Friday, March 9, 2012

Operation: Wiki Wars continues unabated. This joint project between Armstrong Delusion and Silenced aims to eliminate cult distortions and propaganda from COG-related Wikipedia articles, replacing them with fully-cited factual information from reliable sources.

It’s a long haul project that may become a great deal more difficult should the cults start fighting back to reclaim Wikipedia as a place for free advertising. Adhering to Wikipedia’s guidelines is also something we’re taking seriously. The goal isn’t to swing these articles in the opposite direction to make them unfair or overtly opinionated. Instead, the effort is to correct the record and paint the most accurate picture possible of these cults and the men who lead them for the sake of properly educating the public.

We’re also looking for a consistency of style in these articles, like using the proper organizational acronyms, deleting the use of “Mr. Armstrong” that was clearly inserted by COG members on certain articles and making certain that every church-related entry relates back to Armstrong and WCG to give them proper historical context.

This is why we invite people to join the effort so individual biases don’t overwhelm these entries. Feel free to request joining our Wiki Wars Facebook group┬áif you’re interested in helping.

Progress Update

Church of God, Preparing the Kingdom of God: We cited every important thing and removed the flag, using a lot of Ron Weinland’s own words to back the claims in the article.

Terry Ratzmann: Cited all critical information. No flags, looks good. Luckily, there were a lot of good New York Times articles on this incident. Newspapers of record are typically acceptable sources.

The Good News Magazine: This was seriously overhauled and justly linked to the original WCG version of GNM, using COG’s own literature as citations when describing the publication’s contents and history. There are no flags. It could, however, be expanded from a mere stub to a full article.

Global Church of God: There are now actual citations in this article. We also removed a lot of the glorifying language used toward Roderick C. Meredith and properly linked the church to WCG.

Church of God International: This was full of “citation needed” and was flagged for that reason. No longer. We’ve even linked to The Painful Truth’s video of the GTA sexual assault tape.

House of Yahweh: This was a poorly-written disaster with barely a single citation. It looks a lot prettier now and was reorganized. It’s also been properly linked to WCG.

Millennialism: It was brought to our attention this had a bunch of information from COG literature cited in it. While there might be some lingering traces of Armstrongite doctrine in it, those citations have been vanquished and replaced with legitimate sources. COG pastors are experts on nothing and shouldn’t be used for citations of facts.

Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse: This similarly was full of COG citations, which have been replaced.

Al-Aqsa Mosque: Fixed some broken citations regarding WCG’s connection to the fire.

Marked for Improvement

Yisrayl Hawkins: It’s been flagged for merger with the HOY article because it’s messy and redundant. There’s no reason to divide Hawkins from his cult. Good idea? (Y/N)

Kingdom of God: There were a bunch of COG citations in this and we removed or replaced them, but Wikipedia has flagged it for bias and questionable material. While we’re sweeping through, we might as well fix this article too.

Denis Michael Rohan: This has been flagged by Wikipedia for unverified, potentially libelous information. We should clean it up without losing the WCG connection to Rohan’s insanity.

Jules Dervaes: It’s not a bad article, but it could be fleshed-out, since there are a number of news articles that could be integrated to flesh out the family’s religious leanings and how that affects their business model.

The Plain Truth: We swept through this, seriously reorganized it and fixed a bunch of “citation needed” sections by going through old TPT articles online. But Wikipedia doesn’t seem to like that the magazine is being used to demonstrate it’s own content and history. Obviously, seeing “Armstrong, Herbert W.” on most of the references is enough to raise a red flag. We’re not certain what to do with it at this point, other than ask people for any independent analyses of the magazine they might know about to use as more acceptable sources.

Overhauls Still Pending

Herbert W. Armstrong: It’s a big article with good information, but it’s messy and could stand some cleaning, reorganization, new citations and the removal of loads of cult bias and un-referenced paragraphs.

United Church of God: There’s a lot of work to be done here. This page is pretty heavily monitored.

Philadelphia Church of God: It’s got some good information, but could stand reorganization and new citations.

Worldwide Church of God: There are a lot of citation issues and a lot of what Wikipedia calls “original research” and “primary sources.” There’s no reason we can’t loot the Ambassador Files for good citations.

Living Church of God: Meredith may have written this one and it’s been flagged all to Hell by Wikipedia editors.

Roderick C. Meredith: This one is just so much of an unbelievable mess, we were at a loss where to begin.

Restored Church of God: Wow. Pack probably wrote this himself.

Articles Being Built

Ron Weinland: We have a draft and will share it soon.

David C. Pack: There’s so much that’s ripe to include in this article. We may have to restrain ourselves.

Church of God, a Worldwide Association: Our version should be much better than the COGWA propaganda piece Wikipedia deleted.

David Hulme: By himself, he’s not notable enough for his own Wikipedia page, but once we bind all of the COG pages into a cohesive whole, his addition makes more sense.

Church of God, an International Community: The same goes for Hulme’s COGIC. There are smaller COG sects on Wikipedia. There’s no reason not to include his.

Sabbatarian Churches of God: This is a huge, comprehensive page listing the history of the split, full of schism timelines and brief discussions of all major splinters and COG cult leaders. All relevant COG-related pages should link back to this one. This will be the mothership. We’ve already started linking articles to this page, so when it exists, the job will be done.

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