US NSA Loses Court Case Against Orthodox Baha’is

This is about Covenant-Breakers so if you are sensitive, please go and look at some bunny pictures or play with a kitten or something. The rest of you can soldier on.

Since most have no clue what this is all about, here are the Cliff Notes:

Way back in 1966, when normal people were busy growing as much body hair as possible and experimenting with a cocktail of mind bending drugs while listening to music that in all honesty sounds like a pack of cats being strangled, the break away Baha’i group under Mason Remey in New Mexico, US was busy with a totally different undertaking.

They decided it would be a good idea to sue the US NSA in a court of law in order to have the US justice system turn over the Wilmette temple and property over to the “NSA Under the Hereditary Guardianship”.

As you can imagine, the US NSA was somewhat miffed at this. They not only defeated the motion but filed a counter claim in which they asserted that the Mason Remey Baha’i organization was guilty of trademark infringement, dilution of the distinctive quality of their rightful trademarks and trade names, and were harming the reputation of the NSA.

Oh you didn’t know that the word “Baha’i” is trademarked?

Seriously. It is.

I wish I was making this up.

It was registered by the US NSA with the US trademark office on March 11, 1952 (Registration #556,004). Look it up if you don’t believe me.

So is the “Greatest Name” symbol (in Arabic calligraphic script). But wait, you ask, shouldn’t Mishkin-Qalam own the trademark to that? or at least his descendents? A spokesperson for the US NSA helpfully replies: Shut up.

No word as of yet if the US NSA has patented the postures within the Baha’i long obligatory prayer. But just to be sure, I would suggest you not bend down to pick up anything off the ground for the foreseeable future as that may constitute a dilution of the NSA’s reputation.

Anyway, getting back to our story, it turns out the judge back then was high on a groovy mixture of pot and LSD so he sided with the US NSA. Well, to be fair, I have no evidence that the judge was tripping on a cloud 8 miles high… other than the roach clip that was later found by the janitor under his chair and the fact that he went along with the trademarking of “Baha’i”.

Think about it.

He gave exclusive legal ownership of the adjective… the very word that describes a religious organization. (Who owns the trademark for “Christian” or “Jew” by the way? Someone look that up between tokes.) I think if that judge was presented with the trademarking of “chair” or “tree” or “hair” he would have gone along as well. When you’re baked… you’re baked.

Which brings us up to the present day. More accurately, November 2006 – when the present US NSA filed a motion to hold the Orthodox Baha’i group in contempt for not abiding by the 1966 judgement.

You see, they were publishing content online which used the trademark and distinctive words, phrases and markings that the 1966 court ruling said they couldn’t be using.

The defense of the Orthodox Baha’i group was that there was no privity (look it up) between them and the Mason Remey organization to which the previous ruling was bound upon. The US NSA argued that they were one and the same organization, just with a different name.

So they went back and forth:

Are not. Are too. Are not. Are too.

Except the lawyers used more complex words to justify their hefty bills at the end.

The result? The judge (from now on called Amy) just like a parent, after patiently listening to the intricately nuanced arguments for more than a year, finally got tired and sent them all to their respective rooms for a time out. No, I’m just kidding.

Amy, being a sensible woman, free of all narcotic and hallucinogenic compounds ruled as follows:

… there was a significant doctrinal rift on a critical tenet of each group’s faith, and that the PNBC’s membership varied materially from that of the NSA-UHG. The record further reflects a demonstrable lack of intent to violate the injunction, and that the PNBC was not created to avoid the effect of the injunction. Simply put, there is no substantial continuity between the NSA-UHG and the PNBC, and, as a result … the PNBC have not violated the injunction.

PNBC stands for Provisional National Baha’i Council – it is one of the many acronym soups that you’ll find within the legal documents of the case.

Read this doc on Scribd: Opinion & Order: US NSA vs. NSA UHG

* * * * * * * * *

I am not a legal expert by any means and I hope that some who are will step forward to offer their wisdom… however, it seems to me that the NSA weighed their options and chose to attempt to enforce the 1966 ruling on the Orthodox Baha’is because they estimated that a new legal proceeding would have less chance of winning.

Let’s face it, you simply can’t trademark or copyright the word, “Baha’i” or the nine pointed star any more than you can the word “Christian” or the symbolic representation of the cross. These do not belong to anyone or any one organization. They are in the public domain.

Can you imagine the Catholic church suing the Protestant church for the use of the symbol of the cross? or saying that they infringe on their intellectual property for calling their houses of worship ‘churches’ and for having similar ecclesiastical organizations?

The judge would soak his/her robes laughing before dismissing the case and awarding several millions of exemplary punitive damages for bringing a frivolous law suit to the docket.

That option would have been just plain DUMB. But what the US NSA did, I would argue, is almost as dumb. Here’s why:

Because it meant entering into a no win situation.

If they had won they would have appeared like bullies and would have given the break-away group much more attention than they would normally get. We’re talking about a splinter group of less than 40 people! Forty. Yes, say it again. Forty people.

As well, it would have opened up a hornet’s nest as the Orthodox Baha’is would have gained the sympathies of groups like the EFF. In the end, it would have been nothing more than a hollow legal victory overshadowed by a public relations nightmare. Any positive advantages would have been tiny in comparison to the negative outcome. Also a win would have encouraged the Orthodox Baha’i group to continue to lobby the public’s sympathies by presenting themselves as martyrs, the underdogs, the wronged ones.

On the other hand, had they lost (which they did) it would have meant that they had wasted both time and money (the Faith’s precious resources) to only receive a setback. A loss would embolden the Orthodox group and encourage them to write further bombastic prose on their websites to garner attention. It would also present the US NSA as weak and unable to protect its trademarks and intellectual property.

* * * * * * * * *

Here is a portion of the testimony in the trial:

MR. JEFFERY A. HANDELMAN, Attorney for NSA (Direct Examination):
Dr. Henderson, what caused the NSA to file the current contempt motion that is now pending before the Court?

DR. ROBERT HENDERSON: The National Spiritual Assembly became aware, as a result of reports, that there were Web sites that were misrepresenting Baha’i belief and claiming to be official institutions of the Baha’i faith. We hadn’t seen them, but we began to get reports. And upon investigation, we were alarmed to find that there were Web sites claiming to be the official institutions of the Baha’i faith and — and — presenting beliefs which were in direct conflict to Baha’i teachings and Baha’i principles and at broad variance.

We had significant concerns about this. First, we were concerned about Baha’i refugees who were forced to flee their homes and their home countries because of their belief in the Baha’i faith, and who, in some cases, had corresponded with the wrong institutions, thinking that they were corresponding with the international governing body of the Baha’i faith and, in fact, they were sending their correspondence to some other institution.

Secondly, we were concerned about the public because one of our major strategies is to advise the public of the teachings and the fact and general aim of the Baha’i faith through the Internet. In fact, our Web site has won several awards for excellence from the National Religious Communication — Communicators — Council, which is an organization that looks at religious publications and Web sites and videos, and so forth.

And we won the gold medal, in fact, as having the best Web site of the faith communities in the United States.

And, so, this is a primary means by which we communicate Baha’i belief, and who are the Baha’is, and what do we believe, and what do we do, and where can you find Baha’is close to you.

Suddenly, we began to receive some alarming reports from people who were not Baha’is, but who were investigating the Baha’i faith through the Internet, concerned about what they were reading on Web sites claiming to be official Baha’i Web sites. And their concern was stimulated by the fact that the content on these Web sites was in direct conflict with their understanding of Baha’i belief; and, in fact, it was in direct conflict.

And, then, lastly, there were — or penultimately, we were concerned about the Baha’is themselves who might be misled and find themselves involved in discussions — in fact, this did occur; find themselves involved in Internet forums and the like and corresponding — with organizations that were not part of the National Spiritual Assembly.

And last, we were concerned with reputational harm. As I mentioned, we have extensive and longstanding relations with the United Nations, with the White House, with the — with both Houses of Congress, with the human rights community. And these are based on principles of peace and cooperation, of universal fellowship, of race unity, of the equality of women and men, and so forth. All of the Baha’i principles centered around facilitating unity and cooperation and universal well being and social progress.

Alright, here’s the thing. We will always be infected with stupidity. There are, even as you sit there reading this, millions of stupid people endangering our gene pool. Heck, you or I have even on occasion partaken liberally of stupidity. No one is immune. Not completely. It is part and parcel of being human. And although we should be compassionate with each other, we should also help each other out as best we can to rise up from it.

Thankfully, we also have reason and intelligence among us. And more often than not, it wins the race. That’s how we have survived this long on this, the third rock from the sun.

So there will always be people who are dumb enough to mistake the insane, bombastic rhetoric that can be found on the Orthodox Baha’i websites (like the 9/11 towers in flames with horrible predictions of apocalypse or worse). No, I’m not going to link to it. It doesn’t deserve further attention. If you really want to find it, you can.

To show you how “dumb” people can be, BahaisOnline was recently contacted by a Baha’i who inquired how their pilgrimage request was coming along. How can anyone mistake that site which aggregates and disseminates Baha’i related news and content from across the web to the “official” Baha’i pilgrimage website run by the UHJ? They don’t have any similarities!

Are we going to now start attempting to protect people from their own stupidity by suing everyone who has an “unofficial” Baha’i site?

Thankfully, there are also among us many people, both Baha’i and not, that will have no trouble at all differentiating between that Baha’i blog and the pilgrimage site. Nor will they have any trouble telling apart the various websites of the Baha’i Faith (Haifa) and those from splinter groups.

What lessons can we draw from this?

The NSA needs better legal advice. As in none.

Since they would be in better shape had they no legal team, I would suggest they fire their lawyers and hire instead a pack of squirrels. After all, when did squirrels do anyone any harm?

And everyone on the NSA who suggested, recommended and went along with this boondoggle please do the rest of the Baha’i world a favor and “retire” from administrative service. It is all the rage right now. All the “cool” Baha’is are doing it: Herr Grossman and Sgt. Mitchell as we speak.

Am I being too harsh?

Perhaps. But is the irony lost on everyone that here we have an institution which is charged with the duty to establish and encourage unity… and they spend their time and the money donated, to pursue an inane litigatious process against a small group of people who believe something slightly different from them?

How about spending more time on the challenges facing the US Baha’i community?

  • http://kaweah.com/ Dan Jensen

    Very entertaining, and BTW quite informative. At least the ABUTTs (American Baha’is Under the Trademark) can take comfort from the evident fact that their Baha’i Fund dollars are hard at work! :-)

  • http://kaweah.com/ Dan Jensen

    Very entertaining, and BTW quite informative. At least the ABUTTs (American Baha’is Under the Trademark) can take comfort from the evident fact that their Baha’i Fund dollars are hard at work! :-)

  • Andrew

    Excellent post, Baquia.

    “So there will always be people who are dumb enough to mistake the insane, bombastic rhetoric that can be found on the Orthodox Baha’i websites (like the 9/11 towers in flames with horrible predictions of apocalypse or worse).”

    Yes, it is insane, bombastic rhetoric, but (perhaps) no more so than some of the apocalyptic utterances that emanated from the estimable pen of Shoghi Effendi.

    And to be fair: this particular insane, bombastic rhetoric actually comes not from the Orthodox Baha’i, but from the Baha’is Under the Provisions of the Covenant, the movement founded by Neal Chase, who is its “current disputed leader,” whatever that means. Mr. Chase has posted many marvelous videos available for your perusal on YouTube. It might require a cocktail of mind-bending drugs to thoroughly appreciate them.

    “We’re talking about a splinter group of less than 40 people! Forty. Yes, say it again. Forty people.”

    Which is sad. Not that there are less than 40 people involved, but that this group seems intent on having less than 40 people involved. They make the “official” (Haifan) Baha’i organization look like a legion of screaming liberals. A fine example of snatching defeat from the jaws of victory. Eventually they will disappear altogether: they too have videos posted on YouTube. Not scary, but sad. The median age of the membership seems to be around 182.

  • Andrew

    Excellent post, Baquia.

    “So there will always be people who are dumb enough to mistake the insane, bombastic rhetoric that can be found on the Orthodox Baha’i websites (like the 9/11 towers in flames with horrible predictions of apocalypse or worse).”

    Yes, it is insane, bombastic rhetoric, but (perhaps) no more so than some of the apocalyptic utterances that emanated from the estimable pen of Shoghi Effendi.

    And to be fair: this particular insane, bombastic rhetoric actually comes not from the Orthodox Baha’i, but from the Baha’is Under the Provisions of the Covenant, the movement founded by Neal Chase, who is its “current disputed leader,” whatever that means. Mr. Chase has posted many marvelous videos available for your perusal on YouTube. It might require a cocktail of mind-bending drugs to thoroughly appreciate them.

    “We’re talking about a splinter group of less than 40 people! Forty. Yes, say it again. Forty people.”

    Which is sad. Not that there are less than 40 people involved, but that this group seems intent on having less than 40 people involved. They make the “official” (Haifan) Baha’i organization look like a legion of screaming liberals. A fine example of snatching defeat from the jaws of victory. Eventually they will disappear altogether: they too have videos posted on YouTube. Not scary, but sad. The median age of the membership seems to be around 182.

  • Anonymous

    Baquia, I think you’ve missed the mark on this one.

    You seem to assume that the actions of the NSA are somehow irrational even within the context of the interests of the Bahá’í Faith, and that they should have seen how irrational it was.

    But this is wrong. So woefully wrong.

    When you look at the actual Bahá’í writings on Covenant breaking you will find that what appear to be the desperate and self-important actions of the NSA are actually rather mild and constrained in comparison to the (supposed) danger posed by Covenant breakers.

    See what the UHJ writes about it:

    The Master has warned that, if unchecked, Covenant-breaking would “utterly destroy the Cause of God, exterminate His Law and render of no account all efforts exerted in the past”. He sets this warning in the context of the fact that the central purpose of Baha’u’llah’s Revelation is to create unity: Were it not for the protecting power of the Covenant to guard the impregnable fort of the Cause of God, there would arise among the Baha’is, in one day, a thousand different sects as was the case in former ages.

    Apart from the danger that Covenant-breaking poses to the development of the Cause, it represents a spiritual contagion threatening the well-being of the individual believer because of its subtle appeal to the human ego. ‘Abdu’l-Baha called for the complete exclusion from the Baha’i community of anyone found to be infected with the virus of Covenant-breaking, and urged all believers to shun any contact whatever with the persons involved.

    And that is just one small sample of their delusion about the dangers of this small sect. Shoghi Effendi reminds us that “attitude of a Covenant Breaker is so poisonous that the Master likened it to leprosy, and warned the friends to breathe the same air was dangerous,” and his advice to a Bahá’í whose family member had become a Covenant breaker was to shun her, since, “Your sister should never imagine she, loyal and devoted, has become a ‘carrier’.” So it’s fairly reasonable that anyone who believed these insane, inhumane teachings could very easily come to the conclusion that suing a sect of 40 people for the rights of their trademarked name would make sense. Oh indeed, lots of sense!

    More generally, the NSA’s lawsuit is really an integral part of the guarding of that old Bahá’í lie that the perfection of the Bahá’í Faith is somehow demonstrated in the absence of any divisions in the Bahá’í Faith. How could it claim to be unique if it was just as divided as any other religion?! But it is divided. So as always, when their ostensibly perfect dogmas do not match the world, Bahá’ís strive to force the world to match their dogmas. Just as a loving parent would do for their children, the NSA is only trying to protect you from arriving at the unavoidable conclusion that your religion is just like every other religion that came before it: another collection of ill-begotten conclusions and superstitions that depend on our most basic anxieties about death, sex, and need for community for their propagation.

    Baquia, your criticism of the NSA’s legal actions is like the criticism one might give of a person who was trying to get others institutionalized because he thought that they were lepers living amongst him. Sure, he looks crazy when you ignore his delusions; but when you take into account what he thinks he’s up against, his irrational behaviour makes perfect sense. Once again, as with all your criticisms of Bahá’ís, the problem is not the NSA, nor is it the Administrative Order — it’s just not. The problem is the Writings themselves.

  • http://mavaddat.livejournal.com Mavaddat

    Baquia, I think you’ve missed the mark on this one.

    You seem to assume that the actions of the NSA are somehow irrational even within the context of the interests of the Bahá’í Faith, and that they should have seen how irrational it was.

    But this is wrong. So woefully wrong.

    When you look at the actual Bahá’í writings on Covenant breaking you will find that what appear to be the desperate and self-important actions of the NSA are actually rather mild and constrained in comparison to the (supposed) danger posed by Covenant breakers.

    See what the UHJ writes about it:

    The Master has warned that, if unchecked, Covenant-breaking would “utterly destroy the Cause of God, exterminate His Law and render of no account all efforts exerted in the past”. He sets this warning in the context of the fact that the central purpose of Baha’u’llah’s Revelation is to create unity: Were it not for the protecting power of the Covenant to guard the impregnable fort of the Cause of God, there would arise among the Baha’is, in one day, a thousand different sects as was the case in former ages.

    Apart from the danger that Covenant-breaking poses to the development of the Cause, it represents a spiritual contagion threatening the well-being of the individual believer because of its subtle appeal to the human ego. ‘Abdu’l-Baha called for the complete exclusion from the Baha’i community of anyone found to be infected with the virus of Covenant-breaking, and urged all believers to shun any contact whatever with the persons involved.

    And that is just one small sample of their delusion about the dangers of this small sect. Shoghi Effendi reminds us that “attitude of a Covenant Breaker is so poisonous that the Master likened it to leprosy, and warned the friends to breathe the same air was dangerous,” and his advice to a Bahá’í whose family member had become a Covenant breaker was to shun her, since, “Your sister should never imagine she, loyal and devoted, has become a ‘carrier’.” So it’s fairly reasonable that anyone who believed these insane, inhumane teachings could very easily come to the conclusion that suing a sect of 40 people for the rights of their trademarked name would make sense. Oh indeed, lots of sense!

    More generally, the NSA’s lawsuit is really an integral part of the guarding of that old Bahá’í lie that the perfection of the Bahá’í Faith is somehow demonstrated in the absence of any divisions in the Bahá’í Faith. How could it claim to be unique if it was just as divided as any other religion?! But it is divided. So as always, when their ostensibly perfect dogmas do not match the world, Bahá’ís strive to force the world to match their dogmas. Just as a loving parent would do for their children, the NSA is only trying to protect you from arriving at the unavoidable conclusion that your religion is just like every other religion that came before it: another collection of ill-begotten conclusions and superstitions that depend on our most basic anxieties about death, sex, and need for community for their propagation.

    Baquia, your criticism of the NSA’s legal actions is like the criticism one might give of a person who was trying to get others institutionalized because he thought that they were lepers living amongst him. Sure, he looks crazy when you ignore his delusions; but when you take into account what he thinks he’s up against, his irrational behaviour makes perfect sense. Once again, as with all your criticisms of Bahá’ís, the problem is not the NSA, nor is it the Administrative Order — it’s just not. The problem is the Writings themselves.

  • Craig Parke

    Well, I’m glad they got this over with both for themselves and everyone else. I do understand where the US NSA was coming from. I understand why they felt they had to try to do this as part of the legacy culture of the unfortunate “corporatist” mindset the Faith took since 1921. It is still all the rage but it is going to start to die everywhere in the world. The real world is much messier than the many fictions of the corporate world. The world must now move on to something more like “Baha’is Under The Provison of Common Sense” (BUTPOCS) where you just live and let live. Let everyone put their web sites and videos up on the Web and let people figure it out. All they ever had to do it put a page on the officiasl US NSA web site explaining the different other Baha’i groups and let people act like adults.

    But what this world really needs is “Humans Under The Provision Of Common Sense” (HUTPOCS). That is just what this entire world needs now.

    People everywhere need to get their heads out of their asses and start to take personal responsibility for the world and think straight bottom up NOT top down.

    Right now things don’t lookno win situation good anywhere, but I think there are people still with common sense somewhere in the world.

    Whoever puts a movement together based upon simple common sense, could have a field day on this planet. I still think it is potentially possible.

    Everyone have a pleasant evening!

  • Craig Parke

    Well, I’m glad they got this over with both for themselves and everyone else. I do understand where the US NSA was coming from. I understand why they felt they had to try to do this as part of the legacy culture of the unfortunate “corporatist” mindset the Faith took since 1921. It is still all the rage but it is going to start to die everywhere in the world. The real world is much messier than the many fictions of the corporate world. The world must now move on to something more like “Baha’is Under The Provison of Common Sense” (BUTPOCS) where you just live and let live. Let everyone put their web sites and videos up on the Web and let people figure it out. All they ever had to do it put a page on the officiasl US NSA web site explaining the different other Baha’i groups and let people act like adults.

    But what this world really needs is “Humans Under The Provision Of Common Sense” (HUTPOCS). That is just what this entire world needs now.

    People everywhere need to get their heads out of their asses and start to take personal responsibility for the world and think straight bottom up NOT top down.

    Right now things don’t lookno win situation good anywhere, but I think there are people still with common sense somewhere in the world.

    Whoever puts a movement together based upon simple common sense, could have a field day on this planet. I still think it is potentially possible.

    Everyone have a pleasant evening!

  • Pingback: Dervish » Blog Archive » US Baha’is try to sue …. other US Baha’is

  • http://www.planetgrenada.blogspot.com abdul-halim

    i thought another cause of the Haifan Bahai’s , at times irrational, attitude towards sects was that apparently Abdul-Baha or some other Central Figure had promised that the Bahai faith would be free from the sectarian differences which have plagued other religions. So they find it theologically difficult to admit that Bahai sects even exist.

  • http://www.planetgrenada.blogspot.com abdul-halim

    i thought another cause of the Haifan Bahai’s , at times irrational, attitude towards sects was that apparently Abdul-Baha or some other Central Figure had promised that the Bahai faith would be free from the sectarian differences which have plagued other religions. So they find it theologically difficult to admit that Bahai sects even exist.

  • Bird

    Baquia

    I thought it was a spot on however Mavaddat also made a good point as well. The subject of CB’ers is certainly one to avoid or one will end up like me, disgusted with it all.

  • Bird

    Baquia

    I thought it was a spot on however Mavaddat also made a good point as well. The subject of CB’ers is certainly one to avoid or one will end up like me, disgusted with it all.

  • Andrew

    Mavaddat wrote:

    “How could it claim to be unique if it was just as divided as any other religion?! But it is divided.”

    As a former Catholic, I was taught that (in the words of Cyprian) “the One Catholic Church cannot be divided.” Sound familiar?

    From a website dedicated to Catholic apologetics:

    “The unity of the Catholic Church is something which is not matched anywhere else in the world. It is not that the Catholic Church is a little more united than other societies. It is that the Catholic Church is unified in a way which no other society was ever united. The ordinary laws of sociology do not apply here. That is what we mean by a miracle. Such unity cannot be explained on any natural basis.”

    Non-Catholic churches are characterized not as real churches per se but “ecclesial communities” that have separated from the organic unity of the Church (“our separated brethren”) but this does not impair the unity of the True (Catholic) Church. Again, does this sound familiar?

    Much of Baha’ism seems to be taken from the Catholic playbook. Is the Baha’i faith divided? No, no more so than the Christian religion is divided, because there is only one Christian Church (the one headed by the Pope) that cannot be divided, just as there is only one Baha’i faith (the one headed by the UHJ) that cannot be divided.

    Yes, it’s nonsense, but it’s compelling nonsense for those who need to believe in such things, all rational argument to the contrary notwithstanding. It’s not just “spiritual unity” that is referred to, but actual institutional unity:

    “… the Church in the West … is seen, rather, as a centrally organized monolith in which the new legal concept of a ‘perfect society’ has superseded the old idea of succession in the community … in her, the will of the absolute sovereign creates a new authority. (This) concept of authority grew steadily more intense and reached its climax in 1870 with the proclamation of the primacy of jurisdiction … the source of law appears to be the will of the sovereign, which creates on its own authority (ex sese) new laws that then have the power to bind … this juridical institution (the papacy) has set itself above the sacramental [spiritual] order.” — “Principles of Catholic Theology” by Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger (now Pope Benedict XVI)

    Now, what happened in 1870? Having been dethroned as ruler of the Papal States by the movement for Italian Reunification that finally triumphed in 1870, Pope Pius IX called the First Vatican Council where he was determined to buttress his own spiritual authority. It stated that the Pope “when he speaks ex cathedra, that is, when exercising the office of pastor and teacher of all Christians” is “possessed of infallibility” when “he defines … a doctrine concerning faith and morals to be held by the whole Church, through the divine assistance promised to him by St. Peter”. Once the Pope has spoken, the First Vatican Council agreed, his definitions “are irreformable of themselves”.

    Between 1867 and 1870, Mirza Husayn Ali Nuri (Baha’u’llah) wrote letters to all the kings and rulers of the earth, announcing his mission and putting forward principles for the evolution of peace in the world. He could hardly have been unaware of the brouhaha leading up to the First Vatican Council and the intentions of the Pope to consolidate his authority as Universal Pastor of the Catholic Church. Res ipsa loquitur.

  • Andrew

    Mavaddat wrote:

    “How could it claim to be unique if it was just as divided as any other religion?! But it is divided.”

    As a former Catholic, I was taught that (in the words of Cyprian) “the One Catholic Church cannot be divided.” Sound familiar?

    From a website dedicated to Catholic apologetics:

    “The unity of the Catholic Church is something which is not matched anywhere else in the world. It is not that the Catholic Church is a little more united than other societies. It is that the Catholic Church is unified in a way which no other society was ever united. The ordinary laws of sociology do not apply here. That is what we mean by a miracle. Such unity cannot be explained on any natural basis.”

    Non-Catholic churches are characterized not as real churches per se but “ecclesial communities” that have separated from the organic unity of the Church (“our separated brethren”) but this does not impair the unity of the True (Catholic) Church. Again, does this sound familiar?

    Much of Baha’ism seems to be taken from the Catholic playbook. Is the Baha’i faith divided? No, no more so than the Christian religion is divided, because there is only one Christian Church (the one headed by the Pope) that cannot be divided, just as there is only one Baha’i faith (the one headed by the UHJ) that cannot be divided.

    Yes, it’s nonsense, but it’s compelling nonsense for those who need to believe in such things, all rational argument to the contrary notwithstanding. It’s not just “spiritual unity” that is referred to, but actual institutional unity:

    “… the Church in the West … is seen, rather, as a centrally organized monolith in which the new legal concept of a ‘perfect society’ has superseded the old idea of succession in the community … in her, the will of the absolute sovereign creates a new authority. (This) concept of authority grew steadily more intense and reached its climax in 1870 with the proclamation of the primacy of jurisdiction … the source of law appears to be the will of the sovereign, which creates on its own authority (ex sese) new laws that then have the power to bind … this juridical institution (the papacy) has set itself above the sacramental [spiritual] order.” — “Principles of Catholic Theology” by Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger (now Pope Benedict XVI)

    Now, what happened in 1870? Having been dethroned as ruler of the Papal States by the movement for Italian Reunification that finally triumphed in 1870, Pope Pius IX called the First Vatican Council where he was determined to buttress his own spiritual authority. It stated that the Pope “when he speaks ex cathedra, that is, when exercising the office of pastor and teacher of all Christians” is “possessed of infallibility” when “he defines … a doctrine concerning faith and morals to be held by the whole Church, through the divine assistance promised to him by St. Peter”. Once the Pope has spoken, the First Vatican Council agreed, his definitions “are irreformable of themselves”.

    Between 1867 and 1870, Mirza Husayn Ali Nuri (Baha’u’llah) wrote letters to all the kings and rulers of the earth, announcing his mission and putting forward principles for the evolution of peace in the world. He could hardly have been unaware of the brouhaha leading up to the First Vatican Council and the intentions of the Pope to consolidate his authority as Universal Pastor of the Catholic Church. Res ipsa loquitur.

  • Bird

    Andrew-
    Very intersting, thanks for the comment.

  • Bird

    Andrew-
    Very intersting, thanks for the comment.

  • http://epierce.meanoldbastard.com/ ep

    fwiw: long ago, on a internet far far away, Juan Cole or one of the other similar talisman scholars, stated that there was some evidence that Shoghi Effendi had spent significant time in catholic schools in europe (and maybe Lebanon/Syria?) when he was growing up.

    Andrew wrote:

    Much of Baha’ism seems to be taken from the Catholic playbook.

  • http://epierce.meanoldbastard.com/ ep

    fwiw: long ago, on a internet far far away, Juan Cole or one of the other similar talisman scholars, stated that there was some evidence that Shoghi Effendi had spent significant time in catholic schools in europe (and maybe Lebanon/Syria?) when he was growing up.

    Andrew wrote:

    Much of Baha’ism seems to be taken from the Catholic playbook.

  • http://epierce.meanoldbastard.com/ ep

    Craig and all,

    One again, y’all have done an excellent job with this topic.

    re: BUTPOC/HUTPOC

    LOL! hilarioso.

    I like Craig’s idea of common sense, but once one attempts to “unpack” and “deconstruct” it, problems develop, specifically with pluralism, and cultural context. One culture’s “common sense” won’t make as much sense, if any, to other cultures/paradigms.

    e.g., Modernist “common sense” is actively opposed by Postmodernists, etc.

    I would, again, propose that a “new paradigm” (about paradigms) should go along with “common sense”. The new paradigm is integralism.

    Integralism is rooted in scientific/evolutionary/developmental theory, which is why it is a much better idea than “progressive revelation”, which continues the scam of prophetology and religiously inspired schemes for political power/control/empire, which obviously a collective mental health problem (“disease”).

    The validity of bottom up thinking is not only self-evident within specific cultures/paradigms, it has been part of “systems theory” for a while. Systems theory states that when left alone in small or medium groups (for instance tribes in Africa – human evolutionary origins), people will almost always find pretty good solutions to their problems. There is a “natural” equilibrium in “non-dysfunctional” groups of people that have an intact incentive/disincentive systems, that allows for unfettered “self-learning” and “self-correction”. (this blog is an excellent example: the validity of the “grass roots” learning process here vastly eclipses the practical knowledge of the vast and ponderous worldwide bahai bureaucracy and its “organs” of “scholarship”. with the possible exception of the MDS “100 SED train the trainers” program, which probably doesn’t even operate anymore.)

    There appears to be a “sweet spot” where a culture that is emerging from an agricultural economy (with well defined moral structures), and is adopting an industrial economy, “liberates” the self-learning tendencies of groups of people whio are freed from day-to-day drudgery by industrial, middle class life, who then create tremendous innovations. Unfortuantely what usually follows shortly after that is “paradigm regression” as the society becomes complex/wealthy/decadent and the simple moral structure of the agricultural society breaks down and decays.

    Over the centuries, various top-down systems have developed that attempt to replace the “natural” group logic of human beings with larger scale systems (usually with new religions, new technologies, new political organizations and cultural complexity). The “better” top-down systems tend to operate in such a manner as to minimize the damage to lower-level group logic, while getting people to buy into the benefits of a larger, more complex top-down system. The great “universal” religions, and the societies that developed with them, in their original forms, are examples.

    However, the industrial age presents a new set of problems in human consciousness. A by-product of the paradigm of Modernism is a hierarchy of “professional” experts that solve problems that used to be taken care of at a “vernacular” level in the family, neighborhood, village, community, church/temple. Liberalism tends to make the mistake of promoting such hierarchy, specifically, centralized, bureaucratic hierachies of “experts” that preside over the great social machine of modern society, and attempt to tweak and tune society to eliminate the “snake pits” of human nature, such as inequality and injustice (see Ivan Illich “Vernacular Values”).

    Early on, the Baha’i faith in the “west” absorbed the ever increasingly popular idea of “rule by bureaucratic experts” like a dry sponge in the spiritual desert of western culture. All of the “progressive” social principles in the bahai writings were also sucked up by the same sponge and used to justify “rule by bureaucracy”. It was thought to be the perfect marriage: rule be modernist experts, progressive social principles, along with the “feel good” aspects of a warm-fuzzy spirituality and sufi metaphysics and archetypes needed to form the basis for “community”.
    (there were a number of strong working-class bahai communities in the early period in the usa that were marginalized and disappeared. I helped a bahai scholar do some research for a Kalimat book on that topic years ago. the most egregious example of course is how the working-class Chicago temple organization was hijacked by upper class socialite feminists, who managed to move the temple site itself completely out of the industrial areas of Chicago to the upper class suburbs, sealnig the doom by forever locking bahai administration into an elitist mode.)

    The problem of course is that the cultural “gravity well” of shiism worked against very the (supposedly “evil” and “materialistic”) dynamics in “western” culture that promote self-learning and self-correction, such as scientific objectivity, and free elections.

    Integralism attempts to reconcile spirituality and transcendence with science (rationalism). The big difference is that it does not atetmpt to force science into a religious framework in order to keep the scam of religious hierarchy/power going, which is the fatal flaw of the bahai approach.

    If one reads Shighi Effendi’s political theory carefully, he clearly wanted to create not a “new world order” per se, but a “reformulated world order” that was a weird blend of Islamic civilization and Christian empire. (search on topics related to “national liberation” movements, which Shoghi was very clearly opposed to.)

    Craig Parke wrote:

    [quote comment="49108"]
    … The world must now move on to something more like “Baha’is Under The Provison of Common Sense” (BUTPOCS) where you just live and let live. Let everyone put their web sites and videos up on the Web and let people figure it out. All they ever had to do it put a page on the officiasl US NSA web site explaining the different other Baha’i groups and let people act like adults.

    But what this world really needs is “Humans Under The Provision Of Common Sense” (HUTPOCS). That is just what this entire world needs now.

    People everywhere need to get their heads out of their asses and start to take personal responsibility for the world and think straight bottom up NOT top down.
    [/quote]

  • http://epierce.meanoldbastard.com/ ep

    Craig and all,

    One again, y’all have done an excellent job with this topic.

    re: BUTPOC/HUTPOC

    LOL! hilarioso.

    I like Craig’s idea of common sense, but once one attempts to “unpack” and “deconstruct” it, problems develop, specifically with pluralism, and cultural context. One culture’s “common sense” won’t make as much sense, if any, to other cultures/paradigms.

    e.g., Modernist “common sense” is actively opposed by Postmodernists, etc.

    I would, again, propose that a “new paradigm” (about paradigms) should go along with “common sense”. The new paradigm is integralism.

    Integralism is rooted in scientific/evolutionary/developmental theory, which is why it is a much better idea than “progressive revelation”, which continues the scam of prophetology and religiously inspired schemes for political power/control/empire, which obviously a collective mental health problem (“disease”).

    The validity of bottom up thinking is not only self-evident within specific cultures/paradigms, it has been part of “systems theory” for a while. Systems theory states that when left alone in small or medium groups (for instance tribes in Africa – human evolutionary origins), people will almost always find pretty good solutions to their problems. There is a “natural” equilibrium in “non-dysfunctional” groups of people that have an intact incentive/disincentive systems, that allows for unfettered “self-learning” and “self-correction”. (this blog is an excellent example: the validity of the “grass roots” learning process here vastly eclipses the practical knowledge of the vast and ponderous worldwide bahai bureaucracy and its “organs” of “scholarship”. with the possible exception of the MDS “100 SED train the trainers” program, which probably doesn’t even operate anymore.)

    There appears to be a “sweet spot” where a culture that is emerging from an agricultural economy (with well defined moral structures), and is adopting an industrial economy, “liberates” the self-learning tendencies of groups of people whio are freed from day-to-day drudgery by industrial, middle class life, who then create tremendous innovations. Unfortuantely what usually follows shortly after that is “paradigm regression” as the society becomes complex/wealthy/decadent and the simple moral structure of the agricultural society breaks down and decays.

    Over the centuries, various top-down systems have developed that attempt to replace the “natural” group logic of human beings with larger scale systems (usually with new religions, new technologies, new political organizations and cultural complexity). The “better” top-down systems tend to operate in such a manner as to minimize the damage to lower-level group logic, while getting people to buy into the benefits of a larger, more complex top-down system. The great “universal” religions, and the societies that developed with them, in their original forms, are examples.

    However, the industrial age presents a new set of problems in human consciousness. A by-product of the paradigm of Modernism is a hierarchy of “professional” experts that solve problems that used to be taken care of at a “vernacular” level in the family, neighborhood, village, community, church/temple. Liberalism tends to make the mistake of promoting such hierarchy, specifically, centralized, bureaucratic hierachies of “experts” that preside over the great social machine of modern society, and attempt to tweak and tune society to eliminate the “snake pits” of human nature, such as inequality and injustice (see Ivan Illich “Vernacular Values”).

    Early on, the Baha’i faith in the “west” absorbed the ever increasingly popular idea of “rule by bureaucratic experts” like a dry sponge in the spiritual desert of western culture. All of the “progressive” social principles in the bahai writings were also sucked up by the same sponge and used to justify “rule by bureaucracy”. It was thought to be the perfect marriage: rule be modernist experts, progressive social principles, along with the “feel good” aspects of a warm-fuzzy spirituality and sufi metaphysics and archetypes needed to form the basis for “community”.
    (there were a number of strong working-class bahai communities in the early period in the usa that were marginalized and disappeared. I helped a bahai scholar do some research for a Kalimat book on that topic years ago. the most egregious example of course is how the working-class Chicago temple organization was hijacked by upper class socialite feminists, who managed to move the temple site itself completely out of the industrial areas of Chicago to the upper class suburbs, sealnig the doom by forever locking bahai administration into an elitist mode.)

    The problem of course is that the cultural “gravity well” of shiism worked against very the (supposedly “evil” and “materialistic”) dynamics in “western” culture that promote self-learning and self-correction, such as scientific objectivity, and free elections.

    Integralism attempts to reconcile spirituality and transcendence with science (rationalism). The big difference is that it does not atetmpt to force science into a religious framework in order to keep the scam of religious hierarchy/power going, which is the fatal flaw of the bahai approach.

    If one reads Shighi Effendi’s political theory carefully, he clearly wanted to create not a “new world order” per se, but a “reformulated world order” that was a weird blend of Islamic civilization and Christian empire. (search on topics related to “national liberation” movements, which Shoghi was very clearly opposed to.)

    Craig Parke wrote:

    [quote comment="49108"]
    … The world must now move on to something more like “Baha’is Under The Provison of Common Sense” (BUTPOCS) where you just live and let live. Let everyone put their web sites and videos up on the Web and let people figure it out. All they ever had to do it put a page on the officiasl US NSA web site explaining the different other Baha’i groups and let people act like adults.

    But what this world really needs is “Humans Under The Provision Of Common Sense” (HUTPOCS). That is just what this entire world needs now.

    People everywhere need to get their heads out of their asses and start to take personal responsibility for the world and think straight bottom up NOT top down.
    [/quote]

  • http://epierce.meanoldbastard.com/ ep

    re: Integralism attempts to reconcile spirituality and transcendence with science (rationalism). The big difference is that it does not atetmpt to force science into a religious framework in order to keep the scam of religious hierarchy/power going, which is the fatal flaw of the bahai approach.

    Here is the holistic enchilada:

    http://wilber.shambhala.com/html/books/kosmos/index.cfm/

    excerpt:


    Integral Post-Metaphysics–and its corollary, integral methodological pluralism–is important, I believe, for many reasons. First and foremost, no system (spiritual or otherwise) that does not come to terms with modern Kantian and postmodern Heideggerian thought can hope to survive with any intellectual respectability (agree with them or disagree with them, they have to be addressed)–and that means all spirituality must be post-metaphysical in some sense. Second, as Einsteinian physics applied to objects moving slower than the speed of light collapses back into Newtonian physics, so an Integral Post-Metaphysics can generate all the essentials of premodern spiritual and metaphysical systems but without their now-discredited ontological baggage. This, to my mind, is the central contribution of an Integral Post-Metaphysics–it does not itself contain metaphysics, but it can generate metaphysics as one possible AQAL matrix configuration under the limit conditions of premodern cultures. That is, the AQAL matrix, when run using premodern parameters, collapses into the old metaphysics (as Einsteinian collapses into Newtonian, even though it itself is non-Newtonian). On the other hand, alter the holonic conditions of the matrix by adjusting it to the parameters of the postmodern world, and the metaphysics drops out entirely, even though there still remains an entire spectrum of consciousness, waves of development, evolution and involution, and a rainbow of awareness that runs unbroken from dust to Deity–but without relying on any pregiven, archetypal, or independently existing ontological structures, levels, planes, etc. In fact, the entire “great chain of being” disappears entirely from reality, but its essential features can be generated by the matrix if certain mythic-era assumptions are plugged into its parameters.

    Of course, some sort of “great chain of being” has been central to spiritual traditions from time immemorial, whether it appears in the general shamanic form as the existence of higher and lower worlds, the Neoplatonic version of levels of reality (e.g., the amazing Plotinus), the Taoist version of realms of being (e.g., Lieh Tzu), the Buddhist version of a spectrum of consciousness (e.g., the 8 vijnanas), or the Kabbalah sefirot–and down to today’s newer wisdom traditions, from Aurobindo to Adi Da to Hameed Almaas. All of them, without exception, postulate the existence of levels or dimensions of reality or consciousness, including higher or wider or deeper dimensions of being and knowing–some sort of rainbow of existence, whose waves, levels, or bands possess an independent reality that can be accessed by sufficiently evolved or developed souls. In other words, they all postulate the existence of metaphysical realities–which is exactly what is challenged (and thoroughly rejected) by modern and postmodern currents.

    Therefore, what is required is a way to generate that essential rainbow of existence but without any metaphysical or ontological postulates. In other words, IF we can generate the essentials of a spiritual worldview without the metaphysical baggage, then we can generate a spiritual worldview that will survive in a modern and postmodern world. That, in any event, is one of the central aims of Integral Post-Metaphysics (and its practical application, called “integral methodological pluralism”), both of which will be outlined in these excerpts. If we can succeed in this endeavor, then all of those spiritual worldviews (from shamanism to Plotinus to Padmasambhava to Aurobindo) can be reanimated and utilized within a broader, non-metaphysical AQAL matrix, which can generate the same rainbow of existence but without the discredited metaphysical accoutrements, and thus one can still utilize their profound wisdom without succumbing to the devastating attacks of modern and postmodern currents.

  • http://epierce.meanoldbastard.com/ ep

    re: Integralism attempts to reconcile spirituality and transcendence with science (rationalism). The big difference is that it does not atetmpt to force science into a religious framework in order to keep the scam of religious hierarchy/power going, which is the fatal flaw of the bahai approach.

    Here is the holistic enchilada:

    http://wilber.shambhala.com/html/books/kosmos/index.cfm/

    excerpt:


    Integral Post-Metaphysics–and its corollary, integral methodological pluralism–is important, I believe, for many reasons. First and foremost, no system (spiritual or otherwise) that does not come to terms with modern Kantian and postmodern Heideggerian thought can hope to survive with any intellectual respectability (agree with them or disagree with them, they have to be addressed)–and that means all spirituality must be post-metaphysical in some sense. Second, as Einsteinian physics applied to objects moving slower than the speed of light collapses back into Newtonian physics, so an Integral Post-Metaphysics can generate all the essentials of premodern spiritual and metaphysical systems but without their now-discredited ontological baggage. This, to my mind, is the central contribution of an Integral Post-Metaphysics–it does not itself contain metaphysics, but it can generate metaphysics as one possible AQAL matrix configuration under the limit conditions of premodern cultures. That is, the AQAL matrix, when run using premodern parameters, collapses into the old metaphysics (as Einsteinian collapses into Newtonian, even though it itself is non-Newtonian). On the other hand, alter the holonic conditions of the matrix by adjusting it to the parameters of the postmodern world, and the metaphysics drops out entirely, even though there still remains an entire spectrum of consciousness, waves of development, evolution and involution, and a rainbow of awareness that runs unbroken from dust to Deity–but without relying on any pregiven, archetypal, or independently existing ontological structures, levels, planes, etc. In fact, the entire “great chain of being” disappears entirely from reality, but its essential features can be generated by the matrix if certain mythic-era assumptions are plugged into its parameters.

