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I really don't think shyster should be redirecting here. The terms aren't anywhere near synonymous.--Oolong 08:47, 26 July 2007 (UTC)

religious leaders[edit]

Some self proclaimed religious leaders are also charlatans. Others sincerely believe in their messianic delusions. A characteristic of a charlatan is that s/he uses deception to convince people.


This article looks like a dictionary entry to me. 06:16, 18 Sep 2004 (UTC)


I've taken "pejorative" out of the first line of this entry. A charlatan who is an imposter is simply a charlatan. The word may be abused and made into a false pejorative in a libel. The current version reflects normal usage. Imagine the cultural background against which one may not use the "pejorative" word "charlatan." Cult-thinking works like this. As long as the word is being manipulated like this, let's not skootch it out of Wikipedia as a mere Wiktionary entry. Wetman 07:40, 20 Oct 2004 (UTC)

Could be possible that the word "charlatan" comes also from the spanish "Charlar", that means literally "chat", so "charlatan" means "person who talk a lot" in spanish, but also has the same english meaning (a person who talks a lot in order to convince somebody to buy something, often). If it's true, it could be added to the article.


What exactly is the point of this sentence?

"If the ascription is false, then "charlatan" is pejorative; if it is true, then the description "charlatan" is not defamation". It contributes nothing to the article...

-Juansmith 17:48, 2 August 2006 (UTC)

An admirable summary[edit]

Re LE CHARLATAN. In 1668 (!) La Fontaine summed up in perfect form all there is to know about charlatans and the way they operate. Readers who have some French are well advised to read his short poem in its original language (Jean de La Fontaine: Fables, livre 6e, fable XIX, Le Charlatan). --BZ(Bruno Zollinger) 10:15, 8 February 2007 (UTC)

Ludwig Bieberbach[edit]

The description of Ludwig Bieberbach as a charlatan may not be entirely appropriate. I am not going to defend someone who said poorly thought out and racially offensive things, but Bieberbach managed to publish some useful work in the area of pure mathematics and his racial outpourings are more like pseudoscience or the work of a crank. Classic charlatans produce work of no value, usually for financial gain or publicity, and this is not the most accurate way of summarizing Bieberbach. It is understandable that after World War 2 he was considered to be a pariah by most academic institutions, but his work is still influential in mathematics, particularly the Bieberbach conjecture.--Ianmacm 14:29, 30 May 2007 (UTC)

Acharya Tanpai Rinpoche[edit]

I removed the reference to Acharya Tanpai Rinpoche for several reasons. It is not particularly notable, and it is unsourced. Also, The article is not intended to be a list where people can add the charlatan of their choice. The term "charlatan" can run into problems with Wikipedia's Neutral Point of View policy, since it is often seen as derogatory. Specific criticisms that a person's work is unscientific are acceptable when they are backed up by Wikipedia:Reliable sources, but merely describing someone as a charlatan is probably not within Wikipedia guidelines.--Ianmacm 07:59, 20 July 2007 (UTC)

charlatan comes from italian language[edit]

The Spanish Royal Academy Dictionary says that the spanish word "charlatán" (very similar to english one "charlatan") comes from italian "ciarlatano". this must be the original language, not French, as article says. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 17:49, 28 October 2007 (UTC)

Modern charlatans[edit]

I’m wondering if we should/could add some modern charlatans into the article. For example, Stan Meyer, Denny Klein, Joseph Newman, etc. Charlatanism is alive and well even today, especially in the mechanical and electrical milieux. — NRen2k5, 16:57, 27 February 2008 (UTC)

Please note that the term charlatan is often considered derogatory and potentially libelous. Descriptions of living persons as charlatans will most likely be removed from Wikipedia. See also Wikipedia:Biographies of living persons. --♦IanMacM♦ (talk to me) 17:29, 27 February 2008 (UTC)
No such threat with the people in question; it’s true. Or what, will we leave readers with the impression that charlatans ceased to exist almost a century ago? — NRen2k5, 11:13, 28 February 2008 (UTC)
A statement like "Joe Newman is a charlatan" would run into problems with Wikipedia's neutral point of view policy, and possibly lead to legal action. There are ample opportunities for pointing out that claims of perpetual motion etc. violate well-tested scientific laws, without resorting to an ad hominem approach. It is best to keep language as factual and neutral as possible. --♦IanMacM♦ (talk to me) 11:32, 28 February 2008 (UTC)
This is what's wrong with Wikipedia... — NRen2k5, 22:47, 29 February 2008 (UTC)
Keeping language factual and neutral is what's wrong with Wikipedia? freshacconcispeaktome 22:49, 29 February 2008 (UTC)
Cowardice against stating sensitive facts for fear of repercussions is what’s wrong with Wikipedia. — NRen2k5, 10:39, 3 March 2008 (UTC)
We can't really debate Wikipedia policy here, but no-one is prevented from saying that perpetual motion or free energy claims violate known scientific laws. Personal commentaries or opinions would not enhance a Wikipedia article. --♦IanMacM♦ (talk to me) 07:02, 1 March 2008 (UTC)
As luck would have it, the past few weeks have seen the publication of a new book called Charlatan by Pope Brock (see [1] for a review). It tells the story of John R. Brinkley and his goat gland treatment. Brinkley issued a libel action (which he lost) against Morris Fishbein, one of his longstanding critics. The question of how Wikipedia should write about people who make wildly unscientific claims is an interesting one. There is nothing wrong with pointing out that the claims are contradicted by strong evidence, but anything that smacks of an ad hominem approach is best avoided. Wikipedia's policy on the biographies of living persons requires the language to be as measured as possible, and this would probably rule out the use of words like charlatan. Other comments welcome here. --♦IanMacM♦ (talk to me) 12:50, 1 March 2008 (UTC)
Would you also be against charlatanism being related to people who make wildly unscientific claims, in their articles’ “See Also” sections? Just wondering if the standards there are such that it can be done. It blows my mind that we can use the published work and opinions of experts to debunk the (non-)science these people propagate, but we can’t use it to identify them. — NRen2k5, 10:39, 3 March 2008 (UTC)
I don't want to repeat myself, but "Person X is a charlatan" is in my view unsuitable language for Wikipedia. --♦IanMacM♦ (talk to me) 11:04, 3 March 2008 (UTC)
Well you’d better rush over to the article on Hitler then – they’re trying to label him a fascist dictator! — NRen2k5, 14:07, 4 March 2008 (UTC)
If we want a modern charlatan, how about Bernie Madoff? He ran a Ponzi scheme, which is defined as a charlatan activity within the article. Sailorknightwing (talk) 16:30, 1 March 2009 (UTC)

Barack Obama?[edit]

This doesn't seem very legit ... —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 02:50, 3 November 2008 (UTC)

Modern Meaning[edit]

The modern meaning is applied to persons/organizations using pseudo scientific or technological humbug terminology to gain notoriety or position. They rely on the ignorance of the population. (Editors take note: only individuals can be defamed, and claim for damages.) The majority of political parties are therefore charlatanistic. The field of economics is also charlatanism. Control theory shows that non-linear parameterized systems are not unconditionally controllable, whereas economists claim they can control national economies, such as JM Keynes. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 01:44, 7 March 2011 (UTC)