Election Participation Rates: How Low is Too Low?

Last week Baha’i communities held their electoral unit conventions to pick who would represent them in the election of the National Spiritual Assembly. These chosen delegates will represent their communities at Ridvan when they will in turn elect 9 members from all of the eligible Baha’is in their country to the NSA.

The unit convention and the national convention are not only important components of the Baha’i election system but also play a vital role in Baha’i administration. It is here that Baha’is have a chance to come together as a locality and as a nation to discuss and consult on important matters.

put me down for the incumbents

It is also here that much drama has unfolded in the past. For example, it was at a national convention when the Dialogue magazine and its editors were denounced:

Although the editors and staff cooperated with the often cumbersome review process, the magazine was viewed with great suspicion by the National Spiritual Assembly. At the 1988 National Convention, when delegates from around the country gathered to elect the next year’s Assembly, External Affairs Secretary Firuz Kazemzadeh denounced a particular article slated for publication called A Modest Proposal and described those involved with the magazine as “dissidents”. Faced with such hostility, and with their reputation thus ruined in the eyes of the community, the editors stopped publication. Several of those involved in the L.A. study group and Dialogue magazine were later active participants on the Talisman forum.

What should be of concern is the anemic participation in the unit conventions. Looking around at the numbers, the percentage of votes cast in each unit convention is shockingly low. I realize that all Baha’i communities, especially large ones, are beset by this same problem. Participation in the fund, feast, Ruhi, etc. is but a fraction of the complete membership on the rolls. Such non-interaction and non-involvement with the community is a major sign of something terribly wrong.

So participation in elections can be argued to be just another symptoms along with the rest. But I would argue that elections are vital as they can be pivotal to the course the community takes. First, we must wake up to the fact that low participation rates is dangerous. Not surprisingly, with such a low turnout, the same handful of candidates are almost always chosen. Second, we must begin to take serious action to remedy the root causes of this.

I’m curious what your community’s participation rate was. It is clearly reported, along with all detailed statistics such as number of votes, spoilt ballots, etc. in the unit convention report. Usually it is reported immediately after the convention so if you haven’t received it, ask around. And drop a comment below to let us know if your community is having better luck at this and also if it is a small, medium or large size.

So far, from the data I’m seeing, participation rates are averaging 34-18%. This is inline with participation rates for fund contributions and LSA elections.

Let us know what you think. Do you think this is a serious problem that must be addressed? or do you think that there is nothing wrong with such a rate?

  • http://www.facebook.com/lazarus.anderson Larry Anderson

    To be fair, political elections have similarly low rates of participation, so perhaps the low rate of participation in Baha’i elections is unsurprising.

    However, probably a larger problem is the patently inflated Baha’i membership rolls. It is axiomatic that in almost all Baha’i communities, there are people on the rolls who are never seen or heard from. It’s true that there are some who cannot make it to events, or whose partners are non-Baha’is hostile to the faith. But I suspect that the Baha’i fixation on administration and record-keeping means that many of them are simply people who left without bothering to officially resign. That should not come as a surprise. After all, having decided to move on, they can hardly be blamed for not regarding NSA records as important, or for declining to let their own religious identity be defined by someone else’s paperwork.

  • Anonymous

    Larry, the last US election had a 63% turnout – that’s between 2-3.5 times what I’m seeing for unit conventions. But do we really want to compare Baha’i elections to partisan elections?

    Your point about the inflated membership rolls is a valid one. That is to say, it may not be just that people are not participating but that the total community population is artificially high so it seems that people are nto participating as much.

    I think it is a combination of this and apathy. But don’t you think an 18% turnout is too low? I mean, at what point does the LSA or NSA or UHJ say, wait a minute! something is really wrong here… let’s do something about this.

    I’m sincerely asking that. How low is too low? would you be ok if 5% turned out? would that be consiedered a Baha’i election?

