My experience as a member of the Baha'i Faith



By Dennis James Rogers


I became a member of the Baha’i Faith in the early seventies while an undergraduate at a small private midwestern university. The initial attraction was to the social teachings of the Faith particularly the tenets about gender and racial equality. I had been raised as a Roman Catholic and had attended parochial and public schools, but was not very well versed in Biblical Christianity. Since the sixties and seventies were a time of social upheaval and turmoil, the Baha’i Faith seemed like a rational alternative to traditional religious dogma. My connection to the group was minimal during my college years but picked up after I graduated in 1973. I had "accepted " the Faith based on a conversation with a Baha’i teacher who asked me if I agreed with the basic nine tenets of the Faith, I told him I did and he said I was a Baha'i. This was quite ironic considering that one of the basic tenets is "independent investigation of the truth". I had not taken the time to investigate nor done a thorough examination of it's history or doctrine, something that I would not do until many years later while pursuing a role as a Baha’i apologetic.

In 1974 there was an International Convention held in St. Louis to initiate one of the plans that the Baha’i Administrative Order imposes on the rank and file. The plans originated with Shoghi Effendi, the Guardian of the Baha’i Faith, they are ten-year plans, five-year plans, four-year plans, and seven-year plans or as little as one year plans. The plans have goals for teaching (expansion and consolidation) and "pioneers" which are similar to missionaries with the exception that pioneers are not subsidized by the organization, pioneers are expected to finance their own travel expenses, find employment and establish themselves as part of the city, village or community in which they are pioneering. The pioneer is to teach the faith, find new converts, establish a local spiritual assembly, (a local governing body consisting of nine adults) and then move on to a new pioneering post after the task has been completed. The Universal House of Justice, the international governing body for the Bahá’is, generally established what the goal areas were with input from the National Spiritual Assemblies, the national governing bodies. I must comment that many pioneers I met, rarely if ever established Local Spiritual Assemblies and generally left their "posts" to return home. Pioneering is considered a glorious spiritual station and a certain degree of social pressure is put upon the members to become pioneers. The pioneers I met in the United States who came from the Middle East, primarily from Iran, were people of means, educated and wealthy. The early pioneers of the Baha’i Faith (from the West} were also people of means. This can be verified by the early written Baha’i history of the United States and Canada.

Being a new member of the group, I was not aware of the Baha’i culture, I was first asked to answer telephone calls from people interested in the Faith, there was considerable publicity on television, bill boards and newspapers about the convention with a phone number to call for people interested in finding out more information concerning the Faith. I was to answer questions, secure addresses and phone numbers to send literature for follow up by Baha’i teachers. The older members, not wanting to answer phones, attended the conference, which was presented by the ruling Baha’i elite. The nine members of the Universal House of Justice and the remaining living "Hands of the Cause". The Hands were individuals who had been appointed by Bahá-u-lláh, Abdul Bahá or Shoghi Effendi. The rank and file members, due to their high spiritual station of “servitude”, regarded them as spiritual giants. Their main function was to protect and propagate the Faith. They were to protect the Faith from schism, but were apparently unsuccessful after the death of Shoghi Effendi in 1957, the only appointed Guardian of the Baha’i Faith. There have been, since his death, two main splinter groups, the Orthodox Bahá’is and the Bahá’is Under the Provision of the Covenant (BUPC) that I am aware of. I do not know what the other group's membership numbers are or their exact doctrines since contact with them is forbidden. They are to be shunned as "covenant breakers" and are considered "spiritually diseased" by the Baha’i Administrative Order. To be quite honest, I really was not that interested in them.

I attended a general session where several of the "Hands" spoke. Most of the talks were anecdotal in nature, encouraging the members to bring in more converts and step up the "teaching efforts". Though Bahá’is claim they do not proselytize, semantics, all their efforts are aimed at bringing in more new members to establish the “New World Order”; this is to occur when there are mass conversions or "entry by troops". A term I discovered taken from Sura 110 in the Qu'ran entitled. "Help". (Rodwell’s edition pg.429).

One of the elements that I found disturbing during the conference was an underlying anti-Christian sentiment, which is what eventually contributed to my leaving the Bahá’is later, it was and is something not so overt as much as an arrogant attitude that many Bahá’is feel. There were Christians offering literature outside of the convention center, which were not allowed in, and heavily criticized by the Baha’i attendee’s. They consider themselves to be spiritually superior to Christians because Bahá’is believe they have all the answers to humanity’s problems for this day. One of the "Hands” stated that most Christians "were dead from the neck up." I purchased this speech on audiocassette tape and had also heard the comment live. This individual was upset that the Christians had more heart and moral fiber than the Bahá’is. Christians were getting into Africa, South/Central America and Asia with missionaries before the Baha’i pioneers could “open” those areas. This "Hand" also felt that Americans were really not worth trying to teach the Faith to, since they were so entrenched in the culture and their churches. They were basically doomed, not worth saving. The Bahá’is should therefore concentrate their efforts on native peoples who did not have so many "veils". A term frequently used by the membership to denote someone who could not accept the station of Bahá-u-lláh as God's savior for the world. After the conference was over, I was introduced to a Baha’i couple that lived in the municipality where I resided. This introduction and my experience with this couple would have lasting implications for me for the rest of my life.

Mr. and Mrs. Smith, as I will call them, were a very charismatic and charming couple, they took me into their home and became my "spiritual parents". Though I did not live with them I spent much time there. They were in their mid forties and had an adult daughter, whom I never met. Mr. Smith was about six foot four and had a very intimidating presence if he chose to and Mrs. Smith was about five foot seven and on the full figured side. She was very soft spoken with a mild southern drawl.

The couple immediately took me under their wing, seeing I was a new young and impressionable recruit gave them license to teach me as they saw fit. We began having "firesides", weekly teaching meetings in their home, for "seekers" as they are referred to (potential Bahá’is). We held public meetings at the local library and community center, picnics at parks, anywhere we could attract attention to the Faith to bring in new members or seekers to invite to firesides. During this time I became a very persuasive teacher under Mr. Smith's tutelage and as a result many young people "declared " their belief in Bahá-u-lláh, including one of my older brothers, his wife and several of my friends. So many people were enrolling in the Baha’i Faith, coming to firesides and meetings that it attracted the attention of the National Spiritual Assembly and they began to send people to investigate our activities. I found out decades later that the more conservative Baha’i administration at that time were alarmed at the number of "long hair hippie types" and African-Americans who were enrolling into the Baha’i Faith. Professor Juan R.I. Cole, a historian and former member of the Bahá’is has gone into this in some detail in a published paper entitled "The Baha’i Faith as Panopticon". The website address is;

https://www-personal.umich.edu/~jrcole/bahai/1999/jssr/bhjssr.htm

For those wishing to read the article.

The Smiths had me under their control and completely indoctrinated into the Baha’i Faith. I was their "spiritual son" and anything Mr. Smith said I took as truth. He began handing out "fez's", hats like the early Middle Eastern Bahá’is wore, to the younger male Bahá’is in the community. A symbol of his discipleship I suppose. This was alarming to the members of the National Spiritual Assembly who really took offense at this action, but did not confront Mr. Smith about it directly. I on the other hand and the other new young believers thought this was normal, wearing the fez, since none of the other older Bahá’is in the area said anything to him or us about it. At this time I was alienated from my family and former non-Baha’i friends. Everything I did was Baha’i, I felt I had all the answers and refused to listen to anyone else outside of the Baha’i Faith. Mr. Smith began to get verbally abusive and authoritarian with me if I disagreed with him on any issue. He never struck me, but he did on one occasion force me to prostrate myself before him and beg for forgiveness because I had disappointed him. I had wanted to get married and start a family and he wanted me to move away to another state with him. I need to add without going into to much detail that Mr. Smith sometimes would slip drugs into glasses of punch that he would give me and others to drink while we were guests in his home. On several occasions after giving me the “punch”, he proceeded to lock me in a small room on the second floor of his house, a prayer closet he called it, and tell me to pray and meditate. Several times I hallucinated while in the "prayer closet" and he would grill me as to what I had experienced. It was some years later that I realized what he had done to me and how sick an individual Mr. Smith really was. To this day I do not know what the nature of the drugs were he had given to me.

The Smiths moved away out of state, as there were enough adult members in the community to form a Local Spiritual Assembly. (LSA). I was elected Chairman of the LSA and had been in that position for less than a year when the Assembly was summoned to a meeting at a local hotel with members of the Baha’i Administration. I must add that when Mr. and Mrs. Smith left the area I was greatly relieved and thought to myself "good riddance". I did occasionally speak to him on the telephone, when he called to see how I was doing.

