Ruhi Redux

My previous commentary on the Ruhi course got a lot of feedback so I wanted to revisit the topic. Previously, I didn’t really delve into any specifics. I hope to remedy that here.That Ruhi has become a controversial and polarizing topic within Baha’i communities is not in doubt. In fact, it has almost become a secret handshake of sorts that distinguishes free thinking Baha’is from others.Some have pointed out the similarity between Ruhi and its Chrisian kissing cousin, the Alpha course. I can’t comment on a comparison in any significant way because I haven’t taken the Alpha course. But I think it is totally conceivable that some cross pollination (to put it politely) took place when the Alpha course began to take off in the Christian world in the early 1990’s. Its not hard to imagine that some in the Baha’i administration saw its success and took note. From what I read about the Alpha course, it seems much more flexible and customizable than Ruhi. It also seems much more open ended and intellectually stimulating. If anyone has taken both courses, please feel free to drop a comment below.

The first and most important point that must be made when talking about validity and quality of Ruhi is that it is based upon a foundation of implied assumptions. These are that a systematic and standardaized curriculum is best – or atleast, better. I can not overstate how important, yet silent, assumptions these are. I have never really seen anyone point them out or to question them. Instead they are unblinkingly accepted. I do question these assumptions and wonder why such a fundamental element of Ruhi is never discussed. My take on this is that it isn’t because it can not withstand intellectual scrutiny.

I have no doubt that Ruhi met with great success when it was first introduced in Columbia. Arbab created something which worked great teaching and consolidating poor and semi-literate Baha’is in the rural communities of Latin America. Unfortunately, with these initial successes, the man with a hammer began to see the whole world as a nail.

The whole essence of Ruhi is taqlid (blind and unquestioning imitation in action or belief). At the time of Baha’u’llah this was a big deal since much of Shi’ite doctrine (and the orthodox authority of the Mullah’s and Mutjahid) rested on taqlid. Baha’u’llah instructs Baha’is to put it aside and instead use individual investigation of truth. We have anectodal evidence (where Baha’u’llah admonishes a student for parroting the teachers lesson and then rewards him when he comes to a personal understanding and puts the lesson in his own words) as well as explicit texts which condemn taqlid.

Another negative aspect of Ruhi is that it has a strong crowding out effect in every community that it is implemented. Each person and each community has a finite amount of time, energy, money, etc. And when we devote our resources in one direction, we are simultaneously denying them to any other area. Since the Baha’i community has been pushed into doing the sequence of Ruhi courses they have very little resources to devote elsewhere. Like the Mashriq’ul-Adhkar, charitable and SED projects, deepenings, teaching projects and the like. I’ve even seen some groups take it over and over again in a sort of crazy Groundhog Day scenario.

Putting aside all that, the strongest argument against Ruhi is its own content. It is a jumble of authenticated Baha’i texts (from the writings of the central Figures), pilgrims notes (which have dubious historical accuracy) and the commentary and interpretation of the editors and creators of the Ruhi courses themselves. What’s more, no distinction is made between these differing sources. Also non-existent is any sort of context for the quotes. The student is expected to treat them all the same way, that is read, write in the questions, repeat, and memorize.

Yet, for all of its flaws, in a very short time Ruhi managed to become sacrosanct. The how and the whys of this are rather simple. It is the only such program mentioned repeatedly by name by the House of Justice and the ITC in their official communiques. Actually it is not only mentioned by the highest Baha’i institutions, it is strongly recommended and aggressively promoted by them. The NSAs, LSAs and individual Baha’is in turn take these cues for what they are.

For these same reasons, any criticism of the weaknesses of Ruhi is interpreted as a direct criticism or attack on the House of Justice and the ITC. This has resulted in a situation where, as a Baha’i, you either get with the program or are branded as covenantally weak. The poisonous effects of this on the Baha’i world community are already apparent and will be even more pronounced with time.

For some other ideas on Ruhi, you can read this essay by Anthony Lee.

*********************

From the Ruhi Course To the Collaborators (if you are unfamiliar with Ruhi vocabulary, this refers to any and all who participate in the Ruhi program, either as students or as teachers – er, sorry…tutors):

“It is natural that a verse from the Writings should bring to mind myriads of noble and beautiful ideas. To share these ideas with the friends on appropriate occasions conduces to joy and happiness. But care must be exercised so that this practice does not become an exercise in the expression of ego and an insistence on the sovereignty of personal opinion.”

Interesting. Especially when you consider the elevated station that the individual’s conscience has in the Baha’i writings. Also interesting when you consider that individual investigation of truth is a major tenet of the Baha’i Faith. I also wonder what role ego has to play when the writers of Ruhi, without any distinction, comingle their own words and understanding with the sacred texts and impose on the students to study and memorize them in the same way.

The experience of the Ruhi Institute has shown that we do not suppress the imagination or the personality of the participants when we refrain from posing questions such as, “What does this mean to you?”

Not only is this never shown by the Ruhi Institute to be the case, the anecdotal evidence contradicts it:

This reminded me of an experience last summer: several Baha’is and guests were gathered for a monthly potluck social. A relatively new believer came into the drive, leapt from his car, stormed over to our group by the barbeque- obviously agitated. In a firm voice he said: “I will NOT be indoctrinated!” It took a bit of consoling to arrive at the source of his distress. As a new believer he had been encouraged to participate in a Ruhi Book I study circle. He explained that he was so insulted by the “shallowness” of the material that he couldn’t take it any more and walked out…

Unfortunately, since the same group (Arbab, Correa, Lample, etc.) that created and promoted Ruhi are now in the highest positions within the Baha’i Administration, it will be long time until we put it all behind us. For this small group of persons, there is just too much personal interest at stake. I can empathize. Its never easy to admit that one is wrong. That’s just human. But usually when we fall prey to this defect of human nature, it is only ourselves that we hurt. But in the case of Ruhi, the whole Baha’i community is suffering.

Related:

Check out Alison’s post on taqlid.

  • Amazing piece. What you said about Ruhi, well, that’s what a lot of us were thinking. And the guidelines ‘to the collaborators’ were a real revelation. I kind of implied the stupidity of the whole message in my “Moral Relativism” essay on Talisman, but you really hit the mark. Well said. I don’t think we can say enough bad things about Ruhi. All the best.

  • Amazing piece. What you said about Ruhi, well, that’s what a lot of us were thinking. And the guidelines ‘to the collaborators’ were a real revelation. I kind of implied the stupidity of the whole message in my “Moral Relativism” essay on Talisman, but you really hit the mark. Well said. I don’t think we can say enough bad things about Ruhi. All the best.

  • Anonymous

    I am a New Zealand Baha’i who entered the Faith as a young teenager and remained active for almost 35 years. I had the great good fortune to be deeped by some remarkable souls (for instance Owen Battrick, Member of the NSA of the UK and a Teller at the First International Conference, and who had met Shoghi Effendi on Pilgrimage)…an educated and thinking man, whose deepenings were a patient process of loving and gentle self-discovery.

    By contrast I distinctly recall the first time I heard of the “Ruhi Institutes”. The NZ community experimented with them very early on. Immediately it was apparent that they were designed to appeal to the fundamentalist and literal mind…the unquestioning rote learning, the inflexible structure, and the sheer over the top zeal of those promoting Ruhi, convinced me there and then that this method was not right.

    A short time later, events conspired so as I chose to become “inactive”, and I realise there is no way “back in” for me, as long as the Faith I love, and still hold in the deepest regard, is distracted by this folly.

  • Anonymous

    I am a New Zealand Baha’i who entered the Faith as a young teenager and remained active for almost 35 years. I had the great good fortune to be deeped by some remarkable souls (for instance Owen Battrick, Member of the NSA of the UK and a Teller at the First International Conference, and who had met Shoghi Effendi on Pilgrimage)…an educated and thinking man, whose deepenings were a patient process of loving and gentle self-discovery.

    By contrast I distinctly recall the first time I heard of the “Ruhi Institutes”. The NZ community experimented with them very early on. Immediately it was apparent that they were designed to appeal to the fundamentalist and literal mind…the unquestioning rote learning, the inflexible structure, and the sheer over the top zeal of those promoting Ruhi, convinced me there and then that this method was not right.

    A short time later, events conspired so as I chose to become “inactive”, and I realise there is no way “back in” for me, as long as the Faith I love, and still hold in the deepest regard, is distracted by this folly.

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  • A Graham

    Just to let you know, Alpha and Ruhi are quite different. I have taken both. Alpha is based on a series of videos by Nicki Gumbel, a lawyer become lay preacher.

    It seemed that the Alpha program has been pretty well standardized. The meal, the songs, the videos, the discussion, the helpers — all come together as a nice package. Ruhi, on the other hand, is still “under construction” and the circles vary greatly from one tutor to the next. Some are very creative and open to difference of opinion; others present more of a “party line”.

    Alpha participants do not interact with the Creative Word. They (or at least, we did) discuss their opinions of Mr. Gumbel’s opinions. Alpha did not meant to lead anywhere except perhaps to conversion. Ruhi seems more about educating the soul based on the Baha’i Writings. In the perfect world, it should lead to behaviours that benefit the spiritual development of the individual.

    While both programs aim to regenerate our spirits, I think Ruhi has the greater potential to transform an individual, where Alpha has the immediate effect of a warm and cosy fellowship experience.

  • A Graham

    Just to let you know, Alpha and Ruhi are quite different. I have taken both. Alpha is based on a series of videos by Nicki Gumbel, a lawyer become lay preacher.

    It seemed that the Alpha program has been pretty well standardized. The meal, the songs, the videos, the discussion, the helpers — all come together as a nice package. Ruhi, on the other hand, is still “under construction” and the circles vary greatly from one tutor to the next. Some are very creative and open to difference of opinion; others present more of a “party line”.

    Alpha participants do not interact with the Creative Word. They (or at least, we did) discuss their opinions of Mr. Gumbel’s opinions. Alpha did not meant to lead anywhere except perhaps to conversion. Ruhi seems more about educating the soul based on the Baha’i Writings. In the perfect world, it should lead to behaviours that benefit the spiritual development of the individual.

    While both programs aim to regenerate our spirits, I think Ruhi has the greater potential to transform an individual, where Alpha has the immediate effect of a warm and cosy fellowship experience.

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  • F

    One alternative that many critics (and I am one) of Ruhi might enjoy is FUNDAEC and its courses. It is extremely broad, and the one I’m doing now doesn’t even involve Baha’i quotes – don’t know if the others do. It’s more like structured questioning of everything. People even question the questions, which is very healthy.

    The members of our group are mostly educated professionals (lawyers, traders, bankers, consultants etc) and mostly non-Baha’is. They enjoy it a lot, and see it as an opportunity to reflect on life and work in a very broad minded but structured way, and to come up with one’s own answers.

    Ruhi is not mandatory, but study circles are a good way of discussing issues with like-minded people. This is an excellent study circle framework. Check it out.

  • F

    One alternative that many critics (and I am one) of Ruhi might enjoy is FUNDAEC and its courses. It is extremely broad, and the one I’m doing now doesn’t even involve Baha’i quotes – don’t know if the others do. It’s more like structured questioning of everything. People even question the questions, which is very healthy.

    The members of our group are mostly educated professionals (lawyers, traders, bankers, consultants etc) and mostly non-Baha’is. They enjoy it a lot, and see it as an opportunity to reflect on life and work in a very broad minded but structured way, and to come up with one’s own answers.

    Ruhi is not mandatory, but study circles are a good way of discussing issues with like-minded people. This is an excellent study circle framework. Check it out.

  • I had a good chuckle!! Enjoy

  • I had a good chuckle!! Enjoy

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  • Frank

    We all as Baha’is believ that UHJ is the ultimate authority for the faith and is infallible. We should follow their direction and put our efforts into it. I don’t recall that UHJ has told us anywhere stop what we were doing before totally.

  • Frank

    We all as Baha’is believ that UHJ is the ultimate authority for the faith and is infallible. We should follow their direction and put our efforts into it. I don’t recall that UHJ has told us anywhere stop what we were doing before totally.

  • farhan

    Interesting comments that are certainly valid in specific cases.

    First of all, the baha’i Faith having no priests, all Baha’is are supposed to participate in offering the services that priests once offered to tehir fellow men; this function needs training. Some highly learned citizens are unable to transmit their learning and wisdom to others; Ruhi is intended to teach would be teachers how to teach other would-be teachers. It is not intended for making a class of intellectualy priviledged believers. Other courses, summer schools, Baha’i studies sessions etc are available for his. Ruhi is aiming at the needs of the vast majority of human beings who are not privileged by access to

    Secondly, each book is designed to impart a certain talent: book one teaches how to organise prayer sessions, book 2 how to visit fellow believers to help in understanding the teachings, book 3 how to organise children’s classes, book 4 how to organise commemorating sessions, book 5 how to organise activities for junior youth, book 6 how to organise teaching campaignes, and book 7 how to organise study circles that tutor the books. other books are on the way. The books are in no way intended to replace erudition, but are intended as as spring board for those who are not involved in activities; I know that some well-meaning zealots overdid things and discouraged many, but this is due to a lack of understanding and misreading of the abundant documents from teh world centre,

    Thirdly, we badly need this activity in order to have more human ressourses, but those who are already active in teh Faith dont need to become involved. As an illustration, in China the lack of doctors brought about the bare-foot doctors who were a response to a particular need at a specific time, but this was not intended to replace medical science.

    We certainly do have in Western culture attitudes of superiority and arrorange from those who believe that knowledge is designed as a means for dominating others; Ruhi is intended as a course that teaches us that knowledge should lead us to service and not to competition.

    The institute process is so new in religious history that it is understandable that it’s intent should be misunderstood. The abundant explanations from te world center have not been studied adequately by those not interested in the method, and more unfortunately by some zealots who as Peter Khan puts it are really enthused about pressing others.

    I find it distressing that this course to which i have totally adhered as necessary from the onset, has been misunderstood as a replacement for what we were doing before. This has led to tension and resentment within many communities with the power issues that the course clearly attempts to neutralise. The talks by Peter Khan in Brisbane, Toronto and San Fransisco help to correct all this.

    It is incredible that very well read and intelligent baha’is should not be able to differenciate between “priority” and “exclusivity” We need to think “this AND that” and not “this OR that”. Spiritualising the planet is a high priority, Ruhi si a mass teaching programme, but does not exclude the need for whatever we were doing before.

    I am also sad that some Baha’is feel the need to do Ruhi by mere “obedience” and conformisme or even zealotry instead of trying to understand and appreciate the purpose of our World Centre.

    Hope this is helpful!

    warmest

    farhan

  • Farhan YAZDANI

    Interesting comments that are certainly valid in specific cases.

    First of all, the baha’i Faith having no priests, all Baha’is are supposed to participate in offering the services that priests once offered to tehir fellow men; this function needs training. Some highly learned citizens are unable to transmit their learning and wisdom to others; Ruhi is intended to teach would be teachers how to teach other would-be teachers. It is not intended for making a class of intellectualy priviledged believers. Other courses, summer schools, Baha’i studies sessions etc are available for his. Ruhi is aiming at the needs of the vast majority of human beings who are not privileged by access to

    Secondly, each book is designed to impart a certain talent: book one teaches how to organise prayer sessions, book 2 how to visit fellow believers to help in understanding the teachings, book 3 how to organise children’s classes, book 4 how to organise commemorating sessions, book 5 how to organise activities for junior youth, book 6 how to organise teaching campaignes, and book 7 how to organise study circles that tutor the books. other books are on the way. The books are in no way intended to replace erudition, but are intended as as spring board for those who are not involved in activities; I know that some well-meaning zealots overdid things and discouraged many, but this is due to a lack of understanding and misreading of the abundant documents from teh world centre,

    Thirdly, we badly need this activity in order to have more human ressourses, but those who are already active in teh Faith dont need to become involved. As an illustration, in China the lack of doctors brought about the bare-foot doctors who were a response to a particular need at a specific time, but this was not intended to replace medical science.

    We certainly do have in Western culture attitudes of superiority and arrorange from those who believe that knowledge is designed as a means for dominating others; Ruhi is intended as a course that teaches us that knowledge should lead us to service and not to competition.

    The institute process is so new in religious history that it is understandable that it’s intent should be misunderstood. The abundant explanations from te world center have not been studied adequately by those not interested in the method, and more unfortunately by some zealots who as Peter Khan puts it are really enthused about pressing others.

    I find it distressing that this course to which i have totally adhered as necessary from the onset, has been misunderstood as a replacement for what we were doing before. This has led to tension and resentment within many communities with the power issues that the course clearly attempts to neutralise. The talks by Peter Khan in Brisbane, Toronto and San Fransisco help to correct all this.

    It is incredible that very well read and intelligent baha’is should not be able to differenciate between “priority” and “exclusivity” We need to think “this AND that” and not “this OR that”. Spiritualising the planet is a high priority, Ruhi si a mass teaching programme, but does not exclude the need for whatever we were doing before.

    I am also sad that some Baha’is feel the need to do Ruhi by mere “obedience” and conformisme or even zealotry instead of trying to understand and appreciate the purpose of our World Centre.

    Hope this is helpful!

    warmest

    farhan

  • Frank

    Thanks farhan,

    I would appreciate if you could direct me to scripts of talks by Peter Khan in Brisbane, Toronto and San Fransisco.

    Regards

  • Frank

    Thanks farhan,

    I would appreciate if you could direct me to scripts of talks by Peter Khan in Brisbane, Toronto and San Fransisco.

    Regards

  • Craig Parke

    Farhan,

    You wrote:

    “It is incredible that very well read and intelligent baha’is should not be able to differenciate between ?priority? and ?exclusivity? We need to think ?this AND that? and not ?this OR that?. Spiritualising the planet is a high priority, Ruhi si a mass teaching programme, but does not exclude the need for whatever we were doing before.”

    Have you read the US NSA Ridvan 2007 Convention Report to the UHJ that has now been repressed worldwide?

    I think there is a link to it here on BR if you can find it and read it.

    Their points were dismissed completely out of hand by the UHJ.

    The UHJ’s answer was most certainly NOT “this AND that”. It was “this OR that”. It was “the UHJ’s way or the highway”. Period. No discussion. End of conversation.

    The Ruhi Courses are the equivalent of people having to take a course in how to wipe their bottoms!

    If people in the Baha’i Faith world wide are truly this ignorant and this hapless on what the Faith is about I don’t see how these completely inaccurate and fabricated materials are going to help them? The Ruhi materials are NOT based on the Writings of the Central Figures of the Faith AT ALLl.

    They are based upon the personal opinions of the tiny self-appointed clique of people that wrote them and their own psychological needs. There is no power in them for one very simple reason: they are not based at all on the Word of God!

    And to say they are is to be an out and out liar.

    And, remember, Ruhi Book One is pretty hard on people that are liars! That was the only part of the course that I thought was accurate and scriptural. The rest is someone else’s completely made up drivel.

    People in this World Age are supposed to be able to think for themselves without clergy. If people can’t do that, they are not going to achieve anything in life. The responsibility to be educated in this World Age is to see through your own eyes and not through the eyes of others. This is Baha’u’llah’s number one Teaching as a worldwide reform of religion.

    I believe there are people all over the planet Earth both literate and illiterate of honor and spiritual acumen who have never heard of the Baha’i Faith that are far more spiritual and living the Teachings of Baha’u’llah and Abdu’l-Baha much better than people with “official” membership cards in the top down over administered Baha’i Faith. They are the actual Baha’is. Not people on a sterile computerized membership role.

    The Ruhiized Faith is not going to work in the long run ANYWHERE ON EARTH EVER for one very simple reason: it is not spiritual. In fact, it is absolutely Godless.

    Deeds not words.

    It is all words and just a system of top down death grip control by the self appointed new clergy class of the Baha’i Faith. It will fail worldwide and not a trace of it will survive other than eternal disgrace upon those who fashioned it as a substitute for the real Teachings of Baha’u’llah.

    Thank you for your post.

    Best regards,

    Craig

  • Craig Parke

    Farhan,

    You wrote:

    “It is incredible that very well read and intelligent baha’is should not be able to differenciate between ?priority? and ?exclusivity? We need to think ?this AND that? and not ?this OR that?. Spiritualising the planet is a high priority, Ruhi si a mass teaching programme, but does not exclude the need for whatever we were doing before.”

    Have you read the US NSA Ridvan 2007 Convention Report to the UHJ that has now been repressed worldwide?

    I think there is a link to it here on BR if you can find it and read it.

    Their points were dismissed completely out of hand by the UHJ.

    The UHJ’s answer was most certainly NOT “this AND that”. It was “this OR that”. It was “the UHJ’s way or the highway”. Period. No discussion. End of conversation.

    The Ruhi Courses are the equivalent of people having to take a course in how to wipe their bottoms!

    If people in the Baha’i Faith world wide are truly this ignorant and this hapless on what the Faith is about I don’t see how these completely inaccurate and fabricated materials are going to help them? The Ruhi materials are NOT based on the Writings of the Central Figures of the Faith AT ALLl.

    They are based upon the personal opinions of the tiny self-appointed clique of people that wrote them and their own psychological needs. There is no power in them for one very simple reason: they are not based at all on the Word of God!

    And to say they are is to be an out and out liar.

    And, remember, Ruhi Book One is pretty hard on people that are liars! That was the only part of the course that I thought was accurate and scriptural. The rest is someone else’s completely made up drivel.

    People in this World Age are supposed to be able to think for themselves without clergy. If people can’t do that, they are not going to achieve anything in life. The responsibility to be educated in this World Age is to see through your own eyes and not through the eyes of others. This is Baha’u’llah’s number one Teaching as a worldwide reform of religion.

    I believe there are people all over the planet Earth both literate and illiterate of honor and spiritual acumen who have never heard of the Baha’i Faith that are far more spiritual and living the Teachings of Baha’u’llah and Abdu’l-Baha much better than people with “official” membership cards in the top down over administered Baha’i Faith. They are the actual Baha’is. Not people on a sterile computerized membership role.

    The Ruhiized Faith is not going to work in the long run ANYWHERE ON EARTH EVER for one very simple reason: it is not spiritual. In fact, it is absolutely Godless.

    Deeds not words.

    It is all words and just a system of top down death grip control by the self appointed new clergy class of the Baha’i Faith. It will fail worldwide and not a trace of it will survive other than eternal disgrace upon those who fashioned it as a substitute for the real Teachings of Baha’u’llah.

    Thank you for your post.

    Best regards,

    Craig

  • Kate

    I think we have to hold firm about this Ruhi business. I’ve done most of them and enjoyed some, especially those conducted by deepended tutors who love the Faith and love the friends. Think about it: if you aspire to having those qualities, then you can take Ruhi and make sure it is a good experience, one that leads towards further deepening as well as teaching activities, socializing, community life and being involved in the world around us. I do agree the powers that be have become statistic gatherers. Also agree that there is too much management-speak and not enough reference to the life affirming, soul stirring writings from the Central Figures of the Bah??’? Faith. Maybe it is because of the apathy of some that those in charge of the process are not always those who are inspirational and steeped in the Writings. There has been a lack of wisdom in how things are presented but if those with the knowledge, deepening etc., are hanging back then those souls who are arising do not deserve to be castigated. That is the best they can do. I think mistakes have been made. We were NEVER (excuse me shouting!) supposed to give up all the activities we had already in our communities and I think you’ll find that in many places, these are being taken up again. The UHJ made that clear and when NSAs and Institutes asked for that, they were wrong. It was new to everyone to be receiving these instructions and indeed we all know the instructions changed from month to month. It was/is difficult but God knows our Faith has been through crisis before. I just pray to cling to my belief till this gets sorted. Our love and refusal to back away will be part of curing it. In the end we are not accountable for what anyone else does. The Fast is coming. It is the same Fast. Noone will text you for statistics on how you are doing! May Bah??’u’ll??h look upon us with mercy. I am sad sometimes about how things are but I love this Faith.

  • Kate

    I think we have to hold firm about this Ruhi business. I’ve done most of them and enjoyed some, especially those conducted by deepended tutors who love the Faith and love the friends. Think about it: if you aspire to having those qualities, then you can take Ruhi and make sure it is a good experience, one that leads towards further deepening as well as teaching activities, socializing, community life and being involved in the world around us. I do agree the powers that be have become statistic gatherers. Also agree that there is too much management-speak and not enough reference to the life affirming, soul stirring writings from the Central Figures of the Bah??’? Faith. Maybe it is because of the apathy of some that those in charge of the process are not always those who are inspirational and steeped in the Writings. There has been a lack of wisdom in how things are presented but if those with the knowledge, deepening etc., are hanging back then those souls who are arising do not deserve to be castigated. That is the best they can do. I think mistakes have been made. We were NEVER (excuse me shouting!) supposed to give up all the activities we had already in our communities and I think you’ll find that in many places, these are being taken up again. The UHJ made that clear and when NSAs and Institutes asked for that, they were wrong. It was new to everyone to be receiving these instructions and indeed we all know the instructions changed from month to month. It was/is difficult but God knows our Faith has been through crisis before. I just pray to cling to my belief till this gets sorted. Our love and refusal to back away will be part of curing it. In the end we are not accountable for what anyone else does. The Fast is coming. It is the same Fast. Noone will text you for statistics on how you are doing! May Bah??’u’ll??h look upon us with mercy. I am sad sometimes about how things are but I love this Faith.

  • Mark

    Quite frankly, Ruhi and the clusterization of the Faith are internal-looking and are not directed toward growth and enrolments. Three ways of measuring this: enrollment rates; retention/attendance numbers; and Fund contribution levels. Shrinking and dying religion always suffer in these three areas. In most of the developed world, the Baha’is have this unfortunate trifecta. Ergo, the Plan is failing.

    This is a 100-Year mistake that might not have happened in the days when we had the Institution of the Hands of the Cause as a counterpoise.

    There are two ways out of this mess: the House declares “victory” and says the Ruhi and Cluster process have worked well…now onto the next plan (like when the US declared victory and abandoned South Vietnam); OR an internal purging and movement with tacit official sanction like the Chinese Cultural Revolution. No matter how you slice it: Ruhi, Cluster, Devotions, Baha’i Councils, Children’s Classes are dead in the water. The numbers bear that out.

  • Mark

    Quite frankly, Ruhi and the clusterization of the Faith are internal-looking and are not directed toward growth and enrolments. Three ways of measuring this: enrollment rates; retention/attendance numbers; and Fund contribution levels. Shrinking and dying religion always suffer in these three areas. In most of the developed world, the Baha’is have this unfortunate trifecta. Ergo, the Plan is failing.

    This is a 100-Year mistake that might not have happened in the days when we had the Institution of the Hands of the Cause as a counterpoise.

    There are two ways out of this mess: the House declares “victory” and says the Ruhi and Cluster process have worked well…now onto the next plan (like when the US declared victory and abandoned South Vietnam); OR an internal purging and movement with tacit official sanction like the Chinese Cultural Revolution. No matter how you slice it: Ruhi, Cluster, Devotions, Baha’i Councils, Children’s Classes are dead in the water. The numbers bear that out.

  • farhan

    Mark,
    I disagree; there is no mess; The Institute process to my understanding is a project for catering for the masses that will be entering the Faith soon as the result of the calamities that are assailing us (perhaps not you as yet?) and not a process for enrolling new believers, although in practice, both the process of enrolment and that of consolidation go together.

    I would add that it would be wise not to invite new enrolments as long as we are not in a situation to welcome these masses by providing core activities for them. The communities that willl not have prepared themselves for welcoming the masses and those who will have failed to participate in this enterprise will have failed dismally.

  • Farhan YAZDANI

    Mark,
    I disagree; there is no mess; The Institute process to my understanding is a project for catering for the masses that will be entering the Faith soon as the result of the calamities that are assailing us (perhaps not you as yet?) and not a process for enrolling new believers, although in practice, both the process of enrolment and that of consolidation go together.

    I would add that it would be wise not to invite new enrolments as long as we are not in a situation to welcome these masses by providing core activities for them. The communities that willl not have prepared themselves for welcoming the masses and those who will have failed to participate in this enterprise will have failed dismally.

  • farhan

    Frank wrote:

    “I would appreciate if you could direct me to scripts of talks by Peter Khan in Brisbane, Toronto and San Fransisco.”

    Frank,

    I could not locate them on the web; if you suggest a site or an address, I will post them to you.

    warmest

    Farhan

  • Farhan YAZDANI

    Frank wrote:

    “I would appreciate if you could direct me to scripts of talks by Peter Khan in Brisbane, Toronto and San Fransisco.”

