Discussion lists & anonymity

All research or scholarship questions

Discussion lists & anonymity

Postby Daniel » Thu Jan 29, 2004 1:26 am

I was very please to see "Janine" put her full name on one of her posts.

Personally I feel very uncomfortable purusing discussion lists because I had a nasty experience a few years ago when someone posted a message with a link, and the link was to a covenant breaker's site. I didn't know that it was a covenant breaker until I started reading critisisms of the existence of the UHJ.

Is there a way for us to determine if an opinion being expressed in these forums is that of a Baha'i or that of a covenant breaker?

I think that including our full name and location might be a good start.

What do others think?

Daniel Forrest
Western Australia

Omid Townsend
Posts: 13
Joined: Tue Jan 06, 2004 10:48 am
Location: Florida

Postby Omid Townsend » Thu Jan 29, 2004 1:10 pm

Bravo!! Dont hide behind the computers!

Omid Townsend, 20
Orlando, FL



Postby janine » Fri Jan 30, 2004 3:43 am

dear Daniel,

i do understand your concern. The problem is i think that on a medium like the internet opinions and ideas contrary to the Bahai view as laid down in the Covenant cannot always be avoided.
So the only thing would be to subscribe to a moderated list.

sometimes people like to stay anonymous not because they have things to say which are not according to the Bahai understanding of the Covenant, but simply because they do not want those close to them or in their community even, that they have certain questions, struggle with certain problems.

i have gone several times through doubts and critical questions, and i think this is healthy, because by asking questions and having doubts one is prompted to look closer at one's understanding and preconceived notions and ideas. I have sometimes asked questions, and very seldom, but once or twice, used a pseudonym, because i did not want anybody to know that it was me asking those questions. The answers i got helped me, as did my anonimity.

much love,

janine van rooij


Postby Paul » Fri Jan 30, 2004 4:18 pm

Yes, I agree. Unfortunately some have the old world attitude that what they say is more important than who they are.

Paul Bloom
Shropshire, England


Postby Rob » Sat Jan 31, 2004 1:46 pm

Dan F.,

I supplied Jonah Winters, the owner of this website with a fairly current list of Covenant breakers a while back. He could possibly make this list known to you. I'm not sure I kept a copy for myself. It was put together from Baha'i Institutional sources with citations and includes many names that go way back of people who are probably not even living anymore.

We also have to be careful not to allow ourselves as Baha'is to label anyone a Covenant breaker who has not been labeled as such by the Universal House of Justice. Those that erroneously follow Covenant breakers, but never were members of the Faith prior to that, are in a different catagory; advice from the Institutions regarding this class of people has usually been to defer them to the Auxiliary Board members if they wish to discuss matters with a Baha'i, though strictly speaking, this is not a hard and fast rule in the Faith so much as I understand it.

Some of the people who are not members of the Faith, but are critical of it, be they members at one time or not, in their past, may have legitimacy if indeed an Institution or a prominant Baha'i offended them and did them an injustice, for after all Local and National Assemblies are not infallible, and certainly our Faith's history is not immune to leaders having made mistakes which caused the firm to doubt and eventually leave the Faith.

We must remember that 'Abdu'l-Baha indicated these people, in particular, who are not Covenant breakers, are not to be shunned, but rather our personal wisdom should dictate how much time and effort we may wish to devote to discussing with them the points they dispute. I believe it was Baha'u'llah Who wrote that we should "dispute with no one."



Return to “Discussion”