Talk:Cult suicide

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"Multiple Issues" confusing[edit]

The little box at the top of the "article" page (which box I can't seem to edit) says that the page "has multiple issues." That is confusing since it could mean that the page has been re-issued several times or appears under different names in Wikipedia. Better to say "multiple problems." Anybody who knows how to fix the box feel free.... Carrionluggage (talk) 06:47, 2 March 2008 (UTC)

This is about tag cleanup. As all of the tags are more than a year old, there is no current discussion relating to them, and there is a great deal of editing done since the tags were placed, they will be removed. This is not a judgement of content. If there is cause to re-tag, then that of course may be done, with the necessary posting of a discussion as to why, and what improvements could be made. This is only an effort to clean out old tags, and permit them to be updated with current issues if warranted.

I'll remove the entire box, and anyone who has cause to put new tags can do so, and comment here.Jjdon (talk) 20:12, 28 April 2008 (UTC)


I removed this side comment from the article:

discuss prevailing belief systems in such cults

--cprompt 02:46, Jun 2, 2004 (UTC)

I think the essential disctinction should be made between religious groups that have encourage suicide such as Heaven's gate and People's temple and the groups that have not done that such as scientology. Andries 20:00, 21 Jun 2004 (UTC)

Removal of some groups[edit]

I don't know why Unification Church is described in a paragraph here, while other groups which have ACTUALLY condoned or carried out suicide only get links. Same with Scientology.

Article should be rewritten to distinguish between:

  • groups that actively plan for or commit suicide; and,
  • groups suspected by the general public or by cult opponents

Especially when the group in question (like UC) is on record as OPPOSING suicide. For example, we show the movie What Dreams May Come in our Bible camps to teenagers, to warn them of the consequences: as Cuba Gooding says, "Suicides go to hell." --Uncle Ed (El Dunce) 18:17, 15 Oct 2004 (UTC)

I agree that movements that have explicitly encourages suicides (like Peoples temple and solar temple) should not be lumped together with groups that may have caused suicide by making false promises (e.g. quackery) and bringing its members in difficult situations such as scientology and my former guru Sathya Sai Baba who sexually abuses good looking male devotees and who also is a quack. (scroll down) [1]. Andries 19:02, 15 Oct 2004 (UTC)
Let's not be hasty, Andries. If a cult is driving people to suicide, that is yet another category. Like Japanese university entrance exams: students who fail to get into Waseda or other big name schools sometimes kill themselves.
The question is, what sort of involvement is associated with increased suicide rates. If suicide is 1 in 100,000 per year in the general public, that is 0.001 percent. Solar Temple had over 50.000 percent, I guess. People's Temple is unclear: some were murdered (shot in the back when they ran away to escape drinking poison, or forced to drink poison at gunpoint).
I have heard of only two reports of suicide in the UC(and both cases are disputed, one guy fell down an elevator shaft, another fell off a balcony). But please note this is off the top of my head. I have NOT researched it. I only know what church teachings are. --Uncle Ed (El Dunce) 14:38, 18 Oct 2004 (UTC)

Martyrdom = Cult Suicide???[edit]

After reading this section 3 times, I am still having a hard time understanding how "martyrdom, as found in religions such as Christianity and Islam, is tantamount to suicide". I understand the idea of a suicide bomber, or some sort of ascetic suicide, perhaps, but being burnt at the stake because of your religious beliefs or practices -- 'how' is this "cult suicide"? If anyone could clarify this I would really appreciate it, or I will severely edit this section. I should also mention that the grammar of this paragraph is atrocious. Ddddan 22:15, 18 Nov 2004 (UTC)

Just for the record, it is a belief held by some atheists that it is better to live by giving lip service to a religion than to die for any reason. In effect a martyr allows himself to die. This is in accordance with the definition of suicide. In which through one's actions or inactions one dies. --metta, The Sunborn 20:22, 10 Mar 2005 (UTC)
Is it suicide when a police officer is killed in the line of duty? How about a captured soldier who dies while being tortured for information on troop movements? -- Agredon 01:40, 22 Feb 2007 (Central)
I believe martyrdom is specific to religions/cults. Nonsane (talk) 18:50, 20 July 2009 (UTC)

Various suggestions[edit]

Distinguish better between:

  • martyrdom, widely regarded as worthy; and,
  • cult suicide, generally regarded as really stupid

And in the Scientology section, we apparently endorse the view that former scientologists are more suicidal while condemning Scientology for predicting that departing members are apt to be suicidal. Let's pick one of these, or note the contradiction.

Also, if Conway doesn't say how Scientology makes people suicidal, it's more of a detractor's claim than a sociological statement of fact. Has anyone read her book? (I tried twice to get through it, but it was so low in vitamin content I'd rather eat junk food). -- Uncle Ed (talk) 15:49, Mar 12, 2005 (UTC)

from Vfd[edit]

On 10 Mar 2005, this article was nominated for deletion. The result was keep. See Wikipedia:Votes for deletion/Cult suicide for a record of the discussion. —Korath (Talk) 17:49, Mar 17, 2005 (UTC)

Spinoff Martyrdom?[edit]

Maybe Martyrdom should be a separate article? It does tend to be an individual act, whereas cult suicide is more of a group act. StuTheSheep 03:20, Mar 23, 2005 (UTC)

Yes, the individual vs. group aspect is important. Thanks for pointing that out. Also, martyrdom typically does NOT involve suicide. The classic case of Saint Stephen being stoned to death (shortly after saying, "You stiff-necked people!") comes to mind. See Acts of the Apostles. -- Uncle Ed (talk) 17:20, Mar 23, 2005 (UTC)


(This section contained an advertisement trying to get people to join a yahoo group, I have removed it. Feel free to look at it in the history of this page if you really want to) --Xyzzyplugh 13:24, 14 September 2006 (UTC)

Groups to replace[edit]

I admit I don't have a positive view of the Unification Church as a whole, but even at my most negative I didn't see them as suicidal. I'm tempted to remove them and replace them with something else. If I can find a suitable replacement to fit the bracket they are currently in would there be objections?--T. Anthony 06:13, 19 September 2005 (UTC)

Islamic Fundamentalism[edit]

Can we add this one, I mean the Suicide bombings?

