Shoghi Effendi outlines his educational ambitions at Balliol College, to study "with eminent professors and Orientalists," noting alumni who were Imperialists.

Circa 1920's, Balliol College, Oxford, (founded about 1265 by John Baliol)
July 28. On this date in 1920, Shoghi Effendi, a student at Oxford, wrote a letter to Florence Breed, wife of Ali Kuli Khan and mother of Marzieh Gail, outlining his educational ambitions at Balliol College, to study with with eminent professors and Orientalists, noting alumni who were all Imperialists.

He was received there by the many devoted friends of 'Abdu'l-Bahá with genuine warmth and affection. Some of them he already knew personally, such as Dr J. E. Esslemont, who had recently been in Haifa and collaborated with him and other friends in the translation of an important Tablet of the Master; Major W. Tudor Pole, who had met 'Abdu'l-Bahá during His stay in London and had been in Palestine with the British Army of Occupation, rendering the believers every assistance within his power; and Lord Lamington.

Shoghi Effendi was the bearer of letters from this grandfather to some of His English friends, as is attested in a letter he wrote shortly after his arrival to the wife of Ali Kuli Khan in France:

July 28, 1920

My dearest Bahá'í sister:

I have been fearfully busy since I stepped on British soil and so far the progress of my work has been admirable. Equipped with the Tablets of the Master for Lady Blomfield, Lord Lamington and Major Tudor Pole , I have through them come in close touch with eminent professors and Orientalists whether at Oxford or London University. Having secured introductions and recommendations from Sir Denison Ross, and Professor Ker, to Sir Walter Raleigh - professor of and lecturer on English literature at Oxford - and Prof. Margoliouth - the remarkable Arabic scholar and Orientalist of the same University, I hastened to Oxford after a busy week stay in London. In fact before leaving for Oxford, I had a letter from Margoliouth saying that he would do all in his power to be of help to a relative of 'Abdu'l-Bahá. With this man and the Master of Balliol College - a College from which great men such as Lord Grey, Earl Curzon, Lord Milner, Mr. Asquith, Swinburne and Sir Herbert Samuel have graduated - I had the opportunity of speaking about the Cause and clearing up some points that to these busy scholars had hitherto been uncertain and confused.

Do pray for me, as I have requested you on the eve of my departure, that in this great intellectual center I may attain my object and achieve my end...

How Cultish is Baha'i?

by A35821361

This picture of Ruhiyyih Khanum is worth a 1000 words.

For High Control Groups, I'll just go down this checklist found here. To be fair, in my opinion, most of these items would to one degree or another be applicable to any major Christian denomination.
•  The group is focused on a living leader to whom members seem to display excessively zealous, unquestioning commitment.
The Universal House of Justice is collectively infallible in religious matters.
•  The group is preoccupied with bringing in new members.
Yes, I would say this is the raison d'être of the Bahá'í Faith, to bring in new members in order to establish the World Order.
•  The group is preoccupied with making money.
No, I would not say there is a preoccupation with a profit motive.
•  Questioning, doubt, and dissent are discouraged or even punished.
Yes, many prominent Bahá'ís have resigned or been declated Covenant-breakers for no other reason than expressing opinions in variance to the Administrative Order. They include Juan Cole, Ehsan Yarshater, Denis MacEoin, Abbas Amanat, Allison Marshall and numerous others. The members of the Administrative Order actively monitored internet forums for dissent.
•  Mind-numbing techniques (such as meditation, chanting, speaking in tongues, denunciation sessions, debilitating work routines) are used to suppress doubts about the group and its leader(s).
I would say no.
•  The leadership dictates sometimes in great detail how members should think, act, and feel (for example: members must get permission from leaders to date, change jobs, get married; leaders may prescribe what types of clothes to wear, where to live, how to discipline children, and so forth).
•  The group is elitist, claiming a special, exalted status for itself, its leader(s), and members (for example: the leader is considered the Messiah or an avatar; the group and/or the leader has a special mission to save humanity).
•  The group has a polarized us- versus-them mentality, which causes conflict with the wider society.
There is a high degree of polarization with Bahá'ís seeing themselves as the saviors of humanity, but I would not say this causes conflict with the wider society.
•  The group's leader is not accountable to any authorities (as are, for example, military commanders and ministers, priests, monks, and rabbis of mainstream denominations).
Yes. The Administrative Order is very opaque. For example, there is no independent accounting of finances, so a financial scandal in Italy was only uncovered by that country's national tax authority.
•  The group teaches or implies that its supposedly exalted ends justify means that members would have considered unethical before joining the group (for example: collecting money for bogus charities).
There are certainly some deceptive practices, for example posing as teachers in country's where overt missionary is illegal or presenting religious lessons to children as moral education.
•  The leadership induces guilt feelings in members in order to control them.
•  Members' subservience to the group causes them to cut ties with family and friends, and to give up personal goals and activities that were of interest before joining the group.
No, I have not witnessed this.
•  Members are expected to devote inordinate amounts of time to the group.
•  Members are encouraged or required to live and/or socialize only with other group members.

