The Baha'i Faith & Religious Freedom of Conscience


From: K. Paul Johnson <>
Subject: Re: Letter of resignation
Date: Tuesday, July 27, 1999 10:36 AM

Dear Susan,

Sorry, the wording made it seem as if you were an eyewitness.
The fact remains that in one sense you did "drop everything" to
intervene in this.  I recall distinctly that you had been
trashing Juan here for days on end, and suddenly announced that a
crisis had arisen that would occupy your energies to the
exclusion of continuing the attacks on Juan.  Then, months of

You wrote that the House had no reason to deny Terry's being
targeted in the April 7 letter if he was indeed the target.
Seems to me they had *every* reason.  A community was being
subjected to terror, the PR ramifications were horrendous, Terry
had powerful friends intervening on his behalf, and the House had
plausible deniability because the letter was written on their
behalf rather than by them directly. 
I see no reason *for* them to
admit his being targeted.  That's the "beauty" of attacking
people without naming them.  Juan was no more "obvious" a target
than Terry; both were *implicitly described in terms of the
positions they advocated*.  In either case, you have to be in the
know to tell who's being trashed.  In either case, the House can
deny it meant whom it obviously did.

Who in the world *was* the target of the "Mashriq-ul-Adhkar
enthusiasts are a threat to the Covenant" if not Terry?  As the
leading spokesman for this idea, he came immediately to my mind
upon reading that passage and I'm sure to many others.  Anyone
else who might hold such a position is a minor player compared to

You may imply that I "believe whatever I want" but my conclusions
about the Baha'i AO have nothing to do with my personal wishes
and everything to do with the abundant evidence that has been
pouring in for years.  Paul D. is the most recent and to my mind
the most damning of the witnesses.  Sure, there are people who
refuse to regard this evidence as even slightly persuasive.  But
from a sociology of knowledge perspective, "the plausibility, in
the sense of what people actually find credible, of views of
reality depends upon the social support they receive."  The
deniers that anything is deeply wrong in Haifa and Wilmette have
absolutely tremendous social support for their denial.  Those who
recognize serious problems might scratch out a little
social support from a few people via the Net.  But by and large
they receive not support but social ostracism for coming
to their conclusions.  On the face of things, that makes them
more credible to me because they are paying a big price for their
perceptions, whereas you are *receiving* lots of social
support from the very AO that is persecuting so many others.
There's always a danger of compromising one's integrity when one gets
too cozy with dictators.