“Let him rather glory in this, that he loves his kind”

one-world-one-people

Recently I wrote a comment here which was censored.

I’ll leave it for others to ponder the irony of a website that bemoans the ill treatment of Baha’is in Iran and has as its purpose the protection of their basic human rights… and then uses tactics which the IRI has used against Baha’is to silence them.

Basically the comment was that while what this fellow Baha’i was going through was horrible, illegal, and reprehensible; his pride in being Iranian (which he repeats several times in strong language) is in conflict with what Baha’u’llah said about not glorying in being a citizen of a specific country but being a member of humanity.

These arbitrary line we draw on maps mean nothing. We are one people, one creation, with one God. That is the animating force behind the Baha’i revelation. It is the single most powerful message that we as Baha’is have to convey.

But sadly, I’ve noticed this tendency in other Baha’is from Iran to boast about being Iranian.

It is almost as if they are overcompensating for the false accusations lobbed against them by the IRI. Accusations of being spies or agents of a foreign power. They so wish to show their pride at being Iranian and of loving their “homeland” that they are blinded to one of the most powerful teachings of their own Faith.

It might also be that they take pride in being Iranian because Iran is the “Cradle of the Faith” and is promised a glorious future in Baha’i Writings.

So what? So is the USA. Equally blessed is every country and place “where mention of God is made and His praise glorified”. To single out one country and to say that it is hallowed above others is in direct conflict with Baha’i teachings. And it is a very dumb reason for Baha’is who are persecuted to decide to remain in Iran to continue to be persecuted when they have the ability to simply leave and lead free, productive lives elsewhere.

Even if the future of Iran is indeed glorious, why would any rational human being decide to keep themselves and their family in harms way? of what possible value is self inflicted martyrdom and suffering? where does the line blur between persecution and a victim mentality?

If your hand is in the fire, would you keep it there because you know that eventually the fire will burn itself out and be later replaced by flowers many months from now?

How utterly ignorant and lamentable to mistake self-flagellation for piety, to mistake self chosen suffering for God’s teachings of love and oneness.

  • David

    Amen!

  • David

    Amen!

  • Love of country doesn’t necessarily cancel love of mankind or of the planet. It is possible to love both one’s home country and the world. I live in New England and love it; I also love my country and I love the planet earth. (I’m getting a sugar fit from all this love!)

    An Iranian Baha’i or any thoughtful Iranian citizen might be driven to hold fast to her love of country given the assault it is under from its own leaders.

    The issue of getting out of the fire is one of choice. Some people choose to stay in their country even under the control of a repressive regime because they hope to contribute to its betterment or because they hope for better times.

    But I do see in this story perhaps too much complaining. But I can’t judge people living in Iran; I am fortunate enough to live in New England, USA, planet earth. A pretty privileged place, even in these times of difficultly and pressure.

  • Love of country doesn’t necessarily cancel love of mankind or of the planet. It is possible to love both one’s home country and the world. I live in New England and love it; I also love my country and I love the planet earth. (I’m getting a sugar fit from all this love!)

    An Iranian Baha’i or any thoughtful Iranian citizen might be driven to hold fast to her love of country given the assault it is under from its own leaders.

    The issue of getting out of the fire is one of choice. Some people choose to stay in their country even under the control of a repressive regime because they hope to contribute to its betterment or because they hope for better times.

    But I do see in this story perhaps too much complaining. But I can’t judge people living in Iran; I am fortunate enough to live in New England, USA, planet earth. A pretty privileged place, even in these times of difficultly and pressure.

  • farhan

    Baquia wrote : To single out one country and to say that it is hallowed above others is in direct conflict with Baha’i teachings.

    Baquia, The same Divine source that said the earth is but one country has prediced an era of chaos and a glorious future for part of the planet. It does not necessarily mean that it will be superior to others, but it does mean that beyond the present turmoil, a brilliant future is in store.

    Baquai wrote : And it is a very dumb reason for Baha’is who are persecuted to decide to remain in Iran to continue to be persecuted when they have the ability to simply leave and lead free, productive lives elsewhere.

    Baquia, they are not staying in Iran in order to get persecuted so that they can have some pity from you ; they are accepting to stay in spite of persecution because their country needs spiritual advancement that they are in a position to offer.

    Baquia wrote : Even if the future of Iran is indeed glorious, why would any rational human being decide to keep themselves and their family in harms way?

    Baquia, they are willing to stay because they believe that without their spiritual contribution Iran will not recover from the present crisis, nor attain tah high destiny in store for her.

    Baquia wrote : of what possible value is self inflicted martyrdom and suffering?

    Baquia, self inflicted suffering has absolutely no value an dis degrading. Accepting suffering inflicted by others in order to meet the requirements of a countryu has high spiritual and material value.

    Baquia wrote: where does the line blur between persecution and a victim mentality?

    Baquia, the limit is in their intent : are they staying in Iran in order to serve their country, as they are doing, or to look smart ? You seem to have misjudged them very severely.

    Baquia wrote: If your hand is in the fire, would you keep it there because you know that eventually the fire will burn itself out and be later replaced by flowers many months from now? How utterly ignorant and lamentable to mistake self-flagellation for piety, to mistake self chosen suffering for God’s teachings of love and oneness.

    Baquia, this is a very severe and unjust judgment on your part.

  • Farhan Yazdani

    Baquia wrote : To single out one country and to say that it is hallowed above others is in direct conflict with Baha’i teachings.

    Baquia, The same Divine source that said the earth is but one country has prediced an era of chaos and a glorious future for part of the planet. It does not necessarily mean that it will be superior to others, but it does mean that beyond the present turmoil, a brilliant future is in store.

    Baquai wrote : And it is a very dumb reason for Baha’is who are persecuted to decide to remain in Iran to continue to be persecuted when they have the ability to simply leave and lead free, productive lives elsewhere.

    Baquia, they are not staying in Iran in order to get persecuted so that they can have some pity from you ; they are accepting to stay in spite of persecution because their country needs spiritual advancement that they are in a position to offer.

    Baquia wrote : Even if the future of Iran is indeed glorious, why would any rational human being decide to keep themselves and their family in harms way?

    Baquia, they are willing to stay because they believe that without their spiritual contribution Iran will not recover from the present crisis, nor attain tah high destiny in store for her.

    Baquia wrote : of what possible value is self inflicted martyrdom and suffering?

    Baquia, self inflicted suffering has absolutely no value an dis degrading. Accepting suffering inflicted by others in order to meet the requirements of a countryu has high spiritual and material value.

    Baquia wrote: where does the line blur between persecution and a victim mentality?

    Baquia, the limit is in their intent : are they staying in Iran in order to serve their country, as they are doing, or to look smart ? You seem to have misjudged them very severely.

    Baquia wrote: If your hand is in the fire, would you keep it there because you know that eventually the fire will burn itself out and be later replaced by flowers many months from now? How utterly ignorant and lamentable to mistake self-flagellation for piety, to mistake self chosen suffering for God’s teachings of love and oneness.

    Baquia, this is a very severe and unjust judgment on your part.

  • [quote comment=””]self inflicted suffering has absolutely no value an dis degrading. Accepting suffering inflicted by others in order to meet the requirements of a countryu has high spiritual and material value.[/quote]

    Farhan, in order to step out of a superstitious morass, would you please offer from the Baha’i Writings, support for the argument that Baha’is of Iran must remain in Iran for Iran to have a positive future and change for the better?

  • [quote comment=””]self inflicted suffering has absolutely no value an dis degrading. Accepting suffering inflicted by others in order to meet the requirements of a countryu has high spiritual and material value.[/quote]

    Farhan, in order to step out of a superstitious morass, would you please offer from the Baha’i Writings, support for the argument that Baha’is of Iran must remain in Iran for Iran to have a positive future and change for the better?

  • farhan

    Baquia, wrote : Farhan, in order to step out of a superstitious morass, would you please offer from the Baha’i Writings, support for the argument that Baha’is of Iran must remain in Iran for Iran to have a positive future and change for the better?

    Baquia, Baha’u’llah asks us to advance with reason and understanding, ?writing with light upon the spirit?. Lacking understanding, we should ?transform our spirit with love?, and lacking these, we are to accept to give our lives, which in fact is the same thing as giving our time, partly, gradually, or completely and suddenly. As a child, I used to wonder how we could sacrifice ?countless lives?. I later understood that we can love a cause so much as to wish we could live longer and even several times to serve it; here are two quotes from the Hidden Words:
    O SON OF MAN!
    Write all that We have revealed unto thee with the ink of light upon the tablet of thy spirit. Should this not be in thy power, then make thine ink of the essence of thy heart. If this thou canst not do, then write with that crimson ink that hath been shed in My path. Sweeter indeed is this to Me than all else, that its light may endure for ever.
    O SON OF MAN!
    Ponder and reflect. Is it thy wish to die upon thy bed, or to shed thy life-blood on the dust, a martyr in My path, and so become the manifestation of My command and the revealer of My light in the highest paradise? Judge thou aright, O servant!
    Having witnessed the rising of the pioneers to Africa in 1952 and the hardships they endured, amongst which my own parents, and then read the message of Shoghi Effendi that had moved them, I would be ashamed of my inequity if for one minute I had belittled their efforts in not considering them as outstanding courage and detachment, but as some kind of a ?superstitious morass?.

    Shoghi Effendi repeatedly would tell the pilgrims that the days of dying for the Faith had been replaced by the days of living the life for the Faith. If you are not moved into action by message such as these, I do not consider you capable of understanding the spirit of those who today are not called upon to leave their homeland, but to remain and serve there:

    ?No matter how long the period that separates them from ultimate victory; however arduous the task; however formidable the exertions demanded of them; however dark the days which mankind, [39] perplexed and sorely-tried, must, in its hour of travail, traverse; however severe the tests with which they who are to redeem its fortunes will be confronted; however afflictive the darts which their present enemies, as well as those whom Providence, will, through His mysterious dispensations raise up from within or from without, may rain upon them, however grievous the ordeal of temporary separation from the heart and nerve-center of their Faith which future unforeseeable disturbances may impose upon them, I adjure them, by the precious blood that flowed in such great profusion, by the lives of the unnumbered saints and heroes who were immolated, by the supreme, the glorious sacrifice of the Prophet-Herald of our Faith, by the tribulations which its Founder, Himself, willingly underwent, so that His Cause might live, His Order might redeem a shattered world and its glory might suffuse the entire planet—I adjure them, as this solemn hour draws nigh, to resolve never to flinch, never to hesitate, never to relax, until each and every objective in the Plans to be proclaimed, at a later date, has been fully consummated. (Messages to Baha’i World 21:13)
    ?No more befitting tribute can be paid to the memory of these luminous souls, by those who carry the torch of Divine Guidance after them, than by a corresponding [135] manifestation of solidarity, self-abnegation, zeal and devotion, which will impel them to forsake their homes, sacrifice their treasure, brave every danger, endure every hardship, expend every ounce of energy, that the Plan which they have spontaneously and unitedly sponsored may, through its triumphant termination, carry them a stage further along the broad highway of their destiny. (Dawn of a New Day 168:4)

  • Farhan YAZDANI

    Baquia, wrote : Farhan, in order to step out of a superstitious morass, would you please offer from the Baha’i Writings, support for the argument that Baha’is of Iran must remain in Iran for Iran to have a positive future and change for the better?

    Baquia, Baha’u’llah asks us to advance with reason and understanding, ?writing with light upon the spirit?. Lacking understanding, we should ?transform our spirit with love?, and lacking these, we are to accept to give our lives, which in fact is the same thing as giving our time, partly, gradually, or completely and suddenly. As a child, I used to wonder how we could sacrifice ?countless lives?. I later understood that we can love a cause so much as to wish we could live longer and even several times to serve it; here are two quotes from the Hidden Words:
    O SON OF MAN!
    Write all that We have revealed unto thee with the ink of light upon the tablet of thy spirit. Should this not be in thy power, then make thine ink of the essence of thy heart. If this thou canst not do, then write with that crimson ink that hath been shed in My path. Sweeter indeed is this to Me than all else, that its light may endure for ever.
    O SON OF MAN!
    Ponder and reflect. Is it thy wish to die upon thy bed, or to shed thy life-blood on the dust, a martyr in My path, and so become the manifestation of My command and the revealer of My light in the highest paradise? Judge thou aright, O servant!
    Having witnessed the rising of the pioneers to Africa in 1952 and the hardships they endured, amongst which my own parents, and then read the message of Shoghi Effendi that had moved them, I would be ashamed of my inequity if for one minute I had belittled their efforts in not considering them as outstanding courage and detachment, but as some kind of a ?superstitious morass?.

    Shoghi Effendi repeatedly would tell the pilgrims that the days of dying for the Faith had been replaced by the days of living the life for the Faith. If you are not moved into action by message such as these, I do not consider you capable of understanding the spirit of those who today are not called upon to leave their homeland, but to remain and serve there:

    ?No matter how long the period that separates them from ultimate victory; however arduous the task; however formidable the exertions demanded of them; however dark the days which mankind, [39] perplexed and sorely-tried, must, in its hour of travail, traverse; however severe the tests with which they who are to redeem its fortunes will be confronted; however afflictive the darts which their present enemies, as well as those whom Providence, will, through His mysterious dispensations raise up from within or from without, may rain upon them, however grievous the ordeal of temporary separation from the heart and nerve-center of their Faith which future unforeseeable disturbances may impose upon them, I adjure them, by the precious blood that flowed in such great profusion, by the lives of the unnumbered saints and heroes who were immolated, by the supreme, the glorious sacrifice of the Prophet-Herald of our Faith, by the tribulations which its Founder, Himself, willingly underwent, so that His Cause might live, His Order might redeem a shattered world and its glory might suffuse the entire planet—I adjure them, as this solemn hour draws nigh, to resolve never to flinch, never to hesitate, never to relax, until each and every objective in the Plans to be proclaimed, at a later date, has been fully consummated. (Messages to Baha’i World 21:13)
    ?No more befitting tribute can be paid to the memory of these luminous souls, by those who carry the torch of Divine Guidance after them, than by a corresponding [135] manifestation of solidarity, self-abnegation, zeal and devotion, which will impel them to forsake their homes, sacrifice their treasure, brave every danger, endure every hardship, expend every ounce of energy, that the Plan which they have spontaneously and unitedly sponsored may, through its triumphant termination, carry them a stage further along the broad highway of their destiny. (Dawn of a New Day 168:4)

  • Farhan,
    You are arguing that the Iranian Baha’is must stay in Iran to somehow assure that Iran has a glorious future. I see no quote from the Baha’i Writings which support this premise of yours.

    In fact, you point to the exhortation from the Guardian that we must now live for the Faith rather than die for it.

    Let us return to a simple idea. That one can no longer be called a martyr when one decides to keep oneself in harms way. That is no longer an externally imposed situation but a choice made internally.

    You call my analogy of the hand in the fire an “severe and unjust” one. But can you show me where it is an inaccurate representation of what the Baha’is of Iran are doing? If not, then I’ll assume that you simply don’t like this accurate description of the situation.

    That’s fine. We can all have opinions. But opinions are just that.

  • Farhan,
    You are arguing that the Iranian Baha’is must stay in Iran to somehow assure that Iran has a glorious future. I see no quote from the Baha’i Writings which support this premise of yours.

    In fact, you point to the exhortation from the Guardian that we must now live for the Faith rather than die for it.

    Let us return to a simple idea. That one can no longer be called a martyr when one decides to keep oneself in harms way. That is no longer an externally imposed situation but a choice made internally.

    You call my analogy of the hand in the fire an “severe and unjust” one. But can you show me where it is an inaccurate representation of what the Baha’is of Iran are doing? If not, then I’ll assume that you simply don’t like this accurate description of the situation.

    That’s fine. We can all have opinions. But opinions are just that.

  • [quote comment=”60958″]Love of country doesn’t necessarily cancel love of mankind or of the planet. It is possible to love both one’s home country and the world.[/quote]

    Frank, you’re right that it isn’t exclusive. But from what I’ve seen from Iranian Baha’is, they clearly put love of country above love of mankind and the world. Baha’u’llah doesn’t say we can’t love our country but this love has less priority than the love we must stoke in ourselves for the world.

    [quote comment=”60958″]The issue of getting out of the fire is one of choice. Some people choose to stay in their country even under the control of a repressive regime because they hope to contribute to its betterment or because they hope for better times.[/quote]

    Exactly. Choice. Baha’is of Iran are capable of removing themselves from a situation of persecution. This is a point that is lost on many. I wanted to highlight it especially since the person telling their story mentions both his ability to get a passport to leave Iran as well as stressing just how much he loves his homeland and chooses not to leave.

    The analogy of the hand in the fire is the best way to describe it. Sure, the fire way burn itself out and something much more pleasant take its place. But why would you want to damage your hand when you have a choice? why not return your hand to the place when there are flowers instead of fire? Keeping your hand there and then screaming about the injustice of the fire is just beyond words!

  • [quote comment=”60958″]Love of country doesn’t necessarily cancel love of mankind or of the planet. It is possible to love both one’s home country and the world.[/quote]

    Frank, you’re right that it isn’t exclusive. But from what I’ve seen from Iranian Baha’is, they clearly put love of country above love of mankind and the world. Baha’u’llah doesn’t say we can’t love our country but this love has less priority than the love we must stoke in ourselves for the world.

    [quote comment=”60958″]The issue of getting out of the fire is one of choice. Some people choose to stay in their country even under the control of a repressive regime because they hope to contribute to its betterment or because they hope for better times.[/quote]

    Exactly. Choice. Baha’is of Iran are capable of removing themselves from a situation of persecution. This is a point that is lost on many. I wanted to highlight it especially since the person telling their story mentions both his ability to get a passport to leave Iran as well as stressing just how much he loves his homeland and chooses not to leave.

    The analogy of the hand in the fire is the best way to describe it. Sure, the fire way burn itself out and something much more pleasant take its place. But why would you want to damage your hand when you have a choice? why not return your hand to the place when there are flowers instead of fire? Keeping your hand there and then screaming about the injustice of the fire is just beyond words!

  • P

    Exactly. Choice. Baha’is of Iran are capable of removing themselves from a situation of persecution. This is a point that is lost on many.
    —————-
    That’s true. I know of family and other Bahais that freely come and go. I also heard that the UHJ was upset about this movement and didn’t want Bahais to leave and return to Iran all the time(but I’m not sure about this).
    If the need to have Bahais stay in Iran was so spiritually important, then why leave. Why don’t more Iranian Bahais go back and stay (actually some do, but I don’t know how much it has to do with spirituality as it does with no fitting in the foreign culture or finding good jobs). Thanks for posting difficult topics Baquia.