Former UHJ member says : The state of Israel was created by God for the protection of Baha'i Faith.


Watch the video from 1 Hour 22 mins or click here

The Station of Subh-i-Azal

The authorized Bahá'í position is that Ṣubḥ-i-Azal was nothing more than the nominee of the Primal Point appointed to draw attention away from Mírzá Ḥusayn`Alí "Bahá" so that he could safely carry his mission, calling Azal a "decoy" or a "scapegoat." However, this claim crumbles under scrutiny like the walls of Jericho. The following are a list of reasons why the Station of Ṣubḥ-i-Azal is much loftier than the Bahá'ís claim it is:
  • The Primal Point gave Ṣubḥ-i-Azal a station equal with that of himself:
The Primal Point says to the so-called decoy in the Kitab-i-Panj Sha'n: "You are I, and I am you." In his will he says to him: "And whosoever attains the presence of the Throne of your Lordship has verily attained the presence of God, the Preserver, the Peerless."
  • Ṣubḥ-i-Azal is prophesied in Islamic Tradition and in the works of the Point:
His Holiness the Fruit of the Bayán's title "Subh-i-Azal" has its origin in the Hadith of Kumayl. This tradition records a dialogue between 'Ali and his disciple Kumayl ibn Ziyad al-Nakha'i. The Primal Point used this tradition in support of his Manifestation and to detail its development. The tradition as cited in the Point's Persian Book of the Seven Proofs is as follows:

"و نظر نموده راجع به مرفوعین قبلین یقین میمائی بر اینکه ظهور موعود منتظر همان ظهور حقیقت مسئول عنه است که در حدیث کمیل دیده ای. در سنه اول کشف سبحات الجلال من غیر اشارة ببین. ببین . و در ثانی محوالموهوم و صحوالمعلوم و در ثالث هتک الستر و در رابع جذب الاحدیة لصفة التوحید. ببین . و در خامس . نوراشرق من صبح الازل را خواهی دید اگر خود هارب نگردی و مظطرب نشوی."

In the first year, open without signal the curtains of grandeur;
In the second, efface the futilities of imagination and prove that which is evident;
In the third, divulge the secrets and implant them victoriously (in the hearts of men);
In the fourth, be ecstatic in God to prove the unity;
In the fifth, it is the rising of the light of the dawn of eternity.
You can see how this resembles the Point and his ministry. What will make Bahá'ís uncomfortable however is the fact that Subh-i-Azal (literally meaning "dawn of eternity") is quite clearly prophesied to manifest himself in the fifth year which occurred.
Ṣubḥ-i-Azal's rise to promince/Manifestation occurred in the fifth year of the ministry of the Primal Point, after May 22, 1849, and he was appointed as the Primal Point's successor in the sixth year, as is known.
  • The Point specifically condemned the enemies of Ṣubḥ-i-Azal:
"Verily Thou [Ṣubḥ-i-Azal] hast obeyed the Command of God in Truth and hath made victorious the Religion of God and hath proclaimed the Cause of God within Thee, [O] glimmering Visage of the Merciful [...] I testify to this that whosoever hath obeyed Thee is Light and whosoeer hath disobeyed Thee is Fire [...] And God hath cursed the people who have sought to destroy Thee! And God hath cursed the people who hath oppressed Thee! And God hath cursed the people who have conspired to shed Thy blood! And God hath cursed the people who have consented to murder Thee! And God hath cursed the people who have not recognized Thy rank! And God hath cursed the people who have not made efforts to avenge Thee from Thy enemies, for God hath indeed cursed the people in whose hearts was not found love for Thee!" (Two Visitation Prayers for Ṣubḥ-i-Azal).
  • The Primal Point instructed Ṣubḥ-i-Azal to protect himself:
Contrary to the Bahá'í claim that Ṣubḥ-i-Azal was the one who was supposed to protect Bahá, the Point made it clear in his will that Ṣubḥ-i-Azal was the person to be protected: "Preserve yourself," the Primal Point says to Ṣubḥ-i-Azal, "then preserve yourself," he emphasizes further (The Primal Point's Will & Testament).
  • The Primal Point ordered Bahá and others to aid and protect Ṣubḥ-i-Azal:
The Primal Point states in an epistle which was addressed to Bahá: "Make available for him [Ṣubḥ-i-Azal] the most perfect means of encouragement for calligraphy and orthography, so that he exhibits not absolutely, sorrow, overt or covert [...] Take the utmost care of him, and of his latent works [signs] till their [appearance in] due course of time, and God is with those that are patient."

