New Pressures Brought Against Iranian Baha’is

There is no question that the persecution of Baha’is is escalating in Iran. I wrote about this years ago as the Hojjatieh Society was re-asserting itself. Since 2005 about 200 Baha’is have been arrested with about a quarter of that number in just the past 2 months.

Here’s what I wrote back then:

The recent arrests and persecution of Baha’is in Iran are, I’m afraid, only the beginning of a renewed campaign of persecution…I pray that I am completely wrong in my understanding of the situation and wholly ignorant of the real political cross currents in Iran. I pray so because if I am right, many Baha’is are in extreme and imminent danger.

I beg them to get out, for if I am wrong, the consequence is acceptable. They and their families can build a life in one of many civilized countries in the world and simply go back when Iran’s future changes for the better. But if I’m correct, then the consequences of staying in Iran will be tragic.

According to sources from the IRI the 7 Baha’is in custody have ‘confessed’ to their crimes. There is a real danger that due to this so called confession, they may be executed. The BWC is doing whatever it can to highlight that it is not in the best interest of Iran to go forward with such a sentence. But even if this is stayed, there are darker clouds gathering on the horizon.

According to a letter written by the chief prosecutor to another government official, there is a recommendation to outlaw all Baha’i institutions, and any substitutes for such institutions.

This is the game that the Baha’is had played and gotten away with until now. That is, the official Baha’i institutions (NSA, LSA – 9 members) were illegal so they instead went with a 7 member institution that went by the name of ‘Yaran‘ or ‘Friends’. By any measure it was identical to an NSA, having the exact same authority, responsibilities and duties. This hardly camouflaged stratagem seemed to have been tolerated – until recently.

But if this becomes law, then the Baha’is in Iran are painted in a corner because the community is forced to operate as independent groups rather than as a cohesive organization. Perhaps this wouldn’t be disastrous under normal circumstances because then individual believers and groups would be autonomous but what you can be sure that what Iran has in mind is to isolate and weaken the Baha’is so that it can persecute them and harm them with impunity.

The most dangerous move by the IRI and a further ratcheting up of pressure is the very recent and official outlawing of Baha’i meetings or gatherings of any kind, even 19 day feasts. This does, in effect, isolate Baha’is and prevents them from even seeking each other’s company.

Although we hear just about the 7 ‘Friends’ there are many more Baha’is that are either in custody right now or are out on bail – having given up their means of livelihood and material possessions. Their lives are equally in peril. We don’t know their names as well as the quasi-NSA members but all in all there are about 30 of them in direct danger.

I am dumbfounded that as the storms slowly and systematically gathered, the Baha’is of Iran were instructed to stay and to endure. My prayers and thoughts go to them and their loved ones. I’m praying not only for their safety but also for the miracle that the UHJ/ITC will see the light and start to encourage and help them evacuate to safety.

There is a flight to safety with Iranian Baha’is leaving every day. But again, what I can not fathom is that an institution that should be there for them as support isn’t doing what it clearly demonstrated it could do to help them back in the 1980′s.

The history of persecutions, of course, stretches back all the way to the mid 1800′s – but here are just a few documented cases:

  • shahramrohani

    dear Baquia,
    from the msg of UHJ,dd05.03.2009,it seems that an amicable agreement is appearing.I
    believe brutal attacks,such as that of dr.nader Saeidi, on the Iranian government is not only useful,but against the interests of the Iran Bahai community.According to what we hv studied in the papers,during last 3 years,the current Iran government has an nti-hojjatieh
    group character.

  • shahramrohani

    dear Baquia,
    from the msg of UHJ,dd05.03.2009,it seems that an amicable agreement is appearing.I
    believe brutal attacks,such as that of dr.nader Saeidi, on the Iranian government is not only useful,but against the interests of the Iran Bahai community.According to what we hv studied in the papers,during last 3 years,the current Iran government has an nti-hojjatieh
    group character.

  • farhan

    Baquia wrote: I am dumbfounded that as the storms slowly and systematically gathered, the Baha’is of Iran were instructed to stay and to endure.

    Baquia, no one is “instructing” them to stay and endure. All Baha’is are being told to serve humanity where they are and not to flee their duties towards mankind. In many countries we are encouraged to acquire new talents so as to serve in our neighbourhoods. It so happens that for the some 350 000 Baha’is in Iran, their country needs them badly at this time. Not all of them are in a position to flee, and if some flee, the plight of those who stay would be worst; and why leave Iran, when the easiest flight would be a mere lip denial of their faith. Why not ask them all to give lip denial? You are obviously not in a position to give your life for the spiritual revival of humanity through the institutions of the Faith, so you cannot fathom the love of those who are. Only those who have been sincerely in love can understand. Here is how in a letter dated 4th of March, the BIC describes the implications of this crisis for Iran in a letter to Ayatollah Qorban-Ali Dorri-Najafabadi, Prosecutor General, Islamic Republic of Iran:

    Your Honor, the decisions to be taken by the judiciary in Iran in the coming days will have implications that extend well beyond the Bahá’í community in that land––what is at stake is the very cause of the freedom of conscience for all the peoples of your nation. It is our hope that, for the sanctity of Islam and the honor of Iran, the judiciary will be fair in its judgment.

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

    Baquia wrote: I am dumbfounded that as the storms slowly and systematically gathered, the Baha’is of Iran were instructed to stay and to endure.

    Baquia, no one is “instructing” them to stay and endure. All Baha’is are being told to serve humanity where they are and not to flee their duties towards mankind. In many countries we are encouraged to acquire new talents so as to serve in our neighbourhoods. It so happens that for the some 350 000 Baha’is in Iran, their country needs them badly at this time. Not all of them are in a position to flee, and if some flee, the plight of those who stay would be worst; and why leave Iran, when the easiest flight would be a mere lip denial of their faith. Why not ask them all to give lip denial? You are obviously not in a position to give your life for the spiritual revival of humanity through the institutions of the Faith, so you cannot fathom the love of those who are. Only those who have been sincerely in love can understand. Here is how in a letter dated 4th of March, the BIC describes the implications of this crisis for Iran in a letter to Ayatollah Qorban-Ali Dorri-Najafabadi, Prosecutor General, Islamic Republic of Iran:

    Your Honor, the decisions to be taken by the judiciary in Iran in the coming days will have implications that extend well beyond the Bahá’í community in that land––what is at stake is the very cause of the freedom of conscience for all the peoples of your nation. It is our hope that, for the sanctity of Islam and the honor of Iran, the judiciary will be fair in its judgment.

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

    Farhan, perhaps you have not read the letters of the UHJ but others have. And please do not put words in my mouth. What I've said is clear and what I haven't said is also clear. It is gross negligence to see the gathering storm approaching and to not take any action to save those in danger.

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

    Farhan, perhaps you have not read the letters of the UHJ but others have. And please do not put words in my mouth. What I've said is clear and what I haven't said is also clear. It is gross negligence to see the gathering storm approaching and to not take any action to save those in danger.

  • farhan

    Baquia, if you wish to understand why Baha’is choose to stay in Iran and express themselves, you might be interested in this article:
    http://www.iranian.com/main/blog/alborz/why-do-ba

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

    Baquia, if you wish to understand why Baha’is choose to stay in Iran and express themselves, you might be interested in this article:
    http://www.iranian.com/main/blog/alborz/why-do-ba

  • Craig Parke

    "…what is at stake is the very cause of the freedom of conscience for all the peoples of your nation."

    LOL!

    How can anyone in the New Baha'i Faith write THAT noble thought?

    Dissent and freedom of conscience is absolutely forbidden in the New Draconian UHJ/ITC Faith. This above statement is a shocking misrepresentation. No borrowing ideas from Thomas Jefferson allowed! These progressive and democratic ideas are copyrighted!

    "The passion for dissent which is such a prominent part of this culture is an icon of American mythology that must be understood in the light of the Teachings, specifically, the law of obedience to a government."
    - Douglas Martin
    Former Member of the Universal House of Justice
    Baha'i Faith

    "We have inherited a dangerous delusion from Christianity that our individual conscience is supreme. This is not a Baha'i belief. In the end, in the context of both our role in the community and our role in the greater world, we must be prepared to sacrifice our personal convictions or opinions. The belief that individual conscience is supreme is equivalent to 'taking partners with God' which is abhorrent to the Teachings of the Faith."
    - Douglas Martin
    Former Member of the Universal House of Justice
    Baha'i Faith

    "Politics, worldwide, is like a parlor game, a sideshow of sorts. We all know that it is often like a dog and pony show. Baha'is respect the democratic system because, while far from perfect, is represents the sole protection to the sense of order that the world knows at this time. However, we do not deceive ourselves that the present form of democracy evident in the world today represents, in any manner, the future model of the world body politic. Unfortunately, political action groups worldwide tend to act in a form of the'theatre of the absurd.'"
    - Douglas Martin
    Former Member of the Universal House of Justice
    Baha'i Faith

    Isn't the Baha'i Faith ITSELF acting like a blatant "political action group" in telling Baha'is to write their U.S. Congresspersons and Senators to protest the treatment of the Baha'is in Iran? I personally feel they have a full right to do so. Just don't call other groups that take actions on the abuse of their rights the "theatre of the absurd.'"

    The lifetime incumbent all highest professional AO members have spoken on their world tours and what they say trumps all. By their own words whoever wrote that letter to Iran is out of order and should be investigated immediately. It looks like the UHJ these days must investigate itself by it's own standards. The ongoing mind bending cognitive dissonance is so over the top that it is almost comedic.

    So it goes.

  • Craig Parke

    "…what is at stake is the very cause of the freedom of conscience for all the peoples of your nation."

    LOL!

    How can anyone in the New Baha'i Faith write THAT noble thought?

    Dissent and freedom of conscience is absolutely forbidden in the New Draconian UHJ/ITC Faith. This above statement is a shocking misrepresentation. No borrowing ideas from Thomas Jefferson allowed! These progressive and democratic ideas are copyrighted!

    "The passion for dissent which is such a prominent part of this culture is an icon of American mythology that must be understood in the light of the Teachings, specifically, the law of obedience to a government."
    - Douglas Martin
    Former Member of the Universal House of Justice
    Baha'i Faith

    "We have inherited a dangerous delusion from Christianity that our individual conscience is supreme. This is not a Baha'i belief. In the end, in the context of both our role in the community and our role in the greater world, we must be prepared to sacrifice our personal convictions or opinions. The belief that individual conscience is supreme is equivalent to 'taking partners with God' which is abhorrent to the Teachings of the Faith."
    - Douglas Martin
    Former Member of the Universal House of Justice
    Baha'i Faith

    "Politics, worldwide, is like a parlor game, a sideshow of sorts. We all know that it is often like a dog and pony show. Baha'is respect the democratic system because, while far from perfect, is represents the sole protection to the sense of order that the world knows at this time. However, we do not deceive ourselves that the present form of democracy evident in the world today represents, in any manner, the future model of the world body politic. Unfortunately, political action groups worldwide tend to act in a form of the'theatre of the absurd.'"
    - Douglas Martin
    Former Member of the Universal House of Justice
    Baha'i Faith

    Isn't the Baha'i Faith ITSELF acting like a blatant "political action group" in telling Baha'is to write their U.S. Congresspersons and Senators to protest the treatment of the Baha'is in Iran? I personally feel they have a full right to do so. Just don't call other groups that take actions on the abuse of their rights the "theatre of the absurd.'"

    The lifetime incumbent all highest professional AO members have spoken on their world tours and what they say trumps all. By their own words whoever wrote that letter to Iran is out of order and should be investigated immediately. It looks like the UHJ these days must investigate itself by it's own standards. The ongoing mind bending cognitive dissonance is so over the top that it is almost comedic.

    So it goes.

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

    farhan, please get your story straight and then share it. First you say the UHJ hasn't instructed them, then you say they have. It is futile engaging with you since you don't really say anything but manage an avalanche of verbiage.

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

    farhan, please get your story straight and then share it. First you say the UHJ hasn't instructed them, then you say they have. It is futile engaging with you since you don't really say anything but manage an avalanche of verbiage.

  • farhan

    Baquia wrote: It is gross negligence to see the gathering storm approaching and to not take any action to save those in danger.

    Baquia, I have read the letters of the UHJ; they indicate the best interests of humanity and oblige no one to serve them. It is shallow thought and gross negligence not to see the gathering calamity menacing humankind and to become merely concerned with the outcome of some 350 000 Baha’is and to leave the 70 million other Iranians to their plight. It so happens that non-Baha’is suffer immensely, and perhaps more than their Baha’i fellow citizens. Inviting the Baha'is to stay is like inviting doctors to serve on the site of an earthquake.

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

    Baquia wrote: It is gross negligence to see the gathering storm approaching and to not take any action to save those in danger.

    Baquia, I have read the letters of the UHJ; they indicate the best interests of humanity and oblige no one to serve them. It is shallow thought and gross negligence not to see the gathering calamity menacing humankind and to become merely concerned with the outcome of some 350 000 Baha’is and to leave the 70 million other Iranians to their plight. It so happens that non-Baha’is suffer immensely, and perhaps more than their Baha’i fellow citizens. Inviting the Baha'is to stay is like inviting doctors to serve on the site of an earthquake.

  • farhan

    Craig : How can anyone in the New Baha'i Faith write THAT noble thought?

    Farhan : Craig, there is no New Baha’i faith ; just the ancient Faith of God, eternal in the past, « eternal in the future ». After having been in decadence, it is being restructured anew, the essential core always the same.

    Craig : Dissent and freedom of conscience is absolutely forbidden in the New Draconian UHJ/ITC Faith.

    Farhan : individual freedom of conscience is promoted, just as and strict observance of community rules after a fair consultation.

    Craig: our individual conscience is supreme

    Farhan: individual conscience is supreme over personal matters, but we do not impose it on others, nor do we override community decisions, which is the psychological definition of a perversion. The belief that individual conscience is supreme is equivalent to 'taking partners with God’, which means we attempt to impose our view on others by harassment, disruption and discord.

    Craig: Isn't the Baha'i Faith ITSELF acting like a blatant "political action group"

    Farhan: No, Craig; the Baha’i Faith is acting as a beacon for the spiritual guidance of the world. It does not come in as a philanthropic church, gaining enrolments against material benefits, or as a substitute for the Red Cross or other humanitarian enterprises that Baha’is support as individuals and on whom they call in time of need.

    Craig: It looks like the UHJ these days must investigate itself by it's own standards.

    Farhan: The whole planet will be investigating, bearing witness to the spiritual decadence of the cradle of the Faith, and following its spiritual and social revival under the spiritual teachings, until they understand the meaning of “the Kingdom is God’s” and hence not in the hands of self appointed individuals.

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

    Craig : How can anyone in the New Baha'i Faith write THAT noble thought?

    Farhan : Craig, there is no New Baha’i faith ; just the ancient Faith of God, eternal in the past, « eternal in the future ». After having been in decadence, it is being restructured anew, the essential core always the same.

    Craig : Dissent and freedom of conscience is absolutely forbidden in the New Draconian UHJ/ITC Faith.

