She has provided some links that show how the top heavy system works: that the Universal House of Justice itself chooses the small pool of individuals from which its own future members are drawn, and there are similar conserving results at lower levels.
Here is one report and explanation that looks at the latest UHJ line up at Baha'i Rants.
The more general lesson emerging all the time is that an administration of a faith cannot be confused with the faith itself. When it is, the members of the faith will spill out. I'm pleased to see independent publishing too, and names that I have come across before that appear again. We make a mistake if (in Christian terms) the Church becomes the religion. What is heartening is how the Baha'i Faith is becoming established by individuals outside of the administration (though Priscilla herself is now attends The Episcopal Church).
I find her own blogs very warm as well as enlightening. She reproduces words by the Baha'i scholar R. Jackson Armstrong-Ingram that shows Abdu'l-Baha in a very human and yet still charismatic light. He was a very touchy-feely person with others, and did attract women to him, though he behaved himself throughout. Some women desired to be the mother of a possible and rumoured third manifestation born in the USA, which combines religious and sexual fantasies if nothing does. He would involve himself in horseplay with men. He did know some dirty jokes in Turkish too, which makes the man more human. All this underlines the fact that it was Abdu'l-Baha who had the main impact in the West, though he was not the manifestation but the son of - the Bab was the first and Baha'u'llah the second (according to the Baha'i myth).
Priscilla herself makes the important point that the Baha'i ethic does not allow one to see the bad in someone else, but to have a rounded view you should see the whole character. And to be suspicious is to be protective. The administration does the dirty work of having a poor view of someone, and then ejects them from the faith - though she wonders how many abusers might it have ejected when it ejects those Baha'is inactive gay relationships. This binary tendency in the Baha'i Faith also extends to what is religious and a duty (laid out by the administration and its plans) and what is just a secular chore. Not so: most faiths realise that the mundane is also the religious, that even doing the washing up is a religious task.
All these problems can be ironed out if the Faith becomes independent, open to critical scrutiny and, one has to say, removing the notion of infallibility from manifestations and seats of authority. Abdu'l-Baha himself, she points out, rejected evolution whilst insisting on the lack of conflict between religion and science. He was infallible, apparently. Well he was wrong. As she says:
Dance around with ‘Abdu’l Bahá’s other words and a grab bag of philosophical and scientific ideas all you want (as some writers have done), but to reject the evolution of novel species from other species is to reject evolution; that is what evolution is.
Indeed it is. The paradox is this: scrap infallibility, and say turn the Universal House of Justice into an International Spiritual Assembly, and the contents of the faith - its origins, the evolution of its core messages, its timeliness and its mistakes - begin to look interesting. As it is, as Priscilla states, the current [infallibly expected] Entry by Troops isn't happening to the Baha'i Faith but to the Pentecostal and similar end of the Christian faith in developing countries.
Very good blogs all round. Oh and I appreciate Andrew's comment (as just discovered) about my previous entry.