Archive for March 23rd, 2009

Critique of ITC study of Guardianship & UHJ – Part One

Posted on March 23, 2009. Filed under: book analysis | Tags: |

This is part One of a Critique by Hand of Cause of God David Maxwell of A Study for Auxiliary Board Members of the Guardianship & The Universal House of Justice Prepared by the International Teaching Centre (of the heterodox Bahá’ís).  Click here to read: Part 2 | Part 3| Part 4 | Part 5| Part 6

HOW DARE THEY ALTER THE MEANINGS OF PASSAGES IN BAHÁ’Í BOOKS THAT WERE COMPILED PRIOR TO THE DEATH OF THE FIRST GUARDIAN

Part One of a Critique by Hand of Cause of God David Maxwell of A Study for Auxiliary Board Members of the Guardianship & The Universal House of Justice Prepared by the International Teaching Centre (of the heterodox Bahá’ís).

Preface

The Third Guardian of the Bahá’í Faith, Joel. B. Marangella, asked me as Hand of the Cause of God to review this document prepared in March 2006 by the International Teaching Centre of the sans-guardian Bahá’ís in Haifa. He suggested that I comment on various of the statements and arguments contained in the study. In doing so I used the statements of the ITC, and have differentiated their passages from my own critique by the use of either — ITC Position or —Critique as a preface throughout, in order to separate my comments from theirs. The study was prepared by the International Teaching Centre for the use of Auxiliary Board Members and has no doubt been used extensively for their justification of not including a living guardian in their administrative order, even though Bahá’í Holy Writ ensures a continuous line of living guardians enduring the entire span of the Dispensation of Bahá’u’lláh, lasting at least 1,000 years.

A red flag, an enormous red flag appears at the very outset of this enterprise when one considers that this document was prepared for Auxiliary Board Members. Pray tell why a teaching center has to tell ABMs what to believe and discuss about the most basic of the foundational elements of the Faith. Is it that complicated? No, it is not. Did the Three Central Figures use a means of explaining things that required extra direction? No, they did not. In all due respects, should not anyone who is an ABM be well-enough versed in the original writings to understand for herself the information that she acquired while involved in the independent investigation of truth before she became a Bahá’í?
However, along with countless other changes in the Faith since the death of the First Guardian, it appears that independent investigation of truth has been downplayed, particularly after one signs a declaration card, as if independent investigation of truth applies only to the initial seeker, and immediately ceases upon declaration. A recent visitor to the Temple in Wilmette noted that the independent investigation of truth is no longer listed among the primary elements in the study of the Teachings.

Now I agree that an International Teaching Center is a necessary focal point within the structure of any world-wide religious organization. But would it not be more timely and productive to emphasize such matters pertaining to the spiritual growth of its followers through their independent investigation rather than recreating the wheel as regards the basics of the Faith? Basics that the Three Central Figures and the First Guardian precisely defined? Seems to me that was their job, and that the ITC should believe every word and utterance they espoused, and go on from there.
Shoghi Effendi did a magnificent job of transferring the original Writings into very clear and authoritative English language. In hind-sight, that was one of his primary functions as First Guardian and he excelled at it. In my view, the utterances of the bogus UHJ and its ITC dilute and neutralize the power of the original Writings. It appears to me that the further we get from the history of the 1950s, a less-potent output of information is available for the mainstream Baha’is.

Another key issue for Baha’is is that a contributing factor to the neutralizing of the Faith by the bogus UHJ is their pattern of not only ignoring the original Writings in their activities, but actually changing key passage in many of the Bahá’í books. It should be understood by all Bahá’ís that its Publishing Trust has published books that contains text modified from the original of some of the books available from them since the passing of the First Guardian. Additionally, when perusing the listing of references immediately following the ITC study, many of those references cite the writings of the present Universal House of Justice for the justification of their existence. The reason for them doing so comes into question when in every instance they could have used topical Writings penned by the Three Central Figures of the Faith, Writings that are considered Holy Writ and the very foundational elements of the Bahá’í Faith. As a result, Orthodox Baha’is, and others who are concerned with authenticity should rely only on those books copyrighted and printed prior to 1957. In all cases of such modification, the author’s original intent has been compromised. I will cite one such example of modification from “Bahá’u’lláh and the New Era,” by J.E. Esslemont, a book that Shoghi Effendi said was one of the three most important for teaching the Bahá’í seeker.

My reference is a paperback copy of that book, copyright 1980. Text under the heading Bahá’í Covenant has been modified. The next to last paragraph of the bogus UHJ version, page 129, in reference to ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, contains capitalized letters in each instance (Him, His, etc.) whereas an earlier edition does not. This change appears to appropriately correct an oversight by Esslemont. However, in reading the next paragraph on that page, a major, major modification provides erroneous information.

The first half of the original paragraph, which discusses successive guardians, is no longer there; the last paragraph on that page begins:

“…Bahá’u’lláh further arranged that an International House of Justice, representative of all the Bahá’ís throughout the world, should be elected to take charge of the affairs of the Cause, control and coordinate all its activities, prevent divisions and schisms, elucidate obscure matters, and preserve the teachings from corruption and misrepresentation…”

The bogus UHJ statement makes no mention that it was ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, Bahá’u’lláh’s chosen successor, who provided specific instructions for the election and functions of the Universal House of Justice within the pages of His Will and Testament. Bahá’u’lláh left no specific instructions for that activity. `Abdu’l-Bahá‘s Will clearly defined the role of a living guardian at the head of any Universal House of Justice. The bogus UHJ version has the audacity to refer to Shoghi Effendi as the guardian, as if he were still with us. It further admonishes the believers to follow the words of Bahá’u’lláh, `Abdu’l-Bahá, the guardian, and the decisions of the International House of Justice. It concludes with “…Anyone contravening these (UHJ) injunctions is considered a Covenant-Breaker.”

