Why I Abandoned the (Haifan) Baha’i Faith

Note: this is an updated and expanded version of an original blog entry from nearly a decade ago

From 1995 to 2004, I was a member of a religion known as the Baha’i Faith. This religion teaches that God is called by various names but is still the same all over the world, that all religions teach the same basic message, and that humanity is actually one race and is destined to unite under the banner of the Baha’i Faith in a new age of peace and unity.
I was eager to see and to achieve the highest goodness in my life and in the world, so this was a Godsend to me! I embraced the faith after attending firesides about it in Bedford, Texas and became an active teacher of it, even attempting to convert others to it. I had been a Christian, specifically a Southern Baptist, in my teens, but had become disgusted with Christianity and left that faith in my early 20s because I saw the errors, contradictions, and failures of it. The Baha’i Faith explained that away by claiming that while Jesus was indeed a Messenger (or Manifestation) of God, His faith had become corrupted over time and thus most Christians were not truly following him, but the doctrines of men. In joining the Baha’i community, I thought I was seeing what the early Christians in the Roman Empire were like, except that unlike them the Baha’is would not split into competing sects and engage in wars against each other. If only everyone in the world became Baha’i, I was told, we would be at peace and prosperity forever. Continue reading

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Some Right-wing Bigots have NO Shame!

Sometimes Conservatives are so desperate for validation of their extremist crusade against their political opponents that they will grab at straws and refer to things that have NOTHING to do with their politics. Below is an example of this chicanery:

http://www.redstate.com/jimjamitis/2017/01/11/leah-reminis-scientology-fight-front-andrew-breitbarts-war/

How Leah Remini’s Scientology Fight Is A Front in Andrew Breitbart’s #WAR

Please note that RedState is yet another one of those right-wing propaganda mills, like breitbart.com, FOX News, WorldNetDaily, NewsMax, and others.

I don’t know any Scientologists that I’m aware of and my only connection to L. Ron Hubbard is having read his bad science fiction novel Battlefield Earth back in the ’80s and later—primarily out of morbid curiosity—watching the even worse film adaptation starring Scientologist John Travolta.

The writer starts off with something that looks completely reasonable and true. If it had stuck to the actual issue of the Church of Scientology vs. Ms. Remini, I would highly recommend it. Instead….the article goes into left field, pun intended!

Last night while watching episode 7 it dawned on me why I am so involved with this show: What Leah Remini is doing is the most Andrew Breitbart-esque thing I have seen anyone do since his untimely passing. Like Andrew did with the Democrat-media complex, Remini is throwing down the gauntlet and challenging a corrupt institution to prove her wrong.

I only met Andrew Breitbart a couple of times, both of which were in chaotic and noisy environments, so I can’t claim to have been his friend or to have really known him personally. Still, he is one of relatively few people I would consider to be personally inspiring to me.

And what did Breitbart do to be so inspiring? Save one or more lives? Create an invention to make millions of lives better? Write a fictional story to entertain and impress readers? Hold public office and push for legislation to make government better for the people?  No, none of these things! He was a writer and publisher of propaganda attacking liberals!

I have no idea what Remini’s politics are. Maybe when you publicly pick a fight with a global cult that has virtually unlimited resources, there isn’t even room for politics in your life. Whether she knows it or not though, Remini’s fight is the same fight for liberty and truth that Andrew Breitbart fought, just on a different front. She is in effect saying to a the cult of Scientology, “I’m going to follow the facts where they lead and if you don’t like it, f*** you. Bring it on. Accuse me of whatever you want, I’m not going to be intimidated. I’m just going to take what you throw at me and use it to show everyone who you are and why you need to be taken down.”

She is executing her takedown just like Andrew would, by telling stories. Data and analysis don’t change people’s minds anywhere near as well as good storytelling.

Scientology is responding with the same sort of tactics the institutional left used against Andrew. According to the people whose stories Remini is telling, anyone who leaves Scientology or speaks ill of it is declared to be a “suppressive person” and is considered “fair game.” Scientologists then use any and all means to intimidate, discredit, or personally destroy those people. They employ private investigators to dig up dirt. They falsely accuse them of crimes. They follow them with cameras in order to capture embarrassing video.  It is like an even more fanatical version of the Saul Alinsky tactics employed by far left progressives.

As I recall, it was Breitbart and his cronies that engaged in disruptive and deceitful tactics against liberals. Like having a guy pose as a pimp to misrepresent how ACORN did its business.

Remember when “Joe the Plumber” tripped up candidate Obama into being honest about wealth redistribution? In just a few days the media investigated the background of a private citizen more thoroughly than they ever did Obama’s. How about when the New York Times crowdsourced their sleazy fishing expedition into Sarah Palin’s emails from when she was Governor of Alaska? Have you ever heard of a black conservative who hasn’t been smeared as an “Uncle Tom?” Or a scientist skeptical about man’s role in climate change who hasn’t been accused of being in the pocket of Big Oil? Racism, sexism, misogyny, are all part of the litany against those who have a different opinion. It’s all the same though. Speak out against progressive orthodoxy and you will be smeared or destroyed. The more effectively you speak out, the more weapons they will bring to bear, not to refute what you say but to silence you from saying it.

Of course, the first two sentences are assertions not backed up with proof. The reference to Sarah Palin’s emails is ironic considering how obsessed Republicans have been about Hillary Clinton’s emails. Hypocrisy much? Also, black conservatives may have sexist (if male), religious (if Christian fundamentalist) or economic (if rich) reasons to sell out the best interests of their own race, much like Milo Yiannopoulos does in backstabbing the gay community despite being gay himself, because he is a white man too. And Big Oil is indeed rich enough to corrupt both governments and scientists; the evidence for man-made climate change is solid. It’s OK to have a different opinion as long as it does not hurt people or render them powerless, as conservative policies often do. And most obvious of all……CRITICISM IS NOT CENSORSHIP! Unless Andrew Breitbart or the others that work for his propaganda site could show attempts on their lives or even death threats sent to them by known liberals, they cannot legitimately claim to be targets of attempts to silence them. That’s just dishonest hyperbole.

I can’t help but think Andrew would be a huge fan of what she is doing. He might even be helping her if he was still with us.

Did he ever attack Scientology before he died? Did he ever attack any extremist cult? If not, that assertion is entirely baseless. The implication that liberals are also members of some extremist cult is nothing but libel.

Mariah Carey needs to stop being a pop star.

In the 1990s, Mariah Carey was one of the greatest singers in the world, but recently it is clear that she has somehow lost nearly all her talent and can no longer sing her way though even the most basic of performances.

This video accuses her (and others) of lip syncing:

And at the New Year’s Eve celebration in New York City, that accusation was CONFIRMED in a truly embarrassing fashion.

Why do people bother to do this? In 1990, this was a SCANDAL for the duo Milli Vanilli, who won a Grammy for Best New Artist and was then stripped of it once they were exposed.

And here are more examples:

Enough! If you want to see some REAL vocal talent, just look here:

It takes truly raw talent to perform with NO backing music instruments and only your voices. Even Mariah herself has never been known to attempt that. But that is exactly what Pentatonix does every time they perform live.

Goodbye, Mariah, I am a fan of yours no more! Come back on stage when you can sing for real again!