VIII. THE NEW IMAGE OF THE BAHAI RELIGION AFTER ABDUL BAHA'S DEATH
How the Covenant of God in the Manifestation Religion is faked — The testament that is discovered on the day of the Master's death is much shorter than the translation which was distributed from 1925 on - The second letter of the Guardian shows the new direction — The Covenant breaker, Mohammed Ali, who is presented as so dangerous in the alleged testament of Abdul Baha, behaves like a lamb after the death of the Master — The necessity of the "re-education" of Bahais after the demise of Abdul Baha — The Bahai teachings are fool's gold — Shoghi Effendi, a prince of the church but no religious leader -The second edition of the Esslemont book is "improved" — In the Esslennont book, a name is erased — A fraudulent phrase in translations of Baha'u'llah's writing Seven Valleys - Concerning the administrative order of Bahai -The administrative order, a "state within a state" — The Administration affects the Bahai communities as frost affects a spring night
In Dr. Grossmann's writing published under the title "Das Bundnis Gottes in der Offenbarungsreilgion" (Second edition 1956), one sentence of Shoghi's from a letter to a German believer continues as a leitmotif throughout. The Guardian speaks here of "the knowledge and esteem of Baha'u'llah's and Abdul Baha's covenant" which is made in reference to "the attacks of enemies outside the faith as well as the so much more malicious persons in it who have no real devotion to the covenant and therefore support the rational side of the teachings . . ."
I myself support the rational side of the teachings very strongly and therefore belong to the "malicious persons etc...." (see above). This kind of thinking shows me above all that it cannot agree with "Abdul Baha's covenant", because it is nowhere mentioned in this brochure. There is much evidence for the argument of Baha'u'llah's covenant with Abdul Baha: It was known long before Baha'u'llah's death that Abdul Baha was supposed to be Baha'u'llah's successor and interpreter of his writings. Dr. Grossmann quotes sections from the Kitab-i-Akdas, the Kitab-i-Ahd and the Tablet of the Branch 226 and besides them, still other tablets of Baha'u'llah to Abdul Baha. Further, the unsealing of the testament of Baha'u'llah is described in complete detail by Shoghi Effendi: time, and number and kind of witnesses (in a small group) and, on the same day, in front of a larger number ol other witnesses.227 Unfortunately, Grossmann failed to present clearly the alleged covenant of Abdul Baha with Shoghi Effendi in the same way, that is written remarks of Abdul Baha before his death, the unsealing of the Testament (in a small group) as with Baha'u'llah, or the general public announcement of the Will and Testament of Abdul Baha.There is nothing to be found about any of this in the thick volume God Passes By. There it only says, for example:
"The promulgation of His Will and Testament, inaugurating the Formative Age of the Bahai era... 228
Or a couple of pages further we find the section, "Abdul Baha's passing and the agitation which his removal had provoked had been followed by the promulgation of His Will and Testament.229
One also finds only the stereotyped phrase with Ruhiyyih Khanum, the Guardian's wife, too: "With the reading of the Will..." or''The Will and Testament of His Grandfather was read to him..." (Ruhiyyih Kh„ Guardianship 1948, pp. 6 & 7). We know that such an event took place from a short extract from the notes of Miss E.Rosenberg, who was present at the time of Abdul Baha's departure and at the reading of the alleged Will and Testament of Abdul Baha in Haifa. I am not familiar with Miss Rosenberg's original notes, but only with the writing in the "Sonne der Wahrheit", 1932, page 123. In this it says, among other things, "At least 200 people were present at the reading of the testament, an extremely impressive event. Every time the name of Shoghi Effendi was mentioned, the whole assembly stood and bowed."The validity of the testament was underscored in three places. With the third repetition it was strongly hinted that the old Persian believers who were present attested to the validity of the testament. Simultaneously, however, it was mentioned that, "The surprise was initially great in Persia".There exists another presentation of the opening of the testament of Abdul Baha in a small group. The former secretary of Shoghi, his cousin Ruhi Afnan wrote in a letter to A. Diebold on March 12, 1930 by order of the Guardian: "When the Master passed away the question arose as to where His body should be laid to rest. Everyone expressed an opinion. My grandmother — Abdul Baha's wife - stated that it might be mentioned by Abdul Baha in His will, for the Persians often do that. When we enquired where this will might be, Monever Khanum said that it might be that document that she saw the Master read only two days previous and that He had replaced in the safe.
