Review of Baha’is In My Backyard

There is an interesting new film making waves in the Baha’i blogosphere recently. It is called “Baha’is in My Backyard” and it was made by a team of Israelis.

For the most part it is harmless exposure for the Faith, or as some may call it just another step in our “emergence to absurdity”. Of course, that hasn’t stopped the Baha’i Public Information Office from hyperventilating:

“We would like to point out that this program does not provide an accurate, well-researched or sympathetic portrayal of the Faith. It would be preferable not to promote the program among Baha’is or members of the public. Individual Baha’is should not be disturbed by the program, but remain assured that even negative publicity can lead inquirers to investigate the Faith in order to discover its true nature. If individuals receive any questions about the program, they should answer these in a straightforward and truthful way.”

The whole point of the film is curiousity. As a Baha’i living halfway around the world it may be hard for you to imagine this but Israelis, especially those living in Haifa are incredibly curious about the Baha’i Faith. But not in the way you imagine. What they want to know is what the heck is hidden under Mt. Carmel?

As neighbours they were there for all the clang, clatter and clamour of the incessant digging that went on for more than 3 years. Who would put such an extensive complex under a mountain? Other than Dr. Evil, of course. What possibly could they be doing in there? And why do Baha’is come from all over the world from all nationalities, creeds and colours, to disappear under Mt. Carmel?

Oh sure, the gardens are nice. They make great wedding picture backdrops and Israelis make full use of them as such. But that’s on the surface. What they are dying to know is what exactly goes on under the surface of Mt. Carmel? And this being the Middle East, you must realize that there is never a short supply of conspiracy theories and convoluted conjecture.

Having been inside the “mountain complex”, all I can do is tell the film makers that were they to actually venture inside, they would be bored to tears. Lets see, there are a few cafeterias, countless offices, a couple of halls and functional areas like dark rooms, cold rooms for storage of archival material, etc.

Here is a clip from the movie where they try to get in to see the inside of the Baha’i World Center by becoming Baha’is. Alas, their genius scheme is thwarted by the fact that Israelis who want to become Baha’is are politely declined (if they are really keen and sincere, they must leave Israel to become a Baha’i):

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  • Farzin

    [quote comment=””][…] Baha’i Rants A personal Baha’i blog.

    « Review of Baha’is In My Backyard […][/quote]
    The film contains valuable information about what bahaiesm is and what could be. The reality is that this is the first documentary film ever made against bahaiesm. what is more important, is that the movie makers were not Moslims and they were Jews.

    As a previously Bahaie, I really liked the movie. I have seen bahaii belivers who were a member or chairperson of bahaii’s National Assembly, who were fraud and Spies. It is not just Dr. Kelley or Ms. Patterson who were from MI6 or CIA, I have another evidence, Mr. Ghoochani who was the chairperson of Turkey’s National Assembly of Bahaiis, was arrested by Turkish Intellegence and deported from Turkey for SPying. This happen on the summer of 1985.

    Naturally, when I see 3 out of 4 members of national assemblies are spies, I conclude that every organization of Bahaii worldwide is spying centre. However, bahaies are not the first religion in the world that spies on people, but every one of the religions in the world has been and will be a spying system. Religions are best cover for Spying.

  • Farzin

    [quote comment=””][…] Baha’i Rants A personal Baha’i blog.

    « Review of Baha’is In My Backyard […][/quote]
    The film contains valuable information about what bahaiesm is and what could be. The reality is that this is the first documentary film ever made against bahaiesm. what is more important, is that the movie makers were not Moslims and they were Jews.

    As a previously Bahaie, I really liked the movie. I have seen bahaii belivers who were a member or chairperson of bahaii’s National Assembly, who were fraud and Spies. It is not just Dr. Kelley or Ms. Patterson who were from MI6 or CIA, I have another evidence, Mr. Ghoochani who was the chairperson of Turkey’s National Assembly of Bahaiis, was arrested by Turkish Intellegence and deported from Turkey for SPying. This happen on the summer of 1985.

    Naturally, when I see 3 out of 4 members of national assemblies are spies, I conclude that every organization of Bahaii worldwide is spying centre. However, bahaies are not the first religion in the world that spies on people, but every one of the religions in the world has been and will be a spying system. Religions are best cover for Spying.

  • Farzin, I didn’t see the film as “against” Baha’is. If anything it was tongue in cheek and a bit rambling.

  • Farzin, I didn’t see the film as “against” Baha’is. If anything it was tongue in cheek and a bit rambling.

