Financial Scandal Rocks Italian Baha’i Community

secret.pngRecently the small Italian Baha’i community was shocked to learn that one of its most prominent, long-serving and active members, the former General Secretary of the NSA: Franco Ceccherini, had been ousted from the NSA and formally charged for embezzlement and fraud in the amount of 360,000 Euros.

Ceccherini allegedly stole the money over the lengthy period of time that he served at the highest levels of the Baha’i community in Italy. It appears that he embezzled funds from 1992 until 2006 by fraudulently producing invoices, letters and documents and then pocketing the funds he received for them. Throughout the more than 14 years that Ceccherini served in the institutions, he alternated between high level positions: sometimes he served as the General Secretary of the NSA of Italy, while other times he served as the Head of the Office of the Secretariat – which included several other individuals employed by the NSA. And at times Ceccherini served as both General Secretary and as Head of the Office of the Secretariat.

Through the uninterrupted access granted to him by these positions, Ceccherini was able to allegedly perpetrate this scheme for almost 15 years. It is still a mystery how the Treasurer could not detect such a large and prolonged fraud. Nor is it known what, if any, control measures were circumvented by italian NSA euros3.pngCeccherini. As it stands now, neither the Treasurer, any of the other NSA members nor any employees of the NSA have been charged.

The scheme began to unravelled when the Italian equivalent of the IRS contacted the NSA of Italy and filed a charge of tax evasion against it. Through the ensuing audit and investigations it came to light that all these years Ceccherini had been pocketing the funds that should have been going to the INPS and the INAIL (state pension and worker’s compensation/insurance plans).

My suspicion is that since most continental European Baha’i communities (France, Italy, Spain, Portugal, etc.) do not have the privilege of incorporation enjoyed elsewhere, the actual banking was in the name of an individual. And my guess is that individual was Ceccherini; because of his tenure within the Baha’i community or simply because he was trusted. After all, when you are unincorporated, you must trust an individual to administer the finances in their name. There is no other option. If my suspicions are correct it explains why the Treasurer or other person were not caught up in the fraud and how one person alone could perpetrate it.

italian NSA euros.pngConsequences of this tragedy are many. For one, the NSA of Italy has been thrown into total chaos. It has had to deal with an extensive internal investigation and financial audit. Theis is a serious financial blow to the community as funds which should have been paid to the government for more than a decade now need to be paid in lump sum. Thankfully the government has agreed that the NSA as an institution was not perpetrating the fraud and agreed to dismiss 90,000 Euros in interest and fines they had levied. Which means that the NSA has to pay back 275,000 Euros. The House of Justice has loaned the Italian NSA 200,000 Euros to buffer the blow to their annual budget. This loan will have to be repaid to the House in installments over time but the NSA will still have to make a lump sum payment of 75,000 Euros. A significant chunk of change for a community the size of Italy.

Other consequences are more intangible. The spouse of Ceccherini, also a prominent Baha’i was removed from her position as an Auxiliary Board Member (Propagation). The news has left the Italian community shell-shocked since Ceccherini was seen as a pillar of the community. nsa franco ceccherini.pngOn top of this, several projects such as the office of public information have had to be closed or curtailled sharply due to lack of funds.

No matter how extensively one creates control measures, nor how draconian in nature, they can be circumvented by another person. Ultimately, nothing short of personal transformation can prevent such criminal acts. As Baha’u’llah says in the Hidden Words:

“Busy not thyself with this world, for with fire We test the gold and with gold We test Our servants.”

But this does not mean that there aren’t lessons to be learned from such a sad state of affairs. Nor that common sense should not be used. What we have in the institutions of the Baha’i Faith basically relies on the good character of those within it. If they falter, then there are no measures to protect the community. This has to change.

We have no transparency, no control measures, no accountability and no term limits. Combine these and you have a potentially explosive situation. Add the spark of human shortcoming and you have a bomb that can devastate whole communities and lay waste to decades of painstaking growth and development.

TRANSPARENCY
The Baha’i community has gradients of financial transparency. At the local level, things are quite clear with regular reports by the local treasurer and detailed reports of budgets and expenses. At the national level, things get decidedly more murky. Less detail is divulged: only income and expenses are shared (not assets and liabilities) , while the delegates to the national convention are the only ones who get to see and look at the full accounts – but they can’t share them with their communities and they have a very tight schedule with limited time to look over them. At the international level, the picture gets pitch dark with absolutely no information divulged except for the estimates of large scale projects (recent examples are for the Arc and the Chile temple). Beyond that, trying to pry financial information at this level is like trying to shuck an oyster with jello.

Financial reporting is most detailed and most transparent at the local level, where ironically the least amount of money is involved. The Italian incident involving 360,000 Euros may seem like a lot of money but it is a rounding error in international budgets. This culture of opacity and secrecy is fertile ground for the nastier attributes of human nature and must be blotted out from the Baha’i community.

CONTROL MEASURES
If due to an inability to incorporate, the affairs of a whole community have to be placed in the hands of a person, a simple control measure is to open a shared or joint account. This way two people must be aware of and make authorization for any transactions. Second, I for one am still not convinced how the Italian national treasurer can not be atleast found to be culpable of gross negligence in this case. Pleading ignorance is no defense for them. If anything they should be fully investigated and asked to resign, if for nothing more than their incompetence in recognizing and preventing such a long lived scheme. Similarly simple and easy control measures are left unimplemented in Baha’i instititutions. Blame incompetence, ignorance or a childish innocence. Whatever the reason, it is plain stupid to not have them.

ACCOUNTABILITY
My fellow Baha’is usually bristle at that word since we believe that the institutions are not to be held accountable to their community. But this only extends to decisions. I’m speaking of management. An NSA should be held accountable to its community for mis-management, as this case clearly illustrates. If you are incompetent, you have to answer to the community. Period. The principle of non-accountability is not a free pass for negligence and idiocy.

TERM LIMITS
This is a much broader concept than I can do justice to here but put plainly it means that individuals have a limit to the number of years they serve in Baha’i institutions. In almost all Baha’i communities, large and small, we find that a small group of individuals dominate the elected and appointed institutions year in and year out. This has sadly become the norm. The consequence is that these individuals start to create little fiefdoms and get quite comfortable. Even getting a sense of entitlement. Can anyone doubt that Franco Ciccherini could have perpetrated such a massive (both in length and in quantity) fraud had we had term limits which limited his access to the highest levels of administration? There are many, many other benefits to term limits beyond the prevention of fraud and crime within the administration. I will explore this topic in more detail at a later time and hope to do justice to it.

It is my hope that the Baha’i community in Italy will learn from this tragedy, rebuild, move on and continue to grow. And that Baha’is elsewhere will use this opportunity to avoid similar painful learning experiences by beginning to consult on how to increase transparency and accountability with the institutions; how to implement common sense control measures and how term limits can benefit the community.

  • Brendan Cook

    This is the best thing you’ve done. It’s so clear and unpretentious and it gets right to the point. You tell us the facts and then you provide us with some fair and obvious solutions. You are doing an invaluable job — you are the free press of the international Baha’i community.

  • Brendan Cook

    This is the best thing you’ve done. It’s so clear and unpretentious and it gets right to the point. You tell us the facts and then you provide us with some fair and obvious solutions. You are doing an invaluable job — you are the free press of the international Baha’i community.

  • That’ll be a blow to the European Baha’i Business Forum, and particularly its dynamic Italian branch. Franco Ceccherini has been one of its key speakers, and the organisation’s stated mission is “to promote ethical values, personal virtues, and moral leadership in business as well as in organizations of social change”.

  • That’ll be a blow to the European Baha’i Business Forum, and particularly its dynamic Italian branch. Franco Ceccherini has been one of its key speakers, and the organisation’s stated mission is “to promote ethical values, personal virtues, and moral leadership in business as well as in organizations of social change”.

  • Adel Shafipour

    Dear Sir/Mom

    It is a shame for such a treachery act. We had same exprince in Houston, Texas, USA. Such a shame for a Baha’i community.However, my humble sugesstion for your community is donot let one person to have power over money. let the whole office of chairman, secretary, and tresure have signiture right over money greater then 2000 euros. There are also another suggestion for limmited time of 5 years membership for LSA or NSA must be set. these are two way of prevention to block or prevent some one to further stealing or frudes.

    With Gratitude and Baha’i Love
    Adel Shafipour

  • Adel Shafipour

    Dear Sir/Mom

    It is a shame for such a treachery act. We had same exprince in Houston, Texas, USA. Such a shame for a Baha’i community.However, my humble sugesstion for your community is donot let one person to have power over money. let the whole office of chairman, secretary, and tresure have signiture right over money greater then 2000 euros. There are also another suggestion for limmited time of 5 years membership for LSA or NSA must be set. these are two way of prevention to block or prevent some one to further stealing or frudes.

    With Gratitude and Baha’i Love
    Adel Shafipour

  • “My suspicion is that since most continental European Baha’i communities (France, Italy, Spain, Portugal, etc.) do not have the privilege of incorporation enjoyed elsewhere, the actual banking was in the name of an individual.”

    I wonder how well do you know Baha’i Communities in Europe…

    The Baha’i Community in Portugal is incorporated since 1975 and Spanish Baha’is got it during Franco’s regime.

    So you better update your records! If you don’t have correct data about these basic facts, how can anything in this post be credible?

  • “My suspicion is that since most continental European Baha’i communities (France, Italy, Spain, Portugal, etc.) do not have the privilege of incorporation enjoyed elsewhere, the actual banking was in the name of an individual.”

    I wonder how well do you know Baha’i Communities in Europe…

    The Baha’i Community in Portugal is incorporated since 1975 and Spanish Baha’is got it during Franco’s regime.

    So you better update your records! If you don’t have correct data about these basic facts, how can anything in this post be credible?

  • Marco,
    I should have been more specific – LSAs do not enjoy the right of incorporation. Some NSA’s in continental Europe do, as you point out. As for the content of this post, I’m quite comfortable risking my reputation on them.

    If you personally doubt it, go ahead and inquire to the NSA of Italy. But if you do, do the just thing and come back here to post a public apology, just as you have tried to post a public smear.

  • Marco,
    I should have been more specific – LSAs do not enjoy the right of incorporation. Some NSA’s in continental Europe do, as you point out. As for the content of this post, I’m quite comfortable risking my reputation on them.

    If you personally doubt it, go ahead and inquire to the NSA of Italy. But if you do, do the just thing and come back here to post a public apology, just as you have tried to post a public smear.

  • Baquia,

    I find this subject interesting, but I cannot find anything on the ‘net about it. Would you please point us to your source? Also,any updates? Thank you.

    Warm regards,
    overmywaders

  • Baquia,

    I find this subject interesting, but I cannot find anything on the ‘net about it. Would you please point us to your source? Also,any updates? Thank you.

    Warm regards,
    overmywaders

  • overmywaders,
    Due to the absence of a ‘free press’ within the Baha’i community, news of this nature does not come from official sources. In fact, the administration sees it as their job to censor and limit the publication of such information. It is left to the conscience of Baha’is and the internet to propagate it. This is an exclusive (‘scoop’, if you will) and my sources are anonymous. If there are any updates, you’ll see them on the blog.

    I would rather that Baha’is concentrate on the implications of this news, rather than its shock value or the fact that its wide dissemination is so new to us as a community. That is the only way we can hope to improve our lot – and the world’s.

  • overmywaders,
    Due to the absence of a ‘free press’ within the Baha’i community, news of this nature does not come from official sources. In fact, the administration sees it as their job to censor and limit the publication of such information. It is left to the conscience of Baha’is and the internet to propagate it. This is an exclusive (‘scoop’, if you will) and my sources are anonymous. If there are any updates, you’ll see them on the blog.

