The Baha'i Faith & Religious Freedom of Conscience


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

NOTE WELL:  I urge the reader to peruse Professor Juan Cole's article on the treatment of liberals by fundamentalists in the Baha'i Faith, linked to at the bottom, and then reflect again on the events surrounding Dr. David Kelly's death and the possible involvement of Mai Pederson. Life can be stranger than fiction, and the David Kelly affair has already corroborated that cliché in more ways than one.

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

Medical evidence does not support suicide by Kelly,3858,4856799-103683,00.html

Thursday February 12, 2004
The Guardian

Since three of us wrote our letter to the Guardian on January 27, questioning whether Dr Kelly's death was suicide, we have received professional support for our view from vascular surgeon Martin Birnstingl, pathologist Dr Peter Fletcher, and consultant in public health Dr Andrew Rouse. We all agree that it is highly improbable that the primary cause of Dr Kelly's death was haemorrhage from transection of a single ulnar artery, as stated by Brian Hutton in his report.

On February 10, Dr Rouse wrote to the BMJ explaining that he and his colleague, Yaser Adi, had spent 100 hours preparing a report, Hutton, Kelly and the Missing Epidemiology. They concluded that "the identified evidence does not support the view that wrist-slash deaths are common (or indeed possible)". While Professor Chris Milroy, in a letter to the BMJ, responded, "unlikely does not make it impossible", Dr Rouse replied: "Before most of us will be prepared to accept wristslashing ... as a satisfactory and credible explanation for a death, we will also require evidence that such aetiologies are likely; not merely 'possible'. "

Our criticism of the Hutton report is that its verdict of "suicide" is an inappropriate finding. To bleed to death from a transected artery goes against classical medical teaching, which is that a transected artery retracts, narrows, clots and stops bleeding within minutes. Even if a person continues to bleed, the body compensates for the loss of blood through vasoconstriction (closing down of non-essential arteries). This allows a partially exsanguinated individual to live for many hours, even days.

Professor Milroy expands on the finding of Dr Nicholas Hunt, the forensic pathologist at the Hutton inquiry - that haemorrhage was the main cause of death (possibly finding it inadequate) - and falls back on the toxicology: "The toxicology showed a significant overdose of co-proxamol. The standard text, Baselt, records deaths with concentrations at 1 mg/l, the concentration found in Kelly." But Dr Allan, the toxicogist in the case, considered this nowhere near toxic. Each of the two components was a third of what is normally considered a fatal level. Professor Milroy then talks of "ischaemic heart disease". But Dr Hunt is explicit that Dr Kelly did not suffer a heart attack. Thus, one must assume that no changes attributable to myocardial ischaemia were actually found at autopsy.

We believe the verdict given is in contradiction to medical teaching; is at variance with documented cases of wrist-slash suicides; and does not align itself with the evidence presented at the inquiry. We call for the reopening of the inquest by the coroner, where a jury may be called and evidence taken on oath.
Andrew Rouse
Public health consultant
Searle Sennett
Specialist in anaesthesiology
David Halpin
Specialist in trauma
Stephen Frost
Specialist in radiology
Dr Peter Fletcher
Specialist in pathology
Martin Birnstingl
Specialist in vascular surgery

Dr Kelly 'did not kill himself'
Femail, UK  1-26-04

An American confidante of David Kelly has cast doubt on whether his death was suicide.

Days before Lord Hutton's report into his death is published, Mai Pederson claimed the Government scientist received death threats because of his work in Iraq.

She said she was surprised that he had apparently taken 20 painkillers before slashing his wrist in remote woodland - because he had an aversion to swallowing tablets.

Mrs Pederson, a United States Air Force translator who worked alongside Dr Kelly in Iraq, refused to give evidence to Lord Hutton's inquiry.

But in a statement to police she said Dr Kelly had told her he would "never" commit suicide and that he feared he would be found "dead in the woods".

She rebutted speculation that she had been romantically involved with the 59-year-old married father of three, insisting their relationship was more like "brother and sister".

Mrs Pederson told The Mail on Sunday: "I told the police that the fact that he was found dead in the woods was not surprising.

"The fact that they said he committed suicide was."

Mrs Pederson, who lives in Alabama, is a member of the Baha'i faith which Dr Kelly joined some years ago.

