I was raised as a Baha'i and I recently became an atheist.

I was raised as a baha’i and I recently became an atheist. Not many people know about this religion so here’s a quick summary about it, it’s a new abrahamic religion (around 2 centuries old) that recognizes older religions such as islam, christianity, buddism, hindu, etc... as legit religions that are now “expired” and the baha’i religion is the better and newer religion for this time. There are a few million baha’is in the world, and they’re in almost every country because they make it a mission to spread out the religion to every part of the world. It’s a very organized religion where they keep track of every member and where they live and if they move to a different city or country.

I’m now 25 years old and my journey started around 10 years ago when i suddenly started feeling alienated by people at my school for being from a different religion and not a christian (i was in a christian school and everyone around me was christian). I started to think what if I’m not in the right religion, what if I’m wrong and I’m not on the right path to god. So i started reading some books and articles, some in favor and some against the baha’i faith, and i started feeling so overwhelmed and confused. So i kept praying hoping i would get some answers, and one night i had a “spiritual dream” that i felt was my answer and i just stopped my search for the truth and was convinced that the baha’i faith is true.

During those 10 years i became even more religious but i still had many unanswered questions in my mind but i kept trying to shove them away thinking that it’s all god’s plan and he will reveal everything at the right time. Every now and then i would get recommended a video about atheism and i would watch it and think that if those people knew about my religion they wouldn’t be atheists, because i was so deep into it that i was convinced it was true.

I’ve never read the aqdas (the baha’i holy book) but there were other books that were made as an introduction about the religion that were an extremely dumbed down version of it made for baha’is and outsiders to read so that painted the religion in a very peaceful and pleasant light. They never encouraged people to read the original book, but they did encourage people to have meetings that go on for hours to study these new simple books. They also had books for children and youths that were baha’i based books but were taught to non-baha’i children without telling the parents that it’s baha’i based books which is extremely disgusting and deceiving.

I attended some of the meetings they had to study these books and i even invited my friend to come along. I started to notice how fake the baha’is were towards the non-baha’is that were attending. People that have never spoken to me, suddenly started acting as if we’ve been friends our whole lives just to put on an image that we’re all happy and welcoming people and everyone is friends with everyone. I was weirded out by how everyone was acting and i knew that this wasn’t right.

A couple of years ago i started to look more into it, reading the aqdas and researching more about the laws and principles of the religion and i found so many contradictions. For example, there’s the equality of men and women, but women aren’t allowed to be members of the highest governing body (the universal house of justice). So i asked people about this, they all said the same thing, it’s all god’s plan and we’re not supposed to know yet.

When i started reading the aqdas (which has a list of rules for the baha’is to follow) i noticed some very weird and disgusting laws. Homosexuals and adulterers have to pay fines that double with every “offense”. I’m pro-LGBTQ so this was extremely disturbing to read. A husband can get a refund on his bride’s dowry if she turns out not to be a virgin. If a couple apply for divorce and the divorce is not yet finalized and they have sex, they have to pay a fine (which is extremely weird cause how on earth would people find out if they had sex or not). That men aren’t supposed to grow their hair long. These are some of the weird shit i found in the aqdas that shocked me because I’ve never heard about any of it and no one talks about it.

I took a step back from the religion and stopped attending any meetings or events, and that’s when i finally started seeing things from an outside point of view. This religion was more like a cult where you’re told what to think, what books to read, where your donation money goes, what you should do with your free time, what prayers to say...

When i was going through this, i started sharing my thoughts about everything with my now husband and I’m so glad that i had his support, and we both decided to leave religion around the same time. We haven’t officially resigned from the religion (yes people have to officially submit their resignation from the religion otherwise they will still list them in their database) because we haven’t yet been open about it because we still don’t feel ready yet and we currently live in a middle eastern country where it’s not very safe to be an open atheist.

The racism of Abdul Baha


Baha'i patriarch ʿAbdu'l-Bahāʾ's view on the Jews of Palestine:

On occasion, his holiness ʿAbdu'l-Bahāʾ would travel to Tiberias. The qāḍī of Haifa sent a letter to His holiness inquiring of the state of Tiberias. While responding to this request, he said, "If you wish to know about Tiberias, know that its stones are black, its inhabitants are Jews, and their appearance is apish" (kal-qirdi).

Memoirs of Khalīl Shahīdī, p. 122-123, http://bahai-library.com/pdf/r/rabbani_reminiscences_khalil_shahidi_persian.pdf.

[Note: Ahang Rabbani translates the Arabic كَالْقِردِ kal-qirdi as 'basic,' but that is not what it means. In Arabic, القِرد is 'the ape,' while the prefix كَـ means 'like/as,' so a literal translation would be 'like the ape.']

On Africans:

The inhabitants of a country life Africa are all as wandering savages and wild animals. They lack intelligence and knowledge; all are uncivilized; not one civilized and a wise man is not to be found among them. These are the proofs of the wise men. The prophets also acknowledge this opinion, towit: That education hath a great effect upon the human race, but they declare that minds and comprehensions are originally different. And this matter is self-evident; it cannot be refuted. We see that certain children of the same age, nativity and race, nay, from the same household, under the tutorship of one teacher, differ in their minds and comprehensions. One advanceth rapidly, another is slow in catching the rays of culture, still another remaineth in the lowest degree of stupidity. No matter how much the shell is educated (or polished), it can never become a radiant pearl. The black stone will not become the world-illumined gem."

