Saturday, August 19, 2017

Analyzing UHJ letters

This year’s Ridvan message from the highest leaders of the Baha’i Faith confirms my view that Baha’i has become an inward-looking religion that refuses to engage the world at large except for the purpose of trying to convert people.

But I think it’s a profound illustration of how beneficial, potentially transformative spiritual messages can be twisted and obscured by leaders and members of a religion for their own misguided ends — a problem that is all too common in every significant religion.

So what do the Baha’is do? As one might guess from the rich history of religious followers doing the opposite of what the founder of their faith taught, Baha’is today focus all their energies on trying to build their own new sect and convert as many people as possible to it!

The Baha’i leaders open their message to the Baha’is during a major holiday season of their faith by talking about how wonderful it is that Baha’is are following the UHJ’s “global Plan” for “intensive programmes of growth” — i.e. that they are focusing, in a systematic way, on trying to convert as many people as possible. And then they go on to mention how Baha’is held a lot of big conferences where they gathered among themselves. This is supposed to be an “extraordinary contrast” to the world that is currently suffering from a severe economic crisis and so many other problems.

Baha’is think that they will get more members because they are trying hard to get more members — especially because they feel confident in their religion while the world outside the Baha’i bubble is “caught in a spiral of crisis.” The irony is that if Baha’is shifted their focus away from proselytizing and organizing events for their own members, toward doing tangible things to help solve problems in the real world — economic development, human rights, peace movements, environmental protection, etc. — they would find that more people would naturally be attracted to their religion, because people would see that they care about helping the world, not the size of their membership rolls.

And therein lies the problem for Baha’is. They, or at least their leaders, seem to believe that the only way to truly help the world is to convert people to Baha’i. So that’s where they invest their time, energy, and money, leaving little or nothing for promoting the world-changing values and causes that really make a difference.

Sound familiar? Yup, it’s the same tired old attitude of fundamentalists of all religions. All of them essentially say some variation of the following: “Our religion is the only way of true salvation, so the whole world needs to join us. Doing other things is unnecessary or even counterproductive, because this world is destined to go through an apocalypse anyway, which will show people the glorious and absolute truth of our faith.”

Baha’is, with their progressive belief that all religions are inspired by One God, should at least in theory be particularly able to avoid the trap of fundamentalism. In reality, sadly, they are not. I know a few liberal Baha’is who believe that the future of human spirituality lies not in one religious sect converting everyone else and taking over the world, but rather in “meta-spirituality” and interfaith respect and reconciliation. But the Baha’is who follow the party-line of their religious organization, which seems to be most of them, are blinded to this reality and instead chase the quixotic, ever elusive dream of one world, one religious identity/practice for everyone. Just as the fundamentalist Christians and Muslims do.

Source : https://www.reddit.com/r/exbahai/comments/6upvh4/ridvan_2009_bahais_missing_the_point_of_their_own/

All the friends of God are my children, but these two are not.

Likewise Qurratu’l-‘Ayn, who is celebrated in all the world, when she believed in God and was attracted to the Divine Breaths, she forsook her two eldest sons, although they were her two oldest children, because they did not become believers, and thereafter did not meet them. She said: “All the friends of God are my children, but these two are not. I will have nothing to do with them.”

('Abdu'l-Bahá, Bahá'í World Faith, p. 437-8)

Baha'u'llah's two years in Kurdistan

So a Manifestation of God left His wife and children under the care of the Source of Perversion which intentionally, since He is supposedly omniscient, left His toddler to die and family to suffer just so He could meditate in the mountains for two years?

If you remove all of the supernatural aspects of the story, the plot seems quite simple. Baha'u'llah ran away from all of the religious turmoil that He was causing with the Bab's successor who was still widely revered and since He wasn't omniscient, He didn't realize that Asiyih was pregnant or His family would experience difficulty under the care of Mirza Yahya.

