Talk:Nathaniel Branden/Archive 1

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Archive 1 Archive 2

"biocentric psychology"

The last paragraph in the introductory section refers to "biocentric psychology" - a term Branden dropped fairly early on - as though the term is still current. I am going to amend the relevant passage to reflect this by inserting "what he initially termed..." Andrewws (talk) 10:48, 30 September 2011 (UTC)

sentence completion

The 2nd to last paragraph falsely claims that Branden developed "the sentence completion test" which is false. I will switch the word "the" to "a". See: Briholt (talk) 00:21, 31 October 2009 (UTC)


date of birth? Payrard 15:02, 24 May 2005 (UTC)


This article should be mostly about his groundbreaking work in psychotherapy, with his relationship with Rand as a sidenote. As it is today, it reads like he is mostly known as Rand's lover Cshay 22:52, 16 December 2005 (UTC)

Nathaniel Branden an Objectivist?

I'm deleting Nathaniel Branden from the Objectivist category; he personally has rejected the label, and he roundly criticized Objectivism in his essay "The Benefits and Hazard of the Philosophy of Ayn Rand" available at LaszloWalrus 23:17, 22 February 2006 (UTC)

Question - what is the use of categories? It was my assumption that they are used to quickly find related things... While I agree with you that NB may not be an "Objectivist" in the strict ARI sense it seems to me that as an important part of the movement he should be tagged w/ something to that effect. His large body of writing (especially his earlier writing) is certainly "Objectivist". Perhaps he should be under the category "Objectivism?" I've made no changes as I completely understand the way you're using the word "Objectivist." I suspect that AR herself would grant only 1 (or perhaps 2 if you count LP) Objectivists. All others would be "Students of Objectivism." Using the word "Objectivist" in the strict sense for the purpose of wiki categories would mean eliminating all but AR from the category. This would of course make the category somewhat useless. Suggestions? HSchickel 05:42, 23 February 2006 (UTC)

That's a good point. The purpose of the category is to let readers find articles about those associated with the Objectivist movement, including Branden. Note that David Kelley is in the Objectivists category,even though he schismed from the ARI, showing that for the purposes of this category, Objectivism clearly isn't limited to the One True Church (tm) instead encompasses all the various movements that spawned from it.
While Branden was excommunicated by Rand herself, he still agreed with most elements of Randian Objectivism, differing primarily in that he felt a need to fil in the gaps left by what he perceived as Rand's ignorance of psychology. In short, it's not as if he woke up one morning and decided to worship whims, be altruistic and join a commune. He's still an Objectivist, even though he's no longer a high priest. For this reason, I'll be restoring the category.
By the way, I fully expect LaszloWalrus to now vandalize the David Kelley article. I'll revert, of course, but it's just the sort of thing he'd do. Alienus 06:29, 23 February 2006 (UTC)

David Kelley is in the Objectivist category because he identifies himself as an Objectivist; although I would disupte that he really is one, that would be POV. I will therefore leave him in the category. Branden is a different case for two reasons; one, Ayn Rand said that he was no longer affiliated with Objectivism (it's in the introductions to Capitalism, the Unknown Ideal and The Virtue of Selfishness. Two, Branden himself stated that while he agrees with Objectivism "in broad fundamentals" he disagrees with many of its claims regarding ethics, the relationship of reason and emotion, and politics. That is enough to exclude him from the category. I would support putting him in the general Objectivism category, however, since he was a quite important figure. As to the ad hominem that I will now "vandalize" the David Kelley article, I don't think that merits a response except to say that if you want to attack me personally, please do so on my user page. LaszloWalrus 23:28, 23 February 2006 (UTC)

LaszloWalrus claims that Nathaniel Branden can't be an Objectivist because he was personally cast out of the fold by Ayn Rand. But his argument presupposes that Ayn Rand was Objectivism. Besides, Leonard Peikoff cast David Kelley out of the fold... More to the point, Nathaniel Branden doesn't use the O-word and David Kelley does.-RLCampbell (talk) 01:40, 5 August 2009 (UTC)


His taste in wine? What a useless factoid.

True. And no source is identified. It looks factually dubious as well as irrelevant. Klmarcus 21:30, 2 May 2006 (UTC)

ummm... actually it is exactly this sort of information that makes wikipedia lean and neutral in presenting his personal portrait. This is one part of him, makign him as a whole, a man. It is not "factually dubious", as anyone with an introductory level of knowledge on this man would know. It is certainly not irrelevant. Come now, lets not begin some insane revert war.


"He received a Ph.D. in psychology from a small, unaccredited institution known as the California Graduate Institute." According to their website:, they are accredited by "the Society of Modern Psychoanalysis which is an internationanl organization recognizing modern psychoanalytic education and programs" and have approvals from several bodies. So is this a valid statement? It almost seems like the claim is Branden doesn't have a real PhD.

The university isn't accredited by regional accreditation associations like most reputable schools are. In fact, it was denied accreditation because it lacks many of the features of a decent university. While the school may have made some progress in recent years, when Branden was there, it was not a respected institution. CRCulver 18:03, 26 July 2006 (UTC)
Your statement "...when Branden was there, it was not a respected institution" libels both that school and Branden. Wikipedia takes this kind of thing very seriously. Unless you are ready with authoritative sources that prove your statement you have no right to defame a living person or an existing organization. Check the Wikipedia policy on libel. SteveWolfer 09:04, 18 September 2006 (UTC)

CGI is an "Approved" school on the list maintained by the BBSE (Board of Behavioral Science Examiners). They are the licensing arm of the State of California for therapists. Here is the link: CGI was also "Approved" at the time Branden attended. The source cited, Jeff Walker, is known to be extremely hostile to Branden, is known to contain numerous factual errors and has no scholastic value. The statement about Branden's Ph.D. amounts to an attack on the school, all of its Ph.D. graduates and Branden. I can only assume that any Wikipedia editor apprised of these facts will understand that continuing to leave this statement in the article would amount to an exercise of ill will and libelous intention. Steve 00:51, 10 January 2007 (UTC)

The book is not hostile to Branden. Read the thing. As for scholastic value, it is published by a respected publisher and contains appropriate citations for its material. There is no libellous intent here, just a desire to fully give the picture of a graduate of an institution, where accreditation is a significant detail. CRCulver 01:25, 10 January 2007 (UTC)
You are choosing to misunderstand or ignore the difference between "Accredited" and "Approved". You failed to even comment on the fact that the BBSE has always "Approved" the school. You are purposely letting yourself remain ignorant on subject of United States graduate-level certifications, while at the same time claiming a right to edit in that very same area. WP policy asks us to assume good faith, but that doesn't continue in the face of repeated libel attempts - intended or otherwise. Given that you don't live in the U.S., it is reasonable to ask if you familiar with all of the different levels and kinds of American schools certification. I am. I have degrees from several different universities. Any continued insertion of that statement will just be deleted and reported as libel attempts. Steve 02:04, 10 January 2007 (UTC)

Objectivist Living

I don't remember whether I changed a link on this page or not. Our website Objectivist Living was recently attacked by a hacker. We moved to a company with strong security and changed IP company. This broke many of our outside links. We are going around and correcting them as we find them. In other places on Wikipedia, this change resulted in the link being removed, however I made the changes without registering for an account, so that might have been the reason.

