Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Wikipedia Slaps Kevin R. D. Shepherd On The Face

Wikipedia Slaps Kevin R. D. Shepherd On The Face

On December 22nd 2009, Wikipedia gave vanity self-publisher and pseudo-philosopher Kevin R. D. Shepherd a firm slap on the face and deemed him wholly non-notable despite the fanatic and desperate blathering of:

  1. Alex Jamieson (an anonymous account who admitted having direct contact and affiliation with Kevin R. D. Shepherd and to whom Kevin R. D. Shepherd freely gave his picture’s copyrights).

  2. Simon Kidd (sockpuppet “The Communicator” and a relentless Kevin R. D. Shepherd propagandizer who tag-teamed with “Alex Jamieson” on Shepherd-related Wikipedia pages, discussions and issues).

  3. Ombudswiki (aka Brian Steel, a Sathya Sai Baba critic and vocal advocate of Kevin R. D. Shepherd). On Brian Steel’s official websites, he openly solicits, endorses and references Kevin R. D. Shepherd. Also, Kevin R. D. Shepherd cited Brian Steel as a reference in his self-published book Pointed Observations.

  4. ProEdits (aka Robert Priddy, a Sathya Sai Baba critic and vocal advocate, associate and co-conspirator with Kevin R. D. Shepherd). On Robert Priddy’s official websites and blogs, he openly solicits, endorses and references Kevin R. D. Shepherd. Also, Kevin R. D. Shepherd cited Robert Priddy as a reference in his self-published book Investigating the Sai Baba Movement.

See: Wikipedia: Articles for deletion / Kevin R. D. Shepherd.

It is also very amusing that Simon Kidd accused Wikipedia editors of “collusion” on the AFD for the Kevin R. D. Shepherd article (Ref). Needless to say, the only people factually shown of “colluding” were Simon Kidd, Alex Jamieson, Brian Steel (aka Ombudswiki) and Robert Priddy (aka ProEdits).

DEC 23rd 2009 UPDATE: Simon Kidd (obviously sipping too much cuckoo juice) actually had the temerity to claim (like a conspiracist or a person afflicted with paranoia) that because this webpage was promply published when Kevin R. D. Shepherd’s Wikipedia article was deleted, this MUST mean that Wikipedia editors involved with the AFD were in “collusion” with Moreno (Refs: 0102)! This is going to come as a surprise to Smartse, Dazedbythebell, Goethean, JN466, Atama, Polargeo, DGG, Fences&Windows, Collect, AEK and Kevin. None of these editors are known to Moreno and none of these editors had any sort of contact with Moreno when the AFD was filed. About Moreno, Simon Kidd said, “It seems to me that the horse is still whinnying!” If Wikipedia editors don’t know what “whinnying” sounds like, after reading Simon Kidd’s garrulous posts – they probably now have a good idea!

Relevant Comments About Kevin R. D. Shepherd’s Non-Notability
The entire article is based on primary sources. I can’t find any secondary sources to demonstrate that this person meets Wikipedia:ACADEMIC#Criteria. Smartse (talk) 00:25, 15 December 2009 (UTC)

All the books listed as bibliography are self-published. The publishers listed only publish books by Kevin Shepherd. Kevin_Shepherd#Bibliography Alex Jamieson appears to be Kevin Shepherd. Note he not only created and maintains the article about Kevin Shepherd but provided the self-made photo. [1] See his contribution history also: [2] There is a huge circularity going that appears to be self-promotion using Wikipedia. If not, then notability needs to be established in some neutral way. Dazedbythebell (talk) 16:34, 15 December 2009 (UTC)

This information about Kevin Shepherd found here is probelematic to say the least. I quote from it below.

