If Infallible, Why Do We Need to Elect the UHJ?

You know, I’m really blessed to have such amazing participants here. Although I may not agree with everyone, I’m thankful that each one of you is here, contributing your thoughts and asking some fascinating questions.

Once in a while, a question or comment is so thought provoking that it merits more than a simple reply from me but an attempt, no matter how feeble, to give it the exposition it deserves. So for that purpose (as well as to give it a relevant thread of its own, as the original blog post was on another subject), here is the featured question…

universal-house-of-justice-infallible

Curiousasked:

My first question is why is there a need to go through an election for UHJ members if the complete Baha’i congregation is not suppose to question the UHJ decisions? In other words, if everyone is meant to assume that everything the UHJ does is absolutely correct, what is the logic in reelecting the members. Wouldn’t it just be obvious that the same members are kept in all the time? Shouldn’t the election just be for the case when a position opens on the UHJ? So why do the Writings call for elections?

After receiving a non-answer, Curious tried again:

I understand the UHJ members get old and tired and resign. That leaves a vacancy which I understand needs an election to fill. My question is why the need to reelect every 5 years (I believe)? If these 9 men are infallible on a collective level in their arbitration, why do they need to be reexamined via election? How does this create stability? It seems very time consuming and costly. And in the end aren’t they usually reelected anyway? So why did the Master and Guardian call for reelection? What is the true purpose?

Before I try to answer this question, let me say that the Baha’i community is starved today for such thinking and such questioning. We need less and less Baha’i Ruhi-style, spoonfed “answers” and more thought expanding questions. Compare and contrast the 1970′s LA Class‘ penchant for questions and Ruhi’s fetish for “answers”. Sigh.

For Pete’s sake! As Baha’is we have a whole month named after them… but how often do we really devote time and mental space to explore really good questions? Not enough. This is the biggest mistake that Baha’is make.

Now to attempt an answer. First, the Universal House of Justice is infallible, only under certain conditions. For example, we have guidance from Abdu’l-Baha regarding means by which the UHJ should come about and function. If those conditions and prerequisites are discarded, that is, if the process isn’t followed, then the result lacks the intended meaning.

Second, I don’t believe in the infallibility that you don’t believe in. By that I mean that probably the second biggest mistake that Baha’is make is to misunderstand the meaning of infallibility. This, no doubt, stems from the first mistake – for had they actually questioned and investigated, they would most assuredly find the truth. In actuality, “infallibility” does not mean “factual inerrancy”. Anyone who attempts to argue otherwise is not only ignoring simple logic but the Baha’i Writings themselves.

For a tongue-in-cheek reductio ad absurdum exposition see: Magic 8 Ball or a dart board for “infallible” decision making. But Curious‘ question takes things to another level by asking, if this body is “infallible” then why hold elections? Brilliant.

The reason why Curious‘ question is so useful is that if we are to attempt a real answer, it pulls away the superficial assumptions that we may have and forces us to really try to understand what is at the heart of the Baha’i Administration.

Yes, it is true that the UHJ membership for the vast majority, has been a life-long affair. At one point members were not even allowed to resign due to health or age but actually served until death. That has thankfully changed and we recently saw two members resign to enter retirement. However, this brings us to another issue. That the membership of the UHJ has come from a narrow subset of the Baha’i community. Even more damaging, this subset is itself appointed by the UHJ. So in effect we have the UHJ choosing candidates by appointing them to the ITC and then these (male) members of the ITC are elected to replace retiring UHJ members. This closed system is an accurate description of the current state of the Baha’i leadership but it doesn’t mean that it was meant to be this way, nor that this is ideal.

In fact, most recognize that this is detrimental to the well-being of the worldwide Baha’i community. For the past 20 or so years we are witness to an ossification at the highest levels. But who do we have to blame? Ourselves. We are the ones that elect the same members of the LSA over and over again. We are the ones that send the same Baha’is, year in, year out, to be delegates. Furthermore, this is clearly not what Abdu’l-Baha intended since the appointed arm and the elected arm of the BA were delineated in duty and responsibility, as well as authority, with no overlap whatsoever.

Finally, to return to some semblance of brevity: the Baha’i Writings call for regular elections because the purpose of the UHJ is the highest in the world – that of servitude.

Related Previous Discussions:
The Concept of Infallibility in the Baha’i Faith
Is the Universal House of Justice Infallible? (Part I)
Is the Universal House of Justice Infallible? (Part II)
Individual Conscience Within the Baha’i Faith
Meditations on Baha’u’llah: Infallibility 1
Meditations on Baha’u’llah: Infallibility 2
Meditations on Baha’u’llah: Infallibility 3
He cannot override…
Commentary on the Divine Unity

  • David

    Great question!

    Baquia, I want to let you know that your previous posts about the infallability of the UHJ had a profound impact on me. I already had doubts and was questioning Bahai things (like I do with most anything) and so I mentioned that topic to my family. I had been discussing Ruhi with them and made them aware of this site, but the questions about the UHJ combined with what they thought this site represented…C-O-V-E-N-A-N-T B-R-E-A-K-E-R-S…was more than they could handle. The infallibility issue became irrelevant (although they finally admitted it made sense for infallibility to be limited to the legislative area) and it became all about this site and my "spiritual well-being". I saw my family members in a whole new light, and some of it was pretty ugly and depressing. They admitted they didn't want to question too much and were concerned about losing their own faith. The whole experience really freed me up to think whatever I want to think and not live in fear, because what I saw from my family did not appeal to me at all.

    Thank you for having this site and thank you to everyone that posts here.

  • David

    Great question!

    Baquia, I want to let you know that your previous posts about the infallability of the UHJ had a profound impact on me. I already had doubts and was questioning Bahai things (like I do with most anything) and so I mentioned that topic to my family. I had been discussing Ruhi with them and made them aware of this site, but the questions about the UHJ combined with what they thought this site represented…C-O-V-E-N-A-N-T B-R-E-A-K-E-R-S…was more than they could handle. The infallibility issue became irrelevant (although they finally admitted it made sense for infallibility to be limited to the legislative area) and it became all about this site and my "spiritual well-being". I saw my family members in a whole new light, and some of it was pretty ugly and depressing. They admitted they didn't want to question too much and were concerned about losing their own faith. The whole experience really freed me up to think whatever I want to think and not live in fear, because what I saw from my family did not appeal to me at all.

    Thank you for having this site and thank you to everyone that posts here.

  • farhan

    Baquia quoted Curious: So why did the Master and Guardian call for reelection? What is the true purpose?

    Baquia, I contributed several answers to this questions but I forgot to ask you for your suggestions: what other process would you imagine for designating an arbitration system? Who would name these arbitrators? Would you ask for volunteers? Which process would seem best to you? How would you wish to see the Baha’i Faith administered.

    As you know, the process of decision making within the Baha’i Faith involves the whole Baha’i world before the final choices are consulted within the UHJ. At this final stage, it becomes a matter of belief and inspiration in areas not covered by the writings or by scientific facts.

    This is the area of Faith, which involves walking where there is no path, seeing where there is no light, hoping where there is no hope. The 19th century French physiologist, Claude Bernard explored the relations between science and conscience and explained how our inspiration precedes our rational faculties into unexplored worlds:
    http://oce.catholic.com/index.php?title=Claude_Be

    The idea of building up human resources in a community deprived of priesthood was a major challenge in the 1970s and unprecedented in religious history where all religions quickly see a small number of gurus lead a majority of passive believers. The Baha'is had to find something else. The efficacy of the Ruhi books within a teacher training institute as a means of swiftly helping large numbers of believers acquire community serving skills was experimented by the best educators before being adopted by the UHJ for the rest of the planet and the results are outstanding here in Europe as the resistance of erudite members who see common people come and take place in the field of service is melting away.

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/farhan farhan

    Baquia quoted Curious: So why did the Master and Guardian call for reelection? What is the true purpose?

    Baquia, I contributed several answers to this questions but I forgot to ask you for your suggestions: what other process would you imagine for designating an arbitration system? Who would name these arbitrators? Would you ask for volunteers? Which process would seem best to you? How would you wish to see the Baha’i Faith administered.

    As you know, the process of decision making within the Baha’i Faith involves the whole Baha’i world before the final choices are consulted within the UHJ. At this final stage, it becomes a matter of belief and inspiration in areas not covered by the writings or by scientific facts.

    This is the area of Faith, which involves walking where there is no path, seeing where there is no light, hoping where there is no hope. The 19th century French physiologist, Claude Bernard explored the relations between science and conscience and explained how our inspiration precedes our rational faculties into unexplored worlds:
    http://oce.catholic.com/index.php?title=Claude_Be

    The idea of building up human resources in a community deprived of priesthood was a major challenge in the 1970s and unprecedented in religious history where all religions quickly see a small number of gurus lead a majority of passive believers. The Baha'is had to find something else. The efficacy of the Ruhi books within a teacher training institute as a means of swiftly helping large numbers of believers acquire community serving skills was experimented by the best educators before being adopted by the UHJ for the rest of the planet and the results are outstanding here in Europe as the resistance of erudite members who see common people come and take place in the field of service is melting away.

  • pey

    Farhan. Instead of rambling on, if you could, just for a second admit that they UHJ CAN make mistakes. That the idea of infallibility is only a means by which to keep the community united, to have an ultimate body that makes the final decision- then YES I can respect your views. You might be surprised that I may actually agree with you! But you never do that. You stick to the belief that these 9 men, when they sit together and make a decision are 100% correct even if their decision leads to bad consequences for individuals and communities. Just admit that they are human with a tough task of keeping the community united- they are not being inspired by God in the way that most Bahais think. It has created a cult mentality. I know firsthand because I HAD that mentality regarding the UHJ myself years ago.

  • pey

    Farhan. Instead of rambling on, if you could, just for a second admit that they UHJ CAN make mistakes. That the idea of infallibility is only a means by which to keep the community united, to have an ultimate body that makes the final decision- then YES I can respect your views. You might be surprised that I may actually agree with you! But you never do that. You stick to the belief that these 9 men, when they sit together and make a decision are 100% correct even if their decision leads to bad consequences for individuals and communities. Just admit that they are human with a tough task of keeping the community united- they are not being inspired by God in the way that most Bahais think. It has created a cult mentality. I know firsthand because I HAD that mentality regarding the UHJ myself years ago.

  • farhan

    Pey wrote : You stick to the belief that these 9 men, when they sit together and make a decision are 100% correct even if their decision leads to bad consequences for individuals and communities.

    Pey, you would want a shallow and simplified image of material reality that you can control and manipulate as you wish. I see reality as something infinitely complex with far reaching implications our human minds cannot fathom, where our spiritual condition determines our minds and actions, bringing about changes in our environment and the outcome of our societies.

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/farhan farhan

    Pey wrote : You stick to the belief that these 9 men, when they sit together and make a decision are 100% correct even if their decision leads to bad consequences for individuals and communities.

    Pey, you would want a shallow and simplified image of material reality that you can control and manipulate as you wish. I see reality as something infinitely complex with far reaching implications our human minds cannot fathom, where our spiritual condition determines our minds and actions, bringing about changes in our environment and the outcome of our societies.

  • pey

    Farhan. Asking for straighforward answers insteads of talking in circles is not asking for much. I'll just stick with what I deciphered from your posts- that you believe the UHJ is inspired by God (aka they make absolutely no mistakes as in God is speaking to us through this collecive body). This is the cult mentality I was part of years ago. I'm fortunate to have found Bahais who don't all think that way. It is refreshing.

  • farhan

    Pey wrote: Just admit that they are human with a tough task of keeping the community united- they are not being inspired by God in the way that most Bahais think.

    Pey, beyond the obvious need for arbitration and cohesion of a community, I believe that the UHJ is divinely inspired. Baquia explains to us that the UHJ makes obvious mistakes: implementing Ruhi, in spending money on gardens instead of philanthropy, not encouraging some 350000 Baha’is to accept the deportation orchestrated by the IRI etc. We are placing bets on an unknown future; the outcome will tell who was right, if the Bab and Baha’u’llah were right or wrong in guiding their followers on to thorny paths. Some rely on their own judgment; others like me rely on Divine Revelation and divinely ordained institutions.

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/farhan farhan

    Pey wrote: Just admit that they are human with a tough task of keeping the community united- they are not being inspired by God in the way that most Bahais think.

    Pey, beyond the obvious need for arbitration and cohesion of a community, I believe that the UHJ is divinely inspired. Baquia explains to us that the UHJ makes obvious mistakes: implementing Ruhi, in spending money on gardens instead of philanthropy, not encouraging some 350000 Baha’is to accept the deportation orchestrated by the IRI etc. We are placing bets on an unknown future; the outcome will tell who was right, if the Bab and Baha’u’llah were right or wrong in guiding their followers on to thorny paths. Some rely on their own judgment; others like me rely on Divine Revelation and divinely ordained institutions.

  • pey

    Farhan. Asking for straighforward answers insteads of talking in circles is not asking for much. I'll just stick with what I deciphered from your posts- that you believe the UHJ is inspired by God (aka they make absolutely no mistakes as in God is speaking to us through this collecive body). This is the cult mentality I was part of years ago. I'm fortunate to have found Bahais who don't all think that way. It is refreshing.

  • pey

    You don't have to wait for the future. Using expensive materials for buildings that will soon fall apart is something in the hear and now. But does it make any difference Farhan. From what you are telling me, WHATEVER decision the UHJ makes is always correct and we will just have to wait, oh maybe 1,000 years, to realize it was correct. That's fine. I just want to make sure THAT is your opinion without using 1,000 flowery words to explain it.

  • pey

    You don't have to wait for the future. Using expensive materials for buildings that will soon fall apart is something in the hear and now. But does it make any difference Farhan. From what you are telling me, WHATEVER decision the UHJ makes is always correct and we will just have to wait, oh maybe 1,000 years, to realize it was correct. That's fine. I just want to make sure THAT is your opinion without using 1,000 flowery words to explain it.

  • farhan

    Pey wrote : It has created a cult mentality
    Pey, what you call “a cult mentality” is a belief in the power of spirituality. You are quite free to reject it, but I do believe that in addition to the rational teachings of the Faith, there is a mystical and spiritual power flowing through God’s revelation that transcends our understanding. You have abandoned this idea, I haven’t. You only bet on now and here, I partially bet on the future. I accept your views, please try to accept mine.

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/farhan farhan

    Pey wrote : It has created a cult mentality
    Pey, what you call “a cult mentality” is a belief in the power of spirituality. You are quite free to reject it, but I do believe that in addition to the rational teachings of the Faith, there is a mystical and spiritual power flowing through God’s revelation that transcends our understanding. You have abandoned this idea, I haven’t. You only bet on now and here, I partially bet on the future. I accept your views, please try to accept mine.

  • farhan

    Pey wrote: From what you are telling me, WHATEVER decision the UHJ makes is always correct and we will just have to wait, oh maybe 1,000 years, to realize it was correct.
    Pey, the letters of the living INSTANTLY knew it was correct. The majority of others believed it wasn’t. The choice is ours; do we follow fashionable views current amongst people around us, or are we, deeply inside, convinced of the spiritual potentials of this Faith? This is the difference between the one who lives for the Faith and he who strives to be recognised as a member of the Faith.

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/farhan farhan

    Pey wrote: From what you are telling me, WHATEVER decision the UHJ makes is always correct and we will just have to wait, oh maybe 1,000 years, to realize it was correct.
    Pey, the letters of the living INSTANTLY knew it was correct. The majority of others believed it wasn’t. The choice is ours; do we follow fashionable views current amongst people around us, or are we, deeply inside, convinced of the spiritual potentials of this Faith? This is the difference between the one who lives for the Faith and he who strives to be recognised as a member of the Faith.

  • pey

    I do accept your views. I just want you to be succinct in describing it. You have every rigth to believe as you wish. So do I. The only difference, YOUR view is bolstered as the norm in the community. Ours has to be kept hidden online for people to read. ALL of our views should equally be expressed INSIDE the Bahai community. Ishallah!

  • pey

    I do accept your views. I just want you to be succinct in describing it. You have every rigth to believe as you wish. So do I. The only difference, YOUR view is bolstered as the norm in the community. Ours has to be kept hidden online for people to read. ALL of our views should equally be expressed INSIDE the Bahai community. Ishallah!

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/Baquia Baquia

    You're welcome. By the by, re your question on evolution, you can contact the UHJ through email: secretariat@bwc.org They usually take 3-4 months to reply since there is such an avalanche of messages but they always respond. Come back and share with us their answer to your questions.

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/Baquia Baquia

    You're welcome. By the by, re your question on evolution, you can contact the UHJ through email: secretariat@bwc.org They usually take 3-4 months to reply since there is such an avalanche of messages but they always respond. Come back and share with us their answer to your questions.

  • farhan

    Pey wrote : ALL of our views should equally be expressed INSIDE the Bahai community

    Pey, we need deepening sessions on these subjects; One concept imparted by Paul Lample during our pilgrimage last July was that as it was the case for the Guardian, the UHJ sought new solutions by experimentation and learning. They try several procedures and adopt the right one, and as feed-back arrives, they reconsider and modify. These are not “mistakes” but learning procedures. In the 1970’s we did wide scale teaching and harvested encouraging results but realised we could not integrate large numbers if we were not previously prepared. This was not a “mistake” but the learning procedure for previously establishing core activities now being deployed, before catering for large numbers of new-comers.

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/farhan farhan

    Pey wrote : ALL of our views should equally be expressed INSIDE the Bahai community

    Pey, we need deepening sessions on these subjects; One concept imparted by Paul Lample during our pilgrimage last July was that as it was the case for the Guardian, the UHJ sought new solutions by experimentation and learning. They try several procedures and adopt the right one, and as feed-back arrives, they reconsider and modify. These are not “mistakes” but learning procedures. In the 1970’s we did wide scale teaching and harvested encouraging results but realised we could not integrate large numbers if we were not previously prepared. This was not a “mistake” but the learning procedure for previously establishing core activities now being deployed, before catering for large numbers of new-comers.

  • pey

    So if an individual Bahai (or LSA or even NSA) makes the exact same decision as the UHJ with the exact same bad outcomes, then you would consider it a mistake. But if the UHJ makes the exact same decision with the exact same bad outcomes, then it is never a mistake. Got it! Thanks!

  • pey

    So if an individual Bahai (or LSA or even NSA) makes the exact same decision as the UHJ with the exact same bad outcomes, then you would consider it a mistake. But if the UHJ makes the exact same decision with the exact same bad outcomes, then it is never a mistake. Got it! Thanks!

  • farhan

    Pey wrote : So if an individual Bahai (or LSA or even NSA) makes the exact same decision as the UHJ with the exact same bad outcomes, then you would consider it a mistake

    Pey, when we decide to invent thing that are new, can refer to someone above, when the UHJ decides to seek a solution, they refer to and depend on God. There is a difference between research through trial and error and disobedience. Scientists experiment, but don’t speak of “mistakes” unless they are in a field already established.

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/farhan farhan

    Pey wrote : So if an individual Bahai (or LSA or even NSA) makes the exact same decision as the UHJ with the exact same bad outcomes, then you would consider it a mistake

    Pey, when we decide to invent thing that are new, can refer to someone above, when the UHJ decides to seek a solution, they refer to and depend on God. There is a difference between research through trial and error and disobedience. Scientists experiment, but don’t speak of “mistakes” unless they are in a field already established.

  • http://www.intensedebate.com/people/Baquia Baquia

    Thank you David. To make something clear. I am a Baha'i in good standing. Unfortunately, the covenant, a beautiful ornament, is made by the ignorant into a blunt instrument to silence and bully.
    Here, my aim is to expand my own knowledge – a very selfish thing – and since this is all public, if in that process others are also on the same journey, then we may help each other.
    Baha'u'llah did not want sheep that would blindly follow but went out of His way to bring a brilliant, illumined Faith to us. We insult Him by retreating into the same unthinking orthodoxy, supersitution and blind imitation that has crippled humanity so many times before.
    The question of infallibility is not that complex. I would recommend you read what Sen McGlinn and others have written on this subject and then to reflect on it. There is no need to fall into the same pot holes that have claimed so many others, Baha'u'llah's writings are there. If only we put aside the time and energy to actually inform ourselves.

  • http://www.intensedebate.com/people/Baquia Baquia

    Thank you David. To make something clear. I am a Baha'i in good standing. Unfortunately, the covenant, a beautiful ornament, is made by the ignorant into a blunt instrument to silence and bully.
    Here, my aim is to expand my own knowledge – a very selfish thing – and since this is all public, if in that process others are also on the same journey, then we may help each other.
    Baha'u'llah did not want sheep that would blindly follow but went out of His way to bring a brilliant, illumined Faith to us. We insult Him by retreating into the same unthinking orthodoxy, supersitution and blind imitation that has crippled humanity so many times before.
    The question of infallibility is not that complex. I would recommend you read what Sen McGlinn and others have written on this subject and then to reflect on it. There is no need to fall into the same pot holes that have claimed so many others, Baha'u'llah's writings are there. If only we put aside the time and energy to actually inform ourselves.

  • http://kaweah.com/blog Dan Jensen

    *Why* do you need to elect an infallible institution? Why, that's easy: because the mob is infallible, silly! Isn't that what democracy is all about?

  • http://kaweah.com/blog Dan Jensen

    *Why* do you need to elect an infallible institution? Why, that's easy: because the mob is infallible, silly! Isn't that what democracy is all about?

  • pey

    The letters of the living knew because they questioned the religious authorities of the day and realized that change had come. I hope that they weren't just wanting to replace one authoritarian regime with another. You can choose to mindlessly accept something without questioning. Some of us believe that it is ok to ask the hard questions and make noise when our conscious tells us to. My Faith in Bahaullah backs this view.

  • pey

    The letters of the living knew because they questioned the religious authorities of the day and realized that change had come. I hope that they weren't just wanting to replace one authoritarian regime with another. You can choose to mindlessly accept something without questioning. Some of us believe that it is ok to ask the hard questions and make noise when our conscious tells us to. My Faith in Bahaullah backs this view.

  • Craig Parke

    What? Huh? This seems to be an admission then that they are NOT FACTUALLY INFALLIBLE! There is noting more fallible on Earth than trial and error! So they ARE HUMAN after all! Wow!

    So what if you implement this trail and you find a (gasp) ERROR as part of the "trial and error" EXPERIMENTATION process?

