Plurality of wives: Islam vs Baha'i Faith

I used to think that Baha'u'llah's ideas were revolutionary in the context of religious dispensations. But over the years, some ideas I thought were novel were almost word for word found in Persian poetry from famous "Sufi" poets.

I also used to think that it was novel that Baha'u'llah says in the Kitab-i Aqdas that no more than 2 wives are permitted in conjunction with Abdul-Baha's interpretation that only 2 wives are permissible provided justice and equity are observed, but since that is impossible, you can only have one wife.

Any of you who have kids will also understand that it's impossible to be equitable to your children, especially if you have more than one. The 2nd and 3rd children are invariably always treated differently, and this is just natural part of being human. So why should people be allowed to have more than one child if you can't treat them the same?

I recently watched this YouTube video about some Bedouins in Israel and one of the leaders was asked specifically about Polygamy, and his response was surprising and demonstrated that this Baha'i idea is not novel at all.

In the video the Bedouin leader basically says that plurality of wives has to meet certain conditions, and you can't just take a new wife because you see a beautiful lady on the street. He says you have to be able to treat them equitably, especially by material means.

While I can see there could be some rebuttals of this, on the difference between equality and equity, material equity and feelings of love and affection for one wife or the other, etc. But the problem is that growing up in a Baha'i family you grow up being told that Muslims can take multiple wives willy nilly. But it's not true and there is more nuance to it. There is definitely some baggage Baha'i's have against Islam in this regard.

Not to mention that Baha'u'llah doesn't even appear to be adamantly against more wives than two, it sounds like it's just a warning, not a divine decree in the same way that he abrogated Jihad.

Open Letter to the Baha'is regarding the truth about their religion

Dear Friends,

I used to be a Baha'i for several years, and I want to say I admire the Baha'is for being unselfish people who are concerned with solutions to world problems: hunger, racism, inequality, prejudice, extremes of poverty and wealth. I admire you for that. However, I must comment on what I believes are errors in the Faith: errors of doctrine and history, and practice.

Jesus never raised from the dead

The Gospels clearly present a narrative of Jesus being arrested, scourged, crucified, placed in a tomb, the tomb founded to be empty, Jesus appearing after death to Mary, to Thomas, to all the living Apostles, to two disciples on the road to Emmaus, and elsewhere, then teaching the disciples for forty days, then going up on Mount Olivet, and ascending into a cloud: with two men in white telling the disciples: "This same Jesus will come again in the same way you have seen him go up into heaven." I realize the Baha'is interpret the Gospels to be literal/historical UP UNTIL the point he was crucified and placed into a tomb, then it is a "metaphorical parable" after that. But the Greek simply does not allow for that. The Gospels present Jesus' life, crucifixion, placing in the tomb, then appearing to the disciples as one unbroken historical narrative from beginning to end. The tomb was empty. As the Apostle Paul wrote: "If Christ be no raised then our faith is in vain."

Baha'u'llah the return of Jesus but reincarnation not true

As a Baha'i I tried over and over again to grasp the concept that Baha'u'llah was the "return of Christ" yet reincarnation was false. I was told that Baha'u'llah was "the return of Christ in a mystical sense we are not permitted to fully understand". Well, we could say the same thing about Sun Myung Moon: that he was the "return of Christ" metaphorically. And that was also the claim of Ghulam Ahmad founder of the Ahmadiyyah Movement in Islam: that which reincarnation was not true he (Mirza) was somehow the "return" of Christ. Absurd. The Book of Acts says "This SAME JESUS will come again as you have seen him go up into heaven" (Acts 1:9). What Ghulam Ahmad taught about the Jesus being raised from the dead (i.e. he went into a coma on the Cross and was revived in the tomb by two Essenes) makes 1000% more sense than the Baha'i version that Jesus died, was buried, and never arose but that only His disciples "arose in confidence" after three days of doubt. Absurd.

Jesus came to improve the status of minorities and women

That is what Baha'is have told me, but that is simply not the case. Jesus wrote no Book of Laws. He did not change the laws of the Torah. He made no change in Jewish custom. The Gospels and Epistles of Paul are very clear that Jesus came to offer a final sacrifice for sin: to atone for our sins. Period. End of story. He did __nothing__ to improve the status of minorities and women. Not a thing. He wrote no Book of Laws. His disciples wrote no book of laws. Jesus never said: "Let women be equal to men". Never. Not one word. Jesus came to offer His blood on the Cross as atonement for sin. Nothing else.