As the "Greatest Holy Leaf" was very ill and in bed the other members of the family, i. e., my grandmother, His four daughters and sons-in-law, myself who was the only grandson present and Khosrow, a trusted servant of the Master, together got the key from His dress pocket which lay near His couch and went to the safe. Before them all, I opened the safe and directed by Monever Khanum found and opened the tin tube in which the will was. I opened the will and we took turns in reading it. We kept the purport of the will a secret until Shoghi Effendi came from Oxford. In short I opened the document in the presence of the whole family the next day after the Master passed away." At the end there was a handwritten addition of the Guardian: "Read and approved Shoghi."
The most interesting sentence in this extract is, "I opened the testament and we took turns in reading it". This sentence would be believable if the testament of Abdul Baha had been the length of Baha'u'llah's testament. But the alleged testament of Abdul Baha has 24 pages, and these 24 pages require time to read. A fast reader needs half an hour for it. The eleven persons present would have needed at least five full hours together in order to read it. If the discovered testament had been so long, someone would have certainly made the proposal to let it be read aloud by one of those present, but nothing is said about this. Thus, the discovered testament and later document designated as the alleged testament of Abdul Baha cannot be identical. The former Irish canon Townshend writes, "On His death the most deeply conceived and constructive of His works was published, known as The Will and Testament of Abdul Baha. (T. loc. cit. p. 97) A "work" cannot be read so quickly in passing! In any case, a contradiction again appears here (Annotation: The sentence of Rouhi Afnan's letter: "I opened the Testament and we took turns in reading it" has had a false translation into German. This proof therefore must be nullified. The author.) If the "Last Will" was kept a secret from the public, its essential contents were most certainly telegraphed to Shoghi; so he could begin putting the alleged wiii and testament of Abdul Baha together to replace the valid Last Will.
The telegram from Haifa to Consul Schwarz (Stuttgart) of December 22, 1921, supplies indirect proof of this also: ". . - master left full instructions in his will and testament translations will be sent inform friends greatest holy leaf." 230 The first typewritten translations were indeed distributed only over three years later in February, 1925, in New York, to "old and recognized Bahais" with Shoghi Effendi's permission."231 After the reading of the alleged testament of Abdul Baha in New York in February 1922, the effect of which on those present was as astounding "as a thunderbolt out of a clear sky", hardly three weeks had passed when a new course in a new age, the "formative age", also called the "Iron Age" of Bahai history, was established in a letter from the Guardian, dated March 5, 1922:
All dictatorial regimes of the last fifty years have introduced censorship and still have it today, in those that still exist. And shoghi had every reason to do this: The alleged testament of Abdul Baha had shaken the Bahais — at least all those who had heard the complete contents of the alleged testament of Abdul Baha; that is, the Persian pilgrims in Haifa in its reading there, and the New Yorkers, or all those who were present at the reading in New York — and they became rebellious against the successor allegedly designated by Abdul Baha, who in his whole atitude stood "in strange and incomprehensible contrast to the broad tolerance and liberality of Baha'u'llah and Abdul Baha". But Shoghi was completely right in taking this kind of action. Thus the alleged testament of Abdul Baha was never discussed in the Bahai publications. A well established fact was created and only the critical spirits, the outsiders, dared to mention doubts about this alleged testament and therefore directed their further attitude to the Bahai organization or Bahai Administration.
We have here the demand of the arrangement of a "Guardian Etiquette". We spoke about this point in an earlier part. Shoghi has to defend himself against attacks and criticism of the alleged testament of Abdul Baha and therefore demands,
3. "that the friends should (not) . . . attach undue importance to His negative Teachings".235
In the following sentence, three months after the Master's death, he demands
4. "we must one and all endeavor at this moment to forget past impressions. . ." 236
The Guardian imagined this a little too easily because the impressions which Bahais from all the world had taken from Abdul Baha could not be erased.
5. "the friends of God the world over are strictly forbidden to meddle with political affairs in any way whatever..." 237
This demand of limitation of personal freedom about political questions is all the more remarkable, as Shoghi had promoted himself in the alleged testament of Abdul Baha to "Head of the House of Justice". Thus the arrogance of this twenty-five year old in the above demand seems even more unbelievable.
6. The denial of the individual, of the unique personality, supposed to be achieved with the statement "that nothing whatever should be given to the public by any individual among the friends. . ."238
Whoever has read the alleged testament of Abdul Baha is certainly impressed by the tenor, by this hard, unsympathetic language of the greatest part, as opposed to the few mild parts directed to reconciliation and forgiveness, which are simply overplayed and outrun.