Secondly, there are absolutely no online references about Kevin R.D. Shepherd’s qualifications, notability, personal information, credentials or schooling. There are also no media articles or University references to Kevin Shepherd although his books have been published as far back as 1983. The reason for this is probably because all of Kevin R.D. Shepherd’s books are self-published. Kevin Shepherd’s books were published by the publisher “Citizen Initiative” (Dorchester, Dorset, United Kingdom), which is not listed on booktrust’s UK publishers. The only books published by “Citizen Initiative” (utilizing an advanced search on Google for “citizen initiative” + “publisher(s)” / “publishing” / “publication(s)”) are those belonging to Shepherd, Kevin. No other books have been published by “Citizen Initiative”. I contacted the University of Sheffield UK (regarding “Citizen Initiative” and Kevin Shepherd) by email and Mrs. Barringer said: “Sorry – have never heard of them and can find no trace in any lists of publishers.”

Finally, if you examine the references in the Shepherd article carefully there don’t appear to be any quotes by Kevin Shepherd from any book other than books given in the Bibliography by Kevin Shepherd. This is also true of any statement about Shepherd. Not one statement about Shepherd is quoted from a non-Shepherd third party source. Numbered references appear to be sources to consult to see the the origin of concepts explained by the Wikipedia author. Dazedbythebell (talk) 17:20, 15 December 2009 (UTC) Dazedbythebell (talk) 17:20, 15 December 2009 (UTC)

Comment: The consensus when the COI was discussed at the COIN was that Simon Kidd and Alex jamieson do not have a COI. In this discussion it is not important whether or not anyone has a COI, we are trying to determine whether on not there has been enough significant independent coverage of this author to justify their presence on Wikipedia. As of yet no such sources have been provided. I’d never heard of Meher Baba or Sathya Sai Baba before this, but it doesn’t really matter - we are just here to discuss this article. It seems worth noting that recruiting people to vote elsewhere in AfDs is forbidden, please do not do so. Blog’s aren’t considered reliable so whatever it says doesn’t matter here. Alex, if you can provide sources to demonstrate notability then please do, I’ve looked myself but can’t find anything. Smartse (talk) 19:12, 15 December 2009 (UTC)

Comment: He sounds like a bit of a crank, sending letters to people and taking their lack of response as evidence that they are untrustworthy: [3] David Lorimer did not reply to the Letter of Complaint. Over sixty SMN members were named in the CC. lists, but only one of these responded. Professor Kurt Dressler of Switzerland promptly sent a courteous acknowledgement dated 13/05/06. With that sole and honourable exception, it is evident that a detailed complaint, complete with bibliography, has no chance of evoking due consideration from the Scientific and Medical Network. I am accordingly very sceptical of their agenda...The Letter of Complaint proved [via the non-response] that the SMN has marked limits in a worldview catering for in-crowd names and subscribers, a fair number of whom are said to be Grof-oriented...

(Text in brackets is in the original.) The logic is less than compelling. I may have a slight conflict of interest, having edited articles about people that he criticizes, but it seems like he criticizes a LOT of different people. — goethean 21:13, 15 December 2009 (UTC)

Above, Simon Kidd writes: *Some secondary sources have been cited - see notes 9, 10 and 11. However, it isn’t clear what these citations are suppose to be citations for. For example, the statement in the article, According to Shepherd, Meher Baba, an Iranian Liberal (1988) is a non-sectarian work. sends us to note 9 which reads, A book not recognized by the leading Meher Baba Centres in the UK and USA; however, scholars were not sectarian in outlook and the book has been cited in, for example: Chryssides, G., Historical Dictionary of New Religious Movements, Scarecrow Press (2001); Srinivas, S., In the Presence of Sai Baba: Body, City, and Memory in a Global Religious Movement, Brill (2008). Which of the two books is the source and what is it a source for? What the editor seems to be saying is that the authors of these books were non-sectarian, as exemplified by their citation of Shepherd’s book. This seems to misunderstand what a citation is. Citations are meant as published sources for checking the accuracy of a fact stated in the article. What fact in the article do these two books mentioned in the note verify? Dazedbythebell (talk) 22:41, 15 December 2009 (UTC)

