Shoghi Effendi Warned Believers To Avoid Complicity In Backbiting


It is obvious that if we listen to those who complain to us about the faults of others we are guilty of complicity in their backbiting. We should therefore, as tactfully as possible, but yet firmly, do our utmost to prevent others from making accusations or complaints against others in our presence.
~ Shoghi Effendi

Source: From a letter written on behalf of Shoghi Effendi to the National Spiritual Assembly of the British Isles on Feb. 11, 1925. Lights of Guidance, p. 94. © Bahá’í International Community.


Divine Messengers Reinvigorate Humanity And The World

“God, the Creator of the universe, is all-knowing, all-loving and all-merciful. Just as the physical sun shines on the world, so the light of God is shed upon all Creation, according to the Bahá’í International Community’s website. “It is impossible for any mortal mind to truly understand the reality of God. However broad or imaginative our concept of God may be, it will always be circumscribed by the limitations of the human mind.
“Throughout the ages, God has sent Divine Messengers known as Manifestations of God—among them Abraham, Krishna, Zoroaster, Moses, Buddha, Jesus Christ, Muhammad, and, in more recent times, the Báb and Bahá’u’lláh—to cultivate humanity’s spiritual, intellectual and moral capacities. Following the coming of a Manifestation of God extraordinary progress occurs in the world. Reaching to the roots of human motivation, His teachings awaken in whole populations capacities to contribute to the advancement of civilization to an extent never before possible.”
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Are You Tired Of TV Cussing, Sex And Violence? Try These Three Addictively Endearing Series

1024px-Palacio_de_la_MagdalenaHollywood just doesn’t get it: Many Americans are tired of graphic sex scenes and graphic violence. That is why some foreign-released films and series do so well, even though English-speaking audiences have to use captions.

Let me list three: The Grand (Gran Hotel), Kurt Seyit and Sura (Kurt Seyit ve Şura), and Velvet (Galerías Velvet).

I watched each series multiple times and got my wife to watch them, too. She really liked them all. So did many friends who learned of the series through my Facebook posts.


“The series, filmed at the Palacio de la Magdalena in Santander, is set in an early 20th century aristocratic hotel during the reign of King Alfonso XIII and is centered on the mysteries that involve the owner family and the hotel servants,” according to Wikipedia.

Although there was some romance in the series, I don’t remember any nudity or any explicit sex scenes that American producers and directors seem to cherish in a race to the bottom to see who can be more vulgar.


Kurt Seyit and Sura is as, or more, addictive than Grand Hotel. Its more than 40 episodes will keep you glued to your device or TV. When you turn the TV off in the living room or somewhere else, you’ll want to watch it on your phone or tablet in bed. It’s that good.

Although there was some romance in the series, I don’t remember any nudity or any explicit sex scenes that American producers and directors seem to cherish in a race to the bottom to see who can be more vulgar.

Kurtseyitvesura-posterProduced by Ay Yapım, the series tells the story of Kurt Seyit and Sura.

“{They} were forced to leave their lives and family behind during the Russian Revolution and escape to Istanbul,” according to Wikipedia. “The journey of Kurt Seyit Eminof (Kıvanç Tatlıtuğ), a lieutenant from Crimea, and Şura (Farah Zeynep Abdullah), the beautiful daughter of a noble Russian family, tells their tale from the days of magnificence in Petrograd, to the Carpathian front line, from the riots, to the revolution, from Alushta to occupied Istanbul, to Pera in the 1920s. It is the journey of their love.”

The additive story was told not with graphic sex scenes, but with PG-rated romance. There was some PG-rated violence as well. It is a journey, a series and a story that you will never, ever forget. You’ll have tears in your eyes on this one, and the ending is dramatic and unexpected!


Velvet was produced Bambú Producciones and is another addictive series with romance but no graphic sex and some PG-rated violence, except for one scene at the end of the first season. (I won’t list that here so as to not spoil it for readers who haven’t seen it.)

Wikipedia noted that Velvet’s storyline portrays the romance of Alberto, heir of Galerías Velvet, one of the most prestigious fashion stores in the Spain of the late 1950s, and Ana, who works as a seamstress there. The combustible intrigue will keep you in your seat.


In all these series, the actors are phenomenal. You really believe they are the characters they are portraying, so much so that if you saw one in a store, you would assume she or he was in character. The actors leave an imprint on your heart in all the shows.

Mr. Selfridge is the only show in the United States that can hold a candle to these three series in terms of their addiction. I would also include Downton Abbey. While excellent, it is not as fast-paced as the three series I mentioned and Mr. Selfridge.

Although being on budgets that were most likely much less than their Hollywood counterparts are accustomed to, the cinematography was done on limited sets, but it worked. There were no car chases and exploding cars. There were no gun fights. And, they were absent of other tired and clichés common to American film and TV.


Cable Girls isn’t compelling. The dark, dirty storyline limits the actors and there is little or no humor in the four episodes I’ve seen. (Perhaps I’ll keep watching, and if I do, I’ll update this column or write a new one.)

I stopped watching after the fourth in the series because of the violence (including a sickening portrayal of domestic violence), the simulated sex and the depressed milieu.

CablegirlsCable Girls shows a man beating a woman again and again. It is inappropriate. A well-written plot can easily account for making sure the audience knows a man is an abuser. Land Girls, a BBC production, worked a wife-abuser into the plot without the same type graphic violence, although there was some. (By the way, Land Girls is an excellent series.)

The graphic love scene in Cable Girls was unnecessary and exposes the laziness of writers, directors and producers. First, let me say that I do not like to watch graphic sex scenes between any human beings, whether it’s a man and woman, two men or two women, etc. Graphic sex scene is a fundamental problem with American television, made worse by the depressing story lines in so many shows and series.

Writers go for the cocaine high of writing in graphic sex scenes, but it steals a series of valuable time that could be better spent building a romantic and/or other relationships between characters. A well-timed kiss can be more of an audience draw than simulated sex. I mean, the simulated sex is just gross.

There are several actors in that Cable Girls that are as good as the six series I’ve mentioned; however, the actors’ talents are mostly wasted.

(First image courtesy of Fernandopascullo via Wikipedia. The photo shows part of the front of the famous Palacio de la Magdalena. CC BY 3.0. Kurt Seyit and Sura and Cable Girls posters courtesy of Wikipedia. They are used according to the Fair Use Doctrine.)