Chapter 8     Chapter 10

[page 206]

this page blank

[page 207]


Its Record as to Morals


[page 208]

      In their teachings they speak constantly of knowing the truth, but never of speaking the truth. In his book Kheiralla never mentions veracity among the virtues nor lying among the vices. Religious duplicity, tagiya, is a Persian peculiarity and some Mohammedan sects among which are our "truth-knowing" Bahais have raised tagiya to a pious privilege. Baha, the crafty chief, requires policy in consideration of expediency, often at the expense of good faith. Until the final triumph of the religion he has sanctioned feigned conformity. They have divine authority for duplicity. This is to them a pious means to a pious end. Since Baha's influence has become paramount, they have adopted the plan of secret propaganda which does not hesitate, in case of need, at denying their faith under oath. Among Mohammedans they are primitive Islamites, among Christians they claim to be primitive Christians. If I had not taken their "private lessons," the supposition of such astounding duplicity would have appeared incredible or beyond even the Oriental proverbial duplicity.--S. K. Vatralsky, "Amer. Jour. of Theology," 1902, pp. 73, 74, 76.

[page 209]



BAHAIS particularly boast of love as one of their characteristics. They often quote the words of Baha "to consort with all religions with spirituality and fragrance." Phelps claims for them [1] "a peculiar spirit, which marks them off from other men,--whose essence is expressed in one word, Love. These men are Lovers; lovers of God, of their Master and teachers, of all mankind." Dreyfus, with a forgetfulness or ignoring of facts that is astounding, says, "Their conduct is so perfect, their harmony so complete that although they have been there at Acca for forty years, no judge had yet to intervene for them in any dispute." Chase says "Bahaism removes religious rancour." [2] Let facts speak. Let me array them first by showing the relation of the Bahais to the Moslems, and then to the Azalis (see chapter on "Religious Assassination ") and finally to each other (see chapter on "The Quarrel over the Succession"). The Babis and Bahais show great hatred and

1. Page 112.
2. Yet Phelps, p. 158, and Chase themselves inveigh against orthodox Christianity with bitterness and scorn.

[page 210]

animosity against the Shiahs of Persia, abuse and revile them and heap maledictions and curses upon them. These evil feelings are shown specially against the Mullahs and the rulers. The Babi and Bahai historians indulge so much in diatribes and maledictions that Professor Browne wearies of translating them and omits pages of abuse. [1] More than enough is at hand to show the rancorous spirit of the new religion.

      First take a short backward glance at the Babis. Professor Browne says: [2] "The Babis entertained for the Kajar rulers a hatred equal to that for the Mullahs." Mohammed Shah and Nasr-ud-Din Shah are called "bastard" and "scoundrel" and Mohammed Shah is consigned to hell at his death. The Shiahs are called "foul Guebres" and the Mullahs heaped with abuse. "They hated the Mohammedan clergy with an intense and bitter hatred" and anticipated the fulfillment of the prophecy "when the Kaim or Mahdi should behead 70,000 mullahs like dogs." The Bab called Haji Kazim Khan, chief of the Sheikhis, "the Quintessence of Hell Fire and the infernal tree of Zakkum." He even at times emphasized his words with blows. [3] "When a prisoner in the household of Anti-Christ--that accursed one (i. e., the Shah), the Mullah of Maku showed him some discourtesy, whereupon the Ocean of Divine Wrath was stirred and He (the Bab) brought down his staff with such vigour on the unclean form

1. New Hist.," pp. 320 f, 281, 289.
2. Ibid., pp. xvii. and 354.
3. "Mirza Jani," pp. 131-132.

[page 211]

of that foul creature that the august staff broke in two. He then ordered Aga Sayid Hasan (his scribe) to drive out that dog from the room, though the accursed fellow was a person of great consideration." "The Bab took leave of his jailer, Ali Khan, with the words, 'Ay maalun ('Accursed One ')." [1] It is unnecessary further to enlarge on the feelings of the Babis towards the Shiahs, for the sanguinary wars and persecutions explain them and they made no secret of their feelings of hatred. I pass on to the Bahais, whom Abul Fazl claims were reformed and transformed by Baha. Baha himself it is, who in the "Ikan" calls the Shiahs "a foul, erring sect," who said of his Turkish guards, "Shame upon them! God shall consume their livers with fire, and verily he is the fiercest of avengers" (Lawh-i-Rais) and who exultingly celebrated, in a hymn of triumph, the death of Fuad Pasha, [2] the vizier who had exiled him, and consigned him to hell "where the heart boils and the tormenting angel melts him." Baha's winsome words about the mullahs are, in the "Ikan," "1278 years have passed and all these worthless wretches have read the Koran every morning and have not yet attained to a single letter of the purport of it."

