In the exBaha’i forum in reddit, several teenagers and others have offered testimonies about losing their faith in their youth, even if they were raised in it. Still others have offered criticisms explaining why they would never convert to the Faith. One actual Baha’i even criticized the Faith in the Baha’i subreddit itself!
The frontman of a leading Christian rock band has admitted he no longer believes in God.
“After growing up in a Christian home, being a pastor’s kid, playing and singing in a Christian band, and having the word ‘Christian’ in front of most of the things in my life — I am now finding that I no longer believe in God,” Hawk Nelson frontman Jonathan Steingard wrote in a nine-page confessional on Instagram.
The 36-year-old Canadian rocker admitted that losing his religion occurred over several years of serious doubts — even while penning some of the band’s most overtly Christian tunes.
He said he was only now ready to “share my deepest truth” because Hawk Nelson “isn’t playing shows or making new music at the moment” and he no longer needs the band to support his family.
He said he was only now ready to “share my deepest truth” because Hawk Nelson “isn’t playing shows or making new music at the moment” and he no longer needs the band to support his family.
While he did not say outright that he was leaving the band, he made it clear he was leaving the religious rock movement.
“I no longer fear losing my place in Christian music. I know this means giving it up voluntarily,” he said in the lengthy confessional.
Steingard says he had long felt “uncomfortable” with parts of worship that “felt like some kind of weird performance art.”
But his “belief in God truly began to unravel” when he started challenging different versions of Bible stories, he said. “Once I found that I didn’t believe the Bible was the Perfect Word of God — it didn’t take long to realize that I was no longer sure he was there at all,” he wrote.
That realization left him in a “very dark place for a while” as he feared being shunned by his family and friends.
“I feel like I’ve mostly emerged from that dark place now — because I’ve discovered that life really does go on,” he said. “My family is showing me incredible love and support, even though I know this grieves them.”
He admitted being “terrified to post this” — and insisted he was “not looking for a debate.”
“Just a chance to share my story in the hopes some good can come from it. I love you all,” he wrote.
Hawk Nelson told People that “God is still for Jon and he still matters,” saying, “that truth doesn’t change just because we question it.”
“We are called to love one another unconditionally, as God loves us,” Daniel Biro, Micah Kuiper and David Niacaris said in a statement.
“Ever thankful and grateful for how God has used this band, the music and the relationships and how he continues to do so.”
It is clear that he was a Christian only because he was raised in it, and his being the son of a clergyman must have made him think he needed to measure up to his father’s example. But if his spiritual orientation was not Christian, that was a futile effort.
Once I found that I didn’t believe the Bible was the Perfect Word of God — it didn’t take long to realize that I was no longer sure he was there at all
That’s quite a leap from Christian fundamentalism to agnosticism, though I myself made that leap at age 20. But it should have been obvious from Day One that the Bible wasn’t perfect. Didn’t he ever read it before?
When researching the Bahá’í Faith, please do not limit yourself only to the officially-sanctioned literature of the Bahá’í Administrative Order.Here are a few observations…
1) The Bahá’í Faith exists solely to perpetuate itself, 99% of its focus and activities are toward this one goal, growth in membership. Throughout their history they have been preparing their members for the “entry by troops” of new converts, which has yet to materialize. They do a minimal amount of humanitarian or charity work.
2) Bahá’ís use terminology in ways that was not intended. Bahá’ís don’t have censorship, they have “review.” They don’t proselytize, they “teach.” They don’t have missionaries, they have “pioneers.” They don’t have prophets, they are called “manifestations.” And so forth.
3) Bahá’ís have a “lo is us” sense of historical persecution. If you look at their history, though, most would call it just fruits. During the founding of the religion, the forebear Babi sect led a violent, apocalyptic revolution in Iran, and some of their members later attempted to assassinate the Shah. Their leadership were exiled to the Ottoman Empire where schismatic violence within the group later led to house arrest. Of course, this is all billed as being persecuted.
4) Bahá’ís lament how others view them in a conspiratorial light, when in fact, again, this is based on historical reality. In Iran the Babis had the protection of the Russian ambassador (Russia being an imperial power that had seized wide swaths of territory from Iran and at one point the Russian ambassador had to approve Iranian cabinet ministers). In the Ottoman Empire, Bahá’ís conspired with the Young Turks, who deposed Sultan Abdul Hamid II in a coup. Later, they would assist the British, and their leader `Abdu’l-Bahá earned knighthood, being designated KBE. With their headquarters in Haifa, Bahá’ís have cooperated with the state of Israel, to the extent that some of the Bahá’í World Center buildings are built on land expropriated from absentee Palestinian land owners.
5) Bahá’ís inflate their membership numbers. Comparing census data of various nations to self-reported data confirms this. The outside data Bahá’ís often cite, like from the Association of Religion Data Archives, only uses self-reported data, creating a circle.
6) In the community I was a member of, even in the lifetime of Khomeini, there were Persian Bahá’ís who would regularly travel to Iran during their summer holidays to visit family. When I would ask them how that was possible, their response was always along the lines that the arrested Bahá’ís were those who were administratively and politically active, almost to the point of referring to them as “troublemakers.” The Bahá’í Administrative Order uses these news stories of alleged persecution very astutely to generate media attention. A Google News search for the term “Bahá’í” shows a predominance of news stories regarding Bahá’í temples and discrimination. Otherwise, the Bahá’í Faith generates little to no interest.
7) Bahá’ís initially hide from members some of the more unsavory realities of their religion. Men and women are equal, but women are barred from serving in the highest organ of the religion, the Universal House of Justice, and will presumably be barred from the local and national Houses of Justice that the current LSA’s and NSA’s will one day evolve into. The hierarchy is billed as being democratic, but only in the sense of council democracy as it still exists in Cuba where individuals elect local committees, who then elect national committees, who then elect the Universal House of Justice. There is a parallel appointed hierarchy. With no politicking or partisanship allowed, elected members in the higher ranks serve for life until they die or retire, and are subsequently replaced by nomenklatura.
8) Bahá’ís hide from members some of the more unsavory realities of their history. After Bahá’u’lláh their leader was ‘Abdu’l-Bahá and then Shoghi Effendi. By the time Shoghi Effendi died, all the living descendants of Bahá’u’lláh had been excommunicated from the religion for various offenses, including marrying a “lowborn Christian girl,” a term he would later defend. Shoghi Effendi was also designated the “Guardian,” by ‘Abdu’l-Bahá. The Guardian was supposed to designated subsequent Guardians, but did not do so, although the entire Bahá’í administrative structure depended on it.
9) Ignoring failed prophecies, like `Abdu’l-Bahá declaring the peace of the world to come by the year 2000. Those of us around in the 1980’s and 1990’s remember the crescendo, and the anticlimactic ignoring of reality and denial of the build up.
10) Many Bahá’ís books have been posthumously rewritten to remove references to to failed prophecies and prominent individuals who left the Bahá’í Faith for various reasons. These rewrites are more than minor edits and constitute a different process than “Bahá’í review” which the euphemism used for pre-publication censorship.
11) Bahá’ís claim earlier religions are valid, but in reality they only do this in an Islamic sense (i.e., the earlier revelation was perverted over time). For example, they deny the parts of Bible written by Paul. Or when Muhammad says he is the last prophet, Bahá’ís say that was true only for the Adamic Cycle, but now we are in the Bahá’í Cycle.
12) The Universal House of Justice has noted that only “A fraction of the total numbers of unique works have been published in the original languages or translated into Western languages.”The Kitáb-i-Aqdas, the central book of the Bahá’í Faith written by Bahá’u’lláh, was only officially translated into English in 1992, by which time other translations, such as one by the Royal Asiatic Society, were becoming increasingly available through dissemination via the internet. My personal opinion is that the material in the Kitáb-i-Aqdas is so objectionable that the Bahá’í authorities wished to shield Western believers from its contents, as they do from Bahá’u’lláh’s other works by not publishing the originals or providing translations.