    How, are you then, FACTUALLY INFALLIBLE?

    Please explain?

    Several people have gotten kicked out of the Baha'i Faith for saying just what you say Paul Lample said!

    Wow!

    Cracks in the Empire of the Infallible and the Cosmically Learned!

    What is the world coming to? 'Experimentation"! I thought that pertained only to drugs and sex in college? Go figure?

    Now a 100% FACTUALLY INFALLIBLE OMNISCIENT body is engaged in "Experimentation". Wow! Wow! Wow! Who knew? This is like cats and dogs living in the same house!

    I am truly shocked at my Supreme Body!

    Wow!

    "Experimentation"! "Experimentation!" "Experimentation!" at the HIGHEST LEVEL of the Baha'i Faith!

    And Paul Lample revealed this to the entire world!

    Thus us shocking, shocking! stuff!

  • Craig Parke

    What? Huh? This seems to be an admission then that they are NOT FACTUALLY INFALLIBLE! There is noting more fallible on Earth than trial and error! So they ARE HUMAN after all! Wow!

    So what if you implement this trail and you find a (gasp) ERROR as part of the "trial and error" EXPERIMENTATION process?

    How, are you then, FACTUALLY INFALLIBLE?

    Please explain?

    Several people have gotten kicked out of the Baha'i Faith for saying just what you say Paul Lample said!

    Wow!

    Cracks in the Empire of the Infallible and the Cosmically Learned!

    What is the world coming to? 'Experimentation"! I thought that pertained only to drugs and sex in college? Go figure?

    Now a 100% FACTUALLY INFALLIBLE OMNISCIENT body is engaged in "Experimentation". Wow! Wow! Wow! Who knew? This is like cats and dogs living in the same house!

    I am truly shocked at my Supreme Body!

    Wow!

    "Experimentation"! "Experimentation!" "Experimentation!" at the HIGHEST LEVEL of the Baha'i Faith!

    And Paul Lample revealed this to the entire world!

    Thus us shocking, shocking! stuff!

  • Grover

    Yay! Something juicy to discuss! Curious is quite right of course, if the UHJ were infallible and all knowing and all the rest, they could quite happily dispense with elections and just pick someone from the ITC. BUT, the fact that Baha'u'llah and co wanted elections should point out the obvious – the UHJ aren't infallible, etc etc etc. And if, heaven forbid, the UHJ becomes completely corrupted with nasty people from ITC, the NSAs (if they had the balls) could insist the UHJ disband and elect a new UHJ. Quite sensible when you think about it, if you're not elevating the UHJ to undeserved heights.

    Regarding Farhan's "mystical and spiritual power flowing through God’s revelation that transcends our understanding…" I personally believe that is a load of crap. Baha'is have been invoking this to inflate various concepts such as the Covenant and institutions such as the LSAs, NSAs and Arm of the Learned beyond the mundane and so they appear wise and knowledgeable. We all know there is no channel of divine guidance, just a bunch of opinionated people on committees with fancy names who have no idea what they are doing.

  • Grover

    Yay! Something juicy to discuss! Curious is quite right of course, if the UHJ were infallible and all knowing and all the rest, they could quite happily dispense with elections and just pick someone from the ITC. BUT, the fact that Baha'u'llah and co wanted elections should point out the obvious – the UHJ aren't infallible, etc etc etc. And if, heaven forbid, the UHJ becomes completely corrupted with nasty people from ITC, the NSAs (if they had the balls) could insist the UHJ disband and elect a new UHJ. Quite sensible when you think about it, if you're not elevating the UHJ to undeserved heights.

    Regarding Farhan's "mystical and spiritual power flowing through God’s revelation that transcends our understanding…" I personally believe that is a load of crap. Baha'is have been invoking this to inflate various concepts such as the Covenant and institutions such as the LSAs, NSAs and Arm of the Learned beyond the mundane and so they appear wise and knowledgeable. We all know there is no channel of divine guidance, just a bunch of opinionated people on committees with fancy names who have no idea what they are doing.

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/Baquia Baquia

    As Allison also pointed out on her blog, when Baha'is attribute the UHJ with infalliblity, as in never wrong, always right, no matter what, etc… then they are basically creating an idol and in essence forcing a partnership with God – which is impossible. The truth is actually very simple. And realizing it, doesn't mean that you give up your Faith. I would propose in fact, that those that argue for a warped status of the UHJ as "God on earth" are undermining the Faith of anyone who actually has a brain because it instantly causes them to grapple with a dissonance – that isn't there and shouldn't be there!

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/Baquia Baquia

    As Allison also pointed out on her blog, when Baha'is attribute the UHJ with infalliblity, as in never wrong, always right, no matter what, etc… then they are basically creating an idol and in essence forcing a partnership with God – which is impossible. The truth is actually very simple. And realizing it, doesn't mean that you give up your Faith. I would propose in fact, that those that argue for a warped status of the UHJ as "God on earth" are undermining the Faith of anyone who actually has a brain because it instantly causes them to grapple with a dissonance – that isn't there and shouldn't be there!

  • http://www.intensedebate.com/people/Baquia Baquia

    Good :) just be patient because it could take a while. In the meantime, I suggest you check out Guy Murchie's book: The Seven Mysteries of Life

    It is very cheap(especially used) and by the time you finish it, not only may it have already answered your questions, but it'll probably also coincide with the UHJ's response to you.

  • http://www.intensedebate.com/people/Baquia Baquia

    Good :) just be patient because it could take a while. In the meantime, I suggest you check out Guy Murchie's book: The Seven Mysteries of Life

    It is very cheap(especially used) and by the time you finish it, not only may it have already answered your questions, but it'll probably also coincide with the UHJ's response to you.

  • Craig Parke

    The BF is pure, unadulterated, Old testament defined mind bending idolatry now. Not only is the UHJ Almighty God, the ITC is essentially Almighty God too in the incestuous closed good ole boy ideological loop since 1987, and the individual UHJ-ITC lifetime incumbent members traveling the world to give their endless opinions on everything under the Sun to worshiping captive Baha'i audiences is part of the Godification mechanism too.

    Throw in that individual conscience and critical thought is now completely forbidden in the Ruhiized zombification of the Faith, and it is absolutely heartbreaking. The BF really could have been a vital player in trying to solve the critical problems facing the human race. Instead it went to pure idolatry in record time. A one way ticket to the Tablet of the Holy Mariner before breakfast.

    All they had to do was remember "the Kingdom of Heaven is WITHIN YOU". They didn't. It is a sorry, sorry fate for something that had such great promise.

    In the BF of today it is completely forbidden to commune with your own heart and your own spirituality. If you are capable of critical individual thought or you have any education or experience at all in life, you are the enemy of God! It was mind bending orchestrated groupthink right down the Cosmic toilet.

    But do not grieve. The Free Born World Age will go on. Some how the Cosmic Power now released in individual human hearts in this World Age will find expression through other people and other spiritual communities. The BF organization itself will die a very lonely death completely cut off from those empowering spiritual energies. It truly is very, very sad. But this is what happens when there are no term limits and no one is ever held accountable for anything. Ever.

    There are many parallels with what happened to the financial markets of the United States over the last ten years. The BF has become the SEC of religions as people completely gave up personal responsibility for institutions not doing their job as they we originally created to do. The rest is history.

    Just appalling. the fate of idolatry is never pretty.

    Very, very sad indeed.

    So it goes.

  • Craig Parke

    The BF is pure, unadulterated, Old testament defined mind bending idolatry now. Not only is the UHJ Almighty God, the ITC is essentially Almighty God too in the incestuous closed good ole boy ideological loop since 1987, and the individual UHJ-ITC lifetime incumbent members traveling the world to give their endless opinions on everything under the Sun to worshiping captive Baha'i audiences is part of the Godification mechanism too.

    Throw in that individual conscience and critical thought is now completely forbidden in the Ruhiized zombification of the Faith, and it is absolutely heartbreaking. The BF really could have been a vital player in trying to solve the critical problems facing the human race. Instead it went to pure idolatry in record time. A one way ticket to the Tablet of the Holy Mariner before breakfast.

    All they had to do was remember "the Kingdom of Heaven is WITHIN YOU". They didn't. It is a sorry, sorry fate for something that had such great promise.

    In the BF of today it is completely forbidden to commune with your own heart and your own spirituality. If you are capable of critical individual thought or you have any education or experience at all in life, you are the enemy of God! It was mind bending orchestrated groupthink right down the Cosmic toilet.

    But do not grieve. The Free Born World Age will go on. Some how the Cosmic Power now released in individual human hearts in this World Age will find expression through other people and other spiritual communities. The BF organization itself will die a very lonely death completely cut off from those empowering spiritual energies. It truly is very, very sad. But this is what happens when there are no term limits and no one is ever held accountable for anything. Ever.

    There are many parallels with what happened to the financial markets of the United States over the last ten years. The BF has become the SEC of religions as people completely gave up personal responsibility for institutions not doing their job as they we originally created to do. The rest is history.

    Just appalling. the fate of idolatry is never pretty.

    Very, very sad indeed.

    So it goes.

  • Craig Parke

    Guy Murchie's book "The Seven Mysteries of Life" is absolutely wonderful. My oldest sister got it for me as a Christmas present back in the 80's. I try to re-read it every few years. It is the expression of a true follower of the "independent investigation of truth."

    Someone like that, with that caliber of free thought, would never be permitted to exist in the BF of today. Anyone who writes a book is immediately under suspicion as reeking of self and passion corrupted by Western values and thinking in the Comintern Faith of today. Even though Baha'u'llah expressly forbids the burning of books, I honestly think that day would come if the BAO ever took power over the whole world. It has all now become the very dangerous brain chemistry of mindless automaton man made ideology. The same old, same old. Nothing new and original at all in human affairs. This is another mentality expressly forbidden by Baha'u'llah in His religion. But anything Baha'u'llah ever wrote is completely irrelevant and non-operational in the "new system" of today. It is the UHJ-ITC-Lifetime Incumbent Complex that is the total Voice of God on Earth now.

    What they say and what they create supersedes all. They, themselves, are the Way, the Truth, and the Life and no one comes to anything at all in the known and unknown Universe except through their carefully constructed top down workbooks and courses. Their unchallenged interpretations and elucidations are completely top down binding on all hearts and minds. What they say goes. Period. But I heartily recommend Murchie's book before it may be burned in the coming terror. You never know how bad things could really get in the reckless BF of today.

  • Craig Parke

    Guy Murchie's book "The Seven Mysteries of Life" is absolutely wonderful. My oldest sister got it for me as a Christmas present back in the 80's. I try to re-read it every few years. It is the expression of a true follower of the "independent investigation of truth."

    Someone like that, with that caliber of free thought, would never be permitted to exist in the BF of today. Anyone who writes a book is immediately under suspicion as reeking of self and passion corrupted by Western values and thinking in the Comintern Faith of today. Even though Baha'u'llah expressly forbids the burning of books, I honestly think that day would come if the BAO ever took power over the whole world. It has all now become the very dangerous brain chemistry of mindless automaton man made ideology. The same old, same old. Nothing new and original at all in human affairs. This is another mentality expressly forbidden by Baha'u'llah in His religion. But anything Baha'u'llah ever wrote is completely irrelevant and non-operational in the "new system" of today. It is the UHJ-ITC-Lifetime Incumbent Complex that is the total Voice of God on Earth now.

    What they say and what they create supersedes all. They, themselves, are the Way, the Truth, and the Life and no one comes to anything at all in the known and unknown Universe except through their carefully constructed top down workbooks and courses. Their unchallenged interpretations and elucidations are completely top down binding on all hearts and minds. What they say goes. Period. But I heartily recommend Murchie's book before it may be burned in the coming terror. You never know how bad things could really get in the reckless BF of today.

  • Bird

    Baquia – I think this is a fantastic question! I would imagine the BF could use more questioning but as was pointed out by Collapse Thread many are afraid to ask questions or get into discussions on issues that are not, pre-record so to speak, “answers”, such as those laid out in Ruhi. Questions these days I believe are not only not welcome, have shown that to the depth of the questioning comes the possibly for being deemed a Covenant Breaker at an extreme, disassociated if you are a active member or shunned even without authority by those who become afraid at the boldness involved in asking questions that are “off limits”. I stopped asking questions. What’s the point ? I would ask myself. Why waste the time, however I felt a little more alive when I read Curious’s question. It felt freeing to again "think questions" and not study "answers". It was an astounding question and here is one to piggy back on it.

    Of the UHJ’s elected over the inception of the body, how many were not re-elected that didn't ask to resign?

    Thanks for the fuel.

    Bird

  • Bird

    Baquia – I think this is a fantastic question! I would imagine the BF could use more questioning but as was pointed out by Collapse Thread many are afraid to ask questions or get into discussions on issues that are not, pre-record so to speak, “answers”, such as those laid out in Ruhi. Questions these days I believe are not only not welcome, have shown that to the depth of the questioning comes the possibly for being deemed a Covenant Breaker at an extreme, disassociated if you are a active member or shunned even without authority by those who become afraid at the boldness involved in asking questions that are “off limits”. I stopped asking questions. What’s the point ? I would ask myself. Why waste the time, however I felt a little more alive when I read Curious’s question. It felt freeing to again "think questions" and not study "answers". It was an astounding question and here is one to piggy back on it.

    Of the UHJ’s elected over the inception of the body, how many were not re-elected that didn't ask to resign?

    Thanks for the fuel.

    Bird

  • http://www.intensedebate.com/people/Baquia Baquia

    Bird, from the information that I have, not a single member was 'voted out'. That is, other than those that died in their post and were replaced or those that later retired (they weren't allowed to retire in the early years) and were replaced, the same members were elected over and over and over again.

    If I'm wrong, somebody please let me know.

  • http://www.intensedebate.com/people/Baquia Baquia

    Bird, from the information that I have, not a single member was 'voted out'. That is, other than those that died in their post and were replaced or those that later retired (they weren't allowed to retire in the early years) and were replaced, the same members were elected over and over and over again.

    If I'm wrong, somebody please let me know.

  • pey

    AMEN brother!

  • pey

    AMEN brother!

  • farhan

    Pey wrote : You can choose to mindlessly accept something without questioning

    Pey, most decisions by the UHJ have been already mindfully informed and commented by all the institutions and if it gets to the Supreme body, it is because local and national institutions with the help of the appointed institutions have not found a satisfactory response. Hence the UHJ is providing an ultimate arbitration on something on which the community is not decided. If we reject this arbitration, we are deliberately alienating ourselves from the community.

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/farhan farhan

    Pey wrote : You can choose to mindlessly accept something without questioning

    Pey, most decisions by the UHJ have been already mindfully informed and commented by all the institutions and if it gets to the Supreme body, it is because local and national institutions with the help of the appointed institutions have not found a satisfactory response. Hence the UHJ is providing an ultimate arbitration on something on which the community is not decided. If we reject this arbitration, we are deliberately alienating ourselves from the community.

  • farhan

    Grover, concerning the place of spirituality in our lives, I believe that we should do our outmost best, before stepping aside and letting God do the rest, avoiding two extremes: 1) never stepping aside, and 2) sitting back and hoping God will do everything. IMV, once the whole Baha'i world has expressed whatever relevant, and the books studied, the UHJ has to arbitrate in unlegislated areas, where their decision is that of Baha'u'llah, to which Abdu'l-Baha would instantly submit, as anyone who wishes to call himself a Baha'i. IMHO, those who feel in a position to give lessons to the UHJ are saying that they do not need this arbitration and do not consider themselves as Baha’is – as most of my good friends;

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/farhan farhan

    Grover, concerning the place of spirituality in our lives, I believe that we should do our outmost best, before stepping aside and letting God do the rest, avoiding two extremes: 1) never stepping aside, and 2) sitting back and hoping God will do everything. IMV, once the whole Baha'i world has expressed whatever relevant, and the books studied, the UHJ has to arbitrate in unlegislated areas, where their decision is that of Baha'u'llah, to which Abdu'l-Baha would instantly submit, as anyone who wishes to call himself a Baha'i. IMHO, those who feel in a position to give lessons to the UHJ are saying that they do not need this arbitration and do not consider themselves as Baha’is – as most of my good friends;

  • pey

    YOu are putting words in my mouth Farhan. I never said reject. But maybe you believe that questioning and showing our contempt towards a decision is equal to rejection. I can accept authority while holding on to my right to think and express my views. You choose to mindlessly throw away yours. That's your choice. But that does not make your faith any stronger. Actually, I think as Baquia said this type of idolatry undermines the faith of any thinking people.

  • pey

    YOu are putting words in my mouth Farhan. I never said reject. But maybe you believe that questioning and showing our contempt towards a decision is equal to rejection. I can accept authority while holding on to my right to think and express my views. You choose to mindlessly throw away yours. That's your choice. But that does not make your faith any stronger. Actually, I think as Baquia said this type of idolatry undermines the faith of any thinking people.

  • farhan

    Pey wrote: ..maybe you believe that questioning and showing our contempt towards a decision is equal to rejection.

    Pey, I understand the difference between questioning and rejecting. I am saying that anyone who wishes to be considered as a Bahá’í is bound by these words of Abdu’l-Baha:
    “The substance is, that prior to the completion of a thousand years, no individual may presume to breathe a word. All must consider themselves to be of the order of subjects, submissive and obedient to the commandments of God and the laws of the House of Justice. Should any deviate by so much as a needle’s point from the decrees of the Universal House of Justice, or falter in his compliance therewith, then is he of the outcast and rejected.” Abdu’l-Bahá, Selections from the Writings of `Abdu’l-Bahá, sec. 33, p. 68.

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/farhan farhan

    Pey wrote: ..maybe you believe that questioning and showing our contempt towards a decision is equal to rejection.

    Pey, I understand the difference between questioning and rejecting. I am saying that anyone who wishes to be considered as a Bahá’í is bound by these words of Abdu’l-Baha:
    “The substance is, that prior to the completion of a thousand years, no individual may presume to breathe a word. All must consider themselves to be of the order of subjects, submissive and obedient to the commandments of God and the laws of the House of Justice. Should any deviate by so much as a needle’s point from the decrees of the Universal House of Justice, or falter in his compliance therewith, then is he of the outcast and rejected.” Abdu’l-Bahá, Selections from the Writings of `Abdu’l-Bahá, sec. 33, p. 68.

  • farhan

    Baquia as you are no doubt aware, this issue is adequately explained at: http://covenantstudy.org/questions/authority-of-u

    The area of collegial competence is well defined and does not include infallibility in stocks and shares. We read:

    “Let it not be imagined that the House of Justice will take any decision according to its own concepts and opinions. God forbid! The Supreme House of Justice will take decisions and establish laws through the inspiration and confirmation of the Holy Spirit, because it is in the safekeeping and under the shelter and protection of the Ancient Beauty, and obedience to its decisions is a bounden and essential duty and an absolute obligation, and there is no escape for anyone….
    Today this process of deduction is the right of the body of the House of Justice, and the deductions and conclusions of individual learned men have no authority, unless they are endorsed by the House of Justice. The difference is precisely this, that from the conclusions and endorsements of the body of the House of Justice whose members are elected by and known to the worldwide Bahá’í community, no differences will arise; whereas the conclusions of individual divines and scholars would definitely lead to differences, and result in schism, division, and dispersion. The oneness of the Word would be destroyed, the unity of the Faith would disappear, and the edifice of the Faith of God would be shaken. “(Abdu’l-Baha – cited in Messages of The Universal House of Justice, 1963 to 1986, p. 85)

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/farhan farhan

    Baquia as you are no doubt aware, this issue is adequately explained at: http://covenantstudy.org/questions/authority-of-u

    The area of collegial competence is well defined and does not include infallibility in stocks and shares. We read:

    “Let it not be imagined that the House of Justice will take any decision according to its own concepts and opinions. God forbid! The Supreme House of Justice will take decisions and establish laws through the inspiration and confirmation of the Holy Spirit, because it is in the safekeeping and under the shelter and protection of the Ancient Beauty, and obedience to its decisions is a bounden and essential duty and an absolute obligation, and there is no escape for anyone….
    Today this process of deduction is the right of the body of the House of Justice, and the deductions and conclusions of individual learned men have no authority, unless they are endorsed by the House of Justice. The difference is precisely this, that from the conclusions and endorsements of the body of the House of Justice whose members are elected by and known to the worldwide Bahá’í community, no differences will arise; whereas the conclusions of individual divines and scholars would definitely lead to differences, and result in schism, division, and dispersion. The oneness of the Word would be destroyed, the unity of the Faith would disappear, and the edifice of the Faith of God would be shaken. “(Abdu’l-Baha – cited in Messages of The Universal House of Justice, 1963 to 1986, p. 85)

  • farhan

    Baquia wrote: In fact, most recognize that this is detrimental to the well-being of the worldwide Baha’i community. For the past 20 or so years we are witness to an ossification at the highest levels.

    Baquia, who are the “most” besides yourself who imagine that the Baha’i community is becoming “ossified” because the eldest and the most experienced are elected to the position of arbitration? I prefer to believe that those elected are a reflection of a community, and not that the community reflects the personality of those elected, a fallacy present in party politics.

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/farhan farhan

    Baquia wrote: In fact, most recognize that this is detrimental to the well-being of the worldwide Baha’i community. For the past 20 or so years we are witness to an ossification at the highest levels.

    Baquia, who are the “most” besides yourself who imagine that the Baha’i community is becoming “ossified” because the eldest and the most experienced are elected to the position of arbitration? I prefer to believe that those elected are a reflection of a community, and not that the community reflects the personality of those elected, a fallacy present in party politics.

  • pey

    "Just as in the world of politics there is need for free thought, likewise in the world of religion there should be the right of unrestricted individual belief. Consider what a vast difference exists between modern democracy and the old forms of despotism. Under an autocratic government the opinions of men are not free, and development is stifled, whereas in a democracy, because thought and speech are not restricted, the greatest progress is witnessed. It is likewise true in the world of religion. When freedom of conscience, liberty of thought and right of speech prevail–that is to say, when every man according to his own idealization may give expression to his beliefs–development and growth are inevitable."
    Farhan you choose your quotes to live by and I choose mine. Unfortunately yours stifles the Bahai community; mine seek to broaden it for ALL mankind as it was intended to be.

