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UHJ re disenrolment, 14 May 2006.

In 2010 I bumped into a Bahai online who said that he had been upset on hearing of my disenrolment, and had written to the UHJ asking about it, in December 2005. I was able to contact him, and asked him for the text of the UHJ’s reply. He replied and quoted the UHJ’s reply to him, dated 14 May 2006 as follows:

As to the questions raised in your email letter of 10 December concerning the removal of Mr. Sen McGlinn from Bahá’í membership, the House of Justice wishes to assure you that such an action is not taken lightly. It has nothing to do with a believer’s expressing a personal understanding, or even holding an erroneous perspective, about some aspect of the Teachings. Nor was the action taken on the basis of a single statement drawn out of context from the preface of his book.

Mr. McGlinn is, of course, entitled to his own views. But one cannot actively propagate ideas over a prolonged period that contradict explicit Bahá’í Teachings and still be considered a Bahá’í. You should not expect that all of the details of the case will be presented on the Internet or that Mr. McGlinn would bring forward any information other than that which makes it appear he has been misunderstood.

On the one hand it is saying that I have actively propagated ideas over a prolonged period that contradict explicit Bahá’í Teachings — in which case the ideas and my actions to spread them would be public knowledge — while also saying that this is something known only to the UHJ and myself, and I am keeping the true story private. But if that was so, the unidentified idea at issue would be “a personal understanding” and no concern of anyone.

In one sense the letter is reassuring. It shows that the UHJ does know that what I said in the Foreword to Church and State was not a claim to a special status in the Bahai community, but was rather saying up front to the reader that I would not bracket out my faith, as is usual in the academic study of religion, but rather would write theologically (theology = faith seeking understanding). So am I now a step nearer to getting re-enrolled? I don’t know. I haven’t followed up on this yet, as I applied for reenrolment in March 2010 and haven’t had a response yet (as at May 2011). If I get re-enrolled it will be a moot point why I was disenrolled if it was not (as appeared from the UHJ’s letter to NSAs of 14 November 2005) for the phrase in the Forward to Church and State, was not for ‘erroneous perspectives’ and apparently not for breaking a Bahai law.

If anyone else has responses from the UHJ on my disenrolment, I would be glad to see them, not because I intend to argue the point with the UHJ, but because such letters may throw light on just what disenrolment is, and what purpose it serves.

Short link: http://wp.me/PcgF5-1Ab

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11 Responses to “UHJ re disenrolment, 14 May 2006.”

  1. Roy said

    “Bahais are called on to support and participate in progressive movements, (Shoghi Effendi, Baha’i Administration 126, 174; God Passes By 330.) but also to exercise great caution in joining organizations so far as this implies giving allegiance to them or to an ideology, or
    supporting the organization’s actions and programme as a whole. In particular they are not permitted to be registered members of the Bahai community and at the same time members of a church or a political party. This policy dates from the 1920s [footnoted sources] and, in my opinion, will eventually have to be changed.”

    This are your own words from https://senmcglinn.wordpress.com/email-archive/political-involvement/
    On the same page you quote from a letter to Mr. Chase as justification for your views.

    Concerning the present policy you state that

    “Such temporary exigencies should not be confused with political quietism as a matter of principle (as in some world-deny ing millennialist movements), and the present situation should not be read back into the time and teachings of Baha’u’llah.”

    The present situation should be read forward in time and in the teachings of Baha’u’llah. If politics had gotten any better after Abdul Baha, Shoghi Effendi would not have exercized his right of interpretation to the effect that it has, and that the Baha’i community required renewed (re-evaluated) guidance on the subject. “Political quietism” is clearly not intended by either Abdul Baha or Shoghi Effendi, as that would imply that political activism is OK. They both condemn it unequivocally. Acquaintance with the issues and participation via voting is theoretically OK, as long as taking sides on the side of a particular political organization is avoidable. That being not the case at present, we are unavoidably required to abstain from any semblance of political involvement. This is, briefly stated, the reason for your dis-enrollment. It might appear unwarranted, but this is not because of your pro-individualism stance, but because those who are on both sides of the “individualism” debate are wrong. It is like the question of Pharaoh or Moses being right, and Baha’u’llah says they are both wrong. Those who are on the pro-individualism side are more vocal and prominent because of the internet, therefore come under more noticeable censure, but the other side, in keeping with the secrecy and fraud characteristic of those who favor politics, keep more concealed, are less detectable, and therefore more often than not escape censure. But they are both equally to blame for their involvement in politics. I hope this has served to clarify some issues with you.

