The new film "Dawn of the Light" is everything wrong with the Baha'i Faith!

by trident765 (a Baha'i who is shadow-banned on /r/bahai)

Last night I went to Feast, and they played this new video commissioned by the Universal House of Justice called "Dawn of the Light". A few months ago they played another video called "Light to the World", which was extremely boring. When "Dawn of the Light" started playing, I realized it is was the same style of video as "Light to the World". And yes, "Dawn of the Light" was more of the same boring shit. Here is a link to the "Dawn of the Light" video:



https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-4oHgOLZA-o

"Dawn of the Light" is a video that has no point or substance. None of the speakers say anything important or interesting - it's just empty lip service to the Baha'i Faith. The reason none of the speakers say anything of importance is because what they say is not the point of the video. The point of the video is to convey an image of the Baha'i Faith, and the filmmakers do this primarily by appealing to the senses: Visuals of nature, architecture, and scenes of young people playing the ukelele and singing about harmony. The substance of what the speakers say is an afterthought.
Instead of making a thought-provoking video that would encourage people to take the action to improve the Baha'i community, a pointless video is made of people talking about unity and harmony. I think Abdul Baha would have hated the video, because Abdul Baha hated the sort of pointless idle talk that was abundant in the video. Abdul Baha says:
All over the world one hears beautiful sayings extolled and noble precepts admired...But all these sayings are but words and we see very few of them carried into the world of action.
and
If we are true Bahá’ís speech is not needed. Our actions will help on the world, will spread civilization, will help the progress of science, and cause the arts to develop. Without action nothing in the material world can be accomplished, neither can words unaided advance a man in the spiritual Kingdom. It is not through lip-service only that the elect of God have attained to holiness, but by patient lives of active service they have brought light into the world.
Today the Baha'i Faith is a religion of purely lip service and zero action. Baha'is talk about how great the Baha'i Faith is - that's all modern Baha'i communities consist of. All talk and no substance. Baha'is never take action to build the Baha'i Civilization outlined in the books. Baha'is do not even THINK about how to take the action to build the Baha'i Civilization.

Indian NSA begs for funds.


17 September 2019
To
All Regional/State Bahá’í Councils in India
Dearly loved Friends
Greetings to you from the National Spiritual Assembly. It is heartening to note the great progress that is being made in the achievement of the goals of the Five Year Plan. Some regions/ states have not only achieved their goals but have also taken up extra goals, seeing the potential for further growth. As a result the goal for the number of clusters where a program of growth has become intensive is now increased to 706 in India. It is also gratifying to note that as a result of the tireless labors and many sacrifices of the friends everywhere, there are now a good number of clusters which have reached the third milestone in their stage of growth.
Friends, as you all know, these much cherished developments have great financial implications, with budgets of Councils and the various agencies of the National Spiritual Assembly increasing substantially over the years. Inflation has also impacted expenditure leading to increase in the budget. As a result, the annual budget of the National Spiritual Assembly for 2019-20 has seen a 19% percent increase.
The National Spiritual Assembly has always been striving for financial self sufficiency and in order to continue to be self sufficient, the flow of contributions to the National Fund must also see a commensurate increase. Therefore the National Spiritual Assembly in it’s recent meeting decided to request all the Regional/State Baha'i Councils to encourage the Local Spiritual Assemblies in their region to contribute a part of their Funds regularly to the National Fund so that we continue to achieve self sufficiency at least in the administrative expenses.
The beloved Guardian emphasized that "As the activities of the Indian Bahá’í community expand, and its world-wide prestige correspondingly increases, the institution of the national Fund, the bedrock on which all other institutions must necessarily rest and be established, acquires added importance, and should be increasingly supported by the entire body of the believers, both in their individual capacities, and through their collective efforts, whether organized as groups or as Local Assemblies. The supply of funds in support of the National Treasury, constitutes,.........the Life-Blood of those nascent institutions which you are laboring to erect. Its importance cannot surely be overestimated.....".
It is the ardent hope of the National Spiritual Assembly that the believers across the country will arise sacrificially to support the National Fund. Every believer should have confidence that his spiritual progress in the World Order of Baha’u’llah will largely depend upon the measure in which he proves in deeds to support materially the divine Institutions of the Faith. Contributions to the Fund constitute, in addition, a practical and effective way whereby every believer can test the measure and character of his faith and prove in deeds the intensity of his devotion and attachment to the Cause.
In the light of the above, the National Spiritual Assembly anticipates that with your loving encouragement, all the Local Spiritual Assemblies In India will sacrificially and generously support the National Fund on a regular basis and will help the National Spiritual Assembly in it’s efforts to achieve and maintain financial self sufficiency. We look forward to receiving your plans in this regard.
Be assured that untold blessings shall no doubt crown your every effort directed to this end.
The National Spiritual Assembly will offer prayers at the House of Worship that your devoted endeavors may draw Confirmations of the Blessed Beauty.
With loving Baha'i greetings,
Dr. Nayson Olyai
Treasurer