  • P

    Exactly. Choice. Baha’is of Iran are capable of removing themselves from a situation of persecution. This is a point that is lost on many.
    —————-
    That’s true. I know of family and other Bahais that freely come and go. I also heard that the UHJ was upset about this movement and didn’t want Bahais to leave and return to Iran all the time(but I’m not sure about this).
    If the need to have Bahais stay in Iran was so spiritually important, then why leave. Why don’t more Iranian Bahais go back and stay (actually some do, but I don’t know how much it has to do with spirituality as it does with no fitting in the foreign culture or finding good jobs). Thanks for posting difficult topics Baquia.

  • LoL just noticed the trackback link automatically created by wordpress on their blog was also manually removed!

    “We don’t approve of censorship. Unless it is us doing it.”

  • LoL just noticed the trackback link automatically created by wordpress on their blog was also manually removed!

    “We don’t approve of censorship. Unless it is us doing it.”

  • farhan

    Baquia:
    You call my analogy of the hand in the fire an ?severe and unjust? one. But can you show me where it is an inaccurate representation of what the Baha’is of Iran are doing?

    Baquia, your analogy is inaccurate. The situation in Iran is as bad, if not worse for non-Baha’is than for Baha’is. You are not suggesting that some 70M Iranians should move to the US? And perhaps the US, Australia or Europe would wish to welcome some billions of Afghans, Iraquians, Palestinians, Indians, Chinese and Africans?

    We need peace-loving citizens everywhere. Flight is one choice, but not the only alternative to social unrest. The UHJ has advised the Baha’is who can do so to remain and serve iran. They are doing a fantastic job of it, as history will soon reveal

  • Farhan Yazdani

    Baquia:
    You call my analogy of the hand in the fire an ?severe and unjust? one. But can you show me where it is an inaccurate representation of what the Baha’is of Iran are doing?

    Baquia, your analogy is inaccurate. The situation in Iran is as bad, if not worse for non-Baha’is than for Baha’is. You are not suggesting that some 70M Iranians should move to the US? And perhaps the US, Australia or Europe would wish to welcome some billions of Afghans, Iraquians, Palestinians, Indians, Chinese and Africans?

    We need peace-loving citizens everywhere. Flight is one choice, but not the only alternative to social unrest. The UHJ has advised the Baha’is who can do so to remain and serve iran. They are doing a fantastic job of it, as history will soon reveal

  • Farhan,
    you are changing the issue and building a straw man, but no matter, this seems to be your MO when you are unwilling to face certain truths… if the situation in Iran is “as bad, if not worse for non-Baha’is” then pray tell me, why is the UHJ only advocating on behalf of Baha’is and not lifting a finger or voice for the non-Baha’i Iranians who you say have it worse?

    During the pre and post revolution persecutions the policy of the UHJ was different. It actively worked with governments and NGOs to rescue Baha’is from Iran. So if Baha’i blood needs to be spilled, as you claim but can not back up, for Iran’s future to be glorious, then why was it ok for Baha’is to leave Iran 30 years ago?

  • Farhan,
    you are changing the issue and building a straw man, but no matter, this seems to be your MO when you are unwilling to face certain truths… if the situation in Iran is “as bad, if not worse for non-Baha’is” then pray tell me, why is the UHJ only advocating on behalf of Baha’is and not lifting a finger or voice for the non-Baha’i Iranians who you say have it worse?

    During the pre and post revolution persecutions the policy of the UHJ was different. It actively worked with governments and NGOs to rescue Baha’is from Iran. So if Baha’i blood needs to be spilled, as you claim but can not back up, for Iran’s future to be glorious, then why was it ok for Baha’is to leave Iran 30 years ago?

  • farhan

    Baquia wrote: you are changing the issue and putting words in my mouth, but no matter, this seems to be your MO when you are unwilling to face certain truths…

    Baquia, I disagree: I am giving my opinion, as you are giving yours, with no perverse MO.

    Baquia said: if the situation in Iran is “as bad, if not worse for non-Baha’is” then pray tell me, why is the UHJ only advocating on behalf of Baha’is and not lifting a finger or voice for the non-Baha’i Iranians who you say have it worse?

    Baquia, I can speak for myself and not for the UHJ, but I can easily say that as a Baha’i we believe that no amount of protestation, diplomacy or string pulling will change the state of the world.

    In some individual cases acute crisis can be solved by diplomatic means. What will on the long run change the world is the spiritualisation of humanity at grass roots, and this is the procedure that we are following and which is offered to humanity, Baha’is or not. Those who wish to follow the advice of the UHJ can do so. Those who want to follow other actions are free to do so. In the end we will compare the results.

    Baquia wrote: During the pre and post revolution persecutions the policy of the UHJ was different. It actively worked with governments and NGOs to rescue Baha’is from Iran.

    Baquia, I don’t know exactly what action is being taken, but apparently they are not asking advise from you and me. As a Baha’i I believe that they have a long experience in this field and I feel I need their guidance, but than they don’t need mine. If you have recommendations to make please feel free to do so.

    Baquia: So if Baha’i blood needs to be spilled, as you claim but can not back up, for Iran’s future to be glorious, then why was it ok for Baha’is to leave Iran back then?

    Baquia, I do not claim that Baha’i blood _needs_ to be spilled, but I am saying that in the process of serving humanity and standing up to principles that totalitarian states do not accept, there is unfortunately a high risk for Baha’i blood to be spilled.

    There was a time when Western Baha’is were encouraged to pioneer to Persia, then Persian Baha’is who were able to do so, and who chose to do so, were invited to leave Iran and go pioneering outside. Now the Baha’is who can stay in Iran are invited to stay and participate in constructing a glorious future for that land. Probably one day, even those like me who live outside will be encouraged to return to Iran; times change and our needs change with them.

    At that time we had B&W TV and we put films in our cameras; we now have flat colour screens and we put chips in our cameras; why was it OK to watch B&W TV and use films at that time??? This is called ?adaptation? with which conservatives cannot cope.

  • Farhan Yazdani

    Baquia wrote: you are changing the issue and putting words in my mouth, but no matter, this seems to be your MO when you are unwilling to face certain truths…

    Baquia, I disagree: I am giving my opinion, as you are giving yours, with no perverse MO.

    Baquia said: if the situation in Iran is “as bad, if not worse for non-Baha’is” then pray tell me, why is the UHJ only advocating on behalf of Baha’is and not lifting a finger or voice for the non-Baha’i Iranians who you say have it worse?

    Baquia, I can speak for myself and not for the UHJ, but I can easily say that as a Baha’i we believe that no amount of protestation, diplomacy or string pulling will change the state of the world.

    In some individual cases acute crisis can be solved by diplomatic means. What will on the long run change the world is the spiritualisation of humanity at grass roots, and this is the procedure that we are following and which is offered to humanity, Baha’is or not. Those who wish to follow the advice of the UHJ can do so. Those who want to follow other actions are free to do so. In the end we will compare the results.

    Baquia wrote: During the pre and post revolution persecutions the policy of the UHJ was different. It actively worked with governments and NGOs to rescue Baha’is from Iran.

    Baquia, I don’t know exactly what action is being taken, but apparently they are not asking advise from you and me. As a Baha’i I believe that they have a long experience in this field and I feel I need their guidance, but than they don’t need mine. If you have recommendations to make please feel free to do so.

    Baquia: So if Baha’i blood needs to be spilled, as you claim but can not back up, for Iran’s future to be glorious, then why was it ok for Baha’is to leave Iran back then?

    Baquia, I do not claim that Baha’i blood _needs_ to be spilled, but I am saying that in the process of serving humanity and standing up to principles that totalitarian states do not accept, there is unfortunately a high risk for Baha’i blood to be spilled.

    There was a time when Western Baha’is were encouraged to pioneer to Persia, then Persian Baha’is who were able to do so, and who chose to do so, were invited to leave Iran and go pioneering outside. Now the Baha’is who can stay in Iran are invited to stay and participate in constructing a glorious future for that land. Probably one day, even those like me who live outside will be encouraged to return to Iran; times change and our needs change with them.

    At that time we had B&W TV and we put films in our cameras; we now have flat colour screens and we put chips in our cameras; why was it OK to watch B&W TV and use films at that time??? This is called ?adaptation? with which conservatives cannot cope.

  • I think the issue of Baha’is in Iran is fundamental to the health of Baha’i. World embracing or not, Baha’i is most relevant in its home country. If it can’t somehow not only survive but become a real force for change in Iran its viability elsewhere will continue to be in question. So the UHJ asks Iranian Baha’is to sacrifice. They must each decide whether this call is worth the danger and pain. Hopefully brighter days will come and the fools running things in Iran will be tossed out. If that happens there will be an opportunity for Baha’is to lead in the place in the world where their voices are most apt to be heard.

  • I think the issue of Baha’is in Iran is fundamental to the health of Baha’i. World embracing or not, Baha’i is most relevant in its home country. If it can’t somehow not only survive but become a real force for change in Iran its viability elsewhere will continue to be in question. So the UHJ asks Iranian Baha’is to sacrifice. They must each decide whether this call is worth the danger and pain. Hopefully brighter days will come and the fools running things in Iran will be tossed out. If that happens there will be an opportunity for Baha’is to lead in the place in the world where their voices are most apt to be heard.

  • farhan

    Frank wrote:
    They must each decide whether this call is worth the danger and pain. Hopefully brighter days will come and the fools running things in Iran will be tossed out. If that happens there will be an opportunity for Baha’is to lead in the place in the world where their voices are most apt to be heard.

    I agree Frank, but I would also add that the aim of Baha’is should not be to “lead in the place” but to offer their services to the world.

    Contrary to the concepts current in consumer societies, we are not trying to use the world to make the Baha’i Faith a success, but to use the Baha’i Faith to make the world a success. The revelation of Baha’u’llah and Baha’i Faith are the tools for spiritualising the world, and not the ultimate goal or a means for pleasing God.

  • Farhan Yazdani

    Frank wrote:
    They must each decide whether this call is worth the danger and pain. Hopefully brighter days will come and the fools running things in Iran will be tossed out. If that happens there will be an opportunity for Baha’is to lead in the place in the world where their voices are most apt to be heard.

    I agree Frank, but I would also add that the aim of Baha’is should not be to “lead in the place” but to offer their services to the world.

    Contrary to the concepts current in consumer societies, we are not trying to use the world to make the Baha’i Faith a success, but to use the Baha’i Faith to make the world a success. The revelation of Baha’u’llah and Baha’i Faith are the tools for spiritualising the world, and not the ultimate goal or a means for pleasing God.

  • P

    For once I agree with Farhan! The idea of Bahais or any religion leading in politics scares me.

  • P

    For once I agree with Farhan! The idea of Bahais or any religion leading in politics scares me.

  • annonymouz

    Hi Baquia,

    Here are some quotes that helped me reflect on similar sentiments you are having. Basically, I gather that their suffering is part of a process that is slowly building admiration among other Iranians–a step which is essential when things change in Iran and Baha’is become a prominent part of greater Iranian culture.

    (i)Know ye that trials and tribulations have, from time immemorial, been the lot of the chosen Ones of God and His beloved, and such of His servants as are detached from all else but Him, they whom neither merchandise nor traffic beguile from the remembrance of the Almighty, they that speak not till He hath spoken, and act according to His commandment. Such is God’s method carried into effect of old, and such will it remain in the future. Blessed are the steadfastly enduring, they that are patient under ills and hardships, who lament not over anything that befalleth them, and who tread the path of resignation….(/i)

    (Baha’u’llah, Gleanings from the Writings of Baha’u’llah, p. 129)

    O God! The trials Thou sendest are a salve to the sores of all them who are devoted to Thy will; the remembrance of Thee is a healing medicine to the hearts of such as have drawn nigh unto Thy court; nearness to Thee is the true life of them who are Thy lovers; Thy presence is the ardent desire of such as yearn to behold Thy face; remoteness from Thee is a torment to those that have acknowledged Thy oneness, and separation from Thee is death unto them that have recognized Thy truth!

    (Baha’u’llah, Prayers and Meditations by Baha’u’llah, p. 78)(/i)

  • annonymouz

    Hi Baquia,

    Here are some quotes that helped me reflect on similar sentiments you are having. Basically, I gather that their suffering is part of a process that is slowly building admiration among other Iranians–a step which is essential when things change in Iran and Baha’is become a prominent part of greater Iranian culture.

    (i)Know ye that trials and tribulations have, from time immemorial, been the lot of the chosen Ones of God and His beloved, and such of His servants as are detached from all else but Him, they whom neither merchandise nor traffic beguile from the remembrance of the Almighty, they that speak not till He hath spoken, and act according to His commandment. Such is God’s method carried into effect of old, and such will it remain in the future. Blessed are the steadfastly enduring, they that are patient under ills and hardships, who lament not over anything that befalleth them, and who tread the path of resignation….(/i)

    (Baha’u’llah, Gleanings from the Writings of Baha’u’llah, p. 129)

    O God! The trials Thou sendest are a salve to the sores of all them who are devoted to Thy will; the remembrance of Thee is a healing medicine to the hearts of such as have drawn nigh unto Thy court; nearness to Thee is the true life of them who are Thy lovers; Thy presence is the ardent desire of such as yearn to behold Thy face; remoteness from Thee is a torment to those that have acknowledged Thy oneness, and separation from Thee is death unto them that have recognized Thy truth!

    (Baha’u’llah, Prayers and Meditations by Baha’u’llah, p. 78)(/i)

  • [quote comment=”60982″]Baha’i is most relevant in its home country. If it can’t somehow not only survive but become a real force for change in Iran its viability elsewhere will continue to be in question.[/quote]

    Frank, the Baha’i Faith purports to be a world religion so if we operate from this view we are only an Iranian religion.

    annonymouz, there is more to trials and tests than martyrdom.

    Farhan, you are speaking in circles. If I may bring things back to the issue at hand, Iranian Baha’is are being persecuted. They are free to leave Iran. Some choose to stay while many choose to leave. Those that stay do so by their own free will and therefore are choosing to put themselves at risk. This choice then means that persecution is no longer outside of their control. They are choosing to keep their hand in the fire.

  • [quote comment=”60982″]Baha’i is most relevant in its home country. If it can’t somehow not only survive but become a real force for change in Iran its viability elsewhere will continue to be in question.[/quote]

    Frank, the Baha’i Faith purports to be a world religion so if we operate from this view we are only an Iranian religion.

    annonymouz, there is more to trials and tests than martyrdom.

    Farhan, you are speaking in circles. If I may bring things back to the issue at hand, Iranian Baha’is are being persecuted. They are free to leave Iran. Some choose to stay while many choose to leave. Those that stay do so by their own free will and therefore are choosing to put themselves at risk. This choice then means that persecution is no longer outside of their control. They are choosing to keep their hand in the fire.

  • annonymouz

    [quote]Farhan, you are speaking in circles. If I may bring things back to the issue at hand, Iranian Baha’is are being persecuted. They are free to leave Iran. Some choose to stay while others choose to leave. Those that stay do so by their own free will and therefore are choosing to put themselves at risk. This choice then means that persecution is no longer outside of their control. They are choosing to keep their hand fire.[/quote]

    Baquia do you really think everyone can leave as easily as you think? You speak in such generalities its hard to sympathize. They do leave on a case by case basis. But a mass exodus that you keep thinking of is simply naive.

  • annonymouz

    [quote]Farhan, you are speaking in circles. If I may bring things back to the issue at hand, Iranian Baha’is are being persecuted. They are free to leave Iran. Some choose to stay while others choose to leave. Those that stay do so by their own free will and therefore are choosing to put themselves at risk. This choice then means that persecution is no longer outside of their control. They are choosing to keep their hand fire.[/quote]

    Baquia do you really think everyone can leave as easily as you think? You speak in such generalities its hard to sympathize. They do leave on a case by case basis. But a mass exodus that you keep thinking of is simply naive.

  • annonymouz, first of all this situation has been brewing for a long time. Second, there are many who are able to leave but because of pressure from the UHJ remain in Iran. Third, the Baha’i community can mobilize resources to rescue Baha’is in Iran. We know this because they did so right after the revolution of 1979. Right now, however, the policy seems to be to force them to stay there and then spend our resources making a hue and cry about it at the UN and elsewhere. What I’m saying is this. If your house is burning down, you run out. You don’t stay put and get injured or die because you want the arsonist arrested and punished.

  • annonymouz, first of all this situation has been brewing for a long time. Second, there are many who are able to leave but because of pressure from the UHJ remain in Iran. Third, the Baha’i community can mobilize resources to rescue Baha’is in Iran. We know this because they did so right after the revolution of 1979. Right now, however, the policy seems to be to force them to stay there and then spend our resources making a hue and cry about it at the UN and elsewhere. What I’m saying is this. If your house is burning down, you run out. You don’t stay put and get injured or die because you want the arsonist arrested and punished.

  • annonymouz

    [quote comment=””]annonymouz, first of all this situation has been brewing for a long time. Second, there are many who are able to leave but because of pressure from the UHJ remain in Iran. Third, the Baha’i community can mobilize resources to rescue Baha’is in Iran. We know this because they did so right after the revolution of 1979. Right now, however, the policy seems to be to force them to stay there and then spend our resources making a hue and cry about it at the UN and elsewhere. What I’m saying is this. If your house is burning down, you run out. You don’t stay put and get injured or die because you want the arsonist arrested and punished.[/quote]

    Again short sighted. I am not going to argue with you but I will say that since you have never been to Iran (that im sure of) and im also pretty sure you know little of true religious persecution, I can’t expect you to get that it is more than what you see as politics. Its part of a divine plan and process that you should realize and accept as part of being a Baha’i. If this is something that you can’t come to grips with that’s not my problem.

    The Baha’is in Iran are not forced to do anything. That is really a bold and juvenile thing to say. You think the UHJ calls them up and says “Hey! where do you think you’re going?!” Don’t be foolish. They stay because they love thier country, maybe not thier government, but the people, the culuture, the language, etc etc…Those who leave are not given a guilt trip. Most of the people I know come out because of school and money reasons.

    The only words that really come to mind after all this is still one LOUD one. NAIVE Baquia, NAIVE.

