Controversies

Doctor Mojo's Apostate Apostles


Doc Mojo, Defender of the Authority, reviews the latest tools of the evel apostate. Though showing his years, the Good Doctor has more big words at his command than you've got apostates in your backyard.

1. Francesco Ficcccicchia

The Authoritative Order ought to have suspected something was awry with this impostor simply by noticing that he evidently cannot decide whether he's German or Italian. Unfortunately, by the time the Order caught onto Ficicchia's game, he had single-handedly transformed the Baha'i Faith Authority from an allegiant organization into a cult.

2. Denis "Paperback Writer" MacEoin

Doctor MacEoin taught the Baha'is of the 1980s a vital lesson: it's hazardous to think too freely. With one's soul in the balance, it is best to let sleeping minds lie.

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Wait a Momen: Part 2 with Preface

(Part 1 here.)

Preface.
Oh, poopy—I’m all out of sync with the goings-on in Baha’i cyberspace. While I procrastinated on posting Part 2 of “Wait a Momen,” word of Moojan Momen’s latest article in the academic journal Religion, “Marginality and Apostasy in the Baha’i Community,” hit the Internet and has created quite a stir in some corners, with good reason. You can read the abstract here. He focuses on twelve individuals whom he names as “apostates,” which in his definition are people who have left the Baha’i Faith and dedicated themselves to attacking it. I’ve read the whole article. The only person his argument might fit is Wahid Azal, who has accepted the accusation with pride. His remarks can be read in the comments here. Here are links to some other responses, mostly by persons named or referenced in the article:

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Marginality and Apostasy in the Sneetch Community

Now the Core-bellied Sneetches had bellies with cores.
The Apostate Sneetches had none upon thors.
The cores weren't so big; they were really quite small.
You would think such a thing wouldn't matter at all.
But because they had cores, all the Core-bellied Sneetches
would brag, "We're the best kind of Sneetch on the beaches."

With their snoots in the air, they would sniff and they'd snort,
“We'll have nothing to do with the apostate sort."
And whenever they met some, when they were out walking,
they'd hike right on past them without even talking.

When the Core-bellied children went out to play ball,
could the Plain-bellies join in their game? Not at all!
You could only play ball if your bellies had cores,
and the Apostate children had none upon thors.

When the Core-bellied Sneetches had frankfurter roasts,
or picnics or parties or marshmallow toasts,
they never invited the Apostate Sneetches.
Left them out cold in the dark of the beaches.
Kept them away; never let them come near,
and that's how they treated them year after year.

Then one day, it seems, while the Apostate Sneetches
were moping, just moping alone on the beaches,
sitting there, wishing their bellies had cores,
up zipped a stranger with the strangest of cause.

Read more: Marginality and Apostasy in the Sneetch Community

On Marginality and Apostasy in the Baha'i Community

The experiences of apostates form a dark mirror image to those of the core members

"‘Abdu’l-Bahá, left, and His grandson,
Shoghi Effendi, in a photograph taken in 1919."
Baha'i Media Bank
Friends and fellow-promoters of the Faith of God:

... How severe the shocks which the ranks of its devoted adherents have sustained through the defection of the faint in heart, the malice of the mischief-maker, the treachery of the proud and the ambitious! What storms of ridicule, of abuse and of calumny its representatives have had to face in their staunch support of the integrity, and their valiant defense of the fair name, of the Faith they had espoused! How persistent the vicissitudes and disconcerting the reverses with which its privileged members, young and old alike, individually and collectively, have had to contend in their heroic endeavors to scale the heights which a loving Master had summoned them to attain! ...

Your true brother, SHOGHI, Haifa, Palestine, April 21, 1933
+
The World Order of Bahá’u’lláh
Author: Shoghi Effendi
Source: US Bahá’í Publishing Trust, 1991 first pocket-size edition
Page: 72

The most thrilling story-lines for me in reading Baha'i history have been around the defense of the Faith. Below is the abstract of an article by Moojan Momen published in the current issue of the journal Religion that constitutes such a defense. -gw

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Apostasy Plus

Alison gets more of a gurnsey than me in Moojan’s article, and she’s written about her reaction here.

The thing is, one religion’s apostate is another’s convert.  I know that Moojan has tried to use a definition of apostasy as one who finds their identity in rejection of their former faith rather than in embracing their new faith identity, however given the Baha’i religion is such a strongly proselytizing one, we could easily apply this definition to many ‘core believers’ who spend their time proselytizing their former co-religionists (whether Christian, Jewish, Muslim or whatever).

Many of the apostates of Moojan’s article are not apostates from the faith at all.  They are disaffected from Baha’i administration.  Sort of like Catholics who decide the Pope isn’t all he’s cracked up to be don’t stop being Christians.  Alison, Karen, even Juan all believe in Baha’u'llah, they just don’t believe the way Moojan wants them to believe.

There is also no recognition that the grievances of ex-Baha’is or unenrolled Baha’is might have any basis in fact.  Apostates are depicted as caricatures - like annoying little devils who spend all their time running around prodding poor old patient ‘core believers’ with pitchforks.

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