Talk:William M. Branham

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Featured articleWilliam M. Branham is a featured article; it (or a previous version of it) has been identified as one of the best articles produced by the Wikipedia community. Even so, if you can update or improve it, please do so.
Article milestones
DateProcessResult
August 31, 2017Good article nomineeListed
July 22, 2018Featured article candidatePromoted
Current status: Featured article


Article milestones
DateProcessResult
August 31, 2017Good article nomineeListed
October 10, 2017Good article reassessmentKept

Community reassessment[edit]

William M. Branham[edit]

Article (edit | visual edit | history) · Article talk (edit | history) · WatchWatch article reassessment pageMost recent review
Result: Kept Already closed AIRcorn (talk) 02:52, 22 March 2018 (UTC)

I was part of the discussion to provide GA status to this article. At that time, it was not clearly apparent that an edit conflict existed, but after working on the article for the past month, it is now clear that there is a small edit war occurring regarding acceptable sources and content. This has made the article unstable and unable to meet all 6 of the WP:Good article criteria. Visitors to this page may find it in flux from day to day. I recommend it be delisted until consensus can be achieved in the areas where there is currently disagreement. I have contributed to the article enough that I cannot provide a unbaised review and would like the community to reassess (just in case I am way off base). Please review the article’s history and talk page for evidence of the ongoing conflicts. Thank you!  Doctor (talk) 13:42, 10 October 2017 (UTC)

With all due respect, @Doctorg:. I think the edit conflict you are observing is common to articles on NRM's. To quote from a Wikipedia essay on writing good articles on NRM's - "The key to stable, neutral articles in this contentious field is good sourcing: focus on using the best, most reputable sources, above all scholarly sources, and avoid the use of primary sources – both movement and countermovement sources." I don't think newspaper articles are sufficient secondary sources for a claim with respect to divine healing.
The issue currently in question is whether Wikipedia can support claims of "faith healing". The best way to resolve such an issue is to engage a broader audience of editors. This is an issue that is much broader than the article on William Branham. I have suggested that those in support of including claims of faith healing take this issue to a broader article such as Faith healing but this has not been done to date. I think it is a better way to resolve this issue - that there are sufficient secondary sources to support faith healing in the context of Wikipedia. I am not sure why they don't want to improve the article on Faith healing in this way, if they think they are correct.
Alternatively, I propose to copy the edits dealing with faith healing to the faith healing article and, if they disappear from that article by consensus, then I will feel at liberty to remove them here. I do think that it is a way to engage multiple editors who may not be interested in the Branham article, to comment on the greater issue. Personally I think the current approach, which is to re-review the GA status of the article is wrong, because the issue in question deals with a fundamental issue with Wikipedia sources which can more easily be resolved by the way I have suggested. Darlig 🎸 Talk to me 10:13, 14 October 2017 (UTC)
@Darlig Gitarist: This is only one fo several issues but I will refrain from going into a long discussion here. Please read my latest post on the talk page, I took this particular issue to the teahouse and made adjustments based on their reccomendations. Doctor (talk) 13:08, 14 October 2017 (UTC)

This article is quite biased against Branham. It seems like any "good" thing mentioned of him is mentioned in a bad light. There were discussions above regarding whether or not miracles (or healings, or however you want to mention them) should be included. There are several sources citing proven healings - specifically one involving a United States Congressman named Upshaw. I am writing now, after having worked with Upshaw's grandson (Thomas Upshaw Tuten - a physician living in SC) for years (who is not a practicing Christian nor follower of Branham) and he, himself, absolutely verifies the authenticity of the congressman's account of being raised from a wheelchair he was confined to since a young boy.

He wasn't wheelchair bound. See http://en.believethesign.com/index.php/Congressman_Upshaw
Less wrong daily (talk) 03:51, 6 March 2018 (UTC)

The main sources mentioned in the article are all biased in themselves. How can an article written by someone with an agenda, not be biased? People writing about Branham all write using hearsay. Quoting a old writing full of hearsay does not make it a fact. If you are going to speak about his doctrine, surely you can quote him in context, as I understand many of his sermons are recorded. If he's like any normal human being, he probably does have trouble recalling things the same each time he talks about them. Obviously, he wasn't God, I'm sure he did get stuff switched up occasionally (as do we all).

Hearing from eye witnesses (as there are many, though aged) Branham rarely, if ever, took up an offering of money in any of his campaigns. There's certainly something to be said for that, as that's the agenda of most preacher "personalities" today. What would be his motive for such deception as the article states?

There's too much conjecture from what I've read and who I've spoken to, to consider much of the information provided as "reliable" information (whether good or bad.) If he was such an evil person, where are the sources from the time period he was living that discredit his character? Was he involved in affairs? Did he get charged with abuse? Rape? Did he beg for money?

It's much easier to point out disagreements when people aren't around to defend themselves. It's also much easier to embellish stories once someone has passed on. This entire Wiki page can never be settled.

Actually, I do believe there are enough records to settle most of these issues. What's challenging is locating secondary sources that are based on records rather than hearsay. It's remarkable how unmiraculous his ministry was once you remove the hearsay and hagiographical content.
Less wrong daily (talk) 03:51, 6 March 2018 (UTC)
There are multiple secondary party sources that critically analyze Branham. Weaver and Harrell are the primary sources used in the article now, and they are both written by people who state they are non-beleivers in what Branham stood for and they offered a critical and fair review of his life. Because they are balanced they are the main sources used for the article. Kydd is also a reputable source, but more sympathetic to the subject, and the use of this source is balanced by the use of Hanegraaf who looks at the entire evangelical movement as a cult and accuses Branham of effecting a hoax on people. There is not one source in this article that is wrote by Branham's followers, in fact every source opens their book stating their own personal disagreements with Branham. We are only putting in this article what these secondary sources have said. Duyzer and Collins are the only two primary sources still in use in the article, and they are used in such a minor way (except the Jim Jones part) that they are not impactful at all on the article. —Charles Edward (Talk | Contribs) 14:52, 6 March 2018 (UTC)

As the GA reviewer is on a wikibreak, I am goign to close this reassessment. There seems to be three people in favor of closing: Me, Darlig, and Less wrong daily. —Charles Edward (Talk | Contribs) 14:54, 6 March 2018 (UTC)

I have to admit that this warring seems to be insurmountable. I have tried many times to add documented content to give this article a balance only to have it reverted. I admit that I'm a newcomer to Wikipedia and don't know all the ropes, but there are opinions here that are completely contrary to what most of the historians say and although there are many books written by historians about the supernatural aspects, only Weaver's opinions are favored and he is a Baptist who has written 3 books about the Baptist Church (Baptist doctrine is against the gifts of the Spirit today). The only reason I can see that he even wrote a book about Branham was to discredit him. So far this is not a Good Article and until more positive information is allowed to be told it will remain completely out of balance. Right now, over half the references are from Weaver. Danpeanuts (talk) 09:30, 11 October 2017

Major Revision[edit]

I completed a through fact checking of the article. From this check stems most issues I found. Here is a full summary of my changes. —Charles Edward (Talk | Contribs)

Synopsis of the article's major sources[edit]

It appears that Weaver, Harrell are the two best sources on multiple levels. The are fairly neutral, well researched, and academically published. Burgess, Crowder, Larson, Hanegraaff, and Moriarty seem to be tertiary, and are largely based on Weaver and Harrell, and contain multiple direct quotes to them. Duyzer and Collins are very close to the subject, close enough to qualify as primary source in my opinion. Duyzer also seems to be an outlyer in his views; Harrell, Weaver, Crowder, and Hanegraaff report dates and events in general harmony, whereas Duyzer follows a unique timeline of events and openly disagrees with Weaver and Harrell on some of their assessments. Babsinksi is odd, in that it is really just a biography of the writer who happens to mention his interaction with Branham followers. I have used all these sources, but I am conveying an honest assessment of them. I think they should be weighed accordingly for their merit. In my opinion, if want to add each conflicting detail, it would be best to add a footnote section and then foot note the least common asertions, and follow the more general consensus in the body of the article. For example, have the body state what Weaver and Harrell say, but footnote Duyzer's disagreements. I have not undertaken this in this article, but I have done so in other articles I have authored. (For example, see the Notes section in the Battle of Tippecanoe featured article I authored.) —Charles Edward (Talk | Contribs) 21:49, 19 February 2018 (UTC)

