Is the Universal House of Justice Infallible? (part II)

My first post about the infallibility of the House of Justice got quite a lot of comments. To all who read and contributed: Thank you! I’m indebted to you all for your thoughts and ideas. Some comments where short, some were long, some were quite funny (unintentionally) while others were surprisingly deep and insightful.

Here is a concise summary the most important points made:

For some the concept of infallibility was quite literal, while others took a more nuanced approach. Some tried to separate the ‘intellectual’ sphere with the ‘spiritual’ or ‘divine’ sphere, saying that I should use more faith and less brains. A few suggested that this whole thing was simply a ruse to incite unity and that it really didn’t matter otherwise. Others seemed to be saying that one must simply believe that the House of Justice is infallible and by believing so they are.

house of justice infaliblility.png

I’d like to answer those who request me to stop asking so many damned questions and just believe. First of all, I am truly sorry that you are missing one of the most important and cherished characteristics of the Baha’i Faith: independant investigation of truth. And further, I’m saddened that you have not been able to cast aside the Shi’ite tradition of taqlid (blind imitation). Baha’u’llah forbids all Baha’is from this Muslim tradition saying that we must ‘see with our own eyes’ and ‘hear with our own ears’. If we just accept what we are told and follow a presented path unquestioningly, we are not Baha’is.

The Baha’i Faith and questions go together like peanut butter and jam. Why else would there be a whole month devoted to them?

To those who asked me in their comments to not use logic or intellect, I say: Are you kidding? In the Baha’i faith science and religion are both lauded as paths to truth. One is not superior nor subservient to the other. A true Baha’i would never deny logic, critical thinking and simple deduction because it might conflict with religious dogma. That is the slippery slope of superstition. Thanks, but no thanks. In fact, the history of the Faith is replete with examples where simple logic and deduction was used as an effective teaching tool.

One of my favourite examples is that used by a simple Baha’i blacksmith to open the eyes of a learned Mulla who then went on to become a Baha’i and was titled by Abdu’l-Baha, Mirza Abul-Fadl (the Father of All Learning). The story involves rain, angels and dogs. If you don’t know it, do yourself a favor and read his wiki entry.

While discussing this interesting topic over on Talisman (the venerable Baha’i discussion forum), one contributor provided this insight:

The acquired infallibility concerns the final product, not the decision making process. IMO, confusing the final product and the process is where you and others go wrong on this issue.

As I said before, the guarantee for being error free refers to the final product and not to the process no matter what the steps of the process may be called.

This is similar to other responses that I received from fellow Baha’is. Basically, they are saying that the UHJ receives guidance from God and so their decisions are protected from error. That is why they are infallible and do not make mistakes. Not because they are omniscient but because, as Dawud put it (in the comments section of the first post) they have “God whispering in their collective ear”. Or as the above contributor on Talisman put it, the process isn’t important, the final product is.

This is a curious sort of logic for me to wrap my mind around. It could very well be that my mind is shrivelled up and simply not as ‘wrappable’ as it once was. But nevertheless, please permit me to explain why I find this explanation wanting.

If we assume that the ‘process’ isn’t important, then it does neatly side-step the requirement of omniscience that I mentioned. That is a clear advantage that it presents. However, its natural corollary presents us with an insurmountable challenge.

For if we assume that the process isn’t important but rather the final outcome, then the natural conclusion is to simplify the process as much as we can; especially considering the amount of time and resources that it can require.
house of justice ball.png
One especially mischevious person might even suggest that the process be simplified to a Magic 8 ball. Whenever the House of Justice needs to come to an infallible decision, all they have to do is to jiggle the Magic 8 Ball and then to read its answer. If we believe that God’s hand currently directs the UHJ to the infallible decision, then if would follow that God’s hand would direct the Magic 8 ball to an infallible decision also.
house of justice dart
If you are not familiar with a Magic 8 ball, another option is a dart and wall system. Presumably, answers could be taped to a wall with a blindfolded and spun UHJ member launching sharp projectiles in the general direction of the ‘answer wall’ while the other 8 duck for their lives under the table. Since God has bestowed infallibility upon the final outcome, He will guide the dart to produce the proper answer (and avoid innocent bystanders).

Now, you might laugh at these silly processes. But all I am doing is going by the the logic that the process isn’t important but rather that the outcome is.

I hope that by now it is clear that the process by which a decision is made is quite important. I would say critical in fact, to the end result. And as a natural extension, the information used in the process also has a strong correlation to the quality of the decision.

It would seem that the House of Justice itself might agree with such an assertion:

Like the Guardian, the House of Justice wants to be provided with facts when called upon to render a decision, and like him it may well change its decision when new facts emerge.
(Universal House of Justice — August 22, 1977)

That seems like good old fashioned common sense, doesn’t it?

But can the Universal House of Justice make a mistake? Well, if they are not omniscient and depend on the quality of information presented to them like the rest of us mortals, then it would naturally follow that that is a possibility.

But there is also a clue in this quote that Sen provided in the comments section:

“The Guardian… is bound to insist upon a reconsideration by them (the UHJ) of any enactment he conscientiously believes to conflict with the meaning and to depart from the spirit of Bah??’u’ll??h’s revealed utterances.”
(Shoghi Effendi, The World Order of Baha’u’llah, p. 150)

And as Sen pointed out:

So the UHJ can be wrong in a deeper sense than just making a mistake. It may be leading in the wrong direction, departing from ?the spirit of Bah??’u’ll??h’s revealed utterances.? So can anyone else — Shoghi Effendi’s words are not an invitation to stand on the soapbox of our own certainties, rather they indicate the need for humility for everyone.

I would add that what Shoghi Effendi is saying is rather alarming and it is not readily understood by most Baha’is. To me, he is saying that not only can the UHJ make a mistake, it can in fact go against the very essence of Baha’u’llah’s teachings. This is quite a dire sort of situation he describes. Of course, he is saying this in the context of the responsability of the Guardian in balancing the authority and power of the House of Justice.

And as you know, we do not have a Guardian. So that position is left unfilled and his responsabilities and duties left unfulfilled.

  • Brendan Cook

    A beautiful distillation of the discussion on Talisman. There’s really nothing to add…

  • Brendan Cook

    A beautiful distillation of the discussion on Talisman. There’s really nothing to add…

  • http://kaweah.com Dan Jensen

    Well done!

    Now I for one would like to hear, knowing full well that the Guardian established beyond a doubt the reliance of the UHJ on a sitting Guardian, how should the Baha’is regard statements made by the UHJ? Should they be obeyed, but never quite believed?

    Also, I would like to see you address with similar thoroughness how the infallibility of `Abdu’l-Baha was established beyond a doubt in the authoritative writings of Baha’u’llah. Was `Abdu’l-Baha to be believed, or simply obeyed?

  • http://kaweah.com Dan Jensen

    Well done!

    Now I for one would like to hear, knowing full well that the Guardian established beyond a doubt the reliance of the UHJ on a sitting Guardian, how should the Baha’is regard statements made by the UHJ? Should they be obeyed, but never quite believed?

    Also, I would like to see you address with similar thoroughness how the infallibility of `Abdu’l-Baha was established beyond a doubt in the authoritative writings of Baha’u’llah. Was `Abdu’l-Baha to be believed, or simply obeyed?

  • Craig Parke

    I am posting this after reading the comments section in PART I.

    These are the words of Abdu’l-Baha – one of the Three Central Figures of
    the Baha’i Faith:

    “This is a goodly temple and congregation, for–praise be to God!–this
    is a house of worship [Central Congregational Church in Brooklyn on 16
    June 1912] wherein CONSCIENTIOUS OPINION has free sway. Every religion and every religious aspiration MAY BE FREELY VOICED and EXPRESSED here. 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. Therefore, this is a blessed church because its pulpit is open to every religion, the ideals of which may be set forth with OPENNESS and FREEDOM.”

    -Abdu’l-Baha, The Promulgation of Universal Peace, 197.

    These are the words of Douglas Martin, former member of the Universal
    House of Justice of the Baha’i Faith:

    “We have inherited a DANGEROUS DELUSION from Christianity that our
    individual conscience is supreme. THIS IS NOT A BAHA’I BELIEF. In the
    end, in the context of both our role in the community and our role in
    the greater world, we must be prepared to sacrifice our personal
    convictions or opinions. The belief that individual conscience is
    supreme is equivalent to ‘taking partners with God’ WHICH IS ABHORRENT TO THE TEACHINGS OG THE FAITH.”

    - Douglas Martin
    Former Member of the Universal House of Justice
    Baha’i Faith
    22 Sep 2001

    This guy also now apparently says this:

    “The idea of an infallible and ultimate authority has now entered human
    experience…”

    -Bullet Point posted in PART I of a talk by Douglas Martin
    Former Member of the Universal House of Justice
    Baha’i Faith
    27 May 2006

    Yet Shoghi Effendi says this:

    “Divorced from the institution of the Guardianship the World Order of
    Bah??’u’ll??h would be MUTILATED…without such an institution the
    INTEGRITY of the Faith would be imperiled, and the STABILITY of the
    entire fabric would be gravely endangered…the necessary guidance to
    DEFINE THE SPHERE of the legislative action of its elected representatives would be TOTALLY WITHDRAWN.”

    - Shoghi Effendi, The World Order of Baha’u’llah, p. 148

    Hummm.

    And Baha’u’llah says this:

    “They DESIRED to ascend to a STATION that God ordained to be ABOVE THEIR RANKS, when the luminous comet expelled them from among the inhabitants of the kingdom of his presence.”

    - Tablet of the Holy Mariner Revealed by Baha’u’llah

    And Abdu’l-Baha says this:

    “Study the Tablet of the Holy Mariner that ye may know THE TRUTH, and
    consider that the Blessed Beauty hath FULLY FORETOLD FUTURE EVENTS. LET THEM WHO PERCEIVE, TAKE WARNING!”

    -Abdu’l-Baha

    I think it might be a good idea for the rank and file of the Baha’i
    Faith worldwide to heed Abdu’l-Baha. In fact Abdu’l-Baha might be on the
    same talk show broadcasting across the planes of the Universe right now
    with Lord Acton in the next world as people in some other Huge Spiral
    Galaxy tune into a Reality TV Show called: “Earth In The Balance”.

    “Liberty is not a means to a higher political end. It is itself the highest political end…liberty is the only object which benefits all alike, and provokes no sincere opposition…The danger is not that a particular class is unfit to to govern. EVERY CLASS IS UNFIT TO GOVERN…POWER TENDS TO CORRUPT, AND ABSOLUTE POWER CORRUPTS ABSOLUTELY.”

    Keep giving Douglas Martin a plane ticket and a microphone (I’ll even be glad to earmark my contributions to the fund for this) so we can get this show on the road all over the Internet for ALL TIME in the historical record.

    It is called DIVINE JUDGMENT upon people’s hearts as revealed by their mouths.

    - Lord Acton (1834-1902)

  • Craig Parke

    I am posting this after reading the comments section in PART I.

    These are the words of Abdu’l-Baha – one of the Three Central Figures of
    the Baha’i Faith:

    “This is a goodly temple and congregation, for–praise be to God!–this
    is a house of worship [Central Congregational Church in Brooklyn on 16
    June 1912] wherein CONSCIENTIOUS OPINION has free sway. Every religion and every religious aspiration MAY BE FREELY VOICED and EXPRESSED here. 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. Therefore, this is a blessed church because its pulpit is open to every religion, the ideals of which may be set forth with OPENNESS and FREEDOM.”

    -Abdu’l-Baha, The Promulgation of Universal Peace, 197.

    These are the words of Douglas Martin, former member of the Universal
    House of Justice of the Baha’i Faith:

    “We have inherited a DANGEROUS DELUSION from Christianity that our
    individual conscience is supreme. THIS IS NOT A BAHA’I BELIEF. In the
    end, in the context of both our role in the community and our role in
    the greater world, we must be prepared to sacrifice our personal
    convictions or opinions. The belief that individual conscience is
    supreme is equivalent to ‘taking partners with God’ WHICH IS ABHORRENT TO THE TEACHINGS OG THE FAITH.”

    - Douglas Martin
    Former Member of the Universal House of Justice
    Baha’i Faith
    22 Sep 2001

    This guy also now apparently says this:

    “The idea of an infallible and ultimate authority has now entered human
    experience…”

    -Bullet Point posted in PART I of a talk by Douglas Martin
    Former Member of the Universal House of Justice
    Baha’i Faith
    27 May 2006

    Yet Shoghi Effendi says this:

    “Divorced from the institution of the Guardianship the World Order of
    Bah??’u’ll??h would be MUTILATED…without such an institution the
    INTEGRITY of the Faith would be imperiled, and the STABILITY of the
    entire fabric would be gravely endangered…the necessary guidance to
    DEFINE THE SPHERE of the legislative action of its elected representatives would be TOTALLY WITHDRAWN.”

    - Shoghi Effendi, The World Order of Baha’u’llah, p. 148

    Hummm.

    And Baha’u’llah says this:

    “They DESIRED to ascend to a STATION that God ordained to be ABOVE THEIR RANKS, when the luminous comet expelled them from among the inhabitants of the kingdom of his presence.”

    - Tablet of the Holy Mariner Revealed by Baha’u’llah

    And Abdu’l-Baha says this:

    “Study the Tablet of the Holy Mariner that ye may know THE TRUTH, and
    consider that the Blessed Beauty hath FULLY FORETOLD FUTURE EVENTS. LET THEM WHO PERCEIVE, TAKE WARNING!”

    -Abdu’l-Baha

    I think it might be a good idea for the rank and file of the Baha’i
    Faith worldwide to heed Abdu’l-Baha. In fact Abdu’l-Baha might be on the
    same talk show broadcasting across the planes of the Universe right now
    with Lord Acton in the next world as people in some other Huge Spiral
    Galaxy tune into a Reality TV Show called: “Earth In The Balance”.

    “Liberty is not a means to a higher political end. It is itself the highest political end…liberty is the only object which benefits all alike, and provokes no sincere opposition…The danger is not that a particular class is unfit to to govern. EVERY CLASS IS UNFIT TO GOVERN…POWER TENDS TO CORRUPT, AND ABSOLUTE POWER CORRUPTS ABSOLUTELY.”

    Keep giving Douglas Martin a plane ticket and a microphone (I’ll even be glad to earmark my contributions to the fund for this) so we can get this show on the road all over the Internet for ALL TIME in the historical record.

    It is called DIVINE JUDGMENT upon people’s hearts as revealed by their mouths.

    - Lord Acton (1834-1902)

  • http://frankwinters.wordpress.com/ Frank Winters

    I believe that any organization or belief system that claims infallibility for itself or any of its founders or authority figures has done itself and its followers a disservice that will lead over time to disaster.

    When you add ?ultimate authority’ to this, the coming of that disastrous day is hastened. I hope Mr. Martin was speaking for himself and not the entire body of the UHJ.

    Religion seems to have inherent notions of ultimate authority and perfection causing a percentage of followers to become fanatics. As we have seen this leads, over and over again, to catastrophe.

    I think it is wise to separate religion from spirituality and leave religion behind. Unfortunately this is a very difficult path to follow. Have any readers of this done so? How and what has this done for you?

    Peace,
    Frank

  • http://frankwinters.wordpress.com/ Frank Winters

    I believe that any organization or belief system that claims infallibility for itself or any of its founders or authority figures has done itself and its followers a disservice that will lead over time to disaster.

    When you add ?ultimate authority’ to this, the coming of that disastrous day is hastened. I hope Mr. Martin was speaking for himself and not the entire body of the UHJ.

    Religion seems to have inherent notions of ultimate authority and perfection causing a percentage of followers to become fanatics. As we have seen this leads, over and over again, to catastrophe.

    I think it is wise to separate religion from spirituality and leave religion behind. Unfortunately this is a very difficult path to follow. Have any readers of this done so? How and what has this done for you?

    Peace,
    Frank

  • http://kaweah.com Dan Jensen

    “Independent investigation of truth” sounds great to me as a non-believer, but is it fundamental to the Baha’i Faith? Baha’u’llah’s Most Holy Book says your duty is to believe and obey. Can you honestly claim that your belief in him is based thoroughly on reason? Can you then demonstrate it for those of us who have not been so convinced, or are we blinded by our vain imaginings?

    When you say “I believe”, do you really *believe*, or is it more like “I believe it’s going to rain”? Are you a believer or a spiritual speculator?

    I believed in it, but I was raised in it.

    When I first expressed my doubts, quite cautiously and modestly, to my Baha’i parents, I was basically told “but you’ve *found* the truth! What’s to investigate?” I find that response more consistent, albeit fundamentalist, than what I’m reading here.

    Sorry I’m being so unpleasant.
    Dan

  • http://kaweah.com Dan Jensen

    “Independent investigation of truth” sounds great to me as a non-believer, but is it fundamental to the Baha’i Faith? Baha’u’llah’s Most Holy Book says your duty is to believe and obey. Can you honestly claim that your belief in him is based thoroughly on reason? Can you then demonstrate it for those of us who have not been so convinced, or are we blinded by our vain imaginings?

    When you say “I believe”, do you really *believe*, or is it more like “I believe it’s going to rain”? Are you a believer or a spiritual speculator?

    I believed in it, but I was raised in it.

    When I first expressed my doubts, quite cautiously and modestly, to my Baha’i parents, I was basically told “but you’ve *found* the truth! What’s to investigate?” I find that response more consistent, albeit fundamentalist, than what I’m reading here.

    Sorry I’m being so unpleasant.
    Dan

  • E

    It is just absurd that humans, especially elected humans, are infallible.

    Period.

    There really doesn’t need to be much more discussion than this, in my opinion. If you think that a bunch of elected people are infallible, or even experts in their field, you are suspending logic and reason.

  • E

    It is just absurd that humans, especially elected humans, are infallible.

    Period.

    There really doesn’t need to be much more discussion than this, in my opinion. If you think that a bunch of elected people are infallible, or even experts in their field, you are suspending logic and reason.

  • http://www.overmywaders.com/cblog/ overmywaders

    It seems that the remarks on the last thread didn’t carry over well. I don’t think that anyone is claiming that the UHJ is omniscient; nor is omniscience necessary to their task; they must simply receive from God the answers they need. These answers are infallible (without flaw) even if there were a Guardian who might “conscientiously believe” that they were not in accord with his understanding of the teachings. Sen neglected to insert a paragraph just two above from that he chose:
    “Referring to both the Guardian and the Universal House of Justice we read these emphatic words: “The sacred and youthful Branch, the Guardian of the Cause of God, as well as the Universal House of Justice to be universally elected and established, are both under the care and protection of the Abha Beauty, under the shelter and unerring guidance of the Exalted One (the Bab) (may my life be offered up for them both). Whatsoever they decide is of God.””
    (Shoghi Effendi, The World Order of Baha’u’llah, p. 149)

    I would think that when Abdu’l-Baha tells us that in his Will and Testament, we should take note. The next sentence in Abdu’l-Baha’s Will and Testament is long, but clear:
    “Whoso obeyeth him not, neither obeyeth them, hath not obeyed God; whoso rebelleth against him and against them hath rebelled against God; whoso opposeth him hath opposed God; whoso contendeth with them hath contended with God;…
    (Abdu’l-Baha, The Will and Testament, p. 11)

    So, you see, neither personal infallibility, nor human omniscience are relevant to this discussion; as I’m sure that we agree that they do not exist. It is sufficient that the UHJ is provided with “unerring guidance”; the outcome of such guidance is “of God” and without flaw.

    Warmest regards,
    overmywaders

  • http://www.overmywaders.com/cblog/ overmywaders

    It seems that the remarks on the last thread didn’t carry over well. I don’t think that anyone is claiming that the UHJ is omniscient; nor is omniscience necessary to their task; they must simply receive from God the answers they need. These answers are infallible (without flaw) even if there were a Guardian who might “conscientiously believe” that they were not in accord with his understanding of the teachings. Sen neglected to insert a paragraph just two above from that he chose:
    “Referring to both the Guardian and the Universal House of Justice we read these emphatic words: “The sacred and youthful Branch, the Guardian of the Cause of God, as well as the Universal House of Justice to be universally elected and established, are both under the care and protection of the Abha Beauty, under the shelter and unerring guidance of the Exalted One (the Bab) (may my life be offered up for them both). Whatsoever they decide is of God.””
    (Shoghi Effendi, The World Order of Baha’u’llah, p. 149)

    I would think that when Abdu’l-Baha tells us that in his Will and Testament, we should take note. The next sentence in Abdu’l-Baha’s Will and Testament is long, but clear:
    “Whoso obeyeth him not, neither obeyeth them, hath not obeyed God; whoso rebelleth against him and against them hath rebelled against God; whoso opposeth him hath opposed God; whoso contendeth with them hath contended with God;…
    (Abdu’l-Baha, The Will and Testament, p. 11)

    So, you see, neither personal infallibility, nor human omniscience are relevant to this discussion; as I’m sure that we agree that they do not exist. It is sufficient that the UHJ is provided with “unerring guidance”; the outcome of such guidance is “of God” and without flaw.