    Farhan : individual freedom of conscience is promoted, just as and strict observance of community rules after a fair consultation.

    Craig: our individual conscience is supreme

    Farhan: individual conscience is supreme over personal matters, but we do not impose it on others, nor do we override community decisions, which is the psychological definition of a perversion. The belief that individual conscience is supreme is equivalent to 'taking partners with God’, which means we attempt to impose our view on others by harassment, disruption and discord.

    Craig: Isn't the Baha'i Faith ITSELF acting like a blatant "political action group"

    Farhan: No, Craig; the Baha’i Faith is acting as a beacon for the spiritual guidance of the world. It does not come in as a philanthropic church, gaining enrolments against material benefits, or as a substitute for the Red Cross or other humanitarian enterprises that Baha’is support as individuals and on whom they call in time of need.

    Craig: It looks like the UHJ these days must investigate itself by it's own standards.

    Farhan: The whole planet will be investigating, bearing witness to the spiritual decadence of the cradle of the Faith, and following its spiritual and social revival under the spiritual teachings, until they understand the meaning of “the Kingdom is God’s” and hence not in the hands of self appointed individuals.

  • farhan

    Baquia, don’t you see a difference between "making a call for volunteers" and "instructing"? Thousands of Baha'is respond to calls for pioneering or for participating in building up human resources through the institute. No one is "instructed" to do so, but those who volunteer are guided as how best to serve, and those who cannot or who do not wish to serve in that particular field follow their own consciences. I am amazed at how difficult it seems for some of us to differentiate between personal and community enterprises, individual ambitions and the common good.

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

    Baquia, don’t you see a difference between "making a call for volunteers" and "instructing"? Thousands of Baha'is respond to calls for pioneering or for participating in building up human resources through the institute. No one is "instructed" to do so, but those who volunteer are guided as how best to serve, and those who cannot or who do not wish to serve in that particular field follow their own consciences. I am amazed at how difficult it seems for some of us to differentiate between personal and community enterprises, individual ambitions and the common good.

  • farhan

    Craig wrote: Just don't call other groups that take actions on the abuse of their rights the "theatre of the absurd.'"

    Craig, democracy is not “another group” but the best some of us are lucky to have at this time and which Churchill defined as «…the worst form of government, except for all those other forms that have been tried ». Baha’is agree that it is not the best mankind can ultimately adopt. One inconvenience of having two opposite political parties in permanent conflict is the loss of time and energy when party interests can lead to oppose their own opinions if others happen to enact them. In the Baha’i Faith loving consultation must replace party conflicts. The Baha’i Faith is not and IMO will never be a political system opposing other systems, but a conciliating force, which needs an administrative structure to organise and canalise its spiritual message. However, as citizens, we have to refer to the best available and at this time, it happens to be the democracies.

    It is the same with medicine. What I did 30 years ago is now considered as butchery, but people would have been worse off had I had not treated them. In time, a majority of diseases can be prevented or cured through an adequate diet, but science is not sufficiently advanced for that right now, so as we work towards something better, we have to refer to this medicine any way. Just read how the very best medicine available, meted to out King Charles II in 1685, sounds as “a theatre of the absurd” to us today:

    http://www.thebestwebsite.org/spirituality/death-

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

    Craig wrote: Just don't call other groups that take actions on the abuse of their rights the "theatre of the absurd.'"

    Craig, democracy is not “another group” but the best some of us are lucky to have at this time and which Churchill defined as «…the worst form of government, except for all those other forms that have been tried ». Baha’is agree that it is not the best mankind can ultimately adopt. One inconvenience of having two opposite political parties in permanent conflict is the loss of time and energy when party interests can lead to oppose their own opinions if others happen to enact them. In the Baha’i Faith loving consultation must replace party conflicts. The Baha’i Faith is not and IMO will never be a political system opposing other systems, but a conciliating force, which needs an administrative structure to organise and canalise its spiritual message. However, as citizens, we have to refer to the best available and at this time, it happens to be the democracies.

    It is the same with medicine. What I did 30 years ago is now considered as butchery, but people would have been worse off had I had not treated them. In time, a majority of diseases can be prevented or cured through an adequate diet, but science is not sufficiently advanced for that right now, so as we work towards something better, we have to refer to this medicine any way. Just read how the very best medicine available, meted to out King Charles II in 1685, sounds as “a theatre of the absurd” to us today:

    http://www.thebestwebsite.org/spirituality/death-

  • Craig Parke

    Farhan,

    The UHJ has thrown several people out of the Baha'i Faith by cowardly First Class Mail (they didn't even pay a little extra to use Registered Mail Return Receipt Required!) in the same kind of organizational behavior against human rights and individual conscience for which that they now condemn the current Mullahs of Shia islam in Iran in their treatment of the Baha'is.

    Please explain why when the UHJ ex-communicates or suspends the voting rights of members for their thoughts and ideas that are communicated to other people through their public free speech, on-line posts and emails, and published writings which are subsequently labeled as sedition by the UHJ that is any different from when the Mullahs condemn the Baha'is in Iran for sedition to the top down Islamic State?

    How do you explain this hypocrisy? And remember, Baha'u'llah condemned hypocrisy as the most damning spiritual condition possible.

  • Craig Parke

    Farhan,

    The UHJ has thrown several people out of the Baha'i Faith by cowardly First Class Mail (they didn't even pay a little extra to use Registered Mail Return Receipt Required!) in the same kind of organizational behavior against human rights and individual conscience for which that they now condemn the current Mullahs of Shia islam in Iran in their treatment of the Baha'is.

    Please explain why when the UHJ ex-communicates or suspends the voting rights of members for their thoughts and ideas that are communicated to other people through their public free speech, on-line posts and emails, and published writings which are subsequently labeled as sedition by the UHJ that is any different from when the Mullahs condemn the Baha'is in Iran for sedition to the top down Islamic State?

    How do you explain this hypocrisy? And remember, Baha'u'llah condemned hypocrisy as the most damning spiritual condition possible.

  • farhan

    Craig wrote : UHJ has thrown several people out of the Baha'i Faith by cowardly First Class Mail (they didn't even pay a little extra to use Registered Mail Return Receipt Required!)

    Farhan : I am in no position to comment the referee's decision, but IMHO, they were right in not wasting money of contributors when the local community would already be informed.

    Craig : in the same kind of organizational behaviour … for which that they now condemn the current Mullahs of Shia islam in Iran in their treatment of the Baha'is… why … that is any different from when the Mullahs condemn the Baha'is in Iran for sedition to the top down Islamic State?

    Farhan : I see the analogy of the offence, but the resulting reaction is incomparable. The UHJ acts like a referee who gives a yellow or red card to someone who rejects the rules of the game and defies his authority, telling him he can only come back if he complies. The IRI tries to get people recant, using torture, hanging, deportation, burnt houses, jobs lost, educational careers ruined, cemeteries desecrated, properties seized, kids mistreated in school, holy places destroyed, slander and hatred announced in the media, … did you ever see the UHJ to even harass someone with letters to gain back his adhesion?

    Craig: And remember, Baha'u'llah condemned hypocrisy as the most damning spiritual condition possible.

    Farhan: The UHJ is saying you are wasting your time; change your ways or choose another team or game; hypocrisy would be to say “we need members, please stay, we will change the rules to suite you, whatever your words or actions.”

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

    Craig wrote : UHJ has thrown several people out of the Baha'i Faith by cowardly First Class Mail (they didn't even pay a little extra to use Registered Mail Return Receipt Required!)

    Farhan : I am in no position to comment the referee's decision, but IMHO, they were right in not wasting money of contributors when the local community would already be informed.

    Craig : in the same kind of organizational behaviour … for which that they now condemn the current Mullahs of Shia islam in Iran in their treatment of the Baha'is… why … that is any different from when the Mullahs condemn the Baha'is in Iran for sedition to the top down Islamic State?

    Farhan : I see the analogy of the offence, but the resulting reaction is incomparable. The UHJ acts like a referee who gives a yellow or red card to someone who rejects the rules of the game and defies his authority, telling him he can only come back if he complies. The IRI tries to get people recant, using torture, hanging, deportation, burnt houses, jobs lost, educational careers ruined, cemeteries desecrated, properties seized, kids mistreated in school, holy places destroyed, slander and hatred announced in the media, … did you ever see the UHJ to even harass someone with letters to gain back his adhesion?

    Craig: And remember, Baha'u'llah condemned hypocrisy as the most damning spiritual condition possible.

    Farhan: The UHJ is saying you are wasting your time; change your ways or choose another team or game; hypocrisy would be to say “we need members, please stay, we will change the rules to suite you, whatever your words or actions.”

  • farhan

    Craig, I have found Abdu'-Baha's talk explaining why we need a spiritual solution to our material problems, through conciliation and not through dissidence:

    Jesus Christ came to teach the people of the world this heavenly civilization and not material civilization. He breathed the breath of the Holy Spirit into the body of the world and established an illumined civilization. Among the principles of divine civilization He came to proclaim is the Most Great Peace of mankind. Among His principles of spiritual civilization is the oneness of the kingdom of humanity. Among the principles of heavenly civilization He brought is the virtue of the human world. Among the principles of celestial civilization He announced is the improvement and betterment of human morals.

    Today the world of humanity is in need of international unity and conciliation. To establish these great fundamental principles a propelling power is needed. It is self-evident that the unity of the human world and the Most Great Peace cannot be accomplished through material means. They cannot be established through political power, for the political interests of nations are various and the policies of peoples are divergent and conflicting. They cannot be founded through racial or patriotic power, for these are human powers, selfish and weak. The very nature of racial differences and patriotic prejudices prevents the realization of this unity and agreement. Therefore, it is evidenced that the promotion of the oneness of the kingdom of humanity, which is the essence of the teachings of all the Manifestations of God, is impossible except through the divine power and breaths of the Holy Spirit. Other powers are too weak and are incapable of accomplishing this. (PUP, 14th April 1912)

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

    Craig, I have found Abdu'-Baha's talk explaining why we need a spiritual solution to our material problems, through conciliation and not through dissidence:

    Jesus Christ came to teach the people of the world this heavenly civilization and not material civilization. He breathed the breath of the Holy Spirit into the body of the world and established an illumined civilization. Among the principles of divine civilization He came to proclaim is the Most Great Peace of mankind. Among His principles of spiritual civilization is the oneness of the kingdom of humanity. Among the principles of heavenly civilization He brought is the virtue of the human world. Among the principles of celestial civilization He announced is the improvement and betterment of human morals.

    Today the world of humanity is in need of international unity and conciliation. To establish these great fundamental principles a propelling power is needed. It is self-evident that the unity of the human world and the Most Great Peace cannot be accomplished through material means. They cannot be established through political power, for the political interests of nations are various and the policies of peoples are divergent and conflicting. They cannot be founded through racial or patriotic power, for these are human powers, selfish and weak. The very nature of racial differences and patriotic prejudices prevents the realization of this unity and agreement. Therefore, it is evidenced that the promotion of the oneness of the kingdom of humanity, which is the essence of the teachings of all the Manifestations of God, is impossible except through the divine power and breaths of the Holy Spirit. Other powers are too weak and are incapable of accomplishing this. (PUP, 14th April 1912)

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

    Hi Farhan,

    You wrote:
    "The UHJ acts like a referee who gives a yellow or red card to someone who rejects the rules of the game and defies his authority, telling him he can only come back if he complies."

    I know first-hand that you are talking nonsense because I received the removal-of-membership email intended for my wife. A referee doesn't lie about gving repeated warnings when there were none. A referee gives a reason for carding a player. A referee is answerable to others. A referee's decision can be appealed. A referee does indeed set what is required for the return of a player – the House fails to.

    I would rejoice if the House acted with the integrity of a referee. Unfortunately it plays the expulsion card like a tyrant.

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

    Hi Farhan,

    You wrote:
    "The UHJ acts like a referee who gives a yellow or red card to someone who rejects the rules of the game and defies his authority, telling him he can only come back if he complies."

    I know first-hand that you are talking nonsense because I received the removal-of-membership email intended for my wife. A referee doesn't lie about gving repeated warnings when there were none. A referee gives a reason for carding a player. A referee is answerable to others. A referee's decision can be appealed. A referee does indeed set what is required for the return of a player – the House fails to.

    I would rejoice if the House acted with the integrity of a referee. Unfortunately it plays the expulsion card like a tyrant.

  • farhan

    Steve wrote: I would rejoice if the House acted with the integrity of a referee. Unfortunately it plays the expulsion card like a tyrant.

    Steve, I have never heard anything of the kind. I believe that before taking such a decision, the UHJ takes into consideration what the counsellors and the NSA of your country might have to say about the matter. They don’t just pick up a name on the list and remove someone’s voting rights and there is ALWAYS a possibility of return if the person accepts to abide by community rules. If you feel there has been a mistake, you can make an appeal through your NSA or Counsellors. Baha’is are always delighted when people come back, unless they insist on continuing whatever behaviour had been previously considered as deleterious to the community.

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

    Steve wrote: I would rejoice if the House acted with the integrity of a referee. Unfortunately it plays the expulsion card like a tyrant.

    Steve, I have never heard anything of the kind. I believe that before taking such a decision, the UHJ takes into consideration what the counsellors and the NSA of your country might have to say about the matter. They don’t just pick up a name on the list and remove someone’s voting rights and there is ALWAYS a possibility of return if the person accepts to abide by community rules. If you feel there has been a mistake, you can make an appeal through your NSA or Counsellors. Baha’is are always delighted when people come back, unless they insist on continuing whatever behaviour had been previously considered as deleterious to the community.

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

    "there is ALWAYS a possibility of return if the person accepts to abide by community rules?"

    Or a possibility of a possibility, since no-one has been told they may never return. But I've re-applied twice and been turned down, and so far as I know, no-one who has been disenrolled has ever been accepted back.

    In my case at least, I've no indication that the NSA or Counsellors had anything to do with the decision, or any idea that it was coming. Such decisions are the prerogative of the UHJ alone, according to its constitution.

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

    "there is ALWAYS a possibility of return if the person accepts to abide by community rules?"

    Or a possibility of a possibility, since no-one has been told they may never return. But I've re-applied twice and been turned down, and so far as I know, no-one who has been disenrolled has ever been accepted back.

    In my case at least, I've no indication that the NSA or Counsellors had anything to do with the decision, or any idea that it was coming. Such decisions are the prerogative of the UHJ alone, according to its constitution.

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

    I think you're just emoting Craig. I did get my disenrollment letter by registered post. The UHJ has never given reasons as far as I know, but has been willing to say what was not the reason, when asked. When Daniella Pinna wrote to the UHJ about my expulsion, they said that it was not because of the content of my book (as she had supposed). When someone else asked they said my expulsion was not based on review issues. You may think people are disenrolled for what they think and say, someone else may think they are disenrolled for something they've done, a third person may think that people are disenrolled because of the kind of person they are. It's all guesswork, because the UHJ doesn't explain its reasons.

