. You have taken the principle of WP:NPOV and turnd it upside down. I will really suggest that you take 5 minutes and re-read WP:NPOV. ≈ jossi ≈ t@ 03:15, 15 January 2006 (UTC)
If a dictator has a clear definition then it is not a characterization but a matter of fact. I cannot find support for your view point in the NPOV policy. Can you please specify where? Andries 03:23, 15 January 2006 (UTC)

(outdent) I will try again. We are breaking the nonnegotiable policy of NPOV:

  1. if we assert a singular person point of view as the only point of view about a subject;
  2. if we do not present all notable points of view about a subject
  3. if we present a minority viewpoint as the majority viewpoint
  4. if we fallaciously assume that because there a source that states that a person has an "XYZ attribute" and there is no source that states that a person does not have such "XYZ attribute", we assume that that person must have "XYZ attribute". (e.g. "Paul attest that Anna is a whore; if there is no person attesting that Anna is not a whore, then Anna must be a whore." That is a fallacy: the only thing you can assert is that Paul said that Ana is a whore, not that she is one.) Take that example forward: imagine trying to add Anna to a "list of whores" based on Paul's assertion by claiming that no one is saying she is not.

IMO, the best place to discuss a subject and have the opportunity and space to present all POVs about that subject, is that subject's article. When we depart from that, and we create lists of people that we then proceed to assign a categorization (such as this list), the most reliable source would be the long-standing consensus of editors on the content article of the subject itself. For example, if in the Jesus article there is overwhelming support for a characterization of Jesus as a religious leader fitting Weber's characterization of charismatic authority, that in itself will denote overwhelming evidence of consensus opinion, and its inclusion in this list would be warranted. On the other hand, when we use one obscure scholar, and one citation as the reason for inclusion of one person in this list, and the article about this person does not provide a consensus of opinion about this person befitting such characterization, then we are again in violation of NPOV. Hope this clarifies it for you. ≈ jossi ≈ t@ 03:47, 15 January 2006 (UTC)

There is no indication there are notable dissenting sources for the people cited and referenced so the list is not something like a POV fork. You may be right about possible dissent for unreferenced people like Jesus. Andries 03:55, 15 January 2006 (UTC)
I made an effort to make my argument clear. We all deserve better than a one liner that does not address the arguments made. Please respond to the arguments made in a manner conducive to clarifying this issue. ≈ jossi ≈ t@ 04:02, 15 January 2006 (UTC)
My one-liner addressed points 1, 3, and 4 of your arguments. with regards to point 2, i is true that mentioning a person here invariably leads to omitting most point of views about a person, but if this is the objection then we can not even mention a person as an example of charismatic authority because we do not mention all POVs about him. Clearly this shows that your argument is wrong. Andries 04:08, 15 January 2006 (UTC)
My impressiun is that your one liner ony shows your inability to sustain an argumentation about this subject. My last paragraph above explains how to include a person in this list: when there is clear consensus in that person's article, about that person fitting the categorization of being an exaple of charismatic autority as per Weber's definition. If that consensus is not obvious then you are violatinmg WP:NPOV by asserting one single scholar's opinion as the only opinion and as the de facto majority POV. ≈ jossi ≈ t@ 04:18, 15 January 2006 (UTC)
We are not coming a millimeter closer. I will ask for Request for Comments. Andries 04:13, 15 January 2006 (UTC)
I already did. I also invited a few other experienced editors to take a look. ≈ jossi ≈ t@ 04:25, 15 January 2006 (UTC)

What do you want me to do? Inlude the scholars' opinions in the respective articles and only then list them here as charismatic leaders. That has already been done for Prem Rawat, Adolf Hitler, and Sathya Sai Baba. Andries 04:28, 15 January 2006 (UTC)

That is a very nasty thing you did right there. Is that what you do when you run out of arguments? To mention in one breath these three people as to assert the fallacy of guilt by association? ≈ jossi ≈ t@ 04:34, 15 January 2006 (UTC)
These three people happen be the persons in which I have actively edited the characterization of charismatic leadership. This is due to my background well known to you. When I read a book about Albert Speer by Gitta Sereny, I had the feeling that I was reading about my own life. Andries 04:40, 15 January 2006 (UTC)
The honorable thing would be to refactor your comment above. Let see if you can do that to denote your good-faitrh and willingness to collaborate in this article without offending a fellow editor. ≈ jossi ≈ t@ 04:43, 15 January 2006 (UTC)
I have no intention to refractor that. My feelings were and are hurt too but I do not demand that the talk page be cleansed of comments that hurt me or make me angry. Andries 04:46, 15 January 2006 (UTC)
To avoid misunderstanding and feelings of hurt, I never meant to say and I do not believe that religious founders of NRMs are as sinister or potentially as sinister as founders as NRMs. I only had the unsettling realization that the social dynamics and psychology of the followers of Hitler was quite similar to that of followers of Sathya Sai Baba, including me. Andries 20:54, 17 January 2006 (UTC)