    Of course, some sort of “great chain of being” has been central to spiritual traditions from time immemorial, whether it appears in the general shamanic form as the existence of higher and lower worlds, the Neoplatonic version of levels of reality (e.g., the amazing Plotinus), the Taoist version of realms of being (e.g., Lieh Tzu), the Buddhist version of a spectrum of consciousness (e.g., the 8 vijnanas), or the Kabbalah sefirot–and down to today’s newer wisdom traditions, from Aurobindo to Adi Da to Hameed Almaas. All of them, without exception, postulate the existence of levels or dimensions of reality or consciousness, including higher or wider or deeper dimensions of being and knowing–some sort of rainbow of existence, whose waves, levels, or bands possess an independent reality that can be accessed by sufficiently evolved or developed souls. In other words, they all postulate the existence of metaphysical realities–which is exactly what is challenged (and thoroughly rejected) by modern and postmodern currents.

    Therefore, what is required is a way to generate that essential rainbow of existence but without any metaphysical or ontological postulates. In other words, IF we can generate the essentials of a spiritual worldview without the metaphysical baggage, then we can generate a spiritual worldview that will survive in a modern and postmodern world. That, in any event, is one of the central aims of Integral Post-Metaphysics (and its practical application, called “integral methodological pluralism”), both of which will be outlined in these excerpts. If we can succeed in this endeavor, then all of those spiritual worldviews (from shamanism to Plotinus to Padmasambhava to Aurobindo) can be reanimated and utilized within a broader, non-metaphysical AQAL matrix, which can generate the same rainbow of existence but without the discredited metaphysical accoutrements, and thus one can still utilize their profound wisdom without succumbing to the devastating attacks of modern and postmodern currents.

  • Craig Parke

    ep,

    Thank you for these recent posts. It is all very, very useful stuff. I apologize for any conflicts between us in the past. I understand your passion much better now. You are (still) actually quite concerned that the world work all this out somehow. You are actually soldiering on in the best way you can. I truly respect you for this. Your posts have been a very useful contribution here. I guess for all of us here, that is why we all joined the Baha’i Faith originally in the first place: based upon our life experiences we all became concerned that the world work all this out somehow. To see the Baha’i Faith go to such common place ruin is a very real anguish and takes many different forms in on-line discussions.

    I think you are right in that the insights of Integralism seem to be
    the best thought system yet in trying to understand how the world can move forward. (And, as you stated once, it was some Baha’is who introduced you to this body of thought!) That was the Baha’i Faith I once really loved. A free form community of independent investigation in all the issues facing the human race. Those days, as we all sadly know, are over in the new ruthless top down, group think, totalitarian Faith. The final gamed fait accompli of the ITC Faith becoming the Baha’i Faith is now sealed. The tightly controlled group think demise will be ever and ever faster. Any free thinkers are all Emmanuel Goldstein in George Orwell’s “1984″ now. Enemies of the Party. The same old, same old toxic brain chemistry in human organizations.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J7Kznmrc3o4

    “We have inherited a dangerous delusion from Christianity that our
    individual conscience is supreme. This is not a Baha’i belief. In the end, in the context of both our role in the community and our role in the greater world, we must be prepared to sacrifice our personal convictions or opinions. The belief that individual conscience is supreme is equivalent to ‘taking partners with God’ which is abhorrent to the Teachings of the Faith.”

    - Douglas Martin
    Former Member of the Universal House of Justice
    Baha’i Faith

    After what the human race went through in the ideological hell of the 20th Century in ten thousand instances of many personal Auschwitz-Birkenaus, this meme (to borrow a wonderful Integralist term) is just not going to fly among thinking people anywhere on Earth. I just don’t see where turning your private eternal soul over to an organization to do your moral reasoning and thinking for you
    will ever become fashionable again. Maybe I am wrong, but I just don’t see it ever happening again. I believe the demise of the baha’i Faith will be very very rapid now as people discovery this mentality in it via the Internet.

    In fact, as you have brought to our attention in these very interesting and thought provoking Integralist quotes, the rise of technologies empowering various social classes is one of the core mechanisms of society. When the new big system of thought connects with the bottom up problem solving systems of society there is an advance.

    The true big system of spiritual thought now is that the human race IS going planetary in thinking. The BAO has now quite unfortunately ruthlessly killed all innate bottom up problem solving skills in every society on Earth that has come into their “new professional theorist class” devised system. It is astonishing how harebrained this was, but it is the reality.

    But, as you have stated through these Integralist concepts, the new paradigm will move forward and form.

    To my mind, the mechanism is now clearly the technology of the intimate planetary communication of the Internet. The current version of the Baha’i Faith was completely unprepared for this. With the Dialog Magazine fiasco of 1988 it had no further development of a culture of completely free and open public discussion on the issues facing both the Baha’i community and the human race. The consequences now will be completely fatal. It is too late now to develop that culture. The rise of the Internet with it’s planetary vitality in the exchange of thought, ideas, and real human concerns has completely by-passed the completely straight jacketed organization of the Baha’i Faith.

    The Internet itself is now the religion of the newly forming planetary paradigm. It is the organizing principle behind what is to come. All bets are off.

    Thank you for your recent very useful posts.

    I am going to go for a nice walk now along the river here.

    Everyone keep posting!

    Best regards to all!

    Craig

  • Craig Parke

    ep,

    Thank you for these recent posts. It is all very, very useful stuff. I apologize for any conflicts between us in the past. I understand your passion much better now. You are (still) actually quite concerned that the world work all this out somehow. You are actually soldiering on in the best way you can. I truly respect you for this. Your posts have been a very useful contribution here. I guess for all of us here, that is why we all joined the Baha’i Faith originally in the first place: based upon our life experiences we all became concerned that the world work all this out somehow. To see the Baha’i Faith go to such common place ruin is a very real anguish and takes many different forms in on-line discussions.

    I think you are right in that the insights of Integralism seem to be
    the best thought system yet in trying to understand how the world can move forward. (And, as you stated once, it was some Baha’is who introduced you to this body of thought!) That was the Baha’i Faith I once really loved. A free form community of independent investigation in all the issues facing the human race. Those days, as we all sadly know, are over in the new ruthless top down, group think, totalitarian Faith. The final gamed fait accompli of the ITC Faith becoming the Baha’i Faith is now sealed. The tightly controlled group think demise will be ever and ever faster. Any free thinkers are all Emmanuel Goldstein in George Orwell’s “1984″ now. Enemies of the Party. The same old, same old toxic brain chemistry in human organizations.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J7Kznmrc3o4

    “We have inherited a dangerous delusion from Christianity that our
    individual conscience is supreme. This is not a Baha’i belief. In the end, in the context of both our role in the community and our role in the greater world, we must be prepared to sacrifice our personal convictions or opinions. The belief that individual conscience is supreme is equivalent to ‘taking partners with God’ which is abhorrent to the Teachings of the Faith.”

    - Douglas Martin
    Former Member of the Universal House of Justice
    Baha’i Faith

    After what the human race went through in the ideological hell of the 20th Century in ten thousand instances of many personal Auschwitz-Birkenaus, this meme (to borrow a wonderful Integralist term) is just not going to fly among thinking people anywhere on Earth. I just don’t see where turning your private eternal soul over to an organization to do your moral reasoning and thinking for you
    will ever become fashionable again. Maybe I am wrong, but I just don’t see it ever happening again. I believe the demise of the baha’i Faith will be very very rapid now as people discovery this mentality in it via the Internet.

    In fact, as you have brought to our attention in these very interesting and thought provoking Integralist quotes, the rise of technologies empowering various social classes is one of the core mechanisms of society. When the new big system of thought connects with the bottom up problem solving systems of society there is an advance.

    The true big system of spiritual thought now is that the human race IS going planetary in thinking. The BAO has now quite unfortunately ruthlessly killed all innate bottom up problem solving skills in every society on Earth that has come into their “new professional theorist class” devised system. It is astonishing how harebrained this was, but it is the reality.

    But, as you have stated through these Integralist concepts, the new paradigm will move forward and form.

    To my mind, the mechanism is now clearly the technology of the intimate planetary communication of the Internet. The current version of the Baha’i Faith was completely unprepared for this. With the Dialog Magazine fiasco of 1988 it had no further development of a culture of completely free and open public discussion on the issues facing both the Baha’i community and the human race. The consequences now will be completely fatal. It is too late now to develop that culture. The rise of the Internet with it’s planetary vitality in the exchange of thought, ideas, and real human concerns has completely by-passed the completely straight jacketed organization of the Baha’i Faith.

    The Internet itself is now the religion of the newly forming planetary paradigm. It is the organizing principle behind what is to come. All bets are off.

    Thank you for your recent very useful posts.

    I am going to go for a nice walk now along the river here.

    Everyone keep posting!

    Best regards to all!

    Craig

  • RosterBIGS

    As addenda to US NSA’s failure to prevail:
    On August 7, 1928, then Secretary of NSA, Horace Holley, acting as agent for NSA, a common law corporation and proprietor NSA, trademarked the word “Baha’i” with the Commissioner of the US Patent Office.
    In 1941, in a case brought challenging this trademark, the Supreme Court of the State of New York ruled that the trademark was invalid. The Court’s rationale…..”Had not the unethical act of concealing from the Commissioner of the US Patent Office the fact that the word Baha’i derives from the name, Baha’u’llah, a person, and more importantly, the founder of a religion, the trademark would have been denied. There is no monopoly on the word Baha’i.”

    This current lawsuit ostensibly flowed from NSA’s original suit (date of filing December 7, 2006, same USDC) which attempted to enjoin others from the use of the word “Baha’i, and in which they failed to prevail, underscores NSA’s unutterably absurd preoccupation with non-mainstream Baha’is in general and with Covenant Breakers in particular.

  • RosterBIGS

    As addenda to US NSA’s failure to prevail:
    On August 7, 1928, then Secretary of NSA, Horace Holley, acting as agent for NSA, a common law corporation and proprietor NSA, trademarked the word “Baha’i” with the Commissioner of the US Patent Office.
    In 1941, in a case brought challenging this trademark, the Supreme Court of the State of New York ruled that the trademark was invalid. The Court’s rationale…..”Had not the unethical act of concealing from the Commissioner of the US Patent Office the fact that the word Baha’i derives from the name, Baha’u’llah, a person, and more importantly, the founder of a religion, the trademark would have been denied. There is no monopoly on the word Baha’i.”

    This current lawsuit ostensibly flowed from NSA’s original suit (date of filing December 7, 2006, same USDC) which attempted to enjoin others from the use of the word “Baha’i, and in which they failed to prevail, underscores NSA’s unutterably absurd preoccupation with non-mainstream Baha’is in general and with Covenant Breakers in particular.

  • Grover

    [quote comment=""]

    “We have inherited a dangerous delusion from Christianity that our
    individual conscience is supreme. This is not a Baha’i belief. In the end, in the context of both our role in the community and our role in the greater world, we must be prepared to sacrifice our personal convictions or opinions. The belief that individual conscience is supreme is equivalent to ‘taking partners with God’ which is abhorrent to the Teachings of the Faith.”

    - Douglas Martin
    Former Member of the Universal House of Justice
    Baha’i Faith

    [/quote]

    It’s ironic how the Faith proclaims loudly “Independent investigation of truth!” which implies the individual conscience is supreme, and yet we have Douglas Martin here saying that it is not a Baha’i belief! What he is really saying is “We don’t want you to think for yourselves because it is inconvenient to us”, hence we have Ruhi, the most wonderful method for turning peoples brains into vegetables.

  • Grover

    [quote comment=""]

    “We have inherited a dangerous delusion from Christianity that our
    individual conscience is supreme. This is not a Baha’i belief. In the end, in the context of both our role in the community and our role in the greater world, we must be prepared to sacrifice our personal convictions or opinions. The belief that individual conscience is supreme is equivalent to ‘taking partners with God’ which is abhorrent to the Teachings of the Faith.”

    - Douglas Martin
    Former Member of the Universal House of Justice
    Baha’i Faith

    [/quote]

    It’s ironic how the Faith proclaims loudly “Independent investigation of truth!” which implies the individual conscience is supreme, and yet we have Douglas Martin here saying that it is not a Baha’i belief! What he is really saying is “We don’t want you to think for yourselves because it is inconvenient to us”, hence we have Ruhi, the most wonderful method for turning peoples brains into vegetables.

  • farhan

    Grover wrote:
    “It’s ironic how the Faith proclaims loudly “Independent investigation of truth!” which implies the individual conscience is supreme, and yet we have Douglas Martin here saying that it is not a Baha’i belief!”

    Grover, I think that this apparent paradox can be solved by differenciating between _individual_ conscience and action _collective_ conscience and collective action.

    We are all encouraged to seek truth for ourselves and to act accordingly, but when it comes to collective action we are obliged to harmonise our views and actions wityh that of others. If we all choose to act only according to our personnal conscience and interpretations, no collective enterprise such as world peace would be at all possible.

    Speaking very generally, French Cartesian thought and action is more individualistic and more analytic, encouraging he individual to seek a response within himself, whereas Anglo-Saxon thought is more synthetic and holistic with a vision of collective responsabilities.

    Joel de ROSNAY developped this comparison in his “Macroscope” (which is translated into English and which I recommend) after his studies in the US MIT.

    As an example, French deontological code places the physician in a position of respnsability towards the individual and then of public health, whereas the US medical council code places the physician in a situation of responsability first towards public health. The importance of medical confidentiality is such that a physician cannot report a person with AIDS hiding his disease from his partner.

    These two axis are to me also found in the ethical discussions between “pro life” and “pro-choice”

    We need an equilibrium between these two levels: individual liberties and collective responsabilities.

    Christianity brought the basis of individual virtues and the Baha’i Faith carries this same concept to the level of collective virtues.

  • Farhan Yazdani

    Grover wrote:
    “It’s ironic how the Faith proclaims loudly “Independent investigation of truth!” which implies the individual conscience is supreme, and yet we have Douglas Martin here saying that it is not a Baha’i belief!”

    Grover, I think that this apparent paradox can be solved by differenciating between _individual_ conscience and action _collective_ conscience and collective action.

    We are all encouraged to seek truth for ourselves and to act accordingly, but when it comes to collective action we are obliged to harmonise our views and actions wityh that of others. If we all choose to act only according to our personnal conscience and interpretations, no collective enterprise such as world peace would be at all possible.

    Speaking very generally, French Cartesian thought and action is more individualistic and more analytic, encouraging he individual to seek a response within himself, whereas Anglo-Saxon thought is more synthetic and holistic with a vision of collective responsabilities.

    Joel de ROSNAY developped this comparison in his “Macroscope” (which is translated into English and which I recommend) after his studies in the US MIT.

    As an example, French deontological code places the physician in a position of respnsability towards the individual and then of public health, whereas the US medical council code places the physician in a situation of responsability first towards public health. The importance of medical confidentiality is such that a physician cannot report a person with AIDS hiding his disease from his partner.

    These two axis are to me also found in the ethical discussions between “pro life” and “pro-choice”

    We need an equilibrium between these two levels: individual liberties and collective responsabilities.

    Christianity brought the basis of individual virtues and the Baha’i Faith carries this same concept to the level of collective virtues.

  • http://kaweah.com/blog Dan Jensen

    It looks like I didn’t quite use the the “quote comment” feature here correctly, so here’s another attempt.

    Mr. Yazdani writes:

    “if we all choose to act only according to our personnal conscience and interpretations, no collective enterprise such as world peace would be at all possible.”

    This is characteristic of the way many Baha’is see the world. For them, “faith” is chiefly an expression of despair, that is, of their loss of faith in humanity.

    Mr. Yazdani makes a mistake here when he fails to distinguish collective thinking from collective obedience. The former is an organic, social phenomena–neither intrinsically good nor bad, whereas the latter is an all-to-familiar, destructive pattern in human behavior that many Baha’is seem to believe is unique to their religion.

  • http://kaweah.com/blog Dan Jensen

    It looks like I didn’t quite use the the “quote comment” feature here correctly, so here’s another attempt.

    Mr. Yazdani writes:

    “if we all choose to act only according to our personnal conscience and interpretations, no collective enterprise such as world peace would be at all possible.”

    This is characteristic of the way many Baha’is see the world. For them, “faith” is chiefly an expression of despair, that is, of their loss of faith in humanity.

    Mr. Yazdani makes a mistake here when he fails to distinguish collective thinking from collective obedience. The former is an organic, social phenomena–neither intrinsically good nor bad, whereas the latter is an all-to-familiar, destructive pattern in human behavior that many Baha’is seem to believe is unique to their religion.

  • Carm-again

    Grover wrote:

    “It’s ironic how the Faith proclaims loudly “Independent investigation of truth!” which implies the individual conscience is supreme, and yet we have Douglas Martin here saying that it is not a Baha’i belief! What he is really saying is “We don’t want you to think for yourselves because it is inconvenient to us”, hence we have Ruhi, the most wonderful method for turning peoples brains into vegetables.”

    Does the independent investigation of truth really imply that individual conscience is supreme? Here are two dictionary definitions of conscience: “1. the inner sense of what is right or wrong in one’s conduct or motives, impelling one toward right action: to follow the dictates of conscience.
    2. the complex of ethical and moral principles that controls or inhibits the actions or thoughts of an individual.”

    If individual conscience is supreme it means that someone’s independent investigation of truth could lead them to believe in a ‘truth’ and act in a manner, according to the dictates of their conscience, which is harmful to others. For example, the ethical standards which govern the conscience of individuals who believe (after investigating the truth as they understand it) that there is nothing wrong with the use of illicit drugs, may lead them to use or become dealers of these drugs. This does not mean that their behaviour is either correct or justified based on the supremacy of their conscience. The Polygamists who have recently been in the news in the US certainly believed that there was nothing wrong with their behavior. The independent investigation of truth does not imply that the supremacy of one’s conscience will always result in correct behavior and beliefs.

    You might find the following comment useful:

    “A Bahá’í recognizes that one aspect of his spiritual and intellectual growth is to foster the development of his conscience in the light of divine Revelation — a Revelation which, in addition to providing a wealth of spiritual and ethical principles, exhorts man “to free himself from idle fancy and imitation, discern with the eye of oneness His glorious handiwork, and look into all things with a searching eye”. This process of development, therefore, involves a clear-sighted examination of the conditions of the world with both heart and mind. A Bahá’í will understand that an upright life is based upon observance of certain principles which stem from Divine Revelation and which he recognizes as essential for the well-being of both the individual and society. In order to uphold such principles, he knows that, in certain cases, the voluntary submission of the promptings of his own personal conscience to the decision of the majority is a conscientious requirement, as in wholeheartedly accepting the majority decision of an Assembly at the outcome of consultation.”

    UHJ “Issues Related to the Study of the Bahá’í Faith”

    Carmen

  • Carm-again

    Grover wrote:

    “It’s ironic how the Faith proclaims loudly “Independent investigation of truth!” which implies the individual conscience is supreme, and yet we have Douglas Martin here saying that it is not a Baha’i belief! What he is really saying is “We don’t want you to think for yourselves because it is inconvenient to us”, hence we have Ruhi, the most wonderful method for turning peoples brains into vegetables.”

    Does the independent investigation of truth really imply that individual conscience is supreme? Here are two dictionary definitions of conscience: “1. the inner sense of what is right or wrong in one’s conduct or motives, impelling one toward right action: to follow the dictates of conscience.
    2. the complex of ethical and moral principles that controls or inhibits the actions or thoughts of an individual.”

    If individual conscience is supreme it means that someone’s independent investigation of truth could lead them to believe in a ‘truth’ and act in a manner, according to the dictates of their conscience, which is harmful to others. For example, the ethical standards which govern the conscience of individuals who believe (after investigating the truth as they understand it) that there is nothing wrong with the use of illicit drugs, may lead them to use or become dealers of these drugs. This does not mean that their behaviour is either correct or justified based on the supremacy of their conscience. The Polygamists who have recently been in the news in the US certainly believed that there was nothing wrong with their behavior. The independent investigation of truth does not imply that the supremacy of one’s conscience will always result in correct behavior and beliefs.

    You might find the following comment useful:

    “A Bahá’í recognizes that one aspect of his spiritual and intellectual growth is to foster the development of his conscience in the light of divine Revelation — a Revelation which, in addition to providing a wealth of spiritual and ethical principles, exhorts man “to free himself from idle fancy and imitation, discern with the eye of oneness His glorious handiwork, and look into all things with a searching eye”. This process of development, therefore, involves a clear-sighted examination of the conditions of the world with both heart and mind. A Bahá’í will understand that an upright life is based upon observance of certain principles which stem from Divine Revelation and which he recognizes as essential for the well-being of both the individual and society. In order to uphold such principles, he knows that, in certain cases, the voluntary submission of the promptings of his own personal conscience to the decision of the majority is a conscientious requirement, as in wholeheartedly accepting the majority decision of an Assembly at the outcome of consultation.”

    UHJ “Issues Related to the Study of the Bahá’í Faith”

    Carmen

  • http://kaweah.com/blog Dan Jensen

    Carmen, this does appear to indicate that civil disobedience is considered immoral in the Baha’i Faith. The Baha’i writings do seem quite consistent in urging Baha’is to avoid any confrontation of authority whatsoever. The principles of avoidance of political activity and thorough obedience to the prevailing government make this pretty clear. This tends to make one say, “ok, so I can investigate freely, but is it moral for me to act upon what I discover?” I think the take-home message is that one can think and investigate freely, but one’s words and actions must remain thoroughly obedient to all authorities.

    Carmen quotes the UHJ:

    “A Bahá’í will understand that an upright life is based upon observance of certain principles which stem from Divine Revelation and which he recognizes as essential for the well-being of both the individual and society. In order to uphold such principles, he knows that, in certain cases, the voluntary submission of the promptings of his own personal conscience to the decision of the majority is a conscientious requirement, as in wholeheartedly accepting the majority decision of an Assembly at the outcome of consultation.”

  • http://kaweah.com/blog Dan Jensen

    Carmen, this does appear to indicate that civil disobedience is considered immoral in the Baha’i Faith. The Baha’i writings do seem quite consistent in urging Baha’is to avoid any confrontation of authority whatsoever. The principles of avoidance of political activity and thorough obedience to the prevailing government make this pretty clear. This tends to make one say, “ok, so I can investigate freely, but is it moral for me to act upon what I discover?” I think the take-home message is that one can think and investigate freely, but one’s words and actions must remain thoroughly obedient to all authorities.

    Carmen quotes the UHJ:

    “A Bahá’í will understand that an upright life is based upon observance of certain principles which stem from Divine Revelation and which he recognizes as essential for the well-being of both the individual and society. In order to uphold such principles, he knows that, in certain cases, the voluntary submission of the promptings of his own personal conscience to the decision of the majority is a conscientious requirement, as in wholeheartedly accepting the majority decision of an Assembly at the outcome of consultation.”

  • Craig Parke

    Carmen quotes the UHJ:

    “A Bahá’í will understand that an upright life is based upon observance of certain principles which stem from Divine Revelation and which he recognizes as essential for the well-being of both the individual and society. In order to uphold such principles, he knows that, in certain cases, the voluntary submission of the promptings of his own personal conscience to the decision of the majority is a conscientious requirement, as in wholeheartedly accepting the majority decision of an Assembly at the outcome of consultation.”

    What if the new top down hijacked ITC Faith incestuous clique, oops, I mean “Universal House of Justice of the Baha’i Faith”, says to every Baha’i on Earth in a Ridvan Message some time in the Glorious Future of the Faith that you, to maintain your membership as a “Baha’i In Good Standing”, are to murder anyone in your family that does not successfully complete the Ruhi Full Sequence of Courses in a fast enough period of time to the satisfaction of the local AABM who must make the ruling of whether they completed the full sequence in time and to his/her exact satisfaction?

    What if the majority of the UHJ has voted that I must do this?

    What if the majority of the Local Spiritual Assembly has also voted that I must do this and anyone who doesn’t themselves will be shot?

    I was raised a Christian. I believe in human conscience as based upon the Ten Commandments, the beatitudes of Jesus Christ, and the teachings of the Avatars and Sages I have read and studied including Baha’u’llah.

    What if I just don’t accept the moral rulings of not too bright high school teachers who have gamed the electoral processes of the Baha’i Faith to get themselves lifetime incumbent positions as the “Voice of God” on Earth?

    I tell you right now I am NOT murdering ANYONE in my family because they did not complete the Ruhi Full Sequence of Courses in a fast enough period of time because my personal moral conscience will NOT allow it.

    I tell everyone here in front of the whole world that I just am NOT going against my own personal conscience in my conduct.

    If I am suddenly transported back in time to the village of My Lai in Vietnam on the morning of March 16th, 1968 and I land with my good friend the late CWO Hugh Thompson in his helicopter that day and Lieutenant Calley orders me to shoot CWO Hugh Thompson in accordance with Baha’i “Obediance to Governement” I tell everyone here before the whole world and the high school teachers who have gamed lifetime incumbency on the UHJ of the Baha’i Faith as the “Voice of God” on Earth that I am just NOT going to do it.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/My_Lai_massacre

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hugh_Thompson,_Jr.

    I am NOT going to shoot CWO Hugh Thompson just because Lieutenant Calley tells me he is going to have me auto disenrolled by First Class Postage Mail like others have out of the Baha’i Faith by the UHJ if I don’t kill CWO Hugh Thompson in “Obediance to Government”.

    Furthermore, based upon Lieutanant Calleys’s personal actions killing Vietnamese in cold blood that day I most probably will shoot Lieutenant Calley based upon the dictates of my conscience even though “conscience is a dangerous delusion inherited from Christianity” and Douglas Martin can go to hell.

    Furthermore, when I get back from my time travel trip I just might look up Douglas Martin for his making himself partners with God by opening his big fat mouth and giving his personal opinions about anything on Earth as a UHJ member and shoot him too.

    Remember, I am a trained military veteran of the Armed Forces of the United States and was once a Commissioned Officer authorized to lead up to 200 troops in battle as common currency, so I think a good lawyer can get me off in blowing Douglas Martin away. Maybe I can say I had a “flash back” of some sort and “God told me to do it.”

    I honestly think “God” is going to start telling alot of people to do it if these pompous theorist class asses for human beings keep talking about “inheriting dangerous delusions from Christainaity”. This man can STFU.

    There was a failed painter in the last century who got control of an entire brainwashed nation of sheep. His name was Adolph Hitler. He said “Conscience is a Jewish invention.” He did away with it in an entire nation. The rest is history. I’m not dropping Zyklon B down a pipe on other human beings either. And any “group think” bunch of effete theorist class punks and idiots that try to tell me to do that can go to hell too.

    The history of persecution of people in the name of a monolithic religious or political belief system is the VERY FIBER OF HUMAN HISTORY over the last 2000 years, why do you apparatchik knee jerk true believer sheep here think the UHJ of the Baha’i Faith could NOT become just as deranged and corrupt if the rank and file people have their consciences taken away in the “new ideology” and won’t stand up to them?

    How can you assure us all here that they they could never become “NINE HITLERS” if people are NOT alowed or permitted themselves to “have personal consciences” in the Baha’i Faith as the “new teachings” of the hijacked ITC Faith?

    I have been a dedicated and steadfast Baha’i for 36 years who performed many years of service for the Institutions of the Faith in my area and my country and I say these people have now completely overstepped their bounds worldwide and the Tablet of the Holy Mariner with it’s “burning meteor” is coming for them to “cast them out” because THEY are the ones who have broken the Everlasting Covenant of Almighty God.

    Not the rank and file who have been pure and faithful to the original Teachings of the Prophets and Holy Manifestations.

    They can take their Ruhi books of the hijacked ITC Faith and jam them up their effete school teacher asses.

  • Craig Parke

    Carmen quotes the UHJ:

    “A Bahá’í will understand that an upright life is based upon observance of certain principles which stem from Divine Revelation and which he recognizes as essential for the well-being of both the individual and society. In order to uphold such principles, he knows that, in certain cases, the voluntary submission of the promptings of his own personal conscience to the decision of the majority is a conscientious requirement, as in wholeheartedly accepting the majority decision of an Assembly at the outcome of consultation.”

    What if the new top down hijacked ITC Faith incestuous clique, oops, I mean “Universal House of Justice of the Baha’i Faith”, says to every Baha’i on Earth in a Ridvan Message some time in the Glorious Future of the Faith that you, to maintain your membership as a “Baha’i In Good Standing”, are to murder anyone in your family that does not successfully complete the Ruhi Full Sequence of Courses in a fast enough period of time to the satisfaction of the local AABM who must make the ruling of whether they completed the full sequence in time and to his/her exact satisfaction?

    What if the majority of the UHJ has voted that I must do this?

    What if the majority of the Local Spiritual Assembly has also voted that I must do this and anyone who doesn’t themselves will be shot?

    I was raised a Christian. I believe in human conscience as based upon the Ten Commandments, the beatitudes of Jesus Christ, and the teachings of the Avatars and Sages I have read and studied including Baha’u’llah.

    What if I just don’t accept the moral rulings of not too bright high school teachers who have gamed the electoral processes of the Baha’i Faith to get themselves lifetime incumbent positions as the “Voice of God” on Earth?

    I tell you right now I am NOT murdering ANYONE in my family because they did not complete the Ruhi Full Sequence of Courses in a fast enough period of time because my personal moral conscience will NOT allow it.

    I tell everyone here in front of the whole world that I just am NOT going against my own personal conscience in my conduct.

    If I am suddenly transported back in time to the village of My Lai in Vietnam on the morning of March 16th, 1968 and I land with my good friend the late CWO Hugh Thompson in his helicopter that day and Lieutenant Calley orders me to shoot CWO Hugh Thompson in accordance with Baha’i “Obediance to Governement” I tell everyone here before the whole world and the high school teachers who have gamed lifetime incumbency on the UHJ of the Baha’i Faith as the “Voice of God” on Earth that I am just NOT going to do it.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/My_Lai_massacre

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hugh_Thompson,_Jr.

    I am NOT going to shoot CWO Hugh Thompson just because Lieutenant Calley tells me he is going to have me auto disenrolled by First Class Postage Mail like others have out of the Baha’i Faith by the UHJ if I don’t kill CWO Hugh Thompson in “Obediance to Government”.

    Furthermore, based upon Lieutanant Calleys’s personal actions killing Vietnamese in cold blood that day I most probably will shoot Lieutenant Calley based upon the dictates of my conscience even though “conscience is a dangerous delusion inherited from Christianity” and Douglas Martin can go to hell.

    Furthermore, when I get back from my time travel trip I just might look up Douglas Martin for his making himself partners with God by opening his big fat mouth and giving his personal opinions about anything on Earth as a UHJ member and shoot him too.

    Remember, I am a trained military veteran of the Armed Forces of the United States and was once a Commissioned Officer authorized to lead up to 200 troops in battle as common currency, so I think a good lawyer can get me off in blowing Douglas Martin away. Maybe I can say I had a “flash back” of some sort and “God told me to do it.”

    I honestly think “God” is going to start telling alot of people to do it if these pompous theorist class asses for human beings keep talking about “inheriting dangerous delusions from Christainaity”. This man can STFU.

    There was a failed painter in the last century who got control of an entire brainwashed nation of sheep. His name was Adolph Hitler. He said “Conscience is a Jewish invention.” He did away with it in an entire nation. The rest is history. I’m not dropping Zyklon B down a pipe on other human beings either. And any “group think” bunch of effete theorist class punks and idiots that try to tell me to do that can go to hell too.

    The history of persecution of people in the name of a monolithic religious or political belief system is the VERY FIBER OF HUMAN HISTORY over the last 2000 years, why do you apparatchik knee jerk true believer sheep here think the UHJ of the Baha’i Faith could NOT become just as deranged and corrupt if the rank and file people have their consciences taken away in the “new ideology” and won’t stand up to them?

    How can you assure us all here that they they could never become “NINE HITLERS” if people are NOT alowed or permitted themselves to “have personal consciences” in the Baha’i Faith as the “new teachings” of the hijacked ITC Faith?

    I have been a dedicated and steadfast Baha’i for 36 years who performed many years of service for the Institutions of the Faith in my area and my country and I say these people have now completely overstepped their bounds worldwide and the Tablet of the Holy Mariner with it’s “burning meteor” is coming for them to “cast them out” because THEY are the ones who have broken the Everlasting Covenant of Almighty God.

    Not the rank and file who have been pure and faithful to the original Teachings of the Prophets and Holy Manifestations.

    They can take their Ruhi books of the hijacked ITC Faith and jam them up their effete school teacher asses.

  • Carm-again

    Craig wrote: ”

    “The history of persecution of people in the name of a monolithic religious or political belief system is the VERY FIBER OF HUMAN HISTORY over the last 2000 years, why do you apparatchik knee jerk true believer sheep here think the UHJ of the Baha’i Faith could NOT become just as deranged and corrupt if the rank and file people have their consciences taken away in the “new ideology” and won’t stand up to them?”

    My beloved brother Craig, You are correct about the fact that religion has sometimes been hijacked by fanatics not only over the past two thousand years but also prior to that. Fire can be used to warm us and also in a lamp to read by at night. It can also be used by an arsonist to burn people to death. Pure teachings which foster love and fellowship can be hijacked. The same is true of science. It is one of the greatest sources of good for humanity. However, in the wrong hands it can be used for evil just as nuclear power can be used for peaceful or harmful purposes. Man’s reason can be used in philosophical or other pursuits which are of benefit but it can also be used in the service of activities which are inimical to others. You mention Nazi Germany and this is a very good example of the highly negative uses of reason, science and other qualities and pursuits.

    The only fundamental issue of difference between us is that your opinion of the UHJ is that it has been corrupted and hijacked and is therefore now oppressing and will continue to oppress believers and others. You also condemn those like me who have a different viewpoint just as easily as you condemn the entire Middle East and its history, Iran, the Baha’is for not preventing the horrors of World Wars 1&2 (in another post). I suppose you would also include in your condemnation of the Baha’is the various other wars of the 20th century and acts of genocide in the former USSR, China, Cambodia, Rwanda and other countries as well as variious other evils. You also have often condemned the Guardian for not appointing a successor. You are entitled to your views.

    My perspective is that for the first time in religious history a Manifestation of God has Himself explicitly stated who His successor should be and has ordained the institution of the UHJ in His Most Holy Book. In texts including Abdu’l-Baha’s Will and Testament which I am sure you have read in your many years as a Baha’i we are categorically promised that the UHJ will carry out Baha’u’llah’s divinely ordained plan for humanity.

    As with many other teachings and principles of the Faith, I accept and believe that the UHJ will act in humanity’s best interests. I know you do not agree with me but this is what I and many others believe. The Faith has gone through and will continue to go through different stages. Abdul-Baha clearly promises that the UHJ will be under the protection and guidance of both the Bab and Baha’u’llah and I do not share your view that such an institution will consist of Nine Hitlers in the future.

    “The sacred and youthful branch, the Guardian of the Cause of God, as well as the Universal House of Justice to be universally elected and established, are both under the care and protection of the Abhá Beauty, under the shelter and unerring guidance of the Exalted One (may my life be offered up for them both).”

    I cannot answer your “what if” questions simply because we have very different views of where the Faith is now and where it is likely to go. For example, some people posting here believe the UHJ is making decisions based on a narrow closed loop tunnel vision because of the current ITC members. I disagree because the stipulations in the Holy texts do not suggest to me that the UHJ will act in negative ways simply because of a trend in elections.

    The current dominant ITC membership do not make the UHJ’s perspective any more narrow or distorted than it would be due to the fact that the membership has been dominated exclusively over the past 45 years by Iranian and Western Baha’is. Why hasn’t this been raised as an issue here? Could it be because unlike me, who comes from a Third World (Jamaica) country, posters here are North American or European and would never think this might be an issue because of their relatively privileged Westerncentric perpective?

    If ITC membership distorts/hijacks the UHJ and diminishes its authority then the only acceptable logical inference that can be drawn based on that line of reasoning is that Westerners dominating it has also resulted in a narrow closed loop Western biased way of thinking which has had negative implications for Baha’is from Third World and other countries since 1963. I haven’t noticed such a trend in the UHJ nor any implications for its rightful role as Head of the Faith. Baha’is in China, India, Africa, et al countries could conceivably legitimately attack the UHJ for inevitably narrow thinking based on the nationalities that have comprised its membership if UHJ decisions were affected by nationality. You could also argue that class could be a factor for criticism or even race. I am of the view that as the Faith grows this Iranian/North American/European largely white membership trend will change as Baha’is from Asia, Africa and other areas are eventually elected to the UHJ. However, whatever the changing election trends may be, the UHJ’s decisions and actions are guided in a manner that transcends the limitations of the membership. This is my conclusion based on careful study. I do not ask you to share it.

    I do not expect you to agree with me about Ruhi. I do not expect you to agree with me about the protection of the UHJ based on assurances by Baha’u’llah and His appointed successor, Abdu’l-Baha, which are explicit and unparalled in religious history. I do not expect you to agree with me about anything. There are many Baha’is like me who you believe are “pompous” and ‘effete” and “punks” and “idiots” etc. who should shove you now up you know where. Okay. Fine. We can agree to disagree :)

    I would also like to make the point that no individual current or former member of the UHJ speaks for the UHJ. Mr. Mitchell’s and Mr. Martin’s (or whoever else) opinions are their own. The same principle applies to NSAs and LSAs. No individual member can claim to speak on their behalf unless they have been specifically assigned the task of delivering a message on behalf of the institution. The same is true of individual Baha’is such as myself. My viewpoint is not authoritative. My comments and behavior are also neither authoritative nor representative of the global membership.

    Ultimately, the matters on which we disagree boil down to an act of faith and issues of differences in understanding. However imperfect individual Baha’is and the local and national institutions of the Faith may be, I am convinced that this embryonic stage in the Faith’s growth will eventually result in Baha’u’llah’s vision for a better global future for all of humanity. We really have no choice but to come together in some form of collective agreement and unity. The other alternative is to destroy each other and the planet with the WMDs we have devised or our actions resulting in global warming or other man made catastrophes.

    Carmen

  • Carm-again

    Craig wrote: ”

    “The history of persecution of people in the name of a monolithic religious or political belief system is the VERY FIBER OF HUMAN HISTORY over the last 2000 years, why do you apparatchik knee jerk true believer sheep here think the UHJ of the Baha’i Faith could NOT become just as deranged and corrupt if the rank and file people have their consciences taken away in the “new ideology” and won’t stand up to them?”

    My beloved brother Craig, You are correct about the fact that religion has sometimes been hijacked by fanatics not only over the past two thousand years but also prior to that. Fire can be used to warm us and also in a lamp to read by at night. It can also be used by an arsonist to burn people to death. Pure teachings which foster love and fellowship can be hijacked. The same is true of science. It is one of the greatest sources of good for humanity. However, in the wrong hands it can be used for evil just as nuclear power can be used for peaceful or harmful purposes. Man’s reason can be used in philosophical or other pursuits which are of benefit but it can also be used in the service of activities which are inimical to others. You mention Nazi Germany and this is a very good example of the highly negative uses of reason, science and other qualities and pursuits.

    The only fundamental issue of difference between us is that your opinion of the UHJ is that it has been corrupted and hijacked and is therefore now oppressing and will continue to oppress believers and others. You also condemn those like me who have a different viewpoint just as easily as you condemn the entire Middle East and its history, Iran, the Baha’is for not preventing the horrors of World Wars 1&2 (in another post). I suppose you would also include in your condemnation of the Baha’is the various other wars of the 20th century and acts of genocide in the former USSR, China, Cambodia, Rwanda and other countries as well as variious other evils. You also have often condemned the Guardian for not appointing a successor. You are entitled to your views.

    My perspective is that for the first time in religious history a Manifestation of God has Himself explicitly stated who His successor should be and has ordained the institution of the UHJ in His Most Holy Book. In texts including Abdu’l-Baha’s Will and Testament which I am sure you have read in your many years as a Baha’i we are categorically promised that the UHJ will carry out Baha’u’llah’s divinely ordained plan for humanity.

    As with many other teachings and principles of the Faith, I accept and believe that the UHJ will act in humanity’s best interests. I know you do not agree with me but this is what I and many others believe. The Faith has gone through and will continue to go through different stages. Abdul-Baha clearly promises that the UHJ will be under the protection and guidance of both the Bab and Baha’u’llah and I do not share your view that such an institution will consist of Nine Hitlers in the future.

    “The sacred and youthful branch, the Guardian of the Cause of God, as well as the Universal House of Justice to be universally elected and established, are both under the care and protection of the Abhá Beauty, under the shelter and unerring guidance of the Exalted One (may my life be offered up for them both).”

    I cannot answer your “what if” questions simply because we have very different views of where the Faith is now and where it is likely to go. For example, some people posting here believe the UHJ is making decisions based on a narrow closed loop tunnel vision because of the current ITC members. I disagree because the stipulations in the Holy texts do not suggest to me that the UHJ will act in negative ways simply because of a trend in elections.

    The current dominant ITC membership do not make the UHJ’s perspective any more narrow or distorted than it would be due to the fact that the membership has been dominated exclusively over the past 45 years by Iranian and Western Baha’is. Why hasn’t this been raised as an issue here? Could it be because unlike me, who comes from a Third World (Jamaica) country, posters here are North American or European and would never think this might be an issue because of their relatively privileged Westerncentric perpective?

    If ITC membership distorts/hijacks the UHJ and diminishes its authority then the only acceptable logical inference that can be drawn based on that line of reasoning is that Westerners dominating it has also resulted in a narrow closed loop Western biased way of thinking which has had negative implications for Baha’is from Third World and other countries since 1963. I haven’t noticed such a trend in the UHJ nor any implications for its rightful role as Head of the Faith. Baha’is in China, India, Africa, et al countries could conceivably legitimately attack the UHJ for inevitably narrow thinking based on the nationalities that have comprised its membership if UHJ decisions were affected by nationality. You could also argue that class could be a factor for criticism or even race. I am of the view that as the Faith grows this Iranian/North American/European largely white membership trend will change as Baha’is from Asia, Africa and other areas are eventually elected to the UHJ. However, whatever the changing election trends may be, the UHJ’s decisions and actions are guided in a manner that transcends the limitations of the membership. This is my conclusion based on careful study. I do not ask you to share it.

