It’s a little known fact. . . [1]

Those who remember the TV comedy series Cheers, will surely also remember the character of Cliff Claven. He was for me, the most lovable character on that show because he was the perennial loser – a guy you just couldn’t help feeling sorry for. You wanted him to win so badly, just once! And every time he tried something, you winced because you just knew that it was going to blow up in his face.

One of the endearing qualities that Cliff Claven had was his ability to spout off meaningless facts and trivia. A cornucopia of insignificant tidbits. And usually he would start off by saying “It’s a little known fact. . . “ And you would brace yourself because it was sort of like a race with the writers on the show to see if they could outdo the stupid thing he said last week.

Well its time for Baha’i Rants to introduce a new feature honouring Cliff’s propensity for useless information. But in this case we’ll be taking the opportunity to pulverize misconceptions or ignorance, as the case may be. In each instance, Baha’i Rants will feature something to do with the Faith which is either assumed to be true (taken for a fact without basis) or flipping it around, astoundingly NOT known by most Baha’is. And then we will proceed to pick it up by the scruff of its scrawny neck and beat it to a pulp. There are a lot of these so lets get started with the first without further ado. The first one is something which 99.999% of Baha’is do NOT know.

It’s a little known fact that . . . the Arc Project is not finished.

I can hear the gasps now. What? How can you say that? They spent, what? like $250 million from the sacrificial donations of Baha’is around the world to build the Arc projects on Mount Carmel! There was a dedication ceremony! (someone pipes up from the back) That’s right, I was there!! (yells someone else).

Well, as much as I’d hate to increase your blood pressure. It is a little known fact. And yes, it is a fact. Let me explain.

The Arc Projects are comprised of 5 buildings. These were originally mentioned by Shoghi Effendi and they are:

  1. The Archives building (constructed first)
  2. The Seat of the Universal House of Justice
  3. The International Baha’i Library
  4. the Seat of the Hands of the Cause of God
  5. the Centre for the Study of the Sacred Texts

If you are sharp you will have noticed several things. One, since we do not have a Guardian (and sadly, can not have a Guardian anymore) we neither have a means of appointing Hands of the Cause of God. Therefore, we can’t build a building for the Hands of the Cause of God. So instead, the House decided to build that building for the institution which they created out of thin air to replace the function of the Hands of the Cause of God — namely the International Teaching Centre.

Here is a neat letter in 1987 from the House which outlines their construction project for the coming few years.

Two, the main point of all this explanation: We do not have an International Baha’i Library!

Notice that in that letter (above) the House describes the Baha’i International Library, as follows:

The International Bah??’?­ Library. This Library is the central depository of all literature published on the Faith, and is an essential source of information for the institutions of the World Centre on all subjects relating to the Cause of God and the conditions of mankind. In future decades its functions must grow, it will serve as an active centre for knowledge in all fields, and it will become the kernel of great institutions of scientific investigation and discovery.

ok, now take a look at this aerial picture of Mount Carmel (you can click on it to make it bigger):
Bahai World Center Arc Project Aerial View

The picture shows us from right to left: (far right, you can see the Terraces going up and down the side of the mountain), immediately to the right you can see the Archives building, the Centre for the Study of the Texts (literally carved into the mountain after 3 years of excavation work!), the Seat of the Universal House of Justice, moving along to the left, the International Teaching Centre and then finally, a nice apartment building!

Yup! That’s where the Library should be. And hopefully, that’s where it will be built in the future (once the owners of the property decide to sell it to the Baha’i community). But until then, no Library. And no Library means no Arc. Well, not in the complete sense of the word atleast. But I’m happy to report that the UHJ did not let such a small and trivial thing as a missing fifth building detract them from declaring the project finished and holding a huge ceremony to celebrate its completion (in mid 2001).

  • Sigmund Effendi

    Well, should somebody tell these folks that the scientific progress of the World Age is progressing very, very rapidly and everything is now stored so nicely in electronic format everywhere else on Earth. Like on a big file servers on the Internet or on handy DVD’s too.

    Books are so 19th Century!

