Discussion of Covenant-breakers

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brettz9
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Discussion of Covenant-breakers

Postby brettz9 » Sun Sep 07, 2008 9:29 pm

Hello all,

I wanted to draw to everyone's attention a few quotations on Covenant-breaking, in the event that we may be focusing too much on it.

The following are from the compilation "Non-association with Covenant-breakers".

Any plans that you have to alert the friends to Covenant-breaker activity on the Internet should, of course, be undertaken with wisdom and discretion so as to avoid giving Covenant-breakers more attention or prominence than they would otherwise receive.
(From a letter dated 4 May 1997 written on behalf of the Universal House of Justice to a National Spiritual Assembly, in "Non-association with Covenant-breakers", no. 30))


In principle, no person can be considered a Covenant-breaker unless he has been so designated by the Head of the Faith. However, it is strongly advised not to associate with those who have fallen under the pernicious influence of groups such as the "Orthodox Bahá'ís". They are infected with the spirit of Covenant-breaking, even if they are not all designated as such. Accordingly, the friends should not answer queries from individuals who obviously seek to draw them into the consideration of the spurious claims and logic of the Covenant-breakers.

(From a letter dated 3 July 1997 written on behalf of the Universal House of Justice to an individual, in "Non-association with Covenant-breakers", no. 28)


The greatest protection to the Faith will not be through intervention on either open or closed electronic forums, but through ongoing deepening of the Bahá'í community in the Covenant and the history and Teachings of the Faith.
(From a letter dated 24 February 1995 written by the International Teaching Centre to a Continental Board of Counsellors, in "Non-association with Covenant-breakers", no. 33))


I personally make a distinction between individuals (especially non-Baha'is who are not obligated by their belief to fully study the provisions of our own Covenant) who ask honest questions here and to whom I think we can and should respond, and those who are obviously trying to stir up trouble. But my point in raising this topic was more to avoid our giving undue emphasis to these individuals.

There has also been talk of discussing with Covenant-breakers, and this is explicitly forbidden in a number of places:

And now, one of the greatest and most fundamental principles of the Cause of God is to shun and avoid entirely the Covenant-breakers, for they will utterly destroy the Cause of God, exterminate His Law and render of no account all efforts exerted in the past.
(Bahá'í World Faith, p. 448)


Again, I don't mean this to deter honest questions at this forum on what might be the motives of Covenant-breakers, how to deal with encountering them, etc., but simply to point out that we are to avoid being drawn "into the consideration of the spurious claims and logic of the Covenant-breakers" and to avoid "giving Covenant-breakers more attention or prominence than they would otherwise receive."

best wishes,
Brett

onepence~2
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Re: Discussion of Covenant-breakers

Postby onepence~2 » Sun Sep 07, 2008 11:43 pm

yes ... Covenant-breaking ...a very sad subject ...

often we are silent so as to not encourage Covenant-breaking activity

odd though how fate and destiny is so intertwined

](*,)

found a very interesting site
http://covenantstudy.org/contents/

especially enjoyed

What kinds of challenges will the Covenant face in the future?

Keyvan
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Re: Discussion of Covenant-breakers

Postby Keyvan » Mon Sep 08, 2008 5:16 pm

Thanks Brett, I agree totally. I think its being discussed to much, as discussion f them and their claims gives them the attention they want..

I think as a historical discussion its fine, but when we go in and discuss their claims and refute them it just gives them what they want. It makes their claims look like a critical issue, when they have been an open and shut case decades and decades ago and are irrelevant in any modern day discussion.

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Re: Discussion of Covenant-breakers

Postby AdibM » Tue Sep 23, 2008 8:41 pm

I wrote a little something today that took about 20 minutes, basically just stating which institutions these covenant-breakers have discrepancies with. Not sure if it will prove useful to this discussion at all, but at least you'll all know who has a problem with who. Please correct me anywhere if I'm wrong.

____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

There are currently (Sep 2008) no groups that claim to be Bahá'í denominations who have any discrepancies with the personages and ontological realities of The Báb or Bahá'u'lláh.