    I do not expect you to agree with me about Ruhi. I do not expect you to agree with me about the protection of the UHJ based on assurances by Baha’u’llah and His appointed successor, Abdu’l-Baha, which are explicit and unparalled in religious history. I do not expect you to agree with me about anything. There are many Baha’is like me who you believe are “pompous” and ‘effete” and “punks” and “idiots” etc. who should shove you now up you know where. Okay. Fine. We can agree to disagree :)

    I would also like to make the point that no individual current or former member of the UHJ speaks for the UHJ. Mr. Mitchell’s and Mr. Martin’s (or whoever else) opinions are their own. The same principle applies to NSAs and LSAs. No individual member can claim to speak on their behalf unless they have been specifically assigned the task of delivering a message on behalf of the institution. The same is true of individual Baha’is such as myself. My viewpoint is not authoritative. My comments and behavior are also neither authoritative nor representative of the global membership.

    Ultimately, the matters on which we disagree boil down to an act of faith and issues of differences in understanding. However imperfect individual Baha’is and the local and national institutions of the Faith may be, I am convinced that this embryonic stage in the Faith’s growth will eventually result in Baha’u’llah’s vision for a better global future for all of humanity. We really have no choice but to come together in some form of collective agreement and unity. The other alternative is to destroy each other and the planet with the WMDs we have devised or our actions resulting in global warming or other man made catastrophes.

    Carmen

  • Grover

    Carmen wrote:

    [quote comment=""] If individual conscience is supreme it means that someone’s independent investigation of truth could lead them to believe in a ‘truth’ and act in a manner, according to the dictates of their conscience, which is harmful to others.[/quote]

    Terrorists are an example. If I may be so bold, they and you believe that there is a fundamental truth that is absolute. You and those terrorists may disagree as to what that truth is. But the thing is, they’re acting on their conscience or what they know or believe for themselves to be true and correct, and we all do this.

    Carmen and Dan, if your authorities or the LSA, NSA, or UHJ ask you to do something that is abhorent to you or goes against your conscience, are you going to do it? For example eating a bucket of cow dung? Hell no! There has to be a damn good reason to do it and just saying it is the “Will of God” and “We must obey” doesn’t cut it. We all have boundaries of behviour and action that we won’t go beyond, no matter how many quotes are thrown at us. And when we come up against those boundaries, all the quotations about the Covenant, obedience, etc etc etc, come crumbling down like a house made of cards, because in the end we are operating according to our conscience.

  • Grover

    Carmen wrote:

    [quote comment=""] If individual conscience is supreme it means that someone’s independent investigation of truth could lead them to believe in a ‘truth’ and act in a manner, according to the dictates of their conscience, which is harmful to others.[/quote]

    Terrorists are an example. If I may be so bold, they and you believe that there is a fundamental truth that is absolute. You and those terrorists may disagree as to what that truth is. But the thing is, they’re acting on their conscience or what they know or believe for themselves to be true and correct, and we all do this.

    Carmen and Dan, if your authorities or the LSA, NSA, or UHJ ask you to do something that is abhorent to you or goes against your conscience, are you going to do it? For example eating a bucket of cow dung? Hell no! There has to be a damn good reason to do it and just saying it is the “Will of God” and “We must obey” doesn’t cut it. We all have boundaries of behviour and action that we won’t go beyond, no matter how many quotes are thrown at us. And when we come up against those boundaries, all the quotations about the Covenant, obedience, etc etc etc, come crumbling down like a house made of cards, because in the end we are operating according to our conscience.

  • Carm-again

    Grover wrote: “Carmen and Dan, if your authorities or the LSA, NSA, or UHJ ask you to do something that is abhorent to you or goes against your conscience, are you going to do it? For example eating a bucket of cow dung? Hell no! There has to be a damn good reason to do it and just saying it is the “Will of God” and “We must obey” doesn’t cut it.”

    Grover, as with any organization based on faith, one has to look at what you choose to accept before and after you become a member of the organization. If, for example, an LSA asks you to comply with refraining from drinking alcohol, sex outside of marriage, marrying without parental consent, etc. then it is up to you to decide to comply if it’s in acordance with your moral compass or you can choose to leave the Faith.

    I forgot in my previous post to address one very interesting aspect of the point you raise. There is a provision in the AO for suggestions and appeals. Each Baha’i has the right to ask an LSA or NSA to reconsider a decision. An LSA can also appeal an NSA’s decision to the UHJ which is the final arbiter. However, it all comes down to a matter of faith, just as with any other religious organization. If you don’t agree based on what you consider to be the supremacy of your own conscience you always have the option to leave as many have done in the past.

    In fact, it isn’t only about religious institutions – it applies to any organization. If your employer, for example, asks you to do something which doesn’t correspond with your beliefs according to your conscience you can choose to resign. There will always be a tension between the investigation of truth and individual conscience.

    Carmen

  • Carm-again

    Grover wrote: “Carmen and Dan, if your authorities or the LSA, NSA, or UHJ ask you to do something that is abhorent to you or goes against your conscience, are you going to do it? For example eating a bucket of cow dung? Hell no! There has to be a damn good reason to do it and just saying it is the “Will of God” and “We must obey” doesn’t cut it.”

    Grover, as with any organization based on faith, one has to look at what you choose to accept before and after you become a member of the organization. If, for example, an LSA asks you to comply with refraining from drinking alcohol, sex outside of marriage, marrying without parental consent, etc. then it is up to you to decide to comply if it’s in acordance with your moral compass or you can choose to leave the Faith.

    I forgot in my previous post to address one very interesting aspect of the point you raise. There is a provision in the AO for suggestions and appeals. Each Baha’i has the right to ask an LSA or NSA to reconsider a decision. An LSA can also appeal an NSA’s decision to the UHJ which is the final arbiter. However, it all comes down to a matter of faith, just as with any other religious organization. If you don’t agree based on what you consider to be the supremacy of your own conscience you always have the option to leave as many have done in the past.

    In fact, it isn’t only about religious institutions – it applies to any organization. If your employer, for example, asks you to do something which doesn’t correspond with your beliefs according to your conscience you can choose to resign. There will always be a tension between the investigation of truth and individual conscience.

    Carmen

  • Grover

    Carmen wrote:

    [quote comment=""] If you don’t agree based on what you consider to be the supremacy of your own conscience you always have the option to leave as many have done in the past.[/quote]

    You are quite right, but leaving a religion isn’t quite the same as leaving a job, and that’s the quandry I find myself in. You’re talking about a radical change in belief system, which after being a Baha’i for a long time, is quite difficult to do. As with quite a few others, its Ruhi and the successive five year plans that has caused the difficulty.

  • Grover

    Carmen wrote:

    [quote comment=""] If you don’t agree based on what you consider to be the supremacy of your own conscience you always have the option to leave as many have done in the past.[/quote]

    You are quite right, but leaving a religion isn’t quite the same as leaving a job, and that’s the quandry I find myself in. You’re talking about a radical change in belief system, which after being a Baha’i for a long time, is quite difficult to do. As with quite a few others, its Ruhi and the successive five year plans that has caused the difficulty.

  • Carm-again

    Grover wrote: “You are quite right, but leaving a religion isn’t quite the same as leaving a job, and that’s the quandry I find myself in. You’re talking about a radical change in belief system, which after being a Baha’i for a long time, is quite difficult to do. As with quite a few others, its Ruhi and the successive five year plans that has caused the difficulty.”

    You have an excellent point which had actually crossed my mind as I typed since leaving a job isn’t really the same as leaving a belief system. I could have used a better analogy.

    All I can offer is my own perspective which might not be enough. It has been my experience that the same resistance to change that is sometimes characteristic of people in any organization occurs within the Faith.

    I remember, for example, how uncomfortable some Baha’is I met in the 70s (I became a Baha’i as a teenager in ’72) were with mass teaching. They were used to Firesides. I later learned when reading Dr.Muhajir’s biography that there was even someone who wrote very nasty letters to the UHJ because they were so vehemently opposed to mass teaching and thought it was wrong.

    What I understand about Ruhi is that no one is forced to participate and if you do not agree with it it’s okay as long as you do not make it an issue of contention by actively opposing it. Only you can decide how strongly you feel about Ruhi after reviewing the literature and the classes and impact on communities etc. If it’s so incompatible with your beliefs as dictated by your conscience you would have to decide if it’s sufficient grounds for you to leave.

    I’ve been through all the Ruhi stages and I’ve found it a very rewarding experience as have many of my friends. At first I thought it was very simple but then I actually found that it helped each member of our group to think more about each topic and deepen ourselves to gain more knowledge of the teachings in a very mutually supportive way. Now it’s quite possible that there are others who didn’t enjoy it in the way we did and prefer not to continue.

    Joining Ruhi is optional. No one is forced to participate and some members of my community haven’t been doing so because of work, family or other time constraints and obligations.

    Re the five year plans, they continue the plans set in motion from the time of the Master’s Tablets of the Divine Plan and the Guardian’s plans (won’t use the word Crusade as some people don’t like it) and the UHJ’s successive plans beginning way back in ’63. There is an interesting relationship in the Faith between administration and order and goals/plans on the one hand and the more personal mystical level of prayer, meditation and moral development on the other.

    I don’t think being a Baha’i is easy. I saw yesterday some correspondence where the secretary of an LSA was very upset and wants to resign because one member of the community sent some acerbic emails to him. The Guardian said our greatest tests come from each other. We are not perfect by any means.

    I even realized after a couple posts that a few people here were right to criticize me for coming across as glib by saying it’s easy to leave the Faith. What I wrote was based on my own experience of people I had observed join and leave over the years. I was trying to address the issue of labeling the Faith as a cult and I didn’t stop to think it could be so difficult for some other people especially those from Iranian families. So I was grateful for their comments as it helped me to remember to work more on some of my own failings and to try to see things more from other people’s perspectives.

    Okay, I’m rambling a bit. All I can say is that each of us struggles with our own challenges and what is a test for one person is not a test for another. This is a result of differences in personality, in our levels of understanding, cultural backgounds, etc. etc. Only you can decide if your concerns about Ruhi and the five year plans or any other concerns you have are enough to make you feel you don’t want to be a member of the Faith any longer.

    I cannot imagine how extremely difficult and painful such a decision would be. I do have friends who have been Baha’is since the 1940s and 1950s and who are very happy as Baha’is and lead very productive lives. I also know people who have been Baha’is for a few years or months or weeks and then leave. Some have surprised me and returned after many years! Of course, we aren’t unique in this respect as people leave some churches to join other churches or other religions or become atheists or are just indifferent to religion or any belief system. Whatever you decide and wherever life takes you I hope your journey will be positive.

    Carmen

  • Carm-again

    Grover wrote: “You are quite right, but leaving a religion isn’t quite the same as leaving a job, and that’s the quandry I find myself in. You’re talking about a radical change in belief system, which after being a Baha’i for a long time, is quite difficult to do. As with quite a few others, its Ruhi and the successive five year plans that has caused the difficulty.”

    You have an excellent point which had actually crossed my mind as I typed since leaving a job isn’t really the same as leaving a belief system. I could have used a better analogy.

    All I can offer is my own perspective which might not be enough. It has been my experience that the same resistance to change that is sometimes characteristic of people in any organization occurs within the Faith.

    I remember, for example, how uncomfortable some Baha’is I met in the 70s (I became a Baha’i as a teenager in ’72) were with mass teaching. They were used to Firesides. I later learned when reading Dr.Muhajir’s biography that there was even someone who wrote very nasty letters to the UHJ because they were so vehemently opposed to mass teaching and thought it was wrong.

    What I understand about Ruhi is that no one is forced to participate and if you do not agree with it it’s okay as long as you do not make it an issue of contention by actively opposing it. Only you can decide how strongly you feel about Ruhi after reviewing the literature and the classes and impact on communities etc. If it’s so incompatible with your beliefs as dictated by your conscience you would have to decide if it’s sufficient grounds for you to leave.

    I’ve been through all the Ruhi stages and I’ve found it a very rewarding experience as have many of my friends. At first I thought it was very simple but then I actually found that it helped each member of our group to think more about each topic and deepen ourselves to gain more knowledge of the teachings in a very mutually supportive way. Now it’s quite possible that there are others who didn’t enjoy it in the way we did and prefer not to continue.

    Joining Ruhi is optional. No one is forced to participate and some members of my community haven’t been doing so because of work, family or other time constraints and obligations.

    Re the five year plans, they continue the plans set in motion from the time of the Master’s Tablets of the Divine Plan and the Guardian’s plans (won’t use the word Crusade as some people don’t like it) and the UHJ’s successive plans beginning way back in ’63. There is an interesting relationship in the Faith between administration and order and goals/plans on the one hand and the more personal mystical level of prayer, meditation and moral development on the other.

    I don’t think being a Baha’i is easy. I saw yesterday some correspondence where the secretary of an LSA was very upset and wants to resign because one member of the community sent some acerbic emails to him. The Guardian said our greatest tests come from each other. We are not perfect by any means.

    I even realized after a couple posts that a few people here were right to criticize me for coming across as glib by saying it’s easy to leave the Faith. What I wrote was based on my own experience of people I had observed join and leave over the years. I was trying to address the issue of labeling the Faith as a cult and I didn’t stop to think it could be so difficult for some other people especially those from Iranian families. So I was grateful for their comments as it helped me to remember to work more on some of my own failings and to try to see things more from other people’s perspectives.

    Okay, I’m rambling a bit. All I can say is that each of us struggles with our own challenges and what is a test for one person is not a test for another. This is a result of differences in personality, in our levels of understanding, cultural backgounds, etc. etc. Only you can decide if your concerns about Ruhi and the five year plans or any other concerns you have are enough to make you feel you don’t want to be a member of the Faith any longer.

    I cannot imagine how extremely difficult and painful such a decision would be. I do have friends who have been Baha’is since the 1940s and 1950s and who are very happy as Baha’is and lead very productive lives. I also know people who have been Baha’is for a few years or months or weeks and then leave. Some have surprised me and returned after many years! Of course, we aren’t unique in this respect as people leave some churches to join other churches or other religions or become atheists or are just indifferent to religion or any belief system. Whatever you decide and wherever life takes you I hope your journey will be positive.

    Carmen

  • http://kaweah.com/ Dan Jensen

    Carmen writes:

    “However, it all comes down to a matter of faith, just as with any other religious organization.”

    Actually it’s not faith but obedience that organized religion generally demands of its adherents. This is particularly true of any organization that chooses “unity” as its primary principle (or idol). Faith cannot be controlled or even measured by any religious organization. Faith requires no external structure or control mechanism, and is essentially outside the jurisdiction of any organization.

  • http://kaweah.com/ Dan Jensen

    Carmen writes:

    “However, it all comes down to a matter of faith, just as with any other religious organization.”

    Actually it’s not faith but obedience that organized religion generally demands of its adherents. This is particularly true of any organization that chooses “unity” as its primary principle (or idol). Faith cannot be controlled or even measured by any religious organization. Faith requires no external structure or control mechanism, and is essentially outside the jurisdiction of any organization.

  • Carm-again

    Dan wrote:”Actually it’s not faith but obedience that organized religion generally demands of its adherents. This is particularly true of any organization that chooses “unity” as its primary principle (or idol). Faith cannot be controlled or even measured by any religious organization. Faith requires no external structure or control mechanism, and is essentially outside the jurisdiction of any organization.”

    Dan, the context was in relation to a decision to leave or stay. Faith is a key element in this. If one does not have faith in Jesus, one would not become a Christian and join an evangelical organization as so many have done. It is faith in the Papacy that enables many to remain Catholics and attempt mass. It is true, as you say, that it requires no external structure or control mechanism and cannot be measured or controlled. This does not mean that it does not play a critical role in the commitment to obedience that organized religion demands as you rightly note. Why remain obedient if there is no faith? When you lose faith in something you are more inclined to lose your willingness to stay.

    Carmen

  • Carm-again

    Dan wrote:”Actually it’s not faith but obedience that organized religion generally demands of its adherents. This is particularly true of any organization that chooses “unity” as its primary principle (or idol). Faith cannot be controlled or even measured by any religious organization. Faith requires no external structure or control mechanism, and is essentially outside the jurisdiction of any organization.”

    Dan, the context was in relation to a decision to leave or stay. Faith is a key element in this. If one does not have faith in Jesus, one would not become a Christian and join an evangelical organization as so many have done. It is faith in the Papacy that enables many to remain Catholics and attempt mass. It is true, as you say, that it requires no external structure or control mechanism and cannot be measured or controlled. This does not mean that it does not play a critical role in the commitment to obedience that organized religion demands as you rightly note. Why remain obedient if there is no faith? When you lose faith in something you are more inclined to lose your willingness to stay.

    Carmen

  • Anonymuz

    [quote comment=""][...] US NSA (that’s the head honchos for most of the Baha’is in the States) lost trying to sue Orthodox Baha’is (tiny alternative denomination of Baha’is in the States) for trademark infringement on the [...][/quote]

    Dan, et al. Can anyone here provide an example of something that was asked by the institutions that was harmful to you or your faith? I see a real trend in the line of thinking here. All I hear is hypothetical. I have never been forced to do anything in the faith and no one has ever threatened me. its always been with love.

  • Anonymuz

    [quote comment=""][...] US NSA (that’s the head honchos for most of the Baha’is in the States) lost trying to sue Orthodox Baha’is (tiny alternative denomination of Baha’is in the States) for trademark infringement on the [...][/quote]

    Dan, et al. Can anyone here provide an example of something that was asked by the institutions that was harmful to you or your faith? I see a real trend in the line of thinking here. All I hear is hypothetical. I have never been forced to do anything in the faith and no one has ever threatened me. its always been with love.

  • http://kaweah.com/ Dan Jensen

    Carmen, would you say that to a child whose entire family is steeped in a religion, and risks losing their entire social context, both family and friends, if she should find herself unable to believe? You make it sound so easy. If you want this to be a matter of consenting adults making adult choices, let us then cease the indoctrination of children. Let us refuse to associate children with religious organizations, just as we refuse to permit them to drive or go to war.

    Carmen writes:

    “Dan, the context was in relation to a decision to leave or stay. Faith is a key element in this. If one does not have faith in Jesus, one would not become a Christian and join an evangelical organization as so many have done. It is faith in the Papacy that enables many to remain Catholics and attempt mass. It is true, as you say, that it requires no external structure or control mechanism and cannot be measured or controlled. This does not mean that it does not play a critical role in the commitment to obedience that organized religion demands as you rightly note. Why remain obedient if there is no faith? When you lose faith in something you are more inclined to lose your willingness to stay.”

  • http://kaweah.com/ Dan Jensen

    Carmen, would you say that to a child whose entire family is steeped in a religion, and risks losing their entire social context, both family and friends, if she should find herself unable to believe? You make it sound so easy. If you want this to be a matter of consenting adults making adult choices, let us then cease the indoctrination of children. Let us refuse to associate children with religious organizations, just as we refuse to permit them to drive or go to war.

    Carmen writes:

    “Dan, the context was in relation to a decision to leave or stay. Faith is a key element in this. If one does not have faith in Jesus, one would not become a Christian and join an evangelical organization as so many have done. It is faith in the Papacy that enables many to remain Catholics and attempt mass. It is true, as you say, that it requires no external structure or control mechanism and cannot be measured or controlled. This does not mean that it does not play a critical role in the commitment to obedience that organized religion demands as you rightly note. Why remain obedient if there is no faith? When you lose faith in something you are more inclined to lose your willingness to stay.”

  • http://kaweah.com/ Dan Jensen

    Anon writes:
    “Dan, et al. Can anyone here provide an example of something that was asked by the institutions that was harmful to you or your faith?”

    I prefer to discuss this as a matter of principle, but I can give you numerous examples:

    1. I was sexually molested in a Baha’i institution, (Louis Gregory Baha’i Institute) and I hear I wasn’t the only one.
    2. My family was continually urged to uproot themselves by Baha’i institutions.
    3. I have seen Baha’i institutions used to bless marital infidelity when the infidel happened to be a powerful Baha’i.
    4. Of course, I’ve seen LSAs bogged down by enough nonsense that I wouldn’t trust them to walk my dog.

  • http://kaweah.com/ Dan Jensen

    Anon writes:
    “Dan, et al. Can anyone here provide an example of something that was asked by the institutions that was harmful to you or your faith?”

    I prefer to discuss this as a matter of principle, but I can give you numerous examples:

    1. I was sexually molested in a Baha’i institution, (Louis Gregory Baha’i Institute) and I hear I wasn’t the only one.
    2. My family was continually urged to uproot themselves by Baha’i institutions.
    3. I have seen Baha’i institutions used to bless marital infidelity when the infidel happened to be a powerful Baha’i.
    4. Of course, I’ve seen LSAs bogged down by enough nonsense that I wouldn’t trust them to walk my dog.

  • Pingback: Individual Conscience Within the Baha’i Faith at Baha’i Rants

  • Anonymuz

    [quote comment=""][...] US NSA (that’s the head honchos for most of the Baha’is in the States) lost trying to sue Orthodox Baha’is (tiny alternative denomination of Baha’is in the States) for trademark infringement on the [...][/quote]

    I am sincerely sympathetic to your experience, and while I cannot relate to it my hope is that you have healed. That said, it appears that you have suffered at the hands of individuals who have used the good name of the faith to hide behind. Let God deal with them. Are related to Leland Jensen?

    I urge you to look to the writings and to Baha’u’llah Himself for guidance, but to blanket blame the entire Baha’i structure and the House of Justice is un-reasonable. Although no answer or reason I may provide based on my own experience may be sufficient enough for you, what I can say is that these incidents seem to be the mistakes of individuals…not the Baha’i Faith. There is a difference.

  • Anonymuz

    [quote comment=""][...] US NSA (that’s the head honchos for most of the Baha’is in the States) lost trying to sue Orthodox Baha’is (tiny alternative denomination of Baha’is in the States) for trademark infringement on the [...][/quote]

    I am sincerely sympathetic to your experience, and while I cannot relate to it my hope is that you have healed. That said, it appears that you have suffered at the hands of individuals who have used the good name of the faith to hide behind. Let God deal with them. Are related to Leland Jensen?

    I urge you to look to the writings and to Baha’u’llah Himself for guidance, but to blanket blame the entire Baha’i structure and the House of Justice is un-reasonable. Although no answer or reason I may provide based on my own experience may be sufficient enough for you, what I can say is that these incidents seem to be the mistakes of individuals…not the Baha’i Faith. There is a difference.

  • http://kaweah.com/ Dan Jensen

    Anon,

    You asked for examples, so I provided them. They are examples of experience with institutions, yet you can only respond by implying such experiences are irrelevant. Why, then, did you ask?

    As for your sincere intentions, you sound more dismissive than sympathetic.

    This is why I prefer to discuss principles, and not examples. I have read the Baha’i writings, my anonymous friend, and I find them directly at fault for the misbehavior of individual Baha’is and Baha’i institutions. Your Baha’i faith does not appeal to the goodness in us, but rather to our failings. This is at the root of the whole mess. It is, like so many others, a religion of faithlessness.

    -Dan

  • http://kaweah.com/ Dan Jensen

    Anon,

    You asked for examples, so I provided them. They are examples of experience with institutions, yet you can only respond by implying such experiences are irrelevant. Why, then, did you ask?

    As for your sincere intentions, you sound more dismissive than sympathetic.

    This is why I prefer to discuss principles, and not examples. I have read the Baha’i writings, my anonymous friend, and I find them directly at fault for the misbehavior of individual Baha’is and Baha’i institutions. Your Baha’i faith does not appeal to the goodness in us, but rather to our failings. This is at the root of the whole mess. It is, like so many others, a religion of faithlessness.

    -Dan

  • Carm-again

    Dan writes: “If you want this to be a matter of consenting adults making adult choices, let us then cease the indoctrination of children. Let us refuse to associate children with religious organizations, just as we refuse to permit them to drive or go to war.”

    Dan, I’m not trying to suggest it’s so easy. But adults do it all the time. You may see religion as indoctrinating children but I’m not at all sure your analogies re war and driving are valid. What about education? Should we refuse to send children to primary school because they may later decide the education they are receiving is crap? What about the Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts and many other child and youth organizations? Do we simply lock children away from receiving any kind of instruction or participating in any activity on the basis that anything they are taught is indoctrination?

    Such a view seems to me to underestimate not only the tremendous capabilities of the intellect but the resiliency of the human spirit. Mavaddat was raised as a Baha’i but he is now an atheist and quite happy. Many people who have abandoned systems of belief are living happy lives. We cannot be so risk averse that because a child may later want to leave a religion we stop teaching them religious principles. Life isn’t a walk in the park. People are a lot tougher than you give them credit for. If people were to follow your line of thinking a child should just stay at home and not be taught principles of any kind by his/her parents on the basis that the child may later disagree with those principles. What if a child is taught not to believe in God by their parents but later rejects this and joins a religion? That’s the reverse side of the coin of your religious indoctrination argument.

    Carmen

  • Carm-again

    Dan writes: “If you want this to be a matter of consenting adults making adult choices, let us then cease the indoctrination of children. Let us refuse to associate children with religious organizations, just as we refuse to permit them to drive or go to war.”

    Dan, I’m not trying to suggest it’s so easy. But adults do it all the time. You may see religion as indoctrinating children but I’m not at all sure your analogies re war and driving are valid. What about education? Should we refuse to send children to primary school because they may later decide the education they are receiving is crap? What about the Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts and many other child and youth organizations? Do we simply lock children away from receiving any kind of instruction or participating in any activity on the basis that anything they are taught is indoctrination?

    Such a view seems to me to underestimate not only the tremendous capabilities of the intellect but the resiliency of the human spirit. Mavaddat was raised as a Baha’i but he is now an atheist and quite happy. Many people who have abandoned systems of belief are living happy lives. We cannot be so risk averse that because a child may later want to leave a religion we stop teaching them religious principles. Life isn’t a walk in the park. People are a lot tougher than you give them credit for. If people were to follow your line of thinking a child should just stay at home and not be taught principles of any kind by his/her parents on the basis that the child may later disagree with those principles. What if a child is taught not to believe in God by their parents but later rejects this and joins a religion? That’s the reverse side of the coin of your religious indoctrination argument.

    Carmen

  • http://www.bahairants.com Baquia

    [quote comment="49752"]I urge you to look to the writings and to Baha’u’llah Himself for guidance, but to blanket blame the entire Baha’i structure and the House of Justice is un-reasonable. Although no answer or reason I may provide based on my own experience may be sufficient enough for you, what I can say is that these incidents seem to be the mistakes of individuals…not the Baha’i Faith. There is a difference.[/quote]

    I’ve already written about this sort of thing: “Code Red”

  • http://www.bahairants.com Baquia

    [quote comment="49752"]I urge you to look to the writings and to Baha’u’llah Himself for guidance, but to blanket blame the entire Baha’i structure and the House of Justice is un-reasonable. Although no answer or reason I may provide based on my own experience may be sufficient enough for you, what I can say is that these incidents seem to be the mistakes of individuals…not the Baha’i Faith. There is a difference.[/quote]

    I’ve already written about this sort of thing: “Code Red”

  • http://kaweah.com/blog Dan Jensen

    Carmen, I’m sure you know better than to conflate teaching math, science, and literacy, or even selling cookies or learning fire safety with religious indoctrination.

    Teach kids to think for themselves and to work and play well with others. Don’t teach them to believe what they’re not prepared to believe.

    I, like Mavaddat, have made the happy transition from a Baha’i upbringing to atheism (non-theism). I love my parents, and I have given Baha’u’llah much credit for leading me to where I am now (no sarcasm implied). But others I know have really been messed up by the Baha’i aspects of their upbringing. I am happy to be strong, but I feel for those less fortunate around me.

    -Dan

  • http://kaweah.com/blog Dan Jensen

    Carmen, I’m sure you know better than to conflate teaching math, science, and literacy, or even selling cookies or learning fire safety with religious indoctrination.

    Teach kids to think for themselves and to work and play well with others. Don’t teach them to believe what they’re not prepared to believe.

    I, like Mavaddat, have made the happy transition from a Baha’i upbringing to atheism (non-theism). I love my parents, and I have given Baha’u’llah much credit for leading me to where I am now (no sarcasm implied). But others I know have really been messed up by the Baha’i aspects of their upbringing. I am happy to be strong, but I feel for those less fortunate around me.

    -Dan

  • http://kaweah.com/blog Dan Jensen

    BTW, Anonz, I almost forgot to mention that I’m not related to Leland Jensen. My parents are Baha’is in very good standing. My father is, like Leland was, a Chiropractor, but rather than being a convicted child molester like Leland, my father remains a licensed and active practitioner at age 83. He has even treated a number of UHJ and ITC members. He has been completely blind since youth, and was once a championship wrestler, nicknamed “King Kong of Kisco”. At present, he is learning the latest in adaptive technology. He and my mother are a credit to the Baha’i religion, having given much of their lives to “the Cause”, and I am proud of them, but that doesn’t mean that I have to agree with them as Baha’i parents.

  • http://kaweah.com/blog Dan Jensen

    BTW, Anonz, I almost forgot to mention that I’m not related to Leland Jensen. My parents are Baha’is in very good standing. My father is, like Leland was, a Chiropractor, but rather than being a convicted child molester like Leland, my father remains a licensed and active practitioner at age 83. He has even treated a number of UHJ and ITC members. He has been completely blind since youth, and was once a championship wrestler, nicknamed “King Kong of Kisco”. At present, he is learning the latest in adaptive technology. He and my mother are a credit to the Baha’i religion, having given much of their lives to “the Cause”, and I am proud of them, but that doesn’t mean that I have to agree with them as Baha’i parents.

  • http://epierce.meanoldbastard.com ep

    I saw a pattern of abuse of authority for several decades.

    (I will not go into the even more prevalent pattern of appalling incompetence right now, but it is a related problem.)

    One ABM used to talk about how “getting” “hippy” bahai’s administrative rights taken away (for misc. nonconformances) was like carving “another notch in a gun handle”. I had several friends on LSAs that attempted to protest persecution of “dissidents” and “nonconformists” by people in the AO, and they got put on the “hit lists”.

    I was attacked several times by people that demanded that I be “investigated” by the Auxilliary Bored and/or LSA for repeating the “controversial” ideas of non-conformist bahai scholars, such as women on the UHJ, racism and elitism in the history of the bahai community, and so forth.

    A friend of mine who was a prominent bahai scholar/theorist was viciously and repeatedly attacked by fundamentalist bahais after giving a presentation on the divine feminine at a mysticism conference at a national bahai school. people at the national center were reported to have been involved in supporting the attacks. only the intervention of a prominent bahai scholar with connection to the UHJ eventually stopped the attacks, but a lot of damage was already done.

    I resigned in protest over abuse in a obscure suborganization, and the national center was totally incompetent in investigating my complaint.

    bahai culture is very sick and dysfunctional. abuse of authority is a deeply entrenched pattern seen by many people in many communities in multiple countries at all levels of the organization.

    the main point of most bahai “activity” is to brainwash people so that they won’t talk about the appalling incompetence and massive failures that are ongoing.

    the underlying/causal problem is that prophetology is a power scam. once religious bureaucracy becomes the “middleman” between people and the “divine”, corruption is inevitable.

    system theory (cybernetics) clearly identifies “natural” patterns of self-organization, self-learning and self-correction.

    religious or political hierarchy and bureacuracy tends to destroy “bottom up” problem solving and innovation when it threatens existing power structures, rigid beliefs, orthodoxy.

    the incentive system for people to do the “right thing” in the bahai community is severely broken. instead of people being punished for doing the wrong thing, people are punished for doing the right thing when they demand reform, accountability, transparency, honesty.

    bahai culture is being pulled into the gravity well of medieval shiism. it is a complete waste of time to try to change the backward mentality.

    (I’m an ex-bahai after 30+ years)

    [quote comment="49740"][quote comment=""][...] US NSA (that’s the head honchos for most of the Baha’is in the States) lost trying to sue Orthodox Baha’is (tiny alternative denomination of Baha’is in the States) for trademark infringement on the [...][/quote]

    Dan, et al. Can anyone here provide an example of something that was asked by the institutions that was harmful to you or your faith? I see a real trend in the line of thinking here. All I hear is hypothetical. I have never been forced to do anything in the faith and no one has ever threatened me. its always been with love.[/quote]
    [quote comment=""][...] with me their thoughts and opinions. Within a previous discussion, there was a comment about the sacredness of individual conscience and how it relates to the Baha’i [...][/quote]

  • http://epierce.meanoldbastard.com ep

    I saw a pattern of abuse of authority for several decades.

    (I will not go into the even more prevalent pattern of appalling incompetence right now, but it is a related problem.)

    One ABM used to talk about how “getting” “hippy” bahai’s administrative rights taken away (for misc. nonconformances) was like carving “another notch in a gun handle”. I had several friends on LSAs that attempted to protest persecution of “dissidents” and “nonconformists” by people in the AO, and they got put on the “hit lists”.

    I was attacked several times by people that demanded that I be “investigated” by the Auxilliary Bored and/or LSA for repeating the “controversial” ideas of non-conformist bahai scholars, such as women on the UHJ, racism and elitism in the history of the bahai community, and so forth.

    A friend of mine who was a prominent bahai scholar/theorist was viciously and repeatedly attacked by fundamentalist bahais after giving a presentation on the divine feminine at a mysticism conference at a national bahai school. people at the national center were reported to have been involved in supporting the attacks. only the intervention of a prominent bahai scholar with connection to the UHJ eventually stopped the attacks, but a lot of damage was already done.

    I resigned in protest over abuse in a obscure suborganization, and the national center was totally incompetent in investigating my complaint.

    bahai culture is very sick and dysfunctional. abuse of authority is a deeply entrenched pattern seen by many people in many communities in multiple countries at all levels of the organization.

    the main point of most bahai “activity” is to brainwash people so that they won’t talk about the appalling incompetence and massive failures that are ongoing.

    the underlying/causal problem is that prophetology is a power scam. once religious bureaucracy becomes the “middleman” between people and the “divine”, corruption is inevitable.

    system theory (cybernetics) clearly identifies “natural” patterns of self-organization, self-learning and self-correction.

    religious or political hierarchy and bureacuracy tends to destroy “bottom up” problem solving and innovation when it threatens existing power structures, rigid beliefs, orthodoxy.

    the incentive system for people to do the “right thing” in the bahai community is severely broken. instead of people being punished for doing the wrong thing, people are punished for doing the right thing when they demand reform, accountability, transparency, honesty.

    bahai culture is being pulled into the gravity well of medieval shiism. it is a complete waste of time to try to change the backward mentality.

    (I’m an ex-bahai after 30+ years)

    [quote comment="49740"][quote comment=""][...] US NSA (that’s the head honchos for most of the Baha’is in the States) lost trying to sue Orthodox Baha’is (tiny alternative denomination of Baha’is in the States) for trademark infringement on the [...][/quote]

    Dan, et al. Can anyone here provide an example of something that was asked by the institutions that was harmful to you or your faith? I see a real trend in the line of thinking here. All I hear is hypothetical. I have never been forced to do anything in the faith and no one has ever threatened me. its always been with love.[/quote]
    [quote comment=""][...] with me their thoughts and opinions. Within a previous discussion, there was a comment about the sacredness of individual conscience and how it relates to the Baha’i [...][/quote]

  • farhan

    Eric,

    The subject of abuse from members of institutions is to me a very important one. I have seen ABM and even AABM requiring obedience, not only from individuals, but also from LSAs ! These misconceptions coming from the leadership principles currently applied in the world around us are diametrically opposed to the Baha’i principle of ad-ministrators as servants (from latin « menestrel »). We have abundant quotes defining the relations between individuals and institutions, Paul lample’s book Creating a New Mind being an excellent introduction. Some of the quotes are found in the UHJ letter dated 19th May 1994 to the Counsellors). We read that …. « …pride and self-aggrandisement are among the most deadly of sins…”.

    I see the UHJ as the supreme legislator acting through the elected institutions and in need of an appointed institution to convey information back and forth with the community under the responsibility of the Supreme Body itself. The Counsellors are devoid of executive power, but extremely precious as they can help us understand the purpose and the execution of the messages from the Supreme Body. The fact that the Hands of the cause requested not to be elected on the UHJ in order to concentrate on their own duties makes it obvious that administrators are not seeking power but offering their services. Here are some quotes :

    “A Board of Counsellors has the particular responsibility of caring for the protection and propagation of the Faith throughout a continental zone which contains a number of national Baha’i communities. In performing these tasks it neither directs nor instructs the Spiritual Assemblies or individual believers, but it has the necessary rank to enable it to ensure that it is kept properly informed … (Universal House of Justice to all National Spiritual Assemblies, March 27, 1978)

    … “the existence of institutions of such exalted rank, comprising individuals who play such a vital role, who yet have no legislative, administrative or judicial authority, and are entirely devoid of priestly functions or the right to make authoritative interpretations, is a feature of Baha’i administration unparalleled in the religions of the past. (The Universal House of Justice, May 19, 1994)

  • Farhan YAZDANI

    Eric,

    The subject of abuse from members of institutions is to me a very important one. I have seen ABM and even AABM requiring obedience, not only from individuals, but also from LSAs ! These misconceptions coming from the leadership principles currently applied in the world around us are diametrically opposed to the Baha’i principle of ad-ministrators as servants (from latin « menestrel »). We have abundant quotes defining the relations between individuals and institutions, Paul lample’s book Creating a New Mind being an excellent introduction. Some of the quotes are found in the UHJ letter dated 19th May 1994 to the Counsellors). We read that …. « …pride and self-aggrandisement are among the most deadly of sins…”.

    I see the UHJ as the supreme legislator acting through the elected institutions and in need of an appointed institution to convey information back and forth with the community under the responsibility of the Supreme Body itself. The Counsellors are devoid of executive power, but extremely precious as they can help us understand the purpose and the execution of the messages from the Supreme Body. The fact that the Hands of the cause requested not to be elected on the UHJ in order to concentrate on their own duties makes it obvious that administrators are not seeking power but offering their services. Here are some quotes :

    “A Board of Counsellors has the particular responsibility of caring for the protection and propagation of the Faith throughout a continental zone which contains a number of national Baha’i communities. In performing these tasks it neither directs nor instructs the Spiritual Assemblies or individual believers, but it has the necessary rank to enable it to ensure that it is kept properly informed … (Universal House of Justice to all National Spiritual Assemblies, March 27, 1978)

    … “the existence of institutions of such exalted rank, comprising individuals who play such a vital role, who yet have no legislative, administrative or judicial authority, and are entirely devoid of priestly functions or the right to make authoritative interpretations, is a feature of Baha’i administration unparalleled in the religions of the past. (The Universal House of Justice, May 19, 1994)

  • http://www.bahairants.com Baquia

    Farhan,
    Like you I used to believe that the bullying and spying was actually a personal choice made by the ABMs and Counsellors. That these were misguided individuals who let pride and self-aggrandizement go to their heads. Most tragically, this is not the case, this sort of behavior is institutionalized: We have met the enemy… and he is us.

    As proof that this is truly the sad state of affairs today within Baha’i communities, those ABMs and Counsellors who do bully and intimidate fellow Baha’is, are not chastised, reprimanded nor removed from office. The very opposite happens! They are promoted and their “service” in “protecting” the Faith is lauded.

    How utterly disgusting.

  • http://www.bahairants.com Baquia

    Farhan,
    Like you I used to believe that the bullying and spying was actually a personal choice made by the ABMs and Counsellors. That these were misguided individuals who let pride and self-aggrandizement go to their heads. Most tragically, this is not the case, this sort of behavior is institutionalized: We have met the enemy… and he is us.

    As proof that this is truly the sad state of affairs today within Baha’i communities, those ABMs and Counsellors who do bully and intimidate fellow Baha’is, are not chastised, reprimanded nor removed from office. The very opposite happens! They are promoted and their “service” in “protecting” the Faith is lauded.

    How utterly disgusting.

  • http://epierce.meanoldbastard.com ep

    Farhan,

    Thanks for the interesting feedback, it is always great seeing your comments.

    I do not think that perpetuating the “us vs. them” notion that there is a “pure” inner bahai culture and an evil, corrupt “outer” world that is the cause of the pollution of otherwise “pure” bahai culture has *any* *validity* *whatsoever*. It is actually a big part of the problem.

    The reason that bahais are woefully out of touch with the methods of organizational improvement that are known, and are being newly discovered, in the rest of the world is exactly the idea that the “non-bahai” world is the source of pollution and uncleanliness.

    In other words, the very construct you are proposing (which comes from inadequate bahai scripture) is yet another example of how “western” bahai culture is being pulled into a ridiculous form of backwardness and the gravity well of shiism.

    abuse of power and authority is as old as dirt, as are various attempts at stopping or preventing it. nobody needs a religious to know corruption or stop it.

    abuse within bahai culture is also very old, some of the more egregious historical examples are :

    1) the marginalizing of Mazandarani’s “scientific” history project on the early history of babi/bahai communities, as the best example of when and how fundamentalism started within the iranian bahai community,

    2) the sustained and long-term marginalization of working class bahai communities early in the usa (by upper class snobs and elitists such as those that hijacked the Chicago Temple and moved it to upper class Wilmette to impress their non-bahai snob and elitist friends and business associates), and related to that:

    3) the sustained and long-term attacks on race unity efforts for decades (1930s/40s and on), which were seen by the elitist snobs as being “too political”. Many other similar local and national efforts within the bahai community that came from “street politics” (social justice movements) were marginalized and repressed by the snobs using the rationale that actual (not theoretical) social justice projects where “too political”.

    the survivors of the resulting purges usually had to conform or get out.

    The US NSA itself, when under domination by upper class snobs and elitists, took revenge on Louis Gregory, Peace Be Upon His Blessed Luminous Soul, by stripping him of his living expenses when he refused to back the NSA’s attacks on the Race Unity movement.

    the grandson of the Wilmette temple architect lived in my town for about 30 or 40 years starting in the 1950s. he and his young wife were activists types. they tried to publicise the faith and temple at california state fairs for a number of years, and were attacked by the old guard who insisted that having tea parties and parayer meetings was as publicly “activist” as bahais needed to get. in the 60s there was a huge mass conversion process here and as new young counterculture people become bahais, power hungry people started fighting each other for “importance”. the scars and bad vibes/karma from those fights lived on for many decades.

    So, all of the supposedly glowing rhetoric about selfless service in the bahai scriptures is actually almost always irrelevant in terms of thwarting the psychopathic and sociopathic control freaks and ego-driven power hungry people that typically infest religious organizations.

    selfessness, compassion, etc. existed in the DNA of human beings long before “religions” developed with all their silly politics and rules.

    we are spiritual because of our evolution, not because of the scam of prophetology and “progressive revelation”

    the only way that bahai can survive as a viable religion is if there was a guardian or uhj that would nullify large areas of bahai scripture that are full of nonsense and silly metaphysics.

    that is what people like Steve and Allison Marshall were starting to hint at, and they got royally slammed.

    reforming bahai culture seems to be completely futile at this point in history.

    the more insularized bahais become, the less able to adapt to changes in society, and the more irrelevant to the rest of the world.

    a lot of people puff themselves up with self-importance
    when they become bahais, but in reality they are just silly little fish in an even littler pond.

    Adeu / Shalom / Hoda Hafez!

    [quote comment="49967"]Eric,

    These misconceptions coming from the leadership principles currently applied in the world around us are diametrically opposed to the Baha’i principle of ad-ministrators as servants (from latin « menestrel »).

    [/quote]

  • http://epierce.meanoldbastard.com ep

    Farhan,

    Thanks for the interesting feedback, it is always great seeing your comments.

