Caste System in Baha’i Faith

Caste System in Bahai Faith

Caste System in Bahai Faith

Currently, the Baha’is think of humanity as being divided into a few official groups or castes. I have organized them in a list from “best” to “worst” based on how many rights they would have in a future Baha’i world order:

1. Baha’i in good standing

2. Baha’i with administrative rights removed

3. non-Baha’i

4. Covenant-breaker

If you include more subtle gradations, which may possibly acquire a greater degree of official status in the future, the list would look like this…

1. Baha’i in good standing, active

2. Baha’i in good standing, inactive

3. Baha’i with some administrative rights removed

4. Baha’i with all administrative rights removed (Feast attendance, voting, eligibility for election, contribution to Funds, contribution to Huququ’llah, plus anything I’m forgetting to mention)

5. non-Baha’i (never been a Baha’i)

6. ex-Baha’i, left voluntarily (not an opponent)

7. ex-Baha’i, membership revoked/expelled by UHJ (not an opponent)

8. opponent or enemy of the faith, non-Baha’i

9. opponent or enemy of the faith, ex-Baha’i

10. child or grandchild of Covenant-breaker, not practicing in Covenant-breaker organization

11. Covenant-breaker, not officially declared by UHJ but member of Covenant-breaker organization

12. Covenant-breaker, officially declared by UHJ

Groups 10-12 constitute the Baha’i version of the “untouchable caste.” Groups 4-12 (the vast majority of categories) would not have the right to vote in elections for the highest governmental positions, i.e. the Baha’i Houses of Justice that would have final authority at the local, national, and international levels.

How’s that for unity of all people, huh?

Best,

Eric Stetson

(Group 11 – I think)

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About imranshaykh
I am a student of comparative religion with a special interest in Islam and The Bahai Faith

One Response to Caste System in Baha’i Faith

  1. Hah. That’s a good list. Funny, and probably true. I think I can add a few more interesting categories for you, though. This gained from years of experience:

    Diverse Person

    In the American communities if you are some non-White such as an Asian, a Native American, or especially a black — you will automatically have a special status. Baha’is will want to have you in every photograph, being a presenter at events if you can even talk reasonably coherently, and probably try to elect you as chairman of their Local Assembly. Baha’is have an extreme fetish for flesh and they do love their “diversity.” I think it gives them rushes. Non-Whites, of course, pick up on this fast and love to hang out in the Baha’i Faith for that reason.

    PhD/Doctor

    If you have an advanced degree and especially if you can call yourself “Doctor Somebody” — you are automatically placed into positions of leadership in the Baha’i Faith. Even if you are a mediocre speaker and boring as heck you will be asked to speak at events eventually, will be chosen to give interviews in the media if an occasion arises, and be offered to newspapers for quotes. It helps a great deal if you can buy some of those funny little glasses. You know, the ones that are rimless on the top and sit about halfway down your nose? That helps too. It also helps if you have a great car, like a Mercedes Benz or some other late model, impressive car and you dress nice.

    Doctor (Medical)

    I am giving this a special category because they have an even higher status than the PhD “doctors” in the Baha’i Faith. If you are really serious about being a Baha’i Big Shot, you must become somebody with the letters “M.D.” after your name. Don’t bother with Osteopath. Don’t go for Chiropractor. “Podiatrist” is not so good. (Baha’is actually do enter these professions hoping it will lead to leadership among the Baha’is, even settling for life as a Foot Doctor in their hopes.) But it’s MD if you want to be in the Baha’i Big Leagues. Eventually you are likely to get tapped as an “Auxiliary Board Member.” At least an “Assistant” for starters. Do brush up on your speaking skills even if you were never good at this before. If you are a high-status M.D. like a surgeon, so much the better. You might even end up a Continental Counselor in that case. (Do they still have those?) An M.D. Makes the Baha’is Look Good. If you want to be a formidable Baha’i Personage some day, do apply for Medical School now.

    C.E.O’s Assorted Executives of Companies

    These are a notch below PhDs and at least 2 notches beneath MDs, but these types always have high status in the Baha’i Faith and, like MDs, will usually end up with speaker positions or as “Auxiliary Board Members” and the like. I mean, why not? If you are experienced at making farm implements or putting together telecom networks, why wouldn’t you be first pick to represent a mystical religion that hailed from Islamic Sufism and quotes Rumi? You will certainly be appreciated, as you dumb down religion, for your excellent suits, trim haircut, and authoritative persona gained in the boardroom. You will Make The Baha’is Look Good!

    Lawyer/Attorney

    These are a notch below the CEO/Executive-of-a-company, but they are at least a notch above ordinary Baha’is. To play your part in impressing the world about the Baha’i Faith, do wear your best suits. In rare cases there have been Baha’is with judgeships. (The Nelsons in the Chicago area.) These are immediate superstars of God’s religion. (Don’t you remember that Hidden Word? “Say: God Loveth those on the Bar.”)

    Musician

    Musicians can be said to occupy a special class in the Baha’i Faith. They tend to get pigeonholed, and if a Baha’i is acknowledged as a musician he usually will not be asked to do anything else but that.

    Famous

    No matter what you’re famous for — playing the part of bums or criminals on television, singing some country song, or telling goof jokes — Baha’is will consider you one of their elite. Never mind all that religious stuff about the renunciation of worldly desire. Certainly Dan Seals, whore wrote “I Wanna Bop With Ya Baby” is the one who can interpret for us mystical phrases like “Fly with the Minions of Separation Beyond Innovation!” and similar arcana.

    Have Money

    It’s a fact that those with more wealth or higher incomes tended to have positions of leadership and a high profile in the Baha’i Faith.

    Feminine White Males with High Pitched Voices

    They’ll love you. You’ll find your niche somewhere for sure.

    Now, if you want to be in the top Baha’i class, be 1) A Diverse Person combined with 2) Doctor– or any of the other professions. You will be Baha’i Royalty already in the first week, and your star will never set.

    That was the caste system I always noticed in the Baha’i Faith.

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