    I would rather that Baha’is concentrate on the implications of this news, rather than its shock value or the fact that its wide dissemination is so new to us as a community. That is the only way we can hope to improve our lot – and the world’s.

  • Baquia,

    Sorry for the insistence on “Chapter and Verse”, but on such a matter the legal beagle side of me comes to the fore. You state that formal charges have been laid; if that were so, the news would have hit the press. The India Temple Fund affair (which seems to have gone away without any prosecution) was in the papers immediately. The Italian press is as salacious in their appetites as any other; thus lack of mention of the charges I find interesting.

    As I have noted in some of my posts, it behooves us as Baha’is and moral beings to determine the authenticity of remarks before spreading them about as fact. You, as a “journalist” are under perhaps stricter reporting guidelines. Remember the Dan Rather affair? “Trust but verify.”

    Warmest regards,
    overmywaders

  • Baquia,

    Sorry for the insistence on “Chapter and Verse”, but on such a matter the legal beagle side of me comes to the fore. You state that formal charges have been laid; if that were so, the news would have hit the press. The India Temple Fund affair (which seems to have gone away without any prosecution) was in the papers immediately. The Italian press is as salacious in their appetites as any other; thus lack of mention of the charges I find interesting.

    As I have noted in some of my posts, it behooves us as Baha’is and moral beings to determine the authenticity of remarks before spreading them about as fact. You, as a “journalist” are under perhaps stricter reporting guidelines. Remember the Dan Rather affair? “Trust but verify.”

    Warmest regards,
    overmywaders

  • Baquia,

    BTW, I did my search on Google News, Altavista News, and Yahoo News going back 30 days. I used the search terms “Ceccherini euros” (not in quotes, but as separate words) since, as long as the language of the press in question used the Latin alphabet, these two words must occur in any article about the gentleman embezzling money. Nothing came up. I just wanted to let you know that I did my homework before bothering you.

    Warmest regards,
    overmywaders

  • Baquia,

    BTW, I did my search on Google News, Altavista News, and Yahoo News going back 30 days. I used the search terms “Ceccherini euros” (not in quotes, but as separate words) since, as long as the language of the press in question used the Latin alphabet, these two words must occur in any article about the gentleman embezzling money. Nothing came up. I just wanted to let you know that I did my homework before bothering you.

    Warmest regards,
    overmywaders

  • I’m not surprised that the Italian press has better things to do than cover the goings-on of a miniscule community that no one in Italy has heard of. In any case, as I told Marco, anyone who has doubts can contact the NSA of Italy. When you do confirm it, be civil and just by coming back here and publicly saying so.

  • I’m not surprised that the Italian press has better things to do than cover the goings-on of a miniscule community that no one in Italy has heard of. In any case, as I told Marco, anyone who has doubts can contact the NSA of Italy. When you do confirm it, be civil and just by coming back here and publicly saying so.

  • Baquia,

    I don’t think the burden of proof is on the reader, but on the reporter. The day that the Washington Post requires its viewers to do their own verification of facts; I’ll consider reportage dead.

    I don’t know if you are a Baha’i but Baha’u’llah admonishes us:

    Ye have been forbidden to commit murder or
    adultery, or to engage in backbiting or calumny; shun
    ye, then, what hath been prohibited in the holy Books
    and Tablets.
    (Baha’u’llah, The Kitab-i-Aqdas, p. 26)

    I would think that before you spread such accusations, you would have

    1/ Established for all to see, the credibility of your statements, citing sources.
    2/ Determined that there should be a positive result of your reporting; that is, that someone would derive benefit. This would first involve providing the NSA of Italy and the UHJ with suggestions as to how such matters might be avoided in the future. You clearly have thought about it and have recommendations; but have you offered them to the aforementioned parties?

    As to the Italian press having better things to do — most yellow journalism, which your blog is fast becoming if you don’t start to cite sources and ask that comments also contain accurate, verifiable attributions, would be licking its lips over any chance to attack a religion.

    Warmest regards,
    overmywaders

    P.S. — I understand that you are proud of your “ranting”
    Pronunciation: ‘rant
    Function: verb
    Etymology: obsolete Dutch ranten, randen
    intransitive verb
    1 : to talk in a noisy, excited, or declamatory manner
    2 : to scold vehemently
    transitive verb : to utter in a bombastic declamatory fashion

    yet none of the above gives you license to deviate from honest inquiry.

  • Baquia,

    I don’t think the burden of proof is on the reader, but on the reporter. The day that the Washington Post requires its viewers to do their own verification of facts; I’ll consider reportage dead.

    I don’t know if you are a Baha’i but Baha’u’llah admonishes us:

    Ye have been forbidden to commit murder or
    adultery, or to engage in backbiting or calumny; shun
    ye, then, what hath been prohibited in the holy Books
    and Tablets.
    (Baha’u’llah, The Kitab-i-Aqdas, p. 26)

    I would think that before you spread such accusations, you would have

    1/ Established for all to see, the credibility of your statements, citing sources.
    2/ Determined that there should be a positive result of your reporting; that is, that someone would derive benefit. This would first involve providing the NSA of Italy and the UHJ with suggestions as to how such matters might be avoided in the future. You clearly have thought about it and have recommendations; but have you offered them to the aforementioned parties?

    As to the Italian press having better things to do — most yellow journalism, which your blog is fast becoming if you don’t start to cite sources and ask that comments also contain accurate, verifiable attributions, would be licking its lips over any chance to attack a religion.

    Warmest regards,
    overmywaders

    P.S. — I understand that you are proud of your “ranting”
    Pronunciation: ‘rant
    Function: verb
    Etymology: obsolete Dutch ranten, randen
    intransitive verb
    1 : to talk in a noisy, excited, or declamatory manner
    2 : to scold vehemently
    transitive verb : to utter in a bombastic declamatory fashion

    yet none of the above gives you license to deviate from honest inquiry.

  • My sources are anonymous. I will not betray their trust to appease you or anyone else.

    If you wish, you may contact the NSA of Italy. Or you may simply decide that this is ‘yellow journalism’ and disbelieve what I’ve written. It is your decision.

    btw I find it hilariously ironic that you find it so easy to accuse me of lying when you yourself have no proof whatsoever.

    I’m quite comfortable with blogging about this because in the near future you and every other interested party will confirm what I have written.

    But I won’t be holding my breath for you or Marco or anyone else to get back to me with an apology at that time. Unfortunately, I’m getting quite used to the vitriol that my fellow Baha’is can spew.

    As for the quality of the comments, unlike other Baha’i blogs I don’t use a heavy hand and instead rely on the judgement of my readers. I have never censored, erased, excised, edited, etc. a comment (other than spam and duplicates); nor needed to happily. This is in contrast to Baha’i blogs that will think nothing of it to censor and completely erase or even edit comments to their liking. All and any of my comments on other blogs are either erased or edited by their respective owners. Go ask Marco how many innocuous comments of mine he has erased from his blog, then go ask Dan how many he has erased and tinkered with, then come back and lecture me about comments.

    As for people ‘licking their lips’ to attack a religion. How I wish that my fellow Baha’is would simply wake up from their fantasy induced comas, see the ridiculousness of seeing ‘enemies’ in every shadow and remember Baha’u’llah’s words “The Hand of Omnipotence hath established His Revelation upon an unassailable, an enduring foundation. Storms of human strife are powerless to undermine its basis, nor will men’s fanciful theories succeed in damaging its structure.”

    If this Faith be of God, then no mortal scheme can ever hope to move it one hair’s width from its destiny, nevermind damage it or its structure. How about we stop living in fear of the boogie man and live? Does that sound good to you?

    These digressions are tedious and fruitless. May I suggest that we return to the topic at hand? Would it warm the cockles of your heart to believe everything I have written about Italy is false? then let us assume it is. Now, what do you think about the concepts I brought up? control measures? transparency? accountability? term limits? any others you can think of?

    Can they help the Baha’i community? why or why not? how exactly?

  • My sources are anonymous. I will not betray their trust to appease you or anyone else.

    If you wish, you may contact the NSA of Italy. Or you may simply decide that this is ‘yellow journalism’ and disbelieve what I’ve written. It is your decision.

    btw I find it hilariously ironic that you find it so easy to accuse me of lying when you yourself have no proof whatsoever.

    I’m quite comfortable with blogging about this because in the near future you and every other interested party will confirm what I have written.

    But I won’t be holding my breath for you or Marco or anyone else to get back to me with an apology at that time. Unfortunately, I’m getting quite used to the vitriol that my fellow Baha’is can spew.

    As for the quality of the comments, unlike other Baha’i blogs I don’t use a heavy hand and instead rely on the judgement of my readers. I have never censored, erased, excised, edited, etc. a comment (other than spam and duplicates); nor needed to happily. This is in contrast to Baha’i blogs that will think nothing of it to censor and completely erase or even edit comments to their liking. All and any of my comments on other blogs are either erased or edited by their respective owners. Go ask Marco how many innocuous comments of mine he has erased from his blog, then go ask Dan how many he has erased and tinkered with, then come back and lecture me about comments.

    As for people ‘licking their lips’ to attack a religion. How I wish that my fellow Baha’is would simply wake up from their fantasy induced comas, see the ridiculousness of seeing ‘enemies’ in every shadow and remember Baha’u’llah’s words “The Hand of Omnipotence hath established His Revelation upon an unassailable, an enduring foundation. Storms of human strife are powerless to undermine its basis, nor will men’s fanciful theories succeed in damaging its structure.”

    If this Faith be of God, then no mortal scheme can ever hope to move it one hair’s width from its destiny, nevermind damage it or its structure. How about we stop living in fear of the boogie man and live? Does that sound good to you?

    These digressions are tedious and fruitless. May I suggest that we return to the topic at hand? Would it warm the cockles of your heart to believe everything I have written about Italy is false? then let us assume it is. Now, what do you think about the concepts I brought up? control measures? transparency? accountability? term limits? any others you can think of?

    Can they help the Baha’i community? why or why not? how exactly?

  • For those naysayers, the story of the Italian nsa’s present financial fiasco was discussed at length and in detail – and exactly in the details Baquia has laid out – by an individual who is a member of the Italian bahai community on the following two Persian blogs over two months ago:

    http://www.politic-bahaee.blogfa.com/
    http://www.saeed8410.blogfa.com/

    Look for the messages by ‘Halal’. This individual lives in Europe.

    Wahid Azal

  • For those naysayers, the story of the Italian nsa’s present financial fiasco was discussed at length and in detail – and exactly in the details Baquia has laid out – by an individual who is a member of the Italian bahai community on the following two Persian blogs over two months ago:

    http://www.politic-bahaee.blogfa.com/
    http://www.saeed8410.blogfa.com/

    Look for the messages by ‘Halal’. This individual lives in Europe.

    Wahid Azal

  • Baquai,

    I don’t recall that I accused you of lying at all. Of course, your last post may have been jocular, just to show me how adept you are at ranting, I don’t know; but before accusing me of accusing you of lying, shouldn’t you indicate where the accusation was made : )

    Where was the vitriol? I asked for sources, something that anyone who wishes credibility will provide. Obviously, I don’t think anonymous accusations of crimes, especially those wherein someone is allegedly “formally charged for embezzlement and fraud in the amount of 360,000 Euros.”, are tendered in the spirit of love or truth.

    Vitriol? I said nothing caustic. As to the topic at hand, if you wished to present improvements on bookkeeping and other practices, you could have done so without unsupported accusations. To me, the method and nature of your original posting is far more relevant than any suggestions you might make; they are indicative of the disease in society which allows one to put forth harsh accusations and then expect others to find support for them.

    I don’t think it particularly amazing that a person can embezzle funds, whether a church secretary of a mega-church or a Baha’i — both are fallible — what I do find astonishing is your attitude that you don’t owe anyone any proof when making criminal allegations about another.

