If you’ll forgive me, I’d like to lapse into a solipsistic state to explain something. When I started this blog and even before as I participated in online exchanges, I found some people becoming agitated and uncomfortable with my anonymity.
Once in a while, I actually run into someone who has an outright conniption because I choose to write anonymously. They automatically believe that my anonymity must mean that I have nefarious motives: I must be a Covenant-Breaker… or worse, they conclude. And often times, they don’t even hesitate to tell me in the most un-Baha’i like manner.
In any case, I’d like to clear up this situation as best as I can. Quite frankly I find it rather puzzling myself because I personally try to pay more attention to what someone is saying rather than who the person is. The reason I try to remember this principle is quite simple. Were it not for such a mindset, no one would have recognized any Manifestation of God!
I imagine they would have pointed and said: “But you’re just a carpenter! You’re not the Son of God!!” And so forth. Now, I’m not at all claiming to be a prophet. All I am saying is that we’d all be better off removing such veils from our eyes and following the path of individual investigation of truth. That requires me to listen and pay attention to the content of your speech and conduct… rather than your surname, title and clothing.
Furthermore, to those conniptionny (is that even a word?) folks, I’d like to say: welcome to the internets!
Over here, many prefer to protect their privacy by using a nick, or a handle (net speak for a pseudonym). And most of the people I know think nothing of using such pseudonyms online. Their purpose, is of course not nefarious. It is to simply protect their privacy.
A while back I joined an online Baha’i discussion group and after introducing myself I let everyone know, in case it wasn’t obvious, that Baquia was a handle. I did this because eventhough I want to protect my privacy online, I don’t think it is right to be sneaky about it or to lead people to believe that you are someone else. For example, eventhough I could, I haven’t and wouldn’t use a name like, say, John Brown, to trick people.
Anyway, the group and its moderators quickly went into anaphylactic shock (metaphorically, not literally). Something about anonymity really disagreed with them. They couldn’t quite say why, but they definitely did not like it. I pointed out to them what I mentioned above: that it was to maintain privacy and that I had been forthright since I intended to create no confusion. The whole thing was absurd really, but it ended up with me being removed from the group.
What makes this whole thing more than ridiculous is that there is no way to ascertain that the people you are taking to are in fact who they claim to be. So why waste time in such trivial and fruitless pursuits? Why not put such unanswerable questions aside and simply… you know, talk? Fairly soon after you begin doing so, you learn all you need to about a person.
And that, is much more important than their identity. I hope that settles the matter for the minority that mistake this as a legitimate issue. And if it doesn’t, then they can just look me up in the dictionary: