Chapter 11     Bibliography

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Bahaism in America
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      I speak from the point of view of Persian Bahaism and not from that American fantasy which bears its name.--Nicolas, "Beyan Persan," Vol. I, p. II.

      Abbas is an elderly and venerable man, very similar to a score of venerable Druse and Moslem Sheikhs I have met. The Lord deliver them (American Christians) from the delirious blasphemies. . . . The claim that the Acca Sheikh is God is quite enough to condemn them.--H. H. Jessup, "Fifty-three years in Syria," p. 638.

      Pray for my return to America and say: O Baha Ullah! Confirm Him in the servitude of the East; so that He may not spend all his time in the Orient; that He may return to America and occupy His time in the Western wor]d.--Prayer of Bahais.

      It is doubtless this mystical, allegorical character of Bahaism which attracts a certain type of mind in America, in the main probably, the same type which follows, after spiritualism, esoteric Buddhism, Swamis from India, theosophy, and other movements which play around the edges of the occult and magical, and help to dull the edge of present realities with the things which are neither present nor real. . . . Indeed it is probably this soft compliance with anything and the absence of the robustness of definite truth and solid principle which makes Bahaism attractive to many moral softlings in the West. . . . It will run a brief course and amount to little in America. . . . The novelty will soon be over and the people 'who did not have sufficient discernment to discover the truth that will satisfy them in Christianity, will not find it in Baha Ullah or Abbas Effendi.--R. E. Speer, "Miss. and Mod. Hist," Vol. 1, pp. 143, 162--168.

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BAHAISM, as distinguished from Babism, was, to a certain extent, introduced to public notice in America by Christian missionaries, who reported about it as a movement likely to break the solidarity of Shiahism and facilitate the evangelization of Persia. With the same thought in mind, Professor Browne's translations of "The New History" and "The Traveller's Narrative" attracted attention. In the Congress of Religions, at the Chicago Exposition in 1893, the eminent missionary, Rev. H. H. Jessup, D. D., described Baha Ullah as "a famous Persian sage,--the Babi saint, named Baha Ullah (the glory of God), the head of that vast reform party of Persian Moslems, who accept the New Testament as the word of God and Christ as the deliverer of men; wbo regard all nations as one and all men as brothers." Shortly after the Exposition a Syrian, named Ibrahim G. Kheiralla, began a propaganda in favour of Bahaism. He was of Christian parentage, born in Mount Lebanon, and educated in Beirut College. At Cairo, under the tutelage of Mirza Karim of Teheran, he accepted the

1. "Parliament of Religions," p. 640; I. G. Kheiralla, "Beha Ullah," p. ix.

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Bahai faith. He was engaged in business, to which he joined faith healing and lecturing. He was given a fake degree of Doctor of something by a night school in Chicago. This he rightly despised, but considered that he was entitled to the degree because M. Mohammed Ali had addressed him as Doctor! I had several interviews with him. He showed me a trunk full of Bahai manuscripts and documents, and allowed me to read his translation into English of the "Kitab-ul-Akdas." He is a man of strong mind, acute argumentative faculties, fine conversational powers and altogether an interesting personality. He first taught Bahaism in secret lessons, as a religion of mysteries, a secret order, a doctrine for truth-seekers only, not for the masses. "The secret teaching gives us the key to the truth." [1]

      Mr. S. K. Vatralsky was among the private pupils at Kenosha. He did not become a believer, but learned the esoteric doctrine and published an interesting account of the cult under the title, "Mohammedan Gnosticism in America." [2] Of the method used he writes, "In their secret lessons they allegorize and explain away; in public by means of mental reservation and the use of words in a double sense, they appear as they wish to appear." Doctor Kheiralla published in 1897 a booklet called "Babed-Din, The Door of the True Religion--Revelation from the East." It has two parts (i) On the Individuality of God and (2) A Refutation of the Christian

1. "Bab-ed-Din," by I. G. Kheiralla, pp. 9, 13, 18.
2. 'American Journal of Theology, 1902.

