The Baha'i Faith & Religious Freedom of Conscience


The Baha'i Technique - Slander & Shunning

Compare Shunning > Menu

Shoot the Messenger, Character Assassination, ETC

"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).

Compare Baha'i tactics to the communist cadre or The Modern Inquisition of Catholicism.

"Slanderous Vilification" = The Baha'i Technique - Ad Hominem, Libel,
Slander, Demonize, Scapegoat, Ostracize, Shun, Banish, Backbite,
Defame, Vilify, Discredit, Smear, Revile, Suppress, Attack, Bully,
Intimidate, Threaten, Malign, Blackball, Deceive, Coerce, Silence,
Harass... etc., etc....  CAUTION NON-BAHAIS
Numerous observers have noted common methods many
fundamentalists among my fellow baha'is use to avoid various
issues or discredit people who hold opinions other than their own:


Writing in 1941, Mirza Ahmad Sohrab may have been the earliest
observer to note the Baha'i Technique: "The writer of the article in
Bahai News reaches the height of his slanderous vilification
when he likens Mr. and Mrs. Chanler and their Bahai friends to
those enemies that preceded them. . . and their like" (138).
See Excerpts from Mirza Ahmad Sohrab's 
Broken Silence: The Story of Today's Struggle for Religious Freedom.
New York: Universal Publishing, 1942.

Alison Marshall, 2002:
"I think the documentation illustrates how the Baha'i administration
secretly watches, reports on and records the activities and views
of members it sees as a threat. This spying can go on for years
without the member knowing and despite general assurances to
the contrary. When it suits the administration to act, it can
summarily disenrol the person at any time and without any notice.
In such circumstances, 'counselling' will comprise any communication
that member has had with the institutions, whatever its nature, purpose
and timing. This action will be accompanied by a backbiting campaign
designed to destroy the member's reputation in the community. I think
members of the Baha'i community, and those contemplating joining it,
have a right to know how the Baha'i administration behaves.
" [2002]

Professor Juan Cole, University of Michigan, June 12, 1998:
"Let me ask you why in the world you think that I would risk my
professional reputation by publicly stating falsehoods? ...The very
technique of the more glaze-eyed among these people is to
unbearably bully a Baha'i whom they don't like, use unjustified
threats of declaring him or her a CB [Covenant Breaker (heretic)]
to silence the individual, and if the person will not be silenced,
then to depend upon the gullibility of the Baha'is in refusing to
listen to any victim's story because, of course, the Baha'i institutions
are infallible and divinely guided and could never do anything wrong.
It is a perfect racket. Of course, this technique of making liberals go
away has been enormously successful, and ex-Baha'i liberals have
no credibility with the remaining Baha'is nor do most of them have
any energy to continue to make a case, either to the Baha'is or the
outside world, for the incredible abuses that go on inside this
organization ostensibly committed to tolerance!"

Professor Juan Cole, February 23, 1999:
"There is nothing to be puzzled by. Right wing Baha'is only like to hear the
sound of their own voices (which are the only voices they will admit to
being "Baha'i" at all). Obviously, the world is so constructed that they
cannot in fact only hear their own voices. They are forced to hear other
voices that differ from theirs. This most disturbs them when the voices
come from enrolled Baha'isor when the voices speak of the Baha'i faith.
The way they sometimes deal with the enrolled Baha'is is to summon them
to a heresy inquiry and threaten them with being shunned if they do not
fallsilent. With non-Baha'is or with ex-Baha'is, they deal with their speech
about the faith by backbiting, slandering and libelling the speaker. You
will note that since I've been on this list I have been accused of
long-term heresy, of "claiming authority," of out and out lying
(though that was retracted, twice), of misrepresentation, of 'playing
fast and loose with the facts,' and even of being 'delusional.' I have
been accused of all these falsehoods by *Baha'is*, by prominent Baha'is.
I have been backbitten by them. This shows that all the talk about the
danger a sharp tongue can do, all the talk about the need for harmony,
for returning poison with honey, for a sin-covering eye, is just *talk*
among right wing Baha'is. No one fights dirtier than they when they discover
a voice they cannot silence and cannot refute.
Paul Johnson
has seen all these things, as well, for the past five years.
He can explain it to you."