The only group to have ever significantly spoken out against the station of `Abdu'l-Baha while claiming that they themselves are true Baha'is were those that followed Mirzá Muhammad-Ali and his band of dissidents, of which Ibrahim Kheirulláh was a part. There are apparently no more than three websites, all hosted by the same provider, that exonerate and attempt to portray the righteousness of the aforementioned men. According to these sites, those that follow Mirzá Muhammad-Ali and Kheirulláh refer to themselves as "Unitarian Bahá'ís". The sites also attempt to abase the station of `Abdu'l-Bahá to a disingenuous liar through either unsourced means or by citing E.G. Browne, most likely in his period of disenchantment from the Faith. Their whereabouts in the world are unknown.

The only organized "Bahá'í" groups with an Internet presence who reject the legitimacy of `Abdu'l-Bahá's Will and Testament are the "Reform Bahá'í Faith" and the "Free Bahá'ís". They are the adherents of Ruth White and Ahmad Sohrab, both of whom asserted that the Will and Testament was a forgery. They both have websites, and the latter has one or two papers about Ruth White. The "Reform Bahá'ís" are led by Frederick Glaysher and the leadership of the "Free Bahá'ís" is unknown, to my knowledge. I have assumed from a glance of both of their sites that their teachings are, by and large, uniform. Their worldwide presence is unknown as well: to my knowledge, only one Indian man has publicly proclaimed his membership in the "Reform Bahá'í Faith" but has revoked that statement since then. In addition, Glaysher no longer discloses "Reform Bahá'í" statistics. The "Free Bahá'ís" claim a significant presence in one or two European and Asian countries alike, but there is obviously no empirical data to substantiate this and I have never heard of anyone that belongs to this organization.

And of course, all of the other existing "Bahá'í sects" came to fruition one way or another as a result of Remey's deviance following the passing of Shoghi Effendi and the entrustment of Bahá'í leadership to the Custodians, namely:

1. The "Tarbiyat Bahá'ís" (formerly known as the "Regency Bahá'ís"), who appear to be restricted to a single community in Las Vegas, New Mexico, and who were once led by Reginald King, ex-NSA member of France, viewed as a "Guardian".

2. The "Bahá'ís Loyal to the Fourth Guardian" led by Jacques Soghomonian, also an ex-NSA member of France who was viewed as "the Fourth Guardian" hence the name of the group. Their whereabouts and statistics have not been publicly disclosed and remain unknown.

3. The "Bahá'ís Under the Provisions of the Covenant" which originated with Leland Jensen, who has been confronted with the charge of committing a "lewd and lascivious act" with a teenage girl. Their peak number has most likely never exceeded 200, and they almost definitely number fewer than 100 people at this juncture. They are currently led by Neal Chase, their "Guardian", who has made several "prophecies" such as Saddam's execution. The community is restricted to Missoula, Montana.

4. The "Orthodox Bahá'ís", the very association that Remey created and is currently led by Joel Marangella, their "Guardian". Memorandums from a 2007 court case state their membership in the United States totals approximately 40. Websites claiming to represent the Orthodox community indicate followers in the United States and India.

The above four groups all came into existence through Remey's qualms with the Custodians when they assumed leadership following the passing of Shoghi Effendi. Remey stated that the Baha'i Faith still needed a Guardian and that he was, in fact, to be the second one. Therefore, it is evident that these four groups disregard the legitimacy of the Hands of the Cause - considering at least the latter two of the four listed above have their own "Guardian" and "Hands of the Cause" - and ultimately the House of Justice located in Haifa, Israel.
"To be a Bahá'í simply means to love all the world; to love humanity and try to serve it; to work for universal peace and universal brotherhood." -- `Abdu'l-Bahá

brettz9
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Re: Discussion of Covenant-breakers

Postby brettz9 » Tue Sep 23, 2008 10:03 pm

AdibM wrote:The above four groups all came into existence through Remey's qualms with the Custodians when they assumed leadership following the passing of Shoghi Effendi.


