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46. HOUSE AND PAIN

March 29, 2008

“I strongly suspect the Apostinals. They are behind this. The half-truths; the clever use of technology; the unspeakable vulgarity and hatred; it has the smell of them. No doubt about it, this is a very well marshaled and well resourced venture. If it wasn’t for the anonymity I’d swear it was the work of the Edinburgh crew.”

 

Following this final flurry, Brian Pain gathered himself and, having settled into a prayerful pose, searched the nine faces of his virtual audience.

 

On the other end of the secure Stream connection, Universal House of Justice member Mr Enayati looked admiringly back at Mr Pain. “How fortunate and confirming”, he thought, “the Concourse on High are raining down their assistance for sure.” If Enayati could pick anyone to be in his corner, this would be the man.

 

Less than 24 hours ago, He and Mr Erfanian had spread word within their circle of trust that they sought access to reliable people connected to McGuire and the Layla repository. Soon after, they received a communicate from Auxiliary Board Member (ABM) for Protection James Jones. Jones was responsible for protecting the Faith from internal and external enemies throughout the Northeastern United States.

 

“Allah’u’abhá, dear friends, it is an honour to speak to you again. I have been informed of your request and all I can say is I am continually amazed at how prescient the House is. I have an, errmm, informal relationship with a certain devout and devoted Baha’i named Brian Pain. He is a great defender of the Faith on the Stream forums. He goes by the Stream moniker Cuddus.”

 

Enayati and Erfanian looked at each other taken-abackedly.

 

[Jones]:

“Indeed. Now, while you and I would, ordinarily, have little to do with Stream forums, I’m sure we all appreciate the, errmm, exploits of Cuddus – his methods wouldn’t be our methods but they are effective and well-intentioned. He’s quite a new Baha’i and he harbours a zealous love for Bahá’u’lláh and the Covenant. I like to think of him as taking those first few faltering steps out of the old and into the new world order.”

 

[Mr Erfanian]:

“That’s very interesting. How can he help us James? A propaganda campaign on the Stream?”

 

[Jones]:

“That’s a possibility, Mr Erfanian, but it gets even better than that. Brian Pain, or Cuddus, is working on the Layla repository. He’s been contracted as a Stream editor.”

 

[Mr Enayati, soft whistling]:

“Now that’s what I’d call a big in.”

 

[Jones]:

“Oh yes. Now, Brian came to me a couple of days ago. He works in a group that puts the finishing touches to ‘scenes’. He said he was very concerned. Some of the scenes had a distinctly Baha’i flavour and, in his view, they were not at all favourable. He intimated that things were not quite as they should be with the Stream data. He suspects tampering. I had been considering how to approach this when I learned of your timely involvement.”

 

[Mr Enayati]:

“Excellent. James, get Pain to come to your house tonight. I will arrange a special session of the House and a secure communicate tomorrow morning at 7am our time. I think that’s about midnight for you.”

 

[Jones]:

“I’ll make that happen.”

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