This question applies to the three following categories of Bahá’ís:

  • Bahá’ís who were living during the last ten years of the ministry of Shoghi Effendi, and are still living, and therefore had been the recipients of the "historic" and "epoch-making"messages that he dispatched to the Bahá’í world during those years, and particularly those that acclaimed major developments at the World Center of the Faith, that most notably and significantly included the only Proclamation he issued during his ministry on 9 January 1951, in which he hailed with a "thankful joyous heart at long last the constitution of the International Council which history will acclaim as the greatest event shedding lustre upon (the) second epoch of (the) Formative Age of the Bahá’í Dispensation potentially unsurpassed by any enterprise undertaken since (the) inception of (the) Administrative Order of the Faith on the morrow of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá’s Ascension, ranking second only to (the) glorious immortal events associated with (the) Ministries of the Three Central Figures of (the) Faith . . ."

  • Bahá’ís who have embraced the Faith in the years following the passing of Shoghi Effendi, the vast majority of whom are certainly unacquainted with these historic and epoch-making messages including his Proclamation in message form, an extract of which has been quoted above, and consequently remain completely unaware of the tremendous importance and significance of these messages which, although they irrefutably attested to the fact that Shoghi Effendi had definitely provided for the continuation of the Institution of the Guardianship in complete fidelity to the Will and Testament of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, but because this appointment had been effected in an unexpected manner, and not by testamentary document, as the Hands of the Cause had erroneously anticipated, they failed, following his passing, to perceive and recognize his appointed successor with tragic consequences for the future of the Faith.

  • Former Bahá’ís who have in recent years publicly announced in postings they have made on Bahá’í newsgroups, of their withdrawal from the Faith, apparently due to disenchantment with acts or rulings made by the sans-Guardian, so-called Universal House of Justice, which strangely enough, they failed to realize was, in the absence of the Guardian of the Faith presiding as its "sacred head," a headless and illegitimate body, clearly formed outside of the provisions of the Will and Testament of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá and, as such, never should have been recognized by them as a legitimate body in the first place. There is no evidence to suggest that these Bahá’ís in the categories mentioned above, who have obviously read the numerous comprehensive and cogent articles in support of the continuing Guardianship of the Faith, posted on web pages, newsgroups and chat forums, are willing to now perceive and concede that a tragic and inexcusable oversight was made by the Hands of the Cause at the time of Shoghi Effendi’s passing, in their abject failure to recognize the indisputable fact, as conclusively proven in these articles, that Shoghi Effendi had, in complete fidelity to the Will and Testament of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, clearly provided for the continuance of the Guardianship.

Even more incomprehensible is the refusal of former Bahá’ís who have withdrawn from the Faith, because of some grievance against the sans-Guardian organization in Haifa, to carefully examine, consider and, as a result, respond affirmatively, as would have been expected, to the overwhelming evidence presented that undeniably proved the continuance of the Guardianship. Therefore, it can only be concluded that the adherents of the Faith, in the categories cited above, no longer really care that, following Shoghi Effendi’s passing, a thoroughly corrupted man-made administrative system was blatantly put in place by the then Hands of the Cause of God as a flawed substitute for the divinely-conceived Administrative Order delineated by ‘Abdu’l-Bahá in His Will and Testament, and who, in doing so, ignominiously ignored the fact that Shoghi Effendi had declared in "The Dispensation of Bahá’u’lláh" that "the bedrock on which this Administrative Order is founded is God’s immutable Purpose for mankind in this day," and therefore had obviously recognized and supported a seriously flawed administrative organization set up completely outside the provisions of the Will and Testament of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá and flagrantly contrary to the very Purpose of God.

In this apparent lack of care, it would appear that they have readily forgotten the following:

  • That the Bahá’í Administrative Order is a divinely-conceived Order, and, as Shoghi Effendi emphasized,"an Instrument which may be viewed as the Charter of the New World Order, which is at once the glory and the promise of this most great Dispensation."

  • That the Will and Testament, although penned by ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, is, in reality, nothing less than an expression of the Will of Bahá’u’lláh, as well, and for this reason Shoghi Effendi has stated: "For nothing short of the explicit directions of their Book and the surprising emphatic language with which they have clothed the provisions of their Will could possibly safeguard the Faith for which they have both so gloriously labored all their lives." (emphasis added)

  • That Shoghi Effendi further emphasized the dual authorship of the Will and Testament in "The Dispensation of Bahá’u’lláh" "The Will may thus be acclaimed as the inevitable offspring resulting from that mystic intercourse between Him Who communicated the generating influence of His divine Purpose [Bahá’u’lláh] and the One Who was its vehicle and chosen recipient" [‘Abdu’l-Bahá] and thereby should be recognized as the very "Child of the Covenant—the Heir of both the Originator and the Interpreter of the Law of God."