Objectivist Living is a place where NB posts at times (usually by sending me an e-mail, which I then put up - he has trouble navigating forum controls). Barbara regularly posts on OL. We also have a "Branden Corner" where their work and impact on Objectivism are discussed. We periodically feature articles by them.

I believe this qualifies as pertinent to the subject matter and not just advertising. May I put the link here?


As time has passed and no answer, I added the link to The Branden Corner. There is a great deal of information about Nathaniel Branden here that is hard to find anywhere else, especially as regards his involvement with Objectivism.


Could I have a second opinion, please?

I have tried to include a link to Objectivist Living, especially as regards our Branden Corner. If NB were contacted by you, I have no doubt whatsoever that he would endorse the link being included. He is a member of OL, he links to us from his site and he posts on our site.

If criticism of him is included, why is not a place where a lot of friendly information about him is also provided? This smacks of bias and trying to favor the criticism. I have asked twice for an explanation, but the person "Crculver" simply removes the link and provides no explanation.

Is it possible to get a second opinion?


I did provide an explanation, WP policy doesn't condone people adding links to their own sites. Furthermore, see the warnings in WP:NOT. It's not a matter of bias, it's a matter of people not advertising their wares here. CRCulver 20:00, 3 September 2006 (UTC)

I would agree with you if I were simply advertising a site. But I believe NB's activities - and the large amount of information about him on OL - warrant inclusion as an informative place about him and his work. OL links are provided in other pertinent places on Wikipedia regarding the Brandens and Objectivism. And after all, you do provide advertising for a book that harshly criticizes NB. I just looked at the rules. Here is a quote from them:

"There is nothing wrong with adding one or more useful content-relevant links to an article..."

Is it possible to get a second opinion since you seem to disagree with this?


You're welcome to protest through the appropriate fora if you wish, but since you're being so insist on including the link, you probably have something shady to gain from its inclusion here, which means I'll be putting up a fight and gathering other editors to look at the issue. CRCulver 20:17, 3 September 2006 (UTC)

Please gather other editors. That is precisely what I have been asking for. I get the impression you have an anti-NB bias and wish to control access to information favorable about him. I have nothing shady to gain. My site is non-profit, very informative and particularly "content-relevant." I merely wish to provide a secondary source of information about the Brandens. It is a labor of love. Michael Stuart Kelly 20:27, 3 September 2006 (UTC)

I have nothing against Branden. In fact, I know little about the polemics he's involved in, I arrived here in a rather roundabout way. I've never stopped anyone from adding favourable information about him here (although no one has really tried, it's a low-traffic article). It's only linkspam that I am fighting against. CRCulver 20:30, 3 September 2006 (UTC)

I agree with fighting linkspam. I do not post links to my site in inappropriate places on Wikipedia as a matter of integrity in supporting the Wikipedia effort. If you would take a look at the last link I provided on the Branden Corner (, I am pretty sure you will see the content relevance. There is a great deal of polemics regarding NB's contribution to Objectivism and very few places to get actual information about it. My site is one of the few places on the Internet. It has been referenced often (both for and against) by high-profile people in the Objectivist subculture.

I would be willing to provide some of the information on my site to the Wikipedia article - like a complete list of his works considered official Objectivism by Ayn Rand (as per public statement). These are mostly works that were published in The Objectivist Newsletter and The Objectivist, some of which continue to be included in The Virtue of Selfishness and Capitalism: The Unknown Ideal. There is some other good stuff like this on OL, too. Actually, there is another excellent link that I think should go up. At The Objectivism Reference Center (and I am not affiliated with that in any way), there is a timeline of Ayn Rand and the Brandens ( I know of no other place where this information is available online. Michael Stuart Kelly 20:52, 3 September 2006 (UTC)


The source that the school is unaccredited is Jeff Walker's The Ayn Rand Cult (Open Court, 1998). While the school claims accreditation on the basis of some general agencies of questionable authority, it lacks the regional accreditation that gives respectability to most American academic institutions. (Note that Walker's book is generally positive with regards to Branden against the rest of Rand's followers and Rand herself, so it shouldn't be seen just as some snarky attack). CRCulver 23:25, 5 September 2006 (UTC)

This seems to be in dispute...


The wording used in the article seems to skirt if not violate the NPOV requirements of WP. The man has published a dozen or so books through a number of reliable publishing houses with his PhD... Perhaps this is a case where one should assume good will. If that's not acceptable please at the very least thoroughly document in the main article the accusation that his degree is perhaps a sham.

Cheers HSchickel 03:40, 8 September 2006 (UTC)

Accreditation is complex. There are state level accreditations, various private, national accreditation organizations, and it all varies by both degree level and by discipline. Also, schools are often chosen for the professors not the accreditation. And in psychology it becomes even more complex when you consider choices made between eclectic course offerings versus schools with a uniform theoretical orientation. Then there is the consideration of a very academic approach versus an experiential approach. Branden has taught courses at the doctoral level to practicing therapists. His academic qualification's have never been an issue. His books are taught at leading universities. It would seem to be a case of ill-will to use an unverified statement found in a book that attacks Branden. SteveWolfer 04:33, 18 September 2006 (UTC)

The book doesn't attack Branden. He is generally presented as a protagonist in the polemics that the book discusses. However, the book does show that the school was not accredited, and cites such problems as lack of a substantial library as reasons that it was so. It is not libellous except for those who want to ensure POV and remove any seemingly negative information here. The material is sourced, it should stand here. Removing sourced material can be considered vandalism. CRCulver 13:38, 18 September 2006 (UTC)
FWIW, I've just looked at the history above, and the first mention of accreditation is from a few years after Branden was there. CRCulver 13:44, 18 September 2006 (UTC)
why was the acceditation citation removed? it is a valid citation of something that was objectively true when the book was written, isn't it? --Buridan 00:18, 14 January 2007 (UTC)

Why does the status of the institute matter? We don't cite UCLA as a 'accredited' institution, so why should we mention the fact that CGI is uncredited? Not to mention the fact that according to this] it is an accredited institution.

