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3 years ago  ::  Aug 23, 2011 - 6:46AM #1
Lilwabbit
Posts: 2,892

The “Banks of the Rhine” and the "Lamentations of Berlin"

My good friend, an avowed atheist, recently gave a light-hearted confession that out of all Bahá’u’lláh’s verses, the one that stubbornly keeps on bothering him is his unmistakable “Banks of the Rhine” prophecy regarding the future wars on Germany. As I was reminded today of my friend's candid acknowledgement, I figured I could start a new thread where everyone interested could present or question the various prophecies made by Bahá’u’lláh, and discuss their fulfillment or lack thereof. For the sheer elegance of it, I thought of starting with the famous “Rhine” prophecy revealed in the year 1872 as part of the Kitáb-i-Aqdas, the Most Holy Book of Bahá'u'lláh. Please feel free to comment, criticize and to amend my following musings.

At the closing months of 1870, King William I of Prussia jubilantly celebrated his triumph over France in the Battle of Sedan. Napoleon III (Louis Napoleon) was taken prisoner and banished to England to live in exile for the remainder of his life. In a matter of months William I was crowned the Emperor William I of Germany in Versailles, Paris, the glorious palace of his former French nemesis. While he was not an ambitious expansionist in the manner of Napoleon III, much less his infamous uncle the Bonaparte, William I of Germany was known as a temperamental ruler in his own right and a militarist to whom war had become a kind of sport. In the hour of German triumph, little did William I know being the addressee of a personal tablet from Bahá’u’lláh, the very same Persian prisoner who had accurately forecast the downfall of his French nemesis. Bahá’u’lláh wrote to William I:

“Do thou remember the one whose power transcended thy power 
(Napoleon III), and whose station excelled thy station? Where is he? Whither are gone the things he possessed? Think deeply, O King, concerning him and concerning them who, like unto thee, have conquered cities and ruled over men. The All-Merciful brought them down from their palaces to their graves.”

(Bahá'u'lláh, Kitáb-i-Aqdas, par. 86)

Inebriated by her military triumph over her greatest enemy, Germany had no apparent reason to worry for her own safety. Yet in her summit of glory, Bahá’u’lláh painted a desolate panorama of violent vengeance meted out against her -- not just once, but twice: 


“O banks of the Rhine! We have seen you covered with gore, inasmuch as the swords of retribution were drawn against you; and you shall have another turn. And We hear the lamentations of Berlin, though she be today in conspicuous glory.” 


(Revealed in Arabic by Bahá’u’lláh in the year 1872, Kitáb-i-Aqdas, par. 90)


History followed suit.

What I find fascinating is that no Biblical, Quranic or Nostradamic prophecy comes close to being as specific or clear irrespective of the fact that this prophecy also employs some metaphorical terminology. In fact, the “Rhine” prophecy is positively difficult to interpret otherwise than its near-obvious meaning. The prophecy (1) clearly specifies Germany (“banks of the Rhine”, “lamentations of Berlin”) , (2) implies a military response to an aggression committed by Germany (“swords of retribution”), (3) warns about “another turn” right after a reference to military vengeance, and (4) highlights the present glory of Germany (at the time of revealing the prophecy).

The prophecy was made in 1872 after the famed Battle of Sedan in which Prussia defeated France. Therefore it cannot be a reference to the Battle of Sedan. Neither was the Battle of Sedan a “retribution” meted out against Germany but rather an act of imperialist expansionism by Napoleon III. In the period of 1872-2012 history quite simply knows only two military offences against Germany: (1) The advances of the Allied Forces into Germany at the end of World War I, and (2) the advances of the Allied Forces into Germany towards the end of World War II. In both of these cases the offensives against Germany were retributive in character (“swords of retribution”), prompted by the expansionist military aggressions by Germany. When Berlin was bombed by the RAF and the USAAF in the Second World War, the “lamentations of Berlin” were near-literal. The war-reparations imposed on Germany after World War I also added to the well-documented plight of the Berliners.

