April 8, 2009
Table of contents :
Violation of Orthodox Bahai Rights by Universal House of Justice
Herewith per following is a comment given to the site :
“… The Fundamentally Islamic government if Iran is persecuting Baha’is because of the Faith’s beliefs. But that is just the clergy-dominated government, not Muslims in general.”
Is a “clergy-dominated” leadership also the explanation for this circumstance which we are now observing in America where the leadership of the large body of Bahá’ís in the United States is persecuting Orthodox Bahá’ís by bringing Court action against them in an attempt to stop them legally from practicing their Faith, “framing mischief by decree” (Ps. 94:20), preventing Orthodox Bahá’ís from using the Name of the Founder of their Faith and the symbols of their Faith? How is that attitude and action different from Iranian authorities destroying sacred Bahá’í sites in Iran? The National Spiritual Assembly of the Bahá’ís of the United states is acting towards Orthodox Bahá’ís with the same attitude as the clergy of the Iranian leadership, classifying Orthodox Bahá’ís as “heretics/Covenant-breakers/apostates.”
“It is such a crime that the Iranians do not allow for the free expression of religious beliefs. It is also a crime that the main Baha’i organization is trying to squelch the free speech of Orthodox Baha’is. See the following:
Details of the Court Action:” http://www.truebahai.com/court_case.html
Contempt Motion by Wilmette NSA
against Orthodox Bahá’í Faith:
Parties await decision of Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals in NSA’s appeal of decision finding Orthodox Bahá’ís were not in contempt
[Revised 28 February 2009] The parties are awaiting the decision of the Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit in Chicago, Illinois in the appeal brought by the National Spiritual Assembly of the Bahá’ís of the United States (NSA), located in Wilmette, Illinois, after it lost its contempt motion against members of the Orthodox Bahá’í Faith and the Bahá’ís Under the Provisions of the Covenant, which are two separate and distinct entities.
The NSA had called upon the United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, Eastern Division to hold in contempt members of both minority Bahá’í organizations who, the NSA claimed, were in violation of an injunction its predecessor obtained some 40 years ago against a rival Bahá’í body (the NSA loyal to Mason Remey).
In legal documents provided to the court on December 6, 2006, the NSA claimed that members of the current minority Bahá’í groups, although not parties to the case brought against the NSA loyal to Mason Remey, nevertheless are bound by the 1966 Judgment. While not providing any specifics with regard to how the minority bodies have harmed the majority body, the NSA contended that the websites (including this one) of the smaller organizations were doing irreparable damage to the NSA.
The basic contention of the NSA was that the members of the minority groups were violating the NSA’s alleged trademarks on the name “Bahá’í” and the religious symbol of the “Greatest Name”, and it sought from the court a ruling which would prohibit the minority members from using the alleged trademarks to the detriment of the NSA.
The NSA sought to restrain both those individuals who at one time were even remotely associated with the enjoined rival Bahá’í body and any ‘nonparty’ members who have since developed different Bahá’í organizations.
Those members of the minority group who call themselves Orthodox Bahá’ís, to distinguish themselves from the members of the majority organization, stated that the trademark by the Wilmette NSA on the “Greatest Name” is the equivalent of a Christian denomination trademarking the Cross and then saying that no other Christian congregation can use that symbol in their activities or in their contacts with others.
Additionally, Orthodox Bahá’ís maintain that the name “Bahá’í” is in the public domain and cannot be the exclusive property of one organization. They say that like the name “Christian” and “Muhammadan”, which refer to followers of Christ and Muhammad respectively, the name “Bahá’í” refers to a follower of Bahá’u’lláh, who all Bahá’ís acknowledge as the latest Prophet from God.
For some 35 years the Orthodox Bahá’ís have been employing the name “Bahá’í” in their newspaper and magazine publicity and in the telephone Yellow Pages, and during that time the NSA has made no move to implement the provisions of the injunction that the majority organization is now using to seek contempt citations against members of the minority groups. Should the NSA be successful in its efforts to curtail their activities, Orthodox Bahá’ís contend that, for them, the First Amendment of the Constitution is no longer valid.
February 17, 2009
The Actual Bahai View on Finality
Even though Mirza Hussain Ali, Bahaullah proclaimed himself as the promised ‘One Whom Allah will Manifest’, yet, by paying attention to various sources, it can be established that such a claim of Bahaullah was nothing short of a proclamation of his own Divinity.
Keeping this in mind, it is clear that Bahai thinkers have, by altering Quranic verses and traditions,
and through scheming discussions and debates, sought to establish the position of Prophethood for Mirza Hussain Ali, Bahaullah. Consequently, they have rejected the finality of Prophethood and Messengership of the Holy Prophet of Islam (pbuh).
As per my studies, the arguments of the Bahais to establish Bahaullah as a Prophet hold no water. In fact, they are not even conforming to the guidelines of Mirza Husain Ali himself. From this aspect, let us analyse the concept of “Finality of Prophethood” from purely the viewpoint of the Bahais. We will eliminate all traces of it being an Islamic belief in our discussions. This approach is taken so that the relationship between the claim of ‘One Whom Allah will Manifest’ and the ‘Finality of Prophethood’ becomes clear for the reader. Referring to such discussions, makes it very clear that, contrary to Bahaullah’s claim as such, the Bahais find themselves incapable of establishing Bahaullah as the promised ‘One Whom Allah will Manifest.’ They have therefore, attempted to tamper with Islamic sources – an approach which is obviously incorrect and not in the right spirit of arriving at a conclusion.
As mentioned earlier, we will use Bahai sources only to establish that even Mirza Hussain Ali, Bahaullah believed in the finality of Prophethood and Messengership of the Holy Prophet of Islam (pbuh). Pay attention to the following:
“Just as you read in the Book that when Allah has completed Prophethood through His beloved (The Holy Prophet of Islam (pbuh)), He has given the glad tidings to the servants of His meeting and this is a certain thing.”
(Ref: Maaedae’ Aasmani, volume 4, page 260)
At another place, Bahaullah writes,
“Blessings and salutations be on the Holy Prophet of Islam (pbuh) – the leader of the universe, the nourisher of the nations, the one by whom Messengership and Prophethood was terminated and upon his progeny and his companions; a perpetual and never ending blessing and salutation.”
(Ref: Ishraqaat, page 293)
At yet another place, Bahaullah writes,
“Once I was walking on the land of ‘Ta’ in Iran when suddenly, from every direction, on paying attention, the wailings of the prophets of the cities and the towns of that region could be heard and they were saying – O Allah, the last Apostle (pbuh), the leader of all Apostles of Allah, may our souls be sacrificed for him! We have been raised to remember You and extol You. But the ignorant sit upon us and are busy in swearing and cursing. O Allah! Deliver us from this.”
(Ref: Ishraqaat, page 246)
Mirza Hussain Ali Bahaullah writes,
“This is because Allah after having terminated the position of Prophethood upon His beloved and His chosen one, and His choicest from His creatures just as He has revealed in the glorious Quran; but (Holy Prophet (pbuh) is the messenger of Allah and the last of the prophets, has promised the eyes of His servants of His meetings on the Day of Qiyamat.”
(Ref: Asare Qalame’ Aala, volume 3, page 49)
The Bahai scholar Abdul Hamid Ishraq Khavari writes,
“In the Holy Quran, in the chapter of Ahzab, the Messenger of Allah has been termed as the Last of the Prophets. The Blessed Beauty (Bahaullah) says regarding the above mentioned concept that the position of the Great Manifestation (Bahaullah) is superior to the previous manifestations. This is because Prophethood has been terminated by the manifestation of Mohammed (pbuh), the Messenger of Allah and this is the proof that the manifestation of the Great Promised One (Bahaullah) is in fact the manifestation of Allah. The era of Prophethood was terminated because the Holy Prophet (pbuh) was the last of the Prophets.”
(Reheeqe Makhtoom, volume 1, page 78 )
At another place, Abdul Hamid Ishraq Khavari writes, “Surely Allah has, in the Holy Quran, named the Holy Prophet Mohammed (pbuh) as the last prophet and has terminated the series of Prophethood through his beloved existence (pbuh). In the chapter of Ahzab, it is revealed – Mohammed (pbuh) is not the father of any of your men, but his is the messenger of Allah and the last prophet.
From this can be explained the greatness of the position of this manifestation of Allah (Bahaullah), the Promised One to the nations and religions. This is because the position of Bahaullah is neither that Messengership nor of Prophethood, but is the manifestation of the Most Unseeen, the glad tidings of whose advent has been mentioned in the Holy Quran – ‘are they given respite except that Allah should come to them in the shadow from the clouds?’”
(Ref: Qamoose’ Tauqee Manee, volume 1, page 114)
Mirza Hussain Ali, Bahaullah, writes:
“Blessings and salutations be upon the Holy Prophet (pbuh), the leader of the universe, the nourisher of the nations, one by whom was terminated Messengership and Prophethood, and also upon his progeny and his companions.”
(Ref: Badie, page 293)
Mirza Hussain Ali, Bahaullah, says:
“Since the previous last Prophet, which is from the clear verses of the book of the Lord of the Universe, if 1,270 years should pass from it, one who is aware of the meaning of this meaning can also find the meanings of the Bayan coming true (indicating another Manifestation)”
(Ref: Badie, page 117)
Mirza Hussain Ali, Bahaullah, says:
“Know that the Nuqta of Furqaan and the light of the All-glorious when He brought the clear signs and decisive arguments, against whom all existence was helpless, he ordered all to be firm on the raised and extended path concerning all that has come from Allah. One who affirms to and attests to the signs of Unity in his heart, and beholds the Eternal Beauty in its lumination, then the rules of resurrection, gathering, life and paradise go against him. This is because after having believed in Allah and the Manifested Beauty, his neglectfulness will go away and his heart will gather in the land. Then know that his paradise in the greatest day of Allah is the best of all paradises and more subtle than the realities of Ridhwan. This is because Allah after having terminated the position of Prophethood through His beloved (Holy Prophet (pbuh), His chosen and choicest creation as has been revealed in Quran by (referring to him as) Messenger of Allah and the last Prophet, has promised the servants of His meeting on the Day of Judgement.”
(Ref: Jawaherul Aasaar (english: The Gems of Divine Mysteries), page 42)
By all these sayings and emphases, it is established that the position of Baha is neither that of a prophet not of a messenger. However even Abbas Effendi has contradicted this established claim of Bahaullah when he compared Bahaullah to a divine manifestation just as Hazrat Ibrahim, Hazrat Musa, Hazrat Isa and the Holy Prophet (pbuh)
(Ref: Mufawezat, (english: Some Answered Questions), page 75)
Enemies Within: Conflict and Control in the Baha’i Community
The Baha’i Faith, best-known for its liberal social teachings and tolerance towards other religions, has an authoritarian governing structure that has caused a high level of disillusionment among adherents. Because of the religion’s stress on unity, there is considerable insecurity about the expression of dissent and a fear of internal enemies. Conformity is enforced by sanctions, excommunication, and shunning, and information is controlled through a system of censorship. Although the religion is governed by elected institutions, they are not held accountable to the electorate. Moreover, the supreme governing institution is believed to be infallible. While the spread of the Internet in the 1990s has weakened the administration’s control of information, the Baha’i leadership has threatened and sanctioned liberal intellectuals for the expression of their opinions on email forums.
Women In The Bahaism
One of the most important teaching of bahaism is the gender equality .
But in practice we are facing a contradiction in bahai faith .
Recently I have seen an interesting article written by Dr. Susan S. Maneck entitled ” Women In The Bahai Faith” in the following address
She is expressing her views in the beginning of her article :
“ The Baha’i faith is the youngest of the world’s religions. Baha’u’llah, the prophet-founder of the Baha’i faith, was born in Iran in 1817. He claimed to be the latest messenger sent by God, an assertion that irremediably separated the Baha’is from their Islamic background. Baha’is believe that while all religions have been ordained by God, the social teachings of religions have varied according to the needs of the age in which a prophet appears. The central theme of the Baha’i message is the establishment of the unity of humankind in a single global society. This necessitates the establishment of a world government, the achievement of universal education, the elimination of all forms of prejudice, and the attainment of full equality of men and women. No other world religion has been quite as explicit as the Baha’i faith in its support of the principle of the equality of men and women. Baha’is themselves proudly assert it as one of the distinguishing features of the new revelation. This equality does not refer solely to the spiritual plane, for Baha’i scriptures explicitly state that there should be “no difference in the education of male and female in order that womankind may develop equal capacity and importance with man in the social and economic equation.” They further assert that “women will enter all the department of politics.” Yet the understanding of this principle varies considerably among Baha’is. Many support a higher evaluation of women’s traditional roles, particularly in family life, but foresee little change in the roles themselves. Others call for a fundamental transformation of the very structure of relations in community life, which would incorporate values from Baha’i scriptures. Regarding family life, the secretary of the Guardian of the Baha’i faith wrote on his behalf: “The task of bringing up a Baha’i child, as emphasized time and again in Baha’i Writings, is the chief responsibility of the mother.” The Universal House of justice, the supreme governing body for the Baha’i world, asserts that the corollary to this is that the financial responsibility for supporting the family rests with the husband. The exclusion of women from the Universal House of justice (which will be discussed later) has tended to perpetuate arguments for “separate but equal spheres” in other realms as well. At the same time, Baha’i ideals for a new world order cannot be attained without a change in societal structures, with women playing a leading role:
The world in the past has been ruled by force, and man has dominated over woman by reason of his more forceful and aggressive qualities both of body and mind. But the balance is already shifting-force is losing its weight and mental alertness, intuition, and the spiritual qualities of love and service, in which woman is strong, are gaining ascendancy. Hence the new age will be an age less masculine, and more permeated with the feminine ideals-or, to speak more exactly, will be an age in which the masculine and feminine elements of civilization will be more evenly balanced.