    Frank,

    I could not locate them on the web; if you suggest a site or an address, I will post them to you.

    warmest

    Farhan

  • Frank

    I would appreciate it if you could upload it to site such as:

    http://www.megaupload.com

    and send me the link.

    Thanks

  • Frank

    I would appreciate it if you could upload it to site such as:

    http://www.megaupload.com

    and send me the link.

    Thanks

  • Pingback: Several Baha’i Documents & Speeches at Baha’i Rants()

  • farhan

    Bah??’?-inspired development program highlighted at U.N. meeting 19 May 2008
    UNITED NATIONS, — A Bah??’?-inspired program that has trained thousands of people in Honduras and Colombia to contribute to rural development was highlighted as a model for sustainable development at a major U.N. meeting this month.
    (see : http://news.bahai.org/story/633)

  • Farhan Yazdani

    Bah??’?-inspired development program highlighted at U.N. meeting 19 May 2008
    UNITED NATIONS, — A Bah??’?-inspired program that has trained thousands of people in Honduras and Colombia to contribute to rural development was highlighted as a model for sustainable development at a major U.N. meeting this month.
    (see : http://news.bahai.org/story/633)

  • kjk

    since when did ego come first in the Baha’i Faith? That’s what tore the other religions apart.

    even in schools we have faster and slower learners, we all have to be patient

    Universal House of Justice is Divinely guided,
    so no doubts in what they tell us to do is right,
    even if we may not understand
    it’s what makes us Baha’i, supporting the Administration.

    how can the truth of the UHJ ever be questioned?
    personal doubts like these should be kept to the self so as not to bring others to doubt

    Ruhi is proven useful in so many ways and never proved as contrary, but those who don’t want to, won’t understand or appreciate it.

  • kjk

    since when did ego come first in the Baha’i Faith? That’s what tore the other religions apart.

    even in schools we have faster and slower learners, we all have to be patient

    Universal House of Justice is Divinely guided,
    so no doubts in what they tell us to do is right,
    even if we may not understand
    it’s what makes us Baha’i, supporting the Administration.

    how can the truth of the UHJ ever be questioned?
    personal doubts like these should be kept to the self so as not to bring others to doubt

    Ruhi is proven useful in so many ways and never proved as contrary, but those who don’t want to, won’t understand or appreciate it.

  • kjk

    basically questioning the UHJ is questioning your being a Baha’i

    that’s too personal to make public

  • kjk

    basically questioning the UHJ is questioning your being a Baha’i

    that’s too personal to make public

  • p

    how can the truth of the UHJ ever be questioned?
    personal doubts like these should be kept to the self so as not to bring
    —————–
    If infallibility means that the UHJ is correct all the time, then why did Shoghi Effendi say that future Guardians could annull a decision of the UHJ? How can they be divinely guided as you understand and still be wrong? Is God bipolar? Anyway, the fanaticism that you kjk show is what the Bahai Faith is against. Basically you are the one who is not in line with the spirit of the Bahai Faith.

  • p

    how can the truth of the UHJ ever be questioned?
    personal doubts like these should be kept to the self so as not to bring
    —————–
    If infallibility means that the UHJ is correct all the time, then why did Shoghi Effendi say that future Guardians could annull a decision of the UHJ? How can they be divinely guided as you understand and still be wrong? Is God bipolar? Anyway, the fanaticism that you kjk show is what the Bahai Faith is against. Basically you are the one who is not in line with the spirit of the Bahai Faith.

  • kjk

    well, it’s an opinion i’ve heard
    true that one can argue either way

  • kjk

    well, it’s an opinion i’ve heard
    true that one can argue either way

  • Craig Parke

    [quote comment=”53863″]since when did ego come first in the Baha’i Faith? That’s what tore the other religions apart.

    even in schools we have faster and slower learners, we all have to be patient

    Universal House of Justice is Divinely guided,
    so no doubts in what they tell us to do is right,
    even if we may not understand
    it’s what makes us Baha’i, supporting the Administration.

    how can the truth of the UHJ ever be questioned?
    personal doubts like these should be kept to the self so as not to bring others to doubt

    Ruhi is proven useful in so many ways and never proved as contrary, but those who don’t want to, won’t understand or appreciate it.[/quote]

    kjk,

    Can you describe to me what the future will be like when the UHJ rules the entire world?

    Thanks!

  • Craig Parke

    [quote comment=”53863″]since when did ego come first in the Baha’i Faith? That’s what tore the other religions apart.

    even in schools we have faster and slower learners, we all have to be patient

    Universal House of Justice is Divinely guided,
    so no doubts in what they tell us to do is right,
    even if we may not understand
    it’s what makes us Baha’i, supporting the Administration.

    how can the truth of the UHJ ever be questioned?
    personal doubts like these should be kept to the self so as not to bring others to doubt

    Ruhi is proven useful in so many ways and never proved as contrary, but those who don’t want to, won’t understand or appreciate it.[/quote]

    kjk,

    Can you describe to me what the future will be like when the UHJ rules the entire world?

    Thanks!

  • Anonymouz

    kjk I would be careful here, this is not your average Baha’i environment…You are better off looking to the writings for answers, its all debate and chase tail questions here.

  • Anonymouz

    kjk I would be careful here, this is not your average Baha’i environment…You are better off looking to the writings for answers, its all debate and chase tail questions here.

  • Craig Parke

    [quote comment=”53873″]

    Anon wrote:

    kjk I would be careful here, this is not your average Baha’i environment…You are better off looking to the writings for answers, its all debate and chase tail questions here.[/quote]

    Anon,

    Good to hear from you this week. I hope you are doing well!

    Can you explain to me your “average Baha’i environment”. What is that?

  • Craig Parke

    [quote comment=”53873″]

    Anon wrote:

    kjk I would be careful here, this is not your average Baha’i environment…You are better off looking to the writings for answers, its all debate and chase tail questions here.[/quote]

    Anon,

    Good to hear from you this week. I hope you are doing well!

    Can you explain to me your “average Baha’i environment”. What is that?

  • Anonymouz

    the average Baha’i environment is not online, lets just say it that way. Ideally, it should be out in the World sharing the message of Baha’u’llah with dignity and charity. In any case, The rant is simply a little outlet for people waning to purge their thoughts. Not really a big deal. A Baha’i, and I am one in name only according to this definition, is serving day and night, constantly in a state of perpetual giving and growing. Hard to do online! Hard to do period. That’s why we are trying…always trying.

  • Anonymouz

    the average Baha’i environment is not online, lets just say it that way. Ideally, it should be out in the World sharing the message of Baha’u’llah with dignity and charity. In any case, The rant is simply a little outlet for people waning to purge their thoughts. Not really a big deal. A Baha’i, and I am one in name only according to this definition, is serving day and night, constantly in a state of perpetual giving and growing. Hard to do online! Hard to do period. That’s why we are trying…always trying.

  • p

    Well obviously if there were more open/honest discourse in the Bahai community, there wouldn’t be any need for this kind of “rant”. The problem is loyal Bahais don’t want any airing of difference (dirty laundry as well) in public forums, but very little is allowed inside the Bahai community. If you push too hard you are politely told that you are pursuing your ego too much and you should basically give it up for the sake of UNITY. Ah yes, unity, that magic word used to shut people up.

  • p

    Well obviously if there were more open/honest discourse in the Bahai community, there wouldn’t be any need for this kind of “rant”. The problem is loyal Bahais don’t want any airing of difference (dirty laundry as well) in public forums, but very little is allowed inside the Bahai community. If you push too hard you are politely told that you are pursuing your ego too much and you should basically give it up for the sake of UNITY. Ah yes, unity, that magic word used to shut people up.

  • Concourse on Low

    Ah yes, the UNITY trump card.

    Accepted by all major dogmatist retailers and stores.

  • Concourse on Low

    Ah yes, the UNITY trump card.

    Accepted by all major dogmatist retailers and stores.

  • Annonymouz

    Have you guys ever been to feast? Its called the administrative portion. My feast is pretty lively and all kinds of stuff is talked about and people do not always agree. In the future it will be a great case study in public discourse. I admit right now that most people dont really care and letting others take care of it is easier. This will change I promise.

  • Annonymouz

    Have you guys ever been to feast? Its called the administrative portion. My feast is pretty lively and all kinds of stuff is talked about and people do not always agree. In the future it will be a great case study in public discourse. I admit right now that most people dont really care and letting others take care of it is easier. This will change I promise.

  • Grover

    Our administrative portion is usually committee reports. When asked to consult about matters mostly everyone stays quiet apart from those who usually have an axe to grind about something trivial and want to get on their soapbox. The quality of Feast consultation is usually inversely proportional to the number of elaborate doodles on the secretary’s pad. Communities and Feast chairs aren’t really trained to handle anything controversial in a critical and dispassionate manner, so the matters get swept under the carpet or the protagonists accused of causing disunity, and the more fluffy Baha’is demanding a round of prayers. End result usually in my community is the protagonist gets marginalised and ignored, so then they start to become more aggressive or become disgruntled and inactive.

    My LSA wouldn’t even consider using anonymous surveys to gauge community opinion regarding the state of the community or LSA performance. I think they were afraid of what might be found.

  • Grover

    Our administrative portion is usually committee reports. When asked to consult about matters mostly everyone stays quiet apart from those who usually have an axe to grind about something trivial and want to get on their soapbox. The quality of Feast consultation is usually inversely proportional to the number of elaborate doodles on the secretary’s pad. Communities and Feast chairs aren’t really trained to handle anything controversial in a critical and dispassionate manner, so the matters get swept under the carpet or the protagonists accused of causing disunity, and the more fluffy Baha’is demanding a round of prayers. End result usually in my community is the protagonist gets marginalised and ignored, so then they start to become more aggressive or become disgruntled and inactive.

    My LSA wouldn’t even consider using anonymous surveys to gauge community opinion regarding the state of the community or LSA performance. I think they were afraid of what might be found.

  • p

    Have you guys ever been to feast?
    —————–
    Since I was dragged there as a fetus til my late twenties when I stopped going.

  • p

    Have you guys ever been to feast?
    —————–
    Since I was dragged there as a fetus til my late twenties when I stopped going.

  • Annonymouz

    The state of the community is nothing but the sum of its participants. If you have idle people, you will have an idle community. My opinion is that if you have a few active and engaged people, they will help get things going. its all about individual initiative. My disgust is people expect to be spoon fed and have everything happen magically. Get up, shut up, and do something for God sakes. I know what it is like in those kinds of communities, there is no point in a survey, people need to plan things, invite people, get out and about. We do a parade, or take part in one every year. Our float has won for the last 4 yrs in a row. Its pretty cool. There is a ton of stuff that can be done. But, the overall sad fact is American is not really at the point to hear the message of Baha’u’llah. It will be one day. Most people could care less. In the meantime, work on yourself.

  • Annonymouz

    The state of the community is nothing but the sum of its participants. If you have idle people, you will have an idle community. My opinion is that if you have a few active and engaged people, they will help get things going. its all about individual initiative. My disgust is people expect to be spoon fed and have everything happen magically. Get up, shut up, and do something for God sakes. I know what it is like in those kinds of communities, there is no point in a survey, people need to plan things, invite people, get out and about. We do a parade, or take part in one every year. Our float has won for the last 4 yrs in a row. Its pretty cool. There is a ton of stuff that can be done. But, the overall sad fact is American is not really at the point to hear the message of Baha’u’llah. It will be one day. Most people could care less. In the meantime, work on yourself.

  • p

    You really are funny Anon. Who do you think you are talking to? A bunch of people who never did anything and just left the Bahai community? Those people who leave in droves do not end up wasting their time on internet chat sites complaining about the problems inside the Bahai community. Heck, they may not even remember being a Bahai at one time. Those of us here are for the most part people who did get up and try to do something for decades. We were all die-hards like you at one time- until we woke up. So the overall sad fact is that the Bahai Faith has stagnated while the world has moved on. Maybe it’s message doesn’t resonate for a reason. Don’t just blame the culture you are in.

  • p

    You really are funny Anon. Who do you think you are talking to? A bunch of people who never did anything and just left the Bahai community? Those people who leave in droves do not end up wasting their time on internet chat sites complaining about the problems inside the Bahai community. Heck, they may not even remember being a Bahai at one time. Those of us here are for the most part people who did get up and try to do something for decades. We were all die-hards like you at one time- until we woke up. So the overall sad fact is that the Bahai Faith has stagnated while the world has moved on. Maybe it’s message doesn’t resonate for a reason. Don’t just blame the culture you are in.

  • p

    I had the misfortunate of reading the recent letter from the UHJ. Again it’s filled with this showering on Bahais a feeling that they are special and above a world that is falling apart. All the blame for the lack of growth is put on either an “immoral” world or the Bahais themselves who aren’t trying hard enough. NEVER, do we hear of any accountability from those in the administration. Anon thinks there is too much negativity on boards like this. I actually find more subtle negativity in those infallible letters. They constantly give an us vs. them attitude, glorifying the believers against a world that just aint converting fast enough. I swear more and more the Bahai community is looking so inward.

  • p

    I had the misfortunate of reading the recent letter from the UHJ. Again it’s filled with this showering on Bahais a feeling that they are special and above a world that is falling apart. All the blame for the lack of growth is put on either an “immoral” world or the Bahais themselves who aren’t trying hard enough. NEVER, do we hear of any accountability from those in the administration. Anon thinks there is too much negativity on boards like this. I actually find more subtle negativity in those infallible letters. They constantly give an us vs. them attitude, glorifying the believers against a world that just aint converting fast enough. I swear more and more the Bahai community is looking so inward.

  • Annonymouz

    P are you familiar with the term transference? You are doing it.

  • Annonymouz

    P are you familiar with the term transference? You are doing it.

  • Craig Parke

    [quote comment=”53891″]The state of the community is nothing but the sum of its participants. If you have idle people, you will have an idle community. My opinion is that if you have a few active and engaged people, they will help get things going. its all about individual initiative. My disgust is people expect to be spoon fed and have everything happen magically. Get up, shut up, and do something for God sakes. I know what it is like in those kinds of communities, there is no point in a survey, people need to plan things, invite people, get out and about. We do a parade, or take part in one every year. Our float has won for the last 4 yrs in a row. Its pretty cool. There is a ton of stuff that can be done. But, the overall sad fact is American is not really at the point to hear the message of Baha’u’llah. It will be one day. Most people could care less. In the meantime, work on yourself.[/quote]

    Hi Anon,

    Why do you assume that people walking around with membershipo cards in their wallets are the “Baha’is”?

    Why do you assume that those nine men in Haifa are the “Universal House of Justice”?

    I don’t assume anything anymore. They may be, they may not be. It may change hourly.

    To my mind whoever does the work of the World Age and thereby achieves Cosmic confirmation of their work whether they ever heard of Baha’u’llah or not, are the “Baha’is”.

    To my mind all bets are now off.

    Deeds not words.

    Why do you assume trying to make converts to the BAO is the “work” of the World Age AT ALL? I don’t any longer.

    Floats don’t count. Tell everyone to get to the VA hospital and start cleaning bed pans. After all, those sent into harms way, are sent on behalf of the “Baha’is” to “do God’s work”. God’s work is pretty brutal. The least your community can do is get over to the nearest VA hospital.

    On the road this world is on, alot of people are now going to die and alot of them are going to be card carrying “Baha’is”.

    As the old WWII brown shoe pinapple Army sergeant said to me when I went through basic training in the summer of 1966 at the ripe old age of 19 “Son, learn this or you will be killed.”

    THAT was my Ruhi Book One. Facing brutal battlefield death at the age of 19. The civilian translation of the times was “Change the World or Die”. The so called “Baha’is” have failed for 87 straight years and counting generation after generation while they hold endless dysfunctional meetings and repeatedly elect completely dysfunctional people to lifetime incumbency. How can a “Theocracy of Dunces” change the world? It has taken far, far too long to get even the most basic functionality to thrive. I myself tried faithfully for 32 straight years with everything I had. Now I am told by the current NEWTHINK AO that everything everyone was doing which they themselves told us to do was completely wrong OLDTHINK. So many, many, many people are now going to die. Including many, many, many card carrying so called “Baha’is”.

    So, again, I say tell your “community” to forget the float and get over to the VA hospital and start cleaning bed pans filled with the precious bodily fluids of others.

    http://youtube.com/watch?v=lf1hDStrrKg

  • Craig Parke

    [quote comment=”53891″]The state of the community is nothing but the sum of its participants. If you have idle people, you will have an idle community. My opinion is that if you have a few active and engaged people, they will help get things going. its all about individual initiative. My disgust is people expect to be spoon fed and have everything happen magically. Get up, shut up, and do something for God sakes. I know what it is like in those kinds of communities, there is no point in a survey, people need to plan things, invite people, get out and about. We do a parade, or take part in one every year. Our float has won for the last 4 yrs in a row. Its pretty cool. There is a ton of stuff that can be done. But, the overall sad fact is American is not really at the point to hear the message of Baha’u’llah. It will be one day. Most people could care less. In the meantime, work on yourself.[/quote]

    Hi Anon,

    Why do you assume that people walking around with membershipo cards in their wallets are the “Baha’is”?

    Why do you assume that those nine men in Haifa are the “Universal House of Justice”?

    I don’t assume anything anymore. They may be, they may not be. It may change hourly.

    To my mind whoever does the work of the World Age and thereby achieves Cosmic confirmation of their work whether they ever heard of Baha’u’llah or not, are the “Baha’is”.

    To my mind all bets are now off.

    Deeds not words.

    Why do you assume trying to make converts to the BAO is the “work” of the World Age AT ALL? I don’t any longer.

    Floats don’t count. Tell everyone to get to the VA hospital and start cleaning bed pans. After all, those sent into harms way, are sent on behalf of the “Baha’is” to “do God’s work”. God’s work is pretty brutal. The least your community can do is get over to the nearest VA hospital.

    On the road this world is on, alot of people are now going to die and alot of them are going to be card carrying “Baha’is”.

    As the old WWII brown shoe pinapple Army sergeant said to me when I went through basic training in the summer of 1966 at the ripe old age of 19 “Son, learn this or you will be killed.”

    THAT was my Ruhi Book One. Facing brutal battlefield death at the age of 19. The civilian translation of the times was “Change the World or Die”. The so called “Baha’is” have failed for 87 straight years and counting generation after generation while they hold endless dysfunctional meetings and repeatedly elect completely dysfunctional people to lifetime incumbency. How can a “Theocracy of Dunces” change the world? It has taken far, far too long to get even the most basic functionality to thrive. I myself tried faithfully for 32 straight years with everything I had. Now I am told by the current NEWTHINK AO that everything everyone was doing which they themselves told us to do was completely wrong OLDTHINK. So many, many, many people are now going to die. Including many, many, many card carrying so called “Baha’is”.

    So, again, I say tell your “community” to forget the float and get over to the VA hospital and start cleaning bed pans filled with the precious bodily fluids of others.

    http://youtube.com/watch?v=lf1hDStrrKg

  • Anonymouz

    yet another repeat craig. With all due respect, I heard you the first time. Floats is only one day. I think you too are practicing transference. Go to wikipedia and type it in, read the whole article.

    I agree with you through and through about one thing.

    Deeds not words.

  • Anonymouz

    yet another repeat craig. With all due respect, I heard you the first time. Floats is only one day. I think you too are practicing transference. Go to wikipedia and type it in, read the whole article.

    I agree with you through and through about one thing.

    Deeds not words.

  • p

    P are you familiar with the term transference? You are doing it.

    ————————-
    Yes. Are you familiar with the term apologist?

  • p

    P are you familiar with the term transference? You are doing it.

    ————————-
    Yes. Are you familiar with the term apologist?

  • Andrew

    This is my last post on this forum. I have of course heard this many times before from Anonymouz and others (promises promises!) but unlike them I never make public a statement I don’t intend to abide by. I (in cooperation with a few others) intend to publish a weblog some time in the new year (around Naw Ruz) on Baha’i spirituality from a … slightly different perspective. No need to keep tuned: if you’re really attuned, it will find you before you find it.

    Craig, the video I’ve linked to below is especially for you: given everything you’ve written on this forum, I think you’ll immediately “get it.” Others won’t. C’est dommage, au revoir et merci.

    http://youtube.com/watch?v=FgMn2OJmx3w

  • Andrew

    This is my last post on this forum. I have of course heard this many times before from Anonymouz and others (promises promises!) but unlike them I never make public a statement I don’t intend to abide by. I (in cooperation with a few others) intend to publish a weblog some time in the new year (around Naw Ruz) on Baha’i spirituality from a … slightly different perspective. No need to keep tuned: if you’re really attuned, it will find you before you find it.

    Craig, the video I’ve linked to below is especially for you: given everything you’ve written on this forum, I think you’ll immediately “get it.” Others won’t. C’est dommage, au revoir et merci.

    http://youtube.com/watch?v=FgMn2OJmx3w

  • Craig Parke

    [quote comment=”53905″]Craig, the video I’ve linked to below is especially for you: given everything you’ve written on this forum, I think you’ll immediately “get it.” Others won’t. C’est dommage, au revoir et merci.

    http://youtube.com/watch?v=FgMn2OJmx3w%5B/quote%5D

    Thank you Andrew. I got it…

    All of the greatest, most unimaginably heinous, crimes of mankind have been committed by organizations in the name of something idealistic and noble. Go figure? Truly, truly Satanic. The power of organizations and criminal group think must be countered AT ALL TIMES by the Sacred Divine Power of EVERY INDIVIDUAL MORAL CONSCIENCE on Earth. The Voice of the Internet is now the instrument of that individual moral force. It will now change everything. The greatest accountability imaginable will now come upon EVERY HUMAN ORGANIZATION that now exists or ever will exist. The individual human conscience comes FIRST. NOT the collective at all in any, way, shape or from. It is a brave new world.

    When I lived in Holland I knew several people who had been in the Dutch underground resistance in WWII. Once in Rotterdam a German soldier had been killed and the Nazi’s gathered up groups of Dutch people in the neighborhood and executed them in groups of five in retribution and punishment along a tree lined street. This person I knew who was in the underground during the war told me he and his wife watched from behind closed curtains. When the firing squad was formed up, one German soldier threw down his rifle and refused to participate. So they took him and put him with the five Dutch persons and executed him with them too.

    When he and his wife told me this, it was 25 years after the end of WWII. They said look at the world now, Hitler is gone, his armies are gone from the Earth, all forgotten like a vapor. The ideology is gone and cursed. But they said every person on that street still remembered that German soldier and spoke of him over many years.

    This is why conscience is sacred and no organization can dare try for a second to set itself up over it. Never. The individual is everything and the collective only derives it’s power from the consent of the individual for the benefit of all. Bottom up, not top down. And any group of fools that violate this Cosmic Law is headed for total mind bending Cosmic destruction in this World Age.

    I myself still believe very much that this is the core message of Baha’u’llah in the Kitab-I-Iqan for this World Age of the coming of age to maturity by the entire human race. No more Hitlers, Stalins, Politburos, Military Industrial Complexes, or Theocracies of Chief Priests, Scribes, and Pharisees. Ever again. Period. All judgment is now Archetypal. It will be geometrically swift and it will cut to the quick.

    The only protection now for any organization of any kind on Earth is daily fairness, equity, transparency, openness, justice, and, above all, competence. I preach the New World Age. The New Day has Dawned upon ALL systems of injustice and corruption at 64 bit register to register.

    Let the chips fall where they may on fiber optic broadband at Internet II speeds.

    As you know Gurdjieff used to call a meeting of his students at a certain date and time but NEVER TELL ANYONE WHERE it was going to be held so they would have to find it under their own power so he could test who was dedicated to the path. The Baha’is should never have advertised anything for 87 years… just let people search and find it by mystical power alone.

    I will find your site when I am led to it when the time comes.

    Thank you for your time here. Your posts were thoughtful and very much appreciated.

    http://photojournal.jpl.nasa.gov/jpegMod/PIA05547_modest.jpg

    http://www.solstation.com/x-objects/and2disk.jpg

    Au revoir et merci!

    Craig

  • Craig Parke

    [quote comment=”53905″]Craig, the video I’ve linked to below is especially for you: given everything you’ve written on this forum, I think you’ll immediately “get it.” Others won’t. C’est dommage, au revoir et merci.

    http://youtube.com/watch?v=FgMn2OJmx3w%5B/quote%5D

    Thank you Andrew. I got it…

    All of the greatest, most unimaginably heinous, crimes of mankind have been committed by organizations in the name of something idealistic and noble. Go figure? Truly, truly Satanic. The power of organizations and criminal group think must be countered AT ALL TIMES by the Sacred Divine Power of EVERY INDIVIDUAL MORAL CONSCIENCE on Earth. The Voice of the Internet is now the instrument of that individual moral force. It will now change everything. The greatest accountability imaginable will now come upon EVERY HUMAN ORGANIZATION that now exists or ever will exist. The individual human conscience comes FIRST. NOT the collective at all in any, way, shape or from. It is a brave new world.

    When I lived in Holland I knew several people who had been in the Dutch underground resistance in WWII. Once in Rotterdam a German soldier had been killed and the Nazi’s gathered up groups of Dutch people in the neighborhood and executed them in groups of five in retribution and punishment along a tree lined street. This person I knew who was in the underground during the war told me he and his wife watched from behind closed curtains. When the firing squad was formed up, one German soldier threw down his rifle and refused to participate. So they took him and put him with the five Dutch persons and executed him with them too.

    When he and his wife told me this, it was 25 years after the end of WWII. They said look at the world now, Hitler is gone, his armies are gone from the Earth, all forgotten like a vapor. The ideology is gone and cursed. But they said every person on that street still remembered that German soldier and spoke of him over many years.

    This is why conscience is sacred and no organization can dare try for a second to set itself up over it. Never. The individual is everything and the collective only derives it’s power from the consent of the individual for the benefit of all. Bottom up, not top down. And any group of fools that violate this Cosmic Law is headed for total mind bending Cosmic destruction in this World Age.

    I myself still believe very much that this is the core message of Baha’u’llah in the Kitab-I-Iqan for this World Age of the coming of age to maturity by the entire human race. No more Hitlers, Stalins, Politburos, Military Industrial Complexes, or Theocracies of Chief Priests, Scribes, and Pharisees. Ever again. Period. All judgment is now Archetypal. It will be geometrically swift and it will cut to the quick.

    The only protection now for any organization of any kind on Earth is daily fairness, equity, transparency, openness, justice, and, above all, competence. I preach the New World Age. The New Day has Dawned upon ALL systems of injustice and corruption at 64 bit register to register.

    Let the chips fall where they may on fiber optic broadband at Internet II speeds.

    As you know Gurdjieff used to call a meeting of his students at a certain date and time but NEVER TELL ANYONE WHERE it was going to be held so they would have to find it under their own power so he could test who was dedicated to the path. The Baha’is should never have advertised anything for 87 years… just let people search and find it by mystical power alone.

    I will find your site when I am led to it when the time comes.

    Thank you for your time here. Your posts were thoughtful and very much appreciated.

    http://photojournal.jpl.nasa.gov/jpegMod/PIA05547_modest.jpg

    http://www.solstation.com/x-objects/and2disk.jpg

    Au revoir et merci!

    Craig

  • Annonymouz

    [quote comment=””][…] One of the readers of this blog, Farhan Yazdani, was kind enough to share these after another person requested them in a discussion. […][/quote]

  • Annonymouz

    [quote comment=””][…] One of the readers of this blog, Farhan Yazdani, was kind enough to share these after another person requested them in a discussion. […][/quote]

  • Annonymouz

    I really do wish you well on your journey Andrew. But those who “get it” usually already agree with what you plan to write about anyway. Your view and that’s fine.

    Take care.

    Craig you have got some nerve to repetitively compare nazis to Baha’is. Thankfully, no one takes you seriously and all I can do is wince in sad pitty for your twisted view. Baha’u’llah is no where near this idea you have in your head, that I am sure of.

    Good night sir, and try not to watch too many war movies…its not good for the mind.

  • Annonymouz

    I really do wish you well on your journey Andrew. But those who “get it” usually already agree with what you plan to write about anyway. Your view and that’s fine.

    Take care.

    Craig you have got some nerve to repetitively compare nazis to Baha’is. Thankfully, no one takes you seriously and all I can do is wince in sad pitty for your twisted view. Baha’u’llah is no where near this idea you have in your head, that I am sure of.

    Good night sir, and try not to watch too many war movies…its not good for the mind.

  • Amanda

    “Craig you have got some nerve to repetitively compare nazis to Baha’is. Thankfully, no one takes you seriously and all I can do is wince in sad pitty for your twisted view. Baha’u’llah is no where near this idea you have in your head, that I am sure of.

