Dear NeisanR/Pehnro/Boyboy R,
Thank you for your inquiry.
If seen as presented by the organization based in Haifa, Israel the Baha’i Faith could indeed appear to be a “watered-down, customized version of Shiism” as you said.
In fact the actual Baha’i Faith isn’t anything of the sort. What happened was that in 1957 Ruhiyyih Khanum, the wife of Shoghi Effendi, together with the Hands appointed by Shoghi Effendi led a coup that derailed Shoghi Effendi’s long-term plans for the progress of the global teaching effort and the development of the Baha’i Administration, the very role for which he was chosen by Abdu’l-Baha’.
They lied to the entire world of Baha’i believers by telling them to pray for his recovery from the Asian Flu many hours after he had passed on to make time for them to solidify their grip on their assumed positions of authority, positions which they did not actually hold.
The primary goal of their coup was to disband the First International Baha’i Council which had as its President, Abdu’l-Baha’s adopted son, Charles Mason Remey who was to serve as The Aghsan Guardian of the Baha’i Faith upon the passing of Shoghi Effendi, as provided for explicitly in the Will and Testament of Abdu’l-Baha’. That First International Baha’i Council appointed by Shoghi Effendi was, in accordance with the writings of both Baha’u’llah and Abdu’l-Baha’, the first of four stages in the development of the true Universal House of Justice of Baha’u’llah.
Once that council and its President were effectively removed and replaced with/by Ruhiyyih Khanum and the Hands, and the Baha’i’s of the world were sufficiently convinced that turning to Khanum and the Hands was indeed the proper thing to do, they were free to make up whatever they chose to command allegiance and extract money from their followers who never realized they were no longer following Baha’u’llah and had come out from under the provisions of His Covenant. Their false, non-Baha’i administration has continued in this manner to this day.
Part of the false narrative they concocted was that God had mysteriously changed His will with regard to the continuation of the Guardianship (the Davidic Kingship, see Psalm 89, Jeremiah 33 & The Proclamation Of Baha’u’llah pg. 89) without providing any direction as to what the new plan was. They used the term “Bada” to express this. (Baha’u’llah prophesied decades earlier that some within the ranks would attempt to suffocate His Revelation with “the pillow of bada”.)
This was simply a lie but they were told by Khanum and the Hands that turning to the EXPLICIT writings of Baha’u’llah, Abdu’l-Baha’ or Shoghi Effendi would be the wrong thing to do and would lead only to confusion and conflict. They were told that they must stay calm and await the instructions of the Hands. This set up a type of Imamate where the Hands would be the supreme leaders telling all the people what to believe, who to talk to, who to avoid/shun and what subjects were taboo to speak of amongst themselves under threat of the most severe spiritual and temporal sanctions. Uninformed yet religious people being as they were in the Baha’i world at that time and since, this tactic proved very effective and their self-created, self-assumed positions of authority were thus secured in an atmosphere of fear, misplaced reverence and ignorance.
They invented and perpetuated the prohibition of women being elected to the UHJ, as you now understand from your reading of this proclamation – http://www.uhj.net/justice-for-women.html – which clears that matter up. Now you know that no such prohibition has ever been, nor now is, any part of the Aqdas, the Baha’i Laws.
To be clear on the Aqdas, we the Baha’i’s Under the Provisions of the Covenant are not in any way reforming the Aqdas. The Aqdas has never actually been given to the people. What parts were given by Shoghi Effendi were co-opted, rewritten and mis-interpreted by the Hands and fed back to the people following them saying things in diametric opposition to the Revelation of Baha’u’llah and the 12 Basic Baha’i Principles. http://uhj.net/bahaiprinciples/bahai-12-principles.html
Quoting Shoghi Effendi:
“The Persians do not have the complete “Aqdas”, nor even a complete compilation, as it is not yet a “book”. The laws are encountered in many Tablets written by Baha’u’llah. For example, in a Tablet written to a certain person, He would suddenly announce a new Law. Some day, all of these will be compiled into a single book. “The Aqdas” will have to be translated by experts. The present Guardian will not do it. When the Baha’i State is formed, “The Aqdas” will be promulgated. The Laws are few but very strict…. There are twenty-six volumes of the Tablets directed to persons, which contain parts of the “Aqdas”. These will later be included in the “Aqdas”.
