Wikipedia:Good article reassessment/Meher Baba/1

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Meher Baba[edit]

Article (edit | visual edit | history) · Article talk (edit | history) · WatchWatch article reassessment page
Result: Keep. The article has certainly received a detailed review now! It has much improved and meets the criteria. Geometry guy 08:29, 14 July 2008 (UTC)

See Talk:Meher Baba#GA review - significant issues with a lack of sourcing (many unsourced paragraphs) and general need of cleanup (eg. an image without a caption) and prose that needs spiffing up. Passed GA at Talk:Meher Baba/Archive 3#GA. giggy (:O) 04:13, 23 June 2008 (UTC)

Comment is this Talk:Meher Baba/Archive 3#GA a GA Nomination? Does not seem like one. ≈ jossi ≈ (talk) 04:54, 23 June 2008 (UTC)
  • Comment. It doesn't look like this article received a proper GA review. After reading through it I agree with Giggy's assesssment that it misses the mark in a few areas. I've added a couple of {{fact}} tags for direct quotes. The prose is weak in spots and some sections are stubby. However, the article could be brought up to GA standards with a little work. Majoreditor (talk) 15:51, 23 June 2008 (UTC)
  • Comment - The article sorely lacks third-party sources. I have compiled an initial list of sources at Talk:Meher_Baba#Third_party_sources that could be looked into to have additional viewpoints presented, besides primary sources or sources closely related to the subject. ≈ jossi ≈ (talk) 15:59, 23 June 2008 (UTC)
  • Delist – Article never received a valid GAR.
I have no prior knowledge of this article or even its subject, but come here because of the question raised about the article's GA listing. I, too, think the GA listing is "dubious". Sharnak nominated the article for GAR on Jan 2, 2007 and Da54 picked up the Review and passed the article on Jan 17, 2007. Apparently, no detailed Review was provided, simply the Talk page post: "I see no reason not to pass this article for GA status. It meets all requirements. Passed. Da54 23:21, 17 January 2007 (UTC)." Not necessarily a problem except for the experience and edit history of the Reviewer, Da54, and the state of the article at the time of the GAR.
The Da54 identity was created on Jan 17, 2007, and existed for six days. Certainly, this doesn't preclude the possibility that the user behind the identity is an experienced WP editor, but a look at Da54's Talk page shows that the user's experience and knowledge were called into question immediately. During this week-long life Da54 completed eight GARs, passing all articles. In fact, GARs is the only activity Da54 did, not making a single article edit under that username. Again, it's possible Da54 may be a legitimate avatar of another user or could be a sockpuppet (it might be interesting to see if there's a common contributor to those eight articles). No matter. Three discussions were immediately initiated on Da54's Talk page in which no fewer than five editors raised serious questions and complaints about Da54's GARs. Da54's single response was to laugh off the concerns. In fact, these are the only posts on the page.
This certainly raises a question about the quality of those GARs. In fact, it appears some were apparently delisted. I looked quickly at the quality of a few of the other six articles (at the time of the GARs) and they appear to have obvious issues that would impede – if not prevent — listing (sourcing seems to be the most significant issue). This article was not specifically addressed by any of the five editors who criticized Da54's review, so it has remained GA. Given the questions and activity surrounding Da54, it is certainly appropriate to question this article's status. I also looked at this article's state at the time of the review and it, too, appears to suffer from similar, serious problems with sourcing; if I had performed the review I would not have listed this article. It's clear this article did not undergo a valid GAR.
Consequently, this article should be delisted and if an editor truly believes it currently meets GA criteria, then it should be renominated for a valid review. A quick look at the article as it stands now show sizable passages with no apparent sourcing; that alone shows more work needs to be done to bring the quality up to GA level.
Jim Dunning | talk 17:21, 23 June 2008 (UTC)

Comments: Asked to review the article, and comment on this GAR, I'll put my comments here:

