The fatal flaw in Baha’i authority


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The fatal flaw in Baha’i authority
by Dale_Husband
28-Jul-2010
 

The basic problem of authority in the Baha’i Faith, with its false claim that those authorities are infallible, really becomes obvious when you consider the issue of the Guardianship, which Shoghi Effendi held from 1921 until his death in 1957. He was appointed to that position by his grandfather, Abdu’l-Baha.

O ye the faithful loved ones of Abdu’l-Baha! it is incumbent upon you to take the greatest care of Shoghi Effendi… For he is, after Abdu’l-Baha, the Guardian of the Cause of God… He that obeyeth him not, hath not obeyed God; he that turneth away from him, hath turned away from God and he that denieth him, hath denied the True One… All must seek guidance and turn unto the Center of the Cause and the House of Justice. And he that turneth unto whatsoever else is indeed in grievous error.
(`Abdu’l-Baha: Will and Testament, pages 25-26)

Later, Shoghi Effendi himself wrote:

Divorced from the institution of the Guardianship the World Order of Baha’u'llah would be mutilated and permanently deprived of that hereditary principle which, as Abdu’l-Baha has written, has been invariably upheld by the Law of God. …Without such an institution the integrity of the Faith would be imperiled, and the stability of the entire fabric would be gravely endangered. its prestige would suffer, the means required to enable it to take a long, an uninterrupted view over a series of generations would be completely lacking, and the necessary guidance to define the sphere of the legislative action of its elected representatives would be totally withdrawn.
(Shoghi Effendi: World Order of Baha’u'llah, page 148 )

It stands to reason that if Shoghi Effendi must be obeyed absolutely as the representative of God’s will, then he himself must obey the Baha’i commandments that came before him. If he was disobedient to Baha’i laws, then no one should obey him.

Baha’ullah, the founder of the Baha’i Faith, stated in his book of laws, the Kitab-i-Aqdas, paragraph 109, “Unto everyone hath been enjoined the writing of a will.”

Likewise, Abdul-Baha, son of Baha’u'llah, in the very Will and Testament by which he appointed Shoghi Effendi to the Guardianship, stated: “It is incumbent upon the Guardian of the Cause of God to appoint in his own life-time him that shall become his successor, that differences may not arise after his passing. He that is appointed must manifest in himself detachment from all worldly things, must be the essence of purity, must show in himself the fear of God, knowledge, wisdom and learning. Thus, should the first-born of the Guardian of the Cause of God not manifest in himself the truth of the words:—“The child is the secret essence of its sire,” that is, should he not inherit of the spiritual within him (the Guardian of the Cause of God) and his glorious lineage not be matched with a goodly character, then must he, (the Guardian of the Cause of God) choose another branch to succeed him.” (Abd’ul-Baha. Will and Testament, p. 12.)

Shoghi Effendi did none of these things. He had no children, and in fact he expelled from the Faith as “Covenant-breakers” every other descendant of his own grandfather, thus betraying the Faith. When he died in 1957, he left no will and had appointed no successor, thus failing to obey the very Covenant he was expected to uphold.

With no further guidance from the Guardian, the Hands of the Cause of God that he had appointed to assist him did the only thing they could to keep the Baha’i Faith alive: They took over the Faith and arranged for the eventual election of the Universal House of Justice in 1963. But without a Guardian to preside over that body, it would never be in accordance with the very writings that established its authority. And the only ones who could be Guardian were the male descendants of Baha’ullah, all of whom were excluded from the Faith by the first Guardian!

Indeed, the simple fact that Shoghi Effendi disobeyed both Bahau’llah and Abd’ul-Baha by not leaving a will, by expelling all his own relatives from the Faith, and not appointing in his lifetime one of his brothers or male cousins as his sucessor to the Guardianship should be enough to demonstrate that there is NO “true” Baha’i Faith existing today. Its authority is meaningless by the testimony of its own history!

And perhaps this was inevitable, since Baha’ullah himself warned his successors in the Faith not to exceed the proper bounds of their authority. Referring again to the Kitab-i-Aqdas, we find this as paragraph 37:

“Whoso layeth claim to a Revelation direct from God, ere the expiration of a full thousand years, such a man is assuredly a lying impostor. We pray God that He may graciously assist him to retract and repudiate such claim. Should he repent, God will, no doubt, forgive him. If, however, he persisteth in his error, God will, assuredly, send down one who will deal mercilessly with him. Terrible, indeed, is God in punishing! Whosoever interpreteth this verse otherwise than its obvious meaning is deprived of the Spirit of God and of His mercy which encompasseth all created things. Fear God, and follow not your idle fancies. Nay, rather, follow the bidding of your Lord, the Almighty, the All-Wise. Erelong shall clamorous voices be raised in most lands. Shun them, O My people, and follow not the iniquitous and evil-hearted. This is that of which We gave you forewarning when We were dwelling in ‘Iráq, then later while in the Land of Mystery, and now from this Resplendent Spot.”  (Emphasis mine) 

Since any Baha’i would affirm that Abdu’l-Baha is inferior in rank to Baha’u'llah, we have to apply consistent logic to the Baha’i Writings;  and when we do…..

