Talk:Dennis Elwell (astrologer)

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I propose that the BLP sources tag be removed from this article as it seems to have sufficient. Comments please below.

The article needs copyediting to WP MOS. Copyediting would usually include removing any apparent irrelevant or trivial information (this is a general observation not a comment on this article) however given the contention that has surrounded the article, this will be resisted. The meaning of the text will not be changed or skewed; its effect would be sharpened, but weasels would be removed unless part of a direct cited quote. Cited sources from the article, unless the source or attached footnotes do not directly support or relate to, in whole or part, the text attached to it, will not be removed - the quality of the sources will not be judged, but will be Wikified if necessary. Lists will be Wikified if necessary per MOS, and the structure (what goes where) will be adjusted with the inclusion of section headers. To this end a copyedit temp will be added to the article. On completion, I will ask two senior and experienced editors of the Guild of Copy Editors, one a professional editor, the other who has been forthright in criticising my mistakes, to review the article; if one or both accept the invitation they might want to make further copyedit or Wikification alterations or reversions from a position of complete neutrality and experience; this does not stop others from making apt technical improvements. As the article may well be added to later, by whoever, and maybe again become contentious, or indeed not, it can reviewed again during the July Guild of Copywriter's Drive and the August Wikification Drive, in which case the copyedit temp could stay until the article has had the opportunity of being re-reviewed again during July. This will offer the chance for the article to settle down. As a contributor and commenter, out of neutrality I will not review the article during the Drives. All edits will be explained on this talk page. Acabashi (talk) 21:46, 11 June 2011 (UTC)

Removed sources temp and added copyedit temp. Collapsed extremely long discussion above into box - please don't add any more there but add if needed under a new header below. Acabashi (talk) 13:02, 12 June 2011 (UTC)

Added info box and removed some overlinking as per WP:MOS. Acabashi (talk) 13:13, 12 June 2011 (UTC)

Extending lede and setting out possible sections / changing birth details as per WP:MOS / changing first sentence under Career as the "basics of astrology as a teenage" could imply that the subject was "teenage astrology" / "leading" is a bit weasely unless there is a cite for assertion, but "popular" is OK as it needn't imply that it was widely-read, but that it was written in a popular style / "subsequently" is superfluous as we say "it led to" / the cite to The Future of Astrology doesn't say that his association with American Astrology or other journals lead to popularity, it is a general point that his reputation spread. Acabashi (talk) 17:40, 12 June 2011 (UTC)

Restructure of Career text, and Wikifying to neutral tone. Twinning cites to same source. Independent secondary source needed for "original thinker and stimulating speaker", but not self-referencing. Acabashi (talk) 00:54, 13 June 2011 (UTC)

Shifting book info to Cosmic Loom section. Fixing ISBN links. Doubling-up refs. Christine Skinner cite doesn't support text and footnote as part of cite has no book ref or page number. Acabashi (talk) 13:41, 13 June 2011 (UTC)

Shifting text from "Predictions" to "Criticisms". Shifting the tenor of the "Criticism" section to criticism, away from the defence lead-in, although the defence is still there. Some word changes, and ref tweaks per WP:MOS. Acabashi (talk) 15:44, 13 June 2011 (UTC)

List work not finished yet. Duplicate link removed. Acabashi (talk) 17:08, 13 June 2011 (UTC)

Moved links in lede to new "Further reading" section - had lot more info than date of birth and the fact that he is an astrologer, which is not controversial anyway. These refs don't link anywhere else, and what is in the lede is reffed further down. Acabashi (talk)

Comments on copyedit[edit]