When Abdul Baha had left thisworld, an "interregnum" came in. Shoghi first returned at the beginning of January, 1922, supposedly so weak that he had to be carried from the train."239 He left Palestine again at the end of March or the beginning of April 1922 only to come back again at the beginning of December. His replacement in the meantime was an old woman, the "Greatest Holy Leaf ", Abdul Baha's sister. Mohammed Ali, who was presented in the alleged testament as such a great enemy of the Bahai Cause, was then approximately fifty-five years old. This is an age in which one can still be active in many areas. But nothing happened from the camp of this covenant-breaker except for this sham fight about the keys to Baha'u'llah's burial vault, which the group surrounding Mohammed Ali had appropriated. Mrs. White has already insinuated that at least from this point on a secret complicity must have existed between Mohammed Ali and Shoghi, or the extended family of Abdul Baha. She thinks that the tax of Huquq which was required in the alleged testament of Abdul Baha and which went to the Guardian was supposed to be divided among them all in a certain ration, thus, also to Mohammed Ali.
The fact remains that the very strongly berated enemy of tha Bahai religion in the alleged testament of the Master behaves as quietly and peacefully as a lamb after Abdul Baha's death and Shoghi's approximate eight month absence. Even he who was seen in his father's testament basically as successor to Abdul Baha, but who had forfeited this right by his trespasses, did not demand that the alleged testament of Abdul Baha be investigated by a handwriting expert.
The Bahais were schooled by Abdul Baha himself by his visits, his letters, and his books until his death. They believed in him and his words and considered this the Cause: that is the Bahai religion. Now began something completely different which is best expressed in the literally quoted sentence from the "Bahai News", January 1930, No. 37:
"The years since November 28, 1921 (the day of the departure of Abdul Baha) have, consequently, been largely devoted to the elimination of any non-Bahai views which might exist and to our re-education In Bshai Adminisitration by the Guardian." 240
Baha'u'llah is falsified and pushed into a background position, while the role of Abdul Baha is played down completely. The Shoghi Era had begun, the regime of one of the great swindlers in history!Never have the teachings of tha Manifestation of our time and his interpreter been so badly censured as-by the wife of the alleged Guardian of the Bahai religion, Ruhiyyih Rabbani, who is one of those who still runs the show today in Haifa.
In 1946 she had sketched the Laudatio tor "Twenty-five years of the Guardianship". Immediately on the first page she writes, remembering the time after the departure of Abdul Baha,
"We had the teachings; like a wonderful laboratory, equipped for every purpose, they were there — our priceless treasure. But where was the alchemist who transmuted base metals into gold?"The translator wanted to circumvent this blasphemy and translated base metals as "Grundmetalle''.According to the recognised "pocket Oxford Dictionary", London 1952, page 58, base metals are of "inferior value". The alchemist is Shoghi (Effendi) Rabbani. And the proving stone with which the miracle of metamorphosis into real gold is supposed to happen naturally can only be the alleged Will and Testament of Abdul Baha. The metaphor of alchemy is nevertheless well Chosen:
1. With the help of the Testament and fiery, heartmoving requests the money of the believers was brought forth as donations for the different funds. Splendid gardens with statues and marble burial temples for the most diversified relatives of Abdul Baha were built. But the crowning feature of all was the simple mausoleum of the Bab, which was worthy of a prophet. This was renovated with a cupola structure in neo-Arablan style, possessing 12,000 or more gilded tiles. Thus the impression was gained that the Bahais "are a rich Persian sect".241
2 The teachings themselves were so altered by the alchemistic processes that they hardly seemed as such in appearance any more. "The Universal House of Justice", elected in 1963 after the abolition of the Guardianship in Haifa, carried on further, determinedly, in Shoghi's footsteps. In the little volume published by the World Center of the Bahai Belief Haifa, Israel, 1967, "Proclamation of Baha'u'llah", the name of Abdul Baha does not come up at all.
In the five page introduction not a word is mentioned of the personality which embodied the Bahai spirit most perfectly at the beginning of our century - Abdul Baha, the Master. No, Shoghi Effendi - grandson of Abdul Baha and great grandson oi Baha'u'llah - who has placed himself with the help of the forged testament of Abdul Baha at the summit of the Bahai movement is quoted for pages and pages.
". ..the aim of all Bahai activity: '... establishment of a world commonwealth ... This ... must ... consist of a world legislature ... world executive..." 242
The alchemistic alteration of Baha'u'llah's teachings is complete: Religion has become politics. This slogan of a political movement is not to be found with either the founder Baha'u'llah or the interpreter Abdul Baha. On the contrary we read according to Abdul Baha,
"the sovereignty of this globe of earth will become lower in our estimation than the children's plays" 243 And we find according to Baha'u'llah himself:
"It Is not our wish to lay hands on your kingdoms. Our mission is to seize and possess the hearts of men. Upon them the eyes of Baha are fastened.244
This is the language of religious leaders!