I could go on.If you’re wondering why I am sending you this message, it is because of my personal experience with the Baha’i Faith. If years ago I knew what I know now, I would have avoided years of commitment and devotion, not to mention financial contribution, to a religion that was presented inaccurately. In the final analysis, I do not believe the Baha’i Faith to be true.For over ten years I did “leave it alone.” But a couple of years ago I went on Wikipedia, just to browse, and sure enough the same canards and lies were being repeated. I had never been to Reddit before, but a Google search on a topic brought me here and, sure enough, the same material was being presented. That motivated me to “set the record straight.” At some point, I felt like I needed to call people on their bullshit. My only intention is to present an unbiased truth as documented in the historical record, most of it from Baha’i sources no less.
@Tufan 19 This symbol is not the Trademark of the Baha’i Administration. Only the “Most Great Name” is.On August 28,1934, the Most Great Name symbol was registered as a trademark (Trade-Mark 316,444). Similarly, the “Bahá’í” trademark (Trade-Mark 245,271) was registered with the Patent Office on August 7, 1928. These trademarks have not prevented the use of the term “Bahá’í” by groups considered Covenant-breakers by the Bahá’í Administrative Order, as upheld in repeated failed litigation. As early as 1941, the New York Supreme Court dismissed a court case brought by National Spiritual Assembly and Trustees of the Bahá’ís of the United States and Canada against Mirza Ahmad Sohrab for the use of the word “Bahá’í.” The judge granted a motion to dismiss, stating that “the plaintiffs have no right to a monopoly of the name of a religion. The defendants, who purport to be members of the same religion, have an equal right to use the name of the religion…”
@Dale Husband It’s easy for me to answer these “few observations”. In fact, I addressed one of them to some one else here. Yet, it seems too hard for him to answer as to why choose a Baha’i star as a profile pic. Why choose to confuse people as to your real motive. That’s why I refuse to waste my time any more with this thread.
With great sadness we announce the death of Sarah Rae Grossman, age 22, of Columbus, Oh (formerly of Springboro, Oh) on May 30, 2020. Born October 7, 1997 in Naperville, Il, Sarah is survived by her parents, Todd and Christi Grossman, and sister Jessa Grossman, of Springboro Oh; Grandparents Lonnie and Thelma Mullins, Mel and Shelley Grossman, and Phillip and Sue VanKersen, and many loving and amazing friends, aunts, uncles and cousins. She was a 2016 graduate of Springboro High School.
Sarah graduated May 3, 2020 from The Ohio State University with an Honors Degree of Bachelor of Science in the School of Environment and Natural Resources. Her specific course of study within the EEDS program (Environment, Economy, Development and Sustainability) reflected her life passions. Prior to the Covid pandemic, Sarah planned to complete a second degree in Spanish in 2021 while attending the Universidad of Belgrano in Buenos Aires, Argentina.
It is impossible to find the words to describe her kindness, unique spirit, and unwavering dedication to her convictions. Sarah was a fierce but compassionate supporter of environmental issues and social justice. A genuine friend who loved and cherished her extraordinary friendships. She was the most caring and thoughtful daughter, a beloved granddaughter, and a loving sibling and best friend to her sister Jessa.
Sarah had spent the past two summers in Guatemala researching the harvesting industry. After graduation she planned to pursue work promoting positive environmental, climate and land use policies, assisting migrant workers and indigenous communities. She wanted to help the voices of the underserved be heard. She opened our eyes to both lovely ideas and ugly truths. In addition to being a full time student, she was a hard working employee, having held over six jobs in her short life, most recently at Stauf’s Coffee, and Chadwick Arboretum in Columbus, Oh. Sarah loved nature and being outdoors- hiking in the great National Parks of this country, collecting and caring for plants, watching the sun set and the moon rise. She had many interests that brought her joy- creating ceramics and art, finding that awesome thrift store find, and she definitely loved her coffee! She had visited nine countries- always wanting to learn about the world through the eyes of another. She lived a short but full life.
We will forever miss those big dimples and sweet smile. Those who knew her will understand what a beautiful soul the world has lost.
And how did she die? According to posts on Twitter:
white supremacists had this story taken off of eastfeed because they know public opinion will be won over if it becomes widely known that the cops killed a young white woman with chemical weapons. share and save, people. always screencap. rest in power, sarah grossman pic.twitter.com/tl35EMwgb0
— Homodox Academy is an antifascist organization (@HomodoxAcademy) June 5, 2020
I will always take the time to pay my respects to a fallen Ally. Sarah Grossman thank you for standing up alongside us to combat this injustice I am so terribly sorry that you had to lose your life during a peaceful protest! We won’t let you’re name be forgotten #blacklifematterspic.twitter.com/5jlz2RKRuD
Hey, this claim is currently unsubstantiated. As such, her family is asking that tweets like these be taken down until such time as they can prove them and are ready for all of the negative attention that has come upon them.
One of the four Klansmen in the car from which the shots were fired was Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) informant Gary Thomas Rowe. Rowe testified against the shooters and was given witness protection by the FBI. The FBI immediately began a smear campaign and leaked to the press what were purported to be salacious details about Liuzzo. The FBI attempted to downplay the situation and to discredit Liuzzo by spreading rumors that she was a member of the Communist Party, was a heroin addict, and had abandoned her children to have sexual relationships with African-Americans involved in the Civil Rights Movement. All of the rumors were entirely false and were wholely fabricated by the FBI.
THAT woman could have been my mother or grandmother!
If it turns out that Sarah Grossman did not die because of tear gas, we should correct the misinformation. But she is worth remembering anyway. So is anyone who takes a stand (or drops to a knee, for that matter) to protest injustice.
With all the protests erupting across America regarding the murder of an unarmed black man, George Floyd, at the hands (and knee) of a white cop, I am reminded of an incident that illustrated to me why police can’t always be trusted, even if they don’t kill blacks at all.
Back when I was living in Arlington, Texas, I was traveling down highway 360 when I was pulled over by a cop. He approached my car and said, “Do you know why I pulled you over?”
I said, “No clue, officer. I know I wasn’t speeding. In fact, it is impossible to speed on this highway; it’s too congested.”
The cop then said, “Are you lost? Do you need help getting somewhere?”
I said, “No, I’m fine.”
The cop let me go. But I have no doubt that he did so only because of my white privilege. But I was driving a 2002 Saturn that was in such poor condition that I’m sure the cop seeing it from a distance assumed it was being driven by a poor black or hispanic man. So if instead I had been a person of color, he likely would have written me a ticket for some made up excuse and I would have had to go to court to fight it and still risk losing the fight in front of a mostly white jury. I already knew that traffic tickets are a convenient means of a city to raise extra money without raising taxes on most citizens, not merely a matter of public safety. And what better way to keep minorities down than by targeting their pocketbooks?
In 2018, I downloaded and began playing an app on my new smartphone titled Choices: Stories You Play created by a mobile gaming company called Pixelberry Studios. It features stories of romance that you have some control over by making decisions on behalf of the stories’ Main Characters. The characters include teenagers in high school, young adults in college, older adults dealing with mysteries and fighting criminals and other powerful enemies, and even some historical scenarios.
I read this story online many years ago and think it worth sharing and repeating forever, so…..
A NYC Taxi driver wrote:
I arrived at the address and honked the horn. After waiting a few minutes I honked again. Since this was going to be my last ride of my shift I thought about just driving away, but instead I put the car in park and walked up to the door and knocked.. ‘Just a minute’, answered a frail, elderly voice. I could hear something being dragged across the floor.
After a long pause, the door opened. A small woman in her 90’s stood before me. She was wearing a print dress and a pillbox hat with a veil pinned on it, like somebody out of a 1940’s movie. By her side was a small nylon suitcase. The apartment looked as if no one had lived in it for years. All the furniture was covered with sheets. There were no clocks on the walls, no knickknacks or utensils on the counters. In the corner was a cardboard box filled with photos and glassware.
