Critique of ITC Study on Guardianship and UHJ – Part Six

Posted on April 9, 2009. Filed under: book analysis | Tags: |

This is part Six 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 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 4 | Part 5

 WHO ARE THE REAL STIRRERS OF SEDITION?

  ITC Position:

Beware, beware lest anyone create a rift or stir up sedition. Should there be differences of opinion, the Supreme House of Justice would immediately resolve the problems. (45)

Can the Universal House of Justice create new institutions?

5. Making elucidations

. . . regarding the nature and scope of the Universal Court of Arbitration, this and other similar matters will have to be explained and elucidated by the Universal House of Justice, to which, according to the Master’s explicit instructions, all important and fundamental questions must be referred. (46)

6. Safeguarding the well-being of peoples

We exhort the men of the House of Justice and command them to ensure the protection and safeguarding of men, women and children. It is incumbent upon them to have the utmost regard for the interests of the people at all times and under all conditions. (47)

Among the powers and duties with which the Universal House of Justice has been invested are . . . to safeguard the personal rights, freedom and initiative of individuals; and to give attention to the preservation of human honour, to the development of countries and the stability of states. . . (48)

7. Launching and directing the global Plans of the Faith

On the success of this enterprise, unprecedented in its scope, unique in its character and immense in its spiritual potentialities, must depend the initiation, at a later period in the Formative Age of the Faith, of undertakings embracing within their range all National Assemblies functioning throughout the Bahá’í world, undertakings constituting in themselves a prelude to the launching of world-wide enterprises destined to be embarked upon, in future epochs of that same Age, by the Universal House of Justice, that will symbolise the unity and coordinate and unify the activities of these National Assemblies. (49)

8. Safeguarding religion

Religion bestoweth upon man the most precious of all gifts, offereth the cup of prosperity, imparteth eternal life, and showereth imperishable benefits upon mankind. It behoveth the chiefs and rulers of the world, and in particular the Trustees of God’s House of Justice, to endeavour to the utmost of their power to safeguard its position, promote its interests and exalt its station in the eyes of the world. (50)

In a letter dated 1924 from Shoghi Effendi to the believers in the East and the West, Shoghi Effendi foresaw the stage when the Universal House of Justice would be established and assume its full responsibilities: When the Universal House of Justice shall have stepped forth from the realm of hope into that of visible fulfillment and its fame be established in every corner and clime of the world, then that august body-solidly grounded and founded on the firm and unshakable foundation of the entire Bahá’í community of East and West, and the recipient of the bounties of God and His inspiration-will proceed to devise and carry out important undertakings, world-wide activities and the establishment of glorious institutions. (51)

Does the infallibility of the Universal House of Justice depend on the presence of the Guardian?

Soon after the establishment of the Universal House of Justice, it clarified a number of issues related to its relationship with the institution of the Guardianship. One such question relates to the infallibility of the Universal House of Justice in the absence of a Guardian:

The infallibility of the Universal House of Justice, operating within its ordained sphere, has not been made dependent upon the presence in its membership of the Guardian of the Cause. Although in the realm of interpretation the Guardian’s pronouncements are always binding, in the area of the Guardian’s participation in legislation it is always the decision of the House itself which must prevail. This is supported by the words of the Guardian:

The interpretation of the Guardian, functioning within his own sphere, is as authoritative and binding as the enactments of the International House of Justice, whose exclusive right and prerogative is to pronounce upon and deliver the final judgment on such laws and ordinances as Bahá’u’lláh has not expressly revealed. Neither can, nor will ever,infringe upon the sacred and prescribed domain of the other. Neither will seek to curtail the specific and undoubted authority with which both have been divinely invested.

Though the Guardian of the Faith has been made the permanent head of so august a body he can never, even temporarily, assume the right of exclusive legislation. He cannot override the decision of the majority of his fellow members, but 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. (52)

Critique:

How much more clear can it be? The living guardian will always have the last word in any of their deliberations, although neither will infringe upon the other’s area of responsibility. It should be noted that only the guardian, residing as head of the UHJ, has the instruction from ‘Abdu’l-Bahá to ensure that their deliberations comply with the intent of the Holy Writings. If the guardian feels that they should reconsider their actions,he will ask them to before finalizing any activity. He has the right to do this “until the cows come home” if he deems it necessary. Thus, through the Guardian’s insistence,their deliberations will always follow the Will of God.

