How Cults, New Religious Movements, Political Parties, Sports Teams, Corporations & Foreign Governments DIVIDE & CONQUER. The Complete Process in a Dozen Words.

Converting Africans

Proselytize > Mesmerize > Hypnotize > Dichotomize > Polarize > Radicalize > Tribalize > Organize > Formalize > Institutionalize > Energize > Utilize

Proselytize "advocate or promote (a belief or course of action)"

Mesmerize "hold the attention of (someone) to the exclusion of all else or so as to transfix them"

Hypnotize "capture the whole attention of (someone); fascinate"

Dichotomize "regard or represent as divided or opposed"

Polarize > "movement in individuals' views toward opposite extremes" (all this or all that; no gradient "shades of gray")

Radicalize > "a process of developing extremist beliefs, emotions, and behaviors"

Tribalize > "the act of making or becoming a single unit" (with a specific, belief-based identity)

Organize "arrange into a structured whole"

Formalize "give (something) a definite structure or shape"

Institutionalize > "establish (something, typically a practice or activity) as a convention or norm in an organization or culture"

Energize > "give vitality and enthusiasm to"

Utilize "make practical and effective use of"

...The True Believers as good little producers, good little consumers (of products the cult profits from selling), and good little soldiers to defend the wealth accumulated by those at the top of The Cultic Pyramid.

If intrigued, see also:

The Five Progressive Qualities of the Committed Cult Member

The Typical Path of Cult Involvement

Recommended on Religion from Outside the Box

A Basic Cult Library


Source : https://www.reddit.com/r/exbahai/comments/ncrebe/how_cults_new_religious_movements_political/

Baha'i sanctioned for reading the poetry of Rumi and Parvin Etesami for local Iranian Naw-Ruz celebrations in Perth, Australia!

Note the following letter sent by the baha'i politburo, the uhj, to Mr Hamid Taheri's son, Omeed Taheri. Among other things, the uhj asserts that Mr Hamid Taheri made a written undertaking or "commitment" to the nsa of Australia regarding his participation in a local Iranian television program in Perth, WA for the Naw-Ruz (New Year) celebrations of 2002, of which the baha'i authorities have sanctioned him for. The statement by the uhj is an outright lie. Mr Taheri has never made any undertaking or commitment to the Australian baha'i authorities regarding his 2002 involvement because he has been adamant from the beginning, and therefore categorically stated time and again to them, that he has not committed any wrong doing by reading the poetry of Rumi and Parvin Etesami on camera for local Iranian Naw-Ruz celebrations in Perth! The Secretary referred to in this letter is Mr Stephen Hall who called Mr Taheri in 2002 and threatened him over the telephone. This telephone call and threat resulted in Mr Hamid Taheri's suffering a heart attack and his spending close to three months in a Perth hospital near death.

Please also note the tone of encouragement by the uhj in this letter in the wedge driven between Taheri and his children that this action by the corrupt and fascist baha'i administrative oligarchy has brought about. This letter proves, yet again, the pure culture of cultist control - part of which involves systematic and orchestrated strategies of dividing families - that is modern Haifan baha'ism. Case in point: Hamid Taheri's daughter, Mahshid, was duly promoted to the baha'i Regional Council of Western Australia upon her father excommunication.

Wahid Azal
Stephen Hall

The Universal House of Justice Department of Secretariat
20 February 2003

Transmitted by email: ***@iinet.net.au

Mr. Omeed Taheri Australia

Dear Baha'i Friend,

Your email letter of 21 December 2002, sent on behalf of your sisters Mrs Mahshid Taheri-Jones and Dr. Guity Taheri in addition to yourself, has been received. We have been asked to provide the following response.

The Universal House of Justice understands your distress at the action taken by the National Spiritual Assembly of Australia in removing the administrative rights of your father, Mr Hamid Taheri, and your ardent desire to have this action rescinded. However, it has decided, after a detailed examination of this matter, that the decision of the National Assembly should be upheld and that he should remain deprived of these rights.

In accordance with the procedure set out in Section VIII of the By-Laws to "The Constitution of the Universal House of Justice", an appeal against such a National Spiritual Assembly decision should be made by the individual concerned, who would, in the first instance, approach his National Spiritual Assembly for reconsideration or submission of his appeal to the House of Justice. In this instance, the House of Justice decided to investigate the circumstances surrounding the removal of Mr. Taheri's rights, despite the fact that there was no indication of his having initiated an appeal.

Mr Taheri's administrative rights were removed in August 2002 for his failure to adhere to a commitment to the National Assembly in May 2002 in which he signed. Just before the National Assembly took this action its Secretary had ascertained, through a telephone call to Mr. Taheri, that he was determined not to follow the Assembly's instructions and that he was aware of the possible consequences of his disobedience.

Following its receipt of your letter, the House of Justice asked the National Assembly to inquire further into Mr Taheri's attitudes. From statements made directly to the National Assembly Chairman, it is clear that he remains unrepentent about his actions and that he continues to manifest an intense animosity toward the Baha'i administrative bodies.

The House of Justice is most concerned about Mr. Taheri's attitude to the institutions of the Cause. It hopes that his own study of the authoritative texts of the Faith concerning the Covenant and the institutions to which it gives rise will enable him to make the necessary changes in attitudes and conduct which would open the way to restoration of his rights. Your own example of unyielding adherence to the principles of the Faith, as well as your wholehearted support of the decisions of the National Assembly, could well play an important role in encouraging him to make the required alterations to his thinking.

Your letter raises the issue of the plan of the National Assembly to publish in the national Baha'i newsletter an announcement of the removal of his administrative rights. In general such matters are left to the discretion of a National Spiritual Assembly, which is asked to consider the particular circumstances in each instance, including the possibility of the believer concerned visiting other Baha'i communities which might not be aware of his Baha'i status.

As regards Mr Taheri, there is good reason for an announcement to be published in the national newsletter, in light of his recent extensive travels.

The Universal House of Justice recognizes that you are apprehensive about the effect on members of the family when it becomes more widely known that your father's administrative rights have been removed. It urges your to reflect on the seriousness of his actions, and to strive to obtain a deeper insight into the damaging effect that his attitude towards the Baha'i institutions could have on other believers who might not be well deepened in the Faith, if they are not aware of his Baha'i status.

Your are assured of the prayers of the Universal House of Justice in the Holy Shrines at this time of difficulty for you.

With loving Baha'i greetings, Department of the Secretariat

cc. National Spiritual Assembly of Australia (by email)


For more details please check : http://taherifiles.blogspot.com 

"There is no excommunication from Baha'i" !!?