  • The lead is not in accord in WP:LEAD. Long, with a stubby paragraph and a problematic structure.
  • As I see the MoS problems persist. For instance, single years are still linked.
  • "He was known for his lightning wit and universal knowledge, embracing both commerce and the arts. He claimed that all major established religions are essentially different beads on the same string, quoting freely from those traditions." Citation needed. And this "lightning wit and universal knowledge" does not seem very encyclopedical to me.
  • "Meher Baba explained that Hazrat Babajan was a perfect master, whose kiss unveiled him spiritually to his state of God-consciousness or God-realization. Subsequently, he reportedly went without food or drink for nine months, frequently beating his head against a stone to maintain contact with the physical world. Later he contacted the sadgurus Sai Baba of Shirdi and Upasni Maharaj of Sakori, who he said helped him to integrate this experience with normal consciousness, thus enabling him to function in the world without diminishing his experience of God-realization." Uncited. And aren't there any authors disputing the course of events as presented here?
  • "Meher Baba said that his silence" You probably mean he wrote, since he was silent!
  • "When they returned home, many newspapers treated their journey as an occasion for scandal." I would elaborate a bit on that. What did they accuse him exactly of?
  • "Discourses" is undercited.
  • "in a life of complete hopelessness, helplessness and aimlessness." ??? Meaning? This is an encyclopedic article; not a literary presentation of his life.
  • Are the events in "The New Life" widely accepted as presented in the article?
  • The picture in "1950s" has no caption.
  • "Meher Baba returned to India and began more periods of fasting, meditation, and seclusion. This seclusion work was draining and exhausting. Meher Baba said he was doing work on behalf of the spiritual welfare of all humanity." Uncited, and again the prose in uncyclopedic.
  • In general, an important or maybe the most important problem of the article is the lack of any reference to any criticisms towards Baba, except for a very brief reference to a "scandal" with no further details provided.

The article is at a better status since my previous review, but I am not absolutely sure it is at GA status.--Yannismarou (talk) 10:15, 26 June 2008 (UTC)

Thanks for this very helpful critique. I don't care if the article is GA, but I do want to clean it up. Some points where I could use advice:
  • And aren't there any authors disputing the course of events as presented here?
--Well, mostly no, which is a problem. There is one source Paul Brunton's A search in secret india with 2 chapters where Brunton meets Meher Baba. He speculates -- based on zero credentials -- that following the meeting with Babajan, Baba "fell into a condition of semi-idiocy and behaved like a human robot, but it is not so obvious now that he has recovered sanity." Brunton also makes observations like this: "...he really is an irresolute man, influenced by others. His small pointed chin is eloquent on this point." Etc, etc., etc. 40 pages or so. That's basically it for critiques during the 30s. Brunton is such a pompous blowhard, it seems to me his POV adds little other than to say: surprise, some people didn't think Baba was so hot.
--Also, and more to the point, I can't find any way to weave this into the narrative.
  • Are the events in "The New Life" widely accepted as presented in the article?
-Yes, completely. But I will add citations and refs; thanks for the pointer.
  • a very brief reference to a "scandal" with no further details provided
-I have read newspaper articles from London in the 30s. These exist in hard copy at the Meher Center Library in Myrtle Beach. Can't get there now, and can't find copies on line. So I'll give you my synopsis: The 'scandal' is not stated overtly, but clearly implied...White Women! Following a svengali-like 'god-man'! to live with him in India. In a group! In scanty clothes! And probably no corsets! The articles add quotes from some of the women that are clearly meant to make them look Naive and probably Loose. Get the Picture? The articles say. But they don't accuse anybody of anything.
-I think it's right to acknowledge that there was a public scandal, as described to me personally by some of these women. Now I come to think of it, some of them may have described this in their published memoirs. I'll look.
  • In general, an important or maybe the most important problem of the article is the lack of any reference to any criticisms towards Baba
-OK, but not for lack of looking. So far as I can tell, no one has published exposes similar to those associated with other charismatic spiritual figures like Rajneesh, Maharaji, Muktananda, etc. Baba is more in the Nice Guy category: not a lot of criticisms about Mother Theresa, Ramanamaharshi, Ramakrishna, etc.
-Brunton is such a windbag, it's pitiful, and his criticism seems highly personal and not a little prejudiced.
-Rachel Brown published a fictionalized memoir of her childhood in Baba's ashram, All the fishes come home to roost. She lived there after Baba's death, and didn't like it very much, and has plenty of nasty comments about the people she lived with. But I don't know how to turn her fictionalized narrative of how badly she was treated by Baba's old mandali into a criticism of Meher Baba.
-I agree that absence of criticism diminishes the article, but I can't find good scholarly sources to add.

