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.
Letter from NSA of the Baha'is of the United Kingdom
27 Rutland gate, London SW7 1PD
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.
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
Bahai-Faith.com -- The Baha'i Faith: An Ex-Baha'i Christian View
Bahai-Faith.com founded November 2002. This page last updated May 20, 2005.