A Simple Suggestion to Improve Bahai Funds

Continuing with the intent of being more positive and actually suggesting alternatives or options which can actually improve things, I revisit a topic which I mentioned a while back, in my first post. I wrote:”I value decentralization, over centralization. Central planning and its proponents, assume that life is static, linear and mechanistic; that it can be categorized, numbered and therefore, understood and controlled. However, life is not like that. It is messy, chaotic and dynamic. Unfortunately, the now widely discarded 19th-century ideal of centralization permeates the Baha’i community. . . Another example of centralization in the current Baha’i community is the funneling of donations from localities to the World Centre where they are expended without any disclosure or explanation – in contrast these funds could be used at the level where they are generated to build better communities.

I know that this is not just one of my pet peeves, but that it is one of the most common critiques Baha’is allow themselves to whisper about the current situation in the Baha’i world community. A few years ago, all communities around the world, almost without exception, sacrificed their own present and future needs in order to support the monumental Arc Projects. This was not just happenstance. NSAs and LSAs, in turn, were so directed by the House in two separate letters (one to all NSAs and one to selected NSAs).

Excerpt of the message to all NSAs, May 25 1999, from the Department of the Secretariat of the UHJ:

“The House of Justice draws your attention to the necessity for increased support of the Baha’i Fund at an international level with full confidence that the impressive record of sacrificial endeavor by the believers will be sustained in their response to the situation described here. The formulation of budgets at a national and local level should be carried out in the light of these conditions. Above all there should be no interruption to your sustained effort effort to assist the friends in your area to acquire a deeper understanding of the spiritual obligation binding upon all, irrespective of their circumstances, to contribute to the Funds of the Faith.”

And the excerpt from the message to selected NSAs, May 25 1999, from the Department of the Secretariat of the UHJ:

“It is surely evident to any observer of world events that human affairs are now volatile and subject to sudden and unforeseen changes. The friends have an opportunity to ensure that their resources are used for the enduring benefit of the Cause through their sacrificial and generous efforts to support its global activities, at this time when their financial circumstances are so favorable.”

The result was that the Arc was finished (well, almost). But the consequence was that the vast majority of local and national Baha’i communities around the world simply did not have the material means to improve their community’s lot. Many communities put major projects and investments on hold or simply transferred them to the Arc projects instead. Some of these were the purchase or improvement of community centers, Baha’i cemeteries or proclamation projects.

But now, Baha’is are asking, why are we continuing to funnel money to the NSA and then to the UHJ? Why don’t we begin to invest in our own communities? And yes, its true that you can “earmark” your donations to the Baha’i fund, but all that accomplishes is designating a final destination for it once it leaves your locality. It does not do anything to help your community directly.

Unless, that is, you decide to educate yourself and ask a few simple questions. A fellow Baha’i did just that and came up with the following (and was kind enough to pass it along so that more can know about it). Please note that depending on where you are, the laws may be different. That doesn’t really matter though, because at the heart of this is to arm yourself with knowledge and take a positive step to do something about what you believe in. Rather than whisper-whinging between nacho bites at the next feast with your friends.

The idea taps a Canadian tax law regarding charities (a category which legally includes the Baha’i Faith). A “Ten Year Gift” is a special kind of donation which has a condition attached to it. It stipulates that the charity receiving it must keep the funds for at least 10 years. The charity can not spend the donation until those 10 years are up. But, the charity can invest or otherwise employ the donation to earn a return or income, and spend that return or income (towards their normal charitable ends). Or, if they want, the charity can choose to re-invest the return or income during those 10 years and then spend the whole lump sum (re-invested returns and the original donation) after the expiration of 10 years. Or the charity can decide to reinvest the returns or income generated and continue to do so after the 10 year period is up, only withdrawing a small amount each year, thus allowing it to continue in perpetuity. Got all that?

This last choice is probably the best, in my view, because it allows a charity (or in our case, an LSA or NSA) the luxury of having a continual and (theoretically) inexhaustible source of income. But that’s another ball of wax. Getting back to my main point.

What makes this type of donation extra neat is that the charity on the receiving end, can not by law, give “10 year gifts” to another charity (even a related one). So in our case, that would mean that once you give a 10 year gift to your local community in Canada, they must keep it and can not ship it off to the NSA or UHJ or elsewhere. That is, unless they want to break the law and risk having their charity license revoked by the government.

So how do you make such a donation? Its rather simple. You make it as you would normally (cash, check, etc.) but at the same time you attach the completed form below:

I hereby give $________ to the LSA of ________ with the specific direction that the LSA hold this gift or any property substituted from it for a period of 10 years (or more).

(Signature of donor)

_______________________
Name of donor

_______________________
Date

So stop whinging. Here is a positive action step you can take to make sure that your local community has the material resources it needs for tomorrow and beyond. If you are outside of Canada, check your country’s laws regarding charities, you may have something similar to this (especially if you are in a commonwealth country).

If you are in Canada and you do decide to make a donation of a 10 year gift, be sure to talk to your treasurer about it beforehand. Don’t spring it on them and give them a heart-attack. The one’s that I’ve consulted wouldn’t know a 10 year gift if it lodged itself forcefully in their larynx. Be gentle. Educate them and tell them what their responsibilities are under the legal system.

For some reason, no one has informed the Baha’i local communities or treasurers, that something like this even exists.

I can’t imagine why.

  • Anonymous

    That is a brilliant approach. If I were still a member of a community, I would surely give it a go at the next Feast (though the thought of telling the treasurer would be intimidating to a shy wallflower like me!). Thanks for sharing this tip!

