The Baha'i Faith & Religious Freedom of Conscience


Roger Kingdon versus Barney Leith's Account 

See my video interview on David Kelly for the movie Baha'is in My Backyard - Segment 2

NOTE WELL: Incredibly, many have accepted, without the slightest hesitation, suspicion, and, apparently, investigation, the claims by the fundamentalists among my fellow baha'is regarding David Kelly's talk at the home of Geeta and Roger Kingdon. It should be carefully considered to what extent Barney Leith's July 20 letter prohibiting Baha'is from talking with the press influenced the comments here. The timeline should also be carefully investigated since the possibility exists that local Baha'is revealed that the October 2002 meeting took place prior to Barney Leith's July 20 letter. Notice too that the only Baha'i being interviewed by Lord Hutton is the author of that prohibition and Secretary of the UK NSA. Obviously, Barnabus Leith and Roger Kingdon have very different accounts and only one can be the truth:


"Roger Kingdon told The Observer last night that Kelly expressed his
unhappiness with how the document was being interpreted, saying the
intelligence information supplied was accurate, but indicating that he
was uncomfortable about how it was being represented.",6903,1006711,00.html

Barnabus Leith, UK NSA Secretary:

Media exposure 'led to Kelly suicide'
Matthew Tempest, political correspondent
Tuesday September 2, 2003
"...Earlier the court heard testimony from Barnabus Leith, the secretary of
the national spiritual assembly of the Baha'i faith, who denied media
reports that Dr Kelly had addressed a Baha'i meeting on the September

"Mr Leith said that the scientist was always "particularly discreet" and
that although Dr Kelly did address a meeting in Oxfordshire about his work as a
weapons inspector, it was not a Baha'i faith meeting and he neither
mentioned the dossier nor was asked about it....

"Mr Leith revealed that Dr Kelly joined the religion - founded by an Iranian
prophet in the 19th century - while in California in September 1999.",13747,1034240,00.html

If you're unfamiliar with hikmat and taqiya in either a Muslim or Baha'i context, it's basically the "wisdom" of lying and dissimulating when necessary to protect yourself or the faith..... Outside observers should be especially careful and alert to Hikmat & Taqiya, "wisdom" and dissimulation, key Baha'i concepts

For anyone interested, the Wikipedia article on taqqiya cites an outstanding article by Ibrahim, Raymond. "How Taqiyya Alters Islam's Rules of War: Defeating Jihadist Terrorism". Middle East Forum. Winter 2010. Having read a number of articles on taqqiya (taqiyya or taqiya) over the years, I've highly recommend Raymon Ibrahim's piece. It is available online:

NOTE WELL:  See FULL TEXT for Roger Kingdon's account below. My comments interwoven here with Barnabus Leith's testimony before the Hutton Inquiry, EXTRACTS:

24 A. You use the word "progress", it is not really
25 a progression.
1 Q. Sorry.
2 A. Because there is no career structure, as it were.

One can be re-elected EVERY YEAR, for decades, which is
the way it actually works in the Baha'i Faith, much complained
about by "liberal Baha'is," but there's no career structure.... 
Please, someone inform his Lordship that he's been duped.

8 Q. I think you wanted to comment on an article in
9 a newspaper which claimed that Dr Kelly had spoken about
10 his work. Did Dr Kelly speak about his work, as far as
11 you knew?

I.e., Lord Hutton had been told ahead of time that Leith
wanted to refute Roger Kingdon's claim, note, not the newspaper's,
that Kelly HAD discussed the dossier....

12 A. He did not, or at least he did not ever in my hearing
13 and I understand from the Baha'is in Abingdon that he
14 did not at Baha'i meetings talk about his work.

THEY said otherwise earlier in public.... According to
them, Kelly had spoken about the dossier IN THEIR
HEARING and had been questioned about it. Leith
knows that and hence his equivocation. Was Leith in the WC?

He was
15 extremely discreet. The particular press comment
16 claimed that he had spoken at a Baha'i meeting
17 critically about the September dossier.

WRONG. Roger Kingdon claimed.... The press reported
his claim. Time to interview the interviewer or author of
article.... Time to interview ALL 30 of those at that meeting....

This was not in
18 fact the case. I was at that meeting.

Barnabus Leith is the author of the gag order issued on
July 20 from the UK NSA.... As a fundamentalist, on the
career ladder/structure, he's completely untrustworthy.

It was not
19 a meeting organised by the Baha'i local assembly, it was
20 privately organised and he was invited to speak to an
21 audience of Baha'is and non-Baha'is about his work as
22 a weapons inspector in Iraq from 1991 until 1998; and he
23 did so with the aid of slides. He did not mention the
24 dossier. Nobody asked him about the dossier.

And 30 people just happened to be Baha'i? Kelly didn't
think he was addressing a Baha'i gathering? How many
non-Bahais were there? Who called around to organize
the meeting? It wasn't the Local Spiritual Assembly as
usual? Or members thereof? Hence, other Baha'is would
have certainly believed they were attending a Baha'i 
meeting. Roger Kingdon clearly thought, implied, and said 
as much.... 

FULL TEXT of Roger Kingdon's account:,6903,1006711,00.html 


Revealed: Kelly told church of dossier fears 

Scientist briefed Hoon days before attack on Iraq 

Jason Burke and Kamal Ahmed
Sunday July 27, 2003
The Observer 

David Kelly spoke openly to fellow members of a religious sect about his
concerns over the 'interpretation' of intelligence material in the
Government's September dossier on whether Saddam Hussein possessed
weapons of mass destruction.

As the dead scientists' family yesterday met the senior law lord
appointed to head the judicial inquiry into the affair, remarkable new
details emerged of Kelly's views on the dossier during a discussion with
worshippers of the Bahai faith, a Persian religion that promotes global
peace, inter-racial harmony and self-discipline. 