--Nemonoman (talk) 14:14, 27 June 2008 (UTC)

Mother Teresa has some notable critics, so does Ramakrishna. There are newspaper/magazine accounts with some material that could be useful, but I would not categorize these as "criticism" besides one specific article that may not be useful as it is op-ed material rather than facts. I agree with Yannismarou that some passages need to be re-written in an encyclopedic tone. ≈ jossi ≈ (talk) 17:29, 27 June 2008 (UTC)
I'm working on that.--Nemonoman (talk) 18:33, 27 June 2008 (UTC)

CLEANUP: I've done some cleanup of the biography. I don't feel comfortable messing with philosophy. If anyone wants to comment after a second look, I'd appreciate it. `

NOTE: The article has been gone over pretty seriously in the past week. I invite a re-review by anyone concerned. --Nemonoman (talk) 14:50, 30 June 2008 (UTC)

FINAL NOTE: The article has been heavily reworked, and I believe that most if not all of Yannismarou's concern have been addressed. I no longer have much faith in the GA/GAR process, following my experiencs with the Taj Mahal GAR. So I don't intend to nominate this article for GA. In its present form, it meets or exceeds GA criteria as I understand them (although clearly NOT FA), and so a GA delisting is unneeded and frankly counterproductive. --Nemonoman (talk) 22:49, 30 June 2008 (UTC)

  • Keep: I vote to keep in light of above comments. I don't see any reason why this article should be demoted to B even if its original status procedure was flawed. It is apparently a very different article now. Just-watch (talk) 22:59, 30 June 2008 (UTC)


It's been two weeks:

Score so far:

  • Keep - 1
  • Delist - 1
  • Endless unproductive discussion about the GA process, whether someone who listed this article as a GA had authority to list it as a GA, whether an old version of this article is the same as the current version of this article, etc., etc. - Lots and lots.

End result: a reasonably good article is now in limbo as to its status, and unlikely ever to be settled. Not a lot different than being an "enemy combatant" in Guantanamo. Once the "process" has been initiated, there's no clear way to resolve it.

Note to Wiki editors. The GA process is essentially broken. --Nemonoman (talk) 20:40, 6 July 2008 (UTC)

Er, no, it's just that I've been pre-occupied with other issues. :-) My pronouncements will follow.
Meanwhile, you broke the review page by using a level 3 section heading. Don't do it again. :-) Geometry guy 23:26, 7 July 2008 (UTC)
I am very pleased to see that a final authority on good exists. PS If a particularly heading causes a page to be broken, some sort of instructions would be useful. PPS If you have any question about whether the GAR process is broken, see this edit, and the 2 comments that follow it: this and this. Editors running around scrambling to find a GA article to delist so that they can try out a new template. Swearing when they can't find one fast enough. Inspiring. --Nemonoman (talk) 23:53, 7 July 2008 (UTC)
Eye of the beholder. You see them scrambling to delist, I see them trying to do a good job and reassess good articles, and not wanting to waste editors' time by reassessing good articles that meet the criteria. Many reassessments result in the article being improved and kept as a GA. Reassessing does not equal delisting. Geometry guy 00:00, 8 July 2008 (UTC)
Gosh, you are so right. My apologies. GA assessment and reassessment is a GREAT process! Thanks! --Nemonoman (talk) 00:32, 8 July 2008 (UTC)

With articles like this I think it is not so much the writing as the subject matter. See Jiddu Krishnamurti, Osho, Sathya Sai Baba, Sri Aurobindo, Ramakrishna, Meher Baba -- all rated B or C regardless of any effort. It is just very simple disbelief in Indian religion so there is no satisfying the skeptics that these people live as it is said and none are GA. Even when (such as with Sathya Sai Baba) there is great attention to criticism. Also no amount of references matter. They are not 'good' references. It does not matter. It is not American and cannot be true or something like this. You see? Check the rating of these aricles I listed and you will see the pattern of the English Wikipedia. Then check Dutch for Meher Baba and you see it is FA with much less. Just-watch (talk) 00:08, 8 July 2008 (UTC)

