Wikipedia talk:WikiProject Religion/New religious movements work group

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Wikipedia:WikiProject Religion work group for improving the articles related to new religious movements.



There are several NRMs which clearly already fall within the scope of one or more of the more specific religion projects, which I tend to think this project should largely leave to those more specific projects to manage. These include Category:Ahmadiyya, Category:Ayyavazhi, Category:Children of God, Category:Christian Science, Category:Golden Dawn, Category:Iglesia ni Cristo, Category:International Society for Krishna Consciousness, Category:Jesus movement, Category:Jewish Renewal, Category:Nation of Islam, Category:Nation of Yahweh, Category:Neopaganism, Category:Non-traditional Kabbalah, Category:Scientology, Category:Smartism, and Category:Spirituality. All of these are seemingly already within the scope of a more focused project, which probably knows a bit more about the "heritage" of the group than we would. That would leave the scope of this group including those articles in Category:Ascended Master Teachings, Category:Aum Shinrikyo, Category:Cao Dai, Category:Falun Gong, Category:Heaven's Gate, the relevant articles of Category:Hippie movement, Category:House of Yahweh, Category:International Peace Mission movement, Category:Jeung San Do, Category:Manson Family, Category:Movement of Spiritual Inner Awareness, Category:New Age, Category:New Thought movement, Category:Order of the Solar Temple, Category:Osho movement, Category:Peoples Temple, Category:Prem Rawat, Category:Rastafari, Category:Raëlism, Category:Sahaja Yoga, Category:Sathya Sai Baba, Category:Shinshukyo, and Category:Church of the SubGenius. Would that be acceptable to the rest of you? John Carter (talk) 17:13, 14 May 2008 (UTC)

Only if there is scholarly consensus for classification of these momevements as NRMs. This should be investigated on a case by case basis. Andries (talk) 17:47, 14 May 2008 (UTC)
I'm not sure whether the above comment agrees to not including the groups already within the scope of other projects. As to exactly what "consensus" of the scholar community is, that will probably be difficult to determine exactly, although it might be easier to establish that several scholarly sources to classify such groups in that way. But consensus implies searching all such sources, and that might be problematic. John Carter (talk) 17:55, 14 May 2008 (UTC)
I think that the question whether the scholarly sources agree with each other or at least agree to a great extent about the classification as an NRM has not been determined for the majority of the articles that you listed. Andries (talk) 18:46, 14 May 2008 (UTC)
That argument is unreasonable.... This is a wiki project not an article in mainspace. Project members can propose and include any article that they want to work on and improve. If there are groups that are already being dealt with in other projects, that is not a problem: this project can be a catchall for the rest. ≈ jossi ≈ (talk) 04:01, 15 May 2008 (UTC)
It should also be noted that to be included in a category, including the NRM category, there has to be at least one RS which makes the claim that the group is an NRM, so the matter of sourcing shouldn't be a problem. "Scholarly" sources is problematic, as some might not use the term at all. But, even excluding the groups in List of new religious movements which do fall within one or more other project's scope, there's enough to deal with. One of this group's first priorities might be to ensure that each group listed there is referenced, as per wikipedia policy, maybe including any others we find listed elsewhere as well. That would definitely be a good place to start. John Carter (talk) 15:06, 15 May 2008 (UTC)


I am starting a list of subjects which might fall within the scope of this group, at least theoretically, at User:John Carter/List of new religious movements. All the subjects named therein are listed in a book dealing with NRMs, etc. I believe they could all be said to be within the scope of this project, at least as main articles, although, of course, if there is another extant project which also deals with a given subject, it might make most sense to allow them to continue to work on it. We should also note that NRM and New Thought should be differentiated. I would respectfully request that no one add to it till I finish, so that I can finish the setup. My being done will be indicated by the removal of the template at the top of the page. The page might also then be substituted for the existing List of new religious movements. In any event, just letting you all know. John Carter (talk) 19:38, 21 May 2008 (UTC)

Mmmm... sourcing to just Benjamin Beit-Hallahmi, may not be a good idea... If we ought to source such a list, we will need a variety of sources, otherwise that article should be List of new religious movements according to Benjamin Beit-Hallahmi :) ≈ jossi ≈ (talk) 21:02, 21 May 2008 (UTC)
Withdrawing comment about anyone not adding to it, sorry. I also have James R. Lewis' The Encyclopedia of Cults, Sects, and New Religions, but I'm only through the "H"'s in the Beit-Hallahmi listing. I'm assuming, given that the entire Pentecostal movement is counted by B-H as being "new", or at least included in that book, that the scope of this group will be larger than I thought. But I think we could reasonably define the scope of the group as new cults, sects, and/or new religious movements, given the contentious nature of the words "cult" and "sect", but just use the shorter title anyway. If you've got any more to add, though, please do so. John Carter (talk) 21:07, 21 May 2008 (UTC)
If and when I finish the list of items in the two books, by definition, every entry will qualify for a separate article, more or less, based on a non-trivial reference in the book containing it. Be warned, though, it's going to be a long list. John Carter (talk) 23:03, 22 May 2008 (UTC)

Christian new religious movements move discussion[edit]

Please note a move discussion here at what used to be Christian cults Ed Fitzgerald t / c 21:41, 7 June 2009 (UTC)

We should re-examine this move. Despite the fact that some have made this into a "cult" vs. NRM issue that is actually not the most pressing problem. In scholarship "Christian cult" almost exclusively refers to cultus.PelleSmith (talk) 15:40, 22 August 2009 (UTC)

Effort to improve Cult[edit]

There is an ongoing effort to improve the entry for Cult, which is in horrible shape. Please see the talk page for some discussion. Pleas also see the ongoing rewrite at Talk:Cult/Cult Sandbox. Any assistance would be greatly appreciated.PelleSmith (talk) 15:40, 22 August 2009 (UTC)

Dilip rajeev enforcement case[edit]

Kindly note that an Enforcement case has just been filed against Dilip rajeev here over his editing at the Falun Gong family of articles and elsewhere. You might like to comment. Please note that this is a permalink; any commenting should be done only after clicking on the 'Project page' tab. Ohconfucius (talk) 03:31, 24 August 2009 (UTC)

New category for groups/individuals accused of being "cults"?[edit]

I note that there are several organizations listed at List of groups referred to as cults in government documents. I would tend to think that being called a "cult" in a government document of any kind is probably notable, and might be sufficient cause for being included in a category to that effect. Thoughts? John Carter (talk) 18:39, 24 August 2009 (UTC)

The preamble to the Belgian list states that "[t]he fact that a movement is listed here, even if at the instigation of an official instance, does not signify that the Commission regards it as a cult." The Belgian and French lists include, among others, the Religious Society of Friends (Quakers), The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Mormons), the Jehovah's Witnesses, Taoist yoga and Tai chi (a meditation exercise). None of these are currently categorised as cults, and I don't think we'd find consensus at those articles to change that. JN466 16:26, 25 August 2009 (UTC)

Political cult[edit]

Does the article Political cult properly belong in this workgroup? The groups discussed in that article do not seem to have any religious or spiritual component. OTOH, projects often cast wide nets that include peripherally related articles.   Will Beback  talk  18:49, 24 August 2009 (UTC)

I think it might reasonably be included on the basis of the Political cult#Participation of non-mainstream religious movements in politics, considering that the two groups mentioned in that section have both been described as cults. Iglesia ni Cristo could probably be referenced in that section as well. However, I do acknowledge that that particular article is probably among the least clearly directly relevant articles, and, personally, might not notice particularly if the tag were removed, particularly if some other banner were placed in its stead, because I do think that having some sort of banner placing a quality assessment on the article would be a good thing. John Carter (talk) 19:27, 24 August 2009 (UTC)
Ah, I hadn't noticed the Political cult#Participation of non-mainstream religious movements in politics. And yes, Iglesia ni Cristo is known for it's politicl involvement. Explained that way, the inclusion makes sense.   Will Beback  talk  20:00, 24 August 2009 (UTC)

Scope 2[edit]

  • The scope of this group is articles relating to new religious movements, which should be included in the Category:New religious movements or its subcategories. However, this group also acknowledges and is grateful for the efforts of other, pre-existing WikiProjects and groups, and plans to devote the bulk of its attention to those articles relating to new religious movements which do not presently fall within the direct scope of other existing projects or groups. These articles include at present the articles in the catgeories and subcategories of:...

I'm having trouble parsing the third sentence. The listed topics are those that are not within an existing project?   Will Beback  talk  22:55, 24 August 2009 (UTC)

Everybody has trouble reading my sentences, I'm afraid. Is this any better? John Carter (talk) 23:00, 24 August 2009 (UTC)
Yes, that's better. I changed "articles" to "topics" so the subject will be clearer.   Will Beback  talk  23:25, 24 August 2009 (UTC)

Why is Jedism on the List?[edit]

Hi! I am wondering why the article on Jedism is on the "High Priority" much less any priority new religious movements category. Aren't they like Trekkies? It just seems odd that anyone could ever take that as a serious religion. To each there own I guess but I am curious what anyone here thinks about my asertion. Elmmapleoakpine (talk) 01:40, 15 September 2009 (UTC)

Well, itis said to be an NRM according to the first sentence of the article. When I started going through the assessments, I initially placed the central article of every such group as "High" priority, although I since then have reevaluated and am placing them at "Mid" or "High", depending on their size, impact, etc. This group is here, basically, to just help develop and manage content related to NRMs, and even some of those which might be "parodies" would probably still use some of the relevant terminology of articles this group will work with, which would make them possibly/probaby the people best able to add relevant links, etc. And, unfortunately, I'm trying to be politic here, this probably isn't the only NRM group which some or many individuals might find amusingly odd. Many of those others have serious believers though, and, for all I know, this one probably does as well. John Carter (talk) 18:55, 19 September 2009 (UTC)

Call for editors to help manage religion related content[edit]

Please see Wikipedia talk:WikiProject Religion#Coordination of activity. Thank you. John Carter (talk) 18:56, 19 September 2009 (UTC)

Good idea. Cirt (talk) 01:06, 20 September 2009 (UTC)

Christian Conventions[edit]

is currently being considered for GA reassessment. Any input is more than welcome. John Carter (talk) 16:31, 5 December 2009 (UTC)

NRM MoS[edit]

We do not currently seem to have any guidelines for NRM articles, despite the fact that they are often among our most contentious. I've discussed the idea of writing an essay or guideline on this subject with a couple of editors, covering topics such as the following:

  1. Historical overview of past problems (in generic terms, i.e. without naming and shaming editors and movements; just number of arbitration cases, types of outcome etc.)
  2. Review of sourcing standards, with particular emphasis on the following:
    • Encourage the use of reliably published third-party sources (scholars, press, etc.)
    • Discourage the use of movement primary sources, except as referenced by third-party sources
    • Discourage the use of movement and countermovement websites as sources
    • Copyright issues concerning press articles hosted on movement and countermovement websites (convenience links)
  3. Review of due weight issues: prominent topics in self-published sources (movement and countermovement) may not be prominent in third-party sources
  4. Potential abuse of Wikipedia for movement and countermovement advocacy
  5. Advice for editors on COI issues
  6. Civility issues – religious tolerance and religious discrimination (real or imagined)

Something like this might help editors of NRM topics orient themselves, especially SPAs who are contributing naively without much understanding of site principles. John Carter (talk · contribs) has suggested it might make sense to write this as a Manual of Style for this WikiProject (cf. Wikipedia:WikiProject_Judaism/Manual_of_Style. I think it's a good idea. Thoughts? Anyone want to chip in?

