What do Baha’is do?

So you’re dying to know what it is that Baha’is actually do?

Well, this website wants to answer you with several video interviews.

They are about the Ruhi sequence of courses and the different activities attached to them such as Junior Youth Groups (Book 5) and devotionals, etc.

There are more than a dozen videos, and they are in both English and French. Here is one of them:

  • Craig Parke

    My OFFICIAL “Youth Animator” in my youth was an old Sargent from the old brown shoe U.S. Army of the Pacific Theater in WWII (where my Father was for 18 months himself in WWII) who said to me in his class when I went through basic training in the hot and dusty summer of 1966 at Ft. Knox Kentucky “SON, LEARN THIS (WHAT HE HAD TO TEACH IN HIS CLASS ABOUT STEALTH MOVEMENT IN A JUNGLE) OR *** YOU WILL BE KILLED ***”. It immediately concentrated my mind and focus back then as a 19 year old male.

    My UNOFFICIAL “Youth Animator” back then was MYSELF when I first saw 300 tanks and APC’s to the horizon on a road in a training exercise. It was an incredible, absolutely cosmicly awesome scene and has stayed with me all these years. The awesome spectacle of pure, raw, killing military force.

    I joined the Baha’i Faith in 1971 after I survived military service in the U.S. Army because I thought the Baha’i Faith was anti-war and served it faithfully in back breaking dedicated service until 2004 when I found out it was really pro-war and pro-the-use-of-military-force in Iraq to solve problems in the world as long as Baha’is do NOT have to serve and do NOT have to do the actual killing THEMSELVES. They are just to stand by and wait like vultures to pick over the sacrifice of the dead in “doing God’s work” so they can have their “Kingdom”. It was then after 32 years I realized I could no longer sit in the same room with people who allowed their religion to be spiritually sodomized so brutally by it’s leadership like this.

    Instead of eating or smoking the Ruhi Books, this girl should be on the next levy to Iraq in the new pro-war Baha’i Faith.

    She can learn all about the real world there guarding a checkpoint and having the person next to her get shot right through the head by a sniper.

    She will then learn the hard way that the Baha’is have NEVER done a thing in 86 years to reach the soldiers of the nations in the sorry, sorry, sorry history of the hapless Administrative Order of the professional psychological self identity cadre Baha’i Faith.

    The world has been DESTROYED TWICE in TWO World Wars and the failure of the Baha’is to perform at any level in reaching soldiers over all these decades of carnage is astonishing.

    Maybe after she serves and makes it back alive she can go to LSA meeting armed to the teeth and get the idiots running the Baha’i Faith to actually think and consult at gun point to confront the real issues in the world instead of these Works Progress Administration make work projects like the entire Universe is some endless Summer Camp or endless make work Craft Projects.

    Get to a VA hospital, sister, or start packing an M-16 in Iraq or Afghanistan. Get out of your soft little Middle Class life comfort zone. Get sent to kill or be killed along with everyone else on Earth because the Baha’is of the world cannot teach their religion out of a paper bag for 86 years and counting because it has always been in the hands of people who have zero real life experience.

    Young people in the Baha’i Faith whould be much better off with other kids from every background in the Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts to learn moral character. We should also have a basic catechism class for them too.

    “Junior Youth Animator” – who in the hell makes this stuff up?

  • Craig Parke

    My OFFICIAL “Youth Animator” in my youth was an old Sargent from the old brown shoe U.S. Army of the Pacific Theater in WWII (where my Father was for 18 months himself in WWII) who said to me in his class when I went through basic training in the hot and dusty summer of 1966 at Ft. Knox Kentucky “SON, LEARN THIS (WHAT HE HAD TO TEACH IN HIS CLASS ABOUT STEALTH MOVEMENT IN A JUNGLE) OR *** YOU WILL BE KILLED ***”. It immediately concentrated my mind and focus back then as a 19 year old male.

    My UNOFFICIAL “Youth Animator” back then was MYSELF when I first saw 300 tanks and APC’s to the horizon on a road in a training exercise. It was an incredible, absolutely cosmicly awesome scene and has stayed with me all these years. The awesome spectacle of pure, raw, killing military force.

    I joined the Baha’i Faith in 1971 after I survived military service in the U.S. Army because I thought the Baha’i Faith was anti-war and served it faithfully in back breaking dedicated service until 2004 when I found out it was really pro-war and pro-the-use-of-military-force in Iraq to solve problems in the world as long as Baha’is do NOT have to serve and do NOT have to do the actual killing THEMSELVES. They are just to stand by and wait like vultures to pick over the sacrifice of the dead in “doing God’s work” so they can have their “Kingdom”. It was then after 32 years I realized I could no longer sit in the same room with people who allowed their religion to be spiritually sodomized so brutally by it’s leadership like this.

    Instead of eating or smoking the Ruhi Books, this girl should be on the next levy to Iraq in the new pro-war Baha’i Faith.

    She can learn all about the real world there guarding a checkpoint and having the person next to her get shot right through the head by a sniper.

    She will then learn the hard way that the Baha’is have NEVER done a thing in 86 years to reach the soldiers of the nations in the sorry, sorry, sorry history of the hapless Administrative Order of the professional psychological self identity cadre Baha’i Faith.

    The world has been DESTROYED TWICE in TWO World Wars and the failure of the Baha’is to perform at any level in reaching soldiers over all these decades of carnage is astonishing.

    Maybe after she serves and makes it back alive she can go to LSA meeting armed to the teeth and get the idiots running the Baha’i Faith to actually think and consult at gun point to confront the real issues in the world instead of these Works Progress Administration make work projects like the entire Universe is some endless Summer Camp or endless make work Craft Projects.

    Get to a VA hospital, sister, or start packing an M-16 in Iraq or Afghanistan. Get out of your soft little Middle Class life comfort zone. Get sent to kill or be killed along with everyone else on Earth because the Baha’is of the world cannot teach their religion out of a paper bag for 86 years and counting because it has always been in the hands of people who have zero real life experience.

    Young people in the Baha’i Faith whould be much better off with other kids from every background in the Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts to learn moral character. We should also have a basic catechism class for them too.

    “Junior Youth Animator” – who in the hell makes this stuff up?

  • Grover

    All sounds great and innocuous, especially the girl on transforming neighbourhoods, unless you have first hand experience with the courses.

    Elevating or transforming = 1) you do Ruhi and 2) you become a Baha’i all the while munching enthusiastically on the “healing medicine of Baha’u’llah” until its spilling out of every orifice, then 3) sit back and wonder why your Baha’i community is so munted.

  • Grover

    All sounds great and innocuous, especially the girl on transforming neighbourhoods, unless you have first hand experience with the courses.

    Elevating or transforming = 1) you do Ruhi and 2) you become a Baha’i all the while munching enthusiastically on the “healing medicine of Baha’u’llah” until its spilling out of every orifice, then 3) sit back and wonder why your Baha’i community is so munted.

  • Craig Parke

    [quote comment=""]All sounds great and innocuous, especially the girl on transforming neighbourhoods, unless you have first hand experience with the courses.

    Elevating or transforming = 1) you do Ruhi and 2) you become a Baha’i all the while munching enthusiastically on the “healing medicine of Baha’u’llah” until its spilling out of every orifice, then 3) sit back and wonder why your Baha’i community is so munted.[/quote]

    Thanks Grover for increasing my vocabulary. I had to look up the word “MUNTED” on the Internet. I thought you had a typo and I was a bit mystified. It is apparently new Urban lingo and I was NOT up to speed on this word. Now I am clued in and up to date! With the situation in Iraq and the situation in the Baha’i Faith this is a very useful word!

    http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=munted

    In fact, this word could have real daily use for the foreseeable future and perhaps for centuries to come unless people start taking PERSONAL RESPONSIBILITY in ELECTORAL PROCESSES *** EVERYWHERE *** on Earth.

  • Craig Parke

    [quote comment=""]All sounds great and innocuous, especially the girl on transforming neighbourhoods, unless you have first hand experience with the courses.

    Elevating or transforming = 1) you do Ruhi and 2) you become a Baha’i all the while munching enthusiastically on the “healing medicine of Baha’u’llah” until its spilling out of every orifice, then 3) sit back and wonder why your Baha’i community is so munted.[/quote]

    Thanks Grover for increasing my vocabulary. I had to look up the word “MUNTED” on the Internet. I thought you had a typo and I was a bit mystified. It is apparently new Urban lingo and I was NOT up to speed on this word. Now I am clued in and up to date! With the situation in Iraq and the situation in the Baha’i Faith this is a very useful word!

    http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=munted

    In fact, this word could have real daily use for the foreseeable future and perhaps for centuries to come unless people start taking PERSONAL RESPONSIBILITY in ELECTORAL PROCESSES *** EVERYWHERE *** on Earth.

  • Andrew

    What do Baha’is (or is that Bahais) do?

    What do Jews do? What do Christians do?

    Which Jews? Which Christians? Which Baha’is?

    What do they do? Well, among other things, they fight, among themselves.

    I’ve just read that the Wilmette NSA’s contempt motion has failed against the Orthodox Baha’is.

    While I’m not particularly sympathetic to the cause of the Orthodox Baha’is (same sh*t, different flies), or any other Baha’i sect for that matter, I think it’s wonderful that the court has ruled in favor of the Orthodox Baha’is. This means, in effect, that Haifa has no monopoly on who can call him- or herself a Baha’i, nor does it have a monopoly on what constitutes (or who defines) the Baha’i religion.

    If indeed the unenrolled Baha’is worldwide are surely the most fruitful target for declarations, perhaps some of them might wish to enroll in one of these other (non-Haifan) Baha’i organizations? Just a thought.

    Congratulations, Orthodox Baha’is. Considering the amount of money spent waging holy war against you, you deserve to enjoy your victory.

  • Andrew

    What do Baha’is (or is that Bahais) do?

    What do Jews do? What do Christians do?

    Which Jews? Which Christians? Which Baha’is?

    What do they do? Well, among other things, they fight, among themselves.

    I’ve just read that the Wilmette NSA’s contempt motion has failed against the Orthodox Baha’is.

    While I’m not particularly sympathetic to the cause of the Orthodox Baha’is (same sh*t, different flies), or any other Baha’i sect for that matter, I think it’s wonderful that the court has ruled in favor of the Orthodox Baha’is. This means, in effect, that Haifa has no monopoly on who can call him- or herself a Baha’i, nor does it have a monopoly on what constitutes (or who defines) the Baha’i religion.

    If indeed the unenrolled Baha’is worldwide are surely the most fruitful target for declarations, perhaps some of them might wish to enroll in one of these other (non-Haifan) Baha’i organizations? Just a thought.

    Congratulations, Orthodox Baha’is. Considering the amount of money spent waging holy war against you, you deserve to enjoy your victory.

  • Carmen

    Andrew wrote:

    “What do Jews do? What do Christians do?
    Which Jews? Which Christians? Which Baha’is?
    What do they do? Well, among other things, they fight, among themselves.”

    Christians, Jews, Moselms, Bahais, Buddhists, Hindus and members of several other religions are not perfect. Many try to live good lives but they are human and do not always succeed.

    What about atheists? Do you also condemn my good friends who are atheists and who are living decent lives because of the atrocities committed in the name of atheistic materialistic regimes? Do you know that the Maoist, Stalinist, Pol Pot and other atheistic leaders and their millions of fellow believers are responsible for the deaths of tens of millions of people and some of the most brutal suffering and genocide of the 20th century? Does that make all atheists bad? No. But you choose to focus exclusively on the defects of Baha’is, Christians, etc. I suggest you read, among other books, Jung Chang’s “Wild Swans” for a truly heart wrenching look at human suffering under an atheist totalitarian regime.

    Why not try to consider the many positive effects of Bahais, Christians (e.g. as is clear from the lives of people like Martin Luther King and Mother Teresa), Hinduism (Mahatma Ghandi), etc.? You can always cherry pick and choose to see only a half empty glass. I prefer to see a glass that is also half full.

    Carmen

  • Carmen

    Andrew wrote:

    “What do Jews do? What do Christians do?
    Which Jews? Which Christians? Which Baha’is?
    What do they do? Well, among other things, they fight, among themselves.”

    Christians, Jews, Moselms, Bahais, Buddhists, Hindus and members of several other religions are not perfect. Many try to live good lives but they are human and do not always succeed.