I for one think it is a great idea but it has to have some disclaimers like just because someone is an Islamic Fundamentalist by no means they are part of a cult just for strong strict interpretations of th Quran and Hadith I think Al-Qaeda,ELJ,MEK would but does. BUT FOR MARTYRDOM TO even be on the same page is wrong . The difference between suicide and martyrdom is if the act is guaranteed lead to death of the one carrying out the act and this is the belief of most muslim clarics today.Here are a few quotes " incriminate mujahedin (Islamic fighters) who fight against aggressors? How can he consider these aggressors as innocent civilians?" or According to Islamic jurist and scholar Khaled Abou Al-Fadl, The classical jurists, nearly without exception, argued that those who attack by stealth, while targeting noncombatants in order to terrorize the resident and wayfarer, are corrupters of the earth. "Resident and wayfarer" was a legal expression that meant that whether the attackers terrorize people in their urban centers or terrorize travelers, the result was the same: all such attacks constitute a corruption of the earth. The legal term given to people who act this way was muharibun (those who wage war against society), and the crime is called the crime of hiraba (waging war against society). The crime of hiraba was so serious and repugnant that, according to Islamic law, those guilty of this crime were considered enemies of humankind and were not to be given quarter or sanctuary anywhere. ... Those who are familiar with the classical tradition will find the parallels between what were described as crimes of hiraba and what is often called terrorism today nothing short of remarkable. The classical jurists considered crimes such as assassinations, setting fires, or poisoning water wells - that could indiscriminately kill the innocent - as offenses of hiraba. Furthermore, hijacking methods of transportation or crucifying people in order to spread fear and terror are also crimes of hiraba. Importantly, Islamic law strictly prohibited the taking of hostages, the mutilation of corpses, and torture.[90] —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 01:25, 17 March 2009 (UTC)

Cross-article disagreement:[edit]

In the Cult Suicide article, on the subject of the Heaven's Gate Cult, it says:

"Some male members of the cult underwent voluntary castration in preparation for the genderless life they believed awaited them after the suicide."

However, in the main Heaven's Gate Article, it says:

"Many male members of the cult voluntarily underwent castration as an extreme means of maintaining the ascetic lifestyle."


So which is it?

And I've also been noticing a lot of direct copying between some of these articles. Is that allowed?

Inspector Baynes 17:32, 20 October 2006 (UTC)

Sidebars (templates)[edit]

The Cults template and the Suicide template are making the formatting of the main body of the article look bad. Everything is piled together visually, but I don't know how to fix it. Joie de Vivre 18:44, 1 February 2007 (UTC)

Ontario Consultants on Religious Tolerance[edit]

This site has been questioned as a reliable source: On what basis? -Will Beback · · 19:27, 13 February 2007 (UTC)

Jehovah's Witness[edit]

Does this belong in an article about "Cult Suicide"? Paddy 21:34, 27 April 2007 (UTC)

I took that stuff out. Some were arguing that religions which deny medicine are cult suicide, but on reflection I don't think that's valid. I may have taken too many groups out though.--T. Anthony 02:50, 29 April 2007 (UTC)

Totally erroneous in the first place. JW's don't deny themselves medical treatment. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 20:38, 1 November 2007 (UTC)

Bethany Huges(sp?) disagrees with you. They refuse blood transfusions and also encourage Martyrdom. Nonsane (talk) 18:47, 20 July 2009 (UTC)

Original research?[edit]

An editor posted an {OR} tag on the artilce with the edit summary:

  • (OR probably refers to the lack of sources and conclusions drawn without said sources.)

There are 21 inline sources and another dozen listed at the end. That doesn't appear to be a lack of sources. Are there particular sourcing problems that can be identified? ·:· Will Beback ·:· 00:41, 19 September 2007 (UTC)

(just an example) The section 'Martyrdom' contains no sources and a lot of OR. Similarly, many sections/subsections are devoid of sources. Sfacets 00:44, 19 September 2007 (UTC)

It'd be more helpful if you could tag the parts you are concerned about, rather than the whole article. Since there are so many sources a general tag somplaining about the lack of sources won't get any serious attention (as indeed it hasn't since you put it up many months ago). ·:· Will Beback ·:· 01:36, 19 September 2007 (UTC)

The term "Cult suicide"[edit]

Is the term "Cult suicide" an actual term, or is it simply the juxtaposition of two words 'cult' and 'suicide'? Sfacets 22:17, 29 September 2007 (UTC)

Again I ask: is this just a term arising from someone's Original research, or can it be attributed? Sfacets 21:54, 18 October 2007 (UTC)

That comes under the category of silly questions. Just google it if you really need proof that this is an established term. -- Lonewolf BC 23:18, 18 October 2007 (UTC)

Unfortunately for us all, Google search results are not valid references. Sfacets 23:21, 18 October 2007 (UTC)

And that comes under the category of non sequiturs. The idea was for you to look at the search-results and see how ridiculous your fussing over this was.
-- Lonewolf BC 05:29, 19 October 2007 (UTC)
Actually, Google searches are a fine source to show that a term is in actual use. But here are some headlines to prove it:
  • Rights Body Condemns Kanungu Cult Suicide, Katamba G. Mohammed. Africa News Service. Durham: Mar 26, 2000. p. 1
  • It was murder, say family of boy in cult suicide riddle GORDON RAYNER. Daily Mail. London (UK): Mar 28, 2007. p. 19
  • JONESTOWN MASSACRE RECALLED NO MEMORIALS IN GUYANA 25 YEARS AFTER MORE THAN 900 CULT SUICIDES Bert Wilkinson The Associated Press. South Florida Sun - Sentinel. Fort Lauderdale, Fla.: Nov 19, 2003. p. 26.A
  • Coroner denounces cult suicide claim, Terry Kirby Chief Reporter. The Independent. London (UK): Nov 5, 2003. p. 4
  • Cult suicide, Stephen S Schade. Chicago Tribune. Chicago, Ill.: Apr 28, 2001. p. 23
  • Cult suicide victims stable in hospital, WANG YING, China Daily staff. China Daily (North American ed.). New York, N.Y.: Feb 3, 2001. p. 1
  • Details on cult suicide attempts, China Daily (North American ed.). New York, N.Y.: Jan 31, 2001. p. 1
  • Cult's suicide protest embarrasses China Calum MacLeod in Beijing and James Palmer. The Independent. London (UK): Jan 24, 2001. p. 14
  • Kanungu Deaths Similar To Other Cult Suicides, Paul Redfern. Africa News Service. Durham: Mar 29, 2000. p. 1
  • Difficulties hamper cult-suicide probe, The Globe and Mail. Toronto, Ont.: Mar 23, 2000. p. A.11
  • Death toll 500 in cult suicides Cincinnati Post. Cincinnati, Ohio: Mar 21, 2000. p. 2.A
  • 600 feared burned alive in doomsday cult suicide, Evening Standard. London (UK): Mar 20, 2000. p. 7
And so on. that should be sufficient to show it's a term in general use. ·:· Will Beback ·:· 00:16, 19 October 2007 (UTC)

Again, I'm asking for a valid source which proves that this is a term used in a sociological context. What you gave above are headlines or titles which are often abbreviated/changed and have no academic standing. Sfacets 00:21, 19 October 2007 (UTC)

