Time for Ruhi to Show Us the Money: Part II

show-me-the-ruhi

This is the second installment asking why the Baha’i Ruhi courses should “show us the money”. If you missed the first part, then click on the previous link to go back and read it. You can skip it but doing so would be like walking into an LSA meeting; it’ll only leave you confused and unsatisfied.

While Ruhi is attuned to the cultural norms of Colombia, either by design or accident, that does not guarantee or prove that it is a success. That is, proving or showing that there was an inherent fit between the structure or style of the course and the country in which it was first implemented is one thing, showing that it was a success in that country is another matter.

hofstede-cultural-constants-colombia-ukBy the way, the culture that Arbab himself was most familiar with and attuned to, Iran, bears a striking resemblance to that of Colombia. And I’m sure that throughout the process of development, the Ruhi course was in turn molded and shaped into what it is by the very fact that the feedback was coming from Colombians (and not, say, from the UK). So although, initially, it may have had a loose shape, over the many iterations and refinements it underwent, Ruhi progressively came to more and more resemble its environment. And to summarize from Part I, these were: a preference for black and white absolutes (rather than greys), group or collective organization (rather than individuals) and hierarchical (rather than egalitarian) structures.

So under such idyllic conditions: having the full support of the National Spiritual Assembly of the Baha’is of Colombia and the Universal House of Justice (along with the ITC), having sufficient financial backing – provided by the institutions – to initiate the project and to refine it iteratively, having a long gestation and maturation to perfect the courses, having a complementary style to the culture of Columbia, was Ruhi successful?

And by this I don’t mean did very many Baha’is in Colombia participate in Ruhi courses, but did Ruhi deliver results? In other words, did Ruhi increase the size of the Colombian Baha’i community? After all, this is why it was created.

If that is news to you, let me pause to explain. The Baha’i community had seen, randomly scattered, large scale conversions before. The challenge was that although a great multitude would enter after a successful teaching campaign, within a short period of time they would drift away or become inactive. Ruhi was created as a systematic method by which human resources could be developed to deepen these new believers and involve them in community life and then, eventually, to engage in another round of teaching campaigns. And so on and so on. This is what “exploiting the framework for action” means. This is what the now common catchphrase “intensive programmes of growth” or IPG means. After all, you can’t have IPG without the G or growth.

But even so, questioning the efficacy of Ruhi at first may seem silly. After all, we all know that Ruhi has expanded beyond Colombia and is now implemented in all Baha’i communities around the world. And yet, the question remains, petulantly tapping its feet, waiting to be answered. It reminds me of the introspection undertaken by Willow Creek Church (thanks to Steve for bringing it to our attention through BahaisOnline):

“Participation is a big deal. We believe the more people participating in these sets of activities, with higher levels of frequency, it will produce disciples of Christ.” This has been Willow’s philosophy of ministry in a nutshell. The church creates programs/activities. People participate in these activities. The outcome is spiritual maturity. In a moment of stinging honesty Hawkins says, “I know it might sound crazy but that’s how we do it in churches. We measure levels of participation.”

Having put so many of their eggs into the program-driven church basket, you can understand their shock when the research revealed that “Increasing levels of participation in these sets of activities does NOT predict whether someone’s becoming more of a disciple of Christ. It does NOT predict whether they love God more or they love people more.”

Having spent thirty years creating and promoting a multi-million dollar organization driven by programs and measuring participation, and convincing other church leaders to do the same, you can see why Hybels called this research ?the wake-up call? of his adult life.

A qualitative study such as the one Willow Creek undertook is challenging because it measured factors that aren’t easily quantified. But a study of the efficacy of Ruhi in promoting numerical growth would be rather simple. For example, what if we compared the communities in Colombia that were doing Ruhi in the 1970’s and 1980’s to those in surrounding Latin American countries that hadn’t yet done Ruhi? Such a study would, more or less, isolate Ruhi as the only factor while keeping the same time, culture, economic development, etc.

If we feel extra adventurous, why not look at not just quantitative results but also qualitative ones? After all, if Ruhi can and did improve the quality of our communities, then eventually, those communities would be much more attractive to seekers and as a corollary, they would experience numerical expansion.

So where is our very own survey to find out if Ruhi was a success in Colombia?

As far as I know there hasn’t been any. Although we seem to have become enamored with statistics, keeping track of how many people are taking Ruhi 1 vs. Ruhi 2 or how many A or B or C clusters there are, etc. Similar to Willow Creek’s old approach, all the statistical activity is bent on monitoring the uptake of the Ruhi program, not about its efficacy. And that should be alarming to all Baha’is.

But the feedback is there, in the numbers, if you look carefully. After all, positive results can not hide for long.

Think about it: we’re talking about a sequence of courses, implemented with the full backing of the institutions, in the most fertile environment, for over forty years. Read that again. Ruhi is 40 years old. The exact birth date is nebulous but it is most often cited as being started in late 1960’s and early 1970’s. What that means is that teenagers that were in the first, rudimentary, Ruhi study circles organized by Arbab are now well into middle age. Forty years is two generations!

So, what has Ruhi done for the Colombian Baha’i community after more than 40 years of continuous application?

That is, I think everyone will agree, a fair question to ask. Nowhere else is Ruhi so well suited, nowhere else has Ruhi so much continuous experience, nowhere else has Ruhi undergone so much development than in Colombia.

Has Ruhi set Colombia ablaze with the fire of the Baha’i Faith?

Has Ruhi, after 40+ years, instigated and fueled “entry by troops” in Colombia?

Has Ruhi attracted new believers, swelling the rank of Baha’is in Colombia?

Has Ruhi then deepened these new believers, retaining them and propelling the Colombian Baha’i community ever forward?

Has Ruhi cut a swath through the social fabric of Colombia as easily as a Jewish mother through self-esteem?

If anyone can show that after 40+ years there is an avalanche of results that makes Ruhi irrefutably the success that it is trumped up to be to the rest of the world; then all criticism will be swept aside with one fell swoop.

This should be an incredibly easy task. And it would silence, if not all critics of the Ruhi approach, then most certainly this one. Who dare argue with results? Who dare question or criticize the method when it has brought clear success? Who dare suggest cutting down the tree that yields such goodly fruit? Not I.

Extra credits go to those that can not only provide Baha’i sourced data that shows an explosion of growth in the Baha’i community of Colombia but also confirmation through third-party sources such as government census data or university research reports, etc.

I’ve searched high and low but have not found any such data. This is why I’m putting out an All Points Bulletin (APB). This is the intertubes and they wind their way into all sorts of places. If you are reading this and know of such data or where it can be found, then please drop a comment below and enlighten us all. If any Baha’i is reading this from South America or dare I say it? Colombia… then please make gentle inquiries to your NSA or provide letters, year end reports, or whatever official documentation you can to shut up the critics of Ruhi for good.

Please note that I’m being extremely gentle in this regard because had there been such success, all Baha’is would have heard about it in great detail. And yet, I look forward to being proven wrong because then it will afford me the opportunity to learn something.

If, after 40 plus years of gestation and maturation, through continuous implementation and iterative development and perfection; with a program structure incredibly attuned to and complementary to the culture of its host environment; with the full financial, moral and administrative support of the Baha’i institutions; if with all these advantages, Ruhi can not provide significant results that prove its efficacy beyond a doubt in its native country of Colombia… then by what rationale should we expect it to suddenly start to succeed now? and especially in other, much more hostile cultures?

The next step would be clear:

Trees that yield no fruit have been and will ever be for the fire.
– Baha’u’llah (Persian Hidden Words)

  • Pingback: Time for Ruhi to Show Us the Money: Part I at Baha’i Rants()

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

    Ruhi did indeed originate in Colombia and is arguably about 40 years old. However, the Ruhi we see today, in the form of C, B and A clusters and IPGs, is a very new phenomenon, and these new aspects of Ruhi do not appear to have originated in Colombia. I'm basing my understanding of the development of Ruhi on the booklet "Attaining the dynamics of Growth". A poor-quality text version is available.

    Norte del Cauca, in Colombia, was one of the first clusters to launch an intensive programme of growth in Colombia (February 2005). That's only 4 years ago. Until then, there there apparently wasn't a lot of growth and it wasn't self-sustaining.

    "This practice began to change at the start of the Four Year Plan in 1996 when the guidance of the Universal House of Justice shed new light on Bahá’í experience worldwide with expansion and consolidation. Subsequent years finally brought the internal development of human resources at the grass roots so long hoped for."
    Attaining the dynamics of growth – page 16.

    The booklet provides data on the uptake of Ruhi on page 17. I've graphed it so you can see that the growth in the number of participants in Ruhi courses has been very slight. Various reasons for that lack of growth are given in the booklet, and I can't judge how valid those reasons are. The figures do show that the uptake (never mind the efficacy) is quite static, even after four years of IPGs being carried out in a model cluster.

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

    Ruhi did indeed originate in Colombia and is arguably about 40 years old. However, the Ruhi we see today, in the form of C, B and A clusters and IPGs, is a very new phenomenon, and these new aspects of Ruhi do not appear to have originated in Colombia. I'm basing my understanding of the development of Ruhi on the booklet "Attaining the dynamics of Growth". A poor-quality text version is available.

    Norte del Cauca, in Colombia, was one of the first clusters to launch an intensive programme of growth in Colombia (February 2005). That's only 4 years ago. Until then, there there apparently wasn't a lot of growth and it wasn't self-sustaining.

    "This practice began to change at the start of the Four Year Plan in 1996 when the guidance of the Universal House of Justice shed new light on Bahá’í experience worldwide with expansion and consolidation. Subsequent years finally brought the internal development of human resources at the grass roots so long hoped for."
    Attaining the dynamics of growth – page 16.

    The booklet provides data on the uptake of Ruhi on page 17. I've graphed it so you can see that the growth in the number of participants in Ruhi courses has been very slight. Various reasons for that lack of growth are given in the booklet, and I can't judge how valid those reasons are. The figures do show that the uptake (never mind the efficacy) is quite static, even after four years of IPGs being carried out in a model cluster.

  • Grover

    We've been having IPGs – sans growth – for several years. Our stats look almost exactly the same percentage wise as Toronto, except about 50% of our community has been through book 1, and about 10%-20% have finished book 7. The percentages for our community have remained pretty static over the past 5 years and there has been only a few enrolments. Its pretty much clear that despite the hype and spin, cluster meetings and so on, the last 9 years or so of Ruhi has not resulted in conversions or entry by troops, but even before Ruhi we didn't have much conversions either. So I wonder how long it will be before the Baha'i community stops flogging a dead horse? Recent surveys in my country have shown people are more likely to be secular than align themselves to a religion compared to say 10 years ago, so overall receptivity is decreasing despite what the UHJ says.

  • Grover

    We've been having IPGs – sans growth – for several years. Our stats look almost exactly the same percentage wise as Toronto, except about 50% of our community has been through book 1, and about 10%-20% have finished book 7. The percentages for our community have remained pretty static over the past 5 years and there has been only a few enrolments. Its pretty much clear that despite the hype and spin, cluster meetings and so on, the last 9 years or so of Ruhi has not resulted in conversions or entry by troops, but even before Ruhi we didn't have much conversions either. So I wonder how long it will be before the Baha'i community stops flogging a dead horse? Recent surveys in my country have shown people are more likely to be secular than align themselves to a religion compared to say 10 years ago, so overall receptivity is decreasing despite what the UHJ says.

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

    Thanks Steve, although formalizing the structure into ABC and cycles of growth didn't occur, the point remains that the epicenter of Ruhi, the rural community in Norte del Cauca, has experienced one form of Ruhi or another for approx. 40 years. What has that yielded? Through the document prepared by the ITC that you cite, nothing.

    As well, it is remarkable that the uptake of Ruhi closely follows the chart you provided:
    <img src="http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3277/3472242684_695255c50c_o.png"&gt;

    The same pattern can be seen in North America, India and Europe. So where is the Ruhi magic? Show me the money!

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

    Thanks Steve, although formalizing the structure into ABC and cycles of growth didn't occur, the point remains that the epicenter of Ruhi, the rural community in Norte del Cauca, has experienced one form of Ruhi or another for approx. 40 years. What has that yielded? Through the document prepared by the ITC that you cite, nothing.

    As well, it is remarkable that the uptake of Ruhi closely follows the chart you provided:
    <img src="http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3277/3472242684_695255c50c_o.png"&gt;

    The same pattern can be seen in North America, India and Europe. So where is the Ruhi magic? Show me the money!

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

    Thanks for your comment Grover, could you tell us your region? or country? I'm trying to get an idea of how common this Ruhi experience is. From the preliminary data everyone from Kansas to Kalahari follows the same pattern, most are prodded to do book 1 and then successively fewer and fewer do the other books. This remains even if the community does years and years of IPGs. If you're not comfortable about revealing your geo data that's alright.

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

    Thanks for your comment Grover, could you tell us your region? or country? I'm trying to get an idea of how common this Ruhi experience is. From the preliminary data everyone from Kansas to Kalahari follows the same pattern, most are prodded to do book 1 and then successively fewer and fewer do the other books. This remains even if the community does years and years of IPGs. If you're not comfortable about revealing your geo data that's alright.

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

    Well, there is a finite number of devotional meetings a community can hold! My gosh, what are we going to do? devotionals 24/7? even if we did we'd hit a wall eventually. The same goes for participants. The real magic is whether Ruhi can increase the size of the community.
    If it can, then it would not only justify itself, but it would cause the graph to more or less go up each year. As you have a larger community, you have a larger pool of people to participate in the "framework" and more homes to hold devotional gatherings. And so on and so on.
    Is that what is happening? Why don't we take a look at the data? I'll be the first to whistle a different tune if there is even a reasonable argument that is based on evidence not just opinion.

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

    Well, there is a finite number of devotional meetings a community can hold! My gosh, what are we going to do? devotionals 24/7? even if we did we'd hit a wall eventually. The same goes for participants. The real magic is whether Ruhi can increase the size of the community.
    If it can, then it would not only justify itself, but it would cause the graph to more or less go up each year. As you have a larger community, you have a larger pool of people to participate in the "framework" and more homes to hold devotional gatherings. And so on and so on.
    Is that what is happening? Why don't we take a look at the data? I'll be the first to whistle a different tune if there is even a reasonable argument that is based on evidence not just opinion.

  • Grover

    Not online, but I'm happy to tell you privately if you'll send me an email address. I think its important what you're doing, so I'm happy to send you the data as well. Anonymity has its benefits.

  • Grover

    Not online, but I'm happy to tell you privately if you'll send me an email address. I think its important what you're doing, so I'm happy to send you the data as well. Anonymity has its benefits.

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

    I agree. The money's not there, whichever way you look at it — short term or long-term. I'm looking now at the growth figures for devotional gatherings in Norte del Cauca. I'm told that :

    "The table below shows the steady increase in participation in this activity over several cycles. ("Attaining the dynamics of growth", page 21)

    A table showing the raw numerical data is provided, but nothing visual. Here's the data, graphed so the "steady growth" can be seen.

    What I see is steady growth in cycles 1 to 6, and a plateau or slight decline in cycles 6 to 10. The booklet fails to mention or explain the plateau/decline. There's some serious spin going on.

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

    I agree. The money's not there, whichever way you look at it — short term or long-term. I'm looking now at the growth figures for devotional gatherings in Norte del Cauca. I'm told that :

    "The table below shows the steady increase in participation in this activity over several cycles. ("Attaining the dynamics of growth", page 21)

    A table showing the raw numerical data is provided, but nothing visual. Here's the data, graphed so the "steady growth" can be seen.

    What I see is steady growth in cycles 1 to 6, and a plateau or slight decline in cycles 6 to 10. The booklet fails to mention or explain the plateau/decline. There's some serious spin going on.

  • farhan

    Baquia wrote: The real magic is whether Ruhi can increase the size of the community.
    Not only the size, Baquia, but more specially the QUALITY of the community. The real challenge is to help individuals to spiritual maturity, which means complying more closely with God’s revelation, fostering a community organised in tune with that revelation and capable of welcoming others to join in, and a Baha’i administration capable of fostering and encouraging all the capacities of the community. The Ruhi courses are designed to help Baha’is who wish to acquire skills into the field of service. The acts of service, whether by Baha’is or non-Baha’is, are the fruits of the Ruhi courses.

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

    Baquia wrote: The real magic is whether Ruhi can increase the size of the community.
    Not only the size, Baquia, but more specially the QUALITY of the community. The real challenge is to help individuals to spiritual maturity, which means complying more closely with God’s revelation, fostering a community organised in tune with that revelation and capable of welcoming others to join in, and a Baha’i administration capable of fostering and encouraging all the capacities of the community. The Ruhi courses are designed to help Baha’is who wish to acquire skills into the field of service. The acts of service, whether by Baha’is or non-Baha’is, are the fruits of the Ruhi courses.

