Wikipedia talk:Verifiability/

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Initial Discussion[edit]

Jguk, please be reasonable - religious tolerance cites it's sources, everything's not made up. Don't make arbitrary edits like that. YOu don't have anything personal against them, do you? Izehar (talk) 13:07, 17 December 2005 (UTC)

    • Religious tolerance is a biased, one sided source and cannot be used as a reference. Check e.g the information they have about Rajneesh, omitting the poisoning of food with Salmonella. But external links to the site are okay. Andries 13:10, 17 December 2005 (UTC)
      • From [1]: "A number of sources have reported that spiritual devotees of Rajneesh had spread salmonella on a local restaurant's salad bar in order to reduce voter turnout on a measure that would have restricted the group's activities. Allegedly, 751 people were affected by the bacteria". Is your objection that he used the term "alleged"? (So would a newspaper.) Firebug 13:17, 17 December 2005 (UTC)
          • Oh, I overlooked that. The salmonella attacks are a proven fact by now and this shows the double standards that the website uses when assessing positive and critical information. reference for the salmonella attack Carter, Lewis, F. Lewis, Carriers of Tales: On Assessing Credibility of Apostate and Other Outsider Accounts of Religious Practices published in the book The Politics of Religious Apostasy: The Role of Apostates in the Transformation of Religious Movements edited by David G. Bromley Westport, CT, Praeger Publishers, 1998. ISBN 0-275-95508-7 Andries 13:26, 17 December 2005 (UTC)
          • And why doesn't the article mention the now undisputed fact that the ashram management in Oregon solicited homeless people to the ashram in order to give the ashram a majority in voting? Why does the website always gives such a one-sided view of the matter? Andries 13:32, 17 December 2005 (UTC)
            • Well, the article seems to concentrate primarily on the Rajneesh cult's theology and origins. You're not arguing that the information there is inaccurate, just that it doesn't contain specific (negative) facts you think it should. Firebug 13:42, 17 December 2005 (UTC)
                • An article that does not mention Rajneesh' 73 or 93 Rolls Royces as a source of public disapproval is probably wilfully vague, but instead writes about "religious and cultural differences" and does not deserve to be referenced. Andries 13:54, 17 December 2005 (UTC)
                  • Why should a site not be referenced because it writes about religious and cultural differences? You aren't making any sense here. There's an awful lot of POV axe-grinding going on. Firebug 15:22, 18 December 2005 (UTC)
              • No, it goes farther than that, Firebug. Check out this page, which is supposed to concentrate primarily on the controversies Scientology has been embroiled in: [2] Note that they note "There has been friction between the Church and a number of European governments", and they list four different controversies, in France, Germany, Greece and Italy. Let's overlook for now that the Germany entry is written with a clear slant implying that the German government is prejudiced and persecutory in matters of religion. Let's overlook that the Italy entry is exactly two sentences, one of which is a quote from a Scientology spokesman invoking Germany's supposed persecutions towards new religious movements. Know what's missing from that list? The fact that eleven Scientology officials including Mary Sue Hubbard, at that time the second-in-command of the entire organization, were convicted of the largest incident of domestic espionage ever in the United States. Now you can argue that that's the literal truth, because it stated that these were controversies with European governments, except it's clearly not the whole truth, because who decided that only non-European controversies should be discussed and that much larger North American controversies would not even be mentioned? Hell, if I was allowed to take any four controversies that a large institution had been involved in, and present them as if they were representative when I was really avoiding mention of some far more serious controversies (Operation Snow White is not even mentioned anywhere on the site) then I could make even the Khmer Rouge look like just a clean-cut bunch of honest, hard-working folks whose public-image problem is probably all caused by folks unfairly prejudiced against them. -- Antaeus Feldspar 23:22, 17 December 2005 (UTC)
                • The site is about RELIGIOUS TOLERANCE, not what bad things Scientology did. I agree with most of your specific criticisms of Hubbard's nonsense, but that is not within the scope of the OCRT website. There are plenty of other sites you can reference for those issues. On issues related to comparisons between religions, the religious doctrines of various denominations, etc., this site is an excellent source. Firebug 15:22, 18 December 2005 (UTC)
                  • ... ? Does that even make any sense? "The site is about RELIGIOUS TOLERANCE, not what bad things Scientology did"? If that's true, that one-sidedness is the best possible argument for excluding OCRT as a source, but I don't even think it's true. Most people would say "religious tolerance" is about giving people equal treatment and equal rights no matter what religion they belong to -- not exempting them from the laws of the land because of their religion. No, this is simply a red herring. Remember, OCRT chose to have a section on the controversies Scientology has been embroiled in, and so arguments about "the site isn't about what bad things Scientology did" don't explain in the least why they silently omitted much larger controversies, where Scientology was caught red-handed, from a list they chose to present. -- Antaeus Feldspar 17:41, 18 December 2005 (UTC)
                    • Yes that does make sense. If the purpose of the site is to document religious tolerance issues, as opposed to, say, criminal behaviour, then it seems to be doing its job. Do you think direct assertions that someone's spiritual leader is a crook are going to promote easy dialogue between different religions? Of course not. That would just alienate people. Most religions have plenty of dirty laundry that could be brought out to air, but a site that did that would be a "look how screwed-up people's religions are" site, not a "tolerance" site. Fuzzypeg 15:05, 10 March 2006 (UTC)
                      • Sorry, but no. That's not "religious tolerance". Religious tolerance is allowing everyone the freedom to practice their religion, and not treating it as a crime that someone practices a particular religion. It is not about surpressing documented crimes because they involve a particular religion. I will point out yet again, OCRT chose to present a list of controversies Scientology has been involved in, and likewise chose to make it misleadingly incomplete; your argument that a "religious tolerance" site shouldn't have to discuss the "dirty laundry" is moot since they chose to address the dirty laundry but presented a highly skewed version of it. -- Antaeus Feldspar 16:40, 10 March 2006 (UTC)
                        • As a site on religious tolerance I believe that it should fairly assess all religions - it manages to miss out aspects of Scientology to do with how tolerant it itself is. The church does not, for example, accept homosexuality. Also, it deals with other faiths rudely. This material should be discussed by the website as it pertains quite exactly to the whole 'tolerance' theme they are trying to get across. Am only doing this as I am writing an article on Scientology, not sure about whether I add the User tags manually. -- Alsvid 10 March 2006
  • Why not cite the primary or secondary sources that religioustolerance uses, rather than using it as a tertiary source? Nandesuka 13:12, 17 December 2005 (UTC)
    • Perhaps the other sources are dead-tree books, and OCRT is a handy source because they're a free website available at a mouse click rather than having to order from Amazon. Firebug 13:18, 17 December 2005 (UTC)
      • The last time I checked, Wikipedia:Verifiability didn't have a section saying that it was OK to skimp on references because books aren't cyber enough. Nandesuka 13:20, 17 December 2005 (UTC)
That may be, all I know is that they have a section called references and they are citing sources. Jguk mush make a consensus to remove them as a reference - he can't do it on his own. Edit-warring will not get him anywhere. Izehar (talk) 13:13, 17 December 2005 (UTC)

It's more a case that if you believe something is reliable as a reference, you need to defend it. The onus is always on someone who wishes to include something in Wikipedia to justify why it should remain - not the other way round. At least some of us are discussing things now.

Izehar - the point remains that is effectively one man's blog, and that of a man with no academic training and stature in the subject. Yes, it cites its sources - but then so does an undergraduate essay. It also mis-cites its sources and draws conclusions that are unsupported by them. I have no problem with that - virtually all the essays are Bruce Robinson's opinion pieces, and he is entitled to hold whatever opinion he wants. But all this does mean that they are inappropriate as an academic resource.

Nandesuka makes a useful point - just because is unsuitable, because it cites its sources it could be used to help find appropriate academic sources. I have no difficulty at all in that - but in that case Wikipedia should cite the original academic source, not

However, any "stand back and have a look at what really is" analysis will conclude that it is of limited, if any, academic value. I'm also concerned that the English Wikipedia is the sixth highest site linking into [3]. Ideally we should have no links to it, jguk 13:32, 17 December 2005 (UTC)

  • You say that we are the #6 source of links to OCRT. According to that same reference page, #1 is BBC News. #8 is MSN Encarta. #9 is CNN. Looks like it is generally considered a reputable source. Firebug 13:47, 17 December 2005 (UTC)
Why in the world does it make sense to cite an editorial that in turn cites a primary or secondary source, rather than citing the primary or secondary source directly? The characterization of these articles as weblog articles is, it seems to me, perfectly apposite. The female genital cutting articles is a great example. Are you seriously suggesting that we can't remove links that are redundant if they have a citation or two in them? Nandesuka 13:20, 17 December 2005 (UTC)
It makes sense for the same reason that people might cite Wikipedia, rather than just citing its references, I presume. If a site has well written information drawn from a variety of sources, then that is something which would be lost merely by linking to the other sources. Mdwh 05:58, 18 December 2005 (UTC)

I am surprised by the controversy. I have been using OCRT for years (longer than I have been using Wikipedia) and they adhere to the same NPOV philosophy as we do. The fact that it is largely the work of one man, to me, only serves to underscore the brilliance of the accomplishment. Carolynparrishfan 14:29, 17 December 2005 (UTC)

They claim to adhere to the same NPOV philosophy. However, it is quite debatable whether they are actually achieving it. -- Antaeus Feldspar 17:49, 18 December 2005 (UTC)
Agreed. It seems fairly obvious to me that OCRT is far from unbiased. I agree with those who have stated that it is totally unsuitable as a reference, but is fine as an external link so long as a note is preserved that the site probably reflects the authors' own opinions. -- uberpenguin 23:02, 18 December 2005 (UTC)

"Convenience" of a website versus "dead-tree books"[edit]

From WP:V: Personal websites and blogs are not acceptable as sources, except on the rare occasion that a well-known person, or a known professional journalist or researcher in a relevant field, has set up such a website. Remember that it is easy for anybody to create a website and to claim to be an expert in a certain field, or to start an "expert group", "human rights group", church, or other type of association. Several million people have created their own blogs in the last few years. They are not regarded as acceptable sources for Wikipedia. See Wikipedia:Reliable sources for more information.