‘Would you carry my bag out to the car?’ she said. I took the suitcase to the cab, then returned to assist the woman. She took my arm and we walked slowly toward the curb.
She kept thanking me for my kindness. ‘It’s nothing’, I told her.. ‘I just try to treat my passengers the way I would want my mother to be treated.’
‘Oh, you’re such a good boy, she said. When we got in the cab, she gave me an address and then asked, ‘Could you drive through downtown?’
‘It’s not the shortest way,’ I answered quickly..
‘Oh, I don’t mind,’ she said. ‘I’m in no hurry. I’m on my way to a hospice.
I looked in the rear-view mirror. Her eyes were glistening. ‘I don’t have any family left,’ she continued in a soft voice..’The doctor says I don’t have very long.’ I quietly reached over and shut off the meter.
‘What route would you like me to take?’ I asked.
For the next two hours, we drove through the city. She showed me the building where she had once worked as an elevator operator. We drove through the neighborhood where she and her husband had lived when they were newlyweds She had me pull up in front of a furniture warehouse that had once been a ballroom where she had gone dancing as a girl. Sometimes she’d ask me to slow in front of a particular building or corner and would sit staring into the darkness, saying nothing.
As the first hint of sun was creasing the horizon, she suddenly said, ‘I’m tired.Let’s go now’.
We drove in silence to the address she had given me. It was a low building, like a small convalescent home, with a driveway that passed under a portico. Two orderlies came out to the cab as soon as we pulled up. They were solicitous and intent, watching her every move. They must have been expecting her.
I opened the trunk and took the small suitcase to the door. The woman was already seated in a wheelchair.
‘How much do I owe you?’ She asked, reaching into her purse.
‘Nothing,’ I said
‘You have to make a living,’ she answered.
‘There are other passengers,’ I responded. Almost without thinking, I bent and gave her a hug.She held onto me tightly.
‘You gave an old woman a little moment of joy,’ she said. ‘Thank you.’
I squeezed her hand, and then walked into the dim morning light.. Behind me, a door shut. It was the sound of the closing of a life..
I didn’t pick up any more passengers that shift. I drove aimlessly lost in thought. For the rest of that day,I could hardly talk.What if that woman had gotten an angry driver,or one who was impatient to end his shift? What if I had refused to take the run, or had honked once, then driven away?
On a quick review, I don’t think that I have done anything more important in my life. We’re conditioned to think that our lives revolve around great moments. But great moments often catch us unaware-beautifully wrapped in what others may consider a small one.
One of my basic principles of being an Honorable Skeptic is what I call the malleability of my opinions, as expressed this way:
Because I am honorable, I sometimes willingly concede points made by my opponents in debates with them. This should never be seen as a sign of weakness. When I know I am right about something, I will fight to the bitter end to support my case and discredit my opponent because in some cases I do see my battles as a struggle between light and darkness, good and evil, or ignorance and knowledge. But I am also willing at times to listen to my opponent and consider his point of view, especially if that person is known by me to be honorable. If we do not listen to others, how can we ever grow in knowledge?
In the past, I opposed the legal concept of statutory rape, thinking it an outdated and irrational one, much like laws in the past banning homosexual relations or interracial unions. But recent events have made me reconsider my position and try to understand why otherwise enlightened people would be so insistent that teens should never be allowed to have romantic and sexual relations with older partners, even of their own choosing.
I remember watching this many times as a child along with the Saturday morning cartoons. It never occurred to me that what I was seeing was white supremacist propaganda. But some on YouTube have pointed that out!
In a blog entry from over a decade ago, I directly assaulted the credibility of the Guardianship of Shoghi Effendi, who led the Baha’i Faith from 1921 until his death in 1957. To this day, I consider The Fatal Flaw of Baha’i Authority to be my one of my greatest works and the ultimate refutation of the Baha’i Faith as led by the leadership based in Haifa, Israel.
I have also debunked the credibility of Abdu’l-Baha’s Will and Testament, the very document that Shoghi Effendi based his authority on.
It is shocking enough that the so-called Guardian did not uphold the Covenant at the time of his death. But what if I told you that he also broke it while he was alive?
When he was Guardian, Shoghi Effendi would often expel dissident Baha’is from the community, including nearly ALL his closest relatives. But a reading of the Will and Testament of Abdu’l-Baha reveals that he should NOT have had that power and he was abusing his position as Guardian!
After declaring the absolute authority of the Guardian, Abdu’l-Baha says this:
My object is to show that the Hands of the Cause of God must be ever watchful and so soon as they find anyone beginning to oppose and protest against the Guardian of the Cause of God, cast him out from the congregation of the people of Bahá and in no wise accept any excuse from him.
So the Hands of the Cause of God are expected to expel those disloyal to the Guardian, not the Guardian himself. Meanwhile….
Should any of the members [of the Universal House of Justice] commit a sin, injurious to the common weal, the Guardian of the Cause of God hath at his own discretion the right to expel him, whereupon the people must elect another one in his stead.
So the only expulsion the Guardian is empowered to do is to remove members of the UHJ from that body, and not necessarily from the Baha’i community completely. So how did Shoghi Effendi gain the same power to expel Baha’is completely as the Hands of the Cause of God? By merely asserting he had that power already! But if he did, then the Will and Testament of Abdu’l-Baha really should have read:
My object is to show that the Guardian of the Cause of God must be ever watchful and so soon as he finds anyone beginning to oppose and protest against him, cast the Covenant breaker out from the congregation of the people of Bahá and in no wise accept any excuse from him.
The Constitution of the United States of America grants Congress, not the President, the power to declare war, but it also grants the President the rank of Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of the United States. But the last time Congress did declare war was in December 1941, right after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor. Yet the USA has fought wars in Korea, Vietnam, and Iraq without a Congressional declaration of war, because of the President taking advantage of his position of Commander-in-Chief. This is straight up TYRANNY the American people should NEVER have tolerated!
Likewise, Baha’is the world over blindly assumed that Shoghi Effendi had the right to expel people from the Baha’i community. He didn’t even start to appoint living Hands of the Cause of God until 1951, thirty years after he began his Guardianship and he NEVER served as a member of the UHJ! Why not? Was his megalomania so problematic that he was never willing to share power with anyone in his early days as Guardian?
Then he never should have been Guardian to begin with.
Imagine you are a famous horror novelist, like Stephen King, with millions of fans around the world. You decide to write a historical fiction novel set during World War II and focusing on the Holocaust. You write the story about a concentration camp as accurately as possible, depicting the atrocities committed there in graphic detail and the Nazis involved as cruel and powerful, while their Jewish victims are shown to be helpless, the story only ending with the liberation of the camp by Allied forces. At no point do you endorse anything about Nazism, nor do you attack the Jewish community. And yet, after the novel is published, you are accused of being pro-Nazi, anti-Semetic, racist, and white supremacist, and you get tons of hate mail and even some death threats, causing you to go into hiding and consider quitting writing altogether. This despite you having made statements damning the Nazis and supporting Zionism in the past; the novel is considered proof of your true nature by people who are your sworn enemies.
This is similar to the situation I am facing right now. Let me provide some background.
In 2017, Roy Moore, a right-wing religious extremist and former judge, ran for a place in the U S Senate, but lost to Democrat Doug Jones. During his campaign, it was revealed that he had violated the bodily autonomy of several young girls when he was decades younger, disturbing the people of Alabama enough to make them reject him. This was at a time when the #metoo movement, asserting the right of women to no longer tolerate sexual harassment from men, was a major social force. I decided to support this movement by discussing it on my blog.