  • pey

    "Just as in the world of politics there is need for free thought, likewise in the world of religion there should be the right of unrestricted individual belief. Consider what a vast difference exists between modern democracy and the old forms of despotism. Under an autocratic government the opinions of men are not free, and development is stifled, whereas in a democracy, because thought and speech are not restricted, the greatest progress is witnessed. It is likewise true in the world of religion. When freedom of conscience, liberty of thought and right of speech prevail–that is to say, when every man according to his own idealization may give expression to his beliefs–development and growth are inevitable."
    Farhan you choose your quotes to live by and I choose mine. Unfortunately yours stifles the Bahai community; mine seek to broaden it for ALL mankind as it was intended to be.

  • pey

    Right and no one is arguing that the buck doesn't stop with the UHJ. But obedience does not mean closing your mind and not asking questions. Shutting up when you see an injustice. Let me ask you Farhan, a fictional scenario: what if it was proven that ALL 9 members of the house had been stealing money from the fund for years and the community didn't find out until a whistleblower told the truth. What then? Would the whistlblower be wrong in asking questions about how fund money was being used by the UHJ? Is he against the covenant/disobedient? Nope I don't think so. Again you only choose to focus on the quotes that support your view. There are more quotes from Abdul-Baha that speak about how religious authority can be corrupted. Also the need for check/balances in His sytem (aka the Guardian as head of the UHJ). Your turn….

  • pey

    Right and no one is arguing that the buck doesn't stop with the UHJ. But obedience does not mean closing your mind and not asking questions. Shutting up when you see an injustice. Let me ask you Farhan, a fictional scenario: what if it was proven that ALL 9 members of the house had been stealing money from the fund for years and the community didn't find out until a whistleblower told the truth. What then? Would the whistlblower be wrong in asking questions about how fund money was being used by the UHJ? Is he against the covenant/disobedient? Nope I don't think so. Again you only choose to focus on the quotes that support your view. There are more quotes from Abdul-Baha that speak about how religious authority can be corrupted. Also the need for check/balances in His sytem (aka the Guardian as head of the UHJ). Your turn….

  • farhan

    Pey quoted : When freedom of conscience, liberty of thought and right of speech prevail–that is to say, when every man according to his own idealization may give expression to his beliefs–development and growth are inevitable."

    Pey, I entirely adhere to these words. We are free to adhere freely to whichever religion we wish. All I am saying is that if our views coincide with those of the Baha’i Faith, we can call ourselves a Baha’i; if our views differ, we are free to call ourselves member of whatever other religion and we all collaborate, love and respect each other. I am free to do the job I wish, but once I choose that job, I have to abide by the rules of that job. I cannot call myself a doctor if I want to abide by the rules of a mechanical engineer.

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/farhan farhan

    Pey quoted : When freedom of conscience, liberty of thought and right of speech prevail–that is to say, when every man according to his own idealization may give expression to his beliefs–development and growth are inevitable."

    Pey, I entirely adhere to these words. We are free to adhere freely to whichever religion we wish. All I am saying is that if our views coincide with those of the Baha’i Faith, we can call ourselves a Baha’i; if our views differ, we are free to call ourselves member of whatever other religion and we all collaborate, love and respect each other. I am free to do the job I wish, but once I choose that job, I have to abide by the rules of that job. I cannot call myself a doctor if I want to abide by the rules of a mechanical engineer.

  • pey

    So what you believe is that Abdul-Baha said once you choose religion then you are nothing more than a mindless slave to authority? Shame Farhan. THAT is not what Abdul-Baha taught. If you want to make up a religion to suit your mindset, fine by mean. But it is not the Bahai Faith that I believe in.

  • farhan

    Pey, your hesitation between liberty from nature and liberty from social conventions reminds me of Jean de la Fontaine’s fable where the wolf envies the dog’s comfortable life until he notices that the dog has a collar and runs away with:
    It ought to be a precious price
    Which could to servile chains entice;
    For me, I'll shun them while I've wit.'
    So ran Sir Wolf, and runneth yet.
    http://www.jdlf.com/lesfables/livrei/leloupetlech

  • pey

    So what you believe is that Abdul-Baha said once you choose religion then you are nothing more than a mindless slave to authority? Shame Farhan. THAT is not what Abdul-Baha taught. If you want to make up a religion to suit your mindset, fine by mean. But it is not the Bahai Faith that I believe in.

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/farhan farhan

    Pey, your hesitation between liberty from nature and liberty from social conventions reminds me of Jean de la Fontaine’s fable where the wolf envies the dog’s comfortable life until he notices that the dog has a collar and runs away with:
    It ought to be a precious price
    Which could to servile chains entice;
    For me, I'll shun them while I've wit.'
    So ran Sir Wolf, and runneth yet.
    http://www.jdlf.com/lesfables/livrei/leloupetlech

  • pey

    And your posts remind of the late Rev. Jerry Fallwell who in an email to the "moral majority" told them who is and who isn't a TRUE Christian.

  • pey

    And your posts remind of the late Rev. Jerry Fallwell who in an email to the "moral majority" told them who is and who isn't a TRUE Christian.

  • farhan

    Pey wrote: Also the need for check/balances in His sytem (aka the Guardian as head of the UHJ). Your turn….

    Pey, I see your point: you feel that the UHJ members need a person to control them and you feel that this person would be a Guardian? Do you have a candidate to present? And what if this Guardian happened to be stealing money? Would he also need control or will he be free fro error ??

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/farhan farhan

    Pey wrote: Also the need for check/balances in His sytem (aka the Guardian as head of the UHJ). Your turn….

    Pey, I see your point: you feel that the UHJ members need a person to control them and you feel that this person would be a Guardian? Do you have a candidate to present? And what if this Guardian happened to be stealing money? Would he also need control or will he be free fro error ??

  • pey

    Well that question is mute since we can't have any more Guardians. The check comes from people questioning in a free society (that society being the Bahai community). The candidate is ALL of us collectively because we love our Faith. No one is above the law. The mystery about God inspring the UHJ is not about their being 100% correct all the time or free from corruption, but rather it is a means to keep us united as one community. That's all it is Farhan. Nothing more, nothing less. You can make it as flowery and pie in the sky as you like, that's fine- your choice. Some of us believe differently.

  • pey

    Well that question is mute since we can't have any more Guardians. The check comes from people questioning in a free society (that society being the Bahai community). The candidate is ALL of us collectively because we love our Faith. No one is above the law. The mystery about God inspring the UHJ is not about their being 100% correct all the time or free from corruption, but rather it is a means to keep us united as one community. That's all it is Farhan. Nothing more, nothing less. You can make it as flowery and pie in the sky as you like, that's fine- your choice. Some of us believe differently.

  • Matt

    Aren't there other "quotes" which say the Universal House of Justice is not omniscient, and that the Baha'is should realize the difference between "infallibility", and "all knowing"?

    The Arabic word for infallibility is Ma'sum, which also means innocence. I think this could mean that even if the UHJ made a decision based on incorrect information, they would still be Ma'sum in the sense of innocence. The only problem is is that they also say that the UHJ can't be said to make a 'wrong' decision even if they make a decision based on incorrect information……..I don't follow that logic as it is counter intuitive

  • Matt

    Aren't there other "quotes" which say the Universal House of Justice is not omniscient, and that the Baha'is should realize the difference between "infallibility", and "all knowing"?

    The Arabic word for infallibility is Ma'sum, which also means innocence. I think this could mean that even if the UHJ made a decision based on incorrect information, they would still be Ma'sum in the sense of innocence. The only problem is is that they also say that the UHJ can't be said to make a 'wrong' decision even if they make a decision based on incorrect information……..I don't follow that logic as it is counter intuitive

  • Grover

    "The check comes from people questioning in a free society"

    And also allowing everyone free access to accounts, statistics, demographics, and implementing proper surveys, so people can comment, question and critique. Unfortunately, because of the lack of transparency we can't actually see what the heck is going on within the Faith and whether or not the plans are working. It's all mostly anecdotal.

    The Baha'i Faith isn't just the UHJ's religion, it is our religion, and we have a right to contribute to how it is expressed and implemented (well more yours than mine, I don't want to be involved anymore, apart from chewing the fat on these blogs). We used to have that freedom but its all been taken away.

  • Grover

    "The check comes from people questioning in a free society"

    And also allowing everyone free access to accounts, statistics, demographics, and implementing proper surveys, so people can comment, question and critique. Unfortunately, because of the lack of transparency we can't actually see what the heck is going on within the Faith and whether or not the plans are working. It's all mostly anecdotal.

    The Baha'i Faith isn't just the UHJ's religion, it is our religion, and we have a right to contribute to how it is expressed and implemented (well more yours than mine, I don't want to be involved anymore, apart from chewing the fat on these blogs). We used to have that freedom but its all been taken away.

  • Grover

    God doesn't do anything. The saying "Trust in God, but tie up your camel first" should be most informative to you. In fact I would argue that God (if God exists) is only a passive observer.

    Also as I said before: The Baha'i Faith isn't just the UHJ's religion, it is our religion, and we have a right to contribute to how it is expressed and implemented.

  • Grover

    God doesn't do anything. The saying "Trust in God, but tie up your camel first" should be most informative to you. In fact I would argue that God (if God exists) is only a passive observer.

    Also as I said before: The Baha'i Faith isn't just the UHJ's religion, it is our religion, and we have a right to contribute to how it is expressed and implemented.

  • Craig Parke

    The check is the Internet. It is now the Guardian of the Baha'i Faith. Nine Men in Haifa elected to lifetime incumbency by gaming the system in an embarrassingly weak electoral process have seen absolutely nothing yet.

    Communication of spiritual thought on the photonic digital light carrier is forming a new energy shell around the planet from the inner exodus of human thought on the inner plain.

    It is forming the valence shells of the planetary atom. It cannot be stopped.

    The only defense hour by hour and minute by minute for any individual or any organization on Earth anywhere in the new World Age being born is JUSTICE and COMPETENCE. That is it. there will be nothing else.

    Any failures in these two areas will result in mind bending instant sudden death by the loss of all credibility. In the future tons of people are going to be dis-elected from the Institutions of the Baha'i Faith at every level in droves. It will be swift and instant in the court of communicated thought.

    Deeds not words. By their fruits ye shall know them. What goes around comes around. Etc. Etc. It will not be pretty. The Promised Day Has Come Indeed!

    It is called Cable Broadband where the historical record of everyone and everything can be looked up and discussed at any time, anywhere, by anyone on Earth. There will be no place to run and no place to hide for pompous hacks, arrogant incompetents, hapless wind bags, and the terminally lazy.

    Justice. Competence. Deeds not words. Everywhere on Earth. There will be no other defense and protection on Earth for anyone or anything or any human Institution. The stakes to survive from hour to hour and minute to minute are very high. No one is exempt from the spiritual standard of the World Age including the Universal House of Justice of the Baha'i Faith most of all.

    "It is easy to always be right on paper when you are never really tested because you do absolutely nothing in the real world of men."

    Deeds NOT words. Talent NOT incompetence. Courage NOT cowardliness. Truth NOT lies. Justice NOT Horrific Injustice. Everywhere. Worldwide. Now.

    Or be destroyed by your own hand. Everyone. Everywhere. Now. From Hour to Hour. From Minute to Minute.

    So it goes.

  • Craig Parke

    The check is the Internet. It is now the Guardian of the Baha'i Faith. Nine Men in Haifa elected to lifetime incumbency by gaming the system in an embarrassingly weak electoral process have seen absolutely nothing yet.

    Communication of spiritual thought on the photonic digital light carrier is forming a new energy shell around the planet from the inner exodus of human thought on the inner plain.

    It is forming the valence shells of the planetary atom. It cannot be stopped.

    The only defense hour by hour and minute by minute for any individual or any organization on Earth anywhere in the new World Age being born is JUSTICE and COMPETENCE. That is it. there will be nothing else.

    Any failures in these two areas will result in mind bending instant sudden death by the loss of all credibility. In the future tons of people are going to be dis-elected from the Institutions of the Baha'i Faith at every level in droves. It will be swift and instant in the court of communicated thought.

    Deeds not words. By their fruits ye shall know them. What goes around comes around. Etc. Etc. It will not be pretty. The Promised Day Has Come Indeed!

    It is called Cable Broadband where the historical record of everyone and everything can be looked up and discussed at any time, anywhere, by anyone on Earth. There will be no place to run and no place to hide for pompous hacks, arrogant incompetents, hapless wind bags, and the terminally lazy.

    Justice. Competence. Deeds not words. Everywhere on Earth. There will be no other defense and protection on Earth for anyone or anything or any human Institution. The stakes to survive from hour to hour and minute to minute are very high. No one is exempt from the spiritual standard of the World Age including the Universal House of Justice of the Baha'i Faith most of all.

    "It is easy to always be right on paper when you are never really tested because you do absolutely nothing in the real world of men."

    Deeds NOT words. Talent NOT incompetence. Courage NOT cowardliness. Truth NOT lies. Justice NOT Horrific Injustice. Everywhere. Worldwide. Now.

    Or be destroyed by your own hand. Everyone. Everywhere. Now. From Hour to Hour. From Minute to Minute.

    So it goes.

  • Craig Parke

    Yep. The Tablet of the Holy Mariner is in effect. It is all playing out for the Ages. The cameras are rolling 24/7. Nothing will work and no power will ever come to the Baha'i Faith until their is complete transparency and free and open discussion. Everywhere and at every level. The Baha'i Faith at this point is far too secretive to ever be successful.

    The average person on the street now in many lands is much more spiritually advanced than the sloppy spiritual standards of the Baha'i Faith.

    From my decades in the Faith serving on many levels, I dare venture to say that the company i work for conducts ADVANCED CONSULTATION every day AT EVERY LEVEL far better than any Baha'i Institution anywhere on Earth. Why? Because we have to actually DO SOMETHING USEFUL in the real world EACH DAY that is effective and useful enough that people will pay for our service and our product and keep coming back.

    We have to find out how we are doing EVERY SINGLE DAY day and improve EVERY SINGLE DAY by both formal and informal consultation. If we don't we fail as a company and everyone dies in the gutter. The judgment of the marketplace comes fast with swift justice upon everyone's heads.

    So we consult to hear EVERYONE's VOICE at all times. If we don't, we are DEAD as an organization. DOA. DEAD. And everyone dies in the gutter in total brain dead zero pulse failure.

    So it goes.

  • Craig Parke

    Yep. The Tablet of the Holy Mariner is in effect. It is all playing out for the Ages. The cameras are rolling 24/7. Nothing will work and no power will ever come to the Baha'i Faith until their is complete transparency and free and open discussion. Everywhere and at every level. The Baha'i Faith at this point is far too secretive to ever be successful.

    The average person on the street now in many lands is much more spiritually advanced than the sloppy spiritual standards of the Baha'i Faith.

    From my decades in the Faith serving on many levels, I dare venture to say that the company i work for conducts ADVANCED CONSULTATION every day AT EVERY LEVEL far better than any Baha'i Institution anywhere on Earth. Why? Because we have to actually DO SOMETHING USEFUL in the real world EACH DAY that is effective and useful enough that people will pay for our service and our product and keep coming back.

    We have to find out how we are doing EVERY SINGLE DAY day and improve EVERY SINGLE DAY by both formal and informal consultation. If we don't we fail as a company and everyone dies in the gutter. The judgment of the marketplace comes fast with swift justice upon everyone's heads.

    So we consult to hear EVERYONE's VOICE at all times. If we don't, we are DEAD as an organization. DOA. DEAD. And everyone dies in the gutter in total brain dead zero pulse failure.

    So it goes.

  • Craig Parke

    On this I fully agree with you Farhan.

    The Universal House of Justice has essentially decided that the Baha'i Faith MUST TOTALLY FAIL in the ENTIRE WORLD and we must all now be "Firm in the Covenant" and instantly submit to this electrifying decision.

    If you are a card carrying Baha'i you must accept it and submit.

    I wish it were otherwise. It is all very sad after the efforts of so many noble and dedicated souls that I have known. But we must all instantly submit to their decision to achieve total failure as the primary goal of the Baha'i Faith everywhere in the world. TOTAL MIND BENDING FAILURE.

    It's top down decisions are completely against what Baha'u'llah brought for humanity. So the Cause of the World Age is going to other much more free peoples, communities, and spiritual movements who will carry out the vital work of the World Age while everything passes the Baha'is by minute by minute and hour by hour.

    Yep. The Tablet of the Holy Mariner is in effect. It is all playing out for the Ages. The cameras are rolling 24/7. Nothing will work and no power will ever come to the Baha'i Faith until their is complete transparency and free and open discussion. Everywhere and at every level. The Baha'i Faith at this point is far too secretive to ever be successful.

    The average person on the street now in many lands is much more spiritually advanced than the sloppy and completely immature spiritual standards of the Baha'i Faith.

    From my decades in the Faith serving on many levels, I dare venture to say that the company i work for conducts ADVANCED CONSULTATION every day AT EVERY LEVEL far better than any Baha'i Institution anywhere on Earth. Why? Because we have to actually DO SOMETHING USEFUL in the real world EACH DAY that is effective and useful enough that people will pay for our service and our product and keep coming back.

    We have to find out how we are doing EVERY SINGLE DAY day and improve EVERY SINGLE DAY by both formal and informal consultation. If we don't we fail as a company and everyone dies in the gutter with their children starving to death. The judgment of the marketplace comes fast with swift justice upon everyone's heads.

    So we consult to hear EVERYONE's VOICE at all times. If we don't, we are DEAD as an organization. DOA.

    So it goes.

  • Craig Parke

    On this I fully agree with you Farhan.

    The Universal House of Justice has essentially decided that the Baha'i Faith MUST TOTALLY FAIL in the ENTIRE WORLD and we must all now be "Firm in the Covenant" and instantly submit to this electrifying decision.

    If you are a card carrying Baha'i you must accept it and submit.

    I wish it were otherwise. It is all very sad after the efforts of so many noble and dedicated souls that I have known. But we must all instantly submit to their decision to achieve total failure as the primary goal of the Baha'i Faith everywhere in the world. TOTAL MIND BENDING FAILURE.

    It's top down decisions are completely against what Baha'u'llah brought for humanity. So the Cause of the World Age is going to other much more free peoples, communities, and spiritual movements who will carry out the vital work of the World Age while everything passes the Baha'is by minute by minute and hour by hour.

    Yep. The Tablet of the Holy Mariner is in effect. It is all playing out for the Ages. The cameras are rolling 24/7. Nothing will work and no power will ever come to the Baha'i Faith until their is complete transparency and free and open discussion. Everywhere and at every level. The Baha'i Faith at this point is far too secretive to ever be successful.

    The average person on the street now in many lands is much more spiritually advanced than the sloppy and completely immature spiritual standards of the Baha'i Faith.

    From my decades in the Faith serving on many levels, I dare venture to say that the company i work for conducts ADVANCED CONSULTATION every day AT EVERY LEVEL far better than any Baha'i Institution anywhere on Earth. Why? Because we have to actually DO SOMETHING USEFUL in the real world EACH DAY that is effective and useful enough that people will pay for our service and our product and keep coming back.

    We have to find out how we are doing EVERY SINGLE DAY day and improve EVERY SINGLE DAY by both formal and informal consultation. If we don't we fail as a company and everyone dies in the gutter with their children starving to death. The judgment of the marketplace comes fast with swift justice upon everyone's heads.

    So we consult to hear EVERYONE's VOICE at all times. If we don't, we are DEAD as an organization. DOA.

    So it goes.

  • http://www.intensedebate.com/people/SteveMarshall SteveMarshall

    This seems to be a "Who watches the watchmen?" or "Who guards the guardians?" type question that was explored a long time ago by Plato and has been re-examined most recently by Alan Moore ("The Watchmen"). I'm with Pey, "The check comes from people questioning in a free society". Do you have a better suggestion, Farhan?

    p.s. Thanks for the inspiration.

  • http://www.intensedebate.com/people/SteveMarshall SteveMarshall

    This seems to be a "Who watches the watchmen?" or "Who guards the guardians?" type question that was explored a long time ago by Plato and has been re-examined most recently by Alan Moore ("The Watchmen"). I'm with Pey, "The check comes from people questioning in a free society". Do you have a better suggestion, Farhan?

    p.s. Thanks for the inspiration.

  • http://www.intensedebate.com/people/SteveMarshall SteveMarshall

    I agree. Alison Marshall puts it this way:

        Baha'is justify blindly following the House of Justice on the basis that doing so is the means by which the community maintains its unity. The House of Justice provides all the answers from God, the believers accept them without question and this keeps everyone united. But the fourth concept of the divine unity argues against assigning god-like abilities to people or institutions (signs of God):

        He is really a believer in the Unity of God who recognizeth in each and every created thing the sign of the revelation of Him Who is the Eternal Truth, and not he who maintaineth that the creature is indistinguishable from the Creator. (G:XCIII, 188-9)

    The community's unity is not maintained by making the House of Justice the divine rallying point. The divine unity is reflected in every one. Each believer reflects a unique understanding of the teachings.
    Commentary on the divine unity

  • http://www.intensedebate.com/people/SteveMarshall SteveMarshall

    I agree. Alison Marshall puts it this way:

        Baha'is justify blindly following the House of Justice on the basis that doing so is the means by which the community maintains its unity. The House of Justice provides all the answers from God, the believers accept them without question and this keeps everyone united. But the fourth concept of the divine unity argues against assigning god-like abilities to people or institutions (signs of God):

        He is really a believer in the Unity of God who recognizeth in each and every created thing the sign of the revelation of Him Who is the Eternal Truth, and not he who maintaineth that the creature is indistinguishable from the Creator. (G:XCIII, 188-9)

    The community's unity is not maintained by making the House of Justice the divine rallying point. The divine unity is reflected in every one. Each believer reflects a unique understanding of the teachings.
    Commentary on the divine unity

  • http://www.intensedebate.com/people/SteveMarshall SteveMarshall

    I agree. Alison Marshall puts it this way:

    Baha'is justify blindly following the House of Justice on the basis that doing so is the means by which the community maintains its unity. The House of Justice provides all the answers from God, the believers accept them without question and this keeps everyone united. But the fourth concept of the divine unity argues against assigning god-like abilities to people or institutions (signs of God):

    He is really a believer in the Unity of God who recognizeth in each and every created thing the sign of the revelation of Him Who is the Eternal Truth, and not he who maintaineth that the creature is indistinguishable from the Creator. (G:XCIII, 188-9)

    The community's unity is not maintained by making the House of Justice the divine rallying point. The divine unity is reflected in every one. Each believer reflects a unique understanding of the teachings.
    Commentary on the divine unity

  • http://www.intensedebate.com/people/SteveMarshall SteveMarshall

    I agree. Alison Marshall puts it this way:

    Baha'is justify blindly following the House of Justice on the basis that doing so is the means by which the community maintains its unity. The House of Justice provides all the answers from God, the believers accept them without question and this keeps everyone united. But the fourth concept of the divine unity argues against assigning god-like abilities to people or institutions (signs of God):

    He is really a believer in the Unity of God who recognizeth in each and every created thing the sign of the revelation of Him Who is the Eternal Truth, and not he who maintaineth that the creature is indistinguishable from the Creator. (G:XCIII, 188-9)

    The community's unity is not maintained by making the House of Justice the divine rallying point. The divine unity is reflected in every one. Each believer reflects a unique understanding of the teachings.
    Commentary on the divine unity

  • farhan

    Pey wrote :
    The mystery about God inspring the UHJ is not about their being 100% correct all the time or free from corruption, but rather it is a means to keep us united as one community.

