The Baha'i Faith & Religious Freedom of Conscience


Shunning > Menu 

Compare "The Bahai Technique" - Slander & Shunning

Shoot the Messenger, Character Assassination, ETC

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"Men never do evil so completely and cheerfully as when they do it from religious conviction." Pascal, Penses #894.

"Unmeasured vituperation employed on the side of the prevailing opinion really does deter people from professing contrary opinions and from listening to those who profess them." --John Stuart Mill, On Liberty (51-52).


Steve Scholl on shunning family

Jeffrey Goldberg's poignant story. I hope others will take the time to read and reflect on it. "My wife and I were declared to be covenant-breakers." Golberg was the lawyer representing the Orthodox Baha'i denominations in the NSA lawsuit of 2006 to 2008.

Compare LaAeterna's "publicly denounce my family as heretics"

David Langness "cultlike practice of shunning and casting out any dissidents"

Ruletherod "shunning mentality"

Michael McKenny, "removed your name from our membership rolls."

Alison Marshall, "removed your name from the rolls."

Juan Cole on Baha'i Shunning 1 uhj denounces New Zealander as a covenant breaker, Ms Pauline Smith

Juan Cole on Baha'i Shunning 2 "non-Baha'is are being shunned by the Baha'i community"

Juan Cole on Baha'i Shunning 3 "a form of libel as traditionally defined"

Juan Cole on Baha'i Shunning 4 "Shunning is the marker of a cult."

Juan Cole on Baha'i Shunning 5 "institutionalization of shunning as a feature of everyday life"

Juan Cole on Baha'i Shunning 6 "Baha'is are always on heresy trial"

Juan Cole on Baha'i Shunning 7 "shunning is threatened or imposed"

Juan Cole on Baha'i Shunning  8 "sentenced to the "social death" of shunning"

Juan Cole on Baha'i Shunning  9 Does not "go back to Baha'u'llah .... [now] more widely used and more Draconian"

Larry Rowe - Hypocrisy of Bahai Shunning December, 2005

Larry Rowe - 2006 Extensive comments on shunning and slander "shunning or expelling non-conforming adherents"

On talk.religon.bahai, a Bahai using the name of Nosrat relates his story:

"I am not angry about what they did to me and my family, although it
was very horrific. I do not disclose how much I was hurt and how much
emotional and financial damage they imposed on me and my family, and
I do not want my unveiling of the occurrence contribute to the fear
strategy of the bogus UHJ among the Baha'is.

"In my last meeting with the so called continental counsellor when I
had finished my talk, she asked my wife, do you share your husband's
belief? My wife fearfully and nervously answered: No, No, then she
turned to me and asked don't you think and care about your wife, your
children, your mother and the rest of the family? Surely you know
what will happen to you. At that moment I remembered that a similar
question was asked from the martyrs of the Faith before their
execution, I calmly answered, I love my wife and my children and my
family very much and they know this themselves but I love God and
Baha'u'llah more than them. . . "

"Baha’is have been declared covenant-breakers for other reasons, however, such as refusing to shun relatives that have been excommunicated" in footnote #7. Karen Bacquet in "When Principle and Authority Collide: Baha'i Responses to the Exclusion of Women from the Universal House of Justice"

"A Dangerous Doctrine. In considering the problem of fear, let us for a while study the writings of Shoghi Effendi, the Guardian of the Cause, and see how he handles this vital subject.... The three published volumes of Shoghi Effendi are *Baha'i Administration, The World Order of Baha'u'llah* and *The Advent of Divine Justice*, which works consist of the letters which he has addressed to the National Spiritual Assembly in the course of the last 20 years. Now, I have read these three books and find that the words *enemies* and *adversaries* are greatly featured. Baha'u'llah has said: *Consort with all men with joy and fragrance, yet Shoghi Effendi, in his very first letter, dated January 21, 1992, written after his assumption of the guardianship, recommends *the absolute shunning of whomsoever we feel to be an enemy of the Cause. (*Bahai Administration, page 16.) Now, I cannot bring myself to the point of believing that *absolute shunning* of whomsoever we *feel* to be the enemy of the Cause is a principle of Baha'u'llah. Is every one going to let his *feelings* guide him in the matter? Can we not take for granted that frail human beings as we are, a great deal of personal caprice and spite may enter into our calculations as to *who* is the enemy of the Bahai Cause? This is a very dangerous doctrine, and yet one finds it in different forms throughout Shoghi Effendi's communications. He practically never mentions the names of the *enemies* or *adversaries* to whom he constantly refers. He simply creates ogres and bogey men, and fills the hearts of the Bahais with apprehension and fear. In this way, the fountain-head of free and open comradeship is dried up and the flowers of loving-kindness wither away" (409-410).  Excerpt from Mirza Ahmad Sohrab's Broken Silence: The Story of Today's Struggle for Religious Freedom. New York: Universal Publishing, 1942. Reprinted. H-Bahai: Lansing, Michigan, 2004.

Search Google Groups Talk.Religion.Bahai for Shunning

Wikipedia on Shunning (All information about the Baha'i Faith on Wikipedia is controlled and dominated by fundamentalists, including that regarding Baha'i shunning and other Bahai denominations. The Baha'i morality tale of Wikipedia's shunning page appears to be everyone else is doing it, so why shouldn't Baha'i?) 

For examples of how individual baha'is use slander and shunning
to control and manipulate fellow members, see
Susan Maneck - DRIVING people out of the Bahai Faith

Compare: Shunning - ”A Part of the Faith of Jehovah’s Witnesses”

Jim Jone's People's Temple, Jonestown, Guyana, 1978:

"One of the powerful things that Jim used to keep us, to not think, we were never really allowed
to speak to one other. I'd look around and think am I the only one who feels this way. I learned
eventually not to say anything to anyone." --Grace Stoen
PBS American Experience website for Jonestown

" ... It occurred to me as I'm sitting there that if this had been in the Middle Ages, if these men
had not only the ecclesiastical power but if they had the power of the state, where they could give
a physical punishment to me, I realized in this moment that they would have burned me at the stake.
And they would have done it smiling, thinking that they were saving my soul. This is why at the end
they can shake my hand and say, "Oh, you're such a lovely person," at the same moment that they're
saying, "We've condemned you," that you now are cut off from the church and the kingdom of God and
everything else. " --Margaret Toscano.
PBS Frontline special on The Mormon Church and Dissent