The Bab was clearly insane

Why has only "Selections" from the Writings of The Bab been published? The answer seems very clear to me. The Bab's Arabic writings are childish and grammatically a mess. His knowledge of Arabic was that of a six year old child. His tongue was Farsi, not Arabic. If God was directing his pen one would think God would have descent grammar, but The Bab made so many basic mistakes in his Arabic it is embarrassing. Also, the Bab's laws include absurd things like burying people in crystal wrapped in five sheets of silk, and for Babi women to smear their breasts daily with Henna and write the names of God on their breats (there are 99 such names). Coffins of crystal, five sheets of silk, and writing God's 99 names in Henna (an expensive substance) would be impossible for all but the wealthiest Babis who, like The Bab, had black slaves wash his clothes, cook his meals, maintain his house. The Bab clearly lied and denied he was the Riser or the Gate to the Riser, to avoid sentences of death, while at the same time continuing to write letters to his disciples that he was either the Riser or the Gate to the Riser, and The Bab seems to have accepted Quddus as the Riser and himself only as the Gate to the Riser. The man was clearly off his rocker.

The Martyrdom of The Bab and the 10,000 witnesses

As a new Baha'i I was told that at the martyrdom of The Bab there were "10,000 witnesses to the miracle of his death" (i.e. the regiment fired and the ropes were shot off and the Bab was found back in his cell finishing his last epistle, the regiment fired again and the Bab was killed). Only problem is, I've seen photographs of exactly what the Bab was killed and there is NO WAY you can get 10,000 people in that area between two army barracks which at most could hold a few hundred. There is no stadium there (as is depicted in some Baha'i artwork--pure fantasy). Also, there is no eye-witness account of The Bab's "miracle" at his death. Simply does not exist. All we have is second-hand, third hand, fourth hand, "rumors" passed along. There is not even one account from a person who was there. Not one.

All Manifestations of God write a book of laws

Really? Where is the book Jesus wrote? Let me know because I'd love to read it. Jesus did not write the Gospels nor the Book of Acts nor the Epistles of Paul, Peter, James, Jude, and John. Jesus did not write any book of laws or anything else.

Science and religion must agree

Nice saying, but the Baha'is don't believe that. 'Abdu'l-Baha clearly teaches in "Some Answered Questions" that Adam had no father or mother, but science says that is impossible. Yet, as Baha'is, we had to side with 'Abdu'l-Baha as trumping science whenever the two conflicted. 'Abdu'l-Baha also taught that humans have always been a distinct species: yet science says "no". Again, we are supposed to ignore science when it conflicts with 'Abdu'l-Baha. Baha'u'llah said that copper turns to gold after seventy years if left in its' natural element. No, it does not. Baha'u'llah also write that all planets have creatures, which Baha'is now interpret to include "rocks" (aren't rocks created things thus creatures?). The absurdity continues. While "Science and religion must agree" SOUNDS good and enlightened, the fact remains that Baha'u'llah and 'Abdu'l-Baha wrote thing and said things that science clearly contradicts, and we, as Baha'is, were supposed to always side with the Central Figures on those issues and against science.

The homosexuality of Shoghi Effendi

Shoghi Effendi was clearly a gay man. There are too many witnesses who say this, including a few who said they caught Shoghi in the act of giving oral sex to another man. Badi'u'llah (bother of 'Abdu'l-Baha) called Shoghi a "degenerate". Baha'is will say that all of the witnesses are liars, and point to the fact that Shoghi wrote anti-gay things. Well, Sathya Sai Baba of India was also quite gay and had sex with some of his disciples but also said anti-gay things. There is no clear evidence that Shoghi had gay sex after he got married to Mary Maxwell, but they had separate rooms all during their marriage. There is a lot of evidence that says Shoghi had gay sex as a young man in his pre-Guardian days. But the House (UHJ) wants to "hide" that fact because they don't want a Baha'i leader seen as gay or a hypocrite. The House is hiding a TON of early Babi and Baha'i history.