Thus on December 18, 2017, I wrote and published a blog entry titled, “Why I am far better than Roy Moore”. I described an actual incident I had with a young girl and how, even when given a chance to molest her, I chose NOT to do that and let her go because I respected her body and mind enough to do so. Far from being an endorsement of child sexual abuse and pedophilia, it was a total condemnation of those things and a warning to adults about how to treat younger people.
Because the girl I was with seemed to be giving me romantic signals, I mistakenly thought she had a crush on me and so I thought I needed to address that issue directly with her. But instead, she clearly explained that she only saw me as a friend and was not in love with me. The moment she made that clear, I dropped the subject and moved on. My error was thinking her overly affectionate nature was something more. That’s it. I made NO attempt to seduce the girl, tell her she HAD to have sex with me at any point, or anything so disgusting. That simply didn’t happen!
Last year, I had a dramatic falling out with Wahid Azal, who like me was an activist against the Baha’i Faith. But unlike me, he was the leader of his own “Bayani” cult based on the teachings of the Bab mixed with Marxism and other left wing extremist views. I refused to endorse his cult and when he was expelled from the ExBahai subreddit for disruptive conduct, I sided with the moderators of it against Azal. That turned him against me and over the next several months, he proceeded to accuse me of being racist, a white nationalist, a pro-Baha’i operative in league with the Baha’i leadership in Haifa (he also accused the ExBahai subreddit moderators of that), and even of being gay and also lusting after Azal’s wife before she died (hardly what a gay man would do, eh?). Of course, he could make none of those claims stick because there was no real evidence for any of them and I had made my rejection of racism and other forms of bigotry all too clear on my blog, and everywhere else for that matter. So what else is there to do when you are desperate to smear me?
By this time, I had long forgotten about the blog entry I had written about Roy Moore and the little girl I’d been with and had moved on to many other things in my life. But Wahid Azal found that blog entry and he and his cult followers began to spread links to it in various places, and he also made a video attacking me titled (I kid you not) “Dale Husband confesses to being a Paedophile”.
Needless to say, that is an outright lie, just like all the other lies that bastard has told about me. The only thing I ever confessed to on the blog entry in question was facing a difficult situation with a child and treating that child like an independent person rather than a sex object. A pedophile is a person attracted sexually only to children and aggressively seeking them out for sexual purposes, disregarding their own feelings and needs. Not only do I condemn such a thing, I actually believe convicted child molesters deserve the DEATH PENALTY! Indeed, I even condemned Moses, God’s supreme lawgiver, for endorsing child sexual abuse and genocide, as depicted here:
After learning what Azal had done, I asked a friend of mine, the same one I consulted in making the controversial blog entry, what I should do. She said, “Unfortunately in my experience very little weight is put into someone’s intention, only in other’s perception. I would probably take it down if I were you, but there’s no action that will immediately make this problem go away for you. Good luck, friend. Things like this are never easy.” So I removed the blog entry from public viewing.
So this is how utterly low Azal has sunk and now I am going to have to be a lot more aggressive in dealing with him and his lies on YouTube as well as on reddit. His online presence must be eradicated and his Bayani cult brought down to ruin for good! He has simply given me NO OTHER CHOICE!
Fortunately, it seems that some progress in getting rid of him has already been made.
A few months ago, I was contacted via Facebook by Hamid Farnagh and he requested I provide material for his magazine, which is dedicated to criticizing the Baha’i Faith. I complied and soon portions of my writings appeared there, along with a description of me.
I then requested he send me an English translation of what was written so I could be sure my writings had been properly represented. He promised me he would do so, but his efforts were delayed by his contracting the coronavirus, which he survived. Once he got well, he kept his word to me and I got the translation in email, which I then downloaded and read. Now I will share that text with my readers.
After receiving several harassing phone calls today from someone trying to get me to pay money for a package to be delivered to me that I didn’t even order, I have finally had ENOUGH of a dating site known as Mingle2!
I made an account there about eight years ago. Here are screenshots of my profile there:
The very first message I got on the site was an introduction to it.
Welcome to Mingle2 – Please read!
PLEASE READ THIS ENTIRE MESSAGE. IT CONTAINS IMPORTANT INFORMATION
Mingle2.com is a free dating site. You can contact as many people as you like for free!
Our goal is to help you find relationships that matter in your life. Every day we work hard to make this happen.
To make the most of your experience here, please follow these simple guidelines.
Be safe. Everything you need to contact people is available on the site. Be suspicious of people that message you and want to talk to you offsite via phone, email or IM in their first contact with you. These people are sometimes scammers who try to convince you to give them money. As a rule, NEVER give anyone you meet on the site money.
Have fun. Start by uploading a good photo of yourself. People who upload a photo get 10X the activity of people without photos.
Invest a little time in your profile. This is your first impression, make it count.
Invite your friends. Dating doesn’t have to be lonely. Invite your friends and make it more fun. Get their advice or check out their friends.
Spend some time in the forums. It’s a great place to meet other people.
Use features like BLOCK USER on people you don’t like. It’s simple and effective
Just have fun. Everyone here is here for the same reason, so just be yourself and have a good time, the rest comes naturally.
INBOX MESSAGING & INSTANT MESSAGING RULES
If you are lewd, rude or crude in email messages to others, this can get you banned permanently. We store complaints and our system will ban you if you accrue too many complaints.
Do not send people unsolicited “sexual” messages or else you will get banned when they report you.
Do not spam or solicit funds from other users (duh!). You will be reported and banned.
Do people obey the rules of this site? Apparently not! I have made contact with a wide variety of women over the years, and it seems EVERY SINGLE ONE was a scammer! In most cases, women who were supposed to be in the Dallas/Fort Worth area would turn out to be in another state, like California, or even an African country! They and I would communicate for several weeks or months and inevitably, if they didn’t lose interest in me, they would demand I send them money or gift cards. After what happened to me in 2018, I would tolerate that crap no more! EIGHT YEARS IS LONG ENOUGH TO BE MADE OF FOOL OF!
A message from four years ago:
For your safety – Please read!
Because we are a free dating site, anyone can sign up – including scammers and other undesirable people. Since our inception, we’ve made user safety a top priority and we’ve built many systems to combat such undesirables. It mostly works and we are making improvements everyday. However, it is impossible to make a full-proof system.
So please be wary of anyone who asks you for money or who says he/she can make you money. Mingle2 is a dating site, not a financial service, right? You can also help us combat the problem by reporting that user.
If someone asks you to visit their “webcam” or go to another site that’s a “webcam” please ignore these scammers and report them to us. We are in no way affiliated with these scammers and work hard on banning them daily.
As always, we hope you enjoy the site and make some valuable relationships.
Sincerely, The Mingle2 Team
I don’t believe them anymore. I now think the website itself is a scam and that most of the accounts there are Mingle2 employees, not real women. I will shut down my account and move on.
I was just informed of someone even more insane and dangerous than Wahid Azal! But the parallels between them are striking. Both came from Iran and both settled in Australia. Both have acted like cult leaders at one time or another.
Verona van de Leur: The star gymnast who reinvented herself as a porn actress
The simple act of cartwheeling at the age of five begins Verona van de Leur’s story, a childhood passion which in turn led to a desire to be an Olympic gymnast.
In the intervening three decades, she became a Dutch national treasure known for her sporting prowess.
But injury curtailed her career and her life spiraled out of control. Locked out of the family home, she says she spent two years homeless and endured a fractious legal battle with her father.
Things got even worse when she was imprisoned, convicted of blackmail in 2011. She says she came within seconds of stepping in front of a train to end her life.
She says redemption came working as a porn actress and, now at the age of 34, Van de Leur has penned her autobiography, laying out details of her life.
She is adamant there are no regrets. Of her foray into the adult movie industry, which she says she stopped last year, Van de Leur told CNN Sport’s Don Riddell: “Actually no regrets because I was living on the streets … I would still do it, so I don’t have any regrets, not the way I did it, no.”
