Talk:John Michell (writer)/Archive 2

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'Recurring themes' statement

I see the fact tag has once again been removed. This is still either unsourced or OR based on an interpretation of what Michell says. Sagemab, you are removing the tag, please either source it or remove the sentence. You already have a quote from Michell. Doug Weller (talk) 06:18, 22 August 2008 (UTC)


Having had my attention directed here by the Fringe Theories Noticeboard, I've given this article a read. My impression is that most of it is not too bad, with the exception of the Reception section. I can't find a single thing there that comes from a good source (except possibly the Culianu quote). In particular, materials included with the book (introduction and flyleaf) are absolutely useless for establishing reception. I intend to do some editing here if nobody beats me to it, but wanted to discuss before acting. Looie496 (talk) 00:17, 23 August 2008 (UTC)

The use of publicity material in this way has bothered me but I've been hesitant to do anything about it on my own. I think there is a serious misunderstanding of what NPOV means by some editors here. And of referencing, reliable sources, etc. Do you have any problem with him being in the New Age category? I was surprised to see that called OR. Doug Weller (talk) 09:08, 23 August 2008 (UTC)


Thanks, I think that works. It needed some context, not just 'he's a professor and author'. Doug Weller (talk) 10:21, 23 August 2008 (UTC)

New Age

I didn't see this as controversial, just overlooked. As I've said, Amazon and Barnes & Noble classify him that way. This site [1] calls him New Age, I can easily find others. He's already in the Earth Mysteries category, what's wrong with New Age? Doug Weller (talk) 14:20, 23 August 2008 (UTC)


The article says: "Bookwatch", the monthly newletter of book reviews by MidWest Editors (April 2008) [1] wrote of John Michell's "The Dimensions of Paradise: Sacred Geometry, Ancient Science, and the Heavenly Order On Earth", (ISBN 1594771987) "... describes the new science of a geometrical code of 'harmonies and proportions devised by the priests of ancient Egypt and underlying sacred structures from ancient to Christian times. Author John Mitchell is a pioneer researcher and specialist in ancient science: his book is a top pick for New Age libraries interested in sacred geometry". Two questions - if an editor doesn't think anyone calls John Michell New Age, why use a quote that calls him New Age yet still insist it isn't an appropriate category and serious sources don't use the term? If this isn't a serious source, it shouldn't be here. (And of course this is hardly a 'new science'). Second question -- what makes this a reliable source? It's a volunteer book 'review' (2 sentences long) by an anonymous writer. Doug Weller (talk) 16:32, 23 August 2008 (UTC)

"Bookwatch" is a prestigious newsletter from professional book editors and reviewers. A short review does not discredit itsef by its' own brevity. It looks as if DougWeller is determined to gut, or otherwise undermine this article. I am assuming good faith but it is becoming more difficult. I do think the New Age term is moot and comes from other New Age reviewers on line. John Michell's work is properly called esoteric and fortean. Paul Erdos approved of John Michell's mathematics and Gerald Hawkins often praised John Michell's work (I saw Hawkins at more than a few lectures) as does archaeologist John Anthony West. Use the New Age category if you like, but I think it is misleading to the reader. SageMab (talk) 18:04, 23 August 2008 (UTC)
I don't see anything reason to be harsh about the Bookwatch quote; it seems harmless at worst. Re Erdos, I'm skeptical about this unless you can provide evidence. Looie496 (talk) 18:11, 23 August 2008 (UTC)
John Anthony West is not an archaeologist. Graham Hancock's site calls him a 'rogue Egyptologist' (Hancock and West are friends), but no academic Egyptologist that I know of considers him an Egyptologist, and certainly not an archaeologist. Erdos and Hawkins and West may well have praised Michell, but we need evidence. Bookwatch reviews are done by volunteers, I don't see how you can call them professional book editors and reviewers and I would really appreciate an explanation of why you think they are professionals. I am tired of having accusations made against me by the way -- I am struggling to keep some WP standards in this article, the same standards I would expect from an article on a real archaeologist for instance. It is a complete slur to accuse of of tryhing to undermine, gut, etc. this article. The Bookwatch thing is minor in a way, but it is also a question of principle, is it really a RS? I'm not sure, but I'm dubious. Nothing to do with length, everything to do with having volunteer reviewers. If I used something like that to criticse Michell, I'd expect you rightly to be questioning it. And Sagemab, you yourself referred to an edit of mine as NPOV, so how could that be trying to undermine the article? Let alone my adding ISBN numbers, etc. Doug Weller (talk) 18:37, 23 August 2008 (UTC)

I agree with Looie about Bookwatch. Are you saying you know Egyptologists? Well, then you know that John West has a very good reputation and has worked with some of the most highly repected scholars and geologists in his field. But this page is not about John West and this page is not a chat board. The reviewers at Bookwatch are book editors DougWeller, not volunteer book editors (a very rare breed); see the blurb at the top of their masthead which says the reviewers are editors. The word is editors. Bookwatch is widely acknowldged by literati to be a notable source of book reviews. I do not care if you use it or not in this article. I do think you are attempting to water down this article rather than improve it. You are commenting on every edit and following me to both an editors' talk page and to my talk page and trying to engage me in endless conversation about every edit which is usually called trying to start an edit war, not that you would be doing that. Not helpful. This is not about you and editors may disagree with each other without anyone taking it personally. With all good faith, I would like to suggest that we read Wikipedia NPOV and the guidelines in regard to living authors WP:BLP. SageMab (talk) 23:25, 23 August 2008 (UTC)

John West has a terrible reputation among mainstream Egyptologists (a Sphinx on Mars?). He has worked with one geologist, Robert Schoch, who is a geologist by training but does not work as one professionally but teaches general science in a non-degree college of Boston University. As for being a chat board, I'm not sure what you mean but I didn't bring up John West (and my main point was that he isn't a geologist). A discussion page is a chatboard about improving the article, what it isn't is a chatboard about the subject of the article. I don't see how I've used it about anything other than improving the article.
As for Bookwatch, I've figured out the confusion here. I think. They have a page on becoming a reviewer which says "So take a book you've read, a video you've watched, a compact disc whose music you've enjoyed, an audio cassette book you've listened to, software that you've evaluated, or a CD-ROM that you've come across, and give reviewing a try!" and that all its reviewers are volunteers. But that only seems to apply to 'Reviewers' Bookwatch', not all their Bookwatches. The MBR Bookwatch Index, which is the one with the bit on Michell, does say its reviews are generated by MBR editors and specialized reviewers who have demonstrated expertise, etc. But these are still all volunteers, not professionals, and it isn't clear who they are. "The Midwest Book Review is an organization of volunteers committed to promoting literacy, library usage, and small press publishing".It looks as though the decisions as to who can be a reviewer are made by James Cox, see [2]. So I think we were both partially right and partially wrong.
I don't think you quite understand NPOV -- your comment on needing balance to the one critical review suggests that you aren't clear about it. Please, if you think that in any way I have transgressed NPOV or BLP, be specific. Right now you have been making vague accusations (and using edit summaries to make comments that belong here). You clearly don't understand our policy on original research. Of course mathematics is used to discuss the universe, that isn't in question. But to use 'obvious facts' in the way you have is OR. The article should report what reliable sources have said about Michell, not 'obvious facts' -- that would be appropriate in an essay, not Wikipedia. And in a recent edit summary you write "proof is in the list of his books" which again shows that you don't understand WP guidelines on OR.
I have just looked at the history of the article again. You are claming 'consensus' as justification for putting stuff back in that was removed. How in the world do you get the idea that there is consensus? You are also getting close to transgressing WP:Civil by your comment in the edit summary that your edits were 'trashed', which is untrue. I would have every right to revert that just on the grounds that your claim of consensus is false, but I won't bother. I will ask once again though where you get the 'manifestoes' thing and what is means. Who calls them manifestoes?
Discussing edits here is not called trying to start an edit war, it is an attempt to avoid one. Doug Weller (talk) 04:26, 24 August 2008 (UTC)

DoougWeller you are not an administrator and I do suggest with all good faith that you read Wikipedia's policy on living authors and also consensus (and in putting back a recently removed fact). I don't agree with you on most of your talking points but, once again, this is not about you and this is not a chat room. I never said John West was a geologist; he never ever said the Sphinx had anything to do with Mars; he is highly regarded; this discusion page is not about John Anthony West. I still haven't seen where you have come up with any new information about this John Michell writings to add to this article either pro or con.SageMab (talk) 10:36, 24 August 2008 (UTC)

Ooops, sorry, I meant my point was that he isn't an archaeologist. This is not about me, but it is, to an extent, about my questions and comments, your questions and comments, etc. I still have no idea about you mean by 'this is not a chat room'. This is a discussion page for the article, we are discussing it, we are not chatting about anything irrelevant to the article. I have asked you to explain a few things and you just ignore my questions. I seem to understand BLP and consensus and NPOV (and OR) a bit better than you do. That I am not an administrator simply means that I can't do certain things, that's all. I've come up with some details for the bibliography, and I am one of the very few editors who have made an effort to make the article balanced and NPOV by finding an article and changing "Critics of Michell's work range from those who consider him "a learned crank obsessed with numbers"Ioan P. Culianu, review of The Dimensions of Paradise, to the full quote "After some deliberation the reader of this book will oscillate between two hypotheses: either that many mysteries of the universe are based on numbers, or that the book's author is a fairly learned crank obsessed with numbers." But you know that already because you reverted it to the original partial quote (kindly saying I could put it back, but you shouldn't have reverted it, you should just have edited and replaced what you thought I wrongly removed). Your idea of balance (from what you've said above), isn't to find some critics to balance all the praise, but you have said that the one criticism should be balanced by yet more praise. So it's untrue that I haven't contributed.
I would still like to know why you called an edit of mine NPOV and whether that was supposed to be a compliment or a rebuke.
I would also like to know what you mean by claiming consensus for replacing stuff other editors have removed -- what do you think Wikipedia means by consensus?
And I would like to know why adding 'obvious facts' with no citation to a 3rd party reliable source is not original research. Thanks. Doug Weller (talk) 16:12, 24 August 2008 (UTC)

I still have not found any real information you have added to this article other than a few ISBNs to my large list of them and the odd quote in 1991 of the Churchman Culianu restored to what it once was. No I did not whatever you have been insisting on most of your points. Where would I say, and why would I say what you just posted about me here "Your idea of balance (from what you've said above), isn't to find some critics to balance all the praise, but you have said that the one criticism should be balanced by yet more praise." Untrue allegations from DougWeller again. Once again review [[[NPOV]] and Wikipedia's wise advice on living authors (have you read that page?. You have floated quite a few bogus quotes about me and have turned this discussion page into a chat board.Doug Weller (talk) 16:12, 24 August 2008 (UTC)

I didn't restore the quote by Culianu (why do you keep calling him a 'Churchman'?). I added the rest of the immediate context, which I think made it more NPOV. And I do think that your statement "I do think a comment about number should be included to balance the Catholic Church's rep comment." meant that you thought a favorable comment was needed because there was a (just one) critical comment. If that isn't what you meant, how about explaining yourself rather than engage in yet another attack on me?
I also note that you removed a review some time ago that Amazon says was sourced from Publishers Weekly, apparently because you couldn't find it on the web. Just because something can't be found on the web doesn't mean it doesn't exist. In the interest of NPOV, I think it should be replaced. Doug Weller (talk) 16:21, 24 August 2008 (UTC)

DougWeller I found this from you on my talk page; why do you always have edits missing from you and other editors? I noticed it because your comment, ("I do think a comment about number should be included to balance the Catholic Church's rep comment." has vanished, and that's the comment I took as saying a negative comment should be balanced by praise, ie a positive one (and what does 'rep' mean)? Doug Weller (talk) 14:49, 24 August 2008 (UTC)) Rep means a representative. He works for the Catholic Church and Churchman is the proper term. Replace it with representative from the Catholic Church if you like. It is a peculiar 17 year-old-quote and it did not carry much weight nor notice then or today. As to the Publishers Weekly quote, I went to hard copy and found it non-existant; it was posted by a user on which is not a reliable Wikipedia source as anyone can say anything. I see from one of your talk comments that you said you wish you could find (negative discussion above, please do not open it up again) comments on John Michell somewhere other than blogs. I agree with you that blogs are not usable for Wikipedia purposes. I notice that other far more controversial subjects than John Michell have much shorter disussion pages. Commentary on every edit is not a bone of contension to be chewed until swallowed. I do agree that online content needs to be vetted. Remind all about Wikipedia's warnings about living authors. SageMab (talk) 17:36, 24 August 2008 (UTC)

Not missing, not showing because there was a 'ref' without a /ref. It really happened, and your statement in your edit summary that it didn't happen is false.
Now, Culianu. My guess is that it is because he was critical of Michell that you are trying to dismiss him. You have no way of knowing what its impact was. And I have no way of knowing why you think Professor Culianu, PhD (actually he had 3 doctorates), who worked for the non-denominational University of Chicago in the Divinity School (which started as a Baptist Seminary) could possibly be a representative of the Roman Catholic Church. But I do appreciate your bringing this to my attention as the article is clearly wrong.
Please explain what you mean by going to hard copy. The quote was put there by Amazon, not by an Amazon user. Do you really believed an employee of Amazon made it up?
A discussion page can be as long as it needs to be. A lot of articles have several discussion archives.
Why the reminders about discussion of living authors? Please, if you think I or anyone has broken the guidelines, don't make veiled comments here, make an official complaint.

Assume good faith DougWeller, I am not trying to dismiss Culianu although his Christian Church background should be mentioned. That is a very UnWiki statement of yours to me. Actually Culianu's review, if you read it, was not really critical of John Michell's work. As for the Publishers' Weekly statement, it is a made up reference, not correct at all and checked out with Publishers Weekly. No veiled comment, I have told you I don't think you understand NPOV along with Wikipedia policy towards living authors. You might want to check with an administrator DougWeller but I don't think it is needful, nor helpful, to debate, repeat and justify every edit of yours. That is not how Wikipedia works. SageMab (talk) 19:40, 24 August 2008 (UTC)

I'm happy to refer to Culianu as a professor of divinity. I don't think we need to discuss the religion of reviewers however. How did you check out the Amazon review, claimed by Amazon (officially, not by a user) to be from Publishers Weekly? You keep saying I don't understand NPOV and I keep asking you to be specific as to what you mean by that. By the way, it is often seen as a good thing to discuss edits on the article's discussion page, not a bad thing. But if you just want to to edit and not explain my edits here, maybe I should, although I think that can lead to problems in cases like this. Doug Weller (talk) 20:28, 24 August 2008 (UTC)


It would be cool to have a couple of pictures for this article. There are lots of photos of Michell available, but most of them suck and none show licensing. The best one I could find is this: [3]. Presumably we could get away with fair use, but I'm not too familiar with the policies on that. It would also be cool to have an example of one of his paintings. The page [4] shows several of them, but doesn't have any licensing/copyright info at all. Looie496 (talk) 18:11, 23 August 2008 (UTC)

Great suggestion Looie. I think most article pages of authors should have a photo or painting of the subject. I have seen a nice painting of John Michell that was used on one of his books. Try Google images. His paintings can be seen (in very small part) if you go to the bottom of the article page and click on the Hope. I have no clue if one of them could be used in conjnction with fair use policy. You could probably grab one of his mathematical drawings of the Temple at Jersalem, though most are in black and white.SageMab (talk) 18:49, 23 August 2008 (UTC)
An infobox really needs a photograph but as he is alive it gets trickier to get one that is free to use. Perhaps if you see one you like (and the above suggestion seems a good one) perhaps drop the site a line and see if they'd be interested in uploading it to Wiki Commons for the greater good?
While we are on infoboxes: which one to use? {{Infobox Writer}} seems the best option, although there is a specific one for Fortean writers/researchers around (in fact, after a quick dig, here it is {{Infobox Paranormalpeople1}}). (Emperor (talk) 01:59, 26 August 2008 (UTC))
Thanks for the links.TootsMojo (talk) 17:34, 23 November 2008 (UTC)


As far as I know Erdos was a pure mathematician, and barely was aware that anything other than math existed. Can you provide any source at all for him making a comment about Michell? Erdos was a strange guy, so I don't rule it out, but I would like to see a source, please. Looie496 (talk) 18:23, 23 August 2008 (UTC)

I have seen Erdos write about John Michell which said he showed up on John Michell's doorstep announcing "brain open". I'll see it I can find the ref online somewhere. —Preceding unsigned comment added by SageMab (talkcontribs) 18:42, 23 August 2008 (UTC)
7 degrees of Paul Erdos. SageMab (talk) 18:44, 23 August 2008 (UTC)
He was known to knock on doors saying "My brain is open." Doug Weller (talk) 18:47, 23 August 2008 (UTC)
Correct, Doug. Erdos showed up on the doorsteps of literally hundreds of theoretical mathematicians, including Michell's. Erdos influenced thousands of pieces of math and was essentially living with anyone he respected for short periods of time. I do think a comment in defense of number theory should follow the churchman's comment for the sake of balance. SageMab (talk) 18:54, 23 August 2008 (UTC)
I've got no problem if it comes from a reliable source. I haven't found anything so far. The problem I have is with things like claims he writes a column for the Encyclopedia Britannica (or the nonexistent Encyclopedia Britannia), using open source sources, etc. Doug Weller (talk) 19:12, 23 August 2008 (UTC)

I can't find the Erdos thing so best to remove it. I do think a comment about number should be included to balance the Catholic Church's rep comment. The Britannia is an online encyclopedia. The link was provided and I believe you blanked it out. Take a look; it includes columns from John Michell.SageMab (talk) 19:28, 23 August 2008 (UTC)

Have I got this right? There is one critical comment in the article and it needs balancing? Britannia is not an online encyclopedia, look at its home page at [5] - it doesn't claim to be an encyclopedia, why do you call it one? It is a collection of articles and basically a tourist site. It does include articles (not columns, 'column' is a regular feature of some sort), but it isn't an encyclopedia and even though I know the history editor more or less, I wouldn't call it a particularly Reliable Source by WP standards. Doug Weller (talk) 19:38, 23 August 2008 (UTC)

Britannia claims to be an online encyclopedia on Google. Refer to the vast section above that you sarted. Sagemab wrote this and signed it properly, my fix put my sig on it.

