House of Justice Letter April 19 2007 – Response To NSA US

The refreshing acknowledgment of reality contained in the Annual Report from the National Spiritual Assembly of the Baha’is of the United States drew a swift and scathing response from the House of Justice.

You can read the response of the House of Justice (Adobe PDF document) to the legitimate concerns of the NSA of the United States regarding the perilous condition of the Baha’i community in that country.

You can also find the April 19th 2007 letter from the House, here as a simple HTML file.

So severe was the rebuke that the House of Justice forced the delegates to not base their consultation within the National Convention on the NSA’s Annual Report but instead on their own spin (the April 19th 2007 letter above). And to show that they meant business, they sent an enforcer: Ms. Penelope Walker from the International Teaching Center. She delivered the message of the House to the delegates, made sure that the focus of the convention was on the letter from the House and that reality did not creep in into the consultations.

Furthermore, the convention’s consultation would be based on the letter from the UHJ, not the annual report from the NSA. The coup de grace was when the National Spiritual Assembly formally asked delegates to the 98th Bah??’? National Convention to refer to the April 19, 2007 letter from the House as the basis of their reports to the Baha’is nationwide on the Convention – and not the annual report from the NSA. So the vast majority of the Baha’is in the community, who hadn’t attended the convention would not even learn of the major concerns from their own NSA.

So effectively was her duty performed that Counsellor Rebequa Murphy said in the closing remarks of the National Convention:

We don’t want to be those people that want to see God with their own eyes or hear His melodies with their own ears. Because we’ve been given the gift of being able to see through the eyes of the House of Justice and listen through the ears of the House of Justice.

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rebequa-murphy-head-in-sand-meditation.png
New meditation pose suggested by Counsellor Rebequa Murphy

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Timeline:

  1. Document: US NSA Feast Letter (Jalal/Glory)
    Time: April 8th 2007
    This letter contains the (in)famous 50% decline statistic.
  2. Document: US NSA Annual Report
    Time: April 12th 2007
    A refreshing dose of reality: the Baha’i community in the US is in a perilous state.
  3. Document: UHJ Letter to US NSA in response to US annual report
    Time: April 19th 2007
    A rebuke to the US NSA Annual Report: presented to delegates of US convention on April 27th, 2007 as a substitute to the US NSA’s Annual Report. Ms. Penny Walker ITC counsellor sent to US convention to supervise this change of focus.
  4. Document: UHJ Ridvan Message to world
    Time: April 21, 2007
    This is an annual letter sent from the House of Justice.

  5. Document: US NSA Feast letter (Jamal/Beauty)
    Time: April 27th, 2007
    In this letter the NSA, obedient to the UHJ, requests that Baha’is study UHJ’s Ridvan message.

*********

In their letter, the House of Justice sweeps aside nonchalantly the methodical reasoning of the NSA and their multi-pronged approach aimed to save the hemorrhaging Baha’i community. In its stead, the House of Justice posits a simple strategy: more of the same.

While the NSA is struggling valiently to break free of the constraints of the “framework”: “We feel a particular need for flexibility and innovation…” the House of Justice provides clear guidance: “…what is essential is for such roles and functions to take shape within the framework for action that has been elaborated in the message dated 27 December 2005…”.

While the NSA is attempting to acknowledge the marginalization of the LSAs: “…there is a pervasive feeling of confusion and dislocation among many Local Spiritual Assemblies, including those in ‘A’ clusters.” the House of Justice responds: “In every cluster the institutions and agencies guiding the process — the Auxiliary Board members and the institute, together with the Area Teaching Committee — need to examine the dynamics of growth on a regular basis…”. So basically tough luck! No elected institutions need apply.

In conclusion, the House insisits that Baha’i communities must follow the same “framework for action” that has (by the NSA’s own observation) failed to produce results, that has marginalized LSAs, caused conflict within the community, lead to a stagnant Baha’i community, straitjacketed the community’s dynamism and robbed it of the freedom of individual initiatives.

The next five years should be interesting!

Here are my own heretical questions:

How will we know, specifically, if this whole Ruhi/core curriculum/institutes process is succeeding? what metrics will we have to watch? what time frame will have to elapse? is there any point or event or situation in which we may potentially acknowledge that it didn’t work? what would that be?

Of course, I’m spiritually weak. If I were strong as Counsellor Murphy I would comprehend that although the US Baha’i community has hit the event horizon and is at imminent negative absolute growth, we shouldn’t allow this fact to dissuade us from following the UHJ’s guidance.

I would realize that reality, is not the yardstick by which we should judge the efficacy of “X-Year” plans. I would understand that rather than use our own eyes and ears as Baha’u’llah instructed us, we should see things and hear things through the eyes and ears of the House.

And that although the largest, most dynamic Baha’i community in the world is fast spinning down the tubes, we should not be alarmed nor let doubt enter our mind in the least. Rather, we should rejoice that 3 yak herders in Mongolia are taking Ruhi and parroting back perfectly what their tutor is telling them in the best tradition of taqlid.

I have quite a long ways to go to reach Counsellor Murphy’s spiritual level. Maybe I should take Ruhi again.

  • http://www.whoisbahaullah.com Alison Marshall

    Go Baquia, doing a top job on a wonderful blog!

    Thanks heaps for putting in all that time and energy for this great read. I appreciate how much effort it takes to consistently produce cogent comment on what the Baha’i administration is up to.

    I believe that your comments are a very important resource for believers trying to understand what’s happening around them.

    Also, I can use the material you produce for my diary, which, among other things, contains archives of key happenings in the Baha’i world. So, your work will definitely be used by future historians as they try to fathom the dark phase the Baha’i world is currently going through under the direction of this House of Justice.

    Blessings, Alison

  • http://www.whoisbahaullah.com Alison Marshall

    Go Baquia, doing a top job on a wonderful blog!

    Thanks heaps for putting in all that time and energy for this great read. I appreciate how much effort it takes to consistently produce cogent comment on what the Baha’i administration is up to.

    I believe that your comments are a very important resource for believers trying to understand what’s happening around them.

    Also, I can use the material you produce for my diary, which, among other things, contains archives of key happenings in the Baha’i world. So, your work will definitely be used by future historians as they try to fathom the dark phase the Baha’i world is currently going through under the direction of this House of Justice.

    Blessings, Alison

  • Sincere Friend

    I think you have to back up a bit and realize that what the UHJ is directing is a massive global process analogous to redirecting the course of a river into a new channel. Initially it will be a trickle, but as the pattern is reinforced by repeated actions in a similar manner a deeper channel will be dug permitting the river to run deeper and stronger than was previously posible. If this process is halted half way through by abandoning the vision that guides it then nothing will come of the entire effort. The Institute process is really all about process building in a pattern that will sustain and nourish the foundations of a much larger community.