Following are Esslemont‘s original words, words that Shoghi Effendi was well aware of:

“The spiritual or Providential character of the Faith, furthermore, is further exemplified in the continuance, after `Abdu’l-Bahá, of the office of interpreter of the Sacred Writings in the person of the successive Guardians provided in `Abdu’l-Bahá’s Testament. The Faith, therefore, throughout its era will never suffer the disintegrating influence of schisms resulting from differences of interpretation, nor the deterioration which follows when generally prevalent materialism substitutes lower values for those revealed by the Founder. In relation to the needs of social progress, Bahá’u’lláh provided for the formation of an international House of Justice, whose election and functions are more specifically revealed in the Testament of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá. The fact that this supreme administrative body, the chairman of which will be the successive Guardians, can not only initiate legislation on all matters not defined in the Book, but also annul its own enactments when new conditions require different measures, assures for the Faith the vital continuity of a living organism. Established on universal truths, it is endowed with capacity to adapt to the conditions and requirements of each generation and age.”

“Since acceptance of Bahá’u’lláh involves acceptance of the social teachings and the social institutions He revealed and provided, or which have been instituted by `Abdu’l-Bahá, no Bahá’í can found a separate school or sect, nor justify any other basis for schism. The essential purpose of this Dispensation is to gather the races, peoples and nations into one Faith and one order.”

J.E. Esslemont, “Baha’u’llah and the New Era,” 1956 edition, pages 160-161

The bogus UHJ‘s elimination of the Institution of the Guardianship from that topical discussion, and the installation of themselves as successor to the guardian, speaks for itself and permeates the overall theme of the International Teaching Center‘s document.

David Maxwell

***********************************************************************************************

Following begins the presentation of the International Teaching Centre

INTRODUCTION (TO THE INTERNATIONAL TEACHING CENTER PAPER)

The Universal House of Justice and the Guardianship are the twin Successors to Bahá’u’lláh and `Abdu’l-Bahá. Shoghi Effendi wrote that Bahá’u’lláh and the Master have “in unequivocal and emphatic language, appointed those twin institutions of the House of Justice and of the Guardianship as their chosen Successors.”

(1) In His Will and Testament, `Abdu’l-Bahá perpetuated the Covenant of Bahá’u’lláh by appointing the Guardian of the Cause and confirmed the authority of the Universal House of Justice, promising that they will be infallibly guided by the Báb and Bahá’u’lláh.

He promised blessings to those who turn to them, and warned those who would turnagainst them. This brief two-part study, structured in the form of questions and answers, explores passages in the Writings that establish the authority and functions of theinstitutions of the Guardianship and the Universal House of Justice, and reviews their relationship.

Critique:

One has to wonder whether the implication of the above two paragraphs is to allude that Bahá’u’lláh was succeeded by The Universal House of Justice, and that `Abdu’l-Bahá was succeeded by the Guardianship. This concept would help them to rationalize that since Shoghi Effendi “could not appoint a successor” that the Writings of `Abdu’l-Bahá are no longer potent, and would justify a position that since the guardianship is ended, that `Abdu’l-Bahá no longer needs to be as prominent in the structure of their organization. Among other things, this counters the concept that God reveals His knowledge to humans through progressively unfolding Truth. In the Bahá’í Revelation that concept is magnified and clearly delineated, describing the spiritually charged hereditary lineage of the Covenant of God through but one individual at a time.

Bahá’u’lláh appointed His successor, `Abdu’l-Bahá. In turn, `Abdu’l-Bahá appointed His successor to be the Institution of the (living) Guardianship. It should be kept in mind that `Abdu’l-Bahá’s Will and Testament was a collaborative effort of both He and Bahá’u’lláh, and that every Sacred Clause of the Will and Testament will ultimately be fulfilled.

ITC Position:

THE INSTITUTION OF THE GUARDIANSHIP
What is the source of authority for the institution of the Guardianship? Shoghi Effendiwrites that certain verses in Bahá’u’lláh’s Most Holy Book by implication “clearly anticipate the institution of the Guardianship.” (2) But it was `Abdu’l-Bahá who explicitly established the institution of the Guardianship, naming Shoghi Effendi as the Guardian of the Cause of God, and directing the friends to turn towards him. He wrote: After the passing away of this wronged one . . . turn unto Shoghi Effendi . . . as he is the sign of God, the chosen branch, the guardian of the Cause of God, he unto whom all the Aghsán, the Afnán, the Hands of the Cause of God and His loved ones must turn. He is the expounder of the words of God . . . (3)

Critique:

While it is true that `Abdu’l-Bahá asked the believers to turn unto Shoghi Effendi, the authors of this document stress that fact rather than the more important part of the command that `Abdu’l-Bahá actually appointed the Institution of the Guardianship as His successor, and that secondarily, Shoghi Effendi was the First Guardian.

ITC Position:

The sacred and youthful branch, the guardian of the Cause of God as well as the Universal House of Justice, to be universally elected and established, are both under the care and protection of the Abhá Beauty, under the shelter and unerring guidance of His Holiness, the Exalted One (may my life be offered up for them both). Whatsoever they decide is of God. (4)

What is the difference between authoritative and personal interpretation?
In light of Shoghi Effendi’s function as the authorised interpreter of the Bahá’í Teachings, one might ask if there is any room for personal understanding by individuals.