  2. Sen said

    What you say is not coherent, at least to me, Roy: it seems to suppose that Shoghi Effendi changed Abdu’l-Baha’s ruling on this. You might like to consider these words from a letter written on behalf of Shoghi Effendi:

    “The Baha’is will be called upon to assume the reins of government when they will come to constitute the majority of the population in a given country, and even then their participation in political affairs is bound to be limited in scope unless they obtain a similar majority in some other countries as well.” (Letter on behalf of Shoghi Effendi, 19 November 1939)

    and these words from another letter on behalf of Shoghi Effendi:

    “The Administrative Order is not a governmental or civic body, it is to regulate and guide the internal affairs of the Bahá’í community; consequently it works, according to its own procedure, best suited to its needs. (Shoghi Effendi, Messages to Canada, 276)

    These different statements are compatible with one another and Abdu’l-Baha’s tablet to Chase …

    … as the government of America is a republican form of government, it is necessary that all the citizens shall take part in the elections of officers and take part in the affairs of the republic (Letter to Thornton Chase, Tablets of Abdu’l-Baha Abbas, 342-43)

    … if we suppose that when he says the Bahais are to assume the reins of government when they are a majority, he means Bahais as individual citizens, not the Administrative Order, and he is assuming (1) that they are living in a democracy where the majority prevails and (2) that they are voting and engaging in the affairs of the republic, as Abdu’l-baha requires.

    It appears to me that Shoghi Effendi is not projecting the situation of his day forward, but just the opposite: he is assuming that in the long term the Bahais as individuals will engage in politics in democracies.

  3. Roy said

    So you are saying that the first part of the quote, “The Baha’is will be called..” refers to individual citizens, and that “even then their participation..” refers to the Administrative Order? Either way, it is possible that Baha’is are eventually elected to office despite themselves, without having decided to run for office themselves. Then, if they are a majority in other countries as well as their own, the same principles which they use in the Administrative Order, and which presumably was what favored their election, will be applied internationally. Thus, by an indirect route, they will be participating in a greater scope politically. The point is that the politicians will be learning to undo their politics, and to work within the constructive framework of the Faith. And this is because we have nothing to learn from politics, and that is a good thing.. The better we realize this, and act accordingly, the better will we come to understand and help those who for some reason or another see no other apparent solution to todays’ problems than politics. Politics is like the disease, and the Faith the remedy. If the doctor administers the disease instead of the remedy, what will be of the end of the patient?

  4. Sen said

    No, I didn’t say that at all. “Even then their participation..” also refers to individuals: it indicates that the present restrictions on individuals participating in national and partisan politics will not end suddenly where there are a lot of Bahais in one country, for one of the main reasons for the restriction is that if Bahais in one country are associated with the policies of state A, the government of state B (And C D E F …) may look at their own Bahai minority with suspicion: are they loyal citizens of B (C D E F …), or a fifth column of support for A? This will be less of a problem once “they obtain a similar majority in some other countries as well.” For in that case, if Bahais as individuals were involved in the politics of their countries, the name “Bahai” would not be associated with any one government.

    This restriction on individual participation is therefore a matter of wisdom: Shoghi Effendi does not envision it continuing. Two other principles, however, are scriptural and unchangeable: the one is that set out in the Tablet to Chase., that Bahais should vote and take part in the affairs of the republic, which is part of good citizenship, the second, that the Bahai institutions may never interfere in politics. Abdu’l-Baha writes:

    The signature of that meeting should be the Spiritual Gathering (House of Spirituality) and the wisdom therein is that hereafter the government should not infer from the term “House of Justice” that a court is signified, that it is connected with political affairs, or that at any time it will interfere with governmental affairs.