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

    I think you're just emoting Craig. I did get my disenrollment letter by registered post. The UHJ has never given reasons as far as I know, but has been willing to say what was not the reason, when asked. When Daniella Pinna wrote to the UHJ about my expulsion, they said that it was not because of the content of my book (as she had supposed). When someone else asked they said my expulsion was not based on review issues. You may think people are disenrolled for what they think and say, someone else may think they are disenrolled for something they've done, a third person may think that people are disenrolled because of the kind of person they are. It's all guesswork, because the UHJ doesn't explain its reasons.

  • farhan

    Sen, the Aqdas states that Azal would be forgiven if he repented; he had attempted to kill the Manifestation of God. I know of a number of people who have had voting rights removed and restored, but I am not sure what the criteria might be for each mistake. Perhaps action through the NSA or counsellors might help see what can be done. I know I would do anything to get back my voting rights if I made some mistake and lost them. Good luck.

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

    Sen, the Aqdas states that Azal would be forgiven if he repented; he had attempted to kill the Manifestation of God. I know of a number of people who have had voting rights removed and restored, but I am not sure what the criteria might be for each mistake. Perhaps action through the NSA or counsellors might help see what can be done. I know I would do anything to get back my voting rights if I made some mistake and lost them. Good luck.

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

    You are assuming that people are disenrolled because they have done something, and are being punished. But the UHJ has never described disenrollment as a 'sanction' or indicated that there is something the disenrolled can do to get their rmembership back.

    There are at least 3 possibilities. disenrollment is:

    1) a punishment for some act unknown that the UHJ thinks the person has done
    2) a decision that a person is by nature not suitable for community membership
    3) a sanction for unorthodox ideas the persion has, or people say they have

    Speculation is free — but neither the disenrolled people or anyone else know anything, because the UHJ is not telling

    This is quite different to the closs of voting rights,

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

    You are assuming that people are disenrolled because they have done something, and are being punished. But the UHJ has never described disenrollment as a 'sanction' or indicated that there is something the disenrolled can do to get their rmembership back.

    There are at least 3 possibilities. disenrollment is:

    1) a punishment for some act unknown that the UHJ thinks the person has done
    2) a decision that a person is by nature not suitable for community membership
    3) a sanction for unorthodox ideas the persion has, or people say they have

    Speculation is free — but neither the disenrolled people or anyone else know anything, because the UHJ is not telling

    This is quite different to the closs of voting rights,

  • Craig Parke

    Hi Sen. Well I am glad they used Registered Post with at least one person. That IS indeed comforting. But that was the UHJ and that is a more class act.

    The US NSA just suspends people's voting rights by First Class regular mail to my knowledge of at least one case. But that is probably better than just a post card.

    But, then again, regular First Class postage itself is getting quite expensive here in the U.S. and U.S. Baha'i Fund contributions are way down and I am sure will get worse as people may have to buy dog food to live on here if things get much worse. I think we are up to 8.2 million unemployed and it is growing at 600,000 a month. So it is probably good to economize.

  • Craig Parke

    Hi Sen. Well I am glad they used Registered Post with at least one person. That IS indeed comforting. But that was the UHJ and that is a more class act.

    The US NSA just suspends people's voting rights by First Class regular mail to my knowledge of at least one case. But that is probably better than just a post card.

    But, then again, regular First Class postage itself is getting quite expensive here in the U.S. and U.S. Baha'i Fund contributions are way down and I am sure will get worse as people may have to buy dog food to live on here if things get much worse. I think we are up to 8.2 million unemployed and it is growing at 600,000 a month. So it is probably good to economize.

  • Craig Parke

    All true Farhan. It is just that the Baha'is will not be the planetary community that will carry out this mission with great distinction. It will be other, more spiritually advanced and capable communities of people.

  • Craig Parke

    All true Farhan. It is just that the Baha'is will not be the planetary community that will carry out this mission with great distinction. It will be other, more spiritually advanced and capable communities of people.

  • Craig Parke

    Farhan wrote:

    "Baha’is are always delighted when people come back, unless they insist on continuing whatever behaviour had been previously considered as deleterious to the community."

    That deleterious behavior is "thinking" Farhan. Because if a person is guilty of thought crimes against authorized orthodox belief as set forth by the binding interpretations and elucidations of both the UHJ and it's individual members they can be turned in at any time for investigation by the ABM and AABM apparatus and a file opened on them in Haifa. They can then be thrown out at any time even after 30 years of service because they are deemed to never really having been Baha'is because their beliefs are now deemed all incorrect.

    It is like the Catholic Church annulling a marriage after 30 years and 5 grown kinds. If they say you never had a marriage then that is what stands. They are the top down organization and what they say goes. If they say black is white, that is the "organizational truth" and that is what goes as in "How many fingers am I holding up, Winston?"

    Therefore, unless you have completely orthodox thoughts and interpretations as set forth in the rote Ruhi Books you, best not speak openly about any of your inner thoughts lest you be reported on and called in for polite inquisition.

    Unorthodox thinking is now very, very dangerous in the Baha'i Faith. Especially for people with families that of one person is denounced it could break up families. One best keep quiet.

    There have now been many cases like this in the New Ruhiized Faith.

    So it goes.

  • Craig Parke

    Farhan wrote:

    "Baha’is are always delighted when people come back, unless they insist on continuing whatever behaviour had been previously considered as deleterious to the community."

    That deleterious behavior is "thinking" Farhan. Because if a person is guilty of thought crimes against authorized orthodox belief as set forth by the binding interpretations and elucidations of both the UHJ and it's individual members they can be turned in at any time for investigation by the ABM and AABM apparatus and a file opened on them in Haifa. They can then be thrown out at any time even after 30 years of service because they are deemed to never really having been Baha'is because their beliefs are now deemed all incorrect.

    It is like the Catholic Church annulling a marriage after 30 years and 5 grown kinds. If they say you never had a marriage then that is what stands. They are the top down organization and what they say goes. If they say black is white, that is the "organizational truth" and that is what goes as in "How many fingers am I holding up, Winston?"

    Therefore, unless you have completely orthodox thoughts and interpretations as set forth in the rote Ruhi Books you, best not speak openly about any of your inner thoughts lest you be reported on and called in for polite inquisition.

    Unorthodox thinking is now very, very dangerous in the Baha'i Faith. Especially for people with families that of one person is denounced it could break up families. One best keep quiet.

    There have now been many cases like this in the New Ruhiized Faith.

    So it goes.

  • farhan

    Craig wrote : the Baha'is will not be the planetary community that will carry out this mission with great distinction. It will be other, more spiritually advanced and capable communities of people.

    Craig, let us leave God do His own work; the scene is set for the Divine Drama; each actor will chose to play his own role: some will tear down the old world order, others will participate in the blue print of the new one. For best results we have to harmonise our efforts, collaborate and cooperate. If you know of a more efficient community, you must adhere and send us back the recipe; we will integrate the valid suggestions and you can share our ideas with them: no competition, just loving collaboration.

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

    Craig wrote : the Baha'is will not be the planetary community that will carry out this mission with great distinction. It will be other, more spiritually advanced and capable communities of people.

    Craig, let us leave God do His own work; the scene is set for the Divine Drama; each actor will chose to play his own role: some will tear down the old world order, others will participate in the blue print of the new one. For best results we have to harmonise our efforts, collaborate and cooperate. If you know of a more efficient community, you must adhere and send us back the recipe; we will integrate the valid suggestions and you can share our ideas with them: no competition, just loving collaboration.

  • farhan

    Craig wrote : That deleterious behavior is "thinking" Farhan. Because if a person is guilty of thought crimes against authorized orthodox belief as set forth by the binding interpretations and elucidations of both the UHJ

    Craig I disagree : it is not thinking, but behaving. If you disagree with the Von Karajan’s interpretation of Beethoven, you don’t stand up in the middle of a public presentation to discredit your maestro and your orchestra, but you express yourself during rehearsals, providing constructive suggestions.

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

    Craig wrote : That deleterious behavior is "thinking" Farhan. Because if a person is guilty of thought crimes against authorized orthodox belief as set forth by the binding interpretations and elucidations of both the UHJ

    Craig I disagree : it is not thinking, but behaving. If you disagree with the Von Karajan’s interpretation of Beethoven, you don’t stand up in the middle of a public presentation to discredit your maestro and your orchestra, but you express yourself during rehearsals, providing constructive suggestions.

  • farhan

    Craig, Shoghi Effendi explains this (13 December 1939 to an individual believer):

    you had asked whether the believers have the right to openly express their criticism of any Assembly action or policy: it is not only the right, but the vital responsibility of every loyal and intelligent member of the Community to offer fully and frankly, but with due respect and consideration to the authority of the Assembly, any suggestion, recommendation or criticism he conscientiously feels he should in order to improve and remedy certain existing conditions or trends in his local Community, and it is the duty of the Assembly also to give careful consideration to any such views submitted to them by any one of the believers.

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

    Craig, Shoghi Effendi explains this (13 December 1939 to an individual believer):

    you had asked whether the believers have the right to openly express their criticism of any Assembly action or policy: it is not only the right, but the vital responsibility of every loyal and intelligent member of the Community to offer fully and frankly, but with due respect and consideration to the authority of the Assembly, any suggestion, recommendation or criticism he conscientiously feels he should in order to improve and remedy certain existing conditions or trends in his local Community, and it is the duty of the Assembly also to give careful consideration to any such views submitted to them by any one of the believers.

  • farhan

    Craig, Shoghi Effendi goes on to explain: "The best occasion chosen for this purpose is the Nineteen Day Feast, which, besides its social and spiritual aspects, fulfils various administrative needs and requirements of the Community, chief among them being the need for open and constructive criticism and deliberation regarding the state of affairs within the local Baha'i Community.
    But again it should be stressed that all criticisms and discussions of a negative character which may result in undermining the authority of the Assembly as a body should be strictly avoided. For otherwise the order of the Cause itself will be endangered, and confusion and discord will reign in the Community. "

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

    Craig, Shoghi Effendi goes on to explain: "The best occasion chosen for this purpose is the Nineteen Day Feast, which, besides its social and spiritual aspects, fulfils various administrative needs and requirements of the Community, chief among them being the need for open and constructive criticism and deliberation regarding the state of affairs within the local Baha'i Community.
    But again it should be stressed that all criticisms and discussions of a negative character which may result in undermining the authority of the Assembly as a body should be strictly avoided. For otherwise the order of the Cause itself will be endangered, and confusion and discord will reign in the Community. "

  • farhan

    Steve wrote : And what behaviour has the community considered to be deleterious in the case of sen or Alison?

    Steve, I cannot imagine sanctions without reason. Baha’is can express valid opinions in the wrong manner. This is a heritage of our present day society: trouble-shooting and “speaking out” can’t solve complex problems. We make mistakes, although doing our very best. How mistakes are pointed out, can be constructive or destructive. I help patients by suggestions and advice, not by listing mistakes. We want to CONCILIATE humanity, help everyone grow, not judging and attributing faults to each other. We read pages on what is wrong with the community, but no suggestions or proposals for making things better.

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

    Steve wrote : And what behaviour has the community considered to be deleterious in the case of sen or Alison?

    Steve, I cannot imagine sanctions without reason. Baha’is can express valid opinions in the wrong manner. This is a heritage of our present day society: trouble-shooting and “speaking out” can’t solve complex problems. We make mistakes, although doing our very best. How mistakes are pointed out, can be constructive or destructive. I help patients by suggestions and advice, not by listing mistakes. We want to CONCILIATE humanity, help everyone grow, not judging and attributing faults to each other. We read pages on what is wrong with the community, but no suggestions or proposals for making things better.

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

    Then you're not paying attention Farhan. You may not imagine it but sanctions do happen with no reason, no explanation, no due process, no transparency. And although you may not have read it, there are ample suggestions and proposals for making things better. Trouble is, like most people out there, you already have an idea and you ignore everything that potentially conflicts with that carefully constructed reality.

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

    Then you're not paying attention Farhan. You may not imagine it but sanctions do happen with no reason, no explanation, no due process, no transparency. And although you may not have read it, there are ample suggestions and proposals for making things better. Trouble is, like most people out there, you already have an idea and you ignore everything that potentially conflicts with that carefully constructed reality.

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

    Farhan, you seem to be fixated on the idea that expulsion is a punishment for something people have done. As I've point out (3x now) this is just a supposition on your part. The UHJ has not described these expulsions as punishments or sanctions, and does not tell the people involved that they have done something wrong. If you really cannot let go of your supposition, why dot write to the UHJ and ask them: "when people are removed from the rolls of the Bahais community, as in the cases of Sen McGlinn and Alison Marshall, is this a sanction for something they have done?"

    If you are clear that you are not asking what individuals are thought to have done, but just how to interpret the new phenomenon of expulsions, you may get a straight answer.

    _Sen McGlinn

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

    Farhan, you seem to be fixated on the idea that expulsion is a punishment for something people have done. As I've point out (3x now) this is just a supposition on your part. The UHJ has not described these expulsions as punishments or sanctions, and does not tell the people involved that they have done something wrong. If you really cannot let go of your supposition, why dot write to the UHJ and ask them: "when people are removed from the rolls of the Bahais community, as in the cases of Sen McGlinn and Alison Marshall, is this a sanction for something they have done?"

    If you are clear that you are not asking what individuals are thought to have done, but just how to interpret the new phenomenon of expulsions, you may get a straight answer.

    _Sen McGlinn

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

    Farhan, you seem to be fixated on the idea that expulsion is a punishment for something people have done. As I've point out (3x now) this is just a supposition on your part. The UHJ has not described these expulsions as punishments or sanctions, and does not tell the people involved that they have done something wrong. If you really cannot let go of your supposition, why not write to the UHJ and ask them: "when people are removed from the rolls of the Bahais community, as in the cases of Sen McGlinn and Alison Marshall, is this a sanction for something they have done?"

    If you are clear that you are not asking what individuals are thought to have done, but just how to interpret the new phenomenon of expulsions, you may get a straight answer.

    _Sen McGlinn

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

    Farhan, you seem to be fixated on the idea that expulsion is a punishment for something people have done. As I've point out (3x now) this is just a supposition on your part. The UHJ has not described these expulsions as punishments or sanctions, and does not tell the people involved that they have done something wrong. If you really cannot let go of your supposition, why not write to the UHJ and ask them: "when people are removed from the rolls of the Bahais community, as in the cases of Sen McGlinn and Alison Marshall, is this a sanction for something they have done?"

    If you are clear that you are not asking what individuals are thought to have done, but just how to interpret the new phenomenon of expulsions, you may get a straight answer.

    _Sen McGlinn

  • pey

    I helped the Fund out by asking them to stop sending me the American Bahai. I think that was my last contribution to the Fund! :)

  • pey

    I helped the Fund out by asking them to stop sending me the American Bahai. I think that was my last contribution to the Fund! :)

  • pey

    Well how can you give your suggestions if so many of us are barred from even attending the 19 Day feast?

  • pey

    Well how can you give your suggestions if so many of us are barred from even attending the 19 Day feast?