  • Craig Parke

    I voted in 32 straight District Conventions before I could not take another step in the mind bending catastrophe that is the predatory psychological vampire Administrative Order of the Baha’i Faith. For the last 8 years I have just sat in the road and wept. Nothing can save it now. Absolutely nothing. Compared to it’s once great breathtaking potential, the Baha’i Faith is now perhaps the most profoundly impaired organization of human beings on Earth. How it ball went was just amazing. The AO took a loaded gun, put it to their head, and pulled the trigger day after day, week after week, month after month, year after year, decade after decade. Wash. Rinse. Repeat. It was a documentary film on mind bending individual moral cowardice and profound group think impairment.

    And now it has come to this. Both the vast people of the United States and the Theocracy of Dunces that is the lifetime incumbent top down oligarchy of the Baha’i Faith are apparently completely unaware how close we are to the abyss.

    TRAILER

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3mn-1LuLhrw

    TEN PARTS

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9mDEh_lxlRQ

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vNWQhWZjRts

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SoxdxmEvX-0

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tpJL1M_Fcv4

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1zVmZQ1Td_I

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OssWWXVhEYs

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E9r9gjW8XAo

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=exLkMr3B_vI

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4aF6PxnwzaY

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4N1tsKfIgjA

    I would also note the incredible psychological parallels of the top down “Sea Org” Ruhization of the Baha’i Faith Incorporated and Scientology. It seems to be some sort of genetic brain chemistry that happens in every top down corporate religious organization. Just amazing, amazing stuff.

    http://www.newyorker.com/reporting/2011/02/14/110214fa_fact_wright

    http://www.newyorker.com/reporting/2011/02/14/110214fa_fact_wright?currentPage=all

    This has to be a spiritual war across the entire Universe. It is ALL mind bending ineptitude and catastrophic impairment. How else can anyone explain it? It HAS to be some kind of spiritual war in the Cosmos from Universe to Universe? Maybe the original Zoroastrian Cosmology is really onto something?

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cqi5F5MqqTQ

    Rock and Roll was about as close as we ever got to any kind of liberation on this completely impaired planet. I did absolutely love the artistry of Seals and Crofts.

    This is about all we have left now as a life form as it will be lights out for many.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CkvG9j7g7rg

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zydAs5bRW1U

  • http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Voter_turnout Voter Turnout

    I’d be happy to see the participation rate go right down to zero, but only to shake things up.

  • Appliepie

    Could it be the size of the community? From memory I lived in communities which were small — 10 adults to by Bahai standards large — 40 adults. Sufficient no of people, and a center to hold meetings creates synergies which would not be present otherwise.
    If there is a Bahai center with prayer meetings and study classes and choirs etc — something going on each night, then — personally — I would be more likely to go to the Bahai center for devotionals than elsewhere.

  • http://www.facebook.com/lazarus.anderson Larry Anderson

    Baquia, I think there are bigger issues here than just participation in Unit Conventions.

    (Disclaimer: I’m an ex-Baha’i, not a currently enrolled one, so I’m approaching this from the perspective of an outsider who was once an insider.)

    First, you have to take into account that it’s an all-day affair, not just a quick vote. There’s all the usual administrivia to deal with: registration, election of a chairman, election of a secretary, the presentation of reports, etc. There’s tons of consultation. There’s lunch, and then at some point in the afternoon you finally get to vote. It’s a huge time commitment, all to elect a single delegate to the national convention, where he or she will be one of hundreds. It’s a tremendously indirect way of voting, and a great way to dilute the votes of individuals.

    And who will that delegate be? Baha’i elections being what they are, that delegate is likely to be someone very well-connected, well-known in the community, someone who isn’t going to rock the boat much. It goes to the nature of Baha’i elections: it sounds so wonderfully progressive to have elections without nominations or campaigning, but the reality is that when everyone writes down names on a list, it’s not hard for a small group of like-minded people to determine the outcome. Would 5% turnout be valid? Sure, why not. It would probably be the same 5% that elects the delegate anyway. I’ve been a teller at conventions; I’ve seen it happen. This is not to say that it’s some big conspiracy, just a matter of doing the math.