  • Anonymous

    That is a brilliant approach. If I were still a member of a community, I would surely give it a go at the next Feast (though the thought of telling the treasurer would be intimidating to a shy wallflower like me!). Thanks for sharing this tip!

  • Hans

    What does spiritual unity actually mean to you? Already Baha’u’llah and Abdu’l-Baha guided us in which spirit and trust we should give to the fund. What you are suggesting is more like a punishment which indirectly shows that you think you have a better answer… people like you easily would start a new -ism if it was possible. Don’t you see what you are doing? Fill your heart with love and trust that Baha’u’llah is guiding His Faith on its long and winding road… towards victory and refinement… we serve with our shortcomings with the knowledge that God is the Ruler and the One who knows what pathway to go.

  • Hans

    What does spiritual unity actually mean to you? Already Baha’u’llah and Abdu’l-Baha guided us in which spirit and trust we should give to the fund. What you are suggesting is more like a punishment which indirectly shows that you think you have a better answer… people like you easily would start a new -ism if it was possible. Don’t you see what you are doing? Fill your heart with love and trust that Baha’u’llah is guiding His Faith on its long and winding road… towards victory and refinement… we serve with our shortcomings with the knowledge that God is the Ruler and the One who knows what pathway to go.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/1082818 Baquia

    Hans,

    For me spiritual unity means unity in diversity not conformity. What does it mean to you?

    In what way is what I’m suggesting a ‘punishment’? Who is being ‘punished’ anyway?

    And Hans, if you’re interested in starting a new -ism, I’m afraid I can’t help you there. I’m only trying to improve the quality of the Baha’i community.

    Love + peace (sans the -ism )

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/1082818 Baquia

    Hans,

    For me spiritual unity means unity in diversity not conformity. What does it mean to you?

    In what way is what I’m suggesting a ‘punishment’? Who is being ‘punished’ anyway?

    And Hans, if you’re interested in starting a new -ism, I’m afraid I can’t help you there. I’m only trying to improve the quality of the Baha’i community.

    Love + peace (sans the -ism )

  • Hans

    it is a “punishment” because you show your dislike with the ways the funds are used by not letting the institutions decide how they are supposed to be used … if they use them the way you like, i am sure you think it is alright… but then someone else think that is wrong…
    To me unity in diversity is a result of spiritual unity. To me spiritual unity is to work hard on fulfilling the laws and obligations or the writings and to support the institutions elected by all believers… giving suggestions to them but if they are not accepted, accept that, and support their decisions… with all my heart… and that guidance is from Baha’u’llah…
    technically your idea to force the local communities to save the donations for 10 years is counterproductive. Most communities wouldn’t get so much that the interest of it would be enough to create any development. And the inflation would eat much of the value so that after 10 years it would be worth much less. It wouldn’t work in many countrys anyway because here in europe we doesnt have that kind of law.
    I think that those who are upset with the ruhiprocess and the administration today dont realize that the administration is also a part of the progress of the Faith. To me it seems like they expect that it all has to perfect right away.

  • Hans

    it is a “punishment” because you show your dislike with the ways the funds are used by not letting the institutions decide how they are supposed to be used … if they use them the way you like, i am sure you think it is alright… but then someone else think that is wrong…
    To me unity in diversity is a result of spiritual unity. To me spiritual unity is to work hard on fulfilling the laws and obligations or the writings and to support the institutions elected by all believers… giving suggestions to them but if they are not accepted, accept that, and support their decisions… with all my heart… and that guidance is from Baha’u’llah…
    technically your idea to force the local communities to save the donations for 10 years is counterproductive. Most communities wouldn’t get so much that the interest of it would be enough to create any development. And the inflation would eat much of the value so that after 10 years it would be worth much less. It wouldn’t work in many countrys anyway because here in europe we doesnt have that kind of law.
    I think that those who are upset with the ruhiprocess and the administration today dont realize that the administration is also a part of the progress of the Faith. To me it seems like they expect that it all has to perfect right away.

  • Hans

    For your knowledge; i have been a baha’i (or rather tried to become) for 32 years and is not a member of any institution in the Faith so i am kind of looking at the admin as a supporter not a “defender” against the criticism that seems to flourish. Specially among those who consider them selves as “scholars”.

    It would be interesting to hear your view on the decision-process in the faith and how to relate to decisions that individuals disapproves with.
    How do we wholeheartedly support decisions we dont like?
    yes peace and love to you too.

  • Hans

    For your knowledge; i have been a baha’i (or rather tried to become) for 32 years and is not a member of any institution in the Faith so i am kind of looking at the admin as a supporter not a “defender” against the criticism that seems to flourish. Specially among those who consider them selves as “scholars”.

    It would be interesting to hear your view on the decision-process in the faith and how to relate to decisions that individuals disapproves with.
    How do we wholeheartedly support decisions we dont like?
    yes peace and love to you too.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/1082818 Baquia

    Hans,

    This is a way for local communities who have been sucked dry for years to flourish and develop. Most do not have a place of worship, most do not have the financial resources to do anything significant at all.

    As for your opinion that the money would shrink (through inflation) after 10 years and be wasted…I’m afraid you are misinformed. The fact that a mechanism, such as a 10 year gift exists, shows that it works. There are thousands of charities and churches that use this mechanism for their benefit. They come up with a reserve of funds which they invest and then use the ‘fruit’ of that reserve for their work. Do the numbers and you’ll see that even for a small community the amounts become staggeringly large (after 5-10 years). Its just simple math.

    Its something which all other normal charitable and religious organizations are doing right now. Its a sad commentary on our development that we would see this as ‘punishment’ while others are using it as a constructive tool to improve their lot.