Despite the historical tendency of countries to wage wars and experience civil wars every once in a while, a similar prophecy could not have been “guessed” as applicable to simply any “randomly” selected country over an extended period of a century and half. Only the other Axis powers, such as Italy and Japan, could come close to fulfilling the exact description. However, Japan waged more than two wars during the given period while Italy was never really the target of major Allied offensives of a notably aggressive nature ("covered with gore"). Besides, Germany was clearly specified in the prophecy. Since Bahá’u’lláh did not spout thousands of vague vistas after the manner of Nostradamus, such an articulate and specific prophecy cannot be quite so easily dismissed as “a lucky guess” by a prolific crack-pot bubbling with thousands of hazy hallucinations. Bahá’u’lláh’s prophecies were few and far between, and they were always quite rationally and elegantly embedded into a deeper spiritual conversation on a specific theme. They were never prolific, nonsensical and random by nature. Despite the prophecy’s employment of some slightly metaphorical terms (“swords” of retribution, “covered” with gore), they are clear enough to convey a rather obvious and unequivocal meaning.

In brief, the prophecy refers quite unmistakably to a well-known geographic region, a military vengeance, two turns of retribution, and future lamentations of a particular city despite its present glory in 1872. Therefore the counter-argument of “convenient vagueness” seems also far-fetched. Characteristic to Bahá’u’lláh’s literary mode as a law-giver and judge which is consistent throughout the Kitáb-i-Aqdas (Bahá’u’lláh revealed his writings in nine different modes according to his own description), the “Rhine” prophecy is concise, stylistically poetic and beautifully elegant while retaining its prophetic accuracy.

My vote: Bahá’u’lláh knew what he was talking about. ;)

With kind regards,


LilWabbit

"All things have I willed for you, and you too, for your own sake."
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3 years ago  ::  Aug 23, 2011 - 4:25PM #2
Aka_me
Posts: 12,106

wouldn't it only be fair to be inclusive and uniting by mentioning prophecy from any source?


I'm partial to Japan Will Turn Ablaze.


 


 


and being that I'm in the gold and silver business, I love the "turn copper to gold".


understanding the periodic table... would show how it's easier to turn lead into gold, and they are already doing that now (by accident).


but turning COPPER into gold is going to require much more nanotechnology in manipulating protons and neutrons the way we manipulate legos today.


trust me, I'll be out of the gold and silver business, and into real estate investments, before science can cost effectively turn copper into gold.


 


then there's the prophecy where America will become "alarmingly violent":


The whirlwind of its passions is swift and alarmingly violent. The New World is insensibly drawn into its vortex….Dangers, undreamt of and unpredictable, threaten it both from within and from without. Its governments and peoples are being gradually enmeshed in the coils of the world’s recurrent crises and fierce controversies


 

there can be no meaning or value to life, in a universe devoid of meaning and value... because the moment those who knew you are gone, you will never have existed at all.

if you see anyone not screaming at the top of their lungs THE SKY IS FALLING BECAUSE OF GLOBAL WARMING! then for prophet Gore's sake help them see the light that doing so is the only means we have of getting off fossil fuel.
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3 years ago  ::  Aug 24, 2011 - 12:56AM #3
Lilwabbit
Posts: 2,892

Thank you Aka_me for your favorites. For the sake of clarity and Bahá'u'lláh's far greater prophetic vision (as compared to even 'Abdu'l-Bahá and Shoghi Effendi), I wanted to limit the discussion only to the prophecies of Bahá'u'lláh. But I will not spam anyone with private hate-mail if my great rulings are not complied with. Let me just make a few comments on the fascinating prophecies you mentioned.


Aug 23, 2011 -- 4:25PM, Aka_me wrote:


wouldn't it only be fair to be inclusive and uniting by mentioning prophecy from any source?


I'm partial to Japan Will Turn Ablaze.




This prophecy by 'Abdu'l-Bahá is, to my understanding, more a reference to a future spiritual awakening of Japan than the technological and economic marvel that Japan has proven to be. I do understand the temptation to read it in the latter way though. It would have made a very juicy prophecy indeed.


...and being that I'm in the gold and silver business, I love the "turn copper to gold".


understanding the periodic table... would show how it's easier to turn lead into gold, and they are already doing that now (by accident).



Let us quote the actual prophecies (with source reference) in full in order for others to evaluate them as well. There may be many different interpretations. You are right, Bahá'u'lláh indeed mentions that the transmutation of elements is one of "the signs of the coming of age of mankind". He reveals the following on the subject in response to the contemporaneous disputes in Persia as to the merits of alchemy. While Bahá'u'lláh seems to put no stock in the traditional lore of alchemy, he discusses the very real physical possibility of copper-to-gold transmutation:


"Consider the doubts which they who have joined partners with God have instilled into the hearts of the people of this land. “Is it ever possible,” they ask, “for copper to be transmuted into gold?” Say, Yes, by my Lord, it is possible. Its secret, however, lieth hidden in Our Knowledge. We will reveal it unto whom We will. Whoso doubteth Our power, let him ask the Lord his God, that He may disclose unto him the secret, and assure him of its truth. That copper can be turned into gold is in itself sufficient proof that gold can, in like manner, be transmuted into copper, if they be of them that can apprehend this truth. Every mineral can be made to acquire the density, form, and substance of each and every other mineral. The knowledge thereof is with Us in the Hidden Book."