    I have been reading your blog for some time and appreciate your fine capacity for discerning the fine details of communications from many sources and in bringing to our attention such things are the problems in Italy and elsewhere.

    Our dear Counselor Penelope seems to have contracted the same foot in mouth disease that Douglas Martin had which caused him to say that conscience is a dangerous delusion and some other strange things. One wonders how such well educated people can make such mistakes. After reading his entire speech wherein he was quoted saying that it was apparent that he was referring to individual conscience as an excuse for disobeying the UHJ, not in the general sense in which it was taken. I think that she might have said something different and conveyed a clearer meaning such as how important and beneficial it is to have the UHJ as a source of vision rather than thinking our own view is correct of complete, which seems more what she was intending to say. That she was intending to contradict Baha u llah or that by implication she was saying that we have to let the UHJ do all our seeing and hearing for us in all things is not really there in my reading of it.

    I dont think its constructive to sensationalize these kinds of remarks in the manner common to 19th and 20th journalism. It borders on being irresponsible. The focus then becomes the distortion rather than the broader context and this has a disintegrative effect upon the group effort, the community and its leadership. If you reflect upon it is why people who are highly intelligent but steeped in this Western tradition of literary criticism often run afoul of the Bahai Administration.

  • Sincere Friend

    I think you have to back up a bit and realize that what the UHJ is directing is a massive global process analogous to redirecting the course of a river into a new channel. Initially it will be a trickle, but as the pattern is reinforced by repeated actions in a similar manner a deeper channel will be dug permitting the river to run deeper and stronger than was previously posible. If this process is halted half way through by abandoning the vision that guides it then nothing will come of the entire effort. The Institute process is really all about process building in a pattern that will sustain and nourish the foundations of a much larger community.

    I have been reading your blog for some time and appreciate your fine capacity for discerning the fine details of communications from many sources and in bringing to our attention such things are the problems in Italy and elsewhere.

    Our dear Counselor Penelope seems to have contracted the same foot in mouth disease that Douglas Martin had which caused him to say that conscience is a dangerous delusion and some other strange things. One wonders how such well educated people can make such mistakes. After reading his entire speech wherein he was quoted saying that it was apparent that he was referring to individual conscience as an excuse for disobeying the UHJ, not in the general sense in which it was taken. I think that she might have said something different and conveyed a clearer meaning such as how important and beneficial it is to have the UHJ as a source of vision rather than thinking our own view is correct of complete, which seems more what she was intending to say. That she was intending to contradict Baha u llah or that by implication she was saying that we have to let the UHJ do all our seeing and hearing for us in all things is not really there in my reading of it.

    I dont think its constructive to sensationalize these kinds of remarks in the manner common to 19th and 20th journalism. It borders on being irresponsible. The focus then becomes the distortion rather than the broader context and this has a disintegrative effect upon the group effort, the community and its leadership. If you reflect upon it is why people who are highly intelligent but steeped in this Western tradition of literary criticism often run afoul of the Bahai Administration.

  • Craig Parke

    Sincere Friend,

    You write:

    “If you reflect upon it is why people who are highly intelligent but steeped in this Western tradition of literary criticism often run afoul of the Bahai Administration.”

    What, then, do you have to say to the National Spiritual Assembly of the Baha’is of the United States who have given a detailed, forthright, honest, and constructive criticism in good faith to the current “guidance” of the Universal House of Justice of the Baha’i Faith?

    Do they not have the right and actually the duty to speak as the fortunes of the Baha’i Faith in the United States go ever further and further into utter free fall?

    Here is my question to you:

    In your view were they within their rights as a duly constituted Institution of the Baha’i Faith on the soil of this nation speaking to the rank and file of this nation (the report is addressed to the Baha’is of the United States NOT to the Universal House of Justice) to address these issues?

    Or are they, in your opinion, just another group of “highly intelligent but steeped in this Western tradition of literary criticism” Western egotists now running afoul of the Bahai Administration like everyone else who can actually think and take personal responsibility in life rather than meld into the shameful idolatrous group think of the Borg?

    I say if you want to show thoughtless devotion as the hallmark of your being and die to the last man for your narcissistic Persian blind faith and the vain glory of thoughtless, robotic devotion, then build a time machine and fight for the armies of Nazi Germany like a man.

    I, for one, applaud the US NSA for trying to courageously address the situation. They have shown guts that many people no longer thought they had. And they should be shown respect for this.

    What do you have to say, then, to the 369 Baha’is who formally left the Faith last year in the U.S. (and many more who have just left) many of whom were long time devoted Baha’is who can no longer emotionally tolerate this ridiculous top down farce where people are forbidden to teach the Faith in their own way based upon their own wisdom and judgment as an ideological litmus test so they can be singled out and thrown or driven out of the Faith for not conforming?

  • Craig Parke

    Sincere Friend,

    You write:

    “If you reflect upon it is why people who are highly intelligent but steeped in this Western tradition of literary criticism often run afoul of the Bahai Administration.”

    What, then, do you have to say to the National Spiritual Assembly of the Baha’is of the United States who have given a detailed, forthright, honest, and constructive criticism in good faith to the current “guidance” of the Universal House of Justice of the Baha’i Faith?

    Do they not have the right and actually the duty to speak as the fortunes of the Baha’i Faith in the United States go ever further and further into utter free fall?

    Here is my question to you:

    In your view were they within their rights as a duly constituted Institution of the Baha’i Faith on the soil of this nation speaking to the rank and file of this nation (the report is addressed to the Baha’is of the United States NOT to the Universal House of Justice) to address these issues?

    Or are they, in your opinion, just another group of “highly intelligent but steeped in this Western tradition of literary criticism” Western egotists now running afoul of the Bahai Administration like everyone else who can actually think and take personal responsibility in life rather than meld into the shameful idolatrous group think of the Borg?

    I say if you want to show thoughtless devotion as the hallmark of your being and die to the last man for your narcissistic Persian blind faith and the vain glory of thoughtless, robotic devotion, then build a time machine and fight for the armies of Nazi Germany like a man.

    I, for one, applaud the US NSA for trying to courageously address the situation. They have shown guts that many people no longer thought they had. And they should be shown respect for this.

    What do you have to say, then, to the 369 Baha’is who formally left the Faith last year in the U.S. (and many more who have just left) many of whom were long time devoted Baha’is who can no longer emotionally tolerate this ridiculous top down farce where people are forbidden to teach the Faith in their own way based upon their own wisdom and judgment as an ideological litmus test so they can be singled out and thrown or driven out of the Faith for not conforming?