    I do not think that perpetuating the “us vs. them” notion that there is a “pure” inner bahai culture and an evil, corrupt “outer” world that is the cause of the pollution of otherwise “pure” bahai culture has *any* *validity* *whatsoever*. It is actually a big part of the problem.

    The reason that bahais are woefully out of touch with the methods of organizational improvement that are known, and are being newly discovered, in the rest of the world is exactly the idea that the “non-bahai” world is the source of pollution and uncleanliness.

    In other words, the very construct you are proposing (which comes from inadequate bahai scripture) is yet another example of how “western” bahai culture is being pulled into a ridiculous form of backwardness and the gravity well of shiism.

    abuse of power and authority is as old as dirt, as are various attempts at stopping or preventing it. nobody needs a religious to know corruption or stop it.

    abuse within bahai culture is also very old, some of the more egregious historical examples are :

    1) the marginalizing of Mazandarani’s “scientific” history project on the early history of babi/bahai communities, as the best example of when and how fundamentalism started within the iranian bahai community,

    2) the sustained and long-term marginalization of working class bahai communities early in the usa (by upper class snobs and elitists such as those that hijacked the Chicago Temple and moved it to upper class Wilmette to impress their non-bahai snob and elitist friends and business associates), and related to that:

    3) the sustained and long-term attacks on race unity efforts for decades (1930s/40s and on), which were seen by the elitist snobs as being “too political”. Many other similar local and national efforts within the bahai community that came from “street politics” (social justice movements) were marginalized and repressed by the snobs using the rationale that actual (not theoretical) social justice projects where “too political”.

    the survivors of the resulting purges usually had to conform or get out.

    The US NSA itself, when under domination by upper class snobs and elitists, took revenge on Louis Gregory, Peace Be Upon His Blessed Luminous Soul, by stripping him of his living expenses when he refused to back the NSA’s attacks on the Race Unity movement.

    the grandson of the Wilmette temple architect lived in my town for about 30 or 40 years starting in the 1950s. he and his young wife were activists types. they tried to publicise the faith and temple at california state fairs for a number of years, and were attacked by the old guard who insisted that having tea parties and parayer meetings was as publicly “activist” as bahais needed to get. in the 60s there was a huge mass conversion process here and as new young counterculture people become bahais, power hungry people started fighting each other for “importance”. the scars and bad vibes/karma from those fights lived on for many decades.

    So, all of the supposedly glowing rhetoric about selfless service in the bahai scriptures is actually almost always irrelevant in terms of thwarting the psychopathic and sociopathic control freaks and ego-driven power hungry people that typically infest religious organizations.

    selfessness, compassion, etc. existed in the DNA of human beings long before “religions” developed with all their silly politics and rules.

    we are spiritual because of our evolution, not because of the scam of prophetology and “progressive revelation”

    the only way that bahai can survive as a viable religion is if there was a guardian or uhj that would nullify large areas of bahai scripture that are full of nonsense and silly metaphysics.

    that is what people like Steve and Allison Marshall were starting to hint at, and they got royally slammed.

    reforming bahai culture seems to be completely futile at this point in history.

    the more insularized bahais become, the less able to adapt to changes in society, and the more irrelevant to the rest of the world.

    a lot of people puff themselves up with self-importance
    when they become bahais, but in reality they are just silly little fish in an even littler pond.

    Adeu / Shalom / Hoda Hafez!

    [quote comment="49967"]Eric,

    These misconceptions coming from the leadership principles currently applied in the world around us are diametrically opposed to the Baha’i principle of ad-ministrators as servants (from latin « menestrel »).

    [/quote]

  • farhan

    Baquia writes:

    “Most tragically, this is not the case, this sort of behavior is institutionalized: We have met the enemy… and he is us.”

    Baquia I do regret the unpleasant experiences you discribe. My experience has been different, and I have met inappropriate conduct through inexperience or misunderstading.

    One personnal attitude has perhaps protected me: I do not feel responsible before God for everything: I try to do my very best, and then step back and let God do the rest. When I feel that misunderstanding is prevailing, I get into doing something else. I investigate deeply, trying to make sure I am not wrong myself, and when I am reassured, I avoid insisting and getting into drawn out conflicting issues, trying to have my lawfull point established and admitted. We will need many generations before individuals and institutions gradually advance. We are only responsble for doing our very best, and not God’s work.

    This having been said, any growing community will need some structure to harmonise and defend it’s goals, and those involved can be inclined to abuse, a violation of clear directives of Shoghi Effendi for all Baha’i administrators (Baha’i administration p 143-4):

    “Among the most outstanding and sacred duties incumbent upon those who have been called upon to initiate, direct and coordinate the affairs of the Cause of God as members of its Spiritual Assemblies are: to win by every means in their power the confidence and affection of those whom it is their privilege to serve; to investigate and acquaint themselves with the considered views, the prevailing sentiments and the personal convictions of those whose welfare it is their solemn obligation to promote; to purge their deliberations and the general conduct of their affairs of self-contained aloofness, the suspicion of secrecy, the stifling atmosphere of dictatorial assertiveness and of every word and deed that may savour of partiality, self-centredness and prejudice; and while retaining the sacred right of final decision in their hands, to invite discussion, ventilate grievances, welcome advice and foster the sense of interdependence and co-partnership, of understanding and mutual confidence between themselves and all other Baha’is.

  • Farhan YAZDANI

    Baquia writes:

    “Most tragically, this is not the case, this sort of behavior is institutionalized: We have met the enemy… and he is us.”

    Baquia I do regret the unpleasant experiences you discribe. My experience has been different, and I have met inappropriate conduct through inexperience or misunderstading.

    One personnal attitude has perhaps protected me: I do not feel responsible before God for everything: I try to do my very best, and then step back and let God do the rest. When I feel that misunderstanding is prevailing, I get into doing something else. I investigate deeply, trying to make sure I am not wrong myself, and when I am reassured, I avoid insisting and getting into drawn out conflicting issues, trying to have my lawfull point established and admitted. We will need many generations before individuals and institutions gradually advance. We are only responsble for doing our very best, and not God’s work.

    This having been said, any growing community will need some structure to harmonise and defend it’s goals, and those involved can be inclined to abuse, a violation of clear directives of Shoghi Effendi for all Baha’i administrators (Baha’i administration p 143-4):

    “Among the most outstanding and sacred duties incumbent upon those who have been called upon to initiate, direct and coordinate the affairs of the Cause of God as members of its Spiritual Assemblies are: to win by every means in their power the confidence and affection of those whom it is their privilege to serve; to investigate and acquaint themselves with the considered views, the prevailing sentiments and the personal convictions of those whose welfare it is their solemn obligation to promote; to purge their deliberations and the general conduct of their affairs of self-contained aloofness, the suspicion of secrecy, the stifling atmosphere of dictatorial assertiveness and of every word and deed that may savour of partiality, self-centredness and prejudice; and while retaining the sacred right of final decision in their hands, to invite discussion, ventilate grievances, welcome advice and foster the sense of interdependence and co-partnership, of understanding and mutual confidence between themselves and all other Baha’is.

  • farhan

    Eric, thanks for saying you appreciate my posts; I know I irritate some others without meaning to do so :-)

    I am sure you will enjoy this quote from Mahmoud’s diary which gives me goose-flesh every time I read it:

    Tuesday, April 2, 1912 [aboard the Cedric]
    The Master again spoke on the subject of the spiritual illness and self-serving motives of the heads of various religions. One of the friends asked Him about the leaders and Hands of the Cause in this Dispensation. He said:
    The Blessed Perfection has extirpated superstitions, root and branch. The Hands of the Cause in this dispensation are not heirs to any name or title; rather, they are sanctified souls, the rays of whose holiness and spirituality throw light on the hearts of all. Hearts are attracted by the beauty of their morals, the sincerity of their intentions, and their sense of equity and justice. Souls are involuntarily enamored of their praiseworthy morals and laudable attributes. Faces turn in spontaneous attraction to their outstanding qualities and actions. `Hand of the Cause’ is not a title that may be awarded to whomever it may please to have it, nor is it a chair of honor upon which whoever wishes may sit. The Hands of the Cause are the hands of God. Therefore, whomsoever is the servant and promoter of the Word of God, he is the hand of God. The object is a matter of the spirit and not one of letters or words. The more self-effacing one is, the more assisted he is in the Cause of God; and the more meek and humble, the nearer he is to God.

  • Farhan YAZDANI

    Eric, thanks for saying you appreciate my posts; I know I irritate some others without meaning to do so :-)

    I am sure you will enjoy this quote from Mahmoud’s diary which gives me goose-flesh every time I read it:

    Tuesday, April 2, 1912 [aboard the Cedric]
    The Master again spoke on the subject of the spiritual illness and self-serving motives of the heads of various religions. One of the friends asked Him about the leaders and Hands of the Cause in this Dispensation. He said:
    The Blessed Perfection has extirpated superstitions, root and branch. The Hands of the Cause in this dispensation are not heirs to any name or title; rather, they are sanctified souls, the rays of whose holiness and spirituality throw light on the hearts of all. Hearts are attracted by the beauty of their morals, the sincerity of their intentions, and their sense of equity and justice. Souls are involuntarily enamored of their praiseworthy morals and laudable attributes. Faces turn in spontaneous attraction to their outstanding qualities and actions. `Hand of the Cause’ is not a title that may be awarded to whomever it may please to have it, nor is it a chair of honor upon which whoever wishes may sit. The Hands of the Cause are the hands of God. Therefore, whomsoever is the servant and promoter of the Word of God, he is the hand of God. The object is a matter of the spirit and not one of letters or words. The more self-effacing one is, the more assisted he is in the Cause of God; and the more meek and humble, the nearer he is to God.

  • http://epierce.meanoldbastard.com ep

    (sorry for the repetitiveness)

    Farhan,

    Thanks for more glowing rhetoric from bahai scripture.

    As I said, in actual practice, such rhetoric is frequently, and probably usually, irrelevant.

    The massive contradiction between the noble aims of the bahai religion and what it has actually become are the underlying cause of a gigantic amount of dysfunctionality and cognitive dissonance.

    When such an enormous, deeply entrenched pattern of historical corruption/degneration exists, it is an inevitability that nasty behavior by those in power (or those pretending to be in power) will erupt as time goes by.

    The ONLY hope that any human being can take is that the patterns of self-organization, self-learning and self-correction that are found (per systems theory) in nature and human behavior when people are left ALONE by useless, corrupt bureaucrats (and their supporters and apologists) will eventually prevail.

    That would include the someone nullifying a lot of the backward junk in bahai scripture (such as progressive relevation and prophetology) that ensures that rigidity and orthodoxy and fundamentalism will take root and flourish.

    There are far more people doing evil within bahai organization than are even starting to live up to the glowing rhetoric about selflessness, sacrifice, service to humanity, etc.

    Quoting myself:

    So, all of the supposedly glowing rhetoric about selfless service in the bahai scriptures is actually almost always irrelevant in terms of thwarting the psychopathic and sociopathic control freaks and ego-driven power hungry people that typically infest religious organizations.

    selfessness, compassion, etc. existed in the DNA of human beings long before “religions” developed with all their silly politics and rules.

    we are spiritual because of our evolution, not because of the scam of prophetology and “progressive revelation”

    the only way that bahai can survive as a viable religion is if there was a guardian or uhj that would nullify large areas of bahai scripture that are full of nonsense and silly metaphysics.

    that is what people like Steve and Allison Marshall were starting to hint at, and they got royally slammed.

    reforming bahai culture seems to be completely futile at this point in history.

    the more insularized bahais become, the less able to adapt to changes in society, and the more irrelevant to the rest of the world.

    a lot of people puff themselves up with self-importance
    when they become bahais, but in reality they are just silly little fish in an even littler pond.

    Adeu / Shalom / Hoda Hafez!

  • http://epierce.meanoldbastard.com ep

    (sorry for the repetitiveness)

    Farhan,

    Thanks for more glowing rhetoric from bahai scripture.

    As I said, in actual practice, such rhetoric is frequently, and probably usually, irrelevant.

    The massive contradiction between the noble aims of the bahai religion and what it has actually become are the underlying cause of a gigantic amount of dysfunctionality and cognitive dissonance.

    When such an enormous, deeply entrenched pattern of historical corruption/degneration exists, it is an inevitability that nasty behavior by those in power (or those pretending to be in power) will erupt as time goes by.

    The ONLY hope that any human being can take is that the patterns of self-organization, self-learning and self-correction that are found (per systems theory) in nature and human behavior when people are left ALONE by useless, corrupt bureaucrats (and their supporters and apologists) will eventually prevail.

    That would include the someone nullifying a lot of the backward junk in bahai scripture (such as progressive relevation and prophetology) that ensures that rigidity and orthodoxy and fundamentalism will take root and flourish.

    There are far more people doing evil within bahai organization than are even starting to live up to the glowing rhetoric about selflessness, sacrifice, service to humanity, etc.

    Quoting myself:

    So, all of the supposedly glowing rhetoric about selfless service in the bahai scriptures is actually almost always irrelevant in terms of thwarting the psychopathic and sociopathic control freaks and ego-driven power hungry people that typically infest religious organizations.

    selfessness, compassion, etc. existed in the DNA of human beings long before “religions” developed with all their silly politics and rules.

    we are spiritual because of our evolution, not because of the scam of prophetology and “progressive revelation”

    the only way that bahai can survive as a viable religion is if there was a guardian or uhj that would nullify large areas of bahai scripture that are full of nonsense and silly metaphysics.

    that is what people like Steve and Allison Marshall were starting to hint at, and they got royally slammed.

    reforming bahai culture seems to be completely futile at this point in history.

    the more insularized bahais become, the less able to adapt to changes in society, and the more irrelevant to the rest of the world.

    a lot of people puff themselves up with self-importance
    when they become bahais, but in reality they are just silly little fish in an even littler pond.

    Adeu / Shalom / Hoda Hafez!

  • farhan

    Baquia wrote:
    “As proof that this is truly the sad state of affairs today within Baha’i communities, those ABMs and Counsellors who do bully and intimidate fellow Baha’is, are not chastised, reprimanded nor removed from office. The very opposite happens! They are promoted and their “service” in “protecting” the Faith is lauded.”

    Baquia, I am sad to hear you have witnessed such things which I also find appalling. All I can say is that Baha’is are few and actives ones even more so, so I can imagine that an administrator who makes a mistake is “covered” by his peers and not reprimanded, at least publicly.

  • Farhan YAZDANI

    Baquia wrote:
    “As proof that this is truly the sad state of affairs today within Baha’i communities, those ABMs and Counsellors who do bully and intimidate fellow Baha’is, are not chastised, reprimanded nor removed from office. The very opposite happens! They are promoted and their “service” in “protecting” the Faith is lauded.”

    Baquia, I am sad to hear you have witnessed such things which I also find appalling. All I can say is that Baha’is are few and actives ones even more so, so I can imagine that an administrator who makes a mistake is “covered” by his peers and not reprimanded, at least publicly.

  • Denny

    [quote comment=""][...] with me their thoughts and opinions. Within a previous discussion, there was a comment about the sacredness of individual conscience and how it relates to the Baha’i [...][/quote]

    Have any of you thought of using psychedelic plants to help people be more open to the metaphysical experience. No matter how closed and analytical the mind is to metaphysical elements, it cannot deny what it experiences. The sacrament of Peyote is available through the native american churches (Iboga through the Bwiti), ayahuasca in South America and legal now in parts of America, LSD in american cities, mushrooms in the rural areas,hawaian baby woodrose are much milder but legal, (there are literally hundreds of plants that provide a metaphysical experience) for anyone to have an experience outside of their brain and perhaps See for the first time. All of these “movements” and “systems” you speak of mean little. It is about the raising of individaul consciousness, and it helps to actually encounter it personally. It is true that it does not change you in a permanent way, but it would definitely “blow the mind” off of any metaphysical-doubting Western thinker, and they would have to re-concoct their thinking to explain it away again. This is why many indigenous people use this regularly. It helps to see what you are trying to move towards, if only for a short while.

  • Denny

    [quote comment=""][...] with me their thoughts and opinions. Within a previous discussion, there was a comment about the sacredness of individual conscience and how it relates to the Baha’i [...][/quote]

    Have any of you thought of using psychedelic plants to help people be more open to the metaphysical experience. No matter how closed and analytical the mind is to metaphysical elements, it cannot deny what it experiences. The sacrament of Peyote is available through the native american churches (Iboga through the Bwiti), ayahuasca in South America and legal now in parts of America, LSD in american cities, mushrooms in the rural areas,hawaian baby woodrose are much milder but legal, (there are literally hundreds of plants that provide a metaphysical experience) for anyone to have an experience outside of their brain and perhaps See for the first time. All of these “movements” and “systems” you speak of mean little. It is about the raising of individaul consciousness, and it helps to actually encounter it personally. It is true that it does not change you in a permanent way, but it would definitely “blow the mind” off of any metaphysical-doubting Western thinker, and they would have to re-concoct their thinking to explain it away again. This is why many indigenous people use this regularly. It helps to see what you are trying to move towards, if only for a short while.

  • http://www.bahairants.com Baquia

    Denny, Steve mentioned an Ayuasca Baha’i retreat. Its not my cup of tea. I prefer more permanent transformations through daily meditation. I’ll write up a bit about that soon.

  • http://www.bahairants.com Baquia

    Denny, Steve mentioned an Ayuasca Baha’i retreat. Its not my cup of tea. I prefer more permanent transformations through daily meditation. I’ll write up a bit about that soon.

  • Carm-again

    Denny wrote: “Have any of you thought of using psychedelic plants to help people be more open to the metaphysical experience.”

    Denny, Baha’u’llah has forbidden the use of alcohol and drugs including opium etc. They undermine man’s rational faculty. You can grow much more effectively through meditation as Baquia points out.

    Carmen

  • Carm-again

    Denny wrote: “Have any of you thought of using psychedelic plants to help people be more open to the metaphysical experience.”

    Denny, Baha’u’llah has forbidden the use of alcohol and drugs including opium etc. They undermine man’s rational faculty. You can grow much more effectively through meditation as Baquia points out.

    Carmen

  • anonymouz

    This guy who started “aurora baha” is way off on his own tangent and has chosen what he likes about the faith and incorporated it into his funky little cult.

  • anonymouz

    This guy who started “aurora baha” is way off on his own tangent and has chosen what he likes about the faith and incorporated it into his funky little cult.

  • http://epierce.meanoldbastard.com ep

    The tendency to romanticise premodern/mythic rituals is horribly cliched.

    Without evolutionary theory, any spiritual theory will regress to a “primitive” state and become dysfunctional.

    As history provides abundant evidence for, premodern mytic structures are valid within their proper context, but they should be studied/experienced from a skeptical perspective in order to avoid huge problems with superstition that tend to grow out of them.

    Most (but not all) of the evils in the modern world are caused by PARADIGM REGRESSION to premodern states/stages (Jean Gebser, who taught at the Swiss Jung institute in the 50s invented the concept of paradigm regression to explain the rise of Nazism, totalitarianism, etc. as a feature of modernity). Look at the Jean Gebser wiki page, or google.

    Gebser an other integral theorists have explained the problems with overreliance on rationalism. Also see Jurgen Habermas on related subjects (“colonization of lifeworld by systems”).

    I’ve used such plants, as has humanity for thousands of years (I studied ethnobotany). The fabled native american “peace pipe” contains Red Willow bark, a mild hallucinogenic, from a plant that grows commonly along streams in mountain country in the western usa. There was a lot of popular literature on the topic in the 60s/70s that frequently included shamanism.

    Please refer anyone that is thinking about using such plants for “spiritual” or “metaphysical” reasons to a qualified psychologist/psychiatrist before they get deeply into it, there can be major problems (beyond addiction, which is bad enough) if not used properly.

    The guy that discovered lsd died recently, and he made statements of regret about the damage it caused. when I used it a few times, it just seemed like an artificial version of what I had already experienced through meditation as a child.

    I had profound “spiritual/metaphysical” experiences in my life long before using psychoative plants or becoming a bahai, probably associated with visits to shinto/buddhist temples in japan when I was a child.

    (something about the evolutionary wiring of the human brain creates a tendency toward the experience of transcendance, and it existed long before “religion” was developed in an attempt to exploit transcendance for “political” reasons – such as to justify slavery, social hierarchy, control of complex irrigation systems, food storage, etc.)

    That said, there are many legitimate “premodern” spiritual systems that include use of psychoactive plants. Many of those systems have elaborate rituals to prevent things from going wrong (Hopi/Navajo peyote rituals are a well documented example of how spiritual guides prepare and help the person being “healed”, on the path).

    What is the evidence that the guy in sandy eggo has a “cult”?

    anyone that has been around california in the last 40 years knows that there are an enormous number of “spiritual teachers”, yoga leaders, guides to enlightenment (including churches, temples, mosques), etc., in this state, some of whom are run by unscrupulous scammers, manipulators, sociopaths.

    —> same as any other business or area of civil society.

    The idea that bahai culture is somehow more “pure” (or less damaging to its membership) than most of those kinds of people is absurd in the extreme.

    as an ex-bahai, I would not disagree with some critics that charge that “mainstream” bahai culture has some significant cult-like elements, specifically, doctrinal conformism, attacks on dissidents and critics, defense of absurd premodern metaphysics inbedded in bahai scripture, and so forth.

    Anyone using psychoactive plants to reach back to premodern “spiritual” or “metaphysical” experience should be advised to study Ken Wilber’s comments back in the 1980s and 1990s about nature worship and the transpersonal psychology movement (“mean green meme”). Also see articles on the Jean Gebser web site that relate to Jungian psychology.

    Integral Philosophy was the result of a whole movement that started in the 1940s to understand spirituality, modernism, science, and rationalism. There are a lot of answers within integral theory that address the psychological and sociologial problems with rationalist “modernism”.

    See Ken Wilber’s “Kosmos” web site for a very comprehensive counterculturish/buddhist spin on the issue of science and religion.

    To a large extent, bahais were long ago left in the dust (fom the time of Sri Aurobindo), and are now just playing catch up to the leading edge thinkers.

    How many bahais have spoken at TED?

    The reality is that prophetology, and prophetic religion, is a scam. It is just a middle-man that attempts to exploit the natural ability that many people have of attaining higher states of consciousness in direct relation to the universe.

    An enormous body of knowledge and tradition about the direct access to spiritual consciousness has been developed for thousands of years, but it has been preverted by both superstition, organized religion and modernity.

    The answer is to create a system that integrates, in a complementary fashion, spirituality and rationalism (premodernism and modernism).

    there is nothing inherently cultish about use of psychoactive plants, but they should be used in a careful manner, like anything else.

    most people would be far better off studying yoga or zen with a serious, traditional teacher to start with. Or go to Esalen (Big Sur, California), or the Noetic Institute (Napa), or http://www.ciis.edu, or a simliar center for study of spirituality, for a retreat or seminar.

    Regards,
    Eric P.
    Sacramento

    [quote comment="50935"][quote comment=""][...] with me their thoughts and opinions. Within a previous discussion, there was a comment about the sacredness of individual conscience and how it relates to the Baha’i [...][/quote]

    Have any of you thought of using psychedelic plants to help people be more open to the metaphysical experience. No matter how closed and analytical the mind is to metaphysical elements, it cannot deny what it experiences. The sacrament of Peyote is available through the native american churches (Iboga through the Bwiti), ayahuasca in South America and legal now in parts of America, LSD in american cities, mushrooms in the rural areas,hawaian baby woodrose are much milder but legal, (there are literally hundreds of plants that provide a metaphysical experience) for anyone to have an experience outside of their brain and perhaps See for the first time. All of these “movements” and “systems” you speak of mean little. It is about the raising of individaul consciousness, and it helps to actually encounter it personally. It is true that it does not change you in a permanent way, but it would definitely “blow the mind” off of any metaphysical-doubting Western thinker, and they would have to re-concoct their thinking to explain it away again. This is why many indigenous people use this regularly. It helps to see what you are trying to move towards, if only for a short while.[/quote]
    [quote comment=""][...] with me their thoughts and opinions. Within a previous discussion, there was a comment about the sacredness of individual conscience and how it relates to the Baha’i [...][/quote]

  • http://epierce.meanoldbastard.com ep

    The tendency to romanticise premodern/mythic rituals is horribly cliched.

    Without evolutionary theory, any spiritual theory will regress to a “primitive” state and become dysfunctional.

    As history provides abundant evidence for, premodern mytic structures are valid within their proper context, but they should be studied/experienced from a skeptical perspective in order to avoid huge problems with superstition that tend to grow out of them.

    Most (but not all) of the evils in the modern world are caused by PARADIGM REGRESSION to premodern states/stages (Jean Gebser, who taught at the Swiss Jung institute in the 50s invented the concept of paradigm regression to explain the rise of Nazism, totalitarianism, etc. as a feature of modernity). Look at the Jean Gebser wiki page, or google.

    Gebser an other integral theorists have explained the problems with overreliance on rationalism. Also see Jurgen Habermas on related subjects (“colonization of lifeworld by systems”).

    I’ve used such plants, as has humanity for thousands of years (I studied ethnobotany). The fabled native american “peace pipe” contains Red Willow bark, a mild hallucinogenic, from a plant that grows commonly along streams in mountain country in the western usa. There was a lot of popular literature on the topic in the 60s/70s that frequently included shamanism.

    Please refer anyone that is thinking about using such plants for “spiritual” or “metaphysical” reasons to a qualified psychologist/psychiatrist before they get deeply into it, there can be major problems (beyond addiction, which is bad enough) if not used properly.

    The guy that discovered lsd died recently, and he made statements of regret about the damage it caused. when I used it a few times, it just seemed like an artificial version of what I had already experienced through meditation as a child.

    I had profound “spiritual/metaphysical” experiences in my life long before using psychoative plants or becoming a bahai, probably associated with visits to shinto/buddhist temples in japan when I was a child.

    (something about the evolutionary wiring of the human brain creates a tendency toward the experience of transcendance, and it existed long before “religion” was developed in an attempt to exploit transcendance for “political” reasons – such as to justify slavery, social hierarchy, control of complex irrigation systems, food storage, etc.)

    That said, there are many legitimate “premodern” spiritual systems that include use of psychoactive plants. Many of those systems have elaborate rituals to prevent things from going wrong (Hopi/Navajo peyote rituals are a well documented example of how spiritual guides prepare and help the person being “healed”, on the path).

    What is the evidence that the guy in sandy eggo has a “cult”?

    anyone that has been around california in the last 40 years knows that there are an enormous number of “spiritual teachers”, yoga leaders, guides to enlightenment (including churches, temples, mosques), etc., in this state, some of whom are run by unscrupulous scammers, manipulators, sociopaths.

    —> same as any other business or area of civil society.

    The idea that bahai culture is somehow more “pure” (or less damaging to its membership) than most of those kinds of people is absurd in the extreme.

    as an ex-bahai, I would not disagree with some critics that charge that “mainstream” bahai culture has some significant cult-like elements, specifically, doctrinal conformism, attacks on dissidents and critics, defense of absurd premodern metaphysics inbedded in bahai scripture, and so forth.

    Anyone using psychoactive plants to reach back to premodern “spiritual” or “metaphysical” experience should be advised to study Ken Wilber’s comments back in the 1980s and 1990s about nature worship and the transpersonal psychology movement (“mean green meme”). Also see articles on the Jean Gebser web site that relate to Jungian psychology.

    Integral Philosophy was the result of a whole movement that started in the 1940s to understand spirituality, modernism, science, and rationalism. There are a lot of answers within integral theory that address the psychological and sociologial problems with rationalist “modernism”.

    See Ken Wilber’s “Kosmos” web site for a very comprehensive counterculturish/buddhist spin on the issue of science and religion.

    To a large extent, bahais were long ago left in the dust (fom the time of Sri Aurobindo), and are now just playing catch up to the leading edge thinkers.

    How many bahais have spoken at TED?

    The reality is that prophetology, and prophetic religion, is a scam. It is just a middle-man that attempts to exploit the natural ability that many people have of attaining higher states of consciousness in direct relation to the universe.

    An enormous body of knowledge and tradition about the direct access to spiritual consciousness has been developed for thousands of years, but it has been preverted by both superstition, organized religion and modernity.

    The answer is to create a system that integrates, in a complementary fashion, spirituality and rationalism (premodernism and modernism).

    there is nothing inherently cultish about use of psychoactive plants, but they should be used in a careful manner, like anything else.

    most people would be far better off studying yoga or zen with a serious, traditional teacher to start with. Or go to Esalen (Big Sur, California), or the Noetic Institute (Napa), or http://www.ciis.edu, or a simliar center for study of spirituality, for a retreat or seminar.

    Regards,
    Eric P.
    Sacramento

    [quote comment="50935"][quote comment=""][...] with me their thoughts and opinions. Within a previous discussion, there was a comment about the sacredness of individual conscience and how it relates to the Baha’i [...][/quote]

    Have any of you thought of using psychedelic plants to help people be more open to the metaphysical experience. No matter how closed and analytical the mind is to metaphysical elements, it cannot deny what it experiences. The sacrament of Peyote is available through the native american churches (Iboga through the Bwiti), ayahuasca in South America and legal now in parts of America, LSD in american cities, mushrooms in the rural areas,hawaian baby woodrose are much milder but legal, (there are literally hundreds of plants that provide a metaphysical experience) for anyone to have an experience outside of their brain and perhaps See for the first time. All of these “movements” and “systems” you speak of mean little. It is about the raising of individaul consciousness, and it helps to actually encounter it personally. It is true that it does not change you in a permanent way, but it would definitely “blow the mind” off of any metaphysical-doubting Western thinker, and they would have to re-concoct their thinking to explain it away again. This is why many indigenous people use this regularly. It helps to see what you are trying to move towards, if only for a short while.[/quote]
    [quote comment=""][...] with me their thoughts and opinions. Within a previous discussion, there was a comment about the sacredness of individual conscience and how it relates to the Baha’i [...][/quote]

  • http://www.aurorabaha.org Aurora Baha

    Aurora Baha is a Spiritual Society and House of Worship. It was established by individuals who accept Baha’u’llah as the most recent Manifestation of the Holy Spirit, and have as a result sought a way to serve humanity according to the divine instructions set out in the Holy Writings.

    The character and nature of Aurora Baha is universal and people from all faiths and backgrounds are involved to the degree that suits their own personal development.

    Most important to the philosophy of life of our society is the dignity of humanity, tolerance, virtue, ethical uprightness and integrity; with emphasis on holistic and sustainable approaches to community and health.

    Consistent with the Holy writings Aurora Baha has a deep appreciation for the knowledge, wisdom and theology of the indigenous medicine ways throughout the world – and most especially of the Americas – and the role these medicine ways are destined and prophesied to have in the illumination and coming of age of humanity.

    Many of Aurora Baha’s members have worked with a variety of indigenous spiritual and healing modalities and elders throughout the years. In much the same way in which many indigenous and mestizo people have accepted the stations of Buddha and Jesus the Christ, many have also accepted Baha’u’llah; Aurora Baha is a place for this unique expression while remaining universal and inclusive of all faiths.

    Lobo Siete Truenos is a mestizo medicine man who is a member of Aurora Baha. Despite the lies and backbiting about him that have been circulated by a very disgruntled few who do not know him personally, he is unequivocally dedicated to the service of humanity, and does so with integrity. Though he is a Baha’i, and is open about this truth, he consults, heals, and guides ceremony for people of all faiths, allowing people to come to discover the truth of progressive revelation through their own independent investigation of reality; and according to their own pace. He understands that such matters of the heart and Spirit are exclusively the dominion of the Creator.

    Over the years Seven Thunders has been very outspoken about the misuse and abuse of the sacred medicine ways by those not properly initiated and trained; and for this he has received slanderous criticism from ‘neo-shamans’, ‘psychonauts’ and those promoters of the drug culture hiding under the banner of ‘medicine’.

    Though he understands that in these delicate times people are thirsty for Spiritual sustenance, he none-the-less feels it important to communicate that the improper use of the medicine ways can be very harmful and cause great difficulties and confusion and therefore it is better to be patient and wait for Spirit to open the door to someone qualified.

    As an Curandero (Healer) and Ayahuasquero, the Sacrament Ayahuasca is certainly one of the methods which Seven Thunders uses to heal…it is by no means the only one though. It is also important to fully understand and appreciate that Ayahuasca without a sincere spiritual practice is very limited for real growth. The term used by Curanderos (healers) for people involved in any of the sacred medicine ways without a spiritual foundation and without integrity is a Brujo (Sorcerer).

    For those interested to communicate with Aurora Baha please send and email to info@aurorabaha.com.

    -Sociedad Espiritual Aurora Baha

    [quote comment=""]This guy who started “aurora baha” is way off on his own tangent and has chosen what he likes about the faith and incorporated it into his funky little cult.[/quote]

  • http://www.aurorabaha.org Aurora Baha

    Aurora Baha is a Spiritual Society and House of Worship. It was established by individuals who accept Baha’u’llah as the most recent Manifestation of the Holy Spirit, and have as a result sought a way to serve humanity according to the divine instructions set out in the Holy Writings.

    The character and nature of Aurora Baha is universal and people from all faiths and backgrounds are involved to the degree that suits their own personal development.

    Most important to the philosophy of life of our society is the dignity of humanity, tolerance, virtue, ethical uprightness and integrity; with emphasis on holistic and sustainable approaches to community and health.

    Consistent with the Holy writings Aurora Baha has a deep appreciation for the knowledge, wisdom and theology of the indigenous medicine ways throughout the world – and most especially of the Americas – and the role these medicine ways are destined and prophesied to have in the illumination and coming of age of humanity.

    Many of Aurora Baha’s members have worked with a variety of indigenous spiritual and healing modalities and elders throughout the years. In much the same way in which many indigenous and mestizo people have accepted the stations of Buddha and Jesus the Christ, many have also accepted Baha’u’llah; Aurora Baha is a place for this unique expression while remaining universal and inclusive of all faiths.

    Lobo Siete Truenos is a mestizo medicine man who is a member of Aurora Baha. Despite the lies and backbiting about him that have been circulated by a very disgruntled few who do not know him personally, he is unequivocally dedicated to the service of humanity, and does so with integrity. Though he is a Baha’i, and is open about this truth, he consults, heals, and guides ceremony for people of all faiths, allowing people to come to discover the truth of progressive revelation through their own independent investigation of reality; and according to their own pace. He understands that such matters of the heart and Spirit are exclusively the dominion of the Creator.

    Over the years Seven Thunders has been very outspoken about the misuse and abuse of the sacred medicine ways by those not properly initiated and trained; and for this he has received slanderous criticism from ‘neo-shamans’, ‘psychonauts’ and those promoters of the drug culture hiding under the banner of ‘medicine’.

    Though he understands that in these delicate times people are thirsty for Spiritual sustenance, he none-the-less feels it important to communicate that the improper use of the medicine ways can be very harmful and cause great difficulties and confusion and therefore it is better to be patient and wait for Spirit to open the door to someone qualified.

    As an Curandero (Healer) and Ayahuasquero, the Sacrament Ayahuasca is certainly one of the methods which Seven Thunders uses to heal…it is by no means the only one though. It is also important to fully understand and appreciate that Ayahuasca without a sincere spiritual practice is very limited for real growth. The term used by Curanderos (healers) for people involved in any of the sacred medicine ways without a spiritual foundation and without integrity is a Brujo (Sorcerer).

    For those interested to communicate with Aurora Baha please send and email to info@aurorabaha.com.

    -Sociedad Espiritual Aurora Baha

    [quote comment=""]This guy who started “aurora baha” is way off on his own tangent and has chosen what he likes about the faith and incorporated it into his funky little cult.[/quote]

  • Annonymouz

    Ya buddy…drink your potions. No one is stopping you. Have a good trip. I mean it. Cheers.

    And PS- You can’t have your cake and eat it too.

  • Annonymouz

    Ya buddy…drink your potions. No one is stopping you. Have a good trip. I mean it. Cheers.

    And PS- You can’t have your cake and eat it too.

  • ep

    Aurora Baha,

    Thanks for the excellent clarification. I appreciate your participation and nonconformist perspective.

    Again, I would urge you to incorporate an appreciation of integralism into your practice (Ken Wilber, Jean Gebser, etc.). The big danger is that postmodern people will tend to “regress” to “pathological” forms of premodern paradigms. Integralists refer to this as the “mean green meme”. Pluralism, postmodernism and relativism are fine within their limits, but are not sufficient since they increase narcissism and nihilism.

    http://wilber.shambhala.com/html/books/kosmos/excerptD/part4-1.cfm

    excerpts:

    “Although structuralism is only part of an integral methodological pluralism, it is nonetheless clearly an important part, at least on a par with phenomenology, hermeneutics, and systems theory, but elevated to a special importance by virtue of its emancipatory interests and holistic capacities.
    . . .

    And the general conclusions of adequate structuralism? Both subjective psyche and intersubjective culture contain regularities, patterns, songs, or Kosmic habits. None of these can be easily spotted by phenomenology, empiricism, systems theory, hermeneutics, ecology, action inquiry, or collaborative inquiry, but can be spotted by studying individual or cultural responses over time (a third-person investigation of first-person realities that, if successful, moves from responses to classes to stages to structures). These structures or patterns of being-in-the-world are marked by wholeness, transformation, and closure.)”

    All,

    I’ve known people that live in native american communities that have suffered from “curses” put on them by “sorcerers” (Brujos – spanish for “witches”, from latin origin http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Catalan_mythology_about_witches ). In some native cultures, these corcerers are known as “wolves”. They are trained as shamans (healers), but chose to use “spiritual power” for evil, selfish purposes. They are lost in “illusion”. The reason that “wolf” is used to describe such people is presumably because they are “spiritual predators”.

    Please note that Sufism (Islamic Esotericism) has a similar history in the middle east, there is clear denunciation of the use of mysticism for evil in Islamic and Baha’i scripture/commentary. Many of the corrupt mystics that Bahaullah denounces were Sufis who used “magic” to frighten ignorant and superstitious people in order to gain power.

    So, the question is, what is the situation of premodern shamanist rituals in a modern and postmodern culture? Are they similar to practices found in somewhat more familiar spiritual traditions such as yoga, vedic medicine, etc.? Certainly psychoactive plants were widely used for ritual purposes in antiquity when most of the world’s major spiritual traditions were being formed.

    Because modern culture has turned away from spirit and transcendance (has a tendency toward nihilism), many people feel spiritually “empty” and seek experiences of transcendance (and more importantly a sense of “belonging” to a communuity of seekers).

    The dominant, dysfunctional version of bahai culture tends to exploit people that are seeking transcendance (and group “belonging”) by forcing them to conform to the bahai “system” (“bureaucracy”).

    As such, it is ridiculous for mainstream/hiafan bahais to criticise a group, or movement, such as Aurora Baha, that seems to be more open to “authentic” healing of people’s needs.

    Indeed, the haifan bahai bureacuracy has internally persecuted people that tried to promote authentic, transformative mystical practices within the bahai community since the late 1970s and early 1980s. The bureaucrats correctly realized that allowing the growth of an open, innovative process of seeking within bahai culture would lead to serious challenges to the legitimacy of the bureacuracy.

    As a result, there are no vigorous “authentic” movements within bahai culture promoting spiritual healing (personal transformation) that are not tied to the promotion of the bureaucratic (“corporatist”) agenda/paradigm.

    The chickens are now coming home to roost.

    Adeu amics,

    Eric P.

    [quote comment="53577"]
    Aurora Baha is a Spiritual Society and House of Worship.

    The character and nature of Aurora Baha is universal and people from all faiths and backgrounds are involved to the degree that suits their own personal development.

    In much the same way in which many indigenous and mestizo people have accepted the stations of Buddha and Jesus the Christ, many have also accepted Baha’u’llah; Aurora Baha is a place for this unique expression while remaining universal and inclusive of all faiths.

    Lobo Siete Truenos is a mestizo medicine man who is a member of Aurora Baha. Despite the lies and backbiting about him that have been circulated by a very disgruntled few who do not know him personally, he is unequivocally dedicated to the service of humanity, and does so with integrity.

    Over the years Seven Thunders has been very outspoken about the misuse and abuse of the sacred medicine ways by those not properly initiated and trained; and for this he has received slanderous criticism from ‘neo-shamans’, ‘psychonauts’ and those promoters of the drug culture hiding under the banner of ‘medicine’.

    Though he understands that in these delicate times people are thirsty for Spiritual sustenance, he none-the-less feels it important to communicate that the improper use of the medicine ways can be very harmful and cause great difficulties and confusion and therefore it is better to be patient and wait for Spirit to open the door to someone qualified.

    The term used by Curanderos (healers) for people involved in any of the sacred medicine ways without a spiritual foundation and without integrity is a Brujo (Sorcerer).

    For those interested to communicate with Aurora Baha please send and email to info@aurorabaha.com.

    -Sociedad Espiritual Aurora Baha

    [quote comment=""]This guy who started “aurora baha” is way off on his own tangent and has chosen what he likes about the faith and incorporated it into his funky little cult.[/quote][/quote]
    [quote comment=""][...] with me their thoughts and opinions. Within a previous discussion, there was a comment about the sacredness of individual conscience and how it relates to the Baha’i [...][/quote]

  • ep

    Aurora Baha,

    Thanks for the excellent clarification. I appreciate your participation and nonconformist perspective.

    Again, I would urge you to incorporate an appreciation of integralism into your practice (Ken Wilber, Jean Gebser, etc.). The big danger is that postmodern people will tend to “regress” to “pathological” forms of premodern paradigms. Integralists refer to this as the “mean green meme”. Pluralism, postmodernism and relativism are fine within their limits, but are not sufficient since they increase narcissism and nihilism.

    http://wilber.shambhala.com/html/books/kosmos/excerptD/part4-1.cfm

    excerpts:

    “Although structuralism is only part of an integral methodological pluralism, it is nonetheless clearly an important part, at least on a par with phenomenology, hermeneutics, and systems theory, but elevated to a special importance by virtue of its emancipatory interests and holistic capacities.
    . . .

    And the general conclusions of adequate structuralism? Both subjective psyche and intersubjective culture contain regularities, patterns, songs, or Kosmic habits. None of these can be easily spotted by phenomenology, empiricism, systems theory, hermeneutics, ecology, action inquiry, or collaborative inquiry, but can be spotted by studying individual or cultural responses over time (a third-person investigation of first-person realities that, if successful, moves from responses to classes to stages to structures). These structures or patterns of being-in-the-world are marked by wholeness, transformation, and closure.)”

    All,

    I’ve known people that live in native american communities that have suffered from “curses” put on them by “sorcerers” (Brujos – spanish for “witches”, from latin origin http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Catalan_mythology_about_witches ). In some native cultures, these corcerers are known as “wolves”. They are trained as shamans (healers), but chose to use “spiritual power” for evil, selfish purposes. They are lost in “illusion”. The reason that “wolf” is used to describe such people is presumably because they are “spiritual predators”.

    Please note that Sufism (Islamic Esotericism) has a similar history in the middle east, there is clear denunciation of the use of mysticism for evil in Islamic and Baha’i scripture/commentary. Many of the corrupt mystics that Bahaullah denounces were Sufis who used “magic” to frighten ignorant and superstitious people in order to gain power.