“The sacred and youthful branch, the guardian of the Cause of God as well as the Universal House of Justice, to be universally elected and established, are both under the care and protection of the Abha Beauty, under the shelter and unerring guidance of His Holiness, the Exalted One (may my life be offered up for them both). Whatsoever they decide is of God. Whoso obeyeth him not, neither obeyeth them, hath not obeyed God; whoso rebelleth against him and against them hath rebelled against God; whoso opposeth him hath opposed God; whoso contendeth with them hath contended with God; whoso disputeth with him hath disputed with God; whoso denieth him hath denied God; whoso disbelieveth in him hath disbelieved in God; whoso deviateth, separateth himself and turneth aside from him hath in truth deviated, separated himself and turned aside from God. May the wrath, the fierce indignation, the vengeance of God rest upon him!” (Will and Testament of Abdu’l-Baha, Page 11 [Emphasis mine] )

There is no way that passage can be reconciled with the one of Baha’u'llah denying that anyone can recieve direct revelation from God before the passage of 1000 years. And that might explain why Shoghi Effendi died without issue at the relatively young age of 60, in the midst of the Ten Year World Crusade he was leading. He was probably struck down by God himself just as Baha’u'llah would have predicted. And despite the desperate efforts made ever since to teach and proclaim the Baha’i Faith under the Universal House of Justice, it remains to this day a small, cultlike body scattered over the world, with no potential to make any real difference in the world at large.

To all readers, I implore you to be fair in your judgement and search your feelings. The Baha’i Faith is a failure and you need not be bound by laws, authorities, or institutions that are not based on truth. If you belong to the mainstream Baha’i Faith that follows the Guardianship-less Universal House of Justice, or one of the splinter groups that rejected the authority of that body, the fact remains that you follow a spirtually dead faith and are totally wasting your time. The Baha’i Faith in its present form will never become the great religion of the world Baha’ullah and Abdu’l-Baha envisioned it to be, because Shoghi Effendi ruined it with his blind assumption of his own infallibility. His own relatives questioned his decisions and were expelled for doing that. If you cannot question authority, it can destroy you. Or, in this case, the credibility of the authority is destroyed and opposing it becomes a moral obligation. Let it be so!


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Aryana-Vaeja

Brent Poirier

by Aryana-Vaeja on

The mainstream Haifan Bahai obsession with numbers and statistics is well noted. So here is a challenge to you: can you produce raw, verifiable data regarding your claims about the Tarbiyat Bahais, the Unitarian Bahai Muhammad Ali sect, John Carre, Ahmad Sohrab, and Frederick Glaysher's Reform Bahai faith? I ask because the allegations of the inconsequence of these groups by your camp have been quite persistent, not to mention it is a well worn tactic of smeer and discrediting used by your camp throughout its history against rivals of any shade or color as a strategy of making non-persons out of your ideological enemies (something all totalitarian systems engage in with their ideological enemies). Yet where verifiable numbers, substance and hard data is concerned such allegations have usually proven baseless. Your camp has also been on record in the past claiming in various places that no Babis or followers of Subh-i-Azal exist anywhere in the world. Amongst the pre-revolutionary Persian Bahai community of Iran this was practically a matter of community doctrine. Yet over the years this has proven to be categorically false. So, by all means, if you have the kosher hard data, please share it. Such information would be amended in the appropriate places accordingly should it be proven to be as the allegations of your camp claim them to be.

-

May we be amongst those who are to bring about the transfiguration of the Earth - Zoroastrian prayer


Dale_Husband

Proof, please?

by Dale_Husband on

Have you actually investigated these "sects" by interacting with their members to confirm that they are "a group of perhaps a dozen people, mostly the surviving children of the founder who died 30 years ago, and their spouses", or "a one-man sect for 50 years. No followers"? I doubt it, because Baha'is are commanded to shun and avoid all contact with "Covenant-breakers". If you have no contact with them, how can you be sure your claims, spoonfed to you by your leaders, are accurate? And what about that lawsuit filed by the Haifan Baha'is of the USA against the "Orthodox Baha'i Faith"?

How dare you claim to have exclusive ownership of a word?! If you really thought the dissenting Baha'i groups were of no importance or no threat to you, why attempt to silence them legally?

And did you overlook that your own religion remains a scattered minority around the world, much smaller in numbers and weaker in influence than even the Mormons? Pot, meet kettle. Comparing the other Baha'i sects to the Haifan Baha'i Faith is like comparing some extremist Christian groups like the Branch Davidians or the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints with the Roman Catholic Church. But those Christian cults still exist and have made a lot of noise.

And can you verify that there are indeed 5 or 6 million of Baha'is around the world? Did you read about my learning about inactive and untraceable people being kept on the membership roll of the Baha'i Faith decades after they became inactive? Indeed, why should I beleive anything you say, ever? You are so hypocritical it's not even funny anymore.

Dale Husband, the Honorable Skeptic

P.S. And are you going to waste your time berating me about my tone again?


Brent Poirier

"Sects" of the Baha'i Faith

by Brent Poirier on

Nadeem Khan has copied, apparently without any independent investigation, a list of supposed sects of the Baha'i Faith from an internet site.  Among them are some that show how laughable it is to claim that these are sects of the Baha'i Faith:

Tarbiyat Baha'i Community -- a group of perhaps a dozen people, mostly the surviving children of the founder who died 30 years ago, and their spouses

Mirza Muhammad Ali -- died 70 years ago, no surviving group. No followers, except possibly one or two of his grandchildren. This is a sect?