Article consensus[edit]

To present my argument again, in case you did not read it: the most reliable source is the long-standing consensus of editors on the content article of the subject itself. For example, if in the Jesus article there is overwhelming support for a characterization of Jesus as a religious leader fitting Weber's characterization of charismatic authority, that in itself will denote overwhelming evidence of consensus opinion, and its inclusion in this list would be warranted. On the other hand, when we use one obscure scholar, and one citation as the reason for inclusion of one person in this list, and the article about this person does not provide a consensus of opinion about this person befitting such characterization, then we are again in violation of NPOV. ≈ jossi ≈ t@ 04:37, 15 January 2006 (UTC)

I think that the bar for inclusion should be that the characterization should be mentioned in the article about that person. Andries 04:43, 15 January 2006 (UTC)
This might be fine, if it is mentioned as part of the specific Weberian distinction. Just to see in an article that so-and-so was a charismatic leader in most cases just means that editors gave no thought (or had no knowledge of or interest in) the narrowly Weberian sense. Lulu of the Lotus-Eaters 04:59, 15 January 2006 (UTC)
All the references for the religious list use the Weberian sense of the word. I know because I provided them and I am well aware of the difference between every-day-use of the word and the Weberian meaning. Andries 05:23, 15 January 2006 (UTC)
That is not the point. The point is that in many of these it is only the POV of a single source, and that there is no obvious consensus, just the opinion of a sigle person. That is against NPOV to list them as examples of charismatic authority on the basis of a single mention by a single source. ≈ jossi ≈ t@ 05:26, 15 January 2006 (UTC)
The claim by Andreis above is flatly false. I looked at the entries for the first three religious figures: Jesus, Jim Jones, and Mohammad. Not one of the three mentions Weber anywhere. Only the middle one of these uses the word "charismatic" in any sense, but that is only as a link-back to this article, not something described in the main article body. If you put something into, e.g. the Jesus article, that "Jesus was a charismatic authority, in a Weberian sense", and that assertion remains for a while as consensus of Jesus editors, I'm happy with the evidence. But just saying... or not even really stating, just sort of implying by the edit history... that "Andries believes Jesus fits the Weberian meaning of charismatic authority" violates WP:NOR and WP:V. I'm not saying it is false, I'm simply not interested in the question of truth or falsity, but only of verifiability and neutrality. Lulu of the Lotus-Eaters 05:41, 15 January 2006 (UTC)~
What false claim did I make? I only proposed that the inclusion of charismatic authority in list if it were already in the article for this person in the heat of the ongoing discussion. I did not m4ean to suggest that this charaterization was already there. I wrote that this characterization was already present in the articles Prem Rawat, Sathya Sai Baba and Adolf Hitler. (these characterization have been there now for some time) Andries 05:50, 15 January 2006 (UTC)
All the references for the religious list use the Weberian sense of the word. I know because I provided them. The references do not exist at all in the first three religious figures I checked; maybe you provided them in a previous edit on those articles, but given there's nothing there now, it does not represent longstanding consensus of those pages. Lulu of the Lotus-Eaters 05:57, 15 January 2006 (UTC)
Please re-read what I wrote. I did not provide references for them in their biograhies, only here in this list, with the exception of Adolf Hitler, Prem Rawat, and Sathya Sai Baba. Andries 06:03, 15 January 2006 (UTC)
OK, I've read it about a half-dozen times now. I cannot yet find a way to construe it as any true statement. You did provide a single common outside citation for a some of religious figures, but not all. The Oakes reference seems pretty weak however, if that's what you mean. Aside from it being just one author, the reviews and summaries I can find suggest that Oakes' framework is only loosely based on Weber's, not directly claiming to apply Weber's schema. Lulu of the Lotus-Eaters 06:20, 15 January 2006 (UTC)
Lulu/David, I think you mistakenly assume that I created the bulk of the list. I did add among others Sathya Sai Baba, Bhagwan, Prem Rawat Syun Moon and used the following references, McCormick Maaga, Schnabel and Bromley and Shupe and Oakes. I did not add Curhill, Jesus or Mohammed. Andries 06:26, 15 January 2006 (UTC)
In the case of several founders or new religious movements there are several sources and there is scholarly consensus that most new religious movements are founded by people possessing charismatic authority. Andries
You can say that in the article itself, (if you can provide a source for that assertion, of course). But including a list of any and all leaders of new religious movement on the basis of that generalization violates WP:V and WP:NPOV ≈ jossi ≈ t@ 05:47, 15 January 2006 (UTC)
not if there are undisputed sources for this. Andries 05:50, 15 January 2006 (UTC)
Do I need to repeat my argument ad nauseam? It is a fallacious argument that you are stubbornly making. Please re-read the explanation of your fallacy above.≈ jossi ≈ t@ 06:00, 15 January 2006 (UTC)
Yes, I have read your argument already several times. 06:03, 15 January 2006 (UTC)
It does not look like. You can only assert that one source made that statement, but you cannot assert that lack of a contrarian argument of that person's opinion, means that it is a consensus opinion, in particular if that person is the only one asserting that POV. That is what is called a fallacy. Good night for now. ≈ jossi ≈ t@ 06:06, 15 January 2006 (UTC)