What does it matter if the term is used in sociology? I don't see any claim that it's a sociological term. ·:· Will Beback ·:· 00:26, 19 October 2007 (UTC)
It is classed under Category:Anti-cult terms and concepts. There is in fact to indication that it is a real term, other than sensationalist headlines you would use to justify is use. If anything we could use "cult suicide is term used in the media descibing a group referred to as a "cult" leading its membership to commit suicide". Sfacets 00:34, 19 October 2007 (UTC)
Just because it's used by journalists doesn't mean it isn't a real term. Are you saying that it shouldn't be categorized under Category:Anti-cult terms and concepts? Are anti-cult terms only used by sociologists? I don't understand you objection to this commonly-used term. ·:· Will Beback ·:· 00:55, 19 October 2007 (UTC)

Are anti-cult activists journalists? Sfacets 01:13, 19 October 2007 (UTC)

I don't know, I suppose they could be. What does it matter? The dispute here is that you appear to be claiming that "Cult suicide" is a term that WP editors have made up. There is ample evidecne that it is a term in general use. ·:· Will Beback ·:· 01:19, 19 October 2007 (UTC)

There is no indication that it is used generally. newspaper headlines usually will summarize/shorten a long headline. There is no indication of it being used generally (in-text) in an article. So it would appear to be an invented term. Sfacets 01:38, 19 October 2007 (UTC)

That's being tendentious. There are at least 183 citations that use "cult suicide" in their titles, and another couple of hundred that use it in the body of the article. That is plenty fo show it's a term that hasn't been made up by WP editors. ·:· Will Beback ·:· 02:01, 19 October 2007 (UTC)

Examples? Then add them to the article! Sfacets 02:02, 19 October 2007 (UTC)

Done. ·:· Will Beback ·:· 05:42, 19 October 2007 (UTC)
I have added appropriate templates in regards to this discussion, and changed the intro. Sfacets 08:03, 19 October 2007 (UTC)
  • cult suicide is a term used by a variety of writers to announce the instance of a group they regard as being a cult leading its membership to commit suicide.
That's practically gibberish. That's as bad as saying
  • melbourne is a name used by some people to designate a place they allege is in Australia.
Yes, that would also be accurate, but it's equally ridiculous. "Cult suicide" is the suicide of a cult. Let's keep it simple folks. ·:· Will Beback ·:· 09:09, 19 October 2007 (UTC)

Melbourne is not a pejorative (mostly). Its use is not challenged. "Cult suicide" is a non-neutral way to describe the groups in question. Sfacets 09:25, 19 October 2007 (UTC)

Who challenges "cult suicide" as a term, or calls it a pejorative? What is the more neutral term used to describe the phenomenon? ·:· Will Beback ·:· 10:07, 19 October 2007 (UTC)

remove Tiananmen Square Self-immolation[edit]

on the grounds that it was clearly a set-up by the Chinese Communist Party to frame Falun Gong and ramp up the persecution, and thus should not be put in the same category as groups which have actually committed suicidal acts, even as "questionable".--Asdfg12345 11:14, 15 October 2007 (UTC)

According to whom, it's a "clear set-up"? There's different sources alleging that the the self-imolators acted on their own free will. And Falun Gong is regarded as a cult by many in the west, irrelevant of the "persecution" and what the FLG-associated media wants people to believe.--PCPP 07:04, 21 October 2007 (UTC)

Danny Schecter clearly states that "CCP's charges are unsubstantiated by outside parties." All third-party analysis state it was a fabricated incident. Dilip rajeev (talk) 09:00, 17 May 2009 (UTC)

A few people's view doesn't make it a fact. As for "All third-party analysis state it was a fabricated incident", care to back that up? It's ridiculous to suggest that people are willing to burn themselves to death in the name of the CCP and sit in jail for it.--PCPP (talk) 09:19, 17 May 2009 (UTC)

Just watch again the footage, those so called self-immolator's where dressed very thick, do you think that they where afraid to catch a cold, or they where afraid of actually getting burned? Plus if they actually wanted to make a good call, why did they drag a minor along? Just to give the perfect sentimental cocktail for the CCP's hate campaign? --HappyInGeneral (talk) 17:07, 17 May 2009 (UTC)
All the details of this case still aren't fully known, but it's beggar's belief that the CCP did not set it up, whoever the people were (that is my opinion based on the set of facts presented in a variety of sources, and in the CCP's own media). It's also a known fact that Falun Gong practitioners everywhere state decisively that Falun Gong is opposed to killing, including suicide, and a cursory examination of the main book, Zhuan Falun, also makes this clear (that isn't an opinion). Just thought I'd throw those two points in. About the article, I don't think it belongs here because it bestows a kind of legitimacy to two sets of highly disputed and heavily discredited allegations: 1) that Falun Gong is a cult, 2) that the immolators were Falun Gong practitioners. To put it in perspective, why not include the suicide of some CCP members, as reported in reliable sources, as an example of a cult suicide? With such a highly disputed and tenuous connection, does not inclusion in this article inherently bias the CCP view?

So you're saying that every FLG practitioner will follow LI Hongzhi's 100%? The section is already listed under "disputed suicide". It's up to the reader to decide who they really are. Buddhist monks burnt themselves to death to make aware of their ordeal during the Vietnam War despite Buddhism's stressing non-violence, and I find it doubtful that there's people stupid enough to agree with the PRC government to burn themselves to death and then sit in jail.--PCPP (talk) 12:21, 18 May 2009 (UTC)

The title of this article says nothing about this being an article of disputed suicides or suicides done in protest or anything like that. This article is about Cult suicide and the Tiananmen self immolation is not about cults, and is not even clearly suicide, since it is more likely to be just another hate campaign organized by CCP. --HappyInGeneral (talk) 22:29, 18 May 2009 (UTC)
  • You guys need to get a consensus on what to do with this section. Until then, please don't add or remove anything pertaining to Tiananmen Square Self-immolation; I'll treat doing so as edit warring and block accordingly. AGK 16:45, 18 May 2009 (UTC)
Thank you for the mediation attempt. --HappyInGeneral (talk) 22:29, 18 May 2009 (UTC)

PCPP, the issue here is simple:

  • Academics sources clearly state Falun Gong is not a cult. "by no means a cult" according to world's leading scholar on Falun Gong - David Ownby. Also, I could present a dozen other sources on this.
  • The best analysis we have all state the event was entirely staged.

Dilip rajeev (talk) 17:18, 18 May 2009 (UTC)

  • David Ownby is only one scholar, and you have no evidence backing your claim that he's the "world's leading scholar on FLG"
  • TIME magazine stated that it's likely caused by misguided FLG practitioners to get attention to their ordeal
  • There are opposing sources, some backing up TIME's version of events, some back the PRC's, some back the FLG's. None had CONCLUSIVE evidence that it's actually staged by the PRC.
  • Since there's no conclusive evidence, it's best to list it under "disputed" eg there is no agreement whether it fits "cult suicide". All views are represented, and it's up to the reader to decide whether it's staged or not. Stop trying to make up a conclusion.--PCPP (talk) 03:18, 19 May 2009 (UTC)

  • In addition to David Ownby, you have the Amnesty, US COngress, KM, HRW all unequivocally stating Falun Gong is not a cult. So the issue, anyways, does not belong under the namespace.
  • The Times article was a very early report and was largely dependent on the version of events published by the CCP. With analysis by independent journalists including Schechter and Ian Johnson all pointing to the fact that the incident was staged - there little dispute on the issue. Schechter clearly states: "CCP's claims are unsubstantiated by outside parties."