    Why are we then building a “library”?

    It is kind of quaint!

    Will we have big fire places too? Like a men’s reading room social club in the 1890’s. Where people can sit in big leather chairs and read the latest theories on electro-magnetism and the work of Tesla and Marconi?

    Somebody had better tell these folks. If the Baha’i Faith does not start solving problems BIG TIME and very, very soon, there is going to be no money to build these things. This is a religion and a religion is supposed to be about the spiritual powers in the heart of the Creation. Not about material expressions of anything. Material expressions are nice. Beautiful things are nice. But without spirit they are death.

    We have to start getting spiritual people into the Administrative Order of the Baha’i Faith. And very, very soon or all is going to be lost.

    When will these folks get it? The world does not want “religion”. The world wants “spirituality”. There is a very big difference. Just look at the hell called the Middle East. The Abrahamic “religions” are toast. And if that is our tack with them it will be our fate too. Same old same old.

    Where are the spiritual souls in the Baha’i Faith anymore? Where?

    It is not that Judgement Day is coming. Judgement Day IS HERE!ere.

  • Sigmund Effendi

    Well, should somebody tell these folks that the scientific progress of the World Age is progressing very, very rapidly and everything is now stored so nicely in electronic format everywhere else on Earth. Like on a big file servers on the Internet or on handy DVD’s too.

    Books are so 19th Century!

    Why are we then building a “library”?

    It is kind of quaint!

    Will we have big fire places too? Like a men’s reading room social club in the 1890’s. Where people can sit in big leather chairs and read the latest theories on electro-magnetism and the work of Tesla and Marconi?

    Somebody had better tell these folks. If the Baha’i Faith does not start solving problems BIG TIME and very, very soon, there is going to be no money to build these things. This is a religion and a religion is supposed to be about the spiritual powers in the heart of the Creation. Not about material expressions of anything. Material expressions are nice. Beautiful things are nice. But without spirit they are death.

    We have to start getting spiritual people into the Administrative Order of the Baha’i Faith. And very, very soon or all is going to be lost.

    When will these folks get it? The world does not want “religion”. The world wants “spirituality”. There is a very big difference. Just look at the hell called the Middle East. The Abrahamic “religions” are toast. And if that is our tack with them it will be our fate too. Same old same old.

    Where are the spiritual souls in the Baha’i Faith anymore? Where?

    It is not that Judgement Day is coming. Judgement Day IS HERE!ere.

  • Alison

    Hi Bacquia,

    I really enjoyed reading your little known fact. I look forward to reading more in the series. You certainly have found fertile ground here. As you say in your article, there are many little-known facts that can be shared amongst the Baha’i community.

    Alison

  • Alison

    Hi Bacquia,

    I really enjoyed reading your little known fact. I look forward to reading more in the series. You certainly have found fertile ground here. As you say in your article, there are many little-known facts that can be shared amongst the Baha’i community.

    Alison

  • joe

    I like to recommend to all the readers of this site to stop reading and posting things of no consequence and just read one book. You might not ever come back to it and find yourselves freedom you never had. The book is called ” the God delusion” by Richards Dawkins.

  • joe

    I like to recommend to all the readers of this site to stop reading and posting things of no consequence and just read one book. You might not ever come back to it and find yourselves freedom you never had. The book is called ” the God delusion” by Richards Dawkins.

  • Peter

    here is an elegant solution:

    the UHJ can rent one of the rooms in this (ugly) appartment building
    and put all their DVDs there – then the Arc would be “completed”
    (kind of) :-)

    joe, I heard that Dawkins is seriously disturbed about a dream he recently had – a beautiful Green Goddess adressing him out of the blue sky,
    saying with a sweet voice (that he can’t get out of his head anymore):

    “Don’t worry if you don’t believe in God.
    I, your Goddess, believe in you.
    Faith is important, Little Richard,
    For your own peace and spiritual growth.
    I am here with you all the time,
    Whether you believe or not.”

