Friday, December 25, 2009

Kevin R. D. Shepherd's Disappointing Personal Data

Kevin R. D. Shepherd’s Disappointing Personal Data

Kevin R. D. Shepherd actually wrote the following blurb about himself in his self-published book “Pointed Observations”:
Kevin R. D. Shepherd: People often do look at the author data to be convinced of a scintillating career with due status honours. Do not buy this book, therefore, as you will be disappointed on that account. The author data can be given here instead of being placed enticingly on the opening page or back cover. In an attempt to beat the obituary, here it is:

Born a Brit in 1950. Left school at the age of fifteen. Lived in the town ghetto of Cambridge. Entered Cambridge University Library in 1981 as an unpaid and entirely unofficial researcher. Became an upholder of citizen initiative. Has written a number of minor books, none of them official, and only some of them having achieved publication (the missing books have never been seen by any publisher). Is getting old now, but still alive in 2003.

Is it any wonder why Kevin R. D. Shepherd was deemed non-notable on Wikipedia?

Kevin R. D. Shepherd castigated numerous people because of their lack of academic credentials (a well known tactic of his against various proponents of the Finhorn Foundation). Kevin R. D. Shepherd even said he would dismiss the PhD or M.D. status of anyone who holds New Age beliefs and boasted “The credential of M.D. can signify Mind Damage”! Kevin Shepherd even criticized the research and associations of MIT, Harvard, Oxford and Cambridge Universities.

Kevin Shepherd is in the same boat as all those non-academics he belittles and bemoans! As a matter of fact, Kevin R. D. Shepherd emphatically stated he is not an academic!

Kevin R. D. Shepherd is therefore a self-serving and duplicitous critic.

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.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Marianne Warren PhD Criticized Kevin RD Shepherd

Marianne Warren PhD Criticized Kevin RD Shepherd

Dr. Marianne Warren Ph.D (University of Toronto, Canada) wrote a book entitled “Unravelling The Enigma - Shirdi Sai Baba In The Light Of Sufism” (1997; Sterling Paperbacks; ISBN 81-207-2147-0. ).

Kevin Shepherd (a pseudo-philosopher, pseudo-moralist and Findhorn fanatic) selectively (some would say “dishonestly”) quoted Marianne Warren as saying:
Kevin R. D. Shepherd: “Dr. Marianne Warren was obliged to acknowledge that ‘Shepherd was the first author to question this Hindu bias....most of his arguments concerning [Shirdi] Sai Baba’s Sufi connections are strong’.”

Now, let us take a look at the full text as published in Marianne Warren’s book:

Marianne Warren: A harsh critique of Narasimhaswami is found in Kevin Shepherd’s monograph entitled Gurus Rediscovered: Biographies of Sai Baba of Shirdi and Upasani Maharaj of Sakori, which introduces a new and thought-provoking perception of Sai Baba. [38] His material was first drafted in 1967, but only updated and published privately in 1985. Prior to Shepherd, the perennial question was whether Sai Baba was Hindu or Muslim, with most of the secondary writers emphasizing the Hindu interpretation. Shepherd was the first author to question this Hindu bias and to redefine the broad ‘Muslim’ category, dividing it into the orthodox Islamic law or sharia and Sufi mysticism. By definition, an Islamic mystic is a Sufi, and as Sai Baba was a Muslim mystic, he was perforce a Sufi. Shepherd observes many links between Sai Baba and the strong Sufi tradition in the Deccan. He notes that since his death, the saint has been totally embraced by the Hindus and that in the process the Muslim minority in Shirdi has been eclipsed. [39] He feels that Narasimhaswami was one of those responsible for perpetrating this process of Hinduization. While most of his arguments concerning Sai Baba’s Sufi connections are strong, he provides very little corroboration from the Sai Baba literature itself. For example, there is no evidence that he read Dabholkar’s Sri Sai Saccarita nor that he knew Marathi or the Maharashtrian Bhakti tradition. In fact, no bibliography was given with his monograph.

