The Guardian of the Faith of Bahá’u’lláh recognized as such by the orthodox Bahá’ís, together with Frank Schlatter and Jeffrey Goldberg, appointed Hands of the Cause, by him, were summoned to appear on 11 August 2008 before a mediator of a settlement conference convened by the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit of the State of Illinois, U.S.A. to determine whether fundamental differences between members of the Orthodox Bahá’í Faith and the members of an administrative body, under the name of the National Spiritual Assembly of Bahá’ís of the United States, a body which has been reelected by heterodox Bahá’í delegates at yearly conventions held since May of 1960, would be subject to compromise, the granting of concessions, on either side, or possible resolution, prior to the hearing of an appeal that has been lodged by that Assembly with the Appellate Court, following the favorable decision made earlier in our favor by Judge St. Eve (discussed in detail in prior postings on the internet). This conference had to be suffered by us, despite the fact that both the undersigned, together with those named above and the adherents of the Orthodox Bahá’í Faith, consider that the members of the current National Assembly, as well as their predecessor assemblies, have been patently guilty of heresy, since the passing of the first Guardian of the Faith, Shoghi Effendi Rabbani in 1957, in their professed belief that he was the first and only Guardian of the Bahá’í Faith and have accordingly rejected the continuation of an institution which, during his ministry (1921-1957), they, formerly, as faithful Bahá’ís, had declared their undeviating and steadfast belief, together with their fellow-Bahá’ís throughout the world, to be an absolutely essential, indispensable and irreplaceable institution of the Faith and which, on the basis of the sacred terms of the Will and Testament of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, and according to Shoghi Effendi’s own extensive writings on the Bahá’í Administrative Order, was destined to endure as long as the Dispensation of Bahá’u’lláh itself endured (at least 1000 years) through an uninterrupted succession of Guardians, each of whom had been appointed to this Office by his predecessor, but whose members now, since the passing of Shoghi Effendi in 1957, incredibly espouse what to the Orthodox Bahá’í is an incomprehensible, heretical and completely untenable belief that the Guardianship of the Faith ended with his passing. In their current repudiation of the major provisions of the Will and Testament of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, a Document that had been acclaimed by Shoghi Effendi as no less sacred than the Kitáb-i-Aqdas, Bahá’u’lláh’s Most Holy Book, and which therefore actually constitutes a part of the explicit Holy Text of the Revelation of Bahá’u’lláh, they have now undeniably become, in the view of an orthodox Bahá’í, unfaithful and actual apostates of the Faith, and, despite their present superiority of numbers, nothing more than a schismatic and heretical offshoot and sect of the true Faith of Bahá’u’lláh.

Aside from the privity issue, which is being argued separately by legal counsel on both sides and will not be argued in this paper, it may be observed that the concessions discussed below relate solely to a basic religious issue that separates us and is therefore undeniably outside the province of a civil court to satisfactorily resolve and therefore an issue which, if duly recognized as such, that court would certainly decline judgment.

In consideration of the foregoing, the following undeniable facts, that are too numerous to be taken up in such a conference, are enumerated below as an indication of the concessions that must be ultimately recognized and granted, without reservation, by any Bahá’í, or by any administrative body of the Bahá’í Faith, that is desirous of establishing the truth, either as it pertains to the legitimacy of the current institutions of the Bahá’í Administrative Order, as delineated by ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, the Son of Bahá’u’lláh and the inspired Author of that Order, in His Will and Testament, or to the proper recognition of those believers who are adjudged to be faithful to the Covenant of Bahá’u’lláh, on the basis of their complete and steadfast adherance to every clause of the provisions of that divinely-conceived, sacred and immutable Document, that ‘Abdu’l-Bahá—the appointed “Center of the Covenant”—has bequeathed to the Bahá’í World, and upon faithful compliance therewith, Shoghi Effendi, the first Guardian of the Bahá’í Faith, has emphasized was an essential condition to such recognition and, only when such adherence had been unconditionally and formally declared by applicants for membership in the Faith to the appropriate Bahá’í administrative institution, would then officially possess the right to call themselves and be identified as faithful and true Bahá’ís

Nothing less, therefore, than the following facts must be recognized and conceded as valid:

  • That the Bahá’í Administrative Order is founded on the divinely-conceived, sacred and immortal Will and Testament of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, the Son of Bahá’u’lláh, the Founder of the Bahá’í Faith and the Author of the Bahá’í Revelation.

