OP here...thx for your contributions.
a.l.e, thanks for you patient and balanced reply, appreciate it
So nermander and narayana,
some of the scribus enthusiasts have been, in some capacity, trying to spur development for RTL/CJK support in Scribus. We've even added them to the github repo as their own team. Sadly so far it's been like herding cats, they all have their own lives and agendas and none are getting paid for the work. Especially since this type of thing would be very costly in a proprietary application.
One of the ways to contribute is to maintain enthusiasm about this and move away from negativity. People who contribute to open source do it for their own reasons. Some for philanthropy reasons, some for the challenge, some for the recognition etc...
In addition, if one was so inclined they could be proactive about organizing efforts to help RTL/CJK come alive. That is one of the reasons I originally wrote this post. Narayan, I encourage you to stick around and talk more about this, tweet about it, try to captivate folks to contribute to the effort. RTL/CJK in scribus could be a potential game changer as it would open up many more possibilities for people (for reasons communicated above ad nauseum).
Anyway...Thanks again for your contributing opinions.