Dilip rajeev (talk) 05:57, 19 May 2009 (UTC)

Amnesty, HRW, and US Congress simply opposed the crackdown of FLG practitioners, they did not anything specific about the nature of FLG. Kilgour and Matas are hired by FLG and has strong links with them, their claims are suspicious at best.

The TIME article is its own independent report suggesting its own version of the incident. Schechter is not an expert on the issue, he is only one observer. His views does not deserve greater emphasis than anyone else's. These evidence are circumstantial at best, no one had any conclusive evidence that the PRC actually staged it, and it's ridiculous to draw conclusions based on these evidence.--PCPP (talk) 08:04, 19 May 2009 (UTC)

I don't why you continue to insist on its removal. There's already plenty of sources covering both the PRC government and the Western critics and FLG's views, and paragraph tells the story on all sides without issuing judgment. The views of the PRC is still held by a significant number of people, particularly inside the PRC. It's up to the reader to decide what is truth and what is propaganda.--PCPP (talk) 08:45, 19 May 2009 (UTC)

I am not insisting on its removal - but you being the one who added it is obliged to justify this misrepresentation and baseless accusation made on a peaceful practice. Presenting a staged incident as a "cult suicide." Who exactly, if u'd care to clarify is the "cult" here? Am not asking you to copy-paste yet another line from CCP propaganda to support your edit. You cannot just dismiss academic views and the perspective of the Human Rights community as mere opinions, Friend. Also accusations as above on Hon. David Kilgour, David Matas, etc. - might work in the CCP, where media is restricted and people have to swallow what the state media says - but obviously not here, you should be aware that you cannot use such slander to "support" your edits on wiki. Dilip rajeev (talk) 17:04, 19 May 2009 (UTC)

The exact disputed paragraph:

On January 23, 2001, six people set themselves on fire in Tiananmen Square, Beijing. The state-media claimed them to be Falun Gong practitioners. Time magazine said that it was possible for misguided practitioners to have taken it upon themselves to demonstrate in this manner, sparking a "propaganda bonanza" for the Chinese authorities. Falun Gong in New York denies that these people could have been practitioners on grounds that the teachings explicitly forbid suicide and killing. Falun Gong and some third-party commentators point to apparent inconsistencies in the government's version of events, and claim that the incident was staged in order to turn public opinion against the practice and build support for its crackdown against the movement.

If there's reliable third party sources that criticises the cult label by the PRC government, you're welcome to list it in the Tiananment Square suicide section. Views by academics, not matter how prestigeous, remain views and should not be represented as reported facts. --PCPP (talk) 05:19, 20 May 2009 (UTC)

I think that paragraph above is fair, but there's still an issue. The issue is that it's on the "Cult suicide" page, where it doesn't really belong. The idea that Falun Gong is a cult has been roundly rejected by the relevant sources, and the only source arguing that the incident is a "cult suicide" is the CCP, which isn't a reliable source. Yes, Time and others have some speculations, but they don't speculate that it was a cult suicide, merely that it could have been people who apparently practiced Falun Gong. Time doesn't warrant that Falun Gong is a cult, nor does it use the term "cult suicide" to characterise the event. Let me put it this way: what reliable sources do we have that allege that the event was a "cult suicide?" If there are none, then what's it doing on this page?--Asdfg12345 07:45, 21 May 2009 (UTC)
My point is that its inclusion here constitutes original research. There's no source for the claim that the event is a cult suicide, or even a "disputed cult suicide." On these grounds it doesn't belong.--Asdfg12345 07:54, 21 May 2009 (UTC)

The PRC government's views is significant and should be represented in this article. The fact that many Western sources disagree with their views also should be represented. As I stressed before it's up to the reader to decide whether FLG is or isn't a cult. So I suggest adding an additional sentence like this:

"While FLG is considered a cult by the PRC government and some cult critics [insert sources], the classification is widely disputed by human rights organizations and academics, who view the term as religious persecution [insert sources].--PCPP (talk) 14:31, 21 May 2009 (UTC)

You didn't respond to the basic problem, please do so now: what reliable sources do we have that allege that the event was a "cult suicide?" Your implicit suggestion that if we have sources saying it was a self-immolation, and sources saying that Falun Gong is a cult, that therefore the event can be called a "cult suicide" (or "disputed cult suicide) violates WP:SYN, does it not? --Asdfg12345 08:16, 23 May 2009 (UTC)

[2]. Which is why it's under the "disputed" section. The PRC sources especially clearly considers FLG a cult and the Tiananmen Square self-immolation incident a FLG-influenced suicide. --PCPP (talk) 12:26, 28 May 2009 (UTC)

The above logic is precisely an example of an original synthesis--I outlined why above. You need a source that says the event was actually a "cult suicide," even for the disputed section. Otherwise it's original research, and can be removed according to policy.--Asdfg12345 03:40, 30 May 2009 (UTC)

I've already gave you sources that referred to the TAM Square incident as "cult suicide". And there's plenty of Chinese sources eg [3] [4] [5] [6] [7] that referred to FLG as an "evil cult", and the immolation incident as "cult suicide"--PCPP (talk) 05:28, 14 June 2009 (UTC)

So you admit that the only source for the incident being a "cult suicide" is the CCP's own propaganda organs? That's a joke.--Asdfg12345 07:17, 14 June 2009 (UTC)
When you put it that way - who is your only source for the incident being "clearly a set-up by the Chinese Communist Party to frame Falun Gong and ramp up the persecution"? It wouldn't be the Epoch Times, would it? PerEdman (talk) 16:47, 11 August 2009 (UTC)

"citequote" tag and "...are reported to...", in lead[edit]

I've given my reasons for deleting these, by edit-summary. Those reasons are quite straightforward, not needing explanation at length on the talk-page. If you, Sfacets, have a rationale for including the tag, or those 3 words, please use the talk-page to explain it. As far as I can see the one is just clutter and the other is either mere verbosity or else verbosity meant to imply doubt (i.e. "weaseling"). If the reliable sources say the cult suicides happened, then the article should simply say that they happened. -- Lonewolf BC 07:41, 22 October 2007 (UTC)