    This is where the real problem lies, and you can’t change it. As with so many other things in the supposedly modern Baha’i Faith, this method of elections appears to be enshrined in the canon, given the force of law by the writings of a man who has been dead fifty years, left no successor and whose interpretations therefore cannot be altered until the theoretical coming of another Manifestation of God in a thousand years’ time.

    So, if you have an 18% turnout, what you’re seeing is the dedicated core of the community, electing one of their own. If you’re a Baha’i who is uncomfortably individualistic, resists groupthink, or who feels marginalized for any reason, and you’ve been around long enough to see how things work in the community, you’re not going to bother. And I really don’t think there’s anything that can be done to change that.

  • Anonymous

    Larry, thanks for your thoughts. To be clear, while the convention may be a drawn out affair, voting for a delegate to go to the convention is effortless. You don’t even have to show up in person, you can just mail your vote in or hand it off to a friend. So I don’t see what you mean there.

    Regarding the election process being enshrined in ‘canon’ – that is not so completely accurate. A few principles such as no campaigning and secret ballot are enshrined but the rest is rather fluid and has actually changed over time throughout history. We may not be aware of it but a look back at how other communities used to do it 50-70 years ago or in different parts of the world will show that to be true. So there is flexibility built in if we want to, for example, introduce term limits.

    Out of curiosity, why did you leave the Faith? I get the feeling there’s a story there.- if you care to share.

  • Anonymous

    Appliepie, I think there is a bit of difference in the participation rate between small and large communities. But for the most part, I’ve seen the 30% rate hold steady across the spectrum of communities that I’ve been a part of across the globe. But that’s anecdotal and hardly a scientific measure of course.

  • Concourse on Low

    He read the Baha’i canon, all of it, and used his brain.

  • http://bahainmoscow.blogspot.com/ Anton

    Baquia, I regard your blog as the best Baha’i blog on the net. And I respect you as an author. What disappointed me in this particular post are your words about Firuz Kazemzadeh. It is so close to backbiting that it almost crosses the line. And such things may repel Baha’is (including me) from your blog. Besides, the mentioning one case from the National Convention 1988 (sic!) is off topic anyway, don’t you see? It just destructs attention from the main topic.

    Now to the main point. Baquia, I absolutely agree with you that such a low rate of participation in elections is a major sign of something terribly wrong. I have figures for unit conventions in Russia for the past few years and may say that turnout was never above 32%. Usually less than 20% and it was declining year after year (I don’t have figures for the resent UC though). Please note that this average % for all unit conventions in the country. Absolute numbers are also declining with each year.

    This serious problem with elections was addressed in UHJ letter dated March 25, 2007. I believe they wrote it right after the rate of participation in US unit conventions catastrophically dropped in the year before (less than 20%).
    I don’t know why it is happening this way. But we have to face the facts and discuss them. Maybe after careful investigation we can find the root causes and be able to take necessary actions to remedy them.

  • http://bahainmoscow.blogspot.com/ Anton

    Baquia, I regard your blog as the best Baha’i blog on the net. And I respect you as an author. What disappointed me in this particular post are your words about Firuz Kazemzadeh. It is so close to backbiting that it almost crosses the line. And such things may repel Baha’is (including me) from your blog. Besides, the mentioning one case from the National Convention 1988 (sic!) is off topic anyway, don’t you see? It just destructs attention from the main topic.

    Now to the main point. Baquia, I absolutely agree with you that such a low rate of participation in elections is a major sign of something terribly wrong. I have figures for unit conventions in Russia for the past few years and may say that turnout was never above 32%. Usually less than 20% and it was declining year after year (I don’t have figures for the resent UC though). Please note that this average % for all unit conventions in the country. Absolute numbers are also declining with each year.

    This serious problem with elections was addressed in UHJ letter dated March 25, 2007. I believe they wrote it right after the rate of participation in US unit conventions catastrophically dropped in the year before (less than 20%).
    I don’t know why it is happening this way. But we have to face the facts and discuss them. Maybe after careful investigation we can find the root causes and be able to take necessary actions to remedy them.