    Pey this is theory. In practice when we have a difficult decision to make, we weigh the pros and cons and pray and meditate before we choose between two difficult choices; at that point, if we have done all the available tests, taken into consideration all valid arguments available, we are 100% right in taking that decision, and from the outcome of that decision, we will learn. I do this every day when I decide whether or not to operate a patient.

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/farhan farhan

    Pey wrote :
    The mystery about God inspring the UHJ is not about their being 100% correct all the time or free from corruption, but rather it is a means to keep us united as one community.

    Pey this is theory. In practice when we have a difficult decision to make, we weigh the pros and cons and pray and meditate before we choose between two difficult choices; at that point, if we have done all the available tests, taken into consideration all valid arguments available, we are 100% right in taking that decision, and from the outcome of that decision, we will learn. I do this every day when I decide whether or not to operate a patient.

  • farhan

    Grover wrote: because of the lack of transparency we can't actually see what the heck is going on within the Faith and whether or not the plans are working

    Grover, I believe that if you wish, you can make suggestions on these lines to the UHJ. I know that some years back, the UHJ was congratulated by the state for the precision of it’s accountancy.

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/farhan farhan

    Grover wrote: because of the lack of transparency we can't actually see what the heck is going on within the Faith and whether or not the plans are working

    Grover, I believe that if you wish, you can make suggestions on these lines to the UHJ. I know that some years back, the UHJ was congratulated by the state for the precision of it’s accountancy.

  • farhan

    Grover wrote: In fact I would argue that God (if God exists) is only a passive observer.

    Grove, not so passive since from time to time He inspires outstanding souls who come for our education, and as to participation, I see no other way of having millions of sould participate other than through an administrative structure. UIOW, you can suggest through a 19 days feast and it can go up to the top and the reply come back down to all Baha’is on the planet. Any better suggestion? Or do you want to be the watchman who watches the watchmen?

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/farhan farhan

    Grover wrote: In fact I would argue that God (if God exists) is only a passive observer.

    Grove, not so passive since from time to time He inspires outstanding souls who come for our education, and as to participation, I see no other way of having millions of sould participate other than through an administrative structure. UIOW, you can suggest through a 19 days feast and it can go up to the top and the reply come back down to all Baha’is on the planet. Any better suggestion? Or do you want to be the watchman who watches the watchmen?

  • farhan

    Steve wrote: The community's unity is not maintained by making the House of Justice the divine rallying point. The divine unity is reflected in every one. Each believer reflects a unique understanding of the teachings

    Steve the position of the UHJ is clearly underlined in our writings; we are not creating it ourselves. We are entitled to our own understanding, but we cannot impose our views on others. The UHJ is there to arbitrate on obscure subjects, on which we have not been able to reach agreement. I see the underlying purpose of these discussions to enable some of us to undermine the authority of the arbitrator in order to advance personal objectives.

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/farhan farhan

    Steve wrote: The community's unity is not maintained by making the House of Justice the divine rallying point. The divine unity is reflected in every one. Each believer reflects a unique understanding of the teachings

    Steve the position of the UHJ is clearly underlined in our writings; we are not creating it ourselves. We are entitled to our own understanding, but we cannot impose our views on others. The UHJ is there to arbitrate on obscure subjects, on which we have not been able to reach agreement. I see the underlying purpose of these discussions to enable some of us to undermine the authority of the arbitrator in order to advance personal objectives.

  • farhan

    Craig wrote: Nothing will work and no power will ever come to the Baha'i Faith until their is complete transparency and free and open discussion.

    I agree Craig, although this is new for many of us who are still looking for gurus to guide them. The whole purpose of the Institute process is to place skills and responsibility squarely on the shoulders of each believer and use the AO as a harmonising instrument. Have a look at the compilation “Unlocking the Power of Action”

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/farhan farhan

    Craig wrote: Nothing will work and no power will ever come to the Baha'i Faith until their is complete transparency and free and open discussion.

    I agree Craig, although this is new for many of us who are still looking for gurus to guide them. The whole purpose of the Institute process is to place skills and responsibility squarely on the shoulders of each believer and use the AO as a harmonising instrument. Have a look at the compilation “Unlocking the Power of Action”

  • farhan

    Mat wrote: The Arabic word for infallibility is Ma'sum, which also means innocence;
    Mat, the translation of the word “infallibility” in English is tinted by Western meanings; Ma’sum means sinless and Abdu’l-Baha himself denies being “sinless” but explains that Baha’u’llah has gifted Him with authority. We are introducing concepts of an infinite world into our finite world. To my understanding the Grandeur of God and His Eternity are gifts to us, that permit us to organise our societies, just like the infinity point on a drawing board permits the artists to establish perspectives. We cannot reject the arbitration of the UHJ on the grounds that the translation of the word is not clear.

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/farhan farhan

    Mat wrote: The Arabic word for infallibility is Ma'sum, which also means innocence;
    Mat, the translation of the word “infallibility” in English is tinted by Western meanings; Ma’sum means sinless and Abdu’l-Baha himself denies being “sinless” but explains that Baha’u’llah has gifted Him with authority. We are introducing concepts of an infinite world into our finite world. To my understanding the Grandeur of God and His Eternity are gifts to us, that permit us to organise our societies, just like the infinity point on a drawing board permits the artists to establish perspectives. We cannot reject the arbitration of the UHJ on the grounds that the translation of the word is not clear.

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/Baquia Baquia

    farhan, you keep building and propping up this straw man of 'reject' – no one except you has mentioned rejecting the decisions of the UHJ.

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/Baquia Baquia

    farhan, you keep building and propping up this straw man of 'reject' – no one except you has mentioned rejecting the decisions of the UHJ.

  • pey

    Yet what if you didn't take into consideration everything? What if you were basin your ideas on what you stubbornly/sincerely believed was the ONLY way to do sometihng and your patient died. When a myriad of other doctors are telling you that this other option would have saved the patients life. But YOU chose to stick to your values and pray hard and make your decision, but the patient died. Are you still 100% correct? God guided you no matter what? Or maybe a little bit of blind ego got in the way. Think about it.

  • pey

    Yet what if you didn't take into consideration everything? What if you were basin your ideas on what you stubbornly/sincerely believed was the ONLY way to do sometihng and your patient died. When a myriad of other doctors are telling you that this other option would have saved the patients life. But YOU chose to stick to your values and pray hard and make your decision, but the patient died. Are you still 100% correct? God guided you no matter what? Or maybe a little bit of blind ego got in the way. Think about it.

  • pey

    again the spirit of the fundamentalist Jerry Falwell is possesing you Farhan. I'm sure he's looking from his grave wondering- "damn what a fine soldier for our cause- only he was a good Christian!"

  • pey

    again the spirit of the fundamentalist Jerry Falwell is possesing you Farhan. I'm sure he's looking from his grave wondering- "damn what a fine soldier for our cause- only he was a good Christian!"

  • pey

    I think Bahaullah extolled a free press, did He not Farhan? That could be another channel for expressing views that is outside the control of the Bahai community. Or again, do you think all these quotes about freedom of the press, conscience, etc. only have to do with people OUTSIDE the Bahai community. But once inside the community, then you are nothing more than a mindless slave to authority.

  • pey

    I think Bahaullah extolled a free press, did He not Farhan? That could be another channel for expressing views that is outside the control of the Bahai community. Or again, do you think all these quotes about freedom of the press, conscience, etc. only have to do with people OUTSIDE the Bahai community. But once inside the community, then you are nothing more than a mindless slave to authority.

  • pey

    We have no direct say in that election. When I voted, I never felt I had any direct say in the election of the NSA- who ends up voting for the UHJ. The only reason I voted was because of a sense of duty. In my heart, I never felt that my vote really made any difference.

  • pey

    We have no direct say in that election. When I voted, I never felt I had any direct say in the election of the NSA- who ends up voting for the UHJ. The only reason I voted was because of a sense of duty. In my heart, I never felt that my vote really made any difference.

  • farhan

    Pey wrote :
    What if you were basin your ideas on what you stubbornly/sincerely believed was the ONLY way to do sometihng and your patient died.

    Pey this is obvious common sense; if we do not take into consideration scientific evidence, and the views of other colleagues, we are criminals. Once we have discussed thoroughly, and the outcome remains uncertain, we can consult an elder and experienced expert for help in the final decision, and he might then refer to prayers for this final decision. At that point we have “tied our camel” and we refer to God for help. The decisions of the UHJ come in when the whole administrative system that connects all the Baha’is of the world have no specific solution to offer.

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/farhan farhan

    Pey wrote :
    What if you were basin your ideas on what you stubbornly/sincerely believed was the ONLY way to do sometihng and your patient died.

    Pey this is obvious common sense; if we do not take into consideration scientific evidence, and the views of other colleagues, we are criminals. Once we have discussed thoroughly, and the outcome remains uncertain, we can consult an elder and experienced expert for help in the final decision, and he might then refer to prayers for this final decision. At that point we have “tied our camel” and we refer to God for help. The decisions of the UHJ come in when the whole administrative system that connects all the Baha’is of the world have no specific solution to offer.

  • pey

    Thank you Baquia. But in farhan's mind, from what I've gathered, questioning a decision and pointing out how it can lead to someting bad is equal to rejection. In the minds of fundamentalist Bahais, absolute obedience means bowing your head down and never speaking up. Why do I keep getting this image of Japan under the rule of the Samurai. God I hope that's not the future Kingdom of God on earth.

  • pey

    Thank you Baquia. But in farhan's mind, from what I've gathered, questioning a decision and pointing out how it can lead to someting bad is equal to rejection. In the minds of fundamentalist Bahais, absolute obedience means bowing your head down and never speaking up. Why do I keep getting this image of Japan under the rule of the Samurai. God I hope that's not the future Kingdom of God on earth.

  • farhan

    Baquia, let me withdraw the word « reject » and replace it with the exact words of Abdu’l-Baha:

    “The Supreme House of Justice will take decisions and establish laws through the inspiration and confirmation of the Holy Spirit, because it is in the safekeeping and under the shelter and protection of the Ancient Beauty, and obedience to its decisions is a bounden and essential duty and an absolute obligation, and there is no escape for anyone….”

    Whatever the translation of the word “infallible”, do you consider a person who does not meet the requirement laid down by Abdu’l-Baha as a Baha’i?

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/farhan farhan

    Baquia, let me withdraw the word « reject » and replace it with the exact words of Abdu’l-Baha:

    “The Supreme House of Justice will take decisions and establish laws through the inspiration and confirmation of the Holy Spirit, because it is in the safekeeping and under the shelter and protection of the Ancient Beauty, and obedience to its decisions is a bounden and essential duty and an absolute obligation, and there is no escape for anyone….”

    Whatever the translation of the word “infallible”, do you consider a person who does not meet the requirement laid down by Abdu’l-Baha as a Baha’i?

  • farhan

    Pey wrote : I think Bahaullah extolled a free press, did He not Farhan?

    I agree, Pey. I am quite favourable to freedom of speech and expression of ideas. I am also favourable to truthfulness in medias, as Baha’u’llah also extolled. However, we live in complex multicultural communities and we have to take into consideration more prude people who can only advance at their own rate and whose sentiments need to be protected.

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/farhan farhan

    Pey wrote : I think Bahaullah extolled a free press, did He not Farhan?

    I agree, Pey. I am quite favourable to freedom of speech and expression of ideas. I am also favourable to truthfulness in medias, as Baha’u’llah also extolled. However, we live in complex multicultural communities and we have to take into consideration more prude people who can only advance at their own rate and whose sentiments need to be protected.

  • pey

    "whose sentiments need to be protected"
    at the expense of others. So my sentiments, or Baquias, or Steve's need to be relegated to online chatter because God forbid they should be brought up INSIDE the Bahai community where some of the more prudish would just fall over and faint. Oh please.

  • pey

    "whose sentiments need to be protected"
    at the expense of others. So my sentiments, or Baquias, or Steve's need to be relegated to online chatter because God forbid they should be brought up INSIDE the Bahai community where some of the more prudish would just fall over and faint. Oh please.

  • farhan

    Pey wrote: "whose sentiments need to be protected"

    Pey, the way you say things can bring about adhesion or conflicts, mutual understanding or polemics, unity or division. It takes time and love to help people to grow. It depends what you are seeking: the choice is yours.

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/farhan farhan

    Pey wrote: "whose sentiments need to be protected"

    Pey, the way you say things can bring about adhesion or conflicts, mutual understanding or polemics, unity or division. It takes time and love to help people to grow. It depends what you are seeking: the choice is yours.

  • pey

    But I also take great offense when people try to differentiate between who is and who truly isn't Bahai- no matter how pretty, flowery and sweet the casing of their chosen words. The fundamentalism shines through regardless- and yep it offends me. Sweet, pretty words don't make up for the intent.

  • pey

    But I also take great offense when people try to differentiate between who is and who truly isn't Bahai- no matter how pretty, flowery and sweet the casing of their chosen words. The fundamentalism shines through regardless- and yep it offends me. Sweet, pretty words don't make up for the intent.

  • farhan

    Pey wrote : But I also take great offense when people try to differentiate between who is and who truly isn't Bahai- no matter how pretty, flowery and sweet the casing of their chosen words.

    Once again, Pey, we are discussing concepts and ideas, and your person is not the centre of the discussion. Internet comments are best impersonal and not directed to anyone in particular. Once again, I feel that calling people names such as fundamentalist does not contribute to an enriching exchange; I see no reason that you should be upset by imagining what I might think of you, as I am not particularly upset at how you might judge me.

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/farhan farhan

    Pey wrote : But I also take great offense when people try to differentiate between who is and who truly isn't Bahai- no matter how pretty, flowery and sweet the casing of their chosen words.

    Once again, Pey, we are discussing concepts and ideas, and your person is not the centre of the discussion. Internet comments are best impersonal and not directed to anyone in particular. Once again, I feel that calling people names such as fundamentalist does not contribute to an enriching exchange; I see no reason that you should be upset by imagining what I might think of you, as I am not particularly upset at how you might judge me.

  • pey

    I see. so implying that some people really are not Bahais when they truly believe that they are is not offensive. It's nothing more than a sharing of ideas. But my stating that such behaviour and talk is akin to someone like Jerry Falwell- a Christian fundamentalist is calling people names. Got it. Thanks Farhan!

  • pey

    I see. so implying that some people really are not Bahais when they truly believe that they are is not offensive. It's nothing more than a sharing of ideas. But my stating that such behaviour and talk is akin to someone like Jerry Falwell- a Christian fundamentalist is calling people names. Got it. Thanks Farhan!

  • http://www.intensedebate.com/people/SteveMarshall SteveMarshall

    Hi Farhan,

    I didn't write that. I was quoting Alison. I'm sorry if that wasn't clear. Your response is incoherent, though. You appear to be pontificating, rather than engaging with anything Alison has said. This may make you feel good, but it ends the conversation.

    And when you say…

    I see the underlying purpose of these discussions to enable some of us to undermine the authority of the arbitrator in order to advance personal objectives.

    …do you really include yourself?

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/SteveMarshall SteveMarshall

    Hi Farhan,

    I didn't write that. I was quoting Alison. I'm sorry if that wasn't clear. Your response is incoherent, though. You appear to be pontificating, rather than engaging with anything Alison has said. This may make you feel good, but it ends the conversation

    And when you say…

    I see the underlying purpose of these discussions to enable some of us to undermine the authority of the arbitrator in order to advance personal objectives.

    …do you really include yourself?

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/SteveMarshall SteveMarshall

    Hi Farhan,

    I didn't write that. I was quoting Alison. I'm sorry if that wasn't clear. Your response is incoherent, though. You appear to be pontificating, rather than engaging with anything Alison has said. This may make you feel good, but it ends the conversation

    And when you say…

    I see the underlying purpose of these discussions to enable some of us to undermine the authority of the arbitrator in order to advance personal objectives.

    …do you really include yourself?

  • http://www.intensedebate.com/people/SteveMarshall SteveMarshall

    Hi Farhan,

    I didn't write that. I was quoting Alison. I'm sorry if that wasn't clear. Your response is incoherent, though. You appear to be pontificating, rather than engaging with anything Alison has said. This may make you feel good, but it ends the conversation.

    And when you say…

    I see the underlying purpose of these discussions to enable some of us to undermine the authority of the arbitrator in order to advance personal objectives.

    …do you really include yourself?

  • farhan

    Steve wrote: You appear to be pontificating, rather than engaging with anything Alison has said.

    Steve, I am commenting on the subject of the authority of the UHJ, and not on Alison or anyone else. As I have already said, I do not believe that Internet is a good media for discussing people but for discussing concepts, so I avoid personal remarks, and when I speak of “us” I am referring to all those participating in the exchange.

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/farhan farhan

    Steve wrote: You appear to be pontificating, rather than engaging with anything Alison has said.

    Steve, I am commenting on the subject of the authority of the UHJ, and not on Alison or anyone else. As I have already said, I do not believe that Internet is a good media for discussing people but for discussing concepts, so I avoid personal remarks, and when I speak of “us” I am referring to all those participating in the exchange.

  • farhan

    Pey wrote: so implying that some people really are not Bahais when they truly believe that they are is not offensive.

    Pey I am merely referring to the words of Abdu’l-Baha, and I have no right to judge how you stand in regards with this definition:
    “ Should any deviate by so much as a needle’s point from the decrees of the Universal House of Justice, or falter in his compliance therewith, then is he of the outcast and rejected.” Abdu’l-Bahá, Selections from the Writings of `Abdu’l-Bahá, sec. 33, p. 68

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/farhan farhan

    Pey wrote: so implying that some people really are not Bahais when they truly believe that they are is not offensive.

    Pey I am merely referring to the words of Abdu’l-Baha, and I have no right to judge how you stand in regards with this definition:
    “ Should any deviate by so much as a needle’s point from the decrees of the Universal House of Justice, or falter in his compliance therewith, then is he of the outcast and rejected.” Abdu’l-Bahá, Selections from the Writings of `Abdu’l-Bahá, sec. 33, p. 68

  • Grover

    “ Should any deviate by so much as a needle’s point from the decrees of the Universal House of Justice, or falter in his compliance therewith, then is he of the outcast and rejected.” Abdu’l-Bahá, Selections from the Writings of `Abdu’l-Bahá, sec. 33, p. 68

    Well, that counts out everyone. I guess the conclusion is no one is a Baha'i. Automatic unenrolments for everyone! Including you Farhan for talking on this naughty naughty site!

  • Grover

    “ Should any deviate by so much as a needle’s point from the decrees of the Universal House of Justice, or falter in his compliance therewith, then is he of the outcast and rejected.” Abdu’l-Bahá, Selections from the Writings of `Abdu’l-Bahá, sec. 33, p. 68

    Well, that counts out everyone. I guess the conclusion is no one is a Baha'i. Automatic unenrolments for everyone! Including you Farhan for talking on this naughty naughty site!

  • farhan

    Grover wrote: Automatic unenrolments for everyone! Including you Farhan for talking on this naughty naughty site!

    Grover, some tolerance, please; I bet you would even be ready to expel a member of the UHJ for having questioned a previous decision of the UHJ ;-)

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/farhan farhan

    Grover wrote: Automatic unenrolments for everyone! Including you Farhan for talking on this naughty naughty site!

    Grover, some tolerance, please; I bet you would even be ready to expel a member of the UHJ for having questioned a previous decision of the UHJ ;-)

  • Grover

    Well it is you thats throwing the quotes around like some heavy weight boxer throwing hay makers :P

  • Grover

    Well it is you thats throwing the quotes around like some heavy weight boxer throwing hay makers :P

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/Baquia Baquia

    farhan, a free press is vital to a healthy society and I would rather have one which bruises the sensitivities of the ignorant than one which serves the status quo. Sadly the Baha'i community is without a 'free press', since all media are controlled by the institutions and any attempt to create one outside of its aegis has been quashed with extreme prejudice. Need examples? Take a look at the LA Class newsletter, or Dialogue magazine.

    "Were it left to me to decide whether we should have a government without newspapers or newspapers without a government, I should not hesitate for a moment to prefer the latter." Thomas Jefferson

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/Baquia Baquia

    farhan, a free press is vital to a healthy society and I would rather have one which bruises the sensitivities of the ignorant than one which serves the status quo. Sadly the Baha'i community is without a 'free press', since all media are controlled by the institutions and any attempt to create one outside of its aegis has been quashed with extreme prejudice. Need examples? Take a look at the LA Class newsletter, or Dialogue magazine.

    "Were it left to me to decide whether we should have a government without newspapers or newspapers without a government, I should not hesitate for a moment to prefer the latter." Thomas Jefferson

  • farhan

    Baquia wrote : a free press is vital to a healthy society and I would rather have one which bruises the sensitivities of the ignorant than one which serves the status quo.

    I would tend to agree with you, although the Faith being in a very sensitive stage of it’s emancipation, you will notice that many offensive sites are abundantly referring to documents provided by dissident Baha’i sources. I would tend to tell the truth to my patients, but I wait for the right time and situation to see how truth can help them instead of destroying them. God’s purpose will be done, but how much we suffer before we get there depends on our wisdom.

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/farhan farhan

    Baquia wrote : a free press is vital to a healthy society and I would rather have one which bruises the sensitivities of the ignorant than one which serves the status quo.