(Tablets of 'Abdu'l-Baha p.567 vv.3-4) https://reference.bahai.org/en/t/ab/TAB/

It is, therefore, certain that sins such as anger, jealousy, dispute, coventouness, avarice, ignorance, prejudice, hatred, pride, and tyranny exist in the physical world. All these brutal qualities exist in the nature of man. A man who had not had a spirutal education is a brute. Like the savages of Africa, whose actions, habits and morals are purely sensual, they act according to the demands of nature to such a degree that they rent and eat one another.
(Some Answered Questions 29:5)

As ignorance is the cause of crimes, the more knowledge and science increases, the more crimes will diminish. Consider how often murder occurs among the barbarians of Africa; they even kill one another to eat each other's flesh and blood!"

(Some Answered Questions 77:13)
https://www.bahai.org/library/authoritative-texts/abdul-baha/some-answered-questions/

If a child is left in its natural state and deprived of education, there is no doubt that it will grow up in ignorance and illiteracy, its mental faculties dulled and dimmed; in fact, it will become like an animal. This is evident among the savages of central Africa, who are scarcely higher than the beast in mental development.

(The Promulgation of Universal Peace, p.311)
The black man must ever be grateful to the white man, for he has manifested great courage and self-sacrifice in behalf of the black race. Four years he fought their cause, enduring severe hardships, sacrificing life, family, treasure, all for his black brother until the great war ended in the proclamation of freedom. By this effort and accomplishment the black race throughout the world was influenced and benefited. Had this not been accomplished, the black man in Africa would still be bound by the chains of slavery. Therefore, his race should everywhere be grateful, for no greater evidence of humanism and courageous devotion could be shown than the white man has displayed. If the blacks of the United States forget this sacrifice, zeal and manhood on the part of the whites, no ingratitude could be greater or more censurable. If they could see the wretched conditions and surroundings of the black people of Africa today, the contrast would be apparent and the fact clearly evident that the black race in America enjoys incomparable advantages. The comfort and civilization under which they live here are due to the white man's effort and sacrifice. Had this sacrifice not been made, they would still be in the bonds and chains of slavery, scarcely lifted out of an aboriginal condition. Therefore, always show forth your gratitude to the white man.

(The Promulgation of Universal Peace, p.12)
https://www.bahai.org/library/authoritative-texts/abdul-baha/promulgation-universal-peace/

Thus it is proved that the world of nature is imperfect and dark. If a child is born and we do not nurture him and we abandon him in his natural state what will happen? Without a doubt, he will remain ignorant and without cognition and he will be an animal. Look at the inhabitants of black Africa who are like animals and even inferior. Thus we can see how divine nurturing influences the world of humanity. The world of nature is the world of the animal.” (Khatabat 2:236-7)

A Baha'i nigger is better than a non-Baha'i nymph! (Khatabat, p.237)
یک کاکاسیاه احباب بهتر از یک حوریه اغیار است
https://reference.bahai.org/fa/t/ab/

Before the coming of Columbus America itself was a wild, uncultivated expanse of primeval forest, mountains and rivers—a very world of nature. Now it has become the world of man. It was dark, forbidding and savage; now it has become illumined with a great civilization and prosperity. Instead of forests, we behold productive farms, beautiful gardens and prolific orchards. Instead of thorns and useless vegetation, we find flowers, domestic animals and fields awaiting harvest. If the world of nature were perfect, the condition of this great country would have been left unchanged. If a child is left in its natural state and deprived of education, there is no doubt that it will grow up in ignorance and illiteracy, its mental faculties dulled and dimmed; in fact, it will become like an animal. This is evident among the savages of central Africa, who are scarcely higher than the beast in mental development. The conclusion is irresistible that the splendors of the Sun of Truth, the Word of God, have been the source and cause of human upbuilding and civilization. The world of nature is the kingdom of the animal.


Self-delusion of the Babis and the use of drugs


In July of 1850 the Bab was executed by the Iranian government. Thereafter a number of important Babis put forth extravagant claims, including, in 1851, Sayyid Basir-i Hindi of Multan. Bahá'u'lláh challenged Sayyid Basir, and asserted his own divinity instead (many Babi leaders of the time represented themselves as participating in a pleroma of divine manifestation, similar in some ways to that claimed by Sufis or mystics). In June, 1851, the vizier put pressure on Bahá'u'lláh to leave the country, which suggests that the government had by that time infiltrated the Babis and discovered who the community's real leader was. Bahá'u'lláh went to the shrine city of Karbala in Iraq, the site of the tomb of the Imam Husayn, where a small but active Babi group existed. He found that it was led by a Sayyid 'Uluvv, who had made claims to being God incarnate. Bahá'u'lláh faced the man down and convinced him to retract those claims. On the other hand, during his stay in Karbala between August 1851 and March 1852, Bahá'u'lláh told some of his close companions that he was himself the return of the Imam Husayn, whose return Shi'ites expected after the advent of the Qa'im or Mahdi.
(Juan Cole, https://bahai-library.com/cole_encyclopedia_bahaullah)

Why so many Babis were mad at claiming divinity?

According to Samuel Graham Wilson, Opium smoking was common among the Babis.

Subh-i-Azal states in a letter to Edgard Blochet, keeper of the Oriental Manuscripts section of the Bibliotheque Nationale in Paris, that:
"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]."
https://archive.org/details/TheReligionOfTheBayanAndTheClaimsOfTheBahais

There is a reference to Baha'u'llah's smoking drugs (opium) here also. Hope this book will be translated fully, some day, in proper English.
Source : https://www.reddit.com/r/exbahai/comments/hg6oji/why_claim_divinity/
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