The citequote tag is needed to ascertain that the reference provided really does define the term "cult suicide" the way it is portrayed here. It will also prove that the term exists, since (see discussion) there isn't any evidence that it does. So you see the answers you gave in the edit summary were neither straightforward or adequate, since they missed the point entirely. Sfacets 07:53, 22 October 2007 (UTC)
You're not making sense. Read Template:Citequote; you should see from it that the tag is misplaced. I'm sorry to say that you are just too incoherent for me to respond further.
-- Lonewolf BC 08:23, 22 October 2007 (UTC)
from Template:Citequote:"Use this tag, [this quote needs a citation], for quotations that are used without a citation. Per Wikipedia:Citing sources: "You should always add a citation when quoting published material, and the citation should be placed directly after the quote, which should be enclosed within double quotation marks — "like this" — or single quotation marks if it's a quote-within-a-quote — "and here is such a 'quote' as an example." - what don't you understand? I am requesting citations. Simple. Sfacets 08:29, 22 October 2007 (UTC)
There is no quote involved here. -- Lonewolf BC 08:32, 22 October 2007 (UTC)
This is why I ask you and have asked you time and time again to read Talk:Cult_suicide#The_term_.22Cult_suicide.22. Sfacets 08:38, 22 October 2007 (UTC)
I hate to break it to you, but I followed that as it went on. You didn't (and don't) make much sense there, either -- you seem stubbornly disatisfied, but not on any reasonable or coherent basis.
If you're going to explain why you want to keep the tag, please do so. Ditto for the three words. Otherwise this is wasting my time.
-- Lonewolf BC 08:55, 22 October 2007 (UTC)
You repeat yourself, I have already explained the reasons for the tag and the three words. Sfacets 09:27, 22 October 2007 (UTC)
You've never explained who calls "cult suicide" a pejorative term or challenges its use. ·:· Will Beback ·:· 03:31, 23 October 2007 (UTC)
The reason I gave was that it was a neologism issued from some editor's Original Research - and requested proof of it's existence. Sfacets 03:56, 23 October 2007 (UTC)
You've never explained the other two things comprehensibly, either. -- Lonewolf BC 03:43, 23 October 2007 (UTC)
Actually, I have - if you can't understand, don't blame me. Sfacets 03:56, 23 October 2007 (UTC)

Since there has been an inability to provide the citation(s) requested, I have removed the reference. Sfacets 11:54, 23 October 2007 (UTC)

Ample references were provided. Erasing them and putting an new citation demand instead is disingenuous and disruptive. I've reversed your edit. -- Lonewolf BC 18:52, 23 October 2007 (UTC)
Ample does not mean that these are valid references - which is why requested the citation(s) to be quoted. Please read previous discussions on this matter. Sfacets 21:50, 23 October 2007 (UTC)
Media sources, such as major newspapers, are reliable sources. No one has provided a single source to show that "cult suicide" is a neologism created by Wikipedia editors. Removing proper sources is disruptive and violates NPOV and other policies. ·:· Will Beback ·:· 22:33, 23 October 2007 (UTC)
...and yet you refuse to provide citations to show that the term is used in-text and not just in the titles. Sfacets 22:43, 23 October 2007 (UTC)
I haven't refused. If I provide them will you accept them as reliable sources? ·:· Will Beback ·:· 23:05, 23 October 2007 (UTC)

Too late, this has been going on for days now, with both you and LoneWolf reverting without even bothering to answer my request for in-text citations to prove that the term existed. Feel free to comment on the RFC. Sfacets 23:07, 23 October 2007 (UTC)

Too late for what? It's a simple question: will you accept citations from newspaper article to show that this is not a term made up by Wikipedia editors? ·:· Will Beback ·:· 23:09, 23 October 2007 (UTC)
Too late as in I already made the RFC. But yes, as long as they appear in multiple reliable sources... Sfacets 23:12, 23 October 2007 (UTC)

Request for comment:Use of News headlines to prove existence of term[edit]

Here are the headlines in question (emphasis added for clarity):

  • Rights Body Condemns Kanungu Cult Suicide, Katamba G. Mohammed. Africa News Service. Durham: Mar 26, 2000. p. 1
  • It was murder, say family of boy in cult suicide riddle GORDON RAYNER. Daily Mail. London (UK): Mar 28, 2007. p. 19
  • JONESTOWN MASSACRE RECALLED NO MEMORIALS IN GUYANA 25 YEARS AFTER MORE THAN 900 CULT SUICIDES Bert Wilkinson The Associated Press. South Florida Sun - Sentinel. Fort Lauderdale, Fla.: Nov 19, 2003. p. 26.A
  • Coroner denounces cult suicide claim, Terry Kirby Chief Reporter. The Independent. London (UK): Nov 5, 2003. p. 4
  • Cult suicide, Stephen S Schade. Chicago Tribune. Chicago, Ill.: Apr 28, 2001. p. 23
  • Cult suicide victims stable in hospital, WANG YING, China Daily staff. China Daily (North American ed.). New York, N.Y.: Feb 3, 2001. p. 1
  • Details on cult suicide attempts, China Daily (North American ed.). New York, N.Y.: Jan 31, 2001. p. 1
  • Cult's suicide protest embarrasses China Calum MacLeod in Beijing and James Palmer. The Independent. London (UK): Jan 24, 2001. p. 14
  • Kanungu Deaths Similar To Other Cult Suicides, Paul Redfern. Africa News Service. Durham: Mar 29, 2000. p. 1
  • Difficulties hamper cult-suicide probe, The Globe and Mail. Toronto, Ont.: Mar 23, 2000. p. A.11
  • Death toll 500 in cult suicides Cincinnati Post. Cincinnati, Ohio: Mar 21, 2000. p. 2.A
  • 600 feared burned alive in doomsday cult suicide, Evening Standard. London (UK): Mar 20, 2000. p. 7

I've offered to cite text of articles as well, but this should be sufficient to prove that the term is not a neologism created by Wikipedia editors. ·:· Will Beback ·:· 23:18, 23 October 2007 (UTC)

  • This is beyond ridiculous. Not only do the above references amply prove the existence of the term, anybody in the mainstream of the English-speaking world is familiar with it.
    -- Lonewolf BC 23:43, 23 October 2007 (UTC)
  • My concern (as I pointed out) is that the titles of news articles are commonly compressed/changed to fit into a certain space on printed media, or to convey a message. Since no in-text citations could prove that use the term was a consistent phenomenon, here we are. Sfacets 23:54, 23 October 2007 (UTC)

Thank you for providing the in-text citations. Sfacets 00:21, 24 October 2007 (UTC)

Responding to "Was that so hard?", Sfacets' edit-summary for the above remark:
I doubt it much. Regardless, the demand was an unreasonable time-waster. Unless you've been living under a rock, you knew perfectly well that "cult suicide" is a commonplace term. -- Lonewolf BC 01:38, 24 October 2007 (UTC)
It was a reasonable request - Google search results for instance list WP articles first, followed by News headings. I have never heard anyone going around using the term "cult suicide" - Guy1: "Did you hear about that group up on the hill"? Guy2: "yes, a tragedy - a tragic example of cult suicide". The term is a juxtaposition of two buzz words, combined for sensationalist effect. What really wasted time here was the reluctance of editors to provide citations. Sfacets 01:50, 24 October 2007 (UTC)
Pull the other one. -- Lonewolf BC 01:51, 24 October 2007 (UTC)

RfC Response Yes the citations do amply prove the existence of the common and familiar term. Dlabtot 18:11, 3 November 2007 (UTC)

Suicide Laws?[edit]

I'm Currently writing a fictional novel on a type of 'Cult suicide' and i couldn't find alot of information on the laws of of suicide.

