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Chaos Magic

Currently the lede of chaos magic says "Often referred to as 'success magic' or 'results-based magic', chaos magic emphasizes the attainment of objective results over the symbolic, ritualistic, theological or otherwise ornamental aspects of other occult traditions." Then there's a section that says "Chaos magic grew out of the desire to strip away all of these extraneous elements, leaving behind only the techniques for effecting change; hence the emphasis is on actually doing things – i.e., experimenting with different techniques, rather than memorising complex rules, symbols and correspondences – and then retaining those techniques that produce results" To me, this looks like the definition of a fringe theory. And then we have spinoff pages like Servitor (chaos magic), where we are making statements in Wikipedia's voice like "When a complex of thoughts, desires and intentions gains such a level of sophistication that it appears to operate autonomously from the magician's consciousness, as if it were an independent being, then such a complex is referred to as a servitor." Is this a topic that can make claims about the state of the world and use labels like "results based", but somehow not be subject to fringe guidelines? --tronvillain (talk) 13:05, 3 July 2018 (UTC)

It is not saying it is "results based" it is saying it claims to be. That seems to be perfectly acceptable (after all it is what it claims, it may not be true, but that would be for the article to make clear).Slatersteven (talk) 13:14, 3 July 2018 (UTC)
Yes, we can report the claims of homeopathy and dowsing and so on, but shouldn't making claims like "results based" make fringe theory guidelines applicable? --tronvillain (talk) 13:21, 3 July 2018 (UTC)
This reminds me of wikipedia's wrestling coverage. -Roxy, the dog. barcus 13:28, 3 July 2018 (UTC)
Only if we say it Wikipedias voice that is the case. If we merely state they claim that it is results based no I do not see how this does violate Fringe. It is the basis of their system of magic, they experiment and use what this think works (based no doubt, in my experience, on some very subjective data). Sure we have to be careful how we word it, so as not to imply it is factually accurate. But just reporting it is what they think is not problem.Slatersteven (talk) 13:29, 3 July 2018 (UTC)
Surely "chaos magic emphasizes the attainment of objective results" needs to be reworded then. It pretty clearly implies that objective results are obtained, as does "and then retaining those techniques that produce results." --tronvillain (talk) 14:15, 3 July 2018 (UTC)
Maybe, but as that is not the whole sentence context comes into it. I gt jittery when people argue and use only partial quotes (without making that clear).Slatersteven (talk) 14:38, 3 July 2018 (UTC)
How is it not clear that those are partial quotes? --tronvillain (talk) 14:53, 3 July 2018 (UTC)
And how is the complete "Other magical traditions like Wicca, Qabalah or the Golden Dawn system combine techniques for bringing about change with 'beliefs, attitudes, a conceptual model of the universe (if not several), a moral ethic, and a few other things besides.' Chaos magic grew out of the desire to strip away all of these extraneous elements, leaving behind only the techniques for effecting change; hence the emphasis is on actually doing things – i.e., experimenting with different techniques, rather than memorising complex rules, symbols and correspondences – and then retaining those techniques that produce results." any better? It's still claiming to produce actual results. --tronvillain (talk) 14:58, 3 July 2018 (UTC)
It is not clear they are not, which given the context (they are only comparing it to other magical traditions, and thus are only claiming they are more results based then those), it is not wholly clear that is is saying it is result based. In the same way I might say "unlike other cheeses Stilton is nice", this may not be an objective fact but it is not a fringe theory. Thus withing the context of this forum whilst I might agree that the claim is not objective within it's context it may well not be fringe.
And that is not the same passage, it does not even contain the word "objective".Slatersteven (talk) 15:05, 3 July 2018 (UTC)
Yes, that's the complete passage from the second quote above, and as you point out is simply claiming to produce results rather than the "objective results" from the lead. Anyway, perhaps with a few tweaks it's not fringe, but I hope you can see why I'd think making claims about producing real world results would push it in that direction. --tronvillain (talk) 15:19, 3 July 2018 (UTC)
I think I already answered that, I do not think it really did do that.Slatersteven (talk) 15:21, 3 July 2018 (UTC)

Perhaps this can be resolved by judicious editing... for example: instead of saying: “... chaos magic emphasizes the attainment of objective results...” we could say “... chaos magic emphasizes the attainment of (what are perceived as being) objective results...” or something similar. I think the goal is for the reader to understand that any “results” don’t have to BE real... the important thing is that the results are BELIEVED to be real by practitioners. Blueboar (talk) 16:10, 3 July 2018 (UTC)

Yes, Slatersteven tweaked the lede to "Often referred to as 'success magic' or 'results-based magic', chaos magic claims to emphasize the attainment of objective results over the symbolic, ritualistic, theological or otherwise ornamental aspects of other occult traditions." I suppose I could just ask for clarification of exactly what that is supposed to mean over there. Maybe "success magic" and "results-based magic" isn't claiming to produce real world results. --tronvillain (talk) 16:22, 3 July 2018 (UTC)

Looking at this article, I'm seeing a lot of red flags. This includes the intro that you're highlighting. For one, the article's sourcing is very poor (the article almost entirely relies on works by adherents or pop culture stuff from non-academcs) and much of the article appears to be written from a more or less emic perspective. Chaos magic is indeed fringe stuff, and I wonder what scholars have to say about the topic. Have you checked around for peer-reviewed items? :bloodofox: (talk) 16:17, 3 July 2018 (UTC)

Badly sourced it is. Much bullshit I smell. Guy (Help!) 16:36, 3 July 2018 (UTC)
I'm familiar with Chaos Magick although I didn't follow its development in the last decade. I remember that it was very pseudoscientific, using mathematical formulas and diagrams, etc. The system is as simple as one wants it to be, since practitioners can create their own dictionary and symbols, vs for instance using the extended qabalah numerology etc. There are a few basic "laws of magic" they believe in. They consider this a type of optimization over the mysticism of previous western magic currents (hence the "results based" claims; this is similar to for instance software development fashions like "agile development"). What would be interesting would be finding a source which describes it as pseudoscience (which it definitely contains), basically a non-partisan one... —PaleoNeonate – 17:21, 3 July 2018 (UTC)
Other terms that may help when searching: "syncretism" and "comparative", since it borrows basic principles considered common and important from various traditions... —PaleoNeonate – 17:27, 3 July 2018 (UTC)
Check out the appeal to quantum mechanics here by Peter J. Carroll, apparently a relatively prominent figure in-bubble. Or wow, his website: "Of course in a probability based universe such as this, some things remain more possible than others. Fortunately we can precisely calculate how much probability distortion a given act of magic will produce using the following equations of magic: [equations here]." --tronvillain (talk) 18:06, 3 July 2018 (UTC)

Hi guys. Full disclosure: I've substantially rewritten and expanded the chaos magic page over the past month or so, so I am biased here. But here's my two cents: chaos magic is based around the belief that there is no such thing as objective truth. So I don't see how it's possible for this to be classified as pseudoscience, which consists of truth statements that are not supported by science. The entire thing is based around the idea that none of it is objectively real. Yes, Peter J. Carroll uses scientific-looking equations and so on. But he also uses rituals that invoke the fictional characters of HP Lovecraft -- and does both of these things under the explanation that "belief is a tool for achieving effects".[1] To take those things out of context perhaps makes them seem like pseudoscience. But within the framework of chaos magic, it's clear they are a form of game being played with different symbol systems. As chaos magic states, Carroll also advises assigning beliefs like "atheism" and "fundamentalist christianity" to the sides of a die, then randomly adopting them for a set period of time to see how it affects your psychology. Everything is done under the banner of "none of this is real/objectively true, we're just pretending that it's true temporarily, because that's what all occultism is anyway." So I don't see how it can be classed as pseudoscience. Rune370 (talk) 21:22, 3 July 2018 (UTC)