    Good night sir, and try not to watch too many war movies…its not good for the mind.”

    Anon- you are a bully. An aggressive, transference/projection, bully. We SEE you, just so you know.

  • Amanda

    “Craig you have got some nerve to repetitively compare nazis to Baha’is. Thankfully, no one takes you seriously and all I can do is wince in sad pitty for your twisted view. Baha’u’llah is no where near this idea you have in your head, that I am sure of.

    Good night sir, and try not to watch too many war movies…its not good for the mind.”

    Anon- you are a bully. An aggressive, transference/projection, bully. We SEE you, just so you know.

  • ep

    Amanda, soul of Blessed, Eternal Light,

    You are correct! except you forgot the part about AnonZZZ being condescending, arrogant, tedious and boring.

    AnonZZZ is a perfect example of a typical bahai fascist. Medieval conformity, inquisitorial, etc., metaphorical fly down with “stuff” hanging out for everyone to be disgusted and repulsed by.

    An all too common spectacle, sad and appalling, and exactly why the bahai faith is useless, pointless and futile.

    Which means that Craig is very much so correct in talking about the connection between Nazis in Holland during WWII and the fascist mindset in bahai leadership.

    [quote comment=”53911″]”Craig you have got some nerve to repetitively compare nazis to Baha’is. Thankfully, no one takes you seriously and all I can do is wince in sad pitty for your twisted view. Baha’u’llah is no where near this idea you have in your head, that I am sure of.

    Good night sir, and try not to watch too many war movies…its not good for the mind.”

    Anon- you are a bully. An aggressive, transference/projection, bully. We SEE you, just so you know.[/quote]
    [quote comment=””][…] One of the readers of this blog, Farhan Yazdani, was kind enough to share these after another person requested them in a discussion. […][/quote]

  • ep

    Amanda, soul of Blessed, Eternal Light,

    You are correct! except you forgot the part about AnonZZZ being condescending, arrogant, tedious and boring.

    AnonZZZ is a perfect example of a typical bahai fascist. Medieval conformity, inquisitorial, etc., metaphorical fly down with “stuff” hanging out for everyone to be disgusted and repulsed by.

    An all too common spectacle, sad and appalling, and exactly why the bahai faith is useless, pointless and futile.

    Which means that Craig is very much so correct in talking about the connection between Nazis in Holland during WWII and the fascist mindset in bahai leadership.

    [quote comment=”53911″]”Craig you have got some nerve to repetitively compare nazis to Baha’is. Thankfully, no one takes you seriously and all I can do is wince in sad pitty for your twisted view. Baha’u’llah is no where near this idea you have in your head, that I am sure of.

    Good night sir, and try not to watch too many war movies…its not good for the mind.”

    Anon- you are a bully. An aggressive, transference/projection, bully. We SEE you, just so you know.[/quote]
    [quote comment=””][…] One of the readers of this blog, Farhan Yazdani, was kind enough to share these after another person requested them in a discussion. […][/quote]

  • Grover

    Nice video Andrew, Grace Jones was my hero! Look forward to seeing your new blog.

  • Grover

    Nice video Andrew, Grace Jones was my hero! Look forward to seeing your new blog.

  • ep

    p,

    “Insularized” is the term I think they used on talisman1.

    And of course that is the right word. The eltists and racists that “won” the battle for dominance in the early usa bahai community were etherealists.

    They made sure that social activists and others that wanted a “real” bahai culture of social justice and street activism were marginalized and forced to conform to bureaucratic group think.

    Insularization is the usual mode now because it is just too shocking to honestly look at how backward and irrelevant most of the baahi community has become.

    AnonZZZ: “Transfer THIS”:

    The people that could “do something” have been hounded and exploited by the sick, incompetent “leadership” elites in the bahai community, and their fascist-conformist-inquisitor *sshole supporters like you, for so long that most people realize the utter futility and stupidity of even trying to swim against the dysfunctional current of what comes out of the AO.

    Anyone that raises their head from the slime pit becomes a target for sick people like you to pick on and bully.

    What you are telling people is to adopt a completely backward way of life that has failed over and over to do anything to improve anyone’s anything (beyond what would have happened anyway without bahai).

    In your backwardness, you feed off hate and pain, which makes you a very sick person that will cause a lot of wreckage in a lot of people’s lives. And you will do it in the name of a “faith” whose basic ethical principles you appear to not have a clue about.

    That is very sad.

    [quote comment=”53893″]I had the misfortunate of reading the recent letter from the UHJ. Again it’s filled with this showering on Bahais a feeling that they are special and above a world that is falling apart. All the blame for the lack of growth is put on either an “immoral” world or the Bahais themselves who aren’t trying hard enough. NEVER, do we hear of any accountability from those in the administration. Anon thinks there is too much negativity on boards like this. I actually find more subtle negativity in those infallible letters. They constantly give an us vs. them attitude, glorifying the believers against a world that just aint converting fast enough. I swear more and more the Bahai community is looking so inward.[/quote]

    [quote comment=”53891″]The state of the community is nothing but the sum of its participants. If you have idle people, you will have an idle community. My opinion is that if you have a few active and engaged people, they will help get things going. its all about individual initiative. My disgust is people expect to be spoon fed and have everything happen magically. Get up, shut up, and do something for God sakes. I know what it is like in those kinds of communities, there is no point in a survey, people need to plan things, invite people, get out and about. We do a parade, or take part in one every year. Our float has won for the last 4 yrs in a row. Its pretty cool. There is a ton of stuff that can be done. But, the overall sad fact is American is not really at the point to hear the message of Baha’u’llah. It will be one day. Most people could care less. In the meantime, work on yourself.[/quote]
    [quote comment=””][…] One of the readers of this blog, Farhan Yazdani, was kind enough to share these after another person requested them in a discussion. […][/quote]

  • ep

    p,

    “Insularized” is the term I think they used on talisman1.

    And of course that is the right word. The eltists and racists that “won” the battle for dominance in the early usa bahai community were etherealists.

    They made sure that social activists and others that wanted a “real” bahai culture of social justice and street activism were marginalized and forced to conform to bureaucratic group think.

    Insularization is the usual mode now because it is just too shocking to honestly look at how backward and irrelevant most of the baahi community has become.

    AnonZZZ: “Transfer THIS”:

    The people that could “do something” have been hounded and exploited by the sick, incompetent “leadership” elites in the bahai community, and their fascist-conformist-inquisitor *sshole supporters like you, for so long that most people realize the utter futility and stupidity of even trying to swim against the dysfunctional current of what comes out of the AO.

    Anyone that raises their head from the slime pit becomes a target for sick people like you to pick on and bully.

    What you are telling people is to adopt a completely backward way of life that has failed over and over to do anything to improve anyone’s anything (beyond what would have happened anyway without bahai).

    In your backwardness, you feed off hate and pain, which makes you a very sick person that will cause a lot of wreckage in a lot of people’s lives. And you will do it in the name of a “faith” whose basic ethical principles you appear to not have a clue about.

    That is very sad.

    [quote comment=”53893″]I had the misfortunate of reading the recent letter from the UHJ. Again it’s filled with this showering on Bahais a feeling that they are special and above a world that is falling apart. All the blame for the lack of growth is put on either an “immoral” world or the Bahais themselves who aren’t trying hard enough. NEVER, do we hear of any accountability from those in the administration. Anon thinks there is too much negativity on boards like this. I actually find more subtle negativity in those infallible letters. They constantly give an us vs. them attitude, glorifying the believers against a world that just aint converting fast enough. I swear more and more the Bahai community is looking so inward.[/quote]

    [quote comment=”53891″]The state of the community is nothing but the sum of its participants. If you have idle people, you will have an idle community. My opinion is that if you have a few active and engaged people, they will help get things going. its all about individual initiative. My disgust is people expect to be spoon fed and have everything happen magically. Get up, shut up, and do something for God sakes. I know what it is like in those kinds of communities, there is no point in a survey, people need to plan things, invite people, get out and about. We do a parade, or take part in one every year. Our float has won for the last 4 yrs in a row. Its pretty cool. There is a ton of stuff that can be done. But, the overall sad fact is American is not really at the point to hear the message of Baha’u’llah. It will be one day. Most people could care less. In the meantime, work on yourself.[/quote]
    [quote comment=””][…] One of the readers of this blog, Farhan Yazdani, was kind enough to share these after another person requested them in a discussion. […][/quote]

  • Annonymouz

    Yawn.

    Anything new EP? Negativity all the way around.

    You are what you type.

  • Annonymouz

    Yawn.

    Anything new EP? Negativity all the way around.

    You are what you type.

  • ep

    sure tons. but you don’t respond to anything except with shallow, boring, fascistic insults and endlessly recycled cliches, drivel and mindless platitudes, so there isn’t any point.

    but oh, yes there is one basic thing I can say to you that is positive: you make me very very very happy that I no longer am a member of bahai.

    [quote comment=”53917″]Yawn.

    Anything new EP? Negativity all the way around.

    You are what you type.[/quote]
    [quote comment=””][…] One of the readers of this blog, Farhan Yazdani, was kind enough to share these after another person requested them in a discussion. […][/quote]

  • ep

    sure tons. but you don’t respond to anything except with shallow, boring, fascistic insults and endlessly recycled cliches, drivel and mindless platitudes, so there isn’t any point.

    but oh, yes there is one basic thing I can say to you that is positive: you make me very very very happy that I no longer am a member of bahai.

    [quote comment=”53917″]Yawn.

    Anything new EP? Negativity all the way around.

    You are what you type.[/quote]
    [quote comment=””][…] One of the readers of this blog, Farhan Yazdani, was kind enough to share these after another person requested them in a discussion. […][/quote]

  • p

    The more I look at the way the Bahai community is set up (per Shoghi Effendi), the more I see how influenced it is by Persian culture. There is this thing called “aberoo” it means shame, but also honor. Basically in Persian culture, you NEVER talk about family things outside of the family. It is disgraceful to do so because it’s looked upon as bringing shame to the family name. It is aberoo that keeps people in closets, makes them afraid to speak their mind and just creates such an unhealthy environment. It’s honor taken to an extreme. Unfortunately that is what is expected as a member of the Bahai community as well. Examples? don’t bring up corrupt practices of member of the AO in public, you can be gay but don’t announce in public, you can hold different views but don’t publish a book, etc. etc.

  • p

    The more I look at the way the Bahai community is set up (per Shoghi Effendi), the more I see how influenced it is by Persian culture. There is this thing called “aberoo” it means shame, but also honor. Basically in Persian culture, you NEVER talk about family things outside of the family. It is disgraceful to do so because it’s looked upon as bringing shame to the family name. It is aberoo that keeps people in closets, makes them afraid to speak their mind and just creates such an unhealthy environment. It’s honor taken to an extreme. Unfortunately that is what is expected as a member of the Bahai community as well. Examples? don’t bring up corrupt practices of member of the AO in public, you can be gay but don’t announce in public, you can hold different views but don’t publish a book, etc. etc.

  • Annonymouz

    If you are no longer a member, then why do you insist on bashing it?

    Move on.

    You repetitive use of the same adjectives to describe me are just a testament to your anti-religion ideas. Sorry if it didn’t work out for you, but you say you have your own path, good for you! If it involves slamming other people then I am glad too that I am not on the same page as you.

    Cheers!

  • Annonymouz

    If you are no longer a member, then why do you insist on bashing it?

    Move on.

    You repetitive use of the same adjectives to describe me are just a testament to your anti-religion ideas. Sorry if it didn’t work out for you, but you say you have your own path, good for you! If it involves slamming other people then I am glad too that I am not on the same page as you.

    Cheers!

  • Annonymouz

    Given that these Hidden Words P are basically back to back, it is clear that Baha’u’llah Himself admonished us to not dwell on faults, issues, problems, DISUNITY. You are attributing this to Shoghi Effendi. Nice try, but he is actually just continuing the tradition of Baha’u’llah. Its obvious that such grievances are to made known when they become serious, there are channels for that, but in no way shape or form is this meant to be a sort of debate club where factions and groups develop pushing their own ideas and views as official or valid.

    26. O SON OF BEING!
    How couldst thou forget thine own faults and busy thyself with the faults of others? Whoso doeth this is accursed of Me.

    27. O SON OF MAN!
    Breathe not the sins of others so long as thou art thyself a sinner. Shouldst thou transgress this command, accursed wouldst thou be, and to this I bear witness.

    28. O SON OF SPIRIT!
    Know thou of a truth: He that biddeth men be just and himself committeth iniquity is not of Me, even though he bear My name.

    29. O SON OF BEING!
    Ascribe not to any soul that which thou wouldst not have ascribed to thee, and say not that which thou doest not. This is My command unto thee, do thou observe it

  • Annonymouz

    Given that these Hidden Words P are basically back to back, it is clear that Baha’u’llah Himself admonished us to not dwell on faults, issues, problems, DISUNITY. You are attributing this to Shoghi Effendi. Nice try, but he is actually just continuing the tradition of Baha’u’llah. Its obvious that such grievances are to made known when they become serious, there are channels for that, but in no way shape or form is this meant to be a sort of debate club where factions and groups develop pushing their own ideas and views as official or valid.

    26. O SON OF BEING!
    How couldst thou forget thine own faults and busy thyself with the faults of others? Whoso doeth this is accursed of Me.

    27. O SON OF MAN!
    Breathe not the sins of others so long as thou art thyself a sinner. Shouldst thou transgress this command, accursed wouldst thou be, and to this I bear witness.

    28. O SON OF SPIRIT!
    Know thou of a truth: He that biddeth men be just and himself committeth iniquity is not of Me, even though he bear My name.

    29. O SON OF BEING!
    Ascribe not to any soul that which thou wouldst not have ascribed to thee, and say not that which thou doest not. This is My command unto thee, do thou observe it

  • Craig Parke

    [quote comment=”53909″]

    Anon wrote:

    Craig you have got some nerve to repetitively compare nazis to Baha’is. Thankfully, no one takes you seriously and all I can do is wince in sad pitty for your twisted view. Baha’u’llah is no where near this idea you have in your head, that I am sure of.

    Good night sir, and try not to watch too many war movies…its not good for the mind.[/quote]

    Hi Anon,

    You must not have carefully read my post. I clearly said Baha’u’llah did NOT teach the overriding of individual human conscience to give control over people’s hearts and souls to an external organization. The quotes by Abdu’l-Baha on the sanctity of individual human conscience are very well known to the long time Baha’is on this site:

    “These are effectual and sufficient proofs that the conscience of man is sacred and to be respected; and that liberty thereof produces widening of ideas, amendment of morals, improvement of conduct, disclosure of the secrets of creation, and manifestation of the hidden verities of the contingent world. Moreover, if interrogation of conscience, which is one of the private possessions of the heart and the soul, take place in this world, what further recompense remains for man in the court of divine justice at the day of general resurrection? Convictions and ideas are within the scope of the comprehension of the King of kings, not of kings; and soul and conscience are between the fingers of control of the Lord of hearts, not of [His] servants. So in the world of existence two persons unanimous in all grades [of thought] and all beliefs cannot be found.”
    -Abdu’l-Baha, A Traveler’s Narrative, 91.

    “This is a goodly temple and congregation, for–praise be to God!–this is a house of worship [Central Congregational Church in Brooklyn on 16 June 1912] wherein conscientious opinion has free sway. Every religion and every religious aspiration may be freely voiced and expressed here. Just as in the world of politics there is need for free thought, likewise in the world of religion there should be the right of unrestricted individual belief. Consider what a vast difference exists between modern democracy and the old forms of despotism. Under an autocratic government the opinions of men are not free, and development is stifled, whereas in a democracy, because thought and speech are not restricted, the greatest progress is witnessed. It is likewise true in the world of religion. When freedom of conscience, liberty of thought and right of speech prevail–that is to say, when every man according to his own idealization may give expression to his beliefs–development and growth are inevitable. Therefore, this is a blessed church because its pulpit is open to every religion, the ideals of which may be set forth with openness and freedom.”
    -Abdu’l-Baha, The Promulgation of Universal Peace, 197.

    So when people at the top start saying things like this below now infamous quote to audiences, I start to get real, real nervous in memory of that German soldier and the unfathomable horrors of WWII of which there are far more accounts than the Writings of any religion on Earth. I think those human Writings are just as sacred. Maybe even more so because they come from accounts of what really happens when people give up their conscience to an organization trafficing in a belief system whether it be a religions system or a political ideology.

    “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

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

    You say the endlessly stated personal opinions of members of the UIHJ don’t count and it being silly to pay any attention to them. I don’t agree at all. I think paying very careful attention to what they think and say is very important.

    Talk like this scares the living s**t out of me. The unchecked Ruhiization of the Faith may mass create mindless rote automatons who WILL turn their souls over to a top down Institution without critical thought. This is not the religion I joined in 1971 and this is not the religion many people who post here joined.

    I have never said the Baha’is are Nazi’s. But you seem to have conflated that from what I have said. I have only said that they, LIKE ANYONE ELSE ON EARTH, have the potential to BECOME NAZI’A if you get a group of people to turn their conscience over to a top down Politburo or Party theorist organizational group think. The Baha’i faith is about what the Central Figures taught. It is NOT about the personal opinions and pet theories of lifetime incumbent members of the UHJ who answer to no one. I think it is disgraceful that these people fly around the world on the money of widows and orphans to give their personal opinions to captive audiences. It is absolutely shameful to use one’s high position like that. I am NOT interested in the personal opinions and ideological theories of any of them. To even sit in a room and listen to any of them speak is pure idolatry. Their opinions are no different than anyone else’s. Giving speeches, in my opinion, is NOT in their job descriptions to begin with.

    Right now the Baha’i Faith is small potatoes. But what will happen if masses of people become thoughtless drones? This must be confronted now in microcasm. No Central Figure of the Baha’i Faith, in my opinion, EVER taught that people are now to become thoughless drones in this World Age.

    I will not stand for it. I will not sit in silence. People in high office who counter the Teachings of the Central Figures are going to get called on it worldwide 24/7/365/1000 if necessary.

    When my older friend and his wife told me that story, we were sitting in the room with that very window where they had watched this happen 27 years before.

    It is a sacred story to me. I wrote it here.

    “Conscience is a Jewish invention.”
    – Adolf Hitler

    No it isn’t. I say it is a Universal Creation of the Divine and is to be honored and respected in ALL PEOPLE EVERYWHERE. And anyone who teaches otherwise, “NEWTHINK Baha’i Faith” or whatever, or anyone else, can go to hell.

    And I will continue to say this to my dying day.

  • Craig Parke

    [quote comment=”53909″]

    Anon wrote:

    Craig you have got some nerve to repetitively compare nazis to Baha’is. Thankfully, no one takes you seriously and all I can do is wince in sad pitty for your twisted view. Baha’u’llah is no where near this idea you have in your head, that I am sure of.

    Good night sir, and try not to watch too many war movies…its not good for the mind.[/quote]

    Hi Anon,

    You must not have carefully read my post. I clearly said Baha’u’llah did NOT teach the overriding of individual human conscience to give control over people’s hearts and souls to an external organization. The quotes by Abdu’l-Baha on the sanctity of individual human conscience are very well known to the long time Baha’is on this site:

    “These are effectual and sufficient proofs that the conscience of man is sacred and to be respected; and that liberty thereof produces widening of ideas, amendment of morals, improvement of conduct, disclosure of the secrets of creation, and manifestation of the hidden verities of the contingent world. Moreover, if interrogation of conscience, which is one of the private possessions of the heart and the soul, take place in this world, what further recompense remains for man in the court of divine justice at the day of general resurrection? Convictions and ideas are within the scope of the comprehension of the King of kings, not of kings; and soul and conscience are between the fingers of control of the Lord of hearts, not of [His] servants. So in the world of existence two persons unanimous in all grades [of thought] and all beliefs cannot be found.”
    -Abdu’l-Baha, A Traveler’s Narrative, 91.

    “This is a goodly temple and congregation, for–praise be to God!–this is a house of worship [Central Congregational Church in Brooklyn on 16 June 1912] wherein conscientious opinion has free sway. Every religion and every religious aspiration may be freely voiced and expressed here. Just as in the world of politics there is need for free thought, likewise in the world of religion there should be the right of unrestricted individual belief. Consider what a vast difference exists between modern democracy and the old forms of despotism. Under an autocratic government the opinions of men are not free, and development is stifled, whereas in a democracy, because thought and speech are not restricted, the greatest progress is witnessed. It is likewise true in the world of religion. When freedom of conscience, liberty of thought and right of speech prevail–that is to say, when every man according to his own idealization may give expression to his beliefs–development and growth are inevitable. Therefore, this is a blessed church because its pulpit is open to every religion, the ideals of which may be set forth with openness and freedom.”
    -Abdu’l-Baha, The Promulgation of Universal Peace, 197.

    So when people at the top start saying things like this below now infamous quote to audiences, I start to get real, real nervous in memory of that German soldier and the unfathomable horrors of WWII of which there are far more accounts than the Writings of any religion on Earth. I think those human Writings are just as sacred. Maybe even more so because they come from accounts of what really happens when people give up their conscience to an organization trafficing in a belief system whether it be a religions system or a political ideology.

    “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

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

    You say the endlessly stated personal opinions of members of the UIHJ don’t count and it being silly to pay any attention to them. I don’t agree at all. I think paying very careful attention to what they think and say is very important.

    Talk like this scares the living s**t out of me. The unchecked Ruhiization of the Faith may mass create mindless rote automatons who WILL turn their souls over to a top down Institution without critical thought. This is not the religion I joined in 1971 and this is not the religion many people who post here joined.

    I have never said the Baha’is are Nazi’s. But you seem to have conflated that from what I have said. I have only said that they, LIKE ANYONE ELSE ON EARTH, have the potential to BECOME NAZI’A if you get a group of people to turn their conscience over to a top down Politburo or Party theorist organizational group think. The Baha’i faith is about what the Central Figures taught. It is NOT about the personal opinions and pet theories of lifetime incumbent members of the UHJ who answer to no one. I think it is disgraceful that these people fly around the world on the money of widows and orphans to give their personal opinions to captive audiences. It is absolutely shameful to use one’s high position like that. I am NOT interested in the personal opinions and ideological theories of any of them. To even sit in a room and listen to any of them speak is pure idolatry. Their opinions are no different than anyone else’s. Giving speeches, in my opinion, is NOT in their job descriptions to begin with.

    Right now the Baha’i Faith is small potatoes. But what will happen if masses of people become thoughtless drones? This must be confronted now in microcasm. No Central Figure of the Baha’i Faith, in my opinion, EVER taught that people are now to become thoughless drones in this World Age.

    I will not stand for it. I will not sit in silence. People in high office who counter the Teachings of the Central Figures are going to get called on it worldwide 24/7/365/1000 if necessary.

    When my older friend and his wife told me that story, we were sitting in the room with that very window where they had watched this happen 27 years before.

    It is a sacred story to me. I wrote it here.

    “Conscience is a Jewish invention.”
    – Adolf Hitler

    No it isn’t. I say it is a Universal Creation of the Divine and is to be honored and respected in ALL PEOPLE EVERYWHERE. And anyone who teaches otherwise, “NEWTHINK Baha’i Faith” or whatever, or anyone else, can go to hell.

    And I will continue to say this to my dying day.

  • p

    So you are basically saying Bahaullah wants a community where differing views are shot down for the sake of unity and never allowed the only recourse left- to speak to an outside audience. A community where there are NO checks and balances? Nice try, but your twisted use of Bahaullah’s beautiful passages don’t change anything. The only reason you don’t understand is because you have yet to be on the receiving end of some great injustice in the Bahai community. Get back to us about love/patience etc. when you are there.

  • p

    So you are basically saying Bahaullah wants a community where differing views are shot down for the sake of unity and never allowed the only recourse left- to speak to an outside audience. A community where there are NO checks and balances? Nice try, but your twisted use of Bahaullah’s beautiful passages don’t change anything. The only reason you don’t understand is because you have yet to be on the receiving end of some great injustice in the Bahai community. Get back to us about love/patience etc. when you are there.

  • farhan

    =””][…] One of the readers of this blog, Farhan Yazdani, was kind enough to share these after another person requested them in a discussion. […][/quote]

    Friends,

    Just back from pilgrimage, I wanted to say that you were all frequently in my prayers at the shrines, wishing you all sucess and joy in your respective paths of search.

    In addition to the quotes I provided before, the talks by UHJ members, especially the one by Paul Lample, gave a cristal clear vision outlining of the institute process. I will comment later.

    An outstanding event during our pilgrimage was the joyfull news on the 9th of July announcing on full pages of the local papers that the 27 sites of Baha’i holy places in the Holy Land had been declared in the Quebec session of UNESCO as World heritage of humanity.

    warmest

    Farhan

  • Farhan Yazdani

    =””][…] One of the readers of this blog, Farhan Yazdani, was kind enough to share these after another person requested them in a discussion. […][/quote]

    Friends,

    Just back from pilgrimage, I wanted to say that you were all frequently in my prayers at the shrines, wishing you all sucess and joy in your respective paths of search.

    In addition to the quotes I provided before, the talks by UHJ members, especially the one by Paul Lample, gave a cristal clear vision outlining of the institute process. I will comment later.

    An outstanding event during our pilgrimage was the joyfull news on the 9th of July announcing on full pages of the local papers that the 27 sites of Baha’i holy places in the Holy Land had been declared in the Quebec session of UNESCO as World heritage of humanity.

    warmest

    Farhan

  • Annonymouz

    Craig et al,

    You keep pushing the opinion of one person as a source. This is craziest thing I have ever seen from someone trying to justify an opinion. I can promise you as a known fact that a lot of back forth goes on behind closed doors and D. Martin’s opinion is just his view, not the majority. I don’t agree with it. Promised. I can’t ever possibly agree with your view because of your ways. You and P, pick and choose quotes and IGNORE the rest of the stuff that I refer to. Perhaps I too should acknowledge some of the things you talk about, but you should too!!! It amazes me that you categorically refuse to talk about quotes by Baha’u’llah on liberty and freedom–they are not the same as conscious, you know. I do not have a qualm or an issue at all with conscious or freedom of thought, because any sane and normal Baha’i realizes that can never be taken away and it indeed is a gift from God and it is used to know Him.

    HOWEVER

    When someone goes around spouting off idiocy in the name of freedom of speech and conscious it does nothing but show they do not even have an inkling of spiritual smarts to realize that it is counter to the Baha’i teachings. Liberty and freedom are endowed and inherent. For you or anyone else to say that they or we are trying to take that away is preposterous and quite frankly, funny! Its impossible. it can’t, won’t and will not ever happen so long as there is creation. I am just amazed at how people do not get it.

    Baha’u’llah and Abdul’Baha laid the law down when it came to unity and the one family. You are free and as the Guardian says, obligated, to express your concern and conscious when it comes to important matters. But the cardinal sin and fire test is when you think that your view or opinion is supreme above the rest. This is what you are saying, Craig. This is why I can’t give you any credit or room because you keep pushing this anti-Bahai view. The individual has every right to express their opinion, no one can stop them and in fact it is necessary for the whole process to work. But when belligerence overtakes wisdom and hot air replaces thoughtfulness, we have grounds for the making of a village idiot.

    Use your freedom wisely, as you would a weapon. You think that just because you can speak out that that alone is why you are correct. WRONG. Speak out all you want and do it with evidence and persuasiveness, convince people with virtue and wisdom and I bet my two thumbs that you will turn heads. But when you speak out about not being able to speak out it doesnt make any sense and no one will pay attention. This is my view and I am re-affirmed more and more the long I spend here.

    What should you use to back your opinions and views to sway a Baha’i? why the Baha’i writings of course!

  • Annonymouz

    Craig et al,

    You keep pushing the opinion of one person as a source. This is craziest thing I have ever seen from someone trying to justify an opinion. I can promise you as a known fact that a lot of back forth goes on behind closed doors and D. Martin’s opinion is just his view, not the majority. I don’t agree with it. Promised. I can’t ever possibly agree with your view because of your ways. You and P, pick and choose quotes and IGNORE the rest of the stuff that I refer to. Perhaps I too should acknowledge some of the things you talk about, but you should too!!! It amazes me that you categorically refuse to talk about quotes by Baha’u’llah on liberty and freedom–they are not the same as conscious, you know. I do not have a qualm or an issue at all with conscious or freedom of thought, because any sane and normal Baha’i realizes that can never be taken away and it indeed is a gift from God and it is used to know Him.