An open letter to Kenneth Bowers from a Persian Baha'i


To
Mr. Kenneth E. Bowers
Secretary
National Spiritual Assembly of the Bahá’ís of the United States

I have just read your letter/warnings regarding the activities of one Ms. Bahareh Moghaddam, who you feel is trying to deceive and misguide the Baha'is of Iranian descent by sowing the 'seeds of discord'. Well, you may or may not be right in your analysis, but as a sincere and third generation Baha'i, I wish to mention that before breaking into pen please follow the principle that Ignorance sometimes is a Bliss (i.e you could have ignored her). Now I am sure many Baha'is will take a chance to connect themselves with the 'misguided soul'.

Having given my advice to you regarding the Enemies of Faith, I have some very rough and tough questions to ask. You may forward it to Beloved Universal House of Justice for its explanation.

We, Persian Baha'is are concluding that PERSECUTION is something which is destined to us. We face persecution in the country where we pioneer, we face persecution in our own country and now we are facing persecution in our own Faith by fellow Baha'is.

Dear Secretary, we see a very systematic persecution of Persian Baha'is in the Baha'i Administration. It looks like there is systematic cleansing of Persian Baha'is from the Baha'i Administration.

The representation of the Persian Baha'is in the Universal House of Justice has gone down tremendously, and they are being replaced by unskilled, ignorant Baha'is.

The ITC has been cleansed of many Persian Baha'i except Muna Tehrani. The number of Persian Bahai's as counsellors have come down drastically and the story is not different for the ABMs.

They were asked to leave their place of pioneer where they had established themselves, gained respect, involved themselves in Teaching of the Faith and then asked to settle in some other parts of the world. This is nothing but humiliation and harassment.

The case of Baha'i Scholar Mr. Ahang Rabbani has not been forgotten. After working for 15 years at the World Centre, he died Heart broken.

The way Mr. Ali Nakhjavani was hunted for his misunderstood statement resulting into ignorant Baha'is daring to ask him that why he gave such a statement?

A sincere Persian Baha'i in India was threatened by one of the members of UHJ that he should come in line with the UHJ or face severe consequences.

Jamshed Fozdar and Firoz Anarki were on the brink of being declared Covenant Breakers but some better reasoning prevailed on the UHJ and they stopped from doing such an atrocious act.

There are some misguided Baha'is who are making fake sites in the name of sincere Baha'is for defamation.

A Norwegian Baha'i sent to India made the life of Persian pioneer miserable in India. He was an arch enemy of Persian Baha'is.

Wife of a well-respected former counsellor wanted to attend a Baha'i programme but was refused permission. It was well evident that she was accused of being siding with Persian Baha'is.

The Late Mr. Hasan Sabri along with Isabella Sabri made fun of Persian Baha'is and use to call them KHAR (donkey) and used to say that Persian Baha'is are misguiding other Baha'is.

Many sincere Baha'is were asked not to enter any other countries else face consequences!

We see that if a non-Persian Counsellor retires from his post, he is immediately offered another post in his own country, but if the counsellor is a Persian, and that too a pioneer, never this opportunity of service had been offered to him or his experience used for promotion of the Faith.

A retired counsellor wanted to attend a conference in a foreign country at his own expense but was denied permission by the NSA of that country.