Personally, I feel I have been put firmly in my place by another admin (I call it bitchslapped but thats probably an old fashioned term now, As you know I have done similar work elsewhere and always believed the work I did was unbiased.) For prescisely that reason, I have absolutely no further input here on one side or antother, and whatever the end result might be I hope to god it has nothing to do with me. I did not join Wiki to become embroiled in fights, I left other worlds long ago tired of the same. I came here as a hobby and for enjoyment, and I see precious little of either since I joined this particular page in the hope of helping. So whatever you all decide, please do so without involving me or any of the input I have had to this converstation. Thank you and goodbye in this regard - it is not a subject I am interested in and I came here only to help. Panderoona (talk) 22:12, 11 June 2011 (UTC)
I think we have done more than our job by evaluating the article and its sources (Acabashi), by trying to bring in a more NPOV (Panderoona), and by pulling up extra sources that might be considered for a proper criticism section. All of this is found here on the talk page.
The article as it now stands reflects the contribution of only one editor, who added directly to the article rather than propose it first here on the talk page. I am not hopefull that any concensus will be reached among the editors that have worked on this article in the recent week. I think the best way forward is to restore the article to an earlier version before some massive edits were done (without consensus), and then some neutral uninvolved editors can come in and see what can be used based on all the new materials that have been posted in the article and here on the talk page. That will give the best possible result, and avoid more waste of time.
So yes, better remove the BLP sources tag, and put the article in some drives that will let uninvolved editors take over. MakeSense64 (talk) 07:19, 12 June 2011 (UTC)
Although we can't stop anyone from adding anything in talk pages, bar the blatantly libelous or insulting, I was hoping for an anodyne response to the suggestion rather than a continuation of the contentious debate further up the page. I don't propose to remove anything that is presently in the article, or adapt cites other than where they don't directly support the text; I don't intend to remove cites in themselves. I intend to just copyedit for a better read and then ask editors independent of all who have added or commented, this then would include myself, to review the article. I will ask Clooneymark for response to this proposal too, out of courtesy. I don't intend to restore the article to a previous version; the intention is to obtain a review of a copyedited current version. As there appears at present no objection to the removal of the sources temp, I will remove it. Copyediting would remove the need for undue weight and advert temps. If there are any other criticism refs that are apt I will look at adding them in neutral fashion. I am asking for a little trust in my effort to rationalise the thing so we can all move on. Acabashi (talk) 10:42, 12 June 2011 (UTC)
Darn it I wasnt gonna reply again - "put the stick down" lol. I agree with Acabashi, I think we should leave the page alone and do something else, and let someone else sort it out in the copyedit suggested. Panderoona (talk) 22:11, 12 June 2011 (UTC)
It was not my purpose to reopen the debates, but before passing on the article to other editors I wanted to put in a reminder that material was added with the promise that more independant sources would be brought after two weeks. E.g. with regards to the media coverage of the prediction. Since WP puts the burden of proof on the editor who ads material, I was thinking it would be logical to remove the material that was not sufficiently sourced (at least until the new sources are brought). But maybe the copyediting takes care of that?
As for other criticism refs. The ref to [1] is only a page with a list of articles, and only some of them critical. If we use this source then we better refer to the individual article(s), so the possible refs become [2] , [3], [4] and [5].
MakeSense64 (talk) 06:26, 13 June 2011 (UTC)
It may be the case, and probably will be, that other stuff will be added, and it is possible that the article might again descend into the mire. Whether or not promised sources are added in two weeks time, or whether or not they will be viable, is of no concern to me during this process. Where independent secondary sources need to be added I will just add a [citation needed], which will do for now. I do not intend to remove any citation unless it does not directly support the adjoining text, whatever the quality of those sources - that route with this article leads straight back to severe contention - I am hoping new (to this article) and experienced editors will provide all necessary oversight and judgment. I have replied to a similar query on User talk:Clooneymark. On the point of criticism refs: refs should not be to lists (Google search lists are sometimes erroneously added to articles - a prime example) but should be to the actual text, where available, that supports the article text. I can't see this being apparent at the moment but I haven't worked through the whole article yet. Acabashi (talk) 12:32, 13 June 2011 (UTC)

(outdent) I believe that the templates for undue weight and advertisement could now go. The article now doesn't read like an advert I think, and there is no undue weight to one side of the subject - the weaselliness that helped produce the undue weight has gone. We have to remember that this is an article about Elwell (who is Wikipedia notable) and it will therefore necessarily concentrate on him and his views, but there are counterviews in an appropriate criticism section. In an article of this length I think there is a fair balance now, but it would be useful to add citations to reputable sources where indicated. I would like to leave the copyedit temp until the article has been independently reviewed. Acabashi (talk) 10:08, 14 June 2011 (UTC)