    Warm regards,
    overmywaders

  • Baquai,

    I don’t recall that I accused you of lying at all. Of course, your last post may have been jocular, just to show me how adept you are at ranting, I don’t know; but before accusing me of accusing you of lying, shouldn’t you indicate where the accusation was made : )

    Where was the vitriol? I asked for sources, something that anyone who wishes credibility will provide. Obviously, I don’t think anonymous accusations of crimes, especially those wherein someone is allegedly “formally charged for embezzlement and fraud in the amount of 360,000 Euros.”, are tendered in the spirit of love or truth.

    Vitriol? I said nothing caustic. As to the topic at hand, if you wished to present improvements on bookkeeping and other practices, you could have done so without unsupported accusations. To me, the method and nature of your original posting is far more relevant than any suggestions you might make; they are indicative of the disease in society which allows one to put forth harsh accusations and then expect others to find support for them.

    I don’t think it particularly amazing that a person can embezzle funds, whether a church secretary of a mega-church or a Baha’i — both are fallible — what I do find astonishing is your attitude that you don’t owe anyone any proof when making criminal allegations about another.

    Warm regards,
    overmywaders

  • over,
    this is my last response to you re this. You innocently claim that you never said I lied but you quote Baha’u’llah regarding ‘calumny’. These sort of implicit smear tactics are not new to me. I’ve seen them over and over on the internet by fellow Baha’is. Sad, but true nevertheless.

    Regarding vitriol, you call what I wrote ‘yellow journalism’. To me that is caustic. Do I come into your house and spit in your eye? Why do you then come into my blog and do likewise? Is this the behavior of Baha’i? And then on top of it all you play innocent and naive, claiming that you didn’t say anything insulting. That’s rich!

    No, I don’t owe anyone ‘proof’ and I certainly won’t be throwing anonymous sources to the wolves for your pleasure. I do not claim to be a journalist nor a newspaper. This is a blog. Read it or don’t, it is your choice. Believe it or don’t. Again, your choice.

    Your strawmen arguments, libelious smears and diversionary tactics aimed at moving the focus away from the topic won’t fly here.

  • over,
    this is my last response to you re this. You innocently claim that you never said I lied but you quote Baha’u’llah regarding ‘calumny’. These sort of implicit smear tactics are not new to me. I’ve seen them over and over on the internet by fellow Baha’is. Sad, but true nevertheless.

    Regarding vitriol, you call what I wrote ‘yellow journalism’. To me that is caustic. Do I come into your house and spit in your eye? Why do you then come into my blog and do likewise? Is this the behavior of Baha’i? And then on top of it all you play innocent and naive, claiming that you didn’t say anything insulting. That’s rich!

    No, I don’t owe anyone ‘proof’ and I certainly won’t be throwing anonymous sources to the wolves for your pleasure. I do not claim to be a journalist nor a newspaper. This is a blog. Read it or don’t, it is your choice. Believe it or don’t. Again, your choice.

    Your strawmen arguments, libelious smears and diversionary tactics aimed at moving the focus away from the topic won’t fly here.

  • Wahid,
    thanks but since the links are in Persian I don’t they will be much help to those who can’t read Persian. Are there any online translation services, like babelfish?

  • Wahid,
    thanks but since the links are in Persian I don’t they will be much help to those who can’t read Persian. Are there any online translation services, like babelfish?

  • There are translation services for Arabic and Turkish, but nothing as yet for Persian, so far as I know. I would encourage you to take a look at Halal’s messages, however. If you can find a native Persian or someone with Persian language skills, it would be worth your while to look at what they have to say. Apparently this person along with his family was physically present at a public meeting held by the bahai institutions in Italy sometime at the end of last year. This meeting was held to answer (or ‘handle’ rather) the complaints by the Italian bahai rank and file regarding the fiasco. This person says that the ABMs, Councillors and remaining Italian nsa members simply refused to answer any questions put to them and would offer the typical patent (plausible) denials we are quite used to online. Several dozen attendees at this meeting apparently then simply got up and walked out of the meeting altogether. There was quite a scene.

    Withal, financial fiascos seem to be the order of the day now with the ao in every conceivable location and locale of the planet. We saw what happened with Parviz Berjis. Then in India and Payam Shoghi. In Iran with Khanjani and his Hayat-i-Yaran (Ma’arif). Now in Italy, and Lord knows where else it will soon come out, not to mention this sort of thing has happened before and in Spouth America (notably Ecuador). At every occasion when these things spill out the ao at first rolls out its paid hacks to make patent denials and smeer those who question the malefeasances of a group of bona fide thugs and gangsters. This should tell rank-and-file bahais that the issues are no longer (and have not been for quite a long time) simply ideological or a conflict of ideas between fundamentalists and liberals/Haifans and Orthodox/Baha’is and Bayanis/us or them, or something as vacuous as a covenant.

    If you look closely at all these events, a pattern emerges. And the pattern is this, that the HBF is an organization which is currently being controlled by an agenda and a cabal of individuals that has everything to do but with religion or spirituality. Instead of circling the wagons and allowing the real criminals to get away every time, perhaps the mom’n’pop rank-and-file baha’is should seriously begin considering about taking matters into their own hands. Because, mark my words, with this silly attempt to bully the Orthodox Baha’is in the courts (in order to divert attention of the rank and file from these increasingly emerging financial shennanigans of a corrupt bureaucracy) over trivialities such as copyright of images (which pretty much exposes the HBF as a fully incorporated business rather than a non-for profit religious organization) the entire lot of you (many of whom are completely innocent people and bystanders who do not derserve the inevitable international fallout that is certain to follow) stand to lose a lot when the world press and civil liberties groups begin hammering the HBF and thoroughly discrediting this organization far and wide as a cult and as thoroughly corrupt. That, together with the dossier that is about to be presented to the UN human rights body regarding the ao’s own human/civil rights violations of innocent (usually bahai) people is going to make all of you look bad to the world.

    Many of you have invested a lot in this. You are sincere, good and honest people who deserve much, much better than what your leadership has given you. Get off the sinking Titanic or throw out the captain and the crew who crashed it into the iceburg, before it is too late. For your own sakes.

    Wahid

  • There are translation services for Arabic and Turkish, but nothing as yet for Persian, so far as I know. I would encourage you to take a look at Halal’s messages, however. If you can find a native Persian or someone with Persian language skills, it would be worth your while to look at what they have to say. Apparently this person along with his family was physically present at a public meeting held by the bahai institutions in Italy sometime at the end of last year. This meeting was held to answer (or ‘handle’ rather) the complaints by the Italian bahai rank and file regarding the fiasco. This person says that the ABMs, Councillors and remaining Italian nsa members simply refused to answer any questions put to them and would offer the typical patent (plausible) denials we are quite used to online. Several dozen attendees at this meeting apparently then simply got up and walked out of the meeting altogether. There was quite a scene.

    Withal, financial fiascos seem to be the order of the day now with the ao in every conceivable location and locale of the planet. We saw what happened with Parviz Berjis. Then in India and Payam Shoghi. In Iran with Khanjani and his Hayat-i-Yaran (Ma’arif). Now in Italy, and Lord knows where else it will soon come out, not to mention this sort of thing has happened before and in Spouth America (notably Ecuador). At every occasion when these things spill out the ao at first rolls out its paid hacks to make patent denials and smeer those who question the malefeasances of a group of bona fide thugs and gangsters. This should tell rank-and-file bahais that the issues are no longer (and have not been for quite a long time) simply ideological or a conflict of ideas between fundamentalists and liberals/Haifans and Orthodox/Baha’is and Bayanis/us or them, or something as vacuous as a covenant.

    If you look closely at all these events, a pattern emerges. And the pattern is this, that the HBF is an organization which is currently being controlled by an agenda and a cabal of individuals that has everything to do but with religion or spirituality. Instead of circling the wagons and allowing the real criminals to get away every time, perhaps the mom’n’pop rank-and-file baha’is should seriously begin considering about taking matters into their own hands. Because, mark my words, with this silly attempt to bully the Orthodox Baha’is in the courts (in order to divert attention of the rank and file from these increasingly emerging financial shennanigans of a corrupt bureaucracy) over trivialities such as copyright of images (which pretty much exposes the HBF as a fully incorporated business rather than a non-for profit religious organization) the entire lot of you (many of whom are completely innocent people and bystanders who do not derserve the inevitable international fallout that is certain to follow) stand to lose a lot when the world press and civil liberties groups begin hammering the HBF and thoroughly discrediting this organization far and wide as a cult and as thoroughly corrupt. That, together with the dossier that is about to be presented to the UN human rights body regarding the ao’s own human/civil rights violations of innocent (usually bahai) people is going to make all of you look bad to the world.

    Many of you have invested a lot in this. You are sincere, good and honest people who deserve much, much better than what your leadership has given you. Get off the sinking Titanic or throw out the captain and the crew who crashed it into the iceburg, before it is too late. For your own sakes.

    Wahid

  • “Apparently this person along with his family was physically present at a public meeting held by the bahai institutions in Italy sometime at the end of last year…This person says that the ABMs, Councillors and remaining Italian nsa members simply refused to answer any questions put to them…”

    Yes, this is also what my sources revealed. I know much more than what I wrote. I’m trying to be tactful.

    Can you provide a direct link to “halal’s” messages? couldn’t find them on either of the sites.

  • “Apparently this person along with his family was physically present at a public meeting held by the bahai institutions in Italy sometime at the end of last year…This person says that the ABMs, Councillors and remaining Italian nsa members simply refused to answer any questions put to them…”

    Yes, this is also what my sources revealed. I know much more than what I wrote. I’m trying to be tactful.

    Can you provide a direct link to “halal’s” messages? couldn’t find them on either of the sites.

  • Go to,
    http://commenting.blogfa.com/?blogid=saeed8410&postid=72&timezone=12642

    or

    http://www.saeed8410.blogfa.com/

    It’s the blog with the original English and Persian translation of Stephan Hall’s letter to Hamid Taheri. Just today Halal posted another message regarding the case with a link to this very blog.

    Wahid

    p.s. I post on these sites under Shenakht and Wahid Azal. Quite amusingly, and in typical fashion, the paid Persian language hacks of the ao have accused Halal of being me. As if I am the only person on the whole planet whose offered the only viable opposition to their shennanigans.

  • Go to,
    http://commenting.blogfa.com/?blogid=saeed8410&postid=72&timezone=12642

    or

    http://www.saeed8410.blogfa.com/

    It’s the blog with the original English and Persian translation of Stephan Hall’s letter to Hamid Taheri. Just today Halal posted another message regarding the case with a link to this very blog.

    Wahid

    p.s. I post on these sites under Shenakht and Wahid Azal. Quite amusingly, and in typical fashion, the paid Persian language hacks of the ao have accused Halal of being me. As if I am the only person on the whole planet whose offered the only viable opposition to their shennanigans.

  • Baquia,

    How can anyone believe in the words of someone whose tactics are similar to Tablighate Islami? The members Islamic Propaganda group had the same kind of speech, showed the same ?concern? for the community…

    But let’s suppose you are baha’i.

    I respect people who left the baha’i community and write about their differences with the Baha’i Administration. They had the guts to face a hard situation. And what about you? Where is your courage in writing under a nickname, using information provided by anonymous sources? Afraid of what? That’s why I say you have no credibility when writing about baha’i issues.

    And concerning this thing in Italy: you posted here several accusations with no proofs. The burden of proof is on your side.

  • Baquia,

    How can anyone believe in the words of someone whose tactics are similar to Tablighate Islami? The members Islamic Propaganda group had the same kind of speech, showed the same ?concern? for the community…

    But let’s suppose you are baha’i.

    I respect people who left the baha’i community and write about their differences with the Baha’i Administration. They had the guts to face a hard situation. And what about you? Where is your courage in writing under a nickname, using information provided by anonymous sources? Afraid of what? That’s why I say you have no credibility when writing about baha’i issues.