I don’t understand how just for expressing one's feelings about injustice, is categorized as 'sowing the seeds of discord'?

Source : https://www.reddit.com/r/exbahai/comments/d6ek93/an_open_letter_to_mr_kenneth_e_bowers/

This is how the Baha'is believe in "the independent investigation for truth"!


September 17, 2019

To the American Bahá’í community

Dearly loved Friends,

The history of our precious Faith has been shaped by a continuing interplay of crisis and victory, where every onslaught of hate, enmity, deceit, and calumny has been followed by strengthened unity, triumph, prestige, and growth. Over the past few years, campaigns of misinformation against the Faith have continued in what are futile attempts to distort the message of Bahá’u’lláh and misrepresent the Bahá’í community.

The National Spiritual Assembly has learned of recent, subtle activities on the Internet of an individual opposed to the Faith who introduces him- or herself as “Bahareh Moghaddam.” This person attempts to present him- or herself as a Bahá’í sympathetic to the Plans of the Universal House of Justice, then subsequently questions the Supreme Body’s authority and tries to sow the seeds of doubt in the hearts of believers of Iranian descent. In messages to individual Bahá’ís and in posts on social media, this individual gives the impression of being very familiar with the institute process and praises the Bahá’ís for their involvement in it, and then gradually shifts the focus to that of questioning the House of Justice, attempting to invalidate its guidance and undermine Bahá’í institutions.

Falsely posing as a Bahá’í, this individual has sought friendship with Bahá’ís on social media platforms. He or she is most active on Facebook and Telegram, while some posts have appeared on Twitter and Instagram.

The National Assembly urges the believers to ignore any posts by “Bahareh Moghaddam” or any attempt on his or her part to connect with them. It is not inconceivable for individuals such as this to appear using a different identity to deceive and misguide the friends. We have full confidence that the beloved friends are keenly aware of such tactics used by enemies of the Faith and will act appropriately by simply ignoring their vain attempts to promote doubt and suspicion within the Bahá’í community.

Should you have additional questions, you may contact our Persian Public Information Office at persian@usbnc.org.

The prayers of the National Assembly accompany you always.

With loving Bahá’í greetings,

Kenneth E. Bowers Secretary

National Spiritual Assembly of the Bahá’ís of the United States

Source : https://www.reddit.com/r/exbahai/comments/d5qd4d/online_enemy_of_the_faith/

Baha'i administration wasting Huquq'u'llah on proprietary software!?



Recently i received an e-mail about recruitment for the Baha'i World Centre, which concerns me a lot:


ADMINISTRATION

Executive Assistant

The two primary roles of the Assistant are to support the project manager and to serve as the office administrator. Work includes direct communication with local consultants and contractors, tracking project schedules, documentation of progress of the projects, drafting memos and reports, general secretarial duties and basic accounting. Knowledge of MS Word, Outlook, Excel, and PowerPoint is necessary, as well as experience in secretarial, administrative, and or project planning roles. Strong organizational abilities, confidence in decision making, creative problem solving skills, and interpersonal skills required.


"Knowledge of MS Word, Outlook, Excel, and PowerPoint is necessary"? - it's really weird Bahá'í World Centre asking for knowledge about software from Microsoft, and shamefully without any mention to alternative libre software (and better) like LibreOffice or OpenOffice - are Huqúqu'lláh funds wasted on crappy, obscure, expensive and proprietary software like from Microsoft, when there are lots of far better options? i really can't understand this situation...

This is also about very basic ethics principles - in my oppinion, a religion and community against oppression must be against the opression from proprietary software developers, simply boycotting them.

I hope, in a close future, the whole Bahá'í community, administration centres and alike, Bahá'í schools, etc., could see the importance the software libre is, for the freedom and flexibility they provide, and how they help users on being far more skilled and productive

From my viewpoint, and from what i readed from him, i truly believe that Bahá'u'lláh would be a truly software libre enthusiast these days, and would be very ashamed on seeing any single Bahá'í place using these obscure proprietary software from Microsoft and alike. Surelly he wouldn't allow any kind proprietary software on a Bahá'í institution.