Crazynas t 04:26, 1 March 2007 (UTC)

The reason I put the link to CGI is that there is one editor who keep putting the phrase "an unaccredited intstitution" after the name of the school. He got that from book that attacks Objectivism and is filled with errors. The school has been accredited since before Branden attended. I also checked with the state of california. But even with that this person kept making the libelous charge against not only Branden, but the school and everyone with a degree from the school. Steve 06:33, 1 March 2007 (UTC)
No, CrCulver's source is correct in this instance. California Graduate Institute is an unaccredited California approved school. See also at the official government site for the State of California. In addition, I think that it is questionable to link to promotional material from an institution in this matter, unless it can be linked as a ref for the information that the individual has been granted a PhD from there. Pia 11:43, 1 March 2007 (UTC)
The site you list states that the school is approved but not accredited which means the school does grant valid Ph.D. degrees. But CRCulver didn't put an approved institution he put an unaccredited institution - his intent was to demean. The information isn't promotional - it is about the school's accreditation history which is only needed because of CRCulver's edits. Steve 15:28, 1 March 2007 (UTC)
Being California approved but unaccredited is only "demeaning" if you are of the opinion that all higher learning institutions should be regionally and nationally accredited and if you think that regional accreditation should be the minimum standard for psychology licensure in California (which is the only state with this exception). I don't think that discussion is appropriate here. The only reason I am commenting on the above statements is that several of them in this thread (such as 'The school has been accredited since before [X] attended') are misrepresentations of facts. The school actually sought accreditation in the 80s and was denied. Please supply a reference that supports the statement that the subject of this article has a PhD from the school in question and make this and other additions to the article verifiable through independent sources. See WP:Attribution. Also, in fairness to CrCulvers, this user has long contributed in areas of spam patrolling in many, many different types of articles, and the accusations of non-NPOV against this user for deleting promotional links are hardly consistent with the guideline assume good faith towards those willing to be part of the voluntary spam control task force on Wikipedia. Pia 22:49, 1 March 2007 (UTC)
Steve, :Just to note, I don't really care about the status of the school, I think that the status of the school belongs in the article about the school not this individual. Pia, according to the CA accreditation website that "It is important to note that pursuant to AB 400, the number of approved schools cannot increase. The number can only decrease. Following is the list, current as of this printing, of unaccredited California approved schools." This is a good cite for CGI but not here.

Crazynas t 05:26, 2 March 2007 (UTC)

Note that I think the cite is fine, just that we don't need to talk about the status. Crazynas t 05:29, 2 March 2007 (UTC)
Dear Crazynas and Steve, I am not arguing for the inclusion of CGI's lack of accreditation in this article. My problem with the article, which I have not participated in by the way, is that it lacks published sources, with the exception of the subjects own webpage and the book by one of his critics. The only published source that supported the article's assertion that the subject has a PhD from CGI has now been removed, along with the entire reference section (!). Instead, a ref tag with a link to CGI's website has been inserted, a site which says nothing about Branden's PhD degree, and which doesn't even list him as being among the alumni. Obviously, it cannot serve as a reference for the statement that Branden has a PhD from there, (nor can it be used to assert that the school is accredited, mainly because it obviously is not, as per official government publications, despite various weasel phrases using "accredited" on the CGI history page). This is the reason I tend to agree with CRCulver that the link is insufficient as a reference and may be viewed as being inserted here mainly for promotional purposes, like he link to Objectivist Living. Concerning the polemic against CRCulver, it appears to me that he may have become involved in this article solely through link spam removal tasks, as per the above section, and not to be "unfriendly" or biased against the subject of the article as implied above. CRCulver states that "WP policy doesn't condone people adding links to their own sites.[...] It's not a matter of bias, it's a matter of people not advertising their wares here", and "I have nothing against Branden. In fact, I know little about the polemics he's involved in, I arrived here in a rather roundabout way. I've never stopped anyone from adding favourable information about him here (although no one has really tried, it's a low-traffic article). It's only linkspam that I am fighting against". I'd tend to assume good faith regarding that because I also find attribution in this article insufficient. Best, Pia 02:56, 3 March 2007 (UTC)
Just to be clear, I agree, the article needs sources, as soon as I get back to my parents house, I'll grab a book that has extensive info about the subject. I agree with this revision. I also really don't think that there was (intentional) linkspam here either, the link to the CGI website was added (possibly incorrectly), to refute the statement that CGI is unaccredited, NOT to promote the school. I agree that that link is superfluous and unneeded in this article. I applaud LW(linkwatch) as WP does have a high promotional value for websites, and this needs to be controlled, I just think that in this case, it was misguided or misinterpreted.

Crazynas t 04:46, 3 March 2007 (UTC)

The current version looks good to me regarding the accredition status. Crazynas t 23:44, 4 March 2007 (UTC)

Accreditation, discussion 2

Most Americans, upon being told that a person holds a Ph.D., assume that means one granted by an accredited institution. The fact that his degree is not from such an institution, it seems to me, is a relevant fact in assessing his academic credentials. Either the degree matters, in which case all the information should stay in; or it does not matter, in which case it should be removed entirely. You can't have it both ways and call it impartiality. --Orange Mike 23:52, 18 March 2007 (UTC)

What someone needs to know is this: Is that degree real or is it from a diploma mill or is it a fake? Branden's degree is real and the school is not a diploma mill - you must take the courses, do the work, pass the tests, and then, because we are talking about a state issued license to practice psychology - you have to show the state that you have a valid degree. Here are some of the remarks I made above: "Accreditation is complex. There are state level accreditations, various private, national accreditation organizations, and it all varies by both degree level and by discipline. Also, schools are often chosen for the professors not the accreditation. And in psychology it becomes even more complex when you consider choices made between eclectic course offerings versus schools with a uniform theoretical orientation. Then there is the consideration of a very academic approach versus an experiential approach." This school has accreditations from some organizations that are important to psychology and it is approved by the state of California to grant the Ph.D. The Western State Accreditation that it doesn't have is an accreditation that many small schools don't have - often it is because they don't possess an athletic department and gym or a large enough library. The state of california considers that a valid Ph.D. This whole ruckus was raised by people that want to cast aspersions on Branden for personal reasons of their own and they didn't care that it violated the principles of Wikipedia and responsible writing to do it. Steve 02:25, 19 March 2007 (UTC)
The question is not whether accredited or not, as it clearly is not at some level. The question is whether this should be a footnote or in the main text. That question is answered by considering the factual nature of the statement and npov for all readers. If some readers will be mislead by his academic qualifications, then it neends to be in the main article, if it is a minor point that matters to very few people then it is a footnote, and everything in between needs to be negotiated with care. I think given that this is a fact and that it qualifies his credentials in significant ways that prevent confusion, it should be in the main article. --Buridan 12:05, 19 March 2007 (UTC)
The problem here is that Buridan has history for making negative edits for anyone that has ever had anything to do with Objectivism. He is ignoring the fact that there is NOTHING to be mislead about - the state of California accepts that school's Ph.D and grants EXACTLY the same license as for ANY other school. It does NOT qualify his credentials. The only confusion is what is being created by those who are not editing with good faith. If anyone likes I'd be happy to share the many, many examples of Buridan's negative views in this area, like the one where he said Objectivism killed tens of millions of people. Steve 18:38, 19 March 2007 (UTC)
i think you would be well served to quote the whole dialogue, which was... not " Objectivism killed tens of millions of people", kindly portray events as they occured steve. the question is whether or not portraying the information without the accreditation line will confuse some people about the nature of his ph.d., if the answer is yes, then the information should go in the main article, if the answer is no, then it should go in a footnote. --Buridan 15:21, 21 March 2007 (UTC)
Here is the full quote: "it is not clear that objectivist philosophy through the guise of friedman and greenspan's neoliberalism has not killed tens of millions of poor around the world." Stripping off your weasel wording doesn't change its meaning one bit - you are still saying that Objectivism killed tens of millions of people. And to answer your question, the only confusion is in the attempt to portray his diploma as less than authentic. And the only reason to do that is a negative, personal POV - which that quote shows you have. Steve 16:38, 21 March 2007 (UTC)
and what was i replying to? is there any context there?... how can a fact be pov? if it is a matter of fact that it is a state recognized, but not accredited degree, shouldn't that be said? if by not saying it you are letting people believe that the degree is accredited? --Buridan 20:20, 21 March 2007 (UTC)

