Full interview below in three segments. FG
Given the US Federal Court decisions ruling three times against the Haifan Baha'i denomination in 2008 to 2010, I believe it is the right moment to make available this full interview for people researching the Bahai Faith.
I was interviewed for the movie Baha'is in My Backyard on October 18, 2004. The movie was produced by the Israeli company Belfilms. At the time I had not yet realized that the 1912 Covenant of Abdul-Baha existed, as documented in the early Bahai magazine the Star of the West and by Ruth White, as well as other sources, and was the formative document for the Bahai Movement in the West, during Abdul-Baha's lifetime, both in the United States and Europe. Consequently, the 1912 Authentic Covenant of Abdul-Baha is the central document for the renewed and revived Reform Bahai Faith. Accordingly, some of my remarks in this interview on Shoghi Effendi would be revised today, as would my acceptance of approximately a million Baha'is in India, which now appears actually to be closer to merely 11,000 people, mostly Iranian immigrants, according to the testimony of an Indian who was a former NSA member. Otherwise, my opinions and concerns would remain the same today, though perhaps my comments on the maniuplation of Google search results for Baha'i were more applicable in 2004. Google has increasingly become aware of and responsive to how people and organizations attempt to manipulate its results.
Please note that I was interviewed by Belfilms for two and a half hours but they chose a highly selective two minutes to use, carefully arranged and presented, which distort the full context of my comments and portray me in an unfavorable light, at best, and in a way that is reminiscent of the tactics of the Haifan Baha'is themselves. They also violated client confidentiality by making our contract public, including my persoanl signature, without my permission, and in a way that casts suspicion upon me. Although required by our mutually agreed upon contract, Belfilms both failed to notify me before the first public broadcast of the film and to provide me with a requisite DVD copy until I had heard of the airing several months after the event and reminded them of their obligations. The short clip of my interview is further framed with a lead-in and closing that is meant to present me in a ridiculous and paranoid fashion*(mp3 below). I maintain the fullness of the interview allows the viewer a more comprehensive perspective on both myself and the manner in which the movie was created, as well as the issues involved.
While people elsewhere on the Internet have speculated that the Unitarian Baha'is and Baha'u'llah's great-grand-daughter Nigar Bahai Amsalem may have funded, or been behind the movie, or the Haifan Baha'is in what would be a highly characteristic counter-disinformation effort, since much of the movie simultaneously attempts to diffuse suspicions raised in the film, presenting Haifans as innocuous, the fact remains that in 2011 it is still unresolved from whom or where Belfilms received funding for the movie and what was the true motivation for its production. Others have speculated that the Israeli government was behind the movie in some way. To a perceptive viewer aware of the actual historical record of Haifan Baha'is when it comes to religious freedom and speech, the movie clearly constitutes more than a "mockumentary."
Baha'is in My Backyard - Segment 1 - Full Interview - Streaming wmv. Naama Pyritz from Belfilms was the interviewer.
Baha'is in My Backyard - Segment 2 - Full Interview - Two Israeli cameramen present throughout the full interview.
Baha'is in My Backyard - Segment 3 - Full Interview
Or watch all three through the Playlist on YouTube:
Bahais in My Backyard - trailer Youtube - Sets up FG and Juan Cole as the demons in the paranoid fantasies of the uhj.
"Documentary, 54 min. A Belfilms Production Directed by Naama Pyritz & Asaf Shafir. Belfilms is one of the leading production houses in Israel, producing drama, documentaries, feature films and commercials, for Israeli and foreign broadcasters, advertising agencies, and international co-productions. Belfilms features and documentaries have been screened in the cinema and television throughout the world and at film and television leading festivals."
Much of the finished movie Bahais in My Backyard is available on Youtube Playlist - though edited.
*Mp3 - One of the cameramen deceitfully reassured me at the end of their taping that "I want to ease your mind about what we're doing. Just to make sure, that we have the integrity to present it exactly as it came out." As explained and suggested above and demonstrated by the final product of the movie, I believe they handled the interview without any integrity whatsoever and harbored malicious intentions from the start. Naama Pyritz and cameramen at the end: Mp3 recording 2 minutes.