Issues I am correcting in my revision[edit]

  • The sources seem to be selectively used. For example, both Weaver and Harrel are somewhat apologetic and sympathetic towards the topic, but that does not come through at all in the article. Even the most critical sources, Collins and Duyzer offer alot of positive content on the topic that seems to be ignored in favor of the more sensational negative parts. This seems to be a theme throughout. It seems that at some point in the past, this article has suffered from a biased editor or series of editors. It is not obviously biased in its current state, but when comparing to the actual sources that bias becomes apparent. Babinski, for instance, is used to reference alot of really strange things that make Branham seem like a wing nut, but his ultimate conclusion of Branaham's followers is left out. He states "In spite of their odd beliefs they are honest and hard working citizens and their inclusion in the book of cults is unfair." In looking through the history of the article it looks like several editors have made a commendable effort to make the article fairer, but I suspect they lacked access to all the sources to be able to fully rectify the issue or validate all the statements in the article. Nearly every source has been used in this selective way and I have tried to rectify this issue. There are multiple examples of this, I have detailed them in the fact check section.
  • There are several "sources" that are not used to cite any part of the article. Since they are not actually used as a source, I am moving those to a further reading section. If citations are added, then they could be moved back to source section
  • Because of the controversial nature of the article, I intend to put a citation on every sentence. I will remove or adjust each sentence as needed. I have access to most of the sources listed in the article and will assume the first reference following the sentence is intended to reference it. I will consult the source before adding a new citation.
  • Collins and Duyzer are both problematic sources and are used to make the most controversial claims in the article. In reviewing the sources though, the article actually goes beyond what the sources in their claims. Collins: http://seekyethetruth.com/About.aspx Duyzer: http://wmbranham.net/ I will remove everything referenced to their self published works, and carefully review the remainder to ensure it accurately reflects the source and is properly attributed within the article.
  • Overall, all critical elements of the article need better attribution within the article itself. I will improve this. It is ok to have criticisms, or to use two sources that offer conflicting information. Buy we need to make sure we are conveying to the reader who is asserting what, that way the assertion is presented not as wikipedia's assertion, but as the assertion or claim of the source.
  • The article is a little rough in its flow. I intend to use the source to expand the article by about double its current length, and therein address the flow issues.
    • The sources offer a great deal of content for the healing revival section. As that is what the topic is most known for, it makes sense to make it a more significant section within the article. It seems like that is the most notable period of the subject's life, based on the sources, whereas the later part of the life is generally agreed to have ended in somewhat increasing obscurity. I intend to weight the article accordingly. Right now the bulk of the content is focused on the doctrines he began teaching after the healing revival period came to and end. This is a bit of a undue weight issue, but easily addressed.
    • The legacy section seems too narrowly focused based on my read through of weaver and harrel. I intend to rework that section. He seems to have a great impact on the the healing beliefs of some denominations, and beyond that
    • The lead needs stregthened
  • I want to try and locate sources for some of the basic biographical data that is currently unsourced; marriages, children, etc. If this cannot be found in the secondary sources, I will use the primary sources for this information.
  • I think it is a little strange that two sources are used assert four other sources are unfit for use. It is normal for sources on a topic like this to espouse different viewpoints. Minimally the way it is currently presented needs to be changed. It violate the MOS, and the claims need to be attributed. I also have never seen such a thing directly in the reference section. I will see if there is a way to work it into the body of the article instead.
  • There must be some more pictures we can add to this article. I will try to find some. I intend to make a day trip and see if I can gather some photos of notable sites. Also, copyright has expired on several of the primary source biographies, so we should be able to use some of the pictures in those books as illustrations.
  • There are some minor MOS issues; forced image size, block quote usage, etc. I will correct these
  • There are alot of direct lifting of the wording from Weaver. This present an issue of plagarism, as they are not presented as quotes. I am going to try and paraphrase as many such instances as I find to eliminate this issue, and where I cannot, I will present the sentance as a direct quote from Weaver.
  • "Denial of Eternal Hell" - I have changed this title to "Annihilationism". "Denial of Eternal Hell" rings as an accusation to me. It seems this doctrine is held by a significant number of denominations, so why not call it by its theological name?
  • "View on Women" - Weaver is the only source used in this section. Weaver however categories this a subset of Branham's opposition to modern culture. I am therefore retitling this "Views on modern culture", and expanding the section to properly place in context this component

Issues identified in fact checking[edit]

There are numerous sentences that were not supported by their given citation, but I was able to find alternative citations which I have added. Some things I could not verify though. The list follows.