Accreditation, discussion 3

Back to the accreditation issue. Calling the school "unaccredited" now is technically correct, but in context, gives the impression that his degree is not valid. The current sources cannot back up the claim his degree is invalid or unaccredited, etc. The degree was awarded long before the current law and regulations came into effect in 1999, and the table in the link shows that the program met the vocational program approval requirements after 1991. IF Brandon's degree came from this institute between 1991 and 1999, his psychology degree is valid for practicing clinical psychology in the state of california. Any more, is not clear (to me at the present time). So, in sum, please do not put this back in, unless it can also be shown that the degree itself at the time it was granted is not valid. Otheus 21:55, 18 April 2007 (UTC)

The CGI has never been accredited, neither before nor after 1999. The change you refer to is that no NEW institutions will be state approved in California without accreditation. The new rules, introduced in 2001, stipulate that only schools initially approved before 1 July 1999 may continue to be California approved without being regionally accredited. Nothing changed in 1999 for California Graduate Institute in regards to the program or the degree they offer in psychology. The school is, and has always been, an unaccredited, California approved school. State approval versus regional accreditation has nothing to do with the "validity" of the degree "for practicing clinical psychology". To practice you have to pass a licensure exam: California Board of Psychology is required to examine for licensure individuals who have earned psychology doctoral degrees from California's state-approved schools (which includes CGI). See for instance the article "Understanding the Levels of Approval and Accreditation of Doctoral Programs in Clinical, Counseling, Educational and School Psychology", where Doris T. Penman writes: "A doctoral degree in psychology from a regionally accredited institution is the required educational standard for eligibility for psychology licensure in almost all states other than California. Therefore, although the California Board of Psychology is required to examine for licensure individuals who have earned psychology doctoral degrees from California's state-approved schools, the degrees from these state-approved schools are not recognized by licensing boards in most other states. A doctoral degree from a regionally accredited institution is also a required educational standard for national organizations that certify training (such as the National Register for Health Service Providers in Psychology) and for many insurance companies, which also may not recognize a degree from a state-approved school. In California, employers, including managed care companies, who have adopted national educational standards for professional psychology will not hire psychologists who are graduates of unaccredited schools." She also states that "most regionally accredited schools will not accept transfer credits or recognize degrees from state-approved schools". See also Unaccredited institutions at U.S. Department of Education, Accredited Doctoral Programs in Professional Psychology at APA and the section "State Approved Universities" at "Many states regulate private training and trade schools by putting them through a state approval process. This process is not the same as accreditation...Degrees earned from unaccredited universities are not widely accepted in the academic world. Degrees earned at "state approved" colleges may not be accepted for transfer and admission at regionally accredited colleges." Only non-serious diploma mills ever try to hide the fact that they are unaccredited and CGI is not known to engage in that type of behavior. See the article about California Graduate Institute for quotes from the president about their policy in this regard and about the school's latest attempt to get accredited. As a matter of fact, an unaccredited school that does not make clear in its advertisement that it is unaccredited can get into legal trouble. (See also "Diploma mills prey on people’s lack of knowledge and confusion about accreditation. One favorite trick that works time and again for diploma mills is to advertise as being "nationally accredited" or "accredited worldwide." The trick here is that are indeed "accredited" -- but by unrecognized agencies -- bogus accrediting agencies that they themselves have created".) There is absolutely no reason to conceal or "forget" to mention that CGI is unaccredited in this or any other article where it is mentioned. It is an uncontested, factual statement which does not "imply" anything at all except what is actually stated. It's the constant attempts at concealment of the fact in this article that is troubling, as it reflects back in a negative way on the institute itself. Pia 01:45, 19 April 2007 (UTC)
Pia, nothing is being hidden. It is in the footnote and it is in the CGI article. We haven't put Branden's shirt size in the article either. Putting in the "unaccredited" is very poor editing for an encyclopedia. You don't mention something in an article unless it is something that is a fact by itself and has a reason for being there, like a date of birth, or something you are drawing attention to - and that is what the word "unaccredited" is - a red flag. Without a very long paragraph - much too long to be appropriate for this article that word would be misinterpreted as meaning that the degree and possibly the license are suspect.
Leaving an impression that the degree or license might be suspect is libel and there is no wikiLawyering involved in that observation.
Jimmy wales has made it clear that he wants special care taken with the biographies of living persons, he said, "Real people are involved, and they can be hurt by your words. We are not tabloid journalism, we are an encyclopedia."
You are claiming that because "unaccredited" is a fact and because you have a valid source it should stay. That is a case relying upon technicalities while ignoring the effect on a living person by making it look like the degree or license might be suspect.
Here are two forms of Wikipedia:WikiLawyering that you commit by asserting that "unaccredited" is sourced and therefore should be in the article:
  • "3. Asserting that the technical interpretation of Wikipedia:Policies and guidelines should override the principles they express; and"
  • "4. Misinterpreting policy or relying on technicalities to justify inappropriate actions."
Also, you ignore a compromise that had been worked out earlier where all of the information was presented in the footnote. Where is the good faith towards fellow editors when you override compromises that have been worked out? Steve 03:38, 19 April 2007 (UTC)
Please note that there is nothing "suspect" or "red flag" about being an unaccredited California approved school. Your statement is extremely derogatory and insulting. Also: The status of the school is not a mere technicality, since it takes up to 13 years to achieve accreditation and the school has recently tried again (Feb 07) and may currently be working on it. It is a lot more relevant than shirt size when writing about a scholar or a professional who is basically known for his contributions to a particular field. The school's lack of accreditation is a very relevant fact in all issues relating to the school's degree programs and therefore to all degrees issued there, including Branden's. It is of interest as a "fact in itself" from several different angles: in a positive vein, it would also appear to show that smaller, alternative universities can play a major role and produce well-known or influential scholars in a field and thus help advance or popularize a science, in competition with larger, accredited universities. Also, there is currently no consensus among editors of this article to keep the issue out of the article. Several editors feel that the facts regarding accreditation are important and relevant and thus need be mentioned. As I stated before: Rather than being "edit wared" over, the sentence about accreditation needs to be expanded. This had been done by other editors, but has now been reverted by you. I would like to remind you that you have not answered the question I asked on your talk page, but in spite of this, you still insist that the school is accredited and attempt to intimidate various contributors by calling factual statments about the school's true status "libel". I will copy our previous discussion here as a reminder that your statements are still being questioned. You have stated, in several places: you go on to treat the school as if "accredited" and "unaccredited" are simple yes/no and mutually exlusive terms. The school has "accreditation" of some kinds and in other areas it is "approved" - it is a complex issue that involves various state of california departments and various non-profit organization recognitions of a degree and licensing (which are related but separate issues). My reply was, and still is: No Steve, accreditation status is not that complicated. See for example the American Psychological Association's FAQ page Frequently Asked Questions about Accreditation in Psychology. In real life, it's pretty simple to find out who is and who is not accredited, actually. All you have to do to find out if your school is accredited is to apply for a federal student loan, or if you have already graduated, all you have to do is to try to get a job within the federal government or with some other public agency outside California, while also applying for full membership in American Psychological Association. Or how about trying to be appointed to the medical staff of a hospital outside California or get listed in the National Register of Health Service Providers? Or if you are a patient, how about trying to get your managed care organization/insurance company/preferred provider organization to reimburse you after you have been to see an individual whose degree is from those "libelously" labeled "unaccredited schools"? Perhaps you did not notice the wording at the California Board of Psychology's fact sheet named "Unaccredited California Approved Schools: A History and Current Status Report", published online at the government website for the State of California? Or are you are saying that they are "wrong beyond any question" to call the CGI an "unaccredited California approved school"? Well, how about using the term offered by a member of the press then, such as John Thomas' in The National Psychologist, Vol. 8, No. 2, March/April, 1999 , which is headlined "Brouhaha brewing over nonaccredited programs in California".'' I ask again: Steve, which agencies or organizations do you refer to above as having granted the California Graduate Institute accreditation in psychology? Pia 05:22, 19 April 2007 (UTC)