  • farhan

    Steve wrote: What I see is steady growth in cycles 1 to 6, and a plateau or slight decline in cycles 6 to 10.
    Steve, the Ruhi books are tools and not and end to themselves. Each Ruhi book is designed for providing skills for a specific act of service: book 1 for devotionals, book 2 for visiting those who need visits, book 3 for children’s classes etc. Only those who wish to become Ruhi tutors need to do the entire sequence; some might only wish to do book 1 or book 3 so as to improve the quality of the acts of service they were performing for years. Hence new comers are much more inclined to doing the books than those already engaged in activities.

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

    Steve wrote: What I see is steady growth in cycles 1 to 6, and a plateau or slight decline in cycles 6 to 10.
    Steve, the Ruhi books are tools and not and end to themselves. Each Ruhi book is designed for providing skills for a specific act of service: book 1 for devotionals, book 2 for visiting those who need visits, book 3 for children’s classes etc. Only those who wish to become Ruhi tutors need to do the entire sequence; some might only wish to do book 1 or book 3 so as to improve the quality of the acts of service they were performing for years. Hence new comers are much more inclined to doing the books than those already engaged in activities.

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

    I've found a copy of Attaining the dynamics of Growth on the web.

    Also, I've just heard from some Colombian Baha'is who have this to say: "Muéstreme el dinero."

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

    I've found a copy of Attaining the dynamics of Growth on the web.

    Also, I've just heard from some Colombian Baha'is who have this to say: "Muéstreme el dinero."

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

    Thank you Steve, that document is much easier to read. So far I've only read the section about Colombia. There is an abundant amount of data that is gathered:

    "Those who offer to participate in the effort during the refection meeting are added to one such core group Information related to the campaign—the names of teachers participating each day, the number of individuals visited, and the names of those who declare—is recorded by the coordinators in a notebook that is passed to the Area Teaching Committee"

    So theoretically it would be a breeze to prove that Ruhi and the framework for action is yielding positive results. A study similar to Willow Creek would settle the matter.

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

    Thank you Steve, that document is much easier to read. So far I've only read the section about Colombia. There is an abundant amount of data that is gathered:

    "Those who offer to participate in the effort during the refection meeting are added to one such core group Information related to the campaign—the names of teachers participating each day, the number of individuals visited, and the names of those who declare—is recorded by the coordinators in a notebook that is passed to the Area Teaching Committee"

    So theoretically it would be a breeze to prove that Ruhi and the framework for action is yielding positive results. A study similar to Willow Creek would settle the matter.

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

    farhan, it seems you have a false understanding of the framework for action. May I suggest you sit down with the area Ruhi co-ordinator? They'll set you straight. Here's an excerpt from the document "Attaining the Dynamics of Growth" (wow! it is right there in the title!):

    "Despite the long history of teaching in Norte del Cauca, the frst cycles of the intensive programme of growth lacked emphasis on expansion, and attention focused primarily on involving a higher number of the Bahá’í population in the institute process"

    That quote clearly describes the fact that the real focus and aim of the IPGs is "expansion".

    Here’s another quote:

    “When the programme of growth was launched in Norte del Cauca in 2005, some believed that the receptivity of the local population had diminished since the 1960s and ’70s, and this, they thought, accounted for the slowness with which expansion gathered momentum”

    Why are you trying to "spin" this like some political hack?

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

    farhan, it seems you have a false understanding of the framework for action. May I suggest you sit down with the area Ruhi co-ordinator? They'll set you straight. Here's an excerpt from the document "Attaining the Dynamics of Growth" (wow! it is right there in the title!):

    "Despite the long history of teaching in Norte del Cauca, the frst cycles of the intensive programme of growth lacked emphasis on expansion, and attention focused primarily on involving a higher number of the Bahá’í population in the institute process"

    That quote clearly describes the fact that the real focus and aim of the IPGs is "expansion".

    Here’s another quote:

    “When the programme of growth was launched in Norte del Cauca in 2005, some believed that the receptivity of the local population had diminished since the 1960s and ’70s, and this, they thought, accounted for the slowness with which expansion gathered momentum”

    Why are you trying to "spin" this like some political hack?

  • farhan

    Baquia, I am involved as a tutor for many years now and my wife is a coordinator. The obvious purpose of ANY educational system curriculum, and the teacher training institute is definitely one, is to raise the educational level and teaching skills of each participant AND the number of those who wish to participate. This has nothing to do with acquiring political expansion as you see it.

    The Institute, in addition, does not only aim at teaching, but at teaching would be teachers how to help rise the number AND the quality of future human resources, be they Bahais or not. In order to do so, we certainly need not only individuals, but also organised action involving these individuals.

    The institute process is way above and beyond anything human mind has ever designed in religious history for the spiritualisation of the planet and has nothing to do with the marketing attitudes you suggest.

  • Farhan YAZDANI

    Baquia, I am involved as a tutor for many years now and my wife is a coordinator. The obvious purpose of ANY educational system curriculum, and the teacher training institute is definitely one, is to raise the educational level and teaching skills of each participant AND the number of those who wish to participate. This has nothing to do with acquiring political expansion as you see it.

    The Institute, in addition, does not only aim at teaching, but at teaching would be teachers how to help rise the number AND the quality of future human resources, be they Bahais or not. In order to do so, we certainly need not only individuals, but also organised action involving these individuals.

    The institute process is way above and beyond anything human mind has ever designed in religious history for the spiritualisation of the planet and has nothing to do with the marketing attitudes you suggest.

  • Grover

    Good lord Farhan, which planet do you come from? It is all about expansion and rapid indoctrination, ala Mc Amway Baha'i, the new religious fast food multilevel marketing franchise.

  • Grover

    Good lord Farhan, which planet do you come from? It is all about expansion and rapid indoctrination, ala Mc Amway Baha'i, the new religious fast food multilevel marketing franchise.

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

    Farhan, so it isn't about teaching but about teaching would be teachers to raise the number and quality of future human resources? Do you read what you write? I'm seriously curious because you seem to be chasing your tail here. Read the document from the ITC it mentions teaching, expansion, growth, over and over again.
    Even so, this brilliant process beyond anything mortal minds have every designed… where are the results? It has been 40 years that Ruhi has been practiced in one form or another. How long do we have to wait until it dawn on you that it isn't working?

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

    Farhan, so it isn't about teaching but about teaching would be teachers to raise the number and quality of future human resources? Do you read what you write? I'm seriously curious because you seem to be chasing your tail here. Read the document from the ITC it mentions teaching, expansion, growth, over and over again.
    Even so, this brilliant process beyond anything mortal minds have every designed… where are the results? It has been 40 years that Ruhi has been practiced in one form or another. How long do we have to wait until it dawn on you that it isn't working?

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

    I've added a contact page since people wanted a way to contact me. If you like you can send me message from there.

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

    I've added a contact page since people wanted a way to contact me. If you like you can send me message from there.

  • farhan

    Baquia wrote:
    Farhan, so it isn't about teaching but about teaching would be teachers to raise the number and quality of future human resources?

    Farhan : Whatever teaching activities we had before must continue unabated. We go to school and university to learn and get a good social position, take what in France we call the « social elevator ». The teacher training institute I saw being established in Africa in the 1950s was about building up human resources with skills to accomplish acts of service so as to replace in time pioneers by the local believers. It is linked, complementary, but different from the study we do for our own interests. Chapter IX of Century of Light explains how the entry of large groups of people made obvious the need for human resources. Building Momentum in 2002 is a basic document on the practical application of this new field of service.

    When you start doing this on a large scale, with new concepts, and new needs arising, individuals start specialising in various fields, start making statistics, establish evaluation procedures, use feed-back for new directions, etc; it all becomes a bit complex for those who have missed a few episodes. Door knocking will seem an aberration if you don’t have core activities already established. You can’t go around inviting the multitude to a meal if you have not multiplied the bread and fish before hand.

    Baquia: this brilliant process beyond anything mortal minds have every designed… where are the results?

    Farhan: The results were abundant 50 years ago; as they are now, undeniable to any unbiased observer; but even though you might not be interested in this specific field of service, why belittle the efforts of others? I believe that God is going to do it through instruments such as us; others believe we are all alone in this universe and we will do it without outside inspiration. The times are hard, let us all get down to doing whatever we find best, with or without the spiritualisation of the planet.

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

    Baquia wrote:
    Farhan, so it isn't about teaching but about teaching would be teachers to raise the number and quality of future human resources?

    Farhan : Whatever teaching activities we had before must continue unabated. We go to school and university to learn and get a good social position, take what in France we call the « social elevator ». The teacher training institute I saw being established in Africa in the 1950s was about building up human resources with skills to accomplish acts of service so as to replace in time pioneers by the local believers. It is linked, complementary, but different from the study we do for our own interests. Chapter IX of Century of Light explains how the entry of large groups of people made obvious the need for human resources. Building Momentum in 2002 is a basic document on the practical application of this new field of service.

    When you start doing this on a large scale, with new concepts, and new needs arising, individuals start specialising in various fields, start making statistics, establish evaluation procedures, use feed-back for new directions, etc; it all becomes a bit complex for those who have missed a few episodes. Door knocking will seem an aberration if you don’t have core activities already established. You can’t go around inviting the multitude to a meal if you have not multiplied the bread and fish before hand.

    Baquia: this brilliant process beyond anything mortal minds have every designed… where are the results?

    Farhan: The results were abundant 50 years ago; as they are now, undeniable to any unbiased observer; but even though you might not be interested in this specific field of service, why belittle the efforts of others? I believe that God is going to do it through instruments such as us; others believe we are all alone in this universe and we will do it without outside inspiration. The times are hard, let us all get down to doing whatever we find best, with or without the spiritualisation of the planet.

  • farhan

    Baquia quoted: “the first cycles of the intensive programme of growth lacked emphasis on expansion, and attention focused primarily on involving a higher number of the Bahá’í population in the institute process"

    Baquia, as the institute process advances, people learn and invent. In the early days, people did the Ruhi books and ignored the acts of service prescribed, and the process became a closed one, a quest for personal accomplishment. I remember one coordinator explaining how once book 7 was finished, they would need to start the sequence all over again. The purpose of the acts of service is to foster a new culture where people become “the lump” with which their neighbourhood can be “leavened”, PROMOTING a way of life, a culture of service, and not an expansion through competition with other religions or as a political enterprise. These acts of service are open to all, whether Baha’is or not, and not only to those having accomplished the Ruhi sequence. This is very different from enrolling large numbers as in a political enterprise; it is much more like the WHO promoting breast feeding or hygiene classes.

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

    Baquia quoted: “the first cycles of the intensive programme of growth lacked emphasis on expansion, and attention focused primarily on involving a higher number of the Bahá’í population in the institute process"

    Baquia, as the institute process advances, people learn and invent. In the early days, people did the Ruhi books and ignored the acts of service prescribed, and the process became a closed one, a quest for personal accomplishment. I remember one coordinator explaining how once book 7 was finished, they would need to start the sequence all over again. The purpose of the acts of service is to foster a new culture where people become “the lump” with which their neighbourhood can be “leavened”, PROMOTING a way of life, a culture of service, and not an expansion through competition with other religions or as a political enterprise. These acts of service are open to all, whether Baha’is or not, and not only to those having accomplished the Ruhi sequence. This is very different from enrolling large numbers as in a political enterprise; it is much more like the WHO promoting breast feeding or hygiene classes.

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

    Farhan, why twist yourself in so many knots? This is about teaching, it is about bringing Baha'u'llah's message to people and then helping those that want to become Baha'is to become deepend Baha'is and in turn teach others. And so on and so on. Why do you feel the need to apologize or to whitewash this? There is nothing wrong with it. Not at all. It is a laudable task and I heartily acknowledge and support teaching work.
    What I'm asking is a simple question that any rational person might wonder… is it working?

    That is all… now feel free to return to your pretzel position.

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

    Farhan, why twist yourself in so many knots? This is about teaching, it is about bringing Baha'u'llah's message to people and then helping those that want to become Baha'is to become deepend Baha'is and in turn teach others. And so on and so on. Why do you feel the need to apologize or to whitewash this? There is nothing wrong with it. Not at all. It is a laudable task and I heartily acknowledge and support teaching work.
    What I'm asking is a simple question that any rational person might wonder… is it working?

    That is all… now feel free to return to your pretzel position.

  • Karmaniac

    The assumption lying behind Ruhi is wrong. Being insufficiently 'deepened' is NOT, generally, a cause of Baha'is leaving or becoming inactive. If only Baha'is knew more about their religion, they'd stay and do stuff: That is the premise. It is fundamentally incorrect. It simply does not address the true reasons for withdrawal and inactivity. And, I suspect, the Baha'i administration will never address the true reasons.

  • Karmaniac

    The assumption lying behind Ruhi is wrong. Being insufficiently 'deepened' is NOT, generally, a cause of Baha'is leaving or becoming inactive. If only Baha'is knew more about their religion, they'd stay and do stuff: That is the premise. It is fundamentally incorrect. It simply does not address the true reasons for withdrawal and inactivity. And, I suspect, the Baha'i administration will never address the true reasons.

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

    Hi Farhan,

    You wrote:
    The purpose of the acts of service is to foster a new culture where people become “the lump” with which their neighbourhood can be “leavened”

    I have two responses to your Biblical allusion:

    1. The leaven leavens the lump, not the lump itself.
    2. And leavening is considered to be a bad thing – to be avoided.

    1 Corinthians 5:6

    King James Bible
    "Your glorying is not good. Know ye not that a little leaven leaveneth the whole lump?"

    Weymouth New Testament
    "It is no good thing–this which you make the ground of your boasting. Do you not know that a little yeast corrupts the whole of the dough?"

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

    Hi Farhan,

    You wrote:
    The purpose of the acts of service is to foster a new culture where people become “the lump” with which their neighbourhood can be “leavened”

    I have two responses to your Biblical allusion:

    1. The leaven leavens the lump, not the lump itself.
    2. And leavening is considered to be a bad thing – to be avoided.

    1 Corinthians 5:6

    King James Bible
    "Your glorying is not good. Know ye not that a little leaven leaveneth the whole lump?"

    Weymouth New Testament
    "It is no good thing–this which you make the ground of your boasting. Do you not know that a little yeast corrupts the whole of the dough?"

  • Matt

    There is too much organization in the Baha'i Faith. It is probably the most organized religion on the planet. Too much organization saps the individual spirit, and discourages innovation. It encourages conformism and adherence to the 'collective will.' This is why I have heard the same stock answers from hundreds of Baha'is regarding some of my questions over the years. They're all reading from the same "Plan", being directed to the same Quotes and Passages, being encouraged to memorize the same Verses, so all who participate in these plans go out into the world and present a half-version of the Baha'i Faith. I think it is also convenient that most of the Verses that are encouraged to be memorized are the 'fundamentalist' Verses. The Verses that speak critically against liberty and freedom, that seemingly endorse conformity and silence in the name of 'unity.' But I think there is something good about this. At least now the administrative order is telling Baha'is to be honest to the public on how they envision the Baha'i Faith. Even when I was a 'seeker' just five years ago, people were still peddling the "Baha'i Faith is the most liberal religion on earth" jargon. Now, at least they are telling people that it is a fundamentalist religion (in its current manifestation), and more people are given a chance to make up their mind on whether to join it, and not have to wait a few months or a few years to realize that they embraced something that was different than what they were originally taught.

  • Matt

    There is too much organization in the Baha'i Faith. It is probably the most organized religion on the planet. Too much organization saps the individual spirit, and discourages innovation. It encourages conformism and adherence to the 'collective will.' This is why I have heard the same stock answers from hundreds of Baha'is regarding some of my questions over the years. They're all reading from the same "Plan", being directed to the same Quotes and Passages, being encouraged to memorize the same Verses, so all who participate in these plans go out into the world and present a half-version of the Baha'i Faith. I think it is also convenient that most of the Verses that are encouraged to be memorized are the 'fundamentalist' Verses. The Verses that speak critically against liberty and freedom, that seemingly endorse conformity and silence in the name of 'unity.' But I think there is something good about this. At least now the administrative order is telling Baha'is to be honest to the public on how they envision the Baha'i Faith. Even when I was a 'seeker' just five years ago, people were still peddling the "Baha'i Faith is the most liberal religion on earth" jargon. Now, at least they are telling people that it is a fundamentalist religion (in its current manifestation), and more people are given a chance to make up their mind on whether to join it, and not have to wait a few months or a few years to realize that they embraced something that was different than what they were originally taught.

  • fubar

    Here is a discussion of real problems in developing a world federation:

    http://integrallife.com/node/38870

    e.g. "drugs and neural implants to control male aggression" is needed for world peace.

    implanting Dell and McDonalds into India/China makes them "follow the rules".

    Integral Ecology:

    http://integrallife.com/node/39067

    (This is the kind of stuff that really matters, not silly debates about if/how bahai teaching programs "don't work".)

