Ruhi

I think its about time I let off some steam about the abomination plaguing the Baha´i community, known by its official name: Ruhi. Thanks to Marco who inspired me with his response to my previous entry on Baha´is and SED.Most defenders of the courses (its really more than just courses, for many communities it has become the end-all and the be-all) say that it is a good way for all Baha´is to have a common understanding of the Faith. How I wish this were so.

Unfortunately, Ruhi doesn´t really accomplish this because it is sadly deficient and downright incorrect. I don´t want to waste space here outlining the numerous errors and shortcomings of Ruhi. It has already been done elsewhere on the net, by fanatical defenders of the status quo, such as can be found on talk.relgion.bahai Even those who normally bend over backwards to accomodate the shortcomings of the the persons elected and appointed to work within the institutions, confess to Ruhi´s abismal content.

But if we leave aside the content of Ruhi, it is still one of the worst things that ever happened to the Baha´i international community because it has inculcated an introverted attitude within us. No longer are we interested in reaching out to the world and connecting with other people and groups with similar values. No longer are we interested in seeing how we can help those in need, or those less fortunate. No longer are we interested in truly deepening in the Writings through independent investigation of truth.

All of the above and more have been supplanted with the zombie-like Ruhi classes where navel gazing is the order of the day; where you park your brain at the door and pick it up when you leave (if you remember); where you memorize things and learn by repetition like a parrot rather than using your own imagination, intelligence and creativity; where whole communities become desperately and passionately preoccupied with how many of their members have done how many courses and filled out the blank spaces in books with the “correct” answers; where we hear such mind-numbing drivel such as What does our pyramid look like in our cluster? pass for wisdom (from the former ITC member, Paul Lample).

And long forgotten are Baha´u´llah and the Perfect Exemplar, Abdu´l-Baha and what they each have to teach us about how to live in this world.

As long as Baha? communites continue to be preoccupied with Ruhi and its myriad forms and variations, they will encase themselves in a bubble of their own making. They will be living away from the real world, as well as the life giving waters of the Writings.

Now, if you are feeling rather brave today, contact your nearest Jehova´s Witness church and ask them sweetly if you can attend one of their Bible study classes. Pretty soon you´ll come running out of the class like a bat out of hell, screaming at the top of your lungs. And I dare say your view of Ruhi will be somewhat different.

And that, is what I think of Ruhi (without resorting to four letter words).

Related Links:

Ruhi Redux: More thoughts on Ruhi (less emotional, more informative).

  • Anonymous

    Baquia, thank you for posting the truth about Ruhi. I sometimes wonder if it’s Haifa’s way of driving the independent thinkers out of the Faith so they’ll have nothing left but nice, compliant UHJ-worshipers who will never question anything ever again and leave the UHJ and ITC to get on with the important business of, well, whatever it is that they do in Haifa besides building more buildings and planting gardens they can’t afford to maintain (so they have to come begging for more more more money because we can’t let God’s Holy Mountain fall into disrepair, don’t you know). It’s all tremendously depressing, and it’s driving me, for one, right out of the Faith, because I will have no part of the mindless Ruhi-spewing that has become standard practice at every Feast and LSA meeting.

    Abdu’l-Baha must be spinning in his grave, and if this is the Baha’i Faith, then I don’t want to be a Baha’i.

  • Anonymous

    Baquia, thank you for posting the truth about Ruhi. I sometimes wonder if it’s Haifa’s way of driving the independent thinkers out of the Faith so they’ll have nothing left but nice, compliant UHJ-worshipers who will never question anything ever again and leave the UHJ and ITC to get on with the important business of, well, whatever it is that they do in Haifa besides building more buildings and planting gardens they can’t afford to maintain (so they have to come begging for more more more money because we can’t let God’s Holy Mountain fall into disrepair, don’t you know). It’s all tremendously depressing, and it’s driving me, for one, right out of the Faith, because I will have no part of the mindless Ruhi-spewing that has become standard practice at every Feast and LSA meeting.

    Abdu’l-Baha must be spinning in his grave, and if this is the Baha’i Faith, then I don’t want to be a Baha’i.

  • Anonymous

    I commend you for this entry in your blog! More and more people need to speak up if the Faith is to have any chance of survival. The Ruhi Training micro-managed plan is going to be absolutely catastrophic for the Faith. It may be the final chapter on the total destruction of the Baha’i Faith in the United States, Canada, and Europe.

    When I took Ruhi Book One over three months of my life it took everything I had to stop shaking my anger was so great in each amazing session. I thought I should reserve judgement until I took the entire class. I was pleasant and respectful. But there were tears of rage in my eyes the entire time.

    This material is a complete desecration of the Teachings of Baha’u’llah. The people responsible for this are going to face very severe judgement in the next life for what they have allowed to be done to the Baha’i Faith. I have not found anyone I know who would EVER, UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES, use this material to deepen anyone in the Faith that they brought in! It is a complete abomination and is going to take us to cataclysmic negative growth and eventual grave financial crisis. The disconnects in the Faith now are fast approaching Biblical proportions as an organization.

    I know many, many members of the rank and file who are furious. Many long time Baha’is who are contemplating leaving. Many will not write letters of resignation because they feel this is no longer the religion they joined and served for decades. They feel you can’t resign from something you never joined. The new Baha’i McFaith. People will just start walking out of the Faith after, in some cases, decades of faithful service! Just amazing that it has come to this.

    I think it is the final stop in our total destruction. I really do. The Ruhi Training is now the entire completely “manufactured” Baha’i Faith experience. I found the experience just appalling. A recent U.S. Feast letter said that declarations are at an all time low in the Faith even though there is all this preparatory teaching “activity” (ie. people being processed into Power Point Pie Charts on Ruhi Classes for ABM and AABM presentations.)

    Will these people ever figure out WHY? Duh! Because this whole top down micro-managed plan is completely deranged and it is going to lead to total catastrophy. Do you thing the powers that be will EVER figure this out? EVER connect the dots? No thinking person will EVER join the Baha’i Faith or stay in it with this whole straight jacket mindset.

    It has come to this after the lifelong effort of so many wonderful free thinking open minded people who built the Faith and are now no longer wanted.

    For me, it is now close to the end of the road if something doesn’t change soon. I will NOT sit in the same room with people who passively allowed something like this to be done to their religion.

    Move the camera in and hold on the cover of a stack of the Ruhi Books and fade to black with The Doors playing “The End.” That is where we are heading under the present completely blind leadership.

  • Anonymous

    I commend you for this entry in your blog! More and more people need to speak up if the Faith is to have any chance of survival. The Ruhi Training micro-managed plan is going to be absolutely catastrophic for the Faith. It may be the final chapter on the total destruction of the Baha’i Faith in the United States, Canada, and Europe.

    When I took Ruhi Book One over three months of my life it took everything I had to stop shaking my anger was so great in each amazing session. I thought I should reserve judgement until I took the entire class. I was pleasant and respectful. But there were tears of rage in my eyes the entire time.

    This material is a complete desecration of the Teachings of Baha’u’llah. The people responsible for this are going to face very severe judgement in the next life for what they have allowed to be done to the Baha’i Faith. I have not found anyone I know who would EVER, UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES, use this material to deepen anyone in the Faith that they brought in! It is a complete abomination and is going to take us to cataclysmic negative growth and eventual grave financial crisis. The disconnects in the Faith now are fast approaching Biblical proportions as an organization.

    I know many, many members of the rank and file who are furious. Many long time Baha’is who are contemplating leaving. Many will not write letters of resignation because they feel this is no longer the religion they joined and served for decades. They feel you can’t resign from something you never joined. The new Baha’i McFaith. People will just start walking out of the Faith after, in some cases, decades of faithful service! Just amazing that it has come to this.

    I think it is the final stop in our total destruction. I really do. The Ruhi Training is now the entire completely “manufactured” Baha’i Faith experience. I found the experience just appalling. A recent U.S. Feast letter said that declarations are at an all time low in the Faith even though there is all this preparatory teaching “activity” (ie. people being processed into Power Point Pie Charts on Ruhi Classes for ABM and AABM presentations.)

