LA Study Class Newsletter [#15]

My Notes:

In this edition of the newsletter we can see the old style of deepening or study classes. And in turn, contrast it with the mindnumbing Ruhi version that has replaced it. For those who simply don’t remember such discussions (maybe you’re too young or maybe you were not around the Baha’i community when they were the norm) will notice that these two forms are markedly different.

Where Ruhi is black and white (basically telling you the answer and then demanding that you repeated back several times), this sort of deepening is much more open ended, with very few absolute answers. To some that might seem uncomfortable. It is awkward not knowing exactly what something means or what the Writings are telling us to do. It takes a much more developed mind to entertain differing possibilities and to mull even contrasting answers. Although it may be comforting, to bask in the glow of such absolute environments is to basically turn off your critical thinking abilities and to shirk from your God given responsability to investigate the truth independantly.

Which brings me to repeat that this is one of the main reasons that I’m going to the trouble of unearthing these newsletters. To remind Baha’is that this is the way we used to do it and that there is a better (much better way, in fact).

If this is your first newsletter, you might also want to read the introduction to the LA study class, here.

On with the 70’s class . . .


[Ed. personal home address]
May 1, 1977

Dear Baha’i Friends —

APOLOGY DEPT.: Our class on “A Baha’i Theory of Personality,” to be presented by Bonnie Barnes, had to be postponed because of a scheduling foulup. Barnes was told the class was to be on Saturday, April 30 ( a date also listed in a previous newsletter). Originally, the class was to be held on that Saturday to avoid conflicting with any local plans for celebrating the 12th Day of Ridvan. But, the 12th Day of Ridvan fell on a Monday, so we slated the class for Sunday, May 1, however Barnes was told her presentation woudl be made Saturday and showed up then. You got all that, right? Anyhow, we hope to re/schedule her topic for a future class.

Tony Lee stepped into the breach with a backup class based on the outline the Los Angeles Local Spiritual Assembly prepared last year on the meaning of Baha’i deepening. Ten years ago, in a Ridvan message, members of the Universal House of Justice wrote that the sort of understanding they wanted the Baha’i of the world to acquire centered on the answers to four questions: What is Baha’u’llah’s purposefor the human race? For what ends did He submit to the appaling cruelties and indignities heaped upon Him? What does He mean by a “new race of men”? What are the profound changes which He will bring about? Interestingly, the House members noted that the worldwide establishment of universal education, adequate medical care and a high standard of living for all was not the sort of thing that formed the object of Baha’u’llah’s mission. These ideals are, in one form or another, Baha’i social principles and, as such, are frequently presented at Baha’i firesides as more or less constituting the Faith.

Although our class got as far as the first question (What is Baha’u’llah’s purpose for the human race?), it became evident, even from the beginning, this would be a different study class from previous sessions. Those of you who have attended our classes or read about them in these reports have gotten the impression the sessions tend to be intellectual in orientation. This class, however, was more spiritual in its approach. It was not an easy transition for us to make. We often found ourselves slogging along, sometimes near absolute bafflement, in trying to unravel a particular mystery embedded in the Baha’i Revelation. It was one of the most challenging, frustrating classes we’ve ever had. The first major hurdle we encountered was dealing with the implications lying behind the realization that Baha’u’llah’s mission is to originate, promote and produce an organic, fundamental change in the nature of human society.

We all have our concepts, however hazy and half baked they may be, of what the New World Order will look like. A poll of the Baha’is might turn up responses like “no more wars,” “total international cooperation” and “a collective effort to solve the physical and social ills of mankind.” As mentioned earlier, the Universal House of Justice has said none of these conceptions are even close to the truth. But what was even more startling and difficult for class members to adjust to as we got into our topic was the notion that most human history, including such momentus trends as the conversion from predominantly agrarian to an industrial economy, the rise of applied science and the influence of nationalism were only superficial human adjustments when viewed in the light of what is coming.