Many Baha’i women today have tried to hold together all of these statements in the writings by exhibiting the “supermom” syndrome: fulfilling their roles as wives and mothers while attempting to excel in their chosen careers. Needless to say, this doubling of duties creates tremendous stress for these women. Baha’is are often unaware of the historical contexts in which various pronouncements regarding women were made, and this creates great confusion regarding their proper understanding. This issue is confounded by the fact that the development of the Baha’i faith in its early formative period took place in two radically disparate cultures and continents. Originating in Iran in the middle of the nineteenth century, the religion spread to North America in the 1890s. While Baha’i theology was born in the context of a nearly homogeneous Islamic Shi’ite culture, its administrative structure developed in the United States. In the course of this chapter I will trace the role of women within the Baha’i faith from the time of its inception as the Babi movement, through its introduction to the West, until the present time. I will examine both the scriptural status of women as well as the reality of their position within the Baha’i community. While Baha’i communities exist in nearly all countries, I will restrict my discussion to Iran and North America, since sufficient documentation exists only for those two areas, and developments in those religions have largely determined the direction taken by the rest of the Baha’i world. ” . . . . .
I withdrew from the Baha’i Faith after nearly fourteen years as a Baha’i
It has taken me a long time to decide whether or not to publicly tell the story of how I became a Baha’i and why I left the Baha’i community. However, I’ve decided that I am probably not important enough for anyone to persecute. Also, I find that there isn’t much written about the experience of Baha’is in small communities, even though most Baha’i communities in the U.S. have less than 30 members. This is not mean to be an examination of philosophical differences with the Baha’i Faith, but a simple recounting of my experience.
For the sake of continuity, I have decided not to digress in order to explain Baha’i terms and history. Such information is abundantly available in other Baha’i websites and publications, for non-Baha’is who are interested.
I first heard of the Baha’i Faith through a friend of mine, who was an inactive Baha’i. I almost certainly would never become a Baha’i had I been exposed to the typical teaching project. However, I became intrigued because of the teachings on the unity of religion, which is something I already believed in. At first, I was completely unaware that a Baha’i group was just forming in my town, but I simply investigated on my own for about three months, before even meeting the local Baha’is.
The Writings of Baha’u’llah were what made me a Baha’i. I decided that if these writings were not a revelation from God, then such revelation does not exist. That is still true for me. Take Baha’u’llah away, and the whole Western prophetic tradition falls like so many dominoes. So if the reader wonders “Why did she stay so long when she was so unhappy?”, that is the main explaination. That, and the fact I made a commitment and felt I had an obligation to make it work.
After enrolling in the Baha’i community, I endured a series of three shocks that I never quite got over, although I tried for many years:
The first, and actually the least important was the discovery that in spite of the Baha’i principle of equality between men and women, women cannot be elected to the Universal House of Justice, which is the supreme elected body in the Baha’i world. The reason for this is that ‘Abdul-Baha said that this must be the case, and that the reasons for it would be revealed in the future. Like most Baha’is, I was not willing to abandon the Faith on that account, saying “Well, I don’t like it, but I guess I have to live with it.” The composition of the House of Justice is a rather distant matter and does not intrude on the local life of the community, where women are very much a part of the authority structure.
Some scholars have questioned whether the prohibition of women was meant to be a permanent and fundamental principle of administration. This is an interesting debate, but I would not expect it to change anything in the near future.
The second shock was, although I had been told that Baha’is do not prosyletize, there was intense pressure to “teach the Faith.” In fact, community life is supposed to be organized around this mission.
I don’t believe that this is a deliberate attempt at deception. The idea that “prosyletizing” and “teaching” are different come from Shoghi Effendi, who was Oxford-educated and had a real feeling for fine distinctions between words. For him, “teaching” was explaining the principles of the Faith to an interested listener, while proselytizing was a more aggressive attempt at conversion. However, the average American doesn’t see much difference between “proselytizing”, “converting”, “teaching” or “sharing”. It all amounts to the same thing, and most people find it pretty obnoxious. Another thing that happens is that frustration at the slow growth rate of the American Baha’i community leads some believers to cross the line.
There actually is a good deal of pressure to do so. A lot of this pressure is internal: the Writings are clear that teaching the Faith is one of the obligations of a Baha’i. However, there always seems to be other people around to remind you should you forget. Occasionally, some hot-shot makes it his business to give the community a good dressing down for not meeting their responsibility to the Faith. I know of at least two people who left the Faith after such a scolding.
This pressure also consumes the community’s time with futile projects. I never knew anybody to come into the Faith through a teaching project; it was always by personal contact. This endless drive towards teaching deprives the community of its spiritual center: namely, the Writings of Baha’u’llah. There is this sense that Baha’is must always be rushing about doing some activity or another and there is never any time for study, contemplation, or even fellowship.
Another problem where teaching is concerned is that very few new converts are active even six months after signing their card. I don’t know how many times I was introduced to a new believer, then never saw them again. Until we are able to create a fulfilling community life, there really isn’t much point in teaching anybody. People will stay where they are nurtured, and they won’t stay where they aren’t nurtured. It really is that simple.
The final shock, and the worst of all, is the utter all-pervasiveness of administration. I became Secretary of an LSA within months of becoming a Baha’i. Many times during those early days I felt as if the Baha’i Faith had found me a seeker of truth, but for some inexplicable reason, wanted to turn me into a bureaucrat. In fact, I went searching through the Writings, and of course, the letters of Abdu’l-Baha and Shoghi Effendi, looking for a way I could be a Baha’i and not have all this endless administrative stuff hanging over my head. I had just undergone the profound religious experience of recognizing Baha’u’llah, and I was hurt and disappointed to find His community consumed with things that seemed rather trivial.
My research only pulled me deeper into the administrative web. According to traditional Baha’i thinking, there really is no escape from administration. It was mostly laid down by Shoghi Effendi, the infallible interpreter of the Writings of Baha’u’llah, who was appointed by Abdu’l-Baha, who was appointed by the Manifestation Himself as an infallible interpreter. When I came to understand the doctrine of the Covenant, I was basically trapped. ( I should note as an aside that to new believers who don’t research these matters find administration completely meaniningless, and this is one reason why they drift away.) Administration was inescapable. Not only did I have frequent LSA meetings, but administration takes up one-third of Feast, and elections must be attended to during Ridvan, the most joyous holiday of the Baha’i year. (No matter how “spiritual” you claim an election is, it still is basically business, not a celebration.)
The basic problem is, that in a small community, the Assembly and the community amount to the same thing; that is, virtually all active members are on the LSA. Inevitably, the assembly activites take precedence over community-focused ones. Most disappointing of all, in this situation, no one has the time for actual study of the Writings: all the other obligations take precedence. Just try to organize a deepening in a community of between 8-12 people, and see how far you get!
Worst of all, is that this administrative activity, for which so much is sacrificed, never seems to result in much. I’m very familiar with the old saw that we cannot judge the results of our teaching activity, since it may have an influence that we don’t get to see. However, when year after year goes by with very few new believers, and those hard-won souls drop out of sight within months, then it is only sensible to question the validity of what you are doing.
Another inexplicable roadblock put in the way of small communities is the separation of the urban area from the surrounding countryside. It is, in a word, insane. One long-time believer told me that years ago, they begged the NSA to allow the “city” community and the “JD” community to merge, but the pleas fell on deaf ears. “We lose people out in the country”, this believer sighed, and he’s right! We’ve got to be the only religion on the planet that asked new converts whether or not they live within the city limits. I personally have had the experience of driving into town from the JD, through the city, past the very place where the city was having their Feast, to the other side of town where our Feast was. I know this policy contributed to my isolation in later years.
After living with, and considering this problem for many years, I’ve finally come to the conclusion that the National Spiritual Assembly doesn’t give a rodent’s hindquarters about the quality of community life at the local level, but is only concerned about how good the statistics look. Why have only one LSA, when you can have two? They both might be completely defunct; they may only exist on paper, but when we tally up the statistics for the public, it sure looks good. At one point, there were over 20 Baha’is living in my county, but they were divided up into two communities, and two “isolated believers”. Instead of a strong, continuous community, we had two assemblies that were always jeopardized, bumped down to group status, or barely rescued by Ridvan.
Worst of all, it reduced all of us to just cogs in a big machine. Perhaps typical of this attitude was a strange phone call I got quite recently: A Baha’i lady from the “city” community called, after hearing a rumor that I had come back to the Faith. She did not call to see how I was, or to invite me to an event, or even just to chat. She called me to see if I would help with the Unit Convention which they are hosting in October! Why worry about the state of someone’s soul, when they have a pair of hands?
Activity in our community went in “pulses”, as one of the long-time locals described it. Activity would gear up, usually sparked by someone new moving in. Things would chug along pretty good for a while, then key people would move out and things would fall apart, until the cycle started all over again. I served on LSAs, when we had them, for nine years, in spite of my distaste for this kind of work. It’s hard to just bow out and say “You guys can do all the work”. Besides, I was a Baha’i. How could I not want to help the Cause? But I resented it terribly, and felt guilty about my resentment, and so those years were ones of intense conflict for me.
This contributed to my decision to move to another town in the county, with a population of 400, which by historical accident happens to be incorporated. (That wasn’t the only reason we moved there. Finding an affordable, adequate house was the main thing.) I thought, with a twinge of guilt, that I could enjoy the best of both worlds, able to attend the events of two communities while escaping the administrative net. However, it didn’t turn out that way. The JD community basically consisted of two busy families who could never find a mutually agreeable time to meet. The city, for some reason couldn’t stick to a calender, even when it bothered to print one. Many times I found myself on a front porch for an advertised event only to be informed that it had been cancelled, or that I should have called first, or there was simply nobody there. When I was informed of events, it was often scant hours beforehand. Basically, if you weren’t in the inner circle of four or so that consistituted the most active people, it was impossible to get accurate information about what was going on. To this day, I’m not sure whether or not my exclusion was deliberate or simply the lack of organization. Often, city community members would refer to me as a “homefront pioneer” and made it clear they expected me to raise up my own community by converting people in my little town.
Eventually, I decided I wouldn’t bother about Baha’i activities, except for children’s classes, which were very important to me. They always seemed to start off with a bang in the Spring, meander on haphazardly through summer, then be completely defunct by October. The final straw, as far as putting up with the local community was concerned, came in the fall of 1998. I called, as usual, to check if children’s classes would really be there, and was told that they were having a big intercommunity event over Labor Day Weekend. I would be called back when children’s classes began again. About a month later, I saw Baha’i children’s classes advertised in the local paper. I was very hurt that no one had bothered to call me, but I took my children into town anyway. And, for the last time, I stood on a front porch where nobody answered the door and something snapped. I finally didn’t care anymore whether anybody called me or not.
I was furious. While at this point, I had no plans to leave the Faith, I did have one recurring thought: if the administrative order were ordained by God, surely it would work better.
In spring of 1999, I went back to school in pursuit of my teaching credential, and for the first time had access to the Internet. And I found that article entitled A Modest Proposal, which, if you aren’t familiar with it, was an article slated for publication in Dialogue magazine containing proposals for reform in the Baha’i community.
As it happens, I attended the now-infamous 1988 National Convention with a friend of mine who had been elected delegate. I was a subscriber to Dialogue magazine, and was a bit distressed to hear Firuz Kazemzadeh denounce it on the floor of the Convention. I had sometimes found articles in the magazine disturbing, but I mostly found it a refreshing change from the “official” stuff that seemed to bear so little relevance the the real struggles we were going through.
I don’t recall exactly what Dr. Kazemzadeh said. I most clearly remember a Persian believer say that these people were worse than Covenant-breakers, which I thought was a bit of an overstatement. However, the impression I got was that the “Baha’i dissidents” behind the magazine were snotty and disrespectful, and that I should withhold my support.
And there I was, eleven years later looking at “A Modest Proposal”, and I knew I’d been lied to. All the “dissidents” had done was make proposals that could improve the situation in the American Baha’i community. All they had done was express opinions. I think what the NSA feared most was that these proposals might sound reasonable to more than a few Baha’is, and might actually result in change.
I withdrew from the Baha’i Faith on Naw-Ruz, after nearly fourteen years as a Baha’i.
Cracks in the Covenant
Bahais present their “Covenant” as something unique to their religion. They present it as an undisputable documented contract of inheritance, a will and testament, if you will, that is protected by God so that any violaters against it will be rendered impotent by it.
The Bahai Faith’s history is full of fragmentation, and the course the Bahai Faith has taken has taken quick surprise turns on a number of occasions.
Bahai Faith is itself a product of Covenant Breaking
First Covenant Breaking
The act that brought the Bahai Faith itself into existence was in defiance of such a covenant. The Bab’s successor, was actually Mirza Yahya and Not Bahaullah. Bahais produced evidence that Bahaullah was the Bab’s intended successor, but did not deny that the Báb appointed Mirza Yahya.
Second Covenant Breaking
Mirza Muhammad Ali
Bahaullah appointed his eldest son Abdul Baha as his successor and after him his younger son Mohammed Ali. After the death of Abdul Baha although Mohammed Ali was alive still many followed , Shoghi effendi the grandson of Abdul Baha. Not following Mohammed Ali was Covenant Breaking of Bahaullah’s writing.
Third Covenant Breaking
Later, the third Bahai leader, Shoghi Effendi, died childless. Having failed to produce a will, and having failed to leave any clear indication of a successor, Shoghi left the Bahai world in a precarious situation. What he did was in apparent violation of the Bahai Covenant.
The Bahais whose allegiance lies with the heterodox organisation, those loyal to the Universal House of Justice currently seated in Haifa, Israel, maintain that those who are true to the Covenant will be empowered by the Covenant.