  • This isn't "just anyone", they've been around for 10 years. Furthermore, it isn't a "personal" website, it is a website on a specific subject that is relevant to these articles. The point of that paragraph is not that everything on the web is inaccurate and can't be cited, but rather that we shouldn't be randomly citing blogs, random opinion sites, and so forth. Firebug 13:25, 17 December 2005 (UTC)
    • Who are they, then? Can you describe their expertise in any way whatsoever without relying on "Well, they get a lot of traffic from google searches?" If they are experts, what are their credentials? Can you demonstrate that credible academic sources rely on them or cite them? If not — and so far I haven't seen any argument that doesn't amount to "They get a lot of traffic, and that's why Wikipedia should be a link farm for them and generate more traffic for them" — then they are, in fact, a random opinion site.
To put it into perspective, Wikipedia articles are not allowed to rely on Wikipedia articles as an authority. Unless you can demonstrate that has some independent standing as an authority on these issues, then relying on them as such is even worse than relying on another Wikipedia article. Nandesuka 13:31, 17 December 2005 (UTC)
What, precisely, are you looking for? What kind of credentials do you think that someone needs to have in order to write articles about issues related to religion and religious tolerance? To me, the fact that the author (a) does it for a living, (b) has done this for a decade, (c) does cite his sources and act in an academically responsible and generally NPOV manner, and (d) is very popular - all of this cumulatively is more than enough to be a verifiable source. As I pointed out on the deletion page for this non-policy, by your criteria we couldn't cite since Bill Gates doesn't have a college degree in computer science. Firebug 13:35, 17 December 2005 (UTC)
Firebug, what makes you think he does it for a living? The site makes it clear he is retired. It also states its aim to be a non-profit organisation and publishes its 2003 budget, which doesn't specify any wage going to Robinson. Indeed, it states:
In early 2004, we hired our first staff member -- a part-time office manager. This has freed up the rest of us to do creative work on the web site: updating existing essays and adding new essays. Our short-term goal is to be able to continue this staff member as a permanent position. Our very long range goal is to pay a salary to our main author and coordinator so that the OCRT can hire a replacement religious generalist at a reasonable wage when our present author is no longer able to serve, either through burnout, disability, or death. He is currently 67 years of age. Only then will group be likely to continue into the future.
Please read their budget, jguk 13:50, 17 December 2005 (UTC)
I am looking for "credentials". Bill Gates has credentials ("Founded a computer software company that does XXX billion dollars of revenue per year."); a college degree is not the only credential possible. What credentials do the authors of have, other than "Their website is popular." Nandesuka 13:47, 17 December 2005 (UTC)
But how do you distinguish credentials from popularity, in this view? After all, the only reason Bill Gates is a billionaire is because his software is popular. Obviously an organization on religious tolerance isn't going to get rich. Firebug 13:55, 17 December 2005 (UTC)
With regards to point c) the author does not cite his sources in a NPOV way. Everything that contradicts his view is omitted, made a charicature of, marginalized, lumped togetether, and even ridiculed as the Rajneesh article proves with its reference of a single critic of Rajneesh' name to a vagina. That makes a very biased impression to me. It stated aim is not to write in a NPOV manner but to promote religious tolerance. Andries 13:41, 17 December 2005 (UTC)

Please note that I had a similar issue with user:Zappaz who inserted long quotes from religious tolerance into to the article cult. Eventually the references to religious tolerance was dropped in favor or direct references. Andries

Look, maybe you should file a RfC to get opinions on whether a website which cites specific sources is a reliable source. Consensus is required before making any changes though. Izehar (talk) 13:29, 17 December 2005 (UTC)
We're discussing the point here, Izehar. If you wish to list this page on RfC, please do so. Also, please feel free to actually contribute to this discussion here, jguk 13:33, 17 December 2005 (UTC)
We don't need opinions when we have official policies, such as Wikipedia:Verifiability, and guidelines such as Wikipedia:Reliable sources to tell us what sources are reliable.

Another quote is relevant here: Beware false authority. Would you trust a plumber to fill your cavities? Likewise, you should probably not trust someone who has a Ph.D. in plant biology to tell you about quantum mechanics. Just as actors in TV commercials don white lab coats to make viewers think they are serious scientists, people with degrees in one field are not necessarily experts in any other. Watch out for false claims of authority. Try to use sources who have degrees in the field they are discussing. The more reputable ones are affiliated with academic institutions. The most reputable have written textbooks in their field for the undergraduate level or higher: these authors can be expected to have a broad, authoritative grasp of their subject.

So, what exactly are's credentials again? Nandesuka 13:36, 17 December 2005 (UTC)
So what you're saying is that we can't cite Bill Gates as an authority on computer science because he doesn't have that ALL-IMPORTANT college degree. Gotcha. Firebug 13:38, 17 December 2005 (UTC)
No, I'm not saying that. I'm saying that Wikipedia policies require us to cite credible, verifiable, and reliable sources. What are the credentials that make credible, verifiable, and reliable? Nandesuka 13:47, 17 December 2005 (UTC)
It's already been listed on MFD. And forcing people to come to YOUR page to discuss issues on YOUR terms is flagrantly inappropriate. Firebug 13:35, 17 December 2005 (UTC)
Please read their credentials. You say it's not a personal website, but that link includes the following paragraph:
Almost all of the over 2,780 essays and menus on this web site were written by our main author, Bruce A. Robinson. He is a graduate of the University of Toronto, class of 1959, with a BaSc (Bachelor of Applied Science) degree in Engineering Physics. He worked for a large multi-national chemical company for 38 years before taking a "golden handshake" and early retirement during a company downsizing. During his employment, he functioned as a specialist in the development of electronic instrumentation, as a computer programmer working in process computing, and as a group leader. Technical writing formed a major part of his work assignment.
You might also be interested in the history of the group. The website not at all secretive about what it is and who their writer(s) are. Indeed, it is quite open about their lack of academic stature. It is an honest site, but not suitable to be quoted as a reference or a link, jguk 13:42, 17 December 2005 (UTC)
How can a single author produce 2,780 high quality essays with sources? That seems very unlikely. Andries 13:57, 17 December 2005 (UTC)

Regarding credentials: [4] and [5] describe some of the commendations (and criticisms) the site has received. Highlights: a four-star rating from Encyclopedia Britannica ("Canadian nondenominational society whose stated mission is to 'promote the understanding and tolerance of minority religions; expose religious hatred and misinformation; and supply information on controversial religious topics to help you reach your own decisions.' Includes well-informed profiles of a variety of religious traditions, as well as in-depth considerations of particularly controversial religious topics."). From the American Library Association: " The information is very well-done and balanced. The scope of the information is very thorough. In addition, the individual entries are well-done whether the religion is controversial or not. For example, the information on Satanism is very balanced and informative. The entry cuts through the scare tactics, misinformation and hype and presents a balanced picture on Satanism. The other entries are equally as well balanced and thorough. In most cases, the online articles have references and further web-sites to explore." (This review was from 1996, when the site was less developed than it currently is.) Commendations have come from various academic organizations: Schoolzone, which evaluates Internet sites for the British public schools, gave it a "highly recommended rating." Also, "TagTeacherNet has recommended our site to its 24,400 members, most of whom are teachers." There are numerous others. Firebug 14:06, 17 December 2005 (UTC)

