Rhett Diessner

Podcast Release Date: Monday, December 17, 2007

Although Rhett grew up in a Bahá'í family, he didn't claim the Bahá'í Faith as his own until going to college. He first became a nurse and worked on a Native-American reservation. Then he went back to school and got a degree in school psychology and then went back to the reservation to work in the school system for another three years, at which time he left to get his doctorate. He is the author of the book Psyche in Eros: Bahá'í Studies in Spiritual Psychology.

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William Collins

Podcast Release Date: Monday, December 10, 2007
At age 13 Bill read the Bible and started asking questions. At age 15 he read the Quran and recognized that same Voice from the Bible. At age 18, Bill knew that these and the other major world religions were linked together somehow, but didn't know what that link was. Bill describes his journey to discovering that linkage. He is a published author and has contributed to the Encyclopedia of Millennialism.
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Kahani Skydance

Podcast Release Date: Monday, December 3, 2007
A Bahá'í who basically made the Peace Corps her career after becoming a Bahá'í. Before the interview I play a piece from the radio program The State We're In produced by Radio Netherlands. This piece updates the plight of Bahá'ís and other religious minorities in Egypt.
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Erica Toussaint

Podcast Release Date: Monday, November 19, 2007
A Bahá'í whose great grandfather, Howard Colby Ives, was a Unitarian minister who became a Bahá'í in 1912.
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Dora Carlyn Horton

Podcast Release Date: Monday, November 12, 2007
A Bahá'í who lives both in NYC and in Florida. She is an actor, musician and composer, a makeup artist, a chef and a playwright. At the end of the program I play cuts from Dora's new CD, Pathway To Paradise.
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Susan Aude

Podcast Release Date: Monday, November 5, 2007
A Bahá'í and former television news anchor at the NBC-affiliate WIS in Columbia, SC.
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Kamran Hakim

Podcast Release Date: Monday, October 29, 2007

A Bahá'í who grew up in Iran and came to the United States when he was 18 to go to university just prior to the 1979 Islamic Revolution. It was during this time that Kamran investigated the Bahá'í Faith for himself even though he was raised as a Bahá'í. In the interview Kamran refers to three Bahá'í books and provides a concise summation of each. These books are Some Answered Questions,The Book of Certitude, and The Seven Valleys and the Four Valleys.

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Marc Hensen

Podcast Release Date: Monday, October 22, 2007

A Bahá'í from Long Island, NY who discovered his calling in social work when in college. He discovered the Bahá'í Faith from an ad in the newspaper. He has written an introductory book on the Bahá'í Faith called Divine Journey: Exploring the Bahá'í Faith.

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Rich Pellegrino

Podcast Release Date: Monday, October 8, 2007
A Bahá'í who discovered the Bahá'í Faith when he was steeped in the hippie culture with all its attendant activities both positive and negative.
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Jacob Ayvazian

Podcast Release Date: Monday, October 1, 2007
A Bahá'í of Armenian descent. His parents grew up in Iran and moved to Brazil to help the Bahá'í Faith there. Jacob was born in Brazil and lived there until he decided to get his post graduate degree, so he moved to western Massachusetts with his young family in the early 1990's.
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Howard Menking

Podcast Release Date: Monday, September 24, 2007
An 83 year old Bahá'í now living in West Virginia. When he first became a Bahá'í just after World War II, he went to Brazil for a year. After returning from Brazil, he and his wife, Joanne, were the first Bahá'ís in Cape Verde, Africa. They stayed in Cape Verde until there was a Bahá'í community established there.
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Jackie Tobias

Podcast Release Date: Monday, September 17, 2007
A Bahá'í from Ft. Lauderdale, Florida. Jackie grew up in Michigan and moved to Florida when she was 29. It was in Florida that Jackie discovered the Bahá'í Faith, but it took her nine years before she got the courage to officially identify herself as a Bahá'í.
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Carol Rutstein

Podcast Release Date: Saturday, August 25, 2007

A Bahá'í from Amherst, MA who grew up with the Bahá'í Faith. Her father was Curtis Kelsey, who learned about the faith when he was a young man. Carol's husband, Nathan Rutstein, wrote the book, He Loved And Served, The Story of Curtis Kelsey. Carol talks about Nathan's writing career and talks about how his career got started when her daughter inspired him to write Go Watch TV. Carol was a professional singer performing in musical theater and spending about a year traveling with Fred Waring and the Pennsylvanians. When I finished the interview, Carol handed me a CD recording of a talk her father gave in 1970. I took snippets from the talk and created a 20 minute excerpt which I play following Carol's interview.