Sagemab, please look at what I said where I started -- and are vastly different sites. Your 3rd Google hit is Britannica, not Britannia. Doug Weller (talk) 16:15, 24 August 2008 (UTC)

OR (and POV)

I see the article now says " Mathematics as a language for describing the mysteries of the universe is accepted scholarship and mathematician philosophers from Issac Newton to Paul Erdos have been called obsessed by numbers so-called traditional authorities. The work of Michell's Lindisfarne colleague Ernest McClain is a case in point." This is clearly OR, we should only be reporting what reliable sources have to say about Michell, not personal opinions. I don't think it is NPOV either, but in the context of the whole article that is a fairly minor matter. I hope that the editor who added it will remove it himself or justify it as not being OR. Doug Weller (talk) 20:55, 23 August 2008 (UTC)

Deleted review by alternative medicine practitioner

This review should never have been added. It is clearly not from a reliable source and it isn't as though there isn't enough praise from other reviewers in the article. As I said in my edit summary when I removed it, it is by a very non-notable alternative medicine practioner in a magazine published by a Canadian new age store. I don't agree with John Michell on a number of things, but I have enough respect for him (he's a good, interesting writer even where he is wrong) to think that this review isn't needed to show he can write. Sagemab, it is up to you to show that it is a reliable source, reliability isn't the default. You say you disagree with me, but on what grounds? Doug Weller (talk) 16:12, 24 August 2008 (UTC)

I do not think it is helpful to discuss everything to death on an article discussion page. Again, this is not a chat room. I disagree with your edit but I let it stand as, yes, John Michell has no shortage of laudatory comments. It was an interesting quote because it is about the Temple at Jersalem book of his and the review included an interview with John Michell and material about the facts in this book. I found it to be a source that added information to this particular book and a solid appearing publication. It does not matter if you or I care (for or against) a New Age publication. I will not get into a discussion with you DougWeller about it as I am sure neither of us wants to edit war. 17:46, 24 August 2008 (UTC) —Preceding unsigned comment added by SageMab (talkcontribs)
Thank you. I appreciate that. I'm not for or against using publications just because they are New Age, it is about WP:RS. This is not a chatroom, it is a place for discussions such as this one. Doug Weller (talk) 18:26, 24 August 2008 (UTC)

Credentials of reviewers

We seem to have swung from overly detailed credentials of reviewers to virtually none. I don't think either extreme is correct. My own opinion is that it is useful for readers to know something about a reviewer. Comments? Doug Weller (talk) 20:29, 24 August 2008 (UTC)

Were you the editor who removed credentials for Joscelyn Godwin, Patrick Harpur and Paul Broadhurst who writes a column on Earth Mysteries?

I agree with a caveat; if you are not turning the article into a vast discussion of each reviewer. I think a link or a descriptive adjective would suffice. You might want to see Wiki's admonition about using a "sea of blue" links in an article. Are you hard at work looking for negative reviews of pieces John Michell's 40+ year writng career? What would you do about a living author who has few or no negative reviews? SageMab (talk) 22:16, 24 August 2008 (UTC)

No, of course I didn't remove credentials, I think it's important to know something about a reviewer, but not to go over the top. I hadn't noticed the credentials had all gone or I wouldn't have mentioned his 3 doctorates. I'm not looking for reviews of Michell at all, although it would be nice to find reviews by archaeologists of his archaeology related work, but as with much stuff like that real archaeologists are generally to busy to spend time explaining why its wrong. I am still concerned about the Publishers Weekly review, as I can't see an Amazon staff member making it up and you haven't explained why you think it never existed. As for your question of an author with few or no negative reviews (it shouldn't matter whether they are live or dead), there are still several issues -- is that because they don't exist? Are all significant views represented with no undue weight? Does it read like a publicity blurb or an article you'd expect to find in a good encyclopedia? Is the article properly referenced? Is there any OR? Weasel or peacock words? Is the grammar correct? Does it conform to the MOS? All those things are important if the article is to be encyclopedia and of good quality. Doug Weller (talk) 08:22, 25 August 2008 (UTC)
There is far too much pointless listing of qualifications here, along with obscuring of other less impressive details. Christopher Gibbs is a furniture dealer, not an art gallery owner, and Jane Ormsby Gore is one of his former employees who was something of an "it girl" in the 1960s. She's not a noted art collector. Paul B (talk) 14:41, 25 August 2008 (UTC)
The choices of quotes from reviews make the reviewers, whatever their qualifications, sound ridiculous and turn this into an almost parody puff-piece. This article needs a trim and copyedit. Verbal chat

it doesn't matter so much who a reviewer is as where the review was published. An eminent expert discussing a book with his mates in the pub isn't quotable, while a nobody publishing his review in a prestigious journal is. It is silly to state that individual reviewers have PhDs. Just note where the review was published (if a notable venue) or delete the reference altogether (if not). dab (𒁳) 15:12, 25 August 2008 (UTC)

I agree - if you have to make a case for the reviewer, then the opinion of the reviewer is probably not the general opinion of his peers. (This is not always true of course, but it's always worth checking) Verbal chat 15:14, 25 August 2008 (UTC)

I'm the one who removed the credentials. I did it because, as a reader, this information pops out at me as inappropriate and unencyclopedic. That might be because I'm a scientist. Scientists rarely put "Ph.D" after their names, and generally, when you see that, or any other hyping of credentials, it's a sign that the person is not a real scientist. ("M.D." is a different story—it indicates an ability to practice medicine.) Looie496 (talk) 17:05, 25 August 2008 (UTC)


Any sources for this claim? Verbal chat 16:42, 25 August 2008 (UTC)

This reader is amused. Read his work. Over forty years of publishing books on philosophy with his own philosophical musings to analysis of thought and form... from the ancients to Plato to Charles Fort. Start with "Twelve Tribe Nations and the Science of Enchanting the Landscape". I can only guess that is why John Michell was picked to do an introduction to a Joseph Campbell book. Have you ever seen his name as a philosopher disputed in print except on this discussion page? Just curious. SageMab (talk) 22:58, 25 August 2008 (UTC)

Hm. I would think that doing an introduction to a Joseph Campbell book would disqualify one as a philosopher. To each their own, I suppose. --Akhilleus (talk) 02:40, 26 August 2008 (UTC)
SageMab, I admit that I have not read Michell, but from the descriptions found here, it appears that you and I have different notions of what counts as being a philosopher. My bias is obvious enough: it comes from academia. Nonetheless, I'd like some secondary source claiming that Michell is a philosopher, rather than relying on your judgment and the lack of a published dispute to the contrary. Phiwum (talk) 02:48, 26 August 2008 (UTC)

Your comment Phiwum about your "bias" is a nasty remark about me. Not very Wiki of you. I am an academic, a respected one at that. I have read many of John Michell's books, which are telling and, as much as I like Wikipedia, I get most of my information from solid sources rather than an online encyclopedia. You may find it helpful to have more real information about a living author's life before you judge him a philosopher or not. If someone respects academia they do not judge something without a good read. A laughable section and misspelled at that by Verbal. Sharpen your knives kids, I am not going to kowtow to shoddy scholarship. Once again, I ask folks to advance this article by adding facts, not bias. Do your homework. SageMab (talk) 05:41, 26 August 2008 (UTC)

I made no nasty remark about SageMab. I merely meant that, in academia, "philosopher" usually means "professor of philosophy", whereas elsewhere (including, say, New Age settings), it may mean something else. I make no inferences about your background at all, but we do seem to mean different things when we call someone a philosopher. Phiwum (talk) 13:24, 26 August 2008 (UTC)
John Michell is a philosopher. Prove it or not on the article page. It makes no difference. The proof is in the pudding. Michell also writes about philosophy. You might want to check out his review in "Baconiana! Online", the 197th issue of the Francis Bacon Society (FBS) journal, and their first issue online wich says "John Michell's review of Joy Hancox' Kingdom for a Stage introduces a recent fascinating study of the possible use of hermetic philosophy in theatre construction, specifically that of the original Globe Theatre". I have provided a link for those who cannot find it for themselves, [[6]] SageMab (talk) 06:30, 26 August 2008 (UTC)
The "Francis Bacon Society" has nothing to do with philosophy. It is an organisation of proponents of Baconian theory. In this context being labelled a philosopher should mean more than espousing a "philosophy". It implies specialist experitise in an academic discipline. Paul B (talk) 12:51, 26 August 2008 (UTC)

yeah, well, I am a philosopher too. The point is that for biographical articles of contemporary people (20th to 21st century), we should only call someone "philosopher" if they are academic philosophers, i.e. if they hold at least a PhD in philosophy. Otherwise, pretty much any published author will qualify. SageMab, you clearly have no idea what Wikipedia is about. You are in constant violation of our NPOV and WP:RS policies. People have told you as much in good faith and with great patience for months. At some point, it will become inevitable to assume that you simply do not want to get it. --dab (��) 06:37, 26 August 2008 (UTC)

We need a reliable source saying he is a philosopher. Verbal chat 07:07, 26 August 2008 (UTC)

Agreed Verbal. To Dieter Bachman: Yes, I see from the trashing and disciplinary action you User_talk:Dbachmann often get on your talk page (and archived talk pages) that you are quite the philosopher. I disagree with your requirement of a Ph.D. for all those writers who are called philosophers, patently impractical, unless you want to strip the term "philosopher" from hundreds of so-called philosophers on Wiki and elsewhere who do not hold a Ph.D. I am not in constant violation. That is another fabrication from you. You obviously are out to "get" this author (and me) and, if I wanted to be as rude as you who is in violation of Wikipedia:CIVIL, I would say it is you who does not get it. But I won't. Once again, you have demonstrated that you disregard NPOV in regard to this article. SageMab (talk) 07:20, 26 August 2008 (UTC)

I believe you just called Dab a liar. You might want to consider retracting that. And once again, you've accused someone of disregarding NPOV yet you never explain precisely how. I still don't think you understand what NPOV is. Please, if you are going to accuse someone of disregarding NPOV, be specific. Doug Weller (talk) 07:29, 26 August 2008 (UTC)

DougWeller stop following me around; I've asked you before here, on my talk page and on notice boards. It is harassment. I've read your comments all over Wiki about this and your complaints to administrators. They do not agree with you. I make accurate comments. Editors do not have to agree with each other. Editors do make mistakes. Read Wiki policy on NPOV and don't keep asking me the same question over and over.

Verbal, please explain your removal edit of John Michell as a lecturer a the Prince's School? "Michell lectures at The Prince's School of Traditional Arts [[7]]" was the original copy and the website clearly states that he is a lecturer there. The Prince's School website even lists lectures Michell did for years with Keith Critchlow. SageMab (talk) 07:43, 26 August 2008 (UTC)

way to go, SM, make this any more personal and we will not need to continue this pointless "discussion" because you won't be editing. You are out of line, it's as simple as that. I am used to get "trashing" from those I prevent from abusing Wikipedia as a soapbox or a propaganda tool. It doesn't as much as raise my blood pressure. If you have any example of the alleged "hundreds of so-called philosophers on Wiki" that do not qualify for the description, let's hear them and we'll fix it. Trying to get away with calling Michell a philosopher because there are other people unduly so described on Wikipedia is the WP:OTHERCRAP fallacy, it's at least as old as trying to make out I am a problem editor because other trolls have ranted at me (the "OTHERTROLLS" fallacy?). --dab (��) 09:02, 26 August 2008 (UTC)
Excuse me? I've been on this discussion page for quite a while. Are you asking me not to reply to you? That's not harassment, but accusing me of harassing you isn't exactly civil. I guess I should give up asking you to explain your views on NPOV since you clearly don't intend to. I don't know what you mean by complaints to administrators and them not agreeing with you. There are a couple of Admins participating in this discussion right now, who seem to be more or less agreeing with me. Emperor (not an Admin but you might think he is) pointed out that the chat page comment that PhilKnight made was wrong. Sorry, forgot to sign this post I made several hours ago. Signing now, and noting that Sagemab has, on my talk page, had the nerve to remind me of no personal attacks. Ironic. Doug Weller (talk) 12:39, 26 August 2008 (UTC)
A "John Michell" is listed as having given a lecture or lectures either formerly or presently. We need a better source that this is the right guy, and whether he is still lecturing there or not. If you can provide a source please do. Also, when linking to websites you only need one pair of square brackets. Verbal chat 08:00, 26 August 2008 (UTC)

This is the official website of the Prince's School of Traditional Arts of "Trustees and Staff" which lists the years he lectured and with whom. John Michell is the only person of that name who is associated with that school and he lectures on the subjects on which he has written for forty years. Let common sense prevail, or you might want, to avoid the appearance of you reducing information on this article, find another listing for the school's staff. Michell is also listed in the school's list of lecturers that the school sends students. By the way Verbal, are you the Verbal who teaches macrame? SageMab (talk) 08:34, 26 August 2008 (UTC)

Well, here it is Verbal. The 2005-20006 Annual Report of the Prince's School of Traditional Arts. Here is the link [[8]] SageMab (talk) 08:42, 26 August 2008 (UTC)

The "Prince's School of Traditional Arts" appears to be a privately funded institution teaching traditional Islamic and Greek Orthodox art techniques. Why would you think that giving some lectures there qualifies someone as a philosopher? Paul B (talk) 08:53, 26 August 2008 (UTC)

I don't. Never said I did. Read this page. Read the article. Read the lead. The Prince's School of Traditional Arts is a non-profit school teaching art and design from all cultures of the world. John Michell is a lecturer there. Period. Understand? SageMab (talk) 09:11, 26 August 2008 (UTC)

Then why are you discussing this in the "Philosopher" section? Please start a new section for different topics, to avoid this kind of confusion. Verbal chat 09:15, 26 August 2008 (UTC)

I think we are looking at some sort of "perennialist" walled garden here. Neither Lindisfarne Association nor The Prince's School of Traditional Arts present any independent third party sources as required by WP:NOTE, although at least for the latter, establishing notability should be easy. This perennialist rabbit-hole could do with some investigation and review of sources. --dab (��) 10:16, 26 August 2008 (UTC)