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doctrine of the atonement. Later (1900), in conjunction with Mr. Howard MacNutt, he published "Beha Ullah" in two volumes. It is the theology and apologetics of Bahaism. Its Preface informs us that its purpose is to "demonstrate that the Everlasting Father, the Prince of Peace, has appeared in human form and established His kingdom on earth." The propaganda met with considerable success in Chicago and its vicinity. In 1897 Doctor Kheiralla went to New York City and in a short time "140 souls" were persuaded. In this same year two of his pupils were married in his house in Chicago, receiving his blessing. These were Mr. and Mrs. E. C. Getsinger. They "taught seekers" in Ithaca, N. Y., and afterwards in California. There they converted Mrs. H, a woman of great wealth, to the faith. Mr. Vatralsky narrates that Doctor Kheiralla converted no less than 2,000 Americans during the first two years of his labour. Of these 700 were living in Chicago (Doctor Kheiralla told me 840), between 250 and 300 in Wisconsin, about 400 in New York, the rest in Boston, etc. In his "Beha Ullah" Doctor Kheiralla says, "Over seven years ago I began to preach the message. Since then thousands of people of this country have believed and accepted the glad tidings of the appearance of the Lord of Hosts, the Incarnation of Deity, and the glorious message is rapidly spreading in the United States." Speaking of this period Mr. Vatralsky writes: "It would not have had its success, had it come flying its own native colours. It

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has succeeded because, like a counterfeit coin, it has passed for what it is not."

      A curious incident occurred on May 6, 1906. Mr. August J. Stenstrand was exscinded [sic] from the "First Central Church of the Manifestation," because he rejected Baha Ullah and accepted Subh-i-Azal. He was led to this step by investigating the history as recorded in Professor Browne's translations. He subsequently published three pamphlets, "Calls to Behaists" (1907, 1910, 1913) setting forth the claims of Azal. I had interesting interviews with him in 1914.

      In the winter of 1898--99 pilgrimages were organized to visit the shrine and leaders at Acca.[1] One party consisted of Mrs. H , who bore the expenses, Doctor and Mrs. Kheiralla, Mr. and Mrs. Getsinger, Mr. Hadad and others. The pilgrimage turned out unfortunately. They found the "holy household" divided. They saw only Abbas Effendi and one sister. They were kept from even a sight of the others. Doctor Kheiralla was bold enough to dispute with Abbas Effendi and he told me that for this reason the latter conceived a grudge against him. Of this Dr. F. O. Pease wyites: "Doctor Kheiralla had some discussion with Abbas in the presence of native guests and teachers at which Abbas took umbrage." [2] The Getsingers accused Kheiralla of immoral conduct and Abbas Eflendi reported these stories to Mrs. Kheiralla and her

1. Bahai Movement," p. 101 ; S. W., p. 38, 1914.
2. An open letter to the Abbab in America, by Doctor Pease.

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daughter, with the result that they repudiated Kheiralla. Certain financial irregularities of the party further disgusted Mrs. H-- and chilled her faith. So animosity and dissension sprang up.

      Mr. Getsinger, on his return to America, announced that he was to be the representative of Abbas Effendi, because Doctor Kheiralla's teachings were erroneous and his conduct immoral. Doctor Kheiralla responded with counter charges against his accuser, of a private and personal nature, and declared him qualified for the Ananias club by his accounts of himself in California. The Chicago and Kenosha assemblies were rent asunder. In the correspondence, some of which I have in my possession, they hurl at each other such terms as falsehood, lie, malevolence, injustice, maliciousness, deluding, laying traps, etc. Thornton Chase was accused of dishonesty in money matters. Doctor N--, the treasurer of the "Assembly" in Chicago, was denounced for embezzling its funds. Mirza Abdul Karini arrived from Acca to quiet matters but he poured oil on the flames. Kheiralla was first informed that if he would submit and cooperate, "he would never want anything." He writes: [1] "Abdul Karim promised me plenty of money, and when I refused, he denounced me and prohibited believers from buying or reading my book." He ordered a social and business boycott against him and his party. Stenstrand says, [2] "They have ousted, given bad names, and thrown mud at each other both in their sermons and in

1. "The Three Questions," p. 23.
2 "Third Call to Behais," p. 3.

