Baha'i Faith

From SourceWatch
The Baha'i Faith is a religion which grew out of Babism.
[1]
It was "founded ...in the mid-19th century y
!ir"a #oseyn $%li &uri' who is (nown as )aha* +llah ,%raic- ".lory of .od"/."
[0]
. )aha$is consider their faith
to e "the youngest of the world1s inde2endent monotheistic religions." Founded in the 1345s' "it now has more
than fi6e million adherents in 074 countries and territories. )aha$is come from nearly e6ery national' ethnic and
religious ac(ground' ma(ing the )aha$i Faith the second-most-wides2read religion in the world."
[7]
&umerous former memers of the faith' most notaly those adhering to the #aifan )aha$i authority' ha6e
critici"ed the organi"ation for engaging in 6arious forms of coercion and authoritarian institutional influence
u2on 2ersonal affairs in attem2ting to cur 2ulic criticism and dissent amongst its memers.
[8][9][4]
.
In !arch 0554' 2hiloso2hy and religious studies :rofessor ;ann !ay
[<]
and his wife
[3]
:hyllis = )ernard'
current >oert S. ?err @r. ;istinguished :rofessor of Aaw ;irector of the Benter on %lternati6e ;is2ute
>esolution' C(lahoma Bity +ni6ersity
[9]
recei6ed corres2ondence from the &ational S2iritual %ssemly of the
)aha$is of the +nited States' Duestioning the cou2le$s desire to lea6e the organi"ation' and see(ing to arrange for
re2resentati6es of the &ational S2iritual %ssemly to fly to !ay and )ernard$s residence for further discussions
regarding their withdrawal. !ay and )ernard$s re2ly is cited elow-
From- BC!!+&ITE [7] ,mailto-BC!!+&ITEFusnc.org/
Sent- Friday' !arch 15' 0554 15-51 %!
To- !ay' ;ann
SuGect- >eDuest to meet with you
Im2ortance- #igh
!r. ;ann !ay
;ear )aha$i Friend'
The &ational S2iritual %ssemly has tried twice to reach you and your wife y 2hone at the only 2hone
numer we ha6e for you' so we ho2e that this -email address is current. The &ational %ssemly was sorry
to learn of your desire to withdraw from memershi2 in the )aha$i Faith and would li(e to hear in fuller
form the thoughts you eH2ressed in your @anuary letter.
To that end it has as(ed that two re2resentati6es fly to &orman' C? on Saturday' !arch 13 to meet with
you and your wife at a time that is con6enient for you. We ho2e that you will e agreeale to sharing your
2ers2ecti6es and concerns with these re2resentati6es and as( that you (indly re2ly at your earliest
con6enience so that airline tic(ets may e 2urchased.
With lo6ing )aha$i greetings'
!arie Scheffer
For the Cffice of the Secretary
[15]
>e2ly from :rofessor ;ann !ay and :rofessor :hyllis = )ernard
To all those concerned:
:erha2s you don1t understand I we already 6iew oursel6es as no longer memers of the )aha1i
community and we regularly attend +nitarian and )uddhist acti6ities.
We do not 2resent oursel6es as )aha1is and do e6erything we can' when 2eo2le try to introduce us as
)aha1is' to 2olitely disause them of that 2erce2tion.
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We ha6e not attended feast in o6er a year' or for that matter' any other official )aha1i acti6ity.
I thin( that it would e est for all those concerned' that we sim2ly e allowed to withdraw.
We are dee2ly disillusioned with the unofficial and official )aha1i 6iews on the war in IraD' with the rise
of )aha1i fundamentalism and intolerance and with the growing Lghettoi"ationM of the )aha1i community
in general.
We increasingly feel unwelcome at )aha1i e6ents where e6erything seems to e scrutini"ed y rather
mindless L>uhi )oo(M mentalities rather than thoughtful discussions of the )aha1i Sacred TeHts.
Cne-si"e-fits-all mass theology ser6es to only alienate anyone and e6eryone who wishes to 2ursue
s2iritually ins2ired and inde2endent in6estigations of the truth. There a22ears to e' these days' little
room or toleration for )aha1i scholars' )aha1i scholarshi2' or thoughtful a22roaches to the )aha1i sacred
teHts.
We are outraged o6er the ?alimat :ress decisionN We are' therefore' increasingly emarrassed to e
associated with the )aha1i community. We often hear from our colleagues in the academic world' that
they too 2ercei6e the )aha1i community as increasingly ecoming more and more fundamentalist'
alarmist' and cultish.
We are not interested in tal(ing to anyone from the &ational Benter and we will not meet with them'
e6en if they come to &orman. :lease do not send your re2resentati6es to &orman.
+se the funds for their 2lane tic(ets to do some good at one of the )aha1i schools or to feed the
homeless. :lease let us get on with our li6es. Eour res2onse only con6inces us more com2letely that the
)aha1i community has ecome an authoritarian and fundamentalist mo6ement.
!ost religious scholars1 2erce2tions of cults are that they ma(e it difficult for memers to resign or lea6e
the community with their re2utations intact I 2lease don1t confirm our sus2icionsN Aet us resign and
withdraw Duietly and without fanfare or with inDuisition-li(e eHit inter6iews. We -are willing to lea6e the
)aha1i community without recriminations' regrets' or acti6e criticisms on our 2art. :lease let us fade from
the )aha1i community as gently and as Duietly as 2ossile.