Mirza Ahmad Sohrab, started the New History Society, which at one point consisted of a few hundred people; it died out a few weeks after his death.  Shoghi Effendi had predicted the group would dry up and blow away-- it did. The group now does not exist. He has no followers.  This will ultimately be the fate of the Jensen groups and Marangella group and the other Remey progeny which keep internally splitting; they will ultimately fade, and there will be no *permanent* schism in the Baha'i Faith -- which is our claim.  There have been many, many groups, which have lasted a few years.

John Carre, "Essence of the Baha'i Faith." He has been a one-man sect for 50 years. No followers.

Frederick Glaysher, Reform Baha'i Faith. Another one-man sect with no followers.

See a trend here?

Brent Poirier

http://bahai-covenant.blogspot.com


Dale_Husband

faryarm, wrong again

by Dale_Husband on

Once again, you resort to baseless and ultimately meaningless platitudes that have no relevance to most people in the real world. The reason Christianity, Islam, and most other religions were able to grow over hundreds of years and maintain themselves afterwards as world religions with massive followings was because they were able to split into sects. Which is better, a unified religion of only a few million members, or religion of a billion members which has dozens or hundreds of sects?

Actually, we don't need to go down either path. The Unitarian Universalist Association allows such a wide diversity of views and theological paths that it admits Christians, Jews, Pagans, and Atheists as equally welcome and committed members. Yet they are a single denomination that in fact arose from the union of two simular groups in 1961. Even Baha'is who no longer wish to follow the dictates of the Guardianship-less Universal House of Justice may find spiritual refuge there. Attempts are underway to establish a Bahai movement within Unitarian Universalism.

http://www.unitarianbahai.org/

{{{We find community in the Unitarian Universalist Association (UUA). UBA members are encouraged – though not required – to join their local Unitarian Universalist church. The UUA is a liberal, open-minded, interfaith association of congregations for spiritual fellowship and learning. Adherents of various religions who share a universal perspective about their faith are at home in Unitarian Universalist churches. Just as Bahaism grew out of Islam, Unitarian Universalism grew out of Christianity, and both traditions emphasize interfaith reconciliation and world-embracing social principles. Bahaism and UUism are thus like two sides of the same coin, one from the East and the other from the West, and are a natural complement to each other.}}}

To learn more about the UUA's incredible diversity and unity, see these:

http://www.uua.org/visitors/theologicalperspectives/index.shtml

{{{Unitarian Universalism is a liberal religion that embraces theological diversity. Our faith has evolved through a long history with origins in European Christian traditions. Unitarian Universalism today is the result of the 1961 consolidation of the American Unitarian Association and the Universalist Church of America. To learn more about the history and evolution of our faith, please see History.

While our congregations uphold shared principles, individual Unitarian Universalists may discern their own beliefs about theological issues. As there is no official Unitarian Universalist creed, Unitarian Universalists are free to search for truth on many paths.

We welcome people who identify with and draw inspiration from Atheism and Agnosticism, Buddhism, Christianity, Humanism, Judaism, Paganism, and other religious or philosophical traditions.}}}

http://www.uua.org/visitors/theologicalperspectives/6633.shtml

{{{For many Unitarian Universalists, Christianity provides insight and guidance. One of the shared sources of our faith is "Jewish and Christian teachings which call us to respond to God's love by loving our neighbors as ourselves."}}}

http://www.uua.org/visitors/theologicalperspectives/6665.shtml

{{{One of the six religious sources from which Unitarian Universalism draws is "Jewish and Christian teachings which call us to respond to God's love by loving our neighbors as ourselves."

Roughly a quarter of all members of Unitarian Universalist congregations draw inspiration from Jewish theological perspectives. Many Unitarian Universalist congregations celebrate some of the major Jewish holidays, including Passover and the High Holy Days.}}}

http://www.uua.org/visitors/theologicalperspectives/6678.shtml

{{{Pagans, Wiccans, and people who follow other earth-based spiritual traditions are welcome in Unitarian Universalist congregations. Today, a significant number of our members identify with an earth/nature-centered faith.

One of the religious sources of our faith is the "spiritual teachings of earth-centered traditions which celebrate the sacred circle of life and instruct us to live in harmony with the rhythms of nature."}}}

http://www.uua.org/visitors/theologicalperspectives/6676.shtml

{{{Many Unitarian Universalists identify with and draw inspiration from the teachings and practices of Buddhism. For example, a Unitarian Universalist worship service might feature readings from the Dalai Lama or the congregation might have a Buddhist meditation group. One of the central ideas that the two religions share is that each individual’s experiences and thoughts are valid sources of religious authority.}}}

http://www.uua.org/visitors/theologicalperspectives/6191.shtml

{{{Atheists are people who do not believe in a god, while Agnostics are people who think that we cannot know whether a god exists. Both groups are welcome in Unitarian Universalism.

Today, a significant proportion of Unitarian Universalists do not believe in any type of god. Our congregations are theologically diverse places where people with many different understandings of the sacred can be in religious community together.}}}

http://www.uua.org/visitors/theologicalperspectives/6642.shtml

{{{Humanism is a non-theist tradition that focuses on human potential and emphasizes personal responsibility for ethical behavior. Modern day Religious Humanism is largely derived from the writings of early American Unitarian Humanists, including Joseph Priestley, Thomas Jefferson, and John Haynes Holmes. Today, Humanism among the largest spiritual identity groups within Unitarian Universalism.}}}

http://www.uua.org/visitors/theologicalperspectives/157801.shtml

{{{Individual Unitarian Universalists may also find inspiration in other religious traditions.  Although Hinduism and Islam have not historically been part of our tradition, growing interest in these faiths is evident in recent courses, sermons, and writings on the subjects. 