  • fubar

    Here is a discussion of real problems in developing a world federation:

    http://integrallife.com/node/38870

    e.g. "drugs and neural implants to control male aggression" is needed for world peace.

    implanting Dell and McDonalds into India/China makes them "follow the rules".

    Integral Ecology:

    http://integrallife.com/node/39067

    (This is the kind of stuff that really matters, not silly debates about if/how bahai teaching programs "don't work".)

  • fubar

    farhan,

    here is an introductory-intermediate level presentation of an "alternative" method:

    (please note: "interiority", as used by integralists, is more or less similar to what bahais call "spirituality". in this case, integral ecology attempts to address the issue of "animal spirituality".)

    http://integrallife.com/files/Integral_Ecology_3-

    excerpts:

    Conclusion
    In summary, there are numerous approaches to the environment: philosophical, spiritual, religious, social, political, cultural, behavioral, scientifi c, and psychological. Each highlights an essential component, but too often remains silent concerning other important dimensions. To overcome this fragmentation, integral ecology provides a way of weaving all approaches into an environmental tapestry, an ecology of ecologies that honors not just the physical ecology of systems and behaviors, but includes
    the cultural and intentional aspects as well—at all levels of organization. Thus, integral ecology is the study of the four terrains of the natural world at different levels of complexity. In addition, integral ecology takes into account the multiple worldviews within individuals, communities, and cultures, and their accompanying environmental perspectives—each with its specifi c forms of mutual understanding. Furthermore, integral ecology highlights that the environment and its various aspects
    are revealed differently depending on the mode of inquiry or methodology used to investigate it. As a result, integral ecology identifi es eight methodological families that need to be utilized, on their own terms, for comprehensive knowledge of any given ecological reality. In short, integral ecology recognizes that different approaches to ecology and the environment are the result of a spectrum of perspectives (“the who”) using a variety of methods (“the how”) to explore different aspects of the four terrains (“the what”).

    People who use the integral ecology framework recognize that it is not enough to integrate ecosystems and social systems (e.g., economies, laws, education). Nor is it enough to also include objective realities (e.g., behavioral studies, laboratory testing, empirical analysis). Instead, what is needed is to integrate these interobjective and objective realities with subjective (e.g., psychology, art, phenomenology)
    and intersubjective (e.g., religion, ethics, philosophy) realities. In effect, integral ecology
    unites consciousness, culture, and nature in service of sustainability.
    . . .

  • fubar

    farhan,

    here is an introductory-intermediate level presentation of an "alternative" method:

    (please note: "interiority", as used by integralists, is more or less similar to what bahais call "spirituality". in this case, integral ecology attempts to address the issue of "animal spirituality".)

    http://integrallife.com/files/Integral_Ecology_3-

    excerpts:

    Conclusion
    In summary, there are numerous approaches to the environment: philosophical, spiritual, religious, social, political, cultural, behavioral, scientifi c, and psychological. Each highlights an essential component, but too often remains silent concerning other important dimensions. To overcome this fragmentation, integral ecology provides a way of weaving all approaches into an environmental tapestry, an ecology of ecologies that honors not just the physical ecology of systems and behaviors, but includes
    the cultural and intentional aspects as well—at all levels of organization. Thus, integral ecology is the study of the four terrains of the natural world at different levels of complexity. In addition, integral ecology takes into account the multiple worldviews within individuals, communities, and cultures, and their accompanying environmental perspectives—each with its specifi c forms of mutual understanding. Furthermore, integral ecology highlights that the environment and its various aspects
    are revealed differently depending on the mode of inquiry or methodology used to investigate it. As a result, integral ecology identifi es eight methodological families that need to be utilized, on their own terms, for comprehensive knowledge of any given ecological reality. In short, integral ecology recognizes that different approaches to ecology and the environment are the result of a spectrum of perspectives (“the who”) using a variety of methods (“the how”) to explore different aspects of the four terrains (“the what”).

    People who use the integral ecology framework recognize that it is not enough to integrate ecosystems and social systems (e.g., economies, laws, education). Nor is it enough to also include objective realities (e.g., behavioral studies, laboratory testing, empirical analysis). Instead, what is needed is to integrate these interobjective and objective realities with subjective (e.g., psychology, art, phenomenology)
    and intersubjective (e.g., religion, ethics, philosophy) realities. In effect, integral ecology
    unites consciousness, culture, and nature in service of sustainability.
    . . .

  • fubar

    Excellent observations. M. Scott Peck (a psychiatrist/theologian) wrote about the problem of "false unity" in organizations such as businesses and "intentional communities" (usually counterculture "communes", or similar).

    Peck's "false unity" (rigidity, conformism) exists just before a group becomes "chaotic". In "chaos' deep, profound and painful honesty, vulnerability and trust can develop and lead to "real unity".

    bahai culture is "stuck" at a state of false unity.

    the sick thing is that bahais (arrogantly) seek to "teach" others unity, but only "ENACT" unity at a dysfunctional/false level.

    Please consider joining the integral movement if you wish to continue to contribute to the valid bahai ideal of an "ever advancing civilization":

    http://truthisnotenough.com

  • fubar

    Excellent observations. M. Scott Peck (a psychiatrist/theologian) wrote about the problem of "false unity" in organizations such as businesses and "intentional communities" (usually counterculture "communes", or similar).

    Peck's "false unity" (rigidity, conformism) exists just before a group becomes "chaotic". In "chaos' deep, profound and painful honesty, vulnerability and trust can develop and lead to "real unity".

    bahai culture is "stuck" at a state of false unity.

    the sick thing is that bahais (arrogantly) seek to "teach" others unity, but only "ENACT" unity at a dysfunctional/false level.

    Please consider joining the integral movement if you wish to continue to contribute to the valid bahai ideal of an "ever advancing civilization":

    http://truthisnotenough.com

  • Craig Parke

    Excellent post. This is what the Baha'is were supposed to be doing. But the Faith became too Johnny-One-Note (one dimensional) fundamentalist and utterly failed generation after generation because the people who became obsessive-compulsive lifetime incumbents decade after decade were just plain mentally ill, nuts, bonkers. jacked, deranged with no perspective in life. It suffocated all spirituality. The Comintern Faith killed everything it every touched.

    But the incredible powers of the World Age will go on in the hands of far more intelligent, competent, and spiritual people than the tragically impaired organized Baha'i Faith. The spectacular failure of the Faith is truly a wonder and a prodigy. I think this is the Will of God(ess). The fruit of the Faith is that it is now a very valuable road map of precisely NOT what to do if you want to evolve a planetary civilization. Everything we did was wrong. Everything. With seemingly mathematical precision. In the annals of human ruin and mind bending transcendent ineffectiveness, It truly is a wonder and a prodigy.

  • Craig Parke

    Excellent post. This is what the Baha'is were supposed to be doing. But the Faith became too Johnny-One-Note (one dimensional) fundamentalist and utterly failed generation after generation because the people who became obsessive-compulsive lifetime incumbents decade after decade were just plain mentally ill, nuts, bonkers. jacked, deranged with no perspective in life. It suffocated all spirituality. The Comintern Faith killed everything it every touched.

    But the incredible powers of the World Age will go on in the hands of far more intelligent, competent, and spiritual people than the tragically impaired organized Baha'i Faith. The spectacular failure of the Faith is truly a wonder and a prodigy. I think this is the Will of God(ess). The fruit of the Faith is that it is now a very valuable road map of precisely NOT what to do if you want to evolve a planetary civilization. Everything we did was wrong. Everything. With seemingly mathematical precision. In the annals of human ruin and mind bending transcendent ineffectiveness, It truly is a wonder and a prodigy.

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  • farhan

    Steve, your point is interesting. Leaven is a small piece of fermenting dough put aside to be used for producing fermentation in a fresh batch of dough; hence the leavened lump in turn becomes leaven for a fresh lump: the egg and hen story….
    As to the Bible, the concept of a living and self-replicating catalyser can be either good or evil:
    “Another parable spake he unto them; The kingdom of heaven is like unto leaven, which a woman took, and hid in three measures of meal, till the whole was leavened.” (Matt 13:33)
    But again:
    “Then Jesus said unto them, Take heed and beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and of the Sadducees.” (Matt 16:6)
    “Then understood they how that he bade them not beware of the leaven of bread, but of the doctrine of the Pharisees and of the Sadducees.” (Matt 16:12)
    Baha’i writings often refer to leaven, but only as a beneficent catalyser:
    “The light which these souls radiate is responsible for the progress of the world and the advancement of its peoples. They are like unto leaven which leaveneth the world of being, and constitute the animating force through which the arts and wonders of the world are made manifest.” (Baha’u’llah, Gleanings LXXXI).

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

    Steve, your point is interesting. Leaven is a small piece of fermenting dough put aside to be used for producing fermentation in a fresh batch of dough; hence the leavened lump in turn becomes leaven for a fresh lump: the egg and hen story….
    As to the Bible, the concept of a living and self-replicating catalyser can be either good or evil:
    “Another parable spake he unto them; The kingdom of heaven is like unto leaven, which a woman took, and hid in three measures of meal, till the whole was leavened.” (Matt 13:33)
    But again:
    “Then Jesus said unto them, Take heed and beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and of the Sadducees.” (Matt 16:6)
    “Then understood they how that he bade them not beware of the leaven of bread, but of the doctrine of the Pharisees and of the Sadducees.” (Matt 16:12)
    Baha’i writings often refer to leaven, but only as a beneficent catalyser:
    “The light which these souls radiate is responsible for the progress of the world and the advancement of its peoples. They are like unto leaven which leaveneth the world of being, and constitute the animating force through which the arts and wonders of the world are made manifest.” (Baha’u’llah, Gleanings LXXXI).

  • farhan

    The true remedy is the Verb of God; without this animating purpose, no human endeavour will fit into a planetary enterprise

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

    The true remedy is the Verb of God; without this animating purpose, no human endeavour will fit into a planetary enterprise

  • farhan

    Grover wrote: which planet do you come from?

    Grover, we are all in the same world: some wail at the half empty bottle, others look at all the means available for filling the bottle. Both flowers and manure are realities. In a garden, bees are attracted to flowers and perfume; flies are attracted to the manure.

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

    Grover wrote: which planet do you come from?

    Grover, we are all in the same world: some wail at the half empty bottle, others look at all the means available for filling the bottle. Both flowers and manure are realities. In a garden, bees are attracted to flowers and perfume; flies are attracted to the manure.

  • http://www.bahairants.com Baquia

    farhan, you insisted that Ruhi and the IPGs are not about numerical growth and teaching. This preposterous statement was pointed out to you and now you seem to be backing away from it. The facts are quite simple if you’d simply stop contorting them and yourself into this tortured logic you seem to revel in. Try reading what I’ve written rather than putting your own words in my mouth. Is Ruhi the best thing since sliced bread, as you claim, a “brilliant process beyond anything mortal minds have every designed” as you put it? Fine, then would you please provide some evidence to back it up by showing the results after 40 years? As any rational person would confirm, 40+ years is “long term”. That sincere question is as clear as mountain spring water. I’m looking for an answer. If you want to continue to offer obfuscation, it doesn’t benefit any of us.

  • http://www.bahairants.com Baquia

    farhan, you insisted that Ruhi and the IPGs are not about numerical growth and teaching. This preposterous statement was pointed out to you and now you seem to be backing away from it. The facts are quite simple if you’d simply stop contorting them and yourself into this tortured logic you seem to revel in. Try reading what I’ve written rather than putting your own words in my mouth. Is Ruhi the best thing since sliced bread, as you claim, a “brilliant process beyond anything mortal minds have every designed” as you put it? Fine, then would you please provide some evidence to back it up by showing the results after 40 years? As any rational person would confirm, 40+ years is “long term”. That sincere question is as clear as mountain spring water. I’m looking for an answer. If you want to continue to offer obfuscation, it doesn’t benefit any of us.

  • Grover

    Thanks Baquia

  • Grover

    Thanks Baquia

  • Grover

    lololol, Farhan! The Baha'is have become the "lump". Once again your analogies are highly appropriate. I know what doctors do with lumps – chop them off.

  • Grover

    lololol, Farhan! The Baha'is have become the "lump". Once again your analogies are highly appropriate. I know what doctors do with lumps – chop them off.

  • Grover

    Nah mate, Baha'is are just "lumps" that "leaven society" and fill it full of hot air and make it light and fluffy and soft!

  • Grover

    Nah mate, Baha'is are just "lumps" that "leaven society" and fill it full of hot air and make it light and fluffy and soft!

  • farhan

    Baquia wrote : why twist yourself in so many knots? (snip) What I’m asking is a simple question that any rational person might wonder… is it working?

    Baquia, I am addressing messages I have been reading here for months, untwisting what others have been trying very hard to twist. The UHJ letter announces a victory that they humbly dedicate to God; you and others have the right to question this announcement and ask yourself if it is true that it is really working and if the abundant slander I read here on the BA is not after all true. I am sharing my straight forward experience, explaining why the Ruhi sequence is described as a ?pyramid? with many more volunteers doing book 1 for holding devotionals than the whole sequence to book 7 for becoming tutors. I am explaining that a sustainable spiritual change is a long-term collective endeavor, very different from our individual teaching efforts that should continue.

    A change in culture is not something easy to estimate as you suggest in statistics of the ?size of a community? or the results of a marketing enterprise, but a long range change on minds, hearts and attitudes before changing our deeds and the results of those deeds in a community that can integrate larger numbers of seekers. I am explaining that this is different from a ?marketing franchise?, ?rapid indoctrination? proselytizing and other power seeking attitudes and scatological vocabulary we see in the world around us and which to some extent contaminate the ideal of a community we are trying to attain. I believe that those who have been away from the community for some time will notice this difference if they associate themselves again with their communities.

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

    Baquia wrote : why twist yourself in so many knots? (snip) What I’m asking is a simple question that any rational person might wonder… is it working?

    Baquia, I am addressing messages I have been reading here for months, untwisting what others have been trying very hard to twist. The UHJ letter announces a victory that they humbly dedicate to God; you and others have the right to question this announcement and ask yourself if it is true that it is really working and if the abundant slander I read here on the BA is not after all true. I am sharing my straight forward experience, explaining why the Ruhi sequence is described as a ?pyramid? with many more volunteers doing book 1 for holding devotionals than the whole sequence to book 7 for becoming tutors. I am explaining that a sustainable spiritual change is a long-term collective endeavor, very different from our individual teaching efforts that should continue.

    A change in culture is not something easy to estimate as you suggest in statistics of the ?size of a community? or the results of a marketing enterprise, but a long range change on minds, hearts and attitudes before changing our deeds and the results of those deeds in a community that can integrate larger numbers of seekers. I am explaining that this is different from a ?marketing franchise?, ?rapid indoctrination? proselytizing and other power seeking attitudes and scatological vocabulary we see in the world around us and which to some extent contaminate the ideal of a community we are trying to attain. I believe that those who have been away from the community for some time will notice this difference if they associate themselves again with their communities.

  • farhan

    Thanks for sharing. One important aspect of the baha'i Faith is that it offers a global vision in which we integrate the details. We cannot change details without a global vision, but a global vision in itself is not enough for change.

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

    Thanks for sharing. One important aspect of the baha'i Faith is that it offers a global vision in which we integrate the details. We cannot change details without a global vision, but a global vision in itself is not enough for change.

  • Craig Parke

    “Then Jesus said unto them, Take heed and beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and of the Sadducees.” (Matt 16:6)

    “Then understood they how that he bade them not beware of the leaven of bread, but of the doctrine of the Pharisees and of the Sadducees.” (Matt 16:12)"

    Precisely. It is a parable about spiritual state. About those who have taken over, as you say, the "Verb of God" for their own selfish psychological needs.

    Any person who serves on the Universal House of Justice more than two terms (10 years) is a shameless ego driven sociopath headed for the innermost ring of Hell. It is as simple as that. These people are now shameless addicts of these positions. They reek of self and ego and world history will reveal this to me true. Nothing they do will come to any fruition whatsoever. Nothing.

    And the same is true of anyone who serves on an NSA for more than eight terms (eight years). After that it is all barbaric mentally ill self and ego.

    Anyone who has served past these Divine term limits must resign worldwide or suffer the Judgment and Wrath of Almighty God. It is a s simple as that.

    The psychological mechanisms of the the ruling social engineering theorist class in the current thoroughly corrupted Baha'i Faith is right out of Soviet communism and Tammany Hall.

    A huge cosmic courtesy flush is coming on these people Big Time and they are too spiritually dumb to realize it.

    It is all turning of a World Age Archetypal Judgment as Baha'u'llah very clearly sets forth in the Kitab-I-Iqan. Have any of these apparatchik hacks every read the Scripture of their own religion? Their God seems to be Shoghi Effendi and they appear to have completely missed the profound esoteric Teachings of Baha'u'llah. It is absolutely shocking.