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print worse than any Christian or heathen religions have done." The spirit of Abdul Karim may be seen from one of his addresses: "O nakhiz (violator), thou spotted snake, thou shalt be seized with a great torture and punishment and thou, O sister serpent, who art wagging thy sinuous way and trailing thy deceitful slime over another region, know thy fate." He declared that he would call to God for vengeance against Kheiralla. Hasan Khorasani, too, threatened him, saying, "He would be smitten of God in two weeks," and "a sword shall cleave the sky and cut his neck." He was greatly frightened. Doctor Pease said to him, "Do not be afraid, you have nothing to fear." Kheiralla answered him, "I know these Orientals better than you do. I know what they did to the Azalis." Before they came to the next discussion, he had policemen concealed in his house for his protection. The upshot of the whole matter was that protesters repudiated Abbas Effendi, after a conference in Chicago on May 27, 1900, finding "increasing evidence of falsity and double dealing in him." Indeed, says Doctor Pease, "Why should we not inquire whether Abbas is not a son, if not the son of perdition." They entered into correspondence and became one with the party of M. Mohammed Ali. After this the controversy took on a doctrinal aspect and all questions of Abbas' supremacy and misconduct were thrashed out between the American Behaists and Bahais. This controversy from the side of the Behaists is contained in "The Three Questions" and "Facts for Behaists"

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(Chicago, 1901); from the other side in "Letters of Abdul Baha Abbas to the Friends in Persia" and "An Epistle to the Bahai World," by M. Badi Ullah, after his recantation. The details of the schism have been given already. To heal the schism different leaders were sent to America successively by Abbas Effendi. Following M. Abdul Karim, came M. Asad Ullah, 1901. He published, in New York, "The Sacred Mysteries" in which he anathematizes the Behaists. He organized a "House of Justice" in Chicago, a step which had been previously taken by the other party. Next came the learned Mirza Abul FazI, 1901--1902. But their efforts were unavailing though each was willing to acknowledge the faults of his predecessor. The quarrel gave a great setback to the cause. Doctor Pease wrote in 1902: [1] "About 1,700 have left us because of the dissension and false teaching, and because they would not engage in religious scandal. The whole number in the country is now 600 or 700. Of these 300 are Behaists; the others are Abbasites of one sect or another, holding belief that Abbas is Lord and Master." Doctor Kheiralla says, "Many grew cold, few remained." With this agrees the word of Thornton Chase: [2] "We have seen too many, when the first winds of testing blew, show faith of shallow depth." Abdul Baha says: "Chicago, in comparison with the cities of America, was in advance and numerically contained more Bahais, but when the stench

1. Letter to M. Badi Ullah.
2. "Before Abraham was I am," p. 1.
3. S. W., Sept. 8, 1913, p. 174.

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or vile odour of the Nakhazeen was spread in that city there was stagnation." In Chicago Bahaism never recovered from these quarrels. In 1914 Mr. F. A. Slack, "Spiritual Guide of the Behaist Assembly of Kenosha," wrote to me "of the bitter invectives and false accusations and persecutions we are subjected to" by the followers of Abbas Effendi. The Behaists had dwindled to 40, according to their own report to the U. S. Census in 1906, while the Bahais reported 1,280 in U. S. A. of whom 492 were in Illinois, 23 in two Assemblies in New York State, 58 in New Jersey, 52 in Pennsylvania. One of the largest Assemblies was in Washington, D. C., with 74 members, white and coloured. These organized local "spiritual assemblies" were 27 in 1913, a very small increase.[1] There are also "assemblies of teaching" for the women. There are Annual Conventions with delegates from the different groups. These conventions are "unique and peerless among the assemblies of mankind," in the mind of their imaginative reporter, "because of the divine favour of Baha Ullah which gathers them together. All other meetings in the world are for worldly or selfish purposes. These alone are spiritual." [2] They also hold a summer conference at Eliot, Maine. The Bahai propaganda is carried on by means of these assemblies, by parlour meetings, by personal intercourse and by letters (tablets) from Abdul Baha. Their publicity bureau is most active and supplies many articles to magazines and newspapers. They