Can someone please explain to me why a section (as opposed to one brief sentence, which is fine) on Michell's painting is at all justified? He's obviously not known for being a painter, and his painting activities seem so non-noteworthy (indeed, highly trivial) I highly doubt it's encyclopedic information. Moreschi (talk) 20:35, 26 August 2008 (UTC)

I agree. This should be a small addendum to an existing biography section. Verbal chat 20:40, 26 August 2008 (UTC)

I agree. John Michell is well known as an author which is what this article should be about. The edits on antique shop vs art gallery have nothing to do with this article and the debate with Dougweller and others were not advancing the article for anyone. I removed the "Paintings" section. —Preceding unsigned comment added by SageMab (talkcontribs) 01:27, 27 August 2008 (UTC) SageMab (talk) 01:29, 27 August 2008 (UTC)

Removal of Publishers Weekly Review

Sagemab removed this some time ago, saying "As to the Publishers Weekly quote, I went to hard copy and found it non-existant; it was posted by a user on which is not a reliable Wikipedia source as anyone can say anything." I pointed out it was in the Editorial Reviews section and thus put there by Amazon, not a user, and asked him exactly how he 'went to hard copy'. I said I didn't think Amazon would have made it up. No response from Sagemab. I don't know what to think about his claiming it to be nonexistent, as:
Publishers Weekly, July 22, 1996 v243 n30 p223(1)
Who Wrote Shakespeare? (Brief Article)
Full Text: COPYRIGHT 1996 Cahners Business Information
John Michell. Thames and Hudson, $24.95 (272p) ISBN 0-500-01700-X

Michell, whose books include The New View over Atlantis and a study of Celtic and Norse symbolic landscapes, concedes that no conclusive case has ever been made for Ben Jonson, Francis Bacon or any of the other candidates alleged to have written the plays and poems commonly attributed to William Shakespeare. Yet in this unconvincing piece of shaky scholarship, he finds Edward de Vere, Earl of Oxford, "a highly credible candidate" while the case for politician/theatrical patron William Stanley, Earl of Derby, is deemed "plausible on all levels." Worse, Michell endorses the theory that Christopher Marlowe was the principal author of 10 of Shakespeare's plays written before 1593, and he further hypothesizes that Marlowe, having survived his reported murder in 1593, went on to write more of the Bard's plays. Michell also speculates that Bacon secretly supported the production of Shakespeare's dramas. The best aspect of this Jame study are the 116 fetching period illustrations. (Sept.)
Sagemab, with claims of yours such as this, your confusion between the Seattle Christopher Gibbs and the London one, your confusion and claims about, can you understand why editors tend to be skeptical of your edits? How did you decide that this review was made up, for instance? Doug Weller (talk) 07:32, 27 August 2008 (UTC)

I did my homework. Publishers Weekly never published this review; it was posted by This question was discussed and put to bed long ago, about a year ago, and you know full well that you will instigate problems by bringing it up. I ask you again, can you find some previously unposted sources about John Michell to add to this article in order to advance this article? You might want to read this quote from the John Michell article so see how this important reference work used the work of John Michell:
"Shakespearean Criticism: Excerpts from the Criticism of William Shakespeare's Plays and Poetry, from the First Published Appraisals to Current Evaluations". 68 vols. Vol. 41 edited by Michelle Lee and Dana Ramel Barnes. Detroit and London: Gale Research, 1998, Source: Shakespeare Oxford Newsletter, Publication Date: 01-JAN-03
"The editors of this reference series of sixty-eight volumes on Shakespeare make a valiant attempt to present both sides of the controversy over his identity. In volume 41, they include excerpts from writings of John Michell, S. Schoenbaum, Charlton Ogburn, AM Challinor, Tom Bethell and Irvin Matus."
By the way, your edits and comments that the Christopher Gibb Gallery Catalogue is a "sales catalogue" is incorrect and misleading. Obviously you have never seen a hard or online copy of this which would of been wise to do. I do have a copy of this "catalogue" and it is a short, several page essay about the paintings of John Michell and labeled "Christopher Gibbs Gallery" . The show was sold out save for several small pieces so there was no point for Christopher Gibbs to make a "sales catalogue" as you termed it incorrectly. I also asked you to stop following me around Wiki, making untrue accusations, and also to stop asking the same incorrect question, including folowing me to administrator talk pages, so that you would not appear to be stalking which I in good faith assume you do not want to do. I have also read your "what are we to do about SageMab" on an editor's talk page. Instead of making allegations do the proper thing and post a proper request of a Wiki admin. SageMab (talk) 08:50, 27 August 2008 (UTC)
SageMab, there is no doubt that the Publisher's Weekly review is authentic. I have looked at your earlier debate with Dab. You simply say that you couldn't find it online, which would not be surprising as you need an institutional subscription. No one will object to the inclusion of reviews praising Michell as long as the page is balanced. BTW, I was one of the editors involved in the process of getting the Shakespeare article to featured standard. We had some difficulty with some reviewers who did not want even the one sentence on the authorship "issue", since in mainstream academia it is not an issue at all. The Shakespeare Oxford Newsletter is the bulletin of Oxfordians. It is not a good source for evidence that a publication is "an important reference work". Paul B (talk) 16:06, 27 August 2008 (UTC)
And he has two other stories about the PW review, one is that he checked hard copy, the other that he wrote to Amazon. I found it through an institutional subscription (he says he's an academic,I'm surprised that he couldn't do that also). Thanks for pointing that out about the Shakespeare Oxford Newsletter, I was wondering about that. You obviously know more than I do about this, should something be done about the section? Doug Weller (talk) 16:19, 27 August 2008 (UTC)
Well, I don't object to its inclusion, but the title could mislead readers into thinking it has something to do with Oxford University, or OUP, so I think a phrase should be added that it is published by advocates of Oxfordian theory. BTW, the anon seems to be correct that Michell published selections from Hitler's Table Talk as "the Hip Pocket Hitler" with a private press, but it was later withdrawn due to copyright issues. I don't think it indicated pro-Nazi views on his part, rather it seems have selected quotations to emphasise the "Socialist" aspect of Hitler's thought in order to distance the mystical-conservative vision from Nazism, but that's just based on a German webpage. I have no good sources for this. Paul B (talk) 16:36, 27 August 2008 (UTC)
Sage, he isn't following you around - you're editing the same page! Please stop attacking other editors in this way. The review does seem to exist. I also think there is a comment about this work in Bill Bryson's book on Shakespeare, although I'd have to check. What I do know is that there is no evidence that Shakespeare wasn't the principle author. Verbal chat 08:57, 27 August 2008 (UTC)

Verbal, it is obvious we are editing the same page and there is no problem with that. Dougweller is following me to admin talk pages. No one is attacking other editors and I have to ask you to stop using that incorrect term. You might want to read Wikipedias question of Shakespeare authorship page and continue your debate about Shakespeare there. SageMab (talk) 09:06, 27 August 2008 (UTC) SageMab (talk) 09:14, 27 August 2008 (UTC)

Verbal, if you read the John Michell (writer) article page you will see the link to the Shakespeare authorship question which should tell you something about the Shakespeare authorship question. There is also a lot of other material about the Shakespeare authorship on the web and the topic is a fun read if you are interested. John Michell did not favor one candidate over the other but presented entertaining pros and cons for each one. The Blivin's quote you removed on the John Michell article page from the Princeton academic will lead to a web page that provides discussion and links about this question. You might want to undo that edit of yours as his quote is not really pro Michell. SageMab (talk) 09:11, 27 August 2008 (UTC), SageMab (talk) 09:19, 27 August 2008 (UTC)

Thanks for the link, although I was aware of this page. I'm afraid that what you describe doesn't constitute any form of stalking. I've left a note on your page about user adoption, and this might be a good way for you to progress and resolve your conflict with other editors, as that is one of its aims. It can be a good program, and you've nothing to lose by giving it a shot. Verbal chat 10:07, 27 August 2008 (UTC)
I assume Sagemab is referring to this talk page: (talk) although I don't think Emperor is an Admin. Note that he alleges that editors plural were suggesting Michell was a fascist, and I wanted to make it clear to Michell that I had not done anything of the kind. This is clearly not stalking as defined by Wikipedia. As for 'what are we to do about Sagemab, although I can't be sure, I think he is referring to a discussion on my talk page. Another echo, as I've been asking Sagemab to make an official complaint if he's unhappy, rather than vague allegations. And calling an edit venemous is clearly an attack on the editor, it is disingenuous to claim it isn't.
As to the subject of the session, once again Sagemab is seriously muddying the waters. Amazon posted the review, yes, but they didn't make it up. I have just found the review, and posted it at the beginning of this section with a citation. Sagemab may well be unhappy that I actually found proof and a citation that it exists, but it does and whether his claim that it doesn't exist was accepted last year or not is moot. It would still be nice if he explained what made him decide Amazon had made it up, but I don't expect an answer for that Doug Weller (talk) 09:32, 27 August 2008 (UTC)
Just as an FYI: I am an admin but I can't quite see how that makes my talk page special - I left a note on SageMab's page after they asked me to look the article over and it is perfectly reasonable for Doug to check my talk page to find out what was being said there. I've seen stalking on Wikipedia and this certainly isn't it (I do the same, and more, to familiarise myself with the background to a topic) - in fact what I see more of are people being accused of stalking when it hasn't taken place and it can stifle healthy discussion. If you (SageMab, although the offer is open to everyone of course) has evidence they are being stalked then they can pass it to me but I'd ask that you refrain from dropping it into discussion as it is unhelpful at best and could be seen as an issue if the accusation is made a lot without any foundations. (Emperor (talk) 22:07, 27 August 2008 (UTC))

DougWeller, I am not the one who is muddying the waters as you say. These are the facts

1. The editor who was calling John Michell a fascist and posting outight lies about this author was one new anonomous user who admitted he was using two IPs to edit this article only and who was warned by administrators repeatedly that he was vandalizing the John Michell article. An admin advised me to warn him and I did on this page which someone, I believe it was you, removed after it had been up for a while. Was it you? You have read the entire of this page and you were editing this page while this disagreement was going on so I can only believe that you are aware of the situation. This is not a precise allegation from you. Nor correct.
Reply interjected - You used the word 'editors', plural, when you complained to Emperor about 'editors' calling Michell a fascist. Not editor singular. Which is why I responded. Yes, I removed your warning from this page as it should never have been here and would have had no effect.Doug Weller (talk) 16:13, 27 August 2008 (UTC)
Response: this was in regard to an IP user who admitted to using two IP addresses. This is not always about you and you should not take everything personally as a crit of you. I am not complaining that you removing the vandalism warning from this page; it was noted because I was advised to warn tis user. I should of posted it on his talk page but he only had a talk page on one of his accounts and I had no idea which one to use as he was vandalizing from both accounts. SageMab (talk) 14:30, 28 August 2008 (UTC)

2. This is the edit you mentioned which was also from an anonomous user whose only contribution to Wiki was the posting of this one remark about removing the word "presigious" from the Prince's School,

Revision as of 19:42, 24 August 2008 (edit) (Talk)

(m removed adjectival puff for a school that Michell lectures at, backed by Arab and Brtish royalty) 3. This was my edit response

Revision as of 20:49, 24 August 2008 (edit) (undo)previous edit sounds venomous, not Wiki correct, Prince Philip is the principal patron of the Prince's School, royalty is prestigious whether you like Royals or not.

4. No one could possibly call this an "attack" on a one edit anonomous user. So again DougWeller, you have presented not all of the facts which I am sure you do not want to obfuscate.

interjection -- 'venomous' is an attack. I don't see how it matters who the editor is.Doug Weller (talk) 16:13, 27 August 2008 (UTC)

Response to Doug Weller: re-read the entire edit comment. It is not an attack, plainly. If you thought I had made an error the appropriae place to give me a heads up would of been my talk page. The note on the page from an administrator reminds us all that this page is for discussion of facts about the article itself not name slinging on another editor. Again, please read Wiki-BLP. SageMab (talk) 14:30, 28 August 2008 (UTC), and if you a complaint please visit my talk page or complain to an administrator. I have not been chided for this edit by anyone but you but I will not take this opinion of ours as a personal attack. SageMab (talk) 14:30, 28 August 2008 (UTC)

5. You have not presented all the correct facts for Publishers Weekly. I was concerned about this review last year and wrote the editors of and they told me the Publishers Weekly review was by an anonomous from the Net user. The editors did post it but they did not write the Publishers Weekly review about John Michell which was entered on Wiki when DieterBachmann created a disambiguous "stub" on John Michell which I challenged. Therefore, in a nutshell, the Publishers Weekly review is not what Wikipedia calls a reliable source. I don't care if you leave it up or not but it is not correct.

Interjection - I suspect you confused Amazon (in fact I'm pretty sure), because the review is a genuine one from Publishers Weekly. Amazon added it to their Editorial Review's section with the copyright notice. I can't understand 'anonomous (sic) from the Net user." In any case, haven't you noticed yet that I have the citation? Publishers Weekly, July 22, 1996 v243 n30 p223. It is absolutely correct and a reliable source. Hm, you told me you checked hard copy, now you have a different story. Doug Weller (talk) 16:13, 27 August 2008 (UTC)

Response, Now you are calling me a liar. I do have a hard copy. I plainly stated that I wrote about this article. You will notice that I said that while I do not agree with this edit of yours I will not remove it from the article. In fact, it may provide balance. I do think that articles found on should be vetted very thoroughly. SageMab (talk) 14:30, 28 August 2008 (UTC)

Interjection (sorry, this isn't chronological and confusing, but hard to do anything else. I am not calling you a liar, I am calling myself confused. When you said you had consulted hard copy to ascertain that there was no such Publishers Weekly review, I thought you had looked at a hard copy of Publishers Review. Now I am even more confused -- hard copy of what? I note that you are no longer assuming good faith. Doug Weller (talk) 14:56, 28 August 2008 (UTC)
I'm with Doug here. There seems to be miscommunication. What does "I have a hard copy" and "I went to hard copy" mean? Phiwum (talk) 23:01, 28 August 2008 (UTC)

6. I have been on Wiki for over a year and except for the aforementioned anonomous user mentioned above who posted wild allegations on this page, the only editor that I have had serious problems with other than in the past few weeks with the editors on this page is User:Dbachmann who may, or may not, have a problem with subjects he considers fringe, fortean or pseudoscience and the editors who edit those articles as I dedeuce from his comments to me and to other editors on talk pages.SageMab (talk) 14:06, 27 August 2008 (UTC)

That's because no one else paid much attention to this article. For instance, when I deleted the use of a Wiki,, you reverted my edit saying "Previous editor calling into question veracity of a Wiki" -- although if you understood our policy on using Wikis as sources you would realise it wasn't appropriate. I gave up at that time as I had other things to do. A lot of your edits were like that, eg you took the word 'crank' out of a quote that said 'fairly learned creank' because you thought it offended our BLP policy, which it doesn't. This time I decided to take the article more seriously and to try to make it meet Wikipedia guidelines and policies. Doug Weller (talk) 16:13, 27 August 2008 (UTC

Response: Actually, you have no way of knowing this and to say so is to insert you own personal opinion again. I think the article stayed as it was for a very long time because of consensu which is my opinion. Again, you should of reminded me on my talk page instead of here. It was administrator PhilKnight who stated on this page that he did not think you understood Wikipedia policy on original research, OR, because it does seem as if you are inserting your opinions in your edits. I agree that advancing an article is a good thing. I also think that in working with an article according to iki's policy on living people we have to be very careful and we should be mindful of making facts be as precise as possible even if it means a longer entry. Do not take everything so personally. SageMab (talk) 14:30, 28 August 2008 (UTC)

And Phil Knight retracted his comment about me. Doug Weller (talk) 16:42, 9 September 2008 (UTC)

I am getting tired of SM waving around policies he makes no pretense of respecting himself. SM is a single-topic ("Forteana") problem editor. Doug is a veteran editor with an excellent record. It is perfectly normal to review the contribution history of editors showing pov-pushing behaviour for other potentially problematic edits. This is what the public accessibility of an account's contribution history is for, and it has nothing to do with wikistalking. As long as SM refuses to appreciate this simple situation, he is, of course, himself failing to "AGF" on Doug's part, and with his empty complaints is only perpetuating his reputation as a problem editor. dab (��) 09:49, 27 August 2008 (UTC)

I've suggested adoption to Sage as a way of us all moving forward. Hopefully this will be a positive experiance for Sage. Verbal chat
As you know, I support that also, as I said on my talk page I think that would be the best thing for SageMab and would avoid I hope any continuation of the existing problems and any need to take any other action. Sagemab has enthusiasm, which is great, it just needs some guidance. Thanks, Dab, for explaining about examining editor's contributions. It's something I do all the time when an editor has vandalized, add spam links, OR, POV pushing, etc. Doug Weller (talk) 13:02, 27 August 2008 (UTC)

DougWeller I have not been accused by administrators of any of those terms you have just mentioned. With all good faith I want to remind you to reconsider this comment to you on this page by PhilKnight. " Doug, you obviously don't understand the original research policy. PhilKnight (talk) 12:24, 20 August 2008 (UTC)". I know you will embrace OR with enthusiasm, it just needs some guidance. SageMab (talk) 17:31, 27 August 2008 (UTC)

I noticed it. He was talking about my comments on this page, and the OR policy doesn't apply here. He was wrong. I understand the policy. You on the other hand have added OR to the article at times. Doug Weller (talk) 17:42, 27 August 2008 (UTC)
And for the record, as Sagemab hasn't struck through his comment about Phil Knight, Phil Knight retracted his comment about me.