[38] Kevin R.D. Shepherd, Gurus Rediscovered: Biographies of Sai Baba of Shirdi and Upasani Maharaj of Sakori (Cambridge: Anthropographia Publications, 1985). Shepherd is very opinionated in this book. For example he summarily dismisses Narasimhaswami as an opportunist, whose only interest was in elevating himself through writing the biographies of holy men. (PDF Reference)

Marianne Warren referred to Kevin R.D. Shepherd’s writings as “very opinionated” and emphatically stated that Shepherd’s book had “very little corroboration from the Sai Baba literature itself” and had no supporting bibliography. Kevin Shepherd omitted Marianne Warren’s criticism about him and only snipped out those sections that suited his big ego. Marianne Warren’s views about Kevin R. D. Shepherd were critical and she rightly questioned the objectivity, credibility and integrity of Shepherd’s unsupported, unsourced and subjective claims. So much for Kevin R.D. Shepherd’s boast about following “academic rules in citing sources to a greater extent than many academic philosophers” (PhD Marianne Warren didn’t think so)!

KevinRDShepherd also cited information against Sathya Sai Baba from Marianne Warren (as published by Sai Baba critic and defamer Robert Priddy). It is amusing that Shepherd cited and eulogized the very same woman who condemned him for his subjective, unsupported and opinionated writings!

Unravelling The Enigma - Shirdi Sai Baba In The Light Of Sufism Description:

Unravelling The Enigma-Shirdi Sai Baba in the Light of Sufism is an exciting new piece of research which examines Sai Baba of Shirdi from the standpoint of Islamic mysticism-the Deccani Sufism of 19th century Maharashtra-in order to unravel the mystery surrounding the saint. Sai Baba is consistently described by his Hindu biographers as a Muslim faqir and a mystic, which, by definition, makes him a Sufi. However, no previous researcher has examined him thoroughly in this light.

The author assumes the reader will have some familiarity with previous biographies of Shirdi Sai Baba and reviews incidents, anecdotes and sayings of he hagiography surrounding Sai Baba, in the light of the goals, practices and stories of the Sufis from the golden era of Sufism, and discovers that an amazing similarity and correspondence begins to emerge. Immediately, the more puzzling aspects of the saint’s actions and sayings fall away, and Sai Baba himself becomes more understandable, attractive and lovable.

In the book, Dr Warren brings two new pieces of scholarship to the subject. First she elucidates the English translation of part of the works of some 17th and 18th-century Maharashtrian Sufi poet-saints-their contribution having hitherto been neglected by scholars. Their lives and writings echo the life and teachings of Sai Baba. Secondly, she includes the English translation of the previously untranslated Urdu notebook, jotted down by Abdul, Sai Baba’s faqiri pupil, from teachings based on the Qur’an given to him by his pir Sai Baba. Both these contributions allow us to se into a word hitherto closed, and expand our awareness of the famous miracle-worker of Shirdi.

While Sai Baba has attained a universal appeal, transcending any one sectarian religious tradition, it is necessary to understand his Sufi origins in order to obtain a deeper and fuller appreciation of the enigmatic saint of Shirdi.

A fresh new light is thrown upon the Maharashtrian saint Sai Baba of Shirdi in this rare and fascinating book by Dr Marianne Warren. Discovering that there is a rich history of Sufism in the Deccan in the past, especially at Khuldabad, where there was a large Sufi center, and also at Pathri, Sai Baba’s reputed birthplace, she first explores these areas. Then, in the light of this knowledge, she re-examines the life and teachings of Sai Baba. The results are spectacular. Sai Baba’s previously bizarre or mystic behaviour and enigmatic saying instantly become more understandable. By comprehending the stages of the Sufi path, such facets as Sai Baba’s adherence to the vow of poverty, begging for food until the last few days of his life, fall naturally into place.

The confirmation of Sai Baba’s Sufi status is the discovery and translation of Sai Baba’s faqir servant Adbul’s notebook, written in Urdu. The document contains Abdul’s actual notes and jottings taken while reading the Quran with Sai Baba. From this, it is now possible to state authoritatively that Sai Baba a Sufi Master, and directly taught the precepts of Islam and Sufism to his servant/pupil and probably to a host of wandering faqirs throughout the Deccan in the nineteenth century.