Abdul Baha is praying for Baha'is

O Divine Providence! Bestow Thou in all things purity and cleanliness upon the people of Bahá. Grant that they be freed from all defilement, and released from all addictions. Save them from committing any repugnant act, unbind them from the chains of every evil habit, that they may live pure and free, wholesome and cleanly, worthy to serve at Thy Sacred Threshold and fit to be related to their Lord. Deliver them from intoxicating drinks and tobacco, save them, rescue them, from this opium that bringeth on madness, suffer them to enjoy the sweet savours of holiness, that they may drink deep of the mystic cup of heavenly love and know the rapture of being drawn ever closer unto the Realm of the All-Glorious. For it is even as Thou hast said: ‘All that thou hast in thy cellar will not appease the thirst of my love—bring me, O cup-bearer, of the wine of the spirit a cup full as the sea!’

- ‘Abdu’l-Bahá

Selections from the Writings of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, 129

No man should blindly follow his ancestors and forefathers.

Another new principle revealed by Bahá’u’lláh is the injunction to investigate truth — that is to say, no man should blindly follow his ancestors and forefathers. Nay, each must see with his own eyes, hear with his own ears and investigate the truth himself in order that he may follow the truth instead of blind acquiescence and imitation of ancestral beliefs.

- Abdul Baha

http://reference.bahai.org/en/t/ab/PUP/pup-134.html

Friday, August 18, 2017

Bahaism and Zionism

To give a brief timeline, the Bahá'ís, including Bahá'u'lláh and his family, arrived in Acre on August 31, 1868. Bahá'u'lláh lived in Acre until 1877, when he moved to a mansion in Mazra'a where he lived for two years. From 1879 until his death in 1892, he lived at the Mansion of Bahjí.

The First Zionist Congress was held in Basel, Switzerland, from August 29 to August 31, 1897. The British conquered Palestine from the Ottomans during World War I in a series of campaigns lasting from March through November of 1917. It was only after the British occupation of Palestine that mass immigration of Jewish settlers occurred. Looking at census data for Palestine, for example, in 1922 there were 83,290 Jews and by 1946 that number had risen to 608,225.

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

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

The descendants of Azal, with their mother's milk, drank hatred of Bahá'u'lláh

The friends are sometimes surprisingly naive and superficial in their approach to the subject of Covenant-breakers. They do not seem to understand that the descendants of Azal, with their mother's milk, drank hatred of Bahá'u'lláh, just as the descendants of Muhammad-Ali and his relatives have imbibed from babyhood a false concept of the Master. It takes practically a miracle to overcome this lifelong habit of wrong thought. Now, however, he has told the German believers to shun her.

(From a letter dated 18 August 1949 written on behalf of the Guardian to a National Spiritual Assembly)

https://bahai-library.com/pdf/compilations/nonassociation_covenant_breakers.pdf

Latin Americans are "so impoverished spiritually, so paralyzed with fear, so confused in thought, so abased in their moral standard."

August 18. On this date in 1949, Shoghi Effendi wrote a letter titled "This Hour, Crowded With Destiny," later published in the book "Citadel of Faith" describing Latin Americans as "so impoverished spiritually, so paralyzed with fear, so confused in thought, so abased in their moral standard."

http://www.bahai.org/library/authoritative-texts/shoghi-effendi/citadel-faith/#r=cf_en-41

Thursday, August 17, 2017

In 1957, Shoghi Effendi wrote German Bahá'ís stating he "was shocked"

He was shocked and indignant to hear of the conduct of certain of the Persian Bahá'í students in Germany which had been so criminal as to lead to their imprisonment.

http://bahai-library.com/writings/shoghieffendi/ldg/vol1/sec-206.html

No mention is made about the Bábi uprisings.

August 15. On this date in 2002, The Oak Ridger carried a story written by David Sperry, "a publicist for area Bahá'ís," about an event on "July 9 at "Heart of the Hills" in Sevier County to commemorate the execution of the Báb." No mention is made about the Bábi uprisings.

A group of Bábís attempted to assassinate Naser al-Din Shah Qajar, Bahá'u'lláh was arrested and imprisoned. He would later claim during this incarceration he was visited by the "Maid of Heaven" who told him his mission as the "Manifestation of God."