    Warmest regards,
    overmywaders

  • http://www.overmywaders.com/cblog/ overmywaders

    craig,

    The concept of Liberty must not be confused with License. As many beliefs assert “True Liberty is found in perfect servitude to a perfect Master.”

    Of course, philosophers have posited various forms of “negative liberty”, “positive liberty”, “triadic liberty”, etc.; but they seldom relate liberty to complete freedom or the supremacy of the individual conscience — for that is simple anarchy. From a religious point of view, we learn in Genesis that it is “the Knowing of Good and Evil” that causes us to make wrong decisions (“I am naked and ashamed”) and distances us from God. This ia as much true of a single member of the UHJ as anyone else.

    As to the issue of the Magic 8 Ball; don’t you remember how the apostles prayed and then drew lots to find a replacement for Judas Escariot?

    1:26 And they gave forth their lots; and the lot fell upon Matthias; and he was numbered with the eleven apostles.
    (King James Bible, Acts)

    It’s the prayer that is important there.

    Warm regards,
    overmywaders

  • http://www.overmywaders.com/cblog/ overmywaders

    craig,

    The concept of Liberty must not be confused with License. As many beliefs assert “True Liberty is found in perfect servitude to a perfect Master.”

    Of course, philosophers have posited various forms of “negative liberty”, “positive liberty”, “triadic liberty”, etc.; but they seldom relate liberty to complete freedom or the supremacy of the individual conscience — for that is simple anarchy. From a religious point of view, we learn in Genesis that it is “the Knowing of Good and Evil” that causes us to make wrong decisions (“I am naked and ashamed”) and distances us from God. This ia as much true of a single member of the UHJ as anyone else.

    As to the issue of the Magic 8 Ball; don’t you remember how the apostles prayed and then drew lots to find a replacement for Judas Escariot?

    1:26 And they gave forth their lots; and the lot fell upon Matthias; and he was numbered with the eleven apostles.
    (King James Bible, Acts)

    It’s the prayer that is important there.

    Warm regards,
    overmywaders

  • Craig Parke

    Hello overmywaders,

    You write:

    “From a religious point of view, we learn in Genesis that it is ?the Knowing of Good and Evil? that causes us to make wrong decisions (?I am naked and ashamed?) and distances us from God. This ia (sic) as much true of a single member of the UHJ as anyone else.”

    I am not sure exactly what you are saying here?

    I guess you are saying it is sinful and in error for members of the UHJ to have consciences too? So if Douglas Martin’s belief now becomes the world wide belief of the rank and file of the Baha’i Faith that it is “making oneself partners with God” to have a conscience then what are those nine people supposed to do for reasoning if they have to enact a law on something that “is not in the book”. In other words, they can’t just do a search on Ocean to find out what Shoghi Effendi wrote in 1938 and just phone in the decision.

    In such a new case they will have to THINK and USE THEIR CONSCIENCE to reason it out as each individual understands the principles of the Faith. If they are now forbidden to use their individual conscience to make decisions on behalf of people that are also forbidden to use their conscience in life then how are they going to make a thoughtful decision? Just exactly is that future world going to function?

    I guess according to your “drawing lots” guidance in your post, it’s time for the Magic 8 Ball. So it looks like that is how it is going to really be in the future. No reason. No logic. No conscience. Just use the Magic 8 Ball as they did at a major plot point in the current film “Ghost Rider”. (Should Roxanne dump Johnny Blaze after he stands her up on a date? Screenwriting scene answer: consult the Magic 8 Ball!) So it looks like Hollywood is already onto the new advanced decision making methods of the Douglas Martin Ruhiized lock step top down Baha’i Faith.

    So answer me this. If in the future the Universal House of Justice says all Baha’is must now murder their parents in their beds while they are sleeping because the UHJ has received guidance from God that this is the thing to do, will the people that don’t because of the promptings of their own individual conscience get thrown out of the Faith because they have made themselves “partners with God”?

    As for me, I’m not turning over my soul to any organization on this Earth. I’m going by my individual conscience. I am not going to kill my parents in their beds becase some Ruhi course told me to obey the UHJ without personal thought and personal responsibility in life.

  • Craig Parke

    Hello overmywaders,

    You write:

    “From a religious point of view, we learn in Genesis that it is ?the Knowing of Good and Evil? that causes us to make wrong decisions (?I am naked and ashamed?) and distances us from God. This ia (sic) as much true of a single member of the UHJ as anyone else.”

    I am not sure exactly what you are saying here?

    I guess you are saying it is sinful and in error for members of the UHJ to have consciences too? So if Douglas Martin’s belief now becomes the world wide belief of the rank and file of the Baha’i Faith that it is “making oneself partners with God” to have a conscience then what are those nine people supposed to do for reasoning if they have to enact a law on something that “is not in the book”. In other words, they can’t just do a search on Ocean to find out what Shoghi Effendi wrote in 1938 and just phone in the decision.

    In such a new case they will have to THINK and USE THEIR CONSCIENCE to reason it out as each individual understands the principles of the Faith. If they are now forbidden to use their individual conscience to make decisions on behalf of people that are also forbidden to use their conscience in life then how are they going to make a thoughtful decision? Just exactly is that future world going to function?

    I guess according to your “drawing lots” guidance in your post, it’s time for the Magic 8 Ball. So it looks like that is how it is going to really be in the future. No reason. No logic. No conscience. Just use the Magic 8 Ball as they did at a major plot point in the current film “Ghost Rider”. (Should Roxanne dump Johnny Blaze after he stands her up on a date? Screenwriting scene answer: consult the Magic 8 Ball!) So it looks like Hollywood is already onto the new advanced decision making methods of the Douglas Martin Ruhiized lock step top down Baha’i Faith.

    So answer me this. If in the future the Universal House of Justice says all Baha’is must now murder their parents in their beds while they are sleeping because the UHJ has received guidance from God that this is the thing to do, will the people that don’t because of the promptings of their own individual conscience get thrown out of the Faith because they have made themselves “partners with God”?

    As for me, I’m not turning over my soul to any organization on this Earth. I’m going by my individual conscience. I am not going to kill my parents in their beds becase some Ruhi course told me to obey the UHJ without personal thought and personal responsibility in life.

  • http://frankwinters.wordpress.com/ Frank Winters

    There seems to be just two sides to this debate (here and elsewhere). The side that believes in an infallible UHJ quotes Bahai writings to prove it. The side that does not uses logic, experience and/or common sense.

    It seems to me that any belief system that can support its assertions through internal references only is relying on dogma. Where is the science, logic, reason or human experience to support infallibility of any kind?

    If you insist that everything written by the central figures is perfectly correct and has been accurately translated and interpreted then you are locked into a dogmatic and at times illogical box.

    The writings don’t foresee everything that has happened. Certainly they do not foresee a Faith with no Guardian. The Bahai’s need to figure this out for themselves — using conscience informed by meditation and prayer. There is no quote that will adequately cover the situation of no Guardian.

    And in fact there are many things like this that occur every day — people need to be – and in fact are — free to consult their reason and conscience — even though these facilties are not infallible. But then nothing in this life is (IMO).

  • http://frankwinters.wordpress.com/ Frank Winters

    There seems to be just two sides to this debate (here and elsewhere). The side that believes in an infallible UHJ quotes Bahai writings to prove it. The side that does not uses logic, experience and/or common sense.

    It seems to me that any belief system that can support its assertions through internal references only is relying on dogma. Where is the science, logic, reason or human experience to support infallibility of any kind?

    If you insist that everything written by the central figures is perfectly correct and has been accurately translated and interpreted then you are locked into a dogmatic and at times illogical box.

    The writings don’t foresee everything that has happened. Certainly they do not foresee a Faith with no Guardian. The Bahai’s need to figure this out for themselves — using conscience informed by meditation and prayer. There is no quote that will adequately cover the situation of no Guardian.

    And in fact there are many things like this that occur every day — people need to be – and in fact are — free to consult their reason and conscience — even though these facilties are not infallible. But then nothing in this life is (IMO).

  • http://www.overmywaders.com/cblog/ overmywaders

    craig,

    I don’t think Ruhi is necessary to the discussion, so I’ll pass on that. I find that there is plenty to discuss in this thread without that.

    As to the matter of the human conscience, it clearly can be informed of God. The UHJ often uses the phrase, “This is a matter left to each individual to decide in the light of his own conscience.”, or similar wording. (11 times in “Lights of Guidance”, not to mention the many times they imply it through not ruling on an issue.)

    However, as the Guardian pointed out — “He (the Guardian) was very sorry to hear that … has left the Cause, and suggests that you point out to her, and to any other of the friends who are confused and upset over this matter, that the Manifestation of God only gives us teachings and instructions designed for our good and protection, and that if each person reserves the right to obey his own conscience, the logical conclusion is we don’t need any spiritual authority to guide and protect us, the authority of our own consciences is sufficient!”
    (Shoghi Effendi, The Unfolding Destiny of the British Baha’i Community, p. 443)

    Clearly, the conscience is necessary, but just as clearly, that conscience should be under the guidance of God through personal union with Him. Remember:
    “The Bah??’? Faith, like all other Divine Religions, is thus fundamentally mystic in character. Its chief goal is the development of the individual and society, through the acquisition of spiritual virtues and powers. It is the soul of man which has first to be fed. And this spiritual nourishment prayer can best provide.

    “Laws and institutions, as viewed by Bah??’u’ll??h, can become really effective only when our inner spiritual life has been perfected and transformed. Otherwise religion will degenerate into a mere organization, and becomes a dead thing.”
    (Shoghi Effendi, Directives from the Guardian, p. 86)

    So, the individual conscience is not being turfed out; nor did Douglas Martin state or imply this. In point of fact, we don’t have any writing from Mr. Martin on the subject, do we? I know you wish to believe the notes taken by individuals from a speech are accurate; but even the note-takers say that “They are not a transcript of the talk or of the question and answer period. … my perceptions of his talk.” Please be fair to others and don’t attribute words to them based upon what can only be regarded as hearsay, or, if you prefer, the equivalent of “Pilgrim’s notes”. If however, I am wrong (which happens with amazing frequency) and you have the notes of Douglas Martin’s address From Douglas Martin; then I stand corrected and abashed.

    Yet, I don’t have a problem with the concept that individual conscience should not reign supreme under a democratic government (that was the context). For we all must sacrifice some “rights” to the common good — it’s called “The Social Contract”. I agree not to shout “Fire!” whimsically in a crowded theater — I have yielded the right to totally free speech. I understand that for the good of all we have laws about libel and slander — I have yielded the right to totally free speech. In return for these rights we receive certain protections. I think this is sufficient, you understand the Social Contract. The same applies to the Baha’i Faith but the laws are clearly from God.

    Warm regards,
    overmywaders

  • http://www.overmywaders.com/cblog/ overmywaders

    craig,

    I don’t think Ruhi is necessary to the discussion, so I’ll pass on that. I find that there is plenty to discuss in this thread without that.

    As to the matter of the human conscience, it clearly can be informed of God. The UHJ often uses the phrase, “This is a matter left to each individual to decide in the light of his own conscience.”, or similar wording. (11 times in “Lights of Guidance”, not to mention the many times they imply it through not ruling on an issue.)

    However, as the Guardian pointed out — “He (the Guardian) was very sorry to hear that … has left the Cause, and suggests that you point out to her, and to any other of the friends who are confused and upset over this matter, that the Manifestation of God only gives us teachings and instructions designed for our good and protection, and that if each person reserves the right to obey his own conscience, the logical conclusion is we don’t need any spiritual authority to guide and protect us, the authority of our own consciences is sufficient!”
    (Shoghi Effendi, The Unfolding Destiny of the British Baha’i Community, p. 443)

    Clearly, the conscience is necessary, but just as clearly, that conscience should be under the guidance of God through personal union with Him. Remember:
    “The Bah??’? Faith, like all other Divine Religions, is thus fundamentally mystic in character. Its chief goal is the development of the individual and society, through the acquisition of spiritual virtues and powers. It is the soul of man which has first to be fed. And this spiritual nourishment prayer can best provide.

    “Laws and institutions, as viewed by Bah??’u’ll??h, can become really effective only when our inner spiritual life has been perfected and transformed. Otherwise religion will degenerate into a mere organization, and becomes a dead thing.”
    (Shoghi Effendi, Directives from the Guardian, p. 86)

    So, the individual conscience is not being turfed out; nor did Douglas Martin state or imply this. In point of fact, we don’t have any writing from Mr. Martin on the subject, do we? I know you wish to believe the notes taken by individuals from a speech are accurate; but even the note-takers say that “They are not a transcript of the talk or of the question and answer period. … my perceptions of his talk.” Please be fair to others and don’t attribute words to them based upon what can only be regarded as hearsay, or, if you prefer, the equivalent of “Pilgrim’s notes”. If however, I am wrong (which happens with amazing frequency) and you have the notes of Douglas Martin’s address From Douglas Martin; then I stand corrected and abashed.

    Yet, I don’t have a problem with the concept that individual conscience should not reign supreme under a democratic government (that was the context). For we all must sacrifice some “rights” to the common good — it’s called “The Social Contract”. I agree not to shout “Fire!” whimsically in a crowded theater — I have yielded the right to totally free speech. I understand that for the good of all we have laws about libel and slander — I have yielded the right to totally free speech. In return for these rights we receive certain protections. I think this is sufficient, you understand the Social Contract. The same applies to the Baha’i Faith but the laws are clearly from God.

    Warm regards,
    overmywaders

  • Brendan Cook

    I know that many of the posters have already read it, but for anyone who hasn’t, I can’t resist advertising a little fable I wrote. “The Strange Story of Max the Infallible Donkey” seems too relevant not to recommend here.

    http://snipurl.com/1c34r

  • Brendan Cook

    I know that many of the posters have already read it, but for anyone who hasn’t, I can’t resist advertising a little fable I wrote. “The Strange Story of Max the Infallible Donkey” seems too relevant not to recommend here.

    http://snipurl.com/1c34r

  • http://www.overmywaders.com/cblog/ overmywaders

    Frank,

    You said:
    “There seems to be just two sides to this debate (here and elsewhere). The side that believes in an infallible UHJ quotes Bahai writings to prove it. The side that does not uses logic, experience and/or common sense.”

    I think that if you hope we can reason together (consult) that you would use logic and not logical fallacies as above. Instead of looking at the arguments put forward, you have simply applied labels. While this is convenient, it is both a strawman and guilt by association. So, let us reason together.

    I do not believe that the UHJ is infallible or omniscient. I do believe that it is not illogical to think that the results of the UHJ’s prayerful “en banc” deliberations will be from God; since such is recorded. Even if the Writings had not attested to the flawless nature of the UHJ’s decisions on matters within their purview, we can reason it thusly:

    Given that:
    1/ we acknowledge the existence of God — with all the Omnis possible;
    2/ we trust that God wishes Man’s (singular and corporate) ultimate (though not necessarily temporal) Good;
    3/ we reason that God wishes to communicate to man;

    We can deduce that:
    1/ God will communicate to Man;
    2/ an Infinite, Unknowable Spirit will communicate through spiritual means;
    3/ the man must be in the state of prayer/union/submission/openness to receive the communication;
    4/ the individual will receive the knowledge necessary to him;
    5/ that knowledge/direction will be true for the day/moment.

    If we reason, as above, that we as individuals can commune with God; it is not unreasonable to believe others can — even if those others are jointly the Universal House of Justice.

    Does a direction from God regarding an action hold for all time? Well, just because it’s snowing today, and I shovel the snow, it does not demand that I should still be shoveling snow in August (although it feels like that in March). Knowledge of our path, guidance if you will, is like manna from heaven — it must be picked fresh each day or it turns into something worthless (since you seem to have an aversion to any references to scriptures, I toss that one in carefully).

    Some of the items I listed above as given may not be true for you; I don’t know. However, they seem fundamental to any discussion among Baha’is.

    Warm regards,
    overmywaders

  • Brendan Cook

    You’ll have to scroll down just a little past the recommended article to find the story with this link.

  • http://www.overmywaders.com/cblog/ overmywaders

    Frank,

    You said:
    “There seems to be just two sides to this debate (here and elsewhere). The side that believes in an infallible UHJ quotes Bahai writings to prove it. The side that does not uses logic, experience and/or common sense.”

    I think that if you hope we can reason together (consult) that you would use logic and not logical fallacies as above. Instead of looking at the arguments put forward, you have simply applied labels. While this is convenient, it is both a strawman and guilt by association. So, let us reason together.

    I do not believe that the UHJ is infallible or omniscient. I do believe that it is not illogical to think that the results of the UHJ’s prayerful “en banc” deliberations will be from God; since such is recorded. Even if the Writings had not attested to the flawless nature of the UHJ’s decisions on matters within their purview, we can reason it thusly:

    Given that:
    1/ we acknowledge the existence of God — with all the Omnis possible;
    2/ we trust that God wishes Man’s (singular and corporate) ultimate (though not necessarily temporal) Good;
    3/ we reason that God wishes to communicate to man;

    We can deduce that:
    1/ God will communicate to Man;
    2/ an Infinite, Unknowable Spirit will communicate through spiritual means;
    3/ the man must be in the state of prayer/union/submission/openness to receive the communication;
    4/ the individual will receive the knowledge necessary to him;
    5/ that knowledge/direction will be true for the day/moment.

    If we reason, as above, that we as individuals can commune with God; it is not unreasonable to believe others can — even if those others are jointly the Universal House of Justice.

    Does a direction from God regarding an action hold for all time? Well, just because it’s snowing today, and I shovel the snow, it does not demand that I should still be shoveling snow in August (although it feels like that in March). Knowledge of our path, guidance if you will, is like manna from heaven — it must be picked fresh each day or it turns into something worthless (since you seem to have an aversion to any references to scriptures, I toss that one in carefully).

    Some of the items I listed above as given may not be true for you; I don’t know. However, they seem fundamental to any discussion among Baha’is.

    Warm regards,
    overmywaders

  • Brendan Cook

    You’ll have to scroll down just a little past the recommended article to find the story with this link.

  • Brendan Cook

    Overmywaders,

    You seem like a bright fellow — let *us* reason together. I like the sound of the case you make to Frank, the logical necessity with which each point follows the next. It puts me in mind of a piece of reasoning from my story available on the link above — forgive the self-advertising. Here, a farmer back in the 1930′s is answering one of his neighbors who has just objected to the notion that a being, in this case the man’s donkey, Max, can receceive guidance so as to be ‘freed from error’. I think you’ll find the comparison instructive.

    ?You make a good point Mrs. Marshall,? said Dan, looking as much at the crowd as at her, ?and if we were talking about something else I might agree with you. But this is different from an ordinary question where there’s room for doubt on both sides. If what I’m telling you about Max here were only a matter of someone’s opinion, you could be right. People believe all sorts of things, and as you know they’re often wrong. That’s what it means to be fallible. But you’ve also got to understand that an infallible source isn’t like that: it doesn’t depend on what one person thinks. It’s not me but Max himself who says he’s infallible, and we have to remember that the things he says are more than just theories. We can trust what he tells us as we could never trust a fallible statement. If we couldn’t trust him, he wouldn’t be infallible, now would he??

    Persuasive, no? I think we all need to remember that it is the House that has decided that the House is infallible — who are we to say otherwise? That, as they say back in Saskatchewan, is the long and the short of it.

    Brendan

  • Brendan Cook

    Overmywaders,

    You seem like a bright fellow — let *us* reason together. I like the sound of the case you make to Frank, the logical necessity with which each point follows the next. It puts me in mind of a piece of reasoning from my story available on the link above — forgive the self-advertising. Here, a farmer back in the 1930′s is answering one of his neighbors who has just objected to the notion that a being, in this case the man’s donkey, Max, can receceive guidance so as to be ‘freed from error’. I think you’ll find the comparison instructive.

    ?You make a good point Mrs. Marshall,? said Dan, looking as much at the crowd as at her, ?and if we were talking about something else I might agree with you. But this is different from an ordinary question where there’s room for doubt on both sides. If what I’m telling you about Max here were only a matter of someone’s opinion, you could be right. People believe all sorts of things, and as you know they’re often wrong. That’s what it means to be fallible. But you’ve also got to understand that an infallible source isn’t like that: it doesn’t depend on what one person thinks. It’s not me but Max himself who says he’s infallible, and we have to remember that the things he says are more than just theories. We can trust what he tells us as we could never trust a fallible statement. If we couldn’t trust him, he wouldn’t be infallible, now would he??