Very odd list selection[edit]

I have not looked at this page before, though being a political philosopher (in the sense of having a doctorate in that area, not as having a vague "philosophy towards life"), I naturally am familiar with Weber's concept. But Jossi asked me to take a look at this, so I've read through the article and the above discussion.

The thing that strikes me even more than Jossi's concern (which I endorse) of providing citation of consensus support for a given name having "charsimatic authority" is just how capriciously selective the list is. In some vague sense, just about every religious and political figure might be included; or in any case, a very large percentage of them. What is special about the ones chosen for this list? It's too long to be the least necessary to illustrate the concept, but far too short to include even 1% of those plausibly listable. On the other hand, most of the politicians are much more likely in the rational-legal mode. Lenin seems like almost a perfect example of the latter, and JFK or Wilson are just regular elected presidents, with no obvious distinction from all the other US presidents (which isn't to say they don't each have some personal appeal; but you don't get elected without some).

I think most of the list, even where nominal citations exist, is more of the nature of writers using "charismatic" in its less formal non-Weberian sense. Sure, JFK was a charismatic guy... I would have loved to schmooze with him if he hadn't been killed 11 months before I was born. And Mohammad would certainly have made a very interesting dinner guest too. But saying they're charismatic in a popular sense doesn't mean that there is a body of sociologists who follow Weber's specific classificatory system, and actually debated whether so-and-so fits this category. In fact, there aren't a lot of dedicated Weberians in sociology, at least not at the level of following this much detail (lots of people are indirectly influenced), and mostly you'll only read some specific claim inasmuch as it illustrates something modestly counter-intuitive... that's not consensus, just inattention by everyone without the particular research agenda.

My opinion is that the whole list should get axed. If mentioning some of the names in paragraph text can help illustrate the general concept of the article, it's great to use them. I.e. "Wilson, in contrast with the style set by Roosevelt and Taft, ...illustrates charismatic authority... inasmuch as..." If there really is something special about Wilson that make him an example, explain to readers what it is, don't just throw up a random name that, for unspecified reasons, might be plausible as an example. Why not list all the US presidents? Seriously? I might make my own guess, but as reader I'm given no guidance in the current article. Lulu of the Lotus-Eaters 04:57, 15 January 2006 (UTC)

I agree. To illustrate the concept, all is needed is to mention a few obviuous names for which there is clear consensus. ≈ jossi ≈ t@ 05:40, 15 January 2006 (UTC)


The intro reads: The sociologist Max Weber defined charismatic authority, also called charismatic domination, or charismatic leadership...

As far as I know Weber never used "charismatic leadership". Unless references are provided for these assertions, I will remove that from the intro. ≈ jossi ≈ t@ 00:53, 15 January 2006 (UTC)