What happened next when the LSA met with the Administrative representatives was something that I had kept to myself for over twenty years. We, the Local Spiritual Assembly members, thought we were going to be praised for all the teaching activity that had occurred and tripling the number of new believers. On the contrary, we were seated in a large hotel suite and then I was read a list of charges against me which included "conspiring" with Mr. Smith to run the Local Spiritual Assembly from out of state and for "claiming a station", whatever that meant. When I protested and attempted to defend myself, I was told to "sit down and shut up, we know all about you and anything you say will be just lies." I said I was leaving and they locked and blocked the door leading out of the room, there were about seven of them and they forced me and the other members of the Local Spiritual Assembly to listen to them for two hours. This is what the Bahá’is call "loving and frank consultation". I was humiliated, demeaned and my character assassinated in this meeting. Two of the members of the Local Spiritual Assembly came to my defense and stated that the charges were not true and that the picture that was being presented of me by them was inaccurate. My accusers never confronted me; I came to find out later that the National Spiritual Assembly and other Administrative bodies had used members of the Local Spiritual Assembly and the community as "informants". The concept of due process is foreign in the Baha’i Faith.

The result of this "consultation" had me removed from the assembly and ostracized from the community at large. Several of the Local Spiritual Assembly members left the Faith after this incident; as did several people that I had taught the Faith to. I seriously considered it, but decided not to because I was isolated and felt I deserved to be punished because of my association with the Smiths. I was instructed not to ever speak to them or have contact with the Smiths again, but not told why. If they contacted me I was to report it immediately to the Baha’i Administration.

The next step that the Baha’i Administration did was to "reeducate" me in the Baha’i teachings. They arranged for me to attend "deepening classes" (a Baha’i term used to denote in-depth study) with an older Baha’i teacher who had very little regard for me, almost to the point of open hostility. If I questioned him about certain doctrines that did not make sense to me he would become extremely defensive and caustic in speech. One time he hung up on me during the course of a telephone conversation after calling me an arrogant punk when questioning him about a prophetic statement in the Baha’i writings. He stated there was no such passage and when I read it to him over the phone he became very upset and hung up. I did not study with him much after that. Many of the Bahá’is and the Baha’i Administration considered him one of the best teachers in the United States and would rave about him. I found him to be offensive, sarcastic, demeaning to his students and to be without any formal training as an educator. He published a book through the Baha’i Publishing Trust, which I thought was confusing and incoherent, he was in his mid sixties when I met him.

Since many of the new Bahá’is we had taught had left the faith, the numbers in the community went down, so I was reinstated to the Local Spiritual Assembly by default. Much of my time was spent planning firesides, public meetings, picnics and fundraising. In the fifteen years that followed there was very little growth in the community in terms of the numbers of new believers, there was a revolving door so to speak, and people would come into the Faith and then either become inactive or just resign. This was particularly true of the African-American Bahá’is coming from a church background. There was very little structure or community life that resembles a church community. Most, if not all of Baha’i activity centers on meetings, teaching activities and fundraising. There was very little time left to develop interpersonal relationships or socialization.

One last painful episode, which further alienated me from the faith, was the fact that my wife at the time, we are now divorced, developed a close friendship with a "home front pioneer". These are Bahá’is that move to an area for a short time to fulfill some arbitrary local goal of the Baha’i Administration to establish a group or Local Spiritual Assembly. This individual, unbeknownst to me, tried to coerce my wife to divorce me and marry him during his tenure in the community. She told me about the relationship after he left the country to pioneer to South America. She is still on the rolls of the Baha’i Faith to my knowledge.

During the divorce process the community abandoned me, since divorce is frowned upon. An incident that occurred while going through the divorce, (a year of patience is required by Baha’i law), was when I attended a Baha’i Sunday class where I was confronted by several members of the community and chastised in the class for going through the divorce, I did not defend myself, but I must add that a Persian Baha’i man stood up for me and said in my defense that no one knows what goes on between two people and that it was not for anyone to judge. Despite that I did not attend any meetings for the next two years, nor was I contacted by any of the “friends” during that time. The community has a history of abandoning its members when they no longer can attend the meetings or participate in teaching activities.

I cannot truly characterize the Baha’i Faith as a "cult", though in my opinion there are strong social controls in place by the Baha’i Administration. Those controls filter down to the individuals who are afraid of openly questioning the decisions of that administration for fear of being labeled a "covenant breaker". Which is tantamount to being excommunicated from the community. The leadership has used this effectively since the beginnings of the religion to "purge the ranks of the believers". Once a person has been declared a covenant breaker, the Baha’i community shuns that person and contact with such an individual could cause "spiritual contamination" of the "Cause" as it is referred to. There are parallels in the Jehovah's Witnesses and Mormon groups, as I understand it. The discussion of "unquestioning loyalty and obedience" to the Baha’i covenant and administration is paramount to maintaining order within the community. Though membership in the Baha’i Faith is completely voluntary, individuals such as myself who based their entire lifestyle around the faith find it difficult to separate themselves from family and friends who are Baha’i even if they know there are contradictions within Baha’i doctrine. One risks those relationships and being isolated from the community. It took me three painful years to extricate myself and resign as an enrolled member. Since leaving the Baha’i Faith in the fall of 2000, I have had little or no contact with people I had been friends with for many years, friends whose children grew up with my children. Most of them believe I lost my faith in God. Those that I have spoken to are surprised that I am doing fine, that I attend church and perform in a gospel band.

Some of the contradictions that began to surface for me were a result of a radio broadcast I heard by Rev. Robert Pardon of the New England Institute of Religious Research (NEIRR) on a Lutheran radio station in St. Louis. He was giving an overview of the Baha’i Faith and I called to challenge him and his sources. I felt he was misrepresenting the Faith and had gotten his source material from "covenant breakers" or enemies of the Faith. I thought about what he had said and contacted him through his web site, I was finally beginning to investigate the Baha’i Faith after twenty-seven years. He sent me facsimiles of his source material and I began to meticulously go over it. Checking it against what had been presented to me by the Bahá’is. I also began writing letters and asking questions of Baha’i administrators and academics. I discovered that several contemporary Baha’i historians and academics had been forced out of the Faith because of their research and publications. Baha’i academics have to go through a review process before publishing anything about the Faith. If an author does not pass the review process one is not published. Their work essentially is censored. This is why almost all Baha’i literature and historical works are redundant. All the books and pamphlets are rewritten from the same “approved” source material. As a result of this, most Bahá’is are unaware of the early history of the Faith, the power struggles that ensued from the founders family members and instead are directed to the Baha’i approved materials. Other sources are considered suspect, labeled as unauthorized or from enemies of the faith.

Though the Faith teaches tolerance for other religions, the truth is taught that the Baha'i Faith is the "Ultimate Truth" for this day. All the previous "Manifestations of God" and revealed religions are essentially null and void. Humanity must follow the Baha’i Faith or suffer severe punishment. Jesus Christ, the Messiah and Savior for the entire human race is reduced to the station of a ”Divine Educator”. His revelation is no longer considered relevant for this day, in fact Christ’s dispensation ended with the coming of Muhammad in the sixth century C.E. The clergy and a misunderstanding of scriptural interpretation have led all Christians astray. Personal salvation is no longer important; the salvation of the human race is the priority now. An intimate personal relationship with God is not possible, " the door leading unto the Ancient of Days is forever closed to man", (paraphrase from the Baha’i Writings). As I began to study the Bible in depth and outside of a Baha’i context, I began to understand the perspective of the Christian objection to the Baha’i Faith. A great deal of the social teachings and all of the spiritual teachings, which the faith presented as new, I discovered in Old and New Testament scripture. Some of the phrases from the Bible I found transcribed into Baha’i prayers. However the main source of contention for me was the arrogance of many Baha’i who became incensed at Christian authors trying to give accurate accounts regarding the Baha’i Faith and it's history. Yet they thought nothing of explaining away two thousands years of historical Christianity and exegetical study, while engaging in the worst form of eisegesis.

On a more personal level, I was concerned about my soul and salvation, I never really felt forgiven or saved as a Baha’i or that Bahá-u-lláh was a personal savior. When reading how Jesus taught us to forgive our enemies and to pray for them in the Gospels, I compared that to how the Baha’i Faith historically condemned and shunned its enemies. (Many who were the disciples, spouses and relatives of the central figures of the Faith, even Shoghi Effendi, the Baha’i Guardian, excommunicated his own parents!). I began to ask God to open my eyes and guide me to the truth.

With the help of Rev. Bob Pardon, (NEIRR) Pastor Todd Wilken and Jeff Schwartz of radio station KFUO in St. Louis, I began the task of “testing the spirits” to determine what was true. I tested the Bahá’is by raising questions at Baha’i meetings about historical and doctrinal contradictions as well as prophetic statements in the Baha’i Faith that had not come to pass. Dates had been given where certain events were to have transpired and did not occur. Many Bahá’is were desperately trying to rationalize these unfulfilled prophecies. This line of questioning was making me very unpopular to say the least, particularly when I began to post those questions on the local Baha’i chat list. I started to receive calls from the local Baha’i authorities as well as from some of the "friends". (A term Bahá’is use to refer to each other). I finally officially withdrew my membership and posted it on the chat list. I received numerous calls and e-mails from the “friends” wanting to counsel me, I then posted and requested that I not be contacted, which of course did not occur, finally I posted my reasons for leaving the Baha’i Faith and that I no longer could follow the doctrines or obey the Administrative Order. An Administrative Representative who wished to meet with me concerning my statements contacted me. His real intent was to declare me a "covenant breaker" and therefore have me shunned so as not to "infect" any other Bahá’is with doubt. I agreed to meet with him. He had books with him and was prepared to contend with me. I chose not to engage him on doctrinal issues, I instead stated that I did not believe that Bahá-u-lláh was the return of Christ and relayed to him the incidents I had suffered at the hands of Bahá’is and the Administration. He repeatedly apologized and stated he would ask the Bahá’is to respect my wishes that I not be contacted and harassed about my decision.

