OF THE BAHÁÍ FAITH
THE HANDS OF THE FAITH
IN THE HOLY LAND
First Conclave of the Hands of the Faith Following the Passing of Shoghi Effendi
[November, 1957] The Covenant and its "Child"
First Conclave of the Hands of the Faith Following the Passing of Shoghi Effendi [November, 1957]
The Covenant and its "Child"*
Essentiality of the Guardianship*
Baháí Spiritual Government The Kingdom of God Upon Earth
Structure of Baháí Administrative Order Subverted by the Hands*
Guardianship The Heart of the Baháí Faith*
The Guardian as a Commander*
The Guardians as Branches of the "Center of the Covenant"*
Guardianship as the Channel for the Holy Spirit*
The Guardian as an Essential Pillar of the Universal House of Justice*
The Kingdom of God Upon Earth*
Rúhíyyih Khánum Becomes Arch Covenant Breaker*
Second Conclave in The Holy Land of the Hands of the Faith*
Announcements of The Hands to The Baháí World*
Attitude of The Hands About Guardianship*
Signing of Haifa Communications by Custodian Hands*
Doctrine of "BADAH" Used to Destroy World Order of Baháulláh.*
Hands Obligation to Protect the Cause of God*
Hands as Spiritual Nobles of the Faith*
Sans-Guardian Organization Created by the Hands*
Hands Condition Believers to Sans-Guardian Faith*
Violations of Covenants in Former Dispensations*
The Spirit of Violation*
Station of Hands A Test*
Appointment of Successor*
Hands Must Demonstrate "Noblesse Oblige"*
Universal House of Justice Sans-Guardian*
The Hands Subvert the Divinely-conceived Baháí Administrative Order*
Hands Corrupted by Position, Prestige, and Power*
Continuity of Guardianship Opposed by Those Closest to Shoghi Effendi*
Hands of the Cause become Covenant Breakers.*
The Chicago Manifesto*
Hands Claim Continuing Guidance of Shoghi Effendi from the Other World as a Substitute for the Living Guardian of the Faith*
Myth Concerning Successorship Promulgated by Persian Hands*
Hands Plan Establishment of Baháí Democracy in Place of Baháí Administrative Order*
Unique Action of Spiritual Assembly of Lucknow , India*
Lack of Knowledge of Holy Documents of Faith*
Mason Remey Tries to Save Face of His Fellow Hands*
Shoghi Effendis Plans for Future Edifices on Mount Carmel to House the International Institutions of the Faith*
Judgment Awaits the Hands*
What Are We Now Going to Teach?*
Mason Remey Stands Alone for the Guardianship*
Mason Remeys Vision of Future Role*
Principle of Sacrifice*
Mason Remey Desires to Leave Haifa to Prepare Himself for the Spiritual Battle Ahead*
In 1950, Shoghi Effendi, first Guardian of the Baháí Faith, invited Charles Mason Remey, an American Baháí, who had entered the Faith during the Ministry of Abdul-Bahá and distinguished himself for his meritorious services to the Faith since the turn of the century to come to Haifa, the World Administrative Center of the Faith, and to henceforth make it his home. Not long afterwards, Shoghi Effendi issued the one and only Proclamation of his ministry on 9 January, 1951 in which he informed the Baháí world that "at long last" he had established the first International Baháí Council (the embryonic Universal House of Justice) the supreme legislative organ of the Baháí Administrative Order. Shoghi Effendi hailed the establishment of this Institution in superlative terms that he had not heretofore employed acclaiming "the constitution of the International Council" as an event "potentially unsurpassed by any enterprise undertaken since the inception of the Administrative Order of the Faith . . . ranking second only to glorious immortal events associated with the ministries, of the Three Central Figures of the Faith" (the Báb, Baháulláh. and Abdul-Bahá). As the distinguished head or President of the embryonic Universal House of Justice he appointed Mason Remey, an appointment that had tremendous implications which the Baháí world as a whole failed to grasp, undoubtedly, due to the fact that during the seven years that remained of Shoghi Effendis ministry, the International Baháí Council remained in an inactive state never functioning as a collective body.
Some eleven months later Shoghi Effendi completed the formation of the international institutions of the Faith when he announced the appointment of the first contingent of the Hands of the Cause twelve in number, (increased to a total of twenty-seven in successive subsequent appointments) who would, in accordance with the provisions of the Will and Testament of Abdul-Bahá "The Charter of the New World Order of Bahaullah" as the chief spiritual stewards or servants of the Faith, serve under the direction of the Guardian of the Faith. It was no surprise to anyone that the President of the International Council, Mason Remey, who had been such an outstanding servant of the Faith and an undeviating champion of the Covenant of Baháulláh should be named in this first contingent of the Hands of the Cause and thus receive this double honor.
With the establishment of these two Institutions the Council and the Hands Shoghi Effendi realized the culmination of his long and arduous labors over a 30-year period to erect the framework of the Baháí Administrative Order in accordance with the sacred mandate given him by Abdul-Bahá in His Will and Testament. All of the administrative institutions were finally in place and Shoghi Effendi turned his attention to the execution of Abdul-Bahás second divine Charter, namely: the "Tablets of the Divine Plan." The Ten-Year Global Crusade launched by Shoghi Effendi in 1953 and terminating at Ridván 1963 the one-hundredth Anniversary of the Declaration of Baháulláh was designed to take the Faith to the remaining countries and territories of the globe.
It was at the mid-point of this Crusade whose success had been truly remarkable that Shoghi Effendis 36-year ministry was brought to a sudden and completely unexpected close as a result of his passing on 4 November, 1957 while on a visit to London, England. The Baháí world and especially those who had been most closely associated with Shoghi Effendi such as his widow, Rúhíyyih Khánum and the Hands of the Cause were ill-prepared to sustain the shock of his sudden passing. They had looked to him as the source of authority and point of guidance for so long that it was difficult for them to imagine the Faith without him. It was not surprising, therefore, in the midst of their sorrow, their consternation, their disorientation, and their confusion that the Hands of the Faith who had been in the forefront of the victories registered for the Faith during the Ten-Year Global Crusade should have considered the affairs of the Faith in their hands until Shoghi Effendis successor could be identified and that they should have made errors which were destined to have fateful consequences for the future of the Faith and lead to the greatest violation of the Covenant of Baháulláh that the Faith has ever known.
Laboring under the illusion that Shoghi Effendi would leave a testamentary document naming his successor and not taking the time to re-examine the Will and Testament of Abdul-Bahá and study Its language concerning the manner in which the Guardian appoints his successor, they completely failed to realize that under the terms of that Document there could be no interregnum in the functioning of the Guardianship for that Document penned by the Infallible Pen of Abdul-Bahá and extolled by Shoghi Effendi as "the Child of the Covenant" being the fruit of the mystic intercourse between the Minds of Baháulláh and Abdul-Bahá made it incumbent upon the Guardian to appoint his successor "in his own lifetime." Having made this fundamental error and therefore having made no effort to discover the second Guardian in their midst, they compounded this error by usurping leadership of the Faith by seizing upon the title Shoghi Effendi had but recently employed in referring to the Hands of the Cause as the Chief Stewards of Baháulláhs embryonic World Commonwealth as the basis for their authority. They then forthwith convened a conclave of the Hands in the Holy Land (a procedure, incidentally, not called for in the Will and Testament of Abdul-Bahá) where they imagined they would find amongst Shoghi Effendis papers a testamentary document appointing a successor, although there must have been some among them even at this time who were already convinced that there would be no successor because of their preconceived idea that only a son of the Guardian could succeed to the Guardianship and their knowledge that Shoghi Effendi had no offspring. Still failing to grasp the fact that had Shoghi Effendi resorted to a testamentary document as the instrumentality of appointing his successor, he would have been acting contrary to the explicit instructions of Abdul-Bahás Testament, they evinced surprise when a search of Shoghi Effendis papers turned up no such document. This was now a great moment of test to these Hands. Would they forget all that Shoghi Effendi had written concerning the immutability and immortality of the provisions of Abdul-Bahá's Will and Testament and the fact that he had described this sacred Document as complementary to the Kitáb-i-Aqdas, itself, the Most Holy Book revealed by Baháulláh and had cited these two Documents as being two parts of one complete unit the explicit Holy Text? Would they fail to realize that the World Order of Baháulláh could not survive without the Guardianship and remain assured in their hearts that Shoghi Effendi could not have failed to carry out faithfully and to the last letter the provisions of this divine Charter? Would they then search out the writings and acts of Shoghi Effendi to discover in what manner he had appointed his successor in his lifetime.
We learn from the writings of Mason Remey found in this compilation that all of the Hands with the exception of himself, failed to meet this great test and became guilty of the complete subversion of the Will and Testament of Abdul-Bahá and a shameful repudiation of the writings of Shoghi Effendi while claiming undying devotion to his memory. Instigated by the Persian Hands of the Cause and seconded by Rúhíyyih Khánum, the widow of the Guardian, these Hands pushed through a decision at the first conclave that the Guardianship be ended forever using as their pernicious argument that God had changed His mind (known to those who came from an Islamic background under the term of "BADAH"). Having kept their deliberations secret and unrecorded the Hands decided to conceal this decision from their fellow-believers for the time being, fearing that those who had come to believe strongly in the inviolability of the Will and Testament of Abdul-Bahá would not readily accept their decision. Only gradually then would they condition the believers to a Sans-Guardian Faith.
Realizing that under this Sans-Guardian organization they would have to create a substitute head for the Guardianship, they made two decisions. They decided to create an organization of nine Hands of the Faith who would be known as "The Hands of the Faith in the Holy Land" or "Custodians of the Faith" and who would have their seat in Haifa. This body would act as a collective head of the Faith and would perpetuate the myth that because they were sitting in Haifa, the World Administrative Seat of the Faith, that somehow they would continue to receive the guidance that Shoghi Effendi had received. In any case, the believers would continue to look to Haifa as the center of guidance which would assuage the feeling of loss that the believers felt in no longer having Shoghi Effendi to turn to. The second decision taken by the Hands was to announce to the Baháí world that the Universal House of Justice would be established in 1963 even pretending that this body was the Institution described in the Will and Testament of Abdul-Bahá, notwithstanding the fact that it would not have as its "sacred head" the Guardian of the Faith. In making this decision they ignored the fact that Shoghi Effendi had already brought the embryonic Universal House of Justice into being in 1951 and had outlined the four successive stages through which it had to develop before becoming the full-fledged House of Justice (i.e., the Council, the International Court, the International elected body and finally the House of Justice). Furthermore and most significantly, Shoghi Effendi had appointed the irremovable head or President of this embryonic body the International Baháí Council. It was Mason Remey, therefore, who had been appointed by express act of Shoghi Effendi to a position of supreme authority in the Faith a position which, oddly enough, neither his fellow-Hands nor the believers-at-large recognized.
As one reads the excerpts found in this compilation, it becomes clear that Mason Remey never sanctioned the decision of his fellow Hands to abandon the Guardianship. Those who knew Mason Remey will recall that he was a humble and unassertive person by nature. He explains that he felt that someone other than himself should stand up to defend the continuity of the Guardianship and the immutability of the Will and Testament of Abdul-Bahá. When they quickly pushed through their decision to end the Guardianship, he resolved that in the second conclave he would attempt to obtain a reconsideration by the Hands of their decision and its reversal. In the second conclave, he appealed to them to make such a reconsideration but they all opposed him and ruled him out of order. Nevertheless, we can perceive that he consistently clung to the hope that something would happen to awaken the Hands to their violation of the Covenant of Baháulláh.
As mentioned at the outset of this Foreword, Mason Remey had been told by Shoghi Effendi to make Haifa his home henceforth. Additionally, his Presidency of the International Baháí Council demanded his presence there. Quite naturally, therefore, Mason Remey was asked by the Hands to be one of the nine Custodian Hands serving at Haifa. It was in this capacity that he came into daily contact with the other eight Hands of the Faith serving there, and it is to them that he made almost daily appeals over a period of some two-and-a-half years not to abandon the Guardianship. It was during this period that the "Daily Observations" were written and it is from these observations that the extracts that make up this work were drawn. As one peruses these writings, they will inevitably sense the intense mental anguish and pain that Mason Remey suffered during the period involved as he ran into an impenetrable wall of opposition to any consideration whatsoever of the continuity of the Guardianship. He gives us a glimpse of what transpired at the conclaves of the Hands in the Holy Land and explains the pact of secrecy that the Hands had imposed concerning any discussion of their secret decision to end the Guardianship. He further explains why he was finally forced to break this pact of silence, leave Haifa, and make a final written appeal (actually three appeals) to his fellow Hands, not to abandon the Guardianship and nullify the provisions of the Will and Testament of Abdul-Bahá.
It was not until the end of His two-and-a-half year Period in Haifa and actually after his departure from Haifa when he was composing his appeals to the Hands of the Faith that for the first time, he began to consider the real significance of his appointment as the President of the International Baháí Council, a subject that never came up in any of the conclaves. It was only then that he, himself, realized that by virtue of his appointment he had become the second Guardian of the Faith, coincident with the passing of Shoghi Effendi, and that the office of the Guardian had not been vacant for a single moment. It was then that he penned his Proclamation and released it to the Baháí world at Ridván 1960 (a Proclamation which remains unread by the vast majority of the Baháís to this day).
It was the great privilege of the undersigned to receive from Mason Remey in 1961, a set of four of the original volumes from which these excerpts are drawn, and which had been typed for him in Washington, D.C., by a non-Baháí, who obviously had experienced some difficulty in reading his script. These were in addition to copies of his three appeals to the Hands of the Faith and other documents. Two of the four volumes titled: "DAILY OBSERVATIONS OF THE BAHÁÍ FAITH MADE TO THE HANDS OF THE FAITH IN THE HOLY LAND,"and the three "APPEALS TO THE HANDS OF THE FAITH" were, through the invaluable assistance of John and Madeline Byers, then living in France, retyped on stencils and reproduced for distribution to all of the faithful believers who had accepted the second Guardian. Written as these original observations were in diary format, they contain much repetitive material. Accordingly, an abridged version was felt desirable, and it is with this in view that this compilation has been made. The material has been taken out of chronological sequence and has been rearranged under topical headings (although dates have been indicated where necessary). For purposes of greater clarity, words or phrases have been added and are shown in brackets within the text. Also, for the benefit of future readers who may be uninformed on certain points, footnotes have been inserted where they are considered helpful.
Only future generations will be able to adequately appreciate the courage, the steadfastness, and the fidelity to the Covenant of Baháulláh that Mason Remey displayed in his lonely defense of the Covenant, the "Child" of that Covenant, and the Guardianship against the united opposition of the Hands of the Faith, the Administrative Institutions of the Faith, and the great mass of his fellow-believers. It is in homage to the glory of his achievement that this compilation has been made.
Joel Bray Marangella
First Conclave of the Hands of the Faith Following the Passing of Shoghi Effendi [November, 1957] (1)
Twenty-six of the twenty-seven Hands of the Faith assembled in conclave in the great pillared hall of the Mansion of Bahjí at Akká in the early afternoon. After the reading of prayers, [they] read the report of those of us who had searched in the Guardians rooms and found no will and testament among his papers. (2) Such in a few words was our report. Upon Rúhíyyih Khánums the widow of Shoghi Effendi insistence, no minutes or written records were kept of the proceedings of the conclave. To me this seemed to be unwise; I felt that a record should be kept of this most important meeting of the Hands of the Faith, but as no one made any objection to this procedure and as I myself was quite conditioned through my years of residence in Haifa to accept and to follow without question everything that Rúhíyyih Khánum told us to do I therefore refrained from saying anything about this subject. No one objected to her insistence in this matter so no records were taken. There followed, as I remember, some talk upon the parts of a number of our members about inconsequential things and then the meeting was adjourned until the following morning.
Several of us, including myself, returned to Haifa for the night while the rest, consisting of all of the Persian Hands, remained the night at Bahjí where we who had gone to Haifa for the night met with them on the following morning.
Following prayers and some mention of the Guardianship to the effect that no will or testament had been found in the safe or in the desk of Shoghi Effendi, Dr. Muhájir, the youngest of the Persian Hands, sprang to his feet proposing that the Will and Testament of the Master Abdul-Bahá be pronounced BADAH (3) and that the Guardianship be ended forever and closed forever. This was immediately seconded and carried enthusiastically and supported by all the Persian Hands who spoke to the point supporting this putting aside for a thousand years (until the coming of the next Manifestation) the Institution of the Guardianship allowing that this next coming Manifestation might then possibly see fit to reestablish the Guardianship if he thought best in a thousand years from this present date but as far as this Dispensation was concerned that there should be no more Guardianship.
Each of the Persian Hands spoke supporting this motion each repeating practically verbatim the same argument so one could understand at first thought that they had talked it up and decided it all beforehand. This entire matter was so quickly done and its passage pressed and accomplished so quickly, that it was very apparent that at some time during those night hours these Persian Hands at Bahjí had consulted together and made a covenant amongst themselves and had made this arrangement to pronounce the Guardianship BADAH and thus railroad the matter through and carry the day. Furthermore, Rúhíyyih Khánum concurred with this majority so their point was carried by the majority.
Subsequently in this conclave (4) without abandoning their intention of no more Guardianship, these Hands decided that it would not do at that time to announce to the world their abandonment of the Guardianship since there would be many believers to whom this would be a great shock and disappointment; therefore, it was decided in their Proclamation to the world that no mention was to be made of the word "Guardianship" but that their program of these Hands to elect by a popular democratic vote of the proletariat of the Faith a Universal House of Justice in 1963 that the majority agreed would be infallible and therefore being infallible, the House would then have infallibility Sans-Guardian thus they reasoned the vast majority and still do they reason thus now declaring this to the world.
During all these proceedings I sat quietly remembering the vision I had had a few years before in which I had seen myself to be the second Guardian of the Faith this I had been thinking of a great deal since Shoghi Effendis death, but I felt that of all the hundreds of millions of people upon the face of the earth that I was the very last one who should put forward or stand up for such. In fact, I sat there in the conclave praying silently to myself that there be nothing of the kind for me in that vision; nevertheless, I had a feeling that there was something in it, thus my feelings were in the balance, as it were.
It was a few days after the close of the conclave that Ugo Giachery Hand of the Faith asked me why I had not stood out against the abolition of the Guardianship when the matter was under discussion in the conclave? I couldnt remember why. I dont remember what reply I made to him or what excuse I had made to him for doing as I did confused as was my conception of the entire problem, but I do remember quite well that at that moment after the conclave, Ugo was not in favor of denying all hope of eventual Guardianship. It was Ugo Giachery who then called my attention to the fact that the Persian Hands of the Faith who had, between the first two days of the first conclave, evidently come together in their own secret meeting that night at Bahjí and had made a covenant between themselves to pronounce the entire Guardianship BADAH and thus end for this dispensation all hopes of any Guardianship.
The plot on the part of the Persian Hands of the Faith, Ugo saw and explained it all to me thus giving me my first picture of what really took place behind the scenes of the first Bahjí Conclave.
It was one year after that Ugo told me of these things that I took my first step before the Hands against the violation of the Hands of the Faith. ln their stand against the continuation of the Guardianship. Up until that stand, my mind had been more or less confused over the entire situation. I had thought nothing out to any conclusion of mine own, least of all I wanted to in any way push myself into any prominence in the discussion.