    Will these people ever figure out WHY? Duh! Because this whole top down micro-managed plan is completely deranged and it is going to lead to total catastrophy. Do you thing the powers that be will EVER figure this out? EVER connect the dots? No thinking person will EVER join the Baha’i Faith or stay in it with this whole straight jacket mindset.

    It has come to this after the lifelong effort of so many wonderful free thinking open minded people who built the Faith and are now no longer wanted.

    For me, it is now close to the end of the road if something doesn’t change soon. I will NOT sit in the same room with people who passively allowed something like this to be done to their religion.

    Move the camera in and hold on the cover of a stack of the Ruhi Books and fade to black with The Doors playing “The End.” That is where we are heading under the present completely blind leadership.

  • I’ve been baha’i for 20 years. I know my community enough to know that there are people benefiting from the Ruhi Institute. Most of these people are low educated or have a very poor knowledge of the faith. There are also those who often quote the “Kitab-I-Heard-Someone-Saying” who are benefiting from Ruhi institute.

    Some thoughts about liking or disliking Ruhi institute:
    1 – Ruhi Institute is not mandatory for anyone (not in my country!)
    2 – Ruhi Institute is not a magical toolbox that will make automatically every believer who attends to become a very spiritual and learned baha’i. Development of spirituality and knowledge differ from person to person; it is not like cooking by the book.
    3 – Ruhi Institute may be suitable to several countries and social strata.
    4 – Everyone of us is conscious that has to develop spiritually. Are you doing something for that? Are there any such experiences you would like to share? Because not all of us grow spiritually the same way, sharing such experiences would be nice.
    5 – If someone (or a group of believers) believes that the Ruhi institute is not suitable for himself/herself/themselves, then what other baha’i activities would you like to develop? Why don’t you take the initiative to do something as an alternative? Do baha’i institutions stop you from engaging in activities to promote the faith?
    6 – It is my personal opinion that to reject participation in some baha’i activity one should do it in a positive way. Just complaining and spreading rumours (like the anonymous commentators did here) won’t help the Faith to grow.

  • I’ve been baha’i for 20 years. I know my community enough to know that there are people benefiting from the Ruhi Institute. Most of these people are low educated or have a very poor knowledge of the faith. There are also those who often quote the “Kitab-I-Heard-Someone-Saying” who are benefiting from Ruhi institute.

    Some thoughts about liking or disliking Ruhi institute:
    1 – Ruhi Institute is not mandatory for anyone (not in my country!)
    2 – Ruhi Institute is not a magical toolbox that will make automatically every believer who attends to become a very spiritual and learned baha’i. Development of spirituality and knowledge differ from person to person; it is not like cooking by the book.
    3 – Ruhi Institute may be suitable to several countries and social strata.
    4 – Everyone of us is conscious that has to develop spiritually. Are you doing something for that? Are there any such experiences you would like to share? Because not all of us grow spiritually the same way, sharing such experiences would be nice.
    5 – If someone (or a group of believers) believes that the Ruhi institute is not suitable for himself/herself/themselves, then what other baha’i activities would you like to develop? Why don’t you take the initiative to do something as an alternative? Do baha’i institutions stop you from engaging in activities to promote the faith?
    6 – It is my personal opinion that to reject participation in some baha’i activity one should do it in a positive way. Just complaining and spreading rumours (like the anonymous commentators did here) won’t help the Faith to grow.

  • Anonymous

    Marco,

    It’s me again, from reply #1. I post anonymously because I do not want to let my identity be known to the powers-that-be. I say this because of the experiences of Alison Marshall, Juan Cole, Steven Scholl, and others who freely expressed themselves on the net and found themselves driven out of the Faith. I won’t let that happen to me. And now, on to the subject at hand:

    We post because we care about the Faith, whether or not you believe that. If I didn’t care, I’d just walk away and let the Faith stagnate in its little pool of Ruhi classes. But I do care, and I think the Faith can be so much more than it is, and so I try in my own little way to influence whoever may happen by to do something to preserve the beauty of the Faith that I once knew. I cannot do it through channels, because it has been made extremely clear that Ruhi, while not compulsory, is “strongly encouraged.” Most Baha’is can read between the lines on that one. It just so happens that some of us disagree.

    More to the point, I once did participate in study groups that I found edifying and nurturing and faith-promoting. Unfortunately, people only have so many hours in their day, and once the juggernaut that is Ruhi began to be heavily promoted and used to judge a community’s progress, our study group was decimated. People redirected their energies and attention to Ruhi, and our group evaporated.

    The ironic thing is that we brought more than one person into the Faith as a result of our little study group, which encouraged people to actually read the Writings and think about them and comment on them and wrestle with the questions that they found in them. We haven’t had a single declaration as a result of Ruhi.

    Marco, I have helped the Faith to grow. Now I find myself merely trying to keep it from shrinking, indeed trying to help it merely survive. Ruhi is preaching to the choir; if anyone actually does enter the Faith through Ruhi, it will be not because they have actually engaged with the Writings and fallen in love with Baha’u’llah on that deep level where the heart and mind intersect, but because they have learned to parrot back correct responses. It makes me sick, and as I said, I want no part of that, and if that is what the Baha’i Faith has become, there is no place in it for me.

  • Anonymous

    Marco,

    It’s me again, from reply #1. I post anonymously because I do not want to let my identity be known to the powers-that-be. I say this because of the experiences of Alison Marshall, Juan Cole, Steven Scholl, and others who freely expressed themselves on the net and found themselves driven out of the Faith. I won’t let that happen to me. And now, on to the subject at hand:

    We post because we care about the Faith, whether or not you believe that. If I didn’t care, I’d just walk away and let the Faith stagnate in its little pool of Ruhi classes. But I do care, and I think the Faith can be so much more than it is, and so I try in my own little way to influence whoever may happen by to do something to preserve the beauty of the Faith that I once knew. I cannot do it through channels, because it has been made extremely clear that Ruhi, while not compulsory, is “strongly encouraged.” Most Baha’is can read between the lines on that one. It just so happens that some of us disagree.

    More to the point, I once did participate in study groups that I found edifying and nurturing and faith-promoting. Unfortunately, people only have so many hours in their day, and once the juggernaut that is Ruhi began to be heavily promoted and used to judge a community’s progress, our study group was decimated. People redirected their energies and attention to Ruhi, and our group evaporated.

    The ironic thing is that we brought more than one person into the Faith as a result of our little study group, which encouraged people to actually read the Writings and think about them and comment on them and wrestle with the questions that they found in them. We haven’t had a single declaration as a result of Ruhi.

    Marco, I have helped the Faith to grow. Now I find myself merely trying to keep it from shrinking, indeed trying to help it merely survive. Ruhi is preaching to the choir; if anyone actually does enter the Faith through Ruhi, it will be not because they have actually engaged with the Writings and fallen in love with Baha’u’llah on that deep level where the heart and mind intersect, but because they have learned to parrot back correct responses. It makes me sick, and as I said, I want no part of that, and if that is what the Baha’i Faith has become, there is no place in it for me.

  • Anonymous

    Marco,

    My sentiments are the same as the very fine previous post which is right on the money as far as how I feel. I don’t prefer to say my name to keep some options open as to my future course of actions in trying to address these issues in the present circumstances of the Faith. That is all. If I thought my posts were going directly to someone’s Politburo committee on thought control in Haifa, I’d GLADLY put my name in 30 point type! I’d WELCOME it! I’d love to be taken before some thought tribunal so I could let these people have what is coming to them with the cameras rolling! I fear none of these people. In the end, history is going to be very, very harsh on these crippled and unenlightened souls and they are going to be cursed for centuries. Mark my words.

    What is currently happeneing in the Baha’i Faith is of Almighty God. It is of the Power of the Cosmos upon the hearts and souls of men. Judgement Day has come in the Baha’i Faith and these people are fools who are going to look like exactly that in world history. The Faith will never grow until these issues are resolved.

    There are many very good points in your thoughtful post. I never said this material in completely inapproprite for everyone. I do not blanketly condemn anything, because I follow the Teachings of Baha’u’llah and Abdu’l-Baha, which greatly value uniqueness and individuality. I am very sensitive about this. The human race has had very bad experiences with blanket practices in our dreadful and bloody history.