Gosh, Justwatch, you are a CYNIC! The en.wikipedia GA process and GAR process are the BEST. Just ask ANYONE (here). All that your examples reveal is the how Pitifully Ignorant and Behind the Curve those foreigners are. They need to Catch Up With GreatnessGoodness! Go GAR! --Nemonoman (talk) 00:35, 8 July 2008 (UTC)
I do not think that sarcasm is something appreciated in these pages. If there are people that do not believe in the GA process, why are they posting here? ≈ jossi ≈ (talk) 04:00, 8 July 2008 (UTC)
Why is this good article being "Reassessed" in the first place? and who is doing the "reassessing"? The criteria for reassessing is, to put it mildly, 'fluid'.
If it were possible simply to remove any mention of Good Article status or lack of status from the Meher Baba article, I would do so. I have no desire at all for this article to receive the treatment of editors who say: " Darn, can't find a "bad" GA article!" or "isn't GAR only appropriate if there's an objection to your decision to delist". The eagerness to find 'bad' articles...the idea that a GAR isn't even needed: Just delist on one editor's say so with no process.
I am one of the principal editors of this article, but nor the main one. Yet none of the main editors -- but some other editor, casually, without discussion, requested a GAR process. I don't know why, as the editor's request is skimpy as to reason. And after all, "isn't GAR only appropriate if there's an objection"?
I didn't ask for a GAR, and I didn't nominate for GA. But the GAR sweepers have thrown the article into Limbo by this action, and here it has stayed, with a great big "Oh, We are Re-assessing whether this article is any good!" template the discussion page, and apparently will stay so until someone (Geometry Guy?? Someone else?) doesn't happen to be Preoccupied with Other Issues.
It is not wrong for me to feel that my work is being judged, nor for me to view the bona fides of my judges with a an ironic eye...because MY WORK IS being judged. And what's the opposite of a Good Article? If an article isn't Good any more, what is it? And when I see comments like the ones above -- or the comment of Geometry Guy: My pronouncements will follow, I don't very much appreciate at all being dinged for my sarcasm. I didn't throw the first Sarcasm, thank you very much.
Where's the respect due the OTHERs among us who are "trying to do a good job... and not wanting to waste editors' time by reassessing good articles that meet the criteria." That would be me and other hardworking editors, INCLUDING YOU JOSSI. I am offended on your behalf as well.
Sarcasm not appreciated? In the face of this broken process, what other tools do I have left? How else do I focus those concerned on issues and attitudes and actions that deserve critical review. Why am I posting here? To paraphrase Thoreau, Jossi, why are you NOT posting here??? --Nemonoman (talk) 11:39, 8 July 2008 (UTC)
AND WHILE I'M on the subject...I very much appreciate the helpful critique of Yannismarou, which effort I have tried to honor by working on the concerns he raised. But why were those concerns raised HERE, on this page, rather than on the article's discussion page?
Jossi, that's where you raised YOUR concerns. YOU DID THE RIGHT THING. THAT is the right place to do so, IMO. The TALK PAGE is where respectful collaboration gets done by interested parties, and with luck, an article is improved.
On this page, however, and its many brothers, such criticisms take the form of indictments -- findings of fact to support delisting. Even the 'compliments' of these critics damn by their faint praise.
This page is a collaboration of Delisters, NOT a collaboration of article editors. And as such -- by MOVING this discussion OUT of the mainstream Talk Page -- this GAR and ALL GARs carry the smell of the Star Chamber, not the democratic ideal of WP.
Two weeks. Two votes. A mouthful of criticism and tsk-tsking. I did a large amount of work to answer Yannismarou's concerns; he or she has not had the remote courtesy to review my response or my work. I'm sure that may happen when he or she is not Occupied With Other Issues.
Why HERE, I ask again, and not on the talk page? Because this is not a collaboration, it's a witch hunt...and a process that deserves to be called out for its brokenness. --Nemonoman (talk) 12:02, 8 July 2008 (UTC)
Nemonoman, I don't think anything is directed at your writing. I don't think there is anything personal against the article. See again Jiddu Krishnamurti and its discussion. It is a very diligent well-cited article, but listed as B. Also I think that Wikipedia readers do not even know about the Discussion pages or understand what those templates mean. Last I looked the article itself looks very presentable, not unlike the Krishnamurti one, on its front. So I wouldn't worry. The article is in good shape, even if rated B. You yourself say that GAR process is silly. So just let it go. If you just leave it as a B then it does not have to go through this whole process again, which is likely if it receives GA. Just-watch (talk) 13:35, 8 July 2008 (UTC)
I can't dispute your logic. It's clear that I am emotionally invested here, but not so much in the article under discussion, as in my naive hope that Wikipedia would live up to its collaborative, egalitarian, democratic ideals.
Some thoughts that might apply to me, and to this process -- from H.L.Mencken:
* The world always makes the assumption that the exposure of an error is identical with the discovery of truth--that the error and truth are simply opposite. They are nothing of the sort. What the world turns to, when it is cured of one error, is usually simply another error, and maybe one worse than the first one.
* All men are frauds. The only difference between them is that some admit it. I myself deny it.
* The demagogue [in this case -- me...] is one who preaches doctrines he knows to be untrue to men he knows to be idiots.
* After all, all he did was string together a lot of old, well-known quotations.
And now, to quote Elan Sleazebaggano: "I want to go home and rethink my life. "--Nemonoman (talk) 14:04, 8 July 2008 (UTC)

