Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Edinburgh City Mission - again!

I was responding to a friends message on Facebook and wanted to put in a link to an article I wrote in 2009 about Edinburgh City Mission's promotion of creationism. I did a quick search on Google rather than using my blog search in order to find the page, but it has dropped out of the Google index. Nothing odd about that, it does happen sometimes, but its not even appearing under really precise searches like "Gordon's Blog Edinburgh City Mission".

Anyway, I had a look at the Wikipedia page for Edinburgh City Mission and a link to my article which had been there since 2009 had also disappeared. According to Wikipedia it was removed on 23rd November 2010 by a user calling himself Keith Wapshott with no specific reason given:

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Out of interest I put the name of that Wikipedia editor into Google and it brought me to the new web site of Edinburgh City Mission which lists the same person as the designer in the footer of every page:

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I don't enjoy pointing this out. If its true (and lets face it, it Wikipedia is prone to weirdness) its a rather unseemly way to behave, especially if creationists are right, God is all powerful and prayer works.

I am not against Edinburgh City Mission in any way. I just don't think that they should be using charitable resources, donated primarily to help the poor in practical ways, to promote fringe beliefs (only 39% of Evangelicals believe that Evolution and Christianity are incompatible and less than 10% of all Christians worldwide). As a charity they are open to public scrutiny and debate. Everyone has an opinion, and the Internet allows those opinions to be heard more clearly. Using technical blocking tactics to prevent alternative opinions being heard is wrong, but this is the third time I have experienced this from evangelical fundamentalists. Its quite a clear pattern.

Example 1 (its a long read - threat of lawyers for telling my own personal story)
Example 2

In the USA, a number of the big Evangelical ministries use cease and desist and copyright complaints to prevent reasonable debate, or to prevent their material being seen outside its intended audience, and the same seems to be happening here.

If these people are right in their opinions then they will win the argument hands down without any dirty tricks.


  1. I wish I could say I was surprised!

  2. I checked chilling effects and there is no listing for that URL so there has been no C&D on it, but its not showing up in Google unless you enter the full URL. I am definitely surprised at the removal of the link. I may tweet on it, but following #twitterjoketrial I may need legal advice first!

  3. I have added a note to the end of the article as this seems to be becoming a trend.

  4. Hi Gordon,
    Have messaged you on Twitter but would love to speak to you or meet up. My name is Kevin O'Sullivan, freelance journalist and ex-Sun reporter, for my sins! But I have seen the light, in terms of journalism at least.


  5. I suspect that the Charities Commission may also be interested in hearing about this.

  6. No, its a Scottish charity not governed by the Charities Commission. In any case its registered as a religious charity so entitled to promote religious beliefs (no matter how weird).