I did look for a policy on this before I edited it, and could not find one. Perhaps I didn't look hard enough. So can people say whatever they want to on their User pages? Nat32 | Talk 08:52, 28 Mar 2004 (UTC)
Your edits to Local churches and Local church controversy are growing more and more unacceptable - it is not appropriate to put commentary on other editors, PoV, or other things into main articles like this. Please reign yourself in. Snowspinner 19:11, 17 May 2004 (UTC)
Which edits, specifically, are you talking about? The only one that I can think of that is a little "out there" is the last one I made to Local church controversy. But they are slandering my father-in-law in a Wikipedia article! What am I to do? My "LPS" edit, though admittedly not appropriate for a Wikipedia article, is true. In my opinion, the entire Local church controversy article is not appropriate for Wikipedia.--Nat32 00:24, 18 May 2004 (UTC)
- I don't care what they're doing - if you behave inappropriately, you're going to get yourself in the same batch of trouble. I have no knowledge one way or another of the factual accuracy of your claims or theirs. However, you should be able to find a way to resolve this dispute - allegations, true or untrue, can be couched in phrases like "Some people criticize " or "Some argue" or "It has been alleged by some" or various things that make clear that not everybody holds this view. But simply trying to defend your father-in-law's name, while a noble goal, is not an appropriate goal for Wikipedia. Snowspinner 00:26, 18 May 2004 (UTC)
- Other than the LPS edit, are there any edits of mine with which you take issue? How should I respond to the untruthful slander against my father-in-law? Why are you not interested in the truth of my LPS edit? Why do you not even care to ask me to clarify? It seems you just assume that what they are saying is the truth, when in the first five sentences I can already count ten lies. If they lie ten times in five sentences, why can I not point that out?--Nat32 05:42, 18 May 2004 (UTC)
- You can't point that out because it's not a universally agreed upon fact - as evidenced by the fact that they're saying these things about him. Which means that all of the allegations should be described, and not just in a spin-off article but in Local church. And then at the end of every paragraph of allegations should be a bit that begins "Local church supporters argue that" and whatever their answer to the allegation is. And then it should be left at that - the debate should be unsettled, it should not be made clear who is right. Snowspinner 14
- 14, 18 May 2004 (UTC)
- How is it not verifiable fact that Philip is NOT Lee's oldest son, that he did NOT move to the USA from China, did NOT move to the USA in 1985, was NEVER the president of LSM, was NEVER thought even remotely by anyone to be an "heir apparent" of anything (let alone the "entire Local Church organization"--such a thought is ludicrous to the core), and DOES speak English? How is it not verifiable fact that LSM is a 501(c)(3) non-profit charity, and therefore by definition is not "profitable"? How is it not verifiable fact that the home owned by Lee--even at the height of the Southern California real-estate boom--was NEVER "multi-million dollar"? How is it not verifiable fact that Witness Lee did NOT have three wives? Even you, who consider yourself to be a neutral in this matter have been blinded by the out-right lies of a few. They have very effectively "poisoned the well", and you're not just drinking that water, you're swimming in it!--Nat32 18:29, 18 May 2004 (UTC)
- Considering that there are obviously people who think these things are true, and that, by your own admission, you've been chasing them around the web, I'd say there's clearly dispute, and those claims should be mentioned as allegations - not as fact, but as things that some people claim. Snowspinner 18:33, 18 May 2004 (UTC)
- Shouldn't some judgment be made as to the substance, relevance, and truthfulness of an allegation before Wikipedia allows it to become part of an article? Isn't Wikipedia supposed to be an encyclopedia? Or is it really a place for people to libel against their personal enemies? Where does Wikipedia draw the line? Will it really take a lawsuit to settle this? Or do Wikipedians have the fortitude to distinguish between fact and fiction? What if I make up some really wacky allegation about your father--not wacky enough to be automatically recognized as a scam, but just wacky enough to make people think, "Maybe it is true?"--and edit it into some Wikipedia article? According to your logic, as long as it is clearly marked as allegations, it would be just fine.--Nat32 19:09, 18 May 2004 (UTC)
- What you're going to have to do for this argument to fly is to show that these allegations and criticisms are not widespread. A quick search on Google, however, suggests that the Local Churches are under heavy criticism, and thus that allegations against them should go into arguments. Snowspinner 19:12, 18 May 2004 (UTC)
