The Cult-like Obsession with "Internal Enemies"

The number one reason the Baha'i Faith functions exactly like a cult is the fact that its institutions are obsessed with rooting out "internal enemies" to expel and threaten. This obsession with pitting the Baha'is against their own is absolutely a control mechanism designed to deter people from asking questions and "independently investigating the truth". From the Faith's own scripture:

"The International Teaching Centre is invested with the mandate to watch over the security and ensure the protection of the Faith of God. It must investigate all cases of incipient Covenant-breaking—employing, as necessary, the services of the Continental Counsellors and their auxiliaries and evaluating their reports—and decide whether the offender should be expelled from the Cause, submitting the decision to the Universal House of Justice for its consideration. It follows a similar procedure for the reinstatement of a contrite Covenant-breaker. More broadly, it needs to be attentive to the spiritual health of the Bahá’í community, urging the Counsellors and their auxiliaries to strengthen the believers to resist the influence of both external and internal sources of opposition to the Cause, and to assist National and Local Spiritual Assemblies in resolving questions that could raise doubt about the integrity of the Faith and its Teachings."

"The need to protect the Faith from the attacks of its enemies may not be generally appreciated by the friends, particularly in places where attacks have been infrequent. However, it is certain that such opposition will increase, become concerted, and eventually universal. The writings clearly foreshadow not only an intensification of the machinations of internal enemies, but a rise in the hostility and opposition of its external enemies, whether religious or secular, as the Cause pursues its onward march towards ultimate victory. Therefore, in the light of the warnings of the Guardian, the Auxiliary Boards for Protection should keep “constantly” a “watchful eye” on those “who are known to be enemies, or to have been put out of the Faith”, discreetly investigate their activities, alert intelligently the friends to the opposition inevitably to come, explain how each crisis in God’s Faith has always proved to be a blessing in disguise, and prepare them for the “dire contest which is destined to range the Army of Light against the forces of darkness”."

https://www.bahai.org/documents/bwc/institution-counsellors

"To be attentive to the spiritual health of the Bahá’í community, strengthening the believers to resist the influence of both internal and external enemies and ensuring, to this end, that the Continental Counselors assist National and Local Spiritual Assemblies in dealing with questions that cast doubt on the integrity of the Faith and its teachings."

https://www.bahai.org/library/authoritative-texts/the-universal-house-of-justice/messages/19980610_001/1#954995191

"Spiritual health" is a euphemism for blind submission to the Baha'i clergies absolute hold over a Baha'is time and finances.

A particularly insightful message about the cult-like nature of the Faith is this one:

"The individual’s relation to society is explained by Shoghi Effendi in the statement that “The Bahá’í conception of social life is essentially based on the principle of the subordination of the individual will to that of society. It neither suppresses the individual nor does it exalt him to the point of making him an anti-social creature, a menace to society. As in everything, it follows the ‘golden mean.’”"

https://www.bahai.org/library/authoritative-texts/the-universal-house-of-justice/messages/19881229_001/1#940150263

"A Bahá’í will understand that an upright life is based upon observance of certain principles which stem from Divine Revelation and which he recognizes as essential for the well-being of both the individual and society. In order to uphold such principles, he knows that, in certain cases, the voluntary submission of the promptings of his own personal conscience to the decision of the majority is a conscientious requirement, as in wholeheartedly accepting the majority decision of an Assembly at the outcome of consultation."

https://www.bahai.org/library/authoritative-texts/compilations/issues-related-study-bahai-faith/12#024995601

Quite literally the Faith does not allow for individuality or freedom of speech by its very design. In response to accusations of restricting freedom of speech the Universal House of Justice has basically just said that restriction is good with an emotive appeal to imagery of hate speech borrowed from the partisan politics Baha'is pour so much derision onto:

"With regard to the accusation that to make such distinctions borders on restriction of the freedom of speech, one should accept that civil society has long recognized that utterance can metamorphose into behaviour, and has taken steps to protect itself and its citizens against such behaviour when it becomes socially destructive. Laws against sedition and hate-mongering are examples that come readily to mind."

https://www.bahai.org/library/authoritative-texts/compilations/issues-related-study-bahai-faith/12#280040721

In the same message we read:

"It will surely be clear to you from the above comments that the categories of “issues of doctrinal heresy which must therefore be suppressed” and “the imposition of orthodoxy on the Bahá’í community”, to which you refer, are concepts essentially drawn from the study of Christianity and are inapplicable to the far more complex interrelationships and principles established by the Bahá’í Faith."

