The Baha'i Faith & Religious Freedom of Conscience


9 Bahai Denominations

Also see US District Court of Northern Illinois rules against Haifan Baha'is - April 23, 2008
Amici curiae, Reform Bahai Faith


The Orthodox Baha'i lawyer Jeffrey Goldberg in his Response to the 2006 lawsuit that is currently being brought against other Bahai denominations in the Courts of Illinois rightly points out that there are now 9 denominations of the Bahai Faith. (I believe there has now evolved a 10th Baha'i denomination.)

"There are at least nine organizations now existing and operating at some level that practice a denomination of the "Bahá'í" religion (Goldberg Decl., Para. 51; Schlatter Decl., Para. 18-21). One is not a Bahá'í because of which denomination one belongs to, one is a Bahá'í because of the system of set of beliefs and doctrines one holds. The NSA's own web site defines a Bahá'í in this manner (Schlatter Decl., Para. 43)."

Nine Denominations (10):

Four Orthodox Bahai denominations, believing Charles Mason Remey was the successor to Shoghi Effendi.
1) Orthodox Bahá'í Faith (the OBF Respondents, following Joel B.
2) Bahá'ís Under Provisions of the Covenant (the other Respondents,
following Leland Jensen);
3)Tarbiyat Bahá'í Community (formerly known as Orthodox Bahá'ís Under the
Regency) (Rex King group);
4) Bahá'ís Under the living Guardianship (Donald Harvey as the third
Guardian and Jacques Soghomonian as the fourth Guardian), an organization
that is the successor to the Remey NSA;

Three denominations believing that the 1921 unprobated will & testament of Abdul-Baha is a fraudulent document and that Abdul-Baha did not appoint Shoghi Effendi or anyone else as a successor, but that he looked forward to a "spiritual democracy, not a theocracy," with ultimately an elected Universal House of Justice.
5) Reform Baha'is
6) Free Baha'is
7) Unitarian Baha'is
UU? Unitarian Baha'is

One denomination believing in the authenticy of the unprobated, unauthenticated will and testatment of Abdul-Baha, which they believe appointed in 1921Shoghi Effendi as a guardian, a Shiite mullah or pope-like figure controlling a theocratic world order.
8) The Bahá'í Faith or Bahá'í World Faith (the Movant NSA) - (AKA Haifan Baha'is)

One denomination believing the next Manifestation of God is imminent, rather than appearing in a thousand years as prophesied by Baha'u'llah.
9) John Carre (followers of Alif a Third Manifestation of God - the third
letter of the Greatest Name) "

10) I would add a 10th denomination. The so-called "unenrolled Baha'is" or "indepdendent Baha'is" who in some sort of quixotic dream await the uhj to wake up or reform itself into the liberal, sane, moderate religion that both Baha'u'llah and Abdul-Baha clearly taught and envisioned, yet who, in their implicit exemplification of Abdul-Baha's Teaching that the Bahai Movement cannot be organzied, essentially follow, partway, the practice of the Reform Bahais, who realize that the only course now open at this historical juncture is to renew and return to the Example and Interpretation of the Center of the Covenant, the 1912 Covenant, the authentic Covenant of Abdul-Baha.

For those unfamiliar with the Haifan nsa's attempt to deprive other Bahais of their first amendment rights of liberty and freedom of religious conviction, I urge you to read the documents involved on both sides at
[some URLs added above and text edited and revised]

Jeffrey Goldberg has further annotated a few of the nine denominations mentioned above:

"NSA-UHG = The National Spiritual Assembly of the Baha'is of the United States Under the Hereditary Guardianship. This was the entity against whom the 1966 Judgment was entered -- the NSA under Mason Remey --.

PNBC = The Provisional National Baha'i Council of the United States - the national governing body of the Orthodox Baha'i Faith (OBF) and one of the entities the Wilmette NSA brought into court.

SIBC - This is the Second International Baha'i Council. Involved in the action brought by the Wilmette NSA, the SIBC was the governing body of the Jensen group. This has nothing to do with the OBF. The SIBC also was the name of an unrelated body under Mason Remey of the same name.

BPUPC - Baha'i Publishers Under the Provisions of the Covenant - One of the entities the NSA brought contempt charges against and it is related to the Jensen/ Chase group and not to the OBF."

For a historical perspective, see the documents at Lawsuit by Wilmette NSA Against Other Denominations

One can only hope the Court will be wise enough to understand what is truly involved.

The Baha'i Faith & Religious Freedom of Conscience

See 2007 - Lawsuit by Wilmette NSA Against Other Denominations