    The writings are full of instructions on charitable works, maybe through this suggestion, local communities can actually implement these instructions.

    In any case, I am not forcing anyone to do anything. This is just a suggestion that I’m forwarding. Its up to you to do what you think is right. But I do know that more and more Baha’is are simply tired of giving money as response to intense appeals, only to see the money misspent (deficits) and no explanation or transparency. If you doubt this, ask your local or national treasurer about the contribution % and the donations received. There is already a great number of Baha’is who have decided to voice their disagreement with the status quo by simply not giving. I’m offering a chance for those to donate once again by knowing that their money will be used in a way to help improve their communities.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/1082818 Baquia

    Hans,

    This is a way for local communities who have been sucked dry for years to flourish and develop. Most do not have a place of worship, most do not have the financial resources to do anything significant at all.

    As for your opinion that the money would shrink (through inflation) after 10 years and be wasted…I’m afraid you are misinformed. The fact that a mechanism, such as a 10 year gift exists, shows that it works. There are thousands of charities and churches that use this mechanism for their benefit. They come up with a reserve of funds which they invest and then use the ‘fruit’ of that reserve for their work. Do the numbers and you’ll see that even for a small community the amounts become staggeringly large (after 5-10 years). Its just simple math.

    Its something which all other normal charitable and religious organizations are doing right now. Its a sad commentary on our development that we would see this as ‘punishment’ while others are using it as a constructive tool to improve their lot.

    The writings are full of instructions on charitable works, maybe through this suggestion, local communities can actually implement these instructions.

    In any case, I am not forcing anyone to do anything. This is just a suggestion that I’m forwarding. Its up to you to do what you think is right. But I do know that more and more Baha’is are simply tired of giving money as response to intense appeals, only to see the money misspent (deficits) and no explanation or transparency. If you doubt this, ask your local or national treasurer about the contribution % and the donations received. There is already a great number of Baha’is who have decided to voice their disagreement with the status quo by simply not giving. I’m offering a chance for those to donate once again by knowing that their money will be used in a way to help improve their communities.

  • Sigmund Effendi

    Hans,

    I have been in the Faith even longer than you. I have seen everything. I have seen it all and been through it all. I have met some very, very good people in it. But the Faith as it is now is a terrible, terrible tragedy of Biblical proportions.

    We have faild everywhere in the world during this time for one very simple reason: The electoral process of the Baha’i Faith favors the mentally ill. This is true all over the world at every level of our Institutions and has been the case all through our history.

    Full blown obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) mental illness in individuals is often mistaken by the electorate for positive “total dedication” to the Faith.

    Until this changes we are going absolutely nowhere generation after generation. It is as simple as that. We will go nowhere with money or we will go nowhere without money. But we will go absolutely nowhere.

    Our record is appalling. It has been so since Shoghi Effendi took over in 1922 after his nervous breakdown to get the ball rolling for everyone.

    We just never had people of capacity in the Faith, Hans. Ever. Only the possessed and driven from their own internal psychological struggles and traumas.

    Consequently, we missed every opportunity of the 20th Century amid terrible human suffering. We will also miss every opportunity of the 21st Century unless things change. We don’t have it, Hans. We never did.

    Our only hope is that in the Major Plan of God this is all gpoing to go to someone else. Someone with ability.

    There are no people of sound mind or courage left in the Institutions of the Faith at any level.

    With no term limits on either elective or appointed positions at any level anywhere in the world our fate is sealed.

    With no one speaking up at any level anywhere in the world our fate is sealed.

    It was a tremendous idea, Brother Hans. It went into the hands of idiots.

    It was all hijacked.

    All of our hard work and effort as members of the rank and file (and I salute you for your steadfastness all this time!)is all going to go to other people. I do not think it will be lost.

    But the hope of the Baha’i Faith as so many of us were dedicated to it is over.

    It is lost.

    Financial collapse is coming. Many people with long years of service have had it. It has finally come to this.

  • Sigmund Effendi

    Hans,

    I have been in the Faith even longer than you. I have seen everything. I have seen it all and been through it all. I have met some very, very good people in it. But the Faith as it is now is a terrible, terrible tragedy of Biblical proportions.

    We have faild everywhere in the world during this time for one very simple reason: The electoral process of the Baha’i Faith favors the mentally ill. This is true all over the world at every level of our Institutions and has been the case all through our history.

    Full blown obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) mental illness in individuals is often mistaken by the electorate for positive “total dedication” to the Faith.

    Until this changes we are going absolutely nowhere generation after generation. It is as simple as that. We will go nowhere with money or we will go nowhere without money. But we will go absolutely nowhere.

    Our record is appalling. It has been so since Shoghi Effendi took over in 1922 after his nervous breakdown to get the ball rolling for everyone.

    We just never had people of capacity in the Faith, Hans. Ever. Only the possessed and driven from their own internal psychological struggles and traumas.

    Consequently, we missed every opportunity of the 20th Century amid terrible human suffering. We will also miss every opportunity of the 21st Century unless things change. We don’t have it, Hans. We never did.

    Our only hope is that in the Major Plan of God this is all gpoing to go to someone else. Someone with ability.

    There are no people of sound mind or courage left in the Institutions of the Faith at any level.

    With no term limits on either elective or appointed positions at any level anywhere in the world our fate is sealed.

    With no one speaking up at any level anywhere in the world our fate is sealed.

    It was a tremendous idea, Brother Hans. It went into the hands of idiots.

    It was all hijacked.

    All of our hard work and effort as members of the rank and file (and I salute you for your steadfastness all this time!)is all going to go to other people. I do not think it will be lost.

