April 20, 2008

Tension and confusion in the House. The members expressed their hurt-felt puzzlement.

  • But, but this suggests some form of collusion between the Erfanians and Afnan. Maybe between the House and Afnan? For what reason? To get a baby?
  • Why Afsaneh Javad? And how could she find herself in a situation where she could develop deep feelings for a Covenant Breaker?
  • How did they know that she was pregnant? Maybe they didn’t, maybe they just got lucky.
  • Is there a Kashan connection? A connection with the Bayanis?
  • Why did Mrs Erfanian kiss Afnan’s hand? What are you talking about? She didn’t. I’m sure she did. The situation is bad enough without embellishment. Goodness me, I’m not making it up – you obviously averted your eyes and missed it.
  • We have to do something about this.

[Mr Thompson]:
“Let’s calm down everyone. Let’s sit back. Thank you.

Behrouz, that doesn’t match your story.”

[Mr Erfanian]:
“No, it doesn’t Kevin.”

[Mr Thompson, exasperated]:

[Mr Erfanian]:
“And what? I completely stand by what my father told me. As Mr Pain said, this story is a fabrication. It’s corrupt and has been tampered with by people who well know how to confuse and bring about disunity. I don’t know why we are all so surprised; extreme opposition to the Faith has been prophesized.

I’m very disappointed that anyone could think that my father, who has given so much service to the Cause, could have anything to do with undermining it.”

[Mr da Silva]:
“A simple DNA test can sort this out.”

[Mr Erfanian]:
“Nonsense Fabio. I’ve told you that Afnan raped Afsaneh. He’s the father alright but it was nothing like that story we’ve just seen.

Gentlemen, gentlemen, why this and why that. There are no answers to these questions because this Layla repository is a lie. Nevertheless, people will believe what they see. This is why I told you that it is paramount that we stop it.”

[Mr Underwood]:
“I’m not sure Behrouz. It’s seems quite possible that this story is true and yours false. Maybe your father was mistaken. After all, he was elderly and dying at the time.”

[Mr Erfanian, enraged]:
“My father was not mistaken. I can’t understand how a House member would side with those who seek to destroy the Cause of God.”

[Mr Underwood]:
“Please, Behrouz, there is no need for that. Look, there are about twenty scenes here and Mr Pain had indicated that only five have relevance to the Faith. If this was done by some opposition group then they wasted a lot of time and money.”

[Mr Erfanian]:
“Pull your head in Joel mate. That’s how you Aussies put it, yes?

Have you considered it could be a joint effort? Maybe the Enemies of the Faith collaborated with Islamic, Christian and God knows how many other groups. That would explain the resources that must have gone into this. Kevin, I will excuse myself if this baseless backbiting of my family continues.”

[Mr Selwood]:
“It does seem very fishy. These were all Persian people. Surely they would have spoken in Farsi? Omid?”

[Mr Enayati, peering over his spectacles in a distinguished fashion]:
“Absolutely, Steven. In fact, Afsaneh could speak little or no English during her stay at the World Centre. I remember. I was here at the time. My mother served at the International Teaching Centre. She came to dinner often. She spoke Farsi, sometimes a smattering of German, no English. And might I add that anyone who knew Mr Erfanian Senior would find it ludicrous to even entertain the idea that he was anything but a faithful servant of the Cause.”

Mr Enayati had spoken truthfully but misleadingly. He observed Richard Young. He observed the other multi-lingual members. Nothing. Farsi’s not their main tongue. And then, sympathetically, he turned to a nervy Behrouz Erfanian. Yes, yes he had. Behrouz, like Omid, had heard it all in Farsi. This repository was remarkable. How novel.

Enayati had always been ho-hum about whatever powers lay behind Layla’s miracles. Same deal with this strange technology. Enayati had long ago fully committed himself to the primacy of the Baha’i Faith and its Institutions. They were designed by God and he understood everything by using them as starting and end points. This repository thing might be true; it might be lies; it might be all points in between. No matter, it’s not the Real Truth.