I agree, this does not constitute significant secondary coverage, ideally we need an article in a magazine or newspaper to show this. Smartse (talk) 22:33, 15 December 2009 (UTC)

Sorry about that, it shouldn’t take long to demonstrate notability if he is indeed notable, as I said above a link to a magazine/newspaper article that had sinifigicant coverage would suffice. Smartse (talk) 22:28, 19 December 2009 (UTC)

Since the COI thread and the GA delist, little or nothing of the material cited to Mr Shepherd’s own publications has been deleted. In terms of demonstrating notability, some citations of Mr Shepherd’s books have indeed been added to the article: [4]. However, evidence that an author is cited by other scholars, while it reflects a certain amount of acceptance in the scholarly world, is not by itself sufficient to satisfy WP:N, which asks for sources that "address the subject directly in detail". There are many quite eminent and widely cited scholars who do not have Wikipedia biographies devoted to them; even if Mr Shepherd were more widely cited, he would be in august company in not having a Wikipedia biography. In conclusion, and with regret, I have to say delete, unless multiple other sources can be found that cover this author "directly in detail". --JN466 23:40, 19 December 2009 (UTC)

Delete - The walls o' text above seems to really turn the signal-to-noise ratio into the negative territory. I don’t much care who has a COI with what here. The article doesn’t seem to meet our inclusion guidelines, either the general guideline or for academics. My suggestion to Alex and Simon: keep it brief and to the point if you want to sway anyone in this discussion. -- Atama 23:35, 20 December 2009 (UTC)

Delete - Not notable. His work seems generally self published and searchs through google scholar clearly show that he has had very little impact so fails Wikipedia:Notability (academics) I admit to not having read the vast text above so I am not rating this with any COI in mind but on a straight forward assessment of the article. Polargeo (talk) 12:21, 21 December 2009 (UTC)

Notability is established by one thing only: the presence of reliably published sources out there, writing about the article subject. Everything else is a red herring. Without sources discussing the article subject, we cannot write an article that complies with Wikipedia policies and guidelines. That is the problem that is evident in the article (a problem which, it was promised well over a month ago, would be fixed). The article is still based on Shepherd’s own books and the original research of the editors who have written it. It is not based on any reliably published third-party sources discussing Shepherd. If such sources existed, they would have been produced by now. --JN466 19:08, 21 December 2009 (UTC)

Delete with respect to WP:PROF. He has 13 books in WorldCat. There are 80 WorldCat libraries holdings Psychology in science 63 for Meaning in anthropos: anthropography as an interdisciplinary science of culture and after that 45, 36, 35, 33, 32, 37, 30, 13,... .WorldCat Identities Some of them are on quite obscure topics, where only a few holdings would be expected, but the two I mentioned and some of the others are in fields where I would expect hundreds of holdings for any important book. The very close similarity in counts for some of the books is because they are vols. of his series Intercultural research series of anthropography published by Anthropographia, a publisher that has published nothing else except Shepherd’s works. I think it would be fair to call him a self-published author. In Google Scholar I find only 6 citations of his work other than by himself. Even on the web, he seems to be known only through his own postings as a critic of Ken Wilber and, separately, of Sathya Sai Baba--there are are responses to the last part--it seems from a quick look that the discussion is so unpleasant that there can be expected to be some strong opinions here. And as far as I can see, he doesn’t meet the GNG either, or WP:CREATIVE. DGG ( talk ) 21:43, 21 December 2009 (UTC)

I would certainly expect his own books to reflect his views--especially when he is his own reviewer and editor! I don’t see how that makes for WP:N. Yes, it has happened that self-published authors have become notable, but it is so extremely rare that it'll take very good evidence from reviews and citations of them by other people. I think in the last 3 years here there have been one or two--as I recall, they were very popular fiction writers. DGG ( talk ) 22:14, 21 December 2009 (UTC)

Please note. I have raised this discussion at the admin’s noticeboard here. Fences&Windows 02:27, 22 December 2009 (UTC)