Website "awards" are two a penny, and the factors used in coming up with these comments are different from the considerations needed to decide whether something is a useful, citable academic reference, jguk 14:23, 17 December 2005 (UTC)
There are other websites that have received praises including the website to which I am connected, but that does not mean that it can be used as a references for facts within an article. External links is a different matter and I generally oppose Jguk's removal of them. Andries 14:13, 17 December 2005 (UTC)
The problem with just listing it in "external links" is that it does not warn the reader what they are about to see. It says we recommend reading it, but does not highlight that it is a pop site rather than an academic site. If it were only added in external links with a brief explanation that it is a non-academic site essentially only has text from one non-academic individual, I would not mind so much (though my preference would be not to have the site anywhere on WP at all), jguk 14:27, 17 December 2005 (UTC)
Let us choose that as a compromise. Then at least a lot of the edit warring will stop. Andries 14:28, 17 December 2005 (UTC)
That's not a compromise, that's surrendering to the bias of an POV-pushing editor. Claiming that it is non-academic from a non-academic individual is highly opinionated. The quality of the content there easily meets or exceeds very high academic standards. To take a stand on it on mention in external links is to hold it to higher standards than 99% of the links we have out there and to poison the well so that anyone thinking to read it will automatically distrust it for no good reason. I've read many academic articles from professional journals that were much less capably researched that the site... And I'd put the number close to 95%. The site is a great resource, te only problem here is an editor with a mad on because it came to a different conclusion than he wants and some people badmouthing it with criticism that basically almost no source could live up to. DreamGuy 11:36, 20 December 2005 (UTC)
With all due respect, given that just yesterday you removed a reference to A. S. Byatt's Booker Prize-winning novel Possession: A Romance on the basis that you'd never heard of it, you'll forgive me if I don't find the argument "My personal experience with academic journals is that this site is better than most of them!" terribly persuasive. Our personal experiences with references are not the issue here. Nandesuka 12:32, 20 December 2005 (UTC)
With all the same respect you have given me here and elsewhere (i.e., none), what the heck does my not knowing about a work of fiction have to do with my experience with academic journals? You're completely missing the point, and that is that jguk's claims that the site is non-academic are his opinion and his opinion only, not an objective fact. To label these links as nonacademic is highly biased. I certainly don't expect you to let me claim next to the links that they are better than most professional academic journals, but the point is we should not be elevating someone's subjective opinion of them into some sanctioned POV-labeling. Come on, let's have some NPOV here. Please stick to the issue at hand instead of bringing up wholly unrelated topics. DreamGuy 13:08, 20 December 2005 (UTC)
NPOV states that our articles shouldn't be POV. It doesn't mean we should not express opinions about sources that are dubious. Nandesuka 13:13, 20 December 2005 (UTC)
Are you not following what's being discussed, or are you simply explaining it incorrectly? Because I'm not talking about how we come to decisions, I'm talking about the content of the article itself. Coming to the conclusion that a source is dubious is POV, and the editor above is suggesting that that POV be inserted next to any reference of the site in the articles, thus forcing the articles to include that editor's bias. jguk has already tried to tag his warnings that the site is in his mind non-academic into the text of at least one articles. IT'd be like me running over to the Evolution article and sticking "and this guy was a nut" next to a mention of one of Darwin's books. This is incredibly biased and cannot be done under very clear policies here. DreamGuy 13:31, 20 December 2005 (UTC)
I suggest you review WP:NPOV, WP:V, and Wikipedia:Reliable sources. Yes, coming to the conclusion that a source is dubious represents a point of view. It is perfectly valid for Wikipedia to have a point of view on such things; without a point of view on whether or not a source is dubious, we are not an encyclopedia. There is absolutely nothing wrong with us preferring verifiable and reliable sources over dubious sources. It is not only allowed for us to prefer verifiable and reliable sources over dubious ones, it is actually required by our policies. Nandesuka 15:08, 20 December 2005 (UTC)
No, I suggest you read those policies, because you clearly do not understand them at all. It is definitely not alright to insert one's personal beliefs into the article itself. Articles can't come out and declare that references are bad when they are accepted by the world at large, they have to cite a source for that... in this case the only source would be jguk, the problem editor that arbcom has needed to reign in from vandalizing countless articles. His claims that the site is nonacademic are original research, unverifiable, highly POV and, in this case, completely wrong. What you are arguing is totally against how this encyclopedia works... and it's really sad that someone who is an admin could be so confused upon the fundamental building blocks of this project. DreamGuy 15:18, 20 December 2005 (UTC)
I want to state that academics frequently blunder on the subject of cults and new religious movement, not only people without formal education, not only religious tolerance. The most notorious example was when James R. Lewis who declared Aum Shinrikyo innocent at a press conference. He was there together with J. Gordon Melton, according to the Washington Post. [6]. I think it is because people (including academics) tend to make overly broad generalizations on this very diverse subject. I have more blunders by academics on request. Andries 14:35, 17 December 2005 (UTC)
Apparently you dislike the OCRT website because it doesn't reflect your own anti-religious POV. (You think Rick Ross's website - which makes no claims to impartiality or fairness - is a more reliable reference?!) Firebug 15:25, 18 December 2005 (UTC)

I've now stated clearly on the project page what the proposed new guidelines are. I have divided the "references" and "external links" issues into two, and given two alternatives on the "external links" point.

Also, I should note that, on reflection, it would have been better to have made comments on all the talk pages of the affected articles from the start rather than just to make the edits in the first place. I have always preferred to be bold, but I should have realised that any reliability of sources issue is likely to be controversial, jguk 15:10, 17 December 2005 (UTC)

Ok, I don't really want to get involved into this huge debate, but personally speaking, every time I've googled something about Christianity for, well, anything, and popped up, it was either very slanted against one side, (Generally the side that interprets the Bible literally) it didn't cite the Bible well for things, or it just plain had bad arguments, but that's just what i've personally seen. So I don't know if this will matter, but I think i'd support a policy of this site not being used as a primary source for anything, but I don't know if I'd want it to never be allowed to be cited. Homestarmy 02:16, 29 January 2006 (UTC)


I can understand jguk's reluctance to have be cited directly as a source, though I disagree with his method of deleting all references to it without first discussing it. I have a different reason for objecting to the use of as a source: it has advertising. No source of information that relies on advertising for funding can ever be reliable. --Angr (t·c) 14:33, 17 December 2005 (UTC)

Don't pretty much all newspapers rely on advertising for funding? TacoDeposit 14:42, 17 December 2005 (UTC)
Yes, they do. And they all have to be careful what they print for fear of alienating their advertisers. --Angr (t·c) 14:45, 17 December 2005 (UTC)

I am the main editor for Religious Only today (2007-OCT-07) have I stumbled across this debate. I would like to make two points: 1) Advertisements are essential. My group needs revenue to pay for our part-time employee and to purchase books for our library. Banner ads are the only feasible method to make sufficient money. We do receive some donations, but they are not nearly enough. 2) Essentially all of the advertisements on our site are provided by either Doubleclick or Google Adsense. In the twelve years that we have been online, we have never had any exchange of communication from any advertiser. They simply appear on our pages as supplied by Doubleclick or Adsense.

In an ideal world, the Internet would have been designed so that every essay would cost, say 0.1 cent to read with the revenue going to the author. Too late to start that now. And so ads are the only solution.

Bruce A Robinson at —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 23:29, 7 October 2007 (UTC)


I particularly like the part of the proposal that reads:

"if it is to be in Wikipedia, that information should be sourced from elsewhere"

This does not sound at all unreasonable to me. Since the main contention here seems to be that this engineer and his few friends in Toronto are concocting stuff off the top of their heads, it only makes good sense to ask that you find at least one more reliable source that concurs with them... ፈቃደ (ውይይት) 15:12, 17 December 2005 (UTC)

If it's a question of credibility, then, not knowing any of the individuals involved personally, I would choose to place OCRT's credibility over that of a convicted edit warrior on Wikipedia. Firebug 15:29, 18 December 2005 (UTC)

Closely related issue in Wikipedia[edit]

Most of the entries at the website of the University of Virginia were written by students and so sometimes the quality is very poor including factual mistakes. [7] [8] Sometimes the quality is good. Can we address this in a similar was as the religious tolerance website? Andries 15:37, 17 December 2005 (UTC)

I hope so. Personally a Wikipedia:Verifiability/University of Virginia discussion page seems sensible to me - as well as similar pages to discuss other possibly inappropriate sources that are cited in multiple articles. Unfortunately the way I've got us here to this serious discussion of the reliability of this website has meant some users are trying to kill this idea at birth. Referencing is fundamentally important if Wikipedia is to be taken more seriously - we should encourage good referencing using reliable sources throughout the encyclopaedia, jguk 20:26, 17 December 2005 (UTC)
This is exactly why I want this damn page deleted. If this is allowed to stand, soon we'll have a dozen POV-forks by axe grinders claiming that whatever sources they don't agree with are unreliable. Firebug 15:30, 18 December 2005 (UTC)

No blanket forbidding of sources, please.[edit]

I do not think we should have subpages of wp:v that blanket forbid certain references. I believe it is acceptable - possibly even a good idea - to have a central place where comments and opinions about the reliability and usefulness of a certain source can be stated and discussed.

However, the suitability of a particular reference should be a matter for each article that cites it. —Matthew Brown (T:C) 22:09, 17 December 2005 (UTC)

I agree - the appropriateness of any cites or external links should be examined on an article by article basis. Lyrl 01:13, 18 December 2005 (UTC)

I also agree; it's a bad precedent to "blackball" one particular site, even if it's true that it's probably not a good source in most cases. Let the reasonability of a source or link be judged in context each time it's used. *Dan T.* 12:14, 18 December 2005 (UTC)

This is bogus[edit]

This whole proposal is bogus, for a thousand reasons that have been mentioned above. Just thought I too would chime in with my opinion.Tommstein 22:47, 17 December 2005 (UTC)


Does anyone else find it troubling that people are attempting to dismiss this (and other) sites based on the author rather than the content? This parallels the critics of Wikipedia who dismiss it because it is not written by "experts". There are some blogs that are far superior to books, and some books far superior to some blogs. Just because something is published in book form or printed in a newspaper doesn't automatically make it superior and more authoritative.