    Persuasive, no? I think we all need to remember that it is the House that has decided that the House is infallible — who are we to say otherwise? That, as they say back in Saskatchewan, is the long and the short of it.

    Brendan

  • http://frankwinters.wordpress.com/ Frank Winters

    Dear Over,

    You wrote: “I think that if you hope we can reason together (consult) that you would use logic and not logical fallacies as above. Instead of looking at the arguments put forward, you have simply applied labels. While this is convenient, it is both a strawman and guilt by association. So, let us reason together.”

    I think in this case it is you who are applying labels to my comments here — logical fallacies. Please let me know exactly what you are referring to. Is it simply that you label statements you disagree with? BTW I do not offer my opinion as a Strawman – I believe what I write.

    In any case I agree with what you have written regarding getting help from the spiritual world. You say you don’t believe in infallibility of the UHJ. I agree.

    I wonder what we are disagreeing about.

    If you believe that Bahai solves all the problems of the world — I disagree. But if you say that much wisdom is contained in the Bahai writings — I agree. My issue with Bahai in its essence has to do with claims of ultimate authority and infallibility; this is why I got involved here.

    But then I have this issue with any organization that makes these claims. I think that the negatives in religion stem from this unfortunate tendency — to make such claims. It saddens me because there is much in religion of value but I fear the claim of being the ultimate is a fatal flaw.

    Best Wishes,
    Frank

  • http://frankwinters.wordpress.com/ Frank Winters

    Dear Over,

    You wrote: “I think that if you hope we can reason together (consult) that you would use logic and not logical fallacies as above. Instead of looking at the arguments put forward, you have simply applied labels. While this is convenient, it is both a strawman and guilt by association. So, let us reason together.”

    I think in this case it is you who are applying labels to my comments here — logical fallacies. Please let me know exactly what you are referring to. Is it simply that you label statements you disagree with? BTW I do not offer my opinion as a Strawman – I believe what I write.

    In any case I agree with what you have written regarding getting help from the spiritual world. You say you don’t believe in infallibility of the UHJ. I agree.

    I wonder what we are disagreeing about.

    If you believe that Bahai solves all the problems of the world — I disagree. But if you say that much wisdom is contained in the Bahai writings — I agree. My issue with Bahai in its essence has to do with claims of ultimate authority and infallibility; this is why I got involved here.

    But then I have this issue with any organization that makes these claims. I think that the negatives in religion stem from this unfortunate tendency — to make such claims. It saddens me because there is much in religion of value but I fear the claim of being the ultimate is a fatal flaw.

    Best Wishes,
    Frank

  • http://www.overmywaders.com/cblog/ overmywaders

    Frank,

    Many decades ago, in college, we enjoyed the paradox — “I hate all those labellers and pigeonholers.” You got me.

    As I mentioned on the other thread, we are largely in agreement as to the point under discussion; though, as you note, we differ as to what we perceive is making the claim for ultimate authority — you see it as the Baha’i Faith; I see it as God, one of whose temporal tools is currently the Baha’i Writings (and many other scriptures in complement) when individuals read them with the discernment of the Holy Spirit. “The letter kills but the Spirit gives life.” That the UHJ is part of God’s toolset seems clear -to me- from the Writings. If we view that institution as a tool of God instead of an overseer, it gives a different perspective.

    But, no, we are not far apart.

    Warmest regards,
    Reed

  • http://www.overmywaders.com/cblog/ overmywaders

    Frank,

    Many decades ago, in college, we enjoyed the paradox — “I hate all those labellers and pigeonholers.” You got me.

    As I mentioned on the other thread, we are largely in agreement as to the point under discussion; though, as you note, we differ as to what we perceive is making the claim for ultimate authority — you see it as the Baha’i Faith; I see it as God, one of whose temporal tools is currently the Baha’i Writings (and many other scriptures in complement) when individuals read them with the discernment of the Holy Spirit. “The letter kills but the Spirit gives life.” That the UHJ is part of God’s toolset seems clear -to me- from the Writings. If we view that institution as a tool of God instead of an overseer, it gives a different perspective.

    But, no, we are not far apart.

    Warmest regards,
    Reed

  • http://kaweah.com/blog Dan Jensen

    I beg to differ with OMW regarding Genesis. What OMW presents is a Christian view, and I suppose, the dominant Baha’i view. Try asking a Jew or a Zoroastrian what it means to possess the knowledge of good and evil (conscience), and to “be like unto God”. It is a great thing, but it can involve immense shame. It means having the responsibilities of a god. Some people, such as Adam, aren’t comfortable with conscience. Eve, however, chose to heed it, regardless of the rules and the consequences. Eve may go straight to Hell for heeding her conscience, and she may take Mr. Eve (Mr. Marshall? ;-)) down with her. How many here are willing to do the same?

    (Thanks Brendan for all the metaphors!)

    I would also agree with St. Martin that heeding one’s conscience is equivalent to taking partners with God; but so what? This is a virtue in Zoroastrianism, wherein it is believed that Evil will prevail if good men do not become partners with God. The problem with St. Martin is that he does not believe in conscience. He wants to go back to the garden, close the eyes of his conscience, and see his nakedness no more.

    It is a shame that we should find ourselves naked, but there’s no going back. Let’s make some clothing. Let’s get to work.

  • http://kaweah.com/blog Dan Jensen

    I beg to differ with OMW regarding Genesis. What OMW presents is a Christian view, and I suppose, the dominant Baha’i view. Try asking a Jew or a Zoroastrian what it means to possess the knowledge of good and evil (conscience), and to “be like unto God”. It is a great thing, but it can involve immense shame. It means having the responsibilities of a god. Some people, such as Adam, aren’t comfortable with conscience. Eve, however, chose to heed it, regardless of the rules and the consequences. Eve may go straight to Hell for heeding her conscience, and she may take Mr. Eve (Mr. Marshall? ;-)) down with her. How many here are willing to do the same?

    (Thanks Brendan for all the metaphors!)

    I would also agree with St. Martin that heeding one’s conscience is equivalent to taking partners with God; but so what? This is a virtue in Zoroastrianism, wherein it is believed that Evil will prevail if good men do not become partners with God. The problem with St. Martin is that he does not believe in conscience. He wants to go back to the garden, close the eyes of his conscience, and see his nakedness no more.

    It is a shame that we should find ourselves naked, but there’s no going back. Let’s make some clothing. Let’s get to work.

  • http://www.overmywaders.com/cblog/ overmywaders

    Brendan,

    While I understand the allusions of your metaphor, there is no *reason* to it. It would be a sad day when anyone would be confounded by it; but it is very nicely expressed, thank you.

    I don’t understand why you say that the UHJ is claiming their own infallibility, when as shown above, it was Abdu’l-Baha who stated succinctly that whatever the UHJ decides is of God (flawless). “?The sacred and youthful Branch, the Guardian of the Cause of God, as well as the Universal House of Justice to be universally elected and established, are both under the care and protection of the Abha Beauty, under the shelter and unerring guidance of the Exalted One (the Bab) (may my life be offered up for them both). Whatsoever they decide is of God.?
    Abdu’l-Baha His Will and Testament

    Dan,

    Well, since you have “the responsibility of a god”; could you do something about this weather? It’s on your shoulders :)

    Naturally, if you feel that a conscience unsupported by Omniscience and Perfect Love is useful; we cannot agree. To make a decision of import knowing only five of five trillion variables doesn’t seem safe; to yourself or others. Oh, I understand that walking with God is a strait path, and probably twists and turns; but at least one has Him for guidance. (Fortunately, your independence from Omniscience is also divorcing you from Omnipotence. You may be a god to yourself; but you are not so empowered. Close call, that.)

    Mr. Douglas Martin (I don’t think that mature adults need to resort to derisive name-calling, do you?) has not in any written statements indicated that he does not believe in conscience. As I requested previously, if you have a message from Mr. Martin so stating, provide it with provenance; otherwise you are simply gossiping, n’est pas?

    As for not going back to the garden, you might want to read some of Paul’s epistles, Gerhart Ter Steegen, Henry Suso, Richard Rolle, Geo. MacDonald, Novalis, Thomas Traherne, or any of dozens of other Christian mystics on the subject. Christ was accorded the title “The Second Adam”, not for naught.

    Warmest regards,
    overmywaders

  • http://www.overmywaders.com/cblog/ overmywaders

    Brendan,

    While I understand the allusions of your metaphor, there is no *reason* to it. It would be a sad day when anyone would be confounded by it; but it is very nicely expressed, thank you.

    I don’t understand why you say that the UHJ is claiming their own infallibility, when as shown above, it was Abdu’l-Baha who stated succinctly that whatever the UHJ decides is of God (flawless). “?The sacred and youthful Branch, the Guardian of the Cause of God, as well as the Universal House of Justice to be universally elected and established, are both under the care and protection of the Abha Beauty, under the shelter and unerring guidance of the Exalted One (the Bab) (may my life be offered up for them both). Whatsoever they decide is of God.?
    Abdu’l-Baha His Will and Testament

    Dan,

    Well, since you have “the responsibility of a god”; could you do something about this weather? It’s on your shoulders :)

    Naturally, if you feel that a conscience unsupported by Omniscience and Perfect Love is useful; we cannot agree. To make a decision of import knowing only five of five trillion variables doesn’t seem safe; to yourself or others. Oh, I understand that walking with God is a strait path, and probably twists and turns; but at least one has Him for guidance. (Fortunately, your independence from Omniscience is also divorcing you from Omnipotence. You may be a god to yourself; but you are not so empowered. Close call, that.)

    Mr. Douglas Martin (I don’t think that mature adults need to resort to derisive name-calling, do you?) has not in any written statements indicated that he does not believe in conscience. As I requested previously, if you have a message from Mr. Martin so stating, provide it with provenance; otherwise you are simply gossiping, n’est pas?

    As for not going back to the garden, you might want to read some of Paul’s epistles, Gerhart Ter Steegen, Henry Suso, Richard Rolle, Geo. MacDonald, Novalis, Thomas Traherne, or any of dozens of other Christian mystics on the subject. Christ was accorded the title “The Second Adam”, not for naught.

    Warmest regards,
    overmywaders

  • Brendan Cook

    Over,

    What do I mean when I say the House is the one that has declared itself infallible? Only that Abdu’l-Baha’s words can be interpreted differently, metaphor, hyperbole — this is even assuming that ‘ma’sum’ or whatever it is even implies propositional inerrancy in the first place. What matters is that not everyone understands the Master’s words the way that the House has chosen to, not everyone thinks that the House cannot collectively make a mistake, as Douglas Martin does. This is simply the interpretation many members of the House have chosen. In other words, it is the same body to which Abdu’l-Baha’s words are applied that has also chose to interpret them in this literal, and I think dangerously simple way.

    As for Martin’s statement, I would doubt the note-taking more if he hadn’t said so many similar things at other times. As I historian, I spend a lot of time deciding whether a statement is probably accurate, and there are a lot of reasons to think Martin said something very close to what the note-taker thinks he did. I would ask Martin himself since he lives here in Toronto, but I hear he is not happy with my donkey story — natural enough I suppose — so I guess that even if he wanted to explain it, he wouldn’t explain it to me.

    Brendan

  • Brendan Cook

    Over,

    What do I mean when I say the House is the one that has declared itself infallible? Only that Abdu’l-Baha’s words can be interpreted differently, metaphor, hyperbole — this is even assuming that ‘ma’sum’ or whatever it is even implies propositional inerrancy in the first place. What matters is that not everyone understands the Master’s words the way that the House has chosen to, not everyone thinks that the House cannot collectively make a mistake, as Douglas Martin does. This is simply the interpretation many members of the House have chosen. In other words, it is the same body to which Abdu’l-Baha’s words are applied that has also chose to interpret them in this literal, and I think dangerously simple way.

    As for Martin’s statement, I would doubt the note-taking more if he hadn’t said so many similar things at other times. As I historian, I spend a lot of time deciding whether a statement is probably accurate, and there are a lot of reasons to think Martin said something very close to what the note-taker thinks he did. I would ask Martin himself since he lives here in Toronto, but I hear he is not happy with my donkey story — natural enough I suppose — so I guess that even if he wanted to explain it, he wouldn’t explain it to me.

    Brendan

  • http://kaweah.com/blog/bahai-faith Dan Jensen

    Dear Mx. Overmywaders,

    Adulthood is overrated, yet I will agree to desist from my childish name-calling if you agree to desist from your tiresome name-dropping.

    “St. Martin” is no more than a placeholder to me for an ideology that seems dominant in Bahaism. Is it, or is it not? Perhaps I am mistaken? I have never met any living, breathing man named “Mr. Douglas Martin” and I don’t care whether that man, should he exist, is a spokesman for the idea or not.

    It is not as though Baha’u’llah himself did not say that there is a class of men, imbued with conscience, who have no use for the Fear of God. As for the rest, let them be managed by religion.

    I don’t have a theology for what I feel. You have your ties with Omniscience and Perfect Love; I do not. We do not think alike, friend, yet we may love alike. Take heart.

    Godspeed,
    St. Dan

  • http://kaweah.com/blog/bahai-faith Dan Jensen

    Dear Mx. Overmywaders,

    Adulthood is overrated, yet I will agree to desist from my childish name-calling if you agree to desist from your tiresome name-dropping.

    “St. Martin” is no more than a placeholder to me for an ideology that seems dominant in Bahaism. Is it, or is it not? Perhaps I am mistaken? I have never met any living, breathing man named “Mr. Douglas Martin” and I don’t care whether that man, should he exist, is a spokesman for the idea or not.

    It is not as though Baha’u’llah himself did not say that there is a class of men, imbued with conscience, who have no use for the Fear of God. As for the rest, let them be managed by religion.

    I don’t have a theology for what I feel. You have your ties with Omniscience and Perfect Love; I do not. We do not think alike, friend, yet we may love alike. Take heart.

    Godspeed,
    St. Dan

  • Craig Parke

    Dear Overmywaders,

    I am trying to follow your logic.

    As to members of the UHJ having supposed quotes from “note takers” on the Internet as not being valid for discussion, I feel that is a straw man argument. I feel it is the personal responsibility of anyone in a high position in the Faith to check the notes of what they supposedly have said that are put on the Internet for accuracy. If the notes are incorrect from a talk they should be immediately pulled from the Internet. The quote in question has been on the world wide web for five years. If it is incorrect it should be taken down.

    You seem to be saying that it is fine to go with the Magic 8 Ball concept of Divine Guidance if you just pray first. That seems to be the gist of the post-Judas actions of the Disciples in Acts. I am going to do an experiment. I am getting a Magic 8 Ball and I am going to start making decisions based upon it. Maybe I will start a new religion where EVERYONE IS INFALLIBLE if they pray first and then use the Magic 8 Ball. We may all be onto something here! Like I said, Roxanne does use it in “Ghost Rider” to determine if she should break off her relationship with Johnny Blaze.

    But you have not answered my question. Given Douglas Martin’s quote, if the UHJ says I should murder my parents and I refuse to do it based upon the thoughts and promptings of my individual conscience have I made my self “partners with God” and then am fully subject to being thrown out of the Faith for thought crimes?

    I always thought the UHJ had infallibility in the sense of the authority of final say in ruling in their “sphere” of functioning which I thought was at the level of nations. In all these years as a Baha’i I never foresaw the current new top down micromanaged Faith where one must use the exact methods perscribed by the UHJ for teaching the Faith and all individual initiative outside of that system of any kind is forbidden. I have always had my own teaching plan that I set up and implemented myself with individual initiative. But those days are over now just like having an individual conscience guiding what I did in life.

  • Craig Parke

    Dear Overmywaders,

    I am trying to follow your logic.

    As to members of the UHJ having supposed quotes from “note takers” on the Internet as not being valid for discussion, I feel that is a straw man argument. I feel it is the personal responsibility of anyone in a high position in the Faith to check the notes of what they supposedly have said that are put on the Internet for accuracy. If the notes are incorrect from a talk they should be immediately pulled from the Internet. The quote in question has been on the world wide web for five years. If it is incorrect it should be taken down.

    You seem to be saying that it is fine to go with the Magic 8 Ball concept of Divine Guidance if you just pray first. That seems to be the gist of the post-Judas actions of the Disciples in Acts. I am going to do an experiment. I am getting a Magic 8 Ball and I am going to start making decisions based upon it. Maybe I will start a new religion where EVERYONE IS INFALLIBLE if they pray first and then use the Magic 8 Ball. We may all be onto something here! Like I said, Roxanne does use it in “Ghost Rider” to determine if she should break off her relationship with Johnny Blaze.

    But you have not answered my question. Given Douglas Martin’s quote, if the UHJ says I should murder my parents and I refuse to do it based upon the thoughts and promptings of my individual conscience have I made my self “partners with God” and then am fully subject to being thrown out of the Faith for thought crimes?

    I always thought the UHJ had infallibility in the sense of the authority of final say in ruling in their “sphere” of functioning which I thought was at the level of nations. In all these years as a Baha’i I never foresaw the current new top down micromanaged Faith where one must use the exact methods perscribed by the UHJ for teaching the Faith and all individual initiative outside of that system of any kind is forbidden. I have always had my own teaching plan that I set up and implemented myself with individual initiative. But those days are over now just like having an individual conscience guiding what I did in life.

  • http://www.overmywaders.com/cblog/ overmywaders

    Craig,

    Perhaps I might address the last issue first, that of personal initiative. I have had to do some research on the subject and I would like to share the results with you.

    We have the following from the Guardian:

    Regarding the publication of Bah??’? periodicals in America, there is no doubt whatsoever that every individual Bah??’? is free to inaugurate and conduct any magazine of his own provided that nothing is published therein which in the estimation of the National Assembly tends in the least to become detrimental or injurious to the highest interests of the Cause. Within these limits, and these limits only, private initiative should in no wise be discouraged and is indeed highly praiseworthy. (Shoghi Effendi, Baha’i Administration, p. 76) [italics mine]

    Regarding NSA’s the Guardian wrote:

    Theirs is the duty, while retaining the sacred and exclusive right of final decision in their hands, to invite discussion, provide information, ventilate grievances, welcome advice from even the most humble and insignificant members of the Bah??’? family, expose their motives, set forth their plans, justify their actions, revise if necessary their verdict, foster the spirit of individual initiative and enterprise, and fortify the sense of interdependence and co-partnership, of understanding and mutual confidence between them on one hand and all local Assemblies and individual believers on the other. (Shoghi Effendi, Baha’i Administration, p. 143) [italics mine]

    [The italics didn't carry over, but you can imagine where they are. Clearly, the Guardian placed a great emphasis on personal initiative and expected the NSA's to follow suit.]

    Here is the UHJ’s endorsement of personal initiative:

    Deliberation on this vast conception was to lead Shoghi Effendi to provide the Bah??’? world with a coherent description of the future that has since permitted three generations of believers to articulate for governments, media and the general public in every part of the world the perspective in which the Bah??’? Faith pursues its work:

    The unity of the human race, as envisaged by Bah??’u’ll??h, implies the establishment of a world commonwealth in which all nations, races, creeds and classes are closely and permanently united, and in which the autonomy of its state members and the personal freedom and initiative of the individuals that compose them are definitely and completely safeguarded.
    (Commissioned by The Universal House of Justice, Century of Light, p. 51) (the 2cd part was quoting from the Guardian.)

    “It is at this local level of Bah??’? community life, the very foundation of the administrative structure of the Faith, that we so often find lack of adequate strength and efficiency. It is at this same level that our beloved Guardian urged Auxiliary Board members to… impress upon the friends the importance of individual effort, initiative and sacrifice, and encourage them to participate in Bah??’? activities and be unified under all circumstances.”
    (From a letter of the Universal House of Justice to all Continental
    Board of Counsellors, November 17, 1971)
    (Compilations, Lights of Guidance, p. 41)

    “National Committees are ordinarily appointed by and responsible to the National Spiritual Assembly, but within the limits by wise discretion the National Spiritual Assembly may authorize a particular Committee to appoint a sub-committee or to ask individuals to assist it in carrying out its assigned functions.

    “In calling these principles to the attention of the believers, however, care must be exercised not to dampen the enthusiasm or initiative of the friends.”
    (From a letter written on behalf of the Universal House of Justice to the National Spiritual Assembly of the North West Pacific Ocean, September 5, 1947)
    (Compilations, Lights of Guidance, p. 166)

    “The individual initiative of the friends should be carefully nurtured and encouraged so that they may, guided by the spiritual principles of our Faith, arise to fulfil their spiritual responsibilities.”
    (From a letter written on behalf of the Universal House of Justice to the National Spiritual Assembly of Uruguay, June 18, 1986)
    (Compilations, Lights of Guidance, p. 556)

    I think that is enough to provide a basis to state that the UHJ not only does encourage personal initiative in the Faith, but, in accord with the guidance of the Guardian, must do so and must request the NSA’s to as well.