She said Dr Kelly told her how his mother had committed suicide and confided: "Good God no, I couldn't imagine ever doing that? I would never do it."

"Parts of Dr Kelly's life remained a mystery even to close associates.
Still unexplained is his late religious conversion to the Baha'i faith
and his friendship with his spiritual mentor, an American linguist,
Mai Pederson, who was questioned by Thames Valley Police after his
death, but refused to allow her statement to be passed on to Lord

Ms Pederson was mentioned only briefly at the Hutton inquiry when Mrs
Kelly testified that she was "quite influential" in bringing Dr Kelly
to the new religion and "later became a family friend".

Nicholas Gardiner, the Oxfordshire Coroner, told The Times last night
that he will study all relevant material, including Dr Kelly's
childhood and his friendship with Ms Pederson, before deciding whether
to hold a full inquest."

'Full story:

Hutton was never told about Kelly's anguished youth,,2-972690,00.html

Coroner ready to open new Kelly inquiry
By Laura Peek, Dominic Kennedy and David Charter
* BBC reporter's four-letter fury at 'outrageous' Panorama claims

A CORONER is considering a full inquest into the death of David Kelly
because he believes that the Hutton inquiry was unable to examine key
details of his troubled past.

At least five witnesses, including Mai Pederson, the American woman
who introduced Dr Kelly to the Baha'i faith, refused to release their
statements. Mr Gardiner said: "What their motives might be for not
handing over their statements I have no idea but I think I ought to
see them.

Full Story:,,2-972832,00.html

Spiritual mentor to tell of relationship with Dr Kelly
Mai Pederson, 43, has hired a leading lawyer in Washington following reports....

"The Mail on Sunday" (TMOS) 7th September 2003
[Purportedly published there but unconfirmed via Internet]

From Sharon Churcher ( In Monterey, California)
underneath: QUIZZED: US spy Mai Pederson was close to Kelly.

Article heading:


This is the first picture of Seregant Mai Pederson, a twice
married American Spy who could hold vital clues to the death of
Dr David Kelly. Ms Pederson, 43, struck up a close friendship
with the Ministry of defense scientist when they were both
serving with a UN weapons inspection team in Iraq, and has
been questioned by officials investigating his death. She is a
veteran of American military intelligence and also a devotee of
the exotic Baha'ireligious sect. She converted Dr Kelly to the
Faith in 1999.

Yesterday it was revealed that Sgt Pederson may now be called
to give evidence at the Hutton inquiry into the death of 59 year old
Dr Kelly.

Page 2) The Mail On Sunday can disclose that she has already
been interviewed by British Investigators. The developments
have fuelled intense speculation in Whitehall. Observers said
Sgt Pederson testimony would open a new line of inquiry into the
tragedy and perhaps supply unique insights into Dr Kelly's frame
of mind and his links to international intelligence.

last night Sgt Pederson appeared to be in hiding, with US
officials refusing to to discuss the affair or say where she is. "
This is not a US investagation and it would be innappropiate for
us to discuss the inquiry" said a spoksman at the Maxwell
Gunter US Air Force base in Alabama, where Sgt Pederson is
stationed. " She is co-operating with the authorities. Asked
whether she had been questioned by the British authorities, the
spokeman replied "yes thats my understanding".

Sgt Pederson's ex husband James, told friends last week that
she was a 'spook' trained to cultivate anyone who might be able
to help her in her intelligence work. She broke the news of Dr
kellys death to fellow members of of the bahai sect telling them
not to believe what they would read about the affair in the press..
A Pentagon spokesman said last night " I can tell you
emphatically that we are not hiding her. We do not hide people"



She is a flirtatious divorcee, a spy for the American Air Force, and
a leading cheerleader for an exotic Eastern religious sect. And
now she may hold the key to the lonely, mysterious death of
David Kelly.

Petite mai Pederson, exclusively pictured today by TMOS
befriended Dr kelly while both were serving with the UN
weapons inspectors in Iraq in 1998. Before long, she converted
him to the Bahai Faith.

Ms Pederson was in hiding last night, and has been seldom
seen since Dr Kelly was found dead on July 18. Indeed, her
existance was unknown until last week, when, in a cryptic article
that mysteriously failed to appear in its main edition, the
Labour-supporting Times newspaper disclosed that she had
been the Government scientist's spirtual mentor. Hitherto,
altmost nothing had been known about the enigmatic Dr Kelly's
private life.