    In some cases and in many parts of the world this type of course is very useful. In that case, the Ruhi material just needs to be better written (ALOT better!), not so full of astonishing glaring amateurish mistakes, and more respectful of the station of the Sacred Words of the Three Central Figures. If it bonds people in some cases and helps them understand their Faith better that is perfectly fine. As a catechism course for 12 year old youths I think this approach and this kind of material can be very useful and very appropriate.

    But to make this top down automaton lock step practice on the ENTIRE WORLD with no regard to local culture and local conditions is absolute folly, even madness, and this decision is going to take the Faith to total complete catastrophe. Just watch.

    I have been a Baha’i a very long time. I have taught the Faith to thousands of people over many long years. I have taught the Faith to many different types of people as a pleasant sharing of spiritual knowledge and thought because I actually live out in the world and actually make friends with people outside of the tiny, closed, incestuous Faith! We must be OUT IN THE WORLD that is all around us! This is Abdu’l-Baha’s very EXAMPLE!

    I have been to free form deepings in the past that were truly divinely inspired and absolutely wonderful. Very spiritual experiences of DISCOVERY. People loved them!But that is ALL FORBIDDEN now. No free form exploration of the Writings for yourself in a group from your own soul. No personal discovery through each other’s unique life journeys. We HAVE other deepening materials from many years back! You have obviously never heard of them. The Daniel Jordan materials from the 1970’s are quite good. They merely help a group focus on a core of specific passages of the Writings in an arranged convenient study theme. No harm in that little amount of helpful group structure! But these materials are NOW FORBIDDEN as a course of group study by the US NSA! It is madness. Communities can ONLY use the Ruhi “full sequence of courses” as deepening here! They are not even free to decide for themselves about their own community! It is going to be lethal. Communities are suffocating under this mindless hysterical weight. What if actual raging defiance starts to appear?

    The Baha’i Fith is now a completely unoriginal remake of “Invasion of the Body Snatchers” (1956)which was, of course, a commentay through an entertaining Sci-Fi story on the McCarthyism witch hunt in the U.S. at that time. I suggest you rent it if you ever can. This will give you an idea of where the current “Administrative Faith” is going.

    Ruhi is being used as a not so subtle ideological litmus test on who is a real “A.O. Baha’i”. It is being used to single out those who will toe the Politburo “party line” and those who are troublemakers who won’t. Subtle purges are happening hourly. It will only get worse if the Faith ever really achieved any real power in society.

    This is not the Baha’i Faith I joined. And if things don’t change, I will be leaving it too after many long years of service. Until then I will take the mental cases currently running the Faith on, line by line and move by move, in cyberspace everywhere I can. They have made accepting the “infallible prescription of the world wide implementation of the Ruhi sequence of courses” an article of Faith in the new UHJ/ITC/ABM/AABM Revelation. It is going to take us to ruin. I predict allot of back pedalling on their part as this disaster becomes apparent. Just watch. Besides lacking other important parts, these people also lack back-bone. It is all soon going to be Berlin 1945 as the house of cards collapses.

    The rank and file Baha’is of the world must watch and learn from this and vote these people out of office EVERYWHERE IN THE WORLD and get the Faith back to Baha’u’llah.

    Failure is the greatest breaking of the Covenant! And these people are going to take us to mind numbing failure! Just incredible!

    So where you are it is fine for everyone to keep memorizing the Ruhi Books if it helps you locally. But be sure to keep them as souvenirs, because there will be no more books printed when we can’t pay the bills in Haifa through any contributions from the progressive world. And that is what is going to happen on the amazing automaton lock-step road we are currently on.

    It has all now come to this.

    Just watch and take notes! It is a lesson from the Almighty!

  • Anonymous

    Marco,

    My sentiments are the same as the very fine previous post which is right on the money as far as how I feel. I don’t prefer to say my name to keep some options open as to my future course of actions in trying to address these issues in the present circumstances of the Faith. That is all. If I thought my posts were going directly to someone’s Politburo committee on thought control in Haifa, I’d GLADLY put my name in 30 point type! I’d WELCOME it! I’d love to be taken before some thought tribunal so I could let these people have what is coming to them with the cameras rolling! I fear none of these people. In the end, history is going to be very, very harsh on these crippled and unenlightened souls and they are going to be cursed for centuries. Mark my words.

    What is currently happeneing in the Baha’i Faith is of Almighty God. It is of the Power of the Cosmos upon the hearts and souls of men. Judgement Day has come in the Baha’i Faith and these people are fools who are going to look like exactly that in world history. The Faith will never grow until these issues are resolved.

    There are many very good points in your thoughtful post. I never said this material in completely inapproprite for everyone. I do not blanketly condemn anything, because I follow the Teachings of Baha’u’llah and Abdu’l-Baha, which greatly value uniqueness and individuality. I am very sensitive about this. The human race has had very bad experiences with blanket practices in our dreadful and bloody history.

    In some cases and in many parts of the world this type of course is very useful. In that case, the Ruhi material just needs to be better written (ALOT better!), not so full of astonishing glaring amateurish mistakes, and more respectful of the station of the Sacred Words of the Three Central Figures. If it bonds people in some cases and helps them understand their Faith better that is perfectly fine. As a catechism course for 12 year old youths I think this approach and this kind of material can be very useful and very appropriate.

    But to make this top down automaton lock step practice on the ENTIRE WORLD with no regard to local culture and local conditions is absolute folly, even madness, and this decision is going to take the Faith to total complete catastrophe. Just watch.

    I have been a Baha’i a very long time. I have taught the Faith to thousands of people over many long years. I have taught the Faith to many different types of people as a pleasant sharing of spiritual knowledge and thought because I actually live out in the world and actually make friends with people outside of the tiny, closed, incestuous Faith! We must be OUT IN THE WORLD that is all around us! This is Abdu’l-Baha’s very EXAMPLE!

    I have been to free form deepings in the past that were truly divinely inspired and absolutely wonderful. Very spiritual experiences of DISCOVERY. People loved them!But that is ALL FORBIDDEN now. No free form exploration of the Writings for yourself in a group from your own soul. No personal discovery through each other’s unique life journeys. We HAVE other deepening materials from many years back! You have obviously never heard of them. The Daniel Jordan materials from the 1970’s are quite good. They merely help a group focus on a core of specific passages of the Writings in an arranged convenient study theme. No harm in that little amount of helpful group structure! But these materials are NOW FORBIDDEN as a course of group study by the US NSA! It is madness. Communities can ONLY use the Ruhi “full sequence of courses” as deepening here! They are not even free to decide for themselves about their own community! It is going to be lethal. Communities are suffocating under this mindless hysterical weight. What if actual raging defiance starts to appear?

    The Baha’i Fith is now a completely unoriginal remake of “Invasion of the Body Snatchers” (1956)which was, of course, a commentay through an entertaining Sci-Fi story on the McCarthyism witch hunt in the U.S. at that time. I suggest you rent it if you ever can. This will give you an idea of where the current “Administrative Faith” is going.

    Ruhi is being used as a not so subtle ideological litmus test on who is a real “A.O. Baha’i”. It is being used to single out those who will toe the Politburo “party line” and those who are troublemakers who won’t. Subtle purges are happening hourly. It will only get worse if the Faith ever really achieved any real power in society.

    This is not the Baha’i Faith I joined. And if things don’t change, I will be leaving it too after many long years of service. Until then I will take the mental cases currently running the Faith on, line by line and move by move, in cyberspace everywhere I can. They have made accepting the “infallible prescription of the world wide implementation of the Ruhi sequence of courses” an article of Faith in the new UHJ/ITC/ABM/AABM Revelation. It is going to take us to ruin. I predict allot of back pedalling on their part as this disaster becomes apparent. Just watch. Besides lacking other important parts, these people also lack back-bone. It is all soon going to be Berlin 1945 as the house of cards collapses.

    The rank and file Baha’is of the world must watch and learn from this and vote these people out of office EVERYWHERE IN THE WORLD and get the Faith back to Baha’u’llah.

    Failure is the greatest breaking of the Covenant! And these people are going to take us to mind numbing failure! Just incredible!

