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> User:Jossi and the Rawat cult articles, Bias and content control
Anaheim Flash
post Sun 13th January 2008, 12:30pm
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Article previously discussed at:
http://wikipediareview.com/index.php?showtopic=13346&st=40

QUOTE(tarantino @ Sat 20th October 2007, 3:09pm) *

That's Jossi Fresco, press contact and spokesman for The Prem Rawat Foundation, and OWNer of several WP articles relating to his spiritual leader.

The articles over which Jossi exerts ownership include:-

* Prem Rawat

* Teachings of Prem Rawat

* Hans Ji Maharaj

* Divine Light Mission

* Elan Vital

* TPRF

* Ron Geaves

The most egregious bias in these articles relates to the use of academic references where only a very limited number of academics are permitted as ‘approved’ sources while others are wholly excluded. In effect a single ‘school’ of ‘religious scholars’ forms 90% of all the references allowed by Jossi and/or his two ‘team Rawat’ editors Rumiton and Momento. These scholars include Ron Geaves who has been a follower of Rawat for over 30 years – for a criticism of Geaves’ writing about Rawat see: : http://www.prem-rawat-critique.org/geaves.htm. That same website carries a detailed criticism of Jossi’s works - http://www.prem-rawat-critique.org/wp_rebu..._distortion.htm

QUOTE(Prem Rawat Critique.org)
The Wikipedia articles on Prem Rawat, his father, their supporting organisations and teachings are sourced on a very limited range of academics, with the bulk of references being made to authors who have links to the cult apologist organisation CESNUR[1], [2] Much of the Wikipedia material about Prem Rawat is based on an unreferenced biography published by Prem Rawat’s followers and heavily promoted on followers’ web-sites

There’s a thorough deconstruction of Wikipedia’s treatment of the Rawat cult at http://www.mikefinch.com/mj/art/md.htm

Jossi finally acknowledge he had a conflict of interest in 2007, though he doesn’t say what that conflict actually is i.e which part of the Rawat empire actually pays his salary or issues his contract. And although Jossi no longer edits the main article, he still actively admins anything he doesn’t agree with.

Although the wikidashboard shows critical editors have contributed to the Rawat article, assessment of the talk pages – endlessly archived – shows almost every contribution not from Jossi, Momento, Rumiton and from the now ‘deceased’ Zappaz, was challenged by those four editors, often on the most spurious grounds.

Jossi also promotes Rawat associates Linda and Alvarro Pascotto, writing them up at Article Hub http://www.articlehub.com/authors/Jossi-Fresco.html.
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Yehudi
post Sun 13th January 2008, 12:44pm
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Welcome Anaheim Flash. This looks like a good example of ownership and conflict of interest.
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Kato
post Sun 13th January 2008, 3:14pm
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Lets just simplify things a little for the benefit of readers new to the case:


Well connected figure on Wikipedia, 50,000 edits,
and known for his associations with some of Wikipedia's most influencial administrators
(lets be honest, a dyed-in-the-wool *cabalist* to be clear)

FORUM Image

"OWNS" THE RANGE OF ARTICLES ABOUT RELIGIOUS "GURU" PREM RAWAT

FORUM Image

AND HERE

IS A LIST OF CRITICAL SCHOLARLY SOURCES

"SYSTEMATICALLY EXCLUDED

OR ONLY PARTIALLY REFERENCED"

BY JOSSI IN THESE ARTICLES

TO PROTECT RAWAT'S REPUTATION

-------------------

THE ORIGINAL POSTER BELIEVES THAT JOSSI

MAY BE RECEIVING A SALARY

FORUM Image

FROM THE PREM RAWAT ORGANIZATION

FORUM Image


JOSSI OF A CONFLICT OF INTEREST


UPDATE: Jossi Fresco writes articles on behalf of the Prem Rawat Foundation outside Wikipedia such as The Prem Rawat Foundation Helps Earthquake Victims in Peru, and Prem Rawat Brings Message of Hope to Prisoners to New Delhi, India. Obviously stoking the claims that Jossi is a paid representative of the Prem Rawat organization. His Wikipedia edits to Prem Rawat pages amount to many 1000s.
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Kato
post Sun 13th January 2008, 7:11pm
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Despite the very plausible claims made here that Jossi Fresco has a serious conflict of interest in his activities on wikipedia, Jossi has seen fit to define the policy of WP:Conflict of Interest throughout the site.

Here are some edits Jossi has made to the Conflict of Interest policy page. Including one edit beyond the limits of irony which adds a request to contact administrators if an editor feels there is a conflict of interest taking place! Have a browse at a few...