    What about atheists? Do you also condemn my good friends who are atheists and who are living decent lives because of the atrocities committed in the name of atheistic materialistic regimes? Do you know that the Maoist, Stalinist, Pol Pot and other atheistic leaders and their millions of fellow believers are responsible for the deaths of tens of millions of people and some of the most brutal suffering and genocide of the 20th century? Does that make all atheists bad? No. But you choose to focus exclusively on the defects of Baha’is, Christians, etc. I suggest you read, among other books, Jung Chang’s “Wild Swans” for a truly heart wrenching look at human suffering under an atheist totalitarian regime.

    Why not try to consider the many positive effects of Bahais, Christians (e.g. as is clear from the lives of people like Martin Luther King and Mother Teresa), Hinduism (Mahatma Ghandi), etc.? You can always cherry pick and choose to see only a half empty glass. I prefer to see a glass that is also half full.

    Carmen

  • Carmen

    p.s. I forgot to refer you, Andrew, to former Regius Professor of Divinity at Oxford Keith Ward’s “Is Religion Dangerous?”

    As I said, you can keep the blinkers on and choose to see only the bad or you can accept that religion and religious people is responsible for many positive things.

    Carmen

  • Carmen

    p.s. I forgot to refer you, Andrew, to former Regius Professor of Divinity at Oxford Keith Ward’s “Is Religion Dangerous?”

    As I said, you can keep the blinkers on and choose to see only the bad or you can accept that religion and religious people is responsible for many positive things.

    Carmen

  • Grover

    Craig wrote:

    [quote comment=""]Thanks Grover for increasing my vocabulary. I had to look up the word ?MUNTED? on the Internet. I thought you had a typo and I was a bit mystified. It is apparently new Urban lingo and I was NOT up to speed on this word. Now I am clued in and up to date! With the situation in Iraq and the situation in the Baha’i Faith this is a very useful word![/quote]

    No worries!

  • Grover

    Craig wrote:

    [quote comment=""]Thanks Grover for increasing my vocabulary. I had to look up the word ?MUNTED? on the Internet. I thought you had a typo and I was a bit mystified. It is apparently new Urban lingo and I was NOT up to speed on this word. Now I am clued in and up to date! With the situation in Iraq and the situation in the Baha’i Faith this is a very useful word![/quote]

    No worries!

  • Andrew

    Carmen wrote:

    “Christians, Jews, Moselms, Bahais, Buddhists, Hindus and members of several other religions are not perfect.”

    That’s no excuse for willful ignorance or misrepresentation, Carmen. When Christians, Jews, Muslims, Baha’is, Buddhists, and Hindus make stupid statements and engage in duplicitous practices, they will be called on it. The free ride is over. It’s called post-modernism. Deal with it.

    Or better yet, plan to see Bill Maher’s upcoming film, RELIGULOUS.

    “What about atheists? Do you also condemn my good friends who are atheists and who are living decent lives because of the atrocities committed in the name of atheistic materialistic regimes?”

    Atheism is the fastest-growing belief system in the world, Carmen, and I hope that it continues to grow quickly. Not quickly enough, in my opinion. I like atheists. I wish there were more of them. I also like rationalists and secular humanists. Quite a lot, actually.

    “Do you know that the Maoist, Stalinist, Pol Pot and other atheistic leaders and their millions of fellow believers are responsible for the deaths of tens of millions of people and some of the most brutal suffering and genocide of the 20th century? Does that make all atheists bad?”

    You’ve just contradicted yourself and made my argument for me: “and their millions of fellow BELIEVERS.” Maoism, Stalinism, etc., are DOGMATIC BELIEF SYSTEMS, which is what they share in common with DOGMATIC RELIGIONS. Just because they don’t believe in an imaginary friend doesn’t mean they’re not equally as dangerous and duplicitous.

    “No. But you choose to focus exclusively on the defects of Baha’is, Christians, etc.”

    You’re being duplicitous here, Carmen. Why am I not surprised? I do not “choose” to “focus exclusively” on the “defects” of Bahais, Christians, etc., but it was clever of you to try to characterize my comments that way. Oh, the ruses of the devout. Nice try. I’m sure you’ve convinced yourself and your fellow believers, but anyone with an ounce of common sense wouldn’t be taken in. The fact of the matter is that the Haifan Bahais chose to spend big bucks prosecuting the other Baha’i groups. Oh, and by the way, THEY LOST.

    “Why not try to consider the many positive effects of Bahais, Christians (e.g. as is clear from the lives of people like Martin Luther King and Mother Teresa), Hinduism (Mahatma Ghandi), etc.?”

    Carmen, don’t bother preaching. I have a degree in comparative religion and a history of involvement with many different faith communities. That doesn’t mean I’m blind to their shortcomings. In your view of things, it seems that any criticism of the racism, sexism, homophobia (hello Baha’is!), etc. of various religions is just plain nasty. One should never critique religion. Well, too bad. The world doesn’t work that way any more.

    Oh, and by the way, for the record: I have no issue with Reform and Reconstructionist Jews, who have repented of their sexism and their homophobia; I have no issue with liberal Protestant Christians, who have repented of their sexism and homophobia; I have no issue with progressive Muslims or Hindus or Buddhists who have done likewise. I don’t criticize these liberal faith communities (or, as some Baha’i apologists like to call them, these “degenerate pseudo-religions”): they’ve already engaged in the hard work of institutional criticism and have completely overhauled their former patriarchal heterosexist belief systems. What I don’t see is the Baha’is doing that. I don’t expect them to, either, because I don’t believe that Baha’ism is a legitimate world religion. I think it’s a cult: a high functioning one, but still a cult. It will cease to be a cult when it fully engages with modernity, as many other sects have successfully done.

  • Andrew

    Carmen wrote:

    “Christians, Jews, Moselms, Bahais, Buddhists, Hindus and members of several other religions are not perfect.”

    That’s no excuse for willful ignorance or misrepresentation, Carmen. When Christians, Jews, Muslims, Baha’is, Buddhists, and Hindus make stupid statements and engage in duplicitous practices, they will be called on it. The free ride is over. It’s called post-modernism. Deal with it.

    Or better yet, plan to see Bill Maher’s upcoming film, RELIGULOUS.

    “What about atheists? Do you also condemn my good friends who are atheists and who are living decent lives because of the atrocities committed in the name of atheistic materialistic regimes?”

    Atheism is the fastest-growing belief system in the world, Carmen, and I hope that it continues to grow quickly. Not quickly enough, in my opinion. I like atheists. I wish there were more of them. I also like rationalists and secular humanists. Quite a lot, actually.

    “Do you know that the Maoist, Stalinist, Pol Pot and other atheistic leaders and their millions of fellow believers are responsible for the deaths of tens of millions of people and some of the most brutal suffering and genocide of the 20th century? Does that make all atheists bad?”

    You’ve just contradicted yourself and made my argument for me: “and their millions of fellow BELIEVERS.” Maoism, Stalinism, etc., are DOGMATIC BELIEF SYSTEMS, which is what they share in common with DOGMATIC RELIGIONS. Just because they don’t believe in an imaginary friend doesn’t mean they’re not equally as dangerous and duplicitous.

    “No. But you choose to focus exclusively on the defects of Baha’is, Christians, etc.”

    You’re being duplicitous here, Carmen. Why am I not surprised? I do not “choose” to “focus exclusively” on the “defects” of Bahais, Christians, etc., but it was clever of you to try to characterize my comments that way. Oh, the ruses of the devout. Nice try. I’m sure you’ve convinced yourself and your fellow believers, but anyone with an ounce of common sense wouldn’t be taken in. The fact of the matter is that the Haifan Bahais chose to spend big bucks prosecuting the other Baha’i groups. Oh, and by the way, THEY LOST.

    “Why not try to consider the many positive effects of Bahais, Christians (e.g. as is clear from the lives of people like Martin Luther King and Mother Teresa), Hinduism (Mahatma Ghandi), etc.?”

    Carmen, don’t bother preaching. I have a degree in comparative religion and a history of involvement with many different faith communities. That doesn’t mean I’m blind to their shortcomings. In your view of things, it seems that any criticism of the racism, sexism, homophobia (hello Baha’is!), etc. of various religions is just plain nasty. One should never critique religion. Well, too bad. The world doesn’t work that way any more.

    Oh, and by the way, for the record: I have no issue with Reform and Reconstructionist Jews, who have repented of their sexism and their homophobia; I have no issue with liberal Protestant Christians, who have repented of their sexism and homophobia; I have no issue with progressive Muslims or Hindus or Buddhists who have done likewise. I don’t criticize these liberal faith communities (or, as some Baha’i apologists like to call them, these “degenerate pseudo-religions”): they’ve already engaged in the hard work of institutional criticism and have completely overhauled their former patriarchal heterosexist belief systems. What I don’t see is the Baha’is doing that. I don’t expect them to, either, because I don’t believe that Baha’ism is a legitimate world religion. I think it’s a cult: a high functioning one, but still a cult. It will cease to be a cult when it fully engages with modernity, as many other sects have successfully done.

  • Bird out of the Cage

    Wow Andrew I really love your spirit and your intellect as well! It is a breath of fresh air in a stuffy room in my brain of conceptions of G-d and my recent departure from the BF.

    I’ve sat back and thought how grateful I am that I did take the journey that lead me to the fork in the road that I stood in not so long ago. You were there when I expressed my anguish, the come down from the ?munted? state I was in, detox what indeed a bit-h, but I got by with a little help from some cyber friends.

    I too share in the triumph of the Orthodox Bah?’?, as well not a supporter of their cause. It was a ridiculous measure in the first place to fight for the right to use a word that should have never been created, ?Bah?’??. A ?label? created to unite that was destined from inception to always and forever serve only to divide.

    What does any person do who teaches a label that divides really ever achieve but more division. There are good inherent qualities in all humans labeled or not, the label didn’t give these qualities, life iself does.

    The age of innocence has long departed but I still find a gentle breeze of an affinity for the Bah?’? who serve at the lower level, the worker bee, aka ground level ?animator? such as the lovely young lady in the video. In her heart she serves for her love for G-d and if it is reciprocated by her proudly wearing label Bah?’?, I wish her much success in her endeavors.

    Any means to keep faith, hope and love alive in a world so filled with doubt, despair, and hate is progress.

    I agree with you Craig as well, my kindred beloved cosmic connection, the shame in not raising young people to honor, protect & serve their country, yet allow someone else to do it for them is abominable. The classic scene from the clip, Bah?’?’s in my Backyard, was the scene with the young Israeli armed woman protecting the gate, what a wake up call.

  • Bird out of the Cage

    Wow Andrew I really love your spirit and your intellect as well! It is a breath of fresh air in a stuffy room in my brain of conceptions of G-d and my recent departure from the BF.

    I’ve sat back and thought how grateful I am that I did take the journey that lead me to the fork in the road that I stood in not so long ago. You were there when I expressed my anguish, the come down from the ?munted? state I was in, detox what indeed a bit-h, but I got by with a little help from some cyber friends.

    I too share in the triumph of the Orthodox Bah?’?, as well not a supporter of their cause. It was a ridiculous measure in the first place to fight for the right to use a word that should have never been created, ?Bah?’??. A ?label? created to unite that was destined from inception to always and forever serve only to divide.

    What does any person do who teaches a label that divides really ever achieve but more division. There are good inherent qualities in all humans labeled or not, the label didn’t give these qualities, life iself does.

    The age of innocence has long departed but I still find a gentle breeze of an affinity for the Bah?’? who serve at the lower level, the worker bee, aka ground level ?animator? such as the lovely young lady in the video. In her heart she serves for her love for G-d and if it is reciprocated by her proudly wearing label Bah?’?, I wish her much success in her endeavors.

    Any means to keep faith, hope and love alive in a world so filled with doubt, despair, and hate is progress.

    I agree with you Craig as well, my kindred beloved cosmic connection, the shame in not raising young people to honor, protect & serve their country, yet allow someone else to do it for them is abominable. The classic scene from the clip, Bah?’?’s in my Backyard, was the scene with the young Israeli armed woman protecting the gate, what a wake up call.

  • Carmen

    Andrew wrote: “I don’t believe that Baha’ism is a legitimate world religion. I think it’s a cult..”

