Caesar's Messiah Wikipedia project update

Jerry Russell

Administrator
Staff member
For my first Wikipedia editing project, I took on a couple of minor cleanups:

(1) Somebody with a JP Morgan IP recently edited the Gordon Wasson article, to include the information that Wasson was working for CIA subproject 58. I got the FOIA information backing up that claim from Joe (who got it from Jan Irvin, who got it from Colin Ross) and posted the appropriate footnotes. I included a link to Joe and Jan's "Deadhead" article in the bibliography section.

(2) The article on Emilia Bassano Lanier had been involved in an edit war regarding the Bassano=Shakespeare authorship theory, and the result was a confused mess. I cleared up the errors and obfuscations, including a mis-attribution of John Hudson's work on Bassano to some other John Hudson. A new bio article for "John Hudson (Shakespeare scholar)" was created, and the articles were tied together with links to a standing article on Dark Lady Players.

All this was done a couple weeks ago, and so far nothing has been reverted, and I got a nice form letter welcoming me to Wiki.

So the next project was to get Joe and Caesar's Messiah off the list of "salted" articles; that is, blacklisted from creation. Following the recommended procedure, I started by appealing to BorgQueen, who had initially created the block; but got no response. So I continued to the editorial board, and posted a request for a deletion review.

Here's the response so far:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Deletion_review/Log/2016_March_25

So it looks like we're in!! Comments will remain open for another four days, but I doubt there's going to be any further controversy. "Cunard" came up with several reviews in reputable sources that I hadn't seen.
 

Jerry Russell

Administrator
Staff member
Also, I think we're pretty much in the clear to create an article titled something like "Roman Origins of Christianity Theory" where we can discuss Bruno Bauer, Francesco Carotta, Ken Atchity's "Messiah Matrix", and possibly some of the new content in SSM.
 
Good on you Jerry.

About 12 years ago I tried to make a Wikipedia entry for an obscure martial art in which I was an expert. The Editors refused to allow the entry. I fought them for months and then gave up. I was no match for their astounding skill at bureaucratic acrobatics and sophistry.

(Martial arts flavors are zealously held to and defended similar to flavors of religions.)

You are a better man than I.
 

Jerry Russell

Administrator
Staff member
Charlie,

Did you play by their rules: information from 'reliable' secondary sources, neutral point of view, no new research? Were the editors actually devotees of some other flavor of martial arts who were defending their turf, or were they pretty clueless about the details of the topic?
 
I fastidiously abided all rules and policies.

Yes, the editors were devotees of a different, older form of martial arts from which mine evolved. Their contention was that my obscure, new (at that time) martial art was not a separate, distinct art, but instead just a bastardized, heretical subset of theirs.

In the following years my art was eventually recognized as a distinct Art, but at that time it was just a hated minority sect of disobedient miscreants the Establishment wished to suppress, or at least keep contained within their profitable governing body credentialing heirachy.

From that experience I learned "you can't fight Wikipedia alone". Their commitment to information control exceeded my ability to fight them. They won. I root for anyone going up against them.
 

Jerry Russell

Administrator
Staff member
"Bastardized, heretical"? Well, that's a violation of NPOV, isn't it? But I could see an argument from "undue weight", that perhaps the new martial art didn't deserve its own article. Would they at least permit a paragraph description of your work, within the umbrella of their article?

Has the situation been rectified in the years since, or is information on your martial art form still being suppressed?

As to my own situation, attempting to get Postflavian views represented on Wikipedia, of course it remains to be seen what the long-term outcome will be. All I can say is that I seem to be getting past their first level filters.

I wouldn't doubt that there is a layer of top management at Wikipedia that is highly influential over the editorial process, to say the least. This would be Jimmy Wales, the Wiki Foundation, their friends at Google, and whatever fingers that our CIA/Freemason/Jewish/Jesuit/Etc. conspiracy have managed to insert into the pie. But "they" don't seem to have ultimate power to control everything on Wiki, owing to the nature of the editorial process that's been established. I doubt that this upper level was ever involved in any controversy about Joe Atwill and Caesar's Messiah, which I think was actually resolved correctly back in 2007 per their own policies. It's been since 2008, and surging in 2013, that Joe and CM have been getting mainstream coverage.

About your experience, Charlie -- when you say "Their commitment to information control exceeded my ability to fight them", do you believe that "they" were simply a few volunteer editors with an agenda for martial arts, or do you believe "they" were higher-ups in the Wiki hierarchy?

I do believe that if I continue to make edits at Wiki, eventually some opposition will surface. When that happens: by the nature of their "consensus" voting process, it would help to have some allies! So I would encourage anyone reading this, to register an account at Wikipedia and to participate in the editorial process there, as you feel appropriate.
 
Would they at least permit a paragraph description of your work
I apologize for not being clear. By "My Martial Art" I mean the Art I represented, not one I created. Sorry.

A decade ago when this occurred, I roughly estimate world-wide participants of the relative Arts as: Theirs 400,000; Ours 12,000.

My Art did have a representative paragraph in the other Art's Wikipedia entry. Editors stopped my attempt to make a new, separate entry for my Art. The issue was resolved in the following years by force of numbers on my side, long after I abandoned the fight as unproductive.

The Editors were volunteers, practitioners of the Parent Art with an agenda. I doubt any involvement of Wikipedia management because this issue was a tiny, inconsequential nerd-fight among obscure autistics nobody really cared about. "They" were simply a few volunteer editors with an agenda.