If there are no objections, I'll start the page in a few days' time and add a link to it here. I'll make clear on the page that it is an unapproved draft. --JN466 17:43, 7 December 2009 (UTC)

Two things I personally would like to see addressed:
  • 1) Maybe some sort of default article structure outline for articles on NRMs would be a good idea. This could help ensure, if nothing else, that all the relevant verifiable information is given due attention.
  • 2) And, similarly, maybe some guidance regarding how to structure articles which are nominally about the founder of a movement which is notable as per WP:NOTABILITY which has the name of the movement redirected to it and the content included there. There seem to be rather a lot of these latter articles, and clearly one structure will not apply to all of them for various reasons, but such guidance would probably help ensure the quality of those articles. John Carter (talk) 19:29, 7 December 2009 (UTC)
I've made a start here: Wikipedia:WikiProject_Religion/New_religious_movements_work_group/Manual_of_Style. Please review and let me know what you think about it. --JN466 02:55, 18 December 2009 (UTC)

RfC: UFO religion[edit]

Please see Talk:UFO_religion#RfC_Church_of_the_SubGenius. Cirt (talk) 12:24, 10 December 2009 (UTC)

Relevant AFD[edit]

Please see Wikipedia:Articles for deletion/List of Unificationists (2nd nomination). Thank you for your time, Cirt (talk) 09:01, 11 December 2009 (UTC)

Tradition, Family and Property[edit]

You may wish to review this discussion concerning The American TFP. Thanks. --Jubilee♫clipman 21:09, 19 December 2009 (UTC)

Opus Dei[edit]

I've removed the entry Opus Dei from the list "Good articles" as Opus Dei is an institution within an established church (rc) and part of its structure, but not a NRM. --Túrelio (talk) 08:00, 22 December 2009 (UTC)

I aded the cat yesterday because Opus Dei is currently categorised as an NRM GA. For reliable sources calling Opus Dei an NRM see Talk:Opus_Dei#NRM_category, for the category definition see Category:New_religious_movements. See [1] for a scholarly source that discusses the difficulties of categorisation.
I propose our NRM definition should be based on usage in RS, and our application of the category should be more inclusive than exclusive. In other words, if there are multiple high-end, mainstream reliable sources classifying a movement as an NRM (or a cult), and if they do so in their own editorial voice (rather than in the context of reporting claims made by non-reliable sources), then we should add the category. Otherwise the NRM category as a whole fails to reflect the complete landscape of younger religious movements. --JN466 12:56, 22 December 2009 (UTC)
While I don't know what's meant by "RS", I contest that the sources you provided are "high-end, mainstream reliable sources" proving the NRM claim. I followed all of them and most of them use a sort of weasel-wording in regard to calling Opus Dei a NRM: [2] says "the term NRM is sometimes also used...", [3] says "But among the movements referred to as NMR one might also include ... and sometimes groups .. such as Opus Dei", [4] says "one might also include ... and perhaps even Opus Dei ...". Only [5] and [6] mention Opus Dei simply among NRM, though without much further discussion. You may know (or not) that it is an old strategy of Opus Dei' critics, not to say enemies, to slander it as a sect or a cult. NRM seems to be a new variant of that; the old thing in a new cover. By the way, at the peak of the first Dan Brown novel hype, many newspapers (even those regarded as quality media) in my country, despite having more precise information at hand, called Opus Dei a "lay order", which is splendid nonsense. So far, for reliability. Opus Dei is not just affiliated or associated to the catholic church, but part of its structure (exactly, of its hierarchy). Calling it a NRM is somewhat similar to calling a newly installed catholic diocesis a NRM.
I also contest your statement that "our application of the category should be more inclusive than exclusive". IMHO, NRM is not a totally neutral term/category, therefore inclusion into that category should be rather cautious. At least thats my view. --Túrelio (talk) 14:27, 22 December 2009 (UTC)
RS means "reliable source", and I for one think that it is probably in both the best interests of that article and this group if we do work with it. One thing I have noticed in several of the Reliable Sources about this subject is that there are a number of clearly new religions involved, such as Cao Dai, as well as a number of more dare I say conservative, possibly reactionary, movements within the more established religions which have developed at around the same time, as a form of "back to basics" approaches to older religions. In fact there are any number of such "restorationist" Hindu, Buddhist, and even some Muslim movements which fall within the scope of this group already. Being able to provide, to at least some degree, some of the external context in which such groups develop is as important as anything else, and I tend to think that the Catholicism group, however good it is, is probably not the best one to do that. And I say this as a practicing, rather conservative Roman Catholic myself. Also, honestly, when it comes time to develop the articles on the history of NRMs, we want to be able to include all of them, not simply the completely new ones, and in the process of so doing will have to include content relating to Opus Dei and other movements. By keeping "tabs" on that article as well, we can help ensure that we don't overly duplicate or other overuse certain material relevant to it in multiple articles. John Carter (talk) 17:27, 22 December 2009 (UTC)
John, regarding the Opus Dei categorisation, I believe there are two different issues here, and I may have mixed them up. One is whether or not the article talk page should have an "X-class New religious movements article" and an "X importance New religious movements article" applied to it (I think it definitely should). The other, which I think Túrelio is on about, is whether the article page itself should have the "New religious movements" category applied to it. I thought yes, based on the RS coverage. I thought the "New religious movements" and "New religious movements article" categories would usually correspond, so users of the encyclopedia see the same range of NRMs when they look at the NRM cat as we do when we view the NRM articles categories. But I note that Cao Dai for example does not have the new religious movements category. Only the talk page has. --JN466 19:32, 22 December 2009 (UTC)
Thanks for dissolving the "RS" and for your considerate comments. As I'm not active in WikiProject Religion (and due to personal time restraints not able to do so), I don't want to interfere with the policies of that specialty project. I dropped in from/with a common people perspective, not the one of a sociologist. As for common people NRM is (or at least sounds) equal to cult, a categorization of the main article under that cat would translate into something like "according to Wikipedia Opus Dei is a cult", which is not what you intended, as I am sure. --Túrelio (talk) 22:34, 22 December 2009 (UTC)
There was and is no intention of counting Opus Dei as a cult, or for that matter most other NRMs. That is a very biased term, and we would only even consider using it on any NRM if it was repeatedly referred to as such in reliable sources. It is unfortunate that a lot of NRMs are called "cults", although in one sense many as the newest might qualify as cults of personality. Regarding categorization of the article itself, I think it should be included in the category at least for a short time. Once we have begun to organiza all the articles, I imagine that it will probably wind up being included in a more limited, narrower-focused category, but we won't know what those categories would be until we can review all those articles relevant to the subjet. John Carter (talk) 14:05, 23 December 2009 (UTC)
Project tags are usually added to a broader range of articles than categories. A project tag simply means that the project users are watching the article. It is not determinative of anything to do with the article itself. This comes up with other projects too. For example, someone who has been falsely accused of being gay may included in the the LGBT project just so that issue can be monitored. That's why Larry Craig is included.   Will Beback  talk  20:47, 23 December 2009 (UTC)

Naming Convention Issues[edit]

I recently began doing a Fundamental Rewrite of Twelve Tribes (New religious movement), also overlapped sources overlapped a bit on occasion with Children of God NRM which at the Time was Simply labeled Children of God (Cult) in the interest of NPVO and being more academic. i changed it to Children of God (New religious movement). Then I came across Heaven's Gate titled titled "Heaven's Gate (religious group)" again its wikipedia "the Free Encyclopedia" so again trying to be academic i used the appropriate sociological classification of New Religious Movement. Now Arthur Rubin has not only reverted the the Heaven's gate article but also children of god article to. Talking about naming conventions i reviewed naming convention and i can't find anything to Justify Semi-made up term "Religious Group" over a the sociological term "New Religious Movement" little. I have invited him here to discuss. Weaponbb7 (talk) 02:29, 21 January 2010 (UTC) here is his response on Children of God Talk page:

""New religious movement" is not used except by sociologists. Wikipedia has made the decision generally to use terms in common rather than more precise terms which are not actually used except by experts. I lean toward "cult" in both cases, but pejoratives are considered an exception to that decision except where it really is the primary term used. — Arthur Rubin (talk) 01:57, 21 January 2010 (UTC)"

Weaponbb7 (talk) 02:32, 21 January 2010 (UTC)

Thinking it over, in 2008, over 114 references were provided referring to CoG as a cult. I'm beginning to think that "cult" IS a better disambiguator than religious group, and it would be an NPOV violation to refer to it as anything other than a cult. — Arthur Rubin (talk) 02:57, 21 January 2010 (UTC)
I had more comments, but Weaponbb7 types faster than I do, and I lost them to edit conflicts. Still, I don't see how "new religious movement" as a disambiguator is consistent with WP:NAME, although I have no argument against it being used as a description -- except for CoG, where "cult" is clearly the appropriate term. — Arthur Rubin (talk) 03:05, 21 January 2010 (UTC)
there are thousands of sources declaring Michael Jackson as child molester but we do not start out his lead by saying he was a Child Molester. nor do we start out George W. Bush as "the most hated man on the Planet" though i recall multiple headlines about it. it instantly creates prejudice in the reader towards that person. We should stick to apprpriate neutral acdemic terms rather than subjective media popular culture terms.Weaponbb7 (talk) 03:24, 21 January 2010 (UTC)
Is there any source, other than academic treatises, which does not refer to CoG as a cult? If not, we should refer to it as a cult. In fact, if the vast majority of reliable sources refer to it as a cult, then WP:NPOV demands that we do so. (In other words, it would not be enough for you to find one newspaper article that doesn't refer to it as a cult; I'd say you'd need to find at least 35 for it not to be appropriate in the lede, and at least 114 for it not to be appropriate in the article as a whole.) — Arthur Rubin (talk) 04:12, 21 January 2010 (UTC)
my point is "Cult" is opinionated statement, it is not fact. Saying it is a "New Religous Movement" is a Fact. The way "cult" is presented it stressed as a fact. At the end of the paragraph it says "The Children of God was among the movements prompting the cult controversy of the 1970s and 1980s in the United States and Europe and triggered the first organized anticult group FREECOG." this already indicates that it was considered a cult by critics thus NPOV is achieved.Weaponbb7 (talk) 13:21, 21 January 2010 (UTC)

