The Baha'i Faith & Religious Freedom of Conscience

From: K. Paul Johnson <>
Subject: Re: Re your site (Bahai)
Date: Wednesday, May 20, 1998 2:08 PM
Having seen both the smiling and the snarling face of Baha'i
attitudes toward ex-Baha'is, I can see that Maryam and Robert and
Nima are all telling the truth.  My own experience in leaving the
Faith back in 1974 was much as Maryam and Robert have described.
Kept all my old Baha'i friends, got no hassles, for years
regarded the Faith with some nostalgic fondness, hired a Baha'i
employee and sold a house to Baha'is years after withdrawal.
Absolutely no problems in relating to Baha'is.
But on the other hand I have seen the extreme hostility directed
at Nima and people like him; Baha'is who are also scholars of
religion and/or history, who cannot express a hair's breadth
deviation or doubt from the party line without having someone
swoop down on them with accusations of covenant-breaking.  That
Inquisitorial atmosphere has really become apparent in the wake
of the Talisman I debacle.  Nima, by sympathizing with people
like Juan Cole and Steven Scholl, ended up being at least
unofficially an "enemy of the Faith" after withdrawal, and thus
suffered treatment that neither Maryam, Robert's wife nor I even