ITC Position:

In the absence of the Guardian, is the Universal House of Justice in danger of straying outside its proper sphere and thus falling into error? Given that no one other than the Guardian has the authority to state whether a matter is already covered by the Sacred Texts and therefore whether it is within the authority of the Universal House of Justice to legislate upon it, the above question might arise. The House of Justice has addressed this question:
Critique:

. . . we must remember three things: First, Shoghi Effendi, during the thirty-six years of his Guardianship, has already made innumerable such definitions, supplementing those made by ‘Abdu’l-Bahá and by Bahá’u’lláh Himself. As already announced to the friends, a careful study of the Writings and interpretations on any subject on which the House of Justice proposes to legislate always precedes its act of legislation. Second, the Universal House of Justice, itself assured of Divine guidance, is well aware of the absence of the Guardian and will approach all matters of legislation only when certain of its sphere of jurisdiction, a sphere which the Guardian has confidently described as “clearly defined.” Third, we must not forget the Guardian’s written statement about these two institutions: “Neither can, nor will ever, infringe upon the sacred and prescribed domain of the other.” (53)

Give me a break here! That last sentence is a statement of words composed of letters. It is no more than that and should not be seen as something magic that has some sort of supra-natural power to keep bad things from happening simply because it was crafted.

Gosh! Life should be so simple. The only reason that sentence can be relied upon as fact is because certain checks and balances were built into the framework of Bahá’u’lláh and ‘Abdu’l-Bahá. Following all the conditions of that framework will make it so. Alter the framework one iota, say, such as casually omitting the Institution of the Guardianship from the checks and balances might, just might, mean that it will not work as Bahá’u’lláh and ‘Abdu’l-Bahá intended. Think about it…

The Dispensation of Bahá’u’lláh is destined to remain in effect for upwards of 1,000 years. How, pray tell, did Shoghi Effendi’s instructions include all the nuts and bolts of handling the problems of future generations? Science and medicine have already introduced such things as stem-cell and Nano technologies. He mentioned neither of them. And I daresay that after the wonders of Bahá’u’lláh’s Revelation is fully manifest, the problems of our Age will appear to be as ancient to humans living in the future as the activities of the cave men appear to us. Every fixed star has its planets, and every planet its creatures. Did Shoghi Effendi’s writings encompass inter-galaxy activities?

ITC Position:

Are the twin institutions of the Universal House of Justice and the Guardianship still inseparable?

The Guardian states that the World Order of Bahá’u’lláh cannot be “divorced”, either from the institution of the Guardianship, or from the institution of the Universal House of Justice. He describes these twin institutions as “inseparable” (54) and states that they are “permanently and fundamentally united in their aims”. (55)
Critique:

Divorced from the institution of the Guardianship the World Order of Bahá’u’lláh would be mutilated and permanently deprived of that hereditary principle which, as ‘Abdu’l-Bahá has written, has been invariably upheld by the Law of God. (56)

This paragraph is frequently used by Covenant-breakers, false claimants to the Guardianship. They mistake the Guardian’s intention to have been a warning of the World Order functioning without a living Guardian. However, it can be seen from the very next paragraph which Shoghi Effendi wrote-at a time when the Universal House of Justice would not be brought into being for more than 30 years-that he was simply stating that these twin institutions are inter-related, and are both part of Bahá’u’lláh’s
design:

Severed from the no less essential institution of the Universal House of Justice this same System of the Will of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá would be paralyzed in its action and would be powerless to fill in those gaps which the Author of the Kitáb-i-Aqdas has deliberately left in the body of His legislative and administrative ordinances. (57)