There is no justification whatsoever offered to support the idea that religious suppression is only a Christian issue, alas as the Universal House of Justice must not be questioned on pain of excommunication the logical gaps in this conclusion must simply be swept under the rug by Baha'is.

Another defense of the modern day witch-hunting of the Faith is hilariously as follow:

"Typically, when misrepresentations of the kind described are challenged, the reaction of those behind the campaign has been to claim that their civil rights are being threatened, an assertion that is of course meaningless in the light of the purely voluntary nature of Bahá’í membership."

https://www.bahai.org/library/authoritative-texts/the-universal-house-of-justice/messages/19990407_001/1#850909137

An extremely slippery tactic, actually utilizing the Faith's irrelevancy as a defense of its cult like attempt at absolute control over its followers. Considering the goal of the Faith is to establish an Absolute Theocracy with the Universal House of Justice as unchallengeable dictator this defense of the Faith's cult-like tendencies as being a "choice" is a very temporary one if one accepts the Faith ever has a chance of its goal of world domination.

Source : https://www.reddit.com/r/exbahai/comments/np341r/the_cultlike_obsession_with_internal_enemies/

Meet Benjamin Perkins, another full-time "volunteer" of the notorious Baha'i Internet Agency

Benjamin Perkins

 

Photographer Kamal Anthony Delchad from San Diego, California is a descendant of Mishkin Qalam

Click to enlarge

 

Baha'i Haircut Law: Why Create a Law if you're going to break it yourself?

According to Baha'i law, shaving one's head and allowing hair to grow longer than the lobe of the ear is forbidden:

"Shave not your heads; God hath adorned them with hair, and in this there are signs from the Lord of creation to those who reflect upon the requirements of nature. He, verily, is the God of strength and wisdom. Notwithstanding, it is not seemly to let the hair pass beyond the limit of the ears. Thus hath it been decreed by Him Who is the Lord of all worlds." (Baha'u'llah, The Kitab-i Aqdas)​

Of course the second law only applies to men (what happened to equality of men and women?!!):

"Shoghi Effendi has made clear that, unlike the prohibition on shaving the head, this law forbidding the growing of the hair beyond the lobe of the ear pertains only to men." (The Kitab-i Aqdas, notes)

However, Baha'u'llah, Abdu'l-Baha, and even Baha'u'llah's scribe (Mishkin Qalam) completely ignored this law:

What's the use of a law that the Prophet, His successor, and his closest companions aren't willing to implement themselves, then expect their followers to implement them?! If you can't abide by your own rules then why do expect others to do so?

Source : https://www.religiousforums.com/threads/bahai-haircut-law-why-create-a-law-if-your-going-to-break-it-youself.216112/

Former-Baha'i scholar Francesco Ficicchia

Former-Baha'i Francesco Ficicchia

Born in 1946 in Switzerland, he is a German scholar. He became the member of the National Spiritual Assembly of the Baha'is of Switzerland in 1970s. In 1974, he left the Baha'i Faith and wrote a book criticizing the Baha'i faith. The massive 450 page book Der Bahá'ismus — Weltreligion der Zukunft? Geschichte, Lehre, Organisation in kritischer Anfrage (Bahá'ísm — World Religion of the Future? History, Teachings and Organisation: A Critical Inquiry) was "refuted" by Baha'i scholars Udo Schaefer, Nicola Towfiqh and Ulrich Gollmer, all loyal to the Universal House of Justice.

Ficicchia has also written a couple of articles exposing the Baha'i faith.

He is one of the "Baha'i apostate" named by Moojan Momen in his article "Marginality and Apostasy in the Bahá'í Community."

Moojan Momen says:

Despite the fact that Bahá'ís considered the work as a "distorting mirror" of their religion with "almost everything" being "twisted and disfigured beyond recognition" (Schaefer et al., 2000, p.1), the work was warmly welcomed in the German academic world, reviewed approvingly by scholars such as Joseph Henninger (1983), Hans-Joachim Klimkeit (1984) and Olaf Schumann (1985). Ficicchia came to be regard as the "proven expert" (Schaefer et al., 2000, p. 3 n.7) and the book as a "standard work in the field of religious studies" (Henniger, 1983). Ficicchia's work was soon finding its way into encyclopaedias (Lexikon der Religionen, 1987) and general academic works (Jäggi, 1987). Ficicchia himself launched on an apostate career that continues to the present day and has seen him publish several more papers and his own website (2001; see bibliography on that site).

