Secretly planting books in checked-in luggage (airports)

My wife travels quite a bit for work, and on more than one occasion, she’s found that the luggage she checks in has something added to it in transit–more specifically, a book: **The Hidden Words** (The Writings of Baha’u’llah).

On each occasion, the book was in a side pocket–one that anyone with cursory access could easily open and stuff quickly with something small (these are always small-size paperbacks). In each case, not only has the book been the same, but the exact version of the book (based on cover illustration) has been the same.

I’ve never really heard of Baha’u’llah before, but the “writings” seem to cross general spiritual homilies with eastern poetry (call it Chicken Soup for the Rumi Soul). There doesn’t seem to be anything overtly evangalistic about it (it doesn’t even appear to represent a “church” per se), but we can’t help but suspect that someone working in or around the airport (ours or somewhere en route) is surreptitiously planting these books as a way to spread the word.

Once it seemed like a mistake, but in the last 5 or 6 years, I can count 3 separate times this has happened (sometimes, it’s taken us months to discover the book because it’s small and we never use that side pocket anyway). Has anyone heard of these practice, with this particular piece of literature or something similar? :confused: :dubious:

Baha’u’llah was the founder and prophet of the Bahai Faith. I’ve never heard of them proselytizing before. Where has your wife been traveling?

Ask the airport how security is missing this. Somebody is bypassing security.

Why would you have to bypass security to do this?

It could easily be someone in security doing it. I would file a complaint, and keep filing them relentlessly. The fact that someone has tampered with your luggage is no small matter in this day and age, regardless of whether it seems innocuous.

The problem is that, if you say to a guard, “Hey, someone tampered with my luggage!” you’re probably never going to see your luggage again. Hell, the way airport security is working these days, you’ll be lucky if all they do is confiscate your luggage.

Can I ask what country/city you are in? If someone in the US is doing this, you could probably file a complaint with TSA, you’re likely not the only one this has happened to.

Yes, by all means, file a complaint with the Marx Brothers of law enforcement.

I’m inclined to think it’s someone in the motor pool/baggage handling crew. It’s definitely behind-the-scenes, since we’re always there when the bags disappear (and later reappear) down the conveyors. But given that she’ll fly to DC via Chicago or Houston with a stopover in Denver, there’s no way to know where exactly it happens (we assumed it wasn’t even the same person, but possibly a larger behavior pattern among, um, Bahaists…?).

It doesn’t necessarily bother us per se–heck, there are plenty of points of vulnerability if anyone cared that badly about exploiting them. It’s just that we found it to be kind of a weird method of prosletyzing.

Needlessly snarky.

ETA: My best friend as a kid was Bahai and in general, they are not agressive in spreading the word, they have no formal clergy or houses of worship. My guess is that it is one individual somewhere in the chain doing this.

Have you ever actually dealt with the TSA? I’m having a hard time imagining a more useless organization.

I was thinking Gilbert & Sullivan:
"Baha’u’llah may call you,
Any night, any day,
In your heart, you’ll hear it call you:
“Come away…Come away…”


You obviously haven’t been to Chicago’s near north suburbs to see the ORANGE JUICER!!

It’s actually quite beautiful. The gardens are lovely, and the architecture of the temple itself is pretty impressive.

But as you say: no clergy.

Marx? Hell, you mean *Stooge *brothers. :mad: At least the Marx brothers would be funny. :stuck_out_tongue:

Agreed, it’s gorgeous. I’ve been inside, it’s just as lovely there. I had no idea there were only 7 Baha’i houses of worship in the whole world.

Be thankful that stuff is only added to and not subtracted from the luggage.

Nigh impossible. IIRC, the Baha’i faith strongly discourages proselytizing as a rule.

Baha’i is one of the few religions that I respect, despite being an atheist myself. Sure, I think they have a few things they could work on, but generally they seem to have a pretty good outlook on things, and they don’t force it on anyone else… well, usually, anyway!

This sure seems like aberrant behaviour for Baha’i. Most peculiar!

Agreed- the only religion I would ever consider joining would be the gentle Baha’i’s.