(Gleanings from the Writings of Bahá'u'lláh, XCVII)



then there's the prophecy where America will become "alarmingly violent":


The whirlwind of its passions is swift and alarmingly violent. The New World is insensibly drawn into its vortex….Dangers, undreamt of and unpredictable, threaten it both from within and from without. Its governments and peoples are being gradually enmeshed in the coils of the world’s recurrent crises and fierce controversies 





This is not a prophecy by Bahá'u'lláh. Even this prophecy is written in the conditional with regard to America. However, the whole world will inevitably be plunged into a vortex of crises according to many prophecies by Bahá'u'lláh (not the least of which was the opening prophecy of this thread). In the following I have included a selection of a few famously ominous ones (counter-balanced by some hopeful vistas for the faint-hearted ;) ). All future-references are highlighted in blue.


Worldwide Crises and Calamity:


“The whole earth is now in a state of pregnancy. The day is approaching when it will have yielded its noblest fruits, when from it will have sprung forth the loftiest trees, the most enchanting blossoms, the most heavenly blessings." (Bahá'u'lláh cited by Shoghi Effendi in The World Order of Bahá'u'lláh, p. 169


"These great oppressions are preparing it [humanity] for the advent of the Most Great Justice." (Bahá'u'lláh cited by Shoghi Effendi in The Promised Day is Come, p. 7)


"After a time all the governments on earth will change. Oppression will envelop the world. And following a universal convulsion, the sun of justice will rise from the horizon of the unseen realm." (Bahá'u'lláh cited by Shoghi Effendi in The Promised Day is Come, p. 191)


"The world is in travail, and its agitation waxeth day by day. Its face is turned towards waywardness and unbelief. Such shall be its plight, that to disclose it now would not be meet and seemly. Its perversity will long continue. And when the appointed hour is come, there shall suddenly appear  that which shall cause the limbs of mankind to quake. Then, and only then, will the Divine Standard be unfurled, and the Nightingale of Paradise warble its melody. (Gleanings from the Writings of Bahá'u'lláh, pp. 118-119)


"We have fixed a time for you, O people! If ye fail, at the appointed hour, to turn towards God, He, verily, will lay violent hold on you, and will cause grievous afflictions to assail you from every direction." (Bahá'u'lláh cited by Shoghi Effendi in The Promised Day is Come, p. 7)


"The hour is approaching when the most great convulsion will have appeared. I swear by Him Who is the Truth. It shall cause separation to afflict everyone, even those who circle around Me." (Bahá'u'lláh cited by Shoghi Effendi in The Advent of Divine Justice, p. 80)


"Whoso cleaveth to justice, can, under no circumstances, transgress the limits of moderation. He discerneth the truth in all things, through the guidance of Him Who is the All-Seeing. The civilization, so often vaunted by the learned exponents of arts and sciences, will, if allowed to overleap the bounds of moderation, bring great evil upon men. Thus warneth you He Who is the All-Knowing. If carried to excess, civilization will prove as prolific a source of evil as it had been of goodness when kept within the restraints of moderation. Meditate on this, O people, and be not of them that wander distraught in the wilderness of error. The day is approaching when its flame will devour the cities...." (Gleanings from the Writings of Bahá'u'lláh, pp. 342-343)


"If a thing is carried to excess, it will prove a source of evil. Consider the civilization of the West, how it hath agitated and alarmed the peoples of the world. An infernal engine hath been devised, and hath proved so cruel a weapon of destruction that its like none hath ever witnessed or heard. The purging of such deeply-rooted and overwhelming corruptions cannot be effected unless the peoples of the world unite in pursuit of one common aim and embrace one universal faith. . . . Strange and astonishing things exist in the earth but they are hidden from the minds and the understanding of men. These things are capable of changing the whole atmosphere of the earth and their contamination would prove lethal. Great God! We have observed an amazing thing. Lightning or a force similar to it is controlled by an operator and moveth at his command. Immeasurably exalted is the Lord of Power Who hath laid bare that which He purposed  through the potency of His weighty and invincible command." (Tablets of Bahá'u'lláh, p. 69)


