A reddit user named MacPark711 tried to bring up a painful topic in the Bahai subreddit. You can guess how far he got with it.
Sorry, this post has been removed by the moderators of r/bahai.Moderators remove posts from feeds for a variety of reasons, including keeping communities safe, civil, and true to their purpose.
I’m not going to approve this post. It would take a long time for contributors here to address all the specific points you raised. It’s sort of like if you were trying to learn about vaccines and you spent hours and hours on anti-vax videos and forums, and then wanted other people to address/dispel all the misinformation you learned. Here are the books you’ll need to read.
The Kitáb-i-Íqán. This book covers the basic principles and lays the foundation for the teachings/revelation of Bahá’u’lláh. It states God continually provides mankind with revelation direct from God for our education and upliftment. After reading this you should decide if you think Bahá’u’lláh is a messenger of God or not. If you think a possibility exists, you can continue into history:
The Dawn-Breakers for the context and early history of the Faith, centered on the life of the Bab but it does carry forward to some events in the life of Bahá’u’lláh.
After those two works you should have a good idea about the character and purpose of the life and mission of the Bab and an understanding of the place held by Bahá’u’lláh. After that if you still want answers to your specific questions, turn to the Will and Testament of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá and read it carefully. From it you will get an idea about what was acceptable behavior and what was not and you can judge the behavior of those close to Shoghi Effendi, who was following the Will and who was not?
In Summons of the Lord of Hosts you’ll find this passage: “This is the Day that shall not be followed by night, nor shall it be bounded by any praise, would that ye might understand!”
This is a significant promise written in 1868, because the only way to avoid the ‘night’ humanity has always seen following a religious dispensation is for the religious community Bahá’u’lláh has created to remain unified and under a control everyone accepts. You can almost bypass every concern listed simply by asking yourself, is it unified today? Is it under stable leadership?
But, going the long route, you can look next to histories centered on the life and teachings of Bahá’u’lláh, ‘Abdu’l-Bahá and Shoghi Effendi. There are very lengthy books about each.
Like The Covenant of Baha’u’llah by Adib Taherzadeh, perhaps?
This books do not answer questions regarding the issues I have brought up. I am trying to do a service to the Bahai faith which is clearly falling part online. Just searching Bahai faith in google or you to leads to many negative pages and videos that need addressing You are contributing to sweeping issues under the rug. The debate over the will of Abdul needs talking about due to some evidence that it was forged. Just “reading” it carefully isnt the answer. I have read it as well as talks about it. I am well versed in it. The issues is the handwriting analyses that was done on it which claims it was alerted. I cant debunk this without being able to find people and information that discredits this. If you think just “reading” the Will will answer peoples questions who want to know if it was forged due to the many many pages and videos online saying it was forced, then you have your head in the clouds. I feel you are helping to hold back the faith. In an online world most new people will look up bahai, see these issues and then just go no further. You need to tackle the big issues as hard as they are. By keeping to put your head in the sand will help nothing. You cant just ask a casual perspective new member to “go read Kitáb-i-Íqán and the dawn breakers”. I myself have read all these books and many many more. Probably more Bahai books and scripture than most active bahais. By not approving this post you will be contributing to holding back growth of the faith as it will hinder my ability to answer tough questions and make good reports and videos on them. I have faced the same issues in bahai groups on facebbook. No one wants to answer the tough questions. Its a shame. I was ready to open some very good discourse on this reddit. Your vaccine analogy is ridiculous. If people were finding out anti vax issues and you were able to ask people info about correct info to dispel these falsehoods would not tackling the incorrect issues be smarter? You seem to think the issues would just go away. Trust me the anti bahai info online is getting huge. Its going to hinder the growth of the faith as these questions are not being answered. Almost 100% of perspective new members will go online for Bahai info. Many will leave. I did and then decided to come back and tackle these issues head on but as always just keep hitting brickwalls. Is this because in people hearts they know these issues are real?
I guess you have had your mind made. Just know I am going to give up my defense of the bahai faith. I am over it. I keep coming across people like you wishing to just “hope it away”. Its not going away unless someone tackles the anti bahai brigade. I hope in your own heart you realize the mistake you are making. I was going to do a full website and youtube giving great debunks to anti bahai issues that are all over the net. These videos and website could have saved potentially thousands of people from walking away of moving on. Its 2021. You cant just tell people to “read the book”. This thinking will kill the Bahai faith…
So MacPark711 went to the ExBahai subreddit instead:
Where I had this to say to him:
I have written much about Shoghi Effendi and how he totally messed up the religion founded by his great-grandfather Baha’u’llah.
