Response to Baha'i hack Scott Hakala on Quora

Haykal in the hand of Subh-i-Azal (from original scan, Cyprus collection, 2015) 

For Scott Hakala's Quora post, see here. Also posted here.

Much misinformation/disinformation and Baha’i anti-Bayani propaganda by Scott Hakala above. I have already addressed and dismissed many of his points in this article here, Invoking the Seven Worlds: An acrostic prayer by Mīrzā Yaḥyā Nūrī Ṣubḥ-i-Azal

Now, as a point of correction, N Wahid Azal lives in Germany (previously Australia) and not the United States. N. Wahid Azal left the United States in 1999.

Second, although I am flattered by being credited for coining the term “Bayani,” given what this specifically implies, the facts are that the term “Bayani” as a designation for the religion founded by Siyyid Ali Muhammad Shirazi, the Bab (d. 1850) and its adherents originates with Siyyid Ali Muhammad Shirazi, the Bab himself. In fact the term “Azali” — and the closely associated term Yahya’i — does not have any currency until the period of Abbas Effendi ‘Abdu’l-Baha’s ministry (1892- 1921) — and Scott Hakala is welcome to show textual references in the source languages before the mid/late-1890s for this term, if he can find them. In fact “Azali” and “Yahya’i” was specifically coined by Abbas Effendi as sectarian terms of pejorative derision. As a matter of fact, his father, Mirza Husayn Ali Baha’u’llah (d. 1892), actually used the term “the People of Bayan” (ahl al-bayan) and “Bayani” throughout his own works until his death. Perhaps Scott Hakala should refer to the Arabic text of the Kitab-i-Aqdas where Baha’u’llah refers to the people of the Bayan by that term, i.e. ahl al-bayan. As such the claim that Subh-i-Azal encouraged the term “Azali” has no basis in fact since he never used it and, more importantly, because Baha’u’llah himself used the terms “Bayani” and “ahl al-bayan” to refer to the adherents of the Bayani faith.

Third, indeed Bayanis practice the discipline of the arcane (taqiya) particularly when they live in hostile environments like Iran or the Anglo-American West where not only do they have to contend with fundamentalist mullahs but also with fundamentalist Baha’is and the Baha’i apparatus who during the Pahlavi period, it should be noted, where active in using the state security and intelligence apparatus of the Pahlavi regime to persecute the Bayani community, thus forcing this community to go progressively more and more underground as of 1925. In the Anglo-American West the situation is similar, albeit not as severe as it was under the Pahlavis, since the proximity of Baha’is to Western governments is a matter of fact; and there, just like under the Pahlavi shahs, the Baha’is are also embedded within the various state and security apparatuses of those countries, particularly in the Five Eyes.

Fourth, the claim by Baha’is that Subh-i-Azal was merely considered a “nominal head” of the Bayani community is a fiction and evidence of the systematic whitewash and rewrite of early Babi history by the Baha’is, which E.G. Browne and ALM Nicolas (and numerous others) have well attested to and underscored in their scholarship. In fact, all of the earliest textual material proves that Subh-i-Azal was considered not only to be the successor (wasi) of the Bab but his mirror (mir’at) as well. For example, in one major epistle addressed to Subh-i-Azal, he says to Subh-i-Azal “You are I and I am You” (anta ana wa ana anta) Qismati az Alvah by the Bab. Elsewhere he says to Subh-i-Azal “Verily O Name of the Pre-Eternal I testify that there is no other God but me, the Tremendous, the Beloved then I testify that there is no other God but You the Protector, the Self-Subsistent…”


This is not remotely the language of nominality whatsoever, whatever contortions Baha’i apologists may present as arguments to explain it away.

Fifth, the claim regarding Babis who only believed in the Bab and not Subh-i-Azal is a fiction first introduced by Baha’is sources that seems to have found currency in some Western academic scholarship but without any evidence to back it up. If there is evidence for the active, uninterrupted existence of such a group since the 1850s, let us see the evidence.

Sixth, Baha’i sources have incessantly made claims to the effect that 90% of Babis converted to Baha’ism, but have not been forthcoming on actual evidence for the claim or credible critical analysis to explain it. Furthermore, the state-clergy persecution of the Babis in Iran during the 1850s completely decimated the ranks of the Babis in Iran and shrunk their originally massive numbers significantly, so the Baha’is first need to address what exactly do they mean by this 90% figure. It should be noted that an original Letter of the Living and a dozen of the second and third rank Letters — all at the time Witnesses of the Bayan or their deputies — were actually murdered by the Baha’is in Baghdad, Edirne and Acre for disputing Baha’u’llah’s claims. This says the remaining leadership of the original Babis were not forthcoming to Baha’u’llah’s claims. They all sided with Subh-i-Azal and were in turn assassinated by the Baha’is as a result one by one. This seriously complicates the claims the Baha’is have incessantly made about this 90% figure.