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Brett Gamboa

Podcast Release Date: Monday, September 10, 2007
Brett is a PhD candidate in English Literature at Harvard University, where he studies Shakespeare and directs plays. In this interview he speaks about growing up in a Catholic family in California, the disintegration of that family through divorce, and his first encounters with the Bahá'í Faith.
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Cara Williams

Podcast Release Date: Monday, September 3, 2007
A Bahá'í who grew up in Bufort, SC. Before she became a Bahá'í she owned her own business and did a stint as a private investigator. She is currently the administrator for the non-profit organization One Human Family, as well as working for a non-profit called the Community Re-investment Association.
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Daniel Lincoln

Podcast Release Date: Monday, August 20, 2007
A Bahá'í who, from an infant, grew up in Central Africa. He returned to his country of birthright (the U.S.) to live to complete high school and university. He went to England to get married and get his PhD. Before returning to the U.S., where he currently lives, his family lived in Australia and Rumania. In Rumania he worked for the U.N. organization UNESCO, and now he and a partner are consultants for Social and Economic Development projects.
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Jeff Bohnhoff

Podcast Release Date: Monday, August 13, 2007

A Bahá'í musician and musical producer who moved around a lot growing up, going to about 12 different schools. He became a Bahá'í after marrying Maya who was a Bahá'í. It was the Bahá'í book Thief In The Night by William Sears that lead him to becoming a Bahá'í. Jeff talks about filk music, as did Maya in her interview. Visit their website

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Maya Bohnhoff

Podcast Release Date: Monday, August 6, 2007

A Bahá'í musician and author of science fiction and fantasy works as well as short essays on issues related to the Bahá'í Faith. Her music is a joint venture with her husband, Jeff, and their musical styles include filk. The music in this podcast is all from Jeff and Maya's work. Their website is

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Sorour Payman

Podcast Release Date: Monday, July 30, 2007
A Bahá'í from Iran whose paternal grandfather was a Zoroastrian in the 19th century. When her grandfather heard about the Bahá'í Faith he wrote to Baha'u'llah, the prophet-founder of the Bahá'í Faith and asked Him seven questions. In the Zoroastrian Faith, seven is a very holy number. Baha'u'llah responded to her grandfather in a tablet called "Seven Questions Answered". It has been recently translated into English and can be found in the Bahá'í compilation Tabernacle of Unity.
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Greg Dahl

Podcast Release Date: Monday, July 23, 2007
An American Bahá'í now living in Bulgaria. Greg went to Harvard to study physics but ended up getting his PhD in Economics. After college Greg worked for the International Monetary Fund of the World Bank for 27 years. His work took him to such countries as Haiti, Sierra Leone and Madagascar. In the interview we discuss globalization and his new book One World, One People: How Globalization is Shaping Our Future. I apologize for the poor quality of the recording. I was having difficulty with VFR's studio telos (the thingy that transfers the output of the soundboard to the telephone line). Greg couldn't hear me, so I had to have the microphone way up, which created a terrible hum and allowed background noise to filter into the interview. However, the interview is still well worth listening to. I started our interview by asking Greg where he grew up and what was it like growing up there.
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Owen Allen

Podcast Release Date: Monday, July 16, 2007
A Bahá'í who grew up in rural Australia; went to the big city for boarding high school and university where he studied physiotherapy. He returned to the rural life after university by settling in a rural part of Queensland, where he ran into the Bahá'í Faith. His mother's first reaction to Owen becoming a Bahá'í was "why did you join a religion whose members get killed!" referring to the persecution of the Bahá'ís in Iran. This is my first attempt at using Skype for the interview. I'm not thrilled about the quality, but it may be a tad clearer than through the telephone.
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Bahman Payman