He says in a tablet for Azim: "Thou art to guard that Fruit [Al-Thamara, i.e Ṣubḥ-i-Azal] so that behalls him not what saddens his heart."
  • The Primal Point stated that Ṣubḥ-i-Azal would reveal verses:
In the very same document, very same verse the Primal Point states to Ṣubḥ-i-Azal: "and then [preserve] that which has been sent down in the Bayán, and then what will be sent down to your presence, for this will suffice until the Day of Resurrection and shall be beneficial for the believers," this referring to, of course, revealed works which would flow from Ṣubḥ-i-Azal's pen.

In the same document once again the Primal Point gave him the authority to complete the Arabic Bayán upon certain conditions: "And if God manifests grandeur in thy days, manifest the Eight Paths by the permission of your Lord by that which you [receive] of His high generosity." The document does not say that he may do this with the permission of He Whom God shall make manifest, but this translation changes the meaning of the passages.

In the same document the Primal Point also states: "When you art cut off from this Throne recite the verses that your Lord causes to be inspired in your heart: verses which are a reminder from His presence, for verily He is the Preserver, the Peerless."
  • The Primal Point sent Ṣubḥ-i-Azal his writing implements for this purpose:
Contrary to the Bahá'í claim that the Primal Point sent his pen-case, etc. to Bahá, in actuality, as confirmed by the Nuqtatu'l-Kaf, the earliest and most accurate Bayání chronicle, these were in fact sent to Subh-i-Azal. Mirza Jani, author of the Nuqtatu'l-Kaf says: "So he [i.e. the Primal Point] sent his personal effects, such as pen-cases, paper, writings, his own blessed raiment [i.e. his clothing], and his holy rings, according to the number of the Unity [Wáhid = 19], that the outward form might correspond with the inward reality. Now the mystery of his bestowing his effects on [Subh-i-Azal] according to the number of the Unity is perfectly evident, namely that he intended the inner meaning thereof, that it might be known to all his followers that after himself [Subh-i-Azal] should bear the Divine influences" (New History. Appendix II. Mirza Jani's History, p. 381).
  • Qurratu'l-Ayn affirmed the station of Ṣubḥ-i-Azal
My final proof I offer now of Ṣubḥ-i-Azal's station is that Her Holiness Tahirih/Qurratu'l-Ayn affirmed it, as can be seen in this poem of hers written about him where she lauds and praises Ṣubḥ-i-Azal and his lofty station.

In this beautiful poem she says: "For the manifestation of the essence of eternity [azal] has come. The beauty of godhood has appeared" (Verse 33).

Reading it in full will make the picture even clearer.

I fail to understand how Bahá'ís can look at the way the Primal Point and Tahirih explained the station of Ṣubḥ-i-Azal and say he was "just a decoy" or "just a scapegoat." Bahá'ís how do you respond to this material?