This question has been answered by the House of Justice:
The interpretations of `Abdu’l-Bahá and the Guardian are divinely-guided statements ofwhat the Word of God means and as such these interpretations are binding on thefriends. However, the existence of authoritative interpretations in no way precludes the individual from engaging in his own study of the Teachings and thereby arriving at his own interpretation or understanding. Indeed, Bahá’u’lláh invites the believers to “immerse” themselves in the “ocean” of His “words”, that they “may unravel its secrets, and discover all the pearls of wisdom that lie hid in its depths…”

Critique:

The bogus UHJ encourages the friends to investigate the Teachings and arrive at their own conclusions, in spite of divinely-guided statements that are binding on the friends. I daresay that Bahá’u’lláh did not intend that the conclusions of independent study by the  friends would preclude any binding statements in the Holy Writings. Indeed, the above quote from Bahá’u’lláh asks the believers to immerse themselves in the ocean of His (Bahá’u’lláh’s) words, not to immerse themselves in the bogus UHJ’s interpretations of His words. This concept clearly is not being followed by the bogus UHJ as shown by their all-too-frequent passion to tell the believers what a particularly passage in the Writings means, when in most cases the Writings themselves are self-evident. They explain that a living guardian will be available throughout the entire 1,000 year Dispensation of Bahá’u’lláh to interpret the meaning of the Writings, not to re-write them.

Holy Writ may never be changed. The position that the bogus UHJ now finds itself in is to have to continually justify or explain away why there is no living guardian in their camp, notwithstanding that a process for providing a living guardian is commanded in the Will, and Shoghi Effendi often made reference to a line of guardians.

Additionally, there was no option, none whatsoever, contained within the pages of the Will and Testament for there not being a successor living guardian at any time during this Dispensation. In addition to that, Shoghi Effendi never discussed, nor wrote about, there not being any guardians after him. Quite the contrary, the only option provided was that there would be additional guardians. So for the 29 year tenure of ‘Abdu’l-Baha and the 36 year period of Shoghi Effendi, 65 years of intensive Holy Foundation building, the only avenue for the continuance of the Faith required the Institution of the Guardianship precisely in the manner explained by them both. Putting it that way, the only option for the Hands during their conclaves after the passing of Shoghi Effendi was to find the successor that the First Guardian had named.

A careful reading of the above sentence perhaps will allow the Hands a little slack for their erroneous ways, but not much. They were indeed looking for a successor named by Shoghi Effendi (the man), whereas in hind-sight we now know they should have been looking within the spiritual bounds of the Institution of the Guardianship. They should have realized that Shoghi Effendi could name his successor only when he was wearing his spiritual mantle, that of the First Guardian, and the appointment would have to be couched within some sort of spiritual vehicle or terms. And that is precisely what Shoghi Effendi did. He named his successor when he penned the only Proclamation he ever wrote during the 36 years he spent as the First Guardian.

I will digress here and re-emphasize that the Bahá’í Faith is about matters of the Spirit. Spirituality is the only reason for its being. Thus, humans are at this time in their history being forced from their comfortable zone of the materialism that has permeated their being for thousands of years. It is time for a spiritual maturity to pervade mankind in order that humans may evolve from the false glamour of materialism and begin to think within terms of the spirit. It simply has got to happen in order for the shackles of depravity to be released from their lives in order that the onset of the Kingdom of God may be allowed to accelerate and mitigate some of the damage that has been done by this corrupt society. The Hands apparently failed to see that, and little progress has been made in the intervening years. The spirit must become a catalyst for elimination of materialistic bounds in order that human existence may reach for the next level.

The resultant mess of the misdirection and misapplication of purpose we find ourselves in as a society becomes even more curious when one considers that the bogus UHJ requires “unity above all else” as their mantra for the believers, with no permissible deviation at all from their definition of unity, that of complete submission to their Universal House of Justice. Spiritual growth for humans will ultimately evolve from a unity within the Divine Principles that Bahá’u’lláh provided. But, sadly, the difference between unity and Divine Unity has not yet been perceived by the masses, nor the bogus Universal House of Justice. At the very least, a concept has to come about that every Sacred Clause of ‘Abdu’l-Baha’s Will and Testament must be believed, promoted and then fervently upheld. Through that one activity, the beginnings of a Divine Unity wil evolve and humans will find themselves in a much more beautiful place than now. Quite clearly, the trail outlined in the Holy Writings passes from Bahá’u’lláh to ‘Abdu’l-Bahá and His Will and Testament, and then to the Institution of the Guardianship. If one believes the words of the Will and Testament, he must in this day look within the lineage of the first three guardians to find the continuation of the thread of Holiness, Bahá’u’lláh.

While the Will talks of a Universal House of Justice, its Holy Writ defining the UHJ contains the essential requirement of a living guardian as its head. When a living guardian resides in the residency and the presidency of the UHJ, those two Holy Institutions then comprise the elements necessary for Holy fulfillment of all the Words uttered by Bahá’u’lláh and ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, and remain the only avenue to Holy efficacy in the deliberations of a Universal House of Justice.

This concludes Part One of the Critique.

This is part One of a Critique by Hand of Cause of God David Maxwell of A Study for Auxiliary Board Members of the Guardianship & The Universal House of Justice Prepared by the International Teaching Centre (of the heterodox Bahá’ís).  Click here to read: Part 2 | Part 3| Part 4 | Part 5| Part 6

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Critique of Ruhi Institue’s Book Number 8,”The Covenant Unit 2″ – Part Three

Posted on March 23, 2009. Filed under: book analysis | Tags: |

Part 1 and Part 2 of this critique of the Ruhi Institute manuscript entitled The Covenant, Unit 2, The Covenant of Bahá’u’lláh, exposed the manner by which the authors of that Ruhi manuscript neglected and hid the fact that there does not exist the capability and legitimate authority to interpret Bahá’í Holy Writ and Bahá’í Holy Text nor the writings of the Guardians of the Bahá’í Faith apart from the interpretation of a living Guardian of the Bahá’í Faith on Earth.