  • That Shoghi Effendi had further declared that "the Will and Testament of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá . . . together with the Kitáb-i-Aqdas, constitutes the chief depository wherein are enshrined those priceless elements of that Divine Civilization, the establishment of which is the primary mission of the Bahá’í Faith."

  • That Shoghi Effendi had further stated: "a study of the provisions of these sacred documents will reveal the close relationship that exists between them . . . and every fair-minded inquirer will readily admit that they are not only complementary but that they mutually confirm one another and are inseparable parts of one complete unit."

  • That in declaring that the Kitáb-i-Aqdas and the Will and Testament of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá are "inseparable parts of one complete unit, Shoghi Effendi identified the Will and Testament of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá as a part of the explicit Holy Text and therefore its provisions are immutable and not subject to any change, much less discontinuance, or future inapplicability, as long as the Dispensation of Bahá’u’lláh endures.

  • That Shoghi Effendi had further emphasized: "The bedrock on which this Administrative Order is founded is God’s immutable Purpose for mankind in this Day" and "the Source from which it derives its inspiration is no one less than Bahá’u’lláh Himself."

Moreover, those Bahá’í’s who were influenced by the Hands of the Cause to believe that the Guardianship of the Cause of God had ended with the passing of Shoghi Effendi should now realize that the following facts were shamefully disregarded by the Hands:
  • That Shoghi Effendi had indefatigably labored during the course of his 36-year ministry to faithfully establish the administrative institutions of the Faith in complete compliance with the provisions of the Will and Testament of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá and, as his ministry drew to a close, dispatched on 30 June 1952 the following significant message to the Bahá’í World hailing the completion of this task: "At the World Center of the Faith, where at long last the machinery of its highest institutions has been created, and around whose most holy shrines the supreme organs of its unfolding Order, are, in their embryonic form, unfolding."

  • That the "supreme organs" in their "embryonic form," referred to above, were none other than the institutions of the Universal House of Justice, and the Hands of the Cause, both in their embryonic but complete form.

  • That the two previous messages quoted above had been dispatched by Shoghi Effendi following his Proclamation of 9 January 1951, in which he had established the embryonic Universal House of Justice in its embryonic formunder the provisional name of the "International Bahá’íCouncil"and had hailed it as "this first embryonic International Institution" which would develop in successive stages as an "officially recognized Bahá’í Court," a "duly elected body" and culminating in its final stage of "efflorescence into (the) Universal House of Justice," an obviously evolutionary process in which its final efflorescence as the Universal House of Justice would only logically take place, in the future when National and Local Houses of Justice had been established and were operable and permitted by the governments of the countries in which they were located to apply all of the laws of the Kitáb-i-Aqdas to the believers residing in their respective countries. For this very reason Shoghi Effendi, in his message of 25 April 1951, had stated that the "formation of the Bahá’í Court" as the second stage in the development of the International Bahá’í Court was an "essential prelude to the institution of the Universal House of Justice" and reiterated this requirement in his message of 8 October 1952 in connection with the "objectives of the forthcoming [Ten Year] Crusade" which would include; "The establishment of a Bahá’í Court in the Holy Land preliminary to the emergence of the Universal House of Justice" and the "Establishment of six national Bahá’í Courts in the chief cities of the Islamic East, Tihran, Cairo, Baghdád New Delhi, Karachi, [and] Kabul," objectives that were never met.

  • That, in Shoghi Effendi’s issuance of the one and only Proclamation during his ministry in which he had proclaimed the International Bahá’í Council as "this first embryonic Institution," he had brought this Institution into existence as a perfect and complete organ of the Administrative Order at its very inception and, as such, he had been necessarily created it with both a "sacred head" and a body in accordance with the terms of the Will and Testament of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá. For as ‘Abdu’l-Bahá has stated,"the embryo possesses from the first all perfections . . .in one word, all the powers but they are not visible and become so only by degrees."

  • That the embryonic head of this embryonic body who been appointed by Shoghi Effendi could be no other than the future Guardian-to-be, for according to the terms of the Will and Testament of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, "the guardian of the Cause of God is its sacred head and the distinguished member for life of that body."

  • That Shoghi Effendi had in this indirect way appointed his successor and, for this reason, had carefully refrained from instructing its President, Mason Remey, to convene the International Bahá’í Council under his Presidency as an actively functioning body during the remaining years of his ministry, as testified by Mason Remey in his dairy and had even designated in his message of 8 March 1952, Amatu’l-Bahá Rúhiyyíh [as the] chosen liaison between me and the Council" to preclude any semblance of assuming the Presidency himself.