Engrossed by watching gymnastics at the 1996 Olympics, she set her heart on competing at the Games. The medals followed, with silver both at the World and European Championships. She was named Dutch sportswoman of the year in 2002 just before turning 17.
Lisa Deen, who works as a freelance sports journalist specializing in gymnastics, describes Van de Leur as “one of the greatest gymnasts in the Netherlands’ history.”
‘Left with a black hole’
To start with, Van de Leur loved the life of being a gymnast.
“It’s quite strange but it’s also fun of course — I mean you’re a teenager and everybody’s watching you in a good way, asking for an autograph, so it feels special, of course,” she says.
“Your parents are proud, your family’s proud, everybody’s talking positive about you. But you have all the pressures coming and you have to succeed at the next competition again and again.”
Trying to pinpoint when things began to unravel is hard for Van de Leur.
At times, she thinks it could have been as early as the age of nine when she took up gymnastics competitively.
What’s not in doubt is that the downward spiral started in 2003 following an injury. Suddenly, Van de Leur says, she had nothing.
“If I look back, it’s just a sport, a hobby you’re good at,” she says. “But at the time it was printed in my head, ‘This is what you are. You are only a gymnast’. And for me there was no life besides it … For the people around me, I was only that robot, only the gymnast and I didn’t have friends.
“So, if your sport is falling apart, there’s nothing left so you have this black hole.”
Van de Leur says her falling out of love with gymnastics reached its peak in 2008 when she announced to the media at the European Championships that she was walking away from the sport that had defined her life. She was just 22.
Her first reaction was happiness it was finally over, and for once she felt like she was taking control of her own life. However, when she told her parents, she says they remonstrated with her, concerned Van de Leur was turning her back on potential earnings.
In her opinion, their attitude was that “money was more important than their own daughter.” Around that time, she returned to the family home only to discover she was no longer welcome, she says.
‘Locked out of home’
CNN tried to contact Van de Leur’s father for comment via email, phone and social media but proved unsuccessful, as well as her sister.
“I tried the locks, I had a key as I was living there and you try it and it’s not working,” Van de Leur recalled. “You first think, well, it must be a mistake or I’ll just call home. They didn’t answer, they didn’t open and then I realized I wasn’t welcome anymore.”
So, she slept in her car with her boyfriend that night, first annoyed and then heartbroken that her family had rejected her. She says, “The last time I saw them was in court.”
A court summary of the case says Van de Leur argued that in 2008, her father, who acted as her agent, “withdrew an amount of €9,000 ($9768) from the claimant’s payment account without the consent or knowledge of the claimant, of which only part of the claimant was repaid or related to costs incurred on behalf of the claimant.”
She added: “I’ve asked for the accounting and where’s my sponsorship money and all the money I get from gymnastics when I won and it was just all gone. The only thing was to get justice to go to court so that’s what I did.”
An attorney listed as Van de Leur’s father’s lawyer at the time declined to comment to CNN citing code of conduct.
The court summary states that Van de Leur’s father argued that he had “incurred costs including moving the claimant’s personal property out of her trainer’s home, buying gifts for the trainer and her family, replacing locks in the defendant’s home and staying with family related to potential threats.”
However, in February 2009, a court of The Hague ordered her father to pay her €1,355.89 ($1471) as well as allow Van de Leur to return to his home to retrieve a number of items: a sunbed, tracksuits and leotards, and various presents, and to stop running a website in her name.
Reflecting on facing her parents in the court room, Van de Leur said: “From the beginning, I know I lost everything and money doesn’t get parents back.”
‘I wasn’t used to showing myself nude’
For two years after her family fallout, she says she was homeless. During that time, Van de Leur was arrested for trying to blackmail a couple having an extra marital affair — she was charged with extortion — which resulted in her spending 72 days in prison.
“In that time, being homeless, I didn’t care anymore how I got money for food,” she said.
“But even in that worst situation I know it was not my right to determine the law and, yes, I regret that I didn’t choose or find another option in that period of time. Maybe it’s good for me that I have been punished for 72 days to realize I was wrong, and I was.”
When out of jail, the adult industry — first as a webcam model and then making videos with her boyfriend — seemed a good way out. The couple is still together 13 years on.
“I saw it as a chance,” said Van de Leur. “It was a big contract so I could build something, starting my business. I was starting as a webcam model. It wasn’t physical contact, so computer screen was okay. I wasn’t used to showing myself nude, of course.”
The reaction in Holland to her dramatic career change, she says, was mixed, but having been homeless and in jail, Van de Leur saw her new job as offering her a fresh start.
“I didn’t say at the time I lived on the street or where I was coming from but for me this was actually a step up and they only saw that I was going down,” she said. “So, I kept it in my mind, it’s my life, it’s what I like to do and I always saw it as work.”
Van de Leur also made a return to the gymnastics world at the World Championships in Stuttgart last year where she worked as an analyst for the Dutch media, but she returned home prematurely before the event had finished.
As she reflects on the various twists and turns of her life, Van de Leur says she wishes she had been smarter at a younger age when her gymnastics career was taking off.
Above all these days she wants to embrace life — having come so close to ending it all.
It was amid the dispute with her family, that Van de Leur says she went to a railway line to kill herself.
“I went to the train and I was just counting from 10 to zero and I didn’t jump,” she recalled. “I don’t know why but it was really the moment that it could be all over.
“I was thinking about my family that I lost, I was living on the street, I had nothing, nothing to eat, no money in my hands, so I had nothing to live for.
“That was what I was thinking at that moment but, when the train just passed, I don’t know something snapped maybe. I still don’t know why I didn’t jump, I was crying and then just walked away.”
Now, Van de Leur says that moment gives her strength and that she’s learned to “enjoy every moment of her life.”
A harshly judgemental person would condemn her for going into porn, but she clearly only did that out of necessity because her own family rejected her for no longer being a source of income to them. If I had been this beautiful girl’s father, I would have loved and supported her even after she had quit being a gymnast, and encouraged her to pursue other interests as she got older. Then she might not have gone into porn.
But the ultimate hero in all this is the unnamed boyfriend. He never abandoned her, even after she went into porn and no doubt showed off her body to other guys to make money. That would have driven away most other love partners. But he stayed with her, even in the darkest times. He literally saved her life!
Over the last week, new reporting has provided corroborating evidence for a decades-old allegation of sexual assault against former Vice President Joe Biden, a charge that has been denied by the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee’s campaign.
Timeline of the allegations
In March, former Biden congressional staffer Tara Reade told podcaster Katie Halper that in the spring or summer of 1993 that the then-senator from Delaware had cornered her in a private hallway when she was delivering a duffel bag. Reade alleges that Biden began kissing her, propositioned and reached under her skirt and began touching her.
The Biden campaign has denied the allegations.
“Vice President Biden has dedicated his public life to changing the culture and the laws around violence against women,” Kate Bedingfield, Biden’s communications director, said in a statement to the New York Times earlier this month. “He authored and fought for the passage and reauthorization of the landmark Violence Against Women Act. He firmly believes that women have a right to be heard — and heard respectfully. Such claims should also be diligently reviewed by an independent press. What is clear about this claim: It is untrue. This absolutely did not happen.”
The Associated Press contacted 21 former Biden staffers, none of whom said they remembered any complaints filed by Reade, who was a 29-year-old staff assistant at the time. Reade said that after complaining, her duties were scaled back and she was eventually told she wasn’t a good fit before being given a month to find another job. Reade said that she filed a written complaint at the time with a Senate personnel office, which could be with the rest of Biden’s senatorial papers at the University of Delaware. The university has said that an archive related to the former vice president “will remain closed to the public until two years after Mr. Biden retires from public life.”
Last year, Reade said in multiple interviews that Biden had touched her shoulders and played with her hair but did not mention assault.
On Monday, Business Insider published a story from veteran investigative reporter Rich McHugh that included an on-the-record interview with two women who said that Reade had told them about the incident in the mid-’90s.