  • That following His Ascension in 1891, ‘Abdu’l-Bahá has been universally recognized by all faithful Bahá’ís as Bahá’u’lláh’s appointed successor, “the Center and Pivot of Bahá’u’lláh’s Covenant” with His followers, “the Perfect Exemplar of His teachings”, the sole “Interpreter of His Word”, and “the Most Mighty Branch” to Whom all faithful Bahá’ís accorded their unwavering and complete devotion, fidelity and obedience.

  • That the Will and Testament of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá delineated the institutions of the Bahá’í Administrative Order of which the highest institutions of that Order, are the Guardianship and the Universal House of Justice, representing respectively the Executive and Legislative/Judicial functions in the Bahá’í System of government.

  • That the Will and Testament of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá actually expressed the Will of Bahá’u’lláh, as well, as emphasized in a comprehensive letter dated 8 February 1934 addressed by the first Guardian of the Bahá’í Faith, Shoghi Effendi Rabbani “To the beloved of God and the handmaids of the Merciful throughout the West” (later published under the title of “The Dispensation of Bahá’u’lláh”) in which he made the following pertinent statement: “The creative energies released by the Law of Bahá’u’lláh, permeating and evolving within the mind of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, have by their very impact and close interaction, given birth to 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. The Will may be thus 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]. Being the Child of the Covenant—the Heir of both the Originator and the Interpreter of the Law of God—the Will and Testament of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá can no more be divorced from Him Who supplied the original and motivating impulse than from the One Who ultimately conceived it.” And in this same letter he further emphasized that “This Administrative Order... as its component parts, its organic institutions, begin to function with efficiency and vigor, assert its claim and demonstrate its capacity to be regarded not only as the nucleus but the very pattern of the New World Order destined to embrace in the fullness of time the whole of mankind.”

  • That, unlike current secular forms of government, the Guardian of the Faith, under the terms of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá’s Will, exercises authority in both the executive and legislative/legal spheres of Bahá’í government in that he has been designated not only as the Head of the Faith, as “The Center of the Cause” but, as differentiated from the other non-permanent members of the Universal House of Justice who are elected periodically, serves as the “sacred head and distinguished member for life” of that body and in this capacity, is more than a figurehead in the performance of the following essential functions:

  1. He is the sole “interpreter of the Word” when a question of interpretation of the sacred Writings is involved.

  2. He “hath at his own discretion the right to expel any of the members who commit a sin, injurious to the common weal, whereupon the people must elect another one in his stead.”

  3. He provides “the necessary guidance to define the sphere of the legislative action. . . ”

  4. He “is bound to insist upon a reconsideration by them of any enactment he conscientiously believes to conflict with the meaning and to depart from the spirit of Bahá’u’lláh’s revealed utterances.”

  • That Shoghi Effendi became the Guardian of the Faith upon the Ascension of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá on 28 November 1921, a date coincident with the inception of the Bahá’í Administrative Order. His ministry lasted for a period of thirty-six years that ended with his passing in London, England on 4 November 1957.

  • That the terms of the Will and Testament of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, state: “It is incumbent upon the guardian of the Cause of God to appoint in his own life-time him that shall become his successor, that differences may not arise after his passing.” The qualifications that his successor must possess on the basis of this Document are stated as follows:

    1. He “must manifest in himself detachment from all worldly things.”

    2. He “must be the essence of purity.”

    3. He “must show in himself the fear of God, knowledge, wisdom and learning.”

    4. And, “should the first-born of the guardian of the Cause of God not manifest in himself” the spiritual qualities that have been enumerated above, “then must he, (the guardian of the Cause of God) choose another branch to succeed him.”

  • That the qualifications enumerated under the terms of the Will and Testament of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá for appointment as the Guardian’s successor, in the absence of a spiritually qualified first born son, permit him to choose “another branch” but the use of the term “branch” (another male believer) is not a reference to, or limit this choice, to an Aghsán, as was falsely claimed by the Hands of the Cause following the passing, of Shoghi Effendi, as he has clearly defined the Aghsán as the sons of Bahá’u’lláh (p. 239, God Passes By) whose demise had long since taken place.