Shoghi's wife brings further proofs that Abdul Baha's death meant a deep rift In the Bahai movement:
"With... the establishment of the Guardianship, came... a new phase In the development of the Faith. This was typified by one of the first acts of the Guardian: Shoghi Effendi never set foot in the Mosque, whereas Abdul Baha had attended it until the last Friday of His life." 245
Abdul Baha had not only taught new principles, he had also lived by them. In God's house everywhere, be it mosque, synagogue, church or temple, God can be honored. On his trips abroad Abdul Baha had spoken in mosques, synagogues, temples and churches before vast, fascinated and attentive audiences about the renewed outpouring of the divine spirit. So we imagine a new religious leader in a New Epoch. But we see nothing of all this in Shoghi. He was a strictly confession-bound Oriental prince of the Church, out of date, with purely political aspirations.
In the publication of the first English edition of the Esslemont book in 1923, I have spoken of a compromise which might have been arranged between Dr. Esslemont and Shoghi. What comes after Abdul Baha's death, according to Esslemont is:
"an International spiritual assembly (Bayytu'l-Adl), representative of all Bahais throughout the world ... Baha'u'llah expressly forbade Interpretation of the teachings by anyone but Abdul Baha, and after him the International Beytu 'l-Adl..." 246
These sentences are missing in the second improved German edition, which is unaltered in the third edition. Inserted in their place in the Esslemont book were the alleged testament of Abdul Baha, Guardian and Guardianship with the right of Interpretation gnd every Guardian as head of the Universal House of Justice, this highest body of Law.247
As a reflection of the former battle of the small group surrounding Wilhelm Herrigel with the Bahai Administration or their followers, we can still consider three variants of the first German edition of the Esslemont book today:
1. The issue of the German Bahai Bund Stuttgart of 1927, which gives all of the English text of 1923.
2. The same issue of 1927 in which however the last twelve pages with the alleged "Last Will and Testament of Abdul Baha" are torn out, so that only the subtitle stilt remains on the last page"' and "The New Phase" with the first four lines.
3. An issue "Stuttgart, 1927" without the publisher's name. On p. 402, the last original page with the rest of the section "Truth is for all" and no punctuation to indicate that something follows, but a closing dash. The composition probably remained in print and the group around Herrigel had the work printed in a limited edition.
More exact data was no longer available.In the "Second Improved German Edition" these above mentioned parts about the leadership of the Bahai movement after Abdul Baha's death are omitted. The second German edition was being set up when the prohibition of the Bahai religion in 1937 interrupted the printing. The just completed printing plates were brought to France, as is explained in the foreword to the third German edition, and this second German issue was completed there in a limited edition. All these were then very quickly sold out because of the great demand from 1945 on.For the critical observer it is interesting to see what was inserted in place of those sections which were omitted. (There follows the Guardian's right to expound the Bahai Writings, reference is made to the Universal House of Justice, and every Guardian is deemed Head of this Highest Administrative Council. These three statements are clearly found in the original German. They have vanished, however, from the 1970 American edition and the 1972 German edition. Author's comment.)The next part of the omitted excerpt in the first German issue of 1927, page 204, reads as follows: (Reappears in the American 1970 edition, p. 130):
"In a thousand or thousands of years' another Manifestation will appear, under the shadow of Baha'u'llah, with clear proofs of His Mission, but until then the words of Baha'u'llah and Abdul Baha and the decisions of the International Baytu'l-Adl constitute the authorities to which all believers must turn for guidance." (In the American 1970 edition, page 130, we read: "In a thousand or more years ... the words of Baha'u'llah, Abdul Baha and the Guardian..." )
Against these words of Esslemont brought out above, however, Shoghi says In God Passes By, page 214: "He (Baha'u'llah) ... rules out the possibility of the appearance of another Manifestation ere the lapse of at least one thousand years."Even if this saying was not supposed to refer to Shoghi himself, it still constitutes a virtual smoke-screen as far as the sayings of Baha'u'llah and Abdul Baha are concerned, because it stands completely alone.