1. S W., Sept. 8, 1913, p. 127.
2. S. W., May 17, 1914, pp. 51--52.

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make use of the Chautauquas, Peace Congresses, etc., to promulgate their peculiar tenets. Their press at Chicago publishes the Star of the West, formerly the Bahai News. It is issued monthly, that is, every nineteen days, according to the Bahai calendar. For example, the issue of September 27, 1914, is dated Masheyat 1, Year 70. It is printed in English and Persian, the latter being lithographed. It is confined to Bahai subjects, giving many of Abdul Baha's "revelations." Their literature, so far issued, is (1) The Works of Baha Ullah, in six or more books. (2) The Tablets and Addresses of Abdul Baha. (3) The Apologetics of Bahai writers, American or translations from the Persian. (4) Journals of pilgrims to Acca. (5) Tracts and reports. Of his own Tablets, Abdul Baha says: [1] "In course of time, the light of these Tablets will dawn, the greatness, the importance will be known. The truth I say unto thee, that each leaflet will be a wide-spread book, nay rather a glistening Gem on the Glorious Crown. Know then its value and hold great its station." These Tablets are, for the most part, letters to individuals.

      Besides the Bahai Publishing Society, another agency is the Orient-Occident Unity,--first organized in 1909 as the Persian American Educational Society. It has a commercial side, but its main object is to promote Bahaism by assisting or opening schools and hospitals in Persia and other Oriental countries. It has started mission work in

1. "Tablets," vol. I, p. ii.

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Teheran, Tabriz, Meshed and other points in Persia and in Burmah. They seek to strengthen Bahaism in Persia where it is small and weak in comparison with other sects. The work of the American Bahais there is of little importance. "But the presence of American Bahais in Persia or the value of an American newspaper is not their direct influence, but the impression they give that America has largely accepted Bahaism." [1] In the United States this Unity poses as philanthropical, not revealing in its constitution, circulars and appeals for funds its Bahai connection. This concealment is inexcusable and cannot be too strongly condemned. Christians and Jews should not be asked to contribute to any cause under false pretenses, nor should prominent statesmen, educators and philanthropists be thus led to give their quasi endorsement to the Society. [2]

      In 1912 Abdul Baha Abbas, after a sojourn in France and England, visited America, arriving April 12 and departing December 5. America has not lacked its own prophetic product, as witness Joseph Smith, Mary Eddy, John Dowie, Crowdy and Indian medicine men. But Abdul Baha, except for Hindu Swamis, was the first Asiatic revelator America has received. Its hospitality showed up well. The public and press neither stoned the "prophet" nor caricatured him but looked with kindly eye upon the grave old man, in flowing oriental robes and white turban,

1. J. D. Frame, M. D., Moslem World, 1912, p. 243.
2. Sec's Report, June, 1911; October Bulletin, 1911; S. W., May 17, 1911, July 13, 1913, Nov. 4, 1913, March and June, 1914.