I have since accepted Jesus Christ as my personal Savior and have found a peaceful assurance that I had never experienced as a Baha’i. I bear no malice towards the Baha’i Faith or individual Bahá’is. Some of them are very kind, gentle and loving souls. This testimony is intended to help those members of the Baha’i community, who may have experienced similar situations and come to a personal realization regarding doctrinal contradictions. There is hope, peace and life outside of the Baha’i Faith for those who choose to seek it.

Source : https://fglaysher.com/bahaicensorship/Ex16.htm

How Baha'i 'Offices of External Affairs' work for the UHJ?

 
THE UNIVERSAL HOUSE OF JUSTICE
DEPARTMENT OF THE SECRETARIAT

2 May 2016

Transmitted by email

The National Spiritual Assemblies of the Bahá’ís of Australia, Austria, Brazil, Canada, France, Germany, India, Ireland, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, the United Kingdom, and the United States

Dear Bahá’í Friends, As you are aware, following recent political developments, great interest is being expressed by the business community around the globe in establishing economic relations with Iran. Companies considering such developments are presumably bound to adhere to ethical business practices everywhere in accordance with both their national and international standards.

You are asked to request your Offices of External Affairs to identify such companies— in collaboration with relevant government agencies, like-minded groups and other nongovernmental organizations—and to develop strategies to approach them with a view to learn about their commitment to ethical standards in their businesses in Iran. As they gain greater insight into the social reality in that country, they will come to appreciate that these standards should include, for instance, eschewing any form of discrimination in their employment practices or their treatment of employees, be it against women or minorities. In this context the economic oppression of the Bahá’ís by the government of Iran can be brought to their attention. As these companies may naturally be looking to recruit hard-working, skilled and honest Iranian individuals to assist in establishing their businesses in Iran, the history of discrimination against graduates of the Bahá’í Institute for Higher Education could be explained to them.

This initiative, carefully conducted and well-coordinated, in addition to the activities called for in the letter dated 5 February 2016 addressed to you, has the potential to have significant impact on the economic situation of the Bahá’ís of Iran and will also be appreciated by many as a contribution to the betterment of the condition of Iranian society as a whole.

Alongside the actions of your Offices of External Affairs, the Bahá’í International Community United Nations Office will be undertaking complementary initiatives at the international level.

Kindly keep the Universal House of Justice and the Bahá’í International Community United Nations Office apprised of the outcome of your ongoing endeavours.

With loving Bahá’í greetings,

Department of the Secretariat

cc: International Teaching Centre Bahá’í International Community, United Nations Office, New York and Geneva Bahá’í International Community, Brussels Office Offices of External Affairs of the National Assemblies of Australia, Austria, Brazil, Canada (Ottawa and Toronto), France, Germany, India, Ireland, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, the United Kingdom, and the United States


Bahá’í World Centre • P.O. Box 155 • 3100101 Haifa, Israel Tel: 972 (4) 835 8358 • Fax: 972 (4) 835 8280 • Email: secretariat@bwc.org

A tribute to Shoghi Effendi... on his death anniversary


November 4. On this date in 1957, Shoghi Effendi passed away suddenly at the age of 60 from the Asian flu in London where he was shopping for furniture and ornaments for the International Archives building. He died having violated Bahá'u'lláh's command in the Kitáb-i-Aqdas that "Unto everyone hath been enjoined the writing of a will." Having no children of his own and having declared every living male descendant of Bahá'u'lláh a Covenant-breaker, Shoghi Effendi left no eligible candidates for the office of Guardian, posing a serious problem given his assertion that "In this Dispensation, divine guidance flows on to us in this world after the Prophet’s ascension, through first the Master, and then the Guardians." He had furthermore stated in The World Order of Bahá’u’lláh that
Divorced from the institution of the Guardianship the World Order of Bahá’u’lláh would be mutilated and permanently deprived of that hereditary principle which, as ‘Abdu’l-Bahá has written, has been invariably upheld by the Law of God. “In all the Divine Dispensations,” He states, in a Tablet addressed to a follower of the Faith in Persia, “the eldest son hath been given extraordinary distinctions. Even the station of prophethood hath been his birthright.” Without such an institution the integrity of the Faith would be imperiled, and the stability of the entire fabric would be gravely endangered. Its prestige would suffer, the means required to enable it to take a long, an uninterrupted view over a series of generations would be completely lacking, and the necessary guidance to define the sphere of the legislative action of its elected representatives would be totally withdrawn.
It is worth reading and reflecting on how Shoghi Effendi describes in God Passes By the misfortunes, illnesses, and deaths of those individuals he had declared Covenant-breakers...
Mohammad Ali Bahai's brother, Mírzá Ḍíya’u’lláh, died prematurely; Mírzá Áqá Ján, his dupe, followed that same brother, three years later, to the grave; and Mírzá Badí’u’lláh, his chief accomplice, betrayed his cause, published a signed denunciation of his evil acts, but rejoined him again, only to be alienated from him in consequence of the scandalous behavior of his own daughter. Mírzá Muḥammad-‘Alí’s half-sister, Furúghíyyih, died of cancer, whilst her husband, Siyyid ‘Alí, passed away from a heart attack before his sons could reach him, the eldest being subsequently stricken in the prime of life, by the same malady. Muḥammad-Javád-i-Qazvíní, a notorious Covenant-breaker, perished miserably. Shu‘á’u’lláh who, as witnessed by ‘Abdu’l-Bahá in His Will, had counted on the murder of the Center of the Covenant, and who had been despatched to the United States by his father to join forces with Ibráhím Khayru’lláh, returned crestfallen and empty-handed from his inglorious mission. Jamál-i-Burújirdí, Mírzá Muḥammad-‘Alí’s ablest lieutenant in Persia, fell a prey to a fatal and loathsome disease; Siyyid Mihdíy-i-Dahájí, who, betraying ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, joined the Covenant-breakers, died in obscurity and poverty, followed by his wife and his two sons; Mírzá Ḥusayn-‘Alíy-i-Jahrúmí, Mírzá Ḥusayn-i-Shírázíy-i-Khurṭúmí and Ḥájí Muḥammad-Ḥusayn-i-Káshání, who represented the arch-breaker of the Covenant in Persia, India and Egypt, failed utterly in their missions; whilst the greedy and conceited Ibráhím-i-Khayru’lláh, who had chosen to uphold the banner of his rebellion in America for no less than twenty years, and who had the temerity to denounce, in writing, ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, His “false teachings, His misrepresentations of Bahaism, His dissimulation,” and to stigmatize His visit to America as “a death-blow” to the “Cause of God,” met his death soon after he had uttered these denunciations, utterly abandoned and despised by the entire body of the members of a community, whose founders he himself had converted to the Faith, and in the very land that bore witness to the multiplying evidences of the established ascendancy of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, Whose authority he had, in his later years, vowed to uproot.
As to those who had openly espoused the cause of this arch-breaker of Bahá’u’lláh’s Covenant Mohammad Ali Bahai, or who had secretly sympathized with him, whilst outwardly supporting ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, some eventually repented and were forgiven; others became disillusioned and lost their faith entirely; a few apostatized, whilst the rest dwindled away, leaving him in the end, except for a handful of his relatives, alone and unsupported. Surviving ‘Abdu’l-Bahá by almost twenty years, he who had so audaciously affirmed to His face that he had no assurance he might outlive Him, lived long enough to witness the utter bankruptcy of his cause, leading meanwhile a wretched existence within the walls of a Mansion that had once housed a crowd of his supporters; was denied by the civil authorities, as a result of the crisis he had after ‘Abdu’l-Bahá’s passing foolishly precipitated, the official custody of his Father’s Tomb; was compelled, a few years later, to vacate that same Mansion, which, through his flagrant neglect, had fallen into a dilapidated condition; was stricken with paralysis which crippled half his body; lay bedridden in pain for months before he died; and was buried according to Muslim rites, in the immediate vicinity of a local Muslim shrine, his grave remaining until the present day devoid of even a tombstone—a pitiful reminder of the hollowness of the claims he had advanced, of the depths of infamy to which he had sunk, and of the severity of the retribution his acts had so richly merited.
It should be noted, that because Bahá'í law forbids the "transport the body of the deceased a greater distance than one hour’s journey from the city", Shoghi Effendi was buried at the New Southgate Cemetery in London, far from the Bahá'í holy shrines in Israel. Not far from his grave in Southgate, however, rests Shoghi Effendi's niece Maliheh Afnan, the artist daughter of Ruhangiz Afnan, who Shoghi Effendi had declared a Covenant-breaker for marrying the son of Siyyid Ali Afnan, who 'Abdu'l-Bahá had declared a Covenant-breaker.