Things became more difficult for us as we grappled with the mystical and eliptical tone and style of Baha’u’llah’s writings surveying His purpose for mankind. Consider this passage:

When the channel of the human soul is cleansed of all worldly and impeding attachments, it will unfailingly perceive the breath of the Beloved across immesureable distances, and will, led by its perfume, attain and enter the City of Certitude. Therein he will discern the wonders of His ancient wisdom, and will perceive all the hidden teachings from teh rustling leaves of the Tree — which flourisheth in that city. With both his inner and his outer ear he will hear from its dust the hymns of flory and praise ascending unto the Lord of Lords, and with his inner eye will he discover the mysteries of “return” and “revival”. How unspeakably glorious are the signs, the tokens, the revelations, and splendours which He Who is the King of names and attributes hath destined for that City! The attainment of this City quencheth thirst without water, and kindleth the love of God of an inscrutable widsom, and upon every rosebush a myriad nightingales pour out, in blissful rapture, their melody. Its wondrous tulips unfold the mystery of the Burning Bush, and its sweet savours of holiness breathe the perfume fo the Messianic Spirit. It bestoweth wealth without gold, and conferreth immortality without death. In every leaf ineffable delights are treasured, and within every chamber unnumbered mysteries lie hidden.

Kitab-i-Iqan, pp.197-198

Using the metaphor of entering the “City of Certitude,” Baha’u’llah writes that “The attainment of this City quencheth thirst without water, and kindleth the love of God without fire. . . . It bestoweth wealth without gold, and conferreth immortality without death.” To Western minds, trained to follow an orderly progression of logical ideas, this is contradictory and impossible as well as mystical and abstruse.

The paradox Baha’u’llah poses in this passage is repeated elsewhere — in fact, it is one of the Manifestation’s favorite literary devices — and soon it becomes evident that Baha’u’llah employes a style of conscious contradiction and deliberate inconsistency. This can make it even toughter to understand His meaning. Take another example, more clear in style, but still based on paradox, such as this one from Gleanings, page 99:

“The Ancient Beauty hath consented to be bound with chains that mankind may be released from its bondage, and hath accepted to be made a prisoner within this most mighty Stronghold that the whole world may attain unto true liberty. He hath drained to its dregs teh cup of sorrow, that the people of the earth may attain unto abiding joy and be filled with gladness.”

Out of the almost dozen quotes outlining the purpose for mankind presented in the study guide, we extracted a blizzard of possibilities. To cite just a few: “The purpose of God in creating man hath been, and will ever be, to enable him to know his Creator and to attain His presence.” (GL. p.70) “The pupose of the one true God in manifesting Himself is to summon all mankind to truthfulness and sincerity, to piety and trustworthiness, to resignation and submissiveness to the Will of God, to forbearance and kindliness, to uprightness and widsom.” (GL. p.299) “…He, through, the direct operation of His unconstrained and soverigh Will, chose to confer upon man the unique distinction and capacity to know Him an dto love Him — a capacity that must needs be regarded as the generating impulse and primary purpose underlying the whole of creation . . .” (GL. p.65). “His purpose, however, is to enable the pure in spirit and the detached in heart to ascend, by virtue of their own innate powers, unto the shores of the Most Great Ocean …” (GL. p.71)

It did not take long for it to become obvious that Baha’u’llah was using symbols — “the City of Certitude,” “the Most Great Ocean” — to convey an idea. But symbols, we have been taught, are used to represent something. What we could not unravel was what Baha’u’llah’s symbols symbolized. What does He mean by the “City of Certitude”? And how can one “ascend…unto the shores of the Most Great Ocean”? Here again is that paradox! Oceans are low-lying bodies of water. One descends to an ocean, one doesn’t “ascend” to its shores.

Class members battled these and related mysteries for a while, but got nowhere. Then it was suggested that Baha’u’llah is trying to communicate something that words alone cannot convey. Contrary to our training and experience, Baha’u’llah does not use words to impart understanding, but instead uses them to inspire insights. Infact, we decided, Baha’u’llah does not use words to convey meaning, but to achieve an emotional and spiritual effect — and that effect is to inspire religious rapture

We ran into trouble because we were searching for the meaning of Baha’u’llah’s symbols. It did not occur to any of us, until we met with difficulty in finding that meaning that there may not have been any meaning, at least not as we know it, but that Baha’u’llah’s purpose was something else. It may be that Baha’u’llah’s use of language is, on some limited scale, a model of what He hopes to do with mankind. The Manifestation transforms language from what we are used to into something quite beyond what we expect. From all indications, this also is what He will do on a larger order with mankind.