In two other sections of the same work, however, this coming of the next manifestation of God is postponed until much later, when it says there of this "Most Holy Book" "whose provisions must remain inviolate for no less than a thousand years"249 or that "The Sun of Truth .. . never to reappear ere the lapse of a full millenium."250
These last two statements run parallel with that of Abdul Baha: "His Holiness Baha'u'llah has ordained, that I myself (Abdul Baha) am not the Promised one, but that Abdul Baha is the Interpreter of the Book and the Center of the Covenant, and that the Promised one of Baha'u'llah will appear after thousand or thousands of years. This Is the Covenant of Baha'u'llah." 251
The last sentence of the omitted excerpt is now missing in the second to the fourth (German) editions of the Esslemont book; its beginning has been left as it was but stands in a new association:
"No Bahai may found a school or sect based on any particular interpretation of the teachings or any supposed divine revelation. Anyone contravening these injunctions Is considered a 'Covenant-breaker' or 'Naqiz"' (Esslemont, New Era 1923, p. 118 and 1970 edition p. 130).
We have this "particular interpretation of the teachings" before us in the alleged testament of Abdul Baha. It follows that the collective recognized believers, or all followers in the Bahai Administration are "violaters of the covenant" without really being responsible for it, because they are hardly able to recognize these correlations. Remarkably the following sentence was still retained in the second to the fourth editions:
"One of the enemies of the Cause Is he who endeavours to interpret the words of Baha'u'llah and thereby colours the meaning according to his capacity, and collects around him a following, forming a different sect, promoting his own station, and making a division in the Cause." 252
Here again are warnings about the interpretation of Baha'u'llah's words, which to a great extent Shoghi himself had made. And hadn't Shoghi made for himself his own position in the foreground as the supposed "Head of the House of Justice" and thereby also implicated his heirs in the "Guardian Dynasty"? Did he not thereby induce a division in the Bahai-Cause? I have already mentioned one proof of the indicated split in the three variants of the first German edition of the Esslemont book.Whenever a name no longer suits the Bahai Administration or the Guardian, or both simultaneously, it is simply erased. After the trial against Ahmad Sohrab was lost his name also had to disappear. When the third German edition of the Esslemont book was brought out in 1948, his name (which Dr. Esslemont mentioned with sections from notes from his diary in the first English edition 1923 identical with the first German edition 1927) is simply left out and only cited as "a secretary of Abdul Baha". In the fourth German edition (1963) such passages are found on pages 66, 76, 103, 199 and lastly 286, where Abdui Baha spoke of the future of the Bay of Haifa. Here is written unpretentiously, "a secretary of Abdul Baha. . ." and earlier, "from a diary".Such an attitude with regard to spiritual property is seldom seen in the world and is, above all, scientifically absolutely incorrect. Sohrab was Abdul Baha's secretary In Haifa from 1912-1919, after he had accompanied him on his European and American trips. From 1919 on he was Abdul Baha's trusted attorney in the United Stales. (The author is glad to have found in 1972 in the American edition of Esslemont's New Era 1970 and in the German edition 1972, that Sohrab's name is cited again as in 1923 by Dr. Esslemont himself.)
In the alleged testament of Abdul Baha the falsifications of the covenant breaker Mohammed Ali are spoken of very often and very much in the following, I will introduce the evidence that a passage of Baha'u'llah's works has been altered in the Western countries; that is, has been falsified. That old falsification was certainly one of the bases for the falsification of the alleged testament of Abdul Baha and furthermore this falsification was the cause for the alteration of this passage. We have here an excellent example of "evil trees bearing evil fruit". When the Esslemont book was "improved", a passage in Baha'u'llah's writing, "The Seven Valleys of the Journey to God", shortened to the "Seven Valleys", was falsified. In "L'oeuvre de Baha'u'llah" published in Paris 1923, the "Seven Valleys" were translated from the Persian into French by H.Dreyfus. There it reads in Vol. I p.58-.
"Ces voyages qui, dans le monde de Zaman paraissent infinis, par le secours celeste, et par l'aide de la Manifestation, peuvant etre faits par le voyageur sincere en sept pas, peut-etre en sept souffles, peu-etre en un seul, si telle est la Volonte de Dieu, car 'll donne a qui II veut'." 253
In the English-American version translated already in 1906 by Ali Kuli Khan we can read in the same section, "and if the Guardian of the Command (i. e., the Manifestation of God) help him.. ." 254
These two translations are alike and have no differences. The other American edition of 'The Seven Valleys' of 1936, translated by Ali-Kuli Khan, published by the National Spiritual Assembly of Bahais of the USA and Canada (under their Secretary Horace Holley) runs against this."The seven stages of this Journey which have no visible end in the world of time, may be traversed by the detached wayfarer in seven steps, if not in seven breaths, nay in one breath — If, God willing invisible assistance favor him and the Guardian of the Cause give aid."