  • Anonymous

    Anton, the mention you refer to is a quote from a first person account. That is, the description of the events is from someone who was there, saw and heard them with their own eyes and ears. The facts are being reported. They may not be shiny and happy but they remain facts. I fail to see how that is backbiting… but in a way I do. I’ve been meaning to write about this ‘backbiting’, what it is and what it isn’t. I think it is an interesting concept that needs further discussion and understanding. I don’t pretend to have a monopoly on the truth regarding it but it elicits more questions than answers for me.

    Anyway, the reason why I mention that quote from Karen is that pivotal events take place at conventions. Very important decisions are made and new paths are taken, setting the course for the community. This makes it clear that it is imperative to involve the community because right now, these pivotal events are being driven by a small fraction of the whole community. Who knows, perhaps things would be different if 75% of the community or dare we imagine… 100% would get involved.

    I do remember the letter of March 25, 2007 but I don’t recall how it addressed this or other similar issues. I shared it with everyone here. I’d appreciate it if you would highlight which specific section of the letter you think is relevant or addresses the low turnout. My own view is that it is a repetition of the already known attitude and approach that the Baha’i Faith takes towards elections in the Baha’i administration. I can’t find anything ‘new’ or ground breaking. Not to say that reiterating these principles has no value.

    Thank you.

  • http://www.facebook.com/lazarus.anderson Larry Anderson

    Yes, it’s true that absentee balloting is available, but it’s my unprovable hunch that apart from the elderly, infirm, and those who work or travel on business, anyone who takes it seriously enough to vote is going to make the effort to be there. That’s why I brought it up. It is, however, just speculation, and is perhaps therefore irrelevant.

    Why did I leave the Faith? I haven’t written or spoken publicly about my reasons in any great detail, in order to spare certain people I left behind unnecessary pain, but as my resignation recedes into the past that concern has lessened.

    The short version is this: I had been going through a slow process of spiritual disillusionment for some time. I might have worked this through and remained, had it not been for the relentless pushing of Ruhi, the Kalimat Press boycott and the disturbing events of the 2007 National Convention. When it became clear that I was the only one in my community with qualms about any of this, it led me to resign from my LSA, remove myself from community life and enter a painful period of contemplation, at the end of which I decided I could no longer make myself believe any of it, and sent in my resignation. Since leaving, I have spent considerable time coming to terms with all of it, and I’ve come to some conclusions about the causes of it all, but that was after the fact.

    I don’t want to hijack this thread further, but I’ll be happy to expand upon my departure privately via email if you’re interested.

  • Anonymous

    Thanks Larry. Did anyone from the NSA contact you re your resignation or did they just accept it without any sort of ‘exit interview’? I mean, if you didn’t explain why you were resigning, did they ask? or offer to sit down with you and talk? I’m curious what approach they take to the process once they receive a resignation letter.

  • http://www.facebook.com/lazarus.anderson Larry Anderson

    Baquia, I’m replying to my own reply since there doesn’t seem to be the option to reply to yours.

    Nobody contacted me about my resignation, either to challenge it or to let me know that my letter had even been received. To be fair, I made it very clear in my letter of resignation that I had moved on and where I had moved on to (I was baptized and chrismated into the Orthodox Church). Perhaps if that hadn’t been the case, they might have contacted me, but there’s no way of knowing. I had heard stories of people who had to explicitly reject Baha’u’llah in their resignation letters in order to get taken off the rolls, so I tried to preempt that.

    As it was, the only way I knew they had received my resignation was that my login for the website eventually stopped working. I did receive a very nice letter back from my LSA, to whom I had sent a similar letter.

  • http://bahainmoscow.blogspot.com/ Anton

    Baquia, we both know that there was nothing ?new’ in that letter of March 25, 2007. What did you make to expect anything ?ground breaking’ about elections? What I suggested in my comments here is the UHJ wrote that letter after extremely low turnout in UC elections in USA the year before. From strategic point of view I think it was adequate measure. US community reacted on such apathy towards election by making a powerful PR campaign (producing video clips, banners, web postings etc.). It is a bit worn out now but for that time I believe it brought some results. From these facts I can conclude that the administration is trying to do something to counteract the problem of low turnout.