Seventh, Baha’u’llah had no legitimate leadership in early Babism. The Bab’s epistle to him (which can be found in the link above, in Qismati az alvah-i-khatt-i-nuqta-i-ula) refers to him simply by the numerical value of his name “Husayn Ali” (238) and tells him in the language of a superior addressing an inferior to protect his younger brother Subh-i-Azal. It was Subh-i-Azal who granted Baha’u’llah any custodial leadership, and that during the Baghdad period (1851–1862). Baha’u’llah was not even granted the rank of a Witness of the Bayan (shahid). As such he had no leadership other than to serve as the protector of his brother and as one of his secretaries. Any ranks claimed for Baha’u’llah in the early or Middle Babi periods are figments of Baha’i historical re-imagination, which, again, EG Browne, Nicolas and many others have time and again underscored in regard to the unreliability of Baha’i historiographies of Babism tout court.

Eighth, indeed, unlike the Baha’is who have consiststenly followed the corporate Western business model of organization, the Bayanis have not followed such a model. As such the Bayanis do not hold to statistics, graphs and corporate expansion models like the Baha’is do.


Second response to Hakala (from link above)

You are welcome to your experiences — and your opinions. I have plenty of my own. To me Bahaism is a cult like Scientology or the Jehovah’s witnesses and it is tied at the umbilical cord to Western imperialism, colonialism, Zionism and, whatever else it professes, to systems of global white supremacy and capitalist neoliberalsm. I am not here to convince you. I am here to set the record straight for the benefit of others who may visit these pages since it is the habit of you Baha’is to dominate all discussions around this subject and shamelessly push your own talking points while silencing those who you defame. You are a corporate organization, after all, and you very much behave like one.

Yes, I have indeed posted material by Hasan Ershad Naser Nasereddin. I believe the man is one of the better Muslim anti-Baha’i polemicists and possesses genuine intellectual integrity in his beliefs — and I think he is a generally good, decent man, and he is a fellow countryman. I don’t agree with his views on everything, especially his views on either Shaykhism or Babism, but I respect the man for his forthright activism against the dangers of Bahaism in Iran, and I agree with him on that 100%. This is the difference between people such myself and Ershad and you Baha’is. We can disagree on principle on many, many things but we can respect each other enough and even support each other as human beings while remaining friendly at the same time. You Baha’is will never allow that with anyone who remotely disagrees with your points of view. You and your apparatus will go out of your way to destroy the life and reputation of anyone who disagrees with you. In that respect you are identical to the Russian fascists I am presently locking horns with online; and I also understand that you have been helping each other lately as well, you Baha’is and the followers of the Russian fascist Aleksandr Dugin. But I digress.

Now, the assertion that Baha’u’llah received a tablet or tablets from the Bab via Mulla Husayn Bushru’i is a Baha’i talking point meant to buttress Baha’u’llah’s claims at a later point. It sources are also all the later Baha’i hagiographies, such as pseudo-Zarandi’s Dawn Breakers (a text I believe was actually authored by Shoghi Effendi), Mirza Mehdi Dahaji and similar. It does not appear in Nuqtat’ul-Kaf nor is the incident mentioned in the generally pro-Bahai Tarikh-i-Jadid. As all the source historical evidence proves, esp. Nuqtat’ul-Kaf and Tanbih’ul-Na’imin, the title Baha’ was actually one bestowed by Qurrat’ul-’Ayn upon Mirza Husayn Ali Nuri Baha’u’llah at the conference of Badasht. The title Baha’ was actually bestowed by the Bab on Qurra’tul-Ayn. She gave the title to Mirza Husayn Ali Nuri Baha’u’llah because the latter apparently felt slighted by the assembled Babi leadership. The Bab never bestowed this or any other such titles on Baha’u’llah. If you have textual evidence from the source writings of the Bab himself, and other primary source material, please present your evidence.

The rest of your points and arguments are all the usual anti-Bayani pro-Bahai propaganda narratives and re-imagined historical whitewashes and falsifications which have been shamelessly peddled by Baha’is for over 160+ years. My article addressed some of them. Readers are referred to my article Invoking the Seven Worlds.

Please do not waste my time any further, Mr. Hakala, and in the future get your facts straight. For those wishing to contact me (and I only respond to non-Baha’is), there is an email attached to my blog you can use to contact me.

Please note that on Reddit, Scott Hakala uses the alias DavidbinOwen <> and constantly harasses critics or dissidents of his cult. These are well known tactics the Bahai Internet Agency has been using in a variety of online forums for two decades.

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