    Hereafter, enemies will be many. They would use this subject as a cause for disturbing the mind of the government and confusing the thoughts of the public. The intention was to make known that by the term Spiritual Gathering (House of Spirituality), that Gathering has not the least connection with material matters, and that its whole aim and consultation is confined to matters connected with spiritual affairs. (Abdu’l-Baha, Tablets of Abdu’l-Baha v1, p. 5)

    My intention, with these words, is not that religion has any business in politics. Religion has no jurisdiction or involvement in political matters, for religion is related to spirits and to ecstasy, while politics relates to the body. Therefore the leaders of religions should not be involved in political matters, but should busy themselves with rectifying the morals of the community. They admonish, and excite the desire and appetite for piety. They sustain the morals of the community. They give spiritual understanding to the souls. They teach the [religious] sciences, but they have no involvement with political matters, for all time. Baha’u’llah has commanded this. In the Gospels it is said, “Render to Caesar what is Caesar’s, and to God what is God’s.” (Khatabat-e Abdu’l-Baha 182. My translation)

    The ninth [teaching of Baha’u’llah]: religion is separated from politics: religion does not enter into political matters, in fact, it is linked with the hearts, not with the world of bodies. The leaders of religion should devote themselves to teaching and training the souls and propagating good morals, and they should not enter into political matters. (see “Eleven Essentials‘ on this blog)

    Once we separate out the temporary policy, required in the time of Abdu’l-Baha and emphasised especially by Shoghi Effendi, the two essential principles are clear: individuals and especially believers (not just Bahai believers) should participate in political life as good citizens, whereas leaders of religion, which in the Bahai case means the House of Justice (renamed a Spiritual Assembly for this reason) should not be involved in politics or the judicial system.

  5. Roy said

    The Baha’i leaders comparable to the “leaders of religion” mentioned by Abdul-Baha are none other than Shoghi Effendi, the Hands of the Cause of God appointed by him, and those appointed by the elected assemblies. The elected assemblies are temporarily restricted from material matters, and all believers are permanently restricted from political matters.

    From http://bahai-library.com/alexander_notes_presence_shoghieffendi
    Shoghi Effendi says that “Local Assemblies will become local governments. National Assemblies, National governments.”, and that “As the Cause develops, the governments will embrace the Cause and embrace peace.”, and that “In the Assemblies, the Bahá’ís must discuss how to win the Government.”
    and also “Some of the members of the government in Jerusalem are missionaries. They are first imperialists and then missionaries.” This last quote implies that the Baha’i World Order is the opposite, being first missionary, then imperialist.

  6. Sen said

    I think almost everything you’ve said is demonstrably false Roy.

    The elected assemblies are temporarily restricted from material matters, and all believers are permanently restricted from political matters.”

    The ban on assemblies entering politics is one of principle, it is explicit in scripture and permanent. However Shoghi Effendi envisions a time when Bahais as individuals will enter politics, and assume the reins of government. Abdu’l-Baha wrote:

    “Should they place in the arena the crown of the government of the whole world, and invite each one of us to accept it, undoubtedly we shall not condescend, and shall refuse to accept it.” ( Tablets of the Divine Plan 51)

    The signature of that meeting should be the Spiritual Gathering (House of Spirituality) and the wisdom therein is that hereafter the government should not infer from the term “House of Justice” that a court is signified, that it is connected with political affairs, or that at any time it will interfere with governmental affairs. … (Tablets of Abdu’l-Baha Abbas vol. 1, page 5).

    Baha’u’llah writes:

    The one true God, exalted be His glory, hath ever regarded, and will continue to regard, the hearts of men as His own, His exclusive possession. All else, whether pertaining to land or sea, whether riches or glory, He hath bequeathed unto the Kings and rulers of the earth…. What mankind needeth in this day is obedience unto them that are in authority, and a faithful adherence to the cord of wisdom. The instruments which are essential to the immediate protection, the security and assurance of the human race have been entrusted to the hands, and lie in the grasp, of the governors of human society. This is the wish of God and His decree…. .” (Gleanings, CII 206-7)

    your Lord hath committed the world and the cities thereof to the care of the kings of the earth, and made them the emblems of His own power, by virtue of the sovereignty He hath chosen to bestow upon them. He hath refused to reserve for Himself any share whatever of this world’s dominion. To this He Who is Himself the Eternal Truth will testify. The things He hath reserved for Himself are the cities of men’s hearts, that He may cleanse them from all earthly defilements, and enable them to draw nigh unto the hallowed Spot which the hands of the infidel can never profane.
    (Gleanings from the Writings of Baha’u’llah, 303)