Many Baha'is want the Faith to be 100% pro-gay, but the Bible and Quran are very clear that homosexuality is a major sin, and "Malakoi" (gay men) will not inherit the Kingdom of Heaven.

The Murder of over 30 Azalies in Baghdad and Seven Azalis in Akka

Subh-e-Azal was Yahya, the younger brother of Baha'u'llah. Yahya was clearly chosen by the Bab to be his successor. The Bab gave him the title of "Dawn of Eternal Past" (Subh-e-Azal). Baha'u'llah, Yahya, and several hundred Babis were exiled to Baghdad. White there two main factions were created: those who followed Baha'u'llah (Baha'is) and those who followed Subh-e-Azal (Azalis). One of the Azalis was the sister of Baha'u'llah and Yahya, who later wrote a book titled "Awakening the Sleepers" in which she says that Baha'u'llah ordered the murders of over 30 Azalis in Baghdad, with their throats being cut and thrown into the Tigris river. She wrote that the Tigris river "became red" with the blood of murdered Azalies: all murdered on orders of her brother Baha'u'llah.

The Turks decided to separate the Baha'is from the Azalis (to prevent more murders) so they banished the Azalis to Cyprus and the Baha'is to Akka. For some reason, they sent a dozen Baha'is to Cyprus and a dozen to Akka. Why they did that I don't know. In any case, the long-time cook of Baha'u'llah took a bunch or kitchen knives and he and a group of other Baha'is in Akka went to the homes of seven Azalis in Akka, murdered them, and cut up the bodies, and tossed the body parts into a well or into the sea. This was discovered, and the cook and the other murderers were arrested. They spend about six months in the dungeon at Akka, but were then released! The cook returned to being the cook for Baha'u'llah and his family. Baha'u'llah did not excommunicate any of these men. He told the Turkish authorities: "They acted without my command". Sure they did.

The Murder and Dismemberment of Nabil.

Muhammad Zirandi was a Babi and later a Baha'i who wrote "The Dawnbreakers" about the Babi movement. In The Dawnbreakers Nabil clearly writes that Quddus claimed to be the Riser (Mihdih) at the Shrine of Sheikh Tabarsi, in 1849. Clearly. Later, Nabil was exiled with the Babis to Baghdad. In Baghdad Nabil chose to follow the Baha'i faction of the Babis, and he was later sent to Erdine and finally to Akka. After the death of Baha'u'llah, Nabil sided with the Unitarians (younger brothers of 'Abdu'l-Baha) who claimed that 'Abdu'l-Baha was corrupting the Faith and changing holy laws and claiming to be a Manifestation of God. Nabil then claimed that the followers of 'Abdu'l-Baha were threatening his life in Akka, and he pleaded for help. So, Badi'u'llah (one of the brothers of 'Abdu'l-Baha) promised to give him a small shack on Mount Carmel to live in, and told Nabil to go back to Akka to get his personal belongings. Nabil did, and the next thing that Badi'u'llah heard was that the chopped up remains of Nabil had been found on the rocks next to Akka. Someone had murdered him and chopped up his body (the cook of Baha'u'llah was still alive at this time). A former prominent Baha'i claimed that 'Abdu'l-Baha had ordered the murder of Nabil, but Badi'u'llah said it was probably suicide after the followers of 'Abdu'l-Baha had beaten and tortured Nabil for days after trying to leave Akka and joining the Unitarians.

The violence of 'Abdu'l-Baha

There are many books written by early Baha'is that are still unpublished: especially those who knew 'Abdu'l-Baha well. Most of them are very faithful books of people telling how much they loved him. However, they also note that 'Abdu'l-Baha had a temper and would often slap people, and in one case he threw a man down a set of stairs for not bringing him money owed, and that 'Abdu'l-Baha had slapped off the turben of Mirza Jan (secretary of Baha'u'llah and writer of his tablets) after Mirza Jan sided with the Unitarians.