Such was my stand taken at that time and in this matter I have never departed from that stand then taken for beginning with that time whenever I had the opportunity I told the Hands of the Faith that they were violating the Blessed Masters Will and Testament and all that they were doing was wrong and against all that the beloved Guardian stood for and followed in the building up of the Administration of the Faith the world around.
As I have stated, this stand of mine to which I have never departed was first suggested to me by Ugo Giacherys remarks to me about this violation that was started by the Persian Hands of the Faith and has now finally attained the united support without question as attested to by the Hands of the Faith in their letter to the Baháí world following their last Bahjí Conclave of November, 1959.
The Covenant and its "Child"
This Guardianless Baháí message that at present is being foisted onto the people by the action of the Hands of the Faith is not the Baháí message at all. The Covenant alone was indeed the message to the world during the ministry of Abdul-Bahá, but when the Will and Testament was given us this Will and Testament with the Guardianship as its very heart and soul then became together with the Covenant the teaching of our Faith and from then on it is the message of the Baháí Cause and the only message for us to give.
Again I tell the Hands that which they are teaching now without hope of ever having another Guardian is a most pernicious fallacy that ere long will completely destroy our Faith. We are now at the eleventh hour. Let us arise before it be too late to save the Faith, the guidance of which has been entrusted to the Guardianship that is not wanted by the Hands.
Essentiality of the Guardianship
Surely the Administration of the Will and Testament of Abdul-Bahá can never function without a Guardian. The fact is that the Hands of the Faith have voluntarily discarded the Will and Testament upon which the beloved Guardian built and carried on his entire mission as the first Guardian of the Baháí Faith.
I, as a Hand of the Faith, see that we should arise and as a united body attempt to get the Cause back again, if possible, into the working of the Administration where the beloved Guardian left it. Let us look the matter fairly and squarely in the face and understand the condition of the Cause. If the Guardianship is not continued, the Baháí Faith will surely die!
Shortly after the reading of the Will and Testament of the Master, Abdul-Bahá, Mountfort Mills, one of the very important, if not the most prominent Baháís at that moment in America, said to me, "Why? The set-up of the Guardianship is like that of the infallibility of the papacy of the Roman Catholic Church.." Replied I, "Well, the papacy has so far held the church of Rome together in unity better than that of any of the other Christian communions. Had the Roman Church not had a pope, their unity would never have held by now they would be as divided up as is Protestantism today." Since then, now nearing thirty-nine years ago (this incident that I mention took place here in Haifa in 1921), the Baháí world has had time and ample opportunity to observe so far the admirable working out of this principle of the Guardianship of our Faith. We all now realize that without the beloved Guardian, Shoghi Effendi, whom we all to a soul had to obey because so commanded by Abdul-Bahás Will there would have been no unity at all or co-ordination so necessary for the carrying on of our Cause. For without the Guardianship, by now we would surely have broken up into many divisions, sects, and cults. So far until now we face the Sans-Guardian stand of the Hands, the Sohrab heresy is the only deflection of any consequence from the Guardianship of the Faith due to the fact that we have this Institution of infallibility which to some may look something like the papacy, but which differs fundamentally from it in that the Roman Papacy is a human institution by election, while the Baháí Guardianship is by divine appointment and has divine authority for its being, and promises spiritual victory to our Faith that is the establishment of Gods Kingdom upon Earth.
Often people decry the failure of the church to establish Christs Kingdom upon Earth.. All Christians are thus failing in this endeavor because it was never the plan of God that the Revelation of Christ should win this victory over the world. Jesus proclaimed Himself to be the Son of God, rejected by the world, but he taught very definitely that He the Christ The Word of God would come again in the Glory of the Father, manifesting Himself as the triumphant Lord of the Vineyard and that at that time He, the Father, the Prince of Peace would then set up His Kingdom upon earth and that He would rule in His own right in His Kingdom upon earth
Baháí Spiritual Government The Kingdom of God Upon Earth
Nothing could be more reprehensible in a Kingdom than sedition or conspiracy against the King and his Government. In cases when the King dies and has no heir to inherit his throne, in such emergency the governmental regime continues, his nobles seek the ruler to take the throne, they do not for lack of an heir turn and destroy a well-established and functioning government by destroying the entire regal system in its functioning in order to replace it by a democratic form of government without a King and thus destroy their government and replace it by another system of rule.
Such sedition upon the part of a Kings subjects even though [they] be in the aristocracy next to the sovereign, to destroy his monarchical form of government to be replaced by some other form of rule that they have to concoct is treason from the viewpoint of the rule of a Kingdom by a King.
I am wondering what our beloved Shoghi Effendi would have said to us Hands had he been told that within days after his death that a group of the Hands of the Faith would arise and seek to put aside the system of Baháí Administration Founded by Baháulláh, carried on by the Center of His Covenant and constructed by himself as the Guardian of the Faith, and that this notion of these friends of his Hands of the Faith would thus for the time so jeopardize the Baháí Cause?
This spiritual treason in our midst cannot continue. It must be rooted out before it becomes a case of Open treason against the Kingship upon earth of the Kingdom of God.
I put my thought in a strong manner of expression in order to awaken the Hands to the great danger in which our Faith is now placed and placed by the direct and studied revolt against the Administration and its very heart, the Guardianship, that is here amongst us and in our midst but not seen or realized by the vast majority of our members, Hands of the Faith..
In the Baháí Faith in the days of our beloved Guardian, Shoghi Effendi, we had an organized and a functionally working spiritual government well-established upon the divine spiritual principles of the Kingdom of God upon Earth instituted by Gods Manifestation, Himself, the workings of which were planned by the Center of His Covenant, which plans were executed and gotten into working order by Shoghi Effendi, the first Guardian, appointed by him to be the sovereign hereditary head of the Faith and absolute ruler of the Faith upon earth, commissioning him to establish the workings of the spiritual Kingdom of Baháulláh upon earth and giving to him by Will and Testament the plan upon which he was to give form and function to the Administration of the government of the Baháí Cause that is the Kingdom of God upon this earth.
After his mission or reign of over thirty-six years, the beloved Guardian, Shoghi Effendi, accomplished this task, one of the last phases of which accomplishment was his appointment of the Hands of the Faith that was the elevation of a group of the twenty-seven Hands from the ranks of the believers of the Faith that now form the peerage or the nobility of the Cause. The beloved Guardian had before him yet to be done, the formation of the International Assembly of his Baháí Kingdom to be inaugurated when there was a sufficient number of National Assemblies and when these National Assemblies were sufficiently in working order and strong enough to carry the International Assembly.
This system of elected assemblies, local and national, leading up to the formation of an International Assembly is the democratic element in the Baháí Spiritual World Government. When formed and in working order it will be the voice of the Baháí proletariat, one of the pillars on which the Universal House of Justice will be supported, a balance for the Guardianship with the institution of the Hands of the Faith that is the other, or to put it more explicitly, the first pillar of the three supports of the Universal House of Justice to be according to the Masters Will and Testament. The Guardian of the Faith, (not necessarily Shoghi Effendi, possibly one of his successors) was delegated to direct the forming of this Universal House of Justice. Such was to be the order of the formation of this institution.
In other words, the International World Assembly of Baháís is but one part of the Universal House of Justice. It is vested with no infallibility in itself until it functions together with the Guardianship; these two elements together being infallible in the Universal House of Justice.
Therefore, the elimination of the Guardianship of the Faith precludes our ever being able to have a House of Justice even though without a Guardian [to preside over this body as its President] some sort of an International Assembly may be possible, but never a House of Justice [as delineated in the Will and Testament of Abdul-Bahá].
Let us with one accord abandon this provisional-religious democratic system of Baháí government under the Custodian Hands in the Holy Land that we have set up for ourselves and that is so personally pleasing to us and apparently so also to the majority of the believers the world over. Let us give up all this democratic freedom based upon the doctrines of this political world about us and let us all unitedly and voluntarily enter into the Covenant given to us by the Master, Abdul-Bahá by making these necessary to be made by us now at this time that we may soon have a Guardian-Commander who surely exists in occultation, whom we and all other Baháís will obey when he comes forth to take command of the Faith, for then and only then can or will the Baháís of the world be able to hold together for then this present liberty and freedom of our members will be replaced by the imposed law and order of the Kingdom of God wherein we do not choose to regulate ourselves but we accept the law and order of the Kingdom as it is imposed upon us by virtue of the divinely established principle of the Guardianship.
Structure of Baháí Administrative Order Subverted by the Hands
What do the Hands of the Faith think they are doing by coming together and by vast majority abrogating not only the Will and Testament but the entire mission of the Center of the Covenant together with that of the beloved first Guardian of the Faith, and saying to the confused Baháí world that independently of Abdul-Bahá and Shoghi Effendis missions that they the Hands will turn over everything to the proletariat of the Faith in 1963 thus relinquishing to the mass of the Baháís throughout the world the power given them by the beloved Guardian thus repudiating not only him and Abdul-Bahá but thus refusing themselves to take any further responsibility in Baháí affairs thus forcing the mass of the believers the world around to form some kind of a Baháí government by the people to take the place of this divinely revealed and sanctioned Baháí Administration upon which they are turning their backs and rejecting.
What evil spirit of violation has gotten into this body of Hands of the Faith that they should do this thing????
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(24 January 1959) Our late Guardian left no son to inherit the Guardianship and neither had he any relatives who qualified to inherit the Guardianship; the Hands of the Faith wish to abolish the entire framework of the system of Baháí government that the beloved Guardian has worked for so many years to establish and has pointed out to us the way in which he was establishing it, and now because death called him from us before he had completed this establishment, the Hands then decide to scrap all that he had done preparing the continuation of the Guardianship to follow on. Now the Hands would deprive the Baháí world of the government as established by our First Guardian by replacing the Masters plan with a plan of their own, thus destroying the very structure and function of the government left by our dear first Guardian to carry on.
The majority of the Hands not only wish to eliminate the Guardianship, but they think that they can get a Universal House of Justice by their own method which puts aside the procedure worked upon by Shoghi Effendi for the formation of that House of Justice. He shows us in his texts that the House of Justice has to be set up and formed by the Guardian. In other words, they would do away with this system given in the Will and Testament and replace it by something of their own concoction. What could be a greater violation of the Masters Will than this?
The beloved Guardian must have completed the necessary work that he was told to do in the Will and Testament. (5) lt is now the duty of the Hands to ascertain that which the Guardian accomplished toward appointing a second Guardian of the Cause to succeed and carry on the work of the Faith. Why dont the Hands of the Faith study the Masters Testament and the writings and notes of Shoghi Effendi as our German friends and others are doing? People are questioning the Hands, asking why. The Hands cannot answer their queries because they have not gotten at the root of this matter their thoughts are not clear. God gave us brains to use, why not use them?
Guardianship The Heart of the Baháí Faith
Every living organism has a heart. Upon the healthy action of which these organisms are dependent for their proper functioning, so does the Baháí Faith have a heart upon which its life depends and this heart is the Guardianship of the Faith. But the Hands of the Faith in their dilemma at the death of our beloved Guardian were so confused and upset that they thought the Cause must get along without any more Guardianship thus setting up a substitute for this Guardianship in their present-intending leadership of the nine Hands of the Faith in the Holy Land, for which body there is no authority whatsoever in the administrative plan of Baháí government as given us in the Will and Testament of the Master, Abdul-Bahá.
The beloved Guardian labored for thirty-six years to establish the Administration. The Guardianship is the heart of the Cause and now, in less than two years after his death, the Hands of the Faith are doing what they can to destroy any hopes that believers may entertain of our ever having another Guardian. Until this present time this destruction seems to be having results that please the Hands of the Holy Land, all but with the exception of myself. The Hands are constantly calling my attention to the success of their program.
Let each one of us face and see his own problem, a problem that rests between himself and God, whether or not he or she wants a Guardian or not, for if the Hands of the Faith unitedly want a Guardian, they will have no difficulty, but if they, in their hearts dont want the Guardianship, God help the Cause and God help them too. We know that in the end, the Cause will prevail. The Administration of the Cause cannot live without its heart that is the Guardianship, therefore those who in their hearts oppose the Guardianship will in the end fall short of that to which they were called to perform.
The Guardian as a Commander
In a well-trained army, docility is the basis of the success of the action of the army under command. All depends upon the faithful and prompt carrying out of the orders of the commander and this can only be obtained when the army is so drilled and equipped that orders are immediately obeyed by the troops. This complete docility is needed by the individual soldier that he should follow without question his commander. But when an army finds itself without a commander, this very docility that under a commander gives it strength without a commander is immediately its undoing and destruction, when the command is usurped by a usurper. The mass of the Baháís throughout the world are well-adjusted to receiving and carrying out the commands of the beloved [first] Guardian. This command is now taken over by violators, chiefest amongst whom is Rúhíyyih Khánum. When the Hands of the Faith usurped the command [the believers] being docile and in good training, there was little or no objection to this the people had been taught to obey without question and they have obeyed with but a question coming from here or there from people who saw that without a Guardian-commander, the Cause could not live.
Since the leadership of the Baháí Faith as directed in the Will and Testament of the Master, Abdul-Bahá, can only come to us and be realized through the Guardianship we the Hands of the Faith must make the sacrifice that the Guardianship demands of us. This is a big order. It means not only the sacrifice of our new free and liberal individual careers in the following of which we have no one to obey but for each one to do what is right in his own eyes thus giving us the liberty that we now have all of which we must renounce when we placed ourselves under the infallible guidance of the Guardianship. But it moreover means that from the moment that the second Guardian of the Faith comes into his office being our Commander-in-Chief, we will then again have the accepted Bahá'í infallibility to direct and to inspire the friends the world around.
The Guardians as Branches of the "Center of the Covenant"
Baháulláh was the root and the source of all power and spiritual life of the Faith. Abdul-Bahá, the Center of his Covenant, was the tree growing out from that root that was Baháulláh and the Guardians of the Faith are branched forth from the Center of the Covenant and will thus continue to function and be the source of strength and guidance of the believers on down through the spiritual Baháí Ages to come. Therefore the believers are to follow this line of divinely inspired Guardianship on to victory after spiritual victory. But now there have arisen those in the Faith who claim that we must discard all which our beloved Guardian has done discard the Will and Testament of the Center of the Covenant and revert to the Book of Aqdas there to find guidance that they claim is for every and anyone to find for himself without the divine source of infallible interpretation as provided by the Will and Testament of the Center of the Covenant in the Guardianship of the Faith.
Guardianship as the Channel for the Holy Spirit
To me, the Hands seem blind to the reality of the principle of the Guardianship, and until this be rectified there is but little hope. The Holy Spirit from on high that flowed to us so plenteously through a living beloved Guardian in our midst is now no more with us as before, but these benighted Hands do not see this!
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When the Hands of the Faith are all thus united in the spirit that they really want a second Guardian to direct them, we will then be on the way to accept a second Guardian, but until we, by acknowledgement, supported by our attitudes, really want a Guardian to command the Cause, the Holy Spirit cannot guide us and we can expect no confirmations. Before we can be guided by the Holy Spirit we must put aside and sacrifice our all. Then we will have the guidance of the Holy Spirit.
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Thus it is that suffering and sacrifice benefits the Faith as a whole or collectively the world around. It advances in direct proportion to the sacrifices of the friends as they follow the commands of the Guardian and the Faith. But now in these present days without Guardianship commands of the Guardian and the Faith is held back in the proportion that the Guardians commands are not accepted or acted upon.
But now in these present days without Guardianship, the Faith is yet living on and advancing because of the momentum it received from the days of the first Guardian of the Faith upon earth. We are now in need of a renewed and a continuation of this momentum in order to keep the Cause on the move and growing, and this continuation of the outpourings of the Holy Spirit can only come with the continuation of the Guardianship as an Institution as a series of different personalities of the succeeding Guardians thus the supply of the spiritual forces of the Abhá Kingdom will be continued on throughout the Baháí Dispensation the power coming through the Guardianship.
Such in principle is the functioning of the organic fabric of our Faith as given to us in the Will and Testament of the Master, Abdul-Bahá. A break or a cessation of this flow of the Holy Spirit flowing to us through the Guardianship of the Faith is bad for the Faith and if cut out altogether, as the many Hands of the Faith now favor it will surely be the death and disruption of our Faith.
In Abdul-Bahás teachings including, of course, those divine teachings contained in his last Will and Spiritual Testament to the Baháís, He demonstrates to us that in this day and the time of this divine Baháí Dispensation upon earth that the unique source of the Holy Spirit is Baháulláh that from Baháulláh (the Manifestation) this spirit of divine life descends through the Center of His Covenant upon the Guardian of the Cause [who] after Abdul-Bahá is the Center of the divine confirmations of the kingdom. Therefore, after Abdul-Bahá, the Guardian of the Faith is the only and the unique source of divine guidance for the believers the Guardianship being this institution and not the personality of the human Guardian. The Will and Testament provides for a continued line of many succeeding Guardians on through the ages to come, this divine guidance coming through the Institution of the Guardianship and this is the only continued source of confirmation of the Holy Spirit to the world in this Dispensation of Baháulláh!
It was not by virtue of his personality or personal human attainments that the beloved Guardian, Shoghi Effendi, led the Faith out of the confusion [in which] the Cause found itself after the death of Abdul-Bahá led the cause on to one victory after another victory. This progress was due to the fact that Shoghi Effendi was the Guardian of the Faith and that it was through the fact that he was the Guardian of the Faith that he accomplished his spiritual victories! This power of divine guidance was vested in the Institution of the Guardianship and not because of any human perfections he had, nor was it hindered by any human imperfections that Shoghi Effendi himself as a human may have had. He was the Guardian and because of this fact, his office of Guardianship, he was the link in the chain coming from Baháulláh through Abdul-Bahá to him, the Guardian, and from him the Guardian to the Faith here upon earth the only channel through which the Holy Spirit of God flowed to this world while he was the Guardian in the flesh.
The Hands of the Faith have indeed gotten themselves and the Cause into a condition of bewilderment in this critical epoch and the only way to remedy this condition is to use the authority of the Hands of the Faith to protect the Faith from thus violating the Administration, for when a second Guardian of the Faith is in office then the Holy Spirit emanating from the Manifestation will then come into action and through the second Guardian who will be our guiding light and the source of infallible leadership. This is not a virtue of the personality of whomsoever may be in the line of Guardians ahead who will lead this Faith, but it is the distinguished confirmation of the office of Guardianship as given us in the Will and Testament of the Master, Abdul-Bahá.
Today [8 January] I have been considering The Holy Spirit as it flows from Baháulláh through the Center of His Covenant, Abdul-Bahá, on down through the Guardianship and the promise given by the Master and Shoghi Effendi, that this spirit of guidance and protection would continue to sustain the Cause on through the many successive Guardians of the centuries to come and now???
It is a mystery to me that now that the hereditary line of descent is ended, are the Hands of the Faith whose duty it is to protect the Faith, to sit discouraged and confused saying BADAH and allow all of this magnificent spiritual structure of the Administration of the Faith built by Abdul-Bahá and the beloved Guardian, Shoghi Effendi [to] be discarded and cast aside? If the Guardianship of the Faith be eliminated thus without a functioning heart, the body of the Faith in the world will surely die?
