Excerpts taken from an article published in Dahesh Voice magazine, Vol. 2, No. 4, 1997.
By: Dr. Ghazi Brax
The founder of Daheshism was one of the few that contributed throughout history in documenting the living saga of freedom. It was because of freedom that he faced persecution by the Lebanese government during a period when an oppressive regime reined on the country. Bechara el-Khoury (the Lebanese President at the time, 1943-1952) and his evil accomplices from the clergy and citizens, conspired against Dr. Dahesh in order to force him to abandon his activities of promoting a Spiritual Message that calls for the unity of religions. They tried to muzzle him and to illegalize his activities by unsuccessfully attempting to pass a law in the Parliament. Alternately, they resorted to bribing most journalists who, in turn, attacked Dr. Dahesh and fabricated lies about him in order to defame him and in doing so, to drive people away from him—especially the intellectuals who flocked to Dr. Dahesh after they have had enough lies and deception from some religious authorities. They also denied him and his supporters from responding to the false and horrible accusations. However, when they discovered that their attempts did not produce the desired results, they turned on him one of the religious factions that played a big role in the Lebanese civil war and the destruction of the country. On August 28, 1944, they arrested Dr. Dahesh and imprisoned him for 13 days without due process of the law, because they could not produce any evidence against him. They held him in the “Al-Raml” prison—a prison known for its torture—and then a presidential decree was issued to strip him from his Lebanese nationality and to expel him from the country to the Syrian-Turkish borders, where he can be subjected to the lines of fire, in a region that was still an active battlefield during World War II. In doing so, the Lebanese President exceeded his legal authority and violated the constitution that he took an oath to preserve.
However, after one month from his expulsion, the founder of Daheshism managed to secretly return to Beirut, where he launched a massive publishing campaign against those who victimized him and victimized the people. In his campaign, he exposed their scandals and shortcomings by producing from his undisclosed location 66 Black Books and 165 pamphlets targeted at the oppressors and their supporters. His powerful writings and relentless efforts, by day and by night, led to a state of revulsion felt by the people towards their oppressors and financial abusers that ultimately caused the fall of Bechara el-Khoury from power and the transfer of the Presidency to Camille Chamoun (1952-1958), who at the beginning of his rule restored the usurped Lebanese citizenship to Dr. Dahesh.