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

    Farhan wrote" not judging and attributing faults to each other."

    precisely. You have not only decided that you know the "real story" – : disenrollement is a sanction for behaviour — you have decided that that behaviour is judging and attributing faults to others – which you have just done. I am one of those you are attributing this fault to – but where's your evidence. I've written and published a lot, can you find one example of attributing faults that approaches your own blatant example? Do you expect to be expelled now? no? then perhaps there is something wrong with your reasoning. Run some diagnostics, see if the problem might be with the unfounded premise that started it

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

    Farhan wrote" not judging and attributing faults to each other."

    precisely. You have not only decided that you know the "real story" – : disenrollement is a sanction for behaviour — you have decided that that behaviour is judging and attributing faults to others – which you have just done. I am one of those you are attributing this fault to – but where's your evidence. I've written and published a lot, can you find one example of attributing faults that approaches your own blatant example? Do you expect to be expelled now? no? then perhaps there is something wrong with your reasoning. Run some diagnostics, see if the problem might be with the unfounded premise that started it

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

    Hi Farhan,

    We're not talking about removal of administrative rights. Were talking about removal of membership.

    you wrote:
    …there is ALWAYS a possibility of return if the person accepts to abide by community rules.

    Farhan, the people who have been removed from membership don't even know what it is they did wrong. Take the example of my wife: "The only explanation given her was that her 'behavior and attitude' disqualified her for Baha'i membership." (Karen Bacquet)

    And the people who have been removed from membership have made appeals, written to get clarification, requested reinstatement, and in various other ways tried to settle the matter. But they have been stonewalled at every turn.

    Baha’is are always delighted when people come back, unless they insist on continuing whatever behaviour had been previously considered as deleterious to the community.

    And what behaviour has the community considered to be deleterious in the case of sen or Alison?

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

    Hi Farhan,

    We're not talking about removal of administrative rights. Were talking about removal of membership.

    you wrote:
    …there is ALWAYS a possibility of return if the person accepts to abide by community rules.

    Farhan, the people who have been removed from membership don't even know what it is they did wrong. Take the example of my wife: "The only explanation given her was that her 'behavior and attitude' disqualified her for Baha'i membership." (Karen Bacquet)

    And the people who have been removed from membership have made appeals, written to get clarification, requested reinstatement, and in various other ways tried to settle the matter. But they have been stonewalled at every turn.

    Baha’is are always delighted when people come back, unless they insist on continuing whatever behaviour had been previously considered as deleterious to the community.

    And what behaviour has the community considered to be deleterious in the case of sen or Alison?

  • Craig Parke

    Farhan,

    I have repeatedly made the suggestion that there must be term limits in the Baha'i Faith. Terminal lifetime incumbency in the Baha'i Faith is now well past Soviet Politburo Communism in the Stalinist period. Everything now is ITC-UHJ "member for life". Such a system is never going to work. It is terminally incestuous. History shows ideological incest does not work just like actual physical incest does not work. Incest breeds genetic defects. As a medical doctor I am sure you know the name for this disease. It escapes me at the moment.

    there are people who have written to the UHJ about term limits. They say no. Everyone now is essentially "President for Life". That is the status quo and I doubt
    that it will ever change for the next 10,000 years. Why should it? These people have a nice little gig going. "Member for Life" is the system now. The worldwide Baha'i Electorate will never take up their great power. The people are too immature. They are children who would never confront their UHJ psychological "parents".

    This will never be changed. But people certainly have made the suggestion for open discussion and debate.

    Then there are other people who have written to the UHJ and never even gotten a reply. And some two or three years later. I think people are being civil and trying but the system is broken and has been for a very, very long time.

  • Craig Parke

    Farhan,

    I have repeatedly made the suggestion that there must be term limits in the Baha'i Faith. Terminal lifetime incumbency in the Baha'i Faith is now well past Soviet Politburo Communism in the Stalinist period. Everything now is ITC-UHJ "member for life". Such a system is never going to work. It is terminally incestuous. History shows ideological incest does not work just like actual physical incest does not work. Incest breeds genetic defects. As a medical doctor I am sure you know the name for this disease. It escapes me at the moment.

    there are people who have written to the UHJ about term limits. They say no. Everyone now is essentially "President for Life". That is the status quo and I doubt
    that it will ever change for the next 10,000 years. Why should it? These people have a nice little gig going. "Member for Life" is the system now. The worldwide Baha'i Electorate will never take up their great power. The people are too immature. They are children who would never confront their UHJ psychological "parents".

    This will never be changed. But people certainly have made the suggestion for open discussion and debate.

    Then there are other people who have written to the UHJ and never even gotten a reply. And some two or three years later. I think people are being civil and trying but the system is broken and has been for a very, very long time.

  • Curious

    Farhan,

    Then when is the rehearsal time for the Baha'i Administration?

  • Curious

    Farhan,

    Then when is the rehearsal time for the Baha'i Administration?

  • Craig Parke

    Farhan,

    Go back into the archives here. The UHJ gave no consideration to the US NSA's very serious and well thought out suggestions in the Ridvan 2007 Convention Report. They dismissed it out of hand without even reading it! The rejection letter from them was sent even before they had officially received it!

    I think this is in direct violation of both the letter and spirit of what Shoghi Effendi said in your quote.

    The ITC runs the Baha'i Faith. And the ITC literally is the total Ruhiization of the Faith. Top down. Period. No questions asked. If anyone doesn't like it they can leave. including the US NSA. That was pretty much the subtext of the UHJ letter which had to be written by computerized ITC automatic writing. The basic answer on every point was No, No, No, aaah, uh, No, No, No, and No!

    No suggestions are accepted or even tolerated in new the top down iron fisted ideology to fulfill the psychological needs of the lifetime incumbent masters.

    So it goes.

  • Craig Parke

    Farhan,

    Go back into the archives here. The UHJ gave no consideration to the US NSA's very serious and well thought out suggestions in the Ridvan 2007 Convention Report. They dismissed it out of hand without even reading it! The rejection letter from them was sent even before they had officially received it!

    I think this is in direct violation of both the letter and spirit of what Shoghi Effendi said in your quote.

    The ITC runs the Baha'i Faith. And the ITC literally is the total Ruhiization of the Faith. Top down. Period. No questions asked. If anyone doesn't like it they can leave. including the US NSA. That was pretty much the subtext of the UHJ letter which had to be written by computerized ITC automatic writing. The basic answer on every point was No, No, No, aaah, uh, No, No, No, and No!

    No suggestions are accepted or even tolerated in new the top down iron fisted ideology to fulfill the psychological needs of the lifetime incumbent masters.

    So it goes.

  • farhan

    Baquia wrote : Then you're not paying attention Farhan. You may not imagine it but sanctions do happen with no reason, no explanation, no due process, no transparency.

    Well Baquia, I am paying attention, not being in possession of all the facts, and not being responsible for decisions, I remain incredulous. As to suggestions, I asked once what your programme of suggestions would have been to the UHJ. I read many critics but very few suggestions on your blog.

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

    Baquia wrote : Then you're not paying attention Farhan. You may not imagine it but sanctions do happen with no reason, no explanation, no due process, no transparency.

    Well Baquia, I am paying attention, not being in possession of all the facts, and not being responsible for decisions, I remain incredulous. As to suggestions, I asked once what your programme of suggestions would have been to the UHJ. I read many critics but very few suggestions on your blog.

  • Craig Parke

    What? Huh? Please explain? Sen McGlinn wrote a book based on careful study and scholarship and got thrown out of the Faith because of it even though the UHJ says he wasn't. But they will given no public or private answer as to why he was thrown out?

    Kalimat Press – after years of dedicated service to the Faith – carried the book in their catalog and was therefore banned worldwide from doing business with the Institutions of the Faith.

    So you are saying that writing a book or selling it or speaking what you think is wrong because the top down UHJ orchestra is playing? When does a person get to speak up then on why the hapless orchestra cannot play? Our why their recordings are being bulldozed into a landfill decade after decade because their musicianship is horrible and their albums won't sell because of it. When is that ever permitted then?

  • Craig Parke

    What? Huh? Please explain? Sen McGlinn wrote a book based on careful study and scholarship and got thrown out of the Faith because of it even though the UHJ says he wasn't. But they will given no public or private answer as to why he was thrown out?

    Kalimat Press – after years of dedicated service to the Faith – carried the book in their catalog and was therefore banned worldwide from doing business with the Institutions of the Faith.

    So you are saying that writing a book or selling it or speaking what you think is wrong because the top down UHJ orchestra is playing? When does a person get to speak up then on why the hapless orchestra cannot play? Our why their recordings are being bulldozed into a landfill decade after decade because their musicianship is horrible and their albums won't sell because of it. When is that ever permitted then?

  • farhan

    Sen wrote: Farhan, you seem to be fixated on the idea that expulsion is a punishment for something people have done.

    I am not fixated, but only limiting myself to my present knowledge. Yes, I have seen withdrawals of voting rights as a sanction, but now that you remind me, people who make open and persistent declarations that show they disbelieve in important aspects of Baha’i teachings, are in fact announcing themselves as non Baha’is. For example, insistently showing disbelief, openly belittling and defying the decisions of the elected institutions, is a way of saying we no longer accept the covenant and we question the divinely instituted bodies.

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

    Sen wrote: Farhan, you seem to be fixated on the idea that expulsion is a punishment for something people have done.

    I am not fixated, but only limiting myself to my present knowledge. Yes, I have seen withdrawals of voting rights as a sanction, but now that you remind me, people who make open and persistent declarations that show they disbelieve in important aspects of Baha’i teachings, are in fact announcing themselves as non Baha’is. For example, insistently showing disbelief, openly belittling and defying the decisions of the elected institutions, is a way of saying we no longer accept the covenant and we question the divinely instituted bodies.

  • farhan

    Pey wrote:
    Well how can you give your suggestions if so many of us are barred from even attending the 19 Day feast?

    By complying with community rules and saying we wish to be considered as Baha’is, we can attend 19 day feasts, or else we can give suggestions during reflection meetings where every one can attend.

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

    Pey wrote:
    Well how can you give your suggestions if so many of us are barred from even attending the 19 Day feast?

    By complying with community rules and saying we wish to be considered as Baha’is, we can attend 19 day feasts, or else we can give suggestions during reflection meetings where every one can attend.

  • pey

    Ok here is some circular logic if I've ever seen it. Someone gets kicked out and doesn't understand why. He is barred from attending 19 feast where he is told is the "official" way in which to bring grievences before the community. So he can't defend himself or even understand how he has broken any rules because he's already told that he can't attend the venue in which he is supposed air his grievances. Wow, my head hurts now Farhan.

  • pey

    Ok here is some circular logic if I've ever seen it. Someone gets kicked out and doesn't understand why. He is barred from attending 19 feast where he is told is the "official" way in which to bring grievences before the community. So he can't defend himself or even understand how he has broken any rules because he's already told that he can't attend the venue in which he is supposed air his grievances. Wow, my head hurts now Farhan.

  • farhan

    Sen wrote: Farhan wrote" not judging and attributing faults to each other." precisely. You have not only decided that you know the "real story"

    Sen, I have no intent nor the capacity of judging any one; I am merely trying to understand the problem you raise, and the severe judgment I see passed on to the Baha’i institutions which I love and respect, knowing that I am obviously not competent in a matter I am not fully informed of.

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

    Sen wrote: Farhan wrote" not judging and attributing faults to each other." precisely. You have not only decided that you know the "real story"

    Sen, I have no intent nor the capacity of judging any one; I am merely trying to understand the problem you raise, and the severe judgment I see passed on to the Baha’i institutions which I love and respect, knowing that I am obviously not competent in a matter I am not fully informed of.

  • farhan

    Curious, rehearsal time is during 19 day feasts and reflection meetings. There is also a possibility of talking of these things in private with board members, Consellors, or writing to the institutions, helping them advance in maturity, instead of openly undermining them.

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

    Curious, rehearsal time is during 19 day feasts and reflection meetings. There is also a possibility of talking of these things in private with board members, Consellors, or writing to the institutions, helping them advance in maturity, instead of openly undermining them.

  • Craig Parke

    Farhan,

    The order of the Cause itself is indeed already endangered and confusion and discord reign because the Administrative Order of the Baha'i Faith is profoundly incompetent and could not run a drive thru at McDonalds.

    These are people that have no vision of reality. They cannot quarterback the team. From top to bottom the people just do not have the chops. It has failed decade after decade and it will continue to fail decade after decade. The people cannot consult at ANY level whatsoever starting with the UHJ itself.

    The closed system will continue to stagnate and fall behind the cutting edge energy of the entire world faster and faster at an ever accelerating rate.

    The people are too sheep like. They have no backbone in every land. The Ruhi gambit will fail too for one very simple reason: it is not spiritual because it forbids anyone from communing with their own heart. It is a shameful predatory system of completely contrived manipulation and thought control of victims.

    Many people give up on the Nineteen Day feast at some point in their experience. Making suggestions there is hopeless. It is continuous pissing in the wind. And eventually you just have to take your pants off and not come back because you are completely soaked in urine down the front.

    I used to get heart palpitations during the business part of the Baha'i Feast. It was all so hopeless. I had to save both my life and my mental health by not going anymore. I do not think a person's deranged religious system should ever be listed as a cause of death. If a person wants to change the world, the Baha'i Faith is no longer a very good place to try. The system is the very definition of the staus quo everywhere. Do not rock the boat is the watchword at all times and will be for the next 10,000 years and counting. these people cannot do a thing and never will be able to do anything.

  • Craig Parke

    Farhan,

    The order of the Cause itself is indeed already endangered and confusion and discord reign because the Administrative Order of the Baha'i Faith is profoundly incompetent and could not run a drive thru at McDonalds.

    These are people that have no vision of reality. They cannot quarterback the team. From top to bottom the people just do not have the chops. It has failed decade after decade and it will continue to fail decade after decade. The people cannot consult at ANY level whatsoever starting with the UHJ itself.

    The closed system will continue to stagnate and fall behind the cutting edge energy of the entire world faster and faster at an ever accelerating rate.

    The people are too sheep like. They have no backbone in every land. The Ruhi gambit will fail too for one very simple reason: it is not spiritual because it forbids anyone from communing with their own heart. It is a shameful predatory system of completely contrived manipulation and thought control of victims.

    Many people give up on the Nineteen Day feast at some point in their experience. Making suggestions there is hopeless. It is continuous pissing in the wind. And eventually you just have to take your pants off and not come back because you are completely soaked in urine down the front.

    I used to get heart palpitations during the business part of the Baha'i Feast. It was all so hopeless. I had to save both my life and my mental health by not going anymore. I do not think a person's deranged religious system should ever be listed as a cause of death. If a person wants to change the world, the Baha'i Faith is no longer a very good place to try. The system is the very definition of the staus quo everywhere. Do not rock the boat is the watchword at all times and will be for the next 10,000 years and counting. these people cannot do a thing and never will be able to do anything.

  • farhan

    Craig wrote: If anyone doesn't like it they can leave.

    Craig, I know that there are instances where institutions hold information that they cannot render public; it can concern the safety of Baha’is around the world, projects we do not understand, and which for different reasons cannot be made known, etc; We don’t have to leave at all, but put things into God’s hands; who are we to take the responsibility of the whole world on our shoulders? Time and time again, I have done my best, see myself facing a wall, and I just step sideways and let God do His own job. I have no private mission from God.