You may be right. However, we need to be drawing from reliable sources on this like any other topic. No doubt there are academics discussing topic out there somewhere. Per, say, WP:FRIND and WP:PROFRINGE, we need to be hunting these sources down and building articles from them to replace what we have now. As with so many similar and related topics, it's almost never as simple or as straightforward as adherents present. :bloodofox: (talk) 21:28, 3 July 2018 (UTC)
Liber Kaos was indeed one of the books I had on the subject (which was very influential for the movement). It's however a primary source in this context. —PaleoNeonate – 04:20, 4 July 2018 (UTC)
Sorry, I thought the point of this discussion was to establish whether chaos magic is pseudoscience. Do you mean the assertion I just made -- that chaos magic is not supposed to be taken as objectively real -- needs to come from a source outside of chaos magic? Rune370 (talk) 21:47, 3 July 2018 (UTC)
It's not clear that claiming "there is no such thing as objective truth" should make something exempt if it also claims to have effects. If chaos magic is not claiming to actually have effects in the world, that's fine, but that should be a lot more apparent than statements like "chaos magic emphasizes the attainment of objective results" or ""chaos magic claims to emphasize the attainment of objective results" currently makes it. An emphasis on obtaining objective results would appear to be the opposite of claiming there is no such thing as objective truth. --tronvillain (talk) 22:46, 3 July 2018 (UTC)
@Tronvillain:.I agree with you, the page is too vague on this point. But I think you have to understand that we're dealing with a worldview where the adherents don't believe in an objectively existing, external material world.
I'm sorry if this is me putting words in your mouth, or reading too far into your comments, but I think a lot of your hostility comes from your belief that chaos magic is claiming to be able to influence an external, physical world? And if that were true, then I agree it would be pseudoscience.
But this isn't being claimed. But, neither are they claiming that there is an external world that they can't influence, if you get my meaning?
I think at the very heart of chaos magic is this "radical agnosticism" -- saying "we just don't know" to all truth statements. So, to ask "are they claiming to be able to influence the physical world or not?" sort of misses the point.
To be honest, I've tried to make this clear from the page, and if it's not clear, then I've failed in that aim, and someone needs to go through it with a fine tooth comb to (a) clarify that, and (b) make sure everything's written from a neutral point of view. I'd love to have a conversation about all of this. BUT, the aim here, in this discussion, is to determine whether or not chaos magic is pseudoscience, yes? And I think it's not, and the "fringe theory" tag should be removed. If the page itself isn't written well enough to convey this, then that's something that needs to be addressed, but probably a discussion for elsewhere? Rune370 (talk) 23:11, 3 July 2018 (UTC)
Just a quick comment... I have no idea whether chaos magic qualifies as “pseudoscience” or not... but something can still be a fringe theory without being pseudoscience. “Fringe” is broader. Blueboar (talk) 23:23, 3 July 2018 (UTC)
True. Some parts of the fringe theories page put a lot of emphasis on pseudoscience, but it encompasses other things. --tronvillain (talk) 23:36, 3 July 2018 (UTC)
@Blueboar: My understanding of a fringe theory is that it's a scientific or academic explanation for something that departs from the standard explanation held by the majority of scientists or academics. Wikipedia:Fringe_theories, for instance, states: "In Wikipedia parlance, the term fringe theory is used in a very broad sense to describe an idea that departs significantly from the prevailing views or mainstream views in its particular field."
Something cannot be fringe purely by virtue of being non-scientific. Religious ideas, for example, are not fringe. The reason that I've focused on "pseudoscience" in this discussion is because Wikipedia:Fringe_theories gives pseudoscientific subjects as an example of things which are fringe. Since it's fairly clear to me that chaos magic is not making an attempt to describe an established phenomenon via some alternative explanation -- it's its own thing, with its own concepts -- it doesn't seem to fall under the heading of "fringe theory" unless it's inherently pseudoscientific. But that's just my viewpoint. Rune370 (talk) 23:42, 3 July 2018 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── As someone who is completely unfamiliar with this subject matter, Chaos Magic sounds like an abstract version of Wicca#Eclectic_Wicca. FWIW, Wicca is not under the scope of WikiProject Skepticism, rather WikiProject Religion/New religious movements. Within the lede is the following citation: Clarke, Peter Bernard (2006). Encyclopedia of New Religious Movements. Psychology Press. pp. 105ff. ISBN 978-0-415-26707-6.  This source identifies Chaos Magic as the same category, that it is a new religious movement? If so, I believe your perspective holds merit. The editor of the work was affiliated with Oxford and King's College. Kintpuash (talk) 04:45, 4 July 2018 (UTC)

Fringe simply means “on the edges” or “outside the mainstream”. Any field of study can have its fringe theories... the type I am most familiar with are pseudo-historical fringe theories... but there are others types as well. This could be a fringe religion. My point is that the term “fringe” may apply, even if the term “pseudoscience” does not. Blueboar (talk) 10:15, 4 July 2018 (UTC)
@Blueboar: The guidelines at Wikipedia:Fringe theories seem fairly clear that they cover fringe theories within fields of study -- a theory being an explanation for a set of observed facts. For example, they state: "Fringe theory in a nutshell: To maintain a neutral point of view, an idea that is not broadly supported by scholarship in its field must not be given undue weight in an article about a mainstream idea." (my emphasis).
You sort of say this yourself, when you say "Any field of study can have its fringe theories", but then you go on to say "This could be a fringe religion". Religion isn't a field of study. Theology would be the relevant field of study, in which there are both orthodox and heterodox ideas. "Jesus was the son of God" (mainstream, despite being non-scientific) vs. "Jesus was actually an alien from outer space" (fringe).
In order for the guidelines to come into play, we have to have both an identifiable mainstream viewpoint (smoking causes lung cancer, the holocaust happened) and viewpoints that depart from that mainstream view and are not widely accepted (lung cancer is caused by TV signals, the holocaust didn't happen).
So it's not clear to me that we can say "this topic is fringe" or "that topic is fringe" unless there is an identifiable field of study, with an identifiable mainstream view.
When it comes to chaos magic, there is no attempt being made to explain anything. Quite the opposite -- the entire thing is based around an extreme agnosticism: the idea that there is no such thing as objective truth. Given this, I personally don't agree that chaos magic is a religion. How can you have an agnostic religion? But, just for the sake of argument, let's pretend that it is a religious movement. Then what is the identifiable mainstream view that chaos magic is departing from? What is the phenomenon being described in both mainstream and non-mainstream ways? What is the field of study? What is the object of study? Rune370 (talk) 12:06, 4 July 2018 (UTC)
Of course, aspects of religion can fall under fringe, such as young Earth creationism, faith healing, archaeology and the Book of Mormon, and so on. Basically, where religion crosses into other fields of study. --tronvillain (talk) 12:57, 4 July 2018 (UTC)
Oh yeah, totally. But that surely is where people hold fringe beliefs that depart from the scientific explanation, that they believe in for religious reasons? They're fringe within scientific fields, not religious fields. Rune370 (talk) 13:15, 4 July 2018 (UTC)

As I said I am not sure this is a Fringe issue, but then to what degree are modern magical "traditions" religions as opposed to systems of believe or philosophical concepts. In the case of Chaos magic the claim that it is "results based" (and thus (in a sense) empirically based) as well as its reliance of maths (although many other magical traditions (I.E. ones more then 100 years old) often relied on mathematical equations and even astronomical observations) does shift in into the realms of Pseudoscience. I think however we may need an RFC on this to attract the attention of the religion taskforcers.Slatersteven (talk) 13:21, 4 July 2018 (UTC)

