The Baha'i Faith & Religious Freedom of Conscience

From: Ron stephens <>
Subject: Re: Resignation
Date: Wednesday, May 05, 1999 11:37 PM
Dear Dr. Maneck
    I have not visited any of these newsgroups in about a year, since I
joined the List, I think. Now, I come here and, try as I might, It's
hard not to be affected by what I read tonight. Do you have any
knowledge about what happened with the dismissal of Mr. Nelson? I also
made the mistake of reading some of what Juan Cole has written about
this incident, and unfortunately clicked on the some things he now says
about you too. While nothing could shake my faith in you in any way, it
does make me wonder what is going on at high levels. Why doesn't the
National Assembly tell us what really happened? This air of total
secrecy is alarming to me.
    I know Juan must be very very bitter about all that has happened,
and it colors everything he says now. Still, I find that what he says
specifically about the need to reform our electoral process to be very
convincing. More importantly, I feel that secrecy and the powerful force
that fear instills in people could pretty much kill any chances for
reforms of any kind ever in the administration of the faith. Don't high
level administrators of the faith owe it to us, and to Baha'u'llah, to
uphold the highest standards and try to fix things when they get even a
little out off kilter?
    Listening to Juan's diatribes about spies on email lists and such
cause me to recall that Dr Iskander made a post recetnly tpo the Bahai
Studies List that strongly implied that my recent very immoderate posts
on the Baha'i Studies List (which I admit were a little extreme) would
definitely provoke a response from unknown (to me) listeners. What is an
ABM for protection? Are all ABM's for "protection" or just certain ones.
Is this sort of like an inquisition?
    I think I'll stay away from these newsgroups . I'm gone for two
weeks anyway after this friday. I know you are busy but a short reply to
this note before then would be nice. I'm not really all that  upset
about anything too much..but you got to admit sometimes that this much
smoke sure *seems* to indicate a fire, at least a small one. Wasn't Dr
Iskander comments a not so subtle threat to me? And wouldn't you say
than Juan Cole is not down on Glayesher's level (no one is) but although
bitter Juan probably makes a few good points? And how can a National
Asembly memeber be guilty of gross misconduct? Do you really thnk that
[t]he letter Juan posted is false?