    Maybe I will post another conversation stating this fact to prove a point.

  • annonymouz

    [quote comment=””]annonymouz, first of all this situation has been brewing for a long time. Second, there are many who are able to leave but because of pressure from the UHJ remain in Iran. Third, the Baha’i community can mobilize resources to rescue Baha’is in Iran. We know this because they did so right after the revolution of 1979. Right now, however, the policy seems to be to force them to stay there and then spend our resources making a hue and cry about it at the UN and elsewhere. What I’m saying is this. If your house is burning down, you run out. You don’t stay put and get injured or die because you want the arsonist arrested and punished.[/quote]

    Again short sighted. I am not going to argue with you but I will say that since you have never been to Iran (that im sure of) and im also pretty sure you know little of true religious persecution, I can’t expect you to get that it is more than what you see as politics. Its part of a divine plan and process that you should realize and accept as part of being a Baha’i. If this is something that you can’t come to grips with that’s not my problem.

    The Baha’is in Iran are not forced to do anything. That is really a bold and juvenile thing to say. You think the UHJ calls them up and says “Hey! where do you think you’re going?!” Don’t be foolish. They stay because they love thier country, maybe not thier government, but the people, the culuture, the language, etc etc…Those who leave are not given a guilt trip. Most of the people I know come out because of school and money reasons.

    The only words that really come to mind after all this is still one LOUD one. NAIVE Baquia, NAIVE.

    Maybe I will post another conversation stating this fact to prove a point.

  • farhan

    Baquia wrote:
    Farhan, you are speaking in circles.(snip) Those that stay do so by their own free will and therefore are choosing to put themselves at risk. This choice then means that persecution is no longer outside of their control. They are choosing to keep their hand fire.

    Baquia, they are not ?choosing to keep their hand in the fire?. They are accepting the risk in order to be able to do something that is important to them.

    Some of them have no choice: they cannot materially hope to find asylum elsewhere. Others, whether regretting they cannot leave or else choosing not to take possible steps to leave, realise that the teaching work is advancing in a spectacular manner in Iran; the UHJ in whom they have confidence is telling them that these hard times will roll away and that they are to contribute towards making a glorious future for Iran. They know that by staying in Iran they are running risks; they know that by leaving Iran they will be facing other risks. As the French expression goes, they have to choose between cholera and typhus.

    However, I feel that beyond this straight line Cartesian talk, you are referring to another question: there is a theological fallacy that pretends that by offering a holocaust you bring about a miracle. Some believe that God sent His innocent only son to suffer and die on the cross, so that the sins of humanity might be forgiven. In SAQ, Abdu’l-Baha clarifies this by explaining that the teachings of Christ cured the sinners from their sinful ways of life, but as a consequence of his teachings, Christ was condemned to die on the cross. Hence Christ accepted the cross in order to teach AND hence save us from sin.

    There is a moving story in Afroukhteh’s memoirs where Lua Getsinger insists on going to Persia to give her life as a martyr, and Abdu’l-Baha explains clearly that that the important part of martyrdom is not that we die, but the that we offer our lives (time and efforts) for serving a cause.

    On this point I agree with you, that some superstition or morbid tendencies might be at the root of some of our ?spiritual feats?. But again, I definitely object to discrediting the sacrifices of the Iranian Baha’is as superstition, and we must remember that the laws of love are very different from those of reason, and here we meet the Valley of contentment where as Baha’u’llah puts it:

    ?The tongue faileth in describing these three Valleys, and speech falleth short. The pen steppeth not into this region, the ink leaveth only a blot. In these planes, the nightingale of the heart hath other songs and secrets, which make the heart to stir and the soul to clamor, but this mystery of inner meaning may be whispered only from heart to heart, confided only from breast to breast.?

  • Farhan Yazdani

    Baquia wrote:
    Farhan, you are speaking in circles.(snip) Those that stay do so by their own free will and therefore are choosing to put themselves at risk. This choice then means that persecution is no longer outside of their control. They are choosing to keep their hand fire.

    Baquia, they are not ?choosing to keep their hand in the fire?. They are accepting the risk in order to be able to do something that is important to them.

    Some of them have no choice: they cannot materially hope to find asylum elsewhere. Others, whether regretting they cannot leave or else choosing not to take possible steps to leave, realise that the teaching work is advancing in a spectacular manner in Iran; the UHJ in whom they have confidence is telling them that these hard times will roll away and that they are to contribute towards making a glorious future for Iran. They know that by staying in Iran they are running risks; they know that by leaving Iran they will be facing other risks. As the French expression goes, they have to choose between cholera and typhus.

    However, I feel that beyond this straight line Cartesian talk, you are referring to another question: there is a theological fallacy that pretends that by offering a holocaust you bring about a miracle. Some believe that God sent His innocent only son to suffer and die on the cross, so that the sins of humanity might be forgiven. In SAQ, Abdu’l-Baha clarifies this by explaining that the teachings of Christ cured the sinners from their sinful ways of life, but as a consequence of his teachings, Christ was condemned to die on the cross. Hence Christ accepted the cross in order to teach AND hence save us from sin.

    There is a moving story in Afroukhteh’s memoirs where Lua Getsinger insists on going to Persia to give her life as a martyr, and Abdu’l-Baha explains clearly that that the important part of martyrdom is not that we die, but the that we offer our lives (time and efforts) for serving a cause.

    On this point I agree with you, that some superstition or morbid tendencies might be at the root of some of our ?spiritual feats?. But again, I definitely object to discrediting the sacrifices of the Iranian Baha’is as superstition, and we must remember that the laws of love are very different from those of reason, and here we meet the Valley of contentment where as Baha’u’llah puts it:

    ?The tongue faileth in describing these three Valleys, and speech falleth short. The pen steppeth not into this region, the ink leaveth only a blot. In these planes, the nightingale of the heart hath other songs and secrets, which make the heart to stir and the soul to clamor, but this mystery of inner meaning may be whispered only from heart to heart, confided only from breast to breast.?

  • farhan

    Baquia wrote:
    Right now, however, the policy seems to be to force them to stay there and then spend our resources making a hue and cry about it at the UN and elsewhere.

    Annonymouz replied: The Baha’is in Iran are not forced to do anything. That is really a bold and juvenile thing to say.

    Baquia, I think anonymouz is making an understatement. It is an insulting thing to say, for the UHJ and for the Baha’is in Iran on whom you are projecting a horribly cynical and manipulative behaviour.

    The reality that I have heard from many sources, including non Baha’is, is that the teaching opportunities in Iran are unprecedented. The Baha’is are being assailed on all sides for information on the Faith. Disillusioned with fundamentalism more and more Iranians are turning to the Baha’i Faith as the acceptable compromise between Faith and modernity.

  • Farhan Yazdani

    Baquia wrote:
    Right now, however, the policy seems to be to force them to stay there and then spend our resources making a hue and cry about it at the UN and elsewhere.

    Annonymouz replied: The Baha’is in Iran are not forced to do anything. That is really a bold and juvenile thing to say.

    Baquia, I think anonymouz is making an understatement. It is an insulting thing to say, for the UHJ and for the Baha’is in Iran on whom you are projecting a horribly cynical and manipulative behaviour.

    The reality that I have heard from many sources, including non Baha’is, is that the teaching opportunities in Iran are unprecedented. The Baha’is are being assailed on all sides for information on the Faith. Disillusioned with fundamentalism more and more Iranians are turning to the Baha’i Faith as the acceptable compromise between Faith and modernity.

  • p

    Where are you all getting your romanticized views of the Bahais in Iran? They leave predominantly for economic reasons and because they are tired of the Mullahs (for good reason). Unfortunately they also come into the US or other countries with a lot of their baggage (as do many first generation immigrants). Those who can adapt and apprecitate the freedoms of their new found culture will do well, or they will live in bitter misery always reminiscing about Iran; and a few can’t adapt and pack up and go back. AND, anonymous, I know a few that freely just come and go (including family). How do they do this? From what I’ve heard, the government for years hasn’t been enforcing the section in the paperwork that asks for religion. So you can leave it blank, and they won’t say anything. Maybe this is what the UHJ is upset about? I don’t know. That Iranian Bahais are not declaring themselves as Bahai so that they can travel back and forth. Who knows?

  • p

    Where are you all getting your romanticized views of the Bahais in Iran? They leave predominantly for economic reasons and because they are tired of the Mullahs (for good reason). Unfortunately they also come into the US or other countries with a lot of their baggage (as do many first generation immigrants). Those who can adapt and apprecitate the freedoms of their new found culture will do well, or they will live in bitter misery always reminiscing about Iran; and a few can’t adapt and pack up and go back. AND, anonymous, I know a few that freely just come and go (including family). How do they do this? From what I’ve heard, the government for years hasn’t been enforcing the section in the paperwork that asks for religion. So you can leave it blank, and they won’t say anything. Maybe this is what the UHJ is upset about? I don’t know. That Iranian Bahais are not declaring themselves as Bahai so that they can travel back and forth. Who knows?

  • Lee

    according to your theory: why did the black people stay in the U.S when they were persecuted they should have left once they were set free during lincoln administration. however they stayed and asked for more rights to be given to them, they faced persecution, death but they remained they stood up for principle and now they have an African American president.
    why did Gandhi stay? he should have given up. according to you, Martin Luther king Jn was an idiot for speaking his mind knowing that it will kill him. why did he keep putting his hand in fire.
    and above all why did the prophets of God face persecution when they could easily avoid it?

    have you ever heard something called “principle”? usually people with principle stand up for what they believe in.

    I like to picture you (so that at least I don’t have a bad opinion about you) that you had it all easy in your life. you probably didn’t face racism, injustice, people calling you names because simply you are not of a particular blood or culture. you didn’t have your teacher singling you out in front of all your class mates as an immoral student because you believe differently than them. but you don’t know so I forgive you!
    p.s. I have every right to judge you and judge as much as I want and you cant say anything about it. you already did that to an entire population.

  • Lee

    according to your theory: why did the black people stay in the U.S when they were persecuted they should have left once they were set free during lincoln administration. however they stayed and asked for more rights to be given to them, they faced persecution, death but they remained they stood up for principle and now they have an African American president.
    why did Gandhi stay? he should have given up. according to you, Martin Luther king Jn was an idiot for speaking his mind knowing that it will kill him. why did he keep putting his hand in fire.
    and above all why did the prophets of God face persecution when they could easily avoid it?

    have you ever heard something called “principle”? usually people with principle stand up for what they believe in.

    I like to picture you (so that at least I don’t have a bad opinion about you) that you had it all easy in your life. you probably didn’t face racism, injustice, people calling you names because simply you are not of a particular blood or culture. you didn’t have your teacher singling you out in front of all your class mates as an immoral student because you believe differently than them. but you don’t know so I forgive you!
    p.s. I have every right to judge you and judge as much as I want and you cant say anything about it. you already did that to an entire population.

  • Randy Burns

    Is there a Bahai fund I can contribute to that helps to resettle Baha’is leaving Iran?

    Cheers, Randy

  • Randy Burns

    Is there a Bahai fund I can contribute to that helps to resettle Baha’is leaving Iran?

    Cheers, Randy

  • p

    I like to picture you (so that at least I don’t have a bad opinion about you) that you had it all easy in your life. you probably didn’t face racism, injustice, people calling you names because simply you are not of a
    ————————-
    maybe not, but I’m sure like any other Bahai that wishes to bring up any sort of criticsm or thought INSIDE the Bahai community, Baquia probably has felt the pressure to shut up and conform. It may not be an outright “ism” but it has the same effect- to keep people’s thoughts controlled (so much for consultation). Why do you think all of this is anonymous Lee? Because you would feel the insults, pressures, stares and whispers behind your back (which is just as bad as being singled out in public) if you dared be as open as Baquia is with his thoughts INSIDE the Bahai community.

  • p

    I like to picture you (so that at least I don’t have a bad opinion about you) that you had it all easy in your life. you probably didn’t face racism, injustice, people calling you names because simply you are not of a
    ————————-
    maybe not, but I’m sure like any other Bahai that wishes to bring up any sort of criticsm or thought INSIDE the Bahai community, Baquia probably has felt the pressure to shut up and conform. It may not be an outright “ism” but it has the same effect- to keep people’s thoughts controlled (so much for consultation). Why do you think all of this is anonymous Lee? Because you would feel the insults, pressures, stares and whispers behind your back (which is just as bad as being singled out in public) if you dared be as open as Baquia is with his thoughts INSIDE the Bahai community.

  • annonymouz

    P

    I remain anonymous because of my job. In my community we talk openly and frankly about how Ruhi is sometimes a drag, and also how it works wonders. how things are in a process of change right now and adaptation. As long as we remain lighthearted and focus on our own journey instead of trying to marshall others into accepting our interpretation or view things would be fine. Sometimes I really think some are too dramatic.

    Baquia’s particular theme, if brought up at Feast for example would be answered similarly I would think in the way Lee has laid out—a very good analogy by the way with MLK and Ghandi.

    Randy–if you contact the Persian desk at the National Center they can advise you on how to help.

    Move on.

  • annonymouz

    P

    I remain anonymous because of my job. In my community we talk openly and frankly about how Ruhi is sometimes a drag, and also how it works wonders. how things are in a process of change right now and adaptation. As long as we remain lighthearted and focus on our own journey instead of trying to marshall others into accepting our interpretation or view things would be fine. Sometimes I really think some are too dramatic.

    Baquia’s particular theme, if brought up at Feast for example would be answered similarly I would think in the way Lee has laid out—a very good analogy by the way with MLK and Ghandi.

    Randy–if you contact the Persian desk at the National Center they can advise you on how to help.

    Move on.

  • David

    Since Lee brought up, and annonymouz seconded, the idea that one should adhere to principles, I’m curious as to what principles my fellow Bahais have adhered to while Israel has killed over 1,000 Palestinians in the past few weeks? While I’ve heard many Bahais both in public and private say Israel is protecting the Faith and its buildings there, I’m baffled as to how there this protection can be worth our silence and seeming acceptance of this slaughter of innocent civilians. Is this just something to be tolerated for now until the glorious future of the Faith arrives?

  • David

    Since Lee brought up, and annonymouz seconded, the idea that one should adhere to principles, I’m curious as to what principles my fellow Bahais have adhered to while Israel has killed over 1,000 Palestinians in the past few weeks? While I’ve heard many Bahais both in public and private say Israel is protecting the Faith and its buildings there, I’m baffled as to how there this protection can be worth our silence and seeming acceptance of this slaughter of innocent civilians. Is this just something to be tolerated for now until the glorious future of the Faith arrives?

  • annonymouz

    [quote comment=””]Since Lee brought up, and annonymouz seconded, the idea that one should adhere to principles, I’m curious as to what principles my fellow Bahais have adhered to while Israel has killed over 1,000 Palestinians in the past few weeks? While I’ve heard many Bahais both in public and private say Israel is protecting the Faith and its buildings there, I’m baffled as to how there this protection can be worth our silence and seeming acceptance of this slaughter of innocent civilians. Is this just something to be tolerated for now until the glorious future of the Faith arrives?[/quote]

    David,

    A very good question and one that we should understand. I don’t think any decent person would readily aknowledge that war in any form in any place is terrible and sincerely deplorable. My heart aches when I think of the poor people in Gaza who are being written off as colatoral damage. Its pure carnage.

    This statement by Shoghi Effendi is very helpful

    [i]”The Bah??’?­ Faith is entirely nonpolitical and we neither take sides in the present tragic dispute going on over the future of the Holy Land and its people nor have we any statement to make or advice to give as to what the nature of the political future of this country should be. Our aim is the establishment of universal peace in this world and our desire to see justice prevail in every domain of human society, including the domain of politics. As many of the adherents of our Faith are of both Jewish and Moslem extraction, we have no prejudice towards either of these groups and are most anxious to reconcile them for their mutual good and for the good of the country.”[/i]

  • annonymouz

    [quote comment=””]Since Lee brought up, and annonymouz seconded, the idea that one should adhere to principles, I’m curious as to what principles my fellow Bahais have adhered to while Israel has killed over 1,000 Palestinians in the past few weeks? While I’ve heard many Bahais both in public and private say Israel is protecting the Faith and its buildings there, I’m baffled as to how there this protection can be worth our silence and seeming acceptance of this slaughter of innocent civilians. Is this just something to be tolerated for now until the glorious future of the Faith arrives?[/quote]

    David,

    A very good question and one that we should understand. I don’t think any decent person would readily aknowledge that war in any form in any place is terrible and sincerely deplorable. My heart aches when I think of the poor people in Gaza who are being written off as colatoral damage. Its pure carnage.

    This statement by Shoghi Effendi is very helpful

    [i]”The Bah??’?­ Faith is entirely nonpolitical and we neither take sides in the present tragic dispute going on over the future of the Holy Land and its people nor have we any statement to make or advice to give as to what the nature of the political future of this country should be. Our aim is the establishment of universal peace in this world and our desire to see justice prevail in every domain of human society, including the domain of politics. As many of the adherents of our Faith are of both Jewish and Moslem extraction, we have no prejudice towards either of these groups and are most anxious to reconcile them for their mutual good and for the good of the country.”[/i]

  • Craig Parke

    [quote comment=””][quote comment=””]Since Lee brought up, and annonymouz seconded, the idea that one should adhere to principles, I’m curious as to what principles my fellow Bahais have adhered to while Israel has killed over 1,000 Palestinians in the past few weeks? While I’ve heard many Bahais both in public and private say Israel is protecting the Faith and its buildings there, I’m baffled as to how there this protection can be worth our silence and seeming acceptance of this slaughter of innocent civilians. Is this just something to be tolerated for now until the glorious future of the Faith arrives?[/quote]

    David,

    A very good question and one that we should understand. I don’t think any decent person would readily acknowledge that war in any form in any place is terrible and sincerely deplorable. My heart aches when I think of the poor people in Gaza who are being written off as collateral damage. Its pure carnage.

    This statement by Shoghi Effendi is very helpful

    [i]”The Bah??’?­ Faith is entirely nonpolitical and we neither take sides in the present tragic dispute going on over the future of the Holy Land and its people nor have we any statement to make or advice to give as to what the nature of the political future of this country should be. Our aim is the establishment of universal peace in this world and our desire to see justice prevail in every domain of human society, including the domain of politics. As many of the adherents of our Faith are of both Jewish and Moslem extraction, we have no prejudice towards either of these groups and are most anxious to reconcile them for their mutual good and for the good of the country.”[/i][/quote]

    annonymouz,

    I am not trying to be provocative. I am still trying to get the lock-step true believers to give me an honest answer in the ever present mind bending cognitive dissonance in the Faith.