I agree that the templates can go. You may have noticed that I've been copy-editing the edits over the last few days. I'm an "independent" editor, in that I've not been involved with the article before - I responded to the RFC of 2011-06-10. (In the interests of openness I should point out that I am a strong sceptic, and think that astrology is complete nonsense.) I've generally been editing for grammar, style etc, not content or POV/balance, so obviously I'm reasonably happy with that grammar, style etc. I don't think that the article reads like ad. It appears not to have WP:UNDUE weight, but I'm not familiar enough with the topic to be confident of that. I don't know enough to comment on the reliability or neutrality of the references. Mitch Ames (talk) 11:05, 14 June 2011 (UTC)
Many thanks for all that Mitch Ames - I was about to thank you on your talk page. You have picked-up on my little howlers and misses. If there are any other infractions please correct - my strength is not particularly with lists or how cited refs are formatted, so if you need, or want, to make any changes there, please do. I will remove the templates. Appreciated. Acabashi (talk) 11:19, 14 June 2011 (UTC)
Ref 15 would better be split out in 2 parts, because James Randi has nothing to do with the exchange between Elwell and reserachers (Geoffrey Dean and co). Then the Randi reference can be used where there is now a 'citation needed'. MakeSense64 (talk) 12:01, 14 June 2011 (UTC)
I am not sure if the 'Dawkins' mentioned in the criticism part is the same Dawkins that gets the internal link from this page. MakeSense64 (talk) 12:15, 14 June 2011 (UTC)
You are probably right here as the Dawkins in the cite here is not specifically stated as being Richard Dawkins. I don't quite understand what you are saying about ref 15 - perhaps I'm being a little dull - as the cite link to astroscience does contain a rebuttal of criticisms, and the astrozero link does show an exchange of views. Perhaps the two links should be separate cites at the same place. The link to astrozero could be double reffed to the end of the first sentence too. (since I made this comment I see that you have edited anyway). I notice that Clooneymark has refs (on user talk page) for the [citation needed] further up the page - it would be nice if you added those in too? We might ponder over "engaging in public exchanges" - what does "public" mean; how widely were the debacles reported and known about? I've never heard of them, but then I wouldn't, the whole subject not being something I'm interested in either way. Acabashi (talk)
Since I had earlier tagged the page with undue weight, I think it would be rather hypocrite on my part to now add more of the material that Clooneymark has proposed. I'll leave that to him or her.
I'll remove the internal link on Dawkins till we can confirm that it is Richard Dawkins.
I am curious how much of the article and its references will stand after some uninvolved editors review it. I don't know how 'public' any of the reported exchanges were, but can't find any reference to it in really 'independent' media. Most of the article stands on purely astrological sources and websites. MakeSense64 (talk) 16:01, 15 June 2011 (UTC)
Article seems pretty neutral to me. And no weasel words. I fixed some run-on sentences. --Trelawnie (talk) 23:57, 18 June 2011 (UTC)
I'd recommend that the primary writers brush up on citing sources, see . Hope this helps. --Trelawnie (talk) 00:11, 19 June 2011 (UTC)
Hi Trelawnie. I am going to add a reference to remove the citation needed tage for the comment "Elwell was a professional journalist for most of his life". His career as a journalist is discussed at length on the page reference I am giving, from how he was given a job by the editor of a local newspaper as a young man, and how he stayed with him for "over a third of a century". I will also include a pertinent comment from the back cover of the second edition of his book which adds further support to this.Zac Δ talk 01:17, 27 June 2011 (UTC)
I restored the inline link to Dawkins. It was correct in pointing to Richard Dawkins. Ertel is referring to this from Elwell, in ‘The Researchers Researched’: “As Richard Dawkins remarked …” Zac Δ talk 00:54, 27 June 2011 (UTC)
I am going to put here some further information about the reference I have used for to qualify the comment that Elwell was an orignal and stimulating speaker. The ref I am inserting is this: Heath, Robin, 'Cosmic Loom The New Science of Astrology: Book Review', Correlation Journal of Research in Astrology. Volume 19 Number 1; 2000, pp.52-53.
online at: Correletion BTW, is a peer-reviewed publication, so it's a reliable source.
Reviewer's elevant remarks:
It became an immediate classic or seminal text on astrology.
... several non-astrologers who have read the original book think it the best non-jargon and 'plain languaged' book on the subject yet. I think these original reviewers were right.
Dennis Elwell has been with astrology for over half a century. He is undoubtedly one of the subject's most original thinkers and has clearly studied esoteric and scientific material.
The latter comment offers a suitable citation for the report that Elwell gained a reputation as an original thinker, but here is another, to also help support that point (I won't put this into the main page as I don't feel it is necessary):
Mitchell, C., 'AA Conference Report by Chris Mitchell', Transit. Nov., 2005. (online at ttp://
"Dennis wrote a book that ought to be on every astrologer’s list: The Cosmic Loom, and is a witty and eloquent speaker.Zac Δ talk 01:46, 27 June 2011 (UTC)

Does anybody feel the tag requesting copyedit need remain? It looks fine to me. Zac Δ talk 02:03, 27 June 2011 (UTC)

I think it should stay for the moment for the reason stated above and as I have explained in your talk page a while back. The Guild of Copywriters Drive starts in two days time and I certainly want the possibility of a further review by more editors independent of we who have edited the page, and particularly as to the validity of my major copyedit and re-structure. Acabashi (talk) 21:35, 28 June 2011 (UTC)
OK. Thought thta was a June thing and had already happened Zac Δ talk 23:51, 28 June 2011 (UTC)

Notes within references[edit]

I would like to restore a comment regarding Elwell's time of birth, which was initially placed as a note within a reference to his date of birth. This was removed as part of a copy edit by Acabashi (diff). Allowing for subsequent changes which I approve of, the restoration would look as follows:

Dennis Elwell (born 16 February 19301 in Stourbridge, England) is a British astrologer, journalist, author, and lecturer...