    Now, you might say that your experience with teaching plans seemed to discourage personal initiative. Well, you must then take the initiative and present a reasoned case to the LSA or NSA informing them that their approach/conduct/emphasis is contrary to the teachings. How else are they to learn if you, and other like-minded people, don’t teach them?

    I speak from experience. When some plan is presented to an audience of Baha’is, it will be received/perceived in many vastly different ways. No matter how clearly a statement is articulated, each member of the audience is unique, providing many different perceptions, some of them contrary to the intent of the speaker. Just so, the propagation of the suggestions put forward by the UHJ regarding teaching have been grievously misunderstood in some quarters and it is incumbent (obligatory) that those who know better, lovingly lead those people to a sound knowledge of the guidance on such matters, from the Writings.

    To show how these matters of the teaching plans have been misunderstood, NSA’s has had to assure people that adopting study circles does not mean neglecting Firesides (we know how strongly Shoghi Effendi felt about Firesides) or that starting childrens’ classes does not mean you shut down existing schools.

    Set these people straight, Craig, about personal initiative. Assume that their intent is pure, but they are mistaken. Take it all the way to the UHJ if necessary. That’s MHO.

    I’ll try to address your other questions at another time. IMO, I needed to take the last first.

    Warmest regards,
    overmywaders

  • http://www.overmywaders.com/cblog/ overmywaders

    Craig,

    Perhaps I might address the last issue first, that of personal initiative. I have had to do some research on the subject and I would like to share the results with you.

    We have the following from the Guardian:

    Regarding the publication of Bah??’? periodicals in America, there is no doubt whatsoever that every individual Bah??’? is free to inaugurate and conduct any magazine of his own provided that nothing is published therein which in the estimation of the National Assembly tends in the least to become detrimental or injurious to the highest interests of the Cause. Within these limits, and these limits only, private initiative should in no wise be discouraged and is indeed highly praiseworthy. (Shoghi Effendi, Baha’i Administration, p. 76) [italics mine]

    Regarding NSA’s the Guardian wrote:

    Theirs is the duty, while retaining the sacred and exclusive right of final decision in their hands, to invite discussion, provide information, ventilate grievances, welcome advice from even the most humble and insignificant members of the Bah??’? family, expose their motives, set forth their plans, justify their actions, revise if necessary their verdict, foster the spirit of individual initiative and enterprise, and fortify the sense of interdependence and co-partnership, of understanding and mutual confidence between them on one hand and all local Assemblies and individual believers on the other. (Shoghi Effendi, Baha’i Administration, p. 143) [italics mine]

    [The italics didn't carry over, but you can imagine where they are. Clearly, the Guardian placed a great emphasis on personal initiative and expected the NSA's to follow suit.]

    Here is the UHJ’s endorsement of personal initiative:

    Deliberation on this vast conception was to lead Shoghi Effendi to provide the Bah??’? world with a coherent description of the future that has since permitted three generations of believers to articulate for governments, media and the general public in every part of the world the perspective in which the Bah??’? Faith pursues its work:

    The unity of the human race, as envisaged by Bah??’u’ll??h, implies the establishment of a world commonwealth in which all nations, races, creeds and classes are closely and permanently united, and in which the autonomy of its state members and the personal freedom and initiative of the individuals that compose them are definitely and completely safeguarded.
    (Commissioned by The Universal House of Justice, Century of Light, p. 51) (the 2cd part was quoting from the Guardian.)

    “It is at this local level of Bah??’? community life, the very foundation of the administrative structure of the Faith, that we so often find lack of adequate strength and efficiency. It is at this same level that our beloved Guardian urged Auxiliary Board members to… impress upon the friends the importance of individual effort, initiative and sacrifice, and encourage them to participate in Bah??’? activities and be unified under all circumstances.”
    (From a letter of the Universal House of Justice to all Continental
    Board of Counsellors, November 17, 1971)
    (Compilations, Lights of Guidance, p. 41)

    “National Committees are ordinarily appointed by and responsible to the National Spiritual Assembly, but within the limits by wise discretion the National Spiritual Assembly may authorize a particular Committee to appoint a sub-committee or to ask individuals to assist it in carrying out its assigned functions.

    “In calling these principles to the attention of the believers, however, care must be exercised not to dampen the enthusiasm or initiative of the friends.”
    (From a letter written on behalf of the Universal House of Justice to the National Spiritual Assembly of the North West Pacific Ocean, September 5, 1947)
    (Compilations, Lights of Guidance, p. 166)

    “The individual initiative of the friends should be carefully nurtured and encouraged so that they may, guided by the spiritual principles of our Faith, arise to fulfil their spiritual responsibilities.”
    (From a letter written on behalf of the Universal House of Justice to the National Spiritual Assembly of Uruguay, June 18, 1986)
    (Compilations, Lights of Guidance, p. 556)

    I think that is enough to provide a basis to state that the UHJ not only does encourage personal initiative in the Faith, but, in accord with the guidance of the Guardian, must do so and must request the NSA’s to as well.

    Now, you might say that your experience with teaching plans seemed to discourage personal initiative. Well, you must then take the initiative and present a reasoned case to the LSA or NSA informing them that their approach/conduct/emphasis is contrary to the teachings. How else are they to learn if you, and other like-minded people, don’t teach them?

    I speak from experience. When some plan is presented to an audience of Baha’is, it will be received/perceived in many vastly different ways. No matter how clearly a statement is articulated, each member of the audience is unique, providing many different perceptions, some of them contrary to the intent of the speaker. Just so, the propagation of the suggestions put forward by the UHJ regarding teaching have been grievously misunderstood in some quarters and it is incumbent (obligatory) that those who know better, lovingly lead those people to a sound knowledge of the guidance on such matters, from the Writings.

    To show how these matters of the teaching plans have been misunderstood, NSA’s has had to assure people that adopting study circles does not mean neglecting Firesides (we know how strongly Shoghi Effendi felt about Firesides) or that starting childrens’ classes does not mean you shut down existing schools.

    Set these people straight, Craig, about personal initiative. Assume that their intent is pure, but they are mistaken. Take it all the way to the UHJ if necessary. That’s MHO.

    I’ll try to address your other questions at another time. IMO, I needed to take the last first.

    Warmest regards,
    overmywaders

  • http://www.bahaithought.blogspot.com Phillipe Copeland

    There’s years and years of guidance and elucidation regarding this issue from ‘Abdu’l-Baha, Shoghi Effendi and yes the House of Justice. As always the question is one of what we mean by ‘infallibility’ and whether or not we are trying to apply a definition inherited from imperfect, human interpretations of the past or whether we recognize that with the coming of Baha’u’llah all words have been revolutionized and have new meanings which we must strive humbly to understand.

    Is the House of Justice Infallible, yep. Is it so in the way some of us may assume, perhaps not.

  • http://www.bahaithought.blogspot.com Phillipe Copeland

    There’s years and years of guidance and elucidation regarding this issue from ‘Abdu’l-Baha, Shoghi Effendi and yes the House of Justice. As always the question is one of what we mean by ‘infallibility’ and whether or not we are trying to apply a definition inherited from imperfect, human interpretations of the past or whether we recognize that with the coming of Baha’u’llah all words have been revolutionized and have new meanings which we must strive humbly to understand.

    Is the House of Justice Infallible, yep. Is it so in the way some of us may assume, perhaps not.

  • Brendan Cook

    Phillipe and All,

    So the House is not infallible in the way some understand. Whose understanding wins out? Who gets kicked out because their understanding is wrong? Take a look at how Peter Khan seems to understand infallibility. Is this how we should all think?

    ————————————————————————–

    About the projects, people say: “You must be crazy to put so much money and effort into this project in a place like Haifa with a view on an oil refinery and a busy harbour.”

    Or, “Do you think that your gardens are more important than hospitals and schools? Is this how you solve the problems of the world?”

    Or, “Strange leaders you have, people who want to work and live in white marble buildings.”

    The Universal House of Justice has no problem with these remarks. Our deepest reason is related to the mystery of our Faith, the mystery of Carmel as the Mount of God, the mystery of Bahji, mystery of sacredness and holy ground, mystery of the Book of Isaiah, the spiritual significance of Baha’u’llah’s Tablet of Carmel. These are deep spiritual mysteries which we may not understand but they are the reason of our efforts.

    The whole question of obedience to the laws of the Faith is not a rational issue but a spiritual issue. A spiritual perspective must be present which leads the believer to say, not “why must I do this?”, but acknowledge that “He doeth whatsoever He willeth”. Even if we don’t understand the reasons why, we must follow the laws. Obedience to the Covenant and the Central Body of the Cause (at this time the Universal House of Justice) is a spiritual issue, not a logical one. It is a sense of spiritual perspective which allows us to accept the concept that the decisions of the Universal House of Justice are divinely guided… and are freed from error.

    —————————————————————————-

    And if Peter Khan is right, then is Max the Donkey’s handler right as well? He may not be constructing as many buildings as the House, but people in *his* community are complaining about something he’s making with the money from their fund, as gazebo for his back yard.

    —————————————————————————

    ?Now Mrs. Marshall,? Dan began, choosing his words carefully ?I can understand why you and some of these other good folks might feel upset about this. It’s easy to see why spending the money from the fund this way might not seem like the best idea at first. On the face of it, it doesn’t make a lot of sense. Why spend money on building a gazebo when there’s so much else we could be doing? Why spend so much to make the gazebo out of white Italian marble? Of course this would bother you. Of course you’d have questions. You’d want to ask whether decorating my garden is more important than books for the school or hospital bills. You’d want to ask why it’s so important to do it now. Well let me tell you, Max doesn’t have a problem with questions like this: he understands how you feel. But what you’ve got to understand in turn is that whatever you say or think can’t take away from the decisions Max makes. It all comes down to what we mean by infallibility: and infallibility, if you see what I’m saying, infallibility is a matter of trust. There’s nothing I can do and nothing I can tell you that can convince you this donkey is infallible: it’s something you either believe or you don’t. This isn’t one of those questions that can be answered by arguing it out or trying to make sense of it. We’re human beings and we’re fallible, but Max isn’t fallible, and in the end we have to believe in him even when we don’t know why his choices are good ones. If we could decide about these things for ourselves, why would we even need an infallible donkey in the first place??

  • Brendan Cook

    Phillipe and All,

    So the House is not infallible in the way some understand. Whose understanding wins out? Who gets kicked out because their understanding is wrong? Take a look at how Peter Khan seems to understand infallibility. Is this how we should all think?

    ————————————————————————–

    About the projects, people say: “You must be crazy to put so much money and effort into this project in a place like Haifa with a view on an oil refinery and a busy harbour.”

    Or, “Do you think that your gardens are more important than hospitals and schools? Is this how you solve the problems of the world?”

    Or, “Strange leaders you have, people who want to work and live in white marble buildings.”

    The Universal House of Justice has no problem with these remarks. Our deepest reason is related to the mystery of our Faith, the mystery of Carmel as the Mount of God, the mystery of Bahji, mystery of sacredness and holy ground, mystery of the Book of Isaiah, the spiritual significance of Baha’u’llah’s Tablet of Carmel. These are deep spiritual mysteries which we may not understand but they are the reason of our efforts.

    The whole question of obedience to the laws of the Faith is not a rational issue but a spiritual issue. A spiritual perspective must be present which leads the believer to say, not “why must I do this?”, but acknowledge that “He doeth whatsoever He willeth”. Even if we don’t understand the reasons why, we must follow the laws. Obedience to the Covenant and the Central Body of the Cause (at this time the Universal House of Justice) is a spiritual issue, not a logical one. It is a sense of spiritual perspective which allows us to accept the concept that the decisions of the Universal House of Justice are divinely guided… and are freed from error.

    —————————————————————————-

    And if Peter Khan is right, then is Max the Donkey’s handler right as well? He may not be constructing as many buildings as the House, but people in *his* community are complaining about something he’s making with the money from their fund, as gazebo for his back yard.

    —————————————————————————

    ?Now Mrs. Marshall,? Dan began, choosing his words carefully ?I can understand why you and some of these other good folks might feel upset about this. It’s easy to see why spending the money from the fund this way might not seem like the best idea at first. On the face of it, it doesn’t make a lot of sense. Why spend money on building a gazebo when there’s so much else we could be doing? Why spend so much to make the gazebo out of white Italian marble? Of course this would bother you. Of course you’d have questions. You’d want to ask whether decorating my garden is more important than books for the school or hospital bills. You’d want to ask why it’s so important to do it now. Well let me tell you, Max doesn’t have a problem with questions like this: he understands how you feel. But what you’ve got to understand in turn is that whatever you say or think can’t take away from the decisions Max makes. It all comes down to what we mean by infallibility: and infallibility, if you see what I’m saying, infallibility is a matter of trust. There’s nothing I can do and nothing I can tell you that can convince you this donkey is infallible: it’s something you either believe or you don’t. This isn’t one of those questions that can be answered by arguing it out or trying to make sense of it. We’re human beings and we’re fallible, but Max isn’t fallible, and in the end we have to believe in him even when we don’t know why his choices are good ones. If we could decide about these things for ourselves, why would we even need an infallible donkey in the first place??

  • http://frankwinters.wordpress.com/ Frank Winters

    Phillipe,

    Do you have a reference in the Bahai writings for this statement?
    “with the coming of Baha’u’llah all words have been revolutionized”? Is this a paraphrase, if so then of what?

    I always thought that Bahaullah renewed all things and clarified meaning, lifted the veils from our eyes. He did not, as I understand it, change the meaning of words in a way that makes it more difficult for people to believe Him.

    Peter Khan’s understanding of the word infallible is the common one — “free from error.” My personal belief is that nothing on this earth that is of man is free from all error. However there are individuals and institutions that are worth following even if they are not always perfectly correct.

    The irony here is that when an institution claims infallibility it losses something of great importance — credibility.

    Faith is the key to immortality according to Abdul Baha — He said that Faith is conscience knowledge, and Faith is life eternal. So knowledge is life eternal (I’m saying that). If this knowledge amounts to dogma — for example belief in infallibility — the belief system collapses under its own weight imo.

    So the test is either to over come an abhorrence for dogma and accept what the UJH claims or the test is to reject what they say but somehow mange not to throw the baby out with the bath water.

    As Bahaullah wrote — What, did you think you could say I believe and not be tested?

    No body said it would be easy.

    (BTW I’l get the references for my paraphrased quotes if you want)

    Best Wishes,
    Frank

  • http://frankwinters.wordpress.com/ Frank Winters

    Phillipe,

    Do you have a reference in the Bahai writings for this statement?
    “with the coming of Baha’u’llah all words have been revolutionized”? Is this a paraphrase, if so then of what?

    I always thought that Bahaullah renewed all things and clarified meaning, lifted the veils from our eyes. He did not, as I understand it, change the meaning of words in a way that makes it more difficult for people to believe Him.

    Peter Khan’s understanding of the word infallible is the common one — “free from error.” My personal belief is that nothing on this earth that is of man is free from all error. However there are individuals and institutions that are worth following even if they are not always perfectly correct.

    The irony here is that when an institution claims infallibility it losses something of great importance — credibility.

    Faith is the key to immortality according to Abdul Baha — He said that Faith is conscience knowledge, and Faith is life eternal. So knowledge is life eternal (I’m saying that). If this knowledge amounts to dogma — for example belief in infallibility — the belief system collapses under its own weight imo.

    So the test is either to over come an abhorrence for dogma and accept what the UJH claims or the test is to reject what they say but somehow mange not to throw the baby out with the bath water.

    As Bahaullah wrote — What, did you think you could say I believe and not be tested?

    No body said it would be easy.

    (BTW I’l get the references for my paraphrased quotes if you want)

    Best Wishes,
    Frank

  • http://www.overmywaders.com/cblog/ overmywaders

    Frank,

    Although you directed your remarks to another, I would like to address, yet again, some of your statements.

    You said “My personal belief is that nothing on this earth that is of man is free from all error.”

    But, as we have seen in the quote from Abdu’l-Baha’s Will and Testament, regarding the decisions of the Universal House of Justice, the Master clearly states that “Whatsoever they decide is of God. Whoso obeyeth him not, neither obeyeth them, hath not obeyed God;…”
    (Abdu’l-Baha, The Will and Testament, p. 11)

    So, these decisions are not “of man” but “of God”; ergo, free from error. I can’t understand why you have the slightest hesitation to believe the Master on this matter; it really isn’t difficult to accept that God guides us — “O God guide me…”, is a child’s prayer, but fit for all. We should also listen to the Master when he wrote “It is incumbent upon these members (of the Universal House of Justice) to gather in a certain place and deliberate upon all problems which have caused difference, questions that are obscure and matters that are not expressly recorded in the Book. Whatsoever they decide has the same effect as the Text itself.”
    (Abdu’l-Baha, The Will and Testament, p. 19)

    You said”Faith is the key to immortality according to Abdul Baha — He said that Faith is conscience knowledge, and Faith is life eternal. So knowledge is life eternal (I’m saying that).”

    Here you are taking something out of context and using spurious logic besides. The verse reads “By faith is meant, first, conscious knowledge, and second, the practice of good deeds.”
    (Abdu’l-Baha, Baha’i World Faith – Abdu’l-Baha Section, p. 382)
    You must have both elements for it to be faith. You only want the knowledge, but Abdu’l-Baha said you must also have the deeds. (See also Baha’u’llah regarding the twin duties.)

    Warmest regards,
    overmywaders

  • http://www.overmywaders.com/cblog/ overmywaders

    Frank,

    Although you directed your remarks to another, I would like to address, yet again, some of your statements.

    You said “My personal belief is that nothing on this earth that is of man is free from all error.”

    But, as we have seen in the quote from Abdu’l-Baha’s Will and Testament, regarding the decisions of the Universal House of Justice, the Master clearly states that “Whatsoever they decide is of God. Whoso obeyeth him not, neither obeyeth them, hath not obeyed God;…”
    (Abdu’l-Baha, The Will and Testament, p. 11)

    So, these decisions are not “of man” but “of God”; ergo, free from error. I can’t understand why you have the slightest hesitation to believe the Master on this matter; it really isn’t difficult to accept that God guides us — “O God guide me…”, is a child’s prayer, but fit for all. We should also listen to the Master when he wrote “It is incumbent upon these members (of the Universal House of Justice) to gather in a certain place and deliberate upon all problems which have caused difference, questions that are obscure and matters that are not expressly recorded in the Book. Whatsoever they decide has the same effect as the Text itself.”
    (Abdu’l-Baha, The Will and Testament, p. 19)

    You said”Faith is the key to immortality according to Abdul Baha — He said that Faith is conscience knowledge, and Faith is life eternal. So knowledge is life eternal (I’m saying that).”

    Here you are taking something out of context and using spurious logic besides. The verse reads “By faith is meant, first, conscious knowledge, and second, the practice of good deeds.”
    (Abdu’l-Baha, Baha’i World Faith – Abdu’l-Baha Section, p. 382)
    You must have both elements for it to be faith. You only want the knowledge, but Abdu’l-Baha said you must also have the deeds. (See also Baha’u’llah regarding the twin duties.)

    Warmest regards,
    overmywaders

  • http://frankwinters.wordpress.com/ Frank Winters

    Dear Over,

    Thank you for trying to set me straight. However, I am a difficult case. You see I don’t believe in any infallibility. Not Bahaullah’s or Abdul Baha’s. There are too many contradictions and ‘mysteries’ in the Bahai Faith or any Faith for infallibility to seem possible to me.

    This makes belief in religion difficult if not impossible. I’m wondering now if what I do accept from the Bahai beliefs is enough for me to call myself a Bahai (doubtful).

    I also the annoying habit of reading things that Shogi Effendi and Abdul Baha wrote and said in the period between 1911 and 1936 or so. Much optimism about the radiant century and how ‘every one would become Bahai’s.’ Abdul Baha worked very hard to spread his father’s teaching in the hope that it would be enough to avoid the World Wars. Through no fault of his, he failed.

    To me infallibility has only one meaning: Follow as if it were so. This I can contemplate and might accept if it were so spoken. But the party line — from Abdul Baha and many others — is that infallibility is a fact in every sense of the word.

    Once at Greenacre I expressed concern over UHJ infallibility to a well placed and respected learned Bahai. His answer — “Oh come on Frank, it just means follow us no matter what.” That’s the only time I’ve heard that but it’s the most sensible thing I’ve heard about infallibility.