The German translations of 1950 and 1963 correspond with the American one of 1936: "Obwohl diese Reisen im Zeitlichen ohne erkennbares Ende scheinen, kann der geloeste Wanderer, wenn ihm unsichtbare Bestaetigung zufliesst und der Hueter der Sache ihm beistaht, diese 7 Stufen mit 7 Schritten Oder mit 7 Atemzuegen, ja gar in einern Atem durchmessen, wenn dies Gott zulaesst und wuenscht. .." 255 The translator is not given in the first publication of the "7 Taeler" (alone, without the "4 Taeler") In 1950 it was given; "Based on the English translations by Ali-Kuli Khan and the French by Hippolyte Dreyfus, German by Dr. Hermann Grossmann. Compared with the original Persian text by Dr. Amin-Ullah Ahmedoff, Stuttgart 1950 (Italics from the author).
Just as the American translation of 1906 and the French of 1923 agree, so the American of 1936 and the German of 1950 and 1963 resemble each other. In 1906 there was still no "Testament" and no "Guardian"; in 1923 they were both there, to be sure, but the independent Frenchman Dreyfus translated from the Persian what ha found there. The alteration of the American edition of 1936 as opposed to that of 1906, both of which were attributed to the same translator Ali-Kuli Khan, is like a kowtow before the throne of the Guardian. It can simply be established that Dr. Grossmann followed this American example. Because the "English translations" were mentioned, the older American edition of 1906 which is identical with the French of 1923 must have laid before the German scholar. Did Dr. Grossmann have to translate in this way, because as a "Hand of the Cause" he was financially dependent on his employer, the Guardian and the Bahai Administration? Or was it that Grossmann, at that time in 1950 not yet a "Hand of the Cause", wanted to ingratiate himself with his later employer by this translation? Unfortunately, we can no longer ask him
Dreyfus and Shoghi knew each other personally, at least since Shoghi's return to Haifa in January 1922. Miss E. Rosenberg reports this fact in her notes about the reading of the alleged testament of Abdul Baha 256. In the approximately eight months during which Shoghi resided in Europe, he was certainly with or. Dreyfus. Shoghi says in his great eulogy for this man:
'To me... after Abdul Baha's passing... he was a sustaining and comforting companion... an Intimate and trusted friend." 257
If any possibility had existed to provide this place for the later "Guardian of the Cause", it would have certainly been used by Dreyfus. I am convinced that he was aware of the American translation of 1906. However, in opposition to this he left the "Guardian of the Command" completely out and translated only ".. . with the help of the Manifestation".After the surprising fact of the proof of the testament falsificatlon by the London handwriting expert had made almost no impression on the Bahais and had brought almost no uproar, the courage of the Guardian grew. Wilhelm Herrigel, the founder of the "World Union of Bahai", died in 1932. Many of his followers went over to the organization, and following the law of inertia, have remained with Shoghi. There Shoghi is misled to a daring gesture, and a new world is opened to the astonished view of the reader, as he writes,
"Alone... this Faith has... succeeded in raising a structure which the bewildered followers of bankrupt and broken creeds might well approach and critically examine, and seek, ere It is too late, the invulnerable security of its world- embracing shelter." 258
The positive part of this statement is the invitation to a critical testing of his system. We must remember that Shoghi had not replied to the request of Mrs. White for an investigation into the original of the alleged last will of Abdul Baha: moreover the Bahai organization denied the same woman a couple of photocopies of the many hundred tablets of the Master from its archives because the Administration feared critical analysis of the handwritings. And now. all of a sudden: "Test criticallyl" Above all, the followers of the organization should not avoid this demand! But what is spoken out in this statement is simply not understandable. Shoghi is enraptured with his own words. Are not Baha'u'llah's and Abdul Baha's believers themselves the "bewildered followers" of a belief ruined and broken by tha Will and Testament? Does not the administrative order, pure red tape, take the place of the teaching? This "structure of the administrative order" is pushed much more than the teachings, which are only mentioned in passing. It is really so: "the Will is ranked as more important than the actual Teachings"259. With the phrase, "ere it is too late ..." fear is invoked, similary as in the alleged testament, where "God's wrath and his vengeance" are offered to those who do not recognize the Guardian. Or where the dissolution of belief is painted on the wall, if the "covenant-breakers" are not avoided! And how is it with the "invulnerable security of its world embracing shelter?" This is pure imagination! Because Shoghi himself writes,
"in 1938... In both Turkestan and the Caucasus ... Imprisonment of over 500 believers — many of whom died ... confiscation of their property ... exile ... to Siberia, the polar forests and other places In the vicinity of the Arctic Ocean ... the complete expropriation of the Temple itself and Its conversion Into an art gallery.'' 260
The Russians have followed Shoghi's suggestion and have critically tested the administrative order of the Bahais.Shoghi adds,
"... and erect the edifices and institutions of its Administrative Order, could not but arouse the apprehensions and the hostility of those placed in authority, who either misunderstood the aims of that community or were bent upon stifling Its life." 261
