I haven’t done much with this blog lately. Too much is going on in life and the Bahá’ís have been very quiet of late. I need to find something to post about! Oh here: this will do …
It was recently brought to my attention that I had been removed from Wikipedia’s list of Ex-Bahá’ís, which was quite a surprise given that I didn’t know I’d ever been on any such list. It’s hard to enjoy fame when nobody tells you you’re famous.
It happened that when yours truly was stricken from the honor roll, the list was broken up into two much shorter lists … and one really long list:
- Former Bahá’ís: Juan Cole and Abd al-Hosayn Ayati
- Apostates: K. Paul Johnson, Denis MacEoin, and Ehsan Yarshater
- Covenant-breakers: (too many to mention here)
The page says nothing about restricting the list to noteworthy former Bahá’ís, therefore it follows that there is only one living “former Bahá’í,” and his name is Juan Cole.
The other three living specimens are “apostates.” This term was introduced to the list by one Chris Troutman, evidently an authority on out-group taxonomy. I know nothing about this authority figure, except that he seems to spend a lot of time editing Wiki pages.
I’m not sure how the three honorable gentlemen earned the eminent Dr. Troutman’s “apostate” classification. Perhaps it is that they have lives and don’t seem to care much about discussing the Bahá’í Faith, whereas Cole and Ayati went to great lengths to criticize the Bahá’í Faith and its Authoritative Odor. So it must mean that a “former Bahá’í” is a strident antagonist and an “apostate” is a specimen with better ways to spend his time?
One interesting fact: all “Covenant-breakers” are dead. I guess Covenant breaking isn’t an issue anymore, but of course “Covenant-breakers” do come in handy as a negative association for former Bahá’ís on lists like this, though as a general rule “Covenant-breakers” don’t consider themselves “former Bahá’ís.” It must be comforting to be a modest, harmless Ex-Bahá’í and share a page with the good folks that Bahá’ís regard as the darkest enemies of God’s Cause.