    Everything these people touch will fail because they are shameless ego driven madmen and usurpers who have substituted their own teachings for the razor sharp Word of God for this World Age. they are going to be cut to pieces by their own tongues. I doubt whether even a diet book written by Peter Khan with survive.

  • Craig Parke

    “Then Jesus said unto them, Take heed and beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and of the Sadducees.” (Matt 16:6)

    “Then understood they how that he bade them not beware of the leaven of bread, but of the doctrine of the Pharisees and of the Sadducees.” (Matt 16:12)"

    Precisely. It is a parable about spiritual state. About those who have taken over, as you say, the "Verb of God" for their own selfish psychological needs.

    Any person who serves on the Universal House of Justice more than two terms (10 years) is a shameless ego driven sociopath headed for the innermost ring of Hell. It is as simple as that. These people are now shameless addicts of these positions. They reek of self and ego and world history will reveal this to me true. Nothing they do will come to any fruition whatsoever. Nothing.

    And the same is true of anyone who serves on an NSA for more than eight terms (eight years). After that it is all barbaric mentally ill self and ego.

    Anyone who has served past these Divine term limits must resign worldwide or suffer the Judgment and Wrath of Almighty God. It is a s simple as that.

    The psychological mechanisms of the the ruling social engineering theorist class in the current thoroughly corrupted Baha'i Faith is right out of Soviet communism and Tammany Hall.

    A huge cosmic courtesy flush is coming on these people Big Time and they are too spiritually dumb to realize it.

    It is all turning of a World Age Archetypal Judgment as Baha'u'llah very clearly sets forth in the Kitab-I-Iqan. Have any of these apparatchik hacks every read the Scripture of their own religion? Their God seems to be Shoghi Effendi and they appear to have completely missed the profound esoteric Teachings of Baha'u'llah. It is absolutely shocking.

    Everything these people touch will fail because they are shameless ego driven madmen and usurpers who have substituted their own teachings for the razor sharp Word of God for this World Age. they are going to be cut to pieces by their own tongues. I doubt whether even a diet book written by Peter Khan with survive.

  • farhan

    just have to lump your humour! 😉

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

    just have to lump your humour! 😉

  • Craig Parke

    http://www.cnn.com/2009/US/04/27/changing.religio

    People will gladly change the religion they were raised in if they find something they like better. I certainly did when I joined the Baha'i Faith 38 years ago and totally dedicated myself to it for decades. But for reasons Baquia has outlined here, studies show people will most definitely NOT gladly change their level of education or their own culture of learning systems, exploration of ideas, and reaching understanding in anything. That is required now to join the Baha'i Faith. You must give up all education and intelligence. If you don't, you will be denounced by "the Party" as guilty of ego, self, and passion and completely tainted by the "corrupting" Western ideas of individual responsibility and reasoned thought that came out of the Renaissance. If you do not immediately cease all individual thinking and embrace the Ruhi "Full Sequence of Courses" where people do your thinking for you, you will be written up by the AO spies for thought crimes against "the Plan" and if the Baha'is ever attain any real power in the world in the current unchecked and unopposed top down mindset (it was most definitely NOT always this way) you will be marched into the jungle to start hoeing rows of potatoes in Year Zero to learn "unity" and a "proper attitude". The same old, same old in mere human ideologies. Year Zero Closed Cult Thinking. Crucify everyone and everything and start building society all over from square one in some eternal spiritual Cambodia.

    Meanwhile, the Baha'is will once again completely miss every potential opportunity of the powerful innate energies of the unfolding of the World Age that would have come their way. Just unbelievable mind bending flat footed "group think" incompetence decade after decade amid every agony the human race has gone through. Blew World War I, World War II, Korea, Vietnam, the Gulf War, Iraq, and Afghanistan just to name the blood bath of my country. Blew the Great Depression. Blew the incredible energy of the 60's. And now they will blow the Panic of 2008. Just smoke the books deeply and exhale choking. Turn your heart and mind over to completely mentally ill people and wait to be put into a coffin as your contribution to the world. So much has been lost that it makes the stones weep.

    "How many the huris of inner meaning that are as yet concealed within the
    chambers of divine wisdom! None hath yet approached them…"

    (Baha'u'llah, The Kitab-i-Iqan, p. 70)
    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

    The people that aggrandized to themselves the right to write this drivel will go in the hour of their deaths to the innermost circles of Hell.

    So it goes.

  • Craig Parke

    http://www.cnn.com/2009/US/04/27/changing.religio

    People will gladly change the religion they were raised in if they find something they like better. I certainly did when I joined the Baha'i Faith 38 years ago and totally dedicated myself to it for decades. But for reasons Baquia has outlined here, studies show people will most definitely NOT gladly change their level of education or their own culture of learning systems, exploration of ideas, and reaching understanding in anything. That is required now to join the Baha'i Faith. You must give up all education and intelligence. If you don't, you will be denounced by "the Party" as guilty of ego, self, and passion and completely tainted by the "corrupting" Western ideas of individual responsibility and reasoned thought that came out of the Renaissance. If you do not immediately cease all individual thinking and embrace the Ruhi "Full Sequence of Courses" where people do your thinking for you, you will be written up by the AO spies for thought crimes against "the Plan" and if the Baha'is ever attain any real power in the world in the current unchecked and unopposed top down mindset (it was most definitely NOT always this way) you will be marched into the jungle to start hoeing rows of potatoes in Year Zero to learn "unity" and a "proper attitude". The same old, same old in mere human ideologies. Year Zero Closed Cult Thinking. Crucify everyone and everything and start building society all over from square one in some eternal spiritual Cambodia.

    Meanwhile, the Baha'is will once again completely miss every potential opportunity of the powerful innate energies of the unfolding of the World Age that would have come their way. Just unbelievable mind bending flat footed "group think" incompetence decade after decade amid every agony the human race has gone through. Blew World War I, World War II, Korea, Vietnam, the Gulf War, Iraq, and Afghanistan just to name the blood bath of my country. Blew the Great Depression. Blew the incredible energy of the 60's. And now they will blow the Panic of 2008. Just smoke the books deeply and exhale choking. Turn your heart and mind over to completely mentally ill people and wait to be put into a coffin as your contribution to the world. So much has been lost that it makes the stones weep.

    "How many the huris of inner meaning that are as yet concealed within the
    chambers of divine wisdom! None hath yet approached them…"

    (Baha'u'llah, The Kitab-i-Iqan, p. 70)

    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

    The people that aggrandized to themselves the right to write this drivel will go in the hour of their deaths to the innermost circles of Hell.

    So it goes.

  • farhan

    Craig quotes: “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”

    Farhan: There is an obvious difference between saying “here is how I understand the practical implications of this quote” and listening to and respecting how others react to the writings, and insisting that your own interpretation is the right one and others have got it all wrong. A study circle is designed for imparting a minimal requirement level of understanding and skills for teaching in a restricted time.

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

    Craig quotes: “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”

    Farhan: There is an obvious difference between saying “here is how I understand the practical implications of this quote” and listening to and respecting how others react to the writings, and insisting that your own interpretation is the right one and others have got it all wrong. A study circle is designed for imparting a minimal requirement level of understanding and skills for teaching in a restricted time.

  • Craig Parke

    Farhan,

    I never said or implied anything about someone insisting their opinion about anything is the only interpretation of the Writings is the right one and others have got it all wrong. I went to wonderful deepenings for decades in the Baha'i Faith and never once heard anyone insist their way was the right interpretation and others have it wrong. People put forth various insights from their own actual life journey and shared them. It was always very interesting. But that is not permitted or allowed now. people must parrot what they are top down instructed to say at all times.

    If anyone is guilty of putting forth that very attitude and mindset in the Baha'i Faith that their interpretation is the ONLY way to interpret the Writings it is the ideologues that wrote the Ruhi courses! They ARE saying with every insipid fill in the blank exercise that THEIR INTERPRETATION ISthe ONLY acceptable interpretation of the Writings of the Faith. Period. It is absolutely chilling and frightening. It is top down mind control by a very tiny clique of self appointed mentally ill ideologues that have hijacked the Faith. In the hour of their deaths these usurpers are surely going on an express train to the innermost circles of hell. They have completely destroyed the Baha'i Faith in a single lifetime. History will eventually record this in living color. The cameras are rolling 24/7/365/1000 in Internet time. The sorry record will be there for all to ponder in the coming centuries. Never put third rate hack secondary school teachers in charge of a religion. Never, ever allow this to happen. The result will always be catastrophe when they invent the State Teachers College burgher, fries, and diet coke McFaith reign of terror.

  • Craig Parke

    Farhan,

    I never said or implied anything about someone insisting their opinion about anything is the only interpretation of the Writings is the right one and others have got it all wrong. I went to wonderful deepenings for decades in the Baha'i Faith and never once heard anyone insist their way was the right interpretation and others have it wrong. People put forth various insights from their own actual life journey and shared them. It was always very interesting. But that is not permitted or allowed now. people must parrot what they are top down instructed to say at all times.

    If anyone is guilty of putting forth that very attitude and mindset in the Baha'i Faith that their interpretation is the ONLY way to interpret the Writings it is the ideologues that wrote the Ruhi courses! They ARE saying with every insipid fill in the blank exercise that THEIR INTERPRETATION ISthe ONLY acceptable interpretation of the Writings of the Faith. Period. It is absolutely chilling and frightening. It is top down mind control by a very tiny clique of self appointed mentally ill ideologues that have hijacked the Faith. In the hour of their deaths these usurpers are surely going on an express train to the innermost circles of hell. They have completely destroyed the Baha'i Faith in a single lifetime. History will eventually record this in living color. The cameras are rolling 24/7/365/1000 in Internet time. The sorry record will be there for all to ponder in the coming centuries. Never put third rate hack secondary school teachers in charge of a religion. Never, ever allow this to happen. The result will always be catastrophe when they invent the State Teachers College burgher, fries, and diet coke McFaith reign of terror.

  • Craig Parke

    Again, see my above post. Your point is something I have never witnessed in all my years in the Faith.

  • Craig Parke

    Again, see my above post. Your point is something I have never witnessed in all my years in the Faith.

  • farhan

    Craig wrote: If you do not immediately cease all individual thinking and embrace the Ruhi "Full Sequence of Courses"(snip) you will be written up by the AO spies for thought crimes against "the Plan"

    Craig, I am well aware of some fanatic power-seeking attitudes from a few Ruhi fans in some parts of the world, but certainly not from all Ruhi fans and not in all parts of the world as you wish to believe it.

    Craig, People, who want to do children’s classes, come and do book 3 to acquire skills they can put into practice in a near future. They do not wish to complete the 50 hour course in 200 hours, listening to someone rattling his own interpretations of the writings. A study circle is not the right place for elaborating interpretations and exegesis. Those who wish to do so can go to deepenings and Baha’i study sessions.

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

    Craig wrote: If you do not immediately cease all individual thinking and embrace the Ruhi "Full Sequence of Courses"(snip) you will be written up by the AO spies for thought crimes against "the Plan"

    Craig, I am well aware of some fanatic power-seeking attitudes from a few Ruhi fans in some parts of the world, but certainly not from all Ruhi fans and not in all parts of the world as you wish to believe it.

    Craig, People, who want to do children’s classes, come and do book 3 to acquire skills they can put into practice in a near future. They do not wish to complete the 50 hour course in 200 hours, listening to someone rattling his own interpretations of the writings. A study circle is not the right place for elaborating interpretations and exegesis. Those who wish to do so can go to deepenings and Baha’i study sessions.

  • farhan

    Craig wrote : I never said or implied anything about someone insisting their opinion about anything is the only interpretation of the Writings is the right one and others have got it all wrong.

    Dear Craig, I never implied that you implied anything like that; I was merely explaining some of the reasons why the Ruhi curriculum which has a very different purpose from deepenings, is so different from our traditional deepenings that contrary to the wishes of some outdated zealots, we must rightly remain attached to.

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

    Craig wrote : I never said or implied anything about someone insisting their opinion about anything is the only interpretation of the Writings is the right one and others have got it all wrong.

    Dear Craig, I never implied that you implied anything like that; I was merely explaining some of the reasons why the Ruhi curriculum which has a very different purpose from deepenings, is so different from our traditional deepenings that contrary to the wishes of some outdated zealots, we must rightly remain attached to.

  • farhan

    Craig, I have met such characters who want everyone abide by their own understanding and who monopolize sessions.

    BTW, Craig, saw a film with a very moving character by Al Pacino "The scent of a woman" and I hope you will not be offended, this retired Lt Colonel made me remember you.

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

    Craig, I have met such characters who want everyone abide by their own understanding and who monopolize sessions.

    BTW, Craig, saw a film with a very moving character by Al Pacino "The scent of a woman" and I hope you will not be offended, this retired Lt Colonel made me remember you.

  • Marcello

    "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."

    Holy smokes, is that for real? That's actually in a Ruhi book? It's freakin' creepy, dude! Pardon me while I run screaming in the opposite direction!

  • Marcello

    "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."

    Holy smokes, is that for real? That's actually in a Ruhi book? It's freakin' creepy, dude! Pardon me while I run screaming in the opposite direction!

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

    Yes, that is for real. Welcome to Ruhi.

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

    Yes, that is for real. Welcome to Ruhi.

  • Matt

    It is completely for real, Marcello. For about a year, some of my friends and myself were doing Ruhi the wrong way and it produced magnificent results. Our friendships became stronger, we felt like comrades, insights would just come out of no where from random lips, ideas and concepts that we would normally never think about would suddenly flow from our mouths. But we never said "this is the only true opinion." Not once. While doing Ruhi with a different crowd, the teacher noticed that I was participating differently than the rest of the class. The next week, before class started, the teacher read the section of "to the collaborators" in which that quote is present.

    "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."

    At that point, Ruhi became a really bad taste in my mouth.

  • Matt

    It is completely for real, Marcello. For about a year, some of my friends and myself were doing Ruhi the wrong way and it produced magnificent results. Our friendships became stronger, we felt like comrades, insights would just come out of no where from random lips, ideas and concepts that we would normally never think about would suddenly flow from our mouths. But we never said "this is the only true opinion." Not once. While doing Ruhi with a different crowd, the teacher noticed that I was participating differently than the rest of the class. The next week, before class started, the teacher read the section of "to the collaborators" in which that quote is present.

    "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."

    At that point, Ruhi became a really bad taste in my mouth.

  • Marcello

    Wow! I have to admit, I'm impressed by the nerve of these people. Even the communists at least pretended that you were allowed a certain amount of free will. Seems that the UHJ not only wants to obliterate your personality, but they're willing to say so, loudly and proudly. I suppose the UHJ deserves some credit for being so blatantly honest.

    But their vision for the Baha'i Faith — which, presumably, is their vision for the world — is downright inhuman. It's unity without diversity; peace without humanity; knowledge without perception.

    And it sounds like no damn fun to me. As an old socialist once said, "If I can’t dance, I do not want to be part of your revolution." Rosa Luxemburg probably would have been a lousy Baha'i!

  • Marcello

    Wow! I have to admit, I'm impressed by the nerve of these people. Even the communists at least pretended that you were allowed a certain amount of free will. Seems that the UHJ not only wants to obliterate your personality, but they're willing to say so, loudly and proudly. I suppose the UHJ deserves some credit for being so blatantly honest.

    But their vision for the Baha'i Faith — which, presumably, is their vision for the world — is downright inhuman. It's unity without diversity; peace without humanity; knowledge without perception.

    And it sounds like no damn fun to me. As an old socialist once said, "If I can’t dance, I do not want to be part of your revolution." Rosa Luxemburg probably would have been a lousy Baha'i!

  • Craig Parke

    Yep, Marcello. That is text right from Ruhi Book One. This is now Sacred Holy Scripture in the ABF (Apparatchik Baha'i Faith). Forget Krishna, Zoroaster, Buddha, Moses, Jesus, Mohammad, the Bab, Baha'u'llah, Abdu'l-Baha, and even Shoghi Effendi as at least some kind of referee. Forget the Renaissance, Forget the Magna Carta. Only remember Mein Kamph and the Communist Manifesto. The Dictatorship of theorist secondary school teachers as little Alfred Rosenbergs and little Leon Trotskys is now the new Baha'i Faith.