    How can you square Shoghi Effendi’s above statement with Glenford Mitchell’s statement of his personal system of understanding just after 9/11, as a member of the Universal House of Justice of the Baha’i Faith when he made this statement.

    “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!'”
    – Glenford Mitchell
    Former Member of the Universal House of Justice Baha’i Faith

    How is Glenford Mitchell NOT making a political statement?

    To my mind he is saying that the use of American military forces IS the EXPLICIT Will of God in all things on this entire planet. And that would also mean to me that he is saying the use of American weaponry is, ipso facto, ALSO the EXPLICIT Will of God in all things on this entire planet. With a statement like this how is the Faith “entirely nonpolitical”? How is what he says NOT fully “taking sides” in the “present tragic dispute going on over the future of the Holy Land and its people”? How is his statement NOT making “any statement” or NOT having any “advice to give as to what the nature of the political future of this country should be.”

    Glenford Mitchell as a then member of the Universal House of justice just after 9/11 is saying that whatever the Armed Forces of the United States do is the EXPLICIT “Will of God” as they are EXPLICITLY “doing God’s work”!

    I take Glenford Mitchell’s statement to mean, ipso facto, that if the Armed Forces of the United States (including it’s intelligence capability and weaponry) are used to help the state of Israel in ANY way THAT is the desired outcome by history as far as the Will of God department is concerned on this planet. So how does that square with what Shoghi Effendi said?

    Israel is using white phosphorous. I think you said you served in the U.S. military like me also. So you certainly know what white phosphorous can do to the human body whether it be a man, woman, or child’s body. It burns upon contact with air and it cannot be put out by anything except cutting off oxygen. It burns through to total consuming of whatever it touches. For 165 years the Baha’i Faith as an amazing organization has shown no concern whatsoever through Two World Wars and endless other wars for that happening to human beings. Many individual Baha’is have shown concern because they brought that concern from their own souls and their own conscience into the Faith. (Personal conscience is, however, now completely forbidden in the Faith by the explicit statement of other current and former members of the Universal House of Justice.) But the Faith itself and it’s leadership as an organization has completely failed that concern for 165 years and counting. Many people have come into the Faith and then left the Faith decade after decade and gone back to politics or helping with their money, work, and time actually functioning humanitarian organizations of actual material means to try to accomplish something before they die. The record of the Baha’i Faith on any real issue of concern of war and peace now including Gaza is utterly shameful and disgraceful. What is the point of this religion if it can accomplish no real deed of help and aid in the world?

    In fact, according to Glenford Mitchell’s full speech after 9/11, it prays for and actually wishes for total chaos and calamity upon the world so it can advance it’s own narrow agenda which, for now, is to simply get as many people as possible to take the Ruhi Book courses so everything will be just peachy!

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

    Many people are no longer going to accept that as the point of their lives on this Earth and so many people will never join any organization as limiting as the Baha’i Faith.

    How can Shoghi Effendi’s statement and Glenford Mitchell’s statement be reconciled? I just can’t see it. Glenford Mitchell is basically saying that the Baha’i God is the War God as long as the Armed forces of the United States are involved in any military conflict anywhere in the world for All Time.

    As I have said before, if that is the case, then Baha’is, THEMSELVES, should have the decency to serve and be sent to kill or be killed in “doing God’s work.” Baha’is, THEMSELVES, should be fighting house to house in Gaza right now tonight calling in white phosphorus air strikes and artillery. I know how to do it myself, but I wanted to turn away from that life long ago. I guess I joined the wrong religion then. I guess I just did not understand that we are chickenhawk war mongers too like everyone else in the sheltered middle classes of the entire world in every nation.

    This record would be absolute cognitive dissonance comedy if it wasn’t so incredibly tragic.

  • Craig Parke

    [quote comment=””][quote comment=””]Since Lee brought up, and annonymouz seconded, the idea that one should adhere to principles, I’m curious as to what principles my fellow Bahais have adhered to while Israel has killed over 1,000 Palestinians in the past few weeks? While I’ve heard many Bahais both in public and private say Israel is protecting the Faith and its buildings there, I’m baffled as to how there this protection can be worth our silence and seeming acceptance of this slaughter of innocent civilians. Is this just something to be tolerated for now until the glorious future of the Faith arrives?[/quote]

    David,

    A very good question and one that we should understand. I don’t think any decent person would readily acknowledge that war in any form in any place is terrible and sincerely deplorable. My heart aches when I think of the poor people in Gaza who are being written off as collateral damage. Its pure carnage.

    This statement by Shoghi Effendi is very helpful

    [i]”The Bah??’?­ Faith is entirely nonpolitical and we neither take sides in the present tragic dispute going on over the future of the Holy Land and its people nor have we any statement to make or advice to give as to what the nature of the political future of this country should be. Our aim is the establishment of universal peace in this world and our desire to see justice prevail in every domain of human society, including the domain of politics. As many of the adherents of our Faith are of both Jewish and Moslem extraction, we have no prejudice towards either of these groups and are most anxious to reconcile them for their mutual good and for the good of the country.”[/i][/quote]

    annonymouz,

    I am not trying to be provocative. I am still trying to get the lock-step true believers to give me an honest answer in the ever present mind bending cognitive dissonance in the Faith.

    How can you square Shoghi Effendi’s above statement with Glenford Mitchell’s statement of his personal system of understanding just after 9/11, as a member of the Universal House of Justice of the Baha’i Faith when he made this statement.

    “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!'”
    – Glenford Mitchell
    Former Member of the Universal House of Justice Baha’i Faith

    How is Glenford Mitchell NOT making a political statement?

    To my mind he is saying that the use of American military forces IS the EXPLICIT Will of God in all things on this entire planet. And that would also mean to me that he is saying the use of American weaponry is, ipso facto, ALSO the EXPLICIT Will of God in all things on this entire planet. With a statement like this how is the Faith “entirely nonpolitical”? How is what he says NOT fully “taking sides” in the “present tragic dispute going on over the future of the Holy Land and its people”? How is his statement NOT making “any statement” or NOT having any “advice to give as to what the nature of the political future of this country should be.”

    Glenford Mitchell as a then member of the Universal House of justice just after 9/11 is saying that whatever the Armed Forces of the United States do is the EXPLICIT “Will of God” as they are EXPLICITLY “doing God’s work”!

    I take Glenford Mitchell’s statement to mean, ipso facto, that if the Armed Forces of the United States (including it’s intelligence capability and weaponry) are used to help the state of Israel in ANY way THAT is the desired outcome by history as far as the Will of God department is concerned on this planet. So how does that square with what Shoghi Effendi said?

    Israel is using white phosphorous. I think you said you served in the U.S. military like me also. So you certainly know what white phosphorous can do to the human body whether it be a man, woman, or child’s body. It burns upon contact with air and it cannot be put out by anything except cutting off oxygen. It burns through to total consuming of whatever it touches. For 165 years the Baha’i Faith as an amazing organization has shown no concern whatsoever through Two World Wars and endless other wars for that happening to human beings. Many individual Baha’is have shown concern because they brought that concern from their own souls and their own conscience into the Faith. (Personal conscience is, however, now completely forbidden in the Faith by the explicit statement of other current and former members of the Universal House of Justice.) But the Faith itself and it’s leadership as an organization has completely failed that concern for 165 years and counting. Many people have come into the Faith and then left the Faith decade after decade and gone back to politics or helping with their money, work, and time actually functioning humanitarian organizations of actual material means to try to accomplish something before they die. The record of the Baha’i Faith on any real issue of concern of war and peace now including Gaza is utterly shameful and disgraceful. What is the point of this religion if it can accomplish no real deed of help and aid in the world?

    In fact, according to Glenford Mitchell’s full speech after 9/11, it prays for and actually wishes for total chaos and calamity upon the world so it can advance it’s own narrow agenda which, for now, is to simply get as many people as possible to take the Ruhi Book courses so everything will be just peachy!

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

    Many people are no longer going to accept that as the point of their lives on this Earth and so many people will never join any organization as limiting as the Baha’i Faith.

    How can Shoghi Effendi’s statement and Glenford Mitchell’s statement be reconciled? I just can’t see it. Glenford Mitchell is basically saying that the Baha’i God is the War God as long as the Armed forces of the United States are involved in any military conflict anywhere in the world for All Time.

    As I have said before, if that is the case, then Baha’is, THEMSELVES, should have the decency to serve and be sent to kill or be killed in “doing God’s work.” Baha’is, THEMSELVES, should be fighting house to house in Gaza right now tonight calling in white phosphorus air strikes and artillery. I know how to do it myself, but I wanted to turn away from that life long ago. I guess I joined the wrong religion then. I guess I just did not understand that we are chickenhawk war mongers too like everyone else in the sheltered middle classes of the entire world in every nation.

    This record would be absolute cognitive dissonance comedy if it wasn’t so incredibly tragic.

  • farhan

    Lee wrote:
    why did Gandhi stay? he should have given up. according to you, Martin Luther king Jn was an idiot for speaking his mind knowing that it will kill him. why did he keep putting his hand in fire.

    Thanks Lee for your soothing words; after more than a year here I thought I was now vaccinated against slander, but this accusation against the intent of the UHJ and of the Baha’is in Iran was so unjust that it hurt me deeply.

    Baquia had shown us a higher level of reasoning than this. I even wondered if someone else was replacing him.

  • Farhan Yazdani

    Lee wrote:
    why did Gandhi stay? he should have given up. according to you, Martin Luther king Jn was an idiot for speaking his mind knowing that it will kill him. why did he keep putting his hand in fire.

    Thanks Lee for your soothing words; after more than a year here I thought I was now vaccinated against slander, but this accusation against the intent of the UHJ and of the Baha’is in Iran was so unjust that it hurt me deeply.

    Baquia had shown us a higher level of reasoning than this. I even wondered if someone else was replacing him.

  • farhan

    Baquia wrote :
    Egos within institutions has harmed many individuals, especially because of this prejudice that we have against persons (and for institutions). After all, what authority does an individual Baha’i have compared to an institution?

    Very true, Baquia. I strongly agree with you here; There is a talk by Ali Nakhjavani on spiritual growth where he comments the phrase in Abdu’l-Baha’s visitation tablet that says ?aid me to be detached from all things within Thy holy precincts? and gos on to explain how much more detachment is difficult in those situations.

    If you wish, I will send you that talk for posting here.

  • Farhan Yazdani

    Baquia wrote :
    Egos within institutions has harmed many individuals, especially because of this prejudice that we have against persons (and for institutions). After all, what authority does an individual Baha’i have compared to an institution?

    Very true, Baquia. I strongly agree with you here; There is a talk by Ali Nakhjavani on spiritual growth where he comments the phrase in Abdu’l-Baha’s visitation tablet that says ?aid me to be detached from all things within Thy holy precincts? and gos on to explain how much more detachment is difficult in those situations.

    If you wish, I will send you that talk for posting here.

  • farhan

    David wrote:
    I’m baffled as to how there this protection can be worth our silence and seeming acceptance of this slaughter of innocent civilians. Is this just something to be tolerated for now until the glorious future of the Faith arrives?

    David, my understanding and experience is that no amount of demonstration and string pulling can replace the spiritual foundation on which the brotherhood of humanity can be constructed. I am sure that any protestation from the BWC would not miraculously solve the age-old problem. Loving attention to both sides will gradually help towards that. So here is the urgent work that has to be done, and many Israeli leaders find inspiration in the teachings of the Faith. As MLK said, if we can’t live as brothers, we will die as idiots.

  • Farhan yazdani

    David wrote:
    I’m baffled as to how there this protection can be worth our silence and seeming acceptance of this slaughter of innocent civilians. Is this just something to be tolerated for now until the glorious future of the Faith arrives?

    David, my understanding and experience is that no amount of demonstration and string pulling can replace the spiritual foundation on which the brotherhood of humanity can be constructed. I am sure that any protestation from the BWC would not miraculously solve the age-old problem. Loving attention to both sides will gradually help towards that. So here is the urgent work that has to be done, and many Israeli leaders find inspiration in the teachings of the Faith. As MLK said, if we can’t live as brothers, we will die as idiots.

  • David

    annonymouz,

    Since you find comfort in the quote from Shoghi Effendi you provided maybe you can help me understand how our aim can be universal peace and justice while at the same time we must remain silent as the government our Faith has made deals with to ensure our Faith’s protection kills hundreds of innocent civilians? Is this just something to be tolerated for now until the glorious future of the Faith arrives? Also, if we are most anxious to reconcile the Jews and Muslims for their mutual good and for the good of the country then what exactly are we doing to achieve that goal?

  • David

    annonymouz,

    Since you find comfort in the quote from Shoghi Effendi you provided maybe you can help me understand how our aim can be universal peace and justice while at the same time we must remain silent as the government our Faith has made deals with to ensure our Faith’s protection kills hundreds of innocent civilians? Is this just something to be tolerated for now until the glorious future of the Faith arrives? Also, if we are most anxious to reconcile the Jews and Muslims for their mutual good and for the good of the country then what exactly are we doing to achieve that goal?

  • David

    Farhan,

    If no amount of demonstration and string pulling can replace the spiritual foundation on which the brotherhood of humanity can be constructed then why do the UHJ and NSAs encourage us to make our feelings known to our respective governments when it involves the plight of Bahais in Iran? Is non-involvement in political affairs a firm principle of the Faith, or occasionally brushed aside when the victims are Bahais?

    I’m not asking the BWC to miraculously solve any age-old problems; I’m asking why the Faith remains silent while the country that protects them and their buildings kills hundreds of innocent civilians? How do you think our community’s actions look to the government of Iran? We ask the UN and other governments to protest the treatment of Bahais in Iran, yet we remain silent while Israel kills hundreds of innocent civilians. Do Bahais not see that our actions (or lack therof) in one area can affect how we are treated somewhere else? Why should Iran treat Bahais with respect if we offer no similar protest of the mistreatment of innocent Palestinians?

    What kind of “loving attention” can we as Bahais show towards both sides? And what exactly is the “urgent work” to be done?

  • David

    Farhan,

    If no amount of demonstration and string pulling can replace the spiritual foundation on which the brotherhood of humanity can be constructed then why do the UHJ and NSAs encourage us to make our feelings known to our respective governments when it involves the plight of Bahais in Iran? Is non-involvement in political affairs a firm principle of the Faith, or occasionally brushed aside when the victims are Bahais?

    I’m not asking the BWC to miraculously solve any age-old problems; I’m asking why the Faith remains silent while the country that protects them and their buildings kills hundreds of innocent civilians? How do you think our community’s actions look to the government of Iran? We ask the UN and other governments to protest the treatment of Bahais in Iran, yet we remain silent while Israel kills hundreds of innocent civilians. Do Bahais not see that our actions (or lack therof) in one area can affect how we are treated somewhere else? Why should Iran treat Bahais with respect if we offer no similar protest of the mistreatment of innocent Palestinians?

    What kind of “loving attention” can we as Bahais show towards both sides? And what exactly is the “urgent work” to be done?

  • farhan

    David wrote:
    We ask the UN and other governments to protest the treatment of Bahais in Iran, yet we remain silent while Israel kills hundreds of innocent civilians.

    David, without making any comments on the historical roots of the specific conflict you are referring to, I feel that there is a big difference between Baha’is only asking for the right to voice their beliefs, work, keep ownership to honestly earned property, marry, educate their kids and bury their dead and the numerous conflicts around the world with complicated issues that need mediation, where people are fighting for gaining power or control over a piece of land. I am surprised that you don’t see the difference.

    David wrote: What kind of “loving attention” can we as Bahais show towards both sides? And what exactly is the “urgent work” to be done?

    David, I don’t believe we can find short term solutions. You can’t repair the much necessary doors and windows in a house whose foundations are crumbling. There is a long term action in laying the spiritual foundations to a new civilisation. All other temporary repairs might be welcome as an emergency measure, but will not solve the problem on the long run and might even delay the true remedy.

    My understanding is that taking sides in such conflicts will not only be inefficient, but will fan the blaze and delay the spiritual solution.

  • Farhan yazdani

    David wrote:
    We ask the UN and other governments to protest the treatment of Bahais in Iran, yet we remain silent while Israel kills hundreds of innocent civilians.

    David, without making any comments on the historical roots of the specific conflict you are referring to, I feel that there is a big difference between Baha’is only asking for the right to voice their beliefs, work, keep ownership to honestly earned property, marry, educate their kids and bury their dead and the numerous conflicts around the world with complicated issues that need mediation, where people are fighting for gaining power or control over a piece of land. I am surprised that you don’t see the difference.

    David wrote: What kind of “loving attention” can we as Bahais show towards both sides? And what exactly is the “urgent work” to be done?

    David, I don’t believe we can find short term solutions. You can’t repair the much necessary doors and windows in a house whose foundations are crumbling. There is a long term action in laying the spiritual foundations to a new civilisation. All other temporary repairs might be welcome as an emergency measure, but will not solve the problem on the long run and might even delay the true remedy.

    My understanding is that taking sides in such conflicts will not only be inefficient, but will fan the blaze and delay the spiritual solution.

  • annonymouz

    Craig,

    this is the same annonymouz that went back and forth with you during the Summer. The hook you throw out with the talk given by Glendford MItchell is not going to work. I am afraid you really are not trying to understand, you simply want people to understand you. I get it. You’re bitter and angry. 32 years of service and all that.

    Make no mistake the Faith is changing and the Baha’is are preparing for what will become a mass influx of new believers like during the 70’s, more so. Accept this time the communities will know how to manage and sustain the community instead of “leaving everything to God” as some would have it.

  • annonymouz

    Craig,

    this is the same annonymouz that went back and forth with you during the Summer. The hook you throw out with the talk given by Glendford MItchell is not going to work. I am afraid you really are not trying to understand, you simply want people to understand you. I get it. You’re bitter and angry. 32 years of service and all that.

    Make no mistake the Faith is changing and the Baha’is are preparing for what will become a mass influx of new believers like during the 70’s, more so. Accept this time the communities will know how to manage and sustain the community instead of “leaving everything to God” as some would have it.