Part 1 and Part 2 of this critique also discussed the shameful manner by which the Ruhi Institute authors endorsed and supported their heterodox, sans-Guardian Bahá’í leadership/administration currently located on Mt. Carmel in that administration’s flagrant violation of this vital truth, quoted below, infallibly taught by the first Bahá’í Guardian, Shoghi Effendi concerning the relationship between the “twin” sacred Institutions, the Guardianship of the Bahá’í Faith, and the Universal House of Justice, a relationship which never has existed and never will exist in the san-Guardian/Heterodox Bahá’í organization of Haifa/Wilmette:

As Shoghi Effendi has asserted: “Neither can, nor will ever, infringe upon the sacred and prescribed domain of the other.”

In Part 3 of this critique of the Ruhi Institute document, The Covenant, Unit 2, we will continue to examine and expose the wickedness and deception perpetrated by the authors of the Ruhi manuscript as they craftily attempted to seal their leadership’s efforts to eliminate the hereditary principle of the Bahá’í Faith and thus to simultaneously eliminate the sacred Institution of the Guardianship of the Bahá’í Faith which that hereditary principle perpetuates throughout the 1000 years of this Holy Bahá’í Dispensation.

The following insidious expression found on page 54 of The Ruhi manuscript, The Covenant, Unit 2, is a prime example of the wicked intentions of the authors of the Ruhi manuscript, mentioned above:

“The Will and Testament of `Abdu’l-Bahá establishes the institution of the Guardianship. It explicitly names Shoghi Effendi as the Guardian, allows for the possibility of other Guardians succeeding him,…”

Would it be any more deceitful for someone to write:

‘Constitutional Law in the United States of America allows for the possibility of democratic elections of Presidents.’?
I doubt that anyone has ever written a more deceptive and inappropriate statement since the founding of the American nation, not even any elementary school student writing an assignment. Constitutional Law in the United States REQUIRES democratic elections of Presidents.

Similarly, all of the sacred instructions and institutions delineated by `Abdu’l-Bahá in His Will and Testament, and also all of the official statements written by the first Guardian of the Bahá’í Faith, Shoghi Effendi, use imperatives concerning the Guardianship and future Guardians of the Bahá’í Faith, and include prefatory commands such as these: “It is incumbent,” and “must”, to the extent that there is no excuse for any woman or man claiming to be Bahá’í to endorse or support the following ridiculous and utterly false statement by the Ruhi manuscript authors that ‘Abdu’l-Baha’s Will allows only for the POSSIBILITY of future Guardians after Shoghi Effendi:”The Will and Testament of `Abdu’l-Bahá…allows for the possibility of other Guardians succeeding him….”

Here follow some examples of those infallible, imperative instructions as found in the sacred instructions from `Abdu’l-Bahá:

“It is incumbent upon the guardian of the Cause of God to appoint …him that shall be his successor . . . ” (From His Will and Testament)

Note: “it is incumbent”

“Should he not attend in person its deliberations, he must appoint one to represent him”.

Note: “he must” (From His Will and Testament)

Shoghi Effendi wrote in his spiritual testament, The Dispensation of Bahá’u’lláh:

“To the integrity of this cardinal principle of our Faith the words, the deeds of its present and future Guardians must abundantly testify. By their conduct and example they must needs establish its truth upon an unassailable foundation and transmit to future generations unimpeachable evidences of its reality.”

Note that both present and future Guardians: “must abundantly testify”, “must needs establish” “must transmit unimpeachable evidences”

The hearts of sincere, true Bahá’ís are not impervious to such imperatives transmitted through the infallible pens of those Divinely appointed interpreters of our Holy Writings.

The authors of The Covenant, Unit 2, on page 12 of their manuscript, quote the official words of Shoghi Effendi from “God Passes By” where he identifies the Aghsán to be the sons of Bahá’u’lláh: “Aghsán (His sons).

The Aghsan were solely the sons of Baha’u’llah, and therefore contemporaries of ‘Abdu’l-Baha, and thus none of them would have lived long enough to survive the ministry of Shoghi Effendi and therefore were never even alive to be considered for appointment as his successors. There can be no doubt that Shoghi Effendi was fully aware of that fact, and likewise fully aware that due to the fact that he had no sons, his successor, whom the heredidary principle and the sacred Instructions within the Master’s Will and Testament compelled him to choose and appoint, must be “another branch” (“ghusan”). If Shoghi Effendi, the first Bahá’í Guardian had failed to appoint his successor, that would mean that the hereditary principle of the Bahá’í Faith would have become inoperative even before it became functional, a totally faithless and illogical opinion, which opinion is, nevertheless held by heterodox Bahá’ís, including the Ruhi Institute authors of The Covenant, Unit 2, as demonstrated by this inane statement on page 72 of their manuscript: “Shoghi Effendi had been unable to name a successor…”. What expression could possibly be more faithless and offensive towards the infallible first Guardian of our Faith than for someone claiming to be a Bahá’í to make such a comment.