@Slatersteven: Actually, I've already responded to the use of maths in chaos magic above, if you take a look.
I'm not sure I've ever seen any chaos magic writer other than Peter J. Carroll use equations, so I don't think that's representative of the tradition as a whole, and Carroll uses these equations under the ultimate banner of "nothing is objectively true, this is all a game being played with symbols, and belief in it is arbitrary" -- alongside rituals that invoke fictional characters like the characters of HP Lovecraft or Terry Pratchett.
On the subject of whether chaos magic is a religion, I've certainly seen some anthropologists or cultural theorists who have discussed chaos magic alongside new religious movements. But I don't think this is an appropriate classification, given that chaos magic is based on agnosticism.
Plus, I can't find any source that actually describes chaos magic as a religion. It's discussed in "Encyclopedia of New Religious Movements" here -- [] -- but it's not described as a religion. The same is true of the "Historical Dictionary of New Religious Movements" here ([]): it says chaos magic is "a modern tradition of magic". "The Watkins Dictionary of Magic" describes it as "a contemporary branch of magic" (here: []).
I don't think just being discussed in a book on religion is enough to classify it as a religion, if that book doesn't explicitly describe it as a religion -- given that the tradition is inherently agnostic.
On the subject of "results", I think that only qualifies it as pseudoscience if the writers are explicitly claiming that they can cause something physical to happen through psychological means (or something similar). I think, in context, it's clear that chaos magic texts are saying "if you do some things, from some occult traditions, something will happen -- but occultism is also full of a lot of bullshit and religious nonsense. So let's experiment with all different techniques, and not commit ourselves to any explanation -- perhaps it's all just placebo effect and psychology, perhaps spirits and demons are objectively real, but we're maintaining a position of total agnosticism on all of it."
Right? So when they say "results", that encompasses things like entering into a trance state from chanting a mantra, and so on. That doesn't classify chaos magic as pseudoscience. It would only be pseudoscience if chaos magic were saying "these techniques can do things that science says is physically impossible, via means not accepted by science". And that isn't the case. Rune370 (talk) 13:49, 4 July 2018 (UTC)
The fact that it's discussed in two works on new religious movements does rather suggest that it's viewed as one, unless you can cite a passage where they make it clear that it is not actually a religion but is only being covered to avoid confusion with "real" religions (as happens with Freemasonry).
Agnosticism doesn't disqualify something from being a religion, unless one assumes religions have to have an orthodoxy similar to the Abrahamic religions. A number of eastern religions more or less teach that if objective truth exists, and if it can even be experienced, it still can't be communicated. Many shamanistic and folk religions are unconcerned with philosophical truths and just want to ensure a good crop or cure sickness. While these religions might try to provide philosophical or cosmological explanations for why their stuff is supposed to work and sincerely believe in them, the amount of syncretism indicates that they don't claim to have the Truth. Ian.thomson (talk) 14:24, 4 July 2018 (UTC)
@Ian.thomson: I take your point about agnosticism, but I think it places chaos magic in a grey zone. There's no clear-cut definition of what constitutes a religion anyway, so I don't think this can really be settled. However, I don't think having a "chaos magic" entry in those dictionaries is enough to say "yes, it's often viewed as a religion", because they have entries on many concepts or movements that are merely related to religion, like "deconditioning" or the human potential movement.
Most anthropologists draw a distinction between religions and magical traditions that are related to religions. For instance, Haitian Vodou is a religion, while Hoodoo (folk magic) is a related magical tradition that goes hand-in-hand with it. There are folk magic practices in Catholicism or Tantra, and so on. My personal view is that chaos magic is properly viewed as a movement within occultism, or within the occult subculture, and I'm sure I could find plently of sources to back that up. But I'm sure there are others who have described it as a religious movement or a form of religion, and I think for the purposes of this discussion I have to accept that that's a valid perspective.
Still, I think this issue of classification is running off at a tangent to whether or not chaos magic is pseudoscience. See my comment below. Rune370 (talk) 15:23, 4 July 2018 (UTC)
  • "If objective truth exists at all, it is practically unknowable" is a philosophical position that, while not always popular in the west, is not all that fringe. "There is no objective reality and because of this I can achieve empirical results using techniques that have been scientifically proven to not affect the material world" should probably qualify as pseudoscientific, but science-minded mainstream academia has either yet to notice chaos magic or else doesn't see a need to dismiss it. It's possible to argue that that's not a fundamental tenet of chaos magic, and I'm sure I could lay my hands on a chaos magician who only affirms the possibility of purely subjective psychological results or teaches that the emphasis on results is intended to result in doubt in one's own perceptions with the goal of Śūnyatā, but the second line of the article doesn't specify what sort of results are intended.
Because of a lack of sources, I kinda feel like all we can do is heavily attribute claims to the point of borderline sarcasm. Ian.thomson (talk) 14:24, 4 July 2018 (UTC)
@Ian.thomson: Right, so this hinges on exactly what is meant by "results". But I think it's more complex than your statement about achieving "empirical results using techniques that have been scientifically proven to not affect the material world" implies.
I think it's fair to say that most chaos magicians are not purely talking about triggering results that happen entirely within their own minds, like entering into a trance state (although "results" does encompass this). They are talking about causing changes to occur within their own lives, like becoming wealthier. But chaos magic is based on taking an agnostic position regarding the means by which that change occurs.
So, taking wealth as our example, Carroll talks about using rituals to influence your own subconscious attitudes to money, personifying negative attitudes to wealth as "demons", then banishing them. I quote: "it is essential to seriously examine all negative thoughts and feelings about money and to exorcise them. Most of the poor people who win in lotteries, and only the poor regularly enter them, manage to have nothing to show for it a couple years later. It is as if some subconscious force somehow got rid of something they felt they did not really deserve or want. People tend to have the degree of wealth that they deeply believe they should have. Blue magic is the modification of that belief through ritual enactment of alternative beliefs." From Liber Kaos.
Can you classify that as pseudoscience? It's just a sort of self-hypnosis, using ritual implements and symbols as props.
I think the article needs to be clearer on this point. But by talking about "results", writers on chaos magic are saying "experiment, try and change things in your own mind and your own life, and retain only those techniques that do actually result in changes", but that goes hand in hand with "maintain total agnosticism towards the means by which these changes are occurring". So I don't think, at any point, anyone is claiming that it's possible to cause material change "using techniques that have been scientifically proven to not affect the material world". Rune370 (talk) 15:23, 4 July 2018 (UTC)
Is that the sum of all Chaos Magic?, one book. I do not think (given it's nature (and yes I have known some practicing chaos magicians who did try to achieve real world results (and used to tell you about it, and I would argue that the Likes of Andy Collins may well be considered chaos magicians as well) that by its nature you can emphatically say what chaos magic is, or even what it is not.Slatersteven (talk) 15:30, 4 July 2018 (UTC)
Well, to your "is that all, one book?" comment, I would say: I'm only one human being. I was just providing an example, I can't comprehensively draw from all published books on chaos magic at the drop of a hat. I don't think chaos magic is reducible to psychology, so I'm sorry if I've inadvertantly given that impression. My point is that chaos magicians maintain an agnostic position towards what these "results" are or how they are brought about, saying "perhaps it's psychology, perhaps all of this is a dream and that's how it works, perhaps demons are real and they did it, perhaps it didn't even happen and it's just coincidence, perhaps it's placebo effect, perhaps it's autosuggestion, etc., etc." The important thing is that no claim to objective reality is being made, therefore chaos magic is not claiming anything unscientific, therefore it shouldn't be viewed as pseudoscience -- although it is inherently non-scientific. Rune370 (talk) 15:37, 4 July 2018 (UTC)
Pseudoscience states: "Pseudoscience consists of statements, beliefs, or practices that are claimed to be both scientific and factual, but are incompatible with the scientific method."
Chaos magic definitely does not follow the scientific method. But the thrust of my argument is that it does not make any claims about objective reality. Therefore it cannot be pseudoscience. If the article currently makes it seem like chaos magic does make such claims, then the article is deceptive, and should be rewritten -- "objective results" is a poor choice of wording, for example.
Is there anyone who disagrees with my logic here? A worldview based on a radical agnosticism towards objective truth cannot be pseudoscientific. Rune370 (talk) 15:47, 4 July 2018 (UTC)
  • I would note that the gigantic diagram that starts off by showing Egyptian religion, Babylonian religion, Daoism, and Sufism all branching off from tantra is definitely fringe material, and probably not even worth keeping as a demonstration of what Peter Carroll thinks. - (talk) 15:57, 5 July 2018 (UTC)
Given the lack of page numbers I would be willing to doubt that the diagram is accurate; either it ought to appear in the work, or it can be excised as a work of editor synthesis. Mangoe (talk) 16:26, 5 July 2018 (UTC)
That isn't relevant to the discussion here, which is to establish whether or not chaos magic is a fringe theory. By all means, let's discuss that at Talk:Chaos magic. But let's prevent this already lengthy discussion from branching off into a thousand irrelevant tangents. Rune370 (talk) 20:36, 5 July 2018 (UTC)
  • The argument about whether or not chaos magic is pseudoscience or fringe or whatever kind of seems like a red herring. Magic is not real, but it involves a lot of concepts and people that are going to be notable enough to have articles, and those articles need to be held to the same standards as every other article: the sources need to be independent, the tone needs to be neutral, and the language needs to be precise. - (talk) 18:01, 5 July 2018 (UTC)
I agree with you 100% about the sourcing, the tone, the POV of the article. But that's not the purpose of this discussion. This discussion is to establish whether or not the guidelines concerning fringe theories apply to the chaos magic page. Discussions concerning all else on the page belong at Talk:Chaos magic, not here.
I'm going to say this very tentatively, but it seems like my two main arguments stand: firstly, chaos magic is based around a radical agnosticism towards objective truth -- that is its central tenet -- and therefore it cannot be pseudoscience. And secondly, the term "fringe theory" can only be applied in academic or scientific fields of study in which there is a mainstream explanation for a particular phenomena, and other, non-mainstream, contested explanations -- and this is not the case for chaos magic. For that reason, I'm going to remove the "fringe theory" tag from the top of the article, and summarise my reasoning on the talk page. Any further comments concerning the POV of the article, the sourcing, etc., should, in my opinion, be made there. Rune370 (talk) 20:36, 5 July 2018 (UTC)
Or, failing that, since JzG has reverted my edit with the comment "Debate still underway on that, with majority support for fringe", can anyone provide a logical argument for why chaos magic meets the definition of either a fringe theory or pseudoscience? Rune370 (talk) 21:27, 5 July 2018 (UTC)
Well, magic is a fringe genre in itself (with few believers)... and so, as a sub-set of magic, it qualifies as fringe. Blueboar (talk) 21:43, 5 July 2018 (UTC)
But I thought we'd been over this already? The fringe theory guidelines specifically state that they apply to fields of study, in which there's an identifiable mainstream view. You're talking about a colloquial use of the word "fringe". Can you point to something in the guidelines that supports your interpretation that anything outside of mainstream culture comes under the Wikipedia fringe theory guidelines? Rune370 (talk) 21:48, 5 July 2018 (UTC)
Let's try another line of reasoning here. The "fringe theory" tag at the top of the article states: "This article may present fringe theories, without giving appropriate weight to the mainstream view". How are we supposed to improve this article? What is the mainstream view that we're supposed to be giving appropriate weight to? Regardless of whether you think this is a fringe theory or not, surely the aim is not to have a massive tag slapped across the top of the article. So what do you want here? What are we supposed to be giving more weight to? Rune370 (talk) 21:59, 5 July 2018 (UTC)
That's an easy one (or two).
they apply to fields of study, in which there's an identifiable mainstream view - such as philosophy, physics, mathematics and everything derived from those fields? This is not Plato's Cave, it's screaming "Nothing is real, so let's fuck everything up, since it's not real anyway". Seems fringy, at the very least. Stuff exists, stuff is real, that's an identifiable mainstream view.
What is the mainstream view that we're supposed to be giving appropriate weight to? ... What are we supposed to be giving more weight to? - we need less in-world prose and more academic research on this social phenomena. Since you care about this article, perhaps you could point us in the right direction and find a few sources? byteflush Talk 00:15, 6 July 2018 (UTC)
@Byteflush: Yeah, "seems fringy" -- I think that's what every commentator here is picking up on. Your bullshit sense is tingling. I get that. This is clearly a topic that deserves skeptical attention. But I still don't think "fringe theory" is an appropriate tag to have slapped on the page, because it isn't a theory. Why don't we just move this discussion to the skepticism wikiproject, or some other more appropriate place? I'm not trying to pull the wool over anyone's eyes here and go "guys, this is 100% legit". But it's not an attempt at science. It's not a theoretical explanation for anything. Of course it's not Plato we're talking about here, it was started by some English guys in the 1970s. But that still doesn't make it a fringe theory.
Thank you for actually engaging with me, instead of just ignoring my attempts to build a logical argument and reverting my edits, but with respect, you still haven't answered my question. I genuinely don't understand how this is a fringe theory, with an identifiable mainstream theory that the page needs to give more weight to. What is the mainstream theory that we need to be talking about in more depth? Physics? All of science? "Less in-world prose and more academic research" -- thank you, that's useful, and I will endeavour to do that. But that doesn't give me a mainstream theory to give more weight to. If there isn't a mainstream theory, then surely "fringe theory" is not an appropriate tag? Rune370 (talk) 01:17, 6 July 2018 (UTC)