  • Farzin

    [quote comment=””][…] Baha’i Rants A personal Baha’i blog.

    « Review of Baha’is In My Backyard […][/quote]
    Baquia:

    If you were a former bahaii you would understand how the movie is against bahaiism. Those who are from other religion(s) and those fundamental bahaii’s will never find out what was in the movie.
    Here are some points:
    A peaseful organization who claim they work for Universal Peace, have built a Bunker. This never happened in other religion.

    2. There is a decendant of Baha’ullah who lives and as long as I was a bahaii beliver, I didn’t know. We never talked abaout any grand dauther/ grand son of Baha’ullah in our meetings.

    3. Dr. David Kelley who was a member of The National Spritual Assembly of England was also a MI6 member. This is just one sample of the whole. furthermore, Ms. Patterson was a member of the assembly and a CIA agent. How many secret agencies in the world you know who were exposed like this. I belive that in every National Spiritual Assembly of Bahaii, there are quite few of the spies and they work under cover – up of the Bahaiism. I also belive that the five Americans and two English men in the House of Justice are also agents of the CIA and MI6.

    4. If a religion claims that it is from God, and it is a worldwide religion, why Israelies are banned to become Bahaii’s. The God is not stupid to send a messenger and found a religion and the people of a region are banned to belive it. The reason for banning Israeilies to become bahaii’s is obvious:
    They don’t want the secret agents of Israel(Moosad) brich or peneterate in their organization. Indeed, the House of Juctice of Bahaii in Isreal don’t let the other bahaii’s to live in Israeal for the same reason.

    5. They claim that Bahaii’s are Banned of carrying weapon. This is funny because, their book says don’t carry guns unless it is neccesary. and nothing else. when it become neccesary, every bahaii is obliged to carry weapons. The funnier idea is they don’t put armed bahaii’s to secure the Garden but they hire an aremed company to secure the Garden. in the country I was raised, in my Millitary Service, I used weapons and I trained to use different weapons such as mortar and canon; and so did every bahaii who did their millitary service in Iran. Morover, there were millitary officers of any rank up to field marshals and every one of them were responsible for any tragic action has happened in the past. Right now, the Islamic Government of Iran don’t let them to become millitant and that is why they don’t have or carry weapons. Beside, they know if they carry guns, the government of Iran will kill them all just like they did to other millitant organization(s). Here is a simple statistic: during the 30 years of Iranian government they have killed 200 Bahaii’s and jailed about 2000 of them (my father, brother, and sister were among them); but they killed about 30000 of other political organizations. in less than two months they hanged about 10000 of members of an organization called ” Modjahedin Khalgh” that already were in jail and some of them had only few months to do their sentence. Modjahedin are already moslim people and they were not against Islam itself but, they fought against the Islamic government. Bahaii’s activity is against the Islam, why do you think they executed only 200 that comparing to 30000 is nothing. please DO NOT get the idea that I am a moslim or approve what the government did to bahaii’s. I am against any killing of human, animals, environment, etc. but statistic gives me the idea that the government of Iran was not and is not against the Bahaii’sm in total but they restrict them to use them as a pressure against the Europian countries as well as US.

  • Farzin

    [quote comment=””][…] Baha’i Rants A personal Baha’i blog.

    « Review of Baha’is In My Backyard […][/quote]
    Baquia:

    If you were a former bahaii you would understand how the movie is against bahaiism. Those who are from other religion(s) and those fundamental bahaii’s will never find out what was in the movie.
    Here are some points:
    A peaseful organization who claim they work for Universal Peace, have built a Bunker. This never happened in other religion.

    2. There is a decendant of Baha’ullah who lives and as long as I was a bahaii beliver, I didn’t know. We never talked abaout any grand dauther/ grand son of Baha’ullah in our meetings.

    3. Dr. David Kelley who was a member of The National Spritual Assembly of England was also a MI6 member. This is just one sample of the whole. furthermore, Ms. Patterson was a member of the assembly and a CIA agent. How many secret agencies in the world you know who were exposed like this. I belive that in every National Spiritual Assembly of Bahaii, there are quite few of the spies and they work under cover – up of the Bahaiism. I also belive that the five Americans and two English men in the House of Justice are also agents of the CIA and MI6.

