The Baha'i Faith and Scientology: Aspects of Destructive Cults




By qurrat361


The subject of whether the Baha'i Faith is a cult has been hotly debated here on reddit, and it is often said that the Faith is in fact a cult. The Baha'i community has been forced on numerous occasions to defend themselves from these accusations.

In this post, I'm going to use the example of Scientology, a movement I'm sure we all can agree is a cult, and compare it with the Baha'i Faith to demonstrate that the "Faith" meets all criteria for being considered a destructive cult.

I will define a cult as being "a secretive, deceptive, and controlling, religious movement" and a destructive cult as being "such a group which has caused or is liable to cause physical/psychological harm or loss of life among its membership or the general public."

Secrecy

A cult draws members in through its secrecy. If a cult was fully open about their horrible practices and illogical beliefs, no one would join them. Scientology, for example, does not tell its new members about Xenu. Most Scientologists have no idea that this story is part of their religion, so when critics try to tell them about it, they are genuinely confused. It is not until a Scientologist has dedicated an immense amount of time and money to the religion that they hear about the Xenu story.

When trying to gain new members, cults present themselves as a friendly movement that only desires good and peace for the world. They engage in love-bombing (something which Scientology and the Baha'i Faith are especially known for), and they make you feel welcome before you've even joined. A Baha'i will smile at you, call you "friend," and tell you all about the supposed Baha'i belief in the unity of mankind, carefully leaving out the command to shun Covenant-Breakers in their scriptures.

When Baha'is "teach" (the Baha'i term for proselytization; I will go into this later), they are not open about everything. They do not tell prospective converts that women are not allowed to serve on the UHJ, of the violence committed by Baha'is and sanctioned by Baha'i leaders throughout history, or of the more problematic teachings within Baha'i scriptures.

It is usually only once a person has joined the Faith and studied the scriptures that they find out about these things. Most people on the outside, were they to find out about the sexism, for instance, in the Baha'i Faith, would completely drop all thoughts of converting; but once a person has joined, they will think differently. The new convert and his or her fellow Baha'is will have to justify this conversion, so they will come up with some ridiculous excuse for why the Baha'i Faith doesn't allow women in what is currently its highest governing body, such as "the reason will be made as clear as the sun at midday."

Deception

A lot of people think that they are too smart to join a cult like Scientology or the Baha'i Faith, but the fact is: there is no such thing as being too smart to fall for bullshit. A person who thinks that they can't be fooled is in fact a lot more likely to be fooled than a humbler person who realizes that they have been tricked in the past and that it could happen in the future.

Both Scientology and the Baha'i Faith engage in deception. Both of these cults have been caught lying about their membership numbers. The Church of Scientology have made the absurd claims that they are the fastest growing religion in the world, and that they gain 4.4 million new converts each year. Of course, this is demonstrably false. All you need to do to see this is to go into a Scientology org; they're all empty. Sometimes, you might see a few curious people in there, but it's generally just going to be a few staff. In fact, so few people come into Scientology churches, they don't even bother turning their air conditioning on.

However, due to these lies, as well as the grand buildings that both of these cults spend their money on, their followers are tricked into believing that they are a part of this massive, worldwide movement that actually has the power to change the world. Rather, both religions are experiencing serious decline currently, and rather than an entry by troops, the Baha'i Faith is experiencing an exit by troops

This is only one example of the many ways in which the Baha'i Administration deceives its members. Over the years, the Baha'i administration, when translating the works of the Central Figures have engaged in deceptive translation, and they have outright declined to translate anything more than selections from the writings of the Bab. Because of this, Baha'is are completely unaware of the fact that the Bab actually viewed Him Whom God shall make manifest as a figure who would not come until the distant future, or of the fact that the Bab forbade his followers from taking medicine, in addition to many ridiculous teachings.

Because, Baha'i translations are of course aimed at people who do not speak the original languages of the scriptures, they are able to take advantage of people's ignorance and make changes to the writings as they wish. Shoghi Effendi, despite how much he praised the Kitab-i-Iqan, was caught making changes to it in order to undermine Subh-i-Azal. Likewise, David Miscavige, the current leader of Scientology, has been caught making extensive changes to the writings of the religion's founder, L. Ron Hubbard.