    So where you are it is fine for everyone to keep memorizing the Ruhi Books if it helps you locally. But be sure to keep them as souvenirs, because there will be no more books printed when we can’t pay the bills in Haifa through any contributions from the progressive world. And that is what is going to happen on the amazing automaton lock-step road we are currently on.

    It has all now come to this.

    Just watch and take notes! It is a lesson from the Almighty!

  • Anonymous

    It seems to me that part of the problem with Ruhi is that it was indeed developed in Latin America, for illiterate populations, who were difficult to deepen, and where there had been a mass influx of new believers.

    However, we are trying to impose it on *everyone*, even highly educated Westerners, who are revolted by this kind of rote learning.

    The problem here is a push towards uniformity. Technically, Baha’i communities are allowed to use curricula other than Ruhi, but it doesn’t “count” towards the statistics. Some extremists even question others’ loyalty to the Covenant, saying that this is the plan laid out by the UHJ, so if you don’t go along with it, something is wrong with your faith in Baha’u’llah. In some communities, the whole issue is becoming a source of division and alienation.

    I would ask the Baha’i community to look at the flexibility of ‘Abdu’l-Baha’ in dealing with the early American community — he usually allowed each community to make its own decisions, giving advice according to local circumstances.

    For some reeason, the preview is showing that I am signed in as “Anonymous”, but I’m not — I’m Karen.

  • Anonymous

    It seems to me that part of the problem with Ruhi is that it was indeed developed in Latin America, for illiterate populations, who were difficult to deepen, and where there had been a mass influx of new believers.

    However, we are trying to impose it on *everyone*, even highly educated Westerners, who are revolted by this kind of rote learning.

    The problem here is a push towards uniformity. Technically, Baha’i communities are allowed to use curricula other than Ruhi, but it doesn’t “count” towards the statistics. Some extremists even question others’ loyalty to the Covenant, saying that this is the plan laid out by the UHJ, so if you don’t go along with it, something is wrong with your faith in Baha’u’llah. In some communities, the whole issue is becoming a source of division and alienation.

    I would ask the Baha’i community to look at the flexibility of ‘Abdu’l-Baha’ in dealing with the early American community — he usually allowed each community to make its own decisions, giving advice according to local circumstances.

    For some reeason, the preview is showing that I am signed in as “Anonymous”, but I’m not — I’m Karen.

  • Sercxu

    Karen is right–the problem is that they are trying to impose a system developed for near-illiterate people in the Third World on highly educated Westerners, and it’s not working. Unfortunately, one cannot say that publicly, because it is now apparently politically incorrect in the Baha’i community to differentiate between the educated and the illiterate or between cultural contexts. Yes, I know, the lowliest manual laborer has just as much worth as the most highly educated professor, but pretending there are no differences between the two in terms of learning is simply silly and highly disingenuous.

  • Sercxu

    Karen is right–the problem is that they are trying to impose a system developed for near-illiterate people in the Third World on highly educated Westerners, and it’s not working. Unfortunately, one cannot say that publicly, because it is now apparently politically incorrect in the Baha’i community to differentiate between the educated and the illiterate or between cultural contexts. Yes, I know, the lowliest manual laborer has just as much worth as the most highly educated professor, but pretending there are no differences between the two in terms of learning is simply silly and highly disingenuous.

  • Dear Anonimous #1

    What can I say?

    Baha’i communities are different all over the world. You are describing a reality that is really weird for me. It reminds me something I read once about the tests the American believers will be exposed to. I just wonder if this is the price you have to pay for the spiritual primacy…
    I am really sorry for what you are going through.

    I wish you were here (or I was there) to develop a study group program. I did that some years ago, and I really miss it now.

  • Dear Anonimous #1

    What can I say?

    Baha’i communities are different all over the world. You are describing a reality that is really weird for me. It reminds me something I read once about the tests the American believers will be exposed to. I just wonder if this is the price you have to pay for the spiritual primacy…
    I am really sorry for what you are going through.

    I wish you were here (or I was there) to develop a study group program. I did that some years ago, and I really miss it now.

  • Dear All

    I know of several fantastic deepening materials produced by American Baha’is. Study guides to the Book of Certitude, Epistle to the Son of the Wolf, The Covenant, The Word of God, etc. If any of you was involved in producing such books, or happen to know anyone who was involved just let them know how much we appreciate those materials. I translated several of these to Portuguese and develop a study group program. People here enjoyed these materials and these study groups.

    Some years ago I did a revision of a Portuguese-Brazilian translation of one book of the Ruhi Institute. I found immediately that it was very basic book and aim to a different audience. However, I had to agree that some believers here needed that kind of deepening.

    I agree with Kareen: ?part of the problem with Ruhi is that it was indeed developed in Latin America, for illiterate populations, who were difficult to deepen, and where there had been a mass influx of new believers?. However, in Europe and in the US there are some social strata for whom the Ruhi program might be suitable.

    I must also say I cannot believe your NSA forbid other deepening materials than the Ruhi books. You have to show me a letter from the NSA with such a prohibition so that I can believe that.

  • Dear All

    I know of several fantastic deepening materials produced by American Baha’is. Study guides to the Book of Certitude, Epistle to the Son of the Wolf, The Covenant, The Word of God, etc. If any of you was involved in producing such books, or happen to know anyone who was involved just let them know how much we appreciate those materials. I translated several of these to Portuguese and develop a study group program. People here enjoyed these materials and these study groups.

    Some years ago I did a revision of a Portuguese-Brazilian translation of one book of the Ruhi Institute. I found immediately that it was very basic book and aim to a different audience. However, I had to agree that some believers here needed that kind of deepening.

    I agree with Kareen: ?part of the problem with Ruhi is that it was indeed developed in Latin America, for illiterate populations, who were difficult to deepen, and where there had been a mass influx of new believers?. However, in Europe and in the US there are some social strata for whom the Ruhi program might be suitable.

    I must also say I cannot believe your NSA forbid other deepening materials than the Ruhi books. You have to show me a letter from the NSA with such a prohibition so that I can believe that.

  • Anonymous

    The real problem with Ruhi is that it was a pet project of Arbab while he was in Columbia (FUNDEAC) and he carried it with him when he became a member of the UHJ. This meant that a specific deepening method suddenly had not only the economic force of the administration behind it, but it had the official seal of approval of the UHJ. Since the UHJ approved of it, referred to it, made it a part of different plans, etc….then it must be what we must do.

    Or so goes the thinking of 99% of Baha´is out there.

    Therein lies the problem.

    You can try and start up other deepening programs or have your own, but it can never compete with the monopoly ceded to Ruhi by the UHJ/ITC.

    And no one has to explicitely forbid other forms of deepening. It is not necessary! When Ruhi is the end all and the be all, as was said, it is really not necessary to come out and outright say you are not allowed to do otherwise. The whole community is being measured against the yardstick that is Ruhi.

    That is enough. And that is sickening.

  • Anonymous

    The real problem with Ruhi is that it was a pet project of Arbab while he was in Columbia (FUNDEAC) and he carried it with him when he became a member of the UHJ. This meant that a specific deepening method suddenly had not only the economic force of the administration behind it, but it had the official seal of approval of the UHJ. Since the UHJ approved of it, referred to it, made it a part of different plans, etc….then it must be what we must do.

    Or so goes the thinking of 99% of Baha´is out there.

    Therein lies the problem.

    You can try and start up other deepening programs or have your own, but it can never compete with the monopoly ceded to Ruhi by the UHJ/ITC.

    And no one has to explicitely forbid other forms of deepening. It is not necessary! When Ruhi is the end all and the be all, as was said, it is really not necessary to come out and outright say you are not allowed to do otherwise. The whole community is being measured against the yardstick that is Ruhi.

    That is enough. And that is sickening.

  • Anonymous

    Marco,

    Your question about seeing proof on how only Ruhi Training materials can be used for “community deepening” in the U.S. in writing is a very fair question. But I sware this is true. It was either in a U.S. Feast Letter or in the American Baha’i within the last year. I will try to find this directive and post it up here.

    I was absolutely shocked when I read it because I saw that this immediately dashed the hopes of a nearby community I knew about that was trying to escape Ruhi by using the well known and well respected Daniel Jordan written materials form the 70’s.