  • Jim Jones, the founder and leader of the Peoples Temple, tried to use Branham's fame to boost himself into the limelight. Jones, who was later known for the mass murder and suicide at Jonestown in November 1978, organized a religious convention that took place June 11 through June 15, 1956, at Cadle Tabernacle in Indianapolis. To draw crowds, Jones needed a religious headliner, so he arranged to share the pulpit with Branham.[1] - Page 9-10 of this source has nothing that supports this statement... https://www.amazon.com/Raven-Untold-Story-Jones-People/dp/1585426784 There is a mention of branham on page 50, and I am using that to rewrite the paragraph.
  • Sheryl, J. Greg (2013). "The Legend of William Branham" (PDF). The Quarterly Journal. Personal Freedom Outreach. 33 (3). ISSN 1083-6853. - This source is primarily a theological publication that is advancing the theological viewpoint of their own organization. According to their website, their peer review is done by associated theologians. The publication alleges that several major christian denominations are in fact cults. It is certainly a biased source. Currently, its only use in the article is to source a statement that some primary sources are biased in favor of Brhanham. There is already another reference for that statement, so I am removing the sole citation to Sheryl and moving it to further reading section
  • He believed that five of the seven predictions, relating to world politics, science, and the moral condition of the world, had been fulfilled. The final two visions, one related to the Roman Catholic Church gaining power in the United States and the second detailing the destruction of the United States, would be fulfilled by 1977, subsequent to which Christ would return.[2] - The source cited does not support this. Babinksi makes no connection to "seven prophecies", and only mentions an earthquake prophecy. I am rewriting to this to actually align with the source, as follows: Branham predicted the rapture would happen in 1977, preceded by various world-wide disasters including including Los Angeles sinking during an earthquake, the unification of denominational Christianity, and the Pope rising to world power.
  • Branham's most controversial revelation was his claim to be the end-time "Elijah" prophet of the Laodicean Church age. - Synth? OR? The sources state the claim, but none call it "Branham's most controversial revelation". Two of the sources (Larson and Babinksi) do not actually state any opinion on the claim, other than to record it. Duyzer points to serpent seed as his most controversial doctrine. Weaver sort of supports the "most controversial" statement, but only narrowly so. Because of the conflicting views, I am demoting this to just "a controversial..." This is most impact because this sentence is also in the lead.
  • For the most part, Branham, his message, and his followers are little known in the Western world. Bob Larson, in Larson's Book of World Religions and Alternative Spirituality, refers to Branham as an "odd historical footnote".[3] - the given source does not say this at all, in fact it is at odds with the source. This is a misreading of the source. It is clear Larson is saying he has included Branham in his book because he is NOT "an odd historical footnote," but because of the "lasting legacy" of his ministry. I am rewording this to reflect the source
  • Given the lack of corroborating evidence for this event, Baptist historian Doug Weaver believes it is possible that Branham later embellished the incident when he was achieving success in the healing revival.[4] - I think this is a misread of the source. First, a lack of corroborating references is not the basis for Weaver to question the event. (He actually sites supposed witnesses) Weaver questions the event because Branham failed to attach much significance to it in his early career and because Branham appears to have re-interpreted the event in his later career. Secondly, Weaver advances two theories on this event, one apologetic, one not. The current statement is a misuse of this source to just include one of the two alternatives given. I have adjusted this sentence accordingly.
  • Branham stated that his first exposure to Pentecostalism was in 1936; however, the First Pentecostal Baptist Church he attended prior to 1933 believed in most of the basic doctrines of Pentecostalism. As a result, Branham appears to have been exposed to Pentecostalism from the date of his conversion to Christianity.[5] - I have struggled trying to understand this from the given source. I think the sentance does not effectively communicate the nuance that is indicated by Weaver.
    • Here is the issues
      • Weaver agrees Branham's first interaction with Pentecostals was in 1936
      • Weaver agreesthe church Branham was first converted at was the First Pentecostal Baptist Church, which was pre-1936 (Which seems a contradiction at first, but is not as you consider Weaver's other points)
      • Weaver says Branham was a Baptist at the time he was converted
      • Weaver says the First Pentecostal Church had a Baptist pastor
      • Weaver says First Pentecostal Baptist Church observed some Pentecostal doctrines (Divine healing being the only stated Pentecostal doctrine held by the church)
      • Weaver says Branham knew more about Pentecostals than he let on in 1936
    • I believe this is the correct way to understand these facts:
      • 1. Branham attended a Baptist denominational church at the time of his conversion
      • 2. Branham's first interaction with a Pentecostal denominational church was in 1936.
      • 3. Branham was nominally a baptist for the early part of his ministry
      • 4. Branham knew more about pentecostal beliefs than he initially let on in 1936 because he was exposed to some pentecostal doctrines during his time at the Baptist church
    • I do not believe this sentence accurately reflects these conclusions and I cannot see how to draw another conclusion from the facts as Weaver present them, therefore I am adjusting this sentence to the following: The First Pentecostal Baptist Church he attended at the time of his conversion was a nominally Baptist church that observed some Pentecostal doctrines, including divine healing.[6] As a result, Branham appears to have been exposed to some Pentecostal teachings from his conversion.[5] He was first exposed to a Pentecostal denominational church in 1936, where he was invited to join them, but refused.[6]
He was advertised as the pastor of the "Pentecostal Tabernacle" in 1935 and appears to have paid off his loan for the "Billie Branham Pentecostal Tabernacle" in 1936. http://searchingforvindication.com/2013/06/30/First-Appearances-Of-The-Pentecostal-Tabernacle/ Less wrong (talk) 23:03, 7 March 2018 (UTC)
This is unfortunately a primary source and cannot be used. Weaver is the only secondary source that discusses this topic and I believe the article fairly represents his position: It was a Baptist church that observed some Pentecostal doctrines, divine healing being the only one explicitly stated. This article, also a primary source, seems to agree with Weaver (http://en.believethesign.com/images/0/06/VofHealingOct50pg14.jpg), Davis was a Baptist preacher but the church Pentecostal. The resolution to the conflict seems most logically to be Weaver's assessment: It was a Baptist church that observed some Pentecostal doctrines. —Charles Edward (Talk | Contribs) 20:47, 21 March 2018 (UTC)
  • An analysis of his teaching on the identity of this Laodicean prophet-messenger reveals conflicting and confusing assertions and disclaimers. - I have not been able to locate a source for this sentence, I am removing it.
  • Branham believed that he was (and desired to be) the eschatological prophet, but also had doubts about his role.[7] - The given source does not support the sentence as wrote. Weaver actually says all the characteristics Branham described matched his own life, but Branham did not directly claim to be the messenger. On page 132, it does say Branam desired to be that prophet, but I cannot find a reference in Weaver, and on page 133 Weavers claims Branham likely privately believed he was, but again on page 132, that he left the interpretation up to his followers. So I have updated the sentance as follows. Branham desired to be the eschatological prophet,[8] but never stated he was.[9] Weaver believes Branham considered himself to be the prophet he spoke of, but had self-doubt.[9] Branham left the interpretation open to his followers, who widely accepted that he was indeed that prophet.[9]
Can I quote Branham? It does not appear that he had doubts, but rather that indirect statements were more effective and more frequently used. He was rather direct about being a prophet - 400+ times. https://docs.google.com/document/d/1XVVkPHoffAgkbwA-we26yvnvVGhHX1bvIGCdzOe2k0c/edit?usp=sharing Less wrong (talk) 00:29, 8 March 2018 (UTC)
We cannot use primary sources, unfortunately. Weaver is the only author who deals with topic in detail and I am reflecting his viewpoint. I see what Weaver is saying, Branham clearly believed he was the prophet. But there was never a full throated declaration by him saying "I am the prophet with the Elijah anointing and Laodecean messenger who is here to herald the second coming." It is frequently implied, but never directly stated. He said he was a prophet and a messenger, but never specifically that he was that prophet or messenger. —Charles Edward (Talk | Contribs) 20:47, 21 March 2018 (UTC)
  • Although not always consistent with each other, his primary concerns were eschatology, the denial of an eternal hell, Oneness Pentecostalism, predestination, eternal security and the serpent's seed.[10], This is difficult to source as written. I am breaking it up into separate sentence so each part can be properly attributed. Additionally I think this is a misread of weaver. Weaver says his primary concern was solely eschatology, and then lists the othor items as things of secondary importance.
  • Branham asserted that his doctrinal teachings were given to him by divine revelation.[11] - this is not supported by the given source. At this point I have not come across a reference supporting it (although it seems like a pretty straight forward thing to say, it is OR or SYNTH to include it without a source.)
  • The doctrine of Annihilationism was not a new concept to Pentecostalism as Charles Fox Parham had also advocated the doctrine.[12] - this is not in the given source at all... Clearly a misure of the source and someone trying to mislead a reader... However, I have found another source which generally supports the point (https://books.google.com/books?id=6GLISQjySHwC&pg=PA31&lpg=PA31&dq=parham+eternal+hell&source=bl&ots=vMzOiq7mvr&sig=Ek30WBFfWYJlB0WkLGADg0oQqRY&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwjKz97T877ZAhWozIMKHSfuDNYQ6AEINTAD#v=onepage&q=parham%20eternal%20hell&f=false), and I am rewording the sentence accordingly.
  • Although Branham had taught the doctrine since 1957, he suggested in 1960 that the Holy Spirit had just revealed it to him as one of the mysteries that God was revealing in the "end-time".[12] - I think this is another misreading of the source. It is not clear whether the author is saying Branham claimed to have been revealed the revelation in 1960, or if in 1960 he was referring to an earlier point when it was a revelation. The amazement of the author seems to be the fact that he claimed the revelation to be new, as opposed to something that was already in circulation in Pentecostalism - not that Branham contradicting himself. I am rewriting accordingly
  • and it was also reported that Branham had told some Trinitarians that he agreed with them, but that he felt obligated to the "Jesus Only" Pentecostals because they had supported him early in the revival. I cannot locate a supporting reference for this statement. I am moving it to here until a reference can be found. Removing this does seem to substantially alter the section.
  • Branham taught that Eve and the serpent had sexual intercourse and Cain was their resulting offspring,[10] and that consequently every woman potentially carried the literal seed of the devil. this is directly lifted from Weaver. To avoid plagerism I am adjusting as follows - Branham taught that the story of fall in the Garden of Eden was allegorical.[13] He interpreted the allegory to mean that the serpent had sexual intercourse with Eve and Cain was their resulting offspring.[10] "Consequently every woman potentially carried the literal seed of the devil," according to Weaver's analysis of the doctrine."[13]
  • Branham's attitude toward culture was a very extremist perspective of "Christ against Culture", that education was Satan's snare for intellectual Christians who rejected the supernatural and Satan's tool for obscuring the "simplicity of the Message and the messenger".[14] - this is another direct quote from Weaver that is not properly attributed and equals plagiarism. I am adjusting accordingly. - According to Weaver, Branham's attitude toward culture was "a very extremist perspective of "Christ against Culture"", that education was "Satan's snare for intellectual Christians who rejected the supernatural" and "Satan's tool for obscuring the 'simplicity of the Message and the messenger'".[14]
  • However, other than those that still follow him as their prophet, Branham has faded into obscurity. - that is in the lead. I have not found any source to support this. In fact, most sources outright contradict it and point to his strong lasting legacy and impact on the charismatic move and televangelism.
  • However, other than those that still follow him as their prophet, Branham seems to have faded into obscurity. Robert Price,[who?] as quoted by Douglas Weaver, summarized Branham's legacy as follows:"In the days of his prominence, the 1950's, what Spirit-filled believer did not know his name? Yet today, we may wonder, what believer does?"[15] - there is not page number given in this cite, and I did not find this in my read through of the book.