    But the hope of the Baha’i Faith as so many of us were dedicated to it is over.

    It is lost.

    Financial collapse is coming. Many people with long years of service have had it. It has finally come to this.

  • Hans

    Such poor faith in faith in God… so is God in charge? or what…

    The wind is blowing
    through a restless mind
    Faith is dawning
    but i am blind.

    So i dream with my soul
    and listen with my breath
    eternity is lingering
    between visions and death.

    Reaching beyond the rainbow
    finding the garden
    only on the other side
    of the prison of self.

    The economical issue is for most communities in the world, really beyond their capassity … to invest peoples gifts to the fund would in most cases be a gambling at highest risk since investing is a profession and something most administrators have no knowledge of… which means the funds would shrink even more.

    I feel sorry for poor Sigmund… no comments…

    …but God is still in charge…

  • Hans

    Such poor faith in faith in God… so is God in charge? or what…

    The wind is blowing
    through a restless mind
    Faith is dawning
    but i am blind.

    So i dream with my soul
    and listen with my breath
    eternity is lingering
    between visions and death.

    Reaching beyond the rainbow
    finding the garden
    only on the other side
    of the prison of self.

    The economical issue is for most communities in the world, really beyond their capassity … to invest peoples gifts to the fund would in most cases be a gambling at highest risk since investing is a profession and something most administrators have no knowledge of… which means the funds would shrink even more.

    I feel sorry for poor Sigmund… no comments…

    …but God is still in charge…

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/1082818 Baquia

    Hans,

    I’m baffled that you say ‘God is in charge’ as if that’s supposed to conclude this dialogue somehow.

    Of course he is in charge. Who said he wasn’t? He also gave us free will and intelligence and the ability to know Him. He also told us to investigate the truth, to question and to consult and continually try to improve our lives and the lives of others.

    Just because someone gives you a car doesn’t mean you put it on cruise control and put your feet on the dashboard and relax, saying ‘God is in charge!’.

    Yup, he’s in charge alright. And you’re about to be in the emergency ward.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/1082818 Baquia

    Hans,

    I’m baffled that you say ‘God is in charge’ as if that’s supposed to conclude this dialogue somehow.

    Of course he is in charge. Who said he wasn’t? He also gave us free will and intelligence and the ability to know Him. He also told us to investigate the truth, to question and to consult and continually try to improve our lives and the lives of others.

    Just because someone gives you a car doesn’t mean you put it on cruise control and put your feet on the dashboard and relax, saying ‘God is in charge!’.

    Yup, he’s in charge alright. And you’re about to be in the emergency ward.

  • Anonymous

    something most administrators have no knowledge of… which means the funds would shrink even more.
    ++++++++++++++++++++++++++

    erm, well then maybe they will develop new competencies – don’t sell them too short::

    >isnt that the way most people & institutions grow and mature?

    …by taking on new responsabilities/tasks/stretching/etc….ya know…new stuff instead of same ol same ol…

    MA

  • Anonymous

    something most administrators have no knowledge of… which means the funds would shrink even more.
    ++++++++++++++++++++++++++

    erm, well then maybe they will develop new competencies – don’t sell them too short::

    >isnt that the way most people & institutions grow and mature?

    …by taking on new responsabilities/tasks/stretching/etc….ya know…new stuff instead of same ol same ol…

    MA

  • Sigmund Effendi

    Hans,

    To me “blind faith” is not any kind of faith in anything. “Critical thought faith” is faith.

    Stagnant neurotic “blind faith” based systems of religion LOSE. Vital, engaged “critical thought” based systems of religion WIN. How else could a Manifestation of God start a new religion? If people are not capable of any critical thought, then how can they find the new religion? How can they function as a seeker if they are not capable of any “critical thought”?

    I served in good Faith in the Army of the Cause for many, many years. I accepted that some people are privates and some people are generals in an Army for it to function properly. But over time I began to see that the privates were often much better generals than the generals.

    An Army is supposed to take ground and move forward. The Army of the Cause is going nowhere because we do not have the generals and never have from day one. We just don’t have it. I wish everyone well. I appreciate their efforts. I hope real talent shows up some day and starts hitting home runs. But I don’t see it happening with what we have now. There is no vital free flow of ideas in the Faith anymore. All individual initiative and individual thinking is completely discouraged. Nothing new and vital is going to grow in such an environment. An environment where there is no vital spiritual investigation oif reality.

    The spiritual essense of the Baha’i Faith, however, is very much alive and well in the greater world. The power that Baha’u’llah brought for the progress of the New Day is fully at work in the wide world. You will find Baha’is everywhere in the actual work of the world EXCEPT in the Baha’i Faith itself. Our system is just an organization as an end in itself. Not a means to an end of any kind. Strange but true.

    The Faith itself is the very last place on Earth where you will find the power of the Teachings.

    All foretold by Baha’u’llah in the Tablet of the Holy Mariner. The terrible judgement upon souls who usurped a role greater than their station. Souls who hijacked the Faith for their own selfish psychological ends.

    Failure is the greatest Breaking of the Covenant.

    These souls have engineered mind numbing failure because they are completely talentless.

    “God” is NOT in charge. NEVER was! Divine Principles of the Cosmos are in charge. A much bigger picture! To deal with that skillfully requires prople of DEVELOPED spiritual capacity.

    That does not exist in the current version of the Baha’i Faith.

    Zero. Nada. Zippo.

    People are going to be leaving in droves. The Faith does not want thinking people.

  • Sigmund Effendi

    Hans,

    To me “blind faith” is not any kind of faith in anything. “Critical thought faith” is faith.

