Mythbusters is a television programme that seems to take Darwin Award-worthy notions and test them out under semi-controlled conditions.

Wiki has a slightly kinder description:

“The series stars special effects experts Adam Savage and Jamie Hyneman, who use basic elements of the scientific method to test the validity of various rumors, urban legends, myths, movie scenes and news stories in popular culture.”

For example, one episode poses the question, “Can you strap a jet engine to a 67 Chevy and go 350 miles an hour?” Well, perhaps you can. The question that never seems to be asked is, “Should you?”

Sen McGlinn is a Baha’i mythbuster, and more cerebral in his approach — but his work is no less dangerous. In the course of his investigations he’s survived a fall out of a world religion and has been the target of all kinds of defamation.

[This is the third time in six posts that I’ve mentioned Sen. There’s a word for what’s happening, and I just learned it today from a Mormon. I think I’m having a bit of a man-crush.]

Expansion by expulsion

The Expulsion from the Garden of Eden (Masaccio)The Universal House of Justice is trying every which way to make Baha’is more active. It’s tried working through national and local assemblies and it’s tried through the ITC, Counsellors, ABMs and clusters, using the Ruhi institute process. More recently, it’s trying out a bunch of regional conferences. All those methods have been quite labour-intensive and sometimes quite capital-intensive. Travel, study, venues, accommodation and materials all add to the cost.

The House is nothing if not systematic. It tries something, evaluates and adapts it, then tries again. If anything seems to work, it gets adopted and tried elsewhere. “Anna’s presentation” is probably a good example. A script in a training manual becomes an integral part of door-to-door teaching.

But there’s one thing the House has tried that seems to have had stunning results in activating Baha’is, yet doesn’t appear to have been adapted and adopted.

I’m speaking of removal of membership. Michael McKenny appears to have been an early “failure”, but Alison Marshall and Sen McGlinn have shown that the method has great promise. Those two have become real powerhouses since their expulsion. Think how amazingly vibrant the Baha’i faith could become if the House would remove just 1% of the Baha’is from membership, let alone 10% or 100%.

Entry by troops – imminent? overdue? centuries away?

Sen McGlinn argues that the timetable for entry by troops, or at least the achievement of the lesser peace, should be measured in hundreds of years:

Whether Shoghi Effendi was looking back to the promise about “this qarn” given in the “Seven Candles” or was alluding to the reference to “this great `asr which is the qarn of Baha’u’llah” in Some Answered Questions itself, it is clear that when Shoghi Effendi says that “world unity … as Abdu’l-Baha assures us, will, in this century, be securely established” he is not using ‘century’ to refer to a period of 100 years, but to a long period, apparently the equivalent of the “cycle of Baha’u’llah.” A long long – long – century, when “the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the Lord, as the waters cover the sea.” (Isaiah 11:9)

Century’s end
Century of light