Letter to the editor

Since I was a member of the Baha'i Faith from 1972 until 1978. I read with interest the article on Baha'is in the Saturday issue of the newspaper. I was not surprised by what I read, as Kathy Giles presented much the same picture I was given of the faith when I decided to join. In all fairness, though, I think that a former member of the faith might be able to add some more objective information to that presented in the article.

Let me make it clear that the Baha’i Faith sounded like everything I was searching for, when I first heard of it as a student in Nebraska in 1972 And let me say that I have known many sincere and dear people who have been or are Baha’is. In fact, my oldest sister was introduced into the faith in Utah, after I was, and she is still a practicing Baha’i, now living in Nebraska. I have lived in several cities as part of a Baha’i community, and think I can speak fairly accurately about the faith as it is, not as it is presented to outsiders to be.

A small point is the fact that Baha'is always claim to be such a fast growing religion When I moved to Springfield five years ago the number of members of the local community was almost exactly the same as it is now. The faces may change, but the numbers stay basically the same Baha’is tend to move around a lot, to spread the faith, so groups continually get new faces. Baha’is are constantly trying to sign up new members, so many new faces appear. But many familiar faces have been known to withdraw from the faith as well.

Kathy Giles

Ms. Giles states that "there is no excommunication from Baha'i." I know for a fact that some dissenters have been excommunicated. And not only are those dissenters not allowed to participate in Baha’i activities, but members are not allowed to have ANY communication with the ousted members. Members can't speak to an excommunicated person or even read mail from such a person. I was very surprised when I first heard of those rules, as I couldn't understand the reason for them. Are the Baha'is so shaky in their faith that they are afraid to confront any who disagree''

It is stated in the article that Baha'is cannot hold elected political office. I don't believe it was mentioned that Baha'is cannot even be members of a political party And does Ms. Giles give the reason why? No, because it might cause some good citizens a great deal of concern Baha'is do not get involved in existing political orders because they are establishing their own system, from local through international, that they firmly believe and intend to have replace all existing governments!

Equality, tolerance and unity are frequently touted by Baha'is as basic tenets. But if the Baha'i Faith preaches the equality of men and women, why is it a fact that no woman can serve on the international Baha'i governing body?

During the time I was a Baha'i, I nearly lost something else that has always been Important to me. My relationship with my parents. If the non-Baha'i parents of a Baha'i are not receptive to the Baha'i Faith, the Baha'i is encouraged to sever relations with his family and stay with his new, Baha'i family, who understand him better and love him more. Does this sound familiar?

Lastly, I was most disgusted with the comment that if one sees an especially tolerant person or one who refuses an alcoholic drink, it in likely to be a Baha'i. Many religious groups practice abstinence from alcohol. Your unknown non-drinker is also likely to be a member of AA.

Yes, there are some sincere and loving Baha'is But virtually every group in existence has some sincere and loving members. Does that make the group light or true or beneficial? Everyone must decide for themselves, but let them make the decision based on facts, not fancy rhetoric.

PAMELA SEID
Springfleld

Baha'i faith is "a religion that is riddled with hate".

I was born and raised as a Bahai. However, I was about five when I told my parents for the first time I wasn’t a Bahai. We were driving home from Bahai school, and I remember turning to my mom and saying to her, I’m not going to be a Bahai when I grow up. She looked at me, and said, we will see. It has been over 25 years now, and here I am, not a Bahai. I was about 16 when I really started to question everything, and was quite open about it with my family.

When you read the writings of Baháʼu'lláh it is quite clear he believed, and taught his followers to investigate the truth on their own. This was actually one of the only redeeming things I took from my time being raised in the faith. Individual investigation was a key component in my upbringing back in the 90’s and early 2000’s, maybe it isn’t anymore, and if so, I am so very sorry to hear that.

Once you begin your own individual investigation, there will be things you will learn that will make your worry of “what if” subside. You will learn, especially if you investigate A Lost History of the Bahai Faith, written by none other than Baháʼu'lláh’s second eldest son, and his grandson, that the faith is built on lies. In the book Shua Ullah Behai, Baha’u’llah’s grandson, tells his, and his fathers side of the story. It revelies, not a hateful people, but a sad and hurt one. They clearly not only loved, but believed to their core in what Baha’u’llah taught. They were, after all, his direct family. Not once, is there a single nasty word put forth towards Baha’u’llah, or even Abdu'l-Bahá. Shoghi Effendi on the other hand… They didn’t really like him.

Shoghi Effendi's parents and brother who were excommunicated for petty reasons.

For me, there is no way a religion that is riddled with hate, deceit, and manipulation can be from Pure Love. How can it be? How can the (supposed) most holy family be an example for all of humanity to follow, when it is full of deceit? It is a cycle that started with Baha’u’llah, and his brother. Sadly never clearing up, and being passed down to Abdu’l-Baha, and his brother Mírzá Muhammad-‘Alí, and indeviably to the Bahai’s themselves.

Baha'i groups in lawsuit over use of name and sacred symbol

 

Click to enlarge

When religion splits, courts get a rare say

Baha’i groups in lawsuit over use of name and sacred symbol

By Manya A. Brachear

TRIBUNE REPORTER

Every religion has been riven by struggles over authority and authenticity.

Buddhism began when a maverick Hindu prince inspired disciples to embrace asceticism. Judaism has sprouted branches from ultra-orthodox to ultra-liberal, even Jews for Jesus. Christianity went through numerous profound splits, including the Protestant Reformation sparked in the 16th Century by Martin Luther in Germany and the 19th Century Mormon movement led by Joseph Smith in the U.S.

Now the Baha’i Faith, the organization representing the most recent sect to spring from Islam, is struggling to defend its identity in federal court in Chicago, where North American Baha’is have been based ever since believers came to the U.S. about 90 years ago. They contend that a tiny band of believers known as the Orthodox Baha’i Faith can’t call themselves Baha’i or use one of its key symbols without violating trademark law or a previous court ruling more than 40 years ago.

In the hands of the federal 7th Circuit Court of Appeals, the case could set a precedent for settling religious schisms, doctrinal disputes and claims to truth.

“The word Baha’i carries with it implications for a certain sets of beliefs—and we have to protect that,” said Robert Stockman, a practicing Baha’i and religious studies instructor at DePaul University.

Adherents of the Orthodox Baha’i Faith believe the international community has strayed from the religion’s original teachings. That deviation, they say, threatens to interfere with God’s plan for the world.

Baha’u’llah, who founded the faith in Iran in the mid-19th Century, is regarded by Baha’is as the most recent messenger of God in a long line including Abraham, Buddha, Krishna, Jesus and Muhammad. Baha’is believe Baha’u’llah revealed God’s plan by which humanity one day would unite to become a single race.