Yesterday The Times reported that the Hutton Inquiry into Dr
Kellys death was now considering whether to call Ms Pederson
as a witness, a development that could not be confirmed by
inquiry officials.

However, TMOS has established that Pederson has been
questioned by British authorities. The developments sparked
intense speculation in Whitehall last night. A senior source told
the TMOS " This would open up a whole new line of Inquiry",
which is possibly just what the government wants, the stakes
are high indeed".

So what llight could Mai Pederson shed on the tragedy of Dr
Kelly, who was found dead after being named as a source for a
BBC report that the government had sexed up the case fror war
on Iraq? TMOS has found no no evidence to support the Times
repeated implication that the self-effacing Government scientist
did indeed fall under Pederson's spell - and that she could
supply revealing insights into his state of mind.

In addition, it is clear that Pederson would have first hand
knowledge immerssion in the murky world of international
intelligence. It appears that Dr Kelly first met Ms Pederson in
Iraq in December 1998. He was part of the UN's weapons
inspection team; she was an Arabic inspection USAF sergeant
who had graduated from spy school "SHE HAD BEEN WHISKED
had held various posts in military intelligence.

She was also an energetic advocate of the bahai Faith 0 oddly,
perhaps because of its avowed opposition to militarism. They
became friends, not long afterwards Dr kelly began to appear at
bahai meetings in Monterey, California. He was sometimes
accompanied by Pederson, who was now based at a nerby
military spy school. She was introduced as his spirtual mentor,
to the puzzlement of some members of the sect. " There are
Bahai's all over the world, including England, He didnt have to
come all this way", one official said last week. Kristen Calwell
who runs a bookstore, added " One of the tenets of the Faith is
that you investigate it on your own".

An intelligent expert said last night that the American military had
tried - and often failed - to use weapons inspectors as
informants. Did Pederson target Dr Kelly for this reason?

The American Airforce was blocking inquiries on the subject last
night and is believed to have Pederson under its protection. "The
CIA was desperate to get information out of the inspectors" the
expert told TMOS "It had a policy of putting spooks alongside
some of the more uncooperative inspectors. It is inconceivable
that she was one these people. Its an amazing coincidance that
she was in the military"

At the time, it does not appear that Dr kelly smelled any rats. In
the autumn of 1999, after the Government scientist travelled to
monterey for several tutorials about the Faith he became a
formal convert. He declared that he believed Baha'u'llah, the
group's 19thcentury founder was sent to earth by God as "The
Promised one" -a successor to Jesus and other prophets and
signed a membership card promising to abide by Baha'i laws ',
which prohibit alcohol, drugs, adultery and party politics while
advocating "non military resolution of conflicts' and the
supremacy of the United Nations.

Bahai officials claim Kelly - an agnostic when they first met him
was impressed by the rationality of their belief's. Mai and Dr Kelly
came to our house several times', recalls Marilyn Vonberg, the
79 year old Monterey resident who was secretary of the
assembly at the time. 'She taught him the Faith. He was really
studying'. I was thrilled when he became a Bahai because he
was such an exceptional man. I gave him a book and he took it
back to England with him and bought another one there and sent
it to us. He said the book helped lead him to God' She adds that
Dr Kelly was impressed by Sgt Pederson's demeanour, her

Various men came under the spell of the mysterious sergeant.

(page 6 & 7) 

Her first husband Cameron Dr Hart, a former US Special Forces
combat controller, said in an exclusive interview from his home
in Indianapolis: "Mai is a charmer. Her eyes are so beautiful that
when she looks at a man, she instantly can wrap him around her
little finger"

Her second husband, Us Airforce Sergeant Jim Pederson,
would concur. He has told friends: mai is a beautiful woman,
absolutely stuning. She was very sexy, seductive even, and was
always flirting with men. I am not suprised that she became a
friend of David Kelly. "Part of her military training was to cultivate
anyone who might be able to help her in her intelligence work

"It may well have been why she zeroed in on Dr kelly. She
undoubtedly viewed him as a potential intelligence source. The
two things that obsessed her were the military and the Bahai

Born Mai al-Sadat in the Gulf Kingdom of Kuwait, Pederson's
fluency in Arabic, German and French impressed her Pentagon
bosses. " She was given a top secret clearance, and one of her
first jobs was translating military documents', says a US
Defence Department insider. " Subsequently, she became a
translator and "tour guide" escorting other undercover operatives
on assignments in the Middle east'.