    So, the question is, what is the situation of premodern shamanist rituals in a modern and postmodern culture? Are they similar to practices found in somewhat more familiar spiritual traditions such as yoga, vedic medicine, etc.? Certainly psychoactive plants were widely used for ritual purposes in antiquity when most of the world’s major spiritual traditions were being formed.

    Because modern culture has turned away from spirit and transcendance (has a tendency toward nihilism), many people feel spiritually “empty” and seek experiences of transcendance (and more importantly a sense of “belonging” to a communuity of seekers).

    The dominant, dysfunctional version of bahai culture tends to exploit people that are seeking transcendance (and group “belonging”) by forcing them to conform to the bahai “system” (“bureaucracy”).

    As such, it is ridiculous for mainstream/hiafan bahais to criticise a group, or movement, such as Aurora Baha, that seems to be more open to “authentic” healing of people’s needs.

    Indeed, the haifan bahai bureacuracy has internally persecuted people that tried to promote authentic, transformative mystical practices within the bahai community since the late 1970s and early 1980s. The bureaucrats correctly realized that allowing the growth of an open, innovative process of seeking within bahai culture would lead to serious challenges to the legitimacy of the bureacuracy.

    As a result, there are no vigorous “authentic” movements within bahai culture promoting spiritual healing (personal transformation) that are not tied to the promotion of the bureaucratic (“corporatist”) agenda/paradigm.

    The chickens are now coming home to roost.

    Adeu amics,

    Eric P.

    [quote comment="53577"]
    Aurora Baha is a Spiritual Society and House of Worship.

    The character and nature of Aurora Baha is universal and people from all faiths and backgrounds are involved to the degree that suits their own personal development.

    In much the same way in which many indigenous and mestizo people have accepted the stations of Buddha and Jesus the Christ, many have also accepted Baha’u’llah; Aurora Baha is a place for this unique expression while remaining universal and inclusive of all faiths.

    Lobo Siete Truenos is a mestizo medicine man who is a member of Aurora Baha. Despite the lies and backbiting about him that have been circulated by a very disgruntled few who do not know him personally, he is unequivocally dedicated to the service of humanity, and does so with integrity.

    Over the years Seven Thunders has been very outspoken about the misuse and abuse of the sacred medicine ways by those not properly initiated and trained; and for this he has received slanderous criticism from ‘neo-shamans’, ‘psychonauts’ and those promoters of the drug culture hiding under the banner of ‘medicine’.

    Though he understands that in these delicate times people are thirsty for Spiritual sustenance, he none-the-less feels it important to communicate that the improper use of the medicine ways can be very harmful and cause great difficulties and confusion and therefore it is better to be patient and wait for Spirit to open the door to someone qualified.

    The term used by Curanderos (healers) for people involved in any of the sacred medicine ways without a spiritual foundation and without integrity is a Brujo (Sorcerer).

    For those interested to communicate with Aurora Baha please send and email to info@aurorabaha.com.

    -Sociedad Espiritual Aurora Baha

    [quote comment=""]This guy who started “aurora baha” is way off on his own tangent and has chosen what he likes about the faith and incorporated it into his funky little cult.[/quote][/quote]
    [quote comment=""][...] with me their thoughts and opinions. Within a previous discussion, there was a comment about the sacredness of individual conscience and how it relates to the Baha’i [...][/quote]

  • http://www.aurorabaha.org Aurora Baha

    “How often it has occurred, when an act has been performed by a wise, perfect, intelligent man, that others incapable of comprehending its wisdom have objected to it and been amazed that this wise man could say or do such a thing. This opposition comes from their ignorance, and the wisdom of the sage is pure and exempt from error. In the same way, the skilled doctor in treating the patient does what he wishes, and the patient has no right to object; whatever the doctor says and does is right; all ought to consider him the manifestation of these words, “He doeth whatsoever He willeth, and commandeth whatever He desireth.” It is certain that the doctor will use some medicine contrary to the ideas of other people; now opposition is not permitted to those who have not the advantage of science and the medical art. No, in the name of God! on the contrary, all ought to be submissive and to perform whatever the skilled doctor says. Therefore, the skilled doctor does what he wishes, and the patients have no share in this right. The skill of the doctor must be first ascertained; but when the skill of the doctor is once established, he does what he wishes.

    So also, when the head of the army is unrivaled in the art of war, in what he says and commands he does what he wishes. When the captain of a ship is proficient in the art of navigation, in whatever he says and commands he does what he wishes.”

    (Abdu’l-Baha, Some Answered Questions, p. 173)

    “It is, therefore, evident that it is possible to cure by foods, aliments and fruits; but as today the science of medicine is imperfect, this fact is not yet fully grasped. When the science of medicine reaches perfection, treatment will be given by foods, aliments, fragrant fruits and vegetables, and by various waters, hot and cold in temperature.

    This discourse is brief; but, if God wills, at another time, when the occasion is suitable, this question will be more fully explained.”

    (Abdu’l-Baha, Some Answered Questions, p. 258)

    “The Indians have a triangle, this is the way I express it in my own mind: the Most Great Spirit (God), man, and nature; they seem to have a profound inner understanding of this fundamental relationship in the universe; I think this relationship is supported in our Teachings, if we perhaps read them with a more understanding concept of this subject. The Indians are profoundly spiritual people – particularly those least affected by our civilization – with a tremendous orientation to prayer, to the Creator, on the one hand, and a deep rapport with nature on the other. The words of Baha’u’llah quoted by ‘Abdu’l-Baha, “the city is the home of the body, the country is the home of the soul”, do not mean much to our race and certainly nothing to our civilization, but to the true Indian they are a deep reality. If you take the concept of this triangle, God, man, and nature, and you insert one more factor, between God and man, in other words the principle of the Ray, the Intermediary or Prophet, that carries communion with the Great Spirit to us, the Indians’ entire theology, if you like, or concept of life and the cosmos, becomes complete from a Baha’i standpoint. I think we should approach the Indian teaching in this way. Too often, at least we white Baha’is are preoccupied with trying to place indigenous people, in this case the Indians, inside our own framework of what we think the cause is. I think very few Baha’is of our type ever think much about theology! We think about administration, goals, plans, etc. Obviously all these things are important, but to attract the Indians by this approach is not working at all. Maybe in the end, with the insertion of this principle of the Manifestation of God, this Indian fundamental concept of theology is closer to the Teachings of Baha’u’llah than the way most of us understand them at present!

    When I spoke to the Baha’is in Regina they asked me to say something in Persian at the end of my talk, and I spoke as strongly as one can humanly do on the subject of not going near the Indians or approaching them or going to the reservations unless they could treat them with respect and honour their customs and feelings.

    …would you mind telling me when we are going to fulfill the prophecy of ‘Abdu’l-Baha? We Baha’is – and I am certainly old enough to assert this authoritatively – do nothing but miss buses; one bus after another whizzes by, and for one reason or another we are always going to catch the bus but too often we do not. Are we going to miss this Indian bus for the whole period of the Baha’i Dispensation? I think you have to ask yourselves this very seriously.”

    (Rúhíyyih Khanum, 28 October 1986; to The National Spiritual Assembly of the Baha’is of Canada)

    “I bear witness, O friends! that the favor is complete, the argument fulfilled, the proof manifest and the evidence established. Let it now be seen what your endeavors in the path of detachment will reveal.”

    (Baha’u’llah, Hidden Words, p. 51)

    -Sociedad Espiritual Aurora Baha

    P.S.

    “Urge believers strictly adhere (to) National Assembly’s instructions regarding anonymous letters.”

    (Shoghi Effendi, Extracts from the USBN, dated May 12, 1934)

    [quote comment="Annonymouz"]Ya buddy…drink your potions. No one is stopping you. Have a good trip. I mean it. Cheers.

    And PS- You can’t have your cake and eat it too.
    [/quote]

  • http://www.aurorabaha.org Aurora Baha

    “How often it has occurred, when an act has been performed by a wise, perfect, intelligent man, that others incapable of comprehending its wisdom have objected to it and been amazed that this wise man could say or do such a thing. This opposition comes from their ignorance, and the wisdom of the sage is pure and exempt from error. In the same way, the skilled doctor in treating the patient does what he wishes, and the patient has no right to object; whatever the doctor says and does is right; all ought to consider him the manifestation of these words, “He doeth whatsoever He willeth, and commandeth whatever He desireth.” It is certain that the doctor will use some medicine contrary to the ideas of other people; now opposition is not permitted to those who have not the advantage of science and the medical art. No, in the name of God! on the contrary, all ought to be submissive and to perform whatever the skilled doctor says. Therefore, the skilled doctor does what he wishes, and the patients have no share in this right. The skill of the doctor must be first ascertained; but when the skill of the doctor is once established, he does what he wishes.

    So also, when the head of the army is unrivaled in the art of war, in what he says and commands he does what he wishes. When the captain of a ship is proficient in the art of navigation, in whatever he says and commands he does what he wishes.”

    (Abdu’l-Baha, Some Answered Questions, p. 173)

    “It is, therefore, evident that it is possible to cure by foods, aliments and fruits; but as today the science of medicine is imperfect, this fact is not yet fully grasped. When the science of medicine reaches perfection, treatment will be given by foods, aliments, fragrant fruits and vegetables, and by various waters, hot and cold in temperature.

    This discourse is brief; but, if God wills, at another time, when the occasion is suitable, this question will be more fully explained.”

    (Abdu’l-Baha, Some Answered Questions, p. 258)

    “The Indians have a triangle, this is the way I express it in my own mind: the Most Great Spirit (God), man, and nature; they seem to have a profound inner understanding of this fundamental relationship in the universe; I think this relationship is supported in our Teachings, if we perhaps read them with a more understanding concept of this subject. The Indians are profoundly spiritual people – particularly those least affected by our civilization – with a tremendous orientation to prayer, to the Creator, on the one hand, and a deep rapport with nature on the other. The words of Baha’u’llah quoted by ‘Abdu’l-Baha, “the city is the home of the body, the country is the home of the soul”, do not mean much to our race and certainly nothing to our civilization, but to the true Indian they are a deep reality. If you take the concept of this triangle, God, man, and nature, and you insert one more factor, between God and man, in other words the principle of the Ray, the Intermediary or Prophet, that carries communion with the Great Spirit to us, the Indians’ entire theology, if you like, or concept of life and the cosmos, becomes complete from a Baha’i standpoint. I think we should approach the Indian teaching in this way. Too often, at least we white Baha’is are preoccupied with trying to place indigenous people, in this case the Indians, inside our own framework of what we think the cause is. I think very few Baha’is of our type ever think much about theology! We think about administration, goals, plans, etc. Obviously all these things are important, but to attract the Indians by this approach is not working at all. Maybe in the end, with the insertion of this principle of the Manifestation of God, this Indian fundamental concept of theology is closer to the Teachings of Baha’u’llah than the way most of us understand them at present!

    When I spoke to the Baha’is in Regina they asked me to say something in Persian at the end of my talk, and I spoke as strongly as one can humanly do on the subject of not going near the Indians or approaching them or going to the reservations unless they could treat them with respect and honour their customs and feelings.

    …would you mind telling me when we are going to fulfill the prophecy of ‘Abdu’l-Baha? We Baha’is – and I am certainly old enough to assert this authoritatively – do nothing but miss buses; one bus after another whizzes by, and for one reason or another we are always going to catch the bus but too often we do not. Are we going to miss this Indian bus for the whole period of the Baha’i Dispensation? I think you have to ask yourselves this very seriously.”

    (Rúhíyyih Khanum, 28 October 1986; to The National Spiritual Assembly of the Baha’is of Canada)

    “I bear witness, O friends! that the favor is complete, the argument fulfilled, the proof manifest and the evidence established. Let it now be seen what your endeavors in the path of detachment will reveal.”

    (Baha’u’llah, Hidden Words, p. 51)

    -Sociedad Espiritual Aurora Baha

    P.S.

    “Urge believers strictly adhere (to) National Assembly’s instructions regarding anonymous letters.”

    (Shoghi Effendi, Extracts from the USBN, dated May 12, 1934)

    [quote comment="Annonymouz"]Ya buddy…drink your potions. No one is stopping you. Have a good trip. I mean it. Cheers.

    And PS- You can’t have your cake and eat it too.
    [/quote]

  • Anonymouz

    Aurora Baha,

    I would avoid using Baha’i scripture to back up your points and practices because we all know that the use of substance to get closer to God is condemned by Baha’u’llah Himself. Moreover, we all know that we must respect cultures and indigenous traditions, but there is a limit. They have to realize as well, that according to the Manifestation of this Dispensation if they choose to move toward the Reality of Baha’u’llah, there are things that must be discarded and done away with. I know of many Baha’i first nations and I assure you they do not do anything more than maybe a little sweat lodge now and then.

    Lastly, when you acknowledge Baha’u’llah as the Manifestation there is the clear and present reality of the Covenant. Of course, there are those who don’t get it and still say they believe, but we can only fill a cup with so much. What I have a problem with is your focus and emphasis on your tribal/ritualistic/substance use practice and then using the Baha’i writings to back it up. Anyone can do this with any little niche belief system if they cling to a few passages here and there as you appear to be doing and what other fringe groups do as well.

    True spirituality is not accessible through substance sorry to say. Of course you don’t believe me because you have experienced “it”. But, let me let you in on a little secret, any substance that is used to get closer to the “Great Being” is an illusion that simply works on the chemicals in your brain to give you euphoric sense of transcendence. Duuude….

    You are free to continue you as you wish, and far be it from me to stand in your way toward God. He knows we take our time and try things our own way. But, in the end, nothing but simple obedience to the writings and instructions of Baha’u’llah will do. Have I reached it? Do I know Nirvana? Am I a guru? Heck no. That’s not the goal. The Goal is submission, and this alone takes a life time.

  • Anonymouz

    Aurora Baha,

    I would avoid using Baha’i scripture to back up your points and practices because we all know that the use of substance to get closer to God is condemned by Baha’u’llah Himself. Moreover, we all know that we must respect cultures and indigenous traditions, but there is a limit. They have to realize as well, that according to the Manifestation of this Dispensation if they choose to move toward the Reality of Baha’u’llah, there are things that must be discarded and done away with. I know of many Baha’i first nations and I assure you they do not do anything more than maybe a little sweat lodge now and then.

    Lastly, when you acknowledge Baha’u’llah as the Manifestation there is the clear and present reality of the Covenant. Of course, there are those who don’t get it and still say they believe, but we can only fill a cup with so much. What I have a problem with is your focus and emphasis on your tribal/ritualistic/substance use practice and then using the Baha’i writings to back it up. Anyone can do this with any little niche belief system if they cling to a few passages here and there as you appear to be doing and what other fringe groups do as well.

    True spirituality is not accessible through substance sorry to say. Of course you don’t believe me because you have experienced “it”. But, let me let you in on a little secret, any substance that is used to get closer to the “Great Being” is an illusion that simply works on the chemicals in your brain to give you euphoric sense of transcendence. Duuude….

    You are free to continue you as you wish, and far be it from me to stand in your way toward God. He knows we take our time and try things our own way. But, in the end, nothing but simple obedience to the writings and instructions of Baha’u’llah will do. Have I reached it? Do I know Nirvana? Am I a guru? Heck no. That’s not the goal. The Goal is submission, and this alone takes a life time.

  • Anonymouz

    Response to Craig challenge here. Mostly my just my thoughts I typed up over a couple of hours…

    ANON according to the Will and Testament of Abdu’l_Baha the Bahai’i Universal House of Justice is to be elected by the Baha’is of the entire world and serve the entire people of the world in every useful way possible.

    Dear Craig, in these responses to what I see as your concepts and questions, I will try to use my own words and not incorporate the Writings as much as some may like. The reason I am doing it this is to display, that despite what others may think, it is my reasoning, my mind, my intellect and my heart that has come to the conclusions and beliefs I hold—not rigid indoctrination or rote learning. So, let us begin. As you mention the UHJ was to be elected by Bahá’ís the World over and serve the World in every useful way possible. As I am sure you know the Faith is quite young and to have any real insight into what the Faith should be doing, we must entertain the notion that there is still time to reach its zenith. Moreover, frankly the Faith is still in an obscure position in the World’s conscious. In my opinion, this fact is worthy of discussion in and of itself. With such a powerful message, such a tumultuous and exiting history, you would think that the rest of the World would have picked up on this by now and we would be at the forefront of attention the World over. Imagine the headlines “Small religion claims Christ has returned”. But, in the infinitely practical and unknowable Wisdom of Bahá’u’lláh, the Faith’s plan has been to slowly, without stepping on any major toes, unwrap this divine gift. There can be no mistake that Bahá’u’lláh Himself brought the teachings and truths for this age of mankind. The Writings of the Faith are the purest form of the most intellectual and complicated conclusions made by academics and scholars the World over. Have you ever read the Nobel speeches by their respective Laureates? The World’s greatest thinkers and most respected minds are coming to realize and conclude, quite timely if you ask me, in the universality of mankind and the oneness of all of us. The supernova of spiritual energies released by Bahá’u’lláh and His revelation have galvanized mankind into the most accomplished and most advanced civilization to ever walk the Earth. All started in the 1840’s right? Morse and all that…We are waiting for the time when the people themselves are able to see their potential and come to grips with the truths that have been incubating for the past millennia. A few hundred years ago the treaties and governmental systems, the laws we have, the civility and dignity enjoyed by people today was un-heard of. The resurgence of new age thought, and the search of souls for something more fulfilling is just beginning to take off all because, in my opinion, the timing and purpose of the Message of Bahá’u’lláh. Some may disagree but the Will of God is not a blind miracle; it is the spark of inspiration, the moment of decisive and epoch altering decisions, the drive we feel to press on, push forward, dig deeper, try harder, love more, hope higher, think bigger, act better. All of these realities are easy to find and discern within the Writings of the Bahá’í Faith and the discourse of the Central Figures. Never in the history of the World has there been such specific admonishments, such direct instructions, such preserved and documented words as that of the Bahá’í Faith. Past religions have reached their positions in society today because of the actions of men and their inspired yet flawed interpretations of text that was never meant for what it is being used for today. The concept of the Covenant is also unprecedented and it is the only thing protecting the core Bahá’ís from splintering into un-ending factions of squabbling little sects. You may say, “well there are some out there who have organized under this or that”. But truly, ask yourself this, what do the promises of Bahá’u’lláh say about such attempts at schism? During each stage of succession during the awe inspiring history of the Faith there has been a struggle for authority. Only the majority have survived. Only the united, only the faithful and only those who choose to believe in the underlying reality that Bahá’u’lláh has promised, if they stick together, God will guide them. Have you read much into the purifying process that happened during the time of Shaykh Ahmadi Ahsahi or Seyyid Kazim? The Shaykhi school of thought which they started still has a designated Mullah in Karbala and they still pay homage to those two. However, they are still Shia’a and I’m afraid quite supportive of the insurgencies. When the Báb passed away we all know that there was a convenient appointment of Mirza Yayha to deflect attention away from the Sun of Reality, Bahá’u’lláh. When Bahá’u’lláh passed Abdul’Baha’s brothers had a fit because they did not get enough authority. When Abdul’Baha passed, ambitious and egotistical souls like Ahmad Sohrab and Ibrahim Kheyrullah vied for position and revolted against the majority due to their own beliefs and their own thoughts. When Shoghi passed without a designated heir, something that was destined if you think about, the Hands of the Cause took the reigns, united, and GAVE UP thier positions and deflected the loyalty they enjoyed by the Bahá’í World to elect the prophesized Institution. Do you see the trend? At each stage of the formative age of the Bahá’í Faith there was an event that tested the Faith of the faithful, quite effectively, and those who thought they knew better, those who thought that this little movement was susceptible to current trends of socio-political division, those who wished and believed to save it (from what?), those who missed the whole point of doing and moving forward together were separated and ex-communicated. If you read the Tablet of Unity by Bahá’u’lláh, one which has not yet been translated for good reason, there are some underlying realities which need attention. “Unity of Religion. Bahá’u’lláh says that when the believers are united, this leads to the victory of the cause of God. Unity of Words. Bahá’u’lláh appears to require that the Bahá’ís be united in their public position. In other words that the message that they should be one in the message that they give. … But ultimately, Bahá’u’lláh asserts that in this dispensation, it is deeds rather than words that will bring triumph to the Cause of God. Unity of Ritual Acts. Bahá’u’lláh has the specific meaning of ritual acts in mind when he writes of ittih’ád-i a`mál. He states that in Islam, different ways of doing the rituals, such as the obligatory prayer, have led to differences arising among the believers and ultimately to disunity. Unity of Rank or Station. By this Bahá’u’lláh means that the Bahá’ís should regard themselves as all equal in rank. He states that it is the fact that some have regarded themselves superior to others that has led to the weakening and downfall of other religions. In particular, he condemns the religious leaders. Unity of Souls. Bahá’u’lláh considers these two unities together. He says that the mere sharing of what one has is not sufficient; one should prefer others over oneself. This is the way towards that unity of souls which is the ultimate aim. A situation which Bahá’u’lláh characterizes as being one where “all should gather around and cling to the Love of God and the Word of God.”
    (Moojan Momen)

    The covenant breakers lack these underlying principles. Principles such as unity of the heart and unity in belief and doctrine are central and core to the Bahá’í belief system, more so than some of the social teachings or the concepts of the individual. I realize you signed up in the 70s and indeed many people who did then have left the Bahá’í Faith because “it’s not what they signed up for”. I wasn’t alive back then but I imagine that the over all moods at the time were very adventurous and explorative. Who wanted authority? Who wanted to conform? I understand the reason now for mass conversions in the 1970s here in the US. The Faith must have been presented in such a revolutionary light, so enlightened socially and so amazingly appropriate. Indeed it still is and what is even more is that it is equipped and armed with the tenants and Institutions to guide us through any generational phenomenon or secular cultural phase. Who knows, maybe in 20-30 years when I’m in my 50s something will come along and shake me to my core. I welcome it and look forward to the opportunity to grow. The UHJ was elected in 1963 at the height of some of the most revolutionary and politically contentious times of the century. The majority of the Bahá’í population at the time was thin, unversed, spread out, and not ready for such a momentous occasion. Those few educated and experienced souls who had witnessed the history of the Faith in the making, had witnessed the shattering of the covenant by Kheyrullah and Sohrab, who had witnessed the defilement of the Holy places by Mirza Muhammad Ali and his little crony brothers, realized that if they stuck it out together and un-phased, God would keep his promise. Indeed we all know the administrative function of the Faith was envisioned to have a Guardian figure. Pope-like, in status, divinely guided and so forth. However, as bright as Shoghi Effendi was and as meticulous as a nature he had, we can make no other conclusion that he too saw that the only way to finally finish the age of these divisive events of successor-ship was to finally and ultimately null the opportunity for on-going internal conflict. Indeed it has worked. Most Azalis these days don’t even tell people they are Azalis, except that disturbed fellow Nima Hazini. The generation of covenant breakers from Abdul’Baha’s time still harmlessly dwell at the bottom of Mt. Carmel and are interviewed by curious Israelis and Sohrab’s rants only have a fan in Fred Glaysher. Mason Remey is known world wide as the one who fell from grace and his lacky Marangella retired to Australia and directs his cultists to maraud the internet and plant little quotes and sayings of doubt. Let’s face it, with thousands of in action Bahá’í NGOs (yes thousands, I can make a list if you want), growing media attention, recognition of the established and powerful governments, growing resources and increasing stature on the World stage, the Bahá’í Faith under the Universal House of Justice has tactfully and wisely stepped out from obscurity. As the Bahá’í Faith grows in numbers, the House of Justice is undoubtedly aware of the needs of the time and has its pulse on the community. I can tell you books of stories of House members that take the bus to work, wear the same suit since the 1990s, invite and are invited nightly for informal dinners to and by the year of service youth. I could go on about how bright these guys are and how literally genius some of their secular work has been. The House of Justice members realize themselves that laws will change; some administrative functions and bodies will be dissolved or created, election methods and avenues for appeal will become more elaborate and effective. Bahá’ís will as a statistical inevitability question the decisions, wonder and ponder, and also as a statistical inevitability some will leave, some will come back and some will openly oppose. If I know this, and I’m just a mid 20s punk, I am pretty confident that the people in Haifa do too. So, what am I trying to say here? I guess I am trying to say, keep your head in the game and play all 9 innings. You may not agree with some of the plays, you may not run as fast or throw as hard as some of the other players, but the coach will say, keep your chin up and be a team player…It will all work out.

    But now 37 long years later, my assessment is that the current Universal House of Justice does not serve the interests of humanity at all, but only serves the interests of it’s own organization and the tiny clique that runs it. It is completely inward in orientation. I believe it is more inward than ever despite what the people at the top say. These people have not been out for dinner and a movie for 40 years on their Mt. Olympus. How do they truly know anything at all about what is going on among either the rank and file Baha’is of the world and/or the rank and file people of the world?

    I think the last answer addresses a lot of what you say here but I will try to give some more anecdotal evidence of the contrary. I feel it’s important to relate personal experiences because it is about personal perception. In any case, here goes. First, why don’t you try to call Haifa. Wait until 2am and make the call. You will be greeted by a friendly receptionist, maybe with an accent. Ask to speak to any one of the House members. You will enjoy some light piano music while you are on hold. A few moments later, you are talking to one of nine individuals who are responsible for the Bahá’í Faith. They are that accessible. Although I seriously hope you don’t have the nerve to do it as I did, you will be pleasantly surprised at how good of a listener they can be. When I went on pilgrimage in 1995, I was 12. At that early an age I saw how open, accessible, friendly, smiling and re-assuring those 9 fellows can be. I am sure they would not like it for me to go on much further, but I never detected any sense of self praise or unwarranted cockiness. I can guarantee you that thousands of other young people like myself, have tons more stories and we may hear a few now…Your perception about how they are seemingly cliquish or closed circuit is based off the seeming long term members and the trend that has developed from electing Counselors. This is a valid observation and I have heard people serving in Haifa wonder about the same thing. But, it does deserve a better examination for it to be understood. Do you remember how I touched on the subject of trends? We’ll my own view is that at this point, only a few decades since there has been a House of Justice, the most qualified, experienced and deepened believers are those that have served in the various administrative functions. I mean come on, who should they elect? Joe Bahá’í from Cedar Rapids? Mind you that the ballots of candidates is very long and consists of hundreds of individuals from the NSAs, International Teaching Center etc…The people who serve there and in these functions are highly educated, experienced, known Bahá’ís. Right now in most developing countries the number of Bahá’ís is still pretty thin and given the administrative roles to be filled, most of the believers serve in some sort of function. Give it time. In Lights of Guidance Shoghi Effendi talks about how the biggest test for Bahá’ís will be other Bahá’ís. He also consoled us not to be too taken up by the fact that in its infancy, the administrative order may at times appear ridged. It’s a process of growth, reconsolidation, and education on the part of the community and the individual. Only the UHJ is promised unerring direction. Despite how some of the accounts you may read here or there, despite the spin some critics try to put on the news out of the World centre or some NSA that had fund issues, the UHJ has time and again proven its mettle. I believe it was Chile under Pinochet or right before him that the Baha’is and the NSA there found a PERFECT piece of land for the House of worship. I mean seriously, it was just right. All the right conditions, location, price, soil, etc…They submitted their findings to the UHJ for a final decision, and it was rejected. Few months later all private property was seized. I could go on in terminology and cite the Holy text over and over to back my points here but, apparently that’s not good enough right now. The Rant is about expressing your own views…Whatever. In any case, I know for a fact that members of the House of Justice are finely in tune with what is happening in the Bahá’í world, and the rest of it for that matter. What do you think these guys do all day? Sit around and sing? Ohh brother are you in for a treat. Each member is responsible for a certain number of countries and has a good sized staff to help with the hundreds of emails that come in each day, which must be read carefully and prioritized in a business like manner accordingly, not to mention the logistics of managing hundreds of people and dozens of properties. Every letter that goes out goes through numerous drafts by aids in the Secretariat. Dozens of youth are on file to check facts, dates, references, names, spellings, historic account and translation. The take home stack of correspondences from not only individuals but also NSAs and LSAs and the respected appointed officers adds up to be hundreds of pages to read every night. Average work week for a House member is about 60-70 hrs. With very little pay, we are talking in the minimum wage bracket here, little vacation or time off, little thanks from the rank and file, unceasing criticism and un-ending attacks from a few, these fellows are acutely aware of the condition of the Bahá’ís themselves. So, try to have a little perspective and realize that when they are behind closed doors and in session, the chamber has a whole lot of information to go off of before it makes any decisions. Moreover, the amount of prayer that goes into their day is amazing. We are talking dawn prayers, obligatory payers (did you say yours today?), evening prayers, midnight prayers, and the prayers they say for the list of people who ask for them.

    Try to give them a little credit. The guys are worked to the bone and their staff is to. Try to put yourself in their shoes and imagine having to read the fluff that they must every day from people who want God to deliver miracles. This is about hard work, self sacrifice and long hours, not to mention the threat of a Hezbollah rocket. Why not re-locate, eh? In my view, they have done an amazing job of sticking right to the letter of all the directions given to them by Bahá’u’lláh.

    Secondly, the current version of the Universal House of Justice is NOT elected by the rank and file of the Baha’is of the world AT ALL. They began to change HOW it is elected in 1983. It is now elected from a closed list of tightly controlled candidates that are the personal friends and colleagues of the current sitting members of the Universal House of Justice who have been in waiting as members of the International Teaching Center which is now essentially the closed loop ideological think tank system of the elite of the Bahá’í Faith. Is this what Bahá’u’lláh had in mind? Or Abdu’l-Baha? Or Shoghi Effendi? Or The ancient Hebrew Prophets who spoke about Mt. Carmel?

    Before I answer this, let me ask you, do you know what Bahá’u’lláh had in mind? Do you know the answer to all the questions above? All of the observations and conclusions you make are ultimately pessimistic and negative and by inference you portray yourself as better or above the millions of other Bahá’ís who faithfully take part in the process. A process which is evolving and growing, changing and developing can only mean that it was never mean to be a specific way or in stone forever. Yes it does have certain un-alterable principles such as consultation, democracy, unity, and obedience. The functions of the UHJ are legislative and authoritative. Some with little vision or critical of reality itself may state something along the lines of “the House can’t do this, or the House can’t do that”. If you truly examine the facts you will see how delicately it has trodden so as not to step on the sphere of over ridding the function of the Guardian. Volumes exist of his unpublished, un-translated, un-announced and un-read works that so far, have been a divinely guided precedent. Covenant breakers, which is a word I use to clearly state there are those out there who fill this role, also make the case of the absolute need of a Guardian. But, what is their alternative? Some old fart who doesn’t even speak Persian or Arabic? The Guardian functioned for his entire ministry without the House of Justice. That International Bahá’í Council, despite what some covenant breakers say, was not the House of Justice nor was it anything close to it. It was a group of Hands who helped the Guardian with his work. They were appointed by the Guardian and not elected by the Bahá’í community. In the hour of the greatest choice taken in my opinion, they obeyed the holy text and handed authority back to the Universal House of Justice after it was elected at the International Convention. You seem to be really hung up on the fact that the House of Justice is not directly elected by the Bahá’í communities on the individual level. Since I am a student of political theory, and although not entirely the same, there are reasons why direct democracy is impractical on a global scale. The principles of democracy are still present and they are still elected by the elected. The removal from the process is not far and the smartest and most qualified Bahá’ís, some of them are indeed just humble members in virgin territories go to the Convention to vote their choice. You also seem to perceive the Bahá’ís serving in Haifa are some how completely inter-dependent and permanently incumbent. This is not the case either. Bahá’ís who apply to go on service, which there are thousands, rotate in and out based on stints of 1-5 years. It is mostly the case they do go home after a few years and rarely are there career Bahá’í administration officials. It all depends on the needs and area of expertise. There is a big IT department and obviously the different offices that deal with international affairs and the UN, legal department, grounds, pilgrimage, etc…The busy folks in Haifa, obviously have other Bahá’ís there with them and it is only natural and convenient that everyone gets to know everyone. But for you to make the leap that there is some conspiracy to vote each other into office is simply absurd. We are all in this together and the moment any soul who is in that place where spirituality and closeness to Bahá’u’lláh literally and figuratively is the norm, souls tend to pick up a sense of who is qualified and who is ready. I can personally say from first hand experience that members of the House of Justice are some of the humblest people I have ever met. Sign up and go on pilgrimage again and you will change completely–guaranteed. I’m planning on going again within the next few years. My dad has gone 3 times. Anyway, regarding term limits and election procedures, I am sure it will change when the time is right. The number of House members is also likely to increase to maybe 19 or 95 in the future. Its in the Aqdas.

    If you can explain it so I can accept this change in how it is elected as being of the Will and Testament of Abdu’l-Baha, I will. I will keep an open mind. But I just don’t see that this process is either of the Letter or the Spirit of what we are supposed to have for this World Age. It is top down at the dictate of a very, very tiny handful of very pompous and arrogant people living in a bubble of their own friends and own colleagues with no term limits who answer essentially to no electorate ever. Once elected they will never be voted out of office by the worldwide NSA’s who will hold no one accountable for anything ever. The record so far speaks for itself. It is essentially lifetime incumbency for a tiny group of people who reinforce each others ideas. If you can explain that this is what we are supposed to have, make the case. I will listen. But after all my years in reading and studying the Writings of the Faith I just don’t see that this is what we are supposed to have. There is no living sitting Guardian so who is going to perform the function of asking the Universal House of Justice to reconsider a decision if the living sitting Guardian thinks it is against the Spirit of the Teachings? This was one of the most important functions of a living sitting Guardian in Shoghi Effendi’s writings. How is this going to work now? Who is going to hold them accountable to the Writings as an equal? I do acknowledge you are intelligent and sincere. I will listen. And I will not write back anything this week. Tell me your vision of the future as to how this current set up is going to help the human race? To my observation the current situation is essentially that a tiny closed group of people who answer to no one will run the Faith in sets of 9 for 40 years at a time. That means essentially 9 sets of men times 21 (40) year intervals over the next 850 more years equals. This equals 189 total people ever in these positions who answer to absolutely no one – not even their own personal conscience – will tell the entire world what to do on every matter facing 7 billion people in every sphere of human endeavor for the next 850 years. Shoghi Effendi said they must answer to their own conscience (you can find the quote in Ocean) but now according to both Douglas Martin and Peter Khan in the deepening materials they wrote for the Canadian Baha’i Community back in the 1970’s, conscience is not a factor in the Baha’i Faith like it is in Christianity as Douglas Martin expressed again more recently in that quote after 9/11. So if they are supposed to be accountable to their own conscience in conducting the affairs of the Faith in their lifetime incumbent positions but conscience is now not a factor in anyone’s conduct, how is this going to work?

    Finally you are seriously concerned about the topic of conscious and intellect in relation to the individual and the Institution and by extension the Faith itself. As there is un-deniable statements by the central figures about the capacity of man and his innate ability to be able to choose for himself, search for truth, express his will, use his mind and seek knowledge we must clearly conclude it is central to the Faith. Look, here I am doing it now! You are too! Wow look at us go! Shoghi Effendi said that the mind is the torch in the cave of our experiences and we must use it to seek the light at the end of the tunnel. However, do you need the torch when you get to the end of the tunnel and are in the light? Now before you say I am off my rocker, think about it. The inevitable reality of our purpose is reunion with God, if you believe it. Intellect is used to get to this point; intellect is used to make the decision to move into it. However, it is ultimately a matter of the heart and soul which makes the move. You will know without a doubt when you have come to this point. The intelligence and intellectual passages that were propounded upon by Abdul’Baha were very important indeed. I have a small little insight I would like to share. Take the word “man” when Abdul’Baha talks about him, and replace it with “Abdul’Baha”. Abdul’Baha was the perfect example of the Faith and the Perfect Bahá’í. Do you imagine that we ever would slander fellow believers, instill doubt or force his opinion on anyone? Would he belittle the House of Justice? Would discount the reality of the Writings? Fred Glaysher likes to quote extensively from Abdul’Baha, but he conveniently leaves out the guidance regarding liberty and freedom given by Bahá’u’lláh. These concepts are very important and people miss-interpret them all the time. The individual within the Bahá’ís administration is very important despite what the unversed naysayers think. There are clear routes for petitioning a decision, questioning a practice, advising another route and processing appeals. Assemblies the World over are waiting for the Bahá’ís the World over to take the initiative, start something, become active, and take charge of activities. Now, all of these things do not mean un-bridled individualism. But it does mean that the Faith relies on the participation of the individual to run. Lo and behold we see this happening. With the Faith so vast, rich in teachings, so accessible and so motivating, the administration has a duty to help guide, encourage educate and deepen the believer with the basics before they go about changing the World. We all have our personal views, and as this is mine I realize I may take things a little out of context or I may be off on some subjects, but I am not pushing my view on anyone, and I’m just trying to tell others they shouldn’t either because they are not perfect nor altogether rational sometimes. What we do have is a wise group of people who have been elected to fill the roles created by Bahá’u’lláh via the Institution promised guidance. I don’t take the words of any one individual farther than a thoughtful and respectful consideration. We are not supposed to. Never listen to the hot head who thinks he knows. It is only through the process of consultation, devotion and thoughtful reflection with information pertinent to the issues at hand does an Assembly have the authority that we as individuals have been asked to obey when they make a decision. Sometimes the LSA or NSA may get it wrong, but that doesn’t mean that we should discount the process they go through to get to that decision—which is what we do when we criticize the Institutions. We attack the teachings of the Bahá’í Faith when we attack an elected body. Do not discount the validity of practicing your rights within the Bahá’í administration. You can question, you can raise an issue, and you can prove your point. But, it is only when we move forward together is there a promise of guidance. Belligerence and incessant doubting and undermining serve the interests of no one—especially the Bahá’í Faith. The Universal House of Justice is the only legitimate Institution appointed and created by Bahá’u’lláh. All of the admonishments and dictation Shoghi Effendi wrote in regards to how it would interact with his own office were theoretical. As mentioned before there is an impression within the writings of Shoghi Effendi that there was supposed to be a symbiotic relationship but it was through this test that the Bahá’ís went through that was proven not to be the fate chosen. The Báb also has some very incredible things in His writings and unless we remain reflective and detached from reading too literally into things, we will get lost and loose sight of the big picture. Bahá’u’lláh too has laws in the Aqdas and penalties for some crimes that are, by modern day standards, inhumane or “cruel and unusual”. Should we brand every thief we catch? Should burn every arsonist? Religion has thus fair never failed to provide the believers with things to test their faith. Never. It is only when we begin to focus on the here and now, the earthly existence and its laws and customs do we loose sight of the infinite and completely removed reality that awaits us in eternity. I imagine sometimes that when we are all gone from this life and wherever we are will look back and chuckle at how trivial it all was. Read Carl Sagan.

    In conclusion, despite my run on here, I just wanted to say that the individual should never make their faith dependent on external factors or what they perceive happening. It is our perceptions that make us unique and our lenses are often sullied. What you see as rote or dictatorial is seen by others as fundamentally refreshing and kind advice. What you may see as incumbency others may see a job well done. What you may see as a loss of focus or a different direction, others see as a re-consolidation and a means of preparation. It is all relative. But, what we must also do is have faith in the process and just work on our own problems and try to be the best Bahá’í we can be, leave the rest to Bahá’u’lláh.

  • Anonymouz

    Response to Craig challenge here. Mostly my just my thoughts I typed up over a couple of hours…

    ANON according to the Will and Testament of Abdu’l_Baha the Bahai’i Universal House of Justice is to be elected by the Baha’is of the entire world and serve the entire people of the world in every useful way possible.