    HOWEVER

    When someone goes around spouting off idiocy in the name of freedom of speech and conscious it does nothing but show they do not even have an inkling of spiritual smarts to realize that it is counter to the Baha’i teachings. Liberty and freedom are endowed and inherent. For you or anyone else to say that they or we are trying to take that away is preposterous and quite frankly, funny! Its impossible. it can’t, won’t and will not ever happen so long as there is creation. I am just amazed at how people do not get it.

    Baha’u’llah and Abdul’Baha laid the law down when it came to unity and the one family. You are free and as the Guardian says, obligated, to express your concern and conscious when it comes to important matters. But the cardinal sin and fire test is when you think that your view or opinion is supreme above the rest. This is what you are saying, Craig. This is why I can’t give you any credit or room because you keep pushing this anti-Bahai view. The individual has every right to express their opinion, no one can stop them and in fact it is necessary for the whole process to work. But when belligerence overtakes wisdom and hot air replaces thoughtfulness, we have grounds for the making of a village idiot.

    Use your freedom wisely, as you would a weapon. You think that just because you can speak out that that alone is why you are correct. WRONG. Speak out all you want and do it with evidence and persuasiveness, convince people with virtue and wisdom and I bet my two thumbs that you will turn heads. But when you speak out about not being able to speak out it doesnt make any sense and no one will pay attention. This is my view and I am re-affirmed more and more the long I spend here.

    What should you use to back your opinions and views to sway a Baha’i? why the Baha’i writings of course!

  • Craig Parke

    [quote comment=”53928″]Craig et al,

    …But the cardinal sin and fire test is when you think that your view or opinion is supreme above the rest. This is what you are saying, Craig. This is why I can’t give you any credit or room because you keep pushing this anti-Bahai view. The individual has every right to express their opinion, no one can stop them and in fact it is necessary for the whole process to work. But when belligerence overtakes wisdom and hot air replaces thoughtfulness, we have grounds for the making of a village idiot.
    [/quote]

    Where is I ever say my view was supreme over anyone else’s?

    I’m am only saying that no member of the UHJ has any right whtsoever to give his own personal opinion about anything to a Baha’i audiance. And to do so is disgraceful and an embarassment that these people reek of self and ego far worse than anyone in the rank and file.

    Secondly, please explain Douglas Martin’s quote. What does it mean? You have never yet addressed what you think it means. all you say is to pay no mind to the man behind the curtain. I say the man behind the curtain has no right to make that statement in the context of his offical position in the Baha’i Faith.

    Nobody here is saying society should be anarchy. The rights of all must be protected and there must be laws and boundaries in society to do so. The indiviual has rights. The collective of the good of all society has rights. What I am saying is that those placed in authority rule at the consent of the goverened EVEN IN THE BAHA’I THEOCRATIC STATE OF YOUR DREAMS, Anon! Baha’u’llah actually praised the system of the West which was greatly influenced by the writings of Thomas Jefferson. So Baha’u’llah indirectly praised Thomas Jefferson.

    What I am saying is that any system that does not promote frank and open discourse will become dysfunctional and fail. Everyone here knows Baha’u’llah’s quote about the excesses of “freedom”. Why don’t you understand what we are talking about here. The Baha’inFaith has failed the entire human race so far because it does not practice what it preaches just like all the “organized” religions before it. I certainly had hoped it would be otherwise this time out. Your mentality is somewhat of a poster boy for this failure. What would a world run by nine Anon’s on the UHJ be like? Would it look like this?

    http://youtube.com/watch?v=sPBCo3WQRjY

    Right now it would be unthinkable, I agree, because the majority of the Baha’is I have known in my life were free thinkers and spiritual searchers who thought completely outside the box. That kind of mindset is PRECISELY how they found the Writings! But what if that was all to change as only people who would mindlessly turn their souls over to an organization were permitted to become Baha’is?

    This could happen because the Writings are not the center of the Baha’i Faith anymore. The Baha’i Faith is what a tiny group of professional theologian clergy say it is! The Ruhi Full Sequence of Courses is PRECISELY someone’s dominant theology of what the Faith means that has WON!

    The beautiful hearts of the rank and file Baha’is of the world have deserved far, far better leadership then they have gotten from Day One. Far, far better leadership. What they got was disgraceful. From Day One. It is certainly not my view but their clique view or opinion which IS now supreme above the rest and they have no right to do that. Why can’t you understand that this is what I am saying?

    Yes I wonder what the world will be like when nine Anon’s all serve on the UHJ with no term limits whatsoever in an endless lifetime employment that answers to no one on Earth! This may now definitely be achievable with the dumbing down of the entire Baha’i Faith and the prohibition of individual conscience as set for by Baha’i theologian professional lifetime incumbent mindsets like that of Douglas Martin, Peter Khan, the Ruhi Gurus ITC Clique and others.

    I say none of it is now based upon the Teachings of Baha’u’llah at all. It is now all manmade baloney and will only have the “spiritual power” of baloney.

    Buit as I have said, only time will tell. I will be dead so the last man here off this planet can make the call and leave the final post.

    Have a nice weekend, Anon!

  • Craig Parke

    [quote comment=”53928″]Craig et al,

    …But the cardinal sin and fire test is when you think that your view or opinion is supreme above the rest. This is what you are saying, Craig. This is why I can’t give you any credit or room because you keep pushing this anti-Bahai view. The individual has every right to express their opinion, no one can stop them and in fact it is necessary for the whole process to work. But when belligerence overtakes wisdom and hot air replaces thoughtfulness, we have grounds for the making of a village idiot.
    [/quote]

    Where is I ever say my view was supreme over anyone else’s?

    I’m am only saying that no member of the UHJ has any right whtsoever to give his own personal opinion about anything to a Baha’i audiance. And to do so is disgraceful and an embarassment that these people reek of self and ego far worse than anyone in the rank and file.

    Secondly, please explain Douglas Martin’s quote. What does it mean? You have never yet addressed what you think it means. all you say is to pay no mind to the man behind the curtain. I say the man behind the curtain has no right to make that statement in the context of his offical position in the Baha’i Faith.

    Nobody here is saying society should be anarchy. The rights of all must be protected and there must be laws and boundaries in society to do so. The indiviual has rights. The collective of the good of all society has rights. What I am saying is that those placed in authority rule at the consent of the goverened EVEN IN THE BAHA’I THEOCRATIC STATE OF YOUR DREAMS, Anon! Baha’u’llah actually praised the system of the West which was greatly influenced by the writings of Thomas Jefferson. So Baha’u’llah indirectly praised Thomas Jefferson.

    What I am saying is that any system that does not promote frank and open discourse will become dysfunctional and fail. Everyone here knows Baha’u’llah’s quote about the excesses of “freedom”. Why don’t you understand what we are talking about here. The Baha’inFaith has failed the entire human race so far because it does not practice what it preaches just like all the “organized” religions before it. I certainly had hoped it would be otherwise this time out. Your mentality is somewhat of a poster boy for this failure. What would a world run by nine Anon’s on the UHJ be like? Would it look like this?

    http://youtube.com/watch?v=sPBCo3WQRjY

    Right now it would be unthinkable, I agree, because the majority of the Baha’is I have known in my life were free thinkers and spiritual searchers who thought completely outside the box. That kind of mindset is PRECISELY how they found the Writings! But what if that was all to change as only people who would mindlessly turn their souls over to an organization were permitted to become Baha’is?

    This could happen because the Writings are not the center of the Baha’i Faith anymore. The Baha’i Faith is what a tiny group of professional theologian clergy say it is! The Ruhi Full Sequence of Courses is PRECISELY someone’s dominant theology of what the Faith means that has WON!

    The beautiful hearts of the rank and file Baha’is of the world have deserved far, far better leadership then they have gotten from Day One. Far, far better leadership. What they got was disgraceful. From Day One. It is certainly not my view but their clique view or opinion which IS now supreme above the rest and they have no right to do that. Why can’t you understand that this is what I am saying?

    Yes I wonder what the world will be like when nine Anon’s all serve on the UHJ with no term limits whatsoever in an endless lifetime employment that answers to no one on Earth! This may now definitely be achievable with the dumbing down of the entire Baha’i Faith and the prohibition of individual conscience as set for by Baha’i theologian professional lifetime incumbent mindsets like that of Douglas Martin, Peter Khan, the Ruhi Gurus ITC Clique and others.

    I say none of it is now based upon the Teachings of Baha’u’llah at all. It is now all manmade baloney and will only have the “spiritual power” of baloney.

    Buit as I have said, only time will tell. I will be dead so the last man here off this planet can make the call and leave the final post.

    Have a nice weekend, Anon!

  • ep

    AnonZZZ,

    Contradicting the quotes you gave, Bahaullah’s own writings are full of denuciations of evil, injust, exploitative, ignorant, backward people, cultures, civilizations, etc.

    There is really very little different from the current incompetent, dysfunctional bahai leadership elites (and the bullies, dupes and stooges like you that support them) and the people that bahaullah himself denounced repeatedly.

    “Context is everything”.

    Nonetheless, your mind numbingly polemic, overly simplistic, opportunistic and absurdly self-serving and self-reinforcing misinterpretations, lies, distortions, misconceptions and incorrect assumptions are shown for the complete pile of cr*p they really are by the glaring contradiction you have created.

    You really are too narrow-minded to address (in a real or honest way) most of the basic questions that humans have been asking about life on planet earth for the last 5,000+ years.

    You are living, vivid proof of how “normal” it is for bahais to be intellectually bankrupt, backward and self-serving.

    Virtually everything you say in defense of bahai is either a massive distortion, or an outright lie.

    Again you do not appear to have even the most rudimentary understanding of the ethical structure that exists in you own religion.

    My conclusion is that you are probably a clinically diagnosable sociopath.

    In other words, you will be on the fast track to bahai leadership (after you learn to lie better, which you will do when on pilgrimage, as Farhad will explain shortly).

    [quote comment=”53923″]Given that these Hidden Words P are basically back to back, it is clear that Baha’u’llah Himself admonished us to not dwell on faults, issues, problems, DISUNITY.

    26. O SON OF BEING!
    How couldst thou forget thine own faults and busy thyself with the faults of others? Whoso doeth this is accursed of Me.

    27. O SON OF MAN!
    Breathe not the sins of others so long as thou art thyself a sinner. Shouldst thou transgress this command, accursed wouldst thou be, and to this I bear witness.

    28. O SON OF SPIRIT!
    Know thou of a truth: He that biddeth men be just and himself committeth iniquity is not of Me, even though he bear My name.

    29. O SON OF BEING!
    Ascribe not to any soul that which thou wouldst not have ascribed to thee, and say not that which thou doest not. This is My command unto thee, do thou observe it[/quote]
    [quote comment=””][…] One of the readers of this blog, Farhan Yazdani, was kind enough to share these after another person requested them in a discussion. […][/quote]

  • ep

    AnonZZZ,

    Contradicting the quotes you gave, Bahaullah’s own writings are full of denuciations of evil, injust, exploitative, ignorant, backward people, cultures, civilizations, etc.

    There is really very little different from the current incompetent, dysfunctional bahai leadership elites (and the bullies, dupes and stooges like you that support them) and the people that bahaullah himself denounced repeatedly.

    “Context is everything”.

    Nonetheless, your mind numbingly polemic, overly simplistic, opportunistic and absurdly self-serving and self-reinforcing misinterpretations, lies, distortions, misconceptions and incorrect assumptions are shown for the complete pile of cr*p they really are by the glaring contradiction you have created.

    You really are too narrow-minded to address (in a real or honest way) most of the basic questions that humans have been asking about life on planet earth for the last 5,000+ years.

    You are living, vivid proof of how “normal” it is for bahais to be intellectually bankrupt, backward and self-serving.

    Virtually everything you say in defense of bahai is either a massive distortion, or an outright lie.

    Again you do not appear to have even the most rudimentary understanding of the ethical structure that exists in you own religion.

    My conclusion is that you are probably a clinically diagnosable sociopath.

    In other words, you will be on the fast track to bahai leadership (after you learn to lie better, which you will do when on pilgrimage, as Farhad will explain shortly).

    [quote comment=”53923″]Given that these Hidden Words P are basically back to back, it is clear that Baha’u’llah Himself admonished us to not dwell on faults, issues, problems, DISUNITY.

    26. O SON OF BEING!
    How couldst thou forget thine own faults and busy thyself with the faults of others? Whoso doeth this is accursed of Me.

    27. O SON OF MAN!
    Breathe not the sins of others so long as thou art thyself a sinner. Shouldst thou transgress this command, accursed wouldst thou be, and to this I bear witness.

    28. O SON OF SPIRIT!
    Know thou of a truth: He that biddeth men be just and himself committeth iniquity is not of Me, even though he bear My name.

    29. O SON OF BEING!
    Ascribe not to any soul that which thou wouldst not have ascribed to thee, and say not that which thou doest not. This is My command unto thee, do thou observe it[/quote]
    [quote comment=””][…] One of the readers of this blog, Farhan Yazdani, was kind enough to share these after another person requested them in a discussion. […][/quote]

  • Anonymuz

    Hey EP,

    It appears I ticked you off a little. I’ll wait till you stop the slandering. You do get the award for being the nastiest.

    Craig,

    What you say about frank and open discussion happens. Regarding some of your other statements…

    This could happen because the Writings are not the center of the Baha’i Faith anymore. The Baha’i Faith is what a tiny group of professional theologian clergy say it is! The Ruhi Full Sequence of Courses is PRECISELY someone’s dominant theology of what the Faith means that has WON!

    This is just wrong and incorrect in every which way. Categorically false. First, all of Ruhi is based on the Writings. All of it. Moreover, it is setup to motivate and act. If you say someone’s dominant theology, you can only be refering to Baha’u’llah. How am I supposed to sympathise with your views and agree with you when what you say is just flat misleading? You must think I am doing this for fun. I have all the Ruhi books here and all the authoritative text–for as long as I can remember and to this day I have been repeatedly advised to refer to the writings, always. You continuously assume as well that Haifa manages and micromanages everything. Wrong again on every level. We get a few letters from Haifa every year always very broad, encouraging and guiding. Our community has flexibility, freedom and much discretion when it comes to how we conduct our affairs. It probably varies from your former community and that is ok. In African villages im sure they incorporate a whole lot more dance and song at feast then we do.

    The Baha’i Faith has failed the entire human race so far because it does not practice what it preaches just like all the ?organized? religions before it.

    Here we go again speaking for all of humanity–seems to be classic transference again. It has failed you because of your distorted view and stubborn refusal brought on by age or some false sense of entitlement. Don’t get me wrong, I am not a good Baha’i. Let’s face it, more enlightened Baha’is don’t waste their time talking and going back and forth like this. When I do, all I get is names and slander. I do not take as much of the writings to heart as I should, obviously. If I did I would not be engaging in such dribble. Thankfully better Baha’is are working toward what we believe in. I’ll get there one day. I could come behind the anonimity and show you some of things we and some others are doing right now, recognized and talked about in the press. But since I am going through a secure job application process, I can’t. AS far as Baha’is practicing what they preach, we do and we don’t. Don’t make such broad statements. Its about individual initiative and BEING the change you want to see. Does that make sense?

    The beautiful hearts of the rank and file Baha’is of the world have deserved far, far better leadership then they have gotten from Day One. Far, far better leadership. What they got was disgraceful.

    So you what you are saying here is the entire Institutional process sucks. What Baha’u’llah setup is not working, what Baha’u’llah advised and what Abdul’Baha and Shoghi Effendi meticulously detailed is not working. You are displaying contempt for the consultative process that is undertaken when decisions are made. You are putting yourself above 9 people, as opposed to yourself. Let me guess Craig, you could have done a much better job? Let’s all turn to craig for wisdom and prudence. Let’s all rely on craig, one pissed off dude, for everything. Man, you really need to read Freud for transference. You can’t handle that maybe you are wrong about something, its too much to admit at your age, im sure. But one thing I will always be able to do, is admit when I am wrong. Heck, I am waiting to, but givve me evidence, proof and convincing argument for what you are saying, man. I live in a community, a Baha’i community and everyday I see with my own eyes the reality of day to day Baha’i life and it is the exact opposite of what you say. You are making no sense so forgive me if I do not agree with you, I simply have no logical or observationally reason to. Our secretary for the LSA is a little old lady. The assembly itself is wise to delegate functional duties–to youth for that matter. The process couldn’t be more transparent. Leadership in a sense of Vince Lombardy leadership has very little use in Baha’i life IN MY OPINION. Team work, consultation, prudence and good collective judgment always seem to steer through the BS that comes with one person being in charge.

    Anyway…

    I fear for your blood preasure, so take it easy. Remember, im just a punk kid.

    Take care buddy.

  • Anonymuz

    Hey EP,

    It appears I ticked you off a little. I’ll wait till you stop the slandering. You do get the award for being the nastiest.

    Craig,

    What you say about frank and open discussion happens. Regarding some of your other statements…

    This could happen because the Writings are not the center of the Baha’i Faith anymore. The Baha’i Faith is what a tiny group of professional theologian clergy say it is! The Ruhi Full Sequence of Courses is PRECISELY someone’s dominant theology of what the Faith means that has WON!

    This is just wrong and incorrect in every which way. Categorically false. First, all of Ruhi is based on the Writings. All of it. Moreover, it is setup to motivate and act. If you say someone’s dominant theology, you can only be refering to Baha’u’llah. How am I supposed to sympathise with your views and agree with you when what you say is just flat misleading? You must think I am doing this for fun. I have all the Ruhi books here and all the authoritative text–for as long as I can remember and to this day I have been repeatedly advised to refer to the writings, always. You continuously assume as well that Haifa manages and micromanages everything. Wrong again on every level. We get a few letters from Haifa every year always very broad, encouraging and guiding. Our community has flexibility, freedom and much discretion when it comes to how we conduct our affairs. It probably varies from your former community and that is ok. In African villages im sure they incorporate a whole lot more dance and song at feast then we do.

    The Baha’i Faith has failed the entire human race so far because it does not practice what it preaches just like all the ?organized? religions before it.

    Here we go again speaking for all of humanity–seems to be classic transference again. It has failed you because of your distorted view and stubborn refusal brought on by age or some false sense of entitlement. Don’t get me wrong, I am not a good Baha’i. Let’s face it, more enlightened Baha’is don’t waste their time talking and going back and forth like this. When I do, all I get is names and slander. I do not take as much of the writings to heart as I should, obviously. If I did I would not be engaging in such dribble. Thankfully better Baha’is are working toward what we believe in. I’ll get there one day. I could come behind the anonimity and show you some of things we and some others are doing right now, recognized and talked about in the press. But since I am going through a secure job application process, I can’t. AS far as Baha’is practicing what they preach, we do and we don’t. Don’t make such broad statements. Its about individual initiative and BEING the change you want to see. Does that make sense?

    The beautiful hearts of the rank and file Baha’is of the world have deserved far, far better leadership then they have gotten from Day One. Far, far better leadership. What they got was disgraceful.

    So you what you are saying here is the entire Institutional process sucks. What Baha’u’llah setup is not working, what Baha’u’llah advised and what Abdul’Baha and Shoghi Effendi meticulously detailed is not working. You are displaying contempt for the consultative process that is undertaken when decisions are made. You are putting yourself above 9 people, as opposed to yourself. Let me guess Craig, you could have done a much better job? Let’s all turn to craig for wisdom and prudence. Let’s all rely on craig, one pissed off dude, for everything. Man, you really need to read Freud for transference. You can’t handle that maybe you are wrong about something, its too much to admit at your age, im sure. But one thing I will always be able to do, is admit when I am wrong. Heck, I am waiting to, but givve me evidence, proof and convincing argument for what you are saying, man. I live in a community, a Baha’i community and everyday I see with my own eyes the reality of day to day Baha’i life and it is the exact opposite of what you say. You are making no sense so forgive me if I do not agree with you, I simply have no logical or observationally reason to. Our secretary for the LSA is a little old lady. The assembly itself is wise to delegate functional duties–to youth for that matter. The process couldn’t be more transparent. Leadership in a sense of Vince Lombardy leadership has very little use in Baha’i life IN MY OPINION. Team work, consultation, prudence and good collective judgment always seem to steer through the BS that comes with one person being in charge.

    Anyway…

    I fear for your blood preasure, so take it easy. Remember, im just a punk kid.

    Take care buddy.

  • ep

    AnonZZZ,

    [quote comment=”53922″]If you are no longer a member, then why do you insist on bashing it?
    [/quote]

    Because the purpose of this blog (which you seem to have missed) is to make fund of STOOOPID, GOOOOOFY, DUUUUUFUS bahais?

    Because I have friends that are victims of bahai fascists like you, and they are part of my life.

    and because I invested decades into something (bahai) that was a hideous flop becaue of dysfunctional authortian abusers, and am processing what that means.

    and because I’m fascinated by sociopaths and dysfunctional people such as yourself you who trudge on, like zombies and robots, in a deep rut of false belief that is pointless and futile.

    Also because there might be a small chance that someone will somehow be spared becoming a victim of bahai fascism if people keep telling the truth about what “really goes on”.

    And finally because it might make some small contribution towards people healing from being victimized and abused by people like you.

    [quote comment=”53922″]
    Move on.
    [/quote]

    Arrogant, dismissive drivel. You do not own this blog, so you don’t have any place telling anyone to do anything. especially given how ineffective your ideas are.

    [quote comment=”53922″]You repetitive use of the same adjectives to describe me are just a testament to your anti-religion ideas.
    [/quote]

    Again, more dortions and lies. I posted my “beliefs”, you seem to be far too shallow and immature to have any idea what they actually mean.

    The reality is that bahai is irrelevant, and the direction of the leading, evolutionary edge of culture is exactly the opposite of bahai.

    which is to say, the leading edge involves the “American religion of no religion”. Flexidoxy. Etc.

    FREEDOM from religious fascists.

    I know that narrow minded literalist/fundamentalist bufoons like you that operate out of fear/hate polarities usually can’t let complex ideas actually seep into your thinking, but “just in case”, here is the website (again):

    http://www.esalen.org/place/bookstore/america.html

    | Esalen: America and the Religion of No Religion
    | by Jeffrey J. Kripal
    |
    | Format: Hardcover
    | Pages: 544
    | ISBN: 0226453693
    | Publisher: University Of Chicago Press, April 2007

    | About the Author
    |
    | Jeffrey J. Kripal is J. Newton Rayzor Profesor of
    | Religious Studies and Chair of the Department of
    | Religious Studies at Rice University.

    Shock everyone and read it (or google and read about it), and say something that is actually interesting about it for a change instead of posting mindlessly glib insults about anything that is outside your tiny, small minded bubble of bahai idiocy.

    What Esalen and many other similar places prove is that the “middle man scam” of backward metaphysics and prophetic judeo-christian-islamic-bahai religion fails to deliver on the “promise of transcendance” (spiritual transformation).

    The bahai bureaucratic mindset is pure “bait-n-switch”. Its “teachers” offer a sense of belonging, and promise profound transformation and transcendance, but it only delivers emotional bondage and slavery to stupid, failed ideas and falsehoods.

    What Esalen proves is that people will find “truth, beauty and goodness” without dysfunctional, backward religious bureacracies.

    No one needs to be a spiritual slave to backward beliefs anymore because the “valuing of liberty” has more adaptive evolutionary quality than does the kind of medieval conformity that you belive in (the “gravity well of shiism”).

    [quote comment=”53922″]
    Sorry if it didn’t work out for you, but you say you have your own path, good for you! If it involves slamming other people then I am glad too that I am not on the same page as you.
    Cheers![/quote]

    Again, distortions, lies, drivel and massive, appalling contradictions.

    You are a shallow, sociopathic bully, exactly like the kind of people that persecuted the babis and early bahais.

    every thing you write proves that abadu’l-baha was correct when he said that if religion is the “cause of disunity”, it is better to get rid of it.

    contrary to your addled/ruhized interpretation of abdul-baha’s statement (which is that it supports your backward conformism), what it “really means” is that if religion becomes rigid, orthodox, dysfunctional, backward and turns into a place where evil people hide behind a false, hollow image of “good” so they can exploit the weak and needy — then junk the religion and keep looking for truth elsewhere.

    And do so in spite of the pathological liars, sociopaths and cowards that always try to hide inside religions, dancing with their dehumanized jungian shadows.

    Bye bye!

  • ep

    AnonZZZ,

    [quote comment=”53922″]If you are no longer a member, then why do you insist on bashing it?
    [/quote]

    Because the purpose of this blog (which you seem to have missed) is to make fund of STOOOPID, GOOOOOFY, DUUUUUFUS bahais?

    Because I have friends that are victims of bahai fascists like you, and they are part of my life.

    and because I invested decades into something (bahai) that was a hideous flop becaue of dysfunctional authortian abusers, and am processing what that means.

    and because I’m fascinated by sociopaths and dysfunctional people such as yourself you who trudge on, like zombies and robots, in a deep rut of false belief that is pointless and futile.

    Also because there might be a small chance that someone will somehow be spared becoming a victim of bahai fascism if people keep telling the truth about what “really goes on”.

    And finally because it might make some small contribution towards people healing from being victimized and abused by people like you.

    [quote comment=”53922″]
    Move on.
    [/quote]

    Arrogant, dismissive drivel. You do not own this blog, so you don’t have any place telling anyone to do anything. especially given how ineffective your ideas are.

    [quote comment=”53922″]You repetitive use of the same adjectives to describe me are just a testament to your anti-religion ideas.
    [/quote]

    Again, more dortions and lies. I posted my “beliefs”, you seem to be far too shallow and immature to have any idea what they actually mean.

    The reality is that bahai is irrelevant, and the direction of the leading, evolutionary edge of culture is exactly the opposite of bahai.

    which is to say, the leading edge involves the “American religion of no religion”. Flexidoxy. Etc.

    FREEDOM from religious fascists.

    I know that narrow minded literalist/fundamentalist bufoons like you that operate out of fear/hate polarities usually can’t let complex ideas actually seep into your thinking, but “just in case”, here is the website (again):

    http://www.esalen.org/place/bookstore/america.html

    | Esalen: America and the Religion of No Religion
    | by Jeffrey J. Kripal
    |
    | Format: Hardcover
    | Pages: 544
    | ISBN: 0226453693
    | Publisher: University Of Chicago Press, April 2007

    | About the Author
    |
    | Jeffrey J. Kripal is J. Newton Rayzor Profesor of
    | Religious Studies and Chair of the Department of
    | Religious Studies at Rice University.

    Shock everyone and read it (or google and read about it), and say something that is actually interesting about it for a change instead of posting mindlessly glib insults about anything that is outside your tiny, small minded bubble of bahai idiocy.

    What Esalen and many other similar places prove is that the “middle man scam” of backward metaphysics and prophetic judeo-christian-islamic-bahai religion fails to deliver on the “promise of transcendance” (spiritual transformation).

    The bahai bureaucratic mindset is pure “bait-n-switch”. Its “teachers” offer a sense of belonging, and promise profound transformation and transcendance, but it only delivers emotional bondage and slavery to stupid, failed ideas and falsehoods.

    What Esalen proves is that people will find “truth, beauty and goodness” without dysfunctional, backward religious bureacracies.

    No one needs to be a spiritual slave to backward beliefs anymore because the “valuing of liberty” has more adaptive evolutionary quality than does the kind of medieval conformity that you belive in (the “gravity well of shiism”).

    [quote comment=”53922″]
    Sorry if it didn’t work out for you, but you say you have your own path, good for you! If it involves slamming other people then I am glad too that I am not on the same page as you.
    Cheers![/quote]

    Again, distortions, lies, drivel and massive, appalling contradictions.

    You are a shallow, sociopathic bully, exactly like the kind of people that persecuted the babis and early bahais.

    every thing you write proves that abadu’l-baha was correct when he said that if religion is the “cause of disunity”, it is better to get rid of it.

    contrary to your addled/ruhized interpretation of abdul-baha’s statement (which is that it supports your backward conformism), what it “really means” is that if religion becomes rigid, orthodox, dysfunctional, backward and turns into a place where evil people hide behind a false, hollow image of “good” so they can exploit the weak and needy — then junk the religion and keep looking for truth elsewhere.

    And do so in spite of the pathological liars, sociopaths and cowards that always try to hide inside religions, dancing with their dehumanized jungian shadows.

    Bye bye!

  • ep

    AnonZZZ, YOUR RESPONSE IS CLASSIC EVASION!

