The Baha'i Faith & Religious Freedom of Conscience

From: <>
Subject: Re: Another Inquiring Mind
Date: Tuesday, June 29, 1999 10:59 PM
In article <7lbkk3$>,
  "Rick Schaut" <RSSchaut@email.msn.NOSPAMcom> wrote:
>How long are we going to be blamed for
> our perceptions when, all along, we've been open to clear and
convincing evidence that our perceptions have been faulty?
I think many on the other side of the issue have been saying the same
thing, Rick.
>Take an
> objective look at the famous Majnun post, and tell me you don't see a
> mentality running rampant through it.  One of the problems with
people who
> are paranoid is that it's next to impossible to convince them that
> after them.  Their _perceptions_ have become their reality.
Ditto on my coment above. Do you not see a "bunker mentality" in the
April 7th letter? I do and so do many others. The numbers are not as
small as you may think, though. I have met and spoken with many
Baha'is, including many who are not engaged in any academic study, who
feel the same way, but do not speak out or ask questions for _fear_ of
being labeled as someone who is creating disunity, being
"investigated," or expelled. Iknow that as an assistant for protection,
one of the things we discussed many times in meetings was the
reluctance, even animosity, on the part of many LSA's and groups to
whom we were assigned towards assistants. They were very often
considered as "spies." These people on the LSA's for the most part are
not academics. But they have the same fears, though they do not openly
acknowledge them. But I can attest to the fact that the LSA to whom I
was assigned did everything they could _never_ to meet with me despite
my assurances and the Institutins that I was there to help. No, they
never called me a "spy" to my face. Bt the secretary and chairman did
say, quite frankly, "We don't need anyone reporting on us." And this
was not my experience alone. I am not saying it's every asistant who
has this experience, but I think it happens with increasing frquency.
> The difference is, as always, evidence--evidence that's shorn of
> rhetoric, facts that are simply presented unadorned and
unembellished.  We
> _never_ see this.  I have _never_ been given the opportunity to view
> evidence as simply evidence by those who claim that all sorts of
> shennanigans are going on.
I think that this could apply to the claims made in the April 7 letter
as well!
> You know, this kind of open, respectful and mature interchange of
ideas is
> precisely the kind of discourse I was hoping to find when I
subscribed to
> Talisman I how many years ago.  When I got there, what did I find?
One of
> the first posts I saw, under the subject "Guardianology" (or was it
> "Guardianologists"?), did little more than take pot-shots at other
> because the vews of those Baha'is didn't conform to the author's
> That post didn't come from any allegedly "fundamentalist" Baha'i.
I don't doubt that there have been many comments made _on both sides of
the issue_ that sounded like pot-shots and indeed may have been. I
think most folk would agree with me. Heck, I've been wrong in that
regard as well. That's unfortunately the nature of internet discussion.
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