<-- outdent

There are still two points. "... is ... almost universally almost universally described as a sex cult" probably should be in the lede, and certainly should be in the article. Being the prototypical cult as seen by critics does not adequately represent that fact, and NPOV requires that be given its proper weight. See also the proper use (as seen by consensus over at least 5 years, in spite of occassional violations of policy removing it) of "terrorist" in 9/11 attacks, in spite of it being pejorative and specifically forbidden by WP:TERRORIST.
And the naming choice seems to fail WP:NAME. It certainly fails WP:COMMONNAME, but I don't give that as a high a weight as others. The criteria suggested at WP:NAME are as follows:
    1. Recognizable – Using names and terms most commonly used in reliable sources, and so most likely to be recognized, for the topic of the article.
      Not unless you restrict "reliable sources" to scientific papers. This applies to Jayen466's analysis of the proper name of the article, as well.
    2. Easy to find – Using names and terms that readers are most likely to look for in order to find the article (and to which editors will most naturally link from other articles).
      No, and ditto, above.
    3. Precise – Using names and terms that are precise, but only as precise as is necessary to identify the topic of the article unambiguously.
      Yes, but see below.
    4. Concise – Using names and terms that are brief and to the point. (Even when disambiguation is necessary, keep that part brief.)
      "Religious group" is more concise, and seems adequately precise. "Cult" would be even more precise and concise, but might violate WP:NPOV.
    5. Consistent – Using names and terms that follow the same pattern as those of other similar articles.
      Normally, I would support giving the appropriate WikiProject leeway in assigning names. However, since this task force has one of the disputed names, I would request that concensus of at least the WikiProject is required to add something which might be a neologism.
Arthur Rubin (talk) 17:20, 21 January 2010 (UTC)
Including "is ... almost universally described as a sex cult" would be quite wrong, especially so in the lede, given that the same source, Clarke, also states that the emphasis on sex has greatly diminished in the group since the mid-80s. However, the history section should contain the information that the COG were almost universally described that way, 25 or 30 years ago. --JN466 18:27, 21 January 2010 (UTC)
To say a Widely used academic term is a Neologism is absurd. It is used widely used in Anthropology, Sociology, Religious Studies the shear number of Mainstream Books site like that use the term in the title is more than Sufficent. it has been widley uesd in Acdemia Since the 1980s! It has wikipedia article which is not proof but is considerable evidence of notability of the term. I suggest that the Burden of proof fall on you to verify it as Neogism. until then i will put the proper term in. Weaponbb7 (talk) 19:33, 21 January 2010 (UTC)
The way I read Wikipedia:NAME#Descriptive names, descriptiveness trumps frequency (as in the example given). "New religious movement" is not a neologism; it is used by the press as well. Just "religious movement" is an alternative I could live with as well. However, let me point out that if we move the article to Family International, as I believe we should, then the problem will be moot. --JN466 19:43, 21 January 2010 (UTC)
"Religious movement" is fine with me. We still need to decide the proper disambiguations to be used in redirects and descriptions to be used in disambiguation pages. In terms of redirects, I don't see any reason to remove Children of God (cult), Children of God (religious group) or Children of God (new religious movement) (the later with any combination of capitalizations that Wbb7 would tend to use, except that the one with the disambiguator in lower case must be present). As for "cult" in the lede, if the scientific sources say that it had been considered a sex cult, then that should be in the text (history section), and not the lede. I'll defend that choice against other attempts to restore "cult" to the lede if I can confirm that the real scientific sources say that. (The "repressed/recovered memory" edit wars suggest that some editors may misrepresented scientific sourced, although editors with different biases may misrepresent different sources.) — Arthur Rubin (talk) 19:59, 21 January 2010 (UTC)
I would concede that "Religious Movement" is precise enough; however NRM would be the best route considering for overall. Weaponbb7 (talk) 20:39, 21 January 2010 (UTC)
Great, then I think we have found a way forward that's acceptable to all of us. Arthur, you can view Clarke in amazon if you are an amazon customer: [7] The "sex cult" passage is on page 206 of the e-book version that amazon shows you (it is page 186 in the 2008 paperback version; the text is the same). If you can't view it in amazon, let me know, and I'll type it out for you. – I still think we should move the article to Family International, per the four recent encyclopedias I checked. --JN466 22:30, 21 January 2010 (UTC)
By the way, I agree that there is no need to delete the old redirects. Redirect titles are exempt from NPOV. If it's a plausible search term that a user might enter, we should keep it. --JN466 22:42, 21 January 2010 (UTC)
I'm an customer, not an customer, and they don't seem to allow searching within books. — Arthur Rubin (talk) 00:02, 22 January 2010 (UTC)
I find my login works equally on both. generally has more previews than; however, this is a book by a British academic. --JN466 08:23, 22 January 2010 (UTC)
The book is also online here. Can you access this? Entering page number 251 / 842 in the page number box (top middle) takes me to the beginning of page 205 of the e-book. The entry on The Family starts halfway down that page; the "sex cult" passage and its context are on the next page. --JN466 08:36, 22 January 2010 (UTC)

More "cult issues" POV issues[edit]

I am disengaging on the reverts right now, Arthur Rubin insists that marginalizing group with POV statement of "cult" here is more proper than NPOV statement of New religious movement.Weaponbb7 (talk) 02:54, 21 January 2010 (UTC)

Comments by uninvolved editors[edit]

Per Wikipedia:NAME#Descriptive_names, "Where articles have descriptive names, they are neutrally worded. A descriptive article title should describe the subject without passing judgment, implicitly or explicitly, on the subject." Weaponbb7 is right; "new religious movement" does that better than "cult". --JN466 04:56, 21 January 2010 (UTC)

There are (at least) two issues.
  1. The use of cult in the lede of CoG (where an editor noted 114 references in 2008 on the talk page). This should not be removed unless contrary evidence is provided.
Large Percentage of the world Considers George W. Bush as Warmonger, i am sure i can find dozens of references state it. However it is opinion not a fact. Saying he was had two strongly criticized major military interventions in the middle east is fact.Weaponbb7 (talk) 13:21, 21 January 2010 (UTC)
  1. The choice of (cult), (religious group), (new religious movement) as disambiguators in the title. With the possible exception of CoG and one other group which shall remain nameless until I remember its name, where this is no dispute whatsoever that it was a cult, it's inappropriate to have cult as a disambiguator. WP:COMMONNAME suggests "religious group" rather than NRM, although NRM should probably be in the lede. — Arthur Rubin (talk) 05:24, 21 January 2010 (UTC)
from Wikipedia:NAME#Descriptive names "Do not invent names as a means of compromising between opposing points of view. Wikipedia describes current usage but cannot prescribe a particular usage or invent new names." This is done with "Religious Group" thus it is more appropriate to use a scientific term "new religious movement."it is not like we are using latin or greek term it is clear and concise.Weaponbb7 (talk) 13:21, 21 January 2010 (UTC)
  • As for the lead, if lots of people called the COG a cult (cf. "The Children of God was soon [some time before the mid-80s] to be almost universally described as a sex cult", ref: Clarke, Peter B. (2006). Encyclopedia of New Religious Movements. Routledge. p. 186. ISBN 978-0415453837. ), then we can report that, but we shouldn't make the judgement part of the article's editorial voice. As it is, the lede already says that the COG were at the forefront of the cult controversy, so in my opinion the inclusion of "is a cult" is redundant.
  • As for the article name, "new religious movement" is the neutral scientific term; I'd recommend editors agree to use it. --JN466 15:33, 21 January 2010 (UTC)
  • Incidentally, the article should be called Family, as are the corresponding entries in encyclopedias like Beit-Hallahmi (1998), Melton/Baumann (2002), Clarke (2006), Melton (2009). --JN466 15:55, 21 January 2010 (UTC)
    • It seems The Family International is the current, up-to-date name, per Melton's Encyclopedia of American Religions, 2009, p. 676. --JN466 16:23, 21 January 2010 (UTC)
agree with above statement Weaponbb7 (talk) 18:20, 21 January 2010 (UTC)

AFD Nomination of Article Jediism[edit]

Discussion here > Wikipedia:Articles for deletion/Jediism Weaponbb7 (talk) 21:22, 24 January 2010 (UTC)

withdrawn one can review my statement in link aboveWeaponbb7 (talk) 01:55, 27 January 2010 (UTC)

Help with Another Gospel (Ruth Tucker's countercult book)[edit]

I would like to ask if some people here could please get involved in improving the page on Another Gospel (a countercult book published by Zondervan in 2004). I was hoping to expand this page somewhat in order to improve its NPOV, provide context for the average reader, and basically transform it from an "insider book review" into a worthy encyclopedia article. However, there have been some serious disagreements and difficulties; read the talk page carefully for more details. At the moment, there are really only two people attempting to work on this page; I think it's important to get more editors involved, in order to obtain input from more minds, and also to avoid the temptation or misperception that any one person might be claiming ownership of the article. Thanks. Richwales (talk) 23:59, 4 February 2010 (UTC)

A third opinion was solicited, and apparently Richwales (talk · contribs) does not wish to abide by this process. He continues to refuse to provide specific sources to back up his claims. Cirt (talk) 00:12, 5 February 2010 (UTC)

RFC for Another Gospel[edit]

Please see Talk:Another_Gospel#RfC:_NPOV_and_article_Another_Gospel. Thank you for your time, Cirt (talk) 00:23, 5 February 2010 (UTC)

Proposal: New section on language for the NRM Manual of Style[edit]


New Religious Movement (NRM) groups often use words and phrases that have unfamiliar, non-traditional, or loaded meanings. Sometimes the words are neologisms, but often they appropriate common language and add a definition and connotation that the non-affiliated reader would not expect or interpret. Wikipedia policies on language are clear that they should be one thing above all: transparent. The reader should know when he or she is encountering a new term or a familiar term in a new context.

Therefore, NRM vocabulary, jargon, or slang--the words and phrases which are not widely understood outside a specific group or are understood differently by different people--should be either avoided or explained where possible. Jargon develops as a kind of shorthand among members of a group. Some articles may never become accessible to a wide readership, but most articles using NRM terms should contain more explanation at a more basic level than would be available in the typical NRM writing.

Pay particular attention to terms for which the movement's meaning is different from the commonly understood meaning. Such terms, even when accurate, often convey to readers an implied viewpoint: either that of insiders (students/believers/practitioners) or outsiders (critics/exit-counselors/skeptics) labeling and describing the movement as each sees it. The fact that a term is accepted "outside" but not "inside" is a good indicator that it may not be neutral, and vice/versa.

There are at least three ways to deal with this: attribute the term to reliable sources; replace the label with information; or use a more neutral term. The rule should be to state facts that may be obvious to you, but are not necessarily obvious to the reader.