Podcast Release Date: Monday, July 9, 2007
A Bahá'í from Iran who came to the United States to finish his medical schooling. After completing his schooling, he returned to Iran and worked at a Bahá'í hospital called Red Lion Society. When the Khomeini regime took over, they confiscated the hospital, assassinated the chief of staff, Dr. Hakim, and arrested or killed other Bahá'í physicians working there. Bahman and his family happened to be in the US when this happened, so he stayed in the US and practiced medicine here. He's now retired and is volunteering for two Bahá'í-inspired institutions, Health for Humanity and the Tahirih Justice Center.
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Nosrat Scott

Podcast Release Date: Monday, July 2, 2007
A Bahá'í from Iran. In Iran, Nosrat had to suppress her desire to express her belief freely. So after university, she decided to leave Iran for the United States. She was included in Dan Rather's book, The American Dream.
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Bertha Petruski

Podcast Release Date: Monday, June 25, 2007
A Bahá'í now living on Cape Cod, Massachusetts, who spent nine years in Bulgaria. In the interview Bertha refers to the Virtues Project. You can find information about the virtues project at these two websites: and Before playing the interview I play an audio clip of a statement by the Bahá'ís to the House of Representatives' International Relations Committee Subcommittee on Africa, Global Human Rights and International Operations on June 30, 2006
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Kathy Penn

Podcast Release Date: Monday, May 28, 2007
A Bahá'í from Lancaster, PA, who discovered the Bahá'í Faith in Bolivia, and found her true calling in teaching children.
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Rabi Musah

Podcast Release Date: Monday, May 21, 2007
An associate professor of biochemistry at the State University of New York, who grew up in Ghana.
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Bernard Streets

Podcast Release Date: Monday, May 14, 2007
A microbiologist who worked in industry, but when he retired, used his talents to help others in Costa Rica. Bernie refers to the Bahá'í Peace Statement in is stories about Costa Rica. You can find the complete text of The Promise of World Peace here: The Promise of World Peace
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Somava Stout

Podcast Release Date: Monday, May 7, 2007
A Bahá'í from the Boston area who is a pediatrician and founder of the children's organization, Raising Peacemakers
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Hal Williamson & Sharon Eakes

Podcast Release Date: Monday, April 30, 2007
With Sharon's help, Hal wrote the book Liberating Greatness, The Whole Brain Guide to An Extraordinary Life. Their website is
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Anthony Lopez

Podcast Release Date: Monday, April 16, 2007
A Bahá'í of both Italian and Puerto Rican descent. He grew up in New York City and found out that he could bring joy to the lives of children by bringing fictional characters to life. He now lives in Florida. Anthony's websites include: and
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Jay Green

Podcast Release Date: Sunday, April 8, 2007
While I was at the Bahá'í Conference Center called Green Acre in Eliot Maine, attending a workshop called The Holy Spirit's Invitation to Perfect Unity, I contacted my friend Jay Green for an interview. Jay works at the Office of Multicultural Student Affairs at the University of New Hampshire.
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Phyllis Ring

Podcast Release Date: Saturday, April 7, 2007
I was at the Bahá'í Conference Center called Green Acre in Eliot Maine, attending a workshop called The Holy Spirit's Invitation to Perfect Unity. Phyllis Ring ( her website) was one of the facilitators of the workshop. She is a freelance writer living in Exeter New Hampshire.
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Lars Patenaude

Podcast Release Date: Monday, April 2, 2007
This is a continuation of my Lars Patenaude. In this second telephone interview Lars describes his journey from the point at which he became a Bahá'í at the Bahá'í Academy called Landegg in Switzerland. He describes his involvement with the World Summit for Sustainable Development in South Africa and his work for the non-governmental organization called Education for Peace in Bosnia.
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Jamshid Afnan