  • That the Will and Testament of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá endows the Guardian of the Faith with the authority to appoint highly distinguished believers to the station of Hands of the Cause who serve under his direction and whose obligations “are to diffuse the Divine Fragrances, to edify the souls of men, to promote learning, to improve the character of all men and to be, at all times and under all conditions, sanctified and detached from earthly things” and, as noted above, these functions do not require them to exercise any administrative responsibilities or functions whatsoever.

  • That, during the first twenty-nine years of his 36-year ministry, Shoghi Effendi concentrated his efforts on the establishment of effectively functioning Bahá’í administrative institutions at local and national levels only.

  • That Shoghi Effendi, in the 30th year of his ministry, dispatched to the Bahá’í World a cablegram, under date of 9 January 1951, the one and only Proclamation issued during his ministry but despite its identification as such, in opening with the word: “Proclaim”, it was manifestly and tragically never accorded the important recognition it deserved, as later events would tragically prove, for in this Proclamation addressed specifically and significantly to the “National Assemblies of East and West,” he proclaimed that the following developments “combine to induce me to arrive at this weighty and epoch making decision” to form “at long last” the “first International Bahá’í Council” and “this first embryonic International Institution:”

    1. The “fulfillment of the prophecies uttered by the Founder of the Faith and the Center of His Covenant culminating in the establishment of the Jewish State . . .”

    2. “The swift unfoldment of the historic undertaking associated with the construction of the superstructure of the Báb’s Sepulcher on Mount Carmel.”

    3. “The present adequate maturity of nine vigorously functioning national administrative institutions throughout the Bahá’í World.”

  • That, further, in his Proclamation of 9 January 1951, Shoghi Effendi had further acclaimed his “historic decision” to form the International Bahá’í Council as “the most significant milestone in the evolution of the Administrative Order of the Faith of Bahá’u’lláh in the course of the last thirty years” (that is, since the inception of that Order with the Ascension of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá in 1921.)

  • That Shoghi Effendi outlined the initial functions of the International Bahá’í Council to which would be added further functions as it evolved through successive stages into an “officially recognized [International] Bahá’í Court, its transformation into a duly elected body and its efflorescence into the Universal House of Justice.”

  • That in this same Proclamation Shoghi Effendi had further eulogized the unprecedented import attached to the constitution of the International Bahá’í Council in stating: “Hail with thankful joyous heart at long last the constitution of the International Council which history will acclaim as the greatest event shedding luster 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 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...”

  • That in a message to the Bahá’í World, dated 2 March 1951 Shoghi Effendi identified Mason Remey as President and Amelia Collins as Vice-President of this “newly formed International Council” which, “through [its] contact with authorities” had been “designed to spread the fame, consolidate the foundations and widen the scope of influence emanating from the twin spiritual and administrative World Centers permanently fixed in the Holy Land...”

  • That perhaps the failure to recognize the import of his decision to form the International Bahá’í Council may be attributed or excused due to the fact that Shoghi Effendi had perforce retained this supreme Council in an inactive role during the remaining years of his ministry, for reasons that will be explained below, but notwithstanding, this did not alter the fact that it was undeniably the supreme administrative body, which, upon activation as a functioning institution, would rightfully assume jurisdiction over the National Assemblies to which the Proclamation had been addressed and would then clearly function as subordinate national bodies, to this International Council and in due course, when the International Council had attained the second stage of its development as the International Court,would exercise jurisdiction over “six national Bahá’í Courts located in “the chief cities of the Islamic East.” ( message of 8 October 1952).

  • That, undeniably, the International Bahá’í Council, as an EMBRYONIC institution, was a complete and perfect organism at its inception for ‘Abdu’l-Bahá has stated thatthe embryo possesses from the first all perfections . . . in one word, all the powers—but they are not visible and become so only by degrees” (P. 313, BWF). And, as this was now unquestionably the case with the embryonic Universal House of Justice, this institution therefore undeniably possessed, at its inception, pursuant to the explicit terms of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá’s Will and Testament, an irremovable “sacred head”who could be none other than the future Guardian of the Faith and a body of at least eight believers. And, further, it had been for this very reason that Shoghi Effendi had, out of necessity, retained the International Council in an inactive status under the Presidency of Mason Remey—the second Guardian-to-be, during the remaining years of his ministry and had only assigned tasks to its members, from time to time, on an individual basis, and additionally had designated Rúhíyyih Khánum as the “chosen liaison” between himself and the Council and had thus precluded, in this way, any semblance of assuming the Presidency himself which, in that case, would have required him to depose Mason Remey as its President.