    In the Epistle to the Romans Saint Paul hath written: “Let every soul be subject unto the higher powers. For there is no power but of God; the powers that be are ordained of God. Whosoever therefore resisteth the power, resisteth the ordinance of God.” And further: “For he is the minister of God, a revenger to execute wrath upon him that doeth evil.” He saith that the appearance of the kings, and their majesty and power are of God.
    (Baha’u’llah, Epistle to the Son of the Wolf, 91)

    and on Bahais participating in politics:

    … as the government of America is a republican form of government, it is necessary that all the citizens shall take part in the elections of officers and take part in the affairs of the republic (Letter to Thornton Chase, Tablets of Abdu’l-Baha Abbas, 342-43)

    “The Baha’is will be called upon to assume the reins of government when they will come to constitute the majority of the population in a given country, and even then their participation in political affairs is bound to be limited in scope unless they obtain a similar majority in some other countries as well.” (Letter on behalf of Shoghi Effendi, 19 November 1939)

    From the last of these, we can see that the present rule barring Bahai individuals from participating in the partisan political process is conditional: it can be relaxed by degrees, as the nature of the political process in a country changes, and as international conditions permit.

    As for the Agnes Alexander pilgrim’s notes, they are pilgrim’s notes, and the words you have cited do not even appear in all versions. One version says that Shoghi Effendi said,

    “Local Assemblies will become local governments. National Assemblies, National governments.”

    But Shoghi Effendi wrote:

    I can do no better than quote some of Baha’u’llah’s Own testimonies, leaving the reader to shape his own judgment as to the falsity of such a deduction. In His Epistle to the Son of the Wolf He indicates the true source of kingship: “Regard for the rank of sovereigns is divinely ordained, as is clearly attested by the words of the Prophets of God and His chosen ones. He Who is the Spirit [Jesus] — may peace be upon Him — was asked: ‘O Spirit of God! Is it lawful to give tribute to Caesar, or not?’ And He made reply: ‘Yea, render to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and to God the things that are God’s.‘
    (The Promised Day is Come, p. 72)

    “Theirs is not the purpose, while endeavoring to conduct and perfect the administrative affairs of their Faith, to violate, under any circumstances, the provisions of their country’s constitution, much less to allow the machinery of their administration to supersede the government of their respective countries.”
    (The World Order of Baha’u’llah 66.)

    “…t all matters without any exception whatsoever, regarding the interests of the Cause in that locality … should be referred exclusively to the Spiritual Assembly … unless it be a matter of national interest, in which case it shall be referred to the national body. … By national affairs is not meant matters that are political in their character, for the friends of God the world over are strictly forbidden to meddle with political affairs in any way whatever, but rather things that affect the spiritual activities of the body of the friends in that land.” (Unfolding Destiny 8)

    “The Faith which this order serves, safeguards and promotes is … essentially supernatural, supranational, entirely non-political, non-partisan, and diametrically opposed to any policy or school of thought that seeks to exalt any particular race, class or nation.” (Shoghi Effendi, statement to a UN committee, cited in the Preface to The Promised Day is Come, page vi)

    I would warn [the Bahais] to be on their guard lest the impression be given to the outside world that the Baha’is are political in their aims and pursuits or interfere in matters that pertain to the political activities of their respective governments. The Cause, still in its state of infancy, should be adequately protected from this particular danger….
    (13 November 1931 to an individual believer, cited in The Compilation of Compilations vol II, p. 420)

    “The Guardian does not think any part of this statement of his is suitable for publication in the Press. The less ‘politics’ is associated in any way with the name Baha’i, the better. It should always be made clear that we are a religious non-political community working for humanitarian ends.”
    (From a letter written on behalf of Shoghi Effendi to the National Teaching Committee for Central America, July 3, 1948)

    …in the slow and hidden process of secularisation invading many a Government department under the courageous guidance of the Governors of outlying provinces — in all of these a discerning eye can easily discover the symptoms that augur well for a future that is sure to witness the formal and complete separation of Church and State.
    (The Unfolding Destiny of the British Baha’i Community, 76)

    Baha’u’llah, Who Himself was an active figure in those days and was regarded one of the leading exponents of the Faith of the Bab, states clearly His views in the Iqan that His conception of the sovereignty of the Promised Qa’im was purely a spiritual one, and not a material or political one…
    (The Unfolding Destiny of the British Baha’i Community, 425)