August 16. On this date in 1852, one day after a group of Bábís attempted to assassinate Naser al-Din Shah Qajar, Bahá'u'lláh was arrested and imprisoned. Years later, when he publicly revealed his mission, Bahá'u'lláh would claim that during this incarceration he was visited by the "Maid of Heaven" who told him his mission as the "Manifestation of God." Due to pressure from the Russian ambassador, Bahá'u'lláh was not executed but instead exiled to Baghdad along with the other Bábí leadership. Bahá'u'lláh traveled from Iran to Baghdad accompanied with a representative of the Russian legation and an entourage of Russian guards.
From Helen S. Goodall, a Disciple of `Abdu'l-Bahá, and Ella Goodall Cooper's "Daily Lessons Received at Akka: January 1908," "Exile of Bahá'u'lláh"...
When Bahá'u'lláh was imprisoned in Tihran, the Russian Ambassador went about twenty times to the Shah to plead in His behalf, saying, "This man has no fault. He is faultless. Why do you imprison Him?" The Shah answered that Bahá'u'lláh must be punished because He had ordered the attack on his life (see history). The Ambassador said, "That is not a reasonable supposition; for, if He had ordered such an attempt, He would have ordered a bullet put in the gun instead of merely powder and small shot." The Shah acknowledged this reasoning but was determined to hold Bahá'u'lláh responsible so as to have a pretext for keeping Him in prison.
Again and again the Russian Ambassador went to talk with the Shah about the matter, and at last the Shah confessed that he was afraid of the influence of Bahá'u'lláh, and that if he should set Him free, it would create a great tumult among the people.
The Ambassador answered, "If, then, you fear Him so much, why keep Him in Tihran? Would it not be better to exile Him to Baghdad?" This was accordingly done, and *an escort furnished of Cossack and Russian horsemen to protect Him from the Persian horsemen. *From Baghdad, Bahá'u'lláh was sent to Constantinople, then to Adrianople, then to Akka--by force He was sent to the place where He desired to be, thus fulfilling the prophecies of all the Holy Books. He came by His own Will. Had He simply appeared and declared Himself there, the opposers might have said, "Of course, He has read the prophecies and determined to appear in the Holy Land in order to mislead the people." But we see that He used the natural instruments who thought they were sending Him there by force. This is what we may call a real miracle.
After all, did the Shah accomplish his will, or did Bahá'u'lláh accomplish His Will?
From Nabil's The Dawn-breakers, "Chapter XXVI Attempt on the Shah's Life, and its Consequences"...
The Russian minister, as soon as he learned of the action which the government contemplated taking, volunteered to take Baha'u'llah under his protection, and invited Him to go to Russia. He refused the offer and chose instead to leave for Iraq. Nine months after His return from Karbila, on the first day of the month of Rabi'u'th-Thani, in the year 1269 A.H., Baha'u'llah, accompanied by the members of His family, among whom were the Most Great Branch and Aqay-i-Kalim, and escorted by a member of the imperial body-guard and an official representing the Russian legation, set out from Tihran on His journey to Baghdad.
In God Passes By, Shoghi Effendi alludes to the protection the Russian ambassador gave Bahá'u'lláh on different occasions, first after the attempted assassination of Naser al-Din Shah Qajar and again after the decision to exile Bahá’u’lláh from Iran, expressing his "desire to take Bahá’u’lláh under the protection of his government, and offered to extend every facility for His removal to Russia." In his Súriy-i-Haykal, Bahá’u’lláh included the Lawh-i-Malik-i-Rús, praising Czar Alexander II of Russia in these terms:
when this Wronged One was sore-afflicted in prison, the minister of the highly esteemed government (of Russia)—may God, glorified and exalted be He, assist him!—exerted his utmost endeavor to compass My deliverance. Several times permission for My release was granted. Some of the ‘ulamás of the city, however, would prevent it. Finally, My freedom was gained through the solicitude and the endeavor of His Excellency the Minister. …His Imperial Majesty, the Most Great Emperor—may God, exalted and glorified be He, assist him!—extended to Me for the sake of God his protection—a protection which has excited the envy and enmity of the foolish ones of the earth.