We do not know what further tests the Soviets made. One should really have a command of the Russian language. But if one reads some of Shoghi's statements published in 1944, much is understandable. There one can read: "a world religion . -. clear-visioned, unafraid, alert and determined to achieve at whatever sacrifice its goal..."'262 These goals are revealed a few pages later; "must lead to the establishment of the Bahai state and culminate in the emergence of the Bahai World Commonwealth." 263 After reading these statements, contrasting comments are apparent: "It (the world religion) is ........non-political . . .264 or "its . -. non-political character ...265 as some kind of tranquillizer. If one remembers that in the alleged testament of Abdul Baha the Guardian Shoghi has placed himself as head of the House of Justice at the summit of world government chosen by all mankind, then one can understand that the Bahais are "in some countries . . . stigmatized as subverters of law and order. . ."; 266 all the more so because they don't want to work on Bahai celebration days and close their own public institutions (e.g. schools and kindergartens).
At the end of the 1920s the followers of Baha'u'llah who no longer belonged to the Bahai organization issued the statement that the Bahai Administration was a "state within a slate". However in the Western nations, the governments are not so fearful. Such a small swarm of zealots presents no danger for liberal democracies. This is otherwise in the so called people's democratic countries of the East.
The Bahai religion was prohibited in Russia and remains prohibited, while the various Christian beliefs are tolerated in the USSR. To the Russian government the endeavors of the Christian churches seem to be put down much more to pure religion, because other things appear to stand in the foreground with the Bahai religion. A statement by Shoghi some weeks before his death shows that the teachings of Baha'u'llah and Abdul Baha are now ranked on two levels according to the administrative institutions:
Thus, ranking in first position are the administrative institutions which refer to the alleged last will of Abdul Baha, and then come the teachings through which the "Kingdom of God" must be realized. Let us remember at this moment the Testament of Baha'u'llah, the founder of the Bahai Religion. It says, "But the hearts of men He (God) decreed unto Himself." Here we find ourselves in the sphere of religion. In the first part of the statement, however, Baha'u'llah speaks of the sphere of material interests, of earthly goods: "The government of the earth has been vouchsafed unto them (the kings i.e. the governing ones)." (The Will and Testament of Baha'u'llah in BWF 1971, p. 209). Baha'u'llah says nothing of "institutions of a world redeeming order''.These ideas are brought into the Bahai religion by the alleged testament of Abdul Baha. The only interpreter of the new religion's founder was Abdul Baha. He also never spoke anything about "administrative institutions" or a "world redeeming order".
This Bahai Administration is now praised in ever new turns of speech. "The Administrative Order - . . may be considered as the framework of the Will itself . - . It will . - . be regarded not only as the nucleus but the very pattern of the New World Order destined to embrace in the fullness of time the whole of mankind."268 What does the administrative order of Bahai consist of? The believers, at least nine In number in one place, form a "Local Spiritual Assembly". The various local Spiritual Assemblies choose a "National Spiritual Assembly" at the annual national convention. At the convention of the National Spiritual Assemblies in Haifa an International Spiritual Assembly is then elected, the so-called' "Universal House of Justice". This International Spiritual Assembly is located in the World Administrative Center in Haifa (Israel). The Guardian — always according to the alleged testament of Abdul Baha — is now the head of this internationally elected board: his heirs succeed him. He is also the expounder and interpreter of God's words — according to the alleged testament. The "Hands of the Cause of God" — chosen by the Guardian — compose the staff of the Guardian, function as clergy and teachers on long journeys and additionally have the duties of a secret police." 269
This Bahai Administration, which slowly took shape after the death of Abdul Baha on the basis of the fictitious testament, had a much more depressing effect on the Bahais In the world than the Master's death itself. In the place of the encouraging and enthusiastic letters from Haifa now came these expedient, bureaucratic concepts and formulas of a background man named "Guardian" whom no one knew and who guarded himself from making contacts with Abdul Baha's followers because he knew well that he could not be compared with this personality. The cold frost of a spring night fell on the small widely strewn groups of Bahais. It had to be explained to the believers, that all this was the will of the Master. "It should be remembered by every follower of the Cause that the system of Bahai Administration is not an innovation imposed arbitrarily upon the Bahais of the world since the Master's passing, but derives its authority from the Will and Testament of Abdul Baha..." 270
The omnipotence, however, is based on the testament which we have proven to be falsified and is therefore invalid. This quotation just cited comes from a letter of Shoghi of February, 1929. 1929 was also the year of the publication of Mrs. White's book which for the first time showed clearly to the world what rifts had been set in motion within the framework of the Bahai religion following the death of Abdul Baha. That was the moment when schism began, albeit rather covertly. The majority of Bahais remained with the Organization and bent under the whole ballast of the administrative order; only a small number assembled in Germany, to form for example the "Welt-Union Bahai" ("World Union of the Bahais"), which practically no longer existed after the prohibition of the Bahai religion in the Third Reich in 1937.