OK, this is taking up enough of my life. So let's say, for the sake of argument, that the consensus here is that I am wrong, and that the main issue with the chaos magic page is not the POV, not the quality of the sources, but that it presents a fringe theory, and that the solution is therefore to give proper weight to the corresponding mainstream theory.

I am at a total loss as to what the relevant mainstream theory is. So please, can I get some help on this? Can people just pile on, over the next two or three days, and identify the relevant mainstream theory for each section of the article? Then I can rewrite it, giving proper balance to the mainstream view, and we can get the tag removed.

But please, please, please, do not say something along the lines of "well, really the issue here is that we need academic sources", or "the wording needs to be more neutral", because that is a tacit admission that "fringe theory" is the wrong tag, identifying the wrong problem.

So, here are the sections:

  • Beliefs and general principles
    • Results-based magic
    • Belief as a tool
    • Magical paradigm shifting
    • Kia and chaos
  • Practices
    • Gnostic state
    • Sigils
    • Cut-up technique
    • Synchromysticism
  • History

What mainstream theory am I supposed to give more weight to in each bit?

JzG, Tronvillain, Blueboar, Byteflush -- can I get your help on this? You've all been relatively vocal that this is a fringe theory. At the moment it feels like I'm trying to have a debate, and I'm just shouting into the wind. Can you help me identify the solution to the problem you've identified, please? Rune370 (talk) 12:45, 6 July 2018 (UTC)

Ok... let me clarify: first there is the mainstream view that magic (as a religio-philosophical “belief system”) is bullshit. Very few people believe in magic, so magic qualifies as fringe belief. We can start off with that.
Then there is the “in universe” mainstream view (ie the mainstream view of practitioners of magic as a belief system) that Chaos Magic (as a sub-belief) is bullshit. Few practitioners of magic believe in Chaos Magic. So ... chaos magic is a fringe belief within a broader fringe belief. In short, it is fringe of the fringe.
Once that context is established in the article (probably in the lead) we can then move on to give a more detailed explaination of what practitioners of chaos magic believe. Blueboar (talk) 13:45, 6 July 2018 (UTC)
Blueboar, BINGO. Thank you. Some constructive engagement in a discussion at last. The page Magic (supernatural) gives a brief discussion of the term "magic" as used in anthropology. So, would it be acceptible to put something like that near the top of the article, maybe in the "terminology" section, and reference it in the lede in some way? As much as I appreciate you providing your interpretation of the mainstream view, I don't think the article should say "the mainstream view is that magic itself is bullshit". Rune370 (talk) 14:13, 6 July 2018 (UTC)
I assume you want it to directly state that the existence of magic is not supported by science, or maybe something to do with magical thinking in psychology? Rune370 (talk) 14:14, 6 July 2018 (UTC)
OK, I've taken all of your recommendations on board, and I've added some new material to the top of the article, in an attempt to give more weight to the mainstream view. I've tried to address the mainstream view of magic historically, theologically, anthropologically, psychologically, and within the occult more generally, and only then moved on to the perspective of chaos magic itself. In your opinion, does this address the issue, and is it now appropriate to remove the fringe theory tag from the top of the page? I've put a more detailed comment at talk:Chaos magic. Rune370 (talk) 21:30, 10 July 2018 (UTC)


  1. ^ Carroll, Peter J. (1992). Liber Kaos. Weiser Books. ISBN 9780877287421. 

Past lives regression

Uh Oh, somebody got butthurt. Time to shut it down. ᛗᛁᛟᛚᚾᛁᚱPants Tell me all about it. 03:19, 8 July 2018 (UTC)
The following discussion is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made on the appropriate discussion page. No further edits should be made to this discussion.

