The Baha'i Faith & Religious Freedom of Conscience


Shoot the Messenger, Character Assassination, ETC

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"The Bahai Technique" - Slander & Shunning


"I do think it’s convenient for some to focus on the messenger—why?—it conveniently deflects attention from the message." —Bernard Goldberg, Bias

"The ideas that rebels expound tend not to be attacked by those in power. The latter are inclined rather to kill the messenger by character assassination. For example, one rebel was said to be a womanizer... bitter... disloyal... and even, in the words of one accuser, dangerously mentally ill." —C. Tarvis, social psychologist

"Check for yourselves: during the last ten, twenty or thirty years, has rational argument ever been used against any dissident? No, never, because no such arguments exist. They always reply with curses and slander. Such was the “answer” to Sakharov. And just as empty was the “answer” to Heinrich Boll. But most often total silence has been the answer… (The Oak and the Calf), Solzhenitsyn


Excerpts from Interview of David Horowitz:
"Glazov: How much personal abuse have you suffered for your efforts? Why does the Left always attack the opponent as a human being, rather than simply just debate the opponent with dehumanizing and demonizing him?
David Horowitz: Because the Left is based on a fantasy of redemption -- which requires that its opponents are damned. It is also a reactionary force that has learned nothing from its crimes, and therefore cannot handle a debate on the issues or over the facts. Therefore it really has only one weapon, which is slander, defamation, which it will resort to at the least provocation. ....
David Horowitz: ....The extravagant goal of redeeming humanity justifies uncompromising means. Social redeemers regard themselves as an "army of the saints," and their opponents as belonging to the party of Satan. They do not view their conservative opponents as supporters of alternative means for improving the lot of women, minorities and the poor, but as enemies of women, minorities and the poor.
Progressive agendas cannot be opposed, therefore, on grounds that are principled or practical or compassionate. Opponents of "progressives" are defined as "reactionaries" -- advocates of racism and sexism, practitioners of "McCarthyism," and other incarnations of social evil. To be demonized by progressives, then, is not a personal matter, but is an ineluctable consequence of opposing their agendas. These agendas are of necessity uncompromising. Since theirs is always a battle between good and evil they have to be constantly on guard against contamination by the reality they are seeking to overcome. Consequently they are always on the hunt for the impure among them, for witches and others who have danced with the devil."
Compare The Baha'i Cadre System - Randy Burns

Bunnin and Beren (Writer’s Legal Companion), “A truth statement, no matter how damaging, can’t be libelous.”

"Constitutional lawyers French, Lukianoff and Silverglate (FIRE’s guide to Free Speech on Campus) note that "The concept of defamation includes both libel (usually, written defamation) and slander (spoken defamation), although the two are frequently confused and lumped together. […] If you are accused of libel, don’t panic. Although defamation is one of the most frequently made claims in law, it is also one of the most frequently dismissed. […] If a statement is true it is not defamatory. […] A statement of opinion, by itself, cannot be defamation. […] In other words, defamation is about objective harm, not about subjective hurt."

The poet should possess the courage to "go upright and vital, and speak the rude truth in all ways" (Emerson)

"Commitment does not exist as an abstraction; it exists in action. This is what it is about: Everything we do is either functioning within the system as it exists, or challenging the system. It is as simple as that. So when one examines literature, or when one creates literature, one is either following an established order and functioning within it, or one is bucking that order, challenging it, questioning it. […] The question which naturally arises in some minds is: “What is the relationship between the writers who function within the system and the writers who challenge the system?” […] There is almost no dialogue at all, no communication at all—with negligible exceptions—between these two groups of writers." —Dennis Brutus, “Literature and Commitment in South Africa”

"What, in effect, would it (art and literature) speak about today? If it conforms to what is demanded by our society on the whole, it will serve as diversion without consequence. If it blindly refuses society, it will express nothing other than refusal. This double nihilism has touched a huge part of modern literary creation produced by entertainers and rhetoricians of forme, but which in both cases ends up in an art cut off from real life." - Albert Camus

"What was good about Rabelais was that he risked his own skin." —Louis-Ferdinand CÚline

"You know the real thing is that the sense of sacrifice and risk is one of the greatest stimuli in the world. And you take that all out of it—take that away from it so that there’s no risk in being a poet, I bet you’d lose a lot of the pious spirits. They’re in it for the—hell of it." —Robert Frost

"Finally, for those who are not interested in principled arguments, remind them that history shows us that the censors of one generation are the censored of the next. […] You are part of the community; do not let the administration that it must censor speech to please the community. The idea that there is a conflict between free speech and the academic community fundamentally misunderstands both the goals of higher education and the nature and role of free speech." —George Orwell

"Literature was not promulgated by a pale and emasculated critical priesthood singing their litanies in empty churches—nor is it a game for the cloistered elect, the tinhorn mendicants of low calorie despair. The ancient commission of the writer has not changed. He is charged with exposing our many grievous faults and failures, with dredging up to the light our dark and dangerous dreams for the purpose of improvement." —John Steinbeck, Nobel banquet speech

"I am ashamed to think how easily we capitulate to badges and names, to large societies and dead institutions." —Ralph Waldo Emerson

"Criticism, like charity, starts at home." —Wole Soyinka