Control

Both the Baha'i Faith and Scientology are characterized by the excessive amount of administration. L. Ron Hubbard, like Shoghi Effendi, wrote hundreds and hundreds of pages on how the religion of Scientology should be run and organized. Once a person joins the Baha'i Faith, they are now going to be subject to this extensive control. For example, should a Baha'i wish to publish a book on his or her faith, they first need to get it reviewed by a committee; this is blatant censorship, and many scholars (Denis MacEoin, Juan Cole, etc.) have left the Baha'i Faith for this reason

Another method of control that destructive cults use is jargon. Cult leaders often create a complex system of jargon which can seem, to the outsider, to be like a completely new language. Scientology is especially known for this. The farther you move up in the cult, and the more you become controlled by it, the more jargon there is. It is impossible to understand some of the more advanced books and lectures by L. Ron Hubbard without a good grasp of Scientology terminology.

Here is a dictionary covering quite a bit of Baha'i terminology. The fact that this needs to exist proves my point. Much like Scientology, the Baha'i Faith has quite a lot of jargon: institute process, NSA, ATC, ITC, afnan, aghsan, auxiliary boards, B.E., teaching, etc. The layman would not be familiar with the Baha'i definition of any of these terms. The Baha'i Central Figures and Administration, just like L. Ron Hubbard, created many new words and re-defined many already existing terms. "Teaching" is an excellent example of this. "The Baha'is don't proselytize; they teach."

L. Ron Hubbard and the Baha'i leaders didn't invent all of this jargon for fun. It all serves a very particular purpose. It isolates the believer from the rest of the society. Try talking with a Scientologist who has allowed all the jargon to become a natural part of their lexicon; it's practically impossible, not just because the words are difficult to understand, but because they probably wouldn't even speak to you in the first place because they have become so entrenched in their cult! This has the potential to happen to a Baha'i as well. Of course, the Baha'i Faith doesn't have as much jargon as Scientology, but a very similar thing has happened among its members. Often in discussions, instead of forming any of their own arguments, a Baha'i will just quote from the writings ad nauseum, as if that is their only language.

Another method of isolation the Baha'i Administration uses is shunning. Baha'is have the concept of the "Covenant-Breaker," which is very similar to Scientology's concept of the "suppressive person," both of which are to be shunned by the followers of these cults. This Scientology apologist, on their blog, literally quotes Abdu'l-Baha to justify Scientology's practice of "disconnection" from "suppressive persons."

These kinds of practices have torn apart families and allow the Baha'i administration to exercise tight control over its members. Anyone who publicly criticizes these religions are at risk of being declared a "Covenant-Breaker" or a "suppressive person." This is exactly what happened to Avarih who was the subject of a recent post here, and his wife left him because of his apostasy and his criticisms of the Baha'i Faith.

Violence

Lastly, we'll deal with the subject of violence. Abdu'l-Baha physically attacked many differnet people despite condemning violence in his writings, but we have a plethora of more severe examples of violence than that. Baha'u'llah himself attempted to poison his rival (and his own half-brother) Subh-i-Azal. We have an account of this event from multiple sources:

"It was in fact the Mírzá [i.e. Baha’u’llah] who had sought to poison His Holiness [Azal]. [On the day in question] Sultán Khánúm (entitled the Greatest Holy Leaf), who at the time was still a believer in her most august uncle [i.e. Azal], with blinks and glances, [when the food was brought out by the servants] indicated that that he [Azal] should not partake of the meal placed before him. When the Mírzá [i.e. Bahá’u’llah] insisted that His Holiness should eat, His Holiness refused, thereupon the aforementioned saw that His Holiness had become appraised of their evil intentions [i.e. to kill him], and therefore, in order to deflect attention [from the deed], he proceeded to eat a few portions from that plate of food himself. Immediately his [i.e. Baha’u’llah’s] state was overturned [i.e. he became violently ill]. He then threw the plate of food in the courtyard outside. In that yard there was a dog who immediately began to eat [the discarded food] and thereupon fell dead shortly thereafter. When the Mírzá beheld this scene, he was immediately embarrassed, and so sought out a physician. After regaining his health, he proceeded to spread rumours that His Holiness [Azal] had attempted to poison him" (The True Acccount of Takur of Nur, p. 43-44).

"The first juggle and trick of sorcery which he [i.e. Baha] outlined was this, that he brought to Hazrat-i Azal [i.e. Subh-i Azal] a dish of plain food, with one side of which he had mixed with some poison, intending to poison His Holiness. For hitherto the apportioned breakfast and supper of His Holiness the Fruit [Hazrat-i Thamara, one of the titles conferred on Subh-i Azal by the Point] had been from the house of Mirza Husayn Ali [i.e. Baha]. When that poisoned dish was placed before His Holiness, Mirza Husayn Ali pressed him to partake of it. By a fortunate chance the smell of onions was perceptible in the food, and His Holiness, being averse to taste it. Mirza Husayn Ali continued to press him urgently to eat. He replied, “it smells of onions, I will not eat it; if it is so good, eat it yourself. From this answer Mirza Husayn Ali supposed that His Holiness had divined his evil design, and, simply put the view of disguising the truth and putting a better appearance on the matter, ate a little from the other side [i.e. the unpoisoned side] of the dish, in order that the suspicion of His Holiness might perhaps be dispelled and he might eat the poisoned side. But His Holiness, because of the smell of onion would not eat" (Hasht Bihisht, p. 304-305).