    Dear Craig, in these responses to what I see as your concepts and questions, I will try to use my own words and not incorporate the Writings as much as some may like. The reason I am doing it this is to display, that despite what others may think, it is my reasoning, my mind, my intellect and my heart that has come to the conclusions and beliefs I hold—not rigid indoctrination or rote learning. So, let us begin. As you mention the UHJ was to be elected by Bahá’ís the World over and serve the World in every useful way possible. As I am sure you know the Faith is quite young and to have any real insight into what the Faith should be doing, we must entertain the notion that there is still time to reach its zenith. Moreover, frankly the Faith is still in an obscure position in the World’s conscious. In my opinion, this fact is worthy of discussion in and of itself. With such a powerful message, such a tumultuous and exiting history, you would think that the rest of the World would have picked up on this by now and we would be at the forefront of attention the World over. Imagine the headlines “Small religion claims Christ has returned”. But, in the infinitely practical and unknowable Wisdom of Bahá’u’lláh, the Faith’s plan has been to slowly, without stepping on any major toes, unwrap this divine gift. There can be no mistake that Bahá’u’lláh Himself brought the teachings and truths for this age of mankind. The Writings of the Faith are the purest form of the most intellectual and complicated conclusions made by academics and scholars the World over. Have you ever read the Nobel speeches by their respective Laureates? The World’s greatest thinkers and most respected minds are coming to realize and conclude, quite timely if you ask me, in the universality of mankind and the oneness of all of us. The supernova of spiritual energies released by Bahá’u’lláh and His revelation have galvanized mankind into the most accomplished and most advanced civilization to ever walk the Earth. All started in the 1840’s right? Morse and all that…We are waiting for the time when the people themselves are able to see their potential and come to grips with the truths that have been incubating for the past millennia. A few hundred years ago the treaties and governmental systems, the laws we have, the civility and dignity enjoyed by people today was un-heard of. The resurgence of new age thought, and the search of souls for something more fulfilling is just beginning to take off all because, in my opinion, the timing and purpose of the Message of Bahá’u’lláh. Some may disagree but the Will of God is not a blind miracle; it is the spark of inspiration, the moment of decisive and epoch altering decisions, the drive we feel to press on, push forward, dig deeper, try harder, love more, hope higher, think bigger, act better. All of these realities are easy to find and discern within the Writings of the Bahá’í Faith and the discourse of the Central Figures. Never in the history of the World has there been such specific admonishments, such direct instructions, such preserved and documented words as that of the Bahá’í Faith. Past religions have reached their positions in society today because of the actions of men and their inspired yet flawed interpretations of text that was never meant for what it is being used for today. The concept of the Covenant is also unprecedented and it is the only thing protecting the core Bahá’ís from splintering into un-ending factions of squabbling little sects. You may say, “well there are some out there who have organized under this or that”. But truly, ask yourself this, what do the promises of Bahá’u’lláh say about such attempts at schism? During each stage of succession during the awe inspiring history of the Faith there has been a struggle for authority. Only the majority have survived. Only the united, only the faithful and only those who choose to believe in the underlying reality that Bahá’u’lláh has promised, if they stick together, God will guide them. Have you read much into the purifying process that happened during the time of Shaykh Ahmadi Ahsahi or Seyyid Kazim? The Shaykhi school of thought which they started still has a designated Mullah in Karbala and they still pay homage to those two. However, they are still Shia’a and I’m afraid quite supportive of the insurgencies. When the Báb passed away we all know that there was a convenient appointment of Mirza Yayha to deflect attention away from the Sun of Reality, Bahá’u’lláh. When Bahá’u’lláh passed Abdul’Baha’s brothers had a fit because they did not get enough authority. When Abdul’Baha passed, ambitious and egotistical souls like Ahmad Sohrab and Ibrahim Kheyrullah vied for position and revolted against the majority due to their own beliefs and their own thoughts. When Shoghi passed without a designated heir, something that was destined if you think about, the Hands of the Cause took the reigns, united, and GAVE UP thier positions and deflected the loyalty they enjoyed by the Bahá’í World to elect the prophesized Institution. Do you see the trend? At each stage of the formative age of the Bahá’í Faith there was an event that tested the Faith of the faithful, quite effectively, and those who thought they knew better, those who thought that this little movement was susceptible to current trends of socio-political division, those who wished and believed to save it (from what?), those who missed the whole point of doing and moving forward together were separated and ex-communicated. If you read the Tablet of Unity by Bahá’u’lláh, one which has not yet been translated for good reason, there are some underlying realities which need attention. “Unity of Religion. Bahá’u’lláh says that when the believers are united, this leads to the victory of the cause of God. Unity of Words. Bahá’u’lláh appears to require that the Bahá’ís be united in their public position. In other words that the message that they should be one in the message that they give. … But ultimately, Bahá’u’lláh asserts that in this dispensation, it is deeds rather than words that will bring triumph to the Cause of God. Unity of Ritual Acts. Bahá’u’lláh has the specific meaning of ritual acts in mind when he writes of ittih’ád-i a`mál. He states that in Islam, different ways of doing the rituals, such as the obligatory prayer, have led to differences arising among the believers and ultimately to disunity. Unity of Rank or Station. By this Bahá’u’lláh means that the Bahá’ís should regard themselves as all equal in rank. He states that it is the fact that some have regarded themselves superior to others that has led to the weakening and downfall of other religions. In particular, he condemns the religious leaders. Unity of Souls. Bahá’u’lláh considers these two unities together. He says that the mere sharing of what one has is not sufficient; one should prefer others over oneself. This is the way towards that unity of souls which is the ultimate aim. A situation which Bahá’u’lláh characterizes as being one where “all should gather around and cling to the Love of God and the Word of God.”
    (Moojan Momen)

    The covenant breakers lack these underlying principles. Principles such as unity of the heart and unity in belief and doctrine are central and core to the Bahá’í belief system, more so than some of the social teachings or the concepts of the individual. I realize you signed up in the 70s and indeed many people who did then have left the Bahá’í Faith because “it’s not what they signed up for”. I wasn’t alive back then but I imagine that the over all moods at the time were very adventurous and explorative. Who wanted authority? Who wanted to conform? I understand the reason now for mass conversions in the 1970s here in the US. The Faith must have been presented in such a revolutionary light, so enlightened socially and so amazingly appropriate. Indeed it still is and what is even more is that it is equipped and armed with the tenants and Institutions to guide us through any generational phenomenon or secular cultural phase. Who knows, maybe in 20-30 years when I’m in my 50s something will come along and shake me to my core. I welcome it and look forward to the opportunity to grow. The UHJ was elected in 1963 at the height of some of the most revolutionary and politically contentious times of the century. The majority of the Bahá’í population at the time was thin, unversed, spread out, and not ready for such a momentous occasion. Those few educated and experienced souls who had witnessed the history of the Faith in the making, had witnessed the shattering of the covenant by Kheyrullah and Sohrab, who had witnessed the defilement of the Holy places by Mirza Muhammad Ali and his little crony brothers, realized that if they stuck it out together and un-phased, God would keep his promise. Indeed we all know the administrative function of the Faith was envisioned to have a Guardian figure. Pope-like, in status, divinely guided and so forth. However, as bright as Shoghi Effendi was and as meticulous as a nature he had, we can make no other conclusion that he too saw that the only way to finally finish the age of these divisive events of successor-ship was to finally and ultimately null the opportunity for on-going internal conflict. Indeed it has worked. Most Azalis these days don’t even tell people they are Azalis, except that disturbed fellow Nima Hazini. The generation of covenant breakers from Abdul’Baha’s time still harmlessly dwell at the bottom of Mt. Carmel and are interviewed by curious Israelis and Sohrab’s rants only have a fan in Fred Glaysher. Mason Remey is known world wide as the one who fell from grace and his lacky Marangella retired to Australia and directs his cultists to maraud the internet and plant little quotes and sayings of doubt. Let’s face it, with thousands of in action Bahá’í NGOs (yes thousands, I can make a list if you want), growing media attention, recognition of the established and powerful governments, growing resources and increasing stature on the World stage, the Bahá’í Faith under the Universal House of Justice has tactfully and wisely stepped out from obscurity. As the Bahá’í Faith grows in numbers, the House of Justice is undoubtedly aware of the needs of the time and has its pulse on the community. I can tell you books of stories of House members that take the bus to work, wear the same suit since the 1990s, invite and are invited nightly for informal dinners to and by the year of service youth. I could go on about how bright these guys are and how literally genius some of their secular work has been. The House of Justice members realize themselves that laws will change; some administrative functions and bodies will be dissolved or created, election methods and avenues for appeal will become more elaborate and effective. Bahá’ís will as a statistical inevitability question the decisions, wonder and ponder, and also as a statistical inevitability some will leave, some will come back and some will openly oppose. If I know this, and I’m just a mid 20s punk, I am pretty confident that the people in Haifa do too. So, what am I trying to say here? I guess I am trying to say, keep your head in the game and play all 9 innings. You may not agree with some of the plays, you may not run as fast or throw as hard as some of the other players, but the coach will say, keep your chin up and be a team player…It will all work out.

    But now 37 long years later, my assessment is that the current Universal House of Justice does not serve the interests of humanity at all, but only serves the interests of it’s own organization and the tiny clique that runs it. It is completely inward in orientation. I believe it is more inward than ever despite what the people at the top say. These people have not been out for dinner and a movie for 40 years on their Mt. Olympus. How do they truly know anything at all about what is going on among either the rank and file Baha’is of the world and/or the rank and file people of the world?

    I think the last answer addresses a lot of what you say here but I will try to give some more anecdotal evidence of the contrary. I feel it’s important to relate personal experiences because it is about personal perception. In any case, here goes. First, why don’t you try to call Haifa. Wait until 2am and make the call. You will be greeted by a friendly receptionist, maybe with an accent. Ask to speak to any one of the House members. You will enjoy some light piano music while you are on hold. A few moments later, you are talking to one of nine individuals who are responsible for the Bahá’í Faith. They are that accessible. Although I seriously hope you don’t have the nerve to do it as I did, you will be pleasantly surprised at how good of a listener they can be. When I went on pilgrimage in 1995, I was 12. At that early an age I saw how open, accessible, friendly, smiling and re-assuring those 9 fellows can be. I am sure they would not like it for me to go on much further, but I never detected any sense of self praise or unwarranted cockiness. I can guarantee you that thousands of other young people like myself, have tons more stories and we may hear a few now…Your perception about how they are seemingly cliquish or closed circuit is based off the seeming long term members and the trend that has developed from electing Counselors. This is a valid observation and I have heard people serving in Haifa wonder about the same thing. But, it does deserve a better examination for it to be understood. Do you remember how I touched on the subject of trends? We’ll my own view is that at this point, only a few decades since there has been a House of Justice, the most qualified, experienced and deepened believers are those that have served in the various administrative functions. I mean come on, who should they elect? Joe Bahá’í from Cedar Rapids? Mind you that the ballots of candidates is very long and consists of hundreds of individuals from the NSAs, International Teaching Center etc…The people who serve there and in these functions are highly educated, experienced, known Bahá’ís. Right now in most developing countries the number of Bahá’ís is still pretty thin and given the administrative roles to be filled, most of the believers serve in some sort of function. Give it time. In Lights of Guidance Shoghi Effendi talks about how the biggest test for Bahá’ís will be other Bahá’ís. He also consoled us not to be too taken up by the fact that in its infancy, the administrative order may at times appear ridged. It’s a process of growth, reconsolidation, and education on the part of the community and the individual. Only the UHJ is promised unerring direction. Despite how some of the accounts you may read here or there, despite the spin some critics try to put on the news out of the World centre or some NSA that had fund issues, the UHJ has time and again proven its mettle. I believe it was Chile under Pinochet or right before him that the Baha’is and the NSA there found a PERFECT piece of land for the House of worship. I mean seriously, it was just right. All the right conditions, location, price, soil, etc…They submitted their findings to the UHJ for a final decision, and it was rejected. Few months later all private property was seized. I could go on in terminology and cite the Holy text over and over to back my points here but, apparently that’s not good enough right now. The Rant is about expressing your own views…Whatever. In any case, I know for a fact that members of the House of Justice are finely in tune with what is happening in the Bahá’í world, and the rest of it for that matter. What do you think these guys do all day? Sit around and sing? Ohh brother are you in for a treat. Each member is responsible for a certain number of countries and has a good sized staff to help with the hundreds of emails that come in each day, which must be read carefully and prioritized in a business like manner accordingly, not to mention the logistics of managing hundreds of people and dozens of properties. Every letter that goes out goes through numerous drafts by aids in the Secretariat. Dozens of youth are on file to check facts, dates, references, names, spellings, historic account and translation. The take home stack of correspondences from not only individuals but also NSAs and LSAs and the respected appointed officers adds up to be hundreds of pages to read every night. Average work week for a House member is about 60-70 hrs. With very little pay, we are talking in the minimum wage bracket here, little vacation or time off, little thanks from the rank and file, unceasing criticism and un-ending attacks from a few, these fellows are acutely aware of the condition of the Bahá’ís themselves. So, try to have a little perspective and realize that when they are behind closed doors and in session, the chamber has a whole lot of information to go off of before it makes any decisions. Moreover, the amount of prayer that goes into their day is amazing. We are talking dawn prayers, obligatory payers (did you say yours today?), evening prayers, midnight prayers, and the prayers they say for the list of people who ask for them.

    Try to give them a little credit. The guys are worked to the bone and their staff is to. Try to put yourself in their shoes and imagine having to read the fluff that they must every day from people who want God to deliver miracles. This is about hard work, self sacrifice and long hours, not to mention the threat of a Hezbollah rocket. Why not re-locate, eh? In my view, they have done an amazing job of sticking right to the letter of all the directions given to them by Bahá’u’lláh.

    Secondly, the current version of the Universal House of Justice is NOT elected by the rank and file of the Baha’is of the world AT ALL. They began to change HOW it is elected in 1983. It is now elected from a closed list of tightly controlled candidates that are the personal friends and colleagues of the current sitting members of the Universal House of Justice who have been in waiting as members of the International Teaching Center which is now essentially the closed loop ideological think tank system of the elite of the Bahá’í Faith. Is this what Bahá’u’lláh had in mind? Or Abdu’l-Baha? Or Shoghi Effendi? Or The ancient Hebrew Prophets who spoke about Mt. Carmel?

    Before I answer this, let me ask you, do you know what Bahá’u’lláh had in mind? Do you know the answer to all the questions above? All of the observations and conclusions you make are ultimately pessimistic and negative and by inference you portray yourself as better or above the millions of other Bahá’ís who faithfully take part in the process. A process which is evolving and growing, changing and developing can only mean that it was never mean to be a specific way or in stone forever. Yes it does have certain un-alterable principles such as consultation, democracy, unity, and obedience. The functions of the UHJ are legislative and authoritative. Some with little vision or critical of reality itself may state something along the lines of “the House can’t do this, or the House can’t do that”. If you truly examine the facts you will see how delicately it has trodden so as not to step on the sphere of over ridding the function of the Guardian. Volumes exist of his unpublished, un-translated, un-announced and un-read works that so far, have been a divinely guided precedent. Covenant breakers, which is a word I use to clearly state there are those out there who fill this role, also make the case of the absolute need of a Guardian. But, what is their alternative? Some old fart who doesn’t even speak Persian or Arabic? The Guardian functioned for his entire ministry without the House of Justice. That International Bahá’í Council, despite what some covenant breakers say, was not the House of Justice nor was it anything close to it. It was a group of Hands who helped the Guardian with his work. They were appointed by the Guardian and not elected by the Bahá’í community. In the hour of the greatest choice taken in my opinion, they obeyed the holy text and handed authority back to the Universal House of Justice after it was elected at the International Convention. You seem to be really hung up on the fact that the House of Justice is not directly elected by the Bahá’í communities on the individual level. Since I am a student of political theory, and although not entirely the same, there are reasons why direct democracy is impractical on a global scale. The principles of democracy are still present and they are still elected by the elected. The removal from the process is not far and the smartest and most qualified Bahá’ís, some of them are indeed just humble members in virgin territories go to the Convention to vote their choice. You also seem to perceive the Bahá’ís serving in Haifa are some how completely inter-dependent and permanently incumbent. This is not the case either. Bahá’ís who apply to go on service, which there are thousands, rotate in and out based on stints of 1-5 years. It is mostly the case they do go home after a few years and rarely are there career Bahá’í administration officials. It all depends on the needs and area of expertise. There is a big IT department and obviously the different offices that deal with international affairs and the UN, legal department, grounds, pilgrimage, etc…The busy folks in Haifa, obviously have other Bahá’ís there with them and it is only natural and convenient that everyone gets to know everyone. But for you to make the leap that there is some conspiracy to vote each other into office is simply absurd. We are all in this together and the moment any soul who is in that place where spirituality and closeness to Bahá’u’lláh literally and figuratively is the norm, souls tend to pick up a sense of who is qualified and who is ready. I can personally say from first hand experience that members of the House of Justice are some of the humblest people I have ever met. Sign up and go on pilgrimage again and you will change completely–guaranteed. I’m planning on going again within the next few years. My dad has gone 3 times. Anyway, regarding term limits and election procedures, I am sure it will change when the time is right. The number of House members is also likely to increase to maybe 19 or 95 in the future. Its in the Aqdas.

    If you can explain it so I can accept this change in how it is elected as being of the Will and Testament of Abdu’l-Baha, I will. I will keep an open mind. But I just don’t see that this process is either of the Letter or the Spirit of what we are supposed to have for this World Age. It is top down at the dictate of a very, very tiny handful of very pompous and arrogant people living in a bubble of their own friends and own colleagues with no term limits who answer essentially to no electorate ever. Once elected they will never be voted out of office by the worldwide NSA’s who will hold no one accountable for anything ever. The record so far speaks for itself. It is essentially lifetime incumbency for a tiny group of people who reinforce each others ideas. If you can explain that this is what we are supposed to have, make the case. I will listen. But after all my years in reading and studying the Writings of the Faith I just don’t see that this is what we are supposed to have. There is no living sitting Guardian so who is going to perform the function of asking the Universal House of Justice to reconsider a decision if the living sitting Guardian thinks it is against the Spirit of the Teachings? This was one of the most important functions of a living sitting Guardian in Shoghi Effendi’s writings. How is this going to work now? Who is going to hold them accountable to the Writings as an equal? I do acknowledge you are intelligent and sincere. I will listen. And I will not write back anything this week. Tell me your vision of the future as to how this current set up is going to help the human race? To my observation the current situation is essentially that a tiny closed group of people who answer to no one will run the Faith in sets of 9 for 40 years at a time. That means essentially 9 sets of men times 21 (40) year intervals over the next 850 more years equals. This equals 189 total people ever in these positions who answer to absolutely no one – not even their own personal conscience – will tell the entire world what to do on every matter facing 7 billion people in every sphere of human endeavor for the next 850 years. Shoghi Effendi said they must answer to their own conscience (you can find the quote in Ocean) but now according to both Douglas Martin and Peter Khan in the deepening materials they wrote for the Canadian Baha’i Community back in the 1970’s, conscience is not a factor in the Baha’i Faith like it is in Christianity as Douglas Martin expressed again more recently in that quote after 9/11. So if they are supposed to be accountable to their own conscience in conducting the affairs of the Faith in their lifetime incumbent positions but conscience is now not a factor in anyone’s conduct, how is this going to work?

    Finally you are seriously concerned about the topic of conscious and intellect in relation to the individual and the Institution and by extension the Faith itself. As there is un-deniable statements by the central figures about the capacity of man and his innate ability to be able to choose for himself, search for truth, express his will, use his mind and seek knowledge we must clearly conclude it is central to the Faith. Look, here I am doing it now! You are too! Wow look at us go! Shoghi Effendi said that the mind is the torch in the cave of our experiences and we must use it to seek the light at the end of the tunnel. However, do you need the torch when you get to the end of the tunnel and are in the light? Now before you say I am off my rocker, think about it. The inevitable reality of our purpose is reunion with God, if you believe it. Intellect is used to get to this point; intellect is used to make the decision to move into it. However, it is ultimately a matter of the heart and soul which makes the move. You will know without a doubt when you have come to this point. The intelligence and intellectual passages that were propounded upon by Abdul’Baha were very important indeed. I have a small little insight I would like to share. Take the word “man” when Abdul’Baha talks about him, and replace it with “Abdul’Baha”. Abdul’Baha was the perfect example of the Faith and the Perfect Bahá’í. Do you imagine that we ever would slander fellow believers, instill doubt or force his opinion on anyone? Would he belittle the House of Justice? Would discount the reality of the Writings? Fred Glaysher likes to quote extensively from Abdul’Baha, but he conveniently leaves out the guidance regarding liberty and freedom given by Bahá’u’lláh. These concepts are very important and people miss-interpret them all the time. The individual within the Bahá’ís administration is very important despite what the unversed naysayers think. There are clear routes for petitioning a decision, questioning a practice, advising another route and processing appeals. Assemblies the World over are waiting for the Bahá’ís the World over to take the initiative, start something, become active, and take charge of activities. Now, all of these things do not mean un-bridled individualism. But it does mean that the Faith relies on the participation of the individual to run. Lo and behold we see this happening. With the Faith so vast, rich in teachings, so accessible and so motivating, the administration has a duty to help guide, encourage educate and deepen the believer with the basics before they go about changing the World. We all have our personal views, and as this is mine I realize I may take things a little out of context or I may be off on some subjects, but I am not pushing my view on anyone, and I’m just trying to tell others they shouldn’t either because they are not perfect nor altogether rational sometimes. What we do have is a wise group of people who have been elected to fill the roles created by Bahá’u’lláh via the Institution promised guidance. I don’t take the words of any one individual farther than a thoughtful and respectful consideration. We are not supposed to. Never listen to the hot head who thinks he knows. It is only through the process of consultation, devotion and thoughtful reflection with information pertinent to the issues at hand does an Assembly have the authority that we as individuals have been asked to obey when they make a decision. Sometimes the LSA or NSA may get it wrong, but that doesn’t mean that we should discount the process they go through to get to that decision—which is what we do when we criticize the Institutions. We attack the teachings of the Bahá’í Faith when we attack an elected body. Do not discount the validity of practicing your rights within the Bahá’í administration. You can question, you can raise an issue, and you can prove your point. But, it is only when we move forward together is there a promise of guidance. Belligerence and incessant doubting and undermining serve the interests of no one—especially the Bahá’í Faith. The Universal House of Justice is the only legitimate Institution appointed and created by Bahá’u’lláh. All of the admonishments and dictation Shoghi Effendi wrote in regards to how it would interact with his own office were theoretical. As mentioned before there is an impression within the writings of Shoghi Effendi that there was supposed to be a symbiotic relationship but it was through this test that the Bahá’ís went through that was proven not to be the fate chosen. The Báb also has some very incredible things in His writings and unless we remain reflective and detached from reading too literally into things, we will get lost and loose sight of the big picture. Bahá’u’lláh too has laws in the Aqdas and penalties for some crimes that are, by modern day standards, inhumane or “cruel and unusual”. Should we brand every thief we catch? Should burn every arsonist? Religion has thus fair never failed to provide the believers with things to test their faith. Never. It is only when we begin to focus on the here and now, the earthly existence and its laws and customs do we loose sight of the infinite and completely removed reality that awaits us in eternity. I imagine sometimes that when we are all gone from this life and wherever we are will look back and chuckle at how trivial it all was. Read Carl Sagan.

    In conclusion, despite my run on here, I just wanted to say that the individual should never make their faith dependent on external factors or what they perceive happening. It is our perceptions that make us unique and our lenses are often sullied. What you see as rote or dictatorial is seen by others as fundamentally refreshing and kind advice. What you may see as incumbency others may see a job well done. What you may see as a loss of focus or a different direction, others see as a re-consolidation and a means of preparation. It is all relative. But, what we must also do is have faith in the process and just work on our own problems and try to be the best Bahá’í we can be, leave the rest to Bahá’u’lláh.

  • Aurora NUR

    About Aurora Baha:

    -
    http://dynamic.boingboing.net/profile/nezzyidy
    February 5, 2008 10:59am

    WARNING: BEWARE AURORA BAHA!

    I attended a gathering by this person and he is creepy. I have friends who have also had bad experiences with him. A large community is now boycotting his ceremonies.

    His name is Francis de La Mazza and he goes by Lobo Siete Truenos. Read this before attending his ceremony.
    He has been caught lying about his past.

    True Scam of the Eagle and the Condor?
    http://ayahuasca.tribe.net/thread/a7b95ff8-bae1-4121-b3f5-5a2b93e9e43b

    also:
    http://singingtotheplants.blogspot.com/

    Singing to the Plants

    Shamanism and the Medicine Path
    Tuesday, February 5, 2008
    Ayahuasca Mainstreamed

    The spirits must have granted me a momentary fit of prescience. On
    February 3, I published a blog post on selling spirituality; on the
    same day, the Los Angeles Times Magazine published an article on a
    self-professed ayahuasquero named Lobo Siete Truenos, or Wolf Seven
    Thunders, and the growing role of ayahuasca in what the article calls
    the “nouveau wealth” of suburban California.

    Truenos has a murky background. He gives, the article says, “few
    straight answers about his background but plenty of mystic filigree.”
    He has founded his own church, which he calls Aurora Bahá, presumably
    to add a semblance of legitimacy to his use of a substance whose
    possession remains — despite the United States Supreme Court ruling
    exempting the União do Vegetal — a felony. Truenos also possesses an
    eagle’s wing. If he is not a Native American, that too is illegal. But his ancestry is as murky as his history: he is, apparently, Dominican, Lebanese, Basque, and Taino. According to an email attributed to him, this means mostly Lebanese.

    Lobo Siete Truenos, Wolf Seven Thunders, also known as Francis de la
    Maza What purports to be email correspondence by Truenos has been published in an online discussion group called the Ayahuasca Tribe. “I am the Keeper of the Fire Bundle of Purification of the Eagle and the Condor,” he wrote, “sometimes referred to as the Altar of Unification and the Altar of the Seven Thunders. This sacred Altar is the Manifestation of a Point of Light, which Point represents the
    Unification of Several Initiatic Currents on this planet.” These
    initiatic currents are, unsurprisingly, united in none other than
    Truenos himself. They are detailed on a Web page he has published,
    where he also calls himself Francis de la Maza, meaning Francis of the Mace, a mestizo curandero, initiated by the Shipibo-Conibo in Brazil.

    But there’s more. He is an Elk Dreamer and Keeper of the Fire of
    Quetzalcoatl, and he has been initiated into the Khemetic Mysteries of Egypt, the Tibetan Buddhist path of Dzogchen, the Gnostic Mysteries of the Rosicrucians, the Yucatec Mayan path of Puts’yaj, and the Yoruba Ifa path of Nigeria as a Babalao. He is clearly a busy guy.

    He also claims to be a pipe carrier of the Yankton Sioux, and to be
    the carrier of a portion of the sacred bundle of Crazy Horse.

    Now, there are thousands of ayahuasqueros who toil in obscurity in the Amazon, providing services to their communities — people of genuine learning, compassion, and integrity. My teacher don Roberto Acho works as a carpenter to support his healing work. But, of course, the Times was not interested in those ayahuasqueros. In fact, it was not all that interested in Seven Thunders. What the article was really interested in was his clientele — that is, the sort of people who read the Los Angeles Times.

    These clients are pretty much as I described them in my post on
    selling spirituality. They are largely white, urban, relatively
    wealthy, and spiritually eclectic . They have no particular
    involvement with the struggles of the indigenous community whose
    healing ceremonies they are purchasing. Their goal is not an increased intellectual or scholarly understanding of the culture from which the ceremony comes, but rather their own personal spiritual growth, healing, and transformative experience. Indeed, the article repeatedly stresses that ayahuasca is the hallucinogen for smart people — liberal thinkers, academics, writers, journalists, psychiatrists, soul-searching intellectuals.

    What are these people looking for? The article quotes one artist — it is not clear whether he is a client of Truenos — as saying that
    “ayahuasca brings your awareness to a place where it’s understood that you are connected to everything on Earth.” Another consumer, a high school math teacher, says that ayahuasca cured his clinical
    depression. He now offers ayahuasca ceremonies himself, for a
    suggested donation ot $75 to $300 per person. Author Graham Hancock
    credits ayahuasca with having improved his life. When pressed for
    details, he says, “I’m a better husband and father.” Truenos himself
    says that ayahuasca is a cure for the “cancer of indifference,” a
    remedy for our “failures in integrity.”

    I am glad that ayahuasca ceremonies are making these people –
    talented, intellectual, privileged, rich — feel better about their
    lives. I hope Truenos has strong protective spirits. I hope la diosa
    holds his clients with compassion. I hope his clients are contributing their talents, their intellects, and their wealth toward the communities from which Truenos claims to have learned to heal.

    Aurora Baha- fire alter of the Eagle and Condor – and the underlying
    political agenda:

    http://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php?title=Plan_Condor (OPERATION
    CONDOR)

  • Aurora NUR

    About Aurora Baha:

    -
    http://dynamic.boingboing.net/profile/nezzyidy
    February 5, 2008 10:59am

    WARNING: BEWARE AURORA BAHA!

    I attended a gathering by this person and he is creepy. I have friends who have also had bad experiences with him. A large community is now boycotting his ceremonies.

    His name is Francis de La Mazza and he goes by Lobo Siete Truenos. Read this before attending his ceremony.
    He has been caught lying about his past.

    True Scam of the Eagle and the Condor?
    http://ayahuasca.tribe.net/thread/a7b95ff8-bae1-4121-b3f5-5a2b93e9e43b

    also:
    http://singingtotheplants.blogspot.com/

    Singing to the Plants

    Shamanism and the Medicine Path
    Tuesday, February 5, 2008
    Ayahuasca Mainstreamed

    The spirits must have granted me a momentary fit of prescience. On
    February 3, I published a blog post on selling spirituality; on the
    same day, the Los Angeles Times Magazine published an article on a
    self-professed ayahuasquero named Lobo Siete Truenos, or Wolf Seven
    Thunders, and the growing role of ayahuasca in what the article calls
    the “nouveau wealth” of suburban California.

    Truenos has a murky background. He gives, the article says, “few
    straight answers about his background but plenty of mystic filigree.”
    He has founded his own church, which he calls Aurora Bahá, presumably
    to add a semblance of legitimacy to his use of a substance whose
    possession remains — despite the United States Supreme Court ruling
    exempting the União do Vegetal — a felony. Truenos also possesses an
    eagle’s wing. If he is not a Native American, that too is illegal. But his ancestry is as murky as his history: he is, apparently, Dominican, Lebanese, Basque, and Taino. According to an email attributed to him, this means mostly Lebanese.

    Lobo Siete Truenos, Wolf Seven Thunders, also known as Francis de la
    Maza What purports to be email correspondence by Truenos has been published in an online discussion group called the Ayahuasca Tribe. “I am the Keeper of the Fire Bundle of Purification of the Eagle and the Condor,” he wrote, “sometimes referred to as the Altar of Unification and the Altar of the Seven Thunders. This sacred Altar is the Manifestation of a Point of Light, which Point represents the
    Unification of Several Initiatic Currents on this planet.” These
    initiatic currents are, unsurprisingly, united in none other than
    Truenos himself. They are detailed on a Web page he has published,
    where he also calls himself Francis de la Maza, meaning Francis of the Mace, a mestizo curandero, initiated by the Shipibo-Conibo in Brazil.

    But there’s more. He is an Elk Dreamer and Keeper of the Fire of
    Quetzalcoatl, and he has been initiated into the Khemetic Mysteries of Egypt, the Tibetan Buddhist path of Dzogchen, the Gnostic Mysteries of the Rosicrucians, the Yucatec Mayan path of Puts’yaj, and the Yoruba Ifa path of Nigeria as a Babalao. He is clearly a busy guy.

    He also claims to be a pipe carrier of the Yankton Sioux, and to be
    the carrier of a portion of the sacred bundle of Crazy Horse.

    Now, there are thousands of ayahuasqueros who toil in obscurity in the Amazon, providing services to their communities — people of genuine learning, compassion, and integrity. My teacher don Roberto Acho works as a carpenter to support his healing work. But, of course, the Times was not interested in those ayahuasqueros. In fact, it was not all that interested in Seven Thunders. What the article was really interested in was his clientele — that is, the sort of people who read the Los Angeles Times.

    These clients are pretty much as I described them in my post on
    selling spirituality. They are largely white, urban, relatively
    wealthy, and spiritually eclectic . They have no particular
    involvement with the struggles of the indigenous community whose
    healing ceremonies they are purchasing. Their goal is not an increased intellectual or scholarly understanding of the culture from which the ceremony comes, but rather their own personal spiritual growth, healing, and transformative experience. Indeed, the article repeatedly stresses that ayahuasca is the hallucinogen for smart people — liberal thinkers, academics, writers, journalists, psychiatrists, soul-searching intellectuals.

    What are these people looking for? The article quotes one artist — it is not clear whether he is a client of Truenos — as saying that
    “ayahuasca brings your awareness to a place where it’s understood that you are connected to everything on Earth.” Another consumer, a high school math teacher, says that ayahuasca cured his clinical
    depression. He now offers ayahuasca ceremonies himself, for a
    suggested donation ot $75 to $300 per person. Author Graham Hancock
    credits ayahuasca with having improved his life. When pressed for
    details, he says, “I’m a better husband and father.” Truenos himself
    says that ayahuasca is a cure for the “cancer of indifference,” a
    remedy for our “failures in integrity.”

    I am glad that ayahuasca ceremonies are making these people –
    talented, intellectual, privileged, rich — feel better about their
    lives. I hope Truenos has strong protective spirits. I hope la diosa
    holds his clients with compassion. I hope his clients are contributing their talents, their intellects, and their wealth toward the communities from which Truenos claims to have learned to heal.

    Aurora Baha- fire alter of the Eagle and Condor – and the underlying
    political agenda:

    http://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php?title=Plan_Condor (OPERATION
    CONDOR)

  • ep

    re:
    Anonymouz
    Jul 5th, 2008 at 2:09 am

    (note: I skimmed your post since I did not have time to read the whole thing in detail given how boring and predictable it seems. Sorry if I missed any important details.)

    Yo! AnonZZZ!

    You’ve put forward most, if not all, of the prevailing myths that have been dreamed up over the last 75 years or so to justify what is dysfunctional, broken and wrong with bahai culture and the bahai system.

    It is bizarre that you post such material on a site that is devoted to debunking many of those very myths!

    The interpretation of “the covenant” that is prevalent in bahai culture now is a very dumbed down version that emphasizes the most fascist tendencies possible and is designed to force people into conformance with weird, backward doctrines and metaphysics.

    What you are doing is a “cult vs. cult” analysis. You are saying that the mainstream bahai cult is better than the aurora baha cult. Silly.

    I knew people that met Carlos Casteneda (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carlos_Castaneda) back in the early 1980s (Plumas County, California), and he said that all of his books about shamanism were a spoof on counterculture mysticism.

    Anyways, the better position, in my opinion, is to equally critique all silly metaphysics and cultishness, regardless of where it is located.

    I seriously doubt that the prevalence of opium dealing by important members of the early babi and bahai communities in Iran is less of a reason than “spiritual corruption” for bahaullah to ban drug use.

    You do not appear to have addressed the abject failure of the bahai bureaucracy to allow for the development of groups of people interested in transforative spiritual practice within the mainstream bahai community. (I’m aware of several such groups being attacked and/or banned in the 80s/90s.)

    Regardless of the absurd purity myths that exist to insuralize bahai culture from the reality that the rest of the world has moved on to “something better”, many other spiritually oriented and scientifically oriented groups, such as Esalen, Naropa, Noetic, and Integral Institutes, have done a huge amount of work on the spiritual, psychological, social, philosophical and scientific basis of spirituality in the modern and postmodern worlds.

    You also do not address the widespread abuse of all sort of “legal” drugs (medicine).

    bahai culture is not at all about submission, it is about the survival of a dysfunctional “corporatist” bureaucratic paradigm that long ago became outmoded and collapsed from its internal limits and contradictions.

    The only reason that people stay in it is for the “group bonding”, which is very cult-like (conformism to lies/deception).

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

    [quote comment="53610"]
    Aurora Baha,

    I would avoid using Baha’i scripture to back up your points and practices because we all know that the use of substance to get closer to God is condemned by Baha’u’llah Himself.

    Lastly, when you acknowledge Baha’u’llah as the Manifestation there is the clear and present reality of the Covenant. Of course, there are those who don’t get it and still say they believe, but we can only fill a cup with so much. What I have a problem with is your focus and emphasis on your tribal/ritualistic/substance use practice and then using the Baha’i writings to back it up. Anyone can do this with any little niche belief system if they cling to a few passages here and there as you appear to be doing and what other fringe groups do as well.

    True spirituality is not accessible through substance sorry to say.

    The Goal is submission, and this alone takes a life time.
    [/quote]
    [quote comment=""][...] with me their thoughts and opinions. Within a previous discussion, there was a comment about the sacredness of individual conscience and how it relates to the Baha’i [...][/quote]

  • ep

    re:
    Anonymouz
    Jul 5th, 2008 at 2:09 am

    (note: I skimmed your post since I did not have time to read the whole thing in detail given how boring and predictable it seems. Sorry if I missed any important details.)

    Yo! AnonZZZ!

    You’ve put forward most, if not all, of the prevailing myths that have been dreamed up over the last 75 years or so to justify what is dysfunctional, broken and wrong with bahai culture and the bahai system.

    It is bizarre that you post such material on a site that is devoted to debunking many of those very myths!

    The interpretation of “the covenant” that is prevalent in bahai culture now is a very dumbed down version that emphasizes the most fascist tendencies possible and is designed to force people into conformance with weird, backward doctrines and metaphysics.

    What you are doing is a “cult vs. cult” analysis. You are saying that the mainstream bahai cult is better than the aurora baha cult. Silly.

    I knew people that met Carlos Casteneda (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carlos_Castaneda) back in the early 1980s (Plumas County, California), and he said that all of his books about shamanism were a spoof on counterculture mysticism.

    Anyways, the better position, in my opinion, is to equally critique all silly metaphysics and cultishness, regardless of where it is located.

    I seriously doubt that the prevalence of opium dealing by important members of the early babi and bahai communities in Iran is less of a reason than “spiritual corruption” for bahaullah to ban drug use.

    You do not appear to have addressed the abject failure of the bahai bureaucracy to allow for the development of groups of people interested in transforative spiritual practice within the mainstream bahai community. (I’m aware of several such groups being attacked and/or banned in the 80s/90s.)

    Regardless of the absurd purity myths that exist to insuralize bahai culture from the reality that the rest of the world has moved on to “something better”, many other spiritually oriented and scientifically oriented groups, such as Esalen, Naropa, Noetic, and Integral Institutes, have done a huge amount of work on the spiritual, psychological, social, philosophical and scientific basis of spirituality in the modern and postmodern worlds.

    You also do not address the widespread abuse of all sort of “legal” drugs (medicine).

    bahai culture is not at all about submission, it is about the survival of a dysfunctional “corporatist” bureaucratic paradigm that long ago became outmoded and collapsed from its internal limits and contradictions.

    The only reason that people stay in it is for the “group bonding”, which is very cult-like (conformism to lies/deception).

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

    [quote comment="53610"]
    Aurora Baha,

    I would avoid using Baha’i scripture to back up your points and practices because we all know that the use of substance to get closer to God is condemned by Baha’u’llah Himself.

    Lastly, when you acknowledge Baha’u’llah as the Manifestation there is the clear and present reality of the Covenant. Of course, there are those who don’t get it and still say they believe, but we can only fill a cup with so much. What I have a problem with is your focus and emphasis on your tribal/ritualistic/substance use practice and then using the Baha’i writings to back it up. Anyone can do this with any little niche belief system if they cling to a few passages here and there as you appear to be doing and what other fringe groups do as well.

    True spirituality is not accessible through substance sorry to say.

    The Goal is submission, and this alone takes a life time.
    [/quote]
    [quote comment=""][...] with me their thoughts and opinions. Within a previous discussion, there was a comment about the sacredness of individual conscience and how it relates to the Baha’i [...][/quote]

  • ep

    AnonZZZ,

    You really should read a LOT of Craig’s previous posts before you make him repeat the same things he has said before when people challenge his viewpoint on the corruption of bahai insitutions.

    As someone who has heard all sorts of arguments about “reforms” in the bahai community for DECADES, your arguments are empty, predictable and boring.

    On another matter, you said:

    “The supernova of spiritual energies released by Bahá’u’lláh and His revelation have galvanized mankind into the most accomplished and most advanced civilization to ever walk the Earth. ”

    The evolution that is taking place in the world toward “progressive” ideas has little or nothing to do with bahaullah’s so called “revelation”.

    Baha’is can attempt to misappropriate what other people have done all over the planet (improving conditions) in order to indulge their bahai tendencies toward bombastic self-aggrandizement, but they just look silly doing so.

    Indeed “progressive relevation” is a farce and a false contruct that any competent historian could demolish easily:

    Historians could easily prove that the “prophet” ALWAYS come early, but AFTER the first evolutionary changes in a culture have ALREADY started (but haven’t become “mainstream”).

    What the “prophets” do is to use their very human spiritual (and political) genius to tap into an evolutionary paradigm shift that is *already* underway (in a mostly “theoretical” form), and accelerate it by legitimizing and crystalizing it into specific cultural forms (enactments, practices).

    “Progressive relevation” is NOT needed for pluralism or universalism (or other progressive/modern/postmodern ideas) to be valid. Indeed, pluralism and universalism existed long before the twin scams of prophetology and progressive revelation were invented as religious politics.

    The very idea of “prophetology” is absurd. All of humanity has an equal chance at transcendance, per their individual talent to do so, cultural traditions, and situations (possibly including access to plant substances that can be used to alter consciousness!). Some people are geniuses at it. Some of those geniuses decided that they needed to talk in the “scam language” of prophetology to get PRIMITIVE people to buy into their social and political reforms. So be it. (ever notice that in the old testament, there are prophets all over the place, but they get a LOT more scarce as times goes by? how inconsistent is THAT?!!) Prophetology is still a middle-man scam constructed by religions to control politics and economics. The whole reason that Jesus was killed was that he upset the corrupt prophetology scam of jewish religious politics, economics and military affairs.

    In primitive/premodern (tribal) times, the middle-man scam was not as widespread, and people were allowed to see “prophets” in more of an every-day-life scenario. As the great “universal” cultures developed into empires, the middle-man scam had to become more powerful, so the earlier prevalence of spiritual geniuses was reduced to a few major figures in order to clarify and simplify the system of archetypes that society operated from.

    Most of the improvements and changes in consciousness, law, etc., that you mention were started in the 1500s and 1600s (long before bahaullah’s so called “revelations”), and had been predicted by people (usually elite priests and other esoteric practitioners) in all sorts of premodern traditions all over the planet going back hundreds and thousands of years. How hard was it for bahaullah to plagarise such postmodern ideas? not very hard.

    What is important is evolution (social paradigm shifts), not the scam of prophetic “revelation” and religious middle-man politics.

    Regards,
    Eric P.
    (ex-bahai, after 30+ years)
    Sacramento

    [quote comment="53615"]Response to Craig challenge here. Mostly my just my thoughts I typed up over a couple of hours…

    The supernova of spiritual energies released by Bahá’u’lláh and His revelation have galvanized mankind into the most accomplished and most advanced civilization to ever walk the Earth.

  • ep

    AnonZZZ,

    You really should read a LOT of Craig’s previous posts before you make him repeat the same things he has said before when people challenge his viewpoint on the corruption of bahai insitutions.

    As someone who has heard all sorts of arguments about “reforms” in the bahai community for DECADES, your arguments are empty, predictable and boring.

    On another matter, you said:

    “The supernova of spiritual energies released by Bahá’u’lláh and His revelation have galvanized mankind into the most accomplished and most advanced civilization to ever walk the Earth. ”

    The evolution that is taking place in the world toward “progressive” ideas has little or nothing to do with bahaullah’s so called “revelation”.

    Baha’is can attempt to misappropriate what other people have done all over the planet (improving conditions) in order to indulge their bahai tendencies toward bombastic self-aggrandizement, but they just look silly doing so.

    Indeed “progressive relevation” is a farce and a false contruct that any competent historian could demolish easily:

    Historians could easily prove that the “prophet” ALWAYS come early, but AFTER the first evolutionary changes in a culture have ALREADY started (but haven’t become “mainstream”).

    What the “prophets” do is to use their very human spiritual (and political) genius to tap into an evolutionary paradigm shift that is *already* underway (in a mostly “theoretical” form), and accelerate it by legitimizing and crystalizing it into specific cultural forms (enactments, practices).

    “Progressive relevation” is NOT needed for pluralism or universalism (or other progressive/modern/postmodern ideas) to be valid. Indeed, pluralism and universalism existed long before the twin scams of prophetology and progressive revelation were invented as religious politics.

    The very idea of “prophetology” is absurd. All of humanity has an equal chance at transcendance, per their individual talent to do so, cultural traditions, and situations (possibly including access to plant substances that can be used to alter consciousness!). Some people are geniuses at it. Some of those geniuses decided that they needed to talk in the “scam language” of prophetology to get PRIMITIVE people to buy into their social and political reforms. So be it. (ever notice that in the old testament, there are prophets all over the place, but they get a LOT more scarce as times goes by? how inconsistent is THAT?!!) Prophetology is still a middle-man scam constructed by religions to control politics and economics. The whole reason that Jesus was killed was that he upset the corrupt prophetology scam of jewish religious politics, economics and military affairs.

    In primitive/premodern (tribal) times, the middle-man scam was not as widespread, and people were allowed to see “prophets” in more of an every-day-life scenario. As the great “universal” cultures developed into empires, the middle-man scam had to become more powerful, so the earlier prevalence of spiritual geniuses was reduced to a few major figures in order to clarify and simplify the system of archetypes that society operated from.

    Most of the improvements and changes in consciousness, law, etc., that you mention were started in the 1500s and 1600s (long before bahaullah’s so called “revelations”), and had been predicted by people (usually elite priests and other esoteric practitioners) in all sorts of premodern traditions all over the planet going back hundreds and thousands of years. How hard was it for bahaullah to plagarise such postmodern ideas? not very hard.

    What is important is evolution (social paradigm shifts), not the scam of prophetic “revelation” and religious middle-man politics.

    Regards,
    Eric P.
    (ex-bahai, after 30+ years)
    Sacramento

    [quote comment="53615"]Response to Craig challenge here. Mostly my just my thoughts I typed up over a couple of hours…

    The supernova of spiritual energies released by Bahá’u’lláh and His revelation have galvanized mankind into the most accomplished and most advanced civilization to ever walk the Earth.

  • Anonymouz

    Bitter, skeptical and without a shred of evidence and mostly a disgruntled opinion.

    Eric P…is that Nima Hazini’s new handle?