Doctrines of the church today are no longer needed--as the Father Himself has come.

"A Catholic background is an excellent introduction to the Faith, and one that Mrs. ... should feel gratified for having had. Though doctrines of the church today are no longer needed--as the Father Himself has come, and thus fulfilled the mission of Christ the Son--yet the foundation they lay of spiritual discipline, and their emphasis on spiritual values and adherence to moral laws, is very important and very close to our own beliefs."

(From a letter written on behalf of the Guardian to two believers, August 17, 1941)

http://bahai-library.com/hornby_lights_guidance_2.html&chapter=4#n1647

Some personal observations about Baha'i faith.

When researching the Bahá'í Faith, please do not limit yourself only to the officially-sanctioned literature of the Bahá'í Administrative Order.

Here are a few observations...

1) The Bahá'í Faith exists solely to perpetuate itself, 99% of its focus and activities are toward this one goal, growth in membership. Throughout their history they have been preparing their members for the "entry by troops" of new converts, which has yet to materialize. They do a minimal amount of humanitarian or charity work.

2) Bahá'ís use terminology in ways that was not intended. Bahá'ís don't have censorship, they have "review." They don't proselytize, they "teach." They don't have missionaries, they have "pioneers." They don't have prophets, they are called "manifestations." And so forth.

3) Bahá'ís have a "lo is us" sense of historical persecution. If you look at their history, though, most would call it just fruits. During the founding of the religion, the forebear Babi sect led a violent, apocalyptic revolution in Iran, and some of their members later attempted to assassinate the Shah. Their leadership were exiled to the Ottoman Empire where schismatic violence within the group later led to house arrest. Of course, this is all billed as being persecuted.

4) Bahá'ís lament how others view them in a conspiratorial light, when in fact, again, this is based on historical reality. In Iran the Babis had the protection of the Russian ambassador (Russia being an imperial power that had seized wide swaths of territory from Iran and at one point the Russian ambassador had to approve Iranian cabinet ministers). In the Ottoman Empire, Bahá'ís conspired with the Young Turks, who deposed Sultan Abdul Hamid II in a coup. Later, they would assist the British, and their leader `Abdu'l-Bahá earned knighthood, being designated KBE. With their headquarters in Haifa, Bahá'ís have cooperated with the state of Israel, to the extent that some of the Bahá'í World Center buildings are built on land expropriated from absentee Palestinian land owners.

5) Bahá'ís inflate their membership numbers. Comparing census data of various nations to self-reported data confirms this. The outside data Bahá'ís often cite, like from the Association of Religion Data Archives, only uses self-reported data, creating a circle.

6) In the community I was a member of, even in the lifetime of Khomeini, there were Persian Bahá’ís who would regularly travel to Iran during their summer holidays to visit family. When I would ask them how that was possible, their response was always along the lines that the arrested Bahá’ís were those who were administratively and politically active, almost to the point of referring to them as "troublemakers." The Bahá’í Administrative Order uses these news stories of alleged persecution very astutely to generate media attention. A Google News search for the term "Bahá’í" shows a predominance of news stories regarding Bahá’í temples and discrimination. Otherwise, the Bahá’í Faith generates little to no interest.

7) Bahá'ís initially hide from members some of the more unsavory realities of their religion. Men and women are equal, but women are barred from serving in the highest organ of the religion, the Universal House of Justice, and will presumably be barred from the local and national Houses of Justice that the current LSA's and NSA's will one day evolve into. The hierarchy is billed as being democratic, but only in the sense of council democracy as it still exists in Cuba where individuals elect local committees, who then elect national committees, who then elect the Universal House of Justice. There is a parallel appointed hierarchy. With no politicking or partisanship allowed, elected members in the higher ranks serve for life until they die or retire, and are subsequently replaced by nomenklatura.