Bahai history shows us a different picture. At many times, the Bahais who eventually prevailed were nearly vanquished. Only recently has there been such a dominant sect in the Bahai Faith, but even that denomination seems impotent and obscure, lacking the influence to even familiarize the world with the word Bahai in this information age.
Bahai history is mottled with inheritance disputes. In defense of their Covenant, Bahais regard the darker periods as divine tests, arguing that egos are often tested by opportunities for power.
What Bahais do not acknowledge is the fact that their history is just as fragmented as other religions, with breaks occurring from its first years to the years following the death of Shoghi Effendi.
At present The Bahais are fragmented in following sects:
At present The Bahais are fragmented in following sects:
3 ) Unitarian Bahais
4 ) Free Bahais
5 ) Reform Bahais
12 ) Heterodox Bahais
For more information visit:
A document about the Government of the intelligent services of the Bahais
These are two brief articles describing the 1924 murder of an American diplomat by a Muslim mob who thought he was a Baha’i. New York Times July 24, 1924.
IMBRIE MURDER LAID TO RELIGIOUS HATE
Blindness of a Moslem and Poisoning of Sacred Well Ascribed to Baha’is.
AMERICAN LINKED WITH SECT
Vice Consul Beaten to Death in Hospital Operating Room, Had Forty Wounds.
TEHERAN, July 23, 1924. – The following are the events which led up to the murder of Major Imbrie, American Vice Consul here. About a month ago a native was rumored to have lost his sight at a well immediately after having uttered the name of Abbas Effendi, the late spiritual leader of the Bahais. The well thereupon became a shrine and was visited by crowds of Moslems, who started anti-Bahai demonstrations without any attempt by the authorities to stop them.
A few days ago the well was said to have been poisoned and Bahais were reported to have done it. Attempts were made to find the alleged culprits and the place became still more crowded. On Friday morning Major Imbrie and Seymour, his companion, visited the place to take photographs. They were warned not to approach the well, as women were present.
Accordingly, they desisted and entered their carriage. Then shouts were raised that they were the Bahais who had poisoned the well. Stones were thrown, and the carriage was followed by a crowd. Finally it was stopped and the two Americans were dragged out and attacked by the mob with sticks and stones. Soldiers were seen in the crowd and the police made only feeble efforts to rescue the Americans.
Major Imbrie, who was unarmed, did his best to defend himself until he became unconscious from a blow on the skull, evidently delivered with a sabre. While he was lying on the ground a stone broke his jaw. He was finally carried to the police hospital, but the mob forced its way into the operating room and continued to attack him. He received more than forty wounds.
While this disgraceful outburst on the part of a fanatical mob and the total inadequacy of the measures taken by the police have proved the existence of a danger to foreigners against which the Diplomatic Corps has strongly protested and demanded the enactment of proper measures for the security of foreigners and members of religious minorities, the steps already taken by the Persian Government have, it is hoped, removed for the present any reason for fearing a general outbreak of violence against foreigners.
The existence of martial law gives to the government power to prevent the publication of any more anti- foreign, particularly anti-British, articles in the press. Many of these, notwithstanding continued protests by the legation, have been published of late and have inflamed the excitement of the ignorant masses. It is difficult to absolve the government from all blame, as it has full control over the army, yet presumably from reasons of internal politics it has done nothing to check the effervescence.
It is hoped that the Government has now received a salutary lesson in this outrage and has learned that if it desires to gain the sympathy of the civilized powers it must govern in a civilized manner and cease to resort to appeals to the fanatical instincts which permeate not only the mob but also a large proportion of the intelligentsia. Eulogies in the Persian press about the courageous conduct of the police and soldiers are seriously discounted by the fact, according to various witnesses, that soldiers took part in attacking MajorImbrie and that the wound on his skull could have been made only by a sabre such as the soldiers carry.
WASHINGTON, July 23. – State Department advises from Teheran indicate an absence of premeditation in the killing of Vice Consul Imbrie and, it was announced today, the department will await further data before any official action is taken. Latest reports from Minister Hornfeld said there appeared to be no cause for anxiety regarding the welfare of foreigners in Persia and that tranquillity prevailed. the message added, that Teheran was under martial law and no reports of disturbances in the provinces had been received.
Buried with fill military honored in Arlington National Cemetery (Section 4, 2903 (Major, FR)
Even before the United States entered World War I, some young men signed up with the volunteer ambulance corps, which recruited college students and recent graduates to serve on the French and Italian fronts. Among them were such later famous writers as e. e. cummings, Dashiell Hammett, John Dos Passos, and Ernest Hemingway. Not surprisingly, many of these former ambulance drivers later wrote about their experiences in memoirs and novels. In this passage, from a book-length memoir, Robert Whitney Imbrie writes in a humorous vein of the bond of affection and loyalty between an ambulance driver and his car.
THE GUNS THAT COMMAND MONASTIR
THOUGH most of the houses were closed and shuttered as protection against shell splinters, life seemed to go on much as usual. There was no traffic in the streets, save at night when the army transports came through, or when our machines went by with their loads, but the populace passed and repassed, bartered and ordered its life with the phlegmatic fatalism of the Easterner. The enemy from his point of vantage saw every move in the city. His guns commanded its every corner. His surveys gave him the range to an inch. Daily he raked it with shrapnel and pounded it with high-explosive. No man in Monastir, seeing the morning’s sun, but knew that, ere it set, his own might sink. At any time of the day or night the screeching death might come, did come. Old men, old women, little children, were blown to bits, houses were demolished, and yet, because it was decreed by Allah, it was inexorable. The civil population went its way. Of course, when shells came in there was terror, panic, a wailing and gnashing of teeth, for not even the fatalism of Mohammed could be proof against such sights. And horrible sights these were. It was nothing to go through the streets after a bombardment and see mangled and torn bodies; a man with his head blown off; a little girl dead, her face staring upward, her body pierced by a dozen wounds; a group in grotesque attitudes, with, perhaps, an arm or a leg torn off and thrown fifty feet away. These in Monastir were daily sights.
One afternoon I remember as typical. It was within a few days of Christmas, though there was little of Yuletide in the atmosphere. At home, the cars were bearing the signs, “Do Your Christmas Shopping Early,” but here in Monastir, where, as “Doc” says, “a chap was liable to start out full of peace and good will and come back full of shrapnel and shell splinters,” there was little inducement to do Christmas shopping. Nevertheless, we started on one of those prowling strolls in which we both delighted. We rambled through the tangled streets, poked into various odd little shops in quest of the curious, dropped into a hot milk booth where we talked with some English-speaking Montenegrins, and then finally crossed one of the rickety wooden bridges which span the city’s bisecting stream. By easy stages, stopping often to probe for curios, we reached the main street of the city. Here at a queer little bakery, where the proprietor shoved his products into a yawning stove-oven with a twelve-foot wooden shovel, we got, for an outrageous price, some sad little cakes. As we munched these, we stood on a corner and watched the scene about us. It was a fine day, the first sunny one we had experienced in a long time. Many people were in the streets, a crowd such as only war and the Orient could produce: a sprinkling of soldiers, mostly French, although occasionally a Russian or an Italian was noticed; a meditative old Turk, stolid Serbian women, little children — a lively, varied picture. Our cakes consumed, “Doc” and I crossed the street and, a short way along a transverse street, stopped to watch the bread line. There were possibly three hundred people, mostly women, gathered here waiting for the distribution of the farina issued by the military to the civil population. For a while we watched them, and then, as the street ahead looked as if it might yield something interesting in booths, we continued along it. In another fifty yards, however, its character changed; it became residential, and so we turned to retrace our steps. Fortunate for us it was that we made the decision. We had gone back perhaps a dekametre, when we heard the screech. We sprang to the left-hand wall and flattened ourselves against it as the crash came. It was a “155” H.E.. Just beyond, at the point toward which we had been making our way, the whole street rose into the air. We sped around the corner to the main street. It was a mass of screaming, terror-stricken people. In quick succession three more shells came in, one knocking “Doc” off his feet with its concussion. The wall by which we had stood and an iron shutter close by were rent and torn with éclats. One of these shells had struck near the bread line. How many were killed I never knew. “Doc” for the moment had disappeared, and I was greatly worried until I saw him emerge from an archway. There was now a lull in the shelling. All our desire for wandering about the city had ceased. We started back toward quarters. Before we were halfway there, more shells came in, scattered about the city, though the region about the main street seemed to be suffering most. Crossing the stream, we saw the body of a man hanging half over the wall and near by, the shattered paving where the shell had struck.
In such an atmosphere we lived. Each day brought its messages of death. On December 19, I saw a spy taken out to be shot. On the 20th, a house next our quarters was hit. Two days later, when evacuating under shrapnel fire, I saw two men killed. Constantly we had to’ change our route through the city because of buildings blown into the street.
ROBERT WHITNEY IMBRIE*
*From Behind the Wheel of a War Ambulance. Courtesy of Robert M. McBride & Company of New York.
No rank on headstone
Killed at Teheran, Persia, July 18,1924
In the Foreign Service
Katherine Imbrie, Wife of Robert Whitney Imbrie
Report to the U.S. Secretary of State
by W. Smith Murray
American Consular Service,
August 10, 1924
[stamped: FILED NO V 14 1924 N]
[stamped: ASSISTANT SECRETARY OF STATE OCT 14 1924 A-3]
[stamped: Department of State Oct 13 1924 Division of Near Eastern Affairs]
[stamped: UNDER SECRETARY, OCT 2 1924 DEPT. OF STATE]
[stamped: ASSISTANT SECRETARY OF STATE OCT 16 1924 A-4]
[handwritten: Instruction Drafted 10/6/24 accepted.stamped beneath: October 13 1924] [stamped: No. ? INDEX BUREAU Rec’d OCT 13 1924 Dept. of State]
[stamped: INDEX BUREAU; handwritten over stamp: P.B. 123 ? / 298]
[stamped: DEP T. OF STATE NOV 12 1924 Division of Foreign Service Administration]
SECRET AND STRICTLY CONFIDENTIAL
The Honorable The Secretary of State, Washington
Sir: – I have the honor to bring to the attention of the Department CERTAIN PHASES OF THE MURDEROUS ASSAULT WHICH CULMINATED IN THE DEATH OF VICE CONSUL ROBERT WHITNEY IMBRIE IN TEHERAN on July 18, 1924, which, it is my impression, have not yet been communicated to the Department and which, I trust, will be of assistance in clarifying in some degree the circumstances surrounding the tragedy.
It is generally admitted that the killing of Major Imbrie was attended with a viciousness and savagery practically unknown in latterday Persian history; the Persians have not been slow to point out that their race has not, in the past, been given to violence and that even during the turmoil of the Persian Revolution of 1906 the greatest self-control was exhibited in order not to harm in any way foreign residents of the country. This fact makes the crime all the more remarkable and the necessity for penetrating into its deeper significance all the more imperative.
It is to be noted that the so-called miracle which took place in Teheran some two weeks previous to the assault was universally regarded by all Europeans and by most intelligent Persians as an absurdity, and there could not have been the slightest reason to believe that a visit to that “sacred” spot would incur any danger. It is furthermore to be noted that the all eged attempt on the part of Major Imbrie to take photographs at the Sakheh Khaneh could in no way be ascribed as the motive for the murderous attack at the Kossak Khaneh, inasmuch as the latter is more than a mile away from the former and the mob, numbering more than two thousand persons, which gathered as the carriage proceeded to the latter point, could not possibly have been informed of the photographing episode; hence the latter cannot be presumed to have inflamed the mob.
It is of extraordinary significance that the attacks upon Major Imbrie and Mr. Seymour should have taken place – first, directly in front of the large entrance to the Kossak Khaneh within a few feet of the guardhouse at the gate, and second, upon the operation tables of the Police Headquarters Hospital, which is perhaps not more than a few hundred yards from the gate of the Kossak Khaneh.
That the Government’s case in the affair is totally nil and nonexistent ill be observed from the following points: –
1. Although the situation in Teheran since the collapse of the republican movement has, with regard to law and order, been a critical one, and although the Government might have realized the seriousness at this time of the Sakheh Khaneh demonstrations, the Prime Minister admits that he had issued orders, previous to the tragedy, that both the police and military should abstain from intervention of any kind in religious demonstrations and that under no circumstances was a shot to be fired; hence the situation of two men, attacked by a mob of two thousand fanatics, left to their fate.
2. Although the attack upon Imbrie and Seymour lasted about half and hour, at a spot within a stone’s throw of both the Police Headquarters and the Kossak Khaneh, where both police and military reserves were at hand, no attempt was made to intimidate the mob.
3. The participation of the military and of at least one officer in the assault is an incontrovertible fact. This has been verified in the first deposition taken from Seymour, in which he stoutly affirmed that the officer-of-the-day was one of the first to strike him. Furthermore, I was confidentially informed by an officer of the Persian Army, who was an intimate friend of mine, that he was personally acquainted with the officer-of-the-day in charge of the guard at the gate, one Lieutenant Janmamad, and that the latter had freely confessed to him that not only the men in his charge on the fatal morning had rushed out and joined in the attack, but that he himself had participated. When questioned as to why he did do, he said, “I had no idea it was the American Consul. I thought it was a dog of a Bahá’í.”
At this point it is well to cite the following proofs that his identity was known to some, at least, of his assailants: –
a) When Major Imbrie’s carriage was stopped at the gate of the Kossak Khaneh, he drew out his card and handed it to a police officer, stating that he was the American Consul and that he could be seen at any time at the American Consulate.
b) Major Imbrie was accompanied by a “kavass” of the American Consulate, wearing the American insignia on his hat and buttons and coat. Both the insignia and buttons were ripped off early in the attack by someone who would appear to have extraordinary presence of mind.
c) When Seymour was dragged from the carriage, which had already passed through the Kossak Khaneh gate, he was asked by the officer-of-the-day who he was and where he was going. He stated, “I am an American, and I want to go to the American Consulate”; whereupon the officer struck him, saying, “I think you will be living here for a while.”
d) As the Department will have already noted in the deposition of Issak, the Chaldean servant of Doctor Packard, who was at the scene of the assault, the latter shouted repeatedly to the mob, to the military, and to the police, that they were killing the American Consul and that he was not a Bahá’í. Hence, the fiction that there could have any misapprehension as to the person upon whom the violence of the mob was being vented is totally exploded.