Shoghi wrote in his major work about the duties of the administrative order, "The Administrative Order . . . will, in a manner unparalleled in any previous religion, safeguard from schism the Faith from which it has sprung." 271 But this statement Is not right ! Because there was Mrs. White, who had her last publication "Abdul Baha's Questioned Will and Testament" printed two years later, in Beverly Hills in 1946. Here it says on page 100, "Shoghi Effendi, who purports to be the 'Guardian of the Bahai Religion', is the arch persecutor of the religion itself, and of many of the disciples of Baha'u'llah and of Abdul Baha. In other words, by his inversion of the teachings of the Founders of this religion, and by his persecution of their disciples, such as we witnessed in the lawsuit, he and the Bahai Assembly have done more damage to the Bahai Cause than did those who were its open and avowed enemies." Mrs. White continues: "Whether the alleged will of Abdul Baha is authentic or spurious, the results of the administration of Shoghi Effendi and the National Spiritual Assembly of Bahals stand as an historical indictment against them. They no more represent the Bahai Religion than the bigots of the dark ages represented Christianity."
226. loc. cit., p. 32 f.
227. sons, relatives of the Bab, pilgrims, local believers in God Passes By, p. 238
228. GPB, p. 406
229. GPB, p. 410
230. "Sonne der Wahrheit", 1921, p. 169
231. White, Bahai Religion, p. 10
232. Bahai Administration, p. 24
233. Sohrab, Silence, p. 389
234. Bahai Administration, p. 24
235. Bahai Administration, p. 18
236. Bahai Administration, p. 18
237. Bahai Administration, p. 24
238. Bahai Administration, p. 23
239. Ruhiyyih Khanurn, Guardianship, p. 5f
240. quoted by Sohrab, Silence, p. 320
241. "Frankfurter Allgameine Zeitung", December 24, 1962
242. loc. cit. Introduction, p. X, also quoted in Esslemont, New Era, 1970, p. 279 f.
243. BWF. p. 425
244. BWF. p. 38
245. Ruhiyyih Khanum, Guardianship, p. 7
246. Esslemont, New Era, 1923, p. 118
247. Esslemont, New Era. 1970, p. 130 with foot-note
248. p. 402
249. GPB. p. 213
250. GPB. p. 223
251. "Star of West". Vol. XII, p. 228, (retranslated), cited in The Covenant and Administration 1971, p. 271.
252. "Star of lha West", vol. Ill, p. 8. quoted in Esslemont, New Era, 1923, p. 118 and 1970 edition, p. 130
253. H. Dreyfus, L'oeuvre de Baha'u'llah, Paris 1923, Vol. I, p. 58
254. Baha'u'llah, Tha Seven Valleys- translated by Ali Kuli Khan, Boston. Mass., Bahai Publishing Society Chicago, 1906, p. 52
255. Baha'ullah, 7 Taeler - 4 Taeler , Frankfurt 1963, p.45 und Baha'u!lah, 7 Taeler, Stuttgart 1950, p. 38f.
256. "Sonne der Wahrheit," 1932, p. 123
257. Shoghi Effendi, Bahai Administration, p. 159
258. Shoghi Effendi,WOB. p. 146
259. Sohrab, Will, p. 10
260. GPB, p. 361
261. GPB, p. 362
262. GPB, p. 354
263. GPB, p. 364
264. GPB, p. 354
265. GPB, p. 363
266. GPB, p. 355
267. Shoghi's last letter in Shoghi Effendi Messages To The Bahai World, 1971, p. 130
268. Shoghi Effendi, WOB, p. 144
269. cit. W. & T., p. 12
270. Shoghi Effendi, WOB, p. 5
271. GPB, p. 326