And nothing more than a headless caricature of the divinely-conceived and immortal institution bequeathed to us by the “Center of the Covenant.”

Certainly this body is not the Universal House of Justice delineated in the divinely-conceived, sacred and immutable provisions of the Will and Testament of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, with “the Guardian of the Cause of God” presiding“as its sacred head and the distinguished member for life” and which, under its explicit terms, as the highest administrative Institution of the Faith, “enacteth all ordinances and regulations that are not to be found in the explicit Holy Text.”

Certainly, in the permanent absence of the Guardian of the Cause of God, this body lacks the discretionary authority that he alone is granted, under the terms of the Will and Testament of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, to expel “any of the members” of the Universal House of Justice who may “commit a sin injurious to the common weal.”

Certainly this is not the body in which the Guardian of the Faith, as its “sacred head” exercises the following essential and unique functions, as outlined by Shoghi Effendi in The Dispensation of Bahá’u’lláh and in God Passes By:

  • “The necessary guidance to define the sphere of the legislative action of its elected representatives.”

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

  • “The right of exclusive interpretation of Bahá’í Holy Writ.”

Certainly this body bears no resemblance to the final stage of the Universal House of Justice—“this first embryonic International Institution”—with the Guardian as its “sacred head” envisioned by Shoghi Effendi in his Proclamation of 9 January 1951, and which, although created in its embryonic form, under the name of the International Bahá’í Council, was a complete and perfect body at conception, for, as ‘Abdu’l-Bahá has stated, the embryo  “possesses from the first all perfections . . . but they are not visible and become so only by degrees.”  (BWF 313)

Certainly the establishment of this illegitimate, headless and so-called “Universal House of Justice” as the result of an equally illegitimate election held during Ridván 1963, was not only flagrantly illegitimate, but was brought into being far in advance of Shoghi Effendi’s projected time table for the development of this institution. For Shoghi Effendi, in his Proclamation of 9 January 1951, had projected two intermediary stages in the evolution of the International Bahá’í Council prior to achieving its efflorescent or final stage when this body would then be appropriately designated as the “Universal House of Justice” as it would at that time be capable of administering justice within the Bahá’í world, as its very name implies, based on the laws of the Kitáb-i-Aqdas.

Certainly, further evidence of the premature establishment of this so-called Universal House of Justice is found in Shoghi Effendi’s message of 25 April 1951, in which he had projected, as a goal of the Ten Year Global Crusade, the evolution of the International Bahá’í Council by Ridván 1963 to its second stage as the [International] “Bahá’í Court” which he emphasized should be considered as an “essential prelude to the institution of the Universal House of Justice.”

Certainly Shoghi Effendi, as indicated above, never planned that the Universal House of Justice would achieve its final stage of development by Ridván 1963 as his Proclamation of 9 January 1951 specified a four-fold stage in the development of the International Bahá’í Council that would logically parallel a simultaneous development in appropriate subordinate national administrative bodies, as outlined in his message of 8 October 1952, in which he projected, under the goals of the Ten-Year Global Crusade, the establishment of “six national Bahá’í Courts in the chief cities of the Islamic East, Tihran, Cairo, Baghdad, New Delhi, Karachi and Kabul,” a goal that remains unattained to this day.

Certainly, it is not one of the two institutions that was hailed by Shoghi Effendi in his message of 30 June 1952 in which he stated: “At the World Center of the Faith, where at long last the machinery of its highest institutions has been erected, and around whose most holy shines the supreme organs of its unfolding Order, are in their embryonic form unfolding . . .” —these two institutions being unmistakably the Universal House of Justice (provisionally identified as the International Bahá’í Council) and the Hands of the Cause.

Certainly, this illicitly formed and hideously deformed body passing itself off as the Universal House of Justice bears no resemblance to the divinely-conceived supreme administrative institution of the Bahá’í Administrative Order delineated by ‘Abdu’l-Bahá in His Will and Testament, with the Guardian of the Cause of God presiding as its “sacred head,” nor can this illegitimate headless body ever be rightfully recognized as constituting any part of the divinely-appointed “System” which Shoghi Effendi has assured us in the “Dispensation of Bahá’u’lláh” is founded on “God’s immutable Purpose for mankind in this day.” It is therefore inevitably and ingloriously doomed to an ignominious end.

“Whatever God hath willed hath been and that which He hath not willed shall not be” — the Báb

Joel Bray Marangella

Guardian of the Bahá’í Faith

Australia, December, 2005