Doug Weller (talk) 16:42, 9 September 2008 (UTC)

I'm still annoyed enough to add, Sagemab, that I find you extremely condescending. You continually say things like you have above, "I know you will embrace OR with enthuiasm, it just needs some guidance." Have you any idea how irritating that is? I may not have a PhD, but between Yale and the London School of Economics and a couple of other places I have my BA, a Masters and 3 other postgraduate qualifications accumulated over the years (plus some other stuff), and I can assure you that I know the difference, for instance, between writing OR (like your edit which gave your personal opinion when you wrote "an odd remark from an an article that is not accessible on the web regarding a book about numbers") and an encyclopedia article reporting not our interpretation of others but what others have said. By the way, it doesn't matter if something isn't accessible on the web, although I accessed the article through the web. Doug Weller (talk) 20:12, 27 August 2008 (UTC)

Doug, I have been polite to you. Condescending is a loaded term and incorrect. Phil Knight, an admin, make the comment about your lack of understanding of OR, not me. As for the remark about "it just needs some guidence" that is your previous remark to me several paragraphs above this one that I parroted all in good fun. If you did not like the way it sounded and you said it first, you know how I felt about your comment to me. Let's both assume good faith, a wise Wiki policy. Pax SageMab (talk) 01:50, 28 August 2008 (UTC)


I've just done a bunch of revisions. I'm now reasonably satisfied with the state of most of the article, with the exception of the Shakespeare section, which needs tightening up. Also it would be nice to find a photo of Michell for the "writer" infobox that I added. Looie496 (talk) 19:42, 27 August 2008 (UTC)

It's not a wise idea to publish the neighborhood in which a living author lives. You might want to remove it. Londoner is sufficient. The majority of the article as it stands is on the Shakespeare authorship question. SageMab (talk) 21:09, 27 August 2008 (UTC)
I doubt that you will be happy with Sagemab's edit, which I've reverted. In the name of NPOV and OR he added his personal analysis of, where he said " where the book received enthusiastic reviews from readers," more OR where he wrote "He has sharpened his wit as a columnist and social commentary for Britain's" The Oldie, and he turned Michell into an archaeologist. Doug Weller (talk) 21:21, 27 August 2008 (UTC)

I kept some of your suggestions Doug and removed those that were not BLP material or seemed OR. No one said Michell was an archeologist. See the history of the article. I did add that his books are best know for subjects such as archaeology...etc. As a mater of fact in libraries his books are shelved under a variety of topics, frequently philosophy. I am asking you nicely, one again to watch the name calling, incorrect information ("personal anyalysis of"?). Thanks. SageMab (talk) 23:07, 27 August 2008 (UTC)

SM, don't inset comments. It creates formatting problems. Use colons (:). Paul B (talk) 23:53, 27 August 2008 (UTC)

Thanks Paul. 00:07, 28 August 2008 (UTC)

Mathematics - number theory and geometry

I am unhappy with the couching of his interest in mathematics and geometry in the opening sentence as if he is qualified or especially knowledgeable in either of these fields. Number theory has been mentioned above, but Michell has not made any contributions to this body of knowledge. Elementary number theory is material that is normally taught on an algebra course in the first year of an undergraduate degree in mathematics (as part of 'Algebra 101'), and I am not aware of any indications that Michell has even this level of knowledge. This author's work in books such as the 'View over Atlantis' would be better characterised as numerological, or to some extent, as involving gematria. Gematria is not number theory, nor is it contained within it. Whether or not he ever met Paul Erdos, and whether or not Erdos had respect for Michell's work, are irrelevant to the fact that Michell is not a number theorist or mathematician.

A similar point, although with lesser force, could be made with regard to geometry. This is less of a technical or specialist term than number theory, and it is certainly the case that in a book such as the above-mentioned title, Michell does do work involving geometry. But it is not as if he has made any contribution to the field of geometry. What he has made is a contribution to the application of basic pre-university-level geometry to Pyramidology etc. (talk) 22:13, 27 August 2008 (UTC)

Outside view

I've been asked to have a look here. WP:BLP needs to be applied very carefully. Any association of a living person with fascism or nazism should either have impeccable referencing to back it up, or if not needs to be removed as derogatory speculation. There is a lot of conversation on the page, but not much which states how a source can be referenced and provide material to be included in the article. Focus on sources and what they say - it saves a lot of discussion. If there aren't sources that say it, then it has no place here, as it will have no place in the article, and the purpose of a talk page is to sort out content for the article. See WP:TPG. There is no need for an editor to get a user name, but editors should sign their posts with 4 tildes ~~~~. If an editor forgets, sign for them with {{subst:unsigned|Tyrenius}} (except not my name preferably!). If it's an IP, then use the IP address. I suggest doing this to any unsigned posts, as it's difficult to see who's saying what on this page. Ty 01:15, 28 August 2008 (UTC)

Agreed. I've already asked that this be dropped. Doug Weller (talk) 09:15, 28 August 2008 (UTC)
Agree with Ty here. I don't see any facts about this. Looks like speculation. TootsMojo (talk) 16:56, 23 November 2008 (UTC)

Philosopher again?

I'm just curious about SageMab's latest edit comments. He seems to be using such comments as a forum for claiming philosophical cred for Michell, though I can't for the life of me see the argument. SageMab, have you a point in comments such as these:

If so, make it here. Phiwum (talk) 04:16, 28 August 2008 (UTC)

It seems to be well past time to impose some restraint on SageMab. Many of his contribs have at least something of value in them, but he's making this way too hard. Looie496 (talk) 04:29, 28 August 2008 (UTC)
Phiwum you will notice that that I did not reinstate the word philospher in the lead paragraph. In adding solid, verifieable facts to this article I have come across reputable references to him as a philosopher. The truth of the matter is that John Michell is well known as a philospher. It is well evident in both his books and articles. His many publishers list him as such and libraries and bookstores file him under this term. Read the article page Phiwum and Looie. Restraint in what Looie? I do hope you are not threatening another editor. I have just spent several hours adding very solid, as per Wiki standard facts, quotes and paragraphs to this article from reputable sources. I suggest you both read the comments from the administrator above which I find to be very solid advice. This admn found my restoraton of the article to be correct I believe. SageMab (talk) 05:01, 28 August 2008 (UTC)
I'm bumfuzzled as to how you think any of those edits support the claim that he is a philosopher. Again, you seem to be using that term differently than I do. Phiwum (talk) 14:10, 28 August 2008 (UTC)
If he's going on how bookstores file books, no wonder he thinks that. Libraries can be just as bad. A publisher publishes a book on some kook idea (not calling Michell a kook, thinking here of other writers( and calls it history, and it ends up filed that way. Doug Weller (talk) 14:59, 28 August 2008 (UTC)

Marriage in 2007

Sort of an interesting fact: on Youtube there is a short film showing Michell's wedding, with the caption: "BROOMSTICKS AND MAGIC SPELL SUCCESS AT WEDDING 02:00pm - 26 April 2007 Friends and family danced in the spring sunshine yesterday as well-known Glastonbury druid Denise Price and world-renowned author and mystic John Michell married in St. Benedicts church, then jumped a broomstick in a traditional hand-fasting ceremony. Hundreds of well-wishers, including Glastonbury Festival founder Michael Eavis, and the couple's families gathered for the joyful and unconventional celebration of love. Denise first met John 34 years ago when she was 21 and he was 40." See [9]. This seems like something that could go into the Biography section, but I thought I would query opinions here first. Looie496 (talk) 04:49, 28 August 2008 (UTC)

I do not think this advances the information about the work of this author. The article discussion is not a gossip page but you might want to know that they are no longer married. BLP SageMab (talk) 05:04, 28 August 2008 (UTC)

this is a biographical article. If the wedding can be referenced, it is on topic. I've googled this "well-known Archdruidess" Denise Price, with little result. She appears to have been "Archdruidess of the Secular Order of Druids" before 1997 and was raised to the "Ovatean Chair of Bath" at a 1997 "Gorsedd" in Bath,[10], and later made archdruidess of the "Glastonbury Order of Druids" in 2005[11], and has since formed her own "Western Order of Druids" which has had an extremely rudimentary website since March 2007. Probably nothing that would bear mention in our Neo-Druidism articles. dab (𒁳) 15:20, 29 August 2008 (UTC)

A small point of information, after reading through the history of sock-puppetry and what-have-you in this article, I had better point out that John's marriage did indeed take place at St. Benedict's Church, Glastonbury, on 26th April 2007, and was very well-attended. The church itself stands astride what is believed to be the principal ley-line which passes through Stonehenge. Although the couple did separate subsequently, they remained married until John's death, despite what SageMab has stated in the note above, dated 28th August 2008 g88keeper (talk) 11:44, 29 April 2009 (UTC)

I don't think anyone really doubted that they were married, but by the rules of BLP (Biographies of Living Persons) were such that we would have had to have a solidly reliable source for the information. Of course he is now deceased, so those rules no longer apply, but we still should have a source. Is it mentioned in obituaries? Paul B (talk) 12:30, 29 April 2009 (UTC)

John Neal

Why is such a large proportion of the article discussing a book by John Neal (or Neil as the article says, incorrectly). One of the references only mentions that Michell liked the book. The article also discusses Michell's review of the book (no reference to a reliable source for the Spectator reference I see). This is all so trivial that it deserves no more than a sentence, if that. Certainly a substantial paragraph on John Neal doesn't belong here, and the BWMA should not be mentioned without making it clear what it is, as the title makes it sound like something official. Doug Weller (talk) 05:56, 28 August 2008 (UTC)

According to Wiki:BLP facts must advance the article and, in this case, the discussion is about number theory which Michell has published about extensively. The British Weights and Measures Association advanced this argument by quotinga notable article in Nature where a notable person Michael Vickers credited John Michell as being "philospher and historian" (notable source by Wiki standards, information on what to call this author) for providing an elusive key to ancient metrology. This key from Michell's published research enabled Neil to write his book. The book was reviewed by Michell in the Spectator (good source) and the review is where Michell explains the theory of "old measures" (ie number in order to quantify). A notable by Wiki standards emeritus professor Henry H.Bauer from VA Polytech then further explains why this acknowledgement of Michell is "Of Note". IThe entry in question is a fairly complex paragraph that moves from point to point and to reduce it would be to gut, or even nullify, it's importance in defining this author , which I am sure you would not want to do. The British Weights and Measures link provides information about the Michell review in the Spectator which checked out. SageMab (talk) 06:23, 28 August 2008 (UTC) SageMab (talk) 06:41, 28 August 2008 (UTC)

No, John Michell has never written about number theory. He has, however, written about gematria, which is a kind of numerology. If you wish to maintain that he has written about number theory, please could you show that you know what number theory actually is, first. (Follow the Wikified link, to check whether your definition agrees the sort of definitions used by the rest of the world). (talk) 10:09, 28 August 2008 (UTC)
SageMab, please could you confirm that you understand that "number theory" is a field of knowledge that is not contained within, and does not even overlap with, "metrology". I guess there a few mathematicians working in the area where "measure theory" (which is a branch of real analysis, and is nothing to do with metrology) overlaps with "number theory", but we are talking about mathematics at a level which there is no evidence that Michell has ever written about or studied. The encyclopedia starts to look like a laughing-stock when people who have written about leylines and Pyramidology and the 'view over Atlantis', or even the history of measures such as the inch and the mile, are referred to as "number theorists" on the basis of having done such work. Number theory is nothing to do with metrology or numerology - this should be taken on board. (talk) 10:19, 28 August 2008 (UTC)

The article isn't aware of any academic publications of Michell's. Attempts to present him as an academic writer are clearly disingenious. Not only has he never published anything remotely related to number theory, he has also never published on his actual hobby horse "ancient metrology" in any scholarly venue. John Mitchell is an esotericist writer catering to the Neopagan / New Age / "Perennialist-Traditionalist" market segment, end of story. The closest he ever came to academic honours is a mention of one of his books in Nature in 2001. Why can't we just stop the silly game and discuss Mitchell's notability for what it is. --dab (𒁳) 10:56, 28 August 2008 (UTC)

I agree. He has never written about number theory, prehistoric cultures (that was an editorial synopsis), or geometry in the mathemtical sense. He is not an academic -- giving some lectures does not make one an academic. Doug Weller (talk) 12:22, 28 August 2008 (UTC)

Temenos Academy Review

I'm glad to see mention of this has been removed, but for the record, this is not a journal of philosophy nor does it claim to be one. Doug Weller (talk) 06:17, 28 August 2008 (UTC)

How would you define this Temenos Academy review of papers? The articles are philsophical in tone and title.SageMab (talk) 06:35, 28 August 2008 (UTC)

I'm happy with their own description: "The Review comprises a mixture of papers given at the Academy and new work, including poetry, art, and reviews." It's clearly not a journal of philosophy as understood by philosphers. Doug Weller (talk) 08:03, 28 August 2008 (UTC)
This journal is commonly viewed as philosphic. I've cut and pasted this from the Michell article link. Let others decide
Issue 8, 2005
PROSE: Tom Cheetham The Prophetic Tradition & the
Battle for the Soul of the World; Michael Donley Paul
Claudel (1868-1955) – Poet of the Sacred Cosmos; Kathleen
Raine Revisioning the Sacred for our Time; John Carey
Christ Sun of Justice: The Symbolism of a Church in Vermont;
Edward Falconar On Seeing Reality; Peter Oldmeadow
Buddhist Yogacara Philosophy and Ecology; Colin Moss The
Curtain; Sir John Tavener Mozart – A Celebration of an
Unconscious Mystic; Keith Critchlow Dr Martin Lings; Todd Mei
Hermeneutics and the Unity of Truth; William Radice Confession
Versus the exclamation mark: why Rabindranath Tagore did
not like the poetry of Michael Madhusudan Dutt (talk) 22:12, 7 September 2008 (UTC)
It's not up to us to decide, and as I've already posted, the Academy doesn't describe it as a philosophical journal. Doug Weller (talk) 05:50, 8 September 2008 (UTC)

John Michell's Writings in Books and Columns on Prehistoric Archaeology and also on Sacred Sites

DougWeller, to answer your edit on the article page, John Michell has written extensively on prehistoric archaeology and Neolithic life and also on sacred sites and also on when a prehistory site is considered a place of ancient worship which is a melding of both subjects. I have read many, many of his books and articles and you have said you have not which is perhaps where some of the problems with your edits of his article lies, although I will assume good faith on your part. Again, I want to remind you to read Wiki's policy on lving people. The Stones At Lands End, Megalithamania, Crooked Soley, The Temple at Jersalem, Twelve Tribe Nations are all far different books. Commonality of subject matter does not indicate commonality of either intent or focus in a non-fiction book. When you remove words like Prehistoric Archaeology and replace them with ley lies it appears that you are inserting your own OR into the articleSageMab (talk) 13:50, 28 August 2008 (UTC)

It is hardly OR to put in ley lines, he is well known for his work on ley lines. As Ronald Hutton says, writing about Watkins, "there seems little doubt that the great popularity of the concept of alignment among the 'counter-culture' resulted from the publication of John Michell's book The View over Atlantis." (A book written in the context of geomancy.) It is very misleading to say he has written on prehistoric archaeology. I have a number of varied books on prehistoric archaeology and I can assure you that he is mentioned in none of them. Writing about geomancy and earth mysteries is not the same as writing about prehistoric archaeology even though they may both be looking at the same sites and people. Leaving out ley lines leaves out an important part of what he has written about, whereas putting in prehistoric archaeology just confuses anyone who actually knows what the subject is about and might think Michell was writing something similar. If you hadn't brought this up I wouldn't have looked up Michell in Ron Hutton.