Jim Pederson told friends: She has always been a spook of one
kind of or another'. She is invaluable in this job because she
dosent look as though she's in intelligence. She goes in to
interrogate someone and she is tiny and beautiful, and she flirts
with them, and just sits down and chats. Before they know it
they've told her all sorts of stuff.

'The marriage never stood much of a chance from the start. Mai
was always going away for months at a time. She was proficent
with a gun and in basic unarmed combat and worked
undercover for long periods called TDA for Temporary Duty
Attachments - in Egypt and I believe Iran. She was a very
complex character'. But he stressed: She tok marriage very
seriously and was not at all promiscuous - just the opposite'.

Her first husband believes his exwife's adherance to the bahai
Faith was an act of rebellion against her strict Muslim father. In
199, after the couple seperated Mai became a language
instructor at the Defense Language Institute, a spy school the
USAF runs in Monterey. In her testimony to the Hutton Irguiry last
week, Dr kelly's widow Janice said she knew only a little about
her husbands conversion to Baha'i. She added however, that Mai
pederson had been quite influential in her husbands spirtual
quest and had become a family friend.

On the morning that Janice Kelly gave evidence, later editions of
the Times newspaper disclosed the existance of Mai Pederson
and of her importance in the life of Dr Kelly. The newspaper is an
unapologetic supporter of New Labour and along with the
Guardian and Financial Times, was responsible for naming Dr
kelly in the first instance. It gave no clue to the provenance of
its story which was printed only in a few thousand copies and not
noticed by the rest of the media.

During the week the newspaper ran another item - this time
about Dr Kelly and the bahai Faith - and then yesterday claimed
that Mai Pederson could be called as a witness when the Hutton
inquiry reconvenes later in the month. The Times quoted a
spokesman for the inquiry as saying : It is possible that she may
be called to give evidence."

Yesterday the inquiry told TMOS that her summons was indeed
possible, but by no means certain, However, yesterdays
admission to The mail on Sunday that Master Sgt Pederson had
been interviewed by the British investigating authouities -
presumably reporting to the m,inistry of Defense - confirmed that
Dr Kelly's superiors were aware of his friendship with the
engaging American spy.

Had the Ministry of Defense played any part in its emergence into
the press? Perhaps the one woman who knows the truth is Mai
Pederson. She did not respond to repeated requests by TMOS
for comment. Intriguingly, however, she was one of the very first
people to learn of Dr Kelly's body had been found

"She phoned us and said he had been found" says the Bahai
leader Marilyn VonBerg. Pederson then said that her friends
"shouldn't believe what we would be reading in the newspapers"
What could that possibly mean? " Its very mysterious to us"
admits Mrs VonBerg's husband, John. Mrs Vonbwerg was
unable to confirm the exact date of the call from Pederson
informing her and her husband of Dr Kelly's death. My husband
took the call" she said.

Since that call, Mai Pederson appears to have gone to ground.
Her Baha'i friends will not say where she is , although they have
been prepared to pass on telephone requests for interview,
which have all been declined. O)ne neighbour at Pederson's
most recent address in Mongomery, described her as a very
pleasant person who had introduced herself when she moved in
about a month ago. Prior to her move, which is believed to have
taken place during the Dossier row but before Dr Kelly was
named, Pederson appears to have been working at the
Pentagon's internal staff directory although her extension is not

Her Alabama neighbour said: "She didn't say where she worked
and we are not the kind of people to ask. Other neighbours said
that they had breifly met Pederson but had not seen her for the
past week. Her neat, suburban ranch style bungalow in the leafy
suburb of east Montgomery, a 20 minute drive from Maxwell Air
Base where she works, stands empty.

The base, in one of the country's poorer regions, is one of the
biggest employer in the area and brings about $800 million into
the economy of the capatial of the state. At the vast complex early
last week, a MOS journalist asking to see Pederson was told : "
We have no one here of that name that I can find.

Subsequent inquires were referred to the base public affairs
officials. For several days, base Press Officers repeatedly
refused to answer questions related to Pederson, saying only
that all such inquiries should be directed to the British
Government. Only yesterday did an official confirm that Sgt
Pederson worked at the base and had been questioned over her
links to Kelly.