As with any bureaucracy, the Editors were highly skilled at breaking the rules for their benefit, while simultaneously using them as weapons against me. I predict you will encounter the same.

Since PostFlaviania is a big, big paradigm changer for intensely committed interest groups protecting revenue streams, resistance against you will probably also be big. In fact, it might be better to recruit and train a small army of supporters before you fully commence this campaign. I apologize in advance that I cannot join your fight due to lack of time.
 

Jerry Russell

Administrator
Staff member
Caesar's Messiah article has been written and posted, and survived initial scrutiny from the new article patrol. A "disputed neutrality" tag has been attached, and discussion has begun on the 'talk' page. According to Wikipedia policy, I am not supposed to canvas for support while Wiki editors are reaching a consensus about what to do about this article. But all forum members should be aware that Wiki accounts are easy to register and use.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Caesar's_Messiah

 
Jer

Words cannot express my gratitude. Thanks for this and history will thank you as well. (Or at least send a nice card.)

Joe
 

Jerry Russell

Administrator
Staff member
Thanks Joe.

Unfortunately, it's far from obvious how long the article will last. There's a tactic used by deletionist editors called "Nuke and Pave" or "Demolish and Destroy" that was used to devastating effect against an article State Crimes Against Democracy. (The link is to an archive of Wiki deleted articles.) I found myself participating in the deletion debate. The article had been on Wiki since 2012, I think, and it looked like a notable topic to me. Another editor in favor of keeping the article told me that this was symptomatic of a growing 'fascist' tendency at Wiki (his word.) Looking into other manifestations of the problem, I've learned that various forms of account bans and blocks are rampant, so it's a little like a democracy in which the losers at every election are shot the next morning.

All is not lost, though: there are various 'fresh start' rules, appeals, and other ways to come back, even after one is banned from editing. (Just editing under a new IP is not recommended, they'll probably catch you.) And after an article has been deleted, the contents can be merged into an existing article, or reframed and posted as a new article under a different name. The never-ending cycle begins again. I saw someone mention a 100,000 word debate on an article talk page, over a single sentence in the article itself.

A potentially big issue for us, is that Wiki has a one-way linking policy for 'fringe' articles. We haven't been officially designated 'fringe' yet, but it seems pretty likely that we would get that designation if the question ever came up. We're allowed to link to mainstream articles, but we can only add links to our article from other articles if a reliable secondary source connects our work to the topic in question. Or we can use CM as a source directly for a claim, but only if we can convince the other editors that we are "reliable". So with that policy, it's hard to attract traffic.

Robert Eisenman has an article, and it's managed to avoid the official "fringe" stigma. So his article is linked from dozens of places all over the Wiki. Even still, his article is only getting 30 hits a day.

Overall, being on Wiki might not prove to be as big a boon as I had hoped. But, it's been an interesting process.
 

A new day

Member
I just checked out the Wiki Caesar's Messiah. I'm just a beginner in critical thinking and the argumentative process, so bare with me. In the opening sentence, you wrote, "Caesar's Messiah is a work of speculative non-fiction by Joseph Atwill. Why did you use the word 'speculative'? For me, the sequence typology of Titus campaign to Jesus Gospels was the clincher. It's soooo obvious! However, I realize this has to do with ancient texts, antiquities, religions, etc. I'm not criticizing you, rather I'm trying to learn more.
 

Jerry Russell

Administrator
Staff member
Hello New Day,

Wikipedia evaluates ideas by the criteria of their degree of acceptance within the relevant academic community. This is a problem especially for CM. I wouldn't exactly say it's been rejected by the scholarly community, but nobody has ever taken on the job of getting academics to really look at it. Joe's approach, instead, has been to take it to the general public.

Also, Price and Carrier did review the book, and they rejected the sequence typology, claiming that the apparent parallels are nothing more than coincidences. So there's a problem of statistical or literary analysis, to verify the parallels.

Considering that CM has not been widely acclaimed, Wikipedia treats it as a "fringe" theory, or "pseudo-history". The accepted view is as the article says, that Christianity emerged in Judea as a result of Jesus' ministry.

It's considered OK to have articles on "fringe" theories at Wiki as long as they've achieved a certain level of notoriety, and that bar was passed because of all the articles that appeared in popular newspapers when the movie came out, and because of the publicity for the Covert Messiah conference. But if the theory is "fringe" the article has to clearly state that it is not accepted, and describe it in contrast to the more accepted viewpoint.

Wikipedia enforces these rules by means of a sort of political process, as editors negotiate over the contents of the article. I started off describing the article as "popular nonfiction", but an editor struck the word "popular" as advertising. Then another editor was unhappy that I was still being too favorable to the theory, so I went through the article and tried to remove every single claim of truth. "Speculative non-fiction" seemed to satisfy the other editors; and I think it's actually a pretty good description. Until more scholars sign on to the theory, and until there's more factual analysis of the parallels -- many people are going to see it as speculation, rather than factual truth.

I happen to think that it's on very solid ground, and I'm glad you agree.
 

A new day

Member
Thanks, Jerry. I did notice while reading CM that Atwill would describe parallels in relationship to how likely they could occur. That explains the statistical possibilities. As for literary analysis, the relatedness of name, place, event in sequence --- Again, IN SEQUENCE--- should be proof of the Flavian created religion. If 'speculative' gets the article past the gatekeepers, at least its posted. Personally, I think if enough people read CM the response would be disruptive to more than just the religious status quo. Thanks also for the condensed version of ow Wikipedia works.
 
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