Please note that there is nothing "suspect" or "red flag" about being an unaccredited California approved school. Absolutely there is! Since as you noted in your previous paragraph that California is the only state to issue licenses to unaccredited universities, the rest of the world sees "unaccredited" and likely thinks "ah, paper mill", invalid PhD. Without the article stating the very helpful and detailed analysis you gave above, starting with "The CGI has never been accredited, neither before nor after 1999....", the average reader will have great difficulty in seeing "unaccredited" and not seeing a red flag. The footnote should heavily document this, as it almost does not, but the text of the article should stay clear of it. Therefore, it can have a damaging effect on the subject's reputation, and is in violation of WP:BLP. Such material must be removed immediately. Otheus 03:17, 20 April 2007 (UTC)
The fact that the school is unaccredited "must be removed immediately" because there is "a damaging effect" on the subject of this article in pointing out the true status of the institution that has granted his PhD? Sourced, factual material is libel because some misinformed individuals may decide to draw the conclusion that the degree is "not valid" when they see the word "unaccredited"? Please!! Kindly explain what you mean by "valid" in this context. Do you mean to imply that his degree is "valid" for example for a tenured position teaching psychology at an accredited university, say Stanford, UCLA or maybe Harvard? Also: how is N.B's degree different or more "valid" than the psychology degrees granted at the other 12 unaccredited institutions approved to operate in California? They all allow you to sit for the licensure exam. There is no "validation" process that I know about that makes CGI's degrees more "valid" in general than degrees from other unaccredited institutions, such as for example Institute of Imaginal Studies, Ryokan College and Newport University (California). If there is such as stigma in having a degree from an unaccredited school, wouldn't it be "libel" as per your new, innovative and rather misguided definition of libel to even mention the degree then? Just to let you know: I'm finished with this discussion---this is just too absurd. Pia 19:17, 20 April 2007 (UTC)
PS. Otheus, there are a lot of unaccredited schools approved/licensed to operate in various states in the U.S.; California is not unique at all in that regard. (See partial list in this article). What CA does differently is allow individuals from some of its unaccredited, state approved schools to sit for the licensure exam. Since some states require that people disclose that their degree is from an unaccredited institution and, like CA, that the institutions make clear to prospective students that they are unaccredited, there is nothing odd or unusual about having that fact added here too. In addition, I find the arguments presented above by User:Buridan, User:Orangemike and User:Crculver convincing and also find the attempt by some users to intimidate contributors to this article troubling, which is why I now agree that the school's status need to be mentioned along with the degree in the running text. Pia 22:51, 20 April 2007 (UTC)
Pia, I am not calling this inclusion "libel"; I'm calling it damaging. Your link to the wikipedia article above did not further your argument. Allowing someone to sit for a licensure exam is a significant difference from the typical, unaccredited school. Further, the use of a degree from an unaccredited school varies greatly from state to state. Further, this article would certainly not be used by Mr. Branden to violate any ethical standards such as applying for a fellowship at Harvard. You say there is no "validation process" that differentiates CGI from other unaccredited schools; what, then, grants it the status of state-approved? (PS, I won't assume your continued withdrawl from this discussion as a reason to assume bad faith.) Otheus 12:55, 22 April 2007 (UTC)
Otheus, thank you for your kind message. The link was not an argument for or against anything but a simple way to demonstrate, so that you could see for yourself, that there are A LOT of unaccredited institutions around the country that enjoy state approval (=permission to operate and grant degrees within a state). You wrote that I said that "California is the only state to issue licenses to unaccredited universities". I just wanted to make clear: State-approval of unaccredited institutions is NOT something that is unique for California and that is not what I said. On the second issue in your message: Sorry, I cannot prove, and did not intend to prove, that there are no diploma mills among the unaccredited schools. I don't see why I should need to either. "Unaccredited" is the established, official term, used in official context by the State of California in regards to CGI. It is not a synonym for "diploma mill". The fact that there are non-serious unaccredited schools in this world does not entitle someone to conveniently and self-servingly ban the use of the word "unaccredited" for their school of choice, simply because they feel that the existence of diploma mills could degrade the reputation of a particular institution's degree so therefore this fact can be "rightfully" concealed. A CGI degree is still officially a degree from an unaccredited institution in the state where the institution is licensed to operate. (Not to be picky about the state approval issue, but state approval was first given to CGI in 1976. NB's PhD was granted in 1973, according My Years with Ayn Rand by Nathaniel Branden, p.370.) There are 12 unaccredited state-approved schools in California that offer degrees in psychology --- all the California approved schools that have PhD programs can currently send people to take the licensure exam. (Although, it now appears the CA state-approval organ (BPPVE) will cease to exist on July 1, 2007. See announcement at Unfortunately, CGI is listed among the institutions that will have certain degrees affected by this change.) As far as I can tell, only one of the other 11 psychology schools have a Wiki article, Newport University (California) (which offers a Doctor in Psychology). See the complete list of Unaccredited California Approved Schools at the end of the document in the link (and NB the name of the link): As an aside, I'm not really that familiar with the subject of this article, but got involved here only because I believe in academic honesty and because I think that it is crucial that degrees are described in a factual way. Misleading people to confuse unaccredited and accredited institutions or universities is not acceptable in my opinion. One editor here has consistently argued that the degree is from an accredited university (using arguments with murky phrases such as "CGI has some accreditation, for example from non-profit organizations" and "Accreditation is complex and difficult to determine and is not a yes or no question", "state approved and accredited is not mutually exclusive terms".) Also, I don't find intimidation an agreeable modus operandi on Wikipedia, and I especially resent it when I see it used to stop the flow of information here based on bogus legal jargon. (Not aimed at you personally, Otheus). Cheers, Pia 22:46, 22 April 2007 (UTC)
Pia, like you, I am also a fervent supporter of academic integrity; the problem I see it is that this whole "state approval" process opens such a big can of worms -- is it a "worthy", earned degree, or isn't it? (rhetorical). Now, I don't mind you at all being "picky" by noting that Branden's PhD was received in 1973 and CGI was approved in 1976. In fact, that certainly puts a different light on his degree. However, the PDF publication linked to in the reference shows that the institution was awarded approval of PhD's in 1971. Where do you get 1976? Otheus 07:12, 23 April 2007 (UTC)
Otheus, whether or not something is "worthy", "valid" or "well-earned" is not our call to make here. The only thing we can do is present the facts in a balanced way. About CGI's initial state approval date: it's listed as Sept. 1, 1976 on the California Board of Psychology site. Pia 07:53, 23 April 2007 (UTC)
Okay, in column 5 it says 1976 as the initial date of school approval. I thought the table was listing when the individual degrees were approved. Yeah, that's potentially problematic for Mr. Branden. I say potentially because it could be there was no change in the process, but discerning any further would clearly be original research (we're already bordering on it as it is). I think this information at least belongs in the footnote.
Now, whether or not something is "worthy" or "valid" isn't our call to make here, I agree. But we must be aware of the general readers' impressions and we must stay clear of something that would cause damage to a living person. The whole notion of accredited is obscure enough already, but the further nuance of state-approved is completely undecipherable. That's why I added the clarification of what the approval was for. Interestingly, now that you've shown the above, I wonder if the state-approval is valid for Branden's licensure. Otheus 08:18, 23 April 2007 (UTC)
Another issue is whether or not he sat for the licensure exam. I'm also curious about his PhD thesis now. But I'm sure people familiar with his work, his books (and with the books of his critics) will find their way to this article eventually. That's what I love about Wikipedia. Sooner or later articles fill out and become great sources of info, even in obscure and seemingly confusing subjects (like accreditation) ;) . Pia 08:30, 23 April 2007 (UTC)