I think what he wrote was "Charismatische Herrschaft", but charismatic authority is the normal translation. Andries 01:05, 15 January 2006 (UTC)
The term is also referred to/translated as as "domination" or "leadership". Of course not by Weber himself, because he wrote in German. Besides Weber does not own the concept. See e.g. here [2] and [3] [4], [5] Andries 12:39, 1 October 2006 (UTC)
These additional usages are not widely used. I moved these out of the lead and added references.≈ jossi ≈ t@ 20:17, 1 October 2006 (UTC)
No, I disagree, these alternative terms are quite common. Andries 20:24, 1 October 2006 (UTC)
  1. google search on "charismatic leadership weber -wikipedia" yields 155,000 results
  2. google search on "charismatic authority weber -wikipedia" yields 158,000 result
  3. google search on "charismatic domination weber -wikipedia" yields 60,500 result
Based on this I think we can conclude that both alternative terms are quite common. Andries 20:36, 1 October 2006 (UTC)
Jossi, I do not think that your excessive skepticism of other people's edits and excessive requests for references here are constructive. Andries 01:09, 15 January 2006 (UTC)
Where does the article state that Weber used the term "charismatic leadership". The article only states that an English synonym for charismatic authority is charismatic leadership. Andries 01:15, 15 January 2006 (UTC)
Is this an article about Weber's definitions or a generic article? My understanding, is that this article is one in a series, based on Weber's tripartite classification of authority. ≈ jossi ≈ t@ 01:29, 15 January 2006 (UTC)
A generic article. This is not just about the book by Weber that introduced the now widely used concept. Andries 01:31, 15 January 2006 (UTC)
Then why did you add this article to Category:Max Weber and all articles abour Weber refer to this article when discussing charismatic authority?. It is important that we have an agreement about what this article is all about, otherwise it will get messy. ≈ jossi ≈ t@ 01:45, 15 January 2006 (UTC)
Well, may be it was a mistake but he introduced the concept and I think that this justifies the category Max Weber. Andries 01:51, 15 January 2006 (UTC)
Again you can ask for references and yes sometimes you have to but please do consider before asking for references and raising objections whether this is constructive or not. Andries 01:51, 15 January 2006 (UTC)
I am not asking for references now. I am asking for a clarification: is this article about Weber's deifinition of charismatic authority or not. ≈ jossi ≈ t@ 02:11, 15 January 2006 (UTC)
Yes, the article is among others about Weber's definition of charismatic authority, but as I said, before the concept gained wide acceptance and Weber does not own the concept. Andries 02:20, 15 January 2006 (UTC)
Well, that is not the way that the article reads (just read the intro...). And as far as I understand, the concept of Charismatic authority does indeed belong to Weber. ≈ jossi ≈ t@ 02:38, 15 January 2006 (UTC)
I agree that the article falsely suggests otherwise. There is too much Weber in this article as if nothing has happened in sociology and this concept since his writings were published. I think to state that the concept belongs to Weber is too strong worded. He introduced the concept and it gained wide acceptance is more accurate. Andries 02:41, 15 January (amended) 2006 (UTC)

(outdent)I have yet to see an article or book in which "charismatic authority" is referred to, that does not include Weber. The article in Wikipedia about charismatic authority is, and needs to be focused on Weber's definition, with maybe a section in which the application of these concepts by other scholars is explored. ≈ jossi ≈ t@ 02:47, 15 January 2006 (UTC)

this article [6] shows that a lot has happened since Weber. Of course, it does mention him. Andries 02:52, 15 January 2006 (UTC)
Sorry, but I don't follow your logic. What does that article has to do with this discussion? ≈ jossi ≈ t@ 03:17, 15 January 2006 (UTC)
That article does not focus on Weber's works on this concept and I think the same should apply here. Andries 03:25, 15 January 2006 (UTC)
An article in Wikipedia needs to pass a certain threshold. The main focus of this article is Weber's theories on charismatic authority, not the applications of his theories by non-notable people. Notabe scholar's applications of these theories to the study of human endeavors not addressed by Weber himself, can be explored in a sub-section of this article, or on a separate article about the application of these theories. ≈ jossi ≈ t@ 04:07, 15 January 2006 (UTC)
I do not agree with that at all, but it is a theoretical matter for future editors because nobody has made serious attempts to include new theories and applications into this article. Andries 04:11, 15 January 2006 (UTC)

Oakes not using a Weberian framework?[edit]

To me this sounds doubtful. I admit that he presents a contestable theory about two different kind of prophets though. Andries 06:17, 15 January 2006 (UTC)

I checked Oakes 246 page book and Oakes mentions Weber according to the reference (sorted on subject) on pages 20-21, 12, 122, 144, 27, 2, 186, 67, 42-43, 29, 149, 7, 27, 150, 191-192, 87, and 27-30. I think this stronngly indicates that he uses a Weberian framework. Andries 06:31, 15 January 2006 (UTC)
I don't have, and haven't read the book. But according to the publisher's blurb[7]:
In this unique contribution to our understanding of the social phenomenon of charismatic groups and those who lead them, Dr. Len Oakes explores the psychology of charisma and proposes his own theory of the five-stage life cycle of two types of prophets-the messianic and the charismatic-from their primitive narcissistic beginnings to their ultimately inevitable implosion or demise.
I'm sure Oakes read Weber, and bases his thinking, in part, on Weber. But the book is at least being sold as advancing Oakes' own analytic framework. This is no criticism of Oakes, for all I know his thinking is brilliantly original, but it's not apparently an attempt to mechanically apply Weber. Lulu of the Lotus-Eaters 06:41, 15 January 2006 (UTC)
No, are there any recent sociologist of new religious movement who mechanically attempt to apply Weber? I am not aware of any. Not Eileen Barker at least. Andries 06:45, 15 January 2006 (UTC)
Not even the sociologist Paul Schabel mechanically followed Weber and he criticized Weber for making a distinction between a "Schwindler" (fraud) and people who possess real charisma. Andries 06:47, 15 January 2006 (UTC)