8) Bahá'ís hide from members some of the more unsavory realities of their history. After Bahá'u'lláh their leader was 'Abdu'l-Bahá and then Shoghi Effendi. By the time Shoghi Effendi died, all the living descendants of Bahá'u'lláh had been excommunicated from the religion for various offenses, including marrying a "lowborn Christian girl," a term he would later defend. Shoghi Effendi was also designated the "Guardian," by 'Abdu'l-Bahá. The Guardian was supposed to designated subsequent Guardians, but did not do so, although the entire Bahá'í administrative structure depended on it.

9) Ignoring failed prophecies, like `Abdu'l-Bahá declaring the peace of the world to come by the year 2000. Those of us around in the 1980's and 1990's remember the crescendo, and the anticlimactic ignoring of reality and denial of the build up.

10) Many Bahá'ís books have been posthumously rewritten to remove references to to failed prophecies and prominent individuals who left the Bahá'í Faith for various reasons. These rewrites are more than minor edits and constitute a different process than "Bahá'í review" which the euphemism used for pre-publication censorship.

11) Bahá'ís claim earlier religions are valid, but in reality they only do this in an Islamic sense (i.e., the earlier revelation was perverted over time). For example, they deny the parts of Bible written by Paul. Or when Muhammad says he is the last prophet, Bahá'ís say that was true only for the Adamic Cycle, but now we are in the Bahá'í Cycle.

12) The Universal House of Justice has noted that only "A fraction of the total numbers of unique works have been published in the original languages or translated into Western languages."

The Kitáb-i-Aqdas, the central book of the Bahá'í Faith written by Bahá'u'lláh, was only officially translated into English in 1992, by which time other translations, such as one by the Royal Asiatic Society, were becoming increasingly available through dissemination via the internet. My personal opinion is that the material in the Kitáb-i-Aqdas is so objectionable that the Bahá'í authorities wished to shield Western believers from its contents, as they do from Bahá'u'lláh's other works by not publishing the originals or providing translations.

I could go on.

If you're wondering why I am sending you this message, it is because of my personal experience with the Bahá'í Faith. If years ago I knew what I know now, I would have avoided years of commitment and devotion, not to mention financial contribution, to a religion that was presented inaccurately. In the final analysis, I do not believe the Bahá'í Faith to be true.

