Category Archives: Wikipedia

Wikipedia’s Culture of Editorial Chaos and Malice

Originally published on the Progressive Radio Network, June 19, 2020
© Richard Gale and Gary Null PhD

Perhaps the greatest farce in the modern history of technology is the perception of Wikipedia as a legitimate encyclopedia. It has none of the qualifications as such but has all of the characteristics of a compromised propaganda machine disguised as an encyclopedia.

An authentic encyclopedia is transparent. Users can review the qualifications and expertise of its contributors. There is no personal animus or bias. If anything, these are people who are acutely conscious of the facts regarding any given subject. There is no whitewashing, no recasting or repurposing of negative content into positive opinions or vice versa. If an error is detected, it can be quickly corrected.

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Wikipedia’s Hate Campaign Against Ayurveda

Originally published on the Progressive Radio Network, October 31, 2019 © Richard Gale and Gary Null PhD

Alongside Traditional Chinese Medicine, Indian Ayurveda is one of the world’s oldest medical systems still widely accepted and practiced today. It has managed to thrive and flourish for at least three millennia and has built up an enormous body of diagnostic methods and treatments for a wide variety of mild to life-threatening illnesses and diseases. Evidence-based medicine has yet to fully explore its riches. Unlike modern conventional medicine that dominates our healthcare, Ayurveda is a “whole” medical system that goes beyond standard disease management, but also incorporates sophisticated ways sustain health, prevent physical disorders as well as balance the body and mind to promote wellness.

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Reasons to Walk Away from Wickedpedia

Originally published on the Progressive Radio Network, December 23, 2019 © Richard Gale and Gary Null PhD

It is that time of year for seasonal acts of compassion, kindness and giving. Again Wikipedia’s co-founder Jimmy Wales has reached out to tens of millions of Wikipedia users to solicit donations to keep the Wikimedia Foundation’s small empire of information domination alive on the internet. It is rather outrageous that Wales, a professed atheist and a deep admirer of Richard Dawkins, a leading atheist guru and throwback to the 19th century mentality behind today’s modern Skepticism, would be motivated to disingenuously take advantage of Christmas tidings to further feed the encyclopedia’s billions of dollars in value.

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Wikipedia Editors: A Psychological Profile

by Richard Gale and Gary Null PhD

In looking up information on alternative health issues using a legitimate, highly respected encyclopedia such as Encyclopedia Britannica we find a fair, balanced, and scholarly review of the available literature on topics such as traditional Chinese medicine, homeopathy, acupuncture, etc. Britannica and any of the other six (6) comparable encyclopedias name the editors and provide curriculum vitae demonstrating their expertise in the area of their editing. There is no debasement. There are no attacks. No sense that a person reading any entry should feel mentally incompetent for choosing a particular piece of information. Also, at no point in these highly revered encyclopedias is there character assassination, ridicule, mocking, or disparagement of people supporting any of the alternative and complementary medical approaches. The process is transparent, instructive, and a benefit.

Now let’s compare that to an experience on Wikipedia which calls itself an encyclopedia, but fails even the most rudimentary challenges. Most of the editors are anonymous with no curriculum vitae to see if they have expertise in the area they are editing. Also, words such as “charlatan,” “quack,” “lunatic,” “fringe,” and “pseudoscientific” are not uncommon. There is zero transparency. One feels an oozing sense of condescension viewing the biographies of biologist Rupert Sheldrake, or physician Deepak Chopra, or the investigative work of Sharyl Attkisson. And these are just a few of the many individuals who are held in utter contempt, who have been judged as being of no legitimate value. And even worse, they have been condemned as quacks, charlatans, opportunists, without ever having been interviewed, as if in a Stalinistic show trial—condemned without an opportunity to respond to the allegations.

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Wikipedia: The Internet’s Devil’s Island

Originally published on the Progressive Radio Network, September 30, 2019
© Richard Gale and Dr Gary Null

Institutional incarceration, isolation under torture — physical and/or psychological — takes many forms and shapes. During the course of modern European history, perhaps the most notorious and immoral prison was Devil’s Island, a French penal colony located on one of the smaller isles in the Salvation Islands off the coast of French Guiana. It is estimated that 80,000 prisoners, many who were charged solely for reasons of political conscience, passed through the colony during the century while the colony operated (1852-1953). Seventy-five percent died largely from inhuman living conditions, hard labor, and tropical disease. Only a small handful of prisoners managed to safely escape the island, such as Henri Charriere and Rene Belbernoit and later write their respective memoirs: Papillon and The Dry Guillotine: Fifteen Years Among the Living Dead.