  • farhan

    Anonymouz wrote:
    the Baha’is are preparing for what will become a mass influx of new believers like during the 70’s, more so. Accept this time the communities will know how to manage and sustain the community instead of ?leaving everything to God? as some would have it.

    Exactly; before youi give birth to a spiritual child, you ahve to prepare the spiritual crib and food adapted to his needs.

    In the 1970 we would “proclaim” and new comers would sign a card, get a hug and a prayer book. They now come and have many activities in store for them, whether or not they enroll.

    I often see posts here implying that the Baha’is are seeking publicity or “marketing” their Faith. If proclaiming at that time looked like “marketing” this is no longer the case: new comers can immediately enter the field of service.

  • Farhan yazdani

    Anonymouz wrote:
    the Baha’is are preparing for what will become a mass influx of new believers like during the 70’s, more so. Accept this time the communities will know how to manage and sustain the community instead of ?leaving everything to God? as some would have it.

    Exactly; before youi give birth to a spiritual child, you ahve to prepare the spiritual crib and food adapted to his needs.

    In the 1970 we would “proclaim” and new comers would sign a card, get a hug and a prayer book. They now come and have many activities in store for them, whether or not they enroll.

    I often see posts here implying that the Baha’is are seeking publicity or “marketing” their Faith. If proclaiming at that time looked like “marketing” this is no longer the case: new comers can immediately enter the field of service.

  • farhan

    P wrote: Or do you not care if the Faith because a bunch of sheep following some big-headed leaders (kind of like you see with evangelicals on tv).

    P, this is precisely what the Institute is designed to eliminate: gurus! I can well imagine the US Baha’is imitating what goes on their TV, and if Anonymouz has had the chance of not meeting zealots, I have had the pain of meeting some a few years back and they have all disappeared now as we have learnt from our mistakes.

    With the institute the Faith is squarely placed on the shoulders of each and every believer. However, in order to avoid gurus developing and giving their own favourite version of the teachings, a standard presentation that almost anyone with an elementary education can master is developed, from which the newcomers can then develop their own research according to their interests;

  • Farhan yazdani

    P wrote: Or do you not care if the Faith because a bunch of sheep following some big-headed leaders (kind of like you see with evangelicals on tv).

    P, this is precisely what the Institute is designed to eliminate: gurus! I can well imagine the US Baha’is imitating what goes on their TV, and if Anonymouz has had the chance of not meeting zealots, I have had the pain of meeting some a few years back and they have all disappeared now as we have learnt from our mistakes.

    With the institute the Faith is squarely placed on the shoulders of each and every believer. However, in order to avoid gurus developing and giving their own favourite version of the teachings, a standard presentation that almost anyone with an elementary education can master is developed, from which the newcomers can then develop their own research according to their interests;

  • David

    Farhan,

    Without making any comments on the historical roots of the Israeli/Palestinian conflict is the easy way of ignoring any valid complaints from either side. But I guess that’s what Bahais are good at. Staying silent and remaining aloof. Waiting for that glorious future when they’ll rule the world. They’ll be lucky if mankind hasn’t killed itself off by then.

    You’re right that there is a big difference in what Bahais in Iran are asking for and what the Palestinians are asking for. I’m not surprised that you don’t see the difference. The Palestinians in Gaza have far worse living conditions. The blockade Israel has imposed on Gaza for months now leaves people without food, medicine, fuel, electricity, clean water, etc. While Bahais in Iran worry about where to bury their elderly relative who died from natural causes, innocent Palestinian families are being killed by IDF bombs and guns.

    Your answer to my question seems to acknowledge that Bahais become politically involved and ask for state interference when other Bahais are involved, but otherwise it’s strict no political involvement.

    You completely ignored my question of how you think our community’s actions look to the government of Iran? We ask the UN and other governments to protest the treatment of Bahais in Iran, yet we remain silent while Israel kills hundreds of innocent civilians. Do Bahais not see that our actions (or lack therof) in one area can affect how we are treated somewhere else? Why should Iran treat Bahais with respect if we offer no similar protest of the mistreatment of innocent Palestinians?

    Based on your prior statements – that everything is a spiritual problem resolved only by the Bahai Faith – why should nations’ complicated issues that need mediation, where people are fighting for gaining power or control over a piece of land, bother to engage in diplomacy? Why do you recommend mediation when you admit there are no short-term solutions?

    From what Farhan and annonymouz have said, I can see that in response to my original question, they rely on the priciple of non-involvement in dealing with the IDF killing hundreds of innocent Palestinians in Gaza. Does anyone have anything better to offer?

  • David

    Farhan,

    Without making any comments on the historical roots of the Israeli/Palestinian conflict is the easy way of ignoring any valid complaints from either side. But I guess that’s what Bahais are good at. Staying silent and remaining aloof. Waiting for that glorious future when they’ll rule the world. They’ll be lucky if mankind hasn’t killed itself off by then.

    You’re right that there is a big difference in what Bahais in Iran are asking for and what the Palestinians are asking for. I’m not surprised that you don’t see the difference. The Palestinians in Gaza have far worse living conditions. The blockade Israel has imposed on Gaza for months now leaves people without food, medicine, fuel, electricity, clean water, etc. While Bahais in Iran worry about where to bury their elderly relative who died from natural causes, innocent Palestinian families are being killed by IDF bombs and guns.

    Your answer to my question seems to acknowledge that Bahais become politically involved and ask for state interference when other Bahais are involved, but otherwise it’s strict no political involvement.

    You completely ignored my question of how you think our community’s actions look to the government of Iran? We ask the UN and other governments to protest the treatment of Bahais in Iran, yet we remain silent while Israel kills hundreds of innocent civilians. Do Bahais not see that our actions (or lack therof) in one area can affect how we are treated somewhere else? Why should Iran treat Bahais with respect if we offer no similar protest of the mistreatment of innocent Palestinians?

    Based on your prior statements – that everything is a spiritual problem resolved only by the Bahai Faith – why should nations’ complicated issues that need mediation, where people are fighting for gaining power or control over a piece of land, bother to engage in diplomacy? Why do you recommend mediation when you admit there are no short-term solutions?

    From what Farhan and annonymouz have said, I can see that in response to my original question, they rely on the priciple of non-involvement in dealing with the IDF killing hundreds of innocent Palestinians in Gaza. Does anyone have anything better to offer?

  • ep

    David, bahais obviously “side” with the Israeli government (and try to stay in denial of its deplorable military excesses), just like someone afraid of getting killed by a neighborhood gang will “side” with the local “bad cop”: any port in a storm.

    AIPAC’s influence on US foreign policy is appalling. As an aside: do you see any real difference between Bush and Obama? I would guess not.

    Anyways, I actually try to talk to (non-bahais/non-Israelis) from the middle east about the historical roots of the Israeli-Palestine conflict, and frankly, what I hear is mostly fanaticism. Liberals in the west are being fooled to some extent, although one of the long-term tragedies (amongst the many in the situation) is that the positions of “moderate/reformist” Palestinians and other non-Israelis in the region is becoming even less tenable than they were before.

    Unfortunately Israelis, who americans like to think are “on our side” (defenders of modernism, etc.), are descending into the same hell as the fanatics on the other side. I think that such a descent is inevitable after 40+ years of brutal conditions of conflict.

    Both Israel and the Palestinians are pawns on the geopolitical stage: the conflict between them feeds the needs of the various geopolitical masters on each “side”. The west needs middle eastern oil and Israel plays its role. The arab/muslim world needs a stage to play out its historical role as a “victim” of colonialism in order to cover over various cultural and leadership failures. (vast oversimplification.)

    Since you are a critic of Israeli aggression, you must know that there is still a peace movement in Israel? Rabbi Michael Lerner (S.F., California), of “Tikkun” magazine, has received many death threats from right-wing pro-Israeli extremists for merely mentioning the possibility of some “other” way of dealing with the Palestinians than the Israeli mainstream proposes?

    I personally find the major positions of both “sides” to be deplorable, exploitive, appalling, dishonest, and so forth, and have little interest in defending either one. I prefer an alternative approach, such as: http://www.kenwilber.com/blog/show/434

    http://wilber.shambhala.com/html/misc/iraq.cfm

    (also see: http://integral-options.blogspot.com/2007/09/integral-conference.html)

    I think that one of the best analogies wrt/ the peculiar “non-political” posture of bahais about human rights violations (applies differently to iranians than non-bahais elsewhere) is that of the Dali Lama and Tibet. The DL works against the oppression of Tibetans in specific ways, but also is “hands on” about the general cause of human rights around the world. (The DL’s approach seems much more honorable to me than the bahai leadership’s position.)

    My personal opinion is that the inconsistencies of bahai about human rights and social justice “protests” are just another in a long list of dysfunctional things that eat away at the “progressive” and reform tendencies of bahai culture, and create a desensitivity about logical contradictions and dysfunctional politics within bahai culture.

    Basically, it contributes to the “retribalization” of bahai culture, with all the implications for narrow interest group thinking, etc., that goes along with such tribalization.

    (In case you didnt know it already – I’ll mention that I’m an ex-bahai for the following purpose: I feel no constraint about discussing “politics”).

    [quote comment=””]Farhan,

    Without making any comments on the historical roots of the Israeli/Palestinian conflict is the easy way of ignoring any valid complaints from either side. But I guess that’s what Bahais are good at. Staying silent and remaining aloof. Waiting for that glorious future when they’ll rule the world.

  • ep

    David, bahais obviously “side” with the Israeli government (and try to stay in denial of its deplorable military excesses), just like someone afraid of getting killed by a neighborhood gang will “side” with the local “bad cop”: any port in a storm.

    AIPAC’s influence on US foreign policy is appalling. As an aside: do you see any real difference between Bush and Obama? I would guess not.

    Anyways, I actually try to talk to (non-bahais/non-Israelis) from the middle east about the historical roots of the Israeli-Palestine conflict, and frankly, what I hear is mostly fanaticism. Liberals in the west are being fooled to some extent, although one of the long-term tragedies (amongst the many in the situation) is that the positions of “moderate/reformist” Palestinians and other non-Israelis in the region is becoming even less tenable than they were before.

    Unfortunately Israelis, who americans like to think are “on our side” (defenders of modernism, etc.), are descending into the same hell as the fanatics on the other side. I think that such a descent is inevitable after 40+ years of brutal conditions of conflict.

    Both Israel and the Palestinians are pawns on the geopolitical stage: the conflict between them feeds the needs of the various geopolitical masters on each “side”. The west needs middle eastern oil and Israel plays its role. The arab/muslim world needs a stage to play out its historical role as a “victim” of colonialism in order to cover over various cultural and leadership failures. (vast oversimplification.)

    Since you are a critic of Israeli aggression, you must know that there is still a peace movement in Israel? Rabbi Michael Lerner (S.F., California), of “Tikkun” magazine, has received many death threats from right-wing pro-Israeli extremists for merely mentioning the possibility of some “other” way of dealing with the Palestinians than the Israeli mainstream proposes?

    I personally find the major positions of both “sides” to be deplorable, exploitive, appalling, dishonest, and so forth, and have little interest in defending either one. I prefer an alternative approach, such as: http://www.kenwilber.com/blog/show/434

    http://wilber.shambhala.com/html/misc/iraq.cfm

    (also see: http://integral-options.blogspot.com/2007/09/integral-conference.html)

    I think that one of the best analogies wrt/ the peculiar “non-political” posture of bahais about human rights violations (applies differently to iranians than non-bahais elsewhere) is that of the Dali Lama and Tibet. The DL works against the oppression of Tibetans in specific ways, but also is “hands on” about the general cause of human rights around the world. (The DL’s approach seems much more honorable to me than the bahai leadership’s position.)

    My personal opinion is that the inconsistencies of bahai about human rights and social justice “protests” are just another in a long list of dysfunctional things that eat away at the “progressive” and reform tendencies of bahai culture, and create a desensitivity about logical contradictions and dysfunctional politics within bahai culture.

    Basically, it contributes to the “retribalization” of bahai culture, with all the implications for narrow interest group thinking, etc., that goes along with such tribalization.

    (In case you didnt know it already – I’ll mention that I’m an ex-bahai for the following purpose: I feel no constraint about discussing “politics”).

    [quote comment=””]Farhan,

    Without making any comments on the historical roots of the Israeli/Palestinian conflict is the easy way of ignoring any valid complaints from either side. But I guess that’s what Bahais are good at. Staying silent and remaining aloof. Waiting for that glorious future when they’ll rule the world.

  • [quote comment=”61020″]according to your theory: why did the black people stay in the U.S when they were persecuted they should have left once they were set free during lincoln administration. however they stayed and asked for more rights to be given to them, they faced persecution, death but they remained they stood up for principle and now they have an African American president.[/quote]

    Thank you for your comment Lee. You have given me much to ponder.

    ps you do know about the underground railroad, right?

  • [quote comment=”61020″]according to your theory: why did the black people stay in the U.S when they were persecuted they should have left once they were set free during lincoln administration. however they stayed and asked for more rights to be given to them, they faced persecution, death but they remained they stood up for principle and now they have an African American president.[/quote]

    Thank you for your comment Lee. You have given me much to ponder.

    ps you do know about the underground railroad, right?

  • Craig Parke

    [quote comment=”61051″]P wrote: Or do you not care if the Faith because a bunch of sheep following some big-headed leaders (kind of like you see with evangelicals on tv).

    P, this is precisely what the Institute is designed to eliminate: gurus! I can well imagine the US Baha’is imitating what goes on their TV, and if Anonymouz has had the chance of not meeting zealots, I have had the pain of meeting some a few years back and they have all disappeared now as we have learnt from our mistakes.

    With the institute the Faith is squarely placed on the shoulders of each and every believer. However, in order to avoid gurus developing and giving their own favourite version of the teachings, a standard presentation that almost anyone with an elementary education can master is developed, from which the newcomers can then develop their own research according to their interests;[/quote]

    Farhan,

    Your logic escapes me? The Ruhi Courses ARE precisely the work of completely SELF-APPOINTED and SELF-ORDAINED PROFESSIONAL GURUS! The Courses are just the personal opinions of a small group of people who aggrandized to themselves the right to write them and change the Teachings of Baha’u’llah and Abdu’l-Baha as they saw fit.

    Baha’u’llah and Abdu’l-Baha BOTH taught the sacredness of the human conscience and the folly of blind imitation in BOTH spiritual matters AND human affairs. They BOTH taught many meanings in scripture. They did NOT teach Johnny-One-Noteism.

    The people currently leading the Baha’i Faith in their gamed lifetime incumbent positions driven by their own deranged psychological needs do NOT want people that can think and people that have their own inner spiritual guidance in their tightly controlled little organization because those kinds of people cannot be controlled and dominated. They want the same thing Hitler and Stalin wanted. They have now created a top down controlled man made ideology now called the “Baha’i Faith”. They want elephants tied to psychological stakes that are afraid of a mouse. They have aggrandized to themselves the right to remake and dominate the Faith exactly as they see fit by the right that they are “certified” high school level teachers and know best. They have hijacked the Teachings for themselves. The courses were made not to really teach anyone anything but exactly the opposite! They are designed to turn people into automaton sheep who will turn their thinking in life completely over to the elite leadership of a religion who ask them to forfeit their own souls in the name of God! The same old, same old. It is out and out “clergy”. It is a psychological pattern that has destroyed organized religions from time immemorial. THEY are the GURUS who have set themselves up to change the teachings of Baha’u’llah to THEIR own high school teacher Rockefeller Grant funded experiment personal opinions.

    The whole completely degraded enterprise is completely cut off from the Spirit of God for this World Age as Baha’u’llah described it in His Writings. So the continued spectacular failure of the Baha’i Faith is the “fruit”. If anyone says this is working they are completely button down cult bubble deluded compared to the great advancements being made in the real world on spiritual issues.

    Because while the Baha’is sit in their little circles with their idolatrous coloring books, the rest of the free and open world based upon the Spirit of God found in individual refined and advanced moral conscience and complete independent investigation of truth into everything in the Universe and the wonders of daily life outside of $5.95 coloring books will build a new world born out of unrestrained Spirit while the Baha’is are left in the dust.

    Lifetime ideologically incestuous cult bubble incumbents like Glenford Mitchell will spend the rest of their days giving their obsessive-compulsive Power Point presentation on their endless and breathless personal interpretation of their lifetime Psychological God Shoghi Effendi to 10 or 15 people in a captive audience, while everyone else trying to improve their country here in the United States went out and got 63 million people to vote for an African-American to be elected President of the United States. Whether anyone in the Baha’i Faith supports Barack Obama or not is completely irrelevant. He will be President of the United States with no help whatsoever from the Baha’is (thank God!) and I think that speaks volumes for the advancement of race relations in the United States as a process of the World Age which is the real spiritual deal while the Baha’is are playing make believe with dolls and cut outs in their endless cloistered incestuous workbook courses.

    The courage to effect real change is in the real world as it is happening right now hour by hour. Not in the programmed make believe world of the limited Baha’i pre-programmed pitiful groupthink cult bubble.

    Deeds not words. Eagles not gnats.

    This coming Tuesday will be a very fine day in the history of the world through no help whatsoever from the Baha’i Faith. I am very glad I lived to see it.

    the World Age will go on in great power in the hearts and minds of free peoples.

  • Craig Parke

    [quote comment=”61051″]P wrote: Or do you not care if the Faith because a bunch of sheep following some big-headed leaders (kind of like you see with evangelicals on tv).

    P, this is precisely what the Institute is designed to eliminate: gurus! I can well imagine the US Baha’is imitating what goes on their TV, and if Anonymouz has had the chance of not meeting zealots, I have had the pain of meeting some a few years back and they have all disappeared now as we have learnt from our mistakes.

    With the institute the Faith is squarely placed on the shoulders of each and every believer. However, in order to avoid gurus developing and giving their own favourite version of the teachings, a standard presentation that almost anyone with an elementary education can master is developed, from which the newcomers can then develop their own research according to their interests;[/quote]

    Farhan,

    Your logic escapes me? The Ruhi Courses ARE precisely the work of completely SELF-APPOINTED and SELF-ORDAINED PROFESSIONAL GURUS! The Courses are just the personal opinions of a small group of people who aggrandized to themselves the right to write them and change the Teachings of Baha’u’llah and Abdu’l-Baha as they saw fit.

    Baha’u’llah and Abdu’l-Baha BOTH taught the sacredness of the human conscience and the folly of blind imitation in BOTH spiritual matters AND human affairs. They BOTH taught many meanings in scripture. They did NOT teach Johnny-One-Noteism.