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

    Craig wrote: If anyone doesn't like it they can leave.

    Craig, I know that there are instances where institutions hold information that they cannot render public; it can concern the safety of Baha’is around the world, projects we do not understand, and which for different reasons cannot be made known, etc; We don’t have to leave at all, but put things into God’s hands; who are we to take the responsibility of the whole world on our shoulders? Time and time again, I have done my best, see myself facing a wall, and I just step sideways and let God do His own job. I have no private mission from God.

  • farhan

    Craig wrote: Please explain? Sen McGlinn wrote a book based on careful study and scholarship and got thrown out of the Faith because of it even though the UHJ says he wasn't

    Craig, I have no explanation, as I am not informed of the fact, nor do I have any authority or responsibility. All I can say is that we are not a political institution, but a spiritual one, based on Faith and belief, in which understanding is an essential aspect of our love.

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

    Craig wrote: Please explain? Sen McGlinn wrote a book based on careful study and scholarship and got thrown out of the Faith because of it even though the UHJ says he wasn't

    Craig, I have no explanation, as I am not informed of the fact, nor do I have any authority or responsibility. All I can say is that we are not a political institution, but a spiritual one, based on Faith and belief, in which understanding is an essential aspect of our love.

  • farhan

    Pey wrote: he can't attend the venue in which he is supposed air his grievances

    Pey, the meetings are not intended for “airing grievances” but for consulting on how best serve humanity. We do not come to the Faith to advance our own purposes, but to see how we can contribute to the betterment of humanity. We are supposed to give our ideas, then having accomplished our duty to God and humanity, step aside and let God do His work. We are not supposed to enter into conflict and contention with any one, but help create a unified and harmonious community. It is better to make a mistake in love and unity, and then correct it, rather than to end up in a hopeless chaos

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

    Pey wrote: he can't attend the venue in which he is supposed air his grievances

    Pey, the meetings are not intended for “airing grievances” but for consulting on how best serve humanity. We do not come to the Faith to advance our own purposes, but to see how we can contribute to the betterment of humanity. We are supposed to give our ideas, then having accomplished our duty to God and humanity, step aside and let God do His work. We are not supposed to enter into conflict and contention with any one, but help create a unified and harmonious community. It is better to make a mistake in love and unity, and then correct it, rather than to end up in a hopeless chaos

  • pey

    well some of us do see hopeless in the Bahai community where you obviously see unity. But I guess you are right Farhan, by kicking out enough people and barring enough people, then you will have a nice tidy unified harmonius group of people. I didn't realize THAT was the mean by which the Bahai Faith would promote unity in the world.

  • pey

    well some of us do see hopeless in the Bahai community where you obviously see unity. But I guess you are right Farhan, by kicking out enough people and barring enough people, then you will have a nice tidy unified harmonius group of people. I didn't realize THAT was the mean by which the Bahai Faith would promote unity in the world.

  • farhan

    Craig wrote: The order of the Cause itself is indeed already endangered and confusion and discord reign

    Craig, so you feel that God’s age-old promise is being foiled? That God has become forgetful or senile? And perhaps if we rant enough He will wake up? Or perhaps he will put some of us in charge for reforming the whole mistake??? Cheer up Craig, I can assure you that I believe the contrary: God’s plan is being beautifully unfolded.

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

    Craig wrote: The order of the Cause itself is indeed already endangered and confusion and discord reign

    Craig, so you feel that God’s age-old promise is being foiled? That God has become forgetful or senile? And perhaps if we rant enough He will wake up? Or perhaps he will put some of us in charge for reforming the whole mistake??? Cheer up Craig, I can assure you that I believe the contrary: God’s plan is being beautifully unfolded.

  • pey

    yeah beautifully. As long as gays are left out, scholars are left out. activists are left out, etc etc. then we have a nice, tidy homogenous (in group thinking) group that represents God's plan. I'm sure the Jehova's Witnesses are thinking the exact same think right now. Hmm, I wonder if in another parallel online universe there is a JW rant page with one devout soldier telling everyone how God's plan is unfolding perfectly regardless of what all the ranting you read online.

  • pey

    yeah beautifully. As long as gays are left out, scholars are left out. activists are left out, etc etc. then we have a nice, tidy homogenous (in group thinking) group that represents God's plan. I'm sure the Jehova's Witnesses are thinking the exact same think right now. Hmm, I wonder if in another parallel online universe there is a JW rant page with one devout soldier telling everyone how God's plan is unfolding perfectly regardless of what all the ranting you read online.

  • Craig Parke

    Yep. But God(ess) has definitely NOT become forgetful or senile! God(ess) is ever vigilant. God(ess) has simply pulled the plug because the Baha'is have failed to maintain an acceptable daily minimum standard of intelligence, competence, and situational acumen.

    I think God(ess) just got fed up and started the ball rolling by getting fed up and pulling Shoghi Effendi off the planet in 1957 with an always handy bad cold technique because the man simply did not do his job as he was commanded to do in the Will and Testament of Abdu'l Baha. You only get so much time to get things together. Time was up. So that is pretty much an indication that God(ess) was fed up. Untimely death always sends a message.

    But I do agree that God(ess)'s Plan is indeed being beautifully unfolded…but by OTHER PEOPLE. Not by the hapless and passive Baha'is at all who basically sit on the sidelines of life and do absolutely nothing at all to effect actual events of change in the world but then show up after everyone else with passion and a heart have done all the work.

    The Baha'is just gleefully step over the bodies of dead American soldiers in every war and move on to the next half baked Five Year Plan merely saying that bitter death and carnage is just "God's work". After the storm they just show up and mumble some lip service as long as they, themselves, or their sons and daughters, do not have to serve in the U.S. Military or do any hard work in an election. The recent 2/16/09 letter from the US NSA praising the election of Barack Obama as President of the United States is a prime example.

    The Baha'is did absolutely nothing to help that happen and now show up with some lip service after everyone else as citizens of their country has done the heavy lifting. Those that do the heavy lifting on the issues facing the human race are doing the work of the World Age. Spiritually they are the Baha'is. They are doing the work of the Maid of Heaven – the Symbolic Spirit of the World Age. Those that sit on the side lines and do their Ruhi Books over and over and fill in the pre-assembled answers they are told to fill in to the point of rote mental illness think they are doing the work of the World Age. They are not.

    God(ess) will indeed establish the Kingdom of God on Earth by people who know it is WITHIN THEM . There is no workbook with pre-assigned fill-in-the-blank group think answers for that.

    That level of spiritual insight is God(ess) given to whosoever God(ess) decides. It doesn't come from getting a Ruhi Diploma to hang on the wall in the now dysfunctional World Order of Shoghi Effendi. But the World Order of Baha'u'llah as a System of Free and Open Planetary Spirit will be built by people who never heard and never will hear of either of them.

    The Internet now changes everything in every process on Earth except for the processes of the Baha'i Faith.

    I, myself, did very much like the 02/16/09 letter of the US NSA. It was sweet. For at least one page the BAO was part of the human race. That was indeed nice even though the Baha'is, themselves, did absolutely nothing through the whole thing.

    So it goes.

  • Craig Parke

    Yep. But God(ess) has definitely NOT become forgetful or senile! God(ess) is ever vigilant. God(ess) has simply pulled the plug because the Baha'is have failed to maintain an acceptable daily minimum standard of intelligence, competence, and situational acumen.

    I think God(ess) just got fed up and started the ball rolling by getting fed up and pulling Shoghi Effendi off the planet in 1957 with an always handy bad cold technique because the man simply did not do his job as he was commanded to do in the Will and Testament of Abdu'l Baha. You only get so much time to get things together. Time was up. So that is pretty much an indication that God(ess) was fed up. Untimely death always sends a message.

    But I do agree that God(ess)'s Plan is indeed being beautifully unfolded…but by OTHER PEOPLE. Not by the hapless and passive Baha'is at all who basically sit on the sidelines of life and do absolutely nothing at all to effect actual events of change in the world but then show up after everyone else with passion and a heart have done all the work.

    The Baha'is just gleefully step over the bodies of dead American soldiers in every war and move on to the next half baked Five Year Plan merely saying that bitter death and carnage is just "God's work". After the storm they just show up and mumble some lip service as long as they, themselves, or their sons and daughters, do not have to serve in the U.S. Military or do any hard work in an election. The recent 2/16/09 letter from the US NSA praising the election of Barack Obama as President of the United States is a prime example.

    The Baha'is did absolutely nothing to help that happen and now show up with some lip service after everyone else as citizens of their country has done the heavy lifting. Those that do the heavy lifting on the issues facing the human race are doing the work of the World Age. Spiritually they are the Baha'is. They are doing the work of the Maid of Heaven – the Symbolic Spirit of the World Age. Those that sit on the side lines and do their Ruhi Books over and over and fill in the pre-assembled answers they are told to fill in to the point of rote mental illness think they are doing the work of the World Age. They are not.

    God(ess) will indeed establish the Kingdom of God on Earth by people who know it is WITHIN THEM . There is no workbook with pre-assigned fill-in-the-blank group think answers for that.

    That level of spiritual insight is God(ess) given to whosoever God(ess) decides. It doesn't come from getting a Ruhi Diploma to hang on the wall in the now dysfunctional World Order of Shoghi Effendi. But the World Order of Baha'u'llah as a System of Free and Open Planetary Spirit will be built by people who never heard and never will hear of either of them.

    The Internet now changes everything in every process on Earth except for the processes of the Baha'i Faith.

    I, myself, did very much like the 02/16/09 letter of the US NSA. It was sweet. For at least one page the BAO was part of the human race. That was indeed nice even though the Baha'is, themselves, did absolutely nothing through the whole thing.

    So it goes.

  • Craig Parke

    Sorry, Farhan. Wrong World Age. I say every person on Earth is now personally responsible for putting the whole world on their shoulders. You have your above personal standard of limited responsibility. The world will be advanced by souls who see a much greater responsibility.

    Indeed, the Baha'is as a whole often smugly use their Institutions to evade any personal responsibility for anything whatsoever in life. I say this mentality has now become one of the major problems in the Faith. Just groupthink "support" the Institutions by bending over as commanded by a very tiny clique of people at the top and let the Institutions bear the responsibility for everything happening in the world. It is indeed a nice and tidy psychological transaction. Jut turn your will over to them and you don't have to take any personal responsibility for what happens in the world. Ever. I don't buy it.

    If someone gets maimed in Iraq or Afghanistan that is my PERSONAL RESPONSIBILITY to deal with. The Baha'is just personally evade everything. Just let the UHJ figure it out. Step over the bodies of the dead. Do nothing. Smoke a Ruhi Book. Be happy!

    I had expected something better. I had expected real engagement with the problems of the world over almost 38 years. I did not expect a crack pipe opiated cloud of what is essentially a fantasy that abuses the creative potential of human life. In that sense the "Plans" of the Baha'i Faith decade after decade are essentially spiritual pornography. It is all completely wasted "activist" fantasy. I wish it were otherwise but I see absolutely no possibility of bottom up change to the tragic dysfunctional group think of the present time. But it could all indeed yet change in 300-500 years with the incredible and free wheeling rise of the Internet. But not in the lifetime of anyone on this blog.

    So it goes.

  • Craig Parke

    Sorry, Farhan. Wrong World Age. I say every person on Earth is now personally responsible for putting the whole world on their shoulders. You have your above personal standard of limited responsibility. The world will be advanced by souls who see a much greater responsibility.

    Indeed, the Baha'is as a whole often smugly use their Institutions to evade any personal responsibility for anything whatsoever in life. I say this mentality has now become one of the major problems in the Faith. Just groupthink "support" the Institutions by bending over as commanded by a very tiny clique of people at the top and let the Institutions bear the responsibility for everything happening in the world. It is indeed a nice and tidy psychological transaction. Jut turn your will over to them and you don't have to take any personal responsibility for what happens in the world. Ever. I don't buy it.

    If someone gets maimed in Iraq or Afghanistan that is my PERSONAL RESPONSIBILITY to deal with. The Baha'is just personally evade everything. Just let the UHJ figure it out. Step over the bodies of the dead. Do nothing. Smoke a Ruhi Book. Be happy!

    I had expected something better. I had expected real engagement with the problems of the world over almost 38 years. I did not expect a crack pipe opiated cloud of what is essentially a fantasy that abuses the creative potential of human life. In that sense the "Plans" of the Baha'i Faith decade after decade are essentially spiritual pornography. It is all completely wasted "activist" fantasy. I wish it were otherwise but I see absolutely no possibility of bottom up change to the tragic dysfunctional group think of the present time. But it could all indeed yet change in 300-500 years with the incredible and free wheeling rise of the Internet. But not in the lifetime of anyone on this blog.

    So it goes.

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

    but now that you remind me, people who make open and persistent declarations that show they disbelieve in important aspects of Baha’i teachings, are in fact announcing themselves as non Baha’is. For example, insistently showing disbelief, openly belittling and defying the decisions of the elected institutions, is a way of saying we no longer accept the covenant and we question the divinely instituted bodies.

    If what you say does not apply to Sen and Alison then it is not pertinent. So why do you bring it up?

    If what you say does apply to Sen and Alison then you need to back up your poisonous words with examples of "open and persistent declarations that show they disbelieve in important aspects of Baha’i teachings" and them "insistently showing disbelief, openly belittling and defying the decisions of the elected institutions".

    All we're getting from you are baseless assertions. What happened to your notion that "we want to CONCILIATE humanity, help everyone grow, not judging and attributing faults to each other."?

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

    but now that you remind me, people who make open and persistent declarations that show they disbelieve in important aspects of Baha’i teachings, are in fact announcing themselves as non Baha’is. For example, insistently showing disbelief, openly belittling and defying the decisions of the elected institutions, is a way of saying we no longer accept the covenant and we question the divinely instituted bodies.

    If what you say does not apply to Sen and Alison then it is not pertinent. So why do you bring it up?

    If what you say does apply to Sen and Alison then you need to back up your poisonous words with examples of "open and persistent declarations that show they disbelieve in important aspects of Baha’i teachings" and them "insistently showing disbelief, openly belittling and defying the decisions of the elected institutions".

    All we're getting from you are baseless assertions. What happened to your notion that "we want to CONCILIATE humanity, help everyone grow, not judging and attributing faults to each other."?

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

    Did you actually read the post above? The one in which 4 years ago I predict the intensified persecutions which are happening now and based on them offer a suggestion? or rather implore? You are a prolific commenter, even when you don't have much to say, but it doesn't seem that you actually take the time to inform yourself.

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

    Did you actually read the post above? The one in which 4 years ago I predict the intensified persecutions which are happening now and based on them offer a suggestion? or rather implore? You are a prolific commenter, even when you don't have much to say, but it doesn't seem that you actually take the time to inform yourself.

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

    My dear Farhan, disagreement with a decision or policy is not the same thing as no longer accepting the convenant. Unfortunately ignorant Baha'is use the covenant as a blunt instrument to silence and bully. Although I'm sure you are above such petty behavior, I'm sure that you are intelligent enough to see this within the community.

