When . . . Kalimat Press--a Los Angeles-based publishing house under Baha'i management--approached me with a request for permission to published the survey [of Babi manuscripts], I agreed to let them do so, even though I lacked the time, energy and motivation to undertake a radical revision of the text. Nevertheless, I did correct numerous errors, added a great deal of information based on fresh research, and rewrote several passages in order to reflect more accurately my current thinking.
Publication was scheduled for 1987, then 1988, the book was listed as forthcoming, and I believe an ISBN was even issued, when I heard from the publishers that the Baha'i authorities in the United States had banned its publication . . .
I am grateful to E.J. Brill for having made it possible, after such a long delay, for this work to see the light of day at last.
Note: Denis MacEoin was a Baha'i for 15 years, 1965-1980, and did his doctorate at Cambridge on the Babi movement, finishing the dissertation in 1979. In the late 1970s he began feeling pressure from anti-intellectuals in the movement, including a "hand of the cause" and members of the "Universal House of Justice," which contributed to his resignation. Baha'i officials frequently punish Baha'i authors whom they have unsuccessfully attempted to silence with threats of sanctions or shunning, by refusing to allow their works to be carried by Baha'i Publishing Trusts even if that work is inoffensive to Baha'i sensitivities. In this instance it was remarkable that Robert C. Henderson of the National Spiritual Assembly of the Baha'is of the United States took it upon himself to order a private Baha'i publisher to decline to bring out MacEoin's very useful survey of Babi manuscripts.
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