- The fact is, the allegations are perpetrated by a few very vocal, very belligerent people--people who know how to use the Iternet. Believe me, if I want my ficticious allegations about your father to appear to be "widespread" through a Google search, give me a year, and it will be so.--Nat32 19:23, 18 May 2004 (UTC)
Moved left because the colons are too many. Aside from the fact that I think more people would carea bout allegations about a religious leader than a mathematics professor, that's beside the point - the allegations are widespread now, and should be reported on as allegations - with no POV about whether they are true, untrue, or anything else. Snowspinner 19:30, 18 May 2004 (UTC)
- To say that Philip is a "religious leader" is nothing short of ridiculous. Not only has Philip never been thought of by anybody as a religious leader, he has never tried to become nor thought of himself as a religious leader.--Nat32 22:25, 18 May 2004 (UTC)
Thankyou for pointing me towards your comments on Talk:Local churches. However, as far as I can see, you haven't actually said to User:TheLocalChurch words to the effect "please change your username", you've simply said that you don't like it. I know this might seem like a fine distinction, but to be clear, it may be best to drop a note on their talk page saying something like "I am concerned that your username may lead people to believe that you have some official connection to the Local Churches, which may in turn lead people to think you are writing more more authority than you possess [or whatever your exact concern is, apologies if I have it slightly wrong]. So could you please not contribute under this name any longer and adopt a different one instead."
If that fails, you may want to take a look at Wikipedia:Username#Changing_inappropriate_usernames. However, bear the following in mind:
- The user has not posted under that name since May 11, and only made six edits under that name in the past two months.
- Enforced changes of usernames are rare and often controversial. It is far from clear that Wikipedia users as a whole would support an enforced change in this case.
- It isn't clear, in my opinion, that somebody really would be confused by that username (I don't think people read too much into usernames, since an editor can pick just about anything), and even if the user was connected with the Local Churches in some way, they would carry no more authority in their editing than anybody else.
- An editor's username is a relatively small point; the edits they make to articles are more important.
Putting all that together, I hope you'll agree that it's better to concentrate on the content of the articles than on people's usernames.
I'm saying all this as an ordinary user, by the way, not as an arbitrator.
While I'm here, I want to just briefly say something about the content dispute itself. Arbitration is an absolute last resort. If you really want to make a good-faith effort to resolve this matter there are other steps to go through first, as laid out in Wikipedia:dispute resolution. Try to talk to the parties involved, and solicit opinions from others. If, for whatever reason, direct discussion with others is proving difficult, seek mediation (see Wikipedia:Mediation). The people on the mediation committee are there to try and find a way towards a amicable solution to problems such as this. Unless you go through these steps and make an effort to resolve the matter yourself, I would say it is unlikely the arbitrators will want to solve it for you.
Finally, I must stress that this is just my opinion, and other users (including other arbitrators) may disagree with me. --Camembert
Cheng v. Anonymous and others
In Local Church controversy, a user going by the name of TheLocalChurch has suggested that my father-in-law has engaged in "sexual improprieties". This unfounded, slanderous rumor has been published in several other places on the WikiPedia by people who for various reasons dislike Witness Lee--my deceased grandfather-in-law--and are seeking to discredit him and his Christian ministry. I know the full origin and history of this rumor, and it is false, malicious, slanderous, and anonymous every step of the way. TheLocalChurch continues this tradition of anonymous slander by refusing to reveal his true identity, and continuing to hide behind the intentionally misleading moniker "TheLocalChurch", which I dispute in local churches.
I request that you require TheLocalChurch and others of his persuasion to stop posting unfounded accusations and rumors on this website against Witness Lee, his family, his co-workers, Living Stream Ministry, and the local churches. Furthermore, I request that you remove all mention of this slander from the histories of all of the pages on which it occurs, so that it becomes completely inaccessible on this website.