      The spirit of love (?) is shown by Mirza Abul Fazl, the preacher and apologist for Bahaism, in his discussion (1873) as recorded in the "New History." [3] His abusive language runs on page after page.

1. The New Hist.," p. 352.
2. Jour. Roy. As. Soc., 1892, p. 271.
3. Pages 173-190.

[page 212]

mullahs of Persia are called mischief-makers, dolts, a pack of scoundrels, tyrants, fools, plunderers of men's properties and wives, sectarian zealots steeped in prejudice and thinly disguising their greed of worldly lucre under a veil of sanctity, sprung from the rustic population and the scum of the towns, ignorant of the decencies of society and neglectful of good breeding, with wickedness, worldliness, rapacity and selfishness which are incurable and folly that exceeds all bounds and surpasses all conception, with stupidity, overweening arrogance and presumption absolutely unparallelled, hiding the truth in falsehood, circulating false reports, possessing malignant hatred, malice, spite and great injustice, and notoriously eager to shed blood, yet with cowardice like a timid girl.

      He avers further that they are lacking in patriotism, nullify sovereign authority, encroach upon and usurp the power of kings, dismiss viziers, invite the people to rebel, cause national decay, set their feet upon the necks of all mankind, menace the order and well-being of the government, devour public wealth and substitute treason for service. "Perish their homes of folly whose learning is all pretense, their colleges which never yielded a man of sense." This is a condensation of the Bahai philosopher's amiable (!) description of the chiefs of his national religion. The author of the "New History" almost surpasses him in abuse. [1] He compares the mullahs to a " host of foul reptiles who befoul and pollute the pure water

1. Pages 4-5, written 1880.

[page 213]

of life so that it waxeth loathsome and abominable. . . They are fraudulent and sophistical hypocrites . . inwardly reprobate and outwardly devout, clothing themselves in the garb of spurious asceticism and simulated piety: fabricators of 'authentic traditions." Later Haji M. Haidar Ali, [1] writing by command of Abdul Baha, says of Persia, "The old religious sects . . . degenerated into ferocious wolves and mad dogs, even surpassing the ravenous man-eating beasts." Apropos of the martyrdom of Aga Sayid J afar of Abargoo, "Our Great Lord and Master Abdul Baha revealed the following in a Visiting Tablet "to be chanted at the tomb:" Hell is for such as rejected thee, fire for such as sentenced thee to death, infernal flame for such as betrayed thee, and the hellish gulf for such as shed thy blood." [2] These quotations show the vindictive spirit of the Bahai leaders. Any one who is acquainted with Bahais in Persia knows that this is the spirit that animates them, that they revile the Mutasharis and Sheikhis and especially their mullahs. They are brotherly and helpful to their own particular sect of Bahais, vindictive to all who have opposed them. Doctor Frame quotes a Persian as saying this of the attitude of Abdul Baha, "He is very kind towards his friends and bitter towards his enemies. In view of all that has been brought forward, how can Mr. Phelps aver "that they have no trace of bitterness or resentment for their sufferings." The habit of Bahais in denying that they have

1. "Martyrs of 1903," p. 3.
2. "Visiting Tablets," p. 12, N. Y. Bahai Board of Counsel.

[page 214]

animosity against other religions reminds me of one of their own stories. A certain mullah said to his friend, "If you notice in me any objectionable habit please inform me." "I perceive no fault in you," answered his friend, "save a habit of using abusive language." "Abusive language ! " cried the mullah. "What rascally knave calls me abusive? What shameless ruffian have I abused that he should dare accuse me?"

      In the statements of Bahais which I quoted above, they laid claim to superior chastity and sobriety. In the chapter on "Bahaism and Woman" I have noticed their defects in regard to the treatment of women. In regard to sexual immorality, they are neither better nor worse than Persians of the middle class to which they mostly belong. Bahai law follows the Moslem law in prohibiting the use of alcohol as a beverage, as did the law of the Bab. The Bab prohibited opium and tobacco. Azal follows the Bab in these restrictions, while Baha exempts tobacco from the prohibition. A good many Moslems, especially of the cities and upper classes, are addicted to alcohol, and have been through the centuries of Islam. My observation leads me to believe that Bahais are more addicted to the use of intoxicants than Moslems are. Regarding the relation of Bahais to wine and opium, we have an impartial witness who writes his experience without prejudice or motive. Professor Browne, in his "A Year Among the Persians," tells of his social intercourse with the Babis, Azalis and Bahais. His prolonged stay in Kirman