I have no idea why you keep reminding me of policy on living writers, since you never say anything specific, but the only conclusion I can draw is that you don't quite understand the policy but hope that if you keep repeating your 'warning' it will make other editors hesitate. In any case, Michell's books on Stonehenge, etc are not books on prehistoric archaeology even if they use some of its subject matter. Doug Weller (talk) 14:51, 28 August 2008 (UTC)

I never suggested that you leave out ley lines. No argument there. My only concern is that you blanked out prehistoric archaeology repeatedly and replaced the word with ley lines. They should both be up there. We are not talking about 3rd party references in regard to archaeology. We are talking about the subject matter of his books and any reader of John Michell's work knows he writes quite a bit about prehistoric archaeology, in fact, it is the crux of many of his books. As to Wiki BLP, they say it far better than I and I think it a good idea for us all to keep rereading it for good advice. I do think that the admin's comment above on BLP sums it up correctly. Do not take an edit to an article as a personal attack on you, assume good faith DougWeller. SageMab (talk) 15:22, 28 August 2008 (UTC)

So where does OR come in? There is no need to keep reminding us about BLP, it's at the top, an admin has just done it, etc. It's not helpful for you to keep reminding others about policy unless you have a very specific point which you make clearly. Michell uses prehistoric archaeology to write about sacred sites, geomancy, ley lines, numerology, etc. Those are the subjects he is writing about. There's a big difference from an academic point of view. We can't use the views of 'any reader', that would be OR. He isn't an archaeologist. He doesn't claim to be one either. Doug Weller (talk) 16:02, 28 August 2008 (UTC)

Dr, Michael Vickers in Nature credits John Michell with a first in Metrology and validates subject, echoed by VPI professor emeritus

Moreschi, please explain why you removed this block of text from the article which advances the discussion of metrology and John Michell:

The discussion of number was discussed by The British Weights and Measures Association (BWMA) 1 who quoted Dr. Michael Vickers, of the Department of Antiquities, Ashmolean Museum, and Senior Research Fellow in Classical Studies and Reader in Archaeology at Jesus College, Oxford. Vickers article on number and John Neil’s new book “All Done With Mirrors” in the 2001 issue of "Nature" (page 1030) said "Thanks to John Neal's remarkable new book, ancient metrology - once the playground of Newton but now largely ignored even by archaeologists - should cease to be a pariah subject and regain its place at the centre of the study of antiquity.” Vickers continued, “Elaborating a scheme first noted by the philosopher and historian John Michell, Neal observes that feet (or cubits) stand in a ratio of 175:176 to larger units in a series...". The “Spectator” on June 9 of the same year ran a review of John Neil’s book by John Michell who said “"the old measures…express the dimensions of the earth and moon within a rational code of number. And from this same code are derived also the measures and ratios of music, geometry, astronomy, chronology and physics. John Neal's discoveries give firm ground to the Pythagorean world-view that 'all is number.' Henry H Bauer, Professor Emeritus of Chemistry & Science Studies, Dean Emeritus of Arts & Sciences, Virginia Polytechnic Institute & State University said 2 this book is “Of Note” because it has received praise from quarters that are more commonly in opposition: the blurbs bear effusive praise from stalwart anomalists John Michell and Colin Wilson and the book was reviewed in glowing terms in "Nature" by Michael Vickers. SageMab (talk) 21:15, 28 August 2008 (UTC)
If I understand you correctly, please could you provide a source for the view that John Michell gained a first class undergraduate degree in Metrology. Only a very few universities in the world award degrees in metrology, and most of the courses concern modern metrology, the science of measurement, not ancient metrology or the origin or history of units of measure. A degree in metrology has never been offered by Cambridge University, which Michell attended. But perhaps he got one somewhere else? Or maybe by "a first in Metrology" you meant "a new achievement in metrology"?-unsigned comment by|

No, you do not understand. I never said he did. Your opinion on the matter is not a point here. Wiki: OR; i.e. no opinions, bias or original theories are allowed on Wikpedia pages of a living author. Dr. Michael Vickers writing in Nature is a notable, verifiable Wikipedia correct reference. This is Vickers statements, not mine. SageMab (talk) 21:39, 28 August 2008 (UTC), SageMab (talk) 21:41, 28 August 2008 (UTC)

Thank you. The issue, however, was not my opinion, but the meaning of his being credited with "a first in Metrology". Thank you for confirming that you did not mean that anyone has credited him with getting a first-class degree (or indeed any other class of degree) in this subject.
I have no idea why you lecture me on opinion and bias, when as far as I can tell, I made no statement of opinion in the paragraph to which you were replying. (talk) 21:45, 28 August 2008 (UTC)
Has it actually been verified, by the way, that John Michell is a Chartered Surveyor? Also, I'd be interested to know whether he was awarded a degree at Cambridge, and if so, in what subject. I'd assumed it was in Modern Languages, given his post-college employment as a translator for the armed forces, but maybe I'm wrong? (talk) 21:29, 28 August 2008 (UTC)
You can't seriously be suggesting this near-unintelligible screed you've written should actually stay in the article. It seems purely trivial, and barely related to Michell at all. Plus, it's so poorly written it makes almost no sense. And where does Vickers say, exactly, that Michell has a metrology degree...Moreschi (talk) 21:49, 28 August 2008 (UTC)

Moreschi, perhaps you have missed the point. This paragraph in the article reproduced above is not about a degree in metrology! How could you construe that? The quote above by Vickers says “Elaborating a scheme first noted by the philosopher and historian John Michell, Neal observes ...". Again, read the paragraph. This paragraph is about a respected antiquarian scholar, Dr. Michael Vickers who validates metrology and John Michell's important contrubution to the field. This opinion is validated by a professor emeritus at Virginia Polytech University, not a lightweight by any means. This is an important point about this author so perhaps instead of just chopping it out you should go to the source cited in the edit and rewrite the paragraph appropriately. That would further this article. As for user|] who admitted to using a second IP to make edits to this article, and who was slapped with mutiple vandalism charges on this article by administrators to the extent that the article was blocked for edit by anonymous users for days I would say perhaps you are misguided and perhaps you will consider reading the Wiki:OR policy. SageMab (talk) 23:00, 28 August 2008 (UTC) Perhaps there is a misunderstanding of a "First" in this paragraph. It does not refer to a degree. First refers to the original person who discovered this important point. Eureka! Metrology vetted by Michael Vickers and VPI. SageMab (talk) 23:12, 28 August 2008 (UTC)

I can see the point. It's obscured by all the stuff after the Vickers quote, which should go, but the Vickers quote, however misguided Vickers was, is probably ok.
Meanwhile Sagemab, please explain the bit about hard copy that has confused me and left you calling me a liar. Doug Weller (talk) 05:03, 29 August 2008 (UTC)
This illustrates better than anything the problems that SageMab's constant pushing causes: it can make us lose sight of the goal here, which is to create an article that accurately portrays the subject. John Michell is not a philospher and historian: he is a very prolific writer of pseudoscience, and a counterculture guru. SageMab must not be allowed to cherry-pick quotes to support a picture that we know is inaccurate. Looie496 (talk) 15:34, 29 August 2008 (UTC)
well, the article is on track now, and I don't see a problem except that people keep feeding this. dab (𒁳) 15:48, 29 August 2008 (UTC)
  • Oh, for god's sake. That paragraph is almost entirely about somebody else (Neil). We can't have vast chunks of material that's only tangentially related to the subject of the article. One sentence saying "Michell has written on metrology and has been cited for it" is fine. Just cite that to Vickers in a footnote. Moreschi (talk) 16:43, 29 August 2008 (UTC)

Burden of Evidence

Do not leave unsourced or poorly sourced information that may damage the reputation of living persons or organizations in articles and do not move it to the talk page (See Wikipedia:Biographies of living persons for details of this policy). As Jimmy Wales has put it:

I can NOT emphasize this enough. There seems to be a terrible bias among some editors that some sort of random speculative 'I heard it somewhere' pseudo information is to be tagged with a 'needs a cite' tag. Wrong. It should be removed, aggressively, unless it can be sourced. This is true of all information, but it is particularly true of negative information about living persons.
Jimmy Wales [2]

Wise words from Jimbo. SageMab (talk) 14:26, 29 August 2008 (UTC)

Maybe so, but there is nothing unsourced or poorly sourced about the Hitler statement. You know he made this book. We know he made this book. It is sourced in Lachman. Whether we need to mention it is another point, but your quoting of this policy is both irrelevant and misleading. Why are you quoting a statement about excluding "random speculative 'I heard it somewhere' pseudo information" when you know that information is both sourced and correct (as you admit in previous sections)? Paul B (talk) 14:48, 29 August 2008 (UTC)
well, dude, this is what we have been doing. As it happens, this applies to all kinds of pseudo information, not just the kind that damages a reputation, but also to such as unduly inflates one. You have been trying to prevent people from doing just that. Time to stop throwing around undisputed truisms and begin looking at the beam in thy own eye instead. --dab (𒁳) 14:49, 29 August 2008 (UTC)

Do not presume that I posted this in regard to the Hitler phamplet. I did not. I did post it as a reminder to us all (me included). I do think it applies to the discussion on this page regarding Hitler and other talking points. Do not accuse other editors please, no one is trying to prevent anything. Wiki is very specific about the burden of proof on an article about a living person and I am trying to heed that for my own edits. If commentary on the long career of a prolific author is mainly laudatory or from sources that do not pass verifiability how does an editor post material on the subject without the article appearing to be a puff piece? Paul, I would like your opinion on this, without it getting personal please. Most of the verifiable reviews of John Michells work have been positive so I would like to hear other editors views on this. SageMab (talk) 14:59, 29 August 2008 (UTC), SageMab (talk) 15:03, 29 August 2008 (UTC)

I presumed it because you titled this section "Burden of evidence", and your only edit summary to refer to "burden of evidence" was the one in which you removed the reference tio the Hitler book - "burden of evidence, removed Hitler". Paul B (talk) 15:06, 29 August 2008 (UTC)
SM, you are dealing with a number of veteran editors here, including several admins. You do not need to "remind us of policy". If you want to remind yourself of policy, we will thank you for it, but you don't need to use this page for the exercise. dab (𒁳) 15:49, 29 August 2008 (UTC)
Yes, I know. It is a brief wise quote from Jimbo. There are also a number of new editors and new anonymous IP users here which is why DougWeller posted the entire talk page guidelines from Wiki here. Have you admoninished him for that? SageMab (talk) 16:28, 29 August 2008 (UTC)
You are doing it again Sage. Trust me, Wikipedia is working smoothly. Your main concern should be to get your understanding and editing behaviour up to speed. Once you manage that, I will be happy to welcome you as an editor in good standing. Do you even realize how many people's time your extroverted approach to learning-by-doing has been wasting? --dab (𒁳) 16:32, 29 August 2008 (UTC)
I have no doubt that Wikipedia is running smoothly. This page has seen a huge amount of accusations, opinions on the subject matter, "labeling" of the author and the personal beliefs of the editors which do nothing to advance the article. Jimbo's advice on working on articles of living persons is right on point on this discussion page. SageMab (talk) 16:44, 29 August 2008 (UTC)16:40, 29 August 2008 (UTC), SageMab (talk) 16:44, 29 August 2008 (UTC)
SageMab, why would you say anything so obviously untrue as claiming that I posted an entire talk page? I posted the guidelines about what could be legitimately removed. I hope that by your mention of new editors and IP users that you have decided that there are no sock puppets or puppet masters here, as you keep suggesting elsewhere. By the way, you've missed a wonderful opportunity to show that you understand NPOV by failing to use the Hutton material I provided above. And you've again missed an opportunity to show good faith in failing to explain your claim that I was calling you a liar about the hard copy confusion. I definitely wasn't and I'd like you to understand that, I was and am simply confused about it. Doug Weller (talk) 18:34, 29 August 2008 (UTC)
In any case, SageMab, why is "burden of evidence" a reason for removing the reference, in a long list of what John Michell has written about, to the fact that he wrote a pamphlet about Hitler? I know it hasn't got an ISBN, but it was nonetheless published and circulated, various sources have referred to it, and just tell us, please, what is the problem with referring to it, assuming it isn't given undue prominence? (talk) 19:00, 29 August 2008 (UTC)
  • Right, now I've had it. SageMab is being wilfully obstinate, so now we're getting to the sanctions stage. Moreschi (talk) 18:55, 29 August 2008 (UTC)

NPOV issues

SageMab, one more effort to get some consensus and work with you here. You've mentioned NPOV issues a number of times, and recently made an edit saying "removed several NPOV issues". Perhaps you could specify what these are and why they are NPOV and we can work on those. Doug Weller (talk) 19:12, 29 August 2008 (UTC)

Well, seeing as he's been blocked for 3RR for 31h, we'll have to put this on ice for a little bit. Moreschi (talk) 19:21, 29 August 2008 (UTC)
And his attempt to get the block lifted (which was for trolling other editors as well as 3RR) shows clearly that he thinks it is everyone else's fault. I am very dubious about his ability to understand WP policies given what he says there and has written today on this page and in edit summaries. Doug Weller (talk) 20:52, 29 August 2008 (UTC)
everything has been "everyone else's fault" with SM from the beginning. This is why he would never bother to even listen to other people, or reflect on his own behaviour. Sometimes, mere "good faith" (viz., paired with complete failure to communicate) is simply not enough. --dab (𒁳) 08:12, 1 September 2008 (UTC)
I think I am making some progress, we shall see. Doug Weller (talk) 08:32, 1 September 2008 (UTC)