To return now to the officer-of-the-day, Lieutenant Janmamad, I believe the Department will agree with me that the government showed a reprehensible negligence in that his arrest was not immediately ordered after the tragedy, inasmuch as it stands to reason that he and his men, given the fact that the incident happened before his very door, could not but have been at least cognizant of it. It was not until July 26, eight days later, that his arrest was promised, after I had demanded it. It is furthermore to be noted that his name does not occur in the police report of the crime, made on July 26, and that on august 7, when I called the matter to the attention of the Foreign Minister he seemed surprised that he had heard nothing of it and, after noting it down, promised to take immediate action. although there appears to be ample evidence that a considerable number of the military participated in the attack, only one soldier, named Morteza, of the Army Transport, had by July 26 been arrested, and apparently none of the guard of the day. The police report of the above mentioned date states, “Several other soldiers have also, according to investigations made, taken part in the beating and insulting. The Emergency Commission is searching for them.”
The American Minister, shortly after the murder, received authoritative information, to the effect that Reza Khan had threatened “to cut the tongue out of any officer or man who opened his mouth with regard to the affair.” That is was his original determination to shield the military is furthermore evident from a conversation which he had about the same time with Mr. Soppier, the Sinclair representative, in which he flew into a rage at a suggestion of the latter that the military were involved.
4. When, finally, Imbrie and Seymour were rescued by the police and placed in an automobile to be transported to the hospital, the authorities were either unwilling or unable to prevent the crowd from beating and assaulting the senseless men in the automobile.
5. When the two Americans finally reached the hospital and had been carried to the operation tables, the police authorities, in their own headquarters, were again either unwilling or unable to prevent the storming of the hospital by the savage mob, which was led by Seyed Hossein, followed directly by a group of Cossacks with drawn swords.
I, myself, through Dr. Packard, heard the statement of one Ali, the hospital attendant who was present when the wounded men were brought in, and who stated that he was unable to prevent the mob from entering the operation room. He showed me the tiles of the floor which had been torn up and shattered on the body of Imbrie, as well as a chair which was smashed in assaulting him. Although Seymour was lying in a room through which the mob had to pass, he was spared further assault because the mob was told that he was dead.
The Department is already in possession of the deposition which I took from doctor Jalal Shaffa, one of the native physicians at the American Hospital, who was one of the first to arrive at the Police Hospital and to whom a policeman present volunteered the information that he was unable to hold back the mob because they were led by Cossacks, armed with sabres. The truth of this statement was, on the same day, verified by the admission of Lieutenant Nehmattollah, a police officer on the Investigation Commission, to the effect that the latter attack was led by Cossacks, but that they were fired to vengeance by Seyed Hossein, crying that he would “have the blood of this infidel dog to avenge the death of Hossein and his grandfather.”
FOREIGN POLITICAL BACKGROUND
Almost simultaneously with the killing, the rumor arose in the city that it was the result of oil intrigues and that the mob believed it had got Soper, the Sinclair representative. In this connection I may state that such was apparently the belief of the authorities at the hospital upon the arrival of Mrs. Imbrie, inasmuch as they refused permission to her and Doctor Packard to enter and insisted that Imbrie was not her husband.
Almost immediately also, the hue and cry against the British was taken up in the Persian press, and it was openly intimated that they were responsible for the crime. In this connection, I have positive information that it is the firm conviction of the Prime Minister that the British are responsible for the encouragement and subsidizing of the Sakheh Khaneh storm center, if not for the actual crime itself.
On the day of Major Imbrie’s funeral the British Charge d’Affaires, Mr. Esmond Ovey, who had already gotten wind of the above rumors, solemnly warned Zoka-ol-Molk, the Foreign Minister, that the control of the press must be tightened and that he would not tolerate any publication of such rumors. The warning was apparently ineffective inasmuch as the next few days brought a torrent of abuse and the vilest insinuations agai nst “the land of the lion and the unicorn.”
Thereupon the British Charge rushed, with his oriental secretary,
Mr. Harvard, to the Prime Minister’s country house, and delivered an ultimatum to him, that categorical instructions be issued to suppress any paper in Teheran intimating Great Britain’s participation in the affair. The Prime Minister was at first obdurate and stated that the whole matter would first have to be investigated; but he finally yielded and published a dementi, after which the situation, as far as the British were concerned, was for the moment relieved.
Another and still more tense situation was created, however, when the Persian authorities attempted a few days later to arrest Mostafa Khan, the Persian private secretary of Mr. W. C. Fairley, the Anglo-Persian representative in Teheran. The attempt was met by a still more vigorous intervention on the part of Mr. Ovey, who told Reza Khan that any such act on his part would be regarded by the British Government as proof positive that he considered the rumors concerning the British true.
I may state at this point that the young man in question, Mostafa Khan, a graduate of Columbia University and pretended friend of America, is positively known to have engaged, for the sake of his employer, in the most unsavory and unwarranted attacks on everything American, in order to prevent at all costs the passage of the Sinclair oil bill. I am reliably informed that he has, during the last critical days, offered to several members of the Mejliss, whose names are known to me, a bribe of eight tomans a month, if they will abstain from their duties and thus break the quorum. I furthermore know that he approached the Deputy from Isfahan and used the novel argument, as to why he should vote against the oil bill, that the American people, “enraged at the treason of the late President Harding for having sold them out to the Sinclair Oil Company,” had torn open his grave and burned his body. This is the man who, though a Persian subject, enjoys the protection of the British Legation.
It was clear from the outset that the Russians intended to leave no stone unturned in order to push the responsibility for the crime into the shoes of the British. On the day of the funeral one of the Secretaries of the Bolshevist Legation, Mr. Walden, stated to a personal friend of mine, Mr. Swiminoff, who was educated and has lived many years in America, that the whole thing had been engineered by the British in order to prevent passage of the oil bill. Both the local Persian press, enjoying the Russian subsidy, as well as the organ of the Russian Telegraphic Agency, “Rosta”, launched a violent campaign against the British, containing open accusation. The British Charge d’Affairs immediately wired for instructions to London, and thereafter called upon the Russian Minister, and, after a three and a half hours’ conference, was unable to persuade him to make a frank retraction of these statements. The best that could be done was a half-hearted statement on the following day in the “Rosta”, to the effect that the published reports “were not the individual opinions of the editor.”
As I pointed out to the Department in my telegram No. 8 of July 29, the attitude of the Russians with regard to the affair was fully clarified by their behavior in the three meetings of the Diplomatic Corps which followed the murder.
In the first, they strongly objected to any reference whatsoever to the military, as having participated, and insisted, in addition, that the minorities clause be added, condemning religious fanaticism.
In the second, they moved that the Diplomatic Corps unanimously accept the Government’s reply to the protest drawn up in the first meeting, despite the fact that this body was therein informed that its protest was unjustified. After vainly attempting to block any further conferences, the Russian Delegation rose in the midst of the third session and walked out when it was agreed by the rest that the American note of protest to the Persian Government was not to be read or discussed. At this last meeting, the protocol of the two preceding meetings was drawn up, a copy of which the Russians attempted to obtain from the Dean, the Turkish Ambassador, who flatly refused to accede to their demand.
I have already pointed out to the Department, in my telegram No. 7 of July 28, that the Russian Delegation in Teheran has shown a curious interest in what they stated to have been Major Imbrie’s “anti-Bolshevist record” in Russia.
In the larger analysis, it may safely be said that the recrudescence of clerical power in Persia in the last two years has supplied the background and, in large part, the motivation for the tragedy which has just occurred. It is worth noting that never since the Persian Revolution of 1906, when the clergy was terrified into immobility by the public execution at the hands of the Revolutionaries of their Chief Mujtahed, Sheik Fazlullah, have the clergy been in possession of such dangerous power as is theirs today. So complete was their eclipse, that by 1918 it was possible to disregard their constitutional and religious right to interpret and execute the laws of the land in accordance with the Koran when a new Penal Code, based on the “Code of Napoleon”, was drafted and put into temporary execution pending its consideration and acceptance by the Mejliss. To anyone with even a slight knowledge of the corruption of the Persian Law Courts, this was an amazing act of progress.
It was not until the late summer of 1922, when the struggle between Reza Khan, then Minister of War, and the then Prime Minister, Ghavam-os-Saltaneh, had reached a critical stage, that the latter turned to the Mull ahs and enlisted their support in an attempt to break the menacing power of the War Minister. Be it said to Reza Khan’s credit, that although he is an uneducated man and has evinced a lamentable moral weakness in all the crises of his career, he is (fortunately for Persia) religiously tolerant and enlightened, and has freely made use in the Army and the Government of the intelligent services of the Bahá’ís, who may well be considered the only hope of Islam.
On the occasion above mentioned, Ghavam-os-Saltaneh, in order to reinforce his political position, then insecure, encouraged the Mullahs to make their notorious “Twelve Demands”, among which was the abolition of the Penal Code of 1918, obviously necessitating a return to the a rchaic religious courts. A second demand was the establishment of the Mullah’s Committee of Veto in the Mejliss, which is unfortunately provided for in Article 2 of the Supplement to the Constitution, but which has remained until the present time a dead letter.
To a close observer of Persian affairs it is beyond question that, had Reza Khan succeeded in establishing the Republic in March of this year, it would have been the death knell to the power of the clergy, which the latter realized only too well. I furthermore know personally that it was his firm determination to have proceeded, immediately upon the establishment of the Republic, with a revision of the Constitution which would have separated church from state and secularized the law.
It is curious that, for the first time since the establishment of Bolshevism in Russia, Great Britain and the Russians joined hands cordially in support of the clergy last March, in order to break the power of the Prime Minister and annihilate the Republic. It was they who subsidized and demonstrated in the gardens of the Mejliss on the day before the Republic was to be declared, and it was the fatal moral weakness of the Prime Minister in handling this demonstration which demolished at a blow his prestige with the Persians as “the dreaded and infallible Reza”.
The clergy immediately rose to the occasion, and they, who had the day before been suppliants, now became dictators. They directed what steps the Prime Minister should take thenceforth, that he should proceed forthwith to Qum for consultation with the exiled Mesopotamian Mullahs, who ordered him to publish his famous decree forbidding further discussion of the Republic.
Since that time Reza Khan’s political enemies have taken advantage of the restored prestige of the clergy to raise the hue and cry of Bahá’ísm against him, the danger of which accusation in present-day densely ignorant Persia is by no means to be underestimated. To many observers on the spot, the Prime Minister’s patience under these trying circumstances has appeared incomprehensible, and he has often been criticized for not having met the issue squarely and either smashed his opposition or gone down in defeat.
The reason for his inaction is unquestionably the fact that he has realized that any successful demonstrations against him at the present time may compromise his “American program”, which contains, of course, the passage of the oil bill. He has realized, furthermore, that it was a mistake to have proceeded with his republic last March before his program was completed, and it is now definitely known that he is determined at all costs to keep the Mejliss open until the oil bill has passed, after which there is every reason to believe the Deputies wi ll be immediately dismissed and Reza Khan will assume dictatorial powers in the country. The realization of this situation on the part of the clerical opposition has incited them more than anything else to oppose the passage of the bill.
From a knowledge of Persian affairs, it is impossible to believe that the so-called miracle, which occurred some two weeks previous to Imbrie’s death, was a spontaneous occurrence.
It had the earmarks from the beginning of an artificially inspired movement, of which the organized powers of evil were quick to take advantage in order to create disorder for the Government. It is well-known that large sums of money were paid to a committee organized at the Sakheh Khaneh, to which even peasants made contributions in sheep and grain. The sums collected are variously estimated from five to twenty thousand tomans. It is generally believed that the big grandees of Persia generously donated, among them being Vossough-ed-Dowleh, the notorious Anglophile Prime Minister of the Anglo- Persian Agreement, Ghavam-os-Saltaneh, his brother, now in exile, and Farman Farma, the most notorious of British agents. Reza Khan found himself faced with a situation before which he was powerless. The fanaticism of the crowd was so incited by the continuous preaching of the Mullahs that any act on his part would have been interpreted as treason to Islam and prima facie evidence that he was a Bahá’í; hence his unfortunate orders to the military and the police not to intervene under any circumstances in religious demonstrations and under no circumstances to fire.
It is clear that such a spot as the Sakheh Khaneh would be chosen by both foreign and domestic troublemakers as an advantageous station for their spies and agents, and the secret of this affair will never be fully revealed until the true character and affiliations of the hangers-on at the Sakheh Khaneh have been ascertained. It is obvious that the man in the crowd at the Sakheh Khaneh who had the presence of mind to spring to his feet the moment he saw Imbrie and cry, “That is a Bahá’í! He has poisoned the water of our Sakheh Khaneh and killed Musselmen women and children!” is of more than passing importance to the prosecution. It has been stated that this man is the same Seyed Hossein who stormed the operation room with the Cossacks; but I have not received confirmation of this.
Viewing the tragedy, in its larger issue, one is led to the inevitable conclusion that, unless Reza Khan is able and willing to purge the military of its criminal lawlessness, and, unless the malign power of the clergy can be broken forever in the land, there is every reason to believe that the killing of Imbrie is but a foretaste of more terrible events to come.