The goal of a Sufi aspirant is to reach God realization to realize his own inner divinity. Shirdi Sai Baba attained this divine status and throughout his life he also played the traditional role of a Sufi Master guiding others along the path.

Table of Contents






- An Overview of the Life of Sai Baba
- Sufi Mysticism and Sai Baba
- The Historical Background: Sufism in Maharashtra
- Sai Baba-the Muslim Faqir
- Sai Baba and the Maharashtrian
- Bhakti Movement-Its Poet-Saints, Mystics and Deities
- Sufi Accommodation to the Hindu Milieu
- Outwardly Different-Inwardly the Same
- Nineteenth Century Sufi Contemporaries of Sai Baba


- Sai Baba and the Sufi Tariqat (path
- Abdul and his Notebook
- English Translation of the Sai Baba MS
- Some Observations of the Saibaba MS


- The Hindu Embrace of Sai Baba
- The Sathya Sai Baba Connection
- Drawing the Threads Together





Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Wikipedia User Alex Jamieson From The UK

Wikipedia User Alex Jamieson From The UK

Kevin R. D. Shepherd is a pseudo-philosopher, fanatic and extremist who wrote a rambling and obsessive diatribe composed of 48,188 words (as of December 7th 2009) attacking Gerald Joe Moreno simply because Moreno succeeded in getting a reference to Shepherd’s self-published material removed from the Sathya Sai Baba Wikipedia Article. Kevin R. D. Shepherd called Gerald Joe Moreno an “internet hit man” and an “internet terrorist” simply because Moreno’s webpages are indexed on search engines (!!!) and because Moreno defended himself with factual information against Shepherd’s numerous misrepresentations, shabby research and outright prevarications.

Enter Alex Jamieson

On September 11th 2009, a dubious character using the name “Alex Jamieson” created a Wikipedia page for Kevin R. D. Shepherd that was exclusively and entirely sourced to Shepherd’s self-published books and self-promoting websites. Despite Alex Jamieson’s desperate attempt to cite numerous references supporting the alleged notability of Kevin R. D. Shepherd, Alex Jamieson could not cite a single reliable source referenced to reputable media in favor of Kevin R. D. Shepherd. As such, a “primary sources” tag was attached to the Kevin R. D. Shepherd article that said:
This article needs references that appear in reliable third-party publications. Primary sources or sources affiliated with the subject are generally not sufficient for a Wikipedia article. Please add more appropriate citations from reliable sources. (November 2009)

Please note that the picture of Kevin R. D. Shepherd used on Wikipedia has been released by Alex Jamieson under the Creative Commons, Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 license and can be copied, saved, distributed and/or modified by internet users under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License (Ref).

The Wikipedia article for Kevin R. D. Shepherd is biased and employs clever rhetoric and relies on important omissions to mislead readers about Kevin Shepherd’s alleged notability (although Kevin Shepherd admitted he possesses no academic credentials).

Alex Jamieson Is An Associate Of Kevin R. D. Shepherd

Alex Jamieson (who claimed he is from the UK) is closely allied with Kevin R. D. Shepherd and said the following on the Wikipedia COI noticeboard:
Alex Jamieson: The author (ie, Kevin R. D. Shepherd) gave permission for me to upload his photograph and was quite happy for me to be the known as the copyright holder. The picture box was uploaded following the assessment request. Also, as a matter of courtesy, I had informed the author I was going to write an article about him for Wikipedia (he expressed no objection), and I advised him of the article’s existence shortly after I had completed that article to my satisfaction. (Ref)

The fact that Kevin R. D. Shepherd gave his picture’s copyrights over to Alex Jamieson strongly suggests behind-the-scenes scheming and subterfuge (a sentiment shared by Wikipedia admin). In the past, Kevin R. D. Shepherd pathetically whined, hissed and sniveled about the copyrights regarding his pictures. Kevin R. D. Shepherd would never give his picture’s copyrights over to any casual outsider.