All of which certainly argues rather strongly against such a list. If several different thinkers all mean somewhat different things by the term "charismatic authority", it's a deceptive simplification to just throw up a bunch of names as if they somehow meet some common definition. Why not just incorporate the names you find illustrative into a narrative discussion (with appropriate citations, of course) that describes why or in what respect each figure mentioned illustrates the concept? Lulu of the Lotus-Eaters 06:52, 15 January 2006 (UTC)

On re-reading the relevant pages in Oakes book, I have to admit that he does not use a strict Weberian framework. Andries 06:58, 15 January 2006 (UTC)
I have to admit that Lulu's proposal sounds good, but I do not think that I have currently the writing skills, knowledge, and grasp of this complicated subject to do so. Andries 07:53, 15 January 2006 (UTC)
I agree with Lulu's proposal to incorporate illustrative names into a narrative, providing that these names are widely agreed upon examples of charismatci authority a per Weber's definition. ≈ jossi ≈ t@ 16:10, 15 January 2006 (UTC)
Weber used the prophet as the ideal type of the charismatic leader and mentioned the Shaman as the most primitive form of charismatic authority. (Please do check this) Andries 16:23, 15 January 2006 (UTC)

Andries, since when a revert is a "minor edit"? Please do not do that again. Thanks. As discussed above, this list is like a sore thumb in the article. Best would be to incorporate some names that are 100% undisputed, into the narrative of the article. That is what I intend to do. As for the people in the list, these POVs of these scholars are already discussed in their respective articles, so nothing is lost. ≈ jossi ≈ t@ 16:12, 19 January 2006 (UTC)

I do not agree that the list is a sore problem, but I have little problem with creating a separate article list of charismatic leaders. Hope this solves the problem for you. Andries 18:46, 19 January 2006 (UTC)

There are two sources for the following persons[edit]

There are two sources for the following persons

  • Sathya Sai Baba according to Chryssides, and according to Donald Taylor in a 1987 article
  • Prem Rawat according to Lucy Dupertuis, and Paul Schnabel [8]]

Andries 06:38, 15 January 2006 (UTC)

Chryssides's article[edit]

Chrissides article as evidentiary source that Charles Taze Russell, Joseph Smith, L. Ron Hubbard and Prabhupada, is inconsistent with the article itself. Read [9]

What I have shown is that Weber’s model is insufficiently complex to account for charismatic leadership in new religious movements, failing as it does to recognize importantly different types of charismatic leader.

≈ jossi ≈ t@ 16:23, 15 January 2006 (UTC)

No, I do not agree with your interpretation of Chryssides. He does list them as charismatic leaders. Again Weber does not own the concept: he introduced it and it underwent significant modification in sociology. (I have references for that).Andries 16:27, 15 January 2006 (UTC) (amended for grammar)
It is not my interpretation. These above are Chryssides words. Read the article. ≈ jossi ≈ t@ 16:38, 15 January 2006 (UTC)
Chryssides argues that Weber's framework should be refined, not that it should be rejected. Andries 16:42, 15 January 2006 (UTC)
I am not arguing that. I am arguing that an article as this one cannot be used as evidentiary source that these leaders fit the definition by Weber's. Read the artilce. Read the summary. ≈ jossi ≈ t@ 16:49, 15 January 2006 (UTC)
Yes, I read it and I cannot understand how you could possibly come to that conclusion. Chryssides keeps mentioning Weber and writes about "CHARISMATIC LEADERS" and CHARISMATIC LEADERSHIP. Andries 16:56, 15 January 2006 (UTC)
If Chryssides had written something like "Weber's concept of charismatic leadership is not useful in describing these founders of NRMs" then I would ageree, of course, that Chryssides can not be used as evidence, but he continues to use Weberian terms for their leadership. Andries 17:59, 15 January 2006 (UTC)
Just read the summary, would you. Read it carefully and detached if you could. Thanks. ≈ jossi ≈ t@ 19:28, 15 January 2006 (UTC)

Can you explain this: "Sennett 1975, Berger 1963, Blau 1963, Olin 1980". Where are these sources? Or is this a copy and paste? ≈ jossi ≈ t@ 16:40, 15 January 2006 (UTC)