    In one of their community Ruhi sessions a long time Baha’i absolutely refused to take part in one of the idiotic “role playing”
    sections and it almost came to fisticuffs with the Ruhi trainer! How’s that for World Unity! To them it was absolutely absurd that the Baha’i Faith had come to this so they wanted to change the materials as a way out!

    My heart sank when I saw that this ruling completely trumped their community hopes! No escape for anyone in the new micro-managed UHJ/ITC Faith! It also shocked me in that the other alternative course “The Fundamental Verities Core Curriculum” that people also liked over the Ruhi materials seemed to be taken off the table now too! I found the whole thing completely Orwellian and absolutely creepy. One of those ice water up your spine moments in the current free fall demise of the Faith.

    So your request for proof is a very fair question. I will try to find that letter or article. I think it was a Feast letter. Absolutely amazing stuff in the strange top down micro-management hysteria in the new UHJ/ITC Revelation.

    Again, I will try to find it and post it up here.

  • Anonymous

    Marco,

    Your question about seeing proof on how only Ruhi Training materials can be used for “community deepening” in the U.S. in writing is a very fair question. But I sware this is true. It was either in a U.S. Feast Letter or in the American Baha’i within the last year. I will try to find this directive and post it up here.

    I was absolutely shocked when I read it because I saw that this immediately dashed the hopes of a nearby community I knew about that was trying to escape Ruhi by using the well known and well respected Daniel Jordan written materials form the 70’s.

    In one of their community Ruhi sessions a long time Baha’i absolutely refused to take part in one of the idiotic “role playing”
    sections and it almost came to fisticuffs with the Ruhi trainer! How’s that for World Unity! To them it was absolutely absurd that the Baha’i Faith had come to this so they wanted to change the materials as a way out!

    My heart sank when I saw that this ruling completely trumped their community hopes! No escape for anyone in the new micro-managed UHJ/ITC Faith! It also shocked me in that the other alternative course “The Fundamental Verities Core Curriculum” that people also liked over the Ruhi materials seemed to be taken off the table now too! I found the whole thing completely Orwellian and absolutely creepy. One of those ice water up your spine moments in the current free fall demise of the Faith.

    So your request for proof is a very fair question. I will try to find that letter or article. I think it was a Feast letter. Absolutely amazing stuff in the strange top down micro-management hysteria in the new UHJ/ITC Revelation.

    Again, I will try to find it and post it up here.

  • Anonymous

    I am still looking for the decree from the US NSA in the last six months that only the Ruhi Training can be used for community deepening and, therefore, by implication the deepening of new believers in the U.S. Baha’i
    Community. I will find it.

    I recently was discussing the fine film “The Aviator” with a friend via e-mail. She disagrees with my theory that the problem with the world is mental illness. She says the problem with the world is rank
    cowardice. She says Alfred Adler, a contemporary of Freud, also said
    that the problem with the human race was cowardice. Perhaps I need to make a new revised theory. That the world is driven by the dynamic
    between the mentally ill with courage and the mentally ill who are cowards. This seems to still cover my general theory that everyone on this planet is mentally ill! Perhaps this new revised theory can explain
    everything! I am thinking about it.

    In our discussion she said “I think that a world in which the importance of the individual’s role is diminished is doomed, and that is what we are seeing with the Baha’is and the Neocons.”

    I had brought up the point of the fascinating parallels between the
    neocon mindset and the Baha’i Administrative Faith mindset. I had said “Look at the derangement of both the neocons running the government of the United States right now and the professional Administrative Order lifetime employment class running the Baha’i Faith. Look at the parallels. Both require massive cowardice to work.The corporate media and the political system have gone to their knees before the neocons. No hard questions. No thinking as to where this is all going. No one will stand up to anyone in the Baha’i Faith as the Ruhi destruction prevails. Not a sound. Yes. It is all cowardice. People that institutionalize
    cowardice get what they deserve. It will not be pretty. For the U.S. it is going to be great economic difficulty. For the Baha’i Faith it is going to be great financial difficulty. All because no on will speak up.
    So be it. Judgment Day. This is how I see it. It is BOTH mental illness and cowardice.”

    The final completely lethal combination for any society or system of organization. Mental illness and cowardice! Both are now being institutionalized
    among these two groups. Very, very interesting. It must be something
    that is now in the drinking water everywhere in the world. Absolute
    lock step silence to catastrophe! So be it. It seems we are living in
    the 1930’s again. People are paralysed before both big and little fates that any thinking person can see coming. In all of these schemes the individual no longer counts in the blanket top down Big Idea! The raw use of American military power on somebody’s closed inner circle theory of the world. And the Baha’i Faith being completely run into the ground on somebody’s closed inner circle theory of the world. Both thinking they are infallible in their top down vision. They know! And nothing anyone else has to say counts! No outside input is tolerated. No dissenting voice. No other input counts. If you speak up you are branded a traitor and a malcontent. For both camps no discussion is tolerated. Absolutely zero. “He who is not with us is against us.” Fascinating stuff! That awful dynamic of repeated human history when things become unglued and spin apart at the vortex: mental illness and cowardice. The silence is deafening in both camps on both roads. Absolutely deafening.

    I havent seen “The Aviator” yet. But I know something about how it ends. What is foreshadowed.

  • Anonymous

    I am still looking for the decree from the US NSA in the last six months that only the Ruhi Training can be used for community deepening and, therefore, by implication the deepening of new believers in the U.S. Baha’i
    Community. I will find it.

    I recently was discussing the fine film “The Aviator” with a friend via e-mail. She disagrees with my theory that the problem with the world is mental illness. She says the problem with the world is rank
    cowardice. She says Alfred Adler, a contemporary of Freud, also said
    that the problem with the human race was cowardice. Perhaps I need to make a new revised theory. That the world is driven by the dynamic
    between the mentally ill with courage and the mentally ill who are cowards. This seems to still cover my general theory that everyone on this planet is mentally ill! Perhaps this new revised theory can explain
    everything! I am thinking about it.

    In our discussion she said “I think that a world in which the importance of the individual’s role is diminished is doomed, and that is what we are seeing with the Baha’is and the Neocons.”

    I had brought up the point of the fascinating parallels between the
    neocon mindset and the Baha’i Administrative Faith mindset. I had said “Look at the derangement of both the neocons running the government of the United States right now and the professional Administrative Order lifetime employment class running the Baha’i Faith. Look at the parallels. Both require massive cowardice to work.The corporate media and the political system have gone to their knees before the neocons. No hard questions. No thinking as to where this is all going. No one will stand up to anyone in the Baha’i Faith as the Ruhi destruction prevails. Not a sound. Yes. It is all cowardice. People that institutionalize
    cowardice get what they deserve. It will not be pretty. For the U.S. it is going to be great economic difficulty. For the Baha’i Faith it is going to be great financial difficulty. All because no on will speak up.
    So be it. Judgment Day. This is how I see it. It is BOTH mental illness and cowardice.”

    The final completely lethal combination for any society or system of organization. Mental illness and cowardice! Both are now being institutionalized
    among these two groups. Very, very interesting. It must be something
    that is now in the drinking water everywhere in the world. Absolute
    lock step silence to catastrophe! So be it. It seems we are living in
    the 1930’s again. People are paralysed before both big and little fates that any thinking person can see coming. In all of these schemes the individual no longer counts in the blanket top down Big Idea! The raw use of American military power on somebody’s closed inner circle theory of the world. And the Baha’i Faith being completely run into the ground on somebody’s closed inner circle theory of the world. Both thinking they are infallible in their top down vision. They know! And nothing anyone else has to say counts! No outside input is tolerated. No dissenting voice. No other input counts. If you speak up you are branded a traitor and a malcontent. For both camps no discussion is tolerated. Absolutely zero. “He who is not with us is against us.” Fascinating stuff! That awful dynamic of repeated human history when things become unglued and spin apart at the vortex: mental illness and cowardice. The silence is deafening in both camps on both roads. Absolutely deafening.

    I havent seen “The Aviator” yet. But I know something about how it ends. What is foreshadowed.

  • Anonymous

    Marco,

    It took me a while to eventually find it, but here is the April 19, 2004 letter from the US NSA saying that the Ruhi Training FULL SEQUENCE OF COURSES is now THE *ONLY* WAY to do community deepening in the United States. Nothing else counts. Zilch. Zippo. Nada.