A Unitarian Universalist service may occasionally include scriptural readings from one of these traditions or find inspiration in holidays like Diwali or Ramadan.  Currently there are a small number of Unitarian Universalists who also identify as Hindu or Muslim, and their ranks may grow in the future.

Ideas and practices from Hinduism are welcome in Unitarian Universalism. Unitarian Universalism shares some of the values found in Hinduism, including the importance of a personal search for truth, the idea that all things are connected, and a respect for other religious paths. Unitarian Universalism welcomes many understandings of divinity, including polytheism.

Many Unitarian Universalists are interested in the history and culture of Islam, and more Muslims around the world have begun learning about our faith.}}}

The Baha'i Faith could have been like the UUA, but instead it chose the path of an authoritarian cult. And that simply does not work in our modern age of free exchange of information, democratic politics, and scientific and skeptical thinking. The Baha'i Faith must change, or it will be rendered useless forever. I have already explained why, so what's the excuse for ignoring the facts?

Dale Husband, the Honorable Skeptic


faryarm

History is the best witness

by faryarm on

History of characters who have tried create schism is the best witness to the futile efforts of people who foolishly thought they can in any way alter the Divine course, a cause which even the power of kings and their empires has not been able to stop.

The Fatal flaw is the lack of faith and lifeless soul.


nadeem khan

Very wisely said Dale

by nadeem khan on

Very wisely said Dale


Dale_Husband

nadeem khan

by Dale_Husband on

Yes, there are indeed divisions in the Baha'i Faith, and those divisions have lasted for many decades or even over a century. They are tiny splinter groups, to be sure, but then again one could argue that the original Baha'i Faith began as an offshoot of Islam. Indeed, among the Abrahamic religions (Judaism, Christianity, Islam and the Baha'i Faith) the Faith itself is tiny compared to all the older religions. So Haifan Baha'is dismissing the tiny Baha'i splinter groups as insignificant only gives Christians and Muslims the right to do the same to them. What goes around comes around.

Now, look at this, further evidence of Baha'i doublespeak:

http://circleh.wordpress.com/2010/05/13/a-haifan-b...

Dale Husband, the Honorable Skeptic


Dale_Husband

Why make tone such an issue, rather than truth?

by Dale_Husband on

Mr Husband, if you would like to have a discussion that is noble and
rational, I'll be happy to.  But caps and bold are not necessary, nor
are reflections on my lack of intellectual capacity, and if you would be
willing to turn down the volume, that would be great. 

Attacking the appearant tone of my arguments, and not their actual substance, will get you nowhere. You keep forgetting that you are not addressing your brainwashed and ignorant flock, but we are in a public forum where everyone can clearly see you. Maybe you think being a Baha'i gives you the right to be so arrogant and dismissive, but that's exacly what drives honest and intelligent seekers away from your religion. Thanks for your help, however unintentional it may have been!

You've said that since there is no living Guardian, people don't need to
follow the House of Justice or obey the laws; and a second time that we
are now "free" to follow what you call "the original teachings" which
I'm guessing would be something the left of "Whoopee!" 

Strawman. Do you know what were the original teachings and laws of Baha'u'llah, as opposed to what the Baha'i teachings are like now? I doubt it, because they have become so obscured by the "interpretations" (including outright contradictions and phony additions) made by his successors. Where does "Whoopie" come into that? 

the attempmt some selfish and naive people have made to divide the Bahai
Faith has been and is doomed to failure, and time will prove that!


Why don't you worry about your own religion?

What good is a religion that is firmly united if it remains an impotent cult more obsessed with gaining converts and enforcing outdated and baseless dogmas on its membership instead of working constantly with the world at large to make a real difference? Case in point, the Universal House of Justice has NEVER offered to help find solutions to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Indeed, it even refuses to allow teaching the Faith in Israel or to accept converts to the Faith in Israel. If there is one place where the Baha'i teachings could do the most good, it would be there, except you won't even try! Why not? Maybe because most of the population there is already wise to your trickery, having seen your operations for so long. They tolerate you because Baha'i pilgrims bring money to Haifa, but that's it.

When you step up and offer real solutions to the world problems, instead of repeated flowerly phrases like "Race Unity" and other ideas that became obsolete DECADES ago, then you may be taken seriously by skeptics like me. The social reforms of recent times have left you Baha'is behind. Ironcially, you condemn homosexuality as a disease (because of a stupid letter written on behalf of the Guardian) and scorn the Gay Rights movement.  That attitude needs to be done away with, for it's bigotry as much as racism ever was, but because it's acceptable to the current Baha'i leadership, you overlook it. Another damned double standard!

Dale Husband, the Honorable Skeptic


Ruhi

poor noor!

by Ruhi on

I wonder why Nur, Nk and  some other users who are probably the same person and are constantly attacking Bahais are so worried about the unity of The Bahai Faith, tHE FAITH WILL REMAIN UNITED, YOU DO NOT WORRY !

the attempmt some selfish and naive people have made to divide the Bahai Faith has been and is doomed to failure, and time will prove that!

Why don't you worry about your own religion?

Tthere are probably tens of thousand of religions in the world, I wonder why you are trying to attack only the Bahai Faith, unless you are part ofThe Hojjatieh clan!


nadeem khan

Mr. mansoori

by nadeem khan on

The Bahai Faith will remain "undivided and unimpaired.."

