Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Wikipedia's Gnostic Kerfuffle

Jordan Stratford, Gnostic priest and writer in Victoria, B.C., blogs about possible prejudice against present-day Gnosticism on the part of the Wikipedia cabal.

My own experience with Wikipedia is tiny -- making minor edits on three or four articles -- but I know that there are people who must spend hours every day on it.

Other stories about "revert wars" and similar cyber-squabbles involving political figures are common enough, so I can believe that one or two judgmental editors could mess with (in this case) Gnosticism too.

For some reason, Pagan-related articles have fared better. But I know that some of the Pagan editors are the same folks who were on the former Compuserve Pagan forum circa 1990--people who spend an awful lot of time in cyberspace.

As for modern Gnosticism, another trove of articles exists at the website of the former Gnosis magazine. Founding editor Jay Kinney is himself a priest of the Ecclesia Gnostica, a contemporary Gnostic church started by Stephan Hoeller (who thus far is still in Wikipedia.)

There might be a lesson here about depending too much on Wikipedia?

Labels: ,


Blogger Jordan Stratford+ said...

Kerfuffle pretty much sums it up. One rogue user flagged a dozen articles on our tradition for deletion out of spite, subjecting them to pretty intense scrutiny. Web-based resources, articles, links, interviews are excluded from "reliable sources" so it's only in-print references that establish "notability".

Looking at any Pagan blogroll you see a lot of Wikipedia entries relating to those bloggers, but the articles in Wikipedia also lack the in-print citations for the most part. (or in this recent episode, in-print from POD publishers or publications such as PanGaia "don't count"). It would take one disgruntled or agenda-laden user to flag the lot of them, and the can of worms would be open at that point. Senior people at Wikipedia are uninterested in closing that vulnerability.

The larger question is, does WP wish to be a resource for information relating to New Religious Movements? The answer seems to be - "only if it's not brought to our attention." ;-/

5:30 PM  
Blogger TerjeDB said...

Hi, Chas. I am disappointed with the levity that the whole editorial board over at Wikipedia treats cases such as this, having first followed the AfD debate over the article: Apostolic Johannite Church, I looked through several other discussions and their outcome and have come to the conclusion that I as "consumer"/"researcher"/"user" - whatever hat I happen to don - have no reason whatsoever to trust the information provided at any time by the users/editors of the Wikipedia service - in fact, if I had been a teacher I would have discouraged student use of the resource. It's still nifty, but in the way of non-specialized newspapers and magazines aimed at primary entertaining their readers.

But the reason I write a comment here is to inform you that through interacting with Jay Kinney since 1994 when Gnosis Magazine had a forum first on (Whole Earth eLectronic Link), then on Usenet - I happen to know a bit of a fact contrary to your claim; its not a fundamental difference really, but its factual - Jay Kinney were clergy, not sure about Priest but at least a Deacon, in Rosamunde Miller's Church Ecclesia Gnostica Mysteriorum in Palo Alto, CA ( - where he also happen to live. There is a back history with Ecclesia Gnostica through the consecration of Tau Rosamunde to Bishop in 1974
by its Bishop, Stephan Hoeller and another Bishop by the name of Neil P.Jack.

7:35 AM  
Anonymous Chas S. Clifton said...


Do clarify what your "fundamental difference" is -- between what and what?

Yes, I said that Kinney was part of Ecclesia Gnostica. So?

8:09 AM  
Blogger TerjeDB said...

I did write there is _no_ _fundamental_ difference - so if there was a fundamental difference it would be that
Jay Kinney is not and never have been part of the clergy of _Ecclesia Gnostica_ - but that is a weak
point, since Jay Kinney at the very least _have been_ part of the clergy of _Ecclesia Gnostica Mysteriorum_:
they are not identical - since Rosamunde Miller, as I mentioned, were consecrated back in 1974, her
ministry has always been independent and quite different from that of Ecclesia Gnostica, it is part of the
understanding among all those who were involved in that consecration.
However, there has been a widespread confusion about the identity and relationship between the two,
similar names have contributed to great confusion too, especially since both denominations self-identify with
the anglicism "Church of the Gnosis".
If all of that had been common knowledge my comment on that matter would have been redundant.

Did I forget to mention that English is not my mother language?

9:12 AM  
Blogger Juhani said...

Vatican and Roman Catholic Church have twisted original Christianity:

Legends and myths about Mary Magdalene:

Wiccanism and Roman Catholic Church have same origin and roots:

Roman Catholic Church has twisted history in Canon of the Bible:

Roman Catholic Church has pagan symbolism inside the Church and doctrine:

I hope that you enjoy reading these writings, which reveals a twisted
history of Roman Catholic Church!

11:58 PM  

Post a Comment

<< Home