I wonder at this unnacredited statement. What is it's purpose in this article? There is alink to the article on the school that explains it's status, so what value is there including it here. It IS factual, but what is the intent of this statment in the context of this article?Ethan a dawe 03:00, 24 April 2007 (UTC)

Assuming Good Faith, it is to ensure that readers are not misled into thinking Branden's credentials are strong enough to, for instance, chair a graduate program at a full, accredited university. Otheus 06:29, 24 April 2007 (UTC)


by definition, no true statement is libel. unaccredited is a true statement about the college, not about mr. braden. --Buridan 11:59, 21 April 2007 (UTC)

Buridan has it wrong. The definition includes these concepts: "expressly stated or implied" and "that may harm the reputation." Everyone knows that a statement is more than the literal meaning of its words. It can imply. If I said that, "Currently, the police have no evidence that Buridan was linked to the armed robbery of August 12th," it would be a true statement. If I put that statement in his biography, it would be libelous because it implies that he was a suspect when that isn't true. If I tried to say it was factually true my defense would be completely inadequate because common sense tells us that raises a red flag about Buridan's possible character defects. Just remember that Buridan is here because of his POV regarding Objectivism which he stated killed tens of millions of people. Steve 16:39, 21 April 2007 (UTC)
Please refrain from making personal attacks. Regarding your definition: Having a degree from an unaccredited school implies a character flaw??! Having sourced facts about a school in a bio is as damaging as being falsely accused of robbery??? What exactly are you trying to say here? Pia 18:10, 21 April 2007 (UTC)
You prove my point. I never said anything that wasn't factual. Where is the personal attack? Show it. When you imply that a degree may not be valid because it comes from a school that may be suspect - and that is what that nasty bit of editing does - you damage a person's career. That is so clear that it shouldn't have to be spelled out. Steve 18:43, 21 April 2007 (UTC)
I was referring to your personal attacks on User:Buridan (please discuss issues, not persons) and your spurious removal of factual, sourced content added by User:Otheus and others, under the ridiculous pretext that you are removing "libel". For additional "spelling out", I'd recommend you read some of the messages in the long thread above. Pia 19:40, 21 April 2007 (UTC)
Buridan has a long history that has been documented and is pertinent in this case - that history is a relevant issue. I have read the material and my removal is not spurious. You continue to refuse to acknowledge what I and others see quite clearly - that statement is libel by implication, a large red flag, and totally unnecessary or pertinent to this article. Stop defaming Branden, the school, and the other graduates and stop mucking up an article by adding material that adds no understanding of the article's subject. Steve 21:02, 21 April 2007 (UTC)
Steve, I think you have proven your point. As I rewrote it, however, there is nothing to implicate the degree is less than earned or respecting what it is -- a censure to practice psychology in the state of California. In the interests of maintaining civility here, and trying to diffuse an edit war, I ask you to self-revert to my version. Otheus 21:09, 21 April 2007 (UTC)
Hi Otheus, I certainly understand your request and I sympathize with you, but Pia and Buridan's requests aren't reasonable at all. We had a compromise after a long and heated edit-war. The compromise was that there would be links to the CGI article, and an explicit mention that the school was approved but not accredited in this article's footnote but not in the text. The compromise was NOT honored. As I've pointed out, Buridan has an ax to grind on anything to do with Branden, Rand or Objectivism (I can show you links to many, many comments to back to that up). The request is libel because of the red flag it raises for anyone reading it. Pia must not appreciate what it is like to have your career and your ability to make a living depend upon your reputation. Otherwise he would not be so callous as to fight tooth and nail to put it in when it doesn't even belong in this article - it belongs in the CGI article. The CGI article is the proper place for it. It is about the school and there is room to give it a full explanation. Here that red flag is libel for the school, for Branden, for the students of the school, and all of its graduates. It is just plain wrong - and it is wrong to such a degree that it should be fought - some things should result in edit wars if that is what it takes. This isn't just my position, Jimmy Wales is also fierce about removing anything suspected of libeling a living person and removing it immediately. I've appreciated your honest approach to this issue and I hope you'll give what I'm saying some thought. Thanks, Steve 00:01, 22 April 2007 (UTC)
I suggest your reread the libel article on wikipedia and visit a lawyer. libel is defamation in print... but defamation must not be true. for instance, it is not defaming you to say that stevewolfer were banned for 48 hours for breaking wikipedia policy and were banned before that also. it is stating truth, and truth in this case is citable, thus it cannot be defamation, and if it is not defamation, then it is not libel. --Buridan 03:59, 22 April 2007 (UTC)
Steve, though you may dead-on about Buridan, let's comment on the content. First, if there was a compromise that Buridan and Pia are now reneging on, please produce diffs. Second, as the article stands now, do you see potentially defamatory material. When I ask this, I'm asking about material that Branden could sue Wikipedia over?
Nathaniel Branden received a BA in psychology from the University of California Los Angeles, an MA from New York University[1] and a Ph.D. in psychology[2] from the California Graduate Institute, an unaccredited, state-approved school whose graduates may be licensed by the State to practice psychology.[3]
Otheus 12:40, 22 April 2007 (UTC)