Sincerely'
;ann !ay and :hyllis )ernard
[11]
Contents
1 Sects' ;i6isions and Crgani"ations
0 The #aifan )aha$i Crgani"ation
7 =H2ansion of the #aifan )aha$i Crgani"ation
8 &otale !emers of the +ni6ersal #ouse of @ustice
9 Famous !emers
4 In6ol6ement in anti-homoseHuality cam2aigns in +ganda and institutional 2osition on homoseHuality
< Bontact
3 >esources and articles
3.1 >elated Sourcewatch
3.0 >eferences
Sects, Divisions and Organizations
In its current state' the )aha1i Faith is di6ided amongst se6eral sects' the most 2rominent of which is that ased
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in #aifa Israel' and affiliated with the +ni6ersal #ouse of @ustice. %t least nine sects identify themsel6es as
memers of the )aha$i faith.
[10]
CrthodoH )ahO$P Faith ,the C)F >es2ondents' following @oel ). !arangella/Q
[17]
)ahO$Ps +nder :ro6isions of the Bo6enant ,the other >es2ondents' following Aeland @ensen/.
[18]
The )ahO$P Faith or )ahO$P World FaithQ
Tariyat )ahO$P Bommunity ,formerly (nown as CrthodoH )ahO$Ps +nder the >egency/ ,>eH ?ing
grou2/.
[19]
Q
)ahO$Ps +nder the li6ing .uardianshi2
[14]
,;onald #ar6ey as the third .uardian and @acDues
Soghomonian as the fourth .uardian/' an organi"ation that is the successor to the >emey &S%
[1<]
>eform )aha$is
[13]
Q
Free )aha$is
[19]
Q
+nitarian )aha$is
[05]
Q
@ohn Barre ,"followers of %lif a Third !anifestation of .od - the third letter of the .reatest &ame"/
Within the #aifan )aha$i organi"ation' these grou2s are considered dissidents' and amongst the wider )aha$i
community there eHists a significant amount of contro6ersy surrounding the 6arious legitimacy and authority
claims of these grou2s.
[01]
In 0553' the &ational S2iritual %ssemly of the )ahO$Ps of the +nited States ,Wilmette &S%/' launched
unsuccessful legal action on ehalf of the #aifan )aha$is against the CrthodoH )aha$i grou2' claiming reach of
an inGunction 2re6enting ri6al grou2s from using the name ")aha$i" and certain related symology.
[00]
The
&ational S2iritual %ssemly of the )ahO$Ps of the +nited States lost this lawsuit.
[07]
Cn &o6emer 07' 0515' the <th Bircuit Bourt of %22eals affirmed @udge St. =6e$s o2inion' ruling in fa6or of
the CrthodoH )aha$is' and o6erturning the Wilmette &ational S2iritual assemly$s contem2t action.
[08]
Following this decision' a :etition for >ehearing filed y the &ational S2iritual %ssemly of the )ahO$Ps of the
+nited States ,Wilmette &S%/ was suseDuently declined on ;ecemer 09' 0515.
[09]
The Haifan Baha'i Organization
)ased at the )aha$i World Bentre in #aifa' Israel' the #aifan )aha$is o2erate under the authority of the
+ni6ersal #ouse of @ustice. In defining its greater role' and eH2laining the nature of the duties underta(en y
odies o2erating under the control of the +ni6ersal #ouse of @ustice' Shoghi =ffendi claimed that "the
%dministrati6e Crder' which e6er sinceR%du1l-)ahO1s ascension has e6ol6ed and is ta(ing sha2e under our 6ery
eyes in no fewer than forty countries of the world' may e considered as the framewor( of the Will itself' the
in6iolale stronghold wherein this new-orn child is eing nurtured and de6elo2ed. This %dministrati6e Crder'
as it eH2ands and consolidates itself' will no dout manifest the 2otentialities and re6eal the full im2lications of
this momentous ;ocumentSthis most remar(ale eH2ression of the Will of Cne of the most remar(ale
Figures of the ;is2ensation of )ahO1u1llOh. It will' as its com2onent 2arts' its organic institutions' egin to
function with efficiency and 6igor' assert its claim and demonstrate its ca2acity to e regarded not only as the
nucleus ut the 6ery 2attern of the &ew World Crder destined to emrace in the fullness of time the whole of
man(ind."
[04]
The faith is then administered country to country y &ational S2iritual %ssemlies' and finally y Aocal
S2iritual %ssemlies.
[0<]
The 2rinci2les and goals to which the #aifan )aha1i Faith claims to adhere include
[03]
"T The Cneness of !an(ind
+ni6ersal :eace u2held y a World .o6ernment
Inde2endent In6estigation of Truth
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The Bommon Foundation of %ll >eligions
The =ssential #armony of Science and >eligion
The =Duality of Women and !en
=limination of :reGudice of %ll ?inds
+ni6ersal Bom2ulsory =ducation
% S2iritual Solution to =conomic :rolems"
[09]
%s well as ad6ocating the de6elo2ment and im2lementation of
[75]
-
A orld S!"er#State
[71]
"The )ahO$P conce2t of world order is defined in these terms- % world
Su2er-State in whose fa6or all the nations of the world will ha6e ceded e6ery claim to ma(e war' certain
rights to im2ose taHation and all rights to maintain armaments' eHce2t for the 2ur2oses of maintaining
internal order within their res2ecti6e dominions. This State will ha6e to include an International
=Hecuti6e adeDuate to enforce su2reme and unchallengeale authority on e6ery recalcitrant memer of
the BommonwealthQ a World :arliament whose memers are elected y the 2eo2les in their res2ecti6e
countries and whose election is confirmed y their res2ecti6e go6ernmentsQ a Su2reme Triunal whose
Gudgment has a inding effect e6en in cases where the 2arties concerned ha6e not 6oluntarily agreed to
sumit their case to its consideration."