Baha'i faith, Zionism and the State of Israel

By A35821361

On July 14, 1947, Shoghi Effendi addressed a letter to the United Nations Special Committee on Palestine, wherein he stated "The Jews alone offer somewhat of a parallel to the attachment which the Baha’is have for this country" and that "The Baha’i Faith is entirely non-political and we neither take sides in the present tragic dispute going on over the future of the Holy Land and its peoples nor have we any statement to make or advice to give as to what the nature of the political future of this country should be."
July 14, 1947
Mr. Justice Emil Sandstrom, Chairman United Nations Special Committee on Palestine
Your kind letter of July 9th reached me and I wish to thank you for affording me the opportunity of presenting to you and your esteemed colleagues a statement of the relationship which the Baha’i Faith has to Palestine and our attitude towards any future changes in the status of this sacred and much disputed land.
I am enclosing with this letter, for your information, a brief sketch of the history, aims and significance of the Baha’i Faith, as well as a small pamphlet setting forth its views towards the present state of the world and the lines on which we hope and believe it must and will develop.
The position of the Baha’is in this country is in a certain measure unique; whereas Jerusalem is the spiritual center of Christendom it is not the administrative center of either the Church of Rome or any other Christian denomination. Likewise although it is regarded by Moslems as the spot where one of its most sacred shrines is situated, the Holy Sites of the Mohamedam Faith, and the center of its pilgrimages, are to be found in Arabia, not in Palestine. The Jews alone offer somewhat of a parallel to the attachment which the Baha’is have for this country inasmuch as Jerusalem holds the remains of their Holy Temple and was the seat of both the religious and political institutions associated with their past history. But even their case differs in one respect from that of the Baha’is, for it is in the soil of Palestine that the three central figures of our religion are buried, and it is not only the center of Baha’i pilgrimages from all over the world but also the permanent seat of our Administrative Order, of which I have the honor to be the Head.
The Baha’i Faith is entirely non-political and we neither take sides in the present tragic dispute going on over the future of the Holy Land and its peoples nor have we any statement to make or advice to give as to what the nature of the political future of this country should be. Our aim is the establishment of universal peace in this world and our desire to see justice prevail in every domain of human society, including the domain of politics. As many of the adherents of our Faith are of Jewish and Moslem extraction we have no prejudice towards either of these groups and are most anxious to reconcile them for their mutual benefit and for the good of the country.
What does concern us, however, in any decisions made affecting the future of Palestine, is that the fact be recognized by whoever exercises sovereignty over Haifa and Acre, that within this area exists the spiritual and administrative center of a world Faith, and that the independence of that Faith, its right to manage its international affairs from their source, the right of Baha’is from any and every country of the globe to visit it as pilgrims (enjoying the same privilege in this respect as Jews, Moslems and Christians do in regard to visiting Jerusalem) be acknowledged and permanently safeguarded.
The Sepulchre of the Bab on Mt. Carmel, the Tomb of ‘Abdu’l-Baha in that same spot, the Pilgrim Hostel for oriental Baha’is in its vicinity, the large gardens and terraces which surround these places (all of which are open to visits by the public of all denominations), the Pilgrim Hostel for western Baha’is at the foot of Mt. Carmel, the residence of the Head of the Community, various houses and gardens in Acre and its vicinity associated with Baha’u’llah’s incarceration in that city. His Holy Tomb at Bahji, near Acre, with His Mansion which is now preserved as a historic site and a museum (both likewise accessible to the public of all denominations), as well as holdings in the plain of Acre - all these comprise the bulk of Baha’i properties in the Holy Land. It should also be noted that practically all of these properties have been exempted from both Government and Municipal taxes owing to their religious nature. Some of these extensive holdings are the property of the Palestine Branch of the National Spiritual Assembly of the United States and Canada, incorporated as a religious society according to the laws of the country. In future various other Baha’i National Assemblies will hold, through their Palestine Branches, parts of the International Endowments of the Faith in the Holy Land.
In view of the above information I would request you and the members of your Committee to take into consideration the safeguarding of Baha’i rights in any recommendation which you may make to the United Nations concerning the future of Palestine.
May I take this opportunity of assuring you of my deep appreciation of the spirit in which you and your colleagues have conducted your investigations into the troubled conditions of this Sacred Land. I trust and pray that the outcome of your deliberations will produce an equitable and speedy solution of the very thorny problems which have arisen in Palestine.
Yours faithfully,
(Signed) Shoghi Rabbani
Haifa, Palestine
In fact, on February 23, 1914, at the eve of World War I, 'Abdu'l-Bahá hosted Baron Edmond James de Rothschild, a member of the Rothschild banking family who was a leading advocate and financier of the Zionist movement, during one of his early trips to Palestine.

Subsequent to the British occupation of Palestine, at a time when tens of thousands of Jewish settlers were arriving under the auspices of the Palestine Jewish Colonization Association, 'Abdu'l-Bahá praised the Zionist movement, proclaiming that "There is too much talk today of what the Zionists are going to do here. There is no need of it. Let them come and do more and say less" and that "A Jewish government might come later."
On January 24, 1922, Shoghi Effendi received a letter from Herbert Samuel, the British High Commissioner for Palestine. The receipt of the letter is mentioned in Amatu'l-Bahá Rúhíyyih Khánum's The Priceless Pearl. As High Commissioner, Herbert Samuel was the first Jew to govern the historic land of Israel in 2,000 years, and his appointment was regarded by the Muslim-Christian Associations as the "first step in formation of Zionist national home in the midst of Arab people." Herbert Samuel welcomed the arrival of Jewish settlers under the auspices of the Palestine Jewish Colonization Association and recognised Hebrew as one of the three official languages of the Mandate territory

While Shoghi Effendi was thus occupied and was gathering his powers and beginning to write letters such as these to the Bahá'ís in different countries, he received the following letter from the High Commissioner for Palestine, Sir Herbert Samuel, dated 24 January 1922:
Dear Mr. Rabbani,
I have to acknowledge receipt of your letter of Jan. 16., and to thank you for the kind expression it contains. It would be unfortunate if the ever to be lamented death of Sir 'Abdu'l-Bahá were to interfere with the completion of your Oxford career, and I hope that may not be the case. I am much interested to learn of the measures that have been taken to provide for the stable organization of the Bahá'í Movement. Should you be at any time in Jerusalem in would be a pleasure to me to see you here.
Yours sincerely,
Herbert Samuel
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