    Stagnant neurotic “blind faith” based systems of religion LOSE. Vital, engaged “critical thought” based systems of religion WIN. How else could a Manifestation of God start a new religion? If people are not capable of any critical thought, then how can they find the new religion? How can they function as a seeker if they are not capable of any “critical thought”?

    I served in good Faith in the Army of the Cause for many, many years. I accepted that some people are privates and some people are generals in an Army for it to function properly. But over time I began to see that the privates were often much better generals than the generals.

    An Army is supposed to take ground and move forward. The Army of the Cause is going nowhere because we do not have the generals and never have from day one. We just don’t have it. I wish everyone well. I appreciate their efforts. I hope real talent shows up some day and starts hitting home runs. But I don’t see it happening with what we have now. There is no vital free flow of ideas in the Faith anymore. All individual initiative and individual thinking is completely discouraged. Nothing new and vital is going to grow in such an environment. An environment where there is no vital spiritual investigation oif reality.

    The spiritual essense of the Baha’i Faith, however, is very much alive and well in the greater world. The power that Baha’u’llah brought for the progress of the New Day is fully at work in the wide world. You will find Baha’is everywhere in the actual work of the world EXCEPT in the Baha’i Faith itself. Our system is just an organization as an end in itself. Not a means to an end of any kind. Strange but true.

    The Faith itself is the very last place on Earth where you will find the power of the Teachings.

    All foretold by Baha’u’llah in the Tablet of the Holy Mariner. The terrible judgement upon souls who usurped a role greater than their station. Souls who hijacked the Faith for their own selfish psychological ends.

    Failure is the greatest Breaking of the Covenant.

    These souls have engineered mind numbing failure because they are completely talentless.

    “God” is NOT in charge. NEVER was! Divine Principles of the Cosmos are in charge. A much bigger picture! To deal with that skillfully requires prople of DEVELOPED spiritual capacity.

    That does not exist in the current version of the Baha’i Faith.

    Zero. Nada. Zippo.

    People are going to be leaving in droves. The Faith does not want thinking people.

  • Hans

    …yes He gave us a free will … and the faith cant be likened to a car with cruisecontrol… i am talking about the greater plan… (God is still the Driver) we must do our best and that is also true for us who are less intelligent and accept that the administration is a learning process and have trust in their guidance specilly by the UHJ since Baha’u’llah told us so.
    Still waiting for comments on;
    “It would be interesting to hear your view on the decision-process in the faith and how to relate to decisions that individuals disapproves with.
    How do we wholeheartedly support decisions we dont like?”

  • Hans

    …yes He gave us a free will … and the faith cant be likened to a car with cruisecontrol… i am talking about the greater plan… (God is still the Driver) we must do our best and that is also true for us who are less intelligent and accept that the administration is a learning process and have trust in their guidance specilly by the UHJ since Baha’u’llah told us so.
    Still waiting for comments on;
    “It would be interesting to hear your view on the decision-process in the faith and how to relate to decisions that individuals disapproves with.
    How do we wholeheartedly support decisions we dont like?”

  • Hans

    To me it sounds like Sigmund has to wait a long time for unity and specially world unity until enough people reaches his level of knowledge to be able to even start it… we have to accept that it is God who chooses whoever He wants to become a bahai because Baha’u’llah says that it works that way… and with the sum of that group of idiots (as he calls them) we have to establish love and unity… so we really has to be optimistic and loving beyond mortality… Baha’u’llah gives us a shortcut though… Love all people through God … even the “Baha’i-idiots”… if you cant… have a talk with God.

  • Hans

    To me it sounds like Sigmund has to wait a long time for unity and specially world unity until enough people reaches his level of knowledge to be able to even start it… we have to accept that it is God who chooses whoever He wants to become a bahai because Baha’u’llah says that it works that way… and with the sum of that group of idiots (as he calls them) we have to establish love and unity… so we really has to be optimistic and loving beyond mortality… Baha’u’llah gives us a shortcut though… Love all people through God … even the “Baha’i-idiots”… if you cant… have a talk with God.

  • Hans

    “erm, well then maybe they will develop new competencies – don’t sell them too short::”

    well I am afraid that while they are gathering that knowledge thay will be attacked by people who are fast at knowing better and at critzising, accused for spending the funds in a terrible way… like sending them to the international fund…

  • Hans

    “erm, well then maybe they will develop new competencies – don’t sell them too short::”

    well I am afraid that while they are gathering that knowledge thay will be attacked by people who are fast at knowing better and at critzising, accused for spending the funds in a terrible way… like sending them to the international fund…

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/1082818 Baquia

    Hans,

    you said: “It would be interesting to hear your view on the decision-process in the faith and how to relate to decisions that individuals disapproves with.
    How do we wholeheartedly support decisions we dont like?”

    Very good point and question. Let me start by pointing out that the Guardian directs the institutions to enter into collaboration with the community and to make them part of the process:

    “Let us also bear in mind that the keynote of the Cause of God is not dictatorial authority but humble fellowship, not arbitrary power, but the spirit of frank and loving consultation.”

    The quotes are here if you’re interested.

    Many Baha’is feel that they are not part of a community which is interested in ‘humble fellowship’ nor the ‘spirit of frank and loving consultation’. With respect to the funds specifically, the Baha’is are treated like mushrooms. We are not given any information (other than send more!) and we are not consulted or asked what our thoughts are. Instead we are dictated to and projects/goals are handed down.

    Furthermore, the Guardian says:

    “Their function is not to dictate, but to consult, and consult not only among themselves, but as much as possible with the friends whom they represent.”