    I would tend to agree with you, although the Faith being in a very sensitive stage of it’s emancipation, you will notice that many offensive sites are abundantly referring to documents provided by dissident Baha’i sources. I would tend to tell the truth to my patients, but I wait for the right time and situation to see how truth can help them instead of destroying them. God’s purpose will be done, but how much we suffer before we get there depends on our wisdom.

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/Masud Masud

    Craig,

    That is only your opinion; success stories around the world are proof of the fact that Ruhi has been working. But of course there will always be naysayers out there. That doesn't mean they should be taken seriously though.

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/Masud Masud

    Craig,

    That is only your opinion; success stories around the world are proof of the fact that Ruhi has been working. But of course there will always be naysayers out there. That doesn't mean they should be taken seriously though.

  • Craig Parke

    Masud,

    I am very happy with the news about your family. My prayers are with them all. There should, indeed, be no prisoners of conscience anywhere on this Earth.

    Baha'u'llah's Teachings will eventually prevail in the world at the subconscious level most manifest in free thinkers. The liberating and empowering World Age will truly progress. But the Baha'i organization will not be a part of any of that progress. The Baha'i organization is too limited for those energies. It is very sad. But that is the way it went.

    I know of tribes in Central America that had many converts 30 years ago. The Baha'i organization over all this time did absolutely nothing for them. They will die in poverty. The Baha'i organization has no ability to effect sustained social change. You think it does. I don't after all these years of trying. After Ruhi collapses and a new set of lifetime incumbents take lifetime office wrapped in their lifetime ideological conceptions, it will be something else. A new Plan. A new Theory. A new system of NEWSPEAK. And a new system of NEWTHOUGHT. All at their command and/or whim.

    Meanwhile the entire World will have advanced on it's own completely independent from any Baha'is anywhere on Earth.

    The current economic situation is the cutting edge to the next planetary move. Where are the Baha'is on the needed machinery design for this? Nowhere to be found because we have no thinkers who can address anything because all ideas must get approval from the backward ,moribund, bureaucratic hack system even in the Internet Age! It is all far, far to slow. It completely discourages free and open independent investigation of truth.

    If you think some unauthorized thought in the Baha'i Faith someone will turn you in to your local ABM or AABM and you will be called in for questioning for thought crimes. Organizations like that will suffer loss of energy and die in the individual enabling power of the World Age.

    But other people are doing their homework and writing books while the Baha'is smoke their Ruhi books and inject them under the skin.

    This book will tell you the nature of the journey of ideas to future. Nothing the Baha'is have can touch the insight this writer has achieved. the future will come from books like this. Not from two page badly written platitude pontifications using Spell check and Grammar check in Microsoft Word from the UHJ. It is going to take far more thought than that. Those nine men are not intellectually up to it. The world will move on in the lights of other people's ideas. And example is this man:

    DOUGLAS RUSHKOFF – THE RETHINK OF WHERE WE ARE GOING
    "Life Incorporated: How A Business Plan Took Over The World, And How To Take It Back."
    by Douglas Rushkoff
    http://rushkoff.com/books/life-incorporated/
    http://rushkoff.com/2009/03/06/life-inc-please-pr
    (to be published June 2, 2009 by Random House)

    Douglas Rushkoff's Web Site
    http://rushkoff.com

    To use his paradigm, the Abrahamic religions were all "Religion Incorporated: How the Dysfunctional Self-Identity Issues of Impaired Desert Civilizations of the Middle East Took Over the Spiritual Thought of the World, And How To Take It Back..

    The hearts and minds of free peoples and free thinkers will now take it all back and shape the future of the World Age. Not a Theocracy of Dunces.

    The Baha'is are not up to it Masud so it is all going to other thinkers and other more inclusive spiritual movements. The 3,000 year old Middle East "Religion, Incorporated" scam is over. No more Chief Priests, Scribes, and Pharisees lording it over other people's hearts and minds..

    But I honestly and truly wish you and your family well.

  • Craig Parke

    Masud,

    I am very happy with the news about your family. My prayers are with them all. There should, indeed, be no prisoners of conscience anywhere on this Earth.

    Baha'u'llah's Teachings will eventually prevail in the world at the subconscious level most manifest in free thinkers. The liberating and empowering World Age will truly progress. But the Baha'i organization will not be a part of any of that progress. The Baha'i organization is too limited for those energies. It is very sad. But that is the way it went.

    I know of tribes in Central America that had many converts 30 years ago. The Baha'i organization over all this time did absolutely nothing for them. They will die in poverty. The Baha'i organization has no ability to effect sustained social change. You think it does. I don't after all these years of trying. After Ruhi collapses and a new set of lifetime incumbents take lifetime office wrapped in their lifetime ideological conceptions, it will be something else. A new Plan. A new Theory. A new system of NEWSPEAK. And a new system of NEWTHOUGHT. All at their command and/or whim.

    Meanwhile the entire World will have advanced on it's own completely independent from any Baha'is anywhere on Earth.

    The current economic situation is the cutting edge to the next planetary move. Where are the Baha'is on the needed machinery design for this? Nowhere to be found because we have no thinkers who can address anything because all ideas must get approval from the backward ,moribund, bureaucratic hack system even in the Internet Age! It is all far, far to slow. It completely discourages free and open independent investigation of truth.

    If you think some unauthorized thought in the Baha'i Faith someone will turn you in to your local ABM or AABM and you will be called in for questioning for thought crimes. Organizations like that will suffer loss of energy and die in the individual enabling power of the World Age.

    But other people are doing their homework and writing books while the Baha'is smoke their Ruhi books and inject them under the skin.

    This book will tell you the nature of the journey of ideas to future. Nothing the Baha'is have can touch the insight this writer has achieved. the future will come from books like this. Not from two page badly written platitude pontifications using Spell check and Grammar check in Microsoft Word from the UHJ. It is going to take far more thought than that. Those nine men are not intellectually up to it. The world will move on in the lights of other people's ideas. And example is this man:

    DOUGLAS RUSHKOFF – THE RETHINK OF WHERE WE ARE GOING
    "Life Incorporated: How A Business Plan Took Over The World, And How To Take It Back."
    by Douglas Rushkoff
    http://rushkoff.com/books/life-incorporated/
    http://rushkoff.com/2009/03/06/life-inc-please-pr
    (to be published June 2, 2009 by Random House)

    Douglas Rushkoff's Web Site
    http://rushkoff.com

    To use his paradigm, the Abrahamic religions were all "Religion Incorporated: How the Dysfunctional Self-Identity Issues of Impaired Desert Civilizations of the Middle East Took Over the Spiritual Thought of the World, And How To Take It Back..

    The hearts and minds of free peoples and free thinkers will now take it all back and shape the future of the World Age. Not a Theocracy of Dunces.

    The Baha'is are not up to it Masud so it is all going to other thinkers and other more inclusive spiritual movements. The 3,000 year old Middle East "Religion, Incorporated" scam is over. No more Chief Priests, Scribes, and Pharisees lording it over other people's hearts and minds..

    But I honestly and truly wish you and your family well.

  • http://www.intensedebate.com/people/SteveMarshall SteveMarshall

    Hi Masud,

    There have certainly been anecdotal accounts of the success of Ruhi around the world. However, most of what I've read merely indicates that direct teaching efforts, in what I would call needy communities, result in immediate declarations. The Baha'is experienced large-scale enrollments a few decades ago, and apparently halted the process because of retention issues.

    Well, apparently, first-year retention rates are still a problem. I understand that only 1 in 5 believers complete Book 1 (click on "Vision for the Future.pdf) or cut to the chase.

    For Ruhi to "work" I really do think the retention problem needs to be addressed. Do you have success stories from around the world about that?

  • http://www.intensedebate.com/people/SteveMarshall SteveMarshall

    Hi Masud,

    There have certainly been anecdotal accounts of the success of Ruhi around the world. However, most of what I've read merely indicates that direct teaching efforts, in what I would call needy communities, result in immediate declarations. The Baha'is experienced large-scale enrollments a few decades ago, and apparently halted the process because of retention issues.

    Well, apparently, first-year retention rates are still a problem. I understand that only 1 in 5 believers complete Book 1 (click on "Vision for the Future.pdf) or cut to the chase.

    For Ruhi to "work" I really do think the retention problem needs to be addressed. Do you have success stories from around the world about that?

  • Grover

    Wow, that "Vision for the Future" looked like some horrifying Amway recruitment drive.

    Those stats were quite revealing – only 10% of Baha'is actually doing anything – and as you said, 1 in 5 new Baha'is finishing book 1. They don't give any statistics as to what percentage of non-Baha'is doing Ruhi actually finish book 1. In my community before I retired, only 2 in 8 non-Baha'is had completed book 1. As far as I know, the others had their faith in their old religions reaffirmed, i.e. Ruhi confirmed that the Baha'i Faith wasn't for them.

    The stats reads as follows:

    90% of Baha'is are inactive or don't give a damn about the 5 year plan and Ruhi.

    80% of new Baha'is hate Ruhi.

    Quite telling really. Now who thinks the 5 year plans have been successful? Farhan?

  • Grover

    Wow, that "Vision for the Future" looked like some horrifying Amway recruitment drive.

    Those stats were quite revealing – only 10% of Baha'is actually doing anything – and as you said, 1 in 5 new Baha'is finishing book 1. They don't give any statistics as to what percentage of non-Baha'is doing Ruhi actually finish book 1. In my community before I retired, only 2 in 8 non-Baha'is had completed book 1. As far as I know, the others had their faith in their old religions reaffirmed, i.e. Ruhi confirmed that the Baha'i Faith wasn't for them.

    The stats reads as follows:

    90% of Baha'is are inactive or don't give a damn about the 5 year plan and Ruhi.

    80% of new Baha'is hate Ruhi.

    Quite telling really. Now who thinks the 5 year plans have been successful? Farhan?

  • farhan

    Grover wrote: Now who thinks the 5 year plans have been successful? Farhan?

    Oh yes, Groves, fantastically successful, wherever I have been, and especially so right now in France or in Switzerland where you are welcome as my guest. Ruhi is sure “not for us” but for the millions who want to get up straight away and do something about their neighbourhood. As Abdu’l-Baha said, we have the “flowers of one garden” Baha’is, who are consumers of spirituality, and the “rays of one sun” who are vehicles of spirituality; there is a dramatic rise in this other category, including a vast proportion of non Baha’is who adopt and apply Baha’i principles to their lives. The future of humanity is in god’s hands, not ours; we are mere vehicles.

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/farhan farhan

    Grover wrote: Now who thinks the 5 year plans have been successful? Farhan?

    Oh yes, Groves, fantastically successful, wherever I have been, and especially so right now in France or in Switzerland where you are welcome as my guest. Ruhi is sure “not for us” but for the millions who want to get up straight away and do something about their neighbourhood. As Abdu’l-Baha said, we have the “flowers of one garden” Baha’is, who are consumers of spirituality, and the “rays of one sun” who are vehicles of spirituality; there is a dramatic rise in this other category, including a vast proportion of non Baha’is who adopt and apply Baha’i principles to their lives. The future of humanity is in god’s hands, not ours; we are mere vehicles.

  • farhan

    Steve wrote : There have certainly been anecdotal accounts of the success of Ruhi around the world. However, most of what I've read merely indicates that direct teaching efforts, in what I would call needy communities, result in immediate declarations.

    Steve there have been anecdotal accounts of misunderstanding or of misuse of Ruhi. The specific quality of the Institute is that it produces sustainable communities at grass roots as compared to those mass declarations 20 years ago, with no communities to cater for new comers. They now come in and immediately organise children’s classes, devotionals, junior youth sessions, study circles and regular reflection meetings that enhance their own cultural wealth and SED projects, instead of making them dependant on paternalistic outside help.

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/farhan farhan

    Steve wrote : There have certainly been anecdotal accounts of the success of Ruhi around the world. However, most of what I've read merely indicates that direct teaching efforts, in what I would call needy communities, result in immediate declarations.

    Steve there have been anecdotal accounts of misunderstanding or of misuse of Ruhi. The specific quality of the Institute is that it produces sustainable communities at grass roots as compared to those mass declarations 20 years ago, with no communities to cater for new comers. They now come in and immediately organise children’s classes, devotionals, junior youth sessions, study circles and regular reflection meetings that enhance their own cultural wealth and SED projects, instead of making them dependant on paternalistic outside help.

  • farhan

    Pey wrote : The only difference, YOUR view is bolstered as the norm in the community. Ours has to be kept hidden online for people to read. ALL of our views should equally be expressed INSIDE the Bahai community. Ishallah!

    I agree with you Pey, sorry to have missed this pertinent remark; this is one inconvenience of a democratic rule: the majority can crush the minority which according to Baha’i principles, needs protection. It so happens that your views happen to be a minority view, and unable to obtain support within the community, you feel rejected and reduced to expressing it outside.

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/farhan farhan

    Pey wrote : The only difference, YOUR view is bolstered as the norm in the community. Ours has to be kept hidden online for people to read. ALL of our views should equally be expressed INSIDE the Bahai community. Ishallah!

    I agree with you Pey, sorry to have missed this pertinent remark; this is one inconvenience of a democratic rule: the majority can crush the minority which according to Baha’i principles, needs protection. It so happens that your views happen to be a minority view, and unable to obtain support within the community, you feel rejected and reduced to expressing it outside.

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/Masud Masud

    HI Steve,

    Farhan basically answered for me, but yes, there are many examples in Western Europe with high retention rates: Paris, London, Basel, et al. One just has to look for them, Steve, and not view every event through the prism of cynicism and skepticism.

    I've had issues with Ruhi in the past, but I'm realizing that it's a response to the diversity in the world; deepenings, for example, are not for everyone, though they're probably one of the most interesting gatherings in my opinion (second only to one-on-one discussions about the Faith with my friends)

    If Ruhi is not for you, fine, but that doesn't mean that it's a symptom of "dysfunctionality" or anything of the sort.

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/Masud Masud

    HI Steve,

    Farhan basically answered for me, but yes, there are many examples in Western Europe with high retention rates: Paris, London, Basel, et al. One just has to look for them, Steve, and not view every event through the prism of cynicism and skepticism.

    I've had issues with Ruhi in the past, but I'm realizing that it's a response to the diversity in the world; deepenings, for example, are not for everyone, though they're probably one of the most interesting gatherings in my opinion (second only to one-on-one discussions about the Faith with my friends)

    If Ruhi is not for you, fine, but that doesn't mean that it's a symptom of "dysfunctionality" or anything of the sort.

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/Masud Masud

    Thank you for your kind words Craig,

    I disagree with your position, but I respect it; I will look into that book; I had heard of Rushkoff as some kind of a cyberspace expert or something like that. It is unfair to say "The Baha'i organization over all this time did absolutely nothing for them. They will die in poverty."

    I know of those communities; during my time in Ecuador, I knew many people serving the Faith in Central America, and I don't think it's fair to downplay their efforts. Additionally, you speak of the Baha'i community as if we're "Habitat for Humanity". We're not.

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/Masud Masud

    Thank you for your kind words Craig,

    I disagree with your position, but I respect it; I will look into that book; I had heard of Rushkoff as some kind of a cyberspace expert or something like that. It is unfair to say "The Baha'i organization over all this time did absolutely nothing for them. They will die in poverty."

    I know of those communities; during my time in Ecuador, I knew many people serving the Faith in Central America, and I don't think it's fair to downplay their efforts. Additionally, you speak of the Baha'i community as if we're "Habitat for Humanity". We're not.

  • pey

    Actually, I don't feel rejected because I can't get support. I feel rejected because I can't even bring up the topics without someone intervening and shoving quotes down our throats. Then getting a call from the LSA to have a "consultation" with me. The chance of even letting others express their views that happen to agree with some of us on here is taken away before it even has a chance. What happens is that most people who have diverging views (like me) just end up leaving the community. Either officialliy resigning or just remaining inactive, or worse case scenario getting kicked out by the powers that be. The majority hasn't crushed the minority Farhan. A vocal minority is making sure that only one view is heard. The rest, unorganized, just leave.

  • pey

    Actually, I don't feel rejected because I can't get support. I feel rejected because I can't even bring up the topics without someone intervening and shoving quotes down our throats. Then getting a call from the LSA to have a "consultation" with me. The chance of even letting others express their views that happen to agree with some of us on here is taken away before it even has a chance. What happens is that most people who have diverging views (like me) just end up leaving the community. Either officialliy resigning or just remaining inactive, or worse case scenario getting kicked out by the powers that be. The majority hasn't crushed the minority Farhan. A vocal minority is making sure that only one view is heard. The rest, unorganized, just leave.

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/SteveMarshall SteveMarshall

    Thanks Masud,

    Actually, I don't think Farhan even read my post before launching his PR Baha'i-speak that completely missed the point.

    What is the retention rate in Western Europe? I've been looking for those figures – any figures. It's great that you apparently have access to them.

    As for "dysfunctionality" — I don't believe I've ever used the word. Perhaps you're thinking of someone else.

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/SteveMarshall SteveMarshall

    Thanks Masud,

    Actually, I don't think Farhan even read my post before launching his PR Baha'i-speak that completely missed the point.

    What is the retention rate in Western Europe? I've been looking for those figures – any figures. It's great that you apparently have access to them.

    As for "dysfunctionality" — I don't believe I've ever used the word. Perhaps you're thinking of someone else.

  • farhan

    Dearest Craig, I agree with much of what you say ; Baha'u'llah's teachings will prevail in the world, and the Baha'i organization will be the mere instrument for conveying those redeeming teachings, in their purest form, to the world.

    The Baha'i organization is indeed limited, but capable of enkindling those spiritual energies in the heart of humanity through those teachings. This is not sad but most exalting. The Baha'i organization has no ability to effect sustained social change, but the teachings have the potentiality to help people help themselves, ultimate victory being that of God and not ours.

    Craig wrote: The 3,000 year old Middle East “Religion, Incorporated” scam is over. No more Chief Priests, Scribes, and Pharisees lording it over other people’s hearts and minds..

    Yes, Craig, here is what Abdu’l-Baha said about these power-seeking attitudes that will be banished in this dispensation:
    The Master again spoke on the subject of the spiritual illness and self-serving motives of the heads of various religions. One of the friends asked Him about the leaders and Hands of the Cause in this Dispensation. He said: (end part 1)

    (part 2)?…. The Hands of the Cause in this dispensation are not heirs to any name or title; rather, they are sanctified souls, the rays of whose holiness and spirituality throw light on the hearts of all…. `Hand of the Cause’ is not a title that may be awarded to whomever it may please to have it, nor is it a chair of honor upon which whoever wishes may sit…. whomsoever is the servant and promoter of the Word of God, he is the hand of God. The object is a matter of the spirit and not one of letters or words. The more self-effacing one is, the more assisted he is in the Cause of God; and the more meek and humble, the nearer he is to God.? Mahmoud’s Diary, Tuesday, April 2, 1912 [aboard the Cedric]

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/farhan farhan

    Dearest Craig, I agree with much of what you say ; Baha'u'llah's teachings will prevail in the world, and the Baha'i organization will be the mere instrument for conveying those redeeming teachings, in their purest form, to the world.

    The Baha'i organization is indeed limited, but capable of enkindling those spiritual energies in the heart of humanity through those teachings. This is not sad but most exalting. The Baha'i organization has no ability to effect sustained social change, but the teachings have the potentiality to help people help themselves, ultimate victory being that of God and not ours.

    Craig wrote: The 3,000 year old Middle East “Religion, Incorporated” scam is over. No more Chief Priests, Scribes, and Pharisees lording it over other people’s hearts and minds..

    Yes, Craig, here is what Abdu’l-Baha said about these power-seeking attitudes that will be banished in this dispensation:
    The Master again spoke on the subject of the spiritual illness and self-serving motives of the heads of various religions. One of the friends asked Him about the leaders and Hands of the Cause in this Dispensation. He said: (end part 1)

    (part 2)?…. The Hands of the Cause in this dispensation are not heirs to any name or title; rather, they are sanctified souls, the rays of whose holiness and spirituality throw light on the hearts of all…. `Hand of the Cause’ is not a title that may be awarded to whomever it may please to have it, nor is it a chair of honor upon which whoever wishes may sit…. whomsoever is the servant and promoter of the Word of God, he is the hand of God. The object is a matter of the spirit and not one of letters or words. The more self-effacing one is, the more assisted he is in the Cause of God; and the more meek and humble, the nearer he is to God.? Mahmoud’s Diary, Tuesday, April 2, 1912 [aboard the Cedric]

  • pey

    Depends on the community Farhan. There would be some I know (Sonja's for example) that would be more than happy to accept gays, free-thinkers, feminists, etc etc. And then I'm sure there are others that are more Taliban like. And I guess the only choice we have is what you offered, get up and go somewhere else and hope you are lucky enough to find a commuity made up of more open-minded people. But even in those, there is always that one person who is ready to turn in people if the rest of the flock doesn't follow their way.

  • pey

    Depends on the community Farhan. There would be some I know (Sonja's for example) that would be more than happy to accept gays, free-thinkers, feminists, etc etc. And then I'm sure there are others that are more Taliban like. And I guess the only choice we have is what you offered, get up and go somewhere else and hope you are lucky enough to find a commuity made up of more open-minded people. But even in those, there is always that one person who is ready to turn in people if the rest of the flock doesn't follow their way.

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/Masud Masud

    pey,

    Do you honestly expect to be taken seriously when you use adjectives such as "Taliban-like" to describe your co-religionists who disagree with your viewpoint? It's almost as if that argument is self-discrediting.

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/Masud Masud

    pey,

    Do you honestly expect to be taken seriously when you use adjectives such as "Taliban-like" to describe your co-religionists who disagree with your viewpoint? It's almost as if that argument is self-discrediting.

  • farhan

    Pey wrote: And I guess the only choice we have is what you offered, get up and go somewhere else and hope you are lucky enough to find a commuity made up of more open-minded people

    Pey, I more specially suggested full participations in all core activities, open to all, which would allow the more “prude” participants get to know and appreciate you better and your kids to benefit from the community. I speak of “going somewhere else” when we need to avoid conflict with a social group which we are unable to influence; I would be happy to learn more of Sonja’s exemple.