Who are Orthodox Baha'is then?

Who are Tarbiyat Baha'is?

Who are BUPC?

Are these sects of Azali Faith ?


Brent Poirier

Discourse

by Brent Poirier on

Mr Husband, if you would like to have a discussion that is noble and rational, I'll be happy to.  But caps and bold are not necessary, nor are reflections on my lack of intellectual capacity, and if you would be willing to turn down the volume, that would be great.

You've said that since there is no living Guardian, people don't need to follow the House of Justice or obey the laws; and a second time that we are now "free" to follow what you call "the original teachings" which I'm guessing would be something the left of "Whoopee!"

Best wishes, (and please remember the part about the volume)

Brent


Dale_Husband

In case Brent Poirier returns...

by Dale_Husband on

Here is another example of his embarrassing incompetence: He commented on the original version of this blog entry on Wordpress over two years ago. Maybe he forgot?

http://circleh.wordpress.com/2008/09/07/the-fatal-flaw-in-bahai-authority/#comment-324

{{{There are answers to these matters. Please check my blog http://bahai-covenant.blogspot.com If these are your only issues with the Baha’i Faith they need not be. I should have a detailed posting up in the next 24-48 hours on the Guardian’s statement about “divorced from the institution of Guardianship” which has mostly been misunderstood. Later I will post something about why Shoghi Effendi didn’t write a will, so please check back. These matters have answers. Best regards
Brent Poirier}}}

I replied:

http://circleh.wordpress.com/2008/09/07/the-fatal-flaw-in-bahai-authority/#comment-325

{{{Brent Poirier, while I totally share your condemnation of Mason Remey and all those who followed him, the fact remains that Shoghi Effendi made it impossible for the Guardianship to continue after him by having no children, expelling all his male relatives from the faith, and leaving no will. Ironic that you say here:
http://bahai-covenant.blogspot.com/2009/03/one-of-traits-of-head-of-bahai-faith-is.html

One of the traits of the Head of the Baha’i Faith is that he upholds the actions of his Predecessors. Abdu’l-Baha upheld every word Baha’u'llah wrote, and His Writings are replete with praise of Baha’u'llah and every deed He performed. Likewise, Shoghi Effendi upheld every deed and word of both Baha’u'llah and Abdu’l-Baha, and of course, this is what we expect from the Head of our Faith. It is inconceivable that Shoghi Effendi would ever say that Abdu’l-Baha misunderstood Baha’u'llah’s Teachings and set the Faith on the wrong course. The Successor never condemns what his Predecessors did, because they are all sustained by the same divine guidance. It is so obvious we hardly think of it.

You uphold the words of your Predecessors by OBEYING them, not merely giving lip service to them! By not appointing a successor in his lifetime, Shoghi Effendi DISOBEYED Abdu’l-Baha! It’s so obvious that I no longer need to deny it, like I would have a decade ago.}}}

Earlier, I had noted:

http://circleh.wordpress.com/2008/09/07/the-fatal-flaw-in-bahai-authority/#comment-265

{{{And for the most moronic testimony of being a Baha’i I’ve ever seen, look here:

She sounds like a fourth-generation IDIOT! Even mainstream Baha’is are not as stupid, to me! There is no such thing as an “Orthodox Baha’i”, really. That is a delusion.}}}

He replied to that too:

http://circleh.wordpress.com/2008/09/07/the-fatal-flaw-in-bahai-authority/#comment-326

{{{One more comment — the video you mention and describe as “moronic” is not from a Baha’i. It is from the cult of personality which is known as the “Orthodox Bahai” movement focused on a man claiming to be Shoghi Effendi’s hereditary successor and interpreter of the Word of God; though he has no family relation whatever, and is unfamiliar with the languages in which the Baha’i Writings are revealed. His writings are not about the propagation of the teachings of Baha’u'llah; they are about himself and his faded claim.
Brent}}}

I replied:

{{{(Dale Husband: Look, Brent, they CALL themselves Baha’is and insist that they are the true Bahai’s, just as you do, so your saying they are NOT Baha’is and that they belong to a “cult of personality” just shows your double standard. As I see it, ALL religions start as cults of personality, including the original Baha’i Faith and Christianity! Again, I do agree that it was improper to replace the real first Guardian with a fake one not even descended from Baha’u'llah, but the fact remains that a second Guardian WAS needed after Shoghi Effendi’s death, and his making it impossible to appoint one and not doing so himself means that he himself broke Abdu’l-Baha’s covenant. EVERYONE claiming to be a Baha’i today is failing to follow the Covenant, yourself included! The Covenant ended the moment Shoghi Effendi died, period! Therefore, you cannot follow (or break) a Covenant that no longer exists!)}}}

Dale Husband, the Honorable Skeptic


Igneous1

Pathetic Idolators

by Igneous1 on

Be nice, Dale. They can't help themselves. They think their religion would be worthless without their idols, and they can't bear to drop what weighs them down the most.


Dale_Husband

I've done enough, for now.

by Dale_Husband on

But I may return if someone wants to provide comments that contain actual substance to the discussion at hand, rather than blind repetitions of questionable claims.

Dale Husband, the Honorable Skeptic


Dale_Husband

What about "entry by troops"?

by Dale_Husband on

That refers to the enormous growth of the Baha'i Faith's membership once the Faith emerges from obscurity and is proclaimed before the masses. Wasn't that the purpose of Abdu'l-Baha's trips to the West? And why hasn't it happened yet, nearly a century after those trips? Why instead are we hearing more and more stories of people LEAVING the Baha'i Faith after discovering its true nature? It still has only an estimated five or six million followers, and maybe not even that many.