    And sorry, I cannot agree with your last phrase about repeating. Religion is all about repeating values to people who seem never fail to forget them again and again. Repetition is the mother of learning they say. So if Baha’is want to learn how to conduct/participate in proper elections they have to be reminded. I don’t see anything wrong with it. It is just basics of social psychology.

    I’m trying to say here that the problem is being addressed. But from what I see in Russia and from your postings we may say that measures taken either not that ubiquitously effective or have not brought fruits yet. Personally I think that the treatment was symptomatic rather than problem oriented. What is gnawing me that in our discussion we didn’t come closer to understanding of the root cause of the problem. Any ideas what is going on in the community? What is your diagnosis? : )

  • Anonymous

    Anton, I see your point. And by the way, when I wrote “Not to say that reiterating these principles has no value.” perhaps the double negative was confusing so let me state it clearly to show that we do agree: “There is value in reiterating principles.”

    If I had to guess at the root cause of this, it would be that the average Baha’i doesn’t feel a personal connection to the community or the administration. That is to say, they don’t see a connection with their participation and any real effect or impact on the community. They have the impression that whether they participate or not, the same people will be elected again and again, the same decisions will be made, the same meetings held, etc.

    Personal initiatives or individual projects are frowned upon and only those sanctioned and controlled by the administration are approved. Talks, meetings and events like conferences are strictly controlled by the institutions so there is a lack of vitality. I’ve seen several wonderful personal initiatives snuffed out by bureaucratic meddling.

    So if I had to guess… it would be along those lines.

  • http://bahainmoscow.blogspot.com/ Anton

    I totally agree with you that some disconnection is taken place. And probably I can see where are going with your guessing. But still I think that what you describe is a tip of the iceberg. I would say that this disconnection is an effect not the cause. And as the community is very complex organism maybe there is no single cause of ?illness’ but several ones with different degree of severity. I’ve being thinking about this for a while already and still don’t have a clue what is really going on under the surface. That is one of the reasons why I keep reading your blog. I’m looking for answers.

    And thank you that you made me reread the letter of March 25, 2007. : )
    ?… it is now opportune that the believers everywhere give greater attention to strengthening the process by which Assemblies, national and local, are elected. The manner of participation by all adult members of the community in these elections is a distinguishing feature of the System of Bah??’u’ll??h; for it is a bounden duty that confers a high privilege upon every Baha’i to select, as a responsible citizen of the new world being brought into existence, the composition of the institutions having authority over the functioning of the Baha’i community. In this regard, indifference and neglect on the part of any believer are alien to the spirit of the Cause. The friends must strive ceaselessly to avoid being contaminated with these destructive attitudes, which have inflicted such damage on the integrity and authority of the institutions of a declining world order.

    It is rather ?generic’ as you said but at the same time it is a good hudge.

  • fubar

    Firuz K., like many paternalistic bahai administrators, was simply being a nasty little bully. He was an evil liar.

    There was a similar incident in which D. Nelson viciously verbally attacked a national delegate -in public, and on the record- who dared to ask why the NSA members were allowed to dominate the proceedings at national convention. the poor fellow must have thought that bahais should enbrace democracy and progress. oops!

    Really, how much of this kind of harrassment, bullying and psychological violence, which is inherent to a dysfunctional organization like haifan bahaism, does it take for people to “wake up”?

    There is a long, deep, pervasive pattern of such psychological violence that exists at various subtle and explicit levels in bahai culture. It creates a institutional climate that is fear-based and self-censoring.

    It starts at the beginning of the Kitab-i-Aqdas where bahaullah defines all other religions and spiritual paths as inferior and demands that the “believers” accept autocratic/paternalistic rule of bahai religious elites.

    bahaism is all about condescension, exploitation and imperialism.

    It is a bad religion, and people eventually grow tired of being exploited by it.

    There is a serious lack of authentic spirituality in haifan bahaism.