Userfy As the article currently fails to give reasonable grounds to make me believe he is notable (I am one who tries his best to find notability, by the way), in the hope that possibly the user may be able to find additional reliable sources which really establish notability beyond doubt. I also suggest that the massive discussions above do little to influence the actual discussion as to deletion. Collect (talk) 02:31, 22 December 2009 (UTC)

Delete – two issues. The first is the lack of notability, which has been discussed to death in the WP:TLDR verbiage above. The second is a lack of verifiability – even his supporters cannot supply one independent source that discusses his ideas. Either of these issues is enough to induce a vote of delete; together they would seem insurmountable. - ækTalk 02:33, 22 December 2009 (UTC)

COI etc. at Wikipedia:Articles for deletion/Kevin R. D. Shepherd
I just tried to close the discussion at Wikipedia:Articles for deletion/Kevin R. D. Shepherd, and ended up having to relist after spending an hour on it. I believe more uninvolved eyes are needed on this AfD and its participants (I don’t mean Smartse, the nominator).

Kevin R.D. Shepherd is an apparently self-taught British scholar who writes self-published books on philosophy, including criticising certain groups, gurus and sects, e.g. Sathya Sai Baba. There seem to be issues with COI on both sides: some editors supporting deletion may be associated with the sects he criticises, and some editors opposing deletion may be closely associated with Shepherd or otherwise be opposed to this sect. Note that there has been arbitration in this area before: Wikipedia:Requests for arbitration/Sathya Sai Baba and Wikipedia:Requests for arbitration/Sathya Sai Baba 2.

If this was a simple judgement of the WP:GNG, WP:PROF, or WP:CREATIVE, Shepherd would undoubtedly fail. The only coverage I can find is in a book by Marianne Warren, excerpted here. His work has been cited a handful of times over the decades, certainly not enough to say he has had an impact on his field. But it is not that simple. Editors are supporting inclusion despite the apparent failure to meet notability guidelines. The arguments to keep are lengthy but weak: appeals to OTHERSTUFF, JUSTNOTABLE, IKNOWIT, GOOGLEHITS, COMMONSENSE etc. DGG’s deletion argument is a good barometer - if he agrees with deletion, there’s usually no hope for an article. And yet, I am wary of closing as delete and having this explode in my face. Maybe I should grow a pair, but here I am.

User:Dazedbythebell has linked to a blog that is critical of Shepherd, there appear to be two or three such attack blogs against Shepherd that chronicle the activities on Wikipedia to do with him, so I am concerned about off-wiki goings on. Just Google ‘kevin shepherd wikipedia’ to get an idea of the material out there. There seems to be a vendetta between Shepherd and someone called Gerald Joe Moreno.

User:Simon Kidd and User:Alex jamieson are new SPAs that wrote this bio, though Simon Kidd says they have previously used another account (which they say has been disclosed in ArbCom). Alex wrote it and Simon gave it a Good Article Review three days after his first edit. Both deny being the subject of the article. Alex jamieson took the photo of Shepherd, so must know him. Being suspicious, I note that there are behavioural similarities between these two accounts, in particular their lengthy style of writing, and I wonder whether checkuser should be used? There’s at least some tag teaming going on with the GAR.

I was perplexed by the keep ! votes from User:Ombudswiki and User:ProEdits, but ProEdits has frequently added criticism to Sathya Sai Baba, and that article was one of the first that Ombudswiki edited in 2006, so neither are neutral in this area.