Well, as chaotic as it is, the net result of Wikipedia I think is very positive -- in a relative way. Even with its very flawed and changable process it is hard to ignore how good it winds up being in comparison to past internet experiments. None of the academic Wikis worked. They produced almost nothing. Before Wikipedia (or up to about 3 years ago) if you wanted to know who Meher Baba was for instance and did a Google hunt you found confusing eye candy sites that appeared to be selling baubles or something. Even now see how long it takes on line without looking up Wikipedia to figure out if Meher Baba is alive or dead. What you learn in a second on Wikipedia would take some intent searching and you would eventually find it somewhere in an eye candy advertisement looking promotional bio that sounds like its for the founder of a product line. There is no comparison. Painful as it is, until there's something else, there really was NOTHING before this. The new "kindle" from Amazon actually comes with Wikipedia link built in -- cause what else is there? This is where the information is -- where you start. Anyone who thinks you get the last word here just arrived on our planet. Thanks for the great Mencken lines. Just-watch (talk) 14:20, 8 July 2008 (UTC)

For Golly sake, this "main Meher Baba portal" (number 2 behind Wikipedia) looks like an advertisement for Amway. I mean when I want to know about who a person I heard of is I just LOVE to come to a page that says, "What's NEW??" and then just underneith links me to a four year old promotional bio in Spanish. Just-watch (talk) 14:27, 8 July 2008 (UTC)

Oh YEA, and the promotional bio in Spanish I get linked to still doesn't tell me he died. Just-watch (talk) 14:36, 8 July 2008 (UTC)
You think the Wikipedia GA process is broken. Well I think the Meher Baba infrastructure is way way more broken. By comparison Wikipedia is a thousand times better at letting ordinary people know up front some basic information and where to get more. Just-watch (talk) 14:41, 8 July 2008 (UTC)

I'm not putting you down. You did a really good job so far on the article -- or you and others and Jossi. But don't lose site of the relative aspect -- what in the real world all this has to be compered against -- to see that is to see more of the forest for the trees. Compared to most other first links on most subjects, Wikipedia is just a tad better -- and that's why it ranks so high in Google. Most people are too close to their product, favorite music, etc. to write something balanced enough for everyone. And from what I've seen the Baba folk are no different. They are totally have a perception-reflection confusion melt-down of some sort I can't understand. One would indeed think his followers were psychotic if there wasn't Wikipedia to find out there was an actual person. As odd as Meher Baba might have been, from reading about him, he's a lot more normal than the people who make those God awful other sites. Just-watch (talk) 14:48, 8 July 2008 (UTC)

It is sad to see editors making themselves miserable by launching into rants. For the record I don't believe GAR is great, but I rarely take it seriously when Wikipedians go around saying "this is broken". Life is too short to do things you don't enjoy in your spare time. Like all of Wikipedia, GA is a volunteer process; it is very short of reviewers and often backlogged. Two weeks is quite brief for a typical GAR. This review wasn't going too badly until the editor concerned lost patience and declared "a reasonably good article is now in limbo as to its status, and unlikely ever to be settled. Not a lot different than being an "enemy combatant" in Guantanamo. Once the "process" has been initiated, there's no clear way to resolve it. Note to Wiki editors. The GA process is essentially broken."
Ironically, as a result, the review now truly has degenerated into "Endless unproductive discussion about the GA process." If I were the editor concerned, my annoyance would be directed at the initiator this reassessment, who has not commented beyond the initial two line nomination, not at volunteers coming here to give it a fair review in good faith.
In fact, the article looks pretty good to me, and I was going to review it this evening. Reviewing is a pretty thankless task at the best of times, and discussion like this is not encouraging. So I'm going to go and do something more enjoyable with my free time for now. Maybe another volunteer will step forward and contribute. I thank them in advance. Geometry guy 19:43, 8 July 2008 (UTC)
Thank you for your response. First, the discussion about the nature of the original GA approval process dominated the first of this review. No action followed for some time -- I waited for two weeks for anyone to bring the matter to a conclusion, and you only stepped in when I raised the issue.
Second, the fact that the GAR initiator acted seagull fashion is not my problem to fix. As you say 'the article looks pretty good to me'. But that a self-styled 'rouge [sic] editor' can initiate a GAR with no warning, no discussion, and no followup proves the point: this process itself is broken.
As to the initiator: Look at his record -- is this the first time he's done this exact stunt?? It is disingenuous of you to suggest that the initiating editor is the problem--or that I'm part of the problem for failing to go after him.
If the initiating editor could unmake his request, there might be some point in focusing on him. But can this editor unmake his request? No--once begun it is seen through to the end, or limbo, whichever comes first.
Can I push the process forward, somehow? Is it somehow MY fault that this GAR, once initiated, is then ignored? I have put comments here and on the talk page of the article. What next? Email additional editors?
You yourself said yesterday that you would resolve the issue, and you yourself said today that you are taking a break. I don't blame you for doing so. But your comments and your shrug-off only serve to prove my point that the process is broken.
Therefore I point to the process, and I regretfully -- because you seem a good person -- also point to all participants in that broken process, including you. If you're not part of the solution...
Third, you mention that I have stopped talking about the article, and moved to the process as a subject. Right. What do you think I should do? As you say: 'the article looks pretty good to me'. My comments stopped being about the article, and started being about the process, when and only when the article moved into Limbo/oblivion. 1 vote, and a bunch of comments about DA54. Clearly there was very little motivation to review, and no more specifics about the article to address.
I said before I have not much concern whether you list this article or delist it. I didn't nominate it, didn't ask for a GAR, and I won't renominate if it is delisted. It is only of a concern to me that the process be seen through to the end. I intend to fix any areas that the GAR finds wanting if I can do so, and I mean to do so promptly and and then retire back to my cave. So I want some input, please, and I think I may rightly say that some input on the article is at this point deserved.
It is not true that a watched pot never boils. I have found that boiling often commences when you turn up the heat.
The GAR process is relatively new in the WP lifecycle, and those want it to be more than a nuisance will work to improve it.
It would be a courtesy to me and to the many editors who worked on that article to finish the process that your workgroup initiated.

