Hello, everyone 🙂 Last night I did a websearch for “warning signs of a cult”. It might sound weird to hear me say that, since I’ve been pretty firm in calling Baha’ism a cult before–but I’d never actually put a number to it before. I just assumed it would be a lot of checks on any cult checklist. I was right. Let’s examine it together, okay? (And the checklist I’ll be using is from here. It’s the most comprehensive.)
do they claim to have a special corner on the truth, something no other groups has?
Definitely. That’s the whole point of Baha’ism. Check!
are you told to not question what is being taught, as the leadership are godly, honest, have divine authority and you must trust them?
Infallible Universal House of Justice who will eventually rule the world (no girls allowed for at least one thousand years). Check!
are you discouraged from asking questions as to why members have left, and expected to accept the reasons the group leadership gives you?
They left Baha’ism because they’re cancerous, poisonous haters of Light, duh. Now stop asking why. Don’t let your children associate with their children. Don’t talk to them. And donate some more to the Fund. Check!
do they put down other churches, groups, etc, while pointing out their faults and errors to build themselves up? do they use peoples faults and sins as examples of what to do and what not to do?
Baha’is talk endlessly about the faults and shortcomings of other religions. That is the point of Baha’ism–that Baha’u’llah was the best and most recent, and if you’re satisfied with outdated beliefs you’re not spiritually mature. Check!
are you made to feel your failures, as though your performance is not up to par to their righteous standards?
Yes, if you’re one of the Untouchables of the Baha’is: transsexuals, homosexuals, bisexuals, etc. Little Baha’i children are taught that if they’re not straight, they just need to pray really hard and God will change them. They’re taught LGBT are sick and diseased—so pray harder!!!!!
Natural variation in personality is treated like a personal and spiritual failing. Check!
do they recommend for you to be around their people, expecting you to attend all group activities? if you do not, are you are questioned about your spirituality or dedication?
Why aren’t you at Ruhi? Have you done Ruhi? We have a Fireside. And a Feast. And a Holy Day. How about some Ruhi? Have you finished Ruhi? You did? Don’t worry, there’s more Ruhi! RUHI! Check!
do they stop you from reading anything negative about themselves?
do they call those who fall away enemies, dogs, or cancer, even using examples from the Bible or other such materials?
Cancerous, poisonous snakes, etc. and haters of light and goodness. Critics of Baha’ism are depicted as moustache twirling villains out of a Star Wars film like the evil Emperor. Check!
do they place and emphasis on evil and the devil, declaring that the world outside is a threat to the group?
The world is hopelessly decadent, violent and corrupt according to Baha’i thought. It’s also doomed without Baha’ism, apparently. Check!
do they defend themselves in every area?
Yep! Baha’ists become downright hysterical when presented with evenhanded criticism. It has taken quite a while to eke out this small corner of the internet for exB’s, and it’s still continually monitored and pestered by strident cultists. Check!
do they give importance to a spiritual goal, such as enlightenment, godliness, salvation, that has no real tangible way of being measured?
Yeah. Baha’u’llah uses a metaphor to compare basic humans to dirty coal which eventually turns into diamond with ‘spiritual maturity’ and other meaningless buzzwords that have no concrete metric. You’re just supposed to become better and better as a Baha’i and make new Baha’is, but what does ‘better’ mean? It sure doesn’t mean charity. It seems to mean attending Baha’i events and donating a lot of money to the NSA. Check!
do they operate in humility, or seem arrogant, and make demands on you to obey, using such statements such as “real believers obey without question or if you really were a devoted follower you would do such and such”?
If you were a real believer, you wouldn’t doubt the Blessed Beauty. That’s just spiritual cancer eating at you. Do some Deepenings. Recite the Most Blessed Name ninety-nine times. We can’t possibly understand all of Baha’u’llah’s reasons for His commands, but it’s our job to obey. You’d have Faith. Check!
So let’s count it up…
Yep, it’s a cult. If you ever have any doubts ever again, just refresh yourself with the checklist, then shake your head in amazement and feel happy you’re on the outside. And if you’re reading this and you’re on the inside, know that other people have left and we’re doing great. You can leave, too.