It is so very astonishing for all true Bahá’ís that sans-Guardian/heterodox believers, such as the Ruhi Institute authors of The Covenant, Unit 2 know very well in their hearts that not any woman or man among them anywhere on earth, including the members of their bogus UHJ has the slightest trace of power or authority to interpret the Bahá’í Holy Text which is the Master’s sacred and immutable Will and Testament, and yet those heterodox believers continue to press forward presumptuously, interpreting the word “ghusan” for themselves in such a manner that their nefarious, illegitimate interpretation serves to nullify for them all of the sacred Instructions enshrined in Part One of the Master’s Will and Testament, serves to nullify/repudiate all of Shoghi Effendi’s countless written official teachings and statements concerning the Guardianship of the Bahá’í Faith and the relationship of this Institution to a legitimate Universal House of Justice, (which relationship the heterodox Bahá’í organization never has and never will experience), and which faithless interpretation paints a picture of Shoghi Effendi as someone who either was not an infallible Guardian, or else that had been so unfaithful to his calling, that he would carry on for a long period of time without informing the Bahá’í world that he had no intention of fulfilling the duty “incumbent upon him” to appoint a successor That is a false picture.

It is NOT our Shoghi Effendi, the beloved first Guardian of faithful, true Bahá’ís. And, yes, that is exactly the picture that these faithless disobedient ones are painting when they insist that the term “another branch” (“ghusan”) must be interpreted to mean that he must choose his successor from amongst the “Aghsan”, because they are saying, in effect, that it became necessary for them to make such an interpretation, since Shoghi Effendi failed to do so before his death and was unable to do so afterwards. Those sans-Guardian believers are the ones who have failed, by breaching the boundaries of their own stations to cross over into the sphere of interpretation which does not belong to them, but rather it belongs exclusively to the living Guardians of our Faith. Incidentally, the fact that Shoghi Effendi has not clarified that question for the sans-Guardian believers from his location in the next world puts the lie to the teaching of some heterodox believers that Shoghi Effendi is still the Guardian of the Faith, although he is now in the next world. Many heterodox believers still speak of Shoghi Effendi incorrectly as “the Guardian”, rather than as he truly is, “the first Guardian.”

Read: Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 4

By Hand of the Cause Ross Campbell

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Critique of Ruhi Institute “The Covenant Unit 2″ – Part Two

Posted on March 23, 2009. Filed under: book analysis | Tags: |

In Part One of this Critique of the Pre-publication Edition of the manuscript entitled: The Covenant, Unit 2, The Covenant of Bahá’u’lláh, a document developed by the Heterodox Bahá’í organization known as The Ruhi Institute, it was clearly demonstrated that the authors of that manuscript, The Covenant, Unit 2, throughout that manuscript, deceitfully attempted to obscure the fact that there exist two distinct and separate realms of Divine Guidance in the Bahá’í Faith, first the infallible Divine guidance for interpretation of Bahá’í Holy Writ and Bahá’í Holy Text and for explanation/interpretation of the writings of Guardians of the Bahá’í Faith, which Divine guidance is provided exclusively to living Guardians of the Bahá’í Faith through operation of the “hereditary principle” of the Bahá’íFaith, and second, the infallible Divine guidance for legislation upon matters NOT explicitly mentioned in Bahá’í Holy Writ and Bahá’í Holy Text, which second realm of Divine guidance belongs to a legitimate Universal House of Justice, which legitimate Universal House of Justice is found on Earth at this time only in embryonic form, and is not to be confused with the bogus entity using that name currently located on Mt. Carmel. In this Part 2. of the Critique of The Covenant, Unit 2, we will focus on the manner by which the authors of the Ruhi manuscript in question have shamelessly and deviously permeated their entire document with a tone and disposition which clearly has the purpose of occulting and/or overriding the following true and critical statement which was officially written in his spiritual testament, The Dispensation of Baha’u’llah, by the first of our Bahá’í Guardians, Shoghi Effendi, concerning the “twin” sacred Bahá’í Institutions, the Guardianship and the Universal House of Justice:

“Neither can, nor will ever, infringe upon the sacred and prescribed domain of the other.”

Take careful note of the infallible first Guardian’s expression: “Neither can, nor will ever, infringe…”

For example, after quoting paragraph #36, found in PART TWO of the sacred and immutable Will and Testament of `Abdu’l-Bahá, Who is the Center of the Covenant of Bahá’u’lláh, the authors of the Ruhi manuscript make this insidious comment on page 71 0f their manuscript, in an obvious attempt to nullify/ abrogate the above official statement written by the first Guardian:

“We know of course that the first part of the Will and Testament makes mention of both the Guardian and the Universal House of Justice and clearly envisages their working together. We read, for instance, the passage which indicates that the Guardian of the Cause of God would be the “sacred head” of the Universal House of Justice and its “distinguished member for life”. Yet in passages such as the above, the Universal House of Justice is treated independently of the Guardianship.”

By their word “Yet”, in the above statement, the authors of The Covenant, Unit 2 are nefariously attempting to persuade all Bahá’í believers that paragraph #36 of the Master’s sacred Will and Testament, found in PART TWO of that Holy Document, and also other “passages such as” the Master’s paragraph #36, nullifies or overrides PART ONE of the immutable Will and Testament which PART ONE “clearly envisages” “both the Guardian and the Universal House of Justice…working together.”

The clear evidence that the above statement by the authors of The Covenant, Unit 2, found at the bottom of page 71 of that document is a villainous attempt to utilize the Master’s words in PART TWO of His sacred Will and Testament to deprive PART ONE of His sacred Will and Testament of the legal force and efficacy of PART ONE’S sacred Instructions delineated by Him for the Guardianship and the Universal House of Justice, is found in the next two paragraphs of The Covenant, Unit 2, located on page 72, which two paragraphs continue presenting a Universal House of Justice as an institution which can and will operate alone, “independently”, devoid of any relationship with the Guardianship of the Bahá’í Faith, during the era of the future New World Order of the Bahá’í Faith:

“In the Will and Testament, then, `Abdu’l-Bahá provides means for the Bahá’í community to remain protected by the power of the Covenant and continue to benefit from Divine guidance through the Golden Age of the Faith, irrespective of how circumstances would unfold. The followers of Bahá’u’lláh would never find themselves without an authoritative
center to which they could turn. The unity of the Bahá’í community was safeguarded, ensuring that it would fulfill its sacred task to establish a pattern for a future society, the splendors of which we can but dimly imagine.”