    And on behalf of Shoghi Effendi
    The Administrative Order is not a governmental or civic body, it is to regulate and guide the internal affairs of the Bahá’í community; consequently it works, according to its own procedure, best suited to its needs. (Shoghi Effendi, Messages to Canada, 276)

    One version of these notes (but not the other) says, “In the Assemblies, the Bahá’ís must discuss how to win the Government.” Given that Shoghi Effendi was known to be absolutely against any involvement of the assemblies in government, and that these notes refer to what Iranian assemblies could achieve in 1937, in dealings with the government, the intended meaning must be “how to win over the Government.” That’s not to say that Shoghi Effendi actually said that (the notes are obviously quite unreliable), but that must have been what whoever wrote or edited the text meant to say.

    One version of the notes claims that Shoghi Effendi said,
    “Jerusalem will be the last stronghold of Christianity. There are very powerful forces now at work there allied with the government. Some of the members of the government in Jerusalem are missionaries. They are first imperialists and then missionaries.” You conclude “This last quote implies that the Baha’i World Order is the opposite, being first missionary, then imperialist.” That does not follow at all. The Bahai World Order is not mentioned here, let alone contrasted to the situation in Jerusalem. And the government of that time (the British mandate government), consisted of Sir Arthur Grenfell Wauchope, Abdullah I bin al-Hussein of Jordan, and Ibrahim Hashem of Trans-Jordan. Wauchope was a career colonial administrator whose biography shows not sign of religious commitment, and the other two were not Christians.

    I recommend that you base your study of the Bahai teachings on authentic Bahai scriptures, for the apocrypha and secondary literature contain a hodge-podge of things inconsistent or incredible in themselves, and inconsistent with the Bahai writings.

  7. Roy said

    Your understanding of the Administrative Order is that the scope of its deliberations is limited to spiritual matters, and that the government should be run by Baha’is who want to participate in politics and gain temporal authority over the Administration. The Administration is bound by the divinely ordained requirement to obey government leaders, whether Baha’i or not. Such leaders are considered eligible for membership in the Baha’i community subject to their recognition of the divinely ordained function of the Administration in spiritual matters. If they infringe on it, they risk excommunication. It took me a while to get there but apparently this is your position.

    Now consider what would have happened if the Guardianship would have continued. According to your understanding, would the Guardian of the Cause be subject to the temporal authority of an ordinary believer? Wouldn’t it rather be the case that a believer, of any qualification or responsibilities whatever, will in any case defer to the authority of the Center of the Covenant?

  8. Sen said

    Dear Roy,
    Thank you for your question: it is a good one.

    Yes, you have understood me, although I note that “Center of the Covenant” is a title of Abdu’l-Baha, not of the Guardian, and I have some significant reservations about your formulation (of my position): “the government should be run by Baha’is who want to participate in politics and gain temporal authority over the Administration.” The politics that Bahais can engage in, is an arena of public service, not a power grab.

    But on the question of the Guardianship and the governor, yes, the Guardian like all the Bahais was required to obey the government and the laws, whether the persons behind the laws and in the government were Bahai or not. This still applies today, and into the future, it is a Bahai principle. Nor is there any possibility of the Guardian or the Bahai institutions issuing instructions to a government body, since the scope of deliberations throughout the Administrative Order is specifically limited to spiritual matters. This naturally includes administering the affairs of the Bahai community, which is a vehicle for the spirit, and that requires the Bahai institutions to make ‘worldly’ decisions on behalf of the community, to administer Bahai fund and properties, and such like. But it does not include “temporal affairs” in the sense of the government and security functions in society.

    Your question is interesting, and very important. Since Bahais obey (and participate in) the institutions of the bahai Administrative Order, do they constitute a danger to the state, if they hold high public office? It is the kind of question that was asked about a Catholic president in the United States, in the time before Kennedy’s presidency. Would a Roman Catholic president be required by his faith and conscience to obey the Pope? If we go back further, to the French definition of laicite in 1905, the question asked was whether anyone with a formal religious affiliation (usually Catholic in France), could be trusted in high office, and the answer given there, was no. Catholics were excluded not only from the presidency but from all senior public services, especially in sensitive ministries such as education and defence, and from senior ranks in the army. Because the Bahai Faith has a strong local, national and international authority structure, it must face the same question. If a Bahai is elected to the school board, is he or she bound to do what the Local or National Spiritual Assembly tells them to do? What about a Bahai CEO: do the interests of the business come ahead of the wishes of the local or national Bahai administration? It is important that the Bahais should have an answer, based on Bahai scripture and principles, ready. Because your question is so important, I have decided to answer at length in a posting on the front page of this blog.