Suggest a few minor revisions: In the "Opposition to modern culture" section, third paragraph, it says, "When he was given a new Cadillac as a gift, he kept it parked in his garage for two years out of embarrassment before giving it away." Weaver pg 109 does not say that he gave it away. He actually had that car until his death. Suggest removing that part of the sentence on the basis that the source does not agree.

In the "Eschatology" section, first paragraph, it says, "The sermons closely aligned with the teachings of C.I. Scofield and Clarence Larkin..." There is an error in the citation. It should be Weaver pg 99, not Weaver pg 103. On that same citation, Weaver does not say that WB's teachings on the subject align with those of Clarence Larkin. It'll need a different citation if you want to mention Larkin's work. Suggest adding a citation to Larkin's book on "Dispensational Truth." Later in that same paragraph, there's a typo "Malaci" should be "Malachi".

Under the "Legacy And Influence" section, third paragraph, the information published in Weaver pg 151-153 is outdated. You can easily retrieve current numbers of WB followers (I don't want to get in trouble for a COI, or I'd give you the website). *I work for WB Ministries. DEvans (talk) 18:00, 2 March 2018 (UTC)

Lead with citations[edit]

MOS prohibits cites in the lead, but I am including here for reference. Note all statements have been verified as being present in the body with a citation.

William Marrion Branham (April 6, 1909 – December 24, 1965)[16] was an influential American Christian minister and faith healer who initiated the post-World War II healing revival.[17] He is recognized as the "principle architect of modern restorationist thought"[18] who left a lasting impact on televangelism and the modern charismatic move.[19] The first American deliverance minister to successfully campaign in Europe,[20] his ministry reached global audiences with major campaigns held in North America, Europe, Africa, and India.[21] At the time, his meetings in the United States were the largest religious meetings ever held in most cities.[22]

Branham's meetings as a faith healer started in 1946.[23] He claimed to have received an angelic visitation on May 7, 1946 commissioning his worldwide ministry.[24] He held numerous meetings around the world resulting in thousands of coverts and numerous reports of miracles.[22] His ministry spawned many emulators that quickly set in motion the broader healing revival that subsequently transitioned in the modern evangelical and charismatic movement.[25] His campaigning and popularity began to to decline in 1955 as the Pentecostal churches began to withdraw their support from the healing campaigns for primarily financial reasons.[26] Branham transitioned into a teaching ministry by 1960 which became increasingly controversial amongst the Pentecostalism.[27] Branham developed a unique theology that was primarily a mixture of Calvinist and Arminian doctrines,[11] with a heavy focus on Branham's own unique eschatological views.[11] Branham's espoused a controversial revelation that indicated he was the end-time "Elijah" prophet of the Laodicean Church age.[3][2][28] In his last days, Branham's followers placed him at the center of a Pentecostal cult of personality that continues to this day.[29] Branham died in a car accident in 1965.[28]

Note: I do not personally like this sentance: In his last days, Branham's followers placed him at the center of a Pentecostal cult of personality that continues to this day. Only one source states this, and three of the articles other main sources disagree with the label of cult. This is fully explained in the body, offering both views. I have not yet determined how to fairly summarize this in the lead, so I have left it as is for now.

  1. ^ Reiterman & Jacobs 1982, pp. 9–10.
  2. ^ a b Babinski 1995, p. 277.
  3. ^ a b Larson 2004, p. 79.
  4. ^ Weaver 2000, pp. 28–29.
  5. ^ a b Weaver 2000, pp. 32-34.
  6. ^ a b Weaver 2000, pp. 33.
  7. ^ Weaver 2000, p. 128,133.
  8. ^ Weaver 2000, p. 128.
  9. ^ a b c Weaver 2000, p. 133.
  10. ^ a b c Weaver 2000, p. 98.
  11. ^ a b c Weaver 2000, p. 118.
  12. ^ a b Weaver 2000, p. 119.
  13. ^ a b Weaver 2000, p. 111.
  14. ^ a b Weaver 2000, p. 114.
  15. ^ Weaver 2000, p. x.
  16. ^ Weaver 1978, pp. 22.
  17. ^ Harrell, p. 25.
  18. ^ Weaver 2000, p. v.
  19. ^ Weaver 2000, p. vi.
  20. ^ Weaver 2000, pp. 56.
  21. ^ Weaver 2000, pp. 51.
  22. ^ a b Weaver 2000, pp. 47.
  23. ^ Weaver 2000, pp. 45.
  24. ^ Weaver 2000, pp. 37.
  25. ^ Harrell, p. 40.
  26. ^ Weaver 2000, pp. 92.
  27. ^ Weaver 2000, p. 93.
  28. ^ a b Weaver 2000, p. 103.
  29. ^ Weaver 2000, pp. xiv.

Discussion[edit]

Thank you for the revision. I just finished reading it and I think it does a good job of better representing the broad variety of opinions from the authors. Polarizing figures like Rev. Branham naturally create extreme views in opposite ways among authors covering their lives, which makes it difficult to bring a balance to their wiki page. I think overall you've done a good job. Idealee (talk) 13:22, 25 February 2018 (UTC)

This editor has made very few edits on Wikipedia and mostly to William M. Branham. Theroadislong (talk) 20:16, 2 March 2018 (UTC)
This is true, but does not invalidate their opinion. :) —Charles Edward (Talk | Contribs) 20:18, 2 March 2018 (UTC)
I want to thank you people who have gotten interested in this article, as it has been out of balance for a long time. For one thing, whenever Branham predicted 1977 would be the end, he always said that this was his personal prediction and he always said "I can't say that the Lord told me that".
Also, if you look at the references, they are nearly all Weaver's opinions. Opinions..... not what Branham said at all. Only Weaver's opinions or his own personal thoughts. Weaver did have a lot of truth in his book, but when you mix that with the negative opinion that radiates throughout his entire book, it makes everything off-balance. The only way to balance this page is to use other sources more than Weaver. Danpeanuts (talk) 06:55, 6 March 2018Danpeanuts (talk) 14:55, 6 March 2018 (UTC)
I understand your viewpoint. When I first reviewed the article, I found almost all of Weaver's negative assessments were in the article, but few of his positive ones. I think his negative assessments are valid because of the nature of his source. The negative assessments (and positive) are all now clearly attributed in the article so the reader knows... For example, the "personality cult" and "misogynistic" parts are from weaver - Valid. But the "principle architect" and "first deliverance minister to campaign in Europe" and "lasting legacy on charismatic and evangelical Christianity" are also in Weaver, but were left out. It is unfair to use a source in a biased way like that. The absence of his positive assessments was unfortunate. I am hoping that this has been largely corrected to bring more balance overall. (Ditto for Harrell and Larson, but Weaver was most selectively used of all) WP:RNPOV gives us a solid guideline for writing articles on matters of religious faith, and I have done my best to ensure that this criteria is met. There may still be room for improvement. —Charles Edward (Talk | Contribs) 17:37, 6 March 2018 (UTC)

@Charles Edward:Please take a look at the "Legacy and influence" section, second paragraph. It says "Most doctrines Branham espoused in the closing years of his ministry were rejected by the Charismatic movement, which viewed them as "revelatory madness".[note 9] Charismatics are more apologetic towards Branham's early ministry." It seems like a contradictory statement to me, but I don't have Moriarty's book to check it. Please take a look.

Also, the opening paragraph says, "His divergent teachings were deemed increasingly controversial by his Charismatic and Pentecostal contemporaries, who subsequently disavowed his teachings as 'revelatory madness'". However, the quoted sentence in the text says, "Most doctrines Branham espoused in the closing years of his ministry were rejected by the Charismatic movement, which viewed them as "revelatory madness". It reads in the opening paragraph like all his contemporaries "disavowed his teachings as 'revelatory madness'". This is obviously not the case from reading the entire article; in fact, I'd say that "most" of his teachings were fairly mainstream Apostolic Oneness. The few outliers are listed in the doctrine section. Please change that sentence in the opening paragraph to accurately reflect the text.