The racism of 'Abdu'l-Baha

Baha'is think that 'Abdu'l-Baha was the most anti-racist person they know: did not have a racist bone in his body. But 'Abdu'l-Baha wrote and said things that could be considered "racist" today like calling black Africans "lower than the animals" and "cows with human faces" and "incapable of civilization" etc. Lots of statements. Baha'is call me a "liar" when I point this out, or that I've misquoted him, or quoted him out of context, but I have not. Baha'i apologists point out that indeed 'Abdu'l-Baha said that things, but he said equally awful things about Arabs and Turks ('Abdu'l-Baha was Persian not an Arab or Turk). 'Abdu'l-Baha clearly wrote that the Person race was most superior by birth. His comments about "black Africans" are truly appalling. According to the Unitarians, 'Abdu'l-Baha was all "light and goodness" to the rich liberal Americans and Brits who donated money to him, but that was a facade and not the real man they knew and grew up with all of their lives. 'Abdu'l-Baha used to call his brother Mohammad Ali "The Most Great Fire Wood" and used to make jokes about the children of Unitarians saying they would suck the penis' of goats mistaking their semen for milk. He did often slap people who said anything he disagreed with. If it wasn't for George Ibrahim Kheiralla, the Baha'i Faith would be a small Sufi order today among some Persians. Yet, Kheiralla lived among the Baha'is of Haifa for six months and concluded that 'Abd'ul-Baha was a dishonest opportunist: the very claim of the Unitarians (Mohammad Ali Effendi, Badi'u'llah and the Baha'is who followed them).

'Abdu'l-Baha wrote that "a Baha'i nigger is better than a non-Baha'i nymph". 'Abdu'l-Baha did use the Farsi word "kakasiah" which is the same as "nigger" in English.

Shoghi Effendi as tyrant

Shoghi Effendi excommunicated almost all Persian Baha'is in Palestine except for himself, a few close followers, and his own mother. All the others he excommunicated. Why? He never said. However, they have spoken. Those who were excommunicated claim that Shoghi Effendi was a tyrant: that not only did Shoghi want to control the Faith as Guardian, but that he wanted to control every aspect of their lives: what their children studied in school, what jobs they would take, whom they could or could not marry. In Haifa, Shoghi Effendi acted more like a Godfather than Guardian. When two Baha'is decided to go on a trip to America, Shoghi excommunicated them for not asking his permission first. When one of his secretaries (a male) married an American woman, Shoghi excommunicated him for not getting his consent first. And the children of these people were also excommunicated. Even though Baha'u'llah commanded Baha'is "do not shun" in the Most Holy Book, Shoghi Effendi made shunning a religious duty.

'Abdu'l-Baha once wrote that American blacks should be grateful for all that whites have done for them.

'Abdu'l-Baha's praise for Cristopher Columbus and August Forel

Cristopher Columbus enslaved native Americans he found on the island of Hispanola. Yet, 'Abdu'l-Baha praised the man. August Forel was a racist and Monist: a movement which believed black Africans were higher apes and not even humans. 22 years after becoming a Baha'i Forel still called himself a "Monist". 'Abdu'l-Baha wrote "The Tablet to August Forel" and praised the man. Baha'i apologists say that there is no evidence that 'Abdu'l-Baha knew that Forel was a racist. I guess Forel duped him eh?

The Place of Pilgrimage is in Baghdad not Bahji

Baha'u'llah clearly outlined in the Aqdas and elsewhere that the Place of Pilgrimage for Baha'is would be his house in Baghdad. He made no reference to Bahji as any place of pilgrimage. Shoghi Effendi tried to buy the house of Baha'u'llah after becoming Guardian, but the owner would not sell. So, Shoghi quickly changed the Most Holy Place to the burial place of Baha'u'llah in Bahji. He did this because he simply could not purchase the real Place of Pilgrimage designed by Baha'u'llah in his Tablets.

The Center for the Study of the Holy Texts

I still remember as a Baha'i waiting for the completion of the Center for the Study of the Holy Texts on the Ark in Carmel in Haifa. I was told that Baha'i scholars from around the world would gather there, translate all the holy texts and early historians, and write commentaries on them. Well, what happened? Most of the tablets of the Bab, Baha'u'llah, 'Abdu'l-Baha, Quddus, and just about all (99%) of the early Babi and Baha'i histories are still not translated, and anyone who translate even a portion has their membership removed by the House. What are they hiding? Why won't they translate the texts and early Babi and Baha'i histories? We are told "We have enough already". That is not the truth. the TRUTH is that the Tablets and early histories contains information that would convince 90% of the Baha'is today to leave the Faith. That is the ONLY reason those Tablets and histories will never be translated and published, unless by rouge Baha'i linguists who get copies of them that are leaked or from old Baha'is in Iran.