Podcast Release Date: Monday, March 19, 2007
A Bahá'í from Wilbraham, MA and Vice President of Information Services for ISO New England an independent system operator that coordinates, controls and monitors the operation of the electrical power system for New England. Jamshid is a descendant from the family of the Persian prophet-founder of the Babi Faith titled the Bab, spelled B-a-b, which means Gate in Arabic. In 1844 the Bab declared his mission as the one announcing the coming of He Whom God Shall Make Manifest. Bahá'ís believe that this is a reference to Baha'u'llah the prophet-founder of the Bahá'í Faith. The Bab's life was quite miraculous and resembled the life of Christ in many ways including his dramatic martyrdom. I started the interview by asking Jamshid to give a brief synopsis on the Babi religion and its prophet-founder the Bab.
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Children's Theatre Company-Boston

Podcast Release Date: Monday, March 12, 2007
Somava Stout is the creator and director of the kids organization Raising Peacemakers, and the director of the Children's Theatre Company of Greater Boston.
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Sarah Page

Podcast Release Date: Monday, March 5, 2007
Sarah is a Bahá'í whose work is clearly a service to humanity. She is currently the assistant executive director of fund development for HAP, a non-profit, Housing Partnership organization.
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Lars Patenaude

Podcast Release Date: Monday, February 26, 2007
Like other folks I interview, Lars Patenaude has more to tell than one hour can allow. In this first telephone interview segment Lars describes his journey that lead him to becoming a Bahá'í. It includes dropping out of college, going back to college, being a rock'n'roll band manager, and going to graduate school.
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Steven Kolins

Podcast Release Date: Monday, February 19, 2007
A Bahá'í who graduated from the University of Wisconsin with double majors in physics and philosophy, and double minors in psychology and math. He then went to NC to go to graduate school, and it is in NC where Steven met his wife, Sally. He now provides computer support for a school system. He and Sally have been involved in a number of service organizations, and Steven is a wikipedia enthusiast. Steven mentions two works by Baha'u'llah in the interview, "The Seven Valleys" and the "Kitab-i-Iqan" which means the Book of Certitude in English. Steven also makes reference to a 12 step organization called Bahá'ís In Recovery Fellowship or BIRF for short.
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William Smith

Podcast Release Date: Monday, February 12, 2007
A Bahá'í and executive director of the Center for Diversity in the Communication Industries at Emerson College. In this interview, I barely scratched the service of Dr. Smith's life. In one hour we covered the very interesting story of how he ran into the Bahá'í Faith in high school, while living in a very rough neighborhood. I'll invite Dr. Smith back to talk about his many accomplishments including, founding a video, film and multimedia company called ComTel Productions; founding a non-profit organization called Pupil of the Eye: Vision for Unity in Education; and writing and producing the award winning documentary film "The Invisible Soldiers: Unheard Voices", which aired on PBS; and many, many other endeavors.
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Susan Maneck

Podcast Release Date: Monday, February 5, 2007
A Bahá'í who holds a masters degree in Oriental Studies and a PhD in history. She is currently an associate professor of history at Jackson State University in Mississippi.
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Stephanie Fielding

Podcast Release Date: Tuesday, January 9, 2007
Stephanie Fielding is a Bahá'í of Mohegan descent who lives in Uncasville, CT, where she helps to restore the nearly lost language of the Mohegan people. Her story begins in Hawaii where we learn that Stephanie's ancestry also includes Chinese, Hawaiian, African, and Irish heritage, along with her Native American ancestry. Once she married and became a Bahá'í at 18, she and her husband Dwayne, started their life together by going to Africa, after a chilly start in North Dakota. Her life adventures take her to such places as Nigeria, Lousiana, Colorado and then to her Native American roots in Uncasville, CT.
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Seals & Crofts

Podcast Release Date: Wednesday, January 3, 2007
A Bahá'í friend of mine, Mike Andros, gave me a cassette tape labeled 1977/1978. When I listened to it, it was a recording of a dialogue between Jimmy Seals, Dash Crofts and their producer Marcia Day after a Seals and Crofts recording session, talking about the Bahá'í Faith. Seals and Crofts are best known for the 70's hits Summer Breeze and Hummingbird.
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