[70]
A orld $egislator ,see ao6e/ "This State will ha6e to include an International =Hecuti6e adeDuate to
enforce su2reme and unchallengeale authority on e6ery recalcitrant memer of the Bommonwealth."
[77]
,see also section elow' "% World :olice Force".
The !nit% of all the &orld's religions !nder the !mbrella of the Baha'i Faith
[78]
- "In reality' there is
only one religion' the religion of .od. This one religion is continually e6ol6ing' and each 2articular
religious system re2resents a stage in the e6olution of the whole. The )ahO$P Faith re2resents the current
stage in the e6olution of religion."
[79]
>egarding this 2rocess' the +ni6ersal #ouse of @ustice claims that'
")aha$u$llah$s 2rinci2al mission in a22earing at this time in human history is the reali"ation of the
oneness of man(ind and the estalishment of 2eace among the nationsQ therefore' all the forces which are
focused on accom2lishing these ends are influenced y #is >e6elation. We (now' howe6er' that 2eace will
come in stages. First' there will come the Aesser :eace' when the unity of nations will e achie6ed' then
gradually the !ost .reat :eace - the s2iritual as well as social and 2olitical unity of man(ind' when the
)aha$i World Bommonwealth' o2erating in strict accordance with the laws and ordinances of the !ost
#oly )oo( of the )aha$i >e6elation' will ha6e een estalished through the efforts of the )aha$is."
[74]
"Surely the world' contracted and transformed into a single highly com2leH organism y the mar6ellous
2rogress achie6ed in the realm of 2hysical science' y the world-wide eH2ansion of commerce and industry' and
struggling' under the 2ressure of world economic forces' amidst the 2itfalls of a materialistic ci6ili"ation' stands
in dire need of a restatement of the Truth underlying all the >e6elations of the 2ast in a language suited to its
essential reDuirements. %nd what 6oice other than that of )ahO1u1llOhSthe !outh2iece of .od for this ageSis
ca2ale of effecting a transformation of society as radical as that which #e has already accom2lished in the
hearts of those men and women' so di6ersified and seemingly irreconcilale' who constitute the ody of #is
declared followers throughout the worldU That such a mighty conce2tion is fast udding out in the minds of
men' that 6oices are eing raised in its su22ort' that its salient features must fast crystalli"e in the consciousness
of those who are in authority' few indeed can dout. That its modest eginnings ha6e already ta(en sha2e in the
world-wide %dministration with which 83 the adherents of the Faith of )ahO1u1llOh stand associated only those
whose hearts are tainted y 2reGudice can fail to 2ercei6e. Curs' dearly-elo6ed co-wor(ers' is the 2aramount
duty to continue' with undimmed 6ision and unaated "eal' to assist in the final erection of that =difice the
foundations of which )ahO1u1llOh has laid in our hearts' to deri6e added ho2e and strength from the general
trend of recent e6ents' howe6er dar( their immediate effects' and to 2ray with unremitting fer6or that #e may
hasten the a22roach of the reali"ation of that Wondrous Vision which constitutes the rightest emanation of
#is !ind and the fairest fruit of the fairest ci6ili"ation the world has yet seen. !ight not the hundredth
anni6ersary of the ;eclaration of the Faith of )ahO1u1llOh mar( the inauguration of so 6ast an era in human
historyU
[7<]
A orld 'arliament "whose memers are elected y the 2eo2les in their res2ecti6e countries and whose
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election is confirmed y their res2ecti6e go6ernments"
[73]
A orld 'olice Force %t the 1998 >eligion W World Crder Sym2osium' @ohn #uddleston ,the then
%ssistant ;irector in the Cffice of !anaging ;irector of the International !onetary Fund/ suggested in
his 2a2er $% )aha$i res2onse$' that whilst detailing future reforms to the +nited &ations was "too 6ast a
suGect to e answered here"' "some fundamental and immediate 2oints from a )aha$i 2ers2ecti6e
include-
1. #olding a world con6ocation to discuss needs of the world now that the Bold War is o6er' as ha22ened at the
end of World Wars I and II.
0. !a(ing aritration of dis2utes etween nations y the World Bourt com2ulsory.
7. Breating a standing world 2olice force which is directly recruited and inde2endently financed."
[79]
A S!"reme Trib!nal
[85]
"For eHam2le' the Duestion of uni6ersal 2eace' aout which )ahO1u1llOh says that
the Su2reme Triunal must e estalished- although the Aeague of &ations has een rought into
eHistence' yet it is inca2ale of estalishing uni6ersal 2eace. )ut the Su2reme Triunal which )ahO1u1llOh
has descried will fulfil this sacred tas( with the utmost might and 2ower. %nd #is 2lan is this- that the
national assemlies of each country and nationSthat is to say 2arliamentsSshould elect two or three
2ersons who are the choicest of that nation' and are well informed concerning international laws and the
relations etween go6ernments and aware of the essential needs of the world of humanity in this day. The
numer of these re2resentati6es should e in 2ro2ortion to the numer of inhaitants of that country.
The election of these souls who are chosen y the national assemly' that is' the 2arliament' must e
confirmed y the u22er house' the congress and the cainet and also y the 2resident or monarch so
these 2ersons may e the elected ones of all the nation and the go6ernment. The Su2reme Triunal will
e com2osed of these 2eo2le' and all man(ind will thus ha6e a share therein' for e6ery one of these
delegates is fully re2resentati6e of his nation. When the Su2reme Triunal gi6es a ruling on any
international Duestion' either unanimously or y maGority rule' there will no longer e any 2reteHt for the
2laintiff or ground of oGection for the defendant. In case any of the go6ernments or nations' in the
eHecution of the irrefutale decision of the Su2reme Triunal' e negligent or dilatory' the rest of the
nations will rise u2 against it' ecause all the go6ernments and nations of the world are the su22orters of
this Su2reme Triunal.
