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Answer to the Dismayed Baha'i

Sal-Om ...,
As a former Bahá'í I can understand the frustration you might have about all the claims you may hear from time to time. However, if you remember, when you became a Bahá'í, you felt a certainty, a feeling of peace, and discovery. This is the same feeling that I had when I had looked at the Mission of Maitreya site and as I heard Maitreya speak on Saturday mornings. Also, I looked at the answers on the site itself given to Bahais  which you may have seen. It boils down to " He  doeth whatsoever He willeth."
In the first lines in your letter you mention " how ignorant the creators and followers of this thing are." Sometimes I have felt that too in discussions, but we have to remember that the Bab wrote that the person who wrote the book to people in Iran at that time to "the ignorant" as part of its title was in fact not wise at all. Of course anger and frustration often color our feelings and word choices, but in essence Bahais are usually people of loving kindness even in disagreements which should be discussed with utmost respect and kindness in the words of Abdu'l-Baha. So lets agree to treat each other with dignity and love the essence of that spark of God, the soul, within each of us.
Now the crux of your statement is that there can be no third prophet at this time, and that we are in error. Also, you question the seventh angel statement. You mention that the Bible is symbolism with added truth which is partly valid, I think. Remember, however, that God sends a prophet" as soon as the human race is ready for him." Also Bahaullah stated to the Babis after he declared his mission, that " Whether too soon or too late," He was who He said he was and it was up to us to respond or not. God doeth whatever He willeth. Even today it is seen that the Bab did not choose Bahaullah for his successor, but another. Bahaullah assumed the reigns of authority on his own as he became aware of his mission. It is obvious that the Bab knew this. And had not Bahaullah appeared, the Bábi cause, already in disarray, would have ended. God knew it was needed to send a second manifestation. Some would say that the Bab was somewhat violent in his attitude toward non believers. Whether true or not, or whether his words were under duress or in response to certain situations, Bahaullah immediately abrogated this law. Also, as you know from reading the Bahá'í writings, the Bab stated that the next prophet would come only after 1501 to 2000 years! Yet Bahaullah was already alive and beginning to teach and write, but not yet as a prophet, as the Bab was murdered so horribly by his enemies. Nineteen years went between the twin declarations, not 1501! There is a mystery here which I think lies in the knowledge of God that people will react in  certain ways, so he sends his messengers with the chance for us to respond immediately, and when we do not, he sends another sometimes in a short time and so on. It is not that HE changes His mind, it is that We do not rise to the challenge that a manifestation gives to us. The mystery of a prophets timing and coming are usually in scripture, BUT require careful ,detached from dogma, thought and openness arising from our hearts.
When questioned as to why he came so quickly after Christ, Mohammed said it was due to the fact that the Christians had so corrupted their teachings beginning even with disagreements between Peter and Paul and the councils and various groups over hundreds of years which caused violence and sectarianism. The Roman emperor, Constantine, made matters worse by his rulings on which doctrines were to remain in the church. The bible and the doctrines of Christianity have likewise been somewhat obscured by the divines, that is, the leaders of these faiths.
Bahaullah stated that he was concerned for "He who was to be sent down after Me." I do not think that was referring to Abdul Baha as some have said, but for the next prophet. Notice, that He expected resistance from the Bahais themselves. There have been many prophecies that the Sun would rise in the West, and that the East would not always be the rising point of Revelation. Bahaullah stated that ONLY after the tribulations of these days would the "Divine Standard" be raised. Shoghi Effendi even stated that Gods plan may change the plans of the followers of his prophets, and that there would be "another manifestation" before world unity was achieved. Yet, even in the Bahai writings there is disagreement. The Universal House of Justice is obviously NOT the one envisioned by Shoghi Effendi. The idea of Bada is dangerous. First, no one can interpret the writings with infallibility aside from THE GUARDIAN. The Hands in using Bada were not infallible and few Bahais questioned them. The House does NOT have the Guardian as its head. If God employs Bada on such an important institution as the Guardianship, than what else in the Faith is BADA?
Bahais need to investigate themselves. The various Baha groups such as the orthodox Bahais have good information. Even if they are in error on some things, they are, in my opinion, correct about the guardianship. Go to the Orthodox Bahá'í Faith site to peruse their concepts. Unfortunately, they are seen as covenant breakers, a term with very specific meaning by Shoghi Effendi and Abdul Baha. Now many Bahais are leaving the organization or becoming non active due to the feelings of oppression they sense enveloping the Faith. It is only you who can ascertain the relative validity of all these positions and ideas. Abdul Baha said that in times of non growth and low energy in the Cause, it meant that the Bahais were on the wrong tract. The growth of the Faith has been stagnant and in decline since the early 80's. Why is that? Where are the troops? As to the protection of the faith against schism, why is the Orthodox Bahá'í faith growing in India, Africa, and in the Americas?