    And concerning this thing in Italy: you posted here several accusations with no proofs. The burden of proof is on your side.

  • Dear Marco,
    as a Baha’i I try to return poison with honey. So please continue to post whatever smears and libel you wish about me. I am quite comfortable where I stand for I have truth as a companion.

    I do wonder though if you (or overmy…) have the integrity to return here and apologize publicly after you confirm everything I have written. In the end it matters not one iota. We each will answer to God one day for our deeds.

    Feel free to continue dispensing your poison, and do not forget to take your share of honey as you leave.

    Best wishes,
    Allah’u’Abha

  • Dear Marco,
    as a Baha’i I try to return poison with honey. So please continue to post whatever smears and libel you wish about me. I am quite comfortable where I stand for I have truth as a companion.

    I do wonder though if you (or overmy…) have the integrity to return here and apologize publicly after you confirm everything I have written. In the end it matters not one iota. We each will answer to God one day for our deeds.

    Feel free to continue dispensing your poison, and do not forget to take your share of honey as you leave.

    Best wishes,
    Allah’u’Abha

  • Dear Bacquia,

    Ask this good gentleman if it is your tactics which are more like the Tablighate Islami/Hojjatiyyeh or theirs, especially when they issue such letters as these to completely innocent people, whose lives and families they go on to destroy:


    NATIONAL SPIRITUAL ASSEMBLY OF THE BAHA’IS OF AUSTRALIA INCORPORATED

    In reply please quote ref no:
    OPM/CD

    3 April 2002

    Mr Hamid Taheri
    19 Dunbar Rd
    CLAREMONT WA 6010

    [(08) 938-45246]

    Dear Baha’i Friend,

    The National Spiritual Assembly understands that you are involved in a
    weekly Iranian television programme in Perth, sponsored by an Iranian
    Muslim.

    As you would undoubtedly be aware the House of Justice calls for
    Baha’is to exercise great caution in their relations with the Iranian
    community. The National Assembly has determined that your involvement
    in this programme is not wise. In the best interests of the Faith you
    should immediately cease your participation in this television
    programme.

    Due to the need to protect the Faith in Australia the National
    Assembly feels it necessary to warn you that failure to comply with
    this instruction will result in the removal of your administrative
    rights. The National Assembly looks forward to receiving confirmation
    that you have discontinued this activity.

    We take this opportunity to recommend that you re-familiarize yourself
    with the guidance of the Universal House of Justice in its letter
    dated June 18, 1999. A copy of this letter is enclosed.

    With loving Baha’i greetings,

    NATIONAL SPIRITUAL ASSEMBLY
    OF THE BAHA’IS OF AUSTRALIA INC.

    Stephen Hall
    Secretary

    The Universal House of Justice
    Department of Secretariat

    20 February 2003

    Transmitted by email: o…@iinet.net.au

    Mr. Omeed Taheri
    Australia

    Dear Baha’i Friend,

    Your email letter of 21 December 2002, sent on behalf of your
    sisters Mrs Mahshid Taheri-Jones and Dr. Guity Taheri in addition to
    yourself, has been received. We have been asked to provide the
    following response.

    The Universal House of Justice understands your distress at the
    action taken by the National Spiritual Assembly of Australia in
    removing the administrative rights of your father, Mr Hamid Taheri,
    and your ardent desire to have this action rescinded. However, it has
    decided, after a detailed examination of this matter, that the
    decision of the National Assembly should be upheld and that he should
    remain deprived of these rights.

    In accordance with the procedure set out in Section VIII of the By-
    Laws to “The Constitution of the Universal House of Justice”, an
    appeal against such a National Spiritual Assembly decision should be
    made by the individual concerned, who would, in the first instance,
    approach his National Spiritual Assembly for reconsideration or
    submission of his appeal to the House of Justice. In this instance,
    the House of Justice decided to investigate the circumstances
    surrounding the removal of Mr. Taheri’s rights, despite the fact that
    there was no indication of his having initiated an appeal.

    Mr Taheri’s administrative rights were removed in August 2002 for
    his failure to adhere to a commitment to the National Assembly in May
    2002 in which he signed. Just before the National Assembly took this
    action its Secretary had ascertained, through a telephone call to Mr.
    Taheri, that he was determined not to follow the Assembly’s
    instructions and that he was aware of the possible consequences of his
    disobedience.

    Following its receipt of your letter, the House of Justice asked
    the National Assembly to inquire further into Mr Taheri’s attitudes.
    From statements made directly to the National Assembly Chairman, it is clear that he remains unrepentent about his actions and that he
    continues to manifest an intense animosity toward the Baha’i
    administrative bodies.

    The House of Justice is most concerned about Mr. Taheri’s attitude
    to the institutions of the Cause. It hopes that his own study of the
    authoritative texts of the Faith concerning the Covenant and the
    institutions to which it gives rise will enable him to make the
    necessary changes in attitudes and conduct which would open the way
    to restoration of his rights. Your own example of unyielding adherence
    to the principles of the Faith, as well as your wholehearted support
    of the decisions of the National Assembly, could well play an
    important role in encouraging him to make the required alterations to
    his thinking.

    Your letter raises the issue of the plan of the National Assembly
    to publish in the national Baha’i newsletter an announcement of the
    removal of his administrative rights. In general such matters are left
    to the discretion of a National Spiritual Assembly, which is asked to
    consider the particular circumstances in each instance, including the
    possibility of the believer concerned visiting other Baha’i
    communities which might not be aware of his Baha’i status.

    As regards Mr Taheri, there is good reason for an announcement to
    be published in the national newsletter, in light of his recent
    extensive travels.

    The Universal House of Justice recognizes that you are apprehensive
    about the effect on members of the family when it becomes more widely
    known that your father’s administrative rights have been removed. It
    urges your to reflect on the seriousness of his actions, and to strive
    to obtain a deeper insight into the damaging effect that his attitude
    towards the Baha’i institutions could have on other believers who
    might not be well deepened in the Faith, if they are not ware of his
    Baha’i status.

    Your are assured of the prayers of the Universal House of Justice
    in the Holy Shrines at this time of difficulty for you.

    With loving Baha’i greetings,
    Department of the Secretariat

    cc. National Spiritual Assembly of Australia (by email)

    That stated, for years the ao and its various Persian defenders and apparatchicks have made bogeymen out of Muslims, the non-bahai Iranian community and this ultimate bogeyman, the hojjatiyyah/tablighat islami. If the vacuous responses of the paid Persian hacks participating on those sites I posted are anything to go by, then it stands to reason that everything we have been told about these Tablighat Islami types by the bahai community is not only wrong but that these Tablighat Islami are on far more solid grounds of discourse and discussion then once presumed, especially more so than bahai arch-defenders. Therefore, this smear of accusing someone of being like Tablight Islami/hojjatiyyah is a red herring and a straw man, conveniently designed to dismiss and sidestep an issue without deigning to address any point whatsoever. Rest assured that this tactic has been completely and throughly exposed for what it is all throughout Persian language cyberspace.

    Wahid

    p.s. Note that the letters to Hamid and Omid Taheri are being submitted to the United Nations human rights body.

  • Dear Bacquia,

    Ask this good gentleman if it is your tactics which are more like the Tablighate Islami/Hojjatiyyeh or theirs, especially when they issue such letters as these to completely innocent people, whose lives and families they go on to destroy:


    NATIONAL SPIRITUAL ASSEMBLY OF THE BAHA’IS OF AUSTRALIA INCORPORATED

    In reply please quote ref no:
    OPM/CD

    3 April 2002

    Mr Hamid Taheri
    19 Dunbar Rd
    CLAREMONT WA 6010

    [(08) 938-45246]

    Dear Baha’i Friend,

    The National Spiritual Assembly understands that you are involved in a
    weekly Iranian television programme in Perth, sponsored by an Iranian
    Muslim.

    As you would undoubtedly be aware the House of Justice calls for
    Baha’is to exercise great caution in their relations with the Iranian
    community. The National Assembly has determined that your involvement
    in this programme is not wise. In the best interests of the Faith you
    should immediately cease your participation in this television
    programme.

    Due to the need to protect the Faith in Australia the National
    Assembly feels it necessary to warn you that failure to comply with
    this instruction will result in the removal of your administrative
    rights. The National Assembly looks forward to receiving confirmation
    that you have discontinued this activity.

    We take this opportunity to recommend that you re-familiarize yourself
    with the guidance of the Universal House of Justice in its letter
    dated June 18, 1999. A copy of this letter is enclosed.

    With loving Baha’i greetings,

    NATIONAL SPIRITUAL ASSEMBLY
    OF THE BAHA’IS OF AUSTRALIA INC.

    Stephen Hall
    Secretary

    The Universal House of Justice
    Department of Secretariat

    20 February 2003

    Transmitted by email: o…@iinet.net.au

    Mr. Omeed Taheri
    Australia

    Dear Baha’i Friend,

    Your email letter of 21 December 2002, sent on behalf of your
    sisters Mrs Mahshid Taheri-Jones and Dr. Guity Taheri in addition to
    yourself, has been received. We have been asked to provide the
    following response.

    The Universal House of Justice understands your distress at the
    action taken by the National Spiritual Assembly of Australia in
    removing the administrative rights of your father, Mr Hamid Taheri,
    and your ardent desire to have this action rescinded. However, it has
    decided, after a detailed examination of this matter, that the
    decision of the National Assembly should be upheld and that he should
    remain deprived of these rights.

    In accordance with the procedure set out in Section VIII of the By-
    Laws to “The Constitution of the Universal House of Justice”, an
    appeal against such a National Spiritual Assembly decision should be
    made by the individual concerned, who would, in the first instance,
    approach his National Spiritual Assembly for reconsideration or
    submission of his appeal to the House of Justice. In this instance,
    the House of Justice decided to investigate the circumstances
    surrounding the removal of Mr. Taheri’s rights, despite the fact that
    there was no indication of his having initiated an appeal.

    Mr Taheri’s administrative rights were removed in August 2002 for
    his failure to adhere to a commitment to the National Assembly in May
    2002 in which he signed. Just before the National Assembly took this
    action its Secretary had ascertained, through a telephone call to Mr.
    Taheri, that he was determined not to follow the Assembly’s
    instructions and that he was aware of the possible consequences of his
    disobedience.

    Following its receipt of your letter, the House of Justice asked
    the National Assembly to inquire further into Mr Taheri’s attitudes.
    From statements made directly to the National Assembly Chairman, it is clear that he remains unrepentent about his actions and that he
    continues to manifest an intense animosity toward the Baha’i
    administrative bodies.

    The House of Justice is most concerned about Mr. Taheri’s attitude
    to the institutions of the Cause. It hopes that his own study of the
    authoritative texts of the Faith concerning the Covenant and the
    institutions to which it gives rise will enable him to make the
    necessary changes in attitudes and conduct which would open the way
    to restoration of his rights. Your own example of unyielding adherence
    to the principles of the Faith, as well as your wholehearted support
    of the decisions of the National Assembly, could well play an
    important role in encouraging him to make the required alterations to
    his thinking.

    Your letter raises the issue of the plan of the National Assembly
    to publish in the national Baha’i newsletter an announcement of the
    removal of his administrative rights. In general such matters are left
    to the discretion of a National Spiritual Assembly, which is asked to
    consider the particular circumstances in each instance, including the
    possibility of the believer concerned visiting other Baha’i
    communities which might not be aware of his Baha’i status.

    As regards Mr Taheri, there is good reason for an announcement to
    be published in the national newsletter, in light of his recent
    extensive travels.

    The Universal House of Justice recognizes that you are apprehensive
    about the effect on members of the family when it becomes more widely
    known that your father’s administrative rights have been removed. It
    urges your to reflect on the seriousness of his actions, and to strive
    to obtain a deeper insight into the damaging effect that his attitude
    towards the Baha’i institutions could have on other believers who
    might not be well deepened in the Faith, if they are not ware of his
    Baha’i status.