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

    My dear Farhan, disagreement with a decision or policy is not the same thing as no longer accepting the convenant. Unfortunately ignorant Baha'is use the covenant as a blunt instrument to silence and bully. Although I'm sure you are above such petty behavior, I'm sure that you are intelligent enough to see this within the community.

  • curious

    Farhan,
    Ok, so what I hear you say is…you believe that a Baha'i should not use the internet, media or other open forum to discuss issues that may cause the adminstration to feel uncomfortable or lose face. You do believe that the administration could be helped in maturation in a more closed setting.

    This leads me to the assumption that no matter what you really think about the UHJ, unenrollments and the like, you will not be critical of them here. This is an open forum.

    Farhan, I am not sure of your purpose here on this forum. I think you may be hoping to teach or defend the Faith. I actually like reading many of your posts and the reactions to them. Although, I wonder what you are trying to accomplish.
    No matter, you seem to be sincere in your love of your Faith and that comes through. I just hope you ARE using the closed setting to help the maturation of a whole bunch of Adminstrative souls.

  • curious

    Farhan,
    Ok, so what I hear you say is…you believe that a Baha'i should not use the internet, media or other open forum to discuss issues that may cause the adminstration to feel uncomfortable or lose face. You do believe that the administration could be helped in maturation in a more closed setting.

    This leads me to the assumption that no matter what you really think about the UHJ, unenrollments and the like, you will not be critical of them here. This is an open forum.

    Farhan, I am not sure of your purpose here on this forum. I think you may be hoping to teach or defend the Faith. I actually like reading many of your posts and the reactions to them. Although, I wonder what you are trying to accomplish.
    No matter, you seem to be sincere in your love of your Faith and that comes through. I just hope you ARE using the closed setting to help the maturation of a whole bunch of Adminstrative souls.

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

    Steve, I cannot imagine sanctions without reason.

    Sen has pointed out, three or four times, that removal of membership is not described by the House as a sanction. Why do you keep using that term? I mean, you're right, it is a sanction. I'm just amazed that you're going against the House on this. Are you sure you want to continue in this path?

    Baha’is can express valid opinions in the wrong manner. This is a heritage of our present day society: trouble-shooting and “speaking out” can’t solve complex problems.

    So what are you saying? That expressing valid opinions in the wrong manner is what is considered as deleterious to the community? As usual, I ask a simple, direct question, based Ruhi-like on exactly what you said, and you you can't give me a simple direct answer.

    We make mistakes, although doing our very best. How mistakes are pointed out, can be constructive or destructive. I help patients by suggestions and advice, not by listing mistakes. We want to CONCILIATE humanity, help everyone grow, not judging and attributing faults to each other.

    I'll try again. I assume that when you refer to "we" you mean Alison and Sen, since that's who we're talking about. Now, I can show you heaps of places where Alison and Sen have offered suggestions and advice. But, since you've made the accusation that they list mistakes, you need to back it up: So show me what mistakes Alison and Sen have listed.

    We read pages on what is wrong with the community, but no suggestions or proposals for making things better.

    Nonsense. I challenge you to back up your poisonous, insincere, blowhard words. Show me five pages where this occurs. OK, technically you only have to show me two. Two it is, then. Let's have them.

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

    Steve, I cannot imagine sanctions without reason.

    Sen has pointed out, three or four times, that removal of membership is not described by the House as a sanction. Why do you keep using that term? I mean, you're right, it is a sanction. I'm just amazed that you're going against the House on this. Are you sure you want to continue in this path?

    Baha’is can express valid opinions in the wrong manner. This is a heritage of our present day society: trouble-shooting and “speaking out” can’t solve complex problems.

    So what are you saying? That expressing valid opinions in the wrong manner is what is considered as deleterious to the community? As usual, I ask a simple, direct question, based Ruhi-like on exactly what you said, and you you can't give me a simple direct answer.

    We make mistakes, although doing our very best. How mistakes are pointed out, can be constructive or destructive. I help patients by suggestions and advice, not by listing mistakes. We want to CONCILIATE humanity, help everyone grow, not judging and attributing faults to each other.

    I'll try again. I assume that when you refer to "we" you mean Alison and Sen, since that's who we're talking about. Now, I can show you heaps of places where Alison and Sen have offered suggestions and advice. But, since you've made the accusation that they list mistakes, you need to back it up: So show me what mistakes Alison and Sen have listed.

    We read pages on what is wrong with the community, but no suggestions or proposals for making things better.

    Nonsense. I challenge you to back up your poisonous, insincere, blowhard words. Show me five pages where this occurs. OK, technically you only have to show me two. Two it is, then. Let's have them.

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

    If history has taught us anything, it is that a closed system is doomed to failure. If the Baha'i administration welcomed or even listened to feedback, there would be no need for Baha'is like myself or many others to be forced to such public forums. It is their total and insistent position to ignore, vilify and to punish all those that do not share their exact saccharin views that causes some Baha'is to become frustrated and estranged from the 'closed process' and to seek out more open venues.

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

    If history has taught us anything, it is that a closed system is doomed to failure. If the Baha'i administration welcomed or even listened to feedback, there would be no need for Baha'is like myself or many others to be forced to such public forums. It is their total and insistent position to ignore, vilify and to punish all those that do not share their exact saccharin views that causes some Baha'is to become frustrated and estranged from the 'closed process' and to seek out more open venues.

  • pey

    well isn't it obvious? Farhan is the face of the AO on this site. Either appointed or more than likely taken upon himself to represent. Always keeping the party line, but expressing in a facade of a seeker just trying to "understand" the issues. Sorry Farhan, but I just don't buy it anymore. Not that I want you to go away, because we definitely need that representation here. It helps the discussion. :o)

  • pey

    well isn't it obvious? Farhan is the face of the AO on this site. Either appointed or more than likely taken upon himself to represent. Always keeping the party line, but expressing in a facade of a seeker just trying to "understand" the issues. Sorry Farhan, but I just don't buy it anymore. Not that I want you to go away, because we definitely need that representation here. It helps the discussion. :o)

  • Craig Parke

    Baquia,

    As I have said here before, I once worked for Development Dimensions International (DDI) which is one of the premier management consulting and organization analysis companies in the entire world. I think the testing and evaluation hiring systems they developed (some of which I programmed) have processed something over 16 million people worldwide. They were a very solid and useful company.

    If there was one common theme in their analysis of management cycles in an organization it was that once you reached a totally closed system you are toast. You are done. You will eventually go into free fall. The last shot of the movie will be the Titanic vertical against the stars.

    This was a good 10 years ago so I am revealing no real secrets. We did allot of business with GM and Ford. I was just a software guy but I would often talk with people running executive testing and evaluation projects. GM was so entrenched in it's old school ways that they paid all this money for evaluations and studies and then never did anything about it. People still got promoted by who their golfing buddies were.

    Well the chickens have now all come home to roost. GM is on the ropes. But ten years ago you could see it coming. These idiots threw out their unprecedented starting advantage on the development of the modern electric car! to sell gas guzzling SUV's! Absolutely clueless management that could not foresee the times that were coming. An old boys club of hand-me-down groupthink. And so now they are in very real trouble.

    Once you hit a closed system you're done.

    All the founders of religions including Baha'u'llah were reformers of morose and moribund closed system. But no one who set up an organization based on their Teachings ever seems to get that fact and act accordingly! Jesus Christ was crucified by a closed system. Baha'u' llah was persecuted by a closed system. GM has been taken to mind bending financial destruction by a closed system. Once you hit a closed system level of functioning you have destroyed the seed corn. There are no new ideas from the shop floor or from the people walking point in life at the grass roots. There is no Spirit of Creativity and Innovation. At that point organizational death is at the doors.

    The people currently leading the Baha'i Faith are right out of the management of present day GM. Clueless ideologues with their heads hiding in the sand who have single handedly cut the Baha'i Faith off from the energies of the street and the shop floors of life. It is their way or the highway. It will be absolutely fatal.

    So it goes.

  • Craig Parke

    Baquia,

    As I have said here before, I once worked for Development Dimensions International (DDI) which is one of the premier management consulting and organization analysis companies in the entire world. I think the testing and evaluation hiring systems they developed (some of which I programmed) have processed something over 16 million people worldwide. They were a very solid and useful company.

    If there was one common theme in their analysis of management cycles in an organization it was that once you reached a totally closed system you are toast. You are done. You will eventually go into free fall. The last shot of the movie will be the Titanic vertical against the stars.

    This was a good 10 years ago so I am revealing no real secrets. We did allot of business with GM and Ford. I was just a software guy but I would often talk with people running executive testing and evaluation projects. GM was so entrenched in it's old school ways that they paid all this money for evaluations and studies and then never did anything about it. People still got promoted by who their golfing buddies were.

    Well the chickens have now all come home to roost. GM is on the ropes. But ten years ago you could see it coming. These idiots threw out their unprecedented starting advantage on the development of the modern electric car! to sell gas guzzling SUV's! Absolutely clueless management that could not foresee the times that were coming. An old boys club of hand-me-down groupthink. And so now they are in very real trouble.

    Once you hit a closed system you're done.

    All the founders of religions including Baha'u'llah were reformers of morose and moribund closed system. But no one who set up an organization based on their Teachings ever seems to get that fact and act accordingly! Jesus Christ was crucified by a closed system. Baha'u' llah was persecuted by a closed system. GM has been taken to mind bending financial destruction by a closed system. Once you hit a closed system level of functioning you have destroyed the seed corn. There are no new ideas from the shop floor or from the people walking point in life at the grass roots. There is no Spirit of Creativity and Innovation. At that point organizational death is at the doors.

    The people currently leading the Baha'i Faith are right out of the management of present day GM. Clueless ideologues with their heads hiding in the sand who have single handedly cut the Baha'i Faith off from the energies of the street and the shop floors of life. It is their way or the highway. It will be absolutely fatal.

    So it goes.

  • farhan

    Craig wrote: The recent 2/16/09 letter from the US NSA praising the election of Barack Obama as President of the United States is a prime example. The Baha'is did absolutely nothing to help that happen and now show up with some lip service after everyone else as citizens of their country has done the heavy lifting.

    Yes, Craig; Baha’is as individuals did what they felt had to be done; The Baha’is as an INSTITUTION are concerned with the spiritual uplifting of mankind and not by becoming a pressure group. As individuals we support humanitarian enterprises; as an institution we most certainly do not want to be mistaken as being one of these churches who invite adhesion by providing humanitarian assistance.

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

    Craig wrote: The recent 2/16/09 letter from the US NSA praising the election of Barack Obama as President of the United States is a prime example. The Baha'is did absolutely nothing to help that happen and now show up with some lip service after everyone else as citizens of their country has done the heavy lifting.

    Yes, Craig; Baha’is as individuals did what they felt had to be done; The Baha’is as an INSTITUTION are concerned with the spiritual uplifting of mankind and not by becoming a pressure group. As individuals we support humanitarian enterprises; as an institution we most certainly do not want to be mistaken as being one of these churches who invite adhesion by providing humanitarian assistance.

  • farhan

    Craig wrote: Jut turn your will over to them and you don't have to take any personal responsibility for what happens in the world.

    Craig, as individuals we are all invited to provide the spiritual assistance enclosed in god’s revelation at grass roots to those we are in contact with. The Institute is designed to help us acquire skills for this work. The Baha’i institutions are solely concerned with harmonising this vital enterprise. They do not interfere with the political upheavals around us.

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

    Craig wrote: Jut turn your will over to them and you don't have to take any personal responsibility for what happens in the world.

    Craig, as individuals we are all invited to provide the spiritual assistance enclosed in god’s revelation at grass roots to those we are in contact with. The Institute is designed to help us acquire skills for this work. The Baha’i institutions are solely concerned with harmonising this vital enterprise. They do not interfere with the political upheavals around us.

  • farhan

    Baquia wrote: The one in which 4 years ago I predict the intensified persecutions which are happening now and based on them offer a suggestion? or rather implore?

    Baquia, you suggested very generously, and your suggestion was ignored, just as all the wise suggestions to the Bab and to Baha’u’llah, and to the Baha’is in Iran to keep their ideas to themselves, just mark with a cross on the application sheet next to “Muslim” or else face persecution deportation. You chose deportation for them. Those who chose to stay in Iran so as to speak up their ideas get what they wanted. Does this look muddy to you?

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

    Baquia wrote: The one in which 4 years ago I predict the intensified persecutions which are happening now and based on them offer a suggestion? or rather implore?

    Baquia, you suggested very generously, and your suggestion was ignored, just as all the wise suggestions to the Bab and to Baha’u’llah, and to the Baha’is in Iran to keep their ideas to themselves, just mark with a cross on the application sheet next to “Muslim” or else face persecution deportation. You chose deportation for them. Those who chose to stay in Iran so as to speak up their ideas get what they wanted. Does this look muddy to you?

  • farhan

    Baquia wrote: I'm sure that you are intelligent enough to see this within the community.

    Yes, Baquia, I have seen all kinds of mistakes from fellow Baha’is, and I am ashamed to say that I also make some; we inherit from our environing society attitudes of arrogance, power seeking, pressure groups, etc, and it has been very painful to see it can happen within the Faith. It takes time to shake them off and slowly integrate a new identity in a new society. It will take generations and I am not in a hurry; I will contribute what I can during my life time and when times get stiff, I delve into the writings and I realise that we have a long way to go. I suggested the compilation “Unlocking the Power of action” which addresses these issues

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

    Baquia wrote: I'm sure that you are intelligent enough to see this within the community.

    Yes, Baquia, I have seen all kinds of mistakes from fellow Baha’is, and I am ashamed to say that I also make some; we inherit from our environing society attitudes of arrogance, power seeking, pressure groups, etc, and it has been very painful to see it can happen within the Faith. It takes time to shake them off and slowly integrate a new identity in a new society. It will take generations and I am not in a hurry; I will contribute what I can during my life time and when times get stiff, I delve into the writings and I realise that we have a long way to go. I suggested the compilation “Unlocking the Power of action” which addresses these issues

  • farhan

    Baquia wrote: a closed system is doomed to failure

    I agree, Baquia; the institute process is producing a totally open and autonomous community at grass roots, with a well defined structure harmonising all those efforts.

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

    Baquia wrote: a closed system is doomed to failure

    I agree, Baquia; the institute process is producing a totally open and autonomous community at grass roots, with a well defined structure harmonising all those efforts.

  • farhan

    Pey wrote: Farhan is the face of the AO on this site. Either appointed or more than likely taken upon himself to represent.

    Pey, my participation is personal and sincere. I respect your views and hope to be respected in mine as I share them. It is interesting that you suspect some kind of agenda behind my efforts here, as if everything people did or said had some hidden intent behind.

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

    Pey wrote: Farhan is the face of the AO on this site. Either appointed or more than likely taken upon himself to represent.

    Pey, my participation is personal and sincere. I respect your views and hope to be respected in mine as I share them. It is interesting that you suspect some kind of agenda behind my efforts here, as if everything people did or said had some hidden intent behind.

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

    again – LoL – nope, nothing but a wiiiiide
    open system here folks!

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

    again – LoL – nope, nothing but a wiiiiide
    open system here folks!