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Stephen Barrett: Wikipedia’s Agent Provacateur Against Natural Medicine

Originally published on the Progressive Radio Network, April 1, 2019
© Richard Gale

During the past year, we have released 24 separate investigative stories about Wikipedia, its co-founder Jimmy Wales, and the fringe movement of Skeptics who have gained monopolistic editorial control over Wikipedia entries dealing with natural health, nutrition and complementary and alternative healing modalities (e.g., Chiropractic, acupuncture, homeopathy, Chinese medicine, naturopathy, etc.). Yet we are unaware of any journalist in the mainstream media or persons within the larger medical and scientific communities who has asked a fundamental question. Are Wikipedia’s editors accurate? How much knowledge and expertise do they possess in the subjects they are critiquing? We have, and we are appalled by our discoveries. Besides using its leverage as the single most visited website influencing people’s information and decisions on health matters, there seems to be growing evidence that Wikipedia is in violation of its IRS status. Wales and his Skeptic comrades have covertly inculcated the encyclopedia with medical ideologies while relying upon slander to stage an offensive that would destroy the reputations of health disciplines they disagree with. Below we are providing one glaring example of an individual who has been the most highly referenced resource for the Skeptic’s aggression, Dr. Stephen Barrett.

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Wikipedia: Rotten to the Core?

Originally published on the Progressive Radio Network, May 10, 2018
By Helen Buyniski

For some time, I’d heard rumors that Wikipedia was not the open-source knowledge utopia it claimed to be. Despite a comprehensive set of rules replete with checks and balances and a seemingly open democratic editing process, stories of pay-for-play editing, character assassinations, ideologically-driven trolling, and other offenses against public knowledge suggested all was not right in Jimmy Wales’ empire. Authors and public figures in fields as diverse as Complementary and Alternative Medicine and progressive politics (including Deepak Chopra, Rupert Sheldrake, Gary Null, John Pilger, and George Galloway) have complained of persistent negative coverage on Wikipedia despite the site’s vaunted neutrality and the promise that “Biographies of Living Persons” are held to the highest standard. Efforts to have misinformation corrected were fruitless and their reputations have suffered as a result.

This seemed implausible. How could a site with over 100,000 volunteer editors, with open access for anyone looking to get involved, be engaged in such widespread bias? As an investigative journalist and activist who has spent many years seeking the truth in a landscape of obfuscation and lies, I decided to find out exactly what was going on at Wikipedia.

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Wikipedia Embraces the Dark Side

Originally published on the Progressive Radio Network, August 2, 2018
By Helen Buyniski

Wikipedia is the fifth most popular website on the internet. It presents itself as a “people’s encyclopedia,” a neutral utopia in which anyone can edit an article in their area of expertise, adding and correcting facts to enhance the sum total of the world’s knowledge. In theory, it is a miracle of decentralized wisdom in which anyone, anywhere, can edify themselves (for free!) on any topic. But if something sounds too good to be true, it probably is.

Wikipedia defines acceptable content by three main pillars – no original research, neutral point of view, and verifiability. These rules are even more strictly enforced for biographies of living persons, given the legal risks of publishing false and defamatory information. Such rules are necessary, as a truly democratic content platform always risks sinking toward the lowest common denominator. As a result, Wikipedia’s vaunted standards have lent it the sheen of respectability, to the point that most people, looking to be quickly informed on a topic for purposes of conversation or even for journalism, search no further than its Wikipedia page.

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Can We Trust Wikipedia and Its Medical Skepticism?

Originally published on the Progressive Radio Network, August 2, 2018
© Richard Gale and Dr Gary Null

It is not skepticism that is at fault for science’s lack of movement into the future… It is fear, conservatism, and dogmatism. It is pseudoskepticism which clings to a scientifically disproved belief system, a triumvirate of ancient philosophies: materialism, rationalism and naturalism.” — Ralph Abraham, Professor of Mathematics, University of California-Santa Cruz.

This article will challenge a relatively recent group of Skeptics that identify themselves as the advocates of Science-Based Medicine (SBM), which is not to be confused with the widely accepted approach to decision-making in medical practice known as Evidence-Based Medicine (EBM). Although SBM’s most vocal leaders are physicians and medical researchers, the group’s origin is more properly found in the growing Skepticism movement, which advocates strict adherence to mainstream science and diligently criticizes alternative and traditional medical systems and therapies as pseudo-science, quackery and enemies of reason.

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Wikipedia: Our New Technological McCarthyism, Part One

Originally published on the Progressive Radio Network, May 3, 2018
© Richard Gale and Dr Gary Null

See part two

Today, the internet, often thought of as our world’s “final frontier” for free thinkers and the flow and exchange of ideas and information, is seriously ill. It has been systemically infected by ideological viruses, memes of information intent on poisoning freedom of expression that we take for granted every time we use Google or visit Facebook, YouTube and now the online encyclopedia Wikipedia. Censorship is not limited to the governments’ attempts to silence dissent. Yet when it succeeds, society is greatly hindered because people no longer have easy access to the whole truth. Censorship is one of the most effective ways to lessen people’s freedoms and numb the faculties for critical thought. And because the media, and having access to news and a wide variety of interpretations and opinions is at our finger tips, it has become a critical part of our daily lives.

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