The intent of the communications issued to the Baháí world from the Hands of the Faith has been that of rejection of the divinely conceived Guardianship of our Faith as directed in the Will and Testament of Abdul-Bahá and elaborated upon and upheld at all times in the life and teachings of Shoghi Effendi. In the letter that was sent out after our second Bahjí Conclave, no mention was made of the Guardianship. [Mention was made] of the beloved Guardian yes, but not about the continuance of the Guardianship. By what this letter did not say, one may read between the lines to the effect that the majority of the Hands of the Faith are against there ever being another Guardian and that after all that Manifesto composed in Chicago by the Hands of the Faith in America with the American N.S.A. declaring the Guardianship definitely ended, with the circulation of which was stopped at the eleventh hour by order of the Custodian Hands in the Holy Land, is after all the real hidden and unspoken opinion of the Hands. But this condition can be allayed and it will be wiped out completely when the Hands arise to seek the second Guardian of the Faith that they surely should do sooner or later lest the Cause of Baháulláh die.
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This confused state of the Hands of the Faith is to my mind due to their looking at the personality of Shoghi Effendi, the beloved [first] Guardian, instead of looking at his office and station of Guardianship, the person occupying that station will become the channel through whom will flow the Holy Spirit from Baháulláh and that this spiritual flow according to the Will and Testament of the Master, Abdul-Bahá, will guide the Faith the guiding power not coming from the person who is Guardian but through his station of Guardianship.
We all know the Ten-Year Plan of the beloved Shoghi Effendi and the advance it made under his Guardianship of the Faith, but the spiritual vitality of the believers in the days of Shoghi Effendi was being activated continuously by the living Guardian then with us, but now without this living Guardians presence we, the believers, have lost that contact through which the Holy Spirit of God which is the very life force of the Kingdom of God, no longer is coming to us because we have no Guardian . It is the same principle of the continual Guardianship of the Faith that I have been talking about to the Hands, first at the second Bahjí Conclave and ever since then to the Custodian Hands and so far as I can see and understand them, not one of the Hands but I myself alone sees this. They take the ground just as did Agnes Alexander [Hand of the Cause] in conversation with me at Sidney, "We have all the necessary things to teach in the recorded words of the beloved Guardian, Shoghi Effendi, and we have no need whatsoever of another Guardian. Shoghi Effendi has told us exactly what we should teach and if we stick to his teachings, he from the Abhá Realms beyond this world will lead us on to victory!"
These Hands of the Cause do not realize that it is only through the living Guardianship that our spirituality comes to us the Holy Spirit! They voluntarily have closed the channel and although they have the written Words and Teachings, without this mystical spiritual flow of force to them from the Institution of Guardianship their works are without life.
To me, the Hands of the Faith are under the spell of violation of the Masters Will and Testament. This is the cause of all of this spiritual apathy among the believers. Those who dont want a continuation of the Guardianship and who have up until now so injected this idea into the minds of so many others that now this present state of affairs has come about and I can see it Will mean the finish of the Faith if it is not stopped and stopped soon before things become worse than they now are.
Violation of the divine Manifestation causes the spiritual death of the Faith because it shuts off the believers from the source of the spiritual life forces upon which that life depends. This is the condition that the Baháí Faith faces now in this day!
The Guardian as an Essential Pillar of the Universal House of Justice
The first pillar, the infallible divinely instituted and appointed Guardians, the second pillar of the Universal House of Justice to be of the people of the Faith and chosen by them from their ranks representing them who are the proletariat of the Kingdom of God upon Earth thus the Faith will eventually be ruled by the Institution resting upon those two pillars representing the Guardian of the Faith upon one side and upon the other side, the members of the House chosen by the people from amongst their own members.
The Guardianship was the first foundation pillar of this Universal House of Justice and it was the function of the Guardianship to choose the Hands of the Faith and also to train and prepare and to organize the mass of the believers to form their assemblies, local and international. But in the midst of the progress of this process, Shoghi Effendi was suddenly called from this world to the Abhá Kingdom beyond. Apparently he had no idea at all that his death was so near. (6) All of his personal work was at a sudden stop, but according to the divinely revealed Will and Testament of the Master, the Guardianship of the Faith was not to be interrupted by the death of Shoghi Effendi or of any succeeding Guardian of the Faith. For the Guardianship in which infallibility rested was a continual institution to be carried on and on throughout this Baháí Dispensation. But Shoghi Effendi had no issue to succeed him as the second Guardian of the Faith, therefore, it became necessary that the beloved Guardian should appoint another branch and up until now we do not know who he appointed?
The Kingdom of God Upon Earth
This action of the Hands of the Faith is to abrogate the Will and Testament [of Abdul-Bahá] and all that the beloved Guardian accomplished and this clearly means that the Guardianship as well as other provisions of the Administration so laboriously built up by the beloved Guardian upon the foundation of the Will and Testament is abolished, including even the existence of the body of the Hands of the Faith, for according to the present program the common people of the Faith will eventually have all in their own hands for with the abolition of the Will and Testament and all that this document stands for in favor of the Universal World Spiritual Assembly (elected by the people), the Hands of the Faith who are the Nobility of the Kingdom [of God] are stepping aside and relinquishing this noble estate to which they were elevated by the beloved Guardian they are casting all this into the discard, a suicidal procedure upon their part and throwing the future of the Faith into the hands of the commoners of the Cause to do with as they may see fit. [This will be] just a republican form of political government that has nothing in common with Kingship that is the keynote and the foundation of the Kingdom of God upon Earth thus leaving all to the human wishes and desires of the mass of the people, all of which is indeed popular in the democratic confused world of today, but which has not only no foundation in Holy Writ, but is actually contrary to the entire Baháí teaching as given to us by Baháulláh and interpreted to us by the Center of His Covenant and established in our midst by the beloved Guardian whom Abdul-Bahá command us to obey and follow in the establishment of the Kingdom of God in this world of today!
What greater deviation could there be from and against the Testament of Abdul-Bahá than the abolishment of the Guardianship of the Faith. To my mind this violation of the Will and Testament as I told the Hands at the second Bahjí Conclave is as an axe at the root of the Faith and as a dagger in the heart thereof! Apparently my argument means little or nothing to the Hands there assembled! This poisonous attack upon the Guardianship of our Faith had so taken ahold of the twenty-four whom I was addressing, that one and all were insensible to and unaware of the danger of their stand against the continuation of the Institution of Guardianship.I am hoping and praying that before or at the next conclave of the Hands of the Faith, that all will realize the perilous conditions that the Faith is now in without the divine guidance of the Guardianship. It is in the Institution of the Guardianship wherein lies the guidance of the Faith and not in the personality of any one Guardian himself as a man.
According to the Will and Testament of the Master, Abdul-Bahá, one Guardian is to follow another and so on down through the history of the Faith on through the centuries. These Guardians will all be different personalities. It is in itself an institution and a function unchangeable, and in this lies the guidance of the Faith for centuries to come, for only through this channel can the Holy Spirit (that in this age emanates to the world of humanity only through Baháulláh) reach mankind coming from the Manifestation through the Center of His Covenant on through the Institution of the Guardianship to the people of the Faith.
Such the beloved Guardian explained to us at great length was the especial mission of his Guardianship and that he, the first Guardian of the Faith, was to inaugurate this system of the Administration of the Faith. Thus, after about thirty or so years of his ministry, he chose the Hands of the Faith thus elevating them from the ranks of the Faith by appointment to become the peerage of the [spiritual] aristocracy of the Faith, which Faith as we all know is the Kingdom of God upon Earth, with the Guardian as the divine potentate of that Kingdom.
The Guardian infallible, surrounded by his appointed aristocracy of Hands was to be the first pillar of the supreme Institution of the Faith, the Universal House of Justice, the other pillar of which was yet to be erected (that is when the assemblies of the people of the Cause, local and national, were sufficiently strong and functioning to form the second necessary pillar the [elected] international organization of the people) which together functioning with the [appointed] Guardian [as its head ] surrounded by his nobles (the Hands of the Faith) would form the House of Justice, the decrees of which would be infallible and would be the center of guidance for the Cause throughout this Dispensation of Baháulláh.
Rúhíyyih Khánum Becomes Arch Covenant Breaker
Rúhíyyih Khánum went down to Kampala for the 1958 conference there as planned by the Guardian and there at one of the meetings, she announced that the Guardianship was BADAH and ended. Then later in a meeting of the Hands here in Haifa, she explained herself saying that she spoke on the spur of the moment and without thought and should not have announced this. This slip of the tongue proved to me her inner conviction and thought for those who speak without thinking always say what they really think.
Through Rúhíyyih Khánums slip of the tongue and possibly and even probably that of others of the Hands of the Cause the Hands in America Horace Holley and Paul Haney, met with the American N.S.A. in Chicago and they issued a Manifesto that was circulated to a certain extent announcing definitely that the Guardianship was ended for this Dispensation of Baháulláh. A copy of this got to Germany in some way and from there a copy was sent to Haifa, together with the word that this was soon to be sent out in printed form from the N.S.A. of the U.S.A. This was not sent here to us in Haifa. This, to Rúhíyyih Khánum and others was an unwise move and was a great shock to them, and a cablegram was sent immediately to Horace saying not to circulate this document (it was already being set up in type) thus at this eleventh hour this was thus forestalled. However, the cat was out of the bag for the believers in some places and countries were upset and protesting. In our meeting here of the Hands it was even suggested that any people in opposition in their views to those of the Hands in Haifa be expelled from the Faith without ado, but on reconsideration it was decided to ignore these voices from abroad. In one instance in Latin America, some friends who questioned this matter had their voting rights taken from them because of this stand.
When I left Haifa for Australia, Rúhíyyih Khánum instructed me [she actually had no authority to direct anyone] to avoid and to squelch any discussion of any controversial subject that might come up in the [Intercontinental] conference at Sydney. (7) Although she did not mention the Guardianship in this connection, I know this was what she had in mind. This I did, but I kept my ears open although evading and avoiding this subject.
After one of the meetings in Sydney, Agnes Alexander [Hand of the Faith ] came to me saying, "But we no longer have need at all for a Guardian. We have the beloved Guardian now in the Abhá Realms and from there He is directing us here upon earth, so you see there is no longer any need of the Guardianship here upon earth." To this I replied nothing at all. I had already noticed traces of this pernicious doctrine in the thoughts of Rúhíyyih Khánum and some of our Persian Hands! Now, some one or ones had planted those thoughts in the mind of Agnes Alexander. She is a very dear but a very mentally-slow woman. She has little or no imagination so could never have evolved such a theory on her own.
Agnes is a most devoted soul to the Cause. She got the teaching of the Covenant from May Bolls in 1900 in Paris, and she has stuck to this all of these years through thick and thin and under all conditions has been a pillar of the Cause and now? Someone has planted this Sans-Guardian thought in her mind that is as an axe at the root of the Faith and as a dagger in the heart of the body of the Cause the heart being the Guardianship!
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The fact that Rúhíyyih Khánum was so completely absorbed in and at one with the personality of Shoghi Effendi and was the way of approach in fact, the only contact that we of the rank and file of the Faith had with our Guardian this fact in itself or this relation that she once held is now her stumbling block. For accepting the fact that Shoghi Effendi is no longer the Guardian of the Cause in other words, he was the Guardian up until his death and now we have no acknowledged Guardian, this is our dilemma and it is also her dilemma for she maintains that he is still the Guardian of the Faith directing us from the Abhá Realm, therefore, no successor is needed or is ever to be. She holds that the Guardianship is closed!
Such is Rúhíyyih Khánums attitude. She therefore still sets herself up as the contact, as it were, between the Guardian and the Hands. She has taken over the command, as it were, and the Persian Hands who are a majority amongst the Hands here in the Holy Land have supported her in her stand. They have been sitting by with bowed heads saying, "Bally, Bally" ("Yes", Yes").
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In Rúhíyyih Khánums case, she is definitely opposed to a continuation of the Guardianship. She stood and told at the Kampala Conference that the plan of Administration of the Faith as given in the Masters Will and Testament had gone BADAH then seeing her indiscretion, she explained to the Hands here in Haifa that she spoke without thinking. I find that those who speak without thinking invariably say what they think.
Those who have received the greatest spiritual blessings are even called upon to make the greatest sacrifices. No one has been more greatly favored and blessed than Rúhíyyih Khánum, the wife of the beloved Shoghi Effendi.
It is indeed perfectly natural that she should resent the thought of a second Guardian of the Cause. She is very strong indeed in her wish that the Guardianship be abolished. As things are now, because of her previous position as the contact liaison between Shoghi Effendi and the people about the Guardian, she was in the entire Baháí world indeed the most important personage apart from the Guardian, and now that our Guardian is dead and [apparently] we have no Guardian of the Faith, (8) Rúhíyyih Khánum still assumes and maintains herself in that supreme position and from what she says and from the tone of her voice when she speaks to the other Hands of the Faith and from her many maneuvers and ways of continuously entrenching herself in this position, it is plain to see that she intends that no one is to supplant her in this position that she has assumed, and from which she seeks to rule and to dictate the affairs of the Faith. Because of her long association with Shoghi Effendi, she is able to run the affairs of the Faith in an efficient manner that is without doubt more efficient than any one else of whom I know such is my opinion. Nevertheless, she can never rule the Faith with the wisdom necessary to protect the Faith because this protection is a function peculiar to the infallible Guardianship of the Cause.
I am much concerned about the future of Rúhíyyih Khánums career as a Baháí because I know that this Cause of God is going to live and to prosper and since this is to be true there must needs be the continuation of the Guardianship. In other words, the Cause is, I believe, destined to be continued and this will mean that sooner or later, Rúhíyyih Khánum, like all the rest of the believers will come under his command and this will be a supreme test for her especially should the second Guardian of the Baháí Faith have a wife to take the position of the First Lady of the Faith!
Rúhíyyih Khánum and the Persian Hands are of the fixed intention that the Guardianship is BADAH or was definitely ended for this Dispensation of one thousand years with the death of Shoghi Effendi. Of course, they do not say this openly to the world, nevertheless this conviction constantly shows itself in things they say and advocate and things they do. Leroy Ioas (9) seems to feel at times that the Guardianship should not thus be scrapped, but he stands firmly for the 1963 program. Milly Collins and Paul Haney seem to be bewildered upon this point they feel that it will come out somehow by the Grace of God, but which way and how they have no idea.
Yesterday morning there was such a scene that Leroy was so upset that he refused to be at the prayer meeting that after noon at the Shrine. Rúhíyyih Khánum, who was so near to Shoghi Effendi for so many years of their married life, takes command of all matters dictating to the others, assuming that she knows exactly what the Guardian would have done under circumstances such as these that confront us; therefore, she in no uncertain terms lays down the law to us shaking her finger at us and often showing at us giving emphasis to what she is saying by hammering the table before her with clenched fist (as yet she has not come to the point of shaking her fist at any of us). Leroy rebels at this the Persians all take it. I dont get what Paul [Haney] thinks I laugh up my sleeve, at the same time fearful of what may happen to Rúhíyyih Khánum should a second Guardian appear upon this scene?
Rúhíyyih Khánum frequently threatens to commit suicide if she cant have her way. I am afraid she may do so sometime in one of her tantrums but Milly [Collins] says there is no danger of her killing herself that this is but a tantrum but from my own experience in my own life such tantrums can end in dire tragedy. Leroy thinks that Rúhíyyih may snap and have to be put in an asylum. I feel that it is more likely that this condition may send him and not Rúhíyyih Khánum to the asylum. The Hands of the Faith should not expect harmony in the Baháí World at large until they the twenty-seven of us are at harmony between ourselves.
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. . . .the Persian Baháís do not want a Guardian to continue to rule the Faith. Neither does Rúhíyyih Khánum want the Guardianship to continue, for she would not like at all for herself to be second to another Guardian of the Faith, particularly if he should have a wife which if he had, his wife would be the First Lady of the Baháí Administration with Rúhíyyih Khánum then as the Dowager Lady of the Faith.
One cannot help but feel that such problems as these would be a most powerful incentive in Rúhíyyih Khánums life to weigh against her wanting any continuance of the Guardianship for now she is the ruling power in the Cause. She dictates practically everything. She has no intention of allow the Guardianship to be continued and to suit her own wishes, she insists that there never shall be another Guardian and as she stated to me in a meeting of the Custodians: "That after her no one would ever live in the Guardians house in Haifa."
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Rúhíyyih Khánum at all times and upon all matters dictates to us [the Custodian Hands] as if she were still the link or channel for contact between the Guardian and us, the Hands, actually shaking her finger at us and occasionally striking with her hand the table before her. Occasionally Leroy Ioas flies off the handle and there is a great flare up but then this quiets down and in the end she dominates the situation despite the fact that she is but one Hand of the several Custodian Hands. In other words, Rúhíyyih Khánum has assumed the direction of things and in a very scolding and an out-of-patience tone of voice that in itself is an indication that things are not the way they should be within her own psychology.
All [this] resolves itself down to the fact that the Cause needs the Institution of the Guardianship to carry it on and will suffer and go to pieces unless we have a Guardian and end this confused state of leadership that Rúhíyyih Khánum and the Persian Hands have thrust us into and so far have dominated the Hands with.
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This noon the Custodian Hands of the Faith met in conference, [14 April 1959]. News very disquieting had come to us that Hermann Grossmann in South America had told Baháís that the Hands of the Faith had had a change of mind and that undoubtedly there would be a second Guardian of the Cause! (10)
It was suggested to cable Hermann to stop this talk. This suggestion was followed by such a variety of suggestions as to what to cable him that in order to avoid the possibility of making things worse, it was decided to await until tomorrow afternoon to allow more thought upon the subject before wording the cablegram. Then this was followed by much conjecture about exactly what Hermann was telling the people, how they were reacting toward this, and many other aspects of this problem.
During the discussion someone suggested that possibly Hermann thought that the Universal House of Justice might reestablish the Guardianship. Whereupon Rúhíyyih Khánum said that she was unalterably opposed to our having another Guardian and that if there were ever one appointed, that she would abandon Haifa and the Baháí Administration and take herself somewhere up into the wilds of Tibet, there to hide herself from all Baháís!
While for some time it has been quite clear that such was Rúhíyyih Khánums attitude toward the Guardianship, this which understood exactly how she want the continuation of the Guardianship and threatens to walk out upon the Guardianship if it ever be re-established In reality, Rúhíyyih Khánum is the dictator of the Custodian Hands in the Holy Land. In one of her addresses before the Kampala Conferences, now over a year ago, she announced that the Guardianship was definitely closed and ended. In a subsequent meeting of the Custodians here, she made the definite statement that after her present tenure of the Guardians House (at 7 Persian Street, Haifa) that no one would ever be in residence there (after her present tenure of those premises).
When faced by someone who quoted her Kampala statement (here some weeks ago) she said that she had spoken in Kampala [at the Intercontinental Conference] without thinking and had she thought over the matter, she would not have made such an announcement. The Custodians felt this statement to have been a most untimely declaration upon her part. Thus are these Custodian Hands, who are so trusted by the Baháí world, playing a double game, as it were, to deceive the Baháís.
Now I find that in things that the Hands actually say, that they feel as Rúhíyyih Khánum does, that they dont want that there ever be another Guardian and that by their ATTITUDES it is clear to see that the vast ruling majority of the Hands feel as does Rúhíyyih Khánum in this matter!