I remember being asked, when I was a Baha'i living in Haltom City, Texas, to track down ten or eleven people in that city who had declared their faith in Baha'u'llah decades ago. I found NONE of them. That's because the Baha'is NEVER remove anyone from their membership list unless they specifically renounce belief in Baha'u'llah. But if these inactive members do not practice the Faith at all and cannot even be tracked down, why keep them on the membership list at all? That's fraud and should be condemned as such!

Dale Husband, the Honorable Skeptic


faryarm

The Bahai Faith will remain "undivided and unimpaired.."

by faryarm on

 "....this priceless gem of Divine Revelation, now still in its embryonic state, shall evolve within the shell of His law, and shall forge ahead, undivided and unimpaired, till it embraces the whole of mankind."

   "Leaders of religion, exponents of political theories, governors of human institutions, who at present are witnessing with perplexity and dismay the bankruptcy of their ideas, and the disintegration of their handiwork, would do well to turn their gaze to the Revelation of Bahá’u’lláh, and to meditate upon the World Order which, lying enshrined in His teachings, is slowly and imperceptibly rising amid the welter and chaos of present-day civilization. They need have no doubt or anxiety regarding the nature, the origin or validity of the institutions which the adherents of the Faith are building up throughout the world. For these lie embedded in the teachings themselves, unadulterated and unobscured by unwarrantable inferences, or unauthorized interpretations of His Word"

Shoghi Effendi

http://reference.bahai.org/en/t/se/WOB/wob-12.html 


Dale_Husband

More nonsense

by Dale_Husband on

There are two ways to try to prevent schisms in a religion. One is to be EXTREMELY dogmatic and expel and shun anyone who dares to openly question any of the dogmas. But this will result in the religion forever being a small cultlike body, with no potential to make a difference in the world. The other way to to limit the dogmas, allow members to "agree to disagee" and allow equal fellowship among all members, regardless of exact theological views, as long as they revere an established leadership. The Baha'i Faith is currently following the former path, which makes it a fundamentalist style cult. The latter path is closer to what the Unitarian Universalist Association in the United States follows. 

Dale Husband, the Honorable Skeptic


faryarm

Bahá'u'lláh prevented schism; Appointed Abdul Baha to Succeed.

by faryarm on

The question of religious succession has been crucial to all faiths. Failure to resolve this question has inevitably led to acrimony and division. The ambiguity surrounding the true successors of Jesus and Muhammad, for example, led to differing interpretations of sacred scripture and deep discord within both Christianity and Islam. However, Bahá'u'lláh prevented schism and established an unassailable foundation for His Faith through the provision of His will and testament, entitled "The Book of My Covenant." He wrote: "When the ocean of My presence hath ebbed and the Book of My Revelation is ended, turn your faces toward Him (Abdul Baha) Whom God hath purposed, Who hast branched from this Ancient Root. The object of this sacred verse is none other except the Most Mighty Branch [`Abdu'l-Bahá]."9


Dale_Husband

I am not amused, faryarm

by Dale_Husband on

Is that all you can do, just repeat the dogmatic proclaimations of your leaders? Doing that a million times over will never make them true, especially if the evidence is against them. Ask yourself this: If Shoghi Effendi was indeed "under the care and protection of the Abha Beauty, under the shelter and unerring guidance of His Holiness, the Exalted One", why did he suddenly die without issue at the age of 60 while visiting London in the middle of the Ten Year World Crusade? To me, that is proof enough that Abdu'l-Baha was wrong in his claim, and you are a fool to ignore that. Baha'u'llah appointed Abdu'l-Baha to be the Head of the Faith and the authorized interpreter of Baha'u'llah's teachings, and specifically made Mirza Muhammad Ali the lieutenant of Abdu'l-Baha and his eventual successor. Baha'u'llah did NOT give Abdu'l-Baha the right to appoint his own successor, write his own scripture, or take over the Faith in any other way!

Dale Husband, the Honorable Skeptic


faryarm

Beware Beware...

by faryarm on


"My purpose is this, that ere the expiration of a thousand years, no one has the right to utter a single word, even to claim the station of Guardianship.

"The Most Holy Book is the Book to which all peoples shall refer, and in it the Laws of God have been revealed. Laws not mentioned in the Book should be referred to the decision of the Universal House of Justice..." 

 

Bewarebeware lest anyone create a rift or stir up sedition. Should there be differences of opinion, the Supreme House of Justice would immediately resolve the problems. Whatever will be its decision, by majority vote, shall be the real truth, inasmuch as that House is under the protection, unerring guidance and care of the one true Lord. He shall guard it from error and will protect it under the wing of His sanctity and infallibility. He who opposes it is cast out and will eventually be of the defeated.

Abdul Baha. 


Dale_Husband

Brent Poirier and faryarm

by Dale_Husband on

You are both perfect examples of what is wrong not only with the Baha'i Faith, but with religion in general; you repeat endlessly the dogmatic and baseless talking points spoonfed you by the established Baha'i leadership without ever subjecting any of them to critical testing, and you scorn people like me who have done just that. Does objective TRUTH mean nothing to you?! Does plain simple language not register with you? That's the same problem Christian fundamentalists have by claiming that the Bible is the infallible "Word of God". Blasphemers! The flaws in the Bible are obvious and the attempts to explain them away are the sort of dishonesty that makes all religion look like con artistry. It makes God himself look like a liar and enhances atheism.

