Sunday, March 15, 2009

Mason Remey was not a Guardian of the Cause of God

One of the traits of the Head of the Baha'i Faith is that he upholds the actions of his Predecessors. Abdu'l-Baha upheld every word Baha'u'llah wrote, and His Writings are replete with praise of Baha'u'llah and every deed He performed. Likewise, Shoghi Effendi upheld every deed and word of both Baha'u'llah and Abdu'l-Baha, and of course, this is what we expect from the Head of our Faith. It is inconceivable that Shoghi Effendi would ever say that Abdu'l-Baha misunderstood Baha'u'llah's Teachings and set the Faith on the wrong course. The Successor never condemns what his Predecessors did, because they are all sustained by the same divine guidance. It is so obvious we hardly think of it.
And yet, Mason Remey, who claimed to be the lawful successor to Shoghi Effendi, did exactly that: He condemned the words and actions of Shoghi Effendi, which is itself abundant proof that he is not the rightful successor to Shoghi Effendi. We can read about this in a June 4, 1997 letter the Universal House of Justice wrote, in which it quotes from a general letter published by Mason Remey in December, 1966. The letter from the House of Justice is found here . We can be sure that when the House of Justice quotes a Covenant-breaker, as also did the Master and the Guardian on occasion, it is for our edification and our strengthening in the Covenant. The House of Justice quotes Mason Remey as writing:
The first Guardian of the Faith so construed the Master `Abdu'l-Baha's Will and Testament that he formed his Administration upon the Babi Faith and not upon the Baha'i Faith.
This mistake has caused so much confusion and misunderstanding and trouble that the only thing for the second Guardian to do, to set matters aright, is to discard all which Shoghi Effendi did and to institute a New Faith which shall be the Orthodox Faith of Baha'u'llah under the Holy Name of ABHA in order to carry out the conditions that will lead to the establishment of the TRUE Baha'i Faith (of Baha'u'llah) which Faith has not yet been established in the world.
Let's look carefully at this astonishing statement. Mason Remey refers to Shoghi Effendi as the first Guardian, and claims the position of “second Guardian” for himself. Then he speaks of the “mistake” of Shoghi Effendi. What act of Shoghi Effendi is Mason Remey criticizing? Is it some minor aspect of his work? No, it is the very heart of Shoghi Effendi's position as Guardian: Expounder of the Word of God. Mason Remey writes that Shoghi Effendi misconstrued—misinterpreted—the Word of God. And not just any of the Writings; the most important of all of the Writings of Abdu'l-Baha!

Mason Remey claims to be the successor Guardian to Shoghi Effendi, yet he claims that Shoghi Effendi grievously misinterpreted the Master's Will and Testament and set the Baha'i Faith on entirely the wrong course. And what is Mr. Remey's “solution” to this problem? It is most extraordinary: “To discard all which Shoghi Effendi did.” He actually claims that the entire life work of Shoghi Effendi did not even establish the Baha'i Faith, but that he, Mason Remey, will do so. This man's ego knows no bounds, and his error knows no bounds.


Contrast this with the noble spirit in which the true successor speaks of his predecessors, as shown in these closing words of a message from Shoghi Effendi dated April 12, 1927:

"We can prove ourselves worthy of our Cause only if in our individual conduct and corporate life we sedulously imitate the example of our beloved Master, Whom the terrors of tyranny, the storms of incessant abuse, the oppressiveness of humiliation, never caused to deviate a hair's breadth from the revealed Law of Bahá'u'lláh.
"Such is the path of servitude, such is the way of holiness He chose to tread to the very end of His life. Nothing short of the strictest adherence to His glorious example can safely steer our course amid the pitfalls of this perilous age, and lead us on to fulfill our high destiny."
(Shoghi Effendi, Baha'i Administration, p. 132)

In His Will and Testament, Abdu'l-Baha instructs the Hands of the Cause of God to “cast out” as a Covenant-breaker anyone who is “beginning” to oppose the Guardian of the Cause. Beginning to oppose? This man wanted to discard the entire life work of Shoghi Effendi! And today, his followers claim that it was the Hands, not Mason Remey, who committed error! Look at how well the expulsion of Mason Remey fits the guidance to the Hands in the Master's Will and Testament:

