On Wed, 27 Nov 2013, Ted P Gemberling wrote:

> I think the "subjective information"  on Knotts isn't as bad as that for Moon.

  Perhaps we could hinge consideration of such 670 information on how 
necessary it is to identify the person being described.

> But to call Moon a "self-proclaimed [or pseudo-] messiah" is openly 
> contemptuous of the church he founded.

  I wouldn't equate "self-proclaimed" with "pseudo- ."

  Actually it's quite accurate. Moon wrote a book called The Divine 
Principle in which he (the author, Moon) states that he (Moon) was sent 
from the East to be the Messiah and finish Jesus' mission. He was not 
declared as a messiah by anyone before that time, or before his time.

>  Though "pseudo-messiahs" is an established LCSH heading, it strikes me 
> that it would only be safe to use it after a period of decades, at 
> least, after the death of the person.

  I would expect that LC would only apply the term to persons generally and 
BEST known as such.

  Interesting point: I noticed that a key part of a common definition of 
"messiah" is that such a person be "anticipated" or "expected." That would 
not apply to Moon, but it might apply to Hernan Cortez. :)

> In a shorter time frame, the description would be controversial.

  The term "messiah" itself is, as is any religious doctrine, by its very 
nature "controversial", as discussion of who would kill Jesus if he 
returned indicates.

> I think it might be impossible to make hard and fast rules about this 
> sort of thing.

  Again, I'd suggest including in 670s only information that aids in 
identifying the person involved. Rather than considering "subjective" data 
"controversial", judge it as to whether it is useful for the purpose of an 
authority record.

> It's a matter of "cataloger judgment", as we've long been told. But 
> catalogers do need to have good judgment!

  What is more subjective than determining whether a person possesses "good 

  How about rephrasing that to suggest that a "good" cataloger be 
objective, and then discuss "goodness" with regard to the nature of 

  Ahem. If only we took the effort to set identifiable parameters for 
objectivity and required the same in politics and of the media... or is it 
counter to "human nature" to do so?



  John G. Marr
  Univ. of New Mexico
  Albuquerque, NM 87131
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