By that first paragraph on page 72, obviously written to expand on their concept of an independent, headless Universal House of Justice devoid of association with the Guardianship, alluded to in the last paragraph on page 71, the Ruhi authors paint a picture of the Administration of The Kingdom of God on Earth with a headless Universal House of Justice as the only authoritative center to which the followers of Bahá’u’lláh would be able to turn, and yet those followers would “continue to benefit from Divine guidance through the Golden Age of the Faith”, as if the Divine guidance for infallible interpretation of Bahá’í Holy Writ and Bahá’í Holy Text would not be necessary, and as if PART ONE of the Master’s immutable Will and Testament had become obsolete. If that is not what the authors of The Covenant Unit 2 are saying in that first paragraph on page 72 then exactly what are they saying?

They are certainly painting a picture of a New World Administration devoid of a living Guardian to provide interpretation of Bahá’í Holy Writ and Bahá’í Holy Text, which interpretation is the exclusive jurisdiction of the Bahá’í Guardianship. Those authors are saying that Bahá’ís will “continue to benefit from Divine guidance through the Golden Age of the Faith”, very obviously intending to teach that the “Divine guidance” from a headless Universal House of Justice, all alone, by itself, will be complete and adequate. Are the authors of The Covenant, Unit 2 saying that their headless/illigitimate Universal House of Justice will even breach the boundaries of the specific authority of a legitimate Universal House of Justice, which is restricted to legislation on matters not expressly mentioned in Bahá’í Holy Writ and Bahá’í Holy Text, and, therefore, that their UHJ will be able and be permitted to “infringe upon the sacred and prescribed domain” of the Guardianship as it illicitly interprets Bahá’í Holy Writ and Bahá’í Holy Text, the interpretation of which belongs exclusively to the living Guardians of the Faith?

Exactly what are the authors of The Covenant, Unit 2 saying/teaching in their nefarious document?

The second paragraph on page 72 betrays their evil designs:

“You know, of course, what came to pass historically. The Bahá’í world had the bounty of being guided by Shoghi Effendi-that wondrous, unique and priceless pearl-as the guardian of the Cause from 1921 to 1957, during which time the Universal House of Justice did not exist. [A patently untrue statement, for it did exist, from the moment Shoghi Effendi established that sacred Institution in its embryonic form as the “International Bahá’í Council,” in his only Proclamation, issued in his cablegram, of January 9th, 1951 and in which he significantly referred to it as “this first embryonic International Institution.”] Five and a half years after his passing, on 21 April 1963, that promised institution came into being. Shoghi Effendi had been unable to name a successor who would fulfill the conditions set so explicitly by `Abdu’l-Bahá in the Will and Testament. Whether or not there were means to appoint another Guardian, and how the Universal House of Justice would organize its work in the absence of a living Guardian, were questions that could only be addressed by the House of Justice itself, since all obscure matters, not explicit in the sacred Text were left for it to decide. And, indeed, soon after its election, the House of Justice advised the Bahá’í world that it found no way “to appoint or to legislate to make it possible to appoint a second Guardian to succeed Shoghi Effendi.”

Thus it is clear that the authors of The Covenant, Unit 2 are, in effect, saying that PART ONE of the Master’s sacred and immutable Will and Testament, “The Child of the Covenant”, “The Charter of the New world Order” is obsolete/invalid. Yes, they are teaching that their headless UHJ will function alone in the New World, devoid of the sacred Institutions of the Bahá’í Faith delineated by `Abdu’l-Bahá in His Will, namely the Guardianship and the Hands of the Cause of God.
They have further ignored the following facts:

Interpretation of Bahá’í Holy Writ and Bahá’í Holy Text is a “sacred and prescribed domain” of the Guardianship of the Bahá’í Faith.

Appointing and directing the Hands of the Cause of God is a “sacred and prescribed domain” of the Guardianship of the Bahá’í Faith: Abdu’l-Baha stated: “O friends! The Hands of the Cause of God must be nominated and appointed by the guardian of the Cause of God.” (Paragraph 20, Will and Testament)

And He also stated: “This body of the Hands of the Cause of God is under the direction of the guardian of the Cause of God. He must continually urge them…” (Paragraph 22, Will and Testament) That Shoghi Effendi had stated with reference to the Guardianship and the Universal House of Justice: “Neither can, nor will ever, infringe upon the sacred and prescribed domain of the other.”, is a statement that informs all faithful Bahá’ís that there WILL NOT EXIST in the New World Order a headless UHJ pretending to provide full and adequate “Divine guidance” for all Bahá’ís which would be infringing on the right of interpretation that belongs exclusively to the Guardianship of the Bahá’í Faith, and there WILL NOT EXIST, a substitute institution appointed and directed by a headless UHJ in place of the sacred Institute of The Hands of the Cause of God, infringing thereby on “prescribed domain” of the Guardianship.

Thus the shameless and nefarious teaching of the Ruhi institute manuscript entitled: The Covenant, Unit 2, The Covenant of Bahá’u’lláh, will rightly be relegated to a certain ignominious destiny, and ultimately become nothing more than an historical footnote pertaining to a rogue institution of the Heterodox Bahá’í Faith that existed during the infamous period of the heterodox Bahá’í administration.

