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):