In case anyone wants to discover their past lives.[Humor]PaleoNeonate – 04:44, 6 July 2018 (UTC)

1863 BCE seems oddly specific. Wonder how Arondra established that date with a current calender conversion? This review of the work is pretty entertaining, too bad it can't be used. However, an appropriate citation for this derivation that appears to have been published might be. Kintpuash (talk) 17:53, 6 July 2018 (UTC)
I used to believe in past lives regression, but that was in a previous life. This time around I don't. :) --Guy Macon (talk) 21:00, 6 July 2018 (UTC)

HA! My mom loves this crap. She owns most of the books Weiss has written. I've actually read Many Lives, Many Masters and can say with certainty that it's a load of hogwash anecdotes about his "patients" dreaming and talking to him while they were half-conscious - much like I do before going to sleep, except he writes it down and tries to convince them it was all real. Probably charges a ton for it, too. Kinda makes me sick to think that my mom and so many others truly believe the dude. Nanophosis (talk) 21:43, 6 July 2018 (UTC)

Actually past life regression is an interesting subject in that you can subject yourself to it and get a result out the other end. Whether that result is valid or meaningful (that is, whether your hypnotic ravings represent an historically-verifiable past life) is something rarely addressed, however.
I always wanted to try it myself just to compare the sorts of things I imagine while awake to the things I'd imagine under hypnosis.
My wife jokes that I was a crow in a past life. I joke that I was an ordinary guy who drowned in a vat of melted cheese, since I haven't ever been able to swallow the stuff since I was a baby. ~Anachronist (talk) 22:08, 6 July 2018 (UTC)
Actually... Stories of past lives have been tested, and found very consistently to be highly improbable or characteristic of imagined stories. There are links to where the work's been done here. Sorry I don't have time to pick them out and give more accurate summaries: I'm about to walk out the door. ᛗᛁᛟᛚᚾᛁᚱPants Tell me all about it. 22:14, 6 July 2018 (UTC)
Hmm, that link fails to mention Ian Stevenson, a former reincarnation researcher on whom we have an article. I remember being fascinated by his book Twenty Cases Suggestive of Reincarnation many years ago. ~Anachronist (talk) 22:17, 6 July 2018 (UTC)
That's not surprising. There are so many MD's who've randomly decided to "study" reincarnation that one begins to wonder if there's some causal link between the practice of medicine and belief in past lives. ᛗᛁᛟᛚᚾᛁᚱPants Tell me all about it. 02:07, 7 July 2018 (UTC)
I suppose it would be neat to undergo the hypnosis just to see what it's like. Still, I probably won't ever do it unless offered to me for free because I've been to a lot of new age types with my mother (astrologists, palm readers, psychics etc.) and WOW do they charge a hefty fee. Wouldn't wanna spend that much just to try something I don't find meaningful or even fully believe in. Nanophosis (talk) 02:35, 7 July 2018 (UTC)
Being a skeptic, I've heard my fellow skeptics argue frequently that hypnosis doesn't exist. Without exception, every time I've pressed them for an explanation I get "It's just the power of suggestion".
To which, of course, the appropriate response is the implied facepalm. ᛗᛁᛟᛚᚾᛁᚱPants Tell me all about it. 03:06, 7 July 2018 (UTC)
Some anecdotes about the "power of autosuggestion": under some circumstances, weed smokers believe their tongue to be firmly stuck to their palate after realizing that it's sticking (actually only slightly sticking because of mouth dryness). In this case there's a psychotropic reason for sensations to be amplified, however. But similarly, in a "hypnotist's" show audience, the entertainer will make people perform a few tricks like placing their fingers in particular positions then attempting to convince them that the hypnotist's power is the reason they can no longer move a finger (in actuality it's just a position making it very difficult). After a few such tricks, in another position they should be able to move it, some people will still believe they can't; then those are the targets for more tricks to make a funny show... Similarly the effects of gravity and fatigue can be used to make someone believe that the hypnotist is the cause they can no longer keep a limb up, attempting to make them surrender more and more, etc.
This has little to do with false memory construction under hypnosis, but I personally find plausible that in some states, some highly suggestive people form false memories (and much from suggestions of the "hypnotist" who may not even be aware that they're greatly influencing their experience, and from what they expect (like the belief that a dream is from a previous life)). But yes, I know, citation needed...Face-smile.svgPaleoNeonate – 03:42, 7 July 2018 (UTC)
As a long time weed smoker (since retired) I can honestly say that I've never so much as heard of that before, but I damn well know what I will be suggesting to some of my friends who never dropped the habit next time they complain about cottonmouth. ᛗᛁᛟᛚᚾᛁᚱPants Tell me all about it. 04:47, 7 July 2018 (UTC)
Face-devil-grin.svgPaleoNeonate – 07:02, 7 July 2018 (UTC)
I remember reading Richard Feynman's autobiography (the first book I think, Surely You're Joking), in which he described his experience being hypnotized on stage. He convinced himself it was just a trick, he's in full control, he wouldn't be affected. He remained lucid and alert. The hypnotist told him to go back to his seat via a circuitous route all the way around the auditorium before he sat down. Feynman resolved to walk straight to his seat, and tried to, but found himself doing exactly as the hypnotist suggested. ~Anachronist (talk) 03:52, 7 July 2018 (UTC)
That actually sounds familiar, but it's been decades since I read Joking. ᛗᛁᛟᛚᚾᛁᚱPants Tell me all about it. 04:47, 7 July 2018 (UTC)

This is not a chat site. If this is not a discussion of making changes to an article then it's going to have to stop.--Paleface Jack (talk) 22:31, 7 July 2018 (UTC)

I can't believe it, but I kind of agree with PJ on this. Though, FTN has always been like this, so... meh. =) (I must've been a party-pooper in my past life.) byteflush Talk 02:10, 8 July 2018 (UTC)

The discussion above is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made on the appropriate discussion page. No further edits should be made to this discussion.
I would only like to add this: although we digressed, the original intention was to bring attention to the articles. Thanks to JzG: Many lives is now a redirect and the neutrality of the Weiss article has been improved. —PaleoNeonate – 07:23, 8 July 2018 (UTC)

UFO reports from antiquity

I just removed a bunch of stuff that was, as far as I could tell, original research. Post hoc claims of UFO sightings need to be sourced and explained clearly. This had not been done.

I could have messed up.

Help is appreciated.

jps (talk) 04:29, 8 July 2018 (UTC)

Some of the entries you removed were explicitly labelled a "UFO sighting" in the source. I suggest you self-revert and go through one by one. For example, the very first entry removed (the "Fiery discs" over Egypt) was a good one. But the Nuremburg and Basel sightings from the 16th century were both explicitly described as UFOs by multiple sources reliable enough for that purpose. ᛗᛁᛟᛚᚾᛁᚱPants Tell me all about it. 15:31, 8 July 2018 (UTC)
Tend to agree with the above, it is not OR if it is sourced, we can argue over the sources, but not the idea that the ed made it all up.Slatersteven (talk) 15:36, 8 July 2018 (UTC)
Anything I did wrong, I do apologize. This looks like it is not confirmed. So consider this starting the "one-by-one". jps (talk) 03:50, 9 July 2018 (UTC)
I don't have access to the work cited, but given the title, I would presume that the word "UFO" never appears in it. So it looks good, but I can't verify. Also, Kudos for taking criticism so well; many editors would not. ᛗᛁᛟᛚᚾᛁᚱPants Tell me all about it. 04:07, 9 July 2018 (UTC)
My what a little wikibreak can do for my attitude! Thank you for the compliment. Thank YOU for the help! I think it's important that this list of reported UFO sightings be well-researched and not just WP:IINFO. In that vein, what about this removal? jps (talk) 19:16, 9 July 2018 (UTC)

List of reported UFO sightings (edit | talk | history | protect | delete | links | watch | logs | views)

Apologies, I forgot to link. jps (talk) 16:08, 10 July 2018 (UTC)

No apparent mention of UFO's, no clearly identified claim that the vision was a "craft" or explicit reference to it moving about. So the source doesn't call it unidentified, doesn't say it was flying, and doesn't make clear that it was an object. I'd say this was a safe one, as well. ᛗᛁᛟᛚᚾᛁᚱPants Tell me all about it. 19:16, 11 July 2018 (UTC)
For the record, you can presume that I agree with you on whether any entry you go back over is OR or not without asking specifically. I can't speak for other editors here, but I've generally trusted your judgement for some time now. ᛗᛁᛟᛚᚾᛁᚱPants Tell me all about it. 20:51, 11 July 2018 (UTC)

Fringe at Pharaohs in the Bible

And some OR. User:Michel Hervé Bertaux-Navoiseau is adding, under a sentence on Freud. "That is a typical "fringe theory". However, Champolion and Fabre d'églantine also adopted that fringe theory with more guesses than arguments. However, in their best-seller book Secrets of the Exodus, the two French egyptologists Messod and Roger Sabbah based on various intercultural comparisons to affirm, like the three preceding persons, that the Hebrews originated in the faithful of Akhenaten.[1] Desroches-Noblecourt, the curator in the Egyptian department of the Louvre, also underlined several similarities between Egyptian culture and the Bible.[2]"

and deleting

Additionally, the historical Pithom was built in the 7th century BC, during the Saite period.[3][4]

which also made a bit of a formatting mess.[2] He was reverted by User:A. Parrot and by me twice today. He's been blocked for editwarring in the past.