    The people currently leading the Baha’i Faith in their gamed lifetime incumbent positions driven by their own deranged psychological needs do NOT want people that can think and people that have their own inner spiritual guidance in their tightly controlled little organization because those kinds of people cannot be controlled and dominated. They want the same thing Hitler and Stalin wanted. They have now created a top down controlled man made ideology now called the “Baha’i Faith”. They want elephants tied to psychological stakes that are afraid of a mouse. They have aggrandized to themselves the right to remake and dominate the Faith exactly as they see fit by the right that they are “certified” high school level teachers and know best. They have hijacked the Teachings for themselves. The courses were made not to really teach anyone anything but exactly the opposite! They are designed to turn people into automaton sheep who will turn their thinking in life completely over to the elite leadership of a religion who ask them to forfeit their own souls in the name of God! The same old, same old. It is out and out “clergy”. It is a psychological pattern that has destroyed organized religions from time immemorial. THEY are the GURUS who have set themselves up to change the teachings of Baha’u’llah to THEIR own high school teacher Rockefeller Grant funded experiment personal opinions.

    The whole completely degraded enterprise is completely cut off from the Spirit of God for this World Age as Baha’u’llah described it in His Writings. So the continued spectacular failure of the Baha’i Faith is the “fruit”. If anyone says this is working they are completely button down cult bubble deluded compared to the great advancements being made in the real world on spiritual issues.

    Because while the Baha’is sit in their little circles with their idolatrous coloring books, the rest of the free and open world based upon the Spirit of God found in individual refined and advanced moral conscience and complete independent investigation of truth into everything in the Universe and the wonders of daily life outside of $5.95 coloring books will build a new world born out of unrestrained Spirit while the Baha’is are left in the dust.

    Lifetime ideologically incestuous cult bubble incumbents like Glenford Mitchell will spend the rest of their days giving their obsessive-compulsive Power Point presentation on their endless and breathless personal interpretation of their lifetime Psychological God Shoghi Effendi to 10 or 15 people in a captive audience, while everyone else trying to improve their country here in the United States went out and got 63 million people to vote for an African-American to be elected President of the United States. Whether anyone in the Baha’i Faith supports Barack Obama or not is completely irrelevant. He will be President of the United States with no help whatsoever from the Baha’is (thank God!) and I think that speaks volumes for the advancement of race relations in the United States as a process of the World Age which is the real spiritual deal while the Baha’is are playing make believe with dolls and cut outs in their endless cloistered incestuous workbook courses.

    The courage to effect real change is in the real world as it is happening right now hour by hour. Not in the programmed make believe world of the limited Baha’i pre-programmed pitiful groupthink cult bubble.

    Deeds not words. Eagles not gnats.

    This coming Tuesday will be a very fine day in the history of the world through no help whatsoever from the Baha’i Faith. I am very glad I lived to see it.

    the World Age will go on in great power in the hearts and minds of free peoples.

  • farhan

    Craig wrote:
    Your logic escapes me? The Ruhi Courses ARE precisely the work of completely SELF-APPOINTED and SELF-ORDAINED PROFESSIONAL GURUS!

    Craig, the people you describe have existed, I have suffered at their hands, and defended myself by studying and opposing to them the messages of the UHJ which thanks to Baquia, are posted somewhere on this blog. People misunderstood the difference between priority and exclusivity. This is history; as you will notice from the message below, Baha’i scholarship is an important goal of the Institute Process to which Ruhi is merely a useful introductory tool. Read for yourself:

    THE UNIVERSAL HOUSE OF JUSTICE
    DEPARTMENT OF THE SECRETARIAT
    24 April 2008

    Dear Bah??’? Friends,

    Your email letter dated… has been received by the Universal House of Justice, which has asked us to respond as follows.

    The House of Justice is fully committed to fostering the development of Bah??’? scholarly activity in all parts of the Bah??’? world. Through their scholarly endeavours believers are able to enrich the intellectual life of the Bah??’? community, to explore new insights into the Bah??’? teachings and their relevance to the needs of society, and to attract the investigation of the Faith by thoughtful people from all backgrounds. Far from being a diversion from the worldwide effort to advance the process of entry by troops, Bah??’? scholarship can be a powerful reinforcement to that endeavour and a valuable source of new enquirers.

    The hope of the House of Justice is that, as the Bah??’? community develops in each country, the concerned National Spiritual Assembly will encourage those so inclined to embark on Bah??’? scholarly activities. When the number of believers involved reaches a sufficient size, an ssociation for Bah??’? Studies may well come into being and act as a focus for support and encouragement; in due course, such an association may be moved to launch, under the aegis of its National Spiritual Assembly, a journal by which the findings of those engaged in this pursuit can be shared with others. Such associations are generally formed at a national level, although the situation in Europe is such that transnational associations have, at this time, been permitted within that continent. In time the House of Justice will give consideration to whether or not the objectives of the Faith would best be served by the formation of some international organization to coordinate the work of the associations and to stimulate the creation of new ones in other countries and whether an international
    journal should be brought into being.

    When there are relatively few believers engaged in Bah??’? scholarly activity in a country, the formation of an association there is not viable. However, believers from any part of the world are free to submit papers to Bah??’? journals being published in other countries or to seek
    to make presentations at meetings arranged by the existing associations elsewhere.

    …The individuals having an interest in Bah??’? scholarship are, of course, free to pursue their own scholarly endeavours and to submit their conclusions to existing journals in Europe, North America or elsewhere. They should also be advised to consider means by which they can participate in the work of existing associations.

    With loving Bah??’? greetings,

    Department of the Secretariat

  • Farhan Yazdani

    Craig wrote:
    Your logic escapes me? The Ruhi Courses ARE precisely the work of completely SELF-APPOINTED and SELF-ORDAINED PROFESSIONAL GURUS!

    Craig, the people you describe have existed, I have suffered at their hands, and defended myself by studying and opposing to them the messages of the UHJ which thanks to Baquia, are posted somewhere on this blog. People misunderstood the difference between priority and exclusivity. This is history; as you will notice from the message below, Baha’i scholarship is an important goal of the Institute Process to which Ruhi is merely a useful introductory tool. Read for yourself:

    THE UNIVERSAL HOUSE OF JUSTICE
    DEPARTMENT OF THE SECRETARIAT
    24 April 2008

    Dear Bah??’? Friends,

    Your email letter dated… has been received by the Universal House of Justice, which has asked us to respond as follows.

    The House of Justice is fully committed to fostering the development of Bah??’? scholarly activity in all parts of the Bah??’? world. Through their scholarly endeavours believers are able to enrich the intellectual life of the Bah??’? community, to explore new insights into the Bah??’? teachings and their relevance to the needs of society, and to attract the investigation of the Faith by thoughtful people from all backgrounds. Far from being a diversion from the worldwide effort to advance the process of entry by troops, Bah??’? scholarship can be a powerful reinforcement to that endeavour and a valuable source of new enquirers.

    The hope of the House of Justice is that, as the Bah??’? community develops in each country, the concerned National Spiritual Assembly will encourage those so inclined to embark on Bah??’? scholarly activities. When the number of believers involved reaches a sufficient size, an ssociation for Bah??’? Studies may well come into being and act as a focus for support and encouragement; in due course, such an association may be moved to launch, under the aegis of its National Spiritual Assembly, a journal by which the findings of those engaged in this pursuit can be shared with others. Such associations are generally formed at a national level, although the situation in Europe is such that transnational associations have, at this time, been permitted within that continent. In time the House of Justice will give consideration to whether or not the objectives of the Faith would best be served by the formation of some international organization to coordinate the work of the associations and to stimulate the creation of new ones in other countries and whether an international
    journal should be brought into being.

    When there are relatively few believers engaged in Bah??’? scholarly activity in a country, the formation of an association there is not viable. However, believers from any part of the world are free to submit papers to Bah??’? journals being published in other countries or to seek
    to make presentations at meetings arranged by the existing associations elsewhere.

    …The individuals having an interest in Bah??’? scholarship are, of course, free to pursue their own scholarly endeavours and to submit their conclusions to existing journals in Europe, North America or elsewhere. They should also be advised to consider means by which they can participate in the work of existing associations.

    With loving Bah??’? greetings,

    Department of the Secretariat

  • Craig Parke

    Farhan,

    Thank you for the quote. It is kind of a quaint quote that I think I will frame on put on the wall. It represents the amazing slow motion mentality of a religion stuck in 1957 since Shoghi Effendi failed to do his specifically assigned job and appoint a living Guardian in his lifetime. Since there is no living Guardian to cut through the ever growing groupthink mentality and speak for the power of individual contribution to the work of the Faith in addressing the human situation, everything stagnates further and further. While the Baha’is operate like a quaint quiet church college somewhere in the Midwest with pipe smoking boards of professors in tweed jackets reviewing papers typed on Remington-Rand typewriters with Ike and Mamie in the White House, the rest of the entire world in 2009 is studying the spiritual powers of the World Age in touch with the entire Cosmos at Internet speed. It is far too little, far too late for the intellectually straight jacketed Baha’i Faith and it is systematically being left in the dust by the independent investigation of truth by EVERYONE ELSE ON EARTH in contact with direct inspirational communion with the Spirit of God in the World Age.

    What the “Institutions” have to say about this process is completely irrelevant and they are just too dumb and institutional-centric in their cult bubble mentality to know it. I now think this was the way it was actually meant to be. There was a specific shelf life set on the Baha’i Faith as the last Abrahamic religion to provide embarrassing training wheels for humanity which are now going to fall away as the world moves to self sufficient true maturity. And the lifetime incumbent entrenched leadership of the Baha’i Faith has really done their part beautifully in the Divine Plan that the Faith fall further and further behind in talentless hack bureaucratic third rate censorship and utterly fail. So far they are right on schedule with top down prescribed groupthink to the point of actual mental impairment in the community while EVERYONE ELSE ON EARTH moves out into the Power of the unfettered World Age Baha’u’llah brought by going through that Soul portal in the 19th Century as something that happens in nature. All bets are now off as the Baha’i Faith languishes into total intellectual and spiritual oblivion.

    Farhan, there are many mentally ill people in the Baha’i Faith dealing with many dysfunctional issues from very unhappy and warped childhoods. This is especially true of people from dysfunctional Middle Eastern cultures. There are many issues with Mommy and Daddy develped over eons when you often had four Mommies. You can see many psychological projections about the search to bond with Mommy in the theology of Shia Islam. These are often very highly disturbed and insecure people. The Baha’i diaspora makes the insecurity projections even worse. Diasporas are, in fact, one of the major psychological growth industries of the Middle East over the centuries. Many disturbed people seek to work out major parental issues through their activities in the AO. This was my observation in my decades in the Faith. What is going on is often no more than that level. I thought the appalling situation could be overcome as millions of rational and psychologically un-tainted people joined the Faith and the ratio of sane people overcame insane people. To make matters even worse, I think the most mentally ill ARE the most dedicated in the AO because of their demons and they, consequently, are often elected to the top in the Administrative Order. I think this explains the entire pathetic and sorrowful history of the AO since 1921 amid terrible human suffering and need in the world for a rational and functioning structure of planetary individual energies combined with collective bottom consultation from the grass roots.

    The first person I ever knew of who left the Faith was quite early back in 1973. The woman was so enthralled with the Teachings of Baha’u’llah that she quit her job and went to work at the U.S. National Baha’i Center in Wilmette with great commitment and determination to help the Faith. She left the Faith two years later in utter amazement. She said “There is something terribly wrong with the people leading this.” I disagreed and said it was just growing pains and things would surely improve. I stayed on at it with total dedication all these years. But things never improved and, in fact, they got progressively worse. One step forward, one thousand steps back has been pretty much the pattern in the amazing Baha’i Faith decade after decade. I now see that things will never get better because the problem is profoundly systemic.

    No one is EVER held accountable for ANYTHING in the Baha’i Faith at ANY level. EVER. It is profoundly consistent over time. It is almost mathematical in that consistency. The same entrenched leadership is elected over and over. Once you are elected to something in the Baha’i faith you are an incumbent for life. I now feel this system can never be overcome and it won’t ever be overcome. Once a person sees the utter hopelessness of this, there is no place to go. The Internet has helped many people deal with it by finding various posting communities around the world. But I honestly now do not think even the incredible power of the internet can help or save the Baha’i Faith. The mentality is stuck in 1957 and it will never change. The Baha’i Faith will always be 50-100 years behind what is happening in the world. It could have been cutting edge. It really could have been. But the AO feared that. It feared the loss of control at every turn. If they really wanted to educate people there could be marvelous DVD’s and podcasts by learned people on every topic in the Writings and how they fit in addressing the current problems of the world. But, in reality, we no longer have any learned people. Anyone who is really learned in some field of study in life is “the victim of ego, self, and passion corrupted by Western ideas and, in the end, will sink in their depths.” Instead we have the utterly false and manipulated “community bonding” of the Ruhi system of indoctrination. Actually studying the Writings themselves yourself and reflecting on them as an individual practice has been supplanted by the new Ruhi McFaith. It is the new hamburger, fries, and a diet coke set up by the Lifetime Incumbent Comintern to control the rank and file worldwide. It is spiritual communism and is, therefore, against the individual liberating and empowering Powers of the World Age and it will utterly and completely fail for that reason. It is all very, very sad. They can write their bureaucratic controlling letters like this all they want to try to give guidance on a situation that no longer exists because it is no longer 1957 in the rest of the world. These are completely entrenched impaired people living in a delusion and absolutely no one can reach them. That is where the Baha’i Faith is after 88 years of the AO and I no longer believe anyone or anything can ever change it. The International Teaching Center and the theories of a very tiny hand full of “certified” high school teachers ruthlessly run the Baha’i Faith top down. The Universal House of Justice as a bottom up institution called into being from the free and open spirituality of the people of the world does not exist. This is the situation and I no longer believe it can ever be changed. This is how it will be for the next 1,000-3,000 years and counting. This mentality cannot ever be broken. The Baha’i World Faith became Baha’i World Club. That is it’s sorry, sorry fate. I once tried with everything I had that it might turn out otherwise. But it was to no avail. This is the fate ordained by Almighty God. The once great potential of the Faith is now apparently bada.

    So it goes.

  • Craig Parke

    Farhan,

    Thank you for the quote. It is kind of a quaint quote that I think I will frame on put on the wall. It represents the amazing slow motion mentality of a religion stuck in 1957 since Shoghi Effendi failed to do his specifically assigned job and appoint a living Guardian in his lifetime. Since there is no living Guardian to cut through the ever growing groupthink mentality and speak for the power of individual contribution to the work of the Faith in addressing the human situation, everything stagnates further and further. While the Baha’is operate like a quaint quiet church college somewhere in the Midwest with pipe smoking boards of professors in tweed jackets reviewing papers typed on Remington-Rand typewriters with Ike and Mamie in the White House, the rest of the entire world in 2009 is studying the spiritual powers of the World Age in touch with the entire Cosmos at Internet speed. It is far too little, far too late for the intellectually straight jacketed Baha’i Faith and it is systematically being left in the dust by the independent investigation of truth by EVERYONE ELSE ON EARTH in contact with direct inspirational communion with the Spirit of God in the World Age.

    What the “Institutions” have to say about this process is completely irrelevant and they are just too dumb and institutional-centric in their cult bubble mentality to know it. I now think this was the way it was actually meant to be. There was a specific shelf life set on the Baha’i Faith as the last Abrahamic religion to provide embarrassing training wheels for humanity which are now going to fall away as the world moves to self sufficient true maturity. And the lifetime incumbent entrenched leadership of the Baha’i Faith has really done their part beautifully in the Divine Plan that the Faith fall further and further behind in talentless hack bureaucratic third rate censorship and utterly fail. So far they are right on schedule with top down prescribed groupthink to the point of actual mental impairment in the community while EVERYONE ELSE ON EARTH moves out into the Power of the unfettered World Age Baha’u’llah brought by going through that Soul portal in the 19th Century as something that happens in nature. All bets are now off as the Baha’i Faith languishes into total intellectual and spiritual oblivion.

    Farhan, there are many mentally ill people in the Baha’i Faith dealing with many dysfunctional issues from very unhappy and warped childhoods. This is especially true of people from dysfunctional Middle Eastern cultures. There are many issues with Mommy and Daddy develped over eons when you often had four Mommies. You can see many psychological projections about the search to bond with Mommy in the theology of Shia Islam. These are often very highly disturbed and insecure people. The Baha’i diaspora makes the insecurity projections even worse. Diasporas are, in fact, one of the major psychological growth industries of the Middle East over the centuries. Many disturbed people seek to work out major parental issues through their activities in the AO. This was my observation in my decades in the Faith. What is going on is often no more than that level. I thought the appalling situation could be overcome as millions of rational and psychologically un-tainted people joined the Faith and the ratio of sane people overcame insane people. To make matters even worse, I think the most mentally ill ARE the most dedicated in the AO because of their demons and they, consequently, are often elected to the top in the Administrative Order. I think this explains the entire pathetic and sorrowful history of the AO since 1921 amid terrible human suffering and need in the world for a rational and functioning structure of planetary individual energies combined with collective bottom consultation from the grass roots.

    The first person I ever knew of who left the Faith was quite early back in 1973. The woman was so enthralled with the Teachings of Baha’u’llah that she quit her job and went to work at the U.S. National Baha’i Center in Wilmette with great commitment and determination to help the Faith. She left the Faith two years later in utter amazement. She said “There is something terribly wrong with the people leading this.” I disagreed and said it was just growing pains and things would surely improve. I stayed on at it with total dedication all these years. But things never improved and, in fact, they got progressively worse. One step forward, one thousand steps back has been pretty much the pattern in the amazing Baha’i Faith decade after decade. I now see that things will never get better because the problem is profoundly systemic.

