reasons why the bahai faith is not a cult

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British_Bahai
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reasons why the bahai faith is not a cult

Postby British_Bahai » Thu Nov 22, 2007 8:26 am

A good refence point

http://bahai-library.com/essays/cult.html

Im sure weve all come across random people online that have posted things claiming that the bahai faith is a cult because they do xyz (a list of absurd & made-up things which the bahais are meant to do - showing that they have absolutely no idea of what the bahai faith is!)

Anyways this article should be useful to anyone, bahai or non-bahai likewise.

BruceDLimber
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Re: (good article) reasons why the bahai faith is not a cult

Postby BruceDLimber » Fri Nov 23, 2007 11:09 am

Hi!

I can provide a quick-and-easy reply to this topic!

Here it is.

Best, :-)

Bruce

- - - - -

Based on Combating Cult Mind Control" by Steven Hassan, here are the criteria for determining "cults":

1. How new members are found.


Dangerous Cults: With many cults, you don't get to know what you are getting into until after you have made a commitment.

Baha'i Faith: What you see is what you get: there are no secrets.


2. How funding is obtained.

Dangerous Cults: Commercial operations and/or mandatory donations (often large percentages) by members.

Baha'i Faith: Has no commercial businesses, collection plates are never passed, and donations are completely voluntary and accepted from enrolled members only.


3. Charismatic central figure.

Dangerous Cults: Cults usually have a central living figure who often lives on income from adherents.

Baha'i Faith: There is no living central figure in the Baha'i Faith (and there has been none since 1957); government is by bodies freely elected from the membership. There is no clergy, paid or unpaid.


4. Investigation of truth.

Dangerous Cults: Members are often told that it is dangerous to investigate other religions.

Baha'i Faith: Baha'is are encouraged to investigate all religions, and to appreciate truth no matter where it is found.


5. Behavior control, as defined by Hassan. *

Dangerous Cults: Persons may be told where to live, what to wear, or what (and how much) to eat. Sleep and freedom to travel or move about may be limited.

Baha'i Faith: Baha'is do not live in communes, but in the world as normal individuals and families. They wear no special or required clothing. The religion has no food requirements other than abstaining from alcohol, and the annual nineteen-day fast during which food and drink is not consumed during daylight hours only. Baha'is may get as much sleep as they want, eat whatever they want, work and live where they want.


6. Thought control as defined by Hassan. *

Dangerous Cults: There is often use of "thought-stopping" techniques such as chanting or speaking in tongues for long periods of time, setting up a type of hypnotic atmosphere.

Baha'i Faith: Chanting and prayer are not prolonged, nor is their intent to block thought. There is no speaking in tongues. Thought and investigation are encouraged.


7. Emotional control, as defined by Hassan. *

Dangerous Cults: Guilt and fear are often used to control members, including alternating praise and public humiliation or forced confession, and indoctrination against leaving the group.

Baha'i Faith: Confession to and humiliation of others are forbidden. Members are free to leave the Faith at any time if they so choose, without stigma.


8. What happens when people leave the religion.

Dangerous Cults: People who leave cults are often considered to be dangerous and are usually shunned.

Baha'i Faith: Baha'is are generally permitted and encouraged to remain friends with people who leave. The only exception is in the case of a person declared to be a "Covenant breaker" by the Universal House of Justice due to an attempt to split the Baha'i Faith. There is no condemnation of those who voluntarily choose to leave.

o O o

* Hassan, Steven, Combating Cult Mind Control, Park Street Press, One Park Street, Rochester, Vermont 05767, 1988, ISBN 0-89281-311-3. "The Four Components of Mind Control", pages 59-67.


__________________________________
I formatted this so that its easier to read,
-british_bahai, 23rd Nov 2007.

British_Bahai
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Re: (good article) reasons why the bahai faith is not a cult

Postby British_Bahai » Sat Jan 05, 2008 2:40 pm

BruceDLimber wrote:* Hassan, Steven, Combating Cult Mind Control, Park Street Press, One Park Street, Rochester, Vermont 05767, 1988, ISBN 0-89281-311-3. "The Four Components of Mind Control", pages 59-67.