“I remember her saying, here was this person that she was working for and she idolized him,” Lynda LaCasse, Reade’s former neighbor, said. “And he kind of put her up against a wall. And he put his hand up her skirt and he put his fingers inside her. She felt like she was assaulted, and she really didn’t feel there was anything she could do.”
“I don’t remember all the details,” added LaCasse, who said she was a Democrat who still supported Biden. “I remember the skirt. I remember the fingers. I remember she was devastated.”
Another woman, Lorraine Sanchez, told McHugh that she recalled Reade complaining to her in the mid-’90s that her former boss in Washington, D.C., had sexually harassed her and that she had been fired for raising concerns. Sanchez and Reade worked together in the office of a California state senator.
In March 2019, former Nevada lawmaker Lucy Flores alleged that Biden had kissed and touched her inappropriately in 2014. In response to Flores’s allegation, Biden said it “was never my intention” to make Flores or another woman feel uncomfortable.
“In my many years on the campaign trail and in public life, I have offered countless handshakes, hugs, expressions of affection, support and comfort. And not once — never — did I believe I acted inappropriately,” he said in the statement. “If it is suggested I did so, I will listen respectfully. But it was never my intention.”
He added that he did not recall the alleged interaction with Flores, but said, “We have arrived at an important time when women feel they can and should relate their experiences.”
Shortly after those allegations were made, a half dozen other women spoke up to say that Biden had made remarks or touched them in ways that made them uncomfortable, although none alleged assault. One was Reade, who told a local California newspaper that Biden had inappropriately touched her and made her uncomfortable. She did not raise an accusation of assault. In 2019 interviews with the Washington Post, Reade said that Biden “touched her neck and shoulders but did not mention the alleged assault or suggest there was more to the story.”
In an April 12 story on the allegations, the New York Times talked to a number of staffers who said they had not heard of the incident and said it was out of character for Biden. However, two former interns told the Times that they “recalled that she abruptly stopped supervising them in April, before the end of their internship,” which echoes Reade’s claim that her duties were scaled back.
The mother’s call
Last week, the Intercept published an August 11, 1993, call to Larry King’s CNN show. Although not identified at the time, the caller was Reade’s mother, Jeanette Altimus, who Reade says she told about the alleged assault at the time it occurred.
“I’m wondering what a staffer would do besides go to the press in Washington?” said the caller, who was identified as a woman living in San Luis Obispo, Calif., where Altimus resided at the time. “My daughter has just left there, after working for a prominent senator, and could not get through with her problems at all, and the only thing she could have done was go to the press, and she chose not to do it out of respect for him.”
King replied, “In other words, she had a story to tell but, out of respect for the person she worked for, she didn’t tell it?”
“That’s true,” said the caller.
Congressional records list Reade’s last month of employment as August 1993.
It is possible that Biden does indeed have some personal boundary issues, but so do lots of other men, including Donald Trump, he who said he wanted to grab a woman by her “pussy”. That did not stop Trump from getting elected in 2016, however. So why throw similar accusations at Biden? And more to the point, why NOW?
Since this incident was said to occurred in 1993, the proper time to bring it forward would have been in 2008, when Barack Obama had just chosen Joe Biden as his running mate. Then Obama could have dropped Biden and chosen someone else to be the next Vice-President, increasing the chances of Obama winning later. But not a peep about the matter came out…..until THIS year, when Biden is running for President against a man who is KNOWN to be a pervert. Could this be a desperate last ditch effort by Republicans to ensure the reelection of Trump?
Democrats have a problem I call “moral puritanism”, which one would have expected Republicans to have had with their conservative ideology. But clearly morality is no longer an issue if Republicans are willing to elect to the Presidency a twice divorced serial adulterer with scandalous business practices and NO political experience at all. As long as Trump can ramrod the right-wing agenda through the Congress and the Supreme Court, Republicans can overlook moral issues. By contrast, Democrats are often willing to turn on their own politicians for similar issues, which is why Sen. Al Franken resigned after he was accused of sexual misconduct. In hindsight, I think THAT WAS A CRITICAL MISTAKE. Franken should have kept his seat in the U S Senate and faced the voters in the next election.
By making similar allegations at Joe Biden, Republicans hope Biden can be discredited enough to force the Democratic Party to reject him and choose another candidate, who might turn out to be weaker. Biden won the primaries because the rank and file Democratic voters consider him the strongest candidate; they themselves would be less likely to support wholeheartedly anyone else, and the centrist non-partisan voter even less so.
We hit absolute rock bottom with Donald Trump and even if the allegations against Biden are true, he is still better than Trump. After Biden purges the Presidency of Trump’s filth, we can then elect an even better person as Biden’s successor, and ultimately raise up an entire generation of young men who will know better than to violate the bodily autonomy of women. It’s too late for older men like Franken, Trump, and Biden who were raised with different standards and we need to be realistic about that. As long as Democrats and Republicans are NOT on an even playing field, this bloodletting among Democrats must end! We can move forward only by ensuring that Republicans and fellow Democrats can’t make political issues out of private behavior.
Even as the novel coronavirus continues to kill an incomprehensible number of people, many a policymaker, business leader, and president alike want to know one thing: How soon can we get people back to work and everyday life, and can it be sooner than whenever you’re going to tell me because honestly that doesn’t really work for my schedule or the economic platform I was hoping to run for reelection on. While Donald Trump wants to “reopen” the country as soon as possible, actually knowledgable person Dr. Anthony Fauci has said the government is “not there yet” when it comes to having measures in place that could conceivably allow some businesses to safely reopen, like significantly expanded testing capacities and the ability to trace every individual who has been infected.
Also urging caution are a number of Democratic governors, including New York’s Andrew Cuomo, California’s Gavin Newsom, and their counterparts in Washington, Oregon, New Jersey, and Connecticut, who have said that many other conditions will have to be met before relaxing restrictions, including the ability of hospitals to handle a spike in patients; a reduction in the exposure of vulnerable groups; a plan for businesses, schools, and other groups to implement social distancing measures; and a plan to reimpose restrictions if infections begin to rise again. And while we would absolutely hate to draw some sort of distinction between the approach of the two political parties, it would appear that whereas Democrats are urging vigilance, science, and an emphasis on preserving human life, the general take of Republicans might be summed up as: Screw it, some people are going to have to take one for the team. You’ve had a good run, but them’s the breaks.
On Tuesday, that take was summed up by Indiana congressman Trey Hollingsworth, who told a radio-show host that it’s Congress’s job to sit Americans down and explain to them that dying in a pandemic isn’t as bad as the havoc said pandemic is wreaking on the economy. “We are going to have to look Americans in the eye and say, ‘We are making the best decisions for the most Americans possible,’” Hollingsworth told WIBC. “And the answer to that is unequivocally to get Americans back to work, to get Americans back to their businesses.”
Asked by host Tony Katz how he will respond to the critics who will inevitably say he’s anti-science and is going to get people killed, Hollingsworth—who strangely did not mention which of his family members he’d be willing to let the virus knock off for the greater good—replied: “It is policymakers’ decision to put on our big boy and big girl pants and say, ‘This is the lesser of these two evils. And it is not zero evil, but it is the lesser of these evils, and we intend to move forward in that direction.’ That is our responsibility, and to abdicate that is to insult the Americans that voted us into office.” Sure, some might argue that the bigger insult is to suggest that people should be willing to die to save the economy—which won’t be in a great place if infections and deaths start surging again as a result of relaxed restrictions—but potato, potahto.