    Your are assured of the prayers of the Universal House of Justice
    in the Holy Shrines at this time of difficulty for you.

    With loving Baha’i greetings,
    Department of the Secretariat

    cc. National Spiritual Assembly of Australia (by email)

    That stated, for years the ao and its various Persian defenders and apparatchicks have made bogeymen out of Muslims, the non-bahai Iranian community and this ultimate bogeyman, the hojjatiyyah/tablighat islami. If the vacuous responses of the paid Persian hacks participating on those sites I posted are anything to go by, then it stands to reason that everything we have been told about these Tablighat Islami types by the bahai community is not only wrong but that these Tablighat Islami are on far more solid grounds of discourse and discussion then once presumed, especially more so than bahai arch-defenders. Therefore, this smear of accusing someone of being like Tablight Islami/hojjatiyyah is a red herring and a straw man, conveniently designed to dismiss and sidestep an issue without deigning to address any point whatsoever. Rest assured that this tactic has been completely and throughly exposed for what it is all throughout Persian language cyberspace.

    Wahid

    p.s. Note that the letters to Hamid and Omid Taheri are being submitted to the United Nations human rights body.

  • Brendan Cook

    I think that matter is simple. Baquia broke this story, and should be commended. No journalist should reveal their sources. That’s perfectly natural. I know the story is true, soon others will.

    I find it amusing, however, that Baquia gets accused of cowardice, of trying to hide behind an alias. Because if he/she were not anonymous, charges of ‘egotism’ and ‘trying to create a following’ would not be far behind. So there’s really so way to win. Humility, as in Baquia’s case, gets called cowardice, while anyone who demonstrates the courage to state their name is called a self-promotor. There is always some sort of stain ready at hand…

    What matters is that cowardly or brave, humble or proud, Baquia has broken an important story, one that will be vindicated as true… And the suggestions are responsible and wise. The name-calling won’t last.

  • Brendan Cook

    I think that matter is simple. Baquia broke this story, and should be commended. No journalist should reveal their sources. That’s perfectly natural. I know the story is true, soon others will.

    I find it amusing, however, that Baquia gets accused of cowardice, of trying to hide behind an alias. Because if he/she were not anonymous, charges of ‘egotism’ and ‘trying to create a following’ would not be far behind. So there’s really so way to win. Humility, as in Baquia’s case, gets called cowardice, while anyone who demonstrates the courage to state their name is called a self-promotor. There is always some sort of stain ready at hand…

    What matters is that cowardly or brave, humble or proud, Baquia has broken an important story, one that will be vindicated as true… And the suggestions are responsible and wise. The name-calling won’t last.

  • Craig Parke

    Using the example of the current methods used in the current mindset at the highest levels of my beloved Ruhiized Faith I formulated my question, prayed, and then consulted my Magic 8 Ball.

    My question was “Has Mr. Ceccherini confessed to this crime?”

    The answer was “Yes”.

    That’s enough for me.

    If it worked drawing lots to pick a replacement disciple for Judas and Christianity has turned out so well, and it is a real time saver now for infallible institutions on Earth when you can just cut to the chase in any situation, then enough said.

    The Magic 8 Ball says he has confessed. Therefore, he is guilty. Where can we get those stockades and dunking stools the Pilgrims had? The Baha’is of Italy should just impose punishment this way to save embarrassment in the courts.

    The Magic 8 Ball has spoken.

  • Craig Parke

    Using the example of the current methods used in the current mindset at the highest levels of my beloved Ruhiized Faith I formulated my question, prayed, and then consulted my Magic 8 Ball.

    My question was “Has Mr. Ceccherini confessed to this crime?”

    The answer was “Yes”.

    That’s enough for me.

    If it worked drawing lots to pick a replacement disciple for Judas and Christianity has turned out so well, and it is a real time saver now for infallible institutions on Earth when you can just cut to the chase in any situation, then enough said.

    The Magic 8 Ball says he has confessed. Therefore, he is guilty. Where can we get those stockades and dunking stools the Pilgrims had? The Baha’is of Italy should just impose punishment this way to save embarrassment in the courts.

    The Magic 8 Ball has spoken.

  • Hi Marco and overmywaders,

    Rather than shooting the messenger, how about giving the Italian National Office a call to verify the story. Then, as Baquia suggests, you can get back to us with what we already know. Unity is important, and this seems to be the best way to achieve it.

    ka kite
    Steve Marshall
    (Yes, I’m a Baha’i in good standing and, yes, this is my real name)

  • Hi Marco and overmywaders,

    Rather than shooting the messenger, how about giving the Italian National Office a call to verify the story. Then, as Baquia suggests, you can get back to us with what we already know. Unity is important, and this seems to be the best way to achieve it.

    ka kite
    Steve Marshall
    (Yes, I’m a Baha’i in good standing and, yes, this is my real name)

  • Concourse on Low

    Re: Marco and Overmywaders

    Demanding scrupulous corroboration of cited sources – a typical feint used by some Bahais who dislike substantive intellectual engagement (or the position you’re trying to defend). Mind you, the credibility of sources is obviously important, but using this as an excuse to avoid addressing the real issues, as raised by Baquia, concerning checks and balances within the AO is simply disingenuous.

    Re: Wahid Azal

    I think your conspiratorial theorizing about the supposed nefarious activities of Bahais is as intellectually irresponsible as the evasion of critical engagment by Marco and Overmywaders.

  • Concourse on Low

    Re: Marco and Overmywaders

    Demanding scrupulous corroboration of cited sources – a typical feint used by some Bahais who dislike substantive intellectual engagement (or the position you’re trying to defend). Mind you, the credibility of sources is obviously important, but using this as an excuse to avoid addressing the real issues, as raised by Baquia, concerning checks and balances within the AO is simply disingenuous.

    Re: Wahid Azal

    I think your conspiratorial theorizing about the supposed nefarious activities of Bahais is as intellectually irresponsible as the evasion of critical engagment by Marco and Overmywaders.

  • To those concerned individuals:

    I see overmywaders mentioned in a number of posts above, so I thought a response was in order.

    I have no problem discussing the issues that Baquai brought forward, just as I have no issue with a pseudonym; however, I felt/feel that what I raised was significant and should be addressed as well. Asking someone else to do your homework for you may get you through school, but it doesn’t encourage honesty or truth. I simply ask that, before terrible accusations are aired to the world — no matter that one may be satisfied that they are true — the facts must be verified and verifiable (if formal charges have been laid, it is recorded). I don’t think that is very much to ask. Would Baha’u’llah expect less of us? Why should others do your work for you?

    As for people losing their Administrative Rights for working with Muslims, I’m sure there is more to the story. That said, I definitely don’t appreciate the tone of either of the formal letters; I have received letters with such a tone from Administrative bodies and expressed my strong objection to it, to the writer (who was always anonymous).

    Similarly, I wanted to set up a public meeting in our area to present the truths of Islam to the general public, from a Baha’i perspective, in support of the small Islamic community and in conjunction with speakers from that community. I was initially told “No, it is not wise to do this” by various peoples with sundry duties in the Baha’i body. With loving words from the Writings I expressed to them the obligation we have as Baha’is to do this very thing. Eventually, I got the green light. However, the Islamic community was not interested in even responding to my offer. Hey, I tried. You may feel that I was naive in attempting to help Muslims as a Baha’i, but at least I made the attempt.

    I suppose what I am attempting to convey through the posts I have made here is that it is possible, if you are persistent enough and keep leading others back to the Writings, to effect change. But, I now understand that, as the title of this blog suggests, there is no intent here of working for change; rather, ranting and petulantly kicking one’s feet is the order of the day. I didn’t name this blog; but it is certainly living down to its name.

    I wish you all the best in the worlds of God,
    overmywaders

    P.S. — no response to this is necessary. My computer is telling me that it is quickly forgetting your URL…

  • To those concerned individuals:

    I see overmywaders mentioned in a number of posts above, so I thought a response was in order.

    I have no problem discussing the issues that Baquai brought forward, just as I have no issue with a pseudonym; however, I felt/feel that what I raised was significant and should be addressed as well. Asking someone else to do your homework for you may get you through school, but it doesn’t encourage honesty or truth. I simply ask that, before terrible accusations are aired to the world — no matter that one may be satisfied that they are true — the facts must be verified and verifiable (if formal charges have been laid, it is recorded). I don’t think that is very much to ask. Would Baha’u’llah expect less of us? Why should others do your work for you?

    As for people losing their Administrative Rights for working with Muslims, I’m sure there is more to the story. That said, I definitely don’t appreciate the tone of either of the formal letters; I have received letters with such a tone from Administrative bodies and expressed my strong objection to it, to the writer (who was always anonymous).

    Similarly, I wanted to set up a public meeting in our area to present the truths of Islam to the general public, from a Baha’i perspective, in support of the small Islamic community and in conjunction with speakers from that community. I was initially told “No, it is not wise to do this” by various peoples with sundry duties in the Baha’i body. With loving words from the Writings I expressed to them the obligation we have as Baha’is to do this very thing. Eventually, I got the green light. However, the Islamic community was not interested in even responding to my offer. Hey, I tried. You may feel that I was naive in attempting to help Muslims as a Baha’i, but at least I made the attempt.

    I suppose what I am attempting to convey through the posts I have made here is that it is possible, if you are persistent enough and keep leading others back to the Writings, to effect change. But, I now understand that, as the title of this blog suggests, there is no intent here of working for change; rather, ranting and petulantly kicking one’s feet is the order of the day. I didn’t name this blog; but it is certainly living down to its name.

    I wish you all the best in the worlds of God,
    overmywaders

    P.S. — no response to this is necessary. My computer is telling me that it is quickly forgetting your URL…

  • “have no problem discussing the issues that Baquai brought forward”

    And yet you have consistently refused to do so.

    “the facts must be verified and verifiable”

    I personally will not verify the facts for you because that would mean revealing my sources and that would mean betraying a trust placed in me. The facts are indeed verifiable. Yet you have failed to take the extremely simple and easy steps needed to do so. Rather than the 5 minutes it would take to investigate the truth yourself, you have decided to spend hours here insulting me and calling me names.

    “there is no intent here of working for change”

    Did you get this impression from my suggestions for improvement? or that I did not stoop to personal insults but rather stuck to the matter at hand? Funny, others got a different impression. Perhaps it is your prejudices that blind you to what is on your monitor.

  • “have no problem discussing the issues that Baquai brought forward”

    And yet you have consistently refused to do so.

    “the facts must be verified and verifiable”

    I personally will not verify the facts for you because that would mean revealing my sources and that would mean betraying a trust placed in me. The facts are indeed verifiable. Yet you have failed to take the extremely simple and easy steps needed to do so. Rather than the 5 minutes it would take to investigate the truth yourself, you have decided to spend hours here insulting me and calling me names.

    “there is no intent here of working for change”

    Did you get this impression from my suggestions for improvement? or that I did not stoop to personal insults but rather stuck to the matter at hand? Funny, others got a different impression. Perhaps it is your prejudices that blind you to what is on your monitor.

  • Concourse on Low Says:

    “I think your conspiratorial theorizing about the supposed nefarious activities of Bahais is as intellectually irresponsible as the evasion of critical engagment by Marco and Overmywaders.”

    You may think what you like, and using the “conspiracy” theory hatchet to dismiss is another typical Bahai tactic of not engaging is argument. But the writing is in black and white regarding such nefarious activities (and you don’t have to tune into Us State Department funded satellite Bahai stations broadcasting directly into Iran to see it). Here, I cite a message to Bacquia by Ian Kluge last year which echoes a sentiment pervasive throughout, at least, the Haifan Bahai community and its halls of power especially en toto. And before I quote, do the names UN weapons inspector David Kelly and Pentagon intelligence officer Mai Pederson mean anything to you?