In the case, that an article becomes weighed down with definitions, consider including a glossary of language unique to the movement as a sub-section or see-also page.

While maintaining transparency, NRM articles should also be precise, careful to use NRM language only in its formal senses in order to avoid causing unnecessary offense or confusing the reader. As for controversial terms, editors should not avoid using terminology that has been established by the majority of the current reliable and notable sources on a topic out of sympathy for a particular point of view. The consensus among reliable sources is by its very nature the majority viewpoint of writers towards a topic.

Thus, when talking about controversial topics, we should not describe opposing viewpoints as being equal to each other. While minority viewpoints may in some cases be significant to an article, they should not obfuscate the description of the main views. Any mention should be proportionate, representing the minority and minority views respectively as such and including explanations of how the majority has received the minority's theories. That approach does not, of course, prohibit a full treatment of minority views, providing they are appropriately sized and sourced. This is all part of describing differing views fairly.

(heavily paraphrased from existing policy, references: [8] [9] [10] [11] [12] [13] [14]) (talk) 10:25, 14 February 2010 (UTC)

Seems a little redundant much of this is already there, This most is good advice if one is writing a news article and interviewing people for the article. There is no need for Jargon that can easily be avoided. Weaponbb7 (talk) 21:08, 14 February 2010 (UTC)
Sorry for the delayed response. Thanks for your research into how existing guidelines might apply in this field. I'll look into this. --JN466 02:33, 19 February 2010 (UTC)

RFC: Riaz Ahmed Gohar Shahi and associated pages[edit]

Hi, regarding the long-running content disputes over articles and pages relating to Riaz Ahmed Gohar Shahi, I have opened an WP:RFC. Please see: Talk:Riaz Ahmed Gohar Shahi#RFC: Long-running content disputes. Thanks, Esowteric+Talk 12:01, 8 March 2010 (UTC)

Riaz Ahmed Gohar Shahi, Younus AlGohar and associated pages[edit]

At an AN/I here, JzG (talk · contribs) suggests that a number of related articles could do with come help. Quote:

"... I have done some pruning but I really need people with much deeper subject knowledge on new religious movements and ideally understanding of the languages so that sources can be evaluated; this looks like a walled garden to me:

"I don't see a lot of mainstream sources in these articles, it looks like one of those tiny cults that spring up around individual gurus, and much of the text in the articles is in-universe descriptions of wonderful works, miracles and such, cited back to YouTube or a small group of websites dedicated to promoting the movement. I get an itchy delete finger looking at this stuff so more eyes would be greatly appreciated." EndQuote.

Any help appreciated. Thanks, Esowteric+Talk 18:26, 29 March 2010 (UTC)

Article critical of Younus AlGohar and MFI[edit]

An aggrieved IP has put forward this article, which is highly critical of Younus AlGohar and MFI. Esowteric+Talk 09:08, 30 March 2010 (UTC)

I have concerns about how reputable the article itself is, given some of it's claims, although it might be possible to use to talk about some concerns from the Muslim world...I've commented in detail at Talk:Messiah Foundation International.--Omirocksthisworld(Drop a line) 09:27, 30 March 2010 (UTC)
Yes, as Omirocksthisworld (talk · contribs) noticed, the references look impressive at first glance ... until you actually click on them. Have pointed the IP to the RS noticeboard. Esowteric+Talk 09:28, 30 March 2010 (UTC)
Hi, I have presented this article as a reliable source pertaining to above mentioned disputed articles. Now, I would highly appreciate, if you kindly discuss the reference is reliable or not. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 06:57, 31 March 2010 (UTC)


[15] Swami Sivananda Radha Heavy COI page, Going though afd comments are welcome Weaponbb7 (talk) 05:04, 20 March 2010 (UTC) and similar sites raised again[edit]

Once again someone has brought up rickross and similar sites to the attention of the Reliable sources board in relation to NRM-related articles. The last time this came up, there was a reasonable near-consensus. So anyone wanting to restate your arguments for/against, the subject has been reopened. • Astynax talk 20:55, 7 April 2010 (UTC)

WikiProject Transcendental Meditation movement[edit]

A WikiProject has been created, for the topic with main article: Transcendental Meditation movement. The project page is located at WP:TMMOVEMENT. Feel free to list yourself as a participant there. Thank you for your time, -- Cirt (talk) 19:23, 31 May 2010 (UTC)

List of cult and new religious movement researchers[edit]

We need to make up our minds as to what the inclusion criteria for this list article should be; project members are invited to join the discussion on Talk:List of cult and new religious movement researchers. --JN466 21:40, 17 June 2010 (UTC)

Art of Living input[edit]

The Art of Living Foundation article has an issue concerning poor sourcing and an editor who likes to insert links referencing the group's website for even extraordinary claims. I had opened a section on the article's talk calling for better sources, but the point evidently did not get through. It may be useful for other editors to comment/explain. Other problems include obvious PoV with the article downplaying the religious component and overemphasizing its charitable work. The article shouldn't read like a self-sourced press release, but I haven't time to do much more than watch this one. • Astynax talk 18:59, 18 July 2010 (UTC)

Proposing moving Latter Rain Movement[edit]

Having come across the Latter Rain Movement article in List of new religious movements, I found that the article describes a post-WWII movement which doesn't include information on the movement of that name which traces to the late-1800s. I've proposed an article move with "Latter Rain Movement" becoming a disambiguation page. Interested editors are invited to comment on the article's Talk page. • Astynax talk 20:09, 22 July 2010 (UTC)

Sukyo Mahikari[edit]

The entry Sukyo Mahikari Sukyo Mahikari has been a problematic article for a long time with considerable edits which disturbs the neutrality of the subject; can someone assist in verifying the article please? Dexter73 (talk) 22:07, 29 July 2010 (UTC)

Disruption at article, "Operation Snow White"[edit]

Moved to WP:ANI#Disruption at article, "Operation Snow White" moved from WP:NRM

Please see repeated edits by (talk · contribs), replacing the word "Church" to refer to Scientology, instead adding the word "cult".

  1. [16], and
  2. [17]
  • It is likely that I am going to report this user to Arbitration Enforcement, however, in the interim I will not revert the user's edit another time. Perhaps other users would like to see if the word "cult" should remain in the article in the intervening time, to refer to Scientology.

Thank you for your time, -- Cirt (talk) 23:16, 28 August 2010 (UTC)

Thanx for the heads up. Weaponbb7 (talk) 23:40, 28 August 2010 (UTC)
Thank you for the attention to this matter, -- Cirt (talk) 23:43, 28 August 2010 (UTC)
Actually I am look through this Guys edit history, he is definitely not here to contribute productively harrassing one user saying "
"this is what happens when you piss of(f) Anonymous" indicates to me this guy was was missed by accident in theWP:ARBSCI dragnet. As you will notice his edit history abruptly stops around that December. We should probably take this to WP:ANI to get wider consensus. WP:AE seems extreme when a block imposed by a uninvolved admin works just as well. Weaponbb7 (talk) 23:56, 28 August 2010 (UTC)
No objections if you wish to do that. -- Cirt (talk) 00:00, 29 August 2010 (UTC)

RfC on Jehovah's Witnesses[edit]

There is currently a request for comment regarding statements made by members of this group in the past regarding expected future events (such as the end of the world) which have apparently not proven accurate. Input is requested on how if at all material regarding those alleged "prophecies" as well as about whether they qualify those who made them as "false prophets" at Talk:Jehovah's Witnesses#Failed Preductions/False Prophet Accusation against Jehovah's Witnesses. Any and all input is more than welcome. Thank you. John Carter (talk) 19:18, 12 September 2010 (UTC)

Relevant AFD - The Bridge (2006 drama)[edit]

Relevant AFD, please see Wikipedia:Articles for deletion/The Bridge (2006 drama). -- Cirt (talk) 06:18, 29 September 2010 (UTC)

And another AfD[edit]

Wikipedia:Articles for deletion/Raëlian Church membership estimates-Steve Dufour (talk) 13:35, 30 October 2010 (UTC)

Raelian articles[edit]

I have to say that I believe that there is a good chance that some of the articles regarding Raelism are of at best dubious encyclopedic quality. Raëlian Church membership estimates strikes me as being perhaps the most obvious, as perhaps a violation of WP:TRIVIA. I don't know of similar pages for any other religious groups, and honestly hope there aren't any. I personally very much think that the entire content of the article could be summarized in one or two sentences in the main Raelism article. Do any other people have any similar concerns regarding this or other articles? John Carter (talk) 13:36, 1 November 2010 (UTC)

Other than a single contributor is behind each of them? Everyone here has our own pet NRM projects so that itself is not bad, but its a concern here to be sure when dubious articles like Raëlian Church membership estimates start appearing. The Resident Anthropologist (talk) 14:00, 1 November 2010 (UTC)
This thread is duplicative - there is already an ongoing thread about this, at WP:FTN. -- Cirt (talk) 16:08, 1 November 2010 (UTC)


This article seems to be related to your group: Wikipedia:Articles for deletion/Discordian calendar (2nd nomination). So far it has not attracted much interest, although a lot of work obviously went into the article. Jaque Hammer (talk) 09:17, 29 November 2010 (UTC) usage in BLPs[edit]

Please see Wikipedia:Reliable_sources/Noticeboard#www.truthaboutscientology.com_usage_in_BLPs. -- Cirt (talk) 04:37, 8 December 2010 (UTC)

Articles up for deletion[edit]

Please see Wikipedia:Articles for deletion/Black Buddhist and Buddhist Nation (which is proposed for speedy deletion). Borock (talk) 16:28, 15 December 2010 (UTC)

Notification of List of deaths related to Scientology AFD[edit]

See Wikipedia:Articles for deletion/List of deaths related to Scientology The Resident Anthropologist (talk) 22:09, 18 December 2010 (UTC)

L Ron Hubbard FA Candidacy[edit]

Is Currently up for Featured article review at Wikipedia:Featured article candidates/L. Ron Hubbard/archive2The Resident Anthropologist (talk) 18:28, 12 February 2011 (UTC)

Aesthetic Realism[edit]

The label of religion will itself be controversial here, let alone cult or just NRM, but I think the page Aesthetic Realism should bear the NRM project banner. Is there objection to such an addition? I didn't want to add it myself, but I think if people who have worked on this project think it is appropriate then objections from Aesthetic Realists would not apply to the project classification. Ocaasi c 18:56, 23 March 2011 (UTC)