It is Moreno’s opinion that Kevin R. D. Shepherd heavily influenced and dictated content on the Wikipedia article about himself through private email correspondence with his puppet and devotee “Alex Jamieson”. This suspicion is supported by the fact that the very first edit made by Alex Jamieson was a completed page with all the correct link, reference, category, title and writing codes that are specific to Wikipedia only (Ref).

Needless to say, even seasoned Wikipedia editors are not fully conversant with all the link, reference, category, title and writing codes that are used on Wikipedia. Alex Jamieson created a fully functional, fully linked and fully categorized Wikipedia page on his first edit (rightly raising the suspicion that Alex Jamieson is no newbie to Wikipedia and the name “Alex Jamieson” appears to be a pseudonym, sockpuppet and/or anonymous account). Some have suggested that “Alex Jamieson” may be the former Wikipedian Jedermann.

Kevin Shepherd Approved Alex Jamieson’s Attacks Against Moreno

Alex Jamieson (who admitted corresponding with Kevin R. D. Shepherd in private emails) apparently received permission and guidance from Kevin R. D. Shepherd to attack Gerald Joe Moreno on Wikipedia. Alex Jamieson wrote a fairly lengthy section on Kevin R. D. Shepherd’s official Wikipedia page entitled “criticism” that specifically attacked and targeted Gerald Joe Moreno. Needless to say, Alex Jamieson would not have published the potentially libelous content against Moreno on Kevin R. D. Shepherd’s official Wikipedia page had he not obtained permission to do so.

Alex Jamieson’s Potentially Libelous Attacks Deleted By Wikipedia Admin

Alex Jamieson even created a “sandbox” page where he thought he could safeguard his defamations and potentially libelous attacks against Moreno.

The entire “criticism” section created by Alex Jamieson on the Kevin R. D. Shepherd Wikipedia page was removed by Wikipedia Admin Hersfold with the comment: “Criticism: removing per WP:BLP, this section is incredibly inappropriate” (Reference - Please Note: The potentially libelous “criticism” section was completely purged from Wikipedia and no longer shows in the diffs).

As a result of Alex Jamieson’s defamatory, malicious and potentially libelous attacks against Gerald Joe Moreno, Jamieson’s sandbox page was deleted and he was given the following warning by Wikipedia Admin Vassyana
Deleted contributions and warning
I have deleted your user sandbox and some of your recent contributions to Kevin R. D. Shepherd. The sandbox and those edits were deleted as inappropriate and potentially libelous. The edits violated our principles protecting living persons, against original research, and prohibiting the use of Wikipedia for agendas and axe-grinding. Any restoration of the deleted material or further such actions will result in an immediate block. Please reconsider your approach and intentions here. If you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to leave a message on my talk page or utilize the “e-mail this user” link in the sidebar when viewing my page. Thank you. Vassyana (talk) 02:55, 7 December 2009 (UTC)

Click Thumbnail To Enlarge:

Alex Jamieson & Kevin R. D. Shepherd - In Conclusion

In conclusion, Alex Jamieson and Kevin R. D. Shepherd have exposed themselves to be bitter and biased extremists who rely on scheming, subterfuge and collusion to attack those who dissent with their hate-based agendas.

Alex Jamieson (a proxy defender of Kevin R. D. Shepherd) obtained permission to attack Gerald Joe Moreno on Shepherd’s official Wikipedia page and various Wikipedia admin confirmed that Alex Jamieson’s attacks against Moreno were defamatory, malicious and potentially libelous in nature. As a result, Alex Jamieson’s sandbox page and “criticism” section were deleted in their entirety from Wikipedia (with the content being purged so it could not be sourced elsewhere via diffs).

Consequently, one could argue (using Kevin Shepherd’s logic and standards) that Alex Jamieson and Kevin R. D. Shepherd are “internet hit men” and “internet terrorists”. Even independent Wikipedia administrators easily identified Shepherd and Jamieson’s potentially libelous attacks against Moreno.