For instance, there should be a section stating the laws taken by the government in the case of a suicide. Should one survive a suicide attempt, what charges will be filed?

Also, if anybody finds any information about Communal towns, i would be very gratfull if they would contact me with it. Michael hibbs (talk) 19:54, 10 December 2007 (UTC)

suicide is bad —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 17:16, 2 April 2008 (UTC)

Missing something[edit]

I don't khnow if it was wrtten weird but i thought you missed one of the biggest ones. One guy had told people that this rockhet behind a giant asteroid was going to takhe them to heaven or aliens (can't rember) and he gave them all matching jumpsuits and said to drink this stuff and they would wakhe up on the ship but really it was a cult, but more of a mass murder? I think it happened in 1994, and he last name was apple-something, can't remember? Can anyone clear this up for me?-- (talk) 20:59, 13 April 2008 (UTC)

Just realized, a Family Guy episode used that same idea, i thinkh it was the 2nd (episode).-- (talk) 21:02, 13 April 2008 (UTC)
Not these guys? PerEdman (talk) 16:54, 11 August 2009 (UTC)

The Family International[edit]

I added them as a kind of placeholder back when. Should it be removed?--T. Anthony (talk) 16:43, 23 June 2008 (UTC)

Not Fit for an Encyclopedia[edit]

The 'Martyrdom' section, worthy as some of its idea may be for discussion, is now an opinionated pile of random ramblings where every sentence starts with 'Some people think that...' Is the writer referring to his or her mom? Could someone please remove that section or at least entirely replace it with an encyclopedia-style entry? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 21:26, 3 April 2009 (UTC)


Its all OR as far as i can tell, if some one can find a Reliable source, Al-quaedia might fit. For most part its junk. i am giving it till January 26th a month from when i tagged the section unless we can get references. it can always be restored later. Weaponbb7 (talk) 16:58, 5 January 2010 (UTC)

deleted Weaponbb7 (talk) 05:44, 26 January 2010 (UTC)

Falun Gong etc[edit]

I'm going to leave a few spaces since it's been more than two years since the last posting and frankly, it's a little difficult to follow. But I did get the feeling that a good number of wikipedians are keen on removing a disputed piece of information from the disputed section because they don't deem it disputed enough. It seems that user:PCPP up to 2009 is the only one who cared enough to write about it in English.

There are preciously little information on this cult/religion/spiritual movement. Any information given is biased towards either side of the argument big time. So, here's something safe to say: it's disputed. So why the heck are we taking it out of the disputed section?

Also, it's clear that the FLG are a human rights concern for the PRC. And makes perfect sense for the US, the self-proclaimed archenemy of the PRC to make it an attack point. Ok, maybe that's a little speculative for me to say, but to say that the US have no political interest in helping the FLG would be hilarious, for human rights concern or for more practical realistic and sinister reasons.

Now, many here proclaims that the PRC had it set up, so says the western media as well as the US congress, which are both OBVIOUS non-biased reliable sources of information. The fact of the matter is, the PRC claims otherwise, and so, it's disputed. I also find amusing that some would use FLG's own doctrines to prove this as a non related thing. It's like saying because God's forbids killing, Christians don't kill, and those who do are not Christians. Also amusing is that by classifying the FLG as a non-cult organizations, it can somehow be excluded from such scrutiny. Oh but it's not a cult you say, so it doesn't belong under cult suicide. I wonder why there's not a page for religious suicide, oh right, because those that performs suicides are cast out from the main religious fraction and are named as cults. How convenient.

Frankly, only a precious few academics (independent academics might I add) even bothered with venturing into this, for the fear of being being prosecuted politically on either side of the Pacific. And that the cult leader is him self being under constant protection by the US government shows that there are serious political interest invested into this organization, and so nothing is certain and EVERYTHING is disputed. For the love of invisible pink unicorn there's a "Anomalies and discrepancies" section in the gravitation article, but we FLG won't make into a article on cult activity (under the disputed section no less) because the majority of the wikipedians editing this are of a certain opinion, and so what is disputed is no longer? I'm no devotee to wikipedia and haven't read all of its many rules, but for such blatant show of academic biases, I bet there's something on that, even if no knowledgeable wikipedian is brave enough to point it out.Gw2005 (talk) 03:11, 19 April 2012 (UTC)

  • Oh, what a breath of fresh air! Of course it belongs. --Ohconfucius ¡digame! 03:04, 24 May 2012 (UTC)

  • Scholars on Falun Gong reject the notion that it is a cult
  • Many scholars on Falun Gong reject the idea that the participants in the self-immolation were Falun Gong practitioners.
  • Those who acknowledge that the participants may have been Falun Gong practitioners stipulate that their actions were not motivated by Falun Gong's teachings, and argue that there is no doctrinal justification for suicide in Falun Gong.
  • No scholars on Falun Gong have described this event as being of the same character as other 'cult suicides.' Homunculus (duihua) 04:40, 24 May 2012 (UTC)
  • Well, who said anything about "scholars"? Wikipedia is a gheneral encyclopaedia. As the term 'cult' has been often enough used in the Western press for readers to expect some mention of this here. And of course it's universally used in the PRC press (quelle surprise) if ever FLG are ever discussed. If you want to dispute that cult tag, feel free to put something in to that effect, remembering to keep it concise, but don't behave like the Great Firewall by removing the entire section. --Ohconfucius ¡digame! 04:54, 24 May 2012 (UTC)
I cite scholars—that is, experts on Falun Gong—because they're the best sources on the topic. The experts Falun Gong a) reject that Falun Gong is a cult; b) express serious doubts that the participants in the self-immolation were practitioners, and c) note that, if were practitioners, they were acting in violation of Falun Gong's teachings. I pointed this out in my edit summary, noting that inclusion here amounts to original synthesis and coatracking at best, using Wikipedia as a soapbox for propaganda at worst. I further noted in the edit summary that no RS calls this event a "cult suicide". Homunculus (duihua) 06:19, 24 May 2012 (UTC)
Problem is that the "best sources" appear to be dismissive of, or fail to acknowledge, the existence of the more populist tabloid position/acknowledgement that it has been referred to as a cult suicide. Indeed Wikipedia is not a soapbox for propaganda, but you seem to make a clear distinction that that which emanates from the PRC is propaganda (which I would not deny), and that which emanates from Falun Gong, which often closely resemblesit. Not mentioning it implies, incorrectly, that such views are fringe or otherwise don't exist. --Ohconfucius ¡digame! 06:41, 24 May 2012 (UTC)

If there are no reliable sources calling this a cult suicide, then it does not belong on a list of "cult suicides". There's nothing more to say. Homunculus (duihua) 06:48, 24 May 2012 (UTC)