There also needs to be distinction between facts and opinions. "Facts" need to be "scholarly" or from a reputable source. Anyone can have "opinions". Whether these "opinions" are included in articles should be a matter of editorial judgment based on how notable these "opinions" are. Should Wikipedia include opinions from I would think in certain cases it would be appropriate, since this is a highly ranked website. In any case, all opinions should be clearly marked as such, and opposing opinions presented as necessary. Sortan 22:49, 17 December 2005 (UTC)

Wholly agreed. Whether a source is acceptable or not depends on what that source is being used for and how controversial the fact or opinion being cited is.
What I really disapprove of, with regards to jguk's attempted mass deletion of reference to a site he doesn't like, is that references are tied to the facts or opinions they reference. It is wholly unacceptable to delete a reference without either finding another source for the referenced information or deleting that information from the article (placing it on the talk page, of course). An article's references provide the audit trail of where things came from and should not be removed while there are still parts of the article that require them for veriability.
That jguk would do such a thing so carelessly indicates to me that he is not as concerned with the encyclopedia's quality as he would like us to believe. —Matthew Brown (T:C) 03:47, 18 December 2005 (UTC)
Agree with Sortan and Matthew Brown. Another attempt by jguk to insert his POV and silence the opposing side. For those who don't know recent history of the affair, the previous phrase can be lavishly sprinkled with links and adjectives. ←Humus sapiens←ну? 04:11, 18 December 2005 (UTC)
I agree. This appears similar to the old argument from authority. Canadianism 06:35, 4 February 2006 (UTC)

move article[edit]

This page should be moved from the wikipolicy namespace to a Talk:wikipolicy namespace --JimWae 04:11, 18 December 2005 (UTC)

Jimbo Wales[edit]

I've asked Jimbo about his opinion on this whole mess. Firebug 04:17, 18 December 2005 (UTC)

This looks like a healthy dialogue about what is, at the very least, a controversial source. I tend to side with those who are skeptical of such sources, particularly when perfectly good and more traditional sources are not hard to come by. However, my own opinion is in this case just the opinion of one editor who is not very well informed about the matter, so don't take it as a very strong opinion. What I do have a strong opinion about is that we should always have solid, thoughtful, co-operative, respectful discussions of just this sort.--Jimbo Wales 16:18, 20 December 2005 (UTC)

Other BAD sources[edit]

Wikipedia needs policies such as this one. We can't let crazies such as communists or secularists control and corrupt the things in wikipedia. Not only with obscure INTOLERANT blog sites such as Religoustolerance, but there needs to be something to stop the Liberal MSM from infiltrating as well.--Koool 04:27, 18 December 2005 (UTC)

Are you going to stop the crazy conservatives and religionists too? *Dan T.* 04:52, 18 December 2005 (UTC)
"Conservative" and "Crazy" are oxymorons. It is interesting that your discussion page proudly states you are not Christian, you know what? Sorry, I don't talk to Internet trolls.--Koool 05:02, 18 December 2005 (UTC)
  1. You misspelled "Conservatives are morons."
  2. That makes four troll postings in a row.
  3. You're a fucking hypocrite.
Anything else? Aragorn2 22:22, 13 February 2006 (UTC)
Well, user Koool, you just talked to him. So either you broke your own word or he is not a troll. Do you talk to yourself? Hu 05:11, 18 December 2005 (UTC)
You don't understand the concept of oxymoron. Read the page you yourself referenced and you will see that neither "conservative" nor "crazy" are oxymorons. Clear and logical thinking the only kind of thinking respected on Wikipedia. You will be more convincing if you study logic. Hu 05:15, 18 December 2005 (UTC)
Thank you, lol I don't understand how this guy can think.--sansvoix 05:44, 18 December 2005 (UTC)
Does he/she perhaps mean that "Crazy conservative" is an oxymoron? That's not true; one can be crazy or not independently of whether one is conservative or liberal, religious or secular. And where do I ever say that I'm proud to be non-Christian? You seem to be referring to my talk page comment that I've worked at getting infoboxes into all the pope articles, despite not being Catholic or any other sort of Christian, which is a somewhat ironic fact; I never say anything about being proud of it. And I don't think, if you look at all my edits, that you'll find any that show any sort of disrespect of Christianity (my pope edits consisted entirely of getting the basic facts of their biographies organized into infoboxes); I adhere to NPOV, regardless of my own religious beliefs or lack of same. *Dan T.* 12:20, 18 December 2005 (UTC)

Oh, come on people, anyone who calls "communists and secularists" "crazies" is so far off into looney toon bias that they are just trolling here to make such comments. Any edits that person makes on the topic are clearly so out there that they'd be reverted on site by anyone with even a speck of NPOV in them. There's no need to even respond. Wikipedia:Do not feed the trolls. DreamGuy 11:24, 20 December 2005 (UTC)

References versus External Links[edit]

Whilst I probably wouldn't be in favour of citing as a reference (although even then, I don't see why we need a specific ban for this website, rather than a more general policy), part of the problem is that Jguk has been going around deleting any link to, even in External Links sections (eg, at Atheism). Surely it is reasonable to link to the site in an External Links section! Links aren't just about citing references, but also providing links to places the reader may find useful for further reading, or pointing to sites which provide interesting opinions or arguments (or at least, if that's not the point of External Links, then a vast number of External Links on Wikipedia should be removed). Things like the usage of the word "Atheist" are not factual things which you look up in scientific journals, but things where there are more likely to be various opinions; linking to a site which explains the terminology well seems an appropriate thing to do. Mdwh 05:54, 18 December 2005 (UTC)

Unfortunately, this just seems to be a continuation of an old dispute that jguk has been unable to win. See Wikipedia:Requests_for_arbitration/Jguk/Evidence#Evidence_presented_by_Sunray. Having failed to remove the religioustolerance link from Common Era, he's now seeking to push through a policy prohibiting the mention of the site. Sortan 05:59, 18 December 2005 (UTC)

I wrote one of the articles (abortion trauma syndrome) that seems to be at the center of this -- (I put as an External link). I have several points:

  1. is not a reference -- it is an external link. (All references in the article are based on publications found in MEDLINE.)

The reason I included it in the external links is:

  1. I thought it was a reasonable attempt at examining the issue.
  2. It references books and other sites that discuss the issue and as such I think constitutes a place to start further research.

I think it is an ill-conceived overreach to make a policy that forbids linking to certain sites:

  1. It is generally assumed that a link constitutes a break in responsibility from the originators website. Many companies explicitly state something like: "We are not responsible for content on external websites."
  2. Wikipedia ought not to be policing external websites.
    • If this becomes policy Wikipedia has to check the credibility of every website it links to.
  3. External websites - even if biased may have some value.

Nephron 15:24, 18 December 2005 (UTC)

Remember good info can be referenced from a variety of sources[edit]

Remember that information that is correct it can be referenced from a variety of sources. It's important though that the sources cited are reliable and reputable. Here we have a website that is not suitable to cite as a reputable source - but that does not mean the information in it is false, and it does not mean that that information cannot go in Wikipedia - it just means a different source is used for that information instead.

Others have noted above (1) their concerns that Robinson does not use his sources properly; and (2) that Robinson's articles do cite sources. Assuming Robinson hasn't erred, it should therefore be possible to back up claims for WP by going back to Robinson's sources, reading them, and citing them as the references for the WP article instead of If it's impossible to find a suitable alternative reference, then we really shouldn't be having that info in WP just on Robinson's say-so.

This page is a centralised discussion on whether one particular website is suitable for references. Hopefully more will emerge (as we really need to eliminate poor "sources"). It is most definitely not about censoring good information - good information can always be sourced by reliable, reputable references, jguk 09:07, 18 December 2005 (UTC)

But the same thing could be applied to any other source. After all, an academic paper cites its sources, so why not go back and cite those sources directly instead? And what about the sources for those, in turn? Round and round we go. Sorry, but I'm not buying. Your argument boils down to "he doesn't have a theology degree". So what? His credibility is established by the quality of his work (backed up with citations) and the fact that he is a recognized authority in the field, being cited by newspapers, commended by the Encyclopedia Britannica, and that he has run perhaps the best known website on religious tolerance for 10 years. You are engaging in fallacious and circular reasoning, ad hominem attacks, and sloppy thinking. Stop it. Firebug 13:11, 18 December 2005 (UTC)
Because academic papers are specifically examples of verifiable and reliable sources, and blogs are not. This example is specifically covered in WP:V: "Personal websites and blogs are not acceptable as sources, except on the rare occasion that a well-known person, or a known professional journalist or researcher in a relevant field, has set up such a website. Remember that it is easy for anybody to create a website and to claim to be an expert in a certain field, or to start an "expert group", "human rights group", church, or other type of association. Several million people have created their own blogs in the last few years. They are not regarded as acceptable sources for Wikipedia. ". Note that nowhere there do I see a requirement for "theology degree." If your point is that you don't like the official policy, then you should be working to change that policy, not complaining when people observe that some guy with a blog in Ontario (in their opinion) fails the test. Nandesuka 13:12, 18 December 2005 (UTC)
You are assuming your conclusion - namely, that is a "blog". It is not. A blog is designed to express the editor's personal or political opinions, and generally does not cite sources (other than perhaps an article that is then commented on). doesn't fall into this category; it is a research site on religious issues. Again, no one seems to be able to come up with a better argument than the lack of a specific academic credential. That is irrelevant considering the weight of the other evidence. Yes, it is "easy for anybody to create a website and to claim to be an expert in a certain field", but this isn't the case here; the website has been around for 10 YEARS and has been praised by various academic organizations. 95% of the external links on Wikipedia would fail the standards you propose. Your position is absurd and based on a comic misinterpretation of Wikipedia policy. Firebug 13:20, 18 December 2005 (UTC)
My "conclusion" is not that should be excluded because it is a blog, although I describe it thus for dramatic effect. My position is that no one has yet advanced any argument to demonstrate that it meets the standards of verifiabiility and reliability. If "A website been around for 10 years and lots of people link to it" is all it takes to be a trusted Wikipedia source, then we might as well pack it in and go home, because it means the mainstream criticism of us as not being a serious encyclopedia is spot on.
Fortunately, I believe you are claiming that our standards are more lax than they actually are. Nandesuka 14:59, 18 December 2005 (UTC)
Incidentally, I agree with you that many of the other sources used on Wikipedia would fail this test. That is a problem, and should be fixed. The reason we're specifically talking about is that it is used as a reference in a comparatively large number of articles, presumably because of a coordinated campaign to benefit from links to Wikipedia (certainly, if any other advertising-supported site suddenly appeared in hundreds of articles, that would be the presumption.) Nandesuka 15:01, 18 December 2005 (UTC)
I've stated about five times that is not merely popular, but has been praised as an accurate and reliable source by various academic organizations and by Encyclopedia Britannica. And your conspiracy theory (that this is a plot to drum up ad revenue) is absurd. These links were inserted by numerous different editors for various different reasons, almost all of them perfectly valid and encyclopedic. Furthermore, why should we take you seriously when you admit above to making statements you know aren't true, such as alleging that is a blog? No one has made a convincing argument yet that this source is not reliable. All I have seen is ad hominem attacks, appeals to authority, and deliberate ignorance of specific facts presented. Firebug 15:17, 18 December 2005 (UTC)
First, you accuse me of being a sockpuppet in your edit summary, and now you're starting with personal attacks. I hope you'll understand that I am not going to rise to the bait. I understand that you feel emotionally about this issue, but perhaps you should review WP:CIVIL. The only ad hominem attack I've seen in this thread so far is you asserting that I shouldn't be taken seriously. I've revised my above statement for clarity, since you are apparently determined to ignore all nuance in my arguments (incidentally, the claim that "blogs don't cite sources" is certainly one that I've never heard before. I don't suppose you have a source for that claim? No, I didn't think so.) I don't view it as absurd at all that a site that makes money from ad revenue would have a motivation to insert links in Wikipedia. I see it all the time, hundreds of times per day.
I have not been ignoring your claims. I've been pointing out that they are inadequate. Here: I will take one specific claim you've made and meet you halfway. Show me that is cited (as opposed to "praised") as a source by the Encyclopedia Britannica, and I will wholeheartedly support citing them on the same topic from Wikipedia. Nandesuka 15:59, 18 December 2005 (UTC)
Encyclopedia Britannica does not cite sources at all. —Matthew Brown (T:C) 23:27, 18 December 2005 (UTC)

