Friday, January 1, 2010

How the Hyperpreterists High Jacked Wikipedia

For those unaware, Wikipedia is an online “open-source” encyclopedia.  Open-source means that almost anyone can contribute & edit.   The first history log listed for the Wikipedia presentation of Preterism appears to be Sept 28, 2001 but I believe the entry was started even before that.  Some background on how this entry has evolved goes as follows (& Dee Dee can fill in the blanks since she was instrumental in the early days).

I believe the entry was initially dominated by the Max King faction of hyperpreterism, now known as the “Transmillennials(tm)” (yes they trademarked the term).  Max King is often considered the founder of the modern hyperpreterist movement.  From the biographical book called “Give Me This Mountain” written by Tim King, Max King’s son, comes this quote:

“Now for the first time the founding story of fulfilled Bible prophecy is told. From its roots seventy years ago in West Virginia to its breakthroughs in biblical renewal today—all across the world.” (backcover Give Me This Mountain)
So, it is clear that the King’s believe Max King is the “founder”.  This is important because during the early days of the Wikipedia entry on Preterism, there was wanton promotion of Max King.
By 2004 (perhaps much sooner) Dee Dee began contributing & editing the Preterism entry to make it more balanced.  There was a major editing war where Dee Dee would make a change & the hyperpreterists would change it back to their hyperpreterist slant.
During these edit wars, one hyperpreterist (Virgil Vaduva) even threatened to sue Wikipedia unless it allowed him to dictate the entry — claiming he had trademarked the term. (see evidence)  And in 2003 Vaduva actually DID arrogantly apply for a U.S. trademark on the word “preterism” (see evidence).  So, not only was Vaduva arrogant enough to try to trademark a theological term, but he lied to Wikipedia about actually obtaining the trademark, threatening Wikipedia like a common rock-throwing thug.
Vaduva’s threat to Wikipedia is as follows (notice how he was concerned with “business losses”)
“you are asking for legal trouble by continuing to allow the labeling of a large group of people as “heretics” - PRETERISM is a registered U.S. trademark and you continue to allow the mark to be denigrated and allow Dee Dee Warren to create business losses for our organization. Either put a stop to this negative attack on PRETERISM, or remove the definition completely from your website. I am tired of trying to negotiate with you guys and getting nowhere with you.” (Vaduva threatening to sue Wikipedia)