All these questions were in my mind for years as I studied as much of the writings that I could. There is much beauty in the writings, but above beauty is even more truth and higher consciousness, a more subtle level of awareness. I could not commit myself to any of the Bahá'í groups, for I saw only discussion of the covenant. I love the gardens in Haifa, but could not that quarter billion dollars have been spent on teaching, humanitarian action, temples and so on in the world? In short, I saw more and more evidence of error in SOME of the interpretations since Shoghi Effendi's death. I urge you to read the sites of other Bahá'í groups and then with an open mind read and listen to Maitreya and this mission. There is, in my opinion, massive failure in the Cause, and so there are. I think, five options. First, stay in the Faith as it is, Second, become inactive, Third, join another Bahá'í group, fourth state that the faith is totally false and rejoin one of the other religions, fifth, realize that a new prophet is needed and seriously study the mission of Maitreya.
Eric Stetson, a former charismatic Bahá'í, "discovered" that he was a new prophet come to save the Bahá'í Faith under the shadow of Bahaullah. His writings were "prophet beautiful", but he recanted stating that he made an error. He then left the faith since he now felt that since he could write as well as Bahaullah, he had lost some respect for HIM. Eric, is now a born again Christian. Only he knows his own motives and fears, but the ego of being as good as Bahaullah in writings is obvious, yet a weakness we all have. But Eric knows something is wrong, Joel Marengella, "the third guardian" of the Orthodox Bahais knows something is wrong, many of those excommunicated by the House which does not in the writings have the power to do so, know that something is wrong, The errors of the House in so many decisions, however well intentioned they are, show that something is wrong. The lack of growth in the faith show that something is wrong, the near hostility between enforcers of the covenant in the various Boards and the anxious Bahais show that something is wrong, the idea of Bada shows that something is wrong, the absence of a Guardian shows that something is wrong, the non fulfillment of some prophecies show that something is wrong, the failure of the Bahais to be working as hard as they can to lessen the calamities by teaching and leading by example shows that something is wrong, even though there are some Bahá'í initiatives in various places.
This mission shows that only with these conditions of world wide safe access to the people of the planet has the time come where every eye can see and hear him. The mission of Maitreya has many answers to your questions if you sincerely look with an open mind. In the end, IF this mission is false, then it is a great test for the Bahais, and IF this mission is true, then it is a great test for the Bahais as well. The choice, of course as in all things, is yours, and that of all the peoples of the planet.
I think of the time immediately ahead, and I see that in the future after the bad times, communities of light will arise, and the religion of Bahaullah Shall be glorified by Maitreya in His temples and communities and laws. The human race will be unified and share the combined beauty of all the revelations of God. No one will be left out. We will read the Hidden Words, Gleanings, and other Bahá'í and Bábi writings along with those of Islam, Christianity, Buddhism, Hinduism, the native faiths, and the writings of Maitreya all in one center, all equally respected and ecstatically internalized, and we shall have the world order commanded by Bahaullah and developed in detail by Maitreya. There will be a true Universal House of Justice, elders (Hands) and wise interpreters, ( Guardians). We will know a new way of thinking and interacting with ourselves, each other, other peoples, and even in time when, as Mohammed states, " at a time WHEN Allah chooses",  we will interact with other beings in all the vast universes of GOD. What we have will be what we need, and what we have will be very good, the highest quality we can imagine. No person will go hungry or without shelter. We will be citizens of a united planet as Bahaullah intended.
In the meantime, I wish to give you this link written by a Bahai who I believe has since been forced out of the faith. In his work, he discusses in depth, in a much  better way than I can write, the entire idea of the third prophet. Between his work, and the logical and sensible writings of the Orthodox Bahai Guardian, and Abdul Baha, and Shoghi Effendi, you may make your own decision in peace, dignity, privacy, and compassion.  You have, if you wish, the five choices I suggested. I know that God forgives error, mine or yours, if it is sincere. In any event we shall all know the truth soon enough. Pray the remover of difficulties, chant the greatest name and read this link and the other suggestions I have made as in the Orthodox Bahai group writings. You are not forbidden to read the writings. How you react to what you read is your own affair unconditioned by no person but in the context of a loving relationship with God, and no one else. Increasing numbers of Bahais are, with the advent of a free world wide Internet, beginning to question the period between 1957 and 1963 and the validity and possible violations of that time by the Hands. Whether true or not, please read all you can about this time from many sources to aid you in making your own unfettered decision. Maitreya began his public mission exactly nineteen years after the formation of what I feel is an improperly constituted UHJ. There are many subtle clues in this Mission for you to see, and there will be coincidences in your life to draw you to this Mission if it is what you are open to do.
Here is the link:    Please read it carefully as it was written by a Bahá'í. The other writings by Stetson, The Orthodox Bahais, and others, as well as, of course, writings of the present Bahai institutions, read in privacy in your own time and at your own speed.
Thank you for the chance to write to you about the Mission of Maitreya. Once you have read the suggested links, please also read the vast site of the Mission of Maitreya. Meanwhile, look into the eyes of Bahaullah and Maitreya in your meditations and ask what you will.  "IN HIM LET THE TRUSTING TRUST."
Here is one paragraph from the link I have given you.
"Also, Baha'is should take into consideration the following excerpts from Haifa Notes taken during the last year in the life of Shoghi Effendi. "One evening the Guardian mentioned there had been 6000 years of prophetic revelation to announce the coming of Baha'u'llah and to prepare the world for it - that there would be 500,000 years of revelation under His shadow. He stated that world civilization will not be inaugurated before another revelation or prophet appears. " Notes of Alice Dudley, 1957"
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