Friends, Hands of the Faith, if you stand thus as a united majority, you will kill our Faith This stand is indeed a violation of the Will and Testament of the Master, Abdul-Bahá. It will indeed be a great personal sacrifice upon the part of each of you to change your personal wishes and accept a second Guardian and be forced to obey his commands, but the Cause of God requires you to make this personal sacrifice and to subordinate your wills to the will of the second Guardian, just as you did to the first Guardian of the Faith, for thereby and thereby only can this Cause of God win this battle of all times past, a spiritual battle between the human forces of man as pitted against the spiritual forces of God. The latter are destined to conquer in these latter days of the past and the dawning days of Gods Kingdom on Earth!
Second Conclave in The Holy Land of the Hands of the Faith
I returned to the Holy Land for the second Bahjí Conclave [November, 1958] determined to do what I could to save this Baháí situation. But because of my flash vision of some years back wherein I saw I was to be the second Guardian of the Faith, thus being thoroughly convinced of the continuation of the Guardianship, I felt that I of all the more than two billions of souls upon the earth should be the very last soul to bring up this subject such was my thought.
The sessions of this second Conclave were given over to the discussion of plans and ways and means for spreading the Faith without even a thought or a mention of WHAT WE WERE TO TEACH. The first day in session, several of the Hands of the Cause were called aside in private to consider two letters and a telegram from Germany bringing up the matter of the Guardianship. (These letters came from Dr. Ugo Schaefer and Eugene Schmidt [Chairman of N.S.A. of Germany ]. I have since then spread them throughout the Baháí world in a compilation, "The Questions of the Guardianship." It was decided to do nothing at all about these communications so nothing was done. The matter of the Guardianship was avoided not even mentioned in the letter to the Baháís of the world to be sent out to all National Assemblies from this conclave.
I sat there praying that someone other than I would take a stand for the continuation of the Guardianship, but no one arose. All were united in not mentioning this matter of Guardianship in Baháí communities of the world.
When I saw and realized that no one but I would broach this subject I arose. There were twenty-five of us Hands in all and I was in defiance one against a united twenty-four! They didnt want to listen to me but out of a certain respect for the oldest man present, they gave me a hearing. There was a moment of question about this, but thereupon Rúhíyyih Khánum broke in and spoke up in favor of hearing me.
I didnt mince matters, but gave arguments for the necessity of the continuation of the Guardianship for the protection of the Faith that I will not go into again here since the various points I made are given in other parts of this present writing. I warned them surely this declaration that they were sending out [to the Baháí world] would create more questions in the minds of the believers than it would solve, but all to no avail. In the end I was stopped on a parliamentary technicality that they had already passed on their message to the Baháí world and it would be out of order for its reconsideration. Again in this session of the conclave as in that of a year ago, no recorded records were made of any of the proceedings.
My final plea or argument for the Guardianship was upon the mystical argument that The Holy Spirit in this Dispensation proceeding from the Manifestation, Baháulláh, through the Center of the Covenant to the Guardian to the believers was cut off by the break caused by the abolition of the Institution of the Guardianship so how could we expect spiritual strength and the growth of the Cause if this channel, the Guardianship, were severed? To which there was no response. I felt that the "Arc of the Covenant was bumping on the rocks" and warned them of the danger of its becoming stranded high and dry on the rocks, but all with no response, so I ceased speaking.
* * * * * * * * * * * *
As I explained to the Hands at the last Bahjí Conclave for reasons known only to myself, I did not wish to be the one to speak out so vehemently against the discontinuance of the Guardianship. I felt that I was the last person on earth to take this stand but feeling that it should, in fact, must for the sake and the very salvation of the Faith be taken. As no one was taking it, I myself had to arise to this defense of the Guardianship.
Announcements of The Hands to The Baháí World
In the Proclamation and the other communications from the Hands of the Faith to the Baháí world, the intent of the majority of the Hands of the Faith that the Guardianship was definitely ended was very stupidly and carefully concealed nothing at all was mentioned about this thus the people didnt know what was really in the minds of the Hands regarding the Administration with the Guardianship at its heart. The real attitude of the Hands was revealed to the friends in America through that Manifesto, "A New Baháí Era" that was formulated by three of the Hands of the Faith then in America, in collusion with whom were the members of the National Spiritual Assembly of the United States. At least these believers endorsed this document and sanctioned its circulation. From its style in its writing it was doubtless composed by Horace Holley [long-time Secretary of the N.S.A. and Hand of the Cause].
The believers at large are thinking and talking among themselves and some are questioning the evasiveness of the communications of the Hands of the Faith. I hope for the time when the Hands will realize the peril [in] which they are placing the Faith.
* * * * * * * * * * * *
Moreover in their communications large, the Hands have very carefully tried to conceal the facts of all this business of trying to suit everybody. So far they have not mentioned the word "Guardianship." They have attempted to fix the attention and the hopes of the people upon a House of Justice that will in some way solve all problems. The communications of the Hands to the Baháí world have not been clear and straight. They have withheld and camouflaged their intentions and in other words really used the worlds political methods of propaganda, all of which is at variance with the clear and clean way in which this affair of the Cause should be treated.
* * * * * * * * * * * *
To be sure, [the Hands] have not come out clearly in the proclamation [sent to the Baháí world] avowedly and openly repudiating the Guardianship. This [they] did not dare do, yet in [their] hearts and in [their] attitudes this was [their] intention.This entire procedure is lacking in truthfulness and now at this present hour, the people of the Faith are losing confidence are lethargic in their Baháí activities and the Cause is on the downward grade.
But I have one great hope. As stupid as is the mistake made by the Hands when they decided by majority to do away with the Guardianship, nevertheless at that time, they were sincere in the lethargic handling of the matter that was indeed bungled and confused that has produced this present state of affairs that must be rectified. Therefore, I am hoping that with our next conclave [November, 1959] that we will not be hurried as we have been in the two conclaves that we have held at Bahjí. Let us come together and sit for a month or months or even a year, if necessary, to thoroughly consider the problems in hand in order that we can save this Baháí Faith from this condition of disruption and disintegration...
* * * * * * * * * * * *
In the consultation meeting of the Custodian Hands this morning [16 March 1959], the first draft of a general communication to Baháís throughout the world was presented and suggestions as to this text were asked for. This draft, written by one of the Hands, dwelt at some length and ended by promising that the Universal House of Justice, to be established by the delegates from all the National Assemblies, would convene in 1963, and then give us all the infallibility that the Cause requires.
All were asked to speak to the points made in this message, so I gave my opinion that we were holding a fallacious hope to the mass of believers now looking toward us for spiritual guidance a hope that could not be realized because only a Guardian could establish the Universal House of Justice we, the Hands of the Faith, had not this power. Here it was suggested that this argument was interrupting the business of the meeting and that the subject should no longer be discussed but deferred to some future date when there would be ample time for discussion thus the subject was dismissed.
As had always been the case whenever the matter of Guardianship has come up for our consultation, I have brought it up; where-upon all the other Hands have unitedly argued against a second Guardian. I cannot help but feel that a second Guardian is not wanted by them, for if in their hearts they really wanted him, there would at least be some expression to this effect, but there is not. I am faced as if by a solid wall, so resistant that there is no way of penetrating it; therefore, the only thing that I can see for me to do is to wait as patiently as possible the inevitable appearance of such troubles in the Cause as will force upon the Hands a change in their stand.
* * * * * * * * * * * *
Today I am asking myself why it is that all of this extreme secrecy must be maintained upon the part of the Hands of the Faith a secrecy of what is done and what is said in our conclaves and the same in the meetings of the Custodian Hands in Haifa?
Ive been thinking of what would happen to me were I to divulge some of the things that are done and said as well as some of the things that transpire in our meetings that are not done but are hushed up. What would happen in the Cause today were it known that a majority of us Hands in their inner hearts consciousness have made up their minds that there shall never be another Guardian of the Faith, for such is actually the case. For in the Bahjí Conclaves, our Persian members with Rúhíyyih Khánum and several others of the Hands, stood firmly for this the abolishment of the Guardianship.
In the second Bahjí Conclave, this subject of the abolishment was seriously avoided and not brought up as a subject to be discussed until I forced this matter upon the conclave, any discussion of this subject then to be turned down with the entire conclave against my stand.
* * * * * * * * * * * *
The present predicament of the Faith is caused by the failure of the Hands of the Faith to see this divine plan of the Will and Testament and to understand the manner in which the beloved Guardian was carrying out this divine plan. Shoghi Effendi never contemplated the Cause to be without a Guardian. All of his teachings to us and all for which he stood pointed toward the Guardianship continuing. That Manifesto circulated in America, "A New Baháí Era" was indeed a "New Era" but in reality the antithesis of a Baháí Era. To be sure in its statements it did go a long way beyond the proclamation [ of the Hands at the first Bahjí Conclave ] and the following communication officially sent out by the Hands of the Faith but upon the other hand, briefly and with exactitude, it did reveal the predominate idea and thought of the majority of the Hands, that the Guardianship should be abolished.
In other words, the statements of the Hands to the Baháí world have not been clear and clear-cut. They have left unsaid things that were behind and below things that were said. BADAH was the inner conviction of the Persian Hands. This was attested to by their proposing and urging this in the first Conclave of the Hands. Ever since then the dominant thought of the Hands has been no more Guardianship, although this, their dominant thought, was carefully not mentioned in their communications to the Baháí world.
Attitude of The Hands About Guardianship
In the days of the first Guardian of the Faith the beloved Guardian Shoghi Effendi all who turned to him and obeyed him, according to the Will and Testament of Abdul-Bahá, were confirmed and blessed and under his guidance the Cause was organized and spread the world around and according to the divine plan, the succeeding Guardians of the Faith were to be commanders of the Faith on through the ages to come, each in turn carrying on the works of those who preceded them. Confirmation and progress under each Guardian coming to those and to those only who were following him, the living Guardian of the Faith in their own days. Thus the Cause was to be led onward from victory to victory through the age to come such was and is yet to be the source of guidance for mankind when the Cause is back again in working order, when it is out of this interregnum of this present substitution of "A New Baháí Era" as explained by that Manifesto, gotten out from Chicago by the Hands in America, in collaboration with the N.S.A. of the U.S.A. in which it was definitely stated that there would be no further Guardianship, [and therefore ] the Administration of the Will and Testament of the Master, Abdul-Bahá, was definitely ended forever.
Such was the Baháí ATTITUDE of these friends in Chicago and such is the present attitude of the Hands of the Faith, as testified to by the Proclamation and the communications issued by them to the Baháí world up until this present time.
Such is the attitude now of the Hands of the Faith, and by attitude, I mean the real inner conviction of this body of Hands of the Faith. To be sure they are not voicing this to the people of the Faith. They are simply not saying anything at all about the Guardianship not in so many plain words, but are striking a middle course or compromise by keeping on saying nothing about their real thoughts by calling the attention of the believers throughout the world to a House of Justice to be formed by the people themselves through the Assemblies, Local, National, and International (the International Assembly being the Universal House of Justice) that they hold will be formed by then and without a Guardian, and that this Universal House of Justice will then take over from them the Hands, the direction of all Baháí affairs in the place of the Guardianship.
Thus the attitude of the Hands of the Faith shows that they do not want a continuation of the Guardianship. Such pleas for the restitution of the Guardianship as are coming from Lucknow in India, and Frankfurt in Germany, and from a few individuals in North America and in Latin America, are not being listened to any more than are mine own exhortations in defiance of their actions.
Attitudes often speak louder than words and such is now the case of the Hands of the Faith. Their attitude against the Guardianship is that of denial, yet they dont say so in so many words. Nevertheless, there is still this monumental attitude that speaks louder than words and that is now misguiding the Baháí world leading it away from the Covenant established in the Will and Testament of the Master, Abdul-Bahá. What greater violation could there be than this?
In my opinion, and my opinion is based upon the Baháí Administration principles of the Will and Testament of the Master, Abdul-Bahá, without the Guardianship, the unity of the Baháí Faith cannot stand, despite the present contention of the Hands that up until now it is working quite well, save in the few cases such as Lucknow, the German National Spiritual Assembly, and in other isolated individuals whose questions they put aside as being the work of those who dont understand the teachings of the Faith. The Custodian Hands feel that now the believers are accepting the present set-up of this new administration of the Faith, and the program of the moment to continue as we are now going until they will have established the Universal House of Justice.
* * * * * * * * * * * *
All agree with me when I tell them that had we not had the Guardian Shoghi Effendi after Abdul-Bahá, we now would not have our united Faith the world around, but would be divided up into many divisions. But here our united opinion ends and we differ on the continuation of the Guardianship, for which I take the stand, and there we are at what seems to be an impasse, for the united ATTITUDE of all the other Hands is that there shall never be another Guardian of our Faith not if they have anything to do about it. "BADAH" That Almighty God has changed His Plan and that we the Cause Sans-Guardian shall be directed by the Hands of the Cause.
They say God will lead us but without a Guardian in the flesh and upon this they are adamant. This may end with the Hands eliminating themselves from the Faith as did Sohrab.(11) My only hope of the Hands changing their opinion is that a revolution [may] start in some quarter of the world and surely if this looms up into a Baháí world-wide flair-up, these Hands may find themselves obliged to capitulate. But when will this show-down come?... Now in the official statements of the Hands sent forth to the Baháí world, the facts of this condition are most carefully avoided. In none of these statements is there any suggestion of abandoning the Guardianship. The matter is simply left hanging in mid-air, calling the attention of the Baháí world to a Universal House of Justice that they promise to solve all questions [when they establish this body] in 1963, disregarding completely that the House of Justice can only be created by a living Guardian in command of the Faith.(12)
As I have already recorded that Chicago Manifesto (A New Baháí Era with no more Guardians) clearly stated the actual attitude of the Hands of the Faith, but as this statement of fact was about to be spread in print by these enthusiasts for this "New Bahai Era" from Chicago, a copy reached the Hands of the Faith in the Holy Land reached them in quite a round-about, casual way a copy had been sent by someone to Germany, and this copy in some way was sent from them here to Haifa. Great was the consternation amongst the Custodian Hands a cablegram from them to Chicago reached them just in time to stop the general circulation of the document.
No! The time was not then for the Baháí world to have the unspoken ATTITUDE of the Hands revealed to the Baháís abroad. Now it is this unvoiced attitude that is directing the machinery of the Administration in these days the machinery centered in the Holy Land.
It is quite evident that the Hands as individual personalities do not want to be under the command of a Guardian. They dont fancy the inconvenience of life that a second Guardian might impose upon them. They are quite satisfied with their own personal state or position in the Faith as things are now, without a Guardian. There is no law or order amongst the body of Hands. They now stand supreme in command of the Faith [a command clearly usurped by them]. They enjoy their present supreme position that is indeed a most happy, free, and enviable position, and so why make a change? The temptation of the Hands is similar to that of the orthodox clergy [in other Faiths]. Any change in the present Administration of the Faith would greatly inconvenience them personally. But what about the Cause? Happy and pleasant as is this, [apparent] interregnum [of the Guardianship], it is devastating to the Baháí religion in all the world.
* * * * * * * * * * * *
I find that the very mention of the word "Guardianship" is as an alarm to the Hands of the Faith. It was reported that some one in South America had asked Hermann Grossmann and that he had replied "not yet" from which it could be inferred that there might possibly yet be a Guardian of the Faith?
This upset the Custodian Hands of the Faith greatly for it had been decided in conclave that no mention at all of Guardianship was to be made, it being understood that this hope for the continuation of the Guardianship was to be TABU. No Hand should go beyond the Proclamation [Issued by the Hands] and as this did not appear in the Proclamation it should be TABU.
Any psychologist would understand from this very "touchiness" upon the part of these Hands at the mention of this word that it indicates that in their innermost consciousness they feel themselves to be insecure upon this ground that they have taken for themselves and feeling this insecurity, the very word Guardianship is to them as a call to arms to defend their position that is fallacious .
* * * * * * * * * * * *
It is a terrible thing that I see and feel this wish upon the part of a considerable number of the Hands of not wishing a second Guardian of the Faith. This is to me a decided indication of violation of the Will and Testament of the Master, as well as a move to destroy the structure of the Guardianship as taught us by our beloved Guardian; so far as any one can see every move upon his part was along the line of supporting and the working out and development of the organic structure of the Administration of the Faith as given in the Will and Testament.
Let those of our members who do not want a Second Guardian turn their thoughts inward for a moment and realize the danger to the Cause and to themselves that this, their attitude, is causing!
* * * * * * * * * * * *
In reality, the vast majority of the Hands of the Faith are fixed in their intention that there shall never be another Guardian of the Faith. This intent they have never put forth in so many words, nevertheless, from their sedulous avoidance of all mention of the Guardianship and their far efforts to squelch any and all discussion by the people of the Faith about the Guardianship as well as by their other attitudes, it is very clear to understand by these attitudes that behind and below that which they tell the people first in their Proclamation, and later in their messages to the Baháí world, that they have no wish for a second Guardian and every intention of eliminating from the minds of the believers at large of any hopes they may entertain of an other Guardian.
Thus has this violation of the Will and Testament so taken hold of so many of the Hands of the Faith as to completely obscure their spiritual vision for not content with their own violation, they are now doing all they can do to mislead the people by deception. They dont come out and frankly tell the people that which is their intention they are cajoling them along with promises of a fallacious Universal House of Justice that they promise for 1963. Thus their intention is to eventually do away with the Guardianship of the Faith.
Beware oh Hands of the Faith! The people of the Cause will in the end find out how you are trying to deceive them thus to this end will violation take you.
Signing of Haifa Communications by Custodian Hands
All the Hands in Haifa know that I stand against them. I am ready to quit Haifa(13) until the next general conclave of all the Hands, but for some reason that I dont understand, I am not able to make up my mind just when to make the break, for it will be a break in defiance of the Hands who all wish that I remain here and put my signature upon all their documents that go out from here to all parts of the Baháí world endorsing their actions and attitudes, all of which to me is fallacious and is leading the people astray and keeping the Cause in darkness, for in the Guardianship we have the only source of the light of guidance, and without this the Cause is lost. The Hands dont want the Baháí world to know where they stand about the Guardianship. This, their ARRIERRE PENSEE, they carefully hide.
* * * * * * * * * * * *
How many times, almost daily in fact, am I told by the Custodian Hands that the beloved Guardian has given us ample and sufficient instructions exactly what we should teach in carrying out the Ten-Year Crusade and that we need no more than to follow that which he told us to do that we need no other Guardian beyond that!
I staunchly stand against that and tell them that we should no longer be signing our letters "Yours etc., in the Service of the Beloved Guardian," that this is all wrong, that we ought to reestablish in our thinking the ideal of the Guardianship and be signing ourselves "Yours etc., in the Service of the Second Guardian of the Faith." Such frankness of opinion on my part only creates dispute, if one against all could be called a dispute. There is apparently no use in trying to argue this point or, for that matter, any other point for when minds are made up, argument only seems to intensify the situation. Surely the second Guardian is near. I know he is, but so long as I am the only one upon earth who knows this, all that I can now do about it is to await the right time to tell the world about him.
* * * * * * * * * * * *
In the day of Shoghi Effendi, the beloved Guardian of the Baháí Faith, it was well and right that we believer Hands, or [those who were not] Hands to sign our letters "In the Service of the Beloved Guardian," because he, Shoghi Effendi, was then the living Guardian here on earth in our midst, but now inasmuch as the Guardianship is a function or an office according to the divinely inspired and given Administration of the Baháí Faith, Shoghi Effendi no longer occupies the position of the living Guardian upon earth, and until we have the second Guardian of the Faith, we have no Guardian to turn to for the chair of the Guardianship of the Faith is vacant.(14) Therefore, we should not now be signing our Baháí communications "In the Service" of any Guardian, not until we have one, then when we have a living Guardian we, with reason, sign ourselves "In the Service of the Guardian" with the understanding and meaning, for then we will have a Guardian.