    As to twin duties — you are correct — however my point stands — goodly deeds w/o the conscious knowledge AB refers to doesn’t work either. And so knowledge is a key to life eternal (not the only requirement of course — I didn’t mean to say that — sorry if I did).

    I believe that the answers to the world’s problems will come from many sources, not Bahai alone, in fact I am confident of that. Until Bahais get personally involved with politics, come off their high infallible horses and get to work with fellow earthlings they will continue to make slow progress — all imo of course.

    Take Care,
    Frank

  • http://frankwinters.wordpress.com/ Frank Winters

    Dear Over,

    Thank you for trying to set me straight. However, I am a difficult case. You see I don’t believe in any infallibility. Not Bahaullah’s or Abdul Baha’s. There are too many contradictions and ‘mysteries’ in the Bahai Faith or any Faith for infallibility to seem possible to me.

    This makes belief in religion difficult if not impossible. I’m wondering now if what I do accept from the Bahai beliefs is enough for me to call myself a Bahai (doubtful).

    I also the annoying habit of reading things that Shogi Effendi and Abdul Baha wrote and said in the period between 1911 and 1936 or so. Much optimism about the radiant century and how ‘every one would become Bahai’s.’ Abdul Baha worked very hard to spread his father’s teaching in the hope that it would be enough to avoid the World Wars. Through no fault of his, he failed.

    To me infallibility has only one meaning: Follow as if it were so. This I can contemplate and might accept if it were so spoken. But the party line — from Abdul Baha and many others — is that infallibility is a fact in every sense of the word.

    Once at Greenacre I expressed concern over UHJ infallibility to a well placed and respected learned Bahai. His answer — “Oh come on Frank, it just means follow us no matter what.” That’s the only time I’ve heard that but it’s the most sensible thing I’ve heard about infallibility.

    As to twin duties — you are correct — however my point stands — goodly deeds w/o the conscious knowledge AB refers to doesn’t work either. And so knowledge is a key to life eternal (not the only requirement of course — I didn’t mean to say that — sorry if I did).

    I believe that the answers to the world’s problems will come from many sources, not Bahai alone, in fact I am confident of that. Until Bahais get personally involved with politics, come off their high infallible horses and get to work with fellow earthlings they will continue to make slow progress — all imo of course.

    Take Care,
    Frank

  • http://www.overmywaders.com/cblog/ overmywaders

    Frank,

    You are indeed a difficult case (sigh). Fortunately for you (and me), your caseworker is celestial, not terrestrial, so I’m not too worried.

    I really find all the talk about religion is, for me, far from the mark. I am a Baha’i but I see that more as a statement of my relationship with God than as a creedal/doctrinal claim. I trust that God feels the same way about it.

    While it’s true that I believe implicitly what Baha’u’llah and Abdu’l-Baha wrote, both at the exoteric and esoteric level, it is because I trust in God. In fact, if you recall my syllogism in an earlier post, I think I made my point (logically) without mention of the Baha’i writings or teachings. If one believes in the largest, grandest God one can imagine; the notion that He would provide unerring guidance comes quite naturally. Now, if you don’t accord infallibility to God, your god is much too small, IMHO.

    Anyway, I won’t bother you further about this. You will work it out in your way. IMO, it is vitally important that we never cut God any slack; since He is always bigger than we can imagine, He needs to be better than we can imagine as well.

    BTW, I see worrying about temporal politics as akin to scurrying to get the best deck chair on the Titanic; much ado about nothing.

    Warmest regards,
    overmywaders

  • http://www.overmywaders.com/cblog/ overmywaders

    Frank,

    You are indeed a difficult case (sigh). Fortunately for you (and me), your caseworker is celestial, not terrestrial, so I’m not too worried.

    I really find all the talk about religion is, for me, far from the mark. I am a Baha’i but I see that more as a statement of my relationship with God than as a creedal/doctrinal claim. I trust that God feels the same way about it.

    While it’s true that I believe implicitly what Baha’u’llah and Abdu’l-Baha wrote, both at the exoteric and esoteric level, it is because I trust in God. In fact, if you recall my syllogism in an earlier post, I think I made my point (logically) without mention of the Baha’i writings or teachings. If one believes in the largest, grandest God one can imagine; the notion that He would provide unerring guidance comes quite naturally. Now, if you don’t accord infallibility to God, your god is much too small, IMHO.

    Anyway, I won’t bother you further about this. You will work it out in your way. IMO, it is vitally important that we never cut God any slack; since He is always bigger than we can imagine, He needs to be better than we can imagine as well.

    BTW, I see worrying about temporal politics as akin to scurrying to get the best deck chair on the Titanic; much ado about nothing.

    Warmest regards,
    overmywaders

  • http://frankwinters.wordpress.com/ Frank Winters

    Dear Over,

    “BTW, I see worrying about temporal politics as akin to scurrying to get the best deck chair on the Titanic; much ado about nothing.”

    I find this concept dismal in every respect regardless of your relationship with the unknowable. There’s work to be done here on the planet earth — call it temporal or whatever you want. Waiting for God to do it will never work. This attitude equating our dear old earth with the Titanic is pretty low and not very logical if you ask me (you didn’t ask but I couldn’t resist).

    Good night and good luck!
    Frank

  • http://frankwinters.wordpress.com/ Frank Winters

    Dear Over,

    “BTW, I see worrying about temporal politics as akin to scurrying to get the best deck chair on the Titanic; much ado about nothing.”

    I find this concept dismal in every respect regardless of your relationship with the unknowable. There’s work to be done here on the planet earth — call it temporal or whatever you want. Waiting for God to do it will never work. This attitude equating our dear old earth with the Titanic is pretty low and not very logical if you ask me (you didn’t ask but I couldn’t resist).

    Good night and good luck!
    Frank

  • Craig Parke

    Dear Overmywaders,

    Thank you for your very fine post back to me dated March 7th. I have
    been a Baha’i for 36 years so I am well aware of each one of these very
    famous quotes in the Baha’i Faith on personal initiative. In my 36 years
    there actually were periods when progress was not done by committee
    group think, but by the free enterprise of individuals connected to
    their (gasp) own inner spiritual guidance and (gasp) inner spiritual
    source. But those were in the days when many Baha’is had a completely
    natural “outward orientation” called “breathing” and “walking around” in
    life. Those days are long gone in the current lock step top down micro
    managed “paint-by-numbers spirituality” version of the Baha’i Faith.

    Those quotes were in play when Local Spiritual Assemblies were the grass
    roots agency in human society for the bottom up spiritual energies of
    the Baha’i concepts of world unity and world spiritual effort. Not any
    more. LSA’s are completely passe now by the new lifetime incumbent self
    appointed theorist class. Accordingly LSA’s have been completely
    by-passed by the minions of the appointed side of the Faith. (Do they
    wear little uniforms yet like those nifty little airline steward and
    stewardess uniforms worn by the higher ups in Scientology? At least the
    Scientologists have some nice looking people like Tom Cruise and Kirstie
    Alley to look at. Come to think of it, we have some people at the top
    that could get on the Jenny Craig too and maybe even become
    spokespersons too! Or even Ultra Slim Fast now that Anna Nicole is in a
    nice trailer park in the Abha Kingdom somewhere in the known or unknown
    universe.)

    Now as to another of your posts here. You say:

    “BTW, I see worrying about temporal politics as akin to scurrying to get
    the best deck chair on the Titanic; much ado about nothing.”

    You certainly have plenty of company in very high places in the Baha’i
    Faith with this currently fashionable among Baha’is ice cold completely
    bloodless attitude. As Glenford Mitchell said back in 2001 after 9/11:

    “You’ll recall that the U.S. was ‘dragged’ into WWII with the attack on
    Pearl Harbor. Our boys were sleeping off Saturday night while the enemy
    schemed — but America soon woke up. So when you see the U.S. in
    Cambodia or in Vietnam — or when you see America’s young men in
    Lebanon, or knocking around in the Balkans — ‘please, will you be quiet
    and let God do His work!’”

    Well, my father spent 18 months in the pacific in World War II some time
    of which involved a tiny island called Tarawa and if he was alive I
    don’t think he would like being called a “boy”.

    As for me, I served as a 1st Lieutenant in the Armed Forces of the
    United States from 1969-1971. I knew many combat soldiers and “doing
    God’s work” is pretty tough stuff for those who have to do it. (Not the
    Baha’is, of course, who are exempt from having to “do God’s work” since
    the Faith has full conscientious objector status. The Baha’is can,
    therefore, just wait and merely step over the “much ado about nothing”
    dead in Iraq if and when it is ever over and just go to that hopefully
    then safe country and have their personal spiritual orgasm communing
    with “their Lord” and just damn everyone else in the world.

    I spent 12 years of my life on one of my “individual initiative”
    teaching plans for Baha’u’llah teaching the Faith to veterans of eight
    wars to include all the U.S. wars from WWII on and Russian veterans of
    Afghanistan and soldiers from both sides in El Salvador. All of them if
    they ever met Glenford Mitchell in person with a loaded weapon would not
    hesitate for a moment to put a bullet through his head for this
    incredibly thoughtless statement from his tiny world in the lifetime
    employment cult bubble.

    If you would like to try your hand at teaching the Faith to troops
    coming back from their third tour in Iraq or Afghanistan I’d be glad to
    set you up. I have contacts with many. But pray no one finds that quote
    on the Internet lest you get thrown over the side of some Titanic and
    your deck chair after you.

    My oldest sister has been in Afghanistan over the last five years
    setting up medical tent camps. She can arrange to send you and Glenford
    Mitchell out into some of the more interesting provenances where you can
    risk getting your throats cut REALLY doing God’s true work in
    humanitarian assistance for women, children, and the poor. Deeds not
    words. Or has that been taken out of the Baha’i Faith these days too?

    Or perhaps you and Glenford Mitchell can start your individual
    initiative teaching project with these people. I can put you in touch
    from my project. You can call it the “Much Ado About Nothing Doing God’s
    Work World Tour”.

    http://www.tinyurl.com/v4tco

    http://www.empowermentproject.org/sso.html

    The Baha’i Faith in it’s current incarnation led by men like Glenford
    Mitchell has failed every man, woman, and child on Earth. It is not that
    Judgment Day is coming. Judgment Day has come. The current $13 million
    short fall in the U.S. National Baha’i Fund is only the tip of the
    iceberg. I personally know seven people totalling over 210 years service
    in steadfast decades the Faith who have left in the last two years
    alone. These are people that served on Local and National Spiritual
    Assemblies in the U.S. and around the world and worked at the World
    Center in years of dedicated service. Gone. I know a woman who gave over
    $40,000 to the Faith over several years in the 80′s in another nation
    who is now gone with her husband and absolutely livid about the
    destruction of the Baha’i Faith by the corrupted lifetime incumbent
    class now leading it. Baha’u’llah is going to deal with this. Maybe both
    Glenford Mitchell and yourself will get that final “outward orientation”
    on some battlefield somewhere as your final completion of the true “Full
    Sequence of Courses” of this life.

  • Craig Parke

    Dear Overmywaders,

    Thank you for your very fine post back to me dated March 7th. I have
    been a Baha’i for 36 years so I am well aware of each one of these very
    famous quotes in the Baha’i Faith on personal initiative. In my 36 years
    there actually were periods when progress was not done by committee
    group think, but by the free enterprise of individuals connected to
    their (gasp) own inner spiritual guidance and (gasp) inner spiritual
    source. But those were in the days when many Baha’is had a completely
    natural “outward orientation” called “breathing” and “walking around” in
    life. Those days are long gone in the current lock step top down micro
    managed “paint-by-numbers spirituality” version of the Baha’i Faith.

    Those quotes were in play when Local Spiritual Assemblies were the grass
    roots agency in human society for the bottom up spiritual energies of
    the Baha’i concepts of world unity and world spiritual effort. Not any
    more. LSA’s are completely passe now by the new lifetime incumbent self
    appointed theorist class. Accordingly LSA’s have been completely
    by-passed by the minions of the appointed side of the Faith. (Do they
    wear little uniforms yet like those nifty little airline steward and
    stewardess uniforms worn by the higher ups in Scientology? At least the
    Scientologists have some nice looking people like Tom Cruise and Kirstie
    Alley to look at. Come to think of it, we have some people at the top
    that could get on the Jenny Craig too and maybe even become
    spokespersons too! Or even Ultra Slim Fast now that Anna Nicole is in a
    nice trailer park in the Abha Kingdom somewhere in the known or unknown
    universe.)

    Now as to another of your posts here. You say:

    “BTW, I see worrying about temporal politics as akin to scurrying to get
    the best deck chair on the Titanic; much ado about nothing.”

    You certainly have plenty of company in very high places in the Baha’i
    Faith with this currently fashionable among Baha’is ice cold completely
    bloodless attitude. As Glenford Mitchell said back in 2001 after 9/11:

    “You’ll recall that the U.S. was ‘dragged’ into WWII with the attack on
    Pearl Harbor. Our boys were sleeping off Saturday night while the enemy
    schemed — but America soon woke up. So when you see the U.S. in
    Cambodia or in Vietnam — or when you see America’s young men in
    Lebanon, or knocking around in the Balkans — ‘please, will you be quiet
    and let God do His work!’”

    Well, my father spent 18 months in the pacific in World War II some time
    of which involved a tiny island called Tarawa and if he was alive I
    don’t think he would like being called a “boy”.

    As for me, I served as a 1st Lieutenant in the Armed Forces of the
    United States from 1969-1971. I knew many combat soldiers and “doing
    God’s work” is pretty tough stuff for those who have to do it. (Not the
    Baha’is, of course, who are exempt from having to “do God’s work” since
    the Faith has full conscientious objector status. The Baha’is can,
    therefore, just wait and merely step over the “much ado about nothing”
    dead in Iraq if and when it is ever over and just go to that hopefully
    then safe country and have their personal spiritual orgasm communing
    with “their Lord” and just damn everyone else in the world.

    I spent 12 years of my life on one of my “individual initiative”
    teaching plans for Baha’u’llah teaching the Faith to veterans of eight
    wars to include all the U.S. wars from WWII on and Russian veterans of
    Afghanistan and soldiers from both sides in El Salvador. All of them if
    they ever met Glenford Mitchell in person with a loaded weapon would not
    hesitate for a moment to put a bullet through his head for this
    incredibly thoughtless statement from his tiny world in the lifetime
    employment cult bubble.

    If you would like to try your hand at teaching the Faith to troops
    coming back from their third tour in Iraq or Afghanistan I’d be glad to
    set you up. I have contacts with many. But pray no one finds that quote
    on the Internet lest you get thrown over the side of some Titanic and
    your deck chair after you.

    My oldest sister has been in Afghanistan over the last five years
    setting up medical tent camps. She can arrange to send you and Glenford
    Mitchell out into some of the more interesting provenances where you can
    risk getting your throats cut REALLY doing God’s true work in
    humanitarian assistance for women, children, and the poor. Deeds not
    words. Or has that been taken out of the Baha’i Faith these days too?

    Or perhaps you and Glenford Mitchell can start your individual
    initiative teaching project with these people. I can put you in touch
    from my project. You can call it the “Much Ado About Nothing Doing God’s
    Work World Tour”.

    http://www.tinyurl.com/v4tco

    http://www.empowermentproject.org/sso.html

    The Baha’i Faith in it’s current incarnation led by men like Glenford
    Mitchell has failed every man, woman, and child on Earth. It is not that
    Judgment Day is coming. Judgment Day has come. The current $13 million
    short fall in the U.S. National Baha’i Fund is only the tip of the
    iceberg. I personally know seven people totalling over 210 years service
    in steadfast decades the Faith who have left in the last two years
    alone. These are people that served on Local and National Spiritual
    Assemblies in the U.S. and around the world and worked at the World
    Center in years of dedicated service. Gone. I know a woman who gave over
    $40,000 to the Faith over several years in the 80′s in another nation
    who is now gone with her husband and absolutely livid about the
    destruction of the Baha’i Faith by the corrupted lifetime incumbent
    class now leading it. Baha’u’llah is going to deal with this. Maybe both
    Glenford Mitchell and yourself will get that final “outward orientation”
    on some battlefield somewhere as your final completion of the true “Full
    Sequence of Courses” of this life.

  • Craig Parke

    Dear Overmywaders,

    Now as to another of your posts here. You say:

    “BTW, I see worrying about temporal politics as akin to scurrying to get
    the best deck chair on the Titanic; much ado about nothing.”

    You certainly have plenty of company in very high places in the Baha’i
    Faith with this currently fashionable among Baha’is ice cold completely
    bloodless attitude. As Glenford Mitchell said back in 2001 after 9/11:

    “You’ll recall that the U.S. was ‘dragged’ into WWII with the attack on
    Pearl Harbor. Our boys were sleeping off Saturday night while the enemy
    schemed — but America soon woke up. So when you see the U.S. in
    Cambodia or in Vietnam — or when you see America’s young men in
    Lebanon, or knocking around in the Balkans — ‘please, will you be quiet
    and let God do His work!’”

    Well, my father spent 18 months in the pacific in World War II some time
    of which involved a tiny island called Tarawa and if he was alive I
    don’t think he would like being called a “boy”.

    As for me, I served as a 1st Lieutenant in the Armed Forces of the
    United States from 1969-1971. I knew many combat soldiers and “doing
    God’s work” is pretty tough stuff for those who have to do it. (Not the
    Baha’is, of course, who are exempt from having to “do God’s work” since
    the Faith has full conscientious objector status. The Baha’is can,
    therefore, just wait and merely step over the “much ado about nothing”
    dead in Iraq if and when it is ever over and just go to that hopefully
    then safe country and have their personal spiritual orgasm communing
    with “their Lord” and just damn everyone else in the world.

    I spent 12 years of my life on one of my “individual initiative”
    teaching plans for Baha’u’llah teaching the Faith to veterans of eight
    wars to include all the U.S. wars from WWII on and Russian veterans of
    Afghanistan and soldiers from both sides in El Salvador. All of them if
    they ever met Glenford Mitchell in person with a loaded weapon would not
    hesitate for a moment to put a bullet through his head for this
    incredibly thoughtless statement from his tiny world in the lifetime
    employment cult bubble.

    If you would like to try your hand at teaching the Faith to troops
    coming back from their third tour in Iraq or Afghanistan I’d be glad to
    set you up. I have contacts with many. But pray no one finds that quote
    on the Internet lest you get thrown over the side of some Titanic and
    your deck chair after you.

    My oldest sister has been in Afghanistan over the last five years
    setting up medical tent camps. She can arrange to send you and Glenford
    Mitchell out into some of the more interesting provenances where you can
    risk getting your throats cut REALLY doing God’s true work in
    humanitarian assistance for women, children, and the poor. Deeds not
    words. Or has that been taken out of the Baha’i Faith these days too?

    Or perhaps you and Glenford Mitchell can start your individual
    initiative teaching project with these people. I can put you in touch
    from my project. You can call it the “Much Ado About Nothing Doing God’s
    Work World Tour”.

    http://www.tinyurl.com/v4tco

    http://www.empowermentproject.org/sso.html

    The Baha’i Faith in it’s current incarnation led by men like Glenford
    Mitchell has failed every man, woman, and child on Earth. It is not that
    Judgment Day is coming. Judgment Day has come. The current $13 million
    short fall in the U.S. National Baha’i Fund is only the tip of the
    iceberg. I personally know seven people totalling over 210 years service
    in steadfast decades the Faith who have left in the last two years
    alone. These are people that served on Local and National Spiritual
    Assemblies in the U.S. and around the world and worked at the World
    Center in years of dedicated service. Gone. I know a woman who gave over
    $40,000 to the Faith over several years in the 80′s in another nation
    who is now gone with her husband and absolutely livid about the
    destruction of the Baha’i Faith by the corrupted lifetime incumbent
    class now leading it. Baha’u’llah is going to deal with this. Maybe both
    Glenford Mitchell and yourself will get that final “outward orientation”
    on some battlefield somewhere as your final completion of the true “Full
    Sequence of Courses” of this life.

  • Craig Parke

    Dear Overmywaders,

    Now as to another of your posts here. You say:

    “BTW, I see worrying about temporal politics as akin to scurrying to get
    the best deck chair on the Titanic; much ado about nothing.”

    You certainly have plenty of company in very high places in the Baha’i
    Faith with this currently fashionable among Baha’is ice cold completely
    bloodless attitude. As Glenford Mitchell said back in 2001 after 9/11:

    “You’ll recall that the U.S. was ‘dragged’ into WWII with the attack on
    Pearl Harbor. Our boys were sleeping off Saturday night while the enemy
    schemed — but America soon woke up. So when you see the U.S. in
    Cambodia or in Vietnam — or when you see America’s young men in
    Lebanon, or knocking around in the Balkans — ‘please, will you be quiet
    and let God do His work!’”