  • http://www.bahairants.com Baquia

    I think that she might have said something different and conveyed a clearer meaning such as how important and beneficial it is to have the UHJ as a source of vision rather than thinking our own view is correct of complete, which seems more what she was intending to say.

    I have not only provided a full written transcript, but also the actual full audio clip so you can hear for yourself what she says. In full.

    I’ve linked to it many times but in case you missed it, here you can read and listen to Counsellor Murphy (btw, not Penelope Walker)’s own words.

    Highlights of the US National Convention 2007 Ridvan

    I am however, amused that some find it absolutely normal to do backflips and other mental gymnastics to be able to somehow make these insane comments make sense. Yet the writings of theologians and scholars like Cole, McGlinn, MacEoin and others is not given an iota of the same consideration – while they write lucidly, citing sources and elevating our understanding.

    Why is it, may I inquire, that such liberal benefit of doubt is due to Counsellor Murphy or Mr. Martin but not other Baha’is?

    So it goes.

  • http://www.bahairants.com Baquia

    I think that she might have said something different and conveyed a clearer meaning such as how important and beneficial it is to have the UHJ as a source of vision rather than thinking our own view is correct of complete, which seems more what she was intending to say.

    I have not only provided a full written transcript, but also the actual full audio clip so you can hear for yourself what she says. In full.

    I’ve linked to it many times but in case you missed it, here you can read and listen to Counsellor Murphy (btw, not Penelope Walker)’s own words.

    Highlights of the US National Convention 2007 Ridvan

    I am however, amused that some find it absolutely normal to do backflips and other mental gymnastics to be able to somehow make these insane comments make sense. Yet the writings of theologians and scholars like Cole, McGlinn, MacEoin and others is not given an iota of the same consideration – while they write lucidly, citing sources and elevating our understanding.

    Why is it, may I inquire, that such liberal benefit of doubt is due to Counsellor Murphy or Mr. Martin but not other Baha’is?

    So it goes.

  • http://www.bahairants.com Baquia

    I, for one, applaud the US NSA for trying to courageously address the situation. They have shown guts that many people no longer thought they had. And they should be shown respect for this.

    Very true. Very true.

  • http://www.bahairants.com Baquia

    I, for one, applaud the US NSA for trying to courageously address the situation. They have shown guts that many people no longer thought they had. And they should be shown respect for this.

    Very true. Very true.

  • Brendan Cook

    Baquia,

    All I can really do is applaud what you’ve said, empty as my praise may be. On the one hand, people find a way to explain that after all is said an done, Counsellor Murphy wasn’t *contradicting* Baha’u’llah but *affirming* His teachings. But when poor Sen McGlinn uses the word ‘theologian’ he is eviscerated without any further attempt to understand what he might have meant. I actually spoke to someone who said that the ‘theologian’ reference was enough to condemn him by itself, apart from anything he might have said.

    As for Counsellor Murphy, I will soon write somethign about it myself. Or, to be more specific, my good friend Hector Reyes, the ABM for East Saskatchewan West is delivering a talk which I will soon edit and share with the public: *In Defense of Counsellor Murphy*.

    Keep up the great work.

    Brendan

  • Brendan Cook

    Baquia,

    All I can really do is applaud what you’ve said, empty as my praise may be. On the one hand, people find a way to explain that after all is said an done, Counsellor Murphy wasn’t *contradicting* Baha’u’llah but *affirming* His teachings. But when poor Sen McGlinn uses the word ‘theologian’ he is eviscerated without any further attempt to understand what he might have meant. I actually spoke to someone who said that the ‘theologian’ reference was enough to condemn him by itself, apart from anything he might have said.

    As for Counsellor Murphy, I will soon write somethign about it myself. Or, to be more specific, my good friend Hector Reyes, the ABM for East Saskatchewan West is delivering a talk which I will soon edit and share with the public: *In Defense of Counsellor Murphy*.

    Keep up the great work.

    Brendan

  • Steve

    I’m not a Baha’i anymore, but I read both letters from the US NSA and the Universal House of Justice, and I didn’t see the letter from House of Justice to be a “severe rebuke.” Can the blog moderator elaborate as to why he thinks this is a severe rebuke?

  • Steve

    I’m not a Baha’i anymore, but I read both letters from the US NSA and the Universal House of Justice, and I didn’t see the letter from House of Justice to be a “severe rebuke.” Can the blog moderator elaborate as to why he thinks this is a severe rebuke?

  • http://www.bahairants.com Baquia

    Steve, the letter from the House, coupled with the unusual act of sending an ITC counsellor to the US Convention to force the focus of the Convention towards the UHJ letter rather than the report from the NSA as well as the comment by Bill Davis, are all clear indications of this.

    Perhaps I am more familiar with the nuances of admino-speak and by reading in between the lines, I can sense the shrill rebuke that it contains – couched in flowery prose, of course.

  • http://www.bahairants.com Baquia

    Steve, the letter from the House, coupled with the unusual act of sending an ITC counsellor to the US Convention to force the focus of the Convention towards the UHJ letter rather than the report from the NSA as well as the comment by Bill Davis, are all clear indications of this.

    Perhaps I am more familiar with the nuances of admino-speak and by reading in between the lines, I can sense the shrill rebuke that it contains – couched in flowery prose, of course.

  • Sincere Friend

    Dear Friend,

    In response to your posted comment on 2007-05-13 22:04:49. Sorry I missed your response otherwise I would have answered in a more timely manner.

    I was trying to point out the larger picture from the point of view of the institution that is responsible for the entire world. I did read the NSA report and thought it highly intelligent and appropriate to the present conditions of the US Bahai community, but not embracing fully the longer range and more universal perspective of the UHJ, and that is why I made the comparison of the river changing course.

    When I commented that ?If you reflect upon it is why people who are highly intelligent but steeped in this Western tradition of literary criticism often run afoul of the Bahai Administration.? I was intending to show that the basis of many reactions are transparent cultural values and that since we are in a time of great flux as cultures are more frequently mixing than in the past, and that the Bahai way of discourse is not one of confrontation, criticism, and argument, as is the Western European tradition, but one of acceptance, understanding and further dialogue until harmony is achieved.

    I hope that you will respond and we can reach some genuine accord in our perceptions and values.

    With respect to the several hundred Bahais who have left the Faith. It is alarming but they surely did so as individuals and not as a group, and surely each for their own particular reasons. To assume that it was all because of current NSA policies seems, in my mind, to be making a very broad assumption that I do not see a clear support for, although for certain in some cases the reasons were as you assume, but not for all of them.