* * * * * * * * * * * *
Now in all of the arguments of those Custodian Hands of the Faith in the Holy Land, I see their efforts to reinforce their stand against the continuation of the Guardianship by thus on all occasions stating and re-stating that the source of guidance now still comes to the believers from Shoghi Effendi in the Abhá Realm and that no other guidance is needed, therefore the discontinuance of the Guardianship.
At each of the meetings of the Custodians, letters are sent out to the Baháí world abroad signed by all of us, "Faithfully Yours in the Service of the Beloved Guardian."
When I have objected to this statement that I am obliged because of the majority policy of the Cause to place my signature to (despite the fact that I am opposed to so doing) I am told that the beloved Guardian planned out this Ten-Year Crusade and that is that, and we know from him all that it is necessary for us ever to know in order to carry on and to accomplish the crusade without any further directions, such being in other words their contest that there is no further need of a living Guardian in the flesh with us here upon earth as given in the Masters Will and Testament and attested to by the beloved Guardian himself in everything that he did, said and wrote during the thirty-six and more years of his ministry amongst us.
* * * * * * * * * * * *
According to the Divine Plan of the Administration of the Faith, we should be signing ourselves "In the Service of the Living Guardian of the Baháí Faith" for the Guardianship is a divinely appointed office and not a personality. It would seem that the vast majority of the Hands are insisting that the power of his Guardianship dwelt in the personality of Shoghi Effendi rather than in his station of Guardianship thus they are misleading themselves and consequently they themselves are misleading others.
Doctrine of "BADAH" Used to Destroy World Order of Baháulláh.
I know the sincerity of the Hands in their present stand that the Will and Testament of the Master is now BADAH, and that they feel that in time they will be led to set up some way of administering the Faith, but yet they dont know just what this will be but they still feel that the Guardianship is BADAH.
* * * * * * * * * * * *
The Persians use the word "BADAH" to signify the failure of the promise or the Word of God as given by the Manifestation or Prophet of God sent to the world. They say that even God changes His plan and intent at times, and that under such a condition we creatures upon earth must accept this change upon His part and change our ideas to meet the circumstances.
The great danger in the propagation of this theory of BADAH is lest we creatures ourselves desire to do something that is not in accord with the commands of God and then in order to carry out our own ideas (we) say that Gods plan has gone bad, all thus to excuse and give credence to our own desires by thus maintaining that God has changed His plan which theory, when accepted, deceives us and many others too, that God was wrong and we are right.
BADAH is a very dangerous stand for those to take who wish something other than Gods plan thus BADAH is their last refuge.
The Hands of the Faith are faced with an impasse. The eleventh hour approaches when a decision must be made that will either be for the preservation of the Cause or for its destruction.
Do the Hands try to maintain the pattern of the Administration of the Faith as set up by Abdul-Bahá and as established in its workings by the beloved Guardian, Shoghi Effendi, which revolves about the Guardianship? Or are the Hands going to declare the Administration BADAH and scrap forever this Guardianship established by the Will and Testament and place something else of their own concoction in its place?????
The responsibility of this choice rests with the Hands. As things are now going after the disappearance of the present Hands,(15) there will be no one authorized in our Holy Writ to propagate and to protect the Cause. At present we have no definite message to propagate for without an acknowledged Guardian, the pattern given us by the Master Abdul-Bahá and established by the beloved Shoghi Effendi no longer is the message of the Baháí Faith.
But when the Hands make the one step to protect the Faith by finding a Guardian to continue on the office of the Guardianship then by this one step they will protect the Faith, will have set the entire Administration again into working order and life then we will have a living message to give to the world. If we do not do this we have nothing of a divine sanction to give, all we have will be a human Guardianship-less organization that can amount to nothing more than another one of the many human religious societies and communions of mankind.
* * * * * * * * * * * *
One day in one of our recent meetings of the Hands of the Holy Land, I made some reference to the Guardians House whereupon Rúhíyyih Khánum turned and said to me, "That house will never again be lived in by anyone but me, " thus showing by this remark her intention of maintaining herself in command of the nine Custodians of the Faith by eliminating the possibility of a series of Guardians to follow Shoghi Effendi. Of course, she insists that the Guardianship is BADAH because when the Cause has the second Guardian installed (the one I saw in my vision) she will then no longer be in the supreme position that she now has taken and this she is not yet ready to accept.
In the meanwhile, however, this Cause of God the only hope of the Kingdom of God upon Earth testified to by Christ and the Prophets since the beginning of the world this Cause has to be in the hands of this ambitious woman and those who seek her power standing with her maintaining this "no more Guardians".
To be sure, they the Hands do not say openly that the Guardianship is ended. They say, let us have the House of Justice to decide all these matters, all the time hoping that should, by hook or by crook, there ever be a House of Justice that this institution would support them in their last refuge, that is "BADAH!"
But when Milly Collins (sensible woman as she seems to be upon most subjects) comes to me and says that the Will and Testament with its Administration plans for the Baháí Faith is BADAH and that the Guardianship is to be abandoned, I ask myself what has struck these Hands of the Faith? What power is this that has so dominated the thought of all of the Hands save I, myself? They seem normally sensible about most other subjects, but upon this one subject, entirely off the beam.
Repeatedly I have asked Milly what is going to lead the Faith if the Will and Testament is discarded, and she says she doesnt know but feels sure that God will guide us if we (and this is pointed at me) just stick together and do the best we can, that in the end we will be led and told what to do when we get a Universal House of Justice in 1963. For such is the date that the Hands have decided to establish this supreme tribunal.
And all this to be done without a Guardian to function as the head of this House of Justice as they have abandoned the Guardianship forever!
* * * * * * * * * * * *
And now in this year l959, Anno Domini and the year 115 of the Baháí era soon after the beloved Shoghi Effendis death he who started and got the Baháí Administrative system founded and in working order upon the six continents of the globe now at this early point in Baháí history we find right among the Hands of the Faith a number who hold that the Master, Abdul-Bahás Will and Testament is BADAH and should be followed no longer! Such is their attitude. Only this morning, 12 January 1959, one of the Hands of the Faith here in Haifa told me that the Masters Will and Testament with the Guardianship was BADAH. A very dear friend has told me that this was her opinion several times before. She is but one who holds to this belief that somehow God will lead the Cause to victory by some means other than this Administrative System so laboriously worked out and developed the world around by our late beloved Shoghi Effendi. Such reasoning and such conviction as this in the face of the Will and Testament of the beloved Master, Abdul-Bahá, together with the mission of Shoghi Effendi and all that he taught and explained to us quite surpasses my comprehension.
The people of the Baháí Faith are composed of a cross section of humanity. There are but few deep-thinkers amongst us, for the most part we are motivated by our impulses, propelled by our feelings. Such has produced and muddled the thinking that has brought the Cause to the state that it is now in when the Hands of the Faith as a group, bewildered as they are, have allowed themselves to be carried away with the idea that the Guardianship that has just been inaugurated and gotten under way by the beloved Guardian, Shoghi Effendi, is at an end!
To be sure this has been slipped over upon them Hands as a group by those of the Hands who at the opening of discussion at the first Bahjí Conclave came out all standing together urging that the Guardianship as instituted in the Will and Testament of Abdul-Bahá be pronounced BADAH. This was the conviction of these Persian Baháí Hands. Shortly Rúhíyyih Khánum felt as they did and this block has existed since then but under cover, as it were.
In the Proclamation issued by the first Bahjí Conclave, this was not stated. By a majority vote of the Hands, a compromise was made upon which the majority would agree; namely to wait for the House of Justice to be formed and let them decide this matter they hoping that this would give time and opportunity to end the Guardianship.
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Last night 5 January 1959 I had a long talk with one of the Custodian Hands of the Faith wherein that Custodian Hands inner conviction that because Shoghi Effendi did not have a son and could not appoint a second Guardian of the Faith that the Guardianship as an Institution of the Faith was not only "BADAH" but that the Masters Will and Testament with the entire plan Administrative Order outlined therein was also BADAH,(16) that the Cause was now to be led by the House of Justice that would be established at the centennial at Baghdád in 1963. Then the Faith would again have the source upon earth of divine guidance and all would be well.
Hands Obligation to Protect the Cause of God
We, the Hands of the Faith, have upon us the duty of protecting the Faith under the direction of the Guardian of the Faith. Protecting the Faith from what? From anything arising anywhere that is detrimental and harmful to the Cause! Now at this moment, what could be more detrimental to the Faith than no Guardian to hold us together? The only remedy for this present condition of the moment is a second Guardian of the Faith and then [for all to] follow him, the continuation of the Guardianship.
Since this is the only way of providing protection for the Faith, and since the Hands of the Faith are commissioned in the Will and Testament to protect the Cause, it is clearly and unquestionably our duty to arise now and to try to find the second Guardian that he, by the divine right of his station of Guardianship, may take command of the Cause in order that the Faith can continue on its triumphant progress throughout the world.
The first problem before us who so sorely need a Guardian is the fact that by the "attitude" of the majority of the Hands, they dont want a continuation of the Guardianship. Therefore, the first step for each one of us to take is to look into his own or her own heart and fight out this matter, thus each within his and her own inner self.
Hands as Spiritual Nobles of the Faith
In the Will and Testament of the Master, Abdul-Bahá, the Center of the Covenant of Bahaullah who was God manifest [ i.e., Baháulláh ] to the world, the, Lord of the Vineyard, the Father promised by Christ and the Prophets, . . . the Kingdom [of God was brought] to us. In this Holy Will and Testament, the Administration of the Cause was given to us and the beloved Guardian of the Faith was commissioned to establish and to put into running order this Administrative organization that he accomplished after so many years of labor, one of his latter acts of which was to appoint the Hands of the Faith whom he commissioned to stand with and next to him in the Administration of the Cause as Nobles in the service of their King he, the Guardian Head of the Faith, being their earthly religious sovereign.
Sans-Guardian Organization Created by the Hands
To be perfectly frank, even though it may sound brutal, the decisions and the policies of the Hands of the Faith have been off upon the wrong track from the first conclave at Bahjí. Already in shallow waters, our ship of the Covenant is now bumping upon the rocks, and unless we alter our course we will surely awake to find the Arc of the Baháí Faith high and dry upon the rocks.
This perfectly human organization of nine Hands (17) to head the Faith has no authority whatever in Baháí sacred writ to exist and now the Hands of the Faith are trying to insert it in place of the Guardianship.
Oh Dear God! What can be done to awaken them to their great danger?
Every statement spoken or written by the beloved first Guardian assures us that the Guardianship that is the very hear of the Administration of the Faith is to endure, otherwise the Administration of the Faith cannot endure and without the Administration there cannot be a Baháí Faith because the message of the Faith comprises the Covenant together with the Administration aside from which there can be no Baháí Cause. Then, therefore, we at present are actually floundering about upon the sea of uncertainty all because of this attitude of the Hands that there should be no second Guardian to continue the living direction amongst us of the Faith which direction the heart of the Faith in this world is no longer vested in the beloved Guardian after the death of Shoghi Effendi, and the second Guardian is not yet revealed to the world. The tragic part of it all is that such a majority of the Hands of the Faith actually dont want a second Guardian
This is why we are not able to have the confirmations that we enjoyed in the day of the first Guardian of the Faith. Now that we have no apparent Guardian, the Holy Spirit can no longer guide the Faith as it did under the direction of the first Guardian of the Cause because now we are without this channel of the Holy Spirit to lead the Cause on to continued programs of spiritual victory in this world. The Hands now deceive themselves indeed when they do as they are now doing, trying to set up for the Faith this present system of a Guardianship-less form of Baháí government for which there is no authority whatsoever in sacred Baháí writ.
I have told the Hands of the Cause here in the Holy Land with frankness that I dont see anything but ruin ahead for the Baháí Faith as we are now operating without a Guardian, and beyond this I see no future for the Cause if this present Guardian-ship-less arrangement continues as the majority of the Hands have made up their minds that they dont want a reestablishment and a continuation of the Guardianship.
As I see into the minds and motives of some of the Hands about me I perceive a condition that I dont believe any of them realize namely that they in reality are being put to the test of accepting and of the adapting of their own volition and accord the Masters Will and Testament wherein the Guardianship is the pivotal axis about which the entire collective life of the Faith revolves. This Administration of the Faith is that which now hangs in the balance and if these Hands who are so opposed to the Institution of Guardianship were to use their intellects and not be moved by their feelings of dislike of the idea of Shoghi Effendis tenure of that position passing on to another, that is, were they to study out the principles of this government of the Faith so clearly explained in the Will and Testament, they would be able to see that this organization of the believers as given in the Administration cannot live without the Guardianship.
Daily, we Custodian Hands here in Haifa are receiving testimonials from the assemblies and from individual believers in support of the present Guardianship-less organization that we have erected and that the Hands promise them will bring guidance to the people of the Faith. But the Guardian is the visible, living and tangible representative of the Faith upon earth the standard or flag upon whom all attention is concentrated. He in his capacity of Guardian of the Faith being the one center or symbol representing the unity of the Faith.
Humankind needs this emblem to hold them in the unity of the Faith.
Hands Condition Believers to Sans-Guardian Faith
The great danger that the Faith is now plunged in [4 February 1959] is not only that we are not only without a Guardian, but that the Hands of the Faith, by the well-directed and determined policy that they have established and are adhering to, are gradually conditioning the believers the world around to the regime that they have set up, Sans-Guardian, that is in opposition to the order of the Administration as given in the Masters Will and Testament, one very outstanding example of which deviation they have made with evident success too, for so far as I know, it has been accepted by the world around. Namely! According to the Will and Testament, the Hands should at all times be "in the service of the Guardian of the Faith" and about this there is no question at all because according to the Will and Testament, the Guardianship of the Faith is a living and constant presence amongst us here upon this earth, a sun as it were, that never sets a living heart that never ceases to beat, through which is given to the world the constant flow of life which is The Holy Spirit of Goda life flow that cannot come to the world through any source other than through the living presence amongst us of a Guardian, a living man thus is the Guardianship as explained to us by the Master Abdul-Bahá. But what have the Hands done? They have decided no more Guardians! And now we sign all letters, "Yours in the Service of the Beloved Guardian" (by inference meaning of course, Shoghi Effendi ) which is all wrong, because now Shoghi Effendi is dead and we are [apparently] without a Guardian and at present we are in no ones service save our own service, that of the Hands of the Faith, and the very bad feature of this present condition is that the believers the world around are being misled by the Hands who are already conditioning the people to this false teaching that is causing this trouble amongst us. The fact that letters are coming in from all parts of the Baháí world to the Custodian Hands here in the Holy Land signed, "In the Service of the Beloved Guardian" (Shoghi Effendi), is a demonstration that this false teaching that we are upholding is already taking root in the Baháí consciousness the world around.
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I am feeling depressed tonight! [ 25 April 1959 ] The cable reports are coming in from the annual Baháí conventions all over the world assuring the Hands of the Faith in the Holy Land of the happy acceptance of the message of the Custodian Hands to these many conventions and assuring the Hands of their confidence in their leadership of the Faith and of their hearty support.
These messages show that the people of the Cause are being conditioned more and more as the time passes to this Guardian-less leadership of the Faith that the Hands of the Faith are proclaiming to the world, thus building up more and more firmly the Faith of the believers in this present fallacious administration in place of the infallible Administration the Guardianship with the living Guardian upon earth as the heart of the Faith not only more of which is now being held by the Hands, but upon the contrary, they take the stand that the beloved Guardian from the Abhá Kingdom is leading them here upon earth from his supreme [position] in the next world!
Violations of Covenants in Former Dispensations
The believers in former dispensations had these same spiritual temptations under which we now labor. When the Prophet. Moses was temporarily away from his people, they fell too and made themselves a golden calf and worshipped this of their own creation until their Prophet got them back upon the right track.
In the days of the Prophet Mohammed, the same human phenomenon again took place. The people again set up the idols that he had overthrown and were worshipping them again until he finally had these ancient idols broken up and so completely demolished them that there was nothing left of them to be worshipped.
The cases of such wanderings from Truth are multitudinous in the Cause of Christ. From the very early there were heresies and schisms in the Church until Christendom has arrived at its present bewildered condition of literally hundreds of sects and cults, that even now, at this late date, are still being invented by enterprising people busily engaged in the invention of human systems of thought as a substitute for divine spiritual truth, and then worshipping, and worse than that, getting others to worship these idols of their human imagination. Let the Hands of the Faith see the danger in which the Faith is now placed and let them arise unitedly to PROTECT the Faith from all such heresies.
The Spirit of Violation
I have had a long experience in the Faith in America and in England in 1914, with violators and with the spirit of violation and with how it beclouds and bewilders all who come in contact with it. It is as a poison that first bewilders, then destroys. Like a disease, it lays its victims low and helpless; then if they are not rescued, they are done for completely.
Station of Hands - A Test
Unless we have a Guardian to head and to be the heart of our Faith, the Faith will surely die, but of course this Faith is destined to live, and for this reason I personally am hopeful that things and problems are going to so surround and arouse the Hands of the Faith as to eventually prod and force them to see their duty in this matter of seeking this only protection that can save the Cause from disunion and death.
This duty that the Hands must perform will mean a great sacrifice for the Hands, both individually and collectively. At present all are well ensconced in their position which, for the moment (until the Guardianship be brought back) is supreme among all believers the world around. Thus, their exalted position is one of great danger to both them and to the Cause.
You Hands of the Cause, stand where the beloved Guardian placed you each one upon a pedestal in the eyes of the believers. Now we all know that those who stand high upon pedestals while they are in places of high vantage, [will find] their positions are also attended with perils. The Hands are in a position analogous to that of the high prelates of the church and their temptations are very similar to those of the clergy who do not want any changes made in the religion in which their high station places them above the people thus they [the Hands] dont want the Guardianship.
For example, the group of Custodian Hands are now here in Haifa and are all greatly and evidently personally enjoying life here, far more than we ever enjoyed it during the days of the beloved Guardian. Now they are like children away from school with no teacher to direct their activities or to restrain them. This freedom is indeed a personally delightful change from their state of years past when the beloved Guardian was directing and actually in command of practically every move they made. That life with him, the Guardian, was indeed a most difficult life at times almost unendurable. Baháís who have not lived under the immediate commands of the Guardian can have no comprehension of the tests, trials and difficulties of those who were near to him and serving every day. Although most difficult, it had its compensation in being also the greatest blessing that could come to a believer to be near to the Guardian and to serve him as best one could and thus to serve the Cause that is to serve God. This was indeed a most difficult life for the individual, but those were most happy and fruitful days for the Cause, for under the Guardianship, the Cause flourished and progressed and spread the world around.
Appointment of Successor
In this afternoons meeting [28 March 1959], after we had discussed and come again to this condition of stalemate, Leroy Ioas (18) said that in reply to a question put by George Latimer(19) that the beloved Guardian had written him definitely that a Guardian could not be appointed by the Hands of the Faith.(20)
For a time I had thought that in order to protect the Faith, the Hands could choose a second Guardian, but I had soon to abandon this hope when I found that only the reigning Guardian could appoint his successor.