  • pey

    Why is it interesting? We all have agendas. Mine is to make the Bahai community the haven for ALL of humanity that I thought it was supposed to be. Yours is to repeat the party line, make the people that run the AO look perfect and do it all in a way that looks like you are somewhere in the middle when you are not. I see it for what it is and I'm entitled to my opinion. As you are entitled to yours. As the people who run the AO are entitled to theirs.

  • pey

    Why is it interesting? We all have agendas. Mine is to make the Bahai community the haven for ALL of humanity that I thought it was supposed to be. Yours is to repeat the party line, make the people that run the AO look perfect and do it all in a way that looks like you are somewhere in the middle when you are not. I see it for what it is and I'm entitled to my opinion. As you are entitled to yours. As the people who run the AO are entitled to theirs.

  • pey

    And you are entitled to your opinion Farhan. Yet there are many of us here who do respect the insitutions (maybe not some of the people in them, but the institutions themselves). Yet unlike you, we don't believe that the intent of respect was utter submission as a slave to a master. We are sincere Bahais who see no problem with criticising- the clash of opinions remember Farhan?

  • pey

    And you are entitled to your opinion Farhan. Yet there are many of us here who do respect the insitutions (maybe not some of the people in them, but the institutions themselves). Yet unlike you, we don't believe that the intent of respect was utter submission as a slave to a master. We are sincere Bahais who see no problem with criticising- the clash of opinions remember Farhan?

  • farhan

    Steve wrote : Sen has pointed out, three or four times, that removal of membership is not described by the House as a sanction.

    Steve, once again, I cannot make a statement on what happened in individual cases, since I am neither informed of the facts nor endorsed with a mission to mediate. I also agreed that removal of membership was not necessarily a sanction. IMHO, if in my words I express scepticism on essential beliefs, I will be openly saying that I disagree with the beliefs of the Baha’i Faith and hence I do not feel myself as a believer. The Baha’i Faith is not an association on rational facts; it is a covenant between believers and those who for whatever good reasons do not believe are free to say so and end their membership.
    Also, if we want to keep this exchange useful, I suggest avoiding personal attacks

    Steve wrote: If what you say does not apply to Sen and Alison then it is not pertinent. So why do you bring it up?

    Because we are examining various possibilities that can lead to losing membership. Once again, I have no intention of interfering with individual cases and I apologise if my hypothesis was found insulting.

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

    Steve wrote : Sen has pointed out, three or four times, that removal of membership is not described by the House as a sanction.

    Steve, once again, I cannot make a statement on what happened in individual cases, since I am neither informed of the facts nor endorsed with a mission to mediate. I also agreed that removal of membership was not necessarily a sanction. IMHO, if in my words I express scepticism on essential beliefs, I will be openly saying that I disagree with the beliefs of the Baha’i Faith and hence I do not feel myself as a believer. The Baha’i Faith is not an association on rational facts; it is a covenant between believers and those who for whatever good reasons do not believe are free to say so and end their membership.
    Also, if we want to keep this exchange useful, I suggest avoiding personal attacks

    Steve wrote: If what you say does not apply to Sen and Alison then it is not pertinent. So why do you bring it up?

    Because we are examining various possibilities that can lead to losing membership. Once again, I have no intention of interfering with individual cases and I apologise if my hypothesis was found insulting.

  • farhan

    Curious wrote: Although, I wonder what you are trying to accomplish. … I just hope you ARE using the closed setting to help the maturation of a whole bunch of Adminstrative souls.

    Curious, I stumbled on to this blog through Google and read questions that I had dealt with myself and saw it could help me advance and share my experience. I question and suggest in feasts and reflection meetings and in messages to the institutions. I avoid criticising, because I feel that it is counterproductive by producing resentment and not love, which is what makes grow. My attitude to the UHJ is one of total and immediate submission. I do not question their decision, but I am eager to figure out the wisdom behind them. It takes time, but on the long run I always see that their decision was divinely inspired.

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

    Curious wrote: Although, I wonder what you are trying to accomplish. … I just hope you ARE using the closed setting to help the maturation of a whole bunch of Adminstrative souls.

    Curious, I stumbled on to this blog through Google and read questions that I had dealt with myself and saw it could help me advance and share my experience. I question and suggest in feasts and reflection meetings and in messages to the institutions. I avoid criticising, because I feel that it is counterproductive by producing resentment and not love, which is what makes grow. My attitude to the UHJ is one of total and immediate submission. I do not question their decision, but I am eager to figure out the wisdom behind them. It takes time, but on the long run I always see that their decision was divinely inspired.

  • farhan

    We agree on sharing diverging opinions, Pey. I was pointing out to the fact that when we come to an exchange like this, we don’t necessarily have a goal to advance other than share experiences and learn; as to questionning, we know that the Aqdas specifically allows us to question even the Manifestation of God and a Baha'i month is named after this attribute. As to obedience to the UHJ, it has nothing to do with material facts but with inspiration and belief that come in where science has no established facts to offer.

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

    We agree on sharing diverging opinions, Pey. I was pointing out to the fact that when we come to an exchange like this, we don’t necessarily have a goal to advance other than share experiences and learn; as to questionning, we know that the Aqdas specifically allows us to question even the Manifestation of God and a Baha'i month is named after this attribute. As to obedience to the UHJ, it has nothing to do with material facts but with inspiration and belief that come in where science has no established facts to offer.

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

    LoL – what can I do other than just chuckle with mild amusement when you repeatedly don't read what I others write and instead copy/paste from what seems to be an endless Baha'i brochure. If only the world and its well being was served this easily.

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

    LoL – what can I do other than just chuckle with mild amusement when you repeatedly don't read what I others write and instead copy/paste from what seems to be an endless Baha'i brochure. If only the world and its well being was served this easily.

  • farhan

    Craig wrote : Once you hit a closed system level of functioning you have destroyed the seed corn..

    You are absolutely right Craig; a closed homogeneous system is dead. A lively community life is being organised by people at grass roots now. Just go and see the junior youth activities; it is permanent fountain of creativity, but at the same time, they accept the guide-lines that allow for planning activities on national and international levels. We have to strictly standardise the operating systems of computers, without which we cannot do creative individual work on them. We need a solid, rigid structure in which we can operate freely, or else we will function individually and rigidly on a floppy structure.

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

    Craig wrote : Once you hit a closed system level of functioning you have destroyed the seed corn..

    You are absolutely right Craig; a closed homogeneous system is dead. A lively community life is being organised by people at grass roots now. Just go and see the junior youth activities; it is permanent fountain of creativity, but at the same time, they accept the guide-lines that allow for planning activities on national and international levels. We have to strictly standardise the operating systems of computers, without which we cannot do creative individual work on them. We need a solid, rigid structure in which we can operate freely, or else we will function individually and rigidly on a floppy structure.

  • farhan

    Pey wrote: Not that I want you to go away, because we definitely need that representation here. It helps the discussion. :o)

    Pey, I am in no respect a representative of any administration and my views are entirely personal and subject to reconsideration and my allegiance is one of love for Baha'u'llah and for the institutions, however immature, He has ordained for sharing His teachings with the world. Thanks for welcoming my diverging opinions here and to all those who help advance my understanding in a warm and courteous manner. BTW, when you say "we definitely need" , are you including me in that "we" ? If not, who are you including in your group?

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

    Pey wrote: Not that I want you to go away, because we definitely need that representation here. It helps the discussion. :o)

    Pey, I am in no respect a representative of any administration and my views are entirely personal and subject to reconsideration and my allegiance is one of love for Baha'u'llah and for the institutions, however immature, He has ordained for sharing His teachings with the world. Thanks for welcoming my diverging opinions here and to all those who help advance my understanding in a warm and courteous manner. BTW, when you say "we definitely need" , are you including me in that "we" ? If not, who are you including in your group?

  • pey

    Of course I am Farhan. You have been on this site longer than I have. "We" is this online community if you want to call it that discusses things that would never be allowed inside the Bahai community- even though Bahaullah, as you correctly stated, allowed questions. I just wish more people like you and especially actual members of the AO would show up here. Since you have stated that you are in no way tied to the anyone in the administration and have no agenda. I'd like to have some representation to discuss all the topics on here- since there is no room for such discussion inside the Bahai community.

  • pey

    Of course I am Farhan. You have been on this site longer than I have. "We" is this online community if you want to call it that discusses things that would never be allowed inside the Bahai community- even though Bahaullah, as you correctly stated, allowed questions. I just wish more people like you and especially actual members of the AO would show up here. Since you have stated that you are in no way tied to the anyone in the administration and have no agenda. I'd like to have some representation to discuss all the topics on here- since there is no room for such discussion inside the Bahai community.

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

    Pey, no individual can represent an institution, be he a former member of the UHJ. A member of an institution would not be able to discuss as freely as myself without implicating the institutions. Curious questioned my motivations on this blog and this reminded me of Rabbi Lowe of Prague who went to the market one day, asking people if they had questions. When asked why, he replied that he had the answers, but needed the matching questions. We have the revelation, but for a better understanding, we need the matching questions that I meet on this blog, like the ones we see in Ruhi books ;-)…. Here is how Shoghi Effendi describes what in fact is an obligation:

    “To strive to obtain a more adequate understanding of the significance of Bahá’u’lláh’s stupendous Revelation must, it is my unalterable conviction, remain the first obligation and the object of the constant endeavour of each one of its loyal adherents. An exact and thorough comprehension of so vast a system, so sublime a revelation, so sacred a trust, is for obvious reasons beyond the reach and ken of our finite minds. We can, however, and it is our bounden duty to seek to derive fresh inspiration and added sustenance as we labor for the propagation of His Faith through a clearer apprehension of the truths it enshrines and the principles on which it is based. (WOB, 8th Feb 1934)

  • farhan

    Pey, no individual can represent an institution, be he a former member of the UHJ. A member of an institution would not be able to discuss as freely as myself without implicating the institutions. Curious questioned my motivations on this blog and this reminded me of Rabbi Lowe of Prague who went to the market one day, asking people if they had questions. When asked why, he replied that he had the answers, but needed the matching questions. We have the revelation, but for a better understanding, we need the matching questions that I meet on this blog, like the ones we see in Ruhi books ;-)…. Here is how Shoghi Effendi describes what in fact is an obligation:

    “To strive to obtain a more adequate understanding of the significance of Bahá’u’lláh’s stupendous Revelation must, it is my unalterable conviction, remain the first obligation and the object of the constant endeavour of each one of its loyal adherents. An exact and thorough comprehension of so vast a system, so sublime a revelation, so sacred a trust, is for obvious reasons beyond the reach and ken of our finite minds. We can, however, and it is our bounden duty to seek to derive fresh inspiration and added sustenance as we labor for the propagation of His Faith through a clearer apprehension of the truths it enshrines and the principles on which it is based. (WOB, 8th Feb 1934)

  • pey

    actually secretaries seem to speak for the AO all the time. And Bahai quote them left and rigth as the word of God. So why not send one of those secretaries here to rants?

  • pey

    actually secretaries seem to speak for the AO all the time. And Bahai quote them left and rigth as the word of God. So why not send one of those secretaries here to rants?

  • farhan

    Pey wrote : actually secretaries seem to speak for the AO all the time. And Bahai quote them left and rigth as the word of God.

    It is true that most institutions do not meet permanently, so they often use secretaries as their representatives, but I have met problems stemming from this that can lead to an abuse of authority. Discussions such as ours, help us to better understand the subject before approaching the institutions, but only guidance from the supreme body is the ultimate arbitration. If you read the “Institution of Counsellors”, you will notice that even counsellors and do not direct the believers or the elected institutions who hold authority, but they provide loving guidance that we are of course encouraged to value: http://bahai-library.com/published.uhj/counsellor

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

    Pey wrote : actually secretaries seem to speak for the AO all the time. And Bahai quote them left and rigth as the word of God.

    It is true that most institutions do not meet permanently, so they often use secretaries as their representatives, but I have met problems stemming from this that can lead to an abuse of authority. Discussions such as ours, help us to better understand the subject before approaching the institutions, but only guidance from the supreme body is the ultimate arbitration. If you read the “Institution of Counsellors”, you will notice that even counsellors and do not direct the believers or the elected institutions who hold authority, but they provide loving guidance that we are of course encouraged to value: http://bahai-library.com/published.uhj/counsellor

  • pey

    Cool. So that means Baquia can also get up in front of the Bahai community and give loving guidance that the community should take into consideration. I won't hold my breath for that day, but maybe…

  • pey

    Cool. So that means Baquia can also get up in front of the Bahai community and give loving guidance that the community should take into consideration. I won't hold my breath for that day, but maybe…

  • Curious

    Farhan,

    I understand your position and respect it, although I do not agree with it. I have spent time with many Baha'is so I am used to this position. I hope you don't mind if I ask a few more questions though…since in person, most Baha'is don't like such questioning.

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

  • Curious

    Farhan,

    I understand your position and respect it, although I do not agree with it. I have spent time with many Baha'is so I am used to this position. I hope you don't mind if I ask a few more questions though…since in person, most Baha'is don't like such questioning.

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

  • pey

    wow! great question. All my Bahai life, no one has ever asked that. You are right. I would even take it further. If they are infallible as most Bahai believe, shouldn't they just do the electing instead of leaving it up to us fallible human beings? I would think God could choose better than we can. Good question!

  • pey

    wow! great question. All my Bahai life, no one has ever asked that. You are right. I would even take it further. If they are infallible as most Bahai believe, shouldn't they just do the electing instead of leaving it up to us fallible human beings? I would think God could choose better than we can. Good question!

  • farhan

    Curious asked: why is there a need to go through an election for UHJ members if the complete Baha'i congregation is not suppose to question the UHJ decisions?

    Curious, to my understanding, we can question the UHJ, but accept its arbitration. The members act according to their conscience and have no responsibility towards their electors. The Baha’i mode of elections creates stability, and members might become old and tired as the work is very heavy and new geniuses might come up and the UHJ members themselves might sometimes hope to change collaborators. Also, as I gather, in the future, the number of members might be more than nine.

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

    Curious asked: why is there a need to go through an election for UHJ members if the complete Baha'i congregation is not suppose to question the UHJ decisions?

    Curious, to my understanding, we can question the UHJ, but accept its arbitration. The members act according to their conscience and have no responsibility towards their electors. The Baha’i mode of elections creates stability, and members might become old and tired as the work is very heavy and new geniuses might come up and the UHJ members themselves might sometimes hope to change collaborators. Also, as I gather, in the future, the number of members might be more than nine.

  • farhan

    Curious asked: why is there a need to go through an election for UHJ members if the complete Baha'i congregation is not suppose to question the UHJ decisions?

    Curious, to my understanding, we can question the UHJ, but must accept its arbitration. The members act according to their conscience and have no responsibility towards their electors. The Baha’i mode of elections creates stability, and members might become old and tired as the work is very heavy and new geniuses might come up and the UHJ members themselves might sometimes hope to change collaborators. Also, as I gather, in the future, the number of members might be more than nine.

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

    Curious asked: why is there a need to go through an election for UHJ members if the complete Baha'i congregation is not suppose to question the UHJ decisions?

