Letter of a Counsel threatening a Baha'i Academic

Letter of Counselor Stephen Birkland to a Baha'i Academic

Note that in Baha'i parlance this member of the continental board of counselors is threatening the recipient with being shunned (that is the sanction for contravening the Covenant) over his academic and other email messages and for adhering to a liberal ideology that is committed to parliamentary democracy, due process, and the rule of law. It is hard to know what alternative ideology is being urged on him, but some form of fascism seems to be all that is left. The letter was accompanied by enclosures of "objectionable" email messages that characterized the Baha'i faith as having a Neoplatonic theological background and demurring from `Abdu'l-Baha's view that Socrates met Israeli prophets in the Holy Land. The recipient is a professor at a major university and it is obviously outrageous that an attempt was being made to curtail his freedom of expression. More personally, since this individual was at the time married to a Baha'i, such a shunning decree could theoretically have broken up his marriage. The message has been edited slightly in the interests of protecting the recipient's identity, but I have obtained the recipient's permission to quote more of the letter than had been the case prior to 5-8-99.

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