Baha'u'llah also had Dayyan (one of the claimants of the station of He Whom God shall make manifest) murdered:

"Mírzá Huseyn 'Alí [Bahá'u'lláh], after a protracted discussion with him [Dayyan], instructed his servant Mírzá Muhammad of Mázandarán to slay him, which was accordingly done" (Hasht Bihisht, p. 302-303).

Of course, Baha'is accuse Subh-i-Azal of doing all of these things with very little evidence. They point to Baha'u'llah's shaky hand, evident in his writings, as "proof" that he was poisoned. In reality, Baha'u'llah poisoned himself, his shaky hand being caused by ataxia/dystaxia.

It seems very unlikely that Subh-i-Azal would have done any of this since he was reluctant to even verbally denounce him (doing so is frowned upon in the Bayan). Azal states in an 1890 letter to Edgard Blochet, keeper of the Oriental Manuscripts section of the Bibliotheque National in Paris:

"I simply wanted him [Baha'u'llah] to keep his silence and not compel me to denounce him. In the end he could not contain himself, and by taking an overdose of opium, he threw down the gauntlet, lured thereunto by the temptations of the bald soap-seller [i.e. Mírzá Aqá Ján of Káshán], and by his brother [Mírzá Músá Kalím]."

Conclusion

As we can see here, the Baha'i Faith exhibits all aspects of a destructive cult. It is secretive, deceptive, and controlling, and it has a history of violence.

As a former Baha'i and a person who was nearly duped into joining Scientology, I encourage Baha'is to critically examine and evaluate the kind of group they are in before any harm similar to what the ex-Baha'is here have experienced befalls them.

Source : https://www.reddit.com/r/exbahai/comments/7q9b32/the_bahai_faith_and_scientology_aspects_of/

7 comments:

  1. "Often in discussions, instead of forming any of their own arguments, a Baha'i will just quote from the writings ad nauseum, as if that is their only language."

    Indeed, I have seen this myself in debates I have had with Baha'is many times. It's shocking how shallow their understanding often really is!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. True. Why don't you join the Ex-Baha'i community on Reddit? You always have good points to contribute. There are many interesting ex-baha'is here: www.reddit.com/r/exbahai
      Please visit. OR you are already there :)

      Delete
    2. No, but I've noticed some people posting references to my writings there. I will consider it.

      Delete
    3. And I now have done it. Hope it proves useful.

      Delete
    4. That's great. Hope to see your thoughts there. I do go there very often and copy paste some good stuff to my blog. I am going to post one of your good comment on my blog today.
      Keep up the good work of exposing these cultists.

      Delete
    5. For the record, Scott Hakala, aka DavidbinOwen, is doing something that goes completely against my standards of ethics: He as a Baha'i evangelist has invaded the Ex-Baha'i reddit forum and engaged me and others in fruitless debates and agitation. You won't catch ME invading the Baha'i reddit forum and spamming it with anti-Baha'i propaganda! I respect other people's territory even if I profoundly disagree with them. And that is what makes Hakala so despicable to me. He is shameless!

      Delete
  2. The ultimate goal of Baha'ism is literal world domination, "a world commonwealth in which all nations, races, creeds and classes are closely and permanently united…a world legislature whose members will…ultimately control the entire resources of all the component nations…A world executive, backed by an international Force…A world tribunal…A mechanism of world inter-communication…A world metropolis will act as the nerve center of a world civilization….A world language will either be invented or chosen from among the existing languages…A world script, a world literature…currency…weights and measures…A world federal system, ruling the whole earth and exercising unchallengeable authority over its unimaginably vast resources"
    --Shoghi Effendi quoted in The Bahá'is, A Profile of the Bahá'i Faith and its Worldwide Community (Oakham, Leicestershire, UK: Bahá'í International Community, 1994), p. 75

    ReplyDelete

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

Baha'i Texts

Popular Posts

Total Pageviews

Followers

Blog Archive

About Me

http://www.scribd.com/people/documents/12206251-naser-emtesali

OnThisDateInBaha'i