This is mentioned in Oakes' treatment of Weber. Andries 16:41, 15 January 2006 (UTC)
Then, the right way to do this is to quote Oakes. not Senet, Berger, Bluan and Olin. ≈ jossi ≈ t@ 16:49, 15 January 2006 (UTC)
I thought the right way was to write something like "Senet, Berger etc. in Oakes." Andries 16:51, 15 January 2006 (UTC)
Nope. If you are quoting from Oakes, you need to provide a cite from Oakes book. If yo are quoting from Sennet, you can provide a ref and and a cite from Sennet. ≈ jossi ≈ t@ 16:54, 15 January 2006 (UTC)
hm okay, you may be right. Andries 16:57, 15 January 2006 (UTC)

(outdent) I removed this article from the listing of request for comments because the dispute is more or less resolved, I believe, by creating the List of charismatic leaders. Andries 16:11, 21 January 2006 (UTC)

Yes. Thanks. ≈ jossi ≈ t@ 17:08, 21 January 2006 (UTC)


I see this interpretations and summary of Baker's assertions to be (a) factually innacurate and (b) not representative of her body of work.

The professor of sociology at the London school of Economics, Eileen Barker, who specializes in new religious movements asserts that Most new religious movements are founded by charismatic leaders, and considers these leaders unpredictable. [10]

Read the article. I would suggest we properly quote a summary of Baker's assertions rather than an narrow interpretation (e.g. the word "unreliable" is not even used once in Barker's article). ≈ jossi ≈ t@ 19:14, 21 January 2006 (UTC)

I don't know whether she says so in the article but she does write it in her book, on page 13 of the Dutch version as already mentioned in the reference section. I will try to look for the exact wording. I think that Chryssides quoted her in that respect. Why did you remove his article by the way? Andries 19:21, 21 January 2006 (UTC)
I did not remove anything. As for the "reliable" thing, I would argue that if you cite Barker's in regard of her studies on charismatic leaders, you ought to present a summary of her views, not a summary of your ideas about leaders which Barker's addresses. Remember what Wikipedia is not. ≈ jossi ≈ t@ 19:27, 21 January 2006 (UTC)
I did present a summary of her views from what I have read. Feel free to expand on that from what you have read. Andries 19:29, 21 January 2006 (UTC)
She wrote that charismatic leaders are almost by definition unpredictable because there a no constraints on their behavior, neither by tradition, scripture or anything else. Andries 19:31, 21 January 2006 (UTC)
That is an intrepretation. For NPOV, you should avoid making interpretations. I am going to the library this afternoon to consult that book and to provide a good summary citation that complies with NPOV. ≈ jossi ≈ t@ 19:34, 21 January 2006 (UTC)
Here is how Chryssides quotes a part of Barker's book New Religious Movements
"Weber’s model of charismatic leadership giving way to institutionalization is endorsed by several academic sociologists. For example, Eileen Barker writes:
"New religions are rarely initiated by a committee. Although sects may be formed by a group of dissatisfied persons breaking away from a larger body, several of the movements have, or have had, a founder or leader who is believed to have some special powers or knowledge, and whom his (or, occasionally, her) followers are expected to believe and obey without question." (Barker, 1989, p. 13.)
To be fair to Barker, she acknowledges that ‘[n]ot all new religious movements have charismatic leaders’, and that there are differences in the hegemonic styles among those movements that do. "
Andries 19:45, 21 January 2006 (UTC)
Thanks. That is exacty what I meant. If you cite Chryssides. Cite him as above. If you cite Barker. Cite a good and representative summary as Chryssides did in regard to the formation of new religions and their leaders. Maybe this whole section can me moved to New religious movements where it can be further explored, unless a specific cite about Weberian charismatic leaders can be found from these authors.≈ jossi ≈ t@ 19:55, 21 January 2006 (UTC)
Okay, I admit, the summary is open for refinement and improvement, like almost everything written in Wikipedia. Andries 20:20, 21 January 2006 (UTC)
Your summary is not what I remember what she had written in the book though it is an improvement over what I had originally written. I will get the book. Andries 00:50, 22 January 2006 (UTC)

(outdent) That is what I found to be the most appropriate from her book, about this specific subject as related to Weber's concept applied to NRMs. You are welcome to augument. ≈ jossi ≈ t@ 01:15, 22 January 2006 (UTC)

OK. So you found Barker used the term "unpredictable", but you are not giving the readers the background and context. Maybe it got lost in the translation? Could you please post here the whole paragraph in Ducth in which she speaks of the unreliability aspect of charismatic leaders? Thanks. ≈ jossi ≈ t@ 17:21, 22 January 2006 (UTC)
Nevermid. I found the sentence in the book and added some context. Thanks. ≈ jossi ≈ t@ 17:31, 22 January 2006 (UTC)
I first thought that I had made a mistake when you removed the word "unpredictable", but no, when I read the book in the library, I was right all along. Please do not again remove notable attributed well referenced assertions. (I admit though that the assertion could have been better contextualized). Thanks. Andries 17:30, 23 January 2006 (UTC)
I stand by the deletion and the further edit. Your cite of Barker's book was not "a well referenced assertion". Context is everything as they say. The way that you chose to position Barker's statement was not neutral. After the research and the edits by me now it reads correctly. You could have saved us the whole ordeal by providing the proper context in the first place. ≈ jossi ≈ t@ 00:07, 24 January 2006 (UTC)
Thanks for your comments, but I continue to disagree. I will not pursue this debate here further however because it is unrelated to the current version of the article. Andries 21:51, 25 January 2006 (UTC)

