The Baha'i Faith & Religious Freedom of Conscience


Gibro28W was the author of the words attibuted to me. The reader
should note that Albert Verbrugh is a moderator at soc.religion.bahai.
One might want to compare this message to "The Baha'i Technique":
technique.htm since this provides,
I believe, some valuable insight into the thinking current at srb.
Please note the date: October 16, 1998, well after the "neutral" RFD
had been widely accepted and apparently agreed on by many Bahais
formerly opposed to talk.religion.bahai.

From: Albert Verbrugh <>
Cc: <>
Subject: Re: fw Gibro28W Remember the function of this site.
Date: Friday, October 16, 1998 4:29 PM
FG wrote:
> In summary, the biggest problem, as I see it,
> is that most Baha'is don't take criticism seriously--they tune it out as
> "negative" or "harmful to spiritual growth." This selfish
> attitude is very stupid. .......
Some thoughts on "criticism" from one infinitly more in tune with 
reality than you or I.
"When criticism and harsh words arise within a Bahá'í community, there 
is no remedy except to put the past behind one, and persuade all
to turn over a new leaf, and for the sake of God and His Faith refrain
mentioning the subjects which have led to misunderstanding and
The more the friends argue back and forth and maintain, each side, that 
their point of view is the right one, the worse the whole situation
-- Shoghi Effendi, Directives from the Guardian, p. 17
...Vicious criticism is indeed a calamity. But its root is lack of faith 
in the system of Bahá'u'lláh, i.e., the Administrative Order--and lack 
of obedience to Him--for He has forbidden it! If the Bahá'ís would
the Bahá'í laws in voting, in electing, in serving and in abiding by 
Assembly decisions, all this waste of strength through criticizing 
others could be diverted into cöoperation and achieving the Plan..."
-- Shoghi Effendi, Directives from the Guardian, p. 17
Let them call to mind, fearlessly and determinedly, the example and 
conduct of `Abdu'l-Bahá while in their midst. Let them remember His 
courage, His genuine love, His informal and indiscriminating 
fellowship, His contempt for and impatience of criticism, tempered 
by His tact and wisdom. Let them revive and perpetuate the memory 
of those unforgettable and historic episodes and occasions on which 
He so strikingly demonstrated His keen sense of justice, His 
spontaneous sympathy for the downtrodden, His ever-abiding sense 
of the oneness of the human race, His overflowing love for its 
members, and His displeasure with those who dared to flout His wishes, 
to deride His methods, to challenge His principles, or to nullify His 
-- Shoghi Effendi, The Advent of Divine Justice, p. 34-35
>"...With the present, unaccountable
>(off-the-hook "infallibilty") mindset of the UHJ, however, this won't 
>happen any time soon...."
Am I further more, right in assuming you no longer see yourself as 
an upholder of the Covenant? If, your answer is affirmative than I 
would beg the question, why are you so eager to establish a new news 
group called 'talk.religion.bahai'. Why not call it
Is it, to soothe a bruised ego.
"The first condition is firmness in the Covenant of God. For the power 
of the Covenant will protect the Cause of Bahá'u'lláh from the doubts 
of the people of error. It is the fortified fortress of the Cause of 
God and the firm pillar of the religion of God. Today no power can 
conserve the oneness of the Bahá'í world save the Covenant of God; 
otherwise differences like unto a most great tempest will encompass 
the Bahá'í world. It is evident that the axis of the oneness of the 
world of humanity is the power of the Covenant and nothing else. 
Had the Covenant not come to pass, had it not been revealed from 
the Supreme Pen and had not the Book of the Covenant, like unto the 
ray of the Sun of Reality, illuminated the world, the forces of the 
Cause of God would have been utterly scattered and certain souls who 
were the prisoners of their own passions and lusts would have taken 
into their hands an axe, cutting the root of this Blessed Tree. 
Every person would have pushed forward his own desire and every 
individual aired his own opinion! Notwithstanding this great Covenant, 
a few negligent souls galloped with their chargers into the battlefield, 
thinking perchance they might be able to weaken the foundation of the 
Cause of God: but praise be to God all of them were afflicted with
and loss, and erelong they shall see themselves in poignant despair. 
Therefore, in the beginning the believers must make their steps firm 
in the Covenant so that the confirmations of Bahá'u'lláh may encircle 
them from all sides, the cohorts of the Supreme Concourse may become 
their supporters and helpers, and the exhortations and advices of 
`Abdu'l-Bahá, like unto the pictures engraved on stone, may remain 
permanent and ineffaceable in the tablets of all hearts.
-- `Abdu'l-Bahá, Tablets of the Divine Plan, p. 51-52
Albert Verbrugh