  • That had the Hands perceived these facts, they would have realized why Shoghi Effendi had resorted to this wholly unexpected, yet valid manner, of appointing his successor as he had obviously foreseen correctly that by effecting the appointment of his successor in an indirect way he would effectively obscure from both the Hands and all of the believers, as well, that he had foreseen that his passing was near at hand which otherwise would not have been the case if the appointment had been made openly and, as a result, had imposed upon them a devastating shock. For, this would have been the result, had the believers realized that Mason Remey, who was not a young or even middle-aged believer, as they would have expected his successor to be, but who, despite being almost a quarter of a century older than Shoghi Effendi, would become his successor, this highly disquieting foreknowledge would have seriously interfered with and certainly impeded the successful achievement of the formidable tasks that would soon face them in fulfilling the goals of the Ten Year Global Crusade scheduled to commence at Ridván 1953.

  • That in a message, under date of 23 November 1951, Shoghi Effendi, referred to the Global Crusade conceived by ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, and projected the significantly active function that would then be exercised for the first time by the International Bahá’í Council, as he stated that this Crusade, scheduled to begin at Ridván, (21 April-2 May) 1953, would “embrace all the continents of the earth” and “will bring the Central Body [i. e. the International Bahá’í Council] directing these widely ramified operations into direct contact with all the National Assemblies of the Bahá’í world, which in varying degrees, will have to contribute their share to the world establishment of the Cause of Bahá’u’lláh, as prophesied by ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, and envisioned by Daniel,” and had again clearly predicted, in an indirect way, that for the International Council to assume this active role, his own passing would necessarily have to take place either prior to or during the Ten Year Crusade.

  • That, having significantly extolled in his Proclamation, the constitution of the “first International Institution” of the Faith—the embryonic Universal House of Justice—under the provisional name of International Bahá’í Council, on 9 January 1951, there remained for Shoghi Effendi to establish the other international institution of the Hands of the Cause as delineated by ‘Abdu’l-Bahá in His Will and Testament. Although he had previously named several Hands of the Cause posthumously, he now appointed the first living members of this Institution as he announced in a message, dated 24 December 1951, his appointment of the first contingent of twelve Hands of the Cause whose number included Mason Remey, and which would be followed by further appointments as time went on that would bring the total to twenty-seven living Hands of the Cause by the time of his passing.

  • That, as further undeniable evidence that should have dispelled any lingering doubt, that Shoghi Effendi had, in fact, established the Universal House of Justice, albeit in its embryonic form, he stated in a message, dated 30 June 1952, that: “At the World Center of the Faith, where, at long last, the machinery of its highest institutions has been erected, and around whose most holy shrines the supreme organs of its unfolding Order, are, in their embryonic form, unfolding . . . ”

  • That the claim made in the “Proclamation” issued by the Hands on 25 November 1957 at the conclusion of their conclave in Haifa, that “no successor to Shoghi Effendi could have been appointed by him” and that he “had left no Will and Testament” because “The Aghsán (branches) one and all are either dead of have been declared violators of the Covenant by the Guardian. . .” was clearly an erroneous statement, as previously discussed, and was either glaring evidence of their inexcusable lack of knowledge of the terms of the Will and Testament of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá or a nefarious and deliberately duplicitous attempt to misrepresent the qualifications prescribed in that Document for the one chosen by the Guardian as his successor, which enables him, in the absence of an eldest son with the requisite qualifications, to choose “another branch,” to succeed him, a term which they falsely claimed restricted the Guardian to the appointment of an Aghsán, ignoring the fact that this was patently untrue as Shoghi Effendi had identified this term to apply solely to the sons of Bahá’u’lláh, who, moreover, as they were apparently unaware, would due to their demise never be available for appointment and who, even prior to the passing of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, had been guilty of infidelity to the Covenant and therefore had already been conspicuously omitted from His mention of those in Part Three of His Will and Testament who have been particularly enjoined to show fidelity to the Guardian of the Faith.