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with waving hoary hair and long white beard. [1] His visit was noticed, as has been the case with many distinguished foreigners, but did not create any special sensation. His own press agents were active and aggressive, furnishing many articles for newspapers and magazines. The reporters took the exaggerated statements of the Bahais without sifting. He performed his part fairly well and allowed himself to be interviewed and photographed with the patience of an actress. He posed for the "movies" man and spoke for the phonograph records. He sat for an oil painting and approved of his bust in marble. [2]

      Abdul Baha's tour comprised a number of the chief cities of the northeast, followed by a rest at Green Acre Conference, Eliot, Maine, and then a trip to Canada and California. His meetings and addresses were of two kinds: for the public and for the Bahais. He spoke to the churches, liberal

1. "Kitab-ul-Akdas" commands that the hair should not be allowed to grow below the level of the ear: why does not Abdul Baha keep this law?
2. 'Myron Phelps states (p.97) that Abbas Effendi wishes no photographs of himself taken. This is certainly a mistake as years ago they were circulated in Persia and purchasable in the bazaar. The account of his posing for the motion pictures is amusing. When requested to pass before the camera, he at once replied, " Khaili khob" (very good). The Bahais present were very much upset and protested that his picture would be scattered all over the country in the movies. He replied, "Busiar khob" (still better). Later, in June, an extended motion picture was taken. The scenes were somewhat spoiled by Abdul Baha not remaining in focus and disarranging the scenario. These films, with words, are being used in the Sunday services of the Bahais and are to be used in the Orient in connection with the voice record on the Edison talking machine.

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and evangelical, [1] Socialists, Theosophists, etc.; to Woman's Clubs, Suffragists, Colleges, Historical Societies, Peace Societies and at the Conference on International Arbitration, at Lake Mohonk.

      Abdul Baha's principle in his public addresses was "to talk about things upon which we agree and say nothing about things upon which we differ." [2] Thus he spoke much of the Fatherhood of God, but failed to mention that he regarded Baha Ullah as "the Manifestation of the Father." He spoke of brotherly love extensively yet never about the violent quarrels that abound in Bahai annals. He said much of religious unity but did not state how the movement had increased the number of sects in Persia and in America. He spoke much on "Universal peace," though Babi history, which they boast of, has some

1. Mr. Remey said to him: "We expected an attitude of hostility towards you from the clergy and theologians. We did not expect the churches and religious societies would open their doors" (S. W., March 21, 1913, p. 18). Doctor Cadman of Brooklyn explained his inviting Abdul Baha to preach in his pulpit by saying, "Christian people can afford to be absolutely free and catholic in their extension of liberty and courtesy to other people." Yet most Christians were grieved and consider it disloyalty to Christ.
2. S.W, March, 1913 p. 18.
3. The striking lack of unity among the Bahais is evident from a Tablet of Abdul Baha written shortly before his visit to America (S. W, May 17, 1811). "In view of the differences among the friends and the lack of unity among the maid servants of the Merciful, how can Abdul Baha hasten to those parts? Is it possible? No, by God!" "Your worthless imaginations, backbiting, and faultfinding enable the Nakhazeen to spread a noose for you." The Americans could reply," Physician, heal thyself," for the worst anger and discord have been between the brothers at Acca. And he himself continues to cry out, "Hold aloof from the violators."

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of the cruelest and bloodiest conflicts of arms recorded in history. He dwelt much on the principle of arbitration, though he had refused to arbitrate his dispute with Mohammed Ali. Even while he was in America, a grandson of Baha Ullah, who lives near Chicago, sent a request for an interview to lead to a reconciliation. Abdul Baha ignored the request. He discoursed at length on woman's rights and equality, but omitted to inform the public that Baha Ullah had three wives and carefully concealed his women in an oriental haram. Besides all these, he erroneously attributed to Baha Ullah the origination of teachings which have been the age-long possession of Christendom.