Hollingsworth—whose parents must have had a sixth sense that he’d give this interview one day when they named him Trey—is of course far from the only member of the Grand Old Party making such proclamations. In March, White House National Economic Council chairman Larry Kudlowsaid in an interview that “The cure can’t be worse than the disease, and we’re gonna have to make some difficult trade-offs” because the “economic cost to individuals is just too great.” Later in the month, Texas Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick claimed on live television that “lots of grandparents” are willing to “take a chance” on their survival for the good of the economy, saying “Those of us who are 70-plus, we’ll take care of ourselves. But don’t sacrifice the country, don’t do that, don’t ruin this great America.” After all, it’s like the founding fathers said: “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, and sorry if you’re over 70 or have asthma but I refuse to spend another Saturday not strolling the aisles of Bob’s Big Lots followed by a dine-in experience at the Cheesecake Factory, you selfish pricks.”
Bankruptcy and unemployment are lesser evils than DEATH, you bastard? Absolutely not so. If you are bankrupt, unemployed, or even homeless, you can reverse these problems. But you cannot rise yourself from the dead. And even sacrificing your lives would make sense if we were being invaded by an enemy army, instead of an extremely contagious virus. The best way to combat the virus is to stay home and avoid contact with people. Rep. Trey Hollingsworth(less) is actually a TRAITOR!
We need to start auditing our politicians, because I suspect most of them, especially the Republican ones, own stock in corporations that are losing money in this present crisis. So……they want others to sacrifice their very lives so they can continue to make profits?! We should make it illegal for state and federal representatives to own stock in such corporations, to end the obvious conflicts of interests that result from them owning some of the very private companies the government is supposed to regulate on behalf of the people.
I can’t wait for November to come! #voteoutallrepublicans
@Let’s Discuss with Eliza Well, for us, God is spirit. It doesn’t mean that you can’t see, it doesnt exist. Like “air” for example its not visible for human eyes but that doesnt mean it doesnt exist. When I look at my surroundings, seeing so much detail in everything I see..it makes it impossible for me that it just pops up out of nowhere..i mean thats “scientifically” impossible.. Well thats just my opinion on that, and I respect your opinion too.😄 Godbless!
@FHI Simple, because God is a just God.. would a just judge allow rapist, thiefs, murderers, adulteres, etc. to be free without justice?😊 In fact we are all guilty for these stuff (luke 18:19) and that is why God gave us his only son as a sacrifice for our sins because of his great love for us.(romans 6:23)Even if you dont believe, that doesn’t change his love for you. (God is the alpha and the omega, He is self existing and is not affected by time)😉 Yes, we dont deserve such kind of goodness but thats just how He is. I would glady answer if you any questions😄 hope that helps..
@FHI Do you understand the purpose of the commandments given by God?Now Imagine a world without rules..no punishments, no discipline, no consequences..would you think it would be a great world to live in where humans lives like wild, using their preference in choosing what is good for them like for ex. “It feels good so why not”.(thats what most rapist,murderers,etc. usually use it as an explanation)
@FHI Every other Religion gets you to try and save yourself like falling from a cliff and just flapping your arms hoping. In Christianity, He already did that for you. Thats the difference.. and dont even get me started on how I grew up, Im probably worse than you haha.. I was actually an athiest before. Even after my parents converted, I hated them coz For me, its just a waste of time and the “money thing” stereotype. I hated them so much but later on God saved me from having a sinful life and he is still transforming me till now.. I hope that you read everything on top coz i feel like you still don’t understand what I mean.. Open your heart brother🙂
So I decided to give this person a verbal body slam.
@TheChosenOne Official No one believes nothing created everything. At least we admit to not knowing where the universe came from. Your assumption that a god or gods must have done it omits one thing…..evidence for such creators.
@TheChosenOne Official ” I was actually an athiest before….. later on God saved me from having a sinful life and he is still transforming me till now.”I doubt your claim and in any case it doesn’t matter. You were probably a terrible atheist and thus we are better off without you.
Moses said, “Now therefore, kill every male among the little ones, and kill every woman who has known man by lying with him. But all the young girls who have not known man by lying with him keep alive for yourselves.” (Numbers 31 17-18)
On Sunday, 29 March, Russell M. Nelson, president of the 16-million-member Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, released a video from Salt Lake City calling on church members everywhere to join in a fast “to pray for relief from the physical, emotional, and economic effects of this global pandemic.”
Some 71 years before, on 6 April 1949, members of the True Jesus Church around the world responded to the call of their leader, Wei Yisa, to fast and “pray for peace.” Communist forces were advancing on the city of Nanjing, where the church headquarters was located. Shortages were severe and prices were skyrocketing.
“It is hard to buy even one grain of rice,” reported an article in the Holy Spirit Times, the church’s international periodical.
One month’s worth of contributions is not enough to cover basic needs such as a day’s vegetables. It is not enough to cover even one day’s postage. We have begun to take good wood beams intended for building and sell them for firewood.
A worldwide fast as a response to a life-threatening crisis, just as spring was beginning to warm the days and coax bright colors from the earth, is a lot for these two churches to have in common. But the parallels go far beyond this.
Both the True Jesus Church and the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints are restorationist churches, claiming to have restored the true gospel of Jesus Christ after centuries of apostasy. The Latter-day Saint tradition starts in the spring of 1820 when a New York farmboy named Joseph Smith said he had a vision in which God the Father and Jesus Christ told him none of the existing churches were true. The True Jesus Church tradition starts nearly a century later in the spring of 1917, when a rural northeastern Chinese man named Wei Enbo said he had a vision in which Jesus Christ commanded him to “correct the Church.”
Both Smith and Wei were charismatic leaders who claimed to receive divine revelation, were reported to have performed miraculous feats of healing, frequently got on the wrong side of the law, and died young. Both were succeeded by pragmatic leaders (Brigham Young and Wei Yisa) who solidified church institutions and ensured the movement’s long-term survival.
Both churches have continued to thrive and expand globally, though they remain tiny as far as world religious movements are concerned. In 2017 the True Jesus Church, now with 1.5 million members, commemorated the 100th anniversary of Wei Enbo’s founding vision. This year the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, claiming 16 million members, celebrates the 200th anniversary of Joseph Smith’s first vision (coincidentally, the day Smith formally organized the church in 1830 was 6 April—the same day as the True Jesus Church fast in 1949).
Restorationist churches are by nature exclusivist. For instance, Wei Enbo taught that no one could be saved unless they were baptized face-down and unless they had spoken in tongues. This exclusivist certainty leads to a universalistic orientation. In other words, the more a religious tradition insists that specific particulars of theology and practice are absolutely essential, the more likely it is to have mission outposts everywhere. If you believe your church is the only complete form of Christianity, when you move to another city or country, the local cathedral or neighborhood megachurch will not meet your needs. Wherever you go, you will seek out fellow believers like yourself, and if there are none, you will begin to seek converts.
Small, exclusivist religious groups tend to irritate people around them. Throughout their history, fellow Christians have labeled these two churches as disreputable and cultish. The Latter-day Saint movement began in upstate New York, but was driven west by flare-ups of mob violence and state suppression. During the 1950s and 1960s, the Communist party-state banned the True Jesus Church, imprisoning leaders and forcing rank-and-file members to meet secretly in their houses.
It’s sometimes difficult for upstart religious movements to strike the right balance between what sociologist Armand Mauss has called the twin dilemmas of respectability and disrepute. This is evident with the case of the Shincheonji Church of Jesus at the center of the coronavirus outbreak in South Korea. Also led by a charismatic individual, also accused of being a cult, and also with a membership that likes to do things together, the church is now under fire.
Yet the resonance between the worldwide fasts of the True Jesus Church and the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in the spring of 1949 and 2020 suggests that such small but distinctive religious traditions also have something uniquely positive to offer. In the aftermath of World War II and today at the beginning of the twenty-first century, concepts such as “global arena” or “global community” are certainly viable. Yet in actuality, with real people, global scale tends to be overwhelming. It is nearly impossible to cast a global net without being sunk by the size of the catch. Small religious movements, however, are better positioned to pull it off.