    YOU CAN’T ANSWER REAL QUESTIONS ABOUT THE TRUTH:

    | Contradicting the quotes you gave, Bahaullah’s own writings are
    | full of denuciations of evil, injust, exploitative, ignorant,
    | backward people, cultures, civilizations, etc.
    |
    | There is really very little different from the current
    | incompetent, dysfunctional bahai leadership elites (and the
    | bullies, dupes and stooges like you that support them) and the
    | people that bahaullah himself denounced repeatedly.

    You are a liar and coward.

    You like to throw sh*t in people’s faces, and then when you get it thrown back, you turn into a GIANT WHINER.

    What a joke.

    [quote comment=”53936″]Hey EP,

    It appears I ticked you off a little. I’ll wait till you stop the slandering. You do get the award for being the nastiest.

  • ep

    AnonZZZ, YOUR RESPONSE IS CLASSIC EVASION!

    YOU CAN’T ANSWER REAL QUESTIONS ABOUT THE TRUTH:

    | Contradicting the quotes you gave, Bahaullah’s own writings are
    | full of denuciations of evil, injust, exploitative, ignorant,
    | backward people, cultures, civilizations, etc.
    |
    | There is really very little different from the current
    | incompetent, dysfunctional bahai leadership elites (and the
    | bullies, dupes and stooges like you that support them) and the
    | people that bahaullah himself denounced repeatedly.

    You are a liar and coward.

    You like to throw sh*t in people’s faces, and then when you get it thrown back, you turn into a GIANT WHINER.

    What a joke.

    [quote comment=”53936″]Hey EP,

    It appears I ticked you off a little. I’ll wait till you stop the slandering. You do get the award for being the nastiest.

  • Anonymuz

    EP,

    Why do I choose to talk and reply to Craig and not you? He is relatively polite and little spiky, but that’s cool.

    You are just mean.

    Take care.

  • Anonymuz

    EP,

    Why do I choose to talk and reply to Craig and not you? He is relatively polite and little spiky, but that’s cool.

    You are just mean.

    Take care.

  • ep

    ?Strive ye then with all your heart to treat compassionately all humankind –except for those who have some selfish, private motive, or some disease of the soul. Kindness cannot be shown the tyrant, the deceiver, or the thief, because, far from awakening them to the error of their ways, it maketh them to continue in their perversity as before. No matter how much kindliness ye may expend upon the liar, he will but lie the more, for he believeth you to be deceived, while ye understand him but too well, and only remain silent out of your extreme compassion.?
    Selections from the Writings of `Abdu’l-Bah??
    158?

    AnonZZZ,

    Actually you have been talking to both of us, or rather “at” both of us. You have no concept of respect.

    (Sociopaths are very clever at pretending to be nice so they can manipulate people to get what they want.)

    And you have been insulting both of us.

    And lots of other people.

    You are the cause of some of the best people on this blog to leave.

    You are trying to turn this blog into a sick little microcosm of the sick little world that bahai culture so frequently consists of.

    “He who poops on the road will smell something funny upon his return”.

    [quote comment=””][…] One of the readers of this blog, Farhan Yazdani, was kind enough to share these after another person requested them in a discussion. […][/quote]
    [quote comment=”53942″]EP,

    Why do I choose to talk and reply to Craig and not you? He is relatively polite and little spiky, but that’s cool.

    You are just mean.

    Take care.[/quote]

  • ep

    ?Strive ye then with all your heart to treat compassionately all humankind –except for those who have some selfish, private motive, or some disease of the soul. Kindness cannot be shown the tyrant, the deceiver, or the thief, because, far from awakening them to the error of their ways, it maketh them to continue in their perversity as before. No matter how much kindliness ye may expend upon the liar, he will but lie the more, for he believeth you to be deceived, while ye understand him but too well, and only remain silent out of your extreme compassion.?
    Selections from the Writings of `Abdu’l-Bah??
    158?

    AnonZZZ,

    Actually you have been talking to both of us, or rather “at” both of us. You have no concept of respect.

    (Sociopaths are very clever at pretending to be nice so they can manipulate people to get what they want.)

    And you have been insulting both of us.

    And lots of other people.

    You are the cause of some of the best people on this blog to leave.

    You are trying to turn this blog into a sick little microcosm of the sick little world that bahai culture so frequently consists of.

    “He who poops on the road will smell something funny upon his return”.

    [quote comment=””][…] One of the readers of this blog, Farhan Yazdani, was kind enough to share these after another person requested them in a discussion. […][/quote]
    [quote comment=”53942″]EP,

    Why do I choose to talk and reply to Craig and not you? He is relatively polite and little spiky, but that’s cool.

    You are just mean.

    Take care.[/quote]

  • ep

    http://bahai-library.com/compilations/assembly.html

    The first condition is absolute love and harmony amongst the members of the assembly. They must be wholly freed from estrangement and must manifest in themselves the Unity of God, for they are the waves of one sea, the drops of one river, the stars of one heaven, the rays of one sun, the trees of one orchard, the flowers of one garden. Should harmony of thought and absolute unity be non-existent, that gathering shall be dispersed and

    [***] that assembly be brought to naught.

    The second condition: they must when coming together turn their faces to the Kingdom on High and ask aid from the Realm of Glory. They must then proceed with the utmost devotion, courtesy, dignity, care and moderation to express their views. They must in every matter search out the truth and not insist upon their own opinion, for stubbornness and persistence in one’s views will lead ultimately to discord and wrangling and the truth will remain hidden. The honoured members must with all freedom express their own thoughts, and it is in no wise permissible for one to belittle the thought of another, nay, he must with moderation set forth the truth, and should differences of opinion arise a majority of voices must prevail, and all must obey and submit to the majority.

    In short, whatsoever thing is arranged in harmony and with love and purity of motive, its result is light, and should the least trace of estrangement prevail the result shall be darkness upon darkness….

    If this be so regarded, that assembly shall be of God, but

    [***] otherwise it shall lead to coolness and alienation that
    proceed from the Evil One….

    (‘Abdu’l-Baha, cited in a letter dated 5 March 1922 written by Shoghi Effendi to the Baha’is of the United States and Canada, published in “Baha’i Administration: Selected Messages 1922-1932”, p. 22)

    —end excerpt—

    AnonZZZ and other rut-zombie “loyalist” bahai conformists:

    The above quote provides the full context of what “unity” is really all about in the bahai writings.

    It is NOT your conformist/fascist “though police” version of “estrangement style” unity.

    PLEASE note that the quote actually contains the words ALL FREEDOM with respect to EXPRESSION OF THOUGHT.

    And what does the quote say happens to assemblies that f*ck up that FREEDOM “thang”?

    Answer:

    [***] that assembly be brought to naught.

    [***] it shall lead to coolness and alienation that
    proceed from the Evil One….

    So, there you have it, the bahai writings themselves predict, and insist, that bahai assemblies (and by extension communities in general and bahai culture in general) that force people, VIA ESTRANGEMENT, to conform -and thereby restrict people’s FREEDOM- will be “brought to naught” (by God) and those same “assemblies” will cause “coolness and alienation proceed from the Evil One”.

    That is all you need to know about bahai administration. the current form of AO is functioning, by restricting “ALL FREEDOM” of EXPRESSION, in a way that is diametrically opposed to the very bahai writings that is “supposedly” trying to “propagate”.

    Clearly you – and the corrupt, useless, dysfunctional, fascist AO – are the “real” coconut breakers.

    Bye bye!

    [quote comment=”53928″]Craig et al,

    … I can’t ever possibly agree with your view because of your ways.

    When someone goes around spouting off idiocy in the name of freedom of speech and conscious [sp: “conscience”] it does nothing but show they do not even have an inkling of spiritual smarts to realize that it is counter to the Baha’i teachings. Liberty and freedom are endowed and inherent. For you or anyone else to say that they or we are trying to take that away is preposterous and quite frankly, funny! Its impossible. it can’t, won’t and will not ever happen so long as there is creation. I am just amazed at how people do not get it.

    What should you use to back your opinions and views to sway a Baha’i? why the Baha’i writings of course![/quote]

  • ep

    http://bahai-library.com/compilations/assembly.html

    The first condition is absolute love and harmony amongst the members of the assembly. They must be wholly freed from estrangement and must manifest in themselves the Unity of God, for they are the waves of one sea, the drops of one river, the stars of one heaven, the rays of one sun, the trees of one orchard, the flowers of one garden. Should harmony of thought and absolute unity be non-existent, that gathering shall be dispersed and

    [***] that assembly be brought to naught.

    The second condition: they must when coming together turn their faces to the Kingdom on High and ask aid from the Realm of Glory. They must then proceed with the utmost devotion, courtesy, dignity, care and moderation to express their views. They must in every matter search out the truth and not insist upon their own opinion, for stubbornness and persistence in one’s views will lead ultimately to discord and wrangling and the truth will remain hidden. The honoured members must with all freedom express their own thoughts, and it is in no wise permissible for one to belittle the thought of another, nay, he must with moderation set forth the truth, and should differences of opinion arise a majority of voices must prevail, and all must obey and submit to the majority.

    In short, whatsoever thing is arranged in harmony and with love and purity of motive, its result is light, and should the least trace of estrangement prevail the result shall be darkness upon darkness….

    If this be so regarded, that assembly shall be of God, but

    [***] otherwise it shall lead to coolness and alienation that
    proceed from the Evil One….

    (‘Abdu’l-Baha, cited in a letter dated 5 March 1922 written by Shoghi Effendi to the Baha’is of the United States and Canada, published in “Baha’i Administration: Selected Messages 1922-1932”, p. 22)

    —end excerpt—

    AnonZZZ and other rut-zombie “loyalist” bahai conformists:

    The above quote provides the full context of what “unity” is really all about in the bahai writings.

    It is NOT your conformist/fascist “though police” version of “estrangement style” unity.

    PLEASE note that the quote actually contains the words ALL FREEDOM with respect to EXPRESSION OF THOUGHT.

    And what does the quote say happens to assemblies that f*ck up that FREEDOM “thang”?

    Answer:

    [***] that assembly be brought to naught.

    [***] it shall lead to coolness and alienation that
    proceed from the Evil One….

    So, there you have it, the bahai writings themselves predict, and insist, that bahai assemblies (and by extension communities in general and bahai culture in general) that force people, VIA ESTRANGEMENT, to conform -and thereby restrict people’s FREEDOM- will be “brought to naught” (by God) and those same “assemblies” will cause “coolness and alienation proceed from the Evil One”.

    That is all you need to know about bahai administration. the current form of AO is functioning, by restricting “ALL FREEDOM” of EXPRESSION, in a way that is diametrically opposed to the very bahai writings that is “supposedly” trying to “propagate”.

    Clearly you – and the corrupt, useless, dysfunctional, fascist AO – are the “real” coconut breakers.

    Bye bye!

    [quote comment=”53928″]Craig et al,

    … I can’t ever possibly agree with your view because of your ways.

    When someone goes around spouting off idiocy in the name of freedom of speech and conscious [sp: “conscience”] it does nothing but show they do not even have an inkling of spiritual smarts to realize that it is counter to the Baha’i teachings. Liberty and freedom are endowed and inherent. For you or anyone else to say that they or we are trying to take that away is preposterous and quite frankly, funny! Its impossible. it can’t, won’t and will not ever happen so long as there is creation. I am just amazed at how people do not get it.

    What should you use to back your opinions and views to sway a Baha’i? why the Baha’i writings of course![/quote]

  • farhan

    EP quoted:

    “Kindness cannot be shown the tyrant, the deceiver, or the thief, because, far from awakening them to the error of their ways, it maketh them to continue in their perversity as before.”

    Well, I believe that here we should distinguish between the lines that an institution has to follow, and those an individual has to follow; We should love all, even evil doers, for the sake of God; this is the only way we can help them grow.

    However, in their love for all, institutions have a responsibility to protect all citizens, and to do this, have to intervene and isolate harmful behaviour, make an example to deter others and to educate the imperfect individuals. Scolding a child can be love: sparing the cane can be spoiling the child. This action is out of love and not hatred. “Not showing kindness” is not hatred, but can be sincere love to both the offender and society, wheras kindness to a tyran like Hitler or Amin Dada would be hypocrisiy.

    But again, individuals, unless parents or teachers, have no responsibility whatsoever on other individuals, except that of loving suggestions.

  • Farhan Yazdani

    EP quoted:

    “Kindness cannot be shown the tyrant, the deceiver, or the thief, because, far from awakening them to the error of their ways, it maketh them to continue in their perversity as before.”

    Well, I believe that here we should distinguish between the lines that an institution has to follow, and those an individual has to follow; We should love all, even evil doers, for the sake of God; this is the only way we can help them grow.

    However, in their love for all, institutions have a responsibility to protect all citizens, and to do this, have to intervene and isolate harmful behaviour, make an example to deter others and to educate the imperfect individuals. Scolding a child can be love: sparing the cane can be spoiling the child. This action is out of love and not hatred. “Not showing kindness” is not hatred, but can be sincere love to both the offender and society, wheras kindness to a tyran like Hitler or Amin Dada would be hypocrisiy.

    But again, individuals, unless parents or teachers, have no responsibility whatsoever on other individuals, except that of loving suggestions.

  • farhan

    EP wrote:
    “…bahai assemblies (and by extension communities in general and bahai culture in general) that force people, VIA ESTRANGEMENT, to conform -and thereby restrict people’s FREEDOM- will be “brought to naught” (by God) and those same “assemblies” will cause “coolness and alienation proceed from the Evil One”.

    EP, I fully agree with your points and appreciate the quotes you are referning to; all the dysfunctions we notice are due to our lack of maturity and our “contamination” by whatever is going out in the outside world and in our respective traditions.

    Getting rid of these will take generations; The UHJ has estimated that we need 25 years (1996 to 2021) to integrate the culture of growth and learning that is the purpose of the Institute process. The process of learning entails new experiments: scientists dont make mistakes, but engage in experiments, said Paul Lample recently. Shoghi Effendi encouraged teaching, and then selected the fire-sides as the winning technique that He then encouraged teh Baha’i world to adopt.

    At the time being, we will continue to make mistakes as the “up-down” paternalistic structure of society is being changed to a “down-up” one which is an entirely new area of human behaviour that we are exploring.

    We will have to be imaginative, inventive and audacious, and at the same time we have to learn from our “mistakes” or rather experiments and help our fellow Baha’is (some of which frankly do deserve some of the names you call them) learn from their own “mistakes”. Calling them all those names will unfortunately hinder their growth.

    When a child is learning to get up from his crawl to walk upright, he stumbles and falls; you dont throw him away: you get out the video camera and you encourage him, said Paul Lample recently, amidst roars of laughter and cheers.

    This being said, I would again insist on the difference between what goes on within an institution, and what goes on within the community. Many things can be said (politely and lovingly) within an institution, under the seal of confidentiality, but this same information cannot and should not be aired in public; As a doctor and forensic expert, I am constantly aware of this fact. I would create havoc and I would be counter-productive if I aired the data available to me in public.

    Yes, we are free and even strongly encouraged to empty our bladders, BUT there is a time, a place and a correct manner for doing it 😉

  • Farhan Yazdani

    EP wrote:
    “…bahai assemblies (and by extension communities in general and bahai culture in general) that force people, VIA ESTRANGEMENT, to conform -and thereby restrict people’s FREEDOM- will be “brought to naught” (by God) and those same “assemblies” will cause “coolness and alienation proceed from the Evil One”.

    EP, I fully agree with your points and appreciate the quotes you are referning to; all the dysfunctions we notice are due to our lack of maturity and our “contamination” by whatever is going out in the outside world and in our respective traditions.

    Getting rid of these will take generations; The UHJ has estimated that we need 25 years (1996 to 2021) to integrate the culture of growth and learning that is the purpose of the Institute process. The process of learning entails new experiments: scientists dont make mistakes, but engage in experiments, said Paul Lample recently. Shoghi Effendi encouraged teaching, and then selected the fire-sides as the winning technique that He then encouraged teh Baha’i world to adopt.

    At the time being, we will continue to make mistakes as the “up-down” paternalistic structure of society is being changed to a “down-up” one which is an entirely new area of human behaviour that we are exploring.

    We will have to be imaginative, inventive and audacious, and at the same time we have to learn from our “mistakes” or rather experiments and help our fellow Baha’is (some of which frankly do deserve some of the names you call them) learn from their own “mistakes”. Calling them all those names will unfortunately hinder their growth.

    When a child is learning to get up from his crawl to walk upright, he stumbles and falls; you dont throw him away: you get out the video camera and you encourage him, said Paul Lample recently, amidst roars of laughter and cheers.

    This being said, I would again insist on the difference between what goes on within an institution, and what goes on within the community. Many things can be said (politely and lovingly) within an institution, under the seal of confidentiality, but this same information cannot and should not be aired in public; As a doctor and forensic expert, I am constantly aware of this fact. I would create havoc and I would be counter-productive if I aired the data available to me in public.

    Yes, we are free and even strongly encouraged to empty our bladders, BUT there is a time, a place and a correct manner for doing it 😉

  • ep

    Farhan,

    I hope your pilgrimage went well.

    There is nothing in the quote to support your idea that an AO collectivist “nanny state” should abrogate anyone’s individual responsibility in stopping tyrants, liars or thieves where ever they are found.

    On the contrary, your idea is the exact opposite of what the quote clearly states.

    The quote states that bullies and sociopaths are incapable of growth, and deserve no love, compassion or kindness BECAUSE IT JUST MAKES THEM WORSE.

    To a sociopath, “love” is just a sign of a weak person that can be manipulated.

    Everyone has a great deal of responsibility about many things that they do that are related to other individuals’ behavior, and this quote is an excellent reminder that a lack of taking responsibility is very bad for society.

    My bias is of course anti-collectivist and anti-nanny-state. I’m a libertarian and integralist, and am tired of “feel good” culture and politics, and “style over substance”.

    The reality is that bahai culture is dysfunctional, and full of evil people hiding behind false ideas.

    The AO institutions that you want to give up individual responsibility to are run and corrupted by the very evil people, tyrants and liars that you want the institutions to control!

    As every leading thinker in the world has said for the last several hundred years (including abdul-baha in this quote), giving up personal responsibility to failed, corrupt institutions is a huge mistake.

    You are promoting a regressive, collectivist, paradigm in an age when individuation is the state of intellectual and spiritual existence at the evolutionary leading edge of culture.

    By ceding individual responsibility to collectivist institutions, you are weaking both individuals and, ultimately, institutions.

    As bahai institutions and many other institutions that operate on the “liberal bureaucratic” (nanny state) paradigm clearly demonstrate, once people give up individual responsibility, everything goes to hell and the institutions are eventually populated by people that are too weak to stand up to ignorance and corruption.

    Ivan Illich, the “father of the deep ecology movement” traced the origins of the “nanny state” way back to the 1400s, and shows that the idea that individual responsibility should be given over to the state apparatus (institutions) and insitutionally-nlessed “experts/professionals” is directly linked to the rise of the age of autocrats and imperialists.

    bahai, being a religion based on many backward and regressive medieval/premodern ideas, is an ideal rock for “nanny state” collectivism to hide under.

    http://www.preservenet.com/theory/Illich/Vernacular.html

    excerpts:

    Vernacular Values by Ivan Illich
    [Note: These essays from CoEvolution Quarterly were the basis of most of Illich’s book Shadow Work (Marion Boyars, 1981).]
    Cuernavaca, April 12th 1980

    …By the late Middle Ages, the image of the alien mutated again. The Moors had been driven from Granada, Columbus had sailed across the ocean, and the Spanish Crown had assumed many functions of the Church. The image of the wild man who threatens the civilizing function of the humanist replaced the image of the infidel who threatens the faith. At this time also, the alien was first described in economy-related terms. From many studies on monsters, apes and wild men, we learn that the Europeans of this period saw the wild man as having no needs. This independence made him noble, but a threat to the designs of colonialism and mercantilism. To impute needs to the wild man, one had to make him over into the native, the fifth stage. Spanish courts, after long deliberation, decided that at least the wild man of the New World had a soul and was, therefore, human. In opposition to the wild man, the native has needs, but needs unlike those of civilized man. His needs are fixed by climate, race, religion and providence. Adam Smith still reflects on the elasticity of native needs. As Gunnar Myrdal has observed, the construct of distinctly native needs was necessary both to justify colonialism and to administer colonies. The provision of government, education and commerce for the natives was for four hundred years the white man’s assumed burden.

    Each time the West put a new mask on the alien, the old one was discarded because it was now recognized as a caricature of an abandoned self-image. The pagan with his naturally Christian soul had to give way to the stubborn infidel to allow Christendom to launch the Crusades. The wild man became necessary to justify the need for secular humanist education, The native was the crucial concept to promote self-righteous colonial rule. But by the time of the Marshall Plan, when multinational conglomerates were expanding and the ambitions of transnational pedagogues, therapists and planners knew no bounds, the natives’ limited needs for goods and services thwarted growth and progress. They had to metamorphose into underdeveloped people, the sixth and present stage of the West’s view of the outsider.

    But then, from the eighth century on, the classical priest rooted in Roman and Helenistic models began to be transmogrified into the precursor of the service professional: the teacher, social worker, or educator. Church ministers began to cater to the personal needs of parishioners, and to equip themselves with a sacramental and pastoral theology that defined and established these needs for their regular service. The institutionally defined care of the individual, the family, the village community, acquires unprecedented prominence. The term “holy mother the church” ceases almost totally to mean the actual assembly of the faithful whose love, under the impulse of the Holy Spirit, engenders new life in the very act of meeting. The term mother henceforth refers to an invisible, mystical reality from which alone those services absolutely necessary for salvation can be obtained. Henceforth, access to the good graces of this mother on whom universally necessary salvation depends is entirely controlled by a hierarchy of ordained males. This gender-specific mythology of male hierarchies mediating access to the institutional source of life is without precedent. From the ninth to the eleventh century, the idea took shape that there are some needs common to all human beings that can be satisfied only through service from professional agents. Thus the definition of needs in terms of professionally defined commodities in the service sector precedes by a millennium the industrial production of universally needed basic goods.

    [quote comment=”53947″]EP quoted:

    “Kindness cannot be shown the tyrant, the deceiver, or the thief, because, far from awakening them to the error of their ways, it maketh them to continue in their perversity as before.”

    Well, I believe that here we should distinguish between the lines that an institution has to follow, and those an individual has to follow; We should love all, even evil doers, for the sake of God; this is the only way we can help them grow.

    However, in their love for all, institutions have a responsibility to protect all citizens, and to do this, have to intervene and isolate harmful behaviour, make an example to deter others and to educate the imperfect individuals. Scolding a child can be love: sparing the cane can be spoiling the child. This action is out of love and not hatred. “Not showing kindness” is not hatred, but can be sincere love to both the offender and society, wheras kindness to a tyran like Hitler or Amin Dada would be hypocrisiy.

    But again, individuals, unless parents or teachers, have no responsibility whatsoever on other individuals, except that of loving suggestions.[/quote]
    [quote comment=””][…] One of the readers of this blog, Farhan Yazdani, was kind enough to share these after another person requested them in a discussion. […][/quote]

  • ep

    Farhan,

    I hope your pilgrimage went well.

    There is nothing in the quote to support your idea that an AO collectivist “nanny state” should abrogate anyone’s individual responsibility in stopping tyrants, liars or thieves where ever they are found.

    On the contrary, your idea is the exact opposite of what the quote clearly states.

    The quote states that bullies and sociopaths are incapable of growth, and deserve no love, compassion or kindness BECAUSE IT JUST MAKES THEM WORSE.

    To a sociopath, “love” is just a sign of a weak person that can be manipulated.

    Everyone has a great deal of responsibility about many things that they do that are related to other individuals’ behavior, and this quote is an excellent reminder that a lack of taking responsibility is very bad for society.

    My bias is of course anti-collectivist and anti-nanny-state. I’m a libertarian and integralist, and am tired of “feel good” culture and politics, and “style over substance”.

    The reality is that bahai culture is dysfunctional, and full of evil people hiding behind false ideas.

    The AO institutions that you want to give up individual responsibility to are run and corrupted by the very evil people, tyrants and liars that you want the institutions to control!

    As every leading thinker in the world has said for the last several hundred years (including abdul-baha in this quote), giving up personal responsibility to failed, corrupt institutions is a huge mistake.

    You are promoting a regressive, collectivist, paradigm in an age when individuation is the state of intellectual and spiritual existence at the evolutionary leading edge of culture.

    By ceding individual responsibility to collectivist institutions, you are weaking both individuals and, ultimately, institutions.

    As bahai institutions and many other institutions that operate on the “liberal bureaucratic” (nanny state) paradigm clearly demonstrate, once people give up individual responsibility, everything goes to hell and the institutions are eventually populated by people that are too weak to stand up to ignorance and corruption.

    Ivan Illich, the “father of the deep ecology movement” traced the origins of the “nanny state” way back to the 1400s, and shows that the idea that individual responsibility should be given over to the state apparatus (institutions) and insitutionally-nlessed “experts/professionals” is directly linked to the rise of the age of autocrats and imperialists.

    bahai, being a religion based on many backward and regressive medieval/premodern ideas, is an ideal rock for “nanny state” collectivism to hide under.

    http://www.preservenet.com/theory/Illich/Vernacular.html

    excerpts:

    Vernacular Values by Ivan Illich
    [Note: These essays from CoEvolution Quarterly were the basis of most of Illich’s book Shadow Work (Marion Boyars, 1981).]
    Cuernavaca, April 12th 1980

    …By the late Middle Ages, the image of the alien mutated again. The Moors had been driven from Granada, Columbus had sailed across the ocean, and the Spanish Crown had assumed many functions of the Church. The image of the wild man who threatens the civilizing function of the humanist replaced the image of the infidel who threatens the faith. At this time also, the alien was first described in economy-related terms. From many studies on monsters, apes and wild men, we learn that the Europeans of this period saw the wild man as having no needs. This independence made him noble, but a threat to the designs of colonialism and mercantilism. To impute needs to the wild man, one had to make him over into the native, the fifth stage. Spanish courts, after long deliberation, decided that at least the wild man of the New World had a soul and was, therefore, human. In opposition to the wild man, the native has needs, but needs unlike those of civilized man. His needs are fixed by climate, race, religion and providence. Adam Smith still reflects on the elasticity of native needs. As Gunnar Myrdal has observed, the construct of distinctly native needs was necessary both to justify colonialism and to administer colonies. The provision of government, education and commerce for the natives was for four hundred years the white man’s assumed burden.

    Each time the West put a new mask on the alien, the old one was discarded because it was now recognized as a caricature of an abandoned self-image. The pagan with his naturally Christian soul had to give way to the stubborn infidel to allow Christendom to launch the Crusades. The wild man became necessary to justify the need for secular humanist education, The native was the crucial concept to promote self-righteous colonial rule. But by the time of the Marshall Plan, when multinational conglomerates were expanding and the ambitions of transnational pedagogues, therapists and planners knew no bounds, the natives’ limited needs for goods and services thwarted growth and progress. They had to metamorphose into underdeveloped people, the sixth and present stage of the West’s view of the outsider.

    But then, from the eighth century on, the classical priest rooted in Roman and Helenistic models began to be transmogrified into the precursor of the service professional: the teacher, social worker, or educator. Church ministers began to cater to the personal needs of parishioners, and to equip themselves with a sacramental and pastoral theology that defined and established these needs for their regular service. The institutionally defined care of the individual, the family, the village community, acquires unprecedented prominence. The term “holy mother the church” ceases almost totally to mean the actual assembly of the faithful whose love, under the impulse of the Holy Spirit, engenders new life in the very act of meeting. The term mother henceforth refers to an invisible, mystical reality from which alone those services absolutely necessary for salvation can be obtained. Henceforth, access to the good graces of this mother on whom universally necessary salvation depends is entirely controlled by a hierarchy of ordained males. This gender-specific mythology of male hierarchies mediating access to the institutional source of life is without precedent. From the ninth to the eleventh century, the idea took shape that there are some needs common to all human beings that can be satisfied only through service from professional agents. Thus the definition of needs in terms of professionally defined commodities in the service sector precedes by a millennium the industrial production of universally needed basic goods.

    [quote comment=”53947″]EP quoted:

    “Kindness cannot be shown the tyrant, the deceiver, or the thief, because, far from awakening them to the error of their ways, it maketh them to continue in their perversity as before.”

    Well, I believe that here we should distinguish between the lines that an institution has to follow, and those an individual has to follow; We should love all, even evil doers, for the sake of God; this is the only way we can help them grow.

