In the book “The Babi Movement: A Resource Mobilization Perspective by Peter Smith and Moojan Momen published in ‘In Iran: Studies in Babi and Bahai History vol. 3,’ ed. Peter Smith (Los Angeles: Kalimat Press, 1986) pages 33-93 the following paragraph(quoted with permission): appears:
The wider purpose of these conflicts remains a matter of controversy. However, whether or not they formed part of a carefully prepared insurrectionary conspiracy, a view that the present authors would seriously question, the conflicts should be viewed against the background of established patterns of religious and urban violence in nineteenth-century Iran. Most Iranian towns were divided into a number of rival and religiously defined district factions, each with its own patrician patrons and local associations. Intercommunal fighting was common. Large-scale conversions to the Babi religion reflected these divisions. Again, leading ulama were linked to the factions by their patronage of groups of toughs. With the increasing assertion of clerical power, interclerical disputes were thus readily prosecuted by resort to street fighting and the physical intimidation of opponents. The persecution of Babis and their own resort to violence were not abnormal in this regard. What was abnormal was the length and intensity of the resultant conflicts. The religious interests of the rival parties were crucial here. Fervent in their commitment to their cause, the Babis confronted an increasingly assertive clergy whose leaders perceived Babism as a dangerous heresy fundamentally inimical to their own interests.
I have been associated with the Baha’i Faith, the religious sequel to the Babi movement, for over 50 years and various conspiracy theories have appeared in relation to both Babism and the Baha’i Faith. Living as I do and have in western countries where the average person I meet is more interested in car racing, football and what’s on TV, the conspiracy theories involving my religion don’t amount to much interest in either the popular press or the private lives of my friends and neighbours. This is to be expected. The above allusion to one of the several conspiracy theories I have come to read about since the 1950s, when I joined the Baha’i Faith, is an interesting one to me. I do not have the time nor is there the space here to explore it. And so I leave it here in the above paragraph as my first posting at the “Hoax Forum.”.-Ron Price, Tasmania