This is the book on Amazon, if anyone is interested:

http://www.amazon.com/Combatting-Cult-M ... 0892813113

BruceDLimber
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Re: (good article) reasons why the bahai faith is not a cult

Postby BruceDLimber » Mon Jan 07, 2008 8:09 am

british_bahai wrote:
BruceDLimber wrote:* Hassan, Steven, Combating Cult Mind Control, Park Street Press, One Park Street, Rochester, Vermont 05767, 1988, ISBN 0-89281-311-3. "The Four Components of Mind Control", pages 59-67.


This is the book on Amazon, if anyone is interested:

http://www.amazon.com/Combatting-Cult-M ... 0892813113


BB, do you happen to know whether or not the book mentions the Baha'i Faith specifically (presumably, by way ov exonerating it)?

I don't know.

Best regards, :-)

Bruce

British_Bahai
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Postby British_Bahai » Mon Jan 07, 2008 9:58 am

I havent bought the book (I just gave a reference to it on amazon, thats all)

iranpour
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Re: reasons why the bahai faith is not a cult

Postby iranpour » Thu May 02, 2013 3:33 pm

Let’s define RELIGION and see whether the Baha’i Faith is a religion or not, rather than searching for definition of CULT. If it coincides with the definition of religion, it is a religion and not a cult:

There are numerous definitions of religion and only a few are stated here.

A cause, principle, or system of beliefs held to with ardor and faith.

A set of beliefs concerning the cause, nature, and purpose of the universe, especially when considered as the creation of a superhuman agency or agencies, usually involving devotional and ritual observances, and often containing a moral code governing the conduct of human affairs.

Belief in and reverence for a supernatural power or powers regarded as creator and governor of the universe.

Human beings' relation to that which they regard as holy, sacred, spiritual, or divine.

Religion is an organized collection of belief systems, cultural systems, and world views that relate humanity to spirituality and, sometimes, to moral values.[

The best definition for “RELIGION” is from ‘Abdu’l-Baha as follows:

Religion, then, is the necessary connection which emanates from the reality of things; and as the supreme Manifestations of God are aware of the mysteries of beings, therefore, They understand this essential connection, and by this knowledge establish the Law of God. (Abdu'l-Baha, Some Answered Questions, p. 158)

What do you think, is Baha'i Faith a RELIGION or a CULT?

BruceDLimber
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Re: reasons why the bahai faith is not a cult

Postby BruceDLimber » Fri May 03, 2013 7:31 am

iranpour wrote:What do you think: is Baha'i Faith a RELIGION or a CULT?


All I can say is to refer you to my post #2 (above).

Peace, :-)

Bruce

MontanaDon
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Re: reasons why the bahai faith is not a cult

Postby MontanaDon » Fri May 03, 2013 10:04 am

iranpour -
The people who believe the Faith is a cult do not accept your definitions of religion. They believe that the term should be restricted to people who generally believe as they do, usually some type of fundamentalism.

I can remember back in the 80's when some of these people took out large ads in major newspapers accusing various groups, including some Christian denominations and independent churches, of being "cults".

Don C
----------
Understood properly, all man's problems are essentially spiritual in nature.

iranpour
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Re: reasons why the bahai faith is not a cult

Postby iranpour » Tue May 07, 2013 10:45 am

Hello BruceDLimber

I had read your post before and read it again and found it wonderful. What I was suggested was that the two proofs are complementary because the first that you did well, remove the conception of “the Faith being a cult” and the second reminds them that the definition for religion has to supersede the previous way of thinking and the declarer finds that the definition of cult as you proved doesn’t confine the Baha’i Faith but on the contrary the definition of religion confines it minutely.

