The Baha'i Faith & Religious Freedom of Conscience


Juan Cole - Menu

From: <>
To: <>
Subject: Re: Baha'i backbiting
Date: Tuesday, February 23, 1999 2:03 AM

Dear Ron:

There is nothing to be puzzled by.  Right wing Baha'is only like to hear the
sound of their own voices (which are the only voices they will admit to being
"Baha'i" at all).

Obviously, the world is so constructed that they cannot in fact only hear
their own voices.  They are forced to hear other voices that differ from
theirs.  This most disturbs them when the voices come from enrolled Baha'is
or when the voices speak of the Baha'i faith.

The way they sometimes deal with the enrolled Baha'is is to summon them to a
heresy inquiry and threaten them with being shunned if they do not fall

With non-Baha'is or with ex-Baha'is, they deal with their speech about the
faith by backbiting, slandering and libelling the speaker.  You will note
that since I've been on this list I have been accused of long-term heresy, of
"claiming authority," of out and out lying (though that was retracted,
twice), of misrepresentation, of 'playing fast and loose with the facts,' and
even of being 'delusional.'  I have been accused of all these falsehoods by
*Baha'is*, by prominent Baha'is.  I have been backbitten by them.

This shows that all the talk about the danger a sharp tongue can do, all the
talk about the need for harmony, for returning poison with honey, for a
sin-covering eye, is just *talk* among right wing Baha'is.  No one fights
dirtier than they when they discover a voice they cannot silence and cannot

Paul Johnson has seen all these things, as well, for the past five years.  He
can explain it to you.

cheers   Juan

In article <>,
  Ron House <> wrote:
> wrote:

> I must admit I am quite puzzled how this dispute started. I acknowledge
> it is probably my failing for not following the thing closely enough,
> but I now feel impelled to ask: is there any way we can either come to a
> clear understanding or else shelve the whole thing? Clearly we readers
> who don't have an administrative axe to grind would much rather discuss
> your wonderful translations and other contributions than see your and
> others' energies sapped in this manner.
> --
> Ron House  
> You can only be right if you have the courage to be wrong.

Juan Cole
History, U of Michigan