There was no need to over-analyze; it was clear in the Most Holy Book that all good comes only through recognition of Bahá’u’lláh and following his ordinances. It was simply a matter of turning this weird show to his advantage. Weaker minds sometimes mislaid their confidence in the divine plan when faced with uncertainty. Not Enayati.

[Mr Enayati, continuing]:
“Kevin, let’s see what other delights await our eyes. Perhaps a break first though. My prostrate isn’t up to these long meetings any more. Or maybe it’s too much tea. I agree with Behrouz though. Something has to be done.”

Enayati cornered Behrouz on the way to the men’s room and took him aside.

[Mr Enayati]:
“Behrouz, you have my full support. Always. You know that.

I could see by your face that you heard Farsi, as I did. This is an intricate web we are navigating. We can’t be sure what the others heard. We don’t even know if we got the same story in Farsi. I’ve read scientists are trialing multi-lingual devices. They might be in play here. The authors of this atrocious repository are leaving no stone unturned.

Our response needs to be organized and single-minded. We must have conviction and not chase shadows. We need to make certainty from uncertainty. Our strong story will gather up the dross and become accepted. We can do that. Now, Behrouz, tell me the truth. Tell me, so I can help you.”

[Mr Erfanian, enamoured]:
“Omid. You are the peerless friend. Let me hug you.”

[Mr Enayati, eyes darting]:
“Stop Behrouz. Don’t draw attention to us.”

[Mr Erfanian, shaking the hug away]:
“Of course. I’m sorry.

Omid, it will be such a relief to tell you. And it’s such a simple explanation too. It just can’t be spread around. Understand?”

[Mr Enayati]:
“You know you can trust me Behrouz.”

[Mr Erfanian]:
“At one point my father was convinced that a Guardian was both necessary and possible for the future success and mandate of the Baha’i Faith. He felt that the first House administration had acted too hastily in declaring further Guardians after Shoghi Effendi impossible. He believed that the decision would be undone if events transpired in such a way that an attractive possibility could emerge. Suffice to say that there were a number who felt the same.

A new, pure boy from the line of Bahá’u’lláh was required. All the existing ones were Covenant Breakers and there was no way that the House could have accepted any of them back into the Faith no matter how much they repented. But if a hybrid could emerge… perhaps the unfortunate result of a rape of a Baha’i by a Covenant Breaker … well, surely no-one could blame the child. They could easily be raised Baha’i and be groomed for Guardianship.

Back in Kashan, our family has a long history with Afsaneh’s family. The Javad’s have strong links to the Báb and a number of the Letters of the Living. Yes, she was of good stock. A very lovely, simple soul and, apparently, quite open to suggestion. When she arrived for her year of service, my father and a few others talked to her, in generic terms, about their vision. They introduced her to Afnan and, by all accounts, she was very taken with him. They began an affair but Afnan wasn’t the most discrete of people… he was found cavorting with her on World Centre grounds by Graham Parkin and got himself bashed.

The plan was thrown into turmoil. It was very risky but my father and his supporters battened down the hatches and continued on. Already though, there was a leak and certain high-placed people were beginning to ask questions. My father put them back in their box by confiding in them about the rape. Nobody wanted to escalate to the authorities. By this time, evidence would have been hard to come by anyhow.

Further secret meetings between the pair were facilitated. Then suddenly, Afnan got spooked and pulled the plug on it, as you’ve just seen.

My father kept very close to Afsaneh over the next month or so. She was quite distressed, she needed his support. When she announced her pregnancy my father brought Graham Parkin into the mix. Everyone at the World Centre rallied around Afsaneh and Graham and it seemed the plan was going perfectly. Of course, the baby turned out to be a girl.

It was probably divine intervention. My father later changed his theology and no longer supported the idea of a new Guardian. Most of the others backed away from it too. There were numerous reasons, some legal.

Omid, all ended well but it isn’t something I want raked up. It would be bad for the Faith’s image. Even now. It is better that the members are exempted from this information.”

Enayati took it all in. He didn’t believe that was the full story but it was more than enough for his purposes.

[Mr Enayati]:
“I agree totally. I appreciate your sharing this with me Behrouz. We should definitely do something. There, they are calling us back. Let’s get back to our movie.”


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