NEXT CLASS: Greg Wahlstrom’s long-awaited review of the Calamity (it bombed in Peoria …sorry about that), will be our next topic. The class will be held on Saturday, [Ed. hand written note: June 11th] (not Sunday, May 15, as originally announced) at 2 pm. Ground zero…er…the location of the class will be in the Wahlstrom’s home shelter in their home at [Ed. home address, directions and phone number follows]. And don’t worry about the real calamity. No one would ever bomb Faywood — except maybe by accident.



The original scanned documents can be found here.

More of the Same

I noticed that as soon I put up my reply to a message on Baha´i Livejournal it was erased.The moderators of that website have complete control and authority to moderate as they wish, of course. Nevertheless, if they think that this somehow shuts me up (or others like me) or “protects” others from my “subversive” ideas they are mistaken.

Wake up. This is the internet (some even say alluded to by Shoghi Effendi himself). No one can control it. No one. Stop this before you look more and more like the IRI. Right now, all the AO can do is censor ideas off certain websites and send threatening letters. And when or if they have real powers? How many “dissident” Baha´is would be under house-arrest or jailed? I wonder.

Rather than engaging in dialogue with a fellow Baha´i, they choose to censor and shut themselves off. Rather than consulting and exchanging differing ideas (to see if we can cause a spark to fly off), they cocoon themselves in a community of likeminds. No free thinkers allowed!

It is amusing that the readers of Baha´i Livejournal are actually somewhat familiar with my blog. Someone recently even copied and pasted my complete post regarding Oneworldhosts – with the careful attention of not mentioning who wrote that post or where it was found. And another referred to my post on Mona.

So basically, they can take from my blog when it suits their purposes, but I can´t contribute to theirs. Ummm.. yeah, ok.

LA Study Class Newsletter [#14]

My Notes:

Authenticity of the Baha´i texts isn´t as simple as one would initially think. After all the assumption is that since the Baha´i Faith is such a young religion and since all of the texts were authenticated personally by the Manifestation, there should be no qualms at all about this issue.

Fortunately, the truth is somewhat different. Fortunate, because it gives scholars an opportunity for some original research and thought. If you are interested in an example of such dialogue, you may want to check out Talisman´s discussion of “The Promulgation of Universal Peace” in the first week of January 2005 (check the archives).

On a different note, but same topic, I read recently an interesting article about scholars working on authenticating Quranic text based on very, very old copies of the Quran. Since the Quran has been transcribed over many generations by hand, there are some errors that have inevitable crept in. These scholars made a find of historical proportions where they unearthed, behind a mosque wall, a Quran cemetary.

That is, a place where old copies of the Quran, worn out from use, were deposited. This is an ancient tradition due to the extreme respect that Muslims place for the physical word of God. It would be unthinkable to simply discard or burn or in any other way dispose of the Quran. Anyway, thanks to this ancient custom these scientists discovered a treasure trove of very ancient Qurans which allowed them to slowly create a timeline and trace back any and all changes over the years.

Needless to mention, such a scholarly work is extremely dangerous because Muslims can be rather prickly when you suggest that their text came through any other form than pure descent or revelation from God (and what religion isn´t?). I found this article extremely interesting because it is a commonly known thing that the Quran is little understood today. Some say this is because it was written in a very ancient version of Arabic. This new theory states that maybe we don´t understand it because some scribe wrote down the wrong letter or word. I´ll try to find it and post it if I can (in the meantime if you know what I´m referring to, reply with the link please and help us all out).

If this is your first newsletter, you might also want to read the introduction to the LA study class, here.

On with the 70’s class . . .


[Ed. personal home address]
April 17, 1977

Dear Baha’i Friends —

As part of our class newsletters last December and earlier this year, and then mostly as a side issue, Tony Lee and Denis MacEoin, one of our English correspondents, offered their own classification system of Baha’i Writings. Their reason for compiling these outlines was to rank the relative importance of statements attributed to or written by the Central Figures of the Faith, the Guardian and the Universal House of Justice. Such a ranking is important because, for example, remarks jotted down by Baha’i visitors to Israel when in the presence of Shoghi Effendi have come to be known as pilgrim’s notes and have no authenticity nor binding affect at all.

Lee and MacEoin were careful to point out that the rankings they made separately were their own invention and represented, by no means, the last word in this area. MacEoin further cautioned that his own order of authenticity was formulated several years ago and, where he to do it again, he would make some changes. (At this point, it would be helpful for those who have been with us long enough to have compiled a backlog of past newsletter issues to trot out the ones relevant to this discussion. You more recent arrivals will just have to suffer through.)