Weak. A pitifully weak summation for a group who professes to have God’s authority to handle the problems of today’s world, and on and on into the future. Where is the fire of ownership in their stance? Where is the spirit and confidence? Where is the resolve necessary for the effective operation of their organization? Where is the cloak of Spirituality surrounding their discussions? There is none, and they have done nothing to disprove that in this paper, nor will they be able to do so in the future. We have fifty years of examples of the *future* that was to come after the short period since the death of the First Guardian. One only has to look at the events of the world since 1957 to see wonders of materialism as never before imagined. Yet, during the same period, there has been no parallel growth of spirituality. We have seen the horrors of borderless wars, the insatiable greed of politicians, the out-of-control murder of countless embryos performed by *good people* who simply did not want to be bothered by the inconvenience of parental obligations. In the past fifty years we have seen the basest of base qualities overtake the goodness of the individual. For fifty years now, the bogus Universal House of Justice has had its go of things without the major Institutions of the Faith in play, and conditions will merely become worse, not better so long as human egos rule the day. The only answer for the problems pending in the future is to have in place a system envisioned by Bahá’u’lláh and ‘Abdu’l-Bahá. That system must not be altered one whit. Their instructions must be followed explicitly.

There is an elephant in the room with the ITC and the bogus UHJ each and every time they try to justify their existence or their actions. The Institution of the Guardianship casts a pall over them every time someone asks about the Will and Testament of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá. If the organization of the bogus Universal House of Justice and any of its committees, such as the International Teaching Centre, resided within the full umbrella of the Writings and the Will and Testament, they could hold their heads high, and not have to find qualifiers for arguing away every instance of the mention of the guardianship within the total scope of the Writings of the Three Central Figures of the Faith and the first guardian, Shoghi Effendi.

After all the discussion and the twisting and turning is done, there remains the postulate that there is no Bahá’í Faith without all of its Institutions in place; the Institution of the Guardianship, the Institution of the Universal House of Justice (with a living guardian at its head) and the Institution of the Hands of the Cause.

And those Institutions must follow the lineage of Bahá’u’lláh and ‘Abdu’l-Bahá’s Will and Testament through successively appointed guardians precisely as determined in the Will. There is no allowance for deviations of any sort. The so-called Universal House of Justice now residing in Haifa lacks any genuine connection with ‘Abdu’l-Bahá’s Will and Testament. Any organization calling itself Bahá’í must have a spiritual hereditary lineage with the Covenant of God. That Spiritual Covenant governing humans began with the beginning that has no beginning, through the Manifestations of old, through His Holiness the Báb, through Bahá’u’lláh, through the Center of the Covenant ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, and finally through the Institution of the Guardianship as defined in the Will and Testament. That very same Covenant will provide its efficacy through a continuing line of living guardians, as deemed by ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, and will endure long past any memory of this Age or the next. It is a link, a spiritual lineage that connects humans with the worlds of God, whether the bogus Universal House of Justice likes it or not.

Every Clause of the Will and Testament is Sacred, and thus infused with the potency necessary to finally bring the ultimate glorious essence of God’s Kingdom to this earth. Any attempts by anyone, either now or later in this Dispensation of Bahá’u’lláh, to circumvent that document or bypass one whit or iota of any of its Sacred Clauses will
ultimately be met with a destructive failure.

This is the Sixth and concluding part of the Critique.

This is part Sixof a Critique by Hand of Cause of God David Maxwell (authored in March 2009) 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 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 4 | Part 5

References used by the International teaching Committee in their document:

