This book is a breath of fresh air.
There are millions of adherents to the Bahai Faith. Mr. Miller provides insight and primary sources giving the reader information about the history of the Baha'i Faith. Where the official and authorized Baha'i histories are sanitized and revised. Mr. Miller, who lived for years in Iran and fluent in Parsi, provides access to the westerner into events occurring during the early years of this world religion.
The reader learns about the initial prophetic voices of the Bab and Baha'u'llah and the followers that founded the Bahai Faith after their deaths. The author explains the transformational shifts and unbelievable history of the Baha'is. Why did the early writings appear to be create a "society" or "philosophy" and later suddenly the community was touted as a "world religion"? Why are there are 7 Baha'i sects? Each exodus occurring when internal power struggles resulted in a few achieving greater control. Why do Baha'is work so hard to control their memberships contacts and reading material? Why do Baha'is shun those who leave, considering anyone not fully supportive of the Baha'i religion "spiritual poison?" After reading this book it should be clear to the reader.
Due to the historical accuracy of the book's facts and the author's position as a Protestant Missionary to an Islamic country, not all readers will be satisfied. Some will be offended those most likely the adherents who don't want the truth to come to light. Some will be offended because the author was a Protestant Missionary. Nevertheless, any serious student of world religions will be grateful to have his contributions on record to the history of the Baha'is.
William McElwee Miller, born in Middlesboro, Kentucky, received his A.B. in 1912 and M.A. in 1913 from Wash-ington and Lee University. He acquired a Phi Beta Kappa key and in 1919 received the B.D. from Princeton Theological Seminary. From there he went to Persia (Iran) as a missionary of the Presbyterian Church, and he remained in service in Persia until retirement in 1962. He was given the D.D. degree by Washington and Lee University in 1932. He now resides in Philadelphia. While living in Meshed, the sacred city of Shi'ite Muslims, he learned to speak Persian fluently. Miller discovered and translated an ancient Arabic creed, which was published by the Royal Asiatic Society in London. In Iran Miller soon came in touch with fol-lowers of Baha'u'llah, who was born in that country. Wishing to understand this movement and its history and doctrines more thoroughly, he began a study of the literature of the Babis and Baha'is which he has continued for fifty years. He published a book on Baha'ism in 1932, and has also written many articles on the subject. He cooperated with Dr. E.E. Elder in translating and publishing the Kitab-i-Aqdas, the most important writing of Baha'u'llah. From a scholar in Cyprus he received a large amount of historical material about the Babi-Baha'i Movement which has not been published previous to this volume.