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Introduction to Reform Bahai Faith, A Talk Presented to the Troy Interfaith Group
YouTube, 26 minutes


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Please feel free to share and distribute, in any manner, preferably in full, these 95 Theses.

To His Great Ends, the Reform Bahai Faith invites all souls to a Convocation of celebration, brotherhood, and Reform, during Ridvan, 2006.

The Reform Bahai Faith, calling to mind the sufferings and imprisonment of the Bab, Baha'u'llah, and Abdul-Baha, under the brutal oppression of tyrannical regimes, bent upon silencing and destroying their testimony of God's New Day, resolves

1.    To witness the truth of the deviation of the organized, incorporated Baha'i Faith from the Path, and its imposition of manifest corruptions and innovations, over many lamentable decades, that have wrought ever-increasing alienation, fear, censorship, coercion, misrepresentation, distortion, and damage, all the stratagems of despots and dictators, political and religious, upon individual Bahais, their families, and the community of believers.

2.    To seek afresh His Will, as at the dawn of a New Day, whereby the earth is born anew and man stands transparent before God's manifestation of His Will.

3.    Baha'u'llah execrated execration, slander, and abuse, shunned shunning, and warned his followers against such unseemly tactics.

4.    He prohibited the burning of books and all its evils.

5.    The tongue and the pen are the sword of this Day.

6.    Liberty was a Teaching of Baha'u'llah, recognized and respected by His Son, Abdul-Baha.

7.    Baha'u'llah envisions a spiritual democracy.

8.    The Founders of the Bahai Dispensation teach a Universal Religion.

9.    The Founders did not teach a system of stifling rules and regulations.

10.    Crippling creeds of the soul and conscience are abominations.

11.    The Writings of Baha'u'llah teach freedom of conscience and respect for the individual.

12.    Assemblies are servants of the Bahai community, not dictatorships that are designed to hector people into submission and servile obedience.

13.    At all levels, subtle manipulation of the voting for assemblies has undermined and destroyed the integrity of Baha'i "administration."

14.    A free, open, and honest voting system, allowing for the give and take of the qualities of individuals, is essential for service to His Cause.

15.    The Founders taught not an organization but a Faith.

16.    Persecution, harassment, and enmity are barred from the tabernacle of religious freedom.

17.    Baha'u'llah did not "copyright" His Revelation but gave it freely to all the peoples of the earth.

18.    The more than 3,000 martyrs did not die for a trademark and copyright.

19.    Slander and libel, as well as all their variations, are anathema in the Writings of Baha'u'llah.

20.    Legalism is the dead letter of the atrophied spirit.

21.    The Ocean of His Revelation beckons all mankind to dive and swim in it, seeking its pearls of Wisdom.

22.    Shoghi Effendi's death ended the era of an authorized interpreter of Baha'u'llah's Revelation.*

23.    Shoghi Effendi did not appoint anyone, directly or indirectly, to succeed him as Guardian.*

24.    The Universal House of Justice has only legislative power, not interpretive.*

25.    Baha'u'llah opened His House of Worship to all mankind at all times and under all conditions.

26.    Baha'u'llah's Universal Revelation transcends the locks and chains created after the passing of the Master.

27.    Reform Bahais make no claim to possess His Truth but seek it everywhere and always.

28.    His Revelation is not a means for a disguised sacerdotal order to acquire material and monetary wealth and control.

29.    His Revelation is a call to service, sacrifice, and brotherhood.

30.    All portions of the Bahai Feast are open for the repast of humanity.

31.    God's Gift to all mankind is the Most Great Name.

32.    Deceiving the governments of the earth, East and West, and the United Nations, playing them off against one another, misleading their appointed and elected officials and representatives, is a despicable practice.

33.    The financial and accounting records for the support of Bahai "administrators" or clergy shall be open and freely available for review by members and the general public.

34.    Baha'u'llah did not reveal a declaration of trust and by-laws.

35.    The Bahai Spirit loathes creeds and obscurantism.

36.    Baha'u'llah's Call is to Unity and Love: "Consort with the followers of all religions."

37.    Ecclesiasticism and dogmas are the structure of division, abuse, and exploitation.

38.    Baha'u'llah suffered for freedom of conscience.

39.    Abdul-Baha taught, "The Bahai Cause is not an organization."

40.    Reform Bahais do not seek "the elimination of any non-Bahai views."

41.    Abdul-Baha taught it is necessary and acceptable that citizens participate in the affairs of their nation.

42.    Baha'u'llah and Abdul-Baha invoked openness to all of humankind, not Religious Isolation.

43.    Social Isolation is the control tactic of tyrants and despots, charlatans and cults, fearfully dominating their flock.

44.    Fund raising is not an end in itself but a means of service to the people.

45.    The Goal of the Founders was not world domination but attainment to the knowledge of God and service to one's fellow man.

46.    God's gift to humankind is a liberal and lofty Cause, conserving the spiritual heritage of humanity.

47.    No form of the destruction of the press is taught and tolerated.

48.    A membership card does not record the testimony of the heart.

49.    No man or organization can fathom the depths God has freely bestowed upon the human heart.

50.    At all heights, the bird of humanity soars upon two wings.

51.    Baha'u'llah and Abdul-Baha taught independent investigation of the Truth.

52.    Abdul-Baha taught "conscientious opinion" and "freedom of conscience, liberty of thought, and right of speech."

53.    The literal interpretation of Abdul-Baha's Will and Testament has profoundly damaged Baha'u'llah's Faith and destroyed countless lives and Bahai communities.