I haven't seen the Branham page in a while. It looks really nice. Misterniceguy (talk) 01:51, 17 April 2018 (UTC)

I will try to take a look tomorrow. I do have access to the source. Probably means most of his "new" doctrines, as opposed to most overall. Thanks for your copy edit and fact checking! From memory, Moriarty indicates the healing revival was accepted by the charismatics, they accepted and believed the "signs and wonders", but they generally rejected his anti-denominational views, unique dispensational views, serpent seed, predestination and eternal security views, and moved away from his traditional holiness views. —Charles Edward (Talk | Contribs) 02:49, 17 April 2018 (UTC)
I finally got to review the source. I see your point, the lead is not as precise as the body. I have tried to clarify. His contemporaries accepted his healing revival period teachings, but generally rejected his post-revival teachings. That is what is attempting to be conveyed, to show the break. Many of his teachings were indeed mainstream to Pentecostalism per Weaver, but he definitely introduced a string of "new" doctrines that they considered wrong and rejected. I think its improved now. Feel free to adjust as you see fit. —Charles Edward (Talk | Contribs) 23:00, 17 April 2018 (UTC)

Consensus for removing Jim Jones paragraph[edit]

There appears to me that there is a historic consensus to remove the Jim Jones paragraph, with 7 editors in favor or removal, and one in favor of keeping. I am starting this section to determine if that consensus still exists. The paragraph in question follows:

Among Branham's emulators was Jim Jones, the founder and leader of the Peoples Temple.[1]Seeking a means to catapult his fame and earn followers, he invited Branham to a religious convention organized by Jones' church and held at the Cadle Tabernacle auditorium in Indianapolis from June 11 through June 15, 1956.[1] Jones counted on Branham's wide popularity to draw a large crowd to help launch his own career.[1] Branham critics, Peter Duyzer and John Collins, reported that Branham "performed numerous miracles" drawing a crowd of 11,000.[2]Jones became later known for the mass murder and suicide at Jonestown in November 1978.[1] According to Collins, Jim Jones and Paul Schäfer were influenced to move to South America by Branham's 1961 prophecy concerning Armegeddon.[3]
  1. ^ a b c d Reiterman & Jacobs 1982, pp. 50–52.
  2. ^ John Collins and Peter M. Duyzer (October 20, 2014). "The Intersection of William Branham and Jim Jones". Alternative Considerations of Jonestown & Peoples Temple. San Diego State University. Retrieved August 15, 2017.
  3. ^ Collins, John (October 7, 2016). "Colonia Dignidad and Jonestown". Alternative Considerations of Jonestown & Peoples Temple. San Diego State University. Retrieved August 15, 2017.

To quote this articles GA reviewer: "the Jones piece is more of a side thought and shouldn't have too much prominence in this article since Jones wasn't famous for the suicide at that time." I agree with this statement. As part of my efforts to improve the quality of this article for featured article status, I found that none of the biographical or healing revival works from this article mention a connection between Branham and Jones. A connection indeed existed, as established in Reiterman, but was no more noteworthy that Jones connection to Bill Graham, the NAACP, the Urban League, etc.. As a result, I believe its inclusion here is undue weight. Per WP:Undue, the manner in which to determine the appropriate amount of weight to give any element is by a review of the body of sources. A review of Kydd, Hanegraff Harrell, Weaver, Larson, Babinski, and Moriarty reveal that they gave no weight at all to this fact. This fact has weight to the Jim Jones article, it has little or no weight here. —Charles Edward (Talk | Contribs) 21:04, 2 March 2018 (UTC

  • Support remove of this paragraph due to undue weight —Charles Edward (Talk | Contribs) 21:04, 2 March 2018 (UTC)
  • Not supported This source [1] Gone from the Promised Land: Jonestown in American Cultural History by John R. Hall says "Jones drew on techniques he apparently had learned from Hoosier evangelist William Branham years earlier” Theroadislong (talk) 21:34, 2 March 2018 (UTC)
  • Support I lean towards supporting the removal of Jim Jones from this article as I have not found references to Branham in many of the online biographies found online such as this one:

https://www.indystar.com/story/news/history/retroindy/2013/11/18/peoples-temple/3634925/?from=new-cookie I have not yet read Jeff Guinns book, Road To Jonestown, which seems to be very comprehensive concerning Jim Jones, I will try to obtain it this weekend and see if it mentions Branham at all. I will reserve my final judgement till then. Idealee (talk) 04:38, 3 March 2018 (UTC)

Yes he features in that book see here [2] Theroadislong (talk) 09:50, 3 March 2018 (UTC)
After reading the mention in Jeff Guinns book and also researching local Indianapolis newspapers, my opinion is that the Jim Jones mention should be removed.

Though Guinn and Reitterman do agree that co-headlining with Branham and seemingly using his draw and popularity to build his own base was a significant event in Jones life the same does not seem to be true in branham's life. From what I can gather this was just another meeting similar to his hundreds of others sponsored by a young, relatively unknown pastor (at the time).

In all fairness, I don't believe you can make a single sentence statement regarding someone with as much notoriety as Jim Jones and not have it at undo negative weight to the person it's being attributed to. The only way to then bring it back to appropriate balance would be to put the statement into proper context which would require devoting at least a paragraph to this one brief point in Branham's life, which I feel is unwarranted because of the brevity of the encounter and of it's meaningless nature as it relates to Branham. Idealee (talk) 17:32, 4 March 2018 (UTC)

  • Not supported - Reiterman's book is very clear on Branham's role in Jones' start in the ministry. Darlig 🎸 Talk to me 04:16, 4 March 2018 (UTC)
Just to make sure I am be clearing - I agree this is factual. My point is this is undue weight. Not a single one of Branham's biographers, and there are six neutrally published biographies on Brahnam, and none of them mention this as noteworthy. There is not a single Branham Biography that makes this point. Even the most critical, like Hanegraaf, make no connection to Jones. If none of his biographers, including the most critical give this fact any weight in their biographies, why should we do so here? —Charles Edward (Talk | Contribs) 18:28, 4 March 2018 (UTC)
Because we use reliable sources what ever they may be, NOT just biographies. Theroadislong (talk) 18:34, 4 March 2018 (UTC)
Biographies are an excellent way to determine what is and what is not undue weight for a wikipedia biography. The fact is worthy on inclusion on the sources you have given, because this fact has weight to those topics. Their topic not Branham though. The biographies on Branham are the best way to establish what is worthy for inclusion in his biography, and what is not. We will just agree to disagree. :) —Charles Edward (Talk | Contribs)
  • Not supported - Because of the fact that William Branham did have such a large impact in the life of Jim Jones as conceded by those who would remove the reference, and because of the fact that Jim Jones gained a following by using the same methods used by William Branham and similar teachings with regard to leadership and submission of followers, it stands to reason that such an important consequence following from those methods and teachings should remain in an unbiased article. To remove it would be to whitewash the legacy of the Branham movement. Clearthinker (talk) 02:25, 5 March 2018 (UTC)Clearthinkercontribs) has made no other edits outside this topic. --
  • Support -Here's what I wrote in a different section, but I think it is important to weigh in on the discussion for removing the Jones section. I changed my comment a bit from the original.

Including Jones in the article makes WB “guilty by association.” Other than Jones attempting to use famous evangelists to boost his ministry, neither Reitterman nor Guinn put any significant weight on the supposed connection. Guinn gives one sentence in his entire book, and even gets the dates wrong. Reitterman gives a little more, but it's also trivial. An obscure mention does not justify inclusion in this article.

WB was a very gracious person and almost always mentioned the organizing ministers where he spoke. He did not mention Jones at all while in Indianapolis (the transcripts are readily available). However, he did mention Joseph Boze many times (Boze was an organizer of the Indy events). The only time WB ever acknowledged Jones in 1,206 recorded sermons was one sentence at a Chicago convention (again, organized by Joseph Boze). It looks to me like Boze was the contact with WB in Indy, which makes sense because Boze/WB were close associates. Further, the meetings were held at Cadle Tabernacle, which was an independent rented venue for public events, not Jones’ church. There were a lot of different people involved in the planning of the Indy conventions not mentioned in Reitterman or Guinn. Note that no credible publication about WB mentions Jones.