On a Web site called www.truebahai.com, the orthodox group faults the mainstream denomination for corrupting that plan.

The mainstream Baha’is have responded with a lawsuit that tries to bar the orthodox from calling themselves Baha’i and sharing the “The Greatest Name,” a sacred and trademarked symbol. Baha’is believe they are not only safeguarding their identity They are defending the truth with a capital T.

The Orthodox say that is not a matter for the courts to decide.

“We’re the true faith. That’s what we would say” said Jeffrey Goldberg, a member of the Orthodox Baha’i Faith who left Chicago to be closer to an Orthodox community in New Mexico. “That has to be decided in the hearts and minds of the Baha’i, not by a secular court order.”

The Baha’is first took breakaway believers to court in 1966 after a tumultuous time for their community. Nine years earlier, Shoghi Effendi, guardian of the faith and direct descendant of the founding prophet, had died unexpectedly and allegedly without naming a successor.

Leaders decided a Universal House of Justice envisioned by Effendi would oversee the faith. But shortly after the leaders announced their solution, one of them declared that Effendi actually had intended for him to serve as the next guardian.

Charles Mason Remey then in his 90s, said Effendi had addressed him in letters as his son or spiritual descendant.

The National Assembly of France and about 100 others followed Remey. But the rest of the Baha’i community declared Remey a covenant breaker, expelled him from the faith and successfully sued his followers, barring

them from calling themselves Baha’i and using the sacred symbol. Remey’s group disbanded, but orthodox believers reorganized and continued to maintain the guardianship.

Thirty years later, Goldberg, an active Baha’i in Barrington, came upon the splinter group while surfing the Internet. He became convinced that he had been duped.

With no explanation, Goldberg quietly resigned from the community because he knew the consequences. When Bahai’s are declared covenant breakers, they are shunned or ostracized with the exception of business relations.

But Janice Franco wouldn’t let Goldberg go that easily She insisted on knowing why he left and, when he told her, went on a quest to prove him wrong. After plunging herself into Baha’i literature, Franco discovered Goldberg might have a point.

Indeed, both Goldberg and Franco were declared covenant breakers and shunned. Goldberg’s wife was encouraged to divorce her husband. Franco’s home-schooled children lost a number of friends. To this day they are wary of organized religion.

“It was devastating news to find out the larger group had strayed,” Franco said. “I want to follow the truth. I don’t want to support a mistake. The consequence is I don’t have a community.”

Then in 2006, the mainstream Baha’is filed a lawsuit, accusing the orthodox believers of violating the court order issued 40 years earlier.

In her Barrington home, Janice Franco, a follower of the Orthodox Baha'i Faith, holds an Arabic calligraphy rendering of “The Great One,” a sacred symbol. Mainstream Baha'is don't want the orthodox group to use the name or the symbol, STACEY WESCOTT/TRIBUNE PHOTO

The Orthodox Baha’is insist they aren’t the same group. They also say a religious denomination can’t trademark truth. The term Baha’i refers to a follower of Baha’u’llah. That applies to him and other Orthodox Baha’i, he said.

“From our point of view, if you believe in Christ you can use the word Christ in your name,” Goldberg said. “It’s a little bit like asking you to recant your faith. It’s unacceptable to us.”

But Stockman said it is the religion’s responsibility to protect the Baha’i name.

“Baha’is are told again and again to try to exercise discipline on what they say about their faith and don’t confuse the public.... We have our own community to build,” he said.

There are 5 million Baha’is in the world—150,000 in the U.S., including 2,000 in the Chicago area. Why the mainstream denomination waited four decades to enforce the court ruling is a mystery. Baha’i leaders declined interview requests.

Barring the Orthodox believers from using the name “Baha’i” prevents them from popping up in Google when users type in that term.

Stockman said the Web is a tricky place to have conversations about spiritual truth.

“It’s not our desire to convert people. It’s our desire to put our material out there for people to know what the truth is and decide themselves.”

mbrachear@tribune.com

Seek with the Seeker

Read Manya Brachear's blog, The Seeker, at Chicago tribune.com/seeker

Source : CHICAGO TRIBUNE | SECTION 1 | MONDAY, MAY 18, 2009

Shoghi Effendi contradicts Abdu'l-Baha

 During Abdu'l-Baha's visit to London in 1911, he had the following interaction with a Christian...

A student of the modern methods of the higher criticism asked ‘Abdu’l-Bahá if he would do well to continue in the church with which he had been associated all his life, and whose language was full of meaning to him. ‘Abdu’l-Bahá answered: “You must not dissociate yourself from it. Know this; the Kingdom of God is not in any Society; some seekers go through many Societies as a traveller goes through many cities till he reach his destination. If you belong to a Society already do not forsake your brothers. You can be a Bahá’í-Christian, a Bahá’í-Freemason, a Bahá’í-Jew, a Bahá’í-Muḥammadán. The number nine contains eight, and seven, and all the other numbers, and does not deny any of them. Do not distress or deny anyone by saying ‘He is not a Bahá’í!’

During his tour of North America in 1912, coverage in news stories would report this comment.

For example, on February 18, 1912, an article in "The Pittsburgh Pennsylvania Press" featured an article stating "In some respects the Bahá’í movement is the most remarkable of modern times. It isn’t a religion, in the sense that Christianity and Mohammedism and other faiths are religions. Its followers belong to many diverse sects, remaining Christian or Mohammedan or Brahmin as the case may be, and still being thorough going Bahis." During his visit to London in 1911, 'Abdu’l-Bahá had stated that "You can be a Bahá’í-Christian, a Bahá’í-Freemason, a Bahá’í-Jew, a Bahá’í-Muḥammadán."

And on February 28, 1912, the "SFO Daily News" of San Francisco featured an article stating "In some respects the Bahá’í movement is the most remarkable of modern times. It isn’t a religion in the sense that Christianity and Mohammedism and other faiths are religious. Its followers belong to many diverse sects, remaining Christian or Mohammedan or Brahmin as the case may be, and still being thorough going Bahá’ís" During his visit to London in 1911, 'Abdu’l-Bahá had stated that "You can be a Bahá’í-Christian, a Bahá’í-Freemason, a Bahá’í-Jew, a Bahá’í-Muḥammadán."

Similarly, on September 1, 1912, "The Oregonian" of Portland, Oregon carried an article about ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, introducing him as the "Leader of Religions Movement Which Claims Three Million Followers" and quoting his statement "When in London he was approached by a student of higher criticism who asked ‘Abdu’l-Bahá if he should continue in the church. ‘Abdu’l-Bahá replied: “Yes, you must not dissociate yourself from it. Know this: the Kingdom of God is not in any society. If you belong to a society already do not forsake your brothers. You can be a Bahá’í-Christian, a Bahá’í-Freemason, a Bahá’í-Jew, Bahá’í-Mohammedan.”