Here is a statement which Remey himself signed:

UNANIMOUS PROCLAMATION OF THE 27 HANDS OF THE CAUSE OF GOD

Mansion of Bahá'u'lláh
Bahji, 'Akka, Israel
November 25, 1957

We the undersigned:

Ruhiyyih Rabbani
Charles Mason Remey (who is President of the International Bahá'í Council)
Amelia E. Collins (who is Vice President of the International Bahá'í Council)
Leroy C. Ioas (who is Secretary General of the International Bahá'í Council)
Dr. Ugo Giachery, (who is member-at-large of the International Bahá'í Council and Chairman of the National Spiritual Assembly of the Bahá'ís of Switzerland)
Hasan M. Balyuzi (who is Chairman of the National Spiritual Assembly of the Bahá'ís of the British Isles)
Shoaullah Ala'i (who is Chairman of the National Spiritual Assembly of the Bahá'ís of Iran)
Ali Akbar Furutan (who is Secretary of the National Spiritual Assembly of the Bahá'ís of Iran)
Zikrullah Khadem (who is Treasurer of the National Spiritual Assembly of the Bahá'ís of Iran)
Dr. Ali Mohammad Varqa (who is a member of the National Spiritual Assembly of the Bahá'ís of Iran)
Tarazu'llah Samandari (who is a resident of Shiraz, Iran)
Djalal Khazeh (who is a resident of Teheran, Iran)

+29

John Ferraby (who is Secretary of the National Spiritual Assembly of the Bahá'ís of the British Isles
Paul E. Haney (who is Chairman of the National Spiritual Assembly of the Bahá'ís of the United States)
Horace Holley (who is Secretary of the National Spiritual Assembly of the Bahá'ís of the United States)
Abul Qasim F. Teherani
Dr. Adelbert Muhlschlegel (who is a member of the National Spiritual Assembly of the Bahá'ís of Germany and Austria)
Dr. Hermann Grossmann (who is a resident of Neckargemind, Germany)
Musa Banani (who is a resident of Kampala, Uganda)
William Sears (who is Chairman of the National Spiritual Assembly of the Bahá'ís of South and West Africa)
John Robarts, (who is Recording Secretary of the National Spiritual Assembly of the Bahá'ís of South and West Africa)
Enoch Olinga, (who is a member of the National Spiritual Assembly of the Bahá'ís of North West Africa)
Agnes Alexander (who is a member of the National Spiritual Assembly of the Bahá'ís of North East Asia)
H. Collis Featherstone (who is Chairman of the National Spiritual Assembly of the Bahá'ís of Australia)
Clara Dunn (who is a resident of Sydney, Australia)
Dr. Rahmatu'llah Mohajer (who is a member of the National Spiritual Assembly of the Bahá'ís of South-East Asia)

in our capacity as Hands of the Cause of God duly nominated and appointed by the Guardian of the Bahá'í Faith, His Eminence the late Shoghi Effendi Rabbani, assembled this 25th of November, 1957 at the Bahá'í World Centre and constituting the supreme body of the Bahá'í World Community

DO HEREBY UNANIMOUSLY RESOLVE AND PROCLAIM AS FOLLOWS:

WHEREAS THE Guardian of the Bahá'í Faith, His Eminence the late Shoghi Effendi Rabbani, passed away in London (England) on the 4th of November, 1957, without having appointed his successor;
AND WHEREAS it is now fallen upon us as Chief Stewards of the Bahá'í World Faith to preserve the unity, the security and the development of the Bahá'í World Community and all its institutions;
AND WHEREAS in accordance with the Will and Testament of 'Abdu'l-Bahá) "the Hands of the Cause of God must elect from their own number nine persons that shall at all times be occupied in the important services in the work of the Guardian of the Cause of God";


+30

We nominate and appoint from our own number to act on our behalf as the Custodians of the Bahá'í World Faith

Ruhiyyih Rabbani
Charles Mason Remey
Amelia E. Collins
Leroy C. Ioas
Hasan Balyuzi
'Ali-Akbar Furutan
Jalal Khazeh
Paul E. Haney
Adelbert Muhlschlegel

to exercise-subject to such directions and decisions as may be given from time to time by us as the Chief Stewards of the Bahá'í World Faith-all such functions, rights and powers in succession to the Guardian of the Bahá'í Faith, His Eminence the late Shoghi Effendi Rabbani, as are necessary to serve the interests of the Bahá'í World Faith, and this until such time as the Universal House of Justice, upon being duly established and elected in conformity with the Sacred Writings of Bahá'u'lláh and the Will and Testament of 'Abdu'l-Bahá, may otherwise determine.

