Critics of Wikipedia have often questioned the credibility of the on-line encyclopedia as a reliable resource for objective information.

Wikipedia’s disclaimer warns, “Please be advised that nothing found here has necessarily been reviewed by people with the expertise required to provide you with complete, accurate or reliable information.”

Therefore the disclaimer concludes, “Wikipedia cannot guarantee the validity of the information found here.” And this statement does appear in bold black type.

Now it seems Wikipedia participants cannot even rely upon its editors to remain neutral and that some may have come to the on-line encyclopedia with an agenda.

Recently one Wikipedia adminstrator/editor has been outed by The Register regarding his bias and questionable behavior. It seems that this editor has used the Web site to promote his spiritual guru and attack any of his mentor’s critics.

Wikipedia administrator Jossi Fresco is a long-time devotee of the controversial Indian guru Maharaji, once proclaimed by his followers “Lord of the Universe.”

prem_rawat.jpgGuru Maharaji led the group “Divine Light Mission,” which was often referred to as a “cult” by the media.

Maharaji received so much bad press he later changed his name to “Prem Rawat” (see photo left), settled upon the title of “motivational speaker” and now calls his group “Elan Vital.”

Jossi Fresco has worked for Prem Rewat, though he is rather vague about his current job, which seems to include using Wikipedia to promote his guru.

Jossi not only has used his editor’s position to stiffle criticism of Prem Rawat, but has also more generally manipulated Wikipedia entries on the subject of cults and related topics. Jossi’s efforts have at times included the Wikipedia page about me (Rick Ross), creator of CultNews.

But here is the real kicker.

If anyone thinks that Jossi Fresco’s actions at Wikipedia represent a “conflict of interest” what can be done?

Well, complaints would likely go to Wikipedia’sConflict of Interest Noticeboard.

But don’t be shocked if you receive something less than a “fair shake” at this Internet location.

After all, Jossi Fresco created this board.

So it seems there is a “conflict of interest” at the Wikipedia “Conflict of Interest Noticeboard.”

jimmy_wales.jpgReportedly Wikipedia’s “elite” have been informed and are “well aware” regarding the details about Jossi Fresco. And those informed notably includes Wikipedia creator Jimmy “Jimbo” Wales (see photo right).

But nothing has been done about Fresco to date.

Jossi Fresco is a glaring example of why Wikipedia is at times a less than credible Internet resource and per its disclaimer no one should automatically accept “the validity of information found” there.


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  1. […] plenty of scandals, but mostly about the people you would expect to be a little more contentious; cult leaders, dubious market traders and off course, nasty teenage grammar-nazis who feel that their […]

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