"Soon will the present day order be rolled up, and a new one spread out in its stead...." (Bahá'u'lláh cited by Shoghi Effendi in God Passes By, p. 217)


"These fruitless strifes, these ruinous wars shall pass away and the Most Great Peace shall come." (Bahá'u'lláh's spoken words reported by Edward Granville Browne and cited by Shoghi Effendi in God Passes By, p. 194)


With kind regards,


LilWabbit

"All things have I willed for you, and you too, for your own sake."
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3 years ago  ::  Aug 24, 2011 - 2:32AM #4
Aka_me
Posts: 12,106

Aug 24, 2011 -- 12:56AM, Lilwabbit wrote:


Aug 23, 2011 -- 4:25PM, Aka_me wrote:


wouldn't it only be fair to be inclusive and uniting by mentioning prophecy from any source?


I'm partial to Japan Will Turn Ablaze.




This prophecy by 'Abdu'l-Bahá is, to my understanding, more a reference to a future spiritual awakening of Japan than the technological and economic marvel that Japan has proven to be. I do understand the temptation to read it in the latter way though. It would have made a very juicy prophecy indeed.



oh... I uh, was thinking more along the lines of fat man and little boy.

there can be no meaning or value to life, in a universe devoid of meaning and value... because the moment those who knew you are gone, you will never have existed at all.

if you see anyone not screaming at the top of their lungs THE SKY IS FALLING BECAUSE OF GLOBAL WARMING! then for prophet Gore's sake help them see the light that doing so is the only means we have of getting off fossil fuel.
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3 years ago  ::  Aug 24, 2011 - 2:39AM #5
Lilwabbit
Posts: 2,892

Aug 24, 2011 -- 2:32AM, Aka_me wrote:


Aug 24, 2011 -- 12:56AM, Lilwabbit wrote:


Aug 23, 2011 -- 4:25PM, Aka_me wrote:


wouldn't it only be fair to be inclusive and uniting by mentioning prophecy from any source?


I'm partial to Japan Will Turn Ablaze.




This prophecy by 'Abdu'l-Bahá is, to my understanding, more a reference to a future spiritual awakening of Japan than the technological and economic marvel that Japan has proven to be. I do understand the temptation to read it in the latter way though. It would have made a very juicy prophecy indeed.



oh... I uh, was thinking more along the lines of fat man and little boy.





Heh, only goes to show this particular prophecy's openness to multiple inrepretations.

"All things have I willed for you, and you too, for your own sake."
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3 years ago  ::  Aug 24, 2011 - 1:11PM #6
Aka_me
Posts: 12,106

I agree, that Baha'is learn things when we have these kinds of discourses about prophecy.


but I (personally) don't believe it should necessarily be done in public, because non-members will confuse things, and mistakenly think that such prophecies are evidences of the Baha'i Faith's truth.


you know how Baha'u'llah forbid His followers from using His miracles as evidences of the Faith?


my own personal opinion is that the prophecies are akin the miracles. and I realize this is nothing more than my own personal opinion because there are MANY websites devoted explaining how the Baha'i Faith fulfills prophecy from all previous global religions.


guess I'm confortable talking about NT prophecy or OT prophecy being fulfilled by the Baha'i Faith, but not in "using" Baha'i prophecy as a proof in and of itself. it can be one more point in a whole laundry list of points explaining why the Baha'i Faith is apropros for the dispensation in which we live today.


I'll stop rambling now, there's no solid case to be made with my opinion here.

there can be no meaning or value to life, in a universe devoid of meaning and value... because the moment those who knew you are gone, you will never have existed at all.

if you see anyone not screaming at the top of their lungs THE SKY IS FALLING BECAUSE OF GLOBAL WARMING! then for prophet Gore's sake help them see the light that doing so is the only means we have of getting off fossil fuel.
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3 years ago  ::  Aug 25, 2011 - 2:54AM #7
Lilwabbit
Posts: 2,892

The Decline of Monarchy and Theocratic Rule


The following prophecies were made in the latter part of the 19th century by Bahá'u'lláh. They could also be interpreted as a brilliant sociological trend-analysis by someone who was unusually sensitive to the nascent social developments of the times.