Some other interesting points:


In God Passes By, on page 319, Shoghi Effendi gloats over the fact that Mírzá Áqá Ján, a covenant-breaker, died prematurely at the age of 66. (Keep in mind that Shoghi Effendi died at the age of 60.)
On the same page, he also gloats over the fact that another covenant-breaker died from a heart-attack before his sons could reach him. Little did he know that he would also die from a heart-attack before his wife, the only immediate family member, could reach him.
On the morning of Monday, November 4th, she went to the door of the Guardian's room, knocked gently, and, when she received no answer, entered the room.
...
The diagnosis was "Death caused by coronary thrombosis".
(The Passing of Shoghi Effendi, Ruhiyyih Khanum, pp. 10-11)
Source : https://www.reddit.com/r/exbahai/comments/7ax8be/november_4_was_the_60th_anniversary_of_shoghi/

NSA of New Zealand : "we have removed your name from our membership rolls"


Alison Marshall was born in 1959 in Dunedin, New Zealand. She became a member of the New Zealand Baha'i community in 1980. At that time, she was living in the small northern town of Kaikohe, where she was taught the Baha'i Faith by a local Maori couple. Over the next two years she moved to Wellington, where her daughter was born. After leaving the father of her child, she settled again in her home town of Dunedin, where she participated actively in the local Baha'i community.

During the 1980s, Alison served on the Spiritual Assembly of the Baha'is of Dunedin for about five years. In 1987, she went on pilgrimage to Haifa, Israel. Between 1981 and 1991, Alison attended the University of Otago, gaining a Bachelor of Arts and a Bachelor of Laws. She married Steve Marshall (nee Bollam) in 1991. In 1992, she began her career as a business writer, becoming a joint owner of Right Words New Zealand Ltd in 1995 and retiring in 2015.

In late 1994, Alison and Steve joined the Internet discussion group 'Talisman' (Talisman@indiana.edu), which was set up by a small group of Baha'i academics for discussion on the Baha'i Faith. Over the next 18 months, it became clear that the discussions were considered heretical by the Baha'i administration. A number of the participants resigned from the Baha'i community when they were threatened with being declared 'covenant breakers', which is traditionally punished with shunning.

This event had a profound effect on Alison, who decided in 1998 to voice her concerns on Talisman about the actions of the administration and the shift towards fundamentalism in the Baha'i community. Over the next two years, Alison also developed a keen interest in Sufism or Islamic Mysticism.

In March 2000, the National Spiritual Assembly of the Baha'is of New Zealand was told by the Universal House of Justice to remove Alison's name from the membership rolls of the New Zealand Baha'i community. She took a dispute over their actions to the Privacy Commissioner and later to the High Court. Following this, Alison moved on to pursue new spiritual directions as an 'unenrolled Baha'i'. This is the term given to people who are Baha'i by faith but not enrolled members of the Baha'i community.

Source : http://www.whoisbahaullah.com/Alison/about.html

The failed Office of Guardianship in the Baha'i faith.



On October 6, 1963, the Universal House of Justice sent a message to all National Spiritual Assemblies stating that "the Universal House of Justice finds that there is no way to appoint or to legislate to make it possible to appoint a second Guardian to succeed Shoghi Effendi."

The Universal House of Justice

6 October 1963

To all National Spiritual Assemblies

Beloved Friends,

We wish to share with you the text of the following resolution:

After prayerful and careful study of the Holy Texts bearing upon the question of the appointment of the successor to Shoghi Effendi as Guardian of the Cause of God, and after prolonged consideration of the views of the Hands of the Cause of God residing in the Holy Land, the Universal House of Justice finds that there is no way to appoint or to legislate to make it possible to appoint a second Guardian to succeed Shoghi Effendi.

Please share this message with the friends in your jurisdiction.

With loving greetings,

[signed: The Universal House of Justice]

The Guardianship is now a defunct hereditary office of the Bahá'í Faith that was first mentioned in the Will and Testament of 'Abdu'l-Bahá. Shoghi Effendi was named as the first Guardian of the Bahá'í Faith, and future Guardians were to be appointed from among the male descendants of Bahá'u'lláh. However, since Shoghi Effendi died without having named a successor Guardian, the institution ceased to exist after his death on November 4, 1957, and Shoghi Effendi remains the only individual acknowledged as Guardian of the Bahá'í Faith.

The Will and Testament of 'Abdu’l-Bahá was written by 'Abdu’l-Bahá on three different occasions, and the text remains in three parts. In his Will 'Abdu’l-Bahá addresses the Bahá'í Covenant and the role of Mírzá Muhammad 'Alí as a Covenant-breaker; outlines the obligation and responsibilities of the Hands of the Cause of God; explains the election of the Universal House of Justice; and defines the institution of the Guardianship as a hereditary office with its essential function as Interpreter of the Bahá'í writings. Shoghi Effendi describes the Will, along with the Kitáb-i-Aqdas, the Tablets of the Divine Plan, and the Tablet of Carmel, as one of the charters of the Bahá'í Administrative Order.

Appointing Shoghi Effendi as Guardian

Although in the Kitáb-i-'Ahd Bahá'u'lláh designates Mírzá Muhammad 'Alí as 'Abdu'l-Bahá's successor, in his Will, `Abdu'l-Bahá reprimands his brother as "The Center of Sedition, the Prime Mover of mischief" and establishes the institution of the Guardianship, appointing Shoghi Effendi to this newly-created office:

"O my loving friends! After the passing away of this wronged one, it is incumbent upon the Aghsán (Branches), the Afnán (Twigs) of the Sacred Lote-Tree, the Hands (pillars) of the Cause of God and the loved ones of the Abhá Beauty to turn unto Shoghi Effendi—the youthful branch branched from the two hallowed and sacred Lote-Trees and the fruit grown from the union of the two offshoots of the Tree of Holiness,—as he is the sign of God, the chosen branch, the Guardian of the Cause of God, he unto whom all the Aghsán, the Afnán, the Hands of the Cause of God and His loved ones must turn. He is the Interpreter of the Word of God and after him will succeed the first-born of his lineal descendents."

"O ye the faithful loved ones of 'Abdu’l-Bahá! It is incumbent upon you to take the greatest care of Shoghi Effendi, the twig that hath branched from and the fruit given forth by the two hallowed and Divine Lote-Trees, that no dust of despondency and sorrow may stain his radiant nature, that day by day he may wax greater in happiness, in joy and spirituality, and may grow to become even as a fruitful tree.
For he is, after 'Abdu’l-Bahá, the Guardian of the Cause of God, the Afnán, the Hands (pillars) of the Cause and the beloved of the Lord must obey him and turn unto him. He that obeyeth him not, hath not obeyed God; he that turneth away from him, hath turned away from God and he that denieth him, hath denied the True One. Beware lest anyone falsely interpret these words, and like unto them that have broken the Covenant after the Day of Ascension (of Bahá’u’lláh) advance a pretext, raise the standard of revolt, wax stubborn and open wide the door of false interpretation. To none is given the right to put forth his own opinion or express his particular conviction. All must seek guidance and turn unto the Center of the Cause and the House of Justice. And he that turneth unto whatsoever else is indeed in grievous error.
The Glory of Glories rest upon you!"

Defining the Guardianship as Hereditary

The Guardian is to appoint in his own life-time his successor from among the Aghsán:

"O ye beloved of the Lord! It is incumbent upon the Guardian of the Cause of God to appoint in his own life-time him that shall become his successor, that differences may not arise after his passing. He that is appointed must manifest in himself detachment from all worldly things, must be the essence of purity, must show in himself the fear of God, knowledge, wisdom and learning. Thus, should the first-born of the Guardian of the Cause of God not manifest in himself the truth of the words:—“The child is the secret essence of its sire,” that is, should he not inherit of the spiritual within him (the Guardian of the Cause of God) and his glorious lineage not be matched with a goodly character, then must he, (the Guardian of the Cause of God) choose another branch to succeed him.

Guardian and Hands of the Cause of God

The Guardian is to appoint the Hands of the Cause of God who are to be under his direction and obey his command:

"O friends! The Hands of the Cause of God must be nominated and appointed by the Guardian of the Cause of God. All must be under his shadow and obey his command. Should any, within or without the company of the Hands of the Cause of God disobey and seek division, the wrath of God and His vengeance will be upon him, for he will have caused a breach in the true Faith of God."

"This body of the Hands of the Cause of God is under the direction of the Guardian of the Cause of God. He must continually urge them to strive and endeavor to the utmost of their ability to diffuse the sweet savors of God, and to guide all the peoples of the world, for it is the light of Divine Guidance that causeth all the universe to be illumined. To disregard, though it be for a moment, this absolute command which is binding upon everyone, is in no wise permitted, that the existent world may become even as the Abhá Paradise, that the surface of the earth may become heavenly, that contention and conflict amidst peoples, kindreds, nations and governments may disappear, that all the dwellers on earth may become one people and one race, that the world may become even as one home. Should differences arise, they shall be amicably and conclusively settled by the Supreme Tribunal, that shall include members from all the governments and peoples of the world.