    No one is EVER held accountable for ANYTHING in the Baha’i Faith at ANY level. EVER. It is profoundly consistent over time. It is almost mathematical in that consistency. The same entrenched leadership is elected over and over. Once you are elected to something in the Baha’i faith you are an incumbent for life. I now feel this system can never be overcome and it won’t ever be overcome. Once a person sees the utter hopelessness of this, there is no place to go. The Internet has helped many people deal with it by finding various posting communities around the world. But I honestly now do not think even the incredible power of the internet can help or save the Baha’i Faith. The mentality is stuck in 1957 and it will never change. The Baha’i Faith will always be 50-100 years behind what is happening in the world. It could have been cutting edge. It really could have been. But the AO feared that. It feared the loss of control at every turn. If they really wanted to educate people there could be marvelous DVD’s and podcasts by learned people on every topic in the Writings and how they fit in addressing the current problems of the world. But, in reality, we no longer have any learned people. Anyone who is really learned in some field of study in life is “the victim of ego, self, and passion corrupted by Western ideas and, in the end, will sink in their depths.” Instead we have the utterly false and manipulated “community bonding” of the Ruhi system of indoctrination. Actually studying the Writings themselves yourself and reflecting on them as an individual practice has been supplanted by the new Ruhi McFaith. It is the new hamburger, fries, and a diet coke set up by the Lifetime Incumbent Comintern to control the rank and file worldwide. It is spiritual communism and is, therefore, against the individual liberating and empowering Powers of the World Age and it will utterly and completely fail for that reason. It is all very, very sad. They can write their bureaucratic controlling letters like this all they want to try to give guidance on a situation that no longer exists because it is no longer 1957 in the rest of the world. These are completely entrenched impaired people living in a delusion and absolutely no one can reach them. That is where the Baha’i Faith is after 88 years of the AO and I no longer believe anyone or anything can ever change it. The International Teaching Center and the theories of a very tiny hand full of “certified” high school teachers ruthlessly run the Baha’i Faith top down. The Universal House of Justice as a bottom up institution called into being from the free and open spirituality of the people of the world does not exist. This is the situation and I no longer believe it can ever be changed. This is how it will be for the next 1,000-3,000 years and counting. This mentality cannot ever be broken. The Baha’i World Faith became Baha’i World Club. That is it’s sorry, sorry fate. I once tried with everything I had that it might turn out otherwise. But it was to no avail. This is the fate ordained by Almighty God. The once great potential of the Faith is now apparently bada.

    So it goes.

  • annonymouz

    [quote comment=””] The once great potential of the Faith is now apparently bada.

    So it goes.[/quote]

    I disagree Craig. I went to a recent reflection meeting talking about the strategies that are being implemented in order to grow the Faith and I have to say I felt an energy and enthusiasm that one feels right before a football game in the locker room. People were charged and we had a handful of new believers who knew exactly what was going on. On that day people were on the same page and had taken the task of sharing the message of Baha’u’llah into their own hands.

    I realize you have been living your Baha’i life online and don’t get me wrong, what ever floats your boat and all, but you are way off mark with your ideas and any person involved actively in the Baha’i community–at least anyone I know–would agree that you are living on Mars with statements like the ones you keep belting out with such repetition. How ironic huh? You lambaste what you perceive as rote and repetitiveness but your tone hasn’t changed one iota since we talked in August.

  • annonymouz

    [quote comment=””] The once great potential of the Faith is now apparently bada.

    So it goes.[/quote]

    I disagree Craig. I went to a recent reflection meeting talking about the strategies that are being implemented in order to grow the Faith and I have to say I felt an energy and enthusiasm that one feels right before a football game in the locker room. People were charged and we had a handful of new believers who knew exactly what was going on. On that day people were on the same page and had taken the task of sharing the message of Baha’u’llah into their own hands.

    I realize you have been living your Baha’i life online and don’t get me wrong, what ever floats your boat and all, but you are way off mark with your ideas and any person involved actively in the Baha’i community–at least anyone I know–would agree that you are living on Mars with statements like the ones you keep belting out with such repetition. How ironic huh? You lambaste what you perceive as rote and repetitiveness but your tone hasn’t changed one iota since we talked in August.

  • Craig Parke

    [quote comment=””][quote comment=””] The once great potential of the Faith is now apparently bada.

    So it goes.[/quote]

    I disagree Craig. I went to a recent reflection meeting talking about the strategies that are being implemented in order to grow the Faith and I have to say I felt an energy and enthusiasm that one feels right before a football game in the locker room. People were charged and we had a handful of new believers who knew exactly what was going on. On that day people were on the same page and had taken the task of sharing the message of Baha’u’llah into their own hands.

    I realize you have been living your Baha’i life online and don’t get me wrong, what ever floats your boat and all, but you are way off mark with your ideas and any person involved actively in the Baha’i community–at least anyone I know–would agree that you are living on Mars with statements like the ones you keep belting out with such repetition. How ironic huh? You lambaste what you perceive as rote and repetitiveness but your tone hasn’t changed one iota since we talked in August.[/quote]

    Always good to hear from you annonymouz! I’ve been in high energy Baha’i moments like that too. And I have been in high energy football locker rooms like that too. I played football in both high school and in Division IA at the college level. Wow would I love to run over someone now in a nice game uniform in a hole opened by a nice inside trap block on someone overplaying their position, but I am just too old for that now. I have enough aches and pains. But the memory is nice!

    All I can say is that we’ll see how it all looks to you in 38 years after all that energy you describe has been again completely dissipated into the ground by completely un-spiritual ideologues who have destroyed the Baha’i Faith over and over in the hapless 88 year history of the amazing AO. There was a time in my life when I went to a Baha’i event five nights a week completely on fire with enthusiasm year after year. It never went anywhere.

    Finally the very SAME people who were in charge THEN who ARE the very SAME people in charge NOW said we were doing everything wrong. Who knew? Why didn’t they tell us back then? We were only following their own plans then? In another ten years the very SAME people will tell the Baha’is of this time they had this all wrong too. They will always blame the rank and file never themselves. But I do not mourn. The real Baha’i Faith is out in the world among free peoples advancing the Spirit of the World Age. For this I am happy.

  • Craig Parke

    [quote comment=””][quote comment=””] The once great potential of the Faith is now apparently bada.

    So it goes.[/quote]

    I disagree Craig. I went to a recent reflection meeting talking about the strategies that are being implemented in order to grow the Faith and I have to say I felt an energy and enthusiasm that one feels right before a football game in the locker room. People were charged and we had a handful of new believers who knew exactly what was going on. On that day people were on the same page and had taken the task of sharing the message of Baha’u’llah into their own hands.

    I realize you have been living your Baha’i life online and don’t get me wrong, what ever floats your boat and all, but you are way off mark with your ideas and any person involved actively in the Baha’i community–at least anyone I know–would agree that you are living on Mars with statements like the ones you keep belting out with such repetition. How ironic huh? You lambaste what you perceive as rote and repetitiveness but your tone hasn’t changed one iota since we talked in August.[/quote]

    Always good to hear from you annonymouz! I’ve been in high energy Baha’i moments like that too. And I have been in high energy football locker rooms like that too. I played football in both high school and in Division IA at the college level. Wow would I love to run over someone now in a nice game uniform in a hole opened by a nice inside trap block on someone overplaying their position, but I am just too old for that now. I have enough aches and pains. But the memory is nice!

    All I can say is that we’ll see how it all looks to you in 38 years after all that energy you describe has been again completely dissipated into the ground by completely un-spiritual ideologues who have destroyed the Baha’i Faith over and over in the hapless 88 year history of the amazing AO. There was a time in my life when I went to a Baha’i event five nights a week completely on fire with enthusiasm year after year. It never went anywhere.

    Finally the very SAME people who were in charge THEN who ARE the very SAME people in charge NOW said we were doing everything wrong. Who knew? Why didn’t they tell us back then? We were only following their own plans then? In another ten years the very SAME people will tell the Baha’is of this time they had this all wrong too. They will always blame the rank and file never themselves. But I do not mourn. The real Baha’i Faith is out in the world among free peoples advancing the Spirit of the World Age. For this I am happy.

  • farhan

    Craig wrote:
    The real Baha’i Faith is out in the world among free peoples advancing the Spirit of the World Age. For this I am happy.

    Craig I love what you said here: yes, the Baha’i Faith has been let loose by God and belongs to all; all we are doing is to try to produce a structure that can link all those people and bring them in collaboration and coordination.

    This is very difficult, because so many people are wrapped around themselves and unable to make the necessary concessions for the frustrations involved in the discipline and selflessness involved in team work.

    Look at the Institute Process. Here is a project put into action in 1996 with a simplified pedagogical curriculum that allows intellectuals like you and me help some 2/3 of humanity, many of them living next-door to us, access the Baha’i teachings and then become themselves teachers. They help us give the essentials of the Faith, as near as possible to the original text, without adding our own theories and nightmares into our teaching work.

    What do people say? I don’t like it! too shallow! Too much discipline, not complicated enough FOR ME. I want spirituality for MY OWN spiritual development. Others are not good enough for me to collaborate with.

    And so it goes… if we don’t rise to serve, God will be, and is, raising the pebbles to do that in our place. In the end we will see that God saved us in spite of our misgivings. This is how I understand “the seal the kingdom is God’s stamped upon the brow of all it’s habitants.”

  • Farhan YAZDANI

    Craig wrote:
    The real Baha’i Faith is out in the world among free peoples advancing the Spirit of the World Age. For this I am happy.

    Craig I love what you said here: yes, the Baha’i Faith has been let loose by God and belongs to all; all we are doing is to try to produce a structure that can link all those people and bring them in collaboration and coordination.

    This is very difficult, because so many people are wrapped around themselves and unable to make the necessary concessions for the frustrations involved in the discipline and selflessness involved in team work.

    Look at the Institute Process. Here is a project put into action in 1996 with a simplified pedagogical curriculum that allows intellectuals like you and me help some 2/3 of humanity, many of them living next-door to us, access the Baha’i teachings and then become themselves teachers. They help us give the essentials of the Faith, as near as possible to the original text, without adding our own theories and nightmares into our teaching work.

    What do people say? I don’t like it! too shallow! Too much discipline, not complicated enough FOR ME. I want spirituality for MY OWN spiritual development. Others are not good enough for me to collaborate with.

    And so it goes… if we don’t rise to serve, God will be, and is, raising the pebbles to do that in our place. In the end we will see that God saved us in spite of our misgivings. This is how I understand “the seal the kingdom is God’s stamped upon the brow of all it’s habitants.”

  • Craig Parke

    [quote comment=””]Craig wrote:
    The real Baha’i Faith is out in the world among free peoples advancing the Spirit of the World Age. For this I am happy.

    Craig I love what you said here: yes, the Baha’i Faith has been let loose by God and belongs to all; all we are doing is to try to produce a structure that can link all those people and bring them in collaboration and coordination.

    This is very difficult, because so many people are wrapped around themselves and unable to make the necessary concessions for the frustrations involved in the discipline and selflessness involved in team work.

    Look at the Institute Process. Here is a project put into action in 1996 with a simplified pedagogical curriculum that allows intellectuals like you and me help some 2/3 of humanity, many of them living next-door to us, access the Baha’i teachings and then become themselves teachers. They help us give the essentials of the Faith, as near as possible to the original text, without adding our own theories and nightmares into our teaching work.

    What do people say? I don’t like it! too shallow! Too much discipline, not complicated enough FOR ME. I want spirituality for MY OWN spiritual development. Others are not good enough for me to collaborate with.

    And so it goes… if we don’t rise to serve, God will be, and is, raising the pebbles to do that in our place. In the end we will see that God saved us in spite of our misgivings. This is how I understand “the seal the kingdom is God’s stamped upon the brow of all it’s habitants.”[/quote]

    Farhan,

    Where I live free peoples just elected a black man President of the United States who will take office in three days. I say the people that did this advanced the deepest wishes of the life of Hand of the Cause of God Louis Gregory and his wife Louisa Mathew far more than the impaired organization called the “Baha’i Faith” that essentially betrayed the great effort for racial justice he put forth in his life. I am so glad I went back into politics and worked for this election. The BAO and their lifetime incumbent minions can go to hell. I can’t wait for them anymore after almost 40 years working on this issue. The Faith is too dysfunctional to ever be a factor now. I want to accomplish something real before I die so I completely shredded in my soul everything Shoghi Effendi had to say on non-involvement politics. He can just keep practicing “not writing a will” in the worlds beyond. I am so glad I did not miss this opportunity to make a difference in my time on Earth for my country. I went out and worked for this campaign in honor of all the black veterans I have known. And for the 3,000 black troops my Father served in the Pacific with in WWII.

    Free peoples will eventually own all the real estate of the Baha’i Faith I helped pay for in Haifa over all those years long after the current leadership is gone to dust. The Institute Process may be just fine in some places in the world. I never said it isn’t. But where I live it is an insult to the intelligence of even uneducated people. It is not free study and inquiry. It is indoctrination. And it is not based AT ALL in any way, shape, or form upon the Writings of the Founders of the Baha’i Faith. It is based upon the mere personal hack opinions of the “professional” high school level “educators” who wrote it. It is not appropriate for anyone where I live. Is the UHJ infallible about every situation involving non-Baha’is too? Can you explain how that works? They say every person, everywhere on Earth MUST be taught THIS WAY without knowing anything about anyone’s contacts?

    You imply in your comment the standard implication that anyone that does not enthusiastically use these exact “teaching” methods is not with “the Guidance” and is, therefore, “the victim of ego, self, and passion corrupted by false Western ideas of ego and self-will who will, in the end, sink in their depths”. Does this fate also apply to non-Baha’is that MAY NOT WANT to be taught this way? Are they condemned too? How is it possible that the the UHJ can know how I am supposed to teach the seekers I know when they say they are not omniscient? If they are omniscient maybe they can tell you how to teach your wife and daughters the Faith so they will join it? Shouldn’t clairvoyance and omniscience start at home among the Baha’is first and then move outward to the general public second?

  • Craig Parke

    [quote comment=””]Craig wrote:
    The real Baha’i Faith is out in the world among free peoples advancing the Spirit of the World Age. For this I am happy.

    Craig I love what you said here: yes, the Baha’i Faith has been let loose by God and belongs to all; all we are doing is to try to produce a structure that can link all those people and bring them in collaboration and coordination.

    This is very difficult, because so many people are wrapped around themselves and unable to make the necessary concessions for the frustrations involved in the discipline and selflessness involved in team work.

    Look at the Institute Process. Here is a project put into action in 1996 with a simplified pedagogical curriculum that allows intellectuals like you and me help some 2/3 of humanity, many of them living next-door to us, access the Baha’i teachings and then become themselves teachers. They help us give the essentials of the Faith, as near as possible to the original text, without adding our own theories and nightmares into our teaching work.

    What do people say? I don’t like it! too shallow! Too much discipline, not complicated enough FOR ME. I want spirituality for MY OWN spiritual development. Others are not good enough for me to collaborate with.

    And so it goes… if we don’t rise to serve, God will be, and is, raising the pebbles to do that in our place. In the end we will see that God saved us in spite of our misgivings. This is how I understand “the seal the kingdom is God’s stamped upon the brow of all it’s habitants.”[/quote]

    Farhan,

    Where I live free peoples just elected a black man President of the United States who will take office in three days. I say the people that did this advanced the deepest wishes of the life of Hand of the Cause of God Louis Gregory and his wife Louisa Mathew far more than the impaired organization called the “Baha’i Faith” that essentially betrayed the great effort for racial justice he put forth in his life. I am so glad I went back into politics and worked for this election. The BAO and their lifetime incumbent minions can go to hell. I can’t wait for them anymore after almost 40 years working on this issue. The Faith is too dysfunctional to ever be a factor now. I want to accomplish something real before I die so I completely shredded in my soul everything Shoghi Effendi had to say on non-involvement politics. He can just keep practicing “not writing a will” in the worlds beyond. I am so glad I did not miss this opportunity to make a difference in my time on Earth for my country. I went out and worked for this campaign in honor of all the black veterans I have known. And for the 3,000 black troops my Father served in the Pacific with in WWII.

    Free peoples will eventually own all the real estate of the Baha’i Faith I helped pay for in Haifa over all those years long after the current leadership is gone to dust. The Institute Process may be just fine in some places in the world. I never said it isn’t. But where I live it is an insult to the intelligence of even uneducated people. It is not free study and inquiry. It is indoctrination. And it is not based AT ALL in any way, shape, or form upon the Writings of the Founders of the Baha’i Faith. It is based upon the mere personal hack opinions of the “professional” high school level “educators” who wrote it. It is not appropriate for anyone where I live. Is the UHJ infallible about every situation involving non-Baha’is too? Can you explain how that works? They say every person, everywhere on Earth MUST be taught THIS WAY without knowing anything about anyone’s contacts?

    You imply in your comment the standard implication that anyone that does not enthusiastically use these exact “teaching” methods is not with “the Guidance” and is, therefore, “the victim of ego, self, and passion corrupted by false Western ideas of ego and self-will who will, in the end, sink in their depths”. Does this fate also apply to non-Baha’is that MAY NOT WANT to be taught this way? Are they condemned too? How is it possible that the the UHJ can know how I am supposed to teach the seekers I know when they say they are not omniscient? If they are omniscient maybe they can tell you how to teach your wife and daughters the Faith so they will join it? Shouldn’t clairvoyance and omniscience start at home among the Baha’is first and then move outward to the general public second?

  • farhan

    Craig wrote:
    Finally the very SAME people who were in charge THEN who ARE the very SAME people in charge NOW said we were doing everything wrong.

    No, my dear Craig: they cannot be the same: we all change, you, I and them, from day to day, we are never the same and we are all always capable of advancement and growth.

    Craig wrote :
    Does this fate also apply to non-Baha’is that MAY NOT WANT to be taught this way? Are they condemned too?

    Of course not, Craig. This means that we need a menu for every one. No one is condemned, but some have lost opportunities to serve. We had and still have all sorts of deepening material for us and others; we needed a standard basic course and a ?significative number? of people like you and I, ready to give some of their time to help those who need help. I give some of my time, no doubt not enough, to the institute; this has been due to my other commitments, and not to a desire to ignore the institute Process that I admire and support.

    Yes, I know that many intellectuals ignored the process, much more involved in their own useful researches than in helping their struggling fellow citizens into the arena of service; Some zealots got hold of this and our apparatchiks found a tool for pressuring other people in an up-down power issue, trying to shovel it down people’s throats; The UHJ had asked for ?love and efficiency? and they understood ?force and efficiency?. This discredits the zealots and not the educational enterprise. It discredits the intellectuals who found all this ?too shallow? for themselves and took time to recognise the educational issue involved, and not the system.