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/farhan farhan

    Pey wrote: And I guess the only choice we have is what you offered, get up and go somewhere else and hope you are lucky enough to find a commuity made up of more open-minded people

    Pey, I more specially suggested full participations in all core activities, open to all, which would allow the more “prude” participants get to know and appreciate you better and your kids to benefit from the community. I speak of “going somewhere else” when we need to avoid conflict with a social group which we are unable to influence; I would be happy to learn more of Sonja’s exemple.

  • pey

    Well what would you call someone Masud who would for instance go running to an ABM to turn in someone who they feel is espousing controversials thought inside the community? I knew a gay Iranian Bahai (who happened to be a great teacher and speaker in the community) who was petrified of anyone ever finding out because he told me how certain individuals would love to use it against him. So yeah Masud, I do honestly expect to be taken seriously. I know the degrees of punishment inside the Bahai community is very different from that of the IRI or the Taliban, but nonetheless the same type of control using fear exists. Sorry to burst your bubble!

  • pey

    Well what would you call someone Masud who would for instance go running to an ABM to turn in someone who they feel is espousing controversials thought inside the community? I knew a gay Iranian Bahai (who happened to be a great teacher and speaker in the community) who was petrified of anyone ever finding out because he told me how certain individuals would love to use it against him. So yeah Masud, I do honestly expect to be taken seriously. I know the degrees of punishment inside the Bahai community is very different from that of the IRI or the Taliban, but nonetheless the same type of control using fear exists. Sorry to burst your bubble!

  • pey

    And Masud, I have no problem with someone disagreeing. I want the Bahai community to be open to ALL of humanity. I have said this a million times. But unfortunately, there are more conservative minded Bahais who can't stand the thought of someone like me or Steve or Baquia opening our mouths inside the community. That is the reality that I have seen.

  • pey

    And Masud, I have no problem with someone disagreeing. I want the Bahai community to be open to ALL of humanity. I have said this a million times. But unfortunately, there are more conservative minded Bahais who can't stand the thought of someone like me or Steve or Baquia opening our mouths inside the community. That is the reality that I have seen.

  • farhan

    Pey wrote: The majority hasn't crushed the minority Farhan. A vocal minority is making sure that only one view is heard.

    Pey, If the UHJ made the unlikely move to organise a poll, what percentage of the Baha'i community would in your estimation be favourable to the liberalisation of gay relations or gay marriages?

  • http://www.intensedebate.com/people/farhan farhan

    Pey wrote: The majority hasn't crushed the minority Farhan. A vocal minority is making sure that only one view is heard.

    Pey, If the UHJ made the unlikely move to organise a poll, what percentage of the Baha'i community would in your estimation be favourable to the liberalisation of gay relations or gay marriages?

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/Masud Masud

    I would call that person someone who is genuinely concerned that the "controversial" thoughts might be acted upon, and if those actions could foreseeably cause significant disunity within the community or worse, flagrantly and openly dismiss the institutions (I’m not talking about independent investigation of truth; I’m talking about flat-out undermining the authority of the institutions) then actions can be taken, IN ACCORDANCE with the law. Having said that, I wouldn’t encourage that kind of behavior.

    What you call “control using fear”, I call the rule of law. And there is nothing wrong with the fear of breaking a law; it’s called Conditioning (i.e. reward and punishment) Of course, we should follow Baha’u’llah’s Commandments for love of His Beauty, but that does not equate to anarchy.

    Well, I would certainly welcome you, Bacquia, Steve, and other self-declared “free-thinkers” to open your mouth as often as you wish in my community, as long as the discussions are held in an atmosphere of mutual respect. I’m a proponent of free-speech, and even when it comes to hate speech, I tend to base my conclusions on the old adage “Sunlight is the best disinfectant”.

    There are certainly some taboos that deserve more discussion within many Baha’i communities, (e.g. Homosexuality) but that is something that I think will be addressed progressively. It cannot be addressed overnight and CERTAINLY can’t be imposed.

    However, we must be constantly reminded of this passage in one of Baha’u’llah’s Tablets:

    “Not everything that a man knoweth can be disclosed, nor can everything that he can disclose be regarded as timely, nor can every timely utterance be considered as suited to the capacity of those who hear it.”

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/Masud Masud

    I would call that person someone who is genuinely concerned that the "controversial" thoughts might be acted upon, and if those actions could foreseeably cause significant disunity within the community or worse, flagrantly and openly dismiss the institutions (I’m not talking about independent investigation of truth; I’m talking about flat-out undermining the authority of the institutions) then actions can be taken, IN ACCORDANCE with the law. Having said that, I wouldn’t encourage that kind of behavior.

    What you call “control using fear”, I call the rule of law. And there is nothing wrong with the fear of breaking a law; it’s called Conditioning (i.e. reward and punishment) Of course, we should follow Baha’u’llah’s Commandments for love of His Beauty, but that does not equate to anarchy.

    Well, I would certainly welcome you, Bacquia, Steve, and other self-declared “free-thinkers” to open your mouth as often as you wish in my community, as long as the discussions are held in an atmosphere of mutual respect. I’m a proponent of free-speech, and even when it comes to hate speech, I tend to base my conclusions on the old adage “Sunlight is the best disinfectant”.

    There are certainly some taboos that deserve more discussion within many Baha’i communities, (e.g. Homosexuality) but that is something that I think will be addressed progressively. It cannot be addressed overnight and CERTAINLY can’t be imposed.

    However, we must be constantly reminded of this passage in one of Baha’u’llah’s Tablets:

    “Not everything that a man knoweth can be disclosed, nor can everything that he can disclose be regarded as timely, nor can every timely utterance be considered as suited to the capacity of those who hear it.”

  • pey

    But Masud do you see what you just did? I certainly would not be welcome to discuss anything in your community because I know how you would react. You just did it. The knee-jerk reaction to protecting unity. Seriously Masud, how do you expect free thought and open discussion in THAT kind of atmosphere- that yes is filled with fear. Fear created by the more conservative minded folks in the community (and yep YOU are one of them). But don't worry, no one is going to disrupt your "unity'. Most of us just get and leave than to live in that kind of unhealthy environment. Unfortunately, that is a loss for the Bahai community.
    And ps: my sexuality is NOT a taboo. It is part of how God has made me. I don’t walk around eggshells about it with my friends, my straight roommate, my co-workers etc. so I certainly would not inside the Bahai community. So I stay away because it is NOT a healthy environment for many- not just gays.
    Here Masud. You may want to read this article
    She is yet another person who had problems inside the Bahai community. Pay attention to the fears she felt about trying to question while inside the Bahai community. It's real Masud.

  • pey

    But Masud do you see what you just did? I certainly would not be welcome to discuss anything in your community because I know how you would react. You just did it. The knee-jerk reaction to protecting unity. Seriously Masud, how do you expect free thought and open discussion in THAT kind of atmosphere- that yes is filled with fear. Fear created by the more conservative minded folks in the community (and yep YOU are one of them). But don't worry, no one is going to disrupt your "unity'. Most of us just get and leave than to live in that kind of unhealthy environment. Unfortunately, that is a loss for the Bahai community.
    And ps: my sexuality is NOT a taboo. It is part of how God has made me. I don’t walk around eggshells about it with my friends, my straight roommate, my co-workers etc. so I certainly would not inside the Bahai community. So I stay away because it is NOT a healthy environment for many- not just gays.
    Here Masud. You may want to read this article
    She is yet another person who had problems inside the Bahai community. Pay attention to the fears she felt about trying to question while inside the Bahai community. It's real Masud.

  • farhan

    I agree fully with you Masud ; also, we should remember that the Baha’i Faith is a spiritual and mystic enterprise, and not a mere club or an association. We are brought together around a belief that a supernatural source is intervening to guide and assist humanity and we wish to act as pure channels through which this love, unaltered by our ego, can reach out to all humanity. If we do not share and foster this belief through prayer and meditation, we are excluding ourselves internally and not merely as active members of a community to which we wish to belong.

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/farhan farhan

    I agree fully with you Masud ; also, we should remember that the Baha’i Faith is a spiritual and mystic enterprise, and not a mere club or an association. We are brought together around a belief that a supernatural source is intervening to guide and assist humanity and we wish to act as pure channels through which this love, unaltered by our ego, can reach out to all humanity. If we do not share and foster this belief through prayer and meditation, we are excluding ourselves internally and not merely as active members of a community to which we wish to belong.

  • farhan

    Pey wrote: But don't worry, no one is going to disrupt your "unity'. Most of us just get and leave than to live in that kind of unhealthy environment

    Pey, your point is interesting: it boils down to saying: where are the outer limits between unity without diversity (uniformity) and diversity without unity (chaos)? On one side, too much conformism, stagnation, and on the other side, too much liberty, individualism and lawlessness. Where is the mean way? When there is diversity of opinions within the community, how do we settle it? Consultation, and if we find no issue, arbitration by the institutions. Once we have had arbitration, we all abide by that decision. Those reject the arbitration, who have been unable to convince the others, comply or leave. What other solution do you suggest?

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/farhan farhan

    Pey wrote: But don't worry, no one is going to disrupt your "unity'. Most of us just get and leave than to live in that kind of unhealthy environment

    Pey, your point is interesting: it boils down to saying: where are the outer limits between unity without diversity (uniformity) and diversity without unity (chaos)? On one side, too much conformism, stagnation, and on the other side, too much liberty, individualism and lawlessness. Where is the mean way? When there is diversity of opinions within the community, how do we settle it? Consultation, and if we find no issue, arbitration by the institutions. Once we have had arbitration, we all abide by that decision. Those reject the arbitration, who have been unable to convince the others, comply or leave. What other solution do you suggest?

  • pey

    Right now all there is is strict uniformity. Did you read the link to Karen's essay? In it she explains what many of us feel- fear. Fear of opening our mouths and saying anything for being labeled CB's, getting a scolding from an LSA, and basically be shunned. I know I never felt comfortable brining up 95% of the topics discussed on rants. That is why it is so refreshing to finally see it somewhere- and from a fellow Bahai. But a Bahai, who also has to be anonymous in order to have this site. Pretty sad, don't you think? So my solution is stop creating that unhealthy environment that auto-censors people. Dont' worry until you actually see someone setting up a seperate LSA and telling people to join his version of the Bahai Faith. Then you need to worry and yes kick that person out. I totally agree in that regard. Same as the Catholic church. The vatican almost never steps in unless a renegade priest is bascially setting up his own church. Otherwise, there is a WIDE variety of worship at the grass roots level among Catholics. And in many of their congregations they are able to freely express their views way more than in any Bahai consultation that I have seen.

  • pey

    Right now all there is is strict uniformity. Did you read the link to Karen's essay? In it she explains what many of us feel- fear. Fear of opening our mouths and saying anything for being labeled CB's, getting a scolding from an LSA, and basically be shunned. I know I never felt comfortable brining up 95% of the topics discussed on rants. That is why it is so refreshing to finally see it somewhere- and from a fellow Bahai. But a Bahai, who also has to be anonymous in order to have this site. Pretty sad, don't you think? So my solution is stop creating that unhealthy environment that auto-censors people. Dont' worry until you actually see someone setting up a seperate LSA and telling people to join his version of the Bahai Faith. Then you need to worry and yes kick that person out. I totally agree in that regard. Same as the Catholic church. The vatican almost never steps in unless a renegade priest is bascially setting up his own church. Otherwise, there is a WIDE variety of worship at the grass roots level among Catholics. And in many of their congregations they are able to freely express their views way more than in any Bahai consultation that I have seen.

  • farhan

    Pey wrote : So my solution is stop creating that unhealthy environment that auto-censors people. Dont' worry until you actually see someone setting up a seperate LSA and telling people to join his version of the Bahai Faith.

    Pey, I must admit that I have occasionally seen people behaving as you describe, but never institutions functioning that way and in any case, I have always felt that the Faith was supporting me, and not in need of my guidance and support, humanity needing God’s help, and not God in need of humanity’s help. Reading you, I feel as though you are carrying the responsibility of the Faith on your shoulders, and not as if you considered the Faith as supporting you.

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/farhan farhan

    Pey wrote : So my solution is stop creating that unhealthy environment that auto-censors people. Dont' worry until you actually see someone setting up a seperate LSA and telling people to join his version of the Bahai Faith.

    Pey, I must admit that I have occasionally seen people behaving as you describe, but never institutions functioning that way and in any case, I have always felt that the Faith was supporting me, and not in need of my guidance and support, humanity needing God’s help, and not God in need of humanity’s help. Reading you, I feel as though you are carrying the responsibility of the Faith on your shoulders, and not as if you considered the Faith as supporting you.

  • pey

    First define "the Faith". If by faith you mean the words of Bahaullah- then it supports all of us, or else we wouldn't be here. If you mean the Bahai community and it's institutions, obviously it is not supporting all of us. It supports those who keep the party line. But maybe I will experiment one day farhan. If I get the opportunity to go to a Bahai function anytime soon, maybe I'll just bring up all the uncomfortable topics and lets see what happens. Who knows? Maybe the majority in the community will go "yeah you know women should be on the UHJ, why aren't we letting gay couples in?, I'd like to see more open discussion about the trure history of the Faith, and why don't we start deepening on some of those yet offcially translated texts that have already been translated…" maybe it would actually be a cool community to be a part of. But more than likely I'll get a call by the local LSA….

  • pey

    First define "the Faith". If by faith you mean the words of Bahaullah- then it supports all of us, or else we wouldn't be here. If you mean the Bahai community and it's institutions, obviously it is not supporting all of us. It supports those who keep the party line. But maybe I will experiment one day farhan. If I get the opportunity to go to a Bahai function anytime soon, maybe I'll just bring up all the uncomfortable topics and lets see what happens. Who knows? Maybe the majority in the community will go "yeah you know women should be on the UHJ, why aren't we letting gay couples in?, I'd like to see more open discussion about the trure history of the Faith, and why don't we start deepening on some of those yet offcially translated texts that have already been translated…" maybe it would actually be a cool community to be a part of. But more than likely I'll get a call by the local LSA….

  • farhan

    Pey wrote: Maybe the majority in the community will go "yeah you know women should be on the UHJ, why aren't we letting gay couples in?

    Pey it is interesting to see how our vision of the Faith differs: in my understanding, God’s message has been put into action through the central figures of the faith and now through the UHJ under God’s protection. This is a belief shared by Baha’is like myself. Reading you, I feel as if you are suggesting things have gone wrong with God’s plan and that a majority of Baha’is are prevented from expressing their views, and that you are eager to salvage God’s plan. I feel in need of God’s help, you seem to believe that God needs the help of those who are unable to have their view accepted.

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/farhan farhan

    Pey wrote: Maybe the majority in the community will go "yeah you know women should be on the UHJ, why aren't we letting gay couples in?

    Pey it is interesting to see how our vision of the Faith differs: in my understanding, God’s message has been put into action through the central figures of the faith and now through the UHJ under God’s protection. This is a belief shared by Baha’is like myself. Reading you, I feel as if you are suggesting things have gone wrong with God’s plan and that a majority of Baha’is are prevented from expressing their views, and that you are eager to salvage God’s plan. I feel in need of God’s help, you seem to believe that God needs the help of those who are unable to have their view accepted.

  • pey

    Yeah it is interesting that your vision means the Bahai community is supposed to be a place of strict adherence to dogma vs. open discussion and more emphasis and that thing called consultation. But somehow consultation now means group thought. So yes, our visions differs a lot, .

  • pey

    Yeah it is interesting that your vision means the Bahai community is supposed to be a place of strict adherence to dogma vs. open discussion and more emphasis and that thing called consultation. But somehow consultation now means group thought. So yes, our visions differs a lot, .

  • farhan

    Pey wrote: your vision means the Bahai community is supposed to be a place of strict adherence to dogma vs. open discussion and more emphasis and that thing called consultation

    Not really, Pey; this is belief and not strict adherence to a dogma. The letters of the living believed in the Bab, they did not force themselves into a blind dogma vs open discussion. When you love someone, you do not force yourself, and you don’t need to consult: it just overcomes you and you experience it. Consultation and comprehension are the next step when you wish to put that love into action. You know the person, you love the person, and then you meditate and consult on how to best serve him. Once I have recognised the station of the UHJ as the supreme arbitrator, I try to see how I can best serve, and I do not need to consult to see if they are right or wrong, unless I feel myself in a position to guide the arbitrator.

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/farhan farhan

    Pey wrote: your vision means the Bahai community is supposed to be a place of strict adherence to dogma vs. open discussion and more emphasis and that thing called consultation

    Not really, Pey; this is belief and not strict adherence to a dogma. The letters of the living believed in the Bab, they did not force themselves into a blind dogma vs open discussion. When you love someone, you do not force yourself, and you don’t need to consult: it just overcomes you and you experience it. Consultation and comprehension are the next step when you wish to put that love into action. You know the person, you love the person, and then you meditate and consult on how to best serve him. Once I have recognised the station of the UHJ as the supreme arbitrator, I try to see how I can best serve, and I do not need to consult to see if they are right or wrong, unless I feel myself in a position to guide the arbitrator.

  • http://www.intensedebate.com/people/SteveMarshall SteveMarshall

    Hi Pey,

    you wrote:
    If you mean the Bahai community and it's institutions, obviously it is not supporting all of us. It supports those who keep the party line.

    Great point. Check out Mona Shomali's painting Fear of Choice and the article about her at Payvand.

    I get the feeling she's saying:

    "Freedom is not freedom if only those that agree with those in power are free"

    I wonder what life experiences Mona drew on to make "Fear of Choice".

  • http://www.intensedebate.com/people/SteveMarshall SteveMarshall

    Hi Pey,

    you wrote:
    If you mean the Bahai community and it's institutions, obviously it is not supporting all of us. It supports those who keep the party line.

    Great point. Check out Mona Shomali's painting Fear of Choice and the article about her at Payvand.

    I get the feeling she's saying:

    "Freedom is not freedom if only those that agree with those in power are free"

    I wonder what life experiences Mona drew on to make "Fear of Choice".

  • fubar

    A small, but telling anecdote from someone that was in the the LA Study Class circle:

    ……

    But first, some background.

    Back in the late 70s in california, there was a clash between the new, counterculture/ progressive/academic/liberal bahais and some "conservative" elements in the community and administration. In southern california – Los Angeles (LA) people descended from "important" bahais, such as HoCs, etc., made a point of attacking nonconformists and making them into scapegoats.

    In the San Francisco area – northern california, no major development of a dynamic bahai culture ever really happened, which is very odd given the long history of multiculturalism, east-west influences in art and intellectual life, vibrant social justice causes that have wide support in the overall population, and so forth.

    It almost seems like some kind of plan was acted out to keep such dynamic influences out of the bahai community in order to MAINTAIN PURITY. (Craig can probably address this "purity" archetype, otherwise I will later upon request.)

    Odd stories about "uppity" people being hounded out of the community when they contradicted some ego-inflated "big wig" and refused to back down, leaked out for many years. In some cases, the people whose lives were wrecked themselves later rose to power again, and trashed other people in the same way they had been trashed decads before. This bespeaks an ingrained pattern of dysfunctionality wiithin the organizational culture that became "normative".

    One bahai professor of sociology once told me, when discussing this dysfunctional pattern, that “a good sociologist could see what is wrong with bahais within 15 minutes of going to a typical bahai meeting anywhere”.

    And of course anyone that was around for 20 or 30 years, who asked “difficult questions” about “what really goes on in the community”, eventually started finding out about the INGRAINED PATTERN of conformism and the related PATTERN OF ADMINISTRATIVE ABUSES that took place over decades in order to MAINTAIN PURITY.

    Make no mistake, when “conformist” bahais such as farhan/masud spout flowery language about “unity”, what they “really” mean is PURITY.

    And as any brief examination of human history shows, purity cults always turn FASCIST:

    Tribal “group think” takes root, thought policing develops, a normative form of organization culture becomes privileged, nonconformists become increasingly subject to pressure to stop “thinking differently”, and so forth.
    The vast majority of people I’ve known in bahai for 30+ years that can still think objectively have almost universally gone through at least one major “crisis” about the flimsy, dysfunctional nature of bahai culture. Most of the “complaint” is about how after years of overlooking “problems” because of “unity” or the hope that some “social change” agenda would produce enough good to somehow outweigh the bad stuff, people realize that things not only very rarely actually result in any “real” social change as a result of bahai “activity”, the “problems” have gotten worse, and the “unity” is really “false unity”.

    One independent (non-party-line) bahai scholar (from an “important” old bahai family) stated on the talisman/irfan email list back in the 90s that the Iranian NSA’s attacks, permitted by SE, on Mazandarani’s historical work, “was the beginning of bahai fundamentalism”.

    So much for the theory of “checks and balances” if a Guardian was still alive.

    (History has disregarded the idea that some kind of royalty will exert a beneficial influence on democratic governance.)
    Please note that the Mazabdarani incident closely, if not precisely, correlates with specific historical circumstances that propelled islamic (middle eastern) culture in general in a “fundamentalist” direction: the adoption of “western” technocratic paradigms by people in islamic culture. Christian westerners had the same phenomena: religious people who became scientists/engineers “invented” christian fundamentalism.

    Weird?

    Perhaps as some theologians have stated, the tendency toward “literal inerrancy” and other related patterns within fundamentalism are simply the result of people that like the “simple beauty of reading instruction manuals” (engineers), who were resistant to “classic liberal education”, and failed to understand the nature of metaphor in human consciousness.

    Anways, back to the anecdote from a LA Study Class participant:

    Some of the “conservative” bahais, who were elevated in power and/or prestige, made a point of accusing people (hippy/counterculture types) that were taking YOGA classes, of “indulging in dangerous occult mysticism”.

    Yes, the “leaders” thought YOGA was “OCCULT”. Yoga was full of potentially evil ideas.

    This kind of complete absurdity was VERY COMMON. It established a DISUNIFYING pattern of “in group / out group” thinking. It was INTOLERANT. It was dismissive of any meaningful sense of “diversity”.

    The people that indulged in such sillyness were simply protecting their little perches in the inherited bahai hierarchy, which in their PARADIGM-REGRESSIVE mindset was some kind of medieval camelot replete with (self-appointed, rump) bahai royalty.

    “Big fish, small pond” stuff at its worst.

    Example: the high-society feminists that “took over” the Chicago Temple group and marginalized working-class male leaders on the way to forming the early NSA and moving the house of worship away from work class neighborhoods were appallingly ELITIST in their agenda. This, and other similar incidents, set a pattern in which working class issues and social/racial justice issues were marginalized by the (self-appointed) “bahai royalty” who created the AO in the USA!