    And he goes on to say:

    “They must, at all times, avoid the spirit of exclusiveness, the atmosphere of secrecy, free themselves from a domineering attitude, and banish all forms of prejudice and passion from their deliberations. They should, within the limits of wise discretion, take the friends into their confidence, acquaint them with their plans, share with them their problems and anxieties, and seek their advice and counsel.”

    When was the last time the UHJ/ITC, NSA or the LSA sought the advice or counsel of Baha’is? All I’ve seen have been one way (top down) dictatorial and many times arbitrary decisions. When was the last time you saw a report of how the funds are being spent (on an international level)? when was the last time you saw audited statements? when was the last time a project or goal was truly a grass-roots effort rather than handed down by an institution?

    All I and others are saying here is, please follow what the Guardian said. Please act the way a Baha’i institution is supposed to act.

    So that’s my answer re the process of decision making. And my answer re the second part of your question is related to it.

    If the process was there – that is, if there was genuine two way open, frank and loving communication which involves transparency and humility – then the decision which was arrived at would better reflect the Baha’i community at large and indeed we would all support it.

    But it was never the intention of the Guardian or Abdu’l-Baha for a group of semi-clergy to set themselves up and then to issue forth pronouncements. That has no semblence to the principles of the Faith (nor to the explicit guidance we have).

    Hope that answers your questions.

    peace + love

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/1082818 Baquia

    Hans,

    you said: “It would be interesting to hear your view on the decision-process in the faith and how to relate to decisions that individuals disapproves with.
    How do we wholeheartedly support decisions we dont like?”

    Very good point and question. Let me start by pointing out that the Guardian directs the institutions to enter into collaboration with the community and to make them part of the process:

    “Let us also bear in mind that the keynote of the Cause of God is not dictatorial authority but humble fellowship, not arbitrary power, but the spirit of frank and loving consultation.”

    The quotes are here if you’re interested.

    Many Baha’is feel that they are not part of a community which is interested in ‘humble fellowship’ nor the ‘spirit of frank and loving consultation’. With respect to the funds specifically, the Baha’is are treated like mushrooms. We are not given any information (other than send more!) and we are not consulted or asked what our thoughts are. Instead we are dictated to and projects/goals are handed down.

    Furthermore, the Guardian says:

    “Their function is not to dictate, but to consult, and consult not only among themselves, but as much as possible with the friends whom they represent.”

    And he goes on to say:

    “They must, at all times, avoid the spirit of exclusiveness, the atmosphere of secrecy, free themselves from a domineering attitude, and banish all forms of prejudice and passion from their deliberations. They should, within the limits of wise discretion, take the friends into their confidence, acquaint them with their plans, share with them their problems and anxieties, and seek their advice and counsel.”

    When was the last time the UHJ/ITC, NSA or the LSA sought the advice or counsel of Baha’is? All I’ve seen have been one way (top down) dictatorial and many times arbitrary decisions. When was the last time you saw a report of how the funds are being spent (on an international level)? when was the last time you saw audited statements? when was the last time a project or goal was truly a grass-roots effort rather than handed down by an institution?

    All I and others are saying here is, please follow what the Guardian said. Please act the way a Baha’i institution is supposed to act.

    So that’s my answer re the process of decision making. And my answer re the second part of your question is related to it.

    If the process was there – that is, if there was genuine two way open, frank and loving communication which involves transparency and humility – then the decision which was arrived at would better reflect the Baha’i community at large and indeed we would all support it.

    But it was never the intention of the Guardian or Abdu’l-Baha for a group of semi-clergy to set themselves up and then to issue forth pronouncements. That has no semblence to the principles of the Faith (nor to the explicit guidance we have).

    Hope that answers your questions.

    peace + love

  • Sigmund Effendi

    Hans,

    Your point to me is well taken. I don’t disagree with it at all. What I am saying is that I HAVE whole heartedly supported decisions I don’t agree with for 34 years for the sake of Baha’u’llah and the sake of unity! This is my Faith! I served it with all my heart! I fully believed in the Message of Baha’u’llah.

    What I am saying now is “NO MORE” because I noe have come to believe that the Faith has been completely run into the ground and there is no remedy.

    With the world crisis there is NO MORE TIME for either people or institutions to “mature” now. We just did not have what was needed.

    As General Douglas MacArthur said “Defeat in war is two words: ‘too late’.” The Baha’i Faith did not mature fast enough. I gave it 34 years. We have built no free and open flow of ideas between everyone in our system. This will prove fatal.

    Our Institutions, instead, are run by freightful human beings only interested in working through their own neurosis and self identity issues. The entire organization of the Faith has been a private system of psychothereapy for a very tiny group of people since 1922. Hence my moniker “Sigmund Effendi”. This is what I see. If you put the entire A.O. Faith on the couch for 83 years this is what you will discover. These people were all nut cases. To a man and to a woman. All of them.

    It is “too late” for the Baha’i Faith. There is NO MORE TIME. 83 years was enough to try to put something together to start to solve the problems of the world. We could not do it.

    As it turns out the people leading us are really not interested in trying to solve the problems of the world. They are only interested in trying to solve *their* own psychological problems and self identity issues.

    If this religion were concerned AT ALL with trying to actually solve SOMETHING real it would have grown by leaps and bounds. It is not.

    The Baha’i Administrative Order is one of the most MASSIVELY SELFISH organizations in the histroy of mankind. Not at the bottom. But certainly at the top. Just an absolute abomination.