    Curious, to my understanding, we can question the UHJ, but must accept its arbitration. The members act according to their conscience and have no responsibility towards their electors. The Baha’i mode of elections creates stability, and members might become old and tired as the work is very heavy and new geniuses might come up and the UHJ members themselves might sometimes hope to change collaborators. Also, as I gather, in the future, the number of members might be more than nine.

  • Curious

    Farhan,

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

  • Curious

    Farhan,

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

  • farhan

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

    It seems common sense that serving on the UHJ should not be a life appointment: individuals can change, the confidence of electors might change, and being re-elected gives members a sense of renewed mandate from the community. Stability in membership results from electors wishing to keep experienced members in office, and change just a few which are diversified and previous members remain common; hence, statistically, those already in office will get the maximum number of votes. As to being “time consuming” a few days of international convention every five years is surely very precious to the Baha’i world.

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

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

    It seems common sense that serving on the UHJ should not be a life appointment: individuals can change, the confidence of electors might change, and being re-elected gives members a sense of renewed mandate from the community. Stability in membership results from electors wishing to keep experienced members in office, and change just a few which are diversified and previous members remain common; hence, statistically, those already in office will get the maximum number of votes. As to being “time consuming” a few days of international convention every five years is surely very precious to the Baha’i world.

  • Curious

    "It seems common sense that serving on the UHJ should not be a life appointment: individuals can change, the confidence of electors might change, and being re-elected gives members a sense of renewed mandate from the community."

    And yet it is not common sense in the Baha'i Faith, is it? The UHJ members stay on until they ask to get out, and the confidence of electors does not change because they believe the members are infallible.

    What happened to not being critical, Farhan? If you would like to get into what is and isn't common sense, just say so. Common sense is not a Baha'i strong point.

    I

  • Curious

    "It seems common sense that serving on the UHJ should not be a life appointment: individuals can change, the confidence of electors might change, and being re-elected gives members a sense of renewed mandate from the community."

    And yet it is not common sense in the Baha'i Faith, is it? The UHJ members stay on until they ask to get out, and the confidence of electors does not change because they believe the members are infallible.

    What happened to not being critical, Farhan? If you would like to get into what is and isn't common sense, just say so. Common sense is not a Baha'i strong point.

    I

  • Curious

    Hi Pey,

    Thanks. I don't think I am going to get an answer though. It really does not make sense to me. I would like to understand where the disconnect is. Somewhere the Faith took a turn away from what I believe was intended. I like your offshoot question and where you took it on the other thread. When a group is given so much authority they can do what they want. Scary.

  • Curious

    Hi Pey,

    Thanks. I don't think I am going to get an answer though. It really does not make sense to me. I would like to understand where the disconnect is. Somewhere the Faith took a turn away from what I believe was intended. I like your offshoot question and where you took it on the other thread. When a group is given so much authority they can do what they want. Scary.

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

    Curious wrote : and the confidence of electors does not change because they believe the members are infallible.
    No Baha’i elector ever believes that an individual is infallible and hence are the best possible choice; the decisions of the UHJ are not individual decisions, but decisions result from a constant flow of information from and towards the grass roots.
    As to common sense, Voltaire once said that it was the world’s best distributed good since no one complains of not having enough; and you believe that either those not having enough are attracted to the Baha’i Faith or else those who approach the faith lose theirs!

  • farhan

    Curious wrote : and the confidence of electors does not change because they believe the members are infallible.
    No Baha’i elector ever believes that an individual is infallible and hence are the best possible choice; the decisions of the UHJ are not individual decisions, but decisions result from a constant flow of information from and towards the grass roots.
    As to common sense, Voltaire once said that it was the world’s best distributed good since no one complains of not having enough; and you believe that either those not having enough are attracted to the Baha’i Faith or else those who approach the faith lose theirs!

  • Curious

    He also said "Common sense is not so common". And yes I believe that to be true.

    And so you have taken us to a lighter subject although leaving my question unanswered. Infallibility versus a need for reexamination at election time. That's fine…perhaps there isn't a well defined answer.

  • Curious

    He also said "Common sense is not so common". And yes I believe that to be true.

    And so you have taken us to a lighter subject although leaving my question unanswered. Infallibility versus a need for reexamination at election time. That's fine…perhaps there isn't a well defined answer.

  • pey

    exactly. The electors confidence makes no difference. That would mean we are questioning the ability of that body to do its job because we may not have confidence in it's members? I thought Farhan's premise was individual Bahais make mistake but the UHJ never.

  • pey

    exactly. The electors confidence makes no difference. That would mean we are questioning the ability of that body to do its job because we may not have confidence in it's members? I thought Farhan's premise was individual Bahais make mistake but the UHJ never.

  • pey

    And that is exactly what I fear too. If you read close enough to ALL of Farhan's comments; never, not once has he even agreed to the mere possibility that they UHJ can make a mistake. It is always a focus back on mere Bahais. So if the UHJ can't make a mistake (which is bs because Shoghi Effendi said they could; that's why they needed a Guardian to keep them in check) then they should be able to do whatever they want and we submit- period. If they wanted to end all elections and just appoint future members, then that is their right. No one can question their decisions. I don't believe this was the intent of obedience that Abdul-Baha wanted. There can be a lot of leeway at the local community level while keeping a religious community united. Just look at the Catholics.

  • pey

    And that is exactly what I fear too. If you read close enough to ALL of Farhan's comments; never, not once has he even agreed to the mere possibility that they UHJ can make a mistake. It is always a focus back on mere Bahais. So if the UHJ can't make a mistake (which is bs because Shoghi Effendi said they could; that's why they needed a Guardian to keep them in check) then they should be able to do whatever they want and we submit- period. If they wanted to end all elections and just appoint future members, then that is their right. No one can question their decisions. I don't believe this was the intent of obedience that Abdul-Baha wanted. There can be a lot of leeway at the local community level while keeping a religious community united. Just look at the Catholics.

  • farhan

    Curious wrote: nfallibility versus a need for reexamination at election time.
    Curious, the idea of examination implies that those elected are not mere servants called into a heavy service in a particularly dangerous part of the world, but people seeking to conserve a privileged position on an institution for a self serving purpose, a situation much more frequently encountered in common life around us.

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

    Curious wrote: nfallibility versus a need for reexamination at election time.
    Curious, the idea of examination implies that those elected are not mere servants called into a heavy service in a particularly dangerous part of the world, but people seeking to conserve a privileged position on an institution for a self serving purpose, a situation much more frequently encountered in common life around us.

  • farhan

    Pey, it is not up to the institutions to "do the job" Institutions are mere channels that help individuals harmonise their capacities:

    The authority to direct the affairs of the Faith locally, nationally and internationally is divinely conferred on elected institutions. The power to act, however, resides primarily in the entire body of the believers. …. If the Cause is to realize Bahá'u'lláh's purpose for humankind, every institution of the Faith must be concerned with the release of power in both these expressions, as they are with ensuring the wise administration of the community's affairs. …. (UHJ, Institution of counsellors)

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

    Pey, it is not up to the institutions to "do the job" Institutions are mere channels that help individuals harmonise their capacities:

    The authority to direct the affairs of the Faith locally, nationally and internationally is divinely conferred on elected institutions. The power to act, however, resides primarily in the entire body of the believers. …. If the Cause is to realize Bahá'u'lláh's purpose for humankind, every institution of the Faith must be concerned with the release of power in both these expressions, as they are with ensuring the wise administration of the community's affairs. …. (UHJ, Institution of counsellors)

  • pey

    Flowery again Farhan. Do the institutions have tasks to do? Yes or no. A few posts back your hear bled for them because they are working so hard for the Faith. So obviously they have to do some job, no? Stay focused Farhan.

  • pey

    Flowery again Farhan. Do the institutions have tasks to do? Yes or no. A few posts back your hear bled for them because they are working so hard for the Faith. So obviously they have to do some job, no? Stay focused Farhan.

  • farhan

    Pey, call it flowery, I call it courtesy; yes the Baha’i institutions have work to do, but their work consists in assisting us in orienting our services, and not seizing power and authority and submitting us to their whims, as you seem to imagine fearfully. In addition, their guidance only concerns those who want to be guided by them, and not the millions who want to follow their own way of life, so no fears and nothing scary for those who want to keep their liberty of action. Someone recently compared the institutions to a GPS which you follow or switch off as you wish.

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

    Pey, call it flowery, I call it courtesy; yes the Baha’i institutions have work to do, but their work consists in assisting us in orienting our services, and not seizing power and authority and submitting us to their whims, as you seem to imagine fearfully. In addition, their guidance only concerns those who want to be guided by them, and not the millions who want to follow their own way of life, so no fears and nothing scary for those who want to keep their liberty of action. Someone recently compared the institutions to a GPS which you follow or switch off as you wish.

  • pey

    Now Farhan you and I both now that is hogwash. The actual Bahai Faith as explained by Bahaullah- yes the institutions are supposed to be only for those who choose to follow. But ultimately the goal is to have these institutions affect society at large- helping decision makers make laws. There are a number of examples where National bahai instutions have tried to affect through opinion letters the outcome of laws in countries. So it's not all that innocent and flowery as you try to portray. But you have some good training in dealing with such questions Farhan; I will admit! :o)

  • pey

    Now Farhan you and I both now that is hogwash. The actual Bahai Faith as explained by Bahaullah- yes the institutions are supposed to be only for those who choose to follow. But ultimately the goal is to have these institutions affect society at large- helping decision makers make laws. There are a number of examples where National bahai instutions have tried to affect through opinion letters the outcome of laws in countries. So it's not all that innocent and flowery as you try to portray. But you have some good training in dealing with such questions Farhan; I will admit! :o)

  • pey

    i meant to say what the Faith has developed into today under letters written on behalf of Shoghi Effendi…the ultimate goal is to make these institutions affect society at large.

  • pey

    i meant to say what the Faith has developed into today under letters written on behalf of Shoghi Effendi…the ultimate goal is to make these institutions affect society at large.

  • farhan

    Pey wrote: There are a number of examples where National bahai instutions have tried to affect through opinion letters the outcome of laws in countries.
    Pey, we all contribute to the general politics when we speak or behave, and obviously the aim of the Baha’is is precisely to share the jewel they possess with others. There is a huge difference between offering what we possess and a scary behaviour of a totalitarian institution dominating the planet, as you seem to imply. The perquisites of teaching are as such, exposed in a tablet of Baha’u’llah (in Tabernacle of Unity):
    “The children of men are all brothers, and the prerequisites of brotherhood are manifold. Among them is that one should wish for one's brother that which one wisheth for oneself. Therefore, it behoveth him who is the recipient of an inward or outward gift or who partaketh of the bread of heaven to inform and invite his friends with the utmost love and kindness. If they respond favourably, his object is attained; otherwise he should leave them to themselves without contending with them or uttering a word that would cause the least sadness.”

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

    Pey wrote: There are a number of examples where National bahai instutions have tried to affect through opinion letters the outcome of laws in countries.
    Pey, we all contribute to the general politics when we speak or behave, and obviously the aim of the Baha’is is precisely to share the jewel they possess with others. There is a huge difference between offering what we possess and a scary behaviour of a totalitarian institution dominating the planet, as you seem to imply. The perquisites of teaching are as such, exposed in a tablet of Baha’u’llah (in Tabernacle of Unity):
    “The children of men are all brothers, and the prerequisites of brotherhood are manifold. Among them is that one should wish for one's brother that which one wisheth for oneself. Therefore, it behoveth him who is the recipient of an inward or outward gift or who partaketh of the bread of heaven to inform and invite his friends with the utmost love and kindness. If they respond favourably, his object is attained; otherwise he should leave them to themselves without contending with them or uttering a word that would cause the least sadness.”

  • farhan

    Pey wrote : So if the UHJ can't make a mistake (which is bs because Shoghi Effendi said they could; that's why they needed a Guardian to keep them in check) then they should be able to do whatever they want and we submit- period.

    Pey, you are projecting on the members of Baha’i institutions what you see in the world around you. People do not become Baha’is, nor do they accept to serve on institutions in order to « do what they want ». They come in to serve humanity by applying God’s prescription for humanity. An example of this is the refusal of the Hands of the Cause to be candidates for the UHJ in 1963. Those who are power seeking and enter the field of service because of personal ambitions are soon disappointed and leave.

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

    Pey wrote : So if the UHJ can't make a mistake (which is bs because Shoghi Effendi said they could; that's why they needed a Guardian to keep them in check) then they should be able to do whatever they want and we submit- period.

    Pey, you are projecting on the members of Baha’i institutions what you see in the world around you. People do not become Baha’is, nor do they accept to serve on institutions in order to « do what they want ». They come in to serve humanity by applying God’s prescription for humanity. An example of this is the refusal of the Hands of the Cause to be candidates for the UHJ in 1963. Those who are power seeking and enter the field of service because of personal ambitions are soon disappointed and leave.

  • Pingback: If Infallible, Why Do We Need to Elect the UHJ? at Baha’i Rants

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

    Brilliant question. Loved it so much I wrote about it here, with my own attempt at an answer.

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

    Brilliant question. Loved it so much I wrote about it here, with my own attempt at an answer.

  • farhan

    Curious wrote : When a group is given so much authority they can do what they want. Scary.

    Don’t be scared, Curious. The authority of the UHJ only shelters the believers who seek that shelter, and if, as I believe it, in some centuries the entire world seeks that same shelter, it will only be offered too those who request their arbitration and not those who want to be arbitrated elsewhere. BTW, what better solution than an election do you offer? Or do you believe that personal conscience being supreme, each and every one can choose his and her individual line of action without any arbitration or coordination?

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

    Curious wrote : When a group is given so much authority they can do what they want. Scary.

    Don’t be scared, Curious. The authority of the UHJ only shelters the believers who seek that shelter, and if, as I believe it, in some centuries the entire world seeks that same shelter, it will only be offered too those who request their arbitration and not those who want to be arbitrated elsewhere. BTW, what better solution than an election do you offer? Or do you believe that personal conscience being supreme, each and every one can choose his and her individual line of action without any arbitration or coordination?

  • farhan

    Friends, here is a moving account by a prisonner in Iran:
    http://www.iranpresswatch.org/2009/04/setting-out

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

    Friends, here is a moving account by a prisonner in Iran:
    http://www.iranpresswatch.org/2009/04/setting-out

  • AmadodeDios

    A general comment to express my appreciation, which I will insert here in this discussion of administrative inadequacy.
    To our friends who have attempted to deal with the tremendous institutions (those that are supposedly infallible sometimes and those that are most certainly never infallible) my deepest thanks.
    Now that a couple of the rudest old coots are retiring from the UHJ, I was preparing a last-chance letter, suggesting that they straighten out their irresponsible actions before they leave forever.
    Having read through such attempts to elicit a reasonable response from these prideful bullies, I realize I can use my time more profitably than in explaining to dogs why they should stop barking at me.
    Friends, your suffering (annoyances, whatever) from dealing with these arbitrary tyrants have freed me (and perhaps lots of others) – like Baha'u'llah accepting chains to free us from ours.
    Very sincerely, thank you!
    Amado