I have the honor to be, Sir, Your obedient servant,
(signed) W. Smith Murray Second Secretary of Legation In charge of Consulate
IMBRIE, ROBERT W
MAJOR FRENCH ARMY WW
VETERAN SERVICE DATES: Unknown
DATE OF DEATH: 07/18/1924
DATE OF INTERMENT: Unknown
BURIED AT: SECTION D SITE LOT 2903
ARLINGTON NATIONAL CEMETERY
Posted: 25 March 2001 Updated: 1 December 2001 Updated: 8 March 2003 Updated: 6 September 2004 Updated: 26 December 2004
Updated: 18 December 2005 Updated: 13 October 2006
Online references :
Questions For The Current Haifa Administration
Questions For The Current Haifa Administration Over The Heterodox Bahá’ís Of The Earth , Which Administration Is Acting Under The Appellation “Universal House Of Justice”:
(Bold lettering in this document has been added for emphasis)
1. In view of the fact that the vast majority of Heterodox Baha’is contacted in recent years are constantly expressing their belief/s that the continuing Guardianship means the advice and writings left behind on Earth by Shoghi Effendi when he departed for the next world and/or that Shoghi Effendi continues to act as Guardian over the Bahá’ís on Earth even though he is now in the next world, are the aforementioned continuous expressions of belief by Bahá’ís under your oversight a fruitage of your teaching or a fruitage of your negligence?
2. If, in view of these Words of the Master quoted from His Will and Testament: “The guardian of the Cause of God as well as the Universal House of Justice…are both under the care and protection of the Abha Beauty, under the shelter and unerring guidance of His Holiness, the Exalted One. Whatsoever they decide is of God”, either or both of the commonly held beliefs of heterodox Bahá’ís mentioned in Question 1. above are a result of your teaching, do you believe and teach that Shoghi Effendi, who is now in the next world, remains “…under the care and protection of the Abha Beauty, under the shelter and unerring guidance of His Holiness, the Exalted One”?
3. If you believe and teach that Shoghi Effendi, although now in the next world, remains in need of “protection”, what is the nature of the protection which you believe he needs?
4. The Will and Testament of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá contains these instructions:
“Unto this body all things must be referred. It enacteth all ordinances and regulations that are not to be found in the explicit Holy Text. 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.”
Are you keeping a record of the names of the persons whom the guardian has appointed to “represent him” at each of the deliberations of your UHJ which he has not attended “in person”?
Shoghi Effendi as a young boy
5. On November 25th, 1957 the body calling themselves the “Custodians of the Baha’i Faith” made this recorded statement: “The Custodians shall be deemed to succeed the Guardian of the Baha’i Faith.” Under the Light of these Words of the Master from His Will and Testament: “It is incumbent upon the guardian of the Cause of God to appoint …him that shall be his successor,…”, and in view of the fact that Shoghi Effendi included “…loyal and steadfast adherence to every clause of our Beloved’s sacred Will;…” as one of the ‘qualifications’ for a new believer, would it not be fair to conclude that the “Custodians” disqualified’ themselves as believers by their failing to demonstrate “loyal and steadfast adherence” to that “clause” in the sacred Will which so clearly designates the Authority to choose his successor upon the very guardian himself ?
6. In The Dispensation of Bahá’u’lláh, Shoghi Effendi records this statement: “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.”…”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.”
“To the integrity of this cardinal principle of our Faith the words, the deeds of its present and future Guardians must abundantly testify. By their conduct and example they must needs establish its truth upon an unassailable foundation and transmit to future generations unimpeachable evidences of its reality.”
The above quoted expressions of Shoghi Effendi, the first of our Guardians, stimulate the emergence of this question: If you no longer believe and accept that the Guardians are the “chosen ministers” of the Covenant of Bahá’u’lláh, as stated by the first Guardian, whom do you now believe and teach to be the ‘chosen ministers’ of His Holy Covenant?
7. No declared Bahá’í will disagree with the truth that the Guardian is the only Interpreter provided by God for the Holy Writings of the Bahá’í Faith. Since the current Haifa administration has no Guardian, no Interpreter of Bahá’í Holy Writings, is not that administration breaching the boundaries assigned by Almighty God to Bahá’í believers (not the Guardians) by offering to the members of the large body of Bahá’ís, interpretations of explicit Holy Text, namely the Will and Testament of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, which interpretations are unreviewed, unexamined by the Guardian of the Bahá’í Faith?
8. What do you understand the word “divorced” to mean in the context of the following quotation from the writing of Shoghi Effendi: “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.”? (The World Order of Bahá’u’lláh) This question is asking you to provide a clear picture of what you believe Shoghi Effendi is warning us to guard against in the above quotation, not merely a dictionary definition of the word ‘divorced’.)
9. Writing in His Will and Testament concerning the members of the Universal House of Justice, the Master provided this directive: “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 expel him, whereupon the people must elect another one in his stead.” In view of the fact that it is surely evident to all reasonable Bahá’ís that the writings which Shoghi Effendi left behind when he passed cannot exercise the “discretion” necessary to confront such a circumstance, would you kindly tell everyone the precise manner by which you would expect Shoghi Effendi to perform such an ‘expulsion’ now that he is in the other world.
10. In the Dispensation of Bahá’u’lláh the first of our Guardians, Shoghi Effendi, instructs us that the institution of the Guardianship provides: “…the necessary guidance to define the sphere of the legislative action of its elected representatives…”. If you believe that such “guidance to define the sphere of legislative action” of the Universal House of Justice must be received from the first of our Guardians although he is now in the other world, rather than from a living Guardian on Earth, please explain the details of the manner by which you expect to receive such guidance from the next world.
11. In the Dispensation of Bahá’u’lláh, Shoghi Effendi explains the capacity of the Guardian of the Bahá’í Faith as a member of the Universal House of Justice, and concerning the legislation by that body, comprised of himself and his fellow-members, he writes with respect to the Guardian: “He…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.” Is it not obvious that this is a function which can only be performed by a living Guardian in this world?
12. In his Will and Testament, ‘Abdu’l-Bahá writes concerning (the Huqúqu’llah)”the Right of God”: “It is to be offered through the guardian of the Cause of God…”. Bringing to mind again that Shoghi Effendi included: “…loyal and steadfast adherence to every clause of our Beloved’s sacred Will…” as one of the qualifications of a new believer, should you not be setting a fine example for all new believers by showing steadfast adherence to the above clause of the Master’s Will, namely: “It is to be offered through the guardian of the Cause of God…”?
Power & Authority
Kitáb-i-`Ahd (Book of the Covenant) ( reference : 116 )
The third major development in modern Baha’i history has been the formal shift in the balance of power and authority. The Baha’i administration as it was conceived by Baha’ Allah, ‘Abd al-Baha’ and Shoghi Effendi had a balance between an elected arm (the rulers) and an appointed arm (the learned) both receiving divine inspiration (see Figure 1).116 See Figure 1 with the death of Shoghi Effendi and the termination of the institution of the Guardianship (and following on from that the end of appointments of future Hands of the Cause), the Baha’i administration was adjusted and expanded (see Figure 2 ).
New appointed institutions of the Continental Board of Counsellors, the Auxiliary Board and Assistants to the Auxiliary Board were developed.
pic : Members of the first Universal House
The elected UHJ appointed Counsellors, and in turn Counsellors and Auxiliary Board Members worked closely with the elected national and local Spiritual Assemblies respectively. Although technically Counsellors had a higher rank than National Spiritual Assembly members, the two were envisioned to work symbiotically.
[Counsellors] duties will include directing the Auxiliary Boards in their respective areas, consulting and collaborating with National Spiritual Assemblies, and keeping the Hands of the Cause and the Universal House of Justice informed concerning the conditions of the Cause in their areas. 117
[The] Auxiliary Board members [are] to establish contact with Local Spiritual Assemblies, groups, isolated centres and the individual believers, and through periodic and systematic visits to localities as well as by correspondence help in promoting the interests of the plan, assist in the efficient and prompt execution of the goals, watch over the security of the Faith, stimulate and strengthen the teaching and pioneer work, impress upon the friends the importance of individual effort, initiative and sacrifice, and encourage them to participate in daha ‘i activities and be unified
under all circumstances .118
In January of 2001, however, the UHJ released a letter in which it defined the sphere of power of the appointed arm in precise terms.119
There was a general shift in balance between the appointed and elected arms as well as the further development of new organs of administration. While the UHJ retained ultimate authority as head of the religion, the appointed arm clearly had more weight, power and authority than the elected arm. This was viewed by some as a step “backwards” imitating religious hierarchies of the “past”, in which an unelected priestly elite retained ultimate control and power over the religion and the fortunes of its followers. That perception was further strengthened by the nature of the Baha’i electoral process in which the incumbent members of the House of Justice were virtually guaranteed reelection, and could control future membership through nominating favoured candidates to sit on the International Teaching Centre, signalling the House’s “approval” in the case of election for absent seats due to death or retirement.120
116 ) See for example, Baha’u’llah, “Kitab-i-Ahd”, Tablets of Baha’u’llah Revealed After the Kitab-i-Aqdas (Wilmette : Baha’i Publishing Trust, 1988 ) 221.
117 ) Lights of Guidance 324.
118 ) Lights of Guidance 41.
119 ) Universal House of Justice, The, The Institution of the Counsellors, 29 Jan. 2001, (Haifa: Baha’i World Centre, 2001), 21 Dec. 2002, <http://bahai-library.org/published.uhj /counsellors.html>.
120 ) “Baha’i Faith in America as Panopticon“, 1963-1997 234-248. True to prediction, in the most recent UHJ election held in 2003, the two retiring members were replaced by two men from the International Teaching Centre. It will remain to be seen whether this pattern of indirect nomination of “approved” candidates continues.
June 12, 2008
A film about bahai involvement in world politics and the military
Bahais In My Backyard
Mount Carmel location
Haifa from top of bahai project on mount carmel
film Duration (mins)
film Date of broadcast
Some other bahai project on mount carmel
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Attendence of the representation of Amarican and israel government to the funereal of the wido of shoghi
Ruhiyyih Rabbani ( Mary Sutherland Maxwell )
Universal House of Justice
Baha’ Allah had referred to two levels of a legislative assembly: local Houses of Justice and an international House of Justice. ‘Abd al-Baha’ added a secondary House of Justice at an intermediate level and it is upon this pattern that Spiritual Assemblies were created.68 Early in their evolution, local and national Spiritual Assemblies had different names, constitutions and functions, however Shoghi Effendi standardised them into a single system which is still followed today. It was the members of the national Spiritual Assemblies that met and elected the Universal House of Justice in 1963 and since that time the UHJ has acted as the official head of the Baha’i faith.
The membership of the body has only seen change due to death or retirement: no member has ever been elected off the UHJ. Despite followers of the Baha’i religion coming from almost every conceivable ethnic background, the men of the UHJ have mostly been Iranian and American. The exceptions to this being two British men, a German, an Australian and a Canadian.69 As at writing, the men of the current UHJ are: Peter Khan (b.1936), Farzam Arbab (b.1941), Hooper Dunbar (b.1937), Glenford Mitchell (b.1935), Douglas Martin (b.1929), Kiser Barnes (b.1943), Hartmut Grossmann (b.?), Firaydoun Javaheri (b.?).The UHJ has continued the efforts of the Guardian in expanding and consolidating the religion, and approving major constructions in
The question of rightful leadership has not been an issue for the UHJ as nearly the entire Baha’i world recognises its position as head of the religion, with the exception of a small number of sectarian Baha’is and individual protesters. Instead challenges to the body have appeared in the form of criticism of its actions or lack thereof. With the advent of widespread availability and use of the internet (at least in the developed world), Baha’is who have become disaffected with the administrative bodies of the religion have had the opportunity to share their concerns publicly, something the UHJ began viewing with some alarm.
In the mid 1980s, the national Assembly in the United States successfully lobbied to stop publication of a magazine called Dialogue71 for publicising opinions and views not officially sanctioned by the US Assembly. This included a controversial article titled “A Modest Proposal”72 which had been scheduled for publication and submitted for review to the national Assembly. “A Modest Proposal”, which criticised aspects of administrative practices and proposed nine points for improving and revitalising the Baha’i community in the US, sparked the irate wrath of the national Assembly and those involved in Dialogue were publicly denounced as dissidents.73
In October 1994 two academics, John Walbridge and his wife Linda (1946-2002) created an internet discussion list called “Talisman”74 on a listserv operated under the auspices of the University of Indiana. “Talisman” included some of those formerly involved in Dialogue and other left-wing academics and liberals. Topics debated on the list included the question of women serving on the UHJ; the procedure of pre-publication literature review which was seen as a form of censorship; questions over belief in a future Baha’i world theocracy and the (mis-)functioning of Baha’i administrative bodies.75 “Talisman” became the focus of an official investigation when a private email discussing the suggestion of a whistle-blowing “manifesto” being published about Baha’i authorities accidentally became public.76 “Talisman” was thus seen to be a breeding-ground for dissent against Baha’i authorities and due to increasing pressure a number of high profile Baha’is involved in the discussion list began withdrawing from the faith with their administrative rights77 threatened as well as intimations that persistence would lead to the offenders being declared Covenant-Breakers.78 These included academics Linda Walbridge and Juan Cole79 as well as publisher Steven Scholl. “Talisman” was shut-down and then quickly restarted up again by Cole using a listserv at the University of Michigan.
In July 1997 the UHJ began using a novel method of expelling Baha’is without having to evoke Covenant-Breaker status. It expelled another “Talisman” member, Canadian writer Michael McKenny, ordering the Canadian Assembly to remove his name from the membership roll and inform him of that decision. The letter received with some surprise by McKenny said that this action was taken on the basis of “the correspondence [the UHJ] has had with you and the established pattern of behaviour you have demonstrated over the past several months.”80 McKenny’s expulsion brought into sharp public focus the increasing pressure put on various Baha’i academics, writers and members of internet mailing lists arising from their questioning of policies and activities of various Baha’i administrative bodies.