Scholars label all sort of groups as NRM like Transcendental mediation and transhumanism that are not quite religions but serve the spiritual/cultural/social/psychological functions of religions. Our current scope covers more than NRM activity like New age religions/philosophies. SO the NRM banner is appropriate. The Resident Anthropologist (Talk / contribs) 19:22, 23 March 2011 (UTC)
Ok, if no one else objects, I'll add it shortly. Ocaasi c 20:00, 23 March 2011 (UTC)
I agree, NRM is an appropriate category. "Religion" shouldn't be controversial, especially since Siegel explicitly equated it with religion (see, Siegel, Eli. 1981. Self and World: An Explanation of Aesthetic Realism. New York: Definition Press, p. 268.). • Astynax talk 22:40, 23 March 2011 (UTC)
Ok, I already thought it fits and that just about seals it. Can we do better than {{WPReligion}}. I mean, is there a way to have the NRM workgroup be listed on the banner? Ocaasi c 23:55, 23 March 2011 (UTC)
Nevermind, {{WikiProject Religion|class=|importance=|NRM=yes|NRMImp=}} will do. Does anyone disagree with Class = C, Importance = Low, NRMImp=Low ? Maybe NRMImp should be Mid? Either way. Ocaasi c 00:00, 24 March 2011 (UTC)
I usually base it on the amount of attention from scholars, News articles, and General level of tension with society. I would probably put it at "Mid" most articles would be about that level. You have to be really small fish or minor academic in the debates. The Resident Anthropologist (Talk / contribs) 19:58, 24 March 2011 (UTC)
It's pretty small, and really only in the news during the 60s-80s though fairly significant at the time. A handful of pieces since then. Low or Mid for sure. Ocaasi c 20:19, 24 March 2011 (UTC)
Agree, probably Mid or Low, leaning toward Mid. It was of some importance during its time, evidently, even if it isn't so much now. And if it is the central article on the topic, I tend to think that most central articles should probably be at Mid or higher, unless the group is really significance-challenged, like a strictly local church in a comparatively small city, for instance. So Mid, or maybe Low, seems the best way to go to me. John Carter (talk) 16:43, 27 March 2011 (UTC)


I have looked at the article and the current discussion page and have not found any definition for what is and what is not a New Religious Movement. When does a movement become old? Who determines which groups belong on the list and which do not? Is this group focused on groups that really do not have a focus elsewhere or is this group in addition to all others that are focused on specific movements?

I would strongly recommend a definition being made clear in the article so that we can all clearly understand why groups are listed and why they are not listed here. -StormRider 13:40, 4 April 2011 (UTC)

Those are fair questions which has no clear/good answer as its been the issue for a long time in the scholarly discourse on the subject. We frankly dont have a clear consistent usage of the term of what a NRM is and isnt. There is a substantial push to shift into the terms "new religion" and "alternative religion" and some have suggested reclaiming the word "cult." The most recent attack on the term comes from McDaniel's Agama Hindu Dharma Indonesia as a New Religious Movement: Hinduism Recreated in the Image of Islam. It may be worth-wile drive to improve the article but those question will remain blurry The Resident Anthropologist (talk)•(contribs) 14:29, 4 April 2011 (UTC)
Sounds good. I do seem to recall hearing about those groups that have evolved within the last 150 years, but I have not heard anything definitive. I thought I would ask and if there was a definition would find out anything new that has come out.
It does seem strange to classify groups that are hundreds of years old as a NRM. I am not a fan of the term "alternative"; it always makes me ask alternative to what? Try telling your child he can have any flavor she wants as long as it is chocolate when all she wants is vanilla. Some flavors just work better for some individuals than others.
The cult term is so loaded and has been such a preferred word ocondemnationon that, IMHO, it is lost any hope at validity in civil discourse. -StormRider 15:57, 4 April 2011 (UTC)
I completely agree on the cult thing, it was suggested and gained some traction among younger academics but was kinda shouted down by people who remembered the strong pejorative and cult scare of the 70/80s. It's not the academics role's to reclaiming it but the groups in quesiton who are labeled it and thats not going to happen. The 150 year thing basically between dating from Millerism to now; but thats hard line to draw overall. ISKCON being the most notable its tradition existed in India for several centuries before transplanting it here and being labeled “New.” The alternative label typically refers to not being in the mainstream or on the margins of a society. Which is popular because its works cross culturally well as definition of what a "cult" or "deviant religion" is. Its like the category of Religion itself which is filled with western/christian biases in its definition but only continues to be used because its better than any alternative. The Resident Anthropologist (talk)•(contribs) 16:22, 4 April 2011 (UTC)
There's substantial scholarship on this question. We don't need to come up with a definition of our own. IIRC, the Bahá'í Faith movement is sometimes characterized as the first of the NRMs, and it was founded in the mid-19 century. But every scholar has their own view. I don't think that projects need to define their focus too clearly. Engaging in that task would take away from more productive efforts.   Will Beback  talk  23:57, 4 April 2011 (UTC)

Heaven's Gate move discussion[edit]

See Talk:Heaven's Gate (religious group)#Page moves The Resident Anthropologist (talk)•(contribs) 18:25, 25 April 2011 (UTC)

Sathya Sai Baba[edit]

Please note Wikipedia:Sockpuppet_investigations/Wikisunn re editing at the Sathya Sai Baba article. --JN466 21:04, 23 May 2011 (UTC)

The list of users that have been topic banned is quite long and I am afraid the article will suffer from neglect again. Andries (talk) 13:15, 27 May 2011 (UTC)

Sathya Sai Baba movement help needed[edit]

This article is suffering from neglect. I was the only serious contributor but I was topic banned by arbcom for having a conflict of interest. Please help. I can help with sources.

In general for many new religious movements/cults, I think that too much emphasis is given to articles about the founders and leaders and the articles about the movement suffer from neglect. Andries (talk) 20:24, 26 May 2011 (UTC)

Heaven's Gate[edit]

A scholarly anthology on the Heaven's Gate group has just been published:

The volume contains chapters from Robert W. Balch and David Taylor, Mark W. Muesse, Patricia L. Goerman, Winston Davis, Hugh B. Urban, Douglas E. Cowan, Bejamin Ethan Zeller, and George D. Chryssides. Some of the essays are new, while others have previously been published. The chapter by Balch and Taylor relates to the covert research they undertook on the group, decades before it came to public attention. Despite the substantial coverage of the mass suicides in 1997, I'm told it's the first academic study of the Heaven's Gate group that has been published. --JN466 21:44, 30 May 2011 (UTC)

I been wanting to work on Heaven's Gate article for awhile now, I think this Anthology will help. We are in the Post-CAN phase of New religions studies scholarship and the field is coming into its own. It is worth noting that both Ashgate and NYU press are both publishing series on the New RM phenomenon. The Resident Anthropologist (talk)•(contribs) 22:55, 30 May 2011 (UTC)
I am not a fan of Chryssides, because I saw some writings by him that were riddled with inaccuracies and unnecessarily vague statements. Andries (talk) 06:22, 2 June 2011 (UTC)

Request to lift talk page topic ban for user:Ed Poor on Unification Church[edit]

I requested the arbcom to lift talk page topic ban for user:Ed Poor for articles in category:Unification Church Wikipedia:Arbitration/Requests/Amendment#Request_to_amend_prior_case:_Wikipedia:Requests_for_arbitration.2FEd_Poor_2. Andries (talk) 06:16, 2 June 2011 (UTC)

Input requested on Latter Rain (1880s movement)[edit]

A proposal has been made at Talk:Latter Rain (1880s movement) to merge the article into Church of God (Cleveland) and rename Latter Rain (post–World War II movement) to simply "Latter Rain". Input from others would be appreciated. • Astynax talk 18:07, 24 June 2011 (UTC)

Another Gospel again[edit]

See Wikipedia talk:WikiProject Religion#Another Gospel (countercult book). I'm hoping to improve the neutrality of this article by finding more sources that discuss the book from viewpoints other than conservative / evangelical Protestantism. The current lack of non-Protestant/evangelical sources, IMO, creates a curious situation in which the article has a subtle (or not-so-subtle) bias, and yet it technically satisfies WP:NPOV because it does properly represent all significant views published by reliable sources (precisely because all the available sources are coming from the same general POV). Any thoughts? Richwales (talk · contribs) 21:46, 9 August 2011 (UTC)

Oh I you big dispute with Cirt last year on this, this is another one of those "Cirtified hackjobs." It Breaks no rules as you note but pushes a POV indirectly. I would review the sources it site for critical remarks. Scholars of Religion especially those in the social sciences don't formally review or critique theological disputes any further than noting they exist. I doubt there is much else that can be done. The Resident Anthropologist (talk)•(contribs) 23:19, 9 August 2011 (UTC)
One other thing might be worth looking into is any rebuttals by the organizations discussed in it. This would be a bit harder due to the books pre-Internet era book. The Resident Anthropologist (talk)•(contribs) 23:21, 9 August 2011 (UTC)
I want to emphasize here that I am not specifically trying to undercut Cirt here (or hoping to take undue advantage of her currently being tied up as the subject of an ongoing ArbCom case). In particular, I am not looking here for an excuse to open up a new AfD debate on this article — although I do still have concerns about it, I do think we all improved it enough in early 2010 that my initial objections about its being little more than an enthusiastic book review (and not having any potential beyond that) were satisfactorily addressed.
Regarding finding criticisms of the Another Gospel book in the currently cited sources, the only critical comment I remember right now was from one source complaining that the author didn't go far enough in attacking the movements in question on theological grounds (again, a statement from a conservative / evangelical Protestant POV). I imagine I could probably find comments in the literatures of various NRM's that would speak negatively about the "countercult" movement in general — but the consensus from early 2010 (as I understood it) was that nothing was acceptable unless it explicitly and literally addressed the book Another Gospel, and that any extrapolations from the general countercult movement to this specific book were ruled out per WP:SYNTH. Whether that conclusion reflects the true spirit and intent of the policies, or just one or two editors' interpretations thereof, might possibly be worth exploring (or, then again, perhaps not). Richwales (talk · contribs) 23:52, 9 August 2011 (UTC)
You have it right, I should probably not comment on the contributor but the problem stands. Your understanding of Synth is accurate and I agree that such a contribution would be against policy. The Resident Anthropologist (talk)•(contribs) 00:08, 10 August 2011 (UTC)
  • Here are a couple of sources that might be useful:
  • Lippy:

Tucker Ruth A. Another Gospel: Alternative Religions and the New Age Movement. Grand Rapids, Mich.: Academie Books, 1989. Writing from a decidedly conservative Christian perspective, Tucker nonetheless does not ridicule the groups she seeks to expose for she recognize that common practice is to label as a cult any group that espouses beliefs and practices different from one's own. Her historical comments are generally sound, although it is clear that Tucker does not see the groups she studies as legitimate religious alternatives. Among her subjects are the Mormons, Seventh-Day Adventists, Jehovah's Witnesses, Christian Science, New Thought, Unity, the Worldwide Church of God, the Way International, the Children of God, the Unification Church (Moonies), Hare Krisha, Baha'i, Scientology, and the New Age Movement.