Jamieson and Shepherd think they are paragons of morality and wisdom. They obviously have been sipping too much cuckoo juice. Observant readers will notice that all writings associated with pseudo-philosopher Kevin R. D. Shepherd are rich in rhetoric, poor in research and propagandistic in nature. This is not surprising considering that Kevin R. D. Shepherd is a fierce defender and promoter of Psychic Trance Medium Conny Larsson and LSD Advocate Robert Priddy.

As H. L. Mencken once said:
Philosophy consists very largely of one philosopher arguing that all others are jackasses. He usually proves it, and I should add that he also usually proves that he is one himself.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Simon Kidd Senior Research Officer at University of Western Australia

Simon Kidd - Senior Research Officer at the University of Western Australia

Simon Kidd (a Senior Research Officer in Education Policy at the University of Western Australia) is an internet propagandist for Kevin R.D. Shepherd (a vanity self-publisher, Anti-Findhorn fanatic, pseudo-intellectual and Sathya Sai Baba critic).

User:Simon_Kidd uses his real name on Wikipedia and edited under the sockpuppet of User:The_Communicator. As “The_Communicator” (and under his real name), Simon Kidd pervasively and obsessively published links, content and text on numerous Wikipedia articles that exclusively promotes the name, websites and self-published books of Kevin R. D. Shepherd.

Undoubtedly, “The Communicator” (aka “Simon Kidd”) has very close ties to Kevin Shepherd. This opinion is supported by the fact that “The Communicator” mostly edited articles (view contributions) that Kevin Shepherd is deeply involved with (i.e., Stanislav Grof, Holotropic Breathwork and the Findhorn Foundation). “The Communicator” added links to Kevin Shepherd’s Citizen Initiative website (Refs: 01 -
02 - 03 - 04 - 05) and continually cited Kevin Shepherd, Stephen Castro and Kate Thomas aka Jean Shepherd (all affiliated with each other and the Citizen Initiative website) as sources on articles and on talk pages (Refs: 01 - 02 - 03 - 04 - 05 - 06 - 07 - 08 - 09 - 10 - 11 - 12 - 13 - 14 - 15 - 16 - 17 - 18 - 19 - 20 - 21). Kevin Shepherd is also intimately aware of “The Communicator’s” activity on Wikipedia and even discussed him on his Citizen Initiative website (Ref). Kevin Shepherd’s references to “The Communicator” (and vice-versa) indicate some sort of collaborated scheming on Wikipedia against Stanislav Grof, Holotropic Breathwork and the Findhorn Foundation. Therefore, The Communicator’s (aka “Simon Kidd”) comments about Kevin Shepherd are inherently slanted, subjective and defensive and cannot be considered neutral or unbiased.

Simon Kidd shamelessly attempted to advance the status of the Kevin Shepherd Wikipedia article with a proposed review (Ref) and was promptly stopped by Wikipedia Admin who rightly raised valid suspicions about Simon Kidd’s conflict of interest and possible sockpuppetry in relation to the Kevin Shepherd article. See: Good Article Reassessment - Kevin Shepherd.

One day after Wikipedia admin raised valid suspicions about Simon Kidd’s conflict of interest, Simon Kidd began editing other Wikipedia articles (attempting to make it appear as if he is not a one topic editor). Nevertheless, Simon Kidd’s edit history prior to November 11th 2009 reveals his true agenda and intent. Simon Kidd (acting very much like a “devotee”) fanatically and obsessively promoted and endorsed Kevin R. D. Shepherd on Amazon (Ref) and even contributed to an Amazon forum dedicated to Kevin R. D. Shepherd. Simon Kidd is closely associated with the dubious character “Alex Jamieson” (who originally created the Kevin Shepherd Wikipedia article). “Alex Jamieson” appears to be a sockpuppet, pseudonym and/or anonymous identity.

Simon Kidd also wrote a book review for Kate Thomas’s book “The Kundalini Phenomenon” on (Ref). The concluding statement reads:
“Simon Kidd is working in publishing in Cambridge. He is interested in cross-cultural and interdisciplinary research, particularly in the areas of philosophy, psychology, religion and sociology.”

Kate Thomas (real name “Jean Shepherd”) is Kevin R. D. Shepherd’s mother.