Not Being Lazy[edit]

I am echoing something I said on Jimbo's talk page here, because I think it is relevant. To provide my $0.02 here, I think that jguk approaches this with a specific axe to grind: he wants excluded because they disagree with his pet issue of BC vs BCE for dates. That being said, I am in favor of continuing this discussion in its present form because I think there's an important issue at stake here, which is that Wikipedia should always favor primary sources over secondary sources, and secondary sources over tertiary sources, etc. is a great example of a tertiary (or lower) source: it is essentially one man's (or a small number of men's) opinions, citing generally better sources for the factual content contained therein. I think we should not be at all shy about using the primary and secondary sources cited by for the benefit of our readers. I think we need a compelling reason to cite an opinion site in favor of doing the work of synthesis ourselves. If we used sparingly, in a few places, to demonstrate certain opinions, that would be one thing. But Wikipedia is littered with quite literally hundreds of references to them, often in places where superior verifiable and reputable sources exist. I view this as indicative of a problem, and despite my personal beliefs about jguk's motivation, worthy of serious discussion. While agreeing with El C's concerns about the way this was done, I find the attempts to shut down debate on this topic prematurely to be disturbing. Nandesuka 16:17, 18 December 2005 (UTC)

Perhaps a good first step here would be to catalog the places where is linked to by Wikipedia, and to classify those links. I'll propose the following categories, but welcome further suggestions:

  • Appropriate link to editorial content (example: "Some people believe that for zebras to be homosexual is immoral (link to religioustolerance article opining that homosexual zebras should be put to sleep")
  • Link to support factual assertion when primary sources exist. (example: "In 2004, the Tanzanian Department of Agriculture determined that 36% of all male zebras were homosexual. (cite to article which cites a Tz DoA survey)"
  • Link to support factual assertion when more reliable and verifiable secondary sources exist. (example: "In 2004, it was reported that the Tanzanian Department of Agriculture initiated psychotherapy to cure zebras of homosexuality (cite to article that cites a NY Times report citing the Tz DoA)"

My position is that for this is that while the first use is potentially proper, I can't think of a reason why we should be linking to (or any similar site) for the second or third uses. What other categories are there?

There's at least one other category:
  • Link used as a sort of "see also", but not used to support anything.
--cesarb 18:42, 18 December 2005 (UTC)
I agree that primary sources should be used when possible. If you look at the article in question I did that-- it is based on sources in MEDLINE. The issue is a little bit different-- it is about whether should be an external link. Wikipedia doesn't have a monopoly on analysis.'s examination of the issue I think is worthy of consideration and many others seem to think so too-- based on its Google ranking.
As for lazy, linking to a tertiary source with some references should be discouraged, but it is better than nothing. It gives the next Wikipedian a place to start from and as such shouldn't be forbidden in articles that are not mature. Nephron 20:42, 18 December 2005 (UTC)
Actually, an encyclopedia should generally be a tertiary source and be compiled from secondary sources - with fact checking from primary sources, of course. The thing is that analysis and opinion are not our job - our job is to compile a NPOV summary of them. —Matthew Brown (T:C) 23:25, 18 December 2005 (UTC)
To return to User:Nandesuka's original questions: is eminently citeable as an opinion site, as an example of a POV (the POV in question being one of religious tolerance and taking the sympathetic point of view towards religious movements). This is Nandesuka's usage #1. #2 and #3 (factual assertions that can be tracked down in more authoritative primary or secondary sources) are not the best cites. Cases where we cite for those purposes should probably be replaced with more authoritative citations as and when we obtain them.
User:CesarB's 4th category is really describable as 'External links' not 'References'. I see no problem with giving religioustolerance's page on something as an external link provided it's properly characterised. —Matthew Brown (T:C) 00:29, 19 December 2005 (UTC)

Fight censorship[edit]

I'm of the opinion that outright banning a source such as consists of censorship. There's no framework in place to entirely ban a site; every link should be measured by its own merits on a case-by-case basis. Also, I find it disturbing that a single person's quest to censor an entire valuable source is gaining this much traction.

I've done some research into various world religions before and after comparing to other sources I found it to be a very thorough and accurate resource. Why would we want to censor/ban this entire site? --Cyde Weys talkcontribs 20:50, 19 December 2005 (UTC)

This isn't about censorship. Any information that really is correct and accurate (rather than an opinion by Bruce Robinson) will be able to be referenced from a reputable source. It's not unreasonable to ask that that is done. Also, the idea is that this is a guideline - generally a message not to use this as a reference as it is unlikely to be a reliable source. Of course, on articles such as OCRT (whose website it is), it should still remain a source (although I admit I'd struggle to find a second article at present where it would be suitable).
You'll also note the serious concerns about accuracy raised by a plethora of editors who have come across the website from a variety of different directions. I don't know which articles you've read there, but the more you look at the less reliable it is (which is hardly surprising anyway when you consider that, assuming this guy has weekends off, he writes approximately one essay a day), jguk 21:48, 19 December 2005 (UTC)
Give it a rest Jguk. You are not fooling anyone here. I've seen completly ideological sites such as used on wikipedia. The only reason people are referencing the basic commonsense points on Religoius Tolerance, is because they need something to stop people with in ideological bent from deleting anything and everything they feel goes against their religion. --sansvoix 22:12, 19 December 2005 (UTC)
I do not think it is a reliable site and it is certainly quite often one-sided, but much better than the average blog. I support Jguk's idea of centralized discussion about frequently used references. Andries 22:14, 19 December 2005 (UTC)
Sansvoix, please read and abide by Wikipedia:Assume good faith. -- Antaeus Feldspar 22:56, 19 December 2005 (UTC)
Well, thats a double standard if I ever seen one! Jguk's proposed policy is entirely about ignoring wikipedia policies such as that. We should be assuming the people who cite alternative sources such as Religious Tolerance are doing it with the best of intentions, and that is not done by cynically censoring out everyting from that source! The first step we need to progress the goal of assuming the good faith of our fine comrades here, is the immidiate deletion of this poisonous censorship debate! --sansvoix 23:56, 19 December 2005 (UTC)
Sorry, no, you can't have it both ways. You can't accuse people who oppose citing OCRT as a source of being "people with in [sic] ideological bent ... deleting anything and everything they feel goes against their religion" and then insist that we assume "the best of intentions" of anyone who is citing it as a source. There is no basis for that double standard. -- Antaeus Feldspar 01:26, 20 December 2005 (UTC)
Looks like we got ourselves a quadruple standard! I'll say it another way. Undoing work on the basis of a negative assumption is against good faith.. It's the editor who should be given the benefit of the doubt, not the deleter. And that fundemental concept in Wikipedia:Assume good faith is being attacked by this censorship campaign. It puts the onus on wikpedians who arn't religoiusly obssesive on the subject, wikpedians who probably would rather be working somewhere else than here, fighting against this crusade, to come out and defend the website. If it's somehow a convoluted breach of good faith to point that out, so be it. I just hope you see the irony in what you accused me of.--sansvoix 07:10, 20 December 2005 (UTC)
You speak as if there is some discernable difference between "editor" and "deleter." There is not. Deletion is a perfectly valid form of editing. For a sufficiently terrible article, deletion of poorly-written, irrelevant, unsourced, or unverifiable material is the most valuable form of editing. Nandesuka 12:39, 20 December 2005 (UTC)
The deletion we are debating about here is censorship of a particular source. Sorry, I was not clear.--sansvoix 20:33, 21 December 2005 (UTC)

No, it's about saying that one website is not suitable to be used as a source. That does not mean that an alternative, reliable source cannot be found for any particular bit of information, jguk 20:44, 21 December 2005 (UTC)

  • If you could somehow demonstrate a website is systematically distorting its information with the purpose of misleading, then yes, that website should be banned as a source. Otherwise, each page on a website should be evaluated on its own merits. And by the way, you have failed to show why is not suitable to be used a source. I want specific quotes from that site that you believe to be incorrect. If you can show that is fraught with errors then I might agree that it's not suitable as a source. Otherwise, I'm not convinced. --Cyde Weys talkcontribs 20:48, 21 December 2005 (UTC)
The onus is on those who believe this to be a reputable source to demonstrate why it is a reputable source. Not the other way round. The site is written by someone who is not an academic, is not party to academic discussions and with no training in this area. It's exactly the same as if I started a website and put forward my opinions on it. Would you expect someone to prove that my website is fraught with errors or, failing that, accept me as a good source? (Incidentally, I think the comments already made on this page illustrate that many WPians can demonstrate that is indeed fraught with errors.) jguk 20:59, 21 December 2005 (UTC)
You are wrong, if you want to censor something, I think the good American value of "innocent untill proven guilty" applies here. As I've stated in my argument above, the onus is not on the rest of us, and this website is not guilty by default. If you want to remove any mention of this website you better have a damning case, it is not our responsibility to defend it from your wild accusations.--sansvoix 21:14, 21 December 2005 (UTC)