    From: Ian Kluge
    Date: Sat Apr 15, 2006 3:15 pm
    Subject: RE: [talisman9] Re: Juan Cole on Iran’s ‘nuclear defiance’
    iankluge2000

    Dear Bacquia,

    Two points:

    (1) RE paying attention to what they say: many German Jews made that
    mistake once too. They dismissed Nazi anti-semitism as ‘talk’ and
    cheap vote-getting propaganda. They were wrong – and Israel can’t afford to be wrong again. I fully support a first strike on Iran’s nuclear facilities wherever they may be hidden and by whatever means are needed to destroy them. If the Iranians deny us their oil, destroy their oil facilities – if we can’t have their oil, neither will they.

    The US can get most of its oil needs met by Canada (already your
    largest supplier anyway of oil, gas and electricity). The MacMurray
    (Alberta) Tarsands have more oil than Saudi Arabia just for starters.

    2) I have no idea why the Universal House decided as It did, if It
    did(I haven’t even seen the letter allegedly saying these things.)
    but off the top of my head, I can imagine at least one major reason.

    Regime change (one way or another) is coming in the relatively near
    future and Baha’is must be there when a new regime is established to
    make their mark on the new government and help move it in genuinely
    new directions. If they all Baha’is leave they will have lost all
    credibility as well as opportunities to legally prosecute their
    former tormentors.

    If you want to play hockey, you’ve got to be on the ice at game-time.

    Best wishes,
    Ian Kluge

    I’m sorry, but letters to Hamid Taheri and the copious kinds of Ian Kluge-like statements by Bahais re: Iran everywhere (one of which on TRB recently outright stated that if 78 million Iranians where nuked by an American preemptive strike, there would be “…78 million less idiots in the world” ) establishes nefarious nature of this organization by, at least, the movers and shakers at the top which control this organization in its Haifan and unmistakably pro-Israeli, pro-Zionist, anti-Arab and anti-Iranian permutation.

    Wahid

  • Concourse on Low Says:

    “I think your conspiratorial theorizing about the supposed nefarious activities of Bahais is as intellectually irresponsible as the evasion of critical engagment by Marco and Overmywaders.”

    You may think what you like, and using the “conspiracy” theory hatchet to dismiss is another typical Bahai tactic of not engaging is argument. But the writing is in black and white regarding such nefarious activities (and you don’t have to tune into Us State Department funded satellite Bahai stations broadcasting directly into Iran to see it). Here, I cite a message to Bacquia by Ian Kluge last year which echoes a sentiment pervasive throughout, at least, the Haifan Bahai community and its halls of power especially en toto. And before I quote, do the names UN weapons inspector David Kelly and Pentagon intelligence officer Mai Pederson mean anything to you?

    From: Ian Kluge
    Date: Sat Apr 15, 2006 3:15 pm
    Subject: RE: [talisman9] Re: Juan Cole on Iran’s ‘nuclear defiance’
    iankluge2000

    Dear Bacquia,

    Two points:

    (1) RE paying attention to what they say: many German Jews made that
    mistake once too. They dismissed Nazi anti-semitism as ‘talk’ and
    cheap vote-getting propaganda. They were wrong – and Israel can’t afford to be wrong again. I fully support a first strike on Iran’s nuclear facilities wherever they may be hidden and by whatever means are needed to destroy them. If the Iranians deny us their oil, destroy their oil facilities – if we can’t have their oil, neither will they.

    The US can get most of its oil needs met by Canada (already your
    largest supplier anyway of oil, gas and electricity). The MacMurray
    (Alberta) Tarsands have more oil than Saudi Arabia just for starters.

    2) I have no idea why the Universal House decided as It did, if It
    did(I haven’t even seen the letter allegedly saying these things.)
    but off the top of my head, I can imagine at least one major reason.

    Regime change (one way or another) is coming in the relatively near
    future and Baha’is must be there when a new regime is established to
    make their mark on the new government and help move it in genuinely
    new directions. If they all Baha’is leave they will have lost all
    credibility as well as opportunities to legally prosecute their
    former tormentors.

    If you want to play hockey, you’ve got to be on the ice at game-time.

    Best wishes,
    Ian Kluge

    I’m sorry, but letters to Hamid Taheri and the copious kinds of Ian Kluge-like statements by Bahais re: Iran everywhere (one of which on TRB recently outright stated that if 78 million Iranians where nuked by an American preemptive strike, there would be “…78 million less idiots in the world” ) establishes nefarious nature of this organization by, at least, the movers and shakers at the top which control this organization in its Haifan and unmistakably pro-Israeli, pro-Zionist, anti-Arab and anti-Iranian permutation.

    Wahid

  • Wahid and everyone else,
    if you’re going to comment on a blog post, it is a common courtesy to not digress from the topic which the post addresses. I would appreciate it if you would all extend this to me as my guests. Thank you.

  • Wahid and everyone else,
    if you’re going to comment on a blog post, it is a common courtesy to not digress from the topic which the post addresses. I would appreciate it if you would all extend this to me as my guests. Thank you.

  • Concourse on Low

    I think the fundamental problem with Bahai governing instituitions is that their operational axiom is that human nature is basically altruistic and selfless, given a minimal amount of spiritual education and whatnot.

    The genius of the American system of governance is its unapologetic recognition of the crass, rational self-interested nature of most human beings. Democratic systems accomodate this in an ingenious fashion by actually fostering it for the benefit of the whole system through multiple centers of power (judicial, executive and legislative). Obviously this system has kinks that need to be worked out but it’s the best political arrangement devised by the human mind to this point.

    To the fathers of the American Constituition, a human being was an atom of self-interest. They did not believe in man, but they did believe in the power of a good political constituition to control them. Bahai doctrine, on the other hand, believes in the power of human nature to competently control political constitutions.

    I would prefer a system that makes the presumption that rational self-interest is the well-spring of human motivation, rather than a rose-tinted one that is prey to human corruption and greed.

    I know most Bahais would find this unpalatable, and view it as an attack on the religion’s teachings on human nature. But I think incorporating checks and balances (and their concomitant philosophical presuppositions of the essential corruptability of human nature) does not necessarily conflict with Bahai doctrine. It would be the tweak the AO needs.

  • Concourse on Low

    I think the fundamental problem with Bahai governing instituitions is that their operational axiom is that human nature is basically altruistic and selfless, given a minimal amount of spiritual education and whatnot.

    The genius of the American system of governance is its unapologetic recognition of the crass, rational self-interested nature of most human beings. Democratic systems accomodate this in an ingenious fashion by actually fostering it for the benefit of the whole system through multiple centers of power (judicial, executive and legislative). Obviously this system has kinks that need to be worked out but it’s the best political arrangement devised by the human mind to this point.

    To the fathers of the American Constituition, a human being was an atom of self-interest. They did not believe in man, but they did believe in the power of a good political constituition to control them. Bahai doctrine, on the other hand, believes in the power of human nature to competently control political constitutions.

    I would prefer a system that makes the presumption that rational self-interest is the well-spring of human motivation, rather than a rose-tinted one that is prey to human corruption and greed.

    I know most Bahais would find this unpalatable, and view it as an attack on the religion’s teachings on human nature. But I think incorporating checks and balances (and their concomitant philosophical presuppositions of the essential corruptability of human nature) does not necessarily conflict with Bahai doctrine. It would be the tweak the AO needs.

  • Sincere Friend

    I have found reading the entire thread has stimulated many thoughts in response to the foregoing posts.

    I am personally thankful to know of this scandal in the Italian NSA, although I am saddened by it. I think it is not harmful to any mature mind to know of these things. It can however be very harmful, both within and outside of the Faith, if it is spread about irresponsibly and picked up by immature individuals in fragments and as rumors. Then it becomes food for suspicious minds and idle talk and becomes a spiritual conflagration, even the Western democratic system has barriers of confidentiality and secrecy that protect partial formed reports and rumors from getting out of hand until all the facts are presented and a decision making process of some kind is engaged (i.e. grand jury secrecy, executive session board meetings, attorney client privelage, etc.).

    I do not think that in this case the reporting has been irresponsible in the manner in which it has been reported by “whoever that person is” at least within a limited distribution such as it is at this point. Those in positions of responsibility within the Faith should not be castigated for being silent about it. Their first duty is to preserve the reputation and integrity of the Cause and then to correct the problem, which in my experience they tend to do within a reasonable time once they are aware of it. To be sure this approach is sometimes at odds with Western democratic values but it does seem to work over time that what is needed does come about in a very positive way. The Chinese tend to exercise power this way, considering as they do their cultural value of “face” and they are the longest continuous civilization in existence. We should realize that no human organization is going to be free of this kind of problem.

    We have been told time and time again that the Administrative Order is in its infancy. So can we really expect any more from it at the present time than we can from an infant child with respect to the potential that it holds? In many respects, at the present time in all honesty, its not much better and often worse than the existing government run by professional civil servants in the USA and elsewhere although generally better than some other countries where there is widespread corruption.

    To those that say that the functioning of the Adminstrative Order depends upon individuals of character that I believe is true. I for one can not imagine it functioning as it should without individuals of exceptional character. This I think too was the intent of the founders of the American Republic that those of better character would come to the fore through free elections but the whole would be guarded from the occassional admission of individuals of inferior character into positions of power by the division of powers into branches of government. These realized that only a moral people who were self regulating in their conduct could successfully govern themselves. So I disagree with an earlier post that says that the American system was set up to exploit the lower nature of people. It was set up to protect the whole from the lower nature of people, just as Baha u llahs Administrative system is. The fact of free elections is really a great protection. Most other Faiths rely entirely upon appointment.

    I know that Baha’u’llah spoke admirably of the government system of Confucious in which the community was served by the rule of individuals of high learning and character rather than by rule of law as in the modern West. I think that what we have to look forward to in the not so distant future of Bahai Administration is a very efficient and considerate governance by individuals of profoundly refined character and great compassion guiding communities that render obediance to their decisions out of love rather than fear, or by threat (as seems to be the inplication of the letter from the Australian NSA posted above).

    I can imagine a future in which the exercise of power, which is what administration is ultimately all about, is done entirely from the Divine nature of human beings through love, reason and compassion, and not from the lower nature that we share with animals in which threats, deception, dominations and humiliation are the usual means of exercising control, and just the things that most Bahais who have been insulted or personally injured emotionally by the Administrative Order have suffered.
    When the level of character, or the paradigm of power if you will, rises to the level of love, reason, and compassion in the general membership of the administrative bodies within the Faith then I think that we will begin to realize the promise that the Guardian saw for Baha’u’llahs World Order. At the present time though most Bahais in administrative positions transplant their transparent cultural values and project them into their working in the Bahai Administration, so we get things being handled in a way that is not entirely Bahai, but partly Persian (authoritarian monarchist power culture) or British (liberal imperial monarchist power culture), or American Canadian (rebellious republican power culture), or some other power values that are tranplanted into the institions from native cultures by those that serve in them. We are after all, “…children of the half light…”

    When we ourselves become full embodiments of the Bahai culture then many of the struggles we have with our adminstrative order will evaporate. The Guardian said on occassion that so many of the problems that came to him could simply be solved by “doing the Bahai thing.”

    The very essence of the Bahai thing is love. I think that any Bahai Administrative body that encounters a recalcitrant member should ask itself were it has failed to love this person or to educate them, those after all are the means that we have been given in this Revelation by Baha u llah to change the world. Why not let us use them to change our administrative institutions and encourage them to use those means to deal with all of us members.