A generation later.........

On May 5 1943, a letter written in behalf of Shoghi Effendi said "The friends should by all means be encouraged to withdraw from church membership and be made to realize that, though we as Bahá'ís are ardent believers in Christ, we do not and cannot support, church institutions and doctrines when Christ has come again and brought new laws for the world today and its present needs; to adhere to forms, mostly man-made, and now out-moded and no longer needed, is meaningless. This does not mean they should no longer associate with the church members; they should cease to be registered members of it."

533. Bahá'ís Are Ardent Believers in Christ

"The friends should by all means be encouraged to withdraw from church membership and be made to realize that, though we as Bahá'ís are ardent believers in Christ, we do not and cannot support, church institutions and doctrines when Christ has come again and brought new laws for the world today and its present needs; to adhere to forms, mostly man-made, and now out-moded and no longer needed, is meaningless. This does not mean they should no longer associate with the church members; they should cease to be registered members of it."

(From a letter written on behalf of Shoghi Effendi to an individual believer, May 5, 1943)

On February 12, 1956, Shoghi Effendi addressed a letter to an individual believer addressing "Why Bahá'ís Are Requested to Withdraw from Membership in the Church, Synagogue, etc." explaining "that we are the building blocks of Bahá'u'lláh's New World Order ... the Bahá'ís should be absolutely independent, and stand identified only with their own teachings. That is why they are requested to withdraw from membership in the church, the synagogue, or whatever other previous religious organization they may have been affiliated with, to have nothing whatsoever to do with secret societies, or with political movements, etc. It protects the Cause, it reinforces the Cause, and it asserts before all the world its independent character."

1389. Why Bahá'ís Are Requested to Withdraw from Membership in the Church, Synagogue, etc.

"The point is not that there is something intrinsically wrong with Masonry, which no doubt has many very high ideals and principles, and has had a very good influence in the past.

"The reasons why the Guardian feels that it is imperative for the Bahá'ís to be dissociated from masonry at this time, and I might add, other secret associations, is that we are the building blocks of Bahá'u'lláh's New World Order ... the Bahá'ís should be absolutely independent, and stand identified only with their own teachings. That is why they are requested to withdraw from membership in the church, the synagogue, or whatever other previous religious organization they may have been affiliated with, to have nothing whatsoever to do with secret societies, or with political movements, etc. It protects the Cause, it reinforces the Cause, and it asserts before all the world its independent character.

"Another reason is that unfortunately the tremendous political influences in the world today are seeping deeper and deeper into men's minds; and movements which in the past were absolutely uninfluenced by any political tinge of thought now in many places are becoming infiltrated with political side-taking and political issues; and it becomes all the more important for the Bahá'ís to withdraw from them in order to protect the Faith.

"The Guardian believes that you, as an intelligent man, a Bahá'í, will see the need for this. It is only by all living according to general principles that we can knit the fabric of the Faith all over the world into a closer unity.

"He is fully aware that certain individuals are struck much more forcibly by such requests than others. This has been the case with some of the old Bahá'ís in England, who have been Masons from their boyhood on; but, as it is his duty to protect the Faith, he can only appeal to the Bahá'ís to assist him in doing so; and to consider the general good, rather than their personal feelings, however deep they may be, in such matters."

(From a letter written on behalf of Shoghi Effendi to an individual believer, February 12, 1956)

 

So......were all those newspapers in 1912 mistaken? Or did Shoghi Effendi actually nullify a clear teaching of his grandfather to turn the Baha'i Faith into a cult instead of a progressive spiritual movement? We report, you decide!

Source : https://www.reddit.com/r/exbahai/comments/n5be3j/shoghi_effendi_contradicts_abdulbaha/

Meet user "T0lk" - he is one of the prominent volunteer of the notorious Baha'i Internet Agency (BIA)

David Haslip aka "T0lk" (Find him anywhere - Wikipedia, Bahaipedia, Reddit, Bahaiforums, Youtube comments etc.)


https://m.facebook.com/david.haslip

Deceptive religious conversion in Malaysia - Chinese Malaysian converts 100s of Malaysians to the Baha'i cult

 

Baha'i missionary Soon Kam with his wife Sarah Greenspoon (from Jenjarom, Malaysia) with Malaysian dignitaries.

Soon Kam has deceptively converted many Chinese Malaysians to the Baha'i cult. 









Baha'i Censorship at https://www.reddit.com/r/bahai/ (New enquirers post their concerns at https://www.reddit.com/r/exbahai/ )


I am going to post here as my post was denied on /bahai reddit. I have decided to post it here and am looking for some people with the guts to attempt some answers. Here is my original post.
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Hi my first post here and I hope people don't mind answering some of the more controversial topics in the Bahai Faith. I want to be clear I am here to try find answers to what are now commonly found criticisms of the faith doing the rounds on facebook, youtube and the /exbahai reddit. I see a lot of people leaving the faith after finding out certain parts of the faith they feel they didn't know about or were purposely left out when joining the faith. There is also some downright crazy conspiracy theories about the faith that I might touch in other topics. I'll throw out a few and i'm keen to see thoughts and some actual answers from people with more knowledge than myself.

I'll just explain that I am new to reddit and so am not sure if I should start a new thread per topic or should i just add new posts with questions as I go on this one? Also I consider myself a bahai but only was one for a year when I read some negative things about the faith online. I stopped believing for many many months but I felt still drawn to the faith. I have realised its silly to throw away my faith because of some things I have read and my goal is to get solid answers to these topics through proper research and asking questions to people. I wish to strengthen my own faith and use this to create some eventual YouTube vids and blogs that tackle these often controversial or just misunderstood topics that may help people reconsider leaving the faith.

OK up first.

#1 Shoghi Effendi and the Universal House Of Justice.

I often see a few criticisms of Shoghi Effendi and they rage from him being a tyrant who excommunicated everyone in the family to hold onto power to being lazy and taking long holidays that people had to beg him to from back from to being a closet homosexual.

The big one is that his wife faked Abdul Baha's will or added to it to make Shoghi the guardian of the faith. And that he used to power to kick all of Baháʼu'lláhs family out. Where does this come from? Why do people feel this may be true?

This link a very negative story about Shoghi. http://freebahais.org/shoghi-effendi-2/

It paints him as pervert who used Bahai funds to live a lavish lifestyle and excommunicated people for the silliest and smallest reasons. I have seen everything from excommunicating family for marrying a Muslim to preaching without permission etc.