Ronald Hutton quote

I think we need to use some of this, but I'm not sure exactly how. Hutton is a respected academic, Professor of History at the Department of Historical Studies, University of Bristol, albeit an unusual one as he is a second generation Pagan. From his book The Pagan Religions of the Ancient British Isles:
This then, is one major aspect of the methodology of much 'alternative' archaeology which is quite unacceptable to orthodox scholarship. Another consists of straightforward perversion of truth or statements of pure untruth. Both occur even in work by a distinguished earth mysteries writer like John Michell, who informs his readers that traces of a great prehistoric sea wall survive upon the coasts of Essex and Kent. He states this as a well-known fact requiring no evidence, and thereby escapes the reality that no evidence for it seems to exist. He likewise states that excavators of Roman roads have found roads beneath which are equally fine or even finer. Who these excavators were is not mentioned, and they appear, again, to be a poetic invention. It is well known to historians that Richard Whiting, last Abbot of Glastonbury, was executed in 1539 on a trumped-up charge of trying to conceal abbey treasures from the Crown. The evidence was a goblet said to have been found hidden by him in a chest. Mr Michell distorts this celebrated story by telling his readers that Whiting died for refusing to give up the ancient mystical treasures of the abbey, which have been concealed ever since. But all this, disturbing though it may be to more conscientious scholars, does not justify rejecting all John Michell's work out of hand. It might still be that moments of mere tale-spinning do conceal others of genuine insight. I would say at once that I am not wholly qualified myself to determine how far this is the case, because Mr Michell's enthusiasms are too wide-ranging to be the province of any one specialist. For example, I lack the mathematical ability to comment upon his long passages on systems of sacred numbers. All I can say is that virtually all his work within my own provinces of history and prehistory is as unacceptable to an academic as those examples I have cited - even that most admired by his followers for its apparent objectivity, namely his study of the monuments of West Penwith. Within the 98 square miles of the area which he selected for his study are or were eighty standing stones and 300 barrows, in addition to several chambered tombs and several stone rings. There is thus already a high probability that somebody could draw straight lines through a map of this district and hit a large number of prehistoric sites with each, purely by chance. But Mr Michell compounds this chance by admitting to his sample all the 150 medieval crosses recorded in West Penwith. Many of these are now considered to date from between AD 13OO and 1500, a thousand years after the Christianization of Cornwall, but Mr Michell admits them all upon the grounds that any might mark a pagan holy place or be itself a reworked prehistoric standing stone. So it is unsurprising, and impressive or instructive to nobody but devoted earth mystics, that he came up with a large number of 'alignments'. A pair of statisticians subsequently ran a computerized study of them and equally unsurprisingly came up with the possibility that many of them could have been produced by chance. But to a conscientious prehistorian the whole study was inadmissible from the start, for John Michell had not considered all the prehistoric monuments of West Penwith, or even all those in the area dating up to the sixteenth century AD, but a selection of sites, from many different periods, which happen to fit his theory best. But then, in doing so, he had only been following the practice of most 'ley hunters'.
Suggestions as to how to use this sensitively? Thanks Doug Weller (talk) 19:16, 29 August 2008 (UTC)

Hutton is the expert on modern neo-Paganism. I have not read The Pagan Religions of the Ancient British Isles, but I do know the Triumph of the Moon, of which I have a copy, and it is a very solid piece of work. In any case Hutton's position as an academic at Manchester Uni and Bristol means his views should be of undisputed importance. It seems to me that we have to turn this into an account of Michell's life, work and evaluations to it, rather than just a series of quotations and counter-quotations. Paul B (talk) 21:46, 29 August 2008 (UTC)
That seems a good way to go. You seem to have made a start. By the way, thanks for sorting out the spelling, it had been bothering me but I was too busy to look at it. Doug Weller (talk) 05:18, 30 August 2008 (UTC)

Michael S Schneider

I think there's a terminology confusion here. Nothing against the guy, but he's a part time instructor, also called an adjunct professor [12] [13]. He's not a 'Professor' as normally understood. by the title. He's not on a tenure track for instance. To call him 'scholar professor' is a misunderstanding. Doug Weller (talk) 08:03, 1 September 2008 (UTC)

also, we don't need to give a micro-bio of every authority cited. We cite them if they are quotable, we wikilink them if they pass WP:PROF, that's really sufficient. --dab (𒁳) 09:44, 1 September 2008 (UTC)
The professor (I did not call him a philosopher) in question is Michael S. Schneider who wrote "A Beginner's Guide to Constructing the Universe: Mathematical Archetypes of Nature, Art, and Science"who called " -John Michell (1933-, English philosopher, antiquarian, geometer, writer". This is a solid book reference and the author is a Hayes Fullbright scholar who was once head of the math department at the prestigous Ross School in Long island, NY [[14]. The point is that he is a solid academic as a former Dean of Math and Science with a solid book that is spot on Michells' subject matter.Semi-reired for a long while now. The major thrust of this school is the classical philosophical underpinning of all knowledge and Schneider was head of a philosophy-based math program. His book is a practical handbook on geometry and a philosophical treatise written by a mathematician..[15] See his paper with the ref from the American Mathematical Society [16] for a glimpse at his scholarly publishing history. Schneider is well qualifed to discuss the geometry of John Michell. —Preceding unsigned comment added by SageMab (talkcontribs) 10:01, 4 September 2008 (UTC) SageMab (talk) 10:14, 4 September 2008 (UTC)

I don't know about "solid" or "professor", but Schneider is certainly a bona fide mathematician and teacher at The Ross School. So yes, we should by all means cover his opinion of Michell's work. The question is, does he have an opinion on Michell, or did he just mention him in passing? The problem is, of course, that Schneider would seem to be more qualified to discuss geometry than Michell, so that I do not suppose Schneider would have to rely on any of Michell's "insights" for the purpopes of his own book, but let's hear the actual content. --dab (𒁳) 10:47, 4 September 2008 (UTC)

I see. Schneider's book seems to be a cmoparatively sane account of numerological archetypes. It mentions Michell five times, on pp. 96, 211, 229 and 352 just as a source of juicy quotes placed on the page margin or at the head of a chapte. and only on p. 202 as a reference (for the frequent occurrence of the concept of "twelvefold order of society"). Schneider isn't discussing Michell's stuff at all, he is just using him as a quote quarry. --dab (𒁳) 11:06, 4 September 2008 (UTC)
Schneider has a BA in maths (the level of degree awarded is not mentioned on his Amazon bio page). He is clearly very close to Michell who wrote the preface and who is praised by Schneider "I wish to express my gratitude to John Michell, whose books, lectures, friendship, intelligence, humor and vision have inspired me and many others to explore the harmony in numbers and shapes and who generously gave this book its main title and preface" (p.xi) Paul B (talk) 12:18, 4 September 2008 (UTC)
Yes. I did explain to SageMab on his talk page that 'adjunct Professor' should not be equated with 'Professor'. Doug Weller (talk) 14:21, 4 September 2008 (UTC)
Yes, obvious, and I told DougWeller that he is a semi-retired Dean of Math and Science (tenured) and that I have his book. He is also a semi-retired professor but since you have edited him out of this article the discussion need go no further. Schneider uses the geometry (many diagrams) of John Michell to further the work in his book. And of John Neil who based much of his work on John Michell's work. Well, there is no paucity of notable mathematicians who comment on the geometric work of John Michell. Are you going to dubunk or pull apart all of them also? Or, are you going to use them to further this article? 16:26, 4 September 2008 (UTC) —Preceding unsigned comment added by SageMab (talkcontribs) SageMab (talk) 16:33, 4 September 2008 (UTC)
He may be well known as a schoolteacher, but that seems to be all. If "there is no paucity of notable mathematicians who comment on the geometric work of John Michell" then find academic citations. Paul B (talk) 16:42, 4 September 2008 (UTC)
The point is that this mathematician is a reliable source for this article. SageMab (talk) 17:32, 4 September 2008 (UTC)
Good suggestion from Paul B. This material is readily accessible to those editors who have the time and inclination to further this article. SageMab (talk) 19:08, 4 September 2008 (UTC)
I don't think 'tenured' applies in any way to a schoolteacher who is a dean in a private school (high school level in this case I presume, or perhaps all grades). Tenure applies to professors and requires a lot of academic publications. Doug Weller (talk) 19:35, 4 September 2008 (UTC)
I think it does but it is also not his only tenure. Seems moot, as people are determined to disallow him as a secondary source although from looking at his book mathematician Schneider bases his work, in this case, on Michell's. SageMab (talk) 19:59, 4 September 2008 (UTC)
In the context we are talking about (an academic status context), tenure applies only to senior University academic staff. Not to Schneider. Doug Weller (talk) 07:55, 5 September 2008 (UTC)
I hear what you are saying. Schneider was tenured; you have not discussed his only teaching positions on this page. The point being mathematician Schneider's book is a reliable reference in regard to the geometry of John Michell. If Dab, as per his comment above, had seen/read this book, rather than just pulling page quotes (helpful tho'), he would see that this book could not have been written without the Pythagorean geometric advances of John Michell. I have not reinstated Schneider into an edit so why the long discussion? I know you are a Skeptic but the discarding/reverting by editors of any reference that is either neutral or pro Michell is not the best of all worlds, don't you agree? I think Schneider on geometry is a more valuable reference to this article than UFO researcher Gary Lachman, the self-published and Disinformation Company published author, as a ref for John Michell's education at Eton and Trinity. I don't see anyone adding new facts about the forty plus books published by this author nor the ideas behind those books. At least thirty of Michell's books, from a wide variety of publishers such as Columbia University Press, HarperCollins and Thames & Hudson, mention that Michell is a Russian interpreter and Chartered Surveyer. Why hasn't anyone gotten citations for these statements either to verify them as facts or to show that over a dozen publishers have lied about these credentials? Many reliable source facts in this article have been pared down to simple sentences which do not advance this article. SageMab (talk) 10:42, 5 September 2008 (UTC)

{unindent] Where was Schneider tenured then? I don't know what you mean by not discussing his only teaching positions on this page, do you mean my first edit in this section? It's a long discussion because I think that accuracy is important. For instance, you think he is a Russian intepreter. Yet a Google search gives only 14 references, most based on Wikipedia, and a Google Books search gives none. But -- there was a John Michell in the 19th century who did was a Russian interpreter, so without a really reliable source I'd say it's confusion with him. Doug Weller (talk) 12:16, 5 September 2008 (UTC)

His Amazon bio says that he was a Russian interpreter, as do other publisher's blurbs. It's unlikely to be untrue. Paul B (talk) 14:37, 5 September 2008 (UTC)

Lachman is not a "UFO researcher". He's describing the research of one John Michell. Michell was the UFO researcher. Lachman is a musician, journalist and author, whose interests overlap with Michell's - the history of the occult etc. Paul B (talk) 13:17, 5 September 2008 (UTC)

People with BAs figure as "professor" or "Dean of Math and Science" these days? You can of course exit university at BA level and still become an excellent teacher or author, but these titles are just disingenious in such a case. So this section boils down to "JM has been publicly called a 'philosopher' by a personal friend of his". Sheesh, SageMab, stop wasting our time like this. --dab (𒁳) 13:25, 5 September 2008 (UTC)

He's Dean at a private school (his MA in math education comes in here) - and an adjunct, which gives him the title but not the academic status. Doug Weller (talk) 14:39, 5 September 2008 (UTC)
Of course the MA is essentially in teaching practice. It's not a higher mathematics degree. Paul B (talk) 14:44, 5 September 2008 (UTC)
Exactly. I've got something similar, a postgrad diploma in Maths education, it's how to teach it, which a lot of people with maths degrees find a bit difficult (because they understand mathematics so well). Doug Weller (talk) 15:19, 5 September 2008 (UTC)
I trust that last sentence was ironic? (talk) 12:06, 8 September 2008 (UTC)


I left a post above about WP:BLP. The message doesn't seem to have got through. Wikipedia, including this page, is not a WP:SOAPBOX. It's not a place for editors to give their personal opinions of a derogatory nature about article subjects. I trust this will not be repeated, or there will be further action taken. Any contentious material about living individuals must have rock solid sourcing to back it up. If it doesn't, then it shouldn't be made. Ty 09:36, 1 September 2008 (UTC)

Tyrenius, this is a talkpage. Are you sure you aren't confusing talk and article namespaces?[17] You've left standing the anon's asking us "Don't believe for one moment that this highly-intelligent guy ever believed everything he wrote", and you have removed under "BLP" my post saying that he'll need to present a WP:RS for this. I mean, {{huh}}? What, do you propose, are you doing here? --dab (𒁳) 09:47, 1 September 2008 (UTC)
Tyrenius, maybe you should have replied to my query at [18] before taking action here. I have no idea why your removed what you did and ignored other stuff. Why remove Dab's edit, for instance? Doug Weller (talk) 09:53, 1 September 2008 (UTC)

also, the problem with this article isn't "BLP", it used to be a problem editor. This is now being dealt with, and Doug even suggests the problem may be solved soon. There is no need for further administrative measures at this point, the article is doing fine. Especially, nobody at present appears to be pushing BLP-violating material. So I fail to understand the necessity or urgent tone of the above warning. --dab (𒁳) 10:04, 1 September 2008 (UTC)

I removed the anon's post too, but he reinstated it. I presume you're paraphrasing, as those aren't the actual words. Actually, I misread it, as you seem to have done also, because there's a comma where there shouldn't be. It should read "Michell obviously doesn't believe everything he's written is relevant for those seeking to learn more about his oeuvre and achievements", which is a very different meaning. I'm sure he doesn't think his shopping lists are terribly important.
However your post is certainly unacceptable, suggesting Michell is making money off the gullible. By all means repost the RS request. I am not confusing article and talk pages at all. BLP applies to all spaces in WP. Read it:
Unsourced or poorly sourced contentious material about living persons — whether the material is negative, positive, or just questionable — should be removed immediately and without waiting for discussion, from Wikipedia articles, talk pages, user pages, and project space. (my emphasis)
There is a major problem on this talk page with pushing BLP-violating material. I simply corrected the most recent example of it at the bottom of the page, where it wouldn't interfere with any other related posts. But the whole page needs to be cleaned up. I suggest the simplest way is to archive (delete) the lot and start all over again. Otherwise, just delete anything which is contentious and unsourced.
Ty 11:15, 1 September 2008 (UTC)
So the archive published by Wikipedia isn't a "WP space" then, but a Talk page is? How do issues of what exactly violates BLP and what doesn't, in the context of a particular page, get thrashed out, other than on the page's associated Talk page, including by people expressing their opinions which they would not do on the main page?
Put my contribution back as soon as you can, would you please, Tyrenius? Or tidy up the entire page in the way that you are suggesting, and see how people respond. Which is not meant to be a threat - I am just saying that if you want X to be done, then you should either do it, and learn how people feel about it; or else just suggest it, and learn the same. It's silly to dip your toe into the water and delete a few posts only. (talk) 11:33, 1 September 2008 (UTC)
What are you talking about? You have already reinstated your contribution.[19] Two editors from this page have already posted on WP:BLPN, and I'm quite happy to support them in removing offending material. It's not a question of how people feel about it: it's a matter of policy. My previous post corrected from "archive" to "delete". A talk page is not for people's opinions on a subject. See WP:TPG. Try finding some sources and examining their opinions. If something is soundly sourced, then it does not violate BLP. Ty 11:53, 1 September 2008 (UTC)
There is a fine line between legitimate debate and problem editing. If we deleted any discussion that might be considered "negative, positive, or just questionable" then there would be no discussion, since virtually anything can be considered either "negative" or "positive". Every comment on a talk page does not need to be footnoted. This talk page is a positive paradise compared to say, Louis Farrakhan and many others devoted to politicians. If you are looking for "contentious" you can find it everywhere, and yet I don't see similar demands to delete talk page content. We have to have a reasonable leeway for open discussion, otherwise intervention amounts to censorship ofd legitimate debate. No-one after all is accusing Michell of any crimes. The debate is about the interpretation of his political position, which is in itself quite legitimate. Paul B (talk) 11:27, 1 September 2008 (UTC)
The only material that can go in an article is material which is properly sourced, so there is no point in anything being on the talk page which doesn't meet that. If someone thinks something should go in the article, let them give the source from which they are deriving the material they think should go in. Then other editors can examine the source and assess it. Otherwise the talk page just becomes a useless gossip shop. This post above, for example, is a very sound approach: "Then there's his work with International Times [20], a very useful source for this article I think." WP:OTHERSTUFFEXISTS is not an argument to follow bad examples. I can assure you material gets deleted from talk pages and sometimes oversighted so not even admins can access it. Ty 12:07, 1 September 2008 (UTC)
It is not a gossip shop if it is thrashing out issues related to the content of the article. I agree that the ip editor is too often adding personal interpretation, but is also legitimately pointing to the concept of Radical Traditionalism, which Michell has demonstrably embraced. You are fond of gesturing to policy pages without fully engaging with the actual issue. My reference to other articles was nothing to do with OTHERSTUFF. It was designed to point out that robust debate about interpretation of political views is quite proper. There needs to be room for legitimate debate about content, and to discuss what can be concluded from sources, and that is what is going on here. BLP is not a tool for excluding material one does not like. Clearly this discussion has identified issues and generated new sources that have been properly used in the article. Paul B (talk) 12:14, 1 September 2008 (UTC)
The only issues you can thrash out are those found in reliable sources. And where are those to substantiate your statement about Michell's embracing of Radical Traditionalism? If there are no sources saying it, then it's pure WP:OR and not acceptable. If there are, then they should be used and other editors given access to them. Of course, BLP is not a tool for excluding material you don't like: it's a tool for excluding "unsourced or poorly sourced contentious material about living persons." I pointed that out just above. I take exception to "You are fond of gesturing to policy pages without fully engaging with the actual issue". I'm pointing out policy. It applies to all editors. There's a fair amount of stuff going on here which isn't legitimate at all, negative innuendos about the subject (as opposed to such material coming from solid sourcing) and posts branding people "fascist" and "scumbags" for a start. Ty 12:30, 1 September 2008 (UTC)
"where are those to substantiate your statement about Michell's embracing of Radical Traditionalism?" It is difficult to debate with someone who apparently has not taken the trouble to read the article. He published a book called "Confessions of a Radical Traditionalist". You may object to the comment about gesturing to policy pages, but you are continuing to do it to no useful purpose. Paul B (talk) 12:38, 1 September 2008 (UTC)
I must second this. If you're going to "mediate" or call the shots here, you will at least condescend to read the actual article, and follow the discussion at least cursorily. Just preaching basic policy to the world at large, apparently without a clue of what everyone has been saying, isn't "admin intervention", it's simply redundant. --dab (𒁳) 16:59, 1 September 2008 (UTC)
That isn't a secondary source commenting about his embrace of Radical Traditionalism, so the only valid content to date is that he wrote the book and what he said in it. If you want to go further than that on the subject, then you'll have to find sources that do so. "What you know" is irrelevant if you can't substantiate it. Ty 23:45, 1 September 2008 (UTC)
Thanks for the obvious, as ever. Read what the article says. Paul B (talk) 00:16, 2 September 2008 (UTC)

well, Tyrenius, now we have a giant section debating details of WP:TALK. Great. Imho, your "intervention" here isn't really conductive to bringing the debate back on track. What's more, just as it was going to be back on track on its own time. It's enough to point to WP:BLP and WP:TALK. What's with this recent delight in not just pointing out policy but descending into prolongued debate about policy on article talkpages?? I daresay all of us here are familiar with Wikipedia policy. Sometimes, in a real-life debate it may also be necessary to WP:UCS. It still requires human intelligence to compile encyclopedia articles, or else we could use webcrawler scripts to write the 'pedia for us. Just my opinion. --dab (𒁳) 12:21, 1 September 2008 (UTC)