--Nemonoman (talk) 20:22, 8 July 2008 (UTC)

Thank you in turn for yours. I think we are getting back on track towards completing this review. I agree that the way the GAR was initiated is not your problem to fix, and I wasn't intending to be disingenuous about this. There is certainly no need for you or anyone to go after anyone. The opening of a GAR was not incorrect, as the article at the time did not meet the GA criteria. However, I am disappointed that the editor has not returned to comment on the improvements which have been made since then.
There is nothing you can do about this: I was only asking you not to redirect your frustration at good reviewers like Majoreditor; the thread you refer to is actually a discussion of an improvement in process which makes it harder for individuals to delist articles and then run away. That Majoreditor found no examples to test it on demonstrates his integrity; that he was frustrated enough to say "humph" (not a swear word) demonstrates his desire to ensure that this improvement in process is well designed.
When you say "I waited for two weeks for anyone to bring the matter to a conclusion, and you only stepped in when I raised the issue." I understand your perception. However, the first week was spent fixing genuine problems, thanks to a careful review and useful input from a couple of editors, together with your much-appreciated hard work. Concerning my intervention, I didn't actually step in because you raised the issue; I did so because I realised I had neglected GAR for over a week and was checking in to see if there were any discussions I could close, comment on, or review. This was just one of several.
I'm glad you intend to see this through. I also will, even though this is not "my" workgroup; I am but one of the volunteers. Although I firmly believe that contributing to Wikipedia should be a pleasure, I also find it is not a pleasure without personal integrity.
It will take at least another week to complete this reassessment, in my estimation, so I ask you not to have unrealistic expectations about how fast this process moves. Can I reassure you, however, that indefinite limbo does not occur at GAR. The longest delays there have been are about two months, and the process aims to deal with all articles within one month. When reviews fall silent, reviewers often do step in and try to resolve the issues. Geometry guy 21:27, 8 July 2008 (UTC)
As I say on my userpage, I have met many fine persons while working on WP. I am grateful that you decided to call my answer 'conciliatory'; the least I can do is to try to live up to that characterization. I would've called it moderated in its pissiness -- but like I say, I have met many fine persons on WP, and it appears from your response like you mean to join that elite collection.
Except for finality, I most appreciate a deadline for finality. I'll go chew on my forepaws for a few days and see what you and your tribe come up with. --Nemonoman (talk) 22:58, 8 July 2008 (UTC)
Thanks. I intend to begin bringing this back on track tomorrow evening (UTC), but I don't want to discourage other reviewer's comments in the meanwhile. Geometry guy 22:39, 9 July 2008 (UTC)

Does this article now meet the GA criteria?[edit]