Many German Baha'is left the faith after reading Ficicchia's book. He stated that the Baha'i Administration was overbearingly authoritarian and the Baha'i faith was a "cult". 

German Baha'is loyal to the UHJ, began to see the effects of this book, particularly in their interactions with German officials. The book was largely responsible for the German courts refusing the registration of the byelaws of a local Baha'i council because it was deemed to contravene German law. It was only in 1991, that the Federal Constitutional Court in Germany overturned this decision and declared the Baha'i community legal.

The main theory of Ficicchia's book was that the entire "divinely-appointed" Baha'i Administrative Order is an ugly creation of Shoghi Effendi who used it as an instrument to direct and control his followers and satisfy his lust for power. To accomplish these aims, the Will and Testament of 'Abdu'l-Baha was forged under the direction of Shoghi Effendi. Ficicchia claimed that under Shoghi Effendi's dictatorship, the entire Baha'i Administrative Order was remoulded into a fascist, spirit-denying, rigid machinery designed to execute his despotic whims. According to Ficicchia, the Baha'i institutions suppress any reasonable criticisms and free expressions of opinion, and dissenters are threatened with sanctions or excommunication.

Ficicchia claims that the Baha'i administration is hiding a missionary agenda. The Baha'is are engaging in a large, hypocritical experiment in dissimulation and religious opportunism. He believed that in order to successfully complete its mission of world domination, the leadership of the Baha'i faith has deliberately concealed certain archaic, despotic, oriental teachings, particularly those of the Kitab-i-Aqdas, in order to make its appeal to modern westerners living in democracies. Other teachings have been brought to the fore in order to remake the image of the Baha'i faith so as to appeal the moderns. 

Not just Shoghi Effendi's, but the entire corpus of Bahá'u'lláh's and 'Abdu'l-Baha's writings are driven by political pragmatism and opportunism, Ficicchia claims.

Ficicchia believes that the Báb, Bahá'u'lláh and 'Abdu'l-Bahá were cult leaders, the Báb was an indecisive waverer who lost control of his own "reform movement" at the hands of his fanatical followers, Bahá'u'lláh was a Machiavellian usurper who cheated the Báb's true successor, Mirza Yahyá, out of his rightful position. He wrote that Bahá'u'lláh committed multiple-murders to achieve his aims. 'Abdu'l-Bahá claimed divinity for himself and justified by the law of taqiya (dissimulation), deliberately suppressed the laws of the Kitab-i-Aqdas, knowing that their publication would hinder the ambitious missionary designs he had devised for the conversion of westerners.

Baha'is loyal to the UHJ allege that Ficicchia had some enmity with the UHJ!! One Baha'i writer claims:

Ficicchia's threat made to the Universal House of Justice that he would fight "with all possible means" suggests that he was willing to go beyond the norms of intellectual and moral honesty. His book provided ample evidence that he did in fact execute his threat.

Baha'i faith and the State of Israel


May 14. On this date in 1948, according to Ruth Moffett, "a most remarkable bloodless revolution occurred, when 4,000,000 Moslems fled and 1,000,000 Jews marched in and began tilling their ancestral soil, and a new nation was born. Today the blue and white flag with the star of Bethlehem flutters.."

And also...

May 14. On this date in 1948, the Arab village of al-Nuqayb, where ‘Abdu’l-Bahá had owned land and grown grain, was depopulated in the fighting which broke out after the U.N. General Assembly's adoption on November 29, 1947 of the Partition Plan for Palestine.

Al-Nuqayb (transliterated as Nughayb in the Bahá'í orthography) is mentioned in Lady Blomfield's The Chosen Highway, in the sectioned titled Bahá'í Villages.

The Master bought from time to time some land in various villages. Asfiya and Daliya, near Haifa--these two properties He bestowed upon Diya'u'llah and Badi'u'llah, the two younger half-brothers, at the request of Bahá'u'lláh.

Land was also acquired in the villages of SamrihNughayb, and 'Adasiyyih, situated near the Jordan.