    You are entitled to your views but having a degree in comparative religion does not exempt you from erroneus conclusions nor does it exempt you from the type of prejudice Keith Ward brilliantly delineates in Is Religion Dangerous? I strongly recommend you read as a scholar with “a degree in comparative religion.” Several experts in the field of comparative religion have come to the conclusion that the Baha’i Faith is not a sect or cult but an independent religion. Even in countries where the faith has experienced repression, this fact has been acknowledged. It is precisely because the Faith is an independent religion that it is so persecuted in Iran. In Egypt in the 1920s, for example, a landmark ruling by a Sunni court in Egypt ruled that the Baha’i Faith is an independent religion and not part of Islam. Further, as an expert on comparative religion youare undoubtedly aware that several mainstream religions were referred to as cults and sects (including early Christians) before they were acknowledged as independent religions.

    Frankly, you throw the word cult around very loosely. The ease with which people can leave the Faith and such requirements as non-Baha’i parents giving consent for marriage certainly takes the rung from under the ladder of your descriptor since the isolating mechanism which is a key element of a cult is absent in the Baha’i Faith. On the other hand, perhaps as a scholar of comparative religion you are unaware that there is disagreement among scholars re usage of the term so you are using a descripiton we would both agree on? http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ “Some anthropologists and sociologists studying cults have argued that no one has yet been able to define ?cult? in a way that enables the term to identify only groups that have been identified as problematic.”

    “I don’t criticize these liberal faith communities ..”
    Precisely my point. You do NOT criticize whatever convemniently fits with your narrow post-modernist definition of what a religion should be. Post-modernism has some value but it is very far from being the litmus test by which everything should be judged.That is a sign of very shallow scholarship and it has certainly been challenged by eminent schloars as you are no doubt aware. Just because many religions, religious practices and believers do not conform to your post-modernist prejudices and bias does not diminish them in the least.

    ” The fact of the matter is that the Haifan Bahais chose to spend big bucks prosecuting the other Baha’i groups. Oh, and by the way, THEY LOST.” Yes, you already stated that. There is nothing wrong with taking a legitimate case before a court. This was done recently in Egypt when a repressive system was being introduced against the Bahais and the Faith ulimately prevailed. In the case you refer to a Judge decided based on the evidence available so what’s the big deal if he ruled against the Baha’is you hate so much? You trumpet “lost” as if it was some sort of major milestone or death knell..be careful …an appeal decision might come back to haunt you.

    “You’ve just contradicted yourself and made my argument for me: ?and their millions of fellow BELIEVERS.? Maoism, Stalinism, etc., are DOGMATIC BELIEF SYSTEMS…”
    I have not contradicted myself. The point I am making is that atheists who love to criticize religions EXCLUSIVELY for being irrational, dogmatic, dangerous, etc. are just as quite capable of believing in and following erroneous atheistic ideologies which result in terrible harm to other people.

    “Carmen, don’t bother preaching.”
    When I mak epoints it’s preaching…are you not preaching the post-modern belief system which is so dogmnatic that it condems as false and cultic anything that does not conform to its norms? Having a degree in comparative religion does not make you any ore immune to error than my atheist friends and acquaintances as well as atheist scholars like Dawkins. Your supposedly rational enlightened views are just as fervently held as some religious beliefs! Scholarship is an ongoing process and what several generations of f post-modernists believes is right might well, based on the hiostory of scholarship and the discarding of previously similarly fervently held views, come to be regarded by future generations (already some in the current one) as erroneus.

    “Atheism is the fastest-growing belief system in the world, Carmen…” Could you cite some data for me which would supposrt this? I know that the number of unaffiliated has grown fast in the US and Canada but this does not make them atheists. Moreover, the world is a big place and data for Third Wold and other countries does not seem to me to support your position but I would be happy to stand corrected by global census figures which support your claim.

    In any case, fast growth is no indication of superiority or validity or truth. I can think of several belief systems which grew very fast demographically from the late 19th through mid to late 1980s which are now largely discredited and abandoned.

    Speaking of abandoning atheism, a Christian friend brought to my attention the fact that one of the 20th centruy’s most prominent atheists/philosophers is now a Deist. Of course, his belief in a First Cause, arrived at by new scientific evidence and logic, is quite different from the Abrahamic religious sense (http://www.amazon.com/There-God-Notorious-Atheist-Changed/dp/0061335290/ref=pd_bbs_sr_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1209108178&sr=8-1 ). I would not be surprised to see some of the fast growing atheists group change to his point of view as they become aware of the scientific evidence which caused fFlew to change his mind!

    As Flew stated in 2004: “a deity or a ‘super-intelligence’ [is] the only good explanation for the origin of life and the complexity of nature.” “I now realize that I have made a fool of myself by believing that there were no presentable theories of the development of inanimate matter up to the first living creature capable of reproduction.” w He blamed his error on being “misled” by Richard Dawkins, claiming Dawkins “has never been reported as referring to any promising work on the production of a theory of the development of living matter”.

    Flew has rejected Dawkins effort to argue in The God Delusion that the origin of life can be attributed to a “lucky chance.” he points out that “If that’s the best argument you have, then the game is over.”

    As a comparative religion scholar you are undoubtedly aware how religions change (including your favored liberal examples). Atheists change their views too and Flew certainly isn’t the only one – just one of the most famous and eminent.

    Carmen

  • Carmen

    Andrew wrote: “I don’t believe that Baha’ism is a legitimate world religion. I think it’s a cult..”

    You are entitled to your views but having a degree in comparative religion does not exempt you from erroneus conclusions nor does it exempt you from the type of prejudice Keith Ward brilliantly delineates in Is Religion Dangerous? I strongly recommend you read as a scholar with “a degree in comparative religion.” Several experts in the field of comparative religion have come to the conclusion that the Baha’i Faith is not a sect or cult but an independent religion. Even in countries where the faith has experienced repression, this fact has been acknowledged. It is precisely because the Faith is an independent religion that it is so persecuted in Iran. In Egypt in the 1920s, for example, a landmark ruling by a Sunni court in Egypt ruled that the Baha’i Faith is an independent religion and not part of Islam. Further, as an expert on comparative religion youare undoubtedly aware that several mainstream religions were referred to as cults and sects (including early Christians) before they were acknowledged as independent religions.

    Frankly, you throw the word cult around very loosely. The ease with which people can leave the Faith and such requirements as non-Baha’i parents giving consent for marriage certainly takes the rung from under the ladder of your descriptor since the isolating mechanism which is a key element of a cult is absent in the Baha’i Faith. On the other hand, perhaps as a scholar of comparative religion you are unaware that there is disagreement among scholars re usage of the term so you are using a descripiton we would both agree on? http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ “Some anthropologists and sociologists studying cults have argued that no one has yet been able to define ?cult? in a way that enables the term to identify only groups that have been identified as problematic.”

    “I don’t criticize these liberal faith communities ..”
    Precisely my point. You do NOT criticize whatever convemniently fits with your narrow post-modernist definition of what a religion should be. Post-modernism has some value but it is very far from being the litmus test by which everything should be judged.That is a sign of very shallow scholarship and it has certainly been challenged by eminent schloars as you are no doubt aware. Just because many religions, religious practices and believers do not conform to your post-modernist prejudices and bias does not diminish them in the least.

    ” The fact of the matter is that the Haifan Bahais chose to spend big bucks prosecuting the other Baha’i groups. Oh, and by the way, THEY LOST.” Yes, you already stated that. There is nothing wrong with taking a legitimate case before a court. This was done recently in Egypt when a repressive system was being introduced against the Bahais and the Faith ulimately prevailed. In the case you refer to a Judge decided based on the evidence available so what’s the big deal if he ruled against the Baha’is you hate so much? You trumpet “lost” as if it was some sort of major milestone or death knell..be careful …an appeal decision might come back to haunt you.

    “You’ve just contradicted yourself and made my argument for me: ?and their millions of fellow BELIEVERS.? Maoism, Stalinism, etc., are DOGMATIC BELIEF SYSTEMS…”
    I have not contradicted myself. The point I am making is that atheists who love to criticize religions EXCLUSIVELY for being irrational, dogmatic, dangerous, etc. are just as quite capable of believing in and following erroneous atheistic ideologies which result in terrible harm to other people.

    “Carmen, don’t bother preaching.”
    When I mak epoints it’s preaching…are you not preaching the post-modern belief system which is so dogmnatic that it condems as false and cultic anything that does not conform to its norms? Having a degree in comparative religion does not make you any ore immune to error than my atheist friends and acquaintances as well as atheist scholars like Dawkins. Your supposedly rational enlightened views are just as fervently held as some religious beliefs! Scholarship is an ongoing process and what several generations of f post-modernists believes is right might well, based on the hiostory of scholarship and the discarding of previously similarly fervently held views, come to be regarded by future generations (already some in the current one) as erroneus.

    “Atheism is the fastest-growing belief system in the world, Carmen…” Could you cite some data for me which would supposrt this? I know that the number of unaffiliated has grown fast in the US and Canada but this does not make them atheists. Moreover, the world is a big place and data for Third Wold and other countries does not seem to me to support your position but I would be happy to stand corrected by global census figures which support your claim.

    In any case, fast growth is no indication of superiority or validity or truth. I can think of several belief systems which grew very fast demographically from the late 19th through mid to late 1980s which are now largely discredited and abandoned.

    Speaking of abandoning atheism, a Christian friend brought to my attention the fact that one of the 20th centruy’s most prominent atheists/philosophers is now a Deist. Of course, his belief in a First Cause, arrived at by new scientific evidence and logic, is quite different from the Abrahamic religious sense (http://www.amazon.com/There-God-Notorious-Atheist-Changed/dp/0061335290/ref=pd_bbs_sr_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1209108178&sr=8-1 ). I would not be surprised to see some of the fast growing atheists group change to his point of view as they become aware of the scientific evidence which caused fFlew to change his mind!

    As Flew stated in 2004: “a deity or a ‘super-intelligence’ [is] the only good explanation for the origin of life and the complexity of nature.” “I now realize that I have made a fool of myself by believing that there were no presentable theories of the development of inanimate matter up to the first living creature capable of reproduction.” w He blamed his error on being “misled” by Richard Dawkins, claiming Dawkins “has never been reported as referring to any promising work on the production of a theory of the development of living matter”.

    Flew has rejected Dawkins effort to argue in The God Delusion that the origin of life can be attributed to a “lucky chance.” he points out that “If that’s the best argument you have, then the game is over.”

    As a comparative religion scholar you are undoubtedly aware how religions change (including your favored liberal examples). Atheists change their views too and Flew certainly isn’t the only one – just one of the most famous and eminent.

    Carmen

  • Carmen

    Andrew wrote: “The free ride is over. It’s called post-modernism. Deal with it.”

    Andrew, I don’t have to deal with it although, as I said, it has some value. Several eminent scholars are re-evaluating postmodernism’s importance and relevance. Perhaps you need to update your reading and deal with that? Just one example of many examples:

    “I am in some sympathy with postmodernism…- the iconoclastic challenge to orthodox theory, the tipping over of the white marble busts in the museum of Great Western Thinkers – but ultimately, I see it as an EPISTEMOLOGICAL and THEORETICAL DEAD END, itself SYMPTOMATIC rather than diagnostic OF THE PROBLEMS OF THE GLOBE as we approach the millenium.”* Charles W. Mills, John Evans Professor of Moral and Intellectual Philosophy, Northwestern University (former UIC Distinguished Professor of Philosophy).

    Carmen
    p.s. * Charles W. Mills, The Racial Contract, pp. 129. 1997 – capitalizations are mine – for emphasis.

  • Carmen

    Andrew wrote: “The free ride is over. It’s called post-modernism. Deal with it.”

    Andrew, I don’t have to deal with it although, as I said, it has some value. Several eminent scholars are re-evaluating postmodernism’s importance and relevance. Perhaps you need to update your reading and deal with that? Just one example of many examples:

    “I am in some sympathy with postmodernism…- the iconoclastic challenge to orthodox theory, the tipping over of the white marble busts in the museum of Great Western Thinkers – but ultimately, I see it as an EPISTEMOLOGICAL and THEORETICAL DEAD END, itself SYMPTOMATIC rather than diagnostic OF THE PROBLEMS OF THE GLOBE as we approach the millenium.”* Charles W. Mills, John Evans Professor of Moral and Intellectual Philosophy, Northwestern University (former UIC Distinguished Professor of Philosophy).

    Carmen
    p.s. * Charles W. Mills, The Racial Contract, pp. 129. 1997 – capitalizations are mine – for emphasis.

  • Andrew

    Carmen wrote:

    “Several experts in the field of comparative religion have come to the conclusion that the Baha’i Faith is not a sect or cult but an independent religion.”