    4. If a religion claims that it is from God, and it is a worldwide religion, why Israelies are banned to become Bahaii’s. The God is not stupid to send a messenger and found a religion and the people of a region are banned to belive it. The reason for banning Israeilies to become bahaii’s is obvious:
    They don’t want the secret agents of Israel(Moosad) brich or peneterate in their organization. Indeed, the House of Juctice of Bahaii in Isreal don’t let the other bahaii’s to live in Israeal for the same reason.

    5. They claim that Bahaii’s are Banned of carrying weapon. This is funny because, their book says don’t carry guns unless it is neccesary. and nothing else. when it become neccesary, every bahaii is obliged to carry weapons. The funnier idea is they don’t put armed bahaii’s to secure the Garden but they hire an aremed company to secure the Garden. in the country I was raised, in my Millitary Service, I used weapons and I trained to use different weapons such as mortar and canon; and so did every bahaii who did their millitary service in Iran. Morover, there were millitary officers of any rank up to field marshals and every one of them were responsible for any tragic action has happened in the past. Right now, the Islamic Government of Iran don’t let them to become millitant and that is why they don’t have or carry weapons. Beside, they know if they carry guns, the government of Iran will kill them all just like they did to other millitant organization(s). Here is a simple statistic: during the 30 years of Iranian government they have killed 200 Bahaii’s and jailed about 2000 of them (my father, brother, and sister were among them); but they killed about 30000 of other political organizations. in less than two months they hanged about 10000 of members of an organization called ” Modjahedin Khalgh” that already were in jail and some of them had only few months to do their sentence. Modjahedin are already moslim people and they were not against Islam itself but, they fought against the Islamic government. Bahaii’s activity is against the Islam, why do you think they executed only 200 that comparing to 30000 is nothing. please DO NOT get the idea that I am a moslim or approve what the government did to bahaii’s. I am against any killing of human, animals, environment, etc. but statistic gives me the idea that the government of Iran was not and is not against the Bahaii’sm in total but they restrict them to use them as a pressure against the Europian countries as well as US.

  • Truth-Sayer

    I would like to state that Islam doesn't prohibit anyone from becoming Muslim. As well, Islam is a religion which tries to establish world peace. Islam views everyone as equals who should be treated with equal respect. Ali ibn Abi Talib says in Nahjul Balagha, letter 53,

    *Maalik has just been appointed governor of Egypt by Ali

    "Maalik! You must create in your mind kindness, compassion and love for your subjects. Do not behave towards them as if you are a voracious and ravenous beast and as if your success lies in devouring them.

    Remember, Maalik, that amongst your subjects there are two kinds of people: those who have the same religion as you have; they are brothers to you, and those who have religions other than that of yours, they are human beings like you. Men of either category suffer from the same weaknesses and disabilities that human beings are inclined to, they commit sins, indulge in vices either intentionally or foolishly and unintentionally without realizing the enormity of their deeds. Let your mercy and compassion come to their rescue and help in the same way and to the same extent that you expect Allah to show mercy and forgiveness to you.

    I think the Bahai religion has its beautiful aspects but as a whole I believe it is fallible though it was founding on well-meant principles.

  • Truth-Sayer

    I would like to state that Islam doesn't prohibit anyone from becoming Muslim. As well, Islam is a religion which tries to establish world peace. Islam views everyone as equals who should be treated with equal respect. Ali ibn Abi Talib says in Nahjul Balagha, letter 53,

    *Maalik has just been appointed governor of Egypt by Ali

    "Maalik! You must create in your mind kindness, compassion and love for your subjects. Do not behave towards them as if you are a voracious and ravenous beast and as if your success lies in devouring them.

    Remember, Maalik, that amongst your subjects there are two kinds of people: those who have the same religion as you have; they are brothers to you, and those who have religions other than that of yours, they are human beings like you. Men of either category suffer from the same weaknesses and disabilities that human beings are inclined to, they commit sins, indulge in vices either intentionally or foolishly and unintentionally without realizing the enormity of their deeds. Let your mercy and compassion come to their rescue and help in the same way and to the same extent that you expect Allah to show mercy and forgiveness to you.

    I think the Bahai religion has its beautiful aspects but as a whole I believe it is fallible though it was founding on well-meant principles.

  • fubar

    Islam is an irrelevant religion: it does not address the problems of post-colonial/post-imperialist cultures that have become democratic, modernist, or postmodernist.

    You cite a model of governance which is purely pre-modern in which an unelected leader, essentially a "parent", has compassion on the "subjects", who are seen as children.