1 "Astrodatabank entry for Elwell".  (06/06/11). Elwell talks about his time of birth in the interview published in Garry Phillipson’s Astrology in the year 2000 (London: Flare, 2000): “My own time of birth has been rectified by myself from my parents' recollection that I was born late at night. As I came into the world the clock downstairs kept striking, and the irritated doctor asked for it to be stopped. Synchronistically, it announced the arrival of a noisy nuisance! I have settled for 11:44 pm (16 February 1930, Stourbridge, UK)”.

I have tried - but failed so far - to find guidance on the policy here towards the incorporation of notes within footnote references. Outside of Wikipedia it wouldn't be considered a problem to add extra details on a point that will be of more interest to some readers than others.

The subject of this biography page is known for being an astrologer, and a high percentage of the readers who come to the page for information on Elwell are likely to have an interest in the subject within which his notability is establised. It adds value to the page to not only include the date of birth, but access to information on his time of birth. The fact that this astrologer rectified his chart - is very interesting and pertinent. In fact, for a reader with an astrological interest in Elwell's birth chart, it is crucial information, that needs to form part of the historical record of his birth time.

Therefore, as a biographical point of interest, this extra detail is too valuable to lose without good reason.

I would like to ask for guidance on whether it is permissable to include points like this as an extension of a footnote reference. Otherwise, would integrating the information into the main page content offer a resolution - or would that be likely to create problems on the basis that some readers might mistake it for trivial information, which is not worthy of biographical reference?

Thanks for any help and discussion on this, which will also help me to better understand the wikipedia policy generally Zac Δ talk 09:25, 28 June 2011 (UTC)

I agree that the note is relevant in the context of this article and should be kept - as a footnote, rather than part of the main text. (WP:REFNOTE tells you how you can do it.) However, note that "(06/06/11)" is an ambiguous date and needs to be expressed unambiguously - see WP:DATESNO for details. Mitch Ames (talk) 14:25, 28 June 2011 (UTC)
Thanks for the link; that's excellent. I'll study the page and then add the note and amend the date.Zac Δ talk 17:58, 28 June 2011 (UTC)
I understand the policy about number and date formatting, and was going to make sure the rest of the date references were consistent, but now I'm confused on another point - where a link is created in a footnote reference, do we need to add the date that the information was accessed on the web site being linked to? I expected this would be the case as it's the general policy when referencing web articles in research papers. However, after struggling to find some clarification on this, and then checking what has been done in featured articles, it seems to be the case that the date of access is not generally recorded. Is this right? If it is, I'll take them all out rather than reformat them. Zac Δ talk 19:00, 28 June 2011 (UTC)
Access dates are not recorded if you have a proper date of publication. They are recorded if there's no other date. (Their meaning is something like "Well, we don't know when this was published, but we know that it existed on this date, so that day and/or some time before then.") With the citation templates, people sometimes type in both, but most of the templates suppress the access date if any proper publication date is available.
Quotations are not uncommon in citations, especially for sources that are WP:PAYWALLed or dead-tree only. It makes it easier for future editors to figure out exactly what the source says, without having to buy the source themselves. You put it inside the {{cite web}} template, using the |quote= parameter. (Similarly, you use the |accessdate= parameter if you want to include an access date, |date= [or |month= and |year=] for a normal publication date, and so forth.) A full list of the many options is available here. WhatamIdoing (talk) 21:06, 28 June 2011 (UTC)
Thanks - very helpful! Zac Δ talk 00:26, 29 June 2011 (UTC)

Peer review[edit]

I have, through advice, put the article up for peer review (template at top of talk page). This will allow for the possibility of input from other experienced editors who will look at and advise on all aspects. This sometimes can mean an article moving towards GA status. Acabashi (talk) 16:54, 5 July 2011 (UTC)

Hi Acabashi, that's good news; thanks for letting us know. Zac Δ talk 13:02, 7 July 2011 (UTC)
Good to see some movement on this. The reviewers seem to be slow in coming, maybe it has to do with summer/vacation time.
Yesterday I came upon this WP:PUSH. If true it would mean this article has few (if any) reliable sources. MakeSense64 (talk) 12:28, 11 July 2011 (UTC)
Reviews sometimes take a while, but as one peer reviewer is someone who advised me to add it for peer review, I am hopeful. After a while the review request is archived if there has been no response, making it not immediately visible on the peer review page, but the tag on the talk page will still provide the request. Acabashi (talk) 16:27, 11 July 2011 (UTC)


This edit added {{astrology-stub}}, but I'd have thought that the article had enough material not to be tagged as a stub. Does anyone else have an opinion on this? Mitch Ames (talk) 12:57, 7 July 2011 (UTC)

I added that last night as, for the first time, I became aware of the need to associate pages with categories and projects. But I take your point, and on reflection agree, so I'll remove it now. Zac Δ talk 13:05, 7 July 2011 (UTC)