"The Hands of the Cause of God must elect from their own number nine persons that shall at all times be occupied in the important services in the work of the Guardian of the Cause of God. The election of these nine must be carried either unanimously or by majority from the company of the Hands of the Cause of God and these, whether unanimously or by a majority vote, must give their assent to the choice of the one whom the Guardian of the Cause of God hath chosen as his successor. This assent must be given in such wise as the assenting and dissenting voices may not be distinguished (i.e., secret ballot)."

Guardian and the Universal House of Justice

The Guardian is to be the head of the Universal House of Justice and either attend its deliberations in person or appoint a representative to do so:

"By this body all the difficult problems are to be resolved and the Guardian of the Cause of God is its sacred head and the distinguished member for life of that body. Should he not attend in person its deliberations, he must appoint one to represent him. Should any of the members commit a sin, injurious to the common weal, the Guardian of the Cause of God hath at his own discretion the right to [Covenant-breaker|expel him]], whereupon the people must elect another one in his stead. This House of Justice enacteth the laws and the government enforceth them. The legislative body must reinforce the executive, the executive must aid and assist the legislative body so that through the close union and harmony of these two forces, the foundation of fairness and justice may become firm and strong, that all the regions of the world may become even as Paradise itself."

Recipient of Huqúqu'lláh

'Abdu'l-Bahá's Will stipulates that Huqúqu'lláh, which had been made directly to Bahá'u'lláh and 'Abdu'l-Bahá during their life times, would henceforth be made to the Guardian.

"O friends of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá! The Lord, as a sign of His infinite bounties, hath graciously favored His servants by providing for a fixed money offering (Ḥuqúq), to be dutifully presented unto Him, though He, the True One and His servants have been at all times independent of all created things, and God verily is the All-Possessing, exalted above the need of any gift from His creatures. This fixed money offering, however, causeth the people to become firm and steadfast and draweth Divine increase upon them. It is to be offered through the Guardian of the Cause of God, that it may be expended for the diffusion of the Fragrances of God and the exaltation of His Word, for benevolent pursuits and for the common weal."

Shoghi Effendi Defines the Guardian

As Guardian, Shoghi Effendi held a new and distinct role. Building on the foundation that had been established in 'Abdu’l-Bahá's Will, Shoghi Effendi elaborated on the role of the Guardian in the developing Bahá'í Administrative Order in several works, including Bahá'í Administration and the World Order of Bahá'u'lláh, in the chapter entitled The Administrative Order.

Distinct Institution

Shoghi Effendi goes to great lengths to emphasize that the Guardianship is a distinct station from that of Manifestation or Center of the Covenant:

"Dearly-beloved friends! Exalted as is the position and vital as is the function of the institution of the Guardianship in the Administrative Order of Bahá’u’lláh, and staggering as must be the weight of responsibility which it carries, its importance must, whatever be the language of the Will, be in no wise over-emphasized. The Guardian of the Faith must not under any circumstances, and whatever his merits or his achievements, be exalted to the rank that will make him a co-sharer with ‘Abdu’l-Bahá in the unique position which the Center of the Covenant occupies—much less to the station exclusively ordained for the Manifestation of God. So grave a departure from the established tenets of our Faith is nothing short of open blasphemy. As I have already stated, in the course of my references to ‘Abdu’l-Bahá’s station, however great the gulf that separates Him from the Author of a Divine Revelation it can never measure with the distance that stands between Him Who is the Center of Bahá’u’lláh’s Covenant and the Guardians who are its chosen ministers. There is a far, far greater distance separating the Guardian from the Center of the Covenant than there is between the Center of the Covenant and its Author."
Shoghi Effendi was critical of Bahá'ís referring to him as a holy personage, asking them not to celebrate his birthday or have his picture on display. Furthermore, he did not refer to his own personal role as an individual, but instead to the institution of the Guardianship. In his correspondences, Shoghi Effendi signed his letters to Bahá'ís as "brother" and "co-worker," to the extent that even when addressing youth, he referred to himself as "Your True Brother."

"No Guardian of the Faith, I feel it my solemn duty to place on record, can ever claim to be the perfect exemplar of the teachings of Bahá’u’lláh or the stainless mirror that reflects His light. Though overshadowed by the unfailing, the unerring protection of Bahá’u’lláh and of the Báb, and however much he may share with ‘Abdu’l-Bahá the right and obligation to interpret the Bahá’í teachings, he remains essentially human and cannot, if he wishes to remain faithful to his trust, arrogate to himself, under any pretense whatsoever, the rights, the privileges and prerogatives which Bahá’u’lláh has chosen to confer upon His Son. In the light of this truth to pray to the Guardian of the Faith, to address him as lord and master, to designate him as his holiness, to seek his benediction, to celebrate his birthday, or to commemorate any event associated with his life would be tantamount to a departure from those established truths that are enshrined within our beloved Faith. The fact that the Guardian has been specifically endowed with such power as he may need to reveal the purport and disclose the implications of the utterances of Bahá’u’lláh and of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá does not necessarily confer upon him a station co-equal with those Whose words he is called upon to interpret. He can exercise that right and discharge this obligation and yet remain infinitely inferior to both of them in rank and different in nature."

Importance of the Guardianship

Shoghi Effendi goes to great lengths to emphasize the significance of the "Institution of Guardianship," which he calls the "head cornerstone of the Administrative Order of the Cause of Bahá’u’lláh,"

"He feels that if ... ponders more deeply about the fundamentals of Divine Revelation, she will also come to understand the Guardianship. Once the mind and heart have grasped the fact that God guides men through a Mouthpiece, a human being, a Prophet, infallible and unerring, it is only a logical projection of this acceptance to also accept the station of Abdu'l-Bahá and the Guardians. The Guardians are the evidence of the maturity of mankind in the sense that at long last men have progressed to the point of having one world, and of needing one world management for human affairs. In the spiritual realm they have also reached the point where God could leave, in human hands (i.e., the Guardians'), guided directly by the Bab and Bahá'u'lláh, as the Master states in His Will, the affairs of His Faith for this Dispensation. This is what is meant by 'this is the day which will not be followed by the night'. In this Dispensation, divine guidance flows on to us in this world after the Prophet's ascension, through first the Master, and then the Guardians. If a person can accept Bahá'u'lláh's function, it should not present any difficulty to them to also accept what He has ordained a divinely-guided individual in matters pertaining to His Faith."

"Though the Guardian of the Faith has been made the permanent head of so august a body he can never, even temporarily, assume the right of exclusive legislation. He cannot override the decision of the majority of his fellow-members, but is bound to insist upon a reconsideration by them of any enactment he conscientiously believes to conflict with the meaning and to depart from the spirit of Bahá’u’lláh’s revealed utterances. He interprets what has been specifically revealed, and cannot legislate except in his capacity as member of the Universal House of Justice. He is debarred from laying down independently the constitution that must govern the organized activities of his fellow-members, and from exercising his influence in a manner that would encroach upon the liberty of those whose sacred right is to elect the body of his collaborators."

Separation of Powers

Shoghi Effendi delineates a distinct separation of powers between the "twin pillars that support this mighty Administrative Structure—the institutions of the Guardianship and of the Universal House of Justice."

"It should be stated, at the very outset, in clear and unambiguous language, that these twin institutions of the Administrative Order of Bahá’u’lláh should be regarded as divine in origin, essential in their functions and complementary in their aim and purpose. Their common, their fundamental object is to insure the continuity of that divinely-appointed authority which flows from the Source of our Faith, to safeguard the unity of its followers and to maintain the integrity and flexibility of its teachings. Acting in conjunction with each other these two inseparable institutions administer its affairs, cöordinate its activities, promote its interests, execute its laws and defend its subsidiary institutions. Severally, each operates within a clearly defined sphere of jurisdiction; each is equipped with its own attendant institutions—instruments designed for the effective discharge of its particular responsibilities and duties. Each exercises, within the limitations imposed upon it, its powers, its authority, its rights and prerogatives. These are neither contradictory, nor detract in the slightest degree from the position which each of these institutions occupies. Far from being incompatible or mutually destructive, they supplement each other’s authority and functions, and are permanently and fundamentally united in their aims.
"From these statements it is made indubitably clear and evident that the Guardian of the Faith has been made the Interpreter of the Word and that the Universal House of Justice has been invested with the function of legislating on matters not expressly revealed in the teachings. The interpretation of the Guardian, functioning within his own sphere, is as authoritative and binding as the enactments of the International House of Justice, whose exclusive right and prerogative is to pronounce upon and deliver the final judgment on such laws and ordinances as Bahá’u’lláh has not expressly revealed. Neither can, nor will ever, infringe upon the sacred and prescribed domain of the other. Neither will seek to curtail the specific and undoubted authority with which both have been divinely invested."

Interpreter of the Word of God and Source of Divine Guidance

As Guardian, Shoghi Effendi was the "Interpreter of the Word of God," "with the right and obligation to interpret the Bahá’í teachings." His interpretations of the writings of Bahá'u'lláh and 'Abdu'l-Bahá were authoritative and binding.