"From two ranks amongst men power hath been seized: kings and ecclesiastics." (Bahá'u'lláh cited by Shoghi Effendi in The Promised Day is Come, p. 71)


"One of the signs of the maturity of the world is that no one will accept to bear the weight of kingship. Kingship will remain with none willing to bear alone its weight." (Tablets of Bahá'u'lláh, Tablet to Shaykh Salman, p. 115)


"O concourse of divines! Ye shall not henceforward behold yourselves possessed of any power, inasmuch as We have seized it from you. . . ." (Tablets of Bahá'u'lláh, p. 133)


"Thou [a Muslim clergyman in Persia] art even as the last trace of sunlight upon the mountaintop. Soon will it fade away, as decreed by God, the All-Possessing, the Most High. Thy glory and the glory of such as are like thee have been taken away, and this verily is what hath been ordained by the One with Whom is the Mother Tablet." (Tablets of Bahá'u'lláh, p. 213)


"Even as the snow they [the Muslim divines] will melt away in the July sun." ('Abdu'l-Bahá cited by Shoghi Effendi in The Promised Day is Come, p. 147)


The following oral tradition (hadith) is ascribed to Prophet Muhammad:


"A day shall be witnessed by My people whereon there will have remained of Islám naught but a name, and of the Qur'án naught but a mere appearance. The doctors [religious] of that age shall be the most evil the world hath ever seen. Mischief hath proceeded from them, and on them will it recoil." (A hadith cited by Shoghi Effendi in The World Order of Bahá'u'lláh, p. 179)


The end of Papacy, the Caliphate and monarchy as institutions vested with temporal power appears to have been foretold by Bahá'u'lláh in no uncertain terms in the 19th century. The Age of Republic and Democracy began to dawn, Bolshevism gathered momentum, and gradually secular authority supplanted sacerdotal rule in country after country. The Church and the State were decreasingly sacrosanct. Despite isolated relapses to brutish theocracy in the 20th and 21st century, the overall trend foretold by Bahá'u'lláh appears to have remained consistent.


With kind regards,


LilWabbit


 


 


 

"All things have I willed for you, and you too, for your own sake."
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3 years ago  ::  Aug 25, 2011 - 8:55PM #8
in_my_opinion
Posts: 2,753

Dear Lilwabbit and Aka_me,


What about the prophecy on "The Movement of the Left" which was of no more note at the time than a couple of philosophers and the odd anarchist, but was later to take over vast stretches of the Eurasian landmass?


"In one of the most remarkable Tablets revealed by 'Abdu'l-Bahá, passages of which have already been quoted on previous occasions, written in the evening of His life, soon after the termination of the first World War, He anticipates, in succinct and ominous sentences, the successive ebullitions which must afflict humanity, and whose full force the American nation must, if her destiny is to be accomplished, inevitably experience. "The ills from which the world now suffers," He wrote, "will multiply; the gloom which envelops it will deepen. The Balkans will remain discontented. Its restlessness will increase. The vanquished powers will continue to agitate. They will resort to every measure that may rekindle the flame of war. Movements, newly born and world-wide in their range, will exert their utmost effort for the advancement of their designs. The Movement of the Left will acquire great importance. Its influence will spread."" (Shoghi Effendi, Citadel of Faith, p. 36)


 


How about the Master's reference to the atom bomb made to no less than a Japanese diplomat who came from the country which was to experience the only fission bombs ever yet used in war, in this planet's known history, 33 years later!


"Excerpt from The Chosen Highway by Lady Blomfield, Concerning 'Abdu'l-Bahá and the Japanese Diplomat (1912)


The Japanese Ambassador to a European capital (Viscount Arakawa -- Madrid[1]) was staying at the Hotel d'Jena. This gentleman and his wife had been told of 'Abdu'l-Bahá's presence in Paris, and the latter was anxious to have the privilege of meeting Him.
[1 Japanese Foreign Office records list Viscount Minoji Arakawa as being Ambassador of Spain at that time. Spelling of the last name differs in the original text.]


"I am very sad," said Her Excellency. "I must not go out this evening as my cold is severe, and I leave early in the morning for Spain. If only there were a possibility of seeing Him."


This was told to the Master, Who had just returned after a long, tiring day.


"Tell the lady and her husband that, as she is unable to come to me, I will call upon her."


Accordingly, though the hour was late, through the cold and rain He came, with His smiling courtesy, bringing joy to us all, as we awaited Him in the Tapestry Room of the Hotel d'Jena.