  • Sincere Friend

    Dear Friend,

    In response to your posted comment on 2007-05-13 22:04:49. Sorry I missed your response otherwise I would have answered in a more timely manner.

    I was trying to point out the larger picture from the point of view of the institution that is responsible for the entire world. I did read the NSA report and thought it highly intelligent and appropriate to the present conditions of the US Bahai community, but not embracing fully the longer range and more universal perspective of the UHJ, and that is why I made the comparison of the river changing course.

    When I commented that ?If you reflect upon it is why people who are highly intelligent but steeped in this Western tradition of literary criticism often run afoul of the Bahai Administration.? I was intending to show that the basis of many reactions are transparent cultural values and that since we are in a time of great flux as cultures are more frequently mixing than in the past, and that the Bahai way of discourse is not one of confrontation, criticism, and argument, as is the Western European tradition, but one of acceptance, understanding and further dialogue until harmony is achieved.

    I hope that you will respond and we can reach some genuine accord in our perceptions and values.

    With respect to the several hundred Bahais who have left the Faith. It is alarming but they surely did so as individuals and not as a group, and surely each for their own particular reasons. To assume that it was all because of current NSA policies seems, in my mind, to be making a very broad assumption that I do not see a clear support for, although for certain in some cases the reasons were as you assume, but not for all of them.

  • Sincere Friend

    Dear Baquia,

    Perhaps we could put aside the assumptions that we may be making about each other. As I have stated before in posts to this blog, it is my observation that most disaffection that occurs between members of our Faith and other members or the administration comes as the result of some offense that the offended deems to great for forgiveness. From that point on each new development in the relationship between the person and their Faith or the other members is understandably viewed in a new light of suspicions and distrust which cascades into assumptions, accusations, and so forth. To really help our Faith and those that read this blog we need to disengage from the dramas of disaffection that may have lead us to read this blog, and to embrace the principles of forgiveness, reconciliation and understanding.

    I certainly have my own horror stories that I can relate with respect to the administration and other Bahais, but really the answer lies in embracing them in love for Gods sake and not their own, as the Master said that we must do in one of His final addresses on leaving the US, perhaps He foresaw the nature of our national character and the kind of things that might arise. I also take comfort in the Hands of the Cause and Counselors statements to “realize that the administration is in a state of infancy” and we thus said we should not expect from it any more than we should from a child.

  • Sincere Friend

    Dear Baquia,

    Perhaps we could put aside the assumptions that we may be making about each other. As I have stated before in posts to this blog, it is my observation that most disaffection that occurs between members of our Faith and other members or the administration comes as the result of some offense that the offended deems to great for forgiveness. From that point on each new development in the relationship between the person and their Faith or the other members is understandably viewed in a new light of suspicions and distrust which cascades into assumptions, accusations, and so forth. To really help our Faith and those that read this blog we need to disengage from the dramas of disaffection that may have lead us to read this blog, and to embrace the principles of forgiveness, reconciliation and understanding.

    I certainly have my own horror stories that I can relate with respect to the administration and other Bahais, but really the answer lies in embracing them in love for Gods sake and not their own, as the Master said that we must do in one of His final addresses on leaving the US, perhaps He foresaw the nature of our national character and the kind of things that might arise. I also take comfort in the Hands of the Cause and Counselors statements to “realize that the administration is in a state of infancy” and we thus said we should not expect from it any more than we should from a child.

  • http://www.bahairants.com Baquia

    Ah yes, the old chestnut of “infancy”. I suppose a spoiled brat is a good analogy for the AO right now. And yet we’re right back where we started because if we are asked to give the AO leeway for being “an infant” then the individual Baha’is which are part of the community itself also deserve the same treatment.

    Yet they are given no quarter, as has clearly been shown in the cases of those I mentioned (and many more who go unmentioned).

    To turn a blind eye for one and to flog the other mercilessly is what I and others object to.

    The other taboo question is this: until when will we continue to fool ourselves and call the AO “an infant”? another 20 years? 40 years? 100 years?

    When is it ok to draw the line and ask that they actually behave according to their responsibility, rather than solely according to their authority?

    And will such a willfully entered delusion actually cause the AO to mature faster or slower? To continue the analogy, until when will we insist on parading the AO around in diapers and breastfeed it? The neighbors are starting to talk, you know.

  • http://www.bahairants.com Baquia

    Ah yes, the old chestnut of “infancy”. I suppose a spoiled brat is a good analogy for the AO right now. And yet we’re right back where we started because if we are asked to give the AO leeway for being “an infant” then the individual Baha’is which are part of the community itself also deserve the same treatment.

    Yet they are given no quarter, as has clearly been shown in the cases of those I mentioned (and many more who go unmentioned).

    To turn a blind eye for one and to flog the other mercilessly is what I and others object to.

    The other taboo question is this: until when will we continue to fool ourselves and call the AO “an infant”? another 20 years? 40 years? 100 years?

    When is it ok to draw the line and ask that they actually behave according to their responsibility, rather than solely according to their authority?

    And will such a willfully entered delusion actually cause the AO to mature faster or slower? To continue the analogy, until when will we insist on parading the AO around in diapers and breastfeed it? The neighbors are starting to talk, you know.

  • Sincere Friend

    So what it is that has offended you, that you have taken personally to the point that you appear to view every fault in the community as a monstrous plot?

    Really until we embrace forgiveness, practice love, and let the past be the past we can not progress. Or perhaps there is some other way that you know?

    I do agree with you that the exercise of power does seems at times to be excessive, and I like the dichotomy that you illumine between power and responsibility, that truly is the balance as every parent knows. I dont think very many Americans really understand the use of power though, they/we watch too many action movies and think violent dramatic resolutions to conflicts are the only way to do things, its a dangerous unconscious tendency in the culture. No exercise of force is ever clean and without negative consequences.

    I have always felt personally that when an institution has to exercise an executive authority that there has somehow been a failure either to communicate, to educate or to love the people that are effected. I identify these three things as being critical in every case where there is conflict between sincere people. When people are insincere or simply willful in direct violation of the teachings, well then the institutions, whether religious or civil has a responsibility to act, too often though I think the institutions and the disaffected assume that actions taken are willful when they may not be and that is where better communication should come in to produce clarity and unified purpose, which is what I hope this exchange will produce.

    As for a time frame? Realistically we are looking at a religion and not a government or corporations and many of the complaints have to do with the adminstrations acts that are at variance with Western cultural norms as they interpret Bahai principles. I dont think that we will really have an administration that everyone is happy with until the Bahai culture, whatever that is or will be, is dominant in the society. Maybe 300 years would be realisitc, 300 years from 1844. So maybe in 135 years the complaints you have today will have been fully corrected, but corrected for good, corrected at their root in the common culture and in the consciousness of everyone. I dont think either of us will be around to see it, although it might be interesting to go to the Bahai village Abdul Baha in Myanmar and see what kind of complaints the people there have about their administration.