What do you all think about this? And how soon everyone thinks this situation be reviewed and fixed?

And seeing that transparency is very important in situations like this, how can we verify that no Bahá'í place are using proprietary software, paid from the Huqúq'llah from each Bahá'í member?

Source : https://bahaiforums.com/threads/bah%C3%A1%C3%AD-administration-wasting-huq%C3%BAqll%C3%A1h-on-proprietary-software.8322/

Why NGOs and Unions Should Use OpenSource?

IMDB User Reviews : "The Gate - Dawn of the Baha'i Faith" (2018)


Read the reviews here:

Robert C. Henderson and the misuse of Baha'i National Fund

NSA-US 2019

Robert C. Henderson was/is (don't even know now) a member of the National Spiritual Assembly of the Baha'is of the U.S. Has been for over 35 years I think. For decades he served a Secretary of the NSA-US, meaning the only paid full-time position on the NSA-US. Everybody should know that the power base is not with the President or Chairperson but with the Secretary. He is the guy who writes the checks, has control of the funds, works at the National Baha'i Center in Evanston Illinois every day and has a full-time staff, paid apartment, utilities paid, travel expenses paid.

Anyway, way back in 1998 I discovered that Henderson was using "National Baha'i Fund" to finance a young black women, who was not his wife, with an apartment and travel expenses. She worked at the Baha'i Office of Public Affairs in washington D.C. Now, what is that? Sounds like a Baha'i PR office right? What is was, she was the political liaison. Meaning, her job was specifically to advance CEDAW which was a project of Planned Parenthood International, to make abortion on demand worldwide. So, these young attractive black woman, was being paid an excellent salary, apartment, travel expenses, to travel around with the leader of Catholics for Pro-Choice and to "lobby" Democratic congress members to support CEDAW, which sought to overthrew any and all legal restrictions to abortion, worldwide. She was funded out of the Baha'i National Fund, thanks to Dr. Robert C. Henderson.

Of course, I was attacked horribly for revealing this, and Henderson's office called various Baha'is saying "This man is a covenant-breaker" which in fact THAT WAS A BIG LIE, because only the Universal House of Justice can declare someone a Covenant-Breaker, and they never did! So, Henderson sent out a smear campaign, which worked extremely well. Of course, when the other Members of the NSA-US discovered that Dr. Henderson WAS in fact using the Baha'i National Fund to financially support his "pet" and their "pet project" (a Democratic Party inspired pro-choice international treaty), funds which were supposed to go elsewhere, they were not happy.

Unfortunately, the NSA-US decided not to fire Henderson from the NSA-US, but to simply vote him out of office as Secretary of the NSA-US. He remained a member of the NSA-US, but without control of any funds. It was decided it would be "best for the Cause in America" that the facts regarding all this be covered-up, but that Henderson was "out of power" and no longer had direct access to any Baha'i Funds.

https://www.reddit.com/r/exbahai/comments/cs3syt/robert_c_henderson_and_the_misuse_of_bahai/

Baha'is are not following the commandment of Baha'u'llah!

African Baha'is specially coming to Israel to visit the resting-places of Baha'i figures.
It is not necessary to undertake special journeys to visit the resting-places of the dead. If people of substance and affluence offer the cost of such journeys to the House of Justice, it will be pleasing and acceptable in the presence of God. Happy are they that observe His precepts.

-Baha'u'llah

http://reference.bahai.org/en/t/b/TB/tb-4.html

Video : A day will come when the 'Universal House of Justice' will rule the mankind! - Adib Taherzadeh

What caused you to leave the The Baha'i Faith?

Lisa Armstrong 
By Lisa Armstrong


I hope this doesn’t get to be too long, but I was a Bahai for more than 40 years before I withdrew from the Baha’i faith in March 2019.

I was a seeker of religion from the time I was 12 years old when upon taking communion for the first time at a Methodist church. At that point while I was kneeling I gazed at a stained-glass figure of Christ. Just as I took the wafer and grape juice, I heard a voice that said “I am not in the Church.“

Although I didn’t search actively for an alternative to Christianity at that time, I was aware that there were many issues within what I had witnessed within a small Southern church, so I began to I visit different services and even wanted to attend a Jewish synagogue!