The House is deliberately covering-up Babi and Baha'i history and holy texts it deems "not fit to publish". Deliberately.

The entire world will become Baha'i

The Baha'is are confident that somehow the entire world will become Baha'i. Muslims are sure the world will become Muslim. Mormons are sure the world will become Mormon. Followers of Sun Myoung Moon was sure that the entire world would one day all become Unification Church, and all would be "one" thus there would be lasting world peace. I long as people have the freedom to choose their own religion, the entire world will never be any one religion: and especially not the Baha'i religion, a religion which teaches that Jesus was never raised, never performed literal miracles, and only came to improve the status or minorities and women.

I hope that the Baha'is finally open their eyes, and see that truth about their religion: that it is man-made and not a revelation from God.

An occultist's thoughts on the current state of the Bahá'í faith

To begin, I have to say that I have never been a member of the Bahá'í faith myself, however, lately I have been on a deep dive into the history, teachings and writings of the Bahá'í faith, and I have found it to be an incredibly interesting spiritual system, with so much to offer, as well as a fresh perennial perspective on the established Abrahamic faiths that are spread throughout most of the world today.

I started my research by reading some of the Bahá'í writings, supplemented by some reading from the Persian Bayan. I found Baháʼu'lláh’s works to be full of insight, with a really elaborate and complex emanationist theology, similar to Kabbalah or Neoplatonism, accompanied by a really good regiment of mystical practice, prayer and meditation. His writings, especially the earlier ones, are also written in an eloquent and easily understandable, yet lofty and poetic style.

Since the Bahá'í faith had roots in the Bab’s esoteric interpretations of Islam, all this does make sense. The Bahá'í faith started as a fringe esoteric movement, and this is well reflected in the writings of Baháʼu'lláh. He commonly spends time explaining his position as the Manifestation of God, on the meaning of it and his role in the broader Twelver Shi’ite eschatology.

After learning about this historical information, and after reading some of the writings, I decided to learn more about the faith today. As an occultist and a person interested in broader religious studies, the prospect of a fringe, Sufi influenced movement becoming a worldwide religion was very interesting to me. And after learning more about the Bahá'í faith today, I was left relatively disappointed.

A lot of the deeper mystical food-for-thought aspects of the Bahá'í faith present in the earlier writings seems to have been completely forsaken, in favor of generic statements that seem like little more than a public relations campaign. Instead of theology, most of the modern writings about the Faith primarily focus on proclaiming and parroting vague paroles about “the unity of religion”, “the unity of mankind”, “unity of science and religion”, and similar statements. Usually, nobody goes in depth on any of these points, nobody talks about the meaning of these statements or in any meaningful way explain it beyond “we are the universal religion!”.

From what I gathered, the whole idea about the unity of religion was a relatively minor point in the original Bahá'í writings, especially compared to other laws and topics. In the earlier writings, it is obvious that the Bahá'í faith was supposed to be the continuation of Shia Islam, rather than the more vague notion of it being the “universal religion”. As far as I noticed, these ideas were elaborated on and introduced as important after Baháʼu'lláh’s death by ʻAbdu'l-Bahá, in an effort to make the faith more palatable to a Western audience, who couldn’t care less about Shi’a eschatology.

The issue with this is that all the claims of the faith are based on the idea that Baháʼu'lláh is the Islamic Mahdi. It is the foundation for Bahá'í theology and it all makes very little sense without it. ʻAbdu'l-Bahá also introduced the idea that various Eastern deities and religious figures, such as Confucious, Krishna and the Buddha are Manifestations of God. This is again at odds with the inherently Abrahamic nature of the faith, and it was, from my understanding, the beginning of the downfall of the Bahá'í faith. From that point on, it became more focused on gaining converts in the West as quickly as possible rather than elaborating on Baháʼu'lláh’s teachings, or even more importantly, translating his many writings, most of which are still inaccessible to this day.

Most Baháʼi converts today don’t know a lot about the theology or cosmology of their adopted faith, and they instead reduce the Bahá'í teachings to the level of a COEXIST bumper sticker. The UHJ seems to be actively sabotaging any further translations of the Bahá'í writings, and instead they focus on making books that are parroting the same paroles about some vague notion of unity of all mankind or world peace. The Bahá'í faith is also infiltrated with a lot of New Age ideas, such as Reiki or crystal healing, which seems to serve as a quick substitute for a lack of theological knowledge.