    As I have said here before, taking Ruhi Book One was one of the absolute worst experiences of my life. After the first session on a winter weekend, I had to drive a long distance to help my quite elderly Mother with something she had to do in her house. It was a long drive so I stopped to get something to eat at a fast food drive through. I felt light headed after six hours of Ruhi. As I ate my salad I read ahead in the book. After all these decades in the Faith in total dedication tears just streamed down my face. I just could not believe what these people had done. They had single handedly usurped the entire Baha'i Faith. They had taken away all individual thought and individual spiritual reflection on the path of life. They had taken it from every person on Earth. I was just astonished and I still am. That was five years ago. I went through with it over six weeks and finished Ruhi Book One. Got my little "diploma". The whole six weekends I was shaking but I told my private and innermost thoughts to no one. You cannot spoeak your private thoughts in the Baha'i faith of today. Spies and thought police are everywhere. You must be quite guarded in who you talk with or you will be reported to an ABM or AABM and called in for tribunal and investigation. It was like i was in a really badly written pod movie.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L-jzblCbsuA

    After 32 years in the Faith I once loved, it stopped me stone cold. That was it. I have never gone back to anything. I don't give money to the funds anymore. I absolutely will not support this utter crap. It is as simple as that. I know a person who once gave $40,000 to the Baha'i Faith in one year whose entire family has now left along with this person. It is the end of the road for many after decades of service.

    This completely man made drivel is the Sacred Holy Scripture of the Baha'i Faith now. This has replaced everything. This is not the religion I joined. The people that aggrandized to themselves the right to do this are despicable. The Tablet of the Holy Mariner is now clearly upon us. The UHJ and the ITC are God. Their will and their opinions rule and trump all and you best not ever mess with them. Period. There is now nothing that anyone can do but leave. And thousands have and thousands will both now and in the future because none of this is spiritual. It has no power. it will all utterly and completely fail. It will take the entire Baha'i Faith to financial catastrophe. As one person wrote in their resignation letter that was on the Internet a few years back "Ruhi is a hundred year mistake."

    Anyone who does not turn their soul and private thoughts completely over to the materials of the Comintern is the "enemy of God" in the current Administrative Order of the Baha'i Faith and people know it. They know when they are not wanted and have nothing to contribute that counts anymore. You must now go door to door and sell Ruhi like Amway soap to be a Baha'i. That is it. And any other viewpoints will get you sent to the re-education camps in the jungle in the continuous and now never ending "Year Zero." The Plan is God and anyone not of the Plan is Evil and must be terminated in the Faith.

    It has now all come to this because the worldwide electorate of the Baha'i Faith are now sociopaths and cowards themselves. The whole thing is so corrupting of the human soul that i can no longer be a part of any of it. these people can smoke their books. Not me. I do not worship idols.

    So, yes, the text is real and there is far more mind control. That is what it has all come to.

  • Craig Parke

    Yep, Marcello. That is text right from Ruhi Book One. This is now Sacred Holy Scripture in the ABF (Apparatchik Baha'i Faith). Forget Krishna, Zoroaster, Buddha, Moses, Jesus, Mohammad, the Bab, Baha'u'llah, Abdu'l-Baha, and even Shoghi Effendi as at least some kind of referee. Forget the Renaissance, Forget the Magna Carta. Only remember Mein Kamph and the Communist Manifesto. The Dictatorship of theorist secondary school teachers as little Alfred Rosenbergs and little Leon Trotskys is now the new Baha'i Faith.

    As I have said here before, taking Ruhi Book One was one of the absolute worst experiences of my life. After the first session on a winter weekend, I had to drive a long distance to help my quite elderly Mother with something she had to do in her house. It was a long drive so I stopped to get something to eat at a fast food drive through. I felt light headed after six hours of Ruhi. As I ate my salad I read ahead in the book. After all these decades in the Faith in total dedication tears just streamed down my face. I just could not believe what these people had done. They had single handedly usurped the entire Baha'i Faith. They had taken away all individual thought and individual spiritual reflection on the path of life. They had taken it from every person on Earth. I was just astonished and I still am. That was five years ago. I went through with it over six weeks and finished Ruhi Book One. Got my little "diploma". The whole six weekends I was shaking but I told my private and innermost thoughts to no one. You cannot spoeak your private thoughts in the Baha'i faith of today. Spies and thought police are everywhere. You must be quite guarded in who you talk with or you will be reported to an ABM or AABM and called in for tribunal and investigation. It was like i was in a really badly written pod movie.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L-jzblCbsuA

    After 32 years in the Faith I once loved, it stopped me stone cold. That was it. I have never gone back to anything. I don't give money to the funds anymore. I absolutely will not support this utter crap. It is as simple as that. I know a person who once gave $40,000 to the Baha'i Faith in one year whose entire family has now left along with this person. It is the end of the road for many after decades of service.

    This completely man made drivel is the Sacred Holy Scripture of the Baha'i Faith now. This has replaced everything. This is not the religion I joined. The people that aggrandized to themselves the right to do this are despicable. The Tablet of the Holy Mariner is now clearly upon us. The UHJ and the ITC are God. Their will and their opinions rule and trump all and you best not ever mess with them. Period. There is now nothing that anyone can do but leave. And thousands have and thousands will both now and in the future because none of this is spiritual. It has no power. it will all utterly and completely fail. It will take the entire Baha'i Faith to financial catastrophe. As one person wrote in their resignation letter that was on the Internet a few years back "Ruhi is a hundred year mistake."

    Anyone who does not turn their soul and private thoughts completely over to the materials of the Comintern is the "enemy of God" in the current Administrative Order of the Baha'i Faith and people know it. They know when they are not wanted and have nothing to contribute that counts anymore. You must now go door to door and sell Ruhi like Amway soap to be a Baha'i. That is it. And any other viewpoints will get you sent to the re-education camps in the jungle in the continuous and now never ending "Year Zero." The Plan is God and anyone not of the Plan is Evil and must be terminated in the Faith.

    It has now all come to this because the worldwide electorate of the Baha'i Faith are now sociopaths and cowards themselves. The whole thing is so corrupting of the human soul that i can no longer be a part of any of it. these people can smoke their books. Not me. I do not worship idols.

    So, yes, the text is real and there is far more mind control. That is what it has all come to.

  • Craig Parke

    "Craig, I have met such characters who want everyone abide by their own understanding and who monopolize sessions."

    That sounds to me more like Peter Khan, Glenford Mitchell, Douglas Martin and all the other theorist hack current members of the UHJ and ITC giving endless speeches to everyone on Earth on their endless breathtaking personal opinions and theories.

    The "Scent of a Woman" is a good film. I am glad you enjoyed it!

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dH4p9BQ3V9o

    Be sure you see as many films as you can before they are banned on Peter Khan's or anyone else's personal opinions at the top. A few years back in Toronto they had local study circles on Peter Khan's speeches as Holy Writ and some kind of New Revelation. It is indeed a strange iron fisted brain chemistry now going on in the once gentle and beautiful Baha'i Faith. Strange brew indeed. The entire Baha'i Faith can now be completely changed at any time for any reason based upon these people's personal opinions. they have now achieved that kind of individual personal power. What they think as their opinions and theories trumps all and no one has the right to ask why or wherefore. It is as simple as that. So start accumulating DVD's before the coming Ruhi book burning and DVD burning terror. These are very dangerous people and they are very, very formidable. Make no mistake about it. They play for keeps and they can change the Baha'i Faith at any time for any reason whatsoever with complete impunity. That is now their right as lifetime incumbents as the "Heads of the Faith." Period. End of discussion. No further comments allowed.

    I did like Al Pacino better in "The Devil's Advocate" though. They lifted the entire deep structure of the film completely right out of St. Matthew. I absolutely loved it.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tyEE0wSVUhQ

  • Craig Parke

    "Craig, I have met such characters who want everyone abide by their own understanding and who monopolize sessions."

    That sounds to me more like Peter Khan, Glenford Mitchell, Douglas Martin and all the other theorist hack current members of the UHJ and ITC giving endless speeches to everyone on Earth on their endless breathtaking personal opinions and theories.

    The "Scent of a Woman" is a good film. I am glad you enjoyed it!

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dH4p9BQ3V9o

    Be sure you see as many films as you can before they are banned on Peter Khan's or anyone else's personal opinions at the top. A few years back in Toronto they had local study circles on Peter Khan's speeches as Holy Writ and some kind of New Revelation. It is indeed a strange iron fisted brain chemistry now going on in the once gentle and beautiful Baha'i Faith. Strange brew indeed. The entire Baha'i Faith can now be completely changed at any time for any reason based upon these people's personal opinions. they have now achieved that kind of individual personal power. What they think as their opinions and theories trumps all and no one has the right to ask why or wherefore. It is as simple as that. So start accumulating DVD's before the coming Ruhi book burning and DVD burning terror. These are very dangerous people and they are very, very formidable. Make no mistake about it. They play for keeps and they can change the Baha'i Faith at any time for any reason whatsoever with complete impunity. That is now their right as lifetime incumbents as the "Heads of the Faith." Period. End of discussion. No further comments allowed.

    I did like Al Pacino better in "The Devil's Advocate" though. They lifted the entire deep structure of the film completely right out of St. Matthew. I absolutely loved it.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tyEE0wSVUhQ

  • Matt

    How come I can't see Marcello's comment, "Wow! I have to admit, I'm impressed by the nerve of these people. Even the…" on this page? I only see it on the "Recent Comments" section and it doesn't show up when I click on it….

  • Matt

    How come I can't see Marcello's comment, "Wow! I have to admit, I'm impressed by the nerve of these people. Even the…" on this page? I only see it on the "Recent Comments" section and it doesn't show up when I click on it….

  • Matt

    Craig,

    What do you think of groups like Blue Scholars? They are a hip-hop duo from Seattle (and a fine one I might add), and apparently are Baha'is. The ideas espoused in their lyrics are of the opposite nature of what many of the "higher ups" in the Baha'i leadership teach. They have a song on their "Bayani" album that opposes the 'war' in Iraq. There is also a track about the 1999 protests against the World Bank in Seattle, in which they call the event an uprising instead of a "riot", and that the "pigs" started the trouble instead of the claimed anarchists. One of the other lines says, "refrigerators bare because they wanted to see trade free and not fair".

    Most Baha'is I have been in contact with align themselves with 'conservative' politics even if they don't explicitly state it with their words. And that seems to align itself with the leadership itself, because despite its claim of non-involvement in politics it does seem to favor right-wing or center-right politics more so than left-wing or center-left politics. I'm not a sociologist, but that's what this simple mind is picking up. This group, however, although they don't say "we are leftists", "we are marxists", etc, seem to be totally opposed to Group Think, etc. They sound like free Baha'is. People whose religion just happens to be Baha'i, and their music kicks ass. I just wonder how long it will be before some people who don't like their message take notice.

    This is the song about the 1999 protests against the World Bank in Seattle. It's one of my favorites.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SYCXbJdMWCo

  • Matt

    Craig,

    What do you think of groups like Blue Scholars? They are a hip-hop duo from Seattle (and a fine one I might add), and apparently are Baha'is. The ideas espoused in their lyrics are of the opposite nature of what many of the "higher ups" in the Baha'i leadership teach. They have a song on their "Bayani" album that opposes the 'war' in Iraq. There is also a track about the 1999 protests against the World Bank in Seattle, in which they call the event an uprising instead of a "riot", and that the "pigs" started the trouble instead of the claimed anarchists. One of the other lines says, "refrigerators bare because they wanted to see trade free and not fair".

    Most Baha'is I have been in contact with align themselves with 'conservative' politics even if they don't explicitly state it with their words. And that seems to align itself with the leadership itself, because despite its claim of non-involvement in politics it does seem to favor right-wing or center-right politics more so than left-wing or center-left politics. I'm not a sociologist, but that's what this simple mind is picking up. This group, however, although they don't say "we are leftists", "we are marxists", etc, seem to be totally opposed to Group Think, etc. They sound like free Baha'is. People whose religion just happens to be Baha'i, and their music kicks ass. I just wonder how long it will be before some people who don't like their message take notice.

    This is the song about the 1999 protests against the World Bank in Seattle. It's one of my favorites.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SYCXbJdMWCo

  • farhan

    Marcello quoted : “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 wrote: Holy smokes, is that for real? That's actually in a Ruhi book? It's freakin' creepy, dude! Pardon me while I run screaming in the opposite direction!

    Marcello, please tell us why asking people to prefer applying the writings in their lives, instead of arguing with others about the personal interpretations frightens you. It is my personal experience that people are united when they act and divided when they argue about personal interpretations.

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

    Marcello quoted : “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 wrote: Holy smokes, is that for real? That's actually in a Ruhi book? It's freakin' creepy, dude! Pardon me while I run screaming in the opposite direction!

    Marcello, please tell us why asking people to prefer applying the writings in their lives, instead of arguing with others about the personal interpretations frightens you. It is my personal experience that people are united when they act and divided when they argue about personal interpretations.

  • farhan

    Baquia wrote: Welcome to Ruhi.

    Baquia, why welcome someone into an activity that he has not chosen? Why not encourage him into an activity he enjoys? Why invite somone who does not enjoy carrots to a carrot meal? Why not keep carrots for those who enjoy them? Why criticize those who enjoy carrots and say it is a lie that carrots are good for health? Why try to force EVERYONE into pioneering, or say those who go pioneering are mad? Some want to become tutors and make efforts for that by doing the Ruhi sequence; why criticize them?

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

    Baquia wrote: Welcome to Ruhi.

    Baquia, why welcome someone into an activity that he has not chosen? Why not encourage him into an activity he enjoys? Why invite somone who does not enjoy carrots to a carrot meal? Why not keep carrots for those who enjoy them? Why criticize those who enjoy carrots and say it is a lie that carrots are good for health? Why try to force EVERYONE into pioneering, or say those who go pioneering are mad? Some want to become tutors and make efforts for that by doing the Ruhi sequence; why criticize them?

  • Marcello

    Diversity is the spice of life, farhan! We should appreciate the opportunity to hear opinions that are different from our own. God created diversity for a reason. It could very well be that THEY have it right and WE have it wrong. And if we don't see it that way, we can always agree to disagree. There is nothing to lose and much to gain.

    But the UHJ has it backwards: by stifling diversity there is much to lose and nothing to gain! What an utterly boring world they seem to envision. Everyday we'd faced with people who think like us, talk like us, act like us, and agree with everything we say because it's been vetted by some central authority. Might as well not even get out of bed if that's all there is to live for.

    Don't forget: HARMONY REQUIRES MORE THAN ONE NOTE! Musical harmony is the result of tension between musical notes. Visual harmony comes from tension between colors and shapes and textures. See what I mean? Tension can create beauty.

    Shall we judge the UHJ by the fruits of it's labors? Sure! The UHJ has given us a sack of potatoes. Not to demean potatoes, mind you. But I prefer the outrageous variety of colors and flavors that you can find in an uncontrolled garden. Now that's something worth getting out of bed for!

  • Marcello

    Diversity is the spice of life, farhan! We should appreciate the opportunity to hear opinions that are different from our own. God created diversity for a reason. It could very well be that THEY have it right and WE have it wrong. And if we don't see it that way, we can always agree to disagree. There is nothing to lose and much to gain.

    But the UHJ has it backwards: by stifling diversity there is much to lose and nothing to gain! What an utterly boring world they seem to envision. Everyday we'd faced with people who think like us, talk like us, act like us, and agree with everything we say because it's been vetted by some central authority. Might as well not even get out of bed if that's all there is to live for.

    Don't forget: HARMONY REQUIRES MORE THAN ONE NOTE! Musical harmony is the result of tension between musical notes. Visual harmony comes from tension between colors and shapes and textures. See what I mean? Tension can create beauty.

    Shall we judge the UHJ by the fruits of it's labors? Sure! The UHJ has given us a sack of potatoes. Not to demean potatoes, mind you. But I prefer the outrageous variety of colors and flavors that you can find in an uncontrolled garden. Now that's something worth getting out of bed for!

  • Craig Parke

    Yep. That sentence was when I left the Baha'i Faith in total fury five years ago after 32 years of dedication and have never looked back. It just stone cold stopped my soul. I will never support this crap. As I said, the human beings that aggrandized to themselves the right to write that sentence are on the highway to hell at 100 mph before the Powers of the World Age in the Powers of the Deep Cosmos. They stand before the fires of many nuclear Cosmic Suns as usurpers of the Word of God. Here we go again. Dip s**t clergy as ever. The same old, same old.

    Can you imagine when Dr. Arbab crosses over at death and meets his Father somewhere down stream on the nethermost regions of the River Styx and his Father meets him and says "Son, why Oh why did you name this utter s**t "Ruhi" after me! I am now completely accursed in the entire known Universe. Iranians and their supposed massively uncreative mindset are getting bad press in every Galaxy now! Brillo pad pubic hair too. You propagated a massive stereotype! It is the lemon meringue pie catapult for you! Right then a 100 ton Cosmic lemon meringue pie falls on his idiot mentally impaired son who personally destroyed 7,000 years of human spiritual evolution with his insane usurper little red books new religion.

