The Baha'i Faith & Religious Freedom of Conscience

From: Juan R. I. Cole <>
To: Richard C. Logan <>; Talisman <>
Subject: Re: anonymous remailers
Date: Wednesday, December 03, 1997 8:51 PM
Dear Richard:
I must say I am shocked and disturbed at your diatribe at me.  When did I
ever attack you or bring your character and motivations into question?  Are
you really doing to others as you would have them do unto you?
> He has mounted a bitter campaign 
>against Baha'i institutions for some time now posting anything he can 
>find that might tend to discredit the Rulers and the Learned of this 
Well, actually, I am the one against whom a bitter campaign was mounted, by
Farzam Arbab, Doug Martin, Ian Semple, Fred Schechter, Monajjem, Stephen
Birkland, and others.  I was just minding my own business, studying the
writings and doing deepenings for the friends in cyberspace.  All of a
sudden I am being made out some kind of proto-covenant breaker.  And the
charges against me were things like talking about Baha'u'llah as a
historical person.  Stephen Birkland sat in my living room and accused me of
talking about Baha'u'llah as a historical person.  And this sort of nonsense
was being construed by the uhj and the itc as covenantal.  He was a
historical person, by the way.  And after they drove me out of the faith I
loved with these utterly false and dishonest charges, the cued or at least
allowed their minions to go around slandering me as mentally unbalanced or
as thirsting for leadership or some such.  
Let me ask you, Richard.  What exactly have I done to any of these cultists
that even slightly compares to what they did to me?
>There were several instances of this last year including an 
>attack on a very mild mannered and self-effacing Counselor who resides in 
>Canada.  Those who were subscribed to the list last year will remember 
>this sad episode.
Your self-effacing Dr. Ghadirian stood up in front of a large crowd in
London, where I was not present, and libelled me and David Langness as
"enemies from within" of the Baha'i faith.  Being a counsellor does not give
him license to backbite or to spread falsehoods in public.  All I did was
protest being treated this way by him.  I still haven't gotten the apology
from him I deserve, by the way.
>I'm not a member of Irfan because Juan Cole wouldn't allow me to join 
>when he started the list because he considered me one of those perfidious 
>fundamentalists he's always excoriating.  
Richard, I haven't had anything to do with for a very long
time.  Take it up with their board.  When it started it was a private list I
ran off my x500 program, and I let people on to it who I thought were
involved in serious Baha'i studies.  I suppose you have amply demonstrated
what you thought and think of me, which doesn't exactly call into question
my earlier judgment.  But I do want you to know that I bear you no ill will
and that I know you can be very sweet, and that it is your desire for unity
and harmony that drives you to demonize me for protesting injustice.  I
don't like the role that has been thrust on me, either, you know.  But I
don't see how I can lie down and let these people walk all over my friends;
it wouldn't be right.
As for the Inquisition launched against a friend of ours, your questioning
of my assertion is just a muddying of the waters.  After what happened to
the prominent Talismanians and to Michael McKenny, does a further
Inquisition really sound so implausible to you?
Anyway, all I said was I now think if someone wants to be a true Baha'i in
cyberspace, they'd better do it anonymously.  What's wrong with my saying that?
cheers   Juan