In his book All That Remains: The Palestinian Villages Occupied and Depopulated by Israel in 1948, the historian Walid Khalidi details the history of many of these Palestinian villages and how they were depopulated. For example, he notes that in the 1880s most of the village land of al-Samra was purchased by the Bahá'u'lláh, with the villagers continuing to farm as tenant farmers. In the 1920s, this land was sold by Shoghi Effendi to the Jewish National Fund.

Bahá'í Villages in The Chosen Highway chronicles in some detail how 'Abdu'l-Bahá used the grain he had grown in these villages to supply the British Army during World War I.

We learned that when the British marched into Haifa there was some difficulty about the commissariat. The officer in command went to consult the Master.

"I have corn," was the reply.

"But for the army?" said the astonished soldier.

"I have corn for the British Army," said 'Abdu'l-Bahá.

He truly walked the Mystic way with practical feet. [footnote: Lady Blomfield often recounted how the corn pits proved a safe hiding-place for the corn, during the occupation of the Turkish army. -Ed.]

According to Harry Charles Luke, an official in the British Colonial Office who served as assistant Governor of Jerusalem,

Sir 'Abbas Effendi 'Abdu'l Baha had travelled extensively in Europe and America to expound his doctrines, and on the 4th December, 1919, was created by King George V a K.B.E. for valuable services rendered to the British Government in the early days of the Occupation.

On April 27, 1920, 'Abdu’l-Bahá was ceremonially knighted, an event which was prominently reported in the Bahá'í periodical Star of the West.

THE following beautiful description of this event was written by Dr. Zia M. Bagdadi who was at that time in Haifa: "Among the kings and governments of the world who have become convinced that Abdul Bahá was the well-wisher and the lover of mankind are King George and his government. The King sent a medal to Abdul Bahá with the title, "Sir", thus making him a member of his household. On the 27th of April, 1920, the Governor and high officials of Haifa, Palestine presented in a beautiful garden a most wonderful celebration for the knighting of Abdul Baha. Bahai pilgrims from Persia, America and all parts of the world were present. Mohammedan, Christian, Jewish leaders, clergymen, notables and local officials from Haifa, Acca and other towns attended. A tent was pitched in the center of the garden. English troops stood on both sides, from the gate of the garden to the center where Abdul Bahá was seated. The military music added wonderful melody to the rustling leaves of the beautiful trees. The breezes of the spring on that sunny afternoon imparted a remarkable vigor to the physical body just as the presence of Abdul Baha strengthened the souls. The Governor stood behind Abdul Bahá and, after a short speech, interpreted by Mr. Wadie Bistani, presented the medal. Then Abdul Baha, rising from his seat, gave a brief talk and a prayer for the British government.

On February 23, 1914, at the eve of World War I, 'Abdu'l-Bahá had hosted Baron Edmond James de Rothschild, a member of the Rothschild banking family who was a leading advocate and financier of the Zionist movement, during one of his early trips to Palestine.

On September 8, 1919, subsequent to the British occupation of Palestine, at a time when tens of thousands of Jewish settlers were arriving under the auspices of the Palestine Jewish Colonization Association, an article in the "Star of the West" quoted 'Abdu'l-Bahá praising the Zionist movement, proclaiming that "There is too much talk today of what the Zionists are going to do here. There is no need of it. Let them come and do more and say less" and that "A Jewish government might come later."

At the time of 'Abdu'l-Bahá 's death, Shoghi Effendi was matriculated at Balliol College. In a letter to Marzieh Gail, Shoghi Effendi outlined his educational ambitions at Balliol College, specifically to study with eminent professors and Orientalists, noting alumni who were all Imperialists.

After 'Abdu'l-Bahá 's death, Shoghi Effendi would continue to have close relations with the leading political administrators and prominent Zionist leaders. For example, on January 24, 1922, Shoghi Effendi received a letter from Herbert Samuel, the British High Commissioner for Palestine. The receipt of the letter is mentioned in Amatu'l-Bahá Rúhíyyih Khánum's The Priceless Pearl. As High Commissioner, Herbert Samuel was the first Jew to govern the historic land of Israel in 2,000 years, and his appointment was regarded by the Muslim-Christian Associations as the "first step in formation of Zionist national home in the midst of Arab people." Herbert Samuel welcomed the arrival of Jewish settlers under the auspices of the Palestine Jewish Colonization Association and recognised Hebrew as one of the three official languages of the Mandate territory.