    Well, my father spent 18 months in the pacific in World War II some time
    of which involved a tiny island called Tarawa and if he was alive I
    don’t think he would like being called a “boy”.

    As for me, I served as a 1st Lieutenant in the Armed Forces of the
    United States from 1969-1971. I knew many combat soldiers and “doing
    God’s work” is pretty tough stuff for those who have to do it. (Not the
    Baha’is, of course, who are exempt from having to “do God’s work” since
    the Faith has full conscientious objector status. The Baha’is can,
    therefore, just wait and merely step over the “much ado about nothing”
    dead in Iraq if and when it is ever over and just go to that hopefully
    then safe country and have their personal spiritual orgasm communing
    with “their Lord” and just damn everyone else in the world.

    I spent 12 years of my life on one of my “individual initiative”
    teaching plans for Baha’u’llah teaching the Faith to veterans of eight
    wars to include all the U.S. wars from WWII on and Russian veterans of
    Afghanistan and soldiers from both sides in El Salvador. All of them if
    they ever met Glenford Mitchell in person with a loaded weapon would not
    hesitate for a moment to put a bullet through his head for this
    incredibly thoughtless statement from his tiny world in the lifetime
    employment cult bubble.

    If you would like to try your hand at teaching the Faith to troops
    coming back from their third tour in Iraq or Afghanistan I’d be glad to
    set you up. I have contacts with many. But pray no one finds that quote
    on the Internet lest you get thrown over the side of some Titanic and
    your deck chair after you.

    My oldest sister has been in Afghanistan over the last five years
    setting up medical tent camps. She can arrange to send you and Glenford
    Mitchell out into some of the more interesting provenances where you can
    risk getting your throats cut REALLY doing God’s true work in
    humanitarian assistance for women, children, and the poor. Deeds not
    words. Or has that been taken out of the Baha’i Faith these days too?

    Or perhaps you and Glenford Mitchell can start your individual
    initiative teaching project with these people. I can put you in touch
    from my project. You can call it the “Much Ado About Nothing Doing God’s
    Work World Tour”.

    http://www.tinyurl.com/v4tco

    http://www.empowermentproject.org/sso.html

    The Baha’i Faith in it’s current incarnation led by men like Glenford
    Mitchell has failed every man, woman, and child on Earth. It is not that
    Judgment Day is coming. Judgment Day has come. The current $13 million
    short fall in the U.S. National Baha’i Fund is only the tip of the
    iceberg. I personally know seven people totalling over 210 years service
    in steadfast decades the Faith who have left in the last two years
    alone. These are people that served on Local and National Spiritual
    Assemblies in the U.S. and around the world and worked at the World
    Center in years of dedicated service. Gone. I know a woman who gave over
    $40,000 to the Faith over several years in the 80′s in another nation
    who is now gone with her husband and absolutely livid about the
    destruction of the Baha’i Faith by the corrupted lifetime incumbent
    class now leading it. Baha’u’llah is going to deal with this. Maybe both
    Glenford Mitchell and yourself will get that final “outward orientation”
    on some battlefield somewhere as your final completion of the true “Full
    Sequence of Courses” of this life.

  • Craig Parke

    PART I

    Dear Overmywaders,

    Now as to another of your posts here. You say:

    “BTW, I see worrying about temporal politics as akin to scurrying to get
    the best deck chair on the Titanic; much ado about nothing.”

    You certainly have plenty of company in very high places in the Baha’i
    Faith with this currently fashionable among Baha’is ice cold completely
    bloodless attitude. As Glenford Mitchell said back in 2001 after 9/11:

    “You’ll recall that the U.S. was ‘dragged’ into WWII with the attack on
    Pearl Harbor. Our boys were sleeping off Saturday night while the enemy
    schemed — but America soon woke up. So when you see the U.S. in
    Cambodia or in Vietnam — or when you see America’s young men in
    Lebanon, or knocking around in the Balkans — ‘please, will you be quiet
    and let God do His work!’”

    Well, my father spent 18 months in the pacific in World War II some time
    of which involved a tiny island called Tarawa and if he was alive I
    don’t think he would like being called a “boy”.

    As for me, I served as a 1st Lieutenant in the Armed Forces of the
    United States from 1969-1971. I knew many combat soldiers and “doing
    God’s work” is pretty tough stuff for those who have to do it. (Not the
    Baha’is, of course, who are exempt from having to “do God’s work” since
    the Faith has full conscientious objector status. The Baha’is can,
    therefore, just wait and merely step over the “much ado about nothing”
    dead in Iraq if and when it is ever over and just go to that hopefully
    then safe country and have their personal spiritual orgasm communing
    with “their Lord” and just damn everyone else in the world.

  • Craig Parke

    PART II

    I spent 12 years of my life on one of my “individual initiative”
    teaching plans for Baha’u’llah teaching the Faith to veterans of eight
    wars to include all the U.S. wars from WWII on and Russian veterans of
    Afghanistan and soldiers from both sides in El Salvador. All of them if
    they ever met Glenford Mitchell in person with a loaded weapon would not
    hesitate for a moment to put a bullet through his head for this
    incredibly thoughtless statement from his tiny world in the lifetime
    employment cult bubble.

    If you would like to try your hand at teaching the Faith to troops
    coming back from their third tour in Iraq or Afghanistan I’d be glad to
    set you up. I have contacts with many. But pray no one finds that quote
    on the Internet lest you get thrown over the side of some Titanic and
    your deck chair after you.

    My oldest sister has been in Afghanistan over the last five years
    setting up medical tent camps. She can arrange to send you and Glenford
    Mitchell out into some of the more interesting provenances where you can
    risk getting your throats cut REALLY doing God’s true work in
    humanitarian assistance for women, children, and the poor. Deeds not
    words. Or has that been taken out of the Baha’i Faith these days too?

  • Craig Parke

    PART I

    Dear Overmywaders,

    Now as to another of your posts here. You say:

    “BTW, I see worrying about temporal politics as akin to scurrying to get
    the best deck chair on the Titanic; much ado about nothing.”

    You certainly have plenty of company in very high places in the Baha’i
    Faith with this currently fashionable among Baha’is ice cold completely
    bloodless attitude. As Glenford Mitchell said back in 2001 after 9/11:

    “You’ll recall that the U.S. was ‘dragged’ into WWII with the attack on
    Pearl Harbor. Our boys were sleeping off Saturday night while the enemy
    schemed — but America soon woke up. So when you see the U.S. in
    Cambodia or in Vietnam — or when you see America’s young men in
    Lebanon, or knocking around in the Balkans — ‘please, will you be quiet
    and let God do His work!’”

    Well, my father spent 18 months in the pacific in World War II some time
    of which involved a tiny island called Tarawa and if he was alive I
    don’t think he would like being called a “boy”.

    As for me, I served as a 1st Lieutenant in the Armed Forces of the
    United States from 1969-1971. I knew many combat soldiers and “doing
    God’s work” is pretty tough stuff for those who have to do it. (Not the
    Baha’is, of course, who are exempt from having to “do God’s work” since
    the Faith has full conscientious objector status. The Baha’is can,
    therefore, just wait and merely step over the “much ado about nothing”
    dead in Iraq if and when it is ever over and just go to that hopefully
    then safe country and have their personal spiritual orgasm communing
    with “their Lord” and just damn everyone else in the world.

  • Craig Parke

    PART II

    I spent 12 years of my life on one of my “individual initiative”
    teaching plans for Baha’u’llah teaching the Faith to veterans of eight
    wars to include all the U.S. wars from WWII on and Russian veterans of
    Afghanistan and soldiers from both sides in El Salvador. All of them if
    they ever met Glenford Mitchell in person with a loaded weapon would not
    hesitate for a moment to put a bullet through his head for this
    incredibly thoughtless statement from his tiny world in the lifetime
    employment cult bubble.

    If you would like to try your hand at teaching the Faith to troops
    coming back from their third tour in Iraq or Afghanistan I’d be glad to
    set you up. I have contacts with many. But pray no one finds that quote
    on the Internet lest you get thrown over the side of some Titanic and
    your deck chair after you.

    My oldest sister has been in Afghanistan over the last five years
    setting up medical tent camps. She can arrange to send you and Glenford
    Mitchell out into some of the more interesting provenances where you can
    risk getting your throats cut REALLY doing God’s true work in
    humanitarian assistance for women, children, and the poor. Deeds not
    words. Or has that been taken out of the Baha’i Faith these days too?

  • http://www.overmywaders.com/cblog/ overmywaders

    Frank,

    59,000,000 U.S. citizens voted for Geo. W. Bush in 2004; that is politics in action. (I am making no partisan statement, merely noting numbers) That mass will not turn except by conditions which affect them in some way. Lamentably, self-interest is the driving force in politics, not reason or the commonweal. Directing, a.k.a., pandering to, the self-interest of the majority is the way of politics; that is not the way of personal growth for the individuals who actually comprise “the masses”. I am not going to demean my fellows by asking them to stay self-absorbed in their baser instincts of self-interest. We should do what we can to lift each other up, not drag each other down.

    I have fought the political fight; fairly and honestly, by my lights, many years ago. I was brought to court and threatened with years in prison for my beliefs. While I do not regret the action against what I perceived as injustice; I would have been closer to the mark if I had discerned then that the cause of the injustice had spiritual roots. It is, IMO, only through the gradual transformation of men, then man, then society, by God through us; that true change will occur. I learned this before I became a Baha’i.

    So, I applaud you if you wish to rush out and treat the symptoms; but don’t decry those who focus on the disease instead.

    Warmest regards,
    overmywaders

  • http://www.overmywaders.com/cblog/ overmywaders

    Frank,

    59,000,000 U.S. citizens voted for Geo. W. Bush in 2004; that is politics in action. (I am making no partisan statement, merely noting numbers) That mass will not turn except by conditions which affect them in some way. Lamentably, self-interest is the driving force in politics, not reason or the commonweal. Directing, a.k.a., pandering to, the self-interest of the majority is the way of politics; that is not the way of personal growth for the individuals who actually comprise “the masses”. I am not going to demean my fellows by asking them to stay self-absorbed in their baser instincts of self-interest. We should do what we can to lift each other up, not drag each other down.

    I have fought the political fight; fairly and honestly, by my lights, many years ago. I was brought to court and threatened with years in prison for my beliefs. While I do not regret the action against what I perceived as injustice; I would have been closer to the mark if I had discerned then that the cause of the injustice had spiritual roots. It is, IMO, only through the gradual transformation of men, then man, then society, by God through us; that true change will occur. I learned this before I became a Baha’i.

    So, I applaud you if you wish to rush out and treat the symptoms; but don’t decry those who focus on the disease instead.

    Warmest regards,
    overmywaders

  • http://www.overmywaders.com/cblog/ overmywaders

    Craig,

    Well, this site, at least as I can derive from your first post to me, is aptly named. From “paint-by-numbers” (my horsies always looked lopsided) to Scientology; but never a pause to tell me how you were addressing what you believe is a problem. I simply offered you suggestions for a course of action; you, apparently, prefer unsubstantiated criticism of “the system” (my term).

    When an NSA criticized me for what they perceived as an “uncoordinated intiative” (an oxymoron) I responded with, okay a bit of anger; but then referred them to the Writings above and used, I hope, loving reason. We came to an understanding and moved on; Reason and mutual respect and spiritual commitment prevailed.

    Now, you can rant on this faceless forum; but if you are sincere you will spend your energies where they can do some good by educating those who you feel are in error. JMHO

    Warmest regards,
    overmywaders

  • http://www.overmywaders.com/cblog/ overmywaders

    Craig,

    Well, this site, at least as I can derive from your first post to me, is aptly named. From “paint-by-numbers” (my horsies always looked lopsided) to Scientology; but never a pause to tell me how you were addressing what you believe is a problem. I simply offered you suggestions for a course of action; you, apparently, prefer unsubstantiated criticism of “the system” (my term).

    When an NSA criticized me for what they perceived as an “uncoordinated intiative” (an oxymoron) I responded with, okay a bit of anger; but then referred them to the Writings above and used, I hope, loving reason. We came to an understanding and moved on; Reason and mutual respect and spiritual commitment prevailed.

    Now, you can rant on this faceless forum; but if you are sincere you will spend your energies where they can do some good by educating those who you feel are in error. JMHO

    Warmest regards,
    overmywaders

  • http://frankwinters.wordpress.com/ Frank Winters

    Hi Over,

    I guess I’m a glass have full kind of guy these days — (wasn’t always so — I used to agree with what you say now) — so I see lots of positives in local politics particularly and even some in national and international.

    Some people simple want to help by serving and that’s why they choose to serve — believe it or not.

    Take Care,
    Frank

  • http://frankwinters.wordpress.com/ Frank Winters

    Hi Over,

    I guess I’m a glass have full kind of guy these days — (wasn’t always so — I used to agree with what you say now) — so I see lots of positives in local politics particularly and even some in national and international.

    Some people simple want to help by serving and that’s why they choose to serve — believe it or not.

    Take Care,
    Frank

  • Craig Parke

    Dear Overmywaders,

    I salute you in your post to me recounting your attempt to speak reason to the powers that be. I am sure you are a nice guy and I apologize somewhat for the tone in my posts. But after 36 years of service “loving” is no longer in my vocabulary regarding anything in the current version of the Baha’i Faith. Sorry.

    To me the Baha’i Faith in it’s current incarnation led by men like Glenford
    Mitchell has failed every man, woman, and child on Earth. His quote represents to me everything that has gone wrong in my lifetime in it. I honestly feel it is now led by an appalling lifetime incumbent class who have gamed the electoral process for themselves and now function with complete detachment from reality and human decency. It is not that Judgment Day is coming. Judgment Day has come. The current $13 million short fall in the U.S. National Baha’i Fund is only the tip of the iceberg.

    I personally know seven people totalling over 210 years of steadfast service in the Faith who have left in the last two years alone. These are people that served on Local and National Spiritual Assemblies in the U.S. and around the world and worked at the World Center in years of dedicated service. GONE.

  • Craig Parke

    (contd.)

    I know a woman who gave over $40,000 to the Faith over several years in the 80′s in another nation who has now left with her husband and absolutely livid about the destruction of the Baha’i Faith by the corrupted lifetime incumbent class now leading it. Baha’u’llah is going to deal with this. And it is not going to be pretty. The Tablet of the Holy Mariner foretells all of it.

    I have gone back to my veterans group and will end out my days trying to help these souls.

    http://www.tinyurl.com/v4tco

    http://www.empowermentproject.org/sso.html

    I wish you well.

    Craig

  • Craig Parke

    Dear Overmywaders,

    I salute you in your post to me recounting your attempt to speak reason to the powers that be. I am sure you are a nice guy and I apologize somewhat for the tone in my posts. But after 36 years of service “loving” is no longer in my vocabulary regarding anything in the current version of the Baha’i Faith. Sorry.

    To me the Baha’i Faith in it’s current incarnation led by men like Glenford
    Mitchell has failed every man, woman, and child on Earth. His quote represents to me everything that has gone wrong in my lifetime in it. I honestly feel it is now led by an appalling lifetime incumbent class who have gamed the electoral process for themselves and now function with complete detachment from reality and human decency. It is not that Judgment Day is coming. Judgment Day has come. The current $13 million short fall in the U.S. National Baha’i Fund is only the tip of the iceberg.

    I personally know seven people totalling over 210 years of steadfast service in the Faith who have left in the last two years alone. These are people that served on Local and National Spiritual Assemblies in the U.S. and around the world and worked at the World Center in years of dedicated service. GONE.

  • Craig Parke

    (contd.)

    I know a woman who gave over $40,000 to the Faith over several years in the 80′s in another nation who has now left with her husband and absolutely livid about the destruction of the Baha’i Faith by the corrupted lifetime incumbent class now leading it. Baha’u’llah is going to deal with this. And it is not going to be pretty. The Tablet of the Holy Mariner foretells all of it.

    I have gone back to my veterans group and will end out my days trying to help these souls.

    http://www.tinyurl.com/v4tco

    http://www.empowermentproject.org/sso.html

    I wish you well.

    Craig

  • Craig Parke

    (contd.)

    I know a woman who gave over $40,000 to the Faith over several years in the 80′s in another nation who has now left with her husband and absolutely livid about the destruction of the Baha’i Faith by the corrupted lifetime incumbent class now leading it. Baha’u’llah is going to deal with this. And it is not going to be pretty. The Tablet of the Holy Mariner foretells all of it.

  • Craig Parke

    (contd.)

    I know a woman who gave over $40,000 to the Faith over several years in the 80′s in another nation who has now left with her husband and absolutely livid about the destruction of the Baha’i Faith by the corrupted lifetime incumbent class now leading it. Baha’u’llah is going to deal with this. And it is not going to be pretty. The Tablet of the Holy Mariner foretells all of it.

  • Craig Parke

    (contd.)

    After 36 years of effort I have given up on the Baha’i Faith. It is a hopeless, hopeless organization. I have gone back to my veterans group and will end out my days trying to help these souls who were sent to “do God’s work” in the mental world of Glenford Mitchell, lifetime employment member of the Universal House of justice.

    http://www.tinyurl.com/v4tco

    http://www.empowermentproject.org/sso.html

    I wish you well.

    Craig

  • Craig Parke

    (contd.)

    After 36 years of effort I have given up on the Baha’i Faith. It is a hopeless, hopeless organization. I have gone back to my veterans group and will end out my days trying to help these souls who were sent to “do God’s work” in the mental world of Glenford Mitchell, lifetime employment member of the Universal House of justice.

    http://www.tinyurl.com/v4tco

    http://www.empowermentproject.org/sso.html

    I wish you well.

    Craig

  • http://www.overmywaders.com/cblog/ overmywaders

    Craig,

    Interesting Urls. I’ll watch the video a.s.a.p.. I think that there is some mis-understanding circulating about the station of people like Glenford Mitchell. He, as an individual, may make any statements he feels needful; but, as he will attest, they have no weight except that of any truth they may bear. (I would further repeat, that if we are going to do justice to people we should have them authenticate the remarks they made for completeness and contextual clarity. This was not done by the editor of the Mitchell talk.)

    Now, as to acting upon matters of conscience; there is nothing I have found in the Writings to suggest that we cannot speak and take action regarding atrocities occurring in the world. Certainly, our Exemplar, Abdu’l-Baha, pointed out in a speech to Parisian non-Baha’is the apparent difference in concern over a few people dieing in a train wreck and the thousands dieing daily in a war. He is our Exemplar.

    Further, just as Judaism and Christianity praise “Rahab the harlot” for lying while concealing the Israelite spies; I’m sure that God would have expected the same actions of Baha’is hiding Jews from the Nazis.

    There is plenty of scope for an active, God-inspired conscience. I find that the conventional routes popular in the 1960′s, e.g. anti-war protests, have become forums for all manner of distracting, polarizing individuals; so, I find them unattractive as a Baha’i and a thinking being. But there is still the written word which now has tremendous reach over the Internet. If we are presenting spiritual verities rather than conspiracy theories (no matter that they may be true) we can have quite an impact. You will note above where Shoghi Effendi instructs NSAs to encourage personal initiative regarding publications.

    Warmest regards,
    overmywaders

  • http://www.overmywaders.com/cblog/ overmywaders

    Craig,

    Interesting Urls. I’ll watch the video a.s.a.p.. I think that there is some mis-understanding circulating about the station of people like Glenford Mitchell. He, as an individual, may make any statements he feels needful; but, as he will attest, they have no weight except that of any truth they may bear. (I would further repeat, that if we are going to do justice to people we should have them authenticate the remarks they made for completeness and contextual clarity. This was not done by the editor of the Mitchell talk.)

    Now, as to acting upon matters of conscience; there is nothing I have found in the Writings to suggest that we cannot speak and take action regarding atrocities occurring in the world. Certainly, our Exemplar, Abdu’l-Baha, pointed out in a speech to Parisian non-Baha’is the apparent difference in concern over a few people dieing in a train wreck and the thousands dieing daily in a war. He is our Exemplar.

    Further, just as Judaism and Christianity praise “Rahab the harlot” for lying while concealing the Israelite spies; I’m sure that God would have expected the same actions of Baha’is hiding Jews from the Nazis.

    There is plenty of scope for an active, God-inspired conscience. I find that the conventional routes popular in the 1960′s, e.g. anti-war protests, have become forums for all manner of distracting, polarizing individuals; so, I find them unattractive as a Baha’i and a thinking being. But there is still the written word which now has tremendous reach over the Internet. If we are presenting spiritual verities rather than conspiracy theories (no matter that they may be true) we can have quite an impact. You will note above where Shoghi Effendi instructs NSAs to encourage personal initiative regarding publications.

