For my amusement, and only for my amusement: I was searching my email for another subject altogether, and up popped the following:
Bruce John Muirhead is undertaking research for a PhD at the University of Southern Queensland under my supervision. Bruce aims to revisit the subject of the nude in contemporary art after postmodern and related cultural critical assaults on beauty and formalism have left the field with little respect for this art form. Bruce has demonstrated his willingness to challenge orthodox views and received opinion on the subject of the nude. His task is formidable. There is half a century of negative criticism he must engage and yet he appears more determined after six months research that he was at the start of the process. I have no hesitation in recommending Bruce as a worthy candidate for the ****** scholarship.
The writer was my then supervisor, one David (I’ve never been published and am a junior academic who should not be a PhD supervisor because I only got my PhD 3 years ago) Akenson.
I didn’t realise just how angry I continue to be about the piss poor supervision at USQ until I accidentally discovered this reference again.
It’s not just that he thought my project unworthy, nor that he was incapable of understanding what I was doing, it’s that he undertook supervision in the first place when he thought these things. In all honesty, it was Akenson and his buddies that convinced me that higher education studies are not worth the effort any more.
Yep, I was bloody pissed off with his intellectual inadequacy. (His personal inadequacy is another matter: the last time I physically saw him, he ducked behind another person and peered anxiously in y direction. Dick.)
But, he is not the only person I have encountered who is intellectually deficient. Just recently an auxiliary board member of the baha’i’s in Australia wanted to talk to me, and arranged to meet with the secretary of the Local Spiritual Assembly to which I putatively belonged. They wanted to talk about this very blog, and my writings on paedophilia.
The difficulty presented to me was twofold:
- I had the temerity to state the children have a sexuality.
- I stated in one blog post that I was considering the issues of child sexuality, paedophilia, and adult-child sex outside of any moral theory.
That my work is well referenced and researched (though I continue to research), that it is supported by biology, medicine and psychology, what I was saying went against the basic baha’i moral principle that children are chaste and sexless creatures. I was under the impression, having read loads of Baha’i commentary n this, that Baha’i beliefs were to take into consideration the discoveries of science.
This, therefore, is a public statement that I resign from the Baha’i faith. The following is the main text of a pretty pissed off letter I sent to one of the Baha’i people I spoke to.
Despite the fact that this letter is to you, I have sent a copy of the to the Secretariat, as I have a request at the end that only they can deal with.
I have considered what you had to say, and I have read the document you gave me. In fact, I wrote a rather large response which I have decided not to send to you, as I believe you would not seriously consider what I have to say.
You made it very clear that nineteenth century moral beliefs are far more important than the science, the medical, psychological facts which we now know and need to consider.
My work in respect of childhood sexuality, and adult-child sex is read by (and considered quite highly by some) researchers in psychology. I cannot take your rather petty and completely uninformed comments seriously, except for one thing: you have convinced me that members of the Baha’i Faith do not even attempt to follow one of its most important principles. This, of course, is true of the Universal House of Justice also. (I do read what is sent to me.)
It is without any regret, therefore, and with what little respect I continue to have, that I both ask and demand that my name be removed form the rolls of the faithful.
Any contact other than a statement to the effect that I have been so removed from the rolls will not be entertained or responded to.
Yep, I’m pissed with religious stupidity also.
Of course, Baha’i’s really are quite lovely people. They go out of their way to be lovely. I have nothing against any Baha’i personally, but really. Ya’ll need to grow up intellectually and join the twenty-first century. That was what Bahá’u’lláh wanted, you know: keep up with the times.
Ok, my whinge and bitch is over. It is in no way amusing to my readers, what few remain after my lengthy and unannounced sabbatical. But, for whatever reason, I felt the need to say these things publicly, and perhaps to note that I am currently trying to write something about the role of morality in purely intellectual research. It might be interesting.
Peace be upon you, because: why not? I certainly feel better!