While Shoghi Effendi was thus occupied and was gathering his powers and beginning to write letters such as these to the Bahá'ís in different countries, he received the following letter from the High Commissioner for Palestine, Sir Herbert Samuel, dated 24 January 1922:

Dear Mr. Rabbani,

I have to acknowledge receipt of your letter of Jan. 16., and to thank you for the kind expression it contains. It would be unfortunate if the ever to be lamented death of Sir 'Abdu'l-Bahá were to interfere with the completion of your Oxford career, and I hope that may not be the case. I am much interested to learn of the measures that have been taken to provide for the stable organization of the Bahá'í Movement. Should you be at any time in Jerusalem in would be a pleasure to me to see you here.

Yours sincerely,

Herbert Samuel

https://old.reddit.com/r/exbahai/comments/nbtbc4/may_14_on_this_date_in_1948_according_to_ruth/ 

Un-resigned Resignation



Dear friends out there with your empathetic hearts and attentive, watchful spirits,

this is an excerpt of the letter I just sent to our German NSA as a follow-up on a meeting they had invited me to on Saturday.

First there are two statements that on Saturday I had no more time or concentration to reply to, then a general feedback and further consideration. Finally I resigned from membership in the Faith.

The suggestion I might view the members of Baha'u'llah's family who were condemned as covenant breakers as victims, whereas in reality they must be seen as villains.

It might have appeared that way. If we were looking at strife between people who share a level playing field it would be unfair to leave those attacks and acts of opposition unmentioned. However it's not a level playing field. Baha'ullah was a prophet of God. That he chose to create the station of a covenant breaker and condemn his half brother as an antagonist of God - as Abd'ul Baha repeated later with his stepmothers and half brothers - shows that they were joining the self-same level of fight therefore proving to vibrate to the same human level of quest for dominance yet they employed a means that ought to be reserved for God and the next world only, condemnation of the soul. As long as a human being lives in a body it is impossible to antagonise God. They might have antagonised Baha'u'llah and later his successors but they could not have antagonised God. Humans have neither the nature nor the power to do that. We die. God can call us any minute and we will follow.

The statement that the Baha'i Faith is certainly not pursuing world domination in the sense of wanting to create a repressive and hostile regime.

I believe that all of you respected member s of the German NSA and probably the overwhelming majority - if not all - members of the Baha'i administration anywhere on the planet, personally want to create only peace and goodwill in accord with the spiritual laws of God. Therefore you, so I assume , became or stayed Baha'i.

However at the very same meeting you requested me to take down my internet petition, to stop expressing my views publicly on Talisman9 and on my Blog. You advised me of the proper procedure of consultation, where after carrying one's concerns through to the Universal House of Justice, one has to surrender one's own thinking eventually. The reason for you requests was concern about the "unity" of the Faith. A unity that is dependent on such stringent measures of curtailing free speech and free exchange of ideas is not worth protecting. It is like choosing the mud of an illusion of unified strength over the gold of genuine spiritual harmony blossomming in an atmosphere of openness and freedom.

This brings me to the next part of my letter, a feedback on and contemplation of the overall meeting:

My mind feels puzzled over how on earth is this possible: Nine distinguished people, all very articulate and definitely bright. All with softness in their eyes and loving, lovely smiling faces. But all seem held captive of an invisible iron fist, an automatic unreflected program, perhaps like a computer virus incapacitating their powers of logic, but only at a certain point. Otherwise their logic functions well and they use it well too. They use it to protect the axiomatic, dogmatic complex of Baha'u'llah's divinity in word and deed to the degree of factual interchangeability of God and Baha'u'llah and the resulting infallibility of the successive leadership. They cling to it and make it their virtue not to deviate from it and they really believe God wants them to be like that.

Fact is there is plenty of scripture to back this up: Baha'u'llah and Abd'ul Baha wrote in no uncertain terms about wanting to be uncontested leaders, expecting complete obedience, threatening truants with spiritual disaster.

When I drove away from the meeting it was already dark and I was heading out into the countryside. Partly distracted by driving down unfamiliar roads, my mind only half focussed on the Baha'i topic and slowly came up with an impression:

Resentment is not an appropriate response, nor is there reason for bitterness. I want to be careful not to project any negativity or assume anything other than completely honorable motivations albeit terrifically misguided ones, imo. You really act in the proverbial good faith.

Further down the track, I can imagine you to become a little more stern and perhaps even overbearing and domineering, doing what you think you need to, in order to protect me from myself or, failing that, protect the community from me.