    They are entitled to their views but having degrees in comparative religion does not exempt them from erroneous conclusions. ;-)

    “In Egypt in the 1920s, for example, a landmark ruling by a Sunni court in Egypt ruled that the Baha’i Faith is an independent religion and not part of Islam.”

    Jehovah’s Witnesses is also an independent religion. The Unification Church of Sun Myung Moon is also an independent religion. I have no doubt that the Baha’i faith is an independent religion. They are also cults. Without exception. Low functioning cults in the case of the Moonies and the JoHo’s, high functioning cults in the case of the Mormons and the Baha’is. But still cults.

    “The ease with which people can leave the Faith and such requirements as non-Baha’i parents giving consent for marriage certainly takes the rung from under the ladder of your descriptor since the isolating mechanism which is a key element of a cult is absent in the Baha’i Faith.”

    Not at all. The isolating mechanism to which you refer is very much a part of Baha’i culture in the form of “shundamentalism.” Individuals with deep social and familial roots and bonds in their local Baha’i community are well aware of the implications of leaving the faith (as I am sure are you) just as they are well aware of the implications of voicing any dissent against it. In fact the ease with which people are disenrolled from the faith is one of the indicators of the cult mentality in operation. You are being disingenuous here. Quelle surprise.

    “You do NOT criticize whatever conveniently fits with your narrow post-modernist definition of what a religion should be.”

    Nice try, Carmen, but I’m afraid the writing is on the wall. If Baha’is refuse to see it, they’ve simply consigned themselves to further irrelevancy. Many religious enthusiasts like living in a small pond. That’s one of the definitions of a cult.

    “That is a sign of very shallow scholarship and it has certainly been challenged by eminent scholars as you are no doubt aware.”

    A sign of shallow scholarship, challenged by eminent scholars? Again, nice try, but only your fellow True Believers would be persuaded by this.

    “You trumpet ‘lost’ as if it was some sort of major milestone or death knell.”

    Given the amount of time, money and effort spent on it, it is a death knell. One of many yet to come.

    “An appeal decision might come back to haunt you.”

    You wish! Will your religious leaders never learn? How sad for the people who fork over their money to them. My advice: don’t hold your breath.

    “One of the 20th centruy’s most prominent atheists/philosophers is now a Deist.”

    Antony Flew? Give me a break!

    “But is Flew’s conversion what it seems to be?”

    http://www.nytimes.com/2007/11/04/magazine/04Flew-t.html

    Carmen, your screed does your faith proud. I can see why Amanda and Mavaddat have stopped posting on this forum. It seems that, like the atheist friends of Antony Flew, they’ve given you up for lost.

    For the record, I’m not an atheist, but I sympathize with their goals. A vast improvement over what most forms of religion have to offer.

    Screed on, Carmen. I must depart. I have a blog to write … it won’t appear until next spring, but followers of Tahira and the Bab have been asking me to do this for some time, and I have (finally) agreed. And I promise it won’t mention a word against Mirza Husayn Ali or the Baha’i religion. In fact, it’ll read as if they never even came into existence, let alone ever really mattered.

  • Andrew

    Carmen wrote:

    “Several experts in the field of comparative religion have come to the conclusion that the Baha’i Faith is not a sect or cult but an independent religion.”

    They are entitled to their views but having degrees in comparative religion does not exempt them from erroneous conclusions. ;-)

    “In Egypt in the 1920s, for example, a landmark ruling by a Sunni court in Egypt ruled that the Baha’i Faith is an independent religion and not part of Islam.”

    Jehovah’s Witnesses is also an independent religion. The Unification Church of Sun Myung Moon is also an independent religion. I have no doubt that the Baha’i faith is an independent religion. They are also cults. Without exception. Low functioning cults in the case of the Moonies and the JoHo’s, high functioning cults in the case of the Mormons and the Baha’is. But still cults.

    “The ease with which people can leave the Faith and such requirements as non-Baha’i parents giving consent for marriage certainly takes the rung from under the ladder of your descriptor since the isolating mechanism which is a key element of a cult is absent in the Baha’i Faith.”

    Not at all. The isolating mechanism to which you refer is very much a part of Baha’i culture in the form of “shundamentalism.” Individuals with deep social and familial roots and bonds in their local Baha’i community are well aware of the implications of leaving the faith (as I am sure are you) just as they are well aware of the implications of voicing any dissent against it. In fact the ease with which people are disenrolled from the faith is one of the indicators of the cult mentality in operation. You are being disingenuous here. Quelle surprise.

    “You do NOT criticize whatever conveniently fits with your narrow post-modernist definition of what a religion should be.”

    Nice try, Carmen, but I’m afraid the writing is on the wall. If Baha’is refuse to see it, they’ve simply consigned themselves to further irrelevancy. Many religious enthusiasts like living in a small pond. That’s one of the definitions of a cult.

    “That is a sign of very shallow scholarship and it has certainly been challenged by eminent scholars as you are no doubt aware.”

    A sign of shallow scholarship, challenged by eminent scholars? Again, nice try, but only your fellow True Believers would be persuaded by this.

    “You trumpet ‘lost’ as if it was some sort of major milestone or death knell.”

    Given the amount of time, money and effort spent on it, it is a death knell. One of many yet to come.

    “An appeal decision might come back to haunt you.”

    You wish! Will your religious leaders never learn? How sad for the people who fork over their money to them. My advice: don’t hold your breath.

    “One of the 20th centruy’s most prominent atheists/philosophers is now a Deist.”

    Antony Flew? Give me a break!

    “But is Flew’s conversion what it seems to be?”

    http://www.nytimes.com/2007/11/04/magazine/04Flew-t.html

    Carmen, your screed does your faith proud. I can see why Amanda and Mavaddat have stopped posting on this forum. It seems that, like the atheist friends of Antony Flew, they’ve given you up for lost.

    For the record, I’m not an atheist, but I sympathize with their goals. A vast improvement over what most forms of religion have to offer.

    Screed on, Carmen. I must depart. I have a blog to write … it won’t appear until next spring, but followers of Tahira and the Bab have been asking me to do this for some time, and I have (finally) agreed. And I promise it won’t mention a word against Mirza Husayn Ali or the Baha’i religion. In fact, it’ll read as if they never even came into existence, let alone ever really mattered.

  • Carm-again :)

    Andrew wrote: “The isolating mechanism to which you refer is very much a part of Baha’i culture in the form of “shundamentalism.” Individuals with deep social and familial roots and bonds in their local Baha’icommunity are well aware of the implications of leaving the faith (as I am sure are you) just as they are well aware of the implications of voicing any dissent against it. In fact the ease with which people are disenrolled from the faith is one of the indicators of the cult mentality in operation. You are being disingenuous here. Quelle surprise.?

    The ease with which people can leave the Faith is an excellent indicator of the fact that it has no isolating mechanism which is a critical characteristic of cults (http://bahai-library.com/essays/cult.html ). There is no disingenuous argument re disenrollment unless you are suggesting that no organization has the right to expel members who do not conform to the standards which are required. If that is your point, then all organizations (even academic departments and universities who cherish postmodenity), could never expel a member who breaches codes of conduct. You surely cannot be suggesting this? Moreover, the number of disenrolled Baha’is is a very tiny fraction of the overall membership in the history of the Faith.

    Bacquia has a section on this blog titeld Panopticon . It has occurred to me that perhaps your view of the Faith as a cult has been influenced in part by Prof.Juan Cole’s article in the JSSR titled ?The Baha’i Faith in America as Panopticon, 1963-1997″.. I suggest you read Ian Kluge’s reply carefully.

    Andrew wrote: ?Nice try, Carmen, but I’m afraid the writing is on the wall. If Baha’is refuse to see it, they’ve simply consigned themselves to further irrelevancy. Many religious enthusiasts like living in a small pond. That’s one of the definitions of a cult.?

    It seems many true believers in postmodernism live in a small pond if that is the best response you can have. So I suppose the ?religious enthusiasts? in Roman Catholicism, for example, are all cultists?

    Andrew wrote: ?Given the amount of time, money and effort spent on it, it is a death knell. One of many yet to come.?

    The death knell of the Faith has been anticipated in comments such as yours since it began in the 19th century!. The various regimes in Iran thought that massacres could eliminate it. More than 20,000 people lost their lives in the most horrific ways. The atheistic ideology in the former USSR thought it had dealt the Faith a fatal blow but it has again been established in former USSR countries. I could go on. Instead, NSA members from 173 countries will be electing the UHJ later this month. History will be the judge.

    Andrew wrote: ?Antony Flew? Give me a break!

    “But is Flew’s conversion what it seems to be?”

    Andrew, as always, there are two sides to every story (e.g. the Faith is and is not a cult ?) . Regarding the NYT article on Flew, kindly refer to this link

    As Roy Abraham Varghese notes: ?The only reason why people ask questions about his mental faculties is because he dared to change his mind. But let’s not forget that his new view of the world is one embraced by many of today’s leading philosophers in the Anglo-American world as well as most of the pioneers of modern science. This is the dirty little secret that the ?new atheists? and their drum-beaters never talk about. It’s so much easier to shoot the messenger!?

    And as another reviewer of Flew’s ?There Is a God: How the World’s Most Notorious Atheist Changed His Mind’ notes: ?As even Oppenheimer admits, the kind of arguments that Flew cites as demonstrating that the latest science leads (at least) to Deism, are those used by a whole host of other eminent scientists and philosophers. The simple truth is that there are all too many who don’t want the scientific and philosophic arguments that convinced Flew of God’s existence to receive any recognition. They will do anything to stop others from reading Flew’s book. Perhaps they should read it themselves? ?

    Andrew wrote: ?For the record, I’m not an atheist, but I sympathize with their goals. A vast improvement over what most forms of religion have to offer.?

    You mean a ?vast improvement? from your postmodernist perspective? As Mills noted, that’s a ?dead end.? Chomsky has suggested that postmodernism is meaningless because it adds nothing to analytical or empirical knowledge. He asks why postmodernist intellectuals won’t respond as “people in physics, math, biology, linguistics, and other fields are happy to do when someone asks them, seriously, what are the principles of their theories, on what evidence are they based, what do they explain that wasn’t already obvious, etc? These are fair requests for anyone to make. If they can’t be met, then I’d suggest recourse to Hume’s advice in similar circumstances: to the flames.

    You should also look close to home in your field of comparative religion: ?A Magic Still Dwells: Comparative Religion in the Postmodern Age’. As one reviewer points out, “The need for a fresh look at the area of comparative religions should be apparent to anyone with any connection to the field. In the time that post-modernism has become the fin de siecle intellectual establishment, challenge to its orthodoxy has become unthinkable. However it is now obvious that a radical change of intellectual style is much overdue. . . . we must critique post-modernism from within the mind set of the period. This book does just that, filling a yawning gap in the literature of the field.” Ralph Slotten, Professor Emeritus of the History of Religions, Dickinson College

    Andrew wrote: ?Carmen, your screed does your faith proud. I can see why Amanda and Mavaddat have stopped posting on this forum. It seems that, like the atheist friends of Antony Flew, they’ve given you up for lost.?

    This is a very ironic statement. The atheists friends of Flew haven’t come to grips with the critical scientific and logical arguments which made him change his mind. Perhaps there are some who just cannot come to grips with Baha’s like myself who dare to defend what we believe. Perhaps we should all just roll over and let spurious arguments and erroneous conclusions hold sway?

    Carmen

  • Carm-again :)

    Andrew wrote: “The isolating mechanism to which you refer is very much a part of Baha’i culture in the form of “shundamentalism.” Individuals with deep social and familial roots and bonds in their local Baha’icommunity are well aware of the implications of leaving the faith (as I am sure are you) just as they are well aware of the implications of voicing any dissent against it. In fact the ease with which people are disenrolled from the faith is one of the indicators of the cult mentality in operation. You are being disingenuous here. Quelle surprise.?

    The ease with which people can leave the Faith is an excellent indicator of the fact that it has no isolating mechanism which is a critical characteristic of cults (http://bahai-library.com/essays/cult.html ). There is no disingenuous argument re disenrollment unless you are suggesting that no organization has the right to expel members who do not conform to the standards which are required. If that is your point, then all organizations (even academic departments and universities who cherish postmodenity), could never expel a member who breaches codes of conduct. You surely cannot be suggesting this? Moreover, the number of disenrolled Baha’is is a very tiny fraction of the overall membership in the history of the Faith.