Book Title: Modern American Popular Religion: A Critical Assessment and Annotated Bibliography. Contributors: Charles H. Lippy - author. Publisher: Greenwood Press. Place of Publication: Westport, CT. Publication Year: 1996. Page Number: 182–183. [19] --JN466 17:04, 11 August 2011 (UTC)
Thanks very, very much. Material from these two sources should definitely help me, at least from the standpoint of providing context for the reader to understand where Tucker and her book are coming from. Richwales (talk · contribs) 17:48, 11 August 2011 (UTC)
And I've added the above to the article, along with an explanation of how many Christian writers quote the Apostle Paul in branding heresies as "another gospel" (but hopefully without crossing the WP:SYNTH line, since I don't explicitly claim that this is where Tucker got the term). See here, and note that one of the sources I'm citing for this use of "another gospel" is from an LDS (Mormon) writer — not a direct rebuttal of Tucker's book, but probably as close to such as I'm likely to manage to get. Richwales (talk · contribs) 03:35 04:22, 13 August 2011 (UTC)
I think the way you've explained the origin of the title at the moment is indeed WP:SYN, as your sources don't seem to mention Tucker's book. Fortunately, a source that makes the connection between the title and Paul's letter to the Galatians is available: [20], also from Zondervan. Let's cite that; I'll do some work on the article in a minute. Cheers, --JN466 14:56, 13 August 2011 (UTC)
I've moved the material around a bit, see diff. Also see Talk:Another_Gospel#Listing_university_courses_and_other_books_that_cite_this_one – trying to list individual university courses that have used the work, as well as listing other books that merely mention it in a footnote, seems non-standard. --JN466 15:51, 13 August 2011 (UTC)
Thanks. Your rearrangement of my material looks good, and I'm glad you were able to find a source (the McKnight book on Galatians) which I had been unable to find despite a prolonged search. I also tend to agree that simply cataloguing sources that cite Tucker's book in passing, or which include it in lengthy reading lists, is unnecessary. Richwales (talk · contribs) 17:12, 13 August 2011 (UTC)
Thanks likewise for raising these points. Best, --JN466 18:52, 13 August 2011 (UTC)


Due to concerns raised during a discussion at an ongoing arbitration case, I have a proposal to make. The proposal is to create an entry covering the topic of Controversies in NRM research. Some people have complained that entries for academics like J. Gordon Melton do not adequately present the criticisms that have been made of their research methods and conclusions by other academics, like in this case Stephen A. Kent. The book, Misunderstanding Cults was referenced as a source for these criticisms, yet the book does more than source criticisms of Melton, they also source criticisms of the critics. Indeed, anyone who has the most basic knowledge of the sociological study of NRMs/cults knows that there are scholars who are practically at each others throats. My proposal is to cover the entire topic in one entry. There will still remain notable subtopics, already covered in Wikipedia, but other subtopics might get swallowed up into this entry. It will also provide a good way to organize criticism of individual academics. A notable member of this intellectual brawl will get a subsection in their entry summarizing the entire context but with a focus on the individual academic's involvement. Now, this is just a seed of an idea, and with regrets I do not intend myself to create or edit such an entry, but I'm hopeful that someone might think this is a good notion and will take it up. Any thoughts?Griswaldo (talk) 13:25, 25 August 2011 (UTC)

"Controversy Articles" Never turn out well and tend to give WP:UNDUE weight to minority positions. There are some valid Scholarly critiques of Melton, Lewis but many are dated to the 1990/1980s at best. An article on Controversies would undoubtedly have all sorts of POV Pushing and edit warriors filling it. I think contextualizing the politics in the History of NRM studies would be a better way to go about it. The Resident Anthropologist (talk)•(contribs) 14:10, 25 August 2011 (UTC)
I agree that a history article would probably be better, and would make an interesting topic. --JN466 14:46, 25 August 2011 (UTC)
(ec)Misunderstanding Cults is much more recent than the 1990s/80s. The critiques by people like Kent and Beit-Hallahmi persist to this day. Consider also the reluctance of some to drop the brainwashing theory, and the continued critiques thereof. All of this appears to be covered in the afore mentioned book, even if the book is not 100% balanced.Griswaldo (talk) 14:46, 25 August 2011 (UTC)
Yes, it is in published in 2001 so it is just out of that range of 1990s I mentioned but most criticism in there is about the 1990s/1980s activities. Kent and Beit-Hallahmi are good scholars they make valid critiques which find myself agreeing with to a degree with. There are some valid critiques of their work as well. I think it is an apt comparison personally but We are over 10 years out from that. Melton, Lewis, Palmer, are the old guard of NRM scholars have given way to quite a few younger scholars. The Resident Anthropologist (talk)•(contribs) 16:47, 25 August 2011 (UTC)
10 years is not as long as you think. I do not see any evidence that the "old guard" of NRM scholars has given way to a new crop. The link you had didn't work for me at first but it is working now. The fact that there are some younger scholars padding their resumes by taking on administrative positions in the NRM workgroup of the AAR doesn't prove that the "old guard" isn't still shaping the research agenda to a large extent. Besides, most of the research on NRMs has always been done in the social sciences, and social scientists tend to shun the AAR like it was the plague. Anyway I'm not convinced that the old animosities have disappeared or that they are no longer salient.Griswaldo (talk) 18:28, 25 August 2011 (UTC)
Alot of it has been in the social sciences mainly by the sociologists and Psychologists. All I can say is what I know here, personally as some one who has read alot on it and talked with alot of people. Back to the original point, do you think that History article would be better avenue than a controversy page? The Resident Anthropologist (talk)•(contribs) 20:54, 25 August 2011 (UTC)
The problem is that the history differs very much per country which would make the article quite complicated. The history in the Netherlands is different from its neighboring countries Germany and Belgium. Belgium has laws targeted specifically against cults. That would be very unlikely in the Netherlands. Germany has much more monitoring of cults by the rather powerful mainstream churches. With all of this absent in the Netherlands and no influential anti-cult movement nrm-organizations have all freedom unless they break the law. Even if the leader is a convicted criminal the NRMs tend to persists in the Netherlands with equal rights as mainstream churches, (See e.g. Premananda). BTW, the confusion about the differences between the countries was one of the main reasons why I used to get into so much conflict about the subject. Andries (talk) 07:26, 26 August 2011 (UTC)
For example with regards to Melton that started this discussion, he wrote that his work is to a large part a reaction to the inaccurate descriptions by American churches about cults. That is quite irrelevant to the situation in the Netherlands. I think that History of American NRM studies would be okay if there are sufficient sources which I doubt Andries (talk) 07:35, 26 August 2011 (UTC)
Andries is right that the situation in the non-English-speaking world can differ quite sharply from what is happening in the UK and the US (where there is pretty good convergence, at least in scholarship, because UK and US scholars contribute to the same journals). On the other hand, this could be remedied by short subsections covering other countries. Japan would probably need a section to itself as well. Coming back to the original point, a history article would naturally cover significant controversies – the rise and fall of deprogramming, the Cult Awareness Network, and the brainwashing concept; the AUM crisis and the resultant demise of AWARE, etc. --JN466 13:30, 26 August 2011 (UTC)
I do not think that I will be able to find sources regarding the history of NRM studies in the Netherlands. Do these sources exist? I do not thinks so. Is there any person in the Wikipedia who is willing to do the effort to check? Most probably not. Andries (talk) 13:58, 26 August 2011 (UTC)
The only thing that I can think of that is sourcable for Denmark (and probably for the Netherlands too) is that public interest has shifted from cults to Islam. Andries (talk) 14:00, 26 August 2011 (UTC)
History of public attitudes towards NRMs (including legal aspects) would be better sourceable. Andries (talk) 14:07, 26 August 2011 (UTC)
It seems to me the place we may need to start at square one: our own central articles on New Religious Movements, Cult, and Anti-cult movement. These have hung in limbo for far too long. There are some pretty good articles to worth developing there. To me they may be preferable starting place before we do a high specialized articles like the history of NRM studies. The Resident Anthropologist (talk)•(contribs) 16:43, 26 August 2011 (UTC)
Makes sense, but why not expand the scope of the article Cults_and_government into Public attitudes towards new religious movements? I have to agree with Bromley that the practical application of laws depends, at least to some extent, on the status of organization in society, not just on the letter of the law. (See apostasy and The Politics of Religious Apostasy). I have become too cynical to believe that judges apply the law as impartial as robots, even in states with a well-functioning law system. Andries (talk) 19:10, 26 August 2011 (UTC)

These other suggestions are fine, but they don't do what I was hoping that a controversies article would do, and I would worry about both WP:OR and sourcing issues with the more general, "history of ..." approach. My point was that there is a notable controversy there, and that this controversy spills onto BLPs now and then. Might it not be better to first try to create a NPOV article covering the controversy so that it is easier to control unduly negative or positive editing of individual entries, around this matter? If not, no big deal. That was my intent though. Cheers.Griswaldo (talk) 14:17, 26 August 2011 (UTC)

What are the main topics you would cover in a controversy article? --JN466 14:36, 26 August 2011 (UTC)
It seems to me the place we may need to start at square one: our own central articles on New Religious Movements, Cult, and Anti-cult movement. These have hung in limbo for far too long. There are some pretty good articles to worth developing there. To me they may be preferable starting place before we do a high specialized articles like the history of NRM studies. The Resident Anthropologist (talk)•(contribs) 16:43, 26 August 2011 (UTC)
  • Griswaldo asked me to comment here. Although I do not intend to edit in this area, I agree that Controversies in NRM research is an appropriate topic, for reasons that have come out on the workshop page of the MBLP arbcom case. There are good sources for such an article and the process of writing it might also help to rethink how some of the current articles could be rejigged. I'm not sure that having less articles, including BLPs, in this topic area is the right way forward. It is true that having everything to do with a particular NRM in one article (or a few) makes it easier to manage for page-watchers; but wikipedia is written to provide information for the reader and in this case having more articles is more helpful. The book Misunderstanding Cults is an excellent source for a "Controversies" article and a good place to start. Mathsci (talk) 17:20, 26 August 2011 (UTC)
    • I have to admit that a history of ... article will probably have insufficient sources. Andries (talk) 19:33, 26 August 2011 (UTC)

New Kadampa Tradition[edit]

Extra eyes welcome at New Kadampa Tradition (edit | talk | history | protect | delete | links | watch | logs | views). There are complaints about POV pushing from two sides. --JN466 20:00, 19 September 2011 (UTC)

Cults template, proposed renaming[edit]

See Template_talk:Cults. --JN466 12:21, 28 September 2011 (UTC)


Please see Wikipedia:Articles for deletion/Cults and governments since it is listed with this project. Borock (talk) 14:03, 3 October 2011 (UTC)


There has also been a deep revert to the article since the AfD was launched: before / after --JN466 18:56, 18 October 2011 (UTC)

RfC: deep revert to List of new religious movements[edit]

This list has been reverted to a version nearly 2 years old, from this version to this version, resulting in many lost edits, additions, and most references. Additional input is welcomed as to whether the recent deep revert should itself be reverted or retained? • Astynax talk 09:08, 19 October 2011 (UTC)