Sunday, August 13, 2017

The figure of Twelfth Imam in Shi'i islam is very Shaky

O Sadrus Sudur! Thy "outspread sroll" [=raqq e Manshur cf Q 52:3] was perused…As to thy question in regard to the Twelfth Imam. Inasmuch as in the texts of the traditions [=AhAdeeth] of the Holy Imams, to outward seeming, there is disagreement and conflict, for example in some hadith the person of Muhammad the son of Hasan [al-‘Askari], peace be upon Him, is considered to be the Promised Qa’im, and in another hadith and another place the death of Muhammad the son of Hasan [al-‘Askari], peace be upon Him and the birth in the Last Day of the Promised Qa’im are both affirmed, [because of this apparent divergence and] in order to achieve agreement between these two types of hadith [=be jahat e tawaafoq e bayn e do hadith] there is no other alternative for any soul [=chaareh az baraaye nafsee nah] but to attain certitude [tayaqqun] in this matter, namely: that the Twelfth Imam, the Promised Qa’im was present spiritually [=Ruuh an] in the Realm of Malakuut [=hayyiz e malakuut], and in the Day of His Appearance [ZuhUr], He became visible in the corporeal realm [=jism]. And with this individuation in body He did become a second Person [= be een tajassum shakhs e thaani gasht]. “And there is not a thing but its (sources and) treasures (inexhaustible) are with Us; but We only send down thereof in due and ascertainable measures.” [Qur’an 15:21] Thus every thing that appears in the realm of the earthly kingdom [=mulk] has, in priority, been in the Realm of Malakuut [=hayyiz e malakuut] and possesses the principle of existence [hukm e wujuud]. Now this question of the Twelfth Imam and the Promised Qa’im is very shaky in a sequence of chained traditions. If a person were endowed with the sense of equity he would not place his confidence in any of these divergent, dissonant, and disagreeing narrations. The members of the Shi’ih Community would tend to consider each of the immaculate Imams as the Qá’im [=He Who ariseth] in His day and were always awaiting the day of His uprising forth [=khuruuj]. After the passing of Imam Hasan ‘Askari the leaders of the community became aware that the foundations of the hopes and aspirations of the Shi’ihs would be utterly destroyed and that they would all become dejected and reach oblivion. They, therefore, wanted to adhere to any means whatever to keep and preserve them. So they used allusions, metaphors, abstruse language, and interpretations and in this wise disagreeing narratives appeared. The truth of the matter is this that the Shi’ih community were divided into three after the Imam Hasan ‘Askari, peace be upon Him. Some adhered to the imamate of Ja’far the “ignorant” [=Ja’far e naadaan]. And this group congratulated and greeted his imamate. Another group completely gave up, and a third group pinned their hopes on the Occultation [=ghaybuubat], and they were eagerly anticipating each day the up-rising [=khuruuj]. It is now a thousand years that they are waiting and they are still not tired nor are they giving up. Praise be to God! Even though the Appearance and manifestation of the One True God is clearly the text of the holy Qur’an, namely the Divine Utterance, exalted and blessed be He, And Thy Lord shall come and His angels rank upon rank. [Qur’an 89:22]. In this they doubt. In this they are perturbed and are shaken. In this they take recourse to bizarre interpretations. And in order to ignore this they adhere to such narratives and traditions that are in the utter state of shakiness and dubiety. Rather they presume that those narrations are an explicit text and, utilizing these, they object and oppose. What a state of foolishness [=balaahat] and ignorance [=naadaani] is this! What an obtuseness and bewilderment is the result of all this! And upon thee be my greetings and praise. ‘‘Abdu’l-Baha ‘Abbas.

Ma’idiyi Asmani [MA] Part II compiled from the Writings of ‘Abdu’l-Baha by ‘Abdu’l-Hamidi Ishraq Khavari 1984 NSA India New Delhi India [reproduced from and consists of the original MA volumes II, V, and IX which were previously published by the BPT of Iran

Page 54 bab e chehel va duvvum


http://fananapazir.co.nr/sixtranslations.html

Bab's wisdom (Dissimulation)

His holiness the exalted Bab because of the weakness of the people at the inception of his manifestation showed extreme forbearance. He spoke with the utmost wisdom e.g. he says in a certain context, 'if anyone attributes prophethood, imamate or anything above these stations or similar to it has perpetrated a calumny against me and I am far removed from him'. There are many such examples in the utterances of the Bab. In another context He even says that if anyone ascribes the particular and explicated Gatehood [Babiyyat e Makhs.us.ih ye mans.us.ih] to Me has uttered a fabrication. Then afterwards He has mentioned all these grades to apply to His own station. In one instance He says, "I am the same Point of the Qur'an (Muhammad) that have been manifested in this spiritual cycle as the Point of the Bayan. This former station would be the station of prophethood and in the case of the latter station of the Imamate, He revealed: 'I am the promised Qa'im Whose advent you were promised'. Yet in other circumstances He has denied all the above and mentioned higher stations. Thus in a passage He reveals that if people were not so weak He would not have mentioned that His station was that of [representing] the Primal Will.' There is no doubt whatever that all these utterances are the exercise of H.ikmat [Wisdom] for if in the beginning of His manifestation He were to utter the above last utterances the flame and fire of opposition and rejection would have inflicted on Him what it did eventually achieve in the end. At all times reflect upon the tyranny of the oppressor, the objections of the enemy and the denial of the gainsayers who are none other than the divines of this age. Such was their opposition that He Who was the Quintessence of existence itself [Jawhar e Wujud] called Himself the "Servant of the Remnant of God" but this degraded people were not happy with that and they perpetrated that which my pen and my tongue are both unable to describe and up to this point in time no one has been able to ascertain the truth of this or to comprehend the consequences and traces of this matter.

- The Tablet of Hussain by Baha'u'llah

http://fananapazir.co.nr/sixtranslations.html

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