  • That the Hands, having failed to recognize that Shoghi Effendi had appointed his successor in faithful compliance with the terms of the Will and Testament, as explained above, and having thus further disregarded the indisputable fact that they lacked any authority whatsoever, under the provisions of that sacred Document, to direct the affairs of the Faith,illegitimately seized this authority upon his passing that had occurred, as he had foreseen during the Ten Year Crusade, and did not permit the International Bahá’í Council—as the embryonic Universal House of Justice and unquestionably the “supreme administrative institution” of the Faith, under Mason Remey’s Presidency—to assume its rightful authority and to exercise what would now have become an active role in its direction of the National Spiritual Assemblies of the world in their achievement of the goals of the Ten Year Global Crusade, then at its midpoint, as Shoghi Effendi had clearly envisaged and projected in his message of 23 November 1951.

  • That, wherever in the above statements the Hands have been criticized for their failings it should be understood that Mason Remey is exempted from this criticism. He had been summoned by Shoghi Effendi in 1950 to move to Haifa from his ancestral home in Washington D.C. and informed that henceforth he should make Haifa his permanent home and then during the remaining years of Shoghi Effendi’s ministry had, in further complementing his unsurpassed record of manifold and outstanding accomplishments for the Faith over half a century, prepared, as its architect, the design of the International Archives building now erected on Mount Carmel and before that, as the architect specifically chosen by ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, had designed the Bahá’í Temple that will be erected in the future on Mount Carmel and, moreover, as the architect chosen by Shoghi Effendi, had designed the Bahá’í Temple that will, in the future, be built in Iran and had been the architect, as well, of the Bahá’í Temples already constructed in Sydney, Australia and in Kampala, Uganda. It was because of his residency in Haifa that he was one of the nine Hands that had been appointed by his fellow-Hands to the illegitimate body of the Custodians that assumed direction of the Faith following the passing of Shoghi Effendi. Not for one moment however did this mean that he had agreed with the conclusion that had been reached by them that the Guardianship had forever ended with the passing of Shoghi Effendi for his diary written under the title of Daily Observations provides stark evidence of his frequently voiced passionate appeals to his fellow-Custodians to reconsider their stand on the termination of the Guardianship, in addition to his several magnificently written appeals to all of his fellow-Hands setting forth his arguments as to why they were obliged to reconsider their stand against the continuation of the Guardianship, all of which had proved to be of no avail. Finally, thoroughly frustrated with the ineffectiveness of these efforts he left Haifa late in 1959 and returned to his previous ancestral home in Washington from which he dispatched his Proclamation, as the second Guardian of the Faith in May of 1960 addressed to “the Bahá’ís of the world through the annual convention of the Bahá’ís of the world through the annual convention of the ahá’ís of the United States of America assembled at Wilmette, Illinois [during] Ridván 117 [of the] Bahá’í Era” with the expectation that this National Spiritual Assembly would forthwith inform the other National Spiritual Assemblies throughout the world of this proclamation which unfortunately and tragically was never done and consequently the members of these assemblies were never given the opportunity to judge for themselves the validity of his accession to the Guardianship, the National Spiritual Assembly of France being the notable exception, only because it had directly received a copy of his Proclamation and upon due consideration and consultation had recognized his rightful accession to the Guardianship, and as a result been illicitly disbanded on orders from the body of Custodian Hands, who by this time had also, in their nefariously delusion, cast Mason Remey out of the now sans-Guardian Faith that they espoused.

  • That, had the Hands, on the other hand, permitted developments to unfold, as envisaged and projected by Shoghi Effendi, they, as well as the believers throughout the world, would certainly have perceived that, as only the Guardian of the Faith rightfully presides as the “sacred head” of the Universal House of Justice—provisionally named in its embryonic stage of development as the International Bahá’í Council—he had, in the appointment of Mason Remey as its President, undeniably and faithfully provided for the continuance of the Guardianship.