Read: Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 4

 

By Hand of the Cause Ross Campbell

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Critique of Ruhi Institute “The Covenant Unit 2” – Part One

Posted on March 23, 2009. Filed under: book analysis | Tags: |

The Ruhi Institute is a heterodox Bahá’í organization, based in Columbia, and the document under examination, The Covenant, Unit 2, is currently in its pre-publication stage. Therefore, the necessary corrections discussed in this Critique should be accepted by the heterodox Bahá’í leadership and by the leadership of the Ruhi Institute as recommendations for adjustment of their document’s content.

Rather than commence this critique at the beginning of the manuscript in question, I believe that it is more beneficial for readers who are sincere Bahá’ís and for true seekers of Almighty God’s Truth to strike directly at the heart of the main/critical error of the manuscript, The Covenant, Unit 2, and from that point to branch out to focus on its other errors.

The main error of the manuscript is its perfidious occulting of the fact and reality that in the true Bahá’í Faith, there exist two distinct realms of Divine guidance, namely, first, the Divine guidance for infallible interpretation of Bahá’í Holy Writ and Bahá’í Holy Text and for interpretation of the writings of the Guardians of the Faith, which realm of Divine guidance does NOT belong to a legitimate Universal House of Justice, and second, the Divine guidance for infallibility of legislation on matters which are not specifically mentioned in Bahá’í Holy Writ and Holy Text, which second realm of Divine Guidance DOES belong to a legitimate Universal House of Justice.

The insidious manner by which the authors of the manuscript, The Covenant, Unit 2, have perpetrated the occulting of the above stated truth is evident by the manner by which they routinely in their manuscript quote the very passages from Bahá’í Holy Writings which clearly separate the two distinct realms of Divine guidance, while at the very same time presenting again and again and again the Universal House of Justice as the only “continuous source of guidance” for humanity without ever once mentioning the vital, absolute necessity of infallible interpretation of Bahá’í Holy Writ and Holy Text, the OTHER realm of Divine guidance, by which Divine guidance the sacred Laws of the Lord of this Age will become accurately applied by the Administration of the New World Order.

Here follow some examples of the treachery of the authors of the manuscript, as mentioned above:

The authors make this quote:
“Those matters of major importance which constitute the foundation of the Law of God are explicitly recorded in the Text, but subsidiary laws are left to the House of Justice. The wisdom of this is that the times never remain the same, for change is a necessary quality and an essential attribute of this world, and of time and place. Therefore the House of Justice will take action accordingly. . .” `(Abdu’l-Bahá, from the Introduction to the Kitab-i-Aqdas) (Quoted on page 68, The Covenant, Unit 2)

In the quote above, the Master clearly identifies the two realms of Divine guidance:
1. “Those matters of major importance which constitute the foundation of the Law of God are explicitly recorded in the Text.”

2. “…but subsidiary laws are left to the House of Justice.” [note the lower case “l”]

Do the authors of the manuscript, The Covenant, Unit 2, fairly and honestly teach the true sense of the Master’s sacred words? Most certainly, they do not. Cunningly, they totally ignore the first realm of Divine guidance, the interpretation of Bahá’í Holy Writ and Holy Text, (the “Law of God”), [note the upper case “L”] which has been Divinely assigned exclusively to Guardians of the Bahá’í Faith, and carry on presenting the Universal House of Justice as the only continuous source of guidance. Here follows what they wrote on page 68 of The Covenant, Unit 2, the very same page as the quote from the Master’s words above:

“The existence of the Universal House of Justice ensures that humanity will benefit from a continuous source of guidance for the duration of Bahá’u’lláh’s Dispensation. One need only think of the magnitude of the challenge that the Baha’i community is called upon to meet in this Day to appreciate the significance of the unique bounty God has bestowed upon humanity in the institution of the House of Justice. The implications for the unity of the community are clear enough. But, together with the other members of your group, think about how the following processes each connected to the establishment of a world civilization, are affected by the existence of an authoritative source of guidance.”

“…an authoritative source of guidance” –written as if their headless/bogus UHJ were legitimate, which it is not, and written as if the Guardianship of the Bahá’í Faith were not delineated by the Master in His sacred Will and Testament to be an authoritative source of guidance, which He did. Can the authors of The Covenant, Unit 2 claim that somewhere else in their 95-page manuscript they have presented the other source of Divine guidance to the extent that they are justified to deal exclusively with the guidance of the Universal House of Justice on page 68 of their manuscript? No they cannot make such a claim because nowhere in their manuscript do they present the sacred and immutable teaching of the Master, recorded in His Will and Testament, that only a living Guardian of the Bahá’í Faith is “the expounder of the words of God” nor do they present Shoghi Effendi’s oft-repeated reminders of that same truth.

Furthermore, the entity currently on Mt. Carmel claiming to be a Universal House of Justice cannot be an “authoritative” source of guidance for true Bahá’ís because the Will and Testament of ‘Abdu’l-Baha grants the following authority to the Guardian with respect to the UHJ, an authority that is totally lacking in his absence from the body currently on Mt.Carmel: “Should any of the members commit a sin, injurious to the common weal, the guardian of the Cause of God hath at his own discretion the right to expel him.”

The authors of the manuscript comment: “But, together with the other members of your group, think about how the following processes each connected to the establishment of a world civilization, are affected by the existence of an authoritative source of guidance.”

After the above expression, the authors of The Covenant, Unit 2 then list nine processes of the Bahá’í Faith, insinuating that the only “authoritative source of guidance” affecting those nine processes is their Universal House of Justice. No mention whatsoever is made of the vital hereditary principle of the Bahá’í Faith which principle provides for continuous, authoritative, infallible interpretation of Bahá’í Holy Writ and Bahá’í Holy Text which interpretation is equally vital for the processes related to the establishment of the Divine civilization on Earth as is the legislation by the other “pillar” of the “twin pillars” of the Administration of the New World Order.