When Lee and MacEoin submitted their outlines to the class both invited comments to the proposals. Our Baha’i study class of April 17 heard one such commentary from Dr. Amin Banani. Here is a summary of what he said.

In both outlines, a process of establishing historical authenticity (hence reliability) has been mixed up with the concept of Divine authority as it is reflected in the Baha’i Writings. While authenticity and authority are related, they are not the same. Using one (that is, establishing authenticity) to measure the other (religious authority) is a risky business. For example, the MacEpoin outline lists 13 classifications for the words of the Bab, the most authentic (and authoritative) being those words written by the Bab Himself that are quoted in the Baha’i sources. Ranked 11th in the MacEoin hierarchy are the words of the Bab as quoted by Baha’u’llah. MacEoin has given greater reliability, for example, to utterances of the Bab when they appear in Muslim histories, “neutral” histories and contemporary documents written by non-Babis than it credits Baha’u’llah with having. Dr. Banani said it seems to him Baha’u’llah quoting the Bab is to be regarded as more authoritative than remarks of the Bab cited, for example, in the “neutral” histories MacEoin ranks higher. Continuing his analysis, Dr. Banani went on to say:

The Lee and MacEoin outlines set up gradations of relative authenticity by ranking Baha’i writings in an order of importance. The underlying assumption is that such a hierarchy sets out the authority and importance of each source. While attempts such as those offered by Lee and MacEoin are interesting and thought provoking, it is up to Baha’i administrative institutions, specifically, the Universal House of Justice, to make decisions about how authentic (and therefore reliable) various Baha’i works are. Rating which writings are more valid or less valid is not up to individual Baha’is, no matter how well intentioned and sincere they are.

Efforts to determine authenticity (and thereby judge authority) are not new with the Bah’ai Faith. Judaism, Christianity and Islam have all been subjected to this same inquiry. What such efforts boil down to is a question of: How do we distinguish between the Words of God and the words of man? Taking Islam, as an example, the tone and style of the Quran have convinced some Muslim scholars there is, on God’s part, a “Divine preference for the Arabic language.” This assumption has become part of a fundamentalist credo in Islam. Since the Quran was written in Arabic, there are, in Muslim views, prohibitions against translating the Holy Book into other languages. But, this interdiction, rather than hampering the spread of Islam, instead has served to make Arabic the “lingua franca” of the Muslim world. Once knowledgeable in Arabic, a necessity for reading the Quran, the languge becomes the common tongue for Muslims from different areas to communicate with each other.

The whole notion of how God communicates to man through a prophet relates to the twin subjects of classification and authenticity of religious scripture. The history of religion is a history of God revealing His Will through some chosen instrument. Baha’is call this a manifestation. These people must use words to convey God’s message as revealed to them. It is from this transformation (Will of God into words of prophet) that the whole idea of the “creative word” comes into being. (Still with us here gang?) The beginning of the act of divine creation often is described in terms of an oral command, a word or set of words. Verses in the Quran frequently begin with the command: “Say!” (Near the beginning of the Bible, in Genesis I, chapter 3, it reads “And God said, ‘Let there be light:’ and there was light.”) Baha’u’llah affirms this concept of the creative word, saying it is proof of the validity of religious revelation.

FOLLOW-UP DEPT. During our general comment section, Dr. Banani was asked what particular significance the Yazd incident and trial (see April 6 newsletter) played in the Baha’i history of modern Iran. He replied that there was nothing very noteworthy about the entire matter except that it occured at the close of a period of relatice calm that existed in Persian from the 1920’s up through the 1940’s, when the Baha’is were left pretty much alone. But the arrest and 1952 kangaroo-court trial of more than a dozen Baha’is on trumped up charges of murder set off a “realization that, at any time, abridgement of their human rights could take place,” Dr. Banani said.



The original scanned documents can be found here.

We have met the enemy… and he is us

I don´t think most Bahai´s in the world would recognize the religion described below, where it not for the familiar titles and names such as Auxiliary Board members, Counsellors, etc. In fact most are rather alarmed and can´t quite come to believe what their eyes are telling them. I´m sure that some would even claim that the quote that I´ve included below is made up and can´t possibly have come from the Universal House of Justice.