QUOTE


In fact, Jossi has made 201 edits to the Wikipedia:Conflict of interest policy page. (Other notable contributors to the policy are those bastions of neutrality, those disinterested parties themselves, SlimVirgin and Jayjg)

So to sum up: Jossi Fresco, someone who may have one of the most outrageous conflicts of interest on the whole site, is the second most prolific contributor to the WP:Conflict of interest policy, defining it to his liking.

Isn't that like... a conflict of interest?
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Moulton
post Sun 13th January 2008, 7:43pm
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It's like being both a referee and a player.
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Kato
post Sun 13th January 2008, 8:34pm
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Jossi has long been identified as one of Jayjg's Nazgûl. He was also a prominent supporter of the BADSITES policy to expunge critical websites -- and a denouncer of the Register for their investigations. This was probably due to a Conflict of Interest over what critical websites would have to say about his Conflict of Interest on the Conflict of Interest page, where he showed a Conflict of Interest by amending the text to allow for his Conflict of Interest on the Rawat articles?

This much Conflict of Interest swirling around like a bad aura can be easier defined in three words : Self Serving Corruption.

$$$$$KERCHING$$$$$
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post Sun 13th January 2008, 10:18pm
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QUOTE(Moulton @ Sun 13th January 2008, 7:43pm) *

It's like being both a referee and a player.

All admins are both referees and players. Some manage it better than others.
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Moulton
post Sun 13th January 2008, 10:22pm
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It's a recipe for corruption, and few can resist the temptation.
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EternalIdealist
post Thu 17th January 2008, 12:17am
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From what I can find it seems that Jossi declared the conflict of interest openly in 2006 when he took some administrative position in a "related organization". There seems to be some repeated discussion of the conflict of interest in the history his talk page and on the Prem Rawat talk page. It looks like people have demanded a strict level of referencing but that is not automatically a bad thing. If more articles demanded such strict referencing Wikipedia would have more decent articles. He is a faithful follower of that guru and quite open about it so it is not like he is hiding some agenda or working with some conspiracy to whitewash the article. The situation does not seem any different than a devout Christian administrator participating heavily in Christian articles and demanding a high degree of reliability in sourcing. [Think of that sort of person as opposed to the one who insists bible verses and his personal beliefs reflect true Christianity.] Many of the critical editors appear to be involved with a very disreputable group that filed flippant lawsuits and otherwise harassed members of Rawat's cult. Many of them also seem insistent on using unreliable and barely reliable sources to push the worst view possible of Rawat.

I think that Rawat and gurus like him are flakes, nuts, and scam artists. My personal view of their worthlessness and negative value does not matter for shit on Wikipedia and it should not matter. If good sources speak poorly of him then people should use those good sources and add the information to the article. In an ideal world neither his devout worshippers nor his disaffected detractors would be participating in the article and the article would purely reflect what solid references say about him.

A lot of bad things can be said about Jossi and his cabal associations. This is not one of those cases. This is a good example of why it is a bad idea to openly declare conflicts of interest on Wikipedia. Being honest gets translated into some evil plan to dominate or pollute Wikipedia instead of being treated like a civilized disclosure of bias.
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Kato
post Thu 17th January 2008, 3:47am
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QUOTE(EternalIdealist @ Thu 17th January 2008, 12:17am) *

Many of the critical editors appear to be involved with a very disreputable group that filed flippant lawsuits and otherwise harassed members of Rawat's cult. Many of them also seem insistent on using unreliable and barely reliable sources to push the worst view possible of Rawat.


Do you have evidence of this?
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EternalIdealist
post Thu 17th January 2008, 3:54am
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QUOTE(Kato @ Wed 16th January 2008, 10:47pm) *

QUOTE(EternalIdealist @ Thu 17th January 2008, 12:17am) *

Many of the critical editors appear to be involved with a very disreputable group that filed flippant lawsuits and otherwise harassed members of Rawat's cult. Many of them also seem insistent on using unreliable and barely reliable sources to push the worst view possible of Rawat.


Do you have evidence of this?


I will admit I am lazy and do not feel like digging up everything again to provide links. If you take some time to review the Rawat article's talk history and do a little web searching it is not difficult to find out but it is time consuming. If I find the time and motivation I will repeat my digging and post some of evidence but I am not promising I will.
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Jonny Cache
post Thu 17th January 2008, 4:04am
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QUOTE(Anaheim Flash @ Sun 13th January 2008, 7:30am) *

Article previously discussed at:

http://wikipediareview.com/index.php?showtopic=13346&st=40

QUOTE(tarantino @ Sat 20th October 2007, 3:09pm) *

That's Jossi Fresco, press contact and spokesman for The Prem Rawat Foundation, and OWNer of several WP articles relating to his spiritual leader.


