Does it often happen that the earliest records of a religious movement . . . pass, within a short time after their completion, into the hands of strangers who, while interested in their preservation, have no desire to alter them for better or worse. So far as my knowledge goes, it has never happened save in the case of the Babi religion.--" The New History of the Bab," p. xi, by E. G. Browne.
Persia is, and always has been, a very hotbed of systems from the time of Manes and Mazdak in the old Sassanian days, down to the present age, which has brought into being the Babis and the Sheikhis.
--"A year Among the Persians," p. 122.
Outside of a certain mixture of Occidental science and philanthropy, introduced largely for foreign consumption and in order to give an up-to-date stamp or colouring to the movement, there is scarcely anything that distinguishes Babism from its predecessors. The materials are inextricably interwoven with the whole course of Persian history in all its departments, political, religions, social, and philosophical. Time has pronounced its verdict again and again in the most unmistakable manner. So deep a hold have the ideas, which lie at the foundation of Babism and similar sects, taken of the minds and hearts of the people, that it may be said that as every American is a possible president, so every Persian is a possible murshid. For every sect that makes its appearance on the page of history, there are hundreds of embryo sects, of whose existence no one knows outside of a very limited circle.-- P. Z. Easton, quoted in Speer's "Missions and Modern History," Vol. I, p. 121.
For the Bahais, the Bab became a sort of John the Baptist, sent to announce to the world the coming of Mirza Husain Ali, Baha Ullah, and perhaps of Abbas Effendi -- a pitiable result of martyrdom. This thesis is essentially false. Reading of the book (the "Bayan") will convince every one of this.-- A. L. M. Nikolas, "Beyan Persan," Vol. I, p. ii.