[81]
"To remedy this condition there must e uni6ersal 2eace. To ring this aout' a Su2reme Triunal must e
estalished' re2resentati6e of all go6ernments and 2eo2lesQ Duestions oth national and international must e
referred thereto' and all must carry out the decrees of this Triunal. Should any go6ernment or 2eo2le disoey'
let the whole world arise against that go6ernment or 2eo2le."
[80]
(lection of leaders thro!gh merit alone &itho!t nominations- "The )ahO$P administrati6e structure
already eHists at a local' national and international le6el and can e ta(en as a model for future society.
:eo2le are elected to the )ahO$P odies solely on merit' without any nominations or can6assing."
[87]
A single )niversal A!*iliar% $ang!age
[88]
"Cne of the great ste2s towards uni6ersal 2eace would e
the estalishment of a uni6ersal language. )ahO$u$llOh commands that the ser6ants of humanity should
meet together' and either choose a language which now eHists' or form a new one. This was re6ealed in
the ?itO-i-%Ddas forty years ago. It is there 2ointed out that the Duestion of di6ersity of tongues is a
6ery difficult one. There are more than eight hundred languages in the world' and no 2erson could
acDuire them all.The races of man(ind are not isolated as in former days. &ow' in order to e in close
relationshi2 with all countries it is necessary to e ale to s2ea( their tongues.% uni6ersal language would
ma(e intercourse 2ossile with e6ery nation. Thus it would e needful to (now two languages only' the
mother tongue and the uni6ersal s2eech. The latter would enale a man to communicate with any and
e6ery man in the worldN% third language would not e needed. To e ale to tal( with a memer of any
race and country without reDuiring an inter2reter' how hel2ful and restful to allN =s2eranto has een
drawn u2 with this end in 6iew- it is a fine in6ention and a s2lendid 2iece of wor(' ut it needs 2erfecting.
=s2eranto as it stands is 6ery difficult for some 2eo2le. %n international Bongress should e formed'
consisting of delegates from e6ery nation in the world' =astern as well as Western. This Bongress should
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form a language that could e acDuired y all' and e6ery country would therey rea2 great enefit. +ntil
such a language is in use' the world will continue to feel the 6ast need of this means of intercourse.
;ifference of s2eech is one of the most fruitful causes of disli(e and distrust that eHists etween nations'
which are (e2t a2art y their inaility to understand each other$s language more than y any other reason.
If e6eryody could s2ea( one language' how much more easy would it e to ser6e humanityN Therefore
a22reciate $=s2eranto$' for it is the eginning of the carrying out of one of the most im2ortant of the
Aaws of )ahO$u$llOh' and it must continue to e im2ro6ed and 2erfected."
[89]
A "ermanent single c!rrenc% and A &orld ta*ation s%stem L%s well as calling for disarmament'
)ahO$u$llOh' %du$l )ahO and Shoghi =ffendi laid down guiding 2rinci2les for a gloal legislature'
international weights and measures' a su2reme triunal' a gloal 2eace(ee2ing force. Shoghi =ffendi
eH2ands u2on the 2ractical necessities of the Aesser :eace. This includes the creation of a gloal
eHecuti6e' a gloal legislature' an international armed force in crisis management' a world taHation
system' a gloal currency' gloal communications networ(s and a su2reme international triunal."
[84]
The im"lementation of Agenda +, and the (arth Charter %ccording to :eter %driance'
non-go6ernmental organi"ation ,&.C/ liaison for the &ational S2iritual %ssemly of the )ahO$Ps of the
+.S ,)aha$i of the +nited States/' "The successful eHecution of the 2rogrammes enunciated in %genda 01
will greatly de2end on the willingness of the 2eo2les and nations of the world to recognise the 6ital lin(
etween gloal transformation and s2iritual 2rinci2les. :rimary among the s2iritual 2rinci2les which
must guide the systematic im2lementation of %genda 01 is the oneness of humanity. It is this cardinal
2rinci2le that )ahO$Ps elie6e will 2ro6ide the s2iritual' moral and ethical under2innings for the successful
translation of %genda 01 into 2ractical action in all 2arts of the world and at all le6els of human society."
The )ahO$P 6iew on 6alues and the +&B=; 2rocess was summed u2 in the statement of the )ahO$P
International Bommunity read to the delegates assemled at the =arth Summit on 8 @une 1990- "The
2rofound and far-reaching changes' the unity and un2recedented co-o2eration' reDuired to reorient the
world toward an en6ironmentally sustainale and Gust future' will only e 2ossile y touching the human
s2irit' y a22ealing to those uni6ersal 6alues which alone can em2ower indi6iduals and 2eo2les to act in
accordance with long-term interests of the 2lanet and humanity as a whole. Cnce ta22ed' this 2owerful
and dynamic source of indi6idual and collecti6e moti6ation will release such a 2rofound and salutary
s2irit among the 2eo2les of the earth that no 2ower will e ale to resist its unifying force ... +ni6ersal
acce2tance of this 2rinci2le - with its im2lications for social and economic Gustice' uni6ersal 2artici2ation
in non-ad6ersarial decision ma(ing' 2eace and collecti6e security' eDuality of the seHes' and uni6ersal
education - will ma(e 2ossile the reorganisation and administration of the world as one country' the
home of human(ind."