The important factor is that you believe in what you do and, subjectively, you are as honest as you can be.

Just because I think of myself that my mind has been able to grasp a more profound truth about Baha'u'llah, the faith etc. doesn't give me the right to look down on you even though you acted as if you were looking down on me, at times.

IMO you are right and duly gridlocked in communal hypnosis - (can't say mass hypnosis for lack of masses). You appear brainwashed. Well cultist, and yet, - at least to my perception - there is around you the radiance of people in genuine harmony with God. - I am proving my own point here that Baha'u'llah was indeed chosen to reveal God's message. He carried the genuine article. His "flaws" cannot diminish this. His station as mouthpiece of God is not negotiable. There is a live wire and I can feel it, well, at least I had the impression of it.

However in his life Baha'u'llah acted so terribly incongruent with the revelation. He himself wasn't aware of this, I believe. Therefore he couldn't understand that people opposed him. Consequently he condemned them as enemies of God showing that on one side he identified God with himself completely and on the other side that he was mistaken for doing that.

Now we are faced with an interesting dilemma. What are the possible options here?

Did God permit such a situation or was God powerless? Did it happen with or against God's consent?

Is it possible that God - for the time an earthly manifestation exists - is almost held hostage and dependent on that personage? - No, I thought, I don't believe that. -

So it must have happened with God's consent. God must have let Baha'u'llah deliver this patchy on/off tapestry of pure revelation mingled and tarnished with shadow.

Initially I thought there are numerous bits of errors and veils floating about but now I see it all narrowed down to one issue with many tentacles: It's the vision of a worldly dominating religion, the theocratic state. Against the backdrop of this vision the obsession with unity developed as well as the over-importance given to the question of leadership and who is who. This attitude and context shared by all parties, presumably, hardened the fronts and produced the well known assaults, retributions and judgments.

Baha'u'llah, - and probably the Bab before him - were political to start with. They wanted a state that controlled people and forced them to obey. They didn't want to share power with and within a mature population. In this they failed to foresee the evils of centralisation and totalitarian structures. In fact they inadvertently provided a platform for that infamous collectively created entity, the abstraction of our human desire to play power, so it could hijack God's revelation and turn it into a threat to the cause of God. -

It needs to be said. I believe that the "shadow" trailing the light in Baha'u'llah as a person is in biblical theological terms the "Antichrist". Personally I don't like the word, because it is sensationalist and whips up emotions where clear thinking is a much better bet.

Clear thinking tells me that it is likely that the greatest depth of darkness is found right next to the greatest light. Clear thinking also tells me that the "Antichrist" is a misnomer as it suggests an equal opposition, a dark mirror image of Christ - "Christ" not as a person but as a principle and therefore pure Divinity. The "Antichrist" is, imo, a collective creation of all of us humans and vastly inferior to God, at best a pitiful attempt to thwart His power and confuse His purpose. It's the metaphor for the illusion posing as reality, the entanglement of thoughts bereft of connection with God. It's demonic, if we want to use another loaded word, and in that sense seems to have a certain independence. Perhaps I can venture a guess here. Perhaps demons relate to us in a similar way as we relate to God. They are our creations as we are His. However we have - conveniently - forgotten that we created them or - conveniently - failed to become aware of it.

In this sense Baha'u'llah's shadow is not the "Antichrist". He only channeled it, gave it a platform, the most powerful platform available and therefore, clear thinking tells me, is it plausible that this hungry demon gravitated to Baha'u'llah's earth-timely frame. But really, we are the "Antichrist". We, every one of us, are personally responsible for either co-creating this thought form by engaging in desire for everything and anything, e.g.control, domination, forceful victory, sensory experiences, purposes divorced from means etc.- or we are responsible for not having harnessed our power to burst it's bubble.

This insight I owe, with much gratitude, to Jiddu Krishnamurti. He then would say things like: "Now let us investigate the question whether we can at all go about this terrible violence in our thoughts in a non-violent way. [Can we become aware of ourselves as the enemies of God without resorting to violence against ourselves? - my paraphrasing] Can we resist the temptation to split our consciousness and externalise the problem?

Back to the more tangible dimensions: The cause of God hijacked by the combined resistance of humanity expressed and channeled by Baha'u'llah himself in stark contrast to the sweetness of the divine words? There is a deep sensibility in this. As if God had drawn our resistance as close to himself as possible thereby creating a very clearly visible and discernible picture. As if He would plead with us: Don't you get it?