The disclosure of new evidence about his 'unhappiness' with the dossier
came as it was revealed last night that Geoff Hoon, the Defence
Secretary, had a private lunch with the weapons scientist shortly before
the Iraq conflict, undermining government claims that Kelly was a
middle-ranking official with little access to intelligence. 

Hoon met Kelly to discuss Saddam and the weapons of mass destruction.
Although it is not clear whether Kelly raised his concerns about the use
of intelligence to make the case for war, it is unusual for a member of
the Cabinet to meet officials unless they have high levels of
information unlikely to be known by the Minister. 

Kelly, who joined the 5000-strong British followers of the Bahai faith
in 1999, made his comments at the home of Geeta and Roger Kingdon, two
fellow worshippers, in Abingdon, Oxfordshire, on 5 October last year.
Also present were around 30 other invited Bahai guests. 

Kelly gave a 40-minute talk, which was accompanied with a slide show,
about his work as a weapons inspector in Iraq. He ended with a question-
and-answer session on the intelligence dossier, which had been made
public 10 days earlier as part of what opponents claim was a government
attempt to swing public opinion behind war on Iraq. 

Roger Kingdon told The Observer last night that Kelly expressed his
unhappiness with how the document was being interpreted, saying the
intelligence information supplied was accurate, but indicating that he
was uncomfortable about how it was being represented. 

At the time of the discussion, newspapers and broadcasters were
reporting, with government guidance, that the document proved that the
Iraqi military could deploy chemical and biological weapons at 45
minutes' notice; that there had been recent attempts by the Iraqis to
acquire 'significant quantities of uranium from Africa'; and that Iraq
could produce a nuclear weapon in 'between one and two years' if
Saddam's Hussein's agents obtained bomb-grade uranium and other

The Sun reacted with the headline: 'He's got 'em... Let's get him.' 

Critically, however, Kingdon said it was unclear whether Kelly was
saying that he was unhappy at the way the document had been presented by
the government, or at the way it had been interpreted by the media, or

'I asked him what he thought of [the dossier]. It was clear that he was
happy with the factual content but less happy... and felt frustrated...
by the way it had been interpreted... But he did not say who by.' 

Kingdon said Kelly was 'ambiguous' about exactly who he blamed for the
misrepresentation of the dossier. '[He] expressed frustration at how it
was interpreted but did not say by whom,' he said. 

The news that he talked so openly will be seized on by those who have
been trying to paint the scientist as a maverick with an inappropriate
taste for talking about his work. 

However, Kelly's friends attribute it to his personal determination to
ensure that the problems of weapons proliferation was properly
understood by the public and the media. 

The disclosures last night added fresh intrigue to the crisis that has
engulfed the government and the BBC since the Ministry of Defence
scientist's body was found two miles from his home in Southmoor,
Oxfordshire, on 18 July. Kelly, 59, bled to death after slashing his
left wrist. 

Lord Hutton, who was appointed by Tony Blair to carry out a judicial
inquiry into the events surrounding Kelly's death, yesterday visited his
widow, Janice, and her three daughters before starting to hear evidence
in a case that is likely to last six weeks. Friends of the family
indicated last night that they were unlikely to make any public comment
until the inquiry was completed. 

Kelly, who was employed by the Ministry, though he had frequent contact
with the security services, appears to have often briefed journalists on
the hunt for WMD programmes in Iraq and elsewhere. It was one such
discussion, with Andrew Gilligan of the BBC in a hotel in London earlier
this year, which eventually led to the disclosure of his name to the
media and his suicide. 

The Observer has also learned that Kelly was vetted by the Ministry of
Defence and MI5 in the months before his death. As a senior official at
the top secret chemical and biological weapons research centre at Porton
Down, Kelly was subject to so-called 'developed vetting'. 

This enhanced level of checks tests for which involve comprehensive
interviews with colleagues, superiors and other associates, is usually
only reviewed every three years. A more cursory check, of police and
financial records, is carried out every year. It is unclear which vet
ting procedure was carried out on Kelly earlier this year. 

There have been reports - denied by his family - that Kelly had been
suffering from depression for some time. Ministry of Defence officials
said last night that vetting, conducted by a special section in York, is
largely focused on security issues and that a medical problem, unless
entered on medical records, might not be detected. However, one former
colleague of Kelly told The Observer that the scientist would have been
subject to a high degree of scrutiny. 'This is someone with access to
the highest levels of intelligence and who, through his work at Porton
Down, worked closely with extremely dangerous substances,' he said.
'They would have been, or should have been, watching him closely.' 

Kingdon said that Kelly was a strong admirer of Hans Blix, the Swedish
head of the United Nations weapons inspection programme who was
criticised by American hawks for being too moderate. Blix is known to be
committed to the idea that inspections offer a better alternative to
international disputes over weapons of mass destruction than war. 

Bahai officials said they are discussing funeral plans with Dr Kelly's
family. 'Bahais locally are in touch with the family and are offering
whatever support they can to Mrs Kelly,' one said. 

'We're working very closely with the family to have a funeral in
accordance with the family's needs and Dr Kelly's life,' he said. 

Meanwhile, Sky News and ITN are making legal representations to Lord
Hutton in a bid to have television cameras admitted to the inquiry
hearings, a Sky spokeswoman said yesterday. 

The secretary to the inquiry, Lee Hughes, announced last Thursday that
the judge had decided TV and radio broadcasts would be limited to the
opening and closing statements. 


EVIDENCE grows... Dr. David Kelly & the Baha'i Faith 

Article on David Kelly in De Morgen, Sept. 6, 2003, by Maarten Rabaey 

Mai Pederson (Al-Sadat) Arab Kuwaiti American Baha'i