Why did he kick out so many people? Is there a list of all the people he declared covenant breaker and all and the actual reasons? I really want to get to the bottom of this.

The other is people say that because he left no will and had no children it goes again Abdul Baha's wishes and as such ends the covenant making the current UHJ invalid. I don't know much about this I need this explained as it does seem clear that he messed up not having a will.

I'll leave it there for now. Thanks for your time and I hope to get some good responses.
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Their reply was the standard "im not approving that as it will upset the hard work we have done here and just read the scriptures for answer.."

Head in the sand. I keep coming across people not waiting to answer tough questions. I want to deal with them.

OK so anyone wants to give me for and against views. I can take both.

-----

Ridvan - If this is such an important event; why are different years given on this?

Baha'u'llah

The date of Baha'u'llah's declaration is fixed by Nabil, the follower of Baha in his chronological poem. He says the claim was made when Baha was fifty years old, which would be A. D. 1866-67 (Journal Royal Asiatic Society, 1889, pp. 983-990). Mirza Abu'l-Fazl, the famous Baha'i missionary, confirms this date, in his Istidlaliyya (Journal Royal Asiatic Society, October, 1892, p. 703, note 1).

'Abdu'l-Baha, in his Traveller's Narrative, in his effort to make it appear that Baha had been the leading figure in the Babi Movement from an earlier time, "deliberately and purposely antedated the Manifestation," says Dr. Browne, stating that this important declaration was made by Baha in Baghdad in A. D. 1852, fourteen years earlier than it actually occurred!

The modern Baha'is have fixed the date as April 21, 1863, - which is only three or four years too early (Baha'u'llah and the New Era, Esslemont, p. 36.) See also Journal Royal Asiatic Society, April, 1892, pp. 304-306.

Rigid hierarchy has taken over Baha'i religion, dissidents say

...but conservative leaders maintain that orthodoxy has not been altered.
 
Juan Cole, a professor at the University of Michigan,
is a former Ba­ha'i who thinks the faith has been taken over by its conservative leaders.

By IRA RIFKIN
Religion News Service

The first 19 days of March are a special time for Baha'is, members of a worldwide religion with a liberal reputation based on its vision of the underlying unity of all faiths, the oneness of humanity and the the harmony of science and religion.

The Baha'i faith grew out of Islam, and like the Muslim month of Ramadan, Baha'is set aside the 10 days the month of 'Ala according to the Baha'i calendar - as a period of dawn-to-sunset fasting and spiritual reflection. The month rends with the Feast of Nawruz, the Baha'i new year. It's a festive time of community gatherings featuring prayers, spiritual readings, socializing and lots of food.

For former Baha'i Juan Cole, however, this year's feast will be anything but festive.

Cole, a professor of Middle East History at the University of Michigan is among the nation's leading experts on the faith. Until last May, when he formally resigned from the movement, he had been a Baha'i for 25 years.

Now he counts himself among a small but influential group of past and present liberal Baha'is who are angry over what they say is the hijacking of the faith by a cadre of conservative leaders who are more interested in preserving their authority than the Baha'i principle of "independent investigation of reality."

That principle is among the core tenets of the Baha'i faith first articulated by its founder, the 19th-century Persian prophet known as Baha'u'llah (the Glory of God) and who is revered by the faithful as an incarnation of God akin to Jesus.

According to the critics, the National Spiritual Assembly, which oversees the American Baha'i movement is dominated by a tight-knit group of authoritarian officials who keep the lid on free expression by threatening dissidents with excommunication and by manipulating the process by which NSA members are elected.

In the Baha'i faith, excommunication can include total shunning by family members and friends.

Spreading their message via the internet, the dissidents - many of whom, like Cole once were members of the faith's intellectual elite - say the nine-member National Spiritual Assembly also hides the truth about the faith's shrinking American following.

"Baha'is are not open - repeat, not open - about how controlling this organization is" Cole said. "Virtually no one who comes into this faith realizes that by becoming a Baha'i you are making your individual conscience hostage to the dictates of the leadership.

"The Baha'is started out Unitarian and ended up Calvinist."

Emphasis on order

For their part, American Baha'i leaders with headquarters in the Chicago suburb of Wilmette, III., dismiss the critics as an inconsequential group of disgruntled elitists who blinded by their attraction to the faith's more liberal aspects overlooked its deeply conservative side.

This includes an emphasis on "administrative order" as a prime religious goal. Baha'u'llah taught that religions fail in large part because of the disunity that tears them apart following their initial burst of spiritual energy.

As a result, tight controls are placed on all public statements made by Baha'is including the work of scholars, who are required to submit their writings for pre-publication review.

"We always seek consensus. But if there is no unanimity, then the majority must prevail," said Firuz Kazemzadeh, a National Spiritual Assembly member and its secretary for external affairs.

Not all Baha'i scholars find fault with this.

"I personally don't buy the totalitarian argument." said Canadian Baha'i B. Todd Lawson, an assistant professor of Islamic studies at McGill University in Montreal.

Michael McMullen, an assistant professor of sociology at the University of Houston at Clear Lake, said prior review "makes sense" because much of the writings of Baha'u'llah and his successors remain untranslated from their original Persian and Arabic, and therefore are inaccessible to the majority of American Baha'is.

"My experience has been that what is corrected are factual errors, not interpretation," said McMullen, who is a local Baha'i leader in League City, Texas.

The dissidents also claim the Baha'i prohibition against public campaigning or nominating candidates for spots on the National Spiritual Assembly serves to keep it a closed body controlled by the American Baha'i establishment.

Baha'i leaders say they are only following an orthodoxy established by Baha'u'llah and his successors — his son, Abdu'l-Baha, and his great-grandson, Shoghi Effendi, who died in 1957.

Assembly members are elected annually by a fixed number of 171 delegates who represent local Baha'i assemblies across the continental United States.

Robert C. Henderson, a former Atlanta businessman who is the assembly's secretary-general, making him the highest ranking American Baha'i (the faith has no ordained clergy), said there had been 12 changes in the assembly's membership the last 15 years.

"That's not indicative of a closed group," he said.

Robert C. Henderson is secre­tary-general of the National Spiritual Assembly
and the high­est-ranking American Baha’i.

Free local debate

However, Cole said each change resulted from retirement, death or a member moving out of the country. No incumbent who has sought re-election has been defeated since 1961, he said.

Cole also noted that family and other close associations are common among American Baha'i leaders. Six of the nine current assembly members have family or professional connections.

McMullen, the University of Houston sociologist, acknowledged that the prohibition against nominations and campaigning made it hard for those outside the Baha'i establishment to win election to the National Spiritual Assembly.