I posted one paragraph. If editors don't get something fairly straightforward and need a debate about it, that's up to them. Meanwhile, this page still needs cleaning up. Ty 12:32, 1 September 2008 (UTC)
yeah, well, I don't see anyone not getting anything here. I could paste the contents of WP:DTTR to make my point, but I'll suppress the urge :) dab (𒁳) 15:55, 1 September 2008 (UTC)
That would be irrelevant as no templates have been used. Ty 23:45, 1 September 2008 (UTC)
  • ZOMG, seriously, obviously "Michell's father never washed" is just as unacceptable on the talk page as it would be in the article. On the other hand, "Michell's tied to Radical traditionalism" is perfectly fine on the talk page even if the commentator doesn't immediately provide a reference. The whole point of the talk page is to discuss potentially contentious issues like this before they go into the article, so appropriate references can be found and BLP is not violated. Over-strict policy enforcement will simply harm the chances of BLP being upheld. Christ, admins these days...Moreschi (talk) 17:08, 1 September 2008 (UTC)
I think you ought to read the talk page again. Then you will find the "fascist" and the "scumbags". I'll leave you and the other editors here to deal with that. I've made my point. Thanks. Unwatchlisted! Any problems, post on WP:BLPN. Ty 23:45, 1 September 2008 (UTC)

Right, to go back to actually discussing the article, SM is now playing bad BLP cop by arguing we cannot prove that is actually JM's website. As it happens, the website is registered by Dan Shaw of "Rosetta Publishing". Shaw is Michell's partner in organizing "Megalithomania" [21]. This is splitting hairs in my book, but I agree we technically have no proof that Michell is aware of the website. --dab (𒁳) 17:53, 1 September 2008 (UTC)

It seems reasonable to assume that he approves of it. Another option might be "publications website". Paul B (talk) 01:18, 2 September 2008 (UTC)

Drastically prune this talk page?

Could someone archive the sections of this talk page which are arguing about arguing (instead of about how to improve the article), or which are effectively about dead issues at this point? That would greatly increase the confidence of those who want to participate in improving this article, but who can't or won't follow all the details of the whole convoluted talk page soap-opera saga above... AnonMoos (talk) 00:59, 2 September 2008 (UTC)

Archiving might have to happen soon, but I doubt that can just excise parts of conversations. Who is to decide which bits are merely "arguing about arguing" and which are about content? Just don't read the sections you don't want to. Paul B (talk) 01:15, 2 September 2008 (UTC)
I don't want anyone to "excise parts of conversations", I want whole sections which are no longer immediately relevant to be moved to an archive, because right now I have no real idea which sections I should be reading to be caught up on the substantive issues currently being discussed (and I bet I'm not alone, either). AnonMoos (talk) 01:25, 2 September 2008 (UTC)
Mostly the titles of the sections accurately indicate whether they are about policy or content. Avoid anything named with an acronym. Paul B (talk) 01:30, 2 September 2008 (UTC)
Please note that I created an archive page for this talk page a few days ago—you can find the Wikilink at the top. Feel free to boldly move threads into it if they don't seem to be active any longer. You can do it by cut&paste. Looie496 (talk) 17:31, 2 September 2008 (UTC)

just archive the stale sections, no need to invest any manpower in refactoring stuff. --dab (𒁳) 17:55, 2 September 2008 (UTC)

Since the debate is still going on on many of these topics, I would leave them place for a while. Removal of parts, like the last archival edit, can skew this talk page in one direction which I am sure editors would not want to do. Readers who are not editors are unlikely to check the archives. I do think talk page guides and chunks of articles can be reduced to links of course. SageMab (talk) 17:03, 5 September 2008 (UTC)
Actually, I'm confused about the archive page, as it looks as though a lot of sections are on this page and the archive page. Doug Weller (talk) 17:59, 5 September 2008 (UTC)
That's because SageMab reverted the edit here in which I deleted them after archiving, but didn't revert the edit to the archive page. Looie496 (talk) 01:36, 6 September 2008 (UTC)
SageMab -- since you seem to be the "inclusionist" here, it would be very helpful to the discussion to go through this talk page and the archive, and move to the archive (or delete from here if already copied to the archive) all sections/threads which are inactive, or are about issues which have been basically already been resolved (or at least talked through to mutual exhaustion). That would greatly simplify things for those who might want to get involved in improving this article, but feel rather daunted by the past "discussions" here... AnonMoos (talk) 00:10, 6 September 2008 (UTC)


I couldn't figure out why Sagemab would archive what he did and leave all the attacks, talk page guidelines, etc on this page, which was over 260 kb. So, I've deleted the already archived stuff down to the Evola debate. I think we can, chronologically, archive more. Guidelines advise new editors to read the archives, so that shouldn't be a problem. I've left the archive page as it was except removed the section Sagemab archived as I've put it back, it's too recent to archive I think. Doug Weller (talk) 06:04, 8 September 2008 (UTC)

Qualifications (is he a graduate? chartered surveyor? qualified Russian interpreter? Navy veteran?)

  • In what subject, if any, was Michell awarded a degree at Cambridge University?
  • Is he really a qualified Chartered Surveyor?

Note: in England, whilst anyone can call themselves a surveyor (just as they can call themselves an accountant, doctor, lawyer, professor, reverend, estate agent, or lord), you are only allowed to call yourself a chartered surveyor if you hold a professional qualification from the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors.

The RICS publishes its directory of members online, which includes non-practising and retired members . I searched for all members with the surname "Michell". Click here for the results. 7 members are listed as having this surname, and none of them is listed as being called "John".

  • He is also described in the main article as being a qualified Russian interpreter. What qualification is referred to? From the Institute of Linguists? Or perhaps from some other institution? If so, from which one?
  • Lastly, a background with the Navy is mentioned. Did he belong to this service for a time? If so, with what rank, and for how long? Perhaps he worked for them in a civilian capacity? (talk) 00:41, 8 September 2008 (UTC)
Michell served in the Royal Navy, not in a civilian post. Find a fact to either prove or disprove this. His fluency in the Russian language has served the Crown. Ask any of his many publishers such as Ace, Avon, Balentine, Harper Collins, Thames & Hudson, Harcourt Brace Jovanovich and Columbia University Press who repeatedly use the Royal Navy, Chartered surveyor and Russian interpreter material on his promotional material and dust jackets on many books, perhaps? Publishing companies employ fact checkers as they do not want to enter into litigation for fraudulent claims. I doubt they are either fools or charletons. (talk) 01:22, 8 September 2008 (UTC)
SM, is there some reason why you are now editing as an anonymous IP? Paul B (talk) 01:18, 8 September 2008 (UTC)
He does this quite a bit, it is extremely confusing. If we don't have a fact to prove he was in the Royal Navy, it shouldn't be there. The only person, by the way, who could sue the publisher for calling Michell an interpreter, etc would be Michell, so that argument (argument from incredulity I believe) doesn't wash. I note though that it wouldn't be surprising if he was a surveyor as well as a landlord. Doug Weller (talk) 06:02, 8 September 2008 (UTC)
There is a difference between being a chartered surveyor and being just a surveyor, which is something that anyone can call themselves and would just mean they know something about assessing the state or value of a property. Being a chartered surveyor means you are a member of the professional body, RICS. Currently acceptable qualifications for RICS membership are:
- a RICS-accredited 3 or 4 year full-time degree in surveying, or a RICS-accredited 4 year sandwich degree in a relevant subject including 1 year of work experience;
- a RICS-accredited degree or diploma, studied part-time;
- a 1-3 year RICS-accredited postgraduate qualification in surveying, gained by graduates in subjects not related to surveying;
And all candidates must also complete an Assessment of Professional Competence, which requires at least 2 years of practical training and experience along with a practical assessment.
So actually, not very many landlords are chartered surveyors! (talk) 12:01, 8 September 2008 (UTC)
If publishers could be successfully sued just for printing something false, the world would be different from what it is. No court would take the view that saying that someone had been in the Navy, when they hadn't, was injurious, in itself, to anyone. (In some circumstances, the Navy, however, might wish to make a statement, but I strongly doubt that one would be able to find a case where they have sued because someone claimed to have been in the Navy but was lying). It is almost always the authors themselves who write the dust-jacket 'about the author' material. Generally speaking, checking these facts (so long as they are fairly mundane!) would not be part of getting a book 'lawyered up'. I have written a number of books, many of which have been published by major houses, and I've never known any such checking up on my doctorate or the other credentials to which I refer. (Admittedly this may be because my agent knows two of the professors at the department where I took my doctorate, but I digress). Please note that I am not calling anyone a liar here. I am just asking for reliable sources on the issues of whether Michell is a university graduate, qualified interpreter, Navy veteran (if so, what rank?), or chartered surveyor. If these assertions cannot be supported, they cannot go into Wikipedia.
Having looked for chartered surveyors with the surname Michell, I found none called John. Anyone can replicate my search at the RICS website. As far as it goes, this is a hard fact. It means there is no chartered surveyor called John Michell. I am not suggesting this should be mentioned on any Wikipedia main page, but if it were relevant, it would certainly meet the verifiability criterion.
Personally I doubt that Michell ever qualified as a chartered surveyor. But maybe I am wrong. If he did, the only ways to explain his absence from the RICS membership list would be a) he was struck off, or b) for some unknown reason, he took the highly unusual step of asking not to be listed. The list includes both non-practising and retired members, so his not practising would not be a reason for him to be left off the list. I have never come across someone who refers to himself as a chartered accountant or chartered surveyor and is not on the relevant professional body's membership list. Why would they do so? Fear of reprisals from angry ex-clients? Nope, because their ex-clients would know how to find them anyway. I do not believe a person is actually allowed to call themselves a chartered surveyor but not be checkable on the list. Saying, of course, that they once qualified as a chartered accountant or surveyor, but omitting to mention that they were struck off, may, perhaps be allowed. I take on board that I am unaware of any source in which Michell actually says, in the present tense, "I am a chartered surveyor".
I suggest that his own statements on dust-jackets should not be counted as reliable sources. I am not saying they are not true! But of the four assertions, I have checked one, and have not found anything to support it.
If anyone believes he was in the Navy as a serviceman, rather than working for the Navy as a civilian, please could they provide a reliable source, including for his rank; and if possible, the date of his enlistment and discharge. (talk) 11:51, 8 September 2008 (UTC)
Note to Moreschi - I disagree with your removal of my tags asking for verification of Michell's qualifications as a chartered surveyor and a Russian interpreter, and his service in the Navy. You say this is "basic bio", but it should not go into the encyclopedia if it is not verifiable. I refer you to the link I gave to the RICS membership list. John Michell is not a chartered surveyor - this is verifiable. Perhaps he qualified in the past and was then struck off, but a source would be needed to affirm this. There is no concept of "basic bio that is so basic that it does not require verifiability", and a publisher's blurb does not count as verifiability. It is clear that this individual has been presenting himself as more scholarly than he actually is, so there are certainly question marks over all three assertions.
I have now looked at the policy document here, wherein it is stated that Unsourced or poorly sourced contentious material about living persons should be removed immediately. Do not tag it; remove it. The statements that Michell qualified as a chartered surveyor (he is verifiably not one now) and Russian interpreter, and that he served in the Navy, are unsourced and contentious, and therefore as per this policy, should be removed. Please could either this occur or verification be found for all three. Many thanks. The only verifiable fact unearthed so far is that he is not, at the current time, allowed to call himself a chartered surveyor, and would be committing an offence if he did so. (talk) 18:54, 10 September 2008 (UTC)

Michells' 3 Page Essay on Evola Not Taken Out Of Context

I think it would be helpful to see the material from the paragraphs in the above section as it is quoted out of context by PaulB and alters the meaning to those who may not have read the essay. If you read this short 3 page essay it starts out with a discussion of William Cobbet who "as a traditionalist, Cobbet detested socialism, materialism, moralism and schemes to improve the mentalities of the masses". Michell goes on "It comes as a shock to be reminded how closely this picture resembles the ideal image of fascism. But there is a world of difference between the gross literalism and inhumanity of a totalitarian system and the high idealism of a radical traditonalist". Michell makes no excuses for Evola; he describes him. He goes on to continue in the following text block so that his words are not taken out of context as in PaulB's edit:

Most of us are familiar with that sort of accusation-against one's tone, attitude or general spirit. Bullies and witch-hunters are always on the look-out for fascism, racism, sexism, elitism, loyalism, religious sentiment or whatever is considered most incorrect at the time. In Evola they find their ideal victim. In his most powerful book, Revolt Against the Modern World, he spoke of manliness, mystical soverignty and legitmate authority. He spoke also about occult politics and the collusions between democrats and demogogues to effemiise society and dumb it down. Inevitability, he brought in the Jews, associating the Jewish mentality with materialism. That makes him, if you like, an anti-Semite. But he was not speaking racially, or against the Jewish tradition which he respected. His reference was to a state of mind, occuring in Jews and Gentiles alike: the state of mind that is reflected in the chaos of the modern world.

So you can see from the longish quote I included above that Michell says there is a difference between fascism ("inhumanity of a totalitarian system") and "high idealism of a radical traditionalist". He makes no excuses for Evola, he just describes him in the final paragraph of this short 3-page article from the Oldie, pp. 146 to 148. Michell continues

Evola was aware that his ideas were too idealistic to be practical in modern conditions. Right-wing activists called them "disabling" but he would not compromise with would-be followers. The counter-revolution, he insisted must first happen in the mind, with the return of sanity and traditional wisdom. I go along with that. It is the old and orthodox rad-trad doctrine.