    However, in their love for all, institutions have a responsibility to protect all citizens, and to do this, have to intervene and isolate harmful behaviour, make an example to deter others and to educate the imperfect individuals. Scolding a child can be love: sparing the cane can be spoiling the child. This action is out of love and not hatred. “Not showing kindness” is not hatred, but can be sincere love to both the offender and society, wheras kindness to a tyran like Hitler or Amin Dada would be hypocrisiy.

    But again, individuals, unless parents or teachers, have no responsibility whatsoever on other individuals, except that of loving suggestions.[/quote]
    [quote comment=””][…] One of the readers of this blog, Farhan Yazdani, was kind enough to share these after another person requested them in a discussion. […][/quote]

  • Anonymouz

    Hey EP,

    If you feel I am talking at you, then I would kindly refer you to your own posts. At least I do not fill it with insults and personal slander. If you wan’t to have a discussion, I am all ears. I will be the first to admit that I am a little haughty when it comes to some things. But that is only because I know what you accuse Baha’is of is not true. You make such broad sweeping statements that only can be interpreted as someone completely pissed off and absolutely not interested in building bridges. If this is not true, prove it. I will try to too.

  • Anonymouz

    Hey EP,

    If you feel I am talking at you, then I would kindly refer you to your own posts. At least I do not fill it with insults and personal slander. If you wan’t to have a discussion, I am all ears. I will be the first to admit that I am a little haughty when it comes to some things. But that is only because I know what you accuse Baha’is of is not true. You make such broad sweeping statements that only can be interpreted as someone completely pissed off and absolutely not interested in building bridges. If this is not true, prove it. I will try to too.

  • farhan

    EP wrote :
    « There is nothing in the quote to support your idea that an AO collectivist ?nanny state? should abrogate anyone’s individual responsibility in stopping tyrants, liars or thieves where ever they are found. On the contrary, your idea is the exact opposite of what the quote clearly states. »

    Thanks for bringing up this important subject. Although this quote, as you rightly point out, does not speak about the boundaries of individual and collective actions, to my understanding, this apparent paradox between on one side love/compassion/forgiveness/sin-covering and on the other the need for justice/punishment/dissuasion/education is to be considered as the basis of social peace for all civilized societies. Only in the Far West in the times of Billy Kid or in Khalkhali’s Iran did justice depend on individual arbitrations.

    Your quote (from SWA § 138) centers on kindness to animals and ends with : « Tenderness and loving-kindness are basic principles of God’s heavenly Kingdom. Ye should most carefully bear this matter in mind. »

    Also in the same book, (SWA §35) we read :
    « See foes as friends; see demons as angels; give to the tyrant the same great love ye show the loyal and true, … offer up sweet musk to the ravening wolf. Be ye a refuge to the fearful; bring ye rest and peace to the disturbed; make ye a provision for the destitute; be a treasury of riches for the poor; be a healing medicine for those who suffer pain; be ye doctor and nurse to the ailing; promote ye friendship, and honour, and conciliation, and devotion to God, in this world of non-existence. »

    This paradox between justice and compassion has been developped by Udo Schaffer. The basic principle of all democratic societies is that justice is to be rendered through consultation within an institution. Individuals are not in a position to judge and punish others.

    Our responsibility is to reinforce and bring the right institutions into action, and not to apply personnal vengeance. In the directives of the Guardian, Pages: 41-42, 5 October 1950 we read :

    ?The greatest need it seems everywhere inside the Cause is to impress upon the friends the need for love among them. There is a tendency to mix up the functions of the Administration and try to apply it in individual relationships, which is abortive, because the Assembly is a nascent House of Justice and is supposed to administer, according to the Teachings, the affairs of the Community. But individuals towards each other are governed by love, unity, forgiveness and a sin-covering eye. Once the friends grasp this they will get along much better, but they keep playing Spiritual Assembly to each other and expect the Assembly to behave like an individual.?

    One of my favorite passages of the Gospels is where Jesus in the synagogue rebukes the scribes and pharisees as hypochrites having witheld the key of knowledge from people. The image of a pathetic and helpless victim is not my vision of Christ.

    I have no words to describe my pilgrimage. I was impressed to realize the depts of suffering from God’s chosen ones in order to bring joy and beauty to mankind.

  • Farhan Yazdani

    EP wrote :
    « There is nothing in the quote to support your idea that an AO collectivist ?nanny state? should abrogate anyone’s individual responsibility in stopping tyrants, liars or thieves where ever they are found. On the contrary, your idea is the exact opposite of what the quote clearly states. »

    Thanks for bringing up this important subject. Although this quote, as you rightly point out, does not speak about the boundaries of individual and collective actions, to my understanding, this apparent paradox between on one side love/compassion/forgiveness/sin-covering and on the other the need for justice/punishment/dissuasion/education is to be considered as the basis of social peace for all civilized societies. Only in the Far West in the times of Billy Kid or in Khalkhali’s Iran did justice depend on individual arbitrations.

    Your quote (from SWA § 138) centers on kindness to animals and ends with : « Tenderness and loving-kindness are basic principles of God’s heavenly Kingdom. Ye should most carefully bear this matter in mind. »

    Also in the same book, (SWA §35) we read :
    « See foes as friends; see demons as angels; give to the tyrant the same great love ye show the loyal and true, … offer up sweet musk to the ravening wolf. Be ye a refuge to the fearful; bring ye rest and peace to the disturbed; make ye a provision for the destitute; be a treasury of riches for the poor; be a healing medicine for those who suffer pain; be ye doctor and nurse to the ailing; promote ye friendship, and honour, and conciliation, and devotion to God, in this world of non-existence. »

    This paradox between justice and compassion has been developped by Udo Schaffer. The basic principle of all democratic societies is that justice is to be rendered through consultation within an institution. Individuals are not in a position to judge and punish others.

    Our responsibility is to reinforce and bring the right institutions into action, and not to apply personnal vengeance. In the directives of the Guardian, Pages: 41-42, 5 October 1950 we read :

    ?The greatest need it seems everywhere inside the Cause is to impress upon the friends the need for love among them. There is a tendency to mix up the functions of the Administration and try to apply it in individual relationships, which is abortive, because the Assembly is a nascent House of Justice and is supposed to administer, according to the Teachings, the affairs of the Community. But individuals towards each other are governed by love, unity, forgiveness and a sin-covering eye. Once the friends grasp this they will get along much better, but they keep playing Spiritual Assembly to each other and expect the Assembly to behave like an individual.?

    One of my favorite passages of the Gospels is where Jesus in the synagogue rebukes the scribes and pharisees as hypochrites having witheld the key of knowledge from people. The image of a pathetic and helpless victim is not my vision of Christ.

    I have no words to describe my pilgrimage. I was impressed to realize the depts of suffering from God’s chosen ones in order to bring joy and beauty to mankind.

  • farhan

    For “Crime and Punishment by Udo Schaefer” look up:
    http://www.bahai-library.com/articles/criminality_punishment.pdf

  • Farhan Yazdani

    For “Crime and Punishment by Udo Schaefer” look up:
    http://www.bahai-library.com/articles/criminality_punishment.pdf

  • p

    For ?Crime and Punishment by Udo Schaefer? look up:
    http://www.bahai-library.com/articles/criminality_punishment.pdf
    ———————–
    It’s works by conservative Bahai scholars like that that really scare me. Especially knowing that other more liberal scholars have been pushed out of the Faith or just unenrolled because they espouse a different thought about Bahai law and future society. One that does not in any way shape or form make the UHJ responsible for creating and enforcing laws outside of the Bahai community. Reading Udo’s piece, I definitely don’t want to create that Bahai vision, anymore than I would any other theocratic state run by a Pope, mullahs or whoever.

  • p

    For ?Crime and Punishment by Udo Schaefer? look up:
    http://www.bahai-library.com/articles/criminality_punishment.pdf
    ———————–
    It’s works by conservative Bahai scholars like that that really scare me. Especially knowing that other more liberal scholars have been pushed out of the Faith or just unenrolled because they espouse a different thought about Bahai law and future society. One that does not in any way shape or form make the UHJ responsible for creating and enforcing laws outside of the Bahai community. Reading Udo’s piece, I definitely don’t want to create that Bahai vision, anymore than I would any other theocratic state run by a Pope, mullahs or whoever.

  • Craig Parke

    [quote comment=”53956″]

    Farhan wrote:

    I have no words to describe my pilgrimage. I was impressed to realize the depts of suffering from God’s chosen ones in order to bring joy and beauty to mankind.[/quote]

    Farhan, like EP, I genuinely hope you had a nice Pilgrimage. When I made mine back in in 1982 I had a truly Cosmic experience from which I am still learning things. One was feeling the Earth shake in artillery shelling as the Lebanon War broke out in the incursion by the Israeli Army. I had not seen that many armed tank columns since I had gone through basic training at Ft. Knox, KY in 1966.

    As regards to your above quote, you are referring to the one and a half million U.S. troops that have served repeated extended tours in Iraq and Afghanistan over seven long years of war, right? You are referring to the 40,000 veterans now formally diagnosed with PTSD who will end up unable to hold jobs and perhaps become homeless alcoholics with broken marriages and broken lives, right? You are referring to their long suffering families over the last seven years, right? You are referring to the four million moderate middle class Iraqis who have fled their country ripped to shreds by group think driven Medieval clergy led religious fanatics, right?

    The suffering of the Baha’is in Iran does not hold a candle to what these people and their families have been through, right?

    I will, therefore, pass on your blessing to my sister who started the journey back to Afghanistan yesterday after six weeks at home to rest and recharge and see her family. Her husband is already back. I hope he meets with Obama’s delegation to brief them. You are referring to her as one of “God’s chosen ones” since she helped get medical help to NINE MILLION Afghans, right? It wasn’t exactly “beauty and joy” but helping people not die I think does count for something, right, even though she is not a card carrying Baha’i? But she does know a lot about it. Does that count? And she is related to me and I am a Baha’i and sometimes we even breathe in the same air space so does some of her ordeal over seven years count a little bit too?

    Farhan, the card carrying Baha’is are not the center of the Universe nor is their hyped up suffering the center of the Universe. THE SOULS COMPETENTLY ACTUALLY DOING THE WORK OF THE WORLD AGE ARE THE CENTER OF THE UNIVERSE. There are many, many more of them doing the work of the Prophets and Holy Manifestations and Great Thinkers of Mankind and have been since Shoghi Effendi’s tiny band of incredibly limited dysfunctional followers have failed the entire human race over and over, decade after decade, amid horrible mind bending suffering as one of the most clueless organizations in human history. You were also speaking from this perspective, right?

    How many more centuries is Paul Lample and the other UHJ “theorist class” members now saying will go by before we can move to Phase XIII Sub-Paragraph B-42-F or whatever sub-plan we are on now?

    It is heartwarming that you thought of all these other people and their suffering too outside of the Baha’i Faith circles while on Pilgrimage, right?

    Anyway, my sister will be back in Kabul by Sunday ready to get BACK TO WORK HANDS ON actually doing something useful. Pray for her. She has to sometimes move through the same area where the truck bomb was near the Indian Embassy within the last 10 days that killed over 58 people. I am sure some Baha’is will eventually show up in strength after we get everything geared up by 2021, right? Do you think there will be a medical book course in the Ruhi System by then?

  • Craig Parke

    [quote comment=”53956″]

    Farhan wrote:

    I have no words to describe my pilgrimage. I was impressed to realize the depts of suffering from God’s chosen ones in order to bring joy and beauty to mankind.[/quote]

    Farhan, like EP, I genuinely hope you had a nice Pilgrimage. When I made mine back in in 1982 I had a truly Cosmic experience from which I am still learning things. One was feeling the Earth shake in artillery shelling as the Lebanon War broke out in the incursion by the Israeli Army. I had not seen that many armed tank columns since I had gone through basic training at Ft. Knox, KY in 1966.

    As regards to your above quote, you are referring to the one and a half million U.S. troops that have served repeated extended tours in Iraq and Afghanistan over seven long years of war, right? You are referring to the 40,000 veterans now formally diagnosed with PTSD who will end up unable to hold jobs and perhaps become homeless alcoholics with broken marriages and broken lives, right? You are referring to their long suffering families over the last seven years, right? You are referring to the four million moderate middle class Iraqis who have fled their country ripped to shreds by group think driven Medieval clergy led religious fanatics, right?

    The suffering of the Baha’is in Iran does not hold a candle to what these people and their families have been through, right?

    I will, therefore, pass on your blessing to my sister who started the journey back to Afghanistan yesterday after six weeks at home to rest and recharge and see her family. Her husband is already back. I hope he meets with Obama’s delegation to brief them. You are referring to her as one of “God’s chosen ones” since she helped get medical help to NINE MILLION Afghans, right? It wasn’t exactly “beauty and joy” but helping people not die I think does count for something, right, even though she is not a card carrying Baha’i? But she does know a lot about it. Does that count? And she is related to me and I am a Baha’i and sometimes we even breathe in the same air space so does some of her ordeal over seven years count a little bit too?

    Farhan, the card carrying Baha’is are not the center of the Universe nor is their hyped up suffering the center of the Universe. THE SOULS COMPETENTLY ACTUALLY DOING THE WORK OF THE WORLD AGE ARE THE CENTER OF THE UNIVERSE. There are many, many more of them doing the work of the Prophets and Holy Manifestations and Great Thinkers of Mankind and have been since Shoghi Effendi’s tiny band of incredibly limited dysfunctional followers have failed the entire human race over and over, decade after decade, amid horrible mind bending suffering as one of the most clueless organizations in human history. You were also speaking from this perspective, right?

    How many more centuries is Paul Lample and the other UHJ “theorist class” members now saying will go by before we can move to Phase XIII Sub-Paragraph B-42-F or whatever sub-plan we are on now?

    It is heartwarming that you thought of all these other people and their suffering too outside of the Baha’i Faith circles while on Pilgrimage, right?

    Anyway, my sister will be back in Kabul by Sunday ready to get BACK TO WORK HANDS ON actually doing something useful. Pray for her. She has to sometimes move through the same area where the truck bomb was near the Indian Embassy within the last 10 days that killed over 58 people. I am sure some Baha’is will eventually show up in strength after we get everything geared up by 2021, right? Do you think there will be a medical book course in the Ruhi System by then?

  • Annonymouz

    Craig, I thought a lot about your last post. I really do wish your sister saftey and she is doing wonderful work. God protect her.

    The World now is full of so many wars and problems and it is indeed sad to see what is going on. I feel your anger at why people do not do more. We are here living in a great country while people the World over are stacked upon each other in squaller shanty towns and refugee camps.

    In all practicality and wisdom what should we do? Ignore it? Pray it away? No sir. All we can do is what we can do. Each of us have talents and skills that would benifit socoiety, and if we don’t, we should obtain them. Then what? Put them to use. I see no problem is what Baha’is are doing and what the World needs. Let’s face it, it all comes down to corruption and incompetence from third world governments and manipulation and capitalistic ambition by first world governments. Its not a matter of money or volunteers. Its the idiocy practiced at the highest level of secular government.

    In any case, for me, being a Baha’i is a constant reminder that in order to tackle the problems of the World, there must be a multi=pronged approach that touches on all aspects of the problem–top to bottom. If this does not happen, a million volunteers given a thousand years and billions of dollars will never make the World right.

    To me its about empowerment and activism. Helping the people help themselves. Education and giving them a good compass to make good decisions. I think this is what Ruhi is about. Yes, its a bit elementary to old school Baha’is…a bit boring for people who have the service bug in them already. But, millions of people will eventually come to hear about Baha’u’llah this way and in the process know that this knowledge has a responsiblity, which is service to mankind. Any Baha’i who does not serve others is failing in thier duty. Many avenues exist to service and I would refrain from cateogorizing its forms in order of importance. Its all vital in its own way. SO, like I always say, as it is a good reminder for me too, we must be the change we wish to see. Your sister is there already.

  • Annonymouz

    Craig, I thought a lot about your last post. I really do wish your sister saftey and she is doing wonderful work. God protect her.

    The World now is full of so many wars and problems and it is indeed sad to see what is going on. I feel your anger at why people do not do more. We are here living in a great country while people the World over are stacked upon each other in squaller shanty towns and refugee camps.

    In all practicality and wisdom what should we do? Ignore it? Pray it away? No sir. All we can do is what we can do. Each of us have talents and skills that would benifit socoiety, and if we don’t, we should obtain them. Then what? Put them to use. I see no problem is what Baha’is are doing and what the World needs. Let’s face it, it all comes down to corruption and incompetence from third world governments and manipulation and capitalistic ambition by first world governments. Its not a matter of money or volunteers. Its the idiocy practiced at the highest level of secular government.

    In any case, for me, being a Baha’i is a constant reminder that in order to tackle the problems of the World, there must be a multi=pronged approach that touches on all aspects of the problem–top to bottom. If this does not happen, a million volunteers given a thousand years and billions of dollars will never make the World right.

    To me its about empowerment and activism. Helping the people help themselves. Education and giving them a good compass to make good decisions. I think this is what Ruhi is about. Yes, its a bit elementary to old school Baha’is…a bit boring for people who have the service bug in them already. But, millions of people will eventually come to hear about Baha’u’llah this way and in the process know that this knowledge has a responsiblity, which is service to mankind. Any Baha’i who does not serve others is failing in thier duty. Many avenues exist to service and I would refrain from cateogorizing its forms in order of importance. Its all vital in its own way. SO, like I always say, as it is a good reminder for me too, we must be the change we wish to see. Your sister is there already.

  • farhan

    Craig wrote:

    “I am sure some Baha’is will eventually show up in strength after we get everything geared up by 2021, right? Do you think there will be a medical book course in the Ruhi System by then?”

    Craig, my dear brother in quest of reality. Yes, I do believe that the present SED activities are moving towards health education. When and where, I do not know.

    Back in 2003, my revolt against some inexperienced but well meaning apparatchiks running the teacher training institute as an “exclusive Ruhi 1 to 7 in the right sequence” took me to a deep study of whatever had been written by the UHJ on the subject. I was dazzled by the extraordinarily advanced concept of the whole project, such as no ordinary human mind might have devised.

    The talks by Lample and Correro reaffirmed my understanding and brought me new horizons. I will try to find someone with pilgrim notes that I could share.

    As to your warrented revolt against this world, I might add that the facts I have noticed and experienced, are as ugly as what you describe, although on a much smaller scale. My reconciliation with this world is based on the idea that God’s work requires beautiful flowers to whither and die, so that brand new ones, genetically more advanced, might arise in their place.

    I understand that you are deeply hurt and that you are dwelling on the sad decomposition of old flowers; I have learnt to only take notice of the compost, but to concentrate my time and attention to admiring and tending the young shoots and buds.

    Our work is no doubt complementary, and we are both doing God’s work, but after having reflected many years on the compost you are describing, I am now decided to let the compost take care of itself, as there is nothing I can do to prevent decomposition, and to focus on the growing flowers.

    Yes, every time I went into the holy shrines, the questions and sufferings, the ones I have been through myself, and which I have noticed on this list came to my mind, and I know that no one is beyond the bounds of God’s love and mercy.

  • Farhan Yazdani

    Craig wrote:

    “I am sure some Baha’is will eventually show up in strength after we get everything geared up by 2021, right? Do you think there will be a medical book course in the Ruhi System by then?”

    Craig, my dear brother in quest of reality. Yes, I do believe that the present SED activities are moving towards health education. When and where, I do not know.

    Back in 2003, my revolt against some inexperienced but well meaning apparatchiks running the teacher training institute as an “exclusive Ruhi 1 to 7 in the right sequence” took me to a deep study of whatever had been written by the UHJ on the subject. I was dazzled by the extraordinarily advanced concept of the whole project, such as no ordinary human mind might have devised.

    The talks by Lample and Correro reaffirmed my understanding and brought me new horizons. I will try to find someone with pilgrim notes that I could share.

    As to your warrented revolt against this world, I might add that the facts I have noticed and experienced, are as ugly as what you describe, although on a much smaller scale. My reconciliation with this world is based on the idea that God’s work requires beautiful flowers to whither and die, so that brand new ones, genetically more advanced, might arise in their place.

    I understand that you are deeply hurt and that you are dwelling on the sad decomposition of old flowers; I have learnt to only take notice of the compost, but to concentrate my time and attention to admiring and tending the young shoots and buds.

    Our work is no doubt complementary, and we are both doing God’s work, but after having reflected many years on the compost you are describing, I am now decided to let the compost take care of itself, as there is nothing I can do to prevent decomposition, and to focus on the growing flowers.

    Yes, every time I went into the holy shrines, the questions and sufferings, the ones I have been through myself, and which I have noticed on this list came to my mind, and I know that no one is beyond the bounds of God’s love and mercy.

  • Craig Parke

    Anon and Farhan,

    I thank you for your two kind posts to me. I appreciate them.

    This is the gist of the anguish for me after 32 years of total dedication in the Faith and 4 years of sitting in the road weeping. From my observations in life it appears to me that individuals do indeed have some kind of natural morality and natural moral reasoning if they can be left free to ponder and reflect from the strength of their own individual hearts and who they seek to spiritually consult with across time and space in the history of human thought and reflection.

    But the recent history of the human race appears to show that human
    ORGANIZATIONS and INSTITUTIONS create the greatest immorality possible. Top down human organizations as systems of codified and regimented belief are very, very dangerous. This was the great lesson of the 20th Century in horrendous blood and treasure.

    To my mind everything is indeed a cult. Everything is indeed a system of psychological dynamics. The nation state in the 2oth Century was the greatest cult of all. What will be the greatest cult now? What will be the greatest system of psychological dynamics? War was the greatest crime of the cult of the nation state. What will be the greatest crime now?

    So we are now into the depth psychology of the psychological “other” and the psychological “shadow” of our psychological systems of self definition to try to discern the dangers.

    May everyone, therefore, choose their system of psychological dynamics wisely.

    It is the “YEAR ZERO” thinking in the current version of the Baha’i Faith that has stopped me dead in my tracks. This mentality in an organization absolutely terrifies me. Farhan, “Top down books 1 through 7 IN THAT ORDER ONLY” human beings are everywhere in society. They are very, very dangerous people and must never be given power on Earth in any organization. The whole concept of an organization trying to create a “new human being” by a system of rote indoctrination has been ruthlessly tried by communist states everywhere they have existed. It was ruthlessly tried through the power of totalitarian state propaganda and the modern technology of the P.A. system, radio, and cinema in Nazism. Even with our so called free and open liberties, the current fiscal catastrophe facing the United States because of the cost or war has come from a corporate controlled financially driven media that has systematically dumbed down an entire population into an easily manipulated electorate for the last 30 years. These three instances alone are all studies in psychological dynamics.

    I trust no system that is not based on the development and empowerment of individual moral human conscience and individual moral human responsibility in every aspect of life. No human soul should ever turn their thinking over to anyone else. Especially a top down organization.

    After all these years, I no longer trust the Baha’i system to be based on that touch stone psychological dynamic at all. The current system of top down leaders and completely passive led scares the living s**t out of me.

    I was going to go and see “The Dark Knight” today but maybe I should
    wait until I am in a better mood. I hear one of the “deep structure
    through lines” in the film is a study of the codependency of Bat Man
    and the Joker. Hummm. The codependency of good and evil. The
    codependency of sanity and insanity. The codependency of the AO and the corruption of the world. Truly a troubling concept. Yes.
    Truly, truly troubling in a concept of how people feed their souls and find their psychological system of existence in the psychological exchanges of mirror opposites. I will have to get a copy of the shooting script to read at some point to study the cinematic discourse after I first see it.

    Has anyone here seen it yet?

    Again, thank you both for the kindness of your two thoughtful posts back to me.

    Best regards to all.

    Craig

  • Craig Parke

    Anon and Farhan,

    I thank you for your two kind posts to me. I appreciate them.

    This is the gist of the anguish for me after 32 years of total dedication in the Faith and 4 years of sitting in the road weeping. From my observations in life it appears to me that individuals do indeed have some kind of natural morality and natural moral reasoning if they can be left free to ponder and reflect from the strength of their own individual hearts and who they seek to spiritually consult with across time and space in the history of human thought and reflection.

    But the recent history of the human race appears to show that human
    ORGANIZATIONS and INSTITUTIONS create the greatest immorality possible. Top down human organizations as systems of codified and regimented belief are very, very dangerous. This was the great lesson of the 20th Century in horrendous blood and treasure.

    To my mind everything is indeed a cult. Everything is indeed a system of psychological dynamics. The nation state in the 2oth Century was the greatest cult of all. What will be the greatest cult now? What will be the greatest system of psychological dynamics? War was the greatest crime of the cult of the nation state. What will be the greatest crime now?

    So we are now into the depth psychology of the psychological “other” and the psychological “shadow” of our psychological systems of self definition to try to discern the dangers.

    May everyone, therefore, choose their system of psychological dynamics wisely.

    It is the “YEAR ZERO” thinking in the current version of the Baha’i Faith that has stopped me dead in my tracks. This mentality in an organization absolutely terrifies me. Farhan, “Top down books 1 through 7 IN THAT ORDER ONLY” human beings are everywhere in society. They are very, very dangerous people and must never be given power on Earth in any organization. The whole concept of an organization trying to create a “new human being” by a system of rote indoctrination has been ruthlessly tried by communist states everywhere they have existed. It was ruthlessly tried through the power of totalitarian state propaganda and the modern technology of the P.A. system, radio, and cinema in Nazism. Even with our so called free and open liberties, the current fiscal catastrophe facing the United States because of the cost or war has come from a corporate controlled financially driven media that has systematically dumbed down an entire population into an easily manipulated electorate for the last 30 years. These three instances alone are all studies in psychological dynamics.

    I trust no system that is not based on the development and empowerment of individual moral human conscience and individual moral human responsibility in every aspect of life. No human soul should ever turn their thinking over to anyone else. Especially a top down organization.

    After all these years, I no longer trust the Baha’i system to be based on that touch stone psychological dynamic at all. The current system of top down leaders and completely passive led scares the living s**t out of me.

    I was going to go and see “The Dark Knight” today but maybe I should
    wait until I am in a better mood. I hear one of the “deep structure
    through lines” in the film is a study of the codependency of Bat Man
    and the Joker. Hummm. The codependency of good and evil. The
    codependency of sanity and insanity. The codependency of the AO and the corruption of the world. Truly a troubling concept. Yes.
    Truly, truly troubling in a concept of how people feed their souls and find their psychological system of existence in the psychological exchanges of mirror opposites. I will have to get a copy of the shooting script to read at some point to study the cinematic discourse after I first see it.

    Has anyone here seen it yet?

    Again, thank you both for the kindness of your two thoughtful posts back to me.

    Best regards to all.

    Craig

  • farhan

    Craig wrote:

    “From my observations in life it appears to me that individuals do indeed have some kind of natural morality and natural moral reasoning if they can be left free to ponder and reflect from the strength of their own individual hearts and who they seek to spiritually consult with across time and space in the history of human thought and reflection.”

    Farhan:
    This is a great debate in ethics; some do indeed subscribe to your view. Abdu’l-Baha, very wisely in SDC points out that even if we admitted that an inborn sense of ethics did exist, this natural ethics could be greatly inhanced through an appropriate education; my personal understanding is that there is a “potentiality” that needs to be educated, just as the TV set potentially shows the football match, but has to be tuned to the right channel.

    Craig wrote:
    “ORGANIZATIONS and INSTITUTIONS create the greatest immorality possible. Top down human organizations as systems of codified and regimented belief are very, very dangerous. This was the great lesson of the 20th Century in horrendous blood and treasure.”

    Farhan:
    I agree entirely: Milgrain’s experience proves it. Collaboration and cooperation can enhance good acts as much as evil ones, and human behaviour is very “contagious”. When in a psychiatric ward one patient develops a maniac crisis, making jokes and laughing, the whole ward will “catch” his condition. For some mysterious reason, nuns living together will synchronise their menstrual periods.

    As the French say, better be alone than in bad company, but how much more wonderful to be in a well-meaning crowd; we were 470 on our pilgrimage, we were a little concerned about being too much of a crowd, but believe you me, there is something fantastic in seeing a crowd of some 500 people moved by teh same love and devotion.

    Craig:
    “No human soul should ever turn their thinking over to anyone else. Especially a top down organization.”

    Farhan:
    Agreed, but in some instances humans will have to submit their behaviour to that of an orderly group. We are social beings, and there is no excaping from that fact. A tree can live (apparently) isolated but this is not possible for humans without regression, said Abdu’l-Baha.

    Craig:
    “The current system of top down leaders and completely passive led scares the living s**t out of me.”

