The Baha'i Faith & Religious Freedom of Conscience

From: K. Paul Johnson <>
Subject: Re: Why I left (expanded version)
Date: Monday, August 17, 1998 12:25 PM
Seeing an exchange about the honesty and reliability of an
ex-Baha'i's story of "why I left" inspires some comments.  There
are so many ways to parse the question "Why did you leave?" that
I think a couple deserve mention.  First would be "What were your
conscious thoughts at the time you chose to withdraw concerning
the reasons for doing so?"  Another would be "What reactions were
going on unconsciously at the time that you can now look back on
and recognize as motivating factors?"  In my own case, the
answers to these two questions would be quite different.  First
would be that the claims of the Bab and Baha'u'llah about
their own status and their place in history no longer were
persuasive to me.  Second would involve so many aspects of being
turned off by dogmatism, implausible readings of history,
totalitarian hopes for the future, etc. etc., that it took me
years to realize all the factors involved.
I'd think that at this stage Tim might be learning more of those
second-order motivating factors, since it takes a long while to
process such things.