My version states "most"[edit]

"... most leaders movements have a founder or a leader. It is often said of this person that that he or she posseses special powers or special knowledge. Followers are expected that they believe and obey this person" (translated back into English) Andries 22:44, 25 January 2006 (UTC)

Sorry Andries, but I don't buy it. It says that most groups have a leader (Duh!), but not that most groups have a leader presenting charismatic authority as per Webber's. I have changed the text to reflect what she is saying. She is saying 'often. Let's keep it at that. ≈ jossi ≈ t@ 22:56, 25 January 2006 (UTC)
Thanks. The current wording is fine for me, but "several" was incorrect. Andries 22:58, 25 January 2006 (UTC)

Weber's quote[edit]

This quote:

"a certain quality of an individual personality, by virtue of which s/he is 'set apart' from ordinary people and treated as endowed with supernatural, superhuman, or at least specifically exceptional powers or qualities. These are such as are not accessible to the ordinary person, but are regarded as of divine origin or as exemplary, and on the basis of them the individual concerned is treated as a leader."

I cannot find it anywere. If this is a cite from a book, it needs to be from the english version and not free-form translation by an editor. ≈ jossi ≈ t@ 17:04, 28 January 2006 (UTC)

from Max Weber The sociology of religion Boston Beacon Press 1963, cited in Charisma: A psychoanalytic look at mass society Irvine Schiffer (New York Free Press 1973), 3 and in Madelein Landau Tobia and Janja Lalich Captive Hears captive minds:freedom and recovery from cults and abusive relationships. Publishers group West 1993 Andries
I checked the German original quickly and I think the translation is okay. Andries 19:24, 28 January 2006 (UTC)
That does not work. If you are using a quote, we need a direct cite from the english edition of that book. This is the English Wikipedia, and you know about the restrictions on non-english sources. I will look for it. ≈ jossi ≈ t@ 22:48, 28 January 2006 (UTC)
It is a quote from an English work. I did not translate it myself. I only checked the translation and I think it is accurate. Andries 22:50, 28 January 2006 (UTC)
Here is the German original "»Charisma« soll eine als außeralltäglich (ursprünglich, sowohl bei Propheten wie bei therapeutischen wie bei Rechts-Weisen wie bei Jagdführern wie bei Kriegshelden: als magisch bedingt) geltende Qualität einer Persönlichkeit heißen, um derentwillen sie als mit übernatürlichen oder übermenschlichen oder mindestens spezifisch außeralltäglichen, nicht jedem andern zugänglichen Kräften oder Eigenschaften oder als gottgesandt oder als vorbildlich und deshalb als »Führer« gewertet wird." from Wirtschaft und Gesellschaft chapter III, § 10 The English translation does not include what is between brackets. The text mentions the word "Führer" which means leader that did then not yet have the negative connotations that it has now. Andries 23:01, 28 January 2006 (UTC)

Now that we have that squared, let's look at this:

Due to its idiosyncratic nature and lack of formal organization, charismatic authority depends much more strongly on the perceived legitimacy of the authority than Weber’s other forms of authority. For instance, a charismatic leader in a religious context might require an unchallenged belief that the leader has been touched by God, in the sense of a guru or prophet. [1] However, should the strength of this belief fade, the power of the charismatic leader can fade quickly, which is one of the ways in which this form of authority shows itself to be unstable. In contrast to the current popular use of the term charismatic leader, Weber saw charismatic authority not so much as character traits of the charismatic leader but as a relationship between the leader and his followers.

