GOING FEDERAL: Early Baha'i Administration

Aug 2009
George Town Tasmania Australia
Part 1:

In July1935, as the capstone of its newly found identity, the Federal Bureau of Investigation—the FBI---got its new and present name. During the fight against organized crime, as that fight developed a more sophisticated and scientific approach in the early-to-mid ‘30s, the FBI apprehended or killed a number of notorious criminals who carried out kidnappings, robberies,and murders throughout the nation, including: John Dillinger, "BabyFace" Nelson, Kate "Ma" Barker, Alvin "Creepy" Karpis,and George "Machine Gun" Kelly.

J. Edgar Hoover, the first FBI director, used the experience of John Dillinger and his gang as part of his campaign to convince the federal government to launch a national scientific platform within the FBI. MelvinPurvis led the investigation and killing of John Dillinger. Purvis captured more public enemies than any other agent in FBI history, a record that still stands. Tonight I watched Public Enemies,(1) a 2009 American biographical-crime film, written and directed by Michael Mann. It was an adaptation of Bryan Burrough's non-fiction book Public Enemies: America's Greatest Crime Wave and the Birth of the FBI, 1933–34.

Part 2:

Hoover was chiefly responsible for creating a scientific crime detection system or laboratory. That scientific-lab, the early forerunner of today's CSI, officially opened in 1932. It was all part of Hoover's game plan, his work, and his vision. He wanted to professionalize criminal investigations in the then national war on crime. As the decade of the '30s came to a close, the FBI found itself shifting gears to a new world of bad-guys--as WW2 was beginning to brew in Europe. Pro-Nazi groups were becoming more and more vocal in the U.S. These groups claimed, as part of their campaign and appeal, that fascism was the answer to American woes. The gangsters of the 1930s, it turned out, were just a prelude to the darker days of pre-war, war, and post-war, to come.

On 25 August 1953, in response to another wave of organized crime, the FBI created the Top Hoodlum Program. The national office directed field offices to gather information on mobsters in their states and territories, and then to report the data regularly to Washington. Thus, a centralized collection of intelligence on racketeers came into being.(2) Interested readers can Google the history of the CIA, if they are interested in this story here.

Part 3:

The transition from a loosely connected movement operating, for the most part, locally and state-wide, to a fully organized national-country-wide one can be said to have ended in 1925. Going national, having a federal system happened to many groups in the USA as the early decades of the 20th century rolled-along. By 1936 the nationally elected body, the national spiritual assembly of the Baha'is of the United States and Canada, and its national committees, as well as many locally elected groups, local spiritual assemblies, had become a sufficiently strong force to come together for the prosecution of an international missionary program.(3) I have been associated with that program now for 60 years: 1953 to 2013.- Ron Price with thanks to (1) Public Enemies, 7TWO TV, 9:30 p.m.-12:30 a.m., 3-4 June 2013, (2) Several threads at Wikipedia, and (3) Loni Bramson-Lerche, “Development of Baha’i Administration”, Studies In Babi and Baha’iHistory, Vol.1, Moojan Momen, editor, Kalimat Press, 1982, pp.258-275.

One to two per cent went to university that year,(1)
and most people in the UK ate bread, margarine,
dripping, tea and a little condensed milk if they
were lucky, with tragedy staring many working
class people in the face. Conditions slowly rose
for most…The form and pattern slowly set for a
new World Order as total global war broke-out,
massive turbulence rose over Europe, a sense of
crisis became endemic, & a familiar, reactionary,
pervasive, conservatism gripped-us everywhere,
indeed dripped over lounge-rooms in the West
as laughing-gas was pumped into homes daily
and nightly and infotainment kept people busy
and happy as the world rolled into more chaos.

Those roaring twenties gave way to mythologized
hungry thirties; a silent generation, and an equally
mythologized set of millions, gave way to the war
babies-that is where I came in 23 July 1944: 7 a.m.
three days after another attempt on old Hitler.(2)

We went to two billion during that decade as a Baha’i(3)
administration served to unify and propagate endlessly
fragrances of mercy wafting, finally, sensibly-insensibly
over all created things as integration and disintegration
came to grip humankind everywhere.
Like a tempest it
was—unprecedented in its magnitude, unpredictable in
its scope, and unimaginably glorious in its final—ultimate
consequences---sweeping the face of the planet earth!

1 In 1935 Australia's population was less than 7 million. The university participation level was relatively low. Australia had six universities and two university colleges with combined student numbers of about 12,000. In the UK, USA, and Canada, the per cent of students going to university did not exceed 2%.

2 On 20 July 1944 yet another attempt was made to assassinate Adolf Hitler, Führer of the Third Reich, inside his Wolf's Lair field headquarters near Rastenburg, East Prussia.

3 The global population hit two billion in the 1920s, as that war on crime heated-up. It hit three billion by 1960 when I was 15, and six billion by 2000 as I headed for the age of 60.

Ron Price
7 June 2013