      The meetings with the believers were of a differ ent character. To them his message was: "Teach Bahaism; work for the cause; spread the faith ; build the Temple." With them he celebrated the Unity Feast. This has some of the features of the agape of the ancient Church and some of the Lord's Supper. Often a variety of food is partaken, Persian pilau being a favourite. When all were seated Abdul passed through the rooms, speaking: [1] "Abdul Baha is now walking among you commemorating Baha Ullah. Blessed are ye who are the servants of Baha Ullah. In the utmost of love I greet each and all of you. This is like the Lord's Supper. Material food is prepared for you. The manna from heaven is present for you. May your hearts be exhilarated in the kingdom of Abha. The labours of

1. S. W, Oct. 16, 1913 p. 203

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Baha Ullah have not been in vain." After the Feast, be raised his hands and pronounced his blessing upon them. This is called the 19th day Unity Feast and is celebrated at the beginning of every Bahai month. When Abdul Baha is not present the Tablets are read and praises to Baha, as to God, are chanted.

      One incident was the establishment of the Day of Thornton Chase as a memorial anniversary. Chase is the first American Bahai to be canonized. Abdul Baha visited his grave at Los Angeles, and ordained a saint's day in the Bahai calendar, October 19th. He said: [1] "This revered personage was the first Bahai believer in America. He served the cause faithfully and his services will be ever remembered throughout ages and cycles." [2] "He was of the blessed souls. . . . He witnessed the light of the kingdom of Abha and wrote proofs and evidences of the Manifestation." Thornton Chase certainly had a surprising faith in Abdul Baha.

      A special event was the dedication of the grounds of the Bahai Temple, the Mashrak-ul-Azkar (the Dawning-place of Praises). This took place in the midst of the Rizwan Feast, on May 1, 1912, in the presence of the Bahai Temple Unity composed of delegates from all the "spiritual assemblies" in America, convened in its fourth annual convention. A site of five acres has been purchased in the village

1. S. W, Sept. 27, 1913, p. 187.
2. Similar phrases addressed to his living disciples sound like flattery and appeals to their vanity, such as, "Your names will go down through the ages." "Kings and Queens will never be talked of as you will be ' (S. W, Dec. 13, 1913, p. 274, etc.).

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of Wilimette, a suburb of Chicago. Abdul Baha, using a golden trowel, broke ground and others of the different races, who were present, used picks and shovels and prepared a place into which Abdul Baha put a stone. He said: "The mystery of this building is great. It cannot be unveiled yet, but its erection is the most important undertaking of this day. This Temple of God in Chicago will be to the spiritual body of the world what the inrush of the spirit is to the physical body of man, quickening it to its utmost parts and infusing a new light and power.
. . . Its results and fruits are endless." Of the structure he said: "The Mashrak-ul-Azkar will be like a beautiful bouquet. The central lofty edifice will have nine sides, surrounded by nine avenues interlacing nine gardens where nine fountains will play. There will be nine gateways and columns, with nine arches and nine arched windows and nine caissons nine feet in diameter. Nine will also be carried out in the galleries and dome. Further, its meetings are to be held on the ninth of each month." [1] Thus the Bahai sacred number will be exhibited everywhere. "Behold!" exclaims the Bahai reporter. "What a priceless piece of ground is this site, dedicated by the hands of the Orb of the Covenant and blessed by his holy feet." [2] But in another place Abdul Baha urges them to hasten the completion of the building, complaining [3] "America has not been working enough for it." "Money

1. S. W., June 5, 1914.
2. S. W., Dec. 31, 1913, p. 272.
3. S. W., Aug. 1, 1913, p. 136--138.

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comes slowly," says the treasurer; "pledges were tremendous--as big as our eyes saw at the time and afterwards we could collect [1] only a small proportion." After six years of strenuous pleading and effort, they have paid for the ground. The ladies evidently preferred to spend their money in jaunts to Acca, with Paris and Cairo en route, rather than to put up an extravagant temple in Chicago for 200 people who are scattered in that city--a temple in which the believers in New York and Los Angeles may never worship. The cause for haste is "to fulfill a great prophecy, that in the day of the Branch shall the temple of the Lord be built" (Zech. vi. 12). And Abdul Baha is already more than seventy. When finished, "It will have an effect on the whole world." "It will be dedicated to the worship of Baha Ullah and his words only are to be read in it." [2]