    Whatever a community ITSELF wants to do to meet the situation on the ground DOES NOT COUNT in the top down corporate micromanaged Faith. This is the top down ruling! To question it is to go against the Covenant. That’s it!

    There is only one problem. None of this stuff is going to have any appeal to the deeper spiritual seekers amid the American public so all Teaching in the United States is now going to come to a grinding halt. The top down one-size fits-all McFaith approach is going to be absolutely catastrophic!

    But nobody at the top can perceive this because they live in a huge administrative bubble. They don’t live on Actual Spiritual Seeker Street where everybody else does who really knows how to teach the Faith to REAL PEOPLE!

    I’ll post this for the record, but I don’t know if anyone is reading any more posts on this thread now.

    NATIONAL SPIRITUAL ASSEMBLY
    of the
    BAH??’??S OF THE UNITED STATES

    536 SHERIDAN ROAD, WILMETTE, ILLINOIS 60091-2849
    ? (847) 733-3537
    ? EMAIL: secretariat@usbnc.org

    April 19, 2004

    The Bah??’? Community of the United States Dear Bah??’? Friends,

    Over the past few months, the National Spiritual Assembly has been in consultations with the Continental Counselors and the Regional Bah??’? Councils on means for accelerating the momentum of our community related to the two essential movements of the Five Year Plan—the steady flow of believers through the sequence of courses offered by training institutes and the advancement of geographic clusters from one stage of growth to the next.

    As a result of these consultations, the National Assembly has crafted the Training Institute Policy attached for the purpose of giving concentrated and sustained attention to the two essential movements that will lay the foundation for systematic growth of the Bah??’? Faith in the United States in these remaining two years of the Five Year Plan.

    We beseech the Blessed Beauty to assist the devoted efforts offered in service to His mighty Cause of each and every member of this valiant community.

    NATIONAL SPIRITUAL ASSEMBLY OF THE BAH??’??S OF THE UNITED STATES

    Robert C. Henderson
    Secretary-General
    Attachment

    NATIONAL SPIRITUAL ASSEMBLY
    of the
    BAH??’??S OF THE UNITED STATES

    536 SHERIDAN ROAD, WILMETTE, ILLINOIS 60091-2849
    ? (847) 733-3537
    ? EMAIL: secretariat@usbnc.org

    TRAINING INSTITUTE POLICY FOR THE UNITED STATES BAH??’?? COMMUNITY FOR THE FIVE YEAR PLAN

    In the two years remaining in the Five Year Plan, we call on the friends to give concentrated and sustained attention to the two essential movements that are the foundation for systematic growth of the Bah??’? Faith in the United States.

    The first is the increased flow of believers through a full sequence of courses for the purpose of raising a critical mass of Bah??’?s in each cluster who are trained in the fundamentals of systematic growth.

    The second is the movement of geographic clusters from one stage of growth to the next, to increase the number of clusters capable of initiating and sustaining intensive programs of growth.

    At the recent conference of senior institutions in Pensacola, careful assessments of the potential for advancing the process of growth in the four regions suggest that scores of A clusters are within our reach by the end of the Plan.

    Achievement of this potential would ensure the emergence of favorable conditions for accelerated growth of the Bah??’? Faith in our country.

    With this in mind, the National Spiritual Assembly has named the Ruhi Institute Materials the main sequence of institute courses for the United States Bah??’? Community.

    The focus on the Ruhi sequence is intended to foster, as quickly as possible, the emergence of a large number of A clusters, capable of sustaining programs of intensive growth.

    Bah??’?s currently learning the Fundamental Verities curriculum sequence should complete their training.

    The friends who complete the Fundamental Verities training are to be counted among the believers who have completed a full sequence of courses.

    We encourage those friends who are beginning their institute training to start the Ruhi sequence of courses.

    The Fundamental Verities courses, and other curricula, may continue to be available to friends and seekers as branch courses.NATIONAL SPIRITUAL ASSEMBLY of the BAH??’??S OF THE UNITED STATES

    536 SHERIDAN ROAD, WILMETTE, ILLINOIS 60091-2849

    Training Institute Policy for the United States Page 2

    Bah??’? Community for the Five Year Plan

    The Core Curriculum is to remain the standard and program goal for the Bah??’? education of children in the United States. As a branch of the main sequence of courses, teachers of children’s classes are encouraged to continue their training in the Core Curriculum program.

    Dear Friends, we are fully confident that concerted efforts to accelerate the two essential movements of the Five Year Plan can and will guarantee a systematic pattern of growth.

    As clusters gain the capacity to initiate and sustain intensive programs of growth, campaigns of media proclamation will be launched, blazoning the Teachings and the Name of Bah??’u’ll??h.

    We are thankful and confident that all of the friends will give their wholehearted support to this critical effort.

    NATIONAL SPIRITUAL ASSEMBLY OF THE BAH??’??S OF THE UNITED STATES
    Robert C. Henderson Secretary-General
    April 19, 2004

  • Anonymous

    Marco,

    It took me a while to eventually find it, but here is the April 19, 2004 letter from the US NSA saying that the Ruhi Training FULL SEQUENCE OF COURSES is now THE *ONLY* WAY to do community deepening in the United States. Nothing else counts. Zilch. Zippo. Nada.

    Whatever a community ITSELF wants to do to meet the situation on the ground DOES NOT COUNT in the top down corporate micromanaged Faith. This is the top down ruling! To question it is to go against the Covenant. That’s it!

    There is only one problem. None of this stuff is going to have any appeal to the deeper spiritual seekers amid the American public so all Teaching in the United States is now going to come to a grinding halt. The top down one-size fits-all McFaith approach is going to be absolutely catastrophic!

    But nobody at the top can perceive this because they live in a huge administrative bubble. They don’t live on Actual Spiritual Seeker Street where everybody else does who really knows how to teach the Faith to REAL PEOPLE!

    I’ll post this for the record, but I don’t know if anyone is reading any more posts on this thread now.

    NATIONAL SPIRITUAL ASSEMBLY
    of the
    BAH??’??S OF THE UNITED STATES

    536 SHERIDAN ROAD, WILMETTE, ILLINOIS 60091-2849
    ? (847) 733-3537
    ? EMAIL: secretariat@usbnc.org

    April 19, 2004

    The Bah??’? Community of the United States Dear Bah??’? Friends,

    Over the past few months, the National Spiritual Assembly has been in consultations with the Continental Counselors and the Regional Bah??’? Councils on means for accelerating the momentum of our community related to the two essential movements of the Five Year Plan—the steady flow of believers through the sequence of courses offered by training institutes and the advancement of geographic clusters from one stage of growth to the next.

    As a result of these consultations, the National Assembly has crafted the Training Institute Policy attached for the purpose of giving concentrated and sustained attention to the two essential movements that will lay the foundation for systematic growth of the Bah??’? Faith in the United States in these remaining two years of the Five Year Plan.

    We beseech the Blessed Beauty to assist the devoted efforts offered in service to His mighty Cause of each and every member of this valiant community.

    NATIONAL SPIRITUAL ASSEMBLY OF THE BAH??’??S OF THE UNITED STATES

    Robert C. Henderson
    Secretary-General
    Attachment

    NATIONAL SPIRITUAL ASSEMBLY
    of the
    BAH??’??S OF THE UNITED STATES

    536 SHERIDAN ROAD, WILMETTE, ILLINOIS 60091-2849
    ? (847) 733-3537
    ? EMAIL: secretariat@usbnc.org

    TRAINING INSTITUTE POLICY FOR THE UNITED STATES BAH??’?? COMMUNITY FOR THE FIVE YEAR PLAN

    In the two years remaining in the Five Year Plan, we call on the friends to give concentrated and sustained attention to the two essential movements that are the foundation for systematic growth of the Bah??’? Faith in the United States.

    The first is the increased flow of believers through a full sequence of courses for the purpose of raising a critical mass of Bah??’?s in each cluster who are trained in the fundamentals of systematic growth.

    The second is the movement of geographic clusters from one stage of growth to the next, to increase the number of clusters capable of initiating and sustaining intensive programs of growth.