    In reality this is complete garbage. in islam, the "subjects" are not children, they are SLAVES OF GOD. and by obvious extension: SLAVES OF GOVERNMENT.

    this is an enormous weakness, and is one of the many reasons that explain why spiritually inferior, but intellectually/technologically/economically superior europeans almost completely destroyed a weak/corrupt islamic civilization in the last 100 years.

    the only driving forces left within islamic civilization (outside of "external" modernizing ones) are brutalism/terrorism and etherealism (refined, "spiritual" detachment – which has no hope of changing the political, cultural, economic or military landscape).

    islam is a dead end.

    (google "sam harris islam")

    http://www.truthdig.com/report/item/20060207_real

    —excerpt—
    . . .
    Sam Harris responds to comments and criticism

    So let us now acknowledge the obvious: there is a direct link between the doctrine of Islam and Muslim violence. Acknowledging this link remains especially taboo among political liberals. While liberals are leery of religious fundamentalism in general, they consistently imagine that all religions at their core teach the same thing and teach it equally well. This is one of the many delusions borne of political correctness. Rather than continue to squander precious time, energy, and good will by denying the role that Islam now plays in perpetuating Muslim violence, we should urge Muslim communities, East and West, to reform the ideology of their religion. This will not be easy, as the Koran and hadith offer precious little basis for a Muslim Enlightenment, but it is necessary. The truth that we must finally confront is that Islam contains specific notions of martyrdom and jihad that fully explain the character of Muslim violence. Unless the world’s Muslims can find some way of expunging the metaphysics that is fast turning their religion into a cult of death, we will ultimately face the same perversely destructive behavior throughout much of the world. It should be clear that I am not speaking about a race or an ethnicity here; I am speaking about the logical consequences of specific ideas.
    . . .

    —end excerpt—

    Please note that Sam Harris has NOT rejected integral theory, rather he has engaged in some initial discussions and debates with integralists about what integrating spirituality/mysticism and rationalism might mean in postmodern culture.

    Bye!

  • fubar

    Islam is an irrelevant religion: it does not address the problems of post-colonial/post-imperialist cultures that have become democratic, modernist, or postmodernist.

    You cite a model of governance which is purely pre-modern in which an unelected leader, essentially a "parent", has compassion on the "subjects", who are seen as children.

    In reality this is complete garbage. in islam, the "subjects" are not children, they are SLAVES OF GOD. and by obvious extension: SLAVES OF GOVERNMENT.

    this is an enormous weakness, and is one of the many reasons that explain why spiritually inferior, but intellectually/technologically/economically superior europeans almost completely destroyed a weak/corrupt islamic civilization in the last 100 years.

    the only driving forces left within islamic civilization (outside of "external" modernizing ones) are brutalism/terrorism and etherealism (refined, "spiritual" detachment – which has no hope of changing the political, cultural, economic or military landscape).

    islam is a dead end.

    (google "sam harris islam")

    http://www.truthdig.com/report/item/20060207_real

    —excerpt—
    . . .
    Sam Harris responds to comments and criticism

    So let us now acknowledge the obvious: there is a direct link between the doctrine of Islam and Muslim violence. Acknowledging this link remains especially taboo among political liberals. While liberals are leery of religious fundamentalism in general, they consistently imagine that all religions at their core teach the same thing and teach it equally well. This is one of the many delusions borne of political correctness. Rather than continue to squander precious time, energy, and good will by denying the role that Islam now plays in perpetuating Muslim violence, we should urge Muslim communities, East and West, to reform the ideology of their religion. This will not be easy, as the Koran and hadith offer precious little basis for a Muslim Enlightenment, but it is necessary. The truth that we must finally confront is that Islam contains specific notions of martyrdom and jihad that fully explain the character of Muslim violence. Unless the world’s Muslims can find some way of expunging the metaphysics that is fast turning their religion into a cult of death, we will ultimately face the same perversely destructive behavior throughout much of the world. It should be clear that I am not speaking about a race or an ethnicity here; I am speaking about the logical consequences of specific ideas.
    . . .

    —end excerpt—

    Please note that Sam Harris has NOT rejected integral theory, rather he has engaged in some initial discussions and debates with integralists about what integrating spirituality/mysticism and rationalism might mean in postmodern culture.

    Bye!