But on the local level, he added, there is a much higher leadership turnover. Moreover, on this level of authority, he said, even controversial issues are freely debated without fear of official disapproval.

Henderson also said that "Baha'is are specifically asked to air their grievances" at local and national conventions "There are specific channels for such expression, but it must remain within these established channels.

"The Baha'i faith is outwardly liberal but inwardly conservative," he continued. "It's a matter of scripture."

Baha'is claim a worldwide membership of more than 5 million people living in more than 200 nations and territories about half in India.

In Iran - where the faith first emerged in the 1840s when Baha'u'llah proclaimed himself to be the divine manifestation for the modem era — there are 300,000 Baha'is Considered heretics by the Muslim authorities they live as a persecuted minority.

The heresy charge stems from Baha'u'llah's claim to prophet status some 1,200 years after Muhammad, the founder of Islam, proclaimed himself God's final prophet.

How many in America?

In the United States Baha'is claim about 130,000 members a third of whom are African-Americans About 21,000 live in California, and the largest concentration more than 6,000 is in greater Los Angeles

Baha'is also are relatively strong in South Carolina, Texas Florida, Georgia, North Carolina, Illinois, Arizona and Washington state.

However, Baha'i critics say the religion's membership numbers are wildly inflated. Citing friendly but unnamed sources at Baha'i headquarters in Wilmette, the dissidents say no more than 30,000 names represent active Baha'is with verifiable addresses.

A 1993 book on Americans' religious affiliations One Nation Under God by demographers Barry Kosmin and Seymour Lachman, estimated the number of adult Baha'is in the United States at 28,000.

"Every new religious movement that is in a missionary phase tends to overestimate its members," Kosmin, currently at the Institute for Jewish Policy Research in London, said in an interview. "They count people coming in, but never count those who leave"

Kazemzadeh, the Baha'i official, insisted that the 130,000 figure was "essentially accurate." But he also said that "if active means contributing funds and serving locally, it's probably about half the names on the list.

Sizable Baha'i communities in the South are traceable to the influx of mostly rural African-Americans who joined the faith in the 1960s and '70s, drawn by its strong rejection of racial prejudice.

During those same years, relatively large numbers of white liberals, attracted by the faith's emphasis on a society free of social injustice, also joined. It is mostly members of this group — many of them scholars of Baha'i texts, the Middle East and its languages — that today lead the dissident movement.

Linda Walbridge, an anthropologist at the University of Indiana — specializing in the growth of Islam in America, became a Baha'i in 1966 when she was a 19-year-old VISTA volunteer on the Navajo Reservation. Despite her anger at the hierarchy, she remains a Baha'i.

Raised Roman Catholic, Walbridge said she was attracted to the Baha'i faith by its "promise of a universalist vision... It was far more open that anything I had experienced."

Walbridge's public dissent has prompted Baha'i officials to threaten to label her a "covenant breaker" - a form of Excommunication that would require her Baha'i husband to divorce her or risk his own excommunication.

"It was supposed to be the most liberal, broad-based religion on the face of the earth," Said Walbridge "Instead, it turned out to be a straitjacket."
 
Click to enlarge

Source : The Kansas City Star (Kansas City, Missouri) • 01 Mar 1997, Sat • Page 62

Elder & Miller Kitab-i-Aqdas reveals the truth about the Baha'i Faith (Free PDF download)

Click to download

This is the suppressed Elder & Miller translation of the Baha'i "Book of Laws."

It is a more honest and accurate translation than the one belatedly offered by the Baha'i administration 120 years late. The latter ("The Kitab-i-Aqdas: The Most Holy Book") contains obfuscations and distortions designed to protect the fortunes of the Baha'i Faith and preventing the book to cause a drastic falloff in membership, as the text reveals a great disparity between the original message of the founder and what later came to be sold as "The Baha'i Faith." The Elder translation is an important document in the continuing saga of Baha'i efforts to both obscure and alter their own original foundations and texts.

The Elder-Miller translation is an honest translation by two English orientalists and Arabic scholars, one of them an author of an Arabic grammar who had spent many years in Persia and interviewed early Baha'is and Babis. It is the first English translation.

Their agenda was to make available an important religious work of the east for the Royal Asiatic Society that was, unaccountably, still unavailable in the west. Thus their translation became the first translation available in the west. Earl elder remarks on this oddity in his preface:

"Anyone who studies Baha'ism learns very soon of the volume sacred to those who profess this religion and known as "The Most Holy Book." Of this book Baha in his Will said, "...reflect upon that which is revealed in my book the Aqdas." And his son and successor 'Abdu'l Baha said in his Will, "unto the Aqdas everyone must turn." Yet, strange to say, although the teachings of the Baha'is have been widely proclaimed in Great Britain and America, only fragments of al-Kitab al Aqdas have been translated previously into English."

This even though the original text is actually a rather short work. Thus Miller and Earl Elder, a scholar of Arabic and produce of an Arabic grammar, published the fist English translation instead of the Baha'is.

Though Elder-Miller's translation was published in 1961, western Baha'is were kept in the dark about its existence. I was an active Baha'i for 15 years and never heard of it. This was deliberate. The Baha'i leadership did not want rank-and-file members to read the Kitab-i-Aqdas. They considered it a problematic. Not because there were major faults in the translation, but because the content itself was something they did not want westerners to be able to read.

Elder and Miller were surprised that the ready market of Baha'is was not interested in their book and Baha'i publishing bodies would not carry it, even though they lacked their own version of their "Most Holy Book." Book suppression is common to Baha'i history. It has long been a habit of Baha'is to find, confiscate, and destroy books they deem to be adverse to their growth. (I recall going through the estate of a famous early Baha'i Ruth Moffet and finding many Baha'i suppressed books that she had removed from libraries over the years.) The early Baha'is also extirpated the writing of their ostensible lineage founder, the Bab. Baha'i book purging is one reason that hardcover copies of Elder & Miller's Aqdas are so rare today.

Kitab-i-Aqdas was long considered a problematic book by the Baha'i promoters in the west. The Baha'i administration, seeking to grow a Faith that was now a sales package for socialist-leaning intellectuals, continued to buy time.They hoped to create their own translations that would soften or obscure the content, while letting the Baha'i Faith develop and grow free of the damaging effect they knew the text would have. So they avoided publishing the a text of their own for a full 120 years after the book's creation by their founder. All other Baha'i works of significance were long available and this was ostensibly their central scripture. It's importance is obvious in its very title: "Book of Laws -- Most Holy Book." So this Elder-Miller translation was unwelcome to the Baha'i Administration who refrained from making their congregation aware of it.