[8<]
The establishment of a &orld free trade area- "% world economic community needs to e created
where all economic arriers will e remo6ed' and a world free trade area estalished."
[83]
The #aifan )aha1i organi"ation also eH2licitly refers to the these 2rinci2les as elements of an a22roaching
"&ew World Crder"' which is understood as a system of eliefs and teachings ased u2on the life and writings
of their 2ro2het founder' )ahO$u$llOh' and com2rises a set of 2olitical' s2iritual and social 2rinci2les which
)aha$is elie6e define the correct structure for the unification of man(ind.
[89]
"It is towards this goal -- the goal of a new World Crder' ;i6ine in origin' all-emracing in sco2e' eDuitale in
2rinci2le' challenging in its features -- that a harassed humanity must stri6e." ,From the )aha$i Writings/.
[95]
"In 1999' during the first decade re6iew of the +& charter' the )ahO$P International Bommunity offered a
statement to the +nited &ations' ased on ideas articulated nearly a century efore y )ahO$u$llOh. "The )ahO$P
conce2t of world order is defined in these terms- % world Su2er-State in whose fa6or all the nations of the
world will ha6e ceded e6ery claim to ma(e war' certain rights to im2ose taHation and all rights to maintain
armaments' eHce2t for the 2ur2oses of maintaining internal order within their res2ecti6e dominions. This State
will ha6e to include an International =Hecuti6e adeDuate to enforce su2reme and unchallengeale authority on
e6ery recalcitrant memer of the BommonwealthQ a World :arliament whose memers are elected y the
2eo2les in their res2ecti6e countries and whose election is confirmed y their res2ecti6e go6ernmentsQ a
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Su2reme Triunal whose Gudgment has a inding effect e6en in cases where the 2arties concerned ha6e not
6oluntarily agreed to sumit their case to its consideration."
[91]
#owe6er' #aifan )aha1is claim that what they refer to as a LWorld BommonwealthM should not e considered
as ha6ing any distinct 2artisan 2olitical agenda.
(*"ansion of the Haifan Baha'i Organization
Bentral to the stated goals for the eH2ansion of the #aifan )aha$i Faith and its related acti6ities is what the
+ni6ersal #ouse of @ustice refers to as (ntr% B% Troo"s. In an official letter to the memers of the )aha$i faith
issued in 0551' the +ni6ersal #ouse of @ustice stated that "The aim of the Fi6e Eear :lan' and indeed of the
:lan efore it and the ones that lie immediately ahead' is to ad6ance the 2rocess of entry y troo2s. In its
message of 04 ;ecemer 1999 to the Bonference of the Bontinental )oards of Bounsellors' the #ouse of
@ustice clearly eH2lained that occasional courses of instruction and the informal acti6ities of community life'
though im2ortant' had not 2ro6en sufficient as a means of human resource de6elo2ment. It indicated further
that a systematic 2rocess for the de6elo2ment of human resources was essential to the sustained large-scale
eH2ansion of the Faith. To concei6e and nurture an educational 2rocess of the magnitude en6isioned y the
+ni6ersal #ouse of @ustice is 6astly different than thin(ing aout one$s own interests' which is not to say that
2ersonal study and s2iritual growth are not legitimate and natural concerns of the indi6idual."
[90]
Similarly' in an official 1999 letter to the )aha$i community' the +ni6ersal #ouse of @ustice outlined numerous
2oints rele6ant to the eH2ansion of the #aifan organi"ation stating that " The two stages in the unfoldment of
the ;i6ine :lan lying immediately ahead will last one year and fi6e years res2ecti6ely. %t >id6an 0555 the )aha$i
world will e as(ed to emar( on the first of these two stages' a twel6e-month effort aimed at concentrating the
forces' the ca2acities and the insights that ha6e so strongly emerged. The Fi6e Eear :lan that follows will
initiate a series of worldwide enter2rises that will carry the )aha$i community through the final twenty years in
the first century of the Faith$s Formati6e %ge. These gloal :lans will continue to focus on ad6ancing the
2rocess of entry y troo2s and on its systematic acceleration. It is essential that' during the one-year effort'
national and regional institutes e6erywhere ring into full o2eration the 2rogrammes and systems that they ha6e
now de6ised. &ational communities should enter the Fi6e Eear :lan confident that the acDuisition of
(nowledge' Dualities and s(ills of ser6ice y large contingents of elie6ers' with the aid of a seDuence of courses'
will 2roceed unhindered. %m2le attention must also e gi6en to further systemati"ation of teaching efforts'
whether underta(en y the indi6idual or directed y the institutions. In this res2ect' the International Teaching
Bentre has identified certain 2atterns of systematic eH2ansion and consolidation for relati6ely small
geogra2hical areas consisting of a manageale numer of localities. Through the collaoration of Bounsellors
and &ational S2iritual %ssemlies' se6eral "%rea .rowth :rogrammes" are eing estalished in each continent.
They will e carefully monitored during the Twel6e !onth :lan and their methods will e refined so that this
a22roach can e incor2orated into suseDuent :lans.
"Strategies to ad6ance the 2rocess of entry y troo2s cannot ignore children and Gunior youth' if the 6ictories
won in one generation are not to e lost with the 2assage of time. It is im2erati6e' then' that at this 2oint in the
2rocess of systemati"ation of the teaching wor(' definite ste2s e ta(en to ensure that the 6ision of the
community fully emraces its younger memers. The education of children' an oligation enGoined on oth
2arents and institutions' reDuires s2ecial em2hasis so as to ecome thoroughly integrated into the 2rocess of
community de6elo2ment. This acti6ity should e ta(en to new le6els of intensity during these twel6e months
and then e further raised in the years immediately after. That the 2rogrammes of most institutes in the world
2ro6ide for the training of children$s class teachers re2resents an element of strength. S2iritual %ssemlies and
%uHiliary )oard memers will need to moili"e these newly trained human resources to meet the s2iritual
reDuirements of children and Gunior youth.