Later, as a teenager within a household that had long been headed toward divorce, I retreated to the local library and read books on religion, witchcraft, astrology and other metaphysical subjects.

Then in the summer of 1973, I heard the soaringly beautiful music of Seals and Crofts. After buying a couple of albums, I realized that their music included lyrics taken from the Baha’i writings. I rushed back to the library to search for Baha’i.

It wasn’t long until I found some very old copies of Baha’i books including This Earth One Country by JB Esslemont, and other books including one titled the Baha’i World Faith. These books are no longer in print, but at the time, helped to satisfy an 18-year-old’s curiosity about the basis of Baha’i teachings.

Within a few months of reading on my own, I called the local Baha’i Center and attended my first meeting with a friend. I was very nervous and scared because I thought perhaps it was a Middle Eastern cult, and that I might see people smoking water pipes or doing other strange things.

However, everything I heard and experienced seemed to fit my every need at the time and I signed a declaration card on August 26, 1973. Since my parents were in the middle of a divorce they simply didn’t have time or the emotional energy to try to talk to me about what I had done, and I went on my merry way hanging out almost exclusively with other young Baha’is, teaching the Baha’i faith on the college campus and spending almost my every waking moment either reading, studying, praying or listening to the music of Seals and Crofts.

I began to date a talented Baha’i musician who it turned out was the nephew of the producer of Seals and Crofts. We married two years later, almost immediately had a child, and also homefront pioneered to a nearby town. Suffice it to say that although the local community where I declared had been a warm and welcoming cocoon to heal after my parents heated divorce, subsequent years with Baha’is and the larger Baha’i community became more and more disillusioning,

My disappointment was especially strong in 1982, when the National Spiritual Assembly of the Baha’is of the United States disbanded the local assembly where I had declared. I felt that the individuals within that Assembly had been unjustly wronged, saw their families practically destroyed, as well as that they were never the same.

This began a couple of decades of trying to right the wrongs that I had seen in that previous community, as well as for me to become the “best Baha’i” I could be, serving on local assemblies, coordinating teaching efforts, co-sponsoring a performing arts youth workshop, and many other activities.

Yet in my heart I knew that something was rotten at the core of the Baha’i faith. I saw it becoming more and more political, more emphasis placed on wealth and power, as well as a vast difference in the approach of the national administration in the 80s 90s and 2000s as compared to the 1970s. I begin to withdraw more and more especially around 2000 and finally in 2008 was accosted by a couple of individuals who suddenly visited my home came from the community where I had declared.

I was in total shock at the revelation from these people from that Assembly. They had never asked to meet with me in over 20 years time, and yet declared that there had been “problems” with me for years - that individual Baha’is and even other institutions had asked that Assembly to place sanctions on my behaviors.

There were so many parts of this final blow to my belief that were wrong on so many levels, but the biggest flaw was the fact that an assembly had decided to hold onto so-called wrongs for decades before having any connection with me either in writing or in person with a Bahai who was supposedly “causing problems.”

It took me almost a decade to officially withdraw my belief in the Baha’i faith, but I finally did, and I have felt so much better ever since! I am currently a student of metaphysical teachings and pagan beliefs, and host a monthly women’s Moon Circle at my home.

I feel much more my own true self, and do not miss any of the restrictions, judgments and imperious behaviors of many within the Bahai Faith and _ especially_its tragically flawed so-called administration.

I’m very thankful for the opportunity to be able to share a portion of my experience on this forum.

Thank you!!

Source : https://www.quora.com/What-caused-you-to-leave-the-The-Bahai-Faith

Testimonial : Why and How I left the Baha'i Faith?