User:SteveWolfer block and page protection

Yesterday, pursuant to a 3RR notice, I blocked SteveWolfer for 48 hours, see here. I then was contacted by multiple parties from both sides. It's quite obvious that there is heavy disagreement about various things and that there is much more going on here than just the issue with this 3RR case. There are accusations of sockpuppetry and edit warring on both sides. I STRONGLY suggest everyone chill out, try settle issues on talk pages first, and if that doesn't work, remedies such as mediation, arbitration, WP:ANI, WP:SOCK, WP:RFCU, etc are available. Based on all this, I think the 3RR block on SteveWolfer has served its purpose, so I changing it from 48 to 24 hours, and a better remedy here is to semi-protect the page. Please note, that if edit warring reoccurs, most admins would not hesitate to fully protect it after all this. I have tried my best to be fair and neutral in all of this, to listen to both sides and I truly believe this is the best remedy at this point. I am well aware no matter what I nor any other admin does in this case will please everyone, but I truly hope you all can work together from now on for a better wikipedia.Rlevse 19:01, 22 April 2007 (UTC)

BLP noticeboard

First, let me state that the request on the noticeboard was way too long.

Most articles don't discuss the accreditation of a school someone attended unless it has been brought up as an issue by a third party. Accreditation is a complex issue. I know of a university that is accredited as a university yet one of it's best programs is not. Stating that the school is or is not accredited does not help me understand Brandon. The statement should be removed. --Gbleem 15:12, 24 April 2007 (UTC)

The statement should stay. it is cited documented and pertinent to the man's credentials in the field. we should run this by an RFC minimally before that consensus is dismissed and the cited fact deleted from his bio. The claims are clear above. Does the cited fact change the person's reputation, yes. But is the fact neutral, yes. It can be explained further in a footnote if need be, but it is still a true and valuable fact about this person's work and degree. He had a choice to get a different degree, he chose to get this one, it was unaccredited, and there's a citation. we provide no negative or positive evaluation of that fact, it stands on its own. --Buridan 21:00, 24 April 2007 (UTC)
Re: "don't discuss the accreditation..unless it has been brought up as an issue by a third party". The accreditation issue here has been brought up by several third parties in published books and articles, for example by Jeff Walker in The Ayn Rand Cult, who dedicates 4 pages to the issue. Walker's book was deleted as a source for the accreditation information back in February 2007. The issue has also been in the news, as in Brouhaha brewing over nonaccredited programs in California. In addition: the censoring approach in regards to the description of a degree from an unaccredited institution would appear to be an exception rather than the norm, as this is not how such degrees are treated in other biography articles on Wikipedia. Many Wikipedia articles state openly when a degree is from an unaccredited institute in biographies of living persons even when there has been no published "brouhaha", and especially as it relates to PhD degrees, where degrees from accredited universities may be the expected norm. When a degree is from a university that is not accredited, it is a point that seems to be considered noteworthy in general here, as for example demonstrated in the biographies of Susan Stafford, Earl Ofari Hutchinson, J. Otis Ledbetter, James Villanueva, Jaya Suprana, Mike Randall, Antonio Villaraigosa, Rick Scarborough, Thomas Ice, Doris Brougham, Carl Baugh, Gillian McKeith, Robert Anton Wilson, Chuck Missler, Steve Levicoff, John Gray, Srully Blotnick, David Hocking, Creighton Lovelace, Robi Ludwig, Bob Cornuke, Earl Mindell, Louise Wightman, Robert LeFevre, James White (theologian), Bingu wa Mutharika, Marcus Einfeld, John R. Brinkley, David Loren Cunningham, D. James Kennedy, and Cathy McMorris Rodgers. To me, it would appear the status of Nathaniel Brandon's degree granting school is no less relevant, maybe even more appropriate to describe here, because he is an individual who is known for his contributions to his field and his educational affiliation and background would therefore appear to be of even greater general interest than it is for some of the subjects in the articles mentioned. Also: I disagree that accreditation of institutions offering degrees in psychology is an issue of complexity. It involves checking a school's official status with two accreditation agencies: 1) The American Psychology Association (APA), which is the only US Department of Education recognized national accreditation authority for PhD degree programs in psychology, and 2) Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC) Accrediting Commission for Senior Colleges & Universities, the authority recognized as the regional accrediting agency for California universities. PhD programs and institutions that are not officially accredited but state-approved are listed at the State of California website, which is where we can find the institution that granted Branden's degree. Regarding the statement that the status of accreditation does not "help me understand him". Disagree. His choosing an independent and unaccredited university speaks volumes about him in regards to an independence of spirit and individuality in choice rather than a need to find conformity at an older, well-established institution. It would appear to be a very deliberate choice and not something the subject of this article would need or want to have people here conceal on his behalf. It is edit summaries like this: [1] that best demonstrate why the factual information about the degree is needed. Pia 21:57, 24 April 2007 (UTC)


How is Nathaniel Branden divorced from Devers Israel? The only source given refers to a meeting between Israel and Rand in the late 60s or early 70s, it does not offer proof that Branden and Israel are indeed divorced.

I've tried to correct that fact several times but it always appears again, now showing a useless link that does not even address the point.

Divorced? (Correction)

My bad, I just saw it. Thanks!


Is it not true that Branden is an atheist? And if this is the case, could this fact be put in this wikipedia article? Evidence of his atheism can be found on his website. This link is an interview with him where he mentions that he is an atheist and was before meeting Rand. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talk) 19:13, August 23, 2007 (UTC)

Wrong Focus

This article mostly focuses on Branden the Objectivist and Branden the lover of Alisa Rosenbaum, however what he is most know today by is his theory of self-esteem (he invented the term!) and the many books he published on that topic. Objectivism is on its way to be forgotten as yet another fad, together with Rosenbaum herself, but Branden's self-esteem theories are a part of any psychology textbook or program, and they should be the focus of this article, IMHO Capricornis (talk) 18:22, 13 January 2009 (UTC)

Nathaniel Branden did not invent the term "self-esteem" (check the Oxford English Dictionary), but he did play a significant role in the "self-esteem movement" in psychology. His theories do not appear in every psych textbook or program, but they are widely cited and have obviously been influential. It is doubtful that future readers of Branden's books will fail to perceive any connection with either Ayn Rand or Objectivism (the influences are too overt) but Branden's work as a psychologist clearly needs foregrounding in this kind of article.-RLCampbell (talk) 17:42, 5 August 2009 (UTC)
Maybe more could be said of his book, "The Disowned Self" which gives examples of his clinical dialogue. Apart from patient interview style(see the book ), I briefly quote this "Contrary to the words of the famous poem(of John Donne*),there are important respects in which each man is an island unto himself." "When a person clings to the pain and frustration of childhood, refusing to see or move beyond it, he avoids awareness of the present, he refuses to integrate the reality of his present context... " "When a person passively waits for the arrival of "someone" who will do "something" about his suffering, he makes himself unaware of the fact that his life and happiness are in his own hands and can be in no one else's." SignedJohnsonL623 (talk) 01:19, 28 June 2011 (UTC)