By definition of religion I don’t mean what did I mentioned in my previous post, the definition of religion, but what religion should be and we have to mention all the distinguishing features of a real religion as “THE KNOWLEDGE OF THEIR FOUNDERS IS INNATE AND SPONTANEOUS AND NOT ACQUIRED”, “THEY ARE THE EDUCATORS OF THE WORLD OF HUMANITY AND CREATE A NEW CREATION”, “THE BELIEVERS ARE DETACHED FROM WORLDLY THINGS AND SACRIFICE THEMSELVES FOR THE PROGRESS OF THEIR FAITH DESPITE BEING OFFERED FREEDOM AND TO BE LEFT UNHARMED IF THEY WOULD DENY THEIR FAITH AND they do not fear death as specified by the Qur’an, “then express your desire for Death, if ye are truthful!”, “THE MAIN PROOF OF A FAITH IS ITS FRUITS, THE REVEALED BOOKS”, “RELIGION UNITES THE HEARTS OF THE PEOPLE IN THE DAY OF GATHERING (Yumu’l-Hashr), “RELIGION BRINGS JUSTICE TO THE WORLD BY THE UNERRING BALANCE OF DIVINE LAWS”, ETC. ETC.

By the way, I have written a detailed answer to the questions of Abbas regarding Mahdi but I don’t know whether He is still accessible in the Forum.

Best regards, Iranpour

Fadl
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Re: reasons why the bahai faith is not a cult

Postby Fadl » Sun Jun 02, 2013 10:36 am

Friends,

I'm not sure if 'cult' or 'religion' are significantly different designations. It is true that the word 'cult' is more often intended to be derogatory, however, even the word 'religion' has come to carry a certain negative connotation in recent times.

I am reminded of a particular religion whose cultic origin has been obscured with the dust of passing of millennia. It was a little known Jewish cult that in its beginning was considerably dangerous and hazardous to belong to, and it was naturally viewed with a considerable amount of suspicion and mistrust. Members of this cult were subject to losing their property, denied access to education and vocation, suffered severe persecution, and even death. Despite its maligned and hazardous reputation, at some point it managed to out grow pretty much all the other cults of its day, until, eventually, people stopped calling it 'cult' or even 'Jewish' and everyone just called it 'religion' or 'Christianity,' the name by which this cult is better known today.

I mention this, only because this ancient cult reminds me a great deal of a more recent cult, a cult which, many people have never heard of but I belong to. It's often accused of being an 'Islamic cult' but, I, and others who belong to it, prefer to call it "Baha'i Faith."
"Thus doth the Nightingale utter His call unto you from this prison. He hath but to deliver this clear message. Whosoever desireth, let him turn aside from this counsel and whosoever desireth let him choose the path to his Lord." - Baha'u'llah

BritishBahai
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Re: reasons why the bahai faith is not a cult

Postby BritishBahai » Mon Jun 03, 2013 9:25 pm

Fadl wrote:Friends,

I'm not sure if 'cult' or 'religion' are significantly different designations. It is true that the word 'cult' is more often intended to be derogatory, however, even the word 'religion' has come to carry a certain negative connotation in recent times.

I am reminded of a particular religion whose cultic origin has been obscured with the dust of passing of millennia. It was a little known Jewish cult that in its beginning was considerably dangerous and hazardous to belong to, and it was naturally viewed with a considerable amount of suspicion and mistrust. Members of this cult were subject to losing their property, denied access to education and vocation, suffered severe persecution, and even death. Despite its maligned and hazardous reputation, at some point it managed to out grow pretty much all the other cults of its day, until, eventually, people stopped calling it 'cult' or even 'Jewish' and everyone just called it 'religion' or 'Christianity,' the name by which this cult is better known today.

I mention this, only because this ancient cult reminds me a great deal of a more recent cult, a cult which, many people have never heard of but I belong to. It's often accused of being an 'Islamic cult' but, I, and others who belong to it, prefer to call it "Baha'i Faith.
"

...which brings me to the point of this thread ... :wink:
"I have desired only what Thou didst desire, and love only what Thou dost love"


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