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.

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