Professor Juan Cole, 12/5/2002:
"The purpose of having this system where it is so easy to turn insiders into
outsiders is to maintain very strict control over the community by its
leaders. The idea is that everyone still on the inside will fear being
made a non-person or being ostracized or being shunned, and so will keep
quiet and let the leadership do as it pleases with them. Silent suffering
of tyranny and injustice from one's leaders is the actual definition of a
Baha'i in good standing.
Of course, this requirement is cult-like...."

FG, November 21, 2007:
"The so-called administrative order, while publicly hiding behind a facade of liberalism, is essentially practicing Islamic "takfir," in the words of Bernard Lewis, "recognizing and denouncing apostasy," labeling people "kafir" or infidels, and issuing "fatwas" or decrees, denying the very existence of other Bahais and denominations, all indicative of the worst in the Islamic heritage of the Bahai Faith-practices Baha'u'llah specifically rejected, teaching tolerance of different religious views, largely congruent with modern Western custom and practice. Nothing could be more diametrically opposed to the modern democracy of the Western civic and legal order than the jihad the ao is conducting...."

FG, June 1998:
"Some of the most striking methods demonstrated repeatedly by many Bahais
during the last year and a half of discussion about an unmoderated newsgroup
is their refusal to listen and respond to the criticisms of those who are in
favor of talk.religion.bahai, ignoring their concerns, never responding
analytically to their messages and reasoning and logic and evidence,
attacking them through character assassination and ad hominem, ganging
up on individuals, and "circling the wagons" around every action of the
soc.religion.bahai moderators or others who are opposed to

FG, May 12, 1992:
"The Baha'i Faith has become very oppressive and manipulative of the
individual. That to me is merely a statement of fact, as I have experienced
it, for nearly sixteen years now [since 1976]. The usual stratagem in
dealing with anyone who would express his conscience in good faith is to
pretend the Cause is above any kind of criticism whatsoever while intimating
that anyone who would speak honestly must have something wrong with him,
i.e., his spiritual life isn't what it should be, he doesn't understand the
nature of unity, or he's accused of trying to obtain power for himself,
which at times seems merely a calculated way of discrediting the person, and
so on. Another common strategy used to acquire control over the individual
is to humor the person by letting him pour himself out, etc., and then
self-righteously giving him the Truth."
FROM my book Letters from the American Desert, 2008. "Read Inside" on Amazon:

Ron House, November 14, 1997:
"I know what you mean. I've found over the years that there is a technique
used by traditional Baha'is and others to squash dissension: harry the
dissenter so much he says something intemperate, then point out how 'loving'
and 'compassionate' they are and how nasty the dissenter is. The trouble
isthat this technique works, so I've been making a conscious effort not to
fall for it. Also, when they get the dissenter discouraged and miserable
enough, he invariably makes a slip-up sooner or later that they can REALLY
let loose the venom over. IMHO, they did this to you when you misread
Sharon's intentions. At any other time, they would overlook faults, as
Baha'u'llah says, but when they're in this mode they go for the jugular.
Very sad."

Ron House <> wrote in message October 2002,
If this were the the first, or a rare, occasion on which this specimen
had got up to this shenanigan, we might let it pass. But it is, in my
experience, her typical pattern of "debate": take something from another
poster, think out some uncharitable 'consequence' that she thinks
follows from it, and then assert as factual that the original posters
were in favour of her uncharitable interpretation. It is, imho, a
fundamentally malicious and dishonest way to conduct debate.

Steven Scholl, March 12, 2002:
"The problem in her [Susan Maneck] cult view of the world is the
"dissident act" of shining a light on internal Baha'i affairs so that
outsiders (and insiders) can learn about what really takes place in
the Baha'i world. The great sin is ignoring the Baha'i taboo against
speaking out against internal injustices because to do so is to tarnish
the reputation of the Baha'i institutions. Good Baha'is are expected
to take their abuse in silence. If they speak out against abuse,
they are regarded as internal opposition and come under investigation
from the Baha'i Inquisition. They are vilified and threatened, even
told that their status in the afterlife is threatened if they don't
change their ways. And, yes, this was a key element [in] the little
drama that played out between the Baha'i leadership and myself."