  • That, having faithlessly failed to perceive that Shoghi Effendi had appointed his successor they instead incredulously assumed they had been assigned authority over the Faith, on the basis that Shoghi Effendi had conferred upon them the appellation: “Chief Stewards of Bahá’u’lláh’s embryonic World Commonwealth” in the very last message he had issued to the Bahá’í World, in October of 1957, one month prior to his passing, oblivious of the fact that he had, instead, indirectly affirmed and had clearly implied that their recently established embryonic institution would continue to develop, together with all of the other embryonic institutions of the Administrative Order, until it, together with them, attained their destined maturity in that future Commonwealth, and which, as this maturity pertained to their institution, could obviously only be realized if a future living Guardian of the Faith and “Center of the Cause” was presiding over the Faith in that Commonwealth and able to appoint future Hands of the Cause.

  • That the Hands of the Faith failed on all counts to perceive that Shoghi Effendi had assured the continuance of the Guardianship and took it upon themselves, to appoint nine Hands from their own number to serve on a body they termed the Custodians of the Bahá’í World Faith,” to which they subordinated the International Bahá’í Council, notwithstanding the fact that this was obviously an illegitimate body that had been established outside the provisions of the Will and Testament of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá and yet, as they stated, had been authorized by the entire body of their fellow-Hands “to exercise—subject to such directions and decisions and as may given [by them] from time to time as the Chief Stewards of the Bahá’í World Faith—all such functions, rights and powers in succession to the Guardian of the Bahá’í Faith, His eminence the late Shoghi Effendi Rabbani. . . until such time as the Universal House of Justice, upon being duly established and elected in conformity with the Sacred Writings of Bahá’u’lláh and the Will and Testament of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, may otherwise determine.”

  • That, following a period of some six years during which the Custodian Hands directed the affairs of the Faith, they transferred their illicitly acquired authority and functions to an elected, equally illegitimate sans-Guardian Universal House of Justice which without the Guardian of the Faith presiding as its “sacred head” was obviously not the Institution prescribed by ‘Abdu’l-Bahá in His Will and Testament.

  • That, as Shoghi Effendi has stated in The Dispensation of Bahá’u’lláh: “The bedrock on which this Administrative Order is founded is God’s immutable Purpose for mankind in this day,” it is certain that the sans-Guardian and seriously flawed man-made administrative system that has been established by the leaders of the heterodox Bahá’ís, is unquestionably contrary to the Purpose of God and therefore cannot long survive whereas it is clear that the divinely-conceived, sacred and immortal Administrative Order bequeathed to the Bahá’í World by ‘Abdu’l-Bahá in his Will and Testament shall ultimately be restored, triumph and flourish in all of its perfection.

  • An understanding of the difficulty that is faced by Orthodox Bahá’ís in reaching any settlement in our dispute with the heterodox Bahá’ís, on religious grounds, may be facilitated and better understood by an individual or the members of a court unfamiliar with the Bahá’í Faith and, in this case, with the status and the role of the Guardian of the Faith as its appointed Head, if it is realized that the basic issue involved and the real reason why the National Spiritual Assembly has initiated its lawsuit in the first place is purely a religious one, based on its belief that the Guardianship of the Faith ended with the passing of Shoghi Effendi, and its perverse refusal, together with the heterodox Bahá’ís, under their jurisdiction, not to mention those Bahá’ís outside of the United States and the members of their so-called and grossly misnamed Universal House of Justice, to recognize and accept the undeniable evidence, presented to the contrary, as discussed above. A further analogy of the situation, applicable in part, may be helpful in facilitating an understanding of the issue, if a comparison is drawn between the Orthodox Bahá’í who maintains an unshakeable and steadfast belief in the divine appointment and uninterrupted continuance of the institution of the Guardianship, to the same degree as the devout Catholic who believes in the divine origin, authenticity and permanency of the Papacy, on the basis of the words of His holiness, Jesus Christ to the Apostle, Peter, as found in the well known verse in the Bible (although, in their case, but not in ours, the true meaning of His statement may be differently interpreted) and consequently are firmly convinced that Peter was undeniably, in effect, if not so named, the first Pope, whereas early Protestant devotees who had previously believed in the Papacy were subsequently influenced by apostates from their faith, such as Martin Luther, to reject the Papacy. Also, with respect to the question of their right to the exclusive use of the symbols of the Faith, as claimed by the National Spiritual Assembly, this claim may be likened to one Christian sect ludicrously claiming exclusive use or display of the Christian Cross. And, as for the exclusive use of the phrase: “World Order of Bahá’u’lláh,” a phrase, whose use may also be in dispute, this phrase, the Orthodox Bahá’í believes is not subject to restriction of any kind as it may be compared to the phrase: “Kingdom of God” which is included, for example, in the Lord’s Prayer recited by the Christian worshiper as he entreats God that His Kingdom come to earth as it is in heaven and is synonymous to the Bahá’í with the phrase: “The World Order of Bahá’u’lláh” which upon its ultimate establishment throughout the world will virtually bring to this earth that long-awaited heaven, and an united world that the Bahá’í looks forward to being fully and gloriously realized in the Golden Age of His Dispensation, now only in the early stages of its Formative Age.