I was a Bahai for 30 years. I first found the faith in a library book at a very low point in my life. Looking back, I now see that I was in a very vulnerable place and that many vulnerable people can be easy targets for religions or cult like groups. The warm friendly firesides went on for over a year and I genuinely felt nurtured by them. There was lots of cake too!! Once I declared, I started to attend feasts which in contrast felt cold and formal. I was more of a hippy, liberal socialist, laid back and not really at home in a very formal religion with prayer books, scriptures and a seemingly authoritarian culture. I had fallen in love with its teachings (not so much the founder, who had a strange sounding name and didn’t really move me in the way Jesus would have) . But I really did believe that this was the Love and Peace that the hippies had been singing about a decade before. Fortunately, there were others of a similar nature, without whom I may not have stayed so long.

Over the years I brought up two children in the faith and we did all the children classes, summer schools, conferences etc. Some of which they enjoyed. As they got older they started to rebel. I carried on regardless and was on LSAs and then a teaching committee. I did the Ruhi thing and supported lots of devotionals and study circles. I prayed a lot and couldn’t quite understand why none of the enquirers were declaring. Two years before finally leaving the faith, the inner conflict started. I found I just could not remember to say my obligatory prayers. It was such a battle. The emphasis on teaching and Ruhi was becoming really time consuming and just draining. I remember doing Book 8 on the Covenant with lovely Bahai friends but being bored to death with the content. I kept thinking that this amount of my time was being eaten away with stuff that didn’t spiritually stimulate me, excite me, or even challenge me.I wasn't really contributing anything to the world and my own calling which was art, had no time to develop. There was just a huge pressure to get through books and develop core activities..

I went on Pilgrimage thinking that that would really get me back on track. It was beautiful and the shrines and gardens were so lovely. But something niggled about the presentations from the teaching centre. As well as an overheard conversation, from volunteers at Bahji visitor centre about not saying anything negative in front of the pilgrims who must be looked after at all times. It kind of felt a bit like a theatre facade where all the performers were in place to create the beautiful illusion. When I got home things didn’t get better. They were worse. My obligatory prayers were becoming few and far between and the guilt and conflict was growing. I started to really take a much more universalist view of the faith which seemed a little out of step with Ruhi and the teaching projects. I had never been happy about the ruling on no women on UHJ and the ban on homosexual marriage, just seemed cruel. I questioned the idea of ‘infallibility’ as it seemed to me no human being or institution could ever be infallible. Then I started looking things up online and found an article by Eric Stetson on why he left the faith. I was so relieved to find someone identifying all the areas that also felt wrong to me. From there I read a lot more and started to see that there was a completely different narrative about the History of the Bahai Faith to the one I had been taught.

I stopped going to feasts. I never enjoyed them anyway. I took more of an interest in politics as at least there was now a popular politician motivating people to work for social justice. He seemed to be what I had always though a good Bahai should be. A person of compassion and integrity, who treated people from all the different faiths and cultures equally, not corrupted like the majority of politicians. So I joined up and let my LSA know, so they could remove my voting rights. No such luck, they just put my letter to the bottom of the pile for months. In the end, I managed to make my decision. I was no longer a Bahai and I wrote to NSA to ask to have my name removed. When the confirmation finally came through, my whole being was just flooded with gratitude and love. It was such a powerful experience. I knew that I was still loved. That God was still going to be in my life and that everything was fine.

Now I was free to attend different meditation groups without an ‘agenda’. I met people from different faiths mostly Christians, Unitarians, Buddhists and Sufis. Meeting new people and seeing spirituality in new and different forms, was so confirming. God really is everywhere and in all things. Oneness, isn’t confined to any one religion. It is in all religions and it is beyond religion. So much to learn from each other and from other spiritual traditions. The idea that people from other world faiths or spiritual paths don’t have access to the same spirit as the Bahai’s or that the older world religions are dead, is complete untruth. The principal of diversity has to mean that there are many spiritual pathways because people have different needs. All religions are corrupted by human beings including the Bahai Faith. Plenty of examples crop up on this page. But the spirit is there for all who seek it, regardless of whether we have a religion or not. Its our birthright. Not something to be sold, packaged and marketed as the latest edition! One year since I officially left the faith I am now so happy to have escaped that narrow, constricting box, which had become a prison for my soul.

Source : https://www.reddit.com/r/exbahai/comments/cy7ju1/why_and_how_i_left_the_bahai_faith/
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