As noted umpteen times before, I'm not out to censor anything - just to ask for reliable, reputable sources for whatever's going in the encyclopaedia. I certainly strongly disagree that any source is "innocent until proven guilty" - a source has to show itself to be reliable and reputable in order to be quotable. If you'll forgive me for some reductio ad absurdum - we wouldn't quote a 6 year old kid on something just because we couldn't prove his website contained an inaccuracy. In the event though, is full of bad scholarship - if you want me to quote an example, ask me on my talk page, jguk 22:38, 21 December 2005 (UTC)

  • You have a very negative worldview. You think everyone out there is trying to lie, deceive, or misrepresent, and has to be conclusively proven as a "valid" source, for your varrow narrow definition of valid. I look forward to seeing you go out and validate any variety of the hundreds of sources used on various religious articles that you edit. Of course, you're not going to do that, because you're a hypocrit. Your standards are only high when it comes to sites that, for whatever reason, you disagree with, such as But I bet you've found religious sites that meshed with your POV bias and you didn't hesitate a heartbeat to link them in an article you've edited. It's a double standard. Of course we're all for verifiability but when you single out a single source and attack it on a religious basis, well ... it's kind of obvious what you're up to. --Cyde Weys talkcontribs 23:21, 21 December 2005 (UTC)
    • Cyde, your attacks on jguk are not helpful. If you have actual answers to the concerns he's bringing up, then make them. Pretending that you can read jguk's mind and announce to everyone what you find there and that it doesn't include good faith is uncivil -- and it's more likely to backfire on you than to convince anyone. -- Antaeus Feldspar 23:32, 21 December 2005 (UTC)
      • What's really not helpful are jguk's pointless and unrelenting attacks on this one source. He's singlehandedly defying consensus and dragging this source down into the muck. --Cyde Weys talkcontribs 00:52, 22 December 2005 (UTC)
        • Indeed, the defamation of the source is the true injustice here. We are not obligated to take part in this insidious crusade, and it is not anyones responsibility to present a case for! That would legitimise Jguks efforts. Jguk has not presented any damning evidence proving widespread inaccuracies in, this proposal should of been deleted before any damage was done.--sansvoix 01:20, 22 December 2005 (UTC)
          • Are you two even listening to yourselves? You're intoning pompous things about "the defamation of the source is the true injustice here" and all the while hurling all the mud you can at Jguk. He's not "singlehandedly defying consensus", you know, not when many people are agreeing with him that OCRT is not reliable enough to be used as a source. Why are you two persisting in this unproductive vein? If you can't accurately describe the situation you're dealing with it weakens, not strengthens, any claim you have that you are the one who knows how the situation should be resolved. -- Antaeus Feldspar 02:52, 22 December 2005 (UTC)
            • I don't think I'm the unreasonable one here. I've asked for even a single quote from that is a distortion or untruth. I haven't gotten anything from jguk. Everything he's said and done leads me to believe that he's not attacking it for evidentiary motives but for religious ones. --Cyde Weys talkcontribs 16:05, 22 December 2005 (UTC)


... let me put it this way: citing is like citing The Two Babylons as a factual source in Roman Catholicism. In other words, pretty stupid. - Ta bu shi da yu 13:40, 20 December 2005 (UTC)

And why do you say that? Comparison to some already disputed source without any sort of rationale for why the two should be mentioned in the same breath is not helpful at all. DreamGuy 13:49, 20 December 2005 (UTC)
There should really be a Wikipedia:Analogies don't prove anything. Because they don't. They can be illustrative in helping to clarify something that has already been proven, but on their own analogies are worthless. --Cyde Weys talkcontribs 20:40, 21 December 2005 (UTC)
Yes, it is odd how some editors are fighting tooth and nail to get this policy heard. Censoring is like banning religious tolerance in articles such as Christianity, or in religious related policies such as AD vs CE. Sorry, I'm no good with analogies.--sansvoix 20:39, 21 December 2005 (UTC)
I would agree about that lack, yes. There's very little overlap between banning an abstract principle, and deciding that a particular concrete group of people should not be used as a reference, even if they've given themselves a name deliberately evocative of that abstract principle. You've been throwing some very heated, very serious allegations at your fellow editors in this discussion; if they were (for the sake of argument) to start writing essays at a website called, would you argue that not treating those editors as a reliable source is akin to rejecting the principle that our articles should be well balanced and well researched? And yet that is approximately the same as what you're arguing here, that declining to accept as a reference a group that named its website "Religious Tolerance" is in some way analogous to rejecting the principle they named themselves after. -- Antaeus Feldspar 22:55, 21 December 2005 (UTC)
I said I was bad at analogies. I am not here to defend the website itself, if that is what you are thinking... No one should be forced to do that. I am opposing the religious censorship. I would have the same problem with, as the annonymous comment below points out, banning the Mormon Church as a reference, or any other religious site for that matter.--sansvoix 00:48, 22 December 2005 (UTC) P.S. My comment was in response to Ta's analogy... I was playing the language in the other direction, to make my point. (: You can't read into it that much!

Have you thought about the possibility that we're concerned about references and how reliable they are? After all, I fail to see how this supports any particular agenda - if a fact is true and verifiable there will be a better, reliable source for it, jguk 20:48, 21 December 2005 (UTC)

Are there are several threads above outlining your religious agenda? Of course I don't believe that you are doing this for accuracy purposes. I think I am dead on when I say you started this campaign simply because you are offended with what is stated on --sansvoix 21:10, 21 December 2005 (UTC)
And I think you are dead wrong when you think that such attempts to change the subject from "is OCRT a reliable source?" to "does jguk have some sneaky ulterior motive up his sleeve, as I keep alleging?" are either a) within the bounds of acceptable civil behaviour on Wikipedia or b) going to successfully drag the discussion off-topic. -- Antaeus Feldspar 02:56, 22 December 2005 (UTC)
Please don't put words in my mouth, as a long-time contributor you must know that is an improper way to state your opinion! I've said it several times that I am here to oppose religious censorship, of any kind. It is not my responsibity to participate in this crusade, infact, I strongly protest its existance (I voted with the AfD), this page is singling out and devaluing a particuar website, simply due to its religious content that apparently offends a loud minority of conservative Christian editors. Without a doubt this is a religious debate --look how much fundementalist trolling it has recieved (I can't believe it, but I'm getting death [threats] ) To paint this as a secular debate, would be to discuss this under flase pretenses. Furthermore, those with a religious motive behind this are going to be far more dilligent in their battle to censor this site. If this is allowed to be portrayed a simple "validitiy check,"... well you know as well as I do what it would look like. I think we have to be careful, I posted a similar example below about relgious fundementalists "questioning the accuracy" if you will, of the theory of evolution, under false pretenses.--sansvoix 03:56, 22 December 2005 (UTC)
Well, once again, you can't have it both ways. You can't complain about people putting words in your mouth when at the very same time, you're demanding that you be considered the authority on what jguk thinks and is motivated by. For that matter, you can't declare that all the concerns raised by jguk must be presumed invalid and insincere because of his presumed religious orientation -- and then claim you're in favor of religious tolerance yourself. -- Antaeus Feldspar 15:57, 22 December 2005 (UTC) (P.S. Please see if you can fix the link to the "death threats" you claim were made to show the actual diff.)
I feel this is getting too personal, we both should now take a break. Thanks, sansvoix 22:20, 22 December 2005 (UTC)
Since analogies seem to be in style, I'd like to compare this to a "real life" occurance I saw in the news yesterday. Kitzmiller_v._Dover_Area_School_District. The U.S. Judge repremanded the school board for implementing Intelligent Design (a kind of religious based pseudo-science) into the Grade 9 science curriculum. The Christian Judge appointed by George Bush stated, "It is ironic that several of these individuals, who so staunchly and proudly touted their religious convictions in public, would time and again lie to cover their tracks and disguise the real purpose behind the ID Policy." That is, these religious fundementalists would claim they were acting in the name of legitimate science and good faith, when in fact they were manipulating their religion into the classroom. Ring any bells?--sansvoix 21:10, 21 December 2005 (UTC)
"The Christian Judge appointed by George Bush stated..." - that's almost too funny. Georgie knows how to pick 'em. Reminds me of David Souter and this comic. Nephron 21:57, 21 December 2005 (UTC)


What is the difference between citing to sources of the Mormon Church for example? Both are probably equally inaccurate for numerical purposes. It is widely known that the LDS Church inflates their numbers substantially. The Roman Catholic Church has done the same thing with Catholics in China according to the US State department. 00:39, 22 December 2005 (UTC)

  • Frankly I think I would place more trust in an outside organization's data on an organization than the organization itself, as the organization may have vested interests to distory their data, as you pointed out. --Cyde Weys talkcontribs 01:07, 22 December 2005 (UTC)
  • Regarding members of any religious group in China, not just Roman Catholics, it seems very plausible that official/government numbers would be lower than actual, since the Chinese government gives religious believers ample incentives to hide any religious affiliation they may have. So there could be a number of people that conceal their religion from the U.S. and Chinese governments but acknowledge it to their religion's leaders. And while the RC and LDS may have motivation to inflate their numbers, at least they're in a position to acquire actual data about their own membership. What makes a handful of amateur Canadians more authoritative, just because they don't have first hand access to real numbers and (maybe) less incentive to distort the numbers? Wesley 17:41, 16 January 2006 (UTC)

Categorizing Uses[edit]

Rather than try to read other people's minds on various issues, I'd like to suggest we get on with categorizing the links. Please feel free to add to this list as you see fit. There are a lot of articles to get through.