The most recent expulsion involved New Zealander Alison Marshall whose internet postings also brought her to the attention of Baha’i authorities. The UHJ ordered her expulsion in April 2000 [reference : 81] although there is some evidence that local New Zealand authorities questioned the order and failed to fully support the UHJ in its decision. The effect of this reaction was felt by the UHJ and in June 2000 Peter Khan visited New Zealand lecturing on, among other things, the need to accept the UHJ as a divinely protected, infallible body. Hinting at the Alison Marshall case, he said:
UHJ building ( at night )
The House of Justice has been appalled in recent weeks to receive vitriolic, nasty, vicious letters from New Zealand Baha’is concerned about actions the House of Justice took with regard to a believer from the South Island … an indication that something is fundamentally wrong with the Baha’i community in this country in terms of its depth of understanding of the covenant and the authority of the institutions of the Faith.82
However, there is some indication that Baha’i authorities have accepted that the advent of the internet has lessened their absolute control over what is said, written and published about the Baha’i religion. Baha’is have been informed they do not need to seek pre-publication approval for private webpages involving mention of the Baha’i religion (although they are asked not to register domain names with Baha’i words), and academics interested in publishing online copies, translations and commentaries of Baha’i scriptural texts have been able to do so with some freedom.83
68 ) Local and national Houses of Justice are temporarily known as local and national Spiritual Assemblies, a temporary intermediate form of the institutions specified by Baha’ Allah in al-Kitab al-Aqdas. See Bahá’u’lláh, The Kitáb-i-Aqdas (Haifa: Bahá’í World Centre, 1992) 189.
69)Smith, “Universal House of Justice” 347-348.
70)This point first came to my attention having been made by Professor Juan R. Cole, however I have been unable to find an attributable reference.
71)Archives of Dialogue are available at: <http://www2.h-net.msu.edu/~bahai/docs/vol2/dialog.htm>.
72)“A Modest Proposal: Recommendations Toward the Revitalization of the American Baha’i Community”, Jan. 1998, Documents on the Shaykhi, Babi and Baha’i Movements, vol. 2, no. 2, 20 Dec. 2002, <http://www2.h-net.msu.edu/~bahai/docs/vol2/modest.htm>.
73)Cole, Juan R.I., “The Baha’i Faith in America as Panopticon, 1963-1997”, Jun. 1998, The Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion, vol. 37, no. 2, 234-248, 20 Dec. 2002, <http://www-personal.umich.edu/~jrcole/bahai/1999/jssr/bhjssr.htm>. See also Steven Scholl’s illuminating letter regarding the Dialogue issue at: <http://www-personal.umich.edu/~jrcole/bahai/1999/scholl1.htm>.
74)“Talisman” archives are available at: <http://www-personal.umich.edu/~jrcole/tarc1196.htm>.
75)Johnson, K. Paul, “Baha’i Leaders Vexed by On-Line Critics”, Winter 1997, Gnosis Magazine, 20 Dec. 2002, <http://bahai-library.org/newspapers/gnosis.talisman.html>.
76)Strategizing about dealing with administrative repression, 20 Dec. 2002, <http://www-personal.umich.edu/~jrcole/bahai/1999/majnun.htm>. See also Cole, Juan R.I., Commentary on Majnun Posting, 20 Dec. 2002, <http://www-personal.umich.edu/~jrcole/bahai/1999/majncole.htm>.
77)Having administrative rights removed (a sanction available for use by national Spiritual Assemblies) means that an individual Baha’i cannot participate in Baha’i elections or sit on Baha’i administrative bodies; give money to Baha’i funds; go on Baha’i pilgrimages; attend Baha’i-only meetings; receive Baha’i-only publications; marry Baha’is or have their marriages solemnized. See National Spiritual Assembly of the Bahá’ís of the United States, The, “Community Membership”, Developing Distinctive Bahá’í Communities: Guidelines for Spiritual Assemblies (Evanston, Illinois: Office of Assembly Development, 1998).
78)Cole, “The Baha’i Faith in America as Panopticon, 1963-1997” 234-248.
79)Cole later rescinded his recantation of belief in Baha’ Allah but did not seek official re-enrollment. See Cole, J., Personal statement on Baha’u’llah, 3 years on, 20 Dec. 2002, <http://www-personal.umich.edu/~jrcole/bahai/1999/persdec.htm>.
80)“Documents Related to the Expulsion by the Universal House of Justice of Michael McKenny from the Baha’i Faith, 25 July 1997”, May 1999, Documents on the Shaykhi, Babi and Baha’i Movements, vol. 3, no. 1, 20 Dec. 2002, <http://www2.h-net.msu.edu/~bahai/docs/vol3/mckenny.htm>.
81)See Universal House of Justice, The, “To the National Spiritual Assembly of the Bahá’ís of New Zealand”, 19 Apr. 2000, Explanation given by the House of Justice for Alison’s expulsion, 20 Dec. 2002, <http://home.clear.net.nz/pages/alisonz/19-4-00.html>.
82)Talk by Peter Khan: New Zealand National Teaching Conference, June, 2000, 20 Dec. 2002, <http://bahaistudies.net/khan.html>.
83)See for instance the H-Bahai Discussion Network at: <http://www2.h-net.msu.edu/~bahai/>.
reference : http://www.bahai-religion.org/history_uhj.htm
The Role Of Russia In Establishing Bahaism
[ Part 1 ]
the Arabian Sea
The Russian imperialism has no doubt, played an outstanding role in the formative years of Babi schism. Obviously, they would waste no opportunity to fish in troubled waters in a country where foreign forces could easily exhibit themselves. To this end, they would do their best to annihilate the only factor for the solidarity of the nation—religion. On the other hand, since the time of Peter the Great, the founder of imperialist Russia, the Russians in their drive to become the paramount colonial power far superior to their hegemonist rivals, they tried every strategem to get access to the warm waters of the Persian Gulf and the Arabian Sea. The basis for the Russian foreign policy in Asia, according to documentary evidence was grounded in Peter the great’s will who had recommended the following points to his successors:
“…Further approach towards Constantinople and India. Those who get hold of these regions would be the owners of the whole world. Therefore, to achieve this goal, permanent wars should be launched not only in Turkey but in Iran as well…”
After the overthrown of Czarist rule in Russia, Dolgorki, one of the suspicious Russian officials who later was appointed as the Soviet ambassador to Tehran, and who, as history bears witness, had made direct contacts with Bahai leaders, wrote articles titled ‘a clergyman politician’ in Sharq (East) magazine, the official publication of the Russian foreign commissariat in 1924 and 1925.(63) In his articles he has revealed that the first time he entered Iran in disguise as a clergyman and stayed for sometime in theological centers, he had collected the required information in this connection.
Seyyed Kazem Rashti
Since he knew that his real name
would rouse suspicion among the people about him as an atheist Russian, he chose the forged name ‘Sheikh Ali Lankarani’ for himself. Later, he went to Iraq where, among all those religious personalities, he was attracted by Seyyed Kazem Rashti’s orations. He gradually penetrated the Sheikhiyeh and chose Mirza Ali Mohammad Shirazi as an appropriate person for his sinister objectives. At the beginning he would pretend that he had been impressed by Mirza Ali Mohammad and would be quite humble in front of him and would rush to see him on and off. He would implicitly inject the idea to Mirza Ali Mohammad that he was the Bab (gateway) to all divine sciences, that he was the Bab to the Awaited Imam, and that all should consider him as the Bab…!
A review of the ideology of Babism and Bahaism shows that they have always referred to Czarist Russia as their ultimate friend and refuge. The first signals of Russia‘s practical support for Bab was the case of the Christian governor of Isfahan, Manuchehr Khan Gorji, which was discussed earlier.
Abdolhussein Ayati on page 284 of his book Kavakeb-ud Dorriyeh fi Ma’aser-ul Bahaiyeh, volume 1, writes: “When he (Bahaullah) was in Dargaz, one of the villages of Mazandaran, the Russian government servants and border guards showed devotion towards him to the extent that they managed to pave the way for his escape but he did not accept…Later, they were informed about Mohammad Shah’s death which pleased the Russian admiral and resulted in BahaoUah’s rescue. On this trip, Seyyed Basir Hendi accompanied him.”(64)
On page 49 of his book Maqale Shakhsi Sayyah, Abbas Afandi while describing the execution of Ali Mohammad Shirazi and Mohammad Ali Tabrizi in Tabriz writes: “Then, they took the bodies away from the city square and placed them beside a ditch outside the city. The next day the Russian counsul inspected the bodies and drew a picture of the bodies as they were lying beside the ditch.”(65)
It should be noted that the writer of the book Kavakeb-ud Dorriyeh on page 249 of the first volume of his book has explicitly noted that Ali Mohammad Shirazi’s body had been hidden by Ahmad Milani Babi who had been under the patronage of the Russian government.
Meanwhile, the writer of Noqtat-ul Kaaf on page 266 of his book writes: “The Byzantine and Russian ambassadors have blamed Amir on the murder of the two masters and have said that it would be meaningless if a number of deprived people say something and you, with all the power you have, intend to annoy them…” (66)
A report prepared by the Russian ambassador, Prince Dolgorki, and sent to the the Russian Foreign Minister says: “It would be excellent if Babism launches an opposition against Muslim ulema and accuses them of being deviated.” (67)
picture : former russian legation
Showqi Afandi, the second successor to Bahaullah in his book Qarn-e Badi under the title of ‘Exile of the master Bahaullah to Iraq’ writes: “When the assassination attempt against Nassereddin Shah’s life occurred, Bahaullah was in Lavasan as a guest of the grand vizier. He was in Afjeh when he heard the news. The grand vizier’s brother Ja’afar Qoli Khan who was responsible for hosting Bahaullah, asked him to hide in one of the nearby places for a while until the situation is calm again. But the ‘blessed being’ not only did not accept the idea but dismissed even the trustworthy person assigned for his safety. The next day, he patiently proceeded towards the imperial camp in Niavaran. While in Zargandeh, Majid, Bahaullah ‘s brother-in-law, who was serving as a secretary at the Russian embassy met and invited him to his house which was next to the ambassador’s residence. Later, Haj Mohammad Ali Khan Hajeb-ud Doleh’s men reported Bahaullah ‘s arrival to him and he personally informed the Shah. The Shah was surprised by hearing such a news and dispatched his own reliable envoys to the embassy to demand his hand over since he was accused of being involved in the incident. The Russian ambassador declined to hand Bahaullah over and begged the master to move to the grand vizier’s house. He also explicitly and officially urged him to preserve and safeguard the trust they deposit with him…(68)
63- Translations of his notes have been reprinted for several times. Later, they were published with an introduction by Khalessizadeh. See Mozdouran-e Este’mar, page 2, by Rowhani .
64.See Bahaian, pages 617-618
67.Bahaian, page 619. From Dalgorky’s reports Russian government
ambassador to Iran to Russian Foreign Minister Neselrud. File No. 133,
Tehran, June 10th, 1850, No. 48.
68, Qarn-e Badi, vol. 1, page 318, by Showqi, translated by
Nasrollah Mavaddat printed by Amri National Publications
[ End of part 1 ]
The Role Of Russia In Establishing Bahaism
[ part 2 ]
It has been mentioned on page 284 of volume of Kavakeb-ud Dorriyeh that the Russian government contacted Mirza Hussein Ali in Amol and promised to provide him with any kind of assistance and cooperation. In practice, the Russian government would observe such a commitment because when he was chased by Nassereddin Shah, the Russian embassy gave him shelter and informed the Iranian officials that the Russian government by no means would accept any harm to him and that he should be completely supported and protected and in case any harm threatens him, the Iranian government would be directly responsible. The relevant peace and tranquility that prevailed after the severe imprisonment of that master, Bahaullah, according to the Divine will was limited and lasted for a short period. Because, the master had not fully felt himself among his family that the Shah ordered his exile. According to the Shah’s decree, Bahaullah had to leave the country within a month. However, he was permitted to go wherever he wished.When the Russian ambassador was informed of the Shah’s decree, begged the master to allow him to provide the required facilities for his transfer to Russia under the patronage and safety of the Russian government. But, the invitation was not accepted by Bahaullah and instead he preferred to depart for Iraq and stay in Baghdad.
Emperor Nikolaevich Alexander II
Later, in a tablet written by the master’s pen in honour of the Russian Emperor Nicolovich Alexander II, the divine being praised the ambassador’s proposal and said: “When this oppressed man (referring to himself) was in captivity, the Russian ambassador did his best to release me and repeatedly urged my release but a number of ulema protested against his proposal. Finally, as a result of his Excellency’s insistence, I was released from captivity. His Majesty the Emperor of Russia, may the blessed and supreme God help him, continued his protection for me, only for the sake of God…”
Of course, the British imperialism did not lack behind in the nurturing of Babi schism. Heshmat Ali, one of the Bahai leaders on page 81 of his book Bahaullah ‘s Teachings which has been printed in Urdu in India writes: “If the ambassadors of Russia and Britain had not mediated for the rescue of Bahaullah, the name of this great man had been eliminated from history forever.”
“…In January 12, 1853, that is nine months after the return from Karbala, master Bahaullah together with several members of his familv and the Iranian official and Russian ambassador, went for Baghdad…”(69)
Mirza Heydar Isfahani Bahai in his book Bahjatus Sodour (Gladness of hearts) writes: “They finally arrested and imprisoned Baha and plundered his wealth and since the Russian government supported him, they could not martyr him and therefore sent him into exile to Baghdad .(70)
Abdolhussein Avareh in his book Kavakeb-ud Dorriyeh on the release of Mirza Husseinali Bahaullah writes: “It is noteworthy that all the inmates of the prison that Bahaullah was jailed were affected by the Shah’s anger. However, he was released from prison and perhaps the Russian consul helped his release.”(71)
Seyyed Hussein Yazdi, Baha’s secretary, was the only person who accompanied him everywhere until the time when the verdict for the execution of Bab was issued. Later, he found a better person and repented but after a while again joined the followers of Bab. There are documents which prove his secret contacts with the Russian embassy and the fact that he relayed the embassy’s instructions to Baha.