    Bacquia has a section on this blog titeld Panopticon . It has occurred to me that perhaps your view of the Faith as a cult has been influenced in part by Prof.Juan Cole’s article in the JSSR titled ?The Baha’i Faith in America as Panopticon, 1963-1997″.. I suggest you read Ian Kluge’s reply carefully.

    Andrew wrote: ?Nice try, Carmen, but I’m afraid the writing is on the wall. If Baha’is refuse to see it, they’ve simply consigned themselves to further irrelevancy. Many religious enthusiasts like living in a small pond. That’s one of the definitions of a cult.?

    It seems many true believers in postmodernism live in a small pond if that is the best response you can have. So I suppose the ?religious enthusiasts? in Roman Catholicism, for example, are all cultists?

    Andrew wrote: ?Given the amount of time, money and effort spent on it, it is a death knell. One of many yet to come.?

    The death knell of the Faith has been anticipated in comments such as yours since it began in the 19th century!. The various regimes in Iran thought that massacres could eliminate it. More than 20,000 people lost their lives in the most horrific ways. The atheistic ideology in the former USSR thought it had dealt the Faith a fatal blow but it has again been established in former USSR countries. I could go on. Instead, NSA members from 173 countries will be electing the UHJ later this month. History will be the judge.

    Andrew wrote: ?Antony Flew? Give me a break!

    “But is Flew’s conversion what it seems to be?”

    Andrew, as always, there are two sides to every story (e.g. the Faith is and is not a cult ?) . Regarding the NYT article on Flew, kindly refer to this link

    As Roy Abraham Varghese notes: ?The only reason why people ask questions about his mental faculties is because he dared to change his mind. But let’s not forget that his new view of the world is one embraced by many of today’s leading philosophers in the Anglo-American world as well as most of the pioneers of modern science. This is the dirty little secret that the ?new atheists? and their drum-beaters never talk about. It’s so much easier to shoot the messenger!?

    And as another reviewer of Flew’s ?There Is a God: How the World’s Most Notorious Atheist Changed His Mind’ notes: ?As even Oppenheimer admits, the kind of arguments that Flew cites as demonstrating that the latest science leads (at least) to Deism, are those used by a whole host of other eminent scientists and philosophers. The simple truth is that there are all too many who don’t want the scientific and philosophic arguments that convinced Flew of God’s existence to receive any recognition. They will do anything to stop others from reading Flew’s book. Perhaps they should read it themselves? ?

    Andrew wrote: ?For the record, I’m not an atheist, but I sympathize with their goals. A vast improvement over what most forms of religion have to offer.?

    You mean a ?vast improvement? from your postmodernist perspective? As Mills noted, that’s a ?dead end.? Chomsky has suggested that postmodernism is meaningless because it adds nothing to analytical or empirical knowledge. He asks why postmodernist intellectuals won’t respond as “people in physics, math, biology, linguistics, and other fields are happy to do when someone asks them, seriously, what are the principles of their theories, on what evidence are they based, what do they explain that wasn’t already obvious, etc? These are fair requests for anyone to make. If they can’t be met, then I’d suggest recourse to Hume’s advice in similar circumstances: to the flames.

    You should also look close to home in your field of comparative religion: ?A Magic Still Dwells: Comparative Religion in the Postmodern Age’. As one reviewer points out, “The need for a fresh look at the area of comparative religions should be apparent to anyone with any connection to the field. In the time that post-modernism has become the fin de siecle intellectual establishment, challenge to its orthodoxy has become unthinkable. However it is now obvious that a radical change of intellectual style is much overdue. . . . we must critique post-modernism from within the mind set of the period. This book does just that, filling a yawning gap in the literature of the field.” Ralph Slotten, Professor Emeritus of the History of Religions, Dickinson College

    Andrew wrote: ?Carmen, your screed does your faith proud. I can see why Amanda and Mavaddat have stopped posting on this forum. It seems that, like the atheist friends of Antony Flew, they’ve given you up for lost.?

    This is a very ironic statement. The atheists friends of Flew haven’t come to grips with the critical scientific and logical arguments which made him change his mind. Perhaps there are some who just cannot come to grips with Baha’s like myself who dare to defend what we believe. Perhaps we should all just roll over and let spurious arguments and erroneous conclusions hold sway?

    Carmen

  • farhan

    Andrew, could you please give us caracteristics that allow you to differenciate between a religion and a cult?

    I expect that the word “cult” corresponds to the French word “secte”. All European counties that have tried to define the word “secte” have given a list of caracteristics from which the Baha’ifaith has been clearly innocented.

    Only some Muslim counties continue to define the Baha’i faithe as a “secte” of Islam; most of them clearly consider the Baha’i faith as a “heresy” seperate from Islam.

  • Farhan YAZDANI

    Andrew, could you please give us caracteristics that allow you to differenciate between a religion and a cult?

    I expect that the word “cult” corresponds to the French word “secte”. All European counties that have tried to define the word “secte” have given a list of caracteristics from which the Baha’ifaith has been clearly innocented.

    Only some Muslim counties continue to define the Baha’i faithe as a “secte” of Islam; most of them clearly consider the Baha’i faith as a “heresy” seperate from Islam.

  • CoL

    Carmen wrote: “The ease with which people can leave the Faith is an excellent indicator of the fact that it has no isolating mechanism which is a critical characteristic of cults (http://bahai-library.com/essays/cult.html).”

    How disgustingly glib AND inaccurate, Carmen. I have witnessed, time and again, ex-Bahais suffer ostracism and isolation at the hands of Bahai relatives and friends after they have decided to leave the Faith and either embrace another religion or atheism.

    This wretched behavior by Bahais is not so shocking when you see the sort of sentiments they adhere to:

    O SON OF DUST!
    Beware! Walk not with the ungodly and seek not fellowship with him, for such companionship turneth the radiance of the heart into infernal fire.

    So much for unity and harmony among ALL of humanity.
    (Farnham and ilk, don’t even bother chalking this up to Bahais-falling-short-of-lofty-standards crap. It’s scripturally systemic!)

  • CoL

    Carmen wrote: “The ease with which people can leave the Faith is an excellent indicator of the fact that it has no isolating mechanism which is a critical characteristic of cults (http://bahai-library.com/essays/cult.html).”

    How disgustingly glib AND inaccurate, Carmen. I have witnessed, time and again, ex-Bahais suffer ostracism and isolation at the hands of Bahai relatives and friends after they have decided to leave the Faith and either embrace another religion or atheism.

    This wretched behavior by Bahais is not so shocking when you see the sort of sentiments they adhere to:

    O SON OF DUST!
    Beware! Walk not with the ungodly and seek not fellowship with him, for such companionship turneth the radiance of the heart into infernal fire.

    So much for unity and harmony among ALL of humanity.
    (Farnham and ilk, don’t even bother chalking this up to Bahais-falling-short-of-lofty-standards crap. It’s scripturally systemic!)

  • Carm-again

    Col wrote; “Carmen. I have witnessed, time and again, ex-Bahais suffer ostracism and isolation at the hands of Bahai relatives and friends after they have decided to leave the Faith and either embrace another religion or atheism.”

    Col, I’m very sorry if you’ve experienced this at it seems very strange to me. All I can say is that based on my experience in being a Baha’i since the early 70s and living in Baha’i communities in Jamaica and Europe and the Dutch Antilles I have never experienced such an attitude towards ex-Bahais. Those who behaved in the way you describe are VERY WRONG and an apology should be made for their immaturity.

    I can only describe what I know based on my own experiences. For example, you will have noticed from a previous post of mine that although Frank said he had left the Faith I was very positive in my posts with him. I honestly have not seen the behavior you describe. Even if those who left attacked the Faith it would be wholly inapproriate to ostracise them.

    Carmen

  • Carm-again

    Col wrote; “Carmen. I have witnessed, time and again, ex-Bahais suffer ostracism and isolation at the hands of Bahai relatives and friends after they have decided to leave the Faith and either embrace another religion or atheism.”

    Col, I’m very sorry if you’ve experienced this at it seems very strange to me. All I can say is that based on my experience in being a Baha’i since the early 70s and living in Baha’i communities in Jamaica and Europe and the Dutch Antilles I have never experienced such an attitude towards ex-Bahais. Those who behaved in the way you describe are VERY WRONG and an apology should be made for their immaturity.

    I can only describe what I know based on my own experiences. For example, you will have noticed from a previous post of mine that although Frank said he had left the Faith I was very positive in my posts with him. I honestly have not seen the behavior you describe. Even if those who left attacked the Faith it would be wholly inapproriate to ostracise them.

    Carmen

  • CoL

    Carmen wrote: “Col, I’m very sorry if you’ve experienced this at it seems very strange to me. All I can say is that based on my experience in being a Baha’i since the early 70s and living in Baha’i communities in Jamaica and Europe and the Dutch Antilles I have never experienced such an attitude towards ex-Bahais.”

    Well, then YOU’RE the exception, and you need to open your eyes.

    As a Bahai, you actually SHOULDN’T be surprised or upset by this, seeing as Baha’u’llah ENJOINS you to ESCHEW fellowship with the “ungodly” (read: atheists, non-theists).

  • CoL

    Carmen wrote: “Col, I’m very sorry if you’ve experienced this at it seems very strange to me. All I can say is that based on my experience in being a Baha’i since the early 70s and living in Baha’i communities in Jamaica and Europe and the Dutch Antilles I have never experienced such an attitude towards ex-Bahais.”

    Well, then YOU’RE the exception, and you need to open your eyes.

    As a Bahai, you actually SHOULDN’T be surprised or upset by this, seeing as Baha’u’llah ENJOINS you to ESCHEW fellowship with the “ungodly” (read: atheists, non-theists).

  • http://www.letters-of-the-living.blogspot.com Amanda

    Andrew…thank you for your many intelligent and heartfelt posts of late.

    I am currently triaging some time sensitive life demands, and haven’t been able to comment here, but I saw your post and just wanted to respond. Sorry it has to be so abreviated at the moment.

    You wrote:
    “The isolating mechanism to which you refer is very much a part of Baha’i culture in the form of ?shundamentalism.? Individuals with deep social and familial roots and bonds in their local Baha’i community are well aware of the implications of leaving the faith (as I am sure are you) just as they are well aware of the implications of voicing any dissent against it. In fact the ease with which people are disenrolled from the faith is one of the indicators of the cult mentality in operation. You are being disingenuous here. Quelle surprise.”

    Just wanted to throw out an “Amen, brother.” Very true. To call the process of leave-taking the Baha’i Faith ANYTHING other than an ordeal would be wildly inaccurate. I can imagine a theoretical short-term “believer” who literally walks in and then out the revolving door maybe having an easier time of leaving, but you are absulutely right that for individuals who have personal connections in the Baha’i community, leaving is a ridiculously hard process.

    Thanks for all you’re doing, and I GREATLY look forward to your blog,

    Amanda

  • http://www.letters-of-the-living.blogspot.com Amanda

    Andrew…thank you for your many intelligent and heartfelt posts of late.

    I am currently triaging some time sensitive life demands, and haven’t been able to comment here, but I saw your post and just wanted to respond. Sorry it has to be so abreviated at the moment.

    You wrote:
    “The isolating mechanism to which you refer is very much a part of Baha’i culture in the form of ?shundamentalism.? Individuals with deep social and familial roots and bonds in their local Baha’i community are well aware of the implications of leaving the faith (as I am sure are you) just as they are well aware of the implications of voicing any dissent against it. In fact the ease with which people are disenrolled from the faith is one of the indicators of the cult mentality in operation. You are being disingenuous here. Quelle surprise.”

    Just wanted to throw out an “Amen, brother.” Very true. To call the process of leave-taking the Baha’i Faith ANYTHING other than an ordeal would be wildly inaccurate. I can imagine a theoretical short-term “believer” who literally walks in and then out the revolving door maybe having an easier time of leaving, but you are absulutely right that for individuals who have personal connections in the Baha’i community, leaving is a ridiculously hard process.

    Thanks for all you’re doing, and I GREATLY look forward to your blog,

    Amanda

  • http://www.letters-of-the-living.blogspot.com Amanda

    Andrew,
    One more thing- you wrote:

    “For the record, I’m not an atheist, but I sympathize with their goals.”

    And I sympathize with yours. :) Thanks!

    Amanda

  • http://www.letters-of-the-living.blogspot.com Amanda

    Andrew,
    One more thing- you wrote:

    “For the record, I’m not an atheist, but I sympathize with their goals.”

    And I sympathize with yours. :) Thanks!