"The 2eriod of the Twel6e !onth :lan will e mar(ed y great acti6ity in society at large as the twentieth
century draws to a close. %lready (een interest is eing shown y leaders of thought in the destiny of the
coming generations' and we ho2e that the fer6our of the )aha$i community' oth in its internal o2eration and its
)aha$i Faith - SourceWatch htt2-JJwww.sourcewatch.orgJindeH.2h2J)aha$iKFaith
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interactions with society' will con6ey a sense of confidence in the future of humanity."
[97]
% taulated summary of the oGecti6es and outcomes of the 6arious :lans' articulated in letters'
corres2ondences and announcements of the +ni6ersal #ouse of @ustice' and eginning with the "Se6en Eear
:lan" of 197<-1988' can e found ,with corres2onding references for further study/ in the document "The
S2iritual BonDuest of the :lanet S+::A=!=&T. Systematic +nfoldment of the ;i6ine :lan. +nfoldment of
the )ahO1P Faith. Cur >es2onse to :lans"
[98]
-otable .embers of the )niversal Ho!se of /!stice
% com2lete list of current memers of the +ni6ersal #ouse of @ustice is a6ailale on their 2age' howe6er'
notale memers include Far"am %ra' and Firaydoun @a6aheri. Far"am %ra acted as the re2resentati6e for
the >oc(efeller Foundation in Bolomia ,19<8 to 1937/ and the 2resident of the F+&;%=B ,Foundation for
the %22lication and Teaching of the Sciences/ de6elo2ment foundation ased there. #e was a memer of the
&ational S2iritual %ssemly of the )aha$is of Bolomia and a Bontinental Bounsellor efore eing a22ointed
to the International Teaching Bentre.
[99]
Firaydoun @a6aheri has a doctorate in agronomy and "li6ed for 0< years
in %frica -- .amia then Xamia -- where he was Bhief Technical %d6iser for the Food and %gricultural
Crgani"ation of the +nited &ations".
[94]
;es2ite its claims to eDuality etween the seHes' women are 2re6ented from eing elected as memers of the
+ni6ersal #ouse of @ustice.
[9<]
Famo!s .embers
In 1999' Time maga"ine re2orted that- "Famed )ahais are said to ha6e included Yueen !arie of >umania'
%ctress Barole Aomard' :hilanthro2ist =dith >oc(efeller !cBormic( and :resident Wilson$s daughter'
!argaret' who' )ahais elie6e' ga6e her father twel6e of his Fourteen :oints straight from the writings of
)aha$u$llah."
[93]
0nvolvement in anti#homose*!alit% cam"aigns in )ganda and
instit!tional "osition on homose*!alit%
;es2ite the faith$s official claim to the "elimination of all (inds of 2reGudice" ,see ao6e section detailing the
"2rinci2les and goals" of the #aifan )aha$i Crganisation/' in %ugust 055<' memers of )aha$i faith in +ganda
2artici2ated in a 2rotest e6ent' organi"ed ,as %ssociated :ress re2orter' ?aty :ownall descried in the
Washington :ost/' y "a coalition of Bhristian' !uslim and )ahai grou2s"
[99]
' accusing 00 year-old ;aily
!onitor intern' ?atherine >ouos' of "ad6ocating for gay rights in the country"
[45]
' and demanding her
de2ortation.
[41]
%s :owell writes' "#undreds of 2eo2le held an anti-gay 2rotest in +ganda$s ca2ital Tuesday'
denouncing what they called an "immoral" lifestyle and demanding the de2ortation of an %merican Gournalist
writing aout gay rights in the dee2ly conser6ati6e country. #omoseHuality is illegal in +ganda' li(e in most
%frican states' and carries a maHimum sentence of life im2risonment. Tuesday$s demonstration was the latest in
a series of showdowns etween religious conser6ati6es and a small' ut growing gay rights mo6ement across the
continent."
[40]
,see also +gandan .ays ;emand Freedom' The .aurdian ,htt2-JJwww.guardian.co.u(
JcommentisfreeJ055<Jse2J1<Jugandangaysdemandfreedom//
%t the 0515 %)S ,%ssociation for )aha$i Studies/ annual conference' held in %ugust of that year' Aynne
Schreier deli6ered a 2a2er entitled ">e-thin(ing Same-SeH %ttraction- %nd the .eneral :rinci2les of #ow to
C6ercome It"
[47]
and included the following Duotes in an accom2anying handout-
"8-[#omoseHuality]Z Lis regarded y the Faith as a distortion of true human nature' as a 2rolem to e
o6ercome..." ,From a letter written on ehalf of the +ni6ersal #ouse of @ustice to a &ational S2iritual
%ssemly' 11 Se2temer 1999/
)aha$i Faith - SourceWatch htt2-JJwww.sourcewatch.orgJindeH.2h2J)aha$iKFaith
3 of 18 75J5<J0518 9-70 :!