[Signed as follows]
Ruhiyyih Rabbani Zikrullah Khadem M.B. Musa Banani
Charles Mason Remey Ali Mohammad Varqa William Sears
Amelia E. Collins T. Samandari John Robarts
Leroy C. Ioas Djalal Khazeh Enoch Olinga
Ugo Giachery John Ferraby Agnes B. Alexander
Hasan M. Balyuzi Paul E. Haney H. Collis Featherstone
Shoaullah Alai Horace Holley Clara Dunn
Ali Akbar Furutan Abul Qasim F. Teherani Dr. R. Mohajer
Hermann Grossmann Dr. Adelbert Muhlschlegel


He signed another document stating "the authority to expel violators from the Faith shall be vested in the body of nine Hands, acting on reports and recommendations submitted by Hands from their respective continents." and one stating "...the entire body of the Hands, assembled by the nine Hands of the World Centre, will decide when and how the International Bahá'í Council is to evolve through the successive stages outlined by the Guardian, culminating in the call to election of the Universal House of Justice by the membership of all National Spiritual Assemblies." Interesting how an "infallible" Guardian would fully contradict himself later; not only contradict himself in doctrine, but outright lie in that he had earlier signed a statement that said Shoghi Effendi had "passed away...without having appointed his successor".

One letter he signed describes how the sadness of the passing of the Guardian did not mean his legacy was lost. The same letter stated "These same Hands, rejoining the other Hands assembled in the Mansion of Bahá'u'lláh at Bahji, certified that Shoghi Effendi had left no Will and Testament. It was likewise certified that the beloved Guardian had left no heir. The Aghsan (branches) one and all are either dead or have been declared violators of the Covenant by the Guardian for their faithlessness to the Master's Will and Testament and their hostility to him named first Guardian in that sacred document. "

This is nothing to speak of the obviousness of various points within the Will and Testament of 'Abdu'l-Baha absolutely preventing another Guardian from being chosen given the circumstances.

Stating that Remey had "qualms" with the Hands makes it sound like he actually believed his attempted power grab was legitimate.

Brett

AdibM
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Re: Discussion of Covenant-breakers

Postby AdibM » Tue Sep 23, 2008 10:20 pm

Yeah, I'm aware of his signing of those documents - still find it pretty ironic. :lol:

brettz9 wrote:Stating that Remey had "qualms" with the Hands makes it sound like he actually believed his attempted power grab was legitimate.


I'm probably confused here; I mean, of course we all know that his attempt at usurping the Guardianship was anything but legitimate, but if he himself had not believed in its potential legitimacy through his manipulation of "Aghsan" in the Will and Testament (or did I get that wrong?), then why would he attempt to make that power grab to begin with? Again, I'm aware that he totally contradicted himself by making those statements even after signing the documents stating that the one and only Guardian has passed on, but I feel like I'm missing an important piece of information here.
"To be a Bahá'í simply means to love all the world; to love humanity and try to serve it; to work for universal peace and universal brotherhood." -- `Abdu'l-Bahá

onepence~2
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Re: Discussion of Covenant-breakers

Postby onepence~2 » Wed Sep 24, 2008 1:45 am

AdibM wrote: ... I feel like I'm missing an important piece of information here.


The question would be ... Who influenced Remey in such a way as to convince him that he should go public with his claim ... ???

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Re: Discussion of Covenant-breakers

Postby brettz9 » Wed Sep 24, 2008 5:05 am

if he himself had not believed in its potential legitimacy through his manipulation of "Aghsan" in the Will and Testament (or did I get that wrong?), then why would he attempt to make that power grab to begin with?