Thoughts? Advice? Fences&Windows 02:19, 22 December 2009 (UTC) (Reference)

COI etc. at Wikipedia:Articles for deletion/Kevin R. D. Shepherd
Resolved. AFD was closed as delete: “The result was delete. I'm deliberately closing this soon after a relist, as I see little hope of gaining a clearer consensus than already exists. The arguments for deletion are well grounded in that reliable coverage of either Shepherd or his work must have been the subject of independent, reliably published material. This has been clearly articulated, particularly by DGG, and the lack of such coverage has not been refuted. The extremely lengthy arguments to keep provide some interesting commentary, but no substantive argument that Shepherd passes any of the notability criteria. Kevin (talk) 02:38, 22 December 2009 (UTC)” --Coffee // have a cup // ark // 09:39, 22 December 2009 (UTC) (Reference)

Moreno’s Argument About Shepherd’s Non-Notability Is Vindicated

Kevin Shepherd wailed considerably about Joe Moreno’s objection on Wikipedia to the inclusion of a quote from Shepherd’s self-published book, “Investigating the Sai Baba Movement: A Clarification of Misrepresented Saints and Opportunism”.

Andries Krugers Dagneaux (an ex-devotee and critic of Sathya Sai Baba) was the only person supporting the inclusion of the Kevin Shepherd citation in the Sathya Sai Baba Wikipedia Article. Jossie, Alecmconroy (a non-involved party who answered Andries Request For Comment) and Moreno (SSS108) all disagreed with Andries Krugers Dagneaux.

Wikipedia generally does not allow self-published material to be used as sources in Biographies of Living People (Refs: Self Published Sources - Verifiable Sources - BLP - Reliable Sources). Even more so when the self-published material in question makes derogatory and highly questionable hearsay allegations that have never been referenced in reliable or reputable sources (Ref: Reliable Sources). Kevin R. D. Shepherd’s book and citation fell into this category of self-published and non-notable material.

When Andries Krugers Dagneaux realized that Kevin Shepherd’s book was self-published and the citation did not comply with Wikipedia policy, Andries Krugers Dagneaux no longer sought its inclusion (Reference). Kevin R. D. Shepherd purposely ignored these facts and deflected from the issue by resorting to spin, paranoia and “cult” & “sectarian” accusations.

Moreno’s past argument about Kevin R. D. Shepherd’s non-notability has now been vindicated by multiple & independent Wikipedia editors who neutrally investigated the matter thoroughly. Simon Kidd, Alex Jamieson, Brian Steel (aka Ombudswiki) and Robert Priddy (aka ProEdits) banded together and attempted to deceive various Wikipedia editors by resorting to circumlocution and rhetoric. Needless to say, it didn’t work.

Kevin R. D. Shepherd Wasted No Time Linking To His Wikipedia Profile

Kevin R. D. Shepherd was so enamored with the idea of having a Wikipedia profile, he actually provided a picture of himself for the page and gave permission to Alex Jamieson to write about him! Almost immediately Kevin R. D. Shepherd linked to his Wikipedia profile on three of his official domains. See for yourself:

Now that Wikipedia deleted Kevin R. D. Shepherd’s profile (due to his non-notability), there is little doubt that Kevin R. D. Shepherd will soon write a foaming-at-the-mouth diatribe against Wikipedia that will invariably (and predictably) make accusations of “sectarian polemics”. Kevin Shepherd upheld Wikipedia’s views and policies when Moreno was banned on Wikipedia for exposing Mel Etitis and his Peter J. King Sockpuppet Cover-Up. Any argument that Kevin R. D. Shepherd may make against Wikipedia will ultimately compromise his former arguments against Moreno and Wikipedia!

Kevin R. D. Shepherd’s Non-Notability - In Conclusion

In conclusion, the self-described “philosopher” Kevin R. D. Shepherd (who admitted he is not an academic) has been shown to be nothing more than a vanity self publisher. To Date: There have been no reliably sourced, third-party media references to Kevin R. D. Shepherd. This is an irrefutable fact that no amount of deflections, distortions or ad hominem attacks is going to change. It is Moreno’s personal opinion that Kevin R. D. Shepherd’s moralistic, puritanical, self-promoting, self-centered, self-serving, bigoted, narrow-minded, dogmatic and poorly researched views will keep him out of the Wikipedia spotlight for years to come.