Shoghi Effendi's relatives rebelled against him for the same reason I do, because they wanted BAHA'U'LLAH, not Abdu'l-Baha or Shoghi Effendi, to be the supreme authority in the Baha'i Faith, now and forever. How can anyone be so stupid as to assume that an outright contradiction between Baha'u'llah and Abdu'l-Baha, as I clearly laid out, be ignored for the sake of unity of the Cause of God? That is madness! It is clear that you are disloyal to Baha'u'llah, you hypocrites! Even Abdu'l-Baha could not claim absolute authority from God, nor could Shoghi Effendi, the Universal House of Justice, or ANYONE OR ANYTHING ELSE! Only Baha'u'llah EVER had that authority! Giving it to anyone else violates the original Covenant of Baha'u'llah. You don't follow it, nor do you follow the second Covenant invented by Abdu'l-Baha to replace that of his father, because that ended the moment the Guardian died, period. Now there is no Covenant, and we are free to follow the original teachings of Baha'u'llah without all the phony crap that was added to it. Let it be so.

Dale Husband, the Honorable Skeptic


faryarm

The Most Meticulous Person Who Never left Anything To Chance

by faryarm on


That Shoghi Effendi did not write a Will was due to the circumstances of his ministry and of his life. It must be realized that he was a most meticulous person who never left anything to chance, especially in the case of such a vital issue as writing his Will and Testament to appoint a successor to himself. Only through reflection will a believer come to appreciate the wisdom and inevitability of Shoghi Effendi remaining silent on this question.

One of Bahá’u'lláh’s injunctions in the Kitáb-i-Aqdas is that every Bahá’í should write a Will and Testament, and that foremost in it he should bear witness to the oneness of God in the Dayspring of His Revelation, Bahá’u'lláh. This confession of faith is to be a testimony for him in both this world and the next. A Will also directs the distribution of wealth among one’s heirs. As to the first requirement, Shoghi Effendi’s letter entitled The Dispensation of Bahá’u'lláh is one of the finest declarations of faith ever written. No believer has written such an outstanding confession of his religious beliefs as Shoghi Effendi did in this remarkable document. As to the second part of a Will, which is the bequeathing of a person’s wealth to his inheritors, ShoghiEffendi did not have any worldly possessions and therefore had no need to distribute them. Thus, it can be said that he carried out the commandment of Bahá’u'lláh with regard to the writing of a Will.

As to the appointment of a successor, Abdul Baha, had stated in His Will and Testament that should the ‘first-born’ of the Guardian not inherit his spiritual qualities, he should appoint another Ghusn (Branch). The word Ghusn has been used by Bahá’u'lláh to signify His male descendants exclusively. ‘Abdu’l-Bahá was designated as  379  Ghusn-i-A’zam (The Most Great Branch) and Shoghi Effendi as Ghusn-i-Mumtaz (The Chosen Branch). Shoghi Effendi was not in a position to appoint a successor to himself because he had no son and there was not a single Ghusn who was faithful to the Cause of God. Every one of the descendants of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá had been declared aCovenant-breaker.

Not only was Shoghi Effendi unable to appoint a successor to himself, but his "hands" (Bahai term for were a select group of Bahá'ís, appointed for life, whose main function was to propagate and protect the Bahá'í Faith.) were also tied in making a pronouncement about it. This is because Shoghi Effendi was the Interpreter of the Word of God. This allowed him to explain everything which was in the Writings of Bahá’u'lláh and ‘Abdu’l-Bahá and apply their teachings and commandments within the framework of the exigencies of the time. However, what Shoghi Effendi could not do was to pronounce on subjects which were not recorded in the Holy Writings. These fell within the purview of the Universal House of Justice, which alone has the authority to legislate on matters which are not revealed by the Pen of Bahá’u'lláh or ‘Abdu’l-Bahá. Since the Will and Testament of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá did not indicate the course to be taken should there be no Ghusn (Branch) to succeed Shoghi Effendi, the resolution of this question did not fall within the domain of the Guardianship; it was the prerogative of the Universal House of Justice to find a solution. This is probably the main reason why Shoghi Effendi did not make any statement about his successor.

Adib Taherzadeh, The Covenant of Baha’u'llah, p. 378


Brent Poirier

Actually, we're still here, and going quite strong

by Brent Poirier on

In the early days of Christianity, it was viewed as a heretical sect. Its Founder and its followers were ridiculed, and this happens in every new Dispensation. In like manner, this isn't the first time that one of our friends has declared us dead—it's been happening regularly since the earliest days of our faith.  At the end of the nineteenth century, when the Baha'i community was much smaller, the Covenant-breakers, united in their purpose of overthrowing Abdu'l-Baha as the leader of the Baha'i community, declared “that the community of the faithful had been rent asunder, was rapidly declining and was doomed to extinction.” (God Passes By, p. 248)  A decade later, Ibrahim Khayrullah, impotent in his rage and jealous of Abdu'l-Baha's leadership, announced that Abdu'l-Baha's visit to America in 1912 was a “deathblow...to the Cause of God.” (God Passes By, p. 319)  As it turned out, that visit instead firmly established the foundations of the Baha'i community in the West, and greatly increased its activities. So, despite such gloomy appraisals, we somehow seem to keep moving right along. Our community has never been stronger or more vigorous.  Worldwide, we are reaching out to the wider community, offering guidance to youth, uplifting the burdens of women, promoting peace among warring peoples, and striving to live holy lives.