      After a sojourn of about eight months, Abdul Baha returned to England, whence he telegraphed: "Thanks to Baha Ullah, I arrived safely." As a souvenir of the visit, the American Bahais presented a silver vase to the shrine of Abdul Baha Ullah at Acca, "the Holy City." Of this Mr. Remey writes: "The Holy Tomb in which this vase is to repose (we ardently hope) for hundreds, perhaps thousands of years already contains precious offerings, vases and many wonderful things placed there by people from all over the world. Among this ever-growing

1. "The Oriental Rose," p. 11, says that $5,000 have been sent from the Orient for the Temple.
2. "Daily Lessons," p. 17.

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collection at the Threshold of the remains of the Earthly Tabernacle of Him who manifested forth to a dying world the very Fatherhood of the Eternal of Him, who for us is the Sublime King of Kings, must stand this silent token, as a measure of the response from the hearts made glad by this ineffable sacrifice of Him who, giving up all thoughts of self, came to us (i. e., to U. S. A.) in our need, The Centre of the Covenant, His Holiness Abdul Baha."

      The visit of Abdul Baha did not leave any great impression. His personality had no deep influence. He appeared conspicuous neither for intellectuality nor spirituality. Many a distinguished traveller has got hold of the public ear and heart to a greater extent. I was in Baltimore when he was there. He caused scarcely a ripple on the surface. His addresses were tame and full of platitudes. It was told me that his visit led to doubt and coldness on the part of some adherents. He was, as Canon Wilberforce said, "not an orator, nor even a preacher," practiced in public address. One of the distinguished clergymen whose pulpit he occupied said to me, "The man has no special message. He is a faker." Another liberal thinker, who has given publicity to this doctrine, after an interview, pronounced him a fraud. Some of the American disciples, especially the ladies, idolized him, even to the extent of bringing down upon them the reprobation of some English disciples. One of the latter wrote: [1] "There seems to be a tendency in America and elsewhere to focus too great

1. S W., Dec. 11, 1911.

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attention on Abdul Baha rather than upon the Manifestation."

      What of the progress of Bahaism in America? It is making no marked progress. In some sections it seems to have gone forward, as on the Pacific coast and around New York and Washington. It has decreased in the South and in the headquarters of the movement, Chicago. The organization at Atlanta has disappeared from the list. The South will not take kindly to the advocacy by Abdul Baha of the miscegenation of the races. He recommends that efforts be made towards the intermarriage of the coloured and white races as the ideal panacea for the present estrangement. [1]

      I understand that a Washington negro has married an English Bahai woman, the courtship having occurred when both were pilgrims, and under the encouragement of Abdul Baha. Of the condition of the cause in Chicago I can speak from personal investigation. I attended the regular Sunday service in St. John's room, eighteenth floor of the Masonic Hall. It was a pleasant May day. About sixty were present--twenty men and forty women. I questioned the men and found that six of them were Bahais and fourteen, like me, were visitors. The man next to me on the right was a member of an ethical culture society that meets on the twelfth floor. I asked the man on my left to what organization he belonged. He replied, "To the kingdom of God." I inquired what was his opinion of Abbas Effendi.

1. L G. Gregory, "The Heavenly vista," pp. 13, 15, 25, 31.

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He pulled from his pocket a much used New Testament and pointed to the verse in Revelation which refers to the beast and said, "That is he." I conversed with several of the Bahai ladies, two of whom acted as instructors of the meeting. The Sunday- school held at an earlier hour, I learned, was a class in Esperanto. To my question as to the number of Bahais in Chicago, she replied "that Baha Ullah has told us that there must be a falling away before the triumph," from which I inferred that conditions were not prosperous. The next man, a Bahai, told me the number was about one hundred and fifty. The leader, Mrs. C. True, told me about three hundred. One of the opposing sect told me there are only sixty, while his sect has lost all organization and numbers only forty in the whole country. But if we take the number at the highest estimate given, the number is less than fifteen years ago.