Simon Kidd was apparently involved with Kevin Shepherd’s campaigns against Stanislav Grof and Holotropic Breathing (HB) as evidenced by the following quote published on Shepherd’s official citizen initiative website:
Kevin R. D. Shepherd: “The real communicator (Simon Kidd) was a researcher in Australia who possessed a master’s degree in philosophy, and who furthermore had a valid link with the HB issue due to his correspondence in 1994–5 with medical authorities (including Regius Prof. Busuttil) and the Scottish Charities Office.”

Public Domain Bebo Pictures Of Simon Kidd (aka “SimanPieman”)

About himself, Simon Kidd said on Wikipedia under his real name:
Simon Kidd: ”I studied philosophy, psychology and logic at University College Dublin, and subsequently undertook postgraduate research in philosophy, being awarded a Master degree in 1994. My postgraduate dissertation was titled 'Language and Ideology: The Significance of Hermeneutics and Semiotics for the Theory of Ideology', and it involved an analysis of major figures such as Hegel, Marx, Heidegger, Gadamer, Ricoeur, Habermas and Eco.

During my student years, I acquired a personal interest in Asian and Middle Eastern philosophies and, in 1995, I moved to Cambridge where I was accepted as an MPhil student (preparatory to PhD research) at King's College. The late John Cooper, a Persianist at the University's Centre of Middle Eastern and Islamic Studies, with a strong interest in Sufism, provisionally offered to supervise my research. Perceiving my interests, he recommended that I produce a survey of the secondary literature on a mid-17th century Persian text called the Dabestan. I spent the summer of 1995 in the University Library, completing this task. My application for funding from the British Council was unsuccessful, however, and I was unable to pursue my formal studies. Notwithstanding this setback, I continued privately with my reading, acquiring many books over the years.

Much as I recognise the strengths of the academic system, I have come to appreciate the benefits of private study, most notably the freedom to pursue my own interests. I retain links with the academy, and have tutored philosophy students, as well as working in the Vice-Chancellery of a major university (where I reported directly to the Deputy Vice-Chancellor for Education, and was the Executive Officer for several committees and working parties). Most recently I have returned to a long-held desire to teach at the upper-primary level, and to bring philosophy into the primary classroom (see Philosophy for Children). I have a particular interest in the education of the 'gifted and talented'.”

About himself, Simon Kidd said on Wikipedia under his sockpuppet “The Communicator”:
Simon Kidd (aka “The Communicator”): “I am an independent researcher with a Masters degree in philosophy. I have a strong interest in comparative and interdisciplinary approaches to the philosophy of mind, psychology, mysticism, and the sociology of religious movements. I have worked in academic bookselling and publishing, and philosophy teaching. I have worked in bookselling (for a large academic bookseller), publishing (for two companies whose clients included major commercial and university publishers), and philosophy teaching. I have neither written nor published any books of my own. Although I have been a member of the Scientific and Medical Network, and of MENSA, I no longer have any professional or religious affiliations. I live in Australia with my wife and two children. I have chosen my sobriquet because I wish to communicate information relevant to various topics, especially where that information has been neglected for one reason or another.”

About himself, Simon Kidd said on Bebo:
Simon Kidd (aka “SimanPieman”): “Me, Myself, and I
Raised on songs and stories ... Ah yes, Dublin made me. Dublin, Dublin, Dublin - the smog, the DART, the Angelus, the Late Late Show, shivering at a bus stop on a frosty morning, standing out in Irish class (Redser, for those who know), sitting in Theatre L at UCD ... Now it's all nostalgia, a memory of things past. I'm no longer there, but it's still there in me.”

Simon Kidd is so desperate to promote Kevin R. D. Shepherd as a bona-fide scholar, he relies on spam-like solicitations and spam-like propaganda to deceive others about Kevin R. D. Shepherd’s credentials. Needless to say, Simon Kidd has a difficult task considering:

  1. Kevin R. D. Shepherd Emphatically Stated He Is NOT An Academic

  2. Kevin R. D. Shepherd Dropped Out Of School When He Was 15

Too bad the truth is now out and there is no stopping it.