Two Baha’i Conferences: Arizona & Haifa

During the short period of time towards the end of December when most are on holiday for Hanukkah, Christmas and New Year’s the Baha’i community had two significant conferences. Each was separated by half a world in distance and an equal measure of distance in tone. The first was the 26th annual Grand Canyon Baha’i Conference held in Arizona, US between December 23rd and 26th.

This year’s Arizona conference featured the following speakers: David Young, Fariba Aghdasi, Erica Toussaint (US NSA member and previous ABM Propagation), Jena Khadem Khodadad, Kavian Sadeghzadeh Milani, Ghasem Bayat, and Sharon and Jos? Fiero. There were also speakers for junior youth and many performers, including Andy Grammar.

If you attended, share with us how it was. From what I’ve heard from fellow Baha’is, the Arizona conference is a great place for young Baha’is to meet prospective future partners. I still chuckle recalling the anecdote of a friend who attended the conference a few years ago and was cornered in an elevator by a Persian Baha’i mother (on behalf of her daughter). When she found out he was a medical doctor, he had a hard time getting away from her for the rest of the conference.

So if you did attend, I hope you practiced your Baha’i pick-up lines: “Baby, I just did some Ruhi Book 2 and now I wanna pay you a home visit.” or “Why don’t you make like the Treasurer’s Report at Feast and give me your digits?”. But I’m sure most attendees were able to squeeze in some other activities as well.

The other conference was in Haifa for the Counsellors between December 28th and January 1st 2011. During this conference, “deliberations will be held on the features of the next Five Year Plan”. So we have that to look forward to.

The Universal House of Justice wrote a letter to the conference attendees to provide its guidance. There are many portions that were notable for me from this letter, one of them was this excerpt:

Service on the institutions and agencies of the Faith is indeed a tremendous privilege, but not one that is sought by the individual; it is a duty and responsibility to which he or she may be called at any given time. It is understandable, of course, that all those involved in Bah??’? administration would rightly feel they have been invested with a singular honour in forming part, in whatever way, of a structure designed to be a channel through which the spirit of the Cause flows. Yet they should not imagine that such service entitles them to operate on the periphery of the learning process that is everywhere gaining strength, exempt from its inherent requirements. Nor should it be supposed that membership on administrative bodies provides an opportunity to promote one’s own understanding of what is recorded in the Sacred Text and how the teachings should be applied, steering the community in whatever direction personal preferences dictate.

Universal House of Justice Letter to Conference of Continental Boards of Counsellors (December 2010):

  • Barbruthw


  • Woofus

    We have no king but Caesar!

    (And no court of justice but Geneva.)

  • Craig Parke

    I just spent a half hour of my life reading this December 28th, 2010 Letter to the Counselors. My head hurts!

    I, however, once again, find such a massive communication a quite striking and very telling psychological document about the grasping psychological needs of the lifetime incumbent people at the top of the Haifan Baha’i Faith Corporation and their infantile deification of Shoghi Effendi and the Administrative Order (not necessarily in that order) as some type of breathless massive psychological security blanket projection in their personal lives? It all quite readily lends itself to an extensive analysis in profound depth psychology.

    Exactly WHY do these people see the Faith as micromanaged “Community Building” from SQUARE ONE EVERYWHERE on Earth? Why? Doesn’t 7,000 years of civilization so far count as a very important learning experience free and open to every human being who has their own mind? What is the psychological origin of this top down, groupthink, totalitarian micromanaged psychological impulse by self styled high school teacher obsessive compulsive sociological “theorists”? I guess being one of the Theorist Nine Voices of God can just plain go to your head if you don’t watch out?

    It really mystifies me because I don’t see any need for this top down micromanaged mindset AT ALL to be tremendously successful in advancing the energies of the new unfolding World Age on every level of human society.
    The processes of unfettered Cosmic Spirit will TAKE CARE OF IT SELF! Have faith cowering Admin-O-Centric lifetime incumbent apparatchik neurotics everywhere!

    Why does it have to be TOTALLY TOP DOWN MICROMANAGED by the Haifan Baha’i Faith Corporation with everyone on Earth being told EXACTLY how to breathe in and breath out. Why? out.

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