    Farhan:
    What you describe has existed, i have witnessed it, but it most certainly is NOT part of Baha’i revelation, nor of the will of the UHJ who clearly wishes to empower individual enterprise, COORDINATED by the AO. However, individuals who are part of the AO can be and sometimes are influenced by whatever is currently established in our society at large.

    Craig wrote:
    “The codependency of good and evil. The
    codependency of sanity and insanity. The codependency of the AO and the corruption of the world. Truly a troubling concept. Yes.”

    Farhan:
    we could also talk of the codependency of hot and cold, of wealth and poverty, of knowldge and ignorance, health and disease… two extremes of the same continum.

    warmest

    Farhan

  • Farhan Yazdani

    Craig wrote:

    “From my observations in life it appears to me that individuals do indeed have some kind of natural morality and natural moral reasoning if they can be left free to ponder and reflect from the strength of their own individual hearts and who they seek to spiritually consult with across time and space in the history of human thought and reflection.”

    Farhan:
    This is a great debate in ethics; some do indeed subscribe to your view. Abdu’l-Baha, very wisely in SDC points out that even if we admitted that an inborn sense of ethics did exist, this natural ethics could be greatly inhanced through an appropriate education; my personal understanding is that there is a “potentiality” that needs to be educated, just as the TV set potentially shows the football match, but has to be tuned to the right channel.

    Craig wrote:
    “ORGANIZATIONS and INSTITUTIONS create the greatest immorality possible. Top down human organizations as systems of codified and regimented belief are very, very dangerous. This was the great lesson of the 20th Century in horrendous blood and treasure.”

    Farhan:
    I agree entirely: Milgrain’s experience proves it. Collaboration and cooperation can enhance good acts as much as evil ones, and human behaviour is very “contagious”. When in a psychiatric ward one patient develops a maniac crisis, making jokes and laughing, the whole ward will “catch” his condition. For some mysterious reason, nuns living together will synchronise their menstrual periods.

    As the French say, better be alone than in bad company, but how much more wonderful to be in a well-meaning crowd; we were 470 on our pilgrimage, we were a little concerned about being too much of a crowd, but believe you me, there is something fantastic in seeing a crowd of some 500 people moved by teh same love and devotion.

    Craig:
    “No human soul should ever turn their thinking over to anyone else. Especially a top down organization.”

    Farhan:
    Agreed, but in some instances humans will have to submit their behaviour to that of an orderly group. We are social beings, and there is no excaping from that fact. A tree can live (apparently) isolated but this is not possible for humans without regression, said Abdu’l-Baha.

    Craig:
    “The current system of top down leaders and completely passive led scares the living s**t out of me.”

    Farhan:
    What you describe has existed, i have witnessed it, but it most certainly is NOT part of Baha’i revelation, nor of the will of the UHJ who clearly wishes to empower individual enterprise, COORDINATED by the AO. However, individuals who are part of the AO can be and sometimes are influenced by whatever is currently established in our society at large.

    Craig wrote:
    “The codependency of good and evil. The
    codependency of sanity and insanity. The codependency of the AO and the corruption of the world. Truly a troubling concept. Yes.”

    Farhan:
    we could also talk of the codependency of hot and cold, of wealth and poverty, of knowldge and ignorance, health and disease… two extremes of the same continum.

    warmest

    Farhan

  • Bill

    Alpha Course? You must be joking! Is this how far you have to go to find ways to criticize the plans of the Baha’i community and nourish your strange belief that the Baha’i Faith is fundamenalist? The Ruhi courses have been under development in Colombia and other parts of Latin America for more than three decades, field tested among tens of thousands of people.

    The “controversy” over the Ruhi courses appears to me to be manufactured by people much too enamored of their own intellectual acumen and influence, having no concept of how the Ruhi courses can get people started on meaningful lifelong Baha’i learning. If you have not been out helping lift people from their despair through direct teaching of the Faith, then I think you have little standing to criticize. If you have not actually studied these courses, in fellowship with others, and engaged in the communal practices of Baha’i life they engender, then you have no moral standing by which to be given any credence as you speak against it.

  • Bill

    Alpha Course? You must be joking! Is this how far you have to go to find ways to criticize the plans of the Baha’i community and nourish your strange belief that the Baha’i Faith is fundamenalist? The Ruhi courses have been under development in Colombia and other parts of Latin America for more than three decades, field tested among tens of thousands of people.

    The “controversy” over the Ruhi courses appears to me to be manufactured by people much too enamored of their own intellectual acumen and influence, having no concept of how the Ruhi courses can get people started on meaningful lifelong Baha’i learning. If you have not been out helping lift people from their despair through direct teaching of the Faith, then I think you have little standing to criticize. If you have not actually studied these courses, in fellowship with others, and engaged in the communal practices of Baha’i life they engender, then you have no moral standing by which to be given any credence as you speak against it.

  • ep

    Bill, even if you accept that the EXPANDED IMPLEMENTATION of Ruhi/Institutes is a legitimate method to “fulfill needs” of underdeveloped communities, they are abjectly incapable of addressing the needs of more mature communities in developed countries where a more “evolved” or “enlightened” paradigm of social change is desperately needed to bring about “an ever advancing civilization”.

    By evoking the romanticized notion of a simple, pure, primitive culture you are engaging in a classic form of PARADIGM REGRESSION, which is a sign that tribalism and fascism are to come.

    The advanced countries are engaged in a perfectly legitimate process of cultural evolution that has very complex needs to integrate spirituality with capitalism, science, technology and democracy.

    bahai blather criticising “intellectual acumen and influence” is an evasion that is designed to deflectr attention from the failures of the dominant paradim that operates in bahai culture.

    in my experience, bahais (in contradiction to the Guardian’s clear instructions) very rarely have a clue about what the leading edge of thought is in the world. People that DO have a clue about leading though are frequently the target of ridicule and bullying by crass bahai apparatchiks seeking “influence”.

    If you study the “real” history of both the american and iranian bahai communities, you will find that all sorts of attempts to bring “street activism” (social justice orientation, etc.) into the community have been “put down” by the bahai leadership elites for the last 80 years or so. The fact that abdul-naha himself was an accoplished street activist is *studiously ignored* by the bahai mainstream.

    To infer that the latest attempt of the leadership “system” to “colonize the lifeworld” (of the people) is “anti-elitist” is a bizarre inversion of plain reality.

    Elitists have long been running the bahai faith and viciously attacking Blessed Souls, such as Louis Gregory, who tried to keep the cause of social justice alive in the american bahai community.

    The very history of how meaning was constructed by the early working-class and populist bahais who struggled in social justice causes has been erased in the collective bahai mind. Just as the early construction of meaning by “sufi” bahais in iran has been erased.

    The sad reality is that “systems” collectivists/corporatists took over the bahai faith and have dehumanized it and turned it into a piece of bureaucratic machinery in some kind of horribly distorted and poorly conceived attempt at “building a better mousetrap” for social change and world peace.

    The mousetrap never worked, but the “spin” about a “better future” and a rebirth of hope keeps a failed marketing alive, like a zombie is “living dead”. A soul-less machine. In reality the bahai “mousetrap” was just another failed version of the kind of dumbed-down bureaucracy building that was taking place all over the world during the last century.

    So, there were huge problems in bahai communities in the USA and many other places LONG before Ruhi/Institutes existed that Ruhi DOES NOT ADDRESS. Which makes the EXPANDED Ruhi/Institutes just another recucled version of a failed attempt at a better mousetrap.

    I’ve known SED people from all over the world, some of whom saw the Ruhi/Institutes idea develop in the collective bahai “mind” (such as it is). There was an early pattern of observations from those people that a conformist mindset and other dysfunctional “agendas” drove the EXPANDED IMPLEMENTATION of Ruhi/Institutes.

    (That was EXACTLY THE OPPOSITE of what was “really needed” by bahais in the usa and other similar communities who had had their spiritual blood drained by dishonest, power seeking bahai bureaucrats for decade after decade.)

    Many predictions were made by the SED people that thought policing would result from the prevailing/dominant Ruhu/Institute IMPLEMENTATION, and that the tedency toward fundamentalism, literalism and theological/doctrinal conformity would be reinforced.

    And of course that is exactly what happened.

    Which is kinda predictable when you think about it: Ruhi/Institute EXPANDED IMPLEMENTATION is a TOP DOWN attempt to create BOTTOM UP “inititative”.

    Pure silliness and a massive contradiction. – see Ivan Illich.

    The bahai bureacrats have spent decades destroying grass-roots “inititative” (by “sanitizing the snakepits of human nature” as Illich says), and now blame their own appalling TOP-DOWN failures on the “lack of initiative” at the BOTTOM! Which they aren’t even HONEST enough to admit, THEY THEMSELVES CAUSED!!!

    The sad reality is that one of the few semi-real SED success stories in the bahai world (the “original” Ruhi in S. America) was taken out of context and used as an instrument by people that want to stay in an insularized bubble of power, and who also want to promote more dysfunctionality, more thought policing, and more conformity.

    Whatever honest and legitimate value Ruhi originally had has long since been hijacked and taken down in flames by the dehumanizing “system” of dysfunctional global bahai bureaucracy.

    It is pure rot.

    Adios!
    Eric P.
    (ex-bahai, after 30+ years)
    Sacramento, Ca.

    [quote comment=”54212″]Alpha Course? You must be joking! Is this how far you have to go to find ways to criticize the plans of the Baha’i community and nourish your strange belief that the Baha’i Faith is fundamenalist? The Ruhi courses have been under development in Colombia and other parts of Latin America for more than three decades, field tested among tens of thousands of people.

    The “controversy” over the Ruhi courses appears to me to be manufactured by people much too enamored of their own intellectual acumen and influence, having no concept of how the Ruhi courses can get people started on meaningful lifelong Baha’i learning. If you have not been out helping lift people from their despair through direct teaching of the Faith, then I think you have little standing to criticize. If you have not actually studied these courses, in fellowship with others, and engaged in the communal practices of Baha’i life they engender, then you have no moral standing by which to be given any credence as you speak against it.[/quote]
    [quote comment=””][…] One of the readers of this blog, Farhan Yazdani, was kind enough to share these after another person requested them in a discussion. […][/quote]

  • ep

    Bill, even if you accept that the EXPANDED IMPLEMENTATION of Ruhi/Institutes is a legitimate method to “fulfill needs” of underdeveloped communities, they are abjectly incapable of addressing the needs of more mature communities in developed countries where a more “evolved” or “enlightened” paradigm of social change is desperately needed to bring about “an ever advancing civilization”.

    By evoking the romanticized notion of a simple, pure, primitive culture you are engaging in a classic form of PARADIGM REGRESSION, which is a sign that tribalism and fascism are to come.

    The advanced countries are engaged in a perfectly legitimate process of cultural evolution that has very complex needs to integrate spirituality with capitalism, science, technology and democracy.

    bahai blather criticising “intellectual acumen and influence” is an evasion that is designed to deflectr attention from the failures of the dominant paradim that operates in bahai culture.

    in my experience, bahais (in contradiction to the Guardian’s clear instructions) very rarely have a clue about what the leading edge of thought is in the world. People that DO have a clue about leading though are frequently the target of ridicule and bullying by crass bahai apparatchiks seeking “influence”.

    If you study the “real” history of both the american and iranian bahai communities, you will find that all sorts of attempts to bring “street activism” (social justice orientation, etc.) into the community have been “put down” by the bahai leadership elites for the last 80 years or so. The fact that abdul-naha himself was an accoplished street activist is *studiously ignored* by the bahai mainstream.

    To infer that the latest attempt of the leadership “system” to “colonize the lifeworld” (of the people) is “anti-elitist” is a bizarre inversion of plain reality.

    Elitists have long been running the bahai faith and viciously attacking Blessed Souls, such as Louis Gregory, who tried to keep the cause of social justice alive in the american bahai community.

    The very history of how meaning was constructed by the early working-class and populist bahais who struggled in social justice causes has been erased in the collective bahai mind. Just as the early construction of meaning by “sufi” bahais in iran has been erased.

    The sad reality is that “systems” collectivists/corporatists took over the bahai faith and have dehumanized it and turned it into a piece of bureaucratic machinery in some kind of horribly distorted and poorly conceived attempt at “building a better mousetrap” for social change and world peace.

    The mousetrap never worked, but the “spin” about a “better future” and a rebirth of hope keeps a failed marketing alive, like a zombie is “living dead”. A soul-less machine. In reality the bahai “mousetrap” was just another failed version of the kind of dumbed-down bureaucracy building that was taking place all over the world during the last century.

    So, there were huge problems in bahai communities in the USA and many other places LONG before Ruhi/Institutes existed that Ruhi DOES NOT ADDRESS. Which makes the EXPANDED Ruhi/Institutes just another recucled version of a failed attempt at a better mousetrap.

    I’ve known SED people from all over the world, some of whom saw the Ruhi/Institutes idea develop in the collective bahai “mind” (such as it is). There was an early pattern of observations from those people that a conformist mindset and other dysfunctional “agendas” drove the EXPANDED IMPLEMENTATION of Ruhi/Institutes.

    (That was EXACTLY THE OPPOSITE of what was “really needed” by bahais in the usa and other similar communities who had had their spiritual blood drained by dishonest, power seeking bahai bureaucrats for decade after decade.)

    Many predictions were made by the SED people that thought policing would result from the prevailing/dominant Ruhu/Institute IMPLEMENTATION, and that the tedency toward fundamentalism, literalism and theological/doctrinal conformity would be reinforced.

    And of course that is exactly what happened.

    Which is kinda predictable when you think about it: Ruhi/Institute EXPANDED IMPLEMENTATION is a TOP DOWN attempt to create BOTTOM UP “inititative”.

    Pure silliness and a massive contradiction. – see Ivan Illich.

    The bahai bureacrats have spent decades destroying grass-roots “inititative” (by “sanitizing the snakepits of human nature” as Illich says), and now blame their own appalling TOP-DOWN failures on the “lack of initiative” at the BOTTOM! Which they aren’t even HONEST enough to admit, THEY THEMSELVES CAUSED!!!

    The sad reality is that one of the few semi-real SED success stories in the bahai world (the “original” Ruhi in S. America) was taken out of context and used as an instrument by people that want to stay in an insularized bubble of power, and who also want to promote more dysfunctionality, more thought policing, and more conformity.

    Whatever honest and legitimate value Ruhi originally had has long since been hijacked and taken down in flames by the dehumanizing “system” of dysfunctional global bahai bureaucracy.

    It is pure rot.

    Adios!
    Eric P.
    (ex-bahai, after 30+ years)
    Sacramento, Ca.

    [quote comment=”54212″]Alpha Course? You must be joking! Is this how far you have to go to find ways to criticize the plans of the Baha’i community and nourish your strange belief that the Baha’i Faith is fundamenalist? The Ruhi courses have been under development in Colombia and other parts of Latin America for more than three decades, field tested among tens of thousands of people.

    The “controversy” over the Ruhi courses appears to me to be manufactured by people much too enamored of their own intellectual acumen and influence, having no concept of how the Ruhi courses can get people started on meaningful lifelong Baha’i learning. If you have not been out helping lift people from their despair through direct teaching of the Faith, then I think you have little standing to criticize. If you have not actually studied these courses, in fellowship with others, and engaged in the communal practices of Baha’i life they engender, then you have no moral standing by which to be given any credence as you speak against it.[/quote]
    [quote comment=””][…] One of the readers of this blog, Farhan Yazdani, was kind enough to share these after another person requested them in a discussion. […][/quote]

  • farhan

    Bill wrote:
    “The “controversy” over the Ruhi courses appears to me to be manufactured by people much too enamored of their own intellectual acumen and influence, having no concept of how the Ruhi courses can get people started on meaningful lifelong Baha’i learning.”

    Dear Bill,

    I am just back from pilgrimage and the talks by Gustavo Correa and Paul Lample brought us crystal clear insight into the institute Process of which Ruhi books are only one instrument. Following the example of the UHJ, I would be very patient with with all the learning mistakes that are being made in our transition from a top-down procedure to a down-up procedure of community life.

    The efforts of the UHJ since perhaps 1993, very obviously aim at reversing the ubiquity of the top-down structure of human societies into an empowerment at grass roots by developping human ressources.

    This is so new, that those already engaged in Baha’i activities sometimes felt disempowered by seeing inexperienced new comers taking over activities they had been efficiently performing, and those newly engaged in activities through the Ruhi courses sometimes made mistakes by adopting attitudes of superiority.

    The talks we listened to at the BWC confirmed my understanding of the Institute Process posted here, and in addition, I found it very touching to see how lovingly patient the UHJ is in accepting all our mistakes. This is an extract of my Pilgrim’s notes from Paul Lample’s talk :

    “Schools teach you that learning is about getting the answer correct first time. You take exams and if you get the answer correct, you have passed, and otherwise you have failed in your learning. Scientists don’t make mistakes: they make experiments, and they learn from their experiments, and then they make more experiments and so on and so forth. This should be our attitude towards learning.

    The Guardian used to point to areas of activity, which had proved to be successful and would then tell other believers to do the same. For example, He wrote to the friends in India that they should follow the example of the friends in the USA who had pioneered since this type of activity had proven to be effective. In some parts of the world Baha’is invited their friends to their homes and spoke about the Faith. This proved to be successful and so elsewhere He pointed out that Firesides which had been tried in some parts of the world and which proved to be successful, should be tried.

    The Universal House of Justice is following in His footsteps. The UHJ tries a few activities or experiments and when it sees that it has worked, informs the Baha’i World that this type of activity has proven to be effective and that they should follow it.

    When the UHJ first spoke of ?Areas of Growth?, it did not know how it would work. It was tried in a few places in the world and most of them by and large failed. In some areas it was found that if the area was so small that all the people who were interested in the Faith already knew about it and the rest had already expressed their disinterest, there was not enough geographical scope to move around. In other places it was found that the area was so large that the friends could not get together due to the distances involved. So this led to areas of growth of a convenient size. When a toddler starts to walk and falls down, the parents do not say, ‘let’s throw the kid away’, they get the video recorder out and encourage the baby and upload the images on Face Book.

    So it was decided to adjust this area of growth so that it was big enough so that you had enough people to talk to and engage in conversation and at the same time, small enough so that the Baha’is could get together for reflection and learning from each others’ activities.

    It was also somehow found that when around 50 people had finished the Ruhi books, then a certain type of momentum took over and they started certain activities. These were put together and the UHJ informed the Baha’i world that they should follow this since it has proven to be effective. Yet still, in its messages, it only mentioned that the activities should contain expansion and consolidation, but without giving any details.

    Of course, when people heard of this figure of 50, they said, well we can do this faster: let’s forget about the exercises, or even better, let’s fill in the blanks at home and save time during the study circles. And then when they reached 50, they said OK, we have 50 now, but nothing has happened, where is the entry by troops? But of course you have to do some things during and after you have done these books; you can’t just sit still and wait for things to happen by themselves.

    In other parts of the world, we hear that people go to reflection meetings and somebody says I have a question, and they say, you’re not allowed to ask questions. Well then, this is not a reflection meeting at all. In other places, it was suggested to invite seekers to study circles and this proved to be a good way of teaching. So they said we don’t need fires sides any more. People would say that all you have to do is to do the core activities and forget everything else.

    The UHJ never said, ?Do not have firesides?; it merely said that this is the priority of the plan, which should be done as well as, and not instead of other activities. The function of an LSA is to make sure that all the talents and potentialities of the community are developed and used.”

  • Farhan Yazdani

    Bill wrote:
    “The “controversy” over the Ruhi courses appears to me to be manufactured by people much too enamored of their own intellectual acumen and influence, having no concept of how the Ruhi courses can get people started on meaningful lifelong Baha’i learning.”

    Dear Bill,

    I am just back from pilgrimage and the talks by Gustavo Correa and Paul Lample brought us crystal clear insight into the institute Process of which Ruhi books are only one instrument. Following the example of the UHJ, I would be very patient with with all the learning mistakes that are being made in our transition from a top-down procedure to a down-up procedure of community life.

    The efforts of the UHJ since perhaps 1993, very obviously aim at reversing the ubiquity of the top-down structure of human societies into an empowerment at grass roots by developping human ressources.

    This is so new, that those already engaged in Baha’i activities sometimes felt disempowered by seeing inexperienced new comers taking over activities they had been efficiently performing, and those newly engaged in activities through the Ruhi courses sometimes made mistakes by adopting attitudes of superiority.

    The talks we listened to at the BWC confirmed my understanding of the Institute Process posted here, and in addition, I found it very touching to see how lovingly patient the UHJ is in accepting all our mistakes. This is an extract of my Pilgrim’s notes from Paul Lample’s talk :

    “Schools teach you that learning is about getting the answer correct first time. You take exams and if you get the answer correct, you have passed, and otherwise you have failed in your learning. Scientists don’t make mistakes: they make experiments, and they learn from their experiments, and then they make more experiments and so on and so forth. This should be our attitude towards learning.

    The Guardian used to point to areas of activity, which had proved to be successful and would then tell other believers to do the same. For example, He wrote to the friends in India that they should follow the example of the friends in the USA who had pioneered since this type of activity had proven to be effective. In some parts of the world Baha’is invited their friends to their homes and spoke about the Faith. This proved to be successful and so elsewhere He pointed out that Firesides which had been tried in some parts of the world and which proved to be successful, should be tried.

    The Universal House of Justice is following in His footsteps. The UHJ tries a few activities or experiments and when it sees that it has worked, informs the Baha’i World that this type of activity has proven to be effective and that they should follow it.

    When the UHJ first spoke of ?Areas of Growth?, it did not know how it would work. It was tried in a few places in the world and most of them by and large failed. In some areas it was found that if the area was so small that all the people who were interested in the Faith already knew about it and the rest had already expressed their disinterest, there was not enough geographical scope to move around. In other places it was found that the area was so large that the friends could not get together due to the distances involved. So this led to areas of growth of a convenient size. When a toddler starts to walk and falls down, the parents do not say, ‘let’s throw the kid away’, they get the video recorder out and encourage the baby and upload the images on Face Book.

    So it was decided to adjust this area of growth so that it was big enough so that you had enough people to talk to and engage in conversation and at the same time, small enough so that the Baha’is could get together for reflection and learning from each others’ activities.

    It was also somehow found that when around 50 people had finished the Ruhi books, then a certain type of momentum took over and they started certain activities. These were put together and the UHJ informed the Baha’i world that they should follow this since it has proven to be effective. Yet still, in its messages, it only mentioned that the activities should contain expansion and consolidation, but without giving any details.

    Of course, when people heard of this figure of 50, they said, well we can do this faster: let’s forget about the exercises, or even better, let’s fill in the blanks at home and save time during the study circles. And then when they reached 50, they said OK, we have 50 now, but nothing has happened, where is the entry by troops? But of course you have to do some things during and after you have done these books; you can’t just sit still and wait for things to happen by themselves.

    In other parts of the world, we hear that people go to reflection meetings and somebody says I have a question, and they say, you’re not allowed to ask questions. Well then, this is not a reflection meeting at all. In other places, it was suggested to invite seekers to study circles and this proved to be a good way of teaching. So they said we don’t need fires sides any more. People would say that all you have to do is to do the core activities and forget everything else.

    The UHJ never said, ?Do not have firesides?; it merely said that this is the priority of the plan, which should be done as well as, and not instead of other activities. The function of an LSA is to make sure that all the talents and potentialities of the community are developed and used.”

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  • Frank

    As an ex-Baha’i (and and ex-Baha’i for a long time now, so it’s not as if I’m bitter and Jaded) I can truly say that it was the Ruhi Class that was the final straw in my decision to return my Baha’i card. As soon as I attended the classes I felt as if I were part of a cult. This may not be the case, but a group activity that does not allow for free thought (simply regurgitation of what’s already on the page) was a nice push to the exit doors for me.

  • Frank

    As an ex-Baha’i (and and ex-Baha’i for a long time now, so it’s not as if I’m bitter and Jaded) I can truly say that it was the Ruhi Class that was the final straw in my decision to return my Baha’i card. As soon as I attended the classes I felt as if I were part of a cult. This may not be the case, but a group activity that does not allow for free thought (simply regurgitation of what’s already on the page) was a nice push to the exit doors for me.

  • Greg

    Abha All
    Please forgive my lateness infinding this thread, i would like to make a comment or three if I may, having been a baha’i in good standing now for over 30 years I am distress at what appears to be fairly recent event…. namely the idea of Door knocking (aka home visits from ruhi book 2)… I am a Baha’i( and loyal to the House of Justice) but if expect me to go door knocking …. IT will not happen… I find it totally disgaceful …. I am not a Mormon and to be quiet honest ….. horrified at a cooment aim at me at the last feast ……. that “Baha’is of 30 plus years that have not completed Ruhi… are a waste of space”,,,,,, I have no intention of doing any more of the ruhi books ( completed 1 and 2)….I have got to trhe stage where I am seriously consisdering handing back my Baha’i ID and calling it quits…… I will not bring the Faith into disgrace …. I point blank refuse….
    Any advise on this matter will be carefully considered.
    Rhanks
    Greg

  • Greg

    Abha All
    Please forgive my lateness infinding this thread, i would like to make a comment or three if I may, having been a baha’i in good standing now for over 30 years I am distress at what appears to be fairly recent event…. namely the idea of Door knocking (aka home visits from ruhi book 2)… I am a Baha’i( and loyal to the House of Justice) but if expect me to go door knocking …. IT will not happen… I find it totally disgaceful …. I am not a Mormon and to be quiet honest ….. horrified at a cooment aim at me at the last feast ……. that “Baha’is of 30 plus years that have not completed Ruhi… are a waste of space”,,,,,, I have no intention of doing any more of the ruhi books ( completed 1 and 2)….I have got to trhe stage where I am seriously consisdering handing back my Baha’i ID and calling it quits…… I will not bring the Faith into disgrace …. I point blank refuse….
    Any advise on this matter will be carefully considered.
    Rhanks
    Greg

  • Greg,
    first of all welcome and thanks for your comment. I’m glad that you voiced your concern because only through dialogue can we hope to understand each other.

    Now to address your comment, the UHJ does not expect every Baha’i to do Ruhi, nor does it wish to force those that are uncomfortable with door to door teaching to do so. Personally I share your discomfort and reluctance. Even more so, I’m shocked that the institutions are even suggesting such a tactic.

    In any case, it is extremely important to differentiate between certain bullies that mouth off about what they think every Baha’i should be doing… and what the Baha’i Faith actually stands for.

    As a Baha’i you should feel free to teach in a way that is in harmony with your character and strengths. We all have something to contribute. For some it is time, for others money, for others friends and connections, etc. At no time should we mistake the UHJ’s suggestions or guidance to be a straight-jacket.

    Unfortunately, there are some elements of every community that become a little too overzealous and steamroll others. At this point, it is the responsibility of not only every single Baha’i present, but also the ABM and Counsellors, to clarify the point of unity in diversity. In my experience, they have a spotty record at this. Some do while others err on the side of silence.

    It can be difficult. Especially if you are reluctant to do Ruhi and take part in all the activities that seem popular now – as the lingo goes “the framework for action”. Ugh, how distasteful is this new Baha’i speak. But this is no different that the continuous challenges that we face as Baha’is. Our most pressing “test” is each other!

    So my humble suggestion to you is to go to the source and read what the Guardian says about teaching, read the other central figures and also read the actual letters of the UHJ. They can be rather dry, but they do clearly spell out the fact that it is ok to not do Ruhi and that no one should make you feel any worse for it.

    Allison’s latest message may also be illuminating.

    Hope that helps a little. Allah-abha 🙂

  • Greg,
    first of all welcome and thanks for your comment. I’m glad that you voiced your concern because only through dialogue can we hope to understand each other.

    Now to address your comment, the UHJ does not expect every Baha’i to do Ruhi, nor does it wish to force those that are uncomfortable with door to door teaching to do so. Personally I share your discomfort and reluctance. Even more so, I’m shocked that the institutions are even suggesting such a tactic.

    In any case, it is extremely important to differentiate between certain bullies that mouth off about what they think every Baha’i should be doing… and what the Baha’i Faith actually stands for.

    As a Baha’i you should feel free to teach in a way that is in harmony with your character and strengths. We all have something to contribute. For some it is time, for others money, for others friends and connections, etc. At no time should we mistake the UHJ’s suggestions or guidance to be a straight-jacket.

    Unfortunately, there are some elements of every community that become a little too overzealous and steamroll others. At this point, it is the responsibility of not only every single Baha’i present, but also the ABM and Counsellors, to clarify the point of unity in diversity. In my experience, they have a spotty record at this. Some do while others err on the side of silence.

