The Baha'i Faith & Religious Freedom of Conscience


Steven Scholl

When I received a letter from a Baha'i Continental Counsellor indicating that I was under threat of being declared a Covenant-breaker, the impact on me personally was less than on my family. My wife is a Baha'i as are many of her family members, . . . The very real threat of being declared a Covenant breaker meant my wife had to face the decision of joining me as a heretic or divorcing me so that she could maintain her relationships with her family and other lifelong friends. Since [my wife] had no intention of divorcing me, the choices then extended out to her family. Her sister would not refuse to socialize with us so she would automatically be declared a covenant breaker along with her husband and children. Many of my close Baha'i friends would also be faced with the decision of maintaining friendships or joining me as a heretic. The whole thing is absurd and quite medieval. But it does raise the issue which you point out so well; how anyone would want to belong to a group which is willing to act this way and be so cruel is beyond me. That is why I voluntarily left the religion. Not in order to escape punishment but because the Baha'i community had become such an unhealthy place spiritually. I was terribly saddened that my spiritual home of 25 years had turned into a prison and nightmare. 

Quoted by Karen Bacquet in "Enemies Within:  Conflict and Control in the Baha'i Community" [60] Scholl, Steven. (2000). April 26 post to

See Steven Scholl's related comments:
Re: Article in American Family Foundation's Cultic Studies Journal by Karen Bacquet

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Further examples and details regarding the use of shunning and slander in the Baha'i Faith:

The Baha'i Technique - Slander & Shunning

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