Missing article[edit]

I was rather surprised to see that WP does not have an article on The Kingdom of the Cults, although it has articles on its authors. My understanding is that this has been a very influential book, I have seen it in pastors' offices many times, and much less important "anti-cult" books do have articles. Steve Dufour (talk) 02:59, 11 November 2011 (UTC)

Jayen466, John, Carter and I could probably make one pretty quick with your help Steve.The Resident Anthropologist (talk)•(contribs) 11:00, 11 November 2011 (UTC)
I will work on it over the weekend. Steve Dufour (talk) 04:13, 12 November 2011 (UTC)
I started the article, but it needs some more material. Steve Dufour (talk) 05:54, 12 November 2011 (UTC)
Thanks. It looks fairly good now. Steve Dufour (talk) 17:17, 12 November 2011 (UTC)

Importance ratings[edit]

I just took a look as some of the importance ratings and they seem a bit confused. Most major groups have a High rating, but some smaller ones have a Top rating. What should the standards be? Especially what should get the Top rating? Articles on major groups? Or just general overview articles? Thanks. Steve Dufour (talk) 16:03, 10 December 2011 (UTC)

I will go with that concept for now. Top is general articles, High is major groups and individuals, Mid is less important topics. Please feel free to disagree. Steve Dufour (talk) 17:28, 11 December 2011 (UTC)
There will probably be borderline cases, and disagreements as to how to rate importance, but I would generally agree with your suggested rankings. According to the 1.0 Release Version Criteria, however, "Top" should include those subjects that are "a must-have for a print encyclopedia". I would think that would include many articles on groups, and even some founders/major proponents/detractors, that would be included as separate articles in other general encyclopedias. Where there are compelling reasons, exceptions can be made case by case. I agree that bringing some consistency to articles in the project (not to mention the backlog of unrated articles) is worthwhile, and I'm glad to see that you've made some efforts in this area. • Astynax talk 18:25, 11 December 2011 (UTC)
If you want to promote some articles to top I would not object. I do wonder if a print encyclopedia would have an article on, even for example, Scientology. Or if they did it was a "must have."Steve Dufour (talk) 18:38, 11 December 2011 (UTC)
P.S. Why does the table not update to reflect the changes I'm making? Steve Dufour (talk) 18:42, 11 December 2011 (UTC)
Chances are that it's updated by a bot, in which case it may take a day or two.   Will Beback  talk  20:41, 11 December 2011 (UTC)
Thanks. Steve Dufour (talk) 22:05, 11 December 2011 (UTC)


This seems like a bad article: Wikipedia:Articles for deletion/Falun Gong’s Theory on Male-Female Dual Cultivation. Steve Dufour (talk) 17:15, 10 December 2011 (UTC)

Proposed for deletion[edit]

The material should be covered in the main article on the author: Views from the Real World. Steve Dufour (talk) 21:35, 10 January 2012 (UTC)

Also the same: The Herald of Coming Good. Steve Dufour (talk) 22:26, 10 January 2012 (UTC)

Possible merge[edit]

I just came across Werner Erhard and Associates. This was Erhard's organization from 1981 to 1991. There is not much material in the article and it could probably be merged to Werner Erhard or to the organization's successor Landmark Education. Steve Dufour (talk) 17:53, 31 January 2012 (UTC)

Agree. Seems to be an ideal candidate, along with Erhard Seminars Training for merging into Werner Erhard. The WE article isn't so long (prose size is only 20k) that it requires spinning off these into sub/child-articles. I could see that the articles might have stand-alone merit if they had more independence from Erhard, but they haven't and offer very little information that isn't already covered in the Werner Erhard article. • Astynax talk 02:29, 1 February 2012 (UTC)
I guess I don't see the benefit to this proposal. What problem would it solve or how would it improve coverage of the topic?   Will Beback  talk  06:30, 1 February 2012 (UTC)
Most of the information in the two articles on the temporary organizations is already found in the main article on Erhard himself. Readers don't learn much more by reading all three than just the one. Steve Dufour (talk) 17:09, 1 February 2012 (UTC)
I would also note that both are defunct entities which were rebranded in turn. Landmark Education is the current iteration carrying on Erhard's work. For illustration: a regional health insurance company has rebranded 4 times over the last decade, and simple redirects to the current name are sufficient—there is no reason to maintain separate articles when the older brands are covered as a part of the history of the current entity. The articles on the 2 superseded Erhard corporations seem to fit very well into the Rationale given in WP:MERGE. • Astynax talk 08:18, 2 February 2012 (UTC)

Template:New Religious Movements, Cults, and Sects[edit]

I have started a discussion at Template:New Religious Movements, Cults, and Sects, which was recently moved from Template:Cults. I'm batting around the idea of moving it back, because the new field is too broad. Since the move, a large number of New Religious Movements have been added to the template; however the template is still used primarily in cult-related articles. The discussion is found here. Thanks, ~Adjwilley (talk) 18:26, 11 March 2012 (UTC)

George Went Hensley at FAC[edit]

The article on George Went Hensley is again a Featured Article Candidate. The previous nomination was archived due to lack of supports (or opposes, for that matter). The criteria for Featured Articles may be found here. Anyone wishing to do so may leave comments. • Astynax talk 17:12, 14 March 2012 (UTC)


There has been some recent activity at the above article, including a move made without any apparent discussion that I can see. I would be curious regarding any input on the article and the recent changes of all sorts that have been made in it. I do have both this page and that watched, so feel free to respond in either location, although I think comments at the talk page o f the article itself would probably get more attention and input from others, including the editor who has made the recent changes. John Carter (talk) 22:11, 7 November 2012 (UTC)

I've checked the article history and have not seen any page moves. Maybe you were a litle too quick. Pass a Method talk 22:29, 7 November 2012 (UTC)

Updates to Eckankar Page[edit]

Hi, I am a fairly new editor with a lot to learn. I am trying to edit and clean up the page for my church, Eckankar. I have been a member of Eckanakr for 37 years and am a member of the ECK Clergy. I need help with two things - organization and removal of vandalism.

Reorganization: The page has some outdated information and is somewhat disorganized. I tried reorganizing the page, but apparently ran afoul of some rules regarding inline links and so my changes were undone. I would like to reinstate my previous changes, but do not want to start some sort of editing war.

Vandalism: Eckankar is a relatively new religion and has some detractors. The page has sections for Criticism and Related Groups. I am of the opinion that criticisms belong under the Criticism section and discussion of other religious groups belong under the Related Groups section.

There is a disgruntled former member of Eckankar who has recently started up his own small group called Akatha. Akatha members have been inserting argumentative statements into the sections on Eckankar beliefs and practices. The criticisms are phrased as if they come from an independent expert, but without citations. I have moved these comments to the Criticism section, but he/they have repeatedly undone my changes and has done so anonymously - showing only an IP address.

How can I make the organizational changes I want to make and also ensure that the vandalism stops?

Thanks. I can also be reached at steve at --Sarunfeldt (talk) 20:38, 12 November 2012 (UTC)

To my eyes the best thing you could do, given that you have asserted in your above statement that you have a clear POV as per WP:POV yourself regarding this issue, is to start a page in userspace in which you make the changes you think reasonable and then start a request for comment as per WP:RFC on whether to integrate the changes into the article. In general, I tend to agree that "criticism" and "related groups" should be different sections, although, clearly, people who have left the group to start a related one clearly have some form of criticism of the original group. If material of any sort of a questionable nature is added without citations, you are perfectly within your rights to remove the material not supported by any sources. Should disruptive edits continue, you would also be free to start a thread at WP:AN/I if you see further disruptive editing, and if you think it required you could even request some form of protection of the page as per WP:PROTECTION to ensure that the disruptive edits stop. We can't really judge on our own whether the IP address is also someone else, like an account holder for instance, but we do have a form of sockpuppet investigation at WP:SOCK which might be useful in such an instance. From having looked over quite a few of the related journals over the past years, I don't remember seeing a lot of really recent coverage of Eckankar, and little if anything on "Akatha". My best advice would be to keep watching the page, and if necessary removing any material added without citations as it gets added. It would also probably be a good idea to open up a discussion on the article talk page with this person or persons to perhaps try to reach some consensus regarding the disputed matters. I can watch the page myself, although I have a really long watchlist and might not notice some changes, so I would encourage others to do so as well.
You should note yourself, and definitely communicate to the IP, that we prefer independent reliable sources which meet WP:RS standards. I have access to the Highbeam Research and Questia databanks, among others, and I would be more than willing to forward to anyone who requested it the articles or other significant mentions in reference books, journals, newspapers, and other reliable sources I can find on them. Anyone interested in such should just drop me an e-mail with as clear an indication of what type of articles or what kind of subject matter they want, and I will forward to them what I can find. John Carter (talk) 21:09, 12 November 2012 (UTC)
Thanks. This is helpful.
Note, that my concern is that the criticisms re. Akatha are being made in the body of the article under the Teachings section. I have been moving them to either Related Groups or Criticisms. I don't really care which of those two headings they go under. But the Akatha people have been moving them back into the sections that deal with the beliefs and practices of Eckankar. It seems to me that it is appropriate for a member of a religion to be able to describe the beliefs and practices of that religion without bias, as long as these are presented with phrases such as "Followers of Eckankar believe..." or, "The Eckankar teachings state..." But that discussion of other related groups belongs under the "Related Groups" section and criticisms of those teachings and beliefs belong under the "Criticisms" section.
I have been attempting to talk with the other Akatha editors, but they have not responded. I am also new at this and so only recently learned about how to talk. Is there any other way to reach them if they continue to fail to respond? --Sarunfeldt (talk) 21:34, 12 November 2012 (UTC)
Other than through the relevant article talk pages and messages on their user talk pages, not a lot. "edit summaries" can be useful in some cases. So, for instance, if someone were to add unsuitable material or suitable material in the wrong section, you could start a new thread on the talk page the specific reasons for your changes, and request that the others involved use the talk page to discuss matters before making controversial changes, and maybe add an edit summary through the box a bit above the "save page" button on most setups to the effect of "removing (or moving) material which does not seem relevant to the section as per new discussion on article talk page, please seek consensus there before reverting" or something to that effect. Like I said, I've got the article on my watchlist now, and I hope I will see any changes to this article on my watchlist. If I do, I can try to take part in, or open up, a discussion myself, or at least try to assist in maybe trying to reach some form of resolution. John Carter (talk) 21:53, 12 November 2012 (UTC)
I'm trying to do some cleanup on the article, and it's an absolute travesty. There is a goodly amount of scholarly material on Eckankar, and just about none of it is used in the current article, which is drawn almost entirely from Primary sources and unauthoritative websites for people in related communities. The article is having a little Edit Warring trouble at the moment, but once that settles down I'll push my cleanup forward, cut the Primary material down to a bare minimum of key claims/beliefs stated by the organization, and base the rest of it off acceptable sources. This appears to be yet another religious movement article populated far more by pro/con enthusiasts than neutral editors. If anyone else is editing it, please keep an eye on the History page, as I keep having folks slip in and make changes while I'm trying to do cleanup, so it's easy to miss the ground shifting underneath you when trying to do even basic housekeeping. MatthewVanitas (talk) 05:44, 13 November 2012 (UTC)

Lists based on relevant reference works[edit]

I am in the process of starting two subpages of the project here, one which lists the categorization schema included in one reference books of various NRMs, describing them as Christian, Jewish, UFO, or whatever, and another listing the articles included in another reference book relating to NRMs. Neither is perfect, and there are some possible questions regarding age of some of the material, but they can be at least a start.

