The Baha'i Faith

I was an enrolled member of the Baha'i community from 1985-1999. In 1999, I resigned my membership but still continue to practice my faith privately. For the story of why I left see my essay My Life in the Baha'i Community, which is elsewhere in this site. Below I have included both official and unofficial viewpoints.

I have also included documents related to the current conflict between the Baha'i Administration and liberal intellectuals. This is not an exhaustive list, but should give the reader a good overview of the situation. For more information, check out H-Bahai, Juan Cole's website, the Freedom of Conscience Page, and the Baha'i Library, all of which are listed below.

This conflict came to a head in 1996, when the Baha'i leadership cracked down on an academic email forum called Talisman, threatening its most prominent posters with being declared "covenant-breakers".(Which would impose the penalty of shunning.) While several of the active posters there were silenced, some are still active, and H-Baha'i, talisman9, and Zuhur19 can be considered direct descendents of the old Talisman list. It is my belief that this attempt to silence the voices of sincere believers is a direct violation of the fundamental Baha'i principle of the individual investigation of truth, upheld in our scriptures.

For anyone unfamiliar with Baha'i principles and teachings, the official website, and the translations would be the place to start.

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Baha'i Websites

Official Website of the Baha'i Community
Official Translations of Baha'i Scripture
Provisional Translations of Baha'i Scriptures
Baha'i Academic Resource Library
Juan Cole: Baha'i Scholar and Translator
Kalimat Press - An Independent Baha'i Publisher
Brave New World (Caution: Wicked satire)
Baha'i Directory
Baha'i Studies Review
Alison Marshall: Baha'i Mystic and Poet
Fire Tablet (graphic presentation)
Millennial Mystics
Baha'i Farm(more satire)
Baha'i Angst(satire/ex-Baha'i support)
Michael McKenny Baha'i Page
International Baha'i Library
Who is Baha'u'llah?
Baha'is Online

Documents Concerning the Treatment of Baha'i Liberals

The L.A. Study Group Newsletter (1976-1983)
Dialogue Magazine (1986-1988)
A Modest Proposal (1988)
The Archives (1994-1996)
Counsellor Birkland's letter to a Baha'i Academic concerning his postings to Talisman(1996)
Counsellor Birkland's Letter to Steve Scholl concerning his postings to Talisman(1996)
Gnosis magazine article about the Talisman crack-down(1997)
Documents concerning Michael McKenny's expulsion (1997)
The Baha'i Faith as Panopticon (1998)
UHJ Compilation: Issues Related to the Study of the Baha'i Faith(1999)
Alison Marshall's expulsion (2000)
Fundamentalism in the Contemporary U.S. Baha'i Community (2002)

Baha'i Forums and Weblogs

Meditations on Baha'u'llah
Musings on the Baha'i Writings
Baha'i Rants
Baha'i Angst blog (satire)
Cuaderno de Profundization (Deepening Notebook - in Spanish)
The Cormorant Baker (satire)