[page 215]

was largely spent among the Bahais. He became so intimate with them as to be considered one of them by many in the city. He joined in their convivialities and he gives us a simple narrative of everyday events and experiences. Read the volume from page 475 to 540 and see how many of the Bahais lived in the habitual use of wine and opium. It is shocking and shows what goes on behind their doors. No other one has had opportunity to see and reveal their hidden life. One and another and another of the Bahais is referred to by name and occupation as addicted to intoxicants. [1] Sheikh Ibrahim "is a drunkard and a libertine"; Usta Akbar, the peaparcher, "returned in a state of boastful intoxication, talking blasphemous nonsense"; the son of the Bahai postmaster "wants money to get drunk and play the libertine"; Haji Shirazi is "a drinker and a libertine" and a reviler; another is a victim of copious libations of beer; another a drunkard and blasphemous in his cups.

      Regarding the use of opium they appear to be worse. It seems to be a common habit among them. See pages 499, 500, 505, 520, 524, 525, 540. Of certain dinners Professor Browne says, "All present were Babis (Bahais) and we sat sipping our tea and whiffing opium." "We sat talking late and smoking opium." "The wildest ascriptions of Deity to Baha were made when intoxicated with wine and opium: then they praised the 'Beloved. " "The poor lad, the son of the telegrapher whom I

1. Pages 436, 517, 524, 540.

[page 216]

had seen smoking opium, was dead." "A Bahai dervish was engaged in smoking an opium pipe." The Prince secretary, an Azali Babi, "was a confirmed opium smoker." Browne even joined the Bahais in the use of opium and almost became a victim of the habit. On one occasion [1] they secretly filled his pipe with hashish (Bhang). He recognized the taste and refused it. Why did they do so? Would they possibly have shown him visions with the hope of persuading him of the truth of Bahaism? Maybe some such incidents are the basis of the Moslem accusations against the Bahais of using hashish on neophytes. The point of the above citations is plain. Bahaism does not exercise the transforming power that is claimed for it. The Persian Bahais are yet in the bonds of iniquity. The boasts of Bahais are ungrounded. What of Abul Fazl's question, [2] "Have you ever heard of a Bahai accused [3] of drinking

1. Pages 520--521.
2. "Bahai Proofs," p. 79.
3. The testimony of Mr. Getsinger that he saw the son of Baha Ullah under the influence of liquor is given in Chapter XI. The testimony of Professor Browne as to their habits is borne out, in a general way, without his personal experience, by others who have had long residence in Persia. Rev. W. A. Shedd, D. D., of Urumia writes, "Does the religion bring about a change of life and character? The reports given by Bahai travellers are glowing, but long residents in Persia have no such a tale to tell. The Bahais are not noticeably more honest, more truthful, more sober nor more reliable than others" (Missionary Review, Oct. 1911). J. D. Frame, M. D., of Resbt says (Moslem World, July, 1912), "The real test of a religion is its influence upon life. Repeatedly we have challenged the Bahais, "Show us from your personal lives a power to regenerate the lives of men." Rev. S. M. Jordan of Teheran writes ("The Mohammedan World," p. 179), "By neither Moslems, Jews, nor Christians are they considered morally superior to the Moslems, while in some respects they rightly are judged less so." The Rev. J. H. Shedd, D. D., writes, "The Bahai freedom runs to license, and hence as a reform leaves men worse rather than better. Mr. Browne found himself in the meshes of the opium habit in Kirman by yielding too freely to their influence. There is undoubtedly a generous fellowship in the Bahai community, but there is no moral principle. . . . There are no high and strong characters developed to lead the world in true reform, no high motives to virtue are developed. The seeds of its own destruction are in the system and the best argument against it will soon be its fruits" (R. E. Speer's " Missions and Modern History," p. 182).

[page 217]

wine ? [1] None are accused of evil deeds or bad morals." Again Sprague says, "The conditions of the Millennium are already visible among these people," and Thornton Chase declares, "It brings men to a higher conception of duty and life than has been the heritage of the churches." How blind to facts is such faith!

1. Bahai Proofs," p.82

Chapter 8     Chapter 10

Home ][ Sacred Writings ][ Bulletin board
Primary sources ][ Secondary sources ][ Resources
Links ][ Personal pages ][ Other sites

Google distinguishes accents, e.g. "Babi" and "Bábí"
return different results. See more search tips.