The articles over which Jossi exerts ownership include:

And don't forget the Incredibly Ridiculous Essay, Wikipedia Is In The Real World, with its Indescribabbly Bogus And Sacrilegious Subessay, Wikipedia Keeps An Akashic Record.

Jonny cool.gif
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Derktar
post Thu 17th January 2008, 4:08am
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QUOTE(Jonny Cache @ Wed 16th January 2008, 8:04pm) *

And don't forget the Incredibly Ridiculous Essay, Wikipedia Is In The Real World, with its Indescribabbly Bogus And Sacrilegious Subessay, Wikipedia Keeps An Akashic Record.

Jonny B)

Well, I like some of the images displayed on the page.
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Jonny Cache
post Thu 17th January 2008, 4:12am
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QUOTE(EternalIdealist @ Wed 16th January 2008, 7:17pm) *

flippant lawsuits


Suits'R'Us!

Jonny cool.gif

This post has been edited by Jonny Cache: Thu 7th February 2008, 1:24pm
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Moulton
post Thu 17th January 2008, 2:03pm
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Motto of the Cabal of Trial Lawyers: "First we shake you up. Then we shake you down."
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Kato
post Wed 6th February 2008, 11:13pm
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This thread forms the basis of a piece that appeared in the Register today

http://www.theregister.co.uk/2008/02/06/th...t_of_wikipedia/

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thekohser
post Thu 7th February 2008, 12:06am
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QUOTE(Kato @ Wed 6th February 2008, 6:13pm) *

This thread forms the basis of a piece that appeared in the Register today

http://www.theregister.co.uk/2008/02/06/th...t_of_wikipedia/


Which underscores the importance of laying out these "stories" in clear, narrative form -- illustrative pictures are a bonus.

Greg
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LamontStormstar
post Thu 7th February 2008, 3:42am
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QUOTE(Kato @ Wed 6th February 2008, 4:13pm) *

This thread forms the basis of a piece that appeared in the Register today

http://www.theregister.co.uk/2008/02/06/th...t_of_wikipedia/



So many administrators have conflicts of interest. Then there's non-admin editors like Gary Weiss.
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Kato
post Thu 7th February 2008, 10:35am
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Looking at the Prem Rawat talk page, back in December, Jossi was going about refactoring people's comments and ring-fencing whole sections of the talk page so no one could add further comment.

This is highly irregular for even an unrelated administrator to do on an article talk page. When the administrator doing it has spent the last few years being the article subject's press officer, it is pure comedy!

How long has he been getting away with this?
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Anaheim Flash
post Thu 7th February 2008, 12:28pm
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QUOTE(EternalIdealist @ Thu 17th January 2008, 12:17am) *

Many of the critical editors appear to be involved with a very disreputable group that filed flippant lawsuits and otherwise harassed members of Rawat's cult.


Perhaps you would like to provide some evidence, or otherwise acknowledge that what you have suggested is baseless - a brief use of Google gives the following:


http://www.chillingeffects.org/dmca512/not...gi?NoticeID=650

http://www.ex-premie.org/pages/copyright1.htm

http://www.prem-rawat-critique.org/free_speech.htm

http://www.prem-rawat-talk.org/cgi-bin/any...530&v=2&gV=1&p=

http://www.rsf.org/article.php3?id_article=9542

all of which suggests that it is Rawat's cult that is using legal harrassment and SLAPP suits as well engaging in defamation, rather than it's being a victim.

Jossi Fresco, (who was apparently a named party in a defamation action brought by Rawat critic who has no obvious connection with Wikipedia), has administered the Rawat articles in a way that has prevented any acknowledgment that reasoned criticism of Rawat has ever existed, or that anyone has found disatisfaction with what Rawat teaches. All of which is based on highly dubious and selective referencing.

From the narrow perspective of the Rawat articles the point is that Fresco's conflict of interest appears to underwrite partiality in the permissabilty of sources that are used for articles in about subjects in which Fresco has both a financial and 'belief' investments.

From the wider perspective how on earth can anyone trust someone who has both a financial and a belief investment in seeing certain articles POVed, set the policies of Wikipedia ?

AF

This post has been edited by Anaheim Flash: Thu 7th February 2008, 12:31pm
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