Beyond Onepence's suggestion about being influenced by another, here's one quotation about motives:

The personal failings that lead people to violate the Covenant to which they know they have committed themselves have been described by the Guardian as "the blind hatred, the unbounded presumption, the incredible folly, the abject perfidy, the vaulting ambition" which, in varying degrees, afflict the persons concerned. While some of these may have been duped by others, 'Abdu'l-Baha has said of them: These do not doubt the validity of the Covenant, but selfish motives have dragged them to this condition. It is not that they do not know what they do--they are perfectly aware and still they exhibit opposition.

http://bahai-library.org/uhj/c-breakers.and.remey.html


Why do some dictators seek to find some pretext to legitimize their power grabs (or why do politicians lie about their opponents or distort one incident in their own life to make it appear that they had done something grand)? It's just selfishness. On the surface, pretexts may provide "legitimacy" to those who are not aware of the actual facts. The computer world similarly has the term FUD (Fear, Uncertainty, Doubt) to refer to how some companies just seek to raise suspicions and fears about other companies (or about open source), even without being able to establish the truth of their claims. It is just greed, plain and simple.

These examples all are based on selfish individuals who seek to depend on the naivete of others. Where these examples, differ, however, is that while politicians may get away with their deceptions (in this world), Baha'u'llah has guaranteed that no significant permanent schism in the Faith would occur (as has held up).

best wishes,
Brett

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Re: Discussion of Covenant-breakers

Postby AdibM » Wed Sep 24, 2008 7:10 am

Ah I see, thanks Brett. Onepence, I see you're referring to Marangella, and I had forgotten about his role altogether. #-o

brettz9 wrote:Baha'u'llah has guaranteed that no significant permanent schism in the Faith would occur (as has held up)


Indeed! All of the groups I mentioned combined have a membership of no more than 300 people worldwide, and that number has only been declining since the groups' respective inceptions.
"To be a Bahá'í simply means to love all the world; to love humanity and try to serve it; to work for universal peace and universal brotherhood." -- `Abdu'l-Bahá

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Re: Discussion of Covenant-breakers

Postby MontanaDon » Thu Sep 25, 2008 9:01 am

AdibM wrote:I wrote a little something today that took about 20 minutes, basically just stating which institutions these covenant-breakers have discrepancies with. Not sure if it will prove useful to this discussion at all, but at least you'll all know who has a problem with who. Please correct me anywhere if I'm wrong.


A few comments based on my impressions -
Unitarian Baha'is - They appear to be descendants of Muhammad Ali living mostly in Israel, Lebanon and the U.S, and perhaps Australia. Their primary goal appears to be to regain control of the family business and thus access to Huquq'u'llah and the Israel properties. While their numbers are very small; I'm sure they would burgeon if one of their periodic law suits were successful.

Free Baha'is - I don't think either White or Sohrab ever referred to themselves as Free Baha'is. That's a term developed by Hermann Zimmer. He agreed with White, but by the time he really got going, she had become a follower of Meher Baba. Sohrab's organization was The New History Society and then the Caravan of the East and the West. There can never be any kind of organization for the Free Baha'is, because that is the core theological difference they have with the Baha'i Faith - that it can't be organized, that nobody is really in charge.

BUPC - Jensenites: When Jensen died, the whole thing kind of imploded. While at one time he may have commanded the allegiance of as many as 1000 followers, by the mid 90's this had declined considerably. Not only were there the failed prophecies, but the new age type rhetoric, pyramidology and the like, simply did not interest people any more. For many, the final straw was their reaching out to the Christian Identity movement. After his death, it was discovered that he hadn't made arrangements for his house, the "World Headquarters", to go to the organization. His family came in, claimed exclusive rights under Montana inheritance law, kicked the BUPC out and sold the house. Neal Chase, who was president of the so-called Second International Baha'i Council, got into a power struggle with the secretary, David ???. They each declared the other CB's and the whole thing went to court over control of the few remaining assets. Last I knew, it was going to be heard by the Montana Supreme Court. In addition to those two factions, there was an unaligned faction. It appears most of them have gone over to Soghomonian.

Orthodox Baha'is - actually, this has been determined by the courts not to be the organization that Remey founded, but an independent organization founded by Marangella.

Soghomonian - He's in France, in the Marseilles area as I remember. They are only loosely organized. As I understand it, they believe that all they have to do is wait and bide their time, and the House of Justice will come to it's senses and recognize him or one of his successors as Guardian.