Rod Wicks, January 22, 2004:
I disagree...and my disagreement is based on years of online discussions
in which Susans [Maneck] propensity to accuse (openly or through innuendo)is
reflected by other fundamentalist Baha'is. So too the evasiveness, the glib,
trite smarmy non answer, the drive by 'blipvert' of one line innuendo, the
refusal to stand and defend/justify/explain any attack or allegation, the

retreat into cowards killfile when her dishonesty is exposed.....all these
are common features of what has been described as the Baha'i Technique.
I did not believe such a phenomena could exist when I first came online...
today the evidence is irrefutable and undeniable. Susan M perfectly reflects
all that is worst about contemporary Baha'i culture...'they' know it and
love her for it.

No....Manic and fundamentalist co workers do not simply "represent" the
Baha'i community...they *ARE* the community...their identification is
total/complete. Any criticism of any aspect of Baha'i is perceived by
Manic and Co as a direct personal attack and they respond by attacking
the individual rather than the argument. They will invent and
manufacture 'enemies of the faith', 'violators of the Covenant' and
even stoop to open allegations of criminal activity.

The AO cannot possibly be deaf, dumb and blind to this activity any
more than the online Baha'i gallery and lurkers are blind to it.
It is granted approval, formal or informal, open or matters

The truth is apparent in examination of the facts...the facts are
available in review of the archives...the archives reveal incident
after incident/event after event in which Susan (or co fundamentalist)
levels a baseless and unprovoked serious allegation, refuses substantiation,
hides behind glib and evasive [expletive] and/or killfile and receives
open or tacit support for doing so.

Susan represents a prevailing culture of abuse, slander, denial and

"O beloved of the Lord! If any soul speak ill of an absent one, the only
result will clearly be this: he will dampen the zeal of the friends and
tend to make them indifferent. For backbiting is divisive, it is
the leading cause among the friends of a disposition to withdraw. If any
individual should speak ill of one who is absent, it is incumbent on his
hearers, in a spiritual and friendly manner, to stop him, and say in
effect: would this detraction serve any useful purpose? Would it please
the Blessed Beauty, contribute to the lasting honour of the friends,
promote the holy Faith, support the Covenant, or be of any possible
benefit to any soul? No, never! On the contrary, it would make the dust
to settle so thickly on the heart that the ears would hear no more, and
the eyes would no longer behold the light of truth."
(Abdul-Baha, Selections from the Writings of Abdul-Baha, p. 230)

Fran Baker, May 1998:
"Just have to say that in my experience this is a common technique of
manipulative people in general; it is especially effective with thoughtful
people who are willing to see both sides of things, i.e., their own fault. I
consider this brow-beating technique to be a form of abuse. The only way to
deal with it is to call them on it every time and to refuse to let yourself
be beat up, i.e., not to do your part of the "tango." This can be very hard
to do, but it works.You can break this pattern in a personal relationship. I
don't know whether it's possible when a groupacts this way. Very scary."

Dermod Ryder, February 28, 2002:
"This is what is known as the "love bomb" technique. Disregard and entirely
ignore the substance of any complaint or criticism and throw out this carpet
of "bahai love" which will overwhelm the reason and appeal to the emotion.
I've been vaccinated! What I also glean from recourse to this technique
isthat there is no answer to the points I raised. In effect you guys who
support the AO do so through thick and thin to the point where you cannot
and will not admit that it has any faults of any substantive value. Because
guys like me cannot agree with you - the fault is obviously ours."

K. Paul Johnson, September 15, 1998:
"If that principle [people are innocent until proven guilty] were followed
by Baha'i administration and individuals in their condemnations of their
fellow believers, I would have very little to complain about regarding
Baha'i affairs. But character assassination by innuendo is the preferred way
of dealing with anything remotely resembling dissidence. Seems like that's
exactly what you're doing to Juan Cole in your message. Saying I don't want
to know what you've "got" on him, thus attacking me but insinuating you have
some awful proof of unspecified guilt on his part. If that's not character
assassination by innuendo, what is?"