    At the recent conference of senior institutions in Pensacola, careful assessments of the potential for advancing the process of growth in the four regions suggest that scores of A clusters are within our reach by the end of the Plan.

    Achievement of this potential would ensure the emergence of favorable conditions for accelerated growth of the Bah??’? Faith in our country.

    With this in mind, the National Spiritual Assembly has named the Ruhi Institute Materials the main sequence of institute courses for the United States Bah??’? Community.

    The focus on the Ruhi sequence is intended to foster, as quickly as possible, the emergence of a large number of A clusters, capable of sustaining programs of intensive growth.

    Bah??’?s currently learning the Fundamental Verities curriculum sequence should complete their training.

    The friends who complete the Fundamental Verities training are to be counted among the believers who have completed a full sequence of courses.

    We encourage those friends who are beginning their institute training to start the Ruhi sequence of courses.

    The Fundamental Verities courses, and other curricula, may continue to be available to friends and seekers as branch courses.NATIONAL SPIRITUAL ASSEMBLY of the BAH??’??S OF THE UNITED STATES

    536 SHERIDAN ROAD, WILMETTE, ILLINOIS 60091-2849

    Training Institute Policy for the United States Page 2

    Bah??’? Community for the Five Year Plan

    The Core Curriculum is to remain the standard and program goal for the Bah??’? education of children in the United States. As a branch of the main sequence of courses, teachers of children’s classes are encouraged to continue their training in the Core Curriculum program.

    Dear Friends, we are fully confident that concerted efforts to accelerate the two essential movements of the Five Year Plan can and will guarantee a systematic pattern of growth.

    As clusters gain the capacity to initiate and sustain intensive programs of growth, campaigns of media proclamation will be launched, blazoning the Teachings and the Name of Bah??’u’ll??h.

    We are thankful and confident that all of the friends will give their wholehearted support to this critical effort.

    NATIONAL SPIRITUAL ASSEMBLY OF THE BAH??’??S OF THE UNITED STATES
    Robert C. Henderson Secretary-General
    April 19, 2004

  • Atlantic

    I have seen the Ruhi materials work wonders in a Third World community which I visit for professional purposes. In that country with its abysmal educational system. the Ruhi courses provide structure and practice in studying the meaning of individual words and in analysing the meaning of sentences. They also provide much needed assistance in helping these indigenous people learn the national (colonialists’) language better. I have seen aimless young men changed into real men of service totheir communities after doing full-time Ruhi courses. How different from the all too numerous Bahai youth in that country who end up in criminal gangs.

    I have also seen the Ruhi courses work well as 11 an 12-year-old “catechism” class text.

    On the other, my own university student daughter walked out of a Ruhi group when she read quickly and turned the page to see what was coming next. “Don’t go ahead until everyone in the group has finished writing”, she was told. And like others, I find the materials a complete misfit to independent investigation for educated, Western people. If this had been my introduction to the Faith, I would have never stuck around to find out what it is really for,

    The purpose of the Faith is to enlighten and spiritualise. In situations where Ruhi matrials help to achieve this, great. For most of us in Western countires, certainly with university educations, something else is needed.

  • Atlantic

    I have seen the Ruhi materials work wonders in a Third World community which I visit for professional purposes. In that country with its abysmal educational system. the Ruhi courses provide structure and practice in studying the meaning of individual words and in analysing the meaning of sentences. They also provide much needed assistance in helping these indigenous people learn the national (colonialists’) language better. I have seen aimless young men changed into real men of service totheir communities after doing full-time Ruhi courses. How different from the all too numerous Bahai youth in that country who end up in criminal gangs.

    I have also seen the Ruhi courses work well as 11 an 12-year-old “catechism” class text.

    On the other, my own university student daughter walked out of a Ruhi group when she read quickly and turned the page to see what was coming next. “Don’t go ahead until everyone in the group has finished writing”, she was told. And like others, I find the materials a complete misfit to independent investigation for educated, Western people. If this had been my introduction to the Faith, I would have never stuck around to find out what it is really for,

    The purpose of the Faith is to enlighten and spiritualise. In situations where Ruhi matrials help to achieve this, great. For most of us in Western countires, certainly with university educations, something else is needed.

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  • True Believer

    I just wanted to point out that the Ruhi courses are referred to as the Ruhi PROCESS and as a process it needs to be followed through to its end. I understand some have had difficulties making the courses more friendly, and it is a class…so some are going feel taken aback by the fact that it is a learning process…..but the final goal is not to be introverted, rather it is a tool to allow the believers to be able to converse more freely about the faith and teach others with a better understanding of how they may hear the revelation. It is not exclusive to Bahai’s, there are several Ruhi gatherings that are made up of mostly non-Bahais. Its a process being taught around the world, and is inclusive to all.

  • True Believer

    I just wanted to point out that the Ruhi courses are referred to as the Ruhi PROCESS and as a process it needs to be followed through to its end. I understand some have had difficulties making the courses more friendly, and it is a class…so some are going feel taken aback by the fact that it is a learning process…..but the final goal is not to be introverted, rather it is a tool to allow the believers to be able to converse more freely about the faith and teach others with a better understanding of how they may hear the revelation. It is not exclusive to Bahai’s, there are several Ruhi gatherings that are made up of mostly non-Bahais. Its a process being taught around the world, and is inclusive to all.

  • huianui

    In response to True Believer’s commments, i don’t see the logic of the argument that a process needs to be followed to its end. What end? which end? when is an end defined? At book 7? at the end of one’s patience, or of the day? 🙂

    A friend once was terribly annoyed with me when I trashed a script he gave to me read, because I had not read all 100 pages. I likened my response to his own world, the dance world, and asked if he needed to watch a whole show in order to judge the quality of the performance? I am not implying that my judgement is any better than anyone else’s, but to point out that we all have differing ways of defining what is enough experience (of a process or a course) based on our own histories and backgrounds.

    It seems that most comments on the topic of “ruhi” classes/process or courses is the objection to its exclusivity: Bahai communities are no longer diverse in the ways Bahais tend to deepen (I’d even say “if”, as communities I know of, since Ruhi has existed in force, no longer have deepening or study classes). And I know, in a way I can held to blame. I no longer conduct alternative classes, at least, publicity for my Bahai community for fear of being labeled as creating conflict, because these would not be Ruhi oriented. So I do as many Bahai do, in such a situation, nothing. My solution to the frustration I might have (did have) is to go and do things in a non-Bahai forum. It just saddens me sometimes when Bahais comment or say, ‘why don’t you do that for us’, that I can’t even say why, without fear of it being misunderstood.

    Another objection is the very nature of “Ruhi” itself, with its hierarchial set-up. You have to do book 1 first, or memorize or read, things in small units, and then one is ‘qualified’ -with the book x or “ruhi black belt” qualificiation.
    I find it such a materialistic orientation, which wouldn’t be an issue if it was presented as an option Bahai communities could take or leave or even adapt. I know in China some classes are run creatively allowing discussion and deviation from the texts on the pages, but in the European communities I’ve had contact with, this is not allowed.

    One could argue about the maturity, flexibility or otherwise of Ruhi tutors, but for me the essence of the whole process seems to be the antithesis of independent investigation, surely, one of the main principles of the Bahai Faith.

  • huianui

    In response to True Believer’s commments, i don’t see the logic of the argument that a process needs to be followed to its end. What end? which end? when is an end defined? At book 7? at the end of one’s patience, or of the day? 🙂

    A friend once was terribly annoyed with me when I trashed a script he gave to me read, because I had not read all 100 pages. I likened my response to his own world, the dance world, and asked if he needed to watch a whole show in order to judge the quality of the performance? I am not implying that my judgement is any better than anyone else’s, but to point out that we all have differing ways of defining what is enough experience (of a process or a course) based on our own histories and backgrounds.

    It seems that most comments on the topic of “ruhi” classes/process or courses is the objection to its exclusivity: Bahai communities are no longer diverse in the ways Bahais tend to deepen (I’d even say “if”, as communities I know of, since Ruhi has existed in force, no longer have deepening or study classes). And I know, in a way I can held to blame. I no longer conduct alternative classes, at least, publicity for my Bahai community for fear of being labeled as creating conflict, because these would not be Ruhi oriented. So I do as many Bahai do, in such a situation, nothing. My solution to the frustration I might have (did have) is to go and do things in a non-Bahai forum. It just saddens me sometimes when Bahais comment or say, ‘why don’t you do that for us’, that I can’t even say why, without fear of it being misunderstood.