Also see this:
And I just posted this too:
If you want more proof that ppl like t0lk are a total disgrace to the Faith, read these:
Thanks. I am on the fence Bahai and trying to make sense of it all. But people like t0lk are simply gatekeeping on a huge public forum and doing a disservice to the faith. Its 2021. People cant hide behind just covering things up and pushing under the rug anymore. Everything is out there online. I can see you are obviously anti Bahai. And thats totally fine. You have that right. I am at least open to some dialogue and now I just wish some Bahais would have the guts to come and tackle the negative Bahai posts online or at least help me in what I wish to do. I dont have enough info or knowledge to do this. Thats why I was hoping to get some Bahais onboard to help me but as you can see everyone just hides and blocks everything. Even worse they couldn’t even reply to my follow up explaining their reasons. t0lk just hides.
“Independent investigation of truth” means “just read and agree to what our books say”. by the sounds of it.
This is all really irritating me.
The Baha’is will NEVER allow you to ask such questions, not in any Baha’i Community, not in any Baha’i meeting, not at the Baha’i World Centre. You will be asked to leave. Your Membership in the Faith will be removed.
Was S.E. a closet homosexual? Probably so. The witnesses are many. Are they ALL lying? If you believe current Baha’i apologists, yes. I don’t think they were all lying.
Was S.E. lazy and went on 4 month long trips to Switzerland (without his wife) every year? He went on such trips, yearly. Without his wife. Was he lazy? He spent most days writing letters and translating. Why did he go to Switzerland for four months a year? Some say to get away from his wife. Others say to meet his lover, George Townsend. Others say, to get away from the hot Palestine Summers. Maybe the answer is “All of the above”. No way to be SURE unless one finds a letter written by Townsend or Effendi, that is a love letter. No such letter has been found.
Was S.E. a tyrant who excommunicated his relatives over the smallest of things? Answer: THEY thought so. He demanded absolute control over every decision of their lives, including whom they could marry and not marry, where they could go on trips, etc. If they “defied” him, he excommunicated them: including their children.
Did the wife of ‘Abdu’l-Baha forge part of the Will and Testament, making S.E. Guardian? Answer: the evidence is that part of the Will and Testament was NOT written by ‘Abdu’l-Baha. That much is known. Some think ‘Abdu’l-Baha dictated it to his wife or some scribe. Others think it was forged after AB died. Nobody saw the Will and Testament BEFORE AB died except AB and his wife. All we know for SURE is that the section where AB appoints SE as Guardian, is NOT in the handwriting of AB, but the rest of the W&T is in the handwriting of AB.
How can these issues be resolved? Answer: they won’t be. Either way, they won’t be. You have to decide “if” you want to be a Baha’i, and promote the Baha’i Faith, or not. These questions will always be unresolved. You have to choose.
Much to my annoyance, MacPark711 chose……to run away from the discussion by deleting his own post. But the neat thing about reddit is that you can still look up and restore some deleted material. Also, I found that Naser Emtesali had already copied the statement MacPark711 deleted here.
So…….I proceeded to put it ALL back on r/exbahai !
Thank you for the restoration. Interesting read as I hit my 1-year anniversary of formal resignation.
(Have not regretted the decision one iota; only sorry I hadn’t done it a few decades earlier.)
May I highlight the staunch baha’i’s, named t0lk, typical and expected reply (in my own words): “read these (excruciatingly) lengthy books–hopefully your brain will be numbed to a level that will keep your critical thinking muscles QUIET.”
I am actually more upset at MacPark711 for deleting the original post here than at t0lk. I am USED to t0lk being a lying, backstabbing asshole.
MacPark711 needs to wake the hell up! I can state for the record that even if I was still a Baha’i in 2018 (the year I first joined reddit), by now I would have resigned from the Faith because of all the crap I have clearly seen from the reddit Baha’is. They are mostly hypocrites because their Faith makes them so by DESIGN. You can’t save it……..you just have to…….LET IT GO!!!!!