  • Anonymouz

    Bitter, skeptical and without a shred of evidence and mostly a disgruntled opinion.

    Eric P…is that Nima Hazini’s new handle?

  • http://www.firealtar.org/ Lobo Siete Truenos

    Dear Friends,

    It is not in my nature to make such posts, but circumstances now call for me to speak up. For some time I have kept silent, but after considerable thought, and the quickening caused as a result of the death of one of our elders this past June, it is time for people to know the truth.

    There is a slanderous and very disturbed individual by the name of Nima Hazini, Aka: Wahid Azal, Aramis, One, Abraxas, & etc…likely the one now posing as “Aurora Nur” in this thread. He also considers himself the “Grand Shaykh, Imám ‘Abdu’l-Haqq Wahid Azal Wahdatalishah”

    He is a person of Persian birth and descent living in Australia who proclaimed himself a Manifestation of God many years ago, while still a Baha’i. When he was not accepted and refused to recant, he was shunned by the Baha’i community; and so he turned his back on Baha’u’llah and began a systematic effort to attack the reputation of any believer that he deems a threat to his ego-maniacal (and reprehensible) schemes.

    He actively targets people and organizations – going so far as maintaining a “kill list” – who believe in Baha’u’llah in order to slander their reputation. He has said some of the vilest, most repugnant things (not worth repeating), and has threatened people with physical violence; anyone interested in independently ascertaining the truth can find hundreds of references online by searching his name and aliases; his exploits are extensive and precede him.

    His strategy on the Internet is to start or contribute to a blog/group thread attacking someone under one of his many aliases, and then to post responses supporting his lies under another of his aliases; he does this in order to give the impression that many people share his distorted view. He then picks and chooses snippets of articles from unrelated sources and attempts to lace them into a tale that supports his delusions. Afterwards he posts links to these tall and libelous tales all over the Internet in order to create the further impression of pervasiveness for his lies. Whenever the participants of a thread containing his attacks begins to question his motives for the awful and hateful things he says, or the truth begins to prevail, he abandons the thread. Owing to the persistence of blog/group discussions these garbage threads of his are littered all over the Internet; a testament to the number and scope of his attacks on people throughout the years. The great nemesis in his mind appears to be the Baha’i Faith in Haifa who he associates with anyone that does not agree with his view that he is the Manifestation of God of the day for of all humanity.

    Though in the most recent ‘version of himself’ he fancies to be an Ayahuasquero and medicine man, this is the farthest thing from the truth. He is in fact a complete and total impostor who knows nothing of the indigenous medicine ways and represents the very antithesis of a medicine person. He has no lineage, elders, initiation or training in any of the indigenous traditions of the Americas…and there is not one single reputable elder of the Americas that supports him or his views. He is of the camp of Psychonauts and Neo-Shamans abusing drugs and appropriating traditional indigenous medicines without regard to the protocols of training and initiation.

    He published a book of his purported ‘revelations’ in 2006 which was poorly received; and having failed once again at establishing himself as a Prophet of God he has taken to attacking even more vehemently any believer of Baha’u’llah; of whatever persuasion. One only need to cross-reference his supposed inspired revelations with his vile and slanderous rhetoric to know that this individual is seriously psychologically unstable and pathological – much less an inspired prophet of the Creator.

    The truth is that out of naivety and carelessness, I made a great error. Back in 2006, just prior to the publication of his book, Nima and I had a brief communication, where-in he took me into his confidence and asked me to translate a letter sent to him from Spanish into English – which I did. In the letter he was challenged to submit to a psychological examination. After this I did not communicate with him again despite his many efforts to bait me into dialog. It was not until the tribe.com post cited above – started/written by none other than Nima Hazini under his aliases ‘Aramis’ and ‘One’ – that he resurfaced and wherein he began his slanderous campaign against me and the Spiritual Society Aurora Baha.

    I felt it important to now make these facts known so that sincere individuals who crossed paths with his various threads would have more information at their disposal to investigate and know the truth.

    Although I play an integral role in Aurora Baha, particularly as a Curandero (healer), the Society is much broader than myself and includes the participation and membership of many great, sincere and wonderful souls who love God and seek to serve and uplift humanity. I write this now for them as well for they have loyally defended me from these fallacious assaults for some time while I remained silent.

    It goes without saying that the Spiritual Society Aurora Baha has nothing to do with any “Operation Condor” (whatever that is) or any activities outside its clearly stated Covenant published on its website; it is a Society exclusively dedicated to the erection and operation of Universal Houses of Worship and its sacred dependencies in order to help bring about the inevitable illumination of humankind.

    In response to the anonymous writer who advises (presumably me though responding to Aurora Baha) to not rely upon the Holy writings to support one’s views and way of life – and who I might add continues to write anonymously regardless of the injunctions by the late Guardian – I would just say a few things:

    Firstly, you speak about things of which you evidently have little deepening, for if you did you would take into account, that even for those things that are considered ‘drugs’ (from a Baha’i standpoint), they are exempted by the Holy writings when administered as part of medical treatment by a qualified physician.

    Though it appears from what you have said that you have a very narrow view of what qualifies as medical treatment or a physician, in the Indigenous conception, Curanderos/Medicine people (traditional healers) – who use amongst other remedies plants in healing – are considered to be qualified natural doctors.

    Considering you do not know me personally and have no idea whatsoever of my qualifications and training, you are not in a position to assess my skill as a natural doctor. I will repeat the words of ‘Abdu’l-Baha that were written previously, since you may have missed them, and they are worth repeating:

    “The skill of the doctor must be first ascertained; but when the skill of the doctor is once established, he does what he wishes.”

    With all due respect, you demonstrate precisely the occidental mindset that Ruhiyyih was referring to in the above citation and which leads to the erroneous notions that a Psychiatrist with absolutely no quantifiable medical analysis, may prescribe SSRI’s, Antidepressants, and Anti-psychotics at their whim based upon a few ‘symptoms’; yet, these same are quick to demonize and cast into the camp of ‘drugs’ those remedies which are natural, but foreign to their western training; and, I might add, rarely considering that the ‘medications’ they prescribe are extracted and synthesized from some of the very plants they refer to as ‘drugs’ when used or prescribed outside a Western clinical setting.

    You also said, “I know of many Baha’i first nations and I assure you they do not do anything more than maybe a little sweat lodge now and then.”…Forgive me, but I am going to respond to this rather bluntly. This is amongst one of the most uneducated, ignorant, and narrow things I have ever heard come from a person regarding our indigenous ways. I am quite certain any other indigenous person reading your comment would, as I, cringe. You clearly are embodying the qualities that Ruhiyyih was referring to in the above citation regarding those Baha’is that only miss buses and should, “not go near the Indians”. For your education I will cite a section from that same address given to the National Spiritual Assembly of Canada by Ruhiyyih which is exceedingly appropriate given your statement:

    “I remember Shoghi Effendi telling the American pilgrims at the dinner table in the Western Pilgrim House that the American Baha’is were tainted with race prejudice; he said “they do not know that they are, but they are.””

    It is clear you are speaking out of turn and from an uninformed place. Furthermore you speak from your own opinions and have not supported any of your positions with the Holy text or with first hand knowledge of the people and events. I think it is worth reconsidering your strategy, ***if your true intention is to educate and be of service***.

    Personally, I would rather speak from a place, if even incorrectly interpreted, that relies on the Holy writings, than my own opinions…however, that is me.

    Lastly, let me say, that the Fire Altar of which I am the Keeper, the ceremonies I guide, and the healing that I facilitate are not for everyone. It has happened that some people have had a genuinely difficult experience in seeking healing through this process. Some return to continue their healing, others do not. I respect this, and wish those folks well through whatever modality will best assist them to arrive at health, truth and an abiding love for the Creator.

    That said, to those who are looking outside themselves for the reasons to their difficulties; know that la Madrecita shows and gives to you exactly what you need…and if it happens that you saw something you did not like, remember to look at the reflection that you came with and not the mirror.

    Sincerely,
    Lobo Siete Truenos

    —–

    For those interested to review Steve Bayer’s Blog directly with my response to his comments please visit:
    http://singingtotheplants.blogspot.com/2008/02/ayahuasca-mainstreamed.html

  • http://www.firealtar.org/ Lobo Siete Truenos

    Dear Friends,

    It is not in my nature to make such posts, but circumstances now call for me to speak up. For some time I have kept silent, but after considerable thought, and the quickening caused as a result of the death of one of our elders this past June, it is time for people to know the truth.

    There is a slanderous and very disturbed individual by the name of Nima Hazini, Aka: Wahid Azal, Aramis, One, Abraxas, & etc…likely the one now posing as “Aurora Nur” in this thread. He also considers himself the “Grand Shaykh, Imám ‘Abdu’l-Haqq Wahid Azal Wahdatalishah”

    He is a person of Persian birth and descent living in Australia who proclaimed himself a Manifestation of God many years ago, while still a Baha’i. When he was not accepted and refused to recant, he was shunned by the Baha’i community; and so he turned his back on Baha’u’llah and began a systematic effort to attack the reputation of any believer that he deems a threat to his ego-maniacal (and reprehensible) schemes.

    He actively targets people and organizations – going so far as maintaining a “kill list” – who believe in Baha’u’llah in order to slander their reputation. He has said some of the vilest, most repugnant things (not worth repeating), and has threatened people with physical violence; anyone interested in independently ascertaining the truth can find hundreds of references online by searching his name and aliases; his exploits are extensive and precede him.

    His strategy on the Internet is to start or contribute to a blog/group thread attacking someone under one of his many aliases, and then to post responses supporting his lies under another of his aliases; he does this in order to give the impression that many people share his distorted view. He then picks and chooses snippets of articles from unrelated sources and attempts to lace them into a tale that supports his delusions. Afterwards he posts links to these tall and libelous tales all over the Internet in order to create the further impression of pervasiveness for his lies. Whenever the participants of a thread containing his attacks begins to question his motives for the awful and hateful things he says, or the truth begins to prevail, he abandons the thread. Owing to the persistence of blog/group discussions these garbage threads of his are littered all over the Internet; a testament to the number and scope of his attacks on people throughout the years. The great nemesis in his mind appears to be the Baha’i Faith in Haifa who he associates with anyone that does not agree with his view that he is the Manifestation of God of the day for of all humanity.

    Though in the most recent ‘version of himself’ he fancies to be an Ayahuasquero and medicine man, this is the farthest thing from the truth. He is in fact a complete and total impostor who knows nothing of the indigenous medicine ways and represents the very antithesis of a medicine person. He has no lineage, elders, initiation or training in any of the indigenous traditions of the Americas…and there is not one single reputable elder of the Americas that supports him or his views. He is of the camp of Psychonauts and Neo-Shamans abusing drugs and appropriating traditional indigenous medicines without regard to the protocols of training and initiation.

    He published a book of his purported ‘revelations’ in 2006 which was poorly received; and having failed once again at establishing himself as a Prophet of God he has taken to attacking even more vehemently any believer of Baha’u’llah; of whatever persuasion. One only need to cross-reference his supposed inspired revelations with his vile and slanderous rhetoric to know that this individual is seriously psychologically unstable and pathological – much less an inspired prophet of the Creator.

    The truth is that out of naivety and carelessness, I made a great error. Back in 2006, just prior to the publication of his book, Nima and I had a brief communication, where-in he took me into his confidence and asked me to translate a letter sent to him from Spanish into English – which I did. In the letter he was challenged to submit to a psychological examination. After this I did not communicate with him again despite his many efforts to bait me into dialog. It was not until the tribe.com post cited above – started/written by none other than Nima Hazini under his aliases ‘Aramis’ and ‘One’ – that he resurfaced and wherein he began his slanderous campaign against me and the Spiritual Society Aurora Baha.

    I felt it important to now make these facts known so that sincere individuals who crossed paths with his various threads would have more information at their disposal to investigate and know the truth.

    Although I play an integral role in Aurora Baha, particularly as a Curandero (healer), the Society is much broader than myself and includes the participation and membership of many great, sincere and wonderful souls who love God and seek to serve and uplift humanity. I write this now for them as well for they have loyally defended me from these fallacious assaults for some time while I remained silent.

    It goes without saying that the Spiritual Society Aurora Baha has nothing to do with any “Operation Condor” (whatever that is) or any activities outside its clearly stated Covenant published on its website; it is a Society exclusively dedicated to the erection and operation of Universal Houses of Worship and its sacred dependencies in order to help bring about the inevitable illumination of humankind.

    In response to the anonymous writer who advises (presumably me though responding to Aurora Baha) to not rely upon the Holy writings to support one’s views and way of life – and who I might add continues to write anonymously regardless of the injunctions by the late Guardian – I would just say a few things:

    Firstly, you speak about things of which you evidently have little deepening, for if you did you would take into account, that even for those things that are considered ‘drugs’ (from a Baha’i standpoint), they are exempted by the Holy writings when administered as part of medical treatment by a qualified physician.

    Though it appears from what you have said that you have a very narrow view of what qualifies as medical treatment or a physician, in the Indigenous conception, Curanderos/Medicine people (traditional healers) – who use amongst other remedies plants in healing – are considered to be qualified natural doctors.

    Considering you do not know me personally and have no idea whatsoever of my qualifications and training, you are not in a position to assess my skill as a natural doctor. I will repeat the words of ‘Abdu’l-Baha that were written previously, since you may have missed them, and they are worth repeating:

    “The skill of the doctor must be first ascertained; but when the skill of the doctor is once established, he does what he wishes.”

    With all due respect, you demonstrate precisely the occidental mindset that Ruhiyyih was referring to in the above citation and which leads to the erroneous notions that a Psychiatrist with absolutely no quantifiable medical analysis, may prescribe SSRI’s, Antidepressants, and Anti-psychotics at their whim based upon a few ‘symptoms’; yet, these same are quick to demonize and cast into the camp of ‘drugs’ those remedies which are natural, but foreign to their western training; and, I might add, rarely considering that the ‘medications’ they prescribe are extracted and synthesized from some of the very plants they refer to as ‘drugs’ when used or prescribed outside a Western clinical setting.

    You also said, “I know of many Baha’i first nations and I assure you they do not do anything more than maybe a little sweat lodge now and then.”…Forgive me, but I am going to respond to this rather bluntly. This is amongst one of the most uneducated, ignorant, and narrow things I have ever heard come from a person regarding our indigenous ways. I am quite certain any other indigenous person reading your comment would, as I, cringe. You clearly are embodying the qualities that Ruhiyyih was referring to in the above citation regarding those Baha’is that only miss buses and should, “not go near the Indians”. For your education I will cite a section from that same address given to the National Spiritual Assembly of Canada by Ruhiyyih which is exceedingly appropriate given your statement:

    “I remember Shoghi Effendi telling the American pilgrims at the dinner table in the Western Pilgrim House that the American Baha’is were tainted with race prejudice; he said “they do not know that they are, but they are.””

    It is clear you are speaking out of turn and from an uninformed place. Furthermore you speak from your own opinions and have not supported any of your positions with the Holy text or with first hand knowledge of the people and events. I think it is worth reconsidering your strategy, ***if your true intention is to educate and be of service***.

    Personally, I would rather speak from a place, if even incorrectly interpreted, that relies on the Holy writings, than my own opinions…however, that is me.

    Lastly, let me say, that the Fire Altar of which I am the Keeper, the ceremonies I guide, and the healing that I facilitate are not for everyone. It has happened that some people have had a genuinely difficult experience in seeking healing through this process. Some return to continue their healing, others do not. I respect this, and wish those folks well through whatever modality will best assist them to arrive at health, truth and an abiding love for the Creator.

    That said, to those who are looking outside themselves for the reasons to their difficulties; know that la Madrecita shows and gives to you exactly what you need…and if it happens that you saw something you did not like, remember to look at the reflection that you came with and not the mirror.

    Sincerely,
    Lobo Siete Truenos

    —–

    For those interested to review Steve Bayer’s Blog directly with my response to his comments please visit:
    http://singingtotheplants.blogspot.com/2008/02/ayahuasca-mainstreamed.html

  • http://www.bahairants.com Baquia

    [quote comment="53646"]…and who I might add continues to write anonymously regardless of the injunctions by the late Guardian…[/quote]

    LST: I’m not familiar with any such injunction, would you please enlighten us?

    I’m happy that this blog is a venue for the exchange of ideas and discussions from many differing viewpoints. I would like to reiterate that we aspire to dialogue on ideas and eschew personal attacks and ad hominem arguments. With the response of LST the subject introduced by the first message about him is now closed and further messages which are not about ideas but rather about questioning any person’s character and intent will not be welcome. Thank you.

  • http://www.bahairants.com Baquia

    [quote comment="53646"]…and who I might add continues to write anonymously regardless of the injunctions by the late Guardian…[/quote]

    LST: I’m not familiar with any such injunction, would you please enlighten us?

    I’m happy that this blog is a venue for the exchange of ideas and discussions from many differing viewpoints. I would like to reiterate that we aspire to dialogue on ideas and eschew personal attacks and ad hominem arguments. With the response of LST the subject introduced by the first message about him is now closed and further messages which are not about ideas but rather about questioning any person’s character and intent will not be welcome. Thank you.

  • Anonymouz

    LST,

    I will be the first one to admit I have a lot to learn…I hope you too will admit that there are things that you are still not aware and conveniently do not address in your response. In any case, I do not wish any harm or ill will. On the contrary, if you feel this method and “medicine” gets you closer to God, then by all means.

    I have sympathy for you and your dealings with Nima…He has screws loose and I advise simply ignoring him. I think we all know that.

    Best of luck on your journey.

  • Anonymouz

    LST,

    I will be the first one to admit I have a lot to learn…I hope you too will admit that there are things that you are still not aware and conveniently do not address in your response. In any case, I do not wish any harm or ill will. On the contrary, if you feel this method and “medicine” gets you closer to God, then by all means.

    I have sympathy for you and your dealings with Nima…He has screws loose and I advise simply ignoring him. I think we all know that.

    Best of luck on your journey.

  • ep

    AnonZZZ,

    Ok, so you are just another liar and slanderer. The bahai faith is full of people like you that are too cowardly to face the truth.

    Ironically, skepticism is exactly what was the real cause of the advancement of western civilization.

    Anyone that has seen a system of lies and deception perpetuated by corrupt bureaucrats is going to be bitter and disgruntled, especially after seeing so many friends who sincerely attempted to work on reforms within the bahai community attacked by ruthless and corrupt abusers of power who enlist the support of the fascist thought police and fundamentalist bullies that have taken control of the bahai community.

    Again, you demonstrate a stunning inability to break free of the conformist brainwashing that is pervasive in bahai culture and actually learn something from people that have gone before you.

    The people from social change and social justice backgrounds that became bahais in the 60s/70s (and earlier, as documented by historians – who of course can’t publish their findings of TRUTH because of “publication review”) were lied to by well meaning people in the bahai community at the time that thought that establishing the Guardian’s weird mix of Islamic and Chritian empirialism as a theocratic “New World Order” was somehow consistent with the kind of EVOLUTIONARY (not revelatory) social change movements that had brought about many advances in western culture.

    However, any basic, objective review of the history of western civilization makes clear that it is precisely because western intellectual and cultural elites turned AWAY from silly premodern metaphysics and religion that most of the advances you spoke of came about.

    The entire complex of modernist phenomena (political, economic, military and social success) was premised on rationalism (science, industrialism/technology, capitalism, democracy, individualism), not transcendence.

    bahau’llah’s “revelation” did not create the internet, a bunch of military researchers and engineers working for capitalists did.

    In contrast, let’s review what the preceeding paradigm consisted of: slavery, superstition, unsupported and now discredited metaphysics (archetypes), feudalism or mercantile (centralized state) imperialism, monarchy and eccleasiastic hierarchy (usually corrupt), rigid class structure, and conformism.

    Bahai theology is an interesting, but ultimately FAILED attempt at taking the “best of both worlds” and combining them.

    It FAILS because it does not account for EVOLUTIONARY THEORY, which of course was unknown to the bab and bahaullah.

    Neither Abdu’l-baha or Shoghi Effendi made any useful contribution to how evolutionary theory fit into bahai metaphysics (see Keven Brown’s attempts at better translation and commentary).

    Keep in mind one very critical factoid: both fascism and marxism came out of romanticism, which was a european reaction to the lack of “meaning” that came with modernism. Almost all modern “spiritual” movements in the west, including those that are derived from premodern forms of “unitive mysticism” such as sufism, shamanism, etc., are basically romanticist.

    (Modernists are “bourgeoise”, romanticists are “bohemian”.)

    I personally belive that it is a law of nature, per Integral philosophy, that any movement or group that is “bohemian” and “romanticist” in its underpinnings will eventually become fascistic.

    Which is exactly the problem with bahai.

    Which is why Integralism is a better approach to spirituality than bahai.

    Background
    ———-

    At the time of the Bab, Iran was coming under tremendous pressure to somehow adjust to the inexplicable rising power of “barbaric” western emperial expansion in the middle east adjacent to the India trade. The people in the south of Iran (near the ports where mixing with westerners was most common) decided to try to adjust first by adopting western ideas and mixing them with their current beliefs in an attempt at reforming society. The north was more resistant, but there were a few exceptions, such as bahaullah, that advocated reforms in the north.

    Anyways, slavery was abolished in europe not because of silly premodern metaphysics or some bogus “revelation” by backward sufis in Iran, but because science, technology and capitalist industrialism ultimately made slavery irrelevant.

    *If you have a machine that does the same thing as a slave, you don’t need the slave anymore.*

    Queen Victoria made sly use of that fact to position Britian as a “morally superior” country (in its late imperial ambitions) by abolishing slavery.

    http://www.fordham.edu/halsall/med/lewis1.html

    The problem of modernism of course is that it threw the baby (transcendence) out with the bath water (premodern metaphysics and corrupt religion).

    The “answer” is not to REGRESS into backward forms of religious belief, it is to use evolutionary theory and science to validate spirituality.

    That is exactly what the Integral Thought movement is doing:

    http://www.gebser.org/IE.html
    -
    http://www.integralinstitute.org/
    -
    http://www.esalenctr.org/display/confpage.cfm?confid=1&pageid=33&pgtype=1
    -
    http://julianwalkeryoga.gaia.com/blog/2007/7/esalen_adventures_the_urban_yogi_video_clip
    -
    http://books.google.com/books?id=fzSP6BRFBzIC
    -
    http://wilber.shambhala.com/html/books/kosmos/index.cfm/

    Baha’is are being left in the dust, rigidly arguing over a vast minutea of outmoded ideas that are obviously dysfunctional and need to be discarded.

    Anyways, as has been commented by many sociologists that have studied bahai culture, the real appeal of bahai for most people is NOT the theology, which is rarely studied by most bahais since it is a convoluted, frequently disturbing, perplexing and poorly translated bizarre rehash of various sufi metaphysics, but the “sense of belonging” that comes from being in a group of people trying to do something good for the world.

    However, the illusion that bahai organization is about “doing good” is over for anyone that has seen how the bahai bureaucracy works in the “real world” for several decades, or has studied the history of the iranian and USA bahai communities.

    The “evidence” is all around you, if you chose to transcend the bullsh*t and see the twin scams of prophetology and “progressive relevation” for what they are.

    You clearly stated that modernity came into existence as a result of bahaullah’s “revelation”, but fail to address the fact that the English Civil War was in the 1640s and the Constitution of the USA was written 30 or 40 years before te Bab was EVEN BORN! If that isn’t “evidence”, I don’t know what is.

    WTF

    I met Nima Hazini at one of the Talisman email list “Mysticism” conferences at Bosch Baha’i School back in the mid 1990s, and he was a brilliant but quirky guy that was mainly known at the time for writing a huge article on neoplatonism (might still be on bahai-library.org?), as well as maverick personal comments about the internal politics of the bahai community on the talisman email list.

    (fwiw: I was never on the “secret” email lists that preceeded talisman, but I knew some people inside the “LA Study Group” and “Kalimat” in the 1980s, years before “talisman”.)

    At the urging of friends at the time, Nima supposedly attempted to withdraw from conflicts with people in the bahai community, possibly including some relatives, and attended a sufi commune for healing for a year or so. Apparently that process didn’t go well, his illness progressed, and he continued in a downward spiral, which disappointed and saddened many of his friends who of course tried to be compassionate and understanding at first.

    You attempt to scapegoat instead of demonstrate compassion and justice is a perfect, and all too typical, example of how corrupt and backwards bahai culture is, and how it actually works in the “real world”.

    You and all the people like you are all the “evidence” that anyone needs to see how useless the bahai faith is.

    Regards,
    Eric P.
    (ex-bahai, after 30+ years)
    Sacramento

    [quote comment="53644"]
    Bitter, skeptical and without a shred of evidence and mostly a disgruntled opinion.

    Eric P…is that Nima Hazini’s new handle?[/quote]
    [quote comment=""][...] with me their thoughts and opinions. Within a previous discussion, there was a comment about the sacredness of individual conscience and how it relates to the Baha’i [...][/quote]

  • ep

    AnonZZZ,

    Ok, so you are just another liar and slanderer. The bahai faith is full of people like you that are too cowardly to face the truth.

    Ironically, skepticism is exactly what was the real cause of the advancement of western civilization.

    Anyone that has seen a system of lies and deception perpetuated by corrupt bureaucrats is going to be bitter and disgruntled, especially after seeing so many friends who sincerely attempted to work on reforms within the bahai community attacked by ruthless and corrupt abusers of power who enlist the support of the fascist thought police and fundamentalist bullies that have taken control of the bahai community.

    Again, you demonstrate a stunning inability to break free of the conformist brainwashing that is pervasive in bahai culture and actually learn something from people that have gone before you.

    The people from social change and social justice backgrounds that became bahais in the 60s/70s (and earlier, as documented by historians – who of course can’t publish their findings of TRUTH because of “publication review”) were lied to by well meaning people in the bahai community at the time that thought that establishing the Guardian’s weird mix of Islamic and Chritian empirialism as a theocratic “New World Order” was somehow consistent with the kind of EVOLUTIONARY (not revelatory) social change movements that had brought about many advances in western culture.

    However, any basic, objective review of the history of western civilization makes clear that it is precisely because western intellectual and cultural elites turned AWAY from silly premodern metaphysics and religion that most of the advances you spoke of came about.

    The entire complex of modernist phenomena (political, economic, military and social success) was premised on rationalism (science, industrialism/technology, capitalism, democracy, individualism), not transcendence.

    bahau’llah’s “revelation” did not create the internet, a bunch of military researchers and engineers working for capitalists did.

    In contrast, let’s review what the preceeding paradigm consisted of: slavery, superstition, unsupported and now discredited metaphysics (archetypes), feudalism or mercantile (centralized state) imperialism, monarchy and eccleasiastic hierarchy (usually corrupt), rigid class structure, and conformism.

    Bahai theology is an interesting, but ultimately FAILED attempt at taking the “best of both worlds” and combining them.

    It FAILS because it does not account for EVOLUTIONARY THEORY, which of course was unknown to the bab and bahaullah.

    Neither Abdu’l-baha or Shoghi Effendi made any useful contribution to how evolutionary theory fit into bahai metaphysics (see Keven Brown’s attempts at better translation and commentary).

    Keep in mind one very critical factoid: both fascism and marxism came out of romanticism, which was a european reaction to the lack of “meaning” that came with modernism. Almost all modern “spiritual” movements in the west, including those that are derived from premodern forms of “unitive mysticism” such as sufism, shamanism, etc., are basically romanticist.

    (Modernists are “bourgeoise”, romanticists are “bohemian”.)

    I personally belive that it is a law of nature, per Integral philosophy, that any movement or group that is “bohemian” and “romanticist” in its underpinnings will eventually become fascistic.

    Which is exactly the problem with bahai.

    Which is why Integralism is a better approach to spirituality than bahai.

    Background
    ———-

    At the time of the Bab, Iran was coming under tremendous pressure to somehow adjust to the inexplicable rising power of “barbaric” western emperial expansion in the middle east adjacent to the India trade. The people in the south of Iran (near the ports where mixing with westerners was most common) decided to try to adjust first by adopting western ideas and mixing them with their current beliefs in an attempt at reforming society. The north was more resistant, but there were a few exceptions, such as bahaullah, that advocated reforms in the north.

    Anyways, slavery was abolished in europe not because of silly premodern metaphysics or some bogus “revelation” by backward sufis in Iran, but because science, technology and capitalist industrialism ultimately made slavery irrelevant.

    *If you have a machine that does the same thing as a slave, you don’t need the slave anymore.*

    Queen Victoria made sly use of that fact to position Britian as a “morally superior” country (in its late imperial ambitions) by abolishing slavery.

    http://www.fordham.edu/halsall/med/lewis1.html

    The problem of modernism of course is that it threw the baby (transcendence) out with the bath water (premodern metaphysics and corrupt religion).

    The “answer” is not to REGRESS into backward forms of religious belief, it is to use evolutionary theory and science to validate spirituality.

    That is exactly what the Integral Thought movement is doing:

    http://www.gebser.org/IE.html
    -
    http://www.integralinstitute.org/
    -
    http://www.esalenctr.org/display/confpage.cfm?confid=1&pageid=33&pgtype=1
    -
    http://julianwalkeryoga.gaia.com/blog/2007/7/esalen_adventures_the_urban_yogi_video_clip
    -
    http://books.google.com/books?id=fzSP6BRFBzIC
    -
    http://wilber.shambhala.com/html/books/kosmos/index.cfm/

    Baha’is are being left in the dust, rigidly arguing over a vast minutea of outmoded ideas that are obviously dysfunctional and need to be discarded.

    Anyways, as has been commented by many sociologists that have studied bahai culture, the real appeal of bahai for most people is NOT the theology, which is rarely studied by most bahais since it is a convoluted, frequently disturbing, perplexing and poorly translated bizarre rehash of various sufi metaphysics, but the “sense of belonging” that comes from being in a group of people trying to do something good for the world.

    However, the illusion that bahai organization is about “doing good” is over for anyone that has seen how the bahai bureaucracy works in the “real world” for several decades, or has studied the history of the iranian and USA bahai communities.

    The “evidence” is all around you, if you chose to transcend the bullsh*t and see the twin scams of prophetology and “progressive relevation” for what they are.

    You clearly stated that modernity came into existence as a result of bahaullah’s “revelation”, but fail to address the fact that the English Civil War was in the 1640s and the Constitution of the USA was written 30 or 40 years before te Bab was EVEN BORN! If that isn’t “evidence”, I don’t know what is.

    WTF

    I met Nima Hazini at one of the Talisman email list “Mysticism” conferences at Bosch Baha’i School back in the mid 1990s, and he was a brilliant but quirky guy that was mainly known at the time for writing a huge article on neoplatonism (might still be on bahai-library.org?), as well as maverick personal comments about the internal politics of the bahai community on the talisman email list.

    (fwiw: I was never on the “secret” email lists that preceeded talisman, but I knew some people inside the “LA Study Group” and “Kalimat” in the 1980s, years before “talisman”.)

    At the urging of friends at the time, Nima supposedly attempted to withdraw from conflicts with people in the bahai community, possibly including some relatives, and attended a sufi commune for healing for a year or so. Apparently that process didn’t go well, his illness progressed, and he continued in a downward spiral, which disappointed and saddened many of his friends who of course tried to be compassionate and understanding at first.

    You attempt to scapegoat instead of demonstrate compassion and justice is a perfect, and all too typical, example of how corrupt and backwards bahai culture is, and how it actually works in the “real world”.

    You and all the people like you are all the “evidence” that anyone needs to see how useless the bahai faith is.

    Regards,
    Eric P.
    (ex-bahai, after 30+ years)
    Sacramento

    [quote comment="53644"]
    Bitter, skeptical and without a shred of evidence and mostly a disgruntled opinion.

    Eric P…is that Nima Hazini’s new handle?[/quote]
    [quote comment=""][...] with me their thoughts and opinions. Within a previous discussion, there was a comment about the sacredness of individual conscience and how it relates to the Baha’i [...][/quote]

  • Anonymouz

    EP,

    You seem to have some deep seated issues regarding the Baha’i Faith…Clearly. AS you can see I have my own interpretation based on my own observations, and you have yours. I enjoy mine because they are demanding in a spiritual and progressive way, I disagree with yours, not because of the ideas you talk about or the concepts you put forward, but the method. You hate the Baha’i Faith and you have clearly got to understand that what you think is not always the truth. I know that…But, I have faith that it will work out for the best in the end. You clearly don’t. You manifest qualities and say things that are nothing but PURE hate. I couldn’t do that.

    Have a nice day.

    BTW–It is clear you did not read my whole response.

  • Anonymouz

    EP,

    You seem to have some deep seated issues regarding the Baha’i Faith…Clearly. AS you can see I have my own interpretation based on my own observations, and you have yours. I enjoy mine because they are demanding in a spiritual and progressive way, I disagree with yours, not because of the ideas you talk about or the concepts you put forward, but the method. You hate the Baha’i Faith and you have clearly got to understand that what you think is not always the truth. I know that…But, I have faith that it will work out for the best in the end. You clearly don’t. You manifest qualities and say things that are nothing but PURE hate. I couldn’t do that.

    Have a nice day.

    BTW–It is clear you did not read my whole response.

  • ep

    AnonZZZ,

    Slaves hated their masters, but they usually didn’t show it unless they wanted to get lynched.

    Fortunately we do not live in a bahai corporatist theocracy where people are lynched for being nonconformists or critics. Everything that you believe in will eventually result in exactly that if left unchecked by nonconformists, critics and dissidents.

    All the high and mighty rhetoric in bahai scripture about justice and truth had been corrupted by people like you for predictable, idiotic reasons.

    You, like the many other thought policing, conformist fascists in the bahai faith, are the actual source of injustice, lies and insults. You hate nonconformists. You hate truth. You hate being nudged out of the cowardice and “comfort zone” of your wrong ideas and illusions. You hate being insulted in the same way you hatefully insult others who refuse to conform to your appalling and inadequate interpretation of bahai thought.

    Your attempt to conflate your own inadequate beliefs and bad ideas with God (a typical tactic of fundamentalists) is yet another perfect example of the “evidence” (that you claim I and others “don’t have”) that the bahai faith is corrupt and backward.

    I’ve seen the same kind of nonsense go on for decades in the bahai community: conformism and fascism posturing and masquerading as “spirituality”. I’ve known a long list of people that have been viciously attacked by people like you: abusers of whatever authority and power that they manage to glom onto through carefully cultivated incompetence and obsequiousness. Using all the predictable weazel words to condescend to anyone that dares to disagree so the sheeple will continue to follow corrupt leaders who can never admit wrong.

    No matter where a nonconformist ex/bahai goes on the internet (where there is an “open” forum that isn’t censored by one side or the other), thought police like you show up and start their usual bullying. It is an invarialbe phenomena, and tells all about how the “real” bahai faith works.

    It is high time that the farce that bahais like you represent be exposed for the disgusting and appalling thing that it is.

    Regards,
    Eric P.
    (ex-bahai, after 30+ years)
    Sacramento

    [quote comment="53661"]EP,

    You seem to have some deep seated issues regarding the Baha’i Faith…Clearly. AS you can see I have my own interpretation based on my own observations, and you have yours. I enjoy mine because they are demanding in a spiritual and progressive way, I disagree with yours, not because of the ideas you talk about or the concepts you put forward, but the method. You hate the Baha’i Faith and you have clearly got to understand that what you think is not always the truth. I know that…But, I have faith that it will work out for the best in the end. You clearly don’t. You manifest qualities and say things that are nothing but PURE hate. I couldn’t do that.

    Have a nice day.

    BTW–It is clear you did not read my whole response.[/quote]
    [quote comment=""][...] with me their thoughts and opinions. Within a previous discussion, there was a comment about the sacredness of individual conscience and how it relates to the Baha’i [...][/quote]

  • ep

    AnonZZZ,

    Slaves hated their masters, but they usually didn’t show it unless they wanted to get lynched.

    Fortunately we do not live in a bahai corporatist theocracy where people are lynched for being nonconformists or critics. Everything that you believe in will eventually result in exactly that if left unchecked by nonconformists, critics and dissidents.

    All the high and mighty rhetoric in bahai scripture about justice and truth had been corrupted by people like you for predictable, idiotic reasons.

    You, like the many other thought policing, conformist fascists in the bahai faith, are the actual source of injustice, lies and insults. You hate nonconformists. You hate truth. You hate being nudged out of the cowardice and “comfort zone” of your wrong ideas and illusions. You hate being insulted in the same way you hatefully insult others who refuse to conform to your appalling and inadequate interpretation of bahai thought.

    Your attempt to conflate your own inadequate beliefs and bad ideas with God (a typical tactic of fundamentalists) is yet another perfect example of the “evidence” (that you claim I and others “don’t have”) that the bahai faith is corrupt and backward.

    I’ve seen the same kind of nonsense go on for decades in the bahai community: conformism and fascism posturing and masquerading as “spirituality”. I’ve known a long list of people that have been viciously attacked by people like you: abusers of whatever authority and power that they manage to glom onto through carefully cultivated incompetence and obsequiousness. Using all the predictable weazel words to condescend to anyone that dares to disagree so the sheeple will continue to follow corrupt leaders who can never admit wrong.

    No matter where a nonconformist ex/bahai goes on the internet (where there is an “open” forum that isn’t censored by one side or the other), thought police like you show up and start their usual bullying. It is an invarialbe phenomena, and tells all about how the “real” bahai faith works.

    It is high time that the farce that bahais like you represent be exposed for the disgusting and appalling thing that it is.

    Regards,
    Eric P.
    (ex-bahai, after 30+ years)
    Sacramento

    [quote comment="53661"]EP,

    You seem to have some deep seated issues regarding the Baha’i Faith…Clearly. AS you can see I have my own interpretation based on my own observations, and you have yours. I enjoy mine because they are demanding in a spiritual and progressive way, I disagree with yours, not because of the ideas you talk about or the concepts you put forward, but the method. You hate the Baha’i Faith and you have clearly got to understand that what you think is not always the truth. I know that…But, I have faith that it will work out for the best in the end. You clearly don’t. You manifest qualities and say things that are nothing but PURE hate. I couldn’t do that.

    Have a nice day.

    BTW–It is clear you did not read my whole response.[/quote]
    [quote comment=""][...] with me their thoughts and opinions. Within a previous discussion, there was a comment about the sacredness of individual conscience and how it relates to the Baha’i [...][/quote]

  • Anonymouz

    Sorry EP still don’t see what you are talking about. What I do see is a common characteristic among dissidents is their pure bitterness and hatred. In your 30yrs it is clear you really never ever grasped the concepts of the Baha’i Faith at their core. You are better off though, and that’s ok. Trust me, I don’t hate anyone nor anyone’s point of view, I do however have a right to voice my view and when I see or read something I disagree with you’re darn tootin I will call it out….hmmm…just like you are doing. I haven’t stooped to slandering, at least I try not to, but you keep using words that are out of context and inappropriate, not in a sense that they are abusive, but they simply don’t apply. You throw around fascism and thought police but you fail to see the truth in that all the administration that you so vehemently oppose simply attempts to maintain the UNITY that is central to the Baha’i belief system. I don’t expect you to understand, but what I want you to expect is that as long as there is one view, there will always be another…People like me will always be around…get used to it. The reason is this: although more than 98% of the Baha’i population doesn’t waste their time bickering with dense people like yourself on line, there will always be the few who feel it necessary to counter your groundless claims. Its actually quite fun for me. How easy it is to come back when all you bring is nasty and groundless allegations based off a distraught and trouble mind’s experience. I don’t not hold anything against you for doing this and the things you say have all been said before (see Ahmad Sohrab and Ibrahim Kheyirullah). It is part of your experience as a soul and the broken tools you use to judge the World. You think too much with Michael Moore (completely one-sided) type outlook and I can sense through your conversing that you pray little…OK…I’ll lay off…I feel I am treading into “none of my business” territory.

    Let me just say one last thing, or I should say…ask. What do you believe now? Since you have left the Baha’i Faith what is your new belief system?

    PS-Sorry if I made you angry.

  • Anonymouz

    Sorry EP still don’t see what you are talking about. What I do see is a common characteristic among dissidents is their pure bitterness and hatred. In your 30yrs it is clear you really never ever grasped the concepts of the Baha’i Faith at their core. You are better off though, and that’s ok. Trust me, I don’t hate anyone nor anyone’s point of view, I do however have a right to voice my view and when I see or read something I disagree with you’re darn tootin I will call it out….hmmm…just like you are doing. I haven’t stooped to slandering, at least I try not to, but you keep using words that are out of context and inappropriate, not in a sense that they are abusive, but they simply don’t apply. You throw around fascism and thought police but you fail to see the truth in that all the administration that you so vehemently oppose simply attempts to maintain the UNITY that is central to the Baha’i belief system. I don’t expect you to understand, but what I want you to expect is that as long as there is one view, there will always be another…People like me will always be around…get used to it. The reason is this: although more than 98% of the Baha’i population doesn’t waste their time bickering with dense people like yourself on line, there will always be the few who feel it necessary to counter your groundless claims. Its actually quite fun for me. How easy it is to come back when all you bring is nasty and groundless allegations based off a distraught and trouble mind’s experience. I don’t not hold anything against you for doing this and the things you say have all been said before (see Ahmad Sohrab and Ibrahim Kheyirullah). It is part of your experience as a soul and the broken tools you use to judge the World. You think too much with Michael Moore (completely one-sided) type outlook and I can sense through your conversing that you pray little…OK…I’ll lay off…I feel I am treading into “none of my business” territory.

    Let me just say one last thing, or I should say…ask. What do you believe now? Since you have left the Baha’i Faith what is your new belief system?

    PS-Sorry if I made you angry.

  • ep

    AnonZZZ,

    I went back and read your entire boring and predictable response to Craig. It is full of the same platitudes I heard for 30 years that are childlike , utopian fantasies and myths about the “purity” of the faith and its leaders.

    UTTER DRIVEL.

    DESIGNED TO COVER UP CORRUPTION AND INCOMPETENCE.

    ONLY A STOOGE OR DUPE WOULD BELIVE SUCH MANURE.

    I understand that you are incapable of comprehending anything that is nonconformist, and as a result have to resort to lies, distortions, insults and character attacks when faced with information that invalidates what you believe.

    You have a moderately intelligent, firm, conformist, orthodox grasp of what passes for bahai thought. In other words, the fairy-tale, kool-aid, what have you, version of bahai. Utterly lacking in an understanding of how real human beings operate.

    I did come to an understanding of “bahai concepts at their core”, and it became obvious to me that they do not work, and are stupid.

    You do not understand any of that because you were apparently brainwashed growing up in a bahai family, and have not seen the predictable pattern of dysfunctional, abusive behavior that exists behind the scenes at various levels in bahai organization and culture. You have rose-colored glasses on.

    The myths and dysfunctional stuff in bahai culture are “anti-patterns”, and as such, will always end up accomplishing the exact opposite of what they intended on the surface level.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anti-pattern#Organizational_anti-patterns

    What happens with people over time when faced with dysfunctional aspects of bahai organization is usually one of three things:

    1) deniers: they learn to ignore the lies, deception, abuse because of family and peer pressure. no one wants to be the person that farts in church during a quiet moment and cause everyone to squirm about the truth. the worst version of this is the fundamentalist, a spreading thing in the bahai community apparently. the worst fundamentalists are usualy in the following category.