9-"Whether deficiencies are inorn or are acDuired' our 2ur2ose in this life is to o6ercome them..." ,From
a letter written on ehalf of the T+ni6ersal #ouse of @ustice to a &ational S2iritual %ssemly' 11
Se2temer 1999/
4-LTo e afflicted this way is a great urden to a conscientious soul. )ut through the ad6ice and hel2 of
doctors' through strong and determined effort' and through 2rayer' a soul can o6ercome this handica2.M
,From a letter written on ehalf of Shoghi =ffendi to an indi6idual elie6er' 04 !arch 1995/
<- L[T]he Faith does not recogni"e homoseHuality as a LnaturalM or 2ermanent 2henomenon. >ather' it
sees this as an aerration suGect to treatmentZM ,From a letter written on ehalf of the +ni6ersal #ouse
of @ustice to an indi6idual elie6er' 00 !arch 193</"
[48]
The resources section of Schreier$s 2a2er also includes lin(s to se6eral large organisations endorsing
"re2arati6e thera2ies" for homoseHuality' including &%>T# ,&ational %ssociation for >esearch W Thera2y of
#omoseHuality/ and =Hodus International.
[49]
In an official letter from the +ni6ersal #ouse of @ustice to an indi6idual elie6er' released in 19<7' the +ni6ersal
#ouse of @ustice stated that-
"% numer of seHual 2rolems' such as homoseHuality and transseHuality can well ha6e medical as2ects' and in
such cases recourse should certainly e had to the est medical assistance. )ut it is clear from the teaching of
)ahO1u1llOh that homoseHuality is not a condition to which a 2erson should e reconciled' ut is a distortion of
his or her nature which should e controlled or o6ercome. This may reDuire a hard struggle' ut so also can e
the struggle of a heteroseHual 2erson to control his or her desires. The eHercise of self-control in this' as in so
6ery many other as2ects of life' has a eneficial effect on the 2rogress of the soul. It should' moreo6er' e orne
in mind that although to e married is highly desirale' and )ahO$u$llOh has strongly recommended it' it is not
the central 2ur2ose of life. If a 2erson has to wait a considerale 2eriod efore finding a s2ouse' or if ultimately'
he or she must remain single' it does not mean that he or she is therey unale to fulfill his or her life1s 2ur2ose.
,From a letter of the +ni6ersal #ouse of @ustice to an indi6idual elie6er' 10 @anuary 19<7Q Aights of .uidance'
2. 744' [1000/"
[44]
In a 1999 letter to a &ational S2iritual %ssemly' the +ni6ersal #ouse of @ustice stated that "The condition of
eing seHually attracted to some oGect other than a mature memer of the o22osite seH' a condition of which
homoseHuality is ut one manifestation' is regarded y the Faith as a distortion of true human nature' as a
2rolem to e o6ercome' no matter what s2ecific 2hysical or 2sychological condition may e the immediate
cause. %ny )ahO$P who suffers from such a disaility should e treated with understanding' and should e
hel2ed to control and o6ercome it. %ll of us suffer from im2erfections which we must struggle to o6ercome'
and we all need one another1s understanding and 2atience."
[4<]
Further information and Duotations regarding the )aha$i Faith$s stance on homoseHuality ,as well as irth-
control and other issues/ can e found here- )aha$i &etwor( on %ids' SeHuality' %ddictions and %use
,htt2-JJwww.nasaa.orgJseHuality.html[homoseHuality/
Contact
We- htt2-JJwww.ahai.org ,Haifan organization/
htt2-JJwww.orthodoHahai.com ,Orthodo* Baha'i faith/
htt2-JJwww.u2c.org ,Baha'is )nder the 'rovisions of the Covenant/
htt2-JJwww.tariyatcenter.org ,Tarbi%at Bah1'2 Comm!nit%/
htt2-JJguardianshi2oftheahaifaith.org ,/ac3!es Soghomonian/
htt2-JJwww.reformahai.org ,4eform Baha'is/
)aha$i Faith - SourceWatch htt2-JJwww.sourcewatch.orgJindeH.2h2J)aha$iKFaith
9 of 18 75J5<J0518 9-70 :!
htt2-JJfreeahais.comJfreeahai.htm ,Free Baha'is/
htt2-JJmemers.tri2od.comJninetinJadulahaJcontents.htm ,)nitarian Baha'is/
4eso!rces and articles
%merican )ahO$Ps ,htt2-JJen.wi(i2edia.orgJwi(iJBategory-%mericanK)ah\B7\%1\0<\B7\%;s/'
Wi(i2edia.
"Barnegie =Halted y )ahaist Aeader ,htt2-JJDuery.nytimes.com
JgstJastract.htmlUres]9=54=9;B1<71=<77%59<94B5%94F9B984894;4BF/"' New York Times,
September 5, 1915. also see (http://www.webpal.org/a_reconstrction/lets/carnegie/prpose.htm!
The S2iritual BonDuest of the :lanet S+::A=!=&T. Systematic +nfoldment of the ;i6ine :lan.
+nfoldment of the )ahO1P Faith. Cur >es2onse to :lans ,htt2-JJwww.2alara2ulications.infoJlistJ2df
Jsc2Khandout.2df/' ;ee2ening and Study !aterials' :alara :ulications' 0554. Summer School #andout
also a6ailale in =lectronic teHts. %ccessed %2ril 7' 0559.
Turning :oint Selected !essages of the +ni6ersal #ouse of @ustice and Su22lementary !aterial
1994I0554 ,htt2-JJwww.2alara2ulications.infoJoo(sJhouse.html[t2/' :alara :ulications' accessed
%2ril 7' 0559.
The Fi6e Eear :lan' 0554-0511' 0nd edition !essages of the +ni6ersal #ouse of @ustice
,htt2-JJwww.2alara2ulications.infoJoo(sJhouse.html[9y254/' :alara :ulications' accessed %2ril 7'
0559.
