The Baha'i Faith & Religious Freedom of Conscience

From: <>
Subject: Re: Universal Declaration of Human Rights and Freedom of Conscience
Date: Monday, February 15, 1999 6:03 PM

Dear Rachel:
The works of the Bab in the possession of the Baha'i World Centre in Haifa
have been deliberately suppressed and any Baha'i who ever tried to arrange
for their publication has been stopped from doing so on pain of being
shunned.  A few 'selections' from the writings of the Bab were published, but
nothing like his whole corpus, and the couple volumes of prayers and
'selections' are not representative of his work.
There are large numbers of Babi and Baha'i chronicles and histories of the
community in Iran that have never been published, and the publication of
which has been blocked by the Baha'i authorities, even in the face of
explicit instructions of `Abdul-Baha and Shoghi Effendi.  `Abdul-Baha, for
instance, ordered that Bayda's history of the persecution of Baha'is in Yazd
be published, but it never has been.  Shoghi Effendi made preparations to
publish Ashchi's biography of Baha'u'llah, but the Persian text of it was
suppressed by Haifa in 1982.  The UHJ has forbidden the publication of the
remaining volumes of Hand of the Cause Fadil Mazandarani's *History of the
Manfestation of Truth*, a massive 9-volume history of the faith from its
beginnings till the time of `Abdul-Baha, even though it was commissioned at
the behest of Shoghi Effendi.  Even some small chronicles of the Babi period
by eyewitnesses that managed to get published in anthologies were taken out
of subsequent volumes at the order of the Baha'i authorities.
About 15% of Baha'u'llah's writings have been published, and about 5%
translated.  Translations of the remaining corpus and its publication are
blocked by the Baha'i officials within a Baha'i framework.
Even the vast majority of *Shoghi Effendi's* Persian letters have not been
published, including especially those that say that all LSA's should be
devoting a major portion of their time and money to philanthropical work,
including charitable work for non-Baha'is.
I cannot entirely explain why this policy of suppression is in place.  To
some extent, the publication of the masses of primary sources would undermine
the fundamentalist stance of most Baha'i officials, who can maintain it only
if they suppress alternative evidence.	And then, the Baha'i faith is mostly
run like a family Public Relations firm, and it is easier to do PR for simple
causes than for complex ones.  Obviously, it is harder to maintain that all
Babis and Baha'is have always been angels if you have the histories of
conflict published. Finally, an emphasis in the Tablets of the holy figures
and in the letters of Shoghi Effendi on pure charity would undermine the
current stance that Baha'is should throw money at the 'institutions' and let
others worry about doing good for human beings.
This suppression of primary sources is now definitively breaking down.	For
those who know Arabic and Persian see the Arabic and Persian digital library
and  where several hundred pages of works by Baha'u'llah
and `Abdul-Baha have been posted.
For new translations see:
cheers   Juan

In article <7a90d8$225$>,
  <> wrote:
> ...speaking of the release of Baha'i scripture...
> My husband and I were discussing this and he was quite surprised to find out
> that photocopies / scans of the all original texts in the possession of the
> World Centre aren't freely available to all and sundry who ask (which was my
> assertion).  But I also know I am not speaking from experience (having never
> attempted to gain access to an unpublished original) - therefore can anyone
> set the record straight on what is the official policy regarding release of
> copies of original texts?    Surely if copies of the original are as freely
> available as McDonalds restaurants, that would rule out some dark character
> putting out her own mistranslations that are full of errors?
> Regards
> Rachel
Juan Cole
History, U of Michigan
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