People’s Temple (Jim Jones) also advertised a convention hosting famous evangelists such as TL Osborn and FF Bosworth in 1957, the following year. Note that this is not on the WP pages of those two evangelists.

Imagine if Eleanor Roosevelt’s WP page said that her message inspired Jones to move forward in his ministry (Reiterman pg37), that Billy Graham’s WP page said that he gave Jones career advice (Jones’ sermon transcripts http://jonestown.sdsu.edu/?page_id=62945 ), or that Martin Luther King’s WP page said that MLK inspired Jones’ mass suicide? (Jones written communication https://www.nytimes.com/1978/11/26/archives/jim-jonesfrom-poverty-to-power-of-life-and-death-arrested-for-lewd.html ) Of course, those things are ridiculous, but so is putting Jones on this page.

The bottom line is that Jim Jones had no significance in the life or ministry of William Branham. Including him makes a very bold statement. Unfortunately, that is what the reader will remember when he/she is finished with the page. That's a shame, considering all the hard work that has gone into this lately. *I work at WB Ministries. DEvans (talk) 13:25, 5 March 2018 (UTC)

  • Support Jim Jones had no influence or connection with Branham in any way. As I mentioned previously, Collins, who hates Branham is the one who published this opinion in the first place. Danpeanuts (talk) 15:28, 6 March 2018Danpeanuts (talk) 15:29, 6 March 2018 (UTC)
You are entitled to your opinion, but we have 5 dependable, independent sources that say there was a connection with Jones and Branham, whether we add that to the article is another matter, but you can't deny what the sources say. Theroadislong (talk) 16:34, 6 March 2018 (UTC)

As you know, I am not in favor of using Collins as a source. There are sources that Branham and Jones held a meeting together once. But Collins is the only source to say Branham played some role in influencing Jones in adopting cultic ways. However, in reviewing his material I also found this: [3], in which Collins also asserts that Jones believed Branham was dishonest and not preaching truthful sermons... I just find it perplexing, the same author is saying Branham had a great influence on Jones, but at the same time Jones thought Branham was a dishonest preacher. These facts do not really add up.. Just one more reason I think Collins should be discounted. In meantime though, I will add this conflict to the article. Its not fair to just present the first half. —Charles Edward (Talk | Contribs) 17:02, 16 March 2018 (UTC)

I really think we need to bring the back and forth arguing on this issue to rest if we expect to make this a featured article. I think Charles Edwards has laid out the best argument for or against and I am in complete agreement. I think the majority of editors here agree that there was in fact a connection as far as holding meetings together but the fact that none of Branham's respectable biographers mention Jim Jones speaks volumes as to the insignificance this connection has in relation to Branham. The only biographers that expound on that connection and give it a sinister twist are the books written by former followers who actively participate in anti-Branham web sites (which doesn't invalidate their opinions, but does call into question their neutrality) This reference should perhaps be mentioned on the Jim Jones page but I don't think it has any place here. Currently there are 5 in support of removing and 3 in support of not removing. Some editors here are concerned about the single issue editors voicing their opinion and voting on this issue but let me remind everyone that it was a single issue editor that initially placed this material here and also on the Jim Jones page (swiftredvette). I am removing this from the article, if you revert it please place a better argument than Charles Edwards, in favor of keeping it. Idealee (talk) 16:33, 15 April 2018 (UTC)

Consensus does not exist to have it removed. The biographers of Jim Jones think the connection was very important. It is understandable why the hagiographic biographers never mentioned the link. Given the imporance of Jim Jones to US religious history, it is worthwhile that the connection is mentioned. Darlig 🎸 Talk to me 16:48, 15 April 2018 (UTC)
I am not referring to the hagiographic books, I am reffering to Weaver and Harrel, which are the two most referenced works in this article. Even Hank Hanegraaff, fails to mention this connection and his book certainly is not hagiographical.
This is worthwhile on the Jim Jones page but I just don't see how you make a case for it here when the two most respected books on the subject and a multitude of others fail to mention it.
And how does the opinion of 5 editors supersede the opinion of 3?Idealee (talk) 17:49, 15 April 2018 (UTC)
Because one of those editors is a sock with only one edit to their name and another is SPA, we have multiple sources that cover Jones and Branham in-depth it just looks like cherry picking to say we are only going to use the biographies. Theroadislong (talk) 17:58, 15 April 2018 (UTC)
there are several SPA editors who voted to not support, I never once called their validity into question. If you feel there are editors who voiced their opinion unfairly or violated policy then perhaps you need to take this to a resolution noticeboard and have them figure out who has a voice regarding this question. I honestly think this is turning into a very well written article but just agree with Charles Edward regarding this particuar reference. Idealee (talk) 19:25, 15 April 2018 (UTC)
  • Not supported Those in favor of removing this is due to them trying to undo the many paper trails that show this ministry adversely affected lives. These same people are putting too much emphasis on this man's ministry and refuse to see any fault. Efforts must be continued to preserve the FULL history of this man and those associated with him. To lose this would be to open the door for removing anyone we didn't like connected to our own favorite person in history. The good and bad must be kept and shown to all so that objective reasoning can be achieved. This is not the only dangerous man to come from Branham's ministry but this is an excellent beginning point for those that will recognize the name Jones before Branham. Keep these factual statements in this article.

[1] [2] Aarynn7 (talk) 20:02, 15 April 2018 (UTC)Aarynn7contribs) has made no other edits outside this topic. --

I have delete the comments of 10 sockpuppet accounts used by Aarynn7, but have left his original comments, per WP:SOCKSTRIKE(see the SPI here) —Charles Edward (Talk | Contribs) 16:21, 23 April 2018 (UTC)

Wow! I am appalled! 5 "not support" votes from accounts created within an hour of each other! I guess that's one way to win an argument. Idealee (talk) 20:09, 15 April 2018 (UTC)

This is not a vote based on a numerical count. The comments from obvious sockpuppet accounts will be disregarded. Cullen328 Let's discuss it 20:17, 15 April 2018 (UTC)
thank you, I am a long time user but relatively new to editing. It wasn't my intention to start this whole thing, I thought several of us editors were in agreement to remove this paragraph, I apologize if I was in the wrong. Idealee (talk) 20:24, 15 April 2018 (UTC)
Welcome to the world of NRM's, Idialee. I have an interest in them and this was the first article I have tried to get classed as a GA. Not sure which one I will work on next but Charles Edward is doing a good job in moving to FA status. Darlig 🎸 Talk to me 20:49, 15 April 2018 (UTC)


It appears we have some sock puppets here. :) I am going to ask for a sock puppet investigation. Just wanted to give a head ups on that. (see here) I will respond briefly to the comments on here, which I assume are all from a single editor. No one is attempting to cover up anything, certainly not me. And I have no intention of removing the paragraph without consensus. The fact remains: there is not even one Branham biographer who includes Jones connection to Branham. Of course the connection is factual. But it is unimportant, as witnessed by the fact that none of his biographers - including multiple critical biographies - make no mention of the connection. Here is the facts as I currently see it: there are indeed several self published blog like articles and primary sources that do indeed allege that Branham is in some way responsible for the the mass murder at Jonestown. But none of them meet the criteria for reliable sources and are ultimately dishonest in that they ignore all the investigative work. There was a congressional investigation, among others. None of them mention Branham as a factor in anything. I took time to read all the source before I jumped into this article... It is not a secret why there was a mass suicide at Jonestown - it was all recorded on tape. There is no guessing. It is known fact. They committed suicide because they had just murdered a US Congressman, among others, and they believed the US Army was enroute to arrest them all and break up their families. Not because they missed the rapture in 1977... Branham was controversial, his doctrines were not mainstream, but he was not a cause of the Jonestown Massacre. It is my opinion, though I have no proof, that it the very same people or person publishing those blogs who added this information to this article in an attempt to give legitimacy to their claims. There are numerous people who had far more impact on Jones than Branhan. Jones may indeed have copied Branham's style, and may indeed used Branham to launch his own career. But Jones was in a league of evil all his own. I think the article captures and properly balances all these facts as it currently exists. But I still honestly believe it is a violation of the WP:UNDUE policy to include the Jones information at all because Branham's connection to Jones was a completely unimportant event in Branham's life. (I have never actually dug through the article history to figure out who added what, so I could be wrong about who added the Jim Jones paragraph) —Charles Edward (Talk | Contribs) 01:46, 17 April 2018 (UTC)