    I swear if I ever met Dr. Arbab or Paul Lample in person, it would take everything I had NOT to physically assault them both with my bare hands! How about THAT for Baha'i love! I would love to knock their teeth down their throats in living color! I played Division I football and was quite unfortunately trained in the lethal use of force in the Armed Forces of the United States. Maybe all that training would suddenly kick back in as I knock their Cosmically destructive self deluded heads together. Me and both of them one after the other in the Oklahoma drill one on one. The ball carrier leaving cleat marks on both of them flat on their backs. Their idiot indoctrinated wives too in the Oklahoma drill in full pads. So that is why I am walking away from the Baha'i Faith and that kind of stress. It is not worth one second of anyone's life dealing with these incredible completely dysfunctional people and what they have done in creating this terrible, terrible mindlessly spiritually destructive thing.

    So, yep. It is true. That sentence is for real. That is the new top down mind control new Comintern Faith. Both Hitler and Stalin would have heartily approved. These people are the authors of a New Revelation and their big red books are the new Sacred Scripture of the Baha'i Faith. They run the Baha'i Faith now which they can change at any time for any reason with any whim they have and no one has the right to ask why or wherefore. The new Baha'i Faith is their own personal Satrap run from thgeir own personal Mt. Olympus. They are the new theorist class. They rule. It is their right as lifetime incumbents. Period. And everyone must take their orders from them.

    But not me. I'm out of it now after 32 years. And I will never go back. Never. I am back to my Buddhist-Sufi studies roots, rock and roll, movement politics, screenwriting, and doing things for other people that are truly meaningful of themselves and not predatory.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2-xQoNDFwlE

    I know Garth Hudson and Rick Danko have passed on. Does anyone know what Levon Helm is doing these days?

  • Craig Parke

    Yep. That sentence was when I left the Baha'i Faith in total fury five years ago after 32 years of dedication and have never looked back. It just stone cold stopped my soul. I will never support this crap. As I said, the human beings that aggrandized to themselves the right to write that sentence are on the highway to hell at 100 mph before the Powers of the World Age in the Powers of the Deep Cosmos. They stand before the fires of many nuclear Cosmic Suns as usurpers of the Word of God. Here we go again. Dip s**t clergy as ever. The same old, same old.

    Can you imagine when Dr. Arbab crosses over at death and meets his Father somewhere down stream on the nethermost regions of the River Styx and his Father meets him and says "Son, why Oh why did you name this utter s**t "Ruhi" after me! I am now completely accursed in the entire known Universe. Iranians and their supposed massively uncreative mindset are getting bad press in every Galaxy now! Brillo pad pubic hair too. You propagated a massive stereotype! It is the lemon meringue pie catapult for you! Right then a 100 ton Cosmic lemon meringue pie falls on his idiot mentally impaired son who personally destroyed 7,000 years of human spiritual evolution with his insane usurper little red books new religion.

    I swear if I ever met Dr. Arbab or Paul Lample in person, it would take everything I had NOT to physically assault them both with my bare hands! How about THAT for Baha'i love! I would love to knock their teeth down their throats in living color! I played Division I football and was quite unfortunately trained in the lethal use of force in the Armed Forces of the United States. Maybe all that training would suddenly kick back in as I knock their Cosmically destructive self deluded heads together. Me and both of them one after the other in the Oklahoma drill one on one. The ball carrier leaving cleat marks on both of them flat on their backs. Their idiot indoctrinated wives too in the Oklahoma drill in full pads. So that is why I am walking away from the Baha'i Faith and that kind of stress. It is not worth one second of anyone's life dealing with these incredible completely dysfunctional people and what they have done in creating this terrible, terrible mindlessly spiritually destructive thing.

    So, yep. It is true. That sentence is for real. That is the new top down mind control new Comintern Faith. Both Hitler and Stalin would have heartily approved. These people are the authors of a New Revelation and their big red books are the new Sacred Scripture of the Baha'i Faith. They run the Baha'i Faith now which they can change at any time for any reason with any whim they have and no one has the right to ask why or wherefore. The new Baha'i Faith is their own personal Satrap run from thgeir own personal Mt. Olympus. They are the new theorist class. They rule. It is their right as lifetime incumbents. Period. And everyone must take their orders from them.

    But not me. I'm out of it now after 32 years. And I will never go back. Never. I am back to my Buddhist-Sufi studies roots, rock and roll, movement politics, screenwriting, and doing things for other people that are truly meaningful of themselves and not predatory.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2-xQoNDFwlE

    I know Garth Hudson and Rick Danko have passed on. Does anyone know what Levon Helm is doing these days?

  • farhan

    Matt wrote: At that point, Ruhi became a really bad taste in my mouth.

    Matt, Ruhi is for those who wish to become tutors. The UHJ asked for a significant number of tutors, just like they asked for a significant number of pioneers. Pioneering is not an easy job for many of us. Unfortunately some zealots interpreted this as meaning that those who did not do Ruhi were unfit as Baha’is. This is behind us now. Ruhi is also an asset for those who wish to organize core activities such as devotionals, children’s classes, etc, although acts of service are not reserved to those having done the Ruhi books. We have so many other activities available for those who do not like Ruhi. Our tastes differ; why criticize those who enjoy different activities than you do?

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

    Matt wrote: At that point, Ruhi became a really bad taste in my mouth.

    Matt, Ruhi is for those who wish to become tutors. The UHJ asked for a significant number of tutors, just like they asked for a significant number of pioneers. Pioneering is not an easy job for many of us. Unfortunately some zealots interpreted this as meaning that those who did not do Ruhi were unfit as Baha’is. This is behind us now. Ruhi is also an asset for those who wish to organize core activities such as devotionals, children’s classes, etc, although acts of service are not reserved to those having done the Ruhi books. We have so many other activities available for those who do not like Ruhi. Our tastes differ; why criticize those who enjoy different activities than you do?

  • Marcello

    As a musician, I can tell you that "personal interpretation" starts from day one. That's something that should never be discouraged. So we're just going to have to agree to disagree. But like I said, that's the spice of life!

  • Marcello

    As a musician, I can tell you that "personal interpretation" starts from day one. That's something that should never be discouraged. So we're just going to have to agree to disagree. But like I said, that's the spice of life!

  • farhan

    Marcello, no one said that personal interpretations should stop; what we are saying is that for those who wish to advance, musical theory should also be available and that those who are not interested in musical theory should not criticize those who are. The point in the quote is to say that when we wish to work together with others, instead of squabbling about personal interpretations, we should get down to practical work.

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

    Marcello, no one said that personal interpretations should stop; what we are saying is that for those who wish to advance, musical theory should also be available and that those who are not interested in musical theory should not criticize those who are. The point in the quote is to say that when we wish to work together with others, instead of squabbling about personal interpretations, we should get down to practical work.

  • Matt

    Farhan,

    I'm not criticizing those who enjoy different activities than I do. I am an reasonably open minded person. That is why I gave Ruhi a chance for a while. I didn't want to reject it without first trying it. As I wrote earlier, I did Ruhi the wrong way for about a year and the results were staggering. But when I started doing Ruhi the right way, I felt like half a human being. That was my experience, and it was very real. I understand that the UHJ does not require all Baha'is to take the Ruhi courses, and that is good.

    But Ruhi has a way of making some Baha'is feel that their communities can do no wrong. That if people don't become Baha'is, it's not the community's fault, it's that people aren't 'receptive'. When you begin to think like that, you can spend 100 years doing the same thing and getting the same negative results, and always blaming the circumstances instead of what is going on internally.

    The fact of the matter, Farhan, is that communities are using Ruhi as a teaching tool to seekers. My first Ruhi experience, actually, was nearly two years before the wonderful year of doing it the wrong way. I was a brand new seeker at the time, and I was invited to take Ruhi Book 1 to learn about the Baha'i Faith. Fortunately, I had already read the Kitabi Iqan and a few other books to know nuance when I saw it.

    Happy Ridvan

  • Matt

    Farhan,

    I'm not criticizing those who enjoy different activities than I do. I am an reasonably open minded person. That is why I gave Ruhi a chance for a while. I didn't want to reject it without first trying it. As I wrote earlier, I did Ruhi the wrong way for about a year and the results were staggering. But when I started doing Ruhi the right way, I felt like half a human being. That was my experience, and it was very real. I understand that the UHJ does not require all Baha'is to take the Ruhi courses, and that is good.

    But Ruhi has a way of making some Baha'is feel that their communities can do no wrong. That if people don't become Baha'is, it's not the community's fault, it's that people aren't 'receptive'. When you begin to think like that, you can spend 100 years doing the same thing and getting the same negative results, and always blaming the circumstances instead of what is going on internally.

    The fact of the matter, Farhan, is that communities are using Ruhi as a teaching tool to seekers. My first Ruhi experience, actually, was nearly two years before the wonderful year of doing it the wrong way. I was a brand new seeker at the time, and I was invited to take Ruhi Book 1 to learn about the Baha'i Faith. Fortunately, I had already read the Kitabi Iqan and a few other books to know nuance when I saw it.

    Happy Ridvan

  • farhan

    Marcello wrote: But the UHJ has it backwards: by stifling diversity there is much to lose and nothing to gain!
    Marcello, in what way is the UHJ « stifling diversity » when they encourage more educated Baha’is to acquire skills that will allow them to interact with less educated Baha’is, helping them help free themselves from gurus, allowing all those who wish to do so, acquire the capacity to organise children’s and junior youth classes, devotionals, visit people who need visits, inviting neighbours to attend these activities, and at the same time asking Baha’is who do not wish to participate, carry on what they were already doing unabated?

    Marcello, ANY school curiculum has to be uniform before students get the first basic concepts an go ahead to creative work. We cant advance in music or maths before we first go through uninformed basic learning.

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

    Marcello wrote: But the UHJ has it backwards: by stifling diversity there is much to lose and nothing to gain!
    Marcello, in what way is the UHJ « stifling diversity » when they encourage more educated Baha’is to acquire skills that will allow them to interact with less educated Baha’is, helping them help free themselves from gurus, allowing all those who wish to do so, acquire the capacity to organise children’s and junior youth classes, devotionals, visit people who need visits, inviting neighbours to attend these activities, and at the same time asking Baha’is who do not wish to participate, carry on what they were already doing unabated?

    Marcello, ANY school curiculum has to be uniform before students get the first basic concepts an go ahead to creative work. We cant advance in music or maths before we first go through uninformed basic learning.

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

    Those are good questions Farhan, you should direct them to the ITC and the UHJ for they are the ones pushing all Baha’is to do Ruhi.

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

    Those are good questions Farhan, you should direct them to the ITC and the UHJ for they are the ones pushing all Baha’is to do Ruhi.

  • Craig Parke

    Farhan,

    Why can't you see that the people who wrote the Ruhi system HAVE set THEMSELVES up as GURUS?!!!

    Or in dynamic Ruhi speak:

    Why ____ ___ ___ that ___ ____ ___ ____ ___ ___ ____ ____ ___ ______ ___ __ GURUS?

    As you say, no one has that right in this World Age!!! NO ONE!!! There is to be NO CLERGY. THAT is what Baha'u'llah taught. The people that wrote these straight jacket courses that MUST now be top down used by all the Baha'is worldwide in their communities OR ELSE have set themselves up in the role of clergy. Each community can write their own materials as that see fit in their own culture. Not materials developed by hack secondary school teachers who have made themselves God because they are "professional educators". It is utter baloney.

    In any deepening I went to in 32 years I never once heard anyone argue about various interpretations of any thought in the Writings EVER! People would only dispute one thing and that would be someone saying there is only one valid interpretation! THIS is precisely subconsciously what the Ruhi authors are saying. They are in effect saying that THEIR fill in the blanks interpretation is the ONLY orthodox authorized interpretation. And the Baha'is must now go door to door to recruit new converts who will come into the Faith and parrot these top down authorized orthodox teachings. We are now back to the Council of Nicea. The same old, same old. But in this World Age it will all fail because that mindset is no longer of the Divine Holy Spirit.

    These people have essentially destroyed the Baha'i Faith worldwide. The entire universe is now going to fall on them. Global communities of free thought and inquiry are now going to leave the Baha'is in the dust. Baha'u'llah Himself in His time would be thrown out of His own religion now for being a radical free thinker! Jesus too. It is just unbelievable what these godless usurpers did. it will all fail and it will fail miserably. It will fail everywhere in the entire world. It is an insult to the intelligence of every human being on Earth both educated and uneducated. An absolute insult of top down mind control against the free human Spirit. The Baha'i Faith is going to go financially bankrupt because of this hundred year mistake. It is going to happen because they have bet the entire Baha'i Faith on something that is not of the Spirit of the New World Age. It will be an utter catastrophe. The people that did this are idiots and the course of events will prove it in living color for the Ages to behold.

  • Craig Parke

    Farhan,

    Why can't you see that the people who wrote the Ruhi system HAVE set THEMSELVES up as GURUS?!!!

    Or in dynamic Ruhi speak:

    Why ____ ___ ___ that ___ ____ ___ ____ ___ ___ ____ ____ ___ ______ ___ __ GURUS?

    As you say, no one has that right in this World Age!!! NO ONE!!! There is to be NO CLERGY. THAT is what Baha'u'llah taught. The people that wrote these straight jacket courses that MUST now be top down used by all the Baha'is worldwide in their communities OR ELSE have set themselves up in the role of clergy. Each community can write their own materials as that see fit in their own culture. Not materials developed by hack secondary school teachers who have made themselves God because they are "professional educators". It is utter baloney.

    In any deepening I went to in 32 years I never once heard anyone argue about various interpretations of any thought in the Writings EVER! People would only dispute one thing and that would be someone saying there is only one valid interpretation! THIS is precisely subconsciously what the Ruhi authors are saying. They are in effect saying that THEIR fill in the blanks interpretation is the ONLY orthodox authorized interpretation. And the Baha'is must now go door to door to recruit new converts who will come into the Faith and parrot these top down authorized orthodox teachings. We are now back to the Council of Nicea. The same old, same old. But in this World Age it will all fail because that mindset is no longer of the Divine Holy Spirit.

    These people have essentially destroyed the Baha'i Faith worldwide. The entire universe is now going to fall on them. Global communities of free thought and inquiry are now going to leave the Baha'is in the dust. Baha'u'llah Himself in His time would be thrown out of His own religion now for being a radical free thinker! Jesus too. It is just unbelievable what these godless usurpers did. it will all fail and it will fail miserably. It will fail everywhere in the entire world. It is an insult to the intelligence of every human being on Earth both educated and uneducated. An absolute insult of top down mind control against the free human Spirit. The Baha'i Faith is going to go financially bankrupt because of this hundred year mistake. It is going to happen because they have bet the entire Baha'i Faith on something that is not of the Spirit of the New World Age. It will be an utter catastrophe. The people that did this are idiots and the course of events will prove it in living color for the Ages to behold.

  • Craig Parke

    Thanks for the link, Matt. I had not heard of them. I am listening to more of what is listed on YouTube. I am afraid you are right. They will indeed probably eventually be thrown out of the Baha'i Faith for thought crimes. But they will be in very good company so they should just pay it no mind when they are thrown out by First Class Mail. But I have been told that the Institutions have actually moved up to Registered Return Receipt Mail now. That is indeed an improvement in excommunication methods. Much more professional and business like and that is always good in any organization.

  • Craig Parke

    Thanks for the link, Matt. I had not heard of them. I am listening to more of what is listed on YouTube. I am afraid you are right. They will indeed probably eventually be thrown out of the Baha'i Faith for thought crimes. But they will be in very good company so they should just pay it no mind when they are thrown out by First Class Mail. But I have been told that the Institutions have actually moved up to Registered Return Receipt Mail now. That is indeed an improvement in excommunication methods. Much more professional and business like and that is always good in any organization.

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

    I wholeheartily support your efforts to investigate the truth, but I wonder if it might be done in a more gentle tone.

    Consort with all men, O people of Bahá, in a spirit of friendliness and fellowship. If ye be aware of a certain truth, if ye possess a jewel, of which others are deprived, share it with them in a language of utmost kindliness and good-will. If it be accepted, if it fulfil its purpose, your object is attained. If any one should refuse it, leave him unto himself, and beseech God to guide him. Beware lest ye deal unkindly with him. A kindly tongue is the lodestone of the hearts of men. It is the bread of the spirit, it clotheth the words with meaning, it is the fountain of the light of wisdom and understanding….

    ([Bahá’í] Gleanings from the Writings of Bahá’u’lláh, CXXXII:5)

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

    I wholeheartily support your efforts to investigate the truth, but I wonder if it might be done in a more gentle tone.

    Consort with all men, O people of Bahá, in a spirit of friendliness and fellowship. If ye be aware of a certain truth, if ye possess a jewel, of which others are deprived, share it with them in a language of utmost kindliness and good-will. If it be accepted, if it fulfil its purpose, your object is attained. If any one should refuse it, leave him unto himself, and beseech God to guide him. Beware lest ye deal unkindly with him. A kindly tongue is the lodestone of the hearts of men. It is the bread of the spirit, it clotheth the words with meaning, it is the fountain of the light of wisdom and understanding….