    I remember a story about Mirza Abul-Fadl who lost his high position in the Shiite hierarchy by accepting the Faith. He went to the Holy Land, but at first was still aware of his high position. Then this uneducated man came along and asked Abdu’l-Baha for the bounty of saying poems, and Abdu’l-Baha said that God willing, his wish would be granted. Then this man came to Abdu’l-Baha saying that he had inspiration, but could not write, and Abdu’l-Baha asked Abul-Fadl to act as a secretary to this uneducated man; this is what the Institute process is about. Had I not believed in God before, I would do now because of His image in the UHJ.

    When I went to French Polynesia, I realised that the lectures I was giving in ethics in France were not appropriate for most of these people. The Ruhi books were well adapted not only for these people, but also as a spring-board for those in your neighbourhood, and also for some highly educated Baha’is who have not yet realised that the faith is all about serving others and not attaining our personal Nirvana. I had done them in France not to learn what I already knew, but to be in a position to help these people help themselves once I was gone. It is a teacher training programme for building up human resources. It is not a deepening programme.

    I wish you would try book 5. I am sure you have a wealth of experience to share with the junior youth.

    Craig wrote:
    Where I live free peoples just elected a black man President of the United States who will take office in three days.

    Craig, Listening to him speak on CNN, I wished he would never stop.

    Let us see what the world will allow him to do now.

  • Farhan Yazdani

    Craig wrote:
    Finally the very SAME people who were in charge THEN who ARE the very SAME people in charge NOW said we were doing everything wrong.

    No, my dear Craig: they cannot be the same: we all change, you, I and them, from day to day, we are never the same and we are all always capable of advancement and growth.

    Craig wrote :
    Does this fate also apply to non-Baha’is that MAY NOT WANT to be taught this way? Are they condemned too?

    Of course not, Craig. This means that we need a menu for every one. No one is condemned, but some have lost opportunities to serve. We had and still have all sorts of deepening material for us and others; we needed a standard basic course and a ?significative number? of people like you and I, ready to give some of their time to help those who need help. I give some of my time, no doubt not enough, to the institute; this has been due to my other commitments, and not to a desire to ignore the institute Process that I admire and support.

    Yes, I know that many intellectuals ignored the process, much more involved in their own useful researches than in helping their struggling fellow citizens into the arena of service; Some zealots got hold of this and our apparatchiks found a tool for pressuring other people in an up-down power issue, trying to shovel it down people’s throats; The UHJ had asked for ?love and efficiency? and they understood ?force and efficiency?. This discredits the zealots and not the educational enterprise. It discredits the intellectuals who found all this ?too shallow? for themselves and took time to recognise the educational issue involved, and not the system.

    I remember a story about Mirza Abul-Fadl who lost his high position in the Shiite hierarchy by accepting the Faith. He went to the Holy Land, but at first was still aware of his high position. Then this uneducated man came along and asked Abdu’l-Baha for the bounty of saying poems, and Abdu’l-Baha said that God willing, his wish would be granted. Then this man came to Abdu’l-Baha saying that he had inspiration, but could not write, and Abdu’l-Baha asked Abul-Fadl to act as a secretary to this uneducated man; this is what the Institute process is about. Had I not believed in God before, I would do now because of His image in the UHJ.

    When I went to French Polynesia, I realised that the lectures I was giving in ethics in France were not appropriate for most of these people. The Ruhi books were well adapted not only for these people, but also as a spring-board for those in your neighbourhood, and also for some highly educated Baha’is who have not yet realised that the faith is all about serving others and not attaining our personal Nirvana. I had done them in France not to learn what I already knew, but to be in a position to help these people help themselves once I was gone. It is a teacher training programme for building up human resources. It is not a deepening programme.

    I wish you would try book 5. I am sure you have a wealth of experience to share with the junior youth.

    Craig wrote:
    Where I live free peoples just elected a black man President of the United States who will take office in three days.

    Craig, Listening to him speak on CNN, I wished he would never stop.

    Let us see what the world will allow him to do now.

  • annonymouz

    [quote comment=””]Finally the very SAME people who were in charge THEN who ARE the very SAME people in charge NOW said we were doing everything wrong. Who knew? Why didn’t they tell us back then? We were only following their own plans then? In another ten years the very SAME people will tell the Baha’is of this time they had this all wrong too. They will always blame the rank and file never themselves.[/quote]

    It is an interesting thing you say and if this is what was actually conveyed, I may have agreed with you. But, yet again…way off mark and essentially a concoction of your imagination.

    Basically what you are saying is that things have changed and if this is the way to do it now, why wasn’t it back then? On the surface a valid and useful question to ask however, upon reflection yet another musing of Craig Parke.

    Why did Baha’u’llah reveal the Most Holy Book in the eve of His revelation and not in the beginning in 1863 outside of Baghdad when He declared formally His station? Hmmm…Why wait almost 30 yrs to give them the Most Holy Book?! Gee this doesn’t make sense!

    Now, I am not comparing Ruhi to the Aqdas but the process and Divine Plan that they play into are one in the same. Have you ever stopped to think that what Baha’u’llah says in the Aqdas is actually true? “What is of them is of God…”.

    I think this is like the 185th time I have said this but some just simply refuse to acknowledge the reality that this is a process…a process a process a process.

    By My spirit and by My favor! By My mercy and by My beauty! All that I have revealed unto thee with the tongue of power, and have written for thee with the pen of might, hath been in accordance with thy capacity and understanding, not with My state and the melody of My voice.

    Ever think about all four quarters instead of quitting at half time? You never know!

  • annonymouz

    [quote comment=””]Finally the very SAME people who were in charge THEN who ARE the very SAME people in charge NOW said we were doing everything wrong. Who knew? Why didn’t they tell us back then? We were only following their own plans then? In another ten years the very SAME people will tell the Baha’is of this time they had this all wrong too. They will always blame the rank and file never themselves.[/quote]

    It is an interesting thing you say and if this is what was actually conveyed, I may have agreed with you. But, yet again…way off mark and essentially a concoction of your imagination.

    Basically what you are saying is that things have changed and if this is the way to do it now, why wasn’t it back then? On the surface a valid and useful question to ask however, upon reflection yet another musing of Craig Parke.

    Why did Baha’u’llah reveal the Most Holy Book in the eve of His revelation and not in the beginning in 1863 outside of Baghdad when He declared formally His station? Hmmm…Why wait almost 30 yrs to give them the Most Holy Book?! Gee this doesn’t make sense!

    Now, I am not comparing Ruhi to the Aqdas but the process and Divine Plan that they play into are one in the same. Have you ever stopped to think that what Baha’u’llah says in the Aqdas is actually true? “What is of them is of God…”.

    I think this is like the 185th time I have said this but some just simply refuse to acknowledge the reality that this is a process…a process a process a process.

    By My spirit and by My favor! By My mercy and by My beauty! All that I have revealed unto thee with the tongue of power, and have written for thee with the pen of might, hath been in accordance with thy capacity and understanding, not with My state and the melody of My voice.

    Ever think about all four quarters instead of quitting at half time? You never know!

  • Bacquia, you say “the false accusations lobbed against them…of being spies or agents of a foreign power.” I wonder how you might explain a phenomenon such as Mia Pederson, then? Remember her?

    Wahid

  • Bacquia, you say “the false accusations lobbed against them…of being spies or agents of a foreign power.” I wonder how you might explain a phenomenon such as Mia Pederson, then? Remember her?

    Wahid

  • Craig Parke

    annonymouz wrote:

    “It is an interesting thing you say and if this is what was actually conveyed, I may have agreed with you. But, yet again…way off mark and essentially a concoction of your imagination.

    Basically what you are saying is that things have changed and if this is the way to do it now, why wasn’t it back then? On the surface a valid and useful question to ask however, upon reflection yet another musing of Craig Parke.”

    annonymouz,

    In the 1960’s, 1970’s, and 1980’s everything was about “entry by troops”. I know this to be true. I was there. I believed every word of it and was very dedicated. It was taught to everyone that we must contribute money to building the Sacred Buildings of the Arc on Mt. Carmel. In these appeals we were told that once the Arc was completed the Lessor Peace would be established. I completely believed that too and sent money and was very glad to do it. I went to meeting after meeting on different committees for the U.S. NTC appointed DTC in my area and performed many organizational tasks for the nearest LSA year after year. At one point I went to a Baha’i meeting, prayer group, event, or committee five nights a week. I was glad to do it. I worked my behind off for the Faith. But then we were told by Glenford Mitchell in various speeches in the late 1990’s that “The Friends do not understand properly” and that “entry by troops” is really “the process of entry by troops”. Oh! Who knew all those years? I did not know that because that is not what the Institutions said for 30 years. Glenford Mitchell never told anyone else this 30 years before. I guess he had a revelation or something. I guess the entire UHJ did. But in current Baha’i speak it is really more accurate to say that the current authorized top down belief is that we are in “the process of the process of the process of entry by troops”. No one apparently really knows how many processes of processes there are. As long as we are taking the Ruhi Courses over and over the process we are actually in will just kind of meld in the general flow of processes in the Cosmos and only the UHJ will know in secret the actual process level we are in.

    The thing about the buildings on the Arc on Mt. Carmel apparently turns out to be our own misinformation among the rank and file too. They now say they certainly did not tell anyone to believe that. And now we are told that the belief that the “Lesser Peace” would come by 2000 was a mistranslation by Howard McNutt in Star of the West and he was almost declared a Covenant Breaker by Abdu’l-Baha anyway. I just didn’t know. I based my whole life on misinformation and the AO now says we were just misinformed dupes for believing such things.

    We were also told for almost 30 years that the LSA’s were the bed rock of the future society and we must do everything to create them and save them. All the affairs of the Faith were to be administered by the LSA’s so this work was very important. Therefore, I gladly served on various committees for my nearest LSA over the years. I did many special assignments that took a lot of dedicated time and effort. Now we are told that was never true. The local LSA’s are not the engine of the Faith.

    The work of the Faith comes from the International Teaching Center through the appointed arm of “the Learned”. The Counselors and ABM’s and AABM’s run the Faith. What they say goes. They have full Administrative power over any LSA or Regional Baha’i Council in their area even to the point of annulling or preventing the election of membership on a Regional Baha’i Council elected from members of the LSA’s under them if it is deemed that there are not sufficient people available in the region who are not of a high enough caliber properly trained in the Institute Process using the Ruhi Full Sequence of Courses. I just did not know this. Everything I was taught was wrong.

    LSA’s are not the primary grass roots Institution of the Faith. The ABM’s and AABM’s are. What they say goes. And one of their new duties from the Guidelines from 2000 or 2001 is to see that files are to be opened on people in Haifa who are deemed not strong enough in the Covenant in some way. Anyone that has any thoughts or opinions against how things are being run. Or makes any unapproved comments on a Web Site like Alison Marshall did. Such people can be thrown out of the Faith at any time for any reason by First Class Postage common letter with no due process and that is that. I just did not know any of this for decades.

    But both Glenford mitchell and Peter Khan have said in their speeches that “the Friends did not understand properly”. But both of them were serving in the system in the 1960’s,1970’s, and 1980’s in positions of power. Why didn’t they inform us that we did not understand things properly?

    To me it is all quite Orwellian – OLDTHINK vs NEWTHINK as I have posted here. All my years of service were for self-deluded reasons and it was all my own fault.This is basically what they say in their speeches. To me it is “blame the victim”. But I do give them credit. These guys are good in their craft.

    But I just don’t see how a system like this can ever succeed because anything can be changed by anyone in lifetime incumbent authority at any time for any reason as they see fit with no accountability to anyone or any electorate and what went before can be completely erased from the organizational memory at will.

    I certainly do agree with you that Baha’u’llah had the right to change His religion at any time as He saw fit. But I just did not know that other people had that right too. I just didn’t. I was a dupe and I guess I have to bear the responsibility as both Glenford Mitchell and Peter Khan have pointed out in their speeches since the late 1990’s and early 2000’s.

    It is all a process of a process of a process and we must all keep doing the workbooks over and over. Forever. That is the new Plan. And that is the way it will be to everyone’s dying day on Earth both “Baha’i” and “non-Baha’i”. Forever. It is all an endless process of “organizational becoming”.

    So it goes.

  • Craig Parke

    annonymouz wrote:

    “It is an interesting thing you say and if this is what was actually conveyed, I may have agreed with you. But, yet again…way off mark and essentially a concoction of your imagination.

    Basically what you are saying is that things have changed and if this is the way to do it now, why wasn’t it back then? On the surface a valid and useful question to ask however, upon reflection yet another musing of Craig Parke.”

    annonymouz,

    In the 1960’s, 1970’s, and 1980’s everything was about “entry by troops”. I know this to be true. I was there. I believed every word of it and was very dedicated. It was taught to everyone that we must contribute money to building the Sacred Buildings of the Arc on Mt. Carmel. In these appeals we were told that once the Arc was completed the Lessor Peace would be established. I completely believed that too and sent money and was very glad to do it. I went to meeting after meeting on different committees for the U.S. NTC appointed DTC in my area and performed many organizational tasks for the nearest LSA year after year. At one point I went to a Baha’i meeting, prayer group, event, or committee five nights a week. I was glad to do it. I worked my behind off for the Faith. But then we were told by Glenford Mitchell in various speeches in the late 1990’s that “The Friends do not understand properly” and that “entry by troops” is really “the process of entry by troops”. Oh! Who knew all those years? I did not know that because that is not what the Institutions said for 30 years. Glenford Mitchell never told anyone else this 30 years before. I guess he had a revelation or something. I guess the entire UHJ did. But in current Baha’i speak it is really more accurate to say that the current authorized top down belief is that we are in “the process of the process of the process of entry by troops”. No one apparently really knows how many processes of processes there are. As long as we are taking the Ruhi Courses over and over the process we are actually in will just kind of meld in the general flow of processes in the Cosmos and only the UHJ will know in secret the actual process level we are in.

    The thing about the buildings on the Arc on Mt. Carmel apparently turns out to be our own misinformation among the rank and file too. They now say they certainly did not tell anyone to believe that. And now we are told that the belief that the “Lesser Peace” would come by 2000 was a mistranslation by Howard McNutt in Star of the West and he was almost declared a Covenant Breaker by Abdu’l-Baha anyway. I just didn’t know. I based my whole life on misinformation and the AO now says we were just misinformed dupes for believing such things.

    We were also told for almost 30 years that the LSA’s were the bed rock of the future society and we must do everything to create them and save them. All the affairs of the Faith were to be administered by the LSA’s so this work was very important. Therefore, I gladly served on various committees for my nearest LSA over the years. I did many special assignments that took a lot of dedicated time and effort. Now we are told that was never true. The local LSA’s are not the engine of the Faith.

    The work of the Faith comes from the International Teaching Center through the appointed arm of “the Learned”. The Counselors and ABM’s and AABM’s run the Faith. What they say goes. They have full Administrative power over any LSA or Regional Baha’i Council in their area even to the point of annulling or preventing the election of membership on a Regional Baha’i Council elected from members of the LSA’s under them if it is deemed that there are not sufficient people available in the region who are not of a high enough caliber properly trained in the Institute Process using the Ruhi Full Sequence of Courses. I just did not know this. Everything I was taught was wrong.

    LSA’s are not the primary grass roots Institution of the Faith. The ABM’s and AABM’s are. What they say goes. And one of their new duties from the Guidelines from 2000 or 2001 is to see that files are to be opened on people in Haifa who are deemed not strong enough in the Covenant in some way. Anyone that has any thoughts or opinions against how things are being run. Or makes any unapproved comments on a Web Site like Alison Marshall did. Such people can be thrown out of the Faith at any time for any reason by First Class Postage common letter with no due process and that is that. I just did not know any of this for decades.

    But both Glenford mitchell and Peter Khan have said in their speeches that “the Friends did not understand properly”. But both of them were serving in the system in the 1960’s,1970’s, and 1980’s in positions of power. Why didn’t they inform us that we did not understand things properly?

    To me it is all quite Orwellian – OLDTHINK vs NEWTHINK as I have posted here. All my years of service were for self-deluded reasons and it was all my own fault.This is basically what they say in their speeches. To me it is “blame the victim”. But I do give them credit. These guys are good in their craft.

    But I just don’t see how a system like this can ever succeed because anything can be changed by anyone in lifetime incumbent authority at any time for any reason as they see fit with no accountability to anyone or any electorate and what went before can be completely erased from the organizational memory at will.

    I certainly do agree with you that Baha’u’llah had the right to change His religion at any time as He saw fit. But I just did not know that other people had that right too. I just didn’t. I was a dupe and I guess I have to bear the responsibility as both Glenford Mitchell and Peter Khan have pointed out in their speeches since the late 1990’s and early 2000’s.

    It is all a process of a process of a process and we must all keep doing the workbooks over and over. Forever. That is the new Plan. And that is the way it will be to everyone’s dying day on Earth both “Baha’i” and “non-Baha’i”. Forever. It is all an endless process of “organizational becoming”.

    So it goes.

  • Craig Parke

    While the Baha’is ran their religion completely into the ground with the worst possible leadership imaginable amid a herd of bullied cowards who will not stand up as free peoples, the entire rest of the world has moved on.

    DYLAN AT THE I HAVE A DREAM SPEECH
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-vhNCRlXm1s

    TODAY
    http://www.ireport.com/docs/DOC-186272

    JANUARY 20, 2009 – THE DAY HAS COME
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xk4_-5Hb6a8

    Congratulations to all Americans here that we have lived to see this day. At noon today I will be thinking of all the black troops I served with in my long ago youth. I will be thinking of my Father who served with 3,000 black troops in WWII. My Father and the troops he commanded loaded the ships at Tarawa that also brought the wounded out. Remember those who fought to preserve the rights of others that they, themselves did not have.

    This day has come. It is their Great Day.

    Praise God!

  • Craig Parke

    While the Baha’is ran their religion completely into the ground with the worst possible leadership imaginable amid a herd of bullied cowards who will not stand up as free peoples, the entire rest of the world has moved on.

    DYLAN AT THE I HAVE A DREAM SPEECH
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-vhNCRlXm1s

    TODAY
    http://www.ireport.com/docs/DOC-186272

    JANUARY 20, 2009 – THE DAY HAS COME
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xk4_-5Hb6a8

    Congratulations to all Americans here that we have lived to see this day. At noon today I will be thinking of all the black troops I served with in my long ago youth. I will be thinking of my Father who served with 3,000 black troops in WWII. My Father and the troops he commanded loaded the ships at Tarawa that also brought the wounded out. Remember those who fought to preserve the rights of others that they, themselves did not have.

    This day has come. It is their Great Day.

    Praise God!

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