"He feels that if ... ponders more deeply about the fundamentals of Divine Revelation, she will also come to understand the Guardianship. Once the mind and heart have grasped the fact that God guides men through a Mouthpiece, a human being, a Prophet, infallible and unerring, it is only a logical projection of this acceptance to also accept the station of Abdu'l-Bahá and the Guardians. The Guardians are the evidence of the maturity of mankind in the sense that at long last men have progressed to the point of having one world, and of needing one world management for human affairs. In the spiritual realm they have also reached the point where God could leave, in human hands (i.e., the Guardians'), guided directly by the Bab and Bahá'u'lláh, as the Master states in His Will, the affairs of His Faith for this Dispensation. This is what is meant by 'this is the day which will not be followed by the night'. In this Dispensation, divine guidance flows on to us in this world after the Prophet's ascension, through first the Master, and then the Guardians. If a person can accept Bahá'u'lláh's function, it should not present any difficulty to them to also accept what He has ordained a divinely-guided individual in matters pertaining to His Faith."

Hereditary

Shoghi Effendi reiterates the hereditary nature of the Guardianship as was first laid out in ‘Abdu’l-Bahá's Will.

"Divorced from the institution of the Guardianship the World Order of Bahá’u’lláh would be mutilated and permanently deprived of that hereditary principle which, as 'Abdu’l-Bahá has written, has been invariably upheld by the Law of God. “In all the Divine Dispensations,” He states, in a Tablet addressed to a follower of the Faith in Persia, “the eldest son hath been given extraordinary distinctions. Even the station of prophethood hath been his birthright.” Without such an institution the integrity of the Faith would be imperiled, and the stability of the entire fabric would be gravely endangered. Its prestige would suffer, the means required to enable it to take a long, an uninterrupted view over a series of generations would be completely lacking, and the necessary guidance to define the sphere of the legislative action of its elected representatives would be totally withdrawn."

"The hereditary authority which the Guardian is called upon to exercise, the vital and essential functions which the Universal House of Justice discharges, the specific provisions requiring its democratic election by the representatives of the faithful—these combine to demonstrate the truth that this divinely revealed Order, which can never be identified with any of the standard types of government referred to by Aristotle in his works, embodies and blends with the spiritual verities on which it is based the beneficent elements which are to be found in each one of them. The admitted evils inherent in each of these systems being rigidly and permanently excluded, this unique Order, however long it may endure and however extensive its ramifications, cannot ever degenerate into any form of despotism, of oligarchy, or of demagogy which must sooner or later corrupt the machinery of all man-made and essentially defective political institutions."

Expulsion and excommunication

The Guardian has the power to declare Bahá'ís who cause disunity in the Faith as Covenant-breakers:

"The Guardian alone holds the power to expulsion or ex-communication from the Faith, which can be effected by the Guardian alone in his capacity as the supreme spiritual head of the Community, has far-reaching spiritual implications affecting the very soul of that believer."

"ex-communication, which lies within the powers of the Guardian alone, and is consequently a very weighty weapon to wield."

"People who have withdrawn from the Cause because they no longer feel that they can support its Teachings and Institutions sincerely, are not Covenant-breakers--they are non-Bahá'ís and should just be treated as such. Only those who ally themselves actively with known enemies of the Faith who are Covenant-breakers, and who attack the Faith in the same spirit as these people, can be considered, themselves, to be Covenant-breakers. As you know, up to the present time, no one has been permitted to pronounce anybody a Covenant-breaker but the Guardian himself."

After Shoghi Effendi

Although the Kitáb-i-Aqdas requires every Bahá'í to have a will, Shoghi Effendi did not have one when he passed away unexpectedly of Asian flu on November 4, 1957 in London, England. Shoghi Effendi did not have any children and had not designated a successor Guardian. With all living male descendants of Bahá'u'lláh having been declared Covenant-breakers by either `Abdu'l-Bahá or Shoghi Effendi, no suitable qualifying candidates remained for appointment to the office of Guardian. On November 19, 1957, nine of the Hands of the Cause issued an "Official Statement" after searching through Shogi Effendi's personal affects in Haifa, Israel, affirming that "the safe and desk have been opened and searched and the non existence of a Will and Testament executed by Shoghi Effendi was definitely established." A subsequent "Unanimous Proclamation of the 27 Hands of the Cause of God" on November 25 confirmed that Shoghi Effendi had died "without having appointed his successor." The Hands of the Cause of God elected from among their own nine individuals who would serve as Custodians to help lead the transition of the International Bahá'í Council, whose members had previously been appointed by Shoghi Effendi, into the Universal House of Justice, whose members are elected by all the members of each Bahá'í National Spiritual Assembly in the world.[48]

On April 8, 1960, Mason Remey, the architect of the Bahá'í Houses of Worship in Uganda and Australia who Shoghi Effendi had appointed a Hand of the Cause and President of the International Bahá'í Council, issued a written announcement claiming that he was the second Guardian of the Bahá'í Faith. He based his claim on the idea that by appointing him as President of the International Bahá'í Council, the embryonic form of the Universal House of Justice which would be led by the Guardian, Shoghi Effendi had in fact implicitly named him as the second Guardian. Mason Remey's claim was largely rejected with several notable exceptions, including five members of the National Spiritual Assembly of France lead by Joel Marangella. The remaining 26 Hands of the Cause unanimously declared Remey and whoever followed him Covenant-breakers.

The Universal House of Justice, the only institution authorized to adjudicate on situations not covered in scripture, later announced that it could not legislate to make possible the appointment of a successor Guardian to Shoghi Effendi. The Universal House of Justice also determined that it could not appoint any further Hands of the Cause, whose work is now carried out by other appointed institutions such as the Continental Counsellors and the Auxiliary Boards. 

Source : https://reddit.com/r/onthisdateinbahai

Baha'i Hack Scott Hakala exposes his naivety!

Many of Baha'u'llah's Arabic works, like those of the Bab, are incomprehensible mumbo-jumbo. That is why you never see them or their translations.
His book of Certitude is a mash of logical fallacies.
What language was the Kitab-i-Iqan written in?
Archaic un-eloquent Qajar era Persian with a pinch of Arabic here and there (mostly verses of the Quran which he couldn't write properly and usually were distortions of the original).
But you wouldn't know would you, because you don't know either language.
How do you know what I know? In fact, you don't know and are wrong. When I was younger, in fact, I studied both languages and then had the pleasure of knowing some persons very well versed in both languages over time to help me to read, hear, and understand. To a person with a closed mind and hostility, you may say and believe such things. That does not make them true, as Mirza Abu'l-Fadl confessed. It certainly was convincing and effective for Ḥájí Mírzá Siyyid Muḥammad, the Bab's uncle who accepted both the Bab and Baha'u'llah.
I find these attacks strange given that Baha'u'llah was acknowledged even by some of His most ardent opponents to be quite effective and persuasive, so much so that they feared being influenced by Him. In His two years of solitude in Kurdistan, He became known for His Writings and eventually so impressed a head of a Sufi school that He was asked to teach at times there.
To claim someone is right because some other person accepted his statements is naive.

Baha'u'llah would copy exact phrases from the writings of others and claim they were divine revelations.



In his Tablet of Wisdom Baha'u'llah claims the Tablet is a Divine revelation:
"This is an Epistle which the All-Merciful hath sent down from the Kingdom of Utterance." (Baha’u’llah, Tablets of Baha’u’llah Revealed After the Kitab-i-Aqdas, p. 137)
He then writes these historically incorrect statements in the Tablet:
"Empedocles, who distinguished himself in philosophy, was a contemporary of David, while Pythagoras lived in the days of Solomon, son of David, and acquired Wisdom from the treasury of prophethood. It is he who claimed to have heard the whispering sound of the heavens and to have attained the station of the angels. In truth thy Lord will clearly set forth all things, if He pleaseth. Verily, He is the Wise, the All-Pervading." (Baha’u’llah, Tablets of Baha’u’llah Revealed After the Kitab-i-Aqdas, p. 145)
These are verbatim statements from the books of Historians. This was so bad for Baha'is that they were forced to justify it by claiming in a footnote that:
"In many of the passages that follow concerning the Greek philosophers, Baha’u’llah quotes verbatim from the works of such Muslim historians as Abu’l-Fath-i-Shahristani (1076–1153 A.D.) and Imadu’d-Din Abu’l-Fidá (1273–1331 A.D.)." (Baha’u’llah, Tablets of Baha’u’llah Revealed After the Kitab-i-Aqdas, p. 145, footnote)
Apparently in Baha'ism God sends down wrong historical facts that he has copied verbatim from Sunni Muslim history books:
"This is an Epistle which the All-Merciful hath sent down from the Kingdom of Utterance." (Baha’u’llah, Tablets of Baha’u’llah Revealed After the Kitab-i-Aqdas, p. 137)
Source

Video : Baha'i cultists spread their network in Bahrain and Saudi Arabia


This is like : Baha'is gifting cake to Bayanis on the 'auspicious occasion of Baha'u'llah's birthday'