    As to enemies. We should be cautious and heed the Guardians advice that there are enemies that we can not even imagine. We really havent even seen the worst that can come at us. There are people in power in the world so vile and devious that were their true nature evident most sensitive people would flee in terror. It is better to be cautious but to be reasonable and not a zealot about seeing enemies everywhere, or a fool who sees only friends. Let people prove themselves by what they do over a long period of time. Then you are dealing with reality rather than idealism.

  • I have found reading the entire thread has stimulated many thoughts in response to the foregoing posts.

    I am personally thankful to know of this scandal in the Italian NSA, although I am saddened by it. I think it is not harmful to any mature mind to know of these things. It can however be very harmful, both within and outside of the Faith, if it is spread about irresponsibly and picked up by immature individuals in fragments and as rumors. Then it becomes food for suspicious minds and idle talk and becomes a spiritual conflagration, even the Western democratic system has barriers of confidentiality and secrecy that protect partial formed reports and rumors from getting out of hand until all the facts are presented and a decision making process of some kind is engaged (i.e. grand jury secrecy, executive session board meetings, attorney client privelage, etc.).

    I do not think that in this case the reporting has been irresponsible in the manner in which it has been reported by “whoever that person is” at least within a limited distribution such as it is at this point. Those in positions of responsibility within the Faith should not be castigated for being silent about it. Their first duty is to preserve the reputation and integrity of the Cause and then to correct the problem, which in my experience they tend to do within a reasonable time once they are aware of it. To be sure this approach is sometimes at odds with Western democratic values but it does seem to work over time that what is needed does come about in a very positive way. The Chinese tend to exercise power this way, considering as they do their cultural value of “face” and they are the longest continuous civilization in existence. We should realize that no human organization is going to be free of this kind of problem.

    We have been told time and time again that the Administrative Order is in its infancy. So can we really expect any more from it at the present time than we can from an infant child with respect to the potential that it holds? In many respects, at the present time in all honesty, its not much better and often worse than the existing government run by professional civil servants in the USA and elsewhere although generally better than some other countries where there is widespread corruption.

    To those that say that the functioning of the Adminstrative Order depends upon individuals of character that I believe is true. I for one can not imagine it functioning as it should without individuals of exceptional character. This I think too was the intent of the founders of the American Republic that those of better character would come to the fore through free elections but the whole would be guarded from the occassional admission of individuals of inferior character into positions of power by the division of powers into branches of government. These realized that only a moral people who were self regulating in their conduct could successfully govern themselves. So I disagree with an earlier post that says that the American system was set up to exploit the lower nature of people. It was set up to protect the whole from the lower nature of people, just as Baha u llahs Administrative system is. The fact of free elections is really a great protection. Most other Faiths rely entirely upon appointment.

    I know that Baha’u’llah spoke admirably of the government system of Confucious in which the community was served by the rule of individuals of high learning and character rather than by rule of law as in the modern West. I think that what we have to look forward to in the not so distant future of Bahai Administration is a very efficient and considerate governance by individuals of profoundly refined character and great compassion guiding communities that render obediance to their decisions out of love rather than fear, or by threat (as seems to be the inplication of the letter from the Australian NSA posted above).

    I can imagine a future in which the exercise of power, which is what administration is ultimately all about, is done entirely from the Divine nature of human beings through love, reason and compassion, and not from the lower nature that we share with animals in which threats, deception, dominations and humiliation are the usual means of exercising control, and just the things that most Bahais who have been insulted or personally injured emotionally by the Administrative Order have suffered.
    When the level of character, or the paradigm of power if you will, rises to the level of love, reason, and compassion in the general membership of the administrative bodies within the Faith then I think that we will begin to realize the promise that the Guardian saw for Baha’u’llahs World Order. At the present time though most Bahais in administrative positions transplant their transparent cultural values and project them into their working in the Bahai Administration, so we get things being handled in a way that is not entirely Bahai, but partly Persian (authoritarian monarchist power culture) or British (liberal imperial monarchist power culture), or American Canadian (rebellious republican power culture), or some other power values that are tranplanted into the institions from native cultures by those that serve in them. We are after all, “…children of the half light…”

    When we ourselves become full embodiments of the Bahai culture then many of the struggles we have with our adminstrative order will evaporate. The Guardian said on occassion that so many of the problems that came to him could simply be solved by “doing the Bahai thing.”

    The very essence of the Bahai thing is love. I think that any Bahai Administrative body that encounters a recalcitrant member should ask itself were it has failed to love this person or to educate them, those after all are the means that we have been given in this Revelation by Baha u llah to change the world. Why not let us use them to change our administrative institutions and encourage them to use those means to deal with all of us members.

    As to enemies. We should be cautious and heed the Guardians advice that there are enemies that we can not even imagine. We really havent even seen the worst that can come at us. There are people in power in the world so vile and devious that were their true nature evident most sensitive people would flee in terror. It is better to be cautious but to be reasonable and not a zealot about seeing enemies everywhere, or a fool who sees only friends. Let people prove themselves by what they do over a long period of time. Then you are dealing with reality rather than idealism.

  • >There are people in power in the world so vile and devious that were their >true nature evident most sensitive people would flee in terror.

    Indeed, like those in power in occupied Palestine and amongst the Neo-Conservative Straussian-Schmittian fascists whom the bahai powers that be are quite close and chummy with. Or, like the Idi Amins, Augusto Pinochets, Mohammad Reza Pahlavis, etc, whom the bahai powers that be were once so close to and firendly with, even in the case of Chile, members of that nsa serving on the CIA-backed and brought to power junta cabinet.

    Wahid

  • >There are people in power in the world so vile and devious that were their >true nature evident most sensitive people would flee in terror.

    Indeed, like those in power in occupied Palestine and amongst the Neo-Conservative Straussian-Schmittian fascists whom the bahai powers that be are quite close and chummy with. Or, like the Idi Amins, Augusto Pinochets, Mohammad Reza Pahlavis, etc, whom the bahai powers that be were once so close to and firendly with, even in the case of Chile, members of that nsa serving on the CIA-backed and brought to power junta cabinet.

    Wahid

  • Sorry Bacquia, I won’t be commenting any more on other people’s “silly” comments. Thank you for being the gracious host that you always are, and God-speed to you and yours, and may your Naw-Ruz be filled with the celestial Light of Glory (Xvarnah/baha’).

    Nur ‘Aleykum
    (The Light be upon you)

    Wahid

  • Sorry Bacquia, I won’t be commenting any more on other people’s “silly” comments. Thank you for being the gracious host that you always are, and God-speed to you and yours, and may your Naw-Ruz be filled with the celestial Light of Glory (Xvarnah/baha’).

    Nur ‘Aleykum
    (The Light be upon you)

    Wahid

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  • Sincere Friend

    My friend Wahid,

    The ones you see and the ones you know are not the ones I talk about.

    Most of the government affiliations the Faith has are with those who are currently in power as is customary to maintain relationships that might yield something positive, even if the rulers are tyrants. Its just part of diplomacy and has to be done. You notice that the Faith endures while these governments come and go. Such great wisdom in not affiliating politically. Some splinter groups that did no longer exist.

    I didnt know the credentials of the Chilean NSA. Thank you for mentioning it. Most of the CIA people are criminals, though I will reserve judgement on those they may have used.

    The Neo-Cons are tools of the disintigrative forces currently at work. They will be consumed by those they oppose or vice versa, just as the Nazis were consumed by the Communists that they opposed and which conflict laid the groundwork for the demise of the ealier victors in the late 80s. The Game is played on the court of thesis.anti-thesis.

    Its really so true, “All are His servants and all abide by His bidding.”

  • Sincere Friend

    My friend Wahid,

    The ones you see and the ones you know are not the ones I talk about.

    Most of the government affiliations the Faith has are with those who are currently in power as is customary to maintain relationships that might yield something positive, even if the rulers are tyrants. Its just part of diplomacy and has to be done. You notice that the Faith endures while these governments come and go. Such great wisdom in not affiliating politically. Some splinter groups that did no longer exist.

    I didnt know the credentials of the Chilean NSA. Thank you for mentioning it. Most of the CIA people are criminals, though I will reserve judgement on those they may have used.

    The Neo-Cons are tools of the disintigrative forces currently at work. They will be consumed by those they oppose or vice versa, just as the Nazis were consumed by the Communists that they opposed and which conflict laid the groundwork for the demise of the ealier victors in the late 80s. The Game is played on the court of thesis.anti-thesis.

    Its really so true, “All are His servants and all abide by His bidding.”

  • Simeon

    Today I received independent confirmation of the main points of this story directly from the Italian NSA itself.

  • Simeon

    Today I received independent confirmation of the main points of this story directly from the Italian NSA itself.

  • Simeon

    Only my opinion, but I think a little transparency goes a long way. Also, I think procedures need to be set up where financial transactions are independently audited. This is something essential, not because Bah??’?s are bad and need to be monitored, but because we’re human and we mess up and do things we shouldn’t. The more eyes checking over the numbers, the less chance of one or two people able to pull a scam on everyone else.

    I’ve never been in favor of term limits, but I’ve often thought a two-stage election might help lessen the incumbency stranglehold without having to introduce something partisan like nominations or campaigns. The biggest reason incumbents remain is that they have name recognition. Someone not on an Assembly will rarely, if ever, get enough name recognition to get enough votes to replace someone else. There may be many people who receive votes, but generally no one gets enough. There is a big gap between 9th and 10th place unless someone retires.

    A two-stage election would mean everyone votes for some larger number, say 19, and then votes for the 9 from this pool of 19. It gets people thinking about other possibilities when they cast their vote for the 9 members without having to have nominations. And if the current 9 really are the best for the job, it doesn’t arbitrarily force someone to step down at the end of a preset term. Just a thought I had once long ago of something that might work.

    Sorry, I don’t have time to write more at the moment.

  • Simeon

    Only my opinion, but I think a little transparency goes a long way. Also, I think procedures need to be set up where financial transactions are independently audited. This is something essential, not because Bah??’?s are bad and need to be monitored, but because we’re human and we mess up and do things we shouldn’t. The more eyes checking over the numbers, the less chance of one or two people able to pull a scam on everyone else.

    I’ve never been in favor of term limits, but I’ve often thought a two-stage election might help lessen the incumbency stranglehold without having to introduce something partisan like nominations or campaigns. The biggest reason incumbents remain is that they have name recognition. Someone not on an Assembly will rarely, if ever, get enough name recognition to get enough votes to replace someone else. There may be many people who receive votes, but generally no one gets enough. There is a big gap between 9th and 10th place unless someone retires.

    A two-stage election would mean everyone votes for some larger number, say 19, and then votes for the 9 from this pool of 19. It gets people thinking about other possibilities when they cast their vote for the 9 members without having to have nominations. And if the current 9 really are the best for the job, it doesn’t arbitrarily force someone to step down at the end of a preset term. Just a thought I had once long ago of something that might work.

    Sorry, I don’t have time to write more at the moment.

  • Thanks for coming back and letting everyone know, Simeon.

    edit: I saw your previous comment after, thanks for your detailed feedback.

  • Thanks for coming back and letting everyone know, Simeon.

    edit: I saw your previous comment after, thanks for your detailed feedback.

  • Simeon

    Somehow my reply posted above your question… ? Anyway, it’s there.

  • Simeon

    Somehow my reply posted above your question… ? Anyway, it’s there.

  • This is my first visit to your site. I wish there were a thousand more like it. If Baha’i administrators think they are justified in dealing unjustly with those in the Baha’i community who dare to think and ask questions, I say good riddance to ’em! Friend, it may amuse you (it does me, now) that four years ago I reported an “odor of violation” to my AABM. He went straight to the source and in weeks I was without warning or explanation cut off from not only my friends but administration as well! The painful thing, though, the blow that cut me off, was that I had to find out by myself. The AABMP never returned, my Group shunned me, the ABP refused to explain, the Counsellor ignored me, the World Centre wrote that “these things are best handled at the local level.” My secret, silent excommunication made me realize this was not what I signed up for!

