The Baha'i Faith & Religious Freedom of Conscience


See too further Marshall discussion


From: "Steve Marshall" <>
Subject: Re: Universal Declaration of Human Rights & Marshall Case
Date: Sunday, April 02, 2000 8:11 AM

>I know nothing of the situation regarding Ms Marshall beyond what has been
>reported here (and it would be typical of the Faith if no mention of this
>incident is ever reported in official Baha'i media) but on what has been
>reported here, if it is accurate, Ms Marshall's rights seem to have been

I can vouch for Alison's story. The terse letter from her national
spiritual assembly, informing her of the Universal House of Justice's
charges and decision, came out of the blue. I think the letter was
terse because her national assembly was simply passing on a message.
It seems to have had no other part in the process.

The message talked about "an established pattern of statements by
[her] and behaviour and attitude on [her] part over the past two or
three years". Yet no Baha'i administrative body so much as hinted to
Alison that it had any concerns, right up until the email was

There was no consultation and no warning - just an arbitrary decision
from the House terminating 20 years of membership. I think the lack of
due process was shameful.

This new practice of removal from Baha'i membership is, not
surprisingly, undocumented. There's plenty of information on
deprivation of membership rights, withdrawal from membership and
expulsion for covenant-breaking, but none on removal of Baha'i
membership. When Michael McKenny had his membership removed a few
years ago I asked for documentation on the practice and was told there
wasn't any because it happened very infrequently and each situation
generally turned on its own facts.

ka kite