      I go into particulars regarding this point, because there is a false impression abroad, in Europe and Asia, an impression that is carefully fostered. Take this incident. In Persia a Bahai affirmed before the crowd that one-half of Chicago was Bahai. A Bible colporteur disputed the statement and proposed to telegraph to the Mayor of Chicago and inquire, and whichever side was wrong should pay for the telegram. The Bahai declined. In distant India a similar impression is created for effect. Mr. Getsinger wrote in the Jam-i-Jamseed of Bombay: [1] "The Bahai faith has spread in America by leaps and bounds,

1. S. W., April 28, 1914.

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the number being beyond computation." Strange exaggeration, if you give it no worse name! Some such a one was no doubt interviewed by the "wayfarer" of the Continent and told him that there were one million in the United States. [1] But that well- informed reporter put the number at 3,000. The Star of the West (Feb. 7, 1912) says: "There are several thousand Bahais in the United States." My own conclusion is that there are 2,000 in twenty-seven organizations. In 1906 they reported to the Census 1,280 members in twenty-four organizations. Most of the members are women. (See Chap. VII.)

      That the Bahai propaganda has nothing special to boast of in the United States is evident when we compare its results with those of other religious fads. The Dowieites of Zion City (followers of John Dowie who claimed to be the prophet Elijah) report seventeen organizations in ten states with 5,865 members; the Crowdyites (Crowdy was a negro cook who in 1906 claimed to be a prophet) report forty-eight organizations and 1,823 members; Theosophists eighty-five and 2,336 members; Vedantists (Swamiists) four and 340 members; Spiritualists 455 with 35,056 members; Christian Scientists 638 and 85,000 members. Well may the Egyptian Gazette say: "If Bahaism has found favour in the United States, it cannot be forgotten that countless other 'religions have become popular there which would not have

1. The S. W. of March 2, 1912, reported one organization in Montreal, one in Hawaii, one in England, two in Germany, viz., Stuttgart and Zuffenhausen, and one in Cape Town.

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been taken seriously in any other country in the world." Yet, aside from the Mormons, how few they number altogether.

      Is it not marvellous that clergy of various Protestant churches, even of the Church of England, have given the use of their edifices for its anti-Christian proselytism? Roman Catholic churches have not been open to it. And this happened not only when Abdul Baha was a guest among our people but is continued since. Surely such latitudinarianism must grieve the heart of Christ even as it shocks His faithful followers and gives boldness to those who would hurl Him from His mediatorial throne. It is unnecessary now to catalogue the various Protestant pulpits and platforms in Great Britain, and in America where, with readings from the Bahai "revelations" and flattering introductions, place was given to the "false Christ." But the disloyalty still continues. Lately a missionary was a speaker at a Woman's Foreign Missions Society and was preceded by a lady advocating Bahaism. In a late number of the Star of the West (April 9, 1914) is a picture of the St. Mark's-in- the-Bowerie Episcopal Church, New York, with a notice that an audience room had been granted in the parish house for Bahai meetings every Sunday. This was followed by a letter from Abdul Baha rejoicing in this opportunity "to promulgate the principles of Baha Ullah," and by a request for the prayers of all Bahais that "through this opened door many hearts may be turned to the 'Branch, " i. e., Abdul Baha.

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another issue contains an announcement [1] of the marriage at Montreal of the editor, Doctor Bagdadi, to Zeenat Khanum, both Persian Bahais of Mohammedan antecedents. The narrative declares: "The minister who officiated astonished all [even the Bahais] by reading from the Bahai writings!" The Bahais still continue to proselyte through Ethical Culture and Theosophic Societies and on the platform of peace congresses. Is it not full time that Christian people and churches should cease to give countenance to this system which is an enemy of the cross of Christ, and which has already deceived several thousands of our fellow Christians?

1. Star, May 17, 1914, p. 57.

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