Like Wei Yisa’s appeal to the True Jesus Church members in 1949, Russell M. Nelson’s call for a fast at the beginning of the first week of April 2020 went out to believers in such places as China, Japan, Malaysia, and the United Kingdom. Tens of thousands, possibly even millions of stomachs around the world went empty in concert. A fast offering was also collected to aid humanitarian efforts to ease the blow COVID-19 is dealing to the most vulnerable.
In times of global pandemic, inhabitants of the planet realize how inextricably we are connected, and also how little we usually have to do with each other, given vast divides in language, culture, space, and experience. In times like these, believers in tiny global communities who have long been eager to call each other sister and brother offer a sense of what is possible.
First, how can it be “good” to set up and promote sects within ANY religion that divide followers of the same religion against each other? That only appeals to egomaniacs and idiots.
In most cases, you must be a CHRISTIAN and nothing else. Do NOT claim as your primary religious identity any subdivision within Christianity, such as Roman Catholic, Baptist, Methodist, Mormon, or anything else. You would be a Christian who might go to a Baptist or Catholic church, but that’s it. Reject as necessary or justified any division within the Christian community that claims to be the one true religion. It is only CHRISTIANITY itself that ever should have made that claim. Not Mormonism, not the Jehovah’s Witnesses, nor any other such radical “reformist” or “restorationist” group within Christianity. These are simply additional divisions that do more damage to the credibility of Christianity itself.
I always thought it was the height of hubris that efforts to reform the Christian churches in the past, like that of Martin Luther and John Calvin during the Protestant Reformation were considered inadequate, but only with someone like Joseph Smith could restoration of true Christianity be accomplished and that only that specific path within Christianity could bring salvation to followers. That actually contradicts what Jesus said.
Matthew 16:18 And I tell you, you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. (Emphasis mine)
Mark 9:38-40 John said to Jesus, “Teacher, we saw someone using your name to cast out demons, but we told him to stop because he wasn’t in our group.” “Don’t stop him!” Jesus said. “No one who performs a miracle in my name will soon be able to speak evil of me. Anyone who is not against us is for us.
So a Christian is a Christian, period. All those conflicts and even outright persecutions of various Christian factions by other Christians were a violation of Jesus’ true teachings.
Even more stupid is the commandments of religious leaders to merely pray and fast rather than actually get up and do some practical work to deal with a crisis, like the current coronavirus pandemic. Even the many people that have been thrown out of work recently can still go volunteer at hospitals to help treat patients, but that option was not even mentioned.
“Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven.
Many will say to me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name and in your name drive out demons and in your name perform many miracles?’
Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!’
So…..it IS possible to do miracles in Jesus’s name but still be rejected by him in the end. You know, that could refer to charlatans like Joseph Smith and other cult founders that have turned believers in Jesus against each other.
Of course, such inconsistency even in the explicit teachings of Jesus himself would explain the fragmented nature of Christians around the world too.
To me, one of the most damning things about Baha’i history is the way the family of Baha’u’llah repeatedly tore itself apart over the “Covenant” of the Faith. The first such split was between Baha’u’llah and his brother Mirza Yahya (Sub-i-Azal). Yahya had been appointed by the Bab to lead the Babi community, but after a few years it became increasingly clear to most Babis that Baha’u’llah was the better leader and so when he declared himself to be the one the Bab had foretold would come after him, most of the Babis promptly became Baha’is. Perhaps ALL of them might have done so if Mirza Yahya had not rejected Baha’u’llah. In the Kitab-i-Aqdas, Baha’u’llah condemned his brother for his alleged disloyalty.
I’m loving reddit as a web community more than ever.
An apparent follower of the Bab, but not Baha’u’llah, came to the exBaha’i subreddit. I naturally suspected them of being an agent of Wahid Azal, sent like the others to disrupt our work. Continue reading →
10:1 Now it came to pass, when Adonizedec king of Jerusalem had heard how Joshua had taken Ai, and had utterly destroyed it; as he had done to Jericho and her king, so he had done to Ai and her king; and how the inhabitants of Gibeon had made peace with Israel, and were among them;
10:2 That they feared greatly, because Gibeon was a great city, as one of the royal cities, and because it was greater than Ai, and all the men thereof were mighty.
10:3 Wherefore Adonizedec king of Jerusalem, sent unto Hoham king of Hebron, and unto Piram king of Jarmuth, and unto Japhia king of Lachish, and unto Debir king of Eglon, saying,
10:4 Come up unto me, and help me, that we may smite Gibeon: for it hath made peace with Joshua and with the children of Israel.
10:5 Therefore the five kings of the Amorites, the king of Jerusalem, the king of Hebron, the king of Jarmuth, the king of Lachish, the king of Eglon, gathered themselves together, and went up, they and all their hosts, and encamped before Gibeon, and made war against it.
10:6 And the men of Gibeon sent unto Joshua to the camp to Gilgal, saying, Slack not thy hand from thy servants; come up to us quickly, and save us, and help us: for all the kings of the Amorites that dwell in the mountains are gathered together against us.
10:7 So Joshua ascended from Gilgal, he, and all the people of war with him, and all the mighty men of valour. So Joshua and his mighty men of valor came to fight the Amorites.
10:8And the LORD said unto Joshua, Fear them not: for I have delivered them into thine hand; there shall not a man of them stand before thee.
10:9 Joshua therefore came unto them suddenly, and went up from Gilgal all night.So Joshua attacked.
10:10And the LORD discomfited them before Israel, and slew them with a great slaughter at Gibeon, and chased them along the way that goeth up to Bethhoron, and smote them to Azekah, and unto Makkedah. And God discomfited the Amorites at Gibeon, killing them with a great slaughter, and chasing them along the way.
10:11 And it came to pass, as they fled from before Israel, and were in the going down to Bethhoron, that the LORD cast down great stones from heaven upon them unto Azekah, and they died: they were more which died with hailstones than they whom the children of Israel slew with the sword.
10:12 Then spake Joshua to the LORD in the day when the LORD delivered up the Amorites before the children of Israel, and he said in the sight of Israel, Sun, stand thou still upon Gibeon; and thou, Moon, in the valley of Ajalon. 10:13And the sun stood still, and the moon stayed, until the people had avenged themselves upon their enemies. Is not this written in the book of Jasher? So the sun stood still in the midst of heaven, and hasted not to go down about a whole day.
And the sun stood and moon stood still, until Joshua finished killing his enemies. 
10:14 And there was no day like that before it or after it, that the LORD hearkened unto the voice of a man: for the LORD fought for Israel.
This is literally impossible. First, because the apparent movement of the Sun is caused by the rotation of Earth, the sudden stopping of Earth would have caused everything on Earth not attached to the ground to be thrown sideways, including water in the oceans, rivers and lakes. Obviously, that didn’t happen. Likewise, the stopping of the moon in its orbit would have caused it to fall towards Earth, eventually crashing into Earth in only a few days.
Therefore the writer of that story above was not sharing the Word of God at all. And one wonders why so many people consider the Bible to be infallible even now.
Here’s a video dissecting one of their early albums:
Here’s one of their biggest hits, probably because it featured Christina Aguilera, who I think should have refused to do this garbage. It’s plainly insulting to the Rolling Stones’ lead singer, who is a far greater rock star than Adam Levine will ever be.
And last year, Maroon 5 got even worse, as I noticed when I started hearing one of their recent songs at my workplace.
Here’s the song, Memories, in a video clearly showing the lame lyrics:
Now listen to THIS:
MAROON 5 RIPPED OFF ONE OF THE MOST BEAUTIFUL CLASSICAL WORKS TO MAKE THEIR MODERN DAY CRAP!!!
Which is perfectly legal to do since Canon in D is in the public domain (Johann Pachelbel died in 1706), but it is a clearly unethical thing to do! Now millions of people will associate Pachelbel with Maroon 5. Just as they did Mick Jagger with Adam Levine.