September 21, 2003
Seven steps of despair that led to Kelly death
David Leppard and Jonathon Carr-Brown

....New details have also emerged of Dr Kelly's friendship with Mai
Pederson, a US military linguist who served with him as a United
Nations weapons inspector in 1998 and later introduced him to the
Baha'i religion.

Pederson was his mentor when he converted to the faith in Monterey,
California, in September 1999. This weekend Lee Steinmetz, chairman of
the Baha'i chapter in Monterey, recalled conversations that he had
held with the couple when he hiked with them in 1999 to Point Lobos, a
beauty spot on the Pacific coast.

Steinmetz dismissed suggestions that Pederson's faith was simply a
pretext to extract intelligence from Kelly. He said that he saw
nothing which suggested that they were involved in a romantic

Barney Leith, Roger Kingdon, Mai Pederson, and now Lee Steinmetz....

Why would anyone believe them? Especially when they contradict
one another? And have every reason to lie for the bahai administration:

1. Affair
2. Spook who targeted Kelly, apparently a last minute substitution in 1998
3. Bahai, just by chance.... 
4. Kingdon.... 30 others at October 5, 2002 meeting, other bahai
meetings Kelly spoke at....

An awfully suspicious mess. How uninformed are the media? Bahai
fundamentalists tell them something and they swallow it, unaware of the
actual record of human rights abuse within this religion supposedly 
devoted to world peace and brotherhood. The Hutton Inquiry is 
steering clear of it for political reasons. How could it ever deal with 
the US Air Force, DOD, the Pentagon, and planted spies? All rolled
into a religion fiddling around for its own interests....

NOTE WELL: Mai Pederson REFUSED to give testimony. Roger Kingdon has not been heard from since the July 20th article. Surely, his story changed long ago.


Iraq Expert's Death May Be Probed Again
Fri September 26, 2003 10:11 PM ET
LONDON (Reuters) - .... But a coroner in Kelly's home county of Oxfordshire said he might
reopen his own inquest, which was adjourned at the start of the Hutton
Inquiry, because several witnesses had refused to let judge Lord
Hutton see their statements to police.

Oxfordshire Coroner Nicholas Gardiner said at least five witness
statements were not seen by Lord Hutton, according to the newspaper.

"Why these individuals concerned do not want their evidence to go
forward I do not know," he was quoted as saying. "I shall ask police
to show them to me if necessary. It depends on my reading of the
(Hutton) report, which does not exist yet."

Police interviewed 500 people, took 300 witness statements and passed
the 70 most relevant on to Lord Hutton, but only where the witnesses
had given their permission, the paper said....

ESSENTIAL READING - Two introductory articles on Baha'i fundamentalism and censorship

  Professor Juan Cole, of the University of Michigan, Department
  of History, has a website of extensive and disturbing documentation
  that anyone interested in the Baha'i Faith should be aware of, especially
  his article "Fundamentalism in the Contemporary U.S. Baha'i Community,"
  Religious Studies Review, Vol. 43, no. 3 (March, 2002):195-217:

  In his book Modernity and the Millennium, published by Columbia University
  Press in 1998, Professor Cole observes the Baha'i administration has
  increasingly come under the control of fundamentalists, "stressing
  scriptural literalism . . . theocracy, censorship, intellectual intolerance,
  and denying key democratic values (196)."

  See also Karen Bacquet, "Enemies Within: Conflict and Control in the
  Baha'i Community." Published in American Family Foundation's
  Cultic Studies Journal, Volume 18, pp.109-140:

  For numerous other views,  I also recommend the over 50 megabytes
  of documentation on my own website, especially "The Baha'i Technique" 
  for an introduction to Byzantine Baha'i practice against liberals, ex-bahais,
  and non-bahais:

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

Roger Kingdon versus Barney Leith's Account 

To understand the uhj's attempting to appeal to the NGO community, a further instance of its subtle involvement in politics, see its repeated use of Marxist historian
  Eric Hobsbawm cited in The Century of Light.

For further evidence of baha'i involvement in politics, see extensive manipulation of the United Nations

  NITV in LA broadcasting pro- return-of-the-Shah propaganda into Iran

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 (taqiyya or taqiya) 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 over the years, I've highly recommend Raymon Ibrahim's piece. It is available online:

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