This is pretty weird. I'm deleting this because there is no source calling the incident a cult suicide. If a reliable source is presented calling it a cult suicide, I would support its addition to the "disputed section." The Sound and the Fury (talk) 15:23, 24 May 2012 (UTC)
You may have missed it. --Ohconfucius ¡digame! 16:33, 24 May 2012 (UTC)
Is Tung Chee-hwa a reliable source on cult suicides? The Sound and the Fury (talk) 16:37, 24 May 2012 (UTC)
No, but Reuters, which reported him make the allegation, is. The fact that he was the top man in the only city in the world where the 1989 Tiananmen Square protests are remembered each year for the last 20-odd years makes it a notable claim. --Ohconfucius ¡digame! 16:39, 24 May 2012 (UTC)
I can only give you my opinion, which is that I don't think this counts. He's obviously not a reliable source on the topic, and the judgement that this article from 2001 is a "notable claim" is obviously subjective (I do not agree that it is notable, for example). The way the incident is usually characterized and described in reliable sources—that is, nearly every source I have seen except that which you just proffered, and PRC publications—is very far from the discourse of cult suicides. We all know that, so I don't understand the insistence on inclusion here. The Sound and the Fury (talk) 16:59, 24 May 2012 (UTC)
  • I have no strong opinions either way, and wonder what the benefits are to the reader of this article, and of the inclusion of Falun Gong in the article. However, a search for "Falun Gong cult suicide" throws up articles which mention the possibility of Falun Gong being a cult, and that the Tiananmen Square incident was a suicide attempt, such as: BBC, [Time Magazine, The Economic Times, CNN The Guardian and New York Times - these last three are about Harbin labor camp. I think there are enough reliable sources to present some material on the view of potential (or disputed) cult suicides among Falun Gong followers. SilkTork ✔Tea time 21:41, 24 May 2012 (UTC)
Thanks for pointing those out and adding your thoughts. I'm curious what you think about the issue of original synthesis, which I raised earlier. The rationale for inclusion appears to be that, since some sources (notably the Chinese government) describe Falun Gong as a cult, and since some Falun Gong practitioners are purported by the Chinese government to have attempted suicide, these are therefore "cult suicides." It seems to me that there needs to be a better criteria for inclusion, lest we engage in original synthesis. I would argue that, in order to be listed as a "cult suicide," there would need to be reliable sources and experts on Falun Gong describing these events as cult suicides. But this isn't the case. At a minimum, one might hope to see scholars noting that there is a higher prevalence of suicide among Falun Gong, or that the practice's teachings encourage suicide. Again, this isn't the case. Scholars actually state the opposite: that there is a extremely low suicide rate within Falun Gong, and that its teachings consider suicide sinful. Finally, experts on Falun Gong uniformly agree that FG does not espouse the qualities commonly associated with cults.
In the case of the examples raised here—the tiananmen square self-immolation, or reports of suicide in labor camps—even if we accept the veracity of the Chinese media reports (none of which have ever been corroborated independently), these appear to be political protests, or acts of desperation by people who were being tortured in labor camps, as the articles you linked to pointed out.
Failing a clearer set of criteria for inclusion, it would seem that most religions and sects would belong on this list, since a) many (most?) religious groups are considered 'cults' by some people, and b) there are cases of suicide within all religious groups. This seems to be a problem with this article as a whole, and not just pertaining to Falun Gong.
Please let me know if this makes sense. Homunculus (duihua) 22:40, 24 May 2012 (UTC)
I'm sorry, now my response is getting long. Silk, I looked at the references you provided more closely. I'm not sure if you read through them, but I think they're instructive. The Economic Times article[8] is actually about how the Chinese government is claiming that the Dalai Lama is a cult leader encouraging Tibetan monks to commit suicide. I think it's safe to say that this page is not going to include a section on Tibetan Buddhism on this basis. The Time magazine article[9] is actually decrying comparisons between the self-immolation and 'cult suicide,' not advancing it (quote:"What similarity is there between Falun Gong and Jones-town or Aum Shinrikyo? Almost none....To link Falun Gong with these groups is to incite hate"). The other sources are about the death of women in a labor camp—Chinese media claiming they were suicides, FG sources saying torture deaths, with no independent investigation allowed. Again, in the absence of reliable sources saying these were cult suicides, I think we're best leaving this out. Homunculus (duihua) 22:57, 24 May 2012 (UTC)
I don't want to spend time on this as I question the importance or relevance of this "article", but I feel there is enough material in reliable sources to have some mention of cult suicide in relation to Falun Gong. It is, of course, a matter of discussion among editors as to how much, and of what nature, and I wouldn't be recommending that editors present the material in any manner that pushes a point of view or aims to make conclusions which are not present in the sources, but cult suicide is mentioned in relation to Falun Gong so there would be an editorial decision taken in NOT including such material, and that decision could be seen as taking a POV if there are sufficient sources mentioning cult suicide in relation to Falun Gong. Personally I feel such material would be better placed in the Falun Gong article than in this dubious article, but as this article exists, I don't see a strong argument for not mentioning that Falun Gong have been linked to "cult suicide". I hope that is clear. And I'm sorry that I don't have the time or inclination to discuss it further. SilkTork ✔Tea time 21:14, 25 May 2012 (UTC)
Alright, fair points. A few thoughts on how a compromise might be reached.
  • No reliable sources that I've seen (and I've looked, including through several books on Falun Gong) have posited that "cult suicides" have occurred. The Chinese government and those affiliated with it appear to be the only source for claims of cult suicide (or rather, cult + suicide) among Falun Gong, and these claims are made in the context of the government's suppression of the group. Reliable sources have reported on these claims—you pointed to a few good examples of that coverage—but have not endorsed them, and have more often rejected them.
  • That being said, is it notable that the Chinese government has made these kinds of statements (notable enough to be on this page, I mean)? I'll concede that an argument could be made there, and as I think about it more, it may be possible to find a way to include the material. The main concern would be to ensure that the material is presented in a manner that reflects the tone and coverage by reliable sources in keeping with WP:NPOV. The Chinese government's claims with respect to these events and the interpretation of them are primary source. The content as presented on the page should should cover the issue in a manner keeping with coverage by secondary sources. Does that sound about right?
  • This suggestion holds whether we decide to include material here or on the Falun Gong article itself.
  • If this is agreeable, maybe we can work on putting together a proposal.Homunculus (duihua) 22:47, 25 May 2012 (UTC)

The central problem to this still remains: there is no reliable source saying this event was a cult suicide. It has not been presented. We have the former HK executive saying it, and that is it. He isn't an RS. We cannot have on the one hand RS saying that Falun Gong is or might be a cult,* and on the other claims that the event may have been an attempted suicide by Falun Gong members, then combine that together and say the event was a cult suicide. The attempts at "compromise" here are heartening, but the only thing that would be compromised by this is Wikipedia content policies. It seems rather banal, but we need a reliable source to actually say this event was a cult suicide, or it will be an original synthesis.