    It can be difficult. Especially if you are reluctant to do Ruhi and take part in all the activities that seem popular now – as the lingo goes “the framework for action”. Ugh, how distasteful is this new Baha’i speak. But this is no different that the continuous challenges that we face as Baha’is. Our most pressing “test” is each other!

    So my humble suggestion to you is to go to the source and read what the Guardian says about teaching, read the other central figures and also read the actual letters of the UHJ. They can be rather dry, but they do clearly spell out the fact that it is ok to not do Ruhi and that no one should make you feel any worse for it.

    Allison’s latest message may also be illuminating.

    Hope that helps a little. Allah-abha 🙂

  • Craig Parke

    Hi Greg,

    You are not alone. Many long time Baha’is have left the Faith because they are no longer acceptable in the new top down Ruhiized Baha’i Faith. If you have not done the Ruhi Full Sequence of Courses and you are not going door to door for the Faith, you are not fully accepting the UHJ as the Voice of God on Earth and, as such, you are the “enemy of God” full of ego, self, and passion completely corrupted by liberal Western values and thinking and you will, in the end, sink in their depths. That is pretty much it these days in the Baha’i Faith. Furthermore, if you are not studying the personal speeches of Peter Khan warning about slack and dangerous fellow Baha’is in a study circle with the proper enthusiasm like the Baha’is of Toronto were a few years back, you are highly suspect as a Covenant Breaker.

    http://bahai-library.com/talks/mental.tests.html

    So it goes in the total North Korean Communist Party groupthink the Faith has become. As that person said to you, “Baha’is of 30 plus years that have not completed Ruhi… are a waste of space.” If these people had guard dogs and railroad box cars to load people up at gathering points and send them to re-education camps, we would all be in them right now.

    “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

    In the new top down total lock step totalitarian indoctrinated Ruhiized Baha’i Faith if the UHJ tells you to murder your children in their sleep, as a good Baha’i you have to do it. You have no choice if you are to remain loyal to the Covenant. No individual conscience is permitted.

    “The experience of the Ruhi Institute has shown that we do not suppress the imagination or the personality of the participants when we refrain from posing questions such as, ‘What does this mean to you?’; on the contrary, we are helping to nurture the development of communities which look first to the Writings as the principal basis of consultation whenever they are faced with a question.

    We believe that the habit of thinking about the implications of the
    Writings with the minimum of personal interpretation would eliminate a great share of the disagreements which afflict consultation in many communities, and would make the activities of our communities more effective.”

    “TO THE COLLABORATORS” – Ruhi Book One

    I served the Faith for 32 straight years with total dedication. I will no longer sit in the same room with these people. That is what it came to for me.

  • Craig Parke

    Hi Greg,

    You are not alone. Many long time Baha’is have left the Faith because they are no longer acceptable in the new top down Ruhiized Baha’i Faith. If you have not done the Ruhi Full Sequence of Courses and you are not going door to door for the Faith, you are not fully accepting the UHJ as the Voice of God on Earth and, as such, you are the “enemy of God” full of ego, self, and passion completely corrupted by liberal Western values and thinking and you will, in the end, sink in their depths. That is pretty much it these days in the Baha’i Faith. Furthermore, if you are not studying the personal speeches of Peter Khan warning about slack and dangerous fellow Baha’is in a study circle with the proper enthusiasm like the Baha’is of Toronto were a few years back, you are highly suspect as a Covenant Breaker.

    http://bahai-library.com/talks/mental.tests.html

    So it goes in the total North Korean Communist Party groupthink the Faith has become. As that person said to you, “Baha’is of 30 plus years that have not completed Ruhi… are a waste of space.” If these people had guard dogs and railroad box cars to load people up at gathering points and send them to re-education camps, we would all be in them right now.

    “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

    In the new top down total lock step totalitarian indoctrinated Ruhiized Baha’i Faith if the UHJ tells you to murder your children in their sleep, as a good Baha’i you have to do it. You have no choice if you are to remain loyal to the Covenant. No individual conscience is permitted.

    “The experience of the Ruhi Institute has shown that we do not suppress the imagination or the personality of the participants when we refrain from posing questions such as, ‘What does this mean to you?’; on the contrary, we are helping to nurture the development of communities which look first to the Writings as the principal basis of consultation whenever they are faced with a question.

    We believe that the habit of thinking about the implications of the
    Writings with the minimum of personal interpretation would eliminate a great share of the disagreements which afflict consultation in many communities, and would make the activities of our communities more effective.”

    “TO THE COLLABORATORS” – Ruhi Book One

    I served the Faith for 32 straight years with total dedication. I will no longer sit in the same room with these people. That is what it came to for me.

  • Grover

    Hi Greg,

    I’m in a similar boat to you, I don’t like Ruhi, no way in hell will I encourage my friends to do it, and there is absolutely no way I would even consider doing door knocking. In my community they’ve just started doing the door knocking, supposedly just to invite people to events, but we all know what will happen next. I don’t like the pressure that has been applied through Feast, Cluster meetings, newsletters and various events to force us to do Ruhi, teach, etc etc, and get our mates to do Ruhi. I’ve been inactive for sometime now and its been great. This blog and others has become my faith community now. While the discussion is rough sometimes, at least everyone is open and honest with what they think.

  • Grover

    Hi Greg,

    I’m in a similar boat to you, I don’t like Ruhi, no way in hell will I encourage my friends to do it, and there is absolutely no way I would even consider doing door knocking. In my community they’ve just started doing the door knocking, supposedly just to invite people to events, but we all know what will happen next. I don’t like the pressure that has been applied through Feast, Cluster meetings, newsletters and various events to force us to do Ruhi, teach, etc etc, and get our mates to do Ruhi. I’ve been inactive for sometime now and its been great. This blog and others has become my faith community now. While the discussion is rough sometimes, at least everyone is open and honest with what they think.

  • Greg

    Thank You All for your rapid replies.
    You thoughts and comments go a long way with the way i see Ruhi course of forced thinking/mind set….. however please allow to be very clear…… when one looks at the early history of the Faith …..one find brave souls that were willing and able to think and act outside the square and paid a high price for it….I will not be told how to think and when ( aka lock step)…. isnt that the whole point of having no priests/clergy??? to put it more simply….. arent we instructed as Baha’i’s to read and study for ourselves and ” not thur the eyes of our neighbour”??? unless of course I have mis understood the second hidden word???
    I thought it was clear enough for even a meat head like me to get
    The weekend of the 24-26/1/09 here in Sydney they are holding a Conference about the current 5 year plan…. dont be too surprise if you hear of Baha’i being Tared and Feathered…..that will probably be me… as I have a gut ful of this door knocking nonsense…
    Cheers.
    greg

  • Greg

    Thank You All for your rapid replies.
    You thoughts and comments go a long way with the way i see Ruhi course of forced thinking/mind set….. however please allow to be very clear…… when one looks at the early history of the Faith …..one find brave souls that were willing and able to think and act outside the square and paid a high price for it….I will not be told how to think and when ( aka lock step)…. isnt that the whole point of having no priests/clergy??? to put it more simply….. arent we instructed as Baha’i’s to read and study for ourselves and ” not thur the eyes of our neighbour”??? unless of course I have mis understood the second hidden word???
    I thought it was clear enough for even a meat head like me to get
    The weekend of the 24-26/1/09 here in Sydney they are holding a Conference about the current 5 year plan…. dont be too surprise if you hear of Baha’i being Tared and Feathered…..that will probably be me… as I have a gut ful of this door knocking nonsense…
    Cheers.
    greg

  • farhan

    Greg wrote :
    isnt that the whole point of having no priests/clergy??? to put it more simply….. arent we instructed as Baha’i’s to read and study for ourselves and ” not thur the eyes of our neighbour”???

    Yes Greg, I agree, but at the same time, in addition to our personal deepening, some of us need help from those who are in a position to offer help, and these helpers need training. This is the very purpose of the Institute Process of which Ruhi is just an ingredient: building up human ressources. Here is hwo Bah’u’llah words it:

    ?Baha’u’llah has enjoined upon the Baha’is the sacred obligation of teaching. We have no priests, therefore the service once rendered by priests to their religions is the service every single Baha’i is expected to render individually to his religion. He must be the one who enlightens new souls, confirms them, heals the wounded and the weary upon the road of life, and gives them to quaff from the chalice of everlasting life – the knowledge of the Manifestation of God in His Day.? (From a letter dated 5 July 1957 written on behalf of Shoghi Effendi to the Bah??’?s of the Benelux countries)

  • Farhan yazdani

    Greg wrote :
    isnt that the whole point of having no priests/clergy??? to put it more simply….. arent we instructed as Baha’i’s to read and study for ourselves and ” not thur the eyes of our neighbour”???

    Yes Greg, I agree, but at the same time, in addition to our personal deepening, some of us need help from those who are in a position to offer help, and these helpers need training. This is the very purpose of the Institute Process of which Ruhi is just an ingredient: building up human ressources. Here is hwo Bah’u’llah words it:

    ?Baha’u’llah has enjoined upon the Baha’is the sacred obligation of teaching. We have no priests, therefore the service once rendered by priests to their religions is the service every single Baha’i is expected to render individually to his religion. He must be the one who enlightens new souls, confirms them, heals the wounded and the weary upon the road of life, and gives them to quaff from the chalice of everlasting life – the knowledge of the Manifestation of God in His Day.? (From a letter dated 5 July 1957 written on behalf of Shoghi Effendi to the Bah??’?s of the Benelux countries)

  • farhan

    Oops, sorry for the collateral damage from copy paste; please replace “Here is hwo Bah’u’llah words it:”
    by “Here is how Shoghi Effendi words it”

  • Farhan Yazdani

    Oops, sorry for the collateral damage from copy paste; please replace “Here is hwo Bah’u’llah words it:”
    by “Here is how Shoghi Effendi words it”

  • farhan

    Craig wrote :
    How can Shoghi Effendi’s statement and Glenford Mitchell’s statement be reconciled?

    Craig, please ask him and publish his reply here.

  • Farhan yazdani

    Craig wrote :
    How can Shoghi Effendi’s statement and Glenford Mitchell’s statement be reconciled?

    Craig, please ask him and publish his reply here.

  • farhan

    Creg,
    I would like to add that if “We have no priests, therefore the service once rendered by priests to their religions is the service every single Baha’i is expected to render individually to his religion”, at the same time,concerning those who have acquired talents and competences for organising Baha’i activities, the UHJ is very clear: no specific privilege or rank is in store for those having completed the curriculum, other than the ability to serve better. Let us not forget Baha’u’llah’s words:

    ?From two ranks amongst men power hath been seized: kings and ecclesiastics.? (quoted in The Promised Day is come)

  • Farhan yazdani

    Creg,
    I would like to add that if “We have no priests, therefore the service once rendered by priests to their religions is the service every single Baha’i is expected to render individually to his religion”, at the same time,concerning those who have acquired talents and competences for organising Baha’i activities, the UHJ is very clear: no specific privilege or rank is in store for those having completed the curriculum, other than the ability to serve better. Let us not forget Baha’u’llah’s words:

    ?From two ranks amongst men power hath been seized: kings and ecclesiastics.? (quoted in The Promised Day is come)

  • Greg

    Gday All
    The response has been thought provoking( as it should be)….. but here the question thats rattling my single cell of brain matter that I have left…….does “teaching” include or should it include banging on complete stranges doors and inviting them to some event….. whatever that entails……the first thought that goes screaming thur my single brain cell is a loud and complete NO…..however I do see merit in the line of thought of trying something when the”old” approaches dont seem to be working……I would prefer something with a little more thought behind it…… hmmmm didnt Shogi Effendi say something alongb the lines of the “fireside method” being the best approach….. now heres a novel idea ….. lets try the fireside method????… personel contact ( aka invite a friend) to dinner/lunch andwithout so much of the formal talk….. just likely try a Baha’i view point or n5??????….. Granted this doest have the Mass … lets get the numbers signing cards appeal….. but it may just avoid the diseater that the LSA I am on…. went thur with a book one decarant being electied to the LSA and going into meltdown……
    Changing the subject slightly …… when will door knocking produce ENTRY BY TROOPS????????? or am I just being a stick in da mud???

    Cheers
    Greg

  • Greg

    Gday All
    The response has been thought provoking( as it should be)….. but here the question thats rattling my single cell of brain matter that I have left…….does “teaching” include or should it include banging on complete stranges doors and inviting them to some event….. whatever that entails……the first thought that goes screaming thur my single brain cell is a loud and complete NO…..however I do see merit in the line of thought of trying something when the”old” approaches dont seem to be working……I would prefer something with a little more thought behind it…… hmmmm didnt Shogi Effendi say something alongb the lines of the “fireside method” being the best approach….. now heres a novel idea ….. lets try the fireside method????… personel contact ( aka invite a friend) to dinner/lunch andwithout so much of the formal talk….. just likely try a Baha’i view point or n5??????….. Granted this doest have the Mass … lets get the numbers signing cards appeal….. but it may just avoid the diseater that the LSA I am on…. went thur with a book one decarant being electied to the LSA and going into meltdown……
    Changing the subject slightly …… when will door knocking produce ENTRY BY TROOPS????????? or am I just being a stick in da mud???

    Cheers
    Greg

  • Grover

    Greg asked

    [quote post=”68″]does “teaching? include or should it include banging on complete stranges doors and inviting them to some event…[/quote]

    It really depends on the culture and country you are living in as to how well its received. I would certainly not recommend it in Auz because mostly everyone hates door knockers.

    You are right, traditional teaching using Shoghi Effendi’s method and ‘Abdu’l-Baha’s approach is probably best in Western cultures, certainly in Auz. Almost everyone hates people that push religion on them.

    I don’t actively “teach”, partly because of Ruhi, but mainly because I have a large number of “non-Baha’i” friends that I associate with and do activities with everyday. They hate it when people push religion on them. Hell, they were even worried about me initially. Some of them had negative experiences with overzealous Baha’is. These non-Baha’i friends were just as good as if not better than the Baha’is I knew from my community, and far more level headed, knowledgeable, sensible, capable and open minded. So whats the point of trying to rope them into something that is pretty dysfunctional and stupid? The “healing message of Baha’u’llah” hasn’t helped the Baha’is very much.

    If people want to know, I just tell them the ungarnished truth about the Faith so they don’t have any idealistic misconceptions, and tell them not to encourage overzealous Baha’is with undue patience.

    [quote post=”68″] but it may just avoid the diseater that the LSA I am on…. went thur with a book one decarant being electied to the LSA and going into meltdown…… [/quote]

    Lol, let me guess, the person freaked?

    Door knocking won’t ever produce entry by troops, but probably end up recruiting a bunch of weak-minded lonely dysfunctional people as a lot of the charismatic churches do now. All door knocking will do is make Baha’is the pariah of the normal people like the Mormons and JWs are now.

  • Grover

    Greg asked

    [quote post=”68″]does “teaching? include or should it include banging on complete stranges doors and inviting them to some event…[/quote]

    It really depends on the culture and country you are living in as to how well its received. I would certainly not recommend it in Auz because mostly everyone hates door knockers.

    You are right, traditional teaching using Shoghi Effendi’s method and ‘Abdu’l-Baha’s approach is probably best in Western cultures, certainly in Auz. Almost everyone hates people that push religion on them.

    I don’t actively “teach”, partly because of Ruhi, but mainly because I have a large number of “non-Baha’i” friends that I associate with and do activities with everyday. They hate it when people push religion on them. Hell, they were even worried about me initially. Some of them had negative experiences with overzealous Baha’is. These non-Baha’i friends were just as good as if not better than the Baha’is I knew from my community, and far more level headed, knowledgeable, sensible, capable and open minded. So whats the point of trying to rope them into something that is pretty dysfunctional and stupid? The “healing message of Baha’u’llah” hasn’t helped the Baha’is very much.

    If people want to know, I just tell them the ungarnished truth about the Faith so they don’t have any idealistic misconceptions, and tell them not to encourage overzealous Baha’is with undue patience.

    [quote post=”68″] but it may just avoid the diseater that the LSA I am on…. went thur with a book one decarant being electied to the LSA and going into meltdown…… [/quote]

    Lol, let me guess, the person freaked?

    Door knocking won’t ever produce entry by troops, but probably end up recruiting a bunch of weak-minded lonely dysfunctional people as a lot of the charismatic churches do now. All door knocking will do is make Baha’is the pariah of the normal people like the Mormons and JWs are now.

  • Greg

    You have it about right when you said “Door knocking won’t ever produce entry by troops, but probably end up recruiting a bunch of weak-minded lonely dysfunctional people as a lot of the charismatic churches do now. All door knocking will do is make Baha’is the pariah of the normal people like the Mormons and JWs are now.”
    And just for the record I came from an athieist background…..and on a regular basis had ding dong arguments with a Jesuit ( you may or may not like Jesuits…. but they are not totally stupid people) so I can say for myself … I not totally scared of being close the cutting edge….but as I sit here I cant help but wonder what other little surprises does the Ruhi school of mass conversion hold?? We have seen Home Visits out of Book 2 turn into door to door sales pitch?? Now that I think of it ….. could it be possilbe that some had aidea or even a seris of ideas ( door knocking included) and built the uhi Books around them …. in order to door knocking etc etc started???
    Cheers
    Greg

  • Greg

    You have it about right when you said “Door knocking won’t ever produce entry by troops, but probably end up recruiting a bunch of weak-minded lonely dysfunctional people as a lot of the charismatic churches do now. All door knocking will do is make Baha’is the pariah of the normal people like the Mormons and JWs are now.”
    And just for the record I came from an athieist background…..and on a regular basis had ding dong arguments with a Jesuit ( you may or may not like Jesuits…. but they are not totally stupid people) so I can say for myself … I not totally scared of being close the cutting edge….but as I sit here I cant help but wonder what other little surprises does the Ruhi school of mass conversion hold?? We have seen Home Visits out of Book 2 turn into door to door sales pitch?? Now that I think of it ….. could it be possilbe that some had aidea or even a seris of ideas ( door knocking included) and built the uhi Books around them …. in order to door knocking etc etc started???
    Cheers
    Greg

  • Grover

    I think the next innovation will be hand clapping at the musical firesides ;P

  • Grover

    I think the next innovation will be hand clapping at the musical firesides ;P

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  • farhan

    Greg, door knocking, bell ringing, E Mailing, poster painting, singing in the subway or on the radio, letter writing… are mere means of inviting people of our neighbourhoods into existing community activities. To invite people we first have to have activities to invite them to. The LSA can decide where at what time the community can gain or loose from such a procedure.

    Once enough tutors, regular children's classes, junior youth activities, devotionals, fire sides, etc have been established, the community can open up from individual teaching to mass teaching, i.e. to larger numbers or ?troops? of new people instead of sitting around in a closed community and finding an occasional hearing ear.

    Door knocking is one way that has produced results, including in France where traditionally, peoples homes are considered as a sacred sanctuary, but where in fact every one hopes to find a way out of solitude. People can avoid it or try it, before adopting or abandoning it.

  • farhan

    Grover wrote: The “healing message of Baha'u'llah” hasn't helped the Baha'is very much.

    Grover, Baha'is are far from perfect, but I believe that a person who has been in contact with Baha'i teachings is liable to a better understanding of our world. In any case, I am convinced that had I not been in contact with the Baha'i teachings, I would be a far worse person than I am now.

  • farhan

    Greg, door knocking, bell ringing, E Mailing, poster painting, singing in the subway or on the radio, letter writing… are mere means of inviting people of our neighbourhoods into existing community activities. To invite people we first have to have activities to invite them to. The LSA can decide where at what time the community can gain or loose from such a procedure.

    Once enough tutors, regular children's classes, junior youth activities, devotionals, fire sides, etc have been established, the community can open up from individual teaching to mass teaching, i.e. to larger numbers or ?troops? of new people instead of sitting around in a closed community and finding an occasional hearing ear.

    Door knocking is one way that has produced results, including in France where traditionally, peoples homes are considered as a sacred sanctuary, but where in fact every one hopes to find a way out of solitude. People can avoid it or try it, before adopting or abandoning it.

  • farhan

    Grover wrote: The “healing message of Baha'u'llah” hasn't helped the Baha'is very much.

    Grover, Baha'is are far from perfect, but I believe that a person who has been in contact with Baha'i teachings is liable to a better understanding of our world. In any case, I am convinced that had I not been in contact with the Baha'i teachings, I would be a far worse person than I am now.

  • Baquia

    Here's an interesting discussion which took place a couple of months ago on LJ's Baha'i forum. Keep in mind that the moderators over there are extremely strict so people write as if they are walking on egg shells – even so, you can't stifle the truth which is that Ruhi leaves much to be desired. It is always interesting to read the “yes, but…” justifications.

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  • Fabian Mansouri

    Even though i don’t disagree with what you have argued, on the contrary can relate to some bits and pieces. Whilst reading all the comments i came to a beautiful thought in my mind ” what would Abdu’l-Baha do as a participant and tutor of the Ruhi Institute Program, what kind of faith would he show towards the material and how would this translate into his actions. At that point i couldn’t help consider how amazing it would be when we have read of his super-human services to mankind. So wouldn’t it be fair to say increased scarifies within Baha’i Community needs to be made to even come close to our beloved martyrs and custodians. More importantly, the sacrifices made should never be done for the sake of the Institute or even the Universal House of Justice but because of the love of God. Our investigations of the truth, should foster our hearts closer to God, not do the opposite and correct me if I’m wrong in saying that. The hardest thing to change is the human heart, funny enough i feel its harder to change our hearts at this current time in Baha’i history.

  • Baquia

    Fabian, thank you for your lovely comment. Many Baha’is are approaching the Ruhi courses with the same attitude; one of sacrifice and submission. I don’t suppose to speak on behalf of the Master but since you bring up the idea, my own thoughts of His reaction, based on what we know of His life is that Abdu’l-Baha recognized the validity and importance of unity in diversity and the role of the individual within the larger context. No doubt I am projecting my own personal understandings and values when I say that. However, there is no doubt that Ruhi is being imposed on the Baha’i community and that there is very little, if any actual information that we can point to to show that it has any real value or that it has provided us with the desired results.

    With regards to the last point, please see this: Thoughts on the Frontiers of Learning Video

  • AmadodeDios

    Our daughter just went to the youth conference for our region, three days of indoctrination in obeying the institutions and getting cracking on the “institute process” (studying and teaching the Ruhi books).

    In sum, time and money wasted.

    1. They had empty rhetoric on building ?community?. Why do I say ?empty?? They thoughtlessly isolated each group with the other kids from their own part of the country, totally wasting the opportunity to forge friendships with Afro-descendants from the Coast, indigenous from the Highlands, other kinds of kids from other parts of the country… Totally wasted – what ?community? are we talking about? Perhaps all the ?training? that our
    beloved Auxiliary Board Members get has never included any ways to help people get to know each other, make friends, find commonalities and bond!

    2. I warned her there would be a lot of boring lectures. There are so many things a group of people can do together – why so many sermons? And why is almost the only alternative to lectures to form ?small groups? to study the ?guidance? – long, boring, unnecessarily repetitive documents?

    3. ?Tell me something new you learned? – ?there wasn’t much information…?

    Perhaps a hundred thousand dollars was thrown away (the kids’ $100 a head plus central spending) to achieve no new learning, no new friendships, no insight into other ways of taking advantage of being
    together…

    Oh, but the purpose was to push the ?institute process? – then why is there no action step? Really! Their ?commitment? is to study Book 5 (teaching ?junior youth?) – and there is no concrete plan for them to do this! No date set for an organizational meeting, no study schedule – nothing at all…

  • PeterT

    you know, at the end of the day Greg, I don’t really care that other people see me as “disgraceful” or are “horrified” that I might want to bring Baha’u’llah’s Message to them. If you are these things, then that is for you to judge. But I think there is a distortion in western countries such as Australia that meeting people in your neighbourhood or others to speak with them about an educational process or to share with them Baha’u’llah’s Message at their homes “without prior notice” is so wrong. This is all in our own minds that there is something “wrong” with it, and truth be told it comes from our own fears about how others will perceive us. Well, I’m not really that worried about how others perceive me and what they might think and sticking to accepted social norms. Who knows what the future society will look like, but I do know that in Australia, the fear of each other, the seclusion, the loneliness, the fear of the “other”, the complete lack of social cohesion, these things are not “normal”. So if meeting someone at the door, a stranger, and beginning this process of spiritual transformation annoys a few people like yourself, then I’m not concerned.

  • Baquia

    Peter, what do you think of this letter from Shoghi Effendi on door to door teaching?

    “In reading the minutes of the June National Spiritual Assembly meeting which the Guardian recently received he noticed something which he wishes to call to the attention of the Canadian National Spiritual Assembly.

    He feels that to distribute Bah??’? pamphlets from door to door, as prepared by [a Local Spiritual Assembly], is undignified and might create a bad impression of the Faith. No doubt, it is the eagerness and devotion of the friends there that led them to make this proposal, but he does not think the best interests of the Cause are served by such a method. Please inform them of this in a loving way.”

  • PeterT

    Hi Basquia,

    I’m glad you brought up this point. I think the issue is the understanding of teaching in neighbourhoods within a western context where going to someone’s home can be perceived as “door to door” which is essentially a sales technique. The implications of this is that religion is being proselytized and “sold” as in the case of a sales pitch for new vacuum cleaners.

    This however, and in the Ridvan 2010 Message the House of Justice clarifies, is an inaccurate portrayal and does not do justice to a process that seeks to build capacity within a population to take charge of its own material, intellectual and spiritual development.

    My own personal experiences have been immense. Indeed, I think when I first went into my neighbourhood to converse with my neighbours about the idea of starting a children’s class, I perhaps viewed what I was doing in terms of “door to door”. However, after having met the parents of the children in my neighbourhood and the others there, and after creating friendships that are on the basis of a shared understanding about the needs of the neighbourhood and discussing ways of addressing them, I realised the wisdom in the Universal House of Justice’s methods of seeing the work as community building, not as “door to door” sales. Indeed I think if the friends saw what they themselves did as “door to door” then it would probably end up as that. But those friends I’ve made, with the children and parents, are abiding and eternal because the basis of the friendship is a spiritual one. The parents are all from varied backgrounds, and the discussion about the Faith happens freely and openly, as well as the basis of the activities we’re running, but in no way is this perceived as me trying to push my religion onto them. Even with the Baha’i children’s class, the parents are most pleased with the results the classes have on their children’s conduct and behaviour, and in no way does it impede on the family’s own religious beliefs as the children’ still attend church and sunday school. The lessons have only enhanced their spiritual education. To add on to this, every year I was so deeply touched when the parents of some of the children, at Christmas time, would come round to our house and bring me and my wife Christmas gifts to thank us for our efforts to assist them in the development of their children.

    The second point is that the idea of “door to door” only exists in a western context where people are paranoid about their own safety and privacy. In most other countries, visiting someone to meet them, to make friends and have a discussion about religion or about the idea of service is something that is not only well received but welcome. I think most of the criticism for Ruhi comes from a western-centric viewpoint and a subconscious assumption of the hegemony of western culture as the pinnacle of civilization, development and advancement. A notion, I am increasingly finding, to be false at its core.

  • PeterT

    I think the issues discussed here are somewhat complex. Nobody can discount people’s experiences, whether negative or positive regarding the Ruhi Institute and the transition the community has and is still taking to adapt and evolve. We as tiny individuals try to understand things as best we can, and often our understanding of the world around us falls short as it relies almost entirely on our own experience. I feel terrible for Baha’is who have been subject to being sidelined, discounted, looked down upon by others. It’s not the first time. I’m sure when the Guardian began introducing the bones of the Administrative System that the Baha’is struggled equally with adapting to new ways of thinking and acting. But the one thing I’m certain of is that the Spirit of the Faith moves on regardless of what we as individuals do and think. We can either strive to be channels of that Spirit, and thus become the recipients of its Grace, or we do not. Either way the Spirit of the Faith moves forward and constantly finds pure channels to work through for the sole purpose of the unification of the entire human race.

    The other aspect of being a Baha’i is understanding the Covenant. This understanding of the Covenant as a Baha’i requires obedience to the institutions of the Faith and obedience to the Universal House of Justice. This obedience is not a blind obedience that does not allow for questioning of our institutions. But the questioning in order to understand and clarify, not to create contention or disputation.

    And part of the issue is that most people do not read and study the guidance from the Universal House of Justice in their entirety if at all. Much is either taken out of context or taken on its own, or taken from hearsay or from other agencies. This is part of the principle of independent investigation of truth, is that we read from the source, not take as gospel truth what one might hear from a member of the community.