  • Petra

    How sad to hear that you don't understand or can not understand the reason why you can not become a Bahai member in Israel.
    Baha'u'lah said that one of the important things to do is the personal investigation. So if you are truly interested in the Bahai faith then begin with reading about the coming of the Bab, Baha'u'lah, his life and his writings as well as those of his son Abdulbaha.
    And then continue reading the writings of people all over the world (amongst them philosophers, writers, queens and journalists, etc.) who have met or been in contact with these very special people.
    Regarding the visit of Mr. Smith: how very special , nice, respectful and helpful of him to have come to see you on a friday afternoon just to explain to you the reasons of not being able to be a member of the Bahai in Israel. Hopefully one day it will be possible when the world is ready for this. Could you only understand it. Maybe with time and your investigation you will come to see it.

  • Baquia

    Part of individual investigation of truth is conversing with people and asking questions to gather information. Since you imply that you know, would you be so kind as to explain why Baha'is can not teach in Israel? I've never received a proper answer to this and I would really appreciate it.

    It seems many are wondering this question so it would be helpful to them as well.

  • Craig Parke

    Sorry. Wrong religion. Individual investigation of truth is no longer permitted</> in the current top down official authorized version of the Baha'i Faith. That was total Oldthink. Today it is all Newthink. You had better get with the authorized program. In Newthink there are only pre-authorized sanctioned answers formulated by the, well, Committee for Pre-Authorized Sanctioned Answers.

    Whatever the reasons Baha'u'llah stated for not teaching the Faith in Israel does not count anymore. Anything Baha'u'llah said on ANYTHING is Oldthink. It is not Newthink. And Newthink can be changed and re-formulated at ANY time for ANY reason into new workbooks based upon the personal opinions and theories of what the lifetime incumbent individual members of the Committee for Newthink says on any given day. But thanks for the comment. It was kind of nostalgic and even quaint to believe that independent investigation of truth ever even existed once in the Baha'i Faith as a concept.

    And don't get any individualistic ideas from the courage of the people in the streets of Iran as displayed in recent events. THAT footage is bottom up spirit. And anything bottom up is Oldthink. Only top down is permitted in the new era of continuous Newthink. Sort of like the “Assembly of Experts” concept in the current Iranian theocracy.

    Yeah. That's the ticket.

    Meanwhile, educate yourself.

    http://www.cosmosandpsyche.com/

    http://phoenixandturtle.net/excerptmill/santill

    The Maid of Heaven has steel underpants on. She is one tough Lady.

    All systems of mind bending human stupidity and incompetence are now in the gun sights of the Cosmos. Judgment Day is now every day on Earth 24/7/365/1000 and the sun is coming up tomorrow for another day around the wheel.

  • farhan

    Baquia, what I gather from the policy of the Faith, as announced from the UHJ in the quote below is that there could be a tendency for Baha'is to immigrate and to live in the Holy Land, near their beloved shrines, and wealthy Baha'is might even want to buy land and be buried there, and as we know, the UHJ would like to restrict this presence to organised pilgrimage without permanent residency :

    “However, in keeping with a policy that has been strictly followed since the days of Bah??'u'll??h, Bah??'?s do not teach the Faith in Israel. Likewise, the Faith is not taught to Israelis abroad if they intend to return to Israel.”

  • farhan

    I agree, Petra. There is nothing that prevents any person from investigating the Baha'i teachings anywhere in the world, but when it comes to being enrolled as an active Baha'i, we are expected to go and live where the world needs us most and obey the requirements of not residing in the Holy Land, unless we are called upon to serve there for some period of time. Obviously it would be difficult to differentiate between a permanent resident enrolling as a new Baha’i, and a person immigrating to the Holy Land as a Baha’i.

  • Baquia

    Farhan, that is pure conjecture and a non sequitur. Moving to Israel (to live there) is a completely separate idea to teaching Israelis.

    The question remains unanswered but I look forward to the day when someone will explain it to me. The only thing I've seen from the UHJ is that this is the way it was in Baha'u'llah's time (that it was decreed by Baha'u'llah). But that doesn't really explain it, does it? I mean, it doesn't get to the 'why'.

  • farhan

    Baquia wrote: that is pure conjecture and a non sequitur

    Baquia, this is my explanation after having read that of the UHJ; if you want tBaquia wrote: that is pure conjecture and a non sequitur

    Baquia, this is my understanding, after having read the UHJ; if you want to avoid a large population of Baha'is living in the Holy Land, you need to avoid two things: allowing enrolled Baha'is becoming residents and enrolling residents or potential residents.

  • Baquia

    Farhan, thanks for your opinion but I'm looking for real answers not mere opinions. In any case, can you see that your opinion is a non sequitur? what does a potential Baha'i population in Israel have anything to do with the question? and why wouldn't you want there to be one?