    Warmest regards,
    overmywaders

  • Simeon

    I’ll lead by saying that I haven’t read all of the posted comments, so if this has already been mentioned, forgive me.

    Udo Schaefer, a German Bah??’? scholar, makes a very strong case that the infallibility of the House is only with regard to their duty of supplementary legislation, and that their executive and judicial acts/decisions are not covered by this. He makes this argument in the book “Making the Crooked Straight” and in at least one other published article. Since the book was mentioned by the House itself in glowing terms in the Ridvan letter of 2000 (or 2001?), this is not a view that they seem to have taken serious issue with.

    The crux of his argument is that executive and judicial decisions are dependent on information provided by others, and that the quality of those decisions is therefore influenced by the quality of information the House receives. The House itself has stated as much. This shoots a big hole in the “its the outcome, not the process” view. In fact, he specifically critiques this view in stating that the consultative process is critical to the functioning of the House. (This leads to a reverse view, though, where some will argue that “it’s the process, not the outcome” – meaning that even though the House made a wrong decision because the information was bad, it was somehow arrived at by an infallible process, or some such. This view seems to stretch the credibility of the term – if this formulation were true, anything and everything could be infallible.)

    Legislative decisions, on the other hand, are normative – they act at the level of general principles and not of specific cases, and therefore are independent of outside information sources. These, therefore, fall under the infallibility of the House.

    There is much more to this than my brief summary here. Please read some of Mr. Schaefer’s work for a better understanding of this view.

    Peace,
    Simeon

  • Simeon

    I’ll lead by saying that I haven’t read all of the posted comments, so if this has already been mentioned, forgive me.

    Udo Schaefer, a German Bah??’? scholar, makes a very strong case that the infallibility of the House is only with regard to their duty of supplementary legislation, and that their executive and judicial acts/decisions are not covered by this. He makes this argument in the book “Making the Crooked Straight” and in at least one other published article. Since the book was mentioned by the House itself in glowing terms in the Ridvan letter of 2000 (or 2001?), this is not a view that they seem to have taken serious issue with.

    The crux of his argument is that executive and judicial decisions are dependent on information provided by others, and that the quality of those decisions is therefore influenced by the quality of information the House receives. The House itself has stated as much. This shoots a big hole in the “its the outcome, not the process” view. In fact, he specifically critiques this view in stating that the consultative process is critical to the functioning of the House. (This leads to a reverse view, though, where some will argue that “it’s the process, not the outcome” – meaning that even though the House made a wrong decision because the information was bad, it was somehow arrived at by an infallible process, or some such. This view seems to stretch the credibility of the term – if this formulation were true, anything and everything could be infallible.)

    Legislative decisions, on the other hand, are normative – they act at the level of general principles and not of specific cases, and therefore are independent of outside information sources. These, therefore, fall under the infallibility of the House.

    There is much more to this than my brief summary here. Please read some of Mr. Schaefer’s work for a better understanding of this view.

    Peace,
    Simeon

  • http://www.bahairants.com Baquia

    Thanks Simeon. I agree with your suggestion that Schaefer has made some significant contributions on this matter. Anyone interested can learn more by visiting this Baha’i theologian’s website. The article on infallibility is here. And on his website you can find links to it in Persian, Dutch and Spanish.

  • http://www.bahairants.com Baquia

    Thanks Simeon. I agree with your suggestion that Schaefer has made some significant contributions on this matter. Anyone interested can learn more by visiting this Baha’i theologian’s website. The article on infallibility is here. And on his website you can find links to it in Persian, Dutch and Spanish.

  • Simeon

    Baquia: Yes, that link is the article I was referring to, which appears to be an expansion of the relevant passages on infallibility from “Making the Crooked Straight.” Thanks.

  • Simeon

    Baquia: Yes, that link is the article I was referring to, which appears to be an expansion of the relevant passages on infallibility from “Making the Crooked Straight.” Thanks.

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  • Wendy

    What completely destroys this argument is that the Master was prepared to call for the election of the House of Justice without a 'living Guardian' and considered the House of Justice without a Guardian at that time to be infallible.

    Beware, beware lest anyone create a rift or stir up sedition. Should there be differences of opinion, the Supreme House of Justice would immediately resolve the problems. Whatever will be its decision, by majority vote, shall be the real truth, inasmuch as that House is under the protection, unerring guidance, and care of the one true Lord. He shall guard it from error and will protect it under the wing of His sanctity and infallibility. He who opposes it is cast out and will eventually be of the defeated

    (The Universal House of Justice, Wellspring of Guidance, Messages 1963-1968, p. 47)

    “The establishment of that House is not dependent upon the conversion of all the nations of the world. For example, if conditions were favorable and no disturbances would be caused, the friends in Persia would elect their representatives, and likewise the friends in America, in India, and other areas would also elect their representatives, and these would elect a House of Justice. That House of Justice would be the Supreme House of Justice. That is all.” (Persian and Arabic-Tablets of 'Abdu'l-Bah??, Vol. III, pp. 499-501 )

    (The Universal House of Justice, Wellspring of Guidance, Messages 1963-1968, p. 47)

    To divorce the pronouncements and judgements of the guardian would be like disregarding the Writings of Baha'u'llah once Abdul-Baha had taken over. It simply means that the lineage of authority has to be kept intact so that whatever the Guardian has stated cannot be over ridden by the House of Justice IF there is guidance from the Guardian about it. That would mutilate teh Cause but the House of Justice only pronounces on things not expressly revealed in the texts and always obeys the Guardian in cases where they are so there is no conflict at all.

    To divorce the two, however, would be to mutilate the Cause itself, as they stand inseparably bound to each other, in very much the same relationship existing between the soul and body in the world of human existence.”

    (From a letter on behalf of Shoghi Effendi to an individual believer April 19, 1939)

    If ther has been an answer provided by the guardian the UNiversal House of Justice are bound to it and cannot change it but must make their decisions based on it.

    Your pathetic arguments about a SITTING ARGUMENT are about as stpid as Christians insisting thast Christ BODILY arose from the dead and will appear in the SKY with ANGELS and based on purely literal interpretations not upon interpretations of men of thought who use their nouse but who just seem to want ot find reasons to consfuse and attack our Infallible House of Jutice. There are sufficient of Baha'u'llah's and Abdul-Baha's words referring to the infallibility of the House of Justice yet this mentailty persists that there must be a sitting Guardian. The Guardianship DOES exist. It is all the Guidance from the letters of Shoghi Effendi. This is being used to formulate courses to build Houses of Worship and even the Arc on Carmel. The Guardianship very much exists and is an integral part of Baha'i administration. So those here who are atempting to confuse and manipulate Baha'is into believing the House if Justice is anything but Infallible are misguided and treacherous.

    To question the infallibility of the Universal House of Justice when it is so clearly laid out by the Founders of our Faith is an act of treachery and waywardness, an insult to them. There is a point where we should have the humility to not question and Baha'u'llah Has said that in these cases it is clearly wrongdoing you are at and not 'investigation of truth' as you choose to cunningly disguise your veiled attack on the Supreme Instition.

    What He pleaseth will God abrogate or confirm: for with Him is the Source of Revelation.”[2] Therefore, it hath been said: “To seek evidence, when the Proof hath been established is but an unseemly act, and to be busied with the pursuit of knowledge when the Object of all learning hath been attained is truly blameworthy.”

    We learn but do not question God or His authority or Who He chooses to appoint as His Representative in this case the House of Justice. They are free from error and the only ones in error are you guys who want to attack the House. Those who are firm in the Covenant can see this for what it is a public attack on the House of Justice and all should defend the House of Justice because they are the appointed of God.

    (Baha'u'llah, The Kitab-i-Iqan, p. 146)

    (Compilations, Lights of Guidance, p. 2)

  • peyamb

    Chrisitians think Christ is alive and walking in heaven right now. And this fundie Wendy thinks that Shoghi Effendi must be alive and whispering in the 9 men's ears whenever they make a mistake and step out of line. Who is as stupid as Christians now?
    Wendy dear, go back and read ALL of the quotes left from the Central Figures. And please stop idolizing an institution. You are making partners with God and therefore you are moving far away from anything resembling a true follower of Baha'u'llah. Alla'u'abha!

  • Baquia

    Wendy, it is difficult to address your comment since it is so rambling and incoherent. If you actually read what I wrote you may notice that much of what you say is already addressed. Furthermore, if the “Guardianship exists” without a person who is alive and acting as a Guardian… that is to say, we use the writings of Shoghi Effendi as a substitute for said person, then can you please explain to me why we don't simply apply the same logic to the UHJ and not bother to elect them again?
    After all, it would be much simpler to just go by the writings of the previous UHJ instead of having 9 persons occupy the institution, right? I could never figure that one out so I'd be in your debt if you would enlighten me.

  • Baquia

    Wendy, it is difficult to address your comment since it is so rambling and incoherent. If you actually read what I wrote you may notice that much of what you say is already addressed. Furthermore, if the “Guardianship exists” without a person who is alive and acting as a Guardian… that is to say, we use the writings of Shoghi Effendi as a substitute for said person, then can you please explain to me why we don't simply apply the same logic to the UHJ and not bother to elect them again?
    After all, it would be much simpler to just go by the writings of the previous UHJ instead of having 9 persons occupy the institution, right? I could never figure that one out so I'd be in your debt if you would enlighten me.

  • Matinbhagat

    Hi,

    Excellent article. I just want to find out how do you reconcile being a bahai with this whole UHJ infallibility thing. This has been the biggest stumbling block to me becoming a bahai and I am wondering if you can actually be a bahai who believe the UHJ is as fallible as anyone else.

  • Darren

    ?Abdu’l-Bah?? said, ?…Take this very moment. Should the Universal House of Justice be operating, by the one True God, beside Whom there is no God I would have been the first to obey its decree, even if it should be against me. It is true that that Body does not possess inherent infallibility, but it is under the shadow of the protection and shelter of the Blessed Beauty. Its command is the Blessed
    Command. Discuss this matter amongst yourselves, so that it may not be forgotten. Speak of it to one another; even, make a written note of it.?

  • Desir0101

    Hi darren,
    Could you please indicate where you quote this passage.
    Thanks.

  • Craig Parke

    As a Baha’i in good standing I stand fully behind this basic Teaching of the Faith. The stunning record of the failure to thrive of the top down totalitarian Faith speaks for itself at this point. I believe the UHJ is absolutely and totally infallible.  The Divine Being (He/She/or It) – the Supreme Cosmic Reality of the Universe – has apparently decreed that the Baha’i Faith is to fail in every land and every culture on Earth. They are carrying this Divine Plan out with 100% infallible certainty with their every decision and every action.

     Especially allowing Peter Khan to becomes the Supreme Manifestation of God for this World Age AND the Infallible Eternal Guardian of the Baha’i Faith FORVER.  Absolutely brilliant! All of his top down totalitarian lock step opinions are being taught across the country where I live as the true Teachings of the Faith via CD and DVD from beyond the grave. It is brilliant in carrying out “the Plan” and it is the gift that just keeps on giving ! Good stuff to achieve total destruction in every land and with every new generation!

    What is there to debate? They are absolutely bed rock “infallible” and thereby “reed from all error” in carrying out this Plan of stunning total destruction of EVERYTHING lock, stock, and barrel. Nothing will be left standing. NOTHING! Every decision is absolutely BRILLIANT in attaing their ultimate end.

    Look up the Persian word for “infallibility” and the “infallibility” mind set of “odd man out” OCD Shia Islam. “Infallibility” as a concept in no way whatsoever implies any kind of concept of “success” in the Western sense of the word. It is a Pee Wee Herman “I know you are but what am I” concept of “success”.  Your world may end up in total ruin but you are “infallible” in the rubble. It is the infallibility of deranged teenage girls.

  • Fubar

    Bias disclosure: I’m an ex-bahai.

    Yes, you can be a bahai and not agree with either the basic doctrine of infallible religious leaders, or the current (corrupt) “interpretation” of what that means in haifan bahaism.

    *However* You need to be very quiet about your disagreement if you wish to not be attacked within haifan bahai culture.

  • Fubar

    re: “treachery and waywardness”

    This is classical Jungian Shadow (psychological mirror).

    In reality bahai administration is guilty of “treachery and waywardness” in that is has abandoned large areas of the principles and ethics of the religion.

  • Fubar

    A practical consideration: What UHJ in 1910 would have dared to contradict abdul-baha? None.

    If it had, abdul-bahai would have immediately begun to work behind the scenes to make sure that in the next election that some other group of people ended up on the UHJ.

  • Wahid Azal

    “As a Bahai in good standing?” Since when? You are on record claiming you resigned from Bahaism a while ago?

  • Craig Parke

    Wahid,

    Happy New Year! May you find a good woman this year and calm the f*** down in life.

    Best to you!

    Craig

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xH-_9cwdLug

  • Wahid Azal

    Craig,

    Inferring from your typical Bahaiesque slight of hand reasoning, does that mean at your age you still haven’t found a good woman?! That said, maybe DHS should consider hiring me for keeping tabs on all the bullsh*t you people spin, and forgetting where you spun it, while tripping all over yourselves.

    Saw Zepparella
    live some years ago. Good cover band!

    Ron Paul 2012!

  • Craig Parke

    Wahid,

    You are a brilliant man and I wish you well in all things. I really do. You deserve to be happy. My beautiful and highly intelligent woman passed away 12 years ago (she spoke 7 languages). A good woman is a very great blessing in this world. My current writing partner is 19 years younger than me.

    Life is good.

    Love Zepparella too! I am in touch with this below band regarding my current film script.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F50uPTeI7RM

    Supernal!

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

    Instead of Ruhi Book 69 the Baha’is should be getting rock guitar and acting lessons to get some real chops in life now that Peter Khan has gone to the Great Beyond. Death is indeed the greatest rapid weight loss diet plan.

    So it goes.

    Best to you for 2012!

  • http://wahidazal.blogspot.com/ wahidazal66

    Craig

    For assorted reasons, I am generally suspicious of the whole sub-culture of so-called Bahai liberals/unenrolleds because when push has come to shove they/you are really shills of the system playing at being “loyal opposition’ (a term Juan Cole, a CIA shill, actually once used in relation to his criticisms of the BAO).  This is why I keep my eyes on this whole bloc of individuals in cyberspace to the same degree my associates and I keep our eyes fixed on the assorted linkages, connections and networks of the BAO with the globalist corporatocracy (see the assorted articles on Sourcewatch recently connecting high profile Bahais to Goldman Sachs and the US defense contracting industry, etc). The US military-industrial complex and Goldman Sachs, to quote Max Keiser, are “pure scum,” as I am sure you would agree.

    So when you come here and say you are a BIGS (Bahai In Good Standing), when I have full knowledge with documentary evidence of the fact that you are on record saying you are not, my flags go right up! I hope you understand. We’re just trying to keep all the assorted and proverbial Bahai Bastards online honest here by aiding in a quality control process of keeping to consistent narratives.

    That said, through hard knocks I have learned to keep my women out of the political causes I am involved with, whether it be trying to keep Bahais honest, Occupy Wall Street or educating the general public about the vices of cheerleading Western governments’ genocidal policies in the Global South.

    Happy 2012 to you too! Here’s toasting to the end of the American Empire with its ZioNazi colonial outpost in the Mid East!!
     

  • Craig Parke

    Wahid,

    This is probably my last post ever on Baha’i Rants. It is time to leave the limited pettiness of the Baha’i Faith all behind. It is meaningless to stay in it and it is meaningless to resign from it. I am a BIGS that just stopped participating in it anymore eight years ago after decades of dedicated service. There are much bigger fish on this planet now in much deeper currents. I served it for decades with all my heart but It all failed miserably because it went into the hands of a cult of lifetime incumbent sociopaths who micromanaged everything into the ground. This tiny cult of lifetime incumbent professional administrators burned the field’s of good people’s hearts, and sewed the Earth of their beating hearts with salt. There is nothing that can be done now.

    They were strangely impaired souls who took something very big and made it very small. They took something that was to be bottom up and made it top down. But the World will go on.

    A new World Age is being born and a New Civilization will come born out of mind bending stupidity and calamity. But the Baha’is will never be players in any of it.

    I knew many very good souls that tried with everything they had in it but the chops just weren’t there in how it all went. The BAO is a very small club and the rank and file aren’t in it.

    It is an embarrassment to even post anymore on the dissident sites. It is time to move on in life with what gives beauty and truth in the Cosmic Journey. That is enough to bring Great Joy in life!

    You are a brilliant man! I wish you well!

    Craig

  • http://wahidazal.blogspot.com/ wahidazal66

    I hope you are right that a new civilization worthy of  the name is being born. But until and unless the Anglo-American/Zionist corporocratic stranglehold on the planet is smashed to pieces – which eventually it will be – that new civilization may be nothing other than an Orwellian National Security State where citizens around the world are all suspects in the NWO’s/America’s paranoid globalist imperial ventures where they could be indefinitely detained without charge and where the whole planet, including the USA, is a battlefield (i.e. NDAA). This is the world of GMO foods which are deliberately grown to make populations sick, where Monsanto now owns Blackwater, and where carbon taxes are paid to governments that then turn around and line the pockets of the big corporations who set up the scam to begin with. This is the world of offshore tax havens in Delaware, the City of London and the Cayman Islands where the filthy rich literally steal trillions and then bring down entire economies while getting the taxpayer to pay for bogus national bailouts that have destroyed and impoverished the middle class. This is the world where German Bahai-connected quack psychiatrists act as public lobbyists for filthy-rich sickos who are out to legalize pedophilia, etc. And on and on it goes. In short, this is the world – where in the words of one pundit – national governments are mere figureheads and Goldman Sachs rules the world – in other words, a feudalism by money, the rule of Mammon.

    Bahaism has been responsible in helping erect this world and bringing it here because they have been in bed with the criminal globalists, the international banksters and fraudsters (i.e. the Maurice Strongs, the Clubs of Rome, etc) who have brought us to this Brave New World.  This is what your adherence to this cult and support for its globalism has helped create.

  • Craig Parke

    I am just glad to finally be free of the Abrahamic religions Wahid. I tried but I just ca’t take another step in any of them. I leave them to the peoples of the Brillo pad pubic hair. It is their heritage and they can keep it. The karma upon the first nations of Mankind is just too terrible to bear. I’m done.

    Good-bye all. Good night and good luck among the suicide bombers of the Earth.

  • http://wahidazal.blogspot.com/ wahidazal66

    Neither the Abrahamic religions nor First Nation peoples have had anything to do with creating the Brave New World of  the NDAA national security state, endless war for profit, multinational corporatocracies raping the planet and hijacking government, genetically modified foods and Monsanto, Blackwater, Goldman Sachs, etc. etc. etc.

    Lay the blame where it should be put: elitist greed and crony capitalism that uses, abuses, twists and discards all religions and ideologies at will.

    Be that as it may, we are now living in the NWO the Bahais so tirelessly helped create. Like what you see? If not, this is where Baha’u’llah has led the world: a nasty, brutal corporate, neo-feudalist hyper-militarized and totalitarian super-state!

  • Craig Parke

    You are living in a dream Wahid! Would that the Baha’is had THAT kind of power to ever be players in the World at ANY level either for good or evil. “Bueller? Bueller? Anyone?” The Baha’is most definitely did NOT create this present world. They have no power in the World.  Absolutely zero! The Administrative Order of the Baha’i Faith and everyone in it at every level would be eaten for lunch by Goldman Sachs without a thought. I just read Lisa Endlich’s 1999 book. BOTH the circumcised AND uncircumcised among them are entirely up to creating pure carnage on Earth themselves thank you very much! Very formidable people! And lots of karmic Brillo pad in action if you catch my drift and they just keep getting better at the game.

    On the other hand the Administrative Order of the Baha’i Faith could not run a shift on a drive through at McDonalds! NOBODY would get their order straight at all. Ketchup and mustard would be way too complex as concepts to handle. People of competence in life in any line of endeavor are not welcome in the current top down group think Ruhiized version of the Baha’i Faith. It may change in about 800 years but it will be far too late. Highly competent drug dealers, prostitutes, and pornographers full of love for the human experience will have done it themselves by then.

    Make no mistake. The Cosmic Powers of the World Age will go on!

    Best to you!

    Signing off!