How does this affect the situation as we have it today in the world? I think, we live in greatest danger, peace and tranquility of all humankind are threatened not by the Baha'i Faith directly, but through an unholy, almost incidental collusion of the Faith with the war agenda of the present US administration.

When I look at this situation in light of the spiritual shadow as described above, it becomes transparent and makes sense. It's high time that we wake up and shake off the hypnotic shackles of Orwellian proportions that tell us "war is peace", "lie is truth", "hate is love", "bondage is freedom", "subjugation is equality", "bias is justice", "totalitarianism is democracy", "torture is healing", "separation is unity", "attack is protection", "danger is safety", "idolatry is worshiping God".

If this situation emerged from Baha'u'llah's presence, God must have had a purpose with it. It cannot be a mistake.

Perhaps it is another level of enactment of God's taking upon Himself our transgressions. It leads an external God, whom we sheepishly follow ad absurdum and forces us to internalise God. We are able to do that. We have the capacity and the knowledge. We know how to teach this. The Buddhists are the experts here. And it will do us good to acknowledge them for it. It will do wonders for our humility to go and learn from them.

If Baha'u'llah indeed manifested both aspects of absolute light and relative shadow, it also protects us from identifying any other human being as an "Antichrist", therefore protecting us from devouring someone - even if it was only one single person - with rage and hate.

Well. I think it's what we in German call "Reifepruefung" - literally translated: "test of maturity". It is the equivalent of the University Entrance Exam. We've finished school and want to prove that we are ready for higher learning at University.

Will we still cling like children to external rule or will we trust the internal voice and at the same time possess enough humility, respect and co-operative skill to work things out together. No-one is always right, no-one is always wrong. Will we develop enough communication skills to negotiate successfully without a dogmatic code that we have to abide by?

Can we shed the armour and develop a spine?

Finally I want to ask for my membership in the faith to be canceled.

I do this not because I disbelieve in Baha'u'llah as a manifestation of God, but because I view the entire structure of the Baha'i Faith, the way it presently works as a religious organisation, as not belonging to the component of divine truth and pure light within Baha'u'llah's legacy.

I will continue to express my views honestly and I also have a certain urgency to inform my friends and family but also any other Baha'i or person interested in the Faith of my considerations. So, naturally I will seek ways to do that most effectively.

Therefore it would be consistent with past policies if the House of Justice would declare me in violation of the covenant. In this case I would contest that it is the not covenant of God that I violate.

If my considerations are valid, it is important for them to be expressed and thought about. If they are not valid, I trust in the collective intelligence to reject them and render them unimportant. In this case I also trust in God's mercy when He deals with my mistakes.

yours with kind regards

Inge Barthel, Germany

Former-Baha'i writes about the persecution of Baha'i ladies.

Baha'u'llah with his wives and children


House of Abbud

On pilgrimage in April 2006:

… Our guide recounted how Abdu’l Baha, upon Baha’u’llah’s mention of not having seen a green blade of grass for such a long time procured the mansion of Mazraeh and Baha’u’llah moved there together with his second and third wife and their children.

Navvab and her children stayed in Akka until her death. Thereafter Baha’u’llah gave her the title of his eternal companion in all the worlds of God, whereas the other two women and their children ended as covenant breakers at a later date.

I think this constitutes grave injustice.

Prior to pilgrimage I had known about the second wife and I had heard a hint about the third one. I knew of the official excuse that the second wife was the widow of a martyr and Baha’u’llah was obliged, due to family ties, to protect her according to Islamic Law.

I learned that apparently the situation with the third wife was similar. She was needed to help in the household in Baghdad and it was deemed socially impossible to have her in the house as a helper without marrying her. She had a child with Baha’u’llah, stayed behind in Baghdad at first and only later came to the Holy Land.

Many years later Shoghi Effendi (Baha’u’llah’s great-grandson) tenaciously contradicted rumors of her having been a mistress and confirmed his grandfather had had three equal and legal wives. Nevertheless, virtually nothing is known of her. I also had heard about the children from those unions and their later break with the community.

In Akka however I was struck with the reality of the facts.

The Bab had already proclaimed the equality between women and men. Baha’u’llah was a Babi. It would have to be expected that he would follow Babi Law. The conference of Badasht (when Babi law was set in force) preceded the second marriage. This is to say that the will of God with regards to the equality between men and women was known by then.