Hands Must Demonstrate "Noblesse Oblige"
The beloved Guardian conferred great spiritual blessings upon the Hands of the Faith when he elevated them to this state of "Handship of the Faith" but at the same time, this calling makes it imperative that we make greater and greater personal sacrifices in the service of the Cause than any other people of the Faith. Such is demanded of us by virtue of the station to which we have been called. We must each sacrifice more than any other [so] that we, the [ spiritual] aristocracy of the Faith, [may] live up to the high standards of "Noblesse Oblige.
Universal House of Justice Sans-Guardian
God, the Creator of His Kingdom, imposes its laws and ordinances upon the members of His Kingdom. They have nothing at all to say about the laws of the Kingdom or the set-up of its government or the appointment of the Hands (the Nobles) of the Faith. These laws were established in the beginning. This is all directed by a higher hand than that of the democratic choice of one of the peoplenotwithstanding this, however, in the actual working out of the Baháí government upon earth in the Will and Testament, it is given to us that the common people [of the Faith] are to have representation in the ruling body to be known as the Universal House of Justice of the Baháí Faith. Thus, there is given a balance between the Guardian, who is directing the nobles who surround him upon one side, and the International Assembly chosen or elected by the people upon the other side.
The first of these two elements of this serving body of Hands being divinely directed and under the guidance of the Guardian directing them as his nobles the second element, democratic as it is from the voice of the people themselves they, acting quite independently by their own popular vote.
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The Hands (Nobles of the Faith) are under the direct control of the Guardian himself who has been called by the beloved Guardian of the Faith the first of the two pillars or supports of the Universal House of Justice the second pillar or support of this Universal House of Justice being the International Baháí Assembly whose members are elected by the commoners of the Faith and are representative of them and their interests and viewpoints Thus the people are given this right of expression, a balance, so to express it, but this International Assembly which is representative of the people has no infallibility at all in itself. The infallibility of the Universal House of Justice is only realized when the Guardian of the Faith sits and acts with this International Assembly as its President [as prescribed by the Will and Testament of Abdul-Bahá]. This is to say, the International Assembly in itself without the Guardian, is merely the International Assembly of Baháís and is not the Universal House of Justice that it becomes when it has the Guardian as its President thus infallibility comes to the Universal House of Justice only when it functions with the Guardian as its President and without there being a living Guardian amongst us to preside as President over this International Assembly, there can be no infallibility of that body. In other words, there can be an International Baháí Assembly, chosen by the commoners of the Faith, but infallibility only comes to this body when there is a living Guardian-President, presiding over its deliberations, for then and then only does it become the Universal House of Justice, whose decisions are infallible.(21) Therefore, there is no infallibility in view to lead the Baháí Faith until there first be a Guardian to establish this Universal House of Justice.
Herein lies the fallacy of the present action of the Hands of the Faith, for in the Proclamation and in other communications to the Baháí world as well as reiterated and announced by the Hands of the Faith the people of the Faith have the promise of a Universal House of Justice in 1963 that can never then or at any other time be realized not before we have a Guardian in the flesh, functioning as was the beloved Guardian, thus carrying on the Guardianship as established and formed by the Will and Testament of Abdul-Bahá.
Today [4 March 1959 ] I viewed the confused violence and clashes between the personalities present, all with a self-contained complaisance of mind. To me, this fracas indicated that matters were getting worse between us Hands, and feeling the worse it got the sooner they would at least listen to my argument for the reestablishment of the Guardianship. I sat by, assuming the role of a spectator, awaiting his opportunity to join in the fray, as soon as he saw his opportunity to enter the arena with a prospect of accomplishment. Yes, I was encouraged in my stand, because with this present condition of the Cause daily becoming more acute, I feel the time may be near when they may listen to my argument.
I need not even mention in detail any of the points of contest between these Hands that developed at this mornings session these were many and varied, but they all stemmed from the fact that they all refuse to even consider a second Guardian and are bent upon thinking that the beloved Guardian now in the world beyond is still directing (spiritually, of course) the work of the Hands in this world. They insist that if we but follow the commands of the beloved Guardian and love one another sufficiently, all will be well with this present plan of the nine Custodian Hands in command of the Cause. Upon this principle, the Hands stand firmly maintaining that a Guardian to follow the beloved [first] Guardian shall not be anticipated or looked forward to. To be sure, this has not been announced to the Baháí world in so many words; nevertheless, it is the attitude and the unspoken and unmentioned conviction of the majority of the Hands of the Faith that came out in the first Bahjí Conclave and has ever since been closely adhered to, although not mentioned in any of the messages of the Hands to the Baháí public.
This unspoken stand of the Hands that is now unspoken, but that is evident in their attitude that there shall never be another Guardian, is the source of our present dilemma for which there is no cure other than for this all to change, for us Hands of the Faith to discover the second Guardian of the Faith and by this means get the workings of the Cause back upon the right track of the Administration of the Faith when we will have a commander and a guide to lead us on to victory continuing the methods and the policies as laid down and demonstrated by our beloved, now departed, Guardian. For the Hands to arise thus to protect the Cause, we are, I feel, justified to do in this emergency. In fact it is the only thing that will save the Faith from disruption since our plan of the Assemblies establishing a Universal House of Justice is doomed to failure until we have a living Guardian upon the Throne of the Faith to establish such a Universal House of Justice. As things now are without a Guardian, the formation of a Universal House of Justice is impossible.
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Without the Guardianship, what possibility is there for the Universal House of Justice? None! There must be a living Guardian to be President of the International Baháí Assembly before this Assembly can function as the Universal House of Justice so do I see this problem! Therefore, I am calling to the attention of the Hands of the Faith that they should reconsider this matter in their next coming conclave and that they should change their former decisions and the plan upon which they are now conducting the affairs of the Faith scrap their present policy of steering clear of the Guardianship and in a right-about face movement, give the Faith hope of the continuation of the Administration under the Guardianship, back again onto its former foundation then we will indeed have a concrete and a logical message to give to the word and hope that in some way unknown to us now,(22) that a second Guardian will be forthcoming to lead the Faith. By so doing, we will indeed be giving our Faith the prospect of the protection that can assure the success of the Cause. When I have urged this procedure, the Hands with one accord say that I should unite with the majority who believe that now the former divine Administration is BADAH.
Without there first being a Guardian with the Hands of the Faith, there can be no Universal House of Justice since the Universal or International Assembly of Baháís in itself cannot function without its divinely instituted Guardian-President; for only when its Guardian-President sits with this Assemblage does it then become the infallible Universal House of Justice.
An International or Universal Assembly of the Faith, chosen by the people and standing thus alone without a Guardian at its Head, is not infallible, and here is the fallacy that is the opinion, so far as I have been able to see and to ascertain, that is held by twenty-four of the twenty-five Hands of the Faith who met in the second Bahjí Conclave I, being the only one who stood out about this point. To me, the position of this majority of the Hands of the Faith is a flagrant violation of the Will and Testament of Abdul-Bahá and of the mission of our beloved Guardian.
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Let the Hands not try to side-step the responsibility of making the decision at our next conclave to adhere right away to the pattern established by Abdul-Bahá and set in running order by Shoghi Effendi. By side-stepping and delaying and trying to silence everybody by the hope that a House of Justice that they will establish in 1963 will decide all our controversial problems, for there can never be a House of Justice unless there be first a Guardian [the Head] as the initial column of the two columns (the second [being the body] elected by the [National] assemblies) that will sustain and carry on the Universal House of Justice.
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It is a strange phenomena the manner in which people when they dont want to do a certain thing that they will blindly and in the face of facts shut their eyes to these facts and stubbornly refuse to consider these facts.
There is nothing that the beloved Guardian taught us or that is given us in the Will and Testament that is more clear than the instructions regarding the foundation of the Universal House of Justice. First is the Guardian of the Faith in command of the Cause. He is the first of the twin pillars of that institution the International Assembly to be elected by the believers is to be the second of these twin pillars which second pillar, with the Guardian of the Faith as the permanent President of the Universal House of Justice forming both pillars supporting their structure giving it its infallibility.
The Universal House of Justice, therefore, can in no wise function without first having the Guardian at its head, without which it is falliblenot infallible and therefore [it is] the false hope that the Hands of the Faith promise to the people of the Cause for without the Guardianship [ being] continued, there can be no President for this Universal House of Justice; therefore, it will be impossible for the Hands to fulfill their promise to the people of the Faith. It just does not make any sense at all this that is promised to the people of the Faith and then, too, there are the Hands who ere long will begin to die off and without the perpetration of the Guardianship, this noble body will ere long cease to exist for the Hands of the Faith can only be elevated to that august position by appointment by the Guardian of the Faith.(23)
From people here and there are already questions about this but so far the Hands simply refuse to consider or discuss any questions such as these.
The Hands Subvert the Divinely-conceived Baháí Administrative Order
With this present set-up of a democratic Administration (that has no divine authority whatsoever and is not only without any authorization in the Baháí Faith, but of any other Faith for that matter) the Hands of the Faith have, by a vast majority of twenty-one to one, decided to turn against their divine heritage vouchsafed them by their appointment as the nobles of the Faith, bestowed upon them by the beloved Guardian thus he elevated them from amongst all the Baháís to the position of stewardship in the Faith and now what have those Hands of the Faith done but formed a plan between themselves to violate the entire Baháí Administration! They have decided to forego all the responsibility that our beloved Guardian bestowed upon them by their appointment and to pass this responsibility over in 1963 to a Universal House of Justice that WE, not a Guardian of the Faith, plan to, ourselves, create and then with this Universal House of Justice that we have thus created, we plan then to consummate this repudiation of our divinely spiritual calling by turning all of our responsibilities over to this organization that we envision will be the Universal House of Justice that the Hands claim will be infallible!
The Hands have forsaken the spiritual ideal of a Universal House of Justice created by the Guardian of the Faith that he alone can create. The Hands wish to forsake the ideal of the Masters Will and Testament for this creation of their own that is a figment of their human imagination, they claiming that they will set up their own source of infallibility. What error could be greater than this? And they [are] the nobles of the Faith to whom the believers the world around are ignorant]y looking for guidance!
It was recently mentioned in a meeting of the Custodian Hands that in some place, somewhere, a believer had inquired if the decisions of the Hands of the Faith were not infallible? Thus are we not only deceiving ourselves, but laying the Cause open to question such as this one that every student of Baháí Holy Writ should know.
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In the meeting this morning [31 May 1959] of the Custodian Hands, I could see clearly the beginning of the downfall of this fallacy that the Hands have set up and are struggling so hard to make endure impossible! The sooner this collapses and we get the Cause into running order in the hope of the coming command of a second Guardian, the better it will be for the Faith. The Hands of the Faith are promising the people a fallacy that can only come to naught! The Hands of the Baháí Faith have compromised the Will and Testament of the Master Abdul-Bahá, and they have violated the Administration of the Faith as established by the beloved Guardian. They will not be able to escape reaping the fruits of this violation.
Like docile sheep following a bewildered shepherd, the believers the world around are at the mercy of the enemies of the Faith, both those within as well as those without the fold of the Faith. Under these present conditions, one wolf in sheeps clothing can do [an] incalculable amount of harm to the Faith. In a very, very short time, irreparable havoc can be created, all because the people are docile, easily led and without the protection of a Guardian! The wolf is never dismayed at the number of the sheep. One wolf can kill any number of sheep, for without a shepherd a flock of sheep is helpless. Such is the condition of the Baháí Faith at the present time.
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Up until the present time, the action of the Hands of the Faith has been to abrogate and to put to naught the Will and Testament of Abdul-Bahá and all that the beloved Guardian did toward this establishment of the Administration. Thus does the up-until-now-attitude of the majority of the Hands favor the putting aside of the Administration, and in place of it setting up a purely democratic form of Baháí regime that will have none of the elements of the Administration of the Will and Testament no divine authority in the teachings, no Hands of the Faith, and no Guardianship.
Hands of the Faith! Why are you doing this???? What evil spirit prompts you thus to attempt to destroy all that the beloved Guardian so laboriously has built up upon the foundation of the Will and Testament of the Master????
* * * * * * * * * * * *
Daily I find myself obliged to listen to a propaganda that to me is a violation of the Will and Testament of the Master Abdul-Bahá, as well as a violation of all that the beloved Guardian taught us namely that the Baháí Faith should continue as it now is without Guardianship.
This morning I had a talk with Milly Collins (24) who tenaciously holds that God has changed His Plan and the Masters Will and Testament is now all BADAH.
This afternoon in the meeting of consultation of the Custodian Hands, this same thought was dominant, and again tonight at the Oriental Pilgrim House, this same thought was reiterated by the Hands present in talking to the Persian Pilgrims now there, all with the definite intent of backing up and putting over their theory of no more Guardianship the infallibility of the Faith to be obtained in 1963 by a Universal House of Justice to operate without a Guardian, which is the solution [they propose ] for the guidance of the Faith in place of the guidance as directed in the Will and Testament, centered in and coming through the Guardianship.
And the believers everywhere seem to be pinning their hopes and thus conditioning themselves to this order of "A New Baháí Era" that now seems to be dominant in the Cause. How many times am I told that if we only love and obey the beloved Guardian and teach what he told us to teach, all would be well for then we would not need any other guidance.
To show the fallacy of such talk, were I now to openly proclaim the continued guidance of the Faith under the Guardianship, I would certainly be expelled (25) from the association of the believers, for although this is exactly what Shoghi Effendi told us to teach, and which we did in his day the same would now be heretical and place me [in their view ] in the category of those who oppose the Baháí Institutions [including those of their own making].
Hands Corrupted by Position, Prestige, and Power
Now according to the Will and Testament of the Master, the infallible power of guidance is vested in the Guardianship. This not a personal function of the personality of the Guardian but a quality that is his by virtue of the Guardianship. Therefore, when the Hands of the Faith decide that they dont want any more Guardians after Shoghi Effendi, they are taking the first step toward killing the Cause. One may well ask why dont the Hands of the Faith want the continuation of the Guardianship? The reason is very clear to me, as I have seen it developing among the Hands of the Faith for the past year and some months. These Hands who want no more Guardianship want to enjoy life and their present liberty, prestige, and ease of life that no Guardian gives to them. They are fattening themselves upon the luxuries of the position and prestige that their elevation to this state of Handship entitles them. They like this status quo and like the established clergy of the old religions that they on all occasions condemn, they themselves for the same reasons as these benighted clergy, dont want any change in their prestige. The very name "Guardianship" is as an alarm that calls them to arise to defend their position thus made supreme by themselves when they abolished forever the Guardianship. For this reason, the word "Guardianship" is tabu with them. It was steadily omitted in the first Bahjí Conclave Proclamation and does not appear in any other statement issued by the Hands of the Faith.
Continuity of Guardianship Opposed by Those Closest to Shoghi Effendi
I cannot but perceive that those of the Hands who were the closest and under the most immediate orders and commands of Shoghi Effendi are now the most insistent that there shall never be another Guardian to follow him, for to these Hands, the very mention of the continuation of the Guardianship is as an alarm calling them to arise to direct the Faith against the repetition of the Institution of the Guardianship ...the abandonment of which I, who was near to our beloved first Guardian, [was] the only exception to prove this general rule that I here delineate and describe as one of the greatest of all the perils, if not the greatest peril, that the Cause of El Abhá has ever faced in all of its history.
In other parts of this writing I have noted the freedom of the Hands of the Faith here in the Holy Land from many of the personal restraints placed upon them there and elsewhere in the days of the beloved Guardian, which restraints now lifted, in reality do open up as that Chicago Manifesto so aptly dubbed it, "A New Baháí Era." As I have expressed it, this is indeed a new Baháí Era of freedom from the regime of the Will and Testament of Abdul-Bahá, which is the Guardianship of the Cause, a freedom now much enjoyed by some of those who were formerly under the Guardians control. This control was all for the benefit and the advancement of the Faith, and for the evident good of the Cause, which is clearly demonstrated by the results of Shoghi Effendis ministry as the first Guardian of the Faith.
But now, those nearest to Shoghi Effendi personally, they are the ones who now oppose most strenuously any further Guardianship.
I am sure the whole Baháí world will agree that Rúhíyyih Khánum, of all the believers, was the nearest to and the most devoted to Shoghi Effendi, but now, from her attitude when I mention in her presence anything about the Institution of the Guardianship, the very thought of this is so abhorrent to her that in all of her reactions, it is clear to me that she does not want that there ever be a second Guardian of the Faith. Of all of the Hands Rúhíyyih Khánum is the strongest against the continuation of the Guardianship.
Of all the Baháís in the western world, surely there was no one so closely instructed and controlled by the beloved Guardian as was Horace Holley, both under the Guardians control as an individual person, and in his capacity as the most prominent believer in the west, because of his many years of his official Baháí service upon the National Spiritual Assembly of the U.S.A [as its Secretary ]. But now, as I read over Horaces correspondence with the Custodian Hands of the Faith in the Holy Land, I see that his personal stand is that the Guardianship is forever ended and that from what he writes and from his ATTITUDE, it is very clear to see that he does not want to be under the orders of a second Guardian of the Faith any more than does Rúhíyyih Khánum.
When Rúhíyyih Khánum tells the Custodian Hands as she did the other day that should the Universal House of Justice, that the Hands propose to establish in 1963, decide to elect a second Guardian of the Faith,(26) she will abandon Haifa when as faithful a Hand such as she had apparently been during the ministry of the beloved [first] Guardian, makes such a statement showing her determination that the Guardianship shall not continue, I am wondering what others among this body of twenty-seven Hands may become Covenant Breakers in the day of the second Guardian of the Faith, that is surely to come. I have every assurance that that day will come ere long because without the functioning of this heart of the Administration, the Administration cannot continue to function, and this will mean the breaking up and the extinction of our Faith. While I know there is to be a continuation of the Guardianship I have seen this in vision and I know it is to come I have no idea at all of how it is to be brought about.(27)
We all know that the Faith of Baháulláh is destined to live and to triumph in the world. I have every assurance that eventually the Guardian will be revealed to the Baháí world but how? Even if I be the only one of the Hands now at this present time to stand up among the Hands for the Guardianship, I know that must do so, otherwise our Faith will die and the Faith must live.
In the days of Baháulláh, some of those nearest to The Báb were breakers of His (The Bábs) Covenant. In the days of Abdul-Bahá, some of those that had been nearest to Baháulláh became Covenant Breakers and the enemies of the Master Abdul-Bahá. In the days of the first Guardian of the Faith, among those who had been nearest to the Master Abdul-Bahá [there were those who]refused to obey Shoghi Effendi and thus became the Covenant Breakers of the days of his ministry to the Faith.
Hands of the Cause become Covenant Breakers.
Of all the words in the Baháí vocabulary, "Violation of the Covenant" is one of the most awful in its connotation. Only in my unspoken thought have I so far connected violation with this condition of the Hands of the Faith in their attitude toward ending the Guardianship of the Faith with the death of Shoghi Effendi. However, in my thinking I see this to be a very distinct violation of the Will and Testament of the Master. It started, as I have recorded, with the Persian Hands, was brought up and supported by them at the start of the first Bahjí Conclave of the Hands of the Faith and from this start, these few have so convinced these other Hands that they were right, that now in and since the second Bahjí Conclave they all stand united therein, their firmness therein to me seems like poison. I hardly dare write this condemnation of my fellow Hands but it is in reality the way that I feel about the entire situation.
* * * * * * * * * * * *
The truth of this condition is that Rúhíyyih Khánum and so far as I sense it, all of the Persian Hands are in their innermost thought dead opposed to the continuation of Guardianship. They dont come out and say so, yet their reactions to the daily question that comes up before us definitely reveal this to be their inner thought and conviction.