I will offer clarification as to the major points you have made.

1. Shoghi Effendi's expulsion of his relatives.  Shoghi Effendi went to extremes to avoid expelling * anyone * from the Baha'i Faith; how much more his relatives, the members of the Holy Family.  He expelled them for their open defiance, when all efforts had failed. He had no personal stake in this; he did not need people to show their obeisance to him personally.  He shunned all personal praise.  But these people actively sought to undermine the position of the Guardian of the Faith.  After warning them, he had no choice but to protect the members of the Baha'i community from their corrosive influence, by expelling them and prohibiting the Baha'is from associating with them.

2. As you quoted from the Kitab-i-Aqdas, Baha'is are obligated to write a will. It is primarily a testimony of their faith, as well as providing for payment of their debts, deeds to be done in their name after their death, and distribution of their possessions.  However, in examining the Wills of the Head of the Baha'i Faith, those of Baha'u'llah and of Abdu'l-Baha, we see that they had an entirely different function.  The opening words of Baha'u'llah's Will expressly state that His is not an ordinary will, that He is not distributing His possessions.  Likewise the Will and Testament of Abdu'l-Baha makes no mention of His possessions.  Neither of these was a “Baha'i Will” as required by Baha'i law.  That is because the Will and Testament of the Head of the Faith is not a personal document, it is a document of the Covenant; it specifies the successorship.  Since the male lineage of Baha'u'llah had all broken the Covenant, Shoghi Effendi could not name a successor Guardian.  Therefore, the central purpose for his will did not exist.  It would have been unworthy of his station to write a will that said, “My binoculars to my friend Leroy, my watch to my beloved wife.”  Shoghi Effendi was unfailingly responsible in carrying out the duties of his office, and his not writing a will is not evidence of his moral failure.  I have written more fully on this subject here: http://bahai-covenant.blogspot.com/2009/04/shoghi-...

3. The Universal House of Justice is not the Head of the Baha'i Faith because the Hands of the Cause decided it should be so.  Inherent in the very words you have quoted from Abdu'l-Baha's Will and Testament, is that the Universal House of Justice is, no less than the Guardian of the Faith, the Successor to Abdu'l-Baha, and Head of the Baha'i Faith.  I have discussed this fully, and provided extensive quotations on this subject, here:
http://bahai-covenant.blogspot.com/2009/03/abdul-b...

4. Unlike the Manifestations of God, the Guardian of the Faith and the Universal House of Justice are not guided directly by God.  In the very words you have cited from Abdu'l-Baha's Will and Testament, Abdu'l-Baha promises that the House of Justice and the Guardian of the Cause are guided by Baha'u'llah (“the Abha Beauty”) and the Bab (“the Exalted One). Shoghi Effendi expressed it this way in a letter written by his secretary on his behalf: 

“The Guardian's infallibility covers interpretation of the Revealed Word and its application. Likewise any instructions he may issue having to do with the protection of the Faith, or its well being must be closely obeyed, as he is infallible in the protection of the Faith. He is assured the guidance of both Bahá'u'lláh and the Bab, as the Will and Testament of 'Abdu'l-Bahá clearly reveals."
(From a letter written on behalf of the Guardian to an individual believer, August 20, 1956; Lights of Guidance, p. 313, #1055)

Likewise, from those same words in Abdu'l-Baha's Will, the Universal House of Justice is, no less than the Guardian, guided by the Bab and Baha'u'llah.

Even a cursory reading of the Baha'i teachings will show abundant references to the difference between the inspiration received by these twin successors, and the guidance received direct from God by the Manifestations of God.  Just as Baha'u'llah emphasized the importance of the Baha'is turning, after His passing, to Abdu'l-Baha, by saying that turning away from Abdu'l-Baha would be turning away from God (The World Order of Baha'u'llah, p. 135); Abdu'l-Baha provided the same emphasis, in the words you have cited, by stating that those Baha'is who turn away from the House of Justice or the Guardian, who are guided from the invisible realm by the twin Manifestations of God, have therefore in substance turned away from God Himself.  In no way does this equate the divine guidance these sacred institutions receive—guidance promised since the days of Isaiah and the Book of Revelation—with the guidance “direct from God” that only the Manifestation receives.

5. As to the often-misunderstood paragraph that begins “Divorced from the Institution of Guardianship,” I have given this exhaustive treatment here:
http://bahai-covenant.blogspot.com/2009/04/divorce... and here:

http://bahai-covenant.blogspot.com/2009/03/is-univ...


Briefly, the intent of the passage you cited that begins with the word “divorced” is to show that even though the institution of Guardianship is not mentioned in the Writings of Baha'u'llah, the concept originated with Baha'u'llah, the institution originates with Him (i.e. cannot be “divorced” from Him) and His plan for World Order. It is quite easy to demonstrate that in this passage, Shoghi Effendi was not talking about the absence of a living Guardian.  If you will read these web pages attentively, I respectfully suggest that the matter will be made clear.

Further explanation of the matter of the Headship of the Baha'i Faith, and the soundness of the authority underlying the Universal House of Justice, can be found here: http://covenantstudy.org/


Best regards,

Brent Poirier

http://bahai-covenant.blogspot.com

http://bahai-insights.blogspot.com


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