    I do find your blog and your comments stimulating and intelligent…and I hope that through them you will find peace.

  • Sincere Friend

    So what it is that has offended you, that you have taken personally to the point that you appear to view every fault in the community as a monstrous plot?

    Really until we embrace forgiveness, practice love, and let the past be the past we can not progress. Or perhaps there is some other way that you know?

    I do agree with you that the exercise of power does seems at times to be excessive, and I like the dichotomy that you illumine between power and responsibility, that truly is the balance as every parent knows. I dont think very many Americans really understand the use of power though, they/we watch too many action movies and think violent dramatic resolutions to conflicts are the only way to do things, its a dangerous unconscious tendency in the culture. No exercise of force is ever clean and without negative consequences.

    I have always felt personally that when an institution has to exercise an executive authority that there has somehow been a failure either to communicate, to educate or to love the people that are effected. I identify these three things as being critical in every case where there is conflict between sincere people. When people are insincere or simply willful in direct violation of the teachings, well then the institutions, whether religious or civil has a responsibility to act, too often though I think the institutions and the disaffected assume that actions taken are willful when they may not be and that is where better communication should come in to produce clarity and unified purpose, which is what I hope this exchange will produce.

    As for a time frame? Realistically we are looking at a religion and not a government or corporations and many of the complaints have to do with the adminstrations acts that are at variance with Western cultural norms as they interpret Bahai principles. I dont think that we will really have an administration that everyone is happy with until the Bahai culture, whatever that is or will be, is dominant in the society. Maybe 300 years would be realisitc, 300 years from 1844. So maybe in 135 years the complaints you have today will have been fully corrected, but corrected for good, corrected at their root in the common culture and in the consciousness of everyone. I dont think either of us will be around to see it, although it might be interesting to go to the Bahai village Abdul Baha in Myanmar and see what kind of complaints the people there have about their administration.

    I do find your blog and your comments stimulating and intelligent…and I hope that through them you will find peace.

  • Craig Parke

    Sincere friend,

    You wrote:

    “No exercise of force is ever clean and without negative consequences.”

    You had better get with the program, brother! You are completely out of step with the top down leadership of the Baha’i Faith with this kind of subversive thinking.

    “So when you see the U.S. in Cambodia or in Vietnam — or when you see America’s young men in
    Lebanon, or knocking around in the Balkans — ‘please, will you be quiet and let God do His work!’”

    - Glenford Mitchell
    Member of the Universal House of Justice
    Baha’i Faith
    2001 After 9/11

    http://bahai-library.com/talks/mitchell.watson.html

    According to Glenford Mitchell the work of God is fierce. It requires much death and killing and it is endless generation after generation. Especially if one or one’s family personally does not have to ever serve themselves because Baha’is, of course, get Conscientious Objector status in the U.S. So it’s great as long as OTHER POOR SAPS have to do it.

    I agree with you that violence is never without negative consequences. But the leadership of the Baha’i Faith apparently thinks otherwise in their strange air tight bubble mentality.

    I am going to have to report you to your AABM and your thoughts are going to have to be set straight. Do we use waterboarding yet? Is that authorized now in the Baha’i Faith too?

    Not me though. I’m not waterboarding anybody.

    Best regards,

    Craig

  • Craig Parke

    Sincere friend,

    You wrote:

    “No exercise of force is ever clean and without negative consequences.”

    You had better get with the program, brother! You are completely out of step with the top down leadership of the Baha’i Faith with this kind of subversive thinking.

    “So when you see the U.S. in Cambodia or in Vietnam — or when you see America’s young men in
    Lebanon, or knocking around in the Balkans — ‘please, will you be quiet and let God do His work!’”

    - Glenford Mitchell
    Member of the Universal House of Justice
    Baha’i Faith
    2001 After 9/11

    http://bahai-library.com/talks/mitchell.watson.html

    According to Glenford Mitchell the work of God is fierce. It requires much death and killing and it is endless generation after generation. Especially if one or one’s family personally does not have to ever serve themselves because Baha’is, of course, get Conscientious Objector status in the U.S. So it’s great as long as OTHER POOR SAPS have to do it.

    I agree with you that violence is never without negative consequences. But the leadership of the Baha’i Faith apparently thinks otherwise in their strange air tight bubble mentality.

    I am going to have to report you to your AABM and your thoughts are going to have to be set straight. Do we use waterboarding yet? Is that authorized now in the Baha’i Faith too?

    Not me though. I’m not waterboarding anybody.

    Best regards,

    Craig

  • Sincere Friend

    Dear Friend Craig,

    Glenford Mitchells comments are from the perspective of macro historical processes, that is how he thinks, at least since I have been hearing him and reading his comments since the 70s. Remember he is a journalist and an historian and a lifelong Bahai who was reared in the perspectives which he expresses.

    War, as I understand it, is a balancing process in macro human relations, often involving very strong economic, political and ideological religious forces. In an economic sense it is usually used to destroy creditors and acquire their resources as in the case of the oil war now in progress in the middle east, in the political and religious sense it is used to destroy ideological opponents, but the problem that arises is that these same polarities reemerge in the newly “cleansed” society because they are artifacts of human personality and culture and not of resource ownership or value orientations. The challenge we have as Bahais is to balance and unify all of these contending forces in our societies and in our own nature. When we do on a worldwide basis I believe that war will cease as it has in most federated states.

    The fact that war is often perpetrated through deceit by the political leadership, as in the case of many recent wars, does not make it any less an instrument of a “larger balancing force”, which some might call Karma, or Gods will, or marcroeconomic corrections. Remember, “All are His servants and all abide by His bidding.” God uses even injustice to make His way for in the end justice will come out.

    I am glad you agree with me that violence always has negative consequences. What we will probably see in the progress of our Faith is that the voices of the offended, such as seem to congregate in this blog, will echo through enough of the consultative bodies of the Faith that in time the things that you are concerned about will be adjusted and corrected for good. I have seen this to be the case in many kinds of administrative institutions, within and without the Bahai Faith.

    I found this reference that some of you might find interesting and useful, http://www.taproot.com/. It seems to be a process that permits the root cause of things to be detected and corrected at the “generic” level. My earlier post referenced this idea that much of the conflict we experience is the result of cultural tendencies of which we are not aware.

    I dont know about your assumption of airtight bubble mentality. Have you ever talked to any of them?