As the “editing war” heated up, hyperpreterists were even encouraging one another to go to Wikipedia & join in on the battle.  A quote from Vaduva’s own website is as follows:
“I encourage all of you to keep an eye on Wikipedia’s definition of Preterism and if possible try to eliminate any partial preterist influences and mis-deeds occuring there. Let the edit wars begin!” (from Vaduva’s website)
They were being encouraged to specifically ELIMINATE non-hyperpreterist influences & reveled in the idea of an edit war.
As the edit war raged on, Dee Dee enlisted the help of a hyperpreterist named Mike Beidler (who is now a functional atheist - see footnote*) to help resolve the dispute.  With Beidler’s help, Dee Dee was able to make some headway on a more NPOV (neutral point of view) entry.  (see evidence).  But the entry still remained fatally flawed & remains so to this day.  Let’s look at the entry itself & comment as we go:
Under the “History of Preterism” header we see this sentence:
“Due to resistance by Protestant Historicists, the Preterist view was slow to gain acceptance outside the Roman Catholic Church.”
This is an untrue statement IF we see that historically, the Protestant/Reformed theologians DID hold to the notion that MOST of the Olivet Discourse (Mt 24/Mk 13/Lk 21) was fulfilled in the AD70 destruction of Jerusalem & the Temple — YET, those theologians didn’t call their belief “preterism” since there never was really such a theological school.  Hyperpreterists MUST perpetuate this notion that the Church has not held any form of preterism so that hyperpreterism can maintain its conspiracy theory that 2000 years worth of Christianity got it all wrong.  If it is seen that MOST of the Church has held to a historical form of preterism, it would immediately show that what hyperpreterists advocate is indeed HYPER (beyond the original intent & scope).
The major errors in the Wikipedia entry come in under the header, “Preterist Sub-Variants“.  Watch this blatant promotion of hyperpreterism:
“Another sub-variant of traditional preterism is “full or consistent preterism”. This theology follows the hermeneutics of partial preterism a step farther, claiming that all Biblical prophecy was fulfilled in A.D. 70. Partial Preterists assert that this was not the original form of Preterism, but that it was a later corruption of preteristic theology. On the other hand, Full Preterists claim that they are merely embracing the proper conclusions of the very hermeneutics endorsed by partial preterists. Also, Full Preterists do not agree with the partial pret claims that their theology goes beyond the original “intent” of preterism. Protestants generally agree that the ‘intent’ of Christian doctrine is governed by Scripture alone, and not by fallible men. Therefore, the partial preterist argument fails to meet Full Preterism on its own grounds. What is the solution? Some feel that partial preterists, in refusing to deal directly with the exegetical arguments proposed by Full Preterists, have lost credibility to any fair hearing. Therefore, it is suggested by Full Preterists that their opponents return to “Sola Scriptura” foundations.” (from Wikipedia on Preterism)
First off, how can historic preterism (here labeled as “partial preterism”) be a “sub-variant” of itself?  The original CANNOT be its own variant.  Now, when a variant goes beyond the original intent & scope, it is typically called HYPER such as when HYPER-Calvinism goes beyond the original intent & scope of historic/traditional Calvinism YET, you see no reference to that in the above paragraph.  Instead, there is blatant editoralizing which basically implies that historic Preterists will not “deal directly” with the supposed “exegetical” arguments of hyperpreterists.  And this hyperpreterist editorial ends by basically claiming historic preterists do not use the Bible as their governing rule…as if hyperpreterists do.  That entire paragraph should be deleted from the entry.
The inconsistencies of the entry are very apparent.  For example, we saw earlier how someone was trying to portray historic preterism as merely a Roman Catholic invention yet under the heading called “Partial Preterism” we read:
“Historic or Partial preterism is the older of the two views, dating back to even the 2nd century Church fathers…”
Shouldn’t this heading then more accurately be called HISTORIC PRETERISM since it is the OLDER version (or rather the ORIGINAL)?  Why is the HYPER version being promoted as a mere variant where in other sciences it would be called a MUTATION or distortion?
Compare how hyperpreterism is handled on Wikipedia with how Hyper-Calvinism is handled.  See Hyper-Calvinism link
The Hyper-Calvinism entry first rightly makes the HYPER brand of Calvinism a distinct entry so as not to lend it credibility from the original form.   The Hyper-Calvinism entry accurately portrays it from deviating from the original:
“Hyper-Calvinism historically arose from within the Calvinist tradition…”
And further, the entry lists the main progenitors of Hyper-Calvinism.  The hyperpreterist entry makes it sound like hyperpreterism was always advocated along side of historic preterism.
The Hyper-Calvinist entry even has a heading called “Comparison to historic Calvinist doctrine“.  At least this is an honest heading that shows the reader that whatever they conclude about Hyper-Calvinism, they must understand that it was not merely a “sub-variant” but is a mutation of the original form.
The Calvinism entry on Wikipedia isn’t interlaced & blatantly editorialized with Hyper-Calvinism trying to pose as a mere variant.  There is a specific link from the Calvinism entry to the Hyper-Calvinism entry so that the reader will realize that the Hyper-Calvinism is different.
In conclusion, I thank Dee Dee for working those many years to keep the Wikipedia entry on Preterism from being a mere propaganda piece for hyperpreterism but as you can see, it still needs work, but if you do attempt to undertake contributing & editing the entry, just know you will be met by rabid hyperpreterists who have admitted their goal is to ELIMINATE any influences from non-hyperpreterists.  I would also encourage you NOT to refer people to the Wikipedia entry on Preterism since it is such a distorted representation of preterism.

  • * Functional Atheist means the person functions or behaves like an atheist.  In this case, Beidler is an avid evolutionist (see his website: & thus even though he may pray five times a day he still denies the God of the Bible is the CREATOR (not just the evolver) & so he functions as an atheist.

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