    Amanda

  • Andrew

    Amanda wrote:

    “Thanks for all you’re doing, and I GREATLY look forward to your blog.”

    Oh no … je suis un agent provocateur … thank you for all YOU are doing!

    The blog will not be entirely my responsibility … it will involve the efforts of two or three others as well … with (eventually) an acknowledgment of a non-Deist approach to the concept of divinity (i.e. the theological construct called “Manifestation of God”). It will encourage a kind of “willing suspension of disbelief” in order to appreciate the mythopoetic content of the Babi faith. Literalists and dogmatists of whatever persuasion may continue to avert their eyes.

    As for the responses of the mental sheep slaves of the Baaaha’i belief system … mmm … time for some ghormeh sabzi!

  • Andrew

    Amanda wrote:

    “Thanks for all you’re doing, and I GREATLY look forward to your blog.”

    Oh no … je suis un agent provocateur … thank you for all YOU are doing!

    The blog will not be entirely my responsibility … it will involve the efforts of two or three others as well … with (eventually) an acknowledgment of a non-Deist approach to the concept of divinity (i.e. the theological construct called “Manifestation of God”). It will encourage a kind of “willing suspension of disbelief” in order to appreciate the mythopoetic content of the Babi faith. Literalists and dogmatists of whatever persuasion may continue to avert their eyes.

    As for the responses of the mental sheep slaves of the Baaaha’i belief system … mmm … time for some ghormeh sabzi!

  • Craig Parke

    Hello All,

    I recently wrote this post on another site in support of someone who was reprimanded by BOTH his Christian friends and FELLOW Baha’is for calling “God” “Allah” even though the term is in Baha’u’llah’s OWN TITLE! Truly we are a “theocracy of dunces” on this amazing planet half assed immersed in the Kingdom of Names in the ongoing hapless lizard brain meta-narrative. When will this mindset ever change? Can we ever get to full frontal lobe “Cosmic insight” in matters of “organized religion” or will everyone’s IQ continue to just keep dropping like they have been trapped in the check out line at Wal-Mart just one hour too many?

    xxx,

    You are actually on solid ground about this.

    I recommend this little book to every one seeking a higher level of insight:

    “Prayers of the Cosmos: Meditations on the Aramaic Words of Jesus” by Neil Douglas-Klotz

    http://tinyurl.com/yqwlfz

    In Aramaic, Jesus’s word for “God The Father” would have been “Allah-Ha”.

    The people of the Abrahamic religions have generally been total ignoramuses in the history and esoteric concepts of their own religion. It’s still appears to be the same old psychological journey from Jesus of Nazareth to Tom??s de Torquemada.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tom%C3%A1s_de_Torquemada

    When will people start to see the same old and tired worn out psychological patterns in play in every religion century after century?

    In fact, I believe the great gift to mankind of the Abrahamic religions actually IS that we have had 3,000 years now to study the psychopathology and utter dysfunctionality of “religious” organizations. And, of course, the Baha’i Faith as another religion in the long line of Abrahamic religions from the amazing cultures of the Middle East is keeping up DAILY CUTTING EDGE MINUTE BY MINUTE RESEARCH in this long and ancient tradition of lock step depth psychology run amok.

    I think this long running experiment is actually quite useful as it continues even further down through the Ages in our time. Before we EVER have a planetary system of government in whatever form it eventually takes, if it is to ever be successful and ACTUALLY DO
    SOMETHING USEFUL IN THE REAL WORLD to ACTUALLY BEGIN TO TRY TO SOLVE vital, pressing, problems facing ALL MANKIND, it will be absolutely necessary that every person on Earth have studied the psychological journey from Jesus of Nazareth to ten thousand Torquemadas
    in every World Age for the safety and well being of the human race.

    No real power will ever come to the Baha’i Faith as an organization until this counter balancing spiritual safety system is securely in place.

    Otherwise the human race is destined for another round of this:

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

    So it seems by the current free fall situation in the Baha’i Faith, we are off to another traditional start on the long 3,000 year study:

    “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

    “Divorced from the institution of the Guardianship the World Order of Bah??’u’ll??h would be mutilated and permanently deprived of that hereditary principle which, as ‘Abdu’l-Bah?? has written, has been invariably upheld by the Law of God.

    ‘In all the Divine Dispensations,’ He states, in a Tablet addressed to a follower of the Faith in Persia, ‘the eldest son hath been given extraordinary distinctions. Even the station of prophethood hath been his birthright.’

    Without such an institution the integrity of the Faith would be imperiled, and the stability of the entire fabric would be gravely endangered.

    Its prestige would suffer, the means required to enable it to take a long, an uninterrupted view over a series of generations would be completely lacking, and the necessary guidance to define the sphere of the legislative action of its elected representatives would be totally withdrawn.”

    - Shoghi Effendi First and Only Guardian of the Baha’i Faith The World Order of Baha’u’llah, p. 148

    “Although deepening the friends’ understanding of the Covenant and increasing their love and loyalty to it are of paramount importance, the duties of the Auxiliary Board members for Protection do not end here.

    The Board members must remain ever vigilant, MONITORING THE ACTIONS of those who, driven by the promptings of ego, seek to SOW THE SEEDS OF DOUBT in the minds of the friends and undermine the Faith.

    (Editor’s Note: Personal Commentary On Organizational Thought Police Tendencies In Human Beings: ouch!)

    In general, whenever believers become aware of such problems, they should immediately contact whatever institution they feel moved to turn to, whether it be a Counsellor, an Auxiliary Board member, the National Spiritual Assembly or their own Local Assembly.

    It then becomes the duty of that institution to ensure that the report is fed into the correct channels and that all the other institutions affected are promptly informed. Not infrequently, the responsibility will fall on an Auxiliary Board member, in coordination with the Assembly concerned, to take some form of action in response to the situation.

    This involvement will include counselling the believer in question; warning him, if necessary, of the consequences of his actions; and bringing to the attention of the Counsellors the gravity of the situation, which may call for their intervention.

    Naturally, the Board member has to exert every effort to counteract the schemes and arrest the spread of the influence of those few who, despite attempts to guide them, eventually break the Covenant.”

    - “The Institution of the Counsellors”
    A DOCUMENT PREPARED BY THE UNIVERSAL HOUSE OF JUSTICE
    BAH??’?? WORLD CENTRE
    2001

    I suggest Baha’is should, therefore, take vigilant note of the the Great Profound Lesson of the mind bending carnage and human wreckage of the 20th Century as they empower a professional lifetime incumbent class who have gamed the electoral processes of the Baha’i Faith to “Administrate” the Faith forever WHO ANSWER TO NO ONE ON EARTH:

    “Liberty is not a means to a higher political end. It is itself the highest political end…liberty is the only object which benefits all alike, and provokes no sincere opposition…The danger is not that a particular class is unfit to to govern. EVERY CLASS IS UNFIT TO GOVERN…Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely.”

    - Lord Acton (1834-1902)

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uPU4p7UQOtU

    I suggest THE COSMIC SPIRITUAL WARNING from Lord Baha’u’llah IS now upon us in 2008 as Baha’is in what we have allowed to happen within the Faith:

    “They desired to ascend to a station that God ordained to be above their ranks, when the luminous comet expelled them from among the inhabitants of the kingdom of his presence.”

    - Baha’u’llah Prophet-Founder of the Baha’i Faith
    Tablet of the Holy Mariner

    But I feel the incredible rise of the Internet will now change the equation on this sorry 3,000 year old experiment in unchecked and uncountered organizational depth psychology run amok in human history. There are some very rude awakenings coming very soon for some people and organizations on this planet on the photonic binary carrier wave that circles the ENTIRE EARTH NOW SEVEN TIMES EVERY SECOND. The people that can program the Intel x86 CPU instruction set in any high level or low level computer language are going to now wreck havoc on the mentality of group think cult bubbles EVERYWHERE on Earth. No one is safe from this Cosmic power now AT ALL.

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

    If this very tiny group of people currently leading the Baha’i Faith into catastrophe that ANSWER TO NO ONE are going to open files on the rank and file with impunity, the human race is going to retaliate by OPENING VERY PUBLIC FILES ON THEM WORLDWIDE on the Internet for the NEXT 1,000 YEARS.

    These folks currently at the top of the Baha’i Faith just don’t seem to be up to speed yet on comprehending the astonishing implications of planetary MOSFET broadband switching Eithernet technology even after almost 30 years of stunning development from the days at
    Xerox SPARC.

    As this all unfolds with Internet 2 the stakes will go up.

    You get elected dog catcher anywhere on Earth in the Baha’i Faith and you as an individual human being will now go into the greatest “REVERSE PUBLIC PANOPTICON” in human history. You will have EVERY PERSON ON EARTH commenting on whatever comes out of your mouth, your
    personal actions, the personal actions of your entire family, and your job performance 24/7/365/1000. Someone sooner or later will start a planetary RateTheAO.com and there will be reports on EVERY UHJ member, EVERY NSA member, EVERY Counsellor, EVERY ABM, EVERY AABM, and EVERY LSA member ON EARTH 24/7/365/1000. What they say, what they do, everyone’s review of their job performance, competence, and a full personal account of EVERY encounter with any person representing the Administrative Order worldwide. ANYWHERE.

    And there is absolutely NOTHING they can do about it even with a good lawyer EXCEPT pray that people are fair and just as they, themselves, in their elected positions SHOULD BE be in EVERY action THEMSELVES. This is now their ONLY WORLDWIDE spiritual protection: justice and fairness in their OWN actions in word and deed. And justice now INCLUDES competence in job performance in the PLANETARY BIG PEOPLE world now. Because the reach of the Internet is planetary and it’s record will go down through ALL the Ages to come. So everyone in the AO had better engage this breathtaking inner vista in their mind’s eye BEFORE they open their mouths to speak and give their opinions on ANYTHING or write any “guiding documents” for Counsellors or anybody else or give any “elucidations” for the edification of the souls of the rank and file on their word processors at the World Center in their marble offices I helped pay for.

    So the sorry, sorry psychological experiment of the Abrahamic religions in world history up until now is NOW going to take a new and very, very, very interesting turn!

    We’ll study the psychological and organizational journey from Jesus of Nazareth to Tom??s de Torquemada now in breathtaking worldwide step by step detail!

    You Go Abrahamic religions and do your traditional organizational brain chemistry thing now with THE CAMERAS ROLLING WORLDWIDE 24/7/365/1000 and let’s see how it all plays out this time out!

    That Maid of Heaven (the Mysterious Spirit of the New World Age) is One Tough Lady in what She has now brought to All Mankind.

    Put on some popcorn and watch the show for the next 1,000 years.

    The Promised Day HAS Come.

    Everyone keep posting!

    Best regards to everyone,

    Craig

  • Craig Parke

    Hello All,

    I recently wrote this post on another site in support of someone who was reprimanded by BOTH his Christian friends and FELLOW Baha’is for calling “God” “Allah” even though the term is in Baha’u’llah’s OWN TITLE! Truly we are a “theocracy of dunces” on this amazing planet half assed immersed in the Kingdom of Names in the ongoing hapless lizard brain meta-narrative. When will this mindset ever change? Can we ever get to full frontal lobe “Cosmic insight” in matters of “organized religion” or will everyone’s IQ continue to just keep dropping like they have been trapped in the check out line at Wal-Mart just one hour too many?

    xxx,

    You are actually on solid ground about this.

    I recommend this little book to every one seeking a higher level of insight:

    “Prayers of the Cosmos: Meditations on the Aramaic Words of Jesus” by Neil Douglas-Klotz

    http://tinyurl.com/yqwlfz

    In Aramaic, Jesus’s word for “God The Father” would have been “Allah-Ha”.

    The people of the Abrahamic religions have generally been total ignoramuses in the history and esoteric concepts of their own religion. It’s still appears to be the same old psychological journey from Jesus of Nazareth to Tom??s de Torquemada.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tom%C3%A1s_de_Torquemada

    When will people start to see the same old and tired worn out psychological patterns in play in every religion century after century?

    In fact, I believe the great gift to mankind of the Abrahamic religions actually IS that we have had 3,000 years now to study the psychopathology and utter dysfunctionality of “religious” organizations. And, of course, the Baha’i Faith as another religion in the long line of Abrahamic religions from the amazing cultures of the Middle East is keeping up DAILY CUTTING EDGE MINUTE BY MINUTE RESEARCH in this long and ancient tradition of lock step depth psychology run amok.