One-time associate

Could someone explain to me how you all came to the decision to refer to someone who was a student of Rand, had an 18 year long relationship, and a romantic affair with her is described as a "one-time associate"? It seems strange and misleading to me...Wikiposter0123 (talk) 04:00, 28 August 2010 (UTC)

Simple: Verne Equinox (talk · contribs) added that wording in an edit in early 2007, and no one has changed it. Not every word in an article is the result of some detailed collaboration. Honestly the whole article could use a rewrite. --RL0919 (talk) 15:20, 28 August 2010 (UTC)
I just assumed something so awkward and poorly written could only have come out of a very long discussion process to decide the most "neutral phrase" resulting in something that makes no sense at all.
I've gone ahead and changed it. Thanks.Wikiposter0123 (talk) 23:19, 28 August 2010 (UTC)

Sentence Completion

Currently, this article states, "As a therapist, he developed a sentence completion test as a tool for becoming aware of unconscious thoughts and feelings." To call Branden's sentence completion method a "test," though, is off the mark - or at least misleadingly narrow. Branden uses sentence completion, as the sentence already suggests, as a clinical tool, which can certainly have assessment aspects, but the primary functions are to stimulate awareness and shifts of perspective. I am going to remove the word "test" and replace it with "method." Thoughts? Andrewws (talk) 09:17, 23 October 2011 (UTC)

Six Pillars

Currently, the article says that Branden "has outlined volitional practices he considers essential to achieving and maintaining self-esteem," but it does not say what those practices are. Branden's "six pillars" are essential enough to his work that I think there should actually be a section of the article devoted to them, and I'm thinking of writing such a section. Thoughts about that? In the meantime, I am going to simply add the simple list to that sentence. Andrewws (talk) 09:18, 23 October 2011 (UTC)

Introductory section - how about more introductory?

The current introductory section of this article strikes me as redundant with some of the article's main content, rendering the overall structure of the article top-heavy. I think the article could be improved by significantly shortening the introductory segment to give just the briefest essentials on Branden, and then let the details come out in the main content sections of the article. Would anyone object to that? (I almost get the sense the introduction used to be a stand-alone article in itself, and then someone added the other sections without modifying the original piece.) Andrewws (talk) 10:09, 8 December 2011 (UTC)

The introductory section (the "lead") is supposed to be a summary of the overall article, so some redundancy is good. (See MOS:LEAD for details.) But your are right that the lead was too long. It also had detail in it that belonged in the main body. I just moved some stuff down and did a few other updates. But feel free to improve further, because the article definitely needs more work. --RL0919 (talk) 12:30, 8 December 2011 (UTC)
Okay, thanks. I checked out MOS:LEAD - helpful. And I'll continue to work on the article. I agree it can use some revision. Andrewws (talk) 16:10, 16 December 2011 (UTC)

Breaking "Role in the self-esteem movement" into "Psychology of self esteem" and "Mode of therapy"

The section "Role in the self-esteem movement" contained three elements: a brief overview of Branden's theory of self esteem, a brief (and less than adequate) overview of his mode of therapy, and a paragraph about his involvement on an advisory board for a National Counsel of Self Esteem. This last paragraph also spoke of Branden's differences with many other promoters of self esteem. I found this whole section's organization less than optimal, so I have broken it into two sections. The first deals with Branden's theory of self esteem, naming his basic premise (that self esteem is a psychological need), offering his formal definition of self esteem, and describing briefly his approach to the sources of self esteem (the "six pillars"). This section also deals with the differences between Branden's theory and that of many others in the "self esteem movement" - in a way that corrects an inaccuracy in the previous version. (The previous version stated that in Branden's theory, self esteem is based on "actual accomplishments," but this is either incorrect or at least misleadingly narrow. Self esteem in Branden's conception is based on inner policies or practices. He says in Six Pillars that mastering actual tasks is important, but that accomplishments per se are not the basis for self esteem.) The next section, "Mode of therapy," gives an account of Branden's approach to therapy and highlights its uniquely integrative way of dealing with cognitive and experiential aspects of healing and growth. It offers a paragraph on Branden's most important (or at least his most widely cited in his own work) therapeutic procedure, his sentence completion method, and finally mentions his more recent integration of energy psychology techniques into his practice, and his accompanying therapeutic-theoretical shift toward viewing trauma as a significant problem to be dealt with in therapy. I look forward to comments and criticisms. Andrewws (talk) 07:13, 19 December 2011 (UTC)

I should add, I removed the content about Branden's involvement with the National Counsel. In the overall scheme of his work and even in the overall scheme of the "self esteem movement," his involvement with that Counsel is, to my mind, too insignificant and inconsequential.Andrewws (talk) 07:19, 19 December 2011 (UTC)

Tightened “Role in the Objectivist movement”

I’ve tightened this section to read more smoothly and to bring balance to the overall article (the section was long-winded). The section retains all its essential content related to Branden’s involvement in the Objectivist movement, namely, his meeting Ayn Rand, his creation and development of NBI, his expulsion from Rand’s orbit, and his subsequent criticisms of Rand’s work. I’ve removed narrow details, such as the passage about the “Collective,” the names of specific courses offered by NBI, the exact address of the initial NBI office, the issue of the open-vs-closed system and David Kelley, Branden’s interest in ESP, and Branden’s relationship with Ken Wilber. I’ve also shifted detailed content about Branden’s affair with Patrecia Scott (and how that whole affair played out) to the “personal life” section, since such content is only indirectly relevant to Branden’s role in the Objectivist movement. I do refer to it briefly, though, in the context of the various letters that went out (from Rand and the Brandens) when the split occurred, since those letters are indeed directly relevant to Branden’s involvement in the movement. I look forward to comments and criticisms. Andrewws (talk) 05:10, 26 December 2011 (UTC)

I should add, I've also removed the philosophy portal, out of respect for the balance of the article. As RLCampbell suggested above, Branden's work in psychology should be foreground here, and that portal was a heavy weight in this section. There are ample references (and links) to Objectivism and Ayn Rand for those who want to explore the wider context of this particular section more in depth. Perhaps if the rest of the article was more extensive and robust, the portal would make sense; as is, though, I think this way the balance is more appropriate to the overall balance of Branden's life and work. Andrewws (talk) 05:12, 26 December 2011 (UTC)

Expanded “Personal life”

I’ve expanded this section to give the essentials of the story behind the Rand/Branden split - content that was previously in the “Role in the Objectivist movement” section, broadly speaking. I’ve included details of context and perspective to make the story more intelligible, such as Branden’s marriage difficulties, the nature of his and Rand’s bond, and the fears underlying his secrecy. These obviously draw on Branden’s own reports, and I’ve framed them as such to maintain objectivity. Any comments or criticisms, though, are welcomed. Andrewws (talk) 05:12, 26 December 2011 (UTC)

I should add, I also removed content from this section about Barbara Branden’s book and the film on which it was based, to maintain focus. The book is still referenced in the footnotes. Andrewws (talk) 05:12, 26 December 2011 (UTC)