Page Type of usage
Doomsday prediction External link (listed as "a database", though really it's just a small selection)
Scouting_For_All External link on the Boy Scouts. Takes clear editorial position.
2076 Used to support factual statement. Link takes editorial stance. Better sources exist.
Homosexuality and Zoroastrianism External link. No clear editorial stance. Links to secondary source.
Preimplantation genetic diagnosis External link. Categorizes and collates various arguments.
Hell_house External link. Article takes clear editorial stance.
Lukumi External link. Article takes no editorial stance. "Santerian Beliefs" section is completely unsourced, however.
Niilo Paasivirta External link, quotes some text the person has said. Note that the text originally comes from an explanatory page on the person's own website; If the page is found, that probably should be quoted/linked instead.

Request for broader application[edit]

We should make a general policy eschewing poor sites (such as, not limiting it to simply this one. Some sort of method for testing whether a site is a good reference source should be determined. The Jade Knight 08:59, 29 December 2005 (UTC)

Thats already been brought up.

--sansvoix 09:08, 29 December 2005 (UTC)

That's a pretty lame attack on a source with no meat to it. "Eschewing poor sites (such as" indeed. What, exactly, is wrong with Religioustolerance? I've asked for some concrete examples a few times now and nobody's give me a damn thing. This leads me to belief that the objection to Religioustolerance is all pomp and no circumstance. In other words, people are biased against it because of their own views, not because of anything wrong with it itself. --Cyde Weys votetalk 14:21, 29 December 2005 (UTC)

I have found Religioustolerance a reliable source, the articles are clear, balanced, well sourced. I intend to continue using this source, along with other sources. KillerChihuahua?!? 15:03, 29 December 2005 (UTC)
The question is not whether is "objectively bad" somehow, but whether it is being used as a source when such use is inappropriate. See the (still very incomplete) table above, for examples of both appropriate and inappropriate use. To take just one, the use of in the 2076 article is a good example of an inappropriate use. I absolutely agree that this needs to apply to sites other than :-) Nandesuka 20:52, 29 December 2005 (UTC)
The question seems to be the verifiability of the site, as this is a subpage of Verifiability. That being the case, I have yet to find ever using poorly sourced data, not making it clear when data was questionable, etc. Appropriate use is another question entirely to my mind, and I concur that appropriate use is an issue. I am not sure it is being addressed clearly here. KillerChihuahua?!? 23:50, 29 December 2005 (UTC)
Cyde, concrete examples have already been posted on this page itself, such as the fact that chose to present a list of the controversies Scientology has been involved in but omitted from that list several controversies far larger and far less ambiguous than the four it did present. Another concrete example is how OCRT characterized the conflict described at Scientology versus The Internet:
"A war of sorts raged on the Internet between the church, anti-Scientology individuals and persons dedicated to preserving total freedom of speech on the Internet. Starting in 1994-DEC, the Church has aggressively attempted to defend their copyright on a wide range of confidential Church documents including rituals that they regard as highly secret. This has brought them into conflict with numerous Internet users and service providers who are keen to promote the complete freedom of speech on the Internet, with little or no regard to copyrights held by individuals and organizations."
Now if you actually relied on as a source, you would get the entirely false impression that the majority of those who oppose the Church's aggressive defense of what they claim their copyrights and trademarks cover hold the very rare minority opinion which OCRT misleadingly presents as the only reason why anyone would be on the other side of the Church on this issue: because they have "little or no regard to copyrights", because they are "keen to promote the complete freedom of speech on the Internet" (emphasis mine), rather than because they believe in freedom of speech as a right that everyone should have a reasonable amount of, and see the Church's actions (such as trying to shut down alt.religion.scientology, a forum for discussing Scientology, because the CoS had a trademark on the word "Scientology") as infringing on even a reasonable interpretation of free speech -- as opposed to the excessive interpretation which OCRT attributes to everyone opposed to Scientology in this matter. -- Antaeus Feldspar 00:28, 30 December 2005 (UTC)

Despite the apt observations of it being a blog, it's Google ranking speaks for itself as to its relative reliability and primary sources it does use. Any website article/essay is understood to reflect the opinion of the author and/or organization who wrote it. Adding such notes would be time consuming, and in the specific case of RT, arbitrary and discriminatory. It is an essential external link in many cases, as a primary source it should not be used; likewise with any secondary source... be it Wikipedia, encyclopedias or Op/Ed pieces. - RoyBoy 800 20:24, 8 January 2006 (UTC)

As I have already said, I don't think that an outright ban of this website or source is the right way to go. In my view, reliability of sources should be determined on a case by case basis through discussion on the talk page, comparison with other sources and sometimes through an RfC. The 1911 Encyclopaedia Britannica is very POV, but we can still use that as a source, by using common sense in determining what is POV and what is not. I strongly believe that ReligiousTolerance can be of some use and its use as a source should not be prohibited. Izehar 20:34, 8 January 2006 (UTC)
If in fact consistently cites good sources for its material, then why shouldn't wikipedia cite those sources rather than itself? It seems rather like citing another encyclopedia article when it would be better to use that article's bibliography, confirm the sources, and cite the real sources of the information. The chief value of a site like this would seem to be how easy it makes it to find real sources. Just like blogs are great for finding links to other information. Wesley 17:47, 16 January 2006 (UTC)
I think we have to discriminate between articles written by and links provided by The articles by are not NPOV and also cannot really be regarded as reliable source (e.g., no peer review) - the links to other articles are as good as the source of that article and in that case it is irrelevant, if the site is on the server or anywhere else. Similar guidelines should be used for other sites whose authors are not perfect reliable sources themselves (Anton Hein of, Rick Ross of but who provide a wide spectrum of links to acceptable sources like academic articles and newspaper articles who are not accessible on the net elsewhere. As an example, an SF Chronicle or New York Times article is worth as source as much as SF Chronicle or New York Times, even if it is found on a POV site like or Irmgard 10:05, 20 January 2006 (UTC)

Atheism in the United States[edit]

I don't think it is a good or helpful to include a statment such as "There are more atheists in the U.S. than members of any religion other than Christianity." For one, it is an unsubstantiated claim, but even if we could find a citation for this, the statement should be clarified. After reading the multiple meanings of "atheist", I am left wondering: What is an atheist? What definition of atheism did the study use (if we can find one)?

How does this issue get resolved?[edit]

This needs to be settled as one editor on the Christianity article is using this page as a statement of policy and has told another editor with whom there is some disagreement over the History section that "that site (RT) should never be used to source information in Wikipedia articles". From reading this discussion I'm guessing that this is not so but leaving this as an ongoing debate is obviously causing confusion.

Whatever side you are on, surely the concept of banning sources evokes Big Brother images. Once the principle is established, the credibility of Wiki will be undermined. There are enough motivated editors on the religious articles to make sure that inaccurate references do not get through. As they say - the "truth will out" - but only when information (accurate or inaccurate) is not censored. Believe it or not, most people are smart enough to ask further questions when they come across information that doesn't seem to fit with what they thought was true.

The only justifiable censorship in MO is the exploitation of minors such as child pornography. SOPHIA 11:35, 23 January 2006 (UTC)