    INow bereft of community and administration, Iwrote to M&R to resign, with a brief note why, and their response was: “We are sorry you are dissatisfied with the friends.” No one has yet admitteed why I was shunned, or why the different institutions had different responses to it. I susupect that if the story came out, a Baha’i psychologist would lose his job and license, as would a Baha’i lawyer his professorship, and a few Baha’i schoolteachers their jobs, and a lot of Baha’is their rights – justly. But they won”t.

    I loved the Baha’i Faith. I was a Baha’i for almost 30 years. I loved its Adminstration. Now I find solace in these words from ‘Abdu’l-Baha in Star of the West, Vol.VI, NO.6, p.45: “The worst enemies of the Cause are in the Cause and mention the Name of God. We need not fear the enemies on the outside for such can be easily dealt with. But the enemies who call themselves friends and who persistently violate every fundamental law of love and unity, are difficult to be dealt with in this day, for the mercy of God is still great. But ere long this merciful door will be closed and such enemies will be attacked with a madness….”

    Keep rantin’.

    P.S. Some months ago I was able to receive Google alerts on the alleged misue of funds by one or more members of the India NSA. There is a story now about scandal involving a member of the Swiss NSA.Today I can’t Google a shadow of it on web or news. A few years ago there were two separate instances of Baha’i women being murdered by their husbands. Find it now! I have to wonder if there is a Baha’i at Google filtering these things. After what they did to me I cannot put it past them. However, that is one of the things “difficult to be dealt with.” What a comfort that I can just sit back and every now and then hear: is that creak the “merciful door” closing?

  • This is my first visit to your site. I wish there were a thousand more like it. If Baha’i administrators think they are justified in dealing unjustly with those in the Baha’i community who dare to think and ask questions, I say good riddance to ’em! Friend, it may amuse you (it does me, now) that four years ago I reported an “odor of violation” to my AABM. He went straight to the source and in weeks I was without warning or explanation cut off from not only my friends but administration as well! The painful thing, though, the blow that cut me off, was that I had to find out by myself. The AABMP never returned, my Group shunned me, the ABP refused to explain, the Counsellor ignored me, the World Centre wrote that “these things are best handled at the local level.” My secret, silent excommunication made me realize this was not what I signed up for!

    INow bereft of community and administration, Iwrote to M&R to resign, with a brief note why, and their response was: “We are sorry you are dissatisfied with the friends.” No one has yet admitteed why I was shunned, or why the different institutions had different responses to it. I susupect that if the story came out, a Baha’i psychologist would lose his job and license, as would a Baha’i lawyer his professorship, and a few Baha’i schoolteachers their jobs, and a lot of Baha’is their rights – justly. But they won”t.

    I loved the Baha’i Faith. I was a Baha’i for almost 30 years. I loved its Adminstration. Now I find solace in these words from ‘Abdu’l-Baha in Star of the West, Vol.VI, NO.6, p.45: “The worst enemies of the Cause are in the Cause and mention the Name of God. We need not fear the enemies on the outside for such can be easily dealt with. But the enemies who call themselves friends and who persistently violate every fundamental law of love and unity, are difficult to be dealt with in this day, for the mercy of God is still great. But ere long this merciful door will be closed and such enemies will be attacked with a madness….”

    Keep rantin’.

    P.S. Some months ago I was able to receive Google alerts on the alleged misue of funds by one or more members of the India NSA. There is a story now about scandal involving a member of the Swiss NSA.Today I can’t Google a shadow of it on web or news. A few years ago there were two separate instances of Baha’i women being murdered by their husbands. Find it now! I have to wonder if there is a Baha’i at Google filtering these things. After what they did to me I cannot put it past them. However, that is one of the things “difficult to be dealt with.” What a comfort that I can just sit back and every now and then hear: is that creak the “merciful door” closing?

  • Robert Clifton

    Hello Nancy:
    I have no idea what your transgression was, and it is none of my business to know. Welcome to a growing list.
    I would like to point out that a transgression against God is dealt with by God, usually by some sort of circumstances which direct you to the more acceptable path, but if not then in the next life. That is between you and God. Also know that having accepted Baha’u’llah you are guaranteed a choice seat in the next show. (from the Dawnbrearkers) No one (not even you) can take that from you.

    Stay open and the greater purpose of your dis affiliation will become apparent. You have been chosen to progress the universal mind of Baha’i.

    Robert Clifton

  • Robert Clifton

    Hello Nancy:
    I have no idea what your transgression was, and it is none of my business to know. Welcome to a growing list.
    I would like to point out that a transgression against God is dealt with by God, usually by some sort of circumstances which direct you to the more acceptable path, but if not then in the next life. That is between you and God. Also know that having accepted Baha’u’llah you are guaranteed a choice seat in the next show. (from the Dawnbrearkers) No one (not even you) can take that from you.

    Stay open and the greater purpose of your dis affiliation will become apparent. You have been chosen to progress the universal mind of Baha’i.

    Robert Clifton

  • Habib Hosseiny

    Human error can happen at all levels of the Baha'i community. When greed and selfishness overcome one's spiritual intergrity, he/she will fall to the abys. Baha'i history is full of examples. Baha'u'llah's brother, Abdu'l-Baha's brother, the Guardian's parents, the Hand of the Cause of God Mason Reemy, Avareh who was Abdu'l-Baha's secretary and a historian, and many others fell. Now an NSA secretary has fallen. So what? That does not and must not shake our faith in Baha'u'llah

  • farhan

    I agree, Habib, and in fact we all learn and grow from these errors, if we aim at learning and growing, and are not merely bent discrediting the efforts of others so as to look smarter than them.

  • intellectuallycurious

    Last 2 posts above are Great, but Where would/will we be w/o criticism, questioning and at least a healthy mote of doubt? I shudder to think… but I suppose there would be many more here challenging free-speech and press.

  • Baquia

    farhan, totally agree. It is one thing to bury one's head in the sand and pretend that the Baha'i community is perfect and can not improve and we should not even talk about anything negative… and another to take a realistic look at it and make real suggestions on how to improve it as you can see in the above post.

  • Baquia

    farhan, totally agree. It is one thing to bury one's head in the sand and pretend that the Baha'i community is perfect and can not improve and we should not even talk about anything negative… and another to take a realistic look at it and make real suggestions on how to improve it as you can see in the above post.

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  • Hujjat

    Term limits seem very reasonable in the body politic, however, we have in Baha’u’llah’s life-giving, re-vivifying Faith, an intrinsic spirituality with the final Word in His Writings, and the continual progression in a dynamic, that not only depends on the inner promptings of human spirit, which, through time and its resultant growth by learning in an ever-expanding phenomena elucidated in terms of deepening, meditation, and wisdom born of experience. Do we throw the “baby out with the bath water” or do we truly believe “as your faith is, so shall your powers and blessings be”, all the while relying on the most uplifting words of the beloved Master – “there is a power in this Cause far, far above the ken of men and angels.” Long after the nay-sayers are moldering bones, His precious Faith will resound with victory after victory until no one is left outside the fold. As mother always says – in or out the door, but in this day why not lay down our cares and woes and come on in…come home. The Guardian Shoghi Effendi asks us to vote for the most qualified person in an election. With term limits, we can’t be faithful to his words because the most qualified may be excluded only due to the passage of time. Great patina requires time, and there are no limits to the beauty of the patina if time is allowed its course.

  • Baquia

    Hujjat, the guidelines of the Baha’i administration are flexible and certainly allow for term limits. If we eschew the myopic view that what is today is what should be forever, then we also recognize that the current state of Baha’i administration is unrecognizable from its original state. For example, previously only men were elected to LSAsand NSAs with women holding a separate election to have parallel institutions that had no authority but were supportive in nature (fundraising, children’s education, etc.). As well, previously members were elected from a small ‘nominated’ list. That is, the whole community of adult Baha’is was not a candidate. There are many more but if you take time to study the history of Baha’i institutions, their evolution and transformation becomes apparent.

    Term limits are therefore simply yet one more step in that same direction. What you may view as ‘patina’ others view as ‘ossification’. There is always a tradeoff to be made. For example, when women were able to be elected as LSA members, the disadvantage was that many able and well qualified men were not elected as a result.

    In the same way, if term limits were to be implemented, many well qualified previous members would no longer be elected but in their place would be elected Baha’is who may surprise the community and themselves with their service and contribution to the Faith.

  • Amado de Dios

    Sorry to butt in just now, three years after the above comment. If I understand the gist of RC’s comment about NW’s comment, he is saying that she should try to understand the wisdom of being treated stupidly (rudely, incompetently, unfairly, with no respect for her as a person or the proper procedures).
    Sorry, RC, but this blind belief that “whatever our Central Ornaments – people like us, but in this case more insensitive – decide, must be the veritable will of God” is just that – blind! Under a thread about how the whole NSA simply messed up, and we are exposed to no limit on such mess-ups because we insist on blundering along without any transparency or accountability, your comment just shows that “there is none so blind as he who refuses to see”!
    With all due respect, these mistakes don’t happen to “test our faith” in leaving things the way they are, but to get us into action to change them!
    Amado

  • Kalavathy

    I am not shocked by the news of the embezzlement but by the open discussion of it over the internet. What have you achieved now? Public education that the administrative arm of the Faith is blind? These matters should be and I’m sure has been discussed at the time and place it should be discussed. Why are we so eager to remove the dust in our brother’s eye when there is a beam in ours.
    Has this Faith not thought us to uphold justice? Are you worried it will not be carried out? Has it not taught us to uphold the dignity of the Faith at all times. I suppose you are a new Baha’i or too much of the old world order to know what you are doing. No one escapes the justice of God. All we should do now is to pray for the protection of the Faith.
    I am amazed because where we come from the House of Justice is a Holy and infallible body. How can you dare to question its integrity in public this way? Are you really a Baha’i or someone out to defame its fair name? Just a little advice. If you are the latter, not in a million years can you succeed to belittle the Faith of God for the Age. The man, whoever it was who stole has stained his soul…but I would leave it to the justice of God. You to display it this way ia to poison your own soul. If you are a Baha’i stop it. If you are not run from trhe wrath of God.
    Kalavathy Raman
    Malaysia

  • Kalavathy

    Again, your picture of a mother whispering to her child itself is proof you are not a Baha’i. Backbiting is strictly forbidden in the Faith…what more to teach a child to do it! Whoever you are I advice you to give up your attempt in challenging the Faith of God…you will get burnt badly. Do not test His wrath my friend.

  • Kalavathy

    way to go, OVERMYWADERS !

  • Kalavathy

    Wahid, you are an Azali aren’t you. Stop frothing…the Faith of God does not need advisers. Also know what Nabi Isa said…about “having eyes and yet you do not see” we have seen the beauty and tasted the sweetness of His Word, not even a million of you can change our minds. About the money, it is what Hindus call “maya” …God has more to throw..you want some..just ask and it shall be given. We Baha’is are intoxicated with the Wine of God. I invite all of you to join the party.

  • Desir0101

    kalavathy.
    I appreciate your sayings.
    Best to you.
    God surely will assist you.

    But let me tell you your administrative institutions are corrupt.

    I witnessed corruptions at local and national level of Bahai institutions.

    These have never been unfolded on the net and I will not do it as well.

  • Desir0101

    Take for example, a believer not adhere to a Bahai law have its voting right remove.
    The NSA have his  name figure on the 19days feast courier so that all believers throughout the country been aware.

    But what was the purpose.???
    Is it that the bahai institution should be blamed for that.

    What I learn, he is still a Bahai, with the exception that he did not contribute to the fund, assist the 19 days feast and taking part in the election.

    And in all three activities if the believer is present there are assembly members who could without any disturbance inform the person of his right.
    Why then advertise and make such polemic.

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