Michell does not suport totalitarianism in any shape or form so you would not call him a "supporter" of Evola's ideas despite the comment from PaulB about what is "pretty clear". No one ever has called Michell a supporter, or a follower of Evola (see Archive 1)...except on these talk pages as others have pointed out. His essay on Evola and this article in the anthology from the Oldie is a very small blip in his writings. (talk) 05:16, 10 September 2008 (UTC) And yes, Michell did write about eccentrics of every stripe. (talk) 05:24, 10 September 2008 (UTC)

SM, you really are quite unbelievable. It has become clear that it is impossible to engage in a meaningful debate with you about content when you make wholly false assertions such as your claim that the passage was "quoted out of context by PaulB and alters the meaning". I included the quotation in context very carefully, and went out of my way to summarise the passage you have now copied and bolded ('Michell goes on to discuss Evola's attacks on "the Jewish mentality", admitting that Evola was an anti-Semite, but insisting that this was a reference to "Jewish" spirit rather than race, and that non-Jews could also be possessed of this "materialist" mentality, which is "a state of mind that is reflected in the modern world".'). So why do you falsely claim that I misrepresented it. You say "Michell does not suport totalitarianism in any shape or form so you would not call him a "supporter" of Evola's ideas despite the comment from PaulB about what is "pretty clear"." And yet what I actually wrote was "it's pretty clear that Michell sees himself as a supporter of Evola's ideas, even defending the stuff about the "the Jewish mentality", but he does his best to dissociate these ideas from racism and fascism." So your assertion that Michell does not support totalitarianism and therefore you cannot call him a "supporter" of Evola's ideas is false. He supports his ideas, but tries to dissociate these ideas from racism and fascism, just as I said. Do you understand this? Paul B (talk) 12:50, 10 September 2008 (UTC)


I have semiprotected the article in order to discourage 3RR evasion, and improve debate discipline. I do encourage the anonymous users to use a (single) account and continue editing with that. Wikipedia is open to anomymous edits in order to encourage passers-by to fix and add information, but as soon as you find yourself dedicated to an editing dispute, you should use an account to facilitate proper WP:DR. --dab (𒁳) 07:27, 10 September 2008 (UTC)

It looks very much as though SageMab is posting from an IP address as well to make it look as though there is more support for his position. Doug Weller (talk) 13:26, 10 September 2008 (UTC)
Editors may have different opinions. Those who do have been not treated well on these talk pages (see back and forth with administator Ty above for example). I am not SageMab. That is as incorrect as DougWeller asking on this page previously if PhilKnight was this IP, which he said correctly that he is not. It is very obvious from WhoIs that and may share an IP or be the same person as they both have the same axe to grind about Evola. Dbachmann and DougWeller have admitted on these pages and their talk pages and colleague Moreschi talk pages that they are either skeptics or dislike what they call pseudoscience and all have a history of editing on race and Neo-Nazi related articles. I really think there is a dedicated attempt to discredit a BLP with this poorly 3rd party supported, undue weight Evola issue. I have seen a dedicated attempt to discredit, blank (as in the case of Moreschi) reliable third party sources such as the notable academic Michael Vickers comment on Michell in the Metrology section of the article. The good source Vickers and professor emeritus from Virginia Polytech backup information should of been edited down and rewritten but not totally erased from this article. I have seen edits on the article and talk pages here erased as DougWeller has admitted (whoops he said) on the talk page of SageMab that I have read. A recent edit on the article page reverted Plato in the lede and replaced it with Evola instead of just adding Evola and taking Plato to the talk page. John Michell has spent much of his career writing about Plato and has been called, and has called himself, a Neo-Platonist. Why was this important fact in this authors' writings not corrected or discussed on this talk page? I do think that this article had too many "pro" pieces about Michell and far too many quotes and these have been deleted or gutted of content instead of being pared down and rewritten which would of advanced the article. Two negative blockquote reviews of Michell, a good thing to have, are prominent in this article but there does to need to be a balance for them. What's going on here? (talk) 17:42, 10 September 2008 (UTC)
Oh, this is just silly. I've blocked this person for a week. "I am not SageMab" is the last straw. Of course you are - he signed one of your edits earlier. Tendentious editing is not permissible. Moreschi (talk) 18:11, 10 September 2008 (UTC)
False, noone is SageMab but SageMab. As the late US Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan said: "Everyone is entitled to his own opinion but not to his own facts." To 216, You are not supposed to change another editor's comments Editor 216 so please do not change mine. I assume you did not know better. It created problems for both of us. Morechi cursed at you on your talk page so I will assume that he thought he was cursing at me. Wrong, Moreschi. Not productive, not nice to curse at either one of us.SageMab (talk) 18:44, 11 September 2008 (UTC)
I was about to save this edit, I'll still post it: ":I wrote nothing on SageMab's talk page about anything being erased. So far as I can see, the only person using the word 'erased' is you and SageMab. The two of you are the only ones using 'balance' in the way you have. And the only editors using the phrase 'wise words'. You did some copyediting of a post of SageMab's which would be strange if you weren't the same person [22]. It shouldn't be surprising that I raise the question." Doug Weller (talk) 18:31, 10 September 2008 (UTC)
And "was put to bed" is another favoured shared phrase. Paul B (talk) 20:22, 10 September 2008 (UTC)
This looks like a lynching to me from some very opinionated dudes with pov issues. (talk) 00:34, 11 September 2008 (UTC)

NeoPlatonist? Creationist?

He may well have been a Neo-Platonist, but we still need a reliable source. He was certainly anti-left [23] and a Creationist as that web page says.. Writing about Michael Cremo's very fringe book Human Devolution: A Vedic Alternative To Darwin's Theory, Michell said ""It is a master work. Human Devolution exposes the fatal weaknesses in Darwinism and relates the tradition doctrine in a most compelling and attractive way. This book deserves to be widely known. It is a firm corrective to modern errors and a guide to new standards in thinking." Doug Weller (talk) 18:40, 10 September 2008 (UTC)

Does this quote prove he supports Creationism or (merely) that he opposes evolution? While Creationists conflate the two positions (arguing that because evolution is "flawed", Creationism must be correct), I don't see that we should. Phiwum (talk) 20:40, 10 September 2008 (UTC)
He seems to believe in some sort of Blavatsky-esque model of human development from "pure" spirit to degenerated materialism. I don't think it's helpful to call that Creationism, since that suggsts a Christian model. Paul B (talk) 21:59, 10 September 2008 (UTC)
Neoplatonist? Yep, no doubt. Creationist? Nope, is that a joke? Past tense? What is that supposed to mean? John Michell has a reputation for being a little bit leftie, a Communist-disliker, a pantheist who doesn't believe in Darwin. That link Weller provides says he is a Neo-Platonist, that's it. John Michell is a classical scholar so from looking at his work I see he follows The Golden Mean, the Middle Path. Neither right or left. Sensible. That way you are not burdened down by your own opinions. Michael Cremo is a Hindu.WoodyMoor (talk) 02:47, 11 September 2008 (UTC)
For any of these we would need reliable sources, not our personal interpretations. And Paul makes an excellent point that Creationist suggests a Christian model. Michell is anti-evolution, quite clearly. Doug Weller (talk) 06:29, 11 September 2008 (UTC)
Yes, reliable sources, not poorly supported like a link to New Age magazine Heathen Harvest interviewing a controversial publisher of one of his books. I have never seen anything to support your provocative opinion that he was "certainly anti-left".WoodyMoor (talk) 07:04, 11 September 2008 (UTC)
I wouldn't dream of using that as a source for the article. Please don't use words like 'provocative', they don't help. I've studied Plato, and can't see how a neo-Platonist could be anything but anti-left, but I'm quite happy to be shown that I'm wrong. Doug Weller (talk) 07:16, 11 September 2008 (UTC)

Michell Not Baconian Nor Oxfordian on Shakespeare Authorship Question?

Most reviews of his Who Wrote Shakespeare concluded that Michell did not come out for one theory over another. I see from the edit summary the quote from Francis Carr on this article was removed by the editor who removed the fact needed Oxfordian tag from the article. I don't see any support of Michell thumbs up on the crankish Oxfordian theory. Why was this tag removed? Discuss. Am I also going to get stomped here for mentioning this? (talk) 00:27, 11 September 2008 (UTC) I just upgraded my IP to a name. This is my edit of the start of this section.WoodyMoor (talk) 02:22, 11 September 2008 (UTC)

Sockpuppetry results

It has been confirmed by checkuser Sam Korn (talk · contribs) that SageMab (talk · contribs), WoodyMoor (talk · contribs), (talk · contribs · deleted contribs · filter log · WHOIS · RDNS · RBLs · http · block user · block log), and (talk · contribs · deleted contribs · filter log · WHOIS · RDNS · RBLs · http · block user · block log) are all the same person. Accordingly, the IPs will get lengthy blocks, and the main accounts will both be indef blocked. Moreschi (talk) 19:15, 11 September 2008 (UTC)

All done now, and tagged. In the end a predictable result for this lengthy saga. Moreschi (talk) 19:25, 11 September 2008 (UTC)
Thanks. And there I was trying to be conciliatory with WoodyMoor. (His response wasn't exactly conciliatory). :-) Doug Weller (talk) 19:39, 11 September 2008 (UTC)
To be fair, he was sort of convincing, but when I saw Woody using familiar acronyms like "BLP" I thought "hmm" - and then remembered SageMab had been blocked for socking before. Moreschi (talk) 19:43, 11 September 2008 (UTC)
I'd like to apologise for interjecting on the sock-user's behalf. I hoped that he was a reasonable user, but his failure to even acknowledge portions of my advice should have tipped me off. This article has improved massively recently, and hopefully it can now attain a much better status. Verbal chat 22:20, 11 September 2008 (UTC)
Well, all I can say is that I'm shocked at this outcome. Who'da thunk that those distinct voices were all sockpuppets? Amazing. More seriously, I don't see anything that Verbal has to apologize for. Assuming good faith and reasonableness is surely no sin. Phiwum (talk) 01:35, 12 September 2008 (UTC)


This was announced on the Fortean Times message board by one of the magazine's sub-editors so I think we can be confident that he has passed away. They have also posted a quick bio [24]. That said I don't have a reliable source as it is early days but will keep an eye out for one. (Emperor (talk) 14:03, 24 April 2009 (UTC))

Also Loren Coleman has posted on this [25], his source is Gordon Rutter (president of the Charles Fort Institute and head of the Edinburgh Fortean Society) and if he says it is so then that is good enough for me. (Emperor (talk) 19:43, 24 April 2009 (UTC))
cryptomundo is not a WP:RS. -- The Red Pen of Doom 17:37, 25 April 2009 (UTC)
I'm not saying it was - it is good enough for me, not an encyclopaedia (there is often a short fall between what we know and what we can prove). The one added should do for now (although I'd hope the papers in the next day might do a full obit) as Owen is the sub-editor I mentioned. (Emperor (talk) 15:49, 26 April 2009 (UTC))

'John Michell died 24th of April 2009'

I was sad to learn that John Michell died at Poole, Dorset, 24th April, 2009 (yesterday). Will somebody please update the page on him? --Nathair (talk) 17:10, 25 April 2009 (UTC)

(moved to bottom) We've already updated the article. Was there something in particular you wanted changing? Where did you hear about the death (we could use more sources). Update: It's been changed back until we find a good source that he has, in fact, died. Verbal chat 17:35, 25 April 2009 (UTC)

New York Times error

NB: The cataclysm of capitalism has perhaps caused the NYT to cut back on fact-checkers. Its obituary inaccurately gives Poole rather than Stoke Abbott as place of death. Repeat: Stoke Abbott is correct. So for this purpose NYT should not be regarded as a reliable source. Wingspeed (talk) 10:11, 3 May 2009 (UTC)

Well, at least it includes the classic line "Mr. Michell, who incessantly rolled his own cigarettes, sometimes using tobacco"... SFriendly.gif -- AnonMoos (talk) 15:56, 3 May 2009 (UTC)

Obituaries section

@The Red Pen of Doom Thank you for drawing attention to the somewhat bloated condition of this sub-section. Steps certainly need to be taken to incorporate as many of these as is appropriate into the main body of the article in the form of citation links. The irony is that the two templates just added have themselves the effect of further swelling this section by about one third.

Both for that reason, and because

Template 1 reads, "This article's external links may not follow Wikipedia's content policies or guidelines," I've just taken the opportunity to spend some time carefully re-reading the policies and guidlelines to which it links. I conclude that they violate neither, except possibly in regard to total number. No upper limit is specified (certainly not a 'couple of the best" you suggest.) I therefore conclude that common sense is to apply.

Template 2: "This section is written like a memorial. Please help rewrite it from a neutral point of view to establish the notability of the subject." The section does not meet the memorial criteria linked and detailed therein. Neutral point of view and notability: each cited source is a national newspaper, with the exception of the BBC and the only currently available online account of the memorial service. Almost by definition, formal obituary sections are regarded as "neutral", and the fact that they have chosen to devote a notice to the subject in the first place automatically confers notability by implication, even when addenda in the form of letters amplifying the original notice. The notability of the memorial service: I gather the print editions of both the Daily Mail and the London Evening Standard carried reports of the event. The heir to the British throne considered it sufficiently notable to send his personal representative, who apparently accompanied the presiding vicar and the immediate family down the aisle. "Fricken ridiculous" would not seem to indicate a neutral response.

On the grounds detailed above, I am removing both templates. This does not, however, detract from the priorities acknowledged in my second sentence. Wingspeed (talk) 23:50, 3 July 2009 (UTC)

each external link should be a "unique resourse" and considering the number of obituaries just in the list, I cannot see how any of them will meet that criteria. We also have blogs and other self published sources. And a section consisting solely of a dozen links to obituaries cannot be described as anything other than a memorial.-- The Red Pen of Doom 17:02, 4 July 2009 (UTC)
A list of obituaries is just a list. It does not correspond to the intent of the memorial template which states that "This section is written like a memorial. Please help rewrite it from a neutral point of view to establish the notability of the subject." A list of links cannot be "written like a memorial" and the request to "establish the notability of the subject" is absurd, since the number and publishers of the obituaries do just that. Also, it is impossible to rewrite a list from "a neutrral point of view". The obituaries are largely in mainstream reliable sources: the Guardian even describes his theories as "bizarre", and others include sceptial views of his works. Paul B (talk) 17:19, 4 July 2009 (UTC)

Request for Comment - External obituary links

Does the inclusion of the 12 external links to obituaries and tributes in this article seem appropriate for this biographical article? -- The Red Pen of Doom 18:01, 12 July 2009 (UTC)

First, do you have any additional points to offer which were not already previously discussed in the subsection immediately above? -- AnonMoos (talk) 18:35, 12 July 2009 (UTC)
Just the wording from our guideline: "Wikipedia's purpose is not to include a comprehensive list of external links related to each topic. No page should be linked from a Wikipedia article unless its inclusion is justifiable." And an urge to follow the intent of WP:NOTMEMORIAL even if it does not explicitely say "there is no need to list every obituary published about the deceased". -- The Red Pen of Doom 18:48, 12 July 2009 (UTC)
I don't know why this article needs a list of obituary links. The fact of his death should obviously be referenced but that should be done within the article with at most a couple good obituary links. Perhaps some of the obituaries can be used for references for other facts within the article but it already seems to be well referenced. Including a special section consisting only of obituary links is excessive and not necessary.-Schnurrbart (talk) 03:14, 16 July 2009 (UTC)
  • Cut it down to a few. Ideally, his own official site should carry these links, not wikipedia. Contact the site's editor and ask him/her to include all those links. ► RATEL ◄ 16:36, 19 July 2009 (UTC)
  • No, obituary articles (as opposed to an obituary notice without biography) are biographical opinion pieces, conventionally written by a single author. Unless there are widely differing points of view in different notable obituary articles, there is little value in linking to more than one authoritative example. Further, even one would be better cited as a reference rather than floating in External links.—Ash (talk) 12:07, 2 August 2009 (UTC)
  • No - I agree with Ash, they don't belong in the links and if there is a really good one it can be used as a reference. Dougweller (talk) 13:43, 2 August 2009 (UTC)

Obituaries as potential sources

Per RfC above, the Obituary section has been removed from external links. I have placed them here in case any of the reliable sources contain encyclopedic information that someone wants to include in the article. -- The Red Pen of Doom 01:25, 12 August 2009 (UTC)