  • Sincere Friend

    Dear Friend Craig,

    Glenford Mitchells comments are from the perspective of macro historical processes, that is how he thinks, at least since I have been hearing him and reading his comments since the 70s. Remember he is a journalist and an historian and a lifelong Bahai who was reared in the perspectives which he expresses.

    War, as I understand it, is a balancing process in macro human relations, often involving very strong economic, political and ideological religious forces. In an economic sense it is usually used to destroy creditors and acquire their resources as in the case of the oil war now in progress in the middle east, in the political and religious sense it is used to destroy ideological opponents, but the problem that arises is that these same polarities reemerge in the newly “cleansed” society because they are artifacts of human personality and culture and not of resource ownership or value orientations. The challenge we have as Bahais is to balance and unify all of these contending forces in our societies and in our own nature. When we do on a worldwide basis I believe that war will cease as it has in most federated states.

    The fact that war is often perpetrated through deceit by the political leadership, as in the case of many recent wars, does not make it any less an instrument of a “larger balancing force”, which some might call Karma, or Gods will, or marcroeconomic corrections. Remember, “All are His servants and all abide by His bidding.” God uses even injustice to make His way for in the end justice will come out.

    I am glad you agree with me that violence always has negative consequences. What we will probably see in the progress of our Faith is that the voices of the offended, such as seem to congregate in this blog, will echo through enough of the consultative bodies of the Faith that in time the things that you are concerned about will be adjusted and corrected for good. I have seen this to be the case in many kinds of administrative institutions, within and without the Bahai Faith.

    I found this reference that some of you might find interesting and useful, http://www.taproot.com/. It seems to be a process that permits the root cause of things to be detected and corrected at the “generic” level. My earlier post referenced this idea that much of the conflict we experience is the result of cultural tendencies of which we are not aware.

    I dont know about your assumption of airtight bubble mentality. Have you ever talked to any of them?

  • Craig parke

    Sincere Friend,

    This was an article on the Internet tonight:

    http://tinyurl.com/2cv282

    To use your “concepts”, what then is the duty of the Administrative Order of the Baha’i Faith to souls who have had to bear the burden of carrying out these “macro historical processes” of God while the Baha’is themselves are exempt from military service?

    What is the duty of the Baha’is to homeless veterans who have had to do all of “God’s killing” in these “macro historical processes” and have become in the process psychologically destroyed and have ended up homeless in the street?

  • Craig parke

    Sincere Friend,

    This was an article on the Internet tonight:

    http://tinyurl.com/2cv282

    To use your “concepts”, what then is the duty of the Administrative Order of the Baha’i Faith to souls who have had to bear the burden of carrying out these “macro historical processes” of God while the Baha’is themselves are exempt from military service?

    What is the duty of the Baha’is to homeless veterans who have had to do all of “God’s killing” in these “macro historical processes” and have become in the process psychologically destroyed and have ended up homeless in the street?

  • Brendan Cook

    Sincere Friend,

    Did you really say this?

    “War, as I understand it, is a balancing process in macro human relations.”

    If you mean this, you have a funny way of looking at things. For me, the relevant thing about war is that it is a sin against God and against humanity. But you almost seem to be offering a qualified defense of war as an instrument, in your own words, of “God’s will.”

    “The fact that war is often perpetrated through deceit by the political leadership, as in the case of many recent wars, does not make it any less an instrument of a ‘larger balancing force’, which some might call Karma, or Gods will, or marcroeconomic corrections. ”

    “Macroeconomic corrections?” As description of war, I prefer this one: men dead, women raped, children orphaned, communities destroyed, lives shattered, an abomination in the sight of heaven, the occasion of a terrible reckoning for anyone rash enough to advocate it.

    You say that “God uses even injustice to make His way” and I agree with you that this is true. But this doesn’t excuse the injustice or those who are it’s instruments. Remember the words of Luke: “it is impossible but that offenses will come: but woe unto him, through whom they come!” Everything is part of God’s plan, it is true, but that does not mean God pardons those who accept evils, like war, greed, and indifference. When you do that, you’re part of the problem.

    Brendan

  • Brendan Cook

    Sincere Friend,

    Did you really say this?

    “War, as I understand it, is a balancing process in macro human relations.”

    If you mean this, you have a funny way of looking at things. For me, the relevant thing about war is that it is a sin against God and against humanity. But you almost seem to be offering a qualified defense of war as an instrument, in your own words, of “God’s will.”

    “The fact that war is often perpetrated through deceit by the political leadership, as in the case of many recent wars, does not make it any less an instrument of a ‘larger balancing force’, which some might call Karma, or Gods will, or marcroeconomic corrections. ”

    “Macroeconomic corrections?” As description of war, I prefer this one: men dead, women raped, children orphaned, communities destroyed, lives shattered, an abomination in the sight of heaven, the occasion of a terrible reckoning for anyone rash enough to advocate it.

    You say that “God uses even injustice to make His way” and I agree with you that this is true. But this doesn’t excuse the injustice or those who are it’s instruments. Remember the words of Luke: “it is impossible but that offenses will come: but woe unto him, through whom they come!” Everything is part of God’s plan, it is true, but that does not mean God pardons those who accept evils, like war, greed, and indifference. When you do that, you’re part of the problem.

    Brendan

  • Sincere Friend

    Dear Brendan,

    What I wrote about the causes of war were an attempt to analyze its root causes from the macro-cosmic to the microcosmic. When those are known by everyone it will be easier to avoid war rather than permitting ourselves to be caught up in patriotic or religious fervors generated by those that have the most to gain from war, sellers of munitions, and political and religious extremists.

    I agree with you in that war in general and the individual acts of war are immoral just as are personal and perhaps even verbal or literary violence, but nevertheless war and its violent acts occur and to be prevented must be understood with brutal honesty.

    Most human beings would not commit those acts were their own survival not immediately threatened, and so the “powers that be” in order to foment war to their advantage create conditions into which young men and women are placed where their only choice is to kill or be killed, and thus degraded their animal instincts take over and they commit the hideous acts of war which once committed, whether in person or in a video game, are easier and easier to enact.

    I might respectfully point out that the Bahai teachings do permit Bahais to defend ourselves when they are being attacked for reasons other than our religious beliefs, as in times of war or personal assault. Abdul was once asked what he would do if a man were to enter the room with a sword intent upon violence, and He replied that he would do what was necessary to prevent the act of violence. Whether that means he would confront the man, or calm him, or kill him or offer Himself as a sacrifice is not clear, but as peacemakers we must always try to end violence and the cycles of violence. Its not easy!