This seems to be a combination of original research and fringe. I haven't been able to find out the credentials of the Sabbah brothers (Amazon just says " brothers and the descendants of a long line of rabbis and chief rabbis" but did find a translation of a review in Figaro.[3] - Jean-Marie Tasset seems to write mainly on art. Doug Weller talk 16:22, 11 July 2018 (UTC)

Sorry about this deletion: "Additionally, the historical Pithom was built in the 7th century BC, during the Saite period.[3][4]" — Preceding unsigned comment added by Michel Hervé Bertaux-Navoiseau (talkcontribs) 17:25, 11 July 2018 (UTC)

Tasset is the author of several books, see his bibliography. Dimadick (talk) 17:12, 11 July 2018 (UTC)

Thanks. As I thought, he writes about art. Not Egyptology. Since the editor in question has raised the issue of Desroches-Noblecourt, the problem with that simply that raising the question of similarities isn't related directly to the article. Their specific comments might be useful somewhere else of course. Doug Weller talk 18:39, 11 July 2018 (UTC)

Tasset is a journalist who made a summary of Secrets of the Exodus. The issue is that that book makes, as Tasset explains, a great many comparisons between both cultures: Judaic and Egyptian. Since the whole demonstration of the Sabbahs is that both cultures are exactly the same, then, the great quantity of similar comparisons added by the famous Egyptologist Desroches-Noblecourt cannot be ignored.

Michel Hervé Bertaux-Navoiseau: What conclusion did Desroches-Noblecourt draw from her comparison between Egyptian and Israelite cultures? If she did not argue for a direct relationship between the two, as the Sabbahs do, then mentioning the similarities she wrote about alongside the Sabbahs' arguments is WP:Synthesis, which Wikipedia articles should avoid. Please read that page for further information.
As for the fringe-theory problem, the majority view in biblical archaeology today is that the Israelites originated in Canaan, and the question of what, if anything, inspired the Exodus story is up in the air. From Ancient Israel: What Do We Know and How Do We Know It? (2017 edition) by Lester Grabbe: "Despite the efforts of some fundamentalist arguments, there is no way to salvage the biblical text as a description of a historical event… This does not rule out the possibility that the text contains a distant—and distorted—memory of an actual event. Some feel that the tradition is so strong in the Bible that some actual event must lie behind it, though it might only be a small group of (slave?) escapees fleeing Egypt (a view long and widely held)… Yet others point out that there is no necessity for assuming there was an exodus in the early history of Israel" (pp. 97–98). One of the prominent scholars to maintain that the Exodus narrative is largely true is James Hoffmeier, who also wrote a book titled Akhenaten and the Origins of Monotheism (2015). Yet there he argues that if Atenism influenced Israelite monotheism in any way, the connection was indirect. He also points out that Atenism didn't gather many adherents and did not last. "Akhenaten must be considered the founder of Atenism. However, his monotheistic religion lacked a committed group of disciples or followers who carried on the tradition, copied, compiled, and canonized his teaching for future generations. Egypt was clearly not prepared to give up its gods for the One, and officials like the priests Meryre and Panehsy, and high officials like Ay and Horemheb, must have realized that they were swimming against the current, and so abandoned Aten, opting for Amun-Re and traditional religion" (p. 264).
Finally, although it's not easy to find a detailed description of the Sabbahs' hypothesis online, the top review on this page at Goodreads says the Sabbahs argue that Akhenaten's followers were sent into exile in Canaan after his death, led by the future pharaohs Horemheb and Ramesses, who are the inspiration for Moses and Aaron. Try arguing that to an Egyptologist and you'll be laughed out of the room.
Freud's book may be worth mentioning in pharaohs in the Bible (though I am not arguing that it is worth mentioning) because it was the first to put forward the notion that Israelite monotheism derives from Atenism. It is important because it was influential, not because it has any scholarly credibility today. If Freud is mentioned, the article text should make that clear. Recent popular fringe theories based on his argument don't belong in the article at all. A. Parrot (talk) 00:54, 12 July 2018 (UTC)
I've been reverted for a 3rd time by this editor who had been blocked for editwarring before. This time he's added even more POV/or:
Thatis a typical "fringe theory". However, Champolion and Fabre d'églantine also adopted that fringe theory with more guesses than arguments. However, in their best-seller book Secrets of the Exodus, the two French egyptologists Messod and Roger Sabbah based on a great quantity of intercultural comparisons between Judaism and Egyptian culture to affirm, like the three preceding persons, that the Hebrews originated in the faithful of Akhenaten.[5] Desroches-Noblecourt, the curator in the Egyptian department of the Louvre, also underlined several similarities between Egyptian culture and the Bible: beard growing as a sign of mourning, and the practice of anointing kings. She quotes various similar terms, phrases, and proverbs, and indicates the great resemblance between the history of "Joseph and pharaoh’s wife" and the Egyptian tale of "The two brothers".[6] The most fascinating proof of the identity of Akhenaten's Egypt and the Bible of Moses brought by Desroches-Noblecourt is the fantastic discovery of the Ten Commandments in an Egyptian tumb, a discovery that was smothered because it undermines Zionism.[7] Finally, a very obvious proof that Moses was an Egyptian pharaoh (Ramses Ist, a Sabbah thesis) lies in the Book of Deuteronomy: “Moses called the whole of Israel and told them: “... I had you walking for forty years in the desert... so that you should learn that I, the Eternal, am your God!” Deuteronomy 29: 1-5. Obviously, only an Egyptian pharaoh could speak like that. Actually, that so-called fringe theory has become so convincing that it constitutes a great danger to Zionism; indeed, it proves that the Hebrews were Egyptians, not Israelians. It is obvious that the doggedness of the adversaries of the Sabbah is merely political and not scientific."
Doug Weller talk 04:46, 12 July 2018 (UTC)
I've reported him at 3RR. He reverted twice a few days ago, 3 times last night, and tells me "I'm afraid you are not qualified to remove Deroche-Noblecourt's findings from a commentary about Freud's allegedly fringe theory.". I don't want to go over 2rr. Doug Weller talk 05:17, 12 July 2018 (UTC)
I reverted him again. Not sure if that violates something in WP's intricate norms about content disputes, but that stuff does not belong in an article. His latest additions to the disputed text show stronger signs of biases he's exhibited in the past, namely hostility to Zionism and circumcision. Incidentally, I tracked down the statement by Desroches-Noblecourt that he cited ([4]; see page 15). All she said on that topic is "On retrouve par exemple la référence précise aux dix commandements à l'époque des pyramides", or "We find, for example, precise reference to the Ten Commandments at the time of the pyramids". I'm not sure what she meant by that—it can't be hard to find parallels to the latter commandments in Egyptian wisdom texts, some of which used to be dated to the Old Kingdom, but an Egyptian version of the first two commandments is pretty well unimaginable. In any case, that offhand remark doesn't support the passage that Bertaux-Navoiseau uses it for: "the fantastic discovery of the Ten Commandments in an Egyptian tomb". A. Parrot (talk) 06:21, 12 July 2018 (UTC)
No, you're ok. He just reverted you so is now at 4RR. Doug Weller talk 08:29, 12 July 2018 (UTC)
And he's used the article talk page - here's part of his argument: "Mr Weller is a Zionist Jew who does not want Zionism be undermined by the immense discovery of the Sabbah brothers that Akhenaten and Abraham are the same person, a discovery that is now also proven by the famous Egyptologist Desroches-Noblecourt. This makes wikipedia a political organization!". Doug Weller talk 08:43, 12 July 2018 (UTC)
Reverted by a 3rd editor, blocked for 3 months for editwarring and personal attacks. Doug Weller talk 10:16, 12 July 2018 (UTC)
Given the user's constant comments about Zionism, I would guess he/she is a supporter of Anti-Zionism and quite vocal about it. Is this not covered by Clearly not being here to build an encyclopedia: "Long-term agenda inconsistent with building an encyclopedia Users who, based on substantial Wikipedia-related evidence, seem to want editing rights only to legitimize a soapbox or other personal stance (i.e. engage in some basic editing not so much to "build an encyclopedia" as to be able to assert a claim to be a "productive editor"... when their words or actions indicate a longer-term motive inconsistent with "here to build an encyclopedia")."?
Yes, I'm pretty sure that description applies. I have no doubt that if he comes back to Wikipedia after his block expires, he'll be back on his crusade. A. Parrot (talk) 06:14, 14 July 2018 (UTC)