    Moreover, is the National Spiritual Assembly of the heterodox Bahá’ís of the United States ludicrously demanding that members of the Orthodox Bahá’í Faith, the majority of whom have been Bahá’ís for more than half a century, now no longer call themselves Bahá’ís?

    Surely the facts discussed above prove conclusively and irrefutably that Shoghi Effendi, ever faithful and dedicated to fulfilling every Mandate of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, had additionally acted in complete accordance with his own clear, conclusive and extensive writings on the Bahá’í Administrative Order, extracts of which have been quoted above, and are, by no means exhaustive, in which he has repeatedly emphasized the essentiality, prime importance, and the destined continuance of the Guardianship and which constitute undeniable proof that he insured the continuation of the Guardianship of the Cause of God.

    Joel Bray Marangella

    Guardian of the Bahá’í Faith

    July 2008


    It has been incorrectly argued by those who have not given due consideration to the stage of development of the Faith at the World Center, either prior to or at the time of Shoghi Effendi’s passing, that they consider that Mason Remey’s accession to the Guardianship invalid, because the twenty-seven living Hands of the Cause appointed by Shoghi Effendi during his ministry had never, as stipulated in the Will and Testament of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, elected “from their own number nine persons that shall at all times be occupied in the important services in the work of the guardian of the Cause of God. . .” and who “unanimously or by a majority vote, must give their assent to the choice of the one whom the guardian of the Cause of God hath chosen as his successor” had not done so.It should be considered in the first place that the work of the Guardian at the World Center during this period did not require the assistance of one third of the twenty-seven Hands that he had appointed, or seven Hands, and he had obviously only required the assistance of three Hands, in addition to his wife, Rúhíyyih Khánum, whom he had asked to move to and reside permanently in Haifa, two of whom, Mason Remey and Leroy Ioas he had been appointed to the International Bahá’í Council as President and Secretary-General respectively while, his wife, Rúhíyyih Khánum, had also been appointed to the Council and significantly designated as the “chosen liaison” between himself and the Council, thus precluding any direction of the Council himself which would have then automatically deposed Mason Remey as its President. The remaining Hands had therefore been given such assignments by Shoghi Effendi as attending the Intercontinental Conferences and in rendering assistance in the teaching work during the Ten Year Global Crusade that gainfully occupied them in promoting the Faith throughout the world. As for the requirement of giving their assent to the one the Guardian has chosen as his successor Shoghi Effendi has explained in his writings that obviously it had not been the intention of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá in this clause of His Will and Testament to confer upon the Hands the authority to approve the Guardian’s choice, made under divine guidance, of his successor. What he did not point out however was the reason for this requirement which may be realized when we consider the tremendous power that will reside in the Guardianship, in the future when it will far surpass even that of the Papacy today and when it could serve the purpose of unprincipled or even criminal interests to attempt to influence or exercise control over the choice of the Guardian’s successor.The nine Hands that must give their assent, by secret ballot, to the choice of the Guardian’s successor are therefore nine incorruptible and unimpeachable witnesses that must attest to the authenticity of the Guardian’s appointment of a successor which certainly was not in question, and therefore not actually required in 1951, although this appointment remained unrecognized as such, when Shoghi Effendi publicly announced in his cablegram of 2 March 1951 that Mason Remey was the President of the International Bahá’í Council.

    Detailed information with respect to my appointment on 5 December 1961 by Mason Remey as his successor may be found in my Proclamation issued on 12 November 1969 and recorded in my webpage: http://www.Bahá’í-Guardian.com