Official Website of the Baha'is spreading lies on the internet about a bogus bicentenary cake gifted to Baha'is from Muslims

This image:


Source : http://news.bahai.org/story/1213/slideshow#img-4

with the description:

A beautifully decorated cake offered as a gift from a Muslim family in Iran to their Baha’i neighbors in honor of the bicentenary of the birth of Baha’u’llah

Has been placed on the official website of the Baha'is and is being propagated by Baha'is widely on Social Media, such as :

https://www.reddit.com/r/religion/comments/788y56/the_gift_of_love_and_tolerance_a_cake_presented/

https://www.reddit.com/r/ImagesOfIran/comments/788v9p/the_gift_of_love_and_tolerance_a_cake_presented/

https://www.reddit.com/r/iran/comments/788v8p/the_gift_of_love_and_tolerance_a_cake_presented/

https://www.reddit.com/r/ImagesOfIran/comments/7822mp/a_cake_presented_to_the_bah%C3%A1%C3%ADs_of_isfahan_iran_by/

https://www.reddit.com/r/Bahaipics/comments/7822lw/a_cake_presented_to_the_bah%C3%A1%C3%ADs_of_isfahan_iran_by/

There is a major problem with the text written on the cake and postcard beside it. The prose of the Persian text is strictly Baha'i and no Persian Muslim would use the terms inscribed therein. e.g "Hazrate Baha'u'llah" (his highness Baha'u'llah) or "Hazrate rabbe Aalaa" (the most great Lord) which is a strictly Baha'i way of referring to the Bab. There is nothing in the texts on the cake and postcard that would show the slightest evidence that it was donated by a Muslim, rather all evidence, prose and style, shows that the cake was made by Baha'is for Baha'is!

Once more Haifan Baha'i cultists have been exposed.

Source : https://www.reddit.com/r/exbahai/comments/789crs/official_website_of_the_bahais_spreading_lies_on/

Murders and Killings by Baha'u'llah's men.



Assassinations by Baha's Men

Baha started out his pretensions at Edirne, They were preceded and followed by murders committed by Baha's men to remove prominent Babis, who rejected his pretensions. Baha's men included "those servants who fled into exile with God, and beyond them those brought nigh."

In his letter "revelation" at Acre Baha called a halt to these act of violence perpetuated by his 'Party of God (Hezb-ul'llah)' and enjoined self-constraint upon them." See section 3 of this topic.

 This was Baha's "Era of the Most Great Peace."

Aqa Sayyid Ali the Arab was murdered in Tabriz:

Subh-i-Azal's brother-in-law Mirza Nasrullah, who was honoured with a letter of commendation from Baha (Baha's amanuensis Mirza Aqa Jan of Kashan's letter to Mirza Nasrullah) was poisoned in Edirne on the eve of Baha's departure to Acre.

Mirza Aqa Jan's letter to Mirza Nasrullah:


The Bab's brother-in-law Mulla Rajab Ali Qahir was murdered in Karbala.

The Bab's brother-in-law Aqa Ali Muhammad (brother of Ghahir) was killed in Baghdad.
See the accounts of assassinations of Qahir & Seraj .

Hajji Mirza Ahmad of Kashan, brother of Mirza Jani of Kashan, author of Nuqtatul Kaf was assassinated in Baghdad.


PP. 40-41, Prof. Browne's Persian Introduction to Mirza Jani of Kashan's Nuqtatul Kaf; P. 306, & P. 308, the Hasht Bihisht;

P. 35, Materials for the study of the BABi religion by Prof. Browne; pp. 119-126, the Kashful-Hiyal, 3rd impression vol. III; the Kitab-i-Subhi, P. 120.

"The Khayyat-Bashi [chief tailor] [Muhammad Khan] and Hajji Ibrahim were murdered in the Carawansaray of the corn-sellers [in Acre] and buried in the quick-time under the platform, which was only mortared up over their bodies. After a while, however the smell of the composing bodies corpses became so offensive that the other inhabitants of the Carwansaray complained to the local authorities, who instituted a search and discovered the bodies."

The Traveller's Narrative, English Translation, Vol II, Professor Browne's Note W.

In his Kitab-i-Subhi, P. 120, author Subhi Fadlullah Muhtadi, one time Persian scribe to Sir Abbas Effendi and a Bahai missionary confirms the Hasht-Bihisht version and adds:

The owner of the Carwansaray is stated to have reported to the local authorities that the victims had died of plague and the matter was hushed up to avoid panic among the local inhabitants.

In his Kashf-al-Hiyal, Vol, I, 6th impression, P.36 author Abd-al-Husayn-Ayati surnamed Awara, one time member of "the Hands of the Cause" and a prominent Bahai missionary, confirms the Hasht-Bihisht account and adds :

The assassins were Ustad Muhammad Ali the Barber [of Isfahan] and his accomplices. These two men were billed because they had presumptuously told Baha's brother Mirza Musa that remittances were being procured from Iran by way of deceit, fraud and blackmail and that their share was denied to them. The text sums as follows:

« و سبب قتلشان این بوده که به کلیم برادر بهاء جسارت کرده گفته اند پول ها را به مکر و حیله و شارلاتانی از ایران میطلبد و با بهره نمیدهد.»

In the Kashf-al-Hiyal Vol. III, 3rd impression, PP. 114-115, the author adds :

"the murder was hushed up upon production of a medical report furnished by a priest physician an old friend of Sir Abbas Effendi, to the local authorities to the effect that the victims had died of plague. The physician received a handsome sum from Sir Abbas Effendi for his service.
Incidentally there two victims were of "these servant's who fled with into exile with god."

In his introduction to the Materials for the Study of the Babi Religion, P. x (PP. 154) Professor Browne says: 'Khayrullah's narrative of the treat addressed to him on account of his apostasy from [i.e. Abbas Effendi Abdul Baha] by Mirza Hasan-i-Khurassani [Sir Abbas Effendi's special envoy, and the history of the sad fate of Mirza Yahya at Jeddah (PP. 156-167) [who had transferred his allegiance to Sir Abbas Effendi's half-brother Mirza Muhammad Ali whose sad fate Sir Abbas Effendi is stated to have foretold, and who was poisoned] read like extracts from the history of the assassins of Alamut and 'the old man of the mountain'."

When Baha, members of his family and his partisans were banished from Edirne to Acre in the holy land, three of Subh-i-Azal's followers namely Sayyid Muhammad of Isfahan, Subh-i-Azal's brother-in-law; Mirza Rida Quli of Tafrish and Aqa Jan Beg Kaj-Kulah, were also exiled to Acre.

Sayyid Muhammad of Isfahan, Mirza Rida Quli of Tafrish, and Aqa Jan Beg Kaj Kulah, were murdered by Baha's men in Acre, in 1872, the assassins included Ustad Muhammad Ali, the Barber of Isfahan. Mirza Jawad's Historical Epitome, Materials for the Study of the BABi Religion, by Prof. Browne, PP. 52-58.

The murder of Haji Sayyid Muhammad of Isfahan is alluded in a passage of Baha's Kitab-i Aqdas (the Most Holy Book) addressed to Subh-i-Azal wherein he says: “God hath taken him who led thee astray.”

Baha describes “Hajji Sayyid Muhammad of Isfahan as a man possessed of utmost degree of atheism or ditheism (Jandaqa), placing him in the same category as Munira Khanum, wife of Abdul Baha.” P. 14, Ibn-al-Baha Badiullah's Memoirs;

In his letter penned in his own hand writing, facsimile of which is attached to and referred to below, and addressed to a partisan of Baha in Iran. At the time, Sir Abbas Effendi seeks to condone and justify the murders on the ground that Mirza Rida Quli of Tafrish conducted hostile propaganda against Baha and his partisans among the local inhabitants, drank wine and ate pork. … and the divine might struck across his back like a shooting star.

In his reference to the murder of these three men, the Kashf-al-Hiyal volume III, 3rd impression, P.117, the author says Sir Abbas Effendi Himself was positively as accountable [in the murder of these three men], nay, he led the murder [gang] and the order [to kill] was issued by his father. Not only that, but in the early days Bahai argument or reasoning Sayyid Muhammad of Isfahan was killed by Sir Abbas Effendi himself and for this reason Sir Abbas Effendi was the Messiah and Sayyid Muhammad Antichrist. Because on the strength of an Islamic tradition Antichrist is to be slain with the sword of the Messiah. When it was realised that this reasoning or argument was scandalous, it was passed over in silence. The text sums as follows:

« چنانچه مکرر اشاره شد جنایات بهاء و پسرانش خیلی بیش از اینهاست راجع به همین سه نفر هم به طور حتم خود عباس افندی شریک بلکه پیش قدم در قتل بوده و فرمان از پدرش صادر شده. در اوایل استدلال میکرده شاند که سید محمد را خود عباس افندی کشته است و باین واسطه او مسیح و سیّد محمد دجال است که در اخبار اسلامی است که دجال به شمشیر مسیح کشته خواهد شد بعد دیدند این استدلال موجب افتضاح است مسکوت گذاشتند. »

P. 125, ibid : All the Bahais say that Baha issued the epistle of wrath

“Where are your swords of vengeance, O, Dominant of the world's [see 12.4.6, in which I have quoted Baha's revelation calling halt to acts of violence committed by his men. A similar passage appears in the text] and the friends [i.e. “those servants who fled into exile with god] understood that the slaying of these men [i.e. Sayyid Muhammad of Isfahan, Mirza Rida Quli of Tafrish, and Aqa Jan Beg Kaj Kulah] was incumbent upon them.