Okay we had a bit of a digression. I would now ask all editors to get back on track, look at the current article, and check it against the GA criteria. It is too late now to worry about whether the article should never have been listed, and therefore should renominated. A decision at GAR is needed. In terms of other comments made, it seems to me that quite a few of Yannismarou's concerns have been address, but not all: the lead is much improved, but may need further work, and there may still be neutrality issues. I am only drawing attention to these possibilities, not expressing a view. I note Justwatch's support above, but this is not a vote: weight of argument is what matters, not weight of numbers. In that respect Justwatch has also made some substantial comments, which are worth reading. Geometry guy 22:37, 10 July 2008 (UTC)

  • Comment. I've read through the article, and have very few concerns: it is a nice piece of work and surely deserves to be a GA, no matter how complicated the route taken to get there! Here are my concerns.
    • There seems to be a lack of critical views. This has been noted above and at the peer review, with replies about the lack of neutral analysis. However, there is no objection to including biassed critical views, as long as they are attributed and Wikipedia does not endorse them. If this can be done in one or two places, without unbalancing the article, that would be helpful.
    • One example: masts. Minor point: what does "mu(st") mean? If there are multiple pronunciations, give both. More seriously, I find it hard to believe that no sources question Baba's interpretation that masts are enlightened individuals. It is clearly a personal view, and not one in accord with mainstream science, so comment is definitely needed here for balance.
    • The use of "the Avatar" and "God" needs clarification. The article seems to be translating concepts from a polytheistic religion into the monotheistic culture of the West. Mistranslation is easy. At one point the article suggests that Baba regarded himself as an incarnation of a specific God, Vishnu. I'm not convinced from the article that he regarded himself as "The Avatar of God" as much as "An Avatar of the divine". I am completely ignorent here, so I may be wrong, but cultural translation requires some care.
      (Another example: has any reliable source speculated about the relation between the first car accident and the "Avatarhood"?)
    • The section on "First contacts with the West" needs work. It has paragraphs on Associated Press articles and Time Magazine articles which get very tied up attributing every statement to the source. This needs to be cleaned up and balanced.
Otherwise, I like this article, and found it very interesting! Many thanks, Geometry guy 22:37, 10 July 2008 (UTC)
Thanks not only for your compliments, but for actually doing some fixes. I personally appreciate this.
Two facts[citation needed] that I will just state here are these:
  • Meher Baba used existing terms with his own unique and idiosyncratic definitions
  • As I have repeatedly stated, not a lot of persons argued his philosophy or use of terms. Practically none. So while he was culutrally influential, he was not particularly controversial.
As applied to your comments on musts. Nobody else idetifiably called musts musts except Meher Baba, so far as I can tell, and Meher Baba on his own say so would look at some crazy persons and decide, based on God Knows What Criteria that person A was Nuts and person B was 4th Plane Must. How one would know which is which is by writing down what Baba said. There were no other criteria. Baba's must-hunting disciples had a vague idea of who would pass Baba's smell-test, but they often found their guesses overruled. So far as I know, nobody ever looked at Baba's collection of musts and said, No these are Crazy People. In effect nobody cared, or at least nobody cared enough to record an objection.
As applied to your comments about the Avatar -- Avatar is for the most part a Vashnivite concept, and was to a degree subsumed by Meher Baba. So somebody of course wikilinked Avatar, and if you want a quick and dirty understanding, you could do worse than that article, even with its Vishnu bias.
Many of his Western followers forwent the term Avatar for The Christ, though Baba rarely referred to himself this way.
In answer to this (has any reliable source speculated about the relation between the first car accident and the "Avatarhood"?) No. Unreiiable sources -- I could quote dozens of late-night discussions between BLs. RELIABLE? Nada.
I don't know what to do about the quotes in first contacts with West. See my commments here. The quoted material, in tone and content, is So Distinctly Different from devotee literature of the time that I don't quite know how to reconcile. For example, Meher Baba rarely if ever used the word sin in recorded messages or discourses. Ever. Yet here's the AP quoting MB that his intention was to to convert thousands of Americans from sin. So maybe MB waited until an AP stringer got him in private, and then started saying things no one else ever heard him say. And how to NOT include this if NPOV is desired? And should one say == Yes, BUT... The reportage of stringers in the 30s was on a journalistic par with that of the Drudge Report today. How does one deal with this? Anyway, these doubtful interviews have been dutifully recorded, and the result is bloated mess, IMO. HOWEVER, is it right to take these OUT??? Or to put in some sort of disclaimers? The 'reported' phrases sure bloat the mix, but this sort of quote appears nowhere else.
ANYWAY is this, in your view Geometry Guy a Keep or Delist? --Nemonoman (talk) 23:10, 10 July 2008 (UTC)
I hope it is heading for a keep, but I don't usually add a keep recommendation until I am satisfied that the article meets the criteria. That does not mean, I hasten to add, "Do as I say for me to recommend keeping the article"! I am often wrong, and often demand too much in some areas.
I forgot to mention one issue: it seems to me that footnote 11 on Irani should really provide a source.
I have done so. Adding a note to a note seems a stretch however. The principal reason why this note is here, by the way, is to address the view of an editorial consensus that Meher Baba is an INDIAN, not a Parsi, or an Irani, or a Persian. See this discussion in the archives. Changing MB's nationality to Persian or Iranian is a typical action of single-edit IP only drive-by editors. A recent big influx of Iranian pilgrims to Baba's tomb in Meherabad would indicate that interest in MB is growing in Iran, and likely an increasing temptation among those who wish to improve history by changing a few facts. --Nemonoman (talk) 21:01, 11 July 2008 (UTC)
Your response contains a lot of helpful information. I will only respond on two matters.
  • The whole "sin" issue is perhaps another example of cultural (mis)translation: a positive "(only) do good" theology translated into "do no evil" theology of e.g. Catholic and related Christianity. It would almost certainly be OR to make this explicit, but it may help editors reconcile quotations in different sources.
I don't know how to reference this. You read enough of the literature, and after a while you start to notice that the word isn't used. It would be just as shocking as if the interview had quoted MB as saying 'Holy Bible'. That would be a rare utturance indeed. However, I don't know how to prove the negative, or even that it is provable. It's just not bloody likely.
There are very few direct quotes from Baba referencing sin, but those that there are are similar to this: Baba describes the opposite of God as "Nothing", and says