To me they, without realizing it, are in reality enemies of the Institution of the Guardianship as given to us in the Will of Abdul-Bahá and as taught us by the beloved Guardian himself, but of course they dont see this condition that they are in and I am wondering how and when they are going to see it? Little can be done to make this matter right until these friends do see it and rectify their mistaken stand. And all the other Hands, save I myself, are dominated by them and by their unseen but felt conviction of no more Guardianship.
All this is, of course, never voiced or even suggested but all that the beloved Guardian built up over a period of more than a third of a century. How can a House be formed without a Guardian to form it because he is one pillar the House, the other pillar of this Baháí structure of the Faith upon earth?
The Hands should in this emergency arise and seek to discover for the Cause the only protection that will save it from destruction; namely, a Guardian. Such is the only solution of our problem.
Let each of us Hands now take a spiritual inventory of this situation of Guardianship that now lies before us. Let us see and understand that it was the beloved Guardians intention at all times that the Administration as he had formed it and established it after the plan laid out in the Will and Testament should endure. Then let us make every effort to make sure what this plan is and as faithful stewards of the first Guardian of the Faith, seek and want to carry on and carry out the plan upon which he worked so many years to establish he at the end to be suddenly called to the Abhá Kingdom before his program was understood by us?
In the carrying out of the program of the Administration lies the future of the Baháí Faith. If the Hands of the Faith arise, wishing it to be carried out, we will surely be aided, guided and reinforced by the Holy Spirit and we will conquer. If there are those in our number who object to the continuation of the Guardianship, they are not only now in great danger as Covenant Breakers in these days of the interregnum, but in the days to come of the ministry of the second Guardian of the Baháí Faith, they may find themselves in manifest loss.
The Chicago Manifesto
In the year following the first Bahjí Conclave, the Hands [as a body] issued a letter exhorting the believers to cease speculating about the Guardianship and to busy themselves with the teaching of the Faith but without stating what the Bahais should teach now since this majority of the Hands had given up all idea of ever having a second Guardian to be followed by others.
...during this first year after the initial conclave again found a fuller and more explicit explanation of their real intention [to abolish the Guardianship]...in that Manifesto that was gotten up in Chicago by the American Hands of the Faith in cahoots with the National Spiritual Assembly of the U.S.A.
When a copy of this Manifesto found its way to Haifa very casually in a letter from Germany and the Custodians read it they were amazed at the lack of wisdom in the sending forth of this statement. The fear of a fuss being stirred over the matter caused the Custodians to cable to Chicago to stop the circulation of that document that was then being set up in print to go through the Baháí world. This was stopped then at the eleventh hour but not in time to delay the trouble altogether, for at least to those who read the Manifesto (which from its style had evidently been composed by Horace Holley) there was no doubt that the majority of the Hands were determined on the abolishment of the Guardianship of the Faith. The Hands in Haifa wrote to Horace approving highly the main substance of this statement of the abolishment but they just didnt want it sprung upon the Baháí world in this way and at that time for fear that the people were not as yet psychologized to the point of accepting [it] without protest.
Thus were matters when we all came together in the second Conclave at Bahjí when it was decided (carried by majority) no allusion or mention of the Guardianship [should] be made in their report to the people of the Faith, but that the infallibility of the [headless] House of Justice [which they proposed to establish in 1963] be centered upon in their presentation as the hope of the Cause.
Now up until the date of this writing (December 29, 1958-) there have been received here at Haifa in all but five or six letters from abroad questioning this action of the Hands, this pussy-foot manner in which they are leading the Baháís away and afar from the intent of the very explicit injunction of the Master, Abdul-Bahás Will and Testament regarding the Institution of the Guardianship.
Hands Claim Continuing Guidance of Shoghi Effendi from the Other World as a Substitute for the Living Guardian of the Faith
How subtle are the workings of the human mind! This evil force that has so quietly taken ahold of the body of the Hands of the Faith is seeking in many ways to reinforce itself in the Baháí world as it emanates from the accepted center of the Faith that now is the body of Hands who are now laboring under the spell that Shoghi Effendi in the Abhá Realm is now directing them here upon earth, that he has told us just what we should do and teach and that for this reason, we no longer need a Guardian in the flesh, that our love for Shoghi Effendi is all that will be necessary to hold us together in unity, that through our devotion to him we will conquer the world of religious thought, that any further Guardianship is not needed and for these and other reasons, all of the letters sent out from Haifa by the Custodian Hands end with the words, "In the Service of the Beloved Guardian" followed by all our signatures.
* * * * * * * * * * * *
The great danger to the Faith in the world is now being propagated by those of the Hands who hold that now with our beloved Guardian in heaven, we no longer need a Guardian upon earth since he in the Abhá Realm above will continue to lead and direct us from his present eternal station.(28) Such as this is to me a very false doctrine to be upholding because it precludes the need of the Guardianship upon earth such is a very great false teaching of which every Baháí should be aware, for the Guardianship is definitely a function of this world and not one of the worlds beyond.
Myth Concerning Successorship Promulgated by Persian Hands
Already we find myths tending to start among the Baháís a phenomenon that the Hands of the Faith, in particular, should all in their power to counteract. The following one of these myths that is now starting is as follows:
Several of the Persian Hands say that in the original Persian text of the Will and Testament of Abdul-Bahá, it is expressly stated that only the descendants of Shoghi Effendi himself were to be eligible as Guardians of the Faith, and that since Shoghi Effendi had no issue of his own that that ended for all time the Baháí Administrative Order of the Will and Testament for henceforth there could never be another Guardian of the Faith and thus all that has been in the past is but prologue to what forms of Baháí regulations the Hands are now going to be led to establish. Milly Collins is firm in her belief that in some way, not yet shown us, that God will provide a Guardian to lead His Cause through this present crisis to eventual victory. In the final analysis, apparently all of the Hands agree that the Faith will endure their only disagreement with me being as to how this triumphant victory is to be brought about. I concur heartily with all of the Hands of the Faith that the Faith will endure my contention ......being that the Hands have no authority to take the attitude that the Guardianship now is definitely ended!
Hands Plan Establishment of Baháí Democracy in Place of Baháí Administrative Order
To disavow the Guardianship completely for all time as the Hands now wish, if done, will surely end in the division and the complete wrecking of the Baháí Faith.
In an emergency such as the Baháí Faith faces today, our coming conclave of the Hands should not be a hurried conference such as has been our first two Bahjí Conclaves. The Hands should meet together and remain indefinitely in session until after mature judgment and thought, these questions of Guardianship be thoroughly viewed, discussed and thought out and talked out from every possible angle. The Hands, the [spiritual] aristocrats, appointed Nobles of the Faith (odious as is the very mention of nobility in popular proletarian America ) should arise to this most great responsibility of trying to maintain the system of the Administration of the Cause. Up until the present, the Hands have as a body refused to arise to this responsibility, for in forming and in following their present program to elect a Universal International World Baháí Assembly in 1963, Sans-Guardian, the Hands will be abandoning their calling as those who should stand next to and in the immediate service of the Guardian of the Faith, but instead of so doing, they now advocate the doing away completely with the Guardianship. Thus are the Hands at present headed to abandon their responsibilities take a subordinate place of their own will and let the proletariat of the Cause assume the leadership of the Faith that will be a democracy maintained wholly by the vote of the Bahai people.
Let us arise to our responsibilities and try to put the Administration of the Faith back again on the path so clearly shown us in the Will and Testament of Abdul-Bahá in the hope of the ultimate restitution of the Guardianship, even though at present it is not known who will be the second Guardian of the Faith?
Unique Action of Spiritual Assembly of Lucknow , India
This afternoon [12 February 1959] there was a meeting of the seven of us Custodian Hands of the Cause now here in the Holy Land at which there was a discussion of many things details of the comings and goings of pilgrims all of routine work, and a letter from the Local Assembly of Lucknow, India, was laid upon the table without remark, someone saying that it was a local problem a matter that should be referred not to the Hands but to the National Assembly of India.
Seeing the letter, as it lay there on the table, I glanced at it and was astonished indeed at its contents. It was a record of the action of that Local Assembly in which seven of the nine members had united to dissolve that local body until such time as the Guardianship be renewed and functioning again this letter (this copy of which was addressed to the Hands in the Holy Land, dated 18 November 1958) was being sent to the Indian National Assembly in New Delhi. This was indeed a most remarkable statement (in six short paragraphs and all on one sheet of paper) of the reasons why these friends cannot accept the present condition of the Cause without a Guardian, so the only thing that they could do was to dissolve their Assembly until they could again function as a Local Assembly of the Administration as given in the Will and established by the first Guardian of the Faith, Shoghi Effendi.
Therein I found an epitome of the main and vital points that I have urged the Hands to consider and about which they, as an overwhelming majority, will so far do nothing. These men of Lucknow who wrote that letter are indeed clear thinkers, as are those of the German National Assembly. It is a masterly piece of statement, most extreme in its expression (it could not be more extreme) but with a foundation as firm as the foundation of the Will and Testament of the Master Abdul-Bahá ...it gave me more hope than any of the other objections so far received by the Custodian Hands objections to the action of the Hands in their tacit scrapping of the Guardianship that is of a divine nature and of their putting up in its place the present human organization...
* * * * * * * * * * * *
I met with the friends upon the date on which they decided that the meeting should be devoted to hearing what I had to say about that letter from Lucknow, and, in fact, about this problem of the Guardianship that I have continually been bringing up, if I may so put it, to their annoyance. When the meeting was in session, Rúhíyyih Khánum was there as usual, and the meeting opened as usual (of late) with the discussion of many of the domestic problems of our Baháí household in Haifa, which of late have been many, complicated and difficult to solve. Thus the entire meeting was thus devoted to these matters, nothing was said about the Guardianship or my questions thereupon, so I supposed the matter forgotten by these friends.
A few days later in another meeting of us Custodians when I thought my hearing to be forgotten, it was brought up and I asked to speak. My statement to my case was a question to the friends, I, asking them to read that Lucknow letter and to please tell me what they thought amiss with it taking it up and discussing each of its six paragraphs. I, in order to start a discussion, telling them that leaving aside the question of whether or not the Lucknow Local Assembly should have written such a letter of protest, but considering only their conception of the Guardianship, I considered these paragraphs to be remarkably good, brief statements of correct Baháí Teachings.
My question to them for a discussion of this letter only brought forth their condemnation of the letter, they without going into any mention of the contents of the letter, each present saying that they had read the letter, that the Lucknow friends were not firm believers in the Teachings, not properly instructed therein, and thus the matter was dismissed. I maintained clearly in kind words to them that to my mind the Lucknow friends had the true concept of the Guardianship and that in this present time of interregnum that they, the Hands of the Faith, were entirely upon the wrong track [while] at the same time assuring them of my affection and love for each of them and of my belief that the time would come, soon I hoped, when they would change their views and would be forced by conditions of disunity and dissensions in the Cause to seek to reestablish the Guardianship.
Thus this subject was dismissed. We were at an impasse, and there was nothing more to be said. They all upon one side I upon the other neither willing to give in to the other!
Lack of Knowledge of Holy Documents of Faith
In order to see and in order to understand the workings of the Faith, one must study the Will and Testament of Abdul-Bahá. I am amazed in these days to find how many believers seem to know but little of the Holy Documents (29) that are the very foundation of the Administration and the Guardianship of the Baháí Faith.
I am fairly staggered and amazed at the complete ignorance of the vast majority of the Hands of the Faith when it comes to applying the spirit and the principles of the Kingdom of God to the affairs of the Cause. The cure for all of the present dilemma of the Faith is in the Teachings we are supposed to follow, but in order to do so we must first understand these Teachings.
The violation of the Will and Testament of the Master Abdul-Bahá by the majority of the Hands of the Faith who stand in a solid block against the continuation of the Guardianship is the cause of this present confusion of thought among the Baháís the world around. Such is the effect of violation. The Baháís should understand this by studying the Teachings upon this matter of violation.
Mason Remey Tries to Save Face of His Fellow Hands
I am therefore talking to the Hands in the most strict confidence, assuring them that before the commoners of the Faith, I support them the nobles of the Faith in whatever the majority stand for, thus I am supporting the face they make before the people, while in my inner thoughts I know that they are on the wrong track entirely and are leading the Faith to destruction. My one thought and desire is to show this to the Hands of the Faith that they at this not too Late date may reverse their decisions and desires and reestablish the Guardianship that the Ark of the Covenant under the command of the second Guardian of the Faith may continue the triumphant course upon which it was launched by the beloved Guardian Shoghi Effendi.(30)
Shoghi Effendis Plans for Future Edifices on Mount Carmel to House the International Institutions of the Faith
This afternoon [23 January 1959] I went up into the upper chamber where we Custodian Hands hold our conferences. There alone I read over many of the messages to the Baháí world from Shoghi Effendi (1950 to 1957) recently published and copies sent to us here from Chicago.(31)
Upon page 74 of the work is a statement by our late Guardian regarding the development of the housing of the several administrative branches or elements of the Baháí Faith, upon Mount Carmel above the Monument Gardens, the first edifice of which is the Archives Building that has now been completed since his death. The others mentioned in his message to the Baháí world in the order he gave them were to house (I) the Guardian, (II) the Hands of the Faith, and (III) the Universal House of Justice.
One of the last acts of the Guardian was to develop the circular roadway on beyond the Archives Building where these other edifices are to be placed. He often spoke to us of the International Baháí Council [the embryonic Universal House of Justice] about this architectural plan that he had in mind and was thus developing. More than once he spoke of the house upon the mountain to be built in the classic style of the Archives Building which would be the residence of the Guardians to follow him and into the future, all as directed in the Will and Testament of the Master Abdul-Bahá, then the house of the Hands of the Cause and the building to house the Universal House of Justice that were all to be in this same classic style as the Archives Building.
And now what is the Baháí world faced with but that the majority of the Hands of the Faith have decided otherwise; namely that we are now in "A New Baháí Era" with no more Guardians. In other words that the framework of the Administration of the Faith as given by Abdul-Bahá is scrapped and put aside forever!
The question in my mind is O God, how long are things to be thus before this ..."New Baháí Era" plan of no more Guardianship be overthrown and the Cause be gotten back again on to the way that the beloved Guardian planned and was leading us?
Judgment Awaits the Hands
When the beloved Guardian elevated the Hands to their present state of their Handship, he conferred upon them a very great responsibility as well as a blessing. This responsibility demanded of them the greatest sacrifices of any of those in the Cause at this time.
The greater ones blessings the greater must be ones sacrifices. If they refuse to meet these sacrificial requirement they are indeed in the greatest danger of falling and forfeiting their great blessing of being a Hand of the Faith.
Let each Hand look into his and her own heart and see and understand what they are up against now at this time. The Hands of the Faith themselves should be the very first ones of all people of the Faith to want a second Guardian of the Faith to take over the command of the Cause for the sake and the welfare of the Faith, but so far and up until the present they have not only been the ones to oppose the Guardianship but they have regarded with complacency the mental and emotional sufferings of those of the friends who for the sake of the Faith are longing and hoping for another Guardian and who in certain cases have been cast out of the Faith deprived of this blessing because they have dared to hope for a second Guardian of the Cause.
A judgment that will indeed be painful to them awaits the Hands of the Faith who do not want and who oppress the reestablishment of the Guardianship. This is due them because of their action. This violation of the Administration of the Master Abdul-Bahás Testament and the establishment of this Administration that was set up by the beloved Guardian is due to destroy itself because the Guardianship is not to be put aside. There is to be a second Guardian of the Faith and the reestablishment of the Guardianship to follow him because we have every assurance that the Cause of Baháulláh is going to live and conquer the world. This can only be accomplished under the infallible command and guidance of the Guardianship; therefore I, Mason Remey, know there is to be a reestablishment of the Guardianship.
What Are We Now Going to Teach?
...I questioned what are we to teach now that we no longer have the Guardianship?
Not only was there no answer to my question, but this matter was brushed aside and I was told that we were to go right ahead teaching the Message as we had been doing in the days of the beloved Guardian. These people are not using their heads!
Recently, I have been reading over about all of the correspondence letters coming to the Custodian Hands in Haifa, and letters going out from there to all parts of the world. From these documents it is easy to perceive that this question of "What are we going to teach?" is in the minds of the friends in many places and this direct question is not being answered at all by the Hands. They are simply evading it by telling them to await the [formation of their headless] Universal House of Justice; then they will be told what to teach. Could anything be more confusing to the people of the Cause than this? Especially now that the people are studying the Masters Will and Testament and Shoghi Effendis words more than ever trying to make some sense out of what the Hands are telling them.
How can the Ten-Year teaching campaign ever amount to anything other than confusion and failure when almost everyone knows that the fundamental center of the Administration the Guardianship is under question? Nevertheless, the Hands themselves are all confused over this entire issue.
Under these reigning conditions, I see naught but confusion of thought and the disintegration of the Baháí Organization so laboriously built up by our late beloved Guardian [in strict conformance with the provisions of the Will of Abdul-Bahá].
Mason Remey Stands Alone for the Guardianship
I often tremble when I think of what the outcome of all this will be for Rúhíyyih Khánum, and no one knows this better than I who have lived these years with them in their household, but this very devotion in itself to Shoghi Effendi, the beloved Guardian, obscures from her vision the continuation of the Guardianship. This is the inevitable [test] that she must meet and I realize and I sympathize with her suffering, but I know that the Cause of El Abhá must go on that it cannot go on as it is now going without the Guardianship being continued and carried on; so as much as I, for personal reasons, do not like to take this stand against the united action of all of the other active Hands of the Faith, I feel that I must take this stand and take it alone, for I know that the Guardianship must be carried on, and since no other Hand of the Faith arises to insist upon this continuance, I, myself, must take the stand.
Now I am but one of this group of twenty-seven Hands, and I cannot openly before the Baháí World oppose them or even be suspicioned by the Baháís at large of differing with the other Hands. I am at liberty and in my right to tell my fellow Hands exactly what is going on in my mind, and this I do tell them when ever I have the opportunity. This is, of course, alright with them, but I must not let this be known to the world outside of our college or Institution of Hands. Such was the pact of secrecy that I entered into with the Hands of the Cause. And to this pact I adhere to faithfully.(32)
When I was on my travels during this past year(33) around the world and, in particular, in America, I avoided meeting certain of the friends for fear they might question me upon this matter of Guardianship and perhaps find out my attitude that I am here expressing so freely and with safety to myself upon paper. But now my fellow Custodian Hands tell me that I should give my wholehearted support to their united point of view that I should accept their united action and work with them without reserve!
This, because of my convictions so explained at length in this writ, I cannot do. I can and I do as yet submit to their wishes. I can take this without a trace of enmity in my heart, but that which I know about the Administration, its principles and its workings, I know and nothing can change my inner convictions in these matters, even though I must, for the moment, make it appear before the Baháí World that I am with the others who stand together for "The New Baháí Era" that they, in all their attitudes, proclaim this new era of no hope of a continuation of the Guardianship. Needless it is for me to add that [because of] this condition of conflict I to return, of course, for the next conclave of all the Hands I see coming the time when I will be obliged to break my pact of silence with the Hands and take my solitary and alone stand before the Baháí World against the Hands of the Faith!
