Thomas Alexander wrote:

> (...)
>Ask and you shall receive.  Last night while flipping
>through the book by Wendy Heller which Cousin Anthony
>mentioned in his note, I saw that the conversation is
>said to have taken place in 1863, even though the
>prophet did not preserve it for us in writing until
>1891.  Taking the earlier date, that would put Baha'i
>support of the IAL idea 24 years before the publishing
>of Esperanto, and even 15 years before the "jam temp
>esta" version of the language.
 From the material I read I had the impression that the early prophets 
of the Baha'i faith didn't know very much about the international 
languages. I suppose that they even tried to learn e.g. Esperanto but 
did not dedicate enough time to get any results. It should be possible 
to check this.

>Kjell wrote:
>>In the 90's I was asked by a Swedish Baha'i who had
>>heard about Interlingua to talk about that language
>>to Baha'is in Uppsala which I did as well as I
>>could. I was then told that "The Esperantists were
>>here in the 70's.
>I vaguely remember you saying this before.  That's
>an interesting comment -- interesting in that it
>makes me wonder what thoughts were behind that
>comment from that Upsala Baha'i.
My conclusion was that "these auxiliary languages supporters try to 
advertise their languages, but (putting it mildly) the just time hasn't 
come yet).

Yes, I think I wrote about it (in Interlingua if I recall correctly) 
earlier on this list.

>What do you mean by "decision structures"? 
I thought that was something we had borrowed from English. OK, I could 
as well have said it simpler. The structure of the organization. It 
reminds me a little of Lenin's democratic centralism! Every council has 
9 members and a matter goes up from the lowest to the highest council. 
Then the supreme council makes a decision and the matter goes back down 
to the grassroots.

No member may take the credit for a decision, like saying "Kjell's ideas 
won" or "the council accepted Kjell's suggestion." It goes upstairs - so 
to say - anonymously.

> I'm not totally sure I understand what you're saying,
>but what I see here in Rochester, NY, is that there
>is a good mix of "white people" (*) and people who
>were born somewhere in the "moslem" parts of the world
>- and thus speak Persian or Arabic as their first
>language.  I never got the impression that the people
>from the different parts of the world approach their
>faith differently, but that wouldn't be surprizing
>given the distances involved.  I should also point out
>that the Baha'i do a lot of good work in bringing the
>races together, and their big events are always well
>integrated -- so it's not just for "white people."
The first meeting I went to was attended by people not only from Sweden 
but also from Iran and Ethiopia or Eritrea.

Many years ago I met a Swedish Baha'i. This was long before I knew of 
any Iranian Baha'is in my country, and the impression I got from the 
Baha'i faith then was that it could well have been any Western Faith. It 
was only when I met this Swedish Interlingua supporter and read a couple 
of books about the Baha'i faith that I realized the very strong 
influence that its roots in Iran had. And how similar the narrative, the 
story, was to what I have heard when talking to Moslem about the early 
history of Islam etc.

I would also like to point out how strong a certain country can 
influence any organization. And I can well imagine that it is the same 
thing with the Baha'i faith in the US.

> Very true. What amazed me about them is how they
>can see spirituality in everything - even in the
>experiences of some Atheist Esperantist - and how
>they strive to learn from this.
For one who has grown up in the Swedish Lutheran tradition it is 
striking how the Baha'is underline that Humans have to strive to get 
better, learn more and be useful to their co-humans.

>I hadn't encountered this.  It seems consistent with
>what I know about the Baha'i Faith, though.  I
>recall that they don't drink alcohol, for example,
>but they stress an *individual* search for the truth.
>If someone were to come out and preach hard against
>homosexuality - like happens in some churches - this
>would seem to violate that last principle.
 From the description I got from the Baha'is here, you may very well 
drink wine etc. if you choose to do so, but you should do so with 
moderation. In their favorite society none should be too rich or too poor.

>Even more difficult to reconcile, though, is the
>thought that Persian or Arabic (or English) should
>be "THE" language, given that the first prophet said
>that *all* children in the world would be learning
>two languages (this rules out any language currently
>in use as a primary language) and that his son went
>into some detail about how the IAL would be created
>(it will be easy to learn, contain words from many
>different languages, and so forth.)
I think you may be right about this. I cannot free myself from the idea  
that they had not given much thought to the matter. 

>There is a danger of letting a language become too
>closely linked with *one* group (i.e. it would be bad
>for LFN if the outside world saw LFN as a language
>just for socialists) but an IAL needs all the friends
>it can get.  After all, who is going to *do* the
Can't agree more.

Kjell R