No doubt every vainglorious one that purposeth dissension and discord will not openly declare his evil purposes, nay rather, even as impure gold, would he seize upon divers measures and various pretexts that he may separate the gathering of the people of Baha. My object is to show that the Hands of the Cause of God must be ever watchful and so soon as they find anyone beginning to oppose and protest against the Guardian of the Cause of God cast him out from the congregation of the people of Baha and in no wise accept any excuse from him. How often hath grievous error been disguised in the garb of truth, that it might sow the seeds of doubt in the hearts of men!
(p. 12)
It is hard to find a more explicit or more extreme opposition to Shoghi Effendi than was shown by Mason Remey, than in his own words. And this is beyond the obvious reasons that Mason Remey was not a Guardian: He was not appointed as Guardian by Shoghi Effendi; Shoghi Effendi did not submit his name to the nine Hands of the Cause; Mason Remey was not qualified to be a candidate for the hereditary office of the Guardianship because he was not from the sacred lineage of Baha'ullah, as explained more fully here and here, a fact Mr. Remey acknowledged in writing, and showing his signature, here. This was signed during the days when he was still faithful, before he was, as explained to me by the Hand of the Cause of God Mr. Furutan, misled by Joel Marangella.
No, Mason Remey was not a Guardian of the Cause of God. And the pretensions of those who claim through him—Joel Marangella, Donald Harvey, Jacques Soghomonian, Rex King
all of them—are therefore as false as the foundation on which they are based.

Where do we look for faithful adherence to the Will and Testament of Abdu'l-Baha and to the life-work of Shoghi Effendi? To the Hands of the Cause of God and to the Universal House of Justice:

~ To the Hands who were directed by Abdu'l-Baha to guide all the peoples of the world,” and whom Shoghi Effendi terms "the Chief Stewards of Baha'u'llah's embryonic World Commonwealth," those whom he describes as “invested by the unerring Pen of the Center of His Covenant with the dual function of guarding over the security, and of insuring the propagation, of His Father's Faith;”

~ and to that Body Shoghi Effendi describes as “the mighty edifice, the Universal House of Justice,” which has been “erected, raising high its noble frame above the world of existence.”
(Letter dated 27 November 1929, Compilation on Establishment of the Universal House of Justice)

We look to the Universal House of Justice, which has, with its every word and action, demonstrated its love for and devotion to Shoghi Effendi, which upholds his life's work, as seen in this tribute to him in its very first message, from the Jubilee Congress in London in 1963:
This Most Great Jubilee is the crowning victory of the lifework of Shoghi Effendi, Guardian of the Cause of God. He it was, and he alone, who unfolded the potentialities of the widely scattered, numerically small, and largely unorganized Bahá'í community which had been called into being during the Heroic Age of the Faith. He it was who unfolded the grand design of God's Holy Cause, set in motion the great plans of teaching already outlined by 'Abdu'l-Bahá, established the institutions and greatly extended the endowments at the World Centre, and raised the Temples of America, Africa, Australasia and Europe, developed the Administrative Order of the Cause throughout the world, and set the Ark of the Cause true on its course. He appointed the Hands of the Cause of God.  
(Message from the Universal House of Justice to the First Baha'i World Congress, 30 April 1963)

The members of the Universal House of Justice and the Hands of the Cause of God, November 1963, Conclave of the Hands of the Cause, at Bahji, near Akka, Israel. Please click for larger image. Photograph courtesy of National Baha'i Archives, United States.

Photograph identification: L-R seated
Hand of the Cause of God Shu'a'u'llah `Ala'i
Member of the Universal House of Justice H. Borrah Kavelin
Hand of the Cause of God Collis Featherstone
Member of the Universal House of Justice Lutfu'llah Hakim
Hand of the Cause of God Ugo Giachery
Hand of the Cause of God Amatu'l-Baha Ruhiyyih Khanum
Hand of the Cause of God Agnes Alexander
Hand of the Cause of God Taraz'u'llah Samandari
Hand of the Cause of God Leroy Ioas
Member of the Universal House of Justice Amoz Gibson
Hand of the Cause of God Musa Banani

Standing L-R:

Member of the Universal House of Justice Hushmand Fatheazam
Hand of the Cause of God Rahmatu'llah Muhajir
Hand of the Cause of God John Ferraby
Member of the Universal House of Justice David Hofman
Member of the Universal House of Justice Hugh Chance
Hand of the Cause of God Jalal Khazeh
Hand of the Cause of God Abu'l-Qasim Faizi
Hand of the Cause of God Zikrullah Khadem
Hand of the Cause of God Ali-Akbar Furutan
Hand of the Cause of God Ali-Muhammad Varqa
Hand of the Cause of God Adelbert Muhlschlegel
Hand of the Cause of God Paul Haney
Hand of the Cause of God Enoch Olinga
Member of the Universal House of Justice Ian Semple
Hand of the Cause of God John Robarts
Member of the Universal House of Justice Charles Wolcott
Member of the Universal House of Justice Ali Nakhjavani
Hand of the Cause of God William Sears



3 comments:

  1. Cogently argued and lucidly presented. Great work!

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  2. This is wonderful writing and all is quite clear. Thank you for posting this. It answers many questions and brings many confirmations. We can all be abundantly grateful for this nice analysis and presentation here.

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  3. Yes, great work really. Although we have no authority to interpret any Sacred verses, but our effort to share our views about the Covenant is clearly useful. The more we show our allegiance to the Universal House of Justice, the more the foundation of unity will be consolidated.
    The Covenant Breakers are divided among themselves and will be soon forgotten.

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