This issue gets resolved by telling the POV-pushers that they can't censor a good source just because the disagree with it... links to are clearly fine and there is no policy against it. But from the above discussion it appears that if the thing you link to that site for is something they cite some other source for, that you can still have a cite but link to that source directly, for those topics where they are just regurgitating some other source. For topics where they provide opinions of their own from going through multiple sources, etc., (which is probably most of them), then you can cite them directly. DreamGuy 12:08, 23 January 2006 (UTC)
My own take is that there are very, very few websites which qualify as competent sources...whether they are Christian, Atheist, Jewish, etc. The exception would be, of course, those sites which contain primary sources (for example, the Augustine article linking to an online text of his "Confessions"). I've found some good stuff on the in the past, but, like any other religion site, it clearly has a distinct POV. I believe we should treat it with the same reluctance as we treat other religious sites, and use it very sparingly...certainly not as an academic source (which it isn't), but as a religion site. KHM03 12:22, 23 January 2006 (UTC)
KHM03 You will always find someone who doesn't agree with your site. Since most of us don't speak Hebrew or Greek we will always be working from translations (on the Christian articles). From my own experience in Astronomy, the primary processing of the original data is always prone to some human error and therefore disagreement. Look at the fun with the Testimonium Flavianum which I know you are aware of. I think in a way we are saying the same thing - don't ban but treat with caution and check references. Where possible I agree that primary sources are best, but as I have already said using secondary is sometimes unavoidable. Especially with early Christianity where sometimes all we know about a heretical group is the derogatory things the Church said about them.
The principle at stake here seems to be if one group (with a definite POV) can qualify what a reliable source is. If references to RT are used in articles they should undergo the same "wiki way", as someone above put it, until the facts of the matter are arrived at. Interpretation of those facts will always generate disagreements but this should be reflected in a balanced way in the article. I been aware of RT for years and so have many people I know (I didn't find it I was told about it), we all seem to treat it in the same way however, as a start point for further reading not as a definitive source. Wiki is quite new in comparison and I am treating what I read on contentious topics with the same caution - often the discussion pages make for more interesting reading than the article itself. SOPHIA 13:07, 23 January 2006 (UTC)
Please do not misquote me, SOPHIA. In this post, which is the only one I made on the subject, I pointed someone towards this Wikipedia page. I most certainly did not tell another editor that "that site (RT) should never be used to source information in Wikipedia articles". I said that the Wikipedia:Verifiability/ says that "that site (RT) should never be used to source information in Wikipedia articles". I said that to an editor who had enthusiastically written:
For example, one source that I respect is the well known site I don't think anyone where would disgree with their NPOV mission, "We try to describe all viewpoints on controversial religious topics objectively and fairly." I think they do a great job at neutrality by including all points of view and separate what is commonly accepted by most scholars with elements that are disuted, listing the alternative views. They are a model to be emulated for this encylopeida not only for their NPOV but also becaue its well referenced.
Given that he had said that he didn't think "anyone where [presmably "here"] would disagree with their NPOV mission" and that "they are a model to be emulated . . . for their NPOV", I think it was entirely appropriate to point out that they are not regarded as a reliable, unbiased, academic source.
I do not think the word "censorship" should be used in this context. To the best of my knowledge, nobody has tried recently to add to the article. When an article already has a large number of links, we generally tend to be more fussy about new ones than when an article is little better than a stub. If anyone wishes to add a link to a large article that has several links, he or she can make a case on the talk page, as to why this link would be useful. Is it sufficiently relevant? Does it provide something not provided by other links (or could it perhaps replace another link)? Does it fall in line with Wikipedia:External links and Wikipedia:Verifiability? The page to which I referred another editor specifically says, "Of course, that does not mean that information contained in is wrong, or that it should not be in Wikipedia - just that, if it is to be in Wikipedia, that information should be sourced from elsewhere." And the article on says that it has five members, and that most of the essays were written by a retired engineer with no academic training in religious subjects. I do not think that a polite caution about the level of reliability of an external site held as a "model to be emulated" should be called censorship or POV-pushing. And, by the way, there is nothing wrong with one group, with a definite POV, arguing about what is or isn't a reliable source, as long as that group is arguing from Wikipedia policy. We all have POVs, and we're all entitled to make our case, civilly, about why we think a link does or doesn't fit in with Wikipedia policy. The page to which I referred Mika, of course, is not official policy (and I never claimed it was), but the general principle of external links is, I would say, semi-official, and the verifiability policy is official. AnnH (talk) 13:25, 23 January 2006 (UTC)
AnnH I suggest you reread your own post as I don't think it says what you meant it to. It reads as if you are referring to a Wikipedia policy not just a proposed policy still under discussion and with no agreement.
As to the real issue - I think the process Giovanni and Mika are undergoing is postive to the article. They are being forced by the rigours of the editors to be specific and clear about the facts at issue. As I said the interpretation and prominence of those facts in the article is where the real fun begins but that has nothing to do with the RT site. The process you describe above is what I perceived to be the "wiki way" - banning all references to one site is not. Lets be clear on this - the proposal is to ban reference to the site and only in some cases allow it as an external link with heavy provisos on it.
In an open project what is there to be lost by referencing any site as anyone can counter the assertions? This is not anarchy - it's intellectual freedom.SOPHIA 14:10, 23 January 2006 (UTC)
In an open project what is there to be lost by referencing any site as anyone can counter the assertions? Reliability. -- Antaeus Feldspar 15:33, 23 January 2006 (UTC)
And so we go round in circles. Who defines what is reliable? Mainstream thought is sometimes very wrong. SOPHIA 20:06, 23 January 2006 (UTC)

Rather Rediculous[edit] is a better source than the Bible for factual information, yet I see people in Christian-related articles cite the Bible as if it were fact. The site is informative and well-researched, and it is worth citing given that it has international recognition and a great deal of acclaim from various other credible sources. Titanium Dragon 06:05, 5 March 2006 (UTC)

I concur. Does that mean that we can terminate this discussion now, and formally mark as a citeable source? Clinkophonist 19:34, 18 June 2006 (UTC)

We can certainly cite their opinion on an issue as just that -- their opinion. But I'm afraid Titanium Dragon's proposal above is "rediculous" -- if people are citing the Bible as if the Bible was fact, that is a problem we solve. We don't take advantage of it by saying "oh, now I can claim anything as fact, as long as I claim the source is 'a better source than the Bible'." Informative? Well-researched? Also highly problematic as has been demonstrated above. -- Antaeus Feldspar 00:16, 19 June 2006 (UTC)

I find the complaint that I (the main author on lack academic qualifications interesting. One of the main goals of that site is to explain various religious topics giving all viewpoints, and describing a wide range of religions, including their conservative, mainline, liberal and other factions. If I were to have a PhD in religion from, say, the Union Theological Seminary I would probably be hopelessly biased for life in a religiously liberal direction. If I went to a fundamentalist Bible school, I might be hopelessly biased in a religiously conservative direction. Best to have no post-secondary specialist education in the field of religion at all. A better route would be to have a degree in some topic that provides training in reason and communication. I am a graduate of the University of Toronto in Engineering Physics and spent 38 years working for a large textile company working in instrumentation development. A major part of my career was involved in writing manuals for the users of the instrumentation that my group developed. Further, I am an Agnostic, and thus do not have any particular bias for or against any religious group. I feel that I am much better qualified than most people to meet the specific challenges of my job.

In defense of our site, I will mention that we are the only religious website of which we are aware that has an errata section for reporting errors that we or our visitors have reported. We currently have 4,019 essays online; we cover a lot of ground.

We have been the brunt of many attacks since 1995 when our first essays went online. We just survived a denial of service attack last week, for example. We get lots of hate Email and the occasional death threat. We get many negative Emails from religious liberals complaining of our description of the conservative position on various topics; we get even more Emails from religious conservatives complaining about our liberal content. Some people really hate seeing opposing positions cited. We get about 3 to 4 times as many positive unsolicited Emails as negative ones. Bruce Robinson, 7 October 2007. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 23:57, 7 October 2007 (UTC)

I am a member of a small conservative Christian faith group that is covered by both wikipedia and religious The wiki article is strongly biased and has been largely written (last I checked, I hate to even look now) by an anonymous author using self-published sources reflecting similar bias. The is the best article on our group on the web. It has a few errors and is not entirely complimentary to our group but it is fair.
So it seems the height of absurdity for wikipedia to assess At least the site authors have a face and a a name.
I believe wiki was good when it just copied from reliable sources but now it's expansion is largely based on OR. No stopping it because wiki is really for hobbyist (e.g. unpaid) researchers and writers. RSuser (talk) 22:31, 13 July 2009 (UTC)

Which article is this? Also I don't think that the unreliability of other sources has any relevance to the issue of whether itself is reliable. If there are no reliable sources for your group, then it shouldn't have a Wiki article on it in the first place. WP:V and WP:NOR are fundamental policies, so I'm not sure what you mean with the rest of your statement, nor do I understand the relevance of us not being paid? But anyway, if you don't say what the article is, no one here can fix or look into it... Mdwh (talk) 01:04, 14 July 2009 (UTC)

Teriary Sources[edit]

I have a simple question which I would like to ask the other editors on this page: is it more acceptable to cite a tertiary/secondary source, or a primary source, for any matter? Surely, one would pick the primary source. I think one thing we must all be able to agree on is that if we need to cite something, we would be better off using the sources that religioustolerance itself cites rather than the cite itself, if only because we are getting closer to the original source. I don't think there is any reasonable argument against this conclusion. Now, obviously, for noting that the site itself holds a particular opinion it should then be linked to - it would be a primary source for that use. -- 14:23, 27 August 2006 (UTC)

Scientology material written by Scientology[edit]

On the subject of Scientology, OCRT is biased since most, if not all, the articles are authored or co-authored by Al Buttnor who is the Director of Special Affairs (sometimes called Public Affairs) of the Toronto Org[9]. A lot of the current text looks like it was cribbed straight from Church of Scientology web sites. There certainly hasn't been any fact-checking done, and most of the references are to Church of Scientology sites or fronts like the "new CAN". As well, the site now blocks the Wayback Machine of the Internet Archive, which prevents comparing the current pages with previous versions. AndroidCat 22:08, 16 September 2006 (UTC)

Use of OCRT as a reliable source by news media and scholarly publications[edit]

The following info is for future reference, should this be required. It was copied from a 2008 WP:RS/N discussion:

  • Looking at google scholar: [10], [11], the OCRT site appears to have entered academic discourse, and has been cited by numerous reputable and reliable sources (examples include The Lancet, the American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology, the Journal of Religion and Society, Nova Religio and others).
Examples of citations in academic books:
  • [12] (Apologies to Thucydides by Marshall David Sahlins, University of Chicago Press, p. 312: B. A. Robinson essay included in bibliography)
  • [13] (Ethical Studies textbook by Robert Bowie quoting Robinson, p. 187)
  • [14] (Freedom's Distant Shores by R. Drew Smith, Baylor University Press, cites as a corroborating source [note 19])
  • [15] (Wrestling with God and Men by Steven Greenberg, University of Wisconsin Press, p. 293, cites Robinson article on
  • [16] (Theological Librarians and the Internet by Mark Stover, p. 145: academic review of theological web resources, berates undergraduates for dismissing the site in a course assignment, because it carried advertising; describes the site's content as a "massive education program")
  • [17] [18] (Teaching New Religious Movements by David G. Bromley, Oxford University Press, pp. 296, 307: lists among recommended secondary research literature sources, along with peer-reviewed journals and academic websites)

(The google book links given to the actual pages may decay over time.)

Please note that the second link you provided (this one) includes all mentions (14,000 results) of the phrase "Religious Tolerance" (with a space), and is not limited to citations of the website. For a more accurate representation (752 results), see [21]. Spidern 14:20, 6 January 2009 (UTC)