Bahá`í/reform bahi


QUESTION: Don't worry I am not member of the Bahai faith but I use too. I left because I don't believe we are require to listen to the UHJ or the NSA. We are meant to follow our faith our own way and not follow leaders. That the main reason why I want to know if Reform Bahai have any leaders. I don't want to be involve in a religion in which I am require to attend all of their events and have to volunteer my time to the religion. I perfer a personal religion were I am free to determine my faith. That why I research the Reform Bahai.

ANSWER: I can see your position, but with Baha'is, one can't be too careful.  There are "prying eyes."  I have never been a mainstream Baha'i, so there's a lot about the in-working of the faith that I don't know.  I don't know Fred Glayser, only by name.  He has a You-Tube video online in which he discusses the Reform Baha'i Faith.  My interest in the Faith goes back to the 70s.  I wrote a reference book of Baha'i literature in 1985.  You can get some information on it by typing my name into the search engine.  I thought the book would be a big help to the Faith, yet it was not well-received. I had chapters on "independent" (ie. Orthodox Bahais) who they don't like to think about.  I included them for two reasons: (1) to be an objective historian (you can't be one-sided) and (2) I wanted to know about them.  I heard the faith was about "oneness and unity," but who are these Orthodox Bahais?  Recently, I saw online that there are "Aqdas Bahais."  They follow the "Kitab-i-Aqdas".  Apparently, when it was first translated, the main Bahais didn't want it published (even though Baha'u'llah wrote it). It didn't coincide with their public teaching.  A writing by Baha'u'llah?  The whole story is online. I think Baha'i writings have been selectively translated.  I've been surprised that the entire BAYAN of the Bab has not been published, only "selections."  A relative of Subh-i-Azal said that they were not properly translated.  They were translated, I think, to fit Bahai teaching.  This, to me, is inexcusable.  There need to be big changes in the Baha'i Faith and they can begin by being honest with their past.  They are not about "oneness and unity" and to claim that is dishonest and deceitful.  When one looks at the splintering of the Faith, one is tempted to chuck it as irrelevant; however, that would be indiscreet.  There is a glimmer of Baha'i light that is compelling.  It may be very small, but it is there.  For me, it is found in the basic principles of the Faith.  That light is not in any organization or person, but is inherent in the Faith itself.  That light and discovering it can make it a viable, transforming Faith.

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QUESTION: The current Bahai faith is corrupted. I heard there are 1000 of literature written by Bahaullah and only less than half is translated. I like the Bahai faith on racial equality and others. The current UHJ has to much control over it members and the NSA is a joke. That why I want to join the Reform Bahai where members are free to choose which path they want to follow. It says one can be a Bahai muslim, bahai freemason and etc.Also I don't like how members of the Bahai have to attend all of the events. I am planning on reading the Unviversal principle of Reform Bahai. Have you heard of it? Also Reform Bahai are allow to follow their path than I guess one wouldn't have to attend any reform bahai event?

ANSWER: There is much about the faith I do not know like the inner workings or what it is to be a member.  It seems so different from what I have heard.  It is sad because I have felt so close to it.  I have heard of people who have been very hurt by it.  I am not too familiar with the universal principle. I think there may be a book by that title.  It would be on the website. I think the faith started going wrong with the Administrative Order.  It became an organization which was not its purpose.  Chanler and Sohrab saw this. The faith has been supporting the organization and maintaining it
I do not think the faith resides in the organization.  It is a spirit and without it the faith is nothing.

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QUESTION: Yes I agree. Bahai faith is now to dictatorial and requires submission of all it members which also goes against Bahaullah beliefs. I find that the Reform Bahai are in tradition with the Real Bahai. Do you think that the Reform Bahai are more in line with the real Bahai faith? So I guess Reform Bahai are more about individual freedom than the UHJ?

I think the Reform Bahais are a step in the right direction for reform.  It follows Abdu'l-Baha's 1912 Covenant (see it on the website) which is pre-Shoghi, pre-Administrative Order.  Look at Abdul-Baha's PROMULGATION OF UNIVERSAL PEACE and compare it with the Faith as it is now.  This pictures a very welcoming, all-embracing Faith.  I was part of a group called the Unitarian Bahais.  They were similar to the RBs in their inclusive nature.  They didn't tell people to leave their churches, but to be more involved with them.  However, there came a hateful, confrontational tone to the UBs.  I resigned from them.  In their e-mails, they often trashed the UHJ and aired a lot of dirty laundry.  I don't even think the UBs still exist, except maybe on something like Facebook.  They called themselves "Unitarian"  because they wanted close association with the Unitarian Church.  Their aims were quite lofty. They intended to change the UHJ (to be more liberal) and the Unitarian Church (to be more spiritual).  They have done none of this, and their founder (Eric Stetson) has gone to other things.  A reason why I mention them is that they befriended a Mrs. Anselm of Israel, who is a granddaughter of Baha'u'llah.  She gave them writings of Mohammed Ali, the other son of Baha'u'llah.  Commonly, he is renounced by Bahais as an arch covenantbreaker.  I think that if these writings were translated, they could turn the Bahais on their ear.  We have never heard Mohammed Ali's side. Both he and Abdul-Baha were to assume leadership after Baha'u'llah.  Mohammed Ali was disinherited by Abdul-Baha.  Freedom is essential in faith.  A person's mind is sacred.  It is the property of no one.  I think it is hard to balance freedom and religion because a religion represents particular beliefs. A religion exists because people believe in it and that belief keeps it alive and working.  If people cease to believe, the religion falters and dies.  So, reason can be a threat to religion because it can affect a religion's cohesiveness.  If people think too much, they may not believe, and if they don't believe, what of the religion?  However, people deserve the freedom of their own mind, even in religion.  No one has a right to tell you what to believe or how to live.  It is your choice.  Look at the writings of Ayn Rand.  She taught the importance of the freedom of the mind.


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Joel Bjorling


I can answer questions on the basic teachings, practices, and history of the Baha`i Faith and can provide information on diverse Baha`i groups (as the Orthodox Baha`is).


I have personally studied the Baha'i Faith for over twenty years and published a reference book on the Faith entitled THE BAHA'I FAITH; AN HISTORICAL BIBLIOGRAPHY. I also hold a Masters degree in Theological Studies.


BA in Behavioral Sciences (Oral Roberts University)
MATS (McCormick Theological Seminary)
Further study, Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary

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