    IT REALLY IS THAT SIMPLE SOMETIMES FOLKS.

    The attacks that various people in the “bahai royalty” made on the leaders of the “Race Amity” movement in the bahai community are well known. HoC Louis Gregory, praise be upon his luminous, blessed soul, was the most egregious example of how accomplished black bahais were punished for not conforming closely enough to the “white power elites” that came to run the USA bahai community.

    bahai has been rotten for a long time, and there is no evidence that it will change at a fundamental, structural level.

    On the contrary, major parts of bahai metaphysics and bahai theory, unless discarded by the majority, will ensure that bahai is incapable of self-healing and moving on to “something better”.

    One of the most important hunks of “junk” that needs to be tossed is the myth of “unity”.

    The problem of course is that once the “unity” myth, and the “progressive revelation” myth and other similar JUNK is thrown out, what is actually left of the bahai religion?

    In my opinion: not much except a weird, usually incoherent, mixture of remnants of a persian 18th century sufi accomodation of western imperialism and western utopian/transcendentalism.

    farhan/masud’s etherialism and “detachment” are simply more examples of the dehumanizing tendency in bahai cluture. THE BIG DISCONNECT FROM REALITY.

    (sorry!)

  • fubar

    A small, but telling anecdote from someone that was in the the LA Study Class circle:

    ……

    But first, some background.

    Back in the late 70s in california, there was a clash between the new, counterculture/ progressive/academic/liberal bahais and some "conservative" elements in the community and administration. In southern california – Los Angeles (LA) people descended from "important" bahais, such as HoCs, etc., made a point of attacking nonconformists and making them into scapegoats.

    In the San Francisco area – northern california, no major development of a dynamic bahai culture ever really happened, which is very odd given the long history of multiculturalism, east-west influences in art and intellectual life, vibrant social justice causes that have wide support in the overall population, and so forth.

    It almost seems like some kind of plan was acted out to keep such dynamic influences out of the bahai community in order to MAINTAIN PURITY. (Craig can probably address this "purity" archetype, otherwise I will later upon request.)

    Odd stories about "uppity" people being hounded out of the community when they contradicted some ego-inflated "big wig" and refused to back down, leaked out for many years. In some cases, the people whose lives were wrecked themselves later rose to power again, and trashed other people in the same way they had been trashed decads before. This bespeaks an ingrained pattern of dysfunctionality wiithin the organizational culture that became "normative".

    One bahai professor of sociology once told me, when discussing this dysfunctional pattern, that “a good sociologist could see what is wrong with bahais within 15 minutes of going to a typical bahai meeting anywhere”.

    And of course anyone that was around for 20 or 30 years, who asked “difficult questions” about “what really goes on in the community”, eventually started finding out about the INGRAINED PATTERN of conformism and the related PATTERN OF ADMINISTRATIVE ABUSES that took place over decades in order to MAINTAIN PURITY.

    Make no mistake, when “conformist” bahais such as farhan/masud spout flowery language about “unity”, what they “really” mean is PURITY.

    And as any brief examination of human history shows, purity cults always turn FASCIST:

    Tribal “group think” takes root, thought policing develops, a normative form of organization culture becomes privileged, nonconformists become increasingly subject to pressure to stop “thinking differently”, and so forth.
    The vast majority of people I’ve known in bahai for 30+ years that can still think objectively have almost universally gone through at least one major “crisis” about the flimsy, dysfunctional nature of bahai culture. Most of the “complaint” is about how after years of overlooking “problems” because of “unity” or the hope that some “social change” agenda would produce enough good to somehow outweigh the bad stuff, people realize that things not only very rarely actually result in any “real” social change as a result of bahai “activity”, the “problems” have gotten worse, and the “unity” is really “false unity”.

    One independent (non-party-line) bahai scholar (from an “important” old bahai family) stated on the talisman/irfan email list back in the 90s that the Iranian NSA’s attacks, permitted by SE, on Mazandarani’s historical work, “was the beginning of bahai fundamentalism”.

    So much for the theory of “checks and balances” if a Guardian was still alive.

    (History has disregarded the idea that some kind of royalty will exert a beneficial influence on democratic governance.)
    Please note that the Mazabdarani incident closely, if not precisely, correlates with specific historical circumstances that propelled islamic (middle eastern) culture in general in a “fundamentalist” direction: the adoption of “western” technocratic paradigms by people in islamic culture. Christian westerners had the same phenomena: religious people who became scientists/engineers “invented” christian fundamentalism.

    Weird?

    Perhaps as some theologians have stated, the tendency toward “literal inerrancy” and other related patterns within fundamentalism are simply the result of people that like the “simple beauty of reading instruction manuals” (engineers), who were resistant to “classic liberal education”, and failed to understand the nature of metaphor in human consciousness.

    Anways, back to the anecdote from a LA Study Class participant:

    Some of the “conservative” bahais, who were elevated in power and/or prestige, made a point of accusing people (hippy/counterculture types) that were taking YOGA classes, of “indulging in dangerous occult mysticism”.

    Yes, the “leaders” thought YOGA was “OCCULT”. Yoga was full of potentially evil ideas.

    This kind of complete absurdity was VERY COMMON. It established a DISUNIFYING pattern of “in group / out group” thinking. It was INTOLERANT. It was dismissive of any meaningful sense of “diversity”.

    The people that indulged in such sillyness were simply protecting their little perches in the inherited bahai hierarchy, which in their PARADIGM-REGRESSIVE mindset was some kind of medieval camelot replete with (self-appointed, rump) bahai royalty.

    “Big fish, small pond” stuff at its worst.

    Example: the high-society feminists that “took over” the Chicago Temple group and marginalized working-class male leaders on the way to forming the early NSA and moving the house of worship away from work class neighborhoods were appallingly ELITIST in their agenda. This, and other similar incidents, set a pattern in which working class issues and social/racial justice issues were marginalized by the (self-appointed) “bahai royalty” who created the AO in the USA!

    IT REALLY IS THAT SIMPLE SOMETIMES FOLKS.

    The attacks that various people in the “bahai royalty” made on the leaders of the “Race Amity” movement in the bahai community are well known. HoC Louis Gregory, praise be upon his luminous, blessed soul, was the most egregious example of how accomplished black bahais were punished for not conforming closely enough to the “white power elites” that came to run the USA bahai community.

    bahai has been rotten for a long time, and there is no evidence that it will change at a fundamental, structural level.

    On the contrary, major parts of bahai metaphysics and bahai theory, unless discarded by the majority, will ensure that bahai is incapable of self-healing and moving on to “something better”.

    One of the most important hunks of “junk” that needs to be tossed is the myth of “unity”.

    The problem of course is that once the “unity” myth, and the “progressive revelation” myth and other similar JUNK is thrown out, what is actually left of the bahai religion?

    In my opinion: not much except a weird, usually incoherent, mixture of remnants of a persian 18th century sufi accomodation of western imperialism and western utopian/transcendentalism.

    farhan/masud’s etherialism and “detachment” are simply more examples of the dehumanizing tendency in bahai cluture. THE BIG DISCONNECT FROM REALITY.

    (sorry!)

  • http://www.intensedebate.com/people/SteveMarshall SteveMarshall

    The aptly-named Fubar writes:

    One independent (non-party-line) bahai scholar (from an "important" old bahai family) stated on the talisman/irfan email list back in the 90s that the Iranian NSA's attacks, permitted by SE, on Mazandarani's historical work, "was the beginning of bahai fundamentalism".

    You're mistaken. Juan blamed Furutan for what happened to Mazandarani, and Ahang Rabbani had only good things to say about Mazandarani. There was no mention of Shoghi Effendi permitting anything and no use of the phrase "was the beginning of bahai fundamentalism".

    Have the decency to provide a source for your assertions.

  • http://www.intensedebate.com/people/SteveMarshall SteveMarshall

    The aptly-named Fubar writes:

    One independent (non-party-line) bahai scholar (from an "important" old bahai family) stated on the talisman/irfan email list back in the 90s that the Iranian NSA's attacks, permitted by SE, on Mazandarani's historical work, "was the beginning of bahai fundamentalism".

    You're mistaken. Juan blamed Furutan for what happened to Mazandarani, and Ahang Rabbani had only good things to say about Mazandarani. There was no mention of Shoghi Effendi permitting anything and no use of the phrase "was the beginning of bahai fundamentalism".

    Have the decency to provide a source for your assertions.

  • fubar

    (Baquia: fwiw~ I initially found this topic to be extremely funny. Keep up the good work. Your blog is truly one of the wonders of cyberspace.)

    Yo! Steve,

    Hope you and Allison and your family and friends in the blessed country of NZ have been well.

    btw, did you check out http://www.VastSky.org ?

    I will repeat my previous sentiment:

    which is that I greatly appreciate your strict attention to principle, and your struggle to not accept the "spiritual" disconnections and dehumanization that passes as "normal" all too frequently in the world and bahai culture.

    What I always saw as being the great, valid, thing about the spirit of talisman, and the various entities and activities that preceeded it in LA and SF in the 70s/80s, was the protest of how a religion that promised "spiritual transformation and healing" had "lost its way", and so frequently "failed to deliver".

    (The PC/Left junk that came long for the ride was, more or less, "for the birds".)

    Anyways, sorry for any confusion:

    Mazandarani should clearly be a hero to anyone that appreciates truth and integrity, especially in the face of authoritarian abuses, thought policing, etc., by bahai institutions.

    I was using the Mazandarani case to illustrate one of the most egregious, documented, examples of the AO attacking a person of great character and intellect IN ORDER TO MAINTAIN THE STATUS QUO. And to maintain various historical myths. Nasty stuff. Unspoken. Mostly. But speaks volumes.

    To be clear: Mazandarani was a heroic "seeker of truth", and he was attacked by the AO for it.

    This simply illustrates that islamic culture, including bahai, ultimately seeks to turn the masses of people into "slaves of god":

    Farhan/Masud and other "middleman scammers" simply express outrage that the "stupid westerners" don't "get it".

    (cont.)

  • fubar

    (Baquia: fwiw~ I initially found this topic to be extremely funny. Keep up the good work. Your blog is truly one of the wonders of cyberspace.)

    Yo! Steve,

    Hope you and Allison and your family and friends in the blessed country of NZ have been well.

    btw, did you check out http://www.VastSky.org ?

    I will repeat my previous sentiment:

    which is that I greatly appreciate your strict attention to principle, and your struggle to not accept the "spiritual" disconnections and dehumanization that passes as "normal" all too frequently in the world and bahai culture.

    What I always saw as being the great, valid, thing about the spirit of talisman, and the various entities and activities that preceeded it in LA and SF in the 70s/80s, was the protest of how a religion that promised "spiritual transformation and healing" had "lost its way", and so frequently "failed to deliver".

    (The PC/Left junk that came long for the ride was, more or less, "for the birds".)

    Anyways, sorry for any confusion:

    Mazandarani should clearly be a hero to anyone that appreciates truth and integrity, especially in the face of authoritarian abuses, thought policing, etc., by bahai institutions.

    I was using the Mazandarani case to illustrate one of the most egregious, documented, examples of the AO attacking a person of great character and intellect IN ORDER TO MAINTAIN THE STATUS QUO. And to maintain various historical myths. Nasty stuff. Unspoken. Mostly. But speaks volumes.

    To be clear: Mazandarani was a heroic "seeker of truth", and he was attacked by the AO for it.

    This simply illustrates that islamic culture, including bahai, ultimately seeks to turn the masses of people into "slaves of god":

    Farhan/Masud and other "middleman scammers" simply express outrage that the "stupid westerners" don't "get it".

    (cont.)

  • fubar

    (cont. from previous)

    re: decency

    Actually, the gentleman (A.R.) requested, due to the delicacy of his family/position.etc./whatever, that his comments, some of which may have been in private email, NOT BE PUBLICLY ASSOCIATED with his name in the future, such as on a web blog. oops.

    So, your definition is "decency" is both overblown and somewhat poorly aimed.

    In any case, I have a clear recollection that the idea that the Mazandarani case represented the "beginning of bahai fundamentalism" was stated in that discussion. As I said, there may have been private email.

    Perhaps A.R. simply demurred to a Cole opinion. I honestly can't vouch for the exact details, and frankly don't care since I'm interested in the bigger issue.

    So, for purposes of current discussion, I was paraphrasing (whatever talisman archives I might have are on a REALLY old hard drive in a dusty corner of my garage).

    "Iranian NSA" = "bahai power elites" /Furutan, who cares? SE clearly did nothing to stop the "DECISION MAKERS" (bullies?) at the top of the Iranian AO from p-i-s-s-i-n-g on Mazandarani's "scientific history" project, and profoundly "disrespecting" one of the greatest bahai scholars of the time.

    (Note: the BWC only restored Mazandarani's reputation a few years ago! After great protest. Doesn't that tell you anything?!?)

    The reasons for all that are most likely those discussed years ago: THE NEED FOR EVERYONE, INCLUDING S.E., TO MAIN THE PURITY MYTHS AND OTHER FANTASIES ENSHRINED IN THE "OFFICIAL" BAHAI HISTORIES.

    "Harmony of science and religion", my a-s-s.

    Please note that because of the talisman/irfan discussion about the Mazandarani case, I was subsequently much more careful in seeking out and reading "sociological" explanations of the widespread rise of middle eastern fundamentalism in the 1920s/1930s.

    Basically, fundamentalism had its "birth" at the EXACT moment that the old sufi orders were displaced by technocrats wearing bowler hats and other similar western attire as signs of a "new order": capitalism, industry, parliamentary and constitutional reforms, etc.

    Unfortunately it all went bad, fast. Corruption and paradigm regression usually result when certain sociological prerequisites for "healthy" forms of democratic politics are absent. The lack of a "middle class" industrial base being the main element. When a "middle class" base is absent, the modes of the old corrupt elites simply morph into new "outer" expressions.

    This happened in bahai, and islam and in christianity (in the USA).

    Unfortunately, bahai and islamic fundamentalism are not constrained by either progressive/liberal culture, or by secular civil rights "law".

    Christian fundamentalism (Bush) just came close to reversing 50+ years of social progress in the USA, but american culture pulled back from the brink of the abyss at the last minute.

    This is all why bahai mystics are screwed. They will probably not be able to "turn the clock back" and reverse the deeply ingrained tendency toward social engineering and bureaucratic reinvention which is the (fundamentalist) "system" that has "colonized" bahai "lifeworld". (Habermas)

    The only answer to the problem (that I'm aware of) is Integral Thought.

    Hilariously, UHJ advised bahai scholars to "contribute" to integrative paradigms instead of engaging in "culture wars" several years ago, but apparently didn't understand what it was itself saying, or forgot! LOL! The irony is incredibly delicious:

    "Infallible", ….. my a-s-s.

    Thanks for the feedback.

    It is always great hearing from you, and learning from your tireless and inspiring commitment to social justice.

  • fubar

    (cont. from previous)

    re: decency

    Actually, the gentleman (A.R.) requested, due to the delicacy of his family/position.etc./whatever, that his comments, some of which may have been in private email, NOT BE PUBLICLY ASSOCIATED with his name in the future, such as on a web blog. oops.

    So, your definition is "decency" is both overblown and somewhat poorly aimed.

    In any case, I have a clear recollection that the idea that the Mazandarani case represented the "beginning of bahai fundamentalism" was stated in that discussion. As I said, there may have been private email.

    Perhaps A.R. simply demurred to a Cole opinion. I honestly can't vouch for the exact details, and frankly don't care since I'm interested in the bigger issue.

    So, for purposes of current discussion, I was paraphrasing (whatever talisman archives I might have are on a REALLY old hard drive in a dusty corner of my garage).

    "Iranian NSA" = "bahai power elites" /Furutan, who cares? SE clearly did nothing to stop the "DECISION MAKERS" (bullies?) at the top of the Iranian AO from p-i-s-s-i-n-g on Mazandarani's "scientific history" project, and profoundly "disrespecting" one of the greatest bahai scholars of the time.

    (Note: the BWC only restored Mazandarani's reputation a few years ago! After great protest. Doesn't that tell you anything?!?)

    The reasons for all that are most likely those discussed years ago: THE NEED FOR EVERYONE, INCLUDING S.E., TO MAIN THE PURITY MYTHS AND OTHER FANTASIES ENSHRINED IN THE "OFFICIAL" BAHAI HISTORIES.

    "Harmony of science and religion", my a-s-s.

    Please note that because of the talisman/irfan discussion about the Mazandarani case, I was subsequently much more careful in seeking out and reading "sociological" explanations of the widespread rise of middle eastern fundamentalism in the 1920s/1930s.

    Basically, fundamentalism had its "birth" at the EXACT moment that the old sufi orders were displaced by technocrats wearing bowler hats and other similar western attire as signs of a "new order": capitalism, industry, parliamentary and constitutional reforms, etc.

    Unfortunately it all went bad, fast. Corruption and paradigm regression usually result when certain sociological prerequisites for "healthy" forms of democratic politics are absent. The lack of a "middle class" industrial base being the main element. When a "middle class" base is absent, the modes of the old corrupt elites simply morph into new "outer" expressions.

    This happened in bahai, and islam and in christianity (in the USA).

    Unfortunately, bahai and islamic fundamentalism are not constrained by either progressive/liberal culture, or by secular civil rights "law".

    Christian fundamentalism (Bush) just came close to reversing 50+ years of social progress in the USA, but american culture pulled back from the brink of the abyss at the last minute.

    This is all why bahai mystics are screwed. They will probably not be able to "turn the clock back" and reverse the deeply ingrained tendency toward social engineering and bureaucratic reinvention which is the (fundamentalist) "system" that has "colonized" bahai "lifeworld". (Habermas)

    The only answer to the problem (that I'm aware of) is Integral Thought.

    Hilariously, UHJ advised bahai scholars to "contribute" to integrative paradigms instead of engaging in "culture wars" several years ago, but apparently didn't understand what it was itself saying, or forgot! LOL! The irony is incredibly delicious:

    "Infallible", ….. my a-s-s.

    Thanks for the feedback.

    It is always great hearing from you, and learning from your tireless and inspiring commitment to social justice.

  • farhan

    Fubar wrote: Farhan/Masud and other "middleman scammers" simply express outrage that the "stupid westerners" don't "get it".

    Fubar, perhaps you might like to explain why you consider Masud and myself as "middleman scammers" and where you have seen either of us expressing "outrage at westerner"s" or calling them "stupid".

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/farhan farhan

    Fubar wrote: Farhan/Masud and other "middleman scammers" simply express outrage that the "stupid westerners" don't "get it".

    Fubar, perhaps you might like to explain why you consider Masud and myself as "middleman scammers" and where you have seen either of us expressing "outrage at westerner"s" or calling them "stupid".

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/Masud Masud

    Yes, Fubar, and by that same token, would you mind explaining your selective moral outrage? When referring to the American NSA you used the term "white power elites", which almost equates to calling the Faith a racist organization.

    Someone in this forum called some communities "Taliban-like", thereby comparing many Baha'is to gangsters and murderers. Many other offensive phrases have been used against the AO as well. Where was your outrage?

    This forum is slanted against the current Baha'i Administration; that's obvious, and that's fine, but you should at least be conscious of that and try not to let it blind you from some level of objectivity, which, I hope, is a goal we share.

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/Masud Masud

    Yes, Fubar, and by that same token, would you mind explaining your selective moral outrage? When referring to the American NSA you used the term "white power elites", which almost equates to calling the Faith a racist organization.

    Someone in this forum called some communities "Taliban-like", thereby comparing many Baha'is to gangsters and murderers. Many other offensive phrases have been used against the AO as well. Where was your outrage?

    This forum is slanted against the current Baha'i Administration; that's obvious, and that's fine, but you should at least be conscious of that and try not to let it blind you from some level of objectivity, which, I hope, is a goal we share.

  • farhan

    Fubar wrote: farhan/masud's etherialism and "detachment" are simply more examples of the dehumanizing tendency in bahai cluture. THE BIG DISCONNECT FROM REALITY.

    Fubar, to be perfectly Cartesian, reality has two parts: objective AND subjective; we need a balance between these two. There is nothing "dehumanizing" about ALSO considering the invisible, non-rational, emotional part of reality more specially organized in our right hemisphere.

    In fact, someone who neglects half of his mental capacities and rejects his emotional or spiritual life would be neglecting his higher human subjective capacities and merely attached to his rational faculties, and hence would be dehumanized or a half-witted individual.

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/farhan farhan

    Fubar wrote: farhan/masud's etherialism and "detachment" are simply more examples of the dehumanizing tendency in bahai cluture. THE BIG DISCONNECT FROM REALITY.

    Fubar, to be perfectly Cartesian, reality has two parts: objective AND subjective; we need a balance between these two. There is nothing "dehumanizing" about ALSO considering the invisible, non-rational, emotional part of reality more specially organized in our right hemisphere.

    In fact, someone who neglects half of his mental capacities and rejects his emotional or spiritual life would be neglecting his higher human subjective capacities and merely attached to his rational faculties, and hence would be dehumanized or a half-witted individual.

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/Masud Masud

    "We have no direct say in that election"

    pey, that's probably one of the silliest comments I've seen in this forum (and that is saying a lot) Your "say" is your vote. That everybody else in the community doesn't vote for the same people you do is hardly an issue attributable to the Baha'i AO, just as the Jean Marie Le Pen's Front National voters in France can't blame their lack of representation on the French electoral system.

    Put bluntly, pey, elections have consequences; I'm sorry that saddens you

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/Masud Masud

    "We have no direct say in that election"

    pey, that's probably one of the silliest comments I've seen in this forum (and that is saying a lot) Your "say" is your vote. That everybody else in the community doesn't vote for the same people you do is hardly an issue attributable to the Baha'i AO, just as the Jean Marie Le Pen's Front National voters in France can't blame their lack of representation on the French electoral system.

    Put bluntly, pey, elections have consequences; I'm sorry that saddens you

  • Grover

    I disagree Masud, while Pey's comment may sound silly because of the nature of Baha'i elections, or any kind of election, its a feeling a lot of people share, including myself. Basically your vote is one amongst 40 to 500 people depending on the size of the community so you can vote in the way you feel, but in the end, it makes bugger all difference to the outcome, particularly if you're one of those people on the fringes (i.e. independent thinking, slightly controversial, or see a need for change). That why I don't vote anymore. What was the point? Even if I wanted to, I couldn't change anything. Basically you end up being disenfranchised. Ironic really, voting is a spiritual obligation but pointless activity.