A third claimant to Guardian? - I've heard that Ali Nakhjavani has said there is a 3rd claimant to Guardian, living in Australia. But I don't know what this is based on. Perhaps one of Nima Hazimi's claims?

I'm not convinced there will not always be some form of splinter groups; just that they will never amount to anything.

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

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Re: Discussion of Covenant-breakers

Postby AdibM » Thu Sep 25, 2008 1:12 pm

Thank you so much for all of that valuable information, Don.

I would venture to guess that Nima Hazini might have made that claim, but I find it somewhat unlikely considering he hates Baha'is and Baha'i apostates equally, and has essentially changed his name to "Wahid Azal" (I've seen him refer to himself as "Amavand" in some places). I've also seen him refer to himself as a "Gnostic Bayani". I think he's just very confused. If he did make such a claim, it was probably an attempt to create confusion in the Baha'i world or make a bigger name for himself; an attempt that utterly failed.

Oh, one thing: I can see that the "Orthodox Baha'is" really did originate with Marangella. Did Remey have any organization or fold that he could call his own, then? I'm sure it probably wouldn't be the "Remeyites" or "Remey Society" that Francis Spataro made a while back (and is now defunct).
"To be a Bahá'í simply means to love all the world; to love humanity and try to serve it; to work for universal peace and universal brotherhood." -- `Abdu'l-Bahá

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The Nima Hazini / "Wahid Azal" Story

Postby Keyvan » Mon Oct 06, 2008 3:43 pm

Well Nima Hazini's story as I have pieced it together is like this,

He was originally a Baha'i. Then he had issue with being obedient to the institutions of Guardianship and the Universal House of Justice. In web forums from the 90's he would talk about how he felt maybe the Will and Testament of Abdu'l Baha can be stretched from its understood meaning without questioning its validity. After struggling with this idea he later realized that Shoghi Effendi and the Universal House of Justice could not be questioned because that would mean questioning the Will and Testament, and that meant questioning Abdu'l Baha, which meant questioning Baha'u'llah.

Struggling with this some more he then determined his only way to find a break in the chain was to question Baha'u'llah Himself, denying His Station, as though Baha'u'llah was not the Promised One, of which The Bab had prophesied - this was the only way he could reconcile his confused beliefs. Thus, becoming a self-proclaimed Azali. As odd and as fringe as covenant breaking is, for the 21st century this type of covenant breaking is probably the oddest of them all. Being all alone in this new determination of his, and with his delusions of grandeur he adopted a new name "Wahid Azal" to put himself in line with Azali leadership of over a century ago. (Anikan Skywalker ---> Darth Vader)

In taking on this new persona and new set of beliefs, Hazini adopted the same conspiracy theories against Baha'i's and Baha'u'llah and the Holy Family that the bitter Azali's had been propagating ages ago. He then mixed these fabrications in with his own personal lies, as well as the anti-Baha'i propaganda created by the Hojjatieh Society and the Islamic Republic of Iran.

His goal, as he describes it, is to destroy the Baha'i Faith, and to achieve these ends he propagates these conspiracy theories throughout the internet as much as he can. Nothing has stuck, but in his obsession he stays on the Internet all day and night trying to flood Baha'i message boards with propaganda and arguing with rational people. My assumption of why he does this is that he has this deeply rooted sub-conscious psychological need to win over converts to his side so he won't feel so alone. He cannot bear for a movement to exist which walks over his beliefs, and by nature of its perceived validity would render him unbalenced and misguided - part of his egomania. He's been doing this for years and probably will never stop. He's hopeless.

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Re: Discussion of Covenant-breakers

Postby AdibM » Mon Oct 06, 2008 5:12 pm

Indeed; I've seen him before at Bahairants and a newsgroup where he has personally insulted you with very immature comments. I find it depressing that someone researching Neoplatonism in the Baha'i Faith - a subject on which he actually gave a talk here in Austin back in the 90s, though as to whether it was at our Center or for a Baha'i Studies Conference I wouldn't know as I was practically a toddler - has abased himself like this. But hey, "no man knoweth what his own end shall be" so I'll leave the guy to himself until he confronts me.
"To be a Bahá'í simply means to love all the world; to love humanity and try to serve it; to work for universal peace and universal brotherhood." -- `Abdu'l-Bahá

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One More Thing

Postby Keyvan » Mon Oct 06, 2008 7:58 pm

Yeah his insults are about the level of a fourth graders - he'll just curse you off and question your sexuality if you disagree with him.