    2) sociopaths: they are clever and learn how to play into the myths in order to get into power and live out their tendencies to become control-freaks. their stock-in-trade is manipulating the weak with honey-tongued lies and deception. they attack anyone that tells the truth. they use hate and try to destroy critics by projecting their own hate onto the critics.

    3) drifter: the rest of the people usually just drift away and become uninvolved.

    There is of course a fourth very small group: the skeptics, rebels, discontents, dissidents, nonconformists, etc.

    You state that you are a student of political theory/philosophy, but it is not apparent that you have studied organizational theory or consciousness theory, AT ALL.

    It is not apparent that you know ANYTHING about the history of dissent in the bahai community for the last 30-50 years.

    You DEMAND that others provide “evidence” for their views, but spout vast quantities of completely unverifiable bahai myth and insist that anyone that does not agree with such myth “never learned core baahi belief”.

    Your arrogance is as appalling as is your hypocrisy.

    Your tactics follow the obvious pattern used by bahai polemicists against critics:

    1) ignore specific questions or information that is inconvenient to your position,
    2) insult people,
    3) bait them into getting p*ssed off, then
    4) accuse them of being morally inferior for getting mad at your for being an *sshole, finally:
    5) state that your opponent’s supposed moral inferiority “proves” that you are right about silly bahai myths.

    Regards,
    Eric P.
    (ex-bahai, after 30+ years)
    Sacramento

    [quote comment="53668"]Sorry EP still don’t see what you are talking about. What I do see is a common characteristic among dissidents is their pure bitterness and hatred. In your 30yrs it is clear you really never ever grasped the concepts of the Baha’i Faith at their core. You are better off though, and that’s ok. Trust me, I don’t hate anyone nor anyone’s point of view, I do however have a right to voice my view and when I see or read something I disagree with you’re darn tootin I will call it out….hmmm…just like you are doing. I haven’t stooped to slandering, at least I try not to, but you keep using words that are out of context and inappropriate, not in a sense that they are abusive, but they simply don’t apply. You throw around fascism and thought police but you fail to see the truth in that all the administration that you so vehemently oppose simply attempts to maintain the UNITY that is central to the Baha’i belief system. I don’t expect you to understand, but what I want you to expect is that as long as there is one view, there will always be another…People like me will always be around…get used to it. The reason is this: although more than 98% of the Baha’i population doesn’t waste their time bickering with dense people like yourself on line, there will always be the few who feel it necessary to counter your groundless claims. Its actually quite fun for me. How easy it is to come back when all you bring is nasty and groundless allegations based off a distraught and trouble mind’s experience. I don’t not hold anything against you for doing this and the things you say have all been said before (see Ahmad Sohrab and Ibrahim Kheyirullah). It is part of your experience as a soul and the broken tools you use to judge the World. You think too much with Michael Moore (completely one-sided) type outlook and I can sense through your conversing that you pray little…OK…I’ll lay off…I feel I am treading into “none of my business” territory.

    Let me just say one last thing, or I should say…ask. What do you believe now? Since you have left the Baha’i Faith what is your new belief system?

    PS-Sorry if I made you angry.[/quote]
    [quote comment=""][...] with me their thoughts and opinions. Within a previous discussion, there was a comment about the sacredness of individual conscience and how it relates to the Baha’i [...][/quote]

  • ep

    AnonZZZ,

    I went back and read your entire boring and predictable response to Craig. It is full of the same platitudes I heard for 30 years that are childlike , utopian fantasies and myths about the “purity” of the faith and its leaders.

    UTTER DRIVEL.

    DESIGNED TO COVER UP CORRUPTION AND INCOMPETENCE.

    ONLY A STOOGE OR DUPE WOULD BELIVE SUCH MANURE.

    I understand that you are incapable of comprehending anything that is nonconformist, and as a result have to resort to lies, distortions, insults and character attacks when faced with information that invalidates what you believe.

    You have a moderately intelligent, firm, conformist, orthodox grasp of what passes for bahai thought. In other words, the fairy-tale, kool-aid, what have you, version of bahai. Utterly lacking in an understanding of how real human beings operate.

    I did come to an understanding of “bahai concepts at their core”, and it became obvious to me that they do not work, and are stupid.

    You do not understand any of that because you were apparently brainwashed growing up in a bahai family, and have not seen the predictable pattern of dysfunctional, abusive behavior that exists behind the scenes at various levels in bahai organization and culture. You have rose-colored glasses on.

    The myths and dysfunctional stuff in bahai culture are “anti-patterns”, and as such, will always end up accomplishing the exact opposite of what they intended on the surface level.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anti-pattern#Organizational_anti-patterns

    What happens with people over time when faced with dysfunctional aspects of bahai organization is usually one of three things:

    1) deniers: they learn to ignore the lies, deception, abuse because of family and peer pressure. no one wants to be the person that farts in church during a quiet moment and cause everyone to squirm about the truth. the worst version of this is the fundamentalist, a spreading thing in the bahai community apparently. the worst fundamentalists are usualy in the following category.

    2) sociopaths: they are clever and learn how to play into the myths in order to get into power and live out their tendencies to become control-freaks. their stock-in-trade is manipulating the weak with honey-tongued lies and deception. they attack anyone that tells the truth. they use hate and try to destroy critics by projecting their own hate onto the critics.

    3) drifter: the rest of the people usually just drift away and become uninvolved.

    There is of course a fourth very small group: the skeptics, rebels, discontents, dissidents, nonconformists, etc.

    You state that you are a student of political theory/philosophy, but it is not apparent that you have studied organizational theory or consciousness theory, AT ALL.

    It is not apparent that you know ANYTHING about the history of dissent in the bahai community for the last 30-50 years.

    You DEMAND that others provide “evidence” for their views, but spout vast quantities of completely unverifiable bahai myth and insist that anyone that does not agree with such myth “never learned core baahi belief”.

    Your arrogance is as appalling as is your hypocrisy.

    Your tactics follow the obvious pattern used by bahai polemicists against critics:

    1) ignore specific questions or information that is inconvenient to your position,
    2) insult people,
    3) bait them into getting p*ssed off, then
    4) accuse them of being morally inferior for getting mad at your for being an *sshole, finally:
    5) state that your opponent’s supposed moral inferiority “proves” that you are right about silly bahai myths.

    Regards,
    Eric P.
    (ex-bahai, after 30+ years)
    Sacramento

    [quote comment="53668"]Sorry EP still don’t see what you are talking about. What I do see is a common characteristic among dissidents is their pure bitterness and hatred. In your 30yrs it is clear you really never ever grasped the concepts of the Baha’i Faith at their core. You are better off though, and that’s ok. Trust me, I don’t hate anyone nor anyone’s point of view, I do however have a right to voice my view and when I see or read something I disagree with you’re darn tootin I will call it out….hmmm…just like you are doing. I haven’t stooped to slandering, at least I try not to, but you keep using words that are out of context and inappropriate, not in a sense that they are abusive, but they simply don’t apply. You throw around fascism and thought police but you fail to see the truth in that all the administration that you so vehemently oppose simply attempts to maintain the UNITY that is central to the Baha’i belief system. I don’t expect you to understand, but what I want you to expect is that as long as there is one view, there will always be another…People like me will always be around…get used to it. The reason is this: although more than 98% of the Baha’i population doesn’t waste their time bickering with dense people like yourself on line, there will always be the few who feel it necessary to counter your groundless claims. Its actually quite fun for me. How easy it is to come back when all you bring is nasty and groundless allegations based off a distraught and trouble mind’s experience. I don’t not hold anything against you for doing this and the things you say have all been said before (see Ahmad Sohrab and Ibrahim Kheyirullah). It is part of your experience as a soul and the broken tools you use to judge the World. You think too much with Michael Moore (completely one-sided) type outlook and I can sense through your conversing that you pray little…OK…I’ll lay off…I feel I am treading into “none of my business” territory.

    Let me just say one last thing, or I should say…ask. What do you believe now? Since you have left the Baha’i Faith what is your new belief system?

    PS-Sorry if I made you angry.[/quote]
    [quote comment=""][...] with me their thoughts and opinions. Within a previous discussion, there was a comment about the sacredness of individual conscience and how it relates to the Baha’i [...][/quote]

  • Anonymouz

    Wow that was quick.

    You keep making assumptions with that sharp tongue of yours. You assume that I do not see some of the mistakes that have been made, you assume that I am oblivious to what *actually* goes on. Well I guess I am a realist and I will admit, I am an optimist. You are putting words in my mouth by assuming I deny the issues present in all human endeavors and interactions. Of course their are issues and problems when people are involved, but when they work together they are better off when they go at it alone…Its that simple. You have dismissed the teachings of the Baha’i faith as fanciful, that’s fine and your choice to make. But, what makes me answer you is your belligerent attempt at forcing your view on other people. Now, given, we all like to be right, but your view is really dark and gloomy…I would rather try to paint a prettier picture and work toward something bigger than my own view.

    You also assume things about my education. Just because I do not like to regurgitate secular Wikipedia views composed by jaded opinions and un-cited accusations doesn’t make me unversed in the ways of the World. Indeed, something are helpful that the Baha’is as individuals can use to promote the message of peace. But, based upon the few views that discount the message and model of the Baha’i method you happily cling to them to support your destructive opinion. Frankly, your attitude stinks. I appreciate and welcome dialog and criticism in a constructive way, but you would think that after 30yrs of anything, this would have been learned by anyone. Sadly this is not the case…We see people pissed off at the World and there are just too many factors in play to assume its the World that has to change. We must be the change we want to see in the World and I am confident when I say I would rather take the high road of hard work and good thoughts, then the low road of negativity and self pity.

    If you want to take it up a notch and stop the dueling, we can talk like normal people…politely and put forward evidence and observation free from emotion and opinion grounded in the fact that we are both not know-it-alls who have all the answers. What do you say?

  • Anonymouz

    Wow that was quick.

    You keep making assumptions with that sharp tongue of yours. You assume that I do not see some of the mistakes that have been made, you assume that I am oblivious to what *actually* goes on. Well I guess I am a realist and I will admit, I am an optimist. You are putting words in my mouth by assuming I deny the issues present in all human endeavors and interactions. Of course their are issues and problems when people are involved, but when they work together they are better off when they go at it alone…Its that simple. You have dismissed the teachings of the Baha’i faith as fanciful, that’s fine and your choice to make. But, what makes me answer you is your belligerent attempt at forcing your view on other people. Now, given, we all like to be right, but your view is really dark and gloomy…I would rather try to paint a prettier picture and work toward something bigger than my own view.

    You also assume things about my education. Just because I do not like to regurgitate secular Wikipedia views composed by jaded opinions and un-cited accusations doesn’t make me unversed in the ways of the World. Indeed, something are helpful that the Baha’is as individuals can use to promote the message of peace. But, based upon the few views that discount the message and model of the Baha’i method you happily cling to them to support your destructive opinion. Frankly, your attitude stinks. I appreciate and welcome dialog and criticism in a constructive way, but you would think that after 30yrs of anything, this would have been learned by anyone. Sadly this is not the case…We see people pissed off at the World and there are just too many factors in play to assume its the World that has to change. We must be the change we want to see in the World and I am confident when I say I would rather take the high road of hard work and good thoughts, then the low road of negativity and self pity.

    If you want to take it up a notch and stop the dueling, we can talk like normal people…politely and put forward evidence and observation free from emotion and opinion grounded in the fact that we are both not know-it-alls who have all the answers. What do you say?

  • Bird

    Wow Ep

    Now that was thought provoking dialog. I am a former Bahà’í (Certified un-enrolled) going on 5 months now after 14 active years. WHOOOOOO HOOOOO boy have these 5 months been quite the ride. I initially didn’t think I could really walk away from the whole self brainwashing so embedded in my heart and thinking processes, but alas I have!!! BTGOG! In fact it was here in these Bahairants.com pages I viewed an article on the “Bahà’í’s in my Backyard” a real must see perspective of how other religions view the Bahà’í Center in the area of the BWC, where I have found my new spiritual direction, Judaism, the founders / authors of all main religions. Why not see what went wrong where it started?

    I say let all the people in the world use what ever word they want to describe their religious beliefs. The Bahà’í religion is doomed anyway you look at it along will all “organized” religions.

    It is with such great empathy I weep for the followers of organized religions who think they are building a better world but instead more ornate palaces via the sacrifices of the slaves they own by their hearts, willing offered in a search and suggestive nearness to God. Heck Ep, they are about to glamorize martyrdom via the story of a young girl. How low can they go?

    Anyways… Baquia’s open mindedness and willingness to allow all opinions to participate has been a really pleasant change in exchanges with Bahà’í’s.

    Your sister, daughter of Lilith, regaurdless of your spiritual title..

    Bird out of the Cage

  • Bird

    Wow Ep

    Now that was thought provoking dialog. I am a former Bahà’í (Certified un-enrolled) going on 5 months now after 14 active years. WHOOOOOO HOOOOO boy have these 5 months been quite the ride. I initially didn’t think I could really walk away from the whole self brainwashing so embedded in my heart and thinking processes, but alas I have!!! BTGOG! In fact it was here in these Bahairants.com pages I viewed an article on the “Bahà’í’s in my Backyard” a real must see perspective of how other religions view the Bahà’í Center in the area of the BWC, where I have found my new spiritual direction, Judaism, the founders / authors of all main religions. Why not see what went wrong where it started?

    I say let all the people in the world use what ever word they want to describe their religious beliefs. The Bahà’í religion is doomed anyway you look at it along will all “organized” religions.

    It is with such great empathy I weep for the followers of organized religions who think they are building a better world but instead more ornate palaces via the sacrifices of the slaves they own by their hearts, willing offered in a search and suggestive nearness to God. Heck Ep, they are about to glamorize martyrdom via the story of a young girl. How low can they go?

    Anyways… Baquia’s open mindedness and willingness to allow all opinions to participate has been a really pleasant change in exchanges with Bahà’í’s.

    Your sister, daughter of Lilith, regaurdless of your spiritual title..

    Bird out of the Cage

  • Craig Parke

    [quote comment="53670"]

    AMAN wrote:

    Wow that was quick.[/quote]

    AMAN,

    Sorry I have been off the site for a couple of days. I have been under the weather. I needed a good rest over the long weekend and needed it.

    I read you long post in answer to me. Please know that I appreciate your effort very much. People are spending a lot of time here of late over the last few months writing from their guts. So I do honor your effort.

    Reading it has caused a change in me somewhat. You revealed that you are 25 years old. That has taken the fire out of anything I have to say. I now feel compassion for you and your wife also. I am 61 years old. EP here is either late 40′s or early 50′s. This is much of the difference in viewpoint so there is no sense in arguing anything. Life is the great teacher and giver of discourse. There are many things you do not know yet in life and there is absolutely nothing wrong with that. We’ll see how you see it in 30 years.

    One thing you definitely are not picking up on is that both myself and EP were once you. This is our anguish. I put more years of dedicated service into the Baha’i Faith than you have been alive on the planet! This is probably true of many people on this forum. You come across as someone strangely lost in time who seems to have no context as to what has gone before you. I looked into my father’s eyes and saw something of what World War II was like. I have had a lifetime to think about what I have seen in the eyes of many people and what it has told me of their soul’s journey. You do not seem to have developed that yet. But perhaps you will. My observation has been that all people of the Persian gene pool are born incredibly naturally self centered and arrogant. It must be the karma of being of the first top down world empire of human slaughter and that karma is still within one’s ethnic DNA. That is the thing that seems to really annoy people in your posts. But you are a true believer so you should be very happy. People like you own the Baha’i Faith now. It is yours for keeps. There is no place for people like myself or EP in the amazing group think Comintern Politburo Faith. The Institutions of the Faith at every level are going to be nine versions of you! So you should be happy. You will have a long run ahead of you and you are a Pharaoh of all you survey. I truly do wish you well. You own the Faith. It is yours hands down.

    It took me some time to understand EP’s anguish from our interaction in other forums. I now have a profound and deep respect for him. I think the Integralist system of thought is one of the most useful systems of insight into the evolution of human consciousness that certainly is taking place across the planet. I think at one time EP loved the ideas of the Baha’i Faith as much or even more than anyone here.

    I, like EP, no longer believe the Baha’i Faith is a player in this evolution of human consciousness. It certainly could have been. But it was all murdered by incredibly thoughtless and incredibly talentless people. The Baha’i Faith at this moment in time is a criminal organization. That could change and I honestly think at some point it will change over the next 300-500 years. But at the present time it is even less than a zero sum game. Many people have had to leave it to save their mental health. That is the bottom line. And I think both you and even everyone running the AO in their limitless lifetime incumbency has to respect that. Every soul has the right not to be destroyed by other people and their organization.

    I wish you well. I thank you for your discourse. But I just do not see the Baha’i Faith as being a factor in anything now. It is just too dysfunctional. The cognitive dissonance has reached critical mass. From what I learned when I worked for DDI as I said, when the disconnects become too massive in an organization a point of no return is reached and organizational death is inevitable and even necessary. The Baha’i Faith does not want people who can think for themselves in any way. Such people will always eventually be identified, denounced, and hounded out of the Faith. If you have any ideas outside of the top down group think you are the enemy of God in the current hyper group think. I do not think any organization in that mindset can survive. It is a mindset in direct Cosmic opposition to the individual spiritual Cosmic empowerment of the New World Age Cycle. Such an organization cannot mobilize and sustain the human energies that originate from the individual human soul and the powers of the individual God given human consciousness. That is how I see it based upon my observations in life.

    I myself will tone down my discourse with you here in the future. I will be friendly and more compassionate. You are 25 years old. You are also of the unfortunate genetic disabilities of Persian heritage. It was, after all, the nation that invented crucifixion as a means of top down state execution. Indeed, there is some heavy karma there. If you work on your hotheadedness, I’ll work on my rapier keyboard. Maybe EP can work on his brilliant “sharp tongue” as you call it.

    You think the Baha’i Faith is going to be successful. I say it is a planetary electorate of people dumber than a bag of depleted uranium hammers that has elected a tiny clique of lifetime incumbent people dumber than a bag of depleted uranium hammers to lead itself. To me it is one of the great tragedies of human history and most certainly one of the great tragedies of the 20th century. But maybe the 21st century will see a sea change of some kind? Especially if some kind of system of fierce grass roots accountability emerges. The Internet certainly holds that potential for suddenly developing at any minute of every hour for the next 1,000 years.

    We’ll see who history proves right. I will be dead before you. So you will have to make the call for both of us.

    Again, I do appreciate your effort in writing your long post in answer to my post and I honor that. Thank you.

  • Craig Parke

    [quote comment="53670"]

    AMAN wrote:

    Wow that was quick.[/quote]

    AMAN,

    Sorry I have been off the site for a couple of days. I have been under the weather. I needed a good rest over the long weekend and needed it.

    I read you long post in answer to me. Please know that I appreciate your effort very much. People are spending a lot of time here of late over the last few months writing from their guts. So I do honor your effort.

    Reading it has caused a change in me somewhat. You revealed that you are 25 years old. That has taken the fire out of anything I have to say. I now feel compassion for you and your wife also. I am 61 years old. EP here is either late 40′s or early 50′s. This is much of the difference in viewpoint so there is no sense in arguing anything. Life is the great teacher and giver of discourse. There are many things you do not know yet in life and there is absolutely nothing wrong with that. We’ll see how you see it in 30 years.

    One thing you definitely are not picking up on is that both myself and EP were once you. This is our anguish. I put more years of dedicated service into the Baha’i Faith than you have been alive on the planet! This is probably true of many people on this forum. You come across as someone strangely lost in time who seems to have no context as to what has gone before you. I looked into my father’s eyes and saw something of what World War II was like. I have had a lifetime to think about what I have seen in the eyes of many people and what it has told me of their soul’s journey. You do not seem to have developed that yet. But perhaps you will. My observation has been that all people of the Persian gene pool are born incredibly naturally self centered and arrogant. It must be the karma of being of the first top down world empire of human slaughter and that karma is still within one’s ethnic DNA. That is the thing that seems to really annoy people in your posts. But you are a true believer so you should be very happy. People like you own the Baha’i Faith now. It is yours for keeps. There is no place for people like myself or EP in the amazing group think Comintern Politburo Faith. The Institutions of the Faith at every level are going to be nine versions of you! So you should be happy. You will have a long run ahead of you and you are a Pharaoh of all you survey. I truly do wish you well. You own the Faith. It is yours hands down.

    It took me some time to understand EP’s anguish from our interaction in other forums. I now have a profound and deep respect for him. I think the Integralist system of thought is one of the most useful systems of insight into the evolution of human consciousness that certainly is taking place across the planet. I think at one time EP loved the ideas of the Baha’i Faith as much or even more than anyone here.

    I, like EP, no longer believe the Baha’i Faith is a player in this evolution of human consciousness. It certainly could have been. But it was all murdered by incredibly thoughtless and incredibly talentless people. The Baha’i Faith at this moment in time is a criminal organization. That could change and I honestly think at some point it will change over the next 300-500 years. But at the present time it is even less than a zero sum game. Many people have had to leave it to save their mental health. That is the bottom line. And I think both you and even everyone running the AO in their limitless lifetime incumbency has to respect that. Every soul has the right not to be destroyed by other people and their organization.

    I wish you well. I thank you for your discourse. But I just do not see the Baha’i Faith as being a factor in anything now. It is just too dysfunctional. The cognitive dissonance has reached critical mass. From what I learned when I worked for DDI as I said, when the disconnects become too massive in an organization a point of no return is reached and organizational death is inevitable and even necessary. The Baha’i Faith does not want people who can think for themselves in any way. Such people will always eventually be identified, denounced, and hounded out of the Faith. If you have any ideas outside of the top down group think you are the enemy of God in the current hyper group think. I do not think any organization in that mindset can survive. It is a mindset in direct Cosmic opposition to the individual spiritual Cosmic empowerment of the New World Age Cycle. Such an organization cannot mobilize and sustain the human energies that originate from the individual human soul and the powers of the individual God given human consciousness. That is how I see it based upon my observations in life.

    I myself will tone down my discourse with you here in the future. I will be friendly and more compassionate. You are 25 years old. You are also of the unfortunate genetic disabilities of Persian heritage. It was, after all, the nation that invented crucifixion as a means of top down state execution. Indeed, there is some heavy karma there. If you work on your hotheadedness, I’ll work on my rapier keyboard. Maybe EP can work on his brilliant “sharp tongue” as you call it.

    You think the Baha’i Faith is going to be successful. I say it is a planetary electorate of people dumber than a bag of depleted uranium hammers that has elected a tiny clique of lifetime incumbent people dumber than a bag of depleted uranium hammers to lead itself. To me it is one of the great tragedies of human history and most certainly one of the great tragedies of the 20th century. But maybe the 21st century will see a sea change of some kind? Especially if some kind of system of fierce grass roots accountability emerges. The Internet certainly holds that potential for suddenly developing at any minute of every hour for the next 1,000 years.

    We’ll see who history proves right. I will be dead before you. So you will have to make the call for both of us.

    Again, I do appreciate your effort in writing your long post in answer to my post and I honor that. Thank you.

  • Anonnymouz

    Hey Craig no hard feelings. I am still one for my baseball analogy. Sorry for being Persian…half actually.

    Take care.

    What is all boils down to for me is faith.

    Whenever My laws appear like the sun in the heaven of Mine utterance, they must be faithfully obeyed by all, though My decree be such as to cause the heaven of every religion to be cleft asunder. He doth what He pleaseth. He chooseth; and none may question His choice. Whatsoever He, the Well-Beloved, ordaineth, the same is, verily, beloved. Bahá’u’lláh, The Kitab-i-Aqdas, paragraph 7

  • Anonnymouz

    Hey Craig no hard feelings. I am still one for my baseball analogy. Sorry for being Persian…half actually.

    Take care.

    What is all boils down to for me is faith.

    Whenever My laws appear like the sun in the heaven of Mine utterance, they must be faithfully obeyed by all, though My decree be such as to cause the heaven of every religion to be cleft asunder. He doth what He pleaseth. He chooseth; and none may question His choice. Whatsoever He, the Well-Beloved, ordaineth, the same is, verily, beloved. Bahá’u’lláh, The Kitab-i-Aqdas, paragraph 7

  • p

    What is all boils down to for me is faith.
    —————-
    And what it boils down to me is faith balanced with personal freedom and interpretation in a religion that was not meant to remain stagnant (aka stuck in the writings of one Guardian in history). AND I’m FULLY persian. :o)

  • p

    What is all boils down to for me is faith.
    —————-
    And what it boils down to me is faith balanced with personal freedom and interpretation in a religion that was not meant to remain stagnant (aka stuck in the writings of one Guardian in history). AND I’m FULLY persian. :o)

  • Bird

    My dear Craig

    “If you have any ideas outside of the top down group think you are the enemy of God in the current hyper group think.”

    WOW to your post too. I can’t imagine how a Bahà’í actually feels listening to unbridled feelings. It must make them angry and sad so there really are no winners here. Keep in mind that Bahà’í’s are to worship and pray for the UHJ, the closest living body next to God, you know, they have a red phone in the marble underground vaulted office, direct line access code, that’s what makes them infallible.

    You see the thing is my beloved brother, you and I fell in love with an idea, a dream of unity, peace, kindred ships, like a screen play with a happy ending. Paid our dime to get in but the show wasn’t as good as the book, the usual case… So what do we do now? Rewrite the script? Become critics? Go see another movie?

    You and I my brother, we still love. We can’t loose the idea even is this screen play called the Bahà’í Faith should be shelved. There is a rainbow of hope somewhere and we’ll all find together, a place and time of unity under simple terms and no titles. No rights no wrongs just love and respect.

    We humans have complicated things so greatly.

    Bird in paradise

  • Bird

    My dear Craig

    “If you have any ideas outside of the top down group think you are the enemy of God in the current hyper group think.”

    WOW to your post too. I can’t imagine how a Bahà’í actually feels listening to unbridled feelings. It must make them angry and sad so there really are no winners here. Keep in mind that Bahà’í’s are to worship and pray for the UHJ, the closest living body next to God, you know, they have a red phone in the marble underground vaulted office, direct line access code, that’s what makes them infallible.

    You see the thing is my beloved brother, you and I fell in love with an idea, a dream of unity, peace, kindred ships, like a screen play with a happy ending. Paid our dime to get in but the show wasn’t as good as the book, the usual case… So what do we do now? Rewrite the script? Become critics? Go see another movie?

    You and I my brother, we still love. We can’t loose the idea even is this screen play called the Bahà’í Faith should be shelved. There is a rainbow of hope somewhere and we’ll all find together, a place and time of unity under simple terms and no titles. No rights no wrongs just love and respect.

    We humans have complicated things so greatly.

    Bird in paradise

  • http://ayahuasca.tribe.net/thread/a7b95ff8-bae1-4121-b3f5-5a2b93e9e43b Aurora NUR

    [from moderator: please continue further discussion at other forums - thank you]

    About Aurora Baha, charlatan extraordinairre:

    -
    http://dynamic.boingboing.net/profile/nezzyidy
    February 5, 2008 10:59am

    WARNING: BEWARE AURORA BAHA!

    I attended a gathering by this person and he is creepy. I have friends who have also had bad experiences with him. A large community is now boycotting his ceremonies.

    His name is Francis de La Mazza and he goes by Lobo Siete Truenos. Read this before attending his ceremony.
    He has been caught lying about his past.

    True Scam of the Eagle and the Condor?
    http://ayahuasca.tribe.net/thread/a7b95ff8-bae1-4121-b3f5-5a2b93e9e43b

    also:
    http://singingtotheplants.blogspot.com/

    Singing to the Plants

    Shamanism and the Medicine Path
    Tuesday, February 5, 2008
    Ayahuasca Mainstreamed

    The spirits must have granted me a momentary fit of prescience. On
    February 3, I published a blog post on selling spirituality; on the
    same day, the Los Angeles Times Magazine published an article on a
    self-professed ayahuasquero named Lobo Siete Truenos, or Wolf Seven
    Thunders, and the growing role of ayahuasca in what the article calls
    the “nouveau wealth” of suburban California.

    Truenos has a murky background. He gives, the article says, “few
    straight answers about his background but plenty of mystic filigree.”
    He has founded his own church, which he calls Aurora Bahá, presumably
    to add a semblance of legitimacy to his use of a substance whose
    possession remains — despite the United States Supreme Court ruling
    exempting the União do Vegetal — a felony. Truenos also possesses an
    eagle’s wing. If he is not a Native American, that too is illegal. But his ancestry is as murky as his history: he is, apparently, Dominican, Lebanese, Basque, and Taino. According to an email attributed to him, this means mostly Lebanese.

    Lobo Siete Truenos, Wolf Seven Thunders, also known as Francis de la
    Maza What purports to be email correspondence by Truenos has been published in an online discussion group called the Ayahuasca Tribe. “I am the Keeper of the Fire Bundle of Purification of the Eagle and the Condor,” he wrote, “sometimes referred to as the Altar of Unification and the Altar of the Seven Thunders. This sacred Altar is the Manifestation of a Point of Light, which Point represents the
    Unification of Several Initiatic Currents on this planet.” These
    initiatic currents are, unsurprisingly, united in none other than
    Truenos himself. They are detailed on a Web page he has published,
    where he also calls himself Francis de la Maza, meaning Francis of the Mace, a mestizo curandero, initiated by the Shipibo-Conibo in Brazil.

    But there’s more. He is an Elk Dreamer and Keeper of the Fire of
    Quetzalcoatl, and he has been initiated into the Khemetic Mysteries of Egypt, the Tibetan Buddhist path of Dzogchen, the Gnostic Mysteries of the Rosicrucians, the Yucatec Mayan path of Puts’yaj, and the Yoruba Ifa path of Nigeria as a Babalao. He is clearly a busy guy.

    He also claims to be a pipe carrier of the Yankton Sioux, and to be
    the carrier of a portion of the sacred bundle of Crazy Horse.

    Now, there are thousands of ayahuasqueros who toil in obscurity in the Amazon, providing services to their communities — people of genuine learning, compassion, and integrity. My teacher don Roberto Acho works as a carpenter to support his healing work. But, of course, the Times was not interested in those ayahuasqueros. In fact, it was not all that interested in Seven Thunders. What the article was really interested in was his clientele — that is, the sort of people who read the Los Angeles Times.

    These clients are pretty much as I described them in my post on
    selling spirituality. They are largely white, urban, relatively
    wealthy, and spiritually eclectic . They have no particular
    involvement with the struggles of the indigenous community whose
    healing ceremonies they are purchasing. Their goal is not an increased intellectual or scholarly understanding of the culture from which the ceremony comes, but rather their own personal spiritual growth, healing, and transformative experience. Indeed, the article repeatedly stresses that ayahuasca is the hallucinogen for smart people — liberal thinkers, academics, writers, journalists, psychiatrists, soul-searching intellectuals.

    What are these people looking for? The article quotes one artist — it is not clear whether he is a client of Truenos — as saying that
    “ayahuasca brings your awareness to a place where it’s understood that you are connected to everything on Earth.” Another consumer, a high school math teacher, says that ayahuasca cured his clinical
    depression. He now offers ayahuasca ceremonies himself, for a
    suggested donation ot $75 to $300 per person. Author Graham Hancock
    credits ayahuasca with having improved his life. When pressed for
    details, he says, “I’m a better husband and father.” Truenos himself
    says that ayahuasca is a cure for the “cancer of indifference,” a
    remedy for our “failures in integrity.”

    I am glad that ayahuasca ceremonies are making these people –
    talented, intellectual, privileged, rich — feel better about their
    lives. I hope Truenos has strong protective spirits. I hope la diosa
    holds his clients with compassion. I hope his clients are contributing their talents, their intellects, and their wealth toward the communities from which Truenos claims to have learned to heal.

    Aurora Baha- fire alter of the Eagle and Condor – and the underlying
    political agenda:

    http://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php?title=Plan_Condor (OPERATION
    CONDOR)

  • http://ayahuasca.tribe.net/thread/a7b95ff8-bae1-4121-b3f5-5a2b93e9e43b Aurora NUR

    [from moderator: please continue further discussion at other forums - thank you]

    About Aurora Baha, charlatan extraordinairre:

    -
    http://dynamic.boingboing.net/profile/nezzyidy
    February 5, 2008 10:59am

    WARNING: BEWARE AURORA BAHA!

    I attended a gathering by this person and he is creepy. I have friends who have also had bad experiences with him. A large community is now boycotting his ceremonies.

    His name is Francis de La Mazza and he goes by Lobo Siete Truenos. Read this before attending his ceremony.
    He has been caught lying about his past.

    True Scam of the Eagle and the Condor?
    http://ayahuasca.tribe.net/thread/a7b95ff8-bae1-4121-b3f5-5a2b93e9e43b

    also:
    http://singingtotheplants.blogspot.com/

    Singing to the Plants

    Shamanism and the Medicine Path
    Tuesday, February 5, 2008
    Ayahuasca Mainstreamed

    The spirits must have granted me a momentary fit of prescience. On
    February 3, I published a blog post on selling spirituality; on the
    same day, the Los Angeles Times Magazine published an article on a
    self-professed ayahuasquero named Lobo Siete Truenos, or Wolf Seven
    Thunders, and the growing role of ayahuasca in what the article calls
    the “nouveau wealth” of suburban California.

    Truenos has a murky background. He gives, the article says, “few
    straight answers about his background but plenty of mystic filigree.”
    He has founded his own church, which he calls Aurora Bahá, presumably
    to add a semblance of legitimacy to his use of a substance whose
    possession remains — despite the United States Supreme Court ruling
    exempting the União do Vegetal — a felony. Truenos also possesses an
    eagle’s wing. If he is not a Native American, that too is illegal. But his ancestry is as murky as his history: he is, apparently, Dominican, Lebanese, Basque, and Taino. According to an email attributed to him, this means mostly Lebanese.

    Lobo Siete Truenos, Wolf Seven Thunders, also known as Francis de la
    Maza What purports to be email correspondence by Truenos has been published in an online discussion group called the Ayahuasca Tribe. “I am the Keeper of the Fire Bundle of Purification of the Eagle and the Condor,” he wrote, “sometimes referred to as the Altar of Unification and the Altar of the Seven Thunders. This sacred Altar is the Manifestation of a Point of Light, which Point represents the
    Unification of Several Initiatic Currents on this planet.” These
    initiatic currents are, unsurprisingly, united in none other than
    Truenos himself. They are detailed on a Web page he has published,
    where he also calls himself Francis de la Maza, meaning Francis of the Mace, a mestizo curandero, initiated by the Shipibo-Conibo in Brazil.

    But there’s more. He is an Elk Dreamer and Keeper of the Fire of
    Quetzalcoatl, and he has been initiated into the Khemetic Mysteries of Egypt, the Tibetan Buddhist path of Dzogchen, the Gnostic Mysteries of the Rosicrucians, the Yucatec Mayan path of Puts’yaj, and the Yoruba Ifa path of Nigeria as a Babalao. He is clearly a busy guy.

    He also claims to be a pipe carrier of the Yankton Sioux, and to be
    the carrier of a portion of the sacred bundle of Crazy Horse.

    Now, there are thousands of ayahuasqueros who toil in obscurity in the Amazon, providing services to their communities — people of genuine learning, compassion, and integrity. My teacher don Roberto Acho works as a carpenter to support his healing work. But, of course, the Times was not interested in those ayahuasqueros. In fact, it was not all that interested in Seven Thunders. What the article was really interested in was his clientele — that is, the sort of people who read the Los Angeles Times.

    These clients are pretty much as I described them in my post on
    selling spirituality. They are largely white, urban, relatively
    wealthy, and spiritually eclectic . They have no particular
    involvement with the struggles of the indigenous community whose
    healing ceremonies they are purchasing. Their goal is not an increased intellectual or scholarly understanding of the culture from which the ceremony comes, but rather their own personal spiritual growth, healing, and transformative experience. Indeed, the article repeatedly stresses that ayahuasca is the hallucinogen for smart people — liberal thinkers, academics, writers, journalists, psychiatrists, soul-searching intellectuals.

    What are these people looking for? The article quotes one artist — it is not clear whether he is a client of Truenos — as saying that
    “ayahuasca brings your awareness to a place where it’s understood that you are connected to everything on Earth.” Another consumer, a high school math teacher, says that ayahuasca cured his clinical
    depression. He now offers ayahuasca ceremonies himself, for a
    suggested donation ot $75 to $300 per person. Author Graham Hancock
    credits ayahuasca with having improved his life. When pressed for
    details, he says, “I’m a better husband and father.” Truenos himself
    says that ayahuasca is a cure for the “cancer of indifference,” a
    remedy for our “failures in integrity.”

    I am glad that ayahuasca ceremonies are making these people –
    talented, intellectual, privileged, rich — feel better about their
    lives. I hope Truenos has strong protective spirits. I hope la diosa
    holds his clients with compassion. I hope his clients are contributing their talents, their intellects, and their wealth toward the communities from which Truenos claims to have learned to heal.

    Aurora Baha- fire alter of the Eagle and Condor – and the underlying
    political agenda:

    http://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php?title=Plan_Condor (OPERATION
    CONDOR)

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  • XXXXX XXXXXX

    And last, we were concerned with reputational harm. As I mentioned, we have extensive and longstanding relations with the United Nations, with the White House, with the — with both Houses of Congress, with the human rights community. (WHO RIPS OFF WHOM? WHO DOES FAVORS FOR WHOM? HOW MUCH WAS DONATED TO SOME POLITICAL CAMPAIGNS?). And these are based on principles of peace and cooperation, of universal fellowship, of race unity, of the equality of women and men, and so forth. (SO GOD CREATED SOME PEOPLE SUPERIOR TO OTHERS, THEN SENT BAHALLA'U'LLAH TO UNITE THEM. MAKES ABSOLUTELY NO SENSE – EITHER A GOD WHO HAS NO IDEA OF WHAT HE DOES OR A GOD INVENTED BY THE BAHA'IS). All of the Baha’i principles centered around facilitating unity and cooperation and universal well being and social progress. (UNITY HERE MEANS KEEP YOUR GOB SHUT, DON'T SEE, DON'T TALK, JUST REGURGITATE AND YOU WILL BE FINE. BAHA'U'LLAH MADE SEVERAL MISTAKES WHICH HIS SON AND GRAND SON CONTINUED TO MAKE – DO YOU KNOW WHAT I AM REFERRING TO?

  • XXXXX XXXXXX

    And last, we were concerned with reputational harm. As I mentioned, we have extensive and longstanding relations with the United Nations, with the White House, with the — with both Houses of Congress, with the human rights community. (WHO RIPS OFF WHOM? WHO DOES FAVORS FOR WHOM? HOW MUCH WAS DONATED TO SOME POLITICAL CAMPAIGNS?). And these are based on principles of peace and cooperation, of universal fellowship, of race unity, of the equality of women and men, and so forth. (SO GOD CREATED SOME PEOPLE SUPERIOR TO OTHERS, THEN SENT BAHALLA'U'LLAH TO UNITE THEM. MAKES ABSOLUTELY NO SENSE – EITHER A GOD WHO HAS NO IDEA OF WHAT HE DOES OR A GOD INVENTED BY THE BAHA'IS). All of the Baha’i principles centered around facilitating unity and cooperation and universal well being and social progress. (UNITY HERE MEANS KEEP YOUR GOB SHUT, DON'T SEE, DON'T TALK, JUST REGURGITATE AND YOU WILL BE FINE. BAHA'U'LLAH MADE SEVERAL MISTAKES WHICH HIS SON AND GRAND SON CONTINUED TO MAKE – DO YOU KNOW WHAT I AM REFERRING TO?

  • habibullah

    you can not copyright the door but windows?
    yes you can

    have you bahais read a little about the muhammad??
    alleged rasoul of Allah the rock god of quraish in mecca attached to the kaabah (not even a real cube)

  • Craig Parke

    Hi habibullah,

    The mystical esoteric systems of cosmic insight encoded in the religions of the Middle East is completely over the heads of the peoples of those lands. It is all also completely over the heads of the fundamentalists of Western lands.

    But these people are on the case doing a good job. there are many others.

    http://www.abwoon.com/shop/

    http://www.uga.edu/islam/Sufism.html

    I say every soul born onto this planet committed some terrible crime somewhere else in the Universe and was sent here for remedial soul work. So far this theory is holding up quite well right up to this very second.

    Perhaps Zecharia Sitchin is right (Google him). It was all a genetic experiment conducted by extraterrestrials 400,000 years ago gone horribly wrong. The DNA of the peoples of the Middle East was too close to the lab when it all went horribly wrong. The rest of us were a little saner because we were far from the epicenter mining gold. His books are starting to make sense.

    How else can anyone explain the mentality of “religious” nut jobs in the Middle East killing each other in the name of their “God”? How else can anyone explain the thought police fundamentalists of apparently all organized religious systems?

    Perhaps the whole organized religion “Messiah” trigger factor is just an encoded DNA time bomb worked in by lowest bid contractors on some interplanetary government project contract from another planet 400,000 years ago? Somehow the code was not tested properly in a rush job to roll out the deployment? As a software engineer, this theory makes a lot of sense. It certainly explains a lot of the derangement on this planet. This is a world of incredibly impaired people who cannot think straight and cannot think for themselves.

    So it goes.

  • sigh

    man. this really upset me at first. but then i realized that you're just a hater. you got the high score in hater-ball. level 8 and all the upgrades! you take the hate cake.

  • Craig Parke

    sign,

    Could you explain your comment? I don't understand what you are saying? This seems to be some kind of “gamer” talk with “hater-ball level 8″ and what not. We need a generational translation. What exactly are you talking about and to whom is your comment addressed?

  • sigh

    man. this really upset me at first. but then i realized that you're just a hater. you got the high score in hater-ball. level 8 and all the upgrades! you take the hate cake.

  • Craig Parke

    sign,

    Could you explain your comment? I don't understand what you are saying? This seems to be some kind of “gamer” talk with “hater-ball level 8″ and what not. We need a generational translation. What exactly are you talking about and to whom is your comment addressed?

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  • Ian

    You have stated, “So there will always be people who are dumb enough to mistake the insane, bombastic rhetoric that can be found on the Orthodox Baha’i websites (like the 9/11 towers in flames with horrible predictions of apocalypse or worse). ”

    Unfortunately, this is not a teaching of the Orthodox Baha’is but of Leland Jensens group in Montana.

    However, overall article was very good and even handed otherwise.

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  • Dick_bush_colon

    how the hell this is connetect to Islam

  • Huh

    People that usually drink lots of tea? Eat rice? Pick their noses? Pass gas?

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  • tactfulowl

    It was an extremely dumb lawsuit. First, the Orthodox Baha’i Faith is infinitesimal with less than 40 members worldwide! This sect will no longer exist in a generation or two. Bringing attention to this group only makes the Baha’is look small and tyrannical. Before the lawsuit the sect’s website probably had less than 60 page-views (lol 40 by their members) a year. Now readers of the Chicago Tribune have view their website!

  • Hoda Mazloomian

    I was trying to find the facts for myself. I found your disrespectful manner and undercurrent of anger very distracting and unhelpful. Your trivialize your own arguments by the rude manner in which you present them. The effect is that the reader can have not have any faith in what you say because you are just another partisan in this issue with an axe to grind.