On page 217 of the book Noqtat-ul Kaaf which is highly respected by the Bahais themselves, it has been revealed that: “The Russian ambassador would particularly come to Tabriz in order to visit Seyyed Hussein Yazdi.” Czarist Russia, after the consolidation of the position of these mean spies and servants in Iran, decided to support them from Russia and therefore granted them a plot of land in Ashqabad where the Russian government with its own expenses and under the supervision of its own architects built a base and temple for the Bahais. If the Bolsheviks had not put an end to Czarist rule, Russia, like Israel, Britain and the U.S. would have been turned into a major base for this fabricated sect. The late Abdolhussein Bafqi Yazdi in his book Kashf-ul Hayyal notes this point: “The Russian government granted them land and sent them architects to set up a temple (Mashreq-ul Azkar in Ashqabad) and if the communists had not turned that place into a scene of their show, Babism and Bahaism would have been organized in Russia.”(72)
69. Page 41 onwards, vol. 2, Tehran, Amri National Publications.
70. Bahaian, page 126, see Behjatul-Sodar, page 128, printed in Bombay.
71. Bahaian, page 631, Kavakeb-ud Dorriyeh, vol 1., page 336
72. Abdolhussein Bafqi Yazdi, a famous Iranian poet and writer was born in Taft, Yazd, in 1868. When he was 32, he joined the Bahais under their persuation and thus was ostracized from Muslim community. He propagated Bahaism for 18 years. It was at the beginning of this era when he wrote Kavakeb-ud Dorriyeh on the history of this faith. Upon the orders of Abdol Baha, he would adopt ‘Avareh” as his pen name. After Abdol Baha’s death Ayati made a trip to Europe where he deeply found out futility of this fabricated sect and thus wrote Kashf-ul Hayyal (Exposing the Deceitful) on the deceitful nature of the Bahai leaders. The great Islamic encyclopedia, vol. 2.
[ End of part 2 ]
My Official Withdrawal Of Membership
Asmá 13, 157 B.E.
Even though the content of the letters and manuscripts which I composed and sent to the Auxiliary Board Member for Protection and other official addresses of the Heterodox Bahá’í administration during the past two years vividly articulated my personally held belief that the Will and Testament of Abdu’l-Baha’ must, by deeds and application, be recognized as the Charter of the New World Order, the Child of the Covenant, not merely by words or in theory, I have received no official word from the Heterodox Baha’i administration concerning my membership within that Baha’i community, namely membership #137661, Ross W. A. Campbell. The Maxwell Pilgrim Notes of Jan.-Mar. 1937 speak of the Dispensation of Baha’u’llah, as the “spiritual testament” of the first of our Guardians, Shoghi Effendi:
“There was a danger that the friends might misunderstand the Master’s Will, and thus the Dispensation of Baha’u’llah was written, Shoghi Effendi’s spiritual testament in detail. He has fixed in it the relations of things to each other. We cannot go beyond what he has defined. However, the second Guardian can interpret the “Dispensation” itself. He has the same promise to be the inspired interpreter. The Guardian is the interpreter, expounder of the Cause and the protector of the Cause.”…
pic : UHJ Building
Of course, the Dispensation of Baha’u’llah eloquently speaks for itself, clearly defining the position of the Guardians in God’s Kingdom on Earth, which will be brought to accomplishment by mankind’s obedience to the Charter of the New World Order, the Will and Testament of `Abdu’l-Bahá, the Child of the Covenant. The continuing disobedience to that sacred Child of the Covenant, by the current Heterodox Bahá’í administration leaves me no alternative other than to officially withdraw my membership (#137661) as Bahá’í under the current Heterodox administration, while simultaneously presenting again the document which I sent to many addresses of Bahá’ís under the current Heterodox administration, which manuscript expresses my submission to the 3rd Guardian of the Bahá’í Faith:
The third Guardian , Joel B Marangella
Dear friends, It was mutually agreed between myself and a group of Heterodox Bahá’í believers which met together for discussion this afternoon and evening, that I should send out the attached statement openly declaring my submission to the 3rd Guardian of the Bahá’í Faith, Joel Bray Marangella. It is correct that I here briefly include my reasons for that submission to the Guardian of the Bahá’í Faith and they are these:
1. I have come to understand and believe that the Bahá’í Faith MUST have a Guardian living on Earth amongst us, because the Will and Testament of Abdu’l-Bahá, which was identified by the first Guardian of the Faith, Shoghi Effendi, as “the Charter of the New World Order”, provides for a Guardian.
2. I have believed and understand what Shoghi Effendi wrote on page 4 of The World Order of Bahá’u’lláh, that the Will and Testament of Abdu’l-Bahá and Bahá’u’lláh’s Most Holy Book, the Kitab-i-Aqdas, “are inseparable parts of one complete unit”, and thus the Will and Testament is Bahá’í Holy Writ, which only the Guardian of the Bahá’í Faith is Divinely Authorized to interpret, no other person or group.
3. Concerning the Universal House of Justice, the Will and Testament says: “the guardian of the Cause of God is its sacred head and the distinguished member for life of that body.” The Will and Testament contains no thought or expression authorizing a headless Universal House of Justice.
4. The first Guardian of the Bahá’í Faith, Shoghi Effendi, on page 56 of The Dispensation of Bahá’u’lláh wrote about “…instruments…which must for all time preserve the unity of the organized followers of the Faith of Bahá’u’lláh”. I believe that the Guardianship of the Bahá’í Faith, as defined and provided for in the Will and Testament of Abdu’l-Bahá, is one of those “instruments”, even an essential one.
5. I fully believe that the provision in the Will and Testament of `Abdu’l-Bahá for not only a living Guardian of the Bahá’í Faith, but also for the institution the Hands of the Cause, appointed exclusively by the Guardian, as defined in the Will and Testament, is a provision, the neglect or rejection of which, seriously violates the Sacred Plan of Bahá’u’lláh for the Administration of the New World Order, as outlined and defined by that “Charter of the New World Order”, the immortal “Child of the Covenant”, the Will and Testament of `Abdu’l-Bahá.
Having discussed these matters with the Heterodox believers this afternoon and evening, they wrote a declaration which I signed, and it is as follows, with one additional expression here included as indicated:
On the Orthodox Bahá’í Faith:
Also, please read the excommunication from the Heterodox tradition of the Bahá’í Faith made by the Universal House of Justice.
Familiarity with a separated important group
The third Guardian , Joel B Marangella
Familiarity with a separated important group in Bahaism
After the demise of Shoughi Effendi as the first Guardian of bahaism , the bahais had no successor of Shoughi then Mr. Charles Mason Remey who was one of the most important figure of the hands of the Cause claimed that he was the second Guardian .
After that the bahais splited into two groups :
1) Those who affiliated to the UHJ in Haifa ( Israel ) .
2) The followers of Mason Remey who named themselves as Orthodox Bahai faith ( OBF ) .
The third Guardian , Joel B Marangella
Who are OBF ?
Please note that the Orthodox Bahai faith (OBF) has no affiliation with the bahai faith headquartered in Wilmette , Illinois or Haifa, Israel . The OBF believes the head of the faith is the living Guardian of the Cause , while the other group believes their sans-Guardian so-called Universal House of Justice is the head of the Faith and that there were no other Guardians after Shoughi Effendi.
The OBF believes that Shoughi Effendi was the first Guardian, but that he appointed Charles Mason Remey as the second Guardian , who later appointed Joel B. Marangella , the current third Guardian of the Cause .
Bahais are not permitted to teach in Israel
Bahais are not permitted to teach in Israel even after 150 years.Why?
How Universal is the Bahai Faith?
While studying the Bahai Faith, one is constantly led to believe that the Bahai Faith is the “new” Universal religion – a religion with universal laws; a religion which has replaced all faiths like Judaism, Christianity, Hinduism, Islam to name a few. Read any Bahai teaching material and this aspect hits you in the face – that the Bahai Faith is a Universal religion. Visit any Bahai web site and you will feel that the Bahai Faith is the “next big idea” when it comes to uniting religions and establishing a universal religion. This position has been hammered to such an extent that a novice to the Faith might actually start believing in it.
I have been a student of the Faith for some time – and would like to believe that I have dug deeper than even most Bahais in the quest for truth. And my studies have thrown up some amazing facts that contradict the very idea of Universality of the Bahai Faith.
What is the meaning of Universal Religion?
Before we move to my findings, I think it would not be out of place to first discuss what we mean by Universal religion. Without going into the dictionary meaning of “Universal”, the general understanding when we say that any religion is a Universal religion is that the religion is for all men wherever they may reside – that the laws of that Universal religion would be binding equally upon every human being irrespective of where he stayed, worked or traveled.
For example, Muslims consider Islam to be the final Universal Religion. And there are several reasons for that. Some of them are mentioned in the Quran itself. Sample these verses:
قُلْ يَا أَيُّهَا النَّاسُ إِنِّي رَسُولُ اللّهِ إِلَيْكُمْ جَمِيعًا
‘Say: O people! surely I am the Apostle of Allah to you all’
(Sura Aaraf, verse 158)
وَمَا أَرْسَلْنَاكَ إِلَّا كَافَّةً لِّلنَّاسِ بَشِيرًا وَنَذِيرًا
وَلَكِنَّ أَكْثَرَ النَّاسِ لَا يَعْلَمُونَ
‘We have not sent you but as a universal (Messenger) to men, giving them glad tidings, and warning them (against sin), but most men understand not.’
(Sura Saba, verse 28 )
If a person accepts Islam, the laws of Islam would be binding upon him and from that very moment he would be expected to follow all rules of Islam. And this law has been the same since the time of the Holy Prophet of Islam (pbuh). Whenever a group of people accepted Islam, they were taught the rules of Islam (prayers etc) and were expected to follow those rules without exception no matter where they resided or which tribe/family they belonged to.
Is the Bahai Faith a Universal Religion?
Before answering that question, lets look at some of the Abrahamic faiths. We know that Judaism and Christianity introduced laws that were aimed at the entire Bani Israel. Laws applied to every Israelite without exception. Likewise, Islamic laws are applicable to all Muslims regardless of his race, colour, region, tribe, etc. All Muslims are equal in front of Allah and the only criterion on which a Muslim can hope to get a concession is piety.
إِنَّ أَكْرَمَكُمْ عِندَ اللَّهِ أَتْقَاكُمْ إِنَّ اللَّهَ عَلِيمٌ خَبِيرٌ
‘…surely the most honorable of you with Allah is the most pious…’
(Sura Hujarat, verse 13)
Or is it that the Bahais have a clandestine arrangement with Israel that in exchange of the permission to reside in Israel, the Bahais would not try and convert any Jews? And it is interesting that only Jews living in Israel are off-limits for Bahai missionaries. Christians and Muslims living in Israel are welcome targets for Bahais to introduce their ‘Universal’ doctrine.
With the existence of such an edict, how can one claim to be a Universal religion?
Some of my other amazing findings about the Faith include:
2. Some laws of The Aqdas were not applicable globally as late as 1999! (Read the edict)
Why were these laws not applicable universally? Why did it take 150 years for the laws to become applicable in a country like America?
For the benefit of my readers, here are a few more quotations,
“For your information, the people in Israel have access to factual information about the Faith, its history and general principles. Books concerning the Faith are available in libraries throughout Israel, and Israelis are welcome to visit the Shrines and the surrounding gardens. However, in keeping with a policy that has been strictly followed since the days of Bahá’u’lláh, Bahá’ís do not teach the Faith in Israel. Likewise, the Faith is not taught to Israelis abroad if they intend to return to Israel. When Israelis ask about the Faith, their questions are answered, but this is done in a manner which provides factual information without stimulating further interest.”
(Ref: The Universal House of Justice, 1995 Jul 23, Teaching Israelis)
“Whenever an Israeli citizen living in the West, irrespective of his background and religious affiliation, declares his belief and interest in becoming a member of the Bahá’í community, he should be informed that the Faith is not taught in Israel and that there is no Bahá’í community there apart from those who are associated with the Bahá’í World Center. He cannot be accepted into the Bahá’í community if he is planning to return to Israel to reside there.
“If he plans to continue to reside outside Israel, his enrollment can be accepted, but he will then be subject to the same restrictions about travel to Israel as any other Bahá’í, in that he could do so only with the express permission of the Universal House of Justice. In any event, the Universal House of Justice should be informed of any such declaration.
(Ref: Letter from the Universal House of Justice, dated October 20, 1994, to several National Spiritual Assemblies.”)
(Compilations, NSA USA – Developing Distinctive Baha’i Communities)
The Bahai Faith seeks to mislead humanity under the garb of being a Universal religion. Its laws even today are not globally applicable and depending upon its convenience, the UHJ releases edicts from time to time. If the Faith were truly global, then these laws would have been equally applicable to all individuals from the time of Bahaullah itself. Otherwise what this means is that Bahaullah left a legacy of an imperfect, evolving faith to his successors, which debunks the Bahai Faith’s claim of being the next progressive link to Islam. Islam as is evident from the Quranic verses was completed and perfected by Allah before the passing away of the Prophet (This day have I perfected for you your religion and completed My favor on you and chosen for you Islam as a religion – Surah Maidah, verse 3).
[ part 1 ]
Among the sporadic propagations, you may have heard the name “bahaism”. This name belongs to that ideology which claims to have been received by a man called Baha’u’llah (the glory of god)from god and which contains divine commands. Now it is not bad to see what the opinion of the question of “the oneness and solidity of mankind together” and what orders they give through a research into the original texts of this religion.