The Fi6e Eear :lan' 0551-0554 !essages from the +ni6ersal #ouse of @ustice
,htt2-JJwww.2alara2ulications.infoJoo(sJhouse.html[9y20/' :alara :ulications' accessed %2ril 7'
0559.
>eadings on )ahO1P Social W =conomic ;e6elo2ment htt2-JJwww.2alara2ulications.infoJoo(s
Jhouse.html[t2 ,htt2-JJwww.2alara2ulications.infoJoo(sJhouse.html[t2/' :alara :ulications'
accessed %2ril 7' 0559.
Aearning to >es2ond to =merging &ew >ealities- !essages from the +ni6ersal #ouse of @ustice
,htt2-JJwww.2alara2ulications.infoJlistJeteHt.html/' :alara :ulications' accessed %2ril 7' 0559.
T#= I&STIT+TIC& CF T#= BC+&S=AAC>S % ;ocument :re2ared y the +ni6ersal #ouse of
@ustice @anuary 09 0551 ,htt2-JJahai-lirary.comJ2ulished.uhGJcounsellors.html/' accessed %2ril 00'
0559.
")aha1i rift- )aha1is u2set with CrthodoH )aha1i Faith- !ainstream grou2 doesn1t want the name )aha1i
y any other grou2 ,htt2-JJarchi6es.chicagotriune.comJ0559JmayJ13JlocalJchi-ahai-13-may13/'
article' Bhicago Triune' !anya % )rachear' !ay 13' 0559. %ccessed Se2temer 19' 0559.
The )aha1i Bo6enant- The Bo6enant of )aha1u$llah-#ow the Bo6enant in the )aha1i Faith creates and
maintains a unified religious community ,htt2-JJco6enantstudy.orgJcontents/. %ccessed Cctoer 18'
0559.
Selected :ulished ;ocuments from the +ni6ersal #ouse of @ustice ,htt2-JJahai-lirary.org
Jcollection.2h2Ucollection]+#@K2ulished/. %ccessed Cctoer 18' 0559.
:ioneering or =ducationU ,htt2-JJahai-lirary.orgJfile.2h2Ufile]uhGK2ioneeringKeducation/ ")aha$i
youth- deciding whether to 2ioneer or continue with higher education". %ccessed Cctoer 18' 0559.
%S:=BTS CF T>%;ITIC&%A %F>IB%& B+AT+>= ,htt2-JJwww.ci.orgJahaistudies
JreferenceKdocumentsJafricancultures.htm/' =Htracts from Aetters Written y and on )ehalf of the
+ni6ersal #ouse of @ustice with introductory summary statements y the >esearch ;e2artment of the
+ni6ersal #ouse of @ustice' %ugust 1993. %ccessed Cctoer 18' 0559.
)aha$i Teachings on #omoseHual :ractices y the +ni6ersal #ouse of @ustice ,htt2-JJahai-lirary.org
Jfile.2h2Ufile]uhGKhomoseHualK2ractices/ :ulished in %merican )aha$i' 1999-11-07. %ccessed Cctoer
18' 0559.
)aha$i scholarshi2- im2ortance' nature' and 2romotion of ,htt2-JJahai-lirary.org
Jfile.2h2Ufile]uhGKim2ortanceKahaiKscholarshi2/' y the International Teaching Bentre of the +ni6ersal
#ouse of @ustice' 1938-53-59. %ccessed Cctoer 18' 0559.
Bo6enant-)rea(ers in )aha$i #istoriogra2hy-!ay we read the writings of Bo6enant-rea(ers in the course
of studying historyU ,htt2-JJahai-lirary.orgJfile.2h2Ufile]uhGKco6enantKrea(ersKhistory/'y the
+ni6ersal #ouse of @ustice. :ulished in )ahO$P Studies )ulletin 9-7-4-1 2ages 173-9
)aha$i Faith - SourceWatch htt2-JJwww.sourcewatch.orgJindeH.2h2J)aha$iKFaith
15 of 18 75J5<J0518 9-70 :!
1991-54' 193<-54-1<. %ccessed Cctoer 18' 0559.
CrthodoH )elie6ers Ban Ball Themsel6es-)ahai ,htt2-JJwww.eagletriune.comJworldnational
JH1843759585JCrthodoH-elie6ers-can-call-themsel6es-)ahai/' =agle Triune news article' &o6emer
0<' 0515. %ccessed ;ecemer <' 0515. See also' [8] ,htt2-JJwww.newsoser6er.comJ0515J11J09J304917
JorthodoH-elie6ers-can-(ee2-calling.html/
<th Bircuit >ules for S2linter )aha$i .rou2 ,htt2-JJwww.courthousenews.comJ0515J11J09J70193.htm/'
Bourthouse &ews Ser6ice' &o6emer 09' 0515. %ccessed ;ecemer <' 0515.
4elated So!rce&atch
%ssociation for )aha$P Studies
)aha$i of the +nited States
.regory B. ;ahl
+ni6ersal #ouse of @ustice
Susan !anec(
@uan Bole
!argaret Woodrow Wilson
)aha$i )usiness Forum for the %mericas
=uro2ean )aha$i )usiness Forum
)aha$P Bhair for World :eace
)aha$i World Bentre
!uslim &etwor( for )aha$i >ights
)aha1i Internet %gency
Far"am %ra
Wendi !omen
)arney Aeith
:eter #ulme
>oert .hanea-#ercoc(
&a"ila .hanea-#ercoc(
Cne World Trust
4eferences
^ ")aism" ,htt2-JJwww.h-net.orgJ_ahaiJdigliJarticlesJ%-=JrowneJraism.htm/ )rowne'
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