    go figure

  • Peter

    here is an elegant solution:

    the UHJ can rent one of the rooms in this (ugly) appartment building
    and put all their DVDs there – then the Arc would be “completed”
    (kind of) :-)

    joe, I heard that Dawkins is seriously disturbed about a dream he recently had – a beautiful Green Goddess adressing him out of the blue sky,
    saying with a sweet voice (that he can’t get out of his head anymore):

    “Don’t worry if you don’t believe in God.
    I, your Goddess, believe in you.
    Faith is important, Little Richard,
    For your own peace and spiritual growth.
    I am here with you all the time,
    Whether you believe or not.”

    go figure

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  • joe

    i just came upon and read your little known facts… i trust that they are in a spirit of affectionate humor…
    anyway the celebration that you reference in your first factoid appears to be the celebration for the opening of the terraces on Mt Carmel not for completion of the arc, since as you correctly point out… the 5th building has not been built yet…

  • joe

    i just came upon and read your little known facts… i trust that they are in a spirit of affectionate humor…
    anyway the celebration that you reference in your first factoid appears to be the celebration for the opening of the terraces on Mt Carmel not for completion of the arc, since as you correctly point out… the 5th building has not been built yet…

  • farhan

    Joe wrote:
    “I like to recommend to all the readers of this site to stop reading and posting things of no consequence and just read one book (…) called ” the God delusion” by Richards Dawkins.”

    Joe, I bought the book and I am working my way through a very rich reading where line after line, the author is telling us “…dont drink water, it is bad for your health, look at the milions of innocent people dying in floods… ”

    Dawkins is throwing away the baby with the bath water. He is no doubt usefully pulling down many superstitions and making a beautiful analysis of the bath water, but he is obviously not very interested in babies….

  • Farhan Yazdani

    Joe wrote:
    “I like to recommend to all the readers of this site to stop reading and posting things of no consequence and just read one book (…) called ” the God delusion” by Richards Dawkins.”

    Joe, I bought the book and I am working my way through a very rich reading where line after line, the author is telling us “…dont drink water, it is bad for your health, look at the milions of innocent people dying in floods… ”

    Dawkins is throwing away the baby with the bath water. He is no doubt usefully pulling down many superstitions and making a beautiful analysis of the bath water, but he is obviously not very interested in babies….

  • http://kaweah.com/blog Dan Jensen

    Great post, Baquia. Sorry I missed it when it was fresh. Anybody here know where the Guardian’s office was to be located? With the Hands?

  • http://kaweah.com/blog Dan Jensen

    Great post, Baquia. Sorry I missed it when it was fresh. Anybody here know where the Guardian’s office was to be located? With the Hands?

  • http://www.bahairants.com Baquia

    The Guardian’s offices would be at the seat of the UHJ since he was a member of that institution for life (without having to be elected) and also “head” of the UHJ. Today to honor the spirit of this, there is an empty chair at all UHJ meetings.

  • http://www.bahairants.com Baquia

    The Guardian’s offices would be at the seat of the UHJ since he was a member of that institution for life (without having to be elected) and also “head” of the UHJ. Today to honor the spirit of this, there is an empty chair at all UHJ meetings.

  • http://kaweah.com/blog Dan Jensen

    Oh yeAHHH. Now I remember.

    When my brother Dave and I met with the House at the beginning of our stints at the World Centre, I remember I sat down in a chair and Mr. Ruhe kindly asked me to select another chair. I tried to straighten out the hazard tape, but Mr. Mitchell told me not to worry. Dave just shook his head.

  • http://kaweah.com/blog Dan Jensen

    Oh yeAHHH. Now I remember.

    When my brother Dave and I met with the House at the beginning of our stints at the World Centre, I remember I sat down in a chair and Mr. Ruhe kindly asked me to select another chair. I tried to straighten out the hazard tape, but Mr. Mitchell told me not to worry. Dave just shook his head.

  • http://www.bahairants.com Baquia

    Brent, what is your source for the claim that those buildings are owned by the Baha’i Faith?

  • http://www.bahairants.com Baquia

    Brent, what is your source for the claim that those buildings are owned by the Baha’i Faith?

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