Posted by Jonah Winters on November 21, 2000 at 00:47:53:
In Reply to: Baha'i "Facts"? posted by Gerald Cole on November 20, 2000 at 19:59:58:
Yes, this is a legend. In point of fact, the Baha'i Writings make few claims about the exact nature of the Lesser Peace, its date of commencement, or specific happenings that will precede it.
I do have a copy of Peter Smith‚s article „Millenarianism in the Babi and Baha'i Religionsš which is about prophetic, millenialist, and eschatological paradigms in the Babi and Baha'i religions, which I might be able to scan and post. In the meantime, look at http://bahai-library.com/books/rg/rg.biblio13.html#48 "prophecy" and http://bahai-library.com/books/rg/rg.biblio11.html#40 "peace."
I asked Rob Stockman, head of Research at the United States Baha'i National Center, about this. His response was basically the same:
"I have never seen anything in the writings that was specific about what
tests and trials humanity must got through before establishing the Lesser
Peace. Certainly there is nothing about a fraction of humanity perishing.
Some pilgrim's notes had comments of that sort, but even they were usually
not in writing."
Now, I've tracked down some of those pilgrims' notes containing prophecies about the calamity. Most of the talk about calamities comes from Ruth Moffett's notes of 1954, which one researcher found to be sufficiently suspect and probably plagiarized that I pulled them from the Baha'i Library. Others are from Ramona Browne's notes.
For your info, I've posted the relevant excerpts below from each. Also, note that *each* set of notes is from 1954, an early Cold War time when talk of "whole cities evaporating" was not uncommon. I have never seen these prophecies reiterated in more authoritative sources.
Finally, there is an entire section in Lights of Guidance on "Calamities and Crises" that I can email to anyone interested, in which the House addresses these questions more fully. -Jonah
BRIEF EXCERPT FROM RAMONA BROWN:
The Baha'is must disperse from the cities, for the people in the cities will be trapped when they want to get out. They must disperse for their protection - the cities are doomed - New York, Chicago, San Francisco, Los Angeles. They must flee from the United States, because America will become the storm center of the future. When asked, "Should the pioneers go back home after the calamity and help reconstruct," Shoghi Effendi replied, "Reconstruct what?" The young people must disperse far away. The old ones to outlying places - they must settle the goal cities. Sell your property and pioneer! Buy property in Central Africa! Those with independent means must pick up and go, and not wait for the committees to move them. Those with spirit must pack up and go. Take their passport and go.
LONGER EXCERPTS FROM RUTH MOFFETT:
Shoghi Effendi said that he had been told that some of the friends are disturbed over reports brought back by the pilgrims concerning the dangers facing America in the future whenever another world conflagration breaks out. He says that he does not feel that the Baha'is should waste time dwelling on the dark side of things. Any intelligent person can understand from the experiences of the past world war, and keeping abreast of what modern science has developed in the way of weapons for any future war, that big cities all over the world are going to be in tremendous danger. This is what the Guardian said to the pilgrims.
He urged the Baha'is, for the sake of serving the Faith, to go out from these centers of materialism... He strongly believes that the field outside of the big cities is more fertile, and that the Baha'is will in the end be happier. If the friends are concerned about obedience to civil government, how much more should they be concerned about obedience to the laws of Baha'u'llah and the directives of our Guardian.
He reminded us of the powerful words of Baha'u'llah in Prayers and Meditations, 208, "Armed with the power of Thy Name nothing can ever hurt me and with Thy love in my heart all the world's afflictions can in no wise alarm me." P&M p-208
There will be great destruction, yes world civil war in Europe, U.S., Israel, the Islands of the Pacific, even in Africa, wherever bases are established. The White race in Africa will be almost diminished and will be unimportant in the future. The difficulty will be racial, civil, religious, all over the world. There is nothing to keep the Soviets from marching into Israel. Teheran and Badgered are also in great danger. Oil is the goal. The Heart of the Baha'i world, Haifa, and the Cradle of the Faith, Chicago, and the greatest strongholds of the Administrative Institutions are all in danger. The Baha'is must pray that God will mercifully protect the Faith, as in the past. This is all due to the decline in religion and of materialism and of spiritual decadence.
Our Guardian, Shoghi Effendi, stated that the United States was chosen as the Cradle of the New World Order, not because of its spiritual qualities, but because of its corruption, the same as Persia was chosen for the Revelation of Baha'u'llah because the Persians were worse than the African savages and far more barbaric.
After the coming calamity the United States will fulfill the prophecy that the United States will suffer, then it will lead all the nations spiritually. He said that he has given up warning the friends, as they paid no heed to either the warnings of Abdu'l-Baha nor to Shoghi Effendi. They must suffer to awaken.
It is too late to save the world. The Message of Baha'u'llah has been in the world over one hundred years to save mankind, but it has been rejected all over the world. The calamity will be sudden. He spoke of the American statesman from the President down, all are helpless and impotent. The United States is not now an altruistic nation. You help others to help yourselves.
The Russian submarines will paralyze Great Britain, the United States, Europe, the Atlantic, Pacific and Mediterranean seaboards. The Baha'is have failed with the Negros in the United States. Intermarriage is good, between races. It brings out the best in both races. Americans love money, wives, family, friends, possessions. There is a sad decline in home life, morals, art, music, money, everything.
Baha'is should not only leave their homes but go away as far as possible from the coasts and to where they can serve the Cause of God. Victories come only from sacrifice and self-abnegation. The greater the sacrifice the greater the victory. Baha'is should lower their standards of living in order to give more to the Faith.
The coming calamity will be worse than war! Whole cities will evaporate! Especially in those cities here it is harder to teach the teach the Faith such as New York, Chicago, San Francisco. People will loose all their possessions and homes over night. They will simply evaporate! Americans will become refugees in other countries and continents. The United States will suffer most because it is the most materialistic. Europe was the cradle of materialism but the united States is the stronghold of materialism. Russia will also suffer greatly. There is little difference between the United States and Russia in their systems because both are materialistic. Capitalism is purely materialistic, and Communism is purely materialism. both control the proletariat. Both will suffer greatly. The calamity will be retributive.
The earth will be covered mostly by dark skinned people and these of the so-called uncivilized nations, not submerged materialism, "The limbs of mankind shall quake" will apply more to the U.S.A. because of the importance of the U.S.A. and her great destiny. Many countries are over populated with people of bad blood. This must be cleansed. Science in the future will solve the food problem. The calamity will happen before the Lesser Peace. If the U.S.A. and Great Britain fail on the home fronts the Baghdad Conference may not take place. America must become the moral and spiritual leader of all the nations!!!!
Another evening, the Guardian said, "London, Paris, New York, Chicago, San Francisco are already trapped. There are Russian submarines along the Atlantic and Pacific coasts now." Some of the friends find it difficult to leave their homes and to pioneer, even to move to goals within their own country. They do not see that we are not asking them to sacrifice. We are protecting them from great difficulty and from themselves. We are not only protecting them from the calamity that is rushing toward them outwardly, but from the calamity that is rushing toward them inwardly."
The Guardian said, one evening that world unity will be securely established in the twentieth century. Baha'u'llah does not wish the countries to be deprived of kingship, so when there are enough Baha'i states, they will follow the injunction of Baha'u'llah. Then he made the surprising statement that America will one day have a king. Kingship, as known at present, will disappear, but will later be re-established. Then he stated that fourteen or fifteen kings have fallen as the result of the unawareness and the resistance to the message of Baha'u'llah.
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