    I think this long running experiment is actually quite useful as it continues even further down through the Ages in our time. Before we EVER have a planetary system of government in whatever form it eventually takes, if it is to ever be successful and ACTUALLY DO
    SOMETHING USEFUL IN THE REAL WORLD to ACTUALLY BEGIN TO TRY TO SOLVE vital, pressing, problems facing ALL MANKIND, it will be absolutely necessary that every person on Earth have studied the psychological journey from Jesus of Nazareth to ten thousand Torquemadas
    in every World Age for the safety and well being of the human race.

    No real power will ever come to the Baha’i Faith as an organization until this counter balancing spiritual safety system is securely in place.

    Otherwise the human race is destined for another round of this:

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

    So it seems by the current free fall situation in the Baha’i Faith, we are off to another traditional start on the long 3,000 year study:

    “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

    “Divorced from the institution of the Guardianship the World Order of Bah??’u’ll??h would be mutilated and permanently deprived of that hereditary principle which, as ‘Abdu’l-Bah?? has written, has been invariably upheld by the Law of God.

    ‘In all the Divine Dispensations,’ He states, in a Tablet addressed to a follower of the Faith in Persia, ‘the eldest son hath been given extraordinary distinctions. Even the station of prophethood hath been his birthright.’

    Without such an institution the integrity of the Faith would be imperiled, and the stability of the entire fabric would be gravely endangered.

    Its prestige would suffer, the means required to enable it to take a long, an uninterrupted view over a series of generations would be completely lacking, and the necessary guidance to define the sphere of the legislative action of its elected representatives would be totally withdrawn.”

    - Shoghi Effendi First and Only Guardian of the Baha’i Faith The World Order of Baha’u’llah, p. 148

    “Although deepening the friends’ understanding of the Covenant and increasing their love and loyalty to it are of paramount importance, the duties of the Auxiliary Board members for Protection do not end here.

    The Board members must remain ever vigilant, MONITORING THE ACTIONS of those who, driven by the promptings of ego, seek to SOW THE SEEDS OF DOUBT in the minds of the friends and undermine the Faith.

    (Editor’s Note: Personal Commentary On Organizational Thought Police Tendencies In Human Beings: ouch!)

    In general, whenever believers become aware of such problems, they should immediately contact whatever institution they feel moved to turn to, whether it be a Counsellor, an Auxiliary Board member, the National Spiritual Assembly or their own Local Assembly.

    It then becomes the duty of that institution to ensure that the report is fed into the correct channels and that all the other institutions affected are promptly informed. Not infrequently, the responsibility will fall on an Auxiliary Board member, in coordination with the Assembly concerned, to take some form of action in response to the situation.

    This involvement will include counselling the believer in question; warning him, if necessary, of the consequences of his actions; and bringing to the attention of the Counsellors the gravity of the situation, which may call for their intervention.

    Naturally, the Board member has to exert every effort to counteract the schemes and arrest the spread of the influence of those few who, despite attempts to guide them, eventually break the Covenant.”

    - “The Institution of the Counsellors”
    A DOCUMENT PREPARED BY THE UNIVERSAL HOUSE OF JUSTICE
    BAH??’?? WORLD CENTRE
    2001

    I suggest Baha’is should, therefore, take vigilant note of the the Great Profound Lesson of the mind bending carnage and human wreckage of the 20th Century as they empower a professional lifetime incumbent class who have gamed the electoral processes of the Baha’i Faith to “Administrate” the Faith forever WHO ANSWER TO NO ONE ON EARTH:

    “Liberty is not a means to a higher political end. It is itself the highest political end…liberty is the only object which benefits all alike, and provokes no sincere opposition…The danger is not that a particular class is unfit to to govern. EVERY CLASS IS UNFIT TO GOVERN…Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely.”

    - Lord Acton (1834-1902)

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uPU4p7UQOtU

    I suggest THE COSMIC SPIRITUAL WARNING from Lord Baha’u’llah IS now upon us in 2008 as Baha’is in what we have allowed to happen within the Faith:

    “They desired to ascend to a station that God ordained to be above their ranks, when the luminous comet expelled them from among the inhabitants of the kingdom of his presence.”

    - Baha’u’llah Prophet-Founder of the Baha’i Faith
    Tablet of the Holy Mariner

    But I feel the incredible rise of the Internet will now change the equation on this sorry 3,000 year old experiment in unchecked and uncountered organizational depth psychology run amok in human history. There are some very rude awakenings coming very soon for some people and organizations on this planet on the photonic binary carrier wave that circles the ENTIRE EARTH NOW SEVEN TIMES EVERY SECOND. The people that can program the Intel x86 CPU instruction set in any high level or low level computer language are going to now wreck havoc on the mentality of group think cult bubbles EVERYWHERE on Earth. No one is safe from this Cosmic power now AT ALL.

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

    If this very tiny group of people currently leading the Baha’i Faith into catastrophe that ANSWER TO NO ONE are going to open files on the rank and file with impunity, the human race is going to retaliate by OPENING VERY PUBLIC FILES ON THEM WORLDWIDE on the Internet for the NEXT 1,000 YEARS.

    These folks currently at the top of the Baha’i Faith just don’t seem to be up to speed yet on comprehending the astonishing implications of planetary MOSFET broadband switching Eithernet technology even after almost 30 years of stunning development from the days at
    Xerox SPARC.

    As this all unfolds with Internet 2 the stakes will go up.

    You get elected dog catcher anywhere on Earth in the Baha’i Faith and you as an individual human being will now go into the greatest “REVERSE PUBLIC PANOPTICON” in human history. You will have EVERY PERSON ON EARTH commenting on whatever comes out of your mouth, your
    personal actions, the personal actions of your entire family, and your job performance 24/7/365/1000. Someone sooner or later will start a planetary RateTheAO.com and there will be reports on EVERY UHJ member, EVERY NSA member, EVERY Counsellor, EVERY ABM, EVERY AABM, and EVERY LSA member ON EARTH 24/7/365/1000. What they say, what they do, everyone’s review of their job performance, competence, and a full personal account of EVERY encounter with any person representing the Administrative Order worldwide. ANYWHERE.

    And there is absolutely NOTHING they can do about it even with a good lawyer EXCEPT pray that people are fair and just as they, themselves, in their elected positions SHOULD BE be in EVERY action THEMSELVES. This is now their ONLY WORLDWIDE spiritual protection: justice and fairness in their OWN actions in word and deed. And justice now INCLUDES competence in job performance in the PLANETARY BIG PEOPLE world now. Because the reach of the Internet is planetary and it’s record will go down through ALL the Ages to come. So everyone in the AO had better engage this breathtaking inner vista in their mind’s eye BEFORE they open their mouths to speak and give their opinions on ANYTHING or write any “guiding documents” for Counsellors or anybody else or give any “elucidations” for the edification of the souls of the rank and file on their word processors at the World Center in their marble offices I helped pay for.

    So the sorry, sorry psychological experiment of the Abrahamic religions in world history up until now is NOW going to take a new and very, very, very interesting turn!

    We’ll study the psychological and organizational journey from Jesus of Nazareth to Tom??s de Torquemada now in breathtaking worldwide step by step detail!

    You Go Abrahamic religions and do your traditional organizational brain chemistry thing now with THE CAMERAS ROLLING WORLDWIDE 24/7/365/1000 and let’s see how it all plays out this time out!

    That Maid of Heaven (the Mysterious Spirit of the New World Age) is One Tough Lady in what She has now brought to All Mankind.

    Put on some popcorn and watch the show for the next 1,000 years.

    The Promised Day HAS Come.

    Everyone keep posting!

    Best regards to everyone,

    Craig

  • Bird out of the Cage

    Carm-again;)

    ?The ease with which people can leave the Faith is an excellent indicator of the fact that it has no isolating mechanism which is a critical characteristic of cults (http://bahai-library.com/essays/cult.html ).?

    I must share with you first hand there is no ease what-so-ever in the un enrollment process, that is unless you are a Bah?’? for 5 seconds. I labeled myself a Bah?’? for 14 years and loved every excruciating moment of it because I thought I had found the closest thing on the planet that revealed G-d’s desires for myself and humanity. Hook line and sinker from the moment I heard the words…

    But from that moment I was set on a path to conform through my own personal drive and that of the AO, of which I have posted previous statements of early on gentle slaps on the hand for questioning anything past certain points, I lived in stride, still do.

    The demise of my relationship with the religion of the Bah?’? Faith began actually over a several year period of frustration with the lack of organization of the community I belonged to, but it was not the community who made the religion, it was the words itself. Instead of steering forward into the recommended Ruhi courses, I studied the actual archived books on line, through approved sites ;) It takes years to really form a picture when there are so many works to study and the saga goes way back. Beginning with the works of the Bab, Baha’u’llah, Abdul?Baha, Shoghi Effedni and the UHJ directives each year I was kept quite busy. None of that study was on covenant breakers. I was advised early on not to read anything on the subject. Avoid it at all cost.

    Last year on line I was questioned how I felt about what happened to Mason Remey and I had no answer because I never studied him. All I knew was that he was a tormented soul. So I decided to find out who he really was and the moment I did I felt like I was doing something wrong, (possible form of mind control?) but I had to at least look at who this person was before I could comment. I headed straight to the Bah?’? Reference Library and from there I really saw the ugliest side of the Bah?’? Faith and understood why the subject is discouraged to look into. I knew at the end of my study that there is no way that I am a Bah?’?. With all the facts in place I would have never walked in the door. There has been no ease in this departure. Very few of the Bah?’?’s in my community really believe I am not a Bah?’? but I am in a ?test?. And those of any intelligence that know I have left are in fact steering very clear of me. I refuse to discuss the subject with anyone live, in that I choose not to harm the good in them with all the ugly I did find beneath there rose tinted glasses.

    I assure you the Bah?’? Faith has lost more then they have kept that is if where I live is a micro example of the world there are many names still on the voting list who have requested to leave, no longer believe and have not come in the door in the 14 years I was there.

    With the small victory of the Orthodox Bah?’?, I am sure within time there will be many versions of Bah?’? to choose from just like Christianity. I do hope you have a good job because as the economy hits it’s highs and people become confused who the ?real Bahai’s? are, the poorest wont have any pennies to spare to keep the water flowing and electric bills paid.

    I frankly do envision a day called the MGA, the Most Great Auction, of the Bah?’? properties in Haifa. I find no joy in the prospect of such. Unless the religion attracts members with means it can not support itself and it’s gilded cage. I have already read of centers closing and properties being sold. I am a real life CEO and when you start to sell off and downsizing it does not mean growth, it means reorganization or more free outsource such as members homes to maintain funds for the corporate structure.

    Popcorn in the bowl, Dr. Pepper on ice…

    Bird

  • Bird out of the Cage

    Carm-again;)

    ?The ease with which people can leave the Faith is an excellent indicator of the fact that it has no isolating mechanism which is a critical characteristic of cults (http://bahai-library.com/essays/cult.html ).?

    I must share with you first hand there is no ease what-so-ever in the un enrollment process, that is unless you are a Bah?’? for 5 seconds. I labeled myself a Bah?’? for 14 years and loved every excruciating moment of it because I thought I had found the closest thing on the planet that revealed G-d’s desires for myself and humanity. Hook line and sinker from the moment I heard the words…

    But from that moment I was set on a path to conform through my own personal drive and that of the AO, of which I have posted previous statements of early on gentle slaps on the hand for questioning anything past certain points, I lived in stride, still do.

    The demise of my relationship with the religion of the Bah?’? Faith began actually over a several year period of frustration with the lack of organization of the community I belonged to, but it was not the community who made the religion, it was the words itself. Instead of steering forward into the recommended Ruhi courses, I studied the actual archived books on line, through approved sites ;) It takes years to really form a picture when there are so many works to study and the saga goes way back. Beginning with the works of the Bab, Baha’u’llah, Abdul?Baha, Shoghi Effedni and the UHJ directives each year I was kept quite busy. None of that study was on covenant breakers. I was advised early on not to read anything on the subject. Avoid it at all cost.

    Last year on line I was questioned how I felt about what happened to Mason Remey and I had no answer because I never studied him. All I knew was that he was a tormented soul. So I decided to find out who he really was and the moment I did I felt like I was doing something wrong, (possible form of mind control?) but I had to at least look at who this person was before I could comment. I headed straight to the Bah?’? Reference Library and from there I really saw the ugliest side of the Bah?’? Faith and understood why the subject is discouraged to look into. I knew at the end of my study that there is no way that I am a Bah?’?. With all the facts in place I would have never walked in the door. There has been no ease in this departure. Very few of the Bah?’?’s in my community really believe I am not a Bah?’? but I am in a ?test?. And those of any intelligence that know I have left are in fact steering very clear of me. I refuse to discuss the subject with anyone live, in that I choose not to harm the good in them with all the ugly I did find beneath there rose tinted glasses.