  • http://twitter.com/AndrewTurvey Andrew Turvey

    “… participation rates are averaging 34-18%. … Do you think this is a serious problem that must be addressed? or do you think that there is nothing wrong with such a rate”

    National politicians start to worry when turnout dips below 50%, but it’s quite common here in England for local council elections to be in the 20%s. In all honesty, who has more impact on your life: your local LSA member or convention delegate or your own member of the House of Representatives? Clearly its the latter, which could explains why more people vote for them.

    Campaigns and parties naturally increase turnout because they inspire competition and tap into identities. Linking votes to prior performance is also a way to energise the electorate.

    However, if Baha’is are serious about believing their system is an improvement and superior to competitive elections, their argument is undermined if they can’t get a higher turnout.

    That is I think the key issue here – low turnout undermines the legitimacy of the system and, of course, the Assemblies that are elected as a result.

  • http://bahaisonline.net/tcb Steve

    Hi Andrew,

    You write

    “In all honesty, who has more impact on your life: your local LSA member or convention delegate or your own member of the House of Representatives? Clearly its the latter, which could explains why more people vote for them.”

    What you say may well be true, but there are other factors. The main one I can think of is that one vote for an LSA usually has thousands of times the influence of one vote for a local authority. Wiki sums it up:

    “The basic formula for determining whether someone will vote is

    PB + D > C

    Here, P is the probability that an individual’s vote will affect the outcome of an election, and B is the perceived benefit that would be received if that person’s favored political party or candidate were elected. D originally stood for democracy or civic duty, but today represents any social or personal gratification an individual gets from voting. C is the time, effort, and financial cost involved in voting. Since P is virtually zero in most elections, PB is also near zero, and D is thus the most important element in motivating people to vote. For a person to vote, these factors must outweigh C.”
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Voter_turnout#Reasons_for_Voting

  • Craig Parke

    I know there are many people on these many sites on the Internet who were very dedicated Baha’is for many decades of their lives who have now been thrown away in this completely dysfunctional Ruhiized system. The Administrative Order became an end in itself instead of a means to and end as was feared from Day One by SE. It is all now a top down permanent witch hunt to search out thought crimes and purge people. There is certainly no PB in that. The predatory psychological exhaustion of people was criminal to say the least. It is now all over for many who have now left in droves. People have to find some current of spirituality in their lives again after such a wanton and absolutely terrible and shameful experience. There is not much anyone can do now but try to soldier on in life. The Baha’i Faith is completely owned by a tiny handful of professional clergy as their own private theorist satrap. That is the way it went. I personally believe it may be revived in 300-500 years after this class of people finally realize what they have done. It is Archetypal Divine Judgment as all Divine Revelation is as a process. As the last Abrahamic religion the Baha’i Faith is all being filmed for the Ages at 24 frames a second in Internet time with the footage to be sent down in human history through the Ages as ANOTHER pathetic organizational example of how NOT to do anything if you ever want to be successful at what you do. Just pathetic. Sigh.

  • http://twitter.com/AndrewTurvey Andrew Turvey

    What a fascinating article! Many thanks for sharing

    Later on it does go on to say that D can consist of:

    a) complying with the social obligation to vote
    b) affirming one’s allegiance to the political system
    c) affirming a partisan preference (also known as expressive voting, or voting for a candidate to express support, not to achieve any outcome)
    d) affirming one’s importance to the political system
    e) for those who find politics interesting and entertaining, researching and making a decision

    I’d think that (a) and (b) should be particularly strong amongst Baha’is wheras the other three would be quite weak.

  • Namayn

    After 10 years as a Haifan Bahai and after that of 26 years never having accepted another religion or been a member of any other Bahai group, I have always believed that Bahaullah is the Manifestation of God for this time. Over the years I have come to believe:

    all who accept Bahaullah as the Manifestation of God for this time whatever the Bahai group they belong to are Bahais without qualification or rank and none subject to shunning or excommunication