    This reminds me of the crazy theories put forward to explain the perceived notion that women can't be members of the UHJ. No answers. But lots of loony conjectures.

  • fubar

    An alternate perspective/opinion/loony theory:

    In the early bahai era, what is now “Israel” was part of the Ottoman Empire (which colonized the area under the “millet” system). The bahai community in Haifa/Acca expanded, as is documented in offical bahai histories, presumably mostly from immigration of Persians. But there was no systematic, central “plan” to engage in open conversion of locals to bahai. such would probably not have been well received by local religious leaders of any type, making the “official” bahai presence even more politically problematic than it was.

    Later, the era was controlled under British Mandate. I do not think that Abdu'l-Baha or Shoghi Effendi would have wanted to “make waves” and cause upset or controversy with local religious leaders given the precarious nature of British colonial politics and Mandate governance. It would seem that the “modernist” and “reformist” tendencies of bahai were accepted by the British as long as they did not have “radical” elements. Please keep in mind that Tony Lee, of Kalimat Press, claimed to have historical evidence back in the 1990s that Abdu'l-Baha appointed bahai politicians to the new Iranian parliament in the early experiments with Iranian democracy. Again, it would seem that the Mandate British were at least tolerant of the modernist elements of bahai (including participation in early parliamentary “reforms” in Iran), and thus were perhaps even simpatico with them.

    The thinking that developed amongst the Bahai leadership elites in the Mandate era was probably easily adapted to the events that took place during the transition from Mandate rule to the establishment of the Israeli state. As long as bahai remained non-engaged in political controversy, it was seen as a vague, but constructively, modernist element that could do little damage to Israeli politics or culture.

    In conclusion, bahai leadership at the BWC have no incentive to change a set of arrangements that have worked in their favor for at least 50 years. They avoid the pesky details of having to deal with a potentially “uppity” local, jewish-bahai population that would invariably cause “complications” for the bahai leadership in Haifa.

    A cynical view would have it that bahai leadership possibly finds it very “convenient” to not have a potentially troublesome nearby local/national community to have to minister to.

  • Baquia

    Thanks fubar, that does put things in a historical perspective. I suppose we'll have to resign ourselves to the possibility that we'll never really know.

    “A cynical view would have it that bahai leadership possibly finds it very “convenient” to not have a potentially troublesome nearby local/national community to have to minister to.”

    Except they do. There are a couple of hundred Baha'is living there (and every year it expands). They hold feast, holy days, etc. There is no “LSA”… well, the UHJ acts as the “LSA”.

  • fubar

    Baquia,

    You are welcome, but that was very speculative. A real historian could probably blow some holes in what I said. I think the overall countours of my understanding of the history there are at least partly accurate.

    I meant a “real” local/national community, e.g., of locally converted people, presumably mostly jewish.

    The issue would be how “universalist” in orientation would local/converted Israeli bahais be? How much would they “transcend” local culture? How much influence would Israeli culture and politics have on the form of a (hypothetical) local/converted Israeli bahai culture?

    Iranian politicians make a lot of, presumably absurd, noise about the bahai-israeli-usa-british “conspiracy”, so having locally converted, probably pro-jewish-oriented bahai communities in israel could potentially make the BWC's life more “complicated”. 🙂

    Again, the BWC's incentives to stop any movement toward the existence of local/convert bahai communities would seem to be immensely greater than the disincentives.

    (Many other possible “explanations” could probably be dreamed up with varying levels of validity, evidentiary basis, and so forth.)

  • fubar

    One other little historical tidbit that I managed to remember: the British Queen gave Abdu'l-Baha a medal for growing grain near Haifa and feeding the local people, free, during the famines associated with WWI. This perhaps increased the image of bahai as a reformist/humanitarian/modernist movement in the eyes of the Mandate government, British bureaucracy in London, and so forth.

    Abdu'l-Baha probably had a shrewd business mind, and was able to purchase cheap farm land at some point, which came in handy during the war.

    I read some kind of email posting, perhaps on talisman, or a paper or book (Taherzadeh?) of some kind year ago that mentioned it. Since I'm from a farming family, I took note. Such are the the strange workings of a deranged mind. 🙂

  • farhan

    Baquia wrote : I'm looking for real answers not mere opinions

    Baquia, once again the Baha’i Faith is not a substitute for science and reason, but a belief system complementary to science and reason, that intervenes when science and reason have no opinion to give. It so happens that those who wish to call themselves Baha’is consider the decision of the UHJ as divinely inspired. The real answers are with the UHJ. We can try to understand, but we do not challenge unless we have ceased to consider the UHJ as divinely inspired. For the time being the UHJ is inspired to ask Baha’is not to overcrowd the Holy Land. Baha’is who wish to live there do not enrol.