    Craig

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

  • http://wahidazal.blogspot.com/ wahidazal66

    Craig, it is you who are living in la-la land — or are otherwise an apologist. If you have even an iota of fair mindedness you will go to Sourcewatch and see for yourself the confuting evidence amassed over five years from public domain material placing this cult in every circle of the globalist networks that have brought this planet to the breaking point. Yes, an organization that is allowed the kind of leverage and support and funding IsraHell and the Zionist criminals have given it has that kind of power. Take your head out and see it for yourself.

  • Craig Parke

    Wow! Thanks for the update! Jyoti Munsiff! I met her twice back in 1972! I did not know she was STILL ALIVE! She was tough as nails back then. She always wore very colorful saris. I liked her.

    Glad to see she has a paying job in the current world economic situation. I’m always glad anyone has a paying job but that could all change very fast for many especially with all those thermonuclear derivatives out there placed on European Sovereign Debt in 2012. Now if you could link Jon Corzine to some kind of UHJ World Wide Massive “Incompetence” Conspiracy you would really be onto something! 

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7UgwsQDOovI

    I hope you have a paying job too. I have one and I am very happy that I do.

    Wow! Thanks for this update. Much appreciated! I thought she was dead a long time ago. She just did not look so healthy back then. A little on the chubby side. But it must be good genes after all or that Ayurvedic medicine really works!

    THE TWO BEARS EXPLAIN THE COLLAPSE OF MF GLOBAL
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jLt05sN7vK0&feature=youtu.be
     

  • Desir0101

    Hello Craig and Wahid,
    You both seem to be the angel of peace.

    Except than insulting the Faith of those who believe in it WHAT HAVE YOU TO PROPOSE TO THE WORLD> for it’s betterment.

  • Craig Parke

    As Cosmic Reformers both Jesus Christ and Baha’u’llah as you say “insulted” the Faith of many in the hapless degraded dumbed down cosmically clueless “religious systems” they were born into. So people who speak openly this way are in very good company.

    I propose that everyone everywhere in the the world today start to speak truth to power for starters to get the World Age on the road! Helping Truth Tellers speak truth worldwide via the Internet is what I do for a living as a software engineer. The fact that you can reply to me right here, right now, at the speed of light is because some really smart and talented people are actually doing something (gasp) useful to advance the human race with some sort of acquired skill from hard work and study rather than sitting around in endless meetings like incompetent masturbating vultures waiting for the world to commit thermonuclear suicide.

    I am also trying to get my hands on a $130 million dollar film budget to get a feature film I am writing made to help other people in this World also change their present consciousness too and become frank truth tellers where they live their lives.

    I also propose that people start learning how the current World Economic system works as the most immediately useful thing they can do in the present hour on this planet of incredibly poorly educated people. As Shoghi Effendi himself said, the Baha’i Writings other than general moral principles have no advanced teachings to shed on  economics. People have to figure it out for themselves. So I try to help with that. I speak with OWS people all the time where I live.

    THE SECRET OF OZ – Bill Still
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=swkq2E8mswI

    THESE DAYS: Bill Still – 8 JULY 2011
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=endscreen&NR=1&v=VpSHzJROhfQ

    LIFE INC. – Douglas Rushkoff
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sOBWhVe68os

    WEB OF DEBT – Ellen Brown (1 of 5)
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QU0XiklHPMc

    “THE LOST SCIENCE OF MONEY” by  Stephen A. Zarlenga
    http://old.monetary.org/lostscienceofmoney.html

    A SHORT HISTORY OF THE “MONEY POWER”
    http://www.monetary.org/wp-content/uploads/2011/10/32-page-brochure-sept2011.pdf

    HR-2990
    (Introduced into Congress 09/21/11 with MSM total coverage BLACKOUT…)
    http://www.monetary.org/wp-content/uploads/2011/10/HR-2990.pdf

    KEISER REPORT: MOBIUS STRIP OF FRAUD
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ReAgkWw8ue8

    “LORDS OF FINANCE: THE BANKERS WHO BROKE THE WORLD” (1914-1939)
    http://www.amazon.com/Lords-Finance-Bankers-Broke-World/dp/159420182X

  • http://wahidazal.blogspot.com/ wahidazal66

    Begin by hanging all the bankers (starting with Goldman Sachs) and lynching every Wall Street/City of London corporate crook, in other words the entire 1%.

  • http://wahidazal.blogspot.com/ wahidazal66

    Craig, if you had cared to read the entry, your friend has also been accused of one of the biggest known ethics violations in the history of Dutch Shell. The fact that she was a senior attorney for them in the 1978/79 period (when this company invested heavily in destabilizing the Shah’s regime) also makes her an outright international criminal and corporate terrorist in my book. Jyotti Munsiff, however, is only a tip in a very large iceberg of big corporate thieves, terrorists and monsters who infest your beloved Haifan Bahai cult which you are sitting all smug claiming it powerless. Given this, it stands to reason that the containment policy of the Islamic Republic of Iran (and other Muslim countries) towards this cult is sound and the accusations that this cult are agents of foreign powers and their policies is absolutely correct.

  • Desir0101

    Hi Craig And WAhid,

    Thanks for your reply.

    Wish you all the best and courage.

  • Craig Parke

    I read it Wahid.  The Baha’is are small potatoes including Jyotti Munsiff’s best day on Earth times a million suns. The world is definitely run by a club and the Baha’is just ain’t in it. But best wishes to everyone here! Good luck to all of you on your life journeys one and all! I wish you all well!

    Signing off for good!

    Craig

  • Fubar

    http://www.census.gov/main/www/popclock.html

    1% of the world population =
    6,986,991,759 * .01 = 69,869,917
    that would be a lot of people to exterminate. The number of people making vast profits from  corporate bank scams is much smaller, maybe .03%.

    I personally think that it might be possible to indict the worst corporate criminals for treason, but it is still essentially a political extermination, which is usually not justified except as a product of a political revolution/civil war.

    Ultimately the problem has to be seen as a political failure, perhaps a failure that is characteristic of the form of “democracy” as it currently exists (really plutocracy).

  • http://wahidazal.blogspot.com/ wahidazal66

    You know, Craig, minimalism is one of the well-worn tactics of black propaganda. The corporate media engages in this sort of tactic quite regularly as do governments. This is where propagandists assume the role of a critic and then proceed to minimalize the importance and influence of what they’re criticizing.

  • Fubar

    Ok, so even if the corrupt corporatists/financiers/bankers are only .03%  (I saw this specific figure in a discussion of political reforms on a geopolitics blog stated by an “expert”), and assuming that the “1%” are only in industrial/postindustrial societies, such as North America and Europe (say 1 billion population), I still get a very large number:

    For 1.0%, .01*1,000,000,000=
    10,000,000

    For .03%, .0003*1,000,000,000=
    300,000

    The latter number is far smaller than the number killed in the great genocides of the last century, but still very large, perhaps similar to some approximations of the numbers of people killed in Iraq during the “occupation”.

  • Fubar

    the following items are linked at: http://fabiusmaximus.wordpress.com/2011/04/08/26538/

    Also see:

    Winner-Take-All Politics: How Washington Made the Rich Richer – and Turned Its Back on the Middle Class by Jacob Hacker and Paul Pierson
     …

    The real beneficiaries of the
    explosion in income for top earners since the 1970s has been not the top
    1 per cent but the top 0.1 per cent of the general population.  Since
    1974, the share of national income of the top 0.1 per cent of Americans
    has grown from 2.7 to 12.3 per cent of the total, a truly mind-boggling
    level of redistribution from the have-nots to the haves.

    Who are these people?  As Hacker and Pierson note, they are ?not, for
    the most part, superstars and celebrities in the arts, entertainment
    and sports.  Nor are they rentiers, living off their accumulated wealth,
    as was true in the early part of the last century.  A
    substantial majority are company executives and managers, and a growing
    share of these are financial company executives and managers.’

    What took place in the 1980s was therefore an extension of the Carter
    years, not a reversal of them.  The process of deregulation and
    redistribution up the chain accelerated under Reagan, who was broadly
    sympathetic to these goals.  Yet it happened not because he was
    sympathetic to them, but because his sympathies were allowed free rein
    in a political environment where the opposition was muted and the
    expected coalition of interests opposed to the changes never
    materialised.  After all, as Hacker and Pierson point out, Richard
    Nixon, who might have been expected to share some of Reagan’s
    sympathies, had gone the other way in his actual policies a decade
    earlier, shoring up the legislative framework of the welfare state and
    maintaining a broadly progressive tax system.  (Something similar
    happened in Britain under Edward Heath.)  He acted like this because he
    felt he had little choice: the organised pressure ready to resist change
    appeared much too strong.

    It was only during the Carter years – and to some extent the
    Callaghan years in Britain – that this pressure turned out to be weaker
    than anyone thought.  The politicians of the Reagan/ Thatcher revolution
    did what they did not because they were committed ideologues,
    determined to stick to their principles.  They did it because they found
    they could get away with it.

    So where did the resistance go?  This is the real puzzle … Hacker and
    Pierson’s argument is really a return to a much longer-standing
    critique of democracy, one that flourished during the 1920s and 1930s
    but was supplanted in the postwar period by expectations of rational
    behaviour on the part of voters.  This traditional critique does not see
    the weakness of democracy as a matter of the voters wanting the wrong
    things, or not really knowing what they want.  They know what they want
    but they don’t know how to get it. It’s because they don’t understand
    the world they live in that democracy isn’t working.  People aren’t
    stupid, but when it comes to politics they are ignorant, lazy and easily
    satisfied with pat answers to difficult questions.

  • Fubar

    re: http://fabiusmaximus.wordpress.com/2011/04/08/26538/

    So, assuming that the social scientists quoted at the above blog are correct that .01% of corporate, bank and finance managers are mainly responsible for the intense concentration of wealth since the 1970s, and that the Left’s tradition resistance to such concentration of wealth was discredited, and that middle class and working people became complacent,  lazy and stupid, one must wonder what the possibilities are for reforms or other processes of social change oriented toward economic justice?

    For instance, is it possible to revive something like the Left’s opposition to Plutocracy? If so, then it would be necessary to conduct an analysis of why the Left became discredited. What was the problem with the paradigm, or tactics, of the left? How did postmodern culture, or other social forces contribute to the problem?

    If the slide toward Plutocracy can’t reasonably be seen to be reversible, what role will religion and spirituality play in a world ruled by Plutocrats?

    How is it possible for a religion premised on infallibility to make a significant contribution toward social justice movements?

  • Fubar

    Nima said: “Be that as it may, we are now living in the NWO the Bahais so tirelessly helped create.  ”

    Bahais advanced the idea of some kind of NWO (for purposes of world peace and economic equality!), but at least in the openly available written records of the religion, there was no EXPLICIT intent to create a corrupt global system of state-capitalism (plutocracy) as far as I can tell.

    In my opinion, bahai scripture and “official” guidance is maddeningly vague on the real issues of economic justice and politics.

    Late in his life, shoghi effendi made some unfortunate statements that seemed to indicate that the goal of bahaism was to create a scaled up global imperialist system, a hybrid of Christendom and Islam, but this was only in response to radical national liberation movements and rebellions against european colonialism. Even so, I am not aware that the principle of opposition to “concentration of wealth” was ever suspended.

    No question that some bahais from the upper echelons have attempted to “cozy up” to the corporatists and plutocrats, but other than some relatively indirect influence, it seem very unlikely that bahais steered the process in any significant manner.

    There were large scale global mercantile organizations that operated in previous centuries, such as the Hudson’s Bay Company, and other similar enterprises in Asia, India, Africa, etc.

    If bahaism had never become as widespread as it is, would all the  problems of state-capitalism and global economics still exist? I think so.

  • http://wahidazal.blogspot.com/ wahidazal66

    The 1% as defined by OWS.

  • http://wahidazal.blogspot.com/ wahidazal66

    It is interesting when Anglo-Europeans march their war-machines and exterminate millions of innocent people in assorted parts of the world we are later led to believe such actions to be “humanitarian interventions” and other such Newspeak nonsense. But when the shoe is turned on the other foot, and calls are made for the collective lynching of the plutocracy, certain people begin citing ridiculous statistics and making moronic arguments. The plutocracy and corporatocratic criminals in the West are no less (actually more so) criminals than the assorted Taliban and al-CIA-duh leaders Anglo-American establishments love to kill. Absolutely, these criminals should be lynched en masse and those who have aided and abetted them in any way should likewise be brought to book en masse to face the music.

  • Fubar

    Hey Nima, great hearing from you as always. 
    As far as I can tell, human beings have been capable of mass exterminations, imperial schemes, enslavement, and so forth since ancient times, regardless of nationality, ethnicity, religion, etc.

    It is unfortunate that the latest version is enhanced by the economic and technical superiority of the West.

    Anyways, I was just wondering about the practical problems of how to  exterminate what could be millions of people, and if you have any suggestions about how it would be done, and the effects on culture. For instance, when the Left exterminated even small numbers (perhaps a few 1,000s) of ultra-rich in Spain during the Civil War (1930s), the result was 50+ years of reactionary right-wing dictatorship (supported by most of the people in the “majority”). My guess is that the US National Security Apparatus and various Police Powers would easily defeat any such attempted attacks (based on previous worker/protest uprising in the USA). Any such  reactionary response would mean that the USA had taken the final step to fascism/totalitarianism, but it is a much smaller step now than in the past.

    Thomas Drake: bogus espionage charges used in attempt to cover up corruption in the military-industrial-complex:

    http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-503544_162-20122207-503544.html

    “Ellsberg: All the crimes Nixon committed against me are now legal”

    http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2011/06/09/ellsberg-all-the-crimes-nixon-committed-against-me-are-now-legal/

  • Fubar

    Unfortunately I’ve never seen a specific definition of the 1% from OWS. I generally support OWS (to the extent that its goal are consistent with anarcho-libertarian integralism), and have tried to read up on the movement. If you know of a specific OWS definition for the “1%”, please let me know.

    I would suggest the following general categories as a start:

    1. Big banks and finance operations, specifically the “0.01 %” identified by the previously mentioned social scientists. Lobbyists/politicians working for the above. This would include ‘Wall St.”, London, Amsterdam, Dubai, and perhaps Hong Kong or other Chinese banks and finance schemes and other elements of the “electronic herd” of global investors.

    2. Top levels of corporate elements of the military-industrial-complex and related national security apparatus. Lobbyists/politicians working for the above.

    3. Big oil (e.g. Koch Bros). Lobbyists/politicians working for the above.

    Google is of course owned by some “1%” types (as are the computer companies that made your PC and mine), but anyways, here is what appars to to be the first relevant “page one” entry on google:

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/11/10/brad-pitt-talks-occupy-wall-street-moneyball_n_1086423.html

    hmmm. not so useful.

    Somewhat better: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Occupy_Wall_Street#We_are_the_99.25

    “In 2007 the richest 1% of the American population owned 34.6% of the country’s total wealth, and the next 19% owned 50.5%. Thus, the top 20% of Americans owned 85% of the country’s wealth and the bottom 80% of the population owned 15%. ”

    So, in reality, the top 1% are the biggest problem (35% of wealth), but there is another 19% that contribute significantly to the problem (and additional 15% of wealth).

    Averaging it out, the extermination of corrupt/ultra-wealthy and their supporters that you have suggested would probably have to reach at least a 10% level, or several 10s of millions of people. This would present signifcant logistical problems, including negative environmental impacts (disposal of millions of bodies) and disruption of businesses providing goods/services to the mass of consumers.

    It also might be worth mentioning that in Spain, the “Indignados” protest movement that OWs took some of its inspiration from took place at the same time that what was commonly seen as a failed socialist (Zapatero) coalition that had been in power for several years through the economic downturn was recently voted out in favor of the right wing pro-globalist/corporatist PP (Partido Popular “Popular Party”).

    And, it does not look like the Arab Spring is going to result in a flourishing “liberal” political culture in places like Eqypt.

    In the USA, the main feature of the original failure of the opposition to the uber-concentration of wealth was the manner in which the Left, and its Labor allies, became discredited in the 70s, *initially* most noticeably during the Carter administration (not Reagan).

    With no legitimate, significant opposition at that time, the “vast right wing” conspiracy was able to put in position an array of initiatives to effect the concentration of wealth and, via the establishment of various right wing and pro-corporatist think thanks, public opinion was manipulated in such a way as to make it seem that the program of the corporatists/plutocrats was “patriotic”, rather than destructive of democracy and the US Constitution.

    A “globalized” world economy combined with the toxic economic scheme hatched during the Carter/Reagan years was the deadly combo resulting in the rapid slide toward Plutocracy.

    Police forces in large urban areas in the USA have a long history of excelling at brutally suppressing anti-establishment protest movements.

    http://www.aclu.org/blog/national-security/president-obama-signs-indefinite-detention-law

  • Fubar

    Unfortunately I’ve never seen a specific definition of the 1% from OWS. I generally support OWS (to the extent that its goal are consistent with anarcho-libertarian integralism), and have tried to read up on the movement. If you know of a specific OWS definition for the “1%”, please let me know.

    I would suggest the following general categories as a start:

    1. Big banks and finance operations, specifically the “0.01 %” identified by the previously mentioned social scientists. Lobbyists/politicians working for the above. This would include ‘Wall St.”, London, Amsterdam, Dubai, and perhaps Hong Kong or other Chinese banks and finance schemes and other elements of the “electronic herd” of global investors.

    2. Top levels of corporate elements of the military-industrial-complex and related national security apparatus. Lobbyists/politicians working for the above.

    3. Big oil (e.g. Koch Bros). Lobbyists/politicians working for the above.

    Google is of course owned by some “1%” types (as are the computer companies that made your PC and mine), but anyways, here is what appars to to be the first relevant “page one” entry on google:

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/11/10/brad-pitt-talks-occupy-wall-street-moneyball_n_1086423.html

    hmmm. not so useful.

    Somewhat better: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Occupy_Wall_Street#We_are_the_99.25

    “In 2007 the richest 1% of the American population owned 34.6% of the country’s total wealth, and the next 19% owned 50.5%. Thus, the top 20% of Americans owned 85% of the country’s wealth and the bottom 80% of the population owned 15%. ”

    So, in reality, the top 1% are the biggest problem (35% of wealth), but there is another 19% that contribute significantly to the problem (and additional 15% of wealth).

    Averaging it out, the extermination of corrupt/ultra-wealthy and their supporters that you have suggested would probably have to reach at least a 10% level, or several 10s of millions of people. This would present signifcant logistical problems, including negative environmental impacts (disposal of millions of bodies) and disruption of businesses providing goods/services to the mass of consumers.

    It also might be worth mentioning that in Spain, the “Indignados” protest movement that OWs took some of its inspiration from took place at the same time that what was commonly seen as a failed socialist (Zapatero) coalition that had been in power for several years through the economic downturn was recently voted out in favor of the right wing pro-globalist/corporatist PP (Partido Popular “Popular Party”).

    And, it does not look like the Arab Spring is going to result in a flourishing “liberal” political culture in places like Eqypt.

    In the USA, the main feature of the original failure of the opposition to the uber-concentration of wealth was the manner in which the Left, and its Labor allies, became discredited in the 70s, *initially* most noticeably during the Carter administration (not Reagan).

    With no legitimate, significant opposition at that time, the “vast right wing” conspiracy was able to put in position an array of initiatives to effect the concentration of wealth and, via the establishment of various right wing and pro-corporatist think thanks, public opinion was manipulated in such a way as to make it seem that the program of the corporatists/plutocrats was “patriotic”, rather than destructive of democracy and the US Constitution.

    A “globalized” world economy combined with the toxic economic scheme hatched during the Carter/Reagan years was the deadly combo resulting in the rapid slide toward Plutocracy.

    Police forces in large urban areas in the USA have a long history of excelling at brutally suppressing anti-establishment protest movements.

    http://www.aclu.org/blog/national-security/president-obama-signs-indefinite-detention-law

  • Fubar

    In case you haen’t already seen it, more interesting background on Wall St. scandals:

    http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/blogs/taibblog/everything-you-need-to-know-about-wall-street-in-one-brief-tale-20120113

  • Fubar

    http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/blogs/taibblog/everything-you-need-to-know-about-wall-street-in-one-brief-tale-20120113

    Excerpt:
    [from blog comments]
    Shelley Erickson | January 14, 5:36 PM ET

    Professor William Black states the crime is aroung a hundred times worse, than when he helped put over 800 in jail in the 1980′s so I exspect there should have been around eight thousand in jail long ago. These criminal institutions have enbedded judges attoreys and represenatives into the system to undo laws and deregulate the banks so they could steal and get a way with it, I believe most of the local court judges to be corrupt, with a minority that are not. Just my belief and a lot of parties on the web and Pro Se case law supporting my belief.

    —end excerpts—

    Professor William Black:

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/william-k-black/how-the-servant-became-a_b_318010.html