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Political objections to the Baha'i Faith

Opponents of the Bahai Faith have accused the faiths followers of various political crimes, such as dual loyalty and being involved with foreign or hostile powers. These accusations are used to justify persecution of this religious minority. In support of government and clergy-led persecution of the Bahais, Iranian government officials and others have claimed that Bahais have had ties to foreign powers, and were agents of Russian imperialism, British colonialism, American expansionism and Zionism, as well as being responsible for the policies of the previous Shah of Iran. These accusations against the Bahai have been disputed, and described as based on misconceived, or exaggerated interpretations of historical fact. Bahaullah, the founder of the Bahai Faith, taught that Bahais are to be loyal to ones government, not be involved in politics, and to obey the laws of the country they reside in.

                                               

Abel Clarin de la Rive

In 1902, Clarin de la Rive founded a Conseil antimaçonnique de France French Anti-Masonic Council, whose main activities was to sponsor Clarin’s lecture tours throughout France and an Anti-Masonic Museum in Paris. In the first decade of the 20th century, while maintaining an antisemitic orientation, La France chretienne devoted more and more attention to exposing the Theosophical Society, Martinism, Spiritualism, and Christian Science as dangerous cults more or less controlled by Jews and Freemasons. On the other hand, Clarin de la Rive was a firm believer in the supernatural, and befriended some members of the esoteric milieu, including Rene Guenon: the two men shared an interest in Islam, and from 1909 Guenon published several articles in Clarin’s magazine under the pseudonym of "Sphinx". Guenon used La France chretienne later called La France antimaçonnique to criticize monsignor Ernest Jouin and his magazine Revue internationale des societes secretes, who in turn denounced Guenon’s brand of esotericism as anti-Christian. In 1911, Clarin de la Rive reported that, while a Catholic missionary was helping him translate a Hindu mantra in the offices of La France antimaçonnique, a Hindu holy man who introduced himself as Swami Narad Mani appeared im front of them "as a ghost from the astral world," claimed to be the head of a "European Observatory of True Truth Somaj," and gave to them a book, The Baptism of Light, where he exposed the "false" Theosophy of the Theosophical Society as opposed to the "genuine" Hindu Theosophy. While some scholars believe that the Swami Narad Mani who wrote The Baptism of Light, which La France antimaçonnique duly published, was in fact the Indian opponent of the Theosophical Society, Hiran Singh, Kreis and fellow French scholar Michel Jarrige believe the story to be entirely fictitious and concluded that The Baptism of Light had been written by Guenon and Clarin de la Rive. Clarin de la Rive’s death was announced by La France antimaçonnique on July 16, 1914, with the indication that Guenon will become the new editor after the summer holidays; however, World War I prevented further publication of the magazine, whose last number was published on July 30, 1914.

                                               

The Hiram Key

The Hiram Key: Pharaohs, Freemasonry, and the Discovery of the Secret Scrolls of Jesus, is a 1996 book by Christopher Knight and Robert Lomas. The authors, both Freemasons, present a theory of the origins of Freemasonry as part of their "true story" of the historical Jesus and the original Jerusalem Church.

                                               

Joseph Fort Newton

Joseph Fort Newton was an American Baptist minister. He was born in Decatur, Texas, the son of a Baptist minister turned attorney. He attended Southern Baptist Seminary, and Harvard University. While at Harvard he studied under William James. Newton held the honorary degrees of Doctor of Hebrew Literature Coe College, 1912, Doctor of Divinity Tufts University, 1919, Doctor of Humane Letters Hobart and William Smith Colleges, 1926, and Doctor of Laws Temple University, 1929. Newton was ordained a Baptist minister in 1895. He held Baptist pastorates in Texas, and led non-sectarian and Universalist congregations in Illinois and Iowa. While in Iowa, he taught English literature at the extension campus of the University of Iowa in Cedar Rapids. While in Cedar Rapids, many of Newtons sermons were published and gained wide circulation. Their popularity in England led him to be called to the pulpit of the City Temple London in 1916. During his four years at City Temple, he made trips throughout the British Isles and gained international fame through sermons in which he urged understanding between England and the United States as a basis of world order and abiding peace. In 1920, Newton returned to the United States and assumed the pulpit at the Church of the Divine Paternity, New York City, NY. While there Newton served as an editor of the Christian Century, edited the Best Sermons of the Year series, and preached at colleges and universities across the United States. At the invitation of the Diocese of Pennsylvania Bishop Thomas J. Garland, Newton entered the ministry of the Episcopal Church in September 1925, and came to the Memorial Church of St. Paul, Overbrook, Philadelphia, PA, as a "special minister." He was ordained as a priest in 1926 at Christ Church, Philadelphia, PA. Newton remained at the Memorial Church of St. Paul until 1930. From 1930 to 1938, Newton assisted the Rev. Dr. John C. H. Mockridge at St. James Church, Philadelphia, PA. In 1938 he assumed the rectorship of Church of St. Luke and The Epiphany, Philadelphia, PA, where he remained until his death in 1950. In 1939, Newton was ranked among the top 5 Protestant Clergyman in the United States. From 1944 until his death, Newton reviewed religious books and wrote a Saturday sermon column for the Philadelphia Evening Bulletin. Newton authored over 30 books, perhaps his most famous being The Builders: A Story and Study of Freemasonry, published in 1914, and translated into six different languages. The Builders is still regarded as one of the best books on the topic.

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