    I assure you the Bah?’? Faith has lost more then they have kept that is if where I live is a micro example of the world there are many names still on the voting list who have requested to leave, no longer believe and have not come in the door in the 14 years I was there.

    With the small victory of the Orthodox Bah?’?, I am sure within time there will be many versions of Bah?’? to choose from just like Christianity. I do hope you have a good job because as the economy hits it’s highs and people become confused who the ?real Bahai’s? are, the poorest wont have any pennies to spare to keep the water flowing and electric bills paid.

    I frankly do envision a day called the MGA, the Most Great Auction, of the Bah?’? properties in Haifa. I find no joy in the prospect of such. Unless the religion attracts members with means it can not support itself and it’s gilded cage. I have already read of centers closing and properties being sold. I am a real life CEO and when you start to sell off and downsizing it does not mean growth, it means reorganization or more free outsource such as members homes to maintain funds for the corporate structure.

    Popcorn in the bowl, Dr. Pepper on ice…

    Bird

  • farhan

    Andrew wrote:
    ?I have witnessed, time and again, ex-Bahais suffer ostracism and isolation at the hands of Bahai relatives and friends after they have decided to leave the Faith and either embrace another religion or atheism.?

    Andrew, we do have bigots amongst the Baha’is, and I do not doubt personal experiences as the ones described here, but do I confirm what Carmen said : someone who leaves the Faith has _never_ in my long experience been shunned or ostracized. On the contrary, it is made clear that they would be welcome as friends whenever they wish to come, but those who leave the Baha’i Faith usually express the wish to be left alone and Baha’is fully respect this wish.

    The writings do encourage fellowship with those ?close to God? and discourage fellowship with the ?ungodly? or ?the evil one? but the definition of the “evil one” is not someone who leaves the Faith for whatever reason, but someone who deliberately seeks to undermine the spiritual growth of others ; here are Baha’u’llah’s own definition of the ?evil one? in the Gleanings :

    ?Watch over yourselves, for the Evil One is lying in wait, ready to entrap you. Gird yourselves against his wicked devices, and, led by the light of the name of the All-Seeing God, make your escape from the darkness that surroundeth you. Let your vision be world-embracing, rather than confined to your own self. The Evil One is he that hindereth the rise and obstructeth the spiritual progress of the children of men.?

    My personnal experience on this blog has been a source of thought and research, and not of obstruction.

  • Farhan Yazdani

    Andrew wrote:
    ?I have witnessed, time and again, ex-Bahais suffer ostracism and isolation at the hands of Bahai relatives and friends after they have decided to leave the Faith and either embrace another religion or atheism.?

    Andrew, we do have bigots amongst the Baha’is, and I do not doubt personal experiences as the ones described here, but do I confirm what Carmen said : someone who leaves the Faith has _never_ in my long experience been shunned or ostracized. On the contrary, it is made clear that they would be welcome as friends whenever they wish to come, but those who leave the Baha’i Faith usually express the wish to be left alone and Baha’is fully respect this wish.

    The writings do encourage fellowship with those ?close to God? and discourage fellowship with the ?ungodly? or ?the evil one? but the definition of the “evil one” is not someone who leaves the Faith for whatever reason, but someone who deliberately seeks to undermine the spiritual growth of others ; here are Baha’u’llah’s own definition of the ?evil one? in the Gleanings :

    ?Watch over yourselves, for the Evil One is lying in wait, ready to entrap you. Gird yourselves against his wicked devices, and, led by the light of the name of the All-Seeing God, make your escape from the darkness that surroundeth you. Let your vision be world-embracing, rather than confined to your own self. The Evil One is he that hindereth the rise and obstructeth the spiritual progress of the children of men.?

    My personnal experience on this blog has been a source of thought and research, and not of obstruction.

  • CoL

    Farhan,

    You’ve misattributed my remark to Andrew.

    I wouldn’t conflate Baha’u’llah’s use of the Evil One with the ungodly inasmuch as the former, popularly understood, refers to the baser dimension of human nature.
    Baha’u’llah is quite clear and unequivocal about his attitude towards atheists, as illustrated by the following passage:

    Know thou for a certainty that whoso disbelieveth in God is neither trustworthy nor truthful. This, indeed, is the truth, the undoubted truth. He that acteth treacherously towards God will, also, act treacherously towards his king. Nothing whatever can deter such a man from evil, nothing can hinder him from betraying his neighbor, nothing can induce him to walk uprightly.
    (Baha’u’llah, Gleanings from the Writings of Baha’u’llah, p. 232)

    Baha’u’llah is clearly identifying atheism with immorality.

    Farhan, as a devout Bahai, will you not admit that such a passage can prejudice your view of atheists? Do you not see how this can motivate Bahai disdain for and suspicion of Bahais who exit the Faith and opt for atheism? Is it consistent for a Bahai to affirm the truth of the above passage while also engaging atheists, whether formerly Bahai or not? Do you not see how writings like this can compel Bahais to view any attempt by ex-Bahais or atheists at articulating their objections and challenges to the Faith as ?hindering the rise and obstructing the spiritual progress of the children of men??

  • CoL

    Farhan,

    You’ve misattributed my remark to Andrew.

    I wouldn’t conflate Baha’u’llah’s use of the Evil One with the ungodly inasmuch as the former, popularly understood, refers to the baser dimension of human nature.
    Baha’u’llah is quite clear and unequivocal about his attitude towards atheists, as illustrated by the following passage:

    Know thou for a certainty that whoso disbelieveth in God is neither trustworthy nor truthful. This, indeed, is the truth, the undoubted truth. He that acteth treacherously towards God will, also, act treacherously towards his king. Nothing whatever can deter such a man from evil, nothing can hinder him from betraying his neighbor, nothing can induce him to walk uprightly.
    (Baha’u’llah, Gleanings from the Writings of Baha’u’llah, p. 232)

    Baha’u’llah is clearly identifying atheism with immorality.

    Farhan, as a devout Bahai, will you not admit that such a passage can prejudice your view of atheists? Do you not see how this can motivate Bahai disdain for and suspicion of Bahais who exit the Faith and opt for atheism? Is it consistent for a Bahai to affirm the truth of the above passage while also engaging atheists, whether formerly Bahai or not? Do you not see how writings like this can compel Bahais to view any attempt by ex-Bahais or atheists at articulating their objections and challenges to the Faith as ?hindering the rise and obstructing the spiritual progress of the children of men??

  • farhan

    CoL wrote:
    “Farhan, as a devout Bahai, will you not admit that such a passage can prejudice your view of atheists? Do you not see how this can motivate Bahai disdain for and suspicion of Bahais who exit the Faith and opt for atheism?”

    Sorry, CoL for the muddle; yes, I admit that your quote can lead some Baha’is to disdain for non-Baha’is, atheists and ex-Baha’is, and Baha’is not sharing their views. I actually remember some rare bigotted Baha’is attached to such concepts.

    There is the spirit of the faith and the words that apply to specific situations; the injunctions to love and forebearance are abundant in all religions, but some hang on to the few passages that are an alibi for their unmitigated hatred. The Grand Inquisitor passage in Karamazov brothers is a perfect study of bigotry.

    As far as I am concerned, when I look at my origins, I have absolutely no doubt that without the Baha’i Faith I would be a far worst and more intolerant person than I am now. I have no doubt that for me that Baha’i Faith has been a source progress, but I am sure that many have passed far beyond my condition through other sources.

    I remember a tablet of Abdu’l-baha praising the non-Baha’i Westa and musing on the effects of Baha’u’llah’s revelation had it first appeared in the West.

    My point goes beyond personnal virtues: my belief is that there is no other force capable of harmonising the contending cultures and nations such as backward bigots amongst which I was born and open minded atheists, other than the Baha’i Faith. I do not believe that passivity or violent confrontation are the keys to harmony.

  • Farhan YAZDANI

    CoL wrote:
    “Farhan, as a devout Bahai, will you not admit that such a passage can prejudice your view of atheists? Do you not see how this can motivate Bahai disdain for and suspicion of Bahais who exit the Faith and opt for atheism?”

    Sorry, CoL for the muddle; yes, I admit that your quote can lead some Baha’is to disdain for non-Baha’is, atheists and ex-Baha’is, and Baha’is not sharing their views. I actually remember some rare bigotted Baha’is attached to such concepts.

    There is the spirit of the faith and the words that apply to specific situations; the injunctions to love and forebearance are abundant in all religions, but some hang on to the few passages that are an alibi for their unmitigated hatred. The Grand Inquisitor passage in Karamazov brothers is a perfect study of bigotry.

    As far as I am concerned, when I look at my origins, I have absolutely no doubt that without the Baha’i Faith I would be a far worst and more intolerant person than I am now. I have no doubt that for me that Baha’i Faith has been a source progress, but I am sure that many have passed far beyond my condition through other sources.

    I remember a tablet of Abdu’l-baha praising the non-Baha’i Westa and musing on the effects of Baha’u’llah’s revelation had it first appeared in the West.

    My point goes beyond personnal virtues: my belief is that there is no other force capable of harmonising the contending cultures and nations such as backward bigots amongst which I was born and open minded atheists, other than the Baha’i Faith. I do not believe that passivity or violent confrontation are the keys to harmony.

  • P

    Carmen wrote: All I can say is that based on my experience in being a Baha’i since the early 70s and living in Baha’i communities in Jamaica and Europe and the Dutch Antilles I have never experienced such an attitude towards ex-Bahais. Those…

    well I guess you haven’t been around Persian Bahais much have you? As an Iranian Bahai, who happens to be gay, I know how easily someone in my situation could be ostrasized by family and others. I just chose to keep myself inactive from the Bahai community instead of dealing with their scourge. But I still have my insistant Persian Bahai mother trying to force me back into activities. Oh yeah, sure no pressures in the Bahai community, pleeeze; you must have your head stuck in the sand Carmen.

  • P

    Carmen wrote: All I can say is that based on my experience in being a Baha’i since the early 70s and living in Baha’i communities in Jamaica and Europe and the Dutch Antilles I have never experienced such an attitude towards ex-Bahais. Those…

    well I guess you haven’t been around Persian Bahais much have you? As an Iranian Bahai, who happens to be gay, I know how easily someone in my situation could be ostrasized by family and others. I just chose to keep myself inactive from the Bahai community instead of dealing with their scourge. But I still have my insistant Persian Bahai mother trying to force me back into activities. Oh yeah, sure no pressures in the Bahai community, pleeeze; you must have your head stuck in the sand Carmen.

  • Wulin

    so much hatred, so much pain.

    with so many problems in the world, why create more. With evil doers never resting, how can one, interested in the welfare of the world ever stop to contribute to the negative forces wrecking this world?

    It does not matter so much what religion, what thought of belief, as much as the underlying intent matters. To work for the betterment of the world, for peace unity, that is what’s important.

    One has no authority to tell another what they should think. It is so much up to the individual to *search* for an understanding. Flawed as we are, we are only too fallible. That is why a search is important, not a conquest to push your ideas, but a conquest to understand and respect.

  • Wulin

    so much hatred, so much pain.

    with so many problems in the world, why create more. With evil doers never resting, how can one, interested in the welfare of the world ever stop to contribute to the negative forces wrecking this world?

    It does not matter so much what religion, what thought of belief, as much as the underlying intent matters. To work for the betterment of the world, for peace unity, that is what’s important.

    One has no authority to tell another what they should think. It is so much up to the individual to *search* for an understanding. Flawed as we are, we are only too fallible. That is why a search is important, not a conquest to push your ideas, but a conquest to understand and respect.

  • farhan

    Wullin wrote:

    One has no authority to tell another what they should think. It is so much up to the individual to *search* for an understanding. Flawed as we are, we are only too fallible. That is why a search is important, not a conquest to push your ideas, but a conquest to understand and respect.

    Well said, Wullin, I fully agree

  • Farhan YAZDANI

    Wullin wrote:

    One has no authority to tell another what they should think. It is so much up to the individual to *search* for an understanding. Flawed as we are, we are only too fallible. That is why a search is important, not a conquest to push your ideas, but a conquest to understand and respect.

    Well said, Wullin, I fully agree