I also request that you require him to change his user name to something that is not deceptive.
Respectfully yours, --Nat32 05:18, 13 May 2004 (UTC)
The allegations are getting out of hand; please expedite this matter in your considerations. Thank you!
Comments by other users
I've been watching this page for some time, and it's an absolute mess. Both Mr. Cheng and the users he is complaining about have been going at this for way too long, and both of them are guilty of totally unacceptable and inappropriate edits to articles. I have suggested mediation to both parties in the talk pages, and have largely been ignored/rebuffed. I feel that, in light of this, arbitration is warrented - the parties are not agreeing to lesser steps, and the article is an absolute mess and an embarassment to Wikipedia. Snowspinner 19:17, 17 May 2004 (UTC)
- I'm willing to consider dealing with cases where one party to a dispute has attempted mediation and the other party is just not interested. It seems that this is not the case here - both parties are unwilling to try and find a mutually acceptable solution, they just expect us to do it for them. Am I right or not? --Camembert
- You are frankly right. I'm unsure why that disqualifies arbitration - surely if a page is deadlocked between two users who aren't going to let up their points of view and aren't going to allow for any mediation or talking to that's a case for arbitration, isn't it? How else is it going to get dealt with? The users aren't vandals, they're not going to get blocked. Should the page just stay in its current total mess of a state, with users editing attacks on each other into the article itself?
- Honestly, having been following the page for some time now, I think this arbitration request requires judgment on user conduct as much as on article content. As for the suggestion that it go through the usual content resolution processes... with all due respect, have you looked at Local church controversy? Look at the current version. Look at the past few versions. Look at the talk page. The page is not improving, and it's not going to improve at this rate. Snowspinner 00:09, 18 May 2004 (UTC)
- Yes, of course I've looked at the page and its history. Do you really think I'd comment on this if I hadn't?
- Of course the article can't stay in its current state forever, but the arbitration committee is not some sort of article quality control board. We're here to deal with quite serious matters, and we're here as a last resort. People can turn to arbitration when everything else has been tried, not when they've decided they can't be bothered to try anything else. The involved parties need to make an effort to solve this problem themselves. There are disputes similar to this one all over the Wikipedia, and we cannot and should not deal with them all. The arbitration committee has a number of other matters to deal with, some of them of some urgency. We're not getting paid for this, and doing it is no fun. I have no desire to solve other people's problems before they've tried to solve them for themselves. --Camembert 02:37, 19 May 2004 (UTC)
- I would love to see all of these matters mediated, because you will find that there is no substance to any of the allegations, but that they are made by belligerent people who for various personal reasons have something against someone who may have attended meetings in a local church sometime somewhere. I would love to see all of these matters come to light in this public forum.--Nat32 00:12, 18 May 2004 (UTC)
- If you think it would be useful, seek mediation. Arbitration is not the same thing as mediation. As for having these matters out in a "public forum": arbitration is not a forum for you to have a public argument. You can use the talk pages of the articles involved for that. --Camembert 02:37, 19 May 2004 (UTC)
Nat32's statement that "TheLocalChurch has suggested that my father-in-law has engaged in "sexual improprieties"" is without basis. My exact comments from Talk:Local Church controversy are as follows:
- Once again this has been a source of concern among the brothers, and is not something those outside the movement would concern themselves with normally. However it has been the source of controversy among the brothers.
Please recognize that I am not making allegations against Philip Lee. If I were to do such a thing, I would be much more clear about it, and not merely make an implication in passing. What this statement does state is that within the Local churches there have been allegations made.
I really have nothing personal against User:Nat32, however Nat32 himself states in Talk:Local Church controversy that he "been chasing this same handful of people around on the Internet for over 10 years--long before I had any personal involvement with the Lee family." If anything, he is not being objective about this matter, caught up in a knee-jerk reaction trying to protect the honor of his family. This is a laudable goal, but he shouldn't try to defend his honor where it isn't being violated. As far as chasing people around the Internet, this is merely a case of vigilanteism on Nat32's part.
TheLocalChurch 02:40, 21 May 2004 (UTC)
I've had some time to sleep on this, and since then I've had some more thoughts on this matter.