*(to the contrary, the opinion of reliable sources on this is that Falun Gong is not a cult. So half the argument is not even formed. As for the other half, the FLG-identity of the individuals is itself in question. The separate elements of the synthesis are themselves broken, despite the fact that syntheses are not allowed anyway.)

Or, could it be that I have somehow misapprehended the WP:SYN policy? If so, the logic setting out how this wouldn't constitute an original synthesis would be welcome. I'm stuck on this. The Sound and the Fury (talk) 03:51, 26 May 2012 (UTC)

Well, I feel the same way, and also have some general concerns about the premise of this article (reminds me a bit of the discussion at MKuCR. I'm actually not very confident that the notion of "cult suicide" is very well supported as a concept in academic literature). But with that said, I solicited feedback, and got it, and now have to consider that my interpretation is wrong—that perhaps the views expressed by the Chinese government are notable. Even though they are not supported by reliable sources, reliable sources have commented on and offered analysis of these allegations. We just need to rely on reliable, secondary sources to offer interpretations of the primary source allegations, in keeping with WP:PRIMARY (something that the prior version failed to do—it was mostly based on primary sources, and was entirely original synthesis). The task would just be to collect an adequate range of reliable source literature (books are ideal, but news articles also ok) to evaluate how best to present this information in a policy-compliant way. Homunculus (duihua) 09:02, 26 May 2012 (UTC)
You know what would be a policy-compliant way? A reliable source saying it was a cult suicide. We don't have that, so I don't know what we've got. I can only register my disagreement with this for the reason stated. I would change my opinion if new evidence were presented (a couple of good RS saying this, for example.) The other issue is that as far as I have seen, the sources that do suggest that it is a Falun Gong action also report it as a protest action. That is different to a cult suicide action, which means committing suicide as part of the beliefs of the religion or cult. This is another reason why the categorization of "cult suicide" for this event requires the weaving together of various narrative strands, which apparently requires a level of ingenuity that only the Chinese government's state information channels have so far attained. The Sound and the Fury (talk) 04:51, 27 May 2012 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── Yea...there are a number of challenges here. This page itself is problematic. I've looked for a definition of "cult suicide," and cannot find one. The definition provided on this page refers to mass suicides, but it's quite unclear how one measures a 'mass suicide.' So that's the first issue. If I were making a page like this, establishing a definition based on reliable sources would be the first task.

Secondly, I keep reading WP:OR, and although I am trying to see it otherwise, I'm having difficulty justifying inclusion on this page on the basis of that policy. There are primary sources—in this case the Chinese government—saying that Tibetan Buddhist monks and Falun Gong members are part of "cults" and partake in suicide, but reliable source coverage does not endorse these views. The policy on original research stipulates that ""A and B, therefore C" is acceptable only if a reliable source has published the same argument in relation to the topic of the article." In my view we don't have that. Not only do reliable sources not make the 'A and B, therefore C' argument, but most of them don't even assert A or B individually (that is, most reliable sources say Falun Gong is not a cult, and many express reservations about the authenticity of suicide reports, which cannot be independently verified. None make the leap to "cult suicide" from what I've seen).

With that said, I maintain the Chinese media coverage itself may be is notable. The material would be better placed in the relevant articles (eg. under 'media campaign' for Falun Gong, or an equivalent space for Tibet, etc.). Failing that, the best we could do would be to ensure that our framing and presentation of the material is based strictly on the tenor and tone of reliable, secondary sources. I can scour some more sources and see what I can find. One of the first things that came to mind here is Hu Ping's analysis, which I'll copy here (redacted to the relevant parts). Here he addresses the question of suicide within Falun Gong pretty holistically—I know Ian Johnson and Porter have made several of the same points, but not all:

Reports of self-immolation in Tiananmen Square by Falun Gong practitioners raised considerable alarm in 2001. The CCP used these incidents as further justification for its suppression, saying that Falun Gong teachings harmed followers by driving them to suicide. This claim requires a detailed exploration.
First of all, there was from the outset considerable controversy over whether the people who committed suicide were indeed followers of Falun Gong. […] Even if we assume that the people who committed suicide were Falun Gong practitioners, the next question is, does Falun Gong encourage its followers to commit suicide? […] Li Hongzhi [Falun Gong’s founder] designates suicide a sin because “As human life has a plan, you are breaking the comprehensive order…Got will not let you off for this, and that is why suicide is a sin. […]
On a purely objective basis, if we examine reported suicide rates among followers of Falun Gong compared with suicide rates among the Chinese population in general and in other countries, we see that the incidence of suicide is actually very low. Through extensive efforts, the CCP identified 136 incidents of Falun Gong followers who committed suicide during the period from 1993 to July 1999, when the official ban was imposed. Based on the official figure of 2.3 million followers during that period (and some have estimated a vastly larger following), that makes a rate of 0.84 suicides per 100,000 persons per year. Officially reported statistics for China as a whole in the years 2000 – 2004 show an average suicide rate of 16.7 per 100,000 persons per year. […] The conclusion to be drawn is clear: no matter how the calculation is carried out, the suicide rate among Falun Gong followers is low […] if anything if should be said that practicing Falun Gong prevents suicide rather than promoting it. The CCP has attempted to equate the Tiananmen self-immolations to mass suicide by followers of Jim Jones’ People’s Temple cult in November 1978. However, this comparison is unjustified for the following reasons. […this is long, redacting...]
While the self-immolations in Tiananmen Square do not in any way resemble the mass suicides induced by apocalyptic cults such as the People’s Temple, they strongly resemble protest-type suicides. […] Religious teachings, while forbidding suicide, can nevertheless help a person more bravely face death when it is inevitable and make him willing to sacrifice his life for the sake of standing up for his values. In this context the Tiananmen suicides, if they were indeed followers of Falun Gong, should be seen as protecting and fighting for their religious freedom, and protesting the persecution of Falun Gong. (Hu Ping, The Falun Gong Phenomenon, 2007)

I'm not sure how to proceed from here. I suppose I can say only that I hope interested parties will discuss this calmly, in accordance with the relevant policies and on the basis of reliable sources. I'm happy to work with anyone on those terms. Homunculus (duihua) 01:58, 30 May 2012 (UTC)

Delete/Merge into Cults[edit]

The heading starts off as "A cult suicide is a term used to describe the mass suicide by the members of groups that have been described as cults" - there is currently no evidence for this to be factual, which means that the entire article is non-relevant and non-notable. If deaths within certain groups have been described as "cult suicides" then this can be noted in the respective articles, or in a subsection of the Cult article. The inclusion of groups in this article is Original Research, since there is no evidence of "Cult Suicide" being a term used explicitly to refer to the phenomenon. Zambelo; talk 01:18, 9 April 2014 (UTC)

It could also be merged with Mass suicide, which seems to be a notable topic. Borock (talk) 18:49, 10 April 2014 (UTC)