I want to add another thing. He's also become very openly racist. He talks down to those that are not Iranian and has this fanatic sense that all things western are inferior to him and his culture. He'll call Iranians who disagree with him gharibzadeh (westernized).

I feel this is also why he became an Azali and not any other form of Covenant Breaker. I feel that in his fascist pride, he felt that if he were to simply try to reconcile his confused beliefs by excluding the authority of the Guardian and the Universal House of Justice that that would put him in line with "western" Covenant Breakers such as Fredrick Glaysher, or dissenters like Juan Cole. Basically if he was going to cross over, it was going to be to an "authentically Iranian" group.

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Re: Discussion of Covenant-breakers

Postby AdibM » Tue Oct 07, 2008 12:47 pm

That brings up another question: does anyone have any statistics on the Reform/Free Baha'is? Because the Free Baha'is website currently has a traffic rank of 24,405,002 according to Alexa, which is devastatingly low, and Glaysher's site's rank is 2,630,834, which is just barely more popular than Imran Shaykh's Bahaiawareness website. "Reformbahai.org" isn't even ranked for traffic data. Glaysher wouldn't disclose statistics when I asked for them, presumably because there are so little members or perhaps none at all.

And what is the difference between the two, if any? I now know that Zimmer coined the term "Free Baha'is" and that not even Ruth White had made her idea that concrete (hence their focus on both White and Zimmer), but when I look at Glaysher's absurd creation, it seems to be stressing more or less the same thing - except his replica of Luther's 95 Theses, which makes the idea altogether even more absurd.

From what I've gathered, the Free Baha'is stress ALL of our principles, as seen from their blog:

Free Baha'is is an ideological group trying to disseminate the True Faith of Baha'ullah. Some of it's Teachings: The elimination of prejudice. Spiritual solution of economic problems. Independent investigation of the truth. The establishment of a world government, based on principles of collective security and international justice. The oneness of humanity. A universal auxiliary language and script. A universal system of currency, weights, and measures.

...up until you get to the Will and Testament, meaning any of its fruit was all fraudulent and unintended. They want a Baha'i Faith with no administration which is completely illogical for such a goal-oriented religion: there can be no accomplishment on a global scale without organization.

But at least the Free Baha'is aren't too proud to admit to their overall paucity:

Today free Bahais are residing in different parts of the world like Germany, Russia, Israel, India, Iran, Dubai Sri Lanka and Bangladesh. Although few in number they are busy carrying out the teachings of Bahaullah and Abdul Baha, hoping one day the True "House of Justice will" be formed which will ward off any differences.

I'd imagine all of the countries listed are bluffs.

Glaysher won't even take that step, and he's not even blessed with his own section on Wikipedia's "Baha'i Divisions" article, likely because he's the only member. His "branch", again, seems to be the exact same thing, borrowing ideologies from Ruth White and perhaps Ahmad Sohrab, and putting his name on it for amalgamating it on a website.

Just wanting to know more. :)
"To be a Bahá'í simply means to love all the world; to love humanity and try to serve it; to work for universal peace and universal brotherhood." -- `Abdu'l-Bahá

brettz9
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Re: Discussion of Covenant-breakers

Postby brettz9 » Tue Oct 07, 2008 9:59 pm

Why are we talking about this?

Adib, if you consider yourself a Baha'i, why are you in contact with Covenant-breakers? It is a fundamental principle that we are to avoid them entirely. We are even to avoid those Baha'is or even ex-Baha'is who associate with Covenant-breakers.

"There is no excuse for believers continuing to associate with ... and those who, knowing everything, still insist on doing so, should be shunned by their fellow-Bahá'ís. The same applies to people who have left the Cause and associate with.... The point is that if the believers know and meet with people who are acquainted with Covenant-breakers there is no harm in this, for such individuals are not Bahá'ís and have nothing to do with the issues concerned. But those who have left the Cause, knowing all about such matters, and deliberately associate with Covenant-breakers, are well aware of what they do, and we must not associate with them at all. It is for the Local Assembly, guided by the N.S.A., to enforce such decisions and protect the Cause in its area of jurisdiction.