    ([Bahá’í] Gleanings from the Writings of Bahá’u’lláh, CXXXII:5)

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

    I've only read a few, but so far, I really appreciate your comments and perspectives.

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

    I've only read a few, but so far, I really appreciate your comments and perspectives.

  • farhan

    Matt wrote: “But when I started doing Ruhi the right way, I felt like half a human being. That was my experience, and it was very real.”
    Matt, I am fully aware of appalling behaviour from some tutors trying to do “Ruhi correctly” and were in fact obvious cases of power abuse; they were reported to their NSA and calmed down very fast in circa 2004. These mistakes do not discredit the curriculum but the inexperienced volunteers who can learn from their mistakes of which they would not have been aware had they not become tutors. The UHJ has repeatedly asked for love and flexibility and the UHJ letter dated 28 December 2008 which I have in French insists on this again. The need for a standardised curriculum easily replicated by any volunteer does in no way exclude exegesis and reflection on more complex issues.
    But freedom of speech does not mean that we can send well-meaning volunteers to some part of the world and allow them to teach their own understanding of the Baha’i teachings. The fact that we teach musical theory does not exclude improvisation, but we now need more experienced teachers in addition to what each and every Baha’i can do. The very mistakes we have witnessed show to what extent some kind of a teacher training course was necessary. Christian clergy undergo years of training before they are unleashed amongst the unwary believers.

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

    Matt wrote: “But when I started doing Ruhi the right way, I felt like half a human being. That was my experience, and it was very real.”
    Matt, I am fully aware of appalling behaviour from some tutors trying to do “Ruhi correctly” and were in fact obvious cases of power abuse; they were reported to their NSA and calmed down very fast in circa 2004. These mistakes do not discredit the curriculum but the inexperienced volunteers who can learn from their mistakes of which they would not have been aware had they not become tutors. The UHJ has repeatedly asked for love and flexibility and the UHJ letter dated 28 December 2008 which I have in French insists on this again. The need for a standardised curriculum easily replicated by any volunteer does in no way exclude exegesis and reflection on more complex issues.
    But freedom of speech does not mean that we can send well-meaning volunteers to some part of the world and allow them to teach their own understanding of the Baha’i teachings. The fact that we teach musical theory does not exclude improvisation, but we now need more experienced teachers in addition to what each and every Baha’i can do. The very mistakes we have witnessed show to what extent some kind of a teacher training course was necessary. Christian clergy undergo years of training before they are unleashed amongst the unwary believers.

  • farhan

    Craig wrote: These people have essentially destroyed the Baha'i Faith worldwide

    Seriously Craig, do you believe that God's plan could be foiled, or are you saying it was not God's plan after all?

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

    Craig wrote: These people have essentially destroyed the Baha'i Faith worldwide

    Seriously Craig, do you believe that God's plan could be foiled, or are you saying it was not God's plan after all?

  • farhan

    Thanks Wolfgang; it helps not to feel too isolated

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

    Thanks Wolfgang; it helps not to feel too isolated

  • Grover

    Lol Farhan, it has always been man's plan – aka the UHJ, Baha'u'llah, whoever. God, if God exists, probably could not care less. Also, if you think any religion is immune to being corrupted by whoever is in it, think again. Its just like various fundamentalist christians thinking that the Bible is free from error just because God wouldn't let it happen. Yeah right! It is the height of egotism to think you are carrying out God's plan. Very close I'd say to the Muslim sin of making partners with God.

  • Grover

    Lol Farhan, it has always been man's plan – aka the UHJ, Baha'u'llah, whoever. God, if God exists, probably could not care less. Also, if you think any religion is immune to being corrupted by whoever is in it, think again. Its just like various fundamentalist christians thinking that the Bible is free from error just because God wouldn't let it happen. Yeah right! It is the height of egotism to think you are carrying out God's plan. Very close I'd say to the Muslim sin of making partners with God.

  • http://www.bahairants.com Baquia

    Farhan, when asked for results after 40 years of Ruhi you answer: “The results were abundant 50 years ago; as they are now, undeniable to any unbiased observer”

    You have said that you are a medical doctor so I’m assuming that you are familiar with the scientific process and critical thinking. So either you are choosing to be ignorant or you can’t help it. Either way, it is pretty sad.

  • http://www.bahairants.com Baquia

    Farhan, when asked for results after 40 years of Ruhi you answer: “The results were abundant 50 years ago; as they are now, undeniable to any unbiased observer”

    You have said that you are a medical doctor so I’m assuming that you are familiar with the scientific process and critical thinking. So either you are choosing to be ignorant or you can’t help it. Either way, it is pretty sad.

  • Craig Parke

    It appears that the UHJ really IS infallible in that apparently God's Plan is to completely destroy the Baha'i Faith everywhere on Earth and they are carrying it out brilliantly with great and tremendous skill. They are the genius Keystone Cops of World Religions now. It actually is rather artistic. They are really, really good at this. It is truly majestic in scope.

    One cannot say that the concept in itself of the top down Comintern Faith is original (the Communists in various attempts did invent more effective forms for actually killing people) but the AO has certainly added some new twists. But Mao did have his little red books first but I don't think they had endlessly repeating Study Circles to go with them over and over? Does anyone know?

    I have also been informed by a scholar that the Persian word for "infallible" does not imply success of any kind in an "infallible decision".

    Infallible is a psychological construct of Shia Islam. It is a kind of Pee Wee Herman concept of total adolescent Pyrrhic victory. It does not imply being successful in any decision in any Western way of thinking. You are still naked and destitute. Your religion goes completely bankrupt and all it's property is taken over by the State of Israel as people flee it in droves hounded by the thought police. But it is still "infallible" in it's ruin. To me the concept seems useless then. What is the point then? Infallibility does not ever imply any kind of success in any way. It is just a kind of beauty pageant sash in the depth psychology of Shia Islam over the long centuries.

    But I will fully acknowledge that so far the UHJ actually does seem to be breaking the mold in their infallibility to actually match up with success. They are successfully batting 1000 in the total destruction of the Faith on Earth. I do give them credit on that. It really is breathtaking.

    Except for a few momentary years in the 1960's and 1970's in many places in the world, you have an astonishing record of continuous uninterrupted failure and shooting themselves in the foot with near mathematical precision. It is really an amazingly consistent record of mind bending dysfunctional thinking.

    So far they realy have been infallible in the execution of God or God(ess)'s apparent Divine Plan.

    I think the true Divine Plan in this new World Age is the final disgrace of all the blood thirsty Abrahamic religions and all the hapless dysfunctional mindsets of the people's and ancient cultures of the Middle East who have fought over "religion" for millenniums. The Baha'i Faith was a great idea. That is why I joined it and served it for almost 40 years. The world does indeed need a Universal spiritual path with the great danger of the invention of nuclear weapons. This was certainly one of my main motivations. But the Faith was executed so incredibly poorly and so haplessly because of lifetime incumbency in the electoral process, the solution is going to come from some other source. It will not be the Baha'i Faith "organization" in any meaningful way. But the free and open wide ranging ideas of the World Age will indeed flower and go on to other peoples and other movements. I have great hope in the power of the Internet and the technology of mass planetary intimate communication. But the Baha'is will never be players in any of it now. Communism failed and the Baha'i Faith as a system of spiritual communism will fail for the same reasons. No innovation and free thought is permitted in the new top down concrete codified ideology. It is now all going to fail miserably and the Faith face financial ruin in the stresses of these times. Too much time has been lost to ever recover now. The Ruhification of the Faith will be completely and utterly fatal.

  • Craig Parke

    It appears that the UHJ really IS infallible in that apparently God's Plan is to completely destroy the Baha'i Faith everywhere on Earth and they are carrying it out brilliantly with great and tremendous skill. They are the genius Keystone Cops of World Religions now. It actually is rather artistic. They are really, really good at this. It is truly majestic in scope.

    One cannot say that the concept in itself of the top down Comintern Faith is original (the Communists in various attempts did invent more effective forms for actually killing people) but the AO has certainly added some new twists. But Mao did have his little red books first but I don't think they had endlessly repeating Study Circles to go with them over and over? Does anyone know?

    I have also been informed by a scholar that the Persian word for "infallible" does not imply success of any kind in an "infallible decision".

    Infallible is a psychological construct of Shia Islam. It is a kind of Pee Wee Herman concept of total adolescent Pyrrhic victory. It does not imply being successful in any decision in any Western way of thinking. You are still naked and destitute. Your religion goes completely bankrupt and all it's property is taken over by the State of Israel as people flee it in droves hounded by the thought police. But it is still "infallible" in it's ruin. To me the concept seems useless then. What is the point then? Infallibility does not ever imply any kind of success in any way. It is just a kind of beauty pageant sash in the depth psychology of Shia Islam over the long centuries.

    But I will fully acknowledge that so far the UHJ actually does seem to be breaking the mold in their infallibility to actually match up with success. They are successfully batting 1000 in the total destruction of the Faith on Earth. I do give them credit on that. It really is breathtaking.

    Except for a few momentary years in the 1960's and 1970's in many places in the world, you have an astonishing record of continuous uninterrupted failure and shooting themselves in the foot with near mathematical precision. It is really an amazingly consistent record of mind bending dysfunctional thinking.

    So far they realy have been infallible in the execution of God or God(ess)'s apparent Divine Plan.

    I think the true Divine Plan in this new World Age is the final disgrace of all the blood thirsty Abrahamic religions and all the hapless dysfunctional mindsets of the people's and ancient cultures of the Middle East who have fought over "religion" for millenniums. The Baha'i Faith was a great idea. That is why I joined it and served it for almost 40 years. The world does indeed need a Universal spiritual path with the great danger of the invention of nuclear weapons. This was certainly one of my main motivations. But the Faith was executed so incredibly poorly and so haplessly because of lifetime incumbency in the electoral process, the solution is going to come from some other source. It will not be the Baha'i Faith "organization" in any meaningful way. But the free and open wide ranging ideas of the World Age will indeed flower and go on to other peoples and other movements. I have great hope in the power of the Internet and the technology of mass planetary intimate communication. But the Baha'is will never be players in any of it now. Communism failed and the Baha'i Faith as a system of spiritual communism will fail for the same reasons. No innovation and free thought is permitted in the new top down concrete codified ideology. It is now all going to fail miserably and the Faith face financial ruin in the stresses of these times. Too much time has been lost to ever recover now. The Ruhification of the Faith will be completely and utterly fatal.

  • Craig Parke

    Farhan,

    Let me explain it a little clearer. The Ruhi material is an extremely poor expression of the Baha'i Teachings. It is NOT based upon the actual Baha'i Writings AT ALL but upon the personal opinions ( or as you say "Guru opinions") of the very tiny clique of self styled "educators" within the AO that wrote it. There are factual errors it. Some of it is based upon Pilgrim's Notes. Whoever approved of this material apparently has never read the Baha'i Writings or studied them at any length. If that was the UHJ or the ITC or the Counselors then that will certainly reflect on them in world history. The material is utter crap and a total disgrace. The second thing wrong is that the "fill in the blanks" method of "teaching" (Tm) is rote learning that leads to no understanding whatsoever. There can be no deeper understanding because any deep discussion of anything at all is absolutely forbidden in the fundamentalist Orwellian Telescreen teaching of the hapless material. The people who have top down devised and implemented this abomination worldwide – far from helping the Baha'i Faith – have utterly destroyed it. History will be the witness. These people are utter dunces and they will wait tables in hell along with their families forever. They are truly the "last clergy of mankind" and they will take the Divine Judgment upon their hapless and inept souls in the new World Age. All bets are now off. Mark my words. They have taken the Baha'i Faith to utter ruin.

  • Craig Parke

    Farhan,

    Let me explain it a little clearer. The Ruhi material is an extremely poor expression of the Baha'i Teachings. It is NOT based upon the actual Baha'i Writings AT ALL but upon the personal opinions ( or as you say "Guru opinions") of the very tiny clique of self styled "educators" within the AO that wrote it. There are factual errors it. Some of it is based upon Pilgrim's Notes. Whoever approved of this material apparently has never read the Baha'i Writings or studied them at any length. If that was the UHJ or the ITC or the Counselors then that will certainly reflect on them in world history. The material is utter crap and a total disgrace. The second thing wrong is that the "fill in the blanks" method of "teaching" (Tm) is rote learning that leads to no understanding whatsoever. There can be no deeper understanding because any deep discussion of anything at all is absolutely forbidden in the fundamentalist Orwellian Telescreen teaching of the hapless material. The people who have top down devised and implemented this abomination worldwide – far from helping the Baha'i Faith – have utterly destroyed it. History will be the witness. These people are utter dunces and they will wait tables in hell along with their families forever. They are truly the "last clergy of mankind" and they will take the Divine Judgment upon their hapless and inept souls in the new World Age. All bets are now off. Mark my words. They have taken the Baha'i Faith to utter ruin.

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

    No problem. I've noticed a fair amount of negativitiy in reply to your posts, but I've found them to be insightful and well reasoned. I figure it never hurts to have a word of encouragement every now and then.

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

    No problem. I've noticed a fair amount of negativitiy in reply to your posts, but I've found them to be insightful and well reasoned. I figure it never hurts to have a word of encouragement every now and then.

  • fubar

    That would be a good question for the people within bahai administration that "investigate" critics, nonconformists and dissidents, and drive such people out of the religion through thought policing and imposition of conformity.

    Please let everyone know when you get an answer.

  • fubar

    That would be a good question for the people within bahai administration that "investigate" critics, nonconformists and dissidents, and drive such people out of the religion through thought policing and imposition of conformity.

    Please let everyone know when you get an answer.

  • fubar

    Farhan, as usual, you are wrong. details drive larger, high-level change, which only later recognises and "institutionalizes" (enacts) a new paradigm. your top-down bahai-speak is contary to evolution, which is bottom-up, and arises from details.

    progresive revelation is a very bad model for spiritual evolution, and is just one example of bad bahai metaphysics, and why bahai is a religion stuck in an old set of inflexible ideas and paradigms that have become "regressive".

  • fubar

    Farhan, as usual, you are wrong. details drive larger, high-level change, which only later recognises and "institutionalizes" (enacts) a new paradigm. your top-down bahai-speak is contary to evolution, which is bottom-up, and arises from details.

    progresive revelation is a very bad model for spiritual evolution, and is just one example of bad bahai metaphysics, and why bahai is a religion stuck in an old set of inflexible ideas and paradigms that have become "regressive".

  • http://www.historylines.net/lishi/index.html Eric Hadley-Ives

    Farhan,

    I think you have expressed a noble ideal, and I hope Baha'i communities are moving toward it. I wish you were writing the official letters that tell Ruhi Tutors what it's all about. In fact, I'd put you in charge of revising the Ruhi books.

    I'm referring to this passage:
    "The purpose of the acts of service is to foster a new culture where people become “the lump” with which their neighbourhood can be “leavened”, PROMOTING a way of life, a culture of service, and not an expansion through competition with other religions or as a political enterprise. These acts of service are open to all, whether Baha’is or not"

  • http://www.historylines.net/lishi/index.html Eric Hadley-Ives

    Farhan,

    I think you have expressed a noble ideal, and I hope Baha'i communities are moving toward it. I wish you were writing the official letters that tell Ruhi Tutors what it's all about. In fact, I'd put you in charge of revising the Ruhi books.

    I'm referring to this passage:
    "The purpose of the acts of service is to foster a new culture where people become “the lump” with which their neighbourhood can be “leavened”, PROMOTING a way of life, a culture of service, and not an expansion through competition with other religions or as a political enterprise. These acts of service are open to all, whether Baha’is or not"

  • farhan

    Eric wrote: In fact, I'd put you in charge of revising the Ruhi books.

    Eric, the books don't need revising; they are mere instruments providing a framework for canalizing a study session. No two study circles are the same, depending on the participants and the experience of tutors. As we repeat the circles and mature in experience, we see the practical results and our understanding of the institute process increases, and this understanding is outlined in the abundant messages of the UHJ on the subject, which few participants have had the time to thoroughly study

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

    Eric wrote: In fact, I'd put you in charge of revising the Ruhi books.

    Eric, the books don't need revising; they are mere instruments providing a framework for canalizing a study session. No two study circles are the same, depending on the participants and the experience of tutors. As we repeat the circles and mature in experience, we see the practical results and our understanding of the institute process increases, and this understanding is outlined in the abundant messages of the UHJ on the subject, which few participants have had the time to thoroughly study

  • ummyasmin

    I think the intense rollout of Ruhi around the world, and the obsession with take-up statistics was a way of distracting the masses from noticing the Lesser Peace didn't happen. Mind you, I don't think that was necessarily a *conscious* decision, but there had to be something to get the masses involved and doing, given that come 2000 (or 2001) the nations of the world were still busily killing each other and making war on each other.