    I am all for love and unity! That is why I joined. But the people leading us are not concerned at all with love and unity. These people are loveless neurotics with lifetime employment in cushy jobs who are going to face summary court martial charges in the presence of Baha’u’llah in the next world. Many will hang. Many will go in front of firing squads. We were led by people who did not deserve their positions in any way. They failed every man, woman, and child on Earth and they are all going to hang in all the worlds of God in total complete disgrace.

    “Too late.”

    Judgement Day has come on the Baha’i Faith. This Five Year Plan is going to be an utter catastrophe for which no one will ever take any responsibility.

    I tried for 34 years, Hans. I am utterly disgusted that I put so much of my life into something this bad.

    I wish you well and I salute you. I hope you are right in your quiet blind faith. Me. I am not buying it anymore.

    The Faith has failed and the people who took us to ruin are going to hang in all of the worlds of God.

    That is how I see it.

    What we call the “Baha’i Faith” now is not what Baha’u’llah and Abdu’l-Baha brought. It has all been hijacked by neurotics and it is now all going to collapse.

    If we start going by the Writings again we could still save it. But I just can’t see how that is ever going to happen now.

    I do salute you for your service and wish you well.

    I was you once. Not any more! For me IT IS OVER. The Faith as it is now has utterly failed.

    Sigmund

  • Sigmund Effendi

    Hans,

    Your point to me is well taken. I don’t disagree with it at all. What I am saying is that I HAVE whole heartedly supported decisions I don’t agree with for 34 years for the sake of Baha’u’llah and the sake of unity! This is my Faith! I served it with all my heart! I fully believed in the Message of Baha’u’llah.

    What I am saying now is “NO MORE” because I noe have come to believe that the Faith has been completely run into the ground and there is no remedy.

    With the world crisis there is NO MORE TIME for either people or institutions to “mature” now. We just did not have what was needed.

    As General Douglas MacArthur said “Defeat in war is two words: ‘too late’.” The Baha’i Faith did not mature fast enough. I gave it 34 years. We have built no free and open flow of ideas between everyone in our system. This will prove fatal.

    Our Institutions, instead, are run by freightful human beings only interested in working through their own neurosis and self identity issues. The entire organization of the Faith has been a private system of psychothereapy for a very tiny group of people since 1922. Hence my moniker “Sigmund Effendi”. This is what I see. If you put the entire A.O. Faith on the couch for 83 years this is what you will discover. These people were all nut cases. To a man and to a woman. All of them.

    It is “too late” for the Baha’i Faith. There is NO MORE TIME. 83 years was enough to try to put something together to start to solve the problems of the world. We could not do it.

    As it turns out the people leading us are really not interested in trying to solve the problems of the world. They are only interested in trying to solve *their* own psychological problems and self identity issues.

    If this religion were concerned AT ALL with trying to actually solve SOMETHING real it would have grown by leaps and bounds. It is not.

    The Baha’i Administrative Order is one of the most MASSIVELY SELFISH organizations in the histroy of mankind. Not at the bottom. But certainly at the top. Just an absolute abomination.

    I am all for love and unity! That is why I joined. But the people leading us are not concerned at all with love and unity. These people are loveless neurotics with lifetime employment in cushy jobs who are going to face summary court martial charges in the presence of Baha’u’llah in the next world. Many will hang. Many will go in front of firing squads. We were led by people who did not deserve their positions in any way. They failed every man, woman, and child on Earth and they are all going to hang in all the worlds of God in total complete disgrace.

    “Too late.”

    Judgement Day has come on the Baha’i Faith. This Five Year Plan is going to be an utter catastrophe for which no one will ever take any responsibility.

    I tried for 34 years, Hans. I am utterly disgusted that I put so much of my life into something this bad.

    I wish you well and I salute you. I hope you are right in your quiet blind faith. Me. I am not buying it anymore.

    The Faith has failed and the people who took us to ruin are going to hang in all of the worlds of God.

    That is how I see it.

    What we call the “Baha’i Faith” now is not what Baha’u’llah and Abdu’l-Baha brought. It has all been hijacked by neurotics and it is now all going to collapse.

    If we start going by the Writings again we could still save it. But I just can’t see how that is ever going to happen now.

    I do salute you for your service and wish you well.

    I was you once. Not any more! For me IT IS OVER. The Faith as it is now has utterly failed.

    Sigmund

  • Sigmund Effendi

    Hans,

    One more point. Jesus threw the money changers out of the Temple in 33 A.D. or so. In 70 A.D. the Temple and all it’s Chief Priests fell into utter ruin before the armies of Rome. There is no love, peace, and unity when Divine Judgment and Divine Chastisement comes upon Instttutions that supposedly speak for God and instead speak for themselves.

    If I was a current member of the Universal House of Justice of the Baha’i Faith I would be shaking in my shoes.

    Judgment Day is coming. In fact, it may already have come.

    Their words from their own lips are sufficient unto The Day.

    It came very quick in this Dispensation. At the Beginning rather than at the End.

    100 million dead in war in the 20th Century. And the hapless Baha’is could not teach their religion out of a paper bag.

    Shameful!

    Why? Because no one would ever speak up.

    Now there is NO MORE TIME!

    “Too late.”

    Sigmund

  • Sigmund Effendi

    Hans,

    One more point. Jesus threw the money changers out of the Temple in 33 A.D. or so. In 70 A.D. the Temple and all it’s Chief Priests fell into utter ruin before the armies of Rome. There is no love, peace, and unity when Divine Judgment and Divine Chastisement comes upon Instttutions that supposedly speak for God and instead speak for themselves.

    If I was a current member of the Universal House of Justice of the Baha’i Faith I would be shaking in my shoes.