This law of the Nothing is not in God. It is in mental, subtle and gross forms. So Nothing means nothing – neither happiness nor misery, no birth, no death, no virtue, no sin. There is nothing such as sin![1]

I could probably do a dozen similar references in a few minutes, but what a bore. Anyway, reconcile that view with this statement from the AP:'...his intention was to to convert thousands of Americans from sin'--Nemonoman (talk) 21:11, 11 July 2008 (UTC)
  • "Meher Baba ... [would say] that person A was Nuts and person B was 4th Plane Must. How one would know which is which is by writing down what Baba said. There were no other criteria. Baba's must-hunting disciples had a vague idea of who would pass Baba's smell-test, but they often found their guesses overruled." This is the kind of information which is missing from the article: where did you get it? What is required here is not so much a criticism of what Meher Baba did, as a description of it along the lines you give (albeit with a more encyclopedic tone :).
Geometry guy 18:41, 11 July 2008 (UTC)
Well that tidbit comes from personal conversations with some of the mast-hunters, and conversations I've had with others who had similar accounts from other of Baba's close ones. The accounts are very consistent. I don't know that anybody has ever bothered to make this explicit let alone in a reputable source. There are many accounts, photos, movies, etc., of the masts that Baba identified. Those that didn't pass the smell test are forgotten now, except for some old mast-hunter's anecdote. How's that for non-encyclopedic? (PS I use the term 'smell-test' in hopes that it will be both clear and humorous. In actual fact, Baba would wave off a candidate for mast-work without any explicit test or action). --Nemonoman (talk) 20:24, 11 July 2008 (UTC)

SUMMARY: Except for his comments about Masts, which have no reliable sources to reference, I have made a number of changes to address all Geometry Guy's remaining concerns. --Nemonoman (talk) 13:39, 12 July 2008 (UTC)

  • Keep as GA. Nemonoman has done a great job fixing this article. I fixed one further issue I raised, but almost all of my concerns have been addressed, and I don't see any remaining issues which are strong enough to delist this article. Unless objections are raised, I think this discussion should be closed (as keep) Geometry guy 20:04, 12 July 2008 (UTC) (PS. I'm removing a long statement which does not help to close this discussion.)
  • Keep GA Nemonoman has done excellent work here. I am happy to have this maintain GA status. —Giggy 02:34, 13 July 2008 (UTC)
  • Keep GA - Now we have an article that is more encyclopedic and that have some third party sources. The only issue remaining is to remove duplicated sources that are listed in both the references section and the Biblio section. An easy fix. ≈ jossi ≈ (talk) 02:45, 13 July 2008 (UTC)
Thanks Jossi for make those fixes to the references (and also for pointing out most of those 3rd party sources)--Nemonoman (talk) 03:38, 13 July 2008 (UTC)
  • Keep. I re-read the article this weekend. It's improved significantly. It appears to meet GA criteria. Majoreditor (talk) 16:18, 13 July 2008 (UTC)
    • ^ Kalchuri (1986) p.4198