N.B. Please rely on my own books and publications as representative of my views. Since at least 1996, I have been a critic of the fanaticism of the Haifan Baha'i Faith, a Scientology-like criminal cult, based on Iranian Shiite millennialism and a fraudulent will and testament, which is attempting to create a global theocracy by deceiving and brainwashing its unsuspecting members into a false version of its history and then using them to carry out Baha'i jihads against dissenters and critics. I've been stalked, harassed, and misrepresented, on and offline, by fanatical Haifan Baha'is and Iranian Shiites and other Muslims for over a decade and a half, some of the latter frequently anti-semites, as well as possibly other religious fanatics, posting to the Internet false information and mashups intended to libel and discredit me. I no longer address questions directly related to the several other Baha'i denominations. I will not dignify antisemitism with a response.
I'm especially able to discuss the role of Iranian Shiite "takfir" in Baha'i circles, the identification and denunciation of "infidels" and "apostates," having witnessed its fanaticism against Haifan Baha'i victims on and offline, in the USA and elsewhere. I have been intimately involved in the issues of free speech and conscience within the Bahai Faith since 1996, if not longer. Most American Baha'is are naively uninformed about these issues, if not deceived and brainwashed into a cult-like and mindless acceptance of a distorted version of its history and teachings, into "taqlid," mindless obedience, as a result ultimately of the fraudulent will and testament of 1921. By attempting to destroy all other Baha'i denominations through various methods, since at least 1921, Haifan Baha'is think they can maintain their claim that they alone constitute the Baha'i Faith. As Professor Juan Cole writes in his book Modernity and the Millennium, Columbia University Press (1998), the Baha'i administration has increasingly come under the control of fundamentalists, "stressing scriptural literalism... theocracy, censorship, intellectual intolerance, and denying key democratic values" (196).
Reform Bahai Faith https://www.reformbahai.org
I am also the editor or author of two books on the Bahai teachings.
In Letters from the American Desert, Glaysher reflects on the cultural, political, and religious history of Western and non-Western civilizations, in a compelling struggle for spiritual knowledge and truth. Fully cognizant of the relativism and nihilism of modern life, Glaysher finds a deeper meaning and purpose in the universal Vision of Baha’u’llah, as expressed in the Reform Bahai Faith. Confronting the antinomies of the soul, grounded in the dialectic, Glaysher charts a path beyond the postmodern desert.
Alluding extensively to Martin Luther and W. B. Yeats at All Souls Chapel, “metaphors for poetry,” from Yeats’s book A Vision, Glaysher invites Reform Bahais and others to consider the example of the global, universal, moderate form of the Bahai Teachings as interpreted by Abdul-Baha, Baha’u’llah’s son, who had spoken throughout the West in Europe, England, and the United States from 1911 to 1913. Abdul-Baha’s message of the oneness of God, all religions, and humankind holds out a new hope and peaceful Vision for a world in spiritual and global crisis. Far from a theocracy, the Reform Bahai Faith envisions a modest separation of church and state, as the will of God, in an unorganized religion, a universal synthesis of all spiritual and wisdom traditions, in harmony and balance with universal peace, in a global age of pluralism, where religious belief is a distinctive mark of the individual, not collective, communal identity.
Books and eBooks available
The Universal Principles of the Reform Bahai Faith.
Baha'u'llah & Abdu'l-Baha. With a new Introduction and the original 1912 Foreword. Hardcover:
ISBN: 9780967042138 148 pages. Reform Bahai Press, 2008.
MA, University of Michigan, English, 1981 BGS, University of Michigan, English, Biblical Studies, Islam, 1980 Illinois State University, All But Dissertation, English, Rhetoric. 1983- 1986. Ten years teaching, at the university and college level, English, Rhetoric, American literature, non-Western literature, World Religions, and other courses.
A Fulbright-Hays scholar to China in 1994, I studied at Beijing University, the Buddhist Mogao Caves on the old Silk Road, and elsewhere in China, including Hong Kong and the Academia Sinica in Taiwan. While a National Endowment for the Humanities scholar in 1995 on India, I further explored the conflicts between the traditional regional civilizations of Islamic and Hindu cultures and modernity. I have been an outspoken advocate of the United Nations, an accredited participant at the UN Millennium Forum (2000), and attended the UNA Members Day 2012 on the Millennium Development Goals, held in the General Assembly Hall. In November 1, 2013, I spoke at the Robert Hayden Centennial Conference and Poetry Tribute, The University of Michigan, Rackham Amphitheatre, delivering my address "Robert Hayden Under a High Window of Angell Hall," which includes discussion of Hayden's ambivalent feelings about the Haifan Baha'i Faith (text on my blog at fglaysher.com/TheGlobe or watch the entire recorded presentation on YouTube: http://youtu.be/A3P1kZOrUnQ
I've had to turn off the "Rating" system because of the widely recognized tendency of some Baha'i denominations to use reprehensible methods of persecution and harassment against dissenters. See the Baha'i Faith & Religious Freedom of Conscience for details. http://www.fglaysher.com/bahaicensorship
I hope that people can come to understand and explore the profundity of Abdul-Baha's interpretation of Baha'u'llah's universal teachings for the modern world, a whole new conception of "religion" from the rigidly doctrinal, organized, and institutional forms of the past, as when he paradoxically emphasized, "The Bahai Movement is not an organization. You cannot organize the Bahai Movement."
Of the several Bahai denominations, the Reform Bahai Faith is the only denomination that follows Abdul-Baha's 1912 Authentic Covenant, which he publicly delivered in New York, the City of the Covenant, and it was to the 1912 Authentic Covenant that all early Bahais prior to 1921 referred when they used the term "covenant."
Long suppressed by Bahais of other denominations, Reform Bahais have returned to, and renewed, Abdul-Baha's 1912 Authentic Covenant. Available at http://www.reformbahai.org/Covenant.html God is not in a box, including the Bahai box.
Zach, Well, the PC approach can be irritating, but MLK was a great man, human and flawed, but still managed to live his life for great causes to help others and the Nation, indeed, the world. Here's
Baha'u'llah and Abdul-Baha both repudiated and moved away from Iranian Shiism and its fanaticism. Abdul-Baha increasingly opened up the Bahai teachings of his father to the more universal outlook of the
Hello Zach, My apologies for taking a few days to get to your questions. To help readers who might be unfamiliar with your reference to "A Modest Proposal," it was an article that was intended to
Question: What's the difference between the Reform Bahai Faith and what people call the Haifan Baha'i Faith in Wilmette, Illinois? Thank you for your question. It’s one people often ask, so I’ll make