    As to women on the UHJ, as long as you consider service on Baha'i institutions as an ambition to a narcissistic satisfaction, a source of power and privilege, and not of toil and servitude, you will find it crazy that women might be exempted from that specific area of service.

  • farhan

    Baquia wrote : can you see that your opinion is a non sequitur?

    Baquia, when a person enrolls as a Baha’i when he adopts a belief system amongst many others which include the belief that our rationality is sufficient to us and that we do not need to be guided by a belief system. My rationality and science do not tell me what percentage of Baha’i population would be wise to allow in the Holy Land at this time, so it follows that having chosen this belief system, I comply strictly with the requirements of the UHJ when visiting the Holy Land. If you believe that the UHJ is mistaken in adopting this policy, please share.

  • Baquia

    LoL – I love how you manage to turn every tiny thing into a conflict with the UHJ in your mind. People are simply asking why. You can't answer but you can sure talk without saying much.

  • fubar

    More of Farhan's fabulous “sugar coated poo”! YUMMY STUFF. NOT.

    Baquia,

    What Ayyatollah Farhan (AF) is saying is that you are “spiritually unworthy” (polluted by corrupt western materialism,etc.), and thus are to “impure” to understand the “infallable” (pure) guidance from BWC, which he openly admits APPEARS TO HAVE NO RATIONAL BASIS or explanation.

    The AF formulation is a follows: as long as rational thought, or “facts” or “evidence” supports weird “bahai” mystical-institutional ideas, they are accepted. As soon as rational thought, or facts or evidence, bring bahai superstitions (or silly outmoded metaphysics of any kind) into question, then rational thought becomes “unspiritual”.

    We really should constantly applaud Farhan for expressing the backward nature of mainstream bahai thought with such perfection, clarity and correspondingly stunning vacuity.

    The utter emptiness of what Farhan says most of the time about the BAO has an oddly aesthetic quality. Such emptiness can be best appreciated from a position of complete, ethereal detachment from the circumstances and suffering of most of the people on planet earth, or critical thought (science).

    Please note that this is all predicted by historical anti-pattern analysis. Farhan adeptly fits (places) the classic islamic-bahai archetype of anti-modernism pefectly into the context of dysfunctional bahai organizational culture, with its absurdly quasi-theocratic structures.

    Anyways …..
    My guess is that if there IS something in the bahai “writings” that explains the ban on teaching Israelis (which started as a ban on converting residents of the historical “holy land” early in bahai history – before Israel existed), it is probably something that is embarassing, or at least ~very~ awkward.

    The other possibility, which I already commented on in another sense, is that it is simply based on “politics”, and bahai leadership doesn't want to confuse bahais that have been brainwashed into thinking that they should “avoid politics” — by talking about politics!

    The irony is as hilarious as it is ridiculous and idiotic:

    bahai leadership elites, who constantly 1) berate the followers for not “teaching” succesfully enough, and 2) constantly remind the followers of absurd dictums about “avoiding politics”, have a policy that:
    1) stops expansion of the community in Israel, and
    2) engages in nuanced political arrangements.

    these are typical of the unending hypocrisy and incoherent contradictions that emmanate from a dysfunctional organizational culture that is enmeshed in anti-patterns that it isn't even honest enough to openly recognize, much less escape from.

    “new world order” my a$$.

    Have a nice day.

  • farhan

    Baquia wrote: The question is why can't Baha'is teach in Israel. I stand in awe of you ability to spin Farhan.

    Baquia, what makes your mind spin and reel is that you obviously cannot accept an emotional, spiritual or belief motive for behaviour. Why are people ready to sell their house to treat a sick child, leave a job for the love of a woman, and sacrifice their lives for a cause…? You want a rational motive, and I believe that for the moment there is none. I believe that when the time comes the wisdom of this decision will become manifest. This reason is only valid for the one who believes that the UHJ is divinely guided and unacceptable to someone who does not hold such a belief, just as quitting a job for a woman you love is not a valid motive for someone who is not in love.

    Once again, the Baha'i Faith is not an association, but a belief system to which one adheres or does not adhere.