  1. ^ Sabbah M. and R. London: Thorsons Ltd; 2002. New York: Helios press; 2004.
  2. ^ Christianne Desroches-Noblecourt The fabulous heritage of Egyp pp 181, p 187, 183, 188, 246-47, 198-99. Paris; Telemaque: 2004
  3. ^ I Will Show You: Essays in History and Archaeology of the Ancient Near East in Honor of J. Maxwell Miller, Sheffield Academic Press, 1997, p. 261–262, ISBN 978-1-85075-650-7,[1]
  4. ^ Long, V. Philips; Neils Peter Lemche (2000). Israel's past in present research: essays on ancient Israelite historiography. Eisenbrauns. p. 398. ISBN 978-1-57506-028-6. 
  5. ^ Sabbah M. and R. London: Thorsons Ltd; 2002. New York: Helios press; 2004.
  6. ^ Christianne Desroches-Noblecourt The fabulous heritage of Egyp pp 181, p 187, 183, 188, 246-47, 198-99. Paris; Telemaque: 2004
  7. ^ Christianne Desroches-Noblecourt. Le Figaro Magazine. May 13, 2005, n° 18902.

Update on YouTube feature linking to English Wikipedia articles

Hi all, Wikimedia Foundation staff have been working with YouTube to learn more about the feature (called information panels) developed by their team which will link to Wikipedia and Encyclopædia Britannica articles from videos about conspiracy theories on YouTube. This announcement was first made in March of this year, and the feature will be rolled out starting this week. (This was previously discussed onwiki here, here, and here, amongst other places). We wanted to let folks know about the rollout and share more information about articles that may be impacted by the new feature. We have been supplied with a list of the initial English Wikipedia articles that they are going to be linking to. Those articles are: Global warming, Dulce Base, Lilla Saltsjöbadsavtalet, 1980 Camarate air crash, Federal Emergency Management Agency, Kecksburg UFO incident, and MMR vaccine.

The Foundation staff who are in contact with YouTube about the feature spoke with a handful of admins leading up to the rollout. From those conversations, we do not anticipate this will create a substantial increase in vandalism on English Wikipedia, but we will be monitoring this with the YouTube team. If you have any questions, concerns, or notice an increase in negative behavior on those articles, please let me or GVarnum-WMF know.

You can find an overview of the announcement from YouTube in this section of their latest blog post. We will update you here if we have more new information. Cheers, Quiddity (WMF) (talk) 17:16, 11 July 2018 (UTC)

I do love optimism.Slatersteven (talk) 18:13, 11 July 2018 (UTC)
Ugh, maybe we should work to improve the quality of Kecksburg UFO incident which is right now a bit of a mess. jps (talk) 20:53, 11 July 2018 (UTC)
Dulce Base needs work, as well. ᛗᛁᛟᛚᚾᛁᚱPants Tell me all about it. 20:55, 11 July 2018 (UTC)
Remind me to add all vaccine related pages to my watchlist. "We do not anticipate..." being famous last words. Only in death does duty end (talk) 21:03, 11 July 2018 (UTC)

I completed some cleanup of the Kecksburg incident: [5] jps (talk) 15:27, 12 July 2018 (UTC)

I cleaned up Dulce Base and c/e'd the lead of Kecksburg UFO incident, but the body still has some 2007-era pro UFO argumentation in it. - LuckyLouie (talk) 18:23, 12 July 2018 (UTC)
Update - Kecksburg UFO incident is now more fully cleaned up and improved. Citations could use some work, tho. - LuckyLouie (talk) 04:44, 13 July 2018 (UTC)
  • Thanks for improving articles. I would also like to point at a similar thread at WT:SKEPTIC. If both could centralize either there or here, it would be easier for collaboration. —PaleoNeonate – 18:19, 12 July 2018 (UTC)
Yes we were discussing it on the Skeptic page, we need one central place to do this, otherwise we are going to duplicate and step on each other. I propose HERE on FT as it has more activity. Apparently we just had a look at MMR. How do you all want to proceed? Sgerbic (talk) 20:04, 12 July 2018 (UTC)
If this thing takes off (I have my doubts), then we will probably need to start a whole new project space to organize so as not to overwhelm this noticeboard or WT:SKEPTIC. My inclination is to take a piecemeal approach for the time being. jps (talk) 16:54, 16 July 2018 (UTC)
I agree that a wikiproject would be useful to help coordinate this. ᛗᛁᛟᛚᚾᛁᚱPants Tell me all about it. 16:56, 16 July 2018 (UTC)
WT:SKEPTIC being less busy and within the scope, could also be a candidate for what we'd consider noise here (at least temporarily, if we find another noticeboard or Wikiproject becomes necessary, we'll certainly create it)... —PaleoNeonate – 17:10, 16 July 2018 (UTC)


I take umbrage to saying biblical creationism is fringe as it has a large following LordFluffington454 (talk) 12:16, 15 July 2018 (UTC)

(moved from Wikipedia talk:Fringe theories as it was misplaced). —PaleoNeonate – 12:24, 15 July 2018 (UTC)

It does not matter if it has a large following,. what matters is what percentage of people believe it. I am led to believe that less then 50% of Americans (which make up thew bulk of biblical creationists) it, so as a percentage of the worlds population?, I am gona say enough to make it a fringe view.— Preceding unsigned comment added by Slatersteven (talkcontribs) 13:07, 15 July 2018 (UTC)
It’s a LOT less than 50%... even in America. definitely on the fringe. Blueboar (talk) 13:27, 15 July 2018 (UTC)
  • Wrong standard. WP:FRINGE is crystal clear: "The term fringe theory is used in a very broad sense to describe an idea that departs significantly from the prevailing views or mainstream views in its particular field." Not the opinions of the general public. The opinions of scientists.
The only percentage that matters is the percentage of physicists who believe the creationist claims about the speed of light, the percentage of astonomers who believe the creationist claims about how far away the stars are, the percentage of geologists who believe the creationist claims about the green river formation and the grand canyon being created in less than a year, the percentage of paleontologists who believe the creationist claims about humans and dinosaurs co-existing, the percentage of biologists who believe the creationist claims about evolution, the percentage of linguists who believe the creationist claims about the tower of babel, the percentage of geophysicists who believe the creationist claims about there being enough water to cover the highest mountains and the ice ages never happening, the percentage of veterinary scientists who believe the creationist claims that lions used to be vegetarians, the percentage of nautical engineers who believe the creationist claims about the construction of the Ark, the percentage of logistics experts who believe the creationist claims about the time and manpower it took to keep the animals on the ark alive (including one animal who only eats the living leaves of one species of eucalyptus) and how kangaroos got from Mt. Ararat to Australia without leaving any trace outside of Australia -- the list goes on and on.
There isn't a scientific field where even one percent of the scientists in that field believe the creationist claims about their field of study. In fact, if a creationist has a degree, it is almost always an engineering degree. --Guy Macon (talk) 16:21, 15 July 2018 (UTC)