54.    Thought-police, under any name, are not included in Baha'u'llah's Vision.

55.    Baha'u'llah's Dispensation does not include boards of censorship.

56.    Baha'u'llah's model for His New World Order is not the tyrannical religious institutions of the past.

57.    Bahai community life is not based on organized totalitarianism.

58.    Charitable works have more value in the sight of God than marbled ostentation.

59.    Fear is the refuge of tyrants and their primary crutch.

60.    The Reform Bahai Faith places its trust in God.

61.    Spying, informing, and keeping files and records on people for matters of conscience and opinion, expressed on or off the Internet, in email or any other form, are all denounced and banned.

62.    Reform Bahais embrace loving association with all the peoples of the earth and do not require identity checks, letters, and cards of verification.

63.    The nine doors of fraternity are open to all human beings.

64.    The nine doors are open at all times.

65.    Segregation and indoctrination, individually or collectively, are contrary to the Writings of Baha'u'llah.

66.    Excommunication is excommunicated.

67.    The practices of the Middle Ages are history and are an instructive lesson before which Reform Bahais beg God for guidance and protection.

68.    The Soul's Covenant is with God and Baha'u'llah.

69.    Abdul-Baha taught, "The conscience of man is sacred and to be respected."

70.    Everywhere in His Writings, Baha'u'llah loathes injustice, tyranny, and oppression.

71.    Guilt by association and collective punishment have no place in Baha'u'llah's Dispensation.

72.    A self-serving clergy, hiding behind the secular nuances of the word "administration," remains a pack of wolves whatever the clothing and outward seeming.

73.    Non-Bahais and Bahais have the human right to know the fullness of the historical record, without concealment and revision.

74.    Abdul-Baha taught human rights are Bahai rights.

75.    The distortion and corruption of historical fact is detrimental to the development of humanity and of Baha'u'llah's Faith.

76.    The Bahai Technique is not Baha'u'llah's.

77.    Individual conscience is not a "dangerous delusion out of Christianity" but a glorious gift of God.

78.    Baha'u'llah taught moderation in all things.

79.    Abdul-Baha taught humility before one's convictions.

80.    Intellectual vigor, especially of the young, should never be crushed, but nurtured.

81.    The descendants of the Bab and Baha'u'llah have no special or hereditary prerogatives and rights.

82.    Abdul-Baha set the requirements for Bahai membership: "To be a Bahai simply means to love all the world; to love humanity and try to serve it; to work for universal peace and universal brotherhood."

83.    Bahais are enjoined by Baha'u'llah and Abdul-Baha to associate, consort, with people of all religious persuasions.

84.    Receipt of mail or communication is not mandatory.

85.    Harassment for declining the receipt of mail is prohibited and in all cases rejected.

86.    Membership statistics are free and open to all interested parties.

87.    Shoghi Effendi's writings indisputably contain errors.

88.    Bahai experience and history demonstrate that the organized Baha'i Faith has strayed from Baha'u'llah's Teachings and blindly and fanatically opposes all discussion and Reformation.

89.    Bahais of good conscience have no alternative but to recognize reality and restore and Reform, at all levels, His Teachings.

90.    The Reform Bahai Faith looks not to other Bahai denominations for its understanding of Baha'u'llah's Teachings.

91.    The Reform Bahai Faith looks to the fullness of Baha'u'llah's Revelation for guidance.

92.    The Reform Bahai Faith does not distort nor select single or unusual passages of the Writings to manipulate or over-emphasize for organizational purposes of thought-control and indoctrination.

93.    The Reform Bahai Faith trusts and allows the individual believer to pray and meditate on the inner meaning and purpose of His Revelation, sharing the fruits of reflection with all who are willing to hear, receive, and discuss, without disgraceful groveling or humiliating qualifications.

94.    The Reform Bahai Faith recognizes and formalizes the inescapable conflicts of the human spirit that have existed in Baha'u'llah's Faith since the passing of the Master, exacerbated by an oppressive and inflexible interpretation of Baha'u'llah's Teachings.

95.    The Reform Bahai Faith rejoices at the Glory of His Revelation and seeks to share His Teachings, with unabashed and renewed enthusiasm, for the Redemption and Renewal of the human race.

Baha'u'llah called all humanity to feast at His bounteous Table.

Reform Bahais rejoice that God has revealed, through time and history, the inevitable path, through trial and turmoil, toward fulfillment of His Vision.

The Reform Bahai Faith invites all non-Bahais, Bahais, ex-Bahais, all humanity, the tens of thousands of people harassed and driven out by fanatical extremists, maligned and slandered, to join together in His Worship and in service to humanity, to restore a sane and moderate form of community life and association based on love, trust, and brotherhood, across all barriers of race and division, social and economic, nationalistic and provincial.

The Reform Bahai Faith bows humbly before His Threshold, supplicating for His Favor and Guidance, supplicating the Hosts of the Kingdom of Abha, recognizing the difficulties and obstacles, apparent and hidden, that confront and will confront the realization of His Vision.

To His Great Ends, the Reform Bahai Faith invites all souls to a Convocation of celebration, brotherhood, and Reform, during Ridvan, 2006.

95 Theses of the Reform Bahai Faith

August 19, 2004


* Please note that the Reform Bahai Articles depart from the acceptance here of the authenticity of the purported will and testament of Abdul-Baha and, hence, the legitimacy of any guardianship. See the pages for Reform Bahai Articles and Abdul-Baha's Covenant.