    Bahaullah as demonstrated in some of his actions and in his writings is fallible and that all Manifestations of God have been fallible human beings
    the Bahai Revelation consists only of the complete writings of Bahaullah and their various translations supplemented by the independent study of all histories of Bahaullah. AbdulBaha’s writings and his life accomplishments are to be respected and studied but not to be regarded in any way as Bahai Revelation or infallible

    only in the Covenant Bahaullah wrote and that after the passing of his two sons mentioned in his Covenant as his successors that the foundation of any Bahai organization must be built upon the institutions of the Houses of Justice expressly called for by Bahaullah

    that individual conscience and independent investigation of the truth must be the final arbiter for any Bahai in whether to accept or not any of the writings of Bahaullah

    all the writings of Bahaullah and his Kitab I Aqdas are a living, fallible non-theocratic spiritual Constitution that the community of Bahais will build upon and amend. Acceptance of any spiritual laws that a particular group of Bahais may wish to follow are voluntary based upon individual conscience
    that all Bahais in a particular local community are members of that local House of Justice

    that Bahai leadership is the individual Bahai’s conscience above all followed by the development of the institutions of the Houses of Justice

    that the fruits of Bahaullah’s Revelation is measured ONLY by its healing contributions to the unity of mankind, not by any number of adherents claimed or beauty of edifices and gardens erected

  • Craig Parke

    Find the speeches of Douglas Martin and Peter Khan over the last ten years on the the Internet. By their personal teachings individual sacred human conscience is now ABSOLUTELY FORBIDDEN as a creative factor of any kind in the “New” and “Improved” Ruhiized Baha’i Faith.

    What the lifetime incumbent members on the Universal House of Justice say in their personal speeches IS to be the conscience of everyone in the Haifan Baha’i Faith. Period.

    Anyone who disagrees with their personal beliefs and interpretations will be called in for interrogation of their own personal conscience by an ABM or AABM in the organization.

    A person can be summarily thrown out of the Baha’i Faith at any time for any reason without benefit of any due process whatsoever. They can be summarily thrown out at the drop of a hat by First Class Post (not even Registered or Certified Mail!) at any time the knock on the door comes. Sound familiar from certain well known events in the just past 20th Century?

    It has happened to many once very dedicated Baha’is after decades of service. They have all been purged. Sound familiar from certain well known events in the just past 20th Century? Just search the many accounts on the Internet.

    he self censorship imposed by people upon themselves has left the once great potential of the Baha’i Faith completely dead in the water despite the Ruhi Spin from the New Orwellian lifetime incumbent “Ministry of Truth”.

    This is NOT what Baha’u’llah brought AT ALL in any way, shape, or form. What He brought was bottom up NOT top down. But it is certainly what He very clearly foretold world happen in the Tablet of the Holy Mariner. Tens of thousands of once very dedicated Baha’is have now left the Faith worldwide. The Spirit has all now gone underground. But I do believe the World Age will go on promoted by other souls and the Faith will revive as a player in the World in 300-500-800 years.

    The Internet is the new factor to break away of blind faith and automation mindless obedience to mentally ill Orwellian groupthink hacks. People are communicating worldwide completely under the radar of the lifetime incumbent “authorities” now.

    The truths of the unleashed New World Age will go to others, flower, and bear much fruit. All barren tress will be cut down for the fire. It is a Cosmic Law.

    So it goes.

  • Desir0101

    Hi Namayn,

    At my standingpoint , you are quite right.

    Just a remark.
    ‘ ..individual conscience and independant investigation of truth’.

    Once you have received the teaching just scratching the surface, oh. what so wonderful, with the 12 principles, a world family, living in unity with all barriers crash down and become a Bahai its where the problem begin.
    No right to question and put in doubt any more the authoritative UHJ, the Writings and these things you hear and learn after .
    You must become a sheepgoat believer or fear being shun, removal voting right etc etc.

    thanks.

  • Bird

    Larry I left too, 3 years ago and no one contacted me. I never have renounced my belief in the Revelations but I went through a very tough mental period as I had when I became a Bahai after leaving the Catholics behind. Oddly I asked last year to return to the BF, it’s almost been a year since my inital request to return to the community without an answer. I feel like I never left the BF but I left the “organization” of it, I fired the corporate office and kept the policy manuel, the 1st addtion copy, not the altered ones ;) BTW- I voted both in person & via mail every year and took a vested interest in seeking the right vote.