The point which should be mentioned here before any other one is that in this research, our authorities are the original books of the leaders of this religion not the grandiloquent pamphlets nor the grandiloquent lectures of the bahai missionaries , because we want to discover the real feature of this ideology not its painted or distinguished one . These books were all written either in Arabic or in Persian, and only some of them have been translated into English or into other languages. (You will see that it was also advisable for them not to translate them.)Our documents in this article are from the very books published by national bahai publishing trust.
pic : Bahaullah
It is not so difficult for a researcher into the bahai works to become aware of the question of oneness of mankind from the point of view of bahaism, because in his earliest studies, he will soon come across an instance, of the orders which the leaders of this ideology give to their followers in numerous cases to fight against others. For instance, look into this instance in order to see what order Baha’u’llah, the founder of this religion gives to his followers.”0-bahais, be an inevitable chastisement for those who have not believed (in baha ism).” That is, spare nothing to persecute them. He did not become content with this for expanding the division among men and issued another order , saying “0 my friends and 0 my choice people , hear my call ! if you have felt the smell of unbelief from any one less than what can be supposed, that is ,even less than a particle ,turn him away any more. This is an order which we have re-commended to you in all of our writings.”
pic : Abdolbaha in Bahji
We see that in this order, a deep and expansive abyss of rancour and division has been created between the bahais and the others and does not allow the slightest contact to be made. Nevertheless, is there any possibility for unity among human groups? The sayings of Baha’u’llah in the recent document showed us that this recommendation had been made to his followers in “all the writings “, and by studying most documents ,these very saying are to be found again in other forms not more. Now then, it is not also bad to cast a glance at the manifestation of these orders in the acts of the leaders of this religion and see how this very morale, of conflict and division is practically effected and what the consequences of causing this disunion are and whether their acts also confirm the result of our research into their saying or not.
An investigation of the life history of the leaders of this religion put at our disposal the conclusion that they are truly perfect examples of these programs , because we see that everywhere, they perform their duties well as agents of disunion . “Bab” (the gate) , the first link of this chain ,who is the founder of babism and who is called the herald of babism, invited his followers to riot and fight against Muslims in his earliest orders through promulgating his religion. In this manner, he caused some of the Iranians who had turned to him to be killed. Baha’u’llah, the founder of bahaism , was expelled from Iran and was exiled to Iraq as the result of the plots which he had woven against the then government. The account of the riot and frequent conflicts which he and his followers had brought about in Najaf and Karbela-the important cities of Iraq needs a voluminous book so that we may be able to write its account completely. He was exiled to Istanbul as the result of these measures causing conflict. There also, his riotous acts, which still continued, caused him together with a group of his adherents to be exiled to Adrena. The conflicts and massacres caused by the bahais in Adrena induced the then government to send them away to Akka.
 – Baha’u’llah , The Book Majmu-i Alwah , p.216.
 – The Book Asrar al-Ather-i Khususi, vol.4, p.126.
[ End of part 1 ]
[ Part 2 ]
You may ask yourself what bahaollah did in these various cities that no land was able to endure his riotous acts any more after a while. It is not bad to choose an instance and set to analyze the nature of his hostile behavior ,an investigation of his life show that there is no need to go so far as to choose this instarce that is ,he or those who had suffered. These hostilities –and choose unknown individuals. Who is the nearest person to Bahaollah ? His family ? How is it to choose his brother from among his family? He who lived, was trained and was intimate with him .an analysis of his behavior towards his brother will be an expressive example of the of the nature of these acts , so that we will find out through it that he who was not able to establish a friendly relation and unity between his brother and him but had brought about hostility and conflict instead what kind of behavior did he have towards others? Bahaollah’s brother called Mirza yahya ,who had been appointed by Bab as his successor ,took charge of the leadership of the babis.
Bahaollah also surrendered to him as, the others and managed his affairs as a believer in him and executed his commands as his agent. ”The matters which he wrote during this period are full of expressions devotion of to Mirza Yahya subh-i Azal and of the announcement of his obedience to him,”  until after a while , a dispute arose between his brother & him over the leadership of the followers and the fire of struggle for power began to blaze . Bahaollah abandoned obedience to Mirza Yahya’s orders and re-presented himself as the envoy of god and proclaimed his leadership to the bahais .This claim, which was contradictory with the beliefs of the followers of and sayings of bad, caused disunion among the babis and in this manner , a conflict broke out between Mirza yahya and Bahaollah and consequently among their followers.
In this conflict all human questions, including ‘politeness’ and ‘etiquette’ were forgotten and ruined. Bahaollah called his brother “lamb”, “satan” and entitled him “bull”. He abused him under the name “deceptive snake” and called his followers “dogs” and considered their sayings the calls of the “wolf” and of the “pig”. At this time, the two brothers began also to disclose their hidden secrets, and as a result, the secrets were divulged and many of the concealed guilts and unspeakable sins and defects hidden from the sight of the public were disclosed.
The disunion and conflict between the two brothers and among their followers did not cease in the course of abuse and betrayal, and after a while, the followers of Bahaollah began to massacre the adherent of Mirza yahya at his command. They trapped the opponents through foul plots and swooped down on and murdered them. 
Bahaollah had a sister called “madame iziyah”, who wrote a book entitled “awakening the sleepy”. She points to the inhuman massacres of the bahais in various parts of this book and names many of the people who had been killed through cutting off their necks or ripping their belleys, or suffocating them in the river ,or shooting them because of not believing in Bahaollah .
It is not a discussion of the inhuman acts of this group .the aim of our investigation has not been to prepare a report of these crimes, because only a list of them will form a voluminous book. We wanted only to see how this ideology , which claims to be divine , has met need of men for unity and solidarity.
Ishrag khavari ( Reference : 10 )
We saw that the foundation of this religion was essentially built upon opposition to unity and correlation. The instance of the “family” clarified many points to us. Because we know that the family is the smallest and most correlative organ of society and the cornerstone of the high mansion of “oneness of mankind”. Now if anyone dose not want and is not also able to establish unity in this small unit but on the contrary , brings about an abusive and bloody conflict instead of it, he will never think of “oneness of mankind” and will make no effort to create it. Rather he will make an effort to destroy it as far as he can. We are not exaggerating, because if we see such an order from Bahaollah , what can it be called but an attempt to prevent the approach of nations and the unity of humanity.
“It has not been allowed to associate with, talk to and meet those who have not believed in bahaism “
This saying may have surprised you that how it is possible for a group of people to follow such orders in this age of enlightenment, while various efforts are begin made for the approach of nations to one another .you may consider the matter so absurd as not to believe it. Now then, consider the other saying of Bahaollah for more assurance: “lo! Know that god has even prohibited the bahais from meeting the unbelievers.”
Can it be still doubted ? Can the disunion caused by this ideology be doubted? Can it be considered a divine ideology, while all revealed religions have offered numerous programs for men’s correlation not for their division? The answer rests with aware consciences. By the way, it is not also unfit in the end to point to a funny saying. You may have also heard it. The bahais ,that is ,the followers of his holiness Bahaollah ,that is ,the executors of the anti –unity commands hold conferences, circulate pamphlets and they say and write in them for propagating their ideology that the oneness of the world of humanity is one of the teachings of bahaism.
We want to observe politeness and remove the ironical smile from our lips, but what is to be done in contrast to this deceitful lie, ? By the way ,do they consider their audience unaware and sophisticated people ,who accept everything blindly and say nothing in contrast to any lie, or treachery? Have they supposed that they will never have access to the original texts of bahaism and will never disclose their lies?
It is an optimistic probability to say that the people saying this are themselves unaware of the facts and do not know bahaism a duty upon our shoulders : the duty of acquainting them with the they may decide after acquaintance through proper awareness of truth-seeking conscience and come under the bondage of such commands.
We have found it our duty to clarify these facts so that the road of men towards correlation and unity may become cleared from any obstacle. We warmly welcome any question or discussion . Please help us in the cause of uniting men, too.
Looking forward to receiving your comments or those of your baha’i friends.
3- Bahaollah , the book igdi, p.195.
4- the book asrar al-athar-i khususi , vol4 p.197.
5- ibid .,vol.4,p101.&
6- bahaollah , the book badi , p.772.
7-The book asrar al-ather-I khususi , vol.4, p.34
8&9- The book asrar ai-ather-I khususi, vol. 5 , p.177.
10- Ishrag khavari,abdol hamid,taqvim-I tarkikh-I amr ,p.245.
Taqvim –I trikh amr, p.245.
11- Iziy-I khanum , tanbih al-naimin .
12- maidah asmani , vol.8, p.74.
[ End of Part 2 ]
The claims of Bahaism :
The claims of Bahaism in regard to its relation to the movement for peace and arbitration require consideration.
Abdul Baha at Boston  said: “Bahaullah spread the teaching of Universal Peace sixty years ago, when it was not even thought of by the people. He sent tablets to kings advising this.” He wrote to Mr. Smiley of Lake Mohonk, “The matter of International Peace was instituted by His Holiness, Bahaullah, sixty years ago in Persia.” Dreyfus  says:
“Long before these ideas, i. e., peace, brotherhood and arbitration, had taken form among
us, at a time when the Bab himself had sometimes excused the use of arms for the propagation of religion, Bahaullah had made these high principles the one basis of his religion.” Remey  states this claim yet more strongly, saying: “Peace, arbitration, in fact universal civilization were unthought-of when over half a century ago these teachers (Bahaullah and Abdul Baha) announced their message.” Again, “Christ states that His dispensation is to be a militant one, which would be followed by another of peace. Bahaulah has now brought that peace to the world. He is the Prince of Peace who has established the foundations of peace on earth.”  Now as to the facts. Bahaism certainly does advocate peace and arbitration, in common with Tolstoism, socialism and many schools of thought.
Baha said to Professor Browne at Acca, in 1886: “This fruitless strife these ruinous wars shall pass away and the Most Great Peace shall come. These strifes and this bloodshed and discord must cease and all men be as one kindred and one family.” In accordance with this, Abdul Baha declares  universal peace and an international Court of Arbitration to be fundamental principles of Bahaism. The Court will be called the House of Justice and will be composed entirely of Bahais. “Disputes will find a final sentence of absolute justice . . . before the Bahai House of Justice. War will be suppressed.” 
1. S.W., July 13, 1923, p. 122.
2. “The Universal Religion.”
3. Bahai Movement,” p. 75.
4. Page 54. In Dealy’s “Dawn of Knowledge,” the chapter on Bahaulah is entitled “Prince of Peace.”
5. S.W, vol. IV, pp. 6, 8 and 254.
6. “Answered Questions,” p. 74;” Tablet of the World,” p. 28.
The Baha’i Faith in America as Panopticon,
Juan R. I. Cole
( Professor of History at the University of Michigan )
Originally published in The Journal for the Scientific study of religion , Volume 37, No. 2 (June 1998): 234-248. Digitally republished here with additional notations, May, 1999.
Despite the large literature on American religious bodies, some groups remain curiously off-limits to careful investigation. In many instances, these largely unstudied contemporary faiths carefully cultivate public images that hide important facets of their outlook and internal workings. Thus, the collapse of Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh’s
Oregon commune surprised many observers. Some of these groups have developed control mechanisms that discourage adherents and often even apostates from writing about these workings. Scientology, for instance, employs techniques of harassment against critics. Others employ shunning which can be an extremely powerful deterrent, endangering a lifetime of friendships and even family relationships. The problem with strict internal controls for missionary religions, however, is that they are most often incompatible in Western societies with significant growth. One solution to this difficulty is to attempt to control what are thought of as key pressure points—vocal intellectuals, media, prominent institutions—and to give greater leeway to ordinary believers. This solution has the further advantage of making charges of repression less plausible to the rank and file, who have not personally experienced such constraints.Here I wish to examine social control mechanisms in the American Baha’i community. These include mandatory prepublication censorship of everything Baha’is publish about their religion, administrative expulsion, blackballing, shunning and threats of shunning. What are the ideological bases of these control mechanisms? How is power attained and managed in a lay community without a clergy? I wish to stress here that this article is not concerned with the essence or scriptures or theology of the religion, but with the actualities of its day-to-day technologies of control. Many of my remarks cannot be generalized to other national communities, and concern mainly the
Is the Baha’i Faith a cult?
Is the Baha’i Faith a cult? Baha’i leaders as well as rank-and-file Baha’is vigorously deny the charge. My own view, from reading the stories of many ex-Baha’is and talking Groups in the website is that the Haifa-based Baha’i Faith organization falls into a gray area on the borderline of cult status.It has many telltale characteristics of the controlling religious organizations known popularly as “cults,” but it is not as bad as the worst of them. In fact, some Baha’is can exist comfortably in the Baha’i Faith for a long time before they realize their religion is anything other than the slick Baha’i rhetoric says it is. Perhaps this is because Baha’i leadership does not use extreme pressure to force Baha’is to be much more involved than they want to be.
But spend enough time and become involved enough in the Baha’i Faith, and most believers will eventually realize they were deceived when they joined and have been deceived ever since by an authoritarian hierarchy that hides behind pleasant-sounding rhetoric of peace, love and unity, and uses subtle tactics of manipulation to keep people in, active and obedient.
The underlying problem is that Baha’is are required to believe the Baha’i administrative order is infallibly guided by God in all its decisions. This means that questioning or ignoring even the smallest statement of a Baha’i institution is tantamount to disobeying God Himself, and can bring accusations of “weakness in the Covenant” which is a harsh spritual judgment and veiled threat of discipline.Any Baha’i who openly criticizes any plan or policy of the administrative order (especially a “Plan” published by the UHJ) is regarded as a dangerous influence on “the Friends” and will be pressured by leadership to conform and remain silent, even if his or her ideas make sense. Slander and backbiting will often follow if the critic persists, followed by official discipline and sometimes culminating in expulsion or excommunication.
Now it is the time to here the stories of so many former bahais and ex-bahai :