  • farhan

    Frubar wrote: Abdu'l-Baha probably had a shrewd business mind, and was able to purchase cheap farm land at some point, which came in handy during the war.

    Frubar, we see people and things not as they are, but as we are.
    (Anthony De Mello)

  • Baquia

    No Farhan, what makes me stand in awe is what you have demonstrated in this reply, as you have demonstrated repeatedly here for all to see. You are a master at talking without saying much of consequence. If you are really a doctor, which I highly doubt due to your repeated deprecation of science, you missed your true calling: politics.

  • farhan

    Baquia, IOW you consider that saying science is incomplete without emotion, love and spirituality, and that as Descartes pointed out, an important part of reality is subjective, as a depreciation of science? Is the image you have of a ?true? doctor that of a face less, feeling less, belief less monster?

  • Baquia

    yes… with tentacles.

  • pey

    Please don't confuse your fundamentalism with Bahaullah's religion. It is this blind belief in authority that is causing so much suffering on the streets of Iran right now. Right now, I REALLY have a great disgust for all religious authority that can not accept criticism. BUT I especially have a great disgust for religious followers who feel they must bow their heads down and do whatever the great leader says- including bashing the heads of people in the name of God!

  • Craig Parke

    Farhan,

    Whether it is “science” or “religion”, it makes no difference when it comes to the concept of competence. To be effective in life people and systems must be competent. It is now highly debatable if any religion on this planet is competent to do anything on Earth including the Baha'i Faith. The record of all the sorry “religions systems” in human history speak for themselves. I tried for decades to believe a religion could be competent at doing something. I see no evidence that it is possible. I just don't.

  • farhan

    Craig wrote : Whether it is “science” or “religion”, it makes no difference when it comes to the concept of competence.

    Craig we do need competence (and science) for understanding, organising, canalising and applying religious concepts into every day life, but the religious experience per se, is one of love and emotion, aiming at educating minds and hearts in feelings of love and unity, and not a substitute for reason and wisdom. It so happens that an adequate development of learning is based on adequate emotions without which we would become monstrous machines, including in our ways of organising religious activities. The true danger is when religious activities become void of love and are used as a tool for dominating others, sometimes with great competence.

  • farhan

    Doctor Jekyll is your family doctor?

  • Craig Parke

    Farhan,

    Where is there any love in the Baha'i religion? It has now become a system of incredible coercion and bullying of people. The same old, same old. It is not spiritual at all. It is a system of loveless witch hunts and the enforcement of groupthink orthodoxy. The same old, same old. It has become the same historical brain chemistry of all organized religions. It is spirituality that matters. Not an “organized” religion of ruthless coercion and bullying by a tiny clique of self appointed incestuous lifetime incumbent neurotics at the top. How can anyone who serves more than two terms on the UHJ get up in the morning and look at themselves in the mirror? It is rabid ego at it's worst. Just shameful.

  • farhan

    Craig, you are describing characters we meet everywhere around us and exceptionally within the Baha'i community. The word of God aims at developing our spiritual qualities, which is a complement to science and reason that are held in high esteem in the Baha’i Faith, and not a substitute for them. Baha’is, like others are not always good at applying these teachings. This doesn’t mean that the teachings do not improve people who care to apply them.

  • farhan

    Pey wrote : It is this blind belief in authority that is causing so much suffering on the streets of Iran right now.

    Pey, wouldn’t this violence be a matter of distortion and manipulation of belief for power issues, and what is so blind in complying with the requirement that the population of enrolled Baha’is residing in the Holy Land needs monitoring? You sound like those who believe that the best remedy for divorce is to abolish marriage.

  • pey

    A marriage where one party is telling the other that they can never criticize each other, and that one party must bow down before the other at all times…hmmm yeah abolish it.

  • pey

    A marriage where one party is telling the other that they can never criticize each other, and that one party must bow down before the other at all times…hmmm yeah abolish it.

  • 1919

    There are hundreds of independent of news papers and bunch of radio and TV stations running by government in IRAN. For over 100 years, specially in last 31years, they published thousands of articles, hundreds of documentaries and tens of books much much better than yours.They to connect The Faith to Russian, English, American, Israelis, Freemasonries, using conspiracy theories and calling Bahia's as spies. your honer I have bad news for you IT DID NOT WORK.
    If you are not happy with this faith, find another one. You are not SEARCHING FOR THRUT as you claim, you are just frustrated and REVENGOUS. God save you.

  • lol are you serious? You must be spying on this website for the Iranian government