The first approach the Baha'is took to suppressing the Kitab-i-Aqdas was, indeed, to ignore all translations available. Even after this Elder-Miller translation was out in 1961, they continued to tell their membership "It has not been translated yet." Any versions that were published by others, they ignored and would classify them as negative to their membership. They did not have the proper filters or spin-doctoring. Their second approach, when obligated to translate the text, was to distort and obfuscate its content in the translation. (Examples given here.) Thus the priceless value of the Elder-Miller version.

The Growing Gap Between the Baha'i Promotional Package

And the Baha'i Scriptures

Early in the religion's development certain ideas, only minimally present in the original teachings of Baha'u'llah, began to be enlarged a great deal. These could be called socialist, Marxist, or progressive ideas found in the statements of most mystics. From a text that contained great mysticism, emphasis on obedience to God and devotion to Baha'u'llah arose a religion that instead promoted feminism, world government, and deracination. The feminism is particularly remarkable since the Kitab-i-Aqdas appears to be directed to men, makes certain prohibitions for women, and quite clearly assumes polygamy as normative. Baha'u'llah himself had, according to accounts, four wives.

But a few minor reforms or relaxing of Islamic regulations on women were spinned by the Baha'is into a program in which the Baha'i Faith became "feminist" in a Marxist sense. The longer the Baha'is suppressed and ignored the Kitab-i-Aqdas, the larger grew the gap between the Kitab-i-Aqdas text and what Baha'is were teaching. Continually attempting to appeal to progressives, they ended up with a "Ten Basic Principles" list that was quite different than their actual founding texts. Nothing make the gap between teaching and text more obvious than the Kitab-i-Aqdas. Another statement Baha'is would make to their newcomers was: "Mankind is not ready for it." But as the modern age developed, each passing year made mankind more and more "unready" for the very dated, even culturally primitive content of the Kitab-i-Aqdas. The Elder-Miller translation makes it abundantly clear why the Baha'is hid their most important scripture.

Baha'is state that this Kitab-i-Aqdas is mankind's complete guidance from God the next thousand years. That is rather sad considering they didn't allow us (in the west) to even read the text for the first 120 years. Upon reading its contents the reader will notice a few things.

First, one notices a very Islamic tone and attitude of the harsher variety. One law in the case of arson is put bluntly: "Whoever burns a house intentionally, burn him." This is the straightforward Elder-Miller phrasing. The official Baha'i text that finally came out had it this way: "Should anyone intentionally destroy a house by fire, him also shall ye burn."

The Strange Laws of the Kitab-i-Aqdas / The Textual Manipulations by Baha'i Officials Perceivable Thanks to the Elder-Miller Translation

Baha'u'llah was a prince. He wanted his followers to be an attractive group. The Kitab-i-Aqdas tells them to get new furniture every 9 years. It outlaws the shaving of the head or men having hair longer than their earlobes. The scripture instructs them to use perfume, to wear silk and furs. This is succinctly and cleanly stated in the form of one of many commands in the Elder-Miller translation:

"Wear sable (sammur) just as you wear silk and squirrel-skin and other things."

In the Elder-Miller version one can usually distinguish easily the difference between a mere "allowing" of an activity (not forbidden) and a command to do it. The Elder-Miller translation has this as a command, like the command to wear perfume. Seeing how absurd this perfume command looks to our present culture the Baha'i administration altered the lines in significant ways:

"Ye are free to wear the fur of the sable as ye would that of the beaver, the squirrel, and other animals."

This puts it as a mere option; as something not prohibited. By comparing the official version to the Miller-Elder version you can see Baha'i officialdom's manipulation of translation outcome from cover-to-cover. The perfume command rendered by Elder-Miller is:

"Use rose water, then pure perfume."

It is clear that the rose water is intended to be worn on the skin, just as with perfume. But the 120-year-late official version translates it cleverly:

"Make use of rose-water, and of pure perfume;"

This rendering obfuscates the original intention and creates loopholes. It opens the possibility that the rose-water does not need to be something worn on the skin, just "made use of." Western women are fussy about things like that, you know. Some of them don't like being told they have to wear perfume. Likely, modern Baha'is won't want to uses rose water for their guru and this doesn't sell the faith. Perhaps the rose-water and perfume could be "made use of" a disinfectant? Or for scientific experiments? Or some other use. (The just-mentioned mental scenario would be typical of the Baha'i administrative mind which likes to focus on science and technology rather than it's own religious content notwithstanding their founders' anti-science attitudes.) The perfume, in this official rendering, becomes something that is to be 'made use of,' not necessarily worn by the devotees. Perhaps as a substance for insect control, etc.

This is loophole-building. This spin-doctoring and effective alteration of inconvenient passages is frequent throughout the belatedly published official translation of the Baha'is and only the Elder-Miller version (and others) make this clear. Their belated 1993 version also contains a great deal of explanations, apologies, and padding to help to shift the meaning or outright annul Baha'u'llah's statement and help current Baha'is live with the the strange text. This occurred early on with Baha'u'llah's apparent assumption of polygamy as a norm. The Baha'i administration wrote a treatment that says, essential, 'This can't be so.'

Indeed, one pleasure of the Elder-Miller version is reading it straight without the filler, distractions, and excusing explanations of Baha'i officials. One finds out that the original Kitab-i-Aqdas was a terse, thin volume. The original book is only 74 pages with 10-pt. type. The Baha'i administration and spin doctors added so much to their version that their Aqdas ballooned to 315 pages! Most of it written by the administration, not Baha'u'llah. The scholarly Elder-Miller version, intending to present the Arabic as it really was written, makes these manipulations by modern Baha'is clear to see. That is its value.

Baha'is promote their religion as one that is superior due to access to the original founder texts. Further, they state that the problem with religions is that change creeps in, with the original texts and their meanings lost. The Baha'i Faith, is, they say, different. One of the interesting things about the Baha'i Book of Laws, given it is presented by them as full guidance for mankind for a thousand years, is the content it lacks. It requires that marriage be effected with a dowry:

"Relationship by marriage is not realized except by (payment of) dowries." And adulterers have to give the Baha'i "House of Justice" "nine mithquals of gold." (Elder/Miller explain that this amounts to 1-7th of an ounce of gold.) But the Most Holy Book contains no advice or laws about the following urgent problems of mankind:

• Technological manipulation, genetic and bio-engineering, or food monopoly

• Pornography, incest, and nothing apparent regarding pedophilia (he only mentions boys), homosexuality, etc.

• Bio-medical ethics, such as euthanasia

• Punishments or laws for rape (or even mention of rape as a human crime)

• Industrialization, pollution, the environment

• Forms of government

• Mass media and monopolies

.. and many other dire problems.