  9. “But one cannot actively propagate ideas over a prolonged period that contradict explicit Bahá’í Teachings and still be considered a Baha’i.”

    That surprises me, if that’s what the House of Justice actually wrote. Of course, I don’t have the full context.

    In my understanding, the House of Justice is not any more an authority on what constitutes “Baha’i Teachings” than anyone else. Maybe “Baha’i Teachings” has a specialized meaning here. Whatever it means, it would surprise me for the House of Justice to remove someone simply because of the ideas he was promoting, in themselves, regardless of *how* he was promoting them.

    Trying to make any sense out of this is looking more and more futile to me. It’s no mystery to me how you could be considered not qualified for membership. Who is? Very few of us, if any, as I see it. The question for me is what impelling reason there could be for removing you in particular. I can see impelling reasons in the other cases, but not in yours.

  10. Sen said

    I do wonder what Bahai teachings they had in mind here. Since I am supposed to have had these ideas over a prolonged period, I guess that it is not my use of the terms theology and theologians, as I don’t recall using those until I came to write in a university setting (in the Faculty of Theology, in Leiden).

    I do think that the way somebody promotes their ideas is relevant, more important than the content in fact. If someone argues a case using evidence and reason, the result will be a strengthening of the community even if the ideas are in the end discarded. But in a face-to-face setting, a person could browbeat his audience, and cause a lot of discomfort and disruption. Or somebody could systematise his thinking into simple booklets for the masses, translate them into many languages, and set up a hierarchy of authorized teachers to transmit them unaltered to the congregations. They could even set up bishops, known as regional coordinators, and pay them to supervise the authorized teachers. But even then, they probably would not be disenrolled, although this would be a very effective way of imposing their ideas on the mass of the believers. It could actually “change the essential character of the Faith.” But I didn’t do that.

    However the House of Justice is in a difficult position. As you say, it does not have the authority to determine the Bahai teachings, but it does have the authority to determine the membership of the Bahai community, in the sense of who is on the membership roll, and they have to exercise that authority. Especially in a community where the members can vote and be elected, it is necessary to have a defined membership. If the UHJ were to say that someone was removed because they hold or do not subscribe to a certain belief, they would be adding a new doctrine to the list of essential Bahai teachings. They would be sliding into the empty shoes of the Guardian. The sum of such decisions would in time become a Bahai creed. That is undesirable in itself, and there’s the problem that they might be wrong about the belief in question or about its centrality to Bahai identity.

    The NSAs are in the same situation: they have to decide who is an enrolled member of their communities, both at the time people apply for enrollment and later, when the rolls are checked for people who no longer consider themselves Bahais. The Guardian wrote (in a letter to the NSA of the US and Canada, October 24, 1925):

    Regarding the very delicate and complex question of ascertaining the qualifications of a true believer, I cannot in this connection emphasize too strongly the supreme necessity for the exercise of the utmost discretion, caution and tact, whether it be in deciding for ourselves as to who may be regarded a true believer or in disclosing to the outside world such considerations as may serve as a basis for such a decision. I would only venture to state very briefly … Full recognition of the station of the Forerunner, the Author, and the True Exemplar of the Bahá’í Cause, as set forth in ‘Abdu’l-Bahá’s Testament; unreserved acceptance of, and submission to, whatsoever has been revealed by their Pen; loyal and steadfast adherence to every clause of our Beloved’s sacred Will; and close association with the spirit as well as the form of the present day Bahá’í administration throughout the world …. Any attempt at further analysis and elucidation will, I fear, land us in barren discussions and even grave controversies that would prove not only futile but even detrimental to the best interests of a growing Cause. (Baha’i Administration, p. 90)

    This is what the UHJ is doing: exercising “the utmost discretion … in disclosing to the outside world” the reasons for their decision. For good reasons, they do not want anyone to know the reasons for their decision. It’s futile to try to deduce a reason that is designedly hidden.

  11. Oh by the way, I did catch your drift in the paragraph about simple booklets for the masses. It gave me some good laughs!

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