'Abdu'l-Bahá talked with the Ambassador and his wife of conditions in Japan, of the great international importance of that country, of the vast service to mankind, of the work for the abolition of war, of the need for improving conditions of life for the worker, of the necessity of educating girls and boys equally.


"The religious ideal is the soul of all plans for the good of mankind. Religion must never be used as a tool by party politicians. God's politics are mighty, man's politics are feeble."


Speaking of religion and science, the two great wings with which the bird of human kind is able to soar, He said: "Scientific discoveries have increased material civilization. There is in existence a stupendous force, as yet, happily undiscovered by man. Let us supplicate God, the Beloved, that this force be not discovered by science until spiritual civilization shall dominate the human mind. In the hands of men of lower nature, this power would be able to destroy the whole earth."  "


 (Compilations, Japan Will Turn Ablaze, p. 51)

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3 years ago  ::  Aug 26, 2011 - 12:47AM #9
Lilwabbit
Posts: 2,892

Aug 25, 2011 -- 8:55PM, in_my_opinion wrote:


'Abdu'l-Bahá:


"The ills from which the world now suffers," He wrote, "will multiply; the gloom which envelops it will deepen. The Balkans will remain discontented. Its restlessness will increase. The vanquished powers will continue to agitate. They will resort to every measure that may rekindle the flame of war. Movements, newly born and world-wide in their range, will exert their utmost effort for the advancement of their designs. The Movement of the Left will acquire great importance. Its influence will spread." ('Abdu'l-Bahá cited by Shoghi Effendi, Citadel of Faith, p. 36)




Thank you Imo for the great quotes. If there can be favorites in these matters, admittedly the "Movement of the Left" prophecy is one of my faves. It foresees quite a number of things. The prophecy was made after WWI (before 'Abdu'l-Bahá's passing in 1921). It prophesies the increase of restlessness of the Balkans (cf. Bosnian War, Kosovo), the determination of the "vanquished powers" (cf. Germany most notably) to "rekindle the flame of war" (WWII), and the spread of international political movements (Communism mentioned clearly, Fascism perhaps implied, etc.) and implicitly alludes their "designs" to be questionable.


The nuclear force prophecy which was made to the Japanese diplomat is powerful and seems to be based on Bahá'u'lláh's earlier prophecy (cited in the above) of the "strange things" that exist "in the earth" that can "change" the whole "atmosphere" and be "lethal" if man is contaminated by them (cf. radioactivity discovered in uranium and other substances).


With kind regards,


LilWabbit

"All things have I willed for you, and you too, for your own sake."
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3 years ago  ::  Aug 26, 2011 - 2:49AM #10
in_my_opinion
Posts: 2,753

Dear Lilwabbit, (Please, use "imo" instead of the capitallized acronym.)


Had thought the prophecy was one of the Ancient Beauty's that was quoted by the Master. Could not find any substantiation for it unfortunately. The closest that have seen was:


"XCIX. The vitality of men's belief in God is dying out in every land; nothing short of His wholesome medicine can ever restore it. The corrosion of ungodliness is eating into the vitals of human society; what else but the Elixir of His potent Revelation can cleanse and revive it?"


 (Baha'u'llah, Gleanings from the Writings of Baha'u'llah, p. 199)


 It seems as though Atheism, materialism (whether capitalistic or communistic) and nationalistic fanaticism (whether anarchistic, fascistic, hieratic, feudalistic or of other forms of dictatorial despotism) all go hand in hand. It is peculiarly interesting to note that popular pacifistic and appeasement-prone groups were tied closely to the aggressive fascists so as to counter communism at the onset of WWII.


Recently pyramidal oligarchies based on the successively larger supporting levels of immediate family, extended kindred, tribe, clan, sect, etc have been used to control entire nations. But they are collapsing as the requisite nepotism, corruption and favoritism breeds envy, rivalry and hatred among the "outs" who combine to attack when they sense weakness in what they perceive as the illegitimate rule which they identify and accuse as the source of their troubles. Examples, such as the recent revolts springing up, abound.


Stability is most likely to be found in 1) the largest governmental units, where at least relatively 2) honest electoral processes combine with 3) fairly common economic equity and 4) ample meritocratic employment opportunities. Any 3 out of the 4 factors is sufficient but any 2 will do for a while without rapid or intense social pressures or subversive influences.

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