Quick followup, all the sock puppet accounts where indefinitely blocked (see here) —Charles Edward (Talk | Contribs) 15:10, 18 April 2018 (UTC)


I took a few days off because honestly, I got a little frustrated the last time I was here. But after looking at my actions and doing a little reading into the Wikipedia definition of “consensus” it appears that I was in the wrong. I made the mistake of assuming that “consensus” meant just a number vote but now I understand that that was a misunderstanding on my part. Everyone, please accept an apology from a “newbie” that was trying to be bold but ended up being a little more reckless than bold :) Idealee (talk) 11:57, 2 May 2018 (UTC)

Just a quick note: consensus still seems to be lacking for removal. 5 support removal, and 3 oppose (after discounting socks). Maybe we will get a few more editors to weigh in during FAC review. —Charles Edward (Talk | Contribs) 17:51, 3 July 2018 (UTC)

I am a little surprised that you are coming back to this issue. The connection between Branham and Jones is very strong from the secondary sources on Jones. To have it included in the article on Jones but not in the article on Branham seems a bit strange. I do appreciate that the followers of William Branham would like it removed but I think that should be discounted in favour of a more balanced view. I would not be opposed to reducing the scope of the comments but the facts are clear from Jones' biographers that the meetings with Branham were pivotal in launching Jones ministry. Darlig 🎸 Talk to me 06:09, 11 July 2018 (UTC)
I continue to stand on policy. There is not a single Branham biographer who notes Branham's connection to Jones as significant. There is only a single reliable source I have located that notes the connection at all, and it is the one I found to cite what the article currently says. I am not saying the connecting did not exist, I am saying per WP:UNDUE, it should not be included because the coverage it is given in the article is disproportionate to its importance to the subject. Which, while there is not consensus yet, is the majority position of the editors commenting on this page this far. A brief read through this talk page history will reveal and additional four editors who agree with my assessment, but who have not yet commented in this new section. Added with the present count, that would be (11 to 4). WP:UNDUE says "Keep in mind that, in determining proper weight, we consider a viewpoint's prevalence in reliable sources, not its prevalence among Wikipedia editors or the general public." The Jones connection is only in one reliable source, and thus of minor importance. Additionally, WP:Proportion states "An article should not give undue weight to minor aspects of its subject, but should strive to treat each aspect with a weight proportional to its treatment in the body of reliable, published material on the subject." (This is a Branham biography, thus the body of work applicable would be other Branham biographies). It is my assertion that there not a single reliable source on the subject of William Branham who give any attention whatsoever to the approximately two days of time Branham and Jones spent together, at a time Jones was an unknown and nonfamous person. In short, Branham is somewhat relevant to Jones, but Jones is not relevant to Branham. The only places that assert this connection is noteworthy are self published blogs and other non-reliable sources. And quite interestingly the Jones information entered this article about the same time those blog entries were created, making it a fairly safe assumption that either the same person made both, which is a ban-able violation of policy, or those blog article influenced someone to add the information to this article. (Note it had zero reliable sources used as citation when I first began working on the article. I had to go hunt just to find the single Reiterman source.) So it is quite clear the inclusion of the Jones connection in this article is to try and promote a minority viewpoint that Branham is connected to Jonestown Massacre. —Charles Edward (Talk | Contribs) 00:02, 28 July 2018 (UTC)
' Support ' I want to ask why this Jim Jones article was not removed long ago. Most of us agree that Jim Jones had no connection with Branham at all. Just because John Collins (who hates Branham) wrote that they once held separate meetings in the same building on the same day in no way connects the two. In 2,000 hours of preaching, I don't believe Branham ever mentioned Jim Jones at all. According to the FBI tapes of Jim Jones (from communicating with John Collins) I understand that Jones said that Branham told him (Jones) that he would be in trouble someday. Jones talked disrespectfully about William Branham, Billy Graham, and Oral Roberts, so he was no friend of either of them. Please remove this paragraph or I will. This is nonsense. Why was it ever put in this article in the first place? Danpeanuts (talk 07:35, 11 Oct. 2018 —Preceding undated comment added 14:36, 11 October 2018 (UTC)
Theroadislong: Why did you put the Jim Jones article back? As you can see, most of the opinions say it shouldn't even be here because there is no connection between Jones and Branham. Please answer me! I believe you've gone against the Wikipedia guidlines. Danpeanuts (talk 08:16, 13 Oct. 2018 —Preceding undated comment added 02:10, 14 October 2018 (UTC)
Theroadislong: I do not want to be warring on this matter but this is a settled subject. The consensus is that the Jim Jones article should be removed. It was published by John Collins and if you will look at his website you will see that Collins' goal is simply to trash Branham. Since you haven't responded, I am again removing the Jones article. I want to hear from you why you insist on keeping this in opposition of the general consensus of the other editors. Danpeanuts (talk) 07:30, 15 October 2017Danpeanuts (talk) 14:30, 15 October 2018 (UTC)
Consensus is not a majority vote. There was no consensus to remove it. Given the importance of Jones to American history and the fact that Branham now appears to have held several joint meetings with Jones and is credited with having helped Jones launch his career (see the articles at https://jonestown.sdsu.edu), it should remain. If you take the time to read Jones' biographers, you will see the important Branham connection. Darlig 🎸 Talk to me 23:35, 15 October 2018 (UTC)
Darlig, I need to know why you insist on controlling this website. Also Theroadislong seems to agree. You two continually support negative things to put in the Branham page. There was one minister who said he thought only a few were healed in the meetings (You have his opinion in the article), although I have a copy of the South Africa newspaper that says multitudes were healed in the meeting in Durban, S. Africa. I would like to know why one man's opinion outweighs a large city's newspaper with pictures. Why can't there be a balance? If a negative opinion is offered, there should also be an actual truthful report. This seems to be like CNN reporting on President Trump (about 90% negative). What is your motive? I see that the general consensus is to remove this Jones article. Why can't it be done? Do you have seniority in Wikipedia? Danpeanuts (talk) 08:00, 16 October 2018Danpeanuts (talk) 02:56, 17 October 2018 (UTC)
I don't think you understand Wikipedia. Care must be taken to avoid original research by editors and to avoid giving undue weight to particular observations, views or experiences. Wikipedia articles should rely on published secondary sources and, to a lesser extent, on tertiary sources. I do not control Wikipedia but I have spent a lot of time learning to understand how to write a good Wikipedia article. None of the secondary sources state that healings ocurred. The fact some people believe this to be the case does not provide weighting. If you can provide a good secondary source that backs up your viewpoint, then it should be included in the article. But if you don't have support, then those views should not be included. There are multiple secondary sources that clearly state that Branham helped launch Jones. I understand you don't like that but that does not negate the fact that those secondary sources exist. I spent a lot of time getting the article to good article status but I was not the editor that applied for and spent the time getting feature article status for the Branham article. Darlig 🎸 Talk to me 05:01, 18 October 2018 (UTC)
Darlig; you told me that care must be taken to avoid giving undue weight to particular observations. Yet that is what you are doing on this whole Jim Jones article and other places too. I saw the newspaper ad that shows that Jones was to be at Cadle Tabernacle on a certain date and below it the ad said that William Branham was to be at Cadle Tabernacle on a certain date. That's all there was. It could have been a coincidence that they both held meetings on the same dates. Since John Collins is an enemy of Branham (see his website), may I assume that he second-guessed the whole idea that Jones held his meetings on the same date to gain popularity? As far as I can read, Jones never said such a thing. You can email Collins if you want and he will answer you. The only transcript that Collins gave me was where Jones said that Branham told him he (Jones) would someday be in trouble and that he (Branham) would be blessed. Then he (Jones) went on to talk disrespectfully about Billy Graham and Oral Roberts too. If you've read Rick Joiner's book "The Vision", you may have noticed on page 179 that while he (Rick Joiner) was in heaven he saw Branham there on one of the thrones, so it would appear that what he (Branham) said was true. Branham never mentioned Jones in public that I am aware of. You are doing wrong by putting John Collins' assumption in this article because that is giving undue weight to Collins' observation. This whole idea has no solid backing to it at all. It needs to be removed. Does Wikipedia have an authority that will settle this matter? Danpeanuts (talk) 05:10, 19 October 2018 Danpeanuts (talk) 12:13, 19 October 2018 (UTC)
Ah...that's OK then... "while Rick Joiner was in heaven he saw Branham there on one of the thrones" that is the most bizarre comment I have ever seen on Wikipedia! My response is pointless against such strong evidence. Theroadislong (talk) 15:25, 19 October 2018 (UTC)

