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Wikipedia bans Church of Scientology (theregister.co.uk)
86 points by Flemlord 3124 days ago | hide | past | web | favorite | 29 comments

The Reg is really hard to read -- the writing quality is horrifyingly bad.

Why not link directly to the primary source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Requests_for_arbitrat...

Indeed. It kind of read like Hunting of the Snark.

"The wikifiddler drew his wikivorpal sword and slayed the terrible wikibeast"

El Reg has a long-standing grudge against Wikipedia. And they're showing it here. :)

That's Jabberwocky, not Hunting of the Snark.

I voted up this article -- because I think the underlying story is interesting -- but article itself is viciously anti-Wikipedia.

I doubt the writing quality is particularly bad, though: I suspect the author is telling exactly the story he intended to tell.

I find these sorts of pages on wikipedia even more fascinating than the content itself. The core community is incredible. This primary source is so raw, genuine, but true.

I usually avoid the Reg but never quite noticed this when I have been there. I had only skimmed the first couple paragraphs but after reading this I went back to it. Wow. You're right. It is pretty juvenile writing. This writer abuses the use of "and" and "but."

From france, where scientology is really seen as a bad sectarian propaganda organisation, it surely seems like a good move from Wikipedia.

The tone of the register article is really bad tho, what do they have against wikipedia ?

where scientology is really seen as a bad sectarian propaganda organisation, it surely seems like a good move

"Bad sectarian propaganda organization?" Why not just say "bad church?" And since there's little point in distinguishing between Scientology the religion and the Church of Scientology, you should really say "bad religion."

I'm somewhat being intentionally inflammatory, but it's interesting to examine the difference between what I said and what Raphael said. The line I crossed was saying that Scientology could be bad and still be a religion. Funny that people start shying away from such statements when they stop believing in a particular religion. If atheism is "just one god/mythos further," then what do we call our modern attitude of attempting to feel positively inclined toward all religions while believing in none of them? What do we call the idea that critical appreciation of religion, religion separated from belief and disbelief, is not essentially different from religion as practiced by most people since the dawn of history?

In france there is quite a big difference, maybe hypocritical, between sects and religions. I don't think the distinction would hold against some serious examination, at least, it wouldn't keep all of it's meaning.

But to put it shortly any organisation that isn't one of the big historical churches, and has an heavy propaganda machinery around their religious beliefs and why they are good, is basically called a sect here.

Probably because france is living it's own cult of republic, wich is quite irrationnal in itself, but we have some endemic problem with religion and it's interleaving with power here. I think the situation is very very different in USA, and so there must be quite a "vocabulary gap" in our discussion.

The hidden powers of admins and sockpuppets. They are wary of Wikipedia due to the power it wields. See historical articles on an editor called Jossi I think. They was also a bit of a furore over the article on short selling. Lots of drama in Wikipedia land.

The Reg has always had it in for Wikipedia. I'm not entirely sure why, but it might have begun as a backlash against the hype surrounding Wikipedia, and over time it became the norm.

And despite the obvious prejudice, they still do not succeed in making Wikipedia look like the bad guy. Which goes to show how evil those that wield power within Scientology are.

More interesting to me (since Overstock.com and Traverse Mountain are nearby) was the linked article ( http://www.theregister.co.uk/2007/12/06/wikipedia_and_overst... ).

It is interesting to think about how much power the Wikipedia inner circle has over public dialogue. Wikipedia is often people's first stop when trying to find out about something new - if they show bias, it could change that dialogue significantly.

May be it should not be people's first stop. If any one uses Wikipedia in an argument I ask for an authoritative source.

It's an encyclopedia. Would you use Britannica for an argument? No. You would use whatever materials it cites. Wikipedia is the starting point for an argument, not the evidence to support one.

Yes. But 'should' is not 'is'.

Why is this a big deal? They could just contribute from their homes.

Technically yes, but Scientology is very paranoid. For one, it has been accused of censoring internet access for its members, so they might not trust low-level staff to edit it.


Ok. But how about proxies?

Interesting move, although I'd bet it will turn out to be a challenge to enforce, if the Scientologists decide to try to fight it. It will also be interesting to see how this move would hold up in court. I can certainly understand Wikipedia's point of view - they aren't discriminating against an organization but rather dealing with a group that has been quite disruptive to them. It could be interesting to see which way it swings and what the ramifications are.

Wikipedia is a private website - it's fully within their rights to decide who can or can't contribute. Hence, there's no grounds for a suit.

The CoS doesn't often let little details like that get in their way.

See chris11's link in this thread.

Oh, I'm quite aware. And that's why I said there's no grounds to sue, not that they won't sue. :)

It won't go to court. Nothing of any value stays on w* without proper citation (so there goes libel), and since there's no financial consideration for participation in or use of w* the CoS can't claim injury in the legal sense.

They do have awesome videogame-style powerups, though... http://carolineletkeman.org/sp/images/stories/claims/eternit...

I wouldn't be surprised if they filed anyway. Scientology does have a reputation for filing frivolous lawsuits. Hubbard did say that lawsuits were great for harassment. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scientology_and_the_legal_syste...

+1 point for using the Wikipedia article on Scientology and the legal system to support your argument. I can imagine the court proceedings now:

"The Church of Scientology has a recorded history of filing frivolous lawsuits, all of which is documented in this Wikipedia article."

"This only proves that Wikipedia is biased against scientology!"

"Your Honor, please review the references to this entry. Clearly no further citations are needed."

Although harassment in the form of lawsuits is much more effective against individuals than it is against a group.

Yes. But they may decide to suit the individuals involved.

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