"I agree entirely as regards the uselessness of Ruhi." Sen McGlinn

I agree entirely as regards the uselessness of Ruhi. It has been a colossal disaster for the Bahai community.

As regards the year 2000 "prophecy," it was a misunderstanding, widely shared in western Bahai communities (ie those that use the Gregorian calendar), and by the House of Justice, which reflects the understanding and misunderstanding of the community that elects it. Abdu'l-Baha was not a Gregorian, he used the Persian calendar, the Hijri calendar and the Syrian calendar. And in any case, for him "this century" meant the dispensation of Baha'u'llah, not a period of 100 years. He wrote, for example:

The Spiritual Assemblies to be established in this Age of God, this holy century, have… had neither peer nor likeness in the cycles gone before.

(Selections from the Writings of ‘Abdu’l-Baha, page 82)

The teachings of Baha’u’llah are the light of this age and the spirit of this century.

(Selections from the Writings of ‘Abdu’l-Baha, page 107)

In every century a particular and central theme is, … confirmed by God. In this illumined age that which is confirmed is the oneness of the world of humanity.

(Selections from the Writings of ‘Abdu’l-Baha, page 114)

Gradually whatsoever is latent in the innermost of this Holy Cycle shall appear and be made manifest, … Ere the close of this Century and of this Age, it shall be made clear and manifest how wondrous was that Springtide …

(quoted in Shoghi Effendi, Baha’i Administration, p. 16)

… in any of the past cycles and dispensations, no assemblies for women have ever been established … This is one of the characteristics of this glorious Dispensation and this great century.

(Compilation on Women,)

I’ve selected these examples because century is used in parallel with other terms, so those who know no Persian can see what is meant. The words used for "century" in each case do not mean "100 years", and in any case would not mean a Gregorian century. So the "prophecy" was a mistake, and had serious effects. Believing that the Lesser peace, or the unity of nations, was due in the Gregorian 20th century, the House of Justice made plans accordingly. Ruhi arose from the UHJ's lack of faith in the ability of the local and national assemblies to mature in time for the y2k deadline, and the big building projects on Mt Carmel were rushed to meet the same deadline. The UHJ supposed that the Bahai community was about to become a big player in world affairs and needed to be in touch with "prominent people," and needed and expected mass enrollments. That timeline was all wrong, but we are still stuck with the domination of the Ruhi institutes and sinking into obscurity, except in Iran.

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