    When you say, “Everything is part of God’s plan, it is true, but that does not mean God pardons those who accept evils, like war, greed, and indifference. When you do that, you’re part of the problem.” I agree with you, but what can you do sometimes besides praying, and speaking out in places this if you have no political or economic power? These things you mention exist in the world because of ignorance. So we must remove the ignorance with the light of truth.

  • Sincere Friend

    Dear Brendan,

    What I wrote about the causes of war were an attempt to analyze its root causes from the macro-cosmic to the microcosmic. When those are known by everyone it will be easier to avoid war rather than permitting ourselves to be caught up in patriotic or religious fervors generated by those that have the most to gain from war, sellers of munitions, and political and religious extremists.

    I agree with you in that war in general and the individual acts of war are immoral just as are personal and perhaps even verbal or literary violence, but nevertheless war and its violent acts occur and to be prevented must be understood with brutal honesty.

    Most human beings would not commit those acts were their own survival not immediately threatened, and so the “powers that be” in order to foment war to their advantage create conditions into which young men and women are placed where their only choice is to kill or be killed, and thus degraded their animal instincts take over and they commit the hideous acts of war which once committed, whether in person or in a video game, are easier and easier to enact.

    I might respectfully point out that the Bahai teachings do permit Bahais to defend ourselves when they are being attacked for reasons other than our religious beliefs, as in times of war or personal assault. Abdul was once asked what he would do if a man were to enter the room with a sword intent upon violence, and He replied that he would do what was necessary to prevent the act of violence. Whether that means he would confront the man, or calm him, or kill him or offer Himself as a sacrifice is not clear, but as peacemakers we must always try to end violence and the cycles of violence. Its not easy!

    When you say, “Everything is part of God’s plan, it is true, but that does not mean God pardons those who accept evils, like war, greed, and indifference. When you do that, you’re part of the problem.” I agree with you, but what can you do sometimes besides praying, and speaking out in places this if you have no political or economic power? These things you mention exist in the world because of ignorance. So we must remove the ignorance with the light of truth.

  • Sincere Friend

    To Craig,

    Yes I saw that article in some other places and have known about the problem for sometime, as I have veteran friends who have been homeless and I myself was for a while. The effects of war ripple through our society and touches just about everyone.

    As Bahais we should do whatever is possible to help these people at the level of the root cause of their own problems and the social cause of war. I have taken into my home homeless individuals, although not veterans. I have visited veterans in the hospital, and written to soldiers who were in war to let them know that they were not forgotten, (although some of you might interpret that as supporting war) I think that letting soldiers know that they are still connected to the society helps them to have strength to maintain their humanity. My father, uncles and cousins are veterans and in the case of my fathers and uncles war, WWII, I think that what they were doing to destroy a warring society was just and morally correct, although certainly many acts in that war were not just.

  • Sincere Friend

    To Craig,

    Yes I saw that article in some other places and have known about the problem for sometime, as I have veteran friends who have been homeless and I myself was for a while. The effects of war ripple through our society and touches just about everyone.

    As Bahais we should do whatever is possible to help these people at the level of the root cause of their own problems and the social cause of war. I have taken into my home homeless individuals, although not veterans. I have visited veterans in the hospital, and written to soldiers who were in war to let them know that they were not forgotten, (although some of you might interpret that as supporting war) I think that letting soldiers know that they are still connected to the society helps them to have strength to maintain their humanity. My father, uncles and cousins are veterans and in the case of my fathers and uncles war, WWII, I think that what they were doing to destroy a warring society was just and morally correct, although certainly many acts in that war were not just.

  • burning

    Baquia,

    an amazingly personal and insightful (I felt) post on Planet Bahai shedding light on the perceived failure of the Bahai Administration especially on this topic.

  • burning

    Baquia,

    an amazingly personal and insightful (I felt) post on Planet Bahai shedding light on the perceived failure of the Bahai Administration especially on this topic.

  • http://www.bahairants.com Baquia

    Thank you ‘burning’, I read the thread and I gather you are referring to the hospital story contained therein. Can’t say I agree. The specialist was clearly negligent and by their negligence put a patient in unnecessary risk.

    She can contort her view into all manner of pretzels but it does not change that. However, if we use it as an analogy re the idea expressed by Counsellor Murphy we find that it fails utterly.

    For one, it is in direct opposition to Baha’u’llah’s own words. Second, if we do somersaults to accomodate Murphy’s words, then why do not do the same for other Baha’is? People like McKenny, McGlinn, Cole, MacEoin? Walbridge? Marshall? etc….

    Why is Counsellor Murphy due a heaping portion of mental gymnastics to somehow bring her diametrically opposite view of things into alignment with Baha’u’llah, if the others are not? Is it justice that the others are thrown out on their ears while Counsellor Murphy receives no consequence? even to retract or explain her ridiculous statement?

    Or have we stepped into ’1984′ where words have no meaning? where ‘war’ is peace?

  • http://www.bahairants.com Baquia

    Thank you ‘burning’, I read the thread and I gather you are referring to the hospital story contained therein. Can’t say I agree. The specialist was clearly negligent and by their negligence put a patient in unnecessary risk.

    She can contort her view into all manner of pretzels but it does not change that. However, if we use it as an analogy re the idea expressed by Counsellor Murphy we find that it fails utterly.

    For one, it is in direct opposition to Baha’u’llah’s own words. Second, if we do somersaults to accomodate Murphy’s words, then why do not do the same for other Baha’is? People like McKenny, McGlinn, Cole, MacEoin? Walbridge? Marshall? etc….

    Why is Counsellor Murphy due a heaping portion of mental gymnastics to somehow bring her diametrically opposite view of things into alignment with Baha’u’llah, if the others are not? Is it justice that the others are thrown out on their ears while Counsellor Murphy receives no consequence? even to retract or explain her ridiculous statement?

    Or have we stepped into ’1984′ where words have no meaning? where ‘war’ is peace?

  • Craig Parke

    Dear Burning and Baquia,

    I read the patient’s “conversion story” (Study the common screen writing 101 “conversion story” lines of 1943 WWII Hollywood propaganda movies – Johnny from Brooklyn complains about army life for 55 minutes and then he finally sees the light when his best friend takes a bullet through the head on the beach and then it’s “kill Japs all the way to Tokyo” as the “right thing to do” then FADE TO BLACK with the Marine Corps Hymn rising in the background. ROLL CREDITS.)

    (Sometimes they have a nice overlay of the dead U.S. troops killed in the film now alive and kind of marching back with the ranks at shoulder arms just above Johnny as he shows his new resolve. Our U.S. screenwriters got really good at variations on this story line during the war. But under the surface it was always the same movie for the folks back home)

    If anything would have really happened to this woman from being left unattended, her lawyers would have just had that wound dresser hand over the keys to the hospital to her estate. How’s THAT for “responsible administration”? Her estate would have easily won her case for malpractice in a court of law. Any good lawyer would have run with “a medical person is supposed to be doing medicine, not administration”. Bingo. $$$$ So much for “Administration trumps all” as a mantra in life.