* * * * * * * * * * * *
In order to meet the next conclave and speak to these point of which I write, I will need all the strength of my eighty-five years and more; therefore, I am today feeling the need to prepare myself for that coming conclave, for I feel that there alone may be a chance that this attitude of the body of Hands may change and in one moment of inspiration, the entire picture may change and a second Guardian of the Faith then be forthcoming then all will need all of their forces in hand to meet our new responsibilities that will come with the restitution of the Guardianship.
(At sea, 18 July 1959) I was awakened in my berth at sunrise this morning, awakened very suddenly all over, as it were, with a jump, thinking of the serious condition of the Baháí Faith!
It is incomprehensible to me that the Hands of the Faith should actually be repudiating as they are doing, the Administration of the Faith as given in the Will and Testament of Abdul-Bahá and as attested to and started running by the beloved Guardian thus violating all that has been built up by the Center of the Covenant and the beloved Guardian by their decision to cast all this aside and place the Cause in the hands of and under the guidance of an International Assembly of the proletariat of the Faith that they promise the Baháí World that they will establish in 1963, thus stepping out themselves and eliminating together with the Guardianship, the body of the Hands of the Faith thus will be the complete destruction of the Cause. This is actually what they are doing and the vast number of believers the world around sheep-like are being thus deceived by them.
I see this condition and its peril very clearly. Is there not another one of the Hands to stand up with me to try to rectify this error?
The Hands of the Faith have sanctioned the condemnation of those of the believers who insist in harboring the hope of the continuation of the Guardianship thus Tony Fillon is in Baháí disgrace down in Quito, Ecuador. That man, D. C. Gupta, in Lucknow, India, who awaits the reestablishment of the Guardianship, was clever enough to resign his Baháí membership for the duration of this interregnum, so that he could not have his voting rights taken from him, or be expelled formally from the Faith.
According to the Baháí procedure of the Administration, the Hands of the Faith have not got the power to expel anyone from the Faith nevertheless, they are now expelling those who differ from them. Therefore, I realize the seriousness of the step that I am taking when I stand alone among us Hands and tell you these things that are so in opposition to everything that you have decided to do and are doing and want to continue doing, but I, as one of this body have the conviction that the very life of our Faith depends upon my telling them that everything that they are doing and promising to the friends is upon the wrong basis and is leading the Faith to its destruction.
However, I am speaking only to the Hands of the Faith and in strict confidence. To no other believers have I nor will I mention these things. If these matters be divulged to the believers it will be through the indiscretions of others of the Hands.
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Am I, Mason Remey, the only Hand of the Cause who sees this problem before us, right? Are there none others of the Hands of the Faith to stand with me in these matters of carrying on the work of the beloved [first] Guardian as he was instructed by Abdul-Bahá on how he was to accomplish this task? Do I stand alone in this matter?
Awake Hands of the Faith and be aware of the danger in which the Cause is plunged because from the time of our initial Bahjí Conclave, bewildered ourselves as a body, we have been leading the Cause astray and away from the Guardianship that is the center and the source of guidance as clearly shown in the Will and Testament and in the mission and teachings of our beloved Guardian Shoghi Effendi. How long will I have to take this stand thus alone against the united stand of all of the other active Hands of the Faith? How long?
It really is a very strange position in which I find myself free to speak my heart out in conclave with the Hands or individually to anyone of the Hands, but absolutely silent before all others!
Such is as I understand it my position in the Baháí Faith or is my position as dictated by the Hands of the Faith. I am happy in my stand for my convictions as put forth in this writing for I am assured that my stand together with any others who may take this same stand will be the salvation of the Baháí Faith in this world.
It is my present thought (12 January 1959) to send a copy of this writing to each of the other active Hands of the Faith, that each one of them can have time and opportunity to read and to study my reasons for my stand for a continuation of the Guardianship now at this time. Each of these copies to the Hands will go out from me under seal addressed to each recipient Hand. I will take care that no other copy or copies get out among the believers, or will I, as I promised herein, speak of these matters to anyone. So if each of the other Hands observe this same secrecy that I do, my stand herein presented at such length will not cause any agitation in the Baháí World outside of the inner world of the Hands of the Cause, but should anyone of you other Hands of the Faith let your copy of this document (34) get out and be spread amongst the Baháí friends in general, I believe it will start a revolution in the Faith that will make it necessary for the Hands to reestablish the Guardianship forthwith to quell the troubled Baháís and to protect the Faith of Baháulláh throughout the world.
My tongue is tied and my lips are sealed. I cannot say anything to anyone outside of the Hands of the Faith,(35) but to the Hands I feel that I must express my thoughts fully upon all these matters and this I do whenever the opportunity offers, but being but one voice with all the other voices united against me, I have little or no chance of being listened to.
However, I can and I will always make myself heard in the gatherings of the Hands and will never divulge my thoughts to others than the Hands of the Faith. Therefore, daily I am obliged to sign my name to many letters and communications going out from Haifa to all quarters of the Baháí World thus endorsing the majority action and thought of the Custodian Hands in the Holy Land. All of this is, of course, most repugnant to me personally because I know perfectly well that at present the entire direction and the working of the Baháí Faith is on the skids and is going in the wrong direction, but such cannot be helped. If there be any objection to the decisions of the Hands of the Faith as given to the Baháí World by decree of the Hands and if these objections be vociferous sufficiently to be heard by the Hands then the matter will have to be dealt with by the Hands as a body, for such would be a crisis in the Cause, but until then I, myself can do nothing to stem this tide that endangers the Cause. To be sure, there are a very few Hands who think we would do well to have a Guardian but seeing no immediate prospect of this under the existing opinion of so many that are against a continuation the Guardianship, those who are for it are willing to await the forming of the House of Justice hoping that that institution may reestablish the Guardianship. Those who favor no more Guardians are supporting the idea that a House of Justice will surely confirm their opinions and are willing to await the action of that house, trusting that that institution may reestablish the Guardianship. Therefore, the action of the Hands as testified to in their communications to the friends in all parts has been a united one by a vast majority.
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[February, 1959] In making my plea for the continuation of the Guardianship of the Faith before the Second Bahjí Conclave in November, 1958, I thought I had a very particular personal reason for not wanting to have to bring this question up myself before the conclave a reason known only to me no other person upon earth shared this reason with me. I, myself, wanted that the subject be brought up by one other than I. Therefore, I waited until near the close of the conclave hoping that the Guardianship would be mentioned but as the time was running out and no prospect of anyone mentioning this matter, that I knew to be the one safeguard to the unity of the Faith, so at the eleventh hour of the conclave I, myself, had to overcome my own personal objections and bring up the subject myself, but alas, this matter of the Guardianship was not on the agenda. It had been decided at the first Bahjí Conclave and I was out of order in bringing it up when I did; therefore, it could not be there discussed. I was out of all parliamentary order!
Just the other day in a meeting of the Custodian Hands here in Haifa, where I urged a discussion of that "Lucknow Protesting Letter" upon the "Guardianship" I was reminded by the Hands that this subject could not be gone into until another conclave of the Hands, but that at our next conclave of all the Hands it could be put on the agenda for discussion.
It is with this hope in mind that I am writing down my thoughts on this matter in this form for it is my intention to with the Hands of the Faith a copy of this argument that they may have time to consider and think about the matter individually before entering the next conclave. The Custodian Hands in the Holy Land tell me that I should not write to any of the Hands abroad about the Guardianship, as this might stir up the problem with comfortable results. As the Custodians tell me not to write to the Hands abroad individually, I am thinking of writing at length this argument addressing it to the body of Custodian Hands asking that the Guardianship be on the agenda to be brought up at the next conclave addressing a copy of the argument to each of the Hands of the Faith sending this copy to the Custodian body and asking this body to please consider the matter. By this procedure I will be carrying out their ruling that I dont address myself to the Hands abroad and at the same time, entertaining the hope that they, [the Custodians as a body, will reconsider the matter.
As for myself as an individual, I would far rather just go on my own individual way and say nothing more about "Guardianship" for I dislike intensely the stress and the strain of this controversy I am launching against the opinion and wishes of the entire body of Hands, but knowing as I do know that the very life of the Baháí Faith depends upon the continuation of the Guardianship, I feel that I must take and make this stand.
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Therefore, when I implore the intercessory prayers of Shoghi Effendi, I am addressing myself to him as the beloved Shoghi Effendi and not as the Guardian of the Faith, because now at this present time we have no declared Guardian of the Faith.
[5 February 1959] In this letter, I am definitely trying to start a rebellion among the Hands of the Faith against the present plan and order of their Administration of the Faith without Guardianship. For I have a hope that there be at least someone or ones beside me, myself, who may feel that a wrong stand is taken when the Guardianship is not wanted.
To be sure the Hands have not definitely said in so many words before the public that they support that Chicago Manifesto, "A New Baháí Era" in which was definitely stated that they had no hope of ever having another Guardian to follow the first Guardian of the Faith. Such was never definitely stated neither was this denied in our communications to the Baháí World, wherein we have simply held a silence without any mention whatever or allusion to the Guardianship. However, within our own meetings of the Hands, all of which are private meetings, it is clear to see that the vast majority in the conclaves of all the Hands as well as in the meetings of the Hands in the Holy Land, it is tacitly understood and accepted by this majority that the Guardianship is now and forever ended. This was attested to by the Custodians who, in a letter to Horace Holley, assured him that they fully concurred with him that there be no further Guardianship.
Thus the Hands as yet are not telling the Baháí World what is really behind and at the bottom of their attitude. There is this "ARRIERE PENSÉE" that is activating all of their actions that we are withholding from the people by avoiding all mention of Guardianship and by telling the people that the Universal House of Justice that will be formed in 1963 will then set the standards of Baháí leadership, etc., etc. These statements being so worded as to give hope of Guardianship to those of the people who want it, at the same time not only the hope but the fixed intent of the majority of the Hands that there shall never be an other Guardian of our Faith.
Some of you who read this writing may see as I see that the Hands are avoiding this issue now in all of our pronouncement in order to, in the end, destroy the hope of the believers for the Guardianship, for the longer we operate as we are now doing, without the infallible guidance of the Guardianship, the more confused the people of the Faith will become upon this point, and the less likely it will be that they question the wisdom of the Hands of the Faith. Muddled-mindedness and stupidity results from violation of the revealed Word!
This preoccupation of the Hands that the subject of Guardianship be not mentioned or talked about by the people of the Faith is a clear demonstration of the fact that the Hands are attempting to so condition the believers the world around to getting along without a Guardian, that in the end they will no longer question the matter.
It is directly in opposition to such tactics that savor so of political intrigue that I am rebelling against by bringing this matter in this writing to the Hands in the hope that if they ever read this argument, they will see the point of my rebelling and objecting to this, our present regime of conducting the world Baháí thoughts so away from the Guardianship that is in itself as an Institution the very heart and soul of the Baháí Faith, for without the Guardianship, the Administration as given us in the Will and Testament cannot function.
I know that the Hands of the Faith do not see this at all as I and some others see it. I stand quite alone in this matter with all of the other Hands against me to whom this, my argument, is addressed.
Mason Remeys Vision of Future Role
The Cause is going to continue to spread and to grow as the Master, Abdul-Bahá planned it to develop under the Guardianship. There is to be a second Guardian of our Faith and the line on beyond to direct the Faith through the ages to come. This have I seen in my vision, but now is not the time to go further into these matters. The all-important thing now as a first step is that the Hands of the Faith be now awakened to their responsibility of protecting the Faith, and this can only be done now by the Hands arising and heralding the advent of the second Guardian of the Faith who will demand such sacrifice upon their parts, for as I have stated elsewhere in writing, this will mean the sacrifice by them of the liberties and freedom from the commands and orders that they will have to take and obey when the second Guardian comes to command the Cause.
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[26 January 1959] Had I not had that mental flash vision, now well over ten years ago, of things that were to come to pass- the death of Shoghi Effendi and the fact of there following him I would be the second Guardian, I in all probability would never have thus stood up alone against this move of the Hands of the Faith to abolish the Guardianship that is so almost universally accepted and welcomed most enthusiastically by the Baháí World.
Personally, I dont like to fight and rather than do so I usually am inclined to quietly accept a situation that I know to be wrong; that is to appear to accept it by simply not coming out and opposing it rather than start a quarrel or a fight. For such has been my action, or I should say my lack of action on many occasions past that I must now acknowledge to myself was wrong and a thing that I now regret.
However, now in this case of the violation of this Institution of the Guardianship, I am moved to stand up and to fight against the entire body of the Hands of the Faith as I am here doing thus putting forth my intention in this writing because I know that the very life of the Baháí Cause in this world depends upon the continuance of the Guardianship. How this fight is going to be won I have no idea, although I am sure it is going to be won despite the present outlook.
Principle of Sacrifice
There is a principle or a law working upon the human and the spiritual planes of creation by virtue of which the spiritual life and development of the soul can only be accord portion of sacrifice made of things human, in favor of things spiritual. This works thus both for the soul as an individual and for the souls of many, in carrying on the collective activity in the spiritual life of the Cause as a whole. All have to meet this point of sacrificing even the Manifestation themselves, for they, the chosen channels of eternal life that come to earth from the heaven of the Word of God that was in the beginning before the creation and which was God, they are human men like all of us, and even they as human beings have to make this sacrifice even as we ourselves do they, in order that they may accomplish their mission upon earth.
Every human element in the being of man is pitted against mans spiritual life and being; thus so long as man is in this world, he is never safe from the opposing forces acting upon this plane. The true Baháís in this time and day are sacrificing their human interests in favor of the Cause so dear to them, and the Cause is advancing in the world in the proportion that they make sacrifices for it. This works upon the same principle in the individual lives of each of us as it does in the mass or collective life of the Cause.
Those of us who have been elevated to the station of Hand-ship are the most honored of the people of the Cause, but in order to maintain that honor we are called upon to make our human sacrifices to this blessing and bounty that we have received. For out of all the Baháís in the world we are those who must sacrifice the most in order to carry on and carry out that to which we have been called upon to perform.
The Guardian of the Faith, by virtue of his position of Guardianship, is our Commander. To us his command is the command of God and must be obeyed. For thereby only can the Cause flourish and spread. He demands from each one of us a continual sacrifice of all of our human wishes, feelings, desires, and the like that is why life here in Haifa was so very difficult for each one of us during the life of the beloved Guardian and why now in this interregnum (36) we are all enjoying to such an extent this human existence with its freedoms. How often did the beloved Guardian allude to the tests given to those who were nearest to him.
Thus do all who serve under the Guardianship suffer humanly as we look at it from the personal human viewpoint, but as we consider this matter from the spiritual viewpoint of the Cause, the Cause thrives and grows strong under such conditions of our obedience and in our abrogation of these things that the human heart longs for freedom to do as one pleases freedom from the burden of restraints and constraints that obedience to the Guardian imposes upon us at all times... Such is the life, as viewed from the human standpoint, that the Hands of the Faith and all other believers too had imposed upon them by the order of Baháí procedure under the Guardianship. But as I see it from the Baháí viewpoint, this was indeed our triumph. For by this sacrifice [of] all things human that were pleasing personally one attains the good pleasures of God, and under these conditions the Cause progresses under the guidance of the Guardianship.
Mason Remey Desires to Leave Haifa to Prepare Himself for the Spiritual Battle Ahead
Today [6 February 1959] I made up my mind that I wanted to leave Haifa and absent myself from the Hands of the Faith in the Holy Land until the next conclave of all of the Hands of the Faith to be held probably at Bahjí next November!
...the life of the Cause is at stake under the present action of the Hands in their present stand of ending the Guardianship of the Faith which the majority of them claim is [due to] BADAH or [a change in] the Will of God, but which, to me standing alone against all of the others, is a violation of the Will and Testament of the Master Abdul-Bahá and in the end will be the death of the Abhá Kingdom upon earth unless something be done to change this course of Baháí affairs. To me this condition is daily becoming more and more untenable.
Since there is no other one of the Hands to make and to take this stand, I must take this position against the united action of all of the Hands. I must separate myself from this unity of opinion and do the best I can to awaken them, one and all, to this crisis which the Baháí Faith now faces. It is because there is no one other than I to do this that I am thus forced to do it myself.
I hope to leave Haifa, and through a most confidential and private correspondence with the Hands of the Faith here in the Holy Land exhort them to reconsider their action of trying to administer the Baháí Faith without a Guardian, begging them to re-study the Will and Testament and the words and teachings of the beloved first Guardian of the Faith, Shoghi Effendi, and see from all of these sources, each for himself, that the Guardianship must be continued.
My bringing of this argument to these Hands of the Faith I cannot accomplish while I am here in Haifa. I must be off somewhere by myself where I can think out and organize my forces and my arguments. For obvious and other reasons, I cannot accomplish this while living here as one of the Custodian Hands of the Faith in the Holy Land.
I see that this will raise much trouble for me with the other Hands here in the Holy Land. This I must face as best I am able, for it cannot be avoided. It may be sometime before I can accomplish this; it is something to work towards.
[April 1959] I have told the Custodian Hands of my intention of putting my argument for their not abandoning the Will and Testament of Abdul-Bahá before all the Hands of the Cause at their next conclave.
While the Custodians have listened to my argument, they have listened without any sign of acceptance of my thought. They have disallowed me to communicate by writing to the Hands who are elsewhere. Im allowed to write a letter to them the Custodian Hands placing before them in writing my argument as I have already done by word of mouth more times than I can remember, but so far without any result save to antagonize them. Now, as a last resort I am thinking of putting my apology before them in writing in a statement that each can study such is one of my reasons for wanting to get away from Haifa as soon as possible to write my appeal to them. My other reasons added to this are that I want to get myself rested up and into shape to appear before this coming conclave to present my thoughts as well as to prepare myself in other ways for this important meeting.
When I suggested to the Hands several months ago that I leave Haifa, all arose against me, saying that I must remain here at Haifa until the conclave, adding that now the stand had been taken by them that in 1963 the Universal House of Justice was to be formed and that I must work with them to carry out their project for the sake of the unity of the Cause. That were I to leave Haifa before the conclave, it would become known and would create doubts and questions in the minds of the believers and that since many looked up to me as a Hand of the Faith, that such an action on my part would be very bad for the Faith. The Hands are always on the alert and are never sure of the support of the people of the Faith.
But knowing what is before me in the Baháí Cause, I refer to my flash vision, I feel that I must leave here as soon as possible to prepare myself for the work that is ahead of me; therefore, if possible, I hope to leave sometime within the next few weeks.
I trust I can arrange this with the Custodian Hands with out unpleasant controversy or trouble, but if not, I will have to go against their judgment in leaving Haifa, the same as I am going against their united judgment in urging that the Guardianship be kept open and not pronounced ended by them.
Such is about all that I can do before the conclave to bring this matter to these Custodians by written appeal as an issue to be met and reconsidered by the Hands. But in addition to this, I have much to do for myself to prepare myself and my affairs to meet the solution of this great issue that is a very serious contention between me and all the other Hands of the Faith. I am not floundering about in thought. I know exactly what I am doing and why I am doing it. But I have no idea of how it will all come out.
I know that in the natural course of events, I have not many years ahead of me in this world.(37) Notwithstanding this, however, I know beyond a doubt that the last [years]of my life here upon earth will be the most important all around, and that now I should plan and do what I can to be in as good spiritual and physical and mental condition as possible right up to the end of my natural life. Therefore, with this intention in view, I want now at this time to take some time off away from Haifa to return here for the next conclave of the Hands of the Faith.(38)