No mention at all is made of that essential hereditary principle.

Here follows another quote presented by the authors of The Covenant, Unit 2:
“And now, concerning the House of Justice which God hath ordained as the source of all good and freed from all error,” (Will and Testament of `Abdu’l-Bahá) (Quoted on page 69, The Covenant, Unit 2)

And another:
“Unto the Most Holy Book every one must turn, and all that is not expressly recorded therein must be referred to the Universal House of Justice. That which this body, whether unanimously or by a majority doth carry, that is verily the truth and the purpose of God Himself. Whoso doth deviate there from is verily of them that love discord, hath shown forth malice, and turned away from the Lord of the Covenant.” (Will and Testament of `Abdu’l-Bahá) (Quoted on page 69, The Covenant, Unit 2).

The authors make no comment about this truth which they quote:

“Unto the Most Holy Book every one must turn,”

Turning to the Most Holy Book requires learning from the exclusive interpreter of that Most Holy Book, namely a living Guardian of the Bahá’í Faith. Yes, “… all that is not expressly recorded therein must be referred to the Universal House of Justice”, yet the authors of The Covenant, Unit 2 nefariously neglect to mention that the interpretation of all that IS “expressly recorded therein” belongs exclusively to a living Guardian of the Bahá’í Faith, NOT to a Universal House of Justice.

And another quote:

“It is incumbent upon the Trustees of the House of Justice to take counsel together regarding those things which have not outwardly been revealed in the Book, and to enforce that which is agreeable to them. God will verily inspire them with whatsoever He willeth, and He, verily, is the Provider, the Omniscient.” (Tablets of Bahá’u’lláh)
(Quoted on page 67, The Covenant, Unit 2)

“to take counsel together regarding those things which have not outwardly been revealed in the Book,”

In their comments, the authors of The Covenant, Unit 2 make no mention of those things which HAVE BEEN “outwardly…revealed in the Book,”. Treacherously, they continue to neglect the vital station of the interpreter of our sacred Bahá’í Writings, obviously attempting to give the Bahá’í brotherhood worldwide the impression that their bogus Universal House of Justice receives adequate guidance all by itself with no need of the Divinely ordained and Divinely conceived institution of the Guardianship of the Bahá’í Faith, which Divinely conceived Institution, alone, is authorized and empowered to interpret those things which HAVE “outwardly been revealed in the Book,”. The so-called UHJ currently on Mt. Carmel does not have the “sacred head” delineated infallibly by `Abdu’l-Bahá in His sacred Will and Testament, therefore it is not a legitimate Bahá’í Institution to begin with, and thus it has no infallibility even for legislation on matters not expressly recorded in our Bahá’í Writings.

And another quote by the authors of the manuscript:

“It is incumbent upon these members (of the Universal House of Justice) to gather in a certain place and deliberate upon all problems which have caused difference, questions that are obscure and matters that are not expressly recorded in the Book. Whatsoever they decide has the same effect as the Text itself. Inasmuch as the House of Justice hath power to enact laws that are not expressly recorded in the Book and bear upon daily transactions, so also it hath power to repeal the same. Thus for example, the House of Justice enacteth today a certain law and enforceth it, and a hundred years hence, circumstances having profoundly changed and the conditions having altered, another House of Justice will then have power, according to the exigencies of the time, to alter that law. This it can do because these laws form no part of the divine explicit Text. The House of Justice is both the initiator and the abrogator of its own laws.” (Will and Testament of `Abdu’l-Bahá) Quoted on page 67, The Covenant , Unit 2)

“…the House of Justice hath power to enact laws that are not expressly recorded in the Book…”

The authors of The Covenant, Unit 2 have not drawn to the attention of the Bahá’í brotherhood that the above sacred verse teaches that even a legitimate Universal House of Justice can legislate ONLY upon matters NOT “expressly recorded in the Book”. Expounding of the Laws which ARE recorded in the Book is the exclusive, Divinely assigned duty of the Guardians of the Bahá’í Faith. Craftily, the authors of The Covenant, Unit 2, are pointing to the Divine guidance and infallibility provided to a Universal House of Justice, quoting from the Bahá’í Writings often in order to support that concept, and yet without ever teaching the vital importance of the separate and essential Divine guidance in the Bahá’í Faith which a Universal House of Justice does NOT possess, namely the Divine guidance to interpret Bahá’í Holy Writ and Holy Text. They quote the vital passages, however they do not fully explain those verses, such as the verse quoted above. They simply ignore those words and phrases which clearly reveal that even a legitimate Universal House of Justice (which theirs is not) is devoid of the critical and vital function of interpretation of Bahá’í Holy Writ and Holy Text.

Following in the footsteps of their heterodox Bahá’í leaders on Mt. Carmel, the Ruhi Institute authors of The Covenant, Unit 2 consistently ignore/neglect the fact that Shoghi Effendi has discussed functions of the Guardian in his Spiritual Testament, the The Dispensation of Bahá’u’lláh’ that indicate the essentiality of the living Guardian as the “sacred head” of the House and the fact of its fallibility without the presence of the Guardian:

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

(b) He provides “the necessary guidance to define the sphere of of the legislative action of its elected representatives.”

Nothing on this Earth in this Holy Bahá’í Dispensation could be more unjust than that perfidy of the authors of the Ruhi Institute document, The Covenant, Unit 2.

Read: Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 4

By Hand of the Cause Ross Campbell

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