They can be found at

Hope they are found to be useful. John Carter (talk) 22:04, 6 January 2013 (UTC)

That was a lot of typing! The red links certainly illustrate that Wikipedia has some way to go. • Astynax talk 00:43, 7 January 2013 (UTC)

Please take a look at Subud, George Gurdjieff, Findhorn Foundation etc[edit]

You have been doing great work. However I tripped over the article on Subud a few weeks ago and discovered it was written entirely from within this relatively obscure little movement (ie taking the movements jargon etc as commonly shared) and not even mentioning any of the criticism or controversy which has followed it round the world for decades. For example the suicide of the founder's son - which features in academic literature as well as an otherwise hagiographic biography - finds no place.

Subud is categorised as a NRM but doesn't appear to have benefited from your NPOV work. I added a small academic reference to it being called a cult (by the French government among others) but this was deleted on spurious grounds. Just put some in again but have little confidence this will survive.

Looking at Subud led me to George Gurdjieff, an article which is just as biased. Most scholars would these days characterise GG as something of a joke - but there is again no NPOV in this article, no criticism, and merely a (to an outsider) baffling, lengthy and jargon-heavy exposition. The bibliography doesn't include a major accessible scholarly work on him and his kind (Madame Blavatskys Baboon), no doubt because it is not to the taste of GGs few remaining followers.

Going further I found plenty of other articles which relate to these two subjects - and whose articles are linked in one way or another - but which are similarly flawed. I hope someone can take a look at the whole group.

Finally, some time ago a 'controversy' section was deleted from the article on the Findhorn Foundation (something of a clearing house for esoterica in the UK) and so I have copied that material here, having given up on my attempts to try and keep some balance on that page. Hope someone can help:-

There have been many critics of and controversies surrounding the work of the Findhorn Foundation since 1962.[1] For example:
  • A. Roberts, writing in the Fortean Times, alleges that in the 1960s, Caddy and other 'channelers' believed that they were in contact with extraterrestrials through telepathy, and prepared a 'landing strip' for flying saucers at nearby Cluny Hill.[2]
  • In 1993 the Scottish Charities Office commissioned a report into holotropic breathwork, having received complaints about it at the Findhorn Foundation. The report caused the Findhorn Foundation to suspend its breathwork programme. According to The Scotsman, Dr Linda Watt of Leverndale Psychiatric Hospital in Glasgow said that the hyperventilation technique might cause seizures or lead to psychosis in vulnerable people. (The Scotsman, 14 October 1993).
  • In 1999 one of the foundation's long-term members, Verity Linn, died of exposure on a Scottish mountain while following the teachings of the self-styled Australian guru Jasmuheen (not connected with the Findhorn Foundation[citation needed]), who teaches that human beings can "live on light" alone.[3]

Testbed (talk) 16:34, 30 July 2013 (UTC)

Just looked again at Subud for the first time in a couple of months. And yes, as predicted, every possible even only questionably critical reference has been removed. It now reads entirely like a brochure produced by and for the Subud group. Is it reasonable to tag, and if so, which tag do people think is appropriate? Testbed (talk) 22:12, 11 November 2013 (UTC)


  1. ^ Castro, Stephen J, 1996. Hypocrisy and Dissent within the Findhorn Foundation
  2. ^ Roberts, A, Saucers over Findhorn, Fortean Times, accessed 12-08-08.
  3. ^ Braid, Mary, "The Magic Kingdom", The Independent, 12 June 2001, accessed 27 March 2009

Request for guidance/assistance on article regarding William M. Branham/Branhamism[edit]

The articles on William M. Branham and Branhamism are plagued with the problems that are covered in the NRM Manual of Style. In particular, the current article on William Branham is used as an apologetic by supporters of Branhamism.

I would like to improve both the articles using only reliable, third-party, published sources and not the preponderance of primary sources which the current articles are based on.

I started making a few edits but there is a pro-Branham editor that is of the view that the NRM manual of style has no application to a biography and rather that the biographical aspects of the article are subject to the biographical guidelines. Specifically, he is of the view that the article is not an article about a NRM - it is an article about an individual person. The appropriate guidelines are found here:

Also, while the NRM Manuel of Style states that one should avoid primary sources, the pro-Branham editor argues that the NRM guidelines do not exclude primary sources, and link directly to Wikipedia:Identifying reliable sources which provide more guidance on the use of self published material. Thus he wants to keep all of the primary source references in the article for the movement's founder.

I really don't want to get into a fight but am prepared to put in some work to move both these articles into NPOV territory. While I am prepared to do the heavy lifting of rewriting and negotiating with the other editors, I do feel that this is likely to turn into a battleground which is something that I want to avoid.

Two questions:

  1. Is the NRM Manual of Style the primary guidance for the 2 articles mentioned above (i.e. the founder and the movement) or is it only of primary application to the article on the movement itself?
  2. Is there anyone that can provide some general oversight/guidance as we start the edit process, to ensure that we get the article into NPOV territory? I am not looking for someone to assist in the edit process but rather a disinterested party that will help to resolve the disputes that I think will inevitably arise.

Thanks! Taxee (talk) 01:32, 12 August 2013 (UTC)

RfC on List of new religious movements[edit]

There is a request for comment on the List of new religious movements regarding whether Landmark Worldwide (previously known as, Landmark Education, The Forum, est, etc.), which is discussed in the scholarship on new religous movements, is eligible for inclusion in the list. Any input is appreciated. Thank you. • Astynax talk 08:54, 3 September 2013 (UTC)

Ramtha's School of Enlightenment[edit]

Hi there! I see from the discussion page for Ramtha's School of Enlightenment that this work group has marked the entry as "High-importance" so I wanted to leave a message here for anyone who might be interested in the work I've been doing recently.

On behalf of the school, which is aware that the current version is not in very good shape, I have been working on improving the entry. After carefully looking over the page, and researching the school, I've written a new version that I would like other editors to consider.

On the discussion page you will find more information about what I suggest changing and why. You will also find a link to what I have written. Though I have written this on behalf of the school, I am not personally a member, however because of my "conflict of interest" I will not edit the entry myself. If what I have written is an improvement I hope that other editors will be able to make the changes to the entry for me. Calstarry (talk) 18:26, 2 October 2013 (UTC)

Thanks for your effort, reticence and frankness. I read the book by J. Gordon Melton about the school. Andries (talk) 12:52, 9 October 2013 (UTC)

More eyes needed at Brahma Kumaris World Spiritual University[edit]

This article could definitely stand for input from more editors. John Carter (talk) 17:13, 6 October 2013 (UTC)

Fresh start: Ramtha's School of Enlightenment[edit]

I posted on this page about six weeks ago looking for editors to help review a new draft of the Ramtha's School of Enlightenment article. Over the past few weeks the conversation has gotten very long and complicated so now, at the suggestion of several other editors, I would like to try and look at the article section by section.

I am looking for editors who can help review the page's current Research section and compare it to my suggested revision which I have named Research into Ramtha.

On the Ramtha's discussion page I've shared my concerns with the current section and some detailed notes that explain the changes I would like to make with my revision. If you can help you can see the message on the Ramtha's discussion page about this here. Calstarry (talk) 21:44, 19 November 2013 (UTC)


I've been doing some editing on Agapemonites. Although I edit lots of articles on topics relating to Somerset (where this sect was largely based) I am unsure about the religious aspects, or even whether it would fall within the scope of this wikiproject. Would anyone kindly take a look and advise?— Rod talk 21:26, 26 January 2014 (UTC)

Proposed ArbCom motion of some possible interest to members of this project[edit]

Please see Wikipedia:Arbitration/Requests/Motions#Motion: New Religious Movements, which I believe may interest some of the members of this project. Thank you. John Carter (talk) 20:49, 21 September 2015 (UTC)

Please comment on Talk:Brahma Kumaris#RFC for adding the word "Cult"[edit]

I am asking for your participation in Talk:Brahma Kumaris#RFC for adding the word "Cult" Supdiop (T🔹C) 16:10, 3 October 2015 (UTC)

List of Pagans[edit]

The scope and name of List of Pagans is under discussion, see talk:List of Pagans -- (talk) 05:29, 24 October 2015 (UTC)

The failure of this and two related RMs to come to consensus has lead to a MOS clarification thread at Wikipedia talk:Manual of Style/Capital letters#MOS:ISMCAPS badly needs to be tightened.  — SMcCandlish ¢ ≽ʌⱷ҅ʌ≼  22:42, 15 November 2015 (UTC)

RM to move wikiproject content essay misnamed as a MoS subpage back to wikiproject[edit]

FYI: Pointer to relevant discussion elsewhere.

Please see Wikipedia talk:Manual of Style/New religious movements#Requested move 15 November 2015.  — SMcCandlish ¢ ≽ʌⱷ҅ʌ≼  22:42, 15 November 2015 (UTC)

Requested move of "Carl Jung"[edit]

Greetings! I have recently relisted a requested move discussion at Talk:Carl Jung#Requested move 14 November 2016, regarding a page relating to this WikiProject. Discussion and opinions are invited. Thanks,  Paine  u/c 01:34, 23 November 2016 (UTC)

Request for Comment[edit]

RfC on the subject of new religious movements is being held at Category talk:New religious movements. Input from this group would be welcomed and appreciated. Thank you, Happy Hanukkah, Joyous Christide, have a great weekend. ⇔ ChristTrekker 17:56, 23 December 2016 (UTC)

Place of power being considered for deletion[edit]

Please feel free to take part in the discussion at Wikipedia:Articles for deletion/Place of power. Thank you. John Carter (talk) 21:51, 11 January 2017 (UTC)

Request for help on Providence (religious movement)[edit]

Dear all, I have been recently attempting to make improvements to the Providence (religious movement) article but require more third party editors to provide their opinions to the article and its talk page because there is some contention. The existing article appears to me to be an WP:Attack page on the group and its founder, without factoring in a bunch of other published news articles providing other perspectives. I have tried to work a neutral POV into the article with these three heavily sourced drafts on the Group, the group's founder, and the controversies that you can use as a reference. Thank you! Avataron (talk) 20:32, 10 March 2017 (UTC)