  • That Shoghi Effendi, in his message of 23 November 1951 had clearly and significantly projected an role for the International Bahá’í Council during the Ten Year Global Crusade that would commence at Ridván 1953, and, as he stated, "the Master Plan designed by ‘Abdu’l-Bahá [in His "Tablets of the Divine Plan"] will embrace all the continents of the earth, and will bring the Central Body directing these widely ramified operations into direct contact with all the National Assemblies of the world, which in varying degrees, will have to contribute their share to the world establishment of the Cause of Bahá’u’lláh." (emphasis added)

  • That in projecting an active role for the International Bahá’í Council— "the Central Body"—as indicated in the message quoted above, Shoghi Effendi had forecast, in an indirect way, his own demise sometime during the Ten Year Global Crusade, for upon the activation of the International Bahá’í Council—the embryonic Universal House of Justice—and its assumption of direction of the National Assemblies in their achievement of the respective goals assigned to them during the Ten Year Global Crusade, its President, Mason Remey, who had been appointed by him, would automatically accede to the Guardianship.

  • That the Hands of the Cause had failed completely to perceive the indirect manner in which Shoghi Effendi had assured the continuance of the Guardianship, as discussed above, and consequently erroneously claimed that he had been unable to appoint a successor because there were no longer any Aghsán who had remained loyal to the Guardianship.

  • That the ludicrous claim of the Hands that Shoghi Effendi had been unable to appoint a successor had been based on thetwo patently false assumptions: namely, that all of the relatives of Bahá’u’lláh constituted the Aghsán and that the Will and Testament restricted eligibility for appointment to the Guardianship to the Aghsán, whereas Shoghi Effendi had identified the Aghsán in his writings as the sons of Bahá’u’lláh only (GPB, P.239) and they would have long since died and could never have been under consideration by Shoghi Effendi as his successor in any case.

  • That they could not find in the writings of Shoghi Effendi any allusion to the remotest possibility that the Guardianship would ever come to an end during the Dispensation of Bahá’u’lláh, quite the contrary being the case, as he had made reference to future Guardians more than once as he had, for example, in his message of 27 November 1954 when he referred to "the International Bahá’í Archives, designed by Hand of the Cause, Mason Remey, President of the International Bahá’í Council," and had stated: "The raising of this Edifice will in turn herald the construction of several other structures, which will serve as the administrative seats of such divinely appointed institutions as the Guardianship, the Hands of the Cause, and the Universal House of Justice."

  • That the Hands, not only did not permit the International Bahá’í Council to assume direction of the National Assemblies in achieving the goals of the Ten Year Global Crusade, as planned by Shoghi Effendi but,instead, seizing complete control of the Faith, they consigned this body to a role subordinate to themselves, and shamelessly appointed a body of nine from their own number,which they named "Custodians of the Bahá’í World Faith" clearly outside of the provisions of the Will and Testament of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá

  • That the so-called "Custodians of the Bahá’í World Faith" blatantly usurped the function that should have been exercised by the International Bahá’í Council and moreover, as the Hands had incredulously stated in their "Unanimous Proclamation" of 25 November 1957, this body would, on their behalf, exercise the "functions, rights and powers in succession to the Guardianship of the Bahá’í Faith . . ." until such time as the Universal House of Justice was elected.

  • That the Hands, not only deposed the President of the International Bahá’í Council, Mason Remey, who had been appointed by Shoghi Effendi to this supreme Office, but in their folly ridiculously accused him of Covenant-breaking and of laying false claim to the Guardianship. Furthermore, acting clearly outside of any authority to do so, under the terms of the Will and Testament of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, they shamefully announced to the Bahá’í world that he had been expelled from the Faith—a Faith which had now become for them, without a Guardian and, ultimately without the Hands, themselves, as the last one died out, a heterodox Bahá’í Faith.

Although Bahá’ís, who should now realize that they were tragically duped to believe that the Guardianship had ended with Shoghi Effendi, having been provided with overwhelming and incontrovertible evidence, as discussed above, that Shoghi Effendi had clearly and undeniably provided for the continuance of the Guardianship in faithful compliance with the provisions of the divinely-conceived and sacred Will and Testament of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, they incredibly, no longer seem to care. They will perhaps care very much indeed, when they enter the next world and there come face to face with Shoghi Effendi and attempt to explain their loss of faith in the indestructibility of the Covenant of Bahá’u’lláh, their ready acceptance of the repudiation of major provisions of the Will and Testament of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá and their inexcusable and complete disregard and indifference to the cogent arguments and explanations that have been presented to them that have conclusively provided proof of his continuance of the Guardianship of the Cause of God in complete fidelity to the Will and Testament of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá. Inevitably they will then come to realize the enormity of their failure and their betrayal of Shoghi Effendi and assuredly suffer a painful remorse from which there will be no surcease for all eternity, in the knowledge that they had blindly and shamefully participated in the attempted destruction of the World Order of Bahá’u’lláh and had been guilty of a flagrant and reprehensible violation of His mighty Covenant.

Joel Bray Marangella

Guardian of the Bahá’í Faith

Australia, March, 2, 2006