Yes I realize by your "policies" you are correct however I suggest the policy is incorrect because it ignores the fact that hundreds of millions of people believe in it.— Preceding unsigned comment added by LordFluffington454 (talkcontribs) 16:41, 15 July 2018 (UTC)

Do you have a source for hundreds of millions?Slatersteven (talk) 16:57, 15 July 2018 (UTC)
One problem ... there are not “hundreds of millions” who believe in biblical creationism. At most, it might have one million believers (and that is being generous). When compared to the BILLIONS who DON’T believe in biblical creationism, there is no question that it is a fringe belief. Blueboar (talk) 16:57, 15 July 2018 (UTC)
I suspect that a great many Christian believers in creationism think that it is much more mainstream within their religion than it actually is because specific religious voices that they listen to represent it as such. Major Christian groups such as the Catholics, the Anglicans and the Lutherans reject creationism and that is more than half of the world's Christians right there, before we even look at any other groups that may be for or against it. I suspect that the number of believers is quite a bit more than one million (mostly in the USA) but not enough to overturn its status as fringe. --DanielRigal (talk) 17:46, 15 July 2018 (UTC)
Yup, creationism is rejected by most mainline protestant denominations and a good chunk of the traditionally evangelical ones, as well as the Catholic church (source). The most recent polling from Gallup places support for creationism in the general public at around 37%, so closer to "one hundred million" rather than "hundreds of millions". That aside, Guy Macon is correct that none of this matters for determining whether it is WP:FRINGE from a scientific standpoint. For scientists, it's about as clear-cut as you can get: 98% of scientists polled by Pew agreed that humans evolved over time. Nblund talk 19:00, 15 July 2018 (UTC)
Hi LordFluffington454, go easy on taking umbrage; it can damage your liver, and cause excess bile. Creationism is a broad term, and covers multiple differing theistic beliefs, but "biblical creationism" tends to refer to pseudoscientific young Earth creationism which lacks any credence in mainstream theology and scholarship, let alone any scientific credibility. In Wikipedia terms, it's fringe in the assessment of published expert opinion, and the numbers of "believers" has no relevance. . . dave souza, talk 17:10, 15 July 2018 (UTC)
Try this. Go up to someone who says he is a creationist and interprets the bible literally. Ask him if he honestly believes that the story about the rib is something that actually happened. Roughly 5% of the creationists will say yes. --Guy Macon (talk) 19:58, 15 July 2018 (UTC)
That's all wrong because it was a treePaleoNeonate – 17:12, 16 July 2018 (UTC)
  • I take umbrage that you take umbrage. If you're gonna subscribe to a fringe belief, own it instead of trying to muck up real science. Ian.thomson (talk) 20:06, 15 July 2018 (UTC)
Be nice.--Paleface Jack (talk) 20:15, 15 July 2018 (UTC)

Rupert Sheldrake

Recent POV edits that may require some attention. Thanks, —PaleoNeonate – 14:43, 15 July 2018 (UTC)

Issues with Carlos_Castaneda and related articles

It seems like the entries on Carlos Castaneda (and the related articles Don Juan Matus, Tensegrity (Castaneda), and Cleargreen) need additional eyes. They have a number of WP:FRINGE and unreliable sourcing problems, and several portions seem to be written by "true believers".

For background: Early reviewers seem to have regarded Castaneda's early books as largely legitimate ethnography, and he received a PhD on the basis of the research he supposedly conducted on Native American Shamanism. However, subsequent work strained credibility and eventually went off the deep-end with full blown claims of shape-shifting and psychic battles with witches. By the time Castaneda died he was running a cult and selling new-age seminars for $600 a person. All of the books are now widely accepted to have been fabricated, and no one believes that this is an accurate depiction of Toltec religious beliefs. See: here, and a longer article from Salon here for more details. Any help is appreciated. Nblund talk 15:37, 15 July 2018 (UTC)

I have the impression that some of the articles (see Template:Carlos Castaneda) should also be merged in one main article, or at least fewer articles. —PaleoNeonate – 13:51, 16 July 2018 (UTC)
Cleargreen Incorporated is a pretty clear merge with Tensegrity, though Tensegrity itself might be a merge with Castaneda. --tronvillain (talk) 14:29, 16 July 2018 (UTC)
Thanks. I agree regarding the merge, and I would lean toward putting Tensegrity, Cleargreen and Don Juan Matus in to the article on Castaneda since all three subjects are unlikely to be notable on their own. I didn't see Toltec (Castaneda), or recapitulation, but those both seem like outright deletions to me. Is there any better way of doing this than starting 5 separate merge/deletion discussions? Nblund talk 16:09, 16 July 2018 (UTC)
You could always just do a bold merge on those two - they're obviously necessary and appropriate. A WP:MULTIAFD seems likely to conclude with a redirect anyway. --tronvillain (talk) 16:26, 16 July 2018 (UTC)
@Nblund: I say go ahead and merge those as you see fit. I trimmed some really frivolous puffery from Carlos Castaneda: "... worlds which lie outside the perceptual paradigm of the vast majority of human beings on this planet" - laugh. —DIYeditor (talk) 17:46, 16 July 2018 (UTC)
I also agree about bold work, if it's contested then we can use more formal processes. —PaleoNeonate – 17:59, 16 July 2018 (UTC)

Manual lymphatic drainage

I have a COI regarding the above. My Ankles no longer exist, and have become Cankles (Cankles = merged Calves and ankles) and the article seems to hint that the featherlight touches practitioners employ actually does some good. Eyes? -Roxy, the dog. barcus 10:35, 16 July 2018 (UTC)

There definitely are more effective manual drainage techniques...[Humor] If there is not enough participation WT:MED may be another good place in this case. —PaleoNeonate – 17:02, 16 July 2018 (UTC)

Skylab mutiny

This is only borderline as to our interests, but the upshot is the claim that the astronauts of the Skylab 4 mission basically took a whole day off. Actual transcripts of transmission show it didn't happen, but since they are Official (and, well, as primary as sources can get) we have one hardhead who insists that we have to say it happened. Discussion both on the talk page and at Wikipedia:Biographies of living persons/Noticeboard#Skylab_mutiny. Mangoe (talk) 15:19, 16 July 2018 (UTC)

If the reliable sources call it a "mutiny" then that needs to be said. If it clearly wasn't a "mutiny", then just attribute the claim. I've been watching this on and off for several days now, and frankly, the hard-line positions taken by both sides are ridiculous. It clearly wasn't a mutiny in the sense that any reasonable person would understand that word, but it also just as clearly has been called a mutiny by the RSes, because calling it a mutiny made for good headlines and a fun read. Also: Don't cite the headlines or title of a source for anything. Cite the body. ᛗᛁᛟᛚᚾᛁᚱPants Tell me all about it. 15:44, 16 July 2018 (UTC)
Well, the main issue is whether it even happened. Solid evidence rather than secondary accounts say that they accidentally were out of contact for an orbit, not a day. there is a big problem in this sort of thing with assigning newspaper (and popular mags from ostensible authorities) with a great deal more accuracy than they really possess. Mangoe (talk) 15:51, 16 July 2018 (UTC)
One of the astronauts involved claimed they took a "day off" in an interview cited by one of the sources used to support that claim, so... None of us know what happened. But clearly something happened, so just go with what the sources say. ᛗᛁᛟᛚᚾᛁᚱPants Tell me all about it. 16:16, 16 July 2018 (UTC)

Help needed at Talk:Imran Awan

Really need some help on this one. Just look at the page and you will see what I am having to deal with. --Guy Macon (talk) 16:24, 16 July 2018 (UTC)

I'm not sure that I can do anything, but I've watchlisted it, thanks. Talk page activity is likely to be lower since the recent admin warning, will see... —PaleoNeonate – 17:30, 16 July 2018 (UTC)

Flat earth

A related article, Myth of the flat Earth in Middle Ages was recently renamed, another editor contests it (I'm not sure if the move was justified). Another relevant article, Flat Earth has a merge tag at the top to a red link. There are likely other related articles. It would be nice to see what's up and find out the proper presentation/splitting, considering the relation to modern fringe flat-earthism. —PaleoNeonate – 17:28, 16 July 2018 (UTC)