The text sums as follows:

« همه گوسفندان بهاء میگویند که بهاء الله لوح قهریّه صادر کرد که « این اسیاف انتقامک یا قهار العالمین » و احباب دانستند که کشتن آن اشخاص لازم است و یکی از قاتلین استاد محمد علی سلمانی را من خودم 21 سال پیش در عشق آباد دیدم و شرح حبس چندین ساله خود را برایم گفت و گفت وقتیکه تصمیم بر قبل آن مخالفین گرفتم من از جمال مبارک (بهاء ) اجازه خواستم با تبسم و شوخی فرمودند اگر اجازه ندهم چه میکنی عرض کردم اگر اجازه ندهید من شرکت در قتلشان خواهم کرد تبسمی نموده فرمودند مگر از خدا نمیترسی ؟ عرض کردم خدائی غیر از شما نیست که از او بترسم دیدم وجهة مبارک شاد و خندان شد و فرمودند مرحبا موفق باشی!»

“I personally met one of the killers being ‘Muhammad Ali the chief barber’ 21 years ago in Ishq-Abad (of Russia). He told me about his imprisonment which lasted for a few years and said: “When I decided on killing those opposing (Baha), I asked for permission from the blessed Beauty (i.e. Baha). With a simle on his face he asked me what I would do if he did not give me the permission. In response I said that I woul (still) take part in their killing. He smiled and asked “Aren’t you afraid of God?”, I said: “There is no god but you to be afraid of.”. His blessed face became jubilant and happy and said “Well done! Good luck to you!”.

Mirza Rida Quli's murder “was justified on the grounds that he “drank wine & ate pork.”. Abdul Baha's letter reproduced in facsimile in the Kitab-i Subhi, pp. 184-186, and the Kashf-al-Hiyal pp. 122-123, 3rd impression, vol. III.

With the blood of the victims land at his door, Baha alleged against Subh-i-Azal an attempted fratricide of which, according to Subh-i-Azal, he was in reality himself the author. Baha produced as evidence “those servants who fled into exile with god [i.e. Baha], and beyond then those brought nigh and one of my attendants.”

Baha's Sura-i Haykal, pp. 205-207.

“One of my attendants” is identified “as Ustad Muhammad Ali, the barber of Isfahan, whose ears had been cut off for theft and other crimes by the Governor of Isfahan, who, having fled thence to Baghdad, had become one of Baha's chosen associates, and the source of manifold evils and mischiefs” P. 305, the Hasht Bihisht, “who was one of the assassins of the Azalis in Acre.” P. 55, Mirza Jawad's Historical Epitome, Materials for the Study of the BABi Religion by Professor Browne, who “received Baha's blessing on the eve of the commission of his crime”, pp. 125-126, the Kashf-al-Hiyal, 3rd impression, Vol II, and who was apparently recipient of the title “the Barber of the Truth,” in Baha's Honour list.,

p. 309, the Hasht Bihisht, & How Baha referred to his Members of family.

Baha suffered from Dystaxia. P. 65 the Tanbihun Naimin (The Sleeper Awakened). This infinity affected Baha's hands which had become shaky. Traces of this disease were noticeable in Baha's writings written with a shaky hand.

To cover up Baha's infinity with some sort of excuse in the eyes of his followers Abdul Baha invented this canard:

“Subh-i-Azal administered poison to Baha, who not wishing to break the former's heart, took the poison. But for the poison to work Baha's blessed will was not forthcoming. So Baha escaped death; but his hand remains shaky.”

pp. 78-79, Kashf-al-Hiyal, sixth impression, Vol. I.

Avareh dismisses Baha's allegation of attempted fratricide as a fabrication. P. 321, Kashf-al-Hiyal, 3rd impression, vol III.

“… If they be true [i.e. charges of assassinations of the Azalis by Bahais; they were confirmed by Prof. Browne in his Introduction to the Tarikh-i-Jadid (The New History), pp. vviii-xxiv, and in his Persian Introduction to Mirza Jani of Kashan's Nuqtatul Kaf, pp. 40-41] on whole view of the tendencies and probable influences of Baha's teachings must necessarily be greatly modified, for of what we are the noblest and most humane utterances if they be associated with deeds such as here alleged.”

Professor Brown's comment in Note W. p. 364, Abdul Baha's “A Traveller's Narrative,” vol ii, English translation.

“Baha is not [the Imam] Husayn but Hasan [Sabah, History of the Assassins of Alamut and the old man of the mountain] returned.”

PP. 28-38, the Kashf-al Hiyal. 6th impression, vol I.

Disgusted with the crimes laid at the door of the Bahai hierarchy, some Babis renounced their Babi faith and composed the following distich:

“If Husayn Ali [i.e. Baha, his real name Husayn Ali is written as one word in Persian and not as two separate words] is the manifestation of Husayn Ali [i.e. the third Imam, and son of Ali Ibn Ali Talib; Baha claims to be the Imam Husayn returned; the Imam's name Husayn Ali is written in Persian as two separate words] then may god grant heavenly bless thousand times to the pure soul of Yazid [i.e. the Caliph of dynasty of Umayyids, son of Mu'awiya, having instigated the murder of the Imam Ali's two sons, Hasan & Husayn, his name is cursed by Moslems; his name is synonymous with a wicked and execrable person]. Husayn [i.e. the Imam] was the wronged-one (Mazlum) and not the wrongdoer [Yazid].” 
P. 16, The Tanbih Naimin.

Source : http://www.bayanic.com/notes/assas/as01.html
To read more about Bahaism go to the main page, select 'Bahaism' and navigate through the options.

The UHJ deceived millions of Baha'is to believe that they're not proselytizing.


Baha'i Hack Scott Hakala gets exposed on /r/exbahai

Hello u/DavidbinOwen (Scott Hakala) and welcome to r/exbahai. About an hour ago, your comment on this sub made the following points:
  • Most of us did not provide a "great reason for leaving".
  • Most of us are "not very positive about life or much else".
  • Many ex-Baha'is do not participate on this sub because of its negativity, disparagement, and misrepresentation of the Faith.
How about I tackle the first point since the last two are obvious broad assumptions on your part? Let's see...what's a great reason for leaving a religion? How about deception? Here an example:
It is true that Bahá'u'lláh lays on every Bahá'í the duty to teach His Faith. At the same time, however, we are forbidden to proselytize, so it is important for all believers to understand the difference between teaching and proselytizing. It is a significant difference and, in some countries where teaching a religion is permitted, but proselytizing is forbidden, the distinction is made in the law of the land. Proselytizing implies bringing undue pressure to bear upon someone to change his Faith. It is also usually understood to imply the making of threats or the offering of material benefits as an inducement to conversion. In some countries mission schools or hospitals, for all the good they do, are regarded with suspicion and even aversion by the local authorities because they are considered to be material inducements to conversion and hence instruments of proselytization.
(The Universal House of Justice, Messages 1963 to 1986, p. 513)
The definition of "proselytize":
v. intr.
(1) to induce someone to convert to one's faith
(2) to recruit someone to join one's party, institution, or cause
v. tr.
to recruit or convert especially to a new faith, institution, or cause
(Merriam Webster Dictionary)
...
convert or attempt to convert (someone) from one religion, belief, or opinion to another
(Oxford Dictionary)
...
to try to persuade people to share your religious or political beliefs
(Macmillan Dictionary)
...
to convert (someone) from one religious faith to another
(Collins English Dictionary)
...
(1) to try to convert (a person), especially to one's religion
(2) to persuade to do or join something, especially by offering an inducement
(Webster's New World College Dictionary)
...
English
to try to persuade someone to change their religious or political beliefs or way of living to your own
American
to try to persuade someone to change his or her religious beliefs, political party, etc., to your own
(Cambridge Dictionary)
...
v. intr.
(1) to attempt to convert someone to one's own religious faith
(2) to attempt to persuade someone to join one's own political party or to espouse one's doctrine
v.tr.
to convert (a person) from one belief, doctrine, cause, or faith to another
(American Heritage Dictionary)
...
v. intr.
to make converts or proselytes
v. tr.
to convert to some religion, system, opinion, or the like; to bring, or cause to come, over; to proselyte
(Webster's 1913 Dictionary)
To conclude, the UHJ deceived millions of Baha'is to believe that they're not proselytizing in the absence of coercion by conveniently redefining the word to require coercion. Why? To disassociate themselves from its negative connotation and subsequently, they adopted the euphemism, "teaching".

EDIT: I didn't dox because you revealed your name yesterday on Reddit.

Source : https://www.reddit.com/r/exbahai/comments/77oy2f/welcome/
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