But here it is:

Although deepening the friends’ understanding of the Covenant and increasing their love and loyalty to it are of paramount importance, the duties of the Auxiliary Board members for Protection do not end here. The Board members must remain ever vigilant, monitoring the actions of those who, driven by the promptings of ego, seek to sow the seeds of doubt in the minds of the friends and undermine the Faith. In general, whenever believers become aware of such problems, they should immediately contact whatever institution they feel moved to turn to, whether it be a Counsellor, an Auxiliary Board member, the National Spiritual Assembly or their own Local Assembly. It then becomes the duty of that institution to ensure that the report is fed into the correct channels and that all the other institutions affected are promptly informed. Not infrequently, the responsibility will fall on an Auxiliary Board member, in coordination with the Assembly concerned, to take some form of action in response to the situation. This involvement will include counselling the believer in question; warning him, if necessary, of the consequence of his actions; and bringing to the attention of the Counsellors the gravity of the situation, which may call for their intervention. Naturally, the Board member has to exert every effort to counteract the schemes and arrest the spread of the influence of those few who, despite attempts to guide them, eventually break the Covenant.

The need to protect the Faith from the attacks of its enemies may not be generally appreciated by the friends, particularly in places where attacks have been infrequent. However, it is certain that such opposition will increase, become concerted, and eventually universal. The writings clearly foreshadow not only an intensification of the machinations of internal enemies, but a rise in the hostility and opposition of its external enemies, whether religious or secular, as the Cause pursues its onward march towards ultimate victory. Therefore, in the light of the warnings of the Guardian, the Auxiliary Boards for Protection should keep “constantly” a “watchful eye” on those “who are known to be enemies, or to have been put out of the Faith”, discreetly investigate their activities, alert intelligently the friends to the opposition inevitably to come, explain how each crisis in God’s Faith has always proved to be a blessing in disguise, and prepare them for the “dire contest which is destined to range the Army of Light against the forces of darkness”.

The Universal House of Justice

[The above excerpt is from this original document. Look for it on paragraph 72 onward and page 27 onward.]

And if you think that this is simply rhetoric or theory that is not implemented, you are in for an even bigger shock. It is not. Regularly, Baha´is like you and me are the target of witch hunts. You want names? Taheri, Karimpour, Glaysher, McKenny, Marshall, Cole, Pleasant, Gasink, and unfortunately, many many more.

What I find revolting is that not only has there been a systematic mechanism built through the appointed institutions, ala KGB, to spy and report on Baha´is, but that Baha´is themselves are being asked to snitch on their fellow believers!

This paranoia would be hysterical if it weren´t so damaging. Within a few decades it has substituted the tolerant and loving community life that once thrived with a distrustful and poisoned one. Whereas before the Faith community was based on pluralism and unity in diversity, it now seeks to inculcate a strict dogma. If you find yourself, in anyway not buying into it wholesale, then you are an “internal” enemy. A “friendly” visit by a fellow Baha´i to chat over coffee can instantly become much more sinister.

Of course, the interesting and paradoxical result of looking for negatives is that you find them, all over the place. This is the amazing power of an individual and/or collective mind. Whatever you set as your target you will attract it, like a heat seeking missile. Try it.

As you are sitting there right now reading this, you suddenly realize that your tongue feels rather heavy. You move it around trying to find a comfortable place for it. You swallow a bit but it still feels weird. Why does your tongue feel so heavy? it was fine a minute ago?

Simple. We made it into an issue. We brought a negative connotation to it as well as attention. Now you will probably spend the rest of the day preoccupied, wondering what the heck to do with your tongue. From this simple example we see the amazing principle that whatever you give attention to, your mind will seek.

This is an inestimably powerful principle. Used positively and collectively it can lead mankind into a virtuous cycle or used negatively it can spiral into a vicious cycle (as history readily attests to it). Is this why in every religion we are told to seek the good, the positive, the beautiful, the unifying and to do good, to help, to aid and rescue? Hmmm…there might be something there.

Returning to our discussion, it is worthwhile to give credit to a few Baha´is who have publicly shared that when they were being appointed to positions in the institutions, they were told that their job would be keeping files on other Baha´is, and they got up and left the room. They could not imagine doing something like that to their friends. You really have to wonder how any true Baha´i could both follow the Exemplar of the Faith, and do such a horribly unBaha´i thing as keeping secret files. I don´t know how they sleep at night, really.