  • ummyasmin

    I think the intense rollout of Ruhi around the world, and the obsession with take-up statistics was a way of distracting the masses from noticing the Lesser Peace didn't happen. Mind you, I don't think that was necessarily a *conscious* decision, but there had to be something to get the masses involved and doing, given that come 2000 (or 2001) the nations of the world were still busily killing each other and making war on each other.

  • farhan

    ummyasmin wrote: … distracting the masses from noticing the Lesser Peace didn't happen

    ummyasmin, we _are_ in the Lesser Peace; as its name indicates, it is a minor achievement _between_ the world's nations and a failure in internal peace, as compared to what the world could have accomplished had the world's rulers responded to Baha'u'llah's appeal 140 years back.

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

    ummyasmin wrote: … distracting the masses from noticing the Lesser Peace didn't happen

    ummyasmin, we _are_ in the Lesser Peace; as its name indicates, it is a minor achievement _between_ the world's nations and a failure in internal peace, as compared to what the world could have accomplished had the world's rulers responded to Baha'u'llah's appeal 140 years back.

  • Grover

    Well, it was either a big catastrophe was going to happen or the most great peace by 2000 or around then. The UHJ still trots out the world is in travail from time to time, but really if you compare now to the 1940s when world war 2 was happening, everything is looking pretty peachy (apart from a few terrorists and economic troubles keeping things interesting, and of course, if you happen to be living in Iraq, Somalia or Afghanistan, Africa, or wherever America has been meddling). I might be quite naive because I'm living in a nice peaceful western country, but in relativistic terms it seems humanity is pretty close to a general sort of peace. Did this happen naturally or is it the "Spirit of the Age" aka Baha'u'llah's revelation?

    The roll out for Ruhi is only ever for trying to obtain mass conversions, to try and achieve entry by troops which the UHJ has been promising was just on the horizon since it first started.

  • Grover

    Well, it was either a big catastrophe was going to happen or the most great peace by 2000 or around then. The UHJ still trots out the world is in travail from time to time, but really if you compare now to the 1940s when world war 2 was happening, everything is looking pretty peachy (apart from a few terrorists and economic troubles keeping things interesting, and of course, if you happen to be living in Iraq, Somalia or Afghanistan, Africa, or wherever America has been meddling). I might be quite naive because I'm living in a nice peaceful western country, but in relativistic terms it seems humanity is pretty close to a general sort of peace. Did this happen naturally or is it the "Spirit of the Age" aka Baha'u'llah's revelation?

    The roll out for Ruhi is only ever for trying to obtain mass conversions, to try and achieve entry by troops which the UHJ has been promising was just on the horizon since it first started.

  • Amado

    This wondering whether Ruhi works here in South American cultures is an important question – let’s see if I can give a useful answer.
    I kind of like the Ruhi materials – but I have seen them used in ways that I don’t like.
    I remember the air of arcane arrogance with which my Bah??’? brothers and sisters would refer to ?the Institute process?at first when they didn’t have a clear idea what was going on, either, but really wanted the rest of us to think that they did.
    I remember the young lady who came to tell us just how we had to do our junior-youth groups, because that was the way to do JY groups – who was appalled when we tried to explain to her that our situation was different than the one she was describing, and thanks for the advice, but we can’t do it that way…
    I remember myself – as a ?good Bah??’??, trying to work for unity, feeling very troubled when my friend told me that (in an Asian, mostly Muslim country) they had to ?adapt? the Ruhi materials.
    And I have seen the tutors, ?trained? to ensure quality and consistency, stubbornly insist that the answer is this and not that.

    But I also remember when our friends in Colombia began developing these materials, starting with some little booklets with suggestions on doing children’s classes, with coloring, singing, playing (non-competitive) games – nice! And I have therefore seen this as a stage in evolution, and not something we are stuck with.
    Partly so people will not have the typical first reaction (these materials are offensively simplistic, pointless, with no relation to practical life) I have always started out by saying, ?We have a religion without a clergy, and are still trying to figure out how to do that. We have tried different kinds of ?deepening’, different study guides and children’s class materials, courses and so on. This is one of the most recent tries at finding a way to run a religion in which each of us is responsible for knowing what to do!?
    Then we emphasize that Book 1 starts with a three-step process: the too-simple parroting of the quote, the not-so-easy giving of examples of what that means – and the pretty-hard design of ways to put that idea into practice in our own lives. So, we proceed much as in “values clarification” (most of our study-circle members are not Bah??’?s) emphasizing that we all believe pretty much the same things, and the world will be better when we find more ways to put what-we-all-believe into practice!
    Every time we find a question that might have different answers, we work hard to elicit diversity in the answers, and get people explaining why it might be this or it might be that – rather than saying ?just put X? as if filling in the spaces in a book would change the world…

    And the results seem reasonably satisfying: everyone in the circle gives some thought to ?spiritual things?, about 10-15% become Bah??’?s and most of them continue meeting to study. There is a Local Spiritual Assembly here for the first time. People make comments indicating that their quality of life has improved. For example, a wife says her husband is nicer to her and their marriage is working better now, attributing it to the study circle even though there is so little about family relations in the whole series (so far, anyway). A daughter says she is getting along better with her family (again, totally tangential to the subjects studied, but she says it is a result!).
    I remember in the early 70s when Dr. Muhajir wanted us to form ?cells? like the Communists in order to study together. Maybe this would have worked better if there had been a workbook series, committees to track stepwise progress, and other backstopping / accountability structures and mechanisms. Perhaps the whole world would be using the workbook series developed in some other country if it had been supported / pushed this way!

    No worse than the ?read some books? system, which kept most of us ignorant and a lot of people leaving the Faith without ever finding out much about it. So many countries got up to about 10 thousand declared Bah??’?s and then stagnated there, with hundreds of ?paper Assemblies? elected by one vote dictated at Ridv??n to a traveling teacher but never to meet or act again – till next Ridv??n’s “election”.
    Of course the idea that anything but the Ruhi Institute Process is wrong, a waste of time, an obstacle to progress, is abhorrent. But we can’t discard a pretty good system just because there are some squares involved!
    There is a saying in ?the ed. biz? that you can’t teach what you know – only what you are. Another example from Colombia: the Tutorial Learning System (SAT), created by much the same bunch of Bah??’?s and committed, creative friends of Bah??’?s. The whole idea was to create livelihoods for peasants, giving them the ability to create their own modus vivendi, rather than being squeezed into exploitation as cheap labor. We have met dozens of people who have come out of this process in Colombia, and they all just wish someone would give them a job…
    Similarly, until we learn not to be bossy, dogmatic lovers of adulation and easy answers, some of the drawbacks we see in the “Institute Process” are actually just the fruits of who we are starting out as.

  • Amado

    This wondering whether Ruhi works here in South American cultures is an important question – let’s see if I can give a useful answer.
    I kind of like the Ruhi materials – but I have seen them used in ways that I don’t like.
    I remember the air of arcane arrogance with which my Bah??’? brothers and sisters would refer to ?the Institute process?at first when they didn’t have a clear idea what was going on, either, but really wanted the rest of us to think that they did.
    I remember the young lady who came to tell us just how we had to do our junior-youth groups, because that was the way to do JY groups – who was appalled when we tried to explain to her that our situation was different than the one she was describing, and thanks for the advice, but we can’t do it that way…
    I remember myself – as a ?good Bah??’??, trying to work for unity, feeling very troubled when my friend told me that (in an Asian, mostly Muslim country) they had to ?adapt? the Ruhi materials.
    And I have seen the tutors, ?trained? to ensure quality and consistency, stubbornly insist that the answer is this and not that.

    But I also remember when our friends in Colombia began developing these materials, starting with some little booklets with suggestions on doing children’s classes, with coloring, singing, playing (non-competitive) games – nice! And I have therefore seen this as a stage in evolution, and not something we are stuck with.
    Partly so people will not have the typical first reaction (these materials are offensively simplistic, pointless, with no relation to practical life) I have always started out by saying, ?We have a religion without a clergy, and are still trying to figure out how to do that. We have tried different kinds of ?deepening’, different study guides and children’s class materials, courses and so on. This is one of the most recent tries at finding a way to run a religion in which each of us is responsible for knowing what to do!?
    Then we emphasize that Book 1 starts with a three-step process: the too-simple parroting of the quote, the not-so-easy giving of examples of what that means – and the pretty-hard design of ways to put that idea into practice in our own lives. So, we proceed much as in “values clarification” (most of our study-circle members are not Bah??’?s) emphasizing that we all believe pretty much the same things, and the world will be better when we find more ways to put what-we-all-believe into practice!
    Every time we find a question that might have different answers, we work hard to elicit diversity in the answers, and get people explaining why it might be this or it might be that – rather than saying ?just put X? as if filling in the spaces in a book would change the world…

    And the results seem reasonably satisfying: everyone in the circle gives some thought to ?spiritual things?, about 10-15% become Bah??’?s and most of them continue meeting to study. There is a Local Spiritual Assembly here for the first time. People make comments indicating that their quality of life has improved. For example, a wife says her husband is nicer to her and their marriage is working better now, attributing it to the study circle even though there is so little about family relations in the whole series (so far, anyway). A daughter says she is getting along better with her family (again, totally tangential to the subjects studied, but she says it is a result!).
    I remember in the early 70s when Dr. Muhajir wanted us to form ?cells? like the Communists in order to study together. Maybe this would have worked better if there had been a workbook series, committees to track stepwise progress, and other backstopping / accountability structures and mechanisms. Perhaps the whole world would be using the workbook series developed in some other country if it had been supported / pushed this way!

    No worse than the ?read some books? system, which kept most of us ignorant and a lot of people leaving the Faith without ever finding out much about it. So many countries got up to about 10 thousand declared Bah??’?s and then stagnated there, with hundreds of ?paper Assemblies? elected by one vote dictated at Ridv??n to a traveling teacher but never to meet or act again – till next Ridv??n’s “election”.
    Of course the idea that anything but the Ruhi Institute Process is wrong, a waste of time, an obstacle to progress, is abhorrent. But we can’t discard a pretty good system just because there are some squares involved!
    There is a saying in ?the ed. biz? that you can’t teach what you know – only what you are. Another example from Colombia: the Tutorial Learning System (SAT), created by much the same bunch of Bah??’?s and committed, creative friends of Bah??’?s. The whole idea was to create livelihoods for peasants, giving them the ability to create their own modus vivendi, rather than being squeezed into exploitation as cheap labor. We have met dozens of people who have come out of this process in Colombia, and they all just wish someone would give them a job…
    Similarly, until we learn not to be bossy, dogmatic lovers of adulation and easy answers, some of the drawbacks we see in the “Institute Process” are actually just the fruits of who we are starting out as.

  • farhan

    Amado wrote: you can’t teach what you know – only what you are

    Yes Amado, I agree with you; I have seen everything you describe and even worse. These are mistakes from people who would have been completely inactive without the institute. We sometimes have fun laughing at postings with examples mistakes students and even teachers make in their school work; this doesn't mean we have to close down schools, but proves how badly we need them.

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

    Amado wrote: you can’t teach what you know – only what you are

    Yes Amado, I agree with you; I have seen everything you describe and even worse. These are mistakes from people who would have been completely inactive without the institute. We sometimes have fun laughing at postings with examples mistakes students and even teachers make in their school work; this doesn't mean we have to close down schools, but proves how badly we need them.

  • winterbv

    When do we start handing out those drugs (and what are those drugs so we can start the movement now)? Is Walmart selling those implants? It seems like the best idea I've heard in years.

  • James

    There is a big misconception that “mass conversions” and “entry by troops” are the same thing.

    When the teachings of Baha'u'llah result in the nurturing of the spirits of the community, this improves life. This is Ruhi.

    I've seen in my own community in New Jersey, as well as in the neighboring New York City community, in the last two years, the positive affects of Ruhi bringing people together. Some people become lovers of Baha'u'llah, some people don't. But in general, the teachings of Baha'u'llah do touch people and help improve their spiritual lives. And this is the goal.

    The Faith is about unification. It's about love. It's not about conversion.

    O SON OF MAN!
    Thou dost wish for gold and I desire thy freedom from it. Thou thinkest thyself rich in its possession, and I recognize thy wealth in thy sanctity therefrom. By My life! This is My knowledge, and that is thy fancy; how can My way accord with thine?

  • Baquia

    According to this recent article, the Baha'i community of Colombia is 32,000 strong. If we estimate the population to appx. 46 million (last census was in 2008 showing 44.5 million) then this is about 0.07% of the population.

    So there is one small evidence of the efficacy – or rather, lack thereof – of Ruhi.

    Thanks to Sen for finding the article and sharing it on Talisman!

  • http://www.sonjavank.blogspot.com sonjavank

    Here's a recent blog written by “Liberal Bahai” on the topic of Ruhi, he writes…
    “Ruhi is good for rote learning and memorization. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing…. The problem with Ruhi is that a lot of people take it too seriously and view it like it is some kind of talisman or spell book that if memorized, will open the doors to endless understanding. Some communites and Bahais try to use Ruhi like an all-purpose magic formula, and that’s what causes all of the bitterness and problems. There is nothing wrong with rote learning and memorization, so long as there are other avenues of expression within a community. There has to be intellectual freedom, the right to question, ponder and acquire individual interpretations to what one has memorized or learned. This is part of the process of internalizing a concept. Memorization alone will not do that. It will just allow a person to parrot what they have heard or read….”

    http://liberalbahai.wordpress.com/2010/04/05/th

  • Baquia

    Thanks Sonja – interesting blog.

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  • Zureick1

    The culture of Iran is remarkably similar to the culture of Columbia? That’s where I stopped reading. I’m sure there is some aspect of those cultures you think is similar but, good God, really? That has to be one of the grossest over-generalizations I have have ever heard.

  • Baquia

    Zureick, Iran, like Columbia has high PDI and UAI and low IDV.

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  • PeterT

    the “fill in the blank exercise” simply repeats quotations from the Writings for the purpose of memorization and to focus the attention on the quote itself. The exercise has nothing to do with interpretation.

  • PeterT

    From the sounds of it, you needed to walk away. And its good for everyone that you did if it’s inciting you to violence. But then… why are you here talking about it? Maybe move on?…

  • PeterT

    Sounds like a lot of misinformation, opinion based purely on personal experience (which truth be told is how most people formulate their ideas/beliefs about the world) and misunderstanding.

    I agree that the Writings should have as little personal opinion as possible, because we are trying to establish what is true, not what we think is true. Also many quotes were taken out of context to paint a certain picture that is inaccurate.

    “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 taken so that this practice does not become an exercise in the expression of ego and an insistence of the sovereignty of personal opinion.”
    This comes before the quote mentioned in other’s posts.

  • DNA

    Why isn’t this topic called ‘Time for Baha’u’llah to show us the Money’ because it is not a very well disguised attack on the Blessed Beauty and His Writings? People attacking Ruhi are attacking Baha’u’llah period! What kind of Baha’i attacks the Writings of the Blessed Perfection publicly, demeans their value and undermines their exalted power? A covenant breaker!

    Ruhi if you care to flip open a page or two is REPLETE with the Words of Baha’u’llah, Abdul-Baha and some of the Guardians letters.

    An attack on Ruhi is an attack on THEM. So you’re saying the Writings lack the effectiveness to enlist mankind!! Unless of course they are in a format approved by covenant breakers.

    I know Baha’is who have read the Writings for 40 years literally but aren’t really Baha’is and there was no Ruhi then so who’s fault is that? Didn’t the Master say that a man may call himself a Baha’i for 40 or 50 years yet if his actions do not reflect the teachings then he is not a Baha’i while a man who has never heard of Baha’u’llah may be a Baha’i by his actions? Doesn’t that, if you accept the Master that is, mean that progress of the Faith depends on our OWN EFFORTS? Ruhi is only a catalyst. If people don’t PRACTICE it of course its not going to succeed. But to blame Ruhi itself and the beloved House of Justice is an outright lie. The success or failure of any Baha’i enterprise depends upon our efforts we make. If we do not take the pearls from God’s Ocean is it God’s fault? The Most Holy Book has also been released for over 20 years is that a failure too because the numbers if Baha’is remain stagnant? Couldn’t it be that people don’t see anything wonderful or glorious about us so they simply ignore us? It’s always God’s fault or the Universal House of Justice but never our fault is it? What about that Tablet where Baha’u’llah Wrote that had the believers heeded His Call the world would have been transformed in HIS OWN LIFETIME?? So no world wars, no massacre of Jews etc etc. He squarely laid the blame rightfully on US so we should be looking at how we can correct this and not go around blaming the House of Justice for our failure to fulfil our duties to mankind.

  • Baquia

    Ruhi is a mish-mash of authoritative texts and non-authoritative texts as well as a liberal helping of personal opinion and interpretation from the anonymous authors of the Ruhi textbooks.

  • Phil Ramsey

    A fewness of words and an abundance of deeds would bring more hearts to Baha’ullah, then all the words on a piece of paper and some booklets