Dermod Ryder, September 19, 2001:
"And then Eureka! I realised why Fred gets the treatment he does . . .
for Fred has painstakingly not only assembled the evidence of the canker
within but he constantly publicises it to the extent that he really gets up
noses and AO noses at that! . . . I basically agree with him that the AO
terrorises people - terror is more than bombs or kamikaze aircraft. A
whispered aside in the right circumstances can instil terror (like a threat
to be made a CB) - most ethnic cleansing is carried out by a piece of
"good" advice to the effect that one would be better off NOT living in this
neighbourhood, from a gentleman who is known or assumed to have the
"right connections" to ensure the advice is heeded. Twenty years ago the
AO tried that particular threatening tactic on with me and were told where
they could stick it! Others can also testify to that including Dennis Rogers
whose experiences were posted on TRB recently. And you guys hate
Fred for this, for his continued exposing of the sewer that the AO has
become. Of course you all hate Juan, Alison, Michael, Nima etc as well
and for the same reason and give them the same treatment but somewhat
reduced for they don't post as much as Fred who is just a real pain in the
butt for doing what he does so well! Fred is an avid counter terrorist and
he's good at it as the whimpering from the BIGS proves!"

Nima Hazini, February 2007:
BAHAIM Tactics & Technique
1. As far as possible they hold back from responding
2. Then they claim no knowledge [of the given issue] by feigning ignorance
3. After the exposer has exposed they will try to divert to secondary
and totally peripheral and irrelevent side-issues
4. The exposer is then painted as someone with an axe to grind,
biased, deluded (while they, the bahaim, still have not responded to
the main issue exposed)
5. Next they relate mental instability and insanity to the exposer
[i.e. shoot the messenger]
6. Then, the last tactic, is to wheel out several dubious personas on
the scene who claim to be neutral non-bahai observers who then begin
attacking the exposer as well as the issue exposed and supporting the
bahais and their issues as so-called non-bahais

David Langness, 31 Mar 1997:
"I would advise you to be careful about any meetings, calls or
correspondence with Hoda Mahmoudi, who used to be an ABM
here in Southern California. She is quite conservative, and sees
herself -- as do many of the appointed branch, sadly -- as a staunch
defender of the Faith and the faithful, able and more than willing to
marginalize people like you and I to discredit our ideas. This cultlike
practice of shunning and casting out any dissidents has unfortunately
become the chief tactic of those fundamentalist Baha'is bent on
maintaining the current leadership. My worry is that the more
progressive Baha'is like Juan Cole and Steve Scholl and yourself
will all leave the Faith and thereby increase the power of the
The Baha'i Technique is available on the web at
For two excellent introductions to the Bahai Wars:

Professor Juan R. I. Cole, University of Michigan,
"Fundamentalism in the Contemporary U.S. Baha'i Community,"
Religious Studies Review, Vol. 43, no. 3 (March, 2002):195-217:

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:

Geoffrey Chaucer, AD 1340-1400.
Prologue to the Pardoner's Tale:

For in truth, many a sermon
Comes often out of evil intention;
Some for the pleasing and flattery of people,
To have advancement by hypocrisy,
And some for worldly fame, and some for hate.
For, when I dare not oppose a man otherwise,
Then I sting him with my sharp tongue
In preaching, so that he cannot escape
Being falsely slandered, if he
Has wronged my brothers or myself.
For, although I do not tell his exact name,
Men can readily guess whom I mean
By hints and by other devices.
Thus I pay back people who do us bad turns;
Thus I spit out my venom under color
Of holiness, while seeming holy and sincere....

(Translator, Vincent F. Hopper. 1948)

OXFORD ENGLISH DICTIONARY. "Scapegoat (Lev. xvi) 1. Invented
by Tindale 1530.... One of the two goats that was chosen by Lot to be sent
away into the wilderness, the sins of the people having been symbolically
laid upon it, while the other was appointed to be sacrificed. 2. One who is
blamed or punished for the sins of others. 1867 Freeman, He has been
made the scapegoat for many of the sins both of other individuals and of
the whole nation."
For an individual's use of The Baha'i Technique, see
Susan Maneck - DRIVING people out of the Bahai 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 (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:

From another perspective, Karen Bacquet's Net Games:

Fallacies, Gambits, and Maneuvers in Baha'i Cyberspace

The Bahai Faith & Religious Freedom of Conscience

See Professor Juan R. I. Cole, University of Michigan,
"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)."


CAUTION *** Psychological War Zone *** Newcomers __