I would say that the Bahá'í faith had the potential to spread a reformed and purified form of Sufi mysticism throughout the world, and I would argue that Baháʼu'lláh’s original teachings were even more tolerant and peaceful than what the UHJ preaches today (for example, endorsing Shoghi Effendi’s homophobia). Like Mormonism, it lost its roots due to the focus shifting from staying true to the original goal to proselytizing and PR.

But, these are just some opinions and impressions I gained from my personal research over the last few weeks.

TL;DR- I enjoy Baháʼu'lláh’s original writings and ideas, but I feel like the Baháʼi faith today is not doing its job well in spreading or preserving them.

Many of the properties owned by the Baha’i World Centre in Haifa and Akka were acquired from the Israeli government

Jewish militants in Haifa

Battle of Haifa (1948)

The Battle of Haifa, called by the Jewish forces Operation Bi'ur Hametz (Hebrewמבצע ביעור חמץ "Passover Cleaning"), was a Haganah operation carried out on 21–22 April 1948 and a major event in the final stages of the civil war in Palestine, leading up to the 1948 Arab-Israeli War. The objective of the operation was the capture of the Arab neighborhoods of Haifa. The operation formed part of the 1948 Palestinian expulsion and flight, with approximately 15,000 Arab residents being displaced between April 21-22,[2] and with only 4,000 remaining in the city by mid-May from a pre-conflict population of approximately 65,000.

Many of the properties owned by the Baha’i World Centre in Haifa and Akka were acquired from the Israeli government, “made possible by the precipitate flight of the former Arab owners.”

On November 12, 1952, a cablegram sent by Shoghi Effendi announced the "acquisition of vitally-needed property" of the Mansion of Bahji and the area around it from "the Development Authority of the State of Israel...The exchange of said property, including land and houses, was made possible by the precipitate flight of the former Arab owners."

Acquisition of Vitally-Needed Property

Announce to Bahá'í communities, East and West, on the joyous occasion of the hundred and thirty-fifth Anniversary of Bahá'u'lláh's Birthday, the successful termination of the protracted negotiations, initiated two years ago and culminating in the signature to the contract providing the eventual, formal transfer by the Development Authority of the State of Israel to the Palestine Branch of the American National Spiritual Assembly of the extensive, long-desired, vitally-needed property surrounding and safeguarding for posterity the Most Holy Tomb of the Founder of the Faith, as well as the adjoining Mansion.

The acquired area, raising Bahá'í holdings on the holy plain of &Akka from four thousand to one hundred and fifty-five thousand square meters, was exchanged against property donated by children of Zikrullah, grandchildren of Mírzá Muhammad Quli, Bahá'u'lláh's faithful half-brother and companion in exile.

This spontaneous offer contrasts with the shameful action of the family in the sale to non-Baha'is of the property in the neighborhood of the Jordan valley purchased through the instrumentality of `Abdu'l-Bahá during Bahá'u'lláh's lifetime, pursuant to His instructions and alluded to in His writings.

The forty acre property acquired in this single transaction almost equals the entire Bahá'í international endowments purchased in the course of sixty years in the vicinity of the Báb's Sepulcher on the slope of Mount Carmel.

The exchange of said property, including land and houses, was made possible by the precipitate flight of the former Arab owners, traditional supporters of the old Covenant-breakers and descendants of the notorious enemy of `Abdu'l-Bahá who placed his residence at the disposal of the Committee of Investigation.

The signature to the agreement signalized the commencement of large-scale landscaping, aiming at the beautification of the immediate precincts of the holiest spot in the entire Bahá'í world, itself the prelude to the eventual erection, as happened in the case of the Báb's Sepulcher, of a befitting Mausoleum enshrining the precious Dust of the Most Great Name.

Desire to acknowledge the indefatigable efforts exerted by both Larry Hautz and Leroy Ioas enabling the consummation of the initial stage of the enterprise destined to eclipse in its final phase the splendor and magnificence of the Báb's resting-place on Mount Carmel.


[Cablegram, November 12, 1952]

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