  1. Shoghi Effendi, The World Order of Bahá’u’lláh: Selected Letters (Wilmette: Bahá’í Publishing Trust, 1991; 2004 printing), pp. 19-20
  2. ibid., p. 147
  3. Will and Testament of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá (Wilmette: Bahá’í Publishing Trust, c1944; 2002 printing), p. 11
  4. ibid.
  5. Letter dated 9 March 1987 written on behalf of the Universal House of Justice to an individual believer
  6. Shoghi Effendi, God Passes By (Wilmette: Bahá’í Publishing Trust, 1974; 2004 printing), page 328
  7. Will and Testament of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, p. 11
  8. Shoghi Effendi, The World Order of Bahá’u’lláh, p. 147
  9. ibid., p. 153
  10. Will and Testament of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, p. 12
  11. Shoghi Effendi, cited in Lights of Guidance: a Bahá’í Reference File (New Delhi: Bahá’í Publishing Trust, 4th rev. ed., 1996; 2001 printing), page 472, #1548
  12. Universal House of Justice, Wellspring of Guidance (Wilmette: Bahá’í Publishing Trust, 1st rev. ed., 1976), pp. 81-82
  13. ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, Will and Testament of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá p. 12
  14. ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, quoted in Wellspring of Guidance, p. 47
  15. ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, Will and Testament of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, p. 12
  16. Universal House of Justice, Wellspring of Guidance, p. 82
  17. ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, Will and Testament of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, p. 12
  18. ibid.
  19. ibid.
  20. Universal House of Justice, Messages from the Universal House of Justice 1963 to 1986: the Third Epoch of the Formative Age (Wilmette: Bahá’í Publishing Trust, c1996), pp. 50-51
  21. ibid., p. 14
  22. Universal House of Justice, Messages from the Universal House of Justice 1968 to 1973 (Wilmette: Bahá’í Publishing Trust, c1976), pp. 40-41
  23. Bahá’u’lláh, The Kit.b-i-Aqdas: The Most Holy Book (Wilmette: Bahá’í Publishing Trust, 1st pocket-size ed.,5th printing, 1993; 2005 printing), p. 36, _42
  24. Bahá’u’lláh, The Kit.b-i-Aqdas, p. 197 n. 66
  25. Universal House of Justice, Messages from the Universal House of Justice 1968 to 1973, p. 41
  26. Bahá’u’lláh, Tablets of Bahá’u’lláh revealed after the Kitáb-i-Aqdas (Wilmette: Bahá’í Publishing Trust, 1st pocket-size ed., 6th printing, 1988; 2005 printing), p. 68
  27. ibid., p. 128
  28. ibid., p. 129
  29. ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, Will and Testament of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, p. 14
  30. ibid., p. 20
  31. ibid.
  32. ibid., p. 26
  33. ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, The World Order of Baha’u’llah, p. 145
  34. Bahá’u’lláh, Tablets of Bahá’u’lláh revealed after the Kitáb-i-Aqdas , p. 68
  35. ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, Will and Testament of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, p. 11
  36. ibid., pp. 19-20
  37. ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, cited in Wellspring of Guidance, pp. 84-85
  38. ibid., pp. 47-48
  39. Universal House of Justice, The Constitution of the Universal House of Justice (Haifa: Bahá’í World Centre, 1972), pp. 3-4
  40. ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, Will and Testament of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, p. 20
  41. ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, cited in Wellspring of Guidance, p. 84
  42. ibid., pp. 85-86
  43. ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, Will and Testament of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, p. 20
  44. ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, Selections from the Writings of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá (Wilmette: Bahá’í Publishing Trust, 1st pocketsize ed., 1996), p. 225
  45. ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, cited in Wellspring of Guidance, p. 47
  46. Shoghi Effendi, Bahá’í Administration: Selected Messages 1922-1932 (Wilmette: Bahá’í Publishing Trust, 1974; 1998 printing), p. 47
  47. Bahá’u’lláh, Tablets of Bahá’u’lláh revealed after the Kitáb-i-Aqdas , pp. 69-70
  48. Universal House of Justice, The Constitution of the Universal House of Justice, p. 5
  49. Shoghi Effendi, The Unfolding Destiny of the British Bahá’í Community: the Messages from the Guardian of the Bahá’í Faith to the Bah.’Ìs of the British Isles (London: Bahá’í Publishing Trust, 1981), p. 261
  50. Bahá’u’lláh, Tablets of Bahá’u’lláh revealed after the Kitáb-i-Aqdas , p. 130
  51. Shoghi Effendi, cited in The Establishment of the Universal House of Justice (England: The Bahá’í Publishing Trust, 1984 ([1986] printing), compiled by the Research Department of the Universal House of Justice of the Bahá’í World Centre, p. 17
  52. Universal House of Justice, Wellspring of Guidance, pp. 82-83
  53. ibid., p.83-84
  54. Shoghi Effendi, The World Order of Bahá’u’lláh. p. 148; Citadel of Faith: Citadel of Faith, Messages to America 1947-1957 (Wilmette: Bahá’í Publishing Trust, 6th printing, c1965; 1999 printing), page 76
  55. Shoghi Effendi, The World Order of Bahá’u’lláh. p. 148
  56. ibid.
  57. ibid.
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