Ex-Baha'i Testimony

Freedom of speech curtailed by Baha'i institutions

George Fleming, who was a Baha'i for 13 years, posted the following message on the talk.religion.bahai discussion group, showing how Baha'i religious institutions attempted to take away his right to free speech and his subsequent decision to resign his membership in the Baha'i Faith organization:

Subject: UK NSA letter and resignation letter from George Fleming
From: George Fleming
Date: Nov 5 2002, 3:29 a.m.

Now that I am not a member of the Baha'i Faith I promised I would forward the UK NSA letter I received and my resignation reply letter. Please find enclosed both letters for TRB readers perusal.

Please note that by rejecting the authority of the UK NSA I have therefore rejected the overall authority of the Baha'i Administrative Order headed by the Universal House of Justice Haifa Israel.

By my actions the Baha'i institutions believe I have refused to obey the Word of God, and in turn reject obediance to the Covenant, the Will and testament of Abdu'l Baha and all five stations (The Bab, Baha'u'llah, Abdu'l Baha, the Guardian and finally the Universal House of Justice).

I therefore can no longer call myself a Baha'i. However I do not think my own personal religious feelings can switch from belief in Baha'u'llah to disbelief because I have sent in a resignation letter. I think such concepts are more complicated than just turning on and off a water tap. I also never sent my resignation letter to avoid sanctions or because I was drunk, mad or whacko which is the belief of Professor Susan Maneck.

I believe the letter sent to me by Dr Kishan Manocha (a lawyer himself and Assistant Secretary of the UK NSA) is crossing European human rights laws introduced to Northern Ireland in 1998 with spirtual laws of the Baha'i Faith. This is not the first time I have come across crossed boundaries of Baha'i jurisprudence with civil law, common law and now European human rights law, in my 13 years as a Baha'i.

George Fleming

Letter from NSA of the Baha'is of the United Kingdom
27 Rutland gate, London SW7 1PD

October 18,2002

Mr George Fleming

Dear Baha'i friend,

The national Spirtual assembly appreciates your desire to defend the good name of our beloved Faith and the sincerity with which you seek to do so. However, your recent imvolvement in certain email discussion groups may have inadvertently helped the cause of those very individuals from whom you are seeking to protect the Faith, and this has become a source of some concern to the National Assembly.

The national Spiritual Assembly therefore instructs you, with immediate effect, to cease and desist from participating in the SCI, TRB and ARB e-discussion lists and in any other unmoderated discussions conducted over email. Further, you are requested to cease direct communication with Pat Kohli and Susan Maneck and the national Spiritual Assembly of the United States. However should you have a grievance which you would like to bring to the attention of the latter body you are kindly asked to refer such a matter to the attention of the National Assembly of the United Kingdom.

The national Assembly further asks you to refrain from discussing any of the issues raised in this letter with anyone other than Councellor Shahriavi, the national Spiritual Assembly of the United Kingdom, or Auxiliary Board members Denis Coyle and Ann O'Sullivan.

The National Spiritual Assembly trusts that you will abide by what is now being asked of you. Should you fail to do so, the national Assembly will have no choice but to take further action.

With loving Baha'i greetings.

National Spiritual Assembly
Kishan Manocha, Assistant Secretary.

George Fleming
Belfast N Ireland

Dear National Spiritual Assembly members

After reading your letter 18/10/02 where you stated:

"The NSA therefore instructs you, with immediate effect, to cease and desist from particpating in SCI, TRB, and ARB e-discussion lists and in any other unmoderated discussions conducted over email"

Along with SCI there are some 42,760 more unmoderated groups on the internet which are not Baha'i related unmoderated newsgroups.

I therefore believe this instruction is totally against my freedom and human rights, and therefore have been left with no alternattive other than to resign from the Baha'i Faith.

I hereby declare that on 21/10/02 George Fleming Belfast N Ireland has resigned his membership from the Baha'i Faith.

Membership Number ******

Signed George Fleming, Bahai Faith membership card enclosed.

Former Baha'is and Ex-Baha'i Christians: Selected Testimonials -- The Baha'i Faith: An Ex-Baha'i Christian View founded November 2002. This page last updated May 20, 2005.