The source provided in [1] is an article in I would argue that being this an article on Weber's definition of charismatic authority, we use a good cite from Weber rather than an interpretation by an com editor for the first sentence. As for the second sentence there is no source, so it will be good to have one. ≈ jossi ≈ t@ 23:10, 28 January 2006 (UTC)

I agree that is an inferior source that was fine to start with, but now that the article has matured and uses better sources, information sourced to could be removed. Andries 11:05, 29 July 2006 (UTC)

are charismatic leaders crazy?[edit]

I think that Oakes wrote that Weber had written that they were not insane, but I have to check that. Andries 16:36, 4 November 2007 (UTC)


The "Characteristics" section of this article is as clear as mud and has several unattributed quotes. Somebody please rewrite it. I don't have the time. Moby-Dick3000 (talk) 03:24, 15 December 2009 (UTC)

I've added some subheaders and quote-templates; I hope this makes it better. Joshua Jonathan (talk) 06:08, 27 June 2012 (UTC)

List of charismatic leaders[edit]

The list that was originally a spin-off from this article has disappeared from Wikipedia. It was very well referenced by reputable sociological sources. If that list has no value then I think that any example in this article that has not been used by Weber himself should be deleted. Andries (talk) 20:27, 7 August 2010 (UTC)

See Wikipedia:Articles_for_deletion/List_of_charismatic_leaders_as_defined_by_Max_Weber's_classification_of_authority_(2nd_nomination)

Charismatic Succession[edit]

I would like to add to the page with a description of the various methods of succession from charismatic leadership. I'm planning on using some of Max Weber's work in the area as my source. This should improve the page by adding content. Any objections? Jbredar — Preceding unsigned comment added by Jbredar (talkcontribs) 01:19, 31 March 2012 (UTC)


The note link is broken.

Clinton does not qualify -- except in popular, not Weberian -- sense for charisma. Obama might -- but the dust hasn't settled. Reagan would. Among U.S. military leaders, Pershing fits better than Marshall.

This paragraph seems a bit politically biased.

Also, consider using some non-U.S., non-Western examples.

User:Ethicsjrt 3 july 2012 (copied from article by Joshua Jonathan (talk) 19:21, 3 July 2012 (UTC))

Hi Ethicsjrt. Te article gives the following criteria:

# [A] certain quality of an individual personality,

  1. by virtue of which he is set apart from ordinary men
  2. and treated as endowed with supernatural, superhuman,
  3. or at least specifically exceptional powers or qualities.
  4. These are such as are not accessible to the ordinary person,
  5. but are regarded as of divine origin or as exemplary,
  6. and on the basis of them the individual concerned is treated as a leader [...]
  7. How the quality in question would be ultimately judged from an ethical, aesthetic, or other such point of view is naturally indifferent for the purpose of definition.
It seems to me that Bill Clinton qualifies for "specifically exceptional powers or qualities" and "treated as a leader". The last point is also interesting, given the quite different opinions on Clinton. And after all, to me it seems that there is anyway subjectivity involved in judging people to be charismatic. So any name in this section might be problematic. Oh, and of course: all American presidents are elected, and derive their power in the first place from the American Constitution. So maybe this whole section is problematic. Anyway, just add Reagan if you like. He was charismatic, wasn't he, no matter how one feels about him. Joshua Jonathan (talk) 19:21, 3 July 2012 (UTC)
Can you please read the old discussion about examples? It was deleted from this article. Andries (talk) 21:36, 3 July 2012 (UTC)
Thanks. It looks like we're repeating an old discussion... Groet, Joshua Jonathan (talk) 07:27, 4 July 2012 (UTC)

Reverting of my edit[edit]

[diff] Joshua Jonathan you reverted my edit with an edit summary of "Undid cutting up of quote and removal of wiki-makeup". Until I read your summary I didn't have a clue that part of the page was a quote of someones. Going by the fact an editor added a citation need to this part of the text, I'm not the only editor this is not clear to. Having reread the text in compare selected revisions section the with your comment in mind I see the quote markup but this is not the normal readers view.

It is not clear that part of text is a quote, who is being quoted or where it's being quoted from. This should be address by someone who know what the RS actually says. ?oygul (talk) 13:40, 13 March 2013 (UTC)

The problem was in the last part: }}}} It's easy to overlook, because of the double-double brackets; I didn't notice myself at once either. Greetings, Joshua Jonathan -Let's talk! 19:15, 13 March 2013 (UTC)
You have only addressed the markup issue. You haven't addressed my concern that when reading the article page readers can't tell it's a quote. [11]. Common practice is to use "" around the text example:- In the New York times John Smith says "Blar blar blar blar blar." In this type of format we know who is talking, where the quote is from and where the quote starts and finishes.
In the article, who is being quoted? Where is the quote from? and which words are the quote? ?oygul (talk) 01:59, 16 March 2013 (UTC)
No quote-signs are being used in the quote-template. There is nou source indeed, but there was/is a {{source?}} tag, which was removed by you diff, together with the closing brackets, whereby the quote-template didn't work anymore. So I undid your edit, because it mutilated the Wiki-make-up in two ways.
Regarding the source, I think it's from this blog, which is not a reliable source WP:RS. So, feel free to remove the whole quote, or to paraphrase it. Greetings, Joshua Jonathan -Let's talk! 08:23, 16 March 2013 (UTC)