    I myself as a Baha’i for 36 years believe that the UHJ is BOTH *factually* AND *morally* infallible even beyond the current iron fisted version of the doctrine as set forth by Peter Khan.

    I totally believe the doctrine of UHJ infallibility as it is currently conceived. I am steadfastly with the program 110% in my faithfully following the UHJ on this.

    The current UHJ of the Baha’i Faith by top down limiting by decree the only permitted methods of Teaching the Faith has essentially infallibility declared that the Faith MUST FAIL everywhere in the world. The issue is as simple as that. INFALLIBLE FAILURE has been demanded and INFALLIBLE FAILURE is what will be delivered by the worldwide Baha’i community in complete and total obedience including me.

    Counselor Murphy’s reversed version of the Teachings will prevail and assure the infallibly commanded outcome. I feel it IS the Will of God for the Baha’i Faith and I will support it as commanded by the Institutions as a Baha’i in good standing. I support everything in the commanded plan.

    Success is NOT an option in the current infallibly plan to absolute total failure!

    I feel it is because the way is being prepared for this event somewhere down the road by the people who truly love the Teachings of Baha’u’llah for the individual liberation and empowerment of humanity across the planet Earth.

    This Great Day will eventually come in the Baha’i Faith:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OYecfV3ubP8

    Because the rise of the Internet is now going to change everything drop by drop.

  • Craig Parke

    Dear Burning and Baquia,

    I read the patient’s “conversion story” (Study the common screen writing 101 “conversion story” lines of 1943 WWII Hollywood propaganda movies – Johnny from Brooklyn complains about army life for 55 minutes and then he finally sees the light when his best friend takes a bullet through the head on the beach and then it’s “kill Japs all the way to Tokyo” as the “right thing to do” then FADE TO BLACK with the Marine Corps Hymn rising in the background. ROLL CREDITS.)

    (Sometimes they have a nice overlay of the dead U.S. troops killed in the film now alive and kind of marching back with the ranks at shoulder arms just above Johnny as he shows his new resolve. Our U.S. screenwriters got really good at variations on this story line during the war. But under the surface it was always the same movie for the folks back home)

    If anything would have really happened to this woman from being left unattended, her lawyers would have just had that wound dresser hand over the keys to the hospital to her estate. How’s THAT for “responsible administration”? Her estate would have easily won her case for malpractice in a court of law. Any good lawyer would have run with “a medical person is supposed to be doing medicine, not administration”. Bingo. $$$$ So much for “Administration trumps all” as a mantra in life.

    I myself as a Baha’i for 36 years believe that the UHJ is BOTH *factually* AND *morally* infallible even beyond the current iron fisted version of the doctrine as set forth by Peter Khan.

    I totally believe the doctrine of UHJ infallibility as it is currently conceived. I am steadfastly with the program 110% in my faithfully following the UHJ on this.

    The current UHJ of the Baha’i Faith by top down limiting by decree the only permitted methods of Teaching the Faith has essentially infallibility declared that the Faith MUST FAIL everywhere in the world. The issue is as simple as that. INFALLIBLE FAILURE has been demanded and INFALLIBLE FAILURE is what will be delivered by the worldwide Baha’i community in complete and total obedience including me.

    Counselor Murphy’s reversed version of the Teachings will prevail and assure the infallibly commanded outcome. I feel it IS the Will of God for the Baha’i Faith and I will support it as commanded by the Institutions as a Baha’i in good standing. I support everything in the commanded plan.

    Success is NOT an option in the current infallibly plan to absolute total failure!

    I feel it is because the way is being prepared for this event somewhere down the road by the people who truly love the Teachings of Baha’u’llah for the individual liberation and empowerment of humanity across the planet Earth.

    This Great Day will eventually come in the Baha’i Faith:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OYecfV3ubP8

    Because the rise of the Internet is now going to change everything drop by drop.

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  • Karmaniac

    I suppose all this talk is fine and dandy, but it does not deal with real people and their spirituality and emotions – now (not a hundred years from now). What good is religion if it does not elevate and benefit individual believers spiritual lives?…if it brings no peace to people, real people who are searching for spirituality and meaning in their lives? Everyday people (as Sly Stone says). I see that nothing of this Ruhi stuff and the way the administration treats the community under them is good for individual believers. A true tragedy: People who became Baha’is back in the 60s and 70s, when things were substantially better and there was some moderation and true spirituality in the community. These people devoted their lives to the Faith and invested in it. Many, many of those people are out of the Faith now. They could not take the Orwellian turn the administration has taken, the downright mean attitude of the House and many of these supposed ‘learned’ people. I am one of these people and I’ve been out of the Faith for many years. You could put a gun to my head and I still would not re-join this religion. To be honest, pulling the trigger would be better.

  • Karmaniac

    I suppose all this talk is fine and dandy, but it does not deal with real people and their spirituality and emotions – now (not a hundred years from now). What good is religion if it does not elevate and benefit individual believers spiritual lives?…if it brings no peace to people, real people who are searching for spirituality and meaning in their lives? Everyday people (as Sly Stone says). I see that nothing of this Ruhi stuff and the way the administration treats the community under them is good for individual believers. A true tragedy: People who became Baha’is back in the 60s and 70s, when things were substantially better and there was some moderation and true spirituality in the community. These people devoted their lives to the Faith and invested in it. Many, many of those people are out of the Faith now. They could not take the Orwellian turn the administration has taken, the downright mean attitude of the House and many of these supposed ‘learned’ people. I am one of these people and I’ve been out of the Faith for many years. You could put a gun to my head and I still would not re-join this religion. To be honest, pulling the trigger would be better.

  • Karmaniac

    Also, the Faith has been around now for a long time. One can’t compare, say, Christianity’s rise and the Faith’s rise and say that the Faith is in its infancy. It is a different world and things move much, much faster. Communications are completely different. Everything, really. How long are people going to say that the Faith is still young? 100 more years? 200? It isn’t young. So, chalking up the deficiencies to youth is a fallacious argument.

  • Karmaniac

    Also, the Faith has been around now for a long time. One can’t compare, say, Christianity’s rise and the Faith’s rise and say that the Faith is in its infancy. It is a different world and things move much, much faster. Communications are completely different. Everything, really. How long are people going to say that the Faith is still young? 100 more years? 200? It isn’t young. So, chalking up the deficiencies to youth is a fallacious argument.

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