“I have indicated some of these laws for present observance. I shall see how the people obey them and give them out gradually. Little by little the Guardian will indicate those Laws which are obligatory, binding, and those which are recommended.” (Shoghi Effendi, To a Believer, Jan. 15 – Feb 11, 1956)
The 26 volumes that will form the Aqdas include the 12 Basic Baha’i Principles – http://uhj.net/bahaiprinciples/bahai-12-principles.html – These form the core principles of the Aqdas, they are upheld by the current Guardian, and they are not to be violated.
With this in mind I will now address the issue of Homosexuality in the light of the true Baha’i Aqdas. You will see as you did in the case with the equality of men and women, the 6th Basic Baha’i Principle – http://uhj.net/bahaiprinciples/equality.html – upheld in the true Baha’i Aqdas, that the Aqdas is not in need of any reformation but more of a restoration from the corruption imposed upon the Baha’i’s and others by Ruhiyyih Khanum and the Hands.
The Aqdas makes no mention whatsoever at all of Homosexuality or anything related to the entire LGBT population within the family of Man.
Ruhiyyih Khanum and the Hands conflated the Aqdas law against Pederasty with Homosexuality for personal reasons and absolutely nothing more.
All laws regarding marriage among Baha’i’s are for the protection of the children who can come from the union of a man and a woman to help assure that they’ll have a stable, loving home to be safely and successfully reared within. There are no laws in the actual, true Baha’i Aqdas regarding Homosexuality.
One’s sexual identification is not a matter of law. It is not an issue for the state and furthermore it is not an issue at all. It is a private, personal matter in which the state, in this case the Baha’i Administration, has absolutely no jurisdiction. Nor is one’s sexual identification a spiritual matter, it is a biological (scientific) matter.
The violators of Baha’u’llah’s Covenant have chosen to use letters, some of which are of suspicious origin, yet attributed to Shoghi Effendi, as justification for their draconian attitudes toward the entire LGBT population. Back when these letters were allegedly written by Shoghi Effendi it was thought that Homosexuality was a mental illness as defined in the DSM, the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of mental disorders. This incorrect attribution has at its root a false Christian Theology the psychology of which I will not get into in this letter as it would be tangential and voluminous but it must also be said that this false Christian Theology and that of “original sin” have no place within the Bible as well.
Suffice it to say that none of what is used to permit any discrimination on any level up to the atrocities in such places as Uganda and others against any among the LGBT population has any origin or place within the Revelation of Baha’u’llah or the actual, true Baha’i Aqdas.
Here is what Shoghi Effendi stated about reliance upon him for guidance in matters of science:
“The infallibility of the Guardian [Shoghi Effendi] is confined to matters which are strictly related to the Cause and interpretation of the teachings; he [Shoghi Effendi] is not an infallible authority on other subjects, such as economics, science, etc.” (Shoghi Effendi, 17 Oct. 1944)
As stated earlier;
The 26 volumes that will form the Aqdas include the 12 Basic Baha’i Principles – http://uhj.net/bahaiprinciples/bahai-12-principles.html – These form the CORE PRINCIPLES of the Aqdas, they are upheld by the current Guardian, and they are not to be violated.
In the matter of sexual orientation/identification of the LGBT population within the global family of Man, there can be no prejudicial laws or discriminatory practices within the Baha’i Community worldwide. This is in accordance with the 7th Basic Baha’i Principle – http://uhj.net/bahaiprinciples/remove-prejudice.html – upheld in the true Baha’i Aqdas, which requires the elimination of all forms of prejudice. Any prejudicial or discriminatory laws, acts or practices in this or any other regard are in direct violation of the Baha’i Aqdas.
The Fundamentalist Baha’i’s, Firm in the Covenant, are those who adhere to the 12 Basic (Fundamental) Baha’i Principles which are upheld one and all within the Baha’i Aqdas as found throughout the writings of Baha’u’llah and made increasingly clear and explicit by the explanations and commentaries of Abdu’l-Baha’.
I hope that you will find this a satisfactory explanation in response to your inquiry and it is my hope that you will feel free to share this document with all.
Yours in service to God through service to humanity,
Knight Of Baha’u’llah