    Judgment Day is coming. In fact, it may already have come.

    Their words from their own lips are sufficient unto The Day.

    It came very quick in this Dispensation. At the Beginning rather than at the End.

    100 million dead in war in the 20th Century. And the hapless Baha’is could not teach their religion out of a paper bag.

    Shameful!

    Why? Because no one would ever speak up.

    Now there is NO MORE TIME!

    “Too late.”

    Sigmund

  • Paul

    Hans mentioned:
    i am talking about the greater plan

    I say:

    Yeah, Hans. So far as I am aware, the Greater Plan involves God deciding to raise up the stones to teach the world, because the Baha’is have failed him. That’s what I understand Baha’u’llah to have said about this subject.

  • Paul

    Hans mentioned:
    i am talking about the greater plan

    I say:

    Yeah, Hans. So far as I am aware, the Greater Plan involves God deciding to raise up the stones to teach the world, because the Baha’is have failed him. That’s what I understand Baha’u’llah to have said about this subject.

  • Hans

    I guess the angle from where i am looking at things are different and i only live in a country where all people in all institutions are fulltime workers and serve the Faith in their free time, so my expectations are not higher than what i have on my self. It is also not the institutions that shall teach the Faith … it is all of us and still it is slow. I believe that it depends on that most of us (including myself … working on it) are so involved in the old world order that it is hard to mirror forth the truth of the faith. But i believe that will gradually change.
    My experience is that when loving and frank consultation is practised it most of the time is focused on frank…(attacking,rude) this mostly paralyze unexperienced people… and many people in the institutions are unexperienced even though they are well educated.
    I have a question … somewhere in the back of my mind i have a memory of reading that the institutions are not responsible before us but before God and Baha’u’llah. Have any of you read this? well i dont have a blind faith because i know what i believe and know that it is a creative process within me guided by search and openmindedness and daily studyings… but i must admit that i dont question the institutions but believe that gradually they will grow and flourish. From here i dont see that the UHJ ITC and others are what you see….
    I definatly believe that the development process has slowed down but that depends on all of us..
    Maybe we all have to make mistakes to learn forgiveness and unconditional love…
    From my point of view life is still great the faith is still a thrill and the grass is still greener on the other side so i shall work hard on getting me and help us all getting there.
    And i still know many beautiful and loving baha’is.

  • Hans

    I guess the angle from where i am looking at things are different and i only live in a country where all people in all institutions are fulltime workers and serve the Faith in their free time, so my expectations are not higher than what i have on my self. It is also not the institutions that shall teach the Faith … it is all of us and still it is slow. I believe that it depends on that most of us (including myself … working on it) are so involved in the old world order that it is hard to mirror forth the truth of the faith. But i believe that will gradually change.
    My experience is that when loving and frank consultation is practised it most of the time is focused on frank…(attacking,rude) this mostly paralyze unexperienced people… and many people in the institutions are unexperienced even though they are well educated.
    I have a question … somewhere in the back of my mind i have a memory of reading that the institutions are not responsible before us but before God and Baha’u’llah. Have any of you read this? well i dont have a blind faith because i know what i believe and know that it is a creative process within me guided by search and openmindedness and daily studyings… but i must admit that i dont question the institutions but believe that gradually they will grow and flourish. From here i dont see that the UHJ ITC and others are what you see….
    I definatly believe that the development process has slowed down but that depends on all of us..
    Maybe we all have to make mistakes to learn forgiveness and unconditional love…
    From my point of view life is still great the faith is still a thrill and the grass is still greener on the other side so i shall work hard on getting me and help us all getting there.
    And i still know many beautiful and loving baha’is.

  • Sigmund Effendi

    Hans,

    Thank you for this beautiful and heartfelt last post. I really wish you well! I hope you are right about all this and it all works out as you hope.

    For me, it is the end. I hope I am wrong. I hope all of you who are more positive have the last word on it. But for me it is over.

    I believe that Baha’u’llah was the World Teacher for this World Age Cycle. But I believe He is going to now raise up other people to carry it forward. He is going to raise up stones from other spiritual communities across the world. Because I believe we have completely and utterly failed.

    I took Ruhi Book One. I now am fully indoctrinated to always tell the truth!

    To me this is the truth: for 83 years we have been led by people completely over their heads.

    I’m looking for another spiritual current in the world now. Our system is not going to liberate enough spiritual energy to achieve what is needed from generation to generation. Without full and completely open democratic practices, not enough spiritual energy will ever be liberated by us in human society to make a difference in the world.

    I may be wrong. But this is how I see it.

    I wish you well, brother. You seems like a very fine person.

    Sigmund

  • Sigmund Effendi

    Hans,

    Thank you for this beautiful and heartfelt last post. I really wish you well! I hope you are right about all this and it all works out as you hope.

    For me, it is the end. I hope I am wrong. I hope all of you who are more positive have the last word on it. But for me it is over.

    I believe that Baha’u’llah was the World Teacher for this World Age Cycle. But I believe He is going to now raise up other people to carry it forward. He is going to raise up stones from other spiritual communities across the world. Because I believe we have completely and utterly failed.

    I took Ruhi Book One. I now am fully indoctrinated to always tell the truth!

    To me this is the truth: for 83 years we have been led by people completely over their heads.

    I’m looking for another spiritual current in the world now. Our system is not going to liberate enough spiritual energy to achieve what is needed from generation to generation. Without full and completely open democratic practices, not enough spiritual energy will ever be liberated by us in human society to make a difference in the world.

    I may be wrong. But this is how I see it.

    I wish you well, brother. You seems like a very fine person.

    Sigmund