Perhaps Nat32 is correct that this matter needs to go to arbitration. The first contact I had with him was when he edited my user page, which was reverted by RickK who posted a note on Nat32's talk page. In response, Nat32 posted his edits to my talk page, and posted his comments to Talk:Local churches. I interacted with both his comments and made significant changes to my user page as a result.
I would like to note that Nat32's comments in the Talk:Local churches were primarily speculative in nature about me, which I responded to on my user page (as it really wasn't appropriate to have an ongoing discussion about these issues in Talk:Local churches). Specifically, there was speculation about my identity, suggesting that I might be Anton Hein, who is the rather well-known figure behind Apologetics Index, followed by speculation about Anton's purported child molestation.
At this point, it should be noted that Anton Hein himself posted in response to Nat32's speculations, giving links to specific details about these accusations. User:Nat32 continued to press the matter to agitate response - the matter can be seen in Talk:Local churches for interested parties. His comments about me (TheLocalChurch) making false accusations are clearly pot-kettle-black.
As to my moniker, TheLocalChurch, User:Nat32 to date has only informally disputed its use on Talk:Local churches. He did not ask me to change it, neither have I "steadfastly refused" to change it as Nat32 suggested. Now, it is May, and User:Nat32 wants to bring the matter to arbitration, by-passing all existing mechanisms for resolving the matter, including speaking with me directly on my talk page. I would ask users to check my user contributions: I don't make a secret of what, when, how, or where I have edited articles. Since June of last year, I have made only minor updates to articles, and most of my updates have been limited to discussion on various talk pages.
This said, if there is a need for arbitration with regard to User:Nat32, I am confident that the Wikipedia user community will make the right decision in this matter.
TheLocalChurch 13:45, 21 May 2004 (UTC)
- To the TheLocalChurch: Please change your name, for the reasons that I have already mentioned elsewhere on this site and to which reasons you have previously responded and rejected. Thank you. As a matter of formality (since that seems to be the order of the day) I will post this on your user talk page also.
- To the arbitrators: Please look into all these matters carefully and thoroughly. This case cannot be treated in a superficial manner. As for the charge that I participate in some sort of Internet "vigilanteism", please check this charge out with Google. I have never done anything anonymously (except for a few Anonymous Coward posts on /.)--indeed my cell phone number and address have been available at the top of my home page for more than 5 years.
- Who is the real vigilante here? Is it me who is defending myself, my family and my beliefs, or is it certain other people who have made it their life goal to villanize an entire group of people so as to cut them off from evangelical acceptance? --Nat32 21:14, 28 May 2004 (UTC)
Votes and comments by arbitrators
- Accept, no reasonable prospect for mediation. Fred Bauder 20:54, May 17, 2004 (UTC)
- Arbitration is a last resort; please try to resolve these problems by other means first. For the content dispute you might try mediation if all else has failed. For a change in user name, the first thing to do is to politely ask the person in question to change it. --Camembert
- Reject. We have a policy for changing inappropriate usernames - wikipedia:username - please use it. This appears to be a bog standard content dispute, and I see no reason why it can't be resolved by bog standard content dispute resolution methods: discussion, edits, reverts, compromise, etc, etc. This seems to have already been going on, and it should continue, unimpeded by outside intervention. Martin 23:24, 17 May 2004 (UTC)
- Reject, reasoning as with Cam, Martin. James F. (talk) 10:02, 8 Jun 2004 (UTC)
- Reject, same reasoning as above. --mav 05:14, 15 Jun 2004 (UTC)
Request rejected. Martin 23:21, 24 Jun 2004 (UTC)
Response to arbitrators
I did ask the user to change his name, and provided what I thought was a very reasonable argument for doing so, but he has steadfastly refused.--Nat32 00:00, 18 May 2004 (UTC)
TheLocalChurch is in clear violation of the rule on usernames, "No deliberately confusing usernames". He is refusing to change his name. Somewhere he has argued that he has a right to be deceptive in his username because he claims that the local churches are deceptive in something-or-other.--Nat32 00:03, 18 May 2004 (UTC)