(outdent) I would disagree on one point with Darlig - there is only one (1) secondary source which makes note of Jones\Branham connection. That would be Reiterman. All other sources so far presented have been primary sources. Collins' articles are all primary source, as Collins himself is directly involved and seems to be one of Branham's followers... None of his work is peer reviewed. His coauthor (Duyzer) is also (former) Branham follower. Both are closely associated with the subject. I purchased and read both of their (self published) books when I updated the article and I found neither as passing muster as a secondary source. I would also argue that we are very close to having consensus to removing the Jim Jones information, but agree that it is still not quite there. Consensus is not majority vote, but generally 2/3 support is accepted as consensus in most other wikipedia forums. —Charles Edward (Talk | Contribs) 16:37, 19 October 2018 (UTC)

Number of members[edit]

@Theroadislong: I made an edit to the opening of the page in reference to a statement in the last paragraph. This is perfectly acceptable. Here is your comment to my edit "remove puffery which is only sourced to his own website." What are you talking about? Going back to the sourced information, there is only one place to get those kinds of numbers. Do you want to use information that is outdated over 30 years in a Wiki article? Plus, that information was taken from the same place! If this was Joseph Smith's page, then the Mormon church would have the most accurate numbers. It would be impossible for an author to do his/her own research for that type of thing. That's why it's OK to cite websites for certain things. What's with the attitude? — Preceding unsigned comment added by Misterniceguy (talkcontribs) 13:50, 19 May 2018 (UTC)

@Theroadislong: I just checked Mormonism, Catholicism, and Assemblies Of God pages in Wikipedia. Every one refers to the organization's facts as far as membership. There is a precedence set on Wikipedia pages. What's the beef? Misterniceguy (talk) 14:15, 19 May 2018 (UTC)
The source says 'Voice Of God Recordings serves about 2 million people worldwide who have a desire to receive Brother Branham's material. More than half of those are in Africa." it just didn't seem like a reliable source backed up by anything, but if that's what other religions do, feel free to revert. Theroadislong (talk) 14:23, 19 May 2018 (UTC)
Thanks. I'll do a little more research and see what I can turn up. Misterniceguy (talk) 15:23, 19 May 2018 (UTC)
The book The Healer-prophet: William Marrion Branham [4] says that there were no membership rolls. Does receiving Branham's material make people members? Theroadislong (talk) 15:34, 19 May 2018 (UTC)
Well, I didn't know that. I think it is important for the article to say how many people follow his teaching, because the article mentions his followers a number of times. I'll email the listed website and see what they say about the numbers, just for my own information. "Are they or are they not members, and what published information can we refer to?" In any event, 1986 numbers don't mean much. Misterniceguy (talk) 16:02, 19 May 2018 (UTC)
After doing a little more research, I have come to the conclusion that when you are "a member" of a religious movement or sect (Assemblies Of God, Baptist, etc), you are almost always speaking about a local church congregation that has core values in common with a wider group of people. Membership seems to be no more than a mailing list for church newsletters, etc; so the statement about no membership roles of Branhams is the case for most faiths. Voice of God Recordings' numbers come from their mailing lists, which they said are compiled by their offices and churches in various parts of the world. Plus, every Wikipedia page I looked at for religious movements/denominations recognizes numbers from the most accepted "headquarters" webpage. Therefore, I think it is appropriate to revert the opening statement to the more current numbers. Charles Edwards: I apologize, I just noticed that this article is under review, so you probably didn't need this controversy. However, it does make it a more complete article.Misterniceguy (talk) 17:16, 26 May 2018 (UTC)
I don't follow your reasoning? The statement "Today, there are an estimated 2 million followers of Branham's teachings" is absolutely NOT supported by the source which says "The 'Voice Of God Recordings serves about 2 million people worldwide who have a desire to receive Brother Branham's material." Being on a mailing list doesn't make you a follower of the church? Theroadislong (talk) 17:29, 26 May 2018 (UTC)
I simply think there should be a number of followers, members, subscribers, worshippers, admirers, believers, or some other semantically semi-accurate title that describes how many people follow his teachings today. They said (written communication) that between 2 and 3 million people claim to follow his teachings. Any idea on how we can include this factoid in the article? I didn't mean to cause a fuss.Misterniceguy (talk) 21:13, 26 May 2018 (UTC)
A listing at this website would have helped [5] where The Catholic church of the USA is listed as having 10,000 members for example. As for wanting some "semi-accurate title that describes how many people follow his teachings" I think that is appallingly sloppy. We simply can't say that they have two million followers based on that poor quality primary source. Theroadislong (talk) 21:50, 26 May 2018 (UTC)
I didn't mean to appall you with my sarcasm. The fact is that Wikipedia (and every other encyclopedia, etc) almost always uses primary-sourced data for this type of thing. Here's why: number of members is not an interpretive subject that can draw from other sources. It's a number calculated by a central source who has the only access to the data. It's almost impossible to prove it wrong. It's strange to me that what is acceptable on every other religious page I can find, is not acceptable on this one. This whole thing is strange to me. Here's a little more strangeness: I went to the website you referenced, went to the Catholic Church page, and they linked me right back to the official Catholic Church website. By the way, the Catholic Church has not had 10,000 members in the United States for more than 200 years; it's now closer to 70 million. Good luck trying to put that secondary-source information on the Catholic Church page. I'll try to reword my so-called sloppiness in a way to more accurately represent the sentence at the end of the article. Misterniceguy (talk) 22:53, 26 May 2018 (UTC)
Thank you very much, at last we are actually reporting what the source says, though a secondary source would be preferable (even if inaccurate}. Wikipedia is not concerned with the facts only what the reliable sources sources say. Theroadislong (talk) 07:08, 27 May 2018 (UTC)

The following statement in teh article has a primary source tag required tag. I have removed the tag, but if you insist on putting it back lets just delete the sentence instead.

In 2018, Voice of God Recordings claimed to serve Branham-related support material to about two million people through the William Branham Evangelical Association.[3][non-primary source needed]

So here is why I believe this is fine as is. The sentence says that they claim that they have served material to two million people. The reference is a reference to their claim. This is not presented as a fact, it is presented as a claim they make. It can be established by the source that they do indeed make the claim. Thus, it is acceptable proof for the sentence as wrote. Per WP:PRIMARY, "A primary source may only be used on Wikipedia to make straightforward, descriptive statements of facts that can be verified by any educated person with access to the primary source but without further, specialized knowledge." I think the primary source is used in this acceptable way, we are repeating their claim, and referencing their own publication of their claim. At any rate, I don't think we are going to find anything better than this out there at the current time. So in effort to keep the article clean, I would suggest we remove the sentence if we cannot resolve the tag. (Note I added the original sentance. Before that the most current number was from 1986, so I was just attempting to give some type of a current figure for the reader to understand.) —Charles Edward (Talk | Contribs) 17:43, 29 May 2018 (UTC)

Photos[edit]

Editors: If there is anything you need for this article regarding images, feel free to ask. We have an extensive archive and would be happy to give any needed permission(s) for the article. *I work for William Branham Ministries. DEvans (talk) 21:34, 6 June 2018 (UTC)