"The friends should, without too much dwelling on these negative things, be made to understand that some people are spiritually sick and that their disease is, alas, contagious. Some recover from it, as did Mr. ... whose heart could not rest till he returned to the fold; others do not. The Master and Bahá'u'lláh have taught us that associating with these souls is not likely to heal them at all, but on the contrary exposes one to grave danger of contagion. The history of the Faith has proved this over and over again. The only way we can prove to such people that they are wrong is to censure their conduct; if we sympathise with them we only fortify their perversity and waywardness."

(From a letter written on behalf of the Guardian to an individual believer, January 23, 1945, at http://bahai-library.com/index.php5?fil ... ter=2#n609 )


If discussion continues along this line, I am going to shut down this thread.

Keyvan, I'm going to give a warning one more time. Please...We have no place to say things like "He's hopeless.". This is contrary to both the Baha'i spirit and our explicit teachings, and I will remove any such content which is disparaging of individuals, whoever they may be, and whether it is true or not.

"Regarding Mr. ... question about the Covenant-breakers, Bahá'u'lláh and the Master in many places and very emphatically have told us to shun entirely all Covenant-breakers as they are afflicted with what we might try and define as a contagious spiritual disease; they have also told us, however, to pray for them. These souls are not lost forever. In the Aqdas, Bahá'u'lláh says that God will forgive Mirza Yahya if he repents. It follows, therefore, that God will forgive any soul if he repents. Most of them don't want to repent, unfortunately. If the leaders can be forgiven it goes without saying that their followers can also be forgiven.

(From a letter written on behalf of the Guardian to an individual believer, November 30, 1944: Principles of Bahá'í Administration, pp. 22-23)


Even if what is said against another person be true, the mentioning of his faults to others still comes under the category of backbiting, and is forbidden."

(From a letter written on behalf of Shoghi Effendi to the National Spiritual Assembly of the British Isles, February 11, 1925, no. 305)


While it may be tempting to allow ourselves to be unnerved by their attacks, we should not let ourselves be upset much less back-bite about them (and in so doing, give added attention to them). While being vigilant ourselves and within our own community, we are to consider their independent actions like the temporary foam of the ocean, or the play of children; it should not disturb us; they cannot succeed, as Baha'u'llah promised (and as time has demonstrated). We, on the other hand, can, as Baha'u'llah affirms, harm the Cause by our own actions, such as making it appear that we harbor religious animosities.

But, as far as our own connection to any of them, or as far as our community, it is wholly unambiguous that, while praying for them, we are to avoid them entirely.

Brett

AdibM
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Re: Discussion of Covenant-breakers

Postby AdibM » Tue Oct 07, 2008 10:12 pm

brettz9 wrote:Adib, if you consider yourself a Baha'i, why are you in contact with Covenant-breakers? It is a fundamental principle that we are to avoid them entirely. We are even to avoid those Baha'is or even ex-Baha'is who associate with Covenant-breakers.


I only sent Glaysher that one e-mail, but you're right nonetheless. I've learned my lesson anyway; I don't have any further interest in talking to any of those people and I essentially have nothing to gain in doing so. I wouldn't even think of holding an actual conversation with one about anything. I'm still curious as to their actual numbers - not that it actually means anything, but just to have as sort of fun facts to have handy if anyone I know happens to inquire about these groups. But yes, in the grand scheme of things, it doesn't actually matter. I do indeed consider myself a Baha'i and I pray I will always remain so. I was however being deliberately negligent of that rule to dissociate myself from CBs and I have no excuse for that. It's not like drinking water during the Fast without being aware of it, like I'm sure we've all done before in the past. Sheer curiosity got the better of me, and I imagine I'll have to take that up with God.

And I hadn't seen the first letter that you provided, thanks for that.
"To be a Bahá'í simply means to love all the world; to love humanity and try to serve it; to work for universal peace and universal brotherhood." -- `Abdu'l-Bahá


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