Hibernating Blowbacks

If nothing else, the CIA is a great factory for euphemisms. They have a knack for spinning anything and everything under the sun. One of my favourite new ones they have developed is ‘Blowback’.It is a label applied to a situation where an action (usually an intervention or interference) by the US has caused a series of consequences which are rather unsavory and unwanted. Or, to put it in other terms, its what they call it when what the CIA or other arm of the US does something with a specific intention of preserving or promoting American interests but which comes back to bite them in the ass.Blowback.

Its neat, isn’t it? Almost sounds innocent and harmless. ‘Oh, that was just some blowback from the policies of the ’80s.’ That’s a much easier sentence to swallow than, ‘we armed the Taliban and fanned the flames of their fundamentalism and now its come back to haunt us with untold civilian and military deaths.’ I think you’ll agree that given a choice, any beaurocrat would go with the first.

I mention this because I’m seeing a lot of parallels between the political situation right now in the US and the situation in the Baha’i Faith. In both cases you have people at the top who are making same wacky decisions which have to be followed by everyone else (or else). Where the group at the top has become insular and rejects outright anything which may clash with their carefully constructed view of reality. And in both cases you have a hostile environment whereby any dissent, criticism, and questions are enough to make others question your loyalty.

In the American case, they question the loyalty of a citizen who dares have an opinion which is not in lock-step with the Administration and in the Baha’i case, they question the loyalty of any believer who dares have an opinion which is not in lock-step with the Administration.

In both cases, the media are a carefully manipulated tool. And in both cases, heavy consequences are doled out for anyone who dares openly question or oppose in any way the stance of the Administration. What’s more, that person’s very moral fiber is put into doubt. And they are attacked on a personal level. You are with us or you are against us. The situation has reached such an intensity that it has polarized people into camps.

Blogs like this exist because of ‘blowback’ for policies which were adopted and ruthlessly implemented in the early 80s (all the way up to now). But even so, I know that atleast in the Baha’i Faith, everyone is really interested in improving the community. Yes, even me. Sure, I may write in a frank manner which is not familiar with most Baha’is but the only reason why I put the effort into this is because I care about the Faith. I’m not ready to give up on it. I want things to get better and I’m here offering my criticism, viewpoints, ideas and suggestions which I hope will make a contribution to that end. You may not like what I say or the way I say it but I don’t think that has to do with me as much as the fact that Baha’is have gotten used to such suger-coating. Or outright euphemisms.

Take for example the interview with long-time (his butt imprint is literaly etched on the chair) Canadian National Treasurer, Husayn Banani by a Yukon newspaper in December of 2004. The interview and following quotes appeared in an article with the caption of “Million Dollar Baha’i Retreat for Sale”. As the title says, its about the decision of the Baha’i Canadian community to sell the Yukon Baha’i Center. Apparently, there just isn’t enough demand (use) for the facility and the community is not able to meet the expenses of operating it. Ironically, the Canadian National Assembly had just spent $250,000 to fix it up after a fire a few years ago (when technically, the priority was the Arc Project). And strangely enough, the local Baha’i assembly holds feast and other meetings by renting a Masonic Hall. So what did Banani say faced with such a situation? Here’s a quote from the article:

“Some people have left the Faith, but, really very few,” he says. “Some people have gone into hibernation.”

Now some of you may cynically say that Banani was spinning or using a euphemism. But we at Baha’i Rants have, through covert operations deep inside the frozen Canadian tundra, been able to retreive irreproachable proof that, in fact, the Baha’is in Canada are hibernating. Don’t ask us how we got this picture. The lives of our operatives are at risk and we can not divulge any of our super secret CIA training. . .damn! I have said too much.


Here we see a noble specimen of the endangered species, Bahairsus Canadaenus, in a state of deep hibernation. Left alone, it will sleep through the lean winter months and wake up in the spring to rummage around for Ruhi courses and to attend various committee meetings.

  • Anonymous

    awww, that’s so cute.

  • Anonymous

    awww, that’s so cute.

  • Paul

    Hi Baquia – I’ve just decided to bookmark your blog. “Blowback” is one of my favourite Euphemisms too. btw – did you see the BBC series “The Power of Nightmares” last november?

  • Paul

    Hi Baquia – I’ve just decided to bookmark your blog. “Blowback” is one of my favourite Euphemisms too. btw – did you see the BBC series “The Power of Nightmares” last november?

  • Sigmund Effendi

    Baquia,

    Your heart is in the right place. You do care. I salute you!

  • Sigmund Effendi

    Baquia,

    Your heart is in the right place. You do care. I salute you!

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/1082818 Baquia

    Paul,

    re ‘The Power of Nightmares’, I basically agree with its premise. Most Westerners are not at all familiar with the nature or history of the extremists. The program exposes the principle that fear can be used as a tool to manipulate the masses.

    Unfortunately, this is also something which is happening inside the Baha’i community. Baha’is are taught to fear CB, the internet, any creative or original thoughts, bold individual initiatives, unofficial translations of the writings, deficits in the fund, etc… The list goes on and on.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/1082818 Baquia

    Paul,

    re ‘The Power of Nightmares’, I basically agree with its premise. Most Westerners are not at all familiar with the nature or history of the extremists. The program exposes the principle that fear can be used as a tool to manipulate the masses.

    Unfortunately, this is also something which is happening inside the Baha’i community. Baha’is are taught to fear CB, the internet, any creative or original thoughts, bold individual initiatives, unofficial translations of the writings, deficits in the fund, etc… The list goes on and on.