The scripture does, however, contain laws about falcon-hunting and a great deal of funeral and burial laws. Their royal founder Baha'u'llah enjoined Baha'is be buried in some fancy coffins. Two sentences from the Elder-Miller translation:

Elder-Miller Version: "When in hunting you use birds of prey, make mention of God. Then whatever they catch for you is lawful."

Elder-Miller Version: "God has commanded that the dead be buried in (coffins of) crystal or rare stones or beautiful hard woods, and that engraved rings be placed on their fingers."

Official Version: "The Lord hath decreed that the dead should be interred in coffins made of crystal, of hard, resistant stone, or of wood that is both fine and durable, and that graven rings should be placed upon their fingers."

Notice that hardwoods are no longer needed (rare now!), just "fine and durable" wood. Also note that the administration altered the command for "rare stones" into mere "hard, resistant stone." Only the Elder-Miller translation lets you see all the invention and alteration-of-texts that Baha'i officialdom is engaged with. And it becomes clear why they hid the text from the west for 120 years.

Here is how the Baha'i Administration rendered the line allowing more than one wife to make it come out differently:

Elder-Miller:

"God has ordained marriage for you. Beware lest you go beyond two, and whoever is satisfied with one of the handmaidens, his soul is at rest and so is hers."

While he makes prohibitions in a clear manner elsewhere in the text, there is no prohibition here, merely a "beware" beyond 2, while advising that one has advantages.

Official Baha'i Version:

"God hath prescribed matrimony unto you. Beware that ye take not unto yourselves more wives than two. Whoso contenteth himself with a single partner from among the maidservants of God, both he and she shall live in tranquility."

Notice the big difference in the impressions the versions create. The Elder version assumes two wives as normative and quite acceptable in these two simple lines: "God has ordained marriage for you. Beware lest you go beyond two." Baha'u'llah reportedly had at least four wives. What kindly uncle wouldn't say "beware!" and "careful!" to a young man considering three or more wives? The tone of the official version ends with the impression that both 3+ AND dual wives are prohibited. There is no sense of prohibition of either state in the Elder version, only a warning about 3+.

In the Elder version the man contenting himself with one is simply shown approbation, with the results promoted as worthy of consideration: "whoever is satisfied with one...his soul is at rest." The official version makes monogamy appear to be specified and required: "Whoso contenteth himself with a single partner...shall live in tranquility." Using 'shall live' -- the predictive, prophetic, or "ordaining" voice so common to Baha'i literature -- ("...he and she shall live...")the mere observation that one-wife men have more peace now feels like a single-wife specification that is, after this stormy reference to polygamy, the one ordained state for the the future.

It took them 120 years to come up with that clever re-working of the original simple sentences, to make it appear that Baha'u'llah did not say what he said. Thus we need the Elder-Miller translation.

The use of the word "partner" in the modern version is particularly jarring in the founding text. A few decades back this would have been "wife." (The sentence is clearly directed to men and refers to how many wives they should have.) The the vague term "partner" has never occurred in any translations of Baha'u'llah heretofore (relative to marriage) or even "spouse." "Partner" is a modern culture-bomb used by those with modern anti-traditional attitudes, particular homosexuals and those who wish to redefine marriage as any amalgam of any sexes. It is there in the official Baha'i version as both anticipation and acceptance of the further degradation of natural sexual roles and traditional marriage, and gives us a hint as to which way the Baha'i Faith is now headed.

Mystical Language in the Kitab-i-Aqdas

One fascinating aspect of Baha'i writings is the Sufic mystical content, and the Kitab-i-Aqdas is loaded with that. After reading official Baha'i translations for a while it becomes very interesting to see how Elder & Miller translate certain mystic phrases compared to official versions. The Elder-Miller translation appears to be more direct with less attempt to fit Baha'u'llah's words into decorous English literary forms. Here is one from the Elder-Miller Aqdas:

"O People, direct your steps with white faces and hearts full of light towards the Blessed Red Spot where the Lote Tree of the Extremity (sidratu l-muntaha) calls, "There is no god besides Me, the Self-Subsistent Overseer."

Here is the official Baha'i version:

"Turn, o people, with bright faces and illuminated hearts towards the blessed red spot in which the Sadrat-El-Muntaha (divine tree) crieth out, "Verily there is no God but Me, the protector, the self-Existent."

"White" has become "bright." "Hearts full of light" (possibly an occult reference referring to inner perceived light, plus the Sufic idea as the "heart" as a meditation point in the body) became "illuminated heart" which suggests a vague intellection or higher thought. The more evocative and instructive "Lote Tree of the Extremity" has been shortened to simply "Lote Tree." (A truncation reflecting the anti-mystical attitudes of the Baha'i administration.) The "overseer" who witnesses (a word more like "foreman" and "boss") has been turned into an active "protector." "Subsistent," a term with a philosophical and mystical heritage, got dumbed-down to "existent."

Another fine example of the mystical language in the Aqdas, from Elder-Miller:

"Leave what you have! Then fly with the minions of Separation beyond Innovation."

Official Baha'i Version:

"Cast away that which ye possess, and, on the wings of detachment, soar beyond all created things."

It is a noteworthy characteristic of the Baha'i Faith -- and I was an active member of 15 years -- that none of these curious mystical terms and statements, so abundant in Baha'i writings, are ever explained or even discussed.

Note that the original used the stronger "separation," and Baha'u'llah did, indeed, want his community to stand apart from the rest and his mystical focus for the Baha'is was making them utterly "detached from all save God," especially detached from "the world." This term referred to the ideal of a profound, emotionally ascetic separation from the world which he often advocated. Changing "beyond innovation" into "beyond creation" is a particularly egregious distortion and change to the text and a complete reverse of its meaning. (Just as Baha'is converted the technology-negative views of the founders into a technology-positive message.) "Innovation" in the original refers to the activities of man and mind. "Creation" refers to the creation of God. The original "innovation" referred to the tendency of men to invent ideas, especially conflict-inducing ideas, and change what God created. He also sometimes used the term "invention."

Side Note: The general attitude of Baha'u'llah toward man's invention and innovation was negative. (Both the Bab and Baha'u'llah were anti-technology. The Bab outlawed the study of sciences and foreign travel. Baha'u'llah, when hearing of the invention described it as a "hellish engine" (altered by the admin. into "infernal engine" that would destroy the cities. (Altered by the admin into "consume the cities.")

It is perhaps completely understandable that official Baha'i translators wanted to cover up Baha'u'llah's disparagement of human "innovation" in religious texts. The Elder-Miller translation of the Aqdas shows that the official Baha'i version is loaded with invention and innovation.

-- Julian Curtis Lee

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