The Situation is Hopeless, But Not Serious

I found this recent post on Baha´i Livejournal to be bittersweet.Bittersweet because it is a situation many Baha´is are well acquainted with. And if you personally aren´t then you are suffering from a rather large concussion or simply haven´t travelled enough within the Baha´i world community.

There are some elements which all Baha´i communities share. From Botswana to Switzerland. From LA to Katmandu. These are that all LSAs are basically disfunctional, the members at each other´s throats, deadlocked. It is worse than any political parliamentary process I have ever seen. Unless you have seen it from upclose, as the poster above describes so tactfully, you can not imagine the vitriol, the emotional blindness and sheer egotism that exists within LSA meetings.

That is not to say that such things don´t exist in NSA meetings (or even UHJ or ITC meetings). But atleast the higher bodies have the ability to use subtlety and hidden Machiavellian maneuverings behind the scene. LSA meetings on the other hand are analogous to hand to hand combat in the Circus Maximus.

And it isn´t surprising that many people simply decide to “call in sick” and either not show up to the meetings once elected, leaving the quorum to its own devices, or they take precautionary measures by not simply showing up at the strategically important holy day celebrations, social gatherings and feasts just before the annual elections (so as to not be in the “public eye” and therefore not elected) or to withdraw (as the recent example of Momen from the UK illustrates) posthaste from the battle.

Bittersweet because once Baha´is know this to be reality, it may bother them, but at the same time it may explain why entire communities remain stagnant (or even go into decline), why the Faith is seemingly not making any significant inroads in the world and why the life of the general community is so poisonous. Its not pretty, but it is the truth. And maybe its better knowing because its worse living with that question that won´t go away but sits at the back of your mind asking, why are things so crappy? is this what I signed up for? is this the best we can do?

The reason why this sad situation exists is no mystery. The Baha´i election process, as it stands right now is designed so that the same people get elected. The plague of incumbency makes it almost impossible to have a wholesale change in the membership of any LSA, NSA or even the UHJ. Usually what happens is one or two (or maybe three) members change but the vast majority remain as before. In this way, decades can pass with an assembly being primarily composed of the same persons (and having the same persons in the key positions of Chairman, Secretary and Treasurer). Human nature, being what it is, causes camps to develop and polarize into extreme positions.

The solution, interestingly enough has been with us for many years. The most famous instance it was brought to the Baha´i communities attention was when a group of young, idealistic Baha´is in LA in the late 80´s thought they could actually put the Writings into practice and hope to change things for the better. They got together and penned a document which they titled tongue-in-cheek as “A Modest Proposal” (a title used originally by Swift).

For their troubles the authors were raked over coals, publicly denounced on the floor of the US National Convention by a member of the NSA as “worse than covenant-breakers” and hounded within the Baha´i community, causing many to eventually leave. The Baha´i magazine, Dialogue, which was to publish the document was also forced to close.

What was in that document that was so bad? why were they called “worse than covenant breakers” when they obviously weren´t? why were they accused falsely of distributing a petition? (Falsely because it wasn´t a petition and even if it were, Baha´u´llah, Abdu´l-Baha and the UHJ all have received and graciously answered petitions!)

Well, the document is here for you to peruse. I can´t tell you what to think about it. You´ll have to make up your own mind. I think its called individual investigation of truth, or something like that, isn´t it? (for more info, you might consider Karen´s articles or a simple search on Google.)

I can tell you that part of the document deals with term limits (page six). The simple idea that membership to the different elected institutions should have time limits. Thus allowing for new points of view, fresh ideas and the avoidance of camps or factions within the elected institutions; the avoidance of personality clashes between two or more people which can only become more and more bitter over the years and poison the life of the community. Basically the situation that our friend described so ever tactfully in her post on Livejournal (above).

And interestingly enough this idea is not, as some ignorant Baha´is would claim, against anything in the Writings. But in fact, it is in total harmony with the revealed guidance regarding the institutions. In fact once you read “A Modest Proposal” you will notice that many of the suggestions or “proposals” then called heretic were later implemented by the UHJ, the ITC and the NSA. I´ll leave you to figure out which. And no they do not have the same labels or names as the ones used in “A Modest Proposal” – what? do you take the powers that be to be fools?

Since many of the once heretical suggestions have been already implemented (ofcourse, after their authors were libelled, persecuted and assaulted and different names used for the initiatives they suggested) why not implement another one?

As Watzlawick might say: the situation is hopeless, and the solution is hopelessly simple.