    Another objection is the very nature of “Ruhi” itself, with its hierarchial set-up. You have to do book 1 first, or memorize or read, things in small units, and then one is ‘qualified’ -with the book x or “ruhi black belt” qualificiation.
    I find it such a materialistic orientation, which wouldn’t be an issue if it was presented as an option Bahai communities could take or leave or even adapt. I know in China some classes are run creatively allowing discussion and deviation from the texts on the pages, but in the European communities I’ve had contact with, this is not allowed.

    One could argue about the maturity, flexibility or otherwise of Ruhi tutors, but for me the essence of the whole process seems to be the antithesis of independent investigation, surely, one of the main principles of the Bahai Faith.

  • anon

    “My understanding is that inflexible and immature people have always existed in our communities, but with the Institute Process they have now learnt to speak up and make themselves conspicuous; they will reap the results and then learn and grow much better from their mistakes than if they sat quietly in their corner.

    We have people being placed in a situation of responsibility for the first time in their lives and they become rigid in order to ?protect? themselves; they need time to learn and improve their services and we have to be patient of their clusminess.”

    what???????

  • anon

    “My understanding is that inflexible and immature people have always existed in our communities, but with the Institute Process they have now learnt to speak up and make themselves conspicuous; they will reap the results and then learn and grow much better from their mistakes than if they sat quietly in their corner.

    We have people being placed in a situation of responsibility for the first time in their lives and they become rigid in order to ?protect? themselves; they need time to learn and improve their services and we have to be patient of their clusminess.”

    what???????

  • Greg

    Gdday All
    Well yesterday ( Sydney time) was the first full day for the Conference aka Mid point of 5 yesar plan..) and as I forecasted it turn out to be a Ruhi fest and to be totally honest …. I dont know how I didnt hand in my Baha’i ID on the spot…I just about throw up at the clap trap so many times …. I hand tp go buy a clean shirt….. however there was one high light… I found out that the Rsuuian Baha’i Community had just about gone into open revolt over Ruhi…… the comment I heard went to the effect that the Russian Community said ” We are an educated people”
    I do need to make one point very clear about now… I dont clain any great education ,,,,,,, but likiewise I will not accept being treated like a prized idiot
    The other thing I got from yesterday was….. the sense that the World Wide Bahai community seemed to be fashioned into a subservent herd…..and thats one place I cant see my self going at least not to that scale… I may yet have many flaws … however I still retain my backbone and not yet become a jellyfish…..and I think I still have a few brain cells left as well….
    However on a positive note … I did catch up with old friends some of who I havent seen for many many long long years …. and that was a good thing.
    Futher reports on todays events will follow as required.
    Cheers
    Greg

  • Greg

    Gdday All
    Well yesterday ( Sydney time) was the first full day for the Conference aka Mid point of 5 yesar plan..) and as I forecasted it turn out to be a Ruhi fest and to be totally honest …. I dont know how I didnt hand in my Baha’i ID on the spot…I just about throw up at the clap trap so many times …. I hand tp go buy a clean shirt….. however there was one high light… I found out that the Rsuuian Baha’i Community had just about gone into open revolt over Ruhi…… the comment I heard went to the effect that the Russian Community said ” We are an educated people”
    I do need to make one point very clear about now… I dont clain any great education ,,,,,,, but likiewise I will not accept being treated like a prized idiot
    The other thing I got from yesterday was….. the sense that the World Wide Bahai community seemed to be fashioned into a subservent herd…..and thats one place I cant see my self going at least not to that scale… I may yet have many flaws … however I still retain my backbone and not yet become a jellyfish…..and I think I still have a few brain cells left as well….
    However on a positive note … I did catch up with old friends some of who I havent seen for many many long long years …. and that was a good thing.
    Futher reports on todays events will follow as required.
    Cheers
    Greg

  • Greg, thanks for the news. Interesting what you say about the Russian Baha’is. Was this first hand news from someone who was Russian or had visited there? From what I’ve heard Baha’is don’t usually openly “revolt” against Ruhi, they just don’t participate.

  • Greg, thanks for the news. Interesting what you say about the Russian Baha’is. Was this first hand news from someone who was Russian or had visited there? From what I’ve heard Baha’is don’t usually openly “revolt” against Ruhi, they just don’t participate.

  • greg

    Gdday Folks.
    I am surprised again that I am surprised….. seems to be aq constant state for…… just got emails to the LSA from the NSA ( Austrlalia), they contained emails from UHJ and a very quick read seems to suggest that approval has been given for door to door teaching ( aka door knocking)…. this comes after being assure by the ruhi -ites that it was merely invitations to "childrens classes" etc etc…….I guess its the chicken and egg …….get one and sooner or later you will get the other…..

    Cheers
    Greg

  • greg

    Gdday Folks.
    I am surprised again that I am surprised….. seems to be aq constant state for…… just got emails to the LSA from the NSA ( Austrlalia), they contained emails from UHJ and a very quick read seems to suggest that approval has been given for door to door teaching ( aka door knocking)…. this comes after being assure by the ruhi -ites that it was merely invitations to "childrens classes" etc etc…….I guess its the chicken and egg …….get one and sooner or later you will get the other…..

    Cheers
    Greg

  • Fourvalleys

    Nothing takes the place of quotein the writings. Problems occur when we misquote and the potency of the passage is corrupted. If I ask you a question and receive a direct quotation well and good but if you wing-it an age old custom to check knowledge is to ask you the same question at a later date. If the answers are not the same you are no longer a creditable person.

  • Guest

    In response to a number of comments and the post itself. If you completed the series than you would no longer be confined to thinking is such simple terms, good and bad, right and wrong. A idea that hardly stifles free thinking. If you are educated and participate in the process for your own intellectual gain, or deepening purposes than your just stupid. Clearly you would gain more ground on any topic reading at home alone in a dimly lit room. The point is to get you out of your well-furnished home and say hi and show a little love to your neighbors. Its a humble attempt to develop capacity for the betterment of society. Make your own humble attempt to better society and let the world community know how its going. And PLEASE stop, it sounds so silly, there are no “powers that be” that care about your blog or posts, what you say in your private life, or why you are so bitter.

  • Shahram

    Thank you for your response. I have noticed as I was reading the comments on this blog, most so called educated individuals still have not grasped that Baha’u’llah does not need us at all to advance his cause. When you sign your declaration card, you are accepting (no body forced you) that Baha’u’llah is the Manifestation of God for this age. That means you accept the covenant, the beloved Guardian Shoghi Effendi, the Universal House of Justice and any other institutions he has established. The Bahai Faith is not a Buffet that you can pick and choose whatever you like. If Ruhi Institute was not helping society–be it East or West, the House of Justice would have put a stop to it long ago. Be assured of that!
    As for the complexity or simplicity of the material, what does that have anything to do with how it is going to change hearts. I am a Premed student and have been a martial artist for a while and it is a fact that most simple techniues are the ones that are going to be effective in real situations–not complex moves.
    I have not finished all the Ruhi books yet, but I have been a first hand witness of its powerful effect. I have observed so many people who are attracted to it that even none Bahais like to join and have their children participate.
    To anyone on this blog who likes to dwell on negative things and feels that the Faith owes them something; or might think a pill or a check may fix the problem I have the following writing from Baha’u’llah:
    “How great the blessedness of him who hath attained unto the good-pleasure of God, and woe betide the heedless! Once the validity of a divinely appointed Prophet hath been established, to none is given the right to ask why or wherefore. Rather is it incumbent upon all to accept and obey whatsoever He saith. This is that which God hath decreed in all His Books, Scriptures and Tablets.” Tabernacle of Unity (page 46)
    Please be part of the solution not the problem.

  • Anonymous

    I don’t see why you spend so much time complaining about the Baha’i Faith when there are far more pressing issues in the world. At least the Baha’i are making an effort to improve society.

  • PeterT

    This guy is confusing “training” with “deepening”. The Ruhi Institute is a training institute, not a deepening class.