Conference of Badasht: One Islamic law was abrogated during each day of the conference
After the Báb's arrest in 1848, Bahá'u'lláh made arrangements for Táhirih to leave Tehran and attend a conference of Bábí leaders in Badasht. She is perhaps best remembered for appearing in public without her veil in the course of this conference signaling that the Islamic Sharia law was abrogated and superseded by Bábí law. It was at the Badasht conference that she was given the title Táhirih which means "the Pure One".

Furthermore it seems evident that especially polygamy is profoundly incongruent with equality between the sexes. A man can protect a woman, even in the eyes of the world integrate her as a wife into his household without consummating the marriage and making her pregnant.

Perhaps she would have had a chance to find another man at a later date and most importantly, she would not have been likely to be declared a covenant breaker.

Here the question must be raised what the woman should have been protected from. – Yes, perhaps her life would have been harder, poverty, prostitution, bondage – but what is worse than being declared an enemy of God? – Perhaps she would have preferred even the most miserable fate to this condemnation. I at least would have felt like that.

How can a living human being be an antagonist to God? This is impossible. I can't see it that a living human being with body, beating heart, hunger, thirst and need for comfort can ever fit this description, not even if she or he would exhibit the most sinful, reckless, irresponsible, malevolent etc. attributes. A human being doesn't have the stature nor the nature to do that. The simplest proof is that a human being will die, cannot and will not continue to live against the will of God. A human being is a talisman for creation and in his or her entirety a reflection of God. To judge a single human to be an antithesis to God equals calling creation evil.

What was the situation that Baha’u’llah put the second and third wife into by the consummation of their marriage? – They had to experience him from an angle different from everyone else. For everyone else he was revered prophet who taught about righteousness and how to live a good life, but for them he was the perpetrator against the very law he proclaimed.

I feel that with these consummated marriages Baha’u’llah broke the trust with all of us women. But I feel betrayed not only as a woman but as a human being, not only because he consummated those marriages but because his action led to such strife that the women and the children were later ostracized as covenant breakers.

By definition he was to be regarded as a manifestation of God, infallible in all his words and actions. I felt as if he had destroyed my trust and my love for God.

We must assume, since Tahirih had been an avid teacher, all women associated with the new teachings would have been aware of the new law of equality between women and men. They must have felt the impact, especially the ones in direct contact with the Babi movement. Their spirits would have been raised the first time for centuries. What relief for the souls trapped in women’s bodies after the long centuries of injustice and suppression.

And then Baha’u’llah humiliated them again, again pushed them back into the old dark abyss. He didn't take equality seriously. He didn't enact it, wasn't a shining example. Was there outrage? Probably not. Not for a long time. Most likely it was just a silent collapse, a shadow cast over the radiance of the face, a dimming of the brightness in the eyes. But who would have noticed? – Perhaps not even the women themselves. It was safer not to notice, what good would it have been to become aware. The centuries-old conditioning would have set in and any potential outrage was suppressed.

The result, as with all suppression, is emotional imbalance, aggression and discontent as we know it from the second and the third wife.

Or else, suppression can lead to saintly renunciation, self-denial and asceticism as is known from Navvab and the Greatest Holy Leaf .

The denial of the women’s truth is still happening today. I also succumbed to it in the beginning of my Baha’i life. Most Baha’i I know, don’t look behind the story. – Those women and children are effectively excluded from our awareness, they don’t belong to us, we think we are different, we think they are “the others” and we have no compassion for them.

The women's hurt feelings must have transferred to the children. The children originated in unlawful unions, they were not responsible for the situation they were born into. They were innocent of the family atmosphere of injustice, jealousy and hostility. But as a consequence they were burdened with the terrible weight of breaking the Covenant of God. It’s the heaviest load I can imagine for a human soul. It’s incomprehensible. A religion, proclaiming to bring unity to mankind, creates within its own central family scores of covenant breakers. And the cause for such conflict is Baha’u’llah’s own disregard for the new law and Abdu’l Baha’s subsequent judgment, which heavily condemned the victims of the injustice for their opposition and lack of co-operation.

It is like adding injury to insult. Imagine you are being attacked and hurt and when you scream in protest you are judged and sentenced for rebellion. Instead of receiving an apology you receive exclusion from the community and a label that says you are the antithesis of God.

This is madness.

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/

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