    That is one of the many problems with the Baha'i Faith, it doesn't cater for a wide variety of views and perspectives, and if your view differs from the majority then you no longer feel as though you're represented, and you have no where to go. This has happened when indigenous tribes join the Faith and represent a small fraction of the majority. Christianity on the other hand, you can shop around for a denomination that suits you and best represents your views and beliefs.

    In the future, if the Baha'i Faith grows substantially, that may change, because then you're more likely to find people in your community sympathetic to your view. Then you have more chance of making an impact and you feel like you're part of something and contributing in a meaningful way.

  • Grover

    I disagree Masud, while Pey's comment may sound silly because of the nature of Baha'i elections, or any kind of election, its a feeling a lot of people share, including myself. Basically your vote is one amongst 40 to 500 people depending on the size of the community so you can vote in the way you feel, but in the end, it makes bugger all difference to the outcome, particularly if you're one of those people on the fringes (i.e. independent thinking, slightly controversial, or see a need for change). That why I don't vote anymore. What was the point? Even if I wanted to, I couldn't change anything. Basically you end up being disenfranchised. Ironic really, voting is a spiritual obligation but pointless activity.

    That is one of the many problems with the Baha'i Faith, it doesn't cater for a wide variety of views and perspectives, and if your view differs from the majority then you no longer feel as though you're represented, and you have no where to go. This has happened when indigenous tribes join the Faith and represent a small fraction of the majority. Christianity on the other hand, you can shop around for a denomination that suits you and best represents your views and beliefs.

    In the future, if the Baha'i Faith grows substantially, that may change, because then you're more likely to find people in your community sympathetic to your view. Then you have more chance of making an impact and you feel like you're part of something and contributing in a meaningful way.

  • farhan

    Grover wrote: Even if I wanted to, I couldn't change anything.

    Grover, the point is not changing the identity of those who are entrusted with this charge, but making those entrusted with this charge feel that it is not they who asking to access a privileged position, but that the majority of the members of that community is praying them to assume this heavy and time consuming sacred responsibility.

    All this is totally different from what happens in the political system around us and we must not forget the spiritual dimension of this responsibility.

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/farhan farhan

    Grover wrote: Even if I wanted to, I couldn't change anything.

    Grover, the point is not changing the identity of those who are entrusted with this charge, but making those entrusted with this charge feel that it is not they who asking to access a privileged position, but that the majority of the members of that community is praying them to assume this heavy and time consuming sacred responsibility.

    All this is totally different from what happens in the political system around us and we must not forget the spiritual dimension of this responsibility.

  • Grover

    You've missed the point, Farhan. I was talking about feeling empowered and feeling as though your contribution is worthwhile, which is what most people want.

    Basically, people have no voice in the Baha'i community unless they support the popular view, in which case they've become sheep. Baha'i elections are a case in point, because there is no campaigning, no advertising of policies and no debate. In normal elections you can join a cause and while in the long run it may not alter which parties get in, at least you've got your view out in the open.

    In the Baha'i community, incumbency has ruined any chance of there ever being any change in policy or direction, it will always be conservative and fundamentalist because there will never be a change in the people in power unless they retire. Likewise on the LSAs and NSAs, you have to try real hard not to be reelected. Any opposition is quashed by whoever is in charge by invoking the covenant, obedience to institutions, etc. Normal channels such as feast and recommendations to the LSA do not work because of how badly people in the community respond to any kind of challenge to the status quo.

    Basically, the Baha'i Faith has removed any kind of voice or free will from its people.

    I believe the Bible has talked about this: beware the ravening wolf dressed up in the guise of a lamb. While I'm not Christian, it is certainly interesting that on the outside the Baha'i Faith is all sweetness and light, but when you look deeper, the implications for humanity in terms of free will, independence of thought, and basic human rights, are extremely bad.

    Is the Baha'i Faith the big bad Satan?

  • Grover

    You've missed the point, Farhan. I was talking about feeling empowered and feeling as though your contribution is worthwhile, which is what most people want.

    Basically, people have no voice in the Baha'i community unless they support the popular view, in which case they've become sheep. Baha'i elections are a case in point, because there is no campaigning, no advertising of policies and no debate. In normal elections you can join a cause and while in the long run it may not alter which parties get in, at least you've got your view out in the open.

    In the Baha'i community, incumbency has ruined any chance of there ever being any change in policy or direction, it will always be conservative and fundamentalist because there will never be a change in the people in power unless they retire. Likewise on the LSAs and NSAs, you have to try real hard not to be reelected. Any opposition is quashed by whoever is in charge by invoking the covenant, obedience to institutions, etc. Normal channels such as feast and recommendations to the LSA do not work because of how badly people in the community respond to any kind of challenge to the status quo.

    Basically, the Baha'i Faith has removed any kind of voice or free will from its people.

    I believe the Bible has talked about this: beware the ravening wolf dressed up in the guise of a lamb. While I'm not Christian, it is certainly interesting that on the outside the Baha'i Faith is all sweetness and light, but when you look deeper, the implications for humanity in terms of free will, independence of thought, and basic human rights, are extremely bad.

    Is the Baha'i Faith the big bad Satan?

  • farhan

    Grover, I do get your point; the point I am making is that in our societies we feel we need to change our governance so as to change our societies, whereas in the Baha'i Faith empowerment is complete at grass roots.

    The AO is not a power system, but a mere harmonizing / synchronizing institution that marks the limits and sets the general goals in tune with the revealed word.

    Some want to do door knocking, others don't; the institutions provide the limits within which such personal projects are allowable. Read the compilation by the UHJ "Unlocking the power of Action" you will find on this blog or by google.

    The fact that people are elected, makes them feel that they are not self appointed through ego and ambition to dominate, but have legitimacy for arbitration, invited for this function at grass roots.

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/farhan farhan

    Grover, I do get your point; the point I am making is that in our societies we feel we need to change our governance so as to change our societies, whereas in the Baha'i Faith empowerment is complete at grass roots.

    The AO is not a power system, but a mere harmonizing / synchronizing institution that marks the limits and sets the general goals in tune with the revealed word.

    Some want to do door knocking, others don't; the institutions provide the limits within which such personal projects are allowable. Read the compilation by the UHJ "Unlocking the power of Action" you will find on this blog or by google.

    The fact that people are elected, makes them feel that they are not self appointed through ego and ambition to dominate, but have legitimacy for arbitration, invited for this function at grass roots.

  • Grover

    "we feel we need to change our governance so as to change our societies, whereas in the Baha'i Faith empowerment is complete at grass roots"

    I disagree. Your version of "empowerment" = enslavement and indoctrination by Ruhi, strict obedience to the institutions, no matter how stupid they are, and following the imaginary will of an imaginary God that is dictated by whoever is on the UHJ.

    "The AO is not a power system, but a mere harmonizing / synchronizing institution that marks the limits and sets the general goals in tune with the revealed word."

    That is the biggest load of crap I've ever heard. If it was a mere harmonizing institution they would be more concerned about the views and feelings in the general Baha'i populace than about enforcing their own "infallibility" by way of sacking Baha'is who don't go along the party line.

    "Read the compilation by the UHJ "Unlocking the power of Action" you will find on this blog or by google."

    That document is the biggest load of bollocks, replete with buzzwords, jargon and hype, in the history of mankind. The second biggest load of bollocks is "Century of Light".

    "The fact that people are elected, makes them feel that they are not self appointed through ego and ambition to dominate, but have legitimacy for arbitration, invited for this function at grass roots."

    Oh so you are concerned for the feelings of the little egomaniacs that get voted to power?

  • Grover

    "we feel we need to change our governance so as to change our societies, whereas in the Baha'i Faith empowerment is complete at grass roots"

    I disagree. Your version of "empowerment" = enslavement and indoctrination by Ruhi, strict obedience to the institutions, no matter how stupid they are, and following the imaginary will of an imaginary God that is dictated by whoever is on the UHJ.

    "The AO is not a power system, but a mere harmonizing / synchronizing institution that marks the limits and sets the general goals in tune with the revealed word."

    That is the biggest load of crap I've ever heard. If it was a mere harmonizing institution they would be more concerned about the views and feelings in the general Baha'i populace than about enforcing their own "infallibility" by way of sacking Baha'is who don't go along the party line.

    "Read the compilation by the UHJ "Unlocking the power of Action" you will find on this blog or by google."

    That document is the biggest load of bollocks, replete with buzzwords, jargon and hype, in the history of mankind. The second biggest load of bollocks is "Century of Light".

    "The fact that people are elected, makes them feel that they are not self appointed through ego and ambition to dominate, but have legitimacy for arbitration, invited for this function at grass roots."

    Oh so you are concerned for the feelings of the little egomaniacs that get voted to power?

  • fubar

    re: Something "fake" has grown in the dysfunctional dark corners of fear and fundamentalism that have taken over much of bahai culture.

    Masud, sorry for any confusion. For decades, the US NSA was clearly racist and elitist. Despite the flowery and hollow lip service paid to "unity through diversity" and other similar blather uttered by dupes and polemicists.

    The bahai elites engaged in retaliation against working class activism and race unity activism within the bahai community (this is documented, but some bahai historians are afraid of making the information available, presumably due to an aversion to controversy, or retaliation, censorship, etc.). The "excuse" was that such activism was "too political", or distracted from the forms of "social change" programs that the ruling bahai elites felt comfortable discussing with their upper class friends/family, business associates, political allies, and so forth.

    Please note the glaring HYPOCRISY: the NSA Secretary also had a "parallel" life running a very large upper-class CHURCH in NEW YORK for DECADES, in complete disregard of the guidance of the Guardian!

    HOW CAN YOU POSSIBLY EXPLAIN SUCH AN APPALLING FACT ?!?!

    HOW CAN YOU ATTEMPT TO CALL FOR "OBJECTIVITY" WHEN THE NSA SPENT DECADES BREAKING THE VERY RULES IT MADE OTHERS FOLLOW ?!?!?!?!

    THIS IS WHAT HAPPENS WHEN A RELIGION PROMOTES STUPID IDEAS SUCH AS THAT MODERN PEOPLE SHOULD BE "SLAVES OF GOD".

    A little known fact is that Jewish activists with "social justice" backgrounds did much of the boring, tedious work behind the scenes in the bahai community for decades, and the elistist/facist snobs "WASP" bahai leadership took credit for the work of the Jewish bahais. the same thing happened to many of the deeply comitted counterculture/60s bahais: they were forced into conformism and service to fake leaders with absurd promises of "spiritual rewards".

    This is what the "middle man scam" is about in religions that are premised on an image of humanity as "slaves of god".

    The idea that humanity should be "slaves of god" to an outmoded form of diety worship that is full of bad metaphysics is an appalling dysfunctional example of "cultural impedence mismatch" in contrast to modernist/postmodern and integral culture.

    in short: bahai is completely out of step with the evolution and advance of human culture. it no longer has a viable model of spiritual enlightenment that can withstand the critical scrutiny of the most advanced thought produced by the human race.

    Even up into the 1990s, when I personally knew people appointed to the national race committee (can't remember what it was called), it was obvious that the NSA did not want to "really open up" the topic. I heard 2nd/3rd generation Iranian bahai youth openly yelling at their parents/grandparents about being racists in a room with 600 people in it at a conference in San Diego about 10 years ago.

    I'm not a big fan of political correctness, but the real evidence of a deeply ingrained pattern of institutionalized racism in the USA bahai community is obvious to anyone that was involved in race unity activism from the 70s to 90s, or anyone that has access to the "real history" of the AO in the USA.

    I missed, or ignored, the Taliban comment. Please accept my deepest regret.

    Considering that such a comment probably had an obvious subtext that was "just slightly" hyperbolic, I would not have considered it to be a "serious" comparison, rather one made for purposes of exaggeration. The fact is that the conformists/authoritarians/fundamentalists in the bahai AO do have some superficial similarities to Taliban types, and the shared middle eastern tendency toward "cultural imperialism" presumably has common roots.

    You certainly would have a good point about "objectivity" or "fair and balanced" IF:

    You yourself went on EVERY "Pro-AO" blog on the WWW, and held the vast multitude of mindless pro-AO conformists on those blogs to such a standard of "objectivity".

    Which of course, you probably don't. (???)

    BTW, most of the "Pro-AO" bahai blogs have thought police and censors, many of them quite nasty and dysfunctional types. Ironically, that is a perfect example of how conformist/facist bahai culture really is when pressed about its comittment to principles.

    (Ironically, even some of the ex-bahai groups haven't broken free of the tendency toward conformism and thought policing, but that is to be expected given their PC/Left mindset. )
    (cont.)

  • fubar

    re: Something "fake" has grown in the dysfunctional dark corners of fear and fundamentalism that have taken over much of bahai culture.

    Masud, sorry for any confusion. For decades, the US NSA was clearly racist and elitist. Despite the flowery and hollow lip service paid to "unity through diversity" and other similar blather uttered by dupes and polemicists.

    The bahai elites engaged in retaliation against working class activism and race unity activism within the bahai community (this is documented, but some bahai historians are afraid of making the information available, presumably due to an aversion to controversy, or retaliation, censorship, etc.). The "excuse" was that such activism was "too political", or distracted from the forms of "social change" programs that the ruling bahai elites felt comfortable discussing with their upper class friends/family, business associates, political allies, and so forth.

    Please note the glaring HYPOCRISY: the NSA Secretary also had a "parallel" life running a very large upper-class CHURCH in NEW YORK for DECADES, in complete disregard of the guidance of the Guardian!

    HOW CAN YOU POSSIBLY EXPLAIN SUCH AN APPALLING FACT ?!?!

    HOW CAN YOU ATTEMPT TO CALL FOR "OBJECTIVITY" WHEN THE NSA SPENT DECADES BREAKING THE VERY RULES IT MADE OTHERS FOLLOW ?!?!?!?!

    THIS IS WHAT HAPPENS WHEN A RELIGION PROMOTES STUPID IDEAS SUCH AS THAT MODERN PEOPLE SHOULD BE "SLAVES OF GOD".

    A little known fact is that Jewish activists with "social justice" backgrounds did much of the boring, tedious work behind the scenes in the bahai community for decades, and the elistist/facist snobs "WASP" bahai leadership took credit for the work of the Jewish bahais. the same thing happened to many of the deeply comitted counterculture/60s bahais: they were forced into conformism and service to fake leaders with absurd promises of "spiritual rewards".

    This is what the "middle man scam" is about in religions that are premised on an image of humanity as "slaves of god".

    The idea that humanity should be "slaves of god" to an outmoded form of diety worship that is full of bad metaphysics is an appalling dysfunctional example of "cultural impedence mismatch" in contrast to modernist/postmodern and integral culture.

    in short: bahai is completely out of step with the evolution and advance of human culture. it no longer has a viable model of spiritual enlightenment that can withstand the critical scrutiny of the most advanced thought produced by the human race.

    Even up into the 1990s, when I personally knew people appointed to the national race committee (can't remember what it was called), it was obvious that the NSA did not want to "really open up" the topic. I heard 2nd/3rd generation Iranian bahai youth openly yelling at their parents/grandparents about being racists in a room with 600 people in it at a conference in San Diego about 10 years ago.

    I'm not a big fan of political correctness, but the real evidence of a deeply ingrained pattern of institutionalized racism in the USA bahai community is obvious to anyone that was involved in race unity activism from the 70s to 90s, or anyone that has access to the "real history" of the AO in the USA.

    I missed, or ignored, the Taliban comment. Please accept my deepest regret.

    Considering that such a comment probably had an obvious subtext that was "just slightly" hyperbolic, I would not have considered it to be a "serious" comparison, rather one made for purposes of exaggeration. The fact is that the conformists/authoritarians/fundamentalists in the bahai AO do have some superficial similarities to Taliban types, and the shared middle eastern tendency toward "cultural imperialism" presumably has common roots.

    You certainly would have a good point about "objectivity" or "fair and balanced" IF:

    You yourself went on EVERY "Pro-AO" blog on the WWW, and held the vast multitude of mindless pro-AO conformists on those blogs to such a standard of "objectivity".

    Which of course, you probably don't. (???)

    BTW, most of the "Pro-AO" bahai blogs have thought police and censors, many of them quite nasty and dysfunctional types. Ironically, that is a perfect example of how conformist/facist bahai culture really is when pressed about its comittment to principles.

    (Ironically, even some of the ex-bahai groups haven't broken free of the tendency toward conformism and thought policing, but that is to be expected given their PC/Left mindset. )
    (cont.)

  • fubar

    farhan, you are up to your old tricks: NIT PICKING, and denigrating nonconformists/critics/dissidents by implying that they are "spiritually unworthy".

    thanks (again) for showing that bahai apologists are no different from any other cultural imperialists in the history of religion.

  • fubar

    farhan, you are up to your old tricks: NIT PICKING, and denigrating nonconformists/critics/dissidents by implying that they are "spiritually unworthy".

    thanks (again) for showing that bahai apologists are no different from any other cultural imperialists in the history of religion.

  • fubar

    re: "middle man scammers" – Done. See my reply to Masud elsewhere in this thread.

    You are in a state of constant outrage. You arrogantly pontificate, presuming that anyone that disagrees with you that is a critic, nonconformist, or dissident needs to be treated in as child-like a manner as possible.

  • fubar

    re: "middle man scammers" – Done. See my reply to Masud elsewhere in this thread.

    You are in a state of constant outrage. You arrogantly pontificate, presuming that anyone that disagrees with you that is a critic, nonconformist, or dissident needs to be treated in as child-like a manner as possible.

  • fubar

    (cont. from previous)

    Baquia's blog is a stunning example of how transparency, freedom and "healthy", ubstructured peer review can "work" to produce very high quality material and commentary.

    Baquia's comitment to principle and integrity is an excellent example of how things go well when done right, and when outstanding leadership is in place.

    *** NO AO IS NEEDED. OR WANTED. ***

    In contrast, most of what goes on in the AO is the opposite of such healthy leadership. It is allergic to honest self-examination.

    This is the "real stuff" that faith is about: faith in the never ending human yearning for meaning, truth, honesty, freedom, beauty, justice and compassion.

    A Faith that errors and lies will be shown for what they really are, in the light of day.

    Those are values that bahais once stood for, but rarely do anymore (except at a superficial level). Something "fake" has grown in the dysfunctional dark corners of fear and fundamentalism that have taken over much of bahai culture.

    When I first met “LA Study Class” people in the late 70s, they were incredibly free of self-censorship. (The deep rot of the PC/Left hadn’t become deeply ingrained in academic/intellectual circles.) It is true that they were somewhat paranoid about being “investigated” by the AO, and thus, tended to be somewhat secretive until they knew that someone wasn’t going to “rat them out”.

    Unfortunately, that kind of free discussion, or “liberated mindset”, usually gets misappropriated, or failing that, crushed, in the bahai community. There is a severe discomfort about any dissent, nonconformism, criticism or questioning of the “status quo”, and plenty of thought police or fascists pop out of the woodwork to squash such nonconformism whenever it openly presents alternatives to mainstream bahai thought.

    e.g., a middle-level, but rising, member of a bahai scholarship organization, after hours of exasperated/futile attempts to convince a bunch of nonconformists that the AO is a good thing, finally blurted out a personal horror story about how the members of a sponsoring NSA were ‘idiots” and were incapable of understanding what scholarship (or science) actually is, but bahai scholars had to tolerate such morons running things because “chaging things from the inside” was the only available strategy that would not risk alienating the (mostly anti-intellectual) masses.

    Pathetic stuff.

    The reality is that if one is involved long enough, the pattern of rot within bahai culture, and the AO, becomes readily evident.

    The purity/unity myth and the status quo myth have doomed bahai to failure.

    The very things that could rescue bahai from its current fate, such as profound self-examination and atonement for past errors/sins (such as institutionalized racism) have been defined as “evil” within the sick version of bahai culture.

    !HTH!

  • fubar

    (cont. from previous)

    Baquia's blog is a stunning example of how transparency, freedom and "healthy", ubstructured peer review can "work" to produce very high quality material and commentary.

    Baquia's comitment to principle and integrity is an excellent example of how things go well when done right, and when outstanding leadership is in place.

    *** NO AO IS NEEDED. OR WANTED. ***

    In contrast, most of what goes on in the AO is the opposite of such healthy leadership. It is allergic to honest self-examination.

    This is the "real stuff" that faith is about: faith in the never ending human yearning for meaning, truth, honesty, freedom, beauty, justice and compassion.

    A Faith that errors and lies will be shown for what they really are, in the light of day.

    Those are values that bahais once stood for, but rarely do anymore (except at a superficial level). Something "fake" has grown in the dysfunctional dark corners of fear and fundamentalism that have taken over much of bahai culture.

    When I first met “LA Study Class” people in the late 70s, they were incredibly free of self-censorship. (The deep rot of the PC/Left hadn’t become deeply ingrained in academic/intellectual circles.) It is true that they were somewhat paranoid about being “investigated” by the AO, and thus, tended to be somewhat secretive until they knew that someone wasn’t going to “rat them out”.

    Unfortunately, that kind of free discussion, or “liberated mindset”, usually gets misappropriated, or failing that, crushed, in the bahai community. There is a severe discomfort about any dissent, nonconformism, criticism or questioning of the “status quo”, and plenty of thought police or fascists pop out of the woodwork to squash such nonconformism whenever it openly presents alternatives to mainstream bahai thought.

    e.g., a middle-level, but rising, member of a bahai scholarship organization, after hours of exasperated/futile attempts to convince a bunch of nonconformists that the AO is a good thing, finally blurted out a personal horror story about how the members of a sponsoring NSA were ‘idiots” and were incapable of understanding what scholarship (or science) actually is, but bahai scholars had to tolerate such morons running things because “chaging things from the inside” was the only available strategy that would not risk alienating the (mostly anti-intellectual) masses.

    Pathetic stuff.

    The reality is that if one is involved long enough, the pattern of rot within bahai culture, and the AO, becomes readily evident.

    The purity